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Bubble Watch: Bradley Beal deserves All-NBA consideration

Bubble Watch: Bradley Beal deserves All-NBA consideration

With NBA Award season heating up, NBC Sports Washington's Nich Ashooh and Wes Hall gave their picks for All-NBA and examine why Washington Wizards superstar Bradley Beal isn't garnering more consideration following a historic season.

WES: Nick, the day has finally come where we must give our All-NBA team designations for this season. We get to select three rosters and that is it. Best of luck to everyone and much respect to those who don't make it this season. First up is the All-NBA 1st Team. 

NICK: There's always a ton of guys that get left off this I sometimes feel like we need five teams but here we go...

My first team:

G Luka Doncic

G James Harden

F LeBron James

F Giannis Antetokounmpo

C Anthony Davis

You know there was no way I'm leaving The Great Luka off this first team.

WES: I'm going with this heat for my All-NBA First Team:

G James Harden

G LeBron James

F Giannis Antetokounmpo

F Luka Doncic

C Anthony Davis

See what I did there?

RELATED: WIZARDS HEAD COACH SCOTT BROOKS FINDS LACK OF ALL-NBA VOTES FOR BRADLEY BEAL DISAPPOINTING

NICK: I'm always worried when we agree. Also shocked to see you give respect to Harden

WES: I can't deny the league-leader in scoring a seat at the big table...no matter my personal feelings. Next up, All-NBA 2nd Team. This might be where we part ways lol.

NICK: I have a feeling that's gonna be the case.

My 2nd Team:

G Damian Lillard

G Ben Simmons

F Kawhi Leonard

F Jimmy Butler

C Nikola Jokic 

Butler has made the Heat a legit contender in the East and honestly deserves more MVP conversation with his name in it.  Ben Simmons may be laughably bad at shooting but I can't deny his defense and playmaking. 

WES: I'm going with...

G Damian Lillard

G Kemba Walker

F Kawhi Leonard

F Jimmy Butler

C Joel Embiid

Kemba is savage and Embiid's game is nowhere near as silly as he is. Simmons, to me, just isn't fully developed enough for All-NBA 2nd Team.

NICK: You know how frustrated I get with Simmons' lack of growth, but he's not surrounded with as much talent as Kemba has in Boston, especially when Embiid misses time as he has. He's also All-Defensive good on the other end of the floor 

WES: Kemba is legit on any squad and the fact that he can stand out on a roster like Boston's only further supports my claim. Embiid has given me enough time on the court for my vote, otherwise, we'd have to pull Kawhi for load management.

NICK: You know they don't count load management against you in today's NBA. That would be blasphemy!

WES: Hahahaha...facts. Last but not least is the ever-debatable All-NBA 3rd Team squad consisting of:

G Trae Young

G Bradley Beal

F Jayson Taytum

F Pascal Siakam

C Nikola Jokic ... BOOM! 

NICK: My 3rd Team All-NBA:

G Chris Paul

G Bradley Beal

F Pascal Siakam

F Jayson Tatum

C Rudy Gobert 

I'm realistic with the fact that too many other voters will overlook Beal but he put up over 30.0 ppg this year. He's without a doubt having an All-NBA season. Also, the fact that Paul got the Oklahoma City Thunder in the position they're in can't be overlooked

WES: Beal is on my team because of the obstacles faced this season and his historic stat lines. I can see the argument for Paul, but that OKC team isn't lacking for much, and Paul's presence is more managerial than statistical. I'm not overlooking him, but more or less designating his contribution to a different list that doesn't include All-NBA 3rd Team for the 2019-20 season.

NICK: C'mon. OKC completely blew their team up and was completely rebuilding. I mean Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is great but still young and the rest of that roster shouldn't be a playoff team. But they are. Don't downplay the role CP3 has played there this year

WES: I didn't downplay it and Steven Adams is no slouch. I'm saying CP is more 'coach on court' than All-NBA 3rd Team. Beal put up big numbers with not much support including the absence of John Wall. It's Beal all day for me. 

NICK: You clearly didn't read my list since I have Beal too, I just took off Young and put Paul. I root for Paul to win a title every year so he'll get more respect when he retires. He's an all-time great point guard. Besides I want my PG to be an extension of the coaching staff on the court

WES: I read it...I just don't think he should be there lol

NICK: The disrespect...

WES: All-time great is cool, but this year he's not All-NBA. By that premise, should I include Melo or Vince Carter?

NICK: Stop it. That's a ridiculous analogy. Now you're trolling.  

WES: I'm just making a point that career greatness doesn't supersede the restrictions of defining a season-specific honor. CP3 is all-time but not 2020 All-NBA.

NICK: His career greatness was a side note. His season was why I made him 3rd Team. Also, he has to deal with Carlton in those State Farm commercials so that should be extra credit 

WES: He does get a point for the commercials. How about we agree to disagree? Wouldn't be the first time.

NICK: That's usually how this type of thing goes...

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Debating NBA Awards as voting on the league's best concludes

Debating NBA Awards as voting on the league's best concludes

With NBA Awards voting ending this week, Nick Ashooh and Wes Hall have a back-and-forth on who should take home the individual hardware. Since they can't do it in person, we bring you their actual unedited chat. 

Wes: Hey Nick, it's award season in the NBA so let's crown those most deserving! First up, Rookie of the Year...who is your man?
 
Nick: This is easy and you know how I've felt about this kid since last year in college. Ja Morant all day. Zion just didn't see the court enough and wouldn't have even if they'd played a full season before the shutdown. He's made that Grizzlies team better since the first time he stepped on the court. He's a game changing talent. This kid has a really bright future. 
 
Wes: I second that on all fronts. As electric as Zion may be, Ja also brings his own package that can't be ignored or denied. Ja ALL day! 
 
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Nick: Giannis wins this for me. So many talk about him for MVP, but he's able to defend all 5 positions at an elite level. He can step out and stop guys on the perimeter, but he's protected the rim just as well. He's so great offensively that at times it puts his defense in a shadow.  
 
Wes: I want to give this to Giannis, I really do, but...the Klaw still lives! Kawhi Leonard may not be the towering shot blocker usually fit for this award, but...oh who am I kidding? Giannis has the highest rated Defensive rating, Defensive Win shares, and Defensive Plus/Minus. Giannis wins!  
 
Nick: I was about to say...You don't get to load manage half the season and win DPOY
 
Wes: Facts!
 
Nick: ok who's your most improved? This is always one of my favorite awards.

RELATED: HACHIMURA'S ALL-ROOKIE CASE COULD DEPEND ON ZION

MOST IMPROVED
 
Wes: MIP is one of those awards where you can actually celebrate someone's effort as much as their productivity. For me, that guy is Markelle Fultz! He's endured so much in his short career and him finding his way back to quality basketball with a new jump-shot brings joy to my heart. You never want to see a man down, and I'm glad he got back up!
 
Nick: He definitely showed he at least belongs in the league, which is a big step considering how it went in Philly.  Bam Adebayo is my guy here though. Took on a much larger role in Miami, better offensively now to go along with his rim protecting and rebounding.  Shai Gilgeous-Alexander would be a close second though. He has more upside that's for sure. 
 
Wes: I like your picks, too. It's good for the NBA to have a lot of options for this award. What award is next?

SIXTH MAN
 
Nick: 6th man. Another one that I love. Gives a spotlight to guys who likely don't get enough attention for what they do. 
 
Wes: Sweet Louuuuuuuuu!
 
Nick: He could win it every year. Give me his teammate Montrezl Harrell. The Clippers are so deep though it's amazing
 
Wes: Which makes them DANGEROUS. I can't believe I live in a time when the Clippers are a dangerous team. Oh how time changes things. lol
 
Nick: Well as long as Lou stays out of strip clubs. Amazing the pub "strip club food" is getting because of all this. 
 
Nick: Who's your coach of the year?

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COACH OF THE YEAR
 
Wes: But the wings are FIRE!!! LOL. But I digress. Coach of the Year has to go to Mike Budenholzer because the Milwaukee Bucks have the best record in the NBA, and he coached them to it without having a 'super-team.'
 
Nick: Nah give me Nick Nurse. It was one thing to win a title WITH Kawhi, it's another to have the second-best record in the East WITHOUT Kawhi.
 
Wes: Fair. He was my second choice. 
 
Nick: Ok...the big one now.

MVP
 
Wes: LeBron Raymone James! He's not aging and he's still the most influential man on the court and in the league. Who can dare approach the throne?
 
Nick: Wow. I figured you'd pick anyone else just because you love to disrespect The King. He's the right pick here. If people are going to say "well he did it in the East" for years, then you also have to give him credit for still being the best player in the game in his mid-30s and taking the Lakers to the best record in the West by 5 and a half games. He deserves it. Giannis will have plenty more. 
 
Wes: WE AGREE....tell no one! lol 
Wes: Cheers to The King!
 
Nick: I never thought I'd see the day...
 
Wes: 2020 has brought us many things we never thought we'd see, but here we are. Now we just have to wait and see the voters prove us right!

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Bubble Talk: will the next NBA superteam be formed inside?

Bubble Talk: will the next NBA superteam be formed inside?

Each week, Nick Ashooh and Wes Hall look at the biggest storylines going on in the NBA bubble in Orlando. Since they can't do it in person, we bring you their actual unedited chat. 

NICK: I gotta be honest with you, this talk about the bubble helping create superteams is overrated. These guys already talk plenty. It's not like we live in a society where we don't ave ways to communicate with people. Plus, they're still keeping tabs on how many people are together. I just don't see it as a huge problem like so many others

WES: There is no problem as far as I see it. Have the people concerned with super-teams been watching pro sports in the last 20 years? AAU, travel ball and regular high school competition have done more for super-team creation than any bubble could hope for. The players are going to play where they want. Our safety net is the good ol' commissioner's veto. Not like we haven't seen that before.

NICK: Still angry about that Lakers-Chris Paul trade huh?

WES: FOREVER! *shakes fist at David Stern...may he rest in peace

NICK: This doesn't mean there still won't be recruiting though. Guys will try to find ways. Everyone wants Giannis in 2021, but the era of superteams was a short-lived one that won't look the same anymore. People forget the Warriors were able to make that team because of that massive cap spike. The money won't be as plentiful in the immediate future for now.

WES: You're right about both points. The players ARE the unofficial recruitment department of their teams, and the ground WILL not be as fertile as it was before. The move to get Giannis is inevitable and expected. The current NBA isn't built for a team like the Bucks to win it all. Toronto was able to make it happen because Masai Ujiri hit the jackpot on a risky gamble that paid off masterfully. Congrats to the North, but that's an outlier. Due to so much fraternization, is it fair to say the bitter rivalries from yesteryear are gone forever?

NICK: You know I've been adamant that rivalries have gone dormant...but...I don't think they're dead. Player movement clearly was the problem but again that was a unique situation based on a huge amount of money getting infused into the league for every team. Now that this past offseason had the MOST movement, a lot of these stars will stay with their current teams more given a lower cap and less flexibility. Once the Clips and Lakers or Celtics play more meaningful games against eachother, you'll see a new history built. Plus we have some young talented guys on the rise in Zion and Morant that can build something new in the coming years

WES: It really is on the new batch young talent to set the tone for their markets. Cities like New Orleans, Memphis, or Atlanta aren't known as NBA powerhouse locales, but if their rising stars can stay put for awhile then we can see the landscape broaden. Give me a team you think will surprise us all in the bubble.

NICK: Celtics or Raptors. It's gonna be all about chemistry. Both have great coaching and showed this year they can play well together. Especially with Boston not dealing with Kyrie anymore. This is such a different setting that the teams focused more on spending time together as opposed to talking to other guys about their future and where they want to play will be a big advantage. 

WES: I'm going with Toronto and Utah. Toronto got to Florida before any other team and they've been laser-focused on dispelling any thoughts they aren't capable of winning it all again. Utah is one of those teams that tends to get overlooked; thus making the Jazz dangerous. Utah could play spoiler to the the Rockets, Clippers, and Lakers. I don't see them winning it all but I do see them making it less fun for the West favorites.

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NICK: I'm really confident that there's gonna be at least one surprise team in this. It's just not a normal setting with no home court and weird routines. Another one to think about is Portland. They made the Western Finals last year and now they're actually healthy. They've been such a disappointment this year too though

WES: Ooooh Portland...ton of potential that they just can't get on the same page at the same time. Tragic. But how about Skinny Melo showing up ready to ball in Orlando? Will Skinny Melo be better than Hoodie Melo?

NICK: Will Skinny Melo play defense? I'd love to see that. Portland is another team that has that chemistry and "us against the world" vibe. They've always been the anti super team. 

WES: He might get pushed around now that he's lost weight. Who knows. Yeah Portland has been that way since '76. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.

NICK: If the Blazers miss the playoffs though I'd definitely expect Dame and CJ to get recruited. Maybe one finally wants to go elsewhere out of frustration. There's a chance someone could plant the seed there. Although they're so competitive and lazer focused they wouldn't listen till the offseason anyway

WES: I see CJ moving. Dame would be harder to pull because he loves the chip on his shoulder and really wants to show that he can do it for Portland.

NICK: We'll see. There's definitely some opportunity to at least drop seeds and recruit down in Orlando, but I still think the best way would be players in the offseason in a casual setting. Also...you know..texting and stuff.

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