More Ja drama — Jackson vs. Jokic — Philadelphia Second-Rounders

Monday, May 15th, 2023

  The Opening Tip

  • Jayson Tatum is a Game 7 legend 
  • Mark Jackson forgot to put Nikola Jokic on his MVP ballot
  • The Sixers are massive chokers

1. Maybe Ja Morant is the bad influence

Ja Morant was seen flashing a gun on Instagram Live yesterday, roughly two months after flashing a gun on Instagram Live at a stripclub named Shotgun Willie’s, which came in the immediate aftermath of reports that he beat up a teenager and a Footlocker employee. (It's not going well.)

The first IG live gun flash earned him what turned out to be an eight-game suspension; this time the Grizzlies have suspended him from ‘all team activities pending league review.’

Two things: 

  1. STOP GOING ON INSTAGRAM LIVE WITH YOUR GUNS 
  2. We gotta cut the ‘he’s hanging around bad influences’ thing. Clearly, he is the bad influence. 
Watch the IG video from yesterday: The friend tries to move the camera as soon as Morant breaks out the gun. It went from a fun hangout to another suspension solely because of Morant’s stupidity. 


What’s next? Who knows. Morant already did the fake apology sitdown with Jalen Rose in the wake of his last gun scandal. Pretty sure you only get one of those. Any sort of ‘I need to change’ sentiment is going to ring even more hollow this time.

2. Daily GIF: 51!

Jayson Tatum set the record for points in a Game 7 yesterday (51), erasing Steph Curry’s 15-day-old record of 50. 

[WATCH: All 51 points]

3. Trivia time

Four NBA MVPs active or retired haven’t made the Finals. Who are they?

Answer at the bottom.

4. Do we believe Mark Jackson?

Last week, we learned that longtime player/coach/broadcaster/questionable person Mark Jackson did not have Nikola Jokic on his MVP ballot.

Clarification: He didn’t just not have him first, which would be fine. He didn’t have him at all, which is, of course, insane.

There are two explanations: 

  1. Mark Jackson does not like Nikola Jokic. 
  2. Mark Jackson simply forgot to add Jokic, which he insisted was the case on Twitter. 

With all due respect, it feels kind of impossible to forget Jokic but not Donovan Mitchell.

5. The Philadelphia Second-Rounders, by the numbers

0-for-5

Joel Embiid has lost all five second-round series he’s played in. He’s also a 29-year-old MVP winner who’s somehow avoided the media criticism that people like Chris Paul have gotten their entire career.
 

33.1 → 23.7

Embiid averaged 33.1 PPG during the regular season and 23.7 in these playoffs. The 9.4-point dropoff is the most by an MVP.
 

0-for-6

Doc Rivers is 0-for-3 in second-round series with the 76ers and 0-for-6 in his last six overall.
 

25 teams

The 76ers haven’t made it past the second round since Allen Iverson’s run in 2001. Since, 25 teams have reached the conference finals, including the Kings, Clippers and Magic. The only teams not to are the Sixers, Hornets, Pelicans, Knicks and Wizards. 

6.  Quick Hits

  • Updated odds for the conference finals, which are both a rematch of the 2020 bubble conference finals.
  • Even Ben Simmons got in on roasting the 76ers.
  • Doc is now 17-33 in the playoffs with a chance to clinch a series. 
  • Blake Griffin just made the conference finals for the first time in his career. 
  • Georges Niang probably should have been ejected for this.
  • Mike Wilbon dropped some good insight on the Ja Morant situation.

7.  Reads & Pods

  • Is this the end of the Warriors’ dynasty? [The Ringer]
  • The Sixers have re-created the apathy they spent 10 years trying to avoid [Philly Voice]
  • Celtics did not go the way of the Bruins [The Boston Globe]

Trivia answer: Steve Nash, Derrick Rose, Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid


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