Trail Mix: NBA Finals are set…now wait

 (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

There’s Riley Curry, leading the way again. After Golden State defeated the Houston Rockets in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals Wednesday, the NBA Finals are set. And, following Riley’s lead, we can symbolically take a nap on the NBA for now. Game 1 of the Finals is a week from today, so we will have a lot of waiting.

But for now, we can reminisce over such moments like Lil’ B attending the Warriors game and subsequently cursing James Harden to have the most turnovers by a player in a playoff game.

I watched the game on the DVR later and I must say that even Harden’s passes that weren’t turnovers looked terrible. I really haven’t seen him play that poorly ever, and he had some rough nights against the Blazers in last year’s playoffs. He had to have been fatigued and frankly I’m surprised it took this long. He probably carried more weight than any other individual player in the league for his team all season.

But it was always going to be the Warriors and the NBA now has the Finals it dreamed of with this year’s MVP against LeBron James, the game’s greatest player.

Immediate pick is Warriors in 6. It’s always been Warriors in six, right? The Cavaliers had the league’s best Defensive Rating in the playoffs going into the Conference Finals and are .4 points better than Golden State. That statistic of course doesn’t adjust for one very important thing and that is that the Cavaliers play in the East. The Rockets have had to hang with deeper teams with more firepower.

LeBron will cause problems and the week long rest should hopefully help Kyrie Irving get back to something resembling himself instead of basketball’s version of 1988 Kirk Gibson (who knocked off a team from Oakland, are you thinking what I?…nah). Still, I don’t see Golden State losing this series. Their defense is too good and their ability to go small will put the Cavaliers into uncomfortable spots where they can’t really go.

But it’s going to be a fun one.

In Blazers land, all is quiet. There’s been no official notice of draft workouts while other teams are conducting theirs. But, when we here about prospective employees of the Blazers coming through for job interviews, we’ll let you know.

The Trail Blazers released another one of their short audio documentaries narrated by Bill Schonley that serve as flashbacks to Blazers teams from past eras. Today, the topic was the 1972-73 Blazers season. 

The Blazers also announced earlier today that they’ve opened registration for their Street Jam 3-on-3 tournament at The tournament, which will be held at the Rose Quarter on July 25 and 26, will also feature a 3-point shootout and slam dunk contest.

When Damian Lillard is bored, like most of us, he goes on Instagram. And with his hometown Warriors winning the West last night he posted a picture of an old Warriors team that he cheered for back in his childhood. But his best post on IG over the last few days has been this picture of a Chris Kaman doppelgänger manning a camera at the end of last night’s game.

The Oregonian continued their “You Be The GM” roundtable today which I participate in. Today’s subject was coach Terry Stotts.

Yesterday I filled in for our Timbers writer Paul Danzer for the Timbers game against D.C. United.

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen is the Trail Blazers beat reporter for The Columbian. He's a graduate of the Allen School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon in addition earning a degree in Spanish. He's covered the NBA for four seasons. You can also occasionally find his work on's NBA section for their TrueCities series. He also fist-bumped with Kanye West once. Follow @BlazerBanter on twitter for more Blazers and NBA news.

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