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NBA 2020-2021 midseason Awards

The official break of the NBA has arrived. Well the 2021 NBA All-Star is set for one night on March 7th, and just about five days of rest for non-All-Star players not required to be in Atlanta that Sunday night. I bring forth the NBA 2020-2021 Midseason Awards!

Just in case you want to compare my preseason predictions to the midseason, you do so here.

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Coach of the Year

Quin Snyder
Coach Snyder is the man right now. He’s coached his team up to strengths that not only have earned them the BEST record all season long but his team is also top-rated in defensive rating hanging around the top four this season. The Jazz enters the All-Star break with the NBA’s best record. It’s a no-brainer that Synder should be Coach of the Year so far besides Doc Rivers who is doing something similar with the 76ers leading the Eastern Conference in a similar fashion.

Rookie of the Year

LaMelo Ball
It doesn’t surprise me that we’re talking about the youngest Ball brother as Rookie of the Year. He’s accomplished a lot as a young man early in his career. Already the youngest player to achieve a triple-double he’s also the youngest player to have a 30-point game in Charlotte’s franchise history. If that isn’t enough how about his month of February? Ball finished the month averaging 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 6.7 assists in 13 games. This earned him the stripes of the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for February. Are there any other Rookies we can consider? Tyrese Haliburton is the second closest to contest Ball for this award but the success of the Hornets recently is because of LaMelo. The nod to Ball for ROY is an easy one at this point.

Sixth Man of the Year

Jordon Clarkson
Another Jazz representative here for this award. Finally! Someone who is not on a Los Angeles team or name is Lou Williams. Clarkson is coming off the Jazz bench and playing some important minutes at 26 minutes a game. His 18 points per game is a career-high. Clarkson has not even started one game in the 2020-2021 and played all 36 games for the Jazz coming off the bench. That alone itself locks him in as the undisputed first-half of season 6th Man of the uh, half-season so far.

Most Improved Player

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
I’m a fan of some dramatic improvement on players winning teams but then again, we saw Brandon Ingram win this award and because perhaps Luka Doncic was “too good” they passed up on awarding this to him. SGA is currently averaging career-highs on an Oklahoma City team that at least competes nightly. 23 points a game, 6.2 assists per game, and shooting 51-percent from the field. Shai has played in 25 of the 30 games the Thunder have played leading up to the All-Star break. Christian Wood is injured, Jaylen Brown is a great candidate but his play was expected in my opinion, and Jerami Grant is just getting an increase of opportunity but the Pistons are one of the worse teams in the league.

Defensive Player of the Year

Ben Simmons
Likewise Utah, it seems Philadelphia is on the upward swing with their coaching change. Part of the change is turning Philly around to be a more consistent defensive team. Doc Rivers joins the party and currently, at the All-Star break, the 76ers are rated 5th in defensive rating. A large part of this is the team’s collective unit making defensive plays but per Fansided here is how Simmons pans out this season with the data: He’s swiping 1.6 steals and is tied for the league lead in both deflections per game (3.9) and loose balls recovered (1.4). Simmons to me leads with the edge that he can be versatile in his defending and defend multiple positions.

Most Valuable Player

Joel Embiid
Maybe now it’s all about “The Process” and it includes Embiid scoring 40 or more points five times this season including a 50-piece against the Chicago Bulls in January. His career-high in scoring is at 30.2 points per game t his season so far. Embiid is also shooting 52-percent from the field and 42-percent from the three-point line. Both are career highs at this point. The 76ers may not have the best record in the league but without Embiid’s presence this season they’re likely to not sit atop the Eastern Conference all season long. Now, one can make the case for Nikola Jokic or LeBron James. I will say, the race is close but let’s focus on the midseason break only!




Listen to the Shoot or Pass Podcast – Baseline Times NBA dedicated podcast for all of your latest NBA news, predictions, and coverage!

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More NBA Coverage from Baseline Times

Shoot or Pass Podcast – Episode 54: 2021 NBA All-Star Break

All-Star break may be coming up, but there ain’t no rest for these wicked NBA headlines! Chevy, Gabe, and Rhoby debate over Kyrie’s take on the NBA logo (43:40), look ahead to the second half of the season, sharing what teams they think will regress (50:40) and redeem themselves (55:50), analyze the Clippers’ late-game woes…again (61:05), and discuss two guys betting on themselves and where their fates may lie in Victor Oladipo (65:40) and DeMarcus Cousins (70:40). Special guests and the 1-2 punch behind Bet Bot Sports drop by to break down the ultimate secret weapon to winning some extra ca$h this NBA season – the NBA Bet Bot (18:15). The crew also shares their picks for the big events this Sunday with another round of Dribble, Dunk, or Flop: All-Star Edition (76:35)! Check out the best daily NBA bets from the NBA Bet Bot on Twitter – @nbabetbot Follow Bet Bot Sports on IG: @betbotsports


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Don’t miss out on the action as we track the standings for you all season long always up-to-date

Shoot or Pass Podcast – Episode 53: NBA’s Pain, Studs, and Duds

PAIN. That’s what our resident Magic and HEAT fans Chevy, Gabe, and Rhoby are feeling as their teams continue their descent to the bottom of the Eastern Conference. But the show must go on, or so says the league as they confirm the NBA All-Star schedule and East-West starters leaving the crew with A LOT of thoughts (01:00). They discuss AD’s extended absence and how concerned the Lakers should be about it (11:05), what Jerami Grant’s productivity in Detroit really means (15:00), whether or not Rockets fans should accept James Harden’s apology (18:35), Kyrie’s most brilliant idea ever (22:10), why Danny Ainge needs to STFU (25:30), the renaissance of Andrew Wiggins (31:13), defend the apparent new foul-baiting King in the ATL (36:30), and they name their STUDS and DUDS (45:27) of the past couple of weeks!


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Don’t miss out on the action as we track the standings for you all season long always up-to-date

Shoot or Pass Podcast – Episode 52: r/SOPBets & 2021 NBA All-Star Draft

Whether or not an actual NBA All-Star game will take place this season remains to be seen, but one thing’s for certain- Chevy, Gabe, and Rhoby are ready to make a case for their top picks in SOP’s 1st 2021 NBA All-Star Draft (50:15)! They also tell you what team can become the biggest SELLER at the trade deadline (09:24), name who will be the biggest All-Star SNUB (32:12), share the best landing spot for Bradley Beal in case he changes his mind about staying in D.C. (14:30), why ESPN is WRONG about their top pick for MVP (21:53), and delve into the race for the 2021 All-NBA first team big man spot (27:01). The crew also draw inspiration from r/WallStreetBets, declaring what players they are BULLISH (39:00) and BEARISH (44:24) on so far this season!


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Don’t miss out on the action as we track the standings for you all season long always up-to-date

The Shoot or Pass Podcast from Baseline Times is your go-to NBA podcast for all updated coverage, news, entertainment, and podcast beyond the usual weird hot takes from major media. Make sure you subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and more! Welcome to our overseas listeners from India streaming on the Gaana and Jiosaavn app as well!

NBA PLAYER RANKINGS: Best & Worst of the NBA Season So Far

Congratulations NBA fans, we have made it through the first quarter of the 2020-21 NBA season WITHOUT IT GETTING SHUT DOWN!

Well, I guess we shouldn’t jump ahead of ourselves. Players are in and out of the line-ups daily. Games are getting postponed left and right. Fantasy basketball teams have gone up in flames (in case you’re wondering why you haven’t seen much of Gabe Lloyd’s FAVES and FADES picks for basketball). Nonetheless, we have seen some players rise above and SHINE, and others fall apart. Without further ado, here are my best and worst of the NBA Player Rankings in the 2020-21 NBA season so far!

Stay up-to-date with the latest 2020-21 NBA Regular Season Standings here!

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BEST – Collin Sexton

There is a new phenomenon taking over the state the Ohio. They are missing their King no more.

Cleveland has now been renamed SEXLAND (and it is not because Pornhub moved their HQ out there).

Image by: u/PKPCreative via Reddit

It is largely in part because of one man – Collin Sexton. Now look, I’ll be honest, I’ve watched a grand total of one Cavaliers game this season, but that was enough for me. This man single handedly decapitated the three-headed monster from Brooklyn AND the referees in an incredible performance last week.

Sexton has done something LeBron James never got to accomplish in Cleveland – score 20 points in each of his first 10 games this season. This guy is bound to be an All-Star, bound to be on some All-NBA teams, and if the Cleveland Cavaliers can build around him, dare I say leading this team during the PLAYOFFS?! Yeah, I said it. And if I am a Cavs fan, I am relishing in some delayed gratification because it appears that they have won the Kyrie trade too.

WORST – Russell Westbrook

We’ve all heard about the new Commander-in-Chief at the White House, but did you hear about the new Tank Commander leading the Washington Wizards?

Allow me to introduce you to the man meant to sell the idea of the Wizards being a playoff team. A man who alongside Bradley Beal would make a lethal scoring back-court duo and not force Scott Brooks to come up with line-ups or set plays (because that is not what he signed up for, apparently). Russell EASTbrook should be reveling in a renaissance just like Bubble Melo did last season. He had me fooled. Admit it, he fooled you too.

Unfortunately, the Russell EASTbrook campaign has served as nothing more than just another cautionary tale in the NBA. We are sitting courtside and bearing witness to what happens when a player relies on his athleticism, explosiveness, AND NOTHING ELSE. But, what happens when FATHER TIME and injuries come knocking and you have not developed anything else in your game? Russ cannot shoot, handle the ball, drive to the basket, or even beat his man nowadays. The Washington Wizards may as well hit up the league offices, offer to forfeit games, let their new tanking commander do his thing, and FADE FOR CADE!

P.S. – Bradley Beal if you are reading, GET OUT OF WASHINGTON ASAP!

For the full breakdown of our NBA Player Rankings, check out the STUDS & DUDS segment on the Shoot or Pass podcast – NEW EPISODE OUT NOW!



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Shoot or Pass Podcast – Episode 51: MAMBA FOREVER!

MAMBA FOREVER! Chevy, Gabe, and Rhoby kick off the pod sharing their favorite memories of the legend that will always live on, Kobe Bryant (8:55). The crew determines that Shaq probably needs to get laid and stop coming after young stars (14:35), discuss the Cavs-Nets match-ups that have everyone overreacting (20:46), name the NBA teams that are better (25:00) and worse (28:58) than their records indicate, the disaster that has become the Washington Wizards (33:16), the disaster that continues to be the NBA Refs (36:22), what cities they want the NBA to add teams to (39:16), and round out the show naming their STUDS (44:17) and DUDS (51:45) of the first quarter of the season.


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Don’t miss out on the action as we track the standings for you all season long always up-to-date

The Shoot or Pass Podcast from Baseline Times is your go-to NBA podcast for all updated coverage, news, entertainment, and podcast beyond the usual weird hot takes from major media. Make sure you subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and more! Welcome to our overseas listeners from India streaming on the Gaana and Jiosaavn app as well!

Shoot or Pass Podcast – Episode 50: Return of the Kyrie?

In an NBA season full of twists and turns (and COVID), a couple of things are certain: the Miami HEAT are not playing up to expectations (16:20) and neither are the OKC Thunder (25:00). Chevy, Gabe, and Rhoby celebrate the 50th episode of the podcast by breaking down the trade that could have been in Philly (20:15), who needs to get traded in New York and in the ATL (28:15), the team in the East best equipped to defeat the Brooklyn Nets in a playoff series (33:35), and a “close” personal encounter that was had with LeBron James (39:25). Dribble, Dunk, or Flop is back and the crew breaks down who they are loving, lusting, and hating as TRADE TARGETS (44:57), SUPER TEAMS (49:30), and TOP YOUNG DUOS (52:57)!


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Don’t miss out on the action as we track the standings for you all season long always up-to-date

The Shoot or Pass Podcast from Baseline Times is your go-to NBA podcast for all updated coverage, news, entertainment, and podcast beyond the usual weird hot takes from major media. Make sure you subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and more! Welcome to our overseas listeners from India streaming on the Gaana and Jiosaavn app as well!

Shoot or Pass Podcast – Episode 49: James Harden’s Dumpster-Fire Party

BREAKING NEWS: The Dumpster Fire Party in Brooklyn just got BIGGER (pun may or may not be intended)! Chevy, Gabe, and Rhoby break down the BLOCKBUSTER trade that left the league shook today (02:10), the COVID protocol conundrum (16:40), whether the Joker can actually average a triple-double this season (26:40), if the time is now to start LaMelo Ball (31:42), how good the Pacers have been (39:30), share the teams they feel have the best bench unit to start (45:15), and name the STUDS and DUDS of the season so far (51:48).


Follow us:


Don’t miss out on the action as we track the standings for you all season long always up-to-date

The Shoot or Pass Podcast from Baseline Times is your go-to NBA podcast for all updated coverage, news, entertainment, and podcast beyond the usual weird hot takes from major media. Make sure you subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and more! Welcome to our overseas listeners from India streaming on the Gaana and Jiosaavn app as well!

Shoot or Pass Podcast – Episode 48: 2020-2021 NBA Opening Reactions & Overreactions

New year, same old crew giving you the best NBA content! Chevy, Gabe, & Rhoby reunite to break down everything that’s gone down in the 2020-21 season so far..starting with Ben Simmons FINALLY attempting and making a three (03:25)! They tell you why Christian Wood is a worthy MIP candidate (14:15), the reason you still shouldn’t discount the Golden State Warriors (08:40), the most surprising team so far (19:30), the curious case Luka CHONKcic (30:30), and the winner of the John Wall-Russell Westbrook trade (32:30). Of course, no start of the season is complete without some early OVERREACTIONS (35:55)


Follow us:


Don’t miss out on the action as we track the standings for you all season long always up-to-date

The Shoot or Pass Podcast from Baseline Times is your go-to NBA podcast for all updated coverage, news, entertainment, and podcast beyond the usual weird hot takes from major media. Make sure you subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and more! Welcome to our overseas listeners from India streaming on the Gaana and Jiosaavn app as well!

Eight Bold Predictions for the 2020-21 NBA Season

FINALLY.

The NBA is back just in time for the Holidays which means everyone has their opinion on what’s going to happen in what could be a wilder and wackier season than 2019-2020 (if that’s possible).

We all have our predictions from who’s top tier, who’s winning awards, and, of course, who’s must-have in fantasy.

But, how about we get BOLD? Time for some bold predictions for the 2020-2021 NBA season!

Looking at each team, I’ve come up with eight bold predictions for the 2020-21 NBA season. Let’s start with four that aren’t too crazy..

  1. LeBron Will NOT Decline This Season
    It’ll happen eventually, yes…but it won’t be this season. LeBron James just won a title a few months ago and will have “nagging injuries” throughout the season meaning he’ll only play in meaningful games.

    He may play fewer games than usual this season, but he’ll look like the best player in the league each game he’s in. I actually think LeBron is a front-runner for MVP rather than heading for a decline, but that’s just me!

  2. Brooklyn May Not Mesh Until February
    Many have already penciled in the Nets as a title contender in 2021, and while I don’t disagree with that, I believe it may not be pretty early.

    We’ve seen in the past, pairing a solid group of young, core players with two superstars looks great on paper, but it usually takes time to truly work, if it actually works at all. I believe by May, the Nets will be a problem, but don’t look for Brooklyn to look unbeatable at least until February.

  3. Even with No Klay, Golden State Will Finish In The Top Four In The West
    Losing Klay Thompson hurt as I thought the Warriors would be in the NBA Finals this season if at full strength.

    While that ship has sailed, I still believe led by Stephen Curry, the Warriors will be a top-four team in the West this season. Andrew Wiggins truly impressed me this offseason with his progress and Kelly Oubre Jr. looks ready to step up and fill the void left by Thompson’s injury.

    The low post duo of Draymond Green and rookie James Wiseman also intrigues me as it could be an odd pairing that produces great play on both sides of the ball. Look for the Warriors to finish in the top four above the likes of Portland and Dallas.

  4. Obi Toppin Will Look Like A Superstar In New York
    I’m not very high on the ceiling of the 2020 rookie class, but I feel in terms of placement, New York struck gold by drafting Dayton’s Obi Toppin.

    While LaMelo Ball, Isaac Okoro, and/or even James Wiseman show more promise as rookies this season, numbers alone will lead to Toppin winning Rookie of the Year as he’ll be the Knicks leading scorer over RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, and Dennis Smith Jr. He’ll even break out and drop 30 against someone like Boston or Brooklyn and have ESPN claiming he’s the “franchise-savior” for the Knicks. Easy, now.

  5. James Harden, DeMar DeRozan, and Karl-Anthony Towns Will Be Traded This Season
    All three at different times throughout the season will be on the move. Houston and James Harden are currently in an ugly, long-drawn out break up that’ll likely lead to a trade by the end of January.

    I don’t think the Spurs will find much success this season and will move the veteran DeMar DeRozan close to the trade deadline in 2021 now on March 25.

    The wildcard here is Karl-Anthony Towns and his massive contract. It’ll be tough to find a suitor, but KAT is an All-NBA player and somebody will make the move. It’s probably more likely KAT is traded after the season around the draft, but I think Minnesota will be under pressure this season and will give in to Towns’ request and ship him to either New York, Boston, or Atlanta.

  6. Luka Doncic Won’t Be MVP This Season
    If you’re a betting man or woman, Doncic is the favorite to win MVP this season, even if you ask the Shoot or Pass crew! I’m not buying it.

    As a rookie, Doncic surprised everyone with his skill, especially with his physicality. As a sophomore, he shocked and awed me as a true point guard with his ability to do everything and take over games.

    Luka won’t surprise people in 2020-21 as he’s now the number one player to watch on the scouting report of all opposing teams. If Luka is double-teamed and closely guarded all game, he doesn’t have too many second options on the Mavericks especially if Porzingis isn’t 100% all season. Doncic will put up great numbers, but won’t be as must-see TV as he’s been in the past therefore will miss out on the MVP award.

  7. Atlanta, Phoenix, and Memphis Will All Be In The NBA Playoffs
    I love all three of these teams and think they’ll all be playing into the 2021 NBA Playoffs comes the spring.

    Atlanta has a great, deep roster featuring a superstar scorer in Trae Young. They also have great size down low with the trio of John Collins, Clint Capela, and the first-round pick Onyeka Okongwu. The Hawks feature possibly the best rotation of wings in the entire NBA with Bogdan Bogdanovic, Kevin Huerter, De’Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish, and Rajon Rondo.

    I think Atlanta could sneak into the Eastern Conference Finals and possibly the Finals similar to Miami last season.

    Phoenix was the NBA Bubble regular season top team, but it wasn’t enough to sneak into the Playoffs. Imagine if they had gotten that eight seed? Could they have upset the Lakers? Possibly.

    They’re fun this year as well with the dynamic duo of Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton. They also acquired Chris Paul, who is getting older but played well in Oklahoma City last season. Factor in Jae Crowder, Mikal Bridges, and their first-round pick Jalen Smith, the Suns will be primed for a run for the eighth-seed again in 2021.

    And finally, the Memphis Grizzlies. I believe Ja Morant will receive some MVP votes this season and Taylor Jenkins will win NBA Coach of the Year. While the Grizzlies may not be a star-studded group, they feature a strong rotation that reminds me of the Grit-and-Grind Grizzlies from a few years back.

    Morant will be joined by talented forwards Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke plus a solid rotation of slashers with Justice Winslow, Dillon Brooks, and Kyle Anderson. Not to mention what a draft class as the Grizzlies picked up Desmond Bane, Xavier Tillman, and Killian Tillie. Plus, the Grizzlies have a solid big to play key minutes in Jonas Valanciunas and sharp-shooter Sean McDermott to add some three-point shooting off the bench.

    I’m not saying the Grizzlies are winning a title in 2021, but they’re going to give everyone problems and I can see them advancing to the second round of the playoffs even if they have to upset a higher-seed such as the Clippers, Mavericks, or yes, even the Lakers in the first round.

  8. The 2021 NBA Champions Will Be From The Eastern Conference
    Since 2005, only two Eastern Conference teams without LeBron James have won the NBA title: Boston in 2008 and Toronto in 2019. Both teams had to take down dynasties to do so. The title chase will be a bit more wide open this season.

    The Lakers are the favorite to repeat led by LeBron and Anthony Davis, but after that, five of the six teams in the betting odds according to Odds Shark, are from the Eastern Conference.

    Brooklyn will make a late-run to win a title with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving if both can stay healthy. Milwaukee has the best player in the NBA with two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and a great group of shooters and will look to take the next step this season.

    Boston and Philadelphia both have great, deep teams and both will be looking to possibly make a move to get even better with the 76ers eyeing James Hardin and Boston a likely contender as a trade partner for Minnesota and Karl-Anthony Towns.

    Miami was the runner-up in 2020 and returns that entire team for this season and now, Jimmy Butler is even more motivated to make a run for a championship.

    I don’t know who, but one of those teams will win it all in 2021 by defeating the Lakers in the NBA Finals.

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