The first round of the NBA Playoffs may have gone just like we thought it would, but it was still pretty great. Just because we knew the outcomes, doesn’t mean we couldn’t enjoy some of these great pleasures of the first round.
This Bucks team is young and fun. Giannis can touch the top of the backboard from his knees. Thon Maker is showing signs of being an athletic rim protector for years to come (if he’s actually 20 years old). Malcolm Brogdon is an emotionless human, but a really quality player. If Jabari’s knees hold up, he’ll be another great player for the Bucks. Khris Middleton is a sharpshooter that spreads the floor. They are just loaded with youthful talent.
The great thing about the Bucks is that they play small ball really effective, without being small. Giannis is listed at 6’11” with a 3 mile wingspan and he’s the small forward (?) for the Bucks. Everybody is tall and long, but plays like perimeter players.
The Bucks didn’t have the experience to make any real noise this year in the playoffs, but they will for years to come. With the potential best player in the league in Giannis, Milwaukee could have something great for a really long time.
Everything about the Jazz
The Jazz are not your average team. They don’t have a single player that is supposed to be a stud on a really good team.
The Jazz are just a perfect combination of rejects. Rudy Gobert was a fringe first round pick. Joe Ingles is an Australian that has jiggled his way to being a really quality player and my phone background. The ancient Joe Johnson is the closer and Gordon Hayward is their “star.” This isn’t what you think about when you think of really good teams.
Despite not looking like a great team, Quin Snyder has the Jazz in the Conference Semis. And against the Clippers, we saw just how fun and interesting this Jazz team could be. This team is just so confusing in the best way. None of it makes sense and that’s why they are just so fun. Do they really have a shot against the Warriors? No (Vegas has the odds at -4000 in favor of the dubs). But how can you not enjoy a team that rides the hot hands of Rodney Hood or Joe Johnson?
The Brief Bulls Scare
We all thought the Celtics were done after the Bulls went up 2-0 on the 1 seed. And then Rajon Rondo got hurt. Now, I’m not going to act like Rondo is a stud anymore. I’m not going to act like the series was actually over. But, the Celtics were in some serious trouble.
Then the Celtics got lucky and Rajon Rondo fractured his thumb. And that kind of ended the series for the Bulls. We saw it in their effort and on the scoreboard.
Despite the way the series ended, we had some fun for 2 games! It was exciting to call the Celtics frauds and talk about how they weren’t the true 1 seed in the East. But now that’s over. Oh well, I loved it while it lasted.
Welcome Fizz to the NBA Spotlight
Dave Fizdale is awesome. In every way.
Fizz was coaching against Pop. In the Playoffs. And he felt like his guys weren’t getting respect from the refs. Most rookie coaches would just say, “Yeah we probably don’t have much of a shot anyway. I’m just a rookie coach. I’ll stay in my lane.”
Not Dave Fizdale. He reacted with a tirade that ended with the greatest line of all-time: “Take that for data.”
It was an absolutely great way to introduce the casual NBA fan to Fizz. He doesn’t care. And the best part is that his team reacted to it. We saw the Grizz take their first two home games against the Spurs. We knew the Spurs would win because, well, they don’t give quality minutes to Andrew Harrison or Wayne Selden. Regardless, it was a fun to see the Grizzlies put up a fight and even better to see Fizdale get some national publicity.
Now, we get into games that matter. We have the Celtics-Wiz rivalry. We can watch LeBron do what he does and sleepwalk through the East. We also get to see the Jazz take on the Dubs. And we can see the Klaw vs. the Beard. The first round of the NBA playoffs was a gift to basketball fans, but it only looks like it’s getting better from here.