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John and Brad have really, really arrived. Dwight Howard STINKS, but Dennis Schroder might not. And the Bulls are, in fact, back on their Bull shit.
It’s the Ham’s Hoops Roundup.
Scores and Series Updates:
Atlanta 99 – Washington 103 (ATL +5.5)
Washington leads 3-2… Game 6 Friday @ATL… NBATV 7:30
Chicago 97 – Boston 108 (BOS -7.5)
Boston leads 3-2… Game 6 Friday @CHI… ESPN 8:00
Three Big Takes:
1) The Bulls are, in fact, back on their Bull shit.
Guess we should have seen this coming folks,,
And also the Celtics will be fine. The first two games were understandable difficult. But once Isaiah looked like Isaiah again — not to downplay what he went through — they were never losing this series.
Also Avery Bradley is really good at basketball and is a guy who every team would kill for. Defense is, contrary to popular belief, half of the basketball game.
2) Dwight Howard STINKS… But Dennis Schroder might be for real
29 and 11. 5/6 from three. Getting under John Wall’s skin. Fighting over the illegalest of illegal screens from Marcin Gortat. Really out here going toe-to-toe with the second best backcourt in the NBA. I don’t know man… Dennis kind of looks like he’s here to stay.
You can have a few great games… you can have a sensational stretch… you can just get hot and stay in the zone for a while… and that could just be a flash in the pan.
But at a certain point, after doing it and doing it and doing it night after night after night in a series against one of the best players at the position in the league, you have to acknowledge that this might be who the guy is. Dennis got the Rondo comparisons coming into the league – maybe that extends even further past the lanky arms and mercurial personality. Maybe Dennis has a little Playoff Rondo in him. Maybe he’s a guy who raises his game come April and May. Maybe he’s just a fucking gamer like that. Because the way he’s gone tit for tat with Wall — a no doubt second team All-NBA guard this year and maybe the second best player in the East — has been something special.
Oh and you know who has never been and is still not a gamer? Folks,, it’s Dwight Howard!
3) Wall and Beal are ready.
20-6-14 and some huge plays down the stretch for John. 27-5 with three blocks and three steals for Brad. Monster buckets. Tough, clutch defense. And a real sense of the moment.
These two are fucking ready for the big time. They’ve shown in the past that they can and will raise their game come playoff time. But this year it really does feel like they’re ready. They’re ready for Boston next round. And they’re ready to push Lebron and the Cavs to the brink in the Conference Finals.
No, of course you don’t want to look too far down the road. They haven’t even won this series. And with the way Atlanta is playing, especially at home, I wouldn’t be remotely shocked to see this go seven.
But the way Wall and Beal are playing has me feeling supremely confident in the two of them. It feels like their year. Their year to eventually lose to Lebron, yes. But also their year to break through and cement themselves as superstars. Superstars who rise to the occasion. Superstars who will remain up there with the top contenders for years to come. Superstars who have, for lack of a better term, figured it out. And who only have one more level to go: the title.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Atlanta win Friday and push it to seven. But I’d be less surprised to see 28 and 14 with three momentum-shifting steals-turned-transition-baskets in the fourth from Wall and 36 and 6 with three put away buckets down the stretch from Beal to close it out on the road.
Stuff That Happened:
When you smoke one beer and drink one weed
Dwyane Wade carried the Bulls offensively last night as the de facto point guard with 26-11-8. Defensively? Let’s just say it’s been a while since Dwyane has had to handle to burden of running an offense.
Is Fred Hoiberg fed up with the bull shit? Well… it hard to say
Marcin Gortat’s moving screen game might honestly rival 08-12 Kevin Garnett. He’s not even remotely trying to hide it either! Look at this on John Wall’s dunk! The Polish Hammer looking like Joe Thomas protecting the edge.
This Bulls franchise doesn’t deserve Jimmy
*extreme Tony Allen voice*
The NBA remains the absolute best
Around The Association:
Kenny’s mom passed away last night. It’s easy to lose track of Kenny on Inside The NBA between Shaq’s antics and Chuck’s Chuckness. But over the last year an a half or so, it’s really become clearer and clearer by the night just how good he is. They say it’s hard not to like Ernie. And that’s true. But god damn if it’s not equally the case for Kenny. He’s smart and he’s prepared. He keeps it fun and light but can be measured and thoughtful when it calls for that. And most importantly, on a show with two guys unwilling to budge on what their idea of basketball is because that’s what it was for them, he’s willing and able to accept the changes the sport has undergone. And I know that has nothing to really do with him losing his mom. But I figured it was a good time to shout out Kenny for all he brings to that show. Big ups Jet.
Let’s end on a little lighter note here.
ERNEH FROM THE PARKING LOT!!
Schedule For Thursday, April 26:
Toronto @ Milwaukee (MIL -1.5)
Toronto leads 3-2… Game 6 @MIL… TNT Thursday 7:00
San Antonio @ Memphis (SA -4.5)
San Antonio leads 3-2… Game 6 @MEM… TNT Thursday 9:30