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Rick Senger
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Posted: 16 April 2017 at 1:28pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

The Bucks looked good in the second half.  Despite Monroe's reg. season numbers mostly dipping, his 15 rebs suggests he could make an impact and Middleton is rounding into shape right on time.  The Bucks are one of those teams nobody really wants to face and might pull the upset though Toronto lost openers vs both Indiana and Miami last year but won both series.  Utah's upset of the Clips has Doc on the hot seat.  He's a good coach but another opening round exit would look bad.  
Looking forward to the Harden and Westbrook show in a few hours!
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 21 April 2017 at 3:30pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Two must win games tonight.  Down 0-2, Boston must beat the Bulls in Chicago to stand any chance.  The Bulls have a major height advantage that the Celtics haven't come close to figuring out (they're getting crushed on rebounds), though Rondo's absence doesn't hurt.  OKC is also down 0-2 despite Westbrook's heroics.  Will home court be enough to help OKC get back in it?
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 30 April 2017 at 9:08pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

If the Clippers go after Melo during the offseason, who
should the Knicks get in return?
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 01 May 2017 at 12:46pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I imagine the Knicks would love to get Blake Griffin (a reliably good scorer, rebounder and passer plus four years younger) but even given his recent injury history, I don't see it happening.  CP3 and DeAndre Jordan are surely off the table.  Seems like J J Redick and Austin Rivers are being dangled at present.  Redick is an excellent shooter and seems like a guy who could work in the triangle and Rivers is an athletic slasher, though oft-out of control.  NY waited a year too long to trade Anthony and seems unlikely to get what they perceive to be full value for him. 
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 02 May 2017 at 7:51am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Man, I've rarely seen a Spurs team get dominated in the playoffs like they were last night.  Curious to see how they and Popovich rebound in game two.  If it winds up being a GS / Houston Conf. Final, the Warriors have won 11 of their last 12 meetings.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 08 May 2017 at 8:44am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Spurs and Celtics both looked vulnerable yesterday.  Still some basketball to be played, but right now its hard to imagine any finals besides Cavs / Warriors III.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 16 May 2017 at 11:25pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Kawhi Leonard's injury on a dirty Zaza Pachulia play has sadly  transformed the Western conf. Finals.  The Spurs were up by 23 when the injury occurred.  Since then, they've been outscored collectively by the Warriors 194-133.  They stand little chance without an active and effective Leonard and I'm not even sure Pop will play him given Pop's history of protecting players with injuries.

The Eastern Finals start tomorrow.  I don't know anyone who picks the Celtics over the Cavs but Boston has to be jazzed landing the number one pick in next month's draft.  It's a bit of a challenge as the top two prospects (Ball and Fultz) are both guards and Boston already has two quality guards in Bradley and Thomas but perhaps Boston will trade the pick for a major star or draft Fultz and give him a half season to prove his value then possibly trade Thomas (who stands to make ~$150 - 200 mill on a very expensive max contract deal) for another star and keep the cheaper Fultz.  Either way, a nice problem to have and much joy in Beantown tonight.
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 20 May 2017 at 6:41pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Would it be possible to just skip to the NBA Finals? It
seems pretty obvious that the Warriors and Cavs are the
best teams right now with all the injuries.

As much as I don't like LeBron, I was surprised that he
isn't in the running for MVP. If I had a vote, I would
pick Kawhi Leonard over the other finalists since his team
has the better record. Westbrook is a stat chaser and
Harden gets too many points from the FT line.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 21 May 2017 at 9:35am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Boston was overmatched before Thomas went down but now the series is foregone even though it's only 2-0.  When LBJ is rested and Love and JR and the rest are hitting their outside shots (as in game two), the Cavs are formidable, particularly with their suddenly active defense. 

The Spurs on the other hand seemed to have figured something out  when Leonard went down.  But we'll never know now.   GS's offense  looks unstoppable and despite their record, this team is clearly better than last year thanks to Durant.

Part three of the trilogy begins June 1st in Oakland!


Edited by Rick Senger on 21 May 2017 at 9:39am
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 21 May 2017 at 10:59am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

As far as MVP, those four are all clearly the best.  Westbrook seems sure to win owing partly to the imagination-capturing novelty of his triple double average, which is quite impressive.  Harden is equally unstoppable and a little more efficient (better shooting percentages), though he turns the ball over a bit more and is beginning to get a rep for fading in big moments.  LeBron had a season for the ages (some career highs and even more efficient than those two) but his team didn't win as much and he's won it four times already so there's the familiarity thing.  Not making him a finalist is probably doing the Cavs a favor as it will piss him off and make him even more motivated to excel - so far he's having the most dominating playoffs of his career, which is amazing given his recent masterful post-seasons.  Kawhi is one of my very favorite players and he's the best defender of the four (defensive POTY last yr) plus he is now a top tier scorer.  If anything, Kawhi may get points subtracted for lacking the flash of the others but I love his relentless grind mentality. 

Durant and Curry are both great but given how loaded GS is (two other All Stars and many roleplayers), it's difficult to call either more valuable to their team than the above four. 
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 21 May 2017 at 5:05pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I'm hearing a lot of talk about the playoffs being
boring so far and I guess I can see that but I also
think the dominance of the Cavs and Warriors is
ratcheting up the anticipation for the Finals. I know
I'm really excited!
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 21 May 2017 at 5:07pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Hey! I met The Worm at Motor City over the weekend:


No clue what his signature says. I even googled "Dennis
Rodman autographs" and his name is only the very top
part. Anyone's guess what else he wrote.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 22 May 2017 at 12:04am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Orange nail polish... ouch!  Cool pic of an all-time great (if flaky) rebounder.  The word(s) below his autograph look to end with an "e" and might start with a J, so could it say "To Joe"?
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 22 May 2017 at 12:18am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

BTW, nice comeback win for Boston, who showed great pride and character.  I still think it's a longshot for them to win this series without their best scorer but the Celts showed their mental toughness after two blowouts.
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 22 May 2017 at 3:40am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Regarding last night...I guess that's why they play the
games!
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 22 May 2017 at 3:42am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

My wife asked the same thing about the Rodman
inscription ("To Joe"?) but he never asked my name. He
just took the book and started scribbling.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 31 May 2017 at 6:23pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Act three begins tomorrow night.  Cleve's offense has been awesome, they're finally pretty healthy, and Kevin Love has played his best ball since joining the Cavs.  Also helpful is the Warriors' Pachulia possibly remaining gimpy along with Iguodala, who was an important piece last year.  Obviously GS' biggest improvement is trading in Harrison Barnes' bad shooting and soso D in favor of perennial MVP candidate Kevin Durant, who is killing it both ways.  The experts strongly favor GS (ESPN's Power Index gives them a 93% chance, which seems high).   GS cruised thru the West (12-0) but SA lacked both Kawhi and Parker.  So while GS with Durant is improved, both teams are better than last yr when Cleveland beat GS (the Cavs added Korver and Williams.)  Cleveland has also dominated the playoffs (12-1, crushing 53-win Boston at home three times.)  The Lebron / Durant matchup and Love's ability to be effective both loom large but I don't see this being a runaway however things go.  Can't wait to see!
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 01 June 2017 at 5:24am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Cavs in seven.
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John Popa
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Posted: 01 June 2017 at 7:34am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

What's funny is if the Cavs win in 7, the teams will be 10-10 over their 3 year series.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 01 June 2017 at 6:27pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

After last year, when GS had the best record ever and everyone wrote off the Cavs at 3-1, LeBron and Kyrie showed me that anything is possible when two guys get red hot and the rest of the team chips in just enough.  There's really no pressure on Cleveland who overachieved in 2016 and is a heavy underdog again, but there is considerable pressure on the GS Super Team to redeem themselves after last year and even more on Durant, whose exodus from OKC was questioned by many and won't be considered "justified" by fans or the media with anything less than a championship.   It would be fun to watch GS get majorly upset for the second year a row but my heart tells me it's going to be tough.  A Cavs win in game one or two might rattle the Warriors more than they want to admit, but barring some sort of big injury or Draymond doing something as stupid as last year, I'm going Warriors in six.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 02 June 2017 at 9:46am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Ooof.  Only LBJ and Kyrie really showed up but LBJ had 8 turnovers and KD outplayed him.  Love got 21 rebounds but was 4/13.  The rest of Cleveland was mostly nowhere to be seen.  KD pulverized the Cavs and they must figure something out there.  The good news is Cleve won't commit 20 turnovers in every game and they can't play much worse on defense but Klay Thompson won't go 3/16 forever either.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 05 June 2017 at 10:07am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

It's too soon to write off the Cavs who were convincingly down 2-0 last year but I have yet to see any exploitable weaknesses in GS.  Steph is playing sharply and way better than the last finals, Klay had his first good offensive game in a while, and Durant remains unstoppable.  Green got in foul trouble early but was subbed well and played within himself.  Their supporting cast has been aggressive and smart (even JaVale McGee has been effective.)  This is one of the best two way teams I've ever seen assembled and I don't see GS beating themselves.

On the other side LeBron and Love played as well as can be hoped and Kyrie, while subpar, wasn't bad enough to cost them the game.  It's the Cavs' so far invisible supporting cast (particularly Thompson and JR Smith, who both were key last year) who must perform.  Deron Williams, Korver, Shumpert, Richard Jefferson.  These guys have some game but we haven't seen it yet.  I expect the best effort of the season and a bloodier game three.


Edited by Rick Senger on 05 June 2017 at 11:10am
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 08 June 2017 at 8:49am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Just. Too. Good.
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 08 June 2017 at 9:00am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

The Cavs got 'em right were they want 'em!

Seriously though, KD is just too much to overcome.
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 09 June 2017 at 4:00am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

As probably the biggest Cavaliers fan on the boards (what? I don't see ANY others... :), I'm afraid that not only is the addition of Durant a tremendous factor, but the Warriors just aren't making many slips at all. Also, every one of them is on his A-game.

The Cavs' big three are playing their butts off... but the rest of the team just isn't making it happen. Whatever accounts for it... we don't win tonight's 6/9 game without a lot of luck, or the NBA deciding they want this to go to five games. But we will not be the team to win four in a row after being down 3-0. Good job on the Warriors for building a super team, and having every one of them playing super basketball.
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