Wait, the playoffs are over already? Did we seriously watch an entire season of basketball just to see the same thing happen all over again? Shame on you Kevin Durant. Stephen A Smith was right, you destroyed the NBA. That was indeed the weakest move in the history of basketball, and now we are left picking up the pieces of what used to be an entertaining league. Watching the playoffs this year was like watching a movie even though you already knew the ending. This is like watching The Red Wedding episode in Game of Thrones next to someone who already read the books and purposely gives you a spoiler before everything is about to go down. As I’m sure we will mention again during this article, everyone knew from the beginning that Golden State was going to win the title. The Houston Rockets put up a good fight, but it just wasn’t enough to stop that 73-win team that was joined by one of the top three players in basketball.
Anyway, sorry for that little rant, but that is definitely something that is going through the minds of almost everyone who watched the Cleveland-Golden State fiasco. There were, however, some silver linings during the playoffs. Some of the storylines that popped up during the postseason were amazing, as were the memes people created to tell those stories. And since we are in the business of entertainment, let’s get started right away and talk about some of the most hilarious memes that came out of the 2018 NBA Playoffs.
Let’s start this story from the end, shall we? Usually, we would go from the beginning, but at the end of the day, when we are talking about a story to which everyone knew the ending, we might as well just tell you how it all went down. From the get-go, fans knew that the Golden State Warriors would come out victorious again in the NBA.
At some point during the season, Houston showed up as a good adversary, and maybe they could have even beaten Golden State if Chris Paul was healthy, but we are not here for the what-ifs. We are just here to tell you that this meme is an accurate portrayal of the finals, in which Golden State beat down LeBron James, who had to try to win it all on his own.
It is almost unfair that Ben Simmons is going to be considered a rookie when it comes to the Rookie of the Year award. Donovan Mitchell played out of his mind throughout the entire season, and the playoffs were no different. This kid came to the NBA to play basketball, and he showed he is already capable of being the go-to guy in a playoff team.
He was literally the difference between winning and losing Utah’s first-round series against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Mitchell outplayed both Russell Westbrook and Paul George (we are not even going to put Carmelo Anthony in this conversation) and became one of the best storylines from an eventful first round.
18 Dame Time
Talking about the first round, another one of the great stories to come out from the beginning of the playoffs was the downfall of Damian Lillard. It is hard to imagine how this guy went from being considered an underrated player during the season when he was finally selected to the All-Star Game to becoming one of the biggest disappointments in the playoffs.
Lillard was absolutely terrible for his standards when it came to postseason play. A man who became known throughout the NBA as one of the most clutch players around could do nothing but watch C.J. McCollum try to save his team from defeat against the New Orleans Pelicans.
17 The Actor
A playoff season with James Harden as one of the protagonists would not be complete without at least one great meme talking about how much of an actor he is on the basketball court.
Even if you are a die-hard Houston Rockets fan, you must admit that Harden is an artist when it comes to drawing fouls. And hey, there is nothing wrong with that.
Shooting free throws is a vital part of the NBA game, and if you have the dramatic skills to convince referees you got hit every single time you drove down the lane, good for you.
That being said, it is still hard to digest that this guy went to the free-throw line almost 8 times a game during the playoffs.
16 Fear The Deer?
One of the players who came with the most hype into the playoffs was Giannis Antetokounmpo. He was already an All-Star in 2016-17, but this season was the one the solidified Antetokounmpo as a superstar in the NBA. The playoffs were no different as he tried his best to put his team over the hump and to take down the Boston Celtics. If anyone should get some relief from the blame for losing that series, it should be Antetokounmpo. The guy averaged 25.7 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game in the battles against Boston.
At the end of the day, it was all about the role players and the coaching, both areas in which Brad Stevens and his crew completely outclassed the Milwaukee Bucks.
15 J.R. Smith
Yeah, another thing that we could not leave out of this little compilation of the best memes from the NBA Playoffs was a meme about the one moment that will go down in history as one of the most significant mental breakdowns in the history of basketball. Well, if we are to say this was a mental breakdown, we would have to admit that J.R. Smith at least had a mind to break down before it all happened, which we are not so sure anymore.
How the heck can a guy who makes almost $14 million a season forget to look at the freaking scoreboard in the closing seconds of an NBA Finals game? If this is not meme-worthy, we don’t know what is.
14 The Pups
If anything, the Timberwolves looked more like Timberpups than anything else during the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs. Yes, it took them all the way to the last day of the regular season to qualify for the postseason, and yes, they had to face the team with the best record in the NBA right away.
Still, for a team as young and talented as the Minnesota Timberwolves seem to be, getting knocked out in five games was not the best of endings for their season.
A matchup that defined that series was the complete domination Clint Capela exerted over Karl-Anthony Towns inside the paint.
13 Domination Nation
Speaking of domination, it would be unfair of us not to mention the complete destruction of the Toronto Raptors. It is sad to realize that a franchise that tried so hard to build itself up into a real contender could do nothing but watch the greatness of LeBron James. Many people say that a single player can win games, but to win an entire series you need a team. Well, that was not the case when the Cleveland Cavaliers met the Toronto Raptors.
For the second season in a role, LeBron took center stage and almost single-handedly dismantled a Toronto Raptors franchise that will need to pick up its pieces and try to find a way to move forward.
12 Still In Toronto
Since we were already talking about the Toronto Raptors, we might as well show you this meme that we found hilarious. No, we are not supporting Kevin Durant’s decision to join the Golden State Warriors in any way. Still, just imagine how a person like Kyle Lowry feels after his team went through another disappointing end to their season. They were the number one seed in the Eastern Conference, and still, they could not buy a game against LeBron James during the playoffs.
Maybe Lowry will decide to go the same route and ditch Toronto in order to go to a team where he won’t need to meet LeBron until the Finals.
It is infuriating how people are raving about Kevin Durant. This guy is the literal example that you don’t really need to work hard or overcome the odds in order to be recognized as great. Actually, we might be pushing it when we say not work hard.
Durant definitely works hard on his game, and he should be respected for that. But the thing about sports is that overcoming the odds is the one thing that can push somebody over that hump of being good to becoming great.
His move to Golden State, which was pretty much giving up any kind of hardship, is something that will definitely tarnish Durant’s legacy forever.
10 Hoodie Melo
During the preseason, everyone was going crazy about hoodie Melo. Hey, we were going crazy about him too. Those workout videos of Carmelo Anthony wearing a hoodie were some of the craziest things we have ever watched. The man looked unstoppable, and when he decided to join Oklahoma City to play alongside Russell Westbrook and Paul George, it seemed like the NBA finally had their new big three.
Unfortunately for Oklahoma City fans, what they got was a Carmelo Anthony who was nothing but a shell of himself. The man was just terrible, and when his free agency comes around in 2019, he will probably have to agree to a veteran’s minimum because no one is going to be paying him much more than that judging by how he played this season.
9 It’s Too Funny
Sorry, we know we already talked about this, but the J.R. Smith mental breakdown was such a hilarious moment that we simply cannot forget it. That being said, there are countless memes about it online, and this one was about as accurate as any of the videos making montages of J.R. sprinting to a liquor store instead of the halfcourt.
It simply doesn’t make any sense that he didn’t know the score. The funniest thing might even be that he tried to play it off as if he knew what was going on during his postgame interviews, while there are cameras everywhere and everyone saw him telling LeBron he thought they were up.
At just 41-years-old, it would not be a stretch for us to say that Brad Stevens is well on his way to becoming one of the greatest coaches in the history of basketball. Yeah, Stevens still has a long way to go, but what he did with Boston this season was nothing short of fantastic.
People believed Boston would improve a lot from the past year, but that was mostly because of the additions of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.
However, Stevens made history and took his team to the Eastern Conference Finals without either of his superstars and having a rookie lead the charge.
The joke here is that Ty Lue couldn’t even win a game in the finals with the best player in the world on his roster.
7 Say What
This is probably the mood in the Golden State camp these days. Everyone in that team thinks they are unbeatable. But mainly those four guys are probably over the moon believing they are the biggest legends in the history of basketball.
There is no denying that they are one of the best teams in the history of the game, but when it comes to making history, there are a few people you should not overlook.
For example, they needed four seasons to win three championships. Kobe Bryant won three in three. We could also go a little bit further and say that if they had to face this man in his prime, we could claim that Golden State might have fallen to a one-man show. After all, Kobe wouldn’t pass the ball for the last shot.
6 Sorry Steph
The hardest thing to believe during this incredible run the Golden State Warriors are going through is the fact that Steph Curry has yet to win a Finals MVP. There is no denying that Kevin Durant played great during the series and he certainly deserved an award, but this season it really seemed like it was Curry’s time. Durant had a great Game 3, but at the end of the day, games one, two, and four were the Steph Curry show.
The Babyface Assassin broke an NBA Finals record for three-pointers in game two and shot almost 42 percent from beyond the arc throughout the series. What else did he need to do?
5 Meanwhile In Texas
If you follow our NBA articles, you have probably come across one or two pieces of us talking about how insane the Kawhi Leonard situation down in San Antonio is. With the playoffs rolling around, things did not get any better. On the contrary, it seems like everyone was even more ticked off at Leonard, since the Spurs managed to put up a fight against the Warriors and even won a game during their first-round series.
But while teammates and fans were cussing and complain about his absence, it also seems Leonard saw a drop in the value of his brand as some stores were supposedly putting all of the items with his name on it on sale.
4 The Future
Another crazy aspect about this year’s playoffs is the impact the Seattle SuperSonics (now Oklahoma City Thunder) had in the composition of the best teams in the playoffs. Some people might forget, but you should always remember that two out of the three best players in the playoffs were drafted by Oklahoma City, but were playing for different teams. We are, of course, talking about Kevin Durant and James Harden.
Not only that, but Jeff Green also made solid contributions to the Cleveland Cavaliers to make it to the NBA Finals. This just makes us wonder what would have happened if everyone stayed in OKC. The starting lineup today would probably look something like this: Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, and Steven Adams. How crazy would that be?
3 Cleveland We Have A Problem
With the Finals all said and done, everyone is shifting their focus to the summer and free agency. LeBron James is going to be one of those guys on the market if he doesn’t decide to sign back with the Cleveland Cavaliers. If we are to believe in human nature and the fact that LeBron is human, there is no way he is not mad at J.R. Smith and wants him out of town. They might be friends, but J.R. is just a liability.
However, while almost any trade the Cavs make involving J.R. would be a welcome addition in the project of trying to keep LeBron in town, the one trade that would probably jeopardize all that would be to bring Carmelo Anthony, who might have been the one player worse than J.R. in the playoffs.
2 Poor Trevor
That final stretch of the Western Conference Finals after Chris Paul went down was not easy for the Houston Rockets. Everyone seemed to lose their focus and started playing terribly. James Harden still showed glimpses of being an MVP caliber player, but it was still not enough against Golden State.
While Harden has his share of the blame, no one was as terrible during the final stretch of that series as Trevor Ariza.
The man became the new face and definition of choking in basketball. A solid three-point shooter throughout most of his career, Ariza went to 0 for 9 in game seven of the Western Conference Finals.
1 They Go Where He Goes
Last but not least, we had to finish our list with the story of the summer. A story that started picking up steam at the beginning of the season, went ablaze during the playoffs, and will probably explode during the coming weeks and months. LeBron James is a free agent again. Yes, free agency is always fun, but it is never as fun as when LeBron joins the fold.
Leaving statistics aside, the one thing LeBron James will bring to wherever place he decides to play is a legion of bandwagoners. Oh yes, the King’s bandwagon is arguably the second-biggest bandwagon in the history of basketball. The first, of course, is the Golden State Warriors bandwagon.