2021 NBA Playoffs Gamethread

nighthob

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Wow, Giannis was drafted just two picks after Kelly Olynyk? Why doesn’t MBPC talk about this more often?!
I do all the time. Do you know who really has to kick themselves, though? The team that traded the 13th pick for #16 and some second rounders (Dallas).
 

nighthob

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Giannis wasn’t really this can’t miss prospect that nobody could believe was dropping in the draft. I mean, he was a 17 year old kid playing in Spain, not dominating the Final Four.
But he was a monstrous athlete. I’ve been a long time proponent of always taking guys like that over the high floor players outside the high lottery.

(And I mean as in when we were having this discussion on draft night eight years ago, there’s a certain point where you need to take home run swings. However I usually give Ainge a semi-pass on that as Olynyk was apparently a favorite of Minnesota scouts and Boston was trying to assemble the Rondo/Love Celtics.)
 
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tbb345

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KD joined the 73 win Warriors. He will never live that down, despite the fact that he's truly an incredible basketball talent. Giannis stayed in Milwaukee. Other than Curry, he's the only mega super star to stay on his team over the previous decade. Giannis has earned the love.
Yup. I am a big LeBron fan (can’t stand KD) but titles like this just seem to mean more.
Steph, Dirk,, Giannis….it’s always cool to see players win one on the team that drafted and developed them
 

johnmd20

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It's really, really easy to look back a decade and then say how dumb certain decisions are with the benefit of the decade of hindsight. It's really the lowest hanging fruit of the hot take culture.

The human the Bucks picked isn't the same human that Giannis is today, as shown in the graphic above.
 

Kliq

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Giannis saying he could go the easy way and join a super team while holding both the Larry O'Brien and the Bill Russell award is an all-time flex.
 

Jimbodandy

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Giannis saying he could go the easy way and join a super team while holding both the Larry O'Brien and the Bill Russell award is an all-time flex.
Yeah that's not a mic drop. That's standing on top of the mountain and asking the people below if they are enjoying their view of him. Good shit.
 

Cesar Crespo

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This is why I will always laugh at posters bringing up the weight of a HS/College player. "Yam is so tiny." All these players gain tons of muscle weight in the first couple years they join the NBA. Most of them don't bother hitting the gym until then because they didn't need to.
 

johnmd20

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It is incredible that Mil was Durant's big toe away from being eliminated and now they are champions. Flags fly forever and Giannis' entire legacy has something shifted. I couldn't be happier.

I just think about a guy like Giannis, always working to improve, not shying away from the free throw line despite some challenges there, and always trying to improve and never quitting or running away. Contrast that to a guy like Ben Simmons, who is just as gifted as Giannis but doesn't seem interested in improving in any area where he has a weakness. And, obviously, he couldn't have shied away from the spotlight with any more fanfare in those last 4 games of the playoffs where he took 0 (ZERO!!!) shots in the 4th quarter. I still can't believe it.

That is grit right there. Some people have it and some people don't.
 

chilidawg

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This is why I will always laugh at posters bringing up the weight of a HS/College player. "Yam is so tiny." All these players gain tons of muscle weight in the first couple years they join the NBA. Most of them don't bother hitting the gym until then because they didn't need to.
No, all don't. Some never get the functional strength part and fail because of it. Other guys, like Durant, do just fine not adding much weight
 

Kliq

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It is incredible that Mil was Durant's big toe away from being eliminated and now they are champions. Flags fly forever and Giannis' entire legacy has something shifted. I couldn't be happier.

I just think about a guy like Giannis, always working to improve, not shying away from the free throw line despite some challenges there, and always trying to improve and never quitting or running away. Contrast that to a guy like Ben Simmons, who is just as gifted as Giannis but doesn't seem interested in improving in any area where he has a weakness. And, obviously, he couldn't have shied away from the spotlight with any more fanfare in those last 4 games of the playoffs where he took 0 (ZERO!!!) shots in the 4th quarter. I still can't believe it.

That is grit right there. Some people have it and some people don't.
Not picking on you at all, but I'm annoyed with people who keep bringing up Durant's toe on the line. Sure, if he was an inch back the Nets win the series, but basketball is full of moments where inches make the difference. If a shot falls instead of rimming out, if a guy gets a fingertip on a shot, if someone on the Bucks didn't step on the line earlier in the game, the result can be different. Some people (again, not you, more like Russillo) seem to enjoy bringing up that Durant would have eliminated them if his foot wasn't on the line; but its just a dumb point to make.
 

Euclis20

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No, all don't. Some never get the functional strength part and fail because of it. Other guys, like Durant, do just fine not adding much weight
He doesn't really look it, but Durant did put on 25 pounds after going pro (215 at the combine, 240 now). Nothing like Giannis' transformation, who added 46 pounds (196 to 242).

Giannis averaged 35.2/13.2/5 for the finals, along with 1.8 blocks and 1.2 steals while shooting .618 from the floor and .659 from the line. Despite clearly injured or rusty in game 1, what a performance. His game score for the clincher was 42, just incredible. In his 55 finals games, Lebron has beaten that just once (game 6 in the comeback against the Warriors). Durant has never gotten to the level in 22 finals games. I compared Giannis to Shaq a few weeks back, and the latter never had a finals game like this.
 

lexrageorge

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Not picking on you at all, but I'm annoyed with people who keep bringing up Durant's toe on the line. Sure, if he was an inch back the Nets win the series, but basketball is full of moments where inches make the difference. If a shot falls instead of rimming out, if a guy gets a fingertip on a shot, if someone on the Bucks didn't step on the line earlier in the game, the result can be different. Some people (again, not you, more like Russillo) seem to enjoy bringing up that Durant would have eliminated them if his foot wasn't on the line; but its just a dumb point to make.
+1. It was indeed an amazing stroke of luck that Durant wasn't able to get that foot a centimeter further back. However, the Bucks won 3 other games in that series and played the Nets even throughout Game 7, basically setting themselves up to take advantage of that stroke of fortune. And the Bucks outscored the Nets by 4 in overtime.

If we wanted to dig in, we could probably find similarly close plays where LeBron's teams benefited, or others that helped the various Lakers teams of the past. Different sport, but how many close plays contributed to the Patriots winning one of their 6 Lombardi Trophies?

There was nothing at all "fluky" about the Bucks Title.
 

Cesar Crespo

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+1. It was indeed an amazing stroke of luck that Durant wasn't able to get that foot a centimeter further back. However, the Bucks won 3 other games in that series and played the Nets even throughout Game 7, basically setting themselves up to take advantage of that stroke of fortune. And the Bucks outscored the Nets by 4 in overtime.

If we wanted to dig in, we could probably find similarly close plays where LeBron's teams benefited, or others that helped the various Lakers teams of the past. Different sport, but how many close plays contributed to the Patriots winning one of their 6 Lombardi Trophies?

There was nothing at all "fluky" about the Bucks Title.
Yeah, there is nothing fluky about any title.
 

johnmd20

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Not picking on you at all, but I'm annoyed with people who keep bringing up Durant's toe on the line. Sure, if he was an inch back the Nets win the series, but basketball is full of moments where inches make the difference. If a shot falls instead of rimming out, if a guy gets a fingertip on a shot, if someone on the Bucks didn't step on the line earlier in the game, the result can be different. Some people (again, not you, more like Russillo) seem to enjoy bringing up that Durant would have eliminated them if his foot wasn't on the line; but its just a dumb point to make.
It's not dumb at all.

If Durant's shot is a 3 instead of a 2, the Bucks lose. This isn't a butterfly effect type of thing, there was no time left on the clock. All I'm saying is that it's incredible how quickly things can turn. Giannis was a toe away from having people say, "Great regular season guy but he just can't get it done in the playoffs," instead of, "This guy played one of the best finals in the history of the NBA."

It's a remarkable turn. Because of the toe.
 

Jimbodandy

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He doesn't really look it, but Durant did put on 25 pounds after going pro (215 at the combine, 240 now). Nothing like Giannis' transformation, who added 46 pounds (196 to 242).

Giannis averaged 35.2/13.2/5 for the finals, along with 1.8 blocks and 1.2 steals while shooting .618 from the floor and .659 from the line. Despite clearly injured or rusty in game 1, what a performance. His game score for the clincher was 42, just incredible. In his 55 finals games, Lebron has beaten that just once (game 6 in the comeback against the Warriors). Durant has never gotten to the level in 22 finals games. I compared Giannis to Shaq a few weeks back, and the latter never had a finals game like this.
Durant famously couldn't rep 185 one time at 18. That's a skinny, skinny man. You don't need to be a beast, but that weight that Durant added made a huge difference.
 

Jimbodandy

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It's not dumb at all.

If Durant's shot is a 3 instead of a 2, the Bucks lose. This isn't a butterfly effect type of thing, there was no time left on the clock. All I'm saying is that it's incredible how quickly things can turn. Giannis was a toe away from having people say, "Great regular season guy but he just can't get it done in the playoffs," instead of, "This guy played one of the best finals in the history of the NBA."

It's a remarkable turn. Because of the toe.
Yeah but there's 800 other things that turned in that series on similar margins. That's the point.
 

Jimbodandy

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And all of those things didn't happen at the 0 second mark of the 4th quarter of Game 7.
And?

Some bounces, turnovers, calls go differently, and there isn't even a game 7. It's a 7 game series. Lots of shit happened.

I have this argument with Raiders fans over the tuck rule game every year or two. Pats scored 2 more times after than fumble was reversed.
 

Fishy1

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You're right, this is definitely a really smart example. Thank for clearing it up.
What everyone is trying to tell you, if you'd listen, is that it's only in your mind that Durant's toe matters more than all the thousands of other little moments that happen in a basketball game. Just because it's the moment that you remember, and just because it happened near the end of an important game, doesn't mean there weren't a ton of other moments that could've turned the game one way or the other.
 

johnmd20

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What everyone is trying to tell you, if you'd listen, is that it's only in your mind that Durant's toe matters more than all the thousands of other little moments that happen in a basketball game. Just because it's the moment that you remember, and just because it happened near the end of an important game, doesn't mean there weren't a ton of other moments that could've turned the game one way or the other.
So all plays have the same leverage? Weird take on SoSH, but ok.
 

Kliq

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As dumb as saying Giannis can't get it done in the playoffs had the Bucks lost. It was always a stupid take.
To John's actual point, its a good example of why some of these reactionary narratives are so dumb, and unfortunately are here to stay in the current media environment. We often lack enough evidence for things that we believe to be true. For some things, like say, believing that Ben Simmons needs to become a more well-rounded offensive player for him to reach his potential, we have a lot of evidence to suggest that. But broader, narrative beliefs and understandings often don't come with enough empirical data to really believe in them that strongly.
 

Cesar Crespo

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He was already physically developed on draft night for the most part. Great college player but that slow windup release haunted me even more than his lack of upside drafting that high when my man Gobert was there without having to trade up.....and could have even traded down!
Physically developed and already skilled/a good shooter. Worst players to draft in the lottery. Drafting them in the 20's like PP is fine.

I'm with you in liking lanky and athletic. Strength and shooting are the easiest things to add to someone's game. You can't teach length or athleticism. You can improve athleticism around the margins but only so much. See Grant Williams.
 

TiredParent

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And all of those things didn't happen at the 0 second mark of the 4th quarter of Game 7.
It is all hypothetical anyway, but Durant's shot was not at 0 either. The Bucks had a timeout with about a second to play, and Giannis missed a short jumper. Assuming the couple of inches does not effect the shot(I do not remember how clean it was on the rim) do they run a different play for Middleton if they are down 1? Who knows.
 

Devizier

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It's absolutely wild that Kelly Olynyck is one of the best players from his draft.

After Giannis and Gobert, you have McCollum and a handful of healthy years from Oladipo. After that it's role players and then just garbage.
 

pjheff

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Tony C

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I just think about a guy like Giannis, always working to improve, not shying away from the free throw line despite some challenges there, and always trying to improve and never quitting or running away.
This really does put a finger on it. Not once did Giannis shy away from being fouled or looked bothered that he had to go to the line or that opposing fans were chanting at him as he was on the line. There is something special to that sort of focus.
 

HomeRunBaker

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It’s the wrong thread perhaps, but would anyone kick the tires on Victor Oladipo? Obviously, he’s had two significant surgeries, but Stevens has always been a fan, and Udoka has relationships with other players of Nigerian descent.

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/orlando-magic/os-mbb-brad-stevens-victor-oladipo-orlando-magic-20131108-post.html
Never.

1. He is coming off his second knee surgery on his quad tendon and won’t be ready to go until well into the season.

2. He isn’t going to come cheap and would require a creatively structured multi-year deal.

3. He didn’t recover very well from the first injury. He’s older and just had his second.
 

Jimbodandy

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This really does put a finger on it. Not once did Giannis shy away from being fouled or looked bothered that he had to go to the line or that opposing fans were chanting at him as he was on the line. There is something special to that sort of focus.
It's exactly why he's being contrasted with Simmons, who has done fuckall on his game since he left LSU and can't be bothered to shoot in a playoff game when he's directly under the hoop.

Giannis before and after pictures look like a photoshop. Simmons is the same dude. One does anything that he can to win games to the point that he's risking his health at both ends, while the other literally didn't attempt a shot in the fourth quarter for multiple successive playoff games.

Attitude and desire matter.
 

Ale Xander

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I believe I saw that CP3 is the first player to be a part of 4 teams to lose playoff series up 2-0.
 

CaptainLaddie

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I believe I saw that CP3 is the first player to be a part of 4 teams to lose playoff series up 2-0.
Yeah, but it's kind of silly.

- versus the 08 Spurs who were clearly a superior team versus Paul's Hornets
- a Clips series where Blake played something like 30 minutes total in games 5 and 6
- one where Paul himself was hurt and didn't play much at all
- this one

Lies, damn lies, and statistics.
 

slamminsammya

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Yeah, but it's kind of silly.

- versus the 08 Spurs who were clearly a superior team versus Paul's Hornets
- a Clips series where Blake played something like 30 minutes total in games 5 and 6
- one where Paul himself was hurt and didn't play much at all
- this one

Lies, damn lies, and statistics.
Even if you assume the better team has a 70 percent chance of winning each game (which is almost never the true spread in a playoffs second round series) the odds of the better team winning the series being down 2-0 is only 53%. Even with those circumstances you lay out there it is still pretty remarkable he's been there for so many collapses. That is not to lay the responsibility at his feet, just to note that it is impressive.
 

johnmd20

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Even if you assume the better team has a 70 percent chance of winning each game (which is almost never the true spread in a playoffs second round series) the odds of the better team winning the series being down 2-0 is only 53%. Even with those circumstances you lay out there it is still pretty remarkable he's been there for so many collapses. That is not to lay the responsibility at his feet, just to note that it is impressive.
But two of those series' completely turned on injuries, with Blake and Paul himself. The one in 2008 was the Hornets playing ahead of themselves and just being caught by a better team.

This year was a tried and true collapse. They had the championship right in their hands and Paul played poorly in a couple of the losses. And Giannis just played out of his mind.
 

HomeRunBaker

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But two of those series' completely turned on injuries, with Blake and Paul himself. The one in 2008 was the Hornets playing ahead of themselves and just being caught by a better team.

This year was a tried and true collapse. They had the championship right in their hands and Paul played poorly in a couple of the losses. And Giannis just played out of his mind.
Was it even a collapse though? The Bucks went out and grabbed the series themselves. Even with Paul playing god awful in that one game in Milwaukee it took two of the best individual defensive players in Finals history by Giannis and Jrue to ripped those games from Phoenix otherwise the series is over in 5. More than anything I see this as the Bucks doing everything they needed to win this series rather than the Suns having a meltdown.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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It's exactly why he's being contrasted with Simmons, who has done fuckall on his game since he left LSU and can't be bothered to shoot in a playoff game when he's directly under the hoop.

Giannis before and after pictures look like a photoshop. Simmons is the same dude. One does anything that he can to win games to the point that he's risking his health at both ends, while the other literally didn't attempt a shot in the fourth quarter for multiple successive playoff games.

Attitude and desire matter.
So does genetics and maybe modern science. After all, Giannis also grew, what, two or three inches since he was drafted? If Giannis was 6'8" or 6'9" (I know he was listed at 6'9" when he was drafted), he might be closer to Thannis than MVP.

At any rate, Giannis is certainly maniacal about his training. All props to him.