Social media tells the story of the NBA playoffs so far

ByBrianna Williams ESPN logo
Thursday, May 18, 2023

The 2023 NBA playoffs have delivered entertaining games at every stop.

The first two rounds saw a No. 1 seed fall, a sweep and handful of all-time great series-clinching performances. The conference finals round has picked up where the last left off with enjoyable matchups.

Social media has had an interesting perspective of the action through it all. Here are some of the trendiest moments of the postseason.

Schroder's revenge

Dennis Schroder created a new meme in Game 4 of the Lakers-Warriors series. After a timely turnover by Draymond Green, Schroder immediately turned and smiled in the face of the Warriors forward.

According to ESPN's Dave McMenamin's explanation on the "Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective" podcast, Schroder's reaction was prompted by Green's trash talk a few plays earlier.

The Lonnie Walker IV game

Walker became the Los Angeles Lakers' unlikely hero in the team's 104-101 Game 4 victory. He scored 15 points in the fourth quarter, nearly outscoring the entire Golden State Warriorsteam, which had 17 points. His Herculean performance helped give the Lakers a 3-1 series lead.

"The game ball definitely goes to him," said LeBron James, "We don't win without him."

He became the first Laker off the bench with 15 points or more in the fourth quarter of a playoff game since Kobe Bryant did it exactly 26 years prior.

"He's a fan"

Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic received a technical foul in the final minutes of the second quarter during Game 4 for "deliberately" making contact with Phoenix Suns owner Mat Ishbia as he tried to retrieve the ball from the crowd.

"[Crew chief Tony Brothers] told me I was elbowing the fan. But the fan put the hand on me first," Jokic said after the game. "So I thought the league's supposed to protect us or whatever, but maybe I'm wrong, so we will see."

"He's a fan, isn't he?" Jokic said after being told that the fan was the Suns' owner. "He cannot influence the game by holding the ball."

Ahead of Game 5, the two shook hands and moved on past in the incident.

"I was hoping he was going to pay my [$25,000] fine," Jokic joked.

NorCal vs. SoCal

The Lakers subtly trolled the Warriors ahead of Game 3 by placing "California State Championship" shirts on the seats at Arena. While they may not be traditional rivals, California's last teams left standing in the NBA playoffs clashed in a phenomenal series that was their first postseason since the 1991 Western Conference Semifinals.

Trust the Process

Joel Embiid was named theNBA's Most Valuable Player during the Philadelphia 76ers series against the Boston Celtics. Embiid has finished second in voting, one spot behind Nikola Jokic, the past two seasons, but he's been predicting this result since his rookie season in 2014.

"Help the bear!"

LeBron James has shown off his photographic memory by perfectly recalling plays, but it's also useful for clapbacks.

During the Lakers' first round series against the Memphis Grizzlies, James didn't respond to Dillon Brooks' comments after Game 2 about his age or saying that "I poke bears."

However, James' Instagram post after Los Angeles won the series 4-2 and sent Memphis packing was the ultimate comeback.

Steph's "Gold-blooded" Game 7

Klay Thompson said he'll "forever remember" theGolden State Warriors' Game 7 win against the Sacramento Kings as "the Steph Curry game." There might not be a better way to summarize the matchup.

Curry shot 20 of 38 with seven 3s for a playoff career-high 50 points, which is the most in a Game 7 in NBA playoff history.

"There's no failure in sports"

The Milwaukee Bucks owned the NBA's best regular season record and opened the playoffs as the betting favorites to win the championship.

However, their postseason run was abruptly ended by the heroics of Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat. After Milwaukee's 128-126 overtime loss in Game 5, Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo gave an inspiring post game interview where he articulately explained why he doesn't view the season as a failure.

New York state of mind

Josh Hart has fully embraced the Big Apple since being acquired by the New York Knicks in February 2023.

Hart had a unique way of expressing his love for the city in the team's opening series against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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