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Thursday Therapy: The Final(s) Countdown

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Last night in Oakland, the NBA Finals were set, the Golden State Warriors joining the Cleveland Cavaliers in what should be an excellent finish to the season. However, because the conference finals were so short, there is no NBA basketball for a whole week. Whatever will we do?

Both in today's Therapy!
Both in today's Therapy!
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, and welcome to the Therapy couch. There were many interesting facets to last night's 104-90 Warriors win to eliminate the Houston Rockets, including:

  • Should Klay Thompson have re-entered the game after taking a knee to the head from Trevor Ariza? He underwent an "evaluation" and re-entered, but left after bleeding from the ear and developed concussion-like symptoms after the game. After the continued discussion of the NFL's concussion procedures, this incident (along with Steph Curry's fall from game 4) has the eyes of the public squarely on the NBA's version which, while tested less frequently, should be better.
  • Was James Harden's atrocious game a tribute to the defense on him or did he just play terribly? Harden could not hit a shot to save his lift for a large portion of the game (he went the last 29:47 without making a single field goal via SI's Ben Golliver) and had an astronomically high 13 turnovers. Andre Iguodala, as Warriors coach Steve Kerr put it after the game, "played the best six point game I've ever seen," completely shutting Harden down and swiping the ball away every chance he got. This set up the Warriors' fast break game, which, while the Warriors had a reasonably large number of turnovers themselves, is not something you want if you're interested in winning a game against them.
  • The other thing the Warriors had going for them was rebounding. The Warriors won the rebound battle 59-39, including 19 offensive boards to 10. Andrew Bogut and Draymond Green were the big keys with 14 and 13 boards respectively, but also have an eye on Festus Ezeli, who had 5 offensive rebounds, several key down the stretch to keeping the Warriors' momentum rolling. I think the battle of the boards will be fascinating heading into the Finals and one of the keys to winning.
  • In the fourth quarter, with Thompson out and Curry somewhat struggling with his shot, Harrison Barnes came up big. Barnes had 24 points on the night, the second highest individual scorer in the game, but more importantly, 13 of them came in the fourth quarter, including a little 7-0 run all his own to create separation. Barnes has had his struggles since coming into the league in 2012, but has really come into his own this year, and was a great interview after the game.

The Finals start on Thursday, June 4 at Oracle Arena in Oakland. I suspect we'll have at least a bit more preview coverage over the coming week, so I'll save my prediction for a bit.

Wolves News

Not much to report on this front. There, as usual, are fascinating discussions on Twitter on the Okafor-Towns debate, but there are four weeks yet to go to have that talk, and many more detailed articles to come. One person who won't be contributing to the debate? Andrew Wiggins, who was in Toronto to help with the reveal of the 2016 NBA All-Star Game logo.

More extended comments from Wiggins are in Ryan Wolstat's article at the Toronto Sun here. Yes, the Raptors thing is mentioned:

For once at a Wiggins in Toronto appearance, nobody asked the NBA's top rookie about years down the line considerations like if he'll be a Raptor one day, but there was plenty of talk about his next nine months.

And thank goodness for that.

Music

I'm a huge video game nerd. I'll be the first to admit that. Part of the reason for that is because I love the soundtracks involved, which continue to be higher and higher quality. Today's music comes from Final Fantasy X for Playstation 2, one of my all-time favorite games. Enjoy, and happy Thursday.