Not everyone has the time to watch every playoff basketsport match. This was definitely acceptable during the first round, but now it’s the semifinals and all four of the current series are riddled with rich storylines, insane highlights, and viral content ripe for the picking. When discussing the playoffs around your water cooler/Keurig/juice bar at the office this week, you’re more likely to be discussing the players and dynamics in each series rather than what went on in the actual games. Read on to make sure you don’t embarrass yourself by asserting that Blake Griffin is a decent human being.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Chicago Bulls (3-2)
Hero: Derrick Rose has more comebacks from knee injuries than games played in his career. His buzzer beater to take a 2-1 series lead in game 3 brought Chicago hope.
Villain: Lebron James took that hope right back with a matching buzzer beater in the following game. He’s also made this series more about whether or not he is wearing a headband than the actual games.
Meme: Derrick Rose’s son is a true OG.
Atlanta Hawks vs. Washington Wizards (3-2)
Hero: Al Horford is your average, quiet, and unassuming 7-foot-tall NBA center. He came to the rescue in game 5 with what might be the ugliest game saving basket in NBA playoff history.
Villain: Paul Pierce is a wily veteran who has somehow already made and missed game-deciding three pointers in this series, making him a villain to fans of the Hawks and Wizards alike.
Meme: When ur John Wall and ur wrist breaks but ur trying 2 make the conference finals:
Los Angeles Clippers Vs. Houston Rockets (3-2)
Hero: Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan catching lobs from Chris Paul is the most beautiful spectacle in the NBA universe.
Villain: James Harden’s patented “run at the defender and then flail my arms” technique was enough to get him the scoring title during the regular season but is starting to look downright ridiculous in the playoffs.
Meme: Austin “literally the coach’s kid” Rivers kinda just fell over when he tried to do a trick move on the most important play of game 2.
Golden State Warriors Vs. Memphis Grizzlies (3-2)
Hero: Mike Conley suffered a facial fracture in the first round that kept him out of game one, allowing an ugly Grizzlies loss become the opening of the series. His mask-adorned return lead memphis to two huge wins, inspiring Memphis ownership to give out masks for fans looking to match the “Phantom of the Grindhouse.”
Villain: Steph Curry redefined playing possum when he hit four total three-pointers in games 2 and 3, and then made four in the first quarter of game 5.
Meme: Tony Allen accidentally walked through a children’s dance performance in game 1, now he’s walking through lots of other stuff too.