Hmmm. How can I properly express to you the beatdown of the Spurs’ 114-83 win over the Jazz?
Imagine a Hummer driving over a camel. Or Godzilla stepping on a power transformer, only with fewer fireworks. It was kind of like a train running over a cart of moldy peaches. Or a buzzsaw ripping through wet newspaper.
There were signs that the Spurs were this much better than the Jazz in Game 1. But Utah had managed to hang for much of the game. Nothing doing in this one. The Spurs came out and dominated from the very get go. There was a 20-0 run to spark the Spurs, and that was pretty much it. They were faster to the ball, faster to the rim, faster to closer out, faster to rebound, faster to drive, faster to shoot… you get the idea.
It’s back to the drawing board for Utah, trying to figure out how to slow down, distract, momentarily get in the way of Tony Parker, how to impact the wings (Kawhi Leonard lit them up. Leonard’s really good but wing was supposed to be a marginal strength for Utah. That’s bad.), how to do, really anything against San Antonio.
The good news for Utah? They’re going home where they play well. That’s about it. Because all signs point to the Spurs having all the answers at this point. Utah needs to throw out the drawing board and start sketching something new on the wall. The Spurs? Revel in their matchup and the fact they’ll likely be getting rest for the second round.
The Spurs are in control, to say the least.
DeAndre Ayton will go No. 1 to the Phoenix Suns Thursday night. Marvin Bagley III probably goes second to Sacramento (but that’s not a lock).
After that, things get wide open in the 2018 NBA Draft. Teams value different players at very different levels this year, and there are going to be a number of trades.
Which makes putting together a mock draft for this year more random than a roulette wheel. Not that it stopped me. Here is my final mock draft for the 14 lottery picks. I present it without much confidence, but I’m throwing it out there anyway.
The Hawks’ rebuild got going with big John Collins. Though they’re reportedly eying Luka Doncic with the No. 3 pick, they could easily draft another big – Jaren Jackson Jr., Mohamed Bamba, Marvin Bagley or Wendell Carter.
And then there’s veteran center Dewayne Dedmon.
He no longer fits in Atlanta (never did, really). But he’s not bypassing a chance to earn $6.3 million.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
There just wasn’t going to be that much money for the 28-year-old Dedmon in a tight market this summer.
Dedmon is a good defender, and he developed his ball skills – as a 3-point shooter and passer – in Atlanta last season. The Hawks could look to trade him. Maybe, in a deal primarily about his expiring contract, he adds extra value to the other team due to his playing ability.
If Atlanta doesn’t move him, Dedmon will be a fine player on a likely tanking team. At least he’s not good enough to subvert the Hawks’ tank, especially with the new lottery format.
Nick Young will say and do nearly anything for attention.
Empowered by the Warriors’ championship, he swung for the fences when asked about Canada passing marijuana legalization.
Young, via TMZ:
“I want people to pass cocaine,” the NBA star told TMZ Sports outside 1 OAK on Tuesday night … “Everybody needs to do cocaine!”
Predictably, that caused a bit of an uproar. Then, Young backtracked:
Too late, Nick. People are already asking questions you don’t want asked.
The 76ers have too many 2018 draft picks – Nos. 10, 26, 38, 39, 56 and 60.
Philadelphia already has 11 players under contract for next season. Plus, the 76ers have the space to add premier players. There just isn’t room for everyone on the roster.
So, Philadelphia unloaded one of those selections.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
This is good return for the 76ers, who everyone knew had to trade a draft pick. The rebuilding Bulls could easily land a higher second-round pick than No. 39 next year.
Why do the Lakers want an extra second-rounder this year? Second-round picks don’t count against the cap until signed, and they can always slightly sweeten a trade offer. They’re helpful for a team with big plans and little wiggle room.