NBA Notebook: Is Chris Paul finished in Phoenix?
The Milwaukee Bucks have done it! After 50 long years, the NBA championship has returned to Wisconsin, although it certainly wasn't easy. The Bucks needed seven games to defeat the Brooklyn Nets and fell behind 0-2 in the NBA Finals before winning four straight contests against the Phoenix Suns to claim the crown.
While the Bucks and their fans celebrate their title, let’s take a spin around the league in the latest edition of our NBA Notebook.
Giannis cements his legacy
No story about the NBA can be written this week without mentioning the incredible play of 26-year old superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. In scoring a remarkable 50 of the Bucks’ 105 points in Game 6, Giannis took over the game in a way few athletes can.
The Bucks have a well-rounded roster, but they'd be playing Game 7 in Phoenix tonight were it not for "The Greek Freak" and his remarkably dominant play. Giannis is a two-time MVP, an NBA champion, and clearly one of the best players in the world. Congratulations to the Bucks and their affable star.
Should TEAM USA be worried?
The U.S. Basketball Men’s National Team is done with its exhibition schedule and is ready to take on the Olympics, although it enters the tournament with some concerns. The squad lost a pair of tune-up games to Nigeria and Australia and has been left reeling by the departures of Bradley Beal and Kevin Love. Oddsmakers have taken note of their less than stellar play and have moved their gold medal odds from -1000 two weeks ago to -286 today.
Team USA is led by NBA All-Stars Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Draymond Green, and Zach LaVine. They will be joined soon by Khris Middleton, Jrue Holliday, and Devin Booker, who should be sharp, if not a bit tired, coming off after their long playoff runs. There is every reason to be concerned about the lack of dominance the team has shown thus far, but there is a clear distinction between exhibition games and actual competition. Expect the U.S. to step on the gas when needed.
2021 NBA Draft is taking shape
The 2021 NBA Draft is just around the corner on July 29, and the destinations of many of the top players are all but determined. Cade Cunningham looks destined for Detroit, Jalen Green seems headed to Houston, and Evan Mobley is likely going to Cleveland. Whether we get the outcome most anticipate remains to be seen, but there is still plenty of high-potential talent to be had farther down the draft board.
NBA Draft 2021
Thu, July 29 2021, 6:00 PM
Johnson, Jalen (2001)
As everyone takes note of the non-lottery draft position of players like Antetokounmpo, Middleton, and recent MVP, Nikola Jokic, it is good to remember there will be plenty of impact players taken outside of the highly-scrutinized top three selections.
Is CP3 finished in Phoenix?
Following a disappointing loss in the NBA Finals, one player certain to receive plenty of speculative attention this offseason is 16-year veteran Chris Paul. "CP3" was a decisive leader for the Suns this year, and many of his teammates credited his savvy and leadership for elevating their games.
As Paul enters his 17th season in the league this fall, he has already made clear he has zero plans to retire. And while the Los Angeles Lakers have already hinted they would love to find a veteran point guard with his particular skill set, the Suns have little interest in parting ways with Paul. Nonetheless, the 11-time All-Star is a longtime friend of LeBron James, so keep an eye on what transpires over the next few weeks with the veteran and his suitors.