The 2017 Postseason had a lot of amazing moments from everyone involved. From post-game interviews to clutch moments to playing through tragedy to silencing the critics. How a team or individual star performs under the bright lights of the playoffs lets us know, who is overhyped and who is real as it gets.
This stage is where legends are born and we get to sit back to watch in amazement. Gone are the Kobe’s, Jordan’s, and Magic’s of yesteryear. This is a new era featuring an amazing caliber of future hall of famers. So, let’s not compare but appreciate. Here are the Top 5 Moments of the 2017 Playoffs.
5. “Take That For Data” Speech
This was after a Game 2 loss the Memphis Grizzlies suffered to the San Antonio Spurs. During the postgame press conference, David Fizdale felt his team was not being given a fair chance from the officials. Fizdale brought up statistical data to prove that the lack of free throw attempts for his club didn’t add up. Fizdale realizes Popovich’s standing in the league but takes a stand in saying, “They’re not going to rook us.”
At the end of the interview, he slammed the stat sheet down and said, “Take that for Data”. David Fizdale was later fined $30,000 for the rant but his players vowed to take care of it.
Fizdale showed that he cared for his players and was willing to have their backs. The next two games, the officiating was more even in the series possibly due to Fizdale’s rant and the Grizzlies were able to play their bully ball style, which led to tying up the series. In the end, the Grizzlies would lose to the Spurs in 6 games but even had the NBA world believing, they could take it at one point. Ultimately, “Take that for data” became a meme, a t-shirt and one of the greatest sports rants of all-time. I don’t know about you, but I am excited about the next era of Memphis Grizzlies basketball.
4. Cleveland’s Historic Half
Cleveland went into Game 4 of the NBA Finals down 3-0 to the Golden State Warriors. All hope looked like it was lost and that the brooms were coming out. Those brooms were put away quick when Cleveland came out scorching the nets at Quicken Loans Arena.
They would go for a 49 point first quarter but wouldn’t slow down there. They would end up with a record setting 86 point half. This feat marked the most points scored in a half for any team in NBA Finals history. Everyone and their mother thought this series was kaput but Cleveland played at a record setting pace to crush the Warriors 137-116.
After this win, people begin to believe that the Warriors might blow a 3-0 series lead. Sadly, for Cleveland fans this was not a case but a great win. They showed heart and pride in not being swept.
3. Manu Ginobili’s Clutch Block
Manu Ginobili had a rocky start to the playoffs in the Spurs-Grizzlies series but played much better in the Spurs-Rockets series. Which was great because it would be depressing to see such an athlete that astonished NBA crowds for 15 years, finish his career in that fashion.
It was Game 5 of the Western Semi-Finals against the Houston Rockets and the Rockets had a chance to tie up the Spurs with a three and Manu denied “The Beard”, James Harden from beyond the arc. When the phantom cam flashed, it was clear it was all ball. This was amazing heroics from Manu Ginobili considering they had to do it without Tony Parker or Kawhi Leonard. We got to see vintage Manu for what might have been one of his last games.
It goes to show, the legends of this game often go out in the most legendary of ways. That’s good to see for one of the best sixth men of all time and one of the best foreign players of all time.
2. The Warriors Start What Might Be A Dynasty
A type of dominance which we haven’t experienced since the 2001 Lakers. To go 16-1 in the playoffs and to show that the Warriors as a team maybe currently miles ahead of the competition. This may not be the worst thing for the NBA. It forces other teams to try to replicate the Warriors strategy for building a powerhouse team.
The Warriors have ushered in what will be the era of Super Teams. 3-1 jokes are history. Kevin Durant is the Finals MVP. This will not ruin the league. Dynasties create ratings. This NBA Finals was the highest rated finals in over 20 years. The Warriors played a beautiful brand of basketball and the rise of the newest bad guy has begun. He’s a 7 footer that moves like a guard. He is the Slim Reaper. Kevin Durant is the league’s newest villain but he didn’t ride any coattails. He was the best player on the Warriors this year and it is tough for us to be fully confident in saying that they could’ve knocked off a fully healthy Cavalier team without him.
1. Isaiah’s 53 Point Game
It was Game 2 of the Eastern Semi-Finals of the Celtics-Wizards series. It was also, the birthday of IT’s little sister Chyna who had recently passed. Chyna Thomas would’ve been 23 years old. Isaiah Thomas would erupt for 53 points including a combined 29 points through the 4th quarter and OT in a win. The king of the fourth did his thing and he dedicated his performance to Chyna.
Isaiah showed the NBA world that he wears his heart on his sleeve and that he has the heart of a lion. To play through the death of his sister and after having 10 plus hours of dental surgery is an incredible feat. If that doesn’t earn your respect as a fan, then what will? Isaiah is a superstar in the making adding All-NBA 2nd team to his resume and leading the Celtics to the 1st seed in the East. At 5’9, to do what he does commands respect.