Welcome back to the NBA Week in Review. Today, we discuss the Warriors’ place in history, the East playoff picture and more. You can read last week’s installment here.
Stories of the Week
• What’s left for Golden State to be considered the greatest team in NBA history? Do they have to win a title again next season? The Warriors will likely win game No. 73 on Wednesday, taking down a record I honestly thought would never be broken in my lifetime. Chicago followed up its 72-win season with 69 victories and another title the next year. If the Warriors win a championship this season and the next, and put up another high-60s win total, will we consider them the ‘90s Bulls’ equal? It’s an honest discussion I don’t think most people who followed the NBA were ever really prepared to have. But the Warriors have forced themselves into the conversation, and it’s been incredible to watch.
• We haven’t discussed the East race a whole lot in this space, only because the Cavaliers have been such an overwhelming favorite. But! We enter the last week of the regular season with Toronto still vying for the No. 1 seed, and the Atlanta-Boston-Miami troika lurking as playoff spoilers. The fight for the No. 3 seed in the East will be big. Homecourt will matter a lot for the Hawks, Celtics and Heat, and all of them want to stay out of Cleveland’s bracket until the East finals. I think Miami has a great chance of making the East finals IF they don’t get Boston in the first round. The Celtics have given the Heat numerous problems the last two seasons. A team we aren’t talking about enough? The Hawks. They got blasted in last year’s East finals, but their defense has been outstanding since the All-Star break. It wouldn’t be as sexy as other matchups, but the Hawks could actually give this milquetoast Cleveland team some problems in a playoff series this summer.
• The Bulls, Wizards and Rockets should all look into making some drastic changes this off-season.
Tweet(s) of the Week
Way-to-Go!! Congrats to GSt Warriors,SKerr&LWalton et al. The journey to 72 wins is a remarkable achievement-very impressive-now get #73.— Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) April 11, 2016
LeBron pretending he wasn’t watching basketball Sunday.
Vine(s) of the Week
I think this vine captures all of our hopes and fears simultaneously.
Ben Golliver’s flops of the year ... How Sam Hinkie’s failure made the NBA fun ... Kemba Walker is looking for playoff magic ... How ESPN landed the Warriors’ season finale ... Check out Jeremy Woo’s NBA Draft Big Board.
The Ben Golliver YouTube Corner
This is great.
The Fashion Outlet
LeBron’s daughter is rocking some sweet 13s. She needs to get on those LeBronald Palmers, though.
The One-Question Interview
Rohan Nadkarni: Did you encounter any negative experiences being a Muslim playing in the NBA?
Shareef Abdur-Rahim: “No, I didn’t. I think there was a curiosity. Teammates or people were curious. There was never anything negative. When I was playing, I was active during 9/11, which was kind of a tense time. But I can’t think of anything negative. More and more it was like a curiously for teammates, reporters or coaches. It was more about me and more about my way of life than anything.”
RN: Do you think the NBA is still like that?
SAR: “I mean, even before me there were other Muslims like Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar] or Hakeem Olajuwon, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf. In general, I think the NBA has kind of a wonderful spirit of acceptance and inclusiveness. That’s what I’ve noticed and that’s what I see in the NBA. That’s been my experience.”