In the first December show of the NBA season, The Baseline takes an advanced look at the various storylines around the league including:
The Breakdown: (4:21)
- NBA quarter-poll thoughts.
- The Lakers’ defense has been the key to their success with Anthony Davis and LeBron James leading the way. Is there another level the team can get to on that end when Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo are fully healthy?
- Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat are trending up. The team has been winning despite multiple injuries. Can Erik Spoelstra keep them rolling with a full deck of players looking for time.
- Are the Raptors the most underrated team in terms of player development? Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell, Chris Boucher all have come through their development circle. The team continues to win despite Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka missing extend time this season.
- Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum have struggled in Portland but is the addition of Carmelo Anthony working in the team’s favor now?
- The duo of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins continue to surprise for the Timberwolves.
- Nate McMillan has the Pacers in thick of the hunt in the East. Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis have been fantastic with help from Jeremy Lamb and T.J. Warren. With Victor Oladipo nearing a return the Pacers might be truly formidable at season’s end.
- Devonte’ Graham still shining for the Hornets even as the team is starting to hit the skids. Cal defends Terry Rozier and asks for people to have patience.
- Our quarter poll report card has the Milwaukee Bucks as the leader for valedictorian and the L.A. Lakers as the salutatorian.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic, James Harden and LeBron James all vying for MVP honors.
The Drop (44:14)
- Atlanta Hawks down:
- Why has the season in the “A” gone so terribly awry despite the mastery of Trae Young?
- Will the return of John Collins fix the Hawks?
- Warren and Cal explain why the team should not tank with the current young talent and why being competitive will aid in their pursuit of free agents this summer and next.
Coast to Coast (55:42)
- Ja Morant week to week with a back injury
- Celtics tired of Kyrie Irving questions
- Jabari Parker wouldn’t rule out a return to the Bucks