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Throwback Thursday: The Ten Best NBA Game 1 performances since 1984

Throwback Thursday: The ten Best Game 1 performances since  1984

Written By Kevin Bertalotto

   It doesn’t seem often enough that we see a star player have an amazing game at the very start of a series. Well, these players have certainly made their statement in their first game of that playoff series. Now obviously this list was made as unbiased as possible. Enjoy!

    1. At number one we have Shaquille O’Neal who had 44 points on 17/32 shooting, 21 rebs and 7 blocked shots in the 01 playoffs vs the Kings. W
    2. Next up is Tim Duncan in the 03 Finals vs the Nets who finished with 32 pts, 20 rebs, 6 asts, altered 7 shots and shot 11/17. W
    3. Hakeem Olajuwon made a statement vs the 86 Nuggets when he scored 38 points, grabbed 16 rebs, dished out 4 asts, blocked 6 shots and stole the ball 5x all while shooting 18/27. W
    4. Once again Shaq made his way to the top 5 but this time his great game was against the 00 Pacers. He had 43 pts, gobbled 19 rebs, blocked 3 shots, had 4 asts and shot 21/31 getting the W.
    5. In a close loss to the Magic, LeBron James was on another level of greatness, he had 49 points on 20/30 shooting, grabbed 6 rebounds and dished out 8 asts, stole the ball 2x and rejected 3 shots. L
    6. Vs the Sacramento Kings Shaquille O’Neal once again displayed what individual dominance looks like. The Big Diesel scored 46 points, collected 17 rebs, altered 5 shots and led his team to the win. W
    7. Brad Daugherty nearly had a triple double with 40, 16 and 9 vs the New Jersey Nets. He got the win and shot good 12/22.
    8. Karl Malone in this specific game vs the Sonics was spectacular. With 50 points he became 1 of 3 players in history to score 50+ in a Game 1. Along with his 50 pts Karl grabbed 12 rebs, stole the ball 3x and shot 18/32. W
    9. Going against the heavily favored 01 Lakers on the road the Sixers would need Allen Iverson to have a great game to have a shot. A.I. did not disappoint as he finished the game with 48 points including clutch shots in OT, grabbed 5 rebs, assisted on 6 shots, stole the ball 5x all while shooting 18/41. W
    10. Barely cracking top 10 is Round Mound the Rebound, Charles Barkley. Versus the Golden State Warriors Charles had a great all around game of 36 points, 19 rebounds, 7 asts, 4 stls on 14/24 shooting. W

Honorable mentions:

Allen Iverson’s 55, 4 and 8 vs 03 NOH. W

Dirk’s 48 pts on 15 shots vs ‘11 OKC.  W

Lamarcus A. 46 and 18 vs 2014 HOU. W

Tim D. 40 15 and 7 blks 14/20 vs 03 DAL. L

Pat. Ewing: 36, 16, 8 asts, 6 blks vs 92 CHI. W

NSS Weekly Topic – NBA Coach Of The Year!!

untitledGreg Popovich

Watson Rowe (LTNBA) – When we’re talking about Coach of the Year candidates one of the first names that pops up is always Gregg Popovich. Popovich is the longest tenured coach in the NBA having been with the San Antonio Spurs since 1996. His list of accomplishments include 3 Coach of the Year Awards, 5 NBA championships, and 20 consecutive winning seasons consistently working with one of the oldest roster in the league his success is undervalued.

But enough about the past we’re looking right now at the 2017-2018 NBA season. Many believe that the Spurs would not produce much when Kawhi Leonard went down early. But his record says otherwise.

Despite criticism and skepticism Popovich has the Spurs currently in third place in the western conference with a record 34 and 19 going into All Star break. He has key wins against OKC and the Cleveland Cavaliers this season without star player, Kawhi Leonard in the lineup.

Due to this success with a seriously aging roster, combined with his current record of 34-19 in a heavily stacked western conference, he has my vote as coach of the year.

 

Erik-Spoelstra

Erik Spoelstra

Kevin Bertalotto (LTNBA) – The Miami Heat being a top 5 seed has certainly shocked many, especially when you consider  that this squad missed the playoffs last year. Countless people thought their 30-11 run in the second half of last season was “luck” or “a fluke” but this season is proving otherwise.

Despite losing shooting guard Dion Waiters for the rest of the season, the Heat have managed to maintain a top 4 seeding in the Eastern Conference, sitting just a few wins behind the Cleveland Cavaliers in standings.

This is due to the genius of head coach Erik Spoelstra, (affectionately known as Spo to many Heat fans) and his ability to draw productive play from young players such as center Hassan Whiteside and small forward James Johnson, to make up for the production lost when Waiters fell to injury.

Now there is no question that there are other viable candidates for COY that can make a case for the award such as Boston’s Brad Stevens, Minnesota’s Tom Thibodeau (Thibs), San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich (Pop), and Toronto’s Dwane Casey.

However, there are several key differences between these coaches that make Spoelstra (Spo) a more worthy candidate.

Stevens may be a better coach and did lose Gordon Hayward but he does have two all-stars, one of which is an MVP Candidate (Kyrie Irving) while Spo has zero TRUE all stars.

It’s been 25 years since a team with a top 4 seeding has headed into the All Star Break without a single All Star.

By default Heat point guard Goran Dragic made the All Star Game (ASG) due to an injury suffered by Cavaliers forward Kevin Love, but in general Dragic is not an all-star.

Sure, Minnesota made a huge improvement from last year, and coach Thibs deserves credit, however he did add perennial All Star shooting guard Jimmy Butler from the Bulls and then free agent shooting guard Jamal Crawford, a perennial Sixth Man of the Year candidate, during the off-season.

Coach Pop is always in the conversation for COY including this season, however his Spurs finished with the 2nd seed in the Western Conference last year, and are currently in position to finish third or lower in conference standings this year.

Coach Casey is leading his team to a great season however he does have two all-stars including a top 3 shooting guard and top 7 point guard.

All in all, with so many clutch plays assigned by Spo and the improvement from last season despite multiple injured players; transforming the Heat from a non-playoff team to the 4th seed in the conference in such a short time span, Erik Spoelstra deserves to be more recognized and this award is a start.