Five NBA related questions! Yes, that NBA that no one likes. Come on, at least give these a chance. Read on for Q's hatred toward the Dallas Mavericks, Dogg's thoughts on Chris Webber and Fuzz's Eastern Conference NBA Champion.
1) Right now, who is your pick to win the NBA championship and why?
Q: We were talking about this last night, and I'm going out on a limb with the Hornets. I know that they have very little playoff experience, but they have been crushing potential playoff opponents lately. They're also one of the few Western Conference teams that has played pretty consistently all year. The Spurs, Lakers, Mavs, Suns, etc. all have bounced around the standings due to erratic play. Plus, they have CP3, possibly the most well-rounded PG in the league. The guy can put up 40 on you and drop 20 dimes. That, combined with guys like Peja and David West make them very tough.
Dogg: My pick to win the NBA championship is the Los Angeles Lakers. They have the best player in the league in Kobe Bryant and I think they have the deadliest bench with the likes of: Luke Walton, Ronny Turiaf, Jordan Farmar, Vladamir Radmanovich, Sasha Vujacic. This is contingent on Pau Gasol coming back healthy and hoping Bynum can give them solid minutes at the center position after being out so long.
Fuzz: I think if you’ve asked this question to the sports nation, like one of those ESPN Sportscenter nation polls, you’d get an alarming number of people picking a team from the West. It’s a natural answer. The West is far superior than the East and has been for years now. Saying that, I’m going with the Boston Celtics. They have the best record in the league at 56-15, getting number 56 last night with a convincing 20 point win over Phoenix. Their record is a little inflated because of their cushy Eastern Conference schedule but have beaten Utah, L.A., Phoenix, Dallas, San Antonio, Golden State, Houston, Detroit and Cleveland. Pretty much everyone that matters! They have not beaten the Hornets yet but play them tomorrow. They have three very good known veterans and won’t have to give a 100% effort until the Eastern Conference finals, which is a lock for them getting too. The experiment works and KG gets his ring...
2) Which one team misses the playoffs in the West between these teams: Dallas, Golden State and Denver? Why?
Fuzz: Dallas will still get in. Dirk “18 inch” Diggler is a big loss but they have enough talent to grab one of those bottom seeds. They have a 2 ½ game cushion also. Here are the remaining schedules of Golden State and Denver:
G.S.- Portland, at Denver, Dallas, at San Antonio, at Dallas, at Memphis, at New Orleans, Sacramento, Denver, Clippers, at Phoenix and Seattle.
Denver- Dallas, Golden State, at Phoenix, Phoenix, Sacramento, at Seattle, at Clippers at Golden State, at Utah and at Memphis.
Both aren’t the easiest schedules around but I like Denver’s by a pubic hair better. Golden State is a half game up on Denver right now. If you take common opponents out and the times they play each other, G.S. has slight harder draw, that’s why I think they miss the playoffs. Plus, A.I. will find a way in somehow because we ain’t talking about practice here.
Q: I really, really, really hope Dallas doesn't make it. Two reasons for this: one, I don't like their team. I hate Dirk and think he's one of the most overrated players in the league. Plus, it would be funny if going out and getting J Kidd actually made them worse. The second reason is that Cuban would absolutely flip out. He'd be signing, tradings, etc. all offseason and that would be entertaining to watch.
Dogg: I believe Dallas will miss the playoffs. I don’t understand why NBA teams feel the need to trade when they are playing good basketball and that is exactly what Dallas did when getting Jason Kidd via trade. It takes time for guys to gell with new teammates and Dallas had a great core of players that have been playing together for years so why mess around with it. I understand you got bounced in the 1st round last year but it’s simple, play better and beat the teams you’re supposed to beat. With Dirk out, they will be on the outside looking in. It’s going to be a shame when Avery Johnson gets fired.
3) Your darkhorse Eastern Conference team?
Dogg: My darkhorse team is the Philadelphia 76ers. I would love to see Denver miss the playoffs and listening to Iverson explain why Denver missed the playoffs and Philly is in the postseason without him. You know he did want to go to a contender! I know what my answer would be and is simply the Eastern Conference is terrible and the Western Conference is as good as it has ever been. I’m sure Allen would come up with a much more brilliant “Answer” than that. About their team, they have as solid as a PG you can find in Andre Miller and a rising superstar Andre Iguadola. Louis Williams has finally developed into a player and they are hot right now and hoping to ride that high into the weak Eastern Conference playoffs.
Q: Well, since I don't think anyone outside of the top three teams in the East has even a remote chance of making to the Finals, I'm going with the Detroit Pistons. Everyone has been talking about the C's all season long and they have the best record. Cleveland gets tons of hype because of LBJ. Not many are talking about DETROIT BASKETBALL. They have been there before, have a very talented and balanced team, and if they can overcome the shortcomings of their head coach, they will be the ones who have the privilege of getting destroyed in the Finals.
Fuzz: Q took the finals route with his darkhorse team. I’m going to stick with just the Eastern Conference. I’m going with the Atlanta Hawks, the current 8th seed in the East. And I’m not even talking about them winning a series; I’m talking about them just making the fucking playoffs as my darkhorse. It’s been almost 10 years since they’ve been and if you haven’t noticed in those last 10 years, the East has sucked giant balls.
4) Who's the MVP this year?
Dogg: I would like to see the MVP go to Kobe Bryant. He’s never won one and yes his supporting cast is solid but I believe he’s the best player in the league and if he’s not the most valuable, he’s damn close. The “Most Valuable Player” in the league for me is Chris Paul. He plays with talent similar to what Kobe had the past two seasons and they currently have the best record in the West. Peja has stayed relatively healthy this season and the rise of David West and Tyson Chandler have helped Paul but I believe he’s risen his game to a new level and now holds the title as “best PG” in the league.
Q: Despite the fact that only Kobe and LeBron get any press, I'm going with Chris Paul. The guy has been flat out unstoppable and is the single biggest reason that his team is in playoff contention. On the other hand, I could play small forward for the Cavs and make the playoffs in the shitty Eastern Conference. Similarly, any shooting guard who would be willing to be part of a team system and pass the ball would have the Lakers in contention. But having a point guard with an amazing ability to score and dish at will simply cannot be replaced. CP3 is the man and needs to get recognized for his amazing season.
Fuzz: Kobe Bean Bryant. 28 pts, 6 rebounds and 5 assists a game, plus probably the best defender of the MVP candidates. You can argue back and forth between Kobe, LBJ and CP3---the three best players this year. You can throw out stats and compare all you want but I think you give it to Kobe because he’s never won it. Is that a bad reason? Maybe. But he’s deserved it before and it’s not like he doesn’t deserve it this year. He’s having a hell of a season and he’s team is winning.
5) Your NBA rant please...
Dogg: Did Chris Webber really retire with a dozen games left in the season? Really, you couldn’t wait until the season was over? Golden State looks like they will hold the 8th seed in the Western Conference and he didn’t want to sit through that? What a chump this guy is and I have lost all respect for him. His knee was bothering him so he calls it quits after 15 seasons. You’ve been complaining about knee problems for 5 years so nut up and finish out the season you turd… I would pay a lot of money for San Antonio to meet Phoenix again in the playoffs. Watch Shaq and Amare spike piledrive Robert Horry into the ground. My last piece of information, the San Antonio Spurs better not win the NBA title otherwise I will be boycotting the league next year!
Q: Though not many people have noticed, the Wolves are comin'. Over the last few weeks, they have been playing like a real, actual NBA team. Granted, most of their wins are still coming against lesser opponents, but still, progress is progress. Now we will get a top 5-8 pick in a potentially balanced and deep draft to go with the manchild Al Jefferson and the rebuilding is well on it's way.
Next year we finish in the middle of the pack, forfeit our draft pick to the Clipjoint, but pick up the additional pick from Boston. Within 2-3 years, we're back as a playoff mainstay. Not bad when you can completely purge your franchise and be back in contention in less than five years.
Fuzz: For all the NBA haters out there, you should really give the playoffs a chance this year. If you wrote off the NBA a long time ago for whatever reason, this year would be a good year to test the waters again. I’m not asking to jump in now for the final 15 games of the regular season. That would be asking too much. The playoffs will be great though. The league for the first time in a while has a bunch of likeable, young, talented players. Out East it’s a three-team race with the likeable Celtics (and the KG factor for Minnesotans), the team oriented Pistons and the one-man circus-amazing act Cavaliers. Lebron James is a treat to watch if you’re unfamiliar. The West playoffs are going to be insane. Too many teams to dive into but pick any Western conference first round series to watch and you’ll be entertained. They’ll only get better after round one...