Ben Golliver and Michael Pina decide sides for Sunday’s NBA All-Star Recreation. Ben serves as Kevin Durant and Michael serves as LeBron James, they usually undergo deciding on their beginning lineups and All-Star reserves. Ought to LeBron and KD draft the most effective general gamers or probably the most entertaining gamers? Does it make sense to load up a staff with two-way expertise or inventive ball-handlers? Is there sufficient room for Kyrie Irving, Luka Dončić, James Harden and Damian Lillard on the identical roster? How a lot ought to age issue into this yr’s picks given the elder statesmen within the combine? What number of snubs would have been picked over Julius Randle and Zach LaVine on this draft? And who would be the dreaded final participant chosen? When it is throughout, the Open Floor Globe should determine the winner: Michael’s Spirit of St. Louis or Ben’s Coney Island Scorching Canines?
The following transcript is an excerpt from The Open Floor Podcast. Hearken to the total episode on podcast players everywhere or on SI.com.
Ben Golliver: All proper, with the primary decide within the Open Floor 2021 NBA All-Star draft, you’re on the clock. And bear in mind, we will be selecting from the starters group first after which we’re going to be going to the reserves. And simply to additional complicate issues—so Kevin Durant’s making the picks, however there’s really going to need to be a brand new customary captain as a result of he isn’t taking part in. I’ll identify my captain shortly when it is my flip to choose, Michael. After which from there, we even have an damage alternative. Anthony Davis is just not selectable as a result of he is sidelined. So Devin Booker is into the combination on that one and identical deal. Tatum has been elevated to the starter to fill KD’s spot. And we even have Domantas Sabonis hopping on the bench, apparently as a result of all people else who was extra worthy than him simply determined they did not need to go. That is my private opinion; I do not understand how he acquired nominated as a alternative over guys like Khris Middleton and Bam Adebayo, however we will let the NBA league workplace kind that out themselves. All proper, Michael, with out additional ado, the No. 1 decide is …
Michael Pina: You are going to love this. My No. 1 decide is Mr. Kawhi Leonard.
Golliver: Oh, my God. You picked probably the most boring participant in your entire All-Star Recreation. You are going to have him as your No. 1 decide, Michael?
Pina: Kawhi is nice. I refuse to bend to the accusation that he is a boring participant. I disagree strongly. I like watching him play basketball. I like watching him defend. The worry that he places in whoever he is guarding is actual, it is tangible, it is palpable, you may see it by means of your TV display. And drafting from the attitude of LeBron, which is how my mentality was by means of numerous this choice course of. If I am LeBron, I am selecting Kawhi as a result of he is the one man out right here who can guard me. So if we’re in crunch time, I am not nervous about anyone else on the opposite staff. And now that I’ve a man on my aspect, I need not fear or concern myself with Kawhi’s enormous arms in my private area as I am attempting to conduct a late comeback or protect a late lead. So Kawhi is simply a simple alternative for me. And I do know you like it.
Golliver: It is an important level, each these guys are going to want somebody to speak to after they’re icing their knees halfway by means of the second quarter. So I am glad that he’ll have an ice accomplice there, that is improbable.
So we really acquired this e mail from Juan. He writes, “I am writing to you, particularly as a result of I feel we have to use considered one of our Open Floor Globe mantras and speak to Ben, who likes to name himself Captain Accountability. I am listening to this bonus episode with Haley O’Shaughnessy. And that was an important present, by the best way. And I am listening to Ben speak about how Michael had his coronary heart damaged by Kyrie and James Harden ever since Kyrie abandon his beloved Celtics. And Harden did the identical when he left Houston. And at that second I related the dots and understand that Ben feels the very same manner about Kawhi Leonard. I am unable to neglect when Kawhi killed the Sixers on the Raptors’ title run and everybody was excited by these additional bounces Kawhi’s shot took. And all Ben needed to say is that Michael Jordan by no means wanted multiple bounce. Additionally, I’ve misplaced rely of what number of occasions Michael has argued with Ben about Kawhi, and all Ben does is play Kawhi down. Ben, I feel it is advisable to transfer on and settle for that Kawhi was not glad in San Antonio.” Look, that is nice sleuthing and detective work by Juan.
Completely, he is acquired a very reasonable level. I admire him holding me to that customary. All I’ll say is, I feel that there are some flaws in Kawhi sport that do not get talked about as a result of Kawhi by no means will get talked about. I am at all times going to default to that as my protection. I am curious, whenever you had been watching that Milwaukee versus L.A. Clippers sport, Michael, and I have been type of telling you a few of these points that the Clippers have in crunch time. Kawhi will get this status as this big-time clutch shot maker all people brings up the ‘4 bouncer’ and once more, I am not even certain Michael wanted one bounce, I feel it is normally just about simply swish. You realize, all of his vital pictures that I bear in mind had been simply actual clear going by means of. However he will get that status. And, this yr his clutch numbers aren’t good. I do assume that he does not get himself going downhill practically sufficient throughout late sport conditions. Similar factor for Paul George. Pat Beverley is not essentially that man. And they also’re in a state of affairs down three in opposition to Milwaukee the place they should get a very good shot. This is without doubt one of the best three-point taking pictures groups ever within the historical past of the NBA. And all they’ll get is Kawhi Leonard off the dribble from like two or three steps behind the three-point line over Pat Connaughton, who is just not precisely a Kawhi stopper. And it simply type of feeds into my basic feeling that like late in video games, I do not belief Kawhi practically as a lot as folks prefer to hype him up in these conditions. And I do not actually belief the Clippers nonetheless, as a result of it does really feel like they get into this mode of deferring to the celebrity degree guys as a substitute of getting folks shifting, getting good pictures and form of understanding what they need to do. It simply grinds down. We noticed that drawback in final yr’s playoffs. I feel it is going to be a continued drawback for them.
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