A meeting basketball neo-experts (and pod cast contributors) convened to discuss some of the issues surrounding this seasons (2016-17) NBA playoffs.
Joining Lamar are Mike Brown, A.J. Campbell and Greg Powell.
Lamar: Any surprises in the playoffs thus far?
Mike: None in terms of the teams at the top doing what they were expected to do. I did hold out hope that the Bulls could upset the Celtics especially after jumping out to a 2-0 lead.
A.J.: Speaking of the Bulls the Chicago Media spoke on how Bulls Vice President John Paxson was quiet regarding the future of star player Jimmy Butler during the final press conference.
Apparently that gave the impression that the Bulls may be looking to trade him and if that is the case they blew a great chance last season when his value was at it’s highest.
Greg: For a long time I thought the Bulls should have built around Butler given how he has developed into a two time All-Star but now I suspect that Jimmy will require another front line player along side him to return the Bulls to contender status.
Mike: Most observers feel that the bottom line always comes first when it comes to the Bulls and team development and for a long time I gave them credit for astute business moves but fact is teams like San Antonio, Cleveland and now Boston have made money maintaining a winning record and culture.
Lamar: Well at least the Bulls have been a top three team in attendance for the last 18 or so years.
Greg: That , my friend can attributed to the Chicago fans who can be knowledgeable and loyal but also extremely naive.
Mike: Well Jimmy may not lead the Bulls to the promised land at age 27 but he may command a 200 million dollar extension and Mr. Reinsdorf, you can take that for data !
Lamar: I think we can all agree that the NBA title will be won by either Golden State, Cleveland or San Antonio, but who are some of the other teams making a name for themselves going forward?
A.J. : In the east the Bulls, Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons are heading south. On the upswing we got the Washington Wizards, Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers.
Greg: I believe in Boston’s Isiah Thomas who has been playing out of his mind. The Celtics are small but they got a lot of dogs. Avery Bradley is really a glue guy and rookie Jalen Brown is going to be real good.
If Boston can pick up Gordon Hayward from the Utah Jazz in free agency they will be dangerous in the east.
Lamar: What about the “Greek Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo? This cat is a starter on the All Star team in just his second year.
A.J. I have a theory/test for new young players and that is if a young player cannot lift his/her team at least past the first round then they are not ready and will need more seasoning prior to super-stardom..
Mike: Well look at Micheal Jordan, It took him 7-8 years before he won his first title.
Lamar: How about the Western Conference?
Mike: Houston is definitely on the rise, OKC and the L.A. Clippers are a couple of moves away. The Utah Jazz are showing great strides but they may lose their best player Haywood next season.
Greg: The L.A. Clippers better jump on Melo before it’s too late. They have a severely flawed roster and could probably get him now for J.J. Redick. Paul George from the Indiana Pacers could also be available via trade.
As far as the Spurs go they got Kawhi Leonard and a bunch of old dudes. I can see improvements though from the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Portland Trailblazers and the Denver Nuggets.
Lamar: Who wins the Title?
A.J.: Just like last year I am riding with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Mike: There is still room on the Warriors bus for all of you (laughs).
Greg: Well you all know that I am leaning towards LeBron as the G.O.A.T.
Lamar: Interjecting, that will be different session for another time.
Greg: Even though I rate LeBron as the best player walking the earth I find difficult to pick him over a Warriors team adding Kevin Durant (generally considered to be the 2nd best player alive) and so I have to choose the Warriors.
Lamar: Since my beloved L.A.Lakers are not quite ready I will have to pick the team sporting the best organization in sports, The San Antonio Spurs.