I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about, should I write about the Yankees, or should I write about the NBA Finals? After the voices in my head stopped debating I decided to write about both. Half of this article will be about the NBA Finals, the other half will be about the miserable Yankees.
Tuesday at 9 PM the Suns will face off against the Bucks in the NBA Finals. Wait a second, did I just write 9 PM? Who the hell at ESPN thought it would be a good idea to schedule a game at 9 PM on a Tuesday? Nobody’s going to watch on the east coast because they’ll be asleep because it’s a TUESDAY. Why not schedule the game for 7:30? If the game starts at 9 then it won’t be over until midnight. Who on the east coast will be up at that point? Probably just night owls, NBA fans, and junkies.
Two things about this NBA Finals. 1. They should be on TNT so Marv Albert could announce the Finals one more time, and so Inside the NBA could cover the games. ESPN’s halftime show sucks, and now it will be awkward as hell after the Rachel Nichols controversy, not to mention the show is all ads and two minutes of actual coverage (shitty coverage at that). 2. The games NEED to be earlier, the NBA will lose all their casual fans after 10 because it’s a TUESDAY. We need to go to sleep. We have stuff to do early in the morning.
I can already tell 10 years from now people will say, “Hey, remember when the Suns and Bucks faced each other in the Finals, that was weird.” Two teams that aren’t big market teams (cue David Stern rolling over in his grave), and aren’t important historically. The Bucks haven’t been relevant since the early ‘70s, they were popular in 2001 before David Stern ordered their death against the Sixers, and just recently have become relevant again.
The Suns were good when they had Barkley back in the ‘90s before Michael Jordan publicly executed them in the ‘93 Finals. I honestly don’t know how Michael Jordan isn’t in jail for murder after he killed the Suns. Then they had a potential dynasty in the mid-2000s before Bryan Colangelo decided to ruin that. Last year the Suns were a complete mess, but they acquired their savior, the only and only Chris Paul.
If you didn’t believe in the Chris Paul effect before you have to now. CP3 saved the Hornets, then the Clippers, then the Rockets, then the Thunder, and is currently saving the Suns. The Hornets were completely irrelevant before Paul took them to the playoffs nearly beating a much superior Spurs team, he made the Clippers perennial contenders (choked every time), took the 2018 Warriors to 7 games in the Conference Finals, made the Thunder a 6 seed even though they should’ve been a lottery team, and took the Suns to their first Finals since 1993.
If I were to have a list of the last three seasons for the Bucks without seeing what happened to them in the playoffs, I wouldn’t have thought this would be the year they went all the way. I would’ve thought the 2019 Bucks made the Finals or even the 2020 Bucks, but somehow the Bucks are here in the NBA Finals. (Take a shot every time I say NBA Finals, and then check into rehab because it’s 9 AM.)
Giannis has proved that he can be trusted in the clutch…. Just pulling your leg, Khris Middleton still has clutch time duties. However, Giannis has been reliable all playoffs even when he struggled he still managed to put up 22-9-6. I made those numbers up but they would always look something like that. Middleton has been lights out when he’s on and has done a great job when the going gets tough. Players like Jrue Holiday, Brook Lopez, Pat Connaughton, P.J. Tucker, and even Bobby Portis have done a good job as Giannis’ supporting cast. The Bucks have a legitimate shot at winning against the Suns. Do I think the Bucks will win? No, but I think they will be a worthy adversary. It all comes down to whether Giannis is healthy, and how well Mike Budenholzer does under pressure.
If you’re an NBA fan then you know Mike Budenholzer is on Doc Rivers’s level for terrible coaching in big moments. The Bucks nearly choked game 6 because he took his foot off the gas late in the fourth quarter. Mikey Budenholzer (we should all call him Mikey when he does a bad job coaching, like how we call Chris Paul “Cliff Paul” when he sucks), has to make in-game adjustments, but still be able to stick to the game plan. When the Bucks start to lose a lead Budenholzer tends to spiral and not call a timeout or make any adjustments until the lead is lost. Which isn’t a good strategy especially because Giannis isn’t known for being able to win a game from behind.
The key for the Bucks is simple: Middleton has to be clutch, Giannis has to be a force offensively and defensively, Holiday has to harass CP3, and Lopez has to prevent lobs to Ayton. Simple, right? Well, nothing is simple or easy with Mikey Budenholzer. Knowing him he will probably run the offense through Holiday who will do a terrible job and not let Khris Middleton get in a groove. And if Middleton doesn’t get in a groove early the Bucks are screwed. Monty Williams knows that because he’s a good coach, unlike Mikey Budenholzer. I know I’m really forcing Mikey Budenholzer as his new nickname but I think it’s pretty clever.
Phoenix knows what they have to do which is good because I can guarantee you Budenholzer has no idea what to do. Monty Williams would’ve been the coach of the year if it weren’t for Tibby taking a Knicks team to the playoffs even though they were predicted to win 25 games. Williams is a great coach, and having a good coach in the playoffs is half the series. Imagine if the 76ers had a good coach, they would be in the Finals right now, but they don’t so they aren’t.
Monty will have the wall to prevent Giannis, double Middleton, and let Holiday shoot threes until Budenholzer is forced to take him out. Monty (I can’t decide whether to call him Monty or Williams), will let Chris Paul do his thing, which is an excellent segway to my next point.
If Chris Paul doesn’t set the pace early, the Bucks will easily beat the Suns. Chris Paul isn’t known for being clutch (although game 6 against the Clippers last week was very clutch). So if Paul doesn’t set the tempo for the game early, they will be in trouble. CP3 will want to keep things slow, while Giannis will want to make the game faster and get transition buckets. Don’t get me wrong Paul is great in transition, just not for 40 minutes. CP3 will have to play major minutes in every game this series, and he’s smart enough to know how to pace himself. Hopefully, the Bucks will exploit the fact that Paul is old and can’t run up and down the court effectively after he’s played 40 minutes.
If Chris Paul shits the bed, it will be up to Devin Booker. Booker has shown he’s able to lead a team, like the time he went 8-0 in the bubble, or the time he scored 40 against the Clippers in game 1. The question is how well will he do? When I watch Booker’s game I see Kobe Bryant, the mid-range jumper, the fade away, his shot form, but we haven’t seen Booker have his signature playoff moment like Kobe did in the 2000 Finals. I guess we’ll have to see in this NBA Finals if he will be able to carry his team to victory.
I think this series will go 6 games, 5 games if Chris Paul has a performance that is so transcendent that his team wins. The Bucks will have their hands full, but so will the Suns because of Milwaukee’s depth. If Giannis is healthy this will be a competitive series, but if his knee is hurt worse than it seems then this series could result in a sweep. So really this series could go anywhere from 4 to 6 games, what the hell do I know?
42-41, that’s the Yankees record halfway into the season. Pathetic. Boone has time and time again proven his incompetence, for example, yesterday he put Chapman into close game 1 of the doubleheader against the Mets, and he blew it. We all knew he would, you know why? Because he’s been used more than a syringe in a crack house. Boone thinks that he can use Chapman like Torre used Rivera, newsflash asshole Chapman isn’t Rivera and you aren’t Joe Torre. He has to be hurt, at the very least Chapman is just tired from all times Boone STUPIDLY puts him into games. Like the Angels game last week when they were up 8-4, another newsflash asshole that isn’t a save situation so Chapman shouldn’t be pitching! Eff Aaron Boone! He’s an incompetent idiot.
I already talked about the Yankees shortcomings in my last article so I won’t go into depth here, but losing 2 out of 3 to the effing Mets?! Seriously, Cashman fire Boone! And Hal Steinbrenner fire Cashman! Gene Michael put the Yankees dynasty together in the ‘90s, and Cashman got lucky with his free agent signings in 2009. Get him the hell out of here!