LION FACE/LEMON FACE 5/17/13: THE BASKETBALL GODS HATE US

Three teams have punched their tickets to the Conference Finals with the Spurs and Grizzlies set in the West and the Heat waiting in the wings on the winner of the Pacers-Knicks series. But before we get that far, let’s take a look at last night’s games in today’s Lion Face, Lemon Face.

Lion Face: Chris Copeland Getting Minutes

I’m not sure if the Knicks blogosphere should be smiling today because Mike Woodson finally remembered Chris Copeland is on the team or if they should be enraged that it took him until Game 5 to realize this. 8 (loss), 10 (win), 1 (loss), 12 (loss). Those were Copeland’s minute totals and the Knicks result in Games 1-4 of this series. In Game 5, he was given a series high 19 minutes of play and made the most of it with 13 points on 4-6 shooting, 3-4 from beyond the arc.

Lemon Face: Indiana’s Free Throw Shooting

You’ve. Got. To. Make. Your. Free. Throws. Indiana went an abysmal 19-33 from the charity stripe last night in a game that they lost by 10 points, 85-75. You do the math on that one.

Lion Face: Jason Kidd Not Getting Minutes

Jason Kidd is on some sort of streak right now. It’s been well documented, but that doesn’t make the numbers any less damning. In his past nine games, Jason Kidd has played 182 minutes and scored 0 points. None. Nada. Zip. As many as my cats have. Zero. Unfortunately for Knicks fans, it took five games for Kidd to see less than 16 minutes on the floor. Last night, he played five minutes, all in the first half, and missed the only shot he took which is disappointing because he nearly posted a 5 trillion in the box score of an NBA playoff game. The good news is that he is getting closer to putting the ball in the basket, so there’s that…

GIF via @SBNationGIF

Lemon Face: The Basketball Gods           

What did we, as a basketball community, do to anger the basketball gods? We already knew we were heading into the postseason without Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose, and Danny Granger due to injury. Then, in the first two rounds, we witnessed Russell Westbrook go down for the first time in his career, David Lee having to leave his first ever playoff game, and George Hill suffer a concussion in Game 4 against the Knicks causing his status to be unknown for the rest of the series. Additionally, last night Harrison Barnes took a terrifying spill on the baseline in the second quarter, tried to return in the third, and was eventually forced to sit out the final period with a headache. Throw in the fact that we’ve been robbed of any more games at Oracle and seeing Steph Curry play but instead are rewarded with seven games of Bulls-Nets and at least six games of a dreadful Pacers-Knicks series, and we may seriously have to question what sacrificing we need to make to the gods in order to make things better for the next two rounds.

Lion Face: San Antonio’s Starting Lineup

The Spurs starting lineup of Tony Parker, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan, and Tiago Splitter accounted for 73 of the Spurs 94 points last night. Each starter played at least 31 minutes, and they outscored Golden State’s starters by 27 points during the game. Although Tony Parker struggled mightily (3-16 shooting), the unit as a whole performed admirably. San Antonio has been a well oiled machine for years, and last night was no exception as they finally put away Golden State inside an always raucous Oracle Arena.

Lemon Face: Harrison Barnes Returning In The Third Quarter

I’ll keep this short because A) I am not a doctor by any means and B) Andrew did a great job capturing how terrifying a head injury can be late last night. All I will say is the fact that Barnes returned so quickly from what looked to be one of the scariest looking falls that we have seen in quite a while was concerning at the time, and then amplified ten fold when he was removed for the fourth quarter because of a headache. Get well soon, Harrison.

Limón Face: Steph Curry

We’re giving Curry the combined Lion Face and Lemon Face accolade for last night.

Lion Face for this absurd shot:

GIF via @CJZero

Lemon Face for the fact that Steph Curry will be out of our lives until October. What a tremendous playoff run for Curry and the Warriors. As a basketball fan, I’m sad to see them go.

Eric Maroun

Eric is a born and bred Cleveland sports fan who is convinced that if given the gift of immortality, he still would not see a Cavs title in his lifetime. He currently resides in Indianapolis where he gets to see the Pacers exist in basketball purgatory.