Getting stuck sitting in the middle seat between your siblings on a road trip is unfair. Watching a table who ordered after you get their food before you is annoyingly unfair. Having to guard Damian Lillard in crunch time of a playoff game is super duper annoyingly unfair.
• The Trail Blazers All-Star became the first player in the history of the NBA to post a 55-point, 10-assist performance last night in his absurd outing against the Denver Nuggets. Lillard shot 17-24 from the field, 12-17 from downtown, and 9-10 from the free-throw line. The game turned into Lillard vs. everyone after he hit the game-tying 3-point to force overtime, as he scored 21 of the Blazers’ next 23 points (18 of which were consecutive). Yet, I guess the basketball gods were feeling cruel because it was not enough to take down Nikola Jokic. If you missed any of the action, for the love of basketball, watch the highlights below.
• I see you guys trying to hype Dame up so he comes to Chicago. I like the thinking.
— Zach LaVine (@ZachLaVine) June 2, 2021
Dame is still in Space Jam mode
— Nikola Vucevic (@NikolaVucevic) June 2, 2021
That’s tuff Dame ‼️
— Troy Brown Jr (@Troy_Brown33) June 2, 2021
Yo Dame I bet a trio of you, LaVine, and Vooch win that game.
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) June 2, 2021
• I feel awful for Lillard. I mean, it might as well be just a few notches below Michael Jordan’s loss to the Celtics in Game 2 of the 1986 Eastern Conference quarterfinals when he dropped 63 points. Both players almost single-handedly beat their opponent, and there was literally nothing either team could do to stop the bucket-getting. But I guess we can’t be too surprised by the outcome when we consider who was on the other side. Much like how Jordan had to deal with the MVP Larry Bird, Lillard was facing a soon-to-be MVP in Jokic. The big man finished with 38 points, 11 rebounds, 9 assists, and 4 blocks. He continued to look like nothing short of a Hogwarts professor with this ridiculous pass to set up the game-winning 3-pointer. Man, I love basketball.
you gotta be kidding me with this pass by Jokic to MPJ pic.twitter.com/4yQRze4HqI
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) June 2, 2021
• Meanwhile, as the Blazers and Nuggets were in a fistfight, the Boston Celtics were preparing for some drastic changes. The franchise saw their season come to a depressing end on Tuesday with a 123-109 loss to the Brooklyn Nets. It did not take even 24 hours for the organization to announce that long-time front office leader Danny Ainge would step down from his role, and head coach Brad Stevens would be promoted to president of basketball operations.
Celtics Head Coach Brad Stevens Is Reportedly Replacing Danny Ainge as President of Basketball Opshttps://t.co/qEv0C7L5V3
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) June 2, 2021
• I know front office talk may not be everyone’s favorite, especially when it’s not about their team, but this move is just crazy to think about. Stevens has zero experience as a lead executive, and he is also coming off arguably his worst season as a head coach. Promoting a guy like that is a pretty damn bold decision. I also can’t help but wonder how this will go over internally. Stevens seems like a good dude who would have good relationships, but when someone gets vaulted this high up the totem pole it can always come with some newfound tension.
• Do you know how awkward it would be for a Celtics player to be traded this offseason? That would say a lot about what your head coach really thought about you, right? Business is business, though, and I do expect we will see a couple of big roster moves made for this Celtics squad. One name we could very well hear thrown around the rumor mill is Kemba Walker. However, once a coveted target, injuries and a dip in efficiency have quite possibly made Walker one of the hardest contracts to trade away. The dude is owed $36 million next season and has a player option for $37 million in 2022-21, so it came as no surprise when The Athletic reported his negative trade value.
Kemba Walker is still viewed as having negative trade value, multiple front-office sources tell @JaredWeissNBA.
With Brad Stevens transitioning to head of basketball ops, what will the Celtics do this offseason?https://t.co/uKY7iMrq2G
— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) June 2, 2021
• Not a great way to make sure you paid this offseason, Dennis.
— 0 points
— 1 assist
— 0-9 shooting
— 0-4 from three
— 84 million dollars turned down
He is the first Laker to go scoreless in a playoff game while attempting 9+ shots since the franchise moved to LA. pic.twitter.com/XbVHD3nVCT
— StatMuse (@statmuse) June 2, 2021
• Coby White has talked many times about his close relationship with Chris Paul. The guy has been a mentor to White since his high school days, and … wait … doesn’t Paul have the option to hit free agency this offseason? Hm (just kidding, I highly doubt he leaves Phoenix, especially if they make it deep into the playoffs).
— whitecoby2 (@CobyWhite) June 2, 2021
• RIP to a pro’s pro.
Rick Bonnell, 63, was found dead in his Charlotte home on Tuesday by a friend, his son said. https://t.co/B6bSg6jsS4
— The Charlotte Observer (@theobserver) June 2, 2021