NOT LIVE FROM THE BUBBLE PART 2
May 2, 2014 was the day a star was born in Portland. Damian Lillard hit a game winner with 0.9 seconds left on the clock to send the James Harden led Houston Rockets home in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. April 23, 2019, Dame outdid himself by hitting another walk off series ending dagger to send the Russell Westbrook led Oklahoma City Thunder home in the first round. On that 2014 Rockets team, they had a scrappy underdog point guard in Patrick Beverly. On the Thunder team last year, the second option was Paul George. After the Clippers beat the Blazers Saturday afternoon, Pat Bev and PG-13 taunted Dame after missing two big free throws down the stretch. Dame isn't a good free throw shooter, he's a great one. At that moment, he choked a little bit. For Pat Bev and PG to taunt Dame is so weak. Did they forget about those game winners? I mean, the one last year was right in PG's eyeball, which he believes was a "bad shot". Dame says he takes the taunting as disrespect because, "it just shows what I've done at a high clip more times than not." He's not wrong. Since entering the league in 2012, Dame has been the Rookie of the Year, 5x All-Star, 4x All-NBA player all while making the playoffs every single year. I think he's the second best point guard in the NBA and on some nights THE best. If he were to go to some highly touted university or played in an NBA huge market, he would be talked about more highly. Instead, you have people who think Kyrie is better or Westbrook and it's not true. He's an ultimate competitor, loyal to the soil, and arguably the best leader in sports. I'm rocking with Dame 7x a week and twice on Sunday.
Certain players draw you to a television when they are playing. It's a small list for me, but Luka Doncic is on it. People tend to give player comps based on race so recently I've been hearing " Luka is the next Larry Bird!" He might turn out to be Bird, but right now he's nowhere near the shooter that Bird was. When I watch Luka, I see a player who is currently playing in the league right now, James Harden. Both are so crafty with the pill, so fucking strong, and have a knack to get past defenders pretty effortlessly. Now, Luka has a little bit of size on Harden, probably a better passer than him, too. Harden, right now, is the better shooter. Both are trancendent offensive basketball players. I'm excited to see Luka in the NBA playoffs, but the matchup for them is a nightmare. If he can somehow solve the riddle of Kawhi and Paul George throughout a seven game series, his legend will truly grow. After his stellar performance Saturday night, my boy John Mills texted me over his top 25 players in the NBA, not named Lebron:
Feel free to rip my guys list.
ALL BUBBLE TEAM PART 2 (WEEK ENDING 8/9/20)
Had to go position-less this week because too many guards shined. It made me think, if you are an awful franchise like the Knicks, shouldn't you draft perimeter players? Why draft a 7-footer #1 in today's NBA?
PG - Damian Lillard 34.8 PPG, 8 APG, 39 3P% (Blazers 3-1)
SG - Luka Doncic 33 PPG, 12.3 APG, 12.3 RPG (Mavericks 2-1)
SG - Devin Booker 30 PPG, 8 APG, 57 FG% (Suns 3-0)
SF - TJ Warren 30.3 PPG, 58.4 FG%, 44.8 3P% (Pacers 3-1)
PF - Nikola Jokic 23.3 PPG, 10.3 APG, 8 RPG (Nuggets 3-1)