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2020 NBA PLAYOFFS: SEMIFINALS


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Butler gave the Celtics a real chance to at least tie the game late with that unforced turnover. Supposed clutch players fuck up in crunch time too. Yeah, Jimmy had two big steals (that behind the back pass to save the first one was ridiculous) but sometimes I think way too much is made on whether somebody is clutch. Butler's big points against Milwaukee often came at the line. He's not generally going to be a guy recreating Jordan over Ehlo. 

Tatum is already great. He'll be fine. This is about Boston's level. 

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34 minutes ago, Jiji said:

Maybe pick a better time to blow up on your teammates after you don't hustle back on turnovers and played like an invisible man in the 4th. Just a thought. Smart is great when he's on but there are other times when he looks replacement level. I get that he's a "heart and soul" type of player but that's some bullshit imo. 

He's a top 5 defender in the league..  there is never a time where he is replacement level.  He is also a 37% 3-point shooter now.   The team is 2-5 in their last seven games,  clearly struggling to execute down the stretch of these games and it's supposed to be Tatum and/or Kemba closing these out.  It's not Smart's role to have to step up and handle the ball down 2 late in the 4th. He does enough all game long. 

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What did he do second half. My point was it's not like he single handedly kept his team in it and let fly later feeling let down by them. He was one of many MIA in that second half. 

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34 minutes ago, MavsFan77 said:

Tatum played great in games 6 and 7 against Toronto. He had 29, 14, and 9 in Game 6, and 29, 12, and 7 in Game 7. By comparison Smart had 16, 2, and 6 in Game 7. So I don’t see how he outplayed Tatum in that game.

That's box score watching.  Are you not seeing how Tatum is out of position or settling for long 2's or jacking a 3 when he should be driving and forcing the defense into making a decision or when he is driving losing the ball in traffic?  The stats look okay but there's a lot going on here that he is messing up. 

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3 minutes ago, Jiji said:

What did he do second half. My point was it's not like he single handedly kept his team in it and let fly later feeling let down by them. He was one of many MIA in that second half. 

Nobody was good in the second half but this is deeper than this game.  Since going up 2-0 on Toronto they have been abysmal especially late and Kemba outside of the first half tonight has been really bad..     If Kemba was just giving them somewhere close to regular season Kemba and Tatum was making better decisions they'd be in a better position right now.  At least 1-1.  

Now it looks like it's a bit much to overcome.  Not over but they're on the brink. 

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7 minutes ago, Niners Fan in CT said:

That's box score watching.  Are you not seeing how Tatum is out of position or settling for long 2's or jacking a 3 when he should be driving and forcing the defense into making a decision or when he is driving losing the ball in traffic?  The stats look okay but there's a lot going on here that he is messing up. 

Did they win Game 7? Yes. Do they win it without his contributions? Certainly not. So while you say it’s box score watching I say it’s looking at who contributed the most to the final outcome. 

Does he make mistakes? Hell yeah. I said as much in my other post. All I was attempting to say is what I did now. That without Tatum they don’t win Game 7, and where’s that get them? The same place my team is right now.

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1 minute ago, MavsFan77 said:

Did they win Game 7? Yes. Do they win it without his contributions? Certainly not. So while you say it’s box score watching I say it’s looking at who contributed the most to the final outcome. 

Does he make mistakes? Hell yeah. I said as much in my other post. All I was attempting to say is what I did now. That without Tatum they don’t win Game 7, and where’s that get them? The same place my team is right now.

I see what you're saying yeah but they need everyone to be playing at their highest level and that's not happening right now. Tatum can play much better than he is. We saw him at 20-years old help take the LeBron Cavs to 7. 

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9 hours ago, Niners Fan in CT said:

I see what you're saying yeah but they need everyone to be playing at their highest level and that's not happening right now. Tatum can play much better than he is. We saw him at 20-years old help take the LeBron Cavs to 7. 

We can agree on that. If the Celtics all played up to their talent level they’d at least come back and force a game 7 in this series. As is it looks like we’re headed for a Miami sweep, or at most a Game 5. 

Which either way congratulations to Jimmy Butler for finally making an NBA Finals. He’s earned it, and if Derrick Rose’s body had held up better he probably would have been in at least one before now. 

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13 minutes ago, MavsFan77 said:

 if Derrick Rose’s body had held up better he probably would have been in at least one before now. 

We don't talk about that here.

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11 minutes ago, MavsFan77 said:

Which either way congratulations to Jimmy Butler for finally making an NBA Finals. 

OMG DON'T MAKE ME BAN YOU.  

e4313d60d2bd2eafe077691c34eacb36.gif

I refuse to believe anything until they're ahead in the 4th quarter with the clock reading zero for the 4th time.  

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2 hours ago, ohtani's jacket said:

C'mon, in the bubble Denver came back from 3-1 down twice. The Raptors forced a Game 7 from 2-0 down. OKC forced a Game 7 from 2-0 down. 

Yeah but the team that OKC did it against wasn’t as good as this Heat team. Plus Toronto coming back from down 0-2 goes with my comment. That team they rallied against is the same one I’m saying is done now. If they could only win two out of five while having a 2-0 lead I’d say their chances of winning four out of five aren’t good. 

 

2 hours ago, Dolfan in NYC said:

OMG DON'T MAKE ME BAN YOU.  

e4313d60d2bd2eafe077691c34eacb36.gif

I refuse to believe anything until they're ahead in the 4th quarter with the clock reading zero for the 4th time.  

Okay. I’ll only comment on the Dolphins until next week. Is that cool? 😂 I might even say something good about Fitzpatrick if he targets Mike Gesicki enough for me to win in my fantasy league. 

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5 hours ago, MavsFan77 said:

We can agree on that. If the Celtics all played up to their talent level they’d at least come back and force a game 7 in this series. As is it looks like we’re headed for a Miami sweep, or at most a Game 5. 

Which either way congratulations to Jimmy Butler for finally making an NBA Finals. He’s earned it, and if Derrick Rose’s body had held up better he probably would have been in at least one before now. 

LOL, as demonstrated above, if anyone at all understands that a 2-0 lead is not safe, it's Miami Heat fans, waiting for the other shoe to drop from 2006.

 

Please drop please drop please drop please drop...

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Between Rondo and Dwight finding their vintage form, it feels an awful lot like 2009. That was a monumental ass whupping and a dominant defensive display. Nuggets don't look like they have anybody that can stop LeBron or AD. Jokic got abused. Scott Foster did the damn thing too, lol. 

Is Bam the only guy in the NBA that can stop AD? I don't think Crowder can stop LeBron though. Not that either series is over by any stretch, but I'm just thinking of defensive matchups for trying to contain both and it feels like teams have maybe somebody who could defend one but not the other. Lethal combination. How many steps has Iguodala lost since 2015? He wasn't even getting minutes in the second half. But Heat have such a strong team defense that they may be able to pull it off should those two teams meet. I don't think they can over 7 games but I would love to see them try. 

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16 minutes ago, Jiji said:

Between Rondo and Dwight finding their vintage form, it feels an awful lot like 2009. That was a monumental ass whupping and a dominant defensive display. Nuggets don't look like they have anybody that can stop LeBron or AD. Jokic got abused. Scott Foster did the damn thing too, lol. 

Is Bam the only guy in the NBA that can stop AD? I don't think Crowder can stop LeBron though. Not that either series is over by any stretch, but I'm just thinking of defensive matchups for trying to contain both and it feels like teams have maybe somebody who could defend one but not the other. Lethal combination. How many steps has Iguodala lost since 2015? He wasn't even getting minutes in the second half. But Heat have such a strong team defense that they may be able to pull it off should those two teams meet. I don't think they can over 7 games but I would love to see them try. 

With the Lakers, it helps that their bench is finally contributing because they were the main reason the Lakers were inconsistent throughout the season before the shutdown and then the eight bubble games. They would beat Milwaukee and the Clippers back-to-back and then drop one to the Nets or get blown out by the Blazers or the Thunder inexplicably. There were games were KCP and Danny Green couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. Bradley, when he was there, was a good defender but up and down offensively. Kuzma had more ugly games than good ones. Rondo had his moments, but it was easy for teams to exploit matchups against him. If it's just AD and LeBron, you got a chance because LeBron is going to sit about three or four minutes every quarter. Without both of them in there, they were prone to give up runs that keep teams in the game. However, if they play great suffocating defense, AD and LeBron have good to great games, AND the bench performs like this, it's a wrap because the other teams' bigs can't match up. If the Clippers had won game 7 of the previous round, they were gonna have the same issue especially if Lou Williams kept playing that bad. It's just that Kawhi is such a shooter where he keeps you in the game automatically. The Lakers can put the clamps on Murray AND Jokic so this particular matchup is a little more tilted in their favor than a Clippers matchup would have been. They ain't about to let Jamal Murray go for 40 and let Jokic gets double digit assists AND rebounds that easily with 25+ points. I'm not saying it's gonna be a sweep, but who for the Nuggets is gonna step up as that guy that runs with Murray and Jokic? They need a third man. The Lakers don't need a third man as much they need their bench role players to give them good valuable minutes and just slow the other team down instead of giving up big leads like they were prone to do. So far, in games 2-5 vs. POR and HOU, it's happened. Then, Friday night it happened without the need of going through a letdown game 1. The Nuggets need to find some answers, stat.

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Agreed.

I remember what Snoop Dogg said they should do with KCP and Green and their ilk. 😬 KCP has looked serviceable. Green has hit some open shots but still is pretty bad offensively even in the limited role they ask him to fill and his defense ain't what it used to be. Rondo coming off the bench is a huge relief for them at both ends. Some of those lob passes were telepathic and challenging for the recipient at the same time. 

I don't think even if Porter Jr. went off in this game it would have mattered too much because of all the turnovers that were partially because of carelessness of a naïve/young team but more so top tier defense both at the individual level (lots of perfectly timed steals and picked off passes. Not a lot of guys getting beat off the dribble.) and team level with great rotations and help. Nuggets got completely outplayed both physically and mentally. Some blowouts don't say much, but I feel like this one spoke to the levels that separate these two teams in terms of experience and defense. Milsap said they wouldn't be pushed around by the Clippers but this was more than a shove. 

Going back to Miami, obviously Jimmy Butler is the guy you want defending LeBron later on, but you can't expect him to defend LeBron the entire game and contribute offensively in a big meaningful way over a best of 7 series. So Bam may be able to slow down Davis and make him work for his points. But LeBron would feast and when Miami commits to stopping him with more bodies like they did so well with Giannis, if the Lakers others hit open shots regularly it's untouchable. They did a great job closing down the open man vs. Milwaukee, so maybe they could do it after all but LeBron can read doubles better and is a better passer than Giannis. Being able to shoot from the midrange and outside helps a helluva lot too. Not even Milwaukee's all-time defense of this season could stop AD, LeBron, and the open man. LeBron and AD are two of the toughest guys to match-up in the small ball era because they're physically dominant in terms of strength and mobility but also both can score any which way. Kenny I think showed a great highlight of Jokic having to respect Davis' jump shot which opened up Davis' ball handling and he just blew by Jokic. It's not fair.

And talk about slowing it down, my God... The last 5 minutes of the 2nd quarter felt like an eternity with all the stops. But it worked. It got Jokic into foul trouble and that's when the Lakers started to pull away. Though that was some bullshit on AD shoulder blocking Jokic in the chest off the ball non-call -> Lebron to Dwight lob. Some suspect calls too. I don't think the refs decided this by any means but the Lakers don't need any help and they got some tonight. 

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5 hours ago, ohtani's jacket said:

You have to wait until it's 3-1 Lakers to see anything from Denver. 

If they get down 3-1 again the only thing we’ll see from Denver is a return flight back to Colorado scheduled for the day after Game 5. I don’t like Lebron, but he’s not gonna choke away a 3-1 lead.

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Not after that game.

But Boston really needs to quit fouling so much.  They've been letting Miami get into the bonus way earlier than they should, and it already cost them Game 1.  They can play good enough defense without it.

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