At the Buzzer: Bulls’ hot start, post-Walton Kings, best Adele song for Ben Simmons

Published November 25, 2021, 6:00 PMIsaac Go, Chris Newsome, Nikko Ramos

NBA.com Philippines’ All-Star Analysts talk about the rampaging Bulls, the Kings after parting ways with Luke Walton, the complicated situation of Ben Simmons (feat. Adele songs), and more!

What's been the most surprising about the Bulls' hot start?

Nikko Ramos: The most surprising thing to me is the fact that they were able to sustain it after what was a really hot start. I remember tweeting after they went 4-0, I was like ‘Okay, what would they look like after 18 games?’ They had a pretty tough schedule. I thought the best-case scenario is they’re probably gonna go 13-5. They’re now 12-6, and I thought that was super impressive. Honestly, I thought they would taper off at some point, but they’ve been playing really well and they’ve been able to sustain it. 

Chris Newsome: The most surprising thing about the Bulls’ hot start is the fact that they look like they have been playing together for multiple years. The chemistry looks great despite losing some key pieces to injury. This team plays both sides of the floor which is what all basketball fans love to see.

Isaac Go: When they acquired DeMar DeRozan I thought they had too many mouths to feed, but Coach Billy Donovan has found a way to balance it out and give everyone the right number of touches. That’s what made them good on the court.

Will things look up for the Kings after Luke Walton's firing?

Nikko: I will say this to the Kings: don’t look down – at least not after having a full meal and a few drinks. It can only go up for the Kings. It’s hard to imagine things going any further down. As much as I am a fan of Luke Walton, they need a change of scenery, for sure. 

Chris: The Kings are young yet loaded with talent. They have all the pieces. Now it's about working out the kinks and putting it all together, which is always hard in a smaller market. They play in spurts and are pretty inconsistent with their shooting, but they are capable of putting up big numbers. Being such a young team also forces your players to compete for playing time, which can be good and bad at the same time, but ultimately it's about the head coach and veterans to keep everybody engaged and get them to buy into the team’s goals.

Isaac: The future of the Kings doesn't look bright. Alvin Gentry is a good coach but he’s better suited in a contending team, which the Kings are not. They’ve made many questionable moves in terms of roster-building. It’s hard to ignore that they have good young pieces but that isn’t enough to be positive about their future especially if mismanagement continues.

What are the chances the Suns will win the West again?

Nikko: As good a chance as anyone else. The West is wide open. If you tell me that the Clippers somehow get Kawhi Leonard for the last 15 games of the season (and he’s gonna play five of the 15) or they get him at some point in the first round and he’s relatively close to being healthy, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Clippers went on and won it. If the Nuggets are able to keep their heads above water and maybe get a midseason acquisition – a buyout guy who can just bolster that offense a little bit – or by some miracle, Jamal Murray comes back in the second round and the Nuggets do it, that wouldn’t surprise me either. The Lakers could still figure it out. The Warriors are closer and closer to getting Klay Thompson back. The point is no one is running away with it as a clear, sure-fire favorite in the West. Why not the Suns? They have as good a chance as anyone else. 

Chris: The Suns have picked up right where they left off, and they have additional fire power off the bench that they didn’t have last year. This team is always going to be a problem because everybody has already established their roles. Now it’s about staying healthy and locking up the home court advantage position for the playoffs. Winning the West is another ball game on its own. The Warriors are playing well and the Lakers can never be counted out, but so far, I do love the response from the Suns coming off their last Finals run. I believe they will be in the Conference Finals again this year.

Isaac: They’re a contender, but I’m not so optimistic. Of course you have the Golden State Warriors, you have the Utah Jazz, and LeBron James will always find a way to make it to the playoffs. Personally, I just think there are just too many teams in the West that are good and healthy, so I don’t see Phoenix winning the West.

Which former or current NBA player can potentially win Dancing With the Stars like Iman Shumpert? 

Nikko: It’s John Wall. On his first-ever moment, in his first-ever game in the NBA, John Wall did the Dougie. To this day, a decade-plus later, not a single person in the history of mankind has ever done the Dougie better than John Wall did the Dougie when he first got introduced as a Wizards rookie. That’s a fact. If you google Dougie dance, you’re gonna see John Wall. He’s the best person to do a dance that he didn’t create. Do you know how hard it is to do that?  Somebody else invented the dance, you saw it, John Wall probably saw it on Twitter and he was like, ‘Cool, got it!’, did it and became the best to ever do it. That is so hard to do. That’s like hearing an Adele song, singing it, and having a better version than Adele. That’s how hard of an accomplishment that was. And I watch John Wall Dougie at least once a year just to remind myself. That’s a special achievement. 

Chris: If I had to pick a former player, I’d like to say Steve Nash. He’s very good with his feet and body control, and I believe this skilled soccer-savvy, two-time MVP does have the skills to win a DWTS competition.

Isaac: Boban Marjanovic. At least he would do it, and he would do it well. I could see him do all these crazy stunts like lifting his partner 7 feet off the ground or something. Also, everyone loves Boban so they would vote for him and he would win.

Do you think Rich Paul talks to Adele about Ben Simmons? Which Adele song best fits Simmons' situation?

Nikko: First of all, I would pay all the limited money that I have to hear what Adele’s advice to Ben Simmons is. I’m sure at the Klutch family table when they’re eating, Ben Simmons with his Australian accent will go: “I don’t know, mate. This whole situation with the Sixers, it kinda feels like…” Then Adele goes: “Divorce babe, divorce.” To which Ben replies: “That’s right Adele, it feels like divorce.”

The perfect Adele song for Ben Simmons is “Make You Feel My Love” because that’s what he’s singing to 29 other teams. He’s like, “help me help you” to 29 other teams. He just wants to be able to show that he can be a contributing basketball player to their team if they would let him, as long as they’re not in the Philadelphia area. 

Chris: This is the funniest question I’ve seen in awhile. I would like to think they do talk about these things. I would say “Someone Like You” fits perfectly since it looks like there will be a breakup between the two parties. Ben Simmons is definitely a rare find and the Sixers may have to “wish nothing but the best” for him. And by that, I mean getting nothing but the best deal in return. Haha. But then again, anything is possible.

Isaac: It would have to be the song “Hello”. The ugly breakup between Simmons and the 76ers hasn't happened, but it is bound to happen. And maybe it wouldn’t work out for both parties, so maybe they would wanna run it back again one more time.