Not Just a Shooter 1.1: Count Blockula’s Mortal Nemesis
I’m gonna guess this is a nickname Joel Embiid gave himself.
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TORONTO-WASHINGTON: Toronto looks like a complete team. Not just DeRozan and Beal—Ibaka, Valanciunas, OG Anunoby, Delon Wright all playing important roles. Wizards still don’t have any functional depth behind the Wall-Beal-Porter core.
CLEVELAND-INDIANA: Unexpectedly interesting series after Pacers took game one in Cleveland. Oladipo has been great. LeBron absolutely went off in game two. Cavs defense still sucks. Openly wondering how far Bron can drag this group.
PHILADELPHIA-MIAMI: Most fun series thus far—competitive and chippy. Philly blowout in game one, vintage D-Wade performance knots it up, then Embiid’s return helps 76ers take lead. Ben Simmons is ridiculously good. Series might not end up as close as it’s felt—Heat win came in awful 76ers shooting game and now Embiid is back.
BOSTON-MILWAUKEE. Boston’s weird guys are fitting together nicely while Milwaukee can’t get cohesiveness out of a better team on paper. As it turns out, Brad Stevens may be a better coach than [check notes] Joe Prunty. Eric Bledsoe should probably know the name of the guy who’s roasting him.
BONUS: Alex gives Ace a pop quiz on obscure player nicknames listed on basketball-reference. Ace does poorly.
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HOUSTON-MINNESOTA: Wolves lost any hope of making this interesting with Jimmy Butler’s awful final shot in game one. Wither KAT? Minnesota had awfully weird shot distribution in game two. Alex nails a pop quiz on Wolves who attempted more shots than Butler in game two. Meanwhile, Houston cruising even though CP3 and Harden haven’t had good games at the same time.
OKLAHOMA CITY-UTAH: Ace hates OKC’s offense and doesn’t get NBA TV. Alex defends the contested shot-making of PG13 and Russ, also gives Donovan Mitchell his due despite the pain of being a Pistons fan. Melo is waaaaashed.
NEW ORLEANS-PORTLAND: On the verge of an unexpected NOLA sweep. Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday have greatly outplayed Dame Lillard and CJ McCollum. Nicola Mirotic is probably not fun to watch for Bulls fans.
GOLDEN STATE-SAN ANTONIO: On the verge of an expected blowout. GSW simply too much for a Spurs team without Kawhi Leonard. Athleticism gap is huge. Klay Thompson is not fair. RIP Erin Popovich.
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