Is Being Number 2 Really That Bad?

By: Opinionated Reezy (Ronald Stovall)

I was recently at an event where I was celebrated for being the number two man on the team. I’m the chief of staff, the field commander, operations officer. I am not man who get the attention, but everyone knows and recognizes who gets the work done and it got me thinking about Kyrie Irving, stay with me for a bit… His first year with the Celtics is eerily similar to his first Lebron Cavaliers year.

Tell me if this doesn’t sound familiar:

• A team is assembled with three stars all of varied potential

• That team goes on to higher than expected gains during the season

• Two of the stars go down during the season

• One star proceeds to do great things in the post season

During the Cavalier run that individual was LeBron James. Kyrie Irving went down with a knee injury. The Cavaliers went to the finals that year but was not able to win. This year Kyrie is down again with a knee injury and now Jaylen Brown seems to be that X-Factor that determines the success of the Celtics. We knew who the number one was in the Cavalier scenario, but what about the Celtics? Should the Celtics really be this good without their number one?
We know how the story ends with the Lebron/Kyrie Cavaliers. They go on to win a championship and despite the outside influences both were appreciated for what they brought to the table.

Despite Kyrie not wanting to play with LeBron, the one thing no one can take away from him is the fact he is now a Champion and he earned that championship. It wasn’t a Darko Milicic victory cigar championship either. Here is the reality. There is no scenario where someone won a championship all by their self:

• Magic and Kareem had each other

• Bird and Parrish had each other

• Thomas and Dumars had each other

• Jordan and Pippen had each other

• Shaq and Kobe had each other

• Lebron and Wade had each other

Kyrie, when you win your next championship you will have someone with you. Whether you consider yourself to be number one or number two you will be part of a team bring great things to a city. If you wind up becoming number two again remember that you not little brother, kid, son, or any other moniker the analyst the outside forces will use to try and break up your paradigm, you are the chief of staff, the showman, the operations officer. Be comfortable with your place and win your championships.

There is a reason the spurs a model dynasty in the era of scrutiny and it is not because they worry about who is the head guy on the team.

Remember what is important and you will be successful!

West Coast Folders: Part 1

By: Opinionated Reezy (Ronald Stovall)

For all this talk about the west being the tougher conference the first team to fold is….

THE PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS!

Honestly Im not surprised and don’t even start with all this talk about scheduling. The Blazers are the number 3 seed in the west and couldn’t win one game, ONE! Pathetic.
Its time to do two things:

1. Change the Trailblazer logo to a dustpan

2. Break up the entire roster and start over

Last year the excuse reason was that Portland was without Jusuf Nukic, despite the fact that Golden State was without half the team, including the coach. This year Rajon Rondo just went to town. No, how about Portland is not built for the Playoffs. They are a Regular Season ready. They will peak mid-season and get everyone excited and then fold just in time to give a real team a warm up for the real playoff round.

Now I have respect for Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum and let’s face it. RaSheed Wallace didn’t win a chip until he left so here is my advice. Do what he did:

• Go to Detroit – They would love you!

• I will admit, Cleveland may get bounced in the first round too, but they fought. Don’t listen to the analyst, come to Cleveland, you and LeBron would make magic happen

• Go to the Lakers, Hell everybody else is apparently.

Either way, its ok to pursue a championship.

Now this isn’t all about Portland, but the west because this fallacy about the tougher conference has got to stop. It is the more popular conference yes. A tougher conference would suggest longer series between the teams fighting and clawing for position, not absolute, but in general. Not lopsided victories like we are about to see.

My one rule for a team in the playoffs is that you should win ONE game; otherwise, you shouldn’t have been there to begin with. That is absolute. Watch the board as the week progress and then watch for part two….

Rest in Heaven Erin Popovich

From myself and the entire Opinionated team…

Prayers to Greg Popovich and his family on the loss of his wife Erin.

We tend to get so lost in basketball, in the game, that we forget their sacrifice away from their loved ones.

I am saddened by this news…

Rest in heaven Queen

An Unstoppable Play: LeBron 37, 10 & 10

By: Opinionated MJ

A game 1 loss to the Pacers has everyone up in arms LeBron. The media is on you harder than ever. I’m on you as well but I see the greatness you possess. Don’t hang your head, don’t hang your body, it’s time to kick it into overdrive and win by any means. You’re expected to get out of the east by many. We’ve come to expect this because when was the last time you didn’t make the finals? 2010? This is why you’re greatness is measured this way. You’re actually being measured against yourself this time. Everyone is screaming decline. I’m thinking, “it’s time”.

37, 10 & 10.

This is what I think you need to average throughout the playoffs just to make it to the finals. In the event that you make the finals, you’ll need to dial it up. 42, 12 & 7. Something close to what you did with Kyrie alongside you those last two finals appearances. Right now, you have to play this playoffs like you don’t have Kyrie and Kevin Love, like the 2015 NBA Finals.

37, 10 & 10.

That’ll get you by the Pacers. I don’t expect Victor Oladipo to continue the exact same tear. That doesn’t mean someone else won’t step up. The playoffs is about an X Factor. Let’s focus on yours. It’s actually YOU. You’re the star, the prominent scorer, and the X Factor. I would expect you and Kevin both get up 20-25 shots a game. Give yourself the opportunity to excel in this moment because this is what we expect of you now. I believe your talent, basketball IQ, and knowledge of the game can propel you over all of this adversity.

37, 10 & 10.
Strive for greatness.

Real Quick: Could Jayson Tatum Carry the Boston Celtics?

By: Opinionated MJ (Michael Tolliver)

I’m asking this question about the playoffs but it could very well be what will happen in the near future. Might happen next season. Right now, game 1 is happening as I write. I’ve been watching Tatum all season. I’ve been watching this Celtics team actually remain successful without Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart. Why shouldn’t I believe that this team could beat the Milwaukee Bucks and make some noise against what I believe would be a match-up against the Sixers? I look at their roster. They successfully maintained the second seed without “arguably” their best scorer. That tells me alot.

No disrespect to Kyrie, but I say arguably because I’m thinking, “what if”. What if this offense was redesigned around Tatum? What if everything else reflected that, including the roster depth? What if it already does now? At least for now. What will Jayson Tatum look like next year after having a full year and a summer under his belt?

Tatum came to this team and impacted it from day 1. He’s already one of the best shooters in the league. He can drive and finish with the best of them. He’s still just a rookie. I think it’s time we stop boxing players up and thinking they can only push their own bar so far within a certain time frame. With Jaylen Brown with him, they could become a dynamic duo like Vince Carter & Tracy McGrady. Their ceiling could be Jordan & Pippen. I’m sure that sentence caught your attention.

Imagine what Tatum would be like if he inherited his very own team as a rookie. That’s how I see him now. The future in Boston is bright!

MoNeYBaLL Podcast, Ep 11: Playoff Preview/LeBron Standard Pt. 2

Featuring NilClassic & Opinionated MJ

Playoff Pod

Covering our opinions on they playoffs, the LeBron NBA Standard, and more!

Quick NBA Podcast: All NBA Players Are Created Equal

Featuring Opinionated MJ

Just a quick podcast before the NBA Playoff Preview Podcast coming later today (April 13, 2018). Recorded on the morning of April 12, 2018.

I cover LeBron, Russell Westbrook, Harden, and more… All while on the road.