A new story from The Lowe Post

The Lowe Post


Wow, if we get in the playoffs when we face those teams, we're frightened of them, but we'll talk about that, we'll talk about that later. So I will start this discussion by asking you point blank. Every meeting I had this week in New York, I had a lot of meetings. I asked this question. And it was met with deep breaths and size and pauses. Oh my God. Wow. Based on what we know today. Right now, not if everyone's healthy, not if there's an ideal scenario like that, not X, Y, and Z, not if so and so passes so and so in the standings, it gets home court based on what we know right now. Who would you pick to come out of the west and make the finals? So I think to, you know, everything you just said, I think the rules, some of the rules that normally exist don't apply this year because if you're saying that in hollinger went into this and that column, this is kind of the usual mark of a team that makes the finals. If nobody qualifies for that, it is a contender. He was talking out there and kind of everybody's a contender to a degree. I would also sing, are you saying there are no rules? Just right. The other element I would say to your point, though, is with those teams that we kind of think of is sleeping giants individually their chances if they're 6 they're lower are not that high. But if there's three or four of them that have that potential collectively their chances are pretty high. So all of that is my long way of saying that I think there's like 7 or 8 teams that have at least a 5% chance of winning the Western Conference. But without with your the way you phrase the question, I think you have to default to Denver as the number one seed is the single most likely team in the team that has the fewest question marks going into the playoffs. And let's be clear the way I phrased this question is you have to make some assumptions, right? So based on what we know today, my best assumptions would be the following. LeBron comes back at some point towards the end of the beggar season. Do I know that for sure? No, I don't. What the hell is going to happen? We'll see. Durant comes back, let's say two, three games. He gets in the regular season. It could be more, could be less, let's just, but in my head, that's what I'm assuming. Wiggins comes back from this family matter that is very, very serious. And at some point and makes the warriors hold again. Those would be my built in assumptions. I have to answer my own question. Based on all that information all those assumptions, I think I would pick Phoenix and I wouldn't feel great about it because obviously no matter when Durant comes back, assuming he does before the end of the season if he does, they're not going to have a lot of time to play with their key lineups. They are already plus 44 in 62 minutes, which is do the math quite good. With the big three and 8 and on the floral together, just 62 minutes, they got to figure out who their 5th guy is, what their bench rotation is. You can see Monty Williams every game is like, okay, you're gonna play in the first half Jacqueline. Oh, I didn't like that biz Mac you got the stint in a second half, okay. TJ Warren, you give it a shot here in the second quarter. Oh, you still look really injured. Terrence Ross, coming to oh, you were zero for 5. Damian Lee, come on, and it's just like, okay, this is the price of a trade like this mid season without an ability to rebuild your bench, but I think this stretch from Denver was more than just something you can wave away with, like, ah, just malaise, regular season. They don't care. They're going through the motions, yo kitch is playing 9 dimensional chess to lose the MVP on purpose, none of this matters. I think there are real questions about their defense. Jamal Murray's play has been up and down and up and down all season. And their depth just, I had to add a Mars on earlier this week, and I said, who's the second best bench player on their team? Who's the 7th guy on their team? And he said, Christian Brown, who at that point was not even in the rotation. And then went in the rotation, so I think there are real questions about Denver. They are 30 and 6 at home, which to your point is a big deal. I would go Phoenix. I don't feel great about it. I picked the clippers to make the finals before the season. We'll talk about them shortly, but do you worry about how much do you worry about did Durant continuity factor? The idea that they're just not going to have time to figure out their team. I don't worry that much about the drink continuity factor. I mean, I think that's kind of the beauty of Duran is you've talked about so many times that he's like the most plug in place superstar in NBA history and I think we saw that in the three games that he did play with the sun's granted that two of them were against pretty weak competition and the third of which Dallas, like that's a team that has all sorts of its problems of its problems of its own that we'll get into at some point here. So that's maybe why I'm a little lower. And the other aspect of it is, look, if Kevin Durant were healthy this entire time, yes, they would be building continuity. They would also be gaining winds and when they won that game against Dallas, it seemed like there was a pretty good chance they might be able to move into that third seed in that two, three bracket that looks much friendlier right now than if you're in the four, 5 bracket, you're going to probably have to play another one of these teams with a lot of postseason track record in the first round. Second round you're lining up for Denver and that seems like a much more difficult path. I mentioned 2018 is kind of the comparison to the west being this jumbled the next year 2019 is probably the better comparison in terms of one half of the bracket had the rockets, the warriors. I think the rockets play the jazz in the first round that year in the jazz were really strong in terms of point differential. And then the other side of the bracket had Denver, which was making its first playoff run, had the blazers coming off of that sweep in the first round. It was the friendlier side of the bracket and Portland road that to the Conference Finals, whereas Houston, a team that I think generally we would have said was the stronger those two teams lost in the second round because that's when they came up against the war years. Yeah, that was the end. That was really the end of the rocket, more or less. I mean, that was Durant gets hurt at the end of game 5 in that series in Golden State. And the rockets have the red carpet laid out in front of them. Like, okay, the year before your team was better, that was a 65 win team. They were up three two against the warriors and the Conference Finals in the battle of the juggernauts and then Chris Paul got hurt and I drove a dog. I heard the rockets miss 9 million 3s. They lose a series. Come back next year, not as good. The fourth seed warriors of the one seat and down goes Durant and you got a chance and they just pooped the bed and the warriors warriors them to depth with one step draymond pick and roll after another, then Chris Paul got traded and then of course my grand conspiracy starts to kick in between the sixers the rockets James Harden and the nets to defraud the nets out of their draft picks and all this stuff happens and now the sixers are amazing and they have James Harden. Do I believe in that conspiracy? Maybe 5% of my soul does. Okay, let's talk about the playoff races then.

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