Tag Archives: Klay Thompson

Warriors Still Not Finished

… Warriors Still Not Finished

By Opinionated MJ (Michael Tolliver Jr)

I’m still high on the Warriors thanks to last season. They’ve gotta add key pieces to seal it. They’ve got shooters, a big now, Steph & Dray healthy, Wiggins who’s overlooked in this current situation.

Maybe they fold, but I think something anew unfolds. The Spurs suffered similar fate. Injury to Robinson. Later, injury to their core 3. They were able to plug in pieces and adjust roles.

I just don’t like the negativity and everybody already calling it a wrap. Now if Steph went down, that’s different. Even then, Dray, Wiggins, Wiseman still sounds interesting to me.

Steph, Klay, Wiggins, Wiseman…
EP off the bench…
Bowman, Chriss, Lee, and the shooting squad.
They drafted shooters as well.

They need to plug in players that have pieces of Klay’s game.

Steph MUST elevate them the same way Tim Duncan did his teammates. Late in the careers of the Spurs run of greatness, it became, Mills, Danny Green, Kawhi, etc. Even Tiago Splitter was elevated by Duncan, Pop, the culture, the system.

This era of fans of the league is so… Super team, LeBron-KD, Lakers-Boston, and whatever, that they forget the Detroit’s, the Dallas’, the San Antonio’s… Actual culture, system, and organization is slept on.

Warriors in a good space. Deal with it emotionally, and let’s get ready. Everyone else is putting teams together for 4 year runs. Some just for 2. Rockets just literally did 1. Warriors been putting this together since what… 09? Organic. You don’t run from that.

Wiseman & Wiggins are VERY key. Could change everything.

They say the league caught up? Cool. Change and succeed another way, like the Spurs. Dynasty/Legacy in play.

Get well soon Klay.

Gold D-Lo

By: Michael Tolliver Jr (Opinionated MJ)

THANK YOU Bob Myers for letting everyone know, “We have no intention of trading D’Angelo Russell.”

I feel like this organization has something hidden up it’s sleeve with this move. Both parties wanted each other in order for this to have even transpired. You lose KD but get back DLo? I’ll take that every time. He walked away from OKC for nothing.

Y’all once said “light years”. Still have a great chance of proving it true. I anticipate Steph will take a pay cut next time he can re-sign which will continue to extend the life of this group.

It’s crazy how everyone is so focused on trying to dismantle this team by throwing around all this “dynasty” talk but last time I checked, the Spurs had Duncan, Ginobli, Parker, and successfully built around them over 15-plus years in totality. Their greatness wasn’t only determined by the 5 titles, but the longevity. I think the warriors deserve the same respect.

The silenced haters don’t want to see this team gel, mesh, and succeed with D-Lo. So they think the front office will banish him away for WHOM exactly?

I don’t see any intelligent individual giving up Giannis, Kawhi, KD, LeBron, PG, or any franchise player for D’Angelo Russell. Steph IS the franchise player here. No need for another. Honestly, no one outside of the untouchable players on opposing teams would fit with the Warriors either. My personal fit would be for Jokic, but Denver isn’t sending Jokic to Golden State. Get real. D-Lo will become the 3rd Splash brother. Fifth technically, if you count KD & Boogie as Splash past.

Can’t wait to see it all come together for this team with the West being bolstered with talent this off-season. I didn’t mention the acquisition of Wille Cauley-Stein and the sleeper news of Kevon Looney being retained. He’s becoming a better player. We seen that in the finals. He may have developed into a double double guy that can defend the post well. I’m sure this roster will still make another signing or two, no matter how big or small.

In my view:

  • Klay will become KD (more touches)
  • D’Angelo will become Klay (offensively that can create off the dribble better)
  • Steph gonna Steph like crazy
  • Draymond will forever be the glue that continues to find ways to be better at holding everything together

DubNation has got to be sitting back laughing while the world expects their team to not only successfully integrate Russell, but also miss the playoffs entirely.

Will the Rockets Dethrone the Warriors?

By: Opinionated MJ (Michael Tolliver Jr)

Rematch set.
Rockets healthy? ☑
Warriors hobbling? ☑
Warriors without rest? ☑
Rockets focused? ☑

Game 1 will go to Houston unless KD has another big game in him. Of course he does. Then it will be about limiting the others. I watch plays. It’s something hard to do but easy to do when their rotation players are in the game. I hope Kerr is gameplanning cause the Rockets will be a threat to take the first 2 games, easy. Especially if Klay isn’t ready to go.

James Harden, defending MVP. Will he be able to be effective and get his teammates involved while also scoring big and in bunches? He’s still the player who gets the most calls. Imagine Draymond or Kevin getting 2 early fouls. It’ll be like the 2016 finals all over again.

Is Steph healthy enough to help Kevin force wins at home? That’s what this will be all about. The Warriors MUST protect home court or they will be in trouble. No other way to put it. If they drop any game and give away momentum, then we will see an upset. That will open up the entire league to a new champion. It doesn’t guarantee the Rockets anything. Just revenge. The Rockets need to control their emotions in this series. That’s the only thing I see as a problem. It won’t be easy.

Can’t wait to see it all unfold. I expect 7 games unless Durant has about 4 40 point games in him, ready to go. That could actually be Kerr’s plan with Steph hobbled a bit and Klay hurt to begin the series. Not a bad plan.

Stats vs. Effect: The Best Debate With the Poorest Examples (Part 1)

By: Opinionated Reezy (Ronald Stovall Jr.)

Before we begin, I know when people say effect, they mean impact, but for the purpose of the conversation I am going to stick with effect.

So the emerging debate in the basketball world is stats versus effect and I understand why that is, but we are using extremely poor examples on either side. I’ve seen posts on YouTube attacking NBA FG% Twitter, which I completely agree with, but when I saw my favorite station, ESPN, weigh in on the argument I couldn’t take it anymore. Here they go again trying to own both sides of the argument.

ESPN is notorious for using stats like crystal balls, which has diluted the impact of its usefulness and in turn most people rely on effect as a mystical means of determining success. Here is the reality:

Stats can not and will never be a sole predictor of future wins or success.

Effect does not always transfer between games and in all scenarios, it is a predictor of behavior and response.

Here is the secret – You can use stats to measure effect, but you must use the right ones and frame the narrative you are trying to tell.

Why are we getting this argument wrong?

We have been conditioned to see the game as efforts of individuals who all just happen to be on a team.

We have been conditioned to look at basic stats and not the full picture.

We haven’t been told what the stats are used for or how to properly use them.

We sensationalize certain player types and only look at one side of the ball.

We have been conditioned to believe that if our superstars did more, the results would be different.

We have been conditioned to only look at key aspects of a game and not the entire game.

How should we use stats?

If you are using stats it must be framed properly to explain a specific situation. Here is a bad example using the most improperly used stat ever the +/- rating.

What is the stat telling us? +/- rating tells us the point differential in the game while a player is on the court. That stat is useless in the moment as there are so many variables as to why a team is scoring or not scoring.

There was a segment on Undisputed where Skip Bayless was concluding that LeBron James just wasn’t good enough because his +/- rating was negative for a stretch of games. That is an empty narrative because it does not take into account what is happening on the floor.

The +/- rating is better used over a large segment of games, i.e. season or possessions to gain an understanding of tempo and scoring flow. It, however, cannot tell you if a team will be successful.

The next stat is P.E.R, Player efficiency Rating.

What is the stat telling us? P.E.R is an attempt at measuring a player’s efficiency on the court. That is it. John Hollinger even says so himself:

“Bear in mind that PER is not the final, once-and-for-all evaluation of a player’s accomplishments during the season”

I think we all know the infamous segment on first take where Skip Bayless tried to infer that Kobe Bryant wasn’t the Black Mamba because his P.E.R rating was in the 90’s and then Stephen A. went off. Stephen A. was 100% correct although he was arguing the point from an effect standpoint, a statistician will tell you:

You haven’t factored in the number of games Kobe played (or didn’t play) in comparison to everyone else on the list.

You haven’t factored in the number of shots Kobe took or overall production Kobe needed to create for the same level of success.

You haven’t factored in the previous success of the team Kobe is on.

In other words, P.E.R can absolutely tell you that Kobe Bryant at that time was less efficient than others, but P.E.R can not tell you that Kobe Bryant was less effective than others.

This is definitely a multi-part topic and both areas of discussion are absolutely valid, but years of poor use of stats has eroded its usefulness.

I’ll conclude part one with this – I said effect or effectiveness can be measured. Here is how:

Set the frame of reference for which you are making your statement, i.e. number of games, seasons, shots, possessions, etc.

Establish the direct statement you are looking at. Words like ‘better’ or ‘worse’ are relative so those are no good, efficient, effective, productive are better words.

Never use basic stats as the foundation of your argument and while you can speculate wins, stats, especially individual stats, are not to be used.

Taking everything into account. Using the stats of players this year between Golden State, Houston, and the Lakers who have taken more than 15 shot attempts per game here are your effective players in order

Steph Curry – by far

LeBron James

Kevin Durrant

James Harden – tie

Klay Thompson – tie

Kyle Kuzma

If I tighten my statement to include that the players must have played at least 80% (41) of games this year. I take LeBron James off the list. Prove me wrong.

NBA Overload (Stats VS Effect): MoneYBaLL Episode 3

By: Opinionated MJ & NilClassic

Stats vs Effect

LeBron vs Kobe

Tim Duncan

And everything NBA!

Enjoy and thank you for the support!

KD, Warriors Win 2016-17 NBA Championship

 

By: Opinionated MJ 




It was all on you KD.

Congratulations to Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors! They are your 2016-17 NBA Champions! Redemption, revenge, and recovery all wrapped in one! Kevin Durant has endured a high level of scrutiny and came out on top. He faced a lot of friction from the media, especially from a few high-level media types right before Game 5. Debate that! If it were not for his injury, I don’t think this Warriors team would’ve had the bench ready to go to war with Cleveland. They didn’t band together until KD went down. Steph didn’t find himself until KD went down. Draymond Green didn’t tap into another level again until KD Went down. Let’s not mention the fact that even I believed Golden State would fall off defensively. They posted league highs in efficiency this year, not only on offense but defense as well. How? KD.

Coming into the year, KD was hated for going to the team that ousted him. Now that he’s got the title and he will have a ring, let me break this down for you. If KD opted to stay in OKC, he would’ve had to deal with finding out who was the #1 option with Russell Westbrook. He would’ve been without Serge Ibaka who I though enabled them to take down the Warriors and Spurs. With that said, had he stayed in OKC, he would’ve still had to see both the Warriors and Spurs in the playoffs on the way to seeing LeBron in Cleveland. What would’ve been his odds? Be honest. NO ONE THINKS KD COULD’VE BEATEN LEBRON WITH OKC! That’s a fact. Doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen.

 

He coasted most of the year, trying to fit in early and not be imposing. Steph, Klay Thompson, Dray, everybody took a backseat to making him feel comfortable. Steve Kerr did a good job in putting a roster together after losing so many pieces to obtain Kevin Durant. Got to tip our hats to the Golden State Warriors organization. They brought in a few journeymen in David West, Matt Barnes late, Zaza Pachulia (the Kawhi killer), and even Javale McGee. McGee had a hard time staying on any teams’ roster since he and George Karl were split apart. This is the best I’ve seen him play since then. There’s no other team that would gamble on him. It paid dividends, especially in the first 2 games of this final.

 

No one is talking about how Andre Iguodala stepped up in KD’s absence either. We must, MUST, give this man respect for being willing to take a bench role for the better of the team overall. No one mentioned the Warriors depth as being a threat. Come on now. Livingston, Iggy, Barnes, West, McGhee? Throw Ian Clark and Patrick McCaw in there and you’ve got something that you can develop into something special indeed.

 

I want to give LeBron and Kyrie their due respect for carrying their team this far. They put it all on the line. I personally think they should’ve obtained some different pieces and I can imagine that half of this roster will be completely different going into the 2017 season. Maybe Carmelo, maybe Paul George, maybe Chris Paul, Dwayne Wade, even DeMarcus Cousins could end up here. They’re all in the rumors. My sleeper here is Blake Griffin. LeBron and Kyrie were scoring at will but did tire out and their team, their bench, just couldn’t give them enough of a cushion. I think Bogut would’ve paid dividends and may have been enough for Cleveland to win this series. The Cavs aren’t as far away from being as talented as this Warriors team. Don’t forget that. Be humble with this Championship, Warriors fans. Congratulations on another great season. I’m sure we’ll see you here next year. Currently, the only threat out west is Kawhi Leonard. The basketball gods shined down on you!

This Is All On Kevin Durant

 

 

By: Opinionated MJ

 

Hey Kevin, it’s your time to put up or shut up!

The Warriors are currently seeing a growing lead in the first quarter against the Spurs, game 4. Klay Thompson is the only player who is experiencing some inconsistency but maybe the incoming rest will help him adjust to the physical nature and intensity that the Cavaliers will bring once they stop messing around with the Celtics. Adam Silver must’ve told them to chill and let the Celts get a game. Steph Curry has been taking the ball to the hole and he’s been having good looks from midrange than usual. He’s moving his feet well on the defensive end as well, although, he still endured some shaky foul calls in Game 3. Reminded me of the 2016 NBA Finals. I won’t forget Iman Shumpert running into him and the refs calling a foul on Steph who was already stationary in his position on the floor. Bets must have been placed, eh?

 

Steve Kerr is out and everyone is concerned about the progression of his health. He’s been traveling with the team and I’m sure that behind the scenes he’s doing what he must to keep this team rolling so they can win another championship. I didn’t mention that Draymond Green is looking like the greatest glue guy every assembled and placed on an NBA roster. Potential Defensive Player of the Year. He has my vote with Kawhi as a close second if I incorporate the playoffs into my vote. If I didn’t, then he’d be a distant second. I currently think highly of Kawhi right now. He’s not here to put a stop to any of this madness. LeBron is up next, so this leads me to what I really want to touch on. The finals will be about two men: LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

 

Can Durant elevate his game to another level? Will he be able to attain the eye of the tiger? I’m sure LeBron will matchup with Kevin, and this is where he will be depended upon to still perform and put up his usual stats and more. I have very high expectations of him if the Warriors want to have any chance to beat the Cavs. That’s the reason he came on board, right? To be able to get back at LeBron. What better way to win your first championship than to do it over LeBron? His own fans call him the Greatest of All Time. There’s no better way to win a ring than to add a win over LeBron onto your resume. Regardless of who you’re teamed with. They said LeBron would be better than Jordan if he beat this jump shooting Warriors team. Let’s not mention the league caters to an up-tempo game with much less physical play and he’s 6’9 250-260. Football! Elevate your game Kevin!

 

LeBron is bringing his well-oiled Cleveland Cavs machine to the war and he’s looking to repeat. Can you stop him on his way to creating a dynasty? Can you etch your name above those who should’ve won a championship but they seen the great Michael Jordan? Can you get that elusive ring that Barkley, Miller, Malone & Stockton, Payton & Kemp, Patrick Ewing, Allen Iverson, and many others don’t have? Should we add Carmelo Anthony to that bunch right now? Can you be the difference maker in this series? Can you take over the game when you need to and not be a spectator to the Steph Curry show? Will you be what this team was missing last year when they gave up a 3-1 lead? Ironically, the same lead you forfeited to the same team you now are a part of. Are you here just to get Golden State to the promised land and shockingly sabotage their plans and laugh in their faces when you go back to Russell Westbrook and OKC with all their plays, knowledge, and execution plans as you disappear in the Finals on purpose? That’s a conspiracy but I wouldn’t put it past you until you prove me wrong. This year it’s all about you, Kevin Durant. It’s time to put up or shut up. Period. Barring injuries or deficiency in team health, you have no excuses. Deliver!

​Should Players Sit Out Games To Rest During the NBA Season?

By: Opinionated Reezy




One of the lessons from the Greg Popovich era of coaching is resting his key players during the season to rest them.  Coming from the Bad Boys Pistons era basketball this is a foreign concept; however, I must admit there are some strategic elements to it.  We are going to take a look at should players sit out games due to rest during the NBA Season.


How are NBA Seasons constructed?

Per ESPN the 82-game season started in 1967 to allow a team in the 12-team league to play conference rivals eight times and inter-conference foes seven times.  As the league expanded the number maintained and adjusted accordingly.  Additionally, 82 was chosen primarily to balance revenue and player salaries and secondary was the wear and tear on the athlete’s body.  In short, we have an 82-game season today because we have one in the past.  Dissecting the question of whether players should sit out games due to rest during the NBA Season is to first answer if an 82-game season is too much?  I believe it is.

What is the goal of a Team in the NBA?

The goal the NBA is to provide the best service and entertainment for their stakeholders, which would be the fans, media, and sponsors, not necessarily in that order.  The owners get a share of the revenue from media and sponsors, but that is not the only way they make the bulk of their money.

NBA Owners have their own subset of stakeholders, which would include Season Ticket owners, who buy into the direction of the team sight unseen so to speak, the actual players, the city, and sponsors.  Therefore, their goal mirrors that of the NBA, but they also want to win a championship for their city as fans want to see winning teams and will more than likely become season ticket holders if there is a pattern of success.

So, should a coach make decisions that would net a more favorable outcome to the end of the season?  Yes, they should.

To rest or not to rest

For the right reasons or result, I believe it is feasible that a coach would sit someone out due to rest.  Some of these reasons can be considered selfish, but again intended for the right purpose:

1. Preparation for the Off Season:

 You are already in position to be in the playoffs and the final games truly don’t have an impact on your position or seating, why over extend your star players?  This is a great time to limit their minutes or rest them and allow the seldom used talent to get in their rhythm.

2. Preparing for potential conference rivals:

 I know this is a weird one, but having your star players in the game can mask potential weaknesses in your team.  By resting them you can expose those weaknesses and between prepare your team for potential matchups once you get to the post season.

3. Protect players from injury:

  The NBA is a different game than it was years ago, and a body can suffer from wear and tear easier.  We notice the major injuries but not the minor aches and pains that can impact the game.  Successful teams go through all 82 games and some degree of a post season.  Resting players, especially older players, becomes smart to keep those players at optimal condition longer.

4. During an away game against a team of no consequence:

  Yep, selfish, but should the Golden State Warriors risk Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, or Kevin Durant against the Dallas Mavericks this year during an away game?  Maybe, but not always.  Sit one of them.  There will be people saying that the fans pay to see them play.  While I get that, the home fans of Golden State matter more than the away fans of Golden State in this example.  If resting the players for a few games means you get more out of them when they get to the playoffs, I would make that move in a heartbeat and ask for forgiveness during the championship parade.

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.

Landscape of the NBA: Last Day of Summer 16 (Part 3)

By: Opinionated MJ

Last day of the summer! Welcome to the third and final installment of the Summer 16: Landscape of the NBA series. Let’s jump right in.

 

Knicks

I cannot wait to see the Knicks this season. I have even higher expectations hanging over them for the season. I expect a few boosts in different forms. I think Derrick Rose will perform like Kobe did when he was coming into the season in a similar situation. I think the time Melo spent with Team USA and also him getting the team together early now will serve the team well. I see Porzingis getting even better and more consistent this year and not hitting somewhat of a wall like he did in year one. Couple that with a new coach and bench depth and the Knicks should be a playoff team. I see them winning at least 41 games. Hold it against me.

 

Bulls

Butler, Wade, Rondo. I expect them to win 20 games off perimeter defense alone. I would say 30 since they’re in the Eastern Conference. That’s where the game is most played from in this era. Everybody wants to shoot and dribble, perimeter oriented. Everyone attacks from that point and they have someone to defend every perimeter star. They don’t have an answer for DeMarcus Cousins, Marc Gasol, Andre Drummond, and other big men, but that doesn’t mean they won’t acquire someone who can nor does it mean they can’t succeed without one.

 

Wolves

This will probably be one of the top 5 most watched teams in the NBA this year. I’ve seen pictures from NBA2k17 that shows them drunk off of the potential of the Wolves. Wiggins, Towns, Dunn, LaVine, coach Thibs! Oohwee! This team will be young, tough, gritty, and poised to make noise this coming season. With all the shake ups taking place, I expect them to compete for a playoff spot. Should they make the playoffs, they would be my dark horse candidate to upset many teams. They’re very versatile. I expect them to be .500 as well. 41 wins at least, potentially off of Thibs always squeezing a whole gallon of lemonade out of one lemon.

 

Lakers

They’re expected to be the worst team this year. I’d say maybe the third worst team. Look for the Lakers to make strides once they learn the offense. We see what happened with the Warriors when they were given freedom. Analytics also favor many of the Lakers players since Kobe won’t be there to jack up half of the shots. I can see them being a player in acquiring Okafor from the Sixers. Ingram for ROTY if he gets acclimated to the game fast.

 

Sixers

They have young pieces. They have better management. They could probably use better coaching and an installment of veteran players to guide the young players. Trade Okafor for a veteran scorer (Maybe Rudy Gay?) and they’ll be fine. Especially if Ben Simmons is as advertised and will impact his teammates in a LeBron like fashion. He could facilitate this team to a top 5 watched spot with the Wolves and lock up ROTY if he can be the glue missing for this franchise. Go Philly!

 

Durant

I expect something huge to happen in Golden State. Kevin Durant will takeover this team and it will become his OR he’ll play 1B to Steph Curry. One of them will be LeBron, one will be Wade in this situation. Looks like Steph will be a very trigger happy Wade. Klay will be a young version of Ray Allen, Draymond will be the engine and the bench will fit in as needed led by Iggy and Livingston. I can agree with Vegas, 66 wins. Actually, let’s say 63.

 

OKC Thunder

This team now belongs to Russell Westbrook and they will be successful under his watch. They’ve had success with Durant before and that was adjustment on the fly. This time they’ll have the luxury of a training camp and full health from the start. Victor Oladipo will make them interesting on the defensive end along with Roberson. I think the loss of Ibaka will show early on unless Adams and Kanter both start together. Russell will be the second coming of 2006 Kobe and will receive the MVP award if the Thunder can land a top 5 seed.

 

Quick Observations

I expect strides to be made by the Jazz, Suns, and Pelicans out west. The return of Exum to the Jazz, Bledsoe returning to the Suns who also have a sleeper star in Devin Booker, and Anthony Davis to the Pelicans, this will make the west very interesting going forward. Currently though, it’s still a two headed race for who will make the finals from the west.

Be on the lookout for upcoming articles. We’ll be entering training camp next week! I’m so excited! Been waiting for the season to begin! Basketball lovers, unite!

 

Rambling Thought: LeBron Hating on Steph? Wow

nba-recap-lebron-james-vs-steph-curry-for-mvp-2016-nba-images

By: Opinionated MJ

Since Kobe is gone, LeBron apparently wants to be the villain of the NBA. There is no other candidate anyway. Who else? Kevin Durant? Russell Westbrook? Maybe even James Harden? No. Just LeBron.

We watched as Stephen Curry won his 2nd consecutive NBA MVP award after he came back from injury, OFF THE BENCH, to score 40 points in a winning effort against the Portland Trailblazers. Humble act indeed. We watched this man score 17 points in 5 minutes! Come on LeBron! How could you not respect the body of work and the offseason work put in to improve by the current reigning MVP Steph Curry? How could you not respect him being knocked down time and time again, including by himself with those ankles, to become an NBA Champion? How could you not respect him becoming MVP and being seen as the BEST PLAYER IN THE GAME? Last time I checked, you needed shooters around you. ALL shooters because that’s the only shaky thing in your game. Everyone has a weakness. I’m stating that to put out the obvious, everyone needs SHOOTERS.

Now, let’s talk about the shooters. You have to respect them. Steph, Klay, Ray Allen, Shane Battier, Mike Miller, Channing Frye, Kevin Love, I could go on. We have a player who is the size of Allen Iverson with handles that rival Kyrie Irving and James Harden, but with a shot so golden that he has become the standard of shooting, period! All within 2 years. Last time I checked, you were shooting Kobe percentage levels during the regular season. You’re very much improved during the playoffs. I give you credit. I want to dive in to the times your peers respected you, LeBron.

  • Dwayne Wade WILLINGLY becoming 2nd option, Chris Bosh becoming 3rd.
  • Kobe being seen as the 2nd best player during his PRIME only to you, LeBron. He put up astronomical numbers during this time and was flat out the best scorer, but you outlasted him with your unselfish play and how you incorporate your teammates. Maybe it was the whole Denver thing that accelerated your status past him. They never gave Kobe the same treatment after the case. NEVER! Until he decided to want to have a retirement tour. They didn’t love him last year, LeBron.
  • During your MVP runs, everyone was saying you deserved it, you earned it! No one said that it didn’t mean that you were only the “Most Valuable” not the “Best”.
  • During your championship runs, everyone saying it took hard work and a great effort from LEBRON JAMES! They said the only reason the Heat won was because of LEBRON JAMES!

 

I think LeBron has lost touch with the “respect” aspect of the NBA. He doesn’t seem to fully respect his own teammates at times. Let’s not forget his rants during the year, especially in March. Talking about wanting to play with Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwayne Wade before it’s all said and done instead of riding out the rest of his career in Cleveland. He did this during a time where Cleveland was losing but still were 1st place in the Eastern Conference. Let’s not forget the friction he caused with Kyrie and Kevin in order to try to pull another level of play or attitude out of them. Wait, sounds like Kobe’s tactics! I bet your fans will hail you for it but your fans bashed Kobe for having that attitude. You seem to have learned how to be more of a leader through it all although you’ve definitely had your rough patches as far as “vocal” leadership is concerned. You managed to get your coach fired, well, you fired him. You also managed to trade your buddy, your pal, Anderson Varejao. Crazy to think. You did it at the expense of finding another shooter to help stretch the floor for your unstoppable play going to the basket.

I’m expecting hate from your fans for this. I’ll finish by saying, I’ve watched you dismantle teams. I’ve watched you rise. I’ve watched you become a great player and remain at that level. I’ve told people that you haven’t fallen out of your prime, you’re controlling it, you’ve harnessed it. I want you to win a championship in Cleveland. Here’s the fun part. Not this year. Now, with this little small, potentially media-altered piece from you, I want Golden State, Steph Curry, to three-peat. First though, Finals rematch (although I prefer OKC/GS vs Heat), and I want the Warriors to dismantle your healthy Cavaliers. Matt and Tristan defense > Kyrie and Kevin defense. Good Luck LeBron!

 

 

73?

 

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By: Opinionated MJ

Can the Warriors win out the rest of the NBA season? With this win against San Antonio, I believe they could. Yes, it would take them to be rested enough to finish the season winning out but I think since they’ve lost to Boston that they have another level of motivation to get the job done and then get back to title chasing. Somehow, title chasing seems easier than attaining 73-9. We’ve been faced with all these comparisons of the 72-10 Bulls. Everyone has compared physicality, big men, shooting, and everything in between but we have yet to realize that there is no comparison. This is 2016, let’s live in the now.

They currently sit at 9 losses and the rest of their schedule has another stop at San Antonio who could dispel all of this at home where they have yet to lose, although I expect the Warriors to have a mental note of this and work towards actually beating the Spurs at home to make a statement and to also put everyone on high alert heading into the playoffs. The Memphis Grizzlies also aren’t a pushover with Lance Stephenson now adding to their grit but I’m not certain that they could stop the Warriors. Two games against the Grizzlies and one left against the Spurs. Steph has been forced to play differently against a few teams and I think they’ve learned how to adapt to Steph Curry having to drive more and look to finish as opposed to looking to only shoot, shoot, shoot while wide open. They aren’t giving him the same easy looks and they still cling to him and rotate over to help when he’s driving to the basket which leaves his teammates wide open. Take note that Harrison Barnes has stepped up and Andre Iguodala and Andrew Bogut are all in the lineup now, healthy.

I mentioned before that a healthy Golden State Warriors team may be unstoppable. They have too many weapons if you ask me. If Steph is in a slump, Klay can drop 30, 40 points. If Klay and Steph are going slow, Draymond Green can get going and facilitate the team. Harrison Barnes again has shown a resurgence with his shooting and Iguodala adds another element when stretching the floor, cutting and slashing to the rim for easy buckets. Andrew Bogut is the trump card for Golden State other than having the type of depth that they have. They also had a chance to get other players valuable playing time when they had to deal with injuries to key players. This will help them when the playoffs arrive and will allow for their rotations to be deep should they face any matchup problems down the line against different teams.

With this win against San Antonio, I see them having enough confidence to finish this with the magic number 73. They’ll definitely tie at 72-10 but I’m seeing 73. What will we have to say about this team if they reach this number? Will we proclaim this team as one better than the ’95-96 Bulls? Or will we continue to not let go of what once was and allow for things to change, records to be broken, and history to be made and actually appreciate it and the moment it matters?