Bahamian influence heavy in Warriors/Rockets series
Prominent in my mind throughout the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Western Conference semifinals between the defending champions Golden State Warriors and the talented Houston Rockets was the Bahamian influence.
The Warriors disposed of the Rockets Friday night in six games, in yet another thriller, by the score of 118-113. The game went down to the wire, giving audiences around the world a whole lot of excitement and anguish depending upon which team was preferred.
Very much in the mix was the sharp-shooter and excellent defender Klay Thompson, the starting shooting guard of the Warriors. He is the second son of Bahamian Mychal Thompson, he of the double championship run with the Los Angeles Lakers, and also the first foreign player to be the No.1 NBA draft choice.
Then there was Eric Gordon. His mom Denise is a born-Bahamian. Gordon, the oft sixth man in recent times, was the starting shooting guard for Houston in recent times. Gordon was tough in the playoffs for Houston.
However, he and the rest of the Rockets came up just a bit short in game six of the series on Friday, on their very own home court, and the season is over for them.
Gordon, who produced big moments throughout the playoffs, and the season, had a subpar game at the wrong time. He shot only 4-for-10 from the field and finished out of the double figures scoring circle with just nine points. The Rockets needed the win to extend the series and fell short, despite 35 points from team leader James Harden and 27 from Chris Paul.
On the other hand, the other Bahamian element, Thompson, was the common denominator for Harden and company throughout the first half when his splash brother Stephen Curry was scoreless. Thompson set the pace and knocked down shot after shot to balance the scoring. The score was 57-57 at the half, largely because of 21 big points from Thompson, who ended up with 27, inclusive of a dagger-like three-pointer in the waning moments of the fourth quarter.
In the second half, Curry came alive and poured in 33 points while keeping up his end of the bargain. The “Splash Brothers” were expected to take the Warriors over the hump in the absence of Kevin “K.D.” Durant (calf strain) and they came through, big time. Curry was complimented following the game and will continue to get praises for his dynamic second half.
The Klay Thompson first half, though, was incredible as well, under a lot of pressure. There was no K.D. Curry, though on court, was not a meaningful presence. It was up to the Bahamian-flavored one. So, The Bahamas was well-represented.
It was sort of interesting, for me, watching the game. There was delight in what Thompson was doing, but a desire for Gordon to do well also. It was an odd experience. The take-home factor for me was that the entire Bahamian connection stood out during the series.
Continued best wishes to Klay Thompson! Better luck next time to Eric Gordon!
The heavy Bahamian influence was special nevertheless.
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