Welcome to another edition of NBA RoundTable. Well, Thanksgiving is over I hope everyone had safe travels during the holiday. This week we will discuss the battle of L.A., OKC and Golden State that, and so much more on this edition of NBA Roundtable.
Here are the questions:
The Clippers and Lakers both have bad teams this year. Los Angeles is endangered of not having a playoff team for the first time since the 2004-05 season. Which team will finish with the better record?
Todd: Well like I said before Blake Griffin can’t lead a herd of cattle to a pasture. I was one of the few that didn’t think the Clippers would make the playoffs this year. Although the Clippers have had some injuries early in the year including Patrick Beverly out for the season, I never thought they had enough to make a run at the playoffs with powerhouse Western Conference. Now to the Lakers. As a die hard lakers fan I have not missed a game this year. I watched their first two games and thought to myself damn, these guys will be lucky to win 10 games. Something clicked in the young Laker team after that second game. they learned how to play defense and now rank 4th in defense efficiency a far cry from 28th last year. I think it will be closer than anyone thought at the beginning of the year. I can guarantee this though Los Angeles will have the best record.
Dan: I think we’ll see a surprising finish this season with the Lakers finishing with the better record, but both teams will miss the playoffs. I’m not sure the Clippers are good enough to fight for a playoff spot and I’ve been very impressed with how well the Lakers have been playing. Lonzo Ball has been playing extremely well this season and I think he’ll continue. He will carry the Lakers past the Clippers. Back to the way things were, Lakers the top of Los Angeles.
Steve: It is bound to happen, the Lakers are going to have a better record than the Clippers, only because the Clippers are in such dissaray right now, I don’t see how they can right the ship. The Lakers are young, and are up and coming. Despite my personal feeling for the Ball family, I do think that Lonzo Ball is going to end up having a pretty good year. He has been up and down so far this season, but I think he will overcome the rookie mistakes and start playing to his capabilities. I think the Lakers are a 28-32 win team right now, while the Clippers are about a 25-28 win team right now. I also think they trade Blake Griffin before the season is out.
Chad: I say the Clippers as I still think there is enough there to be better than the young Lakers.
Golden State and OKC played each other for the first time this year last week. That means old teammates Durant and Westbrook faced off again. There were some heated moments between the two during the game. Are we seeing a rivalry developing before our eyes between the Warriors and Thunder for years to come?
Todd: I don’t know if we are seeing a rivalry between the Warriors and the Thunder but there is definitely something going on between Westbrook and Durant. I would like to see an old school rivalry between two teams but today’s rules wont allow it. The NBA has gone too soft.
Dan: I don’t think we’ll see a rivalry happen between the teams of Oklahoma City and Golden State, but I definitely think there is a huge rivalry brewing between Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. It already was in the making from last season’s match-ups, but I definitely think it’ll intensify over the course of the rest of the season and it’ll get even bigger if they meet in the playoffs.
Steve: I think it is already a little rivalry. I mean you have the Durant vs Westbrook war that will be ongoing until the end of time. The Thunder lost to the Warriors two years ago in the Western Conference Finals, after OKC blew a 3-1 lead. I think we are already seeing it. So yes, this will be a rivalry that everyone will probably look forward to for many years to come.
Chad: To me I see the beginnings of a rivalry if and only if the Thunder can continue to get talent around Westbrook to succeed.
Derrick Rose is taking leave from the Cavaliers to evaluate his NBA future because he is tire of being hurt. He originally was supposed to be out for about two weeks with an ankle injury. He has only played in 7 games this year. Is his career over?
Todd: I think his career took a turn for the worse as soon as he went down with that achillies injury. From what I have saw thru the years no one is ever the same after one of them injuries no matter what sport you are playing and it takes a special kind of person to be able to come back from that kind of injury. I don’t think he will finish the season with the Cavaliers because the injuries has just wore him down.
Dan: I think Derrick Rose finishes the season with the Cavaliers, but this will be the last season for him. He’s endured a lot of injuries and just hasn’t been able to stay healthy. And like he’s stated before, it’s really effecting him mentally. He’ll finish the season, try and get a ring, and retire at the end of the season. What a career he could’ve had if he hadn’t faced all these injuries.
Steve: He is done. I don’t see him with much playing time with Cleveland this season. I think he is mentally and physically checked out. He does not have that drive to play like he used to. I think his mountain of injuries has played a toll on his head and he is not convinced that he can still play at a high level. I could see him coming back in a couple years after some time off, but he will never be the same player again.
Chad: If not now then really close with the multitude of leg injuries he is not the same player and never will be again.
The Miami Heat ended the Boston Celtics win streak at 16. The next biggest current win streak is 6 with the Cavaliers. Will we see anyone win more than 16 straight this year?
Todd: No. this is the longest win streak we will see this year. I think the Celtics got lucky and got some teams when they were not at their best. Cavaliers have 7 in a row as of right now but I think that ends tonight in philly.
Dan: No, this was the biggest win streak we’ll see all season. I do think a couple teams will come close, but they won’t top Boston.
Steve: I don’t think so, I mean the parity in the NBA is far better than we have seen in quite some time. Look at the Warriors, they lost to the high powered Sacramento Kings on Monday night, anyone can beat anyone on any night. So yeah, this will be the longest streak this season.
Chad: I don’t see anyone winning 16 games in a row, maybe Golden State but going into double digits is tough enough.
The Cavaliers are mulling trading Tristan Thompson for DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers. Is this a good trade for either team?
Todd: To me this trade don’t make a whole lot of sense for either team. They are basically the same player. Ok Jordan is a better rebounder and probably more of a center than Thompson But Jordan also can’t shoot free throws. Thompson is a little better free throw shooter, he can post up better. Jordan if he don’t have the right point guard around him I think he is useless that is another reason the Clippers are struggling. It would be worse for the Cavs than the Clippers but really not good for either team.
Dan: I think this would be an excellent move by Cleveland. Really bolster up their roster down low with an improved presence down low. I think it also helps the Clippers in getting rid of a major contract off their books. They don’t lose too much overall in talent, but it helps set them up for the future a little bit better.
Steve: It’s good for the Clippers as they start to tear apart this team, and get to rebuiding. It is horrible for Cleveland. Thompson is a good utility player, and is a good teammate. Jordan, can’t shoot a free throw in the ocean, and would probably hurt Cleveland down the stretch. Sure it helps there defense, so as long as he never touches the ball, it could be a good think for the Cavs, but we all know that is not going to happen.
Chad: It’s great for Cleveland to get Deandre getting rebounds in the against Golden State if they make it that far. For the Clippers It’s good because you’re probably 1 if not 2 #1 picks back in the trade.
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