Posts tagged Kyrie Irving
Ball Don't Lie EP 51 - Giannis, First of His Name

Scott and Dante open up about Giannis' dominating series win over the Celtics, the mess going on with the Lakers, and more surrounding the NBA Playoffs. Plus, episode four of Game of Thrones season 8!

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Follow Dante on Twitter: @OctobersOwnTae

Throw your diamonds up for more than a decade of heat with the new TIDAL-exclusive Roc La Familia playlist from The Barber's Chair! The greatest hits from the most prolific label in hip hop history.
Listen here: https://tidal.com/playlist/dfcd8a98-7eb0-473e-8666-170acc564443

Listen to the new bangers playlist on Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music!
Tidal: bit.ly/tidalbangers
Spotify: bit.ly/spotifybangers
Apple Music: bit.ly/applebangers

WrestleMania might be over but you can still rep Becky Two Belts with the brand new #FreeTheMan tees up now on the Barber's Chair Net merch shop
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or
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Ball Don't Lie - Lavar SZN has returned

Hoops N Brews' Pavy fills in for Joe for two DEEP hours of NBA basketball and trade deadline talks. Everything from the Sixers stacking up to the Lakers' failed pursuit of Anthony Davis to Kevin Durant's zesty press conference Wednesday. Oh, and I guess we'll talk about that shitty Super Bowl last Sunday.

Topics:
Patriots win Super Bowl
Bulls president John Paxson rattled during radio interview
NBA trade deadline news
Lavar Ball returns
KD lashes out at media
NBA All Star Game draft
Goofy Mog of the Week

Follow Pavy on Twitter: @Pavyworld
Follow Hoops N Brews on Twitter: @HoopsNBrews
Follow Scott on Twitter: @BarbersChairNet
Follow Pierce on Twitter: @HennyOmega

Celebrate your division champs by grabbing one of the NEW shirts straight from The Barber's Chair merch store!
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Nearly Canceled: Entourage drops January 2019 exclusively on the Barber's Chair Patreon! Become a patron of The Barber's Chair on Patreon! $5 a month will get you a thank you on Ball Don't Lie and guarantees you access to Nearly Canceled: Entourage, along with more exclusive premium content from The Barber's Chair!
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Ball Don't Lie - "Drew Brees Don't Know Choppa Style"

KOLR-10 sports anchor Dan Molloy joins Pierce and Scott this week to talk about the MLB hot stove and the White Sox pursuit of Manny Machado. Plus Dan's been covering the Kansas City Chiefs all year, so we'll get his thoughts on Championship Sunday, the Bears possibly signing Kareem Hunt, the trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home and much much more!

Topics:
White Sox offer contract to Manny Machado
Possible collusion in MLB
Odds Manny signs with White Sox
Bears end-of-season press conference
Chuck Pagano hired as DC
Cody Parkey's future in Chicago
Nagy not shooting down Kareem Hunt to Bears
AFC Title Game preview
NFC Title Game preview
Kyler Murray declaring for NFL Draft
James Harden having another MVP season
Kyrie Irving and the Celtics' woes
Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer
Goofy Mog of the Week


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Celebrate your division champs by grabbing one of the NEW shirts straight from The Barber's Chair merch store!
teespring.com/stores/the-barbers-chair

Nearly Canceled: Entourage drops January 2019 exclusively on the Barber's Chair Patreon! Become a patron of The Barber's Chair on Patreon! $5 a month will get you a thank you on Ball Don't Lie and guarantees you access to Nearly Canceled: Entourage, along with more exclusive premium content from The Barber's Chair!
patreon.com/barberschairnet

Ball Don't Lie - "WTF is going on?"

Joe misses his first of an expected six episodes this season, but don't fret. Scott & Pierce hold it down for you on this TWO-HOUR edition of Ball Don't Lie.

Topics:
Sound Off
Jimmy Butler/KAT/Wiggins/Timberwolves Drama
NBA Media Day
Why ‘Kyrie to the Knicks’ makes no sense
Ending the ‘Everyone wants to be a Laker’ narrative
Expectations for the NBA season
NFL Week 3 recap
Jimmy G torn ACL
Rams injuries
Saints-Falcons
Carson Wentz return in Philly
Lions-Patriots
Patrick Mahomes & the Chiefs are 3-0
Can the Jags win the Super Bowl with Blake Bortles playing like mid?
NFL Week 4 predictions
First impressions of 'The Joker'
Can the DCEU, X-Men right the ship?
Mini-35th and Addison
The Cubs folding down the stretch
Grading the 2018 Chicago White Sox
The return of 'Red Shirt Tiger' sundays
Shoutouts
Goofy Mog of the Week

Follow Pierce: @HennyOmega
Follow Scott: @Scott_CEOofSUH

Ball Don't Lie Ep 17 - Bring David Stern Back ft. @Mariannoo
Ball Don't Lie Ep.12: "F*ck NBA Twitter"

This week on Ball Don't Lie, the guys sound off about NBA Twitter's idiocy and hypocrisy plus touched on Steph & Kyrie's injuries, who's the favorite to win it all, how far can the Cavs go, Loyola's March Madness run, ep. 4 of Atlanta & is Logic a scumbag?

The Third Pick Ep.7: "Shut Em Down"

This week on The Third Pick podcast, @Scott_CEOofSUH & @Mariannoo are back to discuss the epic tank job the Bulls are doing to end the season, how much is Zach LaVine gonna get paid this season, Steph/Kyries injuries, Kawhi getting pulled up on at work and more

Where the Celtics stand at the All Star break
Brian Babineau

Brian Babineau

With All-Star weekend staring us directly in the face & “Black Panther” standing over its shoulder ominously, both the conference leaders have seemingly come back to [flat] earth after starting the season gangbusters.

Exacerbated by said phenomenon, hot takes Twitter is always the place to be. Bad games leading to the All star break has caused the casual NBA fan to forget that both teams have exhibited they can win in a plethora of ways & regardless, there’s an air of confidence that comes with trusting the process once successful.

On that same token, anyone in either organization that’s planning parties alone likely won’t be employed long. This presents ample opportunity for both to kickstart marching to June.

Golden State stood pat at the trade deadline, pointing to the trophy case. Brad Stevens’ C’s are trying to get there. Having shown the league what he’s capable of time & time again, any basketball savant out there is salivating at what the Celtics will look like post ASB. Since there’s no time like the present:

There’s always growing pains. Anyone who says no is either hating or high. Remember, Boston finished the #1 seed last season, yet the entire core of the roster was torn apart.

Three holdovers.

One starter.

Ironically, he is the most-heavily debated All-Star. Ha.

In reality, it’s absurd to hear people rip Boston.

What Ainge has done lately has an unrelenting Kobe fan obsessing over what’s to come in the city he once despised.

But that speaks volumes about just how excited you should be about what’s going on. Yes, you. The basketball fans.

If you’re of the ilk of basketball fans that’s passionate about this beautiful art form & want to see it prosper, the Boston Celtics should be a team you push on social media & watch every time

While the rest of the world is trying to find its way into this perceived “big three era,” Boston is playing for keeps & the future. Do we even need discuss the absolute coup that began as speculation that they’d pair IT & Fultz, the old buddies from the same university in their backcourt as they chased a ring?

The C’s were supposed to add a talented rookie, maybe a free agent or two & step up the ladder to challenge the LeBron’s for a chance at the NBA Finals. Instead, the team retooled & outperformed even their own expectations.

With three players back from last year’s team, should we really be slandering Boston to extol Toronto? The team that did just that. Add a rook or two. Make a few minor moves. Yet, it literally took them until the last day before the break to catch Boston.

Being able to pair Kyrie & Gordon Hayward, both established All-Stars with proven track records that hadn’t experienced what they’d hoped to this point in their career seemed almost too good to be true. It turned out to be when Hayward went down in game 1 but setbacks can be setups for great comebacks.

Each of the players on the Boston roster not named Irving immediately shifted up a spot in terms of required production, consistency & accountability. All the while knowing, no matter what happens, Gordon Hayward is coming back. Will be a starter. Will be a key component. As he should be.

But I also think it’s been revealed that Tatum was likely drafted ahead of Brown in terms of capacity to impact a game at the NBA level. As long as Ainge doesn’t separate the two, they should have brilliant careers together. Pushing each other. Holding each other accountable. Growing up. Exactly what they’ve done this season.

The same goes for Marcus Morris. Semi Ojeleye. Aron Baynes ample opportunity to show what they can do for a team that needs everyone. What changes could the Celtics make to have a better second half than their first?

Here’s some ideas:

  • Embrace the Moose

    Listen, Greg Monroe is a gifted offensive player & has the tools to make a dynamic offense even better. Brad has made a career of maximizing talents & getting the most out of guys. Monroe? While he may not make the savviest basketball business decisions, he was the only Piston not named Grant Hill to post three consecutive 1000 point, 600 rebound seasons. His addition also allows for...
     
  • Big Green Al Horford

    Al had done Yeoman’s work masquerading as a five man ever since he left the comfort of playing beside Joakim Noah at Florida. But one thing about it, two things fa sho, Al is not one. That is a rich, poor & middle-class man’s power forward & a highly skilled one. That fifth starting spot has been a bit of enigma during Stephens’ tenure. Not anymore especially considering you have...
     
  • Too Many Guards

    Kyrie. Brown. Hayward. Tatum. Rozier. Smart. Larkin. Not enough clock for everyone to be utilized to their full potential. Ideally? Smart & Larkin move on.Brown becomes the Swiss Army knife off the bench next season because Brad needs to...
     
  • Unleash the Beast

Jayson Tatum deserves his recognition as the best rookie in the draft. Donovan Mitchell is the rookie of the year & probably has improved more than any player has ever, in-season but Tatum hit the ground running. Has started every game. & shouldn’t be slighted because he plays for the better team. Which will only remain the case if his teammates can...

  • Reconnect

    Said it a million times, here’s a million & one

Defense is IQ, scheming, & effort. Teams that are connected, want to play for each other & cover up their mistakes play the best defense.

The most intriguing Finals matchups for the Warriors

In the last two weeks, the Warriors capped off their season series with the top three seeds in the Eastern Conference. Now comes the long wait until June to find out who’ll the Warriors will be facing. So in the meantime, here’s my subjective list of the most intriguing possible Finals Matchups.

Dubs in 3

(Darron Cummings / Associated Press)

(Darron Cummings / Associated Press)

Indiana Pacers

Indiana has been a pleasant surprise to the league. The Pacers seemed to have started a rebuild once they shipped out Paul George after another first round exit. Instead they've cracked the top 7 in the East, and the play of All-Star Victor Oladipo is a large reason why.

Their core has played well and they’re largely untested, but on the slim chance they make the Finals, they’ll have an even slimmer chance to beating the Warriors. While the everyday fan would hate the idea of Pacers-Warriors, Dubs fans would rejoice at Oladipo flourishing after Russell Westbrook conformed him into a dark skinned Alex Abrines.

Miami Heat

First of all, these dudes have all of my respect. Last season, they went 11-30 in the first half of the season, and completely flipped their season around going 30-11 in the second half of the season, just barely missing the playoffs.

Fortunately their late season success has continued on into this season, sitting at 4th place, with a 29-21 record. Spoelstra has worked his coaching magic to keep his guys in line and playing hard. He gets the most out of his talent, none of whom have even been an all-star (though Goran Dragic has played like one). At their best, they can make things uncomfortable for the Warriors (see Cavs-Pistons 2016, a hard fought 4 game sweep.)

You’ve got my attention

(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Washington Wizards

John Wall will go under the knife for arthroscopic surgery on his knee, which may keep him out for 2 months, maybe more. With a 27-22 record, good for 6th in the East, they’re at risk of dropping out of playoff contention if Bradley Beal can’t carry the load. Beal has been their guy this season; partially because of how Wall’s injuries have inflicted his game, but also because Beal has avoided injuries of his own.

Nevertheless, the Wizards are always a pleasure to compete against because of the extracurriculars they bring to their games. Whether it's claiming the throne before they accomplish anything, being concerned with meaningless player rankings, or planning “funerals”, they're truly the hypebeast of the league.

Their last few matchups with the Dubs featured some theatrics. In 2016, Steph Curry and Wall exchanged 51 and 41 points in D.C. In 2017, Curry exploded for 42 points, holding Wall to just 20. And in the most recent matchup, Beal and Draymond Green got tangled up and brought the scrap into the first row. In a series, I’d give the Wizards a game, but for the most part, they’ll be too in their own heads to truly contend.

Milwaukee Bucks

Giannis is just incredible. He’s one of the few players that the Warriors really respect the hell out of. However, the pieces around him are still shaky.

Eric Bledsoe, Khris Middleton, and Jabari Parker (hoping he’s healthy) are all out matched by the Warriors counterparts, and the Bucks bench isn’t even worth talking about. There’s also the game within the game of Delly and Steph's Finals rematch (he isn’t well liked by the Warriors.)

But Giannis is amazing and at his best can make everyone's job easier. He’s also a matchup nightmare. He’s too tall to be guarded by a 3, but too shifty to keep a big man on him. The Warriors counter with KD, who mirrors Giannis’ body type, and can make things just as difficult for the Bucks. What’s most admirable about the Bucks is their demeanor, and it starts with Giannis. His rookie year, he ran through Milwaukee to get to a game because his car wouldn’t start. But for all young stars, the stage of the Finals can change their career trajectories, for better or for worse. So while it may hurt him in the short term to lose on the biggest stage, in the long term it’ll surely sharpen his iron.

Philadelphia 76ers

Much like the Bucks, the amount of young talent on the Sixers is entrancing. Ben Simmons has carved out a surprisingly effective role for the modern NBA, given his shooting woes, and Joel Embiid, if he can stay healthy, could be a generational player.

Trusting the process got them here but also credit some solid drafting & development of starters Dario Saric and Robert Covington. But there is serious concern with last year's #1 pick, Markelle Fultz. His shooting shoulder has been messed up since preseason, and from what recent footage has shown, his form just looks awful.

But the Dubs are the kind of competition that can teach these players a lot, whether or not they're playing (sorry Fultz). For now though, they just need to do as Embiid says and “Trust the Process”.

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Ahhh, that’s pretty interesting!

Cleveland Cavaliers

There isn’t much intrigue left in a Dubs-Cavs Finals. I’m sure most people are expecting it, but I’m just not convinced. The Cavs just don’t have the same vigor and fire to compete that they had in the past three matchups. Lebron is planning his getaway, Kyrie already escaped, IT is cold snitchin’, and Kevin Love broke his finger and is out for two months.

There just isn’t enough focus and attention to detail in the game plan, and it starts with LeBron taking breaks on defense and being ambiguous about his future (which is his right, there’s no loyalty in this game, see Blake Griffin). It’s hard as a fan to really want to match-up with a team that’s half-assing it. There's more joy in beating someone who wants to win as badly as you do.

Still, while it may not be as fun a series as these last two teams, it’s still a nice feeling to beat Lebron in the Finals.

Toronto Raptors

(ERNEST DOROSZUK/Toronto Sun)

(ERNEST DOROSZUK/Toronto Sun)

So many factors go into my love of this matchup. For one, we’ll finally get to see Drake actually root against the Warriors. Also, the city of Toronto seriously deserves to host a few finals games, but the team could use it too. This is the best team the Raptors have ever had, and as the Cavs have become more vulnerable, they’ll have a shot at taking them out.

Demar Derozan, a pure-bred gym rat, has finally looked to have rounded out his game. He’s always had a smooth game, thanks to his excellent footwork, and he’s seemed to master the mid-range game. But as Steph and the Dubs have changed the direction of basketball, Derozan has just caught up to the party. He’s shooting a career high in 3PT% while putting up another career high 3.2 three’s a game. He’s also averaging a career-high 5.1 APG, another career high. While these numbers don't jump off the page, they're indicative of the pace, space, drive and kick offense that’s given the Raptors so much success.

Raptors fans are yearning to get to this stage, and while The Dubs may not think too much of this squad, this Raptors core has shown a serious ability to contend with the champs. It’ll all come down to Toronto's mindset when the playoffs return to the 6.

Anything less would be uncivilized

Boston Celtics

Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

The Celtics are exactly the team I want to see come out of the East for the Finals. Kyrie Irving is in the prime of his career playing under Brad Stevens. Behind Steph, he’s the most offensively gifted and explosive scorer at point, and he does so with so much control.

Stevens, a basketball savant in his own right, has crafted Boston's offense much like Golden State's, just without all of the talent. He’s made Boston play above their talents, which is how the most talented team's function, sports or otherwise. Their foundation though is the defense, cemented on Al Horford's smarts and fundamentals, and once he returns from injury, Marcus Smart's tenacity and lack of shit-giving.

There’s also the byproduct of Gordon Hayward's injury, immediately forcing the team to overcome heartbreaking and scary adversity. While he's unlikely to return his season, the prospect of what Hayward's presence can contribute to the already top seed is an encouraging reminder throughout the season.

The Celtics are Golden State's biggest challenge towards a third title in four years, their close loss to the Dubs last Saturday as evidence. Kyrie responded to Curry's 49-point performance with 37 of his own, giving them the same problems on offense as he did in Cleveland. On the other end, the way every (competent) team defends Steph is the way the Warriors guard Kyrie, sending doubles on screen and rolls, and being quick to rotate on defense, which plays into both teams offenses.

Still, Boston's offense can't touch Golden State. They just don’t have the fire power, but, again, Irving’s control of pace and possession lowers the amount of opportunities for Golden State to score. However, this is the most exciting Finals matchup because it’s inevitable. The Celts have set themselves up so perfectly to flourish in near future, that I just want to get a real glimpse into how this new rivalry takes shape come June.