GoHornets21- I respectfully disagree. I like Derrick Rose enough to respect his status as a candidate. Even if he is to win it, which he will, he deserves it. But I’m one of the few who truly believes he isn’t the most deserving. My status on Rose isn’t that he sucks or even that his value is overstated. That was a very incorrect opinion that I’ve maintained for a major portion of this season but I have as of late came to respect Rose’s game a bit more than that. My stance is mainly just that Dwight Howard has been more important and has done more for his team than Chicago. The Bulls have the better record so my stance may seem incorrect but allow me to explain.
On Orlando, Dwight’s someone who anchors both the offense and the defense for the Magic. He’s surrounded largely by players who cannot create their own shot and get their open looks from the attention that Dwight creates. Teams have figured out how to gameplan Orlando and, as a result, a lot of the responsibility has fallen on Dwight’s shoulders on offense. He’s responded with great numbers to compliment his usage rate and does so as the best player at his position and with nobody at any point this season (because Rose has had Carlos Boozer this season; albeit with games missed due to injury) that can attract any attention away from Dwight. He’s largely been left on an island by himself and has responded well. His team will only win around 50-52 games as opposed to Chicago’s terrific record, but this notion that Rose has carried scraps to the promised land seems a bit farfetched. I think that the Bulls intelligently allocated their salary cap space this offseason and have a deep team that can hodl oen another up when pieces are missing.
Even with that said, Rose has been terrific and he will desesrve the award when he wins it.
GoHornets21- I respectfully disagree. Perkins wasn’t necessarily someone that Boston “needed” going into the postseason and that’s something their fans have found solace in during the wake of his exile from Boston. But whichever way the fans want to spin it, Perkins may not be needed but he was certainly an asset that the Celtics had over other teams. The main argumenet is “well Boston plays in the Eastern Conference and the East doesn’t have great centers.” So? So because you don’t need him you’re going to trade him and play the exact same game that the Eastern Conference teams are playing? Kendrick Perkins was the defnesive anchor for the team and someone who contribute to the tough persona that the Celtics promoted. Without him they’ll be a team playing small ball and relying on jump shots.
Not that they didn’t rely on jump shots before, but there is absolutely no advantage in the paint now. Glen Davis and Kevin Garnett aren’t going to get even occasional baskets around the hoop. It just seemed like a panic move to prevent losing him for nothing.
Not to mention if Boston somehow makes it to the Finals and faces off agains the Lakers, the absence of Perkins will completely expose the Celtics. Again, he was someone that gave them an advantage over the bigger teams and he’s also someone who allowed them to combat the only advantage the Lakers have over the rest of the league. This was not a move that a team makes to get better. This was a move a team makes to get “something.” Perkins played defense, was a force around the basket and gave the Celtics a presence that Jeff Green simply cannot. Whether they win it or not remains to be seen, but I believe they are not the same team without Perkins and that will cost them in the postseason.
0-2 Interesting that the Lakers fanatic has more confidence in the Celtics than what many would consider one of the more unbiased NBA watchers.
GoHornets21 – Fiction. If only for one other team: the San Antonio Spurs . This is more of my respect for San Antonio than it is any kind of swipe at Los Angeles, because you certainly can’t find too many flaws in their game as of late. The Spurs are the one team that is kind of the antithesis for the Lakers. They play a different game at a different style and, although their lack of length would force me to choose the Lakers if pressed for an answer, I’d have to say that San Antonio is one of the few teams that wouldn’t be intimidated by the Lakers if the two were to meet up in the playoffs.
All that being said, the Western Conference still ultimately belongs to the Lakers. They’re the three time defending Conference Champions and still have the team designed to succeed come postseason time. They have length, they have experience, they have coaching, they have the superstar wing player; they’re really good. I question the consistency of their reserves but you can find bigger question marks on every other team. The Lakers are good and should still come out of the Western Conference.
Jefe- Hmmmm, GOH, I believe that makes the above statement a Fact then, doesn’t it?
Listen, there is no doubt that the playoffs in the West are going to be a beast for all the teams involved and that the road to the Finals will be no cakewalk for anyone, including the Lakers…but make no mistake about it, that road goes through Los Angeles. I would argue that the Lakers are actually a much better team heading into this postseason than they were in either of the two prior title seasons simply by virtue of Andrew Bynum’s renewed health and commitment to his defense-first approach to the game…can’t say the same is true about the rest of the elite/contending teams in the west.
With Phil’ “triumvirate of bigs” rotation of Bynum/Gasol/Odom fully intact and wholly at PJ’s disposal, I don’t see how any other team in the west measures up – I really don’t. Having a relatively healthy and totally primed Kobe Bryant and Ron Artest ready to go as well just makes the Lakers the prohibitive favorite not just to get to the Finals, but to three-peat as well. You’re right about the “Killer B’s” off the bench though – Shannon Brown, Steve Blake, and Matt Barnes still have a lot to prove if the Lakers are going to put themselves in a position to make this title run a whole lot easier on themselves.
0-3 These two are not off to a great start, but both make convincing arguments, and unfortunately I agree with Jefe here. Even with their recent 3 game slide, they are just too playoff tested and too long for the Spurs in my eyes.
4. Orlando fans need to enjoy their last full season of Dwight Howard in 2012 .
GoHornets21- Fact. Sorry, Orlando. Not even LeBron James was forecasting where he would go when he was still in Cleveland. He merely said that his options were open. Dwight has gone so far as to name drop the Lakers already which has to be salt in the wound for any Magic fans who remember the Shaquille O’Neal defection from Orlando to Los Angeles. The Magic have made attempts to succeed around Dwight now and, as a result, have really limited what improvements the team can legitimately make. In this handicapped system, you have to win now with great players unless you’re one of the five or six great teams that can afford a “rebuilding process” because you know you’ll always reload your talent. Orlando isn’t one of those teams. They saw their window of opportunity and I believe the General Manager’s huge game to acquire Gilbert Arenas and Hedo Turkoglu ‘s contracts (yuck) is indicative of how he feels about building a team long term around Dwight. They simply don’t have the time and they’ve shown that in their reactions.
All that said, Dwight could still possibly stay depending on what provisions are included in the new collective bargaining agreement. But with the player’s assocation openly stating they will approach the stance of guaranteed contracts and a soft cap sternly (no pun intended), it looks like that may not be a guarantee to come into play. All things considered, with next year in doubt, Orlando fans probably need to enjoy Dwight Howard here in the 2011 postseason.
Jefe- I have virtually nothing to say about this; a) much too speculative a question, b) just too outside my wheel-house.
1-4 Only because I know Jefe has confidence that LA has a VERY GOOD chance of stealing another Magic center away.
5. Phil Jackson will coach next year, just not with the Lakers .
Jefe- Fiction. …Science Fiction, I might add! Seriously though, any discussion of Phil Jackson imminent future is rather pointless because it’s all so speculative. We all know what he’s said publically, but truth be told – nobody knows what’s going on in that man’s head and if there was ever a guy who calls his own shots and marches to his own drum, it’s Phil Jackson. If the Lakers somehow end up three-peating again this June, I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see Phil stay on for an unprecedented chance to four-peat. If the Lakers don’t win a title this season, then yes, I can also see Phil calling it a career, just as easily as I can see Phil take a year off and then come back and coach another team. It’s just all to premature at this point to speculate on what the winningest coach in NBA history is going to do after this season – there is just too much meaningful basketball to be played with Phil still at the helm of the Lakers at the moment.
GoHornets21- This is trickier than some may think but I’m going to agree with Jefe here that it’s Fiction. First of all, Phil has the best job in the NBA. He gets paid a ton of money to coach the best team in the league in its biggest market all while being in a relationship with his boss. I’m not sure if he still wants to coach as much as he did in years prior, but in his previous retirement he only lasted one year before going back to take the Lakers job again. The thing with Phil is that he really does love to coach. Some may say he only loves to coach stacked teams, but teams like Miami and New York could potentially have openings this offseason. The one job I could possibly see Phil leaving Los Angeles for is the New York job. Phil played for the Knicks and still speaks fondly of his time playing for that franchise and I think he would find the situation intriguing to go coach Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire there.
However, I just don’t see it happening. At the very least, I think Phil takes that one year off and probably gets the itch to come back, but stays away for good. I just don’t see why he would take any other job other than the Lakers job and I wonder if his blending of romance and business within the franchise limits what he could feel comfortable doing in terms of listening to other offers. But if the Lakers win another championship this year, and they’re the favorites to do it, I think Phil’d find it difficult to walk away from the three-peat for another job. Unless he legitimately wants a new challenge, and the New York job would be, I don’t see Phil coaching anywhere other than Los Angeles next season. I think it’s either Lakers or nothing.
2-5 Interesting that Go brought up the one thing I was thinking, Phil ending his career in New York, back where it started.
6. If the Lakers win the 2011 NBA title, Kobe will move into the top 10 players of all-time.
GoHornets21- Fact. And he’ll be entirely deserving. While I’d still take Tim Duncan over him if given the option, Kobe is arguably the best player of this generation and certainly will be the most decorated person for those who did not get to see Michael Jordan. Lost in the argument of Kobe’s greatness in relation to the Lakers historical success or the capabilities of his teammates around him is the fact that he was largely involved and in a very impactful way on six NBA Championship teams if it happens this season. And not contributing in the way that another starter on a title team would. Kobe’s been an intregal part of each team’s success and has done so as the primary scorer on each team. Kobe’s been apart of two different eras in Los Angeles and has been one of the top guys in both eras. And both eras have resulted in sucess both in the regular season and the postseason. Think of this, Kobe Bryant has been in the league for thirteen seasons. If he were to win it all this year, he’d have been to the NBA Finals 8 of those 13 years and will have won 6 of those. He’d have 3 Finals MVPs to his name as well. I know he’s a contraversial player to approach but any accolade he receives, he deserves.
Jefe- GO, I would argue it’s been a Fact for quite some time now. If he wins another title this June to get his sixth ring, it’ll just be icing on the proverbial cake! I mean, c’mon – 8 trips to the Finals and 6 rings in a 13 year (and counting) career??? That’s just ridiculous – think about it! Yes, we all know that Kobe had the benefit of playing within a great system and for a great franchise with a great coach and some pretty amazing talent around him, but when you further take into account what his place and role is and has been over this amazing run, you can’t help but to shake your head in awe. That kind of consistency and will to succeed is simply too rare a phenomenon to be discounted as non-top 10 player of all-time material. Furthermore, when you also take into account what Kobe was able to do in between the Shaq and Gasol eras despite his lack of postseason success just in terms of his statistical output, it just adds to the equation. On a final note – when taking stock of Kobe’s unbelievable achievements over this particular run in his career, you also must consider how durable he’s been and the sacrifices he’s made to his body while maintaining this level of accomplishment and extraordinarily high level of play. Nobody works harder on his game and his body than Kobe does. His sheer ability to endure is a big part of what makes him so special and worthy of top 10 players of all-time consideration.
These two started off pretty rocky, but finish off right at .500, hey look they are the Suns.
Anyways, agree, disagree, have a different take, we would love to hear it.
Thanks for reading, and a special thanks to Jefe and GoHornets21.