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NBA 2017-18: A Tale of Two Conferences

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Wow. Celtics really stole one from OKC tonight. 

 

Their depth is almost unfathomable. Practically their entire starting lineup out and they're still doing well. 

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God help the Cavs if LeBron ever gets hurt. They have NO margin for error. None.

 

If he doesn't put up lines like this every night, they could get picked off in the early rounds.

 

What does it say that the NBA's best player is the same damn guy every damn year/

 

15 freaking seasons- when he is going to slow down? 2040?

 

The NBA is SO watered down if the same guy that's getting older is seemingly never gonna decline.

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My thoughts on the Raptors-Cavs game:

 

1. Raptors were playing their 2nd game of a back to back in which they looked awful against the Magic. 

 

2. Cavs shot something like 60+% from 3.... that's nuts. 

 

3. No C.J. Miles, and we needed that 3 point shooting as we went cold from deep in the 2nd half. 

 

Still, fantastic game on both sides & I'm not even angry. 

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1 hour ago, SabresRule7361 said:

God help the Cavs if LeBron ever gets hurt. They have NO margin for error. None.

 

If he doesn't put up lines like this every night, they could get picked off in the early rounds.

 

What does it say that the NBA's best player is the same damn guy every damn year/

 

15 freaking seasons- when he is going to slow down? 2040?

 

The NBA is SO watered down if the same guy that's getting older is seemingly never gonna decline.

Cavs live & die by Lebron. That much is obvious. 

Except this year they don't have another stud like Kyrie Irving to pick up the slack when Lebron can't. 

 

Lebron is legitimately single handedly carrying this team. Which is why they're getting bounced in the 1st or 2nd round. They have no depth whatsoever.  Toronto, Boston (depending on how healthy they get), even Washington could knock them off. No way they can win 4 games against those teams. 

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13 minutes ago, ozzyman314 said:

Cavs live & die by Lebron. That much is obvious. 

Except this year they don't have another stud like Kyrie Irving to pick up the slack when Lebron can't. 

 

Lebron is legitimately single handedly carrying this team. Which is why they're getting bounced in the 1st or 2nd round. They have no depth whatsoever.  Toronto, Boston (depending on how healthy they get), even Washington could knock them off. No way they can win 4 games against those teams. 

 

I like Indy & Miami a little more than the Wizards right now. 

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Sure. My point is just about anybody could beat The Cavs in the playoffs. 

Lebron is going to have to pull some miracle out his ass to make The Finals again. 

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7 hours ago, ozzyman314 said:

Cavs live & die by Lebron. That much is obvious. 

Except this year they don't have another stud like Kyrie Irving to pick up the slack when Lebron can't. 

 

Lebron is legitimately single handedly carrying this team. Which is why they're getting bounced in the 1st or 2nd round. They have no depth whatsoever.  Toronto, Boston (depending on how healthy they get), even Washington could knock them off. No way they can win 4 games against those teams. 

 

Not true. LeBron got a lot of help against the Raptors, to which his 17 assists testify. The win against the Bucks was a team effort too, even if his 40 points can make you think otherwise. By no means can one say that LeBron is single-handedly carrying this team. It seems you're not watching the games.

You're saying they have no depth whatsoever? Half of their key players were missing, to the point that it made me wonder how they are gonna find minutes for every one of them when everybody is healthy.

 

All those teams have a chance against the Cavs this year, but saying there's no way the Cavs can win four games against them is absurd.

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9 hours ago, SabresRule7361 said:

 

What does it say that the NBA's best player is the same damn guy every damn year/

 

15 freaking seasons- when he is going to slow down? 2040?

 

The NBA is SO watered down if the same guy that's getting older is seemingly never gonna decline.

 

Maybe it says more about Lebron than it does about the league. Dude is probably the second greatest of all time behind Wilt - enjoy having the privilege of watching him. 

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9 hours ago, SabresRule7361 said:

God help the Cavs if LeBron ever gets hurt. They have NO margin for error. None.

 

What did you expect? Toronto is the best team in the East by far this year, and the Cavs are missing half of their guys.

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11 hours ago, SabresRule7361 said:

God help the Cavs if LeBron ever gets hurt. They have NO margin for error. None.

 

If he doesn't put up lines like this every night, they could get picked off in the early rounds.

 

9 hours ago, ozzyman314 said:

Cavs live & die by Lebron. That much is obvious. 

Except this year they don't have another stud like Kyrie Irving to pick up the slack when Lebron can't. 

 

Lebron is legitimately single handedly carrying this team. Which is why they're getting bounced in the 1st or 2nd round. They have no depth whatsoever.  Toronto, Boston (depending on how healthy they get), even Washington could knock them off. No way they can win 4 games against those teams. 

 

8 hours ago, ozzyman314 said:

Sure. My point is just about anybody could beat The Cavs in the playoffs. 

Lebron is going to have to pull some miracle out his ass to make The Finals again. 

 

7 hours ago, SabresRule7361 said:

Indiana or Philly could be a rough ride for the Cavs. They're NOT going to sweep the first 2 rounds.

 

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LeBron's team is dependent on LeBron playing well is like saying the Pats are dependent on Tom Brady playing well. Yes, and so?

 

The Raptors without DeMar DeRozan would be bad. The Pacers without Oladipo would be bad. The Thunder without Westbrook or George would be bad.

 

The only team in the league that could absorb losing its best player is the Warriors, and this year I'm not sure how true that is. Curry/Klay/Green/Knee-capper can still win games, but Durant is who makes them great.

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There's been controversy for much of the season about Kawhi's injury, and now the players held a meeting basically begging him to return to the lineup for the playoffs. Of course there have some followup tweets accusing the original report of being sensationalist and clickbait and the usual no-no-here's-what-REALLY-happened bullcrap, but where there's smoke there's fire. San Antonio isn't a media magnet like New York, LA, or wherever LeBron is. If they're making headlines, there's probably some s*** going down.

 

I bet San Antonio trades Kawhi this summer. Kawhi's uncle is his business manager and apparently he's the one running the show and getting in the way as far as the Spurs are concerned. He can become a free agent in 2019 and if the Spurs keep him the stage is set for next year to be full of distractions about his upcoming free agency and enticing him to stay. I can't see the Spurs tolerating that. They're not gonna compromise their organization for one player, and they're not going to subject themselves to some undignified pant to keep one player happy and keep media speculation at bay. They're basketball's answer to the Patriots and the Yankees before A-Rod. Some high-maintenance jerkoff who does his own thing and then hides behind his management team when it's time to answer for it is NOT the kind of guy the Spurs want to hitch their wagon to.

 

The big question - where do they trade him. If Kawhi hits the trade market I imagine he settles in as sort of a LeBron consolation prize. If the Nets pick rolls high in the lottery then Cleveland is an option, especially if LeBron re-signs so they can continue pushing for championships. Philly probably gets involved, on draft night or during the summer if they pursue LeBron and strike out (or even if they don't strike out), they have several draft picks incoming and none outgoing. They can offer someone else's high draft pick (whichever of LAL 2018 or SAC 2019 that doesn't go to Boston) and don't owe their own picks to anyone else. Aside from draft picks it would likely cost them at least Fultz and Saric/McConnell plus whatever they have to do to make salaries work. The Celtics have the picks and players to get it done but they have a good thing going already and I can't see them being interested enough to get into a bidding war. Both LA teams are always there, but the Lakers have very limited resources to work with in a trade and the Clippers' can't put a package together that rivals Philly, Boston (if they want him) or Cleveland with a top-3 Nets pick.

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The Kawhi thing is so bizarre, in part because him holding out an entire season doesn't jibe at all with the player he's been and the personality he's shown until now. Not only has he backed out of playing with the Spurs, he also backed out of a Jordan brand shoe deal, saying the price wasn't high enough.

 

Kawhi is (was?) a great, great player and when he's on, top five in the league. But no one knows if he's good anymore and his brief return this year didn't show much of anything.

 

I've read murmurs that he wants to be in LA, but I can't see the Lakers dumping some combo of Lonzo/Ingram/Kuzma/whatever to bring him in. (Though if they could do that AND bring in LeBron AND Paul George, all bets are off.) 

 

Mostly I'm annoyed that we missed out on a year of Kawhi Leonard. He's one of my favorite players, especially in the playoffs. The Spurs are certainly not great without him, but they've at least been competent in the face of his absence, everyone getting old, and tons of injuries. They'll likely land on their feet; especially if they make a trade.

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Just now, DG_Now said:

The Kawhi thing is so bizarre, in part because him holding out an entire season doesn't jibe at all with the player he's been and the personality he's shown until now. Not only has he backed out of playing with the Spurs, he also backed out of a Jordan brand shoe deal, saying the price wasn't high enough.

 

Kawhi is (was?) a great, great player and when he's on, top five in the league. But no one knows if he's good anymore and his brief return this year didn't show much of anything.

 

I've read murmurs that he wants to be in LA, but I can't see the Lakers dumping some combo of Lonzo/Ingram/Kuzma/whatever to bring him in. (Though if they could do that AND bring in LeBron AND Paul George, all bets are off.) 

 

Mostly I'm annoyed that we missed out on a year of Kawhi Leonard. He's one of my favorite players, especially in the playoffs. The Spurs are certainly not great without him, but they've at least been competent in the face of his absence, everyone getting old, and tons of injuries. They'll likely land on their feet; especially if they make a trade.

Kawhi is just tired of appearing in those Spurs ad for the HEB supermarket chain.  Him being preoccupied with his shoe deal is also another twist in all of this.

 

Hey, Kawhi, Shoe deals and commercials are not typically given to mutes.  Learn to give interviews and be available to media and you will be awarded for your availability.  

 

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21 hours ago, SabresRule7361 said:

God help the Cavs if LeBron ever gets hurt. They have NO margin for error. None.

 

If he doesn't put up lines like this every night, they could get picked off in the early rounds.

 

What does it say that the NBA's best player is the same damn guy every damn year/

 

15 freaking seasons- when he is going to slow down? 2040?

 

The NBA is SO watered down if the same guy that's getting older is seemingly never gonna decline.

The guy who's getting older is also the guy spending upwards of $1 million on his body every year and the guy who's been better than anyone else at avoiding major injuries. That's why he isn't declining as fast as you'd think. Additionally, his skill and basketball IQ will keep him dominating for a while even as his athleticism decreases.

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