NBA RoundTable

Welcome to another edition of NBA RoundTable. The Golden State Warriors now await the winner of the Celtics-Cavaliers series to see who is going to the compete in this year’s NBA Finals. This week we will discuss the injury to Leonard, Isaiah Thomas being replaced after the draft, that and so much more on NBA RoundTable.

Here we go:

Do you feel Zaza Pachulia’s play in game 1 where Kawhi Leonard was injured has changed the whole series?

Todd: Absolutely it did. Lets go back to the regular season for a second the Spurs were 2-1. Yes, Golden State Only played all their guys in one of them games but the one game they played all their guys they were blown out by 29. Now come to game one of the playoffs everyone is playing minus Tony Parker. Thru 2 and a half quarters the spurs are up by 23. That means when the teams are basically at full strength the spurs are a plus 52. Put them numbers into perspective. The San Antonio Spurs had a legit chance to go to the NBA Finals. San Antonio would have won game 1 if Leonard didn’t get injured. Then who knows what would have happened in game 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7. I sure know San Antonio would not get swept.  I think the Warriors will win the Western Conference by default. I believe with Leonard healthy the Warriors would have lost home court and the series.

That being said no matter what his intent was. Zaza took a couple extra steps with his front foot. It was clearly a dirty play. He should have been suspended for that and the NBA should watch for that in the next round if he is able to play.

Steve: In a way, yes, though I don’t think that it changed the outcome of the series. The Warriors are a much better team than the Spurs, and the only way this series was changed was the Spurs now have little to no chance to win the series, and what should have been a 6 game, maybe a 7 game series, is now a potential sweep or a 5 game series. I am writing this before Game 3, so at the time this posts, I may be eating my words.

Now, that being said. I want to go on record and say that I personally do not think the play on Leonard in Game 1 was dirty. I watched it over and over and over again, literally looking for something to prove me wrong. I was not able to find any evidence that he did anything intentional or dirty to try and injure Leonard. Most will disagree with me, but I don’t care. I saw what I saw and until someone can show me where he was in position to injure him intentionally, I will stick to my judgement.

Joao: Absolutely. You can argue if Zaza did it on purpose or if it was simply “bad luck” but fact of the matter is that it changed the outlook of that entire series. The Western Conference Finals were supposed to be competitive but the Spurs’ MVP candidate’s absence completely changed the balance of power. To that we can add Tony Parker’s previous injury but Kawhi is that team’s premier difference maker, their top scorer, main perimeter defender, etc. Now you have guys like Kevin Durant feasting on his absence and the series is virtually over.
For the record I do think Zaza’s extra step was a dirty play and let’s see if a similar thing doesn’t happen in the Finals.
Chad: Absolutley, Kawhi barely playing has changed this series to a blowout from a series that could have been competitive and it is disappointing as a fan to see the two teams (Warriors & Cavs) march into the Finals.

With the draft lottery over and Boston we now know that Boston has the number one pick, Is Isaiah Thomas on his way out the door?

Todd: I think he will be just because of his height. If the Boston Celtics can get someone that is taller and has as much skill or more than I think he will be expendable. The Celtics just need to get taller not just at point guard at every position. I think they draft Markelle Fultz and Thomas will be out soon after.

Steve: Absolutely not! He is a a great player to build a franchise around. While he may be a midget running around the floor. He is a team leader and has the skill set to back it up. I think that Boston will end up trading the pick for a potential superstar to compliment Thomas for a nice run by Boston. They can trade the number one spot for a key player as well as a first round pick not only this year, but next year as well.

Joao: I think quite the contrary. While the Celtics can extend Isaiah’s contract this summer in order to reach a max deal, I think the best move is for them to wait until the end of his contract (2018) and then eventually agree to an extension. As it is I think this is a great opportunity for both the Celtics and Thomas: the Celtics can keep their All-Star, after his incredible season, and go after a coveted free agent this summer (they have the cap space); on top of that they get to draft whomever they want. On the other hand, Isaiah gets another season at the helm of what should be an improved team on top of an already great roster. The objective for both Boston and Thomas is to think championship next year.

Chad: Eventually, perhaps but if he does based on the contract situation it would be before after the 2017-2018 season if anything.

There has been a lot of talk lately about trading Paul George. George has indicated that he would like to go play for his hometown Lakers when he becomes a free agent in the summer of 2018. Should the Pacers Trade him before the trade deadline so they don’t risk losing him for nothing?

Todd: Well it is obvious that Indiana has been stuck in quick sand for the last several years. Before last years trade deadline the Atlanta Hawks offered the Indiana Pacers 4 1st round picks for Paul George. You cant get much better than that. If the Lakers offer even close to that much I would kick their ass. So I don’t know if they will trade him but rumor is he will leave for the Lakers when he becomes a free agent but the same was said about DeRozan.

Steve: So first, I have nothing bad to say about Paul George, honestly. As a Pacers fan, I would hate to see him leave Indiana. However, what is all this talk that he could have made the richest contract in the history of the NBA? He is not THAT good of a player. On to the question at hand. He would be a great fit for the Lakers and their core of younger players. They need to work out a deal to possibly trade the #2 pick and any chance to draft Lonzo Ball, to get George next year for 2017. A trade to the Pacers could be on the horizon. That is the only way this makes sense. If Ball gets drafted to the Lakers. George does not end up in LA.

Joao: Paul George and the Pacers are most likely going separate ways. George is one of the premier players in the league, potentially the biggest All-NBA snub this season. He has also tasted success with those Pacers teams that went to the Conference Finals. Nowadays the Pacers are clearly not contenders and the upside isn’t clear. I do think the Pacers should look to move him before they get nothing in return. The problem is that ideally they should trade him for someone who they can build a roster around and that is not going to be easy; what they can get in return from the Lakers, for example, are young prospects. The Pacers are back to square one.

Chad: If I’m Indiana I would to try and get something for him in terms of players or lottery picks that you know Boston would love to do to have another wing threat.

The Toronto Raptors made a mediocre showing in the playoffs once again after adding Serge Ibaka And P.J. Tucker at the trade Deadline. Kyle Lowry has chose to opt out of the last year of his contract to become a free agent. Should the Raptors try to keep Lowry and DeRozan in the backcourt together or should they go in a different direction?

Todd: I think it is time for a change for Lowry. I don’t think him and DeRozan worked out very well. With the exception of last year they have played terrible once they gotten to the playoffs for whatever reason. Lowry has said he wants to go play for his hometown team the Philadelhia 76ers. He would be a good addition to their team because they will be in playoff contender next year.

Steve: The Raptors are still a top team in the East, but as long as Cleveland and company are still doing their thing, there is not really a team who can compete on their level. So if LeBron leaves, which seems to be an every year discussion, then I could see the Raptors making a move or two, keep Lowry nd DeRozen and make a move to the Eastern Conference title.

Joao: Several experts considered the Raptors to be the best team in the East when the regular season was winding down. What a difference some weeks make.
Clearly they should try to keep DeRozan. He is their best player and is also younger than Lowry. The chemistry between them is excellent but, at this point, they need to make a change. It won’t be easy to find a better available PG than Lowry but they should certainly try to look at options, especially considering Kyle might decide to leave.
Separate discussion but I also think they need to start running more plays through Valanciunas.
Chad: It’s clear that even if you keep Lowry and Derozan you need somebody who can can go down and get a basket in the paint so not only keep Lowry but find a low post threat to go with them.

Do you think Lonzo Ball’s Dad will affect how teams draft him in the draft?

Todd: No doubt about it. The Lakers who have the number 2 pick are going to UCLA to ask Steve Alford about LaVar Ball. So he is having an impact on the Lakers already.

Steve: Of course he will! LaVar Ball is going to be the Kryptonite in the career of Lonzo Ball. It is sad too, because I enjoy watching this kid play, especially when he was at UCLA. LaVar just needs to know his role….and shut his mouth. Let his son be the best that he can be in the NBA. Get this side show shit out of here and start being a parent, not an agent.

Joao: No. I mean, LaVar Ball is clearly an unwelcome distraction but teams should look at his son regardless of him. The consensus is that Ball is a top 3 pick and he will eventually get drafted #2 by the Lakers. Then it will be up to Magic Johnson to make sure that LaVar doesn’t become too much of a distraction, that he doesn’t overstep his boundaries.
If they can keep LaVar in check and if they also land Paul George… well, all of a sudden the Lakers might be relevant again.
Chad: That POS Lavar will ruin all three of his kids he grew up in a different time and is obviously leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths including NBA GM’s would could be wary of drafting Lonzo. Lavar will hurt his kids’ careers.





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