NBA 2017 Playoffs |OT| WE DID IT

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#52
Sucks that my two favorite East teams are playing against each other (Toronto and Milwaukee). What's more, unless the ridiculous and amazing happens, with Paul George and Lance Stephenson beating the Cavs, I'm also only going to get to enjoy the 2nd Lance era Pacers for a single round

Most of the 1st round match-ups seem pretty great this year. I really wish Portland had Nurkic, would make that series more fun and dynamic, and I don't know what to expect from Spurs - Grizzlies (don't get me wrong, I like their styles, it's just I tend to like it more when it's contrasted by the other team in some fashion)

They shit the bed against the Knicks without Melo, Rose or Noah last week and that was that. Waiters injury was the bigger deciding factor, though. He was essential.
We simply weren't ready for playoff Waiters.

More than anything this season I would like to see new blood in the finals.

Im actively cheering for either GSW or CLE to lose and not make the finals. Preferably both. And the absolute DREAM scenario would be for CLE, GSW, BOS and SAS to all get knocked out. Leaving someone else to win a title for the first time in a whiiiiile.
Sounds like Toronto and Houston should be your picks.

I don't think hayward is going anywhere. Hill has had such questionable issues with his health that I don't think the Jazz will bother keeping him anyways.
http://www.spotrac.com/nba/free-agents/guard/

Pick a point guard. Best options are probably Jrue Holiday, Jeff Teague, and George Hill, before things start to get seriously dire.

Imo, there's a reason the Jazz started clicking when they got a point guard to guide their system. Well, that, and Gobert getting so much better and anchoring the team through all the injuries (still think he's been bigger than Hayward, and deserved the all-star nod more)

We out here.

(Please forget the past three months of the regular season.)
Hey, at least it's not like last year, where the Grizzlies dragged a pile of bones, splints, and medical equipment to the playoffs, somehow. Grizzlies, Hawks, and Bulls all seem to thrive off of inconsistency, losing to bad teams and crushing good teams, anyways.

Maybe, this year, instead of the repeat finals match-up, we get what everyone asked for - a Grizzlies/Jazz finals matchup with the Hawks/Pacers.
 
#53
Of the semi-realistic contenders, I think I'll be rooting for the Spurs. Woke-pop is probably my favorite person in the league right now. I also like the way the play. Yeah, I know, the math says that ton of 3s with some added layups and free throws is probably the best way to go, but I enjoy watching a team like the Spurs way more than the Rockets. I do however think it will catch up with them in the playoffs. When a team like the Golden State or Houston get hot, the Spurs have to play pretty perfect basketball to even hang close to them, and there are a bunch of team in the west who can get hot for 2-3 games in the series easily, if not more.
And so sadly, I don't see them coming out of the west, I think i'd pick the Rockets over them in a series (though I wouldn't be shocked if San Antonio win). And I really don't think they have a huge chance of beating the Warriors. I hope I'm wrong, and hey, way more unlikely things happened in the NBA before.

I think the Cavs are going to come out of the east and will do it relatively easily.
I want to see Spurs/Rockets and there's a number of ways the Spurs could win. For one, Harden does not want to see this for a series. If pop puts him on Harden from the tip it's gonna wreck the Rockets. Aldridge could have at least a couple of efficient 30+ point games from the post, I wouldn't count on it, but he's done it to the Rockets before.

However that shakes out, you can count on the Spurs discipline and post season refs to mitigate BS foul calls and wide open 3s.
 
#54
http://www.spotrac.com/nba/free-agents/guard/

Pick a point guard. Best options are probably Jrue Holiday, Jeff Teague, and George Hill, before things start to get seriously dire.

Imo, there's a reason the Jazz started clicking when they got a point guard to guide their system. Well, that, and Gobert getting so much better and anchoring the team through all the injuries (still think he's been bigger than Hayward, and deserved the all-star nod more)
I agree that the Jazz are a better team with Hill running the show and he has been the reason they've seen so much improvement from last year, but I just dont see this franchise handing big money to both Hill and Hayward this off-season. If Hill is commanding big money on the FA market the Jazz will probably opt to run Exam at point and sign a stop gap solution until other options become available.

Agreed on the Gobert point he's been the Jazz best player imo.
 
#55
I want to see Spurs/Rockets and there's a number of ways the Spurs could win. For one, Harden does not want to see this for a series. If pop puts him on Harden from the tip it's gonna wreck the Rockets. Aldridge could have at least a couple of efficient 30+ point games from the post, I wouldn't count on it, but he's done it to the Rockets before.

However that shakes out, you can count on the Spurs discipline and post season refs to mitigate BS foul calls and wide open 3s.
I still have bad memories of 2014 LMA going off... shudders

One thing that I will say is that I don't think Harden - Kawhi is that one-sided, hell, I would say Andre Roberson (who Harden will be defended by in the OKC series) and Paul George (thank god Indiana is in the East, seriously) are the best Harden defenders in the league. Both major Spurs comebacks were in games where we shot the 3 TERRIBLY, and I mean in a "getting really good looks and missing" way.

Harden has a decent history of going off on the Spurs, 2012 onwards. He's a smarter offensive player when being defended by Kawhi than you're giving him credit for, because there have definitely been match-ups where it seems that Harden is getting the advantage of Kawhi on defense.

There is a reason why this was reported back in December:
Tom Haberstroh said:
Pop said he doesn't watch game tape on the opponent this time of year. "Except for the Rockets. Harden is ridiculous."
He's averaged 29.8/9.0/11.8, with about 9 FTA per game (below his average, and around what he gets in the playoffs historically) against the Spurs this year.

https://www.google.com/search?q=roc.....69i57j0l5.1933j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Every single one of the Rockets-Spurs games this year have been nail-bitingly close. The only thing I know is that a Rockets-Spurs series would probably remain that way, and it won't be good for my health.

If you're talking about Harden defending Kawhi, yeah, that isn't ideal, but Parker isn't too good of a shooter, and Green has been inconsistent, meaning that in a worst case scenario of Harden getting switched onto Kawhi, there should be some help defense coming. Ideally, one of Ariza, Harrell, or Beverley is on Kawhi, although the last Spurs game I saw Ariza getting switched off of Kawhi again and again. As a result, I think Beverley, based off the last games, would probably be the best switch onto Kawhi, he did a surprisingly good job in those possessions. Harrell is probably, due to Pau, LMA, and Dedmon, only going to get minutes on a faster, more athletic bench lineup of something like Beverley/Gordon/Lou/Troy/Harrell, that tries to expose Parker/Mills + Pau on the pick n roll and just run them down as much as possible. If Dedmon/LMA are in the game, Harrell is probably too bad of a rebounder, with too much height difference, for his usefulness is a switch-heavy defense to be worth it.

Harden is ideally going to be switching between Green and quite possibly spending possessions guarding Aldridge. I've watched Harden do a good job defending the post from taller players with comparable strength too many times in the past few weeks (including on LMA) to not want that to be the case.

One thing I want to see again, given that credit is due to the Spurs for being a good perimeter defense team, is what we did in the December game from about the 2nd quarter to maybe the last few minutes of the 4th. Our 3s were missing at a ridiculous rate, despite many good looks, and as a result the team started doing a really great job of not shooting and just driving and racking up easy layup after easy layup. along with the Rockets being focused on getting stops (which, when they're clicking, they're surprisingly good at doing). What let the Spurs come back, imo, was with that lead they started shooting 3s again, despite being up, having no need to, etc.

Pau really finding his role scares me, because of the size disparity, so I'm just gonna have to hope that the Rockets try to expose him as much as possible defensively to thus limit his minutes.

One major difference from most D'Antoni/Popovich series, at least ones that were close to even (so not 2013 Lakers) is that Nash struggled with not wanting to really take over games by himself. He talked about Pop playing a sort of mind game with him, whereas I think Harden has the flexibility to either move the ball around or take over by himself if need be.
 
#58
We all remember the last time Bulls were 8 seed against a 1 seeded celtics


we took you to 7 games.....bring it on



Still one of the most exhilarating playoff series I have ever watched
 
#62
Was that the Ben Gordon-Luol Deng Bulls? I loved those Bulls teams.
I still remember some journalist writing.

"Ben Gordon's playing horse with God while Jesus is on the bench" refering to Celtics Guard Ray Allen by his nickname. Those OT games were great.
 
#77
I have zero clue what to make of this Hawks team.

They lose twice to the Nets within one week.

Then they beat Boston and Cleveland in convincing fashion.

Either way, they won't make it past the 2nd round, as per usual with this treadmill organization.
 
#80
Shamelessly pasted from *****, my predictions:

Celtics-Bulls - 7 games. Bad matchup for Cs and Wade is back. Still, Chicago ain't shit.
Cavs-Pacers - 6 games. I'm not believing the hype on Cavs imploding until at least round 2 if the Raps steal one in Cleveland. Plus Teague just rolled his ankle.
Raptors-Bucks - 7 games. Raps can't be trusted but are too talented to lose this early.
Wizards-Hawks - 5 games. Gortat gonna have sweet revenge.

Warriors-Blazers - 5 games. Will be a series of close games but I think the Warriors are done fucking around.
Spurs-Grizzlies - 6 games. Kawhi gonna blow off some steam for not finishing top 2 in mvp voting.
Rockets-Thunder - 5 games. Russ wins at least one game by himself, but they just don't have the shooting to keep up with Houston.
Jazz-Clippers - 7 games. End of the road for the current iteration of the Clips.
 
#82
I mean, it's not as if the Lakers/Celtics hatred wasn't a thing for 4 years because of the finals. People 30 and under have that to attach to while older people have Bird v Magic
Being a life long Celtics fan who lived in LA during the KG, Pierce, Ray era and was born in Boston and seen the Bird Magic era. The new age rivalry was mild and tacked on it wasn't generally real like how it was back in the days even though the Lakers and Celts played twice in the finals in the 2K era. Lakers and Celtics fans as of now don't really have any reason to feel passionate towards one another. The rivalry died decades ago.
 
#86
Being a life long Celtics fan who lived in LA during the KG, Pierce, Ray era and was born in Boston and seen the Bird Magic era. The new age rivalry was mild and tacked on it wasn't generally real like how it was back in the days even though the Lakers and Celts played twice in the finals in the 2K era.
Heavens no, but it's what people my age and people below 30 as a whole have to grasp on to when it comes to actually watching games. My Lakers hatred started as an 8 year old in 08 watching the finals. My mom was a KG and Piru Paul fan so I stuck with her. I didn't even really like sports till 2012, but I hated the Lakers. Was it the same as in the 80s? No. But it was just as real to me. I despise the Lakers, I hope they suck for the rest of time, I want their good players to leave them and do well elsewhere, I want them to be the Browns of the league and I'm not even a fan of a team with a rivalry against them
 
#89
Important things to me:

Celtics make it past the first round
Clips and Doc Rivers lose in embarrassing fashion
Spurs never win another title without Duncan until they luck out in the lottery and get another generational player at #1
 
#92
Heavens no, but it's what people my age and people below 30 as a whole have to grasp on to when it comes to actually watching games. My Lakers hatred started as an 8 year old in 08 watching the finals. My mom was a KG and Piru Paul fan so I stuck with her. I didn't even really like sports till 2012, but I hated the Lakers. Was it the same as in the 80s? No. But it was just as real to me. I despise the Lakers, I hope they suck for the rest of time, I want their good players to leave them and do well elsewhere, I want them to be the Browns of the league and I'm not even a fan of a team with a rivalry against them
Lol I feel you man, I don't like them but I don't like any team that's not my team but I don't hate them either what's there to hate haha. Back in the days I hated the Showtime Lakers because I honestly didn't know if we would win a chip going against them year in and year out. For awhile they was the only team in the way who I knew was good enough to stop the Celts. The new age Lakers and Celts are 1 and 1 against one another in the finals and I am fine with that.
 
#97
Lol I feel you man, I don't like them but I don't like any team that's not my team but I don't hate them either what's there to hate haha. Back in the days I hated the Showtime Lakers because I honestly didn't know if we would win a chip going against them year in and year out. For awhile they was the only team in the way who I knew was good enough to stop the Celts. The new age Lakers and Celts are 1 and 1 against one another in the finals and I am fine with that.
I was a Steve Nash guy. Only explanation I feel I need to say lol
 
#99
I hope Butler destroys the C's and they lose. Showing the Ainge he should have took the trade.
I really wanted to see an Onion title along the lines of "Paul George-less Celtics hold on to defeat Paul George and the Pacers in 7 games" but I guess this will do. Celtics are going to struggle more than any 1 seed in recent memory, they're about as offensively balanced as Rose's Bulls.

Now that I look at the bracket I can see why the Cavs don't care at all about losing the 1 seed.
Cavs were low key trying to duck the Wiz, I don't think any on that team fears the Raptors, even with their improvements, until Derozan and Lowry have a decent playoff series.
 
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