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Whether Indiana make the playoffs or not they look a lot better lately. Do you think they offer their mid-teen pick for a rebounder like Faried or potentially package it with Ellis & Jefferson to free up cap and chase a guy like Millsap?
Yeah, Pacers look good of late, and that’s mostly due to the outstanding play of Paul George. Over Indiana’s last seven games, George is averaging 32.1 points (on 52.6 percent shooting), 7.7 boards, 4.0 assists, 4.0 triples and 2.3 steals.
They can clinch a playoff berth on Monday with a win and loss by the Bulls or Heat.
This summer, their plan will be to do everything possible to make sure that they keep George long term. PG-13 has hinted that he’d be willing to sign with the Lakers in 2018 when he hits free agency.
Thus, yes, I think they’ll be willing to move their first-round pick to add a quality player to make them a more formidable team heading into the 201-18 season. Remember, they traded their first-round pick last summer for Thad Young.
They wouldn’t move the pick for Faried, however – he’s not worth a first rounder IMO.
Pacers would love to shed Ellis and Jefferson’s contract. If packing that pick with Monta and Big Al was all that was standing in the way of them signing a player like Millsap, then yes I think they would absolutely pull the trigger. I
MVP lobbying is funny. Harden says winning is the most important thing. Okay, if thats the threshold then someone on the Warriors (pick one) is the front runner with Kawhi Leonard chomping at his heels?
Daryl Morey sends tweets about the 61-62 season and how Russell won, not Robertson. Just a guess, Houston has almost no chance to win the championship this season?
Meanwhile, opposing fans in sold out arenas have been doing the lobbying for Russ, chanting MVP at him for a couple weeks now. I don’t think that’s happening for James…and Sam Presti hasn’t felt the need to tweet about it either. 😉
This MVP race has been incredible. Yes, you are right about the catch-22 facing Harden. If it’s about winning, have to lean towards Kawhi or LeBron, right?
LeBron, the best player of his generation, is averaging career-high in rebounds and assists!!! And his team will likely finish first in the East. And LeBron will probably finish 4th in MVP voting. Amazing
As for Harden, imagine if I told you at the start of the season, that Harden would record 21 triple-doubles (more than anyone in NBA history outside of Oscar and Wilt), yet he’d finish with 21 fewer trip-dubs than Westbrook!?!?! That’s insane.
As for me, I’d vote Westbrook. All four are deserving, but at the end of the day, I’ll go with the guy who played so incredibly hard every second of every game he played in – and he’ll play in all 82. You have to split hairs to decide between these four studs, so my deciding factor will be effort/intensity. Not to take anything away from the other three – but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a great player attack every minute of every game like Russ has this season
Do you think Melo and/or KP will play on Wednesday?
Also, if Melo does play, do you think it will be his final game in a Knicks uniform?
On Sunday at the Garden, Porzingis said he is feeling better and would like to suit up. But the team has nothing to play for (in fact, it behooves them to lose) so there is absolutely no reason for KP to play – other than for him to feel a bit better heading into the offseason.
On the other hand, maybe sitting out the final few games motivates him a bit to work harder than ever this summer? we shall see…
The Melo situation is different. As you note, it’s fascinating because it could be the last time we ever get to see Melo in the orange and blue. When asked about in Sunday, coach Jeff Hornacek said he “didn’t want to guess about three days from now,” but did say it’s “possible” Melo plays.
I think Melo ended up playing.
And, yes, I do think it’s his final game as a Knick. I certainly don’t think it’s a lock he gets traded this summer, but I’d say it’s better than 50 percent chance at this point.
Four straight losing season is probably too much for him to bear, no matter how much he and his family loves NYC. And it is very difficult to envision a scenario where the Knicks add enough talent in free agency that makes anyone confident enough to predict with any degree of certainty that the Knicks would be a playoff team in 2017-18
Regarding your column on the Phil Jackson and the Triangle – I think you are wrong to blame Phil. If the Knicks had good players who could actually shot and could make 3-pointers, the Knicks would be in much better shape and people would be praising Phil!!
First, thanks for reading.
Here is the article he is referencing: http://www.basketballinsiders.com/the-knicks-need-to-ditch-the-triangle/
Many folks have expressed similar sentiments. But here is how I respond… Phil is not only responsible for installing the offense, he’s also responsible for every single player on the roster. Melo is the only player still left on the team from the players he inherited when he took over the job. And Phil signed Melo to a max contract (with a no-trade clause!). Thus, Phil is on the hook either way.
The ship is sinking.
The years in a row now, the ship has finished close to last in the race.
And Phil is the captain, responsible not only for charting the ship’s course by deetrming which way it will sail and what method the sailors will use to propel the boat forward, but he’s also the person who pick the team of sailors to do work.
Any way you slice, it’s hard for Phil to avoid culpability here.
Now that the Western Conference playoff seeds are set – give us some predictions for the first round and beyond…
hmmm, okay… let’s do this.
Warriors over the Blazers in five. (Dame goes nuts and steals one game at home, but Warriors cruise)
Spurs over the Grizzlies in seven. (I think Memphis is tougher than advertised. Plus, the Spurs point guard problems worry me)
Clippers over the Jazz in six. (tough series to predict. Could be Rudy Gobert’s coming out party, where he dominates and the rest of the country get to know his name. But I’ll go with CP3 and company. This may be their last hurrah together. Chris Paul is too good to have as poor of a postseason record. Plus, the Clips have more experience in big games.)
Rockets over Thunder in seven. (Must See TV, for the showdown between Russ and Harden, if nothing else. I’ll take the Rockets b/c they have homecourt and Harden has a much more skilled and talented supporting cast)
Warriors over Clippers in six. (Golden State, when fully healthy, just has soooo many weapons. Although it should be noted that the Clips were the last team to beat the Warriors in seven-gam series)
Spurs over Rockets in seven. (I’m tempted to pick against the Spurs once again, but it’s just never wise to bet against Coach Pop and Kawhi, the best all-around player in the conference)
Warriors over the Spurs in five. (Durant, Curry and Klay are arguably three of the five best shooters on the planet. Draymond Green is great and their MVP. The Warriors are unfair)
Who are you taking with the number one pick, Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, or Josh Jackson?
I’m going with Fultz.
It’s not even all that close, IMO.
I am much less enthused about Ball than most. That form really worries me. I understand he shot over 40% from 3-point territory at UCLA, but that is the furthest thing from a repeatable delivery. Plus the NBA line is longer and teams will force him to his offhand. I agree that he has a high floor b/c he is a terrific athlete and very good passer who is unselfish and has a high basketball IQ. But, I’m not considering taking him over Fultz, who is big and long and can defend and score from everywhere on the floor.
That’s it for me.
Thanks for stopping by and hope you all have a wonderful week.
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