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That’s A Rap #142: Picking award winners and making playoff brackets

The 2020-21 Raptors season is mercifully over! The “Summer of 21” focus has shifted from Giannis to Cade. But first, Kyle and Masai’s pressers highlight a week full of playoff intensity basketball. Enjoy the latest episode!

Father Vincent Nguyen Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images

In a week with high intensity, play-in basketball (at least in the West), the Raptors still managed to make some noise (at least up North it did).

Kyle Lowry and Masai Ujiri had lots to say, yet gave away nothing at all. What will their futures hold? On the court, the East play-ins turned out as the seedings dictated they would. We recorded on Friday evening and assumed the same would play out in the West [insert grimace emoji]. In any case, we handed out some awards and boldly predicted each playoff matchup until a redemption story landed as NBA champion! Enjoy the latest episode of That’s A Rap!

In This Episode:

3:10 — Kyle & Masai’s Pressers

Tell me if you’ve heard this before: Lowry sounded like a man who has played his last game as a Raptor. We’ve gone through this before both of his re-signings (2014 and 2017), and again before the trade deadline — and countless other times after playoff heartbreak — but the G.R.O.A.T. earned that status by sticking around and providing K.L.O.E. moments time and time again.

Tell me if you’ve heard this before: why hasn’t Masai and MLSE reached an agreement on a new contract? No extension was given after the championship. No extension was given after the ridiculous Alameda County charges were dropped (if for some inane reason that was holding it up). An extension was given to Toronto Maple Leafs President, Brenden Shanahan, even though he hasn’t achieved anything close to what Ujiri has (yet).

18:45 — Wrapping up the play-ins

Indicative of the East-West divide, it was the West play-in games that had us all at the edge of our seats. Specifically within our pod, Dre (Pacers) and I (Spurs) were not so lucky with the teams were drawn out of a hat. Jason, on the other hand, sweated through a tight Lakers win.

27:10 — Picking award winners

Will any finalist upset Nikola Jokic for MVP? Which of the awards had each of us equally divided on who should win? With only three finalists for each award, there were definitely some snubs. Which snub was most glaring?

48:45 — May Madness!

We admittedly jumped the gun by crowning the Warriors as the 8th seed (remember, we recorded during the Warriors-Grizzlies game), but thankfully added in a Memphis prediction in our playoff brackets. Each of us had three different champions. In fact, all of our NBA Finals teams were different from the teams we selected before the season — Boston and the Lakers for Jason & Dre; Miami and the Lakers for me. How do you see the playoffs playing out? Share your bracket predictions in the comments below!