April 23rd Mailbag

Aloha… I wasn’t wrong was I?

This years first round has been the least enticing first round in the last couple years…

So I’m one day removed from getting wisdom teeth pulled (fun stuff) and I’m watching the NBA playoffs on a Friday evening and I have some of the weirdest conclusions…

Despite Cleveland’s 3-0 lead, Pistons-Cavs has been the most fun series in the East. Seeing Cleveland go small, Detroit claw and fight to keep it close, has been fun. The Pistons are inexperienced and have been unable to close out games, but it looks like they’ll be a force to be reckoned with in a few years…

Hawks-Celtics is interesting but the first two games weren’t spectacular…

The league is very top-heavy, but the East weirdly, is better than the west when it comes to overall depth of playoff teams… Yes the Spurs and Warriors are miles ahead of the East and the Thunder are elite too, but teams like Houston, Utah, Memphis, are nowhere near as promising as teams like Detroit and Indiana.

The next few weeks, though I’m super hyped for Captain America: Civil War, will be a little busy and therefore I can’t write all that much… Here’s a preview of things to come.

In a few days, I’ll actually publish a fun screenplay I wrote – a “fake” scene from Captain America: Civil War. I totally did it for fun – as a nerd and fan who understands the characters and that Cinematic Universe, I thought I could have a good time. The film comes out May 6th, but I’ll be watching it that 2nd weekend (like 13th-15th ish) since I’ll be done with some academic stuff on the 11th.

So, it’ll be summer movie season… I’ll have work relating to that! And movies in general – I have not forgotten about the Kobe Bryant/James Bond crossover piece I discussed earlier! kobe_bryant_at_pirates_3_premiere

So, in the next few days, expect the screenplay + commentary… Then here are some key dates.

May 17th and 25th. The 25th is the NBA Draft withdrawal deadline. We’ll know who is coming back to school nad who is staying in the NBA draft. That will mean I can write up a super-early Top-25 and other super early/things to think about for College Hoops. The Draft Lottery is on the 17th, so that will also mean I can do some preliminary mock drafts and other NBA draft-related writing.

And, I’ll always be readily available for movie stuff – especially Civil War and discussion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Then, of course, the NBA Playoffs will continue on, and there will be plenty to discuss.

Now, for the mailbag…

Will there be a Game 7 in the first round? If not, what will our first Game 7 be? 

First, let’s break this down into which series have Game 7 potential.

I’d say there are a few: Raptors-Pacers, Celtics-Hawks, Thunder-Mavs. Maybe Blazers-Clippers.

The one I’d say it most likely to hit 7, is Raptors-Pacers. Kyle Lowry

That being said, I think there will be no game 7’s in the first round. The first one, I hope, would be Thunder-Spurs in the second. That’s just what I’m hoping for though.

Who is inflating and deflating their value for this summer? 

It’s hard to deflate your value too much when the cap is going to skyrocket. Derozan is not playing super well, but he’ll get a max based on the amount of cap space everybody will have.

As for who is going to inflate their value, given the cap and given the play style, I have a few candidates in mind. Delly is one of them. Someone will pay him 10+ million to either be a defensive guard to complement their point guard or potentially to even run the point. New York? Brooklyn? Chicago? Dallas? I could see them all throwing money at him.

Another person whose value is going up up up – basically all of the Heat. Wade, Deng, Whiteside. It will be interesting to see if the Heat can retain all of them.

What do I have to look forward to in the first round? 

The 2nd round! Just kidding. Watch Stephen Curry’s health. Hopefully he’s okay, otherwise the playoffs lose a lot of excitement.

Can the Celtics rally against the Hawks? Being down 2-0 is an obvious deficit, but this series has had close games and plenty of unpredictability. Meanwhile, as these two teams duel it out in a potentially long series, Cleveland could potentially get more rest if they sweep the Pistons.

Dwight Howard’s body language. I’m not talking about him not reacting to Harden’s game-winner (that was an uncalled offensive foul)… He’s hitting free agency this summer and sometimes it looks like he’s given up on effort because nobody feeds him the ball. Why all the drama Dwight?

Is there any coaching drama among playoff teams? 

This is what happens after years of coaching hot seats – we get a year where a lot of the coaches are pretty safe in the playoffs.

J.B. Bickerstaff probably isn’t back for the Rockets, but he was an interim coach anyway. Joeger could flee Memphis, though now that Thibs is in Minnesota, I think Joeger stays in Memphis, though he could be fired. Coaches on the 1-6 seeds in the West are all safe – the one who has come under the most criticism has been Billy Donovan, and he’s a rookie head coach so there’s no way they’d fire him. In the East, ironically, I’d say that everybody is safe except for the Coach of the 2 seed – Dwayne Casey. He’s probably pretty safe, but if the Raptors collapse in the playoffs, I think Masai may make changes.

 

The first rounds a bit of a yawn, but the last 3 rounds should be exciting.

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