3x3 Basketball

Bloggers Insight: NBA 2013-2014 Q&A (part 2)

1. Who do you pick for your All-Star 5 right now, East & West? Who wins?
Nickels 4 Dimes: EAST: Lebron James, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade ( I'm biased ) & Kyrie Irving
WEST: Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Kevin Love, James Harden & LaMarcus Aldridge
The West is way too deep to lose the ASG...

Vincent Van Genechten: 
East: Kyrie Irving - Dwyane Wade - LeBron James - Paul George - Roy Hibbert
West: Steph Curry - James Harden - Kevin Durant - LaMarcus Aldridge - Kevin Love
West will win. 

HVP's Junkyard:
Right now I'd have the following guys for my All-Star 5 + back-up:
  1. Steph Curry (or Damian Lillard)
  2. Paul George (or Kobe, just kidding, James Harden)
  3. LeBron James (there is no better forward/player but if I need a back-up I'll take KD)
  4. LaMarcus Aldridge (or Kevin Love, although I feel like Love complains a lot lately - put up, or shut up. The fact that the T'Wolves can't close games rests on his shoulders)
  5. Roy Hibbert ( and I like Pekovic even though he's not at that All-Star level)
Worth mentioning: Anthony Davis & Chris Paul. Both playing really well untill injuries set them back.
The East is weaker, but has the best player in the league. I give them the win.

2. Wich team and wich player is the biggest surprise this far? Who’s the biggest upset?
Nickels 4 Dimes: 
Biggest surprise is without a doubt the Phoenix Suns. No one thought Eric Bledsoe was going to be this good this early, but he is. If you take a look at the advanced stats you can spot NO difference between Dragic and Bledsoe at all. The Morris' twins are playing excellent and Miles Plumlee is looking like a steal. If the Suns can get a big name player, they're looking like a real player in the Western Conference Play-Offs. Kudos to Jeff Hornacek, the first year coach.
As far as biggest surprise player, Aaron Afflalo is probably flying under everybody's radar, including mine. Someone had to point it out to me that this guy is averaging 21 points a game, while shooting 47%. Yes, it's only the Orlando Magic, but he's the main man on an NBA team. Would anyone have thought that a 3D type player would blossom out to an allround scorer, not me...

Vincent Van Genechten:
Biggest surprises: 
  • Portland Trail Blazers: everyone expected a better Blazers' team this season but nobody expected this big leap.
  • Eric Bledsoe: everyone saw the talent but no one thought this guy would be this good and leading the surprising Suns.
Biggest upset: Brooklyn Nets: they haven't been healthy but still, the Nets have not lived up to they hype at all...

HVP's Junkyard:
 I think the Phoenix Suns stunned all of us. They defy odds against a lot of teams. Dragic is hands down the leader of that pack. Eric Bledsoe is probably the biggest surprise there. He's improved a bunch since last year and just recently suffered a knee injury which is unfortunate. Anthony Davis is another player that made serious strides since last year but also got slowed by an injury.Some big upsets that have recently turned their ship around are Brooklyn and New York. Melo was jacking up too many shots (still kind of is...) and the Nets just looked slow. Luckily both teams found their defense and seem to be back on track... besides the J.R. Smith drama (I'm sooooo over it).The Cleveland Caveliers were the biggest upset that still seem to suck. Kyrie Irving is way too inconsistent. He needs to step it up on both ends of the floor. They need to do something about Dion Waiters' attitude (which seems to bug all of the Cavs besides Dion himself). Bynum was a good gamble though, said no one ever.

3. How would you fix the Brooklyn Nets (if they’re fixable)?
Nickels 4 Dimes: Play Andrei Kirilenko ! It's that simple, they're 4-1 when AK-47 plays... For real though, Nobody would've thought Brooklyn would be in this position. But then again, it's just tough luck for the Nets that Garnett and Pierce decided to decline at a rapid pace at the same time. Throw in the ongoing problems with Deron Williams' ankles and suddenly Brooklyn's superstar team is no more.
But I do think it's not a lost season. The Eastern Conference is so weak, they still have a chance to grab homecourt advantage in the Play-Offs. It also seems that Joe Johnson is ready to be the go-to-guy on the offensive end. Let us hope Deron Williams & AK get healthy in time, because I believe they're the two important pieces to righten the ship.
And when Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett can smell the Play-Offs, they will find their fountain of youth for one last hoorah.

Vincent Van Genechten: 
They first and far most need a strong and educated coach who can fire this bunch of veteran players up. The Nets seem to miss a bit of fire and Jason Kidd just doesn't know how to handle it. Also, they just need healthy stars. This franchise is pretty much doomed for the next decade.

HVP's Junkyard:
 I'd subtract about 8 years off of Pierce, Garnett, Kirilenko, Johnson, Williams, and what the heck Kidd's age. That outta do it! No, but seriously, you can't fix age. KG looks slow, Pierce has had an injury. Williams seem to have seen his best days and Johnson is slowly but surely finding his groove. I forgot Kirilenko because he's been going unnoticed all season, nuff said. They need fresh blood. Fortunately they have cap space... oh wait.. never mind.

4. Should we give up on Andrew Bynum?
Nickels 4 Dimes: 
YES

Vincent Van Genechten:
 Haven't we already? This boy just doesn't like to play basketball. That is the most basic assumption when you want to play in the NBA and he doesn't have it. He's just out there to cash his cheques and rely on other players to get him wins. He's so bad for this game...

HVP's Junkyard:
 I think so. He's a talented big man with bad knees, that doesn't want to play anymore and lacked professionalism even when he did play. Not the type of guy I'm betting on. You're better off with Didier Mbenga. Whatever happened to Congo Cash?

5. Who gets the #1 Draft pick in 2014?
Nickels 4 Dimes: Utah, just for laughs. I'd like to see the look on those guys' faces... "Please, don't pick me, please, don't pick me"

Vincent Van Genechten: 
It's a race between the Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic and Utah Jazz. It will probably be the Bucks, if the lottery goes well.

HVP's Junkyard:
Tough to say. A few team that were going to tank seem to be good. I think Utah, Philly, Milwaukee and Orlando are the big suiters...

6. Al wijzigingen in jouw voorspellingen van het begin van het seizoen?
Nickels 4 Dimes: Well, the Cavs kinda suck! Irving lacks efficiency, to be considered as one of the best point guards in the NBA. And my Timberwolves lack a clutch guy. They've lost 10 (!) when the games is decided by the smallest margin of points. Not that good for Kevin Love's MVP campagne.

HVP's Junkyard:
 The better question would be: did anything actually go according to your predictions. In that case, no. And that's something I like. This season has been exciting and surprising. It seems like there are more injuries but apparently that's a myth. I think the problem is that the well known players are getting injured (D Rose, CP3, Lopez, Bledsoe, Horford, ...) We'd like to see everyone stay on the court but when these guys go down it has a serious impact.

Wie wint ROY?
Nickels 4 Dimes: This year's rookies aren't the most efficient bunch. So Michael Carter-Williams runs away with the award, even though he shoots just 40% from the field and under 30% from three point land.
Vincent Van Genechten: 
I had Ben McLemore but I'm going with Michael Carter-Williams now.
HVP's Junkyard:
 Pretty weak rookie class but it's obvious Anthony Bennett gets this one... just kidding, it's Victor Oladipo.

Wie wint Scoring Title?
Nickels 4 Dimes: Durant, easy
Vincent Van Genechten: 
I had Kevin Durant and stick with it.
HVP's Junkyard
: The one and only, Kevin 'Sniper' Durant.

Wie wint DPOY?
Nickels 4 Dimes: Roy Hibbert changes the most shots, I'd give it to him
Vincent Van Genechten: 
I had Dwight Howard but will turn to Roy Hibbert.
HVP's Junkyard:
 Roy Hibbert

Most improved team?
Nickels 4 Dimes: Phoenix Suns. A close second: Portland Trailblazers, with emerging superstars LaMarcus Aldridge & Damian Lillard
Vincent Van Genechten: 
I had Cavaliers or Pistons but will have to go with Phoenix Suns.
HVP's Junkyard:
Golden State. They were already good last year. They seem great right now. A healthy Bogut helps as well as the steal of the off season in Iggy.

MVP?
Nickels 4 Dimes: Kevin Durant, Lebron and the Miami Heat are just chilling right now
Vincent Van Genechten: 
I had LeBron James and gonna keep it that way.
HVP's Junkyard:
 Bron Bron

Finals matchup?
Nickels 4 Dimes: If Westbrook's healthy: Thunder. If Westbrook's not healthy: Spurs. East: Miami Heat
Vincent Van Genechten: 
I had Pacers - Spurs and gonna say: PACERS-SPURS!
HVP's Junkyard:
 If Russell Westbrook comes back healthy it'll be OKC vs Miami. That is, if the Heat can stay healthy. In the worst case scenario it'll be Golden State/San Antonio vs Indiana.I like all those match-ups. Is it the playoffs yet?