Welcome to the NBA Roundtable!
With Game 2 in the books, lets see how Bill, EJ and David think its going, game 1 reactions and the Coach of the Year being unemployed. Plus, Lets talk what MVP actually is.
Bill: As I said in another post, I’m not really all that into this year’s Finals since I’m not a fan of either team. I did watch a decent portion of game 1, however. Based on what I saw in that game and the other series that led to this matchup, I fully expected a well rounded series that could go either way. I don’t expect the series to run the full gamut of games, but it would make for the best scenario if it were to come down to a seventh game.
EJ: So far? Yeah I am enjoying the Finals. Who wouldn’t enjoy two evenly matched teams slugging it out to the wire? In our NBA Finals preview I predicted Miami would win in 7 games and after Game 1, I feel more than ever that’s the kind of Finals we are going to get. Two teams going at it to the very end. Buckle up!
David: Loving them. The Spurs play the game the way old-school guys want it to go, but can be run off the floor by teams that are more athletic, and the Heat simply have the best player in the game, and its not even close. Plus there are 7 Hall of Famers here- (and the way the NBA Hall of Fame works, you could have double digit HoFers in this series. This series is, so far, better than last years already. Plus the hope of seeing Duncan getting one for the thumb just pops it up another level for me.
Bill: In a word? Clutch. Parker has hit that shot a number of times in other games, so seeing it go in wasn’t all that surprising given the number of other contested shots he’d made in that game and the many games before that one. It was surprising to see him shake James so that he could get a shot off, however. At first, seeing how the ball bounced around on the rim, I thought it might come out and the Heat would get a better opportunity to tie the game or possibly win it. I’m glad to see they didn’t get as good a chance as they would have had it missed.
EJ: Got to agree with Bill. That was clutch. Parker stumbled, kept his dribble, and launched a bit of a circus shot that locked the game away. The former NBA Finals MVP did what he could to put his team up 1 in the series.
David: Tony Parker is one of the most underrated guys in the NBA, and this very well could finally prove to most fans just how good he is. AND LOOK WHO IT WAS AGAINST. Parker is the Spurs best weapon, just in case Bosh decides to play today. When Parker goes into the Hall, this will be exhibit A on his plaque.
Bill: Yes and no. Yes, because I don’t see how Karl genuinely deserves to lose his job over the team losing out to Golden State in the playoffs since they players are the ones that have to put the ball in the hoop; but, at the same time, no, because coaches are always to blame for the failure of a team to reach a specific goal or expectation despite it not being their fault directly. I know that Karl’s methods aren’t always the most subtle, but he does get results out of his players and always has. I don’t see a better coach out there for this team right now, so it will be interesting to see what direction they take and who ultimately fills the void. All that aside, this could be a blessing in disguise for Karl seeing as his health issues could return and perhaps a break (albeit a short one, I’m sure) could help strengthen him further.
EJ: I said this a few weeks ago but George Karl is overrated. Yes he won Coach of the Year but his team once again crashed out in the playoffs. The Nuggets have too much talent as a team to have a coach that seems unable to lead his men further than he has the past few seasons. Now is the time for the Nuggets to rebuild in the front office and behind the bench.
David: Nope. NBA CotY get fired quickly and often. Its almost a death sentence for newish coaches. Let me give you some coaches and you let me know if you want them coaching your team: Scott Brooks, Sam Mitchell, MIKE BROWN, Avery Johnson and some dude name Mike D’Antoni. Good luck with those. By the way, those have all won in the past DECADE.
Bill: James Harden. Without him, the Rockets wouldn’t have had anywhere near as much success as they did this season. Harden clearly illustrated and reiterated as to why he left OKC: Harden is a STARTER and not a sixth man. He pretty much willed them into the playoffs when they wouldn’t have been remotely close without him. He is, more than any other player on that team, the focal point or cog around which all others revolve.EJ: I like Bill’s pick of Harden but it’s hard for me to disagree with LeBron being the MVP. The Heat would be a good team without LeBron but they wouldn’t be in the NBA Finals without LeBron. This is his League, his time, and he should be capable of winning many more MVP’s now that he is solidly in the prime of his career.
David: LeBron and its not close. best player in the game, and just lead his team to the top spot in the NBA on both offense and defense. That’s what MVPs do.
5. Define MVP
Bill: The most valuable player isn’t the best player on the best team as it has been in the eyes of the NBA for so long nor should it a popularity contest where the biggest face in the crowd gets selected repeatedly. The MVP *should* be the most valuable player to a team with the record being irrelevant. While that wouldn’t fly in the eyes of most, the current system really undermines the nature of the award. Due to those feelings, I have a problem with LeBron James winning it now for a fourth time and twice consecutively. Don’t get me wrong here: James is a phenomenal talent who can single handedly alter a game at any moment. Such a combination of size, strength, speed, vision, and will hasn’t been seen in quite some time. One would be hard pressed to argue if the league has EVER seen a player with as much overall talent as James. As great as Jordan was, he still falls short to James in some aspects and vice versa. I’m not of the sort to go down the tired and oft argued road of “Jordan vs James/Bryant/whomever” since doing so is pointless. To that end, I can’t say I agree with Jordan winning all those times, either. Yes, I know, I’m speaking blasphemous talk now, but that’s just how I see it.
EJ: Hard for me to argue that the MVP should be the best player in the NBA regardless of team record. When it’s clear that one player stands head and shoulders above the rest then it’s his award to win. The MVP has to be that difference maker of a player. As a Lakers fan, I’ve always had a beef with Nash winning those back to back MVP’s with the Suns (over Kobe Bryant) but when I look back at those Suns teams it’s clear that Steve was the reason why they went so far. He was that valuable to the franchise and the League. That’s what the MVP should be: that one player that pushes his team over the top, while putting up the prerequisite numbers.
David: Take the top 5 teams in the NBA. Then if you were going to have ONE player for a season based on how they played THAT year, he’s the guy. Period. I have no problem with MJ/Kobe/LeBron winning for a solid decade. The NBA is SUCH a one person can do it league. This is not football, where you can have a Hall of Famer on QB and a D that gives up 35 points a game and you still go 8-8 but are by FAR the best player in the league, this is not baseball where you can win the triple crown and the rest of your team stinks so bad that you are DEAD LAST. The NBA is measured by WINS and NUMBERS. No matter how bad your teammates are, an MVP can drag you to 40 wins. Ask Iverson and LeBron how much you can drag utter shit. Say the Bobcats swapped their number 1 pick for LeBron, Durant or CP3. They make the playoffs? Say they traded for Blake, Wade or Melo. There is a difference.
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