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!