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Draft Notes: First Round

The 2020 NBA Draft was as eventful as ever, and keeping track of the moves is tough, but don’t worry, I’ve decided to share with you some notable news from the first round of the draft.

LaMelo Ball

The first three selections in the draft went as planned, and LaMelo Ball going 3rd overall to the Charlotte Hornets was no surprise. I love the fit as it gives LaMelo the perfect situation to step right into an impact role, with even more opportunity for growth depending on what Charlotte does with Terry Rozier and Devonte Graham at the guard spots.

Hornets Select LaMelo Ball with 3rd Overall Pick in 2020 NBA Draft |  Charlotte Hornets

As he sends another son to the NBA as a top-three pick, Lavar Ball reminded us all that his unorthodox and often criticized methods paid off with his choice of hat for the evening.

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“I Told You So!”

Deni Avdija

At the ninth overall selection, the Washington Wizards stuck to a draft philosophy as old as time itself—Take the most talented guy remaining on your draft board. As a result, 19-year-old Deni Avdija will take his talents to Washington, D.C

Avdija is the youngest MVP in Israeli League history, and even though his selection might have surprised Wizards fans at nine, they made a pick that represented value based on his pre-draft projections.

Avdija was ranked within the top six by The Athletic and The Ringer, and Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard stated he had scouted him since he was 16-years-old, so it’s reasonable to see how once Onyeka Okongwu was off the board, Avdija was the ideal selection.

If you’re unfamiliar with his game, please take the time to check his highlights below and keep in mind to analyze how he moves, creates space, and scores.

Most people watch highlights and just focus on the ball going in the basket, but you can notice plenty about a players ability if you take note of just how surgical they are with their movement in the way they score.

Footwork and technique always show up on tape.

Ricky Rubio Returns to Minnesota

Ricky Rubio returning to the Wolves is a big note of my draft night because of what the move signals. Bringing Rubio back is an indicator to me that the Timberwolves made a trade to give their young team a leader and a proven winner.

Yes, I said what I said. Rubio knows how to win games better than most rotation point guards in the league, and his presence increases the ceiling of every player on the roster.

Rubio is a great veteran guard and will find minutes in the rotation due to his playmaking ability. Lineups Involving Rubio will allow scorers to work off the ball and focus on doing what they do best—put the damn thing in the bucket

After Selecting Anthony Edwards 1st overall and adding other young playmakers in the draft, the Wolves are turning in a direction that takes them a step closer to the playoffs.

Next, Minnesota must make the right moves in free agency to help maximize Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell’s impact in the upcoming season.

Minnesota Timberwolves trade PG Ricky Rubio to Utah Jazz for protected  first-round pick

Celtics Take Aaron Nesmith and Payton Pritchard

Sharpshooting, every team needs it, and the Boston Celtics made spacing the floor a priority on draft night.

For a team planning to be in the thick of the eastern conference, the selections of Aaron Nesmith and Payton Pritchard are picks that can help space the floor on day one.

Celtics select Aaron Nesmith, Payton Pritchard in 1st round
Nesmith (left) Pritchard (right)

Pritchard was one of the most competitive guards in the country at Oregon. He never backed down from a challenge and has an impressive skillset that propelled him to lead the Pac-12 in both scoring and assists a year ago. I project him to be effective off the bench and eventually develop to a point where he can command the Celtics second unit as soon as this season.

Joining up with Pritchard is Vanderbilt product Aaron Nesmith.

Nesmith is a lights-out shooter, and the combination of these players in the first round will help the Celtics lessen the blow of potentially losing Gordon Hayward this offseason.

The chart speaks for itself as the Vanderbilt product is one of the, if not the best catch-and-shoot rookies in the class. His value fills a much-needed hole in the Celtics offensive attack by adding another off-ball shooter to the rotation.

Haliburton Slips

Tyrese Haliburton is one of the most talented mismatches in this class due to his size at the point guard position. He’s also skill-wise everything you want in a playmaking guard, so it was confusing to see him fall to Sacramento with the 12th pick.

The Kings should feel great with the selection, but as a fan, I’m worried that he may not be able to maximize his potential in Sacramento.

Sixers

The 76ers were active during the first draft under new GM Daryl Morey. The Sixers may have one of the steals of the draft with Kentucky guard Tyrese Maxey’s selection at 21st overall.

Acquiring Maxey raises the talent level of the roster, and Morey’s trades rid the Sixers of Al Horford’s bloated contract and brought shooting to the team in the form of Danny Green and Seth Curry.

Klay Thompson’s Injury

Without a doubt Klay Thompson Tearing his Achilles is the most impactful story that occurred on draft night. The Warriors potentially lose one of the biggest pieces of their organization as they were primed to make a twilight run in the western conference.

The injury did not result in a change of plans for the team on draft night as they selected the most talented player on their draft board, Memphis big James Wiseman, 2nd overall.

Final Thoughts

The first round of the draft mirrored the unpredictability of the world around us as we saw many surprises one can attribute to the stoppages of sports last spring.

The first round was absent a few all-conference and conference player of the year candidates, so we may see a few gems in this class from late in the draft.

I’ll share my thoughts on some moves from the 2nd round— including undrafted free agents—in my follow up post.

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NBA Draft 2020: Part 1

The 2020 edition of the NBA Draft takes place this Wednesday, and I’m leaving the mock drafts for my second post and focusing today on the atmosphere surrounding such a unique draft, along with answering some draft questions I received from a few readers.

A Unique Player Evaluation Period

Due to the rampaging pandemic, the traditional pre-draft process is different than what we’re used to seeing, and one question that comes to mind is if this the most difficult year to evaluate talent.

The short answer to that in recent memory is yes, but enough information has been compiled on the highest-profile picks so, we should firmly know if their current value is accurate. (Ex. Mid-First, Lottery, Undrafted, etc are generally accurate labels, but the exact position is harder to pinpoint)

Many players primed for selection in the lottery are mocked accurately.

However, a lack of traditional workout periods coinciding with an abrupt end to the NCAA season could be the difference that may massively overrate or underrate a prospect with several question marks headed into the draft.

According to a Bleacher Report article from 2014, a phenomenal NCAA tournament performance increases the draft stock of a high performing player.

For teams, a lack of a traditional evaluation schedule could be the difference in drafting a franchise star or a bust.

For players, it can be the difference between finding the right fit and blossoming into their potential or being out of the league in a few years.

For the 2020 draft, finding the right fit is crucial due to the class having talent but lacking in star quality.

In my opinion—for the NCAA prospects, the lack of the tournament is a big loss. I’m forever a big believer that the tournament shows how the best prospects react to a high-intensity win-or-go home environment. You see how their game looks when everything is in control, you see their body language when they are fighting a deficit, and most importantly, who executes against the best when the clock dwindles into winning time.

Mason Jones

I have plenty of players I wanted to finish their campaigns, but if I had to pick one guy I wish we saw more of, I would select Arkansas guard Mason Jones.

Jones is a player that will go lower than his talent suggests because he is leaving for the draft as a Junior. Without a potential SEC tournament run to improve his stock, (Arkansas beat Vanderbilt in the first round) I wouldn’t be surprised to see teams take younger guys with a higher theoretical ceiling—something I find insane because his numbers are some of the best in the class.

Example:

Player A- 22/5/3 on 45% shooting

Player B- 19/5/2 on 40% shooting

So, I loaded that comparison, but keep in mind that Player B is the likely number one overall selection in the draft, Anthony Edwards. (Assuming the Timberwolves make the pick instead of trading it or deciding to take LaMelo #1)

Edwards has a higher ceiling, but they both played in the same conference against similar competition, and arguably, Jones still has room to grow at the NBA level. However, an abrupt ending to the season didn’t allow us to see the best that Jones might have put forward to increase his stock.

I’ll have to stop here as I work on some more content between now and the draft, but stay locked in as I bring you more content before the picks.

“I’m Back”

Like the NBA this past summer — I have decided to terminate my hiatus and rededicate myself to producing the best content I can deliver during these trying times, but this time, at a more consistent rate.

Before I dive into basketball content, make sure you follow @BucketsDistrict on Twitter for real-time updates on happenings within the world of basketball and districtofbuckets on Instagram for a more freely-expressed love and appreciation of the game.

And just like that, time to get back to basketball.

The NBA’s 2020-2021 Return

Buried under draft talk, trade rumors, and everything going wrong with the Houston Rockets, many fans are forgetting that the NBA and NBPA agreed to place the start of the 2020-2021 season on December 22, 2020.

At first glance, I get a feeling of pure joy, knowing the NBA will be the gift that keeps on giving this holiday season. At second glance, a thought of why the league should make starting around or on Christmas Day the norm comes to mind.

NBA Christmas Day games are always electric, the stars put on a show, and a decision to start the season on that day permanently adds significance for the day — as it relates to basketball — for new fans.

Along with an exciting atmosphere for fans, the league can show off some of the best alternate jerseys on players riding a wave of optimism that can only exist when records are 0-0.

On the schedule front, the league will stay away from the TV rating disaster of playing at the same time as the MLB playoffs, thus placing the Finals back in its rightful place in a competition with the NHL during the dead part of the baseball season.

Looking forward to the return this holiday season.

Who I’m Taking #1 Overall

The 2020 NBA Draft takes place on November 18th, and the basketball world has eyes firmly planted on the Minnesota Timberwolves with the first selection.

I’ve seen reports that say the Wolves are taking Anthony Edwards, and as of the last few weeks, reports saying that they are either planning to take LaMelo Ball or possibly trade back in the draft.

The correct move will show itself in time, but at this moment, if you hold the number one overall selection in the 2020 NBA Draft, you take one guy.

Anthony Edwards

Charlotte Hornets: Anthony Edwards reacts to Michael Jordan | Charlotte  Observer

I’ll keep this brief. (More DoB draft content coming this weekend)

Anthony Edwards should be the number one pick in the draft.

Time will tell if he will have the best career, but in this current moment, Edwards is the most NBA ready guy you could select at the top of the draft.

He’s a combination of elite physicality and shot-making at the guard spot. You need both to compete every night in the NBA, and with proper coaching and development, Edwards could blossom into a superstar.

Watching Edwards play at Georgia was astounding. When he is feeling it, and the shots are falling, you see the guy who dropped 33 in the second half against Michigan State in Maui last season.

If he maximizes his talent, there is reason to think the Maui style performance can make an appearance in the league on a regular basis.

The Upcoming Week In Buckets

Shoutout to everyone who made it to the end.

I’m working on becoming more consistent with my content, so I wanted to let you know about some of the things I have planned for the next week.

Nov. 15- 2020 NBA Draft Special

This weekend I am releasing my thoughts on the upcoming draft. Everything from the players and the potential implications that draft success can have on teams looking to improve in 2021.

Nov. 18– Walking Buckets

Highlighting a few scorers fans should be excited to score more of.

Nov. 22– Players returning from injury in the 2020-2021 NBA season

A focus on how injured players from the previous season might perform this year.

Can’t wait to get to work.

Nets Set On Nash

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The Brooklyn Nets ended their search for a head coach with the hiring announcement of former Phoenix Suns Hall of Fame point guard Steve Nash.

Steve Nash was reportedly 'struck by Durant's despondency' - SFGate

The hiring has seen mixed reviews among the NBA fan community, and today I wanted to take the time to analyze some of the potential pros and cons that could make this hire boom or bust.

Pros: Steve Nash

The Brooklyn Nets’ main benefit from this hire is the acquisition of one of the most accomplished and brilliant basketball minds to ever play the game.

Steve Nash showed a willingness to improve players around him during his playing days, and his mentality should carry over to coaching. Mixing his basketball knowledge and his good relationship with Kevin Durant — evidenced by his days as a Golden State Warriors consultant — is a recipe that could yield success in the big apple.

Nash can mesh the high octane talent on the Nets roster, and more specifically, can handle the task of meshing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to create a title-contending product.

Nash’s expertise will also help the rest of Brooklyn’s rotation, and I am looking forward to how he impacts the guards on the team.

Cons: NBA Head Coaching Experience

Steve Nash accepted this job with a lack of NBA coaching experience. The concerns here are real because lack of experience is what makes a move like this a risk. There are so many moving parts in an NBA organization, so it can be hard to trust an individual without experience on the coaching side of the game.

However, Nash recently held a consultant role with the Golden State Warriors and was able to be close to an organization and view the game from the lens from a non-player.

To sum up the move, I’d say it’s worth the risk because you don’t have doubts about Nash’s basketball mind when it comes to X’s and O’s, and hiring him appeases the superstars. One of the most overlooked parts of the head coach position in the NBA is the management of talent and egos, and I can’t think of a better way to manage all of the personalities on an NBA roster by adding a former MVP.

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District of Buckets All-NBA Bubble Team

The NBA bubble games have lived up to the hype.

Every team in the bubble is playing hard, and the level of basketball has mimicked the first week of the regular season as many players have fresh legs and a rejuvenated hunger to compete among the world’s best.

With the final seeding games approaching, and the official NBA all-bubble team announcement this upcoming Saturday, I decided to put a team together consisting of some of the most impressive players in the NBA restart.

Without further ado, here is the District of Buckets All-NBA Bubble Team.

PG: Damian Lillard

Before basketball stopped, Dame was on one of the hottest stretches of scoring we’ve ever seen from a guard, and his return to basketball has continued his run of high-powered scoring.

Dame Lillard Erupts for 51 as Sixers Fall Short to Blazers

In the last two games, Lillard went off for a combined 112 points against the Mavs and Sixers, and his level of play has Portland sitting in the 8th playoff spot in the western conference.

Lillard told the media that he “Packed for the whole three months” and backed that statement up with his play — The Blazers can clinch their spot as the team to beat in the play-in game with a win in their next matchup.

Per game stats: 37.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, 9.3 assists

Shooting %: 48% field goal, 41.4% 3pt, 88.7% ft

Record: 5-2

+/- : 2.7

Fun Fact: Ever since Patrick Beverly clowned Dame for missing two go-ahead free throws, Lillard has shot 33-of-34 from the line. Dame is also the only Blazer with back-to-back 50-point games.

SG: Devin Booker

Devin Booker’s scoring is no surprise, but the 7-0 bubble winning streak for the Phoenix Suns is one of the biggest surprises in the NBA.

Booker earns his spot here in my lineup over both Harden and Luka Dončić for the one reason he’s often snubbed out of critical acclaim for his scoring abilities in the past — winning — yes, winning. The Suns 7-0 record in the bubble validates that his scoring ability translates to wins in a “win or go home” environment, and places him ahead of two guards that are performing at a similar level.

The Suns are tied with the Blazers and Grizzlies and need to win their next game to clinch a berth in the play-in series.

Per game stats: 31.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, 6.1 assists

Shooting %: 49.7% field goal, 34.9% 3pt, 93.5% ft

Record: 7-0

+/- : 8.0

Fun Fact: Devin Booker has scored exactly 35 points in three straight games.

SF: T.J. Warren

T.J. Warren was averaging 19.8 points per game heading into the bubble, but nobody expected him to put on an offensive clinic in Orlando.

NBA: T.J. Warren scores 53 points in Pacers win over Sixers

T.J. Warren has always been a good scorer, but his willingness to fire more from deep, and his ability to hit at a high clip has taken his game from solid to show-stopping.

After Domantas Sabonis’ injury early in the restart, Warren has established his place in the lineup even further and is a driving force for any continuing success Indiana might find in the bubble.

Based on his play for the Pacers, it is safe to say they got a monster return in a trade that only saw them give up cash considerations.

Per game stats: 31.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists

Shooting %: 57.8% field goal, 52.4% 3pt, 88.9% ft

Record: 4-2

+/- : 11.7

Fun Fact: On August 1st, Warren put up 53 points on 69 percent shooting — Nice— against the 76ers.

PF: Kristaps Porzingis

I’m gonna be upfront and say that Kristaps’ place on this team is purely about putting the ball in the bucket. Porizngis is the only player on this list who holds a negative plus-minus and a sub .500 bubble record. However, he has been individually impressive and is the bubble player that I would want at the 4 in a lineup.

Porzingis scores at a high rate and his production will be desperately needed when the Mavs take on Clippers in the first round of the playoffs.

Per game stats: 30.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists

Shooting %: 47.6% field goal, 38.1% 3pt, 89.1% ft

Record: 2-4

+/- : -4.7

Fun Fact: On July 31st, Kristaps had 39 points and 16 Rebounds against the Houston Rockets.

C: Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid has been playing great ball for the Sixers in the bubble. Embiid looks to be the main driving force for Philly in the playoffs, as they will be without Ben Simmons for the foreseeable future. Despite injuring his ankle and missing a game, Embiid’s play thus far has been enough for him to secure the center spot in my All-Bubble Team lineup.

Per game stats: 24.4 points, 11.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists

Shooting %: 51.2 field goal, 76% ft

Record: 3-2 in games played

+/- : 3.6

Fun Fact: In the Sixers’ loss to the Pacers in the bubble, Embiid put up 41 points and 21 rebounds.



Walking Bucket: Montrezl Harrell

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Heart, Passion, and a true example of a blue-collar hooper, Montrezl Harrell brings maximum energy when he steps on the floor — the self-proclaimed “modern-day Rodman” will bring his toughness to the Clippers title hunt when he returns to the NBA bubble.

Harrell finishes everything at the rack, as is evidenced by his 18.6 points per game on 58 percent shooting from the field.

Trez is a reliable two points around the rim, and brings attention inside that makes life easy for the phenomenal perimeter players that the Clippers have stacked on their roster.

He’s not a floor spacer, but he thrives where a power forward must thrive — rolling to the basket after setting hard screens. He also puts defenders on an island in isolation with ease and often sees multiple defenders crash the paint when he attacks.

On the defensive end, Harrell uses his physicality to intimidate scorers around the basket, and as a result, leads the Clippers in blocks with 1.1 per game.

Currently, Montrezl is dealing with a family issue away from the bubble. His absence —hopefully — is only temporary as it would be a pleasure to watch him play his part in the most dynamic bench duo in the NBA with fellow Clipper Lou Williams.

Clippers and Montrezl Harrell have been clicking on offense since ...
Harrell hanging on the rim (Los Angeles Times)

Can’t wait to see what he’s able to do when he returns.

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Walking Bucket: Emma Meesseman

In honor of the return of basketball this week, I wanted to remind you of—or introduce you to, one of the best scorers in the game, Washington Mystics forward Emma Meesseman.

Meesseman is a surgical scorer.

She picks her spots well, and when you mix good shooting with good shot selection, you get efficient scoring.

In the Mystics 2019 Finals run, Meesseman averaged 19.1 ppg while shooting 58.2 percent from the field, 58.1 percent from three, and 82.4 percent from the free-throw line.

Meesseman’s postseason marksmanship mirrored her regular season. In the regular season, she missed out on making the 50-40-90 club only by not having the required minimum amount of field goal attempts. (55.2 FG%, 42.2 3PT%, 90.5 FT%)

Aside from her sniper-like accuracy, Meesseman does a phenomenal job of using her size and footwork to create space in one-on-ones. She also moves incredibly well off-ball, and when paired with the talent on the Mystics, she always seems to be open.

As an individual defender when you run into a player this skilled, who doesn’t need much space to get a shot off, with a high basketball IQ, you’re helpless if they’re making shots that night.

Meesseman is one of the most accomplished Belgian basketball players of all time, and her career accolades speak for themselves, so get ready to experience the legend of “Playoff Emma” when the WNBA returns.

Be sure to tune into ESPN on July 30th at 6p.m EST to watch Emma and the Mystics go to work on national television against the Seattle Storm. (one of only three nationally televised games, all but three will be shown on local television.)

Report: WNBA receives high grades again in diversity hi ...

Link: Meesseman’s self-reflection on her championship journey

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TBT 2020 Recap

TBT 2020 lived up to the hype and served as an oasis in the middle of the sports desert during a tumultuous year. The tournament showed us that with a strict quarantine bubble and vigorous testing, sports can still take place even during a pandemic.

It was a pleasure to be granted media access to The TBT, and I am forever grateful for being able to get a close look at how sports media works. (Mostly via Zoom)

This post is a quick shoutout to the two teams who made the deep run to the title match, and a short video of some of the action that took place late in the tournament.

The Champs

The tournament delivered high-quality play and compelling storylines that captivated the attention of the basketball world for a “March Madness” like atmosphere in the middle of July.

Rising out of the madness were the Marquette Golden Eagles Alumni, who, behind Tournament MVP Darius Johnson-Odom, downed Sideline Cancer 78-73 in the title game and won the $1,000,000 prize.

The Golden Eagles Alumni (pic by Ben Solomon)

The Golden Eagles boasted four players with NBA experience. (Darius Johnson-Odom, Dwight Buycks, Travis Diener, and Jamil Wilson)

Experience at the highest level of basketball is what proved to be the difference as they remained cool, calm, and collective down the stretch.

The Golden Eagles also did a phenomenal job of holding Sideline Cancer’s leading scorer Marcus Keene to only 6 points on the night, a reward that validates the aggressive defensive scheme that was stressed the whole game.

We witnessed a great run from the Golden Eagles, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they will defend their title in TBT 2021.

Sideline Cancer

The TBT 2020 runner-up is first in the hearts of many.

Sideline Cancer represents the Greg and Kathy Griffith Family Foundation, a foundation dedicated to eradicating pancreatic cancer.

This incredibly talented team played for a great cause, and for their late teammate Jermaine Marshall.

You could notice their extra motivation, the backstory of the team struck an emotional cord as they delivered a magical run to the title game.

Marcus Keene, Mo Creek, and Remy Abell hit huge shots the whole tournament, and the team looked resilient after losing former Maryland big man Diamond Stone in the first game.

Through all the ups and downs, this team clawed and fought every single time they stepped on the floor.

I look to see them making noise yet again deep into TBT 2021.

TBT Highlight Mix

The Tournament: An Introduction

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BASKETBALL IS BACK ON ESPN JULY 4th.

The Basketball Tournament, also known as the TBT, tips off this weekend on ESPN, so I wanted to quickly catch you all up to speed before the teams hit the floor in Columbus.

The TBT is an open 24-team tournament, with a winner-take-all prize of $1,000,000. The TBT has grown substantially in interest and talent over its 7 years of existence, all while giving fans the intensity of the NCAA March Madness single-elimination style.

My favorite thing about the TBT is the talent pool the players come from. The talent in the tournament ranges from players who have “Elite” overseas and NBA experience to even a team full of D2 legends.

The range of talent displayed is amazing because it highlights how great a player must be to succeed at higher levels of the sport, which is something I feel most fans don’t understand when they decide to flip on a game.

The TBT TV schedule as found on the TBT website

To qualify for tournament selection, teams have to fill out an application, and based on multiple criteria (including fanbase support), they are chosen to participate. Once selected and entered into the pool, the bracket is made, and the fun begins.

TBT 2020 will look a little different with only 24 teams. (The TBT had 72 teams in 2018 and 64 teams in 2019)

The Elam Ending

The Elam Ending is what truly separates The Tournament from any other basketball competition on the planet.

The Elam Ending was implemented for TBT 2017.

The Elam Ending was created by Nick Elam, a professor who dedicated his time to figure out how end-of-game situations could move away from late-game fouling. (Fun Fact: Intentionally fouling as the trailing team in a basketball game works roughly 1.5 percent of the time)

The ending starts at the 4-minute mark of the 4th quarter.

First, the game clock is shut off. Next, a target score of 8 points more than the current score of the leading team is set. (Ex. if a game is 60-50, a target score of 68 ends the game)

The first team to reach the target score wins, and the game has to end on a made basket.

The NBA adopted a variation of this rule in the 2020 All-Star Game.

District of Buckets and the TBT

For TBT 2020 District of Buckets has received online media day access to 4 teams.

Herd That- Marshall University Alumni

Men of Mackey- Purdue University Alumni

Stillwater Stars- Oklahoma State University Alumni

War Tampa- Players from the state of Florida and Auburn Alumni

Throughout the tournament (July 4th-July 14th), I am going to focus on these 4 teams. My goal is to highlight the best performances each team has on the court and focus on the playing careers of the players hunting for the glory of the $1,000,000 prize.

Basketball can’t get here soon enough.

More updates this weekend.

No Asterisk, The Winners of the NBA’s Orlando Reboot Are Legit

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This past Friday, the NBA released the schedule for its reboot in Orlando.

While it has been a pleasure to discuss upcoming NBA action, a developing argument about the legitimacy of a 2020 NBA Championship has gained popularity over the past few weeks. More specifically, an argument stating a Finals win in the Orlando bubble would not hold the same weight as any other championship.

As with most basketball arguments, the name LeBron James comes to the forefront.

There have been arguments made that if his Lakers win it —due the circumstances surrounding the reboot (COVID & social justice concerns)—the championship should not be viewed in the same light as his other rings.

I am vehemently against that idea, and anyone who wants to debate it can mention me personally, I have time to hear it all.

If you think the accomplishment of winning an NBA championship in the midst of a once in a lifetime pandemic somehow DIMINISHES the value of the win, you are just flat out wrong.

After teams complete their seeding games, they enter a relatively normal-looking playoff period. (based on number of games played)

Even though the optics around the game will differ (no real home games, no fans, etc.), every team will have the same chance to take the Larry O’Brien trophy home as even if play never stopped—However, this is all assuming that there are no hiccups and the reboot plan runs smoothly.

If the NBA’s plan alters course, and changes occur en route to a championship, the door is wide open to discuss a lack of legitimacy.

Until that happens, the last team standing is the rightful champion of the league, as always.

Please feel free to share your opinions on the platforms listed below.

Twitter- @BucketsDistrict

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