2021 NBA PLAYOFFS MEGA THREAD

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PIP

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I don't think anyone will argue his reign in LA will be better than it was here. I'll honestly be surprised if he wins another title. I do think it was a better destination in the summer of 2018 than here, though I think there were better fits elsewhere.
As it played out yes… I agree. Hell I think the roster he inherited in LA might actually be better than what he now has in LA considering Davis is always hurt..

Just never know if Bron had committed what could have happened.

I forget who it was (may have been Paul George?) but I remember a higher stature player insinuating that they didn’t know the Bron situation and that made them hesitant on Cleveland…
 

Ohio

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I disagree because while I think LeBron is still one of the best players in the league I don't believe at this point in his career that he can put a team on his back and will it to wins in tough playoff series'. LeBron in 2018 was almost superhuman in the postseason and yet the Pacers and Celtics both took them to 7 and they got swept away by GS. Adding a rookie year Sexton to that mix wasn't going to be close to enough.

He left because while he can still play at an elite level, he needs a younger star to carry a lot of the load now. He averaged 41.9 MPG in his final postseason here - 36.3 during the Lakers title run. They won because Anthony Davis was brilliant that postseason.

His error in judgment though maybe tying himself to a younger star with serious durability issues. Without a healthy AD, the Lakers are pretty average.
Why not? The Miami Heat won the East last year. That team was not good at all. LeBron wins that bubble title here or just about anywhere else. He also makes the playoffs in year 1 and he definitely wins at least 1 series this year. I'm really not sure how you can honestly argue against those points, given Sexton's scoring ability.

Put LeBron on this Cavs team and they are significantly better than the team he went to battle with this postseason.
 

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As it played out yes… I agree. Hell I think the roster he inherited in LA might actually be better than what he now has in LA considering Davis is always hurt..

Just never know if Bron had committed what could have happened.

I forget who it was (may have been Paul George?) but I remember a higher stature player insinuating that they didn’t know the Bron situation and that made them hesitant on Cleveland…

Whether we think it's right or wrong on his part, the minute they traded Kyrie with an eye towards the future and made a championship contender worse he was gone.
 

RchfldCavRaised

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As it played out yes… I agree. Hell I think the roster he inherited in LA might actually be better than what he now has in LA considering Davis is always hurt..

Just never know if Bron had committed what could have happened.

I forget who it was (may have been Paul George?) but I remember a higher stature player insinuating that they didn’t know the Bron situation and that made them hesitant on Cleveland…

Happened quite a few times both times he was here in free agency and potential trade targets. I specifically remember Trevor Ariza & Paul George.
 

Steve_424

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Why not? The Miami Heat won the East last year. That team was not good at all. LeBron wins that bubble title here or just about anywhere else. He also makes the playoffs in year 1 and he definitely wins at least 1 series this year. I'm really not sure how you can honestly argue against those points, given Sexton's scoring ability.

Put LeBron on this Cavs team and they are significantly better than the team he went to battle with this postseason.
As they were? Absolutely. If AD is healthy? Not a chance this Cavs team is as good.

I do acknowledge "if AD is healthy" is far from a given though.

Maybe he does win in 2020 no matter what. But I think we were a lot closer to being eliminated in the East in 2018 than we all maybe want to admit.
 

TheLand1287

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Whether we think it's right or wrong on his part, the minute they traded Kyrie with an eye towards the future and made a championship contender worse he was gone.

But they traded Kyrie with an eye toward the future because they weren't getting commitments from LeBron long term. He was out meeting with Magic Johnson at the Summer League around the time Kyrie was demanding a trade. They didn't want to end up with a bunch of aging vets and role players like back in 2010. At least with the Nets pick they had an asset. If LeBron stays, you can trade that asset for another all star caliber player. If it lands top 1-5, in that draft, probably a really good one. If it lands where it did then probably a fringe type one like a Kemba Walker. If LeBron leaves, you're not stuck with a lost year before rebuilding like last time.
 

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As they were? Absolutely. If AD is healthy? Not a chance this Cavs team is as good.

I do acknowledge "if AD is healthy" is far from a given though.


Maybe he does win in 2020 no matter what. But I think we were a lot closer to being eliminated in the East in 2018 than we all maybe want to admit.
That is the point.

And in 2018 we did not have this guy:

AUkH23U.png


Who, I think would look really good playing alongside LeBron.
 

Steve_424

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But they traded Kyrie with an eye toward the future because they weren't getting commitments from LeBron long term. He was out meeting with Magic Johnson at the Summer League around the time Kyrie was demanding a trade. They didn't want to end up with a bunch of aging vets and role players like back in 2010. At least with the Nets pick they had an asset. If LeBron stays, you can trade that asset for another all star caliber player. If it lands top 1-5, in that draft, probably a really good one. If it lands where it did then probably a fringe type one like a Kemba Walker. If LeBron leaves, you're not stuck with a lost year before rebuilding like last time.

I understand they wanted something to fall back on if he left but also wonder when the last time it was that a defending conference champion traded away it's 2nd best player (under contract for two more seasons) for a draft pick. I think they could've done both with the Bucks' reported offer. I'm sure I view it differently if the Cavs landed Luka, but they didn't and those are the risks of playing the lottery.
 

TheLand1287

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I understand they wanted something to fall back on if he left but also wonder when the last time it was that a defending conference champion traded away it's 2nd best player (under contract for two more seasons) for a draft pick. I think they could've done both with the Bucks' reported offer. I'm sure I view it differently if the Cavs landed Luka, but they didn't and those are the risks of playing the lottery.

Didn't Kyrie want out because of LeBron? Not the organization, not Dan, but LeBron? I mean, maybe there were some hard feelings about his name being tossed in some rumors, but all I remember from that summer was the Kyrie/LeBron beef. And from everything I've seen from Kyrie since he left I 100% believe the rumor he would've sat out until he got what he wanted. It was a unique situation, and what made it even worse is we likely lost Kyrie because of LeBron, and then LeBron still left the next year.
 

KevinLoveFan

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This was a terrible post Los. You're my boy and I root for your contrarian ways at times, but this is just wrong and a lazy attempt to straw man this thread.

This isnt something subjective, either.

The Cavs when LeBron returned were a superteam because Bron had Love force his way off Minny so they could team up. AD forced his way out of NOLA with the expressed intent of joining Bron in Laker land. Harden forcing his way to Brooklyn, KD quitting in OKC and Draymond waiting for him in the parking lot with his skirt hiked up in his best high heels, Kawai built a superteam in the Lakers basement by recruiting PG and others before the Raptors champagne had dried. I can point out superteams each year and what made them superteams if you need. I hate them and they very nearly ruined NBA basketball.

Superteams are not defined by how many superstars are on the team. That's not what Giannis was talking about last night.
'
They are formed by players who are drafted or developed in organizations feeling entitled and forcing their way to another organization to join other stars who will make the championship run easier for them.
As some people know here, OKC is my primary team. I cannot stand James Harden. I mean he is literally my least favorite player in NBA history. He quit on OKC in the Finals, is an obnoxious flopper, and seems like a completely douchey human being.

But to say he isn't a "superstar" when he is a nine time NBA All-Star, MVP, 3x scoring champion, and a guy who has averaged over 24 ppg in every single season since 2012-13...

...that's just possibly the worst take I've ever seen on a sports forum. I cannot stand the guy, but I have enough objectivity to not write something absurd like that.
 

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Didn't Kyrie want out because of LeBron? Not the organization, not Dan, but LeBron? I mean, maybe there were some hard feelings about his name being tossed in some rumors, but all I remember from that summer was the Kyrie/LeBron beef. And from everything I've seen from Kyrie since he left I 100% believe the rumor he would've sat out until he got what he wanted. It was a unique situation, and what made it even worse is we likely lost Kyrie because of LeBron, and then LeBron still left the next year.

Everything I've read/remember hearing was Kyrie was pissed his name was included in trade discussions. I don't think he liked being in LeBron's shadow but I also don't think LeBron was the reason he wanted out. I may be wrong though.
 

Steve_424

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"On the day of the NBA draft back in June, just days after Cleveland parted ways with former GM David Griffin, a robust Cavs contingent made up of front-office personnel, coaches and team support staff members held an impromptu, "what if?" discussion about Kyrie Irving's future, multiple team sources confirmed to ESPN.

The discussion, characterized as "small talk" by one source familiar with its content, was less a formal straw poll of what the Cavs should do with their All-Star point guard should trade opportunities present themselves, and more of a thought exercise anticipating what the market could bear for a player of Irving's caliber."

The talk got back to Irving, multiple team sources told ESPN, and that served as the tipping point that led to Irving formally requesting a trade a little more than two weeks later.


 

Lee

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Is Middleton worse than the 2nd best players on the 2011 Mavs or 2019 Raptors?

What about the 2015 Warriors? This was before Draymond was DPOTY and Klay Thompson was about the same level player at that time that Jrue Holliday is now. He was an elite shooter and two way player but look at Middleton's numbers during this playoff run. He averaged 24 PPG in these Finals and he was the most clutch player in the whole series.

You might be selling Middleton a little short. He's not better right now then Pascal Siakim was in 2019? Or better than 2011 Tyson Chandler, Jason Terry, Shawn Marion, or Jason Kidd? I think Middleton right now might be better than all of those guys were on those Championship teams.

Klay has always been criminally under rated. He sacrifices his own offense for the team, Klay even then was much better than Drue.

I agree on Siakim not being better than Middleton, forgot about them. The Mavs team was deep, but Middleton is probably the 2nd best player on that team.....agreed.

Jason Kidd that year was 37, i would say Middleton is better than a 37 year old Kidd but not better than prime Kidd
 

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About LeBron …

I really, truly don’t care anymore. He’s no longer the force he was in the NBA - either as a players or as an influencer. Adam Silver specifically mentioned his objections to the play-in tourney but said they’d do it anyway. His “humble” act is tired. He’s losing popularity because many of his complaints are transparently self-serving.

He brought us a great Championship and has done wonderful philanthropic work. He’s a good man worthy of respect but I’m done with his act and the NBA is moving on from him.

And I really am done with the “what-ifs” about the past. I’m interested in our team now and in the future. We’ve got a great draft pick, a decision has to be made on Allen, there are other roster moves to be done - that’s what’s important now IMHO.

I am very happy Milwaukee and Giannis won this and not the annoying thirty-somethings in Brooklyn and Los Angeles. Great season.
James is also my age (36), and as great as shape as he's always in, his best days are undoubtedly behind him. He could get another title if the Lakers add another key piece, but I'm a lot more excited to see what the future brings with some of the newer and younger stars.
 

KevinLoveFan

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Klay has always been criminally under rated. He sacrifices his own offense for the team, Klay even then was much better than Drue.

I agree on Siakim not being better than Middleton, forgot about them. The Mavs team was deep, but Middleton is probably the 2nd best player on that team.....agreed.

Jason Kidd that year was 37, i would say Middleton is better than a 37 year old Kidd but not better than prime Kidd

Middleton is probably better than Siakam, agreed. As for the other comparison, Klay Thompson is a vastly superior player to Jrue. Not even close. Klay has averaged over 20 ppg every season since 2014-15 and over 40% 3 ball shooting every single season in his fricking career. Jrue has averaged over 20 ppg only once in a longer career, and he's never even sniffed 40% from 3 ball. Defensively, they're about even, but Jrue isn't even in the same stratosphere as Klay offensively. We saw that with numerous 4-20 type performances in this year's playoffs.
 

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