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Everything posted by lethalweapon3

  1. Stashing my longform gamethread thoughts re: Luka vs. Trae+, here for future reference. ~lw3
  2. XHW Game of the Night: 76ERS "AT" TRAILBLAZERS (6:30 PM Eastern, NBA TV) -- It's Big Boy Pants, well, Shorts time for Al Horford. He finally jab-stepped up on Friday with 21-and-9 to help smother what remains of the Magic. Today, his Sixers have a chance to make it easier for Portland coach Terry Stotts, and the squabbling Damian Lillard, to wave buh-bye at a chance for a play-in, the Blazers coming off a deflating close in the final minutes yesterday against the Clippers. Philly has been able to hide their $28 million man's mediocre behind Joel Embiid and then Ben Simmons. But with the power guard/point forward Simmons likely unable to move forward as knee surgery's on the horizon, Al and the returning Mike Scott must be more than mere bit players. Meanwhile, will Jaylen Adams have to wait for the Blazers to get eliminated before he can see a meaningful minute on the Bubble floor? Anfernee Simons has yet to make waves when spelling Lillard, and the back end of a back-to-back would be a great time to see what Adams can (or shouldn't) do. ~lw3
  3. XHW Game of the Day: JAZZ "AT" NUGGETS (Right Now, TNT), because "VOTE 4 MILLSAP": Paul's the new Pedro! ~lw3
  4. Weakly-Attached Patella is what #WAP stands for, I'm told. ~lw3
  5. Some of the new schedule is out, and they're keeping things regional for Atlanta United. Three opponents over the next five weeks include Nashville SC, Inter Miami CF, and the MLS is Back finalists, Orlando SC. Two weeks before the season picks back up at The Benz (with no fans in there, naturally; advantage, Nashville?) Sat 8/22 vs. Nashville 7:00 (Fox Sports Southeast, 92.9 FM) Wed 8/26 at Miami 8:00 (Fox Sports Southeast, 92.9 FM) Sat 8/29 vs. Orlando 3:30 (Univision, 92.9 FM) Wed 9/2 at Miami 7:00 (Fox Sports 1, 92.9 FM) Sun 9/6 at Orlando 7:30 (Fox Sports Southeast, 92.9 FM) Sat 9/12 vs. Nashville 8:30 (Fox Sports Southeast, 92.9 FM) ~lw3
  6. After putting a sweet scare into Seattle on Thursday, will Chennedy Carter and the Atlanta Dream's rematch with the Dallas Wings (12 noon Eastern, ESPN2), featuring follow star ball-handler Arike Ogunbowale and fellow rookie sensation Satou Sabally, be an afternoon delight? Stay tuned! Let's Go Dream! ~lw3
  7. XHW Game of the Day: KINGS "AT" NETS (5 PM Eastern, NBA LEAGUE PASS) -- At this point, with 4 seeding games remaining, does it really matter to Brooklyn whether they'd be handed the Bucks or the Raptors in the opening round? Particularly, with the way Toronto has been rolling over teams? For the Nets' Jacque Vaughn, who's clinging to that interim coaching spot, he got his one signature Bubble win over Milwaukee a few days ago. All that matters for him, now, is beating the Magic next Tuesday or, if that fails, the Wizards in one or two play-in games. Anything more is gravy. Staring at a 14-year postseason drought, the Kings lost a top assistant, would-be Luka whisperer Igor Kokoskov, as he returns to Europe to coach Fenerbahce. But they've got Alex Len back, while forgotten New Day member Kent Bazemore has been preaching the power of positivity at every turn. After letting Bogdans be Bogdans and hanging a season-high 140 on the Pelicans just yesterday, is there enough useful energy left in Sacramento's tank for a high-scoring encore? Brooklyn's the only gimme left on the schedule, so if the Kings come at the Nets, they'd best not miss. ~lw3
  8. XHW Game of the Night: CLIPPERS "AT" MAVERICKS (6:30 PM Eastern, TNT) -- I doubt Paul George wishes to spend a whole playoff week lurking around Luka. Moreover, I can't imagine Junior Hardaway wants to be picking his poison between PG and Kawhi, to say nothing of Lou Wingyums. Coach Rick Carlisle would much rather see what Playoff Porter is all about, or Playoff Paul (Millsap), in a best-of-7 series. Maybe, he and coach Doc Rivers can help each other out tonight? ~lw3
  9. Imagine: your favorite basketball team just won a league championship. It was led by a player who, merely two seasons after being named Rookie of the Year, earns both league MVP and Finals MVP honors. You’re all set to bring the squad back for a repeat. But first… that superstar player must leave North America, to spend an offseason in Russia. It’s there, while guiding a Russian Premier League club to a Euroleague championship game, that the franchise player tears an Achilles, thereby derailing your stateside team’s hopes for a title defense. Such is the peril that lurks for the WNBA and its stars in every offseason, where the need to make ends meet and keep skills sharp year-round requires quite a bit of globe-trotting, and a dash of injury luck. The league tried to offset the sunk salary by paying 2018 MVP Breanna Stewart as a “league ambassador” in 2019, while Dan Hughes coached her Seattle Storm to a respectable 18-16 finish and a second-round WNBA appearance. The players’ union fought for meager improvements in revenue share that will have its most esteemed players making closer to $200k than $100k over the next half-decade, perhaps keeping a few American-born stars in The States more frequently during the downtimes. But the Storm understood that any addition to its banner tally relies on Stewie making it back healthy and prepared to dominate at the season’s start. They’ve got that, and Sue Bird, for the abbreviated 2020 campaign that has begun quite nicely for Seattle. They aim to stretch their record to 5-1 with a win this evening against the upstart Atlanta Dream (6 PM Eastern, ESPN2). The Storm entered the Wubble without Hughes, who has opted out and delegated the coaching reins to the accomplished Gary Kloppenburg. They likely go into this game without Bird (knee bone bruise), who is listed as day-to-day, and fellow veteran guard Epiphanny Prince, who has departed from the Wubble to attend to a personal matter. Breanna has had a smooth return to WNBA action, averaging nearly 19 points and catching 8 caroms per contest while leading the league with 1.8 blocks per game. She won’t need to vacate the paint much on defense, so long as Jordin Canada can stay in front of Chennedy Carter, whose 26 points kept Atlanta competitive with Phoenix for three quarters on Tuesday night. And with Natasha Howard in the middle and Alysha Clark roving from the wing, Seattle’s confident they can keep Carter bottled up, daring a WNBA vet to beat them instead. Sabrina Ionesu’s season-ending injury effectively narrows the race for Rookie of the Year to Dallas’ Satou Sabally, Minnesota’s Crystal Dangerfield, Indiana’s Julie Allemand, and Carter, who now leads active rooks with 17.4 PPG while trailing only Allemand with 4.0 APG. But tonight, and in the weeks ahead, Atlanta coach Nicki Collen will need better distribution and less head-down, damn-the-torpedoes drives from her leading scorer. The Dream (2-3) did much better defending the three-point line against Phoenix (4-for-20 3FGs), holding the Mercury down until Diana Taurasi finally found daylight in the second half of their 81-74 win. But going the other way, Atlanta will need better looks and sharper execution from Courtney Williams (3rd in usage%, one spot behind Carter; 9 rebounds but 1-for-8 FGs off the bench against PHX) and Elizabeth Williams. The latter “led” the way on Tuesday with six of Atlanta’s 23 turnovers (zero assists), and while the high-usage Carter committed five, Courtney and two other Dreammates committed three apiece. Atlanta is scoring the second-most points off turnovers (20.4, behind Los Angeles’ 20.6), but the Dream also allow the second-most (20.8, behind New York’s 21.4), and that erratic play won’t fly against a disciplined team (13.8 TOs/game, 3rd-fewest in WNBA; 9.6 SPG and 4.4 BPG, 3rd-most) with championship chops like the Storm. Under Coach Klop’s watch, Seattle doesn’t want to out-run opponents (league-low 79.8 possessions per-40), but they do like to out-gun them (8.4 made threes per game, 3rd in WNBA). Mo Billings and Glory Johnson must vacate the paint to attend to Stewart at the perimeter, and Atlanta’s wings must make Jewell Loyd (6-for-14 3FGs in past two games) become less of a sit-back jumpshooter and put the ball on the floor. Inside, Elizabeth Williams must hold her own versus Howard and limit Seattle’s opportunities for second-chance kickouts. The Storm’s 31.2 paint points per game are tied for a league-low, but they also make things miserable inside with a league-best 28.0 paint PPG allowed, forcing lots of turnovers (20.3 opponent TO%, 2nd-best in WNBA) while limiting fouls and opponent trips to the charity stripe (22.1% opponent FTA rate, 2nd-lowest in WNBA). The path is clearing for Atlanta to help Carter’s rookie run in the Wubble become an award-winning one, charting Stewart’s footsteps from back in 2016. After the season ends, Dream fans will just have to hope Chennedy can limit her traveling to the kind you see on WNBA floors. Let’s Go Dream! ~lw3
  10. Good to see Mr. See You in the Second Round doing well, hadn't thought of him in a minute. Coach showing some Lloyalty to his star guard with the "Trae" ceiling, nice! lol ~lw3
  11. in other news: "NBA Superstar" Yells at Cloud. ~lw3
  12. Glass was here w/ Tata for a minute, coaching Academy clubs beginning in August 2018, but he's not really a longtime disciple of either coach. Since January 2019, he's been running Atlanta United 2 in the USL Championship league. https://www.shieldsgazette.com/sport/football/newcastle-united/part-two-our-exclusive-ex-newcastle-winger-stephen-glass-he-talks-tata-martino-frank-de-boers-influence-his-managerial-future-injuries-which-plagued-his-united-years-112738 The former Scottish soccer star hopes he can simplify ATLUTD's approach, but hinted at a return to an attacking style (less of the passing-oriented style FdB ran), but with an emphasis on improving possession control. https://www.dirtysouthsoccer.com/2020/7/31/21348748/stephen-glass-atlanta-united-need-clarity-not-complexity ~lw3
  13. It's been kinda crickets around here since The Five Stripes promoted Stephen "They Called Me Mister!" Glass to the head honcho post on an interim basis. That's in part because, with the MLS is Back tourney about to wrap up (Semifinals start tonight! Philly 'n Portland today, Orlando and Minnesota tomorrow night), there is no word yet when the regular season, which assumes home sites will be available, will pick back up. ~lw3
  14. XHW Game of the Day: GRIZZLIES "AT" JAZZ (6 PM Eastern, FOX SPORTS SOUTHEAST in ATL, NBA LEAGUE PASS) -- Taylor Jenkins didn't know he'd need Anthony Tolliver this badly. With Junior Jackson out of action, and the Yacht Club West challengers nipping at his team's heels, Jenkins has no choice but to give the Grizzlies' March pickup a major uptick in floor time, after keeping Tolly limited to less than ten minutes in their last two losses. After making the wrong end of the highlight reel against Zion and the Pels, Tolliver and the Grizzlie bigs (time to thaw out Jontay Porter, maybe? Or at least Gorgui Dieng?) will have their bearclaws full trying to end Memphis' four-game skid today, versus The Stifle Tower. The battle of Budtree coaches will also have Quin Snyder turning to ex-Griz star Mike Conley to shadow Ja Morant, whose jumpshot could use a little less of a jump, and a lot more of a shot (2-for-19 bubble 3FGs). Losers of two straight themselves, Quin and the Jazz aren't laughing about that. ~lw3
  15. "Yeah, if I had to do it all over again... I'd have gone with the baby got back ribs." ~l0uw1llv1ll3
  16. Even the Greenleafs know... it's a tough scene for Memphis. ~lw3
  17. XHW Game of the Night: MAGIC "AT" PACERS (6 PM Eastern, NBA LEAGUE PASS) -- The Magic were skipping merrily along on Sunday, pasting Kent Bazemore and the Kings for three-and-a-half quarters, until Jonathan Isaac's untimely fall threw the team off-kilter. Starter James Ennis was brought back in to help keep Jabari Parker rusty, but a 30-point lead was sliced nearly in half in a matter of just over three minutes. Tonight, without Orlando's defensive ace around for the foreseeable future, and a game tomorrow against Toronto waiting in the wings, what can Ennis do to help the Magic avert The Wrath of Warren (oh, and you, too, Justin Holiday)? ~lw3