On Friday’s live episode of The Starters, the guys discuss Pop’s Game 5 lineup adjustments, the Clippers’ $2 billion price tag, the NBA’s Global Games, future NBATV documentaries, and tonight’s Pacers/Heat Game 6 action. That, plus our Top 5 Plays of the Week, and a very swaggy edition of Leigh’s Tweet of the Week.
Here’s a quick spelling bee tip — if you want to win, just write about the subject the spelling bee is covering for years and years so that you have to learn how to spell a bunch of confusing words. Then, if you’re ever in a spelling bee, you have a built-in advantage. Trust me on this one.
On Thursday’s live episode of The Starters, the guys discuss Paul George’s incredible second half, LeBron’s rare foul troubles, and Lance Stephenson’s on-the-court antics. That, plus viewer mail, our first ever NBA Spelling Bee contest, and a whole lot of biceps talk. Flex on.
Shoutout: 37 points for Paul George, which is excellent. But even better, 31 of those points came in the second half, when he was straight-up making it rain from outside. Squiggles also added six rebounds, two assists and six steals in the Pacers’ season-saving Game 5 win. He also didn’t utter a single complaint about “home cooking,” as the Pacers, playing at home, won both the foul battle AND the free throws attempted battle. It’s crazy how being aggressive gets your team foul calls.
Not so much: For literally the first time in his career, LeBron James picked up five fouls before the end of the third quarter. And that’s precisely why he played just 24 minutes and scored only seven points, and again, not a single peep from Paul George about how wack some of those fouls are, believe it or not.
Who’s blowing tonight?: Lance Stephenson, you guys.
Honestly, I can’t remember a guy playing such a strange, strange game in quite some time, probably back to when Rajon Rondo was weirding out on LeBron James a few years back, but even that might not have been as weird as Lance was last night. I guess LeBron brings it out of people, especially if they are predisposed to being a lunatic.
On Wednesday’s live episode of The Starters, the guys discuss Russell Westbrook’s dominant performance, whether Pop threw in the towel too early, our NBA All-Defensive Team selections, players who need a change of scenery, Randy Wittman’s contract extension, and difficult names to spell. That, plus a couple of birthdays.
Shoutout: Russell Westbrook. It’s Russell Westbrook, OK? He had 40 points, 10 assists, five rebounds, five steals, a block and just three turnovers in the Thunder’s easy Game 4 victory. He joined Michael Jordan, whose shoes Westbrook wears, as the only dude to have 40-10-5 in a playoff game in the past lot of years. Seems to be a lot of people equalling some MJ playoff records these days, which tells you the league is in a pretty great place.
Not so much: Somehow, the Spurs only turned the ball over 13 times last night, when it really felt like 43 times. Part of that is because so many of those turnovers were live ballers, which immediately turned in to Thunder points, but another part of that is because I feel like Russell Westbrook was just taking the ball whenever he wanted. Ugly stuff from the Spurs.
Caveat: Literally the only Spur who wasn’t afraid to attack the rim with Serge Ibaka in was Cory Joseph, who certainly did some attacking.
Perhaps the strangest thing about this Ibaka return from nowhere has been the fact that he has totally shut down the paint in his two games, while also getting crammed on in each of them. I guess that’s the price you pay for always being at the rim.
On Tuesday’s live episode of The Starters, the guys discuss Bosh’s breakout performance, Paul George’s post-game comments, and whether Indy can still make this a series. That, plus we select and debate our All-NBA Teams, weigh in on the latest Kevin Love trade rumors, and battle it out in a good ol’ round of Crossfire.
Shoutout: LeBron James went for a modest 32 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals in an easy Game 4 win for the Heat just a couple days after Lance Stephenson thought he got in LeBron’s head. Spoiler alert: no, he didn’t.
Not so much: Speaking of the noted head-getter-inner, Lance Stephenson, he didn’t score until there was 4:34 left in the third quarter and didn’t make a field goal until there was 5:31 remaining in the game, all on his way to nine points, five rebounds and four assists in the loss. He’s now chirped at both LeBron and Dwyane Wade and has been soundly outplayed by both of them over the series’ last nine quarters. But keep talking though.
Monster: LeBron James, you guys.
But also, LeBron James, you guys.
Oh, and also, LeBron James, you guys.
Just get out of here with these plays. Not real plays.
On Monday’s live episode of The Starters, the guys discuss: Serge Ibaka’s surprising Game 3 return, Scott Brooks’ decision to start Reggie Jackson, the Heat’s defensive switch, whether Kyrie Irving is worth max money, and the All-Rookie Teams. That, plus Bones joins us to talk solid teammates, barbecues, and “4th of Julackson.”