Welcome to another edition NBA RoundTable. Well the Cavaliers are cruising thru the Eastern Conference as expected. This week we will discuss who the number one pick in the draft really should be, why would Phil Jackson choose Jeff Hornacek to be the Knicks next head coach and so much more on NBA RoundTable.
Here are the questions:
In your opinion who should be the number one pick of this years NBA Draft?
Todd: Here is what I have to say. the Philadelphia 76ers better take Ben Simmons so the Lakers can have Brandon Ingram. In my opinion Ingram fits better with both teams just cause he has range from outside but i think Simmons will go number one. Sometimes I really don’t think it should matter who the better player is if they are that close in talent. It should matter who fits better with the team at the time. I have to be really honest, I really don’t watch a lot of college basketball so I have to go with what I have heard from other people. I seen Ben Simmons play once but he didn’t impress me any. I have never seen Brandon Ingram play.
João: I think the 76ers are going to pick to Ben Simmons, as he is arguably the better prospect. Brandon Ingram is more polished right now but there seems to be some consensus regarding Simmons having more upside. It is not like the 76ers are going to contend for the playoffs next year so they can definitely take their time and develop Simmons’ jump shot and defensive ability.
Dan: I have to say Ben Simmons, the PF/SF out of LSU. He was an absolute beast in college & I think he’ll be a great player in the NBA & he definitely is the best in this year’s draft class.
Steve: The best player in the draft is absolutely Ben Simmons, and he is going to be a great basketball player. However, you have to think of one key element here. The LSU Tigers failed to make a single post season this year, so that could say something for the talent and leadership of Simmons. I think Ingram is more NBA ready right now, and could help a team in year one, while Simmons is going to be better long term. If you are rebuilding, which what I think the Sixers are doing, then you have to take Simmons. The Lakers would be better at #2 with Ingram, because they have a core of players that with one more key player, they could compete for a playoff spot next year.
Chad: Ben Simmons is the clear cut choice in this instance to be the number 1 choice as it would not be a big man and somebody different for the 76ers to draft.
The New York Knicks are working on hiring Jeff Hornacek as their new head coach. Is this the right move on their part?
Todd: This is the oddest decision ever in my opinion. I was under the impression that Phil Jackson wanted someone who had experience with the triangle offense. Hornacek probably don’t even know what the triangle is. He has no proven success. I don’t think this is a good choice for the Knicks.
João: It was certainly unexpected, to say the least. Hornacek is most certainly going to get rid of the triangle (let it go Phil) and the Knicks will be a faster team. If the Hornacek coached Suns are any indication then the 2016-17 Knicks will run more and shoot more 3-pointers. Is that a good or a bad thing? I actually think they will be a better team next year, with a new philosophy in place and also through the continued development of Porzingis. I am optimistic regarding what Hornacek will bring to the table.
Dan: I think it’s a good signing and that he’s a very good coach. The Knicks are going to need a lot more help than just a coach though after watching them last season and another concern that I have is him not running the triangle offense that Phil Jackson really wants out of his head coach. If Jackson & Hornacek can get along, it should be a great fit for both the squad & the coach. If they can’t, it’ll be a disaster.
Steve: I dont have any idea why this move was made. I dont think he is the right fit for the Knicks. Im not saying that Hornacek is a bad coach because he had some great moments in Phoenix, but the Knicks needed a yes man, and he is not going to be a yes man. He will have the balls to stand up to Jackson, and I have a feeling that this was not Jackson’s choice, this was done with some pressure from the players and the owner.
Chad: It is a strange move to say the least I don’t see Hornacek as being able to run with the Triangle that Phil Jackson would undoubtedly want to run in New York. That being said what do the Knicks have to lose in hiring Hornacek except more money going out to a coach.
Mike D’Antoni is now the favorite to land the Rockets head coaching job. Do you think him and James Harden could gel together?
Todd: this will be worse than the Hornacek hire. This will be a complete disaster. Sure D’Antoni is an offensive guru but James Harden needs someone to teach him how to play defense. They might score a lot of points but they will give up a lot more points. Houston will be in the lottery next year for sure if they hire D’Antoni. In my opinion if Mike D’Antoni could not bring a championship to Phoenix when he had Steve Nash and Amire Stoudamire the best pick and role duo at the time, he will never bring a championship any where.
João: I thought that the Jeff Van Gundy possibility would have made more sense for the Rockets, but it does seem like D’Antoni has the edge right now. I think that D’Antoni’s presence will not help the Rockets on the defensive end and that is something that needs to happen there. You cannot have some players being elite defenders (Patrick Beverley) and then have others completely disregarding that side of the ball (James Harden). I also think that Harden and Howard – not to mention Josh Smith – aren’t exactly easy players to coach. While I have no doubts that D’Antoni is a great coach I simply do not see him as a good fit for these Rockets.
Dan: I think that it will be a great fit for both James Harden & Mike D’Antoni. Back in Phoenix, D’Antoni really knew how to run a fast-paced offense where the teams routinely scored 105+ each night. The main focus was not defense or anything else, but rather putting points on the board. They don’t really focus too much or play too much defense which fits James Harden pretty well. I think this move will actually end up helping Houston overall.
Steve: I am not sure that D’Antoni can co-exist with anyone, however I do think the Rockets needed a veteran coach to coach these guys. He is fast paced, and has a high scoring offense, so Harden is going to get the ball a lot. They will be fine together.
Chad: D’Antoni has had more than his fair share of chances with teams in the NBA and has not had success. This move would be more puzzling than Hornacek going to the Knicks.
What are your thoughts on Kyle Lowry going to the locker room before the half was over?
Todd: To me, as him being the leader of the team, they basically lost the series at that point right there. I consider that quitting on his team. He said he went in there to clear his head. Really? Guy you are in the middle of a game. Its not like the game was a blow out yet. they were actually some what close.
João: During the post-game press conference he mentioned that he has done that before, just not under the spotlight of a conference finals game. While he certainly did not do anything “wrong” it was indeed… strange. I am going to be a little harsh here but the Raptors look like a defeated team; they looked like one during the first game and the attitude did not change for game 2. And while things can still change north of the border fact of the matter is that Lowry’s locker room visit was, for me, a sign of a team leader setting a wrong example. Where he should have showed leadership he showed frustration. And it all happened while the Cavaliers were making a decisive run.
Dan: It shows how little he cares about the team. It shows he has no confidence in the team and doesn’t care how they play when he’s not on the floor. It doesn’t show that he’s committed to the team or that he’s an overall team player. Organizations don’t like to see that because it hurts overall team chemistry. They might not want to sign him because of that due to the fact that it makes him look bad. It makes him look selfish and a could-be cancer in the locker room which teams really don’t want & they don’t care who you are. It doesn’t look good in any way you can say it for Kyle Lowry.
Steve: He knows they are done, he had to do what he had to do. He figured this team was about to likely be swept, and he had seen enough.
Chad: Writing this after Toronto has tied the series it seems like that trip to the locker room re-vitalized him and the team. Well that and Biyombo.
If the Cleveland Cavaliers sweep through the Eastern conference with a perfect 12-0 or even 12-1, will it be a problem come the NBA finals that they have not really been tested?
Todd: I think it could be a problem against a team like Golden State who can strike quick fast and in a hurry. Since they have really not trailed by 10 or 12 points in the playoffs yet, they don’t know what its like. Remember Golden State beat Cleveland on the road by like 40 points. We will just have to wait and see.
João: You can look at it both ways – they have not really been tested versus they will be rested and with supreme confidence. But let us be honest here – everyone knew that, in all likelihood, the Cavaliers’ run to the finals (disregarding potential injuries, of course) was going to be a cakewalk. This is just a confirmation of what was expected to happen. What is really important is that the team is fully healthy; who knows what could have happened if Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love had been healthy last year? With the Cavs at full strength and the series between the Warriors and the Thunder figuring to be a long one, I actually think the situation is favoring Cleveland.
Dan: While Cleveland did have some pretty solid teams in the East, they have been able to go without losing. That’s extremely impressive no matter who they play & I think if they go 12-0 or 12-1, they were battle tested enough. But when it really comes down to it, I don’t think battle testing is going to win or lose this Finals. I think it’s going to be the overall team. Now, if Golden State win to force the re-match, this is going to be a much, much better series than last year with Irving & Love back. If Oklahoma City wins, it will be a crazy series but I still think Oklahoma City will win. The only concern that has a relation to battle tested is this: the tougher teams they play, the more games they play. The more games they play means more minutes, more strains, more aches, more energy, less rest, etc. Then if they play a lot of games close instead of trading blowouts with the other teams, that’s even more energy & less rest. Oklahoma City had to face San Antonio (2nd best record in NBA) & now Golden State, who set the win-loss record in the NBA this season with 73-9 record. It actually might be better off for Cleveland they had an easier road to the Finals.
Steve: Im so sick and tired of hearing this, that the Cavs have not been tested. Lets go back in time here. They played the Pistons, who are a physical team, and won what, 43, 44 games? They are tough, but the Cavs are better. Then you have the Hawks, who were the top seed last year in the East, before falling to Cleveland in the Conference Finals, and this year were the #1 rated defense, and they gave up 120+ points to the Cavs. Then the Raptors who won 55 games this season, and were even 2-1 against Cleveland this year. Not a bad team. The Cavaliers are meshing well together and they are doing what they are supposed to be doing. I don’t care if they lose 1, go undefeated, or go to 7 games. I am picking the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the NBA Championship this season.
Chad: As of this the best they can do is 12-2 which a punch in the mouth from a game Toronto Raptors team might be the wake up call the team needs to get through this series and be challengers in the NBA finals.
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