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NBA next- The Lebron-less playoffs?


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2 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

If he makes those around him that much better, why is he not elevating his team to be championship competitive? The one run the Nuggets had was because Murray went insane, not because Jokic was a transcendent player. You cannot with a straight face argue that having Jokic makes you a contender, and that's what an MVP should be. If you were a hypothetical GM and were given any player to build around for three years, Jokic shouldn't be in the top five players you'd select.

Yes he would be.

Yes having Jokic definitely makes you a contender, that is if at least not all your other primary guys are injured.

Its exactly like if you would be saying LeBron was an unworthy MVP if he didnt make Miami champions in a year when Wade and Bosh were both out.

Look, Denver was very competitive last year and was seen by many as a title contender. Murray got injured and that cost them. But a fit Denver team is widely considered a top tier contender so even that point isnt valid.

But of course we can already see that if they do have success next year, you will put that down to Murray, Porter, Campazzo and Morris. Everybody but the MVP :D

 

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On the MVP debate, I think that not having co-stars is kind of the entire point. You shine brighter when your team revolves around you. Of course you still have to be up to the task, but having to share responsibilities takes away from you even if they sacrifice to accommodate you, not to mention when they demand to have their turn.

Even though Giannis and Steph won their MVPs with good teams, they were also the clear primary drivers of their teams offense.

_

Separately, am I the only one not sold on Murray? Don't get me wrong, I do think he's good, he can create for himself and his team, and also can actually drive giving Denver a different dimension on offense, but he's had two fantastic stretches. Once in the bubble and once just before he got injured. He has a high ceiling, but he was slow to start before that. Is it because he needs time to heat up or did we happen to catch his peak?

Or maybe it doesn't matter. They have Hyland who looks promising even if he hasn't shown the same ceiling yet. And Campazzo is something like the fifth PG on the depth chart.

Also, Porter only fell to Denver because of his back. Hopefully he gets over it but it might haunt them.

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3 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

Unique? Dude, so many of the top basketball analysts were making the same argument. Jokic couldn't move Green when they were 1 on 1 and that disrupted what the Nuggets were trying to do. That Jokic got a bunch of empty stats in a noncompetitive series is not a good argument that he played well, and yes, that's very Kevin Love behavior. 

Hey, Kevin Love at least locked down Steph Curry on a crucial game seven possession in the Finals. :lol:

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3 hours ago, Calibandar said:

Yes having Jokic definitely makes you a contender, that is if at least not all your other primary guys are injured.

Disagree. I still would favor the Warriors over the Nuggets if they had a healthy Murray and Porter back. 

Listen, not every great player automatically makes a team a contender. Jokic is great, but you can't just put him on an okay team and expect them to thrive. He's not LeBron carrying a terrible team to the Finals, for example.

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Its exactly like if you would be saying LeBron was an unworthy MVP if he didnt make Miami champions in a year when Wade and Bosh were both out.

Except he did that when Kyrie and Love were out, and btw those two are way better than what Jokic is missing. I'm still not even sure if Porter is that good. His max contract looks like it could be a disaster.

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Look, Denver was very competitive last year and was seen by many as a title contender. Murray got injured and that cost them. But a fit Denver team is widely considered a top tier contender so even that point isnt valid.

I don't know about that. They made a surprise run to the conference Finals two years ago, more on Murray's back than Jokic's, but I don't recall many people thinking they were a legit contender last year before the injuries. The conversation was more about if they were a fluke the year before or not. That's not exactly a ringing endorsement.

2 hours ago, briantw said:

Hey, Kevin Love at least locked down Steph Curry on a crucial game seven possession in the Finals. :lol:

One last thing on the MVP. The three finalists were Jokic, Embiid and Giannis. Their offensive numbers aren't that different though Jokic was the best of the three on that end, but why doesn't defense matter at all? Giannis and Embiid are DPOY level defenders while the best thing you can say about Jokic's D is that he's not bad anymore. 

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6 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

If he makes those around him that much better, why is he not elevating his team to be championship competitive?

Jordan didn't make Bulls competitive on his own, and neither did Lebron at Cavs nor Heat, Kobe at Lakers, Wade at Heat etc.

It is a team sport and you need more than one great player to win the most competitive league in the world. Hell, sometimes even more than one great player is enough - Durant, Westbrook and Harden at Thunder, Malone and Stockton at Jazz etc.

5 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Disagree. I still would favor the Warriors over the Nuggets if they had a healthy Murray and Porter back. 

First of all, healthy Murray and Porter for the season would probably mean Nuggets would be better placed for the playoffs and would skip Warriors in the first round. Even if not, fully fit (or close enough) Warriors are a title contender. It's not as if they were swept by some underdogs, they lost to one of top teams in the league.

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3 hours ago, baxus said:

Jordan didn't make Bulls competitive on his own, and neither did Lebron at Cavs nor Heat, Kobe at Lakers, Wade at Heat etc.

Not sure these examples are that great and I'm throwing Kobe out because Shaq was the biggest reason for his early success. Would you like to look at their early impact, because the Heat and Cavs had major turnarounds in short order after drafting LeBron and Wade with Wade winning a title in his third season and LeBron making the Finals in his fourth despite his team being awful. Jordan was already the best player in the league by his third season and the Bulls became one of the best after that for a prolonged period of time. Once all three hit their primes their teams were expected to be there at the end. You can't say that about Jokic's Nuggets. 

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It is a team sport and you need more than one great player to win the most competitive league in the world. Hell, sometimes even more than one great player is enough - Durant, Westbrook and Harden at Thunder, Malone and Stockton at Jazz etc.

Sure, again, those are examples of collects with realistic championship aspirations. 

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First of all, healthy Murray and Porter for the season would probably mean Nuggets would be better placed for the playoffs and would skip Warriors in the first round. Even if not, fully fit (or close enough) Warriors are a title contender. It's not as if they were swept by some underdogs, they lost to one of top teams in the league.

Yup. I think they would have been the fourth seed this year with a healthy team and that just means they'd lose in the second round instead of the first.

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Posted (edited)

Harden was trash again. Two shots in the second half?

Vamos Heat! 

ETA:

Nets easily won the trade.

Edited by Tywin et al.
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7 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

Harden was trash again. Two shots in the second half?

Vamos Heat! 

ETA:

Nets easily won the trade.

Nah. Its clear this was a trade with no winners. For the Nets, they probably would have been better off at least having Harden for these playoffs to pair with Durant and Kyrie ( and then still lose to the Celtics but hey). Now the Nets are saddled with a huge deal for Simmons who might not play and the Sixers could try and convince Harden to take on a smaller deal more fitting with his current level of play. He wants to stay in Philly.

9 minutes ago, DireWolfSpirit said:

Surprisingly for me, the Mavs are taking the Sun's to a 7th game.

Huge game from Doncic. I agree its a surprise, was expecting the Suns to close this after game 5. But yet again Dallas just bounces back.

14 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

Disagree. I still would favor the Warriors over the Nuggets if they had a healthy Murray and Porter back. 

I wouldnt. I think thats very close based on what we saw last season.

Listen, not every great player automatically makes a team a contender. Jokic is great, but you can't just put him on an okay team and expect them to thrive. He's not LeBron carrying a terrible team to the Finals, for example.

Jokic was not on an okay team this year. Its been much talked about on podcasts and in the media how this team without its no 2 and 3 team is quite terrible and its a miracle that Jokic dragged them to a 6 seed. That has played a big part into getting him the MVP as well, the fact that he was so valuable for this mediocre team all season. He's also incredibly durable and doesnt miss games.

I don't know about that. They made a surprise run to the conference Finals two years ago, more on Murray's back than Jokic's, but I don't recall many people thinking they were a legit contender last year before the injuries. 

It was not mostly on Murray's back that they made a run, Jokic was the stabile factor all season. Thats just something you keep spouting cause of your unique Jokic hating POV. You basically do everything you can to diminish his performance this season or the previous ones. Its weird.

One last thing on the MVP. The three finalists were Jokic, Embiid and Giannis. Their offensive numbers aren't that different though Jokic was the best of the three on that end, but why doesn't defense matter at all? Giannis and Embiid are DPOY level defenders while the best thing you can say about Jokic's D is that he's not bad anymore. 

You'd have to ask all the people who voted for Jokic to find out I guess. His assist numbers , his sheer reliability and how he holds up a very mediocre team might all play into it.

 

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41 minutes ago, Calibandar said:

Huge game from Doncic. I agree its a surprise, was expecting the Suns to close this after game 5. But yet again Dallas just bounces back.

Didn't manage to catch the game, but looks like they've managed to contain Chris Paul for the past three or four games after he burnt them in the first two. Wonder if they trap him early or switch and never leave him. The other teams might want to take notes if the Suns manage to advance or even use it for next season. 

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Posted (edited)

Yup, he's now had 4 quiet games in a row and then Booker didnt play well last night either, was contained.

It does seem very hard to predict who will actually win the title this year, there really isnt one team that really convinces.

You could see the Bucks close the Celtics in 6. but you could also imagine a rally and the Celtics through in 7. And the Heat are really solid but its not like they blow you away in any way that makes them favorites. Ive just had this feeling that they might win this. Phoenix and GS look vulnerable.

For Luka its also important to show up again in game 7. Theyve been great at home but can he do it in Phoenix and really pull this off?

Edited by Calibandar
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46 minutes ago, Calibandar said:

Yup, he's now had 4 quiet games in a row and then Booker didnt play well last night either, was contained.

It does seem very hard to predict who will actually win the title this year, there really isnt one team that really convinces.

You could see the Bucks close the Celtics in 6. but you could also imagine a rally and the Celtics through in 7. And the Heat are really solid but its not like they blow you away in any way that makes them favorites. Ive just had this feeling that they might win this. Phoenix and GS look vulnerable.

For Luka its also important to show up again in game 7. Theyve been great at home but can he do it in Phoenix and really pull this off?

Going into the season, I thought that the Suns benefited from injuries the last playoffs and aren't that good. They proved me wrong, were a strong team throughout the regular season after a slow start and looked to be the favourites until the last three games.

Wonder if it might be a potential team breaking moment like when the Clippers demonstrated that the Jazz can't defend when Rudy's not in the paint and Rudy isn't able to punish you offensively if his team doesn't set him up. Team primarily being Conley and Ingles. I know that the Jazz hasn't broken up yet, but I think their window was last year and they blew it and are only spiralling downwards now.

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3 hours ago, Calibandar said:

Nah. Its clear this was a trade with no winners. For the Nets, they probably would have been better off at least having Harden for these playoffs to pair with Durant and Kyrie ( and then still lose to the Celtics but hey). Now the Nets are saddled with a huge deal for Simmons who might not play and the Sixers could try and convince Harden to take on a smaller deal more fitting with his current level of play. He wants to stay in Philly.

No, keeping Harden would not have made a difference this year and then the Nets would be facing two contract headaches with him and Kyrie. Getting rid of Harden for anything of value was a plus and that they got a great shooter and two firsts is fine on its own. If Simmons can come back and is anything close to his pre-collapse form is gravy. 

If Simmons does refuse to play going forward but expects to still get paid I suspect there are ways the Nets can get out of his deal, and he will also instantly become the most hated player in the NBA among his peers because fully guaranteed contracts may cease to be a thing. Frankly they probably should be anyways. 

 

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Posted (edited)

I feel the only positive thing for the Nets is getting Seth Curry in that deal. 

They got Drummond as well and he's gonna walk, thats been made clear. That leaves you with a late first rounder and the huge Ben Simmons problem. On top of that, they have the Kyrie problem. I just feel like their situation is even worse than the Sixers. Where you can at least say to yourself, ok Harden isnt what he is anymore but if we can re-sign him on a deal that we find just about palatable and strengthen our roster this summer, we can give it another shot with a new coach.

And of course the Nets will try the same thing, strengthen that roster and hope that next year, Kyrie and Simmons will actually play ( they are on max deals...). All in all its a no win trade.

Edited by Calibandar
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The big question is how much money it will take to sign Harden.  There isn't a ton of market for Harden.  Los of people are questioning his fitness and in the past two years he's been nothing special.  He's getting old and his first step seems to be gone.  If Philly plays hardball with Harden and he walks, who is going to pay him a max money deal?  Anyone?  I'm not sure it's anyone. It would really hurt Philly if he were to walk for nothing, but thats a risk they're going to have to take to avoid overpaying.  Because if he walks, they have a lot of cap room and a top 5 player in Embiid.  That's not great, but there's still plenty of reason to hope that they might sign a free agent star like Beal or something.  If they overpay Harden, then they are basically stuck with a Harden/Embiid tandem to win a championship, and it's hard to imagine those two guys are good enough to do that. 

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Yup. I think he is definitely staying though, he let his option to opt in to next year's 45+ million deal expire, probably because they have already talked about a 4 year deal. And it doesnt seem like he wants out again. 

Like you say, its extremely unlikely anyone is going to pay him max money at this point so he will probably settle for something a bit less.

 

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47 minutes ago, Calibandar said:

I feel the only positive thing for the Nets is getting Seth Curry in that deal. 

I think there’s a real conversation to be had that the Sixers would have been better off with a starting backcourt of Maxey and Curry now and going forward.

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