Going into the playoffs, I thought the two most exciting series’ would be Blazers/Rockets and Warriors/Clippers. Neither have disappointed, but with 3 out of 4 games going to overtime, I think the Blazers and Rockets are producing the most exciting (not most well played) series of the 2014 NBA Playoffs. Two players have caused me to think about some things that can have direct implications for players who are looking to increase their role or to have a breakout season this coming year.
Wesley Matthews: Hard work and desire can overcome physical limitations
To a point. Matthews is not a bad athlete. However, I would be confident saying that in addition to a size advantage, James Harden is faster, quicker, a better leaper, and more talented than Matthews. And although harden is averaging 27 points per game, anyone watching the series knows that Matthews defense has been a difference maker. Harden is shooting 35% inside the arc and 26% from three. Compare that to 45% and 36%, respectively, in the regular season. Take note on the intensity in which Matthews guards Harden as the series progresses. Can you duplicate that effort?
Troy Daniels: All you need is an opportunity
As a coach, Troy Daniels makes me think about the countless players who I either did not put in games or whose roles I limited. Some players only need an opportunity in the right situation to thrive. Daniels is the perfect example. The work he put it through many years prepared him for the moment when he was finally given an opportunity on a big stage. With his performance, I am sure he will be able to get a contract and have the chance to be a role player. Are you giving up because you are not getting playing time or opportunities to thrive? Keep working so when your moment comes, you are prepared.