The 2016 NBA playoffs are getting heated. We're only in the first round and several of the game's top teams and players are getting into it with the opposition. Which individuals have Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Stephen Curry irked? And who among them can claim the title of biggest postseason beef?
Read on for more on the top five feuds we have witnessed thus far.
5) Russell Westbrook vs Charlie Villanueva
The above image is actually from January, when seldom-used Mavericks forward Charlie Villanueva tried to choke Russell Westbrook during a Mavericks-Thunder scuffle. That beef has carried over to the playoffs, with Westbrook pushing Villanueva after the veteran interrupted his pregame ritual with rookie guard Cameron Payne. In a blog post, Charlie V had a simple message for Russ: take your dancing off the court.
4) Stephen Curry vs. Patrick Beverley
This beef only built up for about a quarter, but it's a significant one nonetheless. Beverley had a shoulder bump saved for Curry when they exchanged pre-game handshakes in Game 1, and in the first period, they were called for a double-technical after the Rockets point guard got in the reigning MVP's grill. Expect this rivalry to reignite when Curry returns in Game 4.
3) Houston Rockets vs referees/critics
The Rockets won Game 3 against the Warriors, but there were several controversial calls (or missed calls) throughout the game on both sides. Afterwards, Houston's front office took to social media to call out the officiating, along with TNT analyst Charles Barkley, who questioned his former team's ability to hold a lead. Meanwhile, Dwight Howard responded to critics of his less-than-enthused reaction to James Harden's game-winning shot, telling them to "shut up."
2) LeBron James vs. The Stans
Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy wasn't shy about voicing his opinions on LeBron James getting preferential treatment from the refs in Game 1. Rookie forward Stanley Johnson doubled-down on the LeBron smack-talk, saying he was "definitely" in the MVP's head after going down 2-0 in the series. James is taking the high road for now, but don't be surprised if a chippy Game 3 changes his tune.
1) Rick Carlisle vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle on the Thunder cheap-shotting his team in Game 3:
"There were four, what I would categorize as non-basketball physical escalations that were initiated by them, including one intentional, unprovoked elbow at the free throw line, which I didn't understand. And I've never seen a guy like Kevin Durant ever do that to a player. Then ultimately, that led to two more escalations between the teams, the fact that that was missed. I'm concerned about that. There's no place for that in our game."
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Related Topics: Pistons News, Stan Van Gundy, Cavaliers News, Kevin Durant, Patrick Beverley, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Charles Barkley, Lebron James, Charlie Villanueva, NBA Rumors, Warriors News, Thunder News, Rockets News, Mavericks News, NBA News, Rick Carlisle, Stanley Johnson