🏀 Things Just Got Interesting
Plus, playoff heroes are never who you expect
Welcome back to the basketball philosophers, hoops fanatics, and certified Enjoyers of the game!
We wanted to start off today by saying how much we truly appreciate all the support on the Enjoy x ICEE Collection. It sold out faster than De’Aaron Fox on a fast break because of you all: we seriously can’t say thank you enough.
Us to you
Boston Trying to Make History: C’s cruise to Game 5 win, tighten series 3-2 🧐
Around the W with Crina: This weekend’s WNBA slate… and last weekend’s fits 👚
Who Did What?: Five of NBA history’s unlikeliest playoff heroes 😲
But first, some trivia:
Who has the most career playoff games without ever reaching the NBA Finals?
Find the answer at the bottom of the newsletter!
PrizePicks is the go-to spot for daily fantasy hoops and a great way to spice up an already exciting night of playoff basketball.
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We had a solid showing in Game 5, so let’s see if we can make it three flex wins in a row. We’re predicting Jimmy Butler to get some Jimmy Buckets, Bam Adebayo to dominate the glass at home, and Jayson Tatum to prioritize shooting over passing in Game 6 on Saturday. What do you think?
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Boston Can’t Do It… Right? Unless… 👀
We’d like to give a quick thank you to both the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics. We don’t have a rooting interest in the series, but these two teams have done something very important: they’ve made it so we don’t have to wait too long after the end of the Conference Finals before the beginning of the Finals. Thanks, guys.
Okay, onto the actual game.
Boston is alive and the ECF is now 3-2. Oh boy.
The Celtics after Game 2
Remember those Boston Celtics who were top five in both offensive rating and defensive rating during the regular season? That’s who showed up at TD Garden last night. After about seven minutes of the first quarter, it was clear that we were getting a Game 6, but what made it even more evident was the collaborative effort at halftime.
Both teams shot well from the field (51% each), but Boston won the 3PM battle (16 to 9), the free throw battle (14 to 8), and the turnover battle (16 to 9). Combine all that with Derrick White (24 PTS, 8/11 FG) and Marcus Smart (23 PTS, 5 STL) remembering that they’re championship-level role players, and Boston gets awfully tough to beat. Back to Miami we go… (Box Score)
The Celtics are now the first team in Playoff history with 12+ Steals and 12+ 3-PT made by starters. https://t.co/X3eFc4Qv9d
— CelticsMuse (@CelticsMuse)
May 26, 2023
Around the W with Crina
Enjoyers, let’s have some fun on this WNBA Friday and turn it into Fit Friday! Here’s the WNBA schedule for the weekend, along with some of the most fire fits and shoes.
Shakira Austin is here to PLAY for the Washington Mystics. In her second year, she’s already making an impact on both sides of the floor, playing off Elena Delle Donne and solidifying herself as a key part of this team. Off the court, she’s serving great fits like this brown two-piece crop top and skirt!
Summer night fit.
— Washington Mystics (@WashMystics)
May 23, 2023
The Mystics play the Chicago Sky tonight at 8pm ET on ion TV (WNBA League in Canada). Also tonight on ion TV, the Dallas Wings play the Seattle Storm at 10pm ET.
Tip Hayes has been one of the most important offseason acquisitions for the Connecticut Sun. She brings a high energy to Connecticut’s system and pulls off fits like THIS. We see you, Tip!
No days off for Tip’s drip 💧 https://t.co/rzL5nEFr8T
— Connecticut Sun (@ConnecticutSun)
May 23, 2023
The Liberty have their own star content, not only on the floor but also in the sneaker space. Sabrina Ionescu debuted her new shoes with Nike this week:
Sabrina Ionescu debuts her first signature sneaker, the Nike Sabrina 1, in the @nyliberty’s home opener 🔥 https://t.co/bKoKW3ZlMo
— Nice Kicks (@nicekicks)
May 21, 2023
Ionescu’s New York Liberty match up against Tip Hayes’ red-hot Sun on Saturday at 1pm ET on CBS. Also on Saturday, the Los Angeles Sparks go up against the Las Vegas Aces at 9pm ET on NBA TV.
This look from A’ja Wilson has to be one of my favorites from opening weekend:
Ate and left no crumbs.
@_ajawilson22 // #ALLINLV https://t.co/uM0cy38OH3
— Las Vegas Aces (@LVAces)
May 20, 2023
She’ll be leading the Las Vegas Aces against the Minnesota Lynx on Sunday as they continue their title defense!
Full schedule for Sunday:
Indiana Fever vs Atlanta Dream at 3pm ET on NBA TV
Dallas Wings vs Chicago Sky at 6pm ET on NBA TV
Minnesota Lynx vs Las Vegas Aces at 9pm ET on CBS Sports
Top Five Friday: Playoff Edition
Come playoff time, we all expect the stars to shine. But the real postseason magic comes when, out of nowhere, a role player has the performance of their career. For this week’s Top Five Friday, we’ll be reliving five of the unlikeliest playoff heroes of all time.
5. Bismack’s Board Barrage: 2016 ECF, Game 3
Has one game ever made a player this much money?
Bismack Biyombo was a top ten pick in the 2011 NBA draft due to his rebounding and shot-blocking potential, and while his offensive game never truly materialized, he gave us one of the most dominating rebounding performances we’ve ever seen seven years ago.
Biyombo absolutely demolished Kevin Love and grabbed a Raptors playoff record 26 rebounds (!!!) to go along with four blocks in a must-win Game 3 over LeBron James’s Cavs.
What followed was a massive 4 year, $78 million payday from the Orlando Magic that offseason. We’re happy Bismack got that bag—the streets will never forget this game.
4. Jerome James: 2005 Western Conference First Round
Knicks fans… you might not want to read this one.
Before he got that infamous 5 year, $30 million deal in New York, Jerome James had one of the most unexpectedly dominating playoff series of all time. In the 2004-05 season, James was averaging just five points and three rebounds per game for Seattle heading into the playoffs.
But against an injury-riddled Kings frontcourt in the first round, James was the deciding factor in a dominating 4-1 series win for the Sonics, averaging nearly 17 and 10 with over two blocks per game.
Then, as quickly as he came, the elite version of James was gone. A massive contract brought him to the Big Apple that summer, where he never averaged more than three points a night.
3. John Paxson’s Dagger: 1993 NBA Finals, Game 6
A reliable point guard and one of the league’s first three point specialists, John Paxson was a solid NBA player for the Chicago Bulls for nearly a decade. But he was never that guy, which is usually the case when you’re playing next to Michael Jordan.
That is, until Chicago needed him most in the closing moments of the 1993 Finals. Paxson had been coming off the bench that season, but the Bulls turned to him when they needed a three in the final seconds, and he delivered.
Hopefully Mike and Scottie bought him a few drinks after that one.
2. The White Mamba: 2004 Eastern Conference Semifinals, Game 5
You probably know Brian Scalabrine for one of two things: (1) for being the go-to example of an NBA bench warmer on those late 2000’s Celtics teams, or (2) for absolutely cooking those high schoolers in one-on-one a couple years back.
But before all that, he came through for the Nets in a triple-OT postseason classic against Detroit. Scal nearly doubled his total career playoff points in a single night, knocking down threes and coming through with an unbelievably clutch out of bounds save to keep the game alive.
1. Robert Horry: Literally too many times to count
Are you really an unlikely playoff hero if you keep saving the day again and again… and again?
Robert Horry’s post season escapades don’t need any introduction, and no amount of explanation can do his performances justice. Just… watch this video. You’ll understand.
Adam Silver weighs in on the physicality of the 90s NBA…
Why did Nikola Jokic yell “A FURBY! I KNEW IT!”?
Yeah, this makes sense, actually. Pure greatness.
What We’re Enjoying
Article: How The Nuggets Picked Apart The Lakers Once-Elite Defense—Jackson Frank (Uproxx)
The Cinema Cartography: Put on your film Enjoyer hat and fire up some videos from The Cinema Cartography, one of the best movie channels on YouTube. From deep dives into different film styles to videos like this one about the origin of cinema itself, this channel has incredibly high production value—it grabs our attention and holds it longer than most other things can.
Thanks for reading, everyone! We hope you Enjoy a relaxing weekend filled with good friends, good food, and good vibes. Everyone deserves a break once in a while.
Until next time,
Trivia Answer: The answer to today’s trivia is Paul Millsap! He’s played in 130 playoff games, including three conference finals runs, but he’s never played in the NBA finals.
Before you go…
Will a team ever come back from a 3-0 playoff deficit?
In your best Mike Breen impression, what did you think of today's newsletter?