2020 NBA Playoffs First Round Predictions Thread

I DID do this last year, so fair enough, I’ll do it this year, too!

    EASTERN CONFERENCE

    WESTERN CONFERENCE

Feel free to also share your picks in the comments to get credit later!

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195 thoughts to “2020 NBA Playoffs First Round Predictions Thread”

  1. Without looking at the numbers, Houston-OKC is a toss-up. And the exiled Chris Paul against Houston? Doesn’t get better than that.

  2. fun fact, althought i am not 100% on it, so fun possible fact: in 308 minutes this year, okc 4-man lineup of CP3, Gallo, Schroder & SGA was +30.0. i believe this only the third 4-man lineup to play 250+ minutes and posts a +30 since data is available in 96-97. Other two:

    96-97 bulls: jordan, pippen, rodman, kerr +31.6 in 367 mins
    15-16 dubs death lineup: curry, klay, iggy, dray: +30.4 in 551 minutes*

    18-19 curry, durant, iggy, green just missed the minutes cutoff. there are also some weird 4 man combos of 200ish minutes that had crazy numbers so maybe don’t speed dial your bookie just yet. and yes, i said bookie for z-man and only z-man.

  3. Portland is my dark donkey.

    After all Melo deserves a championship!
    (Nostalgic thread bomb) ;-P

  4. That small OKC lineup sounds fun as hell. They could just beat the Rockets at their own game. Hard to believe anyone thinks they’ll trade Paul while not getting back any first-round draft picks.

  5. My 1st round predictions:

    Bucks/Raptors in 4
    Clippers in 5
    Celtics in 6
    Heat, Jazz, Rockets and… Blazers! in 7

    “Don’t try these at bookie’s home”

  6. OKC/Rockets is definitely going to be the best first round series. Pacers/Heat in the east could be fun too (also, Celtics/76’ers).

    OKC is my dark horse team to take it all. I think if there is a year for a real underdog (not one of the top 2 seeds) to win it all, this is the year. There won’t really be a home court advantage and I just think the way OKC is built the parts all fit together so well that the sum is way better than the parts. All depends on CP3 staying healthy though.

    Kinda shocked so many people have Rockets beating them honestly.

  7. If I thought the Rockets would stay healthy I’d pick the Rockets, but I just can’t see that happening, so I’m going with OKC in six.

  8. Knew Your Nicks:
    Portland is my dark donkey.

    After all Melo deserves a championship!
    (Nostalgic thread bomb) ;-P

    Too bad they play no defense. I really believe they are built to beat the Lakers- even more so than the Clips because they have shooting and 2 bigs that play D and can easily get a double double in Nurkic and Whiteside. But for as good as the team looks when healthy, they have played too many unnecessarily close games in the bubble. Dame has been ridiculously on fire. I’m pullin for them to go far in the playoffs.

  9. I’m personally looking forward to Patrick Beverly pulling a Marcus Smart and getting up in Porzingis’ grill (or actually his belly) and driving KP freaking crazy.

  10. with no real homecourt advantage and hopefully the ref bias that goes with it…I think these series with exception of bucks-magic, raptors-nets will be very close…

  11. @Totes
    When Blazers got Whiteside i thought they were ready to contend for a championship but i was wrong.
    They look pretty loaded on paper but as you say their chemistry (and their D) ain’t that good so…

  12. That small OKC lineup sounds fun as hell. They could just beat the Rockets at their own game.

    i know it looks like that, but it might be as much about not playing one of their shitty depth guys (ferguson, diallo) than playing small ball.* after all, an adams, schroder, cp3, sga lineup did just as well. not to say that isn’t small with gallo at the 4, but it has a very traditional C unlike the death lineup or the rockettes (just made that up afaik, tip ur waiter). for this reason i think it might be fair to very lightly criticize presti. giving up future assets to improve a 10-12th best team whose best player is old is generally iffy. and it’s hard to pivot from “rebuilding year” to “hey, we’re actually pretty good” on the spot. plus they were mostly focused on trading their best players at the deadline, which would have mooted it.

    but they didn’t have to do much of a pivot, because their depth guys were just so damn bad. if they were on the ball, for example, they pretty easily could have swapped roberson’s expiring and a 2nd to the knicks for harkless in the morris deal. harkless is nothing special but he’s a surprisingly big improvement over their wing depth, and it would have cost next to nothing.

    *and of course there might be no lesson at all

  13. @AdamZagoria
    Ed Pinckney is not in the mix to join Tom Thibodeau’s staff with the Knicks, per source. Mike Woodson and Mike Miller remain favorites to join Kenny Payne on staff.

  14. I have not been very connected lately, although the bubble seems to have been fun and my bet for surprise team at the beginning of the season (the Suns) almost gets to the playoffs.

    Well, I fancy some upsets, so I voted the Blazers in 7 (doubtful) and Mavericks in 6 (which I start to find more likely). Also Nuggets, Rockets and Celtics in 6, Bucks and Heat in 5 and Toronto in 4.

  15. Given the Pinckney and Payne news, the Knicks seem to be prioritizing a quality staff instead of just people known to Thibodeau already.

  16. Z-man:
    reports of iserp’s demise were greatly exaggerated…

    Haha, thank you for your concern, :)

    I broke my elbow playing football just about when the pandemic began and I did not fancy to write much one-handed. When I was better I just found this blog turned into politicblogger, for which I find myself unqualified to post (i am from Spain).

    Let’s see if I can catch some playoff games, I wanna see what are the Raptors, the Mavs and the Blazers up to (although Toronto will be the only one with games at a good time for me, western games are usually too late in the night)

  17. I love that Celtics team when they are 100%, but I’m not sure Kemba is 100%.

    On the flip, everyone is dismissing the 76ers because of the injury to Simmons, but I think it’s less of an issue than people think, Simmons is a terrific player, but I hate the team construction of the 76ers and think losing him doesn’t hurt as much as people think.

    They have spacing issues.

    When Simmons is off the court, they should have better spacing. If they keep giving it to Embiid in the post (instead of crazily having him shoot 3s to help spacing for Simmons) , he could have an absolutely monster series against the Celtics match up. He just needs space and to stay healthy. That series could be tougher than people think if Embiid comes to play and is healthy. He’s an absolute monster inside with space. If they having him shooting 3s in this series, they need a new coach.

  18. I’m hoping OKC takes the Rockets out in the first round just so I don’t have to watch Harden play basketball more than few times. He’s a great talent, but I hate the way he plays and I hate the calls he gets.

    I don’t think OKC has enough firepower to beat Houston unless Westbrook is out for a few games, but I really haven’t watched them enough to know. Gallo will probably drop off a bit because he won’t get as many flopping foul calls in the playoffs.

  19. Call me a hipster but i love Harden’s iso game!
    I’d love to eat pop corn and watch him Burn down any D while listening to Machine Gun by the Commodores!
    The guy is a funky MF Points Machine! Love him!

  20. it might be as much about not playing one of their shitty depth guys (ferguson, diallo)

    I love how other teams’ shitty depth players would be our “youth to build around.”

  21. A couple of weeks ago we recounted long-time posters who had not been around in a while, your name came up…

  22. Deeefense:
    I’m hoping OKC takes the Rockets out in the first round just so I don’t have to watch Harden play basketball more than few times. He’s a great talent, but I hate the way he plays and I hate the calls he gets.

    I don’t think OKC has enough firepower to beat Houston unless Westbrook is out for a few games, but I really haven’t watched them enough to know.Gallo will probably drop off a bit because he won’t get as many flopping foul calls in the playoffs.

    quite honestly…lillard (at least in the last couple of games) is going Harden-esque with jumping into the defensive guys’ body and getting calls…I hate that shit…

  23. I think Simmons being out is a mortal wound for the Sixers. They are already going to be severely out-coached, and Boston is a well-oiled machine right now. They will just run Embiid ragged on both ends and let the other guys beat them. Boston in 5.

  24. The Thunder are a better team than Houston and they will beat them in 6 games.

    The Clippers are going to give Dallas hell. That was the worst possible match up for them and Porzingis will not be able to bail them out because he’s more intrigue than substance at this point. I think Dallas gets swept there and everybody realizes that Luka needs more than a band of ex Knicks to get to the promised land.

  25. Portland vs. Lakers is the most compelling series for me. Two veteran teams with true superstars, both of which lack depth. You can’t bet against LeBron but Portland is a formidable 1st round opponent.

  26. The Glass Half Rebuilt:
    The Thunder are a better team than Houston and they will beat them in 6 games.

    The Clippers are going to give Dallas hell. That was the worst possible match up for them and Porzingis will not be able to bail them out because he’s more intrigue than substance at this point. I think Dallas gets swept there and everybody realizes that Luka needs more than a band of ex Knicks to get to the promised land.

    The Clips have 2 guys that can defend Luka reasonably well 1-on-1. And they have Montrezl back. Should be an easy series.

  27. Is there any way to see who voted for what and/or who ends up being the “best” at predicting all these series?

  28. Z-man: A couple of weeks ago we recounted long-time posters who had not been around in a while, your name came up…

    These are tough times, I hope you all stay safe!

    Me, my family and friends have been lucky and have not had problems, but I am working in machine-learning in medicine with cardiologists, and it has been very stressful for them. Some of them got infected, but recovered. They had to put a lot of work, and reorganize the hospital on the fly. Here in Spain, summer has been quiet with very few COVID cases, but now it looks we are facing the start of a 2nd wave of the pandemic. I am working from home and I do not go out more than necessary, so my situation is good. However, my friends who are doctors or teachers are quite worried about september.

  29. It’s been a shitshow here in the states, with no nationwide coordination, so some states are now where they should have been in April-May, meaning that it’s impossible to have a coherent discussion on what to do going forward. Spain was essentially NY state, but appears to have rushed the reopening, whereas NY has been carefully phasing in plan components. But yes, the fears around opening schools is front and center in NYC and its suburbs, where the majority of cases and deaths took place. As a principal, I am vehemently opposed to opening for in-person learning in September and favor a slow phase-in over 1-2 months (and I wrote the Chancellor saying as much, with no success and even a curious call from my Supt).

    Glad you are well, we need your capologist expertise in the next months.

  30. howdy iserp :)

    good to hear you are on the mend…ouch, a broken elbow sounds really painful and difficult to deal with while healing…

    yes, things have gotten progressively crazier here in the states this year…i can only imagine what a disaster our country must look like from afar…

    i’ll tell you though – one of my favorite things about this site is all the folks from around the world whom suffer together while cheering for our perpetually inept new york knickerbockers…

    where you a fan of the hiring of thibodeau as our coach?

  31. Yesterday we had a demonstration in Madrid with 3000 people not wearing masks and saying they dont believe the virus is real, so…. my country is not without crazy.

    As far as our government, they acted slowly, specially since we had a headstart of 2 weeks respect to Italy, then the quarantine was pretty effective and we are rushing the opening now. It has been tough for our economy, and tourism is really important for us, so they opened soon. A big problem is uncertainty, at times the government says one thing, and then it suddenly changes. Right now, it is supposed that children will go to school in september as usual, but that may change; which leaves schools and teachers in a difficult position of not knowing how to prepare next year, whether fully in-person, fully online, or some kind of mixture to avoid too many people at the same time at the school.

    Well, at least we have NBA playoffs to distract ourselves, :)

  32. Re: Mavs, it probably is a series that hinges on the shooting of Porzingis and Doncic, who took about 30% of all shot attempts in about 20% of available minutes. (Should be noted that Doncic took almost a third of all FTA for Dallas, accounting for almost as many [delta 10] attempts as the next three teammates combined, so the total possessions used to score surely has to be around 40%.)

    So the question is which versions of Doncic and Porzingis show up. Will it be the Doncic who scores 36 on 27 TSA with 19 assists and 14 rebounds with 2 turnovers? Or the one who takes 5 or more 3PA while converting 1 or 0 of them, which happened a staggering 14 times this season? (He had games of 5, 6, 6 and 8 3PA without a single make this year!)

    And I don’t think I need to illustrate to this crowd just how streaky Porzingis’s shooting is.

    If you tell me I need to win a championship in the next ten years and can pick a single player from any team to start my franchise off, I choose Luka 10 out of 10 times. But if he doesn’t fix his distance shooting, he’s going to find himself bounced in the playoffs year after year. He doesn’t need to be superhumanly consistent like Jordan, but he needs to not shoot his team out of games by himself.

  33. here locally (i’m in southern california, not too far away from los angeles) – just had a conversation last week with my god kids’ (1st and 4th grade) school…they are offering three options:

    1). “blended” distance learning: consists of 2.5 hours in person, continued learning/assignments at home on computer
    2). distance learning: consists of a couple of hours online learning through “zoom” or “microsoft teams” with an instructor, also continued learning/assignments at home on computer
    3). home schooling: i’m not sure, but – i believe the school provides a curriculum and it is the responsibility of the parent to teach

    we’re going to start the year off with distance learning…hopefully if the school can stay open safely, we’ll look at having the kids back in school for a few hours in maybe October or so…

    the end of the academic year in the spring was mainly an exercise in survival…the beginning of this school year will have greater oversight and requirements from the school district…

    i guess my biggest concern was that at the end of the year the school was assigning maybe 4 to 5 hours of daily work – that just wasn’t happening for the kids…i’m not really sure how to accomplish that kind of workload…

    for many here in the states, short of a growing fear that our evil emperor will find a way somehow to retain control of our country (through every imaginable and unimaginable means possible) – schooling for the kids is a major concern for many here…

    which, doesn’t really sound all that different from any where else in the world…

    i can feel al giving me the evil eye (just kidding, sort of), so, i’ll keep my worries to myself and tune in to some bubble basketball :)

  34. geo:

    i guess my biggest concern was that at the end of the year the school was assigning maybe 4 to 5 hours of daily work – that just wasn’t happening for the kids…i’m not really sure how to accomplish that kind of workload…

    @geo 4 or 5 hours of solo work at home for almost all elementary school students are both unrealistic and counterproductive. I taught elementary school for 14 years having a vast array of learners and would be happy to backchannel communicate with you to help you come up with a realistic productive action plan. Let me know and I’ll provide a burner email account.

  35. awwwww bless you bo…i can’t tell you how much your concern and compassion mean to me…you are born with nothing but the skin on your ass, and, you should be thankful to god just for that, nobody owes you a damn thing in life…heard that repeated quite often growing up…it means a lot when someone else cares…

    i’m okay right now, i’m going to wait and see exactly what will occur in a couple of weeks when the school year starts…

    i’m going to keep your words in mind though…

    right now the biggest thing i need to remember to do is not infect the kids or their mom with all my “concerns”…i’m learning and getting better at that…

  36. The Jazz were a good team most of the season but they just don’t have enough healthy guys for the playoffs.

  37. The word around the NBA is Donovan Mitchell probably won’t sign long term in Utah (the team is older, they don’t attract FAs, and the Jazz fan base is too conservative to stand behind Donovan Mitchell and his BLM advocacy).

    It would be hilarious if he tears up the playoffs just to tear up any offer Utah hands him this off season. He is on fire today.

  38. Geo, our school district was originally offering both distance learning and a hybrid model (two half-days in the building each week, all other time at home), but then the governor’s latest regulations regarding ventilation systems forced them to go to an all-distance learning model. Which, on the one hand, I hate, because the experience was so bad for my kids (and everyone else’s kids) in the spring. But on the other hand, we were going to keep them home regardless of what the district did, and this way they’re at least getting the same terrible experience as their peers. The bright side!

  39. well, i guess 192 minutes of playoff basketball just wasn’t enough for the day – let’s do 197…

  40. Game over. It’s going to be a long series for Utah if they keep Joe Ingles on Jamal Murray.

  41. it’s been a revelation to realize the connections to be had with people solely through written communication (and, the occasional jowles butt vid)…

    so many basics of human existence that can be shared…family, food, health, faith, passions…without regard to time or place…

    been thinking a bunch lately on some of the folks here struggling with one of the greater affects of the pandemic – namely employment and the ability to provide essentials for themselves and their family…

    i’m pretty slow on realizing things outside my personal life…shit, i’m so caught up in my own head most often it’s just hard for me to see some things…my sister just lost her job…she had been dealing with reduced hours for a couple of months, ma had to reach out to a couple of senators’ office just to help her receive some benefits…it appears her job didn’t appreciate the outside pressure, she got some money finally, but, then got laid off…

    starting to think more now of the folks here who’ve mentioned difficulty with their job situation…embarrassed a little now for sharing grief concerning my work…i should feel nothing but fortunate…

    wishing you all well…

  42. Alan:
    Geo, our school district was originally offering both distance learning and a hybrid model (two half-days in the building each week, all other time at home), but then the governor’s latest regulations regarding ventilation systems forced them to go to an all-distance learning model. Which, on the one hand, I hate, because the experience was so bad for my kids (and everyone else’s kids) in the spring. But on the other hand, we were going to keep them home regardless of what the district did, and this way they’re at least getting the same terrible experience as their peers. The bright side!

    Remote Learning: Quality Pedagogy
    Knick Basketball: Quality Balling.
    On the positive side, most kids, especially young ones are quite resilient and will ultimately reach their ceilings, especially with great families, who exalt education.

  43. Can’t the east just skip to the Bucks vs Raptors ECF?

    (I am really hoping for a Raptors vs Clippers NBA finals. Not only would it be great basketball, and a great narrative, but I think Toronto might actually win the series against them, which would just be so, so awesome).

  44. I wonder if Masai is going to end up getting any value for Kyle Lowry or FVV in outgoing deals. How wild would it be if he did something like flip Lowry’s expiring for Chris Paul and FVV in a S&T for Victor Oladipo or something nuts like that?

  45. Re: Mavs, it probably is a series that hinges on the shooting of Porzingis and Doncic, who took about 30% of all shot attempts in about 20% of available minutes. (Should be noted that Doncic took almost a third of all FTA for Dallas, accounting for almost as many [delta 10] attempts as the next three teammates combined, so the total possessions used to score surely has to be around 40%.)

    It’s the matchup that’s a nightmare for Dallas over a series not shooting game to game.

    Donic’s strength is going to the basket, not shooting. But the Clippers have two monster wing defenders in Leonard and George, a monster guard defender in Beverly (if he plays) and a physical center in Zubac. Doncic is going to get his points whether he chucks up bad shots from outside and gets lucky some games or draws some fouls going inside. But over a series that are going to pound him and pound him every time he comes into the paint. If he stand up to that, he a freaking God, But I think they are going to wear him down late in games and over the series.

    Porzingis is streaky from 3, but the bigger problem is on defense. The Clippers will target him for switches to get a small man on Zubac. Then Zubac will crush Dallas’s smaller, weaker, terrible defenders inside. It will interesting to see what Dallas does. When they switched last time Zubac killed them. So maybe they won’t switch, but that could create other problems. Carlise is going to earn his money to solve the defensive issues because they are everywhere in this matchup.

    If I were to draw up a chart of the worst theoretical matchup for the Dallas, I’d be hard pressed to come with a worse one than the Clippers.

    Dallas’s only hope in this series is Doncic getting lucky from outside and him not wearing down from the beating they are going to put on him, Porzingis staying consistently hot from outside, and Dallas signing some wing defenders before tonight. lol

  46. gave in and finally looked up pedagogy (oh, that’s a mouthful – oh god help me, i just thought of jowles again)…had a feeling though of where you were heading with that analogy…

    yes, it would seem many of life’s lesser achievements can be measured in terms of knicks’ basketball…

  47. Z-man:
    I think Simmons being out is a mortal wound for the Sixers. They are already going to be severely out-coached, and Boston is a well-oiled machine right now. They will just run Embiid ragged on both ends and let the other guys beat them. Boston in 5.

    We agree on the most likely outcome. Boston is the better team. That goes double if Kemba is close to 100%. They are supposed to win.

    However, even though Simmons and Embiid are terrific individually, they are not good together. Who the hell wants Embiid shooting 3s to create space for Simmons to drive when Embiid is the most dominant post big man in in many years (when healthy, in space, and used correctly).

    This series can at least be tougher than people think if Embiid can stay healthy and they use him correctly by going 4 out and dumping it inside. The Celtics don’t have anyone that can even slow him down. A healthy in shape Embiid can be an all time great player. He’s just rarely healthy, in shape, and used properly playing with Simmons. I’d really like to see him explode for 35 or more a night. He’s capable.

  48. Frank has a really hype video out guys….

    Mitchell is a bum anyway. -11 on the day while my man Juwan was a +17.

  49. Yeah, Cue the Rounders gif.

    He feels more George Hill or Darren Holliday then genuine star but hard to argue with the results.

  50. Yeah, Cue the Rounders gif.

    It’s kind of hard to believe that John Malkovich had a successful career after that one. Kind of like how Carmelo has had a career after his stint on the Rockets.

  51. It’s kind of hard to believe that John Malkovich had a successful career after that one.

    i’m not sure it’s possible for john malkovich to act poorly in anything…that dude just shows up a great actor…edward norton though was the real gem in the movie…although poker didn’t really go mainstream for a few years after rounders‘ release, it definitely made gambling seem pretty cool at the time…except for the whole part about strangers taking your money…yeah, that doesn’t seem very cool at all…

    if bob could have just stayed semi-civilized, i was hoping to get a few gambling stories out of him…

  52. @cdiggy
    That’s clearly an early sign of thinking bout retirement

    Kanter playing D twice in a row?
    What are u drinking? I want too!

  53. God I hate listening to him…

    i was going to mention this the other day – but, thought, maybe it’s just me…

    what really stuck me at the time was a simple comment he made about ja, calling him “awfully” good, or awfully talented, or something like that…the fact he felt it necessary in his brain to correlate the word awfully with ja’s play – made me just think – what a preachy and insufferable dick…

    i mean – just like everything in the world – there’s got to be statistics reflecting his audience acceptance…i just can’t imagine it’s that freaking high…you would think some sponsor at sometime would have said something…

    i don’t know, it’s hard to account for human judgement, just think some 100 million or so americans seem to be down for donald’s dirty drawers…

    on a positive note, was glad to hear doris burke and mark jones calling the early game…definitely one of my favorite broadcast crews…

  54. Mavs defense is truly atrocious. The only reason they’re in this game is they’re shooting 56% from 3.

  55. Watching the Dallas Mavericks play basketball makes me hate everything about the Mills/Perry era. Porzingis and Luka Doncic should be New York Knicks but Jarrett Jack. And even if you get over the Porzingis trade and the botched 2018 tank job, how do you explain coming up with Frank Ntilikina and Kevin Knox instead some combination of Donovan Mitchell/OG Anunoby/Luke Kennard and SGA/Mikal Bridges/Michael Porter Jr? And then when you draft the right prospect at 3 in 2019, you take your league leading cap space and surround him with the worst shooting team in the NBA?

    Fuck those guys. I hope the rumors are true and Joe Dumars hires Scott Perry to run the Kings into the ground. Maybe that way we can flip the Porzingis package and Julius Randle to Sacto for De’Aaron Fox.

  56. The explanation from whatever-his-fuck from the ref’s booth on the first tech is pretty horseshit. “They all know punching the air is a tech, so they need to be responsible for their own actions.” Fuck off, no one’s here to see the refs decide a game like this. It’s the fucking playoffs.

  57. I really don’t like KP given everything that happened. But these peccadillo techs need to stop, holy fucking shit what are the refs thinking.

    And Steve Jaffi or whatever his last name is a cop

  58. Hah I made a cop analogy (i.e. the beatings will continue until morale improves) but it felt clunky

  59. The Clippers looked like they were toying with the Mavs the entire game waiting for the end of the game to get serious on defense and put it away.

    Doncic is some kind of basketball savant. In some ways he’s unimaginably brilliant and in other ways he’s an idiot. I don’t think they can win with him dominating the ball like that and forcing things so much he winds up with 11 TOs to go along with all the points and assists. Some of it was KP being ejected, but he was doing the same thing in the first half and doesn’t really look for KP much anyway. KP gets a lot of his points on ball movement from other players.

    After the game Paul George flat out said they were hoping to wear Doncic out over the course of the series. They didn’t get as physical with him inside last night as I suggested they might, but he looked dead tired at the end of the game. So they were doing something right.

    This series is already over.

    The Clippers didn’t even play well.

  60. The Celtics did a good job of adjusting after Embiid came out fast and was dominating inside. They started coming with help or a double team and making him uncomfortable or poking the ball away if he put the ball on the floor. IMO, the 76ers still didn’t use him correctly. He has to get the ball deeper. If they come with a double, he has to pass out to the open man and hope they are hitting their outside shots. There’s absolutely no reason for him to be outside and shooting four 3s. They made it game, but Boston has too many weapons and plays a terrific brand of basketball ,

  61. Sixers are in trouble. Harris and Horford really look washed. Idk how they get off those contracts and find skilled young replacements. Thybulle was a nice find and Shake is decent but they need help.

  62. Yeah, it’s this weird, “Huh, a team built around two star players was playing without one of those two players. I wonder why they didn’t play as well as they could have?” take.

  63. It would be pretty weird to be a person who claims that elite defense is the most important part of the game and then argue that Simmons’ absence might help the Sixers by opening up the floor, as though Simmons weren’t one of the very best all-position defenders in the league.

  64. KP has some limitations (defending the PnR), but he’s significantly better there than he was here, and improving according to most advanced metrics. The only thing I will say is that he hasn’t had to weather the grind of a steady schedule over months, so it’s possible we won’t know whether he hits the wall for a while. Since the all-star break, in 15 games, he’s averaging nearly 36 mins, 26 pts, 11 rebs, 2.7 assts and over 2 blocks on a .582 TS% on a 28% usage. His rebounding in and of itself is very promising, and he is upping his 3PTr. Still not max-worthy numbers but looking very good for next year, considering he just got back from an ACL tear.

  65. I was really bummed when KP was traded and it makes it hard for me to watch the Mavericks now. As regressing to 5 for 17, it’s going to happen, but not so often. KP is getting better and he’s going to be a good player for a long time.

  66. ***I don’t think they can win with him dominating the ball like that and forcing things so much he winds up with 11 TOs to go along with all the points and assists. Some of it was KP being ejected***

    Doncic had 8 turnovers before Porzingis was ejected and 3 in the final 19 minutes (post-KP ejection).

    He had 5 turnovers in the first 2.5 minutes.

    Despite his 11 turnovers for the game, he didn’t even have the highest turnover% on his team(!). With a 72%TS on 43% usage for the game there is no way to argue that a) Doncic dominating the ball is worse than Doncic not dominating the ball, and b) KP’s ejection is to be blamed for anything.

  67. Doncic has lots of room for improvement but that only makes him scarier. He’s a generational talent if ever there was one, and largely plays below the rim, suggesting that he will have a long career. Chances are good that he ends up being a top-10 all-time player.

  68. If we had gotten Doncic he’d be the biggest NY sports star since Jeter, and probably surpass him eventually.

    But lucky for us we have Frank and Knox )-:

  69. Again, for those that didn’t understand my point the first time.

    Simmons and Embiid are both excellent individual players, but imo they are not an ideal fit on the court together because Simmons can’t shoot and Embiid does his best work near the basket. It’s kind of like having Randle, Barrett, and Robinson on the court together and complaining when they can’t penetrate and finish. lol

    The strategy for the 76ers has tended to be to get other shooters on the court (that’s where Riddick and Butler came in) to mitigate the problem. They also made Embiid shoot 3s. IMO, the latter is a terrible thing to have to do given Embiid’s skillset, but that’s what they did to help Simmons get to the basket,

    However, they lost Reddick/Buter and added Horford this year.

    That made the spacing issues more problematical.

    The 76ers struggled badly this year with the fit between Simmons, Embiid and Horford. That has been reported widely. They were actually negative when all 3 were on the court together. Embiid and Simmons were barely positive, and Embiid and Horford were negative. This is on a very good team with very few negative lineup combinations.

    They MISS Simmons. It’s that the downside of missing his defense and skills is partially offset by better spacing for Embiid IF they put an extra shooter on the court and use him and Horford properly. Those other two guys should be able to play better in space without forcing ups 3s.

    Boston is clearly better than the 76ers. All I am saying is that if people thinks the 76ers will totally suck without Simmons they are overestimating the impact of his loss on this specific team. On another team it might be massive. IMO, it’s smaller than you would intuitively think if the 76ers get the lineups and strategies right. They were very competitive last night and they didn’t even take advantage of Embiid properly.

  70. Porzingis was WAY better this year than previously. He had a terrible start to the season this year just as I predicted he would, but once he was switched to the 5 and got comfortable in Doncic’s absence he played great the rest of the season. He still has a long way to go. He came in to the league raw as hell, was still clueless the last season in NY when he was getting doubled as the #1 option, and missed about a year and a half of development time. He’s also going to get stronger (which he has to do to finish and rebound better) and learn a LOT more. It’s all about his health from here.

  71. Maybe OKC and PHI can work out a trade of Paul for Simmons with appropriate future draft picks involved. Paul would be perfect for Embiid in a win-now situation, and I kind of agree with you on Embiid and Simmons not being the ideal pair to build around together.

  72. Porzingis was WAY better this year than previously.

    Nah, but okay. He basically made one additional shot per 200 attempts over his sophomore season numbers, and was virtually identical in every other stat aside from defensive rebounding, which, as we all know, is a noisy stat.

    He played in six games during the restart, and played very well in four of them. So let’s point at those instead of the rest, I guess.

  73. I want to say that if Porzingis somehow gets to .580, or god forbid .600 TS%, he instantly turns that team into a title contender. But he has never been there and has a long way to go before the good-looking J actually falls.

    It is crazy to think what would happen if you took that league-best offense and turned its #2 volume scorer into an efficient spacing machine.

  74. We poached some assistant coach off the Jazz who seems to have been heavily involved in their player development.

  75. We just hired Johnnie Bryant away from the Jazz to be on Thibs’ staff.

    @TommyBeer
    Bryant is well-respected league-wide as one of the better player development coaches in the NBA.

    Notably, Bryant has been credited with helping transform Donovan Mitchell from late lottery pick into a star just three years into his career.

  76. Jinx, DRed. We definitely seem to be putting our money where our mouth is, player development wise. Dunno if Bryant, Payne, or anyone else can fix the many things that ail Frank and/or Knox, but both RJ and (especially) Mitch seem like talents for whom great coaching could do wonders.

  77. I can’t find the article/tweet anywhere but I do remember there being a bit somewhere about how the Knicks were telling prospects they were going to be assembling a world class coaching staff. Johnnie Bryant, Kenny Payne, and Tom Thibodeau are a pretty good place to start.

    Now just continue to beef up Brock Aller’s analytics department and we may actually have the beginning of a healthy organization.

  78. Also, Bryant’s title is “associate head coach,” meaning he’s likely the lead assistant. Dunno if Miller would consider that too tough a pill to swallow to return — i.e., it’s one thing to get demoted back to your old job for a guy like Thibs, but to have to move down several notches in the pecking order after a reasonable successful stint in the top job?

    Add: And Steve Popper says Woodson is still expected to be part of the staff (as opposed to some sketchy front office job).

  79. TheKnicksHaveNoChanceAtGiannis TheKnicksHaveNoChanceAtGiannis TheKnicksHaveNoChanceAtGiannis TheKnicksHaveNoChanceAtGiannis TheKnicksHaveNoChanceAtGiannis TheKnicksHaveNoChanceAtGiannis TheKnicksHaveNoChanceAtGiannis TheKnicksHaveNoChanceAtGiannis

    If we could just focus on the guys in our building and help RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, and whomever else we decide is worth investing in become their best selves, then maybe we can think about Devin Booker in 2024 or something. Right now let’s just try to get to 41 wins without any bad money contracts.

  80. Bryant can’t officially join the Knicks till the Jazz are finished with the playoffs, one way or the other. From the Salt Lake Tribune’s Jazz beat writer:

    @tribjazz

    Bryant was regarded as the guy who helped get Gordon Hayward to All-Star level, and is the assistant who has worked most closely with Donovan Mitchell in Jazz practices.

  81. I feel that the Knicks Do have a chance on Giannis and Lillard. All they need is to get their shit together like they seem to do on the last few months.
    Call it a 7th sense!

  82. there have been guys as fast as fultz, but something about his in-motion posture is just arresting. he looks like he’s going by people while lounging on the airport conveyor belt.

  83. Orlando was ready for this game, and the Bucks have had a rough time in the bubble and does not appear ready. Could this series be the big upset?

  84. Fultz is in the tier of Westbrook and early-career Rose, where he’s playing against the best athletes in the world but still seems like he’s playing on bionic legs in comparison. He’s not a rim-murdering attacker like Westbrook, and doesn’t quite have the in-air agility of MVP Rose, but his bounce is elite and obviously elite.

  85. GIANNIS TO THE KNICKS IS REAL Y’ALL

    (Okay, maybe not. But enjoy the takes from now until Bucks-Magic Game 2.)

  86. Z-man:
    Orlando was ready for this game, and the Bucks have had a rough time in the bubble and does not appear ready. Could this series be the big upset?

    Actually not. Orlando pulled the very same trick last year, winning the first game of the playoffs in Toronto (the “DJ Augustin Game”). Things turned out OK for the Raptors after that, I believe. :)

  87. Johnnie Bryant? If he’s as good as he’s given credit for, I’m starting to get excited. At this point..I really don’t anticipate Woodson being a part of the staff over Miller

  88. It’s only one game, but I’m starting to think smart opposing coaches have figured out a way to slow down the Bucks and frustrate Giannis. They may be a team built for the regular season.

    Milwaukee looks really vulnerable right now.

  89. If a healthy KD was supposedly coming to the Mills/Perry NYK i don’t see why a serious superstar won’t come to a serious NYK version.

  90. Let’s not go crazy here. Bucks will probably win the next four games by ~20 points.

    Magic scored at .627 TS%, their season average was .543, 27th in the league.

    Bucks averaged giving up .489 eFG% to opponents, 1st in the league — Magic shot .550.

    Anything can happen in 7 games, but the Magic will have to replicate that performance three more times to have a fighting chance.

  91. I’m not calling for a 1st round upset by Orlando, just pointing out that the Bucks look out of sync and have since the beginning of the bubble.

    Indiana or Miami will be very tough 2nd round opponents for them.

  92. I’m not calling for a 1st round upset by Orlando, just pointing out that the Bucks look out of sync and have since the beginning of the bubble.

    I agree, but it’s only 8 games. Hell, the Lakers went 3-5 with a MOV of -7 over those 8 games, and they are a solid bet to win the whole thing.

    Likewise, the Bucks had a MOV of something like +15 going into the semis last year and got hosed down by the Raptors. The tides can turn quick.

  93. I agree, but it’s only 8 games. Hell, the Lakers went 3-5 with a MOV of -7 over those 8 games, and they are a solid bet to win the whole thing.

    Likewise, the Bucks had a MOV of something like +15 going into the semis last year and got hosed down by the Raptors. The tides can turn quick.

    Oh for sure. Big difference this year is no home court advantage, which hurts teams like the Bucks and Lakers and helps the lower seeds.

  94. How about trading Julius “TJ” Randle to the Pacers ?

    probably the single worst destination for him. they already have a better julius randle in sabonis, and have been up and down about pairing sabonis and turner as it is.

  95. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    I want to say that if Porzingis somehow gets to .580, or god forbid .600 TS%, he instantly turns that team into a title contender. But he has never been there and has a long way to go before the good-looking J actually falls.

    It is crazy to think what would happen if you took that league-best offense and turned its #2 volume scorer into an efficient spacing machine.

    I trust your take most often.
    I think KP’s rebounding going from 7.5 to 11 per game is exactly what we thought he needed to do. More important, his TRB% is up a full four percentage points from last year and three points over career. His AST% is up almost a full three percentage points over last year and 1.2 points over career.
    Most important to his TS% since the all star break is his FT% going from 77% to 84%.

    And this is the year returning from knee surgery, so his first half stats were supposed to be down. Covid probably has helped his knee get stronger. All of this is heading in the right direction.
    And he is playing with the most talented guard in the NBA. I see him getting to .600 TS%.

    And I liked that he went to protect his guard. Don’t be surprised if next year he’s at .600 TS% with 11 boards/36 with 2.5 blocks/36. A few more points in the paint and a few less jumpers and he’s suddenly shooting .470 percent from the floor.
    Lots of ifs, but he is trending in the right direction in a year his knee would hamper him.
    I wish he was here.

  96. It doesn’t matter if he’s not a good fit for Indiana.
    If he was named TJ Randle he’d probably been there right now.
    I expect them to go after Jrue Holiday also.

  97. August 16, 2020, 7:40 PM PDT
    Kawhi Leonard is wary of the “very skilled” Kristaps Porzingis ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers’ series against the Dallas Mavericks.

    The Clippers will begin their Western Conference first-round playoff series against the Mavericks on Monday, and will go in as favourites.

    However, they face a dangerous Dallas team that features Luka Doncic and Porzingis, although the latter has been dealing with a heel injury.

    Leonard said the Clippers, the second seeds in the west, faced a test against Porzingis – who averaged 20.4 points and 9.5 rebounds during the regular season.

    “He’s seven [foot]-something, seven-two, seven foot, can shoot the ball, can dribble, make plays out of the post, even from that three-point line by dribble driving,” he told reporters.

    “You’ve just got to keep a high hand up and try to challenge his shots. He’s very skilled.”

  98. Bondy:

    Mike Miller, who briefly rejuvenated the Knicks last season after taking over for David Fizdale, will not be serving on Tom Thibodeau’s staff, according to sources. He’s under contract and there was speculation he’d be retained as an assistant after his impressive stint.

  99. If Mike Miller started Mitch he’d probably still have a job. I’m not sad to see him go.

  100. the clips and mavs should stay competitive…fairly close first game with luka making a bunch of mistakes and kp getting tossed…

    this whole neutral court play may change the competition in a way not really anticipated…and yes, i most certainly am rooting against the rockets and lakers, just because…

  101. I sure am glad we didn’t make a risky Fultz trade like Orlando did!

    *P.S. I’m very sick of making sarcastic statements like the one above*

  102. I can’t believe Udonis Haslem is still listed as an active player by the Heat. Haven’t seen him playing in like 4 years.

  103. I can’t believe Udonis Haslem is still listed as an active player by the Heat. Haven’t seen him playing in like 4 years.

    You’d have to really watch every Heat game to have a chance at that. He’s played something like 600 minutes total since 2014.

  104. This feels more like a football game than a basketball game. Or maybe a 5-on-5 wrestling match.
    I mean, they hurt Steve Adams. Definitely last man standing series.

  105. At this point, if I was Miller I’d be looking for a new job. He was the head coach of a bad team of players that was also horribly constructed and did a fair to good job with the team he was given to coach. Now he’s moving further and further down the bench in the pecking order. It’s like the Knicks are publicly saying they like him, but in reality, if they do, it’s not that much. He almost has to move. There almost has to be an NBA team out there that will offer a better gig than water boy for the Knicks.

    Bryant seems like a good signing coming from a winning organization, highly respected there, and he even sounds like a good fit with Thibs as game film obsessed coach.

    So far the coaching staff seems fine, but no way am I on board with backstabbing Woodson over Miller. All we need is a Woodson/Melo reunification and I’ll be done.

  106. I see him getting to .600 TS%.

    Regarding KP, if he gets his TS% to 60% that would make him one of the best players to ever play the game.

    He already shoots well from 3 with long range, finishes at and over the rim, can create for himself off the dribble, gets to the FT and shoots well from there etc. and protects the rim on defense. So basically at 60% he’d be Dirk without the defensive liabilities. lmao He’d be a plus defender instead.

    All you want from Porzingis is to continue to develop his scoring diversity and improve mid range game (where he is weak), improve his strength so he finishes better at the rim and gets those “and 1 plays” instead of the contact causing him to miss, improve his shot selection (which still needs some work) and slowly improve his shot from outside.

    They are not trying to maximize his TS%. That would foolish. They are trying to maximize his contribution to winning. That involves generating spacing for Doncic by taking some long 3s and extending the court even further and being a solid #2 option that scores in a variety of ways. Ideally if he approaches 57% or 58% he’d a superstar #2 option. He’s already a max player.

  107. pepper: Leonard said the Clippers, the second seeds in the west, faced a test against Porzingis – who averaged 20.4 points and 9.5 rebounds during the regular season.

    “He’s seven [foot]-something, seven-two, seven foot, can shoot the ball, can dribble, make plays out of the post, even from that three-point line by dribble driving,” he told reporters.

    “You’ve just got to keep a high hand up and try to challenge his shots. He’s very skilled.”

      

    Apparently the best two-way big game player since Jordan is impressed.

  108. They are not trying to maximize his TS%. That would foolish. They are trying to maximize his contribution to winning.

    smdh

  109. ***If Mike Miller started Mitch he’d probably still have a job. I’m not sad to see him go.***

    Don’t a lot of teams have a Mitchell Robinson character on their team? He’s not that different statistically from guys that no one is pushing to the verge of stardom, like a Daniel Theis, Jarret Allen, Richaun Holmes, Ivaca Zubac, Thomas Bryant, Jakob Poeltl, Jaxson Hayes, etc…. All these guys played between 1100-1800 minutes, fouled the shit out of people, cleaned glass, blocked shots, and made well over .600ts. It almost seems as if the changing game of the NBA inflates the stats of bigs that can finish in the PnR and catch rebounds. Other than Robinson being a Knick and everybody else being non-Knicks, what am I missing?

  110. Other than Robinson being a Knick and everybody else being non-Knicks, what am I missing?

    Most athletic 7footer in the NBA outside of Giannis. Best pick n’ roll finisher in the NBA while playing with Frank, DSJ, and Elfrid. Blocks more 3pters than most teams, a potential game wrecker in a league dominated by 3’s and small ball offense.

    I’m also hoping that the fact he didn’t really play basketball until after entering high school means that he has more room for development than any of those other guys. This is more wishful on my part.

    That said, I don’t think he’s going to be a future HOF’er or anything. But there’s reasons to be higher on him than the other guys you listed.

  111. Donnie Walsh:
    Don’t a lot of teams have a Mitchell Robinson character on their team? He’s not that different statistically from guys that no one is pushing to the verge of stardom, like a Daniel Theis, Jarret Allen, Richaun Holmes, Ivaca Zubac, Thomas Bryant, Jakob Poeltl, Jaxson Hayes, etc…. All these guys played between 1100-1800 minutes, fouled the shit out of people, cleaned glass, blocked shots, and made well over .600ts. It almost seems as if the changing game of the NBA inflates the stats of bigs that can finish in the PnR and catch rebounds. Other than Robinson being a Knick and everybody else being non-Knicks, what am I missing?

    I get your point, but there is something about Mitch that defies this comparison. The best way I can describe it is as a “radius” of playmaking on both ends. I don’t think any of the guys you mentioned are as tall, long, or fast…and other than maybe Jaxson Hayes, none have his DPOY potential. There is something truly freaky about him that’s hard to put into words. This block says it all. Who else could do that?

  112. Surprised Houston handled OKC like that.

    There are a few reasons to feel ok about KP being gone but injury risk was #!. If he turns into an all-time great and never gets injured again, I will feel pretty dumb.

    Donnie, I would submit that Mitch is just flat out better than all the other pogo sticks, on both ends.

  113. The teams that didn’t get invited to Walt Disney World now have instructions on how they can get back to basketball — in their own bubbles.

    A two-phase system will be used for the program that will run from Sept. 14-Oct. 6, which will have players “residing in a campus-like environment under controlled conditions.”

    The first phase, from Sept. 14-20, will be a continuation of voluntary individual workouts at team facilities. Players and staff who plan to take part in group workouts will begin daily coronavirus testing at that time.

    Teams can then practice and scrimmage from Sept. 21-Oct. 6. Each team will have to create a campus in its home market, which will include the team’s facilities and private living accommodations for players and team staff — all of whom must remain on the campus.

  114. I think we’re seeing already that in the bubble you can throw all normal playoff expectations out the window

  115. Portland is not your typical #8 seed. Not with Nurkic back.

    Not only that, but they also proved themselves by beating up all of the other Western challengers, so they’re hot. But yes, a healthy Blazer team is obviously much better than #8. That was sort of the story of the 1999 Knicks. They didn’t get healthy until the playoffs (and then fell apart, health-wise, on the way to the Finals, but still).

  116. Portland was a very good team before Nurkic went down. Now they have another scorer with Melo. The question has been defense because they lost Aminu and Harkless. That’s what makes this win so impressive. They played excellent defense and closed out the Lakers down the stretch when they needed to step up the D. If they can defend at a high level every night, they can give any team trouble with Lilliard and McCollum as the 1-2 punch and one of either Melo/Nurkic being the #3 depending on the match up and the night. Melo didn’t score much, but with 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and a big 3 down the stretch, he had a very good game. Man that was fun! There’s not much I enjoy more than watching these Lakers lose.

  117. Dame makes crazy threes look like logical shot choices.

    speaking of breaking the game, watching a replay of the rockets and thunder…

    the look of the game has just changed so much over the last five years or so…

    I feel old…

  118. ***I think we’re seeing already that in the bubble you can throw all normal playoff expectations out the window***

    With no real home court advantage, I think we will see shorter series. Matchups that normally go 6 or 7 games will only go 4 or 5.

    Blazers v Lakers I think will go 6+. Maybe Heat v Pacers and possibly Sixers v Celtics. But the rounds will, in general, be shorter, I think.

  119. ***Donnie, I would submit that Mitch is just flat out better than all the other pogo sticks, on both ends.***

    Yeah, I get that he’s better. (Honestly, I haven’t watched much of any of those guys because most of them play on bad teams). But from what I see in the numbers, though he may be better, he isn’t THAT much better, and people that aren’t Jakob Poeltl and Ivanka Zubac fluffers (aka, everyone) will admit that those guys are nowhere near being elevated to superstar status. That’s all I’m saying.

  120. On the positive side, most kids, especially young ones are quite resilient and will ultimately reach their ceilings, especially with great families, who exalt education.

    hey bo, been thinking a bunch about what you said…

    what exactly did you mean by “exalt education”…

    god daughter does some reading and loves drawing, the two boys though are hooked in to youtube, tablet and playstation games…

    I bribe them with money to do school work (that’s what my mom did)….it’s sadly the extent of my parenting motivational techniques…the rest of it is simply a suspension of use of electronic devices…that’s about it…I’ve tried hard to limit my drill instructor training tendencies…their mom has other motivational strategies…

    I’m a little worried though that if they spend another six months out of school, they may have trouble writing out their own names…full disclosure – my own handwriting is barely legible…

    just wondering what general thoughts you might have on exhibiting more exaltation of education within the home…

  121. Knew Your Nicks:Why trade Nurkic to get Plumlee ?
    Was he eating Jokic’s burgers?

    To be fair, in his time in Denver he had a sub .500 TS and negative BPM. He has risen his TS to 0.570 in Portland (with less TOs and more assists to boot), so… it would not be unheard of if Porzingis improves his efficiency.

  122. You know..I really feel some kinda way about Miller drawing the short end of the stick. His not being on the new staff is understandable, but he DESERVES a larger role after patching the team up on the fly. I’m really rooting for him to land the Chicago job. Hell, I’d even like to see him get the Brooklyn job- though I know he’s not even on their radar. Maybe even Sacramento, if they cut Walton loose.

    Feels kinda weird being excited to see the new staff once it’s finalized knowing Miller won’t be a part of it

  123. I’m disappointed Miller won’t be here, even though I also understand why he wouldn’t want to go from interim head coach of a team to third or fourth-place assistant on that team. He did a good job for us and he also knows the current roster very well. That said, I also don’t think it’s a huge loss, especially when you consider the assistants we’ve already hired. Miller is obviously a solid coach, but Fizdale’s sheer incompetence also made him look better than he may be. Obviously, he didn’t get an offseason and training camp to implement his own offensive or defensive schemes, but nor does he strike me as an X’s and O’s savant — just a guy who knew to have the players stop doing monumentally stupid things on both ends of the court. And while his Westchester teams graduated a fair amount of players to the NBA, there’s also not some famous developmental success story from his time there, as opposed to guys crossing the borderline between not quite NBA caliber to fringe NBA roster player.

    I’d like to see him succeed somewhere else, though I would wager his best employment opportunity next year will be as someone else’s lead assistant. He did a good job for us. He deserves some kind of reward for that.

  124. geo: hey bo, been thinking a bunch about what you said…

    what exactly did you mean by “exalt education”…

    @geo, In my 15 years of teaching ( 14 in the classroom and one tutoring/homeschooling), I cannot identify one child, who realized (or came close to) their potential as learners who did not have a positive attitude towards their education.* Conversely, I taught many who were palpable underachievers, quite often because of negative attitudes towards education ( though also because of issues at home that blocked their ability to focus on school). After the first parent-teacher conferences, I was able to predict with great accuracy which students would grow(improve) the most. Closely related is the feeling of safety and security ( feeling loved) that kids get from their families. (When children do not feel loved or safe, it is really difficult for them to perform optimally in school) Invariably, the children’s attitudes came from their homes.

    Kids pick up on the attitudes of the adults around them which is why the advice to have family “check their anxiety” is quite sound. It is also why families cannot just talk about the importance of education but model it by their actions. For example, reading and having discussions around reading.
    The digital world presents one of the biggest challenges to education, which is why so many educational platforms are gamifying their software and teachers are going on Twitch to connect with their students. Regarding your two boys, you have to counsel balance. There is enough time in the day to play Fortnite and do school work. Finally, do not sweat penmanship, it’s a legacy skill.
    * Many of the kids I am referring to had internalized the idea that education was the best way to upward mobility, a notion taught by their families and reinforced by teachers.

  125. Just to supplement, I am sure there are many here who like myself came from a home where education was not exalted and still managed to find the importance of it. In my case, I underachieved until college and probably lost out on many highly regarded college opportunities which I regard as important credentials for many career paths.

  126. Bo Nateman:
    Just to supplement, I am sure there are many here who like myself came from a home where education was not exalted and still managed to find the importance of it. In my case, I underachieved until college and probably lost out on many highly regarded college opportunities which I regard as important credentials for many career paths.

    ditto that…i am dealing with a dyslexic 16 yr old who thinks vaping and video games are priorities right now…I have given as many Knute Rockne speeches as I could muster about my experience.hired tutors..not working…somewhat resigned to let the chips fall where they may at this point…my wife is freaking out…

  127. Donnie – I don’t have a problem with Poetl. Other than with figuring out how to spell his name. He’s a solid player. Mitch is just much better.

    Are the NBA playoffs going to be more interesting than they have ever been? I knew 2020 would come through for us in the end.

    This Ujiri stuff about what actually happened last year when he tried to get to the court at the end of the Finals is pretty interesting. Turns out the security guard may have misspoken.

    https://sports.yahoo.com/news/new-video-reveals-sheriffs-deputy-started-altercation-with-masai-ujiri-after-game-6-015119678.html

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