NBA Playoffs Take Ratings Hit… But Are Better Than Ever

Recently saw that the ratings have hit a viewership dropoff akin to when Jordan retired both times. Is this because LeBron isn’t in the playoffs? Of course it is! However, I am stuck here saying this has been one of my favorite playoffs, and there are a host of reasons…

The West has had a shockingly bad playoff stretch. The Rockets and my beloved Jazz was horrible to watch. Watching the Clips take swings at the Warriors is cute, but futile. The Spurs and Nuggets is great, but it is just painful to watch the horrible shooting both teams are displaying currently. The best series is the Thunder-Trailblazers, and that is solely for the reason Dame is big brother-ing Russ out there. Or is it because Russ and the Thunder can’t hit a three if their life depended on it?

It doesn’t matter, since the East is where the action has been. Sure, the Bucks-Pistons and Raptors-Magic series were predictable in their outcomes. And the Celtics-Pacers game was disappointing without Dipo suiting up. Yet the best series of the first round goes to the 76ers-Nets matchup, where the Night King himself Jared Dudley has cemented himself as the Meme God of the playoffs.

Image result for jared dudley vs 76ers

Even though the Nets may be down 3-1 in the series right now, Game 5 is worth your attention. With Game 4 resulting in Jared Dudley taking swipes at both Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler, who knows what J-Dud has in store for us. However, he is not the only player to get ejected…

The real reason I am writing this is to point out why many around NBA media/Twitter are saying this is an amazing first round right now, and I think it is stemming from the animosity players are beginning to show again. Last year, there were 3 ejections in the entire playoffs. Before Sunday’s games, there were 7. AND THIS IS THE FIRST ROUND! I am getting some serious 90’s animosity levels on the court right now, and it is absolutely amazing to regain that aspect of entertainment for the NBA again.

Philly.com

Can’t wait for the Game 5’s to roll around. Might even make/buy some popcorn for this.

The Nets Deserve Every Part of Their Last Two Losses to the Sixers

In a shocking upset, the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round. To the Nets credit, they did shut down Redick, Harris and Simmons en route to a 111-102 victory. They even made Philly fans devolve into their natural forms and began booing their own team.

Little did they know, Philly booing themselves is a pretty easy feat to achieve. Game 1 could have just been an off night for the Sixers. Maybe just part of “the process” we should all be trusting.

Hard to believe that the team that hasn’t been good since Jason Kidd was a player would let one win go to their head. The trolls of Brooklyn even put up their keyboard for a night and took to the streets to let Ben Simmons know just how badly he played in Game 1.

Gotta say; this is pretty hilarious. Not just that something that never existed can’t be missing, but that every other line has a new jab at Simmons. The amount in his contract, the contact at the bottom, and the reference to what Jared Dudley had to say about Simmons’ play… “just average.”

Simmons probably didn’t see the missing poster before Game 2, but he definitely heard what Dudley had to say. He was probably asking the same question as the rest of us: “Wait, who is Jared Dudley?” It’s gotta sting a little bit when a lesser-known player than yourself decides to call you “just average”.

Brooklyn had to know that all of this chirping was going to bite them in the long run. And bite them it did. In Game 2, Simmons dropped a triple-double. Then, a 31 point performance in Game 3 to take the lead of the series 2-1.

Shouldn’t have poked the bear, Brooklyn. Y’all deserve every bit of these last two losses.

Philly Fans Back to Booing Their Own Team

Say what you will about the Philadelphia fan base, but at least they show up to games. Maybe what they do at those games is more detrimental than checking on your sick child, but they are there and that has to count for something.

If I know Philly fans for one thing, it is that they either easily lose faith in their team or they are all ghosts. All I ever hear is “boo”. In just the last week, they graced us with two different displays of their disapproval in two different sports.

First, they booed their own 76ers. Take a look:

Considering that the Sixers were getting worked by the Brooklyn Nets of all teams, I have to side with the Philly fans here. How much longer are they going to have one of the best starting 5’s in the NBA before they start getting some real results in the Playoffs. “Trusting the process” now is like trusting George RR Martin that the dragons would come. Yes, eventually they came, but like two seasons late.

Maybe the same true Philly sports fans went to the Phillies game, because they showed exactly why some people consider them the worst fanbase.

We’re booing pitchers for their hitting abilities now? That’s like booing Tom Brady for his catching ability… which I am sure Philly fans did too. So when all of the all-stars on the team failed to get anything going, the straw that broke the camel’s back was when the relief pitcher struck out. There could not have possibly been a thought process that went into that.

Exactly How to Stop Ben Simmons

On February 10, the Philadelphia 76ers took on the Los Angeles Lakers. The Sixers won 143-120, but Ben Simmons really did not help all that much. He only had 8 points, 7 assists, and 3 rebounds. More of a Lonzo stat line if you ask me.

So how did the Lakers hold him to such a bad night? They did not do anything spectacular. In fact, they did not do anything at all. Take a look at how LeBron guards him on this play.

Everyone know that Ben Simmons cannot shoot. Well, at least not on the basketball court. He is dating Kendall Jenner after all. Simmons can take just about anyone to the rack. This includes LeBron James. The best way to keep him from scoring is only guard him from where he can score from. Within 5 feet of the basket.

Don’t let Simmons take you off the dribble. Don’t let him get the separation or get you off balance near the rim. Guard him within the circle only. What is he going to do, shoot a three?

What Team Won the Trade Deadline

This year’s trade deadline had all the drama we needed to help us with the transition from football to basketball. There was tampering from owners, tampering from VP’s of basketball operations, tampering from players, and even tampering from head coaches that weren’t involved in any trades.

The Lakers were pretty much the only team getting any headlines the week leading up to the deadline. Magic and LeBron were throwing together just about anyone and everyone trying to trade for Anthony Davis. All for nothing. Gregg Popovich may or may not have had something to do with that (he definitely did).

The Lakers only move that was of any importance was for Center Mike Muscala. So was that enough to win the deadline? Of course not. They still have the deadweight of Lonzo Ball and everyone else not named LeBron James.

Told y’all AD thinks LA is a bum ass city

What about the Mavericks? They traded DeAndre Jordan, Dennis Smith Jr., and Wesley Matthews for the superstar/unicorn Kristaps Porzingas. Put PorzinGOD on a team with Dirk Nowitzki and Luka Doncic and you almost got a little Axis Powers situation going on. Was it enough to win the deadline though? No. Just like the Axis Powers, they got second place. Porzingas being traded does not make him any less injured and useless until next season.

Philadelphia had a big week though. In a blockbuster 6-player trade with the Clippers, the 76ers managed to add Tobias Harris, Regional Manager Mike Scott and Boban Marjanovic. If that doesn’t convince you enough, they were also able to finally get rid of Markelle Fultz and even managed to get something out of it. Two picks (1st and 2nd rounders) and Johnathon Simmons to be specific. The process may finally prove to be trustworthy.

The 76ers won the 2019 Trade Deadline. As a Celtics fan, I am officially starting to worry about winning the East.

Cavaliers Want Markelle Fultz

The Cleveland Cavaliers have reportedly reached out to the Philadelphia 76ers regarding a trade for first-round pick Markelle Fultz. Fultz has recently denied reports that he wants to be traded, but that does not mean he isn’t available. He has had a rougher relationship with Philly since he return from injury, and I am sure the arrival of Jimmy Butler isn’t making things any easier. Maybe a trade would be the best option for him.

No players have been named as possible trade targets from Cleveland. That being said, who wouldn’t love to see a Kyle Korver homecoming back to his first team? Not to mention how badly they need shooters. His and Fultz’s salaries are actually close enough to make this a straight player swap. JR Smith has also been super vocal about wanting out of Cleveland. I am sure he meant that he wanted to join LeBron in LA, but personally, I would settle for just about anywhere else at this point.

Cleveland would be a great fit for Fultz. He would be surrounded by young talent including Collin Sexton, Cidi Osman, Billy Preston, etc. and could help build the organization. The Cavaliers would also be a good destination because he would be allowed to struggle. He is obviously going through something right now. If Fultz shows up to games with both shoes on the correct feet, the Cleveland media will say he is doing “surprisingly well.” That would be great for his confidence. Fultz can’t be blamed for shortcomings here, because all the Cavs do is fall short. Hell, I’d pay $2 to go see Fultz bobble the ball around. 

Buck’s Wild Wednesday (11/21/18) – Fultz Says His Body Hurts…and That He Wants a Trade

…um…yikes…

Talk about a bad situation to say the least.  Imagine trading up to draft a guy with the yips, fixing him, trying to give him confidence…and then he decides he hates you all because you misdiagnosed an injury…or two.

So it turns out the 76ers somehow misdiagnosed a shoulder and wrist condition with Markelle…of course this is Markelle saying this, so maybe someone in his camp is telling him that this is the reason he can’t shoot.  Who knows.

But with this trade request, we now can get to the best part about this: potential landing spots!

DISCLAIMER: Of course, what the 76ers need from this trade is a guard that can shoot.  Another primary shot creator that can help get more buckets for them.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean much for this team since the potential teams they would be dealing with are…well, in need of a point guard lol.  They could finally realize Ben Simmons is their point guard and get more wings and big men, and improve their bench.  However, let’s dive in with my potential three teams looking to add Fultz, and maybe we can unearth a trade that (possibly) benefits both teams…

Phoenix Suns

It wouldn’t be a trade for a point guard if the Suns didn’t make the list haha.  The Suns went from having a glut of point guards to now hitting up G League players to fill their need.  Their new coach Igor Kokoskov (aka the man responsible for the mentorship of Luka Doncic) has Devin Booker running it in some sets, but that is merely a bandaid holding back the breaking dam.  They need a guard in a bad way, and they may be willing to give up pieces to make that happen.

76ers Trade – G Markelle Fultz (3 yr/$8.4 mil per)
Suns Trade – F Josh Jackson (3 yr/$6 mil per), F Dragan Bender (1 yr/$4.6 mil per)

WHY? – Pretty simple to be honest.  All three people involved in this trade cannot shoot to save their lives.  I have heard that maybe Mikal Bridges is the player that gets sent back, and if I am Philly I would want him back.  However, I don’t think the Suns would trade back the player they gave up two first round picks for.  Suns get a point guard that they need with the “Guard Whisperer” head coach, and the 76ers get another wing defender and four and a half mil that wipes off the books next season (which they now need to pay Jimmy Butler or a different star).  Maybe a 2nd round pick gets added either way, so who knows.  But I can’t see it happening.

Orlando Magic

So this is a team, while I don’t WANT to see Markelle go here since no one that goes here ever learns how to shoot, I want him to go here badly.  Out of the three proposed teams, this is the best team he could go to.  They have intriguing pieces, and they desperately need a point guard.  76ers need people anyway, and they can get some pieces that are pretty nice.  What they really need, of course, are shooters…

76ers Trade – G Markelle Fultz (3 yr/$8.4 mil per)
Magic Trade – G/F Terrence Ross (1 yr/$10.5 mil per)

WHY? – Without adding picks to this (which I assume would have to happen), this is a trade that actually benefits both teams.  Magic need a guard desperately, so bad that they moved Terrence Ross from small forward to shooting guard.  I also have heard that maybe they decide to move on from Aaron Gordon, but I find that unlikely.  76ers, however, get another shooting guard who can reasonably defend, and (once again), wipe the money off the books next year.

Charlotte Hornets

This is the team that would be a grand slam for the 76ers.  The Hornets are desperate enough to start a rebuild, but they do not want to do Kemba wrong at all.  He’s the best player to ever come through their franchise.  How do you fix that?  Easy, with a trade to a contender for a nice building block of the future…and draft picks.

76ers Trade – G Markelle Fultz (3 yr/$8.4 mil per)
Hornets Trade – G Kemba Walker (1 yr/$12 mil per)

WHY? – So, there will be draft picks added.  With how Kemba is playing coupled with the fact he is an All-Star, he should net the Hornets a bunch of pieces they need to launch their rebuild.  Markelle, Monk, Bridges, Kidd-Gilchrest, and Hernangomez are a tantalizing starting lineup for the future.  The picks they get in this draft (or the next ones) can help them plan ahead and draft better players for their team.  The 76ers get another All-Star that they desperately need, and their starting lineup becomes ridiculous.  It’s an upgrade (in a sense) for both teams.  While the 76ers may have the tough decision to pay Walker or Butler, they can cross that bridge when they come to it.

The Charlotte trade that is best for the 76ers, hands down.  I’ve actually even seen and heard some reports that this trade has been talked about.  Let’s see if the 76ers can actually make it happen.