Weeeeere BAAAACK! The NBA season is upon us, so the panelist of the NBA Roundtable are back as well to give you our bold predictions and discuss the latest topics surrounding the NBA.
This week to start us off we quote an NBA Hall of Famer, Sir Charles Barkley, as he was featured on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption. Barkley had some things to say about the NBA, and gave some bold predictions on the upcoming season. We simply will give our opinion on some quotes he said and say Does Charles have a point? Or Do we want to know what he is smokin?
Here we go!
Charles said “The four best teams in the Eastern Conference are the Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, and Milwaukee Bucks.
Joao- What is he smokin – Even with the great addition of Greg Monroe plus the return of Jabari Parker the Bucks are not an East top 4 team. Cleveland, Chicago and Miami are up there but there are other teams which are better than the Bucks going into this season, namely the Raptors, Wizards and Hawks. How can Sir Charles believe the Bucks are better than the Hawks?
Steve- He has a point. but that is not saying much here. I mean it is the Eastern Conference. I think the Cavs and Bulls are locks. The Heat should be better with Bosh back in the line up, but I still think the Heat are a 5 or 6 seed. The Wizards are going to take a step back, so they are not a top 4 team this year. The Hawks should be pretty good again, so I would probably put them ahead of Milwaukee, but not to take anything away from the Bucks. They are a very good basketball team. And being in the East, could put them in a top 4 spot.
Chad- What is he smoking? Has he not seen Toronto
Charles sad “The Oklahoma City Thunder will win the NBA Championship this season”
Joao- What is he smokin – The Thunder will not even win the West, let alone the championship. Are Durant and Westbrook going to be fully healthy for the duration of the season? That is a question mark. And while OKC is definitely a playoff team this year if both players are healthy, the likes of the Spurs, Clippers, Rockets and Warriors are more complete teams right now.
Steve- He has a point but only if BOTH Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are healthy. Everyone counted them out last season at the mid way point, and they came within a game to making the playoffs. And with a healthy duo, they may have even done some damage in the playoffs. I would not have liked that match up if I were the Warriors. So as long as they are healthy, they have a legitimate shot at winning their first championship in Oklahoma City.
Chad- What is he smoking? Golden State vs Cleveland rematch in the final?
Charles said “The New Orleans Pelicans will take a step back, and will not reach the playoffs this season, the team to take their place will be the Utah Jazz”
Joao- He has a point – The Pelicans were able to sneak into the playoffs last season but they will struggle to do so again this year. Injuries are going to be a key factor for this young team and there are several other teams that also missed the playoffs this year that will be better this year. I am not sure the Jazz will be able to make the playoffs either but I do believe the Pelicans will lose some of their momentum this year, even considering that Anthony Davis is most likely going to take another leap this upcoming season.
Steve- He has a point. The Pelicans just snagged the 8th spot just ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder. I think that they are going to be in the mix again this year, but teams like the Jazz, and Suns are also going to be competitive for that spot as well. Im not so sure about how Dallas is going to be, so they are going to be in the hunt as well. Keep in mind the Thunder did not make the playoffs, and they are probably going to be there. So that 8th spot will be fought between 3 of 4 teams. I don’t like there chances as I don’t see anyone outside of Anthony Davis making a difference, and he cannot do it by himself.
Chad- Early on he has a point
Charles said “The New York Knicks will make the post season this year, I guarantee it”
Joao- He has a point – To “guarantee” something like this is a gamble but, in what figures to be another year in which the Eastern Conference isn’t nearly as strong as its Western counterpart, I do think the Knicks will be able to make it into the playoffs. A healthy Carmelo, more time to learn the system under coach Derek Fisher, Arron Afflalo providing some offensive firepower, the inside presence of Robin Lopez and perhaps even a surprising year from Porzingis will likely translate into a playoff year for the Knicks, leaving the dreadful last season in the rearview mirror.
Steve- What’s he smokin? Not to the point that the Knicks will make the playoffs, because in the Eastern Conference, I would not be comfortable to say that anyone would not make the playoffs. However, to guarantee that the New York Knicks are going to be in the playoffs this season is like guaranteeing the Cubs are going to win the World Series.
Chad- What he is smoking? They’re the Knicks
Charles said “The Los Angeles Lakers are the fourth best team in California behind The Clippers, The Warriors, and the Kings.”
Joao- He has a point – I guess this was meant as a joke because there are only 4 teams from California and the Lakers should be the worst of that group. Even the Kings should be slightly better than the Lakers, in what should be Kobe’s last hurrah.
Steve- Obviously they are not going to be better than the Warriors and Clippers. The Kings are going to be a little better than they were last year, and they still were better than the Lakers. So Barkley has a point here, the Lakers are god awful, and is expected to be Kobe Bryant’s last season, he will fade off into the sunset, and the Lakers will begin to rebuild.
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