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We’re three games into the NBA Bubble and oh boy do we have some excitement spurring in Orlando! Some little-known names have become household icons, bottom feeders are surging and the top teams are showing some kinks in the armor. Let’s get into some of the headlines to watch going forward…
Rising From The Ashes!
The Phoenix Suns are a team many thought should’ve been shelved for the NBA restart. Phoenix was (26-39) coming into the restart and have since won three straight behind Devin Booker. Booker has been on a tear, averaging 29.6 points per game on 47% FG shooting and 45% from deep.
If Phoenix can stay the course and rattle off another 3-4 wins and the teams ahead of them drop some games, the Suns could find themselves in the playoffs this year.
Setting The Pace
If you are an Eastern Conference team and you’re looking to cruise to the playoffs…think again.
The Indiana Pacers are showing they are the real deal thus far in the Bubble. Like the Suns they are 3-0 currently in seeding play. T.J. Warren could make a case for BMVP, that’s “Bubble’s Most Valuable Player”, if there was such an award. He has scored 39.6 points/gm on an outstanding 65% FG shooting and 61% from three.
Sitting at the fifth spot in the East right now, the Pacers could see themselves become a third or fourth seed with this momentum.
The Bucks Stop Here?
The Bucks were the odds on favorite coming into the NBA Restart. In game one, they came out firing, with Giannis Antetokounmpo scoring 36 in a winning effort. Since then they have dropped two and looked like a shell of themselves.
The Bucks looked lethargic in a shocking loss to the Brooklyn Nets where only two players in the starting five scored in double digits. If the Bucks have championship hopes, they will need more than what they have shown thus far.
Earn Your Keep
The Memphis Grizzlies are currently the eighth seed in the West and depending on who you ask that can be good news or bad news for the first seeded Lakers. The Portland Trailblazers are in the ninth spot and under normal circumstances would be a long shot to make the playoffs.
But, with Memphis dropping their first three seeding games and Portland being (2-1), there could be a play-in situation.
The issue facing Memphis right now is that they have just lost one of their best players in Jaren Jackson. Ja Morant is good but not yet great and a play in with a reinvigorated Portland team isn’t a situation the Grizzlies want to be in.
Denver Has Found Some Golden Nuggets
Wow! That’s about all you can say about the Denver Nuggets’ young roster. We all know the stout pieces of Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic but youngsters Bol Bol and Michael Porter Jr. have made a name for themselves in the Bubble.
Porter just lit the Thunder up for 37 points in a rout. Bol has shown flashes of just the type of player he could be going forward as well.
If these two can continue their stellar ascension into future star players Denver could have a homegrown powerhouse team a-la Golden State on their hands. Just imagine a starting lineup of:
G Jamal Murray
G Gary Harris
F Michael Porter Jr
F Bol Bol
C Nikola Jokic
These are just some of the headlines that the NBA’s Bubble has produced this far. There are still five games to be played among the teams and much more to be revealed as we move forward with this season.