Welcome to another edition of NBA RoundTable. The start of the season is right around the corner. This week we will discuss who is the front runners for the rookie of the year now that Ben Simmons is going to miss some time, should the NBA bring in the challenge flag like the NFL has and so much more on NBA Roundtable.
Here we go:
What are your bold predictions for the upcoming season?
Todd: I am going to go real bold here. Jeff Hornacek will not make it through the season for the Knicks. Although he is trying to incorporate some of the triangle offense into their offense, Phil Jackson is all in on the triangle. Once they start losing, Hornacek will be out. Don’t be surprised if Jackson is not on the sidelines to finish the season. I take back what I said about the Lakers earlier this year. I think they will be a bit better than I thought they would be. Maybe 30-35 wins which would be a great improvement from last year. Cleveland will finish #2 seed behind the Raptors this year.
Steve: I have always been told that if you are going to go bold, then you really need to go bold, so here it goes. The Golden State Warriors are going to be good, and the Philadelphia 76ers are not. MIC DROP
Oh you wanted more? Okay, well then I think that the Lakers are going to be a lot better than most people will think. I think that they may be a 30 plus win team. The Minnesota Timberwolves will make a run at the playoffs for the first time in nearly 12 years. I think you will see the Warriors and Spurs once again battling it out in the West for that top spot, with the Warriors making their third straight trip to the NBA Finals, and winning once again over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Yep, Im calling a third straight Finals for both teams.
Dan: A couple bold predictions I have are a couple: The Spurs will be the top team in the Western Conference (Warriors still make Finals though). The other bold prediction is that Philadelphia will finish with 35+ wins this season. I really like the Spurs, I think they will rebound very nicely without Duncan. He’ll pop his head up after a month away and come as an assistant to the Spurs. The 76ers I’m high on. They have a ton of young talent with a lot of potential and I think they come out and show the league they are for real and they are coming to do something. A lot of teams will take them for granted and look over them which will cause a lot of their wins.
Chad: The Timberwolves will get into the Playoffs and Indiana will be really good this season with their acquisitions in the offseason.
Now that Ben Simmons will miss a significant amount of the season, who will emerge as Rookie of the year candidates?
Todd: I think Brandon Ingram will have a fantastic year even though he is starting the year coming off the bench. That wil be good for him in the long run. He has started the preseason a little slow on the offensive side but his defense has looked pretty solid.
Steve: Brandon Ingram is going to surprise a lot of people. I think he should have been the top pick for the Sixers. I guess in hind sight, that was probably a blessing in disguise. I think he emerges as your front runner, though I had him as my front runner before Simmons anyway. I think Buddy Heild of the Pelicans, will have a good season, and he will be right there with the top rookies.
Dan: While Ben Simmons was also in the running as a Rookie of the Year candidate, I think this question discredits the skills and talents of the other rookies that were in the draft, namely Brandon Ingram, Denzel Valentine and Buddy Held. Each of these players are extremely gifted, can score and really make a big difference.
Chad: Brandon Ingram would be the top choice; possibly Buddy Hield or Denzel Valentine depending on their teams’ respective rotations
Agree or Disagree. Dwayne Casey recently stated on NBA TV Open Court that he would like to see a challenge flag in the NBA, something like they have in the NFL.
Todd: Disagree. I don’t even know how that would work. They already review all the close calls in the last 2 minutes. Now they have all the review rules in football the challenge flag is kind of useless.
Steve: Disagree one thousand percent. I don’t like challenges in baseball, and I certainly would cringe to see in in the NBA. They already have an instant replay system, where plays are reviewed when it comes to a two or a three. That is all that should matter. No way this should be in play. It needs to be done in the NFL, with all the action that we see with multiple players, but in the NBA? Nope!
Dan: I disagree. What there should be is more of like in the MLB where they confer in a conference. The only problem with this is what do you argue? I can see shot clock disputes, 3-pt/2-pt disputes and who touched the ball on an out-of-bounds type call, but that’s it. The game is rather fast-paced which makes it tough to be able to have a challenge flag you throw – as well as being dangerous.
Chad: No, the review system the NBA has currently is plenty of good enough to make sure calls aren’t blown.
Agree or Disagree. Doc Rivers recently stated on NBA TV Open Court that there are too many rules in today’s game, which makes it hard for the referees to officiate the game.
Todd: Agree. There are too many rules but most of them like in football benefit the offense. I mean take hand checking for instance, WTF? Back in the day you could clobber a guy and it was play on. Today you touch someone with your pinky and they cry to the ref that it is a foul.
Steve: While I agree that there are too many rules; most of the rules are subject for “whether or not the refs wanna call it.” I think this is very simple, the referees know their job, and they need to be consistent across the board. If they do this, then there should not be any call for review on the rule book.
Dan: I disagree. There aren’t too many rules because the officials referee fine each game. It’s usually favoritism, in my opinion, towards certain players and teams. Traveling doesn’t get called much, they’re too ticky-tacky on certain calls down low and don’t let the players play as much as they could. But with regards to rules, I believe the NFL has more rules than the NBA and those referees are perfectly fine. I think the NBA referees can handle the amount of rules they have.
Chad: There a lot more rules then back in the day; but a lot of them are open to referee discretion so I am ok with the league being called as is.
After hearing about Ben Simmons injury, are the Philadelphia 76ers cursed considering what has happened to their previous draft picks? (Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid)
Todd: I think the 76ers just need to get a new medical staff because they just suck!!
Steve: You call the Chicago Cubs cursed, you called the Boston Red Sox cursed. Why not add Philadelphia. There have been many reports that when Simmons was drafted by the Sixers, there were jokes that he already retired, or already broke a bone, so he will not be able to play. So in the public eye, this seems to be a trend for the Sixers and their draft picks. I think they need to take a little harder look at their medical staff to ensure these guys can stay healthy.
Dan: No, I don’t believe so. I think they’ve just had some bad luck with draft picks and need either better evaluation or better strength and conditioning coaches to keep these important, talented players healthy. I wouldn’t believe it’s cursed. If you see this as a trend, it’s time to make some internal changes, first with how the players are being taken care of that would cause any injuries. Next is evaluation of the players. Are they injury prone? Any tendencies that could lead to an injury? If neither of those changes work, either they really can’t decide on coaching or they’re cursed.
Chad: It wouldn’t go so far as to use the c word but it is not a good trend for a team wanting to make an impact in the Eastern Conference.
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