Welcome to another playoff edition of NBA RoundTable. As the second round is just beginning, we have some great match ups. One of the most intriguing second round match ups is one of the best offenses vs one of the best defenses. Houston Rockets vs San Antonio Spurs. This week was Rondo injury the ultimate reason for the Bulls downfall, Larry Bird stepping down as president of the Pacers, that and so much more on NBA RoundTable.
Lets get started:
Did Rajon Rondo’s injury ultimately costs the Bulls the series against the Celtics?
Todd: Yes absolutely. Like I said last week the Bulls don’t have another relevant point guard on their roster. Although Rondo could not win by himself he did control the pace in the first two games. There is no way that series would have went past 5 games. I thought it was gonna be a sweep until Rondo got injured. The Celtics are lucky to be in the second round.
Steve: I don’t think so. I think it was a contributing factor sure, but to say that it actually cost the Bulls the series is not a fair assessment. You have two perennial All-Stars in Jimmy Butler and Dwayne Wade. They went cold, they could not defend a turtle after Game 2, and Boston just played out of their minds. The Bulls lost this series because they just lost the ability to play basketball.
Dan: I don’t think it did. I think that the Celtics were going to come back and win the series if Rondo was in or wasn’t in. I do feel like he should have played in the finale but I know the coaching staff didn’t feel it was a good idea for him to risk his body like that and left him out. But I don’t think it would have changed the outcome of the series.
Chad: I think it did you clearly saw that anybody the Bulls tried to have running the point couldn’t get it done.
What are your thoughts of Larry Bird stepping down as President of the Pacers?
Todd: My feeling on the subject is that Larry Bird was forced out and the only reason he wasn’t fired is because he is Larry Bird.
Steve: I think it was time. He led the Pacers to numerous playoff berths, and a few conference finals, a number one seed three years ago, and came ever so close to unseating the Miami Heat until falling apart in that Game 7. I think he has done all he can with this franchise, and its time for a change in both directions. He can leave saying that he had a successful run as the President of the Pacers. You know who cannot say that? Some President of the Knicks. However, there is some breaking news on the matter. Todd will become President of the Pacers, and plans to move them to Los Angeles to merge with the Lakers.
Dan: I think the Pacers have some issues that need to be squared away and it begins with Larry Bird stepping down. They need someone with some experience to be able to run the organization & I don’t believe Larry Bird is the man for that particular job. I feel like he could do well in another role with the organization but him as President of the Pacers is too big of a job for him, in my opinion.
Chad: Somewhat surprising but I think it is like he said that at 60 years old he doesn’t want to be surrounded by it full-time. I think he would make a great advisor for the Pacers moving forward.
The Raptors looked a little more dominate in game 6 against the Bucks with a 25 point lead before only winning by 3. Do they have a fighting chance against Cleveland?
Todd: I wish they would kick LeBron James in the balls. They probably wont win and if they play like they played against Milwaukee they will get killed. I could see a sweep or I could see it going 6 or 7 depending on how Toronto plays.
Steve: I give them a couple of games, and I would give them a small shot to actually come out of this series. I just cant see them winning unless the Cavs start playing like they did in the first half of Game 1 and 3. You may be able to get away with shit like that against the Pacers, but the Raptors will burn you. I like the Cavs in 6, but I could easily see this going 7 games, and we all know that anything can happen in a Game 7.
Dan: I don’t think so. I think they’ll be able to win a game or two but that’s about it. Cleveland is a strong team and Toronto didn’t look good at all in multiple games. They took advantage of an extremely poor showing by the Bucks, then allowed them to go on a ginormous run in order to get back within the game. If you saw what Cleveland did to Indiana multiple times, they came back from huge deficits. I can’t even see Toronto getting such a commanding lead over Cleveland in any game, but if they do, Cleveland will come back even easier. Cleveland got it in five.
Chad: It was competitive last year as Toronto pushed them to 6 I think with the addition of Ibaka for the Raptors they can go to 6 or 7 but I still the Cavs winning as Lebron is undefeated in the Conf. Semi with 5+ days of rest before G1; this year he will have 7.
After losing the first 2 games at home against the Bulls and then winning the next 4. Can the Celtics continue the momentum and beat the Wizards?
Todd: Well I called a sweep by the Wizards before the series started. Obviously that cant happen. I still think the Wizards will win, which is kind of unfortunate because that means if Cleveland gets by Toronto they will have home court. I just don’t think Boston has enough to match up to the Wizards. Thomas has to do everything. If Morris get back on the floor and with Gortat they can pound them down low all night long.
Steve: They should beat the Wizards, though anyone that is chalking them into the conference finals must be on some sort of crack. I would not bet any money on this series, but give me the Celtics in 6 games, but 7 seems more likely.
Dan: I think this will be a series that will go seven but Boston will be able to beat out Washington. They’re a good squad led by Beal & Wall, but I don’t think it’ll be enough to take out Boston this season. It will be a really good series and I think the series against the Bulls was just a top-seed jitter they needed to get out and, as they showed, they did. Boston wins in seven.
Chad: I think so I think the 2 games at Boston were a bump in the road and Boston will get by the Wizards in 5 or 6 games.
Do you still think we are poised to see Golden State and Cleveland in the NBA Finals?
Todd: I don’t think either one of them make it. Golden State will get knocked off by San Antonio and Cleveland will get knocked off by …. wait for it, wait for it the Washington Wizards.
Steve: Not so fast, Golden State still has to get through the second round, and then possibly San Antonio or Houston. That is no small feat, as both teams have beaten the Warriors twice this year, and even beat them in Oakland. So that series should be a good one. As far as the East goes, Boston was my pick going into it, and with the way they are playing, I like the Celtics to beat the Cavs and then give whoever comes out of the West a series. Prediction is Golden State vs Boston, but I could see any of the other teams remaining to steal the West.
Dan: I don’t think it’ll be Golden State for the West. I hope it isn’t as well, but I really believe we’ll see a Cleveland-San Antonio match-up. That would be a better series in my opinion as well. I think the Spurs defensive ability outmatches Golden State’s offensive abilities and they’ve showed they are beatable this year, especially by San Antonio. In the East, I can’t see someone taking out LeBron. He’s made the Finals every time he’s be the number two seed and he’ll do it again this season. If he’ll win, that’s another debate, but Cleveland has the East. Golden State doesn’t have the West.
Chad: I’ll repeat what many of us on the RT have said since Oct. we are destined for a 3rd meeting in the NBA Finals for these two squads.
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