Screen & Roll Vol. 1: The NBA Finals, Draft Prospect Videos & More

With the blink-and-you-missed it way basketball has infiltrated our online and television lives, it’s only fair you get some warning for what’s up next. Whether it’s a basketball game halfway around the world, the NBA Finals, a revealing interview, or a high school star’s mix tape, we’ve got you covered with our “Screen & Roll” recap of what’s coming on for the coming week.

Welcome to “Screen & Roll.” Each week we will bring you suggestions on what basketball is happening, so you — the ultimate bball fan — can check it out. From the big screen to the small screen to the computer screen, our selections have got you covered. Whether it involves the most competitive games on the hardwood, player-focused programs on television, upcoming documentaries about the game we love, or must-see videos on YouTube, we are here to guide you in your quest to eat, sleep, play and — in this case — watch as much basketball as possible.

The following selections cover June 2-8:

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The 2014 NBA Finals

After six months of regular season action and more than a month of thrilling playoff basketball, the biggest stage in the NBA has finally been set. Basketball fans will be awarded with a rematch of last year’s Finals between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs. After returning to the Finals for the fourth straight year, the Heat join the Celtics and the Lakers as the only team to do so in NBA history. However, many thought the Spurs would not make a second consecutive trip to the Finals after the devastation they felt following last year’s championship slipping through the fingers in the last two games against Miami. But here we are, a rematch the Spurs have been hoping for since the season tipped off. Even considering the aging Spurs’ “Big Three,” oddsmakers have San Antonio as the favorites.

The series is quite evenly matched on paper, which is music to any NBA fan’s ears. Dwyane Wade is healthy this time around, and his cautious approach to the regular season has paid dividends thus far in the playoffs. LeBron James is playing as good as ever, posting 27.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 5.0 assists on 56.2 percent shooting in the postseason. Chris Bosh is HEATing up at the perfect time, averaged 23.3 points and 8.0 boards in the last three matchups during the Eastern Conference Finals. Furthermore, at least one Heat role player has stepped up and contributed in every game of the playoffs, giving Miami extra ammo to execute.

On the other end, San Antonio is the most balanced and complete team in the NBA. Gregg Popovich continues to prove why he is the best coach in the league today. His ability to develop his players and make the necessary adjustments to his game plan during the game keeps the team a cut above the competition. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili remain three of the most effective and consistent players in the majors, regardless of their age or limitations. Kawhi Leonard is currently amidst a breakout year, as he is slated to be “the future of the franchise” at the age of 22. Similar to Miami, the Spurs’ role players — most recently Danny Green and Boris Diaw — can be that X-factor and lead the charge for San Antonio on any given night.

Since both teams wrapped up their respective Conference Finals in six games, they each receive some much-needed rest between series. This is great news for Tony Parker, who had to miss the second half of Game 6 against OKC with ankle soreness. San Antonio has been waiting for a chance at redemption against Miami in the Finals since last June and aim to add one more chip to their own “Big Three” era. Meanwhile, Miami is hoping to join the select group of five teams (’52-54 Lakers, ’59-66 Celtics, ’91-93 Bulls, ’96-98 Bulls, ’00-02 Lakers) in NBA history to three-peat and solidify their dynastic place in NBA history.

Game 1: Thursday, June 5 at 9:00 PM EST on ABC
Game 2: Sunday, June 8 at 8:00 PM EST on ABC

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“Open Court” – Missed Opportunities

The guys are back for the latest edition of “Open Court” on NBATV. In this episode, Ernie Johnson presents Steve Kerr, Grant Hill, Steve Smith, Kenny Smith, Dennis Scott, Isiah Thomas, and Brent Barry with several questions about the missed opportunities of fellow NBA players’ career and from their individual time in the league.

“Open Court” continually provides entertainment and insight from a first-line perspective, which is truly a joy for NBA fans to hear. The preview clip (in the tweet below) forecasts the former greats discussing the career and impact of one of the most thrilling player in the 1990s: Shawn Kemp. They discuss how his full potential may have been missed, but you don’t have to miss this episode.

Tuesday, June 3 at 8:00 PM EST on NBA TV


Click for more upcoming basketball to watch…

“One on One with Ahmad Rashad”

Remember how entertaining Ahmad Rashad’s one-on-one interview with Michael Jordan was last year? The Emmy-winning sportscaster returned for a new installment of his interview specials on NBA TV. This special originally aired last Friday, but as you might have been in traffic on your home commute or getting ready for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, you may have missed the back-and-forth. Since we have three nights without basketball action, now is the time to catch up on what you missed.

Rashad sat down with Dwyane Wade, David West, and Tony Parker during the recent Conference Finals. It was interesting to hear Wade’s mental approach regarding the Finals and Father Time and why he is “proud” of his career and organization. It was also fun to learn how David West chose to play the tuba, or more appropriately how the tuba chose him, and his love for books. Finally, Tony Parker talked about the highs and lows of the 2013 offseason with the Finals disappointment and the success of his French team. Interestingly, we also learned there is a similarity between the way the French view Parker and their view of Michael Jordan. This was an insightful and entertaining special that every basketball head should check out.

NBA TV – Check your local listings

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Draft Prospects Workout Videos

The 2014 NBA Draft class has been the most hyped group of incoming players in years. With one-and-done prospects like Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, and Jabari Parker headlining the loaded class, basketball fans have been clamoring for any chance to see what these young studs can do on the NBA court. With the 2014 Draft around the corner, some teams will find out if all the tanking was worth the resulting player.

Since the probable top three picks did not participate in the recent NBA combine, the videos that have been popping up on the CityLeagueHoopsTV’s YouTube page are must-see. From recent workouts in Los Angeles – Santa Monica to be exact – and Chicago, CityLeagueHoopsTV has been posting countless athletic highlights: see Zach LaVine’s ridiculous dunk reel, and solid previews of the potential these prospects have to offer. Dime’s own Drew Corrigan recently exemplified this argument with a review of Joel Embiid’s impressive workout in LA. Any fan of a lottery team this year must check out these videos and the ones that are likely coming as pre-draft workouts continue in New York.

Via CityLeagueHoopsTV YouTube page

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