Its time for the NBA Roundtable. This week: Is Russell Westbrook the front runner for NBA MVP? Are the Bulls really down and out? Should there be an age limit in the NBA? Find out this and much more on the NBA Roundtable discussion for this week.
On to the questions.
Do you agree that James Harden should have been suspended for one game due to kicking LeBron in the baby maker? And do you think it was intentional?
Steve: Yes it was intentional, you cant kick someone in that region the way he did and it not be on purpose. So yes, a one game suspension was warranted, he is lucky that is all it was considering it was LeBron that he did it to. The NBA does not want their golden boy to be disappointed. However, it was the heat of the moment, and Im sure he regretted it after he did it.
Bill: It was clearly intentional and a straight up dirty play. The suspension was fully warranted.
Chad: I am definitely ok with a game suspension for Harden for the kick below the belt; I do think there was intent on Harden’s behalf looking back on the play so I think that the one-game is enough to send a message but such as to not be excessive.
The Atlanta Hawks unvield a statue of Dominique Wilkins. Where does Wilkins rank in your opinion among the all time greats?
Steve: As far as dunks go, he is probably right behind Jordan and Dr. J. If we are talking all time greats. I would put him somewhere in the top 25, but it would be hard to go any higher than that.
Bill: Wilkins was a phenomenal athlete and scorer. His duels with Michael Jordan and Larry Bird are the stuff of NBA legend. All that said, given how many NBA greats there are from which to choose, placing him in an all-time position is exceedingly difficult. in my estimation, I’d probably place him in the top 30.
Chad: Wilkins is def an all-time great in my opinion; with the numbers he put being up over 20,000 points in his career; I definitely his a career that was hampered by injuries and at that time his Hawks would come up against more complete teams (i.e. Celtics; Pistons; and the Bulls) so he was never really able to get all the pieces together to make a real title run.
Do you feel there should be an age limit in the NBA?
Steve: What difference does it make? I mean most star athletes are one and done to begin with. I don’t think there is a need for an age limit in the NBA, as long as they graduate high school. If they can compete in the NBA, why not. It worked for LeBron, and some say he is the greatest of all time. It worked for Kevin Garnett, and he had a long successful career in the NBA. If they are ready, bring them aboard.
Bill: I do think there should be an age limit and I’m glad to see it firmly in place. It protects both the players and the league. The number of truly transcendent level players that came straight from high school to the NBA can be counted on one hand and maybe two if we’re really stretching it. The problem is that there’s simply no happy medium with the system as it currently exists: one year of college is rather pointless and while the experience of playing overseas is likely a better measure of their skill, it’s still not worth much in the end.
Chad: I’m ok with where the NBA is now having kids play a year in college; even with that we saw this year a rash of injuries amongst the top picks like Jabari Parker and Julius Randle; I definitely feel like they need a year of college to somewhat accumlate them somewhat to the game; but either way there is nothing that can prepare someone for the 82 game grind of the NBA season.
Russell Westbrook’s recent four straight Triple Double games put him in the same conversation with Michael Jordan who had 7 straight at one time. With the recent struggles of the Warriors and Curry, and with the Thunder surging. Is Russell Westbrook now the front runner for MVP?
Steve: I think he has made a claim to be in front runner status, but every time I think someone other than Stephen Curry is vying for the MVP, Steph comes up and does some crazy stunt, like he did against the Clippers the other night. He single handedly make four Clippers looks like Elementary School kids, playing pick up ball.
Bill: No. While Westbrook’s accomplishments are outstanding, he’s not the league’s most valuable player. He’s not even the most valuable to his team, for that matter. Winning is what matters most and the Thunder have not done that well despite his hero ball play. Basketball is a team sport, after all. That doesn’t mean an individual can’t have an outstanding game or run of games, but a true MVP gets the rest of his teammates involved and makes the team better as a whole. Westbrook doesn’t do either of those on a consistent basis.
Chad: I still believe the Steph Curry is still the front-runner for the MVP but with this recent outburst by Westbrook has put him into the running behind Curry and Lebron I believe is in that consideration as well
Since Derrick Rose went out due to injury and with Jimmy Butler being out as well, the Bulls have managed to win three of four entering Friday night, with wins against the Wizards and Thunder. Are you counting the Bulls out of the running for the Eastern Conference despite being short handed with their All Stars?
Steve: I think that the Bulls will be fine…until they get to the playoffs. If one or both of these two are not playing in the post season, I said it once before, that the Bulls are one and done. At best they will see an second round exit. No chance they come out of the East with the way Cleveland and Atlanta are playing.
Bill: Counting the Bulls out would be pretty ignorant. They’ve got a solid roster and will definitely be in the thick of it, Rose available or not. That said, Rose has not ruled out a return this season’s playoff run. The question is, which version of Rose will we see? Will it be the assassin of old or the somewhat hobbled and apprehensive Rose of late?
Chad: I think right now in the East it’s the Cavs place in the Finals with the recent injuries to Rose and Butler. I think without those two coming back for a stretch run it would be difficult to bet with the Bulls in a seven game series against anybody. Without Rose and Butler I am counting the Bulls out in the east.
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Wilkins? Top 25/30?
Got to be kidding me.
Great scorer, but I think I could back him down on the post in his prime.
A ball-stopping madman, who again, CAN’T PLAY D.
How about that 28% Three Point Shooting stroke and for all his dunks- getting an 82% FG%
I’m not saying he isn’t a great player, but come’on people.