Clippers eliminated from playoffs – NBA Bubble Eulogies

UPDATE: The Curse lives on! Clippers were eliminated from the playoffs after going up 3-1 to the Denver Nuggets.

So, we are sending them home the best way we know how – with some NBA Bubble Eulogies.

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS

Imagine spending the last couple of seasons building your roster with the purpose of getting past the Lakers…and not even making it past the second round of the playoffs for a chance to face them? If you look up the word “implosion” in the dictionary, you will find the Clippers collapsing in their series against the Nuggets after going up 3-1. The team’s superstars, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, were nowhere to be found in the second quarter. They combined for a measly five points on 2-18 shooting with 4 turnovers in the second half of Game 7. Guess how many of those points came in the 4th quarter? Z E R O. Therefore, the Clippers are eliminated from the playoffs and head home.

The curse of the Los Angeles Clippers lives on for another season,

Somewhere Steven Ballmer is sobbing like a damsel in distress,

For he got two superstars and what appeared to be a good team around them,

Only to realize he just got catfished, hoodwinked, and finessed.

How do we sum up the implosion of a contender in one visual?

With Playoff P/Pandemic P/Way-Off P’s backboard shot in the 4th from beyond the arc,

Bet you Kawhi would have stayed put in Toronto,

Had he foreseen the disaster of a playoff run he was about to embark.

Trez struggled, Lou Will played like his life’s motto is “Wings Before Rings”,

The team’s apparent chemistry issues were on display for all of us to see,

Hey Patrick Beverley, you just won yourself a free vacation,Please send your RSVP to Damian Lillard and check the box that reads – CANCUN ON 3

HOUSTON ROCKETS

James Harden and Russell Westbrook will go another year without a championship ring. What’s new? After getting past the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Houston Rockets would have to get past the top-seed Lakers for a chance to make it to the Finals. They drew first blood in Game 1, leaving us all thinking that perhaps Moreyball is truly revolutionary. However, you can never count out a Lebron-led team. The Lakers are getting hot at the right time, winning the next 4 games convincingly. Consequently, it appears that the Rockets will go into the off season with more questions than answers.

Houston, we have a problem,

The Rockets fell apart in the NBA playoffs once more,

Russ is getting paid to yap more than he can shoot,

James Harden keeps pulling a Houdini and disappearing off both ends of the floor.

It’s funny how he mentions that they need more pieces around them,

When just last season he said they would figure it out that summer,

P.J. Tucker is only getting older, Eric Gordon only getting worse,

Maybe those pieces were Chris Paul and Clint Capela – gee, what a bummer.

Is it time to admit that Moreyball is a failure?

Here comes another off-season full of suspense,

At least this season they have the ultimate fall man,

In Danuel House who chose “coochie” over common sense.

TORONTO RAPTORS

We will not be seeing the defending champs contending for a repeat any longer. Perhaps, winning it all without a super star is only wishful thinking, jury is still out on that one. One thing is for certain, Pascal Siakam did not display himself as a good first option for the Canadians. He struggled mightily throughout his appearance in the bubble. To add, the Celtics defense, led by Marcus Smart proved to be too much for them to handle. Coach of the year Nick Nurse and his team will have to go back to the drawing board, heading home. Similarly, the Clippers have also been eliminated from the playoffs, so there’s that.

Farewell to the defending champs the Toronto Raptors,

Who deserve a lot of credit for at least making it this far,

After Kawhi bolted to LA and they suffered injuries to most of their rotation,

The Raptors were still contending for a repeat despite not having a superstar.

They took care of a red-hot Brooklyn Nets team,

But had their hands full with the Boston Celtics at first glance,

When Lowry launched it over Tacko to OG for a game-winning three,

Everyone on both sides of the border was like – COULD THERE REALLY BE A CHANCE?

Losing their true first option would come back to haunt them,

Pascal Siakam said he didn’t touch a ball for 4 months and boy did it show,

Also to blame was the terrible shooting and non-existent perimeter defense,

Somewhere in the Six, Drake is crying into the butt cheeks of another Instagram hoe.

MILWAUKEE BUCKS

The Milwaukee Bucks went into the lock down as the team with the best record in the NBA, playing with a defensive unit that was bound to make the history book, and a superstar in Giannis who swept the NBA awards. However, let’s give credit where credit is due. There was a rally led by Khris Middleton and Donte DiVincenzo to avoid the sweep from the Miami HEAT. They stood valiantly for social justice, creating a domino effect across the sports world that shook us all to our very core yet again in the year 2020. While those efforts will never go in vain, their efforts on the court will. Sadly, as they are also departing the NBA bubble.

It was a tale of two seasons for the Milwaukee Bucks,

Best record in the league, historic defense – a path to the Finals so clear,

But, something about 4 months off and being confined to a resort in Disney World,

Made all of their good qualities mysteriously disappear.

Losing Game 1 to the Orlando Magic set all the alarms off,

Trailing 0-3 to the HEAT seemed to truly mark their downfall,

Bud was being stubborn again; Bledsoe was shooting so many damn bricks,

If Trump still watched the NBA he’d try to contract that guy to build him a wall.

Khris Middleton and Donte DiVincenzo tried to give them a chance in their final game,

Gonna be awkward presenting Giannis with the second of his back-to-back MVP titles,

Props to them for sitting out a game in the name of social justice,

And THANKS TO THEM for making the HEAT the first team to advance to the Conference Finals!

With the Los Angeles Clippers getting eliminated from the playoffs this past week, the Eastern and Western Conference Finals are set and underway. In the end, only two teams will make it to the Finals. Who do you think it will be?

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2020 Eastern Conference Finals: HEAT-Celtics Preview

The Eastern Conference Finals match up is set for the 2020 NBA Playoffs!

The Shoot or Pass podcast crew give a preview of the HEAT-Celtics games to come, sharing the ultimate factor in the series.

In the latest round of Shoot or Pass, the gang shares their HEAT-Celtics preview. Chevy, Gabe, and Rhoby SHOOT if they agree or PASS if they disagree on the following statement:

Bench play is what will ultimately determine the team that advances to the NBA Finals out of the East.

GABE – SHOOT

This I will SHOOT on because you need a bench. If you at the Raptors and the Bucks, they barely utilized their bench. Consequently, they are out of the playoffs and we are talking about a HEAT-Celtics Preview for the Eastern Conference Finals.

At one point, we were watching Toronto play their starters 38-plus minutes a game. Presumably, they were doing this to try and keep pace with the Boston Celtics, but clearly, that didn’t work out in their favor. Similarly, Houston didn’t go to their bench much. As you know, Mike D’Antoni only runs the same seven guys. At some point, this is going to catch up to you. Fatigue will come faster.

Teams like the Clippers, HEAT, (I’m not ready to say the Lakers) actually use their benches. The HEAT count on guys like Iggy, Tyler Herro, and other guys that can be productive. I like Toronto, but, when you watch their games, the only guys coming off their bench I think was Norman Powell and some other guy I have never heard of – Matt Thomas or something.

There’s no question, you need to have bench production to get far. Unfortunately, having guys play 40-plus minutes a night is not going to cut it.

RHOBY – SHOOT

I’m on board with you, Gabe.

When we talk about the HEAT’s bench, we’re really going to need guys like Tyler Herro, Iggy, and Kelly Olynyk to step it up. As you know, the Celtics are playing excellent defense throughout the playoffs. We know that they are going to be switching on the perimeter to try and slow down Miami, preventing them from getting open shots. Similarly, Tyler and Duncan (Robinson) are going to have to step it up defensively to help us keep “Kardiac Kemba” in check.

We DON’T want to see KARDIAC KEMBA in this series!

On the other end for the Celtics, we still don’t know when exactly Gordon Hayward is coming back. If he does come back, will he be playing at 100%? Is he going to be playing with minutes restrictions or are they going to have him coming off the bench? Who will fill in his shoes in the event he does not play at all? I just don’t think Enes Kanter has a place in this series.

For this reason, the Celtics will have to rely on a guy like Robert Williams.

GABE: Kemba is not your issue. All you have to do with Kemba is attack him, make him work on the defensive end because you can abuse him on offense Every single possession. He is not the greatest defender. If anything, Kemba is the guy you can actually make work on defense to tire him out. Other than that, Tatum is the one you have to worry about.

With regards to Kanter, Billy Donovan even said he can’t play the guy! He was getting killed consistently on the PnRs. He doesn’t move fast enough to keep up. I agree, we will not be seeing Kanter much in this series. The Celtics will count on either Grant or Robert “Time Lord” Williams.

CHEVY – SHOOT

I will go ahead and say SHOOT on this because I think bench play will definitely be important in this series.

With Kanter, I don’t know 100% what is going on with him, but, if he can at least come into this series and play, the Celtics can use his size against the likes of Bam (Adebayo).

The nice part about Miami is that they can play big and small defensively. Subsequently, their length and size is equivalent across the board. This makes it very difficult to score against them in transition as well, as they are so good at getting back across the court quickly to defend.

The biggest thing they will want to do (as Gabe mentions) is try and bully Kemba Walker. Who will the HEAT really focus on? Would you like Marcus Smart to stay open more than Jayson Tatum? I would say so. I mean, Smart might sting you one game, but I’d rather have him beat the HEAT over Jayson Tatum.

RHOBY: Marcus Smart, we welcome you to take as many reckless threes as you want in the series. We’d love that shit!

GABE: Let them do it. If he beats us, we’ll live with it.

CHEVY: Yeah, I think the bench play is definitely going to be a major factor here. Beyond this HEAT-Celtics preview, it will be interesting to see who steps up for Boston!

HEAT-Celtics Eastern Conference Finals schedule (as 9/14)
Game 1MIA @ BOSESPN9/15/20 | 6:30PM EST
Game 2MIA @ BOSESPN9/17/20 | TBD
Game 3BOS @ MIAESPN 9/19/20 | 8:30PM EST

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NBA teams eliminated First Round Playoffs – NBA Bubble Eulogies

NBA teams eliminated from the first round of the playoffs left the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida, after their final games.

To commemorate their seasons, the Shoot or Pass podcast crew serve as NBA team Departure Coordinators. They send the teams on their way with heartfelt NBA Bubble Eulogies.

UTAH JAZZ

One of the two final NBA teams eliminated from the first round of the playoffs was the Utah Jazz. After falling to the Denver Nuggets in Game 1, the Jazz took charge, going up 3-1. Two of those victories were blowouts – by 19 points and a whopping 37 points respectively. No one could get enough of watching the duel between Donovan Mitchell and Jamal Murray. Both were scoring lights out! Mitchell joined elite company after scoring one of the highest point totals in NBA playoff history. Unfortunately, the Nuggets started to turn their fate around, ultimately winning a close and thrilling Game 7 to advance.

The Utah Jazz had championship aspirations,

Without Bojan, they were flying under the radar with their game plan,

Thanks to Rudy Gobert’s ignorance regarding COVID-19,

The league shut down before the playoffs ever began.

A valiant performance by Spida was doomed by an 8-second violation to start,

We were all witnesses to an incredible duel between him and Jamal Murray – second to none,

Following 19 point and 37 point blowouts against a pitiful Nuggets defense,

It was hard to believe the Jazz would not advance once they were up 3-1.

Mike Conley returned with some offensive firepower after having a baby,

Jordan Clarkson proved he can be the next quintessential 6th man kind of fella,

Unfortunately, a crazy sequence of events led to the Jazz’s final shot in Game 7 going in and out,

It was heartbreaking to watch their season end with #45 looking like the star of a tragic telenovela. 

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER

The Oklahoma City should not have made it to the playoffs. However, it turns out that Chris Paul can still perform to his nickname – The Point God! His leadership proved to be crucial in pushing the Houston Rockets to Game 7. But, it was the efforts of younger players like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and an emerging defensive stalwart, Luguentz Dort, that really stood out. For this reason, the Thunder SHOULD be able to build on their unexpected success but there a couple of key factors to keep an eye out for. For one, they will need to find a good successor to Billy Donovan, who parted ways with the team earlier this week. Furthermore, they will need to either find a way keep Chris Paul or get good value out of him in a trade.

It was an emotional rollercoaster ride for the Oklahoma City Thunder,

Ignited by the exchange of Russell Westbrook for Chris Paul,

While many predicted he would be the team’s tanking commander,

The Thunder found themselves back in the playoffs because the Point God can still ball.

An unsuspecting Houston defense suffocated their shooters,

After an 0-2 start, it was clear they would need some more support,

Brodie was about to come back, Harden needed to be contained,

It seemed like all of their prayers were answered with a man named Luguentz Dort.

Fast forward to Game 7 where Schroder hits a 23-footer for the lead late in the 4th,

Will this be the year? Is it time to prepare the Rockets’ casket?

The answer would be no to both questions after the last couple of seconds in the game,

Can someone please tell us why the FUCK didn’t Steven Adams cut to the basket?!

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Pascal Siakam as the first option for the Raptors – Time to move on?

In the latest episode of the Shoot or Pass podcast, the crew discusses where it is time for the Raptors to move on from Pascal Siakam as the first option.

Unfortunately, it hasn’t been all rainbows and butterflies for Pascal Siakam as the first option for the Toronto Raptors in the bubble. While the defending champs are still contenders in the East, they are finding themselves in some trouble during the playoffs.

Siakam’s stats against the Celtics in 5 games? 15.8 ppg, 6.6 rbds, 2.8 asts with shooting splits of 40.5% FG and 15.4% from beyond the arch. First off, credit goes to the Boston Celtics, particularly Jaylen Brown, for playing a part in shutting the power forward from Cameroon down. But, the struggles for Siakam have been on display since the return of the NBA.

After Game 5, Nick Nurse expressed his concerns as well.

“I’m not sure why he’s been so out of rhythm since the restart. He hasn’t had a lot of great games,” said Nurse per Josh Lewenberg of The Sports Network. “It’s too bad because he was spectacular in last year’s playoffs & he was spectacular all season long. We still have games to go. Hopefully he can get his rhythm.”

Rhoby – SHOOT

We saw a glimmer of hope with his performance in Game 4 (23 points and 11 rebounds). However, Pascal Siakam’s stat line in Game 5 was not encouraging for the Raptors (10 points and 4 rebounds). He is not performing like a first option getting paid max contract dollars. His post-up game has mysteriously disappeared. He cannot create his own shot against elite defenders like Jaylen Brown. To add, his mid-range jumper is mediocre at the moment.

With that said, I still think the Raptors are contenders and have a chance to win it all. Or at least I can say I am still holding on to hope, for we have them as our NBA Champions in the 2020 NBA Playoffs Podcaster Bracket Challenge. I would feel way more confident if Pascal Siakam would make better decisions, score more points, and make better passes though.

Gabe – SHOOT

The best player on this Toronto Raptors team right now is Fred Van Vleet. Even in a losing effort, he was the highest scoring player for the team last night and is performing with most consistency throughout the playoffs. I do believe think Pascal Siakam has been the same player since after missing weeks of game time due to a groin injury. It certainly doesn’t help that Toronto’s bigs have been struggling as well, leaving the guards to do all the heavy lifting.

If Nick Nurse makes the decision to move on from Pascal Siakam as the team’s first option, should it be a permanent change? I am not sure. But, on nights Lowry and Van Vleet are shooting well, the big are struggling, and the two-manch is not being productive, he needs to be the guy to step to give them a fighting chance.

Chevy – PASS

Toronto does not have a true first option, that’s just the way this team is built. Based on what I have seen in the bubble, you are seeing a lot of Kyle Lowry or Fred Van Vleet finding open threes or taking pull-up threes in transition. And who can get forget how Game 3 ended? Kyle Lowry firing the ball over Tacko Fall to OG Anunoby who then nailed the spot-up three? At times, they are getting down the court and dumping the ball to Siakam in the post. I agree, his shot selections and success at the basket have been questionable. However, the Raptors do not rely on him solely as their first option.

I STAN PASCAL SIAKAM. I had the pleasure of watching dog my Orlando Magic in the first round of the playoffs last season. I was watching the games and asking myself, “WHO IS THIS GUY AND HOW IS HE MAN_HANDLING VUCEVIC?”

Needless to say, that made me gain a lot of respect for him. I hope he gets himself out of this rut before it is too late.

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NBA Playoffs STUDS and DUDS of the 2nd round

We present the Shoot or Pass Podcast’s version of NBA Playoffs Player Rankings – STUDS and DUDS!

A new episode of the Shoot or Pass Podcast is out now! Chevy, Gabe, and Rhoby share their version of NBA Playoffs STUDS and DUDS from the past week. Find out below who they picked from the 2nd round of the NBA Playoffs!

STUD – KHRIS MIDDLETON

Even though the Bucks are down 3-1 right now, Khris Middleton is a bright spot for this team. He is the one Bucks player who is effectively creating his own shots and playing consistently in the second round (NOT the first).

Without Middleton’s contributions, there is no chance Milwaukee survives to see Game 5. He can shoot from anywhere on the court – too elusive for the likes of great defenders like Jimmy Butler. Let’s see if he can keep this up and carry the Bucks without Giannis.

DUD – MIKE BUDENHOLZER

This is déjà vu all over again! Mike Budenholzer is doing to the Milwaukee Bucks what he did to the Atlanta Hawks. Mike, if you’re reading this: LOOK AT THE GAME PLAN! MAKE ADJUSTMENTS! DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT!

Every coach in the NBA makes adjustments after a loss and for the most part, you see their team rebound in the following game. We have not seen Mike Budenholzer do that with the Bucks. It appears that he has one level and that’s it. You play his way and win his way. Unfortunately, you cannot win consistently that way. I wouldn’t go as far as saying he is ruining careers. But, I can confidently say he is not setting them up for success either.

Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo on whether he asked to switch onto Heat’s Jimmy Butler during late-game explosion duting Game 2: “To guard him? No, I didn’t. Why would you ask that? I’ll do whatever coach wants me to do.”

This is the Defensive player of the Year we are talking about here! He should be covering the best player on the court. That’s on coach Budenholzer.

STUD – MIAMI HEAT

We can no longer ignore the fact that the #1 seed in the East is on the brink of elimination thanks to some great collective performances by the Miami HEAT. This team continues to be overlooked as one of the best defensive teams in the NBA. In my opinion, they have the best transition defenses and are able to lock in down the stretch, when it matters most. There is no doubt, the “Goons of Dade County” are the most consistent team defensively in the playoffs thus far.

Sure, they can be a little shakey here and there. This was evident when an already desperate Bucks team lost their star, Giannis Antetokounmpo. Milwaukee rallied around each other to win Game 4 and stay alive in the playoff race, but the Miami HEAT is very good at maintaining composure and making adjustments. Expect them to seal the deal in Game 5!

DUD – MIKE BUDENHOLZER

Going to piggyback off of what Gabe said above. The Milwaukee Bucks are down 3-0 as a top seed. This is after leading the team to the best record in the NBA during the regular season! Not only is he the Defensive Player of the Year, Giannis will more than likely win his second consecutive MVP award.

This is professional basketball. Who in their right mind wouldn’t make the necessary adjustments? It really makes you wonder, is there something going on behind the scenes we are not privy to? Throughout the regular season, you can get away with playing your super star 30 minutes a game and still win. But, this is the playoffs.

Would I go as far as to say Mike Budenholzer is on the hot seat once the Bucks are inevitably beat in the playoffs by the Miami HEAT? Absolutely. This really makes you appreciate coaches like Nick Nurse, Brad Stevens, and Erik Spoelstra who are known for making adjustments CONSTANTLY to the benefit of their teams.

STUD – RAJON RONDO

Much to Chevy’s surprise, I am picking a Laker as my STUD this week. PLAYOFF RONDO HAS ARRIVED! I will admit, I do not know how long Playoff Rondo will be present for, so if he mysteriously disappears going forward – DON’T come for me!

Honestly, I thought it was a bit dramatic to criticize Rondo for his performance in Game 1. I mean, the guy is coming back from surgery on his right thumb and playing in an unfamiliar environment that is the bubble. With that said, no one must have been happier than Lebron because there was someone else on the floor handling some of the play-making load.

He was setting screens, active on defense, communicating on offense, and hit some shots (including that jumper to really seal the win for the Lakers in Game 2). While he only scored 10 points, he had 9 assists, 5 steals, and his +/- was at +28 in 28 mins! Rajon Rondo is the reason the Lakers did not fall 0-2 against the Rockets in the second round and if he continues to contribute in this manner, watch out for the Lakers!

DUD – STEVE JAVIE

Let’s address the elephant in the room. WHAT IS THE POINT OF HAVING STEVE JAVIE ON OUR TV SCREENS?!

He loves to double-down on whatever the refs call. If he isn’t sure, he just sits there and spews whatever pops us in his head until the refs make their decision. In those instances, he ask, what’s the call? Flagrant foul for a love tap on the butt cheek? Yep, definitely some excessive contact there.

Whenever he gets called out by the commentators, he just gives them the run-around. Perhaps, he will surprise me and go against ref calls in the future and I can name him a stud in the next edition of NBA playoffs STUDS and DUDS. But until then, stop insulting our intelligence, Steve Javie – you JABRONIE!

NBA teams eliminated from playoffs – NBA Bubble Eulogies

NBA teams eliminated from the playoffs left the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida, after their final games.

To commemorate their seasons, the Shoot or Pass podcast crew serve as the NBA team Departure Coordinators and send the teams eliminated from the NBA Playoffs on their way with heartfelt NBA Bubble Eulogies.

BROOKLYN NETS

Despite entering the NBA Bubble with a depleted roster, the Brooklyn Nets exceeded expectations. They were playing with a lot of heart and hustle against a very strong Toronto Raptors team. Unfortunately, their lack of star power caught up to them. The Nets fell victims to the brooms, getting swept out of Disney World. They are one of six NBA teams eliminated from the playoffs.

This is a celebration of life for the Brooklyn Nets,

Who exceeded expectations with a depleted roster,

They defined the “next man up” mentality,

And are expected to continue to prosper.

While we don’t understand the need to go after Gregg Popovich,

Or why Tyler Johnson has been nicknamed “Meth Curry”,

We do wonder how KD, Kyrie, Dinwiddie, and LeVert will share the ball,

They’ve got a short off season to figure this out, so they better hurry.

Barring any injuries, this team is built to be a top contender,

Nets fans, you have no reason to cry or feel bitter,

But one thing you should probably worry about,

Is how to keep Kevin Durant’s cringey ass off of Twitter.

INDIANA PACERS

From the start, it was clear that the Indiana Pacers are no match for the red-hot Miami HEAT due to a few factors. First, they were playing without Domantas Sabonis. Second, (now former head coach) Nate McMillan would continuously refuse to make sufficient adjustments. Furthermore, the Pacers style of play on offense did not create enough opportunities and their bench did not help, scoring only three points in Game 4. Thus, they are eliminated from the NBA Playoffs in yet another sweep.

We are gathered here to say GOOD RIDDANCE to the Indiana Pacers,

Especially to T.J. Warren and the Bubble G.O.A.T. fever,

After another 4-0 sweep – we ask that you hold the brooms,

Because we’ve got THE VACUUM CLEANER.

You gave up too many offensive rebounds,

And were no match defending the HEAT at the 3,

Your bench could only muster up three points in Game 4,

Whoever bet y’all against the spread in Vegas lost A LOT of money.

Not sure what’s funnier – Domantas Sabonis FINALLY getting to the bubble,

Only to quarantine for two days and get sent back home packing,

Or firing Nate McMillan a few weeks after giving him a contract extension,

Regardless, HEAT fans are joining Jimmy Butler in celebrating this bushwhacking.

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS

Are the Philadelphia 76ers the most disappointing team in the playoffs? Many would say so after watching their performance against the Boston Celtics. Indeed, Ben Simmons’ absence was felt, particularly on the defensive end. But, Joel Embiid could not put a consistent game together. Even with Jayson Tatum in foul trouble in a couple of games, the Sixers kept failing to seize opportunities. Helpless and hopeless, it was inevitable that they find themselves packing to leave Orlando after a sweep.

Let’s state the obvious, the 76ers are a dumpster fire,

Bad contracts, terrible trades, no chemistry on this team,

We can’t even say that a new head coach hire,

Will give them the chance next season to redeem.

Trading away all their shooters only magnified the problems,

Should have known Ben’s injury would inevitably seal their fate,

Though he still wasn’t hitting any jumpers or attempting any threes,

And Joel Embiid did not use his size or ability to get in the post and DOMINATE.

Where the hell do they even go from here?

It likely won’t happen but they should clean house – literally,

Tonight we mourn with all of the broken hearts in Philadelphia,

For The Process has failed us all miserably.

ORLANDO MAGIC

So much for the ultimate home-court advantage! To be fair, the Orlando Magic deserve some credit. After surprising everyone with a big win in Game 1, many were wondering if the Bucks were a fraud. Unfortunately for the Magic, that was not the case. No Jonathan Isaac, Aaron Gordon, and lots of problematic plays from James Ennis so the Magic are going home. Even after the Bucks sat out the original Game 5 in protest, the Magic were unable to capitalize. Luckily, it is not a long ride there for most of their players.

We always knew the Orlando Magic were doomed,

No Isaac, Gordon, or Mo Bamba left them at a great disadvantage,

Not even a boycott could help them find a good groove,

So much for that ultimate home-court advantage.

Terrence Ross offered them an offensive punch,

But James Ennis was air-ballin and getting fined for his on-court behavior,

Wes Iwundu should’ve played more minutes but he’s on Cliff’s shit list,

Making it an impossible task for Vucevic the Magic’s savior.

There’s a few silver linings for this team,

The Bucks were exposed during their first-round series run,

Let’s end it on a positive note for the 45 min bus ride home,

They will always have the surprise victory against the top seed in Game 1.

PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS

Ah, remember when everyone was predicting the Portland Trail Blazers would boot the Los Angeles Lakers out of Disney World? The magic of DAME TIME had us all in a daze! Of course, if you love chaos as much as I do, I am sure you were finding yourself rooting for Bubble Melo as he stepped up to play some defense against Lebron too. As it turns out, the Lakers could flip a switch and play like contenders. Lebron put his shooting woes behind him and bench play continues to improve. Therefore, the Portland Trail Blazers are are joining Damian Lillard back in Oregon after being eliminated from the NBA Playoffs.

We should have seen this one coming,

When LeBron started posting pics of himself “reading”,

The Portland Trail Blazers may have surprised us with a victory in Game 1,

Turns out the shooting woes for the intellectual King in LA were only fleeting.

It was a season plagued with injuries (aside from a global pandemic),

But it wasn’t enough to stop the Bubble MVP from renaming the 4th Quarter DAME TIME,

He had some help from Gary Trent Jr., Nurk, and CJ,

And a man named Melo who is playing like he’s back in his prime.

It was a magical run at Disney World,

Wonder what D.O.L.L.A’s new album will be about,

Even though the deep playoff run he vowed came up short,

This team made Uncle Cliffy very proud, no doubt.

DALLAS MAVERICKS

You read it here first – Luka Doncic will be regarded as one of the best to ever lay hands on a basketball when he retires! The Dallas Mavericks-Los Angeles series brought a ton of exciting moments to our TV screens. A good example of this, the crazy buzzer-beating three to end OT by Luka in Game 4. It was clear that he was going to need some help to dethrone Kawhi and company. Seth Curry, Tim Hardway Jr., and Boban stepped up. Unfortunately, the Unicorn (who got ejected in his first playoff game) could not make a consistent showing due to injury. Though the Mavs extended the series to six games, the Clippers hold strong and move on to the next round.

Tonight, we reluctantly part ways with the beloved Dallas Mavericks,

They weren’t expected to compete with the Clippers whatsoever,

But I’m willing to bet that when Luka hit that buzzer-beating three,

Pandemic P thought his chances at a ring were over forever.

An ejection and then a season ending injury sidelined The Unicorn,

Then in Game 5, Kawhi and company shot a whopping 62% from three,

At least it appears they’ve uncovered a new secret offensive weapon,

In PG13’s ex girlfriend’s new husband Seth Curry.

Cheer up Mavericks fans, you have so much to look forward to,

You’ve heard Mark Cuban loud, clear and with no remorse,

“If I had to choose between my wife and keeping Luka on the Mavs,  Catch me at my lawyer’s office preparing for a divorce.”

For more NBA content, listen to the Shoot or Pass podcast. New episodes drop every Monday!


More NBA Bubble Eulogies will be created as NBA teams continue to get eliminated throughout the playoffs – so TUNE IN!

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Philadelphia 76ers fire coach Brett Brown

The Philadelphia 76ers have fired coach Brett Brown, the team announced Monday.

Brown spent seven seasons as the 76ers Head Coach and leader of the “Trust the Process” era with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons emerging as his top young prospects.

The firing comes a day after the 76ers were swept out of the first round by the Boston Celtics.

Source


NBA Playoffs Player Rankings – STUDS & DUDS of the 1st round

We present the Shoot or Pass Podcast’s version of NBA Playoffs Player Rankings

Check out our Studs and Duds from the first round of the NBA Playoffs so far! A new episode of the Shoot or Pass Podcast is out! Chevy and Rhoby are joined by Josh from The Dime podcast to share their version of NBA Playoffs player rankings in a segment called Studs and Duds. Find out below who are the Studs and Duds from the first round of the NBA playoffs so far!


STUDS

Josh – Luka Doncic

I am picking the obvious here. The top player in the NBA Playoffs player rankings so far has got to be Luka Doncic, right? Especially after how he played yesterday against the Clippers. He hit a GAME-WINNING three as time was expiring. Furthermore, he was playing without his 2nd option, Kristaps Porzingis, who was out with an injury. He put on a show and is consistently putting up record numbers in his first NBA playoff series. This man is UNBELIEVABLE!

Honestly, his ceiling may just be as the best player of all time. In 15 to 20 years, we may be talking about Luka Doncic as the best player to ever touch a basketball. Frankly, there is no reason why a 21 year old should be THIS good. I thought I was decent at playing basketball growing up, but he makes me feel insecure. After this performance, I may never want to touch a basketball again.


Rhoby – Goran Dragic

I have been waiting very patiently for the right moment to name a HEAT player as my top ranked NBA player. The time is NOW. There is some BIG DRAGON ENERGY spitting fire in this HEAT-Pacers series. From coming off the bench and leading the 2nd unit off the bench during the regular season, to starting nod in place of Kendrick Nunn in the playoffs.

He’s had a couple of slow starts, but man has he been clutch for us at the helm as a shooter, facilitator, defender. He even brought Jimmy Butler back to life with CPR, a BONAFIDE LEADER! My stud of the week pick goes to the Dragon, the Slovenian Cockmeister – Goran Dragic. I cannot believe people out there were aiming to trade this guy before the season started. Sincerely, I hope he retires as a HEAT player. This man is the definition of STUD so far in the playoffs!


Chevy – Nikola Vucevic

I am going with a homer pick for my top ranked NBA player in the playoffs thus far. My stud of the week pick is the only All-Star on his team, Nikola Vucevic. Vuc, if you are reading this, I AM SORRY none of your teammates are stepping up to help you win another game against the Bucks. He is averaging 29 points and 9.7 rebounds per game in this series.

Furthermore, he is shooting 55% from the field and literally carrying this Orlando Magic team without their other star, Jonathan Isaac, who is out for the season with a torn ACL. With a healthy roster to help him, I am confident Vucevic can lead the Magic to push this series to 6-7 games. Unfortunately, it is looking the Magic will not make it past the first round of the playoffs.


DUDS

Josh and Chevy – Paul George

Josh

I picked the Los Angeles Clippers to win it all. Currently, they find themselves tied in this first round playoff series with the Dallas Mavericks. This is in large part due to Pandemic P, better known as, Paul George. Let’s go over the stats in his last three games:

  • In a Clippers loss to Mavericks – GAME 2: 4-17, 14 points
  • For a Clippers victory vs. Dallas – GAME 3: 3-16, 11 points
  • In another losing effort – GAME 4: 3-14, 9 points
  • OVERALL this series: 5-25 from beyond the arch

That is disgusting, especially for a man you traded for in an effort to lure Kawhi Leonard to Los Angeles. The point of bringing him there is to be the #2 option, to hit big shots and he is not doing either. Consequently, he is not spreading the floor and therefore, limiting the offense by not touching the ball.

Chevy

To add, Paul George expresses in an interview that he is no James Harden. We know you’re no James Harden! Pandemic P is averaging 11.3 points per game in this series. For a guy who is averaging 21 points per game and is still in his prime, this performance is unacceptable. He may be doing other things on the floor, but, that is not enough!


Rhoby – Mike Malone

Initially, I was going to go with Tobias Harris, but I cannot go after a guy who is injured and frankly, Philadelphia has enough takes from me.

My dud of the week pick is going to be Mike Malone. His team, the Denver Nuggets, have lost by 19 points in Game 2, and a whopping 37 points in Game 3. To top it all off, you can tell his players are frustrated, look dejected, and continuously make careless mistakes. What does he do? Sit on the bench and pray.

The Nuggets have been outscored 109-68 in the third quarter, and if it weren’t for an 8 sec violation by Donovan Mitchell in Game 1, the Nuggets would be facing a potential sweep Sunday night. Whoever he is praying to must be answering him with two words – MAKE ADJUSTMENTS.

You know your team is not great defensively, but you have an offense that is capable of beating the Jazz. So, where are the adjustments? Get the ball to Michael Porter Jr. Give us more BOL BOL. Find ways to get the lethal Jokic/Murray two-man game going. You worked so hard to position yourself to play the Jazz in this series. Do not let the Jazz outplay you!


Checkout the 2020 NBA Playoffs Podcaster Bracket Challenge

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2020 NBA Playoffs Series Previews

The 2020 NBA Playoffs tip-off on August 17th, 2020

Eastern Conference First Round:

East First Round: (1) Milwaukee Bucks vs (8) Orlando Magic
East First Round: (2) Toronto Raptors vs (7) Brooklyn Nets
East First Round: (3) Boston Celtics vs (6) Philadelphia 76ers
East First Round: (4) Indiana Pacers vs (5) Miami Heat

Western Conference First Round:

West First Round: (1) Los Angeles Lakers vs (8) Portland Trailblazers
West First Round: (2) Los Angeles Clippers vs (7) Dallas Mavericks
West First Round: (3) Denver Nuggets vs (6) Utah Jazz
West First Round: (4) Houston Rockets vs (5) Oklahoma City Thunder


Full 2020 NBA Play-In and Playoffs Schedule

Vote for your NBA Bubble Player Awards!


For more NBA content, check out the Shoot or Pass podcast – new episodes drop on Mondays anywhere you get your podcasts and right here on www.BaselineTimes.com

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NBA Bubble Awards – Vote in our Poll


Six categories. Five nominees in each. Vote for your favorite NBA players and coaches for their performances throughout seeding games.


Categories in our NBA Bubble Awards Poll:
  • Rookie of the Bubble
  • Most Improved Player of the Bubble
  • Sixth man of the Bubble
  • Defensive Player of the Bubble
  • Coach of the Bubble
  • Most Valuable Player of the Bubble

We will be featuring poll results for the NBA Bubble Awards in the next few episodes of the Shoot or Pass Podcast. New episodes drop every Monday – so get your vote on and tune in!

Who is your top Rookie of the Bubble?

Who is your Most Improved Player of the Bubble?

Who is your Sixth Man of the Bubble?

Who is your Defensive Player of the Bubble?

Who is your Coach of the Bubble?

Who is your Most Valuable Player in the Bubble?


The NBA will be awarding several honors to reward players and coaches with top performances in Orlando. Awards include:
  • NBA Player of the Seeding Games
  • Coach of the Seeding Games
  • NBA All-Bubble First team
  • NBA All-Bubble Second team
These awards are separate from the 2020 NBA Awards. Select media members have been voting for their favorite players in six categories for performances throughout the regular before the lock down in March. These are the finalists:
MVP
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
  • James Harden, Houston Rockets
  • LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
  • Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies
  • Kendrick Nunn, Miami Heat
  • Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
  • Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers
  • Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz
SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR
  • Montrezl Harrell, Los Angeles Clippers 
  • Dennis Schröder, Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Lou Williams, Los Angeles Clippers
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER
  • Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat
  • Luka Dončić, Dallas Mavericks 
  • Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans
COACH OF THE YEAR
  • Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee Bucks
  • Billy Donovan, Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Nick Nurse, Toronto Raptors
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Get all your NBA content at Baseline Times and be sure to tune in to the Shoot or Pass podcast. New episodes drop every Monday!