By: Opinionated MJ
NBA Media Day Podcast
By: Opinionated MJ
NBA Media Day Podcast
By: Opinionated MJ
You have got them growing green with slight envy while you’re looking notoriously Grinchy… You moved a man who came back from a knocked out tooth and a very close loss in his life, his sister. You also moved a man who lost his mother moments after the deal was struck. It seems like it voiced the feels this deal left on many hearts of NBA players, agents, and fans. You’re a mean one. Chasing gold. All business. No soul? Mr. Grinch.
You’re asked constant questions pertaining to people that are now apart of your past. You didn’t mention them, they were mentioned to you… The reaction to your response is full of anger. Full of wanting you to remain a boy. Wanting you to remain a “cog”. For the fans. For the city.
You? Yes you. You didn’t sign up for this. Are you willing to accept the change in reality that this has awarded you? Was the risk worth it? Did you forget the business end? Do you want him as your teammate after assuming there would be another point guard to run the show? You said he recruited you before. I seen a smile on your face. You said its now full circle. I believe you. I believe in both of you.
You though sir, you’re now hated for wanting to be your own man. As a man, we all want to get away from the nest. We don’t always end up with step brothers, but sometimes we do. They’re not blood. So how much do you care for them, really? We’ve seen this before. Although it differs. A few good men escape from their situations in order to reach a common cause. Chasing gold. Leaders. Leaders of their very own before they sacrificed to overcome the very man that mentors you. The very man who dropped 60 on you too, sir. From the organization your current organization hates. Their sworn rival. Some would say after a certain move next summer, we’ll be setup to see a potential finals match-up featuring the two of the classic rivalry.
You. You left your team after beginning to reach your potential. You’ve been through constant downs, with one up. Then you leave to be with someone who will expand your game. Someone you’re familiar with. That’s the thing that’s missing from this entire equation in people’s minds. We’ve forgotten about the coach. We’ve forgotten since Erik Spoelstra, Steve Kerr, Luke Walton, Tyronn Lue, and David Blatt, have been the coaches we’ve seen reaching the mountaintop. Rather they’ve won or lost, they’ve been there. We haven’t seen Greg Popovich reach the finals in the last 3 off-seasons. Phil Jackson never came back to coaching. Pat Riley hasn’t come downstairs again. The others? They just have yet to reach the promise land. Though they represent that promise to the fullest extent.
Enough third person. This isn’t a tale. This is truth: Brad Stevens will bring out even more in Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. You can bet that. Danny was cold in his moving but also very bold. Numbers lovers! Don’t you remember Isaiah Thomas numbers before arriving in Boston? Do you remember Al Horford playing any truly meaningful ball in Atlanta? Do you remember believing Marcus Smart wouldn’t develop? What happened that even allowed the Celtics to become the #1 seed in the east last year? I believe the Cavs let them have it at the end. How did they even attain that positioning at all? It’s simple: coaching.
I remember when Brad Stevens first got hired in. He had Rajon Rondo. Truthfully, he held a winning record in the east with Rondo up until a little after they decided to trade Rondo. I’m saying this to remind you of the different players he’s coached. The different minds and styles he’s had to accommodate. He’s succeeded at every turn. Isaiah Thomas didn’t become valuable until Brad Stevens. Prove me wrong. Brad Stevens has done well with every roster, every piece thrown at him.
Now he’s got a bunch of something he hasn’t had since he accepted the Celtics coaching role: scorers. That’s why the went after Isaiah Thomas. Isaiah helped them each this point now. Everyone has been waiting for a big Boston deal. This has huge implications and I think will exceed everyone’s expectations. Potentially out of the gate.
Here’s the names on the 2017-18 Celtics:
With 7 Rookies! 7!:
Easily a 10 man rotation with Tatum heading up the bench with Smart. They’re also hunting for another vet to add to this team. Don’t think they’re done dealing either. This isn’t a finished product by any means but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. They could be the quiet killer out east. They don’t have too much of anything and you know that can kill you sometimes. They have enough to complement the next set. After the starters set the tone you could easily begin to mix things up. A rotation with Kyrie, Morris, and Tatum. A rotation with Gordon, Smart, and Al. Whatever combination. Add Brown in with both in flashes. It makes it unpredictable. What’s also unpredictable is how Stevens will put this altogether.
We’ve got to stop looking at players like they aren’t coached. They never reach their true potential without them.
By: Opinionated MJ
2018 could be havoc for the NBA, especially the Eastern Conference. I want to start by predicting that LeBron James will win the 2018 NBA MVP award. I also want to add that I handed LeBron the nickname “Terror” while watching him play against the Indiana Pacers during the 2017 playoffs. He’s very imposing to those who easily fold. We seen the teams falter and fold that stands in his way. Only two or three teams out east will be able to compete with him and his Cleveland Cavaliers. Those teams include Boston, Washington and Miami. I don’t think anyone else stands a chance.
Getting back to the MVP talk, let’s take a look at who may stand in his way.
I had him as my MVP last year until he got injured. He had fixed all of the shortcomings that were expected of the Golden State Warriors. Everyone expected them to fall apart on the defensive end and for their bench to not be as potent as usual. They expected him to bump heads with Stephen Curry & Klay Thompson on the way to hijacking the team from them. He did the exact opposite and also became a more efficient player on both sides of the floor. This year, I expect the Warriors will play an even more balanced style and this alone will eliminate him from beating LeBron for the MVP award.
We all expect Kawhi to continue to do what he does on both ends of the floor. He’s already been a defensive player of the year multiple times and has been the engine, body, and wheels for the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs have added Rudy Gay and I anticipate that this may cause a decrease in scoring for Kawhi, although, it may actually give him easier opportunities on the floor and allow him to be more efficient. What’s truly stopping him from winning. You’ll see why when I get to explaining why LeBron will.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have acquired Paul George and many expect that Russell’s numbers will take a dip. I actually expect him to maintain his numbers. He’ll be able to be more efficient and rely on someone to pick up the load when he burns out as we finally seen in the playoffs. This also gives Russell another player to facilitate to cause this is clearly Russell’s team. I’m still anticipating 30, 8, and 11 assists this year from Russell. Still great nonetheless. Again, I’ll explain how LeBron still still overcome another great year from Russell as well.
Two words, Chris Paul. Enough said.
Why LeBron will win
LeBron has new teammates, has a few challenges to face in order to keep Cleveland afloat. They’ll be awaiting Isaiah Thomas to be at full health. They’ll have the injury prone Derrick Rose on the floor alongside him and he’ll most likely start at point guard to begin the season. Both not Kyrie Irving, which adds to how LeBron will be able to win the award.
LeBron does not have another superstar next to him and could actually help every player increase their efficiency and numbers this year playing alongside him. I think Isaiah will take a scoring hit but will still be more efficient with LeBron having most of the attention from opponents to free him up offensively. I’ll also add that LeBron will have to be a defensive anchor for this team now. I know they added Jae Crowder, but he actually declined a bit on defense last year.
The Cavs will now be able to feature Kevin Love in a more prominent role with Kyrie gone and Isaiah out early on. Expect a rise in his numbers courtesy of LeBron. I also believe that LeBron still be hyper motivated considering how Kyrie left, how much social media hate he’s been receiving, how much criticism he’s been receiving from sports analysts, and simply because now, not only do the Warriors stand in his way, but another true rival has arrived. His old rival, the Boston Celtics who now host Kyrie Irving. Hypothetically, LeBron is also in a contract year. He will deliver. You can bet on that.
All factors considered, I expect “Terror” James to land the MVP award for this upcoming season for all the reasons above. I also believe that he will have to be more of a coach on the floor with this new team while developing new chemistry and keeping his team ahead in the win column. Coach Lue will finally be exposed. He’s either a good coach or a LeBron figurehead. LeBron’s numbers should be similar to last year but it’ll be the storyline and the seeding that’ll determine rather he receives the award or not. What better story could there be for this year? My early prediction is that LeBron will win this MVP.