Welcome to another edition of the NBA Roundtable!
This week, EJ comes back to get his NBA thumping from David on NBA Rules, Granger and Team Riley or Team Ainge! Plus we have round 3 of Lets make a Deal!
Lets get to the questions!
EJ: #TeamRiley all the way. What else am I supposed to say? I’m a Lakers fan who worshiped Showtime as a little boy, and a New Yorker who saw what Pat did for the Knicks in the early to mid 90’s. Pat’s right. Ainge is a little whiner. This wasn’t Danny’s fight. LeBron might also be a whiner, but Ainge had no right to step in between Bron and his beef with the refs. Pat told Danny to sit down, shut up, and kiss the rings and I love it!
David: I’m taking Riley over anyone. Bottom line. The GOAT coach, and a builder beyond compare. Ainge has always been a whiner, but it worked for him. Stars get beat up in the post, there is a reason LeBron hates the PF. There is a reason Dirk hates the paint. The paint is covered by guys who if they were 6 inches shorter would be selling popcorn in the stands instead of playing. LeBron gets tired of getting beat on? Who doesn’t. The problem is, its not going to change.
DJ: Riles. GOAT HC ever, David? He’s very good, but that’s Phil Jackson. Riles has much more cred than Ainge. Basically agree with EJ on this one. Zip it, Opie.
Bill: Gotta go with Riley. Clearly one of the very greatest of all time on the coaching side. To be honest, I’m not of the camp to give much credence to “coaching” since it’s still the responsibility of the players to put the ball in the basket. When the coach checks himself in at the scorer’s table and makes a hoop that wins the game, let me know. To make a quick swipe at DJ… Jackson is, like many others, vastly overrated.
2. Does the NBA need to make changes to the intentional foul rule?
EJ: I’m going to be real here: I have no opinion one way or the other. Keep the rule as it is, change it, I don’t really care.
David: Depends on the game. If there is 20 seconds left, you know its a foul, expect it. If you are going to tackle a guy just to prevent a funk in the 2nd period? We have a problem.
DJ: If it ain’t broke….don’t fix it.
Bill: I see no problems with what they’re using at this time.
EJ: It’s a good thing. Paul George was an All-Star in the absence of Danny Granger. Paul blossomed without Danny around to take the shots, and with Danny out once again, Paul can go back to being the focal point of the Pacers offense.
David: Its a HORRIBLE thing, EJ! The Pacers have a TON of cap space chewed up by the guy that USED to be their best player. He has to get on the court and see if the coach of the year outside of Miami can get him in the system, or they need to do something to get him moved. Can they swap him for Deng or Millsap? Should they? They are no threat to the HEAT. But they COULD be.
DJ: It’s bad. You can say it’s addition by subtraction because of George, but Granger is a solid defender and he can also drop 25-30 any given game. In the playoffs, you need to be able to score. And Granger can score.
Bill: Granger being out doesn’t help the team as much as it hurts it. While there has been some nice effort on the part of the supporting cast, Granger is still the star and his absence doesn’t make the Pacers a hit. It remains to be seen if he’ll still be a Pacer come this off season, but I have to wonder just who will bite given the size of that contract.
Lets make a Deal!
Lets pretend that you just won a contest, and you have 100% control of an NBA Team.
The Rules are you CANNOT Sell it and you CANNOT move it.
All 30 teams are eligible.
I am going to give you a team, and you have a choice- either TAKE the team, or give it back and take the RANDOM team behind the curtain. Could be the Heat, Could be the Bobcats, Could be the T-Wolves.
If you DO take the team, Tell me what is the FIRST thing you do.
Week 1: Hornets, Magic, Rockets
Week 2: Clippers, Hawks, Blazers
EJ: Take. Legendary franchise with arguably the most die hard fans in all of the National Basketball Association. The Celtics could go 0-82 and still be viable. You have to take them.
David: Gotta take them. First thing I do is sit down with Rondo and PP and figure out where their heads are at. They don’t want a repeat of the last big 3 that left, and they are starting down that path. Rondo has the potential to be a bridge, and PP still has years left. The Celtics, sadly, are not a free agent destination. They have to draft or trade for stars.
DJ: Looks like I’m in the minority, but I give them back. They are on a downturn and Ainge got lucky when he was able to deal for KG and Allen. Before that, Ainge was thought be awful in the front office. I have no confidence he can rebuild them on the fly.
Bill: Take. Without a doubt. Given the history of the franchise by itself, this team is a must have. While the Celts are beginning to wane somewhat, I don’t expect Ainge to let the team slip back into a state of mediocrity. They’ve got some good pieces to build around for the future, but once Pierce and Garnett are gone…
EJ: Give back? Take? I’m not so sure if I would want the Denver Nuggets. History aside, good fan base aside, I’m not so sure if the Nuggets aren’t better as what they are as a franchise: a middle of the road organization.
David: Another tough one. I think I’ll take the Nuggets, they have a sold out arena, a solid homecourt advantage, and a TON of Pieces. The NBA is a third sport, but its in an area where you can make some serious money at the number 3 spot.
Step 1? I hate to break the law of Dean Smith, but I have to get rid of Karl. Next step is to get some better uniforms.
DJ: Take. They might lack a superstar, but they have a solid and deep team. I also think George Karl is one of the more underappreciated HC’s in the NBA. He wins games, but hasn’t been able to capture an NBA title. But, then again neither did Don Nelson.
Bill: I’m on the fence with this one. I suppose now that the cancer known as Carmelo Anthony is gone, I’d be more apt to take the team. Igoudala is a nice piece and the team’s only “star” player, but he’s starting to wind down and isn’t nearly as effective as he was in Philly. The franchise has great fans and a solid coach in Karl. It remains to be seen as to just how effective they will be in the playoffs this season and in the future.
EJ: Take. It’s one of the biggest markets in the League. I’m my ever so humble opinion there’s only 3 cities in the League that matters: New York, Chicago, and LA. So, of course I would take the Bulls.
David: Take, No Brainer. First thing I do is figure out what to do with Deng. He’s a problem, but for some reason people think he’s a decade-long All-Star .
DJ: Take. With or without Rose, they have a great HC who gets the most out of his team and is a master defensive strategist. This team has been kept together with duct tape and band aids all season long, but they continue to win.
Bill: Take. Rose is a difference maker, but he’s not the only piece that makes this puzzle complete. I’m a big fan of Deng and a few of the other players on the team; however, if I were to make a move… it would be to get rid of Boozer. He’s overpaid for what he does and he’s not doing enough of it. The problem is getting another team involved to take on his contract. He’s an 18+ppg / 10+ rpg guy, but I don’t know if I want him on my roster given his wishy washy history and inconsistent play.
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