NBA RoundTable

NBA

First I would like to apologize for missing last week and to thank Steve for taking over for me last week while I was in the process of moving. I am back now and ready to go. As we are only a couple a weeks away from training camp. This week on the slate is who the Lakers should start at small forward, must the Timberwolves make the playoffs this year and so much more on NBA RoundTable.

Lets get started:

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Who should the Lakers start at small forward Loul Deng or Brandon Ingram?

Todd: Well to me the Lakers put themselves in a little dilemma. They gave Deng a 4 year 72 million contract and they drafted Ingram to be the face of the franchise to possibly to replace Kobe. Neither should be coming off the bench. With that being said I would have to think they would have to start Deng and let Ingram develop for a year coming off the bench.

Steve: Okay so on one hand you have an experienced SF in Deng vs a Rookie who could be your next franchise player in Ingram. I go Ingram here. He has had a really productive summer, and appears to be ready to join the ranks of the NBA. I said that if the Lakers were fortunate enough to draft either Ingram or Simmons in the draft, they are well on there way back to relevance, possibly even a post season berth in the next couple of years.

Chad: Go ahead and start Ingram here that way you have a veteran presence; possibly a 6th man in the form of Luol Deng who can also be there to help Ingram come along and be a better player in the league and help LA get back into the playoff picture in the ever competitive West.

Dan: While I think, currently, Luol Deng is the better option to start, I think Brandon Ingram is the right choice to start. He’s a young player, the Lakers are rebuilding and they need to play their future. Ingram is going to be a big piece for their future and they need to get him playing early and often. Get him that experience. 2016-2017 season is a throwaway year for Los Angeles, so go with Ingram, let him build experience and let these young, future stars play with each other and get that chemistry together.

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Agree or disagree. Karl Anthony-Towns says the Timberwolves must make the playoffs this coming season.

Todd: Disagree. They don’t have to make the playoffs this coming year. It might take a year or two to gel but with Thibodeau’s guidance they should be a contender real soon.

Steve: I disagree with him on this simply because I don’t think they HAVE to make the playoffs. I think the Timberwolves are a team on the rise, and have a lot of tools to compete, even in the Western Conference. However, the Western Conference is still loaded with very high caliber teams, probably to the point where any one of them could be a top 4 team in the East, the Timberwolves included in this mix. While I don’t think they will make the playoffs next season, I do think they will be in the mix and at least in the conversation of the playoffs next April.

Chad: I disagree the Timberwolves have a lot of good young pieces and will definitely be in the playoff hunt as the season moves along but I think a year together with Tom Thibodeau will make them more of a legit contender in the ever deep Western Conference in the 2017-2018 season.

Dan: I disagree. I don’t think this is a make-or-break year for Minnesota. Don’t think they’ll reach the post-season quite yet, but I think 2017-2018 season is the year they need to make the playoffs. The one thing that Minnesota needs to do is make a run towards the post-season. They finish in the cellar and just look like garbage all season, that’s going to be a major problem. They need to stay competitive, be in the hunt for the playoffs, but I don’t see them making it this season and I don’t think they “must make” the playoffs.

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Shaquille O’Neal and Allen Iverson definitely deserve to be in the NBA Hall of Fame but does Yao Ming deserve to stand beside them?

Todd: If you just count his NBA career, there is no way he should be next to Shaq and Iverson. To me this is the NBA HOF. Not about being a Global Ambassador. This is just a slap in the face to all the guys who really deserve to be there.

Steve: Sure he can stand beside them if he is not being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Let’s be real here, Ming is only being inducted to help boost the NBA market in China. As a player, he was no where near a Hall of Fame caliber player. He was good, and he was dominant in his prime, but injuries prevented him from really making a large impact. He never led the Rockets past the second round of the playoffs, thus never even sniffed a championship. I cannot put a guy in the Hall of Fame with that kind of impact on a team with a guy that is supposed to be the next Hakeem Olajuwon.

Chad: On statistics and overall team impact no way but on being a global ambassador for the game in China and all over the world he has accomplished that but in no way do I think that should put you into the Hall of Fame.

Dan: No, he shouldn’t be. Shaq and A.I. are both top players to ever play the game at their respected positions. I don’t put Yao Ming in that category. Really, the only notable thing about Yao was that he was 7’6″ and he played for the Rockets. Really, he’s an easily forgettable player and I don’t think that a Hall of Famer is ever easily forgettable. They need to stand out in some way, shape or form. He doesn’t, besides his height. Yes, he averaged almost 20 points per game and 9.2 rebounds per game and he did make 8 All-Star games, but he was never a 1st-team All-NBA, he only played eight seasons (seven if you don’t count the season in which he only played five games — and still made the All-Star team). He doesn’t belong to be up there with them.

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Kevin Garnett still has not informed the Minnesota Timberwolves of his intentions of playing or not. Should he just retire with after his 21st season?

Todd: I think he should call it quits. He only played 38 games last year and probably played 10-15 minutes a game. I mean his only impact to the game right now is mentoring the younger guys which he can do without taking a roster spot from a younger guy.

Steve: No give it one more year at least. Garnett can still play, and can be a great leader to many of these young kids in Minnesota. The Wolves have a legitimate chance of a playoff berth next year, and Garnett should go out with a bang, if in fact he can help the Wolves to a winning season.

Chad: I’d play this year if I were him in order to be the leader and so that he can be where he started his career as Minnesota tries to make it back to the Playoffs in the Western Conference.

Dan: Honestly, at this point, yes, he should. He’s just causing problems for the T-Wolves by waiting this long. Training camp starts in less than a month and he still hasn’t informed the team if he will even play? That’s really selfish and just ridiculous in my opinion. I assume the T-Wolves have moved on and taken it as if he has retired and won’t play, but what happens if he decides he wants to play at the last minute? He’s negatively impacting the team. Just call it quits Kevin Garnett, you had a fantastic career.

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Agree or disagree. Experts have said if Shaq and Kobe would have stayed together they would have won 6 plus championships.

Todd: Agree. Shaq and Kobe would have Dominated the rest of the 2000’s. Them were the years everyone wanted to come to the Lakers so i’m sure if Shaq would have stayed more stars would have wanted to come play for the Lakers to play.

Steve: Agree. These two were the faces of the Lakers, and many other top tier stars wanted to join them who could still produce. Karl Malone, Gary Payton are two that immediately come to mind. So I would not be surprised if you saw a few more championships for the Los Angeles Lakers had the two stayed together. I mean both of them won one more a piece after they split, Kobe with LA, and Shaq with Miami in 2006.

Chad: Disagree, with the how deep the West was becoming at the time and the age of Shaq I don’t see how they would have won 3+ more titles

Dan: I agree. Kobe and Shaq were great together. While they don’t have a lot of agreements today, as two players they always looked like they had chemistry on the court and played as a dominating duo. They would have brought a dynasty to the Lakers that hasn’t been seen before. Kobe is one of the best players ever and on the level of Jordan. Shaq is one of the best down low players to ever play the game. Most experts have called him “the most dominant player ever.” The Lakers would’ve won six, and maybe more.

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