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BBNBA: It’s a shooter’s gym…

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Good morning, folks. So do you remember when Donovan Mitchell dropped 57 points and lost? Well, I’ve got some bad news… Let’s talk NBA Bubble.


Jamal Murray’s 50 points not enough to beat Jazz in Game 4

Jamal Murray and Donovan Mitchell did something on Sunday night that has never been done in the history of the NBA Playoffs, becoming the first set of opponents to score at least 45 points against one another in a single playoff game. They even broke the record a bit further than that, as Murray poured in a career-high 50 points compared to Mitchell’s 51. Players inside the Bubble have been convinced that the empty atmosphere inside the arena helps create a more comfortable environment; a “shooter’s gym” if you will. After watching the Nuggets and Jazz light each other up for an entire fourth quarter that was almost entirely comprised of difficult one-on-one shots, I’m starting to agree.

But here’s the bad news. Similar to how Mitchell exploded for 57 points in a Game 1 loss to open the series, Murray’s 50 points weren’t enough to tie up the series at two games apiece. Instead, Utah was able to sneak out with a tightly contested 129-127 win to give them a 3-1 series advantage. Murray’s 50 points came on an unreal 9-15 mark from beyond the arc and a 18-31 clip overall. He also corralled 11 rebounds–a playoff career-high–to go along with seven assists and, most notably, zero turnovers. 18 of Murray’s 50 came in the fourth quarter alone.

After watching Murray go MIA for Games 2 and 3, it was incredibly refreshing to see him in attack mode for the majority of a 48-minute game. It’s no coincidence that when Murray scored a combined 26 points in Games 2 and 3 that the Nuggets lost by a combined 56 points. Remember, Murray dropped 36 in Game 1 that included another scoring spree down the stretch and his team won in overtime. Denver is at its best when Murray is always engaged on offense; on Sunday, he was, but Utah is on a different level right now, and its mainly thanks to MVP-caliber play from Mitchell.

Murray did set some Kentucky history, though. His 50 points are now the most ever by a former Kentucky player in an NBA Playoff game, according to Corey Price. The previous high was set by Anthony Davis back in 2018. Not bad company to be in.

Luka Doncic is the next GOAT

I’m done pretending that Luke Doncic’s ceiling isn’t higher than we’ve ever seen in basketball. This isn’t hyperbolic; Doncic is going to be the best player this world has seen since the likes of LeBron James and Michael Jordan, if he isn’t already.

The Don went on a solo mission Sunday (star center Kristaps Porzingis was ruled out prior to the game) against the two-seeded Los Angeles Clippers, posting some of the dumbest numbers you’ll ever see in an NBA game, let alone in the postseason. The Dallas Mavericks 6-foot-8 point guard recorded 43 points on an 18-31 shooting clip to go along with 17 rebounds and 13 assists. EXCUSE ME? But you haven’t even heard the best part. Trailing 2-1 in the series and down two points in overtime, Doncic hit a step-back game-winning triple at the buzzer right in the face of Reggie Jackson that set NBA Twitter on fire.

Luka is going to win MVP next year and I’ll go ahead and put money on it right now. Continue to side against him all you want, but he’s just going to keep proving you wrong. He is the future of the league and the next player that we will all one day consider for the title of the Greatest of all Time.

I wonder if there was a handsome sportswriter named Zack who called this over two years ago? Oh well, guess we’ll never know.

Other notes from the Bubble

  • Sticking with Doncic and the Mavs for a second, I want to say a few things about a recent scuffle where Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell called Doncic a “bitch ass white boy”. Harrell was rightfully not suspended or fined for the incident and the two sides have already made up and moved past it. But it was the discourse surrounding the incident that was met with the exact kind of response I anticipated from a group of select individuals on social media. The one’s who say, that’s hypocritical! How is it not racist for Harrell to call Doncic a white boy? If the roles were reversed, it would be a different story! And to that, I have to say: well, duh? The reason that what Harrell said to Doncic shouldn’t be considered racist is because of the lack of negative connotation towards the term “white boy”. If Doncic were to call Harrell a “black boy”, a term that possesses highly racists undertones scattered across the past 300 years of American history, the situation would obviously be reversed and the conversation would be a lot different. Here’s the thing, I can’t even begin to explain how many times I’ve been called “white boy” while playing basketball. It is not a term that carries weight in our country. White people have not been oppressed in the same way that Black people in this country have.  A white man calling a Black man “boy” is peak Jim Crow-era racism. A Black man calling a white man “boy” has zero historical context in the United States. And until people can understand that simple fact, we are going to continue having problems with racial inequality.
  • Okay back to basketball. There were two sweeps out of the Eastern Conference on Sunday night, as the Celtics and Raptors won its first four games against the 76ers and Nets, respectively. Boston won Game 4 110-106, likely tearing down Philadelphia’s “Process”, as well. It’s beginning to look more and more likely that Philly fires head coach Brett Brown and reworks the entire roster excluding Joel Embiid and possibly Ben Simmons. As for the Raptors, they won Game 4 by a blistering final score of 150-122, never feeling threatened by the Nets at all. The Raptors and Celtics will now matchup in round two.
  • Sunday would have been Kobe Bryant’s 42 birthday. Watch this tribute video and try not to cry.

Series standings from Sunday


(2) Raptors sweep (7) Nets 4-0
(3) Celtics sweep (6) 76ers 4-0


(2) Clippers tied with (7) Mavericks 2-2
(6) Jazz lead (3) Nuggets 3-1


PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Jamal Murray (DEN)127-129 L @ UTA5018-31 (9-15)117010+543
Enes Kanter (BOS)110-106 W @ PHI63-6 (0-0)51000+1016
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (DAL)135-133 (OT) W vs. LAC30-3 (0-2)30000+819
Patrick Patterson (LAC)133-135 (OT) L @ DALDNP-CD----------------


1:30 (NBA TV): Bucks (Bledsoe) @ Magic [MIL leads 2-1]

4:00 (TNT): Rockets @ Thunder (Diallo, Gilgeous-Alexander, Noel) [HOU leads 2-1]

6:30 (TNT): Pacers @ Heat (Adebayo, Herro) [MIA leads 3-0]

9:00 (TNT): Lakers (Davis, Rondo: questionable) @ Trail Blazers (Gabriel) [LAL leads 2-1]

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Recruiting reporter for KSR. Follow me on Twitter: @ZGeogheganKSR

21 Comments for BBNBA: It’s a shooter’s gym…

  1. bigaa69
    11:29 am August 24, 2020 Permalink

    Soooo… If a Slovenian born player says “boy” it would somehow be racist even though he was never part of the 300 prior years of American history. But others are given a pass when using a term of color to describe another human being… Clear as mud….

  2. GuitarHeroLee
    11:54 am August 24, 2020 Permalink

    Couldn’t disagree more. It’s a total double standard. Good for Doncic for not rising to the bait. You don’t call someone a “bitch ass white boy” without some serious hate in your heart. Same as if a white person said it to a black person. We need to look at what is going on in people’s hearts instead of comparing it to Jim Crow years or 400 years of history. There were clearly a lot of bad feelings going on and to say otherwise is foolish. Good for Montrezl for apologizing, but still. We just choose not to care about this as much because it doesn’t fit the narrative that we want to push right now that black people are victims and white people are the evil-doers.

  3. VirginiaCat
    12:08 pm August 24, 2020 Permalink

    Ironic that “Equality” is worn on jerseys in a league that is vastly over-represented by black players. Yes, I understand that it is intended as a broad statement, but interesting that the NBA is the one institution that is not criticized for a significant lack of diversity.

  4. PensacolaCat
    12:09 pm August 24, 2020 Permalink

    One of the worst articles I’ve ever read on KSR and that’s saying a lot.

  5. WILDCATS1968
    1:08 pm August 24, 2020 Permalink

    As with any comment, intent has a LOT to do with whether or not it is a racist comment. Calling someone a “bitch ass with boy” has several underlying hatred thing. “Bitch” is very degrading, and adding in “ass white boy” it was obvious what Harrell was saying. Problem with the “explanation” you give is this, he didn’t just call him a “white boy” nice of you to leave the other parts out. You sir are trying wayyyy too hard to sound so righteous. Big fail there. hatred is hatred and degrading is degrading, color of your skin and history should not give ANYONE a free pass. Apology or not.

    • Alex90
      1:10 pm August 24, 2020 Permalink

      I think the writer of this was a Bitch ass white boy

  6. Alex90
    1:13 pm August 24, 2020 Permalink

    Just because there’s no history of it doesn’t mean it’s not racist. By allowing all of this now your setting up racism in the future that our children will have to deal with. Everyone trying to get past racism by blaming white people and being racist themselves really isn’t helping.

  7. 2Dogs
    1:31 pm August 24, 2020 Permalink

    Zack please educate us on what you think could actually be considered a racist comment toward a white person. Maybe a lack of accountability on both sides, not just one, is one of the reasons we continue to struggle with racial issues.

  8. A_Blue_Wildcat
    1:34 pm August 24, 2020 Permalink

    So by your logic, if an Asian man called a black child the n word it couldn’t possibly be racist because there is zero history of Asian people systematically oppressing black people in America. Imagine being this delusional lol You don’t achieve equality by treating people unequally.

  9. Anonymous
    1:38 pm August 24, 2020 Permalink

    Exactly the comments I expected to see in here, unfortunately. White people (myself included) have to WANT to understand these issues, then make a significant effort to see the world from an entirely different perspective.

    I can be called White Boy/Cracker/Honky all day long & it will never have the same affect. Are those phrases racist? Sure, they are. But, have my ancestors been actively oppressed for the enitrety of our nations history? No, they haven’t. Therefore those words don’t carry the same weight. It’s all about context.

    If you came here to point fingers & complain about Harrell, rest assured you are part of the problem. Take a minute (more like hours/days/weeks) to consider what Harrell (or, maybe more sympathetically, Boogie) has experienced as he has walked through this world. The way white people have glared at them, or walked away fearfully. The barriers, obstacles & struggles they watched their parents encounter on a regular basis – simply because of their skin. It’s amazing how a different perspective can completely change an experience.

    If there’s any part of you that doesn’t hate me at this point, please check out The 1619 Project There are all kinds of resources available to anyone interested in knowledge.

    Good work, Zack. Keep it up.

    • Irwin R. Fletcher
      1:42 pm August 24, 2020 Permalink

      Didn’t mean for that to be anonymous

    • PensacolaCat
      2:23 pm August 24, 2020 Permalink

      Project 1619 lol. Sorry, your propaganda isn’t going to fly here.

    • VirginiaCat
      3:11 pm August 24, 2020 Permalink

      Your point, essentially, is that there is bad racism and racism that should be excused due to context. In other words, a double standard is permissible when it comes to racial affronts. You also imply that if someone is offended by Harrell’s racial taunting, it’s the offended person who is the problem. You also suggest with self righteous condescension, “Take a minute (more like hours/days/weeks) to consider what Harrell has experienced…” Perhaps you should examine your own perspective and realize that it is you who would benefit for a period of reflection.

    • A_Blue_Wildcat
      3:15 pm August 24, 2020 Permalink

      So we should never under any circumstance hold black people accountable for hating non-blacks? That seems pretty racist to me that you think black people can’t handle being held accountable. I bet when a black man kills a white child you probably celebrate and think “well that white child never had to go through what that poor victim black male had to go through”.

  10. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
    2:00 pm August 24, 2020 Permalink

    Zack, you’re young so let me tell you a story. Many of my growing up years were in the mostly black now razed Lexington housing project. I was threatened and beaten up numerous times because I was white. Just because my ancestors weren’t enslaved in this country made it no less hurtful or real to me at the time. I will also add that the best friend I’ve ever had is a guy I met in college. He is a Christian brother who happens to be black. Yes, I went there.

    You can spin this however you like, but what Harrell said was just as wrong as the reverse. Like someone else said above, good on him for apologizing. When someone apologizes, you forgive them and move on.

    3:49 pm August 24, 2020 Permalink

    You know what is racist? A person sitting on a self-appointed throne of righteousness and declaring that THEY have the ability to tell entire groups of people what is and isn’t racist. “THIS is racist and THAT isn’t offensive”, based on skin color. All determined by the ethical fortitude of a 20-something year old college student/write for a sports site, that thinks they are qualified to be preaching right and wrong to the masses. Racism is preferential or degrading treatment based on the color of an individuals skin. You don’t fight fire with fire, and you don’t fight racism with racism. Over-correction is one of the biggest problems in America right now.

    • PensacolaCat
      4:51 pm August 24, 2020 Permalink

      Well said

  12. slam212121
    10:11 pm August 24, 2020 Permalink

    NBA Rookies in the past 20 years to score 15+ points in 4 straight playoff games

    Dwyane Wade
    Jayson Tatum
    Ben Simmons
    Donovan Mitchell
    Tyler Herro (off the bench)

  13. ekywildcat
    9:25 am August 25, 2020 Permalink

    As a BBN fan, would it be wrong to wear a Doncic jersey? (asking for a friend).

    Everything after, “Other Notes from the Bubble”, sucks in this article. Matt should reprimand you, but he’ll probably give you a raise instead. Was a clearly racist comment from Harrell. It goes both ways, if everyone wants to be equal.

  14. kingcalscats
    9:58 am August 25, 2020 Permalink

    I will not pretend to know what is in Harrells heart.As a white man and going to a high school that was predominantly black students.I learned a lot about race relations at a young age.I made many great friends among the black community.I will not let the evils of any group define a race.Calling someone a bitch ass white boy is a racist term used among racist people in the black community.I know this because it was explained to me by several of my closest black school mates.It was explained to me back in the early 80s.In the prison population it is used to describe a perceived weak isolated white person.Usually a new white inmate the Racist blacks plan to use to enslave and rape.I have attended BLM Rallies or protest.I attended a BLM gospel revival last night.I no not support looting or destruction of property but I have not witnessed that behavior.I say this because many want to associate this behavior with the BLM group.This isn’t a fair description of the majority of BLM protesters.It does happen and most are criminals not affiliated with the group.

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      10:03 pm August 25, 2020 Permalink

      Thanks for your perspective. It is compelling. My only question is this: if your last 3 or 4 statements are true, why do none of the BLM members that you speak of (that I have seen) disavow this behavior publically? It’s a question that I seriously would like to hear your perspective on. Kenosha, including black owned businesses, is burning to the ground as we speak and I cannot for the life of me see how this will improve anyone’s life.