Discussing Sports: Past, Present, Future
Hope everyone had a great long weekend thanks to the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. As is tradition my roommates and I took the time to watch the speech in its entirety. Let freedom ring! Here’s more about the NBA.
Is Tinder the Secret Sauce?
YJG: The Hawks have won 27 out of 29 games (undefeated since Swipe Right Night) without anyone resembling a “star” player. They are doing it with breathtaking spacing and ball movement. Sound familiar? That’s right, people won’t stop calling it out, but Mike Budenholzer has brought the Spur’s philosophy to Atlanta with resounding success. With a rejuvenated Al Horford the sky’s the limit.
BTay: I love this team. First of all, they got rid of Josh Smith before it was cool. Who knew Tinder and herpes didn’t have to go together? Secondly, Paul Millsap and Al Horford are amazing together. This season, Trillsap is averaging career bests in steals and assists, which is a testament to his development under Budenholzer. His ability to pass the ball and hit open jumpers has helped this system thrive. Also, is Jeff Teague the best PG in the East not named John Wall?
YJG: Gotta go with Kyle Lowry over Teague by a slim margin because he is the clear leader of Drake’s team up North. Sorry Cleveland, Teague is better than Kyrie Irving. He actually plays team ball.
BTay: Teague’s averaging career highs in points, assists, field goal percentage, steals, and rebounds. AHHHHH!!! He’s the biggest reason for the Hawks success. He is producing at an All-Star level and is the spark plug in the starting rotation that complements two surgical big men, three point dick-slanger Kyle Korver, and Demarre Carroll!
YJG: Never heard Kyle Korver be described that way before. But the dude is averaging over 50% from the floor and three and over 90% from the line. If that’s not a dick slanger I don’t know what is.
An Abortion in Manhattan
YJG: Sooooo Derek Fisher?
BTay: *DISCLAIMER: If you don’t want to see a grown man cry, turn away now! STOP READING!* Josh, I never thought I’d say this, but we’re worse than the Pistons. Why do bad things happen to good people?
YJG: Bad things don’t happen to good people, bad things happen to anything that James Dolan touches. I think this is all part of Phil’s master plan. After missing out on Steve Kerr in the offseason, Phil knew this year would be a throwaway. So what’s better than tanking and grabbing Jahlil Okafor before picking up two max free agents this upcoming summer. All goes well and the Knicks end up with a core Jahlil Okafor, Marc Gasol, Jimmy Butler, and Carmelo. Feel better?
BTay: Choke-a-for for Okafor! We are freeing up over $30M in cap space for this offseason and I honestly can’t wait to throw money at our problems! Phil needs to shut Melo down for the rest of the season and blindly throw all the young guys into a pit and see who comes out alive. That’s Knicks basketball. I’ve never been more embarrassed to be a Knicks fan in my life, but I have hope. I know the Melo contract is looking bad but I truly believe in him. Not all heroes wear capes, Josh.
YJG: I can’t wait for March 19th. Knicks vs Timberwolves in The Garden! The game will undoubtedly have implications for who gets the most ping pong balls in June. Phil may as well let Spike Lee suit up for the game.
BTay: The Knicks may be a lot of things, but we still have the best fans in the world! MSG is packed on a nightly basis. The games may be a little hard to watch, but when I’m watching with my friends Jack Daniels and Johnny Walker, it’s not so bad.
YJG: I see you’re getting delusional. It’s ok. I went through an 0-16 Lions season, life can only improve from here.
BTay: Is it too soon to get NYK 2016 Champions tatted on my ass cheek?
The Wild Wild West
BTay: Ever lay awake and wonder what James Harden would look like clean shaven?
YJG: Huh… He looks thinner. Let’s talk about the West. We are approaching the halfway point in the season and it’s completely up for grabs. The Clippers are in 6th and just 6.5 games behind the Warriors who have been on fire all year.
BTay: Sure. Too many good point guard matchups. I’m salivating. Curry, Paul, Rondo, Lillard, Parker, Westbrook, Ty Lawson, the Bledsoe-Dragic-Thomas three headed monster. Oh yeah and the most underrated PG in the league, Mike Conley. Jesus Christ.
YJG: Can’t wait for those first round matchups. I’m not even sure the seeds matter. I could make arguments for eight teams in the west making the finals and OKC isn’t even in the playoff picture right now! It’s complete insanity. I’m as confused as when I was 13 and my mom told me I was going through a phase.
BTay: That phase never ended, Josh. Yeah the West is too fucking competitive. Can Silver just do a mid-season realignment so we get even more quality playoff time? Is that too much to ask? Also why the hell have we not talked about the Blazers? CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE BLAZERS?!?
YJG: Lillard! Aside from the recent three game losing streak the Blazers have looked fantastic. Lamaracus Aldridge has been utterly dominant this year averaging 23 and 10 while shooting 86% from the free throw line. It’s a crime that he won’t be an All-star starter. It’s tough to find a better starting five than Aldridge, Lillard, Matthews, Batum, and Robin Lopez. But similarly to last year, the Blazers bench is their downfall. Other than backup center Chris Kaman they have no scoring off the bench.
BTay: I feel like I should have FOMO for not watching Blazers games. Lillard and Aldridge are just so fun to watch. No reason why they can’t make it to the conference finals, but as you said they will need to find a way to overcome their bench concerns come playoff time. Depth and defense wins titles. Portland has one of those (top 3 in defensive efficiency), but will it be enough?
We will have more NBA thoughts every week.