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The Basketball Lounge

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The Basketball Lounge

#1

Post by outdoorcats »

Just in time for the start of the NBA's play-in tournament (and a host of new hall of fame inductees). The lounge for discussing all things NBA, WNBA, FIBA, NCAA, or anything else related to the sport of basketball.

Tonight, I have Hornets and Wizards*. But I am a bit biased because I desperately want a Wizards vs. Nets showdown. Which is to say, I want a Westbrook vs. Durant showdown. They have unfinished business.

Oh, and guess who's #1 in the Eastern Conference for the first time in 20 years?



*edit: 0 for 2 lol. What's going on with Westbrook?

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#2

Post by blocho »

I had not heard the NBA had a play-in tournament for the playoffs. I have no idea why this is necessary other than just a way to make more games and more money happen.
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#3

Post by outdoorcats »

Pretty much. The idea is to make the end of the regular season (when typically a lot of teams just start tanking) more interesting and get more people watching. We still don't know whether this is a one-time-only thing due to the shortened season or whether it will be the new normal going forward.

Tonight...Spurs and Lakers? I'm not sure about this one. Lakers vs. Warriors should be interesting. But it depends on whether AD and LeBron can avoid getting hurt (again).

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#4

Post by GruesomeTwosome »

Yeah I’m not into these play-in games at all. Just wanna get them over with to find out who the Sixers will play.
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#5

Post by outdoorcats »

Either Wizards or Pacers...regular season games suggest Wizards would be preferable. We have a good record against Hawks and Knicks (potential 2nd round matchup) in the regular season too.

Also, I might go 0-4 with these predictions. :lol: I'm worse at this than Charles Barkley.

edit - Curry with the contested, off-balance buzzer beater at halftime was :o

LeBron has only made 1 shot, Schröder only made 1, AD I think made 2? Credit to the Warriors' defense (and Green).

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#6

Post by outdoorcats »

I went to bed early and missed a very exciting game...LeBron makes a game-winning 3-pointer while seeing double after Draymond Green poked him in the eye on an earlier play.

Image
ow.

"I was seeing three rims out there...I just shot for the middle one."

So I'm actually 1-4 on predictions. Can I turn it around? I'm saying Wizards tonight. But if Westbrook is still depressed-looking and low energy on the court, I'm going 1-5.

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#7

Post by outdoorcats »

It's a date. Sunday: 76ers vs. Wizards. I will refrain from making predictions so as not to jinx anything.

(I'm 2-5)

Embiid has made the MVP finalists. Jokic is the likely winner, as between his knee injury and COVID protocols Embiid missed too many games. Simmons made the DPOY finalists. Doc Rivers, however was snubbed, although the competition for Coach of the Year was extremely tough this year. Tom Thibodeau probably has it in the bag. I still can't believe Knicks are suddenly relevant again. That came out of nowhere.

Heck, if you'd told me 6 months ago that the Jazz and the Suns would be the top 2 teams in the West and that the Lakers and Warriors would be fighting for a playoff spot, and the Knicks would be #4 in the East, I'd have asked you to pass me whatever it was you were smoking.

And Warriors tomorrow...should be a safe bet. ;)

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#8

Post by outdoorcats »

IT WAS NOT A SAFE BET.

Have a good summer, Stephen Curry.

The NBA playoffs start in a matter of hours. The bracket is here (fill in the empty space below the Utah Jazz with the Memphis Grizzlies):

Image

Schedule (and analysis from the "experts," who I seem to recall unanimously voting last year that the Heat would be eliminated in 4-5 games by the Celtics AND the Bucks :P )

Today's games:

Image

I'm 2 for 6, but no one else is making any predictions yet, so technically I'm #1 on the leaderboard here at the iCMForum. :banana: Today I think the first games will go to the Heat, Clippers, Nets, Nuggets. Tomorrow: Jazz, Suns, Knicks (because of my horrible, jinx-worthy prediction skills, I will not make any predictions about Sixers games or series).

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#9

Post by GruesomeTwosome »

That Suns-Lakers matchup has to be the most intriguing one of the first round.

As for our Sixers, outdoorcats, I think they’ll take care of the Wizards in 5, maybe 6 games.
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#10

Post by outdoorcats »

GruesomeTwosome wrote: May 22nd, 2021, 6:24 pm That Suns-Lakers matchup has to be the most intriguing one of the first round.

As for our Sixers, outdoorcats, I think they’ll take care of the Wizards in 5, maybe 6 games.
Suns-Lakers, definitely. I'm surprised the analysts are so certain the Lakers will win. Have they been watching the rest of the season?

As for the second statement, out of an overabundance of caution and superstition, I refuse to comment. :P

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#11

Post by outdoorcats »

One last prediction: Russell Westbrook and Dwight Howard will get into it at least twice this series. :D

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#12

Post by outdoorcats »

Current predictions: 4 for 13. You think if I just closed my eyes and pointed at random teams, I'd get something closer to 50%! :lol:

Surprises, surprises...what a weekend...

I sure didn't see Luka Dončić triple-doubling his way to an away victory against the Championship-built Clippers, despite another lame performance from Porzingis (it seems like Luka + Porzingis just ain't working). And now the Mavericks suddenly have home court advantage, and Mavericks-Clippers just became a very interesting series. It would be pretty amusing if both the heavily-favored Lakers and Clippers are eliminated in the first round.

I didn't fully buy into the Luka hype last year, but I'm starting to be convinced we're watching the origin story of a future superstar. This kid just turned 22 a few months ago. (D:) Any room on the bandwagon?

Image

Speaking of potential future stars, how about Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks? The Grizzlies beat the #1 team in their court? Come again? I mean, Donovan Mitchell hasn't returned yet, and likely will next game, but still.

Many Suns players had their first ever playoff game and looked real comfortable for some rooks - against the Lakers, no less. Devin Booker had 34, 8 and 7, barely breaking a sweat even after Chris Paul got injured. This is a friendly reminder that Devin Booker once scored 70 points in a game, which is tied for the 10th most in any NBA game ever. He was 21.

The Suns look like a championship contender to me (and now I give Monty Williams the edge over Tom Thibodeau for Coach of the Year). But we'll see. :shrug:

And I'm biased, but Joel Embiid was amazing in Game 1. Scoring 30 even while being constantly double-teamed or triple-teamed by the Wizards. Why do they even bother showing up? And Tobias Harris took advantage of the wide open looks Embiid created to score 37, continuing his season-long redemption arc into the start of the postseason.



other random thoughts:
-Montrezl Harrell slightly dispelled lingering rumors that he doesn't like White people when he came charging in yesterday to back up his boy Alex Caruso...or maybe he just can't resist a fight lol.
-Trae Young's postgame comments about silencing Knicks fans (who were literally chanting "Fuck Trae Young" at him) at Madison Square Garden were hilarious
-Celtics look like they're about to be swept. Even when they were ahead of the Nets by 10, it didn't look good.
-Jimmy Butler made a fantastic buzzer-beater layup against the Bucks to tie the game and take it into overtime - only for the Bucks to easily seal the deal in OT. :( So far, Heat not recapturing the magic of last year's run.
-Tonight I think Bucks and Nuggets, so you should probably bet the opposite.

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#13

Post by sebby »

Predictions:

Sixers
Nets
Bucks
Knicks
Jazz
Suns
Nuggz
Clips

Sixers
Nets
Suns
Clips

Nets
Suns

Nets
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#14

Post by outdoorcats »

I honestly think the Nets might fall to the Bucks. Granted, the Bucks haven't faced this Nets squad fully healthy, but even right now the Bucks look like overall a stronger team to me, with enough underrated role-players to rival the Nets' scoring abilities and miles better defense.

I've moved up to 6/15 games guessed correctly, that's...almost half. If I had remembered to predict today's games, I could have added another with the easily predictable Nets win. For the other two games later tonight, I'm guessing both the Lakers and Clippers will answer with wins, making both of those series 1-1.

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#15

Post by outdoorcats »

Actual footage of me watching the Mavericks-Clippers game:

Image

It was a fantastic game. Both teams were hitting wild shots but the Clippers just fell apart defensively by the end. And that's probably it for them - only a handful of teams have come back from losing the first 2 playoff games at home.

You know Luka is special because Skip Bayless is now hating on him the way he usually hates on LeBron.

I'm at 7/17, I think the Knicks and the Jazz will both answer tonight? Surely Randle will play better. :shrug:

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#16

Post by sebby »

Really thought Kawhi would be able to dial up his D back to historically great levels come playoff time but he just doesn't have it anymore on that end, not like he used to.

Knicks-Hawks has been a trip. As a Bulls fan it warms my heart seeing Taj/Thibs/Rose having late-career success like this.
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#17

Post by outdoorcats »

I didn't even see Kawhi Leonard on Luka that often. Every time I looked it was Patrick Beverley again. :mw_confused: :mw_confused: :mw_confused: Not sure what kind of galaxy-brain, 1000-I.Q. plays those are, but they don't seem to be working.

As someone who's had a lot of knee problems (albeit nothing a fraction as severe as Rose's, just a bunch of dislocations), his late career resurgence has been inspirational.

Hopefully that one Sixer fan who poured popcorn on Russ gets a lifetime ban (or, thrown into a room with Russ with no cameras). Fuck that guy.

Current predictions: 9/19. Today I'm guessing Bucks, Lakers, Trail Blazers.

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#18

Post by outdoorcats »

I'm 11/22. Tonight I'm guessing Hawks, Nets, and...Mavericks? It would be insane to predict Kawhi and the Clippers will lose a third game in a row to the Mavericks, who have been inconsistent all season...and yet that is exactly what I'm doing. Will Kawhi actually try to defend Luka, or will the game plan be to continue using Patrick "Too Fucking Small" Beverly?

I'm calling that both the Celtics and the Heat will be swept. If the Heat couldn't take advantage of the Bucks' horrible shooting last game, I don't see them even getting a win this year. If Russell Westbrook's ankle injury is serious enough to impact his play, then same fate for the Wizards. Bradley Beal already scored a 60-point game against the Sixers this year that the Wizards still lost, so by himself I don't think he can make much of a difference.

-Bans have been handed out to fans in Philly, NYC, and Salt Lake City. :poshclap:
-The NBA is expanding to Africa.
->The value of operations is already at $1 billion
->In many countries in Africa, basketball is currently the 2nd most popular sport and is apparently growing in popularity with women
->The Basketball Africa League (which was created as a joint effort between the NBA and FIBA) has 2 conferences and 12 teams: the AS Douanes (Senegal), the AS Police (Mali), the AS Salé (Morocco), Armed Forces and Police Team (Cameroon), Ferroviário de Maputo (Mozambique), the GNBC (Madagascar), the GS Pétroliers (Algeria), the Patriots (Rwanda), the Petro de Luanda (Angola), the Rivers Hoopers (Nigeria), the US Monastir (Tunisia), and the Zamalek (Egypt). Some of these might want to consider some snappier names.
->Speaking of which, J. Cole has wrapped up his very brief career with the Rwanda Patriots. He only scored a total of 5 points across the three games he played, but hey, he attempted to go pro in basketball in his mid '30s. I'm honestly impressed he got as far as he did.

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#19

Post by outdoorcats »

Mark Eaton has passed away. He was 64.

Image

https://sports.yahoo.com/jazz-great-mar ... 26871.html

Not really much is known other than he died while cycling, possibly due to a bike crash.

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#20

Post by GruesomeTwosome »

outdoorcats wrote: May 29th, 2021, 7:54 pm Mark Eaton has passed away. He was 64.

Image

https://sports.yahoo.com/jazz-great-mar ... 26871.html

Not really much is known other than he died while cycling, possibly due to a bike crash.
Damn. And just a few months ago, former player (and ex-Sixer) Shawn Bradley was riding his bike when he was struck from behind by a car, and while he didn’t die he suffered a spinal cord injury that has left him paralyzed.
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#21

Post by outdoorcats »

And that was also in Utah. Crazy.

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#22

Post by outdoorcats »

Just like that, the Heat are eliminated. Things aren't looking good for the Wizards either (we utterly annihilated them tonight). Tomorrow I think we'll see wins from the Hawks, Lakers, Nets and Mavericks...though I feel all 4 of those games could honestly go either way. People are nicknaming Porzingis "the new Pandemic P." It seems mathematically and statistically impossible that a man of his size can catch so few rebounds. :shrug:

Embiid is killing it. Could have easily gone for 50 tonight if Doc didn't take him off the floor midway through the 3rd. I guess there isn't much point risking your starters on the floor when you're up by 25 points. Meanwhile, the young guys on the 2nd and even 3rd unit bench are getting playoff experience going up against the Wizards' starters. A lot of great future players will emerge from the bench - I'd keep an eye on Thybulle (who's already setting NBA records), Furkan Korkmaz, Tyrese Maxey and Shake Milton.

Tomorrow is the first Basketball Africa League finals, which will be decided in one game between Egypt's Zamalek and Tunisia's US Montasir. Apparently all the games are available to stream for free on the official website (at least in the U.S.).

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#23

Post by GruesomeTwosome »

Embiid left the game early with “knee soreness” and won’t be returning to the game...for now it just seems like more of a precautionary (and smart) thing to just let him sit it out since the Sixers can afford to do so with a 3-0 series lead, but if it ends up becoming more serious than that, then...fuck.
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#24

Post by outdoorcats »

Sorry for not responding, I took a little break from the stress. But without Embiid...we still won game 5. Maxey was amazing. I'm not sure how that 12-year-old child playing for us doesn't violate child labor laws, but he was amazing. Seth Curry and Tobias Harris had a great night, Danny Green made some insane defensive plays, Dwight Howard got his mojo back (he's been struggling the past few games), and Ben Simmons and Howard both hit most of their free throws. No more Hack-a-Simmons for the immediate future. (Plus, Simmons had another triple-double)

*long, deep inhale*

*slow, 10-second exhale*

Unfortunately, it looks like the Hawks will also win tonight. Would have been better if that series could have been more drawn out and Embiid could get more rest. :shrug:

Embiid has "a small miniscus tear" :/ but will not have surgery. He will be evaluated day to day. He did warmups with the team today, so it's not too bad, and that's good. My worry is now there's a risk every game that injury could be compounded into something worse.

At least we survived Round 1 despite a star's injury; the Lakers might not be so lucky. The Suns are up 3-2 and the Lakers face elimination next game with no word on whether Davis can return. LeBron has been playing quietly. Maybe he doesn't want to risk compounding his ankle injury on what is an extreme long shot at this point.

Damian Lillard set some playoff records in a loss that I imagine was pretty heartbreaking to Portland fans. He hit 12 pointers, 1 more than Klay Thompson against OKC 5 years ago (though it helped his stats that it was a double-overtime game). His 55 points are the third most ever in a playoff loss, and he either scored or assisted on 80 points, tied for the most in NBA playoff history, period. You wonder how loyal he'll continue to be to the franchise.

Danny Ainge has retired as GM of the Celtics, replaced by Celtics' head coach Brad Stevens. No new coach has been announced for the Celtics yet. There are also rumors Kemba Walker will be traded.

Egypt's Zamalek won the first Basketball Africa League finals. Congrats to Egypt! :party: :party: :party:

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#25

Post by GruesomeTwosome »

Damn, really wanted the Knicks to drag out that series a bit longer, to give Embiid some more time before the Hawks series starts. Oh well, I’m guessing he’ll miss game 1 and then maybe try to be back for game 2, but we’ll see. It was nice to see the Sixers take care of business quite capably without the big fella, though.
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#26

Post by outdoorcats »

Luka Doncic right now. Holy shit.

At one point, the commenters mentioned all but 2 field goals by the Mavs were either by Luka or assisted by Luka. Those are Jordan-like numbers. :o

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#27

Post by outdoorcats »

The Lakers and Trail Blazers have been eliminated. Last holdout series for the 1st round is Mavericks/Clippers.

Round 2 will be

Nuggets vs. Suns
Jazz vs. ?
76ers vs. Hawks
Bucks vs. Nets

It's crazy how many NBA analysts insisted only a couple weeks ago that the Lakers would win another championship this year.

Meanwhile, Lillard in his team's losing effort set a new NBA record, for the most made 3-pointers in a playoff series (35). He's also the 4th player in NBA history with 200 points and 60 assists in a playoff series, joining Jordan, Jerry West and Oscar Robertson. (per the ESPN Stats & Info twitter account).

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#28

Post by sebby »

Got 6/7 right so far but picked the Clips to go to the WCF so they're making me look a bit foolish at the moment. Put a nice chunk of change on the Suns last night, so that was nice. LeBron with one of his patented LeThargic playoff give-ups. I don't want to see him compared to MJ ever again.

2nd round should be wild with interesting matchups. Bucks-Nets is gonna be a lot of fun.
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#29

Post by outdoorcats »

We should keep comparing LeBron to Jordan...just not rank him above him. :)

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#30

Post by sebby »

I feel like Magic vs LeBron is a more fitting comparison with regard to play-style. LeBron will rack up tons of stats and records due to longevity which fuels the debate, but in a win-or-die series give me either MJ over LeBron as the top guy on my squad.
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#31

Post by sebby »

Kawhi bails out Wayoff P and we march on to a Game 7. Really hoping for an LAC win since I think they'll be much more competitive against Utah than the Mavs would be.
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#32

Post by outdoorcats »

But is "wayoff P" this year Paul George or Porzingis? PG-13 hasn't been an embarrassment this year - well, he still comes across as clueless, arrogant and borderline delusional in interviews - but he hit plenty of clutch threes down the stretch when it mattered. Porzingis got $20 million to run some light cardio up and down the court.

And to play devil's advocate, a lot of LeBron's most impressive stats don't have as much to do with longevity. Youngest #1 draft pick, youngest Rookie of the Year, youngest All-NBA honor, youngest to score 30 points in a game, to score 40 points in a game, to score 2000 points in a season, youngest to record a triple-double in the playoffs, youngest All-Star MVP (21!), 8 consecutive finals appearances (including his hard carries of the Cavaliers), 2nd in career box plus minus (behind MJ), 2nd career player efficiency rating (behind MJ), 2nd in all time highest percentage of team's points in a finals (behind MJ). If anything, a longer career risks diminishing two of those because they are career average numbers.

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#33

Post by outdoorcats »

Right at the tipoff of the Nets-Bucks game, I answer the door to get some food. When I get back 30 seconds later, James Harden has exited due to a hamstring injury. WTF?

Also Kevin Durant just committed a turnover by inbound passing off the back of the backboard. :lol: That's going on Shaqtin a Fool.

edit - it's already on YT:


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#34

Post by sebby »

outdoorcats wrote: June 5th, 2021, 10:31 pm But is "wayoff P" this year Paul George or Porzingis? PG-13 hasn't been an embarrassment this year - well, he still comes across as clueless, arrogant and borderline delusional in interviews - but he hit plenty of clutch threes down the stretch when it mattered. Porzingis got $20 million to run some light cardio up and down the court.

And to play devil's advocate, a lot of LeBron's most impressive stats don't have as much to do with longevity. Youngest #1 draft pick, youngest Rookie of the Year, youngest All-NBA honor, youngest to score 30 points in a game, to score 40 points in a game, to score 2000 points in a season, youngest to record a triple-double in the playoffs, youngest All-Star MVP (21!), 8 consecutive finals appearances (including his hard carries of the Cavaliers), 2nd in career box plus minus (behind MJ), 2nd career player efficiency rating (behind MJ), 2nd in all time highest percentage of team's points in a finals (behind MJ). If anything, a longer career risks diminishing two of those because they are career average numbers.
PG has been better this year than last for sure, but elimination game and he barely shoots 40% and makes 2 out of 7 threes. 31% from distance on the series. Wayoff indeed. This dude is supposed to be a superstar but I've never seen it. He's a second/third tier player. On the level of guys like Lavine and Beal and Klay, IMO.

Porzingis would be like a 4th banana on a real contending team. I don't think you can expect the same kinds of things from him as you do real stars.
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#35

Post by outdoorcats »

My sleep schedule is fucked and I missed both the 76ers game and the Mavs elimination game. Losing at home sucks, but really all I care about is that Embiid is back. How did the Clippers-Mavs go?

Paul George thinks of himself of a superstar perhaps but he's in a second banana role to Kawhi.

As for Porzingis, he is being paid to co-star with Luka, so it's what we should expect from him, no? But maybe he's just way out of his depth.

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#36

Post by sebby »

Some guys get lucky in the salary lottery. Look at Otto Porter who makes about the same as KP. Another solid player, 4th banana. Meanwhile a guy like Booker is around the same age as Zinger and makes the same $ and was able to put the dagger in LeBron's belly and twist. That's a superstar.

I also missed both games due to sleep issues. :sleeping: Insomnia is a bitch. It seems PG was up to his old tricks, but the Mavs are what we thought they were -- a team with a low ceiling bc they simply don't have multiple superstars. Luka can put up a vintage Larry Bird performance like he did today and it isn't close to enough.

I still like the Suns to come out of the West, but the Clips have the highest ceiling if everything clicks for them. Shame the Nuggz are short-handed as that would have made the West truly wide open with 4 teams with about equivalent chances of getting to the Finals. Don't ever remember that kind of parity.
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outdoorcats
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#37

Post by outdoorcats »

You might have been right about Paul George...

Maybe entering the second round is what activates his "Playoff P" mode (aka "Wayoff P" aka "PG-13%").

Nikola Jokic has won MVP, Rudy Gobert has won DPOY ( :down: ) and Tom Thibodeau has won Coach of the Year. I wonder how much old school Knicks nostalgia played into that third one. Thibs did an amazing job turning the Knicks around and making them relevant again, but everything Thibs has done in that regard, Monty Williams has done better. I mean, shoot, just look at the postseason. The Knicks fell apart and were nearly swept in the 1st round by the lower-seeded Hawks, while on the other hand the Suns are a legitimate title contender.

Speaking of which--opposing teams facing the Suns enjoying early leads really need to start looking out for "4th quarter Chris Paul." His scoring box numbers might be quiet, but he singlehandedly rallied the Suns late in the game from deep deficits twice now in the playoffs, and you can visually see what a calming and authoritative presence he has on the whole team once he takes over - the play slows down, passing improves, everyone's basketball IQ seems to triple. He's a natural leader.

Putting Ben Simmons on Trae Young appears to have solved the Sixers' Atlanta problem for now. Honestly, as much as both analysts and pessimistic Sixer fans panicked after the game 1 loss at home, I think this series will be much easier and shorter for the Sixers than everyone realizes. We won easily even though the bench scored 0 in the first half, and as we've seen with the Wizards, the bench just isn't going to be that bad. The fact that Seth Curry's playoff confidence appears to be increasing and he's averaging around 17 points in the postseason is a pretty big deal for the Sixers, as is Tobias Harris consistently putting up quality scoring numbers.

The Bucks are playing weirdly horribly. :shrug: Not just the entire team simultaneously forgot how to shoot 3s, but the low basketball IQ from Coach Budenholzer in not adjusting and having them attack the paint instead. They have a considerable height advantage over the Nets, so if the 3s aren't falling...this isn't rocket science.

A lie ain't a 'side of the story.' It's just a lie.
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sebby
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#38

Post by sebby »

CP3 would have received my vote for MVP. Such an underrated player.
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outdoorcats
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#39

Post by outdoorcats »

The Bucks beat the Nets with a final score of...86-83? Is this the 1950s?

A lie ain't a 'side of the story.' It's just a lie.
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#40

Post by outdoorcats »

I manage to stay awake for the Sixers game. The Sixers win in Atlanta. Coincidence?!

Just kidding, as I said, the writing was on the wall in Game 2. Trae Young is locked in Ben Simmons jail.

Also, this:



And unless the Nuggets become the first team in NBA history to come back from a 3-0 deficit, that's pretty much it. I knew they would struggle without Murray, but damn.

The Suns and the Jazz are not flukes. They are the big teams in the West now. Though I suspect before he retires, LeBron will throw everything he has into one last championship run. I haven't forgotten the Warriors, I'm just not sure Klay Thompson can play a full season without getting injured again. :( Hopefully I'm wrong.

A lie ain't a 'side of the story.' It's just a lie.
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