Definite Debate – Edition 1.0 @RonQuixote_ and I debate the NBA

Time for some definitive debate. This is a new feature on that will have Ronnie Harris (@RonQuixote_ on Twitter), a good friend of mine, and I debating various sports topics until we’re either blue in the face or we agree with each other completely…could be that both happen simultaneously, so it could be fun.

The first topic up for debate is quite simply this:

If the NBA Finals started today, which two teams would provide us with the best match-up?

I guess what we need to first establish is this: are you a fan of dynasties?

Ronnie (Ron) Harris
If the NBA finals started today, and we kept all things constant (I’m not really expecting blockbuster moves), then I think we would be looking at a rematch of last year’s finals-only this time I think it’s way more interesting. One on hand you have Lebron, who is FINALLY playing like he’s the best player in the world and on the other, Durant (one year older and one year better).

To continue this prediction, the biggest thing to look at would be OKC’s roster altogether: 1. Can Westbrook not be all Westbrook-y when the game on the line 2. Although Harden was marked absent during the entire finals last year, do we really think Kevin Martin is that guy who can perform off the bench? If so, I think OKC takes it this time. Advantage: Big men.

However, if I’m wrong…we may very well be looking at a dynasty Sure D Wade is declining and there’s speculation of Bron leaving South Beach, but who can really stop these guys? No one.

And that’s a NBA I will miss, when marquee players would play their entire career with one (or 2) teams, and not join forces to form a super team. But these superteams are on the way, and we just have to live with them.

Matt McLean
Look, I know that I’m not going to be lauded for saying something as obvious as this, but Miami is a great team and so is Oklahoma City. The bottom line though is San Antonio plays winning basketball too and if we’re just looking at the Western division, I wouldn’t count out the Clippers from making some kind of run either.

You mention LeBron…and I’m with you, clearly he’s the overall favorite for MVP right now (and we can also discuss that here) but I have a couple questions…

One…how do you explain that Miami is currently 13th in points allowed this year? Where is the defense? By contrast, the teams currently below the Heat in the Eastern division, the Knicks, Bulls, Nets, Pacers, and Hawks all allow fewer points per game so far this year. And look at the statistical leaders for Miami…LBJ leads in all categories outside of blocks per game…where’s the balance?

Ronnie (Ron) Harris
To veer off subject for awhile, I currently like what’s happening in the Western right now. The Clippers are extremely deep (and playing defense!!!), the Spurs are being their usual selves…and…didn’t I try to warn you all about Golden State? With Bogut back they may give some unfortunate team a scare in the playoffs.

But let me jump back into this convo.

I’m putting stats aside with my prediction. I think Miami’s defensive numbers may be affected by their second unit…I mean…look at them. Plus…don’t you think Miami is just bored right now? I think the sleeping giant that is Lebron will be awakened come playoff time. He just has another gear that no other player in the league has. And when he moves, so does this Heat team. That look Lebron had in his eyes during the latter portion of the playoffs lets me know that he never wants to fall short of a title again. So expect this Heat team to kick it up a notch once they feel ring #2 near

Matt McLean
Hey, I like veering off subject, it’s precisely why I rarely follow the Mapquest.

Look, the West is deep, very deep in fact, and yes, playing D. San Antonio doesn’t scare many people and that’s exactly why every team in the West should be scared. We could go into a lot of numbers with San Antonio on why they win, but the fact boils down to this…they just know how to win. Period.

If you take the first four teams (the teams that would have home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs) from each division…you’d have Miami, New York, Chicago, and Brooklyn in the East, and San Antonio, OKC, the Clippers and Memphis in the West. I’m sorry but give me the West there…LeBron may be the new gold standard in the NBA for superstars, but I’ll take that foursome from the West every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

BTW – you were totally out front on the Golden State thing…they have good talent and Bogut coming back is huge for them.

So you’re predicting a OKC/Miami final if the Finals started today? Or am I misreading you?

Ronnie (Ron) Harris
Yes, that’s exactly what I’m predicting. Sure the West is better top to bottom but the East is top heavy. If Rondo didn’t go down, this conversation would be different. Because I would tell you that the Celtics get it together by April and carry that momentum into the playoffs…taking them straight to the ECF facing Miami…and who knows where that series goes, but that’s why I love it.

But since All-Star break is approaching and things are beginning to set in stone, I still say OKC-Miami.

(PS Hurry back, Derrick Rose)

Matt McLean
Yeah, if Rose was playing and healthy, and Rondo didn’t bust his knee up, we’re talking a whole other thing in the East…man, is D-Rose ever going to be healthy?

I’m mostly with you…since the East is now pretty much the Heat and everybody else (when the chips are down), I’m taking the Heat to win the East.

The West is just stacked…I think OKC is great, don’t get me wrong, but San Antonio was left with a bad taste in their mouths from last year and somehow I expect this team to show up in playoff time. I think San Antonio gets it done and makes the finals.

Heat sweep if that happens btw…

Ronnie (Ron) Harris
Rose is gearing up for return after the All-Star break and if he’s even 75% of his old self then that would be great. The Bulls have been winning games that they have no business winning (and losing ones that they have no business losing) but Rose’s scoring would add consistency. More importantly, we may be seeing something big building with Jimmy Butler. He’s been that guy in Rose’s absence. I can’t speak for this year, but Rose’s injury may be a blessing in disguise because these role players have developed and gained confidence.

Matt McLean
You gotta wonder what Rose’s long term future in Chicago is though…clearly teams like Miami, New York, Brooklyn, et al are going to be powerhouses in the East. How much longer will Rose and Co. be in that group if they can’t be consistent for 82 games and couple that with a run in the playoffs?

Ronnie (Ron) Harris
I think he stays in Chicago. That’s his city. He wore #23 because of Jordan and he wants to deliver them a title. I think he and Noah healthy could win a title one day with a few more pieces. Plus Thibs’ defensively driven coaching style is kryptonite to many teams

Matt McLean
Sorry but as long as LBJ resides at South Beach, I think the Bulls are blocked from a title. Of course, Lebron isn’t a kid anymore…

So to wrap this Definitive Debate up, give me your MVP candidate for the NBA season if the vote happened right now. For me, it’s Lebron by a nose over KD.

Ronnie (Ron) Harris
I say Lebron over KD also. No one else is really making any ground in this race, although Melo was looking mighty hungry for awhile.

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