Author Topic: Lebron out West - Stars migrating East  (Read 4555 times)

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Re: Lebron out West - Stars migrating East
« Reply #30 on: January 19, 2021, 03:34:43 PM »

Offline celticsclay

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2020 All NBA Teams

1st Team
East - Giannis, Harden
West - James, Doncic, Davis

2nd Team
East - Siakam
West - Jokic, Leonard, Paul, Lillard

3rd Team
East - Butler, Simmons, Tatum, Westbrook
West - Gobert

Players injured at least a part of last year that when healthy are possible to appear on an All NBA Team
West - Curry, Porzingis
East - Durant, Irving, Embiid, Beal

Rising Stars with a chance for All NBA this year
West - Booker, Mitchell, Williamson
East - Young, Adebayo, Brown

All Defense Teams
1st Team
West - Gobert, Davis
East - Giannis, Simmons, Smart

2nd Team
West - Beverley, Leonard, Bledsoe
East - Adebayo, Lopez


That is by far the most even mix of talent the two conferences have had in over a decade.  It is a fact and isn't really debatable as the last time even 7 of the reigning All NBA players were in the East was 2006 (and there were seasons where not a single East member was on the 1st Team and a bunch of others where Lebron was the only 1).  And frankly, I expect the East to have 8 of the 15 All NBA players this year with Durant, Embiid, Beal, and Curry replacing Siakam, Gobert, Westbrook, and Paul and the rest of the players being on a team still.

At this point in time I would be absolutely shocked if Simmons made the all star team, let alone an all NBA. Now he was at a similar point last year and really turned it into make the team, so this could be just another slow start. However, he has really not improved at all. Compared to Jaylen's development it is really eye opening.

Re: Lebron out West - Stars migrating East
« Reply #31 on: January 19, 2021, 03:36:01 PM »

Offline celticsclay

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Luka, Kawhi, Jokic, Dame all still out West.  Not to mention Mitchell / Gobert and Paul/Booker.

Yea when we get to the point of saying the wizards are as good as the warriors it seems like it has gotten to be a silly discussion in my opinion. I wonder if Westbrook will make the all-star team if he keeps putting up numbers like this but playing for a horrible team.

Re: Lebron out West - Stars migrating East
« Reply #32 on: January 27, 2021, 12:58:35 AM »

Offline celticsclay

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Got chance to watch the wizards tonight. Fell to a league worse record and beal was cradling his head in his hands at the end of a loss to the rockets. Silly comparisons to warriors aside, I think beal could be available pretty soon. Unfortunately I donít think we are a good trading partner for them.

Re: Lebron out West - Stars migrating East
« Reply #33 on: January 27, 2021, 01:20:02 AM »

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Another year, another West domination..
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Re: Lebron out West - Stars migrating East
« Reply #34 on: January 27, 2021, 04:15:11 AM »

Offline RodyTur10

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Got chance to watch the wizards tonight. Fell to a league worse record and beal was cradling his head in his hands at the end of a loss to the rockets. Silly comparisons to warriors aside, I think beal could be available pretty soon. Unfortunately I donít think we are a good trading partner for them.

It's safe to say that the Russell Westbrook 'experiment' in Washington is an epic failure. Bradley Beal should try to get out of there and ask for a trade. The only logical option for the Celtics to obtain Beal would be by trading Walker. They also could do Smart + Thompson as a basis, but do the Celtics really need to add another high volume scorer to the team?

Replacing Walker by Beal (and giving up other assets of course) would likely improve the defense (as Beal is just bigger), but Beal is not a better playmaker. How big of an upgrade is he really? I know Beal is averaging a ridiculous 35/6/5, but we all know he won't be able to get those numbers in Boston where he needs to share shots with Tatum and Brown.

The question is whether we can trust Walker with his knees. If he's able to stay healthy then that's really huge and it makes less sense to trade him for another comparable scorer by giving up a ton of assets, while that greatly reduces our options to improve in other areas.

Or maybe I'm overthinking this: Smart/Beal/Brown/Tatum/? would be a formidable line-up.


Re: Lebron out West - Stars migrating East
« Reply #35 on: May 04, 2021, 11:32:46 AM »

Offline Moranis

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Got chance to watch the wizards tonight. Fell to a league worse record and beal was cradling his head in his hands at the end of a loss to the rockets. Silly comparisons to warriors aside, I think beal could be available pretty soon. Unfortunately I donít think we are a good trading partner for them.

It's safe to say that the Russell Westbrook 'experiment' in Washington is an epic failure. Bradley Beal should try to get out of there and ask for a trade. The only logical option for the Celtics to obtain Beal would be by trading Walker. They also could do Smart + Thompson as a basis, but do the Celtics really need to add another high volume scorer to the team?

Replacing Walker by Beal (and giving up other assets of course) would likely improve the defense (as Beal is just bigger), but Beal is not a better playmaker. How big of an upgrade is he really? I know Beal is averaging a ridiculous 35/6/5, but we all know he won't be able to get those numbers in Boston where he needs to share shots with Tatum and Brown.

The question is whether we can trust Walker with his knees. If he's able to stay healthy then that's really huge and it makes less sense to trade him for another comparable scorer by giving up a ton of assets, while that greatly reduces our options to improve in other areas.

Or maybe I'm overthinking this: Smart/Beal/Brown/Tatum/? would be a formidable line-up.
What a difference a couple of months make.  The Wizards have been on fire over the last month in large part because of Westbrook's passing and rebounding.  His terrible shooting is still a problem, but he is making it up for it everywhere else.  The Wizards since April 7th have been the 4th rated offense, the 8th rated defense, and the 3rd best Net Rating.  They are 13-3 over that stretch moving into the 10th seed at 30-35.  They clearly had growing pains early starting an atrocious 3-15 with the new faces, injuries, and covid related issues, but have settled in at 27-23 since.  Be interesting to see if they continue this hot play or settle back in as an around .500 team (which is what I think they are).
2021 Historical Draft - 5th Pick - Raptors
PG - Tiny Archibald 73, Don Buse 77, Terrell Brandon 96
SG - Chet Walker 67, Michael Cooper 87, Raja Bell 06
SF - Predrag "Peja" Stojakovic 04, Kiki Vandeweghe 87, Robert Covington 18
PF - Karl Malone 97, Spencer Haywood 73, David West 08
C - Ben Wallace 04, George Mikan 50, Al Jefferson 08

Re: Lebron out West - Stars migrating East
« Reply #36 on: May 04, 2021, 11:54:50 AM »

Online PhoSita

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Got chance to watch the wizards tonight. Fell to a league worse record and beal was cradling his head in his hands at the end of a loss to the rockets. Silly comparisons to warriors aside, I think beal could be available pretty soon. Unfortunately I donít think we are a good trading partner for them.

It's safe to say that the Russell Westbrook 'experiment' in Washington is an epic failure. Bradley Beal should try to get out of there and ask for a trade. The only logical option for the Celtics to obtain Beal would be by trading Walker. They also could do Smart + Thompson as a basis, but do the Celtics really need to add another high volume scorer to the team?

Replacing Walker by Beal (and giving up other assets of course) would likely improve the defense (as Beal is just bigger), but Beal is not a better playmaker. How big of an upgrade is he really? I know Beal is averaging a ridiculous 35/6/5, but we all know he won't be able to get those numbers in Boston where he needs to share shots with Tatum and Brown.

The question is whether we can trust Walker with his knees. If he's able to stay healthy then that's really huge and it makes less sense to trade him for another comparable scorer by giving up a ton of assets, while that greatly reduces our options to improve in other areas.

Or maybe I'm overthinking this: Smart/Beal/Brown/Tatum/? would be a formidable line-up.
What a difference a couple of months make.  The Wizards have been on fire over the last month in large part because of Westbrook's passing and rebounding.  His terrible shooting is still a problem, but he is making it up for it everywhere else.  The Wizards since April 7th have been the 4th rated offense, the 8th rated defense, and the 3rd best Net Rating.  They are 13-3 over that stretch moving into the 10th seed at 30-35.  They clearly had growing pains early starting an atrocious 3-15 with the new faces, injuries, and covid related issues, but have settled in at 27-23 since.  Be interesting to see if they continue this hot play or settle back in as an around .500 team (which is what I think they are).


The Celts may very well be getting an uncomfortably close look at how good the Wizards are doing these days once we get to the play-in.
Youíll have to excuse my lengthinessóthe reason I dread writing letters is because I am so apt to get to slinging wisdom & forget to let up. Thus much precious time is lost.
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Re: Lebron out West - Stars migrating East
« Reply #37 on: May 04, 2021, 02:05:01 PM »

Offline celticsclay

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The premise of this thread was that stars had migrated east and the east was now more competitive with the west. I think this season has shown the opposite of that.

The Jazz and Suns have emerged as darkhorse contenders, the Clippers and Lakers are clearly still there. Many would have had Denver in the mix before Murray's injury. While the Knicks have been a massive surprise Boston, Indiana, Miami and Toronto have all significantly underwhelmed. Nets may very well be favorites and Bucks and 76ers have a shot, but the conferences seem as lopsided as ever to me.

Re: Lebron out West - Stars migrating East
« Reply #38 on: May 04, 2021, 03:32:06 PM »

Offline Moranis

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The premise of this thread was that stars had migrated east and the east was now more competitive with the west. I think this season has shown the opposite of that.

The Jazz and Suns have emerged as darkhorse contenders, the Clippers and Lakers are clearly still there. Many would have had Denver in the mix before Murray's injury. While the Knicks have been a massive surprise Boston, Indiana, Miami and Toronto have all significantly underwhelmed. Nets may very well be favorites and Bucks and 76ers have a shot, but the conferences seem as lopsided as ever to me.
do you really think the Suns and Jazz are contenders?  There are 5 teams that can reasonably win the title. Philly, Brooklyn, Milwaukee, LA, and LA (Denver, as you say, may have been there with Murray).  That is it.  The Jazz and Suns have both been very healthy and have depth, but they don't have a player capable of being a championship anchor.  They seem very much in the Toronto Raptors mold before Leonard.  Going to win a lot of games, but not going to win when it matters most.  I think they are both are far more likely to lose in the 1st round then even make the Finals let alone win the title.
2021 Historical Draft - 5th Pick - Raptors
PG - Tiny Archibald 73, Don Buse 77, Terrell Brandon 96
SG - Chet Walker 67, Michael Cooper 87, Raja Bell 06
SF - Predrag "Peja" Stojakovic 04, Kiki Vandeweghe 87, Robert Covington 18
PF - Karl Malone 97, Spencer Haywood 73, David West 08
C - Ben Wallace 04, George Mikan 50, Al Jefferson 08

Re: Lebron out West - Stars migrating East
« Reply #39 on: May 04, 2021, 04:00:28 PM »

Offline celticsclay

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The premise of this thread was that stars had migrated east and the east was now more competitive with the west. I think this season has shown the opposite of that.

The Jazz and Suns have emerged as darkhorse contenders, the Clippers and Lakers are clearly still there. Many would have had Denver in the mix before Murray's injury. While the Knicks have been a massive surprise Boston, Indiana, Miami and Toronto have all significantly underwhelmed. Nets may very well be favorites and Bucks and 76ers have a shot, but the conferences seem as lopsided as ever to me.
do you really think the Suns and Jazz are contenders?  There are 5 teams that can reasonably win the title. Philly, Brooklyn, Milwaukee, LA, and LA (Denver, as you say, may have been there with Murray).  That is it.  The Jazz and Suns have both been very healthy and have depth, but they don't have a player capable of being a championship anchor.  They seem very much in the Toronto Raptors mold before Leonard.  Going to win a lot of games, but not going to win when it matters most.  I think they are both are far more likely to lose in the 1st round then even make the Finals let alone win the title.

Paul is almost certainly going to be first team all nba and too 5-7 in mvp voting. How is that not a top level player? I get he is old but he really seems to be defying Father Time

Re: Lebron out West - Stars migrating East
« Reply #40 on: May 04, 2021, 08:29:55 PM »

Offline Moranis

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The premise of this thread was that stars had migrated east and the east was now more competitive with the west. I think this season has shown the opposite of that.

The Jazz and Suns have emerged as darkhorse contenders, the Clippers and Lakers are clearly still there. Many would have had Denver in the mix before Murray's injury. While the Knicks have been a massive surprise Boston, Indiana, Miami and Toronto have all significantly underwhelmed. Nets may very well be favorites and Bucks and 76ers have a shot, but the conferences seem as lopsided as ever to me.
do you really think the Suns and Jazz are contenders?  There are 5 teams that can reasonably win the title. Philly, Brooklyn, Milwaukee, LA, and LA (Denver, as you say, may have been there with Murray).  That is it.  The Jazz and Suns have both been very healthy and have depth, but they don't have a player capable of being a championship anchor.  They seem very much in the Toronto Raptors mold before Leonard.  Going to win a lot of games, but not going to win when it matters most.  I think they are both are far more likely to lose in the 1st round then even make the Finals let alone win the title.

Paul is almost certainly going to be first team all nba and too 5-7 in mvp voting. How is that not a top level player? I get he is old but he really seems to be defying Father Time
Paul has had an excellent season and I have him in my top 5 for MVP voting, but he is no where near a top 5 player in the world.  I don't even think he is a top 10 player.  In his prime, he never made the Conference Finals and it wasn't like he was playing with scrubs. 

And to be clear I think these 9 guys are all clearly and basically inarguably better than Paul: Giannis, Lebron, Durant, Leonard, Harden, Jokic, Davis, Embiid, Curry.  I personally think Doncic, Lillard, and Butler are all unquestionably better as well, though I think they are at least somewhat more defensible to argue otherwise.  So that puts Paul roughly in this group: Zion, Tatum, George, Beal, Randle, Irving, Gobert, Booker.  You could probably reasonably argue he is better than all those guys or worse than all of those guys.  And to be clear, I think Paul is incredibly valuable.  A guy that is going to add a tremendous amount to any team, but as a basketball player I don't think he is nearly as good as he is valuable. 
2021 Historical Draft - 5th Pick - Raptors
PG - Tiny Archibald 73, Don Buse 77, Terrell Brandon 96
SG - Chet Walker 67, Michael Cooper 87, Raja Bell 06
SF - Predrag "Peja" Stojakovic 04, Kiki Vandeweghe 87, Robert Covington 18
PF - Karl Malone 97, Spencer Haywood 73, David West 08
C - Ben Wallace 04, George Mikan 50, Al Jefferson 08

Re: Lebron out West - Stars migrating East
« Reply #41 on: May 04, 2021, 10:27:41 PM »

Offline celticsclay

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The premise of this thread was that stars had migrated east and the east was now more competitive with the west. I think this season has shown the opposite of that.

The Jazz and Suns have emerged as darkhorse contenders, the Clippers and Lakers are clearly still there. Many would have had Denver in the mix before Murray's injury. While the Knicks have been a massive surprise Boston, Indiana, Miami and Toronto have all significantly underwhelmed. Nets may very well be favorites and Bucks and 76ers have a shot, but the conferences seem as lopsided as ever to me.
do you really think the Suns and Jazz are contenders?  There are 5 teams that can reasonably win the title. Philly, Brooklyn, Milwaukee, LA, and LA (Denver, as you say, may have been there with Murray).  That is it.  The Jazz and Suns have both been very healthy and have depth, but they don't have a player capable of being a championship anchor.  They seem very much in the Toronto Raptors mold before Leonard.  Going to win a lot of games, but not going to win when it matters most.  I think they are both are far more likely to lose in the 1st round then even make the Finals let alone win the title.

Paul is almost certainly going to be first team all nba and too 5-7 in mvp voting. How is that not a top level player? I get he is old but he really seems to be defying Father Time
Paul has had an excellent season and I have him in my top 5 for MVP voting, but he is no where near a top 5 player in the world.  I don't even think he is a top 10 player.  In his prime, he never made the Conference Finals and it wasn't like he was playing with scrubs. 

And to be clear I think these 9 guys are all clearly and basically inarguably better than Paul: Giannis, Lebron, Durant, Leonard, Harden, Jokic, Davis, Embiid, Curry.  I personally think Doncic, Lillard, and Butler are all unquestionably better as well, though I think they are at least somewhat more defensible to argue otherwise.  So that puts Paul roughly in this group: Zion, Tatum, George, Beal, Randle, Irving, Gobert, Booker.  You could probably reasonably argue he is better than all those guys or worse than all of those guys.  And to be clear, I think Paul is incredibly valuable.  A guy that is going to add a tremendous amount to any team, but as a basketball player I don't think he is nearly as good as he is valuable.

So you really believe two top ten 15 players, by your own description, is not enough to make you a darkhorse title contender? With our big three isn't that what we basically had? Few would have had anyone on our team higher than 5-8.

Re: Lebron out West - Stars migrating East
« Reply #42 on: May 04, 2021, 10:45:41 PM »

Offline Moranis

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The premise of this thread was that stars had migrated east and the east was now more competitive with the west. I think this season has shown the opposite of that.

The Jazz and Suns have emerged as darkhorse contenders, the Clippers and Lakers are clearly still there. Many would have had Denver in the mix before Murray's injury. While the Knicks have been a massive surprise Boston, Indiana, Miami and Toronto have all significantly underwhelmed. Nets may very well be favorites and Bucks and 76ers have a shot, but the conferences seem as lopsided as ever to me.
do you really think the Suns and Jazz are contenders?  There are 5 teams that can reasonably win the title. Philly, Brooklyn, Milwaukee, LA, and LA (Denver, as you say, may have been there with Murray).  That is it.  The Jazz and Suns have both been very healthy and have depth, but they don't have a player capable of being a championship anchor.  They seem very much in the Toronto Raptors mold before Leonard.  Going to win a lot of games, but not going to win when it matters most.  I think they are both are far more likely to lose in the 1st round then even make the Finals let alone win the title.

Paul is almost certainly going to be first team all nba and too 5-7 in mvp voting. How is that not a top level player? I get he is old but he really seems to be defying Father Time
Paul has had an excellent season and I have him in my top 5 for MVP voting, but he is no where near a top 5 player in the world.  I don't even think he is a top 10 player.  In his prime, he never made the Conference Finals and it wasn't like he was playing with scrubs. 

And to be clear I think these 9 guys are all clearly and basically inarguably better than Paul: Giannis, Lebron, Durant, Leonard, Harden, Jokic, Davis, Embiid, Curry.  I personally think Doncic, Lillard, and Butler are all unquestionably better as well, though I think they are at least somewhat more defensible to argue otherwise.  So that puts Paul roughly in this group: Zion, Tatum, George, Beal, Randle, Irving, Gobert, Booker.  You could probably reasonably argue he is better than all those guys or worse than all of those guys.  And to be clear, I think Paul is incredibly valuable.  A guy that is going to add a tremendous amount to any team, but as a basketball player I don't think he is nearly as good as he is valuable.

So you really believe two top ten 15 players, by your own description, is not enough to make you a darkhorse title contender? With our big three isn't that what we basically had? Few would have had anyone on our team higher than 5-8.
No I don't believe the Suns or Jazz are contenders at all.  I think they both, even being the 1 and 2 seed, have a much greater chance of losing in the 1st round then even making the conference finals.  I'd absolutely pick Portland to beat Phoenix, the current 2/7 matchup (obviously play in tourney can change that quickly).  I think Utah would beat the Warriors, but would most certainly lose to either LA in the 2nd round and if Phoenix did beat Portland, I think they lose to Denver even without Murray. 

You need a top 5 type player historically to win championships and it also makes just getting there a lot easier.  Even recently, the Heat, in the bubble, are the only team in almost a decade to make the finals without a top 5 player (the Spurs were the last team to do it and they had 4 HOFers on the team).  And those Spurs, the Pistons with Wallace, and the Sonics are basically the only teams in NBA history to win a title without a top 5ish player on the roster.  And a whole lot of those champions had 2 such players (the Lakers last year, the Warriors, the Lebron/Wade Heat, the Shaq/Kobe Lakers, the Bulls, etc.).  And most of the ones that only had 1 top 5 guy ended up with at least 2 other All NBA caliber players. 

That is the reason I don't think Boston is a contender (and basically hasn't been since KG got old - and yes KG was absolutely a top 5 player when Boston won the title) and won't be without some sort of drastic change, because Boston doesn't fit the profile of a champion historically. 

As an aside, how awesome would the Clippers/Lakers be as 1st round series as they currently the 4/5.
2021 Historical Draft - 5th Pick - Raptors
PG - Tiny Archibald 73, Don Buse 77, Terrell Brandon 96
SG - Chet Walker 67, Michael Cooper 87, Raja Bell 06
SF - Predrag "Peja" Stojakovic 04, Kiki Vandeweghe 87, Robert Covington 18
PF - Karl Malone 97, Spencer Haywood 73, David West 08
C - Ben Wallace 04, George Mikan 50, Al Jefferson 08

Re: Lebron out West - Stars migrating East
« Reply #43 on: May 05, 2021, 12:19:28 AM »

Offline celticsclay

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The premise of this thread was that stars had migrated east and the east was now more competitive with the west. I think this season has shown the opposite of that.

The Jazz and Suns have emerged as darkhorse contenders, the Clippers and Lakers are clearly still there. Many would have had Denver in the mix before Murray's injury. While the Knicks have been a massive surprise Boston, Indiana, Miami and Toronto have all significantly underwhelmed. Nets may very well be favorites and Bucks and 76ers have a shot, but the conferences seem as lopsided as ever to me.
do you really think the Suns and Jazz are contenders?  There are 5 teams that can reasonably win the title. Philly, Brooklyn, Milwaukee, LA, and LA (Denver, as you say, may have been there with Murray).  That is it.  The Jazz and Suns have both been very healthy and have depth, but they don't have a player capable of being a championship anchor.  They seem very much in the Toronto Raptors mold before Leonard.  Going to win a lot of games, but not going to win when it matters most.  I think they are both are far more likely to lose in the 1st round then even make the Finals let alone win the title.

Paul is almost certainly going to be first team all nba and too 5-7 in mvp voting. How is that not a top level player? I get he is old but he really seems to be defying Father Time
Paul has had an excellent season and I have him in my top 5 for MVP voting, but he is no where near a top 5 player in the world.  I don't even think he is a top 10 player.  In his prime, he never made the Conference Finals and it wasn't like he was playing with scrubs. 

And to be clear I think these 9 guys are all clearly and basically inarguably better than Paul: Giannis, Lebron, Durant, Leonard, Harden, Jokic, Davis, Embiid, Curry.  I personally think Doncic, Lillard, and Butler are all unquestionably better as well, though I think they are at least somewhat more defensible to argue otherwise.  So that puts Paul roughly in this group: Zion, Tatum, George, Beal, Randle, Irving, Gobert, Booker.  You could probably reasonably argue he is better than all those guys or worse than all of those guys.  And to be clear, I think Paul is incredibly valuable.  A guy that is going to add a tremendous amount to any team, but as a basketball player I don't think he is nearly as good as he is valuable.

So you really believe two top ten 15 players, by your own description, is not enough to make you a darkhorse title contender? With our big three isn't that what we basically had? Few would have had anyone on our team higher than 5-8.
No I don't believe the Suns or Jazz are contenders at all.  I think they both, even being the 1 and 2 seed, have a much greater chance of losing in the 1st round then even making the conference finals.  I'd absolutely pick Portland to beat Phoenix, the current 2/7 matchup (obviously play in tourney can change that quickly).  I think Utah would beat the Warriors, but would most certainly lose to either LA in the 2nd round and if Phoenix did beat Portland, I think they lose to Denver even without Murray. 

You need a top 5 type player historically to win championships and it also makes just getting there a lot easier.  Even recently, the Heat, in the bubble, are the only team in almost a decade to make the finals without a top 5 player (the Spurs were the last team to do it and they had 4 HOFers on the team).  And those Spurs, the Pistons with Wallace, and the Sonics are basically the only teams in NBA history to win a title without a top 5ish player on the roster.  And a whole lot of those champions had 2 such players (the Lakers last year, the Warriors, the Lebron/Wade Heat, the Shaq/Kobe Lakers, the Bulls, etc.).  And most of the ones that only had 1 top 5 guy ended up with at least 2 other All NBA caliber players. 

That is the reason I don't think Boston is a contender (and basically hasn't been since KG got old - and yes KG was absolutely a top 5 player when Boston won the title) and won't be without some sort of drastic change, because Boston doesn't fit the profile of a champion historically. 

As an aside, how awesome would the Clippers/Lakers be as 1st round series as they currently the 4/5.

I don't entirely disagree with your premise here, and I know we have discussed at length here. I would say there are two unusual things at play here compared to other situations (which are related). We have the shortened offseason and covid protcols that have led to more missed games from top level stars than any season I can remember. If you look at the top 10 players you mentioned Lebron, Davis, Leonard, George, Harden have all missed serious time with Durant coming off a very serious injury and seemingly still a bit fragile. Then you add in that one of the top two contenders in the west may get eliminated in round one with an LA LA matchup and you certainly seem to have a recipe for a team like Utah or Phoenix to make a run.

Re: Lebron out West - Stars migrating East
« Reply #44 on: May 05, 2021, 06:02:32 AM »

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The premise of this thread was that stars had migrated east and the east was now more competitive with the west. I think this season has shown the opposite of that.

The Jazz and Suns have emerged as darkhorse contenders, the Clippers and Lakers are clearly still there. Many would have had Denver in the mix before Murray's injury. While the Knicks have been a massive surprise Boston, Indiana, Miami and Toronto have all significantly underwhelmed. Nets may very well be favorites and Bucks and 76ers have a shot, but the conferences seem as lopsided as ever to me.
do you really think the Suns and Jazz are contenders?  There are 5 teams that can reasonably win the title. Philly, Brooklyn, Milwaukee, LA, and LA (Denver, as you say, may have been there with Murray).  That is it.  The Jazz and Suns have both been very healthy and have depth, but they don't have a player capable of being a championship anchor.  They seem very much in the Toronto Raptors mold before Leonard.  Going to win a lot of games, but not going to win when it matters most.  I think they are both are far more likely to lose in the 1st round then even make the Finals let alone win the title.

Paul is almost certainly going to be first team all nba and too 5-7 in mvp voting. How is that not a top level player? I get he is old but he really seems to be defying Father Time
Paul has had an excellent season and I have him in my top 5 for MVP voting, but he is no where near a top 5 player in the world.  I don't even think he is a top 10 player.  In his prime, he never made the Conference Finals and it wasn't like he was playing with scrubs. 

And to be clear I think these 9 guys are all clearly and basically inarguably better than Paul: Giannis, Lebron, Durant, Leonard, Harden, Jokic, Davis, Embiid, Curry.  I personally think Doncic, Lillard, and Butler are all unquestionably better as well, though I think they are at least somewhat more defensible to argue otherwise.  So that puts Paul roughly in this group: Zion, Tatum, George, Beal, Randle, Irving, Gobert, Booker.  You could probably reasonably argue he is better than all those guys or worse than all of those guys.  And to be clear, I think Paul is incredibly valuable.  A guy that is going to add a tremendous amount to any team, but as a basketball player I don't think he is nearly as good as he is valuable.

So you really believe two top ten 15 players, by your own description, is not enough to make you a darkhorse title contender? With our big three isn't that what we basically had? Few would have had anyone on our team higher than 5-8.
No I don't believe the Suns or Jazz are contenders at all.  I think they both, even being the 1 and 2 seed, have a much greater chance of losing in the 1st round then even making the conference finals.  I'd absolutely pick Portland to beat Phoenix, the current 2/7 matchup (obviously play in tourney can change that quickly).  I think Utah would beat the Warriors, but would most certainly lose to either LA in the 2nd round and if Phoenix did beat Portland, I think they lose to Denver even without Murray. 

You need a top 5 type player historically to win championships and it also makes just getting there a lot easier.  Even recently, the Heat, in the bubble, are the only team in almost a decade to make the finals without a top 5 player (the Spurs were the last team to do it and they had 4 HOFers on the team).  And those Spurs, the Pistons with Wallace, and the Sonics are basically the only teams in NBA history to win a title without a top 5ish player on the roster.  And a whole lot of those champions had 2 such players (the Lakers last year, the Warriors, the Lebron/Wade Heat, the Shaq/Kobe Lakers, the Bulls, etc.).  And most of the ones that only had 1 top 5 guy ended up with at least 2 other All NBA caliber players. 

That is the reason I don't think Boston is a contender (and basically hasn't been since KG got old - and yes KG was absolutely a top 5 player when Boston won the title) and won't be without some sort of drastic change, because Boston doesn't fit the profile of a champion historically. 

As an aside, how awesome would the Clippers/Lakers be as 1st round series as they currently the 4/5.
The 2013 Spurs exist lol. Also the '78 Bullets won the title a year before the Sonics did without a top 5 player while I think the '76 Celtics didn't really have one as well (Hondo was aging and I think Cowens peaked when he was younger as a defender), but yeah a top 5 player makes things much easier. I still think that there's a viable pathway to winning an NBA title without a top 5 player though (to me the Celtics last year are the blueprint even if you replaced Hayward for a serviceable starting calibre wing player: we beat non-contenders very convincingly and played a title contender to a standstill if not slightly outplay them last playoffs even without a healthy Hayward for most of our run).
Jaylen for All-NBA