Round 2: Celtics vs Cavs

Deathofthebambino

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Apr 12, 2005
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I feel like the only the criticism I might have this series is that I won't have time to truly hate the Cabs or any of their players. They're kind of likeable.

I guess it's good though, cuz I need to rejuvenate my hate meter after a Heat series before we potentially play the Knicks.
 

Cellar-Door

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Aug 1, 2006
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Makes sense. I was going to turn it on after I finished getting my kid to bed but it was a 20+ point lead and just skipped out on it. Seems like it was a pretty noncompetitive game all around.
pretty much. Celtics shot poorly early and the Cavs shot well.. Celtics tightened up a bit on D, 3s started falling and it was over. Celtics are willing to let Mitchell score if he has to work, and the rest of that roster can't score enough to keep up. Especially since CLE can't really put out a real D lineup, they tried really hard to hide Garland but that meant Strus got the bullseye and he's just food.
 

InstaFace

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Cleveland shot 11/42 from 3 (26%). If that had been at their season average (36.7%), they'd have gone 15/42, or +4 makes, or +12 points... and still lost by 13.

Boston shot 18/46 from 3 (39.1%), pretty much in line with their season averages (38.8%).
 

InstaFace

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I feel like the only the criticism I might have this series is that I won't have time to truly hate the Cabs or any of their players. They're kind of likeable.
Mitchell is up there with Wemby and Ant as one of the hardest-to-hate superstars in the league. I watched his press conference, he has such amazing maturity and perspective and great attitude... and love for his guys from the 2019 FIBA squad.

Another nice thing tonight: no hard fouls, no macho bullshit. That shot Garland took would've resulted in a scrum if it were Miami on the receiving end.
 

slamminsammya

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I feel like the only the criticism I might have this series is that I won't have time to truly hate the Cabs or any of their players. They're kind of likeable.

I guess it's good though, cuz I need to rejuvenate my hate meter after a Heat series before we potentially play the Knicks.
morris and thompson were way more unlikeable on the celtics than off
 

CaptainLaddie

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where the darn libs live
I feel like the only the criticism I might have this series is that I won't have time to truly hate the Cabs or any of their players. They're kind of likeable.

I guess it's good though, cuz I need to rejuvenate my hate meter after a Heat series before we potentially play the Knicks.
Is it wrong how much I love this Knicks team? Hart, Brunson, Hartenstein, etc? They're just a bunch of grinders who play extremely hard and play *all* of the minutes.
 

InstaFace

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I couldn't watch a second of this game thanks for parenting and work responsibilities -- was able to track it on my phone -- seems like it was never really in doubt, no? Like the big early lead and that was that?
Mitchell and Garland were able to keep it within spitting distance, it was 10 at the half and only briefly under it throughout the 2nd. But then they did the lovegtm thing where they bore down for about 5 minutes in the 3rd on both ends, got it to 15 (with an end-of-quarter Pritchard heave for 3 helping), and looked about to run away with it. Then in the 4th, they had one bonkers sequence where in a single possession, Jrue got 2 offensive boards, Kornet and Pritchard (I think) each got another one, and we eventually got a foul, but we were just flying around with them unable to even get the ball, just demoralizing. It rapidly climbed to 20 and then 25 from there, whereupon Mitchell was removed and it was a Stay Ready Crew production for the last 5 minutes.
 

CaptainLaddie

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where the darn libs live
Mitchell and Garland were able to keep it within spitting distance, it was 10 at the half and only briefly under it throughout the 2nd. But then they did the lovegtm thing where they bore down for about 5 minutes in the 3rd on both ends, got it to 15 (with an end-of-quarter Pritchard heave for 3 helping), and looked about to run away with it. Then in the 4th, they had one bonkers sequence where in a single possession, Jrue got 2 offensive boards, Kornet and Pritchard (I think) each got another one, and we eventually got a foul, but we were just flying around with them unable to even get the ball, just demoralizing. It rapidly climbed to 20 and then 25 from there, whereupon Mitchell was removed and it was a Stay Ready Crew production for the last 5 minutes.
Appreciate the recap, dude.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Also, Brunson can foul grift with the best of them. Big fan of hart and og though.
There will be games played at MSG if we get the Knicks. There will be plenty of hate to find.

I can only dream that we get Bruins vs Rangers and Cs vs Knicks rotating from Garden to Garden night after night. That will be epic shit.
 

timelysarcasm

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Is it wrong how much I love this Knicks team? Hart, Brunson, Hartenstein, etc? They're just a bunch of grinders who play extremely hard and play *all* of the minutes.
Yes! The Knicks have been good for half a second and their (Yankees) fans are already annoying as shit (exempting the resident Knicks fans here, who are almost unfathomably likable). I really like Josh Hart, but Brunson is getting seriously overrated at this point which makes him much easier to dislike. When they were in dregs mode for the last decade I thought to myself, "the league is more fun when the Knicks are good" - but now I remember why I dislike all teams from New York.

I can only dream that we get Bruins vs Rangers and Cs vs Knicks rotating from Garden to Garden night after night. That will be epic shit.
Honestly this would be amazing.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Hi friends! Turd in the punchbowl here!

If this is our playoff Tatum, we aren't winning a title.

Screenshot_20240507_230909_Chrome.jpg

Make whatever excuses you want, but most teams aren't going 4-0 while their best players shooting 38% from the field and averaging 19 ppg.

There's going to be a time when we need our best player to be our best player. We can defend Tatum until our faces are purple, but the teams title hopes will, at some point, fall squarely on his shoulders.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Jan 15, 2004
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There will be games played at MSG if we get the Knicks. There will be plenty of hate to find.

I can only dream that we get Bruins vs Rangers and Cs vs Knicks rotating from Garden to Garden night after night. That will be epic shit.
I think this will coincide with my week up north. Oh boy!!
Another nice thing tonight: no hard fouls, no macho bullshit. That shot Garland took would've resulted in a scrum if it were Miami on the receiving end.
If the Cavs play soft and go out without as much as a whimper in 4 that would be wonderful. My only concern is that the next time we are in a tight 4Q game we’ll have gone over a month without having to execute down the stretch. That may not end very well.
 

BigSoxFan

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Hi friends! Turd in the punchbowl here!

If this is our playoff Tatum, we aren't winning a title.

View attachment 82267

Make whatever excuses you want, but most teams aren't going 4-0 while their best players shooting 38% from the field and averaging 19 ppg.

There's going to be a time when we need our best player to be our best player. We can defend Tatum until our faces are purple, but the teams title hopes will, at some point, fall squarely on his shoulders.
He needs to shoot better but he’s doing everything else well.
 

BigSoxFan

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His shot selection has also been shit. His percentage of shots from midrange is way up from the regular season. He's settling. Why?
Good question that I wish we knew the answer to. It hasn’t mattered so far but they’ll need normal Tatum at some point.
 

Murderer's Crow

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Yes! The Knicks have been good for half a second and their (Yankees) fans are already annoying as shit (exempting the resident Knicks fans here, who are almost unfathomably likable). I really like Josh Hart, but Brunson is getting seriously overrated at this point which makes him much easier to dislike. When they were in dregs mode for the last decade I thought to myself, "the league is more fun when the Knicks are good" - but now I remember why I dislike all teams from New York.



Honestly this would be amazing.
Well, despite how we all pretty much get along....there is a better than non-zero chance for a Garden vs Garden matchup where we are going to be alternating nights between Rangers vs Bruins and Celtics vs Knicks. We all know the Knicks have no chance in that series but it's very possibly a once in a lifetime experience that I would absolutely LOVE to experience, win or lose. Every single night, 1-2 games at each garden.

I think if that happens, I'll abstain from posting for a week or two. Too bad we can't lobby the MLB to adjust the schedule to have the yankees vs red sox at the same time.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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He needs to shoot better but he’s doing everything else well.
You could've said the same thing for Ben Simmons.

I'm being hyperbolic, but you get my point. The best players in the league find ways to not disappear, even when the defense collapses on them. It's one thing to praise him for deferring in the right situation, but he's not the first superstar that has talent around him that he can defer to when defenses key on him.

We need him to be the guy. Hopefully this is just a little hiccup early in the playoffs.
 

lovegtm

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Feels strange to watch this team just cruising in the playoffs against a decent opponent. Just wire to wire,m.
They've (almost) completely gotten rid of the thing where they don't focus and execute until their back is against the wall.

The attention to detail in defensive rebounding, in particular, was insanely impressive. Constantly swarming the glass. Same with defensive effort, offensive execution.....man.
 

riboflav

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He needs to shoot better but he’s doing everything else well.
We go through this with him every year this time of year and it's exhausting. Chill the F out everyone. Ask the Bucks in 2022 when he dropped 46 on the road down 3-2 or the 76ers when he dropped 51 in game 7 or in game 6 on the road down 3-2 and took over the stretch. Seriously, SoSH was freaking out about him in those two playoff runs, too.
 

radsoxfan

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I agree with this…..but if Mitchell was on this team he’d be starting next to Jrue with White back in his 6th man role and we win 74 games.
There is a 0.0% chance Donovan Mitchell would not start for this team (or any team in the NBA).

Clunky fit or not, he's one of the best players in the game and of course he would start with Tatum and Brown if we were ever lucky enough to have the option. It's not like his D is that terrible, plus I'm sure it would be better with less offensive responsibility.

Jrue and White are of course great backcourt options, but there is just no chance Mitchell isn't starting, regardless of fit.

DARKO.png
 

riboflav

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The Association and its fans continuously do not understand Tatum. We go through this every year. Why is Tatum not Ant? Why is he not Brunson? Why, in this series, is he not Mitchell who can score 33 points in three quarters and then none in the fourth? Why is he not (in past years) Giannis or Doncic or whomever? Maybe it's as simple as he isn't them. Maybe he plays great defense. Maybe he's a very good rebounder. Maybe he facilitates really well for his teammates. Maybe he recognizes nights where he doesn't have it and though he could score 40 on 30 shots he knows not to. Maybe his ego is set up to win over everything else. Maybe when called upon to win a game with odds stacked against you and you need pointz, he delivers more times than not. Maybe this dumb narrative finally goes away when the Celtics win it all in June. Maybe.
 

riboflav

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Like seriously Tatum unless he's injured is the last thing we all need to be worrying about with this team as constructed and playing the way they are right now. And I get worrying about him if you think he’s hurt.
 

rodderick

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Like seriously Tatum unless he's injured is the last thing we all need to be worrying about with this team as constructed and playing the way they are right now. And I get worrying about him if you think he’s hurt.
Wouldn't the argument be that people are worried about Tatum's shot selection and overall scoring efficiency precisely because the rest of the team is playing so well and everything else is running smoothly? Yeah, if the parts around him are working and he's having an off night it's great that he's comfortable deferring and not forcing the issue, I just would love to see him get in a groove and score without having to force the issue. I'm not all that confident he'll just be able to pull it out of his hat whenever needed.
 

Eddie Jurak

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We go through this with him every year this time of year and it's exhausting. Chill the F out everyone. Ask the Bucks in 2022 when he dropped 46 on the road down 3-2 or the 76ers when he dropped 51 in game 7 or in game 6 on the road down 3-2 and took over the stretch. Seriously, SoSH was freaking out about him in those two playoff runs, too.
Counterpoint. We lost last year, and Tatum's performance was erratic. High highs and low lows. The twisted ankle in game 7 of the Miami series was not his fault, obviously, but his inconsistent performance is part of why the team fell into a 3-2 hole vs Philly and then a 3-0 hole vs. Miami.

If he's the guy, at some point he needs to be the guy.

I highly doubt he'll be ending the playoffs shooting 38%, 25% from three, averaging under 20, and and the significance of those numbers is different when the team has 5 wins in 6 games. But if those numbers don't improve, we're not getting banner #18 this year.
 

BigSoxFan

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You could've said the same thing for Ben Simmons.

I'm being hyperbolic, but you get my point. The best players in the league find ways to not disappear, even when the defense collapses on them. It's one thing to praise him for deferring in the right situation, but he's not the first superstar that has talent around him that he can defer to when defenses key on him.

We need him to be the guy. Hopefully this is just a little hiccup early in the playoffs.
You are right that at some point he’ll need to alpha dog it. All title teams usually need their best player to do this at some point. Good news is that he has time to work it out. Assuming they advance, that’s when he needs to be “the guy”. But the good part of this team is that they have others to shoulder the load.
 

jezza1918

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Tatum is averaging 4 less shots per game than last years playoff run with a better asst/to ratio. I agree they’ll need 2-3 huge games from him if they are going to win 10 more (which will obviously improve his overall stats), but from my relatively untrained eye the team as a whole is taking what the defense gives them. And of course the one game he had his Pointz they lost…I think a younger, less mature Tatum tries to force it more against the double teams and the teams offense would be floundering.
 

jezza1918

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Wasn’t this whole team constructed the way it is to help their ability to win a title without having to rely on Tatum consistently putting up huge point numbers in the playoffs? They’ve already tied (or broken) the franchise record for most 20 plus point wins the playoffs with 4.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Tatum is averaging 4 less shots per game than last years playoff run with a better asst/to ratio. I agree they’ll need 2-3 huge games from him if they are going to win 10 more (which will obviously improve his overall stats), but from my relatively untrained eye the team as a whole is taking what the defense gives them. And of course the one game he had his Pointz they lost…I think a younger, less mature Tatum tries to force it more against the double teams and the teams offense would be floundering.
That’s what I see as well—-he’s consciously looking to move the ball more than in regular season. And defenses are focused on him -there’s good coverage of Miami shading two additional defenders towards him.

I agree shooting has to improve, and he can get iso-heavy. But in the playoffs thus far I think he’s been quite team-focused which is a big enabler for them
 

jezza1918

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Offensive rating:
Tatum on 125.5 (225 min)
Tatum off 100.8 (63 min)
My theory is that with the way he’s being defended so far that the Tatum of a year or two ago would have more points, but that o-rating with him on the court would be worse. Wasn’t there discussion in one of the threads on how the Heat have special Tatum rules on how to defend him? If teams adjust and put more pressure on white I imagine it will be come easier for Tatum to operate. And again, if not, they will need him to have a typical a small handful of typical Tatum games to win it all I think, based on his history im confident he can still deliver those.
 

jayhoz

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Jul 19, 2005
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I feel like the only the criticism I might have this series is that I won't have time to truly hate the Cabs or any of their players. They're kind of likeable.

I guess it's good though, cuz I need to rejuvenate my hate meter after a Heat series before we potentially play the Knicks.
Coming here to say the same thing. Strus has an incredibly punchable face, but he’s not good enough to care about. There’s got to be someone to hate. Help a brother out.
 

tims4wins

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I would argue that if he maintains a roughly 5 assist to 1 turnover average (like in the KFP sample from above) that the Celts are going to be just fine without him averaging upper 20s and shooting better.

And as @jezza1918 points out, the offense has simply been much better with him on the floor than not, with a historically high rating.
 

BigSoxFan

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Offensive rating:
Tatum on 125.5 (225 min)
Tatum off 100.8 (63 min)
My theory is that with the way he’s being defended so far that the Tatum of a year or two ago would have more points, but that o-rating with him on the court would be worse. Wasn’t there discussion in one of the threads on how the Heat have special Tatum rules on how to defend him? If teams adjust and put more pressure on white I imagine it will be come easier for Tatum to operate. And again, if not, they will need him to have a typical a small handful of typical Tatum games to win it all I think, based on his history im confident he can still deliver those.
I think two things are true:

1) Tatum is adding a ton of value every game due to his well-rounded skill set

2) Tatum will probably need to score better at some point for them to achieve their ultimate goal of #18, especially if KP is out or a shell of himself

I have no doubt that #2 is coming.
 

Jakarta

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I’m not worried about his shooting and I think he is trying to pace himself more since they haven’t needed him as much. There will be games where he is needed, and I suspect he will be able to provide what they need in those games.
 

jezza1918

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I think two things are true:

1) Tatum is adding a ton of value every game due to his well-rounded skill set

2) Tatum will probably need to score better at some point for them to achieve their ultimate goal of #18, especially if KP is out or a shell of himself

I have no doubt that #2 is coming.
Yeah very much agreed, in case that wasn’t clear. From a high level I just feel like we’ve had a few years of “Tatum needs to make better decisions,” and now he clearly is doing that. I’m quite happy with what I see from him overall so far, drain a few threes and those points will come.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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He also fell on his hip early in the game which might have lingered throughout the game. He did have a strong take near the end of the game, which was nice. It also did seem like Strus and his wide frame bothered him on defense as well. Dude was really banging on him to the point that Tatum took those two stupid fouls before the end of the half. I think in the next game they'll try to get him cooking early.
 

BaseballJones

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They’re 5-1 in the playoffs so far without Tatum needing to go off. There may be a few games where he does go off but it’s not yet clear to me that they’ll *need* him to go off, the way they’re constructed.
 

Justthetippett

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He also fell on his hip early in the game which might have lingered throughout the game. He did have a strong take near the end of the game, which was nice. It also did seem like Strus and his wide frame bothered him on defense as well. Dude was really banging on him to the point that Tatum took those two stupid fouls before the end of the half. I think in the next game they'll try to get him cooking early.
I don't think they'll do anything different. They just won by 25. He just needs to make his shots when he has the chance. And if the defense adjusts, take advantage. This team is a wagon. They won't force adjustments on themselves.
 

BigSoxFan

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They’re 5-1 in the playoffs so far without Tatum needing to go off. There may be a few games where he does go off but it’s not yet clear to me that they’ll *need* him to go off, the way they’re constructed.
The need comes later, not now. They should be able to beat the Cavs with Tatum taking every shot with his left hand. Next round, the buckets come much tougher (assuming Knicks advance) and that’s when we’ll need his shot making.
 

Ed Hillel

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They’re 5-1 in the playoffs so far without Tatum needing to go off. There may be a few games where he does go off but it’s not yet clear to me that they’ll *need* him to go off, the way they’re constructed.
Yeah, if White keeps playing like this and KP comes back healthy, they could 100% win a title with Tatum shooting 37% and doing everything else well.
The need comes later, not now. They should be able to beat the Cavs with Tatum taking every shot with his left hand. Next round, the buckets come much tougher (assuming Knicks advance) and that’s when we’ll need his shot making.
If it’s the Knicks, they’re going to put OG on Tatum, so it will again be the others who need to step up. With Mitchell/Randle out, KP should feast.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Don’t get me wrong - I think they’ll need Tatum to play well. But I’m not sure he will need to “go off”.
 

CreightonGubanich

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I'd also like to see Tatum shoot the ball better, but what's frustrating about the Tatum discussion is he's doing the things we've always said we needed him to do in order for the team to win a title, but because his three point shot isn't falling, it's getting lost a bit (not entirely, but in some cases).

We know Tatum can score the ball, he's always been able to. What he hasn't been able to do, in the playoffs, is react to how defenses are playing him, and not just make the right read/pass, but be able to manipulate the defense. He's doing that now. Teams try to trap him, and he's not just passing out of the double, he's making the incisive pass that breaks down the defense based on how they're playing him. He's passing in anticipation of the second defensive rotation, not just the first. And he's doing it without turning the ball over. This is elite level decision making. I didn't see it as much in game 1 against Cleveland, but Miami mortgaged the series on the idea that Tatum couldn't do what he did.

Part of it is that the cast around him is better; the level of shooting around him makes the process easier. But Tatum has become a real playmaker rather than a guy that just shares the ball. That's the last level for him in terms of carrying a team to a championship. He's now a guy that makes the guys around him better. And he comes out every game looking to draw attention and move the ball. I wish his shot was falling too, but he'll get there, especially as teams realize they can't overload to him the way they have in the past.
 

Jimbodandy

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Offensive rating:
Tatum on 125.5 (225 min)
Tatum off 100.8 (63 min)
My theory is that with the way he’s being defended so far that the Tatum of a year or two ago would have more points, but that o-rating with him on the court would be worse. Wasn’t there discussion in one of the threads on how the Heat have special Tatum rules on how to defend him? If teams adjust and put more pressure on white I imagine it will be come easier for Tatum to operate. And again, if not, they will need him to have a typical a small handful of typical Tatum games to win it all I think, based on his history im confident he can still deliver those.
Great post. Team is smoking hot, offense is working. Tatum's gravity is part of that. Miami was basically covering Tatum like a 6yo soccer team covers the ball. We coasted.
 

chilidawg

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Coming here to say the same thing. Strus has an incredibly punchable face, but he’s not good enough to care about. There’s got to be someone to hate. Help a brother out.
Why is it always white guys that have punchable faces? Too scared to even imagine punching a black guy? If you were face to face with Strus I don't think you'd be thinking about punching that 6'5 guy.

This seems to me like one of those things that really needs to go away.
 

jezza1918

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