What To Expect From The Rest Of The Finals

In every game of this year’s Finals, something has gone wrong for someone.  Golden State dominated Games 1 and 2 because Kevin Love is a liability, and started both games.  Love getting hurt was the best thing to happen to the Cavaliers in this series.  Cleveland killed Golden State in Game 3 because their new lineup worked, and the Splash Brothers were cold.

Game 4 was huge, because the Cavaliers had a decision to make regarding Love, and had to expect a better performance from the Splash Brothers.  The Cavaliers made the right decision in starting Richard Jefferson, and played well the entire game, until Tyronn Lue forgot how to coach.

In the final six minutes of Game 4, the Cavaliers had zero ball movement offensively, and went totally iso with their play.  And Tyronn Lue did nothing.  Sure, fatigue played a part.  But Ty Lue forgot to coach in those final six minutes.  That lost them the game.  Cleveland had Game 4 in their hands.

The morning after Game 4, my mindset on the series was this:

What I had seen before the final six minutes of Game 4 had me convinced.  It was setting up an epic Game 5, until Draymond Green’s suspension brought down the excitement a bit.

I thought Draymond’s suspension was unnecessary.  Sure, it wasn’t great what he did, but it was no worse than him giving Steven Adams a shot in that area.  The NBA should have suspended him for that, not the LeBron incident.

Draymond’s absence from Game 5 last night was substantial, but its not why the Warriors lost.  That was an epic performance from LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.  It was time for Kyrie to show up and for LeBron to take over.  We’d been waiting on both of those to happen in these Finals.  They both happened in one game, and thats why the Warriors lost.  Golden State didn’t play bad.  Cleveland just played so much better.

Taking in all of this, Game 6 is shaping up to be an epic game, if everything goes right.  Here are those steps:

  1. Cleveland starts Richard Jefferson
  2. Draymond comes back fired up
  3. Splash Brothers play well
  4. Tyrone Lue coaches in crunch time
  5. LeBron isn’t passive
  6. Kyrie plays well

If all this happens in Game 6 (or 7), it will be epic.  This is the Finals.  This is what we expect, right?

We’ve yet to have a game go down to the wire in this series.  We almost had it in Game 4.  Game 6 should be that game, if all goes right.  We deserve it.

On the Jimmy Butler trade rumors…

News broke prior to last night’s game tipping off that the Timberwolves are making a push to trade for Jimmy Butler.  This isn’t too surprising, since the Celtics made offer at the Trade Deadline in February, plus his old coach (Which he reportedly liked.) is now in Minnesota, and since he doesn’t seem too happy in Chicago.

The report said that Minnesota would part ways with their No.5 overall pick in the Draft, but what people don’t understand is thats not nearly enough.

The Wolves have plenty of assets to do a deal if they want to.  However, their interest says three things.

  1. They don’t like Jamal Murray much
  2. They plan on keeping Ricky Rubio as their point guard
  3. They have realized what Zach Lavine is

Giving up the No.5 overall pick means no Jamal Murray and no Ricky Rubio trade this Summer.  With a team this good, having Ricky Rubio at point guard is fine.  You know how I feel about him.

This also says that Minnesota has realized Zach Lavine isn’t a point guard.  He’s a two-gaurd and has been since he got in the league.  I love Zach Lavine.  He’s awesome to watch and can shoot.  But he’s not a point guard.  He’s not exactly what we thought we’d be.

To get a deal done with Chicago, this is what would have to occur:

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 11.43.18 AM

Throw in the No.5 overall pick, and we have a deal.  (The Trade Machine doesn’t allow picks to be traded.)

I think thats enough.  Chicago clearly likes someone who’s going to go in the top six or so.  There’s your pick value.

Chicago probably demands Lavine since they’re losing their starting shooting guard.  The Wolves probably figure that Butler’s ceiling is higher than Lavine’s, which is a fair assumption.  One of my Wolves friends told me “I like Lavine, but I like Butler a lot more.”  You’d think the Wolves feel that way too.  Anyone can understand that.

Nikola Pekovic is in this trade because 1) The Wolves need to dump him.  2) His fat contract balances out the money (AKA, makes the trade successful.).  3) The Bulls could actually use him!  Chicago may lose Joakim Noah AND Pau Gasol in free agency this Summer.  Pek and Bobby Portis could be fun to watch, if it came down to it.

I’ve said that I think this Timberwolves team is gonna win 40 games next season.  If they make a trade like this, practically swapping Jimmy Butler in for Zach Lavine, the playoffs should be very well in sight.