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Rick Senger
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Posted: 16 September 2020 at 1:21pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

And the Clips are ousted by Denver as Boston loses a classic game one duel to Miami. BOS / LA still possible, but now far from certain!
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 28 September 2020 at 9:54pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Not surprised to see Doc Rivers out as head coach. He
has good players, but couldn't do anything with them.

I think Mark Jackson would be a good replacement.

Edited by Wilson Mui on 28 September 2020 at 9:55pm
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 29 September 2020 at 12:13am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Considering Jackson was crucial in assembling the Warriors club and got fired right as they were on the verge of championship greatness, there'd be some symmetry if he got the shot to push the supremely talented but underachieving Clips over the edge. Jackson and Rivers were even teammates on the Knicks in the early 90s. Totally agree Rivers had plenty of bites at the apple but underachieved consistently.

D'Antoni is another one in the rumor mill; I think he'd be a bad choice as he's an equal underachiever who was particularly poor during his stint in LA with the Lakers. He also has a rep for too much emphasis on threes (the Clips are a middling three point shooting team) and not much interest in defense.

Lakers / Heat finals starts Wednesday. Lakers are rightly the favorites but the questions for me: can Davis contain Bam Adebayo? Can rookie Tyler Herro get red hot the way he did vs. Boston? Herro was a huge problem from the outside who not only scored 37 points in one game (only Magic has done that at his age) but also created opportunities for Butler and Adebayo on the inside with his credible threat from three. Dragic also needs to continue his good shooting and driving (those four are averaging nearly 80 PPG combined).
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 02 October 2020 at 10:04am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

The 76ers have apparently signed Doc Rivers to be their head coach.

How the heck does he keep getting jobs? He had 3 Hall of Famers on the team when the Celtics won the championship, and wasn't even able to get a decent playoff run with the Clippers.


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Rick Senger
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Posted: 02 October 2020 at 2:26pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Even though that 2008 Celtics team was stacked, I think a lot of people felt they were still a year away b/c the team had only just been formed (Ray Allen and Garnett and Pierce had never played a second of basketball together previously.) I think Rivers did a good job that season of getting them to play together but it's true he's been living off of that year for the dozen seasons since. The Clippers never even reaching the Western Conf. Finals with the teams they've fielded is almost impressively underachieving. As for how he gets the jobs, I think he is personable and hard working and sincere. I agree that doesn't mean he's a great coach.

With Bam Adebayo doubtful and Goran Dragic's plantar tear leaving him at best gimped, Miami is in massive trouble.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 09 October 2020 at 11:12pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Fantastic game 5. LeBron was magnificent (40 pts / 13 rebs / 7 assists / 3 steals / 6 for 9 threes, 4 TOs) but Butler was maybe even slightly better (35 / 12 / 11 / 5 steals and a block vs. 3 TOs, clutch drive and FTs at the end.) Davis' injury looms. The Heat are already down Goran Dragic, who hasn't played in 4 games but if Davis can't go, LA's lack of depth at PF / C is exposed because Dwight Howard is the next man up and he's basically a rebounding goon with no offense. Javale McGee would be next and he hasn't even gotten on the floor yet in the Finals. It's not over yet.
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 12 October 2020 at 12:39am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Oh, its over now! :)

Lebron's 4th Finals MVP, and I believe he's the first to accomplish that feat with 3 different teams.


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Rick Senger
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Posted: 12 October 2020 at 1:29am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

You're right, Brian. Impressive Lakers victory that was way more dominant than the final score. Davis was healthy and he was a beast on defense despite some early fouls. In tandem with a ridiculous appearance by "Playoff Rondo" and the usual Bron triple double, LA was just too much and Miami / Butler too tired after their stirring game five.

Jordan will forever be on my pedestal as best ever but I'm now inclined to entertain arguments on LeBron beginning to make the case for taking that elevator ride to the same top floor as Jordan. He's still not Jordan. Jordan's peak years were a higher peak, his 6-0 Finals record remains untouchable and I think players ultimately feared Jordan more. Jordan at his peak was a better defender. But LeBron is LeBron and he's great in a different way.

James has had a longer run of sustained greatness and is starting to break most of the important all-time playoff records including games played, minutes played, points scored and he's second all-time in assists. Second in triple doubles. Fourth in rebounds. Top ten in many other categories. In his overall game, LeBron is a vastly better rebounder than Jordan. A clearly superior passer. A higher percentage shooter. And while Jordan's peak defense is higher than LBJ's peak, I think LeBron continues to play D at a higher level when it counts each year now than Jordan did in his later years. As LeBron tacks on these ridiculously high quality seasons late in his career, he's chipping away. James has now appeared in ten Finals, won titles in both leagues and been Finals MVP for three championship cities (MVP of all four of his Finals.) These are unprecedented accomplishments and while Sam Jones and Bill Russell have played in more Finals, they were both beneficiaries of happening to be on the ultimate Celtics Dynasty for all of their appearances. Jordan appeared in six Finals and won all six. That's ridiculous but you can't take away from LBJ for appearing in four more Finals than Jordan.

I do think my argument would be stronger had LBJ not let the championship to Dallas get away in 2011; had he won that one he'd be 5-5 in the Finals and never really lost against a team that wasn't clearly superior (the dynasty Spurs crushed him twice and the dynasty Warriors three times; he shocked the Warriors and won once when he had no business winning.) That Dallas loss is one chink in LeBron's armor regarding winning that Jordan really doesn't have. And probably why LeBron will be hardpressed to overtake Jordan despite his overall collective stats already dwarfing Jordan's pretty much across the board. A lot of that is simply LeBron's durability and not going to college like Jordan. But it's also because LeBron didn't retreat from the limelight for a couple years like Jordan did at the height of his powers. And because of LeBron's longevity, he now has arguments like making more game winning playoff shots than Jordan (4-3 as of two years ago; seems like he may have hit one more this year, can't recall?)

Jordan had more style and flair and charisma but I can't ignore LeBron's sustained excellence and ability to do it over and over and over in different places with different players in different times. Even if you hate LeBron (and I used to), I just don't think it's possible to leave him out of the conversation any longer. I don't think it's reasonable to argue that it's not Jordan and LeBron and then everyone else.

Sorry, Kareem... you were an all-time rebounding monster with an unstoppable offensive weapon, a perennial all-star and your longevity argument made your case for decades. However, now you take one step back.   LeBron has never averaged less than 25.3 points other than his rookie season (20.9). Kareem averaged less than that ten times. LeBron has always averaged more assists. Always more steals. Better passer. Kareem was a fearsome middle clogger and shot blocker but LeBron's defense has always been very good too and has continued longer (Kareem lost his defensive dominance in the latter part of his career.) LeBron has averaged more points, assists, steals and even rebounds in his comparable year 14, 15, 16 and 17 seasons and appears likely to continue in that vein. LBJ even has more rebounds than Kareem all-time in the Finals.

Bill Russell is the greatest winner all-time and will never be touched there. Maybe greatest rebounder and mind-gamer or in the conversation. But his overall numbers just don't compare with LeBron's, particularly offensively. And again, the volume and duration of LeBron's greatness just exceed Russell's.

LeBron's weakness has always been title count. He still trails some of the other top players in that category but four and three in different completely different cities with completely different teammates (and always MVP) demonstrates he's a proven winner and leader. He took a Lakers team which hadn't been to the playoffs in six straight seasons and won a title. He took a Cavs team that had never won a title and had averaged 24 wins in the four seasons before his return and beat a Warriors team that had won 73 wins that year for the title.   He just checks all the boxes. Keep Jordan on top if you like (I do.) But LeBron is on a similar level with Jordan and then there's the rest.

Some Numbers

Edited by Rick Senger on 12 October 2020 at 11:03am
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