Tag Archives: Championship

Kevin Durant To the Lakers 2019? Hear Me Out

I think Kevin Durant Matches LeBron’s Ring Total, Then Decides To Play Alongside Him.

By: Opinionated MJ

In the famous words of his ex-teammate Russell Westbrook, “Why Not”? I think that once we learned about the failed phone call LeBron made to KD, I believed that it potentially still had the makings of some type of team up down the road. We seen them hanging out shortly after. Let’s play in fantasy land a bit. We didn’t hear real news about KD just slamming him with a thunderous “NO”, so why not believe that maybe he told him he’d team up after he matched him? Food for thought!

KD could leave the Warriors, go to the Lakers and still maintain focus towards the following season once he becomes a Laker. The motivation will be simple: “Steph, Klay, Dray… They have 4 rings. I have to surpass them and take LeBron with me”. This could set KD up to usurp LeBron and the Warriors all at once. You defeat LeBron in the finals 3-1 individually. Then, you defeat the team you beat LeBron with, but this time you do it WITH LeBron. At least to the tune of 1 Championship more than them for all-time. LeBron’s ring count is elevated because of you after you eviscerate whoever is on the opposite team and you become the reason why LeBron got closer to Kobe and Jordan in ring total. Maybe even surpassing them both.

This really could be the only way Durant receives the level of acceptance that could keep him from continuously taking shots at random people on Twitter. Laker fans could defend him if he brought titles to LA. This could also go down as one of the greatest stories in NBA history. Beat the mighty Warriors and potentially have another showdown with their bitter rival, the Boston Celtics. This would be great theater, great history, and great for basketball.

Think about it.

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!

The Cleveland Cavaliers Will Win The 2016 – 17 NBA Championship

By: Opinionated MJ



I have one question… Who’s stopping the Cleveland Cavaliers? I mean honestly? Who in the Eastern Conference can actually contend for a championship? The team that gave them their toughest on-court opposition isn’t in the picture. That would be my very own hometown Detroit Pistons. They’re still trying to match last year’s mentality. It’s getting late. The Chicago Bulls, the team that I considered one stretch four away from contention, isn’t in the picture. Dwayne Wade and LeBron still may NEVER meet in the playoffs in their ENTIRE career. Let that sink in… Carmelo Anthony isn’t doing enough with the New York Knicks to get them over the top and into playoff seeding. He’s only played LeBron one time as well.

At the top of the eastern mountains are the Cavs, Raptors, Celtics, and Hawks. I personally feel like you need a defensive big man to contend with any LeBron team. Dwight Howard is back out East and he has one big win against the old LeBron led Cavs from the past. He went to the big show that year as well. If any team has a chance, it’s Atlanta… But wait… They gave away Kyle Korver. Someone who actually helps the Hawks create space for Dwight to operate. Oh well.

There’s also the Celtics and Raptors. I’ll bundle them up together cause they’ve done the same thing the last 2 years: crumble when LeBron takes the floor against them. I’ve seen LeBron come in and literally CRUISE through those series without having to break a sweat. The Celtics seem to sadly, fold. The Hawks seem to implode and forget their style of play and their routine. Its very frustrating to watch. It’s like there’s no competition out east. Well, it’s not.

I think there are a number of west teams that could at least give the Cavs a good 2-3 games in a playoff series. Of course the top 3 can. I also think the Grizzlies, Jazz, Rockets and Thunder would have a decent chance, better than any east team. The west has forever been a Fight Club fight on the way to the finals. Injuries and grind show in the Western Conference playoffs. Just ask the Clippers, Warriors, and Spurs.

I picked Cleveland as the favorites for this season anyway. Now they’ve added a top shooter with this lineup and still don’t even have JR Smith back yet. This will be the year Kyrie shows his self-worth that has been overlooked since LeBron decided to go back home.
The Warriors are good but very vulnerable. They have patented their routine and they don’t know who’s going to shoot the last shot. I say Steph Curry every time.

Cavs vs Anybody in the finals. 4-1. LeBron coasts, Kyrie wins finals MVP finally, another ring for “The Land”. Comparison to Jordan ensues. Blasphemous commentary on this subject continues as LeBron gets closer to 6. He’s great, maybe he’ll wind up being second best. Maybe he’ll wind up winning the next 5 thanks to this garbage Eastern Conference. Man up Eastern Conference! Continue to slaughter them, Bron.

ViLLaiNy

By: Opinionated MJ



Villainy. 

Hated by Cavs fans around the world. They won’t stop trolling the Warriors at every turn although they won the championship coming back from a 3-1 deficit. They want to believe that LeBron is why Kevin Durant went to Golden State when truthfully, that process started in the FIBA games from two summers ago, before Durant withdrew. If you ask Andre Iguodala, it was when he played with Durant and also developed a relationship. Sounds like the formula that made a big 3 in Miami. 2 attractions relocating though. Durant is alone in this one.

Villainy.

Stephen Curry. Baby faced assassin. Family man. Son of a baller. Riley Curry. God fearing. Not big enough to survive the NBA.

Klay Thompson. Smooth criminal. Ladies man. Silent threat. Plays well on both ends. Almost traded for Kevin Love.

Draymond Green. Heart of the team. Good defender. Good facilitator. Loud mouth irritation for the opposition. Risen from doubt. Doubtful he will adjust well to the NBA.

All drafted by the Warriors.

Villainy.

Winning the 2014-15 Championship while being called too young. Too inexperienced. Too lucky. Helped by injuries to all important guards in the playoffs other than Steph himself. Landed a championship over a depleted Cleveland Cavaliers team that required LeBron to play a bit different and to much praise. No criticism against him becoming a volume shooter in order to attempt to carry this team to a championship. I seen percentages I’ve never seen from LeBron. Only from the likes of Russell Westbrook, Kobe, and Iverson. They have always walked the volume path and get verbally shredded.

Villainy.

James Harden being voted MVP by the players but not the official MVP. Peers didn’t like, don’t like Stephen Curry. Many fans disliking the Warriors winning, following up their accomplishments by telling them, “it was a fluke.” Warriors reacting in incredible rage to the naysayers by having a 73 win season that no one wanted them to achieve. First ever Unanimous MVP in Stephen Curry.

Villainy.

Stephen Curry injuring himself in the first round of the playoffs. The initial injury actually occurred mid-season. Forgotten. It would serve as a detriment going forward. Draymond Green doing Bruce Lee kicks (LOL) in order to contain his opposition and maintain an intimidation factor. Klay Thompson rising to the occasion to save their season by exploding. Going to the finals again against LeBron James, carrying a beautiful 2-6 finals record. 2-1 if you ask die-hard LeBron fans. I call them “god-LeBron” fans. They don’t count the Spurs sweep, the second Spurs beatdown cause Mr. Wade wasn’t 100%, or the Warriors loss because Kyrie and Kevin were out.

Villainy.

Arrive to the finals. Steph limited by injury. Draymond getting suspended for being stepped over like he’s not there inciting everyone to think he punched LeBron in his lower extremities. Watch the tape again. LeBron request, suspension granted. Bogut stopping LeBron at the rim, injured. Iguodala able to defend LeBron well, limited by back injury suffered in game 6. A low IQ exhibition of decision making by Ezeli and Varejao. The greatest block ever by LeBron? His fans say so. Also, maybe not enough changes by Kerr? Why should you bail on your gameplan? Stay the course. Give up a huge 3-1 lead. Should’ve won the series. Lost 4-3. Failure. Congrats to LeBron for his ring for Cleveland!

Villainy.

When Steph Curry received MVP, LeBron dismissed that Steph was MVP. Wanted to redefine what MVP and best player is. Only to Steph though. No prior MVP award winners. Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, and Kobe.

Villainy.

Successfully defeating the team that holds the best regular season record. Wearing an Ultimate Warrior shirt in celebration. Claiming the “high road” during the war. Now trolling with the internet trolls with a 3-1 lead drum (beating) subliminal setup. Funny indeed. Tombstone cookies for Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Uncharacteristic of LeBron, from my perspective. High road? Fun times. Gloating about a team that didn’t gloat about beating you the year prior. Maybe they did. Maybe I missed it. Definitely no trolling.

Villainy.

The worst loss possibly ever converted into the best free agency win possibly ever by landing Kevin Durant to play alongside your drafted stars. Durant had to leave OKC behind for this. Leave Russell Westbrook behind for this. Joining the team he lost to, that lost too. Especially after nearly handing them defeat one series earlier. Ring chasing with the best team that didn’t win the championship. Why not? Being trolled by fans for his decision.

Villainy.

Steph being told he choked. They forgot he was injured. They said don’t complain but complained while they were missing their stars. Double edged sword. New season upon us. Narrative this year is that the Warriors are villains. How they arrived here was by pure hard work and dedication coupled with a few mistakes and bumps. 1-1 in the last 2 finals over the last 2 years. Chosen as the favorite at season’s beginning. I don’t think the favorite should be anyone but a champion unless catastrophic changes took place.

Villainy.

Cleveland vs Golden State III predicted by oddsmakers and analysts all over.

Villainy.

I don’t think the Warriors represent villainy. 1 Championship in 2 tries, 3 all stars, 2 MVP’s awarded, Coach of the year, 73 win team coming off a championship run… 

Villainy.

Sounds more like success. More like victory. This time with a chance of redemption amidst a bloody sea of hatred.

Villainy.

The Durant Warriors

 

By: Opinionated MJ

Durant will takeover the Warriors by season’s end. He will pry away the grip of the team away from Stephen Curry. Yes, the back to back, unanimous MVP will be dethroned from being king of the Golden State. He will step down, WILLINGLY, and allow Kevin Durant to take the reign. This doesn’t mean that there will be friction. This doesn’t mean that there will be egos clashing or silent envy brewing, no, not at all. It’s just the order of things. In order to have proper success, things must have an order.

 

You can’t have the same Steph Curry shot selection from the playoffs and have a thriving Kevin Durant in all of this. Not productively anyway. I’m sure he wants to maintain something north of 20 points per game. Lets look at this on the base level: Kevin Durant will take Harrison Barnes shots, plus more. With that being said, there needs to be a pecking order then. I think Steph needs to become a swap option with Klay Thompson. They need to exchange 2nd and 3rd option amongst one another (and maybe even 1st option with Durant on many nights) depending on who has the hot hand, depending on who is defending who, depending on what lineups are in. Everything is situational with this team now. If you know Steph Curry can pull up from 50 feet and make a shot on you and you still have to guard Klay, Kevin, and Draymond also keeps you honest, then what can you honestly do as far as stacking up on defense? There will be no double team that isn’t dissected. There will be no mismatch that can’t be instantly exploited. Let’s not mention the new death lineup. We’ll call it that now. I wish someone credible could read this. Commentators could say, “Uh oh, looks like the Warriors are going with the ‘New Death’ lineup!” New Death. Death you haven’t seen before cause it’s so many ways to kill opposing teams now. Enough sounding like I’m brown nosing. Pistons will sweep the Warriors in the finals. Neutral?

 

New Death… because Kevin Durant brings them about 3 new dynamics. I’ve come across things that say that he was the #1 player in post efficiency last season and I personally thought that it was their only weakness last year. Not being able to slow down the game and grind it out. They also have Kevin Durant, who can play isolation and create for himself without intimidation or hesitation. I’ve watched Steph avoid contact (guess he was hurt) in the finals, and I also watched Klay avoid it as well and pull up from the elbow. Durant will take the ball to the rack, with authority, and he’ll probably embarrass some opposing defenders and make some nice posters with his new digs on. The shot. The Drive. The Post. The Warriors sacrificed their defense for the opportunity to have what I’d call a “Super Offense”. Their defense should pick back up as the season goes along.

 

Once Draymond gets through to everyone on the team, everyone gets familiar with their place on the floor in those sets and how to help Durant, Steph & Klay when they run someone off the perimeter. Draymond will now be a rim protector. I think he should be anyway. He did a nice job of fouling LeBron from totally removing his soul in game 7 of the finals. Impressive if you can stop him from hammering you and instead you hammer him. I watched him tangle with Dwight Howard and come out on top. I watched him only be drowned out when there was a Serge Ibaka, Steven Adams combo on the floor to deny him rebounds and the ability to help on certain plays. It takes 2 baby!

 

They’re vulnerable, though. Everything has to go smooth. They have to iron the kinks out. I think we’ll see some things that we seen with the Big 3 in Miami. This time they’ll figure out the puzzle earlier on because they all lack the ego where they just HAVE to be the #1 Alpha on the team. The thing that everyone is on Durant about will be the same thing that could bring them good success. This is a TEAM sport right? It’s about having help and teammates they said. It’s about having a #2 they said. Jordan couldn’t do it without Pippen and without Rodman they said. Kobe couldn’t do it without Shaq they said. Wait, Shaq couldn’t do it without Kobe and shooters I said! LeBron couldn’t win a ring without Wade, Bosh, and Ray Allen, then Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, JR Smith they’ll say. Everybody needs somebody. Russell Westbrook was a ball hog that had everyone screaming for him to pass the ball to Durant before Durant fell to injury, right? How soon some forget some things. With that said, Russell Westbrook will be your 2017 NBA MVP… IF he can land the Thunder a 1-4 seed. Maybe even a 5 seed depending on his numbers and in-game performances. Especially if he dominates. I can’t wait to watch. I hope to see 2006 Kobe reincarnated.

 

Just my opinion.

Landscape of the NBA: Summer 16 (Part II)


By: Opinionated MJ

Welcome to another installment of the “NBA Landscape” series. Let’s jump right in to a few intriguing teams going into the 2016-17 NBA Season. Representing the Eastern Conference, yes, the conference I think possibly has NO chance to stop Cleveland regardless of how interesting they may get. I Like these teams but I believe they’re still one major piece short. That piece could be the growth of a player already existing on their roster.

 

Indiana Pacers

The Pacers have found themselves loaded with talent in their starting lineup now and actually look very scary with Paul George another year removed from injury and with an entire season of health under his belt. No Danny Granger curse here. The Pacers now consist of Paul George, Monta Ellis, Al Jefferson, Jeff Teague, Myles Turner, and Thaddeus Young just to name a few. They now have the depth that it takes to make a deep run in the NBA Playoffs. The only question is, will their new coach Nate McMillan be able to translate his defensive prowess into these players and onto the court while also finding an offensive system to get this collection of players to coexist in. I guess people will be saying Teague is declining because he won’t be finishing as much as he did in Atlanta, he won’t have to. Their X-factor that can bring them success is Myles Turner. He needs to grow and continue to expand his game. If he can successfully fit in around a bunch of ball dominant guards, this team can potentially contend against a LeBron James Cavaliers team. If not, they’re doomed to be defeated by King James as easy as Toronto and Atlanta have been in the past.

 

Boston Celtics

Very intriguing as well but they’ve also landed an ex-Hawk in Al Horford. I’m not too fond of that 60 win Hawks teams from 2 seasons ago because they still folded against LeBron when it mattered just as they did during the playoffs this past year. They still have Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford, Jae Crowder, Kelly Olynyk, Gerald Green, Avery Bradley, and the rookie Jaylen Brown. This team just keeps expanding their depth every year. I really think they just need to either find the formula the 2004 Detroit Pistons found by having depth and defense with sparky offense, or they need to try to find a way to land a superstar by DOING WHATEVER IT TAKES! Allegedly they could’ve landed Jimmy Butler, should’ve pushed for DeMarcus Cousins, and were in the running for Kevin Durant. A lot of people thought they would land Russell Westbrook but he decided to stay in OKC. I see Boston being more of the same since Al Horford doesn’t really want to play with his back to the basket. He’ll provide relief for Thomas. The Celtics need more perimeter defenders in case they fall to the injury bug again when it matters most. If you lose Bradley, Crowder, and even Thomas’ scoring when it matters most, you’re doomed. More depth may be the key. Maybe if Jaylen Brown can make an instant impact then they’ll be better than expected. He is their X-factor.

 

Detroit Pistons

My lovely DETROITTTTTTTTTT BASSSSSSKETTTTTBALLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!! I expect big things from this Pistons team coming into the 16-17 season. First things first, young Drummond. You must improve your free throws! This team is doomed unless… Stanley Johnson begins to find his inner Kawhi Leonard. I expect big things from him to go along with his attitude that he stands down to no man. I actually appreciate him for that reason. A lot of Cavs fans and NBA fans around the globe were saying that he should’ve kept his mouth shut. I beg to differ. What better to do being a #8 seed, underdog, gritty, new, young Pistons team making the playoffs for the first time in years and you get to see LEBRON JAMES as your opposition. It’s already win or go home. Sense of urgency from round 1! What better way to improve than to play against the absolute best team in the Eastern Conference and arguably the best player on the planet? Who better to talk smack to so you can be forced to elevate your game or be embarrassed. No matter the result, you win, due to the stage that this team is in. You automatically improve. He’s 19 (probably 20 now). He’s a kid! Already has the mindset of a man ready to put in the work to reach the goals and expectations set by his peers, the fans, and most importantly, his coach. Stan Van Gundy has a real diamond in the rough with Stanley Johnson. He IS the X-factor for the Detroit Pistons. I expect them to be top 4 in the East and as good as top 3. We stole Tobias Harris midseason, we’ve allowed Jackson a year to be the man running the show, we have Drummond who is capable of 20 & 20 on any night, and we also have Morris and KCP who can drop 20 without you expecting it at all. We have a well-rounded team. We just need Drummond to have a season where he plays better defense and can convert on 60-70% of his free throws. We were the BEST COMPETITION IN THE EASTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFFS against the Cavs. Everybody else tucked their tail in and cowered in fear. I say that with absolute confidence because it is true. LeBron hasn’t had any competition in the east but 1 team every year. The Heat were expected to be the competition but fell to the injury bug, piece by piece.

 

I’ll stop it at the Pistons. I’ll also get into the Knicks, Bulls, and express what I expect from teams like the Wolves, 76ers, Lakers, and more in upcoming articles. The Knicks are surrounded in mystique at this point. I also wouldn’t sleep on the Bulls. The defense I expect from them would resemble something like that of the Wade, Bron, Bosh Miami Heat. Durant, OKC, Pelicans, Jazz, Suns!! Can’t wait for this season!

Until next article!

“The Decision II featuring Kevin Durant”

By: Opinionated MJ

Oddly, I believe that these last few hours will serve as a calm before the storm. I expect Kevin Durant to change the landscape and odds of the NBA by deciding to sign with the Golden State Warriors. Yes, the same Warriors I expected to win the championship. Congrats to LeBron! I doled out a lot of venom in his direction and he delivered. I’ll save him for another post. Now, why would Kevin Durant sign with Golden State? It’s almost written on the wall.

I’ve heard things like, “Kevin Durant has personal relationships with many of the Warriors players.” Then I think about articles I’ve come across where the Warriors players were quoted saying things like, “I don’t know why they want him here.” Of course that’s a valid statement, but so is this… WHO WOULDN’T want Kevin Durant on their team? KD on the Warriors would change the Western Conference and make the Warriors even stronger. Now, this doesn’t guarantee a championship but it does guarantee that they’ll be a contender for years to come, if he signs a deal longer than 1 year.

Why should KD waste another year in OKC with Russell if their destiny is uncertain? Who knows what to make of the Oladipo/Ibaka deal? I see it as a step back due to how they were able to handle the Warriors in the conference finals. When they were up 3-1, they were playing like champions and I actually thought they would put the Warriors away, then Klay Thompson happened. With that said, imagine a lineup with Steph, Klay, Dray, and KD. It’s like a fantasy video game. That roster could only be obtained by forcing trades on the offline mode on NBA2K. LOL! Who wouldn’t expect this team to win? This leads me to his other options that he’s already broken down to 2 teams (OKC & GS).

He met with the likes of Miami, Boston, San Antonio, and the Los Angeles Clippers. He decided to turn them all down and left the Warriors as an option. In San Antonio, there would’ve still been the issue of consistency with the bench players, mainly Danny Green and Patty Mills. There would’ve been the questionable production from Manu, Tim, and Tony. Why go somewhere with so many question marks and with a Big 3 past it’s prime? Of course there would be a new Big 3, but LaMarcus doesn’t want to play center and I’m sure he wouldn’t want to see his touches diminish. Nor would Durant.

Miami would’ve been a good option.. if Chris Bosh was healthy. We can stop there with the Heat. The Clippers seem to be plagued by the usual “Clipper Curse”. They can’t ever stay healthy enough to make noise beyond the 1st and 2nd round of any playoff. PERIOD! At this point, health is a problem during the regular season for them. Then you have Doc Rivers who may have too strong a handle on things for KD’s liking. So he scratched them off the list as well.

Boston would’ve been a great place to land especially after Al Horford decided to sign there. KD would’ve easily become the #1 option and the leader of the team and they would’ve been strong enough to get to the NBA Finals. I only say that because we don’t know what Cleveland’s final roster will look like. Delly is already gone, so is Mozgov. Would they get the same production out of their aging vets? Would LeBron take a baby step back? Would Kyrie want to have more say on how things are dictated in the offense considering he did what Russell couldn’t do? Yes, in my opinion, the Thunder lost that series because Russell wanted to put out the fire that is Steph Curry all by himself. He wanted to take the credit. He wanted to be able to boast and be able to do it while still in the series. He’s matured as a player and as far as his knowledge of the game, the pacing, and getting his team involved, but he has to keep his ego in check until the job is done. The only time that it’s done is when you’re already hoisting up the Championship trophy and on your way to receive a championship ring. He’ll be better next season (Westbrook) but will the Thunder mesh fast enough? Will the offense be efficient enough to produce better results than what happened this past season? That is where things get gloomy for me.

This boils it down to joining a team that already has continuity and is very unselfish in Golden State or going back to Oklahoma and jousting for the #1 option spot with Russell Westbrook. I expect that Steph Curry wouldn’t care to be #1 option with KD in the fold. He didn’t care for a finals MVP Award, he didn’t force anyone to vote him unanimous MVP, and he didn’t say anything that would suggest he receive the hate and backlash that he did from fans of rival teams and from his peers in the NBA. Crazy how success is followed by criticism and hate. Too squeaky clean? I guess everybody is used to the Kobe story or how LeBron made himself a villain by joining the Heat. No one likes things that are too good to be true because they don’t see that in themselves. Truth. They don’t want to see the squeaky clean look of KD on the depth chart of the Golden State Warriors either, and I’m sure if he makes the decision to sign there, the anger and hate will follow, the media scrutiny, the rumors of locker room issues, and everything that comes with being a super team will follow. It more recently happened to the Lakers, Celtics, Heat, and Cavs super teams. Why wouldn’t it in this situation right?

I think KD would’ve already made his decision if he were going to stay in OKC. With that said, I expect when we wake up, maybe in 5 minutes he’ll decide, maybe late tomorrow night, that Durant will have joined the Golden State Warriors. If this happens, expect an NBA arms race like you’ve never seen before. Expect LeBron to recruit Dwayne Wade. Expect San Antonio to make a move along with various other West Conference playoff teams. Expect a crazy offseason that’s already been crazy to begin with!

Rambling Thought: Homing In On the Playoffs

NBA-playoffs-wallpapers-HD-desktop

By: Opinionated MJ

The lay of the land currently has Detroit down 0-2. We’ve got heart and we will beat Cleveland. Home cooking is ours next! LeBron’s team showing life. I know what LeBron can do but what can his team do going forward?

I see Dwayne Wade is transforming into his old self. I predicted the Heat would meet and beat the Cavs in this playoff. I thought Charlotte would serve up better competition but the Heat are home. I believe in home court. It’s a reason why they play for it. Losing game 1 on your floor is the only possible problem.

Toronto has given me reason to believe that they can’t make it from just being in the playoffs, early rounds. I guess Stephen A. Smith is saying that DeRozan is gone to the Lakers. So who will follow? That could lead to all types of deals or maybe the Lakers then go draft a big man or Ben Simmons. I’ll go with my cousin on Simmons. I also think the Lakers will land the #1 pick. The league loves them and that’ll be their reward for themselves to find a way to keep relevance in L.A. post-Kobe. How else would they? Are the trio enough going into next year? I believe Randle, Russell, and Clarkson could have a future together.

Paul George has been playing big for the Pacers. Literally. I don’t think anyone has given any real attention to his ascension since Larry Bird wanted him to play the 4. Results for sure.

Boston is one player away. When will Danny Ainge trade some of his picks away to lure in a player? Carmelo to Boston by any chance? Could that be what Boston is missing or do they need more defensive wings to couple with Isiah Thomas?

Tom Thibodeau has become the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Look out league. KG ties into the defensive philosophy from the Boston Championship team. Could provide even more boosts to the grow of their young core. Expect them to make noise in the league next year and be like Utah from this season. Except, I actually expect PLAYOFFS from them. I’m a big fan of Thibs. Wonder if D-Rose for Ricky Rubio would work for both teams? They’re playing a good Atlanta team with some experience.

Does Mark Jackson actually land in Sacramento? Would that be a good fit? You’d think he’d need some shooters or change their philosophy to such. Wait, Seth Curry & Mark Jackson! STORY TO WATCH!

I’m a Lillard fan and I believe he will perform as always. He probably needs another option in case someone else deflates in some games. I see him making a huge push in the future with another piece. Durant? Dwight? DeRozan? Maybe not. Doesn’t have a ring to it. Maybe a rookie big man whose two-way abilities are already with him. Chris Paul is a monster and with Blake having had to watch while he was hurt, we all got to see who needs to dictate the Clippers offense. They need Blake just the same too. I’d like to see Portland’s home-stand.

The Spurs have an easy series. They will sweep. Nor am I worried about the Warriors. Sweep with or without Stephen Curry. The prospect of that is dangerous, if you see it how I do.

What exactly are KD & Russ going to do? It’s Russ’ team due to him being healthy with this new group of players acquired last year all while Kevin Durant was out with injury. Notched triple-doubles, massive scoring nights, facilitating, MVP consideration, almost a playoff berth, and learning his teammates and their spots. He’s racking assists cause he finds them in their hotspots directly from an offensive attack. KD must fit in more and become the Assassin always or we should begin to want Russell to take those big shots equally as well. This series is crazy. Dallas with a win going back home. This will definitely be some fun basketball. Quiet rivalry, in my opinion. I won’t be able to call this series til the 5th game. It’ll go 6.

Early Prediction: Warriors Vs Heat in Finals. Warriors in 6. Would be an amazing story for their team if they beat LeBron then Dwayne Wade for their back to back titles.

 

Steph Pressured, Uncomfortable, Reeling, Slipping?

NBA: Golden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs
Mar 19, 2016; San Antonio, TX, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) passes over San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green (14) at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

 

By: Opinionated MJ

NO! It’s only one game. We already forgot the Spurs suffered a 30-point loss too, I see. With a win against the Golden State Warriors, albeit shorthanded due to injury (excuses everyone says), we believe the Spurs are now a legitimate threat to the Warriors? They are, but the game Saturday night did not make me believe that they will be able to sustain that type of performance over a 7 game series. Not against a fully healthy Warriors team. No.

The Warriors have another dynamic they could run with Andre Iguodala on the floor. He can push the ball, has been shooting well, can cut and slash to the hole and can make big shots when they need it most in order to relieve pressure on the others. He’s also capable of defending 4 positions on the floor and even the center position if something happened where it was LeBron or Kevin Love playing that position in a finals rematch of sorts. Although, for the third time, I don’t see Cleveland making the finals anyway. Iggy can help contain or at least attempt to contain Kawhi Leonard. He can definitely put the brakes on Danny Green and Manu Ginobli. I also think he may be able to do a better job guarding the likes of LaMarcus Aldridge. Let me not continue on this point like that’s what I expect him to do. He’s just a major piece is all I’m trying to state here. He’s the 2015 Finals MVP. Simple.

I see a weakness Saturday, a blatant weakness. The Warriors had nearly NO INTERIOR GAME AT ALL! Well, there’s a reason for that. No Andrew Bogut, no Festus Ezeli, and that meant NO INTERIOR DEFENSE! Draymond Green is good but he can’t defend LaMarcus Aldridge or Tim Duncan. I won’t forget some of the things Duncan did to DeAndre Jordan in last year’s playoffs. Vintage Old Man Riverwalk. They’ll not be another like him.

These teams currently sit at 1-1 against one another and have 2 games remaining that are sure to be entertaining unless both teams are resting by this time. What if Golden State doesn’t lose another game leading up the April 7th game against San Antonio in order to clinch 72 wins? This makes this game beyond must see! This would probably be the most watched game along with the next if the Warriors win this game. The next game would be win #73 if they could streak. It’s no guarantee but they’ll regain a few pieces along the way towards trying to achieve their goal.

I think the Spurs are the ONLY team that can do anything to this Warriors team. No one in the east can hold a candle to them. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook tried and tried in this regular season but haven’t managed to get a win. LeBron didn’t manage to pull out any win either. I’ve seen no guard do anything to Stephen Curry offensively demeaning except Damian Lillard, and that list includes Russell Westbrook, Tony Parker, James Harden & Patrick Beverly, Mike Conley and everyone else who was injured last year or just in competition with Steph. All the NBA haters have turned their hate into respect since Steph has been explosive this year. I wonder who the players will vote as MVP this year at their own little award show this time.

The NBA Championship this year only can be obtained by 5 teams, at least from my perspective. The Warriors, Spurs, Thunder, Cavs, and Heat are the contenders. Well let’s say 6, I’ll throw the Raptors in there for good measure since they’re making a lot of noise and they are a matchup problem as long as Lowry and Derozan play well. They have a lot of good pieces surrounding them which make them a threat to make the Finals also. Although still, this is Steph and the Warriors championship to lose, if fully healthy. Congrats to the Spurs on a big win. I’m looking forward to the next two games between these two.

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.

Season of Kevin & Carmelo




By: Opinionated MJ

With the 2015-16 season on the horizon, I wanted to put the focus on free-agent-to-be, Kevin Durant, and the player everyone thinks is most likely you be traded this season, Carmelo Anthony. These two players are arguably the two most prolific scorers in the game. The major differences reside in their respective teams position before and after the season. Oklahoma City is expecting to compete for a championship, New York is expecting to compete for a playoff spot and grow on the go en route to their goal.

There is chatter about both players being potentially traded with the most likely being Anthony. He is the offensive crust for a Knicks team looking to implement new players, proceed with the heralded triangle offense, and hang their hat on an inexperienced coach in Derek Fisher. This has all boiled down to Anthony, who many has said is selfish for taking his money, selfish for not sharing the ball more, not a bonafide star cause he doesn’t play on both sides of the ball (unless being motivated to defend a superstar on the opposing team), and basically a waste to have with the Knicks in rebuilding mode. Despite who they selected in the draft, who they selected for a coach, the offense they selected that takes 2-3 years to understand routinely, the murky off-season they’ve had, they end up aiming all of their collective frustration guns at Anthony. He’s the only one that could save them.

I actually expect Carmelo to come out with some fire in him with all the criticism he’s been receiving as of late. Fans questioning him, people making rumors about his wife, people having things to say to him through different media forms, you would think it’s going to give him a huge chip on his shoulder. Not to mention the criticism in comparison to his peers. No MVP awards, no championships, no significant playoff push since his Denver days, this all has to be boiling him. Or maybe he’s just coasting and isn’t taking any of this seriously nor using it as a tool for motivation. We’ll find out soon enough.

I wouldn’t be shocked to see Carmelo moved to Chicago, Dallas or (SURPRISE) Sacramento since there’s loads of chatter about him going to be shipped away. Depending on the season the Knicks have early on throughout the first half of the season, this all could turn out to be true. We’ll begin to feel the pulse in about two weeks.

On the other side of things, there’s good ol Kevin. Setting an early goal to be on Russell Westbrook’s good side and not get cussed out, saying the right things although Scott Brooks was fired and replaced, and coming off a season where he sat cause of foot issues and watched Westbrook rise to another level that may be impossible to coexist with. You have the Washington Wizards maneuvering to lure Durant to their team with them hiring people close to him into the organization. You have the chance of he and Russell suddenly not getting along. You have the chance that they’ll be intact but will lose in an early round to a stacked Spurs or Clippers team, although any team in the west is capable to be honest.

Kevin is seen as a potential next in line torch bearer from LeBron’s dominance to his overdue arrival by finally winning a championship. Should he fail at this during this season, would it drive him from the team he’s been with since day 1? OKC would be crazy to trade Durant knowing it can retain him but possibly crazier to let him potentially walk, so what do they do?

Durant just proclaimed himself the best in the game and didn’t flinch in saying so. That’s loud and clear enough to get the attention of the likes of LeBron, Russell, Anthony Davis, and Stephen Curry. He was clearly the game’s best player during his lone MVP season but can he regain the same magic (and possession of the ball) in order to carry himself to that mountaintop again? If so, would it be at the expense of the growth of not only his teammates but specifically, Russell Westbrook?

I expect to see both of these players of interest succeed this year. Oklahoma City may be the only team that could stop a Spurs team that could become an unbeatable machine with its parts once they all mesh. The Knicks could be a playoff team IF Carmelo is able to will them to a plus-.500 record. I don’t expect the east to become any easier with many teams having longevity and teams making decent off-season moves and drafts that should lunge them further into routine competitiveness amongst the rest of the conference. This may be one of the best seasons this era has seen thus far.

If LeBron wins the 2015-16 Championship for Cleveland, would he leave?

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By: Opinionated MJ

I know you think I’m causing an outrage, but let’s actually seriously take a look at this. I caught Stephen A. Smith during the aftermath of the finals saying something to the tune of, “Cleveland is lucky LeBron didn’t win this championship cause it would’ve given him the opportunity to leave.” Basically, story would be complete for Cleveland. LeBron leaves and leaves Cleveland heartbroken. LeBron comes back and everyone is happy again. LeBron wins a championship in his first year back. It can’t get any better. I doubt it could get better than that. Then he could go west and try to conquer getting out of the western conference which would cement his legacy in my opinion.

So how true was that statement? I believe a decent amount that Steven A. Smith says. He predicted alot of things that have come to pass and apparently has personal relationships with these players. Enough about him though, my point in making this a big deal is the fact that there IS something LeBron hasn’t done: Dominate the Western Conference.

How beautiful would it be if LeBron went to Phoenix last year? Los Angeles Lakers next season? Dallas? Maybe San Antonio? Memphis? Any west team would work. Could you imagine the dog fights he would have with the Warriors, Clippers, Spurs of the future, Grizzlies, Rockets, Thunder (if they keep both KD & Russell), Pelicans???!? I mean I could go on. It’s exciting. It’s also the only thing he hasn’t done.

LeBron hasn’t had competition in the east since my Detroit Pistons and ESPECIALLY the big 3 & Rondo Boston Celtics. Let’s be honest. The Bulls were supposed to be threats but have they actually come close to finally beating a LeBron led team? No. I like the Bulls so it’s no hate. Did the Pacers truly threaten the Heat? Maybe, but they never got the job done. Almost doesn’t count.

It was Boston legitimately and Indiana that (somewhat) make this list as the only true competitors over the last 5-7 years for LeBron. I mean, LeBron has been to the last 5 finals, so you can’t argue my point. Before that, it was Orlando and Boston twice. But wait… Cleveland before that. So he’s been to 6 of the last 9 finals. That’s 66%. Not even San Antonio has been to the finals that many times in that short of a span, 3 of 9. So let’s not say LeBron needs teammates of gold. He’s dragged two Cavs teams to the finals. They said lightening doesn’t strike in the same place twice. There’s a reason he made it that far even with team deficiencies and it’s because of HIS efficiency.

Watch the 2015 NBA Finals again and dare tell me LeBron couldn’t man a western team to the finals. The first “no-no” with this Tristan Thompson thing has come up. The beginning of building a way out. Something LeBron does rather discreetly when he’s going to make a move. If he does win and decide to go west, why not be a Sacramento “King”?

Chip for Clips?

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By: Opinionated MJ

Championship for Clippers?

Retaining DeAndre Jordan, acquiring Lance Stevenson, signing Paul Pierce… Have the Clippers now finally put themselves into championship contention instead of playoff contention? They’ve honestly had no excuse to lose in the last two seasons but somehow, someway, we found a way to give them another big room full of excuses. This time they “didn’t have the depth to survive against teams with more depth.” Okay, fine. Still, Blake Griffin improved his shot, Chris Paul improved his balance and also played in all 82 games, and JJ Redick finally made sense to be in someone’s starting rotation. Until the playoffs hit, then came calamity. We overlook the achievement for Chris Paul though, playing in all the games and doing his best to not miss any in the playoffs. In a new NBA world where the players don’t want to play 82 games, they want midseason vacations, a longer break during All-Star weekend, less minutes while they’re in their primes and requests for better teammates, Chris Paul actually found a way to improve. Just hope his critics were paying attention.

The real question now is, “Do the Clippers have the players in place to succeed?” I’m really high on having players who have “championship” experience on your team in order to get to the promise land. Golden State had a coach who has won in different settings. Be apart of the Jordan Bulls and the Spurs organization when they’ve won titles over the last 20 years. He’s been side by side with the likes of Jordan, Pippen, Duncan, Parker, Phil Jackson and Greg Popovich. It can’t get any better than that can it? He has a pedigree and understanding of the game. He also set the team up for success when he asked some of the players to play certain roles that would eventually land them a ring in return. The Clippers now have Doc Rivers along with Paul Pierce this time around step up into those big moments. If Pierce was there against the Rockets, it would’ve been Clippers 4-2. These additions are great for offense but what will they do for defense? Paul Pierce won’t be stopping anyway, and that’s the truth. Lance had a lost season with the Hornets but I’m sure that with CP3 and DeAndre on the floor with him, they’ll be a defensive nightmare and they will be able to hide him and Griffin on nights against the OKC Thunder and the Golden State Warriors. The real question now is, “What about those Spurs?”

Could they beat the Spurs now that they’ve added Aldridge and West to their team? Pierce isn’t guarding Duncan with any success. Did you see what Duncan was doing to DeAndre?!?! He was doing it at 39 years old and almost no athletic effort! So Imagine what pick & rolls will look like with Parker having Duncan and Aldridge at his disposal AT THE SAME TIME! They’ve retained their defense in Kawhi & Danny Green and they also have a system in place that apparently is the direct way to fight against father time. One year they’re old, the next year they are in the Finals. So we would be best to not drop that special “they’re old” line like we do when they have slow stretches. I don’t think that they’ll have any slow stretches this offseason.

Can the Clippers find a way to utilize Lance the way he was used during his last season in Indiana? If they can have him anchor the bench then I truly think they may have something figured out. Jamal Crawford actually wants to leave now and wants to go to the easy breezy Eastern Conference to the team that will damn near have a cakewalk to the Finals for the next 2-4 years, the Cavaliers. I sound like a hater. I am a proud hater of how garbage the Eastern Conference is. Go Cavs, I expect them to win a chip soon anyway, especially if this trade happens, but who is sent back in return? If I’m the Clippers, I’m pushing for Dellavedova and Thompson, yes BOTH! This won’t happen but I’m not helping a Finals team get better. I’m not accepting a JR Smith sign & trade. I would entertain acquiring Timofey Mozgov, sure, but I’ll need a few picks along with it. Hard bargain.

The path to the Finals goes through OKC, Golden State, and San Antonio. No one else is a legitimate threat, including the Rockets. Four headed monster in the West with a few dark horses. The Pelicans, Rockets, Grizzlies, and I’d just throw a #8 seeded Kings team out there just because I truly don’t know who’ll fit into that spot. The Clippers should be able to beat the lower seeds and have shown what they can do against the Spurs which legitimizes whether they could win in the west or not. At least to me. If you can beat the Spurs than you can survive and succeed out west. The Spurs have a way of breaking a team down and shredding away at your strengths. The Clippers proved to me that they’re ready to take the next step, it’s all left up to the chemistry they’ll have with their new additions.

Inside In

San Antonio Spurs players Tim Duncan (21) holds his MVP trophy while teammate David Robinson (50) holds the championship trophy after the Spurs beat the New Jersey Nets 88-77 to win the NBA Championship in Game 6 of the NBA Finals in San Antonio, June 15, 2003. The sports year in Texas got off to a rousing start with Bill Parcells saying on Jan. 1 that he had agreed to coach the Dallas Cowboys and soon after, the San Antonio Spurs gave David Robinson the ultimate reitrement present, an NBA title. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, file)

By: Opinionated MJ

With LaMarcus Aldridge agreeing to join San Antonio, the Spurs look primed to bring a certain style back to the game that has definitely been endangered. The league has been pushing fastball and the Golden State Warriors fit that model. They’ve done away with voting for “true” centers on the All-Star ballot and now we’re using the term “3 & D” and the important “stretch 4” to describe players that should be playing the power forward position. We’re playing two shooting guards, two small forwards, and a “big”. Let me explain that the easy way: Steph, Klay, Barnes, Iggy, Green as a starting 5. Basically two shooting guards and nearly three small forwards. How many “true centers” do we have there? None. League wide? Cousins, Hibbert, Gasol (Marc), Drummond, Howard, Bogut? Okay, we have more than I thought and I could name more, I think. We’re going to see something like a David Robinson and Tim Duncan frontcourt this upcoming season with Aldridge on board. It’s already July so only three months before we get back into the game on the daily.

Be prepared to be reminded of what the 90’s and early 2000’s basketball looked like, offensively, especially if the Spurs plan on winning a championship as constructed. I don’t think they can get it done without adding at least another shooter or two, and one that can slash. I’ll be direct, they need to replace Bellineli. Period. He made it where Ginobli didn’t need to be as important against other teams when the postseason arrived. Ginobli served as icing on the cake. The only way they can survive as constructed is if they move their plan of attack (and I always compare them to the 2014 Championship Spurs) under the three-point line a bit more. With Aldridge, Duncan, and West, they can play in the mid-post area. The same area Michael Jordan acquired rings from. This of course also allows Duncan to rest even more definitively with West added. He should never play more than 28-30 minutes a game with them both being added to this team. Tiago Splitter was decent but he misses a lot of close shots that could tip the scale of a game. I’m talking easy lay-ups. Aldridge won’t miss those. West is more reliable in that area as well. I expect them to outrebound and outscore opponents in the paint EVERY NIGHT! Same way I expected the Big 3 Miami Heat to win championships, no less. The Spurs sure have a way of deflating current champions when they don’t occupy that spot themselves.

Outside of the Spurs, they only have 4 threats depending on how Free Agency boils down. The Warriors, Thunder, Cavs, and the Clippers IF they can retain DeAndre Jordan. Don’t forget they’ve acquired Lance Stephenson and Paul Pierce. As I write this, the Clippers representatives are at his home and not allowing any reps from the Mavericks to enter his home. Reports say that they will stay there until he re-signs with them. Smart move huh? How can you get kidnapped at your own home? Crazy stuff. Anyhow, the Spurs should be able to outlast just about anyone in the coaching department, but you can’t coach how to stop Steph from pulling up in your face from distance and making it unless you employ a fierce trap defense which will leave you with holes. I am one who believes that the Warriors were NOT at full strength in the Finals. Say what you will but didn’t Klay only score 6 points in the last game? Didn’t Steph only wake up at the end of game 3? Draymond didn’t get acclimated until game 3. Adjustments weren’t made until after game 3. I also don’t think the Clippers had the depth to win this year. I’m still shocked they allowed a comeback from 3-1. So atrocious. You know they cried in the car after that.

The dark-horse in all of this is the OKC Thunder who, when healthy, have the Spurs number. Keep Enes Kanter to go with Ibaka and Adams. Slim Reaper returning from injury with Russell Westbrook who could carry a team to the #3 seed in the east? PROBLEMS! They too, need to acquire RELIABLE shooters. They have my boy Kyle Singler who they acquired from my Pistons but they traded Jeremy Lamb away. Who on that team can shoot besides Durant? Russell? I don’t want to see Ibaka shooting long 2’s and 3 pointers when he has Durant to do that for him. They have to acquire someone who will make a difference. I wont sleep on McGary either. Do I really have to speak on Cleveland? Simple. They have LeBron James.

This league is a guard’s league right now. It seemingly has always been. Nothing works without a decent point guard in place either. Now, we’re requiring every position to have skills like guards instead of serving their very own purposes. I mean, LeBron played the 4 & 5 during the playoffs. Handled the ball, setup the team, set the pace, controlled the game. He did it all. So thinking there’s an easy way to get past Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Mike Conley, there isn’t. Anthony Davis is also on the prowl. If Jrue Holiday can stay healthy, you can add him to that list along with the Pelicans. The Rockets could be a threat but they can’t let go of too much depth. I’m also believing that the Kings with Rajon Rondo will be a problem if they can get Cousins and Karl to mend their differences (I truly don’t know about that though) and if they let Rondo dominate the ball and his teammates be happy with that decision. Imagine if Phil Jackson could coach the Kings… Now wake up!

The western conference remains stacked and we could analyze what each team could do to beat the Spurs. Simply said, the Spurs can’t be handed the title while they have a little less depth in the backcourt and still no assurance that Parker and Ginobli will be healthy. If Tony Parker is down and out, you can French kiss that ring goodbye.