This week on the NBA Roundtable we discuss the possibility of playoff adjustments. Was Chris Paul justified in his comments about the officials. This and more.
We would like to welcome our newest NBA panelist, Tyion Bridgeman to give us his expertise on the NBA.
Adam Silva said that he is open to playoff changes. If you were the commish, what changes, if any would you make?
Steve: I would not make any changes at all. I understand that it sucks to watch the Eastern Conference, especially the bottom three teams, as they have almost no shot at advancing anywhere. But this will just cause more controversy. I am assuming that they are considering putting the teams with the best records in the playoffs no matter which conference they are from. So if the 9, 10, 11 teams in the West have a better record than the 6,7,8 teams in the East, they would be in the playoffs. Too many teams would want to attempt to go to the Western division, and it would be too complicated to have a post season with 5 teams in one conference and 11 in the other. There is just no way this works. Leave it alone.
David: I kinda like the 5 regions idea that has been floated out there. Realign the teams, drop the conferences, and let it go, true there will be one less banner to hang, but “Finals” reads just as well as “Eastern Champion” Unless you drop the current setup, then you really can’t change matters.
Chad: Right now I would not change anything about the playoffs. Each major league has a 2 conference structure where there are teams with poor records getting into the playoffs. The most prevalent would be the NFL on 2 separate occasions in recent years and 7-9 division winner has beasted a 10+ win wild card team. I think having the teams with subpar records that qualify for the playoffs makes for an exciting story of a team making a run. So right now I would not make any changes and if you’re a team in the West on the outside looking in; make a splash to improve your team and get that playoff spot.
Tyion: First off I want to say how much I love how open Silva is to new ideas. First his opinions on gambling, now the play off changes, and even jersey ads (which everyone hates now but if they lead to increase revenue and cheaper ticket prices I’m sure the complaining will stop). It’s nice to see someone with his amount of power willing to listen and not too stuck in his ways. With that said I think the playoffs should definitely be changed, and here’s how I would do it. Eliminate the conference separation. The 6 division winners should get the top 6 spots, and then the next 10 spots are filled with the top records regardless of conference. It doesn’t make any sense what so ever that a team with a winning record in the west will be sitting out of the playoffs and at least one, maybe 2, sub 500 teams from the east will make it. Before any basketball traditionalist get any ideas of defending the status quo think about this. The first round of the playoffs will feature 2 of these teams: Charlotte Bobcats, Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets, or the Detroit Pistons. Does anyone want to waste their time seeing that when we could be watching some of the greatest players of our generation in Anthony Davis or the devastating duo of Westbrook and Durant. Anything we could do to increase the level of play in the playoffs should be done.
Was Chris Paul out of line in his criticism of referee Lauren Holtkamp?
Steve: Was it a sexist comment? No, not in any sense of the term. Was Paul justified in complaining? That depends on who you ask. Paul claims that he just asked “Why” he had a foul and she rung up a technical on him. If that was the case, then yes he is justified. However, as a player, you have to just swallow your pride and keep your mouth shut in the media. We all know that they exaggerate the issue.
David: Maybe, but players complain about refs all the time, and the Clippers seem to whine more than most. Again, if she was a guy- it wouldn’t be a big deal.
Chad: Chris Paul was obviously frustrated about some calls made in the game; on this occasion I am willing to give Paul a pass for his comments. Chris Paul is generally considered one of the league’s upstanding citizens and overall good guys. Chris Paul let his feelings be known about the situation and has been fined by the league for said comments. I think we need to move on from the issue and be done
Tyion: Yes. Players are not supposed to criticize refs and Chris Paul definitely criticized the ref after the game. Going as far to say that she shouldn’t even be a referee. He was in the heat of the moment and believe she made some questionable calls and called her on it. It was understandable but the rules are the rules and he deserved to be fined. Now as far as all this sexism stuff that is total BULL. As far as I can tell this criticism stems solely from the fact that he used the pronouns “she” and “her” Since when does using the proper pronoun amount to sexism. Or is the mere act of criticizing a woman sexist? The whole thing is stupid stupid and reeks of media desperation of trying to make a story out of nothing.
With the Cavs riding a 12 game winning streak entering 2/6 against the Pacers, and the next few games are against the lower echelon of the NBA, when will this streak end? And do you think that Lebron and Irving are starting to click as a unit?
Steve: I originally thought that it will end at 15, and will lose to Chicago on the 12th. This is a road game, and they will be coming off a home game against the Heat at home. They will travel to Chicago, where I think Derrick Rose and company will end their streak at 15. Then the Pacers decided to take matters into their own hands.
I do think that LeBron and Kyrie have found their form, and now I think it is just a matter of time before they take over the Eastern Conference.
David: The Cavs only matter for one thing, what do they do in the playoffs? If the Cavs go 42-40, and win the title as a 6th seed- like the repeat-Rockets did, then it doesn’t matter. If the Cavs catch fire and go 62-20, and lose in the second round to the Bulls, then they failed. Quick, how many games did the Celtics win in 2008? Exactly. When you have LeBron, and the expectations that come with him, then you are screwed in the regular season.
Chad: As of the writing of my answers The Cavs were beaten by the Pacers though I believe that the streak would have been halted in one of their upcoming road games against the Bulls or the Wizards. That being said not only do I see Lebron and Kyrie starting to click and play well; I believe you could throw Kevin Love into the mix. It is reminiscent of how Wade, James, and Bosh gelled in Miami it looks like it is taking longer in Cleveland because of the overall lack of playoff/big game expeirence.
Tyion: I think it’s apparent that they are and that’s a scary notion for the rest of the east. Kyrie is living up to his scoring potential and actually trying on defense and LeBron is…well LeBron. Now if only they can find a way to truly integrate Kevin love into the team. Once that happens they can run away with the east. The thing is I just don’t see it happening. LeBron is most effective playing PF which means the team is better when he’s at PF and where does that leave Mr. Love? On the bench! And I don’t think LeBron are Kyrie alone are enough to push the Cavs pass being contenders in the east to being actual contenders.
Friday night featured the Hawks vs the Warriors, The two best teams in each conference. Who wins in a 7 game series assuming both teams meet up again in the NBA Finals?
Steve: The Warriors are going to the NBA Finals. I don’t see any team beating them in a 7 game series with the way they are playing. The Warriors would beat the Hawks in 6 games in an NBA Finals. I just don’t think the Hawks are going to be there. My money is still on the Cavs or Bulls.
David: Depends on Bogut. If he can play Horford- then the Warriors, if not, then the Hawks. Its that simple.
Chad: Assuming that both teams were to meet in the finals. I would give the edge to the Warriors even though the Hawks on Friday Night in a close game at home. I feel like the series would come down to home court advantage and with that being said I have more faith in the Warriors to either A) wind up with the best record or B) Steal a game on the road in a 7 game series and take the Home Court Advantage
Tyion: While this is probably the likeliest Finals matchup by the numbers I just don’t believe it. Yea I think the Warriors will get there but I just don’t believe in the Hawks. Yea I know they are running through the east but the playoffs are a different monster. I don’t see them making it out the east. They might make it past the first round but in a 7 game series they’re not gonna make it past the Cavs and/or Bulls to play the Warriors. And if somehow they do I bet on the Warriors Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Number one in offense and number one in defense. Nuff said.
Is this year’s three point contest in the All Star game the best field ever?
Steve: Curry, Thompson, Korver, Harden, Irving, Belinelli, Matthews, and JJ Redick make up this field. I am more excited than ever to see who comes out of this, as you have some of the best three point shooters of all time in this mix. I love it, and I would say that this is the best field ever. I challenge anyone to disagree with me.
David: Challenge Accepted! Larry Bird in it? No? Ok then.
My Bet would be the 1988 one. I have Bird, Dale Ellis, Craig Hodges, and Mark Price. In case you are interested- that’s 9 winners of the contest- the first 9 of the contest, to be exact. I’m also adding in Danny Ainge , Detlef Schrempf, Byron Scott , Trent Tucker. Wanna count the rings? Everyone here got that too, but Ellis, Schrempf and Price.
Chad: Yes, with the splash brothers Curry and Thompson; plus the likes of Kyle Korver and JJ Redick in the field. No to mention that the defending champion of the event Marco Belenelli is in the event but is a barely a thought in the contention for champion. This is the best field ever
Tyion: I’m not a basketball historian but my gut answer is an emphatic yes. 3pt contest are usually filled with role players not multiple MVP candidates. This 3pt contest might be the best event of all star weekend.
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