NBA bubble player rankings – Studs and Duds from the first week of seeding games

Studs and Duds from the first seek of seeding games!

A new episode of the Shoot or Pass Podcast is out! Chevy, Gabe, and Rhoby share their version of NBA bubble player rankings in a segment called Studs and Duds. Find out below who are the Studs and Duds from last week’s seeding games.

STUDS

Chevy – Phoenix Suns

Picking an entire team here because going 5-0 when no one saw it coming is STUD-ly. Devin Booker has been shining! Did you see the walk-off three he hit on Paul George to beat the Clippers? The rest of the team deserves some credit too. DeAndre Ayton is playing great, Ricky Rubio is proving to be a wonderful complimentary player. Don’t discount the Cams (Cameron Payne/Cam Johnson) either. Holding TJ Warren to just 16 points when he is averaging a whopping 36 points in the bubble is quite an accomplishment. Needless to say, this is an entirely different team in the bubble. Don’t be surprised if they end up as the 8th seed in the Western Conference playoffs!

Gabe – Michael Porter Jr.

This guy. Where has Denver been hiding him? His injuries held him out last year, but he is averaging 26.0 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1 block a game. To add, he is shooting a whopping 47.8% from three-point land. The Nuggets have some key players out with injuries. Fortunately for them, Michael Porter Jr. continues to put video game numbers each game. If you haven’t heard the name, you need to watch his game!

Rhoby – Chris Paul

I got a tweet of a picture of Devon Booker and Chevy threw in TJ Warren as a suggestion for my consideration. No chance I pick the man who just torched the HEAT nor will I disrespect my boy Jimmy Butler. Thankfully, there’s a man out there who is reveling in renaissance, a man who not only drinks vino, but is aging like it. Some know him as a snitch, some know him as a leader, I call him the Point God – Chris Paul. First, he stares down Bol Bol and hits a big jumper in his face on Monday. Then he capitalizes on the Laker’s shooting woes and has a great game today. Consequently, the Thunder are looking smoother and moving the ball better and can be a dangerous team come playoffs.

DUDS

Chevy – New Orleans Pelicans

Sticking to my theme this week of picking entire teams. After picking Zion Williamsion as my dud last week, this team had ground to make up. Instead, they are packing their bags and heading back home after a disappointing effort in the bubble. Before Lonzo Ball got on the court for Sunday’s “matinee” game vs. the San Antonio Spurs, he was averaging 5.8 points per game, shooting 27% from the field and 22% from the arch. Subsequently, Zion’s performance is also puzzling. It is abundantly clear he’s got some conditioning issues. Furthermore, the minute restrictions he’s under are confusing. During the match up against the Spurs, Alvin Gentry made the decision to pull him out of the game while he was in the midst of a run in the third quarter. Did the Pelicans give up on this season entering this game? Sure looks like it!

Gabe – Joel Embiid

I see a lot of similarities between Joel Embiid and one of my favorite players of all time, Rasheed Wallace. Like Embiid, Wallace had all the tools to win in the NBA, but would end up settling for the back-seat role. When I watch Embiid play, I see a player who can dominate in the paint, take over the defense, and shoot the ball from all over the court. With that said, why does he struggle to put on consistent performances? I believe no one can stop him. He has the ability to outperform any one in the NBA. Unfortunately, he just does not play up to his competition consistently enough and that will continue to hurt the Sixers.

Rhoby – The Shot Clock Operator in the Jazz-Nuggets double-overtime thriller

It is one thing if the clock malfunctions and doesn’t start once, but seeing that followed up with the clock starting too early three seconds later in the next play is a bit ridiculous. Was the shot clock operator in cahoots with TNT? Because I saw TNT take advantage of this by sandwiching even more commercials at the end of the 4th Q and in overtime. All this to say, if the NBA is hiring new shot clock operators, I have absolutely no experience but am happy to clear up my schedule for them.

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