Welcome to another edition of NBA RoundTable. Well the NBA playoffs are finally over and the Cleveland Cavaliers made an unbelievable come from a 3-1 deficit to win the NBA Championship. This week we will discuss Stephen Curry’s performance in the NBA Finals, LeBron James legacy, and so much more on the NBA RoundTable.
Lets get started with the questions:
Stephen Curry never played like himself in the NBA finals with the exception of maybe game 4. With him being voted the first unanimous NBA MVP this year, was there just too much pressure on him to perform well?
Todd: I think there was a ton of pressure on him but at the same time I don’t think he was playing at 100% but who was 100%. That is no excuse! He just simply missed shots that he normally makes simple as that. I think the pressure got to him big time and thats why he had 6 out of 7 bad games.
Steve: There is no secret that Curry was not 100% during this Finals. He never made any excuses and went out there and played his best, and just got beat. I think more so, the Cavs found the formula to beat the Warriors. They did a great job eliminating the three ball for the Warriors during the final games of the NBA Finals, and never allowed the Warriors to play their game. They out manned, and out played them, simply put, the Cavs just wanted it more. I don’t think there was any pressure at all on Curry, as he has a mountain of people around him that can carry the load.
Chad: Curry was not 100% during the finals and I think he wanted to be the hero that won the championship and get the Finals MVP and due to some actions by a teammate assisted in a tailsping towards Cleveland rallying from 3-1 down.
Dan: While I do think the pressure was heavy on Curry, I believe it wasn’t solely placed on him due to his unanimous MVP this season. I believe that the pressure was on Golden State after their record-setting 73-win season just like there was pressure on the Patriots to go 19-0 a couple years ago when they faced off with the New York Giants and lost in the Super Bowl. The pressure just got to Golden State, Draymond Green got suspended and the entire team collapsed to make their great season all for nothing.
With this being LeBron James third Championship and only the 5th player to be finals MVP at least 3 times, does this cement his legacy in NBA history?
Todd: Legacy really? If it were not for Ray allen shot in game 6 against San Antonio in his second Championship and Kyrie Irving Shot in game 7 this year we could be talking about him being 1-6 in the NBA Finals. Personally I don’t even count his first 2 titles. He called up D Wade and Chris Bosh and they all decided so go to south beach. You never heard Michael Jordan call Magic Johnson and Larry Bird and say lets go play on this team. What kind of crap is that? I think that will hurt his legacy when it is all said and done.
Steve: Let’s be real here, LeBron could have lost the NBA Finals this season, and I don’t think his legacy would have been tarnished in the least bit. He is far and away the best overall player in the NBA, and probably the best player since, dare I say it? Michael Jordan. This Finals win just puts the exclamation point on the career of LeBron James.
Chad: He put to bed the talk of Steph being the best in the world and with a 3rd firmly entrenched himself as one of the greatest; even getting for a 6th straight year is impressive.
Dan: I think LeBron James had already cemented his legacy as an all-time great in NBA history without having his 3rd Finals MVP & Championships. LeBron is one of the best to ever play the game, the current best player in the NBA and his legacy is just growing stronger and stronger as seasons advance.
Last year Golden State proved a jump shooting team could win a championship. Did they prove that could have just been a fluke this year?
Todd: I think they did prove something. Last year they made shots. this year they didn’t. Even though Last year Cleveland had injuries, I don’t think that had anything to do with them losing this year. They just could not hit the water if they fell out of a boat. They don’t have an inside game so they have to rely on the outside shot or drive to the basket.
Steve: No, like I said, the Cavaliers just figured out the formula, and really exposed the Warriors. I dont think you can call last year a fluke, because they won in such dominating fashion. They now just need to get more of an inside presence and not live and die by the three pointer. The blue print on how to beat the Warriors is out and has been exposed, now the real question is, Can the Warriors rebound next year and re-draw up a new plan?
Chad: I think the only thing proven in this year’s finals is that injuries truly do mean something in the playoffs; Last year Cleveland has no Irving, no Love, Warriors win a championship. This year Steph’s knee is hurt, Bogut and Igoudala get hurt later into the series, Cleveland wins the championship.
Dan: I don’t think so, I think they just showed that this year their team wasn’t as good as it was last year and they had more competition this year. The reason Cleveland lost was due to injuries, not because Golden State was the better team. But, then again, it was a whole different so it’s all different reasons, etc. I don’t think last year was a fluke, and it was a great series, but this year Cleveland showed they were better and won the series.
What was the biggest turning point of the NBA Finals after the Warriors went up 3-1?
Todd: When Draymond Green was suspended for game 5 and the Warriors ended up losing the game. The whole momentum of the series shifted to the Cavaliers going into game 6 in Cleveland.
Steve: The turning point was when the Warriors got pounded at home in Game 5 of the Finals. This was “supposed” to be the series clinching win for the Warriors in Oakland. Instead, the Cavs forced Game 6 in convincing fashion, kicked their asses again in Game 6, and all the momentum was with the Cavs after that Game 5 win.
Chad: Game 5 for sure you have Draymond Green suspended so even when comes back from Game 6 he is off a little bit and in the same game Bogut and Iguodala get hurt to where you have no interior defense and Thompson’s rebounds and dunks wore GS out and Iguodala could not cover James so he was able to get 41 and a win.
Dan: I think the biggest turning point had to be the suspension of Draymond Green. He’s suspended game 5, Cleveland wins. Series goes back to Cleveland so it’s almost an auto-win for Cleveland which means Game 7 will be played in California with the series tied at 3 games a piece. This game can go either way and Cleveland just out-played Golden State and came back. If Draymond Green was never suspended, Golden State doesn’t lose Game 5 and the Warriors would be NBA Champs for 2 years in a row. Instead, Cleveland took full advantage and won it all.
In your opinion who are the winners and losers of the NBA Draft?
Todd: The winners definitely have to be the Oklahoma City Thunder. They went into the night without a draft pick and make a huge trade. They acquired Victor Oladipo, Ersa Ilaysova, Domantas Sabonas for Sere Ibaka. That is a huge trade especially if Durant sticks around. The Thunder would be one of the teams to be next year.
As far as loser I thought the Sacremento Kings. Their pick at number 13 was like barely in the top 100 best player in the draft and it was another big guy. They have enough big guys including DeMarcus Cousins.
Steve: I like the Lakers and how they came out and got Ingram. This kid is going to be a superstar in the league, and will be a good starting point to have the Lakers rebuild their franchise into a championship team. I said last year, that after Kobe Bryant left, they were just a couple of pieces away from a playoff team. They very well could be a playoff team now. Now if they can land a LeBron, or a Durant during Free agency, you may see the Lakers atop the Western Conference sooner rather than later.
As far as the losers. I think always the Philadelphia 76ers,even with the top pick and a potential star in Ben Simmons, because the Sixers always find a way to blow it. The real losers were Minnesota Timberwolves. Not so much on what they did in the draft itself, but for not getting a deal done to get Jimmy Butler from the Bulls. I think had they given the Bulls their #1 pick for Butler, that could have propelled them to a playoff team even in the West next year. Still, without Butler, I think the Wolves are on the rise, and are just a couple years away from ending that long drought of making the playoffs.
Chad: Winner has to be the Lakers for getting Brandon Ingram and continiung the rebuild of the franchise. They are starting to get pieces to contend. I like Buddy Hield to the Pelicans to go with Anthony Davis. I think Denzel Valentine going to the Bulls I think that is a good fit.
Losers, Milwaukee would be one, I’m puzzled they would use a lottery on Thon Maker due to the age questions about him.
I’m not calling Boston a loser in the draft but I would have liked to see them use their 3 first rounders into a Jimmy Butler type player given the lack of depth reportedly in the draft.
Dan: I think the two biggest winners are the Bucks & Thunder. I would say the Celtics too because they had 8 picks and I’ll go with the 76ers as well because of the first overall pick. But the top 2 winners are the Bucks and Thunder. I pick OKC because of their acquistion of Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova & Domantus Sabonis for Serge. It was a great move, and if I was Durant, I would love to return. You have Oladipo, Ilyasova coming off the bench and Westbrook still. Plus Sabonis now too, the Thunder are looking good. I picked the Bucks because of a couple of moves: not trading any players especially not trading Jabari Parker or Khris Middleton. Another reason is the two picks especially Thon Maker, who is a 7 foot 1 inch Power Forward who can play the point, shoot threes and play down low. He’s an all-around monster and it should be great to watch him play. I liked the Bucks selling their 2nd round pick (38th I believe?) pick to the Warriors for $2.4m dollarsThey were able to come up with some money and still were able to make a pick at # 36. The lose of the draft had to be the Kings. Unanimously people have been saying that the Kings didn’t help their squad at all and I completely believe it. Their picks didn’t make all-around that much sense but they weren’t horrible. But I can’t see who was worse.
Tiny URL for this post: