Connect with us

Fitness

NBA Playoffs 2022: A Casual Fan’s Guide to the Postseason

Published

on

NBA Playoffs 2022: A Casual Fan's Guide to the Postseason


A fundamental problem for any sports fan: There are more leagues than you could ever have time to watch. You may adore 14 different sports—my own number is closer to eight or nine—but unless you’re the right mix of un-busy and deranged, it’s impossible to keep up with more than a few of them at once. One approach to alleviating the backlog is to accept that not every sport is going to be your sport, and sometimes it’s OK to skip the regular season and tune in at playoff time. I dabble with this approach for both hockey and baseball, but my white whale in this arena is the NBA. It’s the greatest basketball league in the world, and it also doesn’t put a big emphasis on the regular season. Now that the NBA playoffs 2022 have begun, it’s time to pay attention.

In the NBA, star players frequently sit out regular season games to rest. But with hundreds of NBA games stretching from October to June, pacing is important for fans, too. Since the NBA playoffs began in April, my attention to the league went from glancing to somewhat more serious. Should you be contemplating a similar step in your basketball journey, this guide will get you up to speed. Here are three key storylines to know as the playoffs move through the second round, which just got underway.

NBA Playoffs 2022: A Casual Fan’s Guide to the Postseason

1. The “assemble a bunch of superstars” approach cratered spectacularly this year.

The Lakers and Nets had the best preseason odds to win the 2022 NBA Finals. As a passive NBA watcher, I figured these teams would at some point stop being mediocre (or worse) and figure it out.

The Lakers had LeBron James, who does not, as a general practice, miss the playoffs when healthy, plus Anthony Davis and some supposedly decent role players. It seemed obvious that Los Angeles would be in the discussion at the end of the year. But LeBron only played in 56 games, Davis only played in 40, and an aging Russell Westbrook was hilariously inefficient. The entire enterprise collapsed, and the team fired coach Frank Vogel at the end of the season. Tough!

The Nets lined up a trio that was more superteam-ish than anything since Kevin Durant played with the Warriors in the late 2000s. They had Durant in Brooklyn, and they benefited from all-time elite scorer James Harden and the odd-but-incredible Kyrie Irving joining him in the backcourt. It looked great on paper.

But Harden, who’d forced a trade to the Nets in January 2021, forced a trade off the Nets, and the guy Brooklyn got in return, Ben Simmons, played as many games for the Nets as he had all season for the 76ers: none. Irving refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine, so he couldn’t play in home games until late March and the Nets’ chemistry suffered as a result (even Irving himself admitted it). So much for a superteam trio.

2. While the superteams burned, the top of the league found other ways to be fun.

Everyone watched the Bucks win the NBA championship in 2021. Everyone, tangential viewer or not, is aware of the supernatural gifts and drive of Giannis Antetokounmpo. Nearly his entire supporting cast was back this year, too. But the Bucks weren’t even the Eastern Conference betting favorites entering the season (that was the Nets) and were a quiet enough elite team that you and I (because we were not watching the NBA) barely noticed their continued shine.

Yet here the Bucks are, doing their thing again in the NBA playoffs. Shockingly little has changed. Giannis scores 30 points per game. Khris Middleton scores 20, while Jrue Holiday, Bobby Portis, and Brook Lopez all average double-digit figures. The only notable change is that Grayson Allen is here. He’s productive, but his on-court antics are annoying and make the Bucks less likable defending champions. In a way, that’s for the best: Things are more fun when the champ is a heel.

The Suns, who lost to the Bucks in six games in last year’s NBA playoffs, are still grinding away as the best team in the West. Chris Paul is now 36 years old (more like 100 in NBA years) but somehow remains dependable. Devin Booker continues to make baskets at high rates (26.8 points per game this year, a career best).

The other frontline contenders are fun to watch as well. The Warriors have reconstituted an excellent team around the still-brilliant Steph Curry, and the way they’ve done it is delightful. After missing more than two years due to injuries, Klay Thompson is back and scoring a lot. Andrew Wiggins, the one-time No. 1 overall pick who was lackluster for years with the Timberwolves, has finally hit his stride. Wiggins apparently learned to shoot when he got to the Bay Area and is now genuinely effective rather than just a bouncy disappointment.

The Celtics might beat the Bucks in the East. (Their second-round series is currently tied, 1–1.) Even after losing Irving to the Nets a few years ago, Boston improved: They hung onto their young players, developed them, and won a ton of games. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown do the offensive heavy lifting, and Marcus Smart won Defensive Player of the Year this season. And after years of throwing up bricks, Smart has even upped his shooting game—which may be jarring if you’re just tuning in.

The Heat are the East’s No. 1 seed. This one is a minor mystery to me, but I deduce that Erik Spoelstra may be the best coach in the NBA at this point. Between old-but-still-solid players Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry and athletic young fellas Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo, there’s enough going on here to take the Heat seriously despite their lack of starpower.

3. Some young players have morphed into bona-fide superstars.

This realization mainly set in for me when Ja Morant, the Grizzlies point guard in his third year in the league, committed this heinous crime against the Timberwolves’ Malik Beasley:

Morant proceeded to finish that game with 30 points, 13 rebounds, and nine assists, and then he celebrated courtside with his dad and Usher. I knew he was very good but didn’t realize he was that good and had the cultural cachet to make Usher so excited. Morant is a mega-star, and he upped his game considerably this year to set career highs in points (27.4 per game), rebounds (5.7), and effective shooting percentage (49.3).

“A youngish guy going from promising to a full-on star” also sums up Jayson Tatum’s rise with the Celtics. Tatum has made that leap over the last few years, but this season he set career highs in points (26.9), rebounds (8), and assists (4.4). Most importantly, he did all that while taking up more and more of the Celtics’ responsibilities. When I’ve watched them the last few weeks, it frequently seemed like Tatum was taking every other shot. That’s not quite true, but his 32.1 percent possession usage rate is a career high and illustrates a trend of him absorbing more of the Celtics’ possessions every year since he arrived in the league in 2017.

It’s fun to watch rising players fully come into their own, especially in the postseason.


For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!





Source link

Fitness

Watch the Epic Final Trailer for ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4

Published

on

Watch the Epic Final Trailer for 'Stranger Things' Season 4


Since bursting onto the scene in 2016, Stranger Things has become nothing short of a cultural phenomenon, thanks to its unique combo of sci-fi, horror, fantasy, and coming-of-age storylines (not to mention a hefty dose of retro nostalgia). The show has grown bigger and bolder with each season, but season four, which premieres this Friday, will be a pivotal one: The show’s characters are grown up and have spread out beyond the town of Hawkins. But as a new final teaser trailer makes clear, the gang will be facing some of their biggest challenges yet.

Season four will pick up shortly after the end of season three, which finished with the climactic “Battle of Starcourt,” where Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and her friends faced off against the fearsome Mind Flayer. The new season finds the gang facing more pedestrian challenges like high school, growing up, and moving to a new place (according to Gizmodo, Eleven and the Byers family have moved to California). Of course, monsters from the Upside Down are lurking, too. The friends will have to face a new Dungeons & Dragons monster, Vecna, in this season.

The cast will look very familiar, with favorites like Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder), Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas Sinclair (Caleb McLaughlin), Will Byers (Noah Schnapp), and Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink) returning to the show. Previously, Netflix revealed that Jim Hopper (David Harbour) would return this season, although he seemed to meet his demise in season three. Like the rest of the show’s seasons, season four was created and produced by Matt and Ross Duffer.

According to Deadline, the new season will be revealed in two parts. The first seven episodes of Stranger Things season four will premiere on Netflix Friday, May 27. The final two episodes will be released July 1 as Volume 2. Check out the full trailer above, and make sure to carve out some time this weekend to binge the new season.


For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!



Source link

Continue Reading

Fitness

‘Mission: Impossible—Dead Reckoning Part One’ Trailer

Published

on

'Mission: Impossible—Dead Reckoning Part One' Trailer


Have you missed seeing Tom Cruise on the big screen? You’re in luck: Not only is he reprising his role of Maverick in the upcoming Top Gun sequel (in theaters May 27), he’s also starring in a new installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise. Although Mission: Impossible—Dead Reckoning Part One won’t premiere until 2023, you can get your first taste of the new film thanks to an explosive new trailer that was released today. After watching the clip, one thing is obvious: Even at just shy of 60 years old, Cruise can still hold his own as Ethan Hunt.

“Action-packed” doesn’t even begin to describe this trailer. Like car chases? There are multiple scenes involving armored trucks, sports cars, and Cruise wheeling a bright yellow Fiat through the narrow streets of a European city. Big on fight scenes? There are plenty of those, too, including a one-on-one knife brawl on a bridge in Venice, scrimages on top of speeding trains, and an epic battle on horseback in the middle of a sandstorm. You’ll even get to see Cruise drive a motorcycle off a cliff. And if that’s not enough suspense for you, you can see him do the same thing in a train, too.

You’ll also notice some familiar faces in the trailer. Most notable is the return of Eugene Kittridge, played by Henry Czerny. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it’s the first time Kittridge has appeared in a Mission: Impossible movie since the release of the original 1996 film (Czerny played Kittridge in that film as well).

Christopher McQuarrie directed the new installment, and he’s no stranger to the franchise. He previously directed 2018’s Mission: Impossible—Fallout and Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, which premiered in 2015. Interestingly, he also helped write the screenplay for Top Gun: Maverick.

Mission: Impossible—Dead Reckoning Part One will hit theaters July 14, 2023 (Part Two is expected to premiere in 2024). Check it out in the trailer above.


For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!



Source link

Continue Reading

Fitness

10 Best Tennessee Whiskeys to Drink Right Now

Published

on

George Dickel 15 Year Single Barrel Whiskey




Source link

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2021 Vitamin Patches Online.