Shoot or Pass Podcast – Episode 39: All-NBA Clutch Teams & California Loving

Just because the season is over doesn’t mean we’ve run out of content over here! Chevy, Gabe, and Rhoby debate on whether Ty Lue is an upgrade at head coach for the Clippers (06:00), whether Morey ball is a failure or not (10:30), and if Victor Oladipo is worth the risk for the Miami HEAT (15:20). The gang also introduces two new segments, choosing NBA soundtracks for Warriors, Cavaliers, and Hawks (18:05) and sharing their All-NBA Clutch teams (34:30).


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2020 NBA Playoffs Bracket

Anthony Davis’ Playoff Run: Better than KD’s 2017 run?

There is no doubt that Anthony Davis’ playoff run with the Los Angeles Lakers cemented his legacy as one of the greats. But, how does it stack up against Kevin Durant’s incredible 2017 playoff run with the Golden State Warriors? The Shoot or Pass crew break it down below.

Chevy, Gabe, and Rhoby SHOOT if they agree or PASS if they disagree on the following statement:

Anthony Davis’ playoff run this season is not as great as Kevin Durant’s 2017 playoff run.

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GABE – SHOOT

When Kevin Durant joined the Golden State Warriors – the dude was UNSTOPPABLE! I mean, he was all over the freaking court. It’s close, but Durant was shooting effectively from ANYWHERE on the court. To guard this guy, you either had to trap him half court or try to get the ball out of his hands.

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RHOBY – SHOOT

I have to shoot here for two simple reasons:

1) KD has one more ring and

2) I think you always have to lean more toward the better shot-creator and primary ball-handler, who in this case is happens to also be KD.

However, if you look at both of their stats in the playoffs, they are very similar. They are both playing 35-36 mins a game – with Davis averaging 27.7 ppg, 9.7 rpg, and 3.4 apg vs. Durant’s 28.5 ppg, 7.9 rpg, and 4.3 apg. Now that Anthony Davis has a ring, the debate definitely gets tougher, as you can certainly make a compelling argument on his behalf.

Ultimately, the success both of these guys have had comes down to how well they complemented their respective teams. It was easier for KD be a pure scorer on that Golden State team, and I saw a really good comment on Reddit that described AD on this Lakers team – “AD plays like Dirk on offense and Time Duncan on defense.”

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CHEVY – SHOOT

Kevin Durant is a special player, arguably one of the best when healthy. Everyone was picking on him when he made the choice to join the Golden State Warriors as him riding coattails and taking the easy way out.

But, let’s not forget – KD was absolutely, hands down, the best player on the court during the NBA Finals that year. Remember the go-ahead three pointer he hit over LeBron James to complete the comeback and get a win in Game 3 against the Cavaliers?

It settled the case for his NBA Finals MVP bid and rightfully so. The man was hard to beat. He might have his own thing going with burner accounts on social media and all that, but it is not hard to give him credit for his contributions to the game, particularly during his 2017 playoff run. It’s kind of funny how that works, because other guys (LeBron James), are still having to demand respect despite their accomplisments.


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LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan – The G.O.A.T. Debate gets settled

ICYMI: LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are the 2020 NBA Champions!

Therefore, it’s only right we revisit the debate that is by now INGRAINED in every single NBA fan. LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan. The Shoot or Pass podcast crew settle it for once and for all it in their latest episode.

LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan. Who is the undisputed G.O.A.T. of NBA basketball? In the latest episode of the Shoot or Pass podcast, the crew puts the ultimate NBA debate to bed. Or, do they?

Chevy, Gabe, and Rhoby SHOOT if they agree or PASS if they disagree on the following statement:

LeBron winning his fourth ring cements him as the Greatest NBA player of all time.

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GABE – PASS

I’m not hating! Just let me just make my case.

It’s hard to compare players over different eras. We’ve had this conversation many times, you know what I mean? If I had to pin it down, I will say LeBron James is one of the top four or five players in NBA history. You’ve got Tim Duncan in there and of course, Michael Jordan as well. Don’t forget about Bill Russell and his contributions to the game on and off the court throughout the Civil Right Movement throughout the 1960s.

(Front row) Bill Russell joined many black athletes and Muhammad Ali at the famed “Ali Summit” on June 4, 1967 | Bettmann/Corbis / AP Images

Needless to say, LeBron belongs in the conversation. Four-time regular season AND NBA Finals MVP on three different teams. Over the course of his career, he is averaging 27 points per game and holds countless records. I just cannot say he is the greatest because it is so hard to compare players across different eras. The rules were different, the levels of physicality and the disparity between teams vary. But, I won’t deny that he’s up there.

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RHOBY – JUMP BALL

I just want to preface this by saying: I HATE THIS FUCKING DEBATE.

There are just so many variables that come into play here, the most obvious one being – LEBRON ISN’T EVEN DONE PLAYING YET! It really comes down to what each one of us value the most when settling scores.

Do you look at the more obvious in the LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan debate?

Michael Jordan

  • 6-0 record in the Finals and 6 rings
  • 6 NBA Finals MVPs
  • Accomplished the above on the same team (and even won more after coming out of retirement)
  • Was the better pure isolation scorer against tougher defenses
  • Arguably the better defender (he did win Defensive Player of the Year after, and LeBron hasn’t as of yet)

OR – Do you value longevity/consistency more than peak performances?

LeBron James

  • 4-6 record in the Finals and 4 rings
  • 4 NBA Finals MVPs
  • Accomplished the above on THREE different teams, most recent one in his 17th NBA season at the age of 35
  • Is the better facilitator (and better in pretty much every other category aside from scoring)
  • Playing with arguably weaker supporting casts
  • Faces more strategically complex offenses and defenses than that of the 1990s

Personally, I believe Kobe Bryant (RIP) also belongs in this conversation.

But at the end of the day, this debate will NEVER get squashed in its entirety.

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CHEVY – SHOOT

Honestly, I have to agree with a lot of what you’ve both said here. I think what’s terrible about this question, like Gabe is saying, is the idea of comparing players over different eras. Obviously, in this era, LeBron James is hands down DOMINATING it.

LeBron James, DOMINATING. | Getty Images

The older fans cry “revisionist history” and bring Michael Jordan to the conversation to try and discount the King. However, in this day and age, 17 seasons down and 35 years old LeBron is still playing at an elite level. His name is always going to be in the record books. He owns or ranks high in pretty much every NBA record – minus the shooting records, which I will admit belong to Steph Curry. Sooner or later, the younger guys in this league are going to be chasing the King in all of these All-time rankings and records.

I have to favor versatility and longevity here, but it truly is a silly debate. There’s room to honor all of the greats here. Today, we honor LeBron James after winning his fourth NBA Title with the Lakers. Earlier this year, we got relive the Chicago Bulls dynasty and honor Michael Jordan’s legacy thanks to The Last Dance.

Now, when we think about who LeBron James passes the torch of greatness to next – we can all agree it’s going to Luka Doncic.

The heir to the throne, Luka Doncic. | Associated Press


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Miami HEAT’s Playoff Run – NBA Bubble Eulogies

The Los Angeles Lakers hold Jimmy Butler and the Miami HEAT to just two wins in the 2020 NBA Finals, winning their 17th title on Sunday night.

Regardless of the end result, the Miami HEAT’s playoff run was nothing short of MAGICAL at Disney World. We send the last team eliminated from playoff contention home with a very heartfelt NBA Bubble Eulogy.

Describe the Miami HEAT’s playoff run in one word. MEMORABLE! REMARKABLE! INCREDIBLE! (I can keep going if you want).

A team with NO SUPERSTARS (though Jimmy Butler deserves some damn respect) who had no chance to win a game vs. LeBron and the Lakers in the 2020 NBA Finals won TWO.

Think I’m discrediting LeBron James? I’m not (sort of).

However, if you take a look at the players who had a big role in the HEAT’s playoff run, you’ll see a couple of late lottery picks in Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, and Jimmy Butler. You will also find some second-rounders (Jae Crowder and Goran Dragic) and of course, the diamonds in the rough – Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn who went UNDRAFTED.

While they were a shoo-in for the NBA Playoffs in the Eastern Conference, no one saw them getting too far. Sure enough, the “Goons from Dade-County” put T.J. Warren’s hot streak in the bubble on ice, sweeping the Indiana Pacers in the first round.

Up next for Jimmy Butler was the Milwaukee Bucks, who found themselves struggling in the bubble, but were still the top seed in the East. No way he could get past this season’s MVP and DPOY Giannis Antetokounmpo. The road should end here. Challenge accepted. Even when Khris Middleton lead a furious rally for a potential comeback by winning Game 4, the HEAT staved them off to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Up next, their toughest opponents yet – the Boston Celtics.

The HEAT were finding themselves in quite the scoring deficits early and with their Zone D unlocked by Gordon Hayward, but came back. EVERY. TIME. Even with a win in Game 5 that included a 41-point third quarter led by Jayson Tatum, Bam Adebayo finished the Celtics with a 32-point performance in Game 6. The 5th-seeded Miami HEAT were about to face the man they made an NBA Champion twice – LeBron James.

Walt Disney could not have written a better script for this team. Or perhaps, he could have because as the fairytale season continued, shit started getting real dark for this Cinderella team. Bam, Goran, and Jimmy all got knocked out in Game 1 and the HEAT found themselves completely over-matched by the Lakers. After falling 0-2, the series was practically over. But, HEAT Culture would not allow a sweep. This is a team with grit, heart, and hustle. A team who defied the odds all season and now that they got a taste of success, wanted to chug the entire bottle of it – Meyers Leonard style.

Enter JAMES BUTLER. The man who willingly came to Miami in a trade from Philadelphia to party in paradise but instead, put the team on his back, gifting us all with some iconic performances in Games 3 and 5. Granted, even that would not be enough, but the HEAT did push the Lakers further than any other opponent they faced in the playoffs this season.

No “good riddance’s”, only a celebration of the HISTORIC playoff run

With that said, this NBA Bubble Eulogy is a celebration, meant to highlight the accomplishments of the Miami HEAT’s playoff run. Nothing to be ashamed of here, a bright future awaits. Thank you, HEAT Nation. Can’t wait to be back in the NBA Finals next season!

MIAMI HEAT

We are here to celebrate a remarkable run by the Miami HEAT,

Who shouldn’t have made the Finals & after Game 1, should’ve gone up in flames,

But they swept the Pacers, beat the Bucks up, & sent the Celtics home crying,

Undersized, overmatched, short-handed, they managed to push the Lakers to 6 games.

So let us remember the men who defied all odds to make this happen,

Like the baby G.O.A.T. Tyler Herro, whose cojones grew three sizes with every shot he took,

& Duncan – who Miami still runs on when he shoots, but runs away from when he plays defense,

We will never forget the wrist-bending block by Bam that left the entire city of Boston damn near shook.

Shout out to the Dragon, whose contributions were instrumental with 20 ppg before he got hurt,

& to Kendrick Nunn, who played his best in the Finals and is hopefully back to being a top rookie,

Special thanks to the mid-season trade that brought us Jae Crowder, a washed-up Iggy,

& a Solomon Hill who looks like a homeless guy on the court but can still shoot that big threeeeeee!

What more can we say about JAMES BUTLER? Who should’ve been drowning in cocaine and strippers,

Instead, he embodied the HEAT culture, put the team on his back & faced LeBron with absolutely no fear,

Don’t be fooled by his tears, Coach Spo showed us all he is the commensurate mastermind,

Who will use this as motivation and lead the Miami HEAT back to the NBA Finals again next year!


For more NBA content, listen to the Shoot or Pass podcast. New episodes drop every week!

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Shoot or Pass Podcast – Episode 38: Crown the King

HEAT Nation’s Gabe and Rhoby are in mourning but don’t tell that to LA-Bron fan Chevy. He kicks off the show with DOS MINUTOS to express his feelings of joy over the Lakers BIG WIN (01:40). The crew also settle the infamous G.O.A.T. debate (04:35), argue over the expectations set for Kyle Kuzma (17:30), Tyler Herro vs. Jayson Tatum’s rookie playoff runs (22:10), and the NBA Bubble’s success (30:35). They also announce their STUDS & DUDS of the Bubble overall (35:30), give one last heartfelt NBA Bubble Eulogy to the Miami HEAT (44:40), and tease some offseason content (48:00)!


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2020 NBA Playoffs Bracket

2020 NBA Playoffs Podcaster Bracket Challenge


Congratulations to Sports on Tap – That Being Said Podcast – 2020 NBA Playoffs Podcast Bracket Challenge Champions!

Welcome to the inaugural NBA Playoffs Podcaster Bracket Challenge! We’ve partnered up with a few other podcasts to share series predictions throughout the 2020 NBA Playoffs.

Each podcast has collectively chosen series winners and series lengths for each round up until the Finals, where they have predicted their 2020 NBA Champions.

Follow along as each podcast team makes their picks, brings you some crossover content (and tons of trash talk) on upcoming episodes of the podcasts below!

*Each podcast has agreed to collectively pick teams for each round

Leaderboard

Current as of 10/12/20

PodcastScore
Sports on Tap2700
NRQ Podcast2400
The Dime2100
Shoot or Pass Podcast1500
Close up Magic1300

Scoring System

Game RoundPoints
First Round100 points for each correct Series prediction (800 total points possible)
Conference Semi-Finals Round200 points for each correct Series prediction (800 total points possible)
Conference Finals Round400 points for each correct Series prediction (800 total points possible)
NBA Finals Round800 points for a correct Series prediction (800 total points possible)
Series Length Prediction100 points for a correct Series Length prediction (1,500 total points possible)

NBA Finals 2020 Bonus Round

Each team will be presented an Over/Under total score amount to try and earn their way back into wining the challenge. Below is the scoring for each team who guesses the correct Over/Under per game!

Game RoundPoints
Game 1100 points for guessing correct Over/Under 217
Game 2200 points for guessing correct Over/Under 216.5
Game 3300 points for guessing correct Over/Under 219.5
Game 4400 points for guessing correct Over/Under 218.5
Game 5500 points for guessing correct Over/Under 215
Game 6600 points for guessing correct Over/Under 214.5

(Actual Combined Score: 214)

PodcastOver/Under 217 – Game 1 Total Score
Sports on TapUnder = 100 Points2200
NRQ PodcastUnder = 100 Points1700
Shoot or Pass PodcastOver = 0 Points1500
The Close Up MagicOver = 0 Points1100
The Dime Under – 100 Points1200

(Actual Combined Score: 238)

PodcastOver/Under 216.5 – Game 2 Total Score
Sports on TapUnder = 0 Points2200
NRQ PodcastOver = 200 Points1900
Shoot or Pass PodcastUnder = 0 Points1500
The Close Up MagicOver = 200 Points1300
The Dime Under = 0 Points1200

(Actual Combined Score: 219)

PodcastOver/Under 219.5 – Game 3 Total Score
Sports on TapOver = 0 Points2200
NRQ PodcastOver = 0 Points1900
Shoot or Pass PodcastOver = 0 Points1500
The Close Up MagicOver = 0 Points1300
The Dime Under = 300 Points1500

(Actual Combined Score: 198)

PodcastOver/Under 218.5 – Game 4 Total Score
Sports on TapOver = 0 Points2200
NRQ PodcastOver = 0 Points1900
Shoot or Pass PodcastOver = 0 Points1500
The Close Up MagicOver = 0 Points1300
The Dime Over = 0 Points1500

(Actual Combined Score: 219)

PodcastOver/Under 215 – Game 5 Total Score
Sports on TapOver = 500 Points2700
NRQ PodcastOver = 500 Points2400
Shoot or Pass PodcastUnder = 0 Points1500
The Close Up MagicUnder = 0 Points1300
The Dime Under = 0 Points1500
PodcastOver/Under 199 – Game 6 Total Score
Sports on TapOver = 0 Points2700
NRQ PodcastOver = 0 Points2400
Shoot or Pass PodcastOver = 0 Points1500
The Close Up MagicOver = 0 Points1300
The Dime Under = 600 Points2100

Podcaster’s Brackets

The Contestants (Listen and follow!)

The Dime with Josh Rodriguez
Podcast Links: iTunes Spotify
Twitter: @TheDimeNBA
Instagram: @TheDimeNBA

The Close Up Magic
Podcast Links: iTunes Spotify
Twitter: @TheCloseUpMagic
Website: www.TheCloseUpMagic.com

Sports on Tap – That Being Said Podcast
Podcast Links: iTunes Spotify
Twitter: @TheSportsonTap
Website: www.theSportsONTap.com

NRQ Podcast
Podcast Links: iTunes Spotify
Twitter: @NRQ_Podcast
Website: www.NRQPodcast.com


Check out the 2020 NBA Playoffs Bracket

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NBA Finals Player Rankings – STUDS and DUDS

We present the Shoot or Pass Podcast’s version of NBA Finals Player Rankings – STUDS and DUDS!

A new episode of the Shoot or Pass Podcast is out now! Chevy, Gabe, and Rhoby share their version of the NBA Finals Player Rankings with a segment called STUDS and DUDS. This time around, we are including players who are not currently contending for a ring, but continue to make headlines.

STUDS – THE LAKERS BENCH

I am personally picking the Lakers bench as my STUDS this week. Let’s start with the praise though, because somebody (Gabe) called them a bunch of “rag-tag” guys and they are proving to be the opposite.

It remains to be seen if their productivity will hold up throughout the rest of this NBA Finals series, however, they are complementing the play of LeBron and AD very well. They are averaging 41 points per game vs. the Miami HEAT’s zone defense and are scoring at an average of 44.9% from the field!

Guys like Rajon Rondo, Markieff Morris, and even Kyle Kuzma are coming in and knocking down shots as necessary. With Anthony Davis down low and LeBron James swinging the pass, all they have to do is make the open shot. So far, this Lakers bench is executing perfectly.

This is saying a lot about a Lakers bench that often looked pedestrian throughout the season and earlier in their playoff run. It was so bad, I was willing to volunteer myself to get out on the court and knock down shots for less than half their salaries! We’ve alluded to this before, but I will say it again, this team’s ability to flip a switch under the brightest lights is what makes them special. The Lakers supporting cast has certainly come ready to compete in these NBA Finals. Collectively, they are at the top of the NBA Finals Player Rankings.

DUD – DANNY GREEN

I have a friend who made a bet on Danny Green being the first guy to make a three-pointer in Game 1 of this NBA Finals series. It was a good bet to make, given his history. But what do you know? He catches the ball in the corner, throws a brick and of course, the ball rims out. Instead, Jae Crowder came down the other end and ended up making that first shot from beyond the arch. My poor friend.

Beyond the lackluster three-point shooting, his contributions after being inserted into the starting line-up for the Lakers have been abysmal. In an average of 22 minutes, Green is hitting a measly 5.3 points per game. His shooting percentages are getting progressively worse too, going 1-8 in Game 2 and 0-6 in Game 3. Those are bench numbers. In my opinion, it appears he is riding some coattails to get another ring like he did with the Toronto Raptors last season.

STUD – JIMMY “JAMES” BUTLER

I have to go with the easy answer – James Butler. You know, the better James in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. Losing the first two games the way the HEAT did seems to have only fueled this guy more. He came out and said they were going to figure it out and WIN the championship, after the team went down 0-2!

Some players fall in big moments, but this Jim-er I mean, James Butler does not back down. He went out there, talked right back to LeBron and LED his team to a big victory. The proof is in the stat line: 40 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists, which puts him among the likes of Jerry West and the other James in this series as the only players to hit a 40-point triple double in NBA Finals history.

Butler won’t even count this as the best game he’s ever played in. His best performance went down against a bunch of 45-year-olds in a pick-up game at the age of 17. Needless to say, LeBron, you’re in trouble.

DUD – LEBRON JAMES

Even though he played well, I am picking LeBron James as my DUD. Before I have the entire internet jumping down my throat, let me point out that he failed to beat a HEAT team led by James Butler and a bunch of Junior Varsity guys!

I understand that Anthony Davis was essentially taken out of the game. However, LeBron knows that he can outperform any guy on the court. And yet, he loses to Solomon Hill (who shoots threes apparently), Andre Iguodala, who is a shell of the player he used to be with Golden State, and smaller rookies like Tyler Herro.

What is happening to the superstar that used to easily take over games and dominate in clutch moments? There was one point in the 4th quarter of Game 3 where “The King” hit an and-1 and I thought to myself, “This is it. The Miami HEAT are going to go down 0-3 in this series. They are done.” Instead, James is seen traveling and carelessly throwing the ball away down the stretch. He was talking some smack and ended up getting PUNKED by James Butler. It was his moment to lead, and he was found walking away from the spotlight. Literally.

STUD – MIAMI HEAT COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA

Indeed, Jimmy Butler is the easy pick for the STUD of the week, but no one has a tougher task at hand than Coach Spo in this NBA Finals series.

Put yourself in his shoes.

Game 1 you watch your 3 best players (Butler, Adebayo, Dragic) go down, with two of them unable to return for the foreseeable future. Your team is undersized, over-matched, and getting OBLITERATED to start. The media is coming to you with comments about people thinking this series is over. They are claiming your team will not be able to overcome the circumstances. Know what Coach Spo does? Finds a way to keep his team competitive and finds a way to win a game against all odds!

I recall seeing a GIF where Jimmy Butler’s head was photo-shopped onto Jon Snow’s body in that one scene during the Battle of the Bastards episode (Game of Thrones fans will know what I am talking about). Everyone is running toward him and he courageously stands alone and promptly pulls his sword out, ready to fight. No disrespectful to the STUD James, but I believe Spo’s head should be the one on Jon Snow’s body on that GIF instead. He is the true superstar for the Miami HEAT in this NBA Finals series.

DUD – KYRIE IRVING

My DUD pick goes to one of the leading men in the upcoming tragic telenovela that will be the 2020-21 Brooklyn Nets – Kyrie Irving.

The man has made the media rounds this week and boy, are these headlines alarming. First, he says that he doesn’t see the Nets having a head coach. Quite the wonderful welcome for your brand new first-time head coach, Steve Nash isn’t it, Nets fans?

Soon after, Irving joins teammate Kevin Durant as the first guest on the latter’s new podcast “The ETC’s”. In this episode, Kyrie talks about how exciting it will be to play alongside Durant, as it will be the first time he will have a teammate equally capable of making the final shot in a big game.

Evidently, his selective memory fails to remind him that:

1) The Brooklyn Nets do have a head coach.

2) He spent years playing alongside one of the greatest to ever play the game in LeBron James.

The jabs at his former teammate were so blatant that he found himself having to recant his comments on an Instagram Live. Does he not realize that there is power in shutting up and letting his game do the talking?

For more content and NBA Finals Player Rankings, listen to the Shoot or Pass podcast. New episodes drop every Monday!

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NBA Finals MVP Race – Who will win?

We are at the midway point of the NBA Finals and the Lakers are leading the HEAT 2-1 in the series.

A few players have emerged in the NBA Finals MVP Race and the Shoot or Pass podcast crew name their favorite contenders to win it!

In the latest episode of the Shoot or Pass podcast, the crew predicts who will win the NBA Finals MVP race. Chevy, Gabe, and Rhoby SHOOT if they agree or PASS if they disagree on the following statement:

LeBron James will NOT be named the NBA Finals MVP after this series.

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RHOBY – PASS

After Game 2, I thought for sure it would be Anthony Davis. However, it looks like the Miami HEAT might have just uncovered a blueprint to contain him without the services of Bam Adebayo – getting him into foul trouble to take him out of his rhythm.

It was successful in Game 3. Davis got shut out of the offense. Every time you saw LeBron James call for a screen, it was either with Dwight Howard or Rajon Rondo. Though I will say, that was more because AD was not putting himself in position to get the ball fed to him. When he did get the ball, there were more chances of him getting a careless turnover than some points for his team.

Here’s the deal. Bron is going to Bron. He has more advantages with the match-ups he is facing. The path is set for the King to outperform everybody on the court, which is why he will ascend to the throne as the NBA Finals MVP if the Lakers win the series. Similarly, the current King of Miami, Jimmy Butler will also be the top contender for the accolade if the HEAT complete the comeback.

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CHEVY – PASS

Game 3 was the turning point in the race for the NBA Finals MVP between LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Granted, AD will still have opportunities to surge as the leading nominee again. But for now, it is going to LeBron James.

There is no doubt Davis has had a great playoff run thus far. He is averaging 28.5 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. His unique skill set has been on full display and is integral to the Lakers success in these Finals. However, LeBron is the true leader of this team and is putting out more consistent performances night in and night out. The King is also elevating himself with contributions that do not necessarily reflect themselves on the box score.

If we’re looking at the same scenario with Lakers in the Finals again next season, then I will confidently award Anthony Davis the NBA Finals MVP award. I am sure in the eyes of many it is probably a toss-up. Both are deserving of the award if the Lakers prevail and become the 2020 NBA Champions.

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GABE – SHOOT

I think Anthony Davis is the player and should win NBA Finals MVP. Throughout the entirety of these playoffs, he is facing the tougher match-ups AND still managing to play out of his mind! As aforementioned, LeBron James is going to do his own thing and facilitate, but the Miami HEAT have ways to force the ball out of his hands.

Aside from getting him into foul trouble, the HEAT have NO way to completely eliminate Anthony Davis out of the equation. His versatility as a great defender and a great shooter make him a nightmare for opponents. I mean, FORGET about matching up with him in the post!

This is Anthony Davis’ Finals MVP trophy to lose. I don’t think we should stray away from that because of one game where he was limited due to foul trouble.

For the full 2020 NBA Finals Preview, listen to the Shoot or Pass podcast. New episodes drop every Monday!


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Shoot or Pass Podcast – Episode 37: James Butler & the 2020 NBA Finals

The HEAT might have finally gotten a win, but rest assured no LeBron slander will be tolerated with his personal defense attorney, Chevy, on hand to address the haters (03:25). Rhoby and Gabe join him to talk all things NBA Finals, addressing which Laker should win Finals MVP if they prevail (17:15), AD’s playoff run vs. KD’s (20:50), & Coach Spo electing to keep Bam & Goran off the court despite them lobbying to play (13:15). They also predict next season’s dumpster fires (24:35) and announce their Studs & Duds of the week (33:15)


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2020 NBA Playoffs Bracket

2020 Conference Finals Eliminations – NBA Bubble Eulogies

With the NBA Finals officially underway, we say goodbye to the 2020 Conference Finals eliminations: the Boston Celtics and the Denver Nuggets.

So, we are sending them home the best way we know how – with some NBA Bubble Eulogies.

BOSTON CELTICS

Maybe the Jay Bros. are just not there yet. Their contributions were not enough once more, as the Boston Celtics were one of the two 2020 Conference Finals eliminations. Even with the return of Gordon Hayward, (who helped them unlock the Miami HEAT’s zone defense), they couldn’t shake off those pesky “Goons from Dade County”. Sure, Tatum was averaging 26.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 6.3 assists in those six games, but he got hot too late and could never step up in the clutch. Danny Ainge will need to go back to the drawing boards and possibly start unloading the hoards of draft picks he’s been collecting to help them get over the hump.

We send our deepest condolences to the Boston Celtics,

Always the better team “on paper”, unable to retaliate against sudden squalls,

They gained sizeable leads and were great at penetrating Miami’s Zone D,

Only to fall apart in clutch moments – call it the ultimate playoff BLUE BALLS.

Jayson Tatum started out too slow too often,

Jaylen Brown wasn’t incorporated into the offense enough,

When they weren’t chucking threes, Marcus Smart and Kemba Walker,

Were flopping like dead fish trying to call the refs bluff.

Guess it’s another season-ending case of the Dejavu,

But it’s not a dire situation with a roster this stacked – make no mistake,

We hope that Robin Hayward doesn’t follow the news because,

Her husband helped his team lose and missed the birth of his namesake.

DENVER NUGGETS

Admit it. A little part of you thought this Denver Nuggets team would pull it off and come back from a third 3-1 deficit against the Los Angeles Lakers. Unfortunately, the lethal Murray-Jokic pick-and-roll was no match for the “Step Brothers” from the L.A. team that matters. They had plenty of help too, as key role players like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Dwight Howard, and the phenomenon that is “Playoff Rondo” happen to be flipping the switch at the best time. Nonetheless, expect the Nuggets and their young core to grow from this experience and remain competitive in a STACKED Western Conference next season.

Third time will not be the charm for the Denver Nuggets,

Their love of masochism got them back from 3-1 deficits the first two times around,

They got past Utah and one of the LA teams,

But Bron & AD had their way with them and now they are homebound.

Michael Porter Jr. broke out as a shooter in the bubble,

Jamal Murray was a man POSSESSED – embodied explosive offense,

Slim Jokic continues to revolutionize the game for all big men,

It’s just too bad that not even a prayer could bail out the Nuggets defense.

Will they make big moves this offseason?

Retaining Jeremi Grant will be a priority if they want to continue to excel,

And of course, we need more BOL BOL,

Like Bruce Dickinson needs more cowbell.

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