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 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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Shoot or Pass Podcast – Episode 31: Hanging with The Dime featuring Josh Rodriguez

Chevy and Rhoby are joined by Josh Rodriguez, host of The Dime podcast and a participant in the 2020 NBA Playoffs Podcaster Bracket Challenge (02:00).

They debate whether Jayson Tatum/Jaylen Brown are a top 5 duo in the NBA (06:30), bring up a potential trade the Brooklyn Nets will have to make next season (16:00), but all agree that Pandemic P is a ticking time bomb (27:15), and Russell Westbrook is the guy who wears band tees without knowing who the bands on his tees are (25:30). They also award their Studs & Duds of the week (27:15) and go to Toronto for their Overreactions (37:30).

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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 these eliminated teams on their way with heartfelt NBA Bubble Eulogies.

MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES

Despite coming into the restart as the 8th seed, they failed to retain their place in the standings throughout seeding games. However, they didn’t fall too far, making it to the play-in tournament as the 9th seed. Unfortunately, they lost to the Portland Trail Blazers 126-122 and have departed the bubble. They are one of the six NBA teams eliminated from playoff contention.

Dear Grizzlies, you came and played with pride and no fear,

While you didn’t have a chance in hell to advance,

You at least produced the likely Rookie of the Year.

Whether in Vancouver or Memphis, mediocre will always be your thing,

From drafting and developing both Gasol Brothers,

Both would go on to other teams to win that elusive ring.

The franchise appears to be in good hands,

With guys like Morant, Jackson Jr and even some dude named Brooks, 

But losing to the defenseless Blazers will never get you to the big dance.

Ja, the next time you and Brooks decide to chide Iggy for leaving the team,

Just know he left for bigger and better opportunities,

To celebrate with the HEAT and their championship bling.


PHOENIX SUNS

NO ONE saw it coming! As seeding games came to an end, the Phoenix Suns found themselves in the mix after going 8-0. Unfortunately, they didn’t get the help they needed from other teams to make it into the play-in tournament and could not extend their stay at the Yacht Club.

This is a ceremony of remembrance,

Devin Booker burst into the bubble and went on a scoring bender,

While he won’t be extending his stay at the Yacht Club for a playoff run,

He’ll get all kinds of other rewards in the arms of Kendall Jenner.

The Sun-derella story may be over,

No time to dwell, they must reassert

For the return of DeAndre Ayton and the emergence of Cam Johnson,

Is sure to put a stacked Western Conference on high alert!

Watching Caris LeVert miss that step-back jumper,

Felt like a stab to the heart with a knife,

But as the great Captain from Star Trek once said,

It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness; that is life.”


SAN ANTONIO SPURS

For a team that is rebuilding, the Spurs were extremely competitive throughout seeding games. In the end, their competitiveness was not enough to keep a 22-year playoff streak going. The Spurs got confirmation of their elimination at the beginning of their match up against the Utah Jazz this past Thursday.

We can all agree that 2020 has been quite the year,

The San Antonio Spurs will not make it to the next round,

For it took a global pandemic,

To shut a 22-year play off streak down.

While some have seen it coming,

Others cry bullshit at the team playing less games,

But even with a good performance for a team on a rebuild,

More than one question remains.

Will DeMar leave this off season?

Tank for some lottery picks, the new approach?

Will Gregg Popovich ride off into the sunset,

And gift us with the NBA’s first female Head Coach?


NEW ORLEANS PELICANS

A disappointing showing throughout seeding games relinquished any chances of seeing Zion make his NBA Playoff debut. Consequently, the Pelicans have now parted ways with head coach, Alvin Gentry. Will a team with a talented roster on paper rebound with a new head coach?

We bid the New Orleans Pelicans farewell,

Gifted the easiest of schedules yet they couldn’t survive,

We have yet to understand Zion’s minutes restrictions,

Boy was it hard to watch this team play live.

When games were close they couldn’t score,

Turned the ball over 2nd highest rate in the NBA,

But their rim protection was worst of all,

With opponents strutting to the basket like Beyonce.

Alvin Gentry was the first head to roll,

But, does this team need an entire overhaul?

Take the load off BI – get Zion a chef and a trainer,

Name the new head coach – LaVar Ball?


WASHINGTON WIZARDS

One of the first NBA teams eliminated and sent home were the Washington Wizards. They were invited to the bubble despite not having a chance to make the NBA Playoffs. To summarize their play in the bubble, they were passed by the Charlotte Hornets in the standings at one point. Hopefully, the return of Bradley Beal and John Wall helps them re-emerge in the East next season.

We’re gathered here to send off the dreaded Wash Wizards

Invited to the bubble with no playoff chances or appeal,

Imagine what Adam Silver’s face looked like,

When news got out they’d be playing without their star Bradley Beal.

They scored one victory throughout their time here,

But it wasn’t against a Zion-less Pelicans team.

They were so bad I flipped the channel

To watch Elena Della Donne and the Washington Mystics take on the Atlanta Dream.

The Hornets passed them in the standings,

Somewhere in Charlotte a legend is drowning in high self-esteem,

Goodbye, Adios, Au Revoir Washington Wizards,

Enjoy an off-season as the new face of the crying Jordan meme.


SACRAMENTO KINGS

The Sacramento Kings only had one victory in the bubble, against a New Orleans Pelicans team playing without Zion Williamson. For this (and a few other reasons), Vlade Divac is out as their General Manager. We have yet to see how free agency is affected by the lock down. Hopefully, this works in the new GM’s favor.

Today, we mourn the departure of the SAC Kings,

Relieve their fans of all their troubles,

They began their journey an abysmal 0-3,

Giving up an average of 122 pts per game in the bubble.

No more suffering, no more agony,

No watching them play in dismay,

Enough with wondering how destiny could have been different,

Had they not passed up on Luka or Trae.

It’s a long journey back home,

To the Golden 1 Center – 2800 miles,

But maybe the lock down crushes the free agency market so much,

That they get to re-sign Harry Giles

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 through out the playoffs – so TUNE IN!

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NBA bubble player rankings – Studs and Duds from the first week of seeding games

Studs and Duds from the first seek of seeding games!

A new episode of the Shoot or Pass Podcast is out! Chevy, Gabe, and Rhoby share their version of NBA bubble player rankings in a segment called Studs and Duds. Find out below who are the Studs and Duds from last week’s seeding games.

STUDS

Chevy – Phoenix Suns

Picking an entire team here because going 5-0 when no one saw it coming is STUD-ly. Devin Booker has been shining! Did you see the walk-off three he hit on Paul George to beat the Clippers? The rest of the team deserves some credit too. DeAndre Ayton is playing great, Ricky Rubio is proving to be a wonderful complimentary player. Don’t discount the Cams (Cameron Payne/Cam Johnson) either. Holding TJ Warren to just 16 points when he is averaging a whopping 36 points in the bubble is quite an accomplishment. Needless to say, this is an entirely different team in the bubble. Don’t be surprised if they end up as the 8th seed in the Western Conference playoffs!

Gabe – Michael Porter Jr.

This guy. Where has Denver been hiding him? His injuries held him out last year, but he is averaging 26.0 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1 block a game. To add, he is shooting a whopping 47.8% from three-point land. The Nuggets have some key players out with injuries. Fortunately for them, Michael Porter Jr. continues to put video game numbers each game. If you haven’t heard the name, you need to watch his game!

Rhoby – Chris Paul

I got a tweet of a picture of Devon Booker and Chevy threw in TJ Warren as a suggestion for my consideration. No chance I pick the man who just torched the HEAT nor will I disrespect my boy Jimmy Butler. Thankfully, there’s a man out there who is reveling in renaissance, a man who not only drinks vino, but is aging like it. Some know him as a snitch, some know him as a leader, I call him the Point God – Chris Paul. First, he stares down Bol Bol and hits a big jumper in his face on Monday. Then he capitalizes on the Laker’s shooting woes and has a great game today. Consequently, the Thunder are looking smoother and moving the ball better and can be a dangerous team come playoffs.

DUDS

Chevy – New Orleans Pelicans

Sticking to my theme this week of picking entire teams. After picking Zion Williamsion as my dud last week, this team had ground to make up. Instead, they are packing their bags and heading back home after a disappointing effort in the bubble. Before Lonzo Ball got on the court for Sunday’s “matinee” game vs. the San Antonio Spurs, he was averaging 5.8 points per game, shooting 27% from the field and 22% from the arch. Subsequently, Zion’s performance is also puzzling. It is abundantly clear he’s got some conditioning issues. Furthermore, the minute restrictions he’s under are confusing. During the match up against the Spurs, Alvin Gentry made the decision to pull him out of the game while he was in the midst of a run in the third quarter. Did the Pelicans give up on this season entering this game? Sure looks like it!

Gabe – Joel Embiid

I see a lot of similarities between Joel Embiid and one of my favorite players of all time, Rasheed Wallace. Like Embiid, Wallace had all the tools to win in the NBA, but would end up settling for the back-seat role. When I watch Embiid play, I see a player who can dominate in the paint, take over the defense, and shoot the ball from all over the court. With that said, why does he struggle to put on consistent performances? I believe no one can stop him. He has the ability to outperform any one in the NBA. Unfortunately, he just does not play up to his competition consistently enough and that will continue to hurt the Sixers.

Rhoby – The Shot Clock Operator in the Jazz-Nuggets double-overtime thriller

It is one thing if the clock malfunctions and doesn’t start once, but seeing that followed up with the clock starting too early three seconds later in the next play is a bit ridiculous. Was the shot clock operator in cahoots with TNT? Because I saw TNT take advantage of this by sandwiching even more commercials at the end of the 4th Q and in overtime. All this to say, if the NBA is hiring new shot clock operators, I have absolutely no experience but am happy to clear up my schedule for them.

Check out our NBA Bubble Standings updated around the clock!

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Shoot or Pass Podcast – Episode 29: NBA Seeding Games First Week Recap & Final Stretch

Gabe Lloyd is in the house and on a mission to get some screen time as a virtual fan (03:00). The Dame vs. Pat Beverley/PG13 feud gets so juicy Rhoby is discounting the Lakers for a Blazers/Clippers match up and Chevy is NOT having it (08:30). The crew picks their Studs & Duds (11:25), discuss the refs ruining games (27:00), and get real about the Sun-derella story and the Western Conference playoff picture (30:00)

The latest from Baseline Times

Shoot or Pass Podcast – Episode 28: NBA Restart First Impressions

Lakers lost Saturday night and Chevy is reeling, but new segment “Studs & Duds” (along with Rhoby’s singing voice) offer him no consolation (07:30). They also go to bat for Jonathan Issac, Greg Popovich and Becky Hammon (17:10), fire off on the Sixers and Pelicans in another new segment “Overreactions” (40:20), and announce the Expert Picks of the Week (37:30) 

Shoot or Pass Podcast – Episode 27: NBA Player Awards & Season Restart Preview

Chevall and Rhoby are joined by DeMario for his grand return as the NBA returns this week. They reminisce over strip club chicken wings (04:35), discuss the Tom Thibodeau hire in the Mekka of Mediocrity (18:30), & share their picks for the upcoming NBA Player Awards (38:35). The trio plays a round of Shoot or Pass and discuss is James Harden the modern-day Allen Iverson? Did the NBA make a good choice in allowing 300 fans virtually “attending” the games (22:40)? Also, announced in this episode are the experts who will be making picks throughout the rest of the season!

Shoot or Pass Podcast – Episode 26: NBA Bubble Week 2

Chevall and Rhoby break down NBA Bubble chugging competition, Dwight Howard’s IG Live, and one bad fashion choice made by James Harden (07:30). They figure out a plan to get Chevall into the bubble (25:00), give us a quick round of Shoot or Pass (30:00) and a preview of all 22 Bubble teams (36:00)

NBA teams as Disney rides and attractions

The NBA is going to Disney Wooooorld!

So, I decided to describe NBA teams as Disney World rides/attractions, here’s what I’ve got so far:

New York Knicks – Tower of Terror

Yeah, I know the Knicks are not playing in Orlando. I also know that being a Knicks fan is basically like living in the Twilight Zone – frozen in time, abandoned, and constantly seeing the darkest corners of your imagination come to life.

Oklahoma Thunder – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Who said trading away Russell Westbrook would leave the Thunder stuck in a rebuild? This team is still a gold mine and can become a real big obstacle on the rickety track to NBA Finals. The Clutch Conductor (CP3) and the Locomotive driver (SGA) have led OKC to 16 games over .500 with a chance to get to the 4th seed in the WC.

Milwaukee Bucks – Soarin’

The Bucks are soarin’ high, sitting comfortably at 6.5 games ahead of the Raptors at the top of the Eastern Conference thanks to world wonder and potential back-to-back MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo

LA Lakers – Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster

This was one was easy. Hollywood. Iconic, Legendary players in LeBron & AD. LA traffic. A chance to see J.R. Smith topless stumblin’ around chugging Hennessy at a championship parade.

Toronto Raptors – DINOSAUR

Well, what else did you expect here? Will Toronto be able to travel back in time, kidnap Kawhi Leonard and bring him back to the present as a Raptor for their repeat bid? No. Their top 7 players may have been in/out of the rotation with injuries, but they are healthy now and ready to defend their title against anything – 21 NBA teams, fiery meteors, COVID-19.

Got any suggestions for NBA teams as Disney rides and attractions?

Leave us a comment or email media@baselinetimes.com for a chance to be featured on the Shoot or Pass podcast!