The offseason is almost truly upon us. There are between four and seven NBA games remaining before the end of the 2015-16 NBA season, and the first of those four to seven is tonight at Oracle Arena in Oakland, as the rematch between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers takes center stage at long last.
Some pre-series reading from both Fear the Sword and Golden State of Mind: the sites both took the time to Q&A each other here and here; Fear the Sword previewed Game 1, as did GSoM; and FtS took a look at the unique situation of Anderson Varejao, who could get a ring no matter what happens in the next weeks. I highly recommend following both sites on twitter @FearTheSword and @unstoppablebaby if only for the course of the finals, as the banter should be excellent once again.
Elsewhere on the internet, I really enjoyed Zach Lowe's podcast preview of the series with Jeff Van Gundy, which is full of fascinating insights both looking back at the conference finals and forward at the Warriors-Cavs matchup. Some good reading also comes from a familiar journalist to these parts, the AP's Jon Krawczynski, who previewed the series here and is in Oakland to cover the series in person.
I made my pick on twitter a couple of days past without elaborating too much on it, but I will be clear: I think the Warriors run away with this series, in, say, five games. The defensive matchups are just atrocious for Cleveland, especially if they work with the lineup featuring both Channing Frye and Kevin Love that has served them so well for most of the postseason. The Cavaliers will have to score so many points to keep up with what they will likely give up, and I just can't see it happening.
Back in what little Timberwolves news there is these days, Paul Lukas of ESPN's UniWatch blog revealed 2016's Christmas Day uniform designs for 28 of the 30 NBA teams, including the Wolves. They look quite similar to last year's editions.
As usual when these come around, they're made for every team, but only ten will play on Christmas Day, with the Warriors, Cavs, Lakers, Knicks and other big market teams always being popular draws. It would be a surprise if the Wolves were chosen, but this is a brave new era of potential. I like the dark green of these jerseys, but they feel a little bit hard to read on first blush with the two dark colors. What do you think?
If you would like to keep up with Karl-Anthony Towns' offseason, he quite enjoys playing Monopoly, and you can watch him do so. He has been streaming on the streaming platform Twitch a couple of times this week, and it seems like he may do so more often. You can find his Twitch page here.
Speaking of Twitch, a small esports update: the summer seasons in professional League of Legends have started across the world, with the European LCS beginning today (you can check it out here if you're interested), and the North American LCS beginning on Friday (it lives here).
In non-League news, you may have seen previews for Turner's ELEAGUE Counter Strike: Global Offensive tournament during playoff coverage, the first major esports competition covered on US television (Friday nights on TBS). If you're interested in that, the group stage is in progress during the day today, and can also be found on Twitch (here).
Enjoy the rest of your Thursday!