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Rick Senger
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Posted: 10 May 2019 at 10:44am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Embiid's numbers were up but his +40 was the best of anyone all playoffs and Simmons woke up, dishing and driving well. 

Simmons' recent bad play has been attributed to gf Kendall Jenner stepping out on him.  I'm completely not into or aware of the Kardashians but the trail of NBA bodies the Kardashians / Jenners have gone through is impressive.  Kendall and Khloe have each apparently dated no less than four NBAers (7 All-Stars). 

Kris Humphries (married Kim; they filed for divorce after 72 days)
Lamar Odom (married Khloe; ended in divorce)
Chandler Parsons (Kendall)
Rick Fox (Khloe)
James Harden (Khloe)
Jordan Clarkson (Kendall)
Tristan Thompson (Khloe)
Blake Griffin (Kendall)
Ben Simmons (Kendall)

Houston / GS (sans KD) game 6 tonight!
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 12 May 2019 at 8:46pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

With the Rockets and Sixers eliminated, I am beginning to think there is
such a thing as karma. Not sure which team I dislike more, Houston
with their flopping or Philly with their arrogance and trash-talking.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 12 May 2019 at 9:20pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Kawhi Leonard.... Legend.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 12 May 2019 at 11:36pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I like Philly (and Joel Embiid's tears / emotion afterwards was touching) but Leonard's 4-carom series winner was an absolutely unforgettable shot.  Three scary bounces and then it suddenly had a real chance; Kawhi's soft touch saved Toronto and gives Ujiri new life though it remains to be seen if he returns. 

Two amazing game sevens... they almost made up for Houston's colossal choke job and Boston's equally uninspired exit.   On to the Conf. Finals!
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 15 May 2019 at 12:22am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

The Pelicans win the Zion Williamson sweepstakes despite only a 6% chance.  Memphis (#2) and LA (#4) both vaulted up well beyond expectations, too.

Less surprising: GS trouncing Denver.
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 16 May 2019 at 4:34am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Do you agree with the argument that the Warriors are better without
KD?
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 16 May 2019 at 9:32am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Steph Curry certainly is.  Even though KD is a very different physical type, he strangely seems to occupy a lot of the same spots Steph would, lurking on the three line or knifing through the lane.  They have been able to peacefully co-exist but there's no question Curry has sacrificed some aggression in order to defer to Durant's offense.  Ever since Durant's exit, Curry has exploded.  Thompson has also had some particularly strong bursts since and was the one everyone felt would sacrifice the most when KD arrived.  Probably some of it is psychological but those two seem better off stats-wise without him (a lot more touches), at least in the small sample since KD left.

But is GS better as a team?  Heck no.  Durant is one of their best defenders but more importantly there will always be nights Klay or Steph (or both) are off and without Durant as that steadying offensive option, GS is more at risk because they just don't have the bench anymore.  Livingston is in clear decline and will be 34 before next season, Iguodala has actually been playing fantastic but he's 35 and injury prone, Bogut is all but DOA.  Draymond has been playing well and Kevon Looney has been a bright spot, but neither has reliable offensive production. 

Harden is the scoring champ but Durant is a more efficient offensive weapon.  He has a much higher FG percentage, remarkable given how often he seems to bail out GS at the end of the shot clock.  At 30 he is emerging as a playmaker (career high in assists this year).  And he's been totally clutch in the biggest moments, winning two straight Finals MVPs (and GS' MVP this playoffs until he went down.)   He also defends really well.  GS has played better since he went down but long term, they will be significantly more vulnerable without him. 
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 17 May 2019 at 9:19am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Portland led much of the second half and likely would have won with one more make (CJ "I'm trying Jennifer" McCollum's four whiffs on four late open looks really hurt) but GS just seems to have that extra gear when needed.  There was contact on Lillard at the end but Iguodala got a ton of ball too and for me it was a play on.   Milwaukee and Toronto game two tonight... I love the NBA playoff format where we get action nearly every night until the Finals. 


Edited by Rick Senger on 17 May 2019 at 9:25am
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 19 May 2019 at 8:24am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

The GS team game and defense are taking them back to the Finals.  Unreal game by Draymond, maybe one of his best ever.  Kerr called him a wrecking ball; he's also a punk and a cheater but when he smothers and creates like he did (20 pts (6/12), 13 reb, 12 assists, 4 steals and a block), he can dismantle teams looking both ugly and beautiful all at once.  Iguodala's apparent achilles injury (and pending MRI) looms.  Must win for Toronto.
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 19 May 2019 at 9:05pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Draymond was amazing. I think whenever he has a triple-double, the
Warriors usually wins. I also like the way Steph is playing. If the 3 ball
isnít going in, he is taking the midrange.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 19 May 2019 at 9:42pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Great drama tonight with record minutes from Leonard, Siakam missing both free throws at the death to open the door on the Bucks taking the game into overtime, Lowry fouled out before overtime began, and Giannis fouled out and watching the game from the sidelines as it ended after a second stretch of overtime. Not convinced the Raptors can do this, but what a game.
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 19 May 2019 at 10:35pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

If the Raptors are going to win this series, they will more consistent play
from guys like Marc Gasol and Fred Vanvleet. Gasol sucked the first
two games, but improved tonight. FVV has been a nonfactor for the
entire postseason. Tonight he was 1 for 11. I donít understand why Nick
Nurse doesnít use more of his bench.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 20 May 2019 at 11:15am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Toronto did what it had to do but it's worrisome that it took Siakam, Gasol, Leonard and Powell (!!) all having above average games combined with
Mirotic, Giannis, Middleton and Bledsoe all having way below average ones yet the Raptors still barely won in double OT with Giannis fouling out.   Brogdon is starting to round into shape for the Bucks and Kawhi is a bit banged up so I wonder if Toronto can do this three more times.  Game four is another must-win for the Raptors. 


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Rick Senger
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Posted: 20 May 2019 at 11:25am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

On ESPN First Take this morning Magic confirmed that Rob Pelinka's backstabbing was the main reason he quit.   Can't wait to see whether Pelinka takes any questions during the presser he's holding today to introduce new head coach Frank Vogel. Pelinka had a rep as a real dick when he was an agent and it seems Magic agrees.   A lot of pressure on him to justify Jeanie's trust in him during the free agency this summer. 
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 21 May 2019 at 6:56am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

I donít think anyone believed Pelinka when he denied saying anything
negative about Magic.

Lakers are so dysfunctional. Even the coaching situation makes no
sense. Wouldnít Jason Kidd who has a reputation of being a sneaky
guy have an incentive to make Frank Vogel look bad so he can get his
job?
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 21 May 2019 at 8:26am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

She's glamorous and personable and I've wanted very badly to like her but Jeanie Buss has emerged as pretty incompetent.  Her increasing reliance on friends with no professional standing (Kurt Rambis' chirping wife, Tim Harris on the business side trying to get into player personnel), even the hirings of Magic and Pelinka, two people she knew but who had no prior experience in their jobs.) 

She got gifted LeBron James but that gift comes with a time limit that she's ignoring.  Rather than putting her head down, spending the money and sacrificing short term to get the house in order and surround him with talent to make a real run, the Lakers have done the opposite.  The handling of the coaching search was pure amateur hour; Monty Williams and Ty Lue were better fits but the Lakers were so penny wise pound foolish about holding the contract to 3 years and insisting on Kidd as assistant that they lost both quickly and publicly.  Vogel is competent but his last stint was bad (29-53 then 25-57 with Orlando, who immediately turned it around to 42-40 after he left.)  Kidd was already damaged goods with a rep for causing internal problems as a head coach so hiring him as an assistant is like handing Vogel a grenade and pulling the pin before the players even suit up.  Drama and missed opportunities have been Jeanie's calling card for years now though (six straight years out of the playoffs, corresponding with Dr. Buss handing over the reins) so it's come to be expected.

It could still work out if they can somehow get two good free agents this summer but all the sports wags are predicting that the Clippers have a much better shot at the top talent, which would be the ultimate insult.  I think it's time she hired real seasoned basketball help and basically took herself out of the equation.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 22 May 2019 at 6:32am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Finally the Raptor's bench showed up. Amazing scoring from the bench, and also good to see Lowry, Gasol and Ibaka picking up the slack in a game where Leonard and Siakam weren't firing on all cylinders. Just need to do it all again in Milwaukee now to make things very interesting. Obvious concern is now Leonard's fitness. He's managed to power through so far, but yesterday's game suggests all these physical games are starting to take their toll.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 22 May 2019 at 9:42am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Impressive work by the Toronto bench and a dominating win most of the way but Leonard needs to heal or things will be different in Milwaukee. 
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 22 May 2019 at 11:09pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

I just want whichever team is a bigger threat to the Warriors to win that series. I'm so sick of the Warriors its not even funny.
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