NBA BUBBLE: That Awkward Moment (Playoffs Edition)

NBA BUBBLE: That Awkward Moment (Playoffs Edition)

by September 4, 2020 0 comments

It’s a small NBA World after all because every first, second, and third-round matchup in this year’s playoffs will feature at least 1 person who’ll be facing a former team or teammate. Since it’s the playoffs, they’ll be facing each other at least four games in a row.

Here are some of the awkward moments:


Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers

Hassan Whiteside (Trail Blazers) and Dion Waiters (Lakers) were teammates during their Miami Heat days.

JR Smith (Lakers) and his buddy Carmelo Anthony (Blazers) were members of the Denver Nuggets and the New York Knicks for several years during the early part of their careers. You should know that these two players are just happy to be back in the NBA since they were waived by their former teams.

Trevor Ariza (Blazers) was a fan favorite when he played for the Lakers.

Utah Jazz vs. Denver Nuggets

Paul Millsap (Nuggets) was drafted by the Utah Jazz and Emmanuel Mudiay (Jazz) was drafted by the Denver Nuggets. Millsap must be the happier one though because his team just dismantled his former Jazz squad.

Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

Chris Paul just played for the Rockets last season. He was traded to Oklahoma City for Russell Westbrook.

Jeff Green, James Harden, and Russell Westbrook were once teammates playing for the Thunder. You could even add Thabo Sefolosha but he’s currently outside the bubble.

Tyson Chandler’s career is also connected to the Oklahoma franchise. He suited up for the New Orleans / Oklahoma City squad that joined forces because of Hurricane Katrina.

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks

Boban Marjanovic played for the Los Angeles Clippers two years ago. His stint there was made more memorable because of his close ties with Tobias Harris.

Additional Note: Seth Curry (Mavericks) vs. his father-in-law Doc Rivers (Clippers). This has to be one of the most popular awkward moments in the playoffs.

Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers

Solomon Hill (Miami Heat) was drafted by the Indiana Pacers and played there for 3 seasons.

Doug McDermott (Pacers) and Jimmy Butler (Heat) were teammates when they played for the Chicago Bulls.

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Orlando Magic

During the 2015-16 season, Michael Carter-Williams (Magic) played for the Milwaukee Bucks while Ersan Ilyasova (Bucks) played for the Orlando Magic.

Toronto Raptors vs. Brooklyn Nets

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson must be relieved right now. His current team eliminated his former Nets squad in the first round.

Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Al Horford (76ers) had no chance against his former Celtics team. Ben Simmons was out with an injury.

Matisse Thybulle was drafted by the Celtics and is now part of the 76ers squad that got swept.

Round 2:

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets

Dwight Howard and Lionel Hollins were former members of the Rockets while Tyson Chandler and Mike D’Antoni were former members of the Lakers.

Quinn Cook (Lakers) and Austin Rivers (Rockets) were teammates in college. Both played for the Duke Blue Devils.

Eric Gordon, Austin Rivers, and Anthony Davis were teammates playing for the New Orleans Pelicans. Gordon and Rivers will be facing Davis in this Lakers-Rockets matchup.

Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Heat Assistant Coach Malik Allen used to play for Milwaukee.

Boston Celtics vs. Toronto Raptors

Raptors Assistant Coach Adrian Griffin used to play for Boston.

Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Clippers

JaMychal Green (Clippers) and Troy Daniels (Nuggets) used to play for the Memphis Grizzlies.

Paul George, Patrick Patterson, and Jerami Grant were members of the Oklahoma City Thunder last season. Grant (Nuggets) will be facing George and Patterson in this year’s Clippers-Nuggets matchup…

Paul Millsap (Nuggets) and Lou Williams (Clippers) used to play for the Atlanta Hawks.

Round 3: Possible Games

If Lakers vs Clippers:

Kawhi Leonard (Clippers) will be facing Danny Green (Lakers). Both helped the Raptors win last season.

Ex-Lakers would be Lou Williams, Ivica Zubac, and Tyronn Lue.

Ex-Clipper: Jared Dudley

Markieff Morris would be facing his brother Marcus.

If Lakers vs Nuggets:

Ex-Nuggets: J.R. Smith and JaVale McGee

Ex-Laker would be Troy Daniels.

If Clippers vs Rockets:

Austin Rivers (Rockets) would be facing his former team and play against his dad Doc Rivers.

Ex-Rockets: Patrick Beverly, Montrezl Harrell, Marcus Morris, and Lou Williams.

Ex-Clippers aside from Austin Rivers: Jeff Green, Eric Gordon, and Luc Mbah a Moute.

If Rockets vs Nuggets:

Mike D’Antoni used to coach the Nuggets.

DeMarre Carroll’s career included a short stop in Denver.

If Heat vs. Celtics:

Heat frontcourt player Kelly Olynyk played 4 seasons in Boston.

If Heat vs. Raptors:

Kyle Lowry (Raptors) will be facing Goran Dragic (Heat). The two were teammates playing for the Rockets.

If Bucks vs. Celtics:

Vin Baker (Bucks Assistant) used to play for the Boston Celtics.

If Bucks vs. Raptors:

Adrian Griffin (Raptors Assistant) used to be a part of the Milwaukee Bucks coaching staff.

All these connections between the teams and players make the games more fun to follow. One can only wonder how they’ll prepare for the games knowing that one of their opponents used to be a teammate. Are they studying every strength? Are they taking advantage of every weakness? Of course, they are. That’s why it must be awkward for a player to face his former team or teammate… because they know all the secrets!

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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