The First Round of the 2015 NBA playoffs officially ended on Saturday with the last remaining team getting on board after a classic Game 7. Who cares about MayPac? Game 7 between the Clippers and Spurs was one for the ages.
That and the other biggest news of the previous week are what this is all about:
1. Cavs Will Be Love-less
So much for the Big Three. After Kelly Olynyk's shady play on Kevin Love during Game 4 of their first round series with the Celtics:
Kelly Olynyk says he accidentally dislocated Kevin Love's shoulder: http://t.co/oReRY2jQSy— Deadspin (@Deadspin) April 27, 2015
With that, Love will miss the remainder of the playoffs and likewise, the Cavs will miss his floor spacing abilities. While Love was "just" the third wheel in Cleveland, his three point shooting opens up the lanes for LebBron and Kyrie to create. Tough Luck or Curse of Cleveland? Interesting.
Accident or not, Olynyk may be some other team's accidental hero in the next rounds.
2. Wiggins Wins ROY Award
Andrew Wiggins was named as the NBA's Rookie of the Year on Thursday and it was no surprise. He led all rookies in scoring at 16.9 PPG and also added 4.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. Wiggins finished theseason strong with all the injuries in Minnesota. He averaged 23 PPG during the month of April.
The voting was a no-contest really:
Andrew Wiggins named 2014-15 Rookie of the Year. Nikola Mirotic finished second, Nerlens Noel third. Full results: pic.twitter.com/CW2N5FRusX— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) April 30, 2015
with all due respect to Wiggins, his top competitors were injured this year: #2 Jabari Parker, #3 Joel Embiid, #4 Aaron Gordon and #7 Julius Randle. Nevertheless, Wiggins is a worthy winner and should be the Wolves next big star.
3. Thunder Hire Billy Donovan
After parting with Scott Brook the previous week, the OKC Thunder immediatelt filled up its latest vacancy by hiring former Florida Coach Billy Donovan. Donovan had coached the University of Florida Gators for the past 19 years and has accumulated a record of 467-186 (.715). As one of the best college coaches of his era, Donovan led the Gators to two NCAA titles and four Final Four appearances.
Donovan also led the Gators to 16 consecutive twenty win seasons, three 30 win seasons and six SEC titles. He also has made 17 straight trips to the postseason while helping Florida advance to the Elite Eight in six of the last 10 years.
Question though is: Will that translate to just one NBA title? Remains to be seen, but this is a good hire for the OKC franchise who needed a new beginning and new direction after Brooks' departure.
4. Changing of the guard ?
Did we just witness the proverbial changing of the guard on Saturday night when the Clippers ousted the defending champion San Antonio Spurs by playing with a lot of heart?
Spot on Chris Bosh. This was perhaps the best ever. This was one of the greatest games in the history of the sport.
Imagine the scenario again: Game 7 playoff lives on the line. Both teams fought like two heavyweight boxers out there. Forget MayPac, that was a dud. Game 7 was the bigger fight on Saturday night. Both teams exchanged big shot after big shot. And they weren't easy. In the end, the little guy who played through and injury took the ball to the hoop and without his usual lift, he mustered enough energy to get off his feet and bank one. One second left in the game. Here was CP3's classic Game 7 performance:
What else can we say but the NBA is where amazing happens.
5. Oops We did it Again
Wizards win Game 1, 104-98 over Hawks Atlanta: Shot 25.0% in 2nd half, worst shooting half of the season— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 3, 2015
What's with these Wizards?
Washington pulled the rug on the Hawks in Game 1 of their 2nd round series. Bradley Beal and John Wall led the Wizards balanced attack but again, the veteran Paul Pierce scored 19 points to help Washington stun the top seeded Hawks 104-98.
As the Wizards continue their giant-slaying ways, Coach Randy Wittman improves his road playoff start to 8-1, the best ever for any NBA coach. But this wasn't just about Wittman, this is about a young team whose growth we are witnessing right before our very eyes. For how long they will win? We'll soon find out. Game 2 is on Tuesday in Atlanta. So if you haven't made your predictions, go to our challenges page.