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The MVP showdown ends, the advancing trump card and the disappearing high wall

The MVP showdown ends

The early fall of Kevin Durant and LeBron James brought down the two high walls in the past. In the first round of the only MVP duel series, the Warriors finally defeated the gold nugget and advanced to the second round. , run-in or not, the gap is obvious.

Although the gold nugget’s main center Nikola Jokic once again scored 30 points, 19 rebounds and 8 assists, backup center DeMarcus Cousins ​​also scored 19 points in just over 15 minutes of playing time (the 19 points are even Cousins’ career A new playoff high), the two obviously slammed the Warriors’ inside line, allowing the Warriors to start the game with a five-small starting lineup that only played more than three minutes before giving up, but regardless of whether they were in foul trouble or the second half looked obviously uncomfortable. Influenced by the right leg, Jokic’s influence was greatly reduced in the fourth quarter, and the Warriors slowly caught up. In the end, when Jokic was weak and Jinnugg’s teammates also missed, the Warriors made a small lineup to defeat the enemy, and the final 102:98 reversed and defeated Jinnugg. , the series advanced 4:1.

Although the gold nugget’s main The gold nugget is led by last season’s MVP Jokic, and the Warriors have 2015 and 2016 annual MVP Stephen Curry. This is the only MVP matchup in the first round of this year’s playoffs. Unfortunately, because the other two main players of the gold nugget, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. . Both were out due to injury, so Jokic was obviously not alone. When the game came to the end, his teammates couldn’t help at all, and it wasn’t the players who replaced Murray and MPJ who couldn’t help. Aaron Gordon, who was supposed to be the starting partner, cut in. There was only Draymond Green defending the penalty area, but Gordon turned back and made a mistake. Will Barton missed a big jumper and another pass error. Jokic worked hard to attack the penalty area and still failed to reverse the situation that had been overturned by the Warriors.Nikola Jokic once again scored 30 points, 19 rebounds and 8 assists, backup center DeMarcus Cousins ​​also scored 19 points in just over 15 minutes of playing time (the 19 points are even Cousins’ career A new playoff high), the two obviously slammed the Warriors’ inside line, allowing the Warriors to start the game with a five-small starting lineup that only played more than three minutes before giving up, but regardless of whether they were in foul trouble or the second half looked obviously uncomfortable. Influenced by the right leg, Jokic’s influence was greatly reduced in the fourth quarter, and the Warriors slowly caught up. In the end, when Jokic was weak and Jinnugg’s teammates also missed, the Warriors made a small lineup to defeat the enemy, and the final 102:98 reversed and defeated Jinnugg. , the series advanced 4:1.

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In fact, when Murray suffered a serious cruciate ligament injury in his left knee at the end of last year’s season, he was almost certain to be out for most of the season, which made the gold nugget’s struggle this season a bit hard. After the season started, MPJ’s condition was in a downturn. Missed the game for a long time due to a back injury. Although the gold nugget has not spoken to death throughout the season, and there is news that MPJ has resumed training, he has not played any more games after all, leaving only 9 appearances at the beginning of the season for the whole season. The record, that is to say, logically the second and third leading scorers of the Nuggets, only MPJ has helped Jokic in 9 games in the entire season (and MPJ’s performance in those 9 games was not very good) , Jokic led the Nuggets to finish almost the entire season in a thriving situation. Therefore, although the gold nugget record is only ranked sixth in the Western Division, there are many voices who agree that Jokic, who has handed in 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds and 7.9 assists this season, has a PER of 32.8, the highest record in NBA history. Due to the sadness of a one-man team, Great chance to win the MVP award again.

This week, another interesting topic is that the Brooklyn Nets, who have passed the playoffs, face the Boston Celtics, the second seed in the Eastern Conference, in the first round. The Nets led by two stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving But he couldn’t even win a game. In the end, he was swept by the Celtics 0:4, and stopped in the first round. KD couldn’t even make it to the second round. In addition, the Lakers and LeBron James, who didn’t even have to play in the play-offs, this will make it difficult for KD to make it to the second round. It is the first time in 17 years that in the second round of the playoffs, there are no two stars, KD and LBJ, who dominated the league in the past ten years. Still unable to lead the Cavaliers into the playoffs, KD is even a high school student.

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Curry, KD, and LBJ are undoubtedly the three major stars who dominated the entire 2010s. These three have a total of 538 playoff appearances, 22 division championship games, and 18 championship game records. There are a total of 9 championship rings. Since LBJ transferred to the Heat in 2010 and formed the LCD Big Three, it was not until last season’s championship game that these three players finally participated. It can be seen that in this entire era, it can almost be said that as long as you hold one of these three stars, It’s enough to rank as the favorites for the title.

Both Curry and KD have experienced serious injuries that have affected most of the season. Both KD and LBJ have transferred teams many times to find better teammates for the championship, but at this moment in 2022, only Curry is still standing in the competition circle. KD Eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, LBJ could not even qualify for the playoffs, but going back half a year ago, the wind was not the same. Before the start of the season, the Lakers exchanged Russell Westbrook from the Wizards at a low price to form a powerful three Giants, the Nets are another group of three giants holding KD, KI and James Harden. Both teams have received several veteran veterans out of the season for low wages, which makes the Nets and the Lakers the championship this season before the season. The two teams with the lowest odds, the Warriors with Curry, Green and Andrew Wiggins, who are waiting to welcome Klay Thompson this season, are fourth, behind the Nets, Lakers and the defending Bucks. It can be seen that everyone is more optimistic about these three top stars, but now it has only reached the second round, and only Curry is still fighting on the battlefield.

The Power System of the Nugget Warriors

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From the series between the Golden Nugget and the Warriors, the importance of the system can be seen. The Golden Nugget can win three wins against the Warriors this season, not because Green is absent, or is now defeated by the Warriors in the first round. A star can have a basic threat, and the gold nugget has worked together from Jokic to head coach Mike Malone for seven years. It is the second longest cooperation between the current league’s number one head coach and the same head coach, and the Warriors Curry for longer than them. With Steve Kerr, in the past seven years, Malone has actually tailored a suitable frontcourt movement and backcourt handover system for Jokic. The gold nuggets and the Warriors actually have their own special significance.

Among the existing league teams, except for the Warriors and the Nuggets, no team has three main stars and coaches working together for more than three seasons. Therefore, in recent years, many tactics are mainly based on points. The main reason is that this tactic is based on the individual ability of the players. The level of close coordination of the team is lower, and the team with a lower degree of running-in compares the resilience of the head coach with the health of the team’s main stars. Therefore, unless there is such a major injury as the Warriors have in the past two years, the Warriors will He Jinnugget is indeed a team that can maintain a stable combat power when the main force is absent. It is precisely because they know the basic system of the team that both the Nuggets and the Warriors have had several wonderful performances in this series.

The Warriors know to use the Pistol-based run-and-shoot system to cover the bottom line on both sides and the defensive position of the gold nugget point guard. In the high post, they let the ball-holding guard challenge Jokic. When defending, they have been pulling the defensive area since Jokic has no ball. The power of assist defense makes it difficult for Jokic to connect the ball. The gold nugget also has its own adaptability. It once made Jokic mainly defend Wiggins in order to obtain other opportunities for defense, and also deliberately increased the speed of the counterattack so that Jokic can finally lead Gordon, Barton, Monte Morris or Bones Hyland, Austin Rivers to go, can quickly To use all these moves in the playoffs, this is no longer Stan Van Gundy’s response to netizens on twitter recently You can’t see what changes the criticized coach has made, it doesn’t mean he hasn’t changed, but on behalf of the ball Only when the team and the coach truly have the same cognition can they immediately make the changes the coach wants on the field.

It’s just that the reality of this series is that Curry came back from a serious injury two years ago. After the Warriors ended the KD era, they still retained the three cores of the Splash Brothers and Green of the year, and the other main force, Thompson, was twice in the game. After a serious injury and a two-year hiatus, the Warriors finally returned to the team this season. During this time, the Warriors have raised Jordan Poole who can seamlessly connect when the Spray Brothers feel for a while, which means that even if the Warriors are not as good as they used to be throughout the season. Dominant in the record list, but there is indeed a strong main axis to become a power in the championship level, and although the gold nugget still has a certain background, but the absence of Murray and MPJ still hurt their combat strength, Jokic can only help the team maintain the basics Competitiveness, when faced with high-intensity battlefields or strong enemies like warriors, it is difficult to gain an advantage in high-level battle rounds.

When the influence of plug-in warlords declines

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Curry and Jokic are top players with MVP strength, and the once all-powerful LBJ and KD are even worse. Even when KD was in the Bay Area, no matter whether there is a factor behind the endorsement of the label, he is indeed a Ranking above Curry, he has become the most inexplicable weapon of the Warriors. Although LBJ has always been able to get rid of the label of a team, it is also a fact that he has truly stood at the peak of the Eastern Championship and repeatedly defeated the challenger, whether in the Heat or later on the Cavaliers. Whether you support these two or not, LBJ and KD are indeed like super warriors who open plug-ins, reassuring supporters and making opponents work hard to defeat them.

But things have changed dramatically this year. LBJ’s repeated criticism on the defensive end is just one of them. The bigger problem is that he obviously has to start to consider whether each teammate is really compatible with his attributes. When he clashed with Westbrook, the guards who couldn’t help him open space, and the players in the paint who couldn’t help him defend as his teammates, LBJ’s influence decreased significantly.

And KD also exclaimed last season. He had suffered a serious injury to the Achilles tendon and returned to the battlefield after a complete rest. A ghostly career masterpiece, but whether it is a farce made by KI or Harden this season, the Nets must change the team through trades in the middle of the season, but problems can be seen from the playoffs. One is that coach Steve Nash is inexperienced. This leads to limited adaptability. The second is that the available lineup after the trade lacks flanks, forcing the Nets to choose to give up their figure and at least play two guards or even three guards. Afterwards, KD faced a severe challenge. The Celtics not only had the excellent Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum on the flanks, but also had the sturdy new Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart in the backcourt. .

When the plug-ins are no longer plug-ins, and the top players of the past are no longer covering the sky with one hand, they must return to the fundamentals of the team. The Lakers’ assembly car function cannot be integrated, and coach Frank Vogel’s various external factors make him completely unable to be like in 2020. Coaching like that in the bubble circle, the Nets’ main lineup is insufficient, and the two stars have worked hard to bring the team’s offense to a mid-to-high level, but there are no other bright spots. It’s not good enough. The Nets can’t play at home as long as they face KI for the most half of the season. In the end, the Nets climbed hard into the playoffs. The collapse of the Lakers in the second half of the season is more like a joke.

In the last ten years, whether or not it has something to do with the power of the team, LBJ and KD have moved the power map almost wherever they go. Whichever stadium they are standing on, that stadium has reserved tickets for the division championship game, but after ten years of Hedong and ten years of Hexi. , When the two stood in the two major metropolitan areas of the United States, they found that they had no previous influence. When the actual running-in situation of the team was not as good as expected, the more optimistic the pre-season odds are at the end of the season, the more ironic it is.

The Warriors’ Present and the Nugget-Forced Future

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The duel between the two major systems of warriors and gold nuggets, in the end, the warriors who are relatively healthy, well-equipped, and relatively experienced in competitions did not have too many unexpected clearances. Looking at Jokic, who was doing his best, he couldn’t bear to criticize him any more. It was the most cruel to him. The thing is, even if there is no immediate pressure to compete for the championship in the past two years, the gold nugget hopes to continue to advance to the championship contenders with the experience of breaking into the Western Championship in 2020, but because the two generals suffered injuries one after another, it was delayed for two Years, we can only wait until next season to bring out a healthy lineup.

The Warriors have successfully survived the gap between KD leaving the team and Thompson’s injury. This year, they jumped back to the forest of power again. Although the regular season record is not better than the Grizzlies and the Suns, they are less experienced than the Grizzlies, and the Suns will first break the ace Devin Booker. , so that they all fell into a hard fight in the first round. The Warriors are undoubtedly the team in the Western District with the easiest first round and the smoothest progress to the second round.

It is a pity that due to the flaws in the lineup, Nugget, Jokic and Malone who have worked hard for many years can only stop after the first round. The only thing we can be gratified is that even in the face of such a huge dilemma, at least we can still see that the lineup is still in this season. A few of the Green Leafs have harvested, but it is still a bit too difficult for them to carry the main battle of the playoffs. They were really not in a hurry now (the last two years), but this now, which is not very competitive because of injured soldiers, Forcing them to look to the next year.

The Warriors have successfully grasped the present. They waited until the old core and the new force merged. Although no one can be sure whether such a run-in between the old and the new will work, the competitiveness they have shown so far is definitely in the rest of the playoffs. The team is among the best, and even seems to have become a favorite to win the championship.

And can Curry once again polish his brand and challenge the peak at the moment when his old rivals KD and LBJ are down? I believe there are many eyes waiting to see.

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