Playing catch-up…basketball edition…
*NBA Finals. Watching NBA basketball these days sometimes can be like watching paint dry. But at least the playoffs are better, as they should be. Doesn’t hurt that the teams are better of course. Anyway, watching this year’s Finals are actually still like watching paint dry for me…since I don’t really want either team to win. I have found myself rooting for Golden State however, which kind of goes against how I conventionally root for teams when my team is not involved. Since the Warriors won last year, I would normally pull for Cleveland. Especially since they haven’t won anything in their history. And the city hasn’t won anything in God knows how long.
But ever since “The Decision” fiasco, everything “LeBron” leaves a bad taste in my mouth. There really is no other way to describe it. The dude is a great player. And it’s not like he is a criminal or anything. Or a despicable human being. But the whole way that initial move to the Miami Heat went down. Then the way he “came back home.” Coach David Blatt getting fired earlier this year, despite being 30-11 at the time, because that’s apparently what James wanted. The fact that his coaches are actually just puppets anyway, since he is really the coach. And all that crap…
Listen, I know the NBA works differently than other major sports. Teams need the “3 stars” to even be in the conversation for a championship. And that recruiting and behind the scenes work has to be done. And that coaches kind of don’t matter on many teams. And that it is more of an “entertainment” business than ever. Etc.
But all of this stuff just seems different the way it has gone down with and around LeBron. My opinion. So I won’t root for him.
Not to mention that J.R. Smith and Matthew Dellavedova are punks. And Kevin Love is…well, the Cavs got back into the series last night with a blowout win at home…without Love. (3 games in the Finals, 3 blowouts. Awesome.) Hmmmmm…is it because Love is a wuss and they don’t need him? Nah. It’s because they were home and their backs were against the wall. And, more importantly, the Cavs started hitting some shots again, specifically three’s.
Although, I really don’t know how I feel about Love. Many Celtics fans would be happy to trade the #3 pick in the upcoming draft for him. I don’t think I would do that. I haven’t been impressed with him on the Cavs. Not just because he seems “fragile”, to be nice. It’s his game. Granted, he is no more than the third option in Cleveland. And I don’t feel like they are utilizing him correctly. Of course, I don’t see many Cavs games. But it seems to me that he mostly plays beyond the three-point line while he played more in the paint with Minnesota. Maybe I am completely wrong about that, but either way, what it comes down to is that I am conflicted on who he really is as a player. What I am not conflicted on is that I don’t believe he can be a lead dog anywhere. If he is, he may be the guy he was in Minnesota, plenty of personal numbers but no wins. That all being said, if Cavs fans think they don’t need him at some point in this series, that is probably foolish.
Lastly, don’t let the above fool you into thinking that I like the Warriors. Not necessarily. There are some good players on that team. The offense is constantly moving around. 73-9 is an impressive accomplishment. But watching guys mostly hoist jumpers up all day isn’t my cup of tea. Some of those shots are ill-advised. Sure, a lot of those even go in. And they do get a fair amount of layups in transition. But I can’t say I love their style. Call me one of those NBA old-timers if you wish…and I do miss the Celtics of the 80’s!!
*Still trying to figure out how Steve Kerr won Coach of the Year when Luke Walton actually coached about half of the games this year.
*Boy, Oklahoma City sure blew a golden opportunity. Had a 3-1 lead against Golden State in the Western Conference Finals. I was actually hoping they would pull it off, but even with that lead I knew it wasn’t over.
Not that I really care about OKC. The primary reason I was hoping they would win this and then the whole enchilada? Maybe the chance of the Celtics getting Kevin Durant would increase…even if it was only infinitesimally.
I’ve said all along that I don’t believe there is the proverbial snowball’s chance in hell that Durant comes to Boston. Especially once they won some games in the playoffs. But then they got up against the Warriors and I wondered what KD would think if OKC won the whole thing. Would he think that his job was done there and would be willing to move on to a new challenge…specifically bringing a title back to Boston, a franchise steeped in history? Of course he could have moved on to other challenges elsewhere, but I thought the odds would increase if they won it all.
Now? Almost zero chance. I’m actually thinking he signs a one year deal (to match the length left on Russell Westbrook’s contract) and gives it one last go in OKC. The Thunder would surely add some pieces to make the team stronger. Then either way, after next season, both KD and Westbrook head off to “greener pastures”, though not likely the same exact pasture. THEN maybe the C’s? Ok, still a slim shot there too…
*Boston Celtics announce contract extensions for GM Danny Ainge and Coach Brad Stevens. Didn’t see this one coming, though I had no idea on how many years Ainge had left on his deal. Stevens had three, so who was expecting any more years there?
I don’t know why anyone is opposed to these deals. Some have pointed out that Ainge has only won once in 13 years, so why extend? And Stevens had three more years, why extend at this specific point? And what have they done together thus far to warrant the deals?
I’m not going to say Ainge is a Hall of Fame GM or anything. But he put together a championship team previously, and one that could have won one or two more if things broke right. And now, he has accumulated a ton of assets that will hopefully bring the organization back to being a championship contender sooner rather than later. The process is clearly in mid-stream, so he absolutely deserves a chance to see out his plan.
Stevens has gotten the team to improve every year since he came aboard. Of course having the players helps with that. But while they don’t necessarily have the right players, he has gotten them to play hard and be competitive during his stint. The players love him. People within the league speak highly of him. College programs undoubtedly want him. If tacking on some more years and throwing some more dough at him keeps him around to see out the above path, then so be it.
Let’s just hope though that these aren’t the only “fireworks” that we have been promised since last offseason…
Posted on June 9, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged Boston Celtics, Brad Stevens, Cleveland Cavaliers, Danny Ainge, Golden State Warriors, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, LeBron James, NBA Finals, NBA playoffs, Russell Westbrook, Steph Curry, Steve Kerr. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.