The Easter Holidays are close and that means that the NBA playoffs are finally just around the corner. Since we are not only basketball lovers but sneakerheads as well, we will have a look at the basketball performance shoes on court. Our hearts always pound a little faster when we see our bball idol wearing a brand new colorway of their signature shoe. Over the season, there have been a lot of very good and very bad shoe choices, but we are certain that the playoffs, the favorite time of every hoop fan, will have the stars reveal some fashionable new kicks. In the next weeks, the best of the league will face each other in fierce battles on their way to the legendary NBA Championship Finals. Since the crème de la crème will find itself on the court, we will mostly see signature athletes playing in their signature shoes. All four top basketball brands, including Nike, Jordan, Under Armour and adidas, kinda “made it to the playoffs”. The numbers differ though! While Nike has five signature athletes (James, Irving, George, Durant and Kobe Bryant – represented by testimonials DeMar DeRozan and Isaiah Thomas this season) to show off their heat on feet, adidas has Damian Lillard and James Harden to serve as the face of The Three Stripes. adidas athlete Derrick Rose, the All-Time Injured, did not make it to the playoffs with his New York Knicks, so no showing off from his side. Jordan Brand has only one of its signature boys to steal the show with his kicks. Chris Paul, no rookie anymore in the signature shoe business, and several players wearing Jordan’s latest performance shoe – the Air Jordan XXXI – represent the famous bball brand these playoffs. And of course, we finally have Under Armour and the Human Torch, Steph Curry. Since the baby-faced assassin is the face of the sports brand and only signature athlete, we await 100 percent on the court and in the shoe game.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Indiana Pacers
Nike LeBron XIV & Nike Kyrie 3 vs. Nike PG1
This match, taking place this saturday, is going to be the ultimate battle of Nike signature players. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving on one side, Paul George on the other side. While the king is meanwhile already playing in his fourteenth signature shoe, Kyrie Irving is quite new to the shoe game, but officially has the best-selling kicks this year. This is pretty justified since the Kyrie 3 is probably one of the best basketball shoes the boys have tried on in our office – a true performance machine, perfect for future ankle breakers. Let’s see with which colorways the sneaker dream team of the Cavs will spoil the audience in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Chemistry is surely guaranteed! Paul George, Small Forward of the Indiana Pacers, is Nike’s latest signature athlete and his Nike PG1 strikes home. The low-cut silhouette will satisfy your eye as well as your game. We are a true fan of PG’s shoe debut and can’t wait to see new materials, new colors and new styles on the lightweight sneaker.
Predictions: CAVS, baby – just look at the shoes and you know who the real deal is!
Boston Celtics vs. Chicago Bulls
Nike Kobe A.D. PE vs. Air Jordan XXXI
It’s great to see the Chicago Bulls making the playoffs at last. The Boston Celtics are a very very tough opponent though! The “number 1” in the Eastern Conference (pretty hard to write this as a Cavs-fan) and their star Isaiah Thomas had a great regular season and will surly make it to the Conference Finals. But first things first, let’s have no look into the future but rather a look at their kicks. Both of my picks, the All-Stars Isaiah Thomas and Jimmy Butler, have no own signature shoe – yet! In the meantime, Isaiah Thomas serves as a testimonial for the Nike Kobe A.D. Nike has hooked up the Boston Celtics’ guard with his very own Player Exclusive (PE) and the colorways have been great so far. Thomas has not only managed to lead the Celtics to the Easts’s top spot, average 30 a game and become one of the league’s best guards, but become a top Nike guy as well. We are excited to see Thomas’ partnership with Nike prosper – hopefully, we will soon see another new face in the Nike signature team. Jimmy Butler is a true Jordan guy, though. The Number 21 of the Chicago Bulls has always had a pretty dope sneaker game. Retro Jordans or the brand’s latest master stroke, the Air Jordan XXXI, can be seen on his feet. Jordan shoes look best with the iconic Gym Red after all, so it is always a pleasure to see Jimmy Butler’s kicks. We are keeping our fingers crossed for you, Chicago! It’s time to kick some ass – but please be careful with your kicks!
Predictions: Sorry Chicago, but I’ll go with the Boston Celtics. Go for it, Isaiah!
Toronto Raptors vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Nike Kobe A.D. PE vs. Nike Kobe X
It has been a pleasure watching both stars of the Toronto Raptors and the Milwaukee Bucks this season. DeMar DeRozan and Giannis Antetokounmpo are both names that will be big in the future. Right now, both have confidence in the Nike Kobe signature line. While DeRozan is rocking the Nike Kobe A.D., Giannis Antetokounmpo is content with an older version of the Black Mamba’s line. Both shoes are very good choices, but we love the Nike Kobe A.D. ‘DeRozan’ PE. The sneaker has its own story to tell and is a homage to DeRozan’s memory of Kobe Bryant’s famous “Airball Game” against Utah in the playoffs 1997. The game showed the Raptors’ Shooting Guard that resistibility is the key to success. The model is adorned with a few little details including March 12th 1997 as the memorial date of the game, the streets of Compton – his hometown – printed inside the shoe on the sole and the colors of opponent Utah Jazz in the DNA symbol, Kobe logo and his signature. Great storytelling, great shoe!
Predicitions: The shoe game wins DeMar DeRozan, that’s for sure! The playoff game… we will see!
Golden State Warriors vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Under Armour Curry 3 & Nike Zoom KD 9 vs. adidas DAME3
The Golden State Warriors won’t miss any opportunity to bring the Championship back to the West Coast. Even an outstanding Damian Lillard will not get in the way of star duo Steph Curry and Kevin Durant. While everyone will have a look at Curry hitting one three-pointer after the other, we will have our eyes on all the shoes. This match is quite balanced since three signature players of three different brands are on the court. We have Steph Curry wearing his Under Armour Curry 3, Kevin Durant in his Nike Zoom KD 9 and Damian Lillard with the great adidas DAME3. Let’s see who has the best performance shoes and the best performance this sunday!
Predictions: Golden State Warriors it is, there is no arguing. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the D.A.M.E. Dolla though, this guy is just great!
San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Air Jordan XXXI PE vs. AND1 Tai Chi
Yeah, you read it right. I seriously listed the iconic AND1 Tai Chi… Why? Because if I have to pick a player of the Memphis Grizzlies, it sure as hell is Vince Carter, Half Man Half Amazing. And if I have to pick a shoe for this list, it sure as hell is the AND Tai Chi. Vince Carter made the shoe iconic in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest in 2000 and it has been a classic ever since. Just have a look at the picture of Vince above and you will take a journey down memory lane to probably the best dunk contest in the NBA history. Even now with delicate 40 years, VC still dunks better than the latest Slam Dunk contestants together – vinsanity! Kawhi Leonard, 25 years and on his way to becoming one of the best defensive player in history, is rocking the Air Jordan XXXI. The Jordan model is a player-favorite and rightly, because the shoe is a true performance machine. No half stepping in this one!
Predictions: SPURS, simple as that!
Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
adidas Harden Vol.1 vs. Air Jordan XXXI PE
James Harden, adidas latest project, had his signature rookie season and has shown some impressive colorways throughout the season. The Beard can not only be proud of his Rockets making the playoffs but proud of his signature shoe as well. The low-cut basketball shoe, which offers speed and comfort at the same time, has been thoroughly designed and the result is convincing. The colorful uppers and the innovative toe box make the shoe a true eye-catcher – and they seem to be pretty efficient considering Harden’s crazy season. Both players are putting up crazy numbers, the race for the MVP title will surely been a battle of James Harden vs. Russell Westbrook. The Westbeast, breaking the Triple-Double record last week, caused quite a stir this season as well. Kinda the last star left of the Oklahoma City Thunder squad, Westbrook plays inhuman and his Air Jordan XXXI might easily be his weapon – apart from sheer will power, insane athleticism and determination.
Predictions: It’s actually sad that one of these guys will be out after Round 1, because both will be on fire. I go with the Houston Rockets, though. Russell is incredible, but one man does not make a team!
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Utah Jazz
Jordan CP3.X vs. Nike Zoom Live
This match will be a close one. The Utah Jazz with their stars Gordon Hayward and Rudy Gobert have had a great season and will do everything to leave the Clippers in the dust. But do not make the mistake and think that this one is going to be an easy one for the Jazz, because the Clippers have their CP3. Chris Paul is one of the best point guards of the last decades and has no intention of slowing down. His signature line is on the fast track as well. This season, his tenth signature shoe with Jordan was released and it hasn’t left Jordan fans high and dry. Fashionable TPU-Cage and a great upper make the performance sneaker a must-have. The Jordan CP3.X is an elite-shoe for an elite-guard, no more words needed. Gordon Hayward plays in the Nike Zoom Live, a very good decision as well. In comparison to the other kicks on court, the model is rather low-priced, but its performance is said to be priceless.
‘Nuff said, here’s my prediction: UUUUUTAH JAZZ!