Welcome to another edition of NBA RoundTable. I would like to apologize about last week. I have been kind of distracted and I didn’t completely finish last weeks. Well any ways now that Turkey day is over Christmas is only 3 weeks away. I hope everyone is having a great holiday! This week, Will we see 3 60 plus win teams in the Western Conference, will the Pelicans find a way into the playoffs after a slow start, that and so much more on NBA RoundTable.
Here are the questions for the week:
With the Clippers off to a great start at 14-3, the Warriors at 14-2, and the Spurs at 13-3. Will the West have 3 teams that win 60 plus games this year?
Todd: I don’t know the way the Clippers and the Spurs have been losing lately the Warriors might run away with the west. I still don’t think that will be the case though. I think all 3 teams will win 60 games with the Warriors finishing at the 3 seed.
Chad: I don’t see it happening I think one of these teams has injury that slows them down and prevents them from getting to 60; and that would probably be the Clippers.
Steve: I think the Warriors and Spurs will be a 60 plus win team, the Clippers have a great shot, but I think they will come back down to Earth, and end up in the upper 50’s.
Dan: I think so. All three teams are very good and you can lock in the Spurs and the Warriors for a 60-game win total this season. With the hot start the Clippers are having, that might propel them to get above that 60-win mark as well. They have the talent on their team, they started off right. I can’t see them getting the complete opposite where they’re going 3-14 at some point in the season. They’ll also grab the 60 wins.
The New Orleans Pelicans have really picked up their game with 4 straight wins. Anthony Davis finally got a little more help with the return of Jrue Holiday. Will they make the playoffs this year?
Todd: With so many good teams in the west I can’t see the Pelicans making the playoffs this year. I just think they are missing one piece to the puzzle to complete their playoff run.
Chad: It’s still early and with a healthy roster the Pelicans could and will grab a playoff spot in the West.
Steve: No, they are not going to make the playoffs. They may play the role of spoiler, but the West is still crazy good, and there are so many up and coming teams like the Lakers, T-Wolves, and Kings, that will also be fighting for a spot. I just don’t see the Pelicans making it.
Dan: While I think the Pelicans have a good team and can definitely compete, I think this year they’ll fall just short of making the playoffs in a very tough West. The one thing that will hurt them has been the slow start to the season. They’ll compete with the Jazz and a little bit with the Trail Blazers, but I think Portland will land the seventh seed while the Jazz while sneak in the eighth a game or two ahead of the Pelicans. Both teams are good and I might be underrating New Orleans since I’m going off of how they performed last season (yes, I know they were killed by injuries) and theyhave been doing better since Jrue Holiday returned, but I just don’t think they are overall better than the utah Jazz, who are a group of extremely talented players who are young. The Pelicans are talented enough to take the 8th seed, but I just don’t see it happening this season.
Dallas Mavericks currently hold the worst record in the NBA at 2-13. Why do you think they are off to such a bad start?
Todd: It is pretty simple. Dallas is trying to win with an 37 year old Power Forward who is past his prime and is now injury prone.
Chad: This is simple Dirk has only played in 5 of their 16 games and when he does play he is averaging 12 PPG instead of his career average of 22. His Achilles injury hurts them and guys like Harrison Barnes, Wesley Matthews and Deron Williams are good pieces but not stars to replace Nowitzki.
Steve: Injuries are really to blame for the demise of the Mavericks. Or maybe Mark Cuban is paying more attention to Shark Tank, than the Mavericks. Who knows? The only certainty is that they really suck right now.
Dan: Honestly, I can’t tell you. After seeing them play against the Cavaliers and getting down by 45 at one point, it’s just how they play. They look terrible. No chemistry, no rhythm, nothing. It doesn’t help that Deron Williams has only played half the games and Dirk has only played five, but still. There isn’t an excuse for the type of display I saw out there from them. Then Bogut is their big man, yet is averaging 3.7 ppg and a little over 10 rebounds per game. Harrison Barnes is their leading scorer averaging 20 ppg. The team is just off. I do think that they’ll come around to finally be respectable at the end of the year, but a chance at the playoffs is out of the window. They’ve been outscored 140-83 in the first half over the last few days. That’s horrible. They have two wins, but they have a LONG way to go before they can even picture the postseason.
Russell Westbrook currently has 6 triple doubles for the season. Will he have more than 18 which he had last year?
Todd: Yes he should surpass 18 pretty easily barring he don’t wear himself out and get injured.
Chad: 7 in 18 games to start the year; barring injury I would say that yes he will make it to at least 18 for the season and may even average a Triple-Double for the season.
Steve: Yes and he has to if the Thunder are going to make a run at the playoffs. Westbrook is the go to guy in OKC, and he has to have lights out games in order for the Thunder to be successful.
Dan: Yes, he will. Just on the simple math alone he should. We aren’t a third of the way through the season yet and he already has a third of the triple-doubles he posted last season. He doesn’t have Durant so more of the focus is on him this year in scoring, which will boost up his assist totals when he dumps it off to a big man or to Oladipo. He just recorded his 44th triple-double to put him 6th all-time, tied with LeBron James, who has played 400 games more than him in his career. Westbrook is a monster. And he can definitely go up and get the boards. Again, without Durant, it just opens the door more for Westbrook to get boards. I’ll say he gets around 25 triple-doubles this season.
The Sacramento Kings have not had a winning record since acquiring DeMarcus Cousins. He is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in 2018. What should they do with him?
Todd: The Kings should face the facts and realize that Cousins is not a franchise player. He is too immature still. They need to trade him to get start over.
Chad: I feel as though they should go ahead and trade him before he is a free agent to at least get something in return for him (expiring contract, 1st round draft picks) because right now he is the Franchise
Steve: Keep him. The Kings are on the rise, and could potentially make a legitimate shot at a playoff berth in the next couple years. You can build your franchise around a guy like Cousins. Give him the right coach, and the Kings could end their long playoff drought.
Dan: The Kings need to trade DeMarcus Cousins and see what they can get back for him. I know a lot of teams would kill to have his type of presence down low and with a good showing in the Olympics, it only raises his stock that much more. The Kings would be stupid to hold on to him knowing that after the season, Cousins is going to leave. Why hold on to a player that you know will walk leaving you with nothing for his service in a season where you’re not going to make the playoffs or compete in anyway? They need to trade him, maximize what they can receive from him and move along. If they don’t, they’ll be looking stupid when he leaves.
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