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Western Conference Finals Game 1 Thread

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I have to say these are now just threads instead of “open threads” because people who have no life but doomscrolling think it’s OK to put a bunch of off-topic shit on these NBA threads. It is not. Sports and food and such is fine. Fun stuff is OK. Keep your goddamn politics out of my NBA threads.

Now then, a couple of broader points before we discuss Game 1.

  1. I cannot believe Indiana blew that game that badly last night. How do they come back from it? The Pacers are fun. Tyrese Haliburton is great and the team is deep and they hustle and they’ve somehow managed to figure out how to play at least functional defense midseason, which as a Blazers fan, I did not know was possible. But Haliburton’s turnovers in the last two minutes of the game were just brutal and it let Boston back in. Add in Jaylen Brown having ice in his veins and you let Boston stay in and this what happens. I could easily see the Celtics just crushing them in Game 2.
  2. Michael Malone needs to shut the fuck up about reporters asking entirely reasonable questions, just because h doesn’t want to answer them. Malone is the Luka Doncic of coaching–incredibly talented, but whining all the time. He also hates being called Mike, so here’s my message–grow up Mikey and like it. Christ, you have me agreeing with Stephen A. Smith.
  3. Speaking of Smith, ESPN’s coverage of Game 7 of the Knicks-Pacers series was a clown show and the network has taken a ton of heat for it. ESPN coverage at this point is basically based on the cities Smith likes to hang out in. He wanted the Knicks and so the entire broadcast was a home cast for the Knicks. Infamously, during the halftime show–after a first house when Indiana set the all time playoff record for shooting percentage no less, Bob Myers turned a question about this back to the Knicks. Just a shitshow.
  4. Speaking of shitshows, how about the ABC/ESPN #1 coverage team. For some damn reason, they fired Jeff Van Gundy after last season (and Mark Jackson too but who cares) and replaced them both with Doc Rivers. Hilariously, the stated reason is they feared Van Gundy would return to coaching. That’s hilarious because Rivers did that very thing in the middle of the season, whereas Van Gundy never actually did that despite all the rumors. Then they promote Doris Burke and J.J. Redick to work in tandem with Mike Breen and Redick is now possibly the favorite for the Lakers coaching job! Meanwhile, Burke and Reddick have no chemistry and Breen is doing all the lifting for this series.
  5. This leads to the final point, which the NBA is going to kill Inside the NBA and all the great TNT coverage for a little more money. Thanks guys! Maybe we can have more Stephen A and Michael Wilbon!

As for the game tonight, I cannot wait. I wonder if Dallas can hang with Minnesota. I kind of doubt it. Basically, if you consider Edwards and Luka as basically equivalent players (talent-wise at least, if not style) and Towns and Kyrie as basically equivalent, it looks pretty even. But then Minnesota has Rudy Gobert as its third best player and while PJ Washington has had a nice postseason, he’s not Gobert. Then there’s Naz Reid. I think the Wolves have too much depth. But that by no means disqualifies Dallas. They just have to play great to win four, whereas I think Minnesota basically just has to play pretty good. Exciting series! Let’s chat!!!

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