Michael Lee on the NBA's return, East/West playoff pictures and more

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Lee on the NBA's return, East/West playoff pictures and more

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Michael Lee on the NBA's return, East/West playoff pictures and more

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On this episode of The HoopsHype Podcast, Alex Kennedy is joined by Michael Lee of The Athletic. They discuss the NBA’s return, the number of new COVID-19 cases in Florida, the Eastern Conference playoff picture, the Western Conference playoff picture and more. Time-stamps are below!

:30: The NBA announced the schedule for the remainder of the 2019-20 season. Alex and Michael discuss their excitement and concerns about the NBA season resuming.

1:40: There have been many new COVID-19 cases in Florida recently, which could impact the NBA’s plan to resume the season. Alex and Michael talk about the “bubble” and whether it’s safe.

9:05: Several players (such as Avery Bradley, Davis Bertans, Trevor Ariza and Willie Cauley-Stein) have decided to sit out when play resumes. Will more players back out as it gets closer?

12:45: Should there be an asterisk next to the 2020 championship? Michael doesn’t think so.

15:35: Alex and Michael discuss whether the Milwaukee Bucks have what it takes to win a title this year.

17:45: Fun fact: Brook Lopez actually has a home that’s on the Walt Disney World property. It’s in a “resort community” called Golden Oak, which he discussed in this HoopsHype interview last offseason.

18:30: As of now, the other seven playoff teams in the Eastern Conference are Toronto, Boston, Miami, Indiana, Philadelphia, Brooklyn and Orlando. Which team has the best shot of challenging Milwaukee and winning the East?

23:55: Alex and Michael discuss an East team that could be a sleeper and make some noise in the playoffs.

25:38: Michael discusses the Raptors’ success and how impressed he is with their play despite losing Kawhi Leonard last summer.

29:50: Moving to the West, which team is the current favorite to win the conference: the Los Angeles Lakers or the Los Angeles Clippers?

33:40: With how much money LeBron James spends on his body and the amenities that he has at home (a court, a gym, cryotherapy, etc.), he should be in great shape and ready to go when the season starts. Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Lou Williams each have a court at their house too.

35:08: The next tier of Western Conference teams features Denver, Utah, Oklahoma City, Houston and Dallas. Which of those teams has the best shot of challenging the L.A. teams and winning the West?

39:00: Alex and Michael discuss whether we’ll see more upsets in the playoffs since the games are being played at a neutral site and there’s no home-court advantage.

41:50: The race for the eighth seed in the Western Conference is down to Memphis, Portland, New Orleans, Sacramento, San Antonio and Phoenix. Alex and Michael discuss how that could play out.

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