Inside the Bubble
During August, Inside the Bubble will be a blog discussing daily baseball, basketball and maybe even some golf. As long as these sports last, which will hopefully be all month.
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome is a mid-1980s movie starring that now crazy racist Mel Gibson, Tina Turner and a few other notables. You know the movie, right? Two men enter, one man leaves. Master Blaster. Bartertown. Aunty. And the theme song….. We don’t need another hero. We don’t need to know the way home. All we want is life beyond Thunderdome… Such a good cheesy song for a good cheesy action movie. I was going to talk about Tyler Herro here today, but I can’t now. Because Dame went out and did Dame things last night. He dropped 51 points on the Sixers in a surprisingly close 124-121 Blazers win where Joel Embiid only played six minutes. This comes after a loss to the Clippers in which Paul George and Pat Beverly talked trash from the sidelines while Dame was playing in a close Clippers win. So, who would you want in a Thunderdome battle? Dame, PG or PatBev? I’d take Dame 10 out of 10 times. PatBev is a scrappy role player while PG is a “star” who has never been a star and never won anything. Dame is right, PG follows others around and still gets knocked out of the playoffs early. I would love to the see the Blazers get the Clippers in the playoffs, but alas Melo makes this Blazers team a defensive sieve and they probably won’t get there. But, it will be fun watching Dame play for the next couple games as he puts this team on his back. All the while PG probably sits out every other game….
So, who will be the Dame or Luka Doncic of today’s NBA slate? Am I allowed to say “no one”? Or maybe “I don’t know, who’s actually going to play today?” This is going to be a crazy weird NBA slate. So far, the following players have been declared out for today – Donovan Mitchell, all the Thunder main cogs except CP3, Luka, Porzingis, Dorian Finney Smith. Chris Paul has not been announced out, but are the Thunder really going to run him out for more than 24 minutes in a meaningless game? I think not. Also, what about the Raptors and Bucks who are playing at 6:30pm and are on the back end (Raptors) or front end (Bucks) of BTBs? There is going to be some carnage here, but we likely won’t know until the slate is half over. And are LeBron and Mr. Glass going to go all out tonight versus the Nuggets as the Lakers are the #1 seed and seem content with mailing games in. So, as always, stay close to the news today and leave some wiggle room in your lineup construction in case you need to make numerous swaps later in the day. In the meantime, here’s how I am looking at today’s NBA slate as of right now (almost 2pm). I know there is a nice MLB slate today as well, but let’s be honest, it is not nearly as interesting as the NBA today.
The Suns are the only team truly playing for something today. Phoenix has won 5 in a row and every game inside the bubble so far. They are trying to reach that play-in game and they have a real shot. As such, they will play hard today and should play their studs as long as it takes to secure the win. Since the Suns defense is suspect, there is a chance that the Thunder backups stay within striking distance. As such, my lineups today will have a heavy dose of Devin Booker, DeAndre Ayton and Cam Johnson. I want to play Ricky Rubio, but it looks like this Suns squad is slowly reducing his minutes and impact. On the other side, I love guys named Dort and Bazley. Don’t ask me anything about them, because I couldn’t even tell you their first names, but their box scores look pretty, pretty good and the minutes will be there today. No way I am touching CP3 as I could see him play 6-12 minutes or even zero and just sit on the bench all day.
So, as I am writing, news comes out that the Pelicans are basically giving up and resting everyone tomorrow. Also, Lowry and Fred VanVleet are now considered questionable for the Raptors tonight. And the Magic are resting half their starters tomorrow as well. This won’t be the last of the injury news today no doubt…..
We might be able to trust the Bucks tonight. Maybe. The Bucks have the Raptors tonight and then the hapless Wizards tomorrow. No doubt that the Bucks rest everyone tomorrow. Assuming that is correct, does that mean that the Bucks will give full run to players tonight? If so, I love Giannis as my super spend up option this evening. The Raptors, assuming they don’t rest too many players, are a good team and good make this a competitive game. That’s all Giannis needs to go nuclear some times. Also, don’t forget that this Raptors team (ok, Kawhi did it) knocked out the Bucks last year and that could be on Giannis’ mind. Or maybe he is thinking about wrestling. In either case, if he gets close to full run tonight, he will likely be the highest scoring player on the slate.
And it was just announced that Giannis is sitting tonight. WOW! That means play Middleton and Bledsoe.
I’m going to stop writing now. This NBA slate is going to be a sh*tshow, so who knows what the rosters will ultimately look like. Watch the news and prepare to be pissed off. Best of luck tonight!