Tag Archives: Steve Kerr

Warriors Still Not Finished

… Warriors Still Not Finished

By Opinionated MJ (Michael Tolliver Jr)

I’m still high on the Warriors thanks to last season. They’ve gotta add key pieces to seal it. They’ve got shooters, a big now, Steph & Dray healthy, Wiggins who’s overlooked in this current situation.

Maybe they fold, but I think something anew unfolds. The Spurs suffered similar fate. Injury to Robinson. Later, injury to their core 3. They were able to plug in pieces and adjust roles.

I just don’t like the negativity and everybody already calling it a wrap. Now if Steph went down, that’s different. Even then, Dray, Wiggins, Wiseman still sounds interesting to me.

Steph, Klay, Wiggins, Wiseman…
EP off the bench…
Bowman, Chriss, Lee, and the shooting squad.
They drafted shooters as well.

They need to plug in players that have pieces of Klay’s game.

Steph MUST elevate them the same way Tim Duncan did his teammates. Late in the careers of the Spurs run of greatness, it became, Mills, Danny Green, Kawhi, etc. Even Tiago Splitter was elevated by Duncan, Pop, the culture, the system.

This era of fans of the league is so… Super team, LeBron-KD, Lakers-Boston, and whatever, that they forget the Detroit’s, the Dallas’, the San Antonio’s… Actual culture, system, and organization is slept on.

Warriors in a good space. Deal with it emotionally, and let’s get ready. Everyone else is putting teams together for 4 year runs. Some just for 2. Rockets just literally did 1. Warriors been putting this together since what… 09? Organic. You don’t run from that.

Wiseman & Wiggins are VERY key. Could change everything.

They say the league caught up? Cool. Change and succeed another way, like the Spurs. Dynasty/Legacy in play.

Get well soon Klay.

Will the Rockets Dethrone the Warriors?

By: Opinionated MJ (Michael Tolliver Jr)

Rematch set.
Rockets healthy? ☑
Warriors hobbling? ☑
Warriors without rest? ☑
Rockets focused? ☑

Game 1 will go to Houston unless KD has another big game in him. Of course he does. Then it will be about limiting the others. I watch plays. It’s something hard to do but easy to do when their rotation players are in the game. I hope Kerr is gameplanning cause the Rockets will be a threat to take the first 2 games, easy. Especially if Klay isn’t ready to go.

James Harden, defending MVP. Will he be able to be effective and get his teammates involved while also scoring big and in bunches? He’s still the player who gets the most calls. Imagine Draymond or Kevin getting 2 early fouls. It’ll be like the 2016 finals all over again.

Is Steph healthy enough to help Kevin force wins at home? That’s what this will be all about. The Warriors MUST protect home court or they will be in trouble. No other way to put it. If they drop any game and give away momentum, then we will see an upset. That will open up the entire league to a new champion. It doesn’t guarantee the Rockets anything. Just revenge. The Rockets need to control their emotions in this series. That’s the only thing I see as a problem. It won’t be easy.

Can’t wait to see it all unfold. I expect 7 games unless Durant has about 4 40 point games in him, ready to go. That could actually be Kerr’s plan with Steph hobbled a bit and Klay hurt to begin the series. Not a bad plan.

KD, Warriors Win 2016-17 NBA Championship

 

By: Opinionated MJ 




It was all on you KD.

Congratulations to Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors! They are your 2016-17 NBA Champions! Redemption, revenge, and recovery all wrapped in one! Kevin Durant has endured a high level of scrutiny and came out on top. He faced a lot of friction from the media, especially from a few high-level media types right before Game 5. Debate that! If it were not for his injury, I don’t think this Warriors team would’ve had the bench ready to go to war with Cleveland. They didn’t band together until KD went down. Steph didn’t find himself until KD went down. Draymond Green didn’t tap into another level again until KD Went down. Let’s not mention the fact that even I believed Golden State would fall off defensively. They posted league highs in efficiency this year, not only on offense but defense as well. How? KD.

Coming into the year, KD was hated for going to the team that ousted him. Now that he’s got the title and he will have a ring, let me break this down for you. If KD opted to stay in OKC, he would’ve had to deal with finding out who was the #1 option with Russell Westbrook. He would’ve been without Serge Ibaka who I though enabled them to take down the Warriors and Spurs. With that said, had he stayed in OKC, he would’ve still had to see both the Warriors and Spurs in the playoffs on the way to seeing LeBron in Cleveland. What would’ve been his odds? Be honest. NO ONE THINKS KD COULD’VE BEATEN LEBRON WITH OKC! That’s a fact. Doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen.

 

He coasted most of the year, trying to fit in early and not be imposing. Steph, Klay Thompson, Dray, everybody took a backseat to making him feel comfortable. Steve Kerr did a good job in putting a roster together after losing so many pieces to obtain Kevin Durant. Got to tip our hats to the Golden State Warriors organization. They brought in a few journeymen in David West, Matt Barnes late, Zaza Pachulia (the Kawhi killer), and even Javale McGee. McGee had a hard time staying on any teams’ roster since he and George Karl were split apart. This is the best I’ve seen him play since then. There’s no other team that would gamble on him. It paid dividends, especially in the first 2 games of this final.

 

No one is talking about how Andre Iguodala stepped up in KD’s absence either. We must, MUST, give this man respect for being willing to take a bench role for the better of the team overall. No one mentioned the Warriors depth as being a threat. Come on now. Livingston, Iggy, Barnes, West, McGhee? Throw Ian Clark and Patrick McCaw in there and you’ve got something that you can develop into something special indeed.

 

I want to give LeBron and Kyrie their due respect for carrying their team this far. They put it all on the line. I personally think they should’ve obtained some different pieces and I can imagine that half of this roster will be completely different going into the 2017 season. Maybe Carmelo, maybe Paul George, maybe Chris Paul, Dwayne Wade, even DeMarcus Cousins could end up here. They’re all in the rumors. My sleeper here is Blake Griffin. LeBron and Kyrie were scoring at will but did tire out and their team, their bench, just couldn’t give them enough of a cushion. I think Bogut would’ve paid dividends and may have been enough for Cleveland to win this series. The Cavs aren’t as far away from being as talented as this Warriors team. Don’t forget that. Be humble with this Championship, Warriors fans. Congratulations on another great season. I’m sure we’ll see you here next year. Currently, the only threat out west is Kawhi Leonard. The basketball gods shined down on you!

This Is All On Kevin Durant

 

 

By: Opinionated MJ

 

Hey Kevin, it’s your time to put up or shut up!

The Warriors are currently seeing a growing lead in the first quarter against the Spurs, game 4. Klay Thompson is the only player who is experiencing some inconsistency but maybe the incoming rest will help him adjust to the physical nature and intensity that the Cavaliers will bring once they stop messing around with the Celtics. Adam Silver must’ve told them to chill and let the Celts get a game. Steph Curry has been taking the ball to the hole and he’s been having good looks from midrange than usual. He’s moving his feet well on the defensive end as well, although, he still endured some shaky foul calls in Game 3. Reminded me of the 2016 NBA Finals. I won’t forget Iman Shumpert running into him and the refs calling a foul on Steph who was already stationary in his position on the floor. Bets must have been placed, eh?

 

Steve Kerr is out and everyone is concerned about the progression of his health. He’s been traveling with the team and I’m sure that behind the scenes he’s doing what he must to keep this team rolling so they can win another championship. I didn’t mention that Draymond Green is looking like the greatest glue guy every assembled and placed on an NBA roster. Potential Defensive Player of the Year. He has my vote with Kawhi as a close second if I incorporate the playoffs into my vote. If I didn’t, then he’d be a distant second. I currently think highly of Kawhi right now. He’s not here to put a stop to any of this madness. LeBron is up next, so this leads me to what I really want to touch on. The finals will be about two men: LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

 

Can Durant elevate his game to another level? Will he be able to attain the eye of the tiger? I’m sure LeBron will matchup with Kevin, and this is where he will be depended upon to still perform and put up his usual stats and more. I have very high expectations of him if the Warriors want to have any chance to beat the Cavs. That’s the reason he came on board, right? To be able to get back at LeBron. What better way to win your first championship than to do it over LeBron? His own fans call him the Greatest of All Time. There’s no better way to win a ring than to add a win over LeBron onto your resume. Regardless of who you’re teamed with. They said LeBron would be better than Jordan if he beat this jump shooting Warriors team. Let’s not mention the league caters to an up-tempo game with much less physical play and he’s 6’9 250-260. Football! Elevate your game Kevin!

 

LeBron is bringing his well-oiled Cleveland Cavs machine to the war and he’s looking to repeat. Can you stop him on his way to creating a dynasty? Can you etch your name above those who should’ve won a championship but they seen the great Michael Jordan? Can you get that elusive ring that Barkley, Miller, Malone & Stockton, Payton & Kemp, Patrick Ewing, Allen Iverson, and many others don’t have? Should we add Carmelo Anthony to that bunch right now? Can you be the difference maker in this series? Can you take over the game when you need to and not be a spectator to the Steph Curry show? Will you be what this team was missing last year when they gave up a 3-1 lead? Ironically, the same lead you forfeited to the same team you now are a part of. Are you here just to get Golden State to the promised land and shockingly sabotage their plans and laugh in their faces when you go back to Russell Westbrook and OKC with all their plays, knowledge, and execution plans as you disappear in the Finals on purpose? That’s a conspiracy but I wouldn’t put it past you until you prove me wrong. This year it’s all about you, Kevin Durant. It’s time to put up or shut up. Period. Barring injuries or deficiency in team health, you have no excuses. Deliver!

“3 In The Key” Podcast Episode 5: The Becoming (Kawhi Leonard)


By: Opinionated MJ, S Dot Legend, and Crispy Chris


 

Has Kawhi Leonard become the best player in the NBA??

Also, a look into the 2017 NBA Conference Finals.

The NBA draft lottery.

Lonzo Ball, the Celtics, Lakers, Philadelphia, and more!

Real Quick: Once a Big Warrior Fan… Admitted LeBron Respecter, but Hater…

By: Opinionated MJ

I, waffle. 

I’ve been rooting for the Warriors strongly since Steph got drafted. I remember watching the draft and NYC being upset they didn’t land him. I know some of their history back to Tim Hardaway, Chris Mullin, and C-Webb. I’ve been a Steph fan. Some have looked at me like a bandwagon fan but I’ve been there, hearing about Steph Curry becoming the next Grant Hill. I heard he wouldn’t become anything but a shooting specialist. I liked the Klay Thompson pick up. Just look at what he’s become. Let’s not mention the Iggy deal, the David Lee & Bogut pick ups that made them relevant during their rise through the abyss, and acquiring Shaun Livingston. In hindsight, these were big moves, especially for a few of them who could’ve just given up on basketball due to injury. The way Livingston broke his leg was absolutely gruesome. Same for Bogut, I remember seeing his fall on his arm on constant replay… I remember like it was the day before yesterday. They draft Draymond Green and hope that he develop into something. I support him because he’s another man that successfully made it out of Michigan. You can literally be stuck if you play it safe and not want to leave to better your life. He made it! I heard things like, “He’s the next Eddy Curry. He won’t maintain his weight. Just watch.” They had no haters. They had not competed. No one believed they would be a threat. Then they began to take on the Chris Paul Clippers and the Tim Duncan Spurs, and they became better through failure. They fought through different sets of Steph Curry branded glass ankles and kept rising slowly. Mark Jackson developed them very well but even he wouldn’t be the one who would bring them to the promised land. They hired Steve Kerr. Steve Kerr changed some of the rotation and that led to them finally winning a championship! After all the criticism, jokes, quotes about them being too young, Steph not being the real MVP, and I could go on and on. They were told that they were a fluke, then they went on to win 73 games. Made the finals, lost Draymond to a LeBron tear, yes like crying tears, especially when he didn’t actually intend to hit him before the belt. I would’ve fought LeBron. He had much more court to use to avoid walking over him. What’s done is done. Which leads me to this… I’m sick of hearing about any LeBron team, and the Warriors. Maybe I’ll be interested when playoffs come. This article makes me sound like a GS fan. I was. I am. I want Durant to win a ring. I also wouldn’t mind my Pistons, Russell Westbrook, Boston, Carmelo, and even the Clippers, winning a championship. I’m just sick of the narrative that it’s only these two. Golden State could legitimately lose in the first round. That is how strong and unpredictable the west is. LeBron will be there, easy peasy. He’s now landed Deron Williams and Andrew Bogut. This is… Wait, I need room for this statement…

THIS IS THE BEST TEAM LEBRON JAMES HAS EVER HAD!

You better not lose. Golden State better make it. Right? The NBA world will turn on its head to any other outcome. I actually prefer the other happening this time around. It’s time that a new threat arise.

In A Melo Mood

By: Opinionated MJ



They forgot he was a winner…



I want to get right into criticising the ones who asked, “who wants Melo if even LeBron doesn’t want him?” I want to ask you, since when is LeBron the newly minted man of approval? Since when is it true that Melo isn’t an offensive all star? Since when did we just write him off? Correction, when did YOU write him off?

Did you not consider the fact that his organization is run by an owner who doesn’t even want to be held accountable for anything so he hired Phil Jackson to take up ALL the blame as this continues to go south for the Knicks organization? Did you realize that Phil Jackson intended to hire Steve Kerr, who has coached his team to back to back finals. He won one Championship in that time. The Warriors organization allows him to have the FREEDOM that Phil Jackson won’t give to Jeff Hornacek. Making sense yet?

How to win with the triangle offense? I know how. Have a team built like the Warriors, with the same shooting acumen, or someone who’s Michael or Kobe, and then you’ll be on your way. Carmelo is not one of those players. So why not give this team the freedom to truly grow into what they will be, organically, as opposed to forcing them to play a certain style and then diss them cause they can’t? Even Kobe hijacked the triangle to carry the team to bigger heights.

Did we forget that Carmelo carried the Denver Nuggets from the lottery to being a staple in the playoffs? Including in his rookie year, in a rough Western Conference. He didn’t come out as the Rookie of the Year cause they said he gave up on his team when they complained about him one day. You can’t limit greatness, right? He was a bully with moves all over the floor. He nearly came into the league complete, offensively. I think the league is plagued by what I’d like to call, “The LeBron Standard”. It’s about to change over to the likes of Steph Curry, Russell Westbrook, and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Their unique talents and output is only a product of themselves, like LeBron’s is. Carmelo never truly made his own niche. People remember him for dominating the post but he’s been more relegated to shooting jumpers lately. 

I still see 2-3 strong years in him. I think he’s holding back. We may be close to seeing how true that statement really is. I predict a trade coming soon amidst all the reports. Hopefully it’s to the Boston Celtics or the Los Angeles Clippers. As much as I want him to win, it wouldn’t be great with him riding LeBron’s coattails to a championship. It’ll destroy his legacy.

The Kobe Kids and How Kobe Made Them Better

 

 

 

By: Opinionated MJ

 

Who would’ve thought? An Article about Kobe making his teammates better. Although, yes, he’s retired. He’s no longer a member of the Lakers roster. He’s no longer in the locker room. He’s no longer giving anyone the infamous death stare. He’s no longer just jacking up jumpshots with a focus on increasing his total points number to etch himself in the top 5 of scoring for years to come. He’s no longer handing down his criticisms and showing no emotion when the kids are excited and jumping around. He was like a father to these Lakers for a couple seasons and it paid dividends.

 

I read an article and seen video from NBA analysts that explained how the whole Kobe rebuild experiment worked. Let Kobe shoot away, increase the chance for lottery picks, and develop the young players while he is still there. Let that Mamba Mentality rub off and let’s see how they perform once he’s gone and they are unleashed. Here we are now. Luke Walton brought the championship culture from being a member of the Golden State Warriors coaching staff. He also brought championship experience, playing experience, and even having been apart of a Phil Jackson team (if that matters), allows him to relate and give great advice to the young Lakers. Maybe his coaching last year while Kerr was out wasn’t a fluke. This offense is nearly identical to the offense run in Golden State. Just different players who share similarities with those on the Warriors.

 

Back to Kobe. They say he was never able to make his teammates better. In theory, this is true. He didn’t set them up well unless he wanted to, he didn’t increase their numbers, blah, blah, so on, so on. He made Lamar Odom better, he made Andrew Bynum play to his potential, he made Gasol tough as a Laker, he made Shaq step his game up and compete with him as well in the past. Isn’t that making your teammates better? Fast forward. He jacked up shots but led by example. Having a killer instinct that is all over these Lakers now, right now. He left them with a sense of freedom now to play their game and know that execution is everything. He didn’t have to have gaudy assist numbers, he didn’t flirt with triple-doubles every night, he didn’t shoot lights out from 3, he didn’t shoot beautiful floaters over big men constantly, and he wasn’t the one to shy away from the blame, from the final shot, from being hated. He wasn’t even appreciated until he declared retirement. Yet, he still found a way to improve the young Laker kids and help propel them to this surprising start to the 2016-17 NBA season.

 

If you look at the holdovers from the past couple of seasons, those are the players affected the most. Julius Randle, Nick Young, and Jordan Clarkson are those affected the most. They have come out and been surprising individually while also playing well within Walton’s team concept. They defeated the Warriors handily. They had a major comeback against the Sacramento Kings. They’ve also competed in every game this season. They’ve been highly competitive. Which wasn’t expected at all. Everyone expected another lottery season. Why has no one expected this team would rise like last year’s Utah Jazz? Maybe everyone had higher expectations on the Minnesota Timberwolves. They have saavy veterans who will help with the growth of the Kobe Kids in Luol Deng, Timofey Mozgov, and Lou Williams. They have consistency with their offense now that they have a coach that won’t limit them and not use their strengths, sorry Byron Scott. They can now spread their wings, and the ball, now that Kobe is gone. What he left behind was will. Will. Something that can carry you when the odds are against you. He left behind professionalism. A way to carry yourself from game to game, media conference to media conference, practice, and games. He left behind Mamba Mentality. I’m sure you Cleveland Cavs and Kyrie Irving fans know about that. Even he gave Kobe praise. Kobe taught the young Lakers, and others, to push the button and not care if the shot falls or bricks. He taught them to go for it. Leave it all on the floor and deal with the success and/or ramifications later. He taught them how to be leaders and how to translate that to the basketball floor. He left his imprint on this current Lakers team. It’s up to you to see it. If you were never a Kobe fan and didn’t watch him from day 1 up to now, you wouldn’t understand what he left behind and how he affected these Lakers. They’re exceeding expectations. Russell Westbrook can set his teammates up from drives, LeBron as well on drives and from the post, Steph sets his teammates up from 40 feet away by being a threat to shoot anywhere and simply find an open man or angle, but if you take them away from their teams they will surely lose their way and won’t play the same. The difference is, Kobe improves you individually and that will trickle down and around every which way. The proof is in these Lakers. Watch, enjoy, and remember how they became this way. Imagine if Ingram had a season alongside Kobe.

 

I predict they’ll win 30+ games this season. I won’t be surprised if they make a big move and land a star either now or in the upcoming offseason that will put them over the top. It’ll be fun to watch them rise in the west again. It is much more wide open this year from 4 thru 8. Let’s see if they can land a playoff berth and make some noise.

73?

 

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By: Opinionated MJ

Can the Warriors win out the rest of the NBA season? With this win against San Antonio, I believe they could. Yes, it would take them to be rested enough to finish the season winning out but I think since they’ve lost to Boston that they have another level of motivation to get the job done and then get back to title chasing. Somehow, title chasing seems easier than attaining 73-9. We’ve been faced with all these comparisons of the 72-10 Bulls. Everyone has compared physicality, big men, shooting, and everything in between but we have yet to realize that there is no comparison. This is 2016, let’s live in the now.

They currently sit at 9 losses and the rest of their schedule has another stop at San Antonio who could dispel all of this at home where they have yet to lose, although I expect the Warriors to have a mental note of this and work towards actually beating the Spurs at home to make a statement and to also put everyone on high alert heading into the playoffs. The Memphis Grizzlies also aren’t a pushover with Lance Stephenson now adding to their grit but I’m not certain that they could stop the Warriors. Two games against the Grizzlies and one left against the Spurs. Steph has been forced to play differently against a few teams and I think they’ve learned how to adapt to Steph Curry having to drive more and look to finish as opposed to looking to only shoot, shoot, shoot while wide open. They aren’t giving him the same easy looks and they still cling to him and rotate over to help when he’s driving to the basket which leaves his teammates wide open. Take note that Harrison Barnes has stepped up and Andre Iguodala and Andrew Bogut are all in the lineup now, healthy.

I mentioned before that a healthy Golden State Warriors team may be unstoppable. They have too many weapons if you ask me. If Steph is in a slump, Klay can drop 30, 40 points. If Klay and Steph are going slow, Draymond Green can get going and facilitate the team. Harrison Barnes again has shown a resurgence with his shooting and Iguodala adds another element when stretching the floor, cutting and slashing to the rim for easy buckets. Andrew Bogut is the trump card for Golden State other than having the type of depth that they have. They also had a chance to get other players valuable playing time when they had to deal with injuries to key players. This will help them when the playoffs arrive and will allow for their rotations to be deep should they face any matchup problems down the line against different teams.

With this win against San Antonio, I see them having enough confidence to finish this with the magic number 73. They’ll definitely tie at 72-10 but I’m seeing 73. What will we have to say about this team if they reach this number? Will we proclaim this team as one better than the ’95-96 Bulls? Or will we continue to not let go of what once was and allow for things to change, records to be broken, and history to be made and actually appreciate it and the moment it matters?

Chip for Clips?

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By: Opinionated MJ

Championship for Clippers?

Retaining DeAndre Jordan, acquiring Lance Stevenson, signing Paul Pierce… Have the Clippers now finally put themselves into championship contention instead of playoff contention? They’ve honestly had no excuse to lose in the last two seasons but somehow, someway, we found a way to give them another big room full of excuses. This time they “didn’t have the depth to survive against teams with more depth.” Okay, fine. Still, Blake Griffin improved his shot, Chris Paul improved his balance and also played in all 82 games, and JJ Redick finally made sense to be in someone’s starting rotation. Until the playoffs hit, then came calamity. We overlook the achievement for Chris Paul though, playing in all the games and doing his best to not miss any in the playoffs. In a new NBA world where the players don’t want to play 82 games, they want midseason vacations, a longer break during All-Star weekend, less minutes while they’re in their primes and requests for better teammates, Chris Paul actually found a way to improve. Just hope his critics were paying attention.

The real question now is, “Do the Clippers have the players in place to succeed?” I’m really high on having players who have “championship” experience on your team in order to get to the promise land. Golden State had a coach who has won in different settings. Be apart of the Jordan Bulls and the Spurs organization when they’ve won titles over the last 20 years. He’s been side by side with the likes of Jordan, Pippen, Duncan, Parker, Phil Jackson and Greg Popovich. It can’t get any better than that can it? He has a pedigree and understanding of the game. He also set the team up for success when he asked some of the players to play certain roles that would eventually land them a ring in return. The Clippers now have Doc Rivers along with Paul Pierce this time around step up into those big moments. If Pierce was there against the Rockets, it would’ve been Clippers 4-2. These additions are great for offense but what will they do for defense? Paul Pierce won’t be stopping anyway, and that’s the truth. Lance had a lost season with the Hornets but I’m sure that with CP3 and DeAndre on the floor with him, they’ll be a defensive nightmare and they will be able to hide him and Griffin on nights against the OKC Thunder and the Golden State Warriors. The real question now is, “What about those Spurs?”

Could they beat the Spurs now that they’ve added Aldridge and West to their team? Pierce isn’t guarding Duncan with any success. Did you see what Duncan was doing to DeAndre?!?! He was doing it at 39 years old and almost no athletic effort! So Imagine what pick & rolls will look like with Parker having Duncan and Aldridge at his disposal AT THE SAME TIME! They’ve retained their defense in Kawhi & Danny Green and they also have a system in place that apparently is the direct way to fight against father time. One year they’re old, the next year they are in the Finals. So we would be best to not drop that special “they’re old” line like we do when they have slow stretches. I don’t think that they’ll have any slow stretches this offseason.

Can the Clippers find a way to utilize Lance the way he was used during his last season in Indiana? If they can have him anchor the bench then I truly think they may have something figured out. Jamal Crawford actually wants to leave now and wants to go to the easy breezy Eastern Conference to the team that will damn near have a cakewalk to the Finals for the next 2-4 years, the Cavaliers. I sound like a hater. I am a proud hater of how garbage the Eastern Conference is. Go Cavs, I expect them to win a chip soon anyway, especially if this trade happens, but who is sent back in return? If I’m the Clippers, I’m pushing for Dellavedova and Thompson, yes BOTH! This won’t happen but I’m not helping a Finals team get better. I’m not accepting a JR Smith sign & trade. I would entertain acquiring Timofey Mozgov, sure, but I’ll need a few picks along with it. Hard bargain.

The path to the Finals goes through OKC, Golden State, and San Antonio. No one else is a legitimate threat, including the Rockets. Four headed monster in the West with a few dark horses. The Pelicans, Rockets, Grizzlies, and I’d just throw a #8 seeded Kings team out there just because I truly don’t know who’ll fit into that spot. The Clippers should be able to beat the lower seeds and have shown what they can do against the Spurs which legitimizes whether they could win in the west or not. At least to me. If you can beat the Spurs than you can survive and succeed out west. The Spurs have a way of breaking a team down and shredding away at your strengths. The Clippers proved to me that they’re ready to take the next step, it’s all left up to the chemistry they’ll have with their new additions.