The Talking Heads: Quin and Chase

Allie Karthaus | Lead Graphic Designers

Quin Norris and Chase Glover

Quin: Welcome to the Talking Heads banter column. Each issue we will discuss the most recent events in both professional and collegiate sports. We invite you to join in the conversation by reaching out to us with your take on the discussed topics. 

Chase: Recently, two Power 5 conferences, the Big-10 and the Pac-12, postponed their season until the spring. However, many teams internally mentioned that they would still like to proceed with a football season for their respective programs. Some of those teams include: Nebraska, Iowa, Ohio State, and Michigan. Some of the teams that are the most notable because of the limitations they were given from the Big 10 conference. Nebraska and Iowa were two of the most outspoken teams for a season to be played. Nebraska took it as far as potentially leaving the Big 10 conference for this lone season to play elsewhere. In doing so, the Big 10 conference told Nebraska that if they were to switch conferences they would not be welcomed back into the Big 10 the following year. Desmond Howard, former Michigan great, even went as far to say that Nebraska should apologize to the Big 10 conference for even thinking they should switch conferences.

Quin: I am not entirely sure how strong the conference’s backbone will be on this issue if it was another team in the conference that suggests the same move. For those that do not know, many players on the Ohio State football team have talked about joining the SEC to play their season this year. I cannot help but think that the Big 10 would still be kind to Ohio State for making the move and welcome them back with open arms in 2021. However, I think with many power 5 conference powerhouses in the Big 10 and potentially ACC looking to play a season without the rest of their conferences they could join the Big 12 and SEC to make two super conferences like in the NFL. This could potentially lead to another split in the Division I level of football where teams like Troy and Boise State no longer have to compete against teams like Alabama and Ohio State to win a national championship. 

Chase: Many teams are still wanting to play their seasons due to the revenue hit they would take if they sat out an entire season. This is most likely one of the biggest reasons why teams like Iowa, Nebraska, or Ohio State may want to play in the SEC or ACC. However, another reason that these teams may want to play is to show recruits that they ‘live and breathe’ football, unlike the schools that are choosing to sit out. This can go beyond this year for recruitment, the choosing of sitting out or playing can leave effects on programs for years to come. Now, for the splitting of divisions, that may be a long time coming but could definitely be worth noting for the future to come. I believe that the college sports atmosphere is a brand of themselves and if they move towards a NFL like setup, this could potentially leave fans to not watch games. Many fans of college football do not watch the NFL because of the setup between conferences. This could potentially be a game changer for college football, if they moved towards a NFL base.

Quin: Again, I do not think they should move to this set up in the future. However, due to the season we might get because of the coronavirus I would not be shocked to see a power 5 conference exclusive level to football. Another interesting scenario we’ve been getting to watch unfold in the sports world is the NBA bubble play leading to the bracket play we are currently watching. By far the biggest story to come out of the NBA bubble is that of the Phoenix Suns winning all eight of their bubble games. However, due to the two wins the Grizzlies got during the bubble play the Suns missed out on a play in game with the Trail Blazers making this arguably the saddest story the NBA restarts had spawned.

Chase: Devin Booker, only 23 years old, led the young Suns core to a perfect record while in Orlando. Teams such as the Lakers, Bucks, Grizzlies, and others looked somewhat sluggish in the return of the NBA. This is what caught everyone’s eye, is the fire that Monty Williams lit under the young team. To me, they were one of my favorite teams to watch because of the teams they were playing and beating. Booker himself hit the go-ahead basket over the likes of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard while beating the LA Clippers, who are considered a title contender. They also beat teams like 76ers and even the Luka Doncic led Mavericks. However, at the end of the day for the Suns and Booker, the bubble play was all for naught as they miss out on the playoffs by a half game. The Suns have never made the playoffs since drafting Booker back in 2015. In losing out on the playoffs, Booker also missed out on the chance of ‘Bubble MVP’ which was awarded to the Portland Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard. After this season, many speculate that Booker could try and force his way out into a winning situation elsewhere. Did Booker get robbed of ‘Bubble MVP’ and will he try to force a trade from Phoenix?

Quin: Firstly, without a doubt in my mind Booker was robbed of bubble MVP. To me that title was his when he hit the three over Kawhi Leonard. Damian Lillard and Portland did well, but Booker made the Suns look like an actual NBA franchise and that is significantly harder if you ask me. As far as a trade goes I hope he gets out of Phoenix. I think he is a generational talent that doesn’t need to have his career wasted when he is remembered as “that pretty good shooting guard”. A landing spot I’d love to see him in is Dallas. The Mavericks have a promising young core that Booker could take to the next level. I also would not mind Brooklyn or Milwaukee, but Dallas would have to be my first instinct. 

Chase:  In my mind, if Booker goes to a winning franchise and wins at least two to three championships he could easily go down as a Top-3 or Top-5 shooting guard of all-time. If he stays in Phoenix, then we could see Booker end up being just another good guard. The only way Booker stays in Phoenix is if they surround him with the right pieces such as a better point guard and small forward. They do not have a bad piece in Deandre Ayton, who is a double-double big man. However, if a team or franchise wants to compete in this league for a long time, they have to have a third piece to complement their play. Mentioning the Dallas Mavericks, that is a perfect situation for Booker. He could easily slide right in with Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. All three are threats from the perimeter but are also deadly in ISO ball, along with a great passing and defensive game mindset. More teams that could suit Booker could be the Toronto Raptors with Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakim, or evening the Miami Heat with Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Tyler Herro. Booker averaged over 26 ppg this past season, while averaging 30 ppg throughout the bubble meaning he would be an instant success in any situation he lands.

Quin: I think the numbers speak for themselves. Devin Booker is clearly one of the best young talents the NBA has to offer. My hope for him is to find a franchise that can give him the results his talents deserve. However, we could talk about Devin Booker and the Suns all day but it is time to predict a winner for the Western and Eastern conferences along with who is winning the NBA Finals. 

Chase: As Quin and I have been talking throughout our trial podcasts for The Talking Heads podcast through the summer, we have constantly brought up this topic. The bubble took both of us for a spin as we predicted who would be in and who would be out of the playoffs after the bubble. Neither of us saw a perfect Suns record, a diminished Nets team winning, abysmal play from the Lakers, or even a Damian Lillard takeover on our boards. However, all of this happened, and happened very quickly throughout the bubble which led to us having to change some predictions. The Western Conference will always be tougher to predict but the Eastern Conference may be a little easier to understand. For me, the east teams that are contenders in my book are the Toronto Raptors, the Milwaukee Bucks, and the Miami Heat. I believe the Bucks will disappear soon after the first round. As seen in the past, Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton seem to vanish leaving Giannis to shoulder the load. Teams cannot successfully win in the playoffs like this, that leaves me with the Raptors and the Heat. The Raptors, record wise, are even better without Kawhi this season. Their defensive game has made strides, along with Pascal Siakim showing he can become a star. However, my pick for the Eastern Conference winner will be the Miami Heat solely due to the leadership and mindset of the team. Jimmy Butler is a leader like no other, he may not be an elite player but he knows how to win over his teammates and to get the best out of them; kind of like a guy named Kobe Bryant. That being said, players have also stepped up in Herro, Adebayo, Duncan Robinson, and Kendrick Nunn. These guys have all been playmakers which leads me to believe that Miami will eventually play in the Finals come the end of the year. Now for the Western Conference, my choice is between the LA Lakers and LA Clippers. There are good teams such as the Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks but I still think they are not ready yet. This will come down to a Kawhi-Lebron matchup, where I believe the Lakers will pull it out. Lebron may not be the man of this series but will be a great piece needed while letting Anthony Davis shine and perform his skills on the highest level he has ever been on in his short NBA career. The Lakers will move on and play the Heat in the NBA Finals. As many know the East has been a softer conference since the leaving of Lebron in 2018. There are very good teams that play the game the right way, however there is much more talent in the West. That being said, I believe the LA Lakers will become the inevitable 2020 NBA Champions with a 4-2 series win over the Heat.

Quin: During the summer I have been on and stayed on the Miami Heat for Eastern Conference champions bus. After watching the bubble I can comfortably say Toronto is their only road block. The Bucks have been playing mediocre ball with very little to be proud of since the bubble started. However, I still have to stick with the Heat like you for my Eastern champions. In the Western Conference I am going to ride with the Clippers. Over the summer I have been on record stating that the Lakers would look sluggish from the beginning of the bubble dragging their feet to the Western Conference finals. After watching the Lakers play I feel even more confident in that half of my prediction. As far as when the time comes I feel more confident in Kawhi and the Clippers based on the start to this bubble. As far as Clippers vs Heat goes I give the series to the Clippers 4-1 as the talent gap between the rosters is too large to not notice. This will place Kawhi among the greats as he will have won back-to-back NBA Finals with two different teams who prior to his arrival had never won a NBA Finals championship prior. 

Chase: Now, if your prediction is correct, Kawhi Leonard will go down as a franchise changer and will ultimately solidify himself as a top player of all time. However, I believe that Anthony Davis will perform the best he has ever done once the LA teams meet in the Western Conference Finals. As seen by Lebron leading the league in assists per game, he has allowed Davis to become his own man and provided a complimentary floor general to allow Davis to excel on the court. This is where Anthony Davis will make his case known for Defensive Player of the Year by providing one of his best defensive series ever in his career. I believe Davis and James will be the duo to outshine Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. The only way I see the Lakers losing out in this series will be the role players and how they step up. The Clippers have an astounding bench presence in Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell. If the Lakers do not match up against these role players, then the Lakers can definitely lose. However, I am extremely confident in Lebron James and the playoff presence he always provides for every team he has stepped on the court beside.

Chase: If you are interested in any of these topics, feel free to message both Quin and I, at [email protected] along with any questions or concerns you might have. Also, The Talking Heads column has now turned into The Talking Heads Podcast hosted by Quin and myself. Feel free to tune into that podcast as well to hear more discussions about sports and other various topics you will be interested in.