Despite LeBron and Mark Cuban's doubts, the play-in tournament rocked. (Shoutout Evan Wasch, who definitely isn't getting fired.) We unpack the dynamics and future of the qualifying round before delving into the opening playoff action—apologies to the Clippers, but hey, don't let us raise your concern level above "no!"
MAJOR BREAKING NEWS From Eric, The OKC Tanking Campaign Gets Comical, and a Fascinating Playoff Seeding Race Takes Shape
Eric blows our minds with some previously unimaginable personal news, then after readjusting our views of the world in response, we turn to the NBA's home stretch. While there's no doubt the action has been marred by injuries, tanking, and load management in recent weeks, the seeding races in both conferences promise an intriguing finish to this unique season.
One of the most ridiculous figures in modern American history, Mr. Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez, is set to be the next owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves/Lynx, and we could not be happier about it. Scott and Eric are here with everything you need to know about A-Rod (you're welcome, Anthony Edwards), from his baseball career, scandals, improbable resurgence, and very recently terminated relationship with pop icon Jennifer Lopez. This is a new day for the NBA and we welcome A-Rod and all his absurdity to our beloved Association. Finally, we reflect on the sudden retirement of LaMarcus Aldridge and look back on his outstanding career. Tune in, and remember: you always want even leads versus odd leads. Why? The solo home run doesn't tie it, and the grand slam does not beat you. Keep it simple.
After some high-level brainstorming about how to get The Big Boat out of the Suez Canal, the gang digs into the action and inaction at this year's trade deadline. We can debate the winners and losers until the cows come home, but one thing is clear: do not, under any circumstances, watch a Magic game for the rest of the season.
Send marine salvage ideas to @ShotTakes or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Catching up after a brief All-Star break of our own (get it, we are "all stars"), the guys recap All-Star Sunday, assess the Hawks decision to replace Lloyd Pierce with top assistant Nate McMillan (to fantastic early returns), and look at some of the DEALS that have gone down/might go down before next week's trade deadline. Tune in and remember: not everybody can be a small ball five.
Wolves Coaching Drama, Full All-Star Rosters Released, and the First Annual Theoretical Players Draft
For the first time since the infamous Jimmy Butler + third-stringers practice, Minnesota became the center of the NBA universe this weekend: Anthony Edwards threw down the dunk of the year, and the team raised some eyebrows by firing coach Ryan Saunders and immediately replacing him with Raptors assistant Chris Finch, passing over Wolves assistant David Vanterpool, among others. As is tradition, more feathers were ruffled when the NBA dropped the full All-Star rosters (though some feathers were unruffled when Devin Booker was announced as Anthony Davis' injury replacement). Finally, we make history with the inaugural version of an exercise nobody asked for: the Theoretical Players Draft! You know that version of a player you keep hearing about, but haven't seen for whatever reason? They might appear on one of our "mind's eye" squads. Tune in for the full picks.
If you've been listening to our competition (waste of time, but that's not the point), you've probably heard the same narratives over the past few weeks: "nobody's playing defense," "this team doesn't deserve multiple All-Stars," "that guy's team isn't good enough for him to be in the MVP race," etc. We unpack all of these and more, starting with Draymond Green's impassioned commentary on the unequal dynamic between team and player power. Tune in for #truth.
Marking One Year Since Kobe’s Tragic Death, A Look at the Post-Harden Trade Nets, and Early Returns on Other New Acquisitions Across the League
On the one year anniversary of the helicopter crash that claimed the lives of Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, and seven others, we revisit the surreal nature of that day and pay tribute to the victims. Then, we take stock of the new look Nets, who have won four of six since acquiring James Harden but clearly have a lot of work to do on the defensive end. Finally, we assess the early returns on other notable acquisitions who are impacting their teams in good and not so good ways. Tune in.
Sustainability is one of the most important abilities—it's even a U.S. government value again! Scott and Eric join on the first full day of the Biden Administration to weigh in on which early season outliers—good and bad—are built to last. Remember: science is real, even if the Cleveland Cavaliers' defense isn't.