This week on the NBA Roundtable. Are the Clippers the best of the best right now? Are the Warriors in trouble? What will the fate of Tom Thibodeau be at the end of the season? This and much more on a Fact or Fiction edition of the NBA Roundtable.
Here we go with the questions this week.
The Bulls vs Cavs series will go 7 games?
Steve: FACT- Well, I guess it depends who is coaching the Cavs. If David Blatt is the coach then it is most definately going 7 games, if LeBron is the coach, then they can wrap it up in 6 games. Though it almost appears as if neither team wants to win this series, as neither team can close out games. LeBron’s game winner in Game 4, may have been what the Cavs needed to get the momentum back. However, I see this going down to the wire, with the Cavs taking it back in Cleveland for Game 7.
Bill: Fiction. I think the Bulls close it out in six games. They’ve looked hungrier than CLE and if Gasol returns, it only strengthens their chances of advancing on to the conference finals.
Chad: Fact; These two teams are are evenly matched and with the injuries to the Kyrie and Love of the Cavs and the injuries to Gasol and the questions that continue to linger about Rose. I think you have to assume this one goes 7 games.
As entering in to Monday, the Warriors are down 2-1 in the series. You are concerned with the Warriors chances of advancing?
Steve: FICTION: Not really, I mean the Grizzlies are a very good basketball team. Despite losing two straight to a team who was second behind them for most of the year, the Warriors should bounce back, and I still like them to take this series.
Bill: Fact. It’s clear that the Griz have a much more well rounded low post game and that slowed down the offensive attack of GS has been key. Curry’s lack of shooting ability in game 3 truly hurt them. Tony Allen’s stellar defense on Klay Thompson was also a huge difference maker. GS has been flashy all season, but the playoffs are about substance. That said, I don’t see them moving on.
Chad: Fact; I am little concerned I do believe that Memphis has the style of play that can fluster the Warriors style of play that has been shown by their recent 6-26 3pt performance in Gms 2 & 3. Memphis has the bigs Randolph and Gasol that can beat up the Warriors down low.
John Wall will not be back in the playoffs, even if the Wizards advance?
Steve: FICTION: If the Wizards advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, there is no injury that will keep a competitor like Wall out of the game. While he may be limited, he can still be a threat one hand and all.
Bill: Fiction. Unless Wall’s injury is truly season ending, I fully expect him to return at some point. The team managed a victory on Pierce’s clutch shot, but they need more than just that to move on and Wall has been a huge part of them getting to where they are. If they do advance to the ECF and face either CHI or CLE, Wall will *NEED* to be there else that next series will be over quickly.
Chad: Fact; with displaced fractures in his hand John Wall would be more of a liability on the court than help. Although the Wizards did get a 21 pt game lead in game 3 before needing a Paul Pierce buzzer beater. The Wizards over time are not the same w/o Wall as they are with him.
The Clippers are playing the best basketball of all remaining teams in the playoffs?
Steve: FACT: Absolutely they are, I picked the Rockets to pretty much wipe the floor with this team when Chris Paul went out to injury. They are dominating the Rockets, and with the Warriors struggling, the Clippers may be the team to beat at this point in time.
Bill: Fact. I picked the Clippers to win it all back before the playoffs started and they only look to be getting stronger. They’ve utterly dominated HOU and showed that they’re the hungrier team by far. Unless their main mast snaps ( a key player goes down and out for the remainder of the season), there’s simply no stopping that ship.
Chad: Fact; The way the Clippers played in game 1 w/o Chris Paul and Game 3 & 4 with Chris Paul and overcoming the Hack-A-Deandre strategy from the Rockets to go up 3-1 has simply been amazing. I had the Rockets as a favorite in the serious. The Clippers have really impressed.
Tom Thibodeau will be fired at the end of this season regardless of how the Bulls finish?
Steve: FACT: And I hate saying that, Thibs has easily been the best coach the Bulls have had since Phil Jackson, as he has led this team to playoff berths every season, and even a berth in the Conference Finals in 2010. The front office for some reason does not like him, and even if the Bulls win an NBA Championship, he will likely be looking for another job, probably in Orlando. This will prove to be a huge mistake for Chicago.
Bill: Fact-ion. It’s hard to tell for sure if his time is going to be up and I do believe they’d be pretty foolhardy to fire him no matter the end result of these playoffs. Thibodeau has been a solid coach for CHI, his team has posted winning records during his tenure, and finding an equivalent replacement is going to be pretty difficult or impossible given the coaching pool available. It could happen… but it won’t make any sense if it does.
Chad: I’m going to go out on a limb and say fiction; In my opinion; I don’t see another head coach that can coach this team to the record they have had over the past few years and I can’t see the Bulls making a change for any coach that could be available in the offseason.
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