Los Angeles Lakers

Warriors' Klay Thompson picks Giannis' Bucks to win 2020 NBA title

Warriors' Klay Thompson picks Giannis' Bucks to win 2020 NBA title

Warriors star shooting guard Klay Thompson let his NBA Finals prediction be known Wednesday afternoon.

Let's just say that his father, Mychal, won't be happy with what his son believes will come to fruition.

"I think it will be (Milwaukee) Bucks over (LA) Clippers in seven games," Klay told Brandon Williams, via Bleacher Report. "I think that would be a barn burner of a Finals."

So Klay doesn't have the Los Angeles Lakers -- the team his dad is the radio analyst for -- getting through the Western Conference playoff bracket.

It's unclear if the three-time NBA champion has the Lakers facing the Clippers in the West finals.

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Yours truly is on the same page with Klay when it comes to the final two teams standing, but it will be Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and the Clippers who capture the Larry O'Brien Trophy.

No offense to Giannis Antetokounmpo, but the Bucks don't have the starpower or the depth to outlast the Clippers.

[RELATEDWhy hypothetical Klay-for-Giannis trade is clear to Legler]

Then again, Klay clearly disagrees with that assessment.

Let the playoffs begin!

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Why Trail Blazers-Lakers is first-round NBA playoff series we all need

Why Trail Blazers-Lakers is first-round NBA playoff series we all need

With most of the players strolling through games, Lonzo Ball looking particularly uninterested and Zion Williamson, questionably identified as the future of the franchise, hobbling arthritically about the court, the bubble has been a bust for the New Orleans Pelicans.

They’ll go back to the Bayou in a few days, by which time we’ll have a bigger prize.

Let’s hope it’s Portland. Give us the Trail Blazers. Please.

Despite the pre-restart chatter around LeBron, the Pelicans, Ben Simmons, the 76ers, Victor Oladipo, the Rockets, Bol Bol and Giannis, the most compelling story to emerge has been that of the Blazers, who in a matter of days set fire to the promotional hype of Zion in the playoffs.

Portland in the postseason is good for the NBA and, closer to home, it gives Dub Nation and the Bay Area a rooting interest. With the Warriors watching from outside the bubble, it’s reasonable to believe their fans will stand with Oakland’s own Damian Lillard and his crew.

We want Sleek Melo, who used the hiatus to redistribute his weight -- a euphemism for trading fat for muscle -- and trim 10 of his 36 years.

Bring us Jusuf Nurkic, who lost 16 months to a gruesome leg injury and now looks fantastic.

Bring us CJ McCollum, whose one-on-one offense is a work of art.

The probability of Blazers-Lakers in the first round is downright juicy, and infinitely more absorbing than Pelicans-Lakers ever could have been.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

And thanks to the events of the weekend, the possibility of Blazers-Clippers in the Western Conference Finals -- yes, we realize a lot has to happen -- is spicy enough to trigger copious perspiration up and down the Pacific coast.

After the Clips came back to beat Portland on Saturday, Dame’s response to postgame trash talk by LA’s Paul George and Patrick Beverley -- after Lillard missed two late free throws -- was straight from the flatlands of Oakland, where no insult, no matter how thin, goes without reply.

"The reason why they’re reacting like that is what they expect from me, which is a sign of respect and it shows what I’ve done at a high clip," Lillard told reporters in Florida. "I’m not offended by it. If anything, it should tell you how much it hurt them, what I put them through in those situations previously."

Lillard ousted George and the Thunder last postseason with one of the boldest game-winning bombs in playoff history, draining a 37-footer over PG. Dame made the moment all the more memorable by turning toward Russell Westbrook and George and waving goodbye.

Dame’s buzzer-beating triple in Game 6 to close out the first-round Blazers-Rockets series sent Beverley and his Houston teammates scattering into the offseason.

Beverley, of course, has a permanent place on the 10 Most Hated list of Warriors fans. His attempts to bully Steph Curry are ineffective -- generally ignored by Steph -- but merely attempting to do so is one of the quickest routes to Bay beef.

No doubt invigorated by the darts thrown his way by PG and Beverley, Dame went out Sunday and lit up the 76ers for 51 points, pulling Portland within a half-game of the No. 8-seed Memphis Grizzlies, who have been staggering through the restart like puppies in platform heels.

Of those teams yet to be eliminated -- the Grizzlies, San Antonio Spurs, Phoenix Suns and Blazers -- Portland is the most dynamic and has the most star power. And only San Antonio, which is focusing on development, is more experienced at this postseason thing.

[RELATED: Can pigs fly? Chuck says Warriors have big '20-21 advantage]

The NBA restart has been fascinating for many reasons, the most significant being the ability -- fingers crossed -- to avoid COVID-19. Indiana’s TJ Warren, a quiet bucket-sniffer his entire career, showing out. The Suns, irrelevant for a decade, are showing up. Denver’s Michael Porter Jr. is introducing his game to rousing and much deserved applause.

The new storylines are refreshing and very welcome.

But nothing has been more revealing than the transformation of the Blazers, who are a different team than they were in early March. Which is why, when the playoffs begin next week it’s hard to imagine a more watchable first-round series than Blazers-Lakers.

Ex-Warrior Kevin Durant responds to Twitter troll in amazing sequence

Ex-Warrior Kevin Durant responds to Twitter troll in amazing sequence

You'd think people would have learned by now, but if you tweet an insult at Kevin Durant, be prepared for him to come right back at you.

Still, some people have to learn the hard way.

The former Warrior recently offered his NBA Finals prediction, in which he picked the Los Angeles Clippers to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks for the title. That was consistent with his Western Conference finals prediction from October when he said the Clips would beat the Los Angeles Lakers.

As you might expect, Lakers fans generally didn't take too kindly to that. A few of them expressed their displeasure with the two-time NBA Finals MVP on Twitter on Saturday, so Durant sarcastically sought to quell their pain.

Then, this happened:

Congratulations #LakeShow Rudy, you played yourself.

[RELATED: Draymond emphatically says Durant is best scorer ever]

He wasn't the only Lakers fan that became the target of a KD clapback:

When are these keyboard warriors going to learn?

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]