Scottie Pippen —like many of us watching– have noticed that this style of bubble ball in the NBA is akin to pickup ball at your local rec. Now granted, the guys in the NBA are likely much better. But it’s the passion that is evident that can be seen by most.
When Pippen began discussing the specifics, he cited the number of external factors that the players are not dealing with while in the bubble. Things like no fans, no long travels or trips across the country for the finals, both of which alleviates a large portion of the pressure players are put under.
When asked rather he likes the style of bubble ball, here is what Pippen had to say:
“Well, I’m going to be honest. It’s not NBA basketball. It’s not the hard grind. It’s not the travel. It’s not the fans. It’s not the distractions. Really, to me, it’s pickup basketball,” he told Business Insider. “It’s going to the gym. Yeah, you already got your team. Y’all practicing together. But it’s a more of a pickup type of basketball game, because there’s no fans in the stands. So there is no distraction. There’s no real noise. There’s no pressure on the players, you know. Prime example: I looked at Rondo. Rondo ain’t made three pointers in his whole NBA career. Now, all of a sudden, he’s in a bubble, he’s probably a 50 percent three-point shooter. I haven’t even checked the stats.”
Of course, a comment like that will get everyone thinking, well, what IS Rondo shooting from three in the playoffs. Since his return to the Lakers in game one of the second round, Rondo is shooting 44% from three on 29 attempts. Low volume, but high efficiency.
Scottie did have more to say about the bubble environment and the lack of travel.
“But that’s just something that I consider making the game so easy, because Rondo can’t score inside of an arena, when you got depth perception,” the Hall of Famer added. “Like, there’s a whole lot of things that make the NBA hard. The bubble makes the NBA easy to me. There’s no travel. That’s the killer itself. So you’re sleeping in the same bed every night. You’re walking to the gym. You’re not having to go with a 25 to 50-minute bus ride to an arena. You’re not having to probably even sit in the arena for two hours before the game, talk to the media, deal with all the outside stuff that they’re trying to pull you in to make some distraction and, you know, throw the team in a loop. So it’s a different game, but it’s very entertaining.”
Entertaining is definitely an appropriate way to describe what the bubble has been, from thrilling overtime buzzer-beaters to historic scoring outputs from the likes of Damian Lillard and Luka Doncic. It has all led to the NBA Finals, which begins tonight at 9 pm. on ABC between the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers