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SHANE SHACKLEFORD: Five Takeaways On NBA Playoffs


After a small hiatus, it feels great to be writing once again about something I know a little about, sports. This month’s column focuses on the NBA Playoffs, or the “Who’s going to beat the Warriors Tournament?”


--Stephen Curry continues to prove to everyone why he is the two-time league MVP. The Golden State Warrior point guard continues to make shot after shot from everywhere inside the gym, play much better defense than even I give him credit for, and generally lead his team to heights unknown in NBA history. Sit back and enjoy it, folks.

--That being said, my favorite player in this year’s playoffs (and regular season) has been Russell Westbrook. The Oklahoma City Thunder point guard had a wonderfully dominant season this year, culminated by defeating Western Conference juggernaut San Antonio in the conference semis and pushing the Warriors to the brink in the conference finals. His display of power and grace on the floor was breathtaking at times. Oh, and he has 20-plus triple double games this year. Not too shabby.

--In the East, Cleveland continues to be Cleveland, winning the conference over the Toronto Raptors. This Raptors squad is by far the best team in franchise history, led by all-star guard Kyle Lowry and a cast of young talent. Don’t be surprised if you see them back in the conference finals with rapper Drake leading the fan base in saying “Man what a time, to be alive…” (small Drake rap bar, sorry…)

--Just a question to pose to yourself: Where in history does Lebron James stand among the all-time greats? In my humble opinion he is inside the Top 10 definitely. What say you?

--NBA Finals Outlook: The Cavs will fight hard to bring the ‘ship to Lake Erie, but I say too much Warriors in the end. Golden State in 5 games.

Shane Shackleford is a third grade teacher at Evarts Elementary School and an assistant boys' basketball coach at Harlan County High School, both in Harlan, Ky. He and his wife Elizabeth reside in Harrogate, Tenn., with their dogs Molly and Bear. Shane can be reached via e-mail at coachshack50@gmail.com.


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