Cavs-Warriors Round 3!
So before we get into the finals preview I want to take a look at how we got here. Everyone is saying the playoffs were terrible because the series weren't close, there were injuries to stars and so on. And for the most part that is true, but at the end of the day, this is what we all knew would happen. So Lebron didn't have to make any buzzer beater wins, thats fine, we knew the East was weak. The most interesting series probably ended up being Jazz-Clippers where no one could win at home and most of the games were pretty close. Even Rockets-Spurs had a bunch of blowouts. So lets take a quick look back and what we learned.
The Clippers will never be a contender with this group. They just aren't that good. Every year they think they are a contender but they aren't. The only people who think they are contenders are Clipper fans. I don't care enough to look it up but when was the last time they beat the Warriors, like in one single game? I feel like its been a couple years. So what do the Clippers do? (Fire Doc). I don't think they should blow it up. Why not if they aren't a contender you ask? Because the Clippers were the worst franchise in sports for the last few decades and now they are in the pack. Why risk going back to the bottom? The nucleus is there and while they probably won't win a ring, wouldn't you rather have a dog in the fight than hope to start over and strike lightning in a bottle with a free agent signing or a high draft pick? I say keep finishing around the middle of the West playoffs, and take your chances in a 7 game series. But pleeeeeeeeeeease stop telling us how you could have won if you didn't get injured every year. Look around the NBA, everyone gets injured.
The Spurs are going to be the new Clippers as far as blaming injury. I mean up 23 points when Kawhi goes down and the whole thing implodes. This is what the Clippers have done year after year. And now you can say you would have won the series because of a little over half of one game. Come on Spurs fans, you weren't going to win that series. I think it would have been over in 5 or 6. But now here comes the complaining. And trust me I feel bad for the Spurs and Spurs fans because they had reason to be excited, but don't forget how Houston beat them by 100 in game one of that series and it was over in 6.
Speaking of the Rockets, what the hell happened. I mean they made the Spurs look like Manu Ginobli's bald head in game 1 and all of a sudden we are all looking at a Rockets/Warriors match-up in the 140's and getting excited. And just like that it swung. What that? Oooooh thats right, Nene went down. So yet another team "would" have won it if their star hadn't gone down. Oh wait Nene was their 7th leading scorer and their 6th leading rebounder in the playoffs. So maybe not quite that important. Regardless, it did allow The Ostrich Pau Gasol (just made that up)(double parenthesis I looked it up it doesn't already exist I did make it up) to have his way in the paint. But I do think the Rockets are on the upswing and with one good free agent could be a real threat.
The Celtics were fake, which is why I told Ty Lou to rest Lebron and play him less minutes and not worry about the one seed. He didn't listen but he is new so he gets a pass. But as I said before, the Celtics are the team that maximizes their ability in every game during the season. They don't have a playoff mode when they get better. They already have to play really hard in the regular season because they are not that talented and don't have any stars. But they do have the #1 pick in the draft and potentially the #1 pick next year. So the options are these: 1. Trade Isaiah Thomas while his value is high and then take the Washington kid who no one has seen play and hope Thomas yields one or two good players. 2. Keep Thomas and take the Washington kid no one has seen play and have a really strong back court and reassess who you want to keep as the season goes on. (Cuz if he is a dud then you need to keep Thomas). 3. Keep Thomas and don't take another point guard and then worry about Thomas after next year when he is a free agent. If I was them I would pick option 1 and trade him now, get a couple solid players or one really solid player and another pick and hope the Washington kid no one has seen play is pretty good. Because the team, as currently constructed, is not beating the Cavs this year or in the next couple years. But as I said in a previous blog, I like what Boston is doing, as they stockpile young talent and draft picks and you will see as Lebron's career wanders further into the desert, the vultures will start circling and the minute he stumbles I believe it will be the Celtics who will break through and then be the best team in the East for multiple years.
As for the rest of the teams that no one cares about here we go. Grizzlies just don't have it and a healthy Chandler Parsons doesn't put them from the 7 seed to a contender. It just puts them back in the 4 or 5 hole where they were before. Toronto doesn't read my blog otherwise they would know that Serge Ibaka ceased to have value the day he decided to shoot a 3 pointer. That team should be sooooo much better. Jazz are nice but aren't a threat and Rudy Gobert looks like a baby giraffe running down the floor. Everyone told me all season how good he is and then I watched the series and I don't see it. But what I did see was him not be on the floor at the end of games. Because he is a liability guarding on the perimeter. The Lakers are useless and will never win with Nick Young. And I am so torn on drafting Lonzo Ball I don't know what to say. His dad is a walking talking train wreck who I hate so much. Like he is going to be sitting front row of every game doing interviews during timeouts and going on the Herd when his son gets benched because he shoots out of his ear. Or he could be amazing, his dad could start hyping the next son and leave Lonzo to be an adult. Oh ya and the Lakers have like 4 point guards already.
NBA Finals Preview
Warriors- The hated ones. How in two short years did this team go from being the cute underdog fun team to the assholes that everyone outside of Golden State hates. Ok if you only watch a couple games a year you probably still like them and if you hate Lebron for no reason you probably still love them, but if you watch the NBA, like regularly, you hate the Warriors. They remind me a lot of the Red Sox after they won their first world series. They were the anti-Yankees, with their facial hair and their blue collar attitude. And they had the curse and everyone wanted them to win and they took down the mighty Yankees and won the World Series. And within half a year they were so cocky and arrogant everyone hated them. Same with the Warriors, they were cute and fun and they won and now they are cocky and whiny and they have turned Lebron into the biggest David in the history of sports. Oh and if any of them hug the trophy or cry like this season was hard and they are so happy to win it, I might just throw up.
Coaching- This team doesn't need a coach. The talent 90% and the system 10% are what is winning. Luke Walton and Mike Brown are proving that. They both have insane records filling in for Steve Kerr. And they aren't doing that much. They are subbing the way Kerr wants them to sub, they are running plays Kerr told them to run. Does Mike Brown make some decisions? Sure. But could any NBA coach be doing that with that team with Kerr overseeing it? I believe so.
Steph Curry- Man his star has fallen for true NBA fans. Sure he is the baby faced assassin with the cute kid and the perfect family for the mainstream fans but those who watch all the time know the truth. Lets remember last year when people thought he had surpassed Lebron as the best player on the planet. Then Lebron showed him who really was the best. Then Durant comes to his team and is immediately the best player on that team. Its sort of like when Lebron joined Wade in Miami. Everyone wondered who's team it would be. It took like 3 games for the world to know it was Lebron's team and Lebron was the best player by a mile. I don't think the gap is as big, but its clear that not only is Durant the best player on the team, but when it comes to the last shot in close games, it is Durant with the ball in his hands. And then the flexing. Like get over yourself your not big. You know what people who aren't big do? They try to prove to everyone they are big. Its so bad. And Draymond does the same crap. At least Draymond doesn't end up on the ground every time he shoots a lay up. Doesn't flex on those. And he flops. Don't flop on some then flex on others. I used to really enjoy watching Curry play and now I can't stand him. Every shot is a pose or a walk back on defense or a flex or something. Just score and turn around and play defense.
Kevin Durant- The star has fallen on him as well. When he tearfully called his mom the real MVP he was untouchable. The anti-Lebron who stayed in OKC and didn't sell out and wanted to win on his own team and helped out after the hurricane by building houses in the community. And then he left. And went to the best team. And they are the best team. And now he acts like an asshole. How many times did he shove Gobert or whine about calls or insult the media. Like I don't understand what his angle is here. Is he purposely trying to piss everyone off? Most people already hate him for selling out and he is just compounding is by all his words and actions. He is legitimately the second best player in the world and he is about to get his first ring and he is turning everyone off to him.
Draymond Green- Everyone hates him. He cost his team a real chance at the title last year and he flexes almost as much as Steph Curry and he whines and complains on every call and gets technicals and the only reason anyone likes him is because he plays his living ass off. Thats it. If he wasn't the hardest working player on the floor for the Warriors he would be Demarcus Cousins. Think about it. Cousins is waaaaaaaaay more talented than him. They both get the same amount of technicals, they both run their mouth, but Draymond is winning and plays really hard and Cousins hasn't won anything. Ok maybe Cousins is a little worse but you get my point.
Supporting Cast- Klay Thompson is now a supporting cast member. I told you last year he hates Steph Curry and he hates his life and you will see it in the finals I promise. At some point in the finals here will be the headline: If Warriors are winning "the Warriors are winning despite the bad shooting by Klay Thompson, if he gets it going this will be a short series." If the Cavs are winning, "What is wrong with Klay Thompson. He needs to step up and be a factor in this series." Now he might have a big game one game or maybe even two. But watch his shots. With Steph and KD and Draymond and McGee getting lots of shots he will take horrific shots. You will see him catch the ball in the corner with a guy all over him early in the shot clock with no rebounders and he will fire it anyway. And it will hit between the front rim and the backboard and you will think for a second why did he shoot that. And then you will think of me, and then you will set me up with your hottest friend. Because he wants to put his mark on the series too. And he can't because there aren't enough shots with this team. Lets not forget about Iggy and Livingston and Clarke and he wants #2 option shots and since he won't get them he will force them. Now if he gets going he may have a 20 point game or maybe even two, but I believe he is the odd man out in this offense and you will see lots of bad shots from him.
Cleveland- This is gonna hurt me a lot. Like a lot a lot. These next couple words. These ones. CLEVELAND HAS NO CHANCE IN THIS SERIES. There it is and I'm going to ride it and hope I'm wrong. I think this series goes 5 AT THE MOST. And once again no matter what Lebron does and how great he is, he will still be blamed. He will be 3-5 in the finals and thats not ok to the sheep. Lets look at the Cavs this year. They added Deron Williams who is a horrific defender and well past his prime. They added Kyle Korver who doesn't play defense and is past his prime. They added a defender in Bogut who lasted one minute. Remember that tailspin the Cavs went into for a month or two at the end of the season, ya that was right after they got those guys. Their defense is horrible, but they have played bad teams. If you watched these series, which you haven't because they haven't been close, the Cavs have been giving supporting players wide open shots. And Ty Lou said that was the plan. He literally said let Demarre Carroll shoot open 3s off rotations and said if he can make them we will adjust. But he can't. But the Warriors can. And the Warriors scheme is better and their personnel is better. Its what I have said in previous posts. If you put Lebron with a bunch of high school kids in an NBA season they would go 0-82. No question no doubt. So on a smaller scale when you put inferior players with one or two good players there is a point that it just isn't enough. Thats what happened to the Spurs. They tried to anchor around Aldridge and I know he is not 1/100 of Lebron but the concept is the same. Bloodbath.
Lebron James- Ok so they aren't going to win. What does this mean besides 3-5 in the finals? It means Jordan supporters sit back and laugh. The sheep come out and say he can't carry a team and this and that. My guess is that Durant will get MVP of the finals meaning that in the last 3 finals that Lebron has lost, the man guarding him wins the MVP. While he has averaged 30 something points and almost a triple double. Thats how good he is. So if you have made it this far I want you to commit a few more minutes. I have attached a couple short videos to this blog of a guy names Nick Wright. He is a guy who comes on the Herd and he lays out some facts about Lebron James and some facts about Lebron vs Jordan. I don't want to regurgitate them but Lebron is the greatest player of all time. And its basically a fact. And if you want to argue rings then you don't understand how sports work. Go back to one of my previous blogs and see how I decide greatness. Example: If Seattle runs the ball instead of throwing that interception then Brady loses the Superbowl and Brady is 4-1. Then is he not the greatest ever? Is he not in the next echelon of QBs? Because of a play made by his defense while he was on the sideline? Because of a questionable call by the other team at a crucial moment? How did Tom Brady become any better or any worse all time based on that one play? He didn't because he was on the sideline. But in scenario one he wins the Superbowl and is (at the time) 4-0 and in scenario two he loses and is 3-1. His skills, his accomplishments, his talent, his ability to read defenses, his clutchness do not change one bit, and on top of it the game was decided while he was on the bench. So why does whether he won the ring or not matter????? HE WASN'T ON THE FIELD. So if you want to go by rings, then go back with the other sheep into the ring corner with your little friends and talk about rings. I am talking about greatness.
Kyrie and Love- These guys need to be monsters if the Cavs want to win more than one game. Kyrie has been taking a lot of the final shots in games as Lebron is deferring to him sometimes. This is good and gives Kyrie the confidence to take those shots down the stretch. Love needs to be a monster on the glass. Warriors are a good rebounding team and he needs to help out as much as he can. Also if he can knock down some 3's and bring the Warrior's bigs away from the hoop he can be valuable. Love is also going to have to show that he can guard on the switch. He had the legendary defensive play on Curry to seal the game last year, but that was a possession where you could see that Curry was going to shoot a 3 no matter what. When Curry still has the option of driving it makes it much more difficult for Love.
I believe the Warriors will win in 5. I don't think it will be that close. I think the Cavs will keep one game close in Golden State but eventually lose and then they might muster one win at home and lose in 5. I think when Lebron is down 3-0 or 3-1 I think he will talk about last year and doing the same thing one game at a time. But here is the difference. 1. The Warriors are pissed off about last year. They think they should have won it and they are out for revenge. 2. While I believe the Cavs are slightly worse than last year I believe that with Durant, the Warriors are significantly better.
Long term I think this can be really bad for the league. Lets say the Warriors win in 4 or 5 like I think they will. Now what? If Kyrie misses that shot last year and Warriors score and win the title we are looking at a dynasty with a team that has no real competition. If they win in 5 and go 16-1 in the playoffs, who is gonna challenge them next year? Sure the Spurs put their hands up but I don't think they have a chance. Look at the Spurs, Ginobli is done, Gasol is old, Parker is old, Aldridge is getting older, they are an aging team. While the core players of the Warriors are all still on the incline of their primes. So then you say what if Chris Paul comes to the Spurs? Wow, now we got something! Now we got a challenger to the Warriors! Maybe we do. But then we face what I think is a bigger problem. Super teams. In order to beat the Warriors, teams will have to load up so much because of the talent on the Warriors that I could see multiple superstars going to one location with a team with a good draft pick or two (like the blueprint of the Warriors) and try and get strong enough to beat them. Why is this bad? Because you would have such a separation of power and no parity that you would have no teams having a chance to beat these two or three super teams. And so you have 27 teams with no shot and 2 or 3 fighting it out. I mean look at this year. We didn't really have a playoffs til now. It wasn't exciting because there is no parity. Well what if Paul George and Chris Paul went to the Cavs (I know George isn't a free agent til next year, its hypothetical). Then we have the Cavs and Warriors every year dominating everyone and the rest of league playing to get to the conference finals and lose. Thats not fun. So for the NBA, for the good of the league, the Cavs need to win. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening.