Colin McGowan - Basketball Analysis

All The Kyle Lowrys Were On Display In Game 5

by Colin McGowan

Kyle Lowry is beloved by basketball technocrats because he plays the game like they imagine they would. He's also a spectacular spaz. He and the Raptors have two more chances to make amends. Read more »
Kawhi Leonard's Hyperfunctional Game 4 Has Toronto One Win Away

by Colin McGowan

Beneath, around, and exactly at Kawhi's boring surface are multitudes. All he does is drain tough jumpers, lock down scorers, and mumble. Put another way, all the moon does is reflect the sun's light back at us. Read more »
Raptors Win Game 3 Before Whatever's Left Of Klay, Durant Return

by Colin McGowan

The Warriors are currently far from what you imagine when you hear their name or see their colors. Stephen Curry's Game 3 was heroically futile. Great players have limits and Toronto is too deep and skilled. Read more »
Golden State's Emblematic Third Quarter Fury Puts Raptors In Game 2 Stress Dream

by Colin McGowan

The Warriors are going to perform their third quarter act more often than not. If the Raptors don't respond with panic and dread, at least they give themselves a chance. But life is sometimes cruel for no reason. Read more »
Siakam, Gasol Keying Raptors' Game 1 Win Was Befitting

by Colin McGowan

The symmetry is nice: in Toronto's first ever Finals victory- a long time coming in the sense that it's been 24 years of existence without a single trip to The Finals, longer-seeming due to their habitual postseason collapses- they relied on a pair of projects, one fading from stardom and one emerging into it, who took a circuitous route to top of their field. Read more »
It's Okay To Be A Little Romantic About The Raptors

by Colin McGowan

We strive to explain the Raptors' Finals run because it's a dense question to puzzle over and we've got time to kill. But there is something else to do, less active but no less worthy: appreciating the moment, and everything that's come before, not divining a straight line through it but drinking in the beauty and ugliness of the broader pastiche. Read more »
The Kevin Durantless Warriors

by Colin McGowan

The Warriors seem once again buoyant as though they're feeling a certain weight lifted when not having to work with a guy who's so domineeringly miserable. Read more »
Zion Will Take It From Here

by Colin McGowan

The mechanism that brought Zion Williamson to the NBA isn't perfect, but it's what we have and it won't matter if he's as good as advertised. Read more »
The Lie Of Golden State's Inevitability That Describes The Truth

by Colin McGowan

The Warriors didn't exactly play like giants in Game 5 so much as they played like themselves- brilliantly, then sloppily, then plenty well enough to win. Kevin Durant wasn't there at the end, but then again neither was James Harden. Read more »
Sports Will Always Have Imperfect Rules, Enforced Unevenly

by Colin McGowan

The Rockets are arguably just as good as the Warriors, and though they need the referees to do a decent job in order to win the series, they also need to do a bunch of other stuff that's not well beyond their control. Read more »
Dame Is The Difference

by Colin McGowan

Dame's big moment, a smidgen under a half-decade after his last big moment, is extra sweet because of who he is and what he has come to represent. Read more »
A Second-Tier Star With First-Tier Privileges

by Colin McGowan

At the absolute peak of his powers, Russell Westbrook is every bit as good as the very best players in the league. But he just can't do it often enough, and at some point, inefficiency loses out. Read more »
Blake Griffin Has Everything Except What He Can't Get Back

by Colin McGowan

If there is something deeply satisfying about watching Blake Griffin play these days- and to be clear, despite the gloomy overtones, there certainly is- it's the extent to which he's mastered his craft. Read more »
College Basketball Barely Contained Zion Williamson

by Colin McGowan

It's tempting to wonder what true freedom would look like for Zion Williamson, what he would do with his talents if he could apply them more freely, but that's a far-off fantasy. Read more »
The Magic Are Strange, Busted, Not Half-Bad

by Colin McGowan

You can have a good time watching a Magic game, and you can talk about what they are, rather than what they might be three years down the road. That's a small victory. Read more »
The Context Compounded The Horror Of Jusuf Nurkic's Injury

by Colin McGowan

Jusuf Nurkić isn't Portland's best player, but he was perhaps the fullest embodiment of the Blazers' ideal: a solid professional performing a fair bit better than that descriptor suggests, a truly exciting if slightly inconsistent and limited talent. Read more »
The 76ers' Charming Bravado

by Colin McGowan

Philadelphia's borderline delusional confidence is what makes them such a compelling team. Harris is a sweetheart, but Butler, Embiid, and Simmons are all brash and chippy and ornery. Read more »
Isaiah Thomas Was A Comet At The Exact Wrong Point In His Career

by Colin McGowan

At the edge of NBA relevance, all Isaiah Thomas can do now is fight like hell to hold down a job. And he'll forever be aggrieved about what he didn't get. Read more »
LeBron Makes Basketball Easy, Everything Else Unnecessarily Difficult

by Colin McGowan

LeBron James had a grand vision for himself when he chose the Lakers, but that got in the way of the day-to-day. Read more »
Maybe The Celtics Are Broken In Unfixable Ways

by Colin McGowan

The Celtics may have done everything right and ended up with a team that, due to reasons of personality and fit, simply doesn't hum like it should. Maybe they will never stop being merely theoretical. Read more »