As we all expected, Golden State took it back home and did the business. They closed Cleveland out 4-1. To quote my man Caron Butler, this one was a gentleman’s sweep. It was an achievement in itself that Cleveland clawed one game from Golden State. Golden State were simply unstoppable. Durant put them on another level. Can you imagine that team from last year upgrading and replacing Harrison Barnes with Durant? That kind of move renders everything else meaningless. It doesn’t matter that they have Matt Barnes, Paddy McGraw and James Bob McAdoo (or something) on their bench. Curry, Durant, Green and Klay Thompson neutralize all of that. It’s almost like the 92 Dream Team. Their defense might not be the highest ranked but that doesn’t matter because they blow everyone out of the water.
Durant finally gets the ring he wanted (so does David West by the way. He left 10 – 11 Million on the table in Indiana to go ring chasing). No one can tell me it wouldn’t have meant more if he stayed in Oklahoma. You also can’t tell me he will retire a Warrior. If he wins another one, I think his thoughts will start to turn to his legacy. That was what brought Lebron back to Cleveland and I think it will happen to Durant in a few years.
How do you Solve a Problem Like Golden State
I mentioned this before but this is the super team age. I’m not really one for super teams but the competitive balance needs to be restored. We need some more super teams. I’m not sure how many more playoffs I can deal with where one team sweeps through the whole thing.
I’m looking at you Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka to make the Lakers relevant. Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov are due to receive something like $34 million next season so I wonder how much flexibility they have. They are almost certain to draft Lonzo Ball with the second pick but where does that leave D’angelo Russell? They were very high on him only a year ago. What kind of market exists for Russell? What is Russell’s ceiling? Anyway that’s an issue for my post on the draft and free agency.
Which teams are close enough to forming the next Super team? Let’s see
Cleveland: We know P Jax wants to move Melo. We also know Cleveland wants Melo but isn’t willing to give up Kevin Love. Do we think there is some way Melo winds up in Cleveland with the big 3? Will Cleveland send JR Smith, Shumpert and some picks to NY for Melo? (they’re not moving Tristan Thompson either) Is that enough for NY to part with Melo? Will Melo want to move to Cleveland given his issues with Lala? If we forget all that, even with his bad knees, Melo will give them the kind of fire power needed to match Golden State. Slide Tristan Thompson in at the 5 and they have their very own Power 5. That way, they can work Golden State’s starting 5 enough on defense to zap their energy on offence.
Spurs: They are apparently interested in Chris Paul. Let’s leave aside the fact that Chris Paul won’t walk away from $35 Million to go to Texas. Can the Spurs win with CP3? Chris Paul is savvy enough to carve Golden State open. Kawhi will come through but LaMarcus Aldridge is the big question mark. He hasn’t come through in the playoffs for them and that has to be a worry. If this happens and they meet this Golden State team, I’d say Golden State in 6.
Boston: I really don’t think Boston should keep the Markelle Fultz pick. I haven’t watched Fultz but if he is a point guard, what are you drafting him for when you have Isaiah Thomas? If you aren’t handing him the keys to the team, why are you drafting him? Don’t draft him to play off the ball if that isn’t his greatest strength. I think Boston should put a trade deal together and make a run at Paul George. It makes perfect sense. Larry Bird has resigned in Indiana, Paul George didn’t make any All NBA team so he’s not eligible for that $250 Million Super Max deal. He can opt out of his deal next summer and Indiana will be left with nothing. They better move him now and they will get what we hear is the best player in a loaded draft. Jeff Teague can come off the bench or be traded and you can build the team around Fultz and Myles Turner.
Pelicans: You know wherever Cousins goes, I’ll follow. If they get enough gunners around Boogie and Anthony Davis, how far can they go?
Houston: I think they are a superstar wing away from truly competing.
Things are about to get interesting. The draft is next week, start next weekend and free agency starts on the 1st of July. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens