History in the Making! Will it happen today?

Have you been watching the NBA 2020-21 Championship between Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns, like I have? What a ball it has been!

Game 6 will be played today, at 9:00 P.M. EST in ABC. That’s in approximately three hours. It is the game NBA Analyst, Steve Aschburner, has tagged Desperation versus Discipline. I cannot agree more.

Desperation or Discipline?

Both Teams are indeed desperate to win today for obvious reasons. For Suns, it’s win or go home. The desperation is hardest on them such that some Phoenix lawyer(s) will pay for a billboard to be mounted in Milwaukee! Read about it here. Whether to support the Suns or troll the Bucks, it seems an act of desperation. The law firm should have used the money to fly all its staff and family members to Fiserv Forum to cheer Phoenix Sun if it really wanted to support. Well …

For Bucks, it’s win, clinch the Larry O’Brien Cup, or return to Phoenix for another grueling game.

Also, both Teams haven’t won a Finals in at least fifty (50) years.

Both Teams also have to indeed exercise discipline; a much better one than they had done and particularly did for Game 5 in order to mitigate the foul calls and avoid technicals and injuries.

Whether it is desperation or discipline, I hope it’s all clean, good, and fun game with no fatal injuries.

Background and Series thus far

As you may or may not know, NBA Playoffs and Championships are a series of seven games. The Season’s Championship began on Tuesday, July 6th at the home court of Phoenix Suns (PS). The Series started with Games 1 and 2 at Phoenix, Games 3 and 4 in Milwaukee, Game 5 – Phoenix, Game 6 – Milwaukee (today), and Game 7, if necessary, back in Phoenix.

As expected, PS clinched the first two games of the Series utilizing home court and fan base to their advantage, setting everyone, viewers and analysts, wondering what was going on with the Bucks, and thus putting Team Giannis in the hole 2-0! Phoenix’s fan base loudly roasted (or booed) Giannis Antetokounmpo (GA) non-stop at the free-throw line – a mental torture, in my opinion.

However, at Buck’s homecourt, GA appeared to get mentally tougher, better, and of course, fewer or non-existence of the Phoenix fans helped eased his composure at the free throw line. With some superb leadership caliber plays, Bucks won the next two games; also utilizing the fan base-home court to its advantage.

Though Game 5 was at PS’s, Bucks clinched the game; now leading series by 3-2. Spectacular was the steal by Jrue Holiday (JH) (from Sun’s Devin Booker) at the last few minutes, GA’s dunk, and Khris Middleton’s back-to-back three-pointers, including free-throws from fouls all helped put Bucks in the lead and cemented the win.

All games featured superb 40+ points each by three players; Devin Booker (PS), GA, and Khris Middleton (KM); thus making the Finals MVP a hard choice. Also notable were stunning steals in the last two games, including blocks and dunks throughout.

The Desperation continues

The Phoenix Suns franchise, established in 1968, has never won an NBA Championship. Per Jason Schandl, “the last time they even made the NBA finals was the 1992-93 season, when Charles Barkley and company lost to Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls. Their only other championship appearances came in the 1975-76 season.”

Bucks’ slogan is “History in the Making.” It’s the first time the team reached the Finals in fifty (50) years.

“The last time the Bucks were in The Finals, legends Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson were their stars. Current coach Mike Budenholzer was only four years old. Some of the 2021 players’ parents weren’t even born yet.”

Steve Aschburner

“Only four teams have ever bounced back from a 2-0 series deficit in the NBA Finals. Can the 2021 Milwaukee Bucks team become the fifth?” – Yash Mantange

The four teams, he wrote, were:

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016
  2. Miami Heat in 2006
  3. Portland Trail Blazers in 1977, and
  4. Boston Celtics in 1969.

I believe Mantange made the above statement simply because Milwaukee Bucks is closer to clinching the Series’ win than Phoenix Suns. But, it will be interesting to see the outcome tonight. Yours truly will definitely be watching, cheering, and taking notes. [smile]. I hope you will be too.

Post 2: Lessons Learned from just watching Basketball

In Post 1, I listed some observations from watching this season’s basketball. Please check it out to better understand the origin of this continuation Post.

In this Post, I’m diving into the Lessons Learned.

  1. Don’t give up: Persevere
  2. Be open-minded
  3. Change
  4. Believe
  5. Always put your best foot forward, and
  6. Speak / affirm your success.

Lessons

  1. Don’t give up: Persevere

The two teams in this season’s Finals got there as a result of perseverance and resilience. Not ever giving up means that your time will surely come if you continue to persevere. Most of us give up at the slightest turn of adversity and lose our dreams. Sometimes we give up at the edge of our breakthroughs.

Milwaukee Bucks’ back-to-back eliminations at the semi-finals rounds were both painful despite being the #1 NBA team both years. The team nevertheless did not give up, nor was the coach fired (a common theme with losing teams), nor did Giannis Antetokounmpo request a trade as a result. And, now, here they are at the Finals.

Another lesson came from Chris Paul who, and team, are also in the Finals now. But Chris has been in the NBA for sixteen years, in five different teams, but never once made it this far. Read more about Chris Paul here.

  1. Be open-minded

In basketball, or any sport for that matter, or in business, or at work, one may be required to perform in a different position, shift, or another job, or be offered a differing business proposal. It is important to be open-minded in accepting the shift or change and/or weighing the proposal. LeBron James though officially a forward, small and power, has played the point guard position and is one of a few players capable of playing all five positions. He wouldn’t have been if he had closed up on being tried on the other positions. True that sometimes one might try other positions and not excel at it. That’s okay; the attitude should be that “at least I tried it.” One would never know without trying.

  1. Change

Change is good. Yet some changes can be bad. It is a matter of attitude and perception – is the glass half-full or half-empty.

Changes for the players may occur as a result of trades or exercising their free agency options, and for the coaches by being fired. Both players and coaches could also not have their contracts renewed.

Trades are a part of basketball. It happens every season. NBA has designated a time frame for all trades to happen and the “deadline traditionally is in early February, about three and a half months from the start of the regular season.” While some players request the trade either because of friction / conflict or frustration not advancing as envisioned, most are traded because of non-performance. Also, most teams trade as a business proposition. An example is when the team desires a key player. To make it happen, the team might have to exercise some options that will trade (or let go of) an existing player or players in order to make room for the new player without exceeding the salary cap (which is the limit to the total amount of money that NBA teams are allowed to pay their players.). Good examples were when Golden State Warriors (GSW) and Los Angeles Lakers acquired Kevin Durant (KD) and LeBron James respectively.

I watched KD being an unhappy and aggressive player during his tenure at Oklahoma City (OKC.) But saw a “new” KD while at GSW. He didn’t show any unnecessary aggressiveness, but merely let out his super-elite skills. And he was happier in my opinion. The same observation goes for Anthony Davis formerly of New Orleans Pelicans (NOP), now with the Lakers.

  1. Believe

Faith is action. And faith without works is dead. Putting our faith to work produces result. And backing our faith with action, produces the desired result. Faith without action is merely wishful thinking. I noticed a lot of the players show, overtly or covertly, one form of faith or another. Some do the sign of the cross and others clasp their hands in a form of prayer. Notable among the players are Steph Curry and James Harden, The clasped hands might also connote “thanks.” Since I don’t know why the players perform the acts of faith or gratitude that they do, I’m unable to say whether their were praying or showing gratitude for answered prayers or not. But those forms of public actions demonstrate the players’ faith in a higher being.

  1. Always put your best foot forward

Some of us wait for things (or life) to happen to us then we react, rather than being proactive and going for the best and highest of everything we desire in life. I used to be so, too. There were areas of my life that I would not negotiate and thus was very proactive in those areas. A few others though, I just “accepted” when I should have denied.

In the Milwaukee Bucks-Atlanta Hawks Series opener, I witnessed Bucks playing reactively and thus not only lost to Hawks for Game 1, but had to thereafter “pant to win” though they were clearly the favored-to-win of the two teams. The win still happened for the Bucks in this instance, but sometimes it could have been the opposite. I hope that they learned a lesson from it, too.

Lesson: put your utmost endeavor at the onset of everything you do.

  1. Speak / affirm your success

This should actually be the Number 1 lesson but I left it here to match its placement with the first post.

Speaking your preferred outcome into existence is an act of faith though many call it affirmation. Whatever you call it, just speak it out specifically loud and clear. I know LeBron James spoke it out and pursued it relentlessly to the point of changing teams in search of the first Championship and ring. He’s done it thrice, has the three rings, and is looking on to the fourth.

Chris Paul has also declared that he has to win the Championship.

Note: your words must be specific. For example, “this is my year or season to win the Championship” is much better than saying “I have to win the Championship.” The latter is too general and has no set date attached to it.

It is akin to setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Target Date) Goals.

Questions and Comments

There you have my 6 Lessons Learned from watching Basketball. The lessons also apply to other sports. Do you watch basketball, too? Which of these lessons resonate with you? Do you have other lessons you would like to add? Please include in the Comments. Thank you for reading; like and share if you please.

All Hail Milwaukee Bucks, the Eastern Conference Champion!!!

What a game! What a series!! I had to watch Game 6 all over again.
But now it’s over and on to the next challenge, the Real Finals.

Milwaukee Bucks are the NBA 2020-21 Eastern Conference Champs. The #3 Eastern Conference seed defeated the young and feisty #5 Atlanta Hawks in an incredibly underestimated 4-2 run.

Milwaukee home fans

I hope that Bucks learned a lesson or two from this Series which started with underrating Atlanta in Game 1 of the series The “hungry” Hawks quickly stated that they showed up to play and behold won the Game.

I had thought that it would be an easy win or a sweep, but Atlanta Hawks proved me wrong.

Of course the Series was not without its share of injuries. Both Teams’ key leaders were sidelined for two and three games each respectively. First, it was Trae Young, then it was Giannis Antetokounmpo. Both Teams survived and won at least a game each without their key players.

Giannis, who left Game 4 and missed Games 5 and 6, humbly stepped aside to allow his deserving teammates; Middleton, Holiday, Lopez, Turcker, Portis, and Connaughton, to enjoy the exhilaration of holding the Larry O’Brien cup. They all elevated their games to cover Giannis’ absence and thus are taking the trophy back home to Milwaukee.

Bucks will face the Western Conference Champs, Phoenix Suns, starting on Tuesday, July 6. It sure will be another spectacular Series as it is Bucks Final qualifier since 1974 and Suns’ since 1993. Both Teams also entered the NBA in the same year. Surely, I’m not about to miss any of the games.

Hope you’ll be watching, too.

Congrats again to Milwaukee Bucks being the superior team in the Series.

Thanks to Team Trae Young for giving Bucks a hard-earned game. Till next season, rest, rest, rest!!!

The NBA Finals begin on Tuesday, July 6. Oh how I wish the Bucks have more time between games to recoup and reenergize. Phoenix Suns has been “resting” since Thursday. I’m sure they will all be fine. 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾

CONGRATS TO PHOENIX SUNS, The 2021 NBA Western Conference Finalist!

While we await the conclusion of the Eastern Conference Final, which has been a roller coaster of a series, I stop to Congratulate Phoenix Suns, Team Devin Booker, Chris Paul, Deandre Anton, Mikal Bridges, Cameron Payne, et al.

They just defeated LA Clippers in an emotional and high-intensity-packed game amidst injuries, bruises, fouls, technicals, and all, that demonstrates a finals hunger. And the hunger was satisfied with immense resilience and perseverance.

It’s the Suns’ first win in over thirty (30) years and Chris Paul’s in sixteen (16). Highly commendable.

👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾😎👍🏾👍🏾👍🏾

The NBA Finals will definitely be a record performance of two hungry teams; be it Milwaukee Bucks or Atlanta Hawks. Can’t wait to watch. I hope you’ll be watching, too.

What happened to the Spida fire?!

As you may have known or heard, Utah Jazz has been eliminated from the Playoffs. They started well with ‘Spida’ Mitchell on fire in Games 1 and 2, but the Los Ángeles (LA) Clippers came with their fire extinguishers for the subsequent games and Spida could fire no more. It was sad to watch Team ‘Spida’ Mitchell unable to bounce back after leading 2-0. The Number 1 Western Conference Team was sadly eliminated by the Number 4.

What happened?

One team was hungrier for the win than the other? Or the two-up-Team felt that it was a done-deal and relapsed? Your guess is as good as mine.

Experience was a factor in my opinion; the difference between the vets’/playoff/finals’ teams on one hand compared to the new-kid-on-the-block team on the other. Utah also doesn’t have any such player on their Team.

Clippers’ win was the Team’s first Wéstern Final. They move onto Round 3, the Western Playoffs Championship, against the Phoenix Suns (PS). Series is already in progress with PS leading 2-0. Will Clippers continue their new signature-style and strategy as seen with the Dallas Mavericks and Utah Jazz? Time will tell. Watch the game tonight at 9:00 PM (Eastern Time) to find out.

Well, on to next season for Team Utah. Thanks for a great and exciting 2020-21 NBA Season.

Congratulatory Corner

Congratulations to Utah Center Rudy Gobert though for being the 2020-21 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year; an award he has won for three consecutive years and overall four times.

Shoutout, as well, to the First and Second All-Defensive Teams. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

Did you watch it?

Game 7 was phenomenal as expected. It could have passed for the NBA Finals, rather than the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals that it was. And for the Milwaukee Bucks, no other game going forward, could be as challenging as the one today against Brooklyn Nets. For sure!

So, Team Giannis won having narrowly missed a last minute three-pointer that could have ended the regulation with Kevin Durant’s (KD) shot, but for his (KD) foot on the line. Thus it was a two-point shot. It tied the game and went into overtime.

KD’s three/two pointer shot

The overtime (OT) started with Nets early shot, while Bucks’ shots refused to hit the basket until almost the fourth minute (of the five-minute OT).

A game with KD is not over until the clock times out because he is such a great player and shooter who can shoot from any angle. Unfortunately his last shot for the Game 7 OT was an air ball. As Giannis always says, a win is a win, whether by one or ten points. KD’s miss clenched the win for Team Giannis.

I have watched both Giannis Antetokounmpo (GA) and KD played each other times without number, both during regular seasons, Playoffs, and Finals, but still none compared to 2021 Game 7 nor have I ever seen both key players as exhausted as they both were for this Game. Everyone, that is the NBA village, was watching.

Bucks was the underdog, but with injuries plaguing the Nets, they had a chance. And chance they not only had, but took, and snatched the win from the Big Two (or shall I say, Big One-and-a-Half since Harden, who surprisingly made more shots (3s) than he did for Games 5 and 6) was not totally healthy. He stepped up immensely though to aid KD and the Team.

The key players on both Teams were glaringly and excruciatingly exhausted not surprisingly since both KD and Giannis played about 50 minutes each and had 40+ points. Giannis played with a limp towards the end having suffered pains from being hit. So did P. J. Tucker at some point. Giannis was also ridiculed at the free throw line for taking too long and missing the shots anyways, which he finally overcame and made a total of I think five out of the eight free throws. Middleton was hit in the eye. And there was also foul troubles; P.J. Tucker, who was doing a tremendous job guarding KD and frustrating his efforts, eventually fouled out during the OT.

Great Sportsmanship

KD gave his respect to the Milwaukee Bucks for all they did tonight, during the Series, and had done throughout the Season.
See the after-game video courtesy of NBA.

Congrats. Congrats. Congrats.

Congratulations to the Milwaukee Bucks. They get two days of rest, (excluding travel back to their home base) while waiting on the winner of Sixers and Atlanta, before the start of the Eastern Conference Finals Series.

Bucks-Nets Game 7 was the Game of the Season and one to remember for years!

It Is A Must-Watch Game 7!

You probably already heard about Brooklyn Nets-Milwaukee Bucks’ Games 5 and 6. If you thought those were spectacular, today’s Game 7 will definitely be much more. It is a MUST WATCH! This is the finale that determines who advances to the Eastern Conference Finals. The fight of the titans. An African adage says: “when two elephants battle, it is the ground (where the fight is taking place) that suffers.” We don’t interpret ethnic adages (aka proverbs) literally because they are so weighted that no literal translation can suffice. In the above adage, imagine the ground being wet and muddy, then imagine if the ground was dry and concrete. [laugh] Get the picture?

when two elephants battle, it is the ground (where the fight is taking place) that suffers.”

An African Adage

Anyways, and seriously, I am so excited that the game extended to Game 7. It was what it was supposed to be. The first two games of the series were a sham indeed. Bucks finally awoke and tied the game, only to lose Game 5 in the last few minutes of the fourth quarter though they had led throughout. It was unbelievable with Giannis’ fumble at the critical moments and the Team being in foul trouble. But Game 6 was better making it look like a ping-ponging series between the two teams. The ping-ponging is the sign of an equal team natch. But now this is it. Today at 8:30 P.M. ET.

Both Teams have utilized their respective court advantages. So, if courts- and fans-advantages have played a role, though I believe that Bucks could have won Game 5 on Nets’ ground, how will it play out today?

We will surely find out. Make sure you watch it if you can.

Congratulations

Congrats to the Los Angeles (LA) Clippers for making it to the Western Conference Finals. They defeated Utah Jazz’s Team Mitchell yesterday winning the series 4-2. It’s the first time ever for the Clippers to advance to the Conference Finals despite their key player, Kawahi Leonard, being injured and missing their last two games.

Congratulations also to the Phoenix Suns and their determined Team Devin Booker, Chris Paul, Deandre Ayton, Cameron Payne, and Mikal Bridges for making it to the Western Conference Finals. The Western Finals start on Sunday. Doubtful if Chris Paul will be playing the first two games since he’s on protocol watch.

It has been fun and exhilarating watching the games so far. It gets even better going forward till the Grand Finale.

Are you watching? Why or why not?

Loving Basketball: Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets’ Game 4 was super-electrifying. Did you watch it?

Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets’ Game 4 was super-electrifying. Did you watch it?

It was very physical. Which is okay for a Playoff game, right, but when intentional hurt, harm, and injuries overshadow the games, it takes the fun away. I felt such happened during the game, but overall it was just what was expected of two elephants on the court. To some, it’s a part of what Playoffs and Finals are made of. Does it have to be though?

Unfortunately, Brooklyn Net’s Kyrie Irving, the Team’s indomitable point guard accidentally stepped on Giannis of Milwaukee Bucks, thought he twisted his ankle, had to leave Game 4, and won’t be available for Game 5. We learned later that Kyrie only suffered a sprain.

Also, Milwaukee Bucks’ Guard, Pat Connaughton, got hit in the brow and had to be stitched. Was his hurt/injury, a retaliatory action?

Yet, there was the unflinching recently-acquired-from-Houston Rockets Guard, P.J. Tucker, who superbly defended and restricted my awesome KD such that KD was frustrated and had a too-close-for-comfort-facial court encounter that necessitated KD’s bodyguard running to his side. It was dramatic and scary for me to watch. For a second I thought it was about to turn into a scuffle. Thank goodness that the swift actions of the referees and coaches averted one. [sigh]

All said and done, the Bucks put up a superb and superior game to equalize the Series; now 2-2.

Kudos to all for a tremendous Game 4 worth watch.

Today is Game 5. Nets’ James Harden, who left Game 1 with a hamstring injury and missed Games 2-4, might return to aid the lone star of the Big Three.

Will Bucks continue with the tight defense and fearless pursuit? We’ll see tonight.

Hope you’ll be watching too.

.

Loving Basketball: #1 Team “Spida” Mitchell on fire!

It’s the kind of game worth the money to watch if I were in Utah for Game 1 of the Round 2 Western Conference Playoff between #1 Utah Jazz and #4 LA Clippers.

The overall 2020-21 NBA leader defended their title and proved that they rightly earned the #1 position.

Starters and benchers of both Teams contributed amazingly. At the end of the night, Leader Spida Mitchell stepped up and carried his team to a 3-point lead victory, with Rudy Gobert’s last minute rejection of what could have been a tying-shot. It was thrilling four quarters.

New Jazz co-owner Dwayne Wade (another of my fave players, now former), with spouse Gabby Union, were there to cheer the Team.

It’s sure going to be an exciting series. Looking forward to Clippers’ fierce comeback on Thursday. Make sure you watch it.

Loving Basketball: The Big Three are Nasty!

Excusez-moi, monsieurs! Qu’est-ce qui se passe?

What I envisioned to be a game of the titans is turning out to be an embarrassing game of mismatch to watch. Pardon me, but it appears that Giannis and Team Milwaukee are proving to be no match for Brooklyn Nets’ Big Three of Kevin Durant (KD), Kyrie Irving (KI), and James Hardin (JH); Big Two for Games 1 and 2 since Harden exited at the onset of the series. I can only imagine if he was playing.

The Nets rout Bucks, without resistance, in the second game leading by almost 40-points. Game 1 was sort of a sampler. I had thought that Bucks will resist and show up for Game 2. But was I wrong? Glad that I didn’t bet on it because I could have lost money big time.

I love to watch a game of equals and I had thought that there wasn’t much difference in NBA’s 2020-21 #2 Team Durant/Brooklyn Nets and #3 Team Giannis/Milwaukee Bucks. But watching Games 1 and 2 of Round 2 of the Playoffs, and particularly Game 2, proved that the difference and disparity goes beyond the numbers and thus me wrong.

I’ve always loved Kevin Durant (KD). The boy’s got style on the court. He’s so slick and plays the game with such unbelievable ease. So when he was acquired by Golden State Warriors (my favorite Team), I was elated. And he proved his worth earning the back-to-back MVPs. KD’s on-court countenance also changed compared to his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Too bad that we (GSW/fans) couldn’t keep him longer.

Anyhow, KD seems to be on a roll for a championship as it appears that this might be a sweep if Milwaukee is unable to bring their A+ game on Thursday and fight back. I hope they will. In basketball nothing is impossible as we saw with the Dallas Mavericks and LA Clippers.

On edge waiting for this duo’s Game Three … till then

Love and Peace.

The NBA 2019-20 Champions were Defenseless tonight!

As you may have heard, LA Lakers are out of the Playoffs. The 2019-20 defending Champions showed up on the court tonight against the Phoenix Suns defeated even before the game started. It was depressing to watch. I wonder what happened in their locker room just before game time.

Phoenix Suns on the other hand showed up to win. What with Devin Booker lighting up from the onset. He had 47 points tonight!

Congrats to Suns and on to Round 2 to face Denver Nuggets.

Playoff Round 2 will surely be spectacular to watch.

Results of Round 1

Round 2 Brackets

Congrats to all Teams moving on to the Second Round of Playoffs and thanks to the other teams for putting on their best for the seven games.

Loving Basketball: And Yes, Giannis-Bucks Won!

The game was over no sooner I submitted my last post. It is official that Milwaukee Bucks are the first team to win the first round of the 2020-21 NBA Playoffs. They defeated Miami Heat with a hard 4:0 sweep; 120-103. Game four actually started with Miami leading well into the second quarter. But you know, a 20-point lead or deficit in basketball is no longer new; it’s still can be any team’s game. Not that Heats led with that many points though; they led by ten in the first quarter at one point.

Anyway, it was a SWEEP. Bucks came with the broom, brush, RoboVac, and suctions for the cleaning business. The sweep seemed like a vengeance from the start till the finish. Hopefully, it was all ‘just basketball game’ though a few instances didn’t appear so. What with a Miami Heat’s player on Giannis, while lying on the court after he was fouled, whispering “__” to him that was caught on camera and got him a technical?! Some said that stuff like that comes with the territory especially in Playoffs or Finals games. Um, I don’t know about that. My take is that it does not have to resort to that.

Last season, too, had Giannis so provoked that he head-butted someone. I’ve never seen him lose his cool like that. They all trying to get under (or into) each other’s head and skin.

This time around, Giannis came with a renewed and recharged mental toughness fitting for the leader he truly is. He and teammates made a statement putting on the classic show.

Giannis and his team have ample time to rest between games while waiting for the next team and Round 2. Bucks will play the winner of Brooklyn Nets (Kevin Durant et al) and Boston Celtics (Jason Tatum et al). Will be another spectacular round.

Congratulations. I am so happy for the Bucks Team. ThinkTalk is cheering you all the way.

Loving Basketball: Will Giannis and Bucks be the First Winner of Round 1?

Credits: YahooSports

What a difference a year makes! Remember the two Eastern teams to face off in the second round of Playoffs last season? Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat?

They are at it again. Only this time, it’s a different ball game.

The two started this season’s Round of Playoffs. It’s been a Milwaukee dominant show since Game 1. As at now, Bucks is leading the fourth quarter (101:90) after a slow and momentary lead by the Heats. Will it be Heat being cooked and given their own dose of (fill-in-the-blanks). Can’t wait to find out. Please stay tuned.

Loving Basketball: 🥵 Golden State Warriors’ 2020-21 NBA Season is Over?!

Two painful losses for the Dub Nation in the Play-In Tournament fighting for the 7th or 8th Seed, first against LA Lakers and tonight with the Memphis Grizzlies, substantiates the fact that some outcomes in life just don’t make sense despite your BEST efforts.

It’s the second time Warriors will miss the Playoff after winning the Championship thrice, with one back-to-back.

As a fan, the losses hurt. I can only imagine how Steph and team feels.

But for a team that started the season with only eight players (due to injuries) for the first twenty or so games, coming from last and second-to-last team, to now be in the Play-In, despite the loss still needs to be commended.

Well, on to next season. Hopefully, we’ll have Klay Thompson, who’s been out since 2019, back and be back to our Championship form.

Step said “It’s weird going out like this … we gave it all the gas we had in the tank.”

Thanks Dubs for a great season!

Loving Basketball: Woohoo All 30 Teams Playing Today!

It’s a day of basketball starting now. All 30 Teams playing today – 15 games!!! It’s Pre-Play-In which starts on Tuesday. Some teams (6 from the Eastern Conference and 5 from the Western) have clinched a Playoff seed, but a few teams need to win the game today and the Play-In to qualify for Playoff.

If you’re in the U.S., check your television local and sports channels for correct times. You can also subscribe to the NBA Station for individual games or all games. Happy viewing.

Praying for all Teams.

Loving Basketball: 2020-21 NBA Season, Play-Ins, and Playoff

What a Season! The 2020-21 NBA Season has been quite interesting. What with covid and a lack of fan-fare. We must commend all the players for continuously entertaining us despite being in lockdown away from families and their fans. Yay yay yay. I hear your mutterings – they are only doing their job after all the big contracts and pay packages. True, but I believe that they could have opted out of the lockdown conditions during covid and still be legally or contractually un-liable. Well, what do I know; I’m just speaking from my heart. I am however glad that they didn’t and chose to play through it all.

The 2020-21 NBA Season started in December 2020. Now, it’s down to the wires as the Season officially ends on Sunday. Under normal circumstances, we would have known the eight teams that made the Playoffs which starts a week from Saturday (May 22nd). But since the Season’s circumstances were abnormal, there is a Play-In Tournament to determine the 7th and 8th seeds. The Play-In, starts before the Playoff Tournament, on May 18 through the 21st and, according to the NBA, “will include teams with the 7th through 10th-highest winning percentages in each conference.”

Is the Play-In an exception as a result of covid or does this become the NBA Playoff norm? We will find out sooner or later. I bet the ninth and tenth teams, given the opportunity to play-in, are glad, but it might be one game too many for the current seventh and eighth teams.

It has definitely been an interesting Season to watch. On the Western Conference, what with the 2019-20 Championship, LA Lakers, regressing from the #1 Team, and Golden State Warriors once the #15 team advancing, to both now needing to win to clinch a Playoff seed. Likewise, the Eastern Conference has seen an impressive Miami Heat already clinched the #5 playoff seed, while the once indomitable Boston Celtics is in the same boat as their Western Conference counterparts, LA Lakers.

No one team retained the #1 spot on either the Eastern or Western Conference throughout the Season. However, the Utah Jazz has maintained the #1 spot for the Western than any other, while the Philadelphia 76ers are currently Eastern Conference #1 seed.

Of course, playing rigorous, and sometimes heart-wrenching, 72 games took its toll on some of the players and some teams a lot more than others. See this current injury list of all teams. Understandably. Here’s wishing a speedy recovery to all.

Life Lessons learned from the NBA Games

  • The greatest lesson learned, cliched as it may sound, is that nothing lasts forever. Never say never.
  • The other lesson is that resilience pays. Just watching the teams and players not giving up; one game after the other, was exciting sometimes playing through pain.
  • Grace was present for those players who merely and naturally were themselves and played for the love of the game, rather than for showbiz.
  • Opportunity might only come once in certain instances. Always be ready and prepared – no excuses. Watching how bench players had to step in and up. If they missed that opportunity, they get replaced or don’t get another chance for a long time. I wish that Coaches could give other players more playing times so that they can easily step in when the noted and more famous starter-players became injured. This one puzzles me all the time as it looks so simple, but I wonder why it’s not implemented so. I’ll love to know what the reason behind this is. It takes a few back-to-back losses for a team to recoup itself after an injury to the main player.
  • Basketball is a team sport, but sometimes it only takes one player to make the defying moment of victory. Often times, it is the least-expected player that makes it happen.

The next few days are highly expectant. I know it is for me. ThinkTalk wishes every team the very best.

Loving Basketball: Opening Night was unsurprisingly entertaining!

It was a double-header – Golden State Warriors (GSW) at Brooklyn Nets (BN) and Los Angeles Clippers (LAC) at Los Angeles Lakers (LAL) – opening night to start the 2020-21 NBA Season. With my fave Team, fave player, and the Lakers’ Ring celebration; all were exciting from beginning till end and an indicator of what the Season beholds..

There are great players in the NBA; while all are athletically fit, only some have great speed, some are vibrantly feisty and spur the Team on, some are sleek, some are sharp three-point shooters and some can do the free-throws with their eyes close. I don’t think the last one is allowed in the NBA. 😊 But I hope you get the point. In my opinion, I don’t suppose any possesses all combination skills like Kevin Durant (KD) who is now with the Brooklyn Nets! The boy has style and is just darn good; look at his record above. It was exciting to see him and watch his debut comeback game after about a year-and-a-half hiatus due to Achilles suffered during the 2018-19 Championship game while still with the Dub Nations. KD did not disappoint playing the first NBA Game of the 2020-21 Season. Of course he didn’t do it all alone. He and his duo, Kyrie Irving, combined for 48 points.

Unfortunately, they played Golden State Warriors (GSW). Steph Curry tried his best rallying his new and younger players. But without his tenured duo teammates Draymond Green and Klay Thompson who are out due to injuries, it was an upheaval battle matching KD and his Team.

Brooklyn Nets’ win was not unexpected. The reverse would have been grossly disappointing because the team has more seasoned players than GSW.

The second game of the night started with the Lakers’ Ring Celebration. It was beautiful with each player’s family virtually presenting the player with the Championship Celebration Ring. See the NBA video here.

The Lakers however got a rude awakening from the Clippers. It was fun watching the Clippers finally fight the Lakers back tonight.

All-in-all, both games offered a taste of what the Season would be like. It’s going to be hella exciting. I hope you watch some of the games too, especially those lined up for the Christmas Day. 😊

Loving Basketball: 2020-21 NBA Season Starts Tomorrow!

For lovers of NBA Basketball, the 2020-21 Season starts tomorrow!!! I’m so excited but too bad Covid-19 has barred fans from being live on-the-ground to watch their favorite Teams. Well, we’ll be glued to our televisions.

It’s going to be different. What with Teams’ almost all new players and the ten (10) players who, missed almost all of the previous season or more, now returning, and all the BIG deals and trades! Giannis Antetokounmpo having the BIGGEST BADDEST DEAL! The trades are on till March, so still more trades to expect and James Harden is still looking for a new home. I wonder where he’ll land.

The Championship race this season will sure be different. Personally, it’s hard to tell who’s going to lead each conference, but I know it’s gonna be darn wild and exciting!! Yours truly will be watching and I hope you will too.

Here’s the Season’s Broadcast Schedule. Watch your locals for appropriate showing times.

Loving Basketball: Preseason starts this Saturday!

t.email.warriors.com/r/

Woohoo!!!

Check your local Teams for respective stations’ airing times. You know (C)ThinkTalk will be glued to the television.

Quiz:

Which Team will win this season’s Championship?

1 Golden State Warriors

2 Golden State Warriors

3 Golden State Warriors

4 Golden State Warriors

😆 Okay, I just displayed my bias!

Let’s take two:

Which Team will win the 2020-21 NBA Championship?

1 Golden State Warriors

2 Los Angeles Lakers

3 Miliwaukee Bucks

4 Brooklyn Nets

You can also write it in the comments.

Hope you’ll be watching too!