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MoNeYBaLL NBA Podcast 27

MoNeYBaLL NBA Podcast 27 featuring NilClassic & Opinionated MJ

 

Happy New Year From Opinionated Basketball Minds & Comical Minds

From Opinionated MJ, Opinionated Reezy, and all our supporters and followers…

Happy New Year!

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Real Thought: Lives Matter

By: Opinionated MJ

Blog suicide? So be it. This is a call to responsibility.
Yes, I am a proud black male. Father of 1, a young girl. Son with 3 siblings, all women. I am not a racist. I am not here to brag about how many friends of different races I have. That doesn’t matter. Yes, all lives matter. Being a black male in America, though, I’m beginning to feel as if I don’t matter.

I remember learning about Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and other civil rights leaders and many people who complete the entire Black History makeup as a youth in school. Hating I had to do what seemed to be endless, huge reports on these people. I thought it was for nothing. Wondering exactly what they were going through, naïve to what awaited me in my lifetime. I’m currently “feeling” as if I’m living in a time where things are parallel to theirs. Where being black was to be frowned upon. I’ve worked in a dominantly white area and actually an area where KKK members were said to be. I worked as a Sales Rep for a cell phone company there. White people would come in and many would not come to me with their interest in products and to service them. I lost my job. Laid off and given unemployment due to the “lack of a need” for me. All my co-workers were white and they might have seen exactly what I was going through. I understood it. I didn’t allow it to bother me too much. I had been through too much already for this to be something to put me in the dumps, hell, they willingly gave me unemployment without fight. They weren’t racist at all. I actually loved how cool my boss was. It was a learning experience.

When I was 13, I attended high school that was predominantly white at first. Then eventually it became more and more diverse as the years passed. I’ve been able to experience racial backgrounds of many types and never had any hate or resentment towards any of them, nor did I feel any hate towards me. I was in a classroom when the planes hit the WTC on 9/11. I had seemingly felt like something devastating had happened to MY country. I felt for all those people who were on the television running away from burning buildings and debris. I had been frozen in time. Watching a blank sky outside. No planes flying. I had been tuned into television wondering what has happened. Sociology class was very interesting on this day. School continued on, life continued on, things took their course. All I heard comedians say is that we became fully American at this time. At this time though, I had actually never ever felt I wasn’t apart of America. I was American.

Fast forward to today, I remember Sean Bell. I remember Treyvon Martin. I remember Sandra Bland. I remember everything and everyone. I have tried to shy away from usual negativity but the uptick in to whom which group is targeted has now began to set a sense of concern in my mind. Affecting my psyche as I’m sure it is supposed to do by design. This isn’t by coincidence. This has got to be systematic. Who am I to make such a claim? I’m just a citizen. One who is of the skin tone that has had to fight to reach this point. Feeling like we grew too comfortable. I mean, Mississippi just ratified a slave bill, what, last year? Two years ago? I can recall things.

This isn’t a call to blame. This is a call to complain. This isn’t a call to bash whites or policemen who are black, white, Mexican, and so on. This is a call to humanity. On a blog dominated by my love for basketball and sheer drive to create conversation by settling into opinions and driving them to the point of mass irritation. This is a perspective of me feeling American in the past and me feeling like I’m concerned for that status right now in September of 2016. There’s millions of people. Roughly 325 million in America to be exact.

How many people do our athletes touch? How many do they reach out to? How much do they give back to all areas? Doesn’t matter. I see homeless, vacant homes, and empty schools in Detroit. We’re in direct contact with one another and although I get word out and opinion on these same athletes who actually do nothing for me but entertain me, I’ll expect nothing in return. How could I? How dare I. I’m in none of their circles. I’m on none of their payrolls. I’m not apart of any of their charities. My daughter isn’t apart of any of their programs. My family isn’t apart of anything that doesn’t deal with bills, taxes, government, debt, and state. I physically touch roughly 500+ homes a day in my current occupation. Athletes, entertainers, celebs, models, etc. touch that number within 1 minute of a tweet or status update. They directly affect psyche. They directly affect how we feel towards what they like, what they hate, what they’re driven for, what they’re thinking. Cool. Sure. What I’m getting at now is, we have to find a way to touch more people since we are all people, all of us. They are regular people as well. They aren’t better than us no matter their efforts. I am just as good for affecting 1 person if that’s within my means as they are for affecting hundreds, thousands, millions. Right? Fame and status is just that, we are all buried the same when it’s all said and done. 6 feet below. No matter how silent the death. No matter how horrendous the death. Legacy is deeper than classic records, deeper than sports history, deeper than the slimmest model. Legacy is defined by something that lasts for generations to come.

Let’s elevate our perspective to leaving legacies that will touch all. My child doesn’t know who Michael Jordan is or how many shoes he sold, how many rings he won, she probably doesn’t even know he’s bald, but she does know who Dr. Martin Luther King is and what his purpose was. Muhammad Ali would be a good example of a man who went against the grain, against what was expected of him and received support of the community, both black and white. He didn’t spend a dime. He didn’t teach your child to box. He just showed us what being an American is. What standing for something is. That has been lost in this generation. No one stands for anything and accepts everything that makes an overall lesser impact. That’s the point I’m making. Black, White, Latino, Hispanic, we must all come together at a time where ‘humanity’ calls for it. Stand for something or fall for anything. There are some who affect now. There are some who affect forever. Let’s find forever.

Be Blessed. Black Lives Matter. White Lives Matter. All Lives Matter.

Rambling Thought: Dating, Sports, Celebs, and Culture

 

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By: Opinionated MJ

Well, we are in the midst of a scandal between D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young where D’Angelo basically exposes Nick Young for infidelity. Nick Young is engaged to Iggy Azalea and you would like to believe that with the smile they share together in photos, everything is peaches and cream on their end. Maybe not any more. I’d like to first say that I’m grown enough to know that if I’m going to want to be promiscuous then I would simply be single. I want to follow that up by saying that I’d also be pissed, just as a man, if I were in Nick Young’s shoes. Yes, there is guy code. I’ve been violated against many times when it comes to the “guy code” in my lifetime, not that I’m the story here though. Most men don’t follow it if they have motives and intentions anyway but the way this situation happened just happens to be actually awkward. The whole video thing, especially with snapchat, I don’t have snapchat so I don’t have an actual knowing or opinion as to how it works. I do have friends that have it and I was under the belief that you could share it directly with particular people privately. So I’ll question this just as others have, “who did he send it to that wanted money from him?” Apparently they wanted a payday, so they violated his trust, which in turn put him in violation with Nick Young, which violated Iggy Azalea. Domino!

 

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I think that across sports we’ve seen codes broken everywhere, nearly every year. I’m sure it’s every year. I just heard something on the radio within the last month about some football players where a player’s teammate was dating his ex-wife/girlfriend. I forget exactly what she was prior but this exists everywhere. Guy code is if I’m your friend, co-worker, teammate, etc., then your woman is supposed to be off limits. Period. Even if she comes to my house sporting nothing but a trench coat, it’s still a resounding, NO! OFF LIMITS! We’ve had this happen with Tony Parker didn’t we? Currently we have some news buzzing about Kyrie Irving. He’s saying that he wasn’t dating Kehlani when she was shown in a picture with PARTYNEXTDOOR via Instagram. Thanks internet. Everyone is a part of the real live, real time Truman Show. Everything you do is watched and calculated and broken down by people who don’t even know you, or worse, media. All the media wants to do is get viewers, watchers, and money so they follow any story they can without a regard for the actual effect on people. Allegedly, Kehlani attempted suicide after the picture was posted. Then she finally spoke and Kyrie just spoke on the matter today as well. The thing we’re forgetting as human beings while we’re holding our favorite athletes and musicians, actors, and celebrities, is that they all have lives and emotions as well. Action, reaction. Why not live and let live?

 

Matt Barnes Charity Event Hosted by Maserati of Manhattan
(L – R) Matt Barnes, Gloria Govan and Derek Fisher attend the Matt Barnes Foundation Charity event hosted by Maserati of Manhattan by Maserati of Manhattan, December 11, 2010, Masrati of Manhattan, New York City.(Photos by Bennett Raglin)

This lastly brings me to the Derek Fisher and Matt Barnes story. Derek Fisher has been with Matt Barnes ex at Matt Barnes house where Matt Barnes children lay their heads and where I’m certain that Matt pays the bills. No one cares about any details except that there was a fight and the continued display of hate and anger that Matt Barnes continues to spew out towards Derek and about this situation altogether. I guess we forgot how to respect people’s property, wait, we’re down with other people’s property. Your ex girl, at your house! I get a W for that! We’ve been birthed into a culture where infidelity, sleeping with each other’s wives and girlfriends, and just finding a way to one up another is accepted and seen as a good mark on someone’s reputation. I don’t mean to get biblical but thou shall not covet. I don’t judge, I won’t judge. Women are the same as well in many instances. I’ve heard about what’s going on with the Hip Hop Wives or it may be the Basketball Wives where the one woman is being adulterous with a married man and refusing to stop her pregnancy out of spite. Then that would lead to a topic of pro-life. That just leads me to the end of this article. Let’s focus on respecting one another and being mindful of trespassing. We have enough broken homes, especially in the black community. I’m not a preacher, nor a speaker, I’m just a sports fan with an opinionated mind.

 

I’ll leave you with a positive image of relationships, dating, families and something our culture no longer values!

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MESSAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tim Duncan: Year of Appreciation

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Tim Duncan: Year of Appreciation

By: Opinionated MJ

 

Tis the season for old Kobe. How quickly we forget the possibility that this is also Tim Duncan’s last season. We won’t be giving him a farewell, we won’t get a chance to say a proper goodbye, we won’t get a chance to marvel at his bank in jumpers, his surprising defense, and his footwork that could only be matched by Kobe himself IF he would actually work the post. Enough of Kobe now. Let’s actually talk about the man who could walk away from the game with 6 NBA Championships if his team could win this year.

Tim Duncan is arguably the best Power Forward to ever play the game. Some would debate that Larry Bird is, but he didn’t have the same longevity that Tim Duncan has. We could say that it’s because of the organization, we could say that it’s from having selfless players around him who are all focused on the prize, willing to take pay cuts, willing to sacrifice individuality for a greater cause, not being a part of a big market, seemingly walking around without egos, and always being slept on every year until they ultimately reach the Conference Finals or the NBA Finals en route to an NBA Championship. It’s always the same story, honestly. Season begins and someone else is chosen as the #1 cream of the crop. Cleveland was last year’s favorite although the Spurs hoisted the title the year before over the Miami Heat, Golden State was the champion during the more recent season and they are now considered the favorite, and we could honestly say that Miami was the favorite two seasons ago after repeating as NBA Champions. When are the Spurs ever the favorites anyway? Seriously? Before the last 3 titles were handed out we had the Cavs, Heat, Lakers and Celtics, considered as favorites over the previous 5-10 years.

You look at this team now and it has the makings of a continued dynasty. They have a Kawhi Leonard who has emerged as a two-way star, they have a LaMarcus Aldridge who is basically the next to take over the reins inside once Tim Duncan is gone. They still have Tony Parker who should be able to keep going at a good rate over the next 2-3 years (potentially 5 solid years). Ginobli will be gone after this season, right? I think this will be his last go round. Tony Parker could honestly retire in 3 years if he wanted to and he’ll ultimately need to pass the torch to someone who’ll fill in as his replacement, like Kawhi is to Ginobli, like Aldridge is to Duncan. They need a replacement for Tony and they’ll be fine. They have depth and they also have the personnel behind the players to continue this dynasty. I think it’s legal to call it that right? They do have the most wins as a trio (Duncan, Parker, Ginobli) in NBA history, they do share 5 titles together, and they all are cut from the same selfless cloth. Now Kawhi, LaMarcus and an anonymous PG of the future will carry this team into the future. For now, though, they are a legitimate threat to the NBA landscape and they are a legit championship contender. We still haven’t seen the best of the Spurs yet. They haven’t fully meshed with Aldridge and West coming in, not yet. They fight hard and get it done when they need to like they did the other night against the Cleveland Cavaliers, closing out that game while Cleveland was pushing like a bull to steal a win.

We need to appreciate Tim Duncan and we need to start watching him the same way we watch Kobe… Like this is his last year. Don’t wait till it’s too late. I’m enjoying what I’m seeing from him. We’ll probably never see someone so fundamentally sound ever again. Champion on all levels.

Rambling Thought: Camelo Anthony for Kevin Love Makes Sense

Rambling Thought: Camelo Anthony for Kevin Love Makes Sense

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By: Opinionated MJ 

January 3, 2016

Sure, another Melo for Love article. These teams are in need of something that each other has, so why not? This is basically getting almost what you already have back in return. The difference is the Carmelo shoots big buckets that LeBron has shied away from or would need as a weapon should he simply not be able to get an easy bucket. Let’s not mention LeBron’s horrendous 3pt percentage. Love’s rebounding would be something that could benefit the Knicks, he can also score but he needs to be a part of the overall plan as the #1 option with Porzingis creeping up fast as his stock continues to grow in NY. So LeBron gets a sure scoring big 3, Knicks get a player that can be #1 option and do more for that team in particular. Carmelo would be a welcome in Cleveland, unless Shumpert and JR honestly don’t like him. What could it really mean with LeBron being the Cavs franchise anyway. We’re near the anniversary for his last dealings, so why not this one?

I think Cleveland succeeds as a defensive team. It allows them to contend with the West. Deli and Tristan made them formidable defensively as they fought against the Golden State Warriors. Add Carmelo, proven scorer, and a healthy Kyrie Irving with this mix. Mozgov, Smith, and Shumpert are still there, so they have a good big and guards off the bench. We’ve seen what Mozgov can do when he showed flashes in the finals. Carmelo and Mozgov are a 2 for 1 Chris Bosh combination. Melo could provide the stretch and post presence, Mozgov could provide decent shooting, rim protection, and a post presence. Anthony is who LeBron is missing. He may be well in a similar role to Wade’s, after he decided to let LeBron be #1 option, willingly. Having a 1A, 1B, and 1C is what would make this scarier. It also helps Irving, James, And Anthony with minutes to help them preserve for the playoffs and for their careers overall. LeBron needs more veterans with experience, championship experience. Of course Carmelo isn’t the one with championship pedigree, yet, this could actually be a better team with him.

We know the types of scoring Carmelo could do, imagine it with the “team” mentality James plays with. He’s there when Irving is doing his thing. He could finally sit back and watch his vision come to fruition. The way LeBron wants Kevin to play is where Carmelo thrives. James could pick his spots having Melo on the floor and really serve as another attack off the ball. I think LeBron would be a great off the ball player. Irving isn’t 100%-point guard, he’s more like a shooting guard. If these three could share amongst themselves better than the Heat did early on, they’ll be a sure bet to make it back to the Eastern Conference Finals and potentially the Finals. What you think? I say this deal works for both.

The Early MVP race: Stephen Curry VS Russell Westbrook

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By: Opinionated MJ

The Early MVP race:

Stephen Curry VS Russell Westbrook

We’ve gone about a week into the season and we’ve already seen quite a few mid-season performance from all around the league. Last night, Andre Drummond posted 25 points and 29 rebounds, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant Posted 48 and 43 points respectively combining for 91, and Stephen Curry has been a fire that continues to burn more and more furiously as each game comes and goes. They all said he wasn’t real. They all said that the championship the Warriors fought for was a fluke. They’ve said a lot of things but we’ve received a taste of what would’ve been, it just decided to be in place at the beginning of this season.

I’ll start with health since that was the biggest outcry from people who denounce the championship won by the Warriors. Stephen Curry has already faced the Rockets, Grizzlies, and the Pelicans (TWICE). He’s currently facing the Clippers which is the team everyone thought they would’ve faced, but the fact that didn’t happen definitely isn’t the Warriors or Curry’s fault. That’s all 3 opponents they seen en route to the NBA Finals. This time, the opposition (of the Warriors) had all of their point guards healthy. Mike Conley, Jrue Holiday, a combo of Ty Lawson and Patrick Beverly, and none of them could stop Steph Curry. If anything, they did worse than they did last season and post season trying to stop him. He’s been a wrecking ball since tip-off. They’ve been playing without Steve Kerr and it’s as if it doesn’t matter who their coach is. They continue to keep dealing the total package to opponents. If they stay healthy throughout this season the same way they did last season, I honestly expect to see them only challenged by the Thunder and Spurs but still fully able to come through with a Finals berth.

This takes me to Russell Westbrook. The Thunder just lost to the Raptors but my case with Russell is more individual than team oriented. Russell being able to play last season with all of his new teammates gives him a leg up on Durant when it comes to chemistry with the team and also knowing where he can pick his spots without being a detriment. If anything, the Thunder are Russell Westbrook’s team this season (and last). Durant is like a scoring Scottie Pippen to Westbrook’s driven, assassin-like Michael Jordan. He’s been facilitating, he’s been the reason they won a double overtime game against Orlando. In that game, something weird happened. Russell was the reason why they put themselves in position to win that game with Durant surprisingly sitting on the bench. Russell has been his usual self but he’s also been who we’ve always wanted him to be since the Thunder made that trip to the Finals.

I believe Russell Westbrook may be the reason why the Thunder have a chance at winning the title also. I’m very interested in seeing how he and Steph Curry matchup. That is looking to be a very exciting game and if that would be a playoff series in the west, it could look to be the best series of the playoffs no matter which round it’s in. The growth of Russell Westbrook is the probably the third biggest story this season behind the question of whether Steph Curry can get another MVP award (it’s looking that way) and whether the Warriors can repeat and shut up all of their naysayers. Russell Westbrook’s story could prove to be the most intriguing if he can land an MVP award, facilitate the Thunder in a way that he’s always been expected to, and also lead them to a much overdue championship. Yes, LeBron always looms in the lowly east conference with teams still figuring out their way. Anthony Davis is still a dark horse MVP candidate depending on if the Pelicans can spread their wings or not. Russell Westbrook has the ice-cold veins and newly found pacing to actually impress and run away with the award if he can get momentum and get his team some major wins along the way. James Harden is the self-proclaimed and the MVP of the players association but he’s got major flaws that proved Steph Curry to be the one truly deserving. It’s already showing. Who do you have for MVP? My ballot goes to Steph Curry. Russell in 2nd.

Just Another First Day In The NBA

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By: Opinionated MJ

Just another first day in the NBA. New season, new year, opening night (currently the Warriors are receiving their rings, Congrats!). I just experienced what could just be a rusty day in the NBA, or maybe not. Surprisingly, two teams came out victorious that I’m sure everyone would’ve bet against on this opening night. All the big media outlets have been turning a cold shoulder to teams like my Detroit Pistons and to the always competing Chicago Bulls. Tonight seemed to be a statement of sorts if we look at things progressively. You know, picking up where they left off.

Right now as I write, Steph Curry is already showing out and very efficiently! Which can take me right into the new playing style of the Bulls. I think they may have found themselves a two-man game with Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler and have parts around them like Gasol, Mirotic, and others that definitely make for great depth. Noah has been moved to the bench in favor of starting Gasol at center, at least for now. Gasol didn’t disappoint either as he blocked LeBron’s game tying attempt at the rim. Looks can be deceiving and people get too caught up nowadays in who’s getting along and who isn’t. Didn’t Kobe & Shaq win 3 titles “not getting along”?

Today I seen LeBron hobbled. I don’t we’re ready for that. Last year they were trying to say that he has taken a step back, but I never agreed. I don’t want to see LeBron injured cause that’s even more fuel for his die-hard fans to spew about him being 2-4 in the Finals. We swept the San Antonio series under the rug, everyone else said that the Golden State win was a fluke although Cleveland led 2-1, took home court and didn’t take care of home. No way can 67 wins be cut up as a fluke. It CANNOT. Enough blah blah, LeBron didn’t look 100% tonight but was still good for 25 & 10 rebounds. So much for that right? I still don’t think he’s taken a step back but I did look at him allow Jimmy Butler to go right past him a couple of times when he could’ve easily denied him. I also hope he’s not about to channel his inner Steve Nash by laying on the ground the rest of his playing career during games. I also hope he doesn’t get hit with those back issues that destroyed the rest of Tracy McGrady’s career in his prime. I do enjoy watching LeBron and being a Kobe fan, I’ve learned to appreciate different forms of greatness while it’s here and performing at elite levels. *Knocks on wood*

I also watched my young Pistons play a very defensive game against the Hawks… until the fourth quarter. It’s like the tide turned but I still came away very impressed with our newly minted 1-0 record. I’m used to seeing 0-1. I also seen a lot of bright spots like Caldwell-Pope making shots, Morris making shots and moving around in a way that seemed impossible for Greg Monroe to move. I seen a few good things from Reggie Jackson but I also seen him hold the ball too long a few times. It made it seem as if he wanted to be responsible for every converted play like he couldn’t live without being responsible for the assists. He’ll have to get over that individual mentality and not fall into selfishness if he’s to be a true help for this team. I’m sure Jennings will distribute when he returns. Drummond was an absolute rebounding BEAST! As far as the Hawks go, I think that alot of people see them as garbage because of them being swept by the Cavs in the east finals. I guess having injuries to their top 2 defenders didn’t matter though right? Nor did the Wizards losing John Wall for a couple games against the Hawks, huh? It only mattered when LeBron played the Warriors. Sure.

Exciting night with a few different looks from teams who seemed to be looking forward to a slump early on but actually look promising. It could be rust but this season we could see more of this with the East getting slightly better by growth and expansion for teams like the Wizards, Bucks, Heat, Pistons, and Raptors. We’re due some surprises. We could also expect to see more of the same out west with all of the sluggers getting better with San Antonio adding LMA to its rotation after allowing Tiago Splitter to walk. I expect to see it come down to Golden State, OKC with a driven KD & Russell and San Antonio. Everyone else has to prove it.

Early June Prediction: Warriors vs Cavs II, with the Heat & Thunder looking to steal those spots.

An Unstoppable Play: Health

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) topples over Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza (1) during the first half in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals of the NBA basketball playoffs, Monday, May 25, 2015, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) topples over Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza (1) during the first half in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals of the NBA basketball playoffs, Monday, May 25, 2015, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

By: Opinionated MJ

Let us start by congratulating the Golden State Warriors for having a clean bill of health during their 2014-15 NBA Championship run! Now let’s have a discussion about why it didn’t seem to matter when they won. Seems like the media wanted LeBron to win this ‘chip only to have attempted to vault him beyond the great Michael Jordan, although, with him losing (but further solidifying his legacy) he simply “needed more help” and was seriously considered for Finals MVP honors. Had he won this title, he would be the most heralded man on this planet right now with total disregard to those who “helped” him get to this point. Yes, with Kyrie & Kevin available it would’ve been a different series. Yes, with Andy available it would’ve been different in the post and in P&R situations. Yes, with health everything is different. One problem: “it’s apart of the game.”

We’ve gone away from the days where fighting through small injuries are the norm and we’ve arrived at a place where we have NBA stars angling to eliminate the 82 game schedule. The grind of the season is a problem but if these same injuries are happening during the offseason, the preseason, and early on in the regular season, how can we truly make a big deal about it in the playoffs? What if the players themselves have been injury-prone over the last few years? Has anyone actually ignored Kyrie’s health since college? Everyone believes that Derrick Rose being healthy over the last 2-3 years would’ve resulted in a Championship for the Chicago Bulls. Sure. There is no guarantee of that actually happening. The Warriors beat up a beat up Cavaliers team. Cavalier fans are quick to note this, but lets hone in on Cleveland’s very own LeBron James.

Let me first add the statement I keep hearing: “Steph Curry played injured guards throughout the playoffs. Jrue Holiday, Mike Conley, Patrick Beverly, and Kyrie Irving.” Grueling truth, although every one except Patrick Beverly at least played one game. Still, it’s apart of the game and may just also be Steph’s luck on the year. At least he fell directly on his head en route to a title and Klay Thompson was on the receiving end of a knee that looked like something from Triple H of the WWE and later suffered a concussion. Didn’t know you needed to raise your knee to block a shot! Now back to the breakdown. During LeBron’s title run of the 2011-12 season, there were injuries to Jeremy Lin, Baron Davis, Iman Shumpert, Paul Pierce (although he played through it), Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah (and they were defeated in the first round against the 76ers). That’s only from the Eastern Conference and I only included the Bulls injuries cause they were considered a threat. So LeBron, Wade & Bosh made it past the Celtics and won the title after defeating the OKC Thunder. During the title run of 2012-13, Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, Danny Granger, Rajon Rondo, are the notables and lets also throw Wade in there. Those are the two championship runs.

Now lets fast forward to this years playoff picture. The Cavaliers suffered an injury to Kevin Love in the first round, the Celtics own Jared Sullinger returned but was visibly out of shape and not playing near the best we’ve seen from him. Further along they played the Bulls who had injuries to Nikola Mirotic, Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, and Taj Gibson. Derrick Rose had returned just before season’s end and Jimmy Butler was back some time before then. They had no time to truly gel. Forget the excuses. Still pros getting paid big money, right? Atlanta was decimated in every sense of the word. They lost Sefolosha to the NYPD (damn shame), their lock on shooter Kyle Korver, and were fighting for their lives with Carroll, Milsap, and Horford all hobbled. With Kevin Love out and Kyrie hobbled the Cavaliers still went 12-2 throughout the eastern conference with one of the losses coming from a Derrick Rose 3 point prayer that his haters expects him to miss every time. Let me say it how the analysts would, “the Cavs COULD’VE been 13-1 through all this right now!”

They destroyed all the other teams ahead of them and then met the surprisingly healthy Golden State Warriors. They’ve been hit with injuries over the years to Stephen Curry, Andrew Bogut, David Lee, Brandon Rush, and so on. Reaching a higher potential, being healthy, and dominating the NBA this year, having what everyone calls a “Dream Season” just may have been destiny. A lot of teams go through the ringer before they come full circle. That’s why having 82 games in a season matters. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. The Cavs still gave the Warriors what they had and one can only imagine if they actually were fully healthy. I’m one that believes that the Warriors were destined to win this year. They’ve adjusted to every team they faced in the playoffs, so why wouldn’t they have been able to adjust to the Cavs? My thinking was, if the Bulls pumped out 2 wins, why couldn’t the Warriors? Stephen Curry was playing better than Derrick Rose, Klay Thompson was playing better than Jimmy Butler, Draymond Green was in his own world, Andre Iguodala was the apparent LeBron stopper, and the Warriors bench was the cleanup crew.

Respect to LeBron for trying to will his team through a 7-8 man rotation. He’s definitely a champion and the scary part is he can still improve upon a few things that would only make him a terror. I’d like to see him bring a title to Cleveland and be the hometown hero and add the cement to his legacy. We’ve also got to give credit where it is due and congratulate the Warriors for winning this championship regardless of how it was won. Everybody plays teams that aren’t at full strength once the playoffs arrive. Give credit to the adjustments, the sacrifices, and the hard work that these men put in. They put their egos aside and everyone resigned to the fact that Steph would carry them where they needed to go and they would be there to pick up the leftovers. Chef Curry could’ve always simply dropped the pot on his ankle and been out for huge portions of the season once again and left them hungry for success with another lottery ticket.

 

Very Opinionated

By: Opinionated MJ

Welcome, enjoy as the opinions flow in. This is the Opinionated Basketball Minds blog. Site for opinionated basketball minds to unite and have a voice. The site will be booming during the regular season. I will also put time into it during the off-season. Only thing I want to introduce you all to is that I’m a lover of basketball. If you share the same passion, enjoy and participate. Thank you! I plan on making this a big place from its small corner. Witness growth.