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Rick Senger
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Posted: 09 June 2017 at 9:13am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

The script has flipped from arguments regarding King James' ascension to quasi-MJ status if he won his fourth title along with eighth finals appearances to quantifying the greatness of the Warriors.  Even if they lose a game or two, I'm pretty willing to put them right there with the all-time best teams I've seen.   No team from any pro league has ever gone 15-0 in the playoffs and GS is dominating almost every game.   One more win tonight gives them separation from the 15-1 2001 Lakers.  JR Smith has other plans, though, tweeting this after the game three loss:




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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 10 June 2017 at 12:56am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I hope JR Smith is right.

Kevin Durant doesn't deserve a ring. He took the easy/cheap/bitch way out, by following the `if you can't beat them, join' them route. Regardless of what happens, I hope KD never makes it to another final.


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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 10 June 2017 at 6:41am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Cavs have them right where they want 'em!
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 10 June 2017 at 8:08am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Lebron James' legacy is solid. He's AVERAGING a triple double in these playoffs. He has almost literally carried the team on his back... and plays with decorum and style. I mean, everybody gets a little cross now and then, but this is the guy who helps up other guys on the floor, chats pleasantly with the other team and coaches, ad doesn't ever seem to want to take a cheap shot. Stylish on court and off (save for one bad choice...)

Cleveland fans may never know what a rare gem we have in him. He will be one of the brightest stars in the NBA firmament - I have no doubt.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 10 June 2017 at 9:37am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

A shame Kyle Korver missed that three pointer in the closing seconds of game three because we could be at 2-2 and really have a series.   Still, the Warriors' comfort zone evaporates if Cleveland somehow pulls out a win in game five because then Cleve is home for game six and has a plausible shot at forcing another game seven, something GS surely wants no part of.
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 11 June 2017 at 10:19am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Cleveland proved last year that nothing is impossible. UNLIKELY, yes, but I'm hoping that the wake up call has finally reached our bench...
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 13 June 2017 at 6:11am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

This just doesn't sit right with me.
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 13 June 2017 at 7:43am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

It is only fitting that the creator of the first
superteam gets dethroned by the newest superteam.
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 13 June 2017 at 9:06am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Amen, Wilson!
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 13 June 2017 at 11:20am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

LeBron's Heat were the first superteam? I don't think
so. The history of the NBA is full of "superteams".
But that's another topic.

Let me start this by saying I didn't like LeBron's
move to Miami either. There are undeniably some
similarities between LeBron's move to Miami and
Durant's move to Golden State. But I also think there
are some major differences. They formed a team in
Miami. The Warriors were already formed and arguably
already a "superteam" when Durant joined them. They
had won 73 games, a title and had a back to back MVP
before he got there! Plus they had just defeated KD's
team that postseason before he joined up with them. I
thought it was a bad look and I still do and I think
it overshadows the accomplishment.

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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 13 June 2017 at 1:59pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

If the Warriors didn't bring in Durant, I don't think
they could have beaten the Cavs. They needed KD in
order to win it all.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 13 June 2017 at 2:06pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

There are undeniably some  similarities between LeBron's move to Miami and Durant's move to Golden State. But I also think there are some major differences. They formed a team in Miami. The Warriors were already formed and arguably already a "superteam" when Durant joined them. They had won 73 games, a title and had a back to back MVP before he got there! Plus they had just defeated KD's team that postseason before he joined up with them. I thought it was a bad look and I still do and I think it overshadows the accomplishment.
*****
D'accord.  The year before LBJ joined Miami they went 47-35 (.573), hardly a powerhouse.  In the previous four years before LBJ joined,  Miami was a collective 149 -  179 and never got out of the first round.  In just the two previous seasons before Durant joined up, GS went to the finals both times (winning one) and won almost as many games (140) as Miami's four pre-LeBron.  GS's two year record of 140- 24 right before KD is the second best two year run in NBA history, a single game behind Jordan's Bulls at their peak. 

Whereas all GS had to do was clear cap space (mainly Barnes and Bogut) to get Durant, they replaced them with superior players (Durant and Pachulia as well as David West.)  Miami had to let go of four first round draft picks as well as then-decent players like Michael Beasley, Jermaine O'Neal and Quentin Richardson.   Obviously Miami's starting lineup got a lot better but their role players were not nearly as good as GS.  And unlike Durant, LeBron, Wade and Bosh all took less than max deals, sacrificing millions to play together. 

To me LBJ to Miami was more like the creation of the Boston Big Three.  In the four years before KG and Ray Allen joined Paul Pierce, Boston was a sickly 138-190 with two first round exits. Ainge gave up some pieces and rolled the dice but Boston's window was open just long enough to grab a title and another Finals appearance.  Miami got two titles and two Finals appearances with LBJ.

The biggest mistake LeBron made was the way he left.  Even though the heavily hyped "Decision" telecast actually resulted in millions of dollars going to the Boys Club, LBJ came off like a thoughtless, conceited, entitled jackass.  Up until his announcement, the broadcast (which featured a lot of positive discussion of Cleveland) seemed to hint he was staying home so when he announced Miami, it added insult to injury.  The reality of it, though, was that he apparently didn't know what "The Decision" was going to be until the day the show aired.   I suspect that he didn't believe Miami was going to be able to put the deal together and was planning to stay in Ohio but got surprised at the last minute when everything lined up.  Whatever the reality, LeBron got really bad advice and handled that move about as poorly as possible.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 13 June 2017 at 3:08pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

It started ugly but the last three games were competitive and worthwhile.  Congrats to GS, who bent but didn't break in game five taking Cleve's best shot and winning convincingly.  They outplayed the Cavs, are the better team and deserve the title.

It's a summer of decisions as Matt Barnes, Ian Clark, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant (player option), Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, JaVale McGee, Zaza Pachulia, David West and McAdoo are all unrestricted free agents.  I expect most of them to be resigned, though Curry's contract will explode and GS will likely have to let someone go with the salary cap going down.  They're still going to be the prohibitive favorite next year.

Though Cleve's superstars are all under contract, they also face choices.  UFAs include Kyle Korver, Deron Williams, Derrick Williams, Bogut, and James Jones.  Personally I like Deron Williams and would try to get him back.  I thought Korver was ineffective and Derrick Williams and James Jones barely played.  Bogut played 45 seconds total.  Cleveland's biggest problem is they need a Kevin Durant type player to really get in GS's league but they are already way over the cap so there is no reasonable way for that to happen. 
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 13 June 2017 at 4:28pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

The cap is going down?
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 13 June 2017 at 6:03pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Sorry, I should have said the projected salary cap.  Last year it was initially pegged at $107 mill but then last October it was revised down to $103 mill.  Then in February it was further revised back to $101 mill.

That may not seem like a big deal considering how the cap has skyrocketed in the past couple years, but for a team like the Celtics that downward revision is the difference between signing a max player like Gordon Hayward relatively unscathed versus having to get rid of a bunch of players they'd much rather keep like Kelly Olynyk, Terry Rozier and Jae Crowder (or Avery Bradley) to clear the cap space needed to get Hayward.  Details
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 14 June 2017 at 8:39am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Article on thorny cap issues facing GS (if Durant and Curry both re-sign at full max, they will likely have to give up Iguodala and others).
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 16 June 2017 at 1:58am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Probably won't get my wish, but I hope KD never makes it to another NBA Finals.


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Andrew W. Farago
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Posted: 16 June 2017 at 5:43pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

If the Warriors didn't bring in Durant, I don't think they could have beaten the Cavs. They needed KD in order to win it all.

What bugs me (and I'm a diehard Cavs fan, admittedly) is that now we'll never know. Would the Cavs at full strength have beaten the Warriors with Curry back at 100% and Green keeping his temper in check? Would that have gone seven games? Would the Warriors have swept through the West without Durant, or would San Antonio have taken them the distance (especially if Pachulia hadn't tripped up Kawhi Leonard)?

Would OKC have challenged the Warriors if they'd made a big free agent signing in the offseason? Could Durant have shifted the balance of power if he'd signed with a different team?
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 18 June 2017 at 5:33pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

I felt the Cavs' title last year was close to miraculous.  They were outgunned, outplayed and rightly left for dead at 3-1 but a bunch of unlikely things lined up just right from there, including LeBron and Kyrie's amazingly clutch performances, Green's ill-advised actions, Bogut's injury, Curry being slightly off, JR Smith and Jefferson having a few key bursts and I think, a bit of overconfidence on GS' part.   The only really good and close game of the series was game seven, where Cleveland trailed most of the way but came up huge in the fourth quarter and eked out a 4 point victory when GS failed to score in the last four minutes.   But GS could have easily won that game if the ball bounces differently on a play or two.

Even without KD this year it was going to be hard for the Cavs to repeat because GS was so motivated to redeem themselves and Curry was much sharper in this postseason.   But it would have been a much better and closer series. 
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 20 June 2017 at 7:06pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Confused by the Cavs' axing Griffin.  Three years as GM, three trips to the Finals and a championship.  Easily their greatest run in franchise history and Griffin was a huge part, nimbly adding a number of pieces at sometimes bargain basement prices.  Was this really over money?  Crazy.  Maybe Dan Gilbert really is as big a jerk as he has seemed. 

Boston essentially trades Markelle Fultz for Jayson Tatum or Josh Jackson (the #1 pick for #3) plus a likely attractive first round pick either next year or 2019.  Win-win as Boston was going to take one of them at #1 anyway and Philly really wanted Fultz and has picks to burn.  More interesting is the possibility of trading that #3 pick straight up for Jimmy Butler, a fantastic proven two way player ready to help immediately.   Butler would be eligible for a fat max contract which might gum up signing Gordon Hayward this summer, but I don't think I could turn down that deal.  

The Lakers send D'Angelo Russell and Mosgov to Brooklyn for Brook Lopez and a low pick.  Sweet move for LA assuming Lonzo Ball works out as LA gets rid of one of their worst contracts and disappointing  players in exchange for a younger, more talented center.


Edited by Rick Senger on 20 June 2017 at 7:26pm
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 23 June 2017 at 11:17pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

If the Cavs' situation is due to Dan Gilbert being a jerk, then I hope the Cavs never make it to another finals as long as he is their owner. 

Blake Griffin and Chris Paul are both opting to become free agents. I can't see the Clippers re-signing both of them. If there's any justice, that will mean the Clippers go back to being the second best team in L.A.

(If they do re-sign one of them, I hope its Griffin. I still get pissed off seeing Chris Paul in a Clippers uniform.)


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Rick Senger
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Posted: 28 June 2017 at 2:20pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

It has felt inevitable since last year but I'm still surprised at PJ's embarrassing exit from the Knicks.  For all his zenmaster hype, he clearly lacked the patience and temperament to be a GM and was a terrible fit right from the start.  But still, I felt he wouldn't leave without making the playoffs at least ONCE.  For me this tarnishes his image considerably.

Chris Paul to the Rockets in exchange for Patrick Beverley (good defender), Lou Williams (microwave scoring, no D) and a bunch of scrubs plus cash.  On paper, Houston fleeced the Clips, getting an All Star PG and the heart of LA's team.   A few concerns are Paul's health (70 or fewer games 4 of the past 6 years) and age (32).  Also, Paul likes to handle the ball a lot, much like Harden.  D'Antoni will have to figure out how to make their styles mesh.  The other big concern is GS, who isn't likely to get much worse in the next couple years, which is Paul's realistic remaining window of productivity.
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 28 June 2017 at 3:50pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

CP3 to Houston just doesn't seem like a fit to me. I'm
figuring something else is coming...
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 01 July 2017 at 8:26am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

A flurry of big trades and signings right at the start of free agency including Paul George to OKC, Griffin supermaxed back to LA, Curry supermaxed back to GS, Teague to Minn, Rubio to Utah.  With Butler and Chris Paul already committed to new cities, most of the biggest pieces are spoken for. 

Some big gambles: will George stick in OKC or flee to LA after this year, can supermax Griffin stay healthy and keep the Clippers competitive without Paul's playmaking, can small market Minnesota break through with the expensive signings of big time players Butler and Teague, does George's early signing strengthen the trade value of Carmelo as one of the few remaining bonafide small forwards still available?  Boston better hope they nab the other top small forward left (Gordon Hayward) because all their other purported top targets from Butler to George to Griffin are already gone.   I'm curious where Iguodala winds up (he is reportedly talking to SA and Houston but NOT GS).

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Rick Senger
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Posted: 02 July 2017 at 11:16am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Timberwolves add another nice piece in Taj Gibson and are suddenly a real playoff threat with two budding young superstars (Wiggins, Towns), a superstar in his prime (Butler). solid seasoned talents in Gibson,Teague and Dieng and a good coach (Thibs).
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