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What You Need to Know About the NBA For This Week

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LeBron James says the person who came up with the play-in tournament should be fired, the defending champion Lakers are in danger of falling in to the tourney, Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo put on a spectacular show (with a rematch on deck), LaMelo Ball continues to thrive.
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Good monday morning, everybody, let's set the scene for the defending champion Lakers. They lost their two stars this season for extended stretches. But the rest of the group held their own. They did enough to stay in the five spot in the Western Conference standings and you can win from the five spot. Check the Houston Rockets from 1995. They were the sixth seed anyway. Since Anthony Davis and Lebron James have returned. There's a hole in the boat one in five with Anthony Davis and now oh and two with Lebron after losing to the rackers at home on sunday, the Lakers have dropped to sixth and are in danger of falling into the playing tournament in the seventh through 10th seats after the loss. Here's what Lebron James said about the playing tournament, pardon the language, but I have to give you his exact words, quote, Whoever came up with that shit needs to be fired. The playing tournament is not going anywhere, even if Lebron doesn't like it. There is a quote going around from him last year when Lebron said he wanted to play in tournament during the Covid shortened season. But he was talking about the teams trying to get in in a shortened year. Like the Blazers and the Grizzlies, it's not an apples to apples comparison. That was different. He wanted those teams to get a shot. He can hate one and not like the other, but it sure seems like teams really hate it when they are in distance of making that planter and having to play in it. But Lebron just made it more popular. It also brings a lot more intrigue here to the final two weeks, even before the play interim. Now, I think people are going to be watching that. The NBA has long struggled to keep the regular season relevant and this does that it's not perfect, but it does make plenty of sense. So why are the Lakers losing since Lebron return while Lebron is no restrictions after that high ankle sprain, but he's clearly not healthy and it's clear he's kind of just feeling his way back as is Anthony. Davis Lebron played 27 minutes against the Raptors, 19 points, five turnovers was contentious setting his guys up with six assists and he sat the final six minutes because it was a little bit sore. The the ankle was bothering him a little bit, but the rappers, they just smelled blood. Only two guys who were playing from their championship run. And there are those two guys got whatever they wanted, pascal CIA can have 39 Kyle. Lowry had 37. I mentioned the playoff run for the Raptors because this could have been their championship knocking off the Lakers here. Ella's next five games, the Nuggets, the clippers, the Blazers, the Sons and the knicks. That ain't easy eight total games left, including two back to backs. But listen, I think you can look at this positively for the Lakers, it could help them get into playoff mode a little bit early. They need that because they're going to be playing a real good team no matter where they end up in the standings at worst, they make the play in tournament. Lebron is known for a feel out game in his first game of the series just to get to know his opponent then hitting him in game two. Now there's no series here, if they make the play in tournament, but if you finish seventh or eighth, you get two cracks at making the playoffs, just have to win one game. Maybe it's good for the Lakers. They need more games over the next couple of weeks, so they're ready to go as soon as the real playoffs arrive because again, zero pushovers in the Western Conference playoffs. They have the Nuggets tonight. Then monday at home, monday at home, that Nuggets game. So we're all intrigued by these last couple of weeks. Right. I mean, I'm intrigued just saying Nuggets. Lakers and the Lakers could be the first turn or a team to make the plan tournament and win the championship. That's history baby. Uh that was wild stuff. Now let's get to another intriguing game. The Brooklyn nets and the Milwaukee box. Sunday afternoon. My goodness, Yannis versus kevin Durant. It's the first of two games between these two teams and the Bucks one this one by three. Yannis had to go in all game long. He was being guarded one on one by the Brooklyn nets. No help, nothing. Mostly DeAndre Jordan Janice ended with 49 it came easy because DeAndre Jordan was just playing off him. Yeah, it's just shooting 10 footer after 10 footer. And then when he wanted to he would go around DeAndre Jordan with nobody around. It's just Yanis versus whoever is blake griffin a little bit later in the game. But both those guys did not have the foot speed to deal with them nets. Head coach steve nash said he's not saving any scheme for a potential playoff series between the bucks and the nets and I don't know if Nash is lying but he can't play Yannis one on one again. No chance. There's a reason teams build a wall on Yannis in the postseason because he'll go for 49 versus single coverage any day. Especially a couple 32 year olds in Jordan and blake. Maybe nash is saving young net nick Claxton for his reps in the playoffs. Klaxons cleared to play but uh, he didn't play in this one. They'll probably just double soft double like most teams do in the playoffs. We'll see if natural changes it up for Tuesday's rematch because it was a special night for Yannis and a pretty special defensive play when he blocked Kevin Durant with two minutes left. We always say Durant shot can't be blocked, especially by a guy guarding him. Help block is kind of possible, but Yanni's block Durant while guarding him straight up. Durant drove created a little space but Yanni says so long he recovered to block Durant's jumper. Pretty stuff you don't see that often or ever. Really. Durant never gets blocked. That was incredible defense. Durant had 42 in the loss because he is also phenomenal and he had a chance to tie it at the buzzer but missed again rematch Tuesday, can't wait. The Bucks are now three back of the six years for the one seed and 2.5 back for the nets of the nets for two in the Eastern Conference. The 70 sixers at the top hung on to win versus san Antonio. On sunday it was an undermanned spurs team took Philly to overtime and when Joel Embiid missed a game winning attempt in overtime, Ben Simmons, who is only one of five shooting at the time tipped at home to give the 76 years a win. Simmons took two big charges in overtime. Doc said those were the biggest plays of the game. He doesn't need to score. You see, get a coach slash cheerleader that loves you as much as Doc. Rivers loves Ben Simmons, That guy is always in his corner. Gotta love that. This game was the start of five games in seven for fillies. So the nets have a chance to make a move because I think Philly will rest some of their stars. During the stretch, the spurs are hanging onto 10th and the final play in tournaments seat after a tough weekend, losing 20 T games Philly and then before that jayson tatum 60 point night for the Celtics on friday, the warriors jump the spurs in the standings this weekend, Last note Rudy gay past buck Williams to enter the top 100 scores in league history. Nearly 17,000 points. I just want to say buck Williams, Rudy gay. Two great names in NBA history. I don't know how many points lamelo ball is going to score in his career, but the rookie is truly worth the price of admission or worth your time to tune in to the hornets. If you're watching from home, he's just so gifted with the ball. He crossed the heat, scoring drag of sunday, then used his eyes to fake out guys as he drove to the rim, switch hands and laid it in. Then he had like a 75 80 ft baseball past the lead. A team mate just before the buzzer at half. Its not afraid to try anything as a rook. It was the second game back from injury. He had 14 points in the loss to Miami lamelo needs Gordon Hayward? Back from that foot sprain. If they're going to make some noise. Hayward should be back before the hornets playing tournament run because they are very likely to end up there. And that runs gonna be must watch you see Lebron, you're gonna be watching this, you must be. The heat are making their run climbing to a tie for fifth in the Eastern Conference standings. The boston Celtics have dropped to seventh in the east and into the playing chairman with Miami's win and their loss to the Blazers. On sunday, it started off as a real barn Barner tied at 71 with the Blazers at half coming off that 60 point game. Tatum ended with 33 but the Blazers pulled away in the fourth quarter because they're streaking at the right time in chase of the Lakers, they had half their threes, Mccollum had 33 game had 26 it ended in truly boston Celtics fashion for this season with Jalen Brown and Jason Tatum running into each other on a sideline inbound play, they both left the floor. Hopefully they're both all right. The Mavericks are currently just ahead of the Blazers, tied with the Lakers and if they could just take care of the lowly Sacramento Kings, they'd be sailing Dallas is six and three over its last nine games with all three losses to the King's. After sunday's loss to Sacramento, Luca, Dominic was hit with his 14th and 15th technical fouls of the season, getting ejected in the final minute. The NBA rules, if you get 16 in a season, you're suspended for one game. So the mass have eight games left in a race here. That is something to watch for. The masses will definitely be trying to rein in luke a little bit. Maybe it's a good idea to give him a big mouth guard to play in kind of muffle the sound or playing a mask at the very least.
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