• It’s Rosh Hashanah so here’s to a very Happy New Year to all of my Hoop-Ballers who are celebrating. May you all be inscribed in the Book of Life and may your fantasy teams provide you with nothing but the sweet flavors of apples, honey, and plentiful box scores. Now let us bring on the Dish filled with Brisket, Nuggets and Lakers.

    Brent Rambo Player of the Night

    Here’s a player you may or may not have drafted for this sweet Bubblicious flavor of b-ball who played well enough on Sunday to warrant an emphatic opening credits thumbs up.

    Anthony Davis, PF/C, Los Angeles Lakers – 39 minutes, 31 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two blocks, one steal, two 3-pointers, one dagger, 11-of-23 FG, 7-of-7 FT.

    In what was an ugly box score that made it appear like the four best players in this series were in an NBA Jam type of battle, it’s probably best to just focus on the guy who is currently Public Enemy #1 in the state of Colorado. This line actually encapsulates everything that’s great about Anthony Davis. We usually reserve the usage of genetic freak for Giannis Antentokoumpo but it’s Davis that looks the part of being built in a basketball laboratory. Along with the sheer physical size and length of the perfect basketball big man, you get the scoring from every range, the boards, the defense, and the cold-bloodedness usually reserved for the sweet shooting guards at the end of games. All in one beautiful box score.

    Look, I get that LeBron was ticked off about the MVP voting, but the guy who really should have been peeved was Anthony Davis. Davis was the one who could have been the Defensive Player of the Year and got jobbed in that vote as well. Davis was the one who had to acclimate himself alongside one of the greatest of all time and still almost none of his season averages changed a bit after being the clear #1 in New Orleans to being the #1A in Los Angeles.

    All the guy did was continue to be his usual dominant 9-cat self on both ends of the court and did so without needing those stretches where he goes for 45/20 because the Lakers are a competent basketball team. So while Nikola Jokic was clearly the best player on the court against the Clippers, he’s now seeing firsthand that the Brow is a different kind of beast altogether.

    LeBron Yelling at J.R. Player of the Night

    Break out your favorite facepalm gifs and eye roll emojis to let out all of your playoff time frustrations.

    Gary Harris

    In the era of the Big Two, it’s always helpful when there’s a third player who can step up and be a difference maker. Gary Harris was that guy for the Nuggets, returning from injury during the Jazz and Clippers series. After gently reminding folks for a couple of weeks that Harris, when healthy, can be an uber efficient 3-and-D guard, Harris must have felt that his work was done. In two games, Harris has been a complete non-factor and while Jamal Murray has been a revelation in these playoffs and the Western Conference Finals, it would help if it wasn’t just a two man game between Murray and Jokic. That’s not what got the Nuggets this far and they’re going to need Harris to outplay the likes of Rajon freaking Rondo, Kentavious freaking Caldwell-Pope and Danny freaking Green if they are going to crawl back into this series.

    The Draymond on Steven Adams Report

    Any injury that happens during the playoffs is going to be a kick in the nards for those of us who have horses still in this race. For those of you reading and wondering if any of your team’s players are on here, I hope you’re wearing a cup.

    No major injury news to report, which I am very happy with because as I crawl through Bruski’s Blurbs I can keep my droning sarcasm to a bare minimum. We want the final four teams to be at relative full strength, save for Will Barton, at this point in the season.

    With Gordon Hayward seemingly back and playing at full speed and without setbacks, we have achieved that goal. We’ve made it this far into the playoffs without too much significant issue beyond us Jonathan Isaac stans so let’s hope we can keep it that way with only so many games remaining.

    Grab Bag

    No single item to really draw at as we start to wind down the season so here are some quick hitting thoughts on what is going on around the league.

    – I really want to buy Alex Caruso as a potential sleeper next year but the Lakers seem to be fine with him as a pair of Rec Specs short of being a carnival sideshow despite his play and defense making a clear difference in their backcourt. Barring some sort of trade, the platter of Danny Green, KCP, Rondo, and Avery Bradley will all likely be back next season, meaning that there still won’t be clear minutes for Caruso to capitalize on some of the excellent per-game outputs he’s had during this postseason. But even if those guys were to go, you know some other veteran guard looking to ring chase will clog up that backcourt even further.

    – Speaking of Barton, I wonder what he would have done in this series. Paul Millsap is on his last legs, Jerami Grant is Jerami Grant, and together they’re two square pegs playing roundball. Barton at the very least would make some of the Lakers’ defensive assignments a little bit tougher. Would we have gotten this Jamal Murray breakout if he was on the court though?

    – Kyrie Irving hasn’t even played since the league resumed yet he’s been trending constantly with some good old-fashioned Twitter hindsight. The first time came when the league nearly came to halt after the shooting of Jacob Blake. Kyrie was one of the players who felt that it would be best not to resume playing in order to address systemic racism. When it appeared like the league was heading in that direction, Kyrie was credited for having called for it in the first place. The second time came when the Celtics decided to air their grievances quite vocally after their Game 2 loss to the Heat. When reports came up that Marcus Smart started giving his teammates a mouthful, Kyrie Twitter was quick to make sure that the Celtics locker room issues still exist even after Irving left town.

    – I can already tell Michael Porter Jr. is going to drive me crazy. He can shoot with the confidence of an anonymous Twitter conspiracy theorist and he, well, might be one of those himself. I just have one of those feelings that he’s going to be so tantalizing, yet anyone who drafts him is going to be tearing their hair out depending on how much he’s feeling it on a nightly basis.

    – God help us all if Bam Adebayo decides that he wants to start making 3-pointers.

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