The NBA bubble was something extraordinary for everybody. Amid a global pandemic, the NBA decided to play out the rest of the season in Orlando, where 22 teams compete to make it to the postseason and then for the coveted NBA championship. We lived uncommon circumstances with everything, arenas without fans, only watching the games at home, no family members allowed in buildings until after a certain stage of the playoffs and more.
One of the most remarkable things that we saw was the level of certain players. Some ballers were playing great basketball and one would have imagined they were going to take things to the next level this season but none of that happened. In fact, some have played terrible, nothing like the level they showed from August to October of 2020.
Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics has reflected on this situation, explaining that he was also surprised watching some players really ballin' at the bubble. He recently talked about that, saying what a lot of people thought during those months of competition.
"I ain’t gon' say no names, but they were some people on the other teams...I’m like 'Hold on, they don’t normally play like that.'"
Tatum and his Celtics reached the Eastern Conference Finals, where they lost to the Miami Heat. Curiously, the Heat are struggling to find their touch this season after having a terrific tenure in the bubble. Other players like Jamal Murray, Damian Lillard and more haven't been as dangerous as they were in the bubble.
Sure, the season is still young and they have time to improve their level. But, that shows you how different things were in the bubble and how different they are now when players aren't thinking only about basketball.