Even your late grandma knows who’s going to play this June in the NBA’s Summer Classic “The Finals”. Yes I said late grandma, even from the grave she’s shouting “Cavs and Warriors ya skinny-boned knucklehead.” Maybe that’s just me on the skinny-boned, point is that it’s not even worth having a discussion. They’re so far and away the two best teams in their respective conferences that it would be a legitimate Vegas SHOCK if they didn’t meet as the final 2. Not since the mid 80’s Lakers and Celtics have there been such dominant forces of basketball nature in opposing conferences.
Some argue the NBA is “at its peak” as there are now truly great teams in the league with countless superstars on each of these championship contenders. While the league may be at its peak from a pure talent standpoint, there’s still Lebron, Kyrie and company and there’s still Curry, Durant, Draymond, and Klay.
I see this inevitable showdown as a crock of shit. What’s the point of even watching unless your favorite team is in it if you already know the outcome? As a depressed Knicks fan that’s where I stand at this point. I haven’t had a team for years and now I don’t even have a league to watch besides a fun storyline here and there like “The Russell Westbrook season” which I loved and the “JR Smith vs Lance” showdown that I loved maybe even more. The fact remains, there’s only 1 series that really counts. And that’s just plain sad. So the real question is how do we change all this?
BLOW. IT. UP. Obviously the Cavs and the Warriors ain’t doing shit besides adding veterans for the minimum and getting a late round draft pick. The Rockets have had an amazing year and the way they’re designed they’re limited in the moves they can make. The Spurs are the Spurs, they ain’t changing nor should they. Those other 26 teams though…
The Sixers get it. Or at least they did for a point in time when Mr. Sam Hinkie was running “The Process” in downtown Philly and accumulating #1 picks and talent like nobody’s business. The Celtics had an even smarter philosophy which was also easier to accomplish having a couple of aging superstars in Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Unfortunately for the Nets these Vets skipped the aging part and merely just died as relevant basketball players but that’s a story for another day.
There are teams in the NBA playoffs right now who have moves to make. Muevas I tell you!
Has “no man’s land” ever been described better than the franchise of the Raptors. I love Toronto don’t get me wrong, but as Canada’s only professional team they’ve been a lonesome story of a superstar here or there surrounded by a bunch of nobodies. First it was Vince Carter (they gave up on Tracy McGrady wayyyyy too soon), then Chris Bosh. What they’ve had these last couple of years is a happy-to- be-there feeling. Sure, we feel all warm and gooey inside when “The 6” is getting LOUD and we see that boisterous crowd going bonkers outside the arena. But what’s it all for? Maybe a series win? Probably not 2 and NO SHOT IN HELL 3.
Right now they’re throwing out 2 stars (not superstars, I’ll get to those in a minute) in Demar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry. They’ve got a couple of really solid starters in Serge Ibaka and Jonas Valanciunas. After those guys their bench runs longer than the Nile River with guys like Patrick Peterson, PJ Tucker, Cory Joseph, DeMarre Carroll and company. They need to do 1 thing, and that’s trade for a SUPERstar. The last team to win with a collection of really good players was the Detroit Pistons back in ’04. If I’m the Raptors GM, one of Lowry and DeRozan need to go (preferably and most likely Lowry). That might hurt diehards, but you need to take a chance to go for the title. If they could swing a deal with the Clippers for instance and bring back Chris Paul, how could they not make that trade? Also, why wasn’t this team a major player in the Boogie saga? You need superstars and from a pure talent standpoint he would immediately be the #3 seed in the East’s most talented player. “We’re all set” as they kick back in their chairs watching their team squeak by the #6 seed.
That Chris Paul trade I was just talking about? Yea I may have been foreshadowing a tad bit. How many goddamn times is this team going to ram its head against the wall and get the same result? 1500? 10,000?
Lob City was one of the most fun and entertaining teams to come together on a basketball court when they were first assembled. Blake and DeAndre dunking on everyone and everything they could find.
Chris Paul, everyone’s favorite superstar point guard who’d been in NBA purgatory in New Orleans had finally found a home. He had found paradise throwing alley’s to 2 kids who could legitimately fly. And then it happened. The Donald Sterling saga. It’s all gone to shit since that old curmudgeon just had to be a racist asshole and turn this fantastic Cinderella story Clippers into the Yeesh, Yikes, Everybody look away team once again.
And the look of their play on the court resembled their off-court drama to a T. They began to bitch and moan to every referee about every. single. goddamn. call. They had a fun rivalry with the Warriors as the team with the upper hand until…it wasn’t a rivalry anymore but merely a formality. And it was the Warriors being the ones to lay the smackdown. It all culminated in the chokejob of the century, game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Houston Rockets. In a game-clincher at home in a series where they were up 3-1 they were outscored 40-15 in the 4th quarter. That is not a typo. Lob City to Choke City in a heartbeat.
Sure they gave it one last good ole run for old times sake last season. Who knows, maybe that jaw-dropping, asshole-clenching loss wouldn’t break this team’s spirit. By season’s end though the answer was a resounding yes, yes it had. And that’s why it is LUDICROUS that we still sit here today with these same fucking players. How is this band of misfits still together? You can see it on the looks of their faces, nobody wants to be there anymore. It’s time to blow it up. CP3 needs to CP3Out of there (shit almost made that Star Wars reference work). If Blake has any value left, get rid of him too. Same goes for Deandre. It’s rebuilding time, it’s just a matter of how long it takes these clowns to figure that out.
Look, I can go through this whole kit and kaboodle with almost every team in the league. This isn’t rocket science there are 2 ways to go in this league. Do something seemingly radical and insane to try to get to the top (like trading a star and assets to get a SUPERstar), or completely blow it up like we’ve seen the Sixers accomplish (not sure accomplish is the best word per se for the worst team in the league but hey). It’s the former tactic that I find most troubling about today’s NBA. If you’re a team who’s a contender year in and year out, why the hell wouldn’t you try to make that BOLD move to actually win a championship. Sure, it could backfire and you may have to start from square 1. But only 1 team wins the championship every single year. And right now there’s only 2 who compete for it. Let’s put a change to all that.