There’s an alternate universe in which this weekly column, much like rest of the United States, could rapidly go into lockdown over the coming month while the NBA sits dormant due to the novel coronavirus outbreak swamping the globe.
Good thing we live on this timeline, then.
This piece has been running (almost) non-stop every Monday for over two years now through the most barren of off-seasons and the grinds of mid-January basketball. While we at Brew Hoop step back to determine what we can tackle on the site in the coming weeks, I’ll be going full-steam ahead in my uniquely headstrong, abrasive, and unintelligible way...
...we’re just going to need a lot more Giannis rumors to help use up my digital ink is all.
Inside the NBA coronavirus shutdown: How a few tense hours changed everything (ESPN)
As good a place as any to begin here as we continue to process the fact that the NBA regular season has been put into stasis.
The league was always going to be put between a rock and a hard place when it came to deciding what course of action would be best in handling games during a pandemic. Leagues around the world had started playing games without fans, and so reaching the decision of following that course of action isn’t surprising. Perhaps it downplayed the seriousness of the threat at the time, but the owners weren’t alone in trying to salvage the season’s revenues however they could.
While it may have been easier to head things off and post-pone games straightaway, they should get a little credit for the speed with which they shut it all down once Rudy Gobert tested positive. Now, days later, it’s probably for the best that we don’t have the surreal experience of ongoing basketball games while the rest of the nation turns into a ghost town.
Giannis Antetokounmpo relieved knee injury diagnosed as minor (ESPN)
Weren’t we all? And if there was any residual pain at least Giannis now has a few impromptu weeks to let it heal up?
One concern I might have — and this applies across the league — is just how in-shape these players can remain with a whole month of quarantine ahead. For a guy like Giannis who has a home with a basketball court (Edit: Thanks to ClutchRhino, we have video of there maybe being a court, but also there maybe not being a court at the Antetokounmpo household), perhaps keeping near his peak will be relatively easy. But what about the DJ Wilson’s of the world? Stuck in their apartments with the cruddy treadmill and some dumbbells to get them through the day.
If/when basketball returns, expect some sluggish play out of the gate.
Khris Middleton Is The Best At Making Basketball’s Worst Shot (FiveThirtyEight)
Jared Dubin makes a lot of interesting cases for what makes Khris Middleton such a dangerous mid-range artist in the age of the non-midrange. Combining Kevin Durant’s hesitation moves in isolation, Chris Paul’s propensity to punish teams in pick & roll, and Dirk Nowitzki’s ability to use height to generate separation, Middleton is truly a hybrid killer.
As ever, we just have to see if he’s willing and able to be that same murderous fusion in a critical playoff series, game, and set of possessions.
Rumor: Giannis Antetokounmpo’s supermax decision will affect 2020 offseason star movement (Clutch Points)
I’m not so sure about that. Are they sure about that? I’m not.
Know Your Enemy
Coronavirus - AKA Covid-19
With no games on the block, it all circles back to the unfeeling foe that poses such a tremendous risk to me, you, our loved ones, our nations’ healthcare systems, and humanity writ large. We all come from different geographic locations, but you’re more than likely living in a place taking steps to curb the spread of the coronavirus. I don’t have much to add to what you’ve heard, but here’s the CDC’s Preventative Guidelines for your reference.
Stay safe, folks.
Fan Content of the Week
Do your duty, maintain social distancing, try to not hug too much in the comments. This section is going to start relying almost exclusively on the generosity of those fine folks churning out the FanPost content we crave. I only have a few heat-of-the-moment, poorly-received written blasts of content in me.
The Social Media Section
I won’t be impressed until he can rip out a few lines of “Free Bird” upon request
This ladies and gentlemen is why we all need basketball back... @Giannis_An34 pic.twitter.com/9F4aJIOIiW— Mariah Danae (@mariahdanae15) March 15, 2020
Credit to Giannis, Khris, and the rest of the roster as well
Following the meaningful acts of generosity by @Giannis_an34 and @Khris22m, the Bucks’ ENTIRE roster is supporting our community by making donations to impacted Fiserv Forum workers. #BucksDNA pic.twitter.com/KFeJxLkBQE— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) March 14, 2020
A big All-Star assist by @khris22m who has just announced he will match @Giannis_an34 $100,000 donation to impacted Fiserv Forum workers.— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) March 14, 2020
As promised earlier today, the Bucks organization will match player donations to part-time arena workers. pic.twitter.com/RgmzXInYzn
It’s bigger than basketball! And during this tough time I want to help the people that make my life, my family’s lives and my teammates lives easier. Me and my family pledge to donate $100,000 to the Fiserv Forum staff. We can get through this together!— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) March 13, 2020
I pray this virus doesn’t fulfill it’s original intent— Jaylen Brown (@FCHWPO) March 12, 2020
You’re probably going to have a lot of time on your hands soon, so head on over to Teutonia World’s page and watch part three of the excellent “Theory of Everything” uniform series
Dreamy purple is (was) back again
MMMR 2019-2020 Prediction Record: 42-23
retired janitor’s 2019-2020 Prediction Record: 53-12
If last Monday’s game against the Nuggets was the last we’ll see of the NBA’s 2019-2020 regular season, well, at least I only ended 11 games behind retired janitor.
Take your victory lap rj (and all the other properly-optimistic optimists), you won this months-long round.