Tonight’s lineup of games feature the interesting battle of Atlanta versus Philadelphia and Phoenix versus Denver. Both games are on TNT at 6:30 CST and 9 CST respectively.
The Phila v ATL series is tied at one game apiece whilst Phoenix is currently stomping Denver in a dark alley, and rifling their pockets for loose change.
We’ve seen the return to relevance of Chris Paul, the blossoming of Deandre Ayton and the emergence as a terrifying playoff scoring threat of Devin Booker. It appears the Suns stole Philadelphia’s lunch money on the Mile Bridges trade Philadelphia “won” back when.
Denver is of course missing Jamal Murray. They had enough to get past the “Terry Stotts is The Problem, The Only Problem, And Not This Roster, Portland Trailblazers” (because when you absolutely NEED Carmelo Anthony in his 18th season, to produce, that’s a great roster). They don’t look to have enough to get past the Suns, which will mark the second year running a large MVP goes out in the second round.
As an NBA fan, it’s fun to welcome back The Valley of The Sun and its crazy fans. Their intensity in this series is the starkest reminder yet why crowds make the game. I can enjoy Bubble Ball, but I can’t love it. I love this Phoenix crowd, and this team is a pleasure to watch with Monty William’s surgical pick and roll devastation orchestrated by Chris Paul.
As a Rockets fan, it’s a bit tough. Why isn’t this the Rockets? Why couldn’t this be Chris Paul, James Harden and Clint Capela, with JaeSean Tate and PJ Tucker providing the energy and the clampdown on defense, respectively? That team was capable of beating any but one of the all-time greatest, and most unlikely, teams ever, and might have, anyway, with any luck. That Rockets team could still be around, if not for...reasons.
One day we’ll have the real story there, and my suspicion is, that it isn’t as it was portrayed.
Anyhow, there’s another game, the 76ers and the Hawks. Two fascinating teams. One wonders if The Process 76ers might end up like the Golden Generation Belgian mens soccer team. Amazing players, and yet, has one last chance at achieving anything.
Looking at Ben Simmons, I’m glad the Rockets aren’t trying to build a future around him. People can say what they like about the Harden trade, but if Harden picked one or two spots he’d go to, how good were the offers, really? Kind of like the Kawhi situation, but Harden had shown something worse than Kawhi managing his load, or whatever, he showed he could, and would actively sabotage a team.
Staying with soccer, Simmons seems like a “luxury player”. Great on a team that already has pretty much everything, but not a core, or “spine” player.
You absolutely cannot have a player that is a real offensive liability on the court at crunch time as your keystone. Defense, passing, size, whatever, is neat. In the end, playoff basketball requires teams to get tough buckets, in play or at the line, and Ben can’t do it.
This poll is closed
Not the Rockets, that’s for damn sure.