Bubble Talk: NBA bubble's biggest surprises after week one

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="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&nbsp;chat:” data-reactid=”16″>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 chat:

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="NICK: Well, we’re about a week into the NBA bubble, Wes. At least real games that is. I gotta say, I thought we’d have one or two surprises, but man there’s been a ton of guys out there really upping their 2K ratings” data-reactid=”17″>NICK: Well, we’re about a week into the NBA bubble, Wes. At least real games that is. I gotta say, I thought we’d have one or two surprises, but man there’s been a ton of guys out there really upping their 2K ratings

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="WES: This thing has me thrown in so many directions. The Lakers are mailing it in, the Rockets only want to shoot threes, and the Suns don’t know they’re supposed to lose. LOL” data-reactid=”22″>WES: This thing has me thrown in so many directions. The Lakers are mailing it in, the Rockets only want to shoot threes, and the Suns don’t know they’re supposed to lose. LOL

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="NICK: Okay, who stood out to you so far? To me, Michael Porter Jr. is clearly gonna be a star.&nbsp; Injuries aside, he was considered&nbsp;a&nbsp;potential No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, and the Nuggets’ gamble is paying off. He’s about to surpass Jamal Murray as their second-best player.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”23″>NICK: Okay, who stood out to you so far? To me, Michael Porter Jr. is clearly gonna be a star.  Injuries aside, he was considered a potential No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, and the Nuggets’ gamble is paying off. He’s about to surpass Jamal Murray as their second-best player. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="WES: MPJ is legit, indeed. What I’m most surprised by is the whacky minutes restriction on Zion Williamson! He’s had four&nbsp;months off. What are they waiting for?” data-reactid=”24″>WES: MPJ is legit, indeed. What I’m most surprised by is the whacky minutes restriction on Zion Williamson! He’s had four months off. What are they waiting for?

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="NICK: This will be Zion’s career. It’s frustrating but we need to be realistic. They had to work him back into game shape after leaving the bubble on top of all the time off. He’s such a unique talent but being so unique no one really knows how to put him in the right position to succeed yet. I wonder how long before he starts to get frustrated with the Pelicans over all these limits too.&nbsp;&nbsp;

RELATED: TOM HABERSTROH EXPLAINS HOW T.J. WARREN BECAME NBA’S BUBBLE SUPERSTAR

” data-reactid=”25″>NICK: This will be Zion’s career. It’s frustrating but we need to be realistic. They had to work him back into game shape after leaving the bubble on top of all the time off. He’s such a unique talent but being so unique no one really knows how to put him in the right position to succeed yet. I wonder how long before he starts to get frustrated with the Pelicans over all these limits too.  

RELATED: TOM HABERSTROH EXPLAINS HOW T.J. WARREN BECAME NBA’S BUBBLE SUPERSTAR

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="WES: My ultimate hope is they don’t stifle his growth by NOT allowing him to go 100 miles per hour. He needs to slim down just a tad and he needs to get and stay in basketball shape. Regardless of his conditioning, will&nbsp;the Pelicans make&nbsp;the playoffs?” data-reactid=”26″>WES: My ultimate hope is they don’t stifle his growth by NOT allowing him to go 100 miles per hour. He needs to slim down just a tad and he needs to get and stay in basketball shape. Regardless of his conditioning, will the Pelicans make the playoffs?

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="NICK: Nope. I’m going with Portland for that last spot. Jusuf Nurkic has stepped back in and been huge, not to mention Gary Trent Jr. averaging 18 points per&nbsp;game just makes them better. Trent becoming a big scoring threat off the bench is an added bonus to a team that made the Western Conference Finals&nbsp;last year but have&nbsp;been a huge disappointment this year.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”27″>NICK: Nope. I’m going with Portland for that last spot. Jusuf Nurkic has stepped back in and been huge, not to mention Gary Trent Jr. averaging 18 points per game just makes them better. Trent becoming a big scoring threat off the bench is an added bonus to a team that made the Western Conference Finals last year but have been a huge disappointment this year. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="WES: Portland has found the weaknesses of a lot of teams…fatigue. After the Blazers struggled in the regular season, they found a way to lean on veteran leadership to navigate them back to&nbsp;competitive basketball. Another surprise has been the Phoenix Suns. Did someone forget to tell Devin Booker that they aren’t supposed to win these games?” data-reactid=”28″>WES: Portland has found the weaknesses of a lot of teams…fatigue. After the Blazers struggled in the regular season, they found a way to lean on veteran leadership to navigate them back to competitive basketball. Another surprise has been the Phoenix Suns. Did someone forget to tell Devin Booker that they aren’t supposed to win these games?

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="NICK: You know I love Devin Booker so this is so great to watch. That team has a nice young core and I like Monty Williams as their head&nbsp;coach. I told you there would be at least one team playing with house money and it’s them. Those kids don’t care. The Suns&nbsp;fear no one and heard everyone say they shouldn’t be in Orlando.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”29″>NICK: You know I love Devin Booker so this is so great to watch. That team has a nice young core and I like Monty Williams as their head coach. I told you there would be at least one team playing with house money and it’s them. Those kids don’t care. The Suns fear no one and heard everyone say they shouldn’t be in Orlando. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE WIZARDS TALK PODCAST” data-reactid=”30″>CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE WIZARDS TALK PODCAST

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="WES: RIGHT?! They have no fear and it’s glorious to watch. It makes me wonder what would happen if the Wizards could play spoiler like the Suns. Obviously the Wizards are down three of their top players but imagine the shock they would present to the league by stealing a game or two. Rui Hachimura, Troy Brown Jr., and the other young guys could really use that boost!” data-reactid=”31″>WES: RIGHT?! They have no fear and it’s glorious to watch. It makes me wonder what would happen if the Wizards could play spoiler like the Suns. Obviously the Wizards are down three of their top players but imagine the shock they would present to the league by stealing a game or two. Rui Hachimura, Troy Brown Jr., and the other young guys could really use that boost!

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="NICK: The fact that you didn’t mention Jerome Robinson is just wrong. He’s been their biggest surprise, although I hate to call him a surprise given he was a lottery pick two years ago. I loved that Tommy Sheppard snagged him before the deadline. Robinson is starting to find his shot again and he’s gonna play a big role for this team moving forward. He just didn’t get any time with the Clippers.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”32″>NICK: The fact that you didn’t mention Jerome Robinson is just wrong. He’s been their biggest surprise, although I hate to call him a surprise given he was a lottery pick two years ago. I loved that Tommy Sheppard snagged him before the deadline. Robinson is starting to find his shot again and he’s gonna play a big role for this team moving forward. He just didn’t get any time with the Clippers. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="WES: Robinson is definitely a surprise for the Wiz and so is Shabazz Napier. Although neither has been consistent in the performances, they both have&nbsp;shown they have what it takes to play in this league, and at a high level. The next test for the Wizards is the Pelicans. This one may be the best head-to-head matchup we see for the Wizards in the bubble.” data-reactid=”33″>WES: Robinson is definitely a surprise for the Wiz and so is Shabazz Napier. Although neither has been consistent in the performances, they both have shown they have what it takes to play in this league, and at a high level. The next test for the Wizards is the Pelicans. This one may be the best head-to-head matchup we see for the Wizards in the bubble.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="NICK: Of course the other test is how long they actually play Zion. Either way, the bubble has been fun so far. Seeing all these breakout performances, and we didn’t even mention T.J. Warren, there’s bound to be some players who come out of this much better getting into next season.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”34″>NICK: Of course the other test is how long they actually play Zion. Either way, the bubble has been fun so far. Seeing all these breakout performances, and we didn’t even mention T.J. Warren, there’s bound to be some players who come out of this much better getting into next season. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Stay connected to the&nbsp;Wizards with the MyTeams app.&nbsp;Click here&nbsp;to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.” data-reactid=”35″>Stay connected to the Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="MORE WIZARDS NEWS:” data-reactid=”36″>MORE WIZARDS NEWS:

  • Another Loss: Wiz fall to 76ers
  • Brown Jr.’s role: Wall won’t change it
  • Wall and Beal: Still in team meetings

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Bubble Talk: NBA bubble’s biggest surprises after week one originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington” data-reactid=”41″>Bubble Talk: NBA bubble’s biggest surprises after week one originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

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