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I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But... 
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Shade2 wrote:
Oy, Kobe. Crazy that we won't see him play for a year... I'm not saying this is totally legitimate or that he's fought through enormously tough injuries (although some have been very tough), but it always feels like he's sorta invincible, no? I mean, it almost feels like he'll make a comeback for the playoffs because that's what Kobe does. Is this the beginning of the end for him? We'll see.

And yes, they should amnesty him, then re-sign him. Doubt it happens, though.

I still don't think Miami loses more than 4 games in the playoffs, but seeing what teams like Denver and Golden State do will be interesting.

Also, there was an SI piece about this this week... is Marc Gasol the best center in the league right now? He's the most productive with the advanced stats, and I love him, but I dunno.


*Ah, Basketball*

/un-slumbers

I'm a huge Kobe hater, but that's because the Black Bean Mamba is so much fun to hate. The NBA without Kobe is like...well, I cannot seem to find a simile. Here's to hoping that he makes a full recovery. I'd love to see a few more years of outrageous clutch shots (even if he does attempt an outrageous number to begin with) and Kobe doing work (hat tip to Spike Lee). The thing about Kobe is: you get exactly what you see. He's a competitor like no other. Wants the ball in his hands at the end (for the entire 48 minutes, actually) and honestly does not care what anyone thinks about him. That's something a lot of superstars could learn from. They want to seem nice and please the public/media/sponsors. Kobe will snarl his way through buzzer beaters and max contracts.

They should still make the playoffs and will lose probably lose in 5-6 games to the Thunder or Spurs. They'll be a tough matchup though. Howard is slowly regaining his form and will be a factor on both ends. And, while it's a small sample size, THIS is Pau over the last 5 Laker games: PTS: 20.4, REB: 10.2, AST: 6.8 ( :!: :!: :!: )

It would be cool if he's back. Pau, at his best, is easily among the best big men in the NBA. And it would give the LAL two "twin towers" in the Playoffs. Pounding the ball in to them when the pace slows is always going to be interesting. The only question is who is going to take the outside shots...

And the Playoffs are here :D (well, nearly)

Who has a shot against Miami? I mean even a slim, slim shot? Is there even an East team? I'd say SAS, Memphis and the Pacers (in order of best to worst chance). They'll probably win easily though. And it does look like they'll get their 5-7 championships. But, let's hope not.

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Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:52 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
ed_metal_head wrote:
Who has a shot against Miami? I mean even a slim, slim shot? Is there even an East team? I'd say SAS, Memphis and the Pacers (in order of best to worst chance). They'll probably win easily though. And it does look like they'll get their 5-7 championships. But, let's hope not.


Honestly, it's hard for me to imagine them losing more than 4 games in the playoffs. I feel like they're going to kick it into another gear and Lebron is just going to destroy people all over the floor and pound it inside and get to the line if they run into any trouble. The Knicks aren't afraid of them, but they can't take 4 of 7. A healthy Bulls team would be extremely interesting, but that's not happening this year. If the East was a murderers row of tough teams I might feel a little differently, but they could very well go 12-0 to the Finals, be healthy and rested for whoever makes it out of the West, and fairly easily dispatch them. Wade has regressed a little, but Chalmers has stepped up huge, and the combo of Mike Miller/Ray Allen will win them a playoff game or two if the others are off. And much as I hate to say it, Bosh has been very good and efficient this year. He and Wade finally understand to just get out of Bron's way. So unless Norris Cole has been boinking Bron's Mom, they're destroying everyone. I'm eager for the playoffs because I think there will be some immensely exciting games and series, but it does seem like a bit of anti-climatic year. They certainly might win the next several rings (or Bron somewhere else winning them), but hopefully the gap between them and the next best team will narrow a little.


Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:20 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Shade2 wrote:
Oy, Kobe. Crazy that we won't see him play for a year... I'm not saying this is totally legitimate or that he's fought through enormously tough injuries (although some have been very tough), but it always feels like he's sorta invincible, no? I mean, it almost feels like he'll make a comeback for the playoffs because that's what Kobe does. Is this the beginning of the end for him? We'll see.

And yes, they should amnesty him, then re-sign him. Doubt it happens, though.


Yeah, it sucks. I still wouldn't consider myself a Kobe fan, but for similar reasons that Ed gave, I've come to respect and enjoy him. He's like the ornery old grandfather of the NBA. He curses regularly in interviews and I think he's reached a point in his career where he realizes his legacy and star brand are basically set and he can kind of do what he wants. He's morphed into someone who tried for so long to be a Jordan clone to someone who's stopped giving a shit and just wants to compete. It's cool to see the real Kobe finally reveal himself even if it is about 10 years late.

Shade2 wrote:
Also, there was an SI piece about this this week... is Marc Gasol the best center in the league right now? He's the most productive with the advanced stats, and I love him, but I dunno.


You know how Simmons has that theory about underrated guys eventually getting so much love that they become overrated? I think that's happening to Gasol right now, to a degree. He's certainly one of the best centers in the league, and he's a great defender with a nice all around offensive game (and is easily the best passing big), but I still can't say he's better than Dwight Howard when fully healthy. I think everyone is making the case for Gasol right now because he plays on a really good team and because Howard's team is struggling and he's turned into a pretty unlikable guy. That said, a healthy Dwight Howard once carried a team with 4 jump shooters around him to the Finals. As good as he is, Marc Gasol can't do that. I mean, come on, he's scoring 14 points a game and grabbing 8 boards.

Shade2 wrote:
ed_metal_head wrote:
Who has a shot against Miami? I mean even a slim, slim shot? Is there even an East team? I'd say SAS, Memphis and the Pacers (in order of best to worst chance). They'll probably win easily though. And it does look like they'll get their 5-7 championships. But, let's hope not.


Honestly, it's hard for me to imagine them losing more than 4 games in the playoffs. I feel like they're going to kick it into another gear and Lebron is just going to destroy people all over the floor and pound it inside and get to the line if they run into any trouble. The Knicks aren't afraid of them, but they can't take 4 of 7. A healthy Bulls team would be extremely interesting, but that's not happening this year. If the East was a murderers row of tough teams I might feel a little differently, but they could very well go 12-0 to the Finals, be healthy and rested for whoever makes it out of the West, and fairly easily dispatch them. Wade has regressed a little, but Chalmers has stepped up huge, and the combo of Mike Miller/Ray Allen will win them a playoff game or two if the others are off. And much as I hate to say it, Bosh has been very good and efficient this year. He and Wade finally understand to just get out of Bron's way. So unless Norris Cole has been boinking Bron's Mom, they're destroying everyone. I'm eager for the playoffs because I think there will be some immensely exciting games and series, but it does seem like a bit of anti-climatic year. They certainly might win the next several rings (or Bron somewhere else winning them), but hopefully the gap between them and the next best team will narrow a little.


Agreed with both of you guys. I've said it before, but the Heat's dominance is the reason why it's been hard to muster up a lot of enthusiasm for the NBA this year. They've arrived and are going to win it all. OKC trading Harden before the season pretty much guaranteed it.

I think people are going to make a huge deal out of an Eastern Conference Finals matchup between Miami and New York (assuming the even beat the Pacers to get there) and it's going to be a bloodbath. I don't see the Knicks winning more than 2 games in that series. My prediction would be Miami taking the first 2, winning one in NY, and then closing it out in 5. The Pacers are a better matchup for Miami, but I wouldn't see them winning more than 2 in a series, either.

Out West, I think the Spurs are the best matchup, and they could give the Heat a series, but I still think Miami takes it. Like Shade said, Bron has evolved into someone who can take a game over in so many ways, that he'll just do what needs to be done whenever they hit a rough patch.


Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:49 am
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
I'm a die-hard Bulls fan, and while I love my team's heart and hustle in that awesome 7-game series with Brooklyn, you're right. There's been some interesting drama in the first round this year, but it all feels rather hollow knowing that King James and company are going to steamroll everyone they face. I'd go so far as to put an asterisk on this season given the staggering amount of injuries to star players (D-Rose, Kobe, Rondo, Westbrook, etc.).

Sad to say, as much as the "not 4, not 5, not 6....." pep rally rubbed me the wrong way after Miami formed its Big Three, it feels entirely justified now. They have the most talent, the most depth, and they're the healthiest of all playoff teams.

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Sun May 05, 2013 1:25 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
I love what the Bulls are doing, although the Nets should be ashamed of themselves for losing like that. Oy.

Many others were making this point last night so I'm not claiming to be the first, but it's true: the Bulls (as currently constructed) cannot beat the Heat. No way. But they can absolutely beat them up, even if it is just 4 games. Bron seems fairly indestructible these days -- seriously, can you imagine him getting hurt right now? -- but could (slash would) the Bulls knock another Heat star from the playoffs? Wade is beyond frail at this point, and Bosh has had his own issues. I still think Lebron could win the title on his own, but it could make things kinda-sorta interesting.

As far as the asterisked season, I still feel that if Bron & Co. go the rest of the way and don't lose more than, say, 3 games (I still don't think they'll lose any), then no asterisk is necessary. Westbrook would not have made the difference. Rose is more interesting because of how that team is constructed... but we all know Lebron can shut him down almost at will (and really, he's pretty much the same player as Westbrook).

Danno doesn't post here much anymore, but the idea that the Spurs can contend with the Heat is ludicrous. Leonard can sorta-kinda guard Bron, but to even have a hope against him you need multiple guys who can give him some amount of trouble.

Finally, we are all indeed witnesses. I'll root for the underdog the rest of the way, but I won't be upset when Miami wins it. Bron is crazy.


Sun May 05, 2013 2:27 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
I normally hate Michael Jordan comparisons, but we may have something here with this Era of LeBron. There are a lot of stars in their prime or just entering their prime in this era who may never win a title as long as LeBron is playing. Durant, Rose, Curry, Melo, Howard and company aren't that much different from Barkley, Ewing, Reggie Miller, Stockton, and Malone in that respect.

When LeBron retires (he has more miles on him since he played starter minutes right out of high school), that's another matter, but through the length of his current contract, no one will stop him.

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Sun May 05, 2013 2:40 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
KWRoss wrote:
I normally hate Michael Jordan comparisons, but we may have something here with this Era of LeBron. There are a lot of stars in their prime or just entering their prime in this era who may never win a title as long as LeBron is playing. Durant, Rose, Curry, Melo, Howard and company aren't that much different from Barkley, Ewing, Reggie Miller, Stockton, and Malone in that respect.


This is a fantastic point. It absolutely has to be mentioned when talking about Jordan's greatness that he kept so many HOFers ringless. I mean, it's pretty likely that all of those guys would have at least 1 ring if not for MJ. Miller is the only one that's even debatable. If Bron can do the same thing, it would be greatly impressive. I think the guys (and teams) Jordan kept ringless is overall more impressive, but you can't exactly fault Bron for that. He's playing against some really great guys right now.

As for the Bulls, they have to be the toughest team in the league. They had NO business winning that series. At all. It speaks a whole lot to their coaching and heart as a team. They don't stand a chance against Miami, but I fully expect them to pull out a game or two just because they're so damned tough and stubborn. I forget who it was, but someone said the other day they carry themselves like for champions, even though they've never won one together. I think that's an apt, and pretty high, compliment.

The Knicks are going to lose to the Pacers. When things get tough Melo and Smith just jack shots and try to score them back into games, and that's always a bad idea. They just don't have a whole lot of discipline, despite their talent.

It feels pretty weird to say a #1 seed stole a Game 1 at home, but Durant definitely did that for OKC today. He was absolutely fantastic and pulled out a game they probably should have lost. I don't see them winning that series, but they certainly could if Durant keeps playing like that.


Mon May 06, 2013 12:29 am
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
PeachyPete wrote:

As for the Bulls, they have to be the toughest team in the league. They had NO business winning that series. At all. It speaks a whole lot to their coaching and heart as a team. They don't stand a chance against Miami, but I fully expect them to pull out a game or two just because they're so damned tough and stubborn. I forget who it was, but someone said the other day they carry themselves like for champions, even though they've never won one together. I think that's an apt, and pretty high, compliment.


Damn right, son. Here's my fantasy: the series is tied at 1 apiece going back to Chicago, when suddenly, Derrick Rose decides to play. The entire building, check that... the entire city goes nuts as he enters and plays Game 3 (albeit under limited minutes). It still won't make that much of a difference since he hasn't played (and therefore gelled) with the team all season, but it would be an awe-inspiring moment.

EDIT: Aw snap. We just stole Game 1. One step closer to my fantasy becoming reality.

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Mon May 06, 2013 1:28 am
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Crazy Game 1 of the East Finals, huh? Paul George has officially arrived! Except he overplayed the shit out of Bron on the final possession, which cost them the game.

I still don't know why Hibbert wasn't on the floor at that point. Barkley thought it was the right decision on the postgame show (Shaq didn't), but I couldn't really disagree more. Indiana was only in that game because of how they beat Miami up and dominated the boards by going big. Hibbert was a huge part of protecting the paint and rim, and to not have him on the floor for the last 2 defensive possession was a huge mistake by Vogel.

The first play, where George and Hill inexplicably switched an easy to get around pick (likely a coaching decision to switch everything in that spot...another mistake given how well George had been playing Bron), giving Bron the mismatch on Hill, could have been prevented with Hibbert in the game to slide over and contest Bron's drive. Instead he got an easy layup.

The final possession, the logic behind taking him out had to be (didn't hear Vogel's explanation) that they didn't want Hibbert getting switched onto a mismatch and having to defend on the perimeter. There's 2 things wrong with that: 1. They just got beat on a drive the possession before largely because they didn't have anyone protecting the rim. 2. There was 2.2 seconds! Even if Hibbert gets switched onto Bron (highly unlikely), he's backing off of him and contesting the pull up jumper. Which, obviously, he has a much better chance of missing than a wide open, uncontested layup.

It's just inexplicable. Worst case scenario is Hibbert contesting a jumper. Granted, you don't think George will overplay Bron so badly and give up the open lane, but it happened! And you just got beat by Bron driving the possession before! Why not TRY to protect yourself from their best player's best weapon?

Look, Indiana was pretty lucky to even be in that position. George's miracle 3 to force OT was unlikely and the phantom foul call on Wade to give him 3 free throws to give the Pacers the lead was a gift from horrible refs. That said, they made a shot and a call went there way. You HAVE to take advantage of those things if you want to win the series. To blow it by making mental mistakes and tactical coaching mistakes is a tough pill to swallow.

Other random observations from that game:

- Bron is amazing. Wade is hurt. Bosh is soft.

- Miami can't keep letting Battier guard David West. Given how Birdman played last night, they should think about upping his minutes.

- George Hill is an ATROCIOUS point guard. He's a decent overall player, but he is not a PG.


Thu May 23, 2013 11:53 am
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Barkley and Kenny Smith may be the only ones who thought taking Hibbert out was a good idea. Everywhere else, that decision is being crushed, and rightfully so. I'd much rather take my chances on a Bosh jumper or even two free throws from LeBron (not the most clutch FT shooter) than a buzzer-beating layup.

Funny you mention George Hill. I was talking with some friends at work about where Chris Paul should go in free agency, and we agreed on Indiana. A great, established point guard would do wonders for this team. Of course, now that the Clippers fired Vinny Del Negro (who has many more head-scratching lineup decisions than Frank Vogel on his resume), I don't see Paul going anywhere else.

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Fri May 24, 2013 12:38 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
KWRoss wrote:
I'd much rather take my chances on a Bosh jumper or even two free throws from LeBron (not the most clutch FT shooter) than a buzzer-beating layup.


Exactly. Literally any other possible outcome is more advantageous than what happened. It that doesn't happen with Hibbert in the game.

Quote:
="KWRoss"]Funny you mention George Hill. I was talking with some friends at work about where Chris Paul should go in free agency, and we agreed on Indiana. A great, established point guard would do wonders for this team. Of course, now that the Clippers fired Vinny Del Negro (who has many more head-scratching lineup decisions than Frank Vogel on his resume), I don't see Paul going anywhere else.


CP3 in Indy would push them into a truly elite category. They're already one of the 5 best teams in the league, and if they added someone who's a proven clutch guy, great defender, and runs an offense as well as anyone we've ever seen, it would push them neck and neck with Miami and (a healthy) OKC. It would be great to watch them and the Heat go at it next season.

That said, you're probably right. Getting rid of Del Negro was an appease CP3 kind of move (and because Vinny is a terrible coach). My guess it he stays with the Clippers.


Fri May 24, 2013 1:09 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
This Pacers team is impressive. They've already blown a game in Miami, then got handled at home in Game 3. To bounce back like that last night is pretty special.

And really, we all should have seen this coming. They match up perfectly with Miami. They have the size to dominate inside, where the Heat are the weakest (and dominating they are), and they have the wing defenders to slow down Wade and Bron. Now, Bron is still playing some pretty incredible ball, but Wade looks done as a superstar. George is making Bron work on both ends (even if I wish he'd be a little more aggressive offensively), and like the TNT guys said last night, 24, 6, and 5 is an All-Star, not a superstar. With Wade hurting and Bosh being negated by Indy's size, he's gotta be otherworldly all the time for them to win. That's not really a criticism of Bron as much as it is just a fact of life for him at this point. The insane part is that he usually is as good as he needs to be.

With 3 games left, I honestly see this series as a toss up. The Pacers are for real and it isn't going to be easy for Miami. Plus, Indy could have easily won both games in Miami, so winning there again isn't going to be as tough or intimidating for them as it would be for most teams. I'd usually still favor the home team (especially the defending champs), but Miami just has absolutely no answer for Indy's size. They haven't really been able to combat it for 4 straight games. In their one dominant win, it was mostly their precise offensive execution that got them the win. They still got crushed on the boards and Hibbert and West had their way inside.

I mean, Bosh is averaging 3 rebounds a game! It's a gigantic mismatch down there and a huge problem!


Wed May 29, 2013 8:59 am
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Decided to randomly check out this board, it's been a while.

So, I can't be crazy for thinking SA has to be favored against either Miami or Indiana at this point, right? Either will be coming off a grueling 7 game series, neither has looked really consistent for more than two games so far.

I could not have fathomed the disappearance of Bosh and Wade so far. Right now it's the Big One. Those guys need to step up big time in Game 7.

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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
DunkinDan89 wrote:
Decided to randomly check out this board, it's been a while.

So, I can't be crazy for thinking SA has to be favored against either Miami or Indiana at this point, right? Either will be coming off a grueling 7 game series, neither has looked really consistent for more than two games so far.

I could not have fathomed the disappearance of Bosh and Wade so far. Right now it's the Big One. Those guys need to step up big time in Game 7.


I'm getting flashbacks to LeBron's Cleveland days. Ironic how some are talking about a possible return to Cleveland for him in the future, and the reason for that? Better players around him, which is why he left there for Miami in the first place! :lol:

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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
DunkinDan89 wrote:
So, I can't be crazy for thinking SA has to be favored against either Miami or Indiana at this point, right? Either will be coming off a grueling 7 game series, neither has looked really consistent for more than two games so far.

I could not have fathomed the disappearance of Bosh and Wade so far. Right now it's the Big One. Those guys need to step up big time in Game 7.


I think the Finals is a toss up. The Spurs' offense is infintely better than Indy's (although they likely won't enjoy the zillions of offensive rebounds that kept Indy in the series), and I have no doubt they'll be able to score. Miami's defense was great last night, but the Pacers' penchant for turnovers and unimaginative, boring offensive sets can make any defense look great. The Spurs are hard to guard for a ton of reasons, and they'll be able to create mismatches frequently.

I think Wade and Bosh will be better this series than against Indy. Wade looked to get in a rhythm last night, and while he's finished as a legit superstar, he can still be effective. He's definitely not as bad as he was in games 1-6 of the ECF, and the law of averages says he'll at least be productive. Bosh just had a really tough matchup against the Pacers. He's not a center, and guarding Hibbert was just impossible for him. He'll probably guard Splitter in this series, and while he's a solid player, he's just not as physically imposing (or as good) as Hibbert.

I think Kawhi Leonard is the guy who could very well swing the series. He's likely going to be guarding Lebron, and he's an excellent defender. The key is if he can still contribute offensively while having to guard the best player on the planet. No one expects him to outplay Lebron, or even play him to a draw, but he has to be able to do the things he does well in the Spurs' offense for them to win.

I'm also really curious to see who Lebron guards. It'll likely be Leonard, but they do love to play small with him at the 4, which would put him on Duncan. Man, I'd love to see that.


Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:15 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
It's a pretty interesting series, to be sure.

The Brilliant Zach Lowe made roughly a zillion good points in his preview article, but this one jumped out to me:

Quote:
Miami, for all its gifts, can get sloppy in transition defense. Wade is a chronic whiner, and that bad habit has rubbed off on LeBron. Chalmers will admire his shot now and then. You can get leak-outs against the Heat, and the Spurs will hunt for them.


Now, I've often said and I stand by the fact that Duncan is as big a whiner his generation of players has seen and that has rubbed off on his teammates as well. The difference is that he generally won't do it during a play -- and on that rare occasion when he does, it's on a post move missed shot that doesn't affect the break quite so much.

It's an important point not just because it's fun to call Duncan a whiner, but because it points out what I believe is the most crucial thing for the Spurs if they hope to win: easy points.

The Spurs MUST produce easy points. They are quite clearly the best offense Miami has faced and they will get open looks, but to simply hope to shoot ultra-hot 4 games out of 7 is a fool's proposition: as Miami has already proven this postseason, they can win games when they didn't outplay their opponent.

The other very interesting thing to me is that both teams will have to go away from their strengths/preferences at times to win. Miami's crazy D will produce turnovers and easy buckets, but the Spurs will exploit the weaknesses with passing and shooting better than Indy did. The Spurs, meanwhile, cannot abandon trying for offensive boards like they usually do (again: easy points). A more straight-up man defense with some doubles in the post and on Parker at times might be the way to go, at least for stretches. They will (and should) go under the Parker screens and make him/Duncan/etc shoot.

I cannot wait... my heart says this goes seven, but my head still says 5 or 6, with Miami winning. I mean, every single significant role player for the Spurs will have to be good in a tough series for the first time. Can that happen? Of course. It's the Spurs and they know how to train players that way. It could be Leonard's coming out party: they won't give him respect when the Spurs are on offense and for a game or two he'll be able to attack from there. He ain't Paul George, surely (although who is? He's at worst a top-15 guy now, right?), but he can be a contributer, and he has to be. Like Petey said, he doesn't have to outplay Bron, but he has to exchange some points and keep that matchup around +12 for Miami. And if he gets in foul trouble, they're toast.

Bosh and Wade won't be good every game, but they don't have to be. If they play poorly it becomes a problem because then you have to be more conscious of not wearing Bron out by having him do everything on offense and then guard Parker -- which to me still makes the most sense, because Parker is the player most like those who have hurt Miami this postseason.

Again, I can see scenarios in which the Heat end this in 5 close games. But if the Spurs' shooters get hot, anything can happen.


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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
I have the Heat in 6, and the reasons for that have very little to do with matchups or strategy. Right now, LeBron James is blazing an extremely similar trail to many of the game's multi-ring superstars. He's improved so many facets of his game, from shooting percentage to the three-ball to low-post moves, that he's impossible to bet against. Jordan expanded his game as he matured, as well. Right now, LeBron (and I flat out REFUSE to call him "LBJ" for obvious reasons) is the be-all-end-all; as long as Wade, Bosh and Co. don't completely disappear, no one can beat the Heat four times. NO. ONE.

I've enjoyed watching the NBA for a long time, and I enjoy the flow and pace of games more than the college counterpart. By the way, I really hate the argument people make as to how college ball is so much better because "they're more fundamentally sound and play for pride instead of money." Really, that one makes me wanna Hulk out and smash stuff.....

But still, few things in life are more predictable than the NBA playoffs. When one dynasty ends, you can be damn sure another one will sprout in its place. Zero parity. And every time you think a monumental upset is about to occur, the favorite ends that talk swiftly and emphatically. Not that the Spurs winning would be a huge upset; they're strong enough and deep enough to take a few games, but it's just not their time. That's all.

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Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:48 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
KWRoss wrote:
I have the Heat in 6, and the reasons for that have very little to do with matchups or strategy. Right now, LeBron James is blazing an extremely similar trail to many of the game's multi-ring superstars. He's improved so many facets of his game, from shooting percentage to the three-ball to low-post moves, that he's impossible to bet against. Jordan expanded his game as he matured, as well. Right now, LeBron (and I flat out REFUSE to call him "LBJ" for obvious reasons) is the be-all-end-all; as long as Wade, Bosh and Co. don't completely disappear, no one can beat the Heat four times. NO. ONE.


Well, they disappeared for most of the last series -- Indy outplayed them in 5 games, really. Yes, Bron is otherworldly, maybe the best player ever. It took him way too long to figure out that he CAN drive against Hibbert, though. And SA is infinitely better than Indy. If Wade and Bosh were as bad as they were for the first six games against Indy, Miami's toast. You can't win a title with only one player playing at a star level. You CAN win with only one star (as the Mavs proved), but you need other guys to play like a star and everyone needs to shoot well. It really doesn't matter if the Big 3 shoot the 3 well, the other guys have to make 3s at a high percentage.

Miami peaked with the win streak. That's undeniable. Everyone except Bron, Haslem and Birdman are a shell of themselves. Can and should they win? Absolutely. But Indy -- a terrible offensive team -- scored almost at will against Miami. SA will pick them apart and destroy them if the D doesn't step up.

Don't get me wrong: I fully expect Miami to win. Bron can win some games by himself and I think Wade and Bosh will be just good enough to carry them over the top. If the Finals were held near the winning streak it might be over in 4. But it's not, Miami's beaten up and beaten down a little... and here we are.


Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:44 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Well, last night was gigantic. Not only did the Spurs answer Miami's blowout with a more impressive one of their own, but Gary Neal and Danny Green swung an NBA Finals game. As long as Parker is alright and able to play, the Spurs clearly have the advantage right now.

Kawhi Leonard has been fantastic so far. That game is a baller.

I love watching Duncan play. He's not playing great offensively, but he's controlling the boards and the paint, making fantastic passes, and hustling all over the court. It's awesome to see a franchise guy willing to do all the small things we usually credit role players for.


Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:34 am
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
And guess what, ya'll? I went to school with Gary Neal at Towson University! I graduated in 2006. It's so awesome to see him shine on the brightest stage. And to do this after spending a few years in Europe honing his craft speaks volumes about how you don't always have to be a first-round pick to make things happen in this league.

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Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:13 am
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