“They didn’t have the best record in the NBA for nothing,” Russell Westbrook told TNT’s Craig Sager following the game, adding that his Thunder understood they had to use their dynamic physical gifts to their advantage according to Yahoo Sports.“Be physical. We got a physical team, an athletic team, and we have to use that to the best of our ability.”
That has been the motto for the conference finals. Two teams, which no one thought could have a chance in the conference finals, turn those into believers in themselves. The Oklahoma City Thunder and Toronto Raptors are making it interesting for the NBA fans.
The Thunder, in this case aiming to beat a historic team that broke records during the regular season. Kevin Durant starting to play like a superstar, putting his will on every game so far to give his team the chance to win. Westbrook having the same approach with his attitude, and more importantly making others around him better.
But the biggest surprise is the play of Steve Adams and Enes Kanter. They have physically changed the series against the Golden State Warriors. Both dictate how the games will be played, and it’s starting to show.
For the Raptors, it’s all about the fans of Toronto giving them energy and support. Although they won only one game, they might have figured out how to slow down a streaky Cleveland Cavaliers team. Raptors gave the Cavaliers their first loss of the postseason, out-muscling them in every way and making tough shots.
Kyle Lowry finally shown up as an all-star, so has DeMar DeRozan. The presence of Bismack Biyombo also made their defense as physical as any team can be, especially from a scrappy defensive group this year. People are starting to see just how good they can be if they hustle, make plays and cause trouble for the Cavaliers offense.
Sure NBA fans can overreact for one game or two to make the conference finals something worth watching. But the Warriors are battling with a physical, hustling team, and so are the Cavaliers if they want to have rest before the NBA finals. Each underdog team just shows why anything is possible in the playoffs and to never give up, even when media doubts them.