Man been a long time since I've chatted basketball on smogon. anyone know if capt. kirby still posts around here? i miss that guy
General playoff thoughts:
-The Pelicans are legit and will be a serious test for the Warriors. Also Demarcus Cousins is not as valuable as his stats make him look and he will never be a contributor on a title contending team
-Giannis and Middleton deserve better than the shitshow they're forced to be a part of. Eric Bledsoe will be out of the NBA in two years. Not only are you playing like trash but you're getting destroyed by Terry Rozier and then you have the audacity to disrespect him after the game. Locker room cancer, not valuable on court, goodbye
-LeBron is my daddy
-Oladipo is also my daddy, I am very conflicted
-The Wizards are also a pathetic dumpster fire, I wish we could've seen the Pistons get the 8th spot and what Drummond+Griffin could've done
-Utah-OKC is an amazing series to watch
-Andrew Wiggins is about as valuable as prime Nick Young
-Tom Thibodeau is terrible and should never be a head coach again
Gm LeBron is bad. Those contracts to J.R. and Tristan really torpedoed the Cavs' ability to get better help than Hood and Hill at the trade deadline. One of the reasons I don't want LBJ on the Lakers. Not that I mind misfortune for the Cavs though. Dan Gilbert is a whiney lil bitch that deserves all the misfortune headed his way
Disagree on the part about DMC. Pelicans would have been even more dangerous with DMC because they would've been able to stagger AD/DMC/Mirotic, especially since AD has no solid backup off the bench (not saying DMC should come off bench). The Pels seriously looked like they were figuring things out together before DMC got inj'd too, especially Jrue finding a consistent role in the midst (was avging rougly 20.5ppg for his last month with DMC).
I think you forgot that the Pel's were starting to struggle during the early part of the injury. In fact, they lost 5 of their 6 games after the injury happened. Like trikx said, they were starting to figure things out before he got injured. Obviously, everyone has been stepping up since the injury has happened. Mirotic has been godsend since the trade has happened, coming off the bench. (Which they really didn't had one to begin with) Gentry has been letting Rondo run the offense. (Also, Playoff Rondo is a top 5 pg.. just saying) Jrue finally looks like a star alongside Davis; being a valuable secondary option and being amazing on defense. (Honestly, the contract is still meh, but it's not as bad as it looks now.)
Honestly, shout out to Gentry who managed to rally the team up in the western conference, despite looking like a team that's out of playoff boundary after losing a tremendous superstar.
Of course they looked bad immediately after the injury, their lineups got thrown off and they didn't have Mirotic yet (who is a much better complimentary piece for the team than Cousins)
I just don't see a team winning a championship when they rely on two big men as their top scorers. Just feels like something that would've worked in the 90's but this is the wrong era. I know Davis/DMC can stretch the floor decently but I think clearly their lineups are seeing more success now with a more traditional setup where Davis is the primary inside big man then other than that it's either shifty guards or spot up shooters.
I just don't get how Lue survived the season. Honestly people can mock others who talk about LeGM all they want but this season has convinced me that LeBron's influence over the franchise is incredible and that LeGM is a real thing.
This is the guy who got David Blatt fired, his friend Lue hired, JR and Tristan those ridiculous contracts, and after all of this he refuses to let the front office know about his plans. This is the guy who, suddenly this year being his contract year, wants nothing to do with personnel decisions and is letting front office deal with everything. This is the guy whose continuous whining about not having a playmaker is entirely his own doing because they can't afford one with those deals he got for his teammates. This is the guy who was annoyed that they couldn't get Bledsoe and PG to Cleveland for Kyrie (which wasn't even their fault, the Suns didn't want to give up their number 4 pick), and after that trade fell through he was fine with Kyrie staying, though it was too late because Kyrie had already requested a trade. Furthermore, as the "leader" of his own team, he didn't even talk to Kyrie to reconcile and sort out their differences.
I don't know if he actually wants so much control and influence, or if he's even aware of it, but this is one of the reasons (in addition to rumours of him wanting a max deal and his utter lack of defense this season) I don't want him at all. Did he really want to go back to Cleveland to win them a ring? Or was it because he couldn't exercise his influence over Pat Riley down in Miami? Please don't misinterpret this as LeBron hate, I fully acknowledge what he's been doing on the court but I do question his role in the bigger picture.
But yo, mini rant over. Glad we have some 2-1 series.
Also, Deveney is reporting that a team executive believes the Lakers "will go hard" to pursue a trade for Kawhi Leonard this summer, which is just about the dumbest thing we can do, not to mention that a rival team's executive's guess is as good as any casual fan's.
This is the guy whose continuous whining about not having a playmaker is entirely his own doing
You make some good points but I don't agree with this one at all, it's not his fault he's lacking another playmaker because he had a perfectly serviceable one on his squad until last summer. It all comes down to Kyrie wanting to leave. And why did Kyrie want to leave? Well apparently he's an "alpha" that can't stand being the 2nd best player on a team and would rather "lead" a team than compete for championships or something. That's not really LeBron's fault
I think it's completely understandable from Kyrie's point of view why he would want to leave, and there is fault on both sides. LeBron's dominance of the ball really renders all his teammates into catch-and-shooters. Kevin Love used to be a nightly 20-20 threat and a deadly first option, try making him the first option now. The thing with LeBron IMO is that he can make a lot of role players better because they honestly don't need to do much other than hit shots, but he has issues coexisting with other (let's say) All Star-calibre players if they aren't his besties.
Obviously there isn't a lot of data here to back up my statement, though, and this could all be my own confirmation bias, but hear me out. LeBron is so ball-dominant the team relies on him (and he likes it) to run everything offensively. It gets to the point where when he leaves the floor, the team has no idea what to run and it's almost like they forget how to play basketball. This then turns into LeBron having to play heavy minutes because the team can't score without him and it's just a vicious cycle at that. Look at Jae Crowder who came over from Boston in the Irving deal. He was so good just last season in the team ball Boston was playing. He was absolute garbage at Cleveland, and it reminded me of DeMarre Carroll being good at Atlanta with team ball then going to ISO-heavy Toronto and being trash. People love to bring up LeBron going to the Spurs, and honestly I don't see that working out unless LeBron learns to get everyone involved every trip down the floor rather than one teammate at a time to rack up assist numbers.
Back to Kyrie, I definitely don't blame him for wanting to leave. I'm pretty sure the Cavs were in talks to trade him for PG and Bledsoe before the draft, and he caught wind of that which is why he requested a trade mid-late July, convinced that LeBron orchestrated it, which actually goes to show how bad their relationship was. The two of them didn't even try to talk and sort out their differences.
In any case, he's an All Star who grew up idolising Kobe Bryant, the guy who gets chastised and criticised because he wasn't the top dog for his first three rings. So now when you have the best player in the world on your squad, you'll never be considered the top dog, and it doesn't help that you're a point guard whose ball-handling duties are being taken away. Of course it doesn't help Kyrie's case that he hadn't been able to lead his team to anything without LeBron, so I do think there's fault on both sides.
Sorry that this reply turned into scattered thoughts that are poorly stringed together. Hope it's not too painful to follow :S