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Celtics vs. the Lebronaires

Discussion in 'Mark Blount's Port Cellar: Celtics Forum' started by DrewDawg, May 9, 2018.

  1. jackno

    jackno lurker

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    In the early 70s I was playing high school basketball and caught a shoulder to the jaw. It still hurts.
     
  2. wade boggs chicken dinner

    wade boggs chicken dinner Member SoSH Member

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    The way they win a game or two is that BOS starts settling for jumpers, they miss shots, and the Cavs get out in transition. But you're basically right - the Cs have more, better players at this point and if that doesn't change, the Cs should be able to win the series.
     
  3. BillMuellerFanClub

    BillMuellerFanClub Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    I think an underrated part of this series is the dynamic between LeBron the GM and LeBron the player. Cleveland decimated its chances at future contention and rebuild (post-James) by letting him dictate his supporting cast, and look where it got them. I'm not saying this series is over, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see this still go 7 games, but the irony of his super-saiyan-like performance in a game where they lose handily isn't lost on me when considering that this is almost entirely his doing. He can pout all he wants, but this is the cast he chose, and it's pretty obvious he chose poorly.

    This is why I would be surprised if he stayed in CLE after this season. They're in cap hell, with next to zero valuable assets, and project to be luxury tax repeaters again next season. If this cast isn't getting it done now, there is no one walking through that door to make sure they improve going forward.
     
  4. Van Everyman

    Van Everyman Member SoSH Member

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    One thing that’s worth noting about Lebron getting Tatum’s shoulder in the jaw is that these are the kinds of injuries that happen when you resort to hero ball and take the ball inside because your teammates are letting you down.

    Lebron (and Lue to the extent he actually has a say) had the right idea in game 1: get the other guys going so the Celtics couldn’t key on him on every play. We’ve said as much here: that if the Celtics could contain Love and Korver (and Smith to some extent) they could beat them, even if Lebron went off. Instead, his teammates shot the ball horrifically and left Lebron with no choice but to put the team on his back in game 2.

    This is where Lebron not being 26 anymore matters. I don’t care how big and strong he is, even compared to a guy like Tatum who hasn’t filled out yet. If you get whacked every offensive possession, your body starts to hurt. And you become more vulnerable to more serious hits like Tatum’s shoulder.
     
  5. wade boggs chicken dinner

    wade boggs chicken dinner Member SoSH Member

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    Posted this somewhere else but Windhorst has a piece that says what you are saying and (at least it seems to me) starts preparing OH for the eventual move.

    http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/...ing-boston-celtics-organizational-fatigue-nba
     
  6. Merkle's Boner

    Merkle's Boner Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    I think the Cavs will have a better offensive performance at home. But their second half D was abysmal. Completely. I don’t see how that changes unless the C’s go completely cold, like 3 for 22 from 3 cold.
     
  7. wade boggs chicken dinner

    wade boggs chicken dinner Member SoSH Member

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    I agree that they should be encouraged but I don't know how far that goes. The MIL series changed when Henson went down and Maker started hitting some shots from outside as that gave MIL spacing and an ability to switch defensively. MIL theoretically has the size and kind of the switchability that works in the NBA right now with Antetokounmpo, Bledsoe, Brogdan, Middleton, Maker, and Parker (if someone can get him to start to play defense).

    Not sure why MIL was starting Henson over developing Maker (maybe it was because Kidd's trap heavy defense was too difficult for him to execute) but MIL seems to have as much talent as say WAS and even more length.

    However, they should be encouraged because they are a better team than they looked in the regular season but it seems that they are still a couple of players away from contending and I'm not sure how they get them.
     
  8. the moops

    the moops Member SoSH Member

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    Oh come on. Lebron had the much smaller Rozier on him during the play. Of course he was going to go inside on him and him doing so has nothing to do with playing hero ball
     
  9. nighthob

    nighthob Member SoSH Member

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    That's really not what Windhorst is saying at all and the whole "LeBron the GM!!!" thing is lazy and stupid. Even where Windhorst talks about the GM, it's about Griffin's inability to work with Gilbert, and it's not like Gilbert and LeBron are buddy buddy.

    The real issue is that if you have a top five all time player you have to think about winning now, not rebuilding. I mean the whole "draft and develop young talent!!!" thing sounds great, but when you're drafting in the 20s every year you pretty much almost never get guys that aren't roleplayers of varying quality. Even the Spurs had to trade into the top half of the draft to grab their latest franchise player. With the low firsts they've basically produced bench depth. For every Jimmy Butler there are about 20 JR Giddens.

    And then there's the reality that all time greats take you on deep playoff runs every year, so you need to plan on a series of 100 game seasons. Those wear on a team. Especially a veteran one. So there's always finding the right balance between young roleplayers to absorb the beating and vet stars.

    As unsatisfying as it may be, people may just need to accept the fact that the Cavs are, and have been, with and without LeBron, one of the worst run franchises in the NBA. Even when they get competent management, Gilbert manages to drive them off.

    This summer James will leave, and Koby Altman eventually will, too (despite his struggles here I think he has a bright future in the NBA, provided he escapes Cleveland). And in ten years time some of us will be pointing out that they're still the Kings East, even though James will be long retired and that crutch for their ineptitude will be gone.
     
  10. NortheasternPJ

    NortheasternPJ Member SoSH Member

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    It's really amazing. They got the #1 pick the year LeBron came out, had a great run with him, then he goes on a 4 year vacation to South Beach, they get the #1 pick again twice, then LeBron comes back and basically what they have to show for it is LeBron (which obviously has been a slamming success), only 1 championship, Kevin Love and the #8 pick in the 2018 draft.
     
  11. the moops

    the moops Member SoSH Member

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    They got the # 1 pick three times in James absence, right? Kyrie, Bennett, Wiggins
     
  12. Big John

    Big John lurker

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    If the Cavs hadn't lost to the Nets back in October, the Nets would have finished at 27-55, same as the Kings. And depending on the coin flip, the Cavs might have had the #2 pick this year instead of Sacramento.
     
  13. djbayko

    djbayko Member SoSH Member

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    Yes. The Cavs mentally checked out during the 4th quarter when the game wasn't out of reach yet. At one point, they were literally just standing around and watching the Celtics play like the Globetrotters vs. the Washington Generals. I haven't seen a team that had so obviously given up like that in a while. It won't take much to break them again.

    They have one half left to inspire confidence in themselves and each other.
     
  14. nighthob

    nighthob Member SoSH Member

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    I mean they had a really good young player on the roster when James arrived, and they declined to pick up Boozer's option and let him go to free agency when they didn't have the cap space to sign him to anything but an MLE deal. Paxson (rightfully) got fired for that (amongst other egregious miscues) and they replaced him with the utterly overrated Danny Ferry.

    Ferry's first act was to decline to make a max offer to Joe Johnson, when everyone knew the Suns weren't going to re-sign him, and publicly talked about how smart he was by spreading that money out amongst the likes of Larry Hughes and Donyell Marshall instead. And that was the high point of his regime. On the bright side he gave us the "LeBron was the real GM!!!" story that plagues us to this day, while he then moved on to demolish the Hawks. In retrospect the real story was that Danny Ferry was an even worse GM than NBA player.

    Sadly he was far better than his protégée, Chris Grant, who spent high lottery picks like a sailor on shore leave in a Hong Kong whorehouse. I joked on another board back in June of '11 that Grant grabbed the wrong Thompson card from the stack when he passed it to Sterling on draft night. Of course then he used a #4 on Dion Waiters the next year and #1 on Anthony fucking Bennett the year after that.

    Griffin was good, about the only misstep with him was getting into the Irving talks with Phoenix without talking to Kyrie first. But then he got fired by Gilbert. Koby Altman has done the best he could with the rapidly changing NBA, but the Cavs were built for success in the early to mid teens, and the game has really changed in the last three years.
     
  15. Kenny F'ing Powers

    Kenny F'ing Powers posts 18% useful shit Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    As much as I like the confidence, I'll come at this another way.

    The Celtics need to take 1 in Cleveland. Does anyone really want to see Lebron and all that comes with him - superhuman powers, referees - in game 7?

    I love this team, and they've come up big seemingly every time they face adversity, but that's not a pressure i want to see our young team facing.
     
  16. TFisNEXT

    TFisNEXT Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Yep, I want nothing to do with a game 7. Stomp on their souls in game 3 and/or 4 and end this before it even gets to game 6. You get the sense that Cleveland thinks they are outgunned right now and injecting them with confidence by dropping a couple turds in Cleveland is the last thing we need.
     
  17. Kliq

    Kliq Member SoSH Member

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    LeBron had a very Westbrookian game yesterday. He put up 13 FGA in the first quarter alone; and it was obvious that he wasn't going to sustain that level of success throughout the game; and his teammates could not get in rhythm. When LeBron got tired/had to sit out the Cavs offense sputtered; partially because they are always going to be worse off than when LeBron isn't in the game, but also because minus LeBron the Cavs did not have anyone that looked like they were ready to run an offense. Lue even alluded to this in the press conference, when asked about playing JR when he was cold, Lue said "It's hard to get in a rhythm when you aren't getting consistent touches."

    To me, this could partially explain why Cleveland quit in this game. Playing for Cleveland looks like pure misery. Their offense is basically just LeBron gets the ball and dribbles at the top of the key, and dictates whether to shoot or pass. He's also been prone to throwing hard passes and then bitching out his teammates when they were unable to handle them/not where he thought they were going to be. In addition, the whole organization is operating under the extra pressure that if they don't succeed, James is going to leave in the summer. Compare the Cavs body language to the Celtics, or Golden State, or Houston; they look like zombies.
     
  18. benhogan

    benhogan self-effacing SoSH Member

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    3. Spot on. The media will ignore LBJ defensive lapse and hype the 42pts. triple-double. Lebron didn't rotate several times in the 2nd half, especially that one where Rozier had several seconds to line up the 3pointer late in the 3rd quarter Celts up 4pts. Van Gundy came really close to calling out the King but knew better than risk his job behind the mic.

    5. my Abdel Nader anagram leads me to a "bland reade"
     
  19. InstaFace

    InstaFace MDLzera

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    This is a very well-written and thoughtful piece comparing the Celtics and Cavs organizations - with some GS Warriors thrown in - and I'd encourage everyone to read it.
     
  20. djbayko

    djbayko Member SoSH Member

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    Yes, I obviously agree with this conservative viewpoint, and I also think it's compatible with what I was saying, which is only that IF - and it's a fairly big "if" - we come out and have a superb first half in Game 3, the series might end swiftly.
     
  21. nighthob

    nighthob Member SoSH Member

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    In a way I don't think people appreciate just how far ahead of the curve Ainge/Stevens were. Boston basically constructed the exact roster you need to flourish in the pace & space era, while having the sort of quality young depth you need to survive the constant stream of 100 game seasons. They're basically the best management team in the NBA and all they have to show for it, accolade wise, is Ainge's Executive of the Year award a decade ago.
     
  22. wade boggs chicken dinner

    wade boggs chicken dinner Member SoSH Member

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    I think the underlying points are basically the same between Windhorst's article and the post to which I was referring. I personally don't try to analyze to what extent LBJ is or is not the GM so I skipped over that part of the post. I'm not even sure why it's important.

    CLE managed to land LBJ and then a bunch of decisions - and spent a boatload of money - trying to win a championship. So in one sense, they were successful. However, I said it at the time of the Love trade, the alternative universe where CLE keeps Wiggins and Bennett and sees what they can do - and more importantly, doesn't cap itself out virtually from Day 1 - is a way more interesting universe and I wonder if they would have won additional championship(s) as well.

    I guess the most interesting thing to me is how valuable guys like JB, JT, and Simmons are when they are on their rookie contracts (much like the NFL), particularly in today's NBA. Granted, it's hard to fault Griffin for making the Love trade but if he had a crystal ball and saw how the NBA evolved, maybe he wouldn't do it again.

    Kevin O'Connor says it much better than I can in this 2017 article: https://www.theringer.com/2017/3/30...in-love-andrew-wiggins-nba-trade-c39d8a560866
     
  23. TFisNEXT

    TFisNEXT Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    The biggest key in game 3 for the Celtics is to keep attacking the paint against the punchless Cavs' defense. At least early on. You figure the big emotional Cleveland "defending the castle" run is probably going to happen pretty early in game 3. The Cavs role players can rain 3 pointers and score on a bunch of LeBron drives....but if the C's keep attacking the porous defense on the other end, they can stay right within striking distance.

    You can totally see a scenario not too dissimilar from game 2 where the Cavs have this great offensive first half with the crowd behind them, but somehow they look up and they are only up 6-8 points. In game 2, you could feel the Cavs were in trouble when they were only up 7 at the half and LeBron was already looking a bit gassed....even before the Tatum collision.
     
  24. Red Averages

    Red Averages owes you $50 SoSH Member

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    It's 2-0 with two very convincing Celtics wins. Let's calm down with the, this is going 7 games panic attack. Same as the Philly series where Game 5 was apparently "must win" for the Celtics, despite controlling the series.
     
  25. the moops

    the moops Member SoSH Member

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    Andrew Wiggins kind of sucks.
     
  26. nighthob

    nighthob Member SoSH Member

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    The more interesting scenario is one where Grant doesn't draft a bunch of terrible players. Bennett still can't get an NBA gig because he just isn't that good.

    Wiggins, on the other hand, would probably have developed better had he been the third option behind LBJ and Irving and required to focus on defense. Because developing on a rebuilding squad in Minnesota has clearly done him few favors (there's no reason for someone with his physical gifts to be as shitty at defense as Wiggins is).
     
  27. Kenny F'ing Powers

    Kenny F'ing Powers posts 18% useful shit Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    10,317
    Panic attack? Thats one way to interpret what I wrote. If we come back to Boston 2-2 in the series, I assume you'll be of the same mindset?

    Its important for the team to win one in Cleveland. I'm not sure how that is a controversial point. I also made it clear in another post that Boston is the better team and, if they perform as they did in the first two games, they could end this in 5.

    We had a run of about 40 posts with people seemingly declaring this series over. There should be a little perspective here.
     
  28. DrewDawg

    DrewDawg Dorito Dink SoSH Member

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    Hard disagree.
     
  29. dbn

    dbn Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    A few random thoughts.

    Regarding the hit on LeBron's noggin, there is a difference between reckless and malicious, an example of the latter being when a football defender targets the helmet of the offensive player. Heck, Smart's great diving play to save that ball on the sideline was reckless -- he could have dislocated his own shoulder, or clipped the knee of the Cav that was standing there. We think of that play as scrappy because nothing bad happened. Tatum made a good, scrappy/reckless play to get a steal, and by chance LeBron got walloped. That happens in sports when players - as they are expected to and should - play hard. It was chance. I don't like LeBron but 100% don't want to see him hurt. Playing recklessly is one of the reasons this Cs team is so good.

    I'm of the opinion that it's a good thing the JR Smith is not a Celtic.

    For a while now I've been wondering if the league in general and the Celtics in particular should be afraid of playoff-LeBron. I think the answer is "yes", but with the qualification that they shouldn't be afraid of the playoff-Cavs. Obviously Cleveland isn't out of this series yet and it'll suck if they beat the Celtics in 6 or 7, but I believe they are not good enough to to win the series if the Celtics continue to play well.
     
  30. the moops

    the moops Member SoSH Member

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    It was a foul. It wasn't reckless or malicious or anything but a basketball play. Lebron stumbled a bit, and it was more Lebron's face hitting Tatum's shoulder than the other way around
     
  31. RedOctober3829

    RedOctober3829 Member SoSH Member

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    No further discipline for JR Smith in regards to the Horford dirty play.

     
  32. AimingForYoko

    AimingForYoko Member SoSH Member

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    Not even a fine? Really?

    I don't want to hear that "hurr hurr this is a W for the C's bc he sux" bc I won't care that he sucks if he or some other Ohio scrub sends Tatum flying into the 2nd row. That's rubbish.
     
  33. Kliq

    Kliq Member SoSH Member

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    It speaks to how great of a player LeBron James is (and how weak the East is) that his team, which has enormous, obvious flaws and was not a very good regular season team in a weak conference filled with tankers, was still picked as a favorite to advance to the finals simply because of his presence on a team. He's an amazing player, but he isn't a miracle worker.
     
  34. DeJesus Built My Hotrod

    DeJesus Built My Hotrod Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    While I agree with your take, Mike Breen and Brian Windhorst would like a word with you for blaspheming.

    And I am sorry, that Tatum collision with LeBron was simply a basketball play. Those sorts of fouls happen every single game including in the preseason and summer league games. It just so happened that James head connected with Tatum's shoulder. More often than not players torsos bear the brunt of that sort of crash. If we are going to blame Tatum for it at all, we need to rethink how the sport should be played.
     
  35. Eddie Jurak

    Eddie Jurak Go Leafs Go Lifetime Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    [
    image.png
    Yep. Tatum got the quick hook in the second half.
    I expect JR to cheap shot someone else before all is said and done, since he got away with this one.
     
  36. benhogan

    benhogan self-effacing SoSH Member

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    I'm with Red, no hand-wringing here. Celtics in 5.

    My mind is drifting to Rockets vs Warriors tonight.

    Sit back and enjoy this vid. Go to the 1:36 mark (Kyrie sits) and see who is on the court for the Celtics when they make their charge down 16pts.

     
    #436 benhogan, May 16, 2018
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  37. wade boggs chicken dinner

    wade boggs chicken dinner Member SoSH Member

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    Article with some impressive playoff stats for Jaylen here: https://hardwoodhoudini.com/2018/05/15/jaylen-brown-silencing-critics-one-game-time/ One example: In clutch time (defined as "a situation in which the game is within five points with less than five minutes left"), JB has averaged 2.3 points per situation, which is up from 0.9 points per situation in the regular season.

    There's also this:

    Brown is shooting 54.5 percent in the clutch this postseason, right behind Terry Rozier and Jayson Tatum for the best mark on the team. [By comparison, LBJ is at 50% and Harden is at 40%.]

    Brown is six for his last nine from deep and is shooting 42.9 percent from three during the postseason. 46 percent of Brown’s shots through this time period have come from deep . . . .

    On shots between 20-24 feet, he is hitting at a 47.4 percent clip. Stretch Brown out to 25-29 feet from the basket, and he is still cashing in on 41.5 percent of his tries, the best percentage on the squad outside of Al Horford and Marcus Morris.

     
  38. Red Averages

    Red Averages owes you $50 SoSH Member

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    Thanks for posting this, I almost forgot about that game given how many crazy comebacks this team has had. I was at the Houston game. This team can hang with any team and they’ve grown a lot throughout the year, particularly the last few weeks. Should be fascinating to see it play out.
     
  39. Reverend

    Reverend for king and country Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    4D-chess, maaaaaaaaan!

    I mean, I was thinking earlier... every player that I was baffled by or frustrated by earlier in the season--even role players--are now clicking and their true intended function has been revealed. I just previously had not been able to grasp it.

    I love this team.
     
  40. Sprowl

    Sprowl Emile de Becque Dope

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    And the little children shall lead them.
     
  41. chilidawg

    chilidawg Member SoSH Member

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    Just complete bull that wasn't a flagrant 2. The TNT guys were going off about it tonight.
     
  42. joe dokes

    joe dokes Member SoSH Member

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    At least in Game 2 (at home), they seemed mentally strong enough to internalize the fact that each of Lebron's baskets only counted for 2 or 3 points, no matter how many, or how spectacular, and the Celtics just continued to go about their business on offense and defense. That will be especially important if, say, JRSmith hits a 3 early and the fans take their pants off. The best answer is to go down and abuse Korver in the paint.
     
  43. wade boggs chicken dinner

    wade boggs chicken dinner Member SoSH Member

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    One of the reasons I was for the KI trade because the things he did to the Cs in Game 4 of last year's finals can't be done by many people on the planet (i.e., score when the entire defense is geared towards stopping him) and is really important in the playoffs.

    This article breaks down why the Cavs miss KI so much. For example:

    When Irving and James shared the court during the 2017 NBA playoffs, the Cavaliers scored 124.9 points per 100 possessions. This year, that offensive rating has dropped to 109.8 with James on the court and declines to 94.4 during the 99 minutes James has been on the bench. Sure, it’s a small sample size, but that offensive efficiency without James is worse than what we saw from the Phoenix Suns.
    All these "pundits" who picked the Cavs in 5 - I don't know what game they are looking at. It's so clear that the Cs are a lot better than last year and the Cavs are a lot worse. I don't know how that translates into a CLE romp.
     
  44. TFisNEXT

    TFisNEXT Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I think it goes back to what some of us mentioned prior to game 1 and also got fooled by:

    Toronto shit their pants in historic fashion.


    If the Pacers series had been round 2 instead, I think many would have been picking the C's.
     
  45. CantKeepmedown

    CantKeepmedown Member SoSH Member

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    It's definitely recency bias. It's the only explanation as to why so many (myself included) picked Cleveland to win the series. James is obviously a part of it. But to compare where the teams are at the start of this series to where they were last year, it should have been more noticeable.

    It's impossible to overstate how awful Toronto was in their series with Cleveland. Would love to be a fly on the wall with anybody in that organization while they are watching these games (if they even are).
     
  46. joe dokes

    joe dokes Member SoSH Member

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    I think it was apparent in the second half of Game 1 of the season. Weak defense and insufficient help for Lebron.
     
  47. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    Boozer totally f'ed them on that. They had a gentleman's agreement and he backed out of it.
     
  48. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    Would anyone here take Andrew Wiggins over Terry Rozier? I wouldn't, AINEC.

    And being in Minnesota didn't stop LaVine and KAT from improving their games year over year. Maybe Wiggins does develop better elsewhere, but he hasn't developed at all and has shown no improvement since his rookie season. Was there any question about Wiggins drive and work ethic prior to the draft?

    Embiid and Parker are far better players, it's too bad their health is always a concern.
     
  49. Sam Ray Not

    Sam Ray Not Member SoSH Member

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    I wouldn't take Andrew Wiggins over Daniel Theis.
     
  50. Red Averages

    Red Averages owes you $50 SoSH Member

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    Anyone want to guess the line for Saturday?

    Cle -6.5
     

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