LeBron the GOAT Within Next 2-5 Years?

By: Opinionated MJ (Michael Tolliver)

Maybe the within the next 3 months…

Now, we are truly all witnesses to greatness. I agree with LeBron saying he should be MVP, but he’s definitely not the first to be denied the award during a great year. Shaq, Kobe, Chris Paul, Kawhi, and others have deserved the award but the narrative didn’t call for them to be the winner. Yet and still, we have one of the best seasons from arguably the best in the game and he will not win the award. So what.

LeBron has been dominant this year. He has decided to take control of the ball more when it comes down to the last shot. He’s actually taking those shots now. Missing won’t hurt your legacy at all. I think he finally gets that. Yes, he averaged a triple double for a month and has been throwing up gaudy numbers, but then I can point to Russell Westbrook for doing it for an entire year and even flirting with repeating now. Not as MVP but by averaging a triple double, back to back. Russell won’t win it either but should be considered as well. So what.

LeBron is correct. He’s had a shuffling of teammates, lineup changes, injuries to his teammates, constant jelling, and now he’s dealing with coaching issues. Yes, Cleveland could fall in standings with a couple losses here and there to finish. Not even that matters. Even if Cleveland missed the playoffs, it wouldn’t hurt LeBron. The East still belongs to LeBron since 2011. He’s been there every year. I’ll give him that although it is the east. The warriors have been to 3 straight and their team is breaking down a bit. LeBron has made twice, almost triple the amount of finals straight than GS. That matters.

It’s simply appreciating his greatness while he’s still here. He’s doing Jordan/Kobe fadeaways now. He’s making tough shots. He’s increased his percentage from the 3. He’s worked hard to incorporate guys all year and is still the one to beat in the Eastern Conference. I can see a potential upset, but that may only come to Philadelphia with full health. Everyone else still look like Eastern Conference folders to me. This year could add to his legacy. If he can fight through, make this year’s finals, and win?!?! We have no choice but to put him in the conversation. It won’t take 2-5. It’ll be this June if that were to happen. Don’t ever sleep on him. He might average 45 and have players making timely shots. Landing another one in Cleveland with no #2 superstar would change the narrative across the league. He would be the one that fully ushered in the Superteam era… He would also be the one to kill it.

Huge stakes for LeBron this year. Somehow, catching Jordan is always put in front of him every year, one way or another. Dare disagree.

2

By: Opinionated MJ

The league has forgotten that it takes 2. Yes, only two. Winning a championship is about having teammates that step up when it’s time to push on the gas. You need those players to make timely shots most importantly. The shots that help keep defenses honest, at least enough to free up your stars for constant attack.

It could be argued that LeBron & Kyrie were a two man show with Kevin being role player in certain games. He didn’t always “fully” complete the idea of them being a Big 3. The truth is, the NBA and it’s fans have forgotten about it simply talking 2.

Historically speaking:

Isiah & Joe D
Magic & Kareem
Bird & McHale
Jordan & Pippen
Kobe & Shaq
Malone & Stockton
Payton & Kemp
KG & Pierce

Now:

Harden & Chris Paul
Russell & Paul George
Lillard & McCollum
LeBron & Love
Simmons & Embiid
Curry & Thompson
DeRozan & Lowry
Wall & Beal

You centralize the building of your team around two pieces. I’m not saying other pieces aren’t as great individually, this is about hierarchy and order within offenses. The skill of the two stars determines their style of play. I don’t see any other combinations that are title contenders. The Raptors, Wizards, Warriors, Cavs, Rockets, Sixers, Thunder, and Blazers are the only teams I consider as true title contenders. They all have the foundation that would allow for them to really gel and make a run.

We can’t forget Iverson made a final. We can’t forget the 2004 Pistons. We can’t forget the 2011 Mavericks. We can’t forget LeBron in 2007. KD & Russell in 2012. We cannot forget that you don’t need an all-star team. You just need 2 great players. Don’t think they’re incapable of winning a championship.

What If the Philadelphia 76ers Won the 2018 NBA Championship

By: Opinionated MJ (Michael Tolliver)

Why not?

This would quickly accelerate Ben Simmons to a conversation with the great Magic Johnson. It would turn the attention from LeBron, KD, Steph Curry, Kawhi Leonard, Giannis, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Kyrie, and anyone else you want to throw in there as elite. It could also make Embiid just as important as Kareem, Hakeem, Shaq, and a few others. This would put the league on it’s head really fast and also change the dynamic when it comes to how Championships are won and how teams are rebuilt. This would even make Danny Ainge look like he’s a step back when it comes to reloading his Celtics after the Big 3 era.

Imagine the collective shock that this would bring upon the NBA world. LeBron would no longer be able to consider Philly as an option in the off-season or he’ll look like Kevin Durant, minus losing to the team 3-1, unless this actually happened. He’d become a ring chaser. This would also remind the rest of the league and the fans that the big man is very important to the dynamic of building a team. A skilled big man but still a big man nonetheless. We could see Ben Simmons have immediate success although media has been fairly quiet when it comes to Simmons, Embiid, and the Sixers. This would put Philly back on the map as a sports town as well since the Eagles beat the Patriots in the NFL Super Bowl. What could be better than the Sixers beating the Warriors? Let’s say, victory in 5 games? That is a reach but we have to acknowledge that nothing is set in stone here. Any team can have a bad injury, a bad shooting spell, or simply have a macthup problem with a certain team or teams.

The Sixers are full of everything you need to be successful: shooting, defense, post play, playmaking, transition O, transition D, rim protection… I can’t think of a weakness. They have vets, although their vets haven’t been to a championship, they are still vets. They have a very good blend. Right now, their core looks to be very durable, even Embiid is playing more and more. I personally wouldn’t sleep on this team at all. Who’s to say that Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid aren’t mature enough to lock in when the playoffs start and play at a higher level than we currently see now? Lets say that they also elevate the overall team play because of this, who can’t they beat? I know everyone wants to say inexperience, but this is what everyone said about the Warriors that beat the Cavs, although minus Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, but this could very well be the next team to make a splash that would be entirely unexpected. Nothing is worse than looking down on your competition, thinking that they wouldn’t be able to beat you over the course of 7 games. Then all of a sudden, they do.

What team in the East is actually a sure LOCK to end up in the finals anyway? If the Heat make the post-season, can they beat the Cavs? Can the Sixers? Celtics? Raptors? Bucks? I actually couldn’t definitively answer this question like I could during the past 4 seasons. I think that there may be a new team to rise. I wouldn’t mind it being the Raptors or Celtics, but I think the team much more equipped to make it and succeed are the Philadelphia 76ers. Don’t sleep. Go Sixers!