Big crowds: Back — Bill de Blasio: Back — Logo Lillard: Back

Tuesday, May 25th, 2021

  The Opening Tip

  • We may never have to hear fake crowd noise again. 
  • Damian Lillard makes a case for the 4-point play. 
  • Bill de Blasio can't help himself.

Tonight's playoff games

1. The basketball fans -- they are back

At some point during this pandemic, you might have thought to yourself, ‘What’s the first thing I’ll do when I finally attend a live sporting event?’

For Knicks fans, the answer to that question was to chant “Fuck Trae Young” en masse.

  • There were 15,047 of them at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, and something about that game -- the loud cheers, the unprompted anger from New Yorkers -- felt, dare we say, normal.

Across the opening playoff weekend, big crowds were the norm.

Here’s the attendance number for all eight teams that have hosted playoff games so far, with attendance numbers for each team’s final regular-season home game included as well:

Two notes: 

  1. The Clippers were allowing full capacity, but no one wanted to go.*
  2. Respect to New York for really going for it. Both teams jumped their attendance limit more than 12,000 fans in the span of a week.

*joking …

2. Daily GIFAt this point, are you even surprised?

It’s the informalness for us. Damian Lillard is gaslighting us into thinking this is all normal. 

(Lillard had 32 points at the half last night and 42 for the game but Denver won, 128-109, to even the series at one. Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with 38 points.)

3. Trivia time

Five Western Conference teams made it to the NBA Finals in the 2010s. Can you name all of them?

Answers at the bottom.

4. He tried, he really did, but Bill de Blasio is back on his bullshit

After cosplaying Jay Z last week, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio is back with more unprompted thoughts on basketball.

Today he wore a Knicks cap and decided to, quite honestly, bring the heat to Trae Young:
 

“This is very serious," he decided to say. "I wanna get this out. A message to Trae Young, on behalf of New York City and anyone who cares about actually playing basketball the right way, stop hunting for fouls, Trae.”

Hawks fans, who seem to be a fairly casual breed, were probably just kinda pumped to have their team back in the playoffs after a few years off.

Now, one game later, New Yorkers are chanting “Fuck Trae Young” and the mayor is challenging their best player’s manhood. New York is back!

5. Three haikus to help you better understand the first round so far

No. 3 Bucks vs. No. 6 Heat (Bucks up, 2-0)

 
Jimmy Butler said
I am stupidly locked in
Turns out, he was not
(Translation: Jimmy Butler actually said that before this series started, and the Heat clearly thought they had the psychological advantage over Milwaukee. Instead, Khris Middleton hit a game-winner in Game 1 and the Bucks destroyed Miami last night, 132-98, for a 2-0 advantage.)


No. 1 Jazz vs. No. 8 Grizzlies (Grizzlies up, 1-0)

 
Mitchell hoped to play
On Sunday, but Jazz said “No”
Now, Jazz are in trouble
(Translation: Donovan Mitchell thought he was ready to play in Game 1 on Sunday after missing the last month or so with an ankle injury. At the last second, the Jazz health staff told him he couldn’t play, and Utah went to lose to the Grizzlies. Mitchell was dumbfounded and leaked his unhappiness to ESPN.)


No. 2 Nets vs. No. 7 Celtics (Nets up, 1-0)

 
“Nets made just one 3
In first half of Game 1, And
Still won, easily
(Translation: The Celtics are screwed.)

6.  Quick hits

  • Shaq spoke an unidentified language to Nikola Jokic on Inside the NBA last night. 
  • Kenny last night, also on Inside the NBA: “I wanna see if the Los Angeles Lakers are the champions of old, or just old champions.”
  • Jordan Clarkson is your 2020-21 Sixth Man of the Year. 
  • Giannis juggling the ball while a mini skirmish broke out last night could be a commercial for soccer. 
  • Nuggets fans still hate Carmelo Anthony.
  • Lou Williams talking about anything is interesting. 
  • Goran Dragic: Kinda dirty?

7.  Reads and podcast pick

  • Boban Marjanovic is the key to the Mavericks' locker room chemistry [ESPN]
  • Opening weekend takeaways [The Lowe Post]
  • The walls are closing in on the Heat [The Ringer]

Trivia answer:  Warriors, Lakers, Spurs, Mavericks, Thunder.


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Thanks for reading the 277th edition of The Grip.

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