I Know Everything - Chapter 561
Chapter 561: Dunk.
April 30th, 9pm in America.
This time was usually the time where households turned on their TV to watch their show.
But for basketball fans, it was like a long awaited holiday.
The NBA playoff buffet would be there from April to June each year.
No more regular season cruising, no more tacit agreement from the regular season, no more fancy and shiny skills shown in the regular season, it was now an intense and passionate battle.
Even in the year where the Piston won in 2004 whose defense was so hard to watch that people wanted to cry, their toughness and steel-like resolve was equally as astonishing.
At the beginning of this year’s playoffs, everyone believed that this year’s playoffs would be the showdown of last year’s finals with the Cavaliers against the Warriors.
The Cavaliers had two great superstars in Lebron and Irving while the Warriors had the best offensive system in the league..
Both had chances to win the trophy and it wouldn’t be a surprise if either of them won it.
Even now, the Warriors and the Cavaliers were the favorite to win it all.
However, they weren’t the only two anymore.
Because the Lakers’ momentum was great and so great that people were in admiration of them.
Although the Blazers couldn’t fully test them if they were paper tigers or truly ferocious beasts, the Western Semi-Finals with Spurs, who never missed the playoffs in the last 18 years, were the best test for them.
Duncan just turned 40 five days ago and it may be his last season.
Even though Popovich wanted him to stay for two more seasons as the substitute to help out with the new players, Duncan refused.
However, he would enter the coaching staff of his mentor Popovich and continue his basketball career on that path.
It was impossible for Duncan to step away from basketball, or it would be appropriate to say that it would be impossible for him to be out of the Spurs.
Even the owner of the Spurs didn’t dare to let Duncan go otherwise the fans would smash his home the next day and the days after that.
But he shouldn’t be underestimated because he was retiring soon because he would give his best until the last day.
Duncan was one of the best iron men in the league and even Karl Malone wasn’t as good.
Now, he had delegated more of his offensive duties to Kawhi Leonard and Aldridge and concentrated on defense and organizing the team but he hadn’t regressed in those areas.
However, the only weakness of the Spurs was they were too old.
Duncan was 40 years old, Ginobili was 38, Parker was 32, Aldridge was 31, Danny Green 28 and Kawhi was 23.
The average age of the main lineup was 33 years old.
This was still after the newly added Kawhi otherwise their average ages would be even higher.
Los Angeles was actually not much better.
Iverson was 40 years old, Kobe was 37, Roy Hibbert and Louis Williams were both 29, and only Russell was 20 with Chen Huan who was 17 years old, which greatly reduced the average age.
On paper, the Lakers shine more brightly in the first round and Chen Huan could definitely beat Kawhi Leonard.
But the thing was in the playoff, it was about experience and the ability to control the rhythm of the game.
The youth could certainly charge forward with energy but if they encountered a master of the rhythm, they wouldn’t be able to play at full strength and would be bothered so it would be a terrible thing to happen.
They couldn’t show half of their skills and got irritated as the result of it. Then, they would be more prone to impulsive action and have their mental affect after a few more tries, which would be easily punishable.
Many super rookies fell like that in their first playoff.
There was an exception and it was Duncan. He played his first season as if he was a 20 years veteran of the game and had been calm and collected for more than twenty years.
Apart from him, there wasn’t any player like that recently.
So everyone wasn’t that optimistic about how Chen Huan would show his strength against the old monsters like Ginobili and Duncan.
In contrast, they were more optimistic about Kawhi.
Kobe and Iverson weren’t known for being defensive superstars so Kawhi would be able to show more of his strength.
From the head coach point of view, Popovich was more than one level higher than Byron Scott.
For on spot tactical adjustment and changes, he could easily beat the three times champion with only half of his brain.
People were still higher on the Spurs to win from that point of view.
But what actually happened?
The cheers in the Staple Arena didn’t stop tonight.
The reason was simple.
After Roy Hibbert successfully got the jump ball, Chen Huan grabbed the ball and went to the offensive as usual. He directly elbowed Ginobili, who tried to use dirty tricks on him, to the ground, let alone Danny Green.
This wasn’t the most shocking thing.
The most shocking action was when Chen Huan jumped into the air and dunked on the face of Duncan who tried to block his shot.
Duncan even staggered back as the ball went through the basket.
Nicholson immediately stood up from his seat and cheered at that sight.
After a second of being in shock, the fans uttered an earth shattering cheering.
This was Buddah Duncan!
This was Duncan, the all-time top three power forward in the NBA!
Although he was 40 years old and had fallen back in the pecking order, it wasn’t any random superstars that could come and beat him!
Chen Huan who only was in his third game, he who only played two NBA official games, actually staggered Duncan in a head to head duel!?
Those mere mortals obviously didn’t know what kind of skills the ‘Professional Basketball (Legend)’ actually bestowed to Chen Huan.
The only reason he could do it was because he jumped higher than Duncan and suppressed Duncan in the air. Then, he had both hands on the basket as his momentum made him push Duncan away.
It wasn’t only the fans that were shocked by it as even Duncan was stunned.
He could still accepted of being teabagged if this was some hardcore dual and he was tired but this was just the start!
How could he lose out to this youngster so badly when he had a full tank!
Honestly, Duncan felt like he hit an iron wall when he got knocked away.
This collision made him feel weak.
He wouldn’t have lost so badly if it was 10 years ago but he was 40 now and he couldn’t hold it any longer!
Barkley, who was in charge of commenting, stood up and shouted, “Look! I told you Chen Huan is going to be fine! You keep telling me he’s too young! This is the power of a genius, this is how terrifying they are! He’s better than Michael Jordan!”
This old fat dude completely forgot how much belittled Chen Huan before he came to the NBA.
Anyways, he was an hardcore fan of Chen Huan now and he had been clamoring that Chen Huan would be able to surpass MJ with just one ring.
“Huh? Chen Huan is talking to Duncan after getting down. Duncan is laughing? Wow… he patted Chen Huan’s head…” Reggie Miller also started to laugh, “Are you hearing the reprimand and complaints from the female celebrities in the stands? They scold Duncan for being shameless and trying to mess up Chen Huan’s look!”
Barkley was surprised, “Really? Since when do those Hollywood stars like Asian men? Even if he’s good at basketball, don’t they like those virile and manly men?”
“Like you?” Miller laughed and then ignored Barkley.
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