The Los Angeles Lakers find themselves in the inaugural NBA play-in tournament, an NBA season full of surprises finds the Knicks grabbing a #4 seed, and college hoops is dealt another tough blow.
- Dotson loses it, walking the tightrope. Oh, Blake Griffin! Razzle-dazzle! Oh, next level! Kevin Durant-- the rack attack!
JARED QUAY: The NBA regular season concluded last night, and the new playoff format is set. Remember when LeBron thought the dude who created the play-in tournament should be fired?
JARED QUAY: Well, King James made that play-in game, which actually should get that dude a raise because the Lakers are going to play Steph Curry and Golden State on Wednesday. And that will be must-see TV.
LA has turned it around as of late, but has been a huge disappointment this year. Still, the Nuggets didn't exactly mind losing to Portland last night to avoid a potential first round match-up against the defending champs.
It was a crazy NBA season that defied expectations. While no one expected the Lakers to fall that far, the Suns rose in the West, outpacing their win projection of 39 and 1/2 by more than 10 games. All they had to do was add Chris Paul. As long as Tim Donaghy is a referee in the playoffs, Phoenix has a real shot.
- Oh, snap!
JARED QUAY: A big riser in the East was the Knicks. They nearly doubled their win total from last season and have landed the fourth seed in the East behind Julius Randle. He averaged more than 20 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, and 40% from 3. The other dude to do that in NBA history, Larry Bird.
The team the Knicks beat to claim the four seed, Larry Legend's old squad have been a total nightmare. The C's used 36 different lineups this year and did not have a ton of success. They were hit by injuries, COVID, and inconsistencies across the board. I wouldn't have blamed Brad Stevens if he took that $10 million a year and headed back to Indiana.
And while the haters tried to hate, Wardell Stephen Curry wasn't having it. No one thought the Warriors or Curry would do anything this year. But Steph won the scoring title on Sunday by dropping 46 and nabbing the eight seed for Golden State. He has now won the scoring title twice. And he's only the second player to do so after turning 33 years old. The other dude, Michael Jordan. Dang, LeBron, you got to step it up.
Finally, as the NBA's new playoff format is breathing extra life into the league, it appears that the college game is slowly dying. Five-star prospect Jaden Hardy has decided to skip school and head to the G League. He follows two other big-time recruits in the class of 2021. That now makes seven total players in the last two years skipping that one random, unnecessary year of college and headed straight to the league.
Yo, NCAA hoops needs to do what Jim Boeheim and John Calipari have been doing for years and pay these players. I mean, they can get them contracts in seventh grade, and just start paying them a little bit of money. So then when the NBA comes, they're like, no, I want to play my year of college, man. In fact, college, you need to change the game up.