Welcome back and we are down tot he Final Four in this NBA season. We have both the #1 and #2 seeds from both conferences in the Conference Finals. Who will win? Who has been the Most Valuable Player fo this post-season? Find out this and more on the NBA Roundtable.
Has Paul Pierce played his last game in the NBA?
Steve: I would hate to see Paul Pierce’s career end the way it did. A prime opportunity to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, and having a game tying shot reverse to lose Game 6 against the Hawks. As a Kansas Jayhawks fan, I am a fan of Pierce, and I have to think that yes we have seen Pierce play his last game. Though I think that he could deliver for one more season should he choose to come back. But what a career for Pierce if he does call it quits.
Joao: Even though Pierce is clearly past his prime, his playoff performances this year were memorable for some clutch 3-pointers and other contributions. His post-game reaction seems to indicate that he will retire, but that is also a reaction that happens after you have just been eliminated from the playoffs. I think the Wizards will be able to entice him to come back for another year, to have another playoff run and to continue to mentor the likes of John Wall and Bradley Beal.
David: I don’t think so. Pierce has been fairly healthy, his HOF place is secure and I think he enjoys his role on the team.
Chad: I think that Paul Pierce can still be a contributor to a team trying to make a run in the playoffs where that is I’m not sure but Paul Pierce in my opinion was a little bit left in the tank and that his NBA career isn’t quite over yet. Although that being said for Paul Pierce to play again it would have to be the right fit and situation.
Was the Clippers’ epic collapse in the Western Semis the worst collapse of all time?
Steve: Last week we were discussing if the Clippers were the best team in the NBA at that point in time, and most of us thought yes they were. Then they got their asses handed to them in Games five, six, and seven to once again blow an opportunity to advance in the playoffs. The way it appeared that this team just quit after the huge comeback for the Rockets in Game 6 on the road, this has to go down as the worst collapse in playoff history as far as I am concerned. I will say this, that they did mount a pretty good comeback in Game 7, but it was too little too late.
Joao: It was certainly the worst collapse in the last few years. When you are up 3-1, then 3-2 with a chance to clinch it at home, and you somehow manage to fumble a 19-point lead, that is as epic of a collapse as it can get.
I do not think it was the worst collapse of all time though. I would rank the collapse of the Dallas Mavericks in the 2006 Finals (also because it was in the Finals!) ahead of what has happened to these Clippers.
But for the Clippers, an historically bad franchise, that finally has a great team, this is heartbreaking. sorry Steve Ballmer.
David: Seattle vs Denver. It was a five game series, true, but that was worse. You also have the Dallas vs Miami series, but that was more Wade taking over and the refs deciding that one, the biggest stomach punch might be the Suns / Spurs, but again, that was more due to suspensions for stupidity.
Chad: In recent memory the way there up 3-1 in the series and then to be up like that in Game 6 and to let it all slip away
The Pelicans fired Monty Williams as head coach after he led this team to the playoffs. Did he deserve to be fired?
Steve: This surprised me a little bit, as Williams delivered his team to the playoffs when really their backs were against the wall. They won the games that they had to win and finished with a pretty good record. So no, I don’t think Monty Williams should have lost his job, then again, Mark Jackson shouldn’t have lost his job last year either. Whoever takes this Pelicans job, is going to inherit a very good squad.
Joao: During the broadcast of one of the Cavaliers versus Bulls games in that series, Jeff van Gundy and Mark Jackson were talking about how the league has changed regarding attitudes toward winning coaches. In the past a coach would be fired for having a losing season, but a coach with a winning record was generally safe. But things have definitely changed and the coaching job is more volatile than ever. Just ask Mark Jackson about that.
I believe Monty’s firing is extremely unfair. The Pelicans endured another season plagued by injuries but Monty was able to steer them into a 45-37 record, beating the Thunder for the last playoff spot in the West. His performance deserved another at least another season.
David: I’ve never been of the opinion Monty was a good coach. I have problems with the way he runs an offense- not to Scott Brooks levels, but there is some serious rotation problems, and you have to make sure with a young player, you don’t damage his growth.
Chad: I think with the progress that was made this year; including a playoff berth in the more difficult Western Conference; Monty Williams deserved a chance to try to take and do something more with the Anthony Davis and the Pelicans. I can understand his overall record being a reason for the firing. But the teamwork him and Davis had I feel that Williams deserved to keep his job
The Final Four is set, Give me your NBA Finals and champion as of now.
Steve: Absolutely cannot wait to watch the Rockets vs Warriors series. Both teams are rolling right now, but I still like the Warriors due to Houston’s inconsistencies on the road. I’ll take Golden State in 6 games. As far as the Cavaliers vs Hawks? There is no way I can pick the Hawks to advance to the Finals. LeBron is playing lights out currently and is going to lead the Cavs back to the NBA Finals for just the second time ever. So I have Cleveland vs Golden State in the Finals. Should be a really good NBA Finals, but I don’t see Golden State losing this series. Warriors take the series and the NBA championship in 5 games.
Joao: Even though Kyrie Irving is hobbling and LeBron James has been somewhat inconsistent, I see the Cavaliers beating the Hawks handily and then being able to edge either the Warriors or the Rockets. The contributions of Matthew Delladova, Tristan Thompson and Iman Shumpert have added depth to this team and LeBron is still the best player on the planet.
The King is headed to his 5th NBA Finals in a row and look for him to win his third ring. Who could have imagined he would actually return to Cleveland and be in this position? Unlikely but real.
David: I’ve said this every round: Is Bogut healthy? Then they are the best team out there, especially with no Kevin Love. As I posted on the Conference Finals picks, The Warriors are going to sweep the Rockets, and wait on the Cavs, who have a harder opponent.
Chad: With the teams left I think it is a Warriors/Cavs NBA final with the Warriors coming out on top because of the injuries that the Cavs have sustained in this postseason. Warriors in 6.
If there was such an award and because we had so much fun in the regular season. Who is your post-season MVP as of right now?
Steve: Right now it has to be LeBron James, because no matter how you look at it, if it wasnt for his play calling, the Cavs would have been down 3-1, the momentum would have been with the Bulls, and they would have probably lost that series. James has led an injury prone Cavs team this post-season and I think he wins this award hands down.
Joao: As of now I would give it to Blake Griffin. 25.5 PPG, 12.7 RPG, 6.1 APG (yes, he can even pass), 51.1 FG% and 1 block per game. Plus that long 2-point jumper just kept going in.
His “problem” is that the Clippers are already out of the playoffs, so another “post-season MVP” will emerge. But, as of right now, I did not see any other player dominating as much on both sides of the floor, also helping his team when Chris Paul was out injured.
David: Gotta be Blake for 2 rounds. He took down Duncan in round 1 (and hearty F*U) but in round 2, he played like we all wanted him to play since day 1. He’s gone, but Clippers fans have to be hoping he made the leap for next year.
Chad: I think with the injuries they have sustained to top level talent Lebron James has the post season MVP carrying the Cavs past the Bulls and stepping up when they needed him.
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