Hasn't CP3 been hurt for a fair portion of the season? I think it is too early to say he and Harden are gelling perfectly. I don't buy them as serious playoff contenders. Harden disappears in the post season and Paul has played the most career playoff games without making the conference finals.
I also think you are overstating Hayward's potential impact for Boston. I think a lot of people were though. I like Hayward, but last year was his only truly good season as a pro. Go back and look at his numbers with Utah, he would have an up season followed by a down season, followed by an up season, followed by a down season. Last year he was a consistent all around scorer and found rhythm. It remains to be seen if he could repeat that though.
I'm not at all surprised by OKC's struggles. They brought in two ball dominant forwards to play will a ball hog in Westbrook. Who thought that was a good idea? It shows you can't just pick up a bunch of name players and expect to win. It doesn't help that both Melo and PG are overrated by those who don't watch them night in and night out. Both guys give up when they are having bad nights, PG is one of the least clutch stars in recent memory, and Melo isn't a two way player. None of the three have ever been described as good teammates either.
If Lonzo could develop a jumper, a very teachable skill, he can become a very good player. His passing ability and court vision are outstanding for someone his age and he isn't afraid to get inside and bang with bigger guys to grab boards. It's just his ugly ugly ugly jump shot that holds him back. They need to rework it now while they are still a Lottery team instead of waiting a few years when they could be actual contenders and still having him shoot 30% from the field.
Derek Rose needs to retire. I feel kind of bad for the guy. He was a great athletic slasher who could score inside at will. He was never a great defender or facilitator, but he was a bonafide star at what he did. That ACL injury took almost all that explosiveness away, and he refused to change up his game when he came back. At this point I think his issue is just as much mental as it was playing for Tom Thibodeau. Defensive guru or not, he kills guys careers by grinding them down with excessive minutes.
Oh, and Jason Kidd needs to go. Aside from riding Giannis way too hard, he can't coach. His offensive calls consist of either isolation plays hoping that Giannis will find a shot, or having a guard at the top of the key while the other four guys sort of shamble around the post to their set positions. Defensively, the Bucks should be one of the best teams in the league with plus defenders in Giannis, Bledsoe, Middelton, Henson, Snell, and Brogdon, but no. 99% of the time he instructs the guys to converge on the ball carrier, which leads to them chasing and leaving a wing open for an easy three or drive to the basket. Then when they don't end up chasing, the overuse the double team and the other defenders don't rotate to cover the passing lanes or corner shooters. People will point to his record and say he is decent, but Mark Jackson had a solid record by lucking into a talented team too. The minute Jackson was out and Kerr came in, he made GS way better because he can actually get the most out of the talent he has and not just rely on one or two big names to carry a team.
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