NBA RoundTable

Welcome to another edition of NBA RoundTable. Carmelo Anthony has finally been traded!! The biggest storyline of the summer is that Joel Embiid still has not been cleared to play 5 on 5. Earlier this summer I asked the question: how many of our panel thought Fultz, Embiid, or Simmons were all gonna be on the floor at the same time on opening night. I think if I remember correctly all of our panelest said at least 1 of them would be out with an injury. I guess only time will tell with less than a month before the season begins. This week we will discuss which big name player are you most interested in seeing play their old team, is this Rudy Gobert’s time that, and so much more on this edition on NBA RoundTable.

After all the big moves during the off-season which big name player are you most interested in seeing to return to play their old team?

Todd: I guess I am like anyone else I am looking forward to seeing Irving return to Cleveland. Mainly I wanna see Irving vs James. I cant wait to see that match up even though they dont guard each other. I don’t care where the game is.

Steve: I am really looking forward to seeing Kyrie Irving return to Cleveland. So many questions will come out of this game. Did he make the right choice in leaving Cleveland for Boston? Is he able to carry his own team? It sets up Teacher vs Student. This will probably be the most hyped game of the year. Also on the flip side, you have Isaiah Thomas returning to Boston for the first time. Will the fans of Boston boo him? Will they cheer him (as they should)? How will he embrace his new role on his new team? Man Im getting goosebumps just thinking about it.

Chad: I think Kyrie going back to Cleveland and facing Lebron is the most intriguing just based on that drama that surrounded the whole trade rumors and eventual trade.

Dan: The most exciting match-up I’m ready to see is a healthy Isaiah Thomas vs Kyrie Irving….but we won’t see that match-up until after January (expected return date for Thomas). It will have huge implications for the Eastern Conference Finals and overall. Plus, it’ll pretty much give us a determined winner of the trade. Either way, it’ll be exciting to watch either way.

With Gordon Hayward moving on to Boston, is this the year that Rudy Gobert has a breakout season?

Todd: Ruddy gobert is a great talent, he should do some amazing things this year on the floor. Block shots, get rebounds, He is always up there for defensive player of the year. Utah should still be a good team.

Steve: I think he has a good year, not an MVP year. I think Utah took a big step back when they let Heyward go. The West is so loaded, it is going to be hard for him to carry this team to a great season like they did last year. He is going to need help if Utah is to get back to the playoffs. I think they can get there, but as a lower seed, only to be destroyed by the Warriors, Rockets, or Spurs.

Chad: I think for Utah to have a chance at the Playoffs it almost has to be because outside of Favors and Gobert there are some question marks.

Dan: I think Gobert would have had a breakout year regardless if Hayward was still with the Jazz or not. Gobert is a tremendous defensive presence for them and his offensive game is very, very good. He will put up big numbers this year from the defensive side with blocks to rebounds. The Jazz will be good this season, in a very tough Western Conference.

Here are the ESPN top 5 Pre-Season BPI Rankings. The Cavaliers are on the outside looking in at number 6. do you agree with these rankings? If not how would you re-rank the teams?

1. Warriors

2. Rockets

3. Spurs

4. Celtics

5. Thunder

Todd: No! I would move the Spurs into the 2 slot then OKC followed by the Rockets and as much as I hate to do it the Cavaliers have to go ahead of the Celtics.

Steve: For the most part it is spot on. The top three are exactly how I would rank them. However, I would still have Cleveland as the number four team. They are the three time defending Eastern Conference Champions, they did not really get any worse, thus they should be the top team in the East until LeBron leaves, or until a team like the Celtics knock them off their perch. I will just add real quick that if you look at the last two teams, these are teams that were top seeds just a few years ago, and now they are the worst teams in the NBA….sad.

Chad: I would agree with the teams in the top 5 maybe not the order so much just because a lot of these are unproven with the rebuilt rosters.

Dan: No, I don’t. I would switch Boston and Cleveland and put Cleveland right behind Oklahoma City. The rest of the standings look good to me. Oklahoma City will be a very, very tough team this season. Russ, Melo and Paul George. I have no  doubts that Melo will succeed with his new team and other superstars surrounding him. He played well in the Olympics with other superstars, so he’ll do well with the Thunder. I like the Cavs more than Celtics at this point due to the fact that the Cavs have D-Rose. They still have LeBron and now they add D-Wade to their arsenal. As well as those three players, they still are getting Isaiah Thomas back who, according to reports, hasn’t shown any signs of a degraded player or any regression. So we’ll see. But I put Cleveland over Boston on paper at this point in time.

 With the moves the Boston Celtics made this off-season did they get better or worse?

Additions                             Subtractions

Kyrie Irving                         Avery Bradley

Gordon Hayward                Jae Crowder

Marcus Morris                     Isaiah Thomas

Todd: If you just look at the names you might automatically say they got better but I am not so sure. They got rid of Avery Bradley who is a lock down defender and replaced him with no one. Bradley’s offense and three point shot was also coming around. Jae Crowder is also a really good defender and role player although Marcus Morris is a big body and a decent defender he is not the defender Crowder is. Irving and a healthy thomas maybe cancel each other out and then you have Hayward which is a great offensive player. I just think they lost a lot of defensive.

Steve: They got better, I still think they lost a lot of chemistry for the team when Thomas left. He was their leader, their star. So that leaves a huge void, that Kyrie is going to have to fill. On paper they are much better than last year, and should at the very least return to the Conference Finals, and be a top seed in the East as they did last year. As I mentioned before, It will be interesting to see if Kyrie can be a leader on his own team.

Chad: To me Boston got better in that I think Cleveland got worse for trading Kyrie to the Celtics they are my pick to win the East

Dan: I think Boston definitely got better, but they still aren’t the best team in the Eastern Conference. They upgraded at point since I believe Kyrie is a better point. Hayward definitely helps out their offense as well. Isaiah Thomas heart and dedication will certainly be missed as well as him being able to take over games. Crowder was an excellent player who fit nicely in Boston and had a solid three game as well as a solid defensive contribution especially in tight games. I think Boston did improve, but Cleveland is just the better team right now.

Breaking News: Carmelo Anthony was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Enes Kanter, Doug McDemott, and a draft pick. How does Melo fit in on this Thunder team and does this make OKC more of a threat to Golden State?

Todd: I really think it is a bad fit for Anthony. It is one thing to play in the Olympics playing with other NBA stars and blowing out your competition. Most of the time you are not olaying against NBA competition that is why you are blowing teams out. I think this will be way different. Me personally I think the Thunder got worse by this trade at least at the beginning.

Steve: The Rockets would be a huge acqusition for Houston if they can land Carmelo. They are already deep, and if they can add a scorer like Anthony, they seriously are a legit threat to Golden State in the West. The Cavs would be a big move for Cleveland, but honestly he wants to go where he will win a championship, so unless he goes to Houston, or Golden State, he might as well sign with the Nets.

Chad: I think the trade make OKC that much more dangerous but I don’t think it is enough to satisify every big star the have.

Dan: Well, since he got traded to Oklahoma City, I’m going to go with Oklahoma City. But I really like this trade, for the Thunder. I didn’t think the Knicks got back as much as they could have for a superstar player like Melo and they’ll be mad they only got a second round pick. The Thunder now have a dangerous line-up and they didn’t really hurt their chemistry or team as a whole by making this trade, but definitely improved with adding Melo. They won this trade easily.

Bonus Question

What are 5 bold predictions you think you might see during the upcoming season?

Todd: 1)There will not be one team in the Eastern Confernce to win over 50 games 2) The Lakers will win 41 games and reach the .500 mark 3) Golden State will not be in the Western conference Finals 4) Phladelphia 76ers will be a top 4 seed in the East 5) Brandon Ingram will win the most improved player award.

Steve: 1) The Warriors win 70 again, and will repeat as NBA Champions. 2) The Wolves will end their losing streak and make the playoffs. 3) Andrew Wiggins will sign a huge massive max deal and stay in Minnesota. 4) The Lakers will suck and only win 32 games despite dick heads claim that they will win 50. 5) And finally, most importantly… Someone will attack Lavar Ball in the stands for running his big fat fuckin mouth.  This will then ultimately ban Ball from the building, and he will demand a trade for Lonzo in the off season.

Chad: 1) With Wade gone Bulls vie for #1 Pick
2) Timberwolves make a strong presence in the West and in the Playoffs
3) We do not get The Warriors and Cavs in teh Finals again
4) Demarcus Cousins gets traded again after the pariing in New Orleans does not work.
5) Lonzo Ball does not win Rookie of the Year.
Dan: 1. Bucks make the Eastern Conference Finals 
2. OKC makes Western Conference Finals
3. Cavaliers win the NBA Championship
4. Lonzo Ball does not win Rookie of the Year
5. Melo finishes top-5 in MVP voting

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