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Old 12-23-2017, 04:04 PM   #76
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Rhee, you don't have to revive a dead basketball thread every so often with great posts. But you do. And for that, I thank you. I normally have some bones to pick with some of your takes but in all honesty I think your commentary is 100% spot on.
lol yeah this is where I go to vent about basketball when my IRL friends aren't around to listen to me rant

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I hope Harden doesn't win because he has a lot of off-court stuff that makes me dislike him, and I love the idea of "best player to never win an MVP". I'm really hoping for LeBron to get it because he's playing at the peak of his career now.

That said, the NBA perception is warped and I think Harden is getting more credit than he should be. Yes, he's improved, but the Rockets are still not in the same tier as the Warriors/Cavs/Celtics. The Warriors have been coasting on the strength of their awesome bench, even better than the 2014-2015 bench, and the difference between the Rockets/Warriors records is 0.1 seconds. They're pretenders and are going to get wtfstomped.
interesting take! even though bron's only got a few MVPs, I feel like voter's fatigue is exemplified in him. Realistically, except for a few years with the Heatles, he really has been the best player on really good teams since, like, 2013, and I feel like he should have more hardware than he does. Still, he's putting up numbers right now that people should only really get in 2k and people are acting like it's nothing. I'm sure there'll be a little bit of deflation in points once IT comes back, but yeah, i think lebron probably deserves it a bit more than Harden.

That being said, Harden and the Rockets are REALLY GOOD and I feel like the perception has only recently started going in their favor when people started noticing that they've been winning!

Their defense is actually really good, and even though he hasn't improved as much as Kyrie, part of it has been a little bit of effort from Harden!

Their offense is something out of D'Antoni's wet dreams, and they can outscore pretty much anyone at any time since he's staggering CP3 and harden's minutes.

Plus Capela is a defensive stud, and he's already better than 7-Seconds-Or-Less Amare in my mind.

I think LeBron's been doing more with less around him, but goddamn, Harden has been unstoppable on offense (his step-back is better than MVP Curry's!) and he has less minutes than most!

I think the Rockets really are contenders this year like they never have been.

Plus, if Harden doesn't get it this year, lol he's never getting it

EDIT: to be clear, the Warriors are still my favorites in a seven game series. Their depth is somehow underrated (????) and, like, who's gonna stop Curry/Thompson/Durant/Draymond/Jordan Bell (god I love that kid)? Still, I think the Rockets have a shot this year, and more of one than the media would like to give them credit for!

DOUBLE EDIT: to reiterate how insane LeBron's numbers are: He's averaging 28.4 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 9.2 apg, 1 block, 1.5 spg, and on 57% fg, 41% 3fg, and 78.5 ft%????? I don't even like Lebron and golly!
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Old 12-23-2017, 04:08 PM   #77
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>Celtics

He ruled out returning this year awhile ago, so sadly we won't get to see the Celtics at full power this season. That said, I still think the Celtics can really give the Cavs a run for their money. I just don't think that it'll be enough. Like you said LeBron is somehow playing some of the best basketball of his career, and Isaiah Thomas isn't even back yet. He's targeting a return by the beginning of April, I heard. That gives him about a few weeks to shake off the rust before the playoffs start, and I'd be hella scared of the Cavs in the playoffs. I think the Celtics take them to 7 games in the ECF, but ultimately Cavs go to the Finals again.

>Rockets

Hold up. I think you're absolutely disrespecting the Rockets here. When Chris Paul and James Harden are in the lineup together, they are craaaaazy good. Their offense is nuts as always but the difference this year is that they have great defense too! Chris Paul has always been good, but you throw in PJ Tucker, Mbah a Moute, Trevor Ariza... they have capable wing defenders! And then Clint Capela is doing a fantastic defensive job as well as Chris Paul turning him into DeAndre Jordan Mk. 2 on the offensive end. And they stilll have Eric Gordon. The Rockets are a legit team, and Harden is absolutely the front runner for MVP. It sucks for LeBron, because as said before he's playing elite basketball, but for me it has to be Harden so far this year.

EDIT: To go along with what Rhee was saying, I definitely still favor the Warriors in a 7-game series over the Rockets. They probably take 6 or 7 games to close it out, but they do it. And then we get Warriors vs. Cavs for the fourth year in a row lol
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Old 12-23-2017, 04:12 PM   #78
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>Celtics

He ruled out returning this year awhile ago, so sadly we won't get to see the Celtics at full power this season. That said, I still think the Celtics can really give the Cavs a run for their money. I just don't think that it'll be enough. Like you said LeBron is somehow playing some of the best basketball of his career, and Isaiah Thomas isn't even back yet. He's targeting a return by the beginning of April, I heard. That gives him about a few weeks to shake off the rust before the playoffs start, and I'd be hella scared of the Cavs in the playoffs. I think the Celtics take them to 7 games in the ECF, but ultimately Cavs go to the Finals again.
So, while the team ruled out a Hayward return this season, the rehab process has been going really well for him! (boot's been off for a couple of weeks), and he's actually said that he's open to a return if he's feeling good! I 100% do not want to rush him, but he's such a trooper, I wouldn't rule out a return altogether.

Isaiah's tweet about returning in April was a joke I think lol

He's targeting the first week of January, last I checked (which, for some unknown reason, is also the next Cavs Celtics matchup? how strange???)
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Old 12-23-2017, 04:16 PM   #79
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Isaiah's tweet about returning in April was a joke I think lol

He's targeting the first week of January, last I checked (which, for some unknown reason, is also the next Cavs Celtics matchup? how strange???)
I bought a one way ticket to the ruse cruise
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Old 12-23-2017, 05:16 PM   #80
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I'm being fair to the Rockets because like I said, the NBA's perception has been massively deformed by Golden State's level of play. A lot of analysts and fans are subconsciously hyping up the Rockets/Cavs/Celtics beyond the gains they've made in the offseason because the season narrative desperately needs some kind of challenge.

I've heard the most recent offseason compared to "when Napoleon walked Europe", with the teams scrambling to try and assemble some kind of super team to challenge a never-before-seen threat level. It would be hugely anti-climactic to have that repeat 2016-2017.

I also chalk it up to some people not paying attention. If you haven't been following Golden State's games, you'd assume that the 26-6 record is due to the super death squad or MAYBE one All-Star sitting out. But it's been mostly the Warriors bench, due to the multiple injuries and the team's conservative nature toward them, and you already know from last year's playoffs what the final five can do.

The best way to evalute the Rocket's overall success - because they're a team - is their W/L and strength of schedule, not the individual lines of their All-Stars. Because in terms of pure numbers, 4 is greater than 2 or 3. And what I see, is the Warriors/Rockets have comparable records with the Rockets at full strength and GSW using their bench.

This isn't about Golden State "coasting" either, since that implies the All-Stars are underperforming but still winning. This is the bench playing at a high level, the All-Stars except Klay aren't even playing.

Also, this is the first place I heard Okafor was traded. Going to the Nets is funny.
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Old 04-12-2018, 06:28 PM   #81
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Wow. Been awhile since we've used this thread. This is probably going to be a super long post because there's a lot to talk about. The NBA season just ended and the playoff picture is set! Let's start by looking at my preseason predictions and see how they fared.

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Alright so here are my full predictions (which will probably turn out hella wrong but hey)

Eastern Conference:
Spoiler: show

1. Cavs - duh
2. Celtics - duh (unless Cavs mail it in in the regular season again and get 2-seed)
3. Bucks - I think they make the leap
4. Wizards - Pretty standard
5. Raptors - There's a drop-off but it's not too big IMO
6. Sixers - Homer bias probably, I trust the Process with my life
7. Hornets - I'm actually a big believer in Howard
8. Heat - They didn't get better but other teams got worse
9. Hawks - Losing Milsap hurts but it wouldn't shock me if they find a way
10. Pistons - I never have confidence in them, plus they lost KCP
11. Knicks - I don't think Pozingis has enough of a supporting cast for them to be good
12. Pacers - RIP mediocre Pacers, hello bad Pacers
13. Nets - They've been a dumpster fire for years. They have Russell though!
14. Magic - This is a team without direction in my opinion
15. Bulls - Injured Zach Levine is their best player lol


Western Conference:
Spoiler: show

1. Warriors - duh
2. Spurs - Honestly they shouldn't be this good but they always are
3. Rockets - Think it'll take some time for new players to mesh, but they'll be good
4. Thunder - See above
5. Timberwolves - See above
6. Nuggets - I have a lot of confidence in their players, and adding Milsap helps a ton
7. Clippers - This is still a solid team, they got some really good pieces out of the Paul deal
8. Blazers - This team doesn't actually miss the playoffs? Right?
9. Grizzlies - They got a little worse, and other teams got better
10. Pelicans - I don't see them meshing that well together, even though they're talented
11. Jazz - Feels like a crime to put them this low, but no Hayward or Hill and the West is stacked
12. Lakers - I feel like they're definitely building something, but the West is stacked
13. Kings - They have a motley crew that'll be entertaining to watch
14. Mavericks - I think they have the least talented roster in the West but...
15. Suns - I have no confidence in this franchise at the moment.
Eastern Conference:
1. Raptors

I thought I was pretty justified in having the Raptors as the fifth seed before the season started. They brought back essentially the exact same team as last year, and I thought that other teams would make the leap ahead of them. Instead, it was the Raptors that made the leap. They completely changed their game, increasing the pace and actually attempting three pointers, and it really worked. DeMar DeRozan was an actual All-NBA candidate this year, and their bench was so good that Kyle Lowry didn't have to burn himself out during the regular season. They definitely stumbled a bit near the the of the season, but still. They were thiiiiis close to winning 60 games for a reason. This is a solid team that we should watch out for.

2. Celtics

I was spot on with the Celtics as the two seed! However I think this has more to do with Brad Stevens' coaching than their talent as a team. They are quite literally limping into the playoffs this year. They have so many key players down, which is a shame considering if they were at full strength I think they could be the favorite to come out of the East. Alas, it is not so, and will make them vulnerable. Can Al Horford lead the team to the Eastern Conference Finals? Eh. Can Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown? Not yet. Can Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward? Yes. Watch out... next year.

3. 76ers

Who's next? Wait... could that be? THE PHILADELPHIA 76ERS ARE THE MOTHERFUCKING THREE SEED IN THE EAST AND ARE RIDING A 16 GAME WINNING STREAK COMING INTO THE PLAYOFFS. WHAT THE FUUUUUUCCCKK??? Coming into the season I said that the Sixers' best case scenario this year would be the six seed in the East. I would have been incredibly happy with that and a first round exit in the playoffs. But now. BUT NOW. This team has been looking soooooo good, even without Embiid over the past few games. Simmons has proven that he is a star right now. Redick and Dario have been lights out. Covington has been solid as always. Belinelli has become one of my favorite players right away. Oh and by the way... MARKELLE FULTZ IS BACK. He's not quite the same player that we were thinking he would be yet (where's the three point shot?) but his contributions have been so solid. Wow. This team can easily win their first round matchup without Embiid. And when he comes back... this is a dark horse pick for the finals ladies and gentlemen. Wow.

4. Cavaliers

Who could blame me for putting the Cavs at number one? LeBron will do that to you. And he's arguably had the best statistical season of his career, playing in all 82 games for the first time ever and putting up insane numbers. His help has been... inconsistent. Just look at the roster at the beginning of the year until now. Lots of new faces. And they haven't all been great. Between his supporting cast being kind of lacking and I think just general regular season apathy, it's weird to see the Cavs coming in as the 4 seed. I'm not too worried about them because I think they flip the switch in the playoffs like LeBron's teams always do, but coming in as low as the four seed is unfamiliar territory.

5. Pacers

What. No one expected this, not even Indiana fans I think. The Pacers traded away Paul George... and got better? Victor Oladipo became an All-NBA talent out of nowhere and carried this team way past anyone's expectations. This team one of, if not the biggest surprise in the NBA this year, and I never saw it coming.

6. Heat

I guess they made the playoffs like I predicted they would? Kind of surprised they're as high as the six seed with their forgettable roster, but here they are. I think this is a team whose record is much better than they actually are. Bam Adebayo has looked good but he's too young and raw. Same goes for Justice Winslow. And I don't think any team is afraid of Old!D-Wade or Goran Dragic really. Hassan Whiteside is a solid player, but it seems like he wants out. That's bad news for a team headed into the playoffs.

7. Bucks
8. Wizards

The Bucks and the Wizards are interesting cases for me. I expected much more out of them, with both of them getting home court advantage in the first round under my predictions. However, the Bucks never made the leap like I thought they would, and the Wizards seem to be off their game. Giannis is still one hell of a player, but I don't think he's quite at the level yet where he can put the team on his back and carry them to the finals like young LeBron could. As for the Wizards, I honestly think they played their best basketball of the season when John Wall was out, which is so weird. Maybe it's a chemistry thing but I'm surprised that these teams are the last two seeds in the East. Of course, I think either of teams could've gotten the six seed but it appeared they may have sort of tanked a little bit at the end to avoid playing the team in the three spot. But maybe that's just a conspiracy theory. ;)

9. Pistons

They were about as good as I expected them to be in the end. There were was that weird stretch at the beginning of the season where they looked really good. Good enough that they might have ended up where the Pacers are now. But they fell off and ended up being a sub-.500 team. Possibly due to Reggie Jackson missing a bunch of games with injury. Andre Drummond got better this season, especially at the free throw line. But other than those two, idk where this roster is going. They seem stuck just outside the playoffs, which is a terrible, middle-of-the-road situation to be in.

10. Hornets

I was really a big believer in the Hornets before the season. I've always been a big Kemba Walker fan, and I got baited into believing that this is the year that Dwight Howard would finally get back to his old, dominant form. Eh. He averaged a double double again (I didn't look that up but... probably) but he's definitely on the decline. And they have so much money tied up in average/mediocre players that I don't really see them making a jump any time soon either. My diagnosis: time to blow it up.

11. Knicks
12. Nets

Teams that were just about as bad as I was expecting them to be. Porzingis is the only good player on the Knicks, full stop. He's a player you can build around, they just don't have anyone for that job. Frank Ntilikina could be good, but he's still young. Other than those guys it's not looking good. As for the Nets, here's the issue: I'm a pretty big NBA fan and I have a hard time naming players on their roster. In fact, I would bet the casual NBA fan probably couldn't name anyone on the roster except for Jeremy Lin, and he was hurt all season. The NBA is a league of stars. You need to get yourself a star in order to be good. And they STILL don't have their first round draft pick from the Paul Pierce/KG trade. Yikes.

13. Bulls

They weren't the worst team in the league like I thought they would be! That's something!

14. Magic

I think I correctly diagnosed the Magic as a franchise without direction. It just came out that Aaron Gordon wants a max deal. But would that help them? Not a chance. And I still don't think they've given Mario Hezonja a fair shake even after a few years. That's the least of the worries though. They need an influx of actual talent, and fast. Because if Aaron Gordon thinks he can demand a max contract, that's how you know your standards for greatness are low.

15. Hawks

lol. I definitely overrated these guys. My thought was that the Hawks would be better than the sum of their parts, like in previous years. I forgot that in previous years, however, that the Hawks had actual talent. I guess they have Dennis Schroder! And Taurean Prince has looked pretty good! But it wasn't enough to keep them out of the basement. At least this year has a deep draft class.

---

Alright I said this was going to be a long post and it definitely was. It was going to be a lot longer but I've spent a good deal of time typing this and I haven't even made it to the West yet lol. Expect a part two with the Western Conference teams, and a part three with playoff picks/end of season awards.

Trust the Process!
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Old 04-12-2018, 11:52 PM   #82
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My comments on the Western Conference: it's annoying the Warriors mental problems are real and actually impacted their competitiveness. Their road to the championship is very easy:

San Antonio isn't that great this year and then they have to beat the Blazers or Pelicans.

Meanwhile, the disliked Rockets must beat

-a hungry Timberwolves team
-either the Jazz or Thunder, of which I'm more scared of the Jazz
-Warriors

So their reward for being the #1 seed is to place the three toughest teams in a row. How does that work out?
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Old 04-25-2018, 08:29 AM   #83
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Not enough time to write everything that I want to write but CONGRATS ON THE (ALMOST) SWEEP, PHOOPES!

The T-Wolves are done, Dopp, I'd have been more scared of the Spurs than of them

The Pelicans are... wow. I knew Jrue could be a difference-maker but he completely outplayed Dame AND CJ

Plus Anthony Davis is the most valuable player in basketball right now don't @ me

I also love Joe Ingles and the Jazz they are my Western Conference sons

Lessgo Marcus Smart

I really hope Indiana pulls it out against the Cavs but they probably lost it in Game 4
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Old 04-25-2018, 10:47 AM   #84
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Oh yeah I never found time to write those other two posts oops. Still, HYPE that we're in the second round. I think we have a good chance against either squad but I'd definitely prefer the Bucks. That sweet, sweet home court advantage
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Old 05-11-2018, 01:57 PM   #85
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Damn, Casey's gone
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Old 05-11-2018, 04:49 PM   #86
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That much was obvious, though I have to wonder if it was his fault nobody on the Raptors can handle LeBron. That's been a chronic problem for them. The team is toast either way, last year was their ceiling and they managed to raise it this year.

I know you're not sad phoopes but I'm going to offer condolences anyway: 2013-2014 Golden State Warriors were decked by Clippers and then they broke out. This is like a preview of what's to come.

Conference final matchups are boring but w/e.
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Old 05-11-2018, 04:49 PM   #87
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Damn, Casey's gone
you don't get to say anything because your team just beat my team I'm banning on from this thread until LeBron makes you cry which should be very soon, okay felt good to get that off my chest you're allowed back in now
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Old 05-11-2018, 05:54 PM   #88
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Celtics in 6!!!
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Old 05-14-2018, 03:50 PM   #89
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Celtics in 6!!!
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Old 05-14-2018, 06:49 PM   #90
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You can't expect LeBron to have multiple games like that across the series. I'll start being concerned for the Cavs if the Celtics manage to win game two as well.

Warriors-Rockets game one tonight and I am HYPE. I think the Warriors are going to take the series but man, I really have a feeling that the Rockets could take a few games and have the ever so slightest shot at winning the series??? Maybe it's just wishful thinking. But man, going to be super cool seeing the Rockets' isolation heavy offense against the Warriors ball movement.
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Old 05-14-2018, 10:24 PM   #91
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I'm going to bet against the Chokeboys. Rockets in 6.
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Old 05-15-2018, 12:05 AM   #92
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You can't expect LeBron to have multiple games like that across the series. I'll start being concerned for the Cavs if the Celtics manage to win game two as well.
While I (and Jaylen Brown AND Brad Stevens) agree that the Cavs (LeBron) are going to try and hit hard Game 2, I think what the Celtics showed in Game 1 are things that will translate to the rest of the series. They shut OFF the passing lanes, to the point where Rodney Hood looked like the best offensive player on the floor simply because he's occasionally able to make his own shot. One major adjustment I could see LeBron making is him actually trying to drive and draw fouls, but Ojeleye, Morris, Tatum, and Brown did really, really well in cutting off his pathways. These boys aren't the Raptors!

Normally, I'd be more concerned about the sustainability of the Celtics' offense but the Cavs' defense is... really really bad. Al "Why is he in the All-Star Game" Horford was the best player on the court last night, and Tristan Thompson is probably the Cavs' best answer to him (wtf?). I could see Thompson starting tomorrow. When he was in, he definitely helped the Cavs' offense by being capable of grabbing a rebound, since they were missing A LOT. Game 2 will definitely be indicative of whether or not these things translate in the long-term, but I don't think this is as simple as "LeBron hasn't flipped the switch yet."




Warriors in 5
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Old 05-15-2018, 10:07 PM   #93
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Celtics in 4!!!
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Old 05-15-2018, 10:12 PM   #94
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In seriousness, words can't express how much I love this team, and a special shoutout to Marcus Smart and Al Horford. Smart put his absolute heart into every single play, playing harder than the entire Cavs team (LeBron included!) combined. Meanwhile, Horford recovers from a dirty-ass play from JR Smith to absolutely torch the Cavs, putting them away for good. Such heart! Such grit! Such resilience! Such... everything that the Raptors weren't!

You can talk about how the blow to LeBron's head shook him up, but even when he took over the game in the first quarter, they were still only up by 4. In the second quarter, even before LeBron got hit, he just looked completely gassed, staying lazy on defense and being pretty passive on offense. We'll see if he feels more energetic in front of a Cleveland home crowd, but this win was because of far more than an accidental blow to LeBron's head. Hope he's all right, though, I'm surprised that Koby Altman immediately dismissed the idea that he has a concussion. That could be serious business if it is, not just for this series.
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Old 05-15-2018, 10:40 PM   #95
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You can't expect LeBron to have multiple games like that across the series. I'll start being concerned for the Cavs if the Celtics manage to win game two as well.
So are you concerned yet?
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:39 PM   #96
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:58 PM   #97
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LeBron still had a good game but he can't carry the whole team by himself anymore. That much was obvious during the regular season.
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Old 05-16-2018, 02:01 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger View Post
LeBron still had a good game but he can't carry the whole team by himself anymore. That much was obvious during the regular season.
that's what i've been saying all season and it feels like I've been screaming into the void to my friends lol

the Raptors series was a complete anomaly, that team just wasn't equipped to shut down (*reads box score*) Kyle Korver and Kevin Love like the Celtics are

I think Philly would be having similar success against this team for what it's worth
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Old 05-16-2018, 02:24 PM   #99
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Toronto can't defend perimeter scorers and they don't have anyone with the size & athleticism to match LeBron. Trying to double team him leads to a pass, and LeBron wins one-on-one against anyone the Raptors can throw at him. Lowry is too short; Ibaka is too slow. DeMar DeRozen should be a good match in theory but he has anxiety issues about facing LeBron and chokes against the Cavaliers.

I actually know nothing about how the Celtics are currently configured but without watching the games I'm guessing - they're double teaming LeBron but suffocating Cleveland's perimeter shooters. Pretty much forces him to run the show by himself and he's already gone 11 games at 34 years old. He's getting tired.
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Old 05-16-2018, 02:37 PM   #100
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It's a lot of "do the best you can against LeBron, switch everything, for the love of God don't let Kyle Korver get an open three"
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