"We're going to Disney World!" NBA to resume season July 31 at WDW

ifmanis5

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Ratings were record low. Can the refs stop treating the Lakers like they do now?
The opening game of the series between the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat brought 7.41 million viewers to ABC, the smallest audience for the finals since at least 1994, when total viewers began to be regularly recorded. The previous low was 8.06 million for Game 3 of the 2007 NBA Finals.
 

johnmd20

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The previous ratings low was a Lebron finals, too. That's kind of funny.

And there is a LOT of competition right now for sports eyeballs, the literal opposite of how it was in April to July. The low ratings aren't a surprise. Plus, they start the games too late so I think a certain portion of people who would watch don't bother.(i am one of those people and I know a few others who are the same, too)
 

HomeRunBaker

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The Lakers got a big assist when the Clippers went down, as Kawhi is the closest thing to LeBron kryptonite there is.
It’s almost like Kobe is up there pulling the strings. First, the Clippers who negate many of the Lakers matchup advantages more than any team in the league go down. Then, the one team who cannot physically matchup with the Lakers advances out of the East. Anthony Davis is like that high school kid playing in a 5th grade intramural game out there.

We’ve never seen an NBA team so unprepared to play in a Finals from a roster construction position. Any true contender structures their roster to matchup with the leading contender on the other side either in the off-season or at the trade deadline......but not even Pat Riley had any idea they would be bubble darlings and actually be playing the Lakers right now. That’s 2020 for ya.
 

ifmanis5

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Do you think there is a correlation between how the refs treat the Lakers and tv ratings?
No. My snide point was that refs give Lakers calls so they can win so they can get on national TV because the NBA office thinks Lakers = great ratings. Same for Yankees, Cowboys, etc. If the ratings are bad maybe they can be treated like everyone else.
 

johnmd20

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Easiest fucking title ever. Lakers are best team but couldn’t have had easier path.
I don't know man. They faced an extremely solid Portland team, considering their seed. They crushed Houston, who has one of the best players in the game. And they beat down a Denver team that was almost an impossible out in the playoffs.

Now they play Miami, who manhandled Indiana, crushed Milwaukee, with their amazing point differential, and took the Celts in 6. Miami is good.

This path is not easy just because they avoided the Clippers.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I don't know man. They faced an extremely solid Portland team, considering their seed. They crushed Houston, who has one of the best players in the game. And they beat down a Denver team that was almost an impossible out in the playoffs.

Now they play Miami, who manhandled Indiana, crushed Milwaukee, with their amazing point differential, and took the Celts in 6. Miami is good.

This path is not easy just because they avoided the Clippers.
I’m gonna disagree with this being a difficult path for the Laker. Portland was on fumes and Lillard hurt by the time they played them. Houston was legit until they lost House then it was over due to lack of depth. Out of any team in the playoffs this Miami team may be the most mismatched physically without anyone to match up with Davis.....or LeBron.
 

BigSoxFan

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I don't know man. They faced an extremely solid Portland team, considering their seed. They crushed Houston, who has one of the best players in the game. And they beat down a Denver team that was almost an impossible out in the playoffs.

Now they play Miami, who manhandled Indiana, crushed Milwaukee, with their amazing point differential, and took the Celts in 6. Miami is good.

This path is not easy just because they avoided the Clippers.
Miami isn't good when Dragic is hurt, Bam is out, and Butler is hurt. Celtics would have smoked that Miami. Portland, Houston, Denver are all decent teams but nothing special. Maybe I need to look at other title runs. The 2007 Spurs played the crap Cavs but they at least had to get through the Suns.
 

johnmd20

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Miami isn't good when Dragic is hurt, Bam is out, and Butler is hurt. Celtics would have smoked that Miami. Portland, Houston, Denver are all decent teams but nothing special. Maybe I need to look at other title runs. The 2007 Spurs played the crap Cavs but they at least had to get through the Suns.
Fair. But the Lakers can only play the teams that they are matched up with.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Miami is good.
Especially when their three best players are not hurt or out.

Regular season net ratings of their four opponents:

POR -1.1
HOU +3.0
DEN +2.2
MIA +2.9

Somewhat deceiving, since all those teams were much healthier and/or better by the time the playoffs rolled around, but when you factor in Dragić-Bam-Butler all getting injured in the same freaking Game One, it has to be up there with the all-time easiest paths.

But yeah ... you can only play who’s in front of you. And sleazy and contrived as their sudden formation was, their toughness, defense, and team harmony all season has been admirable, and an unpleasant surprise to many (raises hand).
 

Euclis20

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Especially when their three best players are not hurt or out.

Regular season net ratings of their four opponents:

POR -1.1
HOU +3.0
DEN +2.2
MIA +2.9

Somewhat deceiving, since all those teams were much healthier and/or better by the time the playoffs rolled around, but when you factor in Dragić-Bam-Butler all getting injured in the same freaking Game One, it has to be up there with the all-time easiest paths.

But yeah ... you can only play who’s in front of you. And sleazy and contrived as their sudden formation was, their toughness, defense, and team harmony all season has been admirable, and an unpleasant surprise to many (raises hand).
Adding to this, Portland was 17th in net rating, Houston was 7th, Denver was 11th and Miami was 8th. The Lakers were 5th, and it seems remarkable that they won't play anyone in the top 6 (Bucks, Clippers, Celtics, Raptors, Mavericks). You can only play whose in front of you and you don't get style points for having a harder path, but man does this suck.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Only down 9 with 9 to go.
Undermanned teams always fight harder now you have a team that doesn’t quit so it wasn’t surprising that they didn’t go away. If Bam plays in G3 and isn’t effective they could be down 30 like they were with Bam in G1.
 

reggiecleveland

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Craziest?dumbest take I have heard from Lakers fans:
1. the 5 Minnesota titles count
2. Most of the Celtics titles don't count because it was a time when there were mostly white guys in the NBA.
 

BaseballJones

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So.... the five Minneapolis titles, all of which happened by 1954, all “count”, but Boston, which won its first title in 1957, should not have most of its titles “count” because the league was too white?

Wow that really IS an all-time stupid take right there.
 

Captaincoop

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So.... the five Minneapolis titles, all of which happened by 1954, all “count”, but Boston, which won its first title in 1957, should not have most of its titles “count” because the league was too white?

Wow that really IS an all-time stupid take right there.
Just look at a picture of George Mikan, note that he was the league's most dominant player when the Lakers won their Minneapolis titles, and you won't be able to take those ones seriously.
 

Sam Ray Not

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If LA can claim Minneapolis’ titles for sharing a nickname, can’t Boston claim them for sharing a color scheme?

34663
 

Sam Ray Not

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LOL @ Knicks "having to include Knox." I'd assume Sam Presti would ask for Robinson, Barrett, #8, future picks, and maybe a few other things before uttering the word "Knox," if he uttered it at all. But nice try, Knicks PR department.

From the Knicks' perspective ... if they can strike a deal without including Robinson, Barrett or #8, they should probably do it, just cos it's been so long since they haven't sucked ... but it also likely makes them a low-ceilinged ~44-38 team built around a fragile, 5'-11", 36 year-old star.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Yeah I’m not sure that OKC’s getting a huge haul for that contract.
Yeah, I wouldn’t expect a huge haul for CP3, but neither would I expect OKC to be banging down the Knicks’ door for Kevin Knox. He’s not a negative asset or anything — he’s still just 21, and at 1/$5M I’m sure OKC would take him as salary ballast with the side benefit of a free one-year look to see if he has some untapped upside. But the “Knicks would have to include Knox” line implies a desirability I doubt he has.
 

nighthob

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Yes, but the Knicks are desperate for names and are shitheads. They'll pay more than Knox.

Edit: missed opportunity to propose Knox straight-up for the new Chris Paul.
I just don't think they get a whole lot more than that. The Knickleheads have two players on that roster (Barrett and Robinson), and they're both going to be untouchable for a middle aged point guard making that sort of money. There are pretty much no under the cap teams, aside from the Knicks, that have abny use for CP3. The only teams that do have ugly contracts to trade in exchange.

If you're Presti, do you trade CP3 to the Bucks for Bledsoe, Blopez, and filler and spend all that money? Or send him to the Knicks and have a giant TPE to use with all those draft picks in landing a star? I mean the Bucks are sending you $79 million in salary (Bledsoe and Blopez) for what? The right to pick 17th in a roleplayer draft and DJ Wilson? Thanks to the Westbrook and George trades they're in a position to make a real run at Giannis if they want to. And still have the means to add another star to the roster.
 

nighthob

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wouldn't the knicks have to trade half their team to offset CP3's contract and satisfy the NBA trade parameters?
No, the Knicks real payroll (after cutting all the partially guaranteed deals) is between $50 million and $60 million. They could absorb the contract outright.
 

Jimbodandy

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I just don't think they get a whole lot more than that. The Knickleheads have two players on that roster (Barrett and Robinson), and they're both going to be untouchable for a middle aged point guard making that sort of money. There are pretty much no under the cap teams, aside from the Knicks, that have abny use for CP3. The only teams that do have ugly contracts to trade in exchange.

If you're Presti, do you trade CP3 to the Bucks for Bledsoe, Blopez, and filler and spend all that money? Or send him to the Knicks and have a giant TPE to use with all those draft picks in landing a star? I mean the Bucks are sending you $79 million in salary (Bledsoe and Blopez) for what? The right to pick 17th in a roleplayer draft and DJ Wilson? Thanks to the Westbrook and George trades they're in a position to make a real run at Giannis if they want to. And still have the means to add another star to the roster.
I'm not doubting Presti's intelligence here. The Knicks have had how many bigtime names in our lifetimes? I'm 51, so not old enough to be aware of the Willis Reed era. Ewing & Carmelo are the only "stars" that they have had in four decades. Bernard was the man, and there are guys like Oakley, and the first few years of the unicorn, before he shot his way out of that NBA graveyard. I'd hold out for 8 at least, even if I don't really covet the pick. If anything, I'm not sure that I'd even want Knox back. That's the best part of the planted story. Knox?

I think that NY is stupid and would overpay for Paul. Maybe you're right, and the Knicks hold firm, and Presti holds takes the salary dump. I'd want more picks or something.
 

nighthob

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I think they're stupid enough to take on the contract in the first place. There just isn't going to be any competition for him, which is undoubtedly why the Knicks have targeted him as the name player.

But if I'm the Thunder I might just take the TPE for a lottery protected #1 and then make a run at Giannis using the TPE as the lure for Milwaukee.
 

ilol@u

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Today is most likely the last day of the NBA season. Adam Silver is by far the best commissioner in sports. By creating this NBA bubble in Orlando, they managed to protect the players, the fans, and the competitive integrity of the game. Some of the best moments of the season happened in the bubble. Clippers vs Mavericks, with Luka's buzzer beater. The Suns going 8-0. Ty Warren's hot streak. The Mitchell/Murray showdowns. Just fun competitive basketball.

Mixing this program with the BLM movement was also an amazing job. We compare this with the MLB and the NFL and see how smooth the process was for the NBA.

The NBA gets an A+
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Today is most likely the last day of the NBA season. Adam Silver is by far the best commissioner in sports. By creating this NBA bubble in Orlando, they managed to protect the players, the fans, and the competitive integrity of the game. Some of the best moments of the season happened in the bubble. Clippers vs Mavericks, with Luka's buzzer beater. The Suns going 8-0. Ty Warren's hot streak. The Mitchell/Murray showdowns. Just fun competitive basketball.

Mixing this program with the BLM movement was also an amazing job. We compare this with the MLB and the NFL and see how smooth the process was for the NBA.

The NBA gets an A+
This. But again, I am a moth to the flame that is the modern NBA.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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The Social Chair

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Interesting article about life in the bubble.

My whole time in the bubble, I never once saw Jayson Tatum of the Celtics without his teammates Kemba Walker and Javonte Green. It was natural for players to form cliques, but the trio were inseparable. Tatum says his favorite night in the bubble was when he was sipping a drink (he rotated between a Hennessy and pineapple, a Crown Royal Apple, and a Moscato) and Walker said he had a confession, something that he had to get off his chest. It was a revelation that brought the already close teammates even closer, according to Tatum: “Kemba was like, ‘Yo, before I met you, I thought you were just…like, the epitome of a light-skinned dude with good hair who went to Duke. But being around you, you're just a country dude from St. Louis!’ ”
 

The Social Chair

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Pretty much the whole room was upset that the Bucks decided not to play without informing the other teams. Multiple players told me that everyone felt like one team made the decision for the rest of the league. “Then Jaylen [Brown of the Celtics] stood up and said that the Milwaukee Bucks don't owe anybody no apology,” Hill recalls. “They did what they thought was right, and that's what it was. It was very special. As a young man himself, to stand up and say that? It meant a lot.”
 

HowBoutDemSox

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Interesting article about life in the bubble.



Great article, thanks for posting. Some highlights:
Once, I played Heads Up! (the charades-like game where you hold your phone up to your forehead) with Kemba Walker of the Boston Celtics at the end of an interview. The answer on the screen was “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone,” and the clue he gave me was “They be flying on brooms and shit.”
Westbrook in particular was a model bubble citizen. He always made sure his hotel room was “clean and in good shape,” and he reportedly left an $8,000 tip for the housekeepers. (When we spoke, Westbrook confirmed he wrote a thank-you note and left a good tip, but wouldn't confirm the amount: “The money doesn't matter. I just like to do the right thing. That's it.”)
Perhaps because of the strange environment, a few of the players seemed to relax and let down their guard. George Hill of the Milwaukee Bucks said he missed the national anthem before a game against the Magic because he was busy taking “a shit,” something he tells me he does every pregame when there's six minutes left on the clock. He joins the layup line, shoots a single layup, and then, like clockwork, sprints off to the bathroom.
Like a lot of people in lockdown in the outside world, players spent their free time inside the bubble drinking. And seemingly at the center of it all was CJ McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers, who became something of the NBA's unofficial source for wine. McCollum stacked his hotel room with cases of his own Pinot Noir blend, McCollum Heritage 91, keeping the thermostat at a cool 65 degrees. He gifted dozens of bottles to players, and CJ's wine became a hot-ticket item—a bubble grail. Kawhi Leonard once stopped CJ to ask questions about the Pinot Noir and say he was a huge fan. (“I got the endorsement from Mr. Leonard!”) As was Anthony Davis, who, according to McCollum, stood next to him at the free-throw line during a Round 1 playoff game to tell him: “Thanks for that wine. That shit was good.

But no one was a bigger fan than Damian Lillard. McCollum's backcourt running mate said Heritage 91 was a magic elixir, the good-luck charm behind his historic bubble hot streak. Every time Lillard drank some, he'd go out and drop 50 on the other team, so he made it a point to incorporate McCollum Heritage 91 into his nightly routine. According to CJ, Dame was like, “ ‘Don't bring me nothing besides that Heritage—I only want to drink the Heritage!’ So I was bringing him it, and we was drinking it for, like, a streak.”
James Harden would rave about how good the hotel's hot dogs were. (Teammate Austin Rivers offered a similar review: “That shit almost changed my life.”)
When Lakers guard Danny Green won his third championship, he says, his old coach Gregg Popovich sent him a text: “Tell LeBron and AD I said congrats as well, but tell them to play a little more defense.”
For example, every day at 5 a.m., inside room 950 in the Gran Destino (where all the top-seeded teams stayed), Masai Ujiri would wake up, read his book, hop on the Peloton, and work out before heading down for breakfast. He thought nothing of his daily ritual until one morning, several weeks into the bubble, when he got a text from another former player of his: “Morning boss, you good up there?”

The text was from Kawhi Leonard—Finals MVP with the Raptors, now a star on the Clippers—who was staying in room 850, directly below his old boss. Ujiri had been waking Kawhi up with his noisy workouts for weeks, but Kawhi was reluctant to say anything.

Ujiri told Kawhi that he would stop for the time being and joked that he would continue again when the Raptors met the Clippers in the Finals, messing with Kawhi's sleep. Kawhi responded with the kind of trash talk that's best read aloud in Kawhi's dry monotone: “Haha, you know the saying ‘Don't poke the bear’? I'm gonna call the NBA on you…get you out the bubble.”
The following morning, members of the NBPA executive committee had a phone call with owners and executives across the league. Some of the most powerful people in sports were on that call, including Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan. “Michael was a calming influence,” Mavericks owner Mark Cuban tells me. “I think that was really impactful. Because in the back of everybody's minds, people think, ‘Republicans buy sneakers too.’ And here was Michael Jordan stepping out and really connecting to players and really saying, ‘Okay, we're all in this together. What do we need to do?’ ”

It was LeBron James who had the final statement on the call. “I thought [LeBron] was really compelling,” Cuban recalls. “He talked about how we need to be able to connect to young African American kids. What really stuck with me was when he said a lot of kids where he grew up can't afford cable and that the only way to watch our games is on cable. And we have a challenge [in addressing] those types of issues and lifting people up, so that it's not about cable or watching the NBA on cable but more about: How do we help these kids improve where they are in life?”
Doc's Clippers came into the postseason with lofty aspirations, and it seemed like a foregone conclusion that we'd get a groundbreaking L.A. vs. L.A. Western Conference Finals. But the bubble was not kind to the Clippers, and Paul George in particular was heavily criticized for his playoff struggles. A press conference following a win over the Mavericks provided a little clarity: George said he was feeling “anxiety” and “a little bit of depression from being locked in here.” It was notable because it was the first time any of us had witnessed George be vulnerable. “PG, clearly [the bubble] was bothering him,” says Doc Rivers. “And because he's such a quiet guy to begin with, I honestly didn't see it until I heard about it and I saw it. And then it was real for me.”

It was up to the players to be there for one another. During the Finals, when Danny Green missed an open three at the top of the key to clinch a Lakers championship at the end of Game 5, he and his fiancée started to receive death threats online, which made an already difficult situation even harder. “It was one of those nights that you don't sleep much,” Green tells me. He was thankful for the brotherhood of players who had his back, including George, who reached out to Green directly and also posted a message to his Instagram Stories: Stay blessed bro…One of the best guns out there.
A couple of players said one of the rawest moments happened during that big meeting, when Houston Rockets assistant coach John Lucas launched into a speech and talked about how stressful the bubble was for everybody. It had been particularly stressful for him, as someone who's struggled with alcoholism. “I know most people in here are just drinking every night because there's nothing else to do,” he said. “And at some point a lot of people are going to turn into alcoholics.”


The moment hit hard for a lot of the players. “We're [in the bubble] going crazy, the testosterone levels are through the roof, no one's significant other is there, and the single men are probably really going crazy because they're used to just doing what they want,” says McCollum. “So it was just like a lot of tension and stress. And then [John] just comes out and starts saying what everybody was thinking.” When his speech concluded, the players all erupted and gave Lucas a standing ovation.
Lots more in the article, both the funny stuff and the serious stuff.
 

JCizzle

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I love Jaylen so much. I hope he and JT are Celtics for life, or at least as long as PP was.
 

TripleOT

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Interesting tidbit in the GQ article: Tatum, Kemba, and Javonte Green were inseparable in the bubble.