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Ben Golliver and Michael Pina open with a discussion of the Portland Trail Blazers' injury woes. What was driving CJ McCollum's early season success and how will his injury impact Portland's playoff outlook? From there, the guys shift to a look at the struggling New Orleans Pelicans and Zion Williamson's second season. Williamson has been dominant …
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina dig in deep on James Harden's first two games with the new-look Brooklyn Nets. Why is Harden on his best behavior and will it last? Do Kevin Durant and Harden share a telekinetic combination, and how does their partnership stack up to past duos involving Durant and Harden? Can Harden actually repair his reputation with…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina dig into all aspects of the Brooklyn Nets' blockbuster trade for Houston Rockets superstar James Harden. How happy is Ben after his November vision for Brooklyn's Big 3 came true? Are NBA fans winners because the Rockets saga is over? Are the Nets now the clear-cut favorites in the East? Did they overpay? Will Kyrie Ir…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina discuss the NBA's rise in positive tests, contact tracing absences, and postponed games. How close is the NBA to pushing pause on the season? How might the league respond to tighten up its protocols to ensure games can continue? Do the absences devalue the product? From there, Ben and Michael break down both sides of a…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina open with an extended discussion of the various protests that swept the NBA on Wednesday night in response to a lack of charges in the Jacob Blake shooting and the storming of the Capitol Building in Washington. Was it surprising that all games went on as planned? What are the next steps for NBA protests after the bubb…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina open by basking in the glow of Stephen Curry's 62-point explosion. Did Curry actually have something to prove? Were any of the recent criticisms warranted? Where does Golden State go from here? Is Curry bound to live out a "Super-Dirk" existence as he progresses through his 30s? From there, Ben and Michael discuss Jays…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina say goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021 by offering 10 New Year's Resolutions to NBA players, teams, and commentators. Should Steve Nash exert himself more late in games? Should the Sixers trade Ben Simmons and three first-round picks for James Harden? Should Luka Doncic build a world-class gym at his home? Should the Gr…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina pick up the pieces after a chaotic opening week by trying to spot trends. Are the Nets on track for the Finals or set to come back to earth? Are the Warriors dead on arrival or poised for a bounce back? How does Kevin Durant's decision to leave the Warriors look 18 months later? Is Ja Morant making the leap in front of…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina wrap up the opening week of NBA action with takes on 10 different teams. Did the NBA handle the latest James Harden controversy properly? What did it feel like inside the Staples Center for the Lakers' opening night? Does Philly have enough talent to climb in the East standings? Was Jayson Tatum's banked three-pointer …
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina gear up for opening week with a breakdown of the new extensions given to Rudy Gobert and Kyle Kuzma. From there, they shift into a conversation about NBA coaches on the hot seat? What does Mike Budenholzer need to do to keep his job in Milwaukee? Are Lloyd Pierce and Ryan Saunders facing new pressure? Can Washington's …
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina open with a big announcement: SI has formed a slack channel for all Open Floor Globe members to use during the upcoming NBA season. Ben and Michael will be popping in there from time to time, so check out http://www.si.com/openfloorglobe. From there, Ben and Michael dig into Giannis Antetokounmpo's supermax extension. …
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina open Monday's episode with big breaking news about Michael's exciting new career move. Then, the guys shift into a discussion of the playoff bubble races in both conferences. Who does Michael predict will be the last three teams to make the playoffs in both conferences? Who will be the first three teams to miss the pla…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina open by surveying the latest drama surrounding James Harden and the Houston Rockets. What are the Rockets' options as they enter the season? Can they realistically try to patch things up? Should teams be scared off by Harden's recent antics? What will happen to Harden's trade value if they wait to move him? From there,…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina preview the upcoming season with an annual staple: Ben's 2021 Entertainment Value Rankings. Which teams will be must-see TV and which ones will be totally unwatchable? Michael lists off his biggest beefs with Ben's list, prompting arguments over the Mavericks, Warriors, Bucks, Pelicans, Hawks, Rockets and more. Is Luka…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina explore all angles of the Russell Westbrook for John Wall trade between the Houston Rockets and Washington Wizards. Who won the deal? Do Wall and James Harden fit, or will Harden be traded next? Will Washington make the playoffs? How will Westbrook impact Washington's desire to keep Bradley Beal? From there, the guys s…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina ramp up the hype for Kevin Durant's long-awaited comeback with the Brooklyn Nets. What's KD's best-case scenario this year? How does he stack up against the best players in the East? Do the new-look Nets have the best projected starting lineup and roster depth on paper? Which factors might prevent Brooklyn from becomin…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina celebrate the holiday weekend by opening the mailbag to the Open Floor Globe. What's up with the Clippers, is Serge Ibaka really the answer, and do they still need a point guard? How should the Wizards respond to John Wall's desire to leave Washington? Will Gordon Hayward emerge as a future trade chip for the Hornets? …
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina sort through the winners and losers from the opening weekend of the NBA free agency period. Did the Lakers tighten their hold on the 2021 title chase? How will Giannis Antetokounmpo respond to the Bucks' missteps? Why did Michael Jordan give $120 million to Gordon Hayward? Has Rich Paul established himself as one of th…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina run through the winners and losers of the 2020 NBA Draft. How crushing of a blow is Klay Thompson's Achilles injury to the Warriors? Did LaMelo Ball find a good home in Charlotte? What about Killian Hayes in Detroit? Could the Minnesota Timberwolves have done better? Did Daryl Morey ace his first test in Philadelphia? …
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina open by breaking down the Suns' splashy move for Chris Paul. Why did Phoenix decide to pull the trigger, and could this move backfire? Why is OKC so aggressively tearing things down after an awesome season? From there, the guys shift gears to discuss the bubbling James Harden trade rumors. How good would the Nets be if…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina gobble up the latest round of rumors before the upcoming NBA Draft and free agency period and try to find the best landing spots for the biggest names. Is LaMelo Ball worth the No. 1 pick and which team should draft him? Does he fit at all in Minnesota? What type of teams can afford to trade for Russell Westbrook and h…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina round up NBA player reaction to the presidential election. Did the players' More Than a Vote campaign make a difference in key battleground states? What lessons should the players take from their voting advocacy experience? Then, Ben and Michael shift to a discussion of the schedule agreement between the owners and pla…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina open by discussing a recent report that New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday is on the trading block. Which types of teams should be interested in acquiring him and how much trade value does he really have given his age and contract? Then, Michael designs his three favorite fake trades involving Holiday and Ben grad…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina open with the latest on the 2020-21 negotiations between the NBA owners and players. Can the two sides afford not to reach a deal given the massive projected losses? How would the public react if this dragged on, and what impact would that have on their long-term business? How is the latest coronavirus spike impacting …
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina dive headfirst into Daryl Morey's expected hiring as president of the Philadelphia 76ers. Will Morey trade Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid? How will the new power dynamic work with ownership and Doc Rivers? Should Morey try to retool the roster during the rushed free agency period or evaluate the roster for a year? Will the…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina lay out the good, the bad and the ugly of the NBA's latest proposals for the 2020-21 season. Why is the league now eyeing a pre-Christmas start date? Why cut games out of the schedule? What do these proposed changes mean for plans to bring fans back into stands? Why does the NBA want to get its calendar back on track s…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina weigh all sides of the New Orleans Pelicans' decision to hire Stan Van Gundy as their new coach. Was this all about Zion Williamson? What's Van Gundy's top task as he takes over? From there, Ben and Michael discuss the Indiana Pacers' hiring of Nate Bjorkgren and whether it signals the start of a rebuild. The episode c…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina take an extended look back at Daryl Morey's 13-year run as Houston Rockets general manager. Where does Morey rank as an executive? Which criticisms of Morey were fair and which were off-base? What's his legacy in Houston and what's his ideal landing spot in the future? From there, Ben and Michael shift gears to discuss…
 
With the NBA bubble officially wrapped, Ben Golliver and Michael Pina settle into the offseason. They start by giving Lakers fans the opportunity to gloat after their title and then rank how the 2020 Lakers stack up against the last 10 NBA champions. From there, they try to set the early field of contenders for the 2021 title chase and debate who s…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina discuss the end of the NBA bubble, which saw the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Miami Heat in six games to claim their 17th championship. Ben offers a behind-the-scenes look at LeBron James's title celebration and then they debate where this title ranks among James's four rings. From there, Ben and Michael look back on th…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina dig back into the NBA Finals, exploring the key Game 4 moments that helped the Los Angeles Lakers build a 3-1 series lead over the Miami Heat. Why was the Anthony Davis defensive adjustment on Jimmy Butler so effective? Why didn't the Bucks make a similar adjustment with Giannis Antetokounmpo? What are the guys' favori…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina react to Miami's Game 3 win in the NBA Finals by offering extended thoughts on Jimmy Butler. Ben and Michael both recount past experiences interviewing Butler and try to put his 40-point triple-double into historical context. Why does Butler get added motivation from his past playoff history with LeBron James? Where do…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina react to the Lakers' breathtaking performance and the Heat's many injury issues in Game 1 of the Finals. Are the Heat toast? Are we seeing a legendary breakthrough for Anthony Davis? If the Lakers win, will LeBron James or Anthony Davis claim Finals MVP? What adjustments can Miami make? Was the grueling bubble experien…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina recap the exciting end to the conference finals and preview the upcoming NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat. Did LeBron James reclaim his spot as basketball's best player with his Game 5 takeover? Did he really beat the Nuggets with his mind? Will the Lakers have the same advantages against Miami …
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina open with an extended discussion of Tyler Herro's 37-point explosion in Game 4 of the East finals. Where does that night rank in NBA history for players at his age? Where did Herro come from? How does he compare to Celtics foils from years past? From there, Ben and Michael zoom out to see what's gone wrong for Boston a…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina open by offering their thoughts on the Los Angeles Lakers' dramatic Game 2 victory over the Denver Nuggets, which came courtesy of an Anthony Davis buzzer-beater. Did Davis sink the Nuggets? Did the Lakers deserve to lose? How will Davis be received if the Lakers win the title after he elbowed his way off the small-mar…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina dig in deep to the Clippers' spectacular demise, assigning blame to Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Doc Rivers before listing the extenuating circumstances that contributed to their collapse. Then, at the urging of many angry Nuggets fans, Ben and Michael riff on Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray while previewing an unexpe…
 
Ben Golliver opens the floor to angry listeners who demand accountability for Michael Pina's takes about the Lakers. How have LeBron James and company turned things around? How did they dismantle the Rockets so easily? Are they now the clear title favorites? Then, Ben and Michael dig into Houston's complicated future and ponder James Harden trade s…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina open by recapping the best game of the bubble: Toronto's double-overtime Game 6 win over Boston. Why did Nick Nurse decide to go super small? Did Jayson Tatum need to do more late? What will be the deciding factors in Game 7? From there, they shift gears to show love to the Miami Heat, who are in the Eastern Conference…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina recap the long holiday weekend of NBA playoff basketball by asking four questions about each of the four remaining series. Who's to blame for the Bucks' collapse? Did the Celtics unveil their championship case in Game 5? Has an MVP ever played worse than Russell Westbrook did in Game 2? Is Patrick Beverley the NBA's be…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina react to the stunning news that the Brooklyn Nets have hired Steve Nash as coach. Is Nash really the next Steve Kerr? Can he be the Kevin Durant whisperer? Can any coach lead Brooklyn to the title? From there, Ben and Michael shift gears to recap a crazy week of NBA playoff action. What's up with the referees mucking u…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina open by gushing over Jamal Murray's latest scoring explosion and poignant post-game interview. What does Murray's playoff rise say about the Nuggets' pecking order and the importance of big men in the NBA's evolving style? Where does Murry rank among 23-and-under talents? Will his historic scoring duel with Donovan Mit…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina discuss the Milwaukee Bucks' historic walkout and react to the NBA players' decision to continue with the 2020 playoffs. Ben offers a first-hand account of the Bucks' decision not to play their playoff game against the Orlando Magic in protest of Jacob Blake's police shooting, which triggered a postponement of the NBA'…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina dig deep into Luka Doncic's unbelievable 43-point triple-double against the Los Angeles Clippers by answering a bunch of questions from the Open Floor Globe. Luka or Giannis to start a franchise? Luka, LeBron or Harden to win a title this year? Luka or Dame for Bubble MVP? Would you buy a Luka sneaker? Are the Maverick…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina recap the early first-round NBA playoff action by digging into the Lakers' shooting struggles. How can LeBron James fix this? What's up with Anthony Davis? Should they go small more often? From there, they shift gears to the Bucks' disappointing Game 1 loss. Will they get right and can their defensive strategy hold up …
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina open by recapping a busy weekend on and off the court. Jim Boylen is out in Chicago, Vlade Divac is out in Sacramento, and Alvin Gentry is out in New Orleans. Will Boylen ever get a second chance? Did Luka Doncic cost Vlade his job? What will the Pelicans look for in their next coach? From there, Ben and Michael recap …
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina preview the long-awaited NBA playoffs by breaking down the seven first-round match-ups that have been set in stone and guessing who will face the Los Angeles Lakers. Ben and Michael make their predictions for each series and identify key storylines that will determine each series. Out West, does bad blood make Thunder/…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina recap a wild weekend of NBA action by rethinking some of their conventional wisdom from before the bubble. Why aren't defenses ahead of offenses? Did the NBA really invite too many teams to Orlando? Will the favorites romp in the playoffs or will chaos reign? From there, they gush about Luka Doncic's electric showing a…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina open by discussing the back-and-forth between LeBron James and Donald Trump over the NBA's kneeling demonstrations. Did LeBron show a strategic shift from the "U bum" showdown in 2017? Then, they double back quickly to Jonathan Isaac's demonstration to discuss why some people draw a distinction between Black lives matt…
 
Ben Golliver and Michael Pina react to the opening weekend of the NBA Bubble with their boldest opinions and hottest takes. Before diving into the action, they discuss Jonathan Isaac, Meyers Leonard, Gregg Popovich and the other NBA figures who chose not to kneel during the national anthem demonstrations. Then, they hand out superlatives. Most impr…
 
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