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…


About mpdenton

I am a passionate and life long fan of the local teams...and by local I mean New England. I remember the days of Ray Bourque, Larry Bird, Steve Grogan and Wade Boggs...meaning I have lived the highs and lows of the Boston sports scene. With all this pent up Boston sports emotion, I clearly have a lot to say about the local teams and sometimes about sports in general. Maybe even the Revolution... I appreciate you reading my blog and hope you enjoy my rants.

Posted on June 9, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Should I do point by point? On Lebron. Bad rap in my opinion. He made a big mistake, but so what? People make mistakes. He was a kid still really. I harbor no ill will, but I don’t root for him either. Too hard after the battles the C’s had with the Cavs and Miami. Though, I love good basketball, so I am watching. But, you are right – this ain’t good basketball right now. Boring. GSW is a great team, and maybe a historic team. The offense is pretty damn good, but the jump shooting aspect is a change from the old days. I think it is a good change from the 90’s basketball and into the aughts where it was just one on one. But, they have to do something to help the defense. It is getting too much. Take away zone defense, and stop treating the shooter like a quarterback.

    Speaking of that – three best teams in history in my opinion are the 96 Bulls, 86 Celts and 87 Lakers. I would be this Warriors team right behind them along with the 67 Sixers and 72 Lakers. Speaking of disappointments too. I read this blog about the best team never to win a championship and it was the 73 Celtics, led by Havilecek and company. They won 68 games and should have won easily, but the Knicks upset them. The Knicks!

    Anyway, agreed on most all else. Love for the #3 is probably too much. I would do it for say Bradley and the #16 and #23 though. I do think Durant checks out his options this year. He has been in OKC for a while, and can he and Westbrook really do it together. That is an open question. There are also not many moves to do on that team. Plus, they are stacked! I do think though, most likely scenario is a one year and an option and run it back.

    Celts draft who? Bender? Murray? Chriss? They are all over the place in the interest. Maybe the #3 for Nerlens Noel? Okafor? We shall see. I just want a better team, and a little more hope. Hey, do you think Kevin Love can pitch?

    • Yeah, on LeBron, it’s more than the initial “Decision”. Sure, maybe it was a mistake and he may have been young. But common sense would tell you that wasn’t the way to handle it. But again, it’s more than that. Up to and including the last game and his tussle with Draymond Green. Green was being physical and maybe too much. But then LeBron threw him down and stepped over him. And started jawing with him. All while the play was still going on…and the Cavs were down 10 with less than 3 minutes left! Seems to me that James should’ve finished the play off instead of worrying about Green. My intention is not to support Green here. Especially after he earned that suspension that he is serving tonight. But the way LeBron handled that situation left a lot to be desired as well.

      As for the draft…I really don’t know! Things seem to change by the minute. Just today I read that they are heavily shopping the pick (not a surprise), but would take Jaylen Brown if they keep it (kind of a surprise, since I hadn’t heard Brown being linked to the C’s before). It gets more interesting by the day, that’s for sure.

      Love sure ain’t doing anything tonight in Game 5…so maybe he should test his arm to see if he can pitch!

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