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If you don’t binge watch “The Town,” you’ll never be a Celtics coach.
The fourth palpitation
Jamal Murray buried LA
The Lakers believed a spirited Game 1 second half solved all their problems. While the idea that Rui Hachimura is a great Nikola Jokić equalizer has no legs in reality, the Lakers’ top-notch defense made Game 2 ugly.
That didn’t faze Jamaal Murray. It treated Aaron Gordon like Ben Simmons. LeBron was the primary defender on James Jokic throughout large portions of this game, helping to keep the two-time MVP unbeaten. He turns the ball over and misses jumpers, not as crisp as we’ve seen.
However, the Lakers suffered offensive woes of their own. Denver’s defense gave up great opportunities to Hachimura, who scored 21 points on 10 shooting off the bench. But the Nuggets defense shut down Anthony Davis, lived with deep LeBron jumpers and held D’Angelo Russell and Dennis Schroder to 14 points on 5-for-17 shooting and five assists.
Both teams were sluggish in this game. But in the fourth, Murray went supernova and outscored the Lakers himself. Thanks to some free throws at the end, Murray scored 23 of his 37 points in the final 12 minutes. The Lakers scored 24 in the quarter. Denver won 108-103.
Murray helped the Nuggets survive non-Jokic minutes (minus-2 in 6:03), and even though Jokic was “off” in this game, he still finished with 23 points, 17 rebounds, 12 assists and three steals.
Now the Nuggets are 2-0 back in LA as Michael Malone builds more momentum for his team. Hey, Michael: Subscribe Athletic! We have a great deal for you!
From Game 2:
read more: Sam Amick’s notes from Lakers-Nuggets
The carousel keeps spinning
As the playoffs roll around, five teams are searching for their next coach: Bucks, Sixers, Suns, Raptors and Pistons.
This process is ongoing for all five clubs who are conducting due diligence to select the best coach for their organization. I continue to monitor each of those situations, and you should expect more news here Athletic In the coming week, the process enters the final phase for each of the teams.
A major name in carousel Nick NurseReleased by the Raptors after five seasons that included Toronto’s first NBA title. He is expected to begin his formal process with Milwaukee, Phoenix and Philadelphia. And demand is expected to be high, and his job may be to choose his own selection process.
We’ll have more as things develop. Back to you, Sake.
Masullah movie definitely
Don’t get me wrong: I love watching movies again. I’ve seen “Horrible Bosses 2,” “My Cousin Vinny,” and the “John Wick,” “Fast and Furious,” and “Mission Impossible” franchises more times than humanly possible. It’s a great waste of time to reset my mood.
This GQ profile of Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla revisits revelations from January that he continues to watch “The Town.”
As first announced in January, Mazzulla will screen the 2010 Ben Affleck crime drama The Town, which will run for two hours and four minutes, four times a week. When asked how that relates to the Celtics, he said it’s “just the Boston mentality.”
It’s a crazy thing to 1) admit and 2) flat-out do. He owns eight hours and 16 minutes of his week watching this movie. I have many questions.
- Are all these scenes at home?
- How many people in the office?
- How much popcorn is involved?
- Does he stare or do chores?
- Does he split clips at each film session?
We always hear about coaches sleeping in their offices or going to work at 4am to film. I don’t think Ben Affleck was involved. But here we are.
I’m not sure how this will affect Game 2 tonight against Miami. Maybe he asked, “Whose car are we going to take?” Coverage protecting Jimmy Butler. But since the season started, we’ve been talking about “The Town” for 62 hours. That’s roughly 30 games of basketball time.
Are these non-Spurs teams taking it for sure?
I’m going to break some news here: The Spurs are going to select Victor Wembaniyama with the first pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. I have no complaints about this. I have no sources. But that’s the message.
After number 1, it’s a mystery.
Charlotte was the second pick, Portland the third pick, Houston the fourth pick, and Detroit the fifth pick. What does all that mean, are we sure these teams keep their picks? Does it make sense to lock them up? Let’s take a look at what that means for each team:
Charlotte: A Scoot Henderson-LaMelo Ball backcourt is compelling and working. Pick Brandon Miller instead and I’m in. But if Michael Jordan is going to be traded soon, the Hornets may want to poach teams behind them to maximize the return on a trade for a second pick. It’s time to connect the ball with another star.
Portland: In a future edition of The Bounce, we’ll get an idea of the Blazers exploring a Damian Lillard trade. But Portland stumbles on the third pick. Do the Blazers have enough available talent to begin building a proper Western contender around Lillard? We don’t know if the return of Brandon Miller or Scoot Henderson will provide enough return for this front office. Portland is at a crossroads over what to do with what’s easy to sell to the public. Surviving the PR nightmare of a Lillard trade is tough but doable.
Houston: If James Harden’s return is imminent, this pick could bring in quality players to make the Rockets look like a winner again. Someone like Cam Whitmore or Amen Thompson might have intrigued Houston enough, but a trade here could give them much of the help they need for a Harden reunion.
Detroit: It’s a little tricky for the Pistons, who need to start adding veteran players to their core if they want to start looking serious. They have Bojan Bogdanović to trade if they want to, but the Pistons also have a slight regression from how they finished last season. They bring in a new coach and this core is exciting but terrible at winning basketball games. They don’t need another youngster, especially if the high ceiling drop is significant.
Joe Wharton offers an idea to fix the NBA’s regular season.
Why was the third quarter so bad for the Celtics in Game 1? Jay King has the answers.
Brittney Griner is back in the WNBA. How will this presentation look on ESPN?
Who is responsible for the collapse of the Sixers? Daryl Morey has responded to the end of the season.
Michael Bridges is a surefire All-Defense third-teamer.
The Celtics’ third-quarter collapse in Game 1 was epic.
(Photo: Ron Chenay / USA Today)