NBA RoundTable

Hello NBA fans and welcome to another edition of NBA RoundTable. As Free agency is in full swing all the big names are already gone. This week we will discuss the balance of power really shifted this off-season in the Western Conference favor, the Gordon Hayward sweepstakes,that and so much more on this edition of NBA RoundTable.

Before we go to the Roundtable, Steve has a rant.

The NBA should be ashamed of themselves. Fining Joel Embiid for his comments towards Lavar Ball? In case you missed it, Embiid basically said “Fuck Lavar Ball” so the NBA fines him for those comments. Is Lavar Ball an NBA official? Is he a player? No, he is a stupid idiotic parent, who thinks his shit don’t stink. Is this what the NBA has become? We talked briefly a couple of weeks ago, that players or coaches should be allowed to speak what is on their mind without having to be fined by the NBA. They are words, and they are taking out frustration. They are not hurting anyone. So I will say it for you as well Joel Embiid. FUCK…LAVAR…. BALL. I wish 7000 people would donate a dollar to pay his fine for him. Absolutely ridiculous. So after this RT edition, I may just get fined……just sayin.

Why do you think the balance of power shifted so much in the favor of the Western Conference this off-season?

Todd: As we all know the Western Conference has always been stronger than the Eastern conference for the last 10 to 15 years but last year in my opinion 1-15 it was as close as it as been in years. This year the west has made some major moves like Minnesota got Jimmy Butler and OKC teamed Russel Westbrook up with Paul George. Another reason as I think the West drafts better. They are basically smarter. I mean take Brooklyn for example they would of had the number one draft pick like the last 3 years or something like that but they traded it away and they still suck. Okay I know bad example my bad.

Steve: BECAUSE LONZO BALL IS A MEMBER OF THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS!! At least that is what it sounds like by Lavar Ball’s take on it. Seriously though, the balance of power has not shifted in any way. The West has always been more dominant than the East, not since the days of the 90’s Bulls have the East been the more powerhouse in the league. Even though the East have produced teams like the Pistons, Heat, Pacers, and Cavs since then. That was one or two dominant teams, compared to a half a dozen dominant teams in the West. Nothing has changed.

Joao: I think some of the Western contenders decided to go all out and become aggressive in trying to bridge the gap against the reigning champions. In terms of players shifting conferences Paul George in Oklahoma City and Jimmy Butler in Minnesota are clearly two “conference changers”. On the other hand there was also some Western consolidation if we consider that the Rockets, who were already very good, just became better with Chris Paul.
All of this makes the West come competitive and, on the other hand, the East is now clearly a two-horse race between the Cavaliers and the Celtics.
Chad: The Western Conference organizations to a better job as a whole of using homegrown players to improve their team while in the East you see more Trades and Free Agency. So the West only needs to a piece here or there has the resources to go get that piece.

The Boston Celtics won the Gordon Hayward sweepstakes. Is he enough to swing the balance of power in the Eastern Conference?

Todd: I think he will definitely help the Celtics but until they get a big man who can rebound the ball consistently I don’t think they will get over the hump to beat the Cavaliers. As much as it pains me to say that.

Steve: It could be, Hayward may just be that missing piece of the puzzle to get the Celtics over the hump and into the Finals. While I think Cleveland is going to be favored again, the Celtics are going to be a tough out next year in the East. It may just be enough to propel them into their first Finals appearance in almost 10 years. Now, if they were to sign Lavar Ball they would be a sure bet pick to go 82-0 and win the NBA Championship.

Joao: The Cavaliers should still be the best team in the East. But a team like the Celtics, who won the East in the regular season, just became more loaded, even if they did lose Avery Bradley as expected. A team spearheaded by LeBron, Kyrie and Kevin Love is still more than good enough to make it to the Finals again. Where the Celtics can pounce is if one of the Cavaliers’ main players gets injured.
So I would give next year again to the Cavaliers. But the Celtics aren’t far behind and they have room to grow. If LeBron decides to leave the Cavaliers after next season the Celtics have everything to become the cream of the crop in the Eastern Conference.
Chad: This might be enough to push the East Final to 7 games but I can’t ever count out Lebron in a series

Do you feel that Blake Griffin is ready to lead the Clippers?

Todd: Are you kidding me? Blake Griffin could lead cattle to a pasture. First of all he finished the last two seasons on the bench with an injury. Blake is just not the leader Chris Paul was and never will be. The Clippers have a long road ahead of them and I believe they will have a tough time making the playoffs this year.

Steve: Is this a joke? Blake has led the Clippers before Chris Paul came, and the Clippers did nothing. I think that the balance of power, if we are talking about that today, may have very well shifted in the city of Los Angeles as the Clippers are in big big trouble, and are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time in a decade. Griffin has injury problems as well and will probably only play 70% of the season. So the Clipps are on the decline, making the balance of power shift towards the Lakers who are on the rise and will be a playoff team.. and thats the bottom line! WHY? Because Lavar Ball said so!

Joao: Absolutely not. Blake Griffin is a terrific player, one of the best forwards in the planet right now but I do not see him as a team leader. Besides that, he is injury prone and seems to disappear when the stakes get bigger. The point of interest for the Clippers will be to see how Teodosic can adapt to the NBA, if his quarterbacking will adjust nicely to the more physical and faster nature of the league. On the other hand, the Serbia will not be the Clippers’ leader, he is not that type of player.
I think Doc Rivers has a lot of work ahead of him but he is certainly capable of reinventing this team. But make no mistake about it – the Clippers are now a notch below the Spurs, Rockets and Thunder in that fight for the number 2 spot in the West.
Chad: I don’t see Blake as the leader type for the Clippers; the loss of CP3 will definitely hurt the Clippers

What are your thoughts about the NBA renaming the D-league to the G-league and the changes they made with the way the G-league works this year?

Todd: I like this new idea of the G-league, it gives more players the opportunity to possibly play at the NBA level at some point and show off what they can do. Plus its going to give the overseas guys the opportunity to stay and play in the G-league when they are drafted instead of going overseas to play. Yeah this entering the league at 18 right into the G-league, I am not sure I like that too much. You would think that would discourage guys from going to college.Is that what we are trying to teach are young kids these days? I mean if you are good enough like Kobe, Garnett, Lou Williams. Those guys I guess its ok but what if its some scrub who thinks he is good?

Steve: I honestly don’t pay much attention to the D-League or the G-String league or whatever they call it, so I don’t know any of the changes that were made. Did they make Lavar Ball the commissioner of the league?

Joao: I think in a way it seems like the changes are geared towards trying to make the G-league into a true second league of north american basketball. Some of the changes (Gatorade Sport & Science Institute) are not really palpable, while others (two-way players) certainly seem interesting on paper.
But there is something that I absolutely dislike – eligibility to enter the league at age 18, straight from high school. If that is a somewhat touchy subject in terms of the NBA, then in terms of the G-League I think it makes absolutely no sense.
Chad: I like I think all sports should have a true developmental system to better keep the league in good shape should injuries start happening

The Miami Heat Officially waived Chris Bosh and announced they would retire his jersey. Did he do enough while he was in a Miami Heat uniform to get his jersey retired?

Todd: No. absolutely not. Then you would have to make a case for Udonis Hasslam who played for the Heat longer and has more rings. Bosh was just a glorified role player in my opinion. He was never a first option, maybe a second option after James left. You can’t retire someones jersey just because they won rings or they way they had to leave the game. you have to retire their jersey because of how they performed on the floor and I don’t think he did enough to get his jersey retired. Because DAMMIT IF MIAMI IS GONNA RETIRE CHRIS BOSH’S JERSEY THEY BETTER DAMN RETIRE UDONIS HASLAM’S ALSO!

Steve: I don’t think so. He was only there for seven years. Sure he made four Finals appearances, and won two NBA Championships, but he was clearly the third best player on that team, fourth in some years. After LeBron left, the Heat did not even make the playoffs, so that shows that this was not Bosh’s team. I don’t even think LeBron’s jersey should be retired in Miami as he was there four years. The only players that should have their jersey retired would be Dwayne Wade. He will most certainly have his number retired by the franchise along side Lavar Ball, who will have his high school jersey retired in all the NBA franchises as he was better than Michael Freakin Jordan!

In closing, just for you Mr. Embiid… FUCK LAVAR BALL! Fine me NBA, go ahead.

Joao: Yes, I totally agree with this move. Bosh won 2 championships with Miami and represented the team in 4 Finals appearances. Before the blood clots he was always an All-Star as a Miami Heat player, which amounts to 6 appearances. He was a part of the franchise’s best team ever and will forever be connect to Miami Heat history.
His personal stats were obviously not as impressive as they could be but that is because he was part of a super team (sorry LeBron!) in which he was essentially the third best player behind James and Wade. But that should not hurt his overall achievements as a Miami Heat player and I think that he absolutely deserves to have his jersey retired by the Heat.
Chad: It’s a 25-30 year old Franchise so getting back to back rings and staying in Miami after Lebron left sure retire the jersey.

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