The Brooklyn Nets season has ended, with a 49-33 regular season record and a 3-4 postseason record, and much like in the regular season, we've got three winners for our first-round contest, The BK Playoff Game:
First place: Brian McNamara
Second place: Joey Convery
Third place: Rebecca Nesi
Fun note: Joey also finished second in our regular season game, The BK Game Streak. Always a bridesmaid...
On to important news: the Nets may be out of the playoffs, but we're not. We're going to continue The BK Playoff Game for each round of the playoffs, with a lean towards following the NBA playoffs as a whole.
Here's how it'll work: Each day that there's a playoff game, we'll have three things to watch in the NBA playoffs. Each note will be accompanied by a contest. We'll announce winners after each round.
Here's today's three things to watch:
1) Chicago's resiliency. If any team's fanbase knows how good this Chicago team can be, it's Brooklyn. The Nets an up against a supremely focused and prepared Chicago roster, and the Bulls ended up the victors despite missing Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich, and Luol Deng. Now the Bulls take on a much tougher task: the defending NBA champion Miami Heat, who have had a week of rest after sweeping the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round. All signs point to a Miami victory -- but they also pointed to a Brooklyn one in Game 7.
Weight: If you pick YES and it happens, you'll win nine points. If you pick NO and it happens, you'll win one point. Wrong answers do not affect your score.
2) Stephen Curry. At 24.3 points per game, Curry leads all players in tonight's Warriors-Spurs matchup in points per game in the playoffs. He can score in a variety of ways, most notably from behind the three-point line; I've never seen someone who has as many moves into scoring from beyond the arc. He's not just a spot-up shooter or an in-rhythm shooter, he's a fire-from-25-feet-at-any-angle shooter. He dropped 54 points against the New York Knicks this year and look how he did it. Just watch from 3:15 on if you're short on time. It's insane. While Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker all have the capacity for enormous scoring nights, no player shoots as frequently or as efficiently as Curry does.
Weight: If you pick YES and it happens, you'll win six points. If you pick NO and it happens, you'll win four points. Wrong answers do not affect your score.
3) LeBron James. James deservedly earned his fourth MVP Award this weekend for what's arguably his best season yet: as Brian Windhorst eloquently stated, James moved from competitor to chessmaster this season, dominating the mental aspect of the game like never before. After finishing the season with averages of 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game, shooting 56.5% from the field and 40.6% from three-point range on nearly 18 shots per game. One way to celebrate this accomplishment: by notching his fifth triple-double of the season and his first of the playoffs. James was on cruise control against the hapless Milwaukee Bucks -- how will he adjust to the Bulls?
Weight: If you pick YES and it happens, you'll win seven points. If you pick NO and it happens, you'll win three points. Wrong answers do not affect your score.