Welcome to the NBA Roundtable!
This week we talk Game 5, should we grab a fork for the Heat, Coach Kidd and More!
1. Should we stick a fork in the Heat?
EJ: No. It’s troubling that the Heat are unable to win 2 games in a row, but with the series heading back to Miami, it’s not over for the Heat. This is a team that won 27 games in a row, and when this team is on they are capable of coming back from this deficit and beating the Spurs. However, with that said the first quarter of Game 6 will be very telling. If the Heat don’t come out on fire it could be over on Tuesday.
David: I’m gonna say yes. Let’s go with some numbers. When a series is 2-2, the winner of game 5 wins the series 83% of the time. That’s some hard numbers. Then, per ESPN, the Spurs are 14-2 in series clinching games on the road- the rest of the NBA COMBINED? 61-75 since 2002-2003, The Heat have some SERIOUS numbers to go against.
DJ: Whaaaaaat? Hell to the no. They are heading home and are very dangerous in South Beach. Wade had a pretty good game 5 (25 points and 10 assists) and the Big 3 combined for 66 of Miami’s 104 points. The rest of the team has to step it up.
Those numbers are nice, David, but this Miami team isn’t those other teams.
2. IF the Heat win game 6, are the Spurs done?
EJ: No. The Spurs won Game 1 in Miami. Even if they lose Game 6 I wouldn’t count them out in Game 7. This series has swung back and forth this entire way through. This is anyone’s series at this point even if it does stand 3-2 Spurs.
David: That being said, I’m looking at game 6 as the Spurs best chance to win. I have a hard time thinking the Heat lose game 7. You are going to have some. . . issues with moving picks (Its coming) some harsh looks at flopping, and lets be honest, LeBron is the best player on the planet. I picked Spurs in 6 for a reason, I have a hard time looking at Spurs in 7.
DJ: The Spus are a veteran team, but I don’t see them winning a raucous game 7 in Miami. It’s not the same as a game 1. SA has to win game 6 imo.
3. The Heat have not won back to back games since the Bulls series, does how you perform in the playoffs matter, or does it only matter who wins?
EJ: It won’t matter if LeBron is hoisting the trophy on Thursday night. However, if the Spurs win in Game 6 or even Game 7 it will absolutely matter that the Heat, and LeBron by extension, wasn’t able to get it done and have put in some poor performances in doing so. Losing to the Mavs in 2011 was hard for LeBron and the Heat, but this loss would be much worse for the Heat and LeBron’s legacy. If the Spurs win LeBron would have a 1-3 NBA Finals record. Hardly the record of someone aiming to the best player to play the game.
David: How many games did Jordan win his 6 titles in? I remember 1 year, the first one, since that was the last gasp of Showtime. Since then, the only Finals I remember was Houston/NY, because I made some serious cash picking that series EXACT before the playoffs started. It will mean something when you compare year over year, (fo, fo, fo,) but 2 rings is 2 rings.
DJ: The bottom line is how many rings you have on those fingers. Nothing else matters, like the old song from the 1980’s…
4. Thoughts on Coach Kidd?
EJ: I like the hire. Yes, Kidd was retired as a player all of 9 days before being hired by the Nets but if he’s able to put together a staff that will guide him through then he can be a good coach going forward. However, in order to help Kidd succeed the Nets and their ownership has to lower their expectations. Mikhail Prokharov has made pronouncements of the Nets competing for a title and being the best team in New York City. The Nets roster is far from a title contender, and at the moment it’s not as good as the aging Knicks. If the Nets organization can quiet the contender talk, and accept just a playoff birth than Kidd could succeed in my hometown of Brooklyn, New York.
David: I’m not sure I like the hire, but lets be honest, Its not often that we see a Coach Thibs coming up where we KNOW he’s gonna be a solid coach. To be honest, I’m not sure Pat Riley makes this team a Finals contender with the ghost of Red on his side with Larry Brown running his offense. I am getting to the point that I almost think a GM is more important than a coach in the NBA right now.
DJ: I have mixed feelings about it. I think he’ll help them with their “star power”, but he has no coaching experience since he JUST RETIRED. I thought they should have hired Larry Brown because this team is very similar to the Pistons team Brown took over. And this team has a 3 year window to be competitive with Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace all getting up there in age. And Kidd’s inexperience may cost them in a little in the short run as he learns on the job.
However, he should be able to have the players respect since he was a recent player.
5. Is Doc Rivers worth all this trouble for the Clippers and Celtics?
EJ: I like the fact that Donald Sterling and the Clippers are doing all they can to keep Chris Paul and turn the Clippers into an actual title contender but trading Jordan and Bledsoe would be too much. Especially with good coaching options still out there in Hollins, Shaw, and George Karl. The Clippers should try to land Rivers but if there is no movement in talks by mid-week then they should just move on.
David: If Kevin McHale doesn’t do that trade, none of this happens. I remember Doc as a decent coach in Orlando, who quickly flamed out, then wasn’t very good in Boston, then gets 3 Hall of Famers and suddenly becomes a Master Coach. I’ll be honest- I think the number of coaches that could take a roster with CP3, KG, Blake and PP to the West Semis could fill the LA Coliseum. The only coach I would trade a viable asset for right now is Thibs. I mean my lawd people, the number of coaches better than Vinny that are coaching AAU right now is staggering. Tell the Celtics to keep Doc and Jason Terry, and go get Dave Odum since CP3 loved him, and move on.
DJ: He’s a very good coach, but like EJ said…there are other candidates out there that are available. Especially, Hollins. It’s just mind boggling Memphis let him go. Yes, I know they are salary conscious owners, but the Grizzlies overachieved with him at the helm.
Rivers isn’t worth the headache this will take to get done and if they aren’t careful, they could miss out on one of the available coaches.
Dave Odom would be a bad choice. He’s never coached in the NBA and he’s 70.
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