The Basketball Thread


  • Politics

    @arkandel said in The Basketball Thread:

    Could this be the year the San Antonio Spurs finally miss the playoffs?

    Possibly.


  • Politics


  • Admin

    This has to be the year the Raptors make it to the Finals - at least.

    There will be no better chance. Cleveland is at its most vulnerable right now, and next year Philly will be more experienced and deeper, Boston will have Hayward back and Brown/Tatum a year better, the Bucks will have the full version of Jabari Parker to couple with Giannis while neither Lowry nor DeRozan are getting any younger.

    Having said that, the number of national televised games for the Eastern Conference leaders is farcically low.


  • Pitcrew

    I think the Raptors have as good a shot as any non-LeBron team does of making the finals.
    Though If I was betting on things I would go with the Cavs,I have no real confidence in them, but I will start believing at team from the East will unseat LeBron when and if they have a lead in a playoff series against him.


  • Politics

    @thatguythere

    I'm in the same boat.

    I love the Raptors. Always have, being from Toronto. I was at their inaugural game, and watched Mighty Mouse play. I was around when Vinsanity was the name of the game.

    But LeBron is LeBron. The Cavaliers have altered their game more than substantially. You put LeBron in with a bunch of young studs, which the team has now, and he could be unstoppable. He willed victory in his second contest with Golden State.

    Toronto has won the only game they played this year. Toronto is better statistically. But the Cavaliers now are different and better than the Cavaliers in January. Toronto has a shot if they keep playing inspired basketball, but that's a big 'if'.


  • Admin

    @ganymede Time is the Cavs' issue; Kevin Love is still out, more than half the roster wasn't even wearing the same jerseys a month ago... and there are a dozen games left to play.

    They need to gel, and they won't have time to. So the question becomes to what extent they manage to do so before shit gets serious in the playoffs.


  • Politics

    @arkandel

    No Kevin Love? No problem; LeBron has proven that.

    No chemistry? No problem; LeBron has proven that.

    Like, let's be frank and fair. The man's ability is otherworldly, and he turns it on during the playoffs. He's got a team of good parts now. He alone could win a series early on.

    LeBron's like Tom Brady: love him or hate him, he is a game-changer that can will an entire team to victory.


  • Pitcrew

    Look at the Cavs team he drug to the finals in 07, if he is on for the playoffs he can make the finals. The biggest issue is if he can maintain being on for the playoffs at his age when his team will be overmatched from at least the second round on.


  • Politics

    @thatguythere said in The Basketball Thread:

    The biggest issue is if he can maintain being on for the playoffs at his age when his team will be overmatched from at least the second round on.

    And if he remains healthy.

    Look, there are problems, but the East is weak. No matter how you slice it, LeBron is still the biggest dog out there. Boston will be problematic for them, and Toronto is playing nicely. But I'm not going to bet against the Cavaliers because I watched LeBron win the 2016 finals for them.


  • Politics

    @ganymede said in The Basketball Thread:

    @Arkandel said in The Basketball Thread:

    Lonzo and Lavar

    The Balls can suck themselves. Lonzo's the second coming of Manziel, mark my words.

    The line on Lonzo: 10.2 PPG; < 40% FG percentage.

    Stick with the kid, buddy.


  • Admin

    The Lakers are very well positioned to take advantage of the new NBA economy; other than Deng they have no bad contracts, and with enough room in the salary cap to max two more players, three promising young stars on rookie contracts (Ingram, Ball, Kuzma, with Randle needing to either get paid or let go this summer) and a huge market to attract free agents... they'll be just fine.

    Otherwise I'd put my money in either Philly or Boston to emerge as a defacto contender over the next five years. Golden State is starting to get older (which doesn't mean they can't squeeze a couple of more rings) and Houston isn't sustainable, so it's their turn.

    I'm just sorry for Giannis, the Bucks just don't have the flexibility to give him the strong supporting cast he needs - shooters and defenders, basically - to do anything with his generational talent.


  • Politics

    @arkandel said in The Basketball Thread:

    The Lakers are very well positioned to take advantage of the new NBA economy; other than Deng they have no bad contracts, and with enough room in the salary cap to max two more players, three promising young stars on rookie contracts (Ingram, Ball, Kuzma, with Randle needing to either get paid or let go this summer) and a huge market to attract free agents... they'll be just fine.

    Sure, this may be the case. You and I differ on whether Ball is "promising." .

    The Lakers are a great market, but they are going to whiff in the free market this year, unless they miraculously attract James. The problem with that theory is that James needs to go to a place where he is essentially in control, and that's not going to happen with Magic Johnson on top or Luke Walton as coach. The Lakers would be wise to extend a mid-range offer to keep Thomas around, and spend wisely to increase their depth.

    Otherwise I'd put my money in either Philly or Boston to emerge as a defacto contender over the next five years.

    Philly looks great on paper, and is finally starting to come together, but when payday comes -- and it will come -- the 76ers need to be careful in who they keep as their core. If they were wise, they would ready themselves to shed one of their potential superstars in order to get picks for the future.

    Boston isn't a team that I trust to keep it together. I know that Hayward going down changed the entire season, but Irving has shown time and time again that he can't stay healthy. They look like Derrick Rose's Bulls, to be frank: pretty damn good, but crippled by a superstar that just can't stay on the roster when they need him (like the playoffs).


  • Pitcrew

    @arkandel said in The Basketball Thread:

    Otherwise I'd put my money in either Philly or Boston to emerge as a defacto contender

    Depending on where LeBron goes they could be contenders next year, after all someone from the East has to be in the Finals and as Detroit showed us in 2004 sometimes the inferior team and pull of the Finals upset. If he goes west the east is Boston, Toronto and Philly and a bunch of not much else.
    That alone is the reason I think Bron Bron stays in the East, with even a semi decent supporting cast he has a puncher's change at a ring every year. (See 2016 for reference)


  • Admin

    @thatguythere said in The Basketball Thread:

    Depending on where LeBron goes they could be contenders next year, after all someone from the East has to be in the Finals and as Detroit showed us in 2004 sometimes the inferior team and pull of the Finals upset. If he goes west the east is Boston, Toronto and Philly and a bunch of not much else.
    That alone is the reason I think Bron Bron stays in the East, with even a semi decent supporting cast he has a puncher's change at a ring every year. (See 2016 for reference)

    LeBron is 100% not going to a contender or champion. I can't say I know where he'll go (my money is on staying in Cleveland) but his legacy would gain nothing for example if he just went to join Houston. On the East Philly and the Bucks are similarly a poor match for him since they already have tall, ball-dominant PGs who can't shoot - and I don't have to explain why he isn't going to Boston, do I? :) As for the West, OKC would be an interesting place but they don't have a whiff of salary cap left, and unless the Spurs get a full commitment from Kawhi I don't see that happening either.

    IMHO he'll go to the Lakers if anywhere.


  • Pitcrew

    @arkandel
    I didn't mean I thought he would go to Philly or Boston just than if he goes west by simple fact that the east is still guaranteed a spot in the finals and with only Toronto showing much besides Boston or Philly if LeBron does go west Philly and Boston are automatically contenders since most likely one will be playing for the championship. (I want to Raptors to be good, they are a fun team but still seem lacking in the playoffs, I am definitely hoping they prove that wrong this year.)


  • Politics

    @arkandel said in The Basketball Thread:

    IMHO he'll go to the Lakers if anywhere.

    That's a pretty good bet, but he'd be an excellent fit in Toronto, with its deep lineup, offensive-defensive guards, and an entire fucking country rooting for him.

    But, it's also Toronto, so.


  • Pitcrew

    Did someone say "LeBron" and "Lakers" in the same sentence?

    alt text



  • He'll go wherever he can get the most pay, then convince some other stars to take pay cuts to play with him and chase a ring.

    And then he'll fail just short of the finish line and blame everyone else.


  • Pitcrew

    @admiral
    He will make the same money everywhere except Cleveland he is definitely getting a max contract unless he chooses to take less which he has already said he won't.
    Due to collective bargaining Cleveland can offer him more money and years than anyone else but for the other 29 teams the monetary part of the pitch will be the same.


  • Admin

    @thatguythere said in The Basketball Thread:

    He will make the same money everywhere except Cleveland he is definitely getting a max contract unless he chooses to take less which he has already said he won't.

    Partially untrue. Yes, the max contracts are what they are due to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, but if we're talking money-in-the-pocket there are more factors to consider.

    • The two Texas-based teams don't pay the same income tax based on their earnings.

    • Playing in a large market - and there's no larger than LA - gives players opportunities to expand their brand, be in movies and TV shows, etc.

    LeBron is an exceptionally good businessman who's aware of all these, but I think at this stage in his career money is a secondary issue to him compared to his legacy. He wants more rings, and he wants to be credited for those rings. It's not enough to pull a KD and go to a favorite - so a young Lakers team might not be a great fit for him unless he can talk Paul George or DMC into joining as well.

    That's why I think there's a decent chance he stays in Cleveland. There's no great fit for him in terms of his age, goals and salary cap space out there.

    Also, there's no way - zero way - LeBron ever accepts less than the max for whatever contract length he signs.