Way back in October, before the start of what has turned out to be a historic season, three teams stood out from the rest- the Bucks, Clippers, and Lakers. Now, nearly 10 months later and finally at the start of the Bubble Playoffs in Orlando, the same three contenders appear to have strengthened their hold on the title race.
Previously, I broke down film from the Bucks and Lakers game at the Staples Center. Now, I want to talk about what I saw from the March 5th game between the Clippers and Rockets.
Overall, this was a game Houston will want to forget. The Rockets were down 30 points midway through the 4th quarter partially due to 3 of 37 3-point shooting up to that point; they wound up cutting the final margin to 15 points in garbage time. Shooting can run hot and cold and every team throws up a clunker like this occasionally. Going beyond the score though, I think there are interesting things in the tape to break down for each side.
There is a play in the Bucks vs. Lakers game from March 6th that captures something fundamental about how Milwaukee plays on offense. The play begins with 7:03 left in the 4th quarter, after Giannis snatches the rebound from a missed Anthony Davis jumper. The Bucks are down 8, trying to bridge a gap created by a dominant 3rd quarter performance by LA.
The 2016 election had a historic Electoral College/popular vote split. What does this mean for 2020?
As most politically aware observers know, Donald Trump lost the 2016 presidential popular vote to Hillary Clinton. In fact, Mrs. Clinton won the popular vote in 2016 by about 2.1% points, which is roughly in line with the 2.4% popular vote margin of victory that George W. Bush secured in the 2004 election. Mr. Trump won the presidency thanks to his relative strength in the Electoral College; he secured 306 pledged Electoral College votes, a majority of the 538 cast. To understand his advantage in the 2016 electoral vote, it helps to understand the concepts of the tipping point state and the Electoral College Lean.
I’m having NBA withdrawal. We haven’t played any games since March 11th and there are serious doubts now among league executives if this season will even be finished at all, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.
With all the uncertainty notwithstanding, I thought it would be fun (and maybe even cathartic) to look back at some of the storylines that made the rest of this season, particularly the playoffs, so compelling. In no particular order, here they are below: