Three logical landing spots for Kevin Durant

Now that the 2015-2016 season has come to a close, one thing is on everyone’s mind; where is Kevin Durant going to play going forward? Well we’re here to speculate on three landing spots for the “Slim Reaper.”

 

3) Boston Celtics

Now look, Durant and his camp haven’t ruled out any teams so everyone that can make a play at him financially likely will. So after many discussions with teams across the league, we believe there will only be three teams remaining, one being the Boston Celtics.

The Celtics are an extremely promising young team with a Head Coach that has never had a poor word spoken about him, dating all the way back to his time at the University of Butler. The one thing they are lacking is star power. Isaiah Thomas is the closest thing to a star, but he’s only made one all-star team roster. That said, a large portion of their 48-win team will still be intact next season. Only three of their free agents had a real big impact on this past season’s team and both are restricted (Jared Sullinger, Tyler Zeller) and Boston will likely be able to match any contract offers made. Evan Turner is the third player but I’m fairly certain most people would consider getting Kevin Durant an upgrade over Turner.

The one thing the Celtics have a lot of is draft picks. The acquired the Nets’ next three first-round draft picks a couple of years back, as well as getting one from Dallas from trading Rajon Rondo and also having picks of their own. If Durant’s had specific stipulations about coming to Boston and one was trading their picks to acquire championship-ready talent, I’m nearly 100-percent sure the Celtics would oblige.

Now if they did acquire Durant, it’s likely they begin playing a lot of small ball. They’d still be able to slow the pace down and play big, especially if they resign Sullinger. That said, it would be on Durant if he would move down and play more power-forward.

The Celtics are a superstar away from being serious contenders in LeBron James’ conference. We’d call it the east but he’s owned it for six consecutive seasons so what’s the point? Does Durant think a Celtics team with him heading the roster can beat the Cavaliers and win championships? We think it’s more than plausible to think that he does.

 

2) Golden State Warriors

We understand many of you are wondering…WHAT? But hear us out. What does Durant seemingly want more than anything? A championship. Where have the Warriors made it too the past two seasons? The NBA Finals. The two are a perfect match.

If the Warriors want to make a serious push at Durant, they will be able to financially. The Warriors payroll was north of $93M this past season. If they resign nobody, including restricted free agents Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli, they’ll have close to $20M available in spending money. The salary cap is also rising, likely giving the Warriors a few couple of million to play with.

Strategically, the Warriors would have zero problems sliding Durant into the then departed Harrison Barnes’ role. The Warriors already have the league’s best offense and that’s before he ever put on their jersey and Durant would take them to a whole new level. Adding him and subtracting Barnes in the Dubs “death lineup” would be virtually unstoppable. Although we haven’t seen Durant play in an offense quite like this, we’re sure one of the three best players on the planet would drastically lower his isolation percentage for consistently great looks at the rim.

We personally believe the Warriors are the favorites heading into the 2016-’17 season without Durant, but if they acquired him, there would be no way around it. Yes he would still be in the daunted Western Conference, but he’d have so much help surrounding him, he’d be silly to not strongly consider this franchise as a candidate.

 

1) Oklahoma City Thunder

Yeah, yeah, how original. But out of all 30 teams in the NBA, resigning with the Thunder makes the most sense for Kevin Durant. At least for the 2016-’17 season, that is. Beyond that is really anyone’s guess.

The Thunder has virtually everyone from this year’s Western Conference Finals team coming back under contract. If Durant resigns, it’s likely the team won’t make any big time moves because of their limited amount of income left over.

Look, the Thunder might only have one more crack at it. Not only is Durant a free agent this year, Russell Westbrook becomes a free agent after the 2017-’18 season. If Durant signs a one-year deal, they’ll have another chance at getting back to the Western Conference Finals and this time, beating whoever’s in their way. It’ll be the second-year with Head Coach Billy Donovan and the players will begin to trust his methods a lot more.

The Thunder were one measly game away from this years NBA finals before collapsing against the Warriors. If Durant feels like next year will be different, he’ll resign without much hesitation. We should expect Durant to wreak havoc for the Thunder for at least one more season.

Facets Franchise Five

Everyone pretends they’re a general-manager sometimes. When we do, we think about who we would want to start our franchise with. Lucky for you, we wrote about who are five current players would be if we were starting a franchise today.

 

1. LeBron James

Surprise to probably nobody, LeBron James checks in at number one on our list. It’s hard to pick against the most polarizing athlete in all of sports. I mean seriously, the guy just signed a LIFETIME contract with Nike for $30M per year. Looking past the numbers he puts up, what he does off the court, and what he does for the franchises he plays for financially is one of a kind.

Now, back to the on-court stuff. James has been the fastest to accomplish basically everything that is everything to do with basketball. At 30, James has plenty of elite basketball ahead of him. James has always gotten the best out of his supporting casts, something he’s better at than anyone in the league, maybe ever. Just this season, the season people are saying LeBron is “slowing down”, James is sixth in scoring, second among small-forwards in rebounding, and 11th in assists. None of those ranking suggest James has taken a single step back.

James is the oldest one on my list and is the most worn down, but he’s still who I’m building my franchise around. Another five elite years of LeBron James is better than five elite years of any current player in the NBA.

 

2. Stephen Curry

What more can be said about last year’s league MVP that hasn’t been said these past two years. Best shooter in the league? Best shooter on the planet? Best shooter we’ve ever seen? My vote is for all of the above.

Curry is currently leaving everyone in the dust in this year’s Most Valuable Player award race. Leading the NBA in scoring and leading his team to a 22-0 start is just the start of Curry’s resume. He’s shooting a career-high 53-percent on a career-high 20 shots per game. 11 of those shots are coming from three where he’s shooting a career-best 47-percent.

Curry is second in offensive rating, first in offensive win shares, first in win shares, first in plus-minus and the list goes on and on. He’s continuously gotten better year in, year out, on both sides of the ball. We don’t talk about the strides he’s taken as defender enough because of how tantalizing he can be offensively.

Like Durant, Curry is 27. He’s in the midst of his prime and building my team around a point-guard is something I prefer. Curry is an iron-man and has only missed 12 games over the last four-plus seasons. Everything he touches seems to turn golden..I’ll show myself out.

 

3. Anthony Davis

I was torn on whether or not I’d take Davis or Durant third, but the brow edged it out. Davis is just 22-years young and is already one of the game’s elite. The thing that separates he and Durant is Davis’ ability to dominate games without dominating the ball. He was only 13th in usage percentage (27-percent) last season and still managed to score 24.4 points per game. Durant averages 30-percent usage over his entire career.

Davis’ ability to take over games isn’t just on the offensive side of the ball. He’s one of the best rim protectors in all of the NBA. Davis led the entire association in blocks per game the past two seasons. If it wasn’t for Hassan Whiteside’s insane start to 2015-’16, he’d be in the hunt for a third.

When Davis develops more of a post-game, he’ll be virtually unstoppable. He’ll be able to control games with the ball, off the ball, and on the defensive end. He’s already expanded his offensive repertoire to the three-point line where’s he’s knocked down 37-percent of his three’s.

 

4. Kevin Durant

I still believe that Kevin Durant is the world’s best scorer, even though a lot of people believe Stephen Curry has taken those reigns. We’ve never seen a player at Durant’s size do what he does. A seven-footer that can handle the ball like a point-guard and stop on a dime and shoot from 30 is extremely rare.

Durant is still just 27-years old, so age is not a concern. His growth on defense is something worth noting and something that isn’t talked about enough. This seems to become a trend with players that are elite scorers.

2015-’16 has been good to KD. He’s averaging a career-high 51.6-percent from the field, while knocking down 43.7-percent of his three’s, and 88.2-percent of his free-throw’s. He’s already notched a 50-40-90 season under his belt and he might need to loosen it again because he’s well in reach of recording another.

Durant’s foot issue from last season is seemingly long gone and shouldn’t be of any concern. The Slim Reaper is back and looks as good as ever. He’s one day going to retire as one of the all-time greats, hopefully with a ring or three.

 

5. Kawhi Leonard

With an already impressive resume for never being ‘the man’, Leonard checks in at number five. Some may think it’s a stretch, but I only think it’s up from here.

When entering the league, Leonard was known solely for his incredible defensive abilities but boy has his game blossomed. Leonard is averaging 21.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.9 steals per game on 50-percent shooting, 50-percent from three, and 86-percent from the charity stripe.

Not only has he turned into an offensive star, but he’s still that lock-down defender he was coming out of college. The reigning defensive player of the year is currently third in defensive rating and second in defensive win shares.

In my opinion, Leonard is the best two-way player in the game. Still only 24, he’s improved with every passing year. He’s finally become the number one option in San Antonio and has become the face of their franchise.

Honorable Mention: Blake Griffin

All Facets Of The Game: NBA Round-Table Discussion

This is our second edition All Facets Of The Game Round-Table discussion! We’ve invited some followers to join us and answer questions we’ve put together. Here is the list of those that took part:

Question 1: In your opinion, who are the 5 greatest Lakers in order and why?

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@LegitNBA 

1) Magic Johnson
2) Jerry West
3) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
4) Wilt Chamberlain
5) Elgin Baylor
Personally there just is way to much greatness to put it all in order. But i can say these 5 players are better than Kobe.

@ItsTariqAhmad

5) Elgin played 14 years in the league averaging 27 points, 13 rebounds a game; and in 134 playoff games, Baylor averaged 27 points and 12 rebounds. In the 1962 season, he became the first player in NBA history to finish top 5 in 4 majar statistical categories (Scoring, Rebounding, Assists and Free throw percentage).

4) Wilt was pure dominant. His record 100 points in a game, rebounds in a game (55) still stands. During the 1961-62’ season, Wilt averaged 50.4 points a game. I mean come on.

3) Bryant is tied with Magic with five rings.  He has an NBA MVP, two finals MVPs and four all star MVPs including the second highest scoring game in the NBA history with 81 points. He is the NBA’s third scoring all time leader behind Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He continues his push to one day be remembered as the greatest Lakers of all time and for that, Bryant will probably need another ring in his resume.

2) As a Laker, he has over 24,000 points, five NBA championships, three MVP’s, a Finals MVP, and the NBA’s most unstoppable shot the game has ever seen. Not only that, he is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. Guess who?

1) Magic Johnson is the greatest Lakers of all time, to me. He took the team to nine finals, winning five of them. He won three NBA MVP’s, three Finals MVP’s, and two all-star MVP’s in arguably the greatest, toughest era of basketball. He changed the game. He made basketball fun and entertaining.

@The_Real_Grande

1) Magic Johnson – The game’s greatest point guard, and leader of the showtime days is the second greatest player of all-time. Pretty sure that warrants the greatest player from your franchise.

2) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – Most points ever, 6 time MVP, 2 times finals MVP, 11 first-team NBA awards, 5 first-team all-defense team. What else is there to say?

3) Kobe Bryant – Bean has been special. He transformed from young, Afro, high-flying number 8 wearing Kobe to short hair, number 24, post-up, take you off the dribble, hit his infamous fade away jumper in your face, Kobe. Now third all-time in points. What a career it has been.

4) Shaquille O’Neal – The most imposing force down on the block I’ve ever seen, Shaq couldn’t be stopped by almost anyone or anything, other then the charity stripe.

5) Jerry West – There was no way I could not include the man that they call “The Logo.” West averaged 27 points, almost 7 assists and 6 rebounds per game during his amazing Laker career.

@Yama_Hazheer

1) Kobe Bryant – Five titles, an MVP, two Finals MVPs, 17-time All-Star, along with several other awards belong to Bryant. He has done it all in only one uniform, the purple and gold. If that doesn’t do it for you, maybe his 81 points will.

2) Magic Johnson – Johnson is considered the best point guard in NBA history by many, and deservedly so. He used his length and vision to become one of the best passers we have seen. This is the main reason he had over ten thousand assists as a Laker. It’s a shame he had to end his career early.

3) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – KAJ leads the NBA in scoring and looks like it’s a record that will be hard to be topped. He did not spend most of his career with the Lakers, but dominated when he was with the team. He is always among the top three, or even the best when the greatest centers ever are debated.

4) Jerry West – The Logo scored over 25,000 career points for the Lakers and helped lead the team get into nine NBA Finals. Yes, you read that correctly. He was the poster boy for the Lakers during his time and the third best shooting guard of all-time.

5) Shaquille O’Neal – Shaq did not win all of his titles with the Lakers, but was the most dominant player of his time and arguably ever. He won the Finals MVP three times and put up ridiculous numbers during the playoffs when it mattered most. Outside of free-throw shooting, O’Neal had minimal flaws.

Question 2: Where do YOU have LeBron James ranked on your all-time list as of right now, where do YOU think he will ultimately finish?

@LegitNBA

Right now I have Lebron top 15 maybe top 20. He easily could finish top 5. No way he’ll be better than Jordan, but he could be second easily. It depends on the length of his career.

@ItsTariqAhmad

I have ranked LeBron just outside of the top 5 for right now (6th). LeBron James is one of the greatest basketball players to ever play this and his resume speaks for itself. 11 time all-star, four times NBA MVP, two times Finals MVP and the list goes on and on. He is the best basketball player in the world, and it’s not even close. He has had his struggles in the past which makes it tough for me to put him in the top five yet, but he will be when it is all set and done.

@The_Real_Grande

Currently, LeBron is a borderline top 10 player of all-time. That is insane to think about since he’s still only 30 years old. He’s a 2 time champion, 2 time finals MVP, 4 time league MVP, 11 time all-star, 5 time first team all-defense and the accolades go on and on. That’s an entire hall of fame career for a guy who’s 30 and still in his prime. LBJ holds every point milestone from 1,000 up to 24,000 total points. Something that I doubt can ever be done again.

Ultimately, I think LeBron ends at number 2, right behind MJ. It’s hard to go against Michael, knowing what he’s accomplished and his career is set in stone already. Anything can happen, LeBron has proven year in and year out that his offseason plans are getting better and he’s seemingly done that every year.

@Yama_Hazheer

LeBron is a top 10-12 player of all-time right now. He will go down in the top 5 easily, though. He still has to a win a few more rings before he can solidify himself as a legitimate top 10 guy in league history, but is well on his way.

Question 3: Based on the whole body of work both KG and Dirk have put forth, who has had a better career?

@LegitNBA

Personally I think KG was the better overall player. Better scorer and defender in prime years. But Dirks longevity of premier basketball has allowed him to win this discussion.

@ItsTariqAhmad

Kevin Garnett has had a better career than Dirk Nowitzki. Both have just one championship. But what separates Garnett from Nowitzki is his ability to play both sides of the ball. Dirk is a great scorer with one of the most unstoppable shots in the game we have ever seen but that is pretty much it. He can’t defend anyone, he is not a physical beast or a man in the middle. You would have to surround Dirk with great role players in order to see success. Garnett had the ability to drop 40 on your best low-post defender, grab 15 rebounds and shut down the paint. He was a total package.

@The_Real_Grande

Kevin Garnett slightly edges Dirk for me. Both have a championship, both have an MVP. Both have something the other doesn’t, though. Dirk has a finals MVP, but KG has a Defensive Player of the Year and that’s the slight separation between the two. Dirk has score more career points in a shorter period of time, but KG sacrificed his dominant offensive role in order to win a championship. Dirk’s longevity at a high level has been incredible, really, but KG’s years in Minnesota, early years in Boston were amazing.

@Yama_Hazheer

Dirk Nowitzki has had a better career than Kevin Garnett. Nowitzki is still releavent in 2015 while Garnett is rotting on a bottom-feeder in the Eastern Conference. Garnett won his championship ring alongside two future Hall-of-Famers. Nowitzki’s second best player? An aging Jason Kidd. Nowitzki hasn’t had the success that Garnett has had on the defensive side of the ball, but his career has been better. He has spent whole career in Dallas and has been successful nearly the whole time, not many players can say that.

Question 4: This is a two part question: Part 1 – Do you think Kyle Korver finishes the season with the first 50/50/90 ever? Part 2: How far do you see the Hawks going this season? Why?

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@LegitNBA

Part 1 – Yes I think he goes 50/50/90. As long as he doesn’t get a huge cold streak he should do it.

Part 2 – I think the Hawks could get far into the playoffs. Especially in the east.

@ItsTariqAhmad

Part 1 – I hope he does. Kyle Korver is one of the greatest sharp shooters the game has ever seen. I hope he ends up finishing the season with the first 50/50/90 season. He deserves it.

Part 2 – How far do the Hawks go this season? I think they end up losing to the Cavs whether it is the second round or the conference finals. They have the team to win the Eastern conference, no doubts, but I think they do struggle against the Cavs and LeBron. In a 7-game series, the Cavs have too much scoring (not to mention LeBron) for the Hawks to overcome. The Hawks play Spurs-like, but even the Spurs had someone (Tony Parker) who they can go to down the stretch when need to. Do the Hawks have that guy? Is it Teague? Millsap? Or Horford? We’ll find it out in the playoffs.

@The_Real_Grande

Part 1 – I do think Korver ends up with 50/50/90. The hardest part will be continuing to shoot above 50% from the 3 point line. There have only been 8 occasions where somebody has shot over 50% from behind the arc, Korver himself holds the single season record.

Part 2 – I’m a firm believer the Hawks can make a run at the NBA finals. Sure the top of the Eastern Conference is good. The Hawks sit at 43-11 and 6 ½ games ahead of the second place Raptors. They have the best record against teams above .500 in the entire league and are 15-4 against the ever so daunted west. They play team basketball and can handle anybody in a series, in my honest opinion.

@Yama_Hazheer

Part 1 – Korver only averaged 48 percent on two-point baskets. His three-point shooting is helping him keep up the first 50 percent in the 50/50/90 tremendously. It’s very, very hard to do. Defenses will be more focused on him in the second half of the season as they will give it their all to test the Hawks as a measuring stick. As much as I would like to see it as a basketball fan, I do not see it happening.

Part 2 – The Hawks will lose to the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals. They are a fun team, well coached, and a feel good story but they simply lack the star power needed to win an NBA Championship. We saw it with the Detroit Pistons in 2004, but do you honestly think they stood a chance if the Lakers didn’t have the chemistry issues and off-court drama that season? The underdog story is always fun to root for, but the Hawks won’t go further than the ECF.

Question 5: Which current playoff team, or team in contention should make a move by the trade deadline? What’s a move, opinion again, you could see that team making?

@LegitNBA

Definitely the Clippers are a team that I could see make a move for a solid bench big man. Since blakes been out no one has stepped up to fill the role at the 4. Even if it’s only for a year I could see them making a trade.

@ItsTariqAhmad

Get LeBron James to the Warriors. The Warriors will be guaranteed to win a championship this year. I think the Warriors need him.

@The_Real_Grande

I believe Houston should make a move. If you think of all the current teams in playoff contention, almost every team has a better point guard. Pat Beverley is a good player, but I’m not sure Houston can win a championship with him running the show. I’ve been all aboard the Goran Dragic Rockets reunion the day he told Suns management he’s done with them. He would have so much space to operate with Harden getting all the attention.

@Yama_Hazheer

The Warriors should try to trade for Kevin Garnett. Mo Speights and David Lee cannot play defense to save their lives. Festus Ezeli is hurt almost all the time and hasn’t looked good when he has played. Andrew Bogut anchors their defense, but it’ll be hard to count on him for the postseason. Garnett would be excited to play for a championship contender and give them the defensive toughness they need from a big man alongside Draymond Green.

I can also see the Rockets trying to somehow land Goran Dragic. They have been wanting a top point guard for the past few years and he would be ideal for them if he agrees to stay there long-term. A James Harden-Dragic backcourt would be too good to pass up.

NBA MVP Race

Here’s a poll for YOU, the fans. The second half of the season is about to begin, who do YOU think will win the season? We’ve put obvious 4 names that everyone seemingly has in: Beard, Bron, Brow and…Steph!

Vote away!

All Facets Of The Game NBA Questionnaire

You guys sent them in and I’m here to give you my best answer for each one. This round of questions was strictly NBA based questions.

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Question 1: What are your finals predictions?

From: @Zach_Mason33

Well this is a fairly tricky question. With the Western Conference being so wide open, a few teams, mostly Cleveland, surging in the East, my answer could be completely wrong. In the Eastern Conference, it’s hard to pick against the Atlanta Hawks. Atlanta has beaten all the top teams in the East. Cleveland, Chicago, Washington all twice, Toronto and Milwaukee once each. They have the best record in the NBA against teams above .500 (19-7) and are also a 14-4 against the daunting Western conference including wins over Golden State, Memphis, Portland, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Houston. At 42-10, 3 all-stars and maybe a 4th coming, Atlanta is for real and the rest of the league is finally giving them the credit they deserve.

Out west, I have a hard time picking against the teams that are 1 and 2 in the standings currently. Golden State and Memphis are so dangerous, it’s almost a coin toss at this point. Gun to my head? I’m not sure Golden State could grind out a series against the Grizzlies, though. They’re 12-2 since the acquisition of Jeff Green from Boston and he adds a whole new scoring dimension to an already improved offense. Z-Bo has looked like he’s 25 again, while Marc Gasol and Mike Conley are scoring at career-high marks. They allow the least amount of points in the league (95.9) and are healthy as ever. Oh yeah, they just happen to beat Atlanta tonight.

Question 2: Best team in the NBA? Griz, Hawks or the Warriors.

From: @ItsTariqAhmad

A total coincidence that all three teams were aforementioned in the last question, but that title belongs to the Atlanta Hawks, even after there loss to Memphis. They now split their season series at 1, so it’s been an even match-up. Everything Atlanta has accomplished so far this year puts them at number one. The success against teams above .500, success against the west, they’re 6th overall in points per game and allow the 4th least points on the flip side of the ball. Coach Bud has been a godsend for this team.

Question 3: Opinion on George Karl coaching the Kings?

From: @FrankELLIS2

George Karl was fired a season after winning 57 games in Denver and hasn’t coached since the ’12-’13 season and he REALLY wants to coach again and that’s very clear. Two openings both occurred at the same time in Sacramento and Orlando. Realistically, Orlando seems to be the more intriguing option for incoming coaches. Sure the Kings have Boogie Cousins, and that right there is a damn intriguing option, but Orlando has built a really nice young core in recent years. With a few reports coming out about Cousins and his camp might be against Karl’s signing, he might want to talk to Orlando about their vacant position before he completely makes up his mind and heads to Boogie town.

Question 4: Top 5 passers in the game?

From: @_RyRo_

This is a very tough question. Mostly because how deep the point guard position has truly become, but also because of how truly amazing some big men can pass in today’s league. Chris Paul is number one for me. 5 out of 6 past seasons CP3 has lead in AST/TO ratio and was second the one year he didn’t lead. He’s had at least 9 assists per game since the 06-07 season. Second is Rajon Rondo. Even though he’s struggled in Dallas, he’s still an elite passer. That has been his cup of tea his whole career and it’s something Rondo will never lose. Third and rising is Steph Curry. Steph needs to be a little less turnover prone, but man nobody can snap off a lefty pass across his body cross the wing quite like the young Wardell. The first non point guard on this list comes in at number four and that would be LeBron James. Today’s modern day scoring Magic Johnson seems to make a dazzling pass every game now-a-days. Fifth, is Ricky Rubio. As much as a burden he can be scoring or the lack of, he can really run an offense and pass the ball exceptionally well.

Thanks to those who participated!

All Facets of the Game NBA All-Star Ballot

We’re less than two months away from the all-star game and the ballot just opened up to all fans. So it’s time we show you who we believe should be on both conferences all-star teams.

Eastern Conference

Starters

1JWALLGuardJohn Wall He’s moved himself into the elite point guard discussion this season. He can score at the rim with the best of them, he’s only 0.3 assists per game from leading the league and he’s third in steals per game. He’s been the best point guard in the east and should be compensated with a starting position in this years all-star game.

NBA: Preseason-Chicago Bulls at Milwaukee Bucks

Guard: Jimmy Butler Between he and Dwyane Wade, you can flip a coin. That being said Jimmy, gets me nod for this spot. He’s been one of the better two-way players in the entire league and he’s having a career year. He’s taken the third most free-throws in the league and is playing his way towards a max contract after declining the Bulls first offer.

1LBJ

Forward: LeBron James The leagues best player is a shoe in, year in year out. The 25 points a night leads the eastern conference and his 7,8 assists per is up a full assist from his career average. Right there in the MVP discussion per usual, LBJ would be here with or without the numbers due to the fans.

tumblr_miugb1TXJc1s6bjpio1_400

Forward: Carmelo Anthony As bad as the five win Knicks have been, Melo isn’t the reason by any means. One of the leagues best scorer, as per usual, Melo has been scoring and rebounding at a solid clip. Carmelo deserves better than this, but maybe he should have listened to his instinct and left for Chicago.

1VUC

Forward: Nikola Vucevic The surprise of the bunch to many, but Nikola has been nothing short of amazing this season. Averaging 18 and 12 is no joke, and doing it on 51.5 percent shooting is impressive. Impressive enough to get him a starting bid.

Bench

Kyle LowryJeff TeagueDwyane WadeTobias Harris – Jeff GreenPau GasolChris BoshAl Jefferson

Western Conference

Starters

Golden State Warriors v Utah Jazz

Guard: Stephen Curry The league’s MVP thus far has been nothing short of spectacular. Averaging 24/7/5 on almost 50/40/90 shooting, Wardell is third in PER and is who everyone wants to watch when the team from Oakland takes the floor.

1BEARD

Guard: James Harden – He’s scoring the most points per game in the entire NBA, the beard is a strong MVP candidate. Not only has he done it just scoring, but he’s assisting and rebounding at a high level as well; 7 and 6 per, respectively.

1BLAKE

Forward: Blake Griffin – Mr. I only dunk seems to be shooting pretty good outside of just dunking the ball. Shooting 49 percent from the floor and an outstanding 53 percent from three. His rebounding numbers are down, but Blake is a star, and he shines during the all-star game.

1AD

Forward: Anthony Davis – Has a star blossomed before our eyes. AD may be the best player in basketball this season. Best two-way player in the game deserves this nod more than maybe anybody. Will he be the first MVP in the last 20 years that isn’t one of the two best teams in his respective conference?

1MARCGASOL

Forward: Marc Gasol – The best center in the NBA this season, Gasol has featured a little bit of everything this year; scoring, passing, defense and rebounding. He should be a starter as he’s at the top of the list, as the two starting west guards are, for the MVP.

Bench

Damian LillardChris PaulKlay ThompsonMonta EllisKobe BryantLaMarcus AldridgeDeMarcus Cousins

NBA 2014-2015 Predictions

We will give our predictions for both divisions, conferences, playoffs and personal awards.

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Eastern Conference

Atlantic                                                                                    

  1. Toronto Raptors                                                                
  2. New York Knicks                                                                 
  3. Brooklyn Nets                                                                    
  4. Boston Celtics                                                                    
  5. Philadelphia 76ers

Central                                                                                     

  1. Chicago Bulls                                                                     
  2. Cleveland Cavaliers                                                           
  3. Indiana Pacers
  4. Detroit Pistons
  5. Milwaukee Bucks

Southeast

  1. Washington Wizards
  2. Charlotte Hornets
  3. Miami Heat
  4. Atlanta Hawks
  5. Orlando Magic
Conference Standings
  1. Chicago Bulls
  2. Cleveland Cavaliers
  3. Toronto Raptors
  4. Washington Wizards
  5. Charlotte Hornets
  6. Miami Heat
  7. Atlanta Hawks
  8. New York Knicks

Western Conference

Northeast

  1. Portland Trailblazers
  2. Oklahoma City Thunder
  3. Denver Nuggets
  4. Utah Jazz
  5. Minnesota Timberwolves

Pacific

  1. Los Angeles Clippers
  2. Golden State Warriors
  3. Phoenix Suns
  4. Sacramento Kings
  5. Los Angeles Lakers

Southwest

  1. San Antonio Spurs
  2. Houston Rockets 
  3. Dallas Mavericks
  4. New Orleans Pelicans
  5. Memphis Grizzlies 
Conference Standings
  1. Los Angeles Clippers
  2. San Antonio Spurs
  3. Golden State Warriors
  4. Portland Trailblazers
  5. Oklahoma City Thunder
  6. Houston Rockets
  7. Phoenix Suns
  8. Dallas Mavericks

We both agreed that the Pelicans have a chance to overtake Dallas in their division and in the conference standings.

Player Awards

  • MVP

@The_Real_Grande1) Steph Curry 2) LeBron James 3) Derrick Rose

@jessedoyle7: 1) LeBron James 2) Derrick Rose 3) Anthony Davis

  • Rookie of the Year

@The_Real_Grande: 1) Jabari Parker 2) Nerlens Noel 3) Andrew Wiggins

@jessedoyle7: 1) Jabari Parker 2) Nerlens Noel 3) Andrew Wiggins

  • 6th Man of the Year

@The_Real_Grande: 1) Isaiah Thomas 2) Jamal Crawford 3) Ryan Anderson

@jessedoyle7: 1) Jamal Crawford 2) Ryan Anderson 3) Doug McDermott

  • Comeback Player of the Year

@The_Real_Grande: 1) Derrick Rose 2) Al Horford 3) Kobe Bryant

@jessedoyle7: 1) Derrick Rose 2) Kobe Bryant 3) Al Horford

  • Defensive Player of the Year

@The_Real_Grande: 1) Anthony Davis 2) Joakim Noah 3) LeBron James

@jessedoyle7: 1) Anthony Davis 2) Joakim Noah 3) DeAndre Jordan

  • Coach of the Year

@The_Real_Grande: 1) Tom Thibodeau 2) Doc Rivers 3) Gregg Popovich

@jessedoyle7: 1) Steve Kerr 2) Tom Thibodeau 3) David Blatt