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Basketball?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by valacirca, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. Lampwick 43

    Lampwick 43 Arriving Somewhere But Not Here

    The Bulls took game one against Boston! If they continue to dominate the rebounding and get easy 2nd-chance points like they did tonight, I truly believe the Bulls can win this series. Boston seemed to have no answer to stop Robin Lopez from feasting on the offensive boards, and that really set the tone for the rest of the game.
     
  2. zhouchunzi

    zhouchunzi Prowler

    Has been 2017 years, I think this year is Cavaliers against the Warriors:fencing:
     
  3. Night Prowler

    Night Prowler ɹǝlʍoɹԀ ʇɥƃᴉN Staff Member

    Fuck the Warriors.
     
    Lampwick 43 likes this.
  4. Lampwick 43

    Lampwick 43 Arriving Somewhere But Not Here

    Agreed. I want to see the Spurs win it all.
     
  5. Night Prowler

    Night Prowler ɹǝlʍoɹԀ ʇɥƃᴉN Staff Member

    Depends on Kawhi's injury. I forgot to mention: Fuck Pachulia.
     
  6. The Flash

    The Flash Dennis Wilcock did 9/11

    2017 NBA Finals begin tomorrow. Here's the preview piece I've written for it.

    Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

    From the moment the 2016 NBA Finals were over, everyone watching was ready for a repeat of the same matchup. Indeed, no surprises took place and the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers are set to face each other in the Finals for a record breaking third straight time. The Warriors will look to avenge their catastrophic collapse while the Cavaliers will set their sights on another triumph as the consensus underdog going into the series.

    Background

    As the Warriors did the unfathomable and broke the '96 Bulls' record for most wins in the regular season, and then came back from 3-1 down to defeat the Thunder in the Conference Finals to line themselves up in the Finals for a title defense, all indicators were pointing towards the idea that we may be watching the greatest team of all time. The indicators gained even more strength as the team went up 3-1 in the Finals with the next game due to be played in Oakland. However, the one game suspension Draymond Green received for attempting to punch LeBron James in the groin and exceeding the limit for flagrant fouls set off a domino effect; as the Cavaliers built off their win that came in the absence of Draymond, and followed through with perfection even after he came back to mount the greatest comeback in NBA Finals history on the shoulders of LeBron and Kyrie Irving. The near "greatest team of all-time" thus became the butt of jokes in an instant as the first team to blow a 3-1 lead in Finals history.

    The feeling of bleakness did not last long, however, as Kevin Durant controversially followed the mantra of "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" and decided to sign with the Warriors, the team that defeated him in the Conference Finals just a month prior. With the "near greatest team" adding one of the most unstoppable offensive forces in the league, who had won the MVP just two seasons ago, "Might as well not play and just hand them the trophy" was a phrase uttered frequently among basketball circles. As Durant fit the Warriors' pace and space system like a glove, the team's dynamics weren't shaken to the core, and they continued to dominate even during the times Durant could not play due to an injury.

    The Playoffs weren't much different. The Warriors throughly outclassed the Blazers and the Jazz. The Spurs looked like they could offer some resistance as they went up by 20+ in Oakland in Game 1 of the Conference Finals, but with the help of Zaza Pachulia shenanigans that led to Kawhi Leonard re-injuring his ankle and departing the game, and the series, the possible resistance quickly turned into a cakewalk. The Warriors are only the third team in history to make it to the NBA Finals without losing a single game in the rounds building up to it.

    The team that was the protagonists of the epic story of the 2016 NBA Finals, on the other hand, went through the summer celebrated as heroes. LeBron James, who had been declared Public Enemy No. 1 in Cleveland after his departure to Miami in the summer 2010, a move that was conveniently forgotten when he came back four years later, felt the pleasure of not only delivering on his promise to bring a championship to the city that was suffering the longest championship brought in professional North American sports leagues, but also adding a milestone achievement to his legacy. The city of Cleveland, LeBron James and his main partners in crime who had never been to the Playoffs prior to the formation of the Big Three lifted huge amounts of weight off their shoulders. This season, the main issue was to deal with was to make sure the relaxation did not turn into complacency.

    It's difficult to say, though, that the Cavaliers did a good job dealing with the issue in the regular season. The Big Three had their best individual seasons since coming together, however the Cavaliers defense faltered, inconsistency ensued and the team completely collapsed after the All-Star break which led to them surprisingly losing the No. 1 seed to the surging Celtics. Losing the first seed did not change their status as the clear favorites to come out of the East, but their ability to flip the switch in a big way did come into question.

    Fortunately, the Cavs not only hit the gas pedal, but seemingly forgot the breaks existed at all. With LeBron James playing like a monster truck with a break failure on the highway, the team smashed through the East, dropping only one game where LeBron eerily seemed to find the breaks for once. This is the seventh straight time we'll see LeBron James in the NBA Finals. And yeah, James Jones, too, of course.

    Comparison

    Truth be told, most observations made during the regular season and the postseason thus far go out of the window here; as both of these teams geared towards each other all year. It would take a massive surprise for them to not make the Finals again. It did not happen and the season thus far wasn't much more than a mere formality. The strengths and weaknesses of the teams should really be measured relative to each other, instead of relative to the rest of the league; this is going to be a battle of two superteams that'll look to spot and take advantage of even the smallest gaps. In a battle of this magnitude, every detail matters.

    The Warriors will look to get into their ball movement, spacing and quickness based comfort zone as quickly as possible; while the Cavaliers will look to take advantage of 1v1 situations and play a lot of iso ball. Matchups overshadowing team ball was the leading cause of the Cavs victory last year. They put J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert in pick 'n' rolls constantly, forcing Stephen Curry to switch onto Kyrie Irving and let Kyrie go 1v1 which yielded great results as Kyrie throughly dominated Steph. On the other side, Steph again had his hands full as Tristan Thompson was able to switch onto him and stay in front of him, doing a good job disrupting his rhythm. Andre Iguodala not doing as nearly as well guarding LeBron as he did in 2015 was also a killer for the Dubs. It's not difficult to see the Cavs try to push for the same things again, but Kevin Durant's presence alters the equation drastically. The Cavs often risked the possibility of a wide open Harrison Barnes jump shot to be able to tightly defend the Steph & Draymond pick 'n' roll, which didn't hurt them at all as Barnes could not make them pay.

    Leaving Durant open is obviously not an option, therefore the Cavaliers will need to come up with a different defensive scheme. The new scheme is likely to feature LeBron spending a lot of time on Durant. The two times these teams faced each other during the regular season, Richard Jefferson was usually the player guarding Durant, but he's not a good enough to be given the full responsibility in the Finals. LeBron will have to stick to Durant often, which means concessions from the "watchdog" role he played last year, helping out on everyone and controlling the switches. This could lead to a far more effective Steph & Draymond pick 'n' roll, as LeBron does have to rest on defense at times because of his offensive duties. J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert have to step up big time here.

    While the Warriors will be concerned about the overall feel and pace of the game, the Cavaliers need to think play-by-play. Early shot clock attempts, awkward rebounding situations resulting from bad shot selection, and turnovers would sign the death warrant for them. They need to be calculated and efficient. Even missed shots form a big part of the deal here, as they're one of the league's best offensive rebounding teams. As long as shots come by way of a well executed set, Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love will be crashing the boards, which could be momentum changers. This mapped out playing style will make them more predictable, but expecting what to come does not mean you can stop what's to come, especially if you're facing LeBron James.

    Nevertheless, it is the wide range of options and unpredictability that gives the Warriors the upper hand for the series. The addition of Kevin Durant added a new dimension to an already all-time great offense while not shaking the dynamics to the core. The Warriors have not felt the need to go off script that often this season, their Plan A was enough to run most teams out of the building. The one time things didn't flow so well in the Playoffs, Game 3 against the Jazz, Kevin Durant took matters into his own hand and guided them to victory. And that's what makes this team so scary. It was already a huge challenge keeping both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in check, now the Cavs also have Kevin Durant to account for. The team has a killer Plan B in the Steph & KD pick 'n' roll, which is probably the most unstoppable weapon in the league at the moment but is rarely used. With Mike Brown, who loves to take advantage of matchups and uses sets more frequently than Steve Kerr, who may not return for the series due to his illness, we could see them opting for their Plan B often.

    Prediction

    The last year's Finals showed us that the matchup between these two teams turns into a game of runs and momentum swings, which makes it difficult to predict anything. Both teams have the capability to go out on runs, extends leads or cut deficits. They both know they can't treat each other the same way they did the others and will take everything very seriously. One way to predict the outcome may be to look at the potential the two teams have. The Warriors were one shot away from the title despite inhuman performances from LeBron & Kyrie, and weak showings from Steph & Klay. With KD now in the mix, the Warriors simply have more upside to them than the Cavaliers do. Potential doesn't always turn to reality, and the Warriors know that better than anyone else, but it's enough for them to enter this series as the clear favorites.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
  7. Night Prowler

    Night Prowler ɹǝlʍoɹԀ ʇɥƃᴉN Staff Member

    I'm still trying to figure out the contract stuff in NBA, so which player is most likely to leave Warriors first due to them not being able to pay so many stars at the same time? This shit is getting boring.
     
  8. The Flash

    The Flash Dennis Wilcock did 9/11

    Their bench will suffer this summer. Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston will likely leave as they have to re-sign Steph and KD.

    KD, Steph, Draymond and Klay will be together until 2019. Klay's deal ends that year, probably won't be able to pay him.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
  9. LooseCannon

    LooseCannon Self-propelled artillery Staff Member

    Is this what he is commonly called?
     
  10. The Flash

    The Flash Dennis Wilcock did 9/11

    Yes.
     
  11. LooseCannon

    LooseCannon Self-propelled artillery Staff Member

    In Canada, KD is macaroni and cheese. It's odd to me.
     
  12. The Flash

    The Flash Dennis Wilcock did 9/11

    Literally the perfect display by the Cavaliers, Warriors still win. Just unfair.
     
  13. The Flash

    The Flash Dennis Wilcock did 9/11

    Can't even say fair play to the Warriors, it was unfair and everyone knows it. LeBron with a historic 33-12-10 on 56% shooting for the series, watch him somehow take the blame for the loss again.
     
  14. kingzcq

    kingzcq Prowler

    yes! Fuck the Warriors!

    Kawhi Leonard - it's a pity that I want to see Leonard VS James:(:(
     
  15. kingzcq

    kingzcq Prowler

    Yes, the entire NBA alliance has been completely imbalance, the warriors may be the creation of the dynasty, but I always love james, the history of the second strong:fencing:
     
  16. Lampwick 43

    Lampwick 43 Arriving Somewhere But Not Here

    Lots of crazy moves have happened and will likely continue to happen with the draft about to begin.

    Brook Lopez was traded to the Lakers for D'Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov.
    Dwight Howard traded to Charlotte.
    Seems like half the league is trying to get Jimmy Butler or Paul George. Although PG13 seems dead set on joining the Lakers once his contract ends next season.
    Kristaps Porzingis is apparently available.
    The Cavs fired their GM for some retarded reason. Talk about terrible timing.

    I'm very curious to see how things unfold over the next 4 hours or so.
     
  17. Night Prowler

    Night Prowler ɹǝlʍoɹԀ ʇɥƃᴉN Staff Member

    Hope Denver get someone good because of Jokic. Ideally Jokic moves to Spurs in a couple of years so that I don't have to watch teams other than Spurs :p
     
  18. Lampwick 43

    Lampwick 43 Arriving Somewhere But Not Here

    Jokic is a stud. I feel like him, the Greek Freak in Milwaukee, and Joel Embiid in Phily will be superstars in 1-2 years.
     
  19. Night Prowler

    Night Prowler ɹǝlʍoɹԀ ʇɥƃᴉN Staff Member

  20. Lampwick 43

    Lampwick 43 Arriving Somewhere But Not Here

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