Up until the last two games, Detroit played Cleveland tougher than any of the other teams in the East. I’m surprised as well that Toronto has evened up the series. It would be a complete embarrassment if Toronto somehow stole the series. But that’s what I’m hoping for as my mom’s side is from Cleveland and their fans in pro sports are unbearable from my personal experience.
I’m a Pistons fan and I thought the playoff performance was encouraging, even if we were swept. Pistons didn’t close any quarters, which is why they didn’t get a game a two. But now that they know how intense every possession is, I think we’ll be much more prepared for next season. We made the Cavs take a ton of big shots in the series. Credit to them, they made almost all of them.
Detroit is an upgrade at the 2/3 spot away from being a 50 win/4-5 seed type of team. Ideally you’d like a KCP or Marcus Morris as a bench player, meaning you have more talent and better depth. Pistons are a piece away from serious contention IMO
Don’t disagree there. Although I think you could also argue they are a Drummond-shooting-55%-FT-away from being a 4/5 seed as well. I think Stanley Johnson could make a huge leap next year as well.
As for the Westbook/Curry discussion, it is amazing to me how much the national media has tended to dismiss just how great Westbook is. Will be interesting to see 20 years from now who is thought of as the better player between he and KD
IMO Russ is the best player in the world right now, let alone his team. Curry is the NBAs golden child in part because he’s so likeable off the court. Keeping it limited to on court impact, don’t think there is any question Westbrook>Curry. Honestly, if Curry isn’t hitting from deep he just doesn’t impact the game all that much.
Fair or not, in the NBA you have to be considered the best player on a team that wins the title and succeeds in the playoffs to be considered the best. Westbrook wasn’t great against Miami in his finals and Oklahoma has had mixed results in the playoffs. Also, KD was the first superstar on Oklahoma. In that way he probably suffers a bit like Kobe getting less credit than he deserved for those Lakers titles with Shaq. But if Westbrook keeps it up and the Thunder win the title, I doubt Westbrook will be deprived of attention and future accolades.
Certainly Westbrook>Curry for the series and maybe in general, but this hearkens back to Curry as the MVP discussion this year: is Lebron>Westbrook? I would argue so. Yeah i think he is losing his edge, but I would still take Lebron in any given game, any point of a game, and on either end of the court over Westbrook
Curry is averaging almost 7 assists and over 5 rebounds per game. Not to mention how much attention he draws off of every single screen and how much space he frees up for other guys. To say he doesn’t impact the game when shots aren’t falling is off-base, IMO.
Russ is definitely light years ahead defensively, but Russ actually averages more than 4 turnovers a game himself. I agree that Russ is the more impactful two-way package, but I would argue Curry impacts the game immensely even on the (rare) occasions when he isn’t making shots.
Of course he does, hence my ‘all that much’ statement. BUT, against good defensive teams that have the ability to switch everything and not lose a beat, Steph’s impact when not hitting the 3 is much lower than it would be vs DET for example. Also, must give the full context in terms of Russ turning the ball over - yeah he’s averaging close to 4 TOs, but he’s also close to 12 assists per game, nearly DOUBLE to Steph. In that way, a Russ possession is much more valuable vs a Steph possession, which is my contention in a nutshell.
As a casual Toronto fan (my Michigan fandom transcends the Detroit river but I can’t cheer for the Wings, Tigers, or Pistons… Though I did love the Pistons in the pre-raptor bad boys era), I would just say that the officiating vs Cleveland has been atrocious. Zero fouls on Cleveland in the first quarter of game 4… I think the previous game was the first in history where neither Lowry nor derozan shot a free throw… Obvious miscalls and missed calls. Toronto has had to beat the refs AND Lebron. Cleveland is the better team but I also think the league dreads all the lost US tv revenue that a Toronto final would entail (even though TO is the 4th biggest market in the league).
For whatever reason, I feel like the Cavs are going to take it this year, and I’d still take LeBron above Westbrook (who I hope the Lakers can somehow get next year). But all that is really kinda fluid, depending on what happens from this point forward. Westbrook would really state his case if OKC wins it.
Irving had a dud in Game 3 and Love played poorly in Games 3&4. Both were pretty good on the road against Detroit and Atlanta, so I don’t expect the road woes to continue. And Cleveland doesn’t want to risk a Game 7, so I think they’ll be ready to go in game 6.
I hope I am absolutely wrong. Nothing would please me more than to see the city of Cleveland melt down after another choke job.