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Doug Centers
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Posted: 04 May 2018 at 5:30pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Ha! 'Bronroid, wait that sounds like....

I had to laugh at all the so called "experts" who had Toronto blowing out the Cavs in game 2.

and WTF Boston! Just think if they had their full roster.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 06 May 2018 at 12:55pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Great OT win for the Celts.   I said it was crazy to trade Irving for Kawhi but in the past two weeks Rozier has so transformed and emerged on the biggest stage I'm sure there will be discussions of considering just such a move this summer.  I feel for Philly who has been right there twice in a row but just been outplayed at the very end.

And yet they were overshadowed by still another buzzer beater by LeBron.  His unmatched playoff dominance for three straight years and arguably much longer is only matched in my mind by the GOAT, Jordan. 
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Giorgos Goumas
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Posted: 06 May 2018 at 1:17pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

The Celtics are playing great basketball, all the players step up when they hit the floor. I agree with you about Rosier, he has been great and Tatum is playing like he has been for years in the league. I would love to see them go to the finals, a team without it's "super stars" sounds almost like a win of the sport itself.

I also would prefer Kawhi to stay in the Spurs and in general the talent to be spread arround in all teams.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 06 May 2018 at 9:52pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I feel like GSW will be finallists again and probably win the championship.

LeBron was amazing in game 2 against the Raptors, but game 1 and 3 were insanely tight and there were some very questiionable decisions in favour of the Cavs that swung it. For example, game 1, Love took out DeRozan with an elbow to the chin. The officials refused to review it during the game and yet after the game it was deemed a flagrant foul (which it obviously was). Had it been correctly awarded in the game, there is no way the Cavs would have forced the overtime.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 06 May 2018 at 11:54pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

The Other Cavaliers
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 10 May 2018 at 10:24am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I assume Toronto is your team since you're from Canada but surely you don't think they were cheated out of the series?  They had a great regular season but to my eyes they had absolutely no answer for LeBron and after an excellent and close first game (with tough calls both ways) they just got manhandled and swept.  Still, Dwane Casey is a great coach and they have a solid young core that will be good for years to come. 

What an entertaining, competitive game last night.  Curious to see how shorthanded Boston's overachieving youngsters fare against the favored Cavs and LeBron.  My head says Cleveland in five or six given the injuries but Tatum, Brown and Rozier have been astonishingly disruptive and I think Stevens is clearly better than Lue.  The first two games at home are key for Boston.



Edited by Rick Senger on 10 May 2018 at 10:26am
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 10 May 2018 at 12:18pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Like when the Pistons adopted the "Jordan Rules" Boston should do likewise.
"The LeBron Rules"; anybody can beat us, except LeBron!
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 10 May 2018 at 2:07pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Clearly over the series, the Raptors were outplayed by the Cavs. I do think some poor decisions swung the first game, though, which helped set the tone for the series. Psychologically, I think a feeling of inferiority crept in after dropping the home opener, which was naturally compounded by LeBron destroying them in game 2. By the fourth game, there was no contest; I don't think the Raptors believed they could get themselves out of the hole by that point.

The Cavs also seemed to raise their game. Love and Korver both shot excellent percentages over the series, while the Raptors had a problem with turnovers. So definitely not saying they were cheated out of the series.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 11 May 2018 at 9:49am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Cool.  I think it's ridiculous that they fired Dwane Casey (another in a pretty long line of Coaches of the Years who have soon lost their job.)  I imagine he lands somewhere else quickly (Detroit?)   Toronto improved recordwise in 6 of his 7 seasons and was clearly on the upswing; they just got caught in the LeBron buzzsaw like every other Eastern team over the past 8 seasons.  The thing is, LeBron is now 33 and if they'd just been patient a few more years, father time eventually will catch him and so will the rest of the East.
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 12 May 2018 at 11:28am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Looking at the predictions for the West, most analysts and
former players think the Warriors will prevail while the
number-crunchers are giving the edge to the Rockets. I
think the Rockets will be harder to beat this time around
and the Warriors don't look as dominant.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 12 May 2018 at 6:45pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Rockets / Warriors should be great!   If Houston falls behind, Harden's rep for folding up under the pressure could be in play.  But if they hold serve at home, CP3's game has been off the charts and could be the difference.  Curious to see Draymond Green go up against Clint Capela.


Edited by Rick Senger on 13 May 2018 at 9:46am
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 16 May 2018 at 8:54am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

That was a tough loss for the Cavs. LeBron getting hit in
the head really changed the direction of the game.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 16 May 2018 at 9:14am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

He missed a couple minutes in the locker room but it's hard to imagine him having a better game than that awesome 42 point triple double.  Still Boston was able to absorb the early blow and pull away in the third.  The good news for Cleveland is that they now have three days off so James can recover and they can regroup back at home.  The Celtics have been much worse on the road so far during these playoffs so Cleveland's got a shot.  But while James is trying to act like he's not concerned, he should be.  The Celts' energy / body language just looks way better and they're too well coached to lose it without the Cavs taking it from them.  Besides James I haven't seen anybody who looks capable of doing that other than maybe Love, who's been pretty inconsistent himself and hasn't historically been one to rise to the physical challenge.  Cleveland will win at least one at home but at this point I'm predicting a major changing of the guard and Boston in six. 
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 16 May 2018 at 2:11pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Rick, who do you like in a Boston vs GS match up?
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 17 May 2018 at 9:55am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

With their injuries on paper Boston had no business getting past Milwaukee much less Philly and now possibly Cleveland.  It's just been a confluence of young players stepping up joined by a canny core of selfless, scrappy vets executing cleanly. Tatum broke Bird's rookie record, scoring 20 or more in seven straight playoff games (his first playoffs).  Brown netted his personal best in the first round then topped it mere days later.  Talented but low expectation Terry Rozier trumped both by setting single game scoring highs while stepping into Kyrie Irving's shoes and not backing down vs. anyone including Embiid.  Marcus Morris provided great defense. shutting down LeBron in game one and creating his own offense. Marcus Smart playing even better defense and added possessions.  Horford d'ed up and dominated the paint in timely moments.  Baynes clogged the middle and improbably led the team in 3P% (he has more threes in the playoffs than in the whole reg. season).  Their defense is incredibly active, they have a great coach and they utilize a number of weapons to score both inside and out. It's the most in sync and connected team I've seen since the Spurs share-balled their way to a title four years ago. 

But GS is just better.  They're unguardable across the board offensively.  Between Giannis, Embiid and LeBron, Boston has faced teams with some of the most dominant players but none had the supporting cast of the Warriors, who not only have Durant but also Curry, Thompson, Green and Iguodala plus other support.  Before the playoffs started, this Boston lineup would have been lucky to take more than a game

At this point, I'd still take GS in about six.  But I'd love to see the matchup because Boston keeps improving.


Edited by Rick Senger on 17 May 2018 at 12:52pm
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 24 May 2018 at 9:46am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

What a strange Conf Finals.  Both series are highly competitive but nearly every game has been a blowout, including Boston's win last night after getting smoked twice in resurgent Cleveland.  Houston's tight W at GS ( 2018's best Western Conf playoff game) is the lone exception and sets up tonight's game 5 tie breaker.  GS led by 10 entering the fourth but scored the fewest points in a quarter of their entire season (12)...can they bounce back and steal another one in Houston? 
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 26 May 2018 at 12:34pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Even though it means a game seven, that was LeBeautiful.
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 27 May 2018 at 9:40pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

It is just amazing how LeBron has been able to bring his team back to
the NBA Finals with so little help this season.

Now the Warriors have to do their part tomorrow, so we can have
another rematch. They definitely need to Curry to play more
consistently in order to win.
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 28 May 2018 at 9:18am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

I expect the Celtics to be in the Conference finals for
the next ten straight years. What a great run by a team
that had no reason to do anything but take it easy and
get ready for next year. Great experience for Tatum,
Rozier and Brown.

LeBron...wow. Amazing. I'll be rooting for the miracle
ride to continue through the Finals. No great player has
ever had so much success while being SO responsible for
his team every night. I think that's safe to say.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 28 May 2018 at 3:29pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Yeah, Boston came down to earth and finally played like the young team they are but they so overachieved to get here I'm really proud of what they did.  They'll be back and the future is bright.

It's hard to come up with the words to describe LeBron's sustained level of excellence for so many post-seasons now.  We've had discussions of MJ vs LBJ before here and I still have MJ above LeBron but at 15 years in LeBron is playing better than MJ did 15 years in and he is starting to make up ground on MJ once considered impossible.  This Cavs team is arguably the worst finals team he's fielded and yet here they are. I expect GS to win tonight and to ultimately beat Cleveland again but LeBron has reminded me that you just never know and that it's amazing how much difference one person can make when they play the right way. 


Edited by Rick Senger on 28 May 2018 at 3:32pm
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 29 May 2018 at 8:17am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

What a comeback by the Warriors to beat the Rockets. I shut off the TV
during the second quarter because it was too painful for me to watch. I
have learn to have more faith in GSW!

Re MJ vs LeBron, I give the edge to LeBron. He is just a more
complete player to me.

I wonder if a 40 year old LeBron could take a team like the Washington
Wizards back in the day to the playoffs if he were on it.

Edited by Wilson Mui on 29 May 2018 at 8:23am
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 29 May 2018 at 10:07am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Cavs in six.
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 29 May 2018 at 10:41am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

I surely would have picked the Cavs had Houston won.
Now I got the Warriors in, of course, 7.

Though never under estimate the will of LeBron!

I wonder how sick and tired the rest of the Cavs team are of hearing how James has got this far without a team behind him?

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Peter Martin
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Posted: 29 May 2018 at 1:43pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

As good as LeBron is, I can't see the Cavs overcoming the Warriors' firepower.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 29 May 2018 at 2:19pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Here's my new thinking on LeBron vs. Jordan.

If Jordan hadn't retired for two seasons at the height of his powers to bat .200 in the minors, he'd probably have more hardware and there's no way LeBron could catch him.  I don't see LeBron catching Jordan's 6 rings regardless.  Obviously he can't match MJ's 6-0 Finals record.  LeBron does top Jordan with 8 straight Finals, though.  That's staggering and partially compensates.  He's only 3-5 in the Finals, which isn't great but you can't penalize him too much for losing more than Jordan; it also means he went farther than Jordan in the playoffs more often.  Jordan is still ahead in that ultimate winning metric for me but the gap is narrowing with each Finals appearance for LBJ. 

It also means more when LeBron gets to a Finals with a sketchy supporting cast like this year.  Jordan's strength was when he finally got the quality teammates he never blew an opportunity, winning every time out from there and often dominating.

But here's a question:  could Jordan have gotten this year's Cavs team to the Finals? 

I'm not sure. 

LeBron is arguably almost as devastating on offense as MJ.  Is he as explosive and posterizing?  Probably not.  But he's more efficient (higher FG%), involves his teammates more (dishes way more assists) and rebounds consistently better than MJ.  Although LeBron's overall stats are slightly better than MJ's in such games, I think MJ in his prime or near-prime could have gotten equally gaudy offensive stats vs. the 2018 Celtics.  But I'm not sure he could have gotten the Cavs past Boston this year because while he improved his game and better involved his teammates to win those later championships, he never made it very far without the horses to back him up.   LeBron seems to get more out of less. 

Jordan once scored 63 vs. the Celtics in playoffs the 80s right before his teams got good but he lost the game and the series.  LeBron would never have gotten 63 points but his performance this year suggests he might have found a way to beat the Celtics that year by getting his teammates more involved. 

On the other hand, while LeBron is a dominating defender in spots, MJ wins that overall comparison, having won a DPOY and rarely taking plays off the way LeBron sometimes does.  Advantage: Jordan.

But a second area LeBron has made up some ground for me is his game seven performances.  Jordan only made it to three seventh games, losing to the Pistons' "Jordan Rules" in 1990 then winning the other two.  None were in the finals.  His stats in those do-or-die games are rock solid.

LeBron has been to eight game sevens.  He lost his first two but since losing to the eventual NBA champ Celtics in 2008, he's won six STRAIGHT game sevens over the last decade.  His stats in those do-or-die games are better than Jordan's and winning six straight high pressure games against presumably evenly matched teams is starting to be a pretty good counter to Jordan's 6-0 Finals record.  Jordan dominated and never choked.  But LeBron has found different ways to excel, taking teams like this year's #4 seed Cavs way farther than they really should have gone.

MJ is still ahead.  But already LBJ almost has an argument to be just about on the same podium with Jordan.  Not quite but almost.  If he continues the way he's been going for even a year or two more, I think he can make a case.   If the overmatched Cavs beat GS this year, it counts as two wins for me (as did the 2016 upset of GS) and now he's right there.  Alternatively, a championship with a third team somewhere in the future also puts him right there.  

Just to add... he'll never TOP Jordan.  But he could stand right next to him as co-greatest.


Edited by Rick Senger on 29 May 2018 at 2:43pm
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