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.

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: 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: All hail Dame $$$Dolla!

Damian Lillard was determined from the get-go. “We didn’t come here to play.” He sure was right. Contending for the West’s 8th seed was no joke for Dame and his team.

The Restart is now over!

What a two-week Restart! What a finish particularly for Dame and the Trailblazers?! Of the 22 teams that competed in the NBA Restart, 6 teams were sent back home. All 22 teams played, in my opinion, better than they did during regular season and before the shutdown, with the exception of two, maybe three, teams. The competition was fierce but the determination to qualify for playoff was fiercer.

A few offsets and surprises made me wonder what was going on in/around Camp Florida. But, as we always say, it’s all well that ends well.

As I earlier blogged, and stated to watch out for Dame/Trailblazers, he and his team did not disappoint and probably surprised noone other than their opponent, the Grizzlies! They played their hearts out and, fought to finish, for that 8th seed. Dame is definitely an indefatigable leader. No wonder he was unanimously selected for the Kia Player of the Seeding Game. He obviously couldn’t have done it without the equally indefatigable teammates, McCollum and Nurkic; who despite injury and death in the family respectively, were equally as determined to qualify.

I salute their tenacity. Congratulations to Dame and the Portland Trailblazers.

Here’s hoping the energy will continue to flow unhindered by any force of sickness or injury as they face the LA Lakers on Tuesday, August 18, for Round 1 of the 2019-20 Playoff.

Honorable mention is due to the Rookie, Ja Morant. He’s sure on his way for the bigger and better. Here’s hoping that he wins the Rookie Award, which could have been a difficult choice to make had Zion W. played as expected in the Restart. Zion’s efforts, or lack thereof, makes the award an easier one to choose.

Click here for more on Dame and Trailblazer news.

Below is the Round 1 Playoff schedule.

I’m excited for the 16 teams and look forward to more intense energy. We wish all players and coaches the very best competing for the race to the NBA 2019-20 Championship.