On this episode of The HoopsHype Podcast, Alex Kennedy is joined by Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck. They discuss the NBA’s return, the league’s bubble, unanswered questions, how this set-up may impact play, what this offseason could look like, his NBA Finals prediction, his MVP pick and much more. Time-stamps are below!
0:35: The NBA will resume the season on July 31. Howard and Alex discuss the league’s plan and the logistics of having 22 teams in a bubble at Disney’s Wide World of Sports.
4:30: An Eastern Conference general manager told Alex that he’s concerned some players may choose not to play because of the health risks. What will the NBA do if some players want to sit out?
7:30: There are still some unanswered questions as it pertains to the bubble such as what will happen if players get sick? Will we see free agents signed as replacement players?
10:20: It remains to be seen how the NBA will handle home-court advantage and what they’ll do to reward teams for their regular-season success. Howard doesn’t like any of the ideas that have been thrown out so far.
15:35: With no fans and a neutral court, this will almost feel like pick-up basketball. Howard and Alex discuss how this could impact the on-court product.
18:40: Finishing the 2019-20 season is the priority, but is there a chance that the NBA has a similar arrangement or single-site bubble for a portion of next season?
22:05: The NBA Finals are scheduled to end in October, then the NBA will have the draft, free agency and offseason programs. But the NBA wants to start next season in December. Howard and Alex discuss how the league can make this work from a scheduling standpoint.
26:25: How will this year’s NBA draft and free-agency period be impacted by the pandemic?
29:40: Howard shares his NBA Finals prediction and his pick to win it all.
33:30: Who is Howard’s favorite sleeper team that could make things interesting and go on a deep playoff run?
35:40: Howard breaks down the Most Valuable Player race between Giannis Antetokounpo and LeBron James, and shares his pick for MVP.
39:40: Recently, Howard wrote a terrific piece for Bleacher Report about Kobe Bryant’s lob to Shaquille O’Neal in the 2000 Western Conference Finals, which launched the Los Angeles Lakers’ dynasty. Howard talks about the story and shares his favorite memories from covering those Shaq-Kobe teams.
43:55: Howard discusses “What up, Beck!” and how often people say that to him when he’s out in public.
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