Welcome to another edition of NBA Roundtable. The first round of the playoffs are well on there way and 3 series are over already with 2 of them being sweeps. This week we will discuss George Karl, new Washington Wizards coach Scott Brooks, and so much more on NBA Roundtable.
NBA TOUGH TRIVIA
Excluding the playoffs, Name the teams that defeated the Golden State Warriors this season?
Here are the questions for the week:
Was it fair to fire George Karl after coaching the Sacramento Kings only one full season?
Todd: I don’t think it was fair at all, how are you supposed to turn a team around in just over a year. I think the reason he was fired was not because of their poor record but more of because of the relationship between him and DeMarcus Cousins. They got off to a bad start from the get go and it just never got any better through out the season.
With Scott Brooks now coaching the Washington Wizards, will this move entice Kevin Durant to leave OKC and go to Washington given their past relationship?
Todd: t is very possible just because Washington is in the East and it is easier to win in the East than it is in the West. Here is what I think will happen though. I think Durant will sign with OKC for 1 year. For one the salary cap takes another huge jump in 2018 and for another Russel Westbrook also becomes a free agent. I think them two guys are a package deal even though I don’t think they will ever win a championship if they stay together because they are too much glory hogs.
João: The Wizards are most certainly trying to bank on that possibility. I still think it is going to be hard for Durant to leave the Thunder but it might also hinge on what they do in the playoffs this year. In Washington Durant would have Scott Brooks, a less competitive conference and John Wall. When the time is right the Wizards will do everything in their power to land him in Washington, so that is definitely a possibility that should concern the Thunder brass, as well as other possible suitors.
Chad: I wouldn’t be shocked because of course the East is not as strong as the West so a run through the playoffs would really go through Cleveland at this point .
Dan: Honestly, I don’t see Kevin Durant leaving OKC. I can see him going to the Lakers or the Wizards though as those two places he’s been rumored about going. But, everybody will be interested in him & since he has ties to Scott Brooks & the Washington area, I believe they have the best shot at landing him. He’ll sign a 1-year deal with a player option for this season with OKC to stay with Westbrook. I think he’s going to try to stay with him and go to the same location when he becomes a free agent after the 2017 season.
Steve: There was some talk about Durant heading to Washington before Brooks was hired on as the coach, this is his hometown, and it would appear that he wants to go there. However, I don’t think the Wizards will pay Durant what he is going to demand. I think he re-signs with OKC.
Rumor is several teams are pursuing Luke Walton for head coaching vacancy. Will he leave the Golden State Warriors to be a head coach next year?
Todd: If the right opportunity comes by I think he will leave to become a head coach. Luke Walton did an excellent job in Kerr’s absents taking the Warriors to a 39-4 record. The Sacramento Kings are interested in him and I also heard if Luke Walton was interested in the Lakers head coaching job Byron Scott would be fired. Let’s pray to god!
João: Yes he will and so he should. One could argue that he just took Steve Kerr’s formula and ran with it early this season, but fact of the matter is that he was able to keep the Warriors focused and got them off to that blistering start. Look for Luke Walton to interview for several jobs and eventually accept one. And then let us see if his coaching skills are for real or not.
Chad: The vacancies are out there it’s a question of the right fit of a situation Walton proved himself this year with a talented Warriors bunch so he will definitely get his chance.
Dan: I think so. Who wouldn’t want to become a head coach? He had a lot of success in the beginning of the season as the interim head coach so I can easily see him becoming a head coach. Of course, who wouldn’t have had a lot of success with that roster, but he does have an extremely win-loss record he displayed with Golden State & that will definitely help his case.
Steve: On one hand do you want to leave a team like Golden State regardless if you are only an assistant head coach? Or do you want to advance your career as a head coach. With as young as Walton is, and the success he has had with the Warriors when Kerr was out for half the season, I think that Walton should and will be the guy most young franchises are going to pursue. You have to take a head coaching job if offered.
Is Tom Thibodeau a good fit to be the Minnesota Timberwolves head coach?
Todd: It is a great fit. This Minnesota team has some great potential over the next 10-15 years with all the young talent they have. Plus they will have possibly a top 5 lottery pick. With having the last two rookies of the year even though Karl Anthony-Towns hasn’t been named as rookie of the year yet, who else are they gonna pick? Having last years rookie of the year Anthony Wiggins, Ricky Rubio, and Zach LaVine. This team could be great in a couple of years.
João: Thibodeau did a great job in Chicago and his firing was, at the very least, a bad move by the Bulls’ front office. He is going to bring defense and tenacity to an already talented group of youngsters in Minnesota. With Towns, Rubio, Wiggins, LaVine and a coach as demanding and intense (especially on the defensive side of the ball) as Thibs look for the Timberwolves to be in playoff contention next year.
Chad: Yes he can take a young team bring his defensive style to Minnesota and have them ready to go in the playoffs in a couple years and Thibs saw the potential great fit all the way around.
Dan: I think Tom Thibodeau is a great fit up in Minnesota. I was at the barber the other day & the 5 other guys in there were all in agreement with me in that the Timberwolves have a great squad & now with the leadership of Thibodeau, that team is going to be dangerous within the next couple of seasons. Great move and great hire. He’s a fantastic coach.
Steve: Simply put, Tom Thibodeau is going to turn Minnesota around. He has a great core of young players who will buy in to his system. With the minutes that Thibs gives his star players, guys like Wiggins, Towns, and LaVine, and veteran leadership for Rubio. Minnesota could be heading to the playoffs in a couple of years.
Which team is the biggest surprise of the playoffs to this point?
Chad: I really haven’t been surprised by too much in these playoffs as of 4/23
Todd: Well the biggest surprise for me (as of 22april16) the Detroit Pistons actually competing with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavaliers biggest win in the series is 17 points and that was in game 2. The Cavaliers have enough talent where they should be blowing out the Pistons but they are not. I think the Cavaliers will be in trouble the farther they get into the playoffs. They might not make it out of the East.
João: I don’t think these playoffs (as of 21/04) have seen any major surprises but I would probably highlight the Raptors. The Canadian team, even after riding into the playoffs as the number 2 seed in the East, even after having a great regular season, they definitely entered the playoffs with a monkey on their back, after last year’s playoffs. Everything seemed to take a turn for the worse when they lost their home opener in these playoffs. But just when it seemed that Paul George and the Pacers were going to take advantage the Raptors were able to refocus, win at home and then win on the road, reclaiming home advantage. Jonas Valanciunas has been helping tremendously even when Lowry and DeRozan have struggled and the Raptors could even give the Cavaliers a run for their money in the East.
Dan: I have to say the Indiana Pacers. They’re not only staying in the series with Toronto, which I didn’t expect too much, but they’re beating Toronto by double digits almost every game & really bringing it to them. I’m shocked because I didn’t think Indiana was that great of a team & I thought there was a considerable separation from Cleveland/Toronto & the rest of the Eastern Conference. Another surprise I have, and this isn’t a team surprise, is the amount of blowouts there’ve been so far. I saw OKC almost beat Dallas by 40, Golden State & San Antonio are winning by 20-30 points. Some of these series aren’t even close & I don’t know how Houston or Dallas were able to squeak out a W.
Steve: The biggest surprise to me is how the Pistons just laid an egg against the Cavs. Now I did not think they would win the series, but I had not thought they would have been swept. I thought they could have taken Cleveland to 6 games. Im also surprised that the Clippers have been as dominant as they have been so far against the Blazers. I thought this series was going to go the distance, but the Clippers are in full throttle and are in great position to knock the Blazers out early.
Answer to the Trivia Question
Portland Trail Blazers
Los Angeles Lakers
San Antonio Spurs
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