Done Waiting on Kawhi

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So, last Friday I wrote about how I, like pretty much everyone else, was awaiting Kawhi's free agency decision. Well, he made it at 4 am the next morning, and he made it loudly. I was absolutely stunned, not by the fact that he joined the Clippers, but that Paul George was a part of this all along, and that Kawhi pretty much knew where he wanted to go from the start.

This is a monumental move by an enormous free agent, and the NBA finally, mercifully, has parity again. There is a big number of teams I could see competing for the title in this upcoming season now. The Clippers are the prohibitive favorites in mine, and pretty much everyone else's eyes. They have 2 of the best 2 way players in the game, Patrick Beverly is the perfect point guard for this team, Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell make for one hell of a duo coming off the bench and Mo Harkless was a solid trade pickup. They did mortgage their future, but they got Kawhi and Paul George. That is a move I would make 10 out of 10 times. The other LA team was left to scramble, much to my delight. I have loved hearing columnists say that "they are making out okay" with the signings of Boogie Cousins and Avery Bradley and Danny Green. Oh, they also brought back Rajon Rondo and JaVale McGee. Hilarious. They do have LeBron and AD though, and that is enough for me the make them a playoff team, but they are now the second team in LA. The Clippers have the better, more well rounded and younger dynamic duo. They also have a far superior head coach.

Also, these journalists trying to say the Lakers did fine, stop. They waited for Kawhi and he shunned them. They blew it, just like the Knicks did with KD. I love that Kawhi chose the Clippers because this means Rich Paul doesn't have as much pull as he thinks he does, and it proves how stupid Rob Pelinka is.

The Thunder are going to be an absolute mess next year, and for awhile. I hope for his sake they trade Russ. He deserves to go somewhere that wants him, and won't trade away super star players all the time. I would love to see him go to Miami, but time will tell. I will say, the Thunder made out like bandits in the trade. They got SEVEN future draft picks, 5 first rounders and Shai Gilgeous Alexander and Danilo Gallinari. Gilgeous Alexander is a guy they can rebuild around, and Gallinari is a great trade asset. But, they are going to be bad for awhile, especially if they trade Russ.

Back to the other contenders besides the Lakers and Clippers. In the West, we cannot just push aside teams like the Trailblazers, Nuggets, Rockets and Warriors. The Trailblazers did some weird stuff this offseason, but they still have Dame and CJ McCollum, and Jusuf Nurkic should be back at some point this year. The Nuggets have everyone back from a team that earned the 2 seed last season. The Rockets, even though they are totally dysfunctional, are still one of the better small ball teams in the league, and they can shoot the lights out. The Warriors have Steph, managed to somehow trade for D'Angelo Russell, get Klay back at some point, still have Draymond and they resigned Kevon Looney. While they won't be as dominant, they are still a playoff team. I can't forget the Jazz. Man did they did so much better this offseason. They are going to be real, real good. The Kings are up and coming too. New Orleans is going to be my favorite League Pass team. The West is going to be so much fun to watch this year.

The East is, in my opinion, Philly's to lose. They are so big, will eat teams up in defense and on the boards and will score just enough to win 55 or so games. They need to stay healthy, but if they do, they are legit. Milwaukee has the reigning MVP, they brought almost everyone back and they were the one seed last year. Giannis will only get better, and the shooting around him is key. The loss of Malcolm Brogdon will hurt more than they think, but they will still be good to great. Miami, especially if they acquire Westbrook, will be solid. They already have Jimmy Butler too. And they play hard and rough and solid defense. They want to take your will away, and I think they have the guys to do it. Boston should be thrilled that they don't have to deal with Kyrie anymore, and Kemba is a good replacement. They also have solid young guys like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. But, Brad Stevens loyalty to Gordon Hayward is a concern, and losing Al Horford is going to sting. The Pacers got some solid pickups in Brogdon and Jeremy Lamb, and when Victor Oladipo gets back, they will be a top 4 seed. The Nets will be a playoff team again this year with the addition of Kyrie. But, next year, even if he is only 70 to 80 percent of his former self, the Nets will be the Clippers biggest threat out East.

I cannot wait to watch the regular season again. This time it will actually count. A game in the middle of the year that features Orlando and Milwaukee, or the Clippers and Nuggets will be fun, and important. This offseason has been wild, and when Kawhi made his choice it was epic. It makes the NBA so much more fun. I can't wait.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on the internet. 

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Waiting on Kawhi

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As we approach the weekend we still have no decision from Kawhi Leonard as to where he will be playing basketball next year.

It is starting to get a bit frustrating for me. I'm obsessed with basketball, especially the NBA, and this free agency period has been absolutely wild, with Kawhi being the lone exception. Pretty much every other big name free agent has signed, or will officially sign tomorrow. KD and Kyrie are on the Nets. Jimmy Butler is going to Miami. Al Horford is going to Philly. Philly re upped Tobias Harris. Kemba Walker is a Celtic. Utah got Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdonavic. Indiana signed Jeremy Lamb and traded for Malcolm Brogdon. I mean, I'm sure I'm missing someone, but for the most part, the big names, and small names, are off the market. Danny Green and Boogie are still out there, but Kawhi is the biggest of the free agents, and he is taking his sweet time. I mean, I guess I shouldn't be as annoyed as I am. I mean, this is his choice, his decision, and he can do whatever in the hell he wants. He can go anywhere he chooses.

In my lifetime every other big time free agent made their choice fairly quick. LeBron signed with Miami, Cleveland the second time and with the Lakers last year before the Fourth. KD announced on the Fourth that he was leaving OKC for Golden State. When Dwayne Wade left Miami for Chicago, it was done before free agency started. Boogie signed with the Warriors before the Fourth last year. The big guys usually do not take this long to make up their minds.

It actually makes me wonder why he is taking so long. Is it because he is so much different than your average star athlete today? Does he not care about the limelight enough that he really wants to think this thing out? Has he really not made up his mind yet? Has he already made up his mind, and he is just toying with the NBA? Has Adam Silver made a call telling him he really needs to consider the Lakers to make them relevant again? Does Uncle Dennis want him to play somewhere he doesn't want to play next year? Is he going to sign with a surprise team?

I do think all of these are legitimate questions, and with a guy like Kawhi, I don't know that they will ever be truly answered. I think he is taking so long because he is a different dude. I like to believe that he is truly split between the Lakers and Raptors. Hell, I would even go as far to say that the Clippers still have an outside shot. I think he is legit writing a pros and cons list for each team, and pouring over it every night. I think he likes the idea of the Clippers because they are essentially the West's version of the Raptors. Also, it is his home and if he could bring a first title there, like he did for the Raptors, think of the legacy. But, the Clippers, to some, not me because they are currently more relevant, are the second LA team, behind the Lakers.

I think he is considering the Lakers because, again, it is home. But also, it is history and legacy and the ability to play with LeBron and AD. He doesn't seem like the "super team" type guy, but who in the hell knows with him. Maybe he has always wanted to play with LeBron, and AD is just icing on the cake. But, if he does go there, he is third in line behind LeBron and AD. Everyone will talk about him third. Also, it would seem so out of character. I've looked at him as the dynasty killer. The guy that avoids the "super team". He is the guy that wants to beat the best, not join them. And he has done that twice.

And then there is Toronto. Many said he didn't want to play there, that he wouldn't even show up after being traded there. Well, not only did he show up, he won them a title. He hit the crucial buzzer beater against the 76ers. He locked down Giannis in the East Finals. And he put that team on his back and dethroned the Warriors. Pretty much everyone returns from that team, they get OG Anounoby back, Masai Ujiri is staying and he is "the man" on that team. Also, a star player from a title team has never left the year after winning it all. Kawhi could, and would, be the one to change that, but I don't understand why he would. He has it made there, the team is good and he makes them the favorite. But, Toronto is not home, and he already won them a title. He may be looking for the next challenge for him in his career. I simply don't know.

I fear he is going to sign with the Lakers, but I hope he does a one and one deal with the Raptors, and tries to win back to back titles. If he stays in Toronto, they are the favorites. If he goes to the Clippers, they will be one of the favorites. And if he chooses the Lakers, they will be the Vegas favorite, but they will have to scrounge up the rest of that lineup. I'll be anxiously awaiting his decision, but I'm done checking #NBAtwitter and Bleacher Report obsessively. Kawhi is taking his time, so I am not going to wait with bated breath. He could choose today, or it could be another week. We shall see, and wait.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on the internet. 

Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

So Far NBA Free Agency has Been Predictably Insane

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NBA free agency started yesterday at around 5pm Saint Louis time, and it has been wild ever since. Yes, today has been a little less hectic, but yesterday was just a flurry of player movement, and big time contracts being handed out. I couldn't go a few minutes without my phone or watch buzzing with another player signing with a new team, or getting the max from their current team. It was nuts.

It all really started well before 5pm, as free agency always does now. But, right at 5:01, we got the big news that KD ad Kyrie Irving were both signing max spots with the Brooklyn Nets. This took me by surprise. I predicted on our pod 2 weeks ago that Kyrie would go to Brooklyn, but I thought KD was going to stay in Golden State. I even went as far to say that if KD were to leave, it would be for the Knicks. I was wrong. KD did go to New York, but he went to Brooklyn. I'm still trying to wrap my head around this a bit. I know that he wants to play with Kyrie, and the Nets are signing his good buddy Deandre Jordan, but still, the Nets? I wonder how much of this has to do with Jay-Z, how much it has to do with not being on the Knicks because James Dolan is a train wreck of an owner, more on him in a few, or how much it has to do with the years, and money, the Nets offered him? I think, given the report, it has to do mostly with Dolan being a humongous dip shit, and not offering him the max because he is apparently afraid of the risk in KD's injury. That is so god damn stupid. If you have a chance to get KD, you get him. Yes, he will not be playing this year at all, and it may take another 6-8 months after that for him to fully be back. But still, KD at 70-80 percent is still one of the top players in the NBA. The Nets, even though I am not a Kyrie fan at all, did get a whole lot better yesterday. But, be patient Nets fans, the payoff won't come for another year and a half, basically until KD is near full recovery. My hat goes off to the Nets though. They are relevant again.

This does mean they had to let go of D'Angelo Russell, who the Golden State Warriors somehow managed to get in a sign and trade. Just when you think the Warriors might have a bit of a down year, at least for them, they go out and find a way to get Russell, and today they maxed out Klay, who will miss most of this year too. But, the fact that they were able to get a player of Russell's caliber in a sign and trade proves how much this team wants to stay relevant. I know they had to offload Andre Iguodala to do this, but, as much as I respect Iggy, he is pretty much done. This was a tremendous, and highly unexpected move on day one of free agency. And Russell has gotten so much better since Magic traded him a few years back to the Nets. He is going to fit in just fine with Steph and Draymond and Klay, when he comes back.

The Heat, while it isn't a done deal yet, went out and got their star, hopefully, in Jimmy Butler. I like this move for both teams. Butler will be "the guy" in Miami, Erik Spoelstra has coached, at a very, very high level, the best of the best, Pat Riley is a great front office guy and there is no sales tax in Miami. Jimmy Butler, if he wasn't going to stay in Philly, made the second best choice in joining the Heat. They just need to get it done.

Butler's old team, the 76ers, gave Tobias Harris a huge deal, but I think he was the better of the 2 guys they traded for on that team. He is a better shooter, and a solid defender. He struggled a bit in the playoffs, but I think he will bounce back. They also resigned Mike Scott, an underrated signing if you ask me, and they got Al Horford to somehow sign there. I don't like that they gave him 4 years. But, with Horford, Embiid and Simmons, that is going to be a monster front court, especially on defense. I mean, good luck getting to the hoop on those guys.

They did lose JJ Redick to the Pelicans, and let me tell you, the Pelicans are crushing this offseason. They got Zion. They got a boat load in return for AD. They are about to sign Derrick Favors. I mean, this is about as fast, and as good, a rebuild as I have ever seen after a team trades a franchise player. I questioned RD saying they could push for the playoffs in the pod I already mentioned, but after yesterday, it wouldn't shock me to see them hang around all year in the standings. They are going to be a boat load of fun to watch as well.

The Bucks gave Khris Middleton the max, as expected, and earned. They also got Brook Lopez and George Hill back. They went out and nabbed Robin Lopez as well. They are, pretty much, running it back. And why not when they won 60 games last year and made the conference finals. But, they did trade Malcom Brogdon. I don't think this is as huge a loss as some do, but it will still hurt. They need to find another shooter.

Brogdon got traded to the Pacers, and the Pacers are going for it. They traded for Brogdon and signed Jeremy Lamb. They could still be in the mix for some trades as well, but I loved their moves so far. They get Oladipo back, they now have a solid scorer in Brogdon, Lamb can be a knock down shooter, and Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner is a very good, very young front court.

The Celtics lost out on Kyrie and Horford, and settled for Kemba Walker. I love Kemba Walker. I've loved him since he was at UCONN. But I fear that the Celtics will try and turn him into Isaish Thomas 2.0. That should not be his place in the NBA. I wished MJ would have paid up to keep him there because Walker was the only reason to even watch the Hornets. Now I have to watch him lose shots to guys like Gordon Hayward, that is a bummer. But, I don't blame him for taking that contract. That was some big money.

Orlando re upped Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ross. They also went out and got Al Farouq Aminu. These moves are fine, but it doesn't really move the needle as far as them being a higher seed in the playoffs next year.

Portland has made some trades, but most importantly, they gave Dame his much deserved max extension. That alone will keep them in contention.

Remember when I said I'd talk more about James Dolan? Well, here it is. He didn't offer KD the max, which is stupid. He took a shoot first guard at number three in this draft. He didn't even try to sign Kemba. He completely whiffed on Kyrie. He traded Kristaps Porzingis last year. And his solution you ask? To give guys like Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson and Julius Randle two and three year deals. I mean, what the hell. I do like Julius Randle, just not as a first or second option, which he will be with the Knicks. Bobby Portis is more known for punching out a teammate in Chicago, and I think Taj Gibson is older than me. And, along with drafting RJ Barrett, who you all know I am not high on, they took Ignas Brazdeikes in the second round, and I watched him all last year at Michigan and think, this guy is not ready for the NBA. The Knicks are a joke, and that is sad. James Dolan is awful, and he needs to sell the team.

There was a bunch of other movement yesterday, and a little more so far today. But, the biggest name, after KD, is still left, and that is Kawhi Leonard. I don't have a single clue as to what he will do, and I am getting a bit frustrated at all the reports saying the Lakers are the front runners to sign him now. I have looked at Kawhi as his own entity. As a guy that wants to be "the guy" on his team. The guy that ends dynasties, doesn't join them. I was personally hoping he'd stay in Toronto, and he very well might, or go to the Clippers, and try and make them a better draw than the Lakers in the same building, and that can still happen too. But, if he sings with the Lakers, I will have a whole blog about how much of a bigger cop out that would be than when KD joined the 73 win Warriors. That would be completely out of character for him, and I don't know how well he would adjust to being the third guy on the Lakers. Also, he would be being coached by LeBron. Sure, Frank Vogel and Jason Kidd are "figureheads" there, but after last season, and this offseason, it is very clear who runs that team now. It is LeBron and Rich Paul. I don't see Kawhi taking too well to that environment. But, if he wants to be in LA, and he chooses the Lakers, so be it. It would be a punk move, but who am I to tell a guy to turn down that much money to go play in his home city. It would only make my hatred for the Lakers that much more intense. But, after all the big stars that signed yesterday, Kawhi is the biggest name left, and he will dictate the course of action in the league next year. Wherever he goes, or if he stays in Toronto, that team will be the favorite because he is there. We just have to wait and see.

I love NBA free agency, and yesterday felt like my birthday. It was a joy to see all the movement and big contracts being signed left and right. I cannot wait to watch the NBA this coming season. It is truly becoming the best sport in the world.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on the internet. 

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Make No Mistake, The Raptors Won the Title on Their Own

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I was going to write more stuff about my trip today, but the Toronto Raptors did it last night. They won the NBA title. They beat Golden State, for the third time I might add, in Oracle to win in 6 games. I'm going to try my best to make this piece just about the Raptors also. I have a lot of thoughts about Golden State's future roster, but that will have to wait for next week as well.

As I was saying, the Raptors won their first title in franchise history last night, and they looked pretty damn good doing it. The team really came together in the last 4 games of the Milwaukee series, and that continued in the Finals. Whatever kind of "slump" that Fred Vanvleet was in, he busted out of it in a big way. Every time he took a shot last night, especially a three, I thought it was going in. He just couldn't miss. They needed him to step up last night, and this whole series, and boy did he ever. He also played some hellacious defense. He stopped and poked and prodded and annoyed Steph all series. Serge Ibaka seemed to regain his mid range shot in the last 2 games. He was also good at attacking the rim, grabbing big time offensive rebounds and blocking pretty much every shot that Boogie tried to put up at the rim. Marc Gasol, while almost non existent except for game one on offense, was great on the boards, passing the ball and with his help defense. He closed so fast and clean on the screens that were being set. It was great to see an old fashioned big man play that type of defense, especially because the Raptors needed him to do it. Kyle Lowry was tremendous in this series. I know he gets knocked a lot for his playoff play, but he was awesome in the Finals. He did all the little stuff in the first 5 games, be it taking charges, making the right pass, running the Warriors shooters off the three point line and getting to the rim and foul line. Then last night he came out on fire. He had 17 points in the first quarter. He was an absolute joy to watch. His play in this series, for me, erases all the choking and bad play in prior playoffs. Pascal Siakim was excellent as well. He made Draymond, the self appointed greatest defensive player ever, look silly at times. He constantly attacked him. He got to the rim with ease and he finished more times than not. Game one for Siakim was a clinic. He made 14 of 17 shots for 30 plus points. Last night, he was almost as good, and he was hitting threes. If he keeps this up, he is on his way to stardom. Even guys like Danny Green and Norman Powell made a huge difference. Powell was the instant offense they needed him to be off the bench, and he was also harassing every Warriors guard that he guarded. Green was shooting so poorly all playoffs, until the Finals. He hit some big time shots in this series. I know he had one flub that could have been costly, but outside of that, he looked like the Danny Green of old. Nick Nurse did one hell of a coaching job in the Finals. He outcoached Steve Kerr in every single facet of the series. He was outstanding. If this was a report card, he got straight A's. Masai Ujuri's gamble paid off, and then some. The 2 trades he made this year won him a title. People, Raptor fans, may have hated them at the time, but they love him now for doing that. He took a huge risk, and it totally paid off.

The final piece of this title, Kawhi Leonard was masterful throughout the playoffs. He did every single thing that was asked of him. When he needed to lock guys like Giannis or Ben Simmons or Aaron Gordon or Klay Thompson down, he did. When he needed to score, he scored plenty. When they needed a final shot, he took it with gusto and made it. When he was double and tripled teamed, he found the open shooter. When he got hurt, he came out and played like the injury didn't even bother him. When he needed to grab a big board, he got it. He was, dare I say, Jordanesque in these playoffs. I have not seen one player dominate as much as Kawhi did in the playoffs this year. At least not since Jordan. He is not Michael Jordan, but he evoked his play in the 2019 playoffs. He was absolutely amazing to watch. He did it all at such a high level, and he did it better than everyone else. He totally deserved the Finals MVP. I mean, who else could it have been. I hope he decides to stay with the Raptors because I think they can be a special team. But, I don't think anyone would blame him if he left. He won a title for that city. He was awesome.

I was very happy to see a new team win the title. I'm in no way a Warriors hater, but I do like to see different teams win sometimes. And the Raptors earned and beat the Warriors. Don't get that twisted. Don't throw the injuries in my face. The Warriors first title was against a Cavs team almost as depleted as this Warriors team. The Raptors outplayed and outcoached the Warriors at every position. I'm so stoked for the Raptors and the fans of Toronto. Congrats Raptors, you guys earned this title.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on the internet. 

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SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

Ty's 2019 NBA Finals Preview

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The NBA Finals tip off in 2 days. I'm coming to you today with one of my favorite blogs to write, and that is my finals preview and prediction.

I will say, in the entirety of this website, I am pretty sure this is the first time that the Warriors are not going up against the Cavs. The Warriors are still there, but after the debacle that was the Lakers season, and LeBron going out West, this year, the Toronto Raptors exorcised some demons, traded for Kawhi Leonard, and they are there as the East's representative. Unfortunately for them, I don't think Kawhi will be enough to dethrone the Warriors. He is also hurt. And, along with Kawhi, the Raptors acquired Danny Green for his three point shooting and defense, but in the past 2 series he has been pretty much unplayable. He isn't making shots and he is getting beat regularly on defense.

It also needs to be said that the Warriors will, most likely, be without KD for the Finals, and even though he has hinted at playing, I think it would be better for both parties if Boogie Cousins didn't play either. But, last week I wrote a piece on how much fun the Warriors have looked since KD went down with a calf injury. They are certainly not better, no team would be better if their best overall player was out. But, they are so much more balanced, and fun, to watch again. This current iteration, as I said last week, reminds me of the first Warriors team led by Klay and Draymond and Steph and Steve Kerr that won the title in 2015. They play a lovely brand of space and pace. They are a faster version of the Spurs, with much, much more prolific shooters.

So, while I don't think this series will go very long, I do think it will be a tough played and hard fought Finals. Kawhi Leonard has been otherworldly in these playoffs. He has been a scoring machine. He has held up like the boss he is on the defensive end of the floor. He definitely got into Giannis' head in the last series, and shut down Ben Simmons. Who's to say he won't do that to a player like Steph or Klay. But, therein lies the problem with the Raptors, and what benefits the Warriors. Kawhi can only stop one guy. Whoever he isn't on has the ability to go off, especially if they are a perimeter player. Look, I love that Kyle Lowry has played better in these playoffs, but either Steph or Klay will torch him. And who's to say that he won't regress in the Finals. I hope he doesn't, but that seems to be his move every year in the playoffs. He's also going to find it hard to score on Klay, who I imagine the Warriors will put on him. Draymond is the biggest X factor in this series. He has been wildly impressive during these playoffs, running the offense and playing exquisite defense. His scoring hasn't been there, but they haven't needed him to score. Does he guard Kawhi, or do the Warriors basically let Kawhi get his, and dare everyone else on Toronto to beat them? I'd say they let Kawhi go off because, outside of him, no one on Toronto has put together a solid stretch of games. Pascal Siakim has been better of late, but he has been very inconsistent, and this is, by far, the biggest stage he has ever played on. How he reacts to the big stage will say a lot about Toronto's hopes for pulling the upset. Serge Ibaka has been to a Finals before, but he has only gotten older and slower since then. He is also a mid range shooter now, and the Warriors will use their speed to get him off the floor. This is also the furthest that Marc Gasol has ever been in the playoffs. He has also been a reluctant shooter all playoffs. He will have a height and weight advantage on whoever plays center for Golden State, with the exception being Andrew Bogut, but he is well past his prime. But, I don't think that will matter. I don't think he will be able to keep up with the speed that Golden State has been playing with since KD went out.

Kawhi Leonard is great. He has reestablished himself as a top five player. He is going to make a ton of money this offseason, and this postseason from him has been a joy to watch. That will only be good enough for 1 game to me. I am picking the Warriors to win in 5 games. But, I think it will be 5 hotly contested games. I get the same feeling from this matchup as I did from the Blazers-Warriors West Finals. The Blazers are a good team, they just aren't at Golden State's level, even without KD. But, no team is as good as the Warriors are. They are a dynasty. They are the 21st century Bulls. And the fact that I don't even think they need KD to win their third straight finals should speak volumes as to how good I think they are.

The Warriors are the dominant NBA team, and they will win their third straight finals to really cement their status. I cannot wait for Thursday. Lets get back to some NBA playoff basketball.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on the internet. 

Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

The NBA has a Superstar Sensitivity Problem

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Recently, while listening to all the NBA podcasts I do, I have found myself being a bit irritated at how sensitive some star players in the league have become over the past decade. Now, I have to say at the top, I have no ill will for these guys wanting to go win titles, get paid and have fun playing the game. While I may not like "super teams", and I think the money is absurdly high among all professional sports, again, I have no problem with these guys doing what they want to do. They're human and allowed to lead the lives they want to live. But, I also think they should know, or at the very least expect, that they are going to be in the spotlight, and that a good amount of people are going to root against them for doing such things, and then going to the media, or their front office, to complain or demand a trade.

This irritation for me it all started with the Kristaps Porzingis trade. When it happened I was flummoxed. I wrote about it. I trashed the Knicks. But, about a week after the trade stories started to come out that Porzingis went to the front office and griped about the direction of the team. He complained that he had no help. Okay, fine, but have you played all year Porzingis? In fact, I don't think you've played a game in almost 2 years. So, while you want to be on a competitive team, that needs to start with you actually playing. You can moan and groan all you want, but you aren't even playing. In fact, I'd like to see you go a full season without getting hurt just once. Then, if you do that,, and lead a team to a conference finals, go ahead and complain all you want. Until then, don't yearn for things when you haven't really proved anything yet.

Then the Anthony Davis trade demand came out. I have been highly critical of this. This was done all wrong. From Davis' demand while still under contract for the rest of this season and all of next season, to Rich Paul leaking it to Adrian Wojnaworski before Davis could tell the Pelicans front office, to the handling of the Lakers offer, it has been a cluster. This has been a disaster all around. A GM lost his job over this. Davis, who up until now was beloved, is almost becoming a villain. When he did come back from his "injury", the Pelicans fans booed him. Then he decided to leave a game after trying to block a shot, and left the building, with Rich Paul. Now, he is going to be on LeBron's show, "The Shop", and he is also talking about his love for all things LA. He is handling this awfully. He is going to get traded to some team not in LA, other teams can offer so much more for the Pelicans future, and I blame it partially on him. He is talking to media, but saying stuff like, "all 29 teams are on my list", or, "I just want to win". Sure, that may sound nice, but the "29 teams" thing is a slap in New Orleans face, and the winning is nonsense. He wants to be in LA, and he wants to play with LeBron. If he just came out and said that, I would respect him so much more. But no, he is trying to be coy.

Then we have KD's endless fight with the media and journalists. Prior to the All Star break he chided a journalist who simply asked him about his impending free agency and New York. A very simple, non threatening question, right? Well, KD took this way, way too seriously and painted a very broad brush basically saying that all journalists are out to get him. KD needs to calm the hell down. Ever since he left the Thunder to ride on the Warriors coattails, he has become a curmudgeon, and it doesn't fit him. He is a hell of a player, one of the greats, but his whole "heel" turn is off putting. I mean, the journalist was just doing his job. If anyone should understand that it should be a guy like KD. He has changed so much, for the worse, since he signed with Golden State.

Then we have the Kyrie Irving interview yesterday of him chastising another journalist that simply asked him about the video that leaked of him and KD talking in the tunnel during the All Star game. Now, I do think people are making far, far too much of a video of 2 buddies talking, but for Kyrie to say that "you guys are making the league not fun" is a little much. Again, this person is just doing their job. You'd think, just like in KD's case, he would understand that. But nope, he just went off and said some crazy stuff. He is a super star, and the media is going to ask him questions like this. That is how they get people to come to their websites and read their stuff. While you think you may be winning, and knocking that person down a peg, you are actually helping them by going off like that.

Then last night I read a headline that said that James Harden is upset that his peers are critical of the way he plays the game. Newsflash Harden, you are a bore to watch. Again, you are a magnificent scorer, one of the best ever, but the way you do it is a slog. You foul hunt. You slow the game down. You shoot too many free throws, and you gripe to the officials too much. It is so boring to watch. You are my least favorite player to watch, and I know for a fact that I am not alone. A lot of people do not like to watch you play, and that most definitely includes your peers. Get over it. You are great.

It is frustrating to hear these multi millionaire super star players gripe about people calling them out for their sometime childish behavior. I mean, do you think Jordan cared what his peers or journalists said? How about Charles Barkley? Or maybe Hakeem Olajuwon or Shaq? They didn't give a shit. They just went out and played. Hell, there are even current stars that could care less what the media or other pro players say. Look at Russell Westbrook. He could care less what anyone thinks of him. Or Jimmy Butler. I may not like the way he handled his exit from Minnesota, but he never chastised the media for the way they handled it. In fact he did an interview for ESPN and Rachel Nichols on exactly why he wanted out. Joel Embiid doesn't give one shit what the media or Russell Westbrook says about him. Kawhi Leonard just continues to not talk, and that may be the best way to handle all this. And then we have Giannis. Could this kid be any cooler? Could he be more loved? Could he be more fun? Giannis is the best for so many reasons. He loves to play the game, he is a great interview, his teammates and the front office love him, and when questions of his impending free agency in 2021 come up, he takes the Kawhi approach and is silent. These are the dudes I respect. These are the dudes that handle it correctly. 

That is the point of my old man ranting. Some of these young star are far too thin skinned. They need to get over it. We need less Kristaps or KD's and more Kawhi's and Giannis' in the league right now. They know how to deal with all this stuff so much better.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on the internet. 

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What the Hell Is Kawhi Leonard Doing?

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Even though I wrote about it yesterday, I still have a few more thoughts on the Kawhi Leonard trade, and it all has to do with his actions since the trade was announced.

First off, he came out and said, or maybe it was his people, I do not know, that he does not want to play in Toronto. He apparently has zero interest in being on the Raptors. Now, I get that he might not like the team he was traded to, and that he has his own personal list of the teams he wants to play on, but he is under a contract that he signed. Sports is a brutal, heartless business, and Kawhi should know that. He has one final year. He has to, well, if he wants to get paid for doing his job, play for the team he was traded to. I know it is not LA or Philly, or even Boston, but he signed the contract himself. So, he can either play for Toronto, then go anywhere he wants next year, which is his right, or he can sit out and not see a dime.

Which brings me to my second point, his threatening to sit out again. That shit is played out and childish. Why would he want to waste another year of his prime? Is he doing this just to prove a point? Look, I am all for these guys being treated as people, because that is what they are, but what Kawhi is doing is only hurting his career and his image. This whole threatening to sit the season out, and not report to training camp will cost him more money than most of us would see in three or four lifetimes. He must be crazy if he is willing to give up over 20 million dollars, just to prove a point. I'm sure he has more money than he ever imagined, but the threat of losing that much money should scare the hell out of him. I say again, he would lose over 20 MILLION DOLLARS. That is so, so much money.

Also, he would waste another year in his absolute prime. Two years ago, after Tim Duncan retired and the Spurs handed the team over to him, he was one of the best players in the world. I picked him as my preseason MVP, and I still stand by that pick 2 years later. He was crushing the league on both ends of the floor, and he made the Spurs a viable threat in the West. Hell, they might have had a shot at the Warriors if ZaZa Pachulia never stepped underneath him and hurt him again. They were up by a ton in that game, in Golden State, and then Kawhi went down and so did the Spurs.

Kawhi came into last year with that same injury, and just seemed more quiet and disengaged than normal. I know that he had issues with the Spurs trainers, so he got his own. Then, some current players, namely Tony Parker, started to call him out. I'm not here to judge injuries, each player is different in their recovery and what not, but players let him know that they didn't buy it. In fact, former players were openly bashing him on national TV. Then he started to grow despondent with Greg Poppovich, and Poppovich let him know that that did not bother him. He would talk about his injury to the media, say he felt he was ready to go, but he always left it up to Kawhi when he wanted to come back. And he did, for 9 games, and then immediately shut it down. This was when the diva part of him started to come out. He never said anything himself because he is a very quiet person, but his people sure let the media know that he wanted out, and he wanted to go to LA.

So, he wasted the entire season, at age 26, complaining about an injury, the Spurs and demanding a trade. And now that he has been traded, which is what he wanted, he is threatening to miss his second year in a row, at age 27, because he doesn't like the team he was traded to. That is some childish bull shit right there. He got what he wanted. He is not a Spur anymore. He doesn't have to deal with the staff. He is on a team that is a title contender. He will be their number one option if he is healthy. He is in a very big city. But, since the jersey doesn't have LA or PHILA or CELTICS on the front, he is pouting.

I'm at a loss for how to feel about Kawhi Leonard anymore. I once loved his game. I loved how he let his play do all his talking. I love how lock down he was on defense. I loved that he worked hard on his jumper and became an elite player. But now, I am very disappointed in how he has handled this whole thing. It has left a bad taste in my mouth. But hey Kawhi, if you want to lose 20 million dollars, and then go be LeBron's sidekick, that is your decision, and you have every right in the world. I just think it would be stupid to lose that much money and waste 2 years of your absolute prime, just to prove a point.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on the internet. 

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Let's Talk About the "Big" Kawhi Leonard Trade

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Well, Kawhi Leonard has been traded. I guess the Spurs did not want to call his bluff, so they let him "free" of the team that he has grown so mad at over the past year. They kind of gave him what he wanted, in a way. He did not want to be a Spur, he did not trust them, and he had threatened to sit out the whole season if not traded.

But, when I say kind of what he wanted, the Spurs did stick it to him a little bit on his way out. It was made very, very clear that Kawhi wanted to be in LA, and to a lesser extent, Philly. But, one thing was for sure, and that was that he wanted out of San Antonio. Well, he got his wish, but he did not get traded to a team that he wants to play for. In fact, he got traded to a team where he has made it very clear, he has no intention of staying with. The team, the Toronto Raptors.

This is crazier to me than Paul George going to OKC last year. Until very, very recent, the Raptors were not even on the radar. That was the same with George and OKC last year, but the Thunder at least had Westbrook as a selling point to George. The Raptors, well they traded away their best asset for what is going to most likely be one disgruntled year of Kawhi. The Raptors sent DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a 2021 first round pick to the Spurs for Kawhi and Danny Green.

Now, just looking at this from a pure basketball stand point, I have no idea who won this trade. Yes, Kawhi got out, but he is going to Toronto, and the Raptors traded DeRozan for him. You may say, well they still have Kyle Lowry, Jonas Valenciunas and OG Anunoby, among others. Well, Lowry is as big a playoff choker as James Harden, if not worse, Valenciunas' game is not modern, and Anunoby is still incredibly raw. And the addition of Danny Green is solid, but he is not the three and D guy he used to be. In fact, his three point shooting continues to deteriorate. He is still a good defender, but I'd rather have DeRozan simply for scoring ability.

That being said, the Raptors are in the East, and, if Kawhi is healthy, and decides he needs to have a big year to get a big deal, they could be a top three seed. But, they were the top seed last year. Why would this trade put them over the top? How does this make them any better? They were already the best by record last year. Looking at the Raptors now, sure, they got Kawhi, and Green is still a player, and I like Lowry, Anunoby and Serge Ibaka, are they truly any better than a healthy Celtics team, or the 76ers still? I don't know. I say no if Kawhi plays disgruntled and whines all year. His presence won't matter much. If he fully commits and plays as well as he did 2 years ago, they will be a title contender. Yet, I still like a healthy Celtics team, and I love the 76ers. This trade, for me, does not make the Raptors the favorite in the East, and this whole ordeal has really soured my love and adoration for Kawhi Leonard, the basketball player. He is becoming more and more diva like with each passing day.

From the Spurs prospective, I'm not a big fan of this deal either. First off, even with Kawhi, they were no better than a 3 or 4 seed in the West. The Rockets, maybe the Jazz, and most definitely the Warriors were already better. With DeRozan, I see much of the same, except, he doesn't play defense like a healthy Kawhi does. In fact, DeRozan plays no defense whatsoever. As I said, he is a very good, sometimes great, scorer. But, that is about it with DeRozan. His three point shooting has gotten better, and he is great driving to the hoop, but again, I just cannot shake his horrendous defense. He also has never really done anything on the big stage, and Kawhi is a Finals MVP. As for Poeltl, he is just a raw, plodding big man. I know he is still young, but he has shown little to nothing in his first couple years in the league. Sure, he can step out and shoot the three a bit, and he is an okay rebounder and rim protector, but he didn't play all that much behind Valenciunas. I still have no idea what kind of player he can become. I'm sure the Spurs will make good use out of him, they turned guys like Boban Marjonovic and Aaron Baynes and Tiago Splitter into quality NBA players, but time will tell. I think the biggest thing for the Spurs was the future first rounder.

Lets be honest, Kawhi is only going to spend one year in Toronto. I know we all said that about Paul George and OKC last year, but this time I know it is true. He doesn't want to be there, and he will force his way out, and he is an unrestricted free agent after the season. So, with Kawhi gone, Lowry getting older and Anunoby being the only real youth they have on their team, the Raptors will, most likely, be a lottery team come 2020 and 2021. That was what the Spurs wanted. A future pick that they can build around with guys like Dejonte Murray and some unknown dudes they have stashed away on their bench.

For right now, I don't feel like this trade tips the scale for either squad. I think the Raptors will be a contender to come out of the East, if Kawhi feels like playing this year. But, they were supposed contenders last year. And the Spurs, well they play in the West, so they have no shot. The Warriors, Rockets, Jazz, Thunder and even the Pelicans are better in my opinion. This was a "blockbuster" trade, but it seems hollow somehow.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on the internet. 

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Kawhi Leonard, the Lakers, and Another Damn Super Team

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About a week back I wrote that I hoped Kawhi Leonard would stay a Spur. Well, that has all blown up in my face, and the Spurs face. It appears that he is going to be in a different uniform next season. There are new reports everyday, but don't get it twisted, he is going to end up a Laker, one way or another.

What a mess.

I read a report that he was going to meet with Greg Poppovich, they met, and the people who were present said it was a good meeting. It seemed that maybe they had squashed their beef. Then, the other day I read that Kawhi was saying he never wanted to step foot in the Spurs facility again, unless he was on a different team, and he was playing there. Then, after that report, I read that the Spurs were now willing to trade him to a team, but no one in the West. That one, if they were to trade him, made sense to me. Why would they want to trade him in the conference and have to face him multiple times a year. This made even more sense when I heard that the 76ers were trying to get RC Buford, the current Spurs GM, to be their new GM. It all started to come together. And, I thought, of any team he could go to, the 76ers made the most sense.

Today there are a ton of new reports that the Spurs and Lakers have "intensified" their trade talks, that the Spurs were now willing to trade him to a West team if the return was proper and that LeBron said, if the Lakers were to acquire him, he would be very willing to sign with the Lakers. Oh, and Paul George opted out of the final year of his contract in OKC, thus making these rumors seem even more real. After all the recent news, I have thrown my hands up, and given in to the fact that,  not only will the Lakers get Kawhi, but they will most likely sign LeBron and Paul George. Sure, they will have to trade some of their young talent, but who cares when you can get three perennial All Stars, one of which is the current best player in the world. I don't think that Rob Pelinka or Magic Johnson truly care if they have to add a Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Julius Randle or Brandon Ingram in a deal. I don't think they care if they have to add all four to get these three guys, or even 2 of them.

I got a report on my phone from Bleacher Report today that said that the Lakers were willing to add Brandon Ingram in any trade talks in fact. I thought he was one of the untouchable guys too. He actually improved a ton in his second season. He seemed like the guy that the Lakers should keep, and add these stars around him. They should trade Ball, or Kuzma, or, especially Randle before dealing Ingram. Ingram is the real deal. I fully believe that he is going to have a long, and fruitful, NBA career. Lonzo Ball has potential, his vision is amazing, but he has a garbage shot, and you have to deal with his family, and, most importantly, his dad. You think Lavar Ball will really expect his son to play second fiddle to Kawhi or Paul George? Hell, he will shit talk LeBron the moment he signs with the Lakers. Kyle Kuzma has the makings of being a good to great scorer, but he plays no defense, and he is considered "old" in the modern NBA. The kid can shoot, but he is no Brandon Ingram. And Julius Randle has had one foot out the door for the past 2 seasons. He doesn't fit in in LA. He comes and goes as he pleases, and he doesn't seem like he will live up to the hype. He also broke his leg his rookie year, and he missed an entire season. He still has a done of room to grow.

But, the Lakers seem to be desperate, so they are now willing to trade their best young guy, to get only Kawhi. That seems crazy to me. And, if the Spurs are to trade Kawhi, they better damn well get Ingram, and some high, high picks in upcoming drafts. I feel like Ingram, in that Spurs system, would thrive. And if they have to give up Kawhi, so be it. He clearly wants out, and to get a super young, hyper athletic player, that is really starting to come into his own, they'd be crazy not to do it. I don't think losing Kawhi and adding Ingram would be a death blow to them either.

What all of this talk boils down to, at least for me, the Lakers are going to get Kawhi. Then, they will get LeBron. Then, Paul George will announce he is going to sign there. It is going to happen. There are far too many signs that they will get these guys. Magic wants them. Kawhi wants to go there. LeBron has said that he would love to play with Kawhi. And Paul George would make a fine third option on that team, I guess. As much as I don't want this to happen, I'm about 99 percent sure it will. I still think adding these three guys, along with whomever the Lakers can keep, this makes them no better than third in the West. The Warriors are still, far and away, the best team in the West, and all of basketball, and I still like the Rockets, as long as they keep Chris Paul, just a bit more. So, at least there is that.

Oh well, lets get this all over with so I can bitch more about "super teams" on this website.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on all the internet.

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Where, Oh Where, is Kawhi Leonard Going?

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It seems like Kawhi Leonard wants out of San Antonio. This story broke last week, and just about everyone has given their take. Now it’s my turn.

First off, this bums me out. I love Kawhi as a basketball player, and I loved him playing for the Spurs. It seemed like a perfect fit. He grew with this team. He was a Finals MVP with this team. He worked on his jump shot with this team. He has the best coach to ever coach in the NBA with this team. He was going to be the next in line, if he wasn’t already, to lead this team for the next decade. It was meant to be. But, after last season, he has decided he’s had enough. Last year was a very weird season for him and the Spurs. He only played 9 games. He barely traveled with the team. There were times when he was cleared by team doctors, but he chose to sit. He never seemed fully healthy. He is normally a very quiet guy, but he was extra quiet this year. It was bizarre. And now, he wants out, and he wants to be in a big market. I’m not down with this. I still think the Spurs are the best place for him.

The Spurs are not big enough for Kawhi. He apparently wants to be in LA. I’ve also heard that his camp wants him in New York. Since the reports have come out that Kawhi wants out, he’s been rumored to a bunch of different places. The Lakers seemed like the front runners, but recently, it appears they’ve cooled. The Clippers are supposedly putting together a package for him, but a lot of people, me included, don’t think they have the players or picks. Boston has been announced as someone that can get him, but will Danny Ainge part with his valuable assets? I don’t know. He also may have to get rid of Kyrie or Gordon Hayward for this trade to happen. I’ve heard the 76ers as a possibility, but do the Spurs really want to take on a player like Markelle Fultz or Dario Saric? I think if the 76ers are for real, a player like Robert Covington, or dare I say, Ben Simmons, would have to be included. A new report came out yesterday too, saying the Spurs want to meet with Kawhi face to face, and they won’t trade him to any team in the West, which I think is very smart. They can’t just give up on a top 10 guy in the league right now that’s only 26. And, if the damage has been done, trade him to the other conference so they’d only have to face him a handful of times during the regular season, and only in the Finals in the playoffs.

Whatever happens though, wherever Kawhi ends up, I don’t think it will matter in the long run. LeBron is still the needle pusher, especially if he stays in the East. He is still the best guy in the league right now. And, if the Spurs get an offer from a West team they can’t turn down, will the addition of a Kawhi make that team better than the Warriors, or even the Rockets? I don’t think so. Even if he teams up with LeBron or, say a Paul George, the Warriors are still better, and know how to play off one another. Also, if Chris Paul stays in Houston, I still think the Rockets are better than Kawhi’s future team. If I had my way, he’d stay in San Antonio and he and Aldridge and Poppovich will figure all this out. But, if he’s traded, it may take some time for him to be as highly regarded as he was one season ago.

I hope Kawhi stays, but it looks like he has one foot out of the door. I wouldn’t be shocked if we get a definitive answer during the draft on Thursday night. We shall see.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on all the internet.

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If Kawhi Leaves San Antonio, the Spurs Will Be OK Because They are the Spurs

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ESPN dropped what they consider to be a "big" story about Kawhi Leonard's relationship with the Spurs as being "fractured".

First off, this isn't a "big" story, everyone that watches basketball knew this all year long. We all saw the signs of discourse throughout the entire season. The fact that he wouldn't play more than 9 games, that he had a run in with Jordan Brand, that Greg Poppovich kept talking about his "people around him", the fact that he wouldn't talk about any of the problems that he was having with his knees and feet, we all saw this all year. That he is now upset and displeased with the Spurs is not a "big" story. This is just more of ESPN trying to stay relevant when they are going by the wayside. This is a non story that they are putting on the front of their website. They are trotting the writers out on podcasts and TV shows to talk about this. It is pathetic. ESPN is a joke. They did a ton of research and interviewing for a story that even a novice NBA fan knew already.

But, there is a problem in San Antonio, and maybe this is the end of the Spurs dynasty as I have known it since they drafted Tim Duncan. This is an old team. Besides Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge, every other key player, for the most part, has been in the league for double digit years. Pau Gasol is done. Rudy Gay is hurt far too often. Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker have given all they can to this franchise, won 5 titles, but they are both very, very old in NBA terms. And the young guys they have, the Dejonte Murray's and Brynn Forbes, are unproven. None of us knows how good they can/will be.

The fact that the Spurs have Kawhi is what has kept them in the conversation the past couple years. He is one of the 5 best players currently in the league, when healthy. He was single handily crushing the Warriors in game one of the West Finals last year until Zaza Pachhulia undercut him on a jump shot and screwed up his ankle even further. He was the guy that was going to lead this team into their next phase of dominance. But now, I don't know what is going to happen. I figured he was the perfect Spurs player, but maybe he really does want more. Maybe he really wants to go to a big market and be the star in LA or New York. Maybe he is tired of being quiet and wants to start being a noticeable athlete. Maybe he wants all these things and more.  I just don't see Kawhi as that kind of guy. He has always gone about his business quietly. That is the main reason why I like him so much. He lets his game do his talking, and his game is amazing. Even when he won Finals MVP, and completely shut down LeBron 4 years ago, he did it all very quietly. I just assumed he was going to step into that David Robinson/Tim Duncan role. He was going to be the face of the Spurs. He was going to be the reason that Poppovich would stick around for another 4 or 5 season.

Now, Poppovich has had a terrible, horrific tragedy happen, with his wife passing away and maybe that will be more than enough for him to step away from the game. But, I think a guy like Kawhi might make him think twice. Now, with Kawhi seemingly all but gone, I wouldn't be shocked at all if Poppovich calls it quits. He has done anything and everything you could ever want from a head coach. I think he is the greatest NBA coach of all time.

However, losing a player like Kawhi could be why he steps away. If that happens, what do the Spurs look like next year, and the next and the next? Will they be a tanking team or a free agent destination? Will they be a middling West playoff team or a non factor. Ever since I have watched professional basketball, the Spurs have been a good team. I just can't see them all of the sudden being a bad team. Say they lose Kawhi, they still have Aldridge. Now, before you scoff at me, he was the focal point of a perennial playoff team in Portland. The dude can play. And maybe Murray and Forbes and whatever guys they have stashed on their bench will turn out to be quality Spurs players, which equals 50 wins every year. And if Poppovich retires, that bench is filled with guys ready to take over.

I don't want to see Kawhi leave the Spurs, and if I were a betting man, I would bet a ton of money that he will be on a different team next year. But, I feel like this team will be okay if he does bolt. They have pieces. They still have one of the best GM's in sports. They still draft excellently. They still groom talent really well. They are the Patriots and Yankees of the NBA, except no one really hates them. I know Spurs fans are freaking out right now, but I'd tell them to be patient. You have a great infrastructure, and you will be just fine. You may have a season or two that isn't as good as you want, or have come to expect, but you will be just fine. While Kawhi leaving may hurt, it won't hurt as much as you think right now. The Spurs will be just fine.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on all the internet over the last three years.

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Do Not Worry, the Spurs Will Make the Playoffs this Year

I listen to a lot of sports podcasts, as I have mentioned many times before, and NBA podcasts are my favorite. The NBA is probably my second favorite sport, to college football, but the podcasts for the NBA are so much better than any other sports podcasts out there in my humble opinion. So, in my many listens to multiple NBA podcasts, one recurring theme keeps popping up that is baffling, and kind of hilarious to me. The majority of the hosts seem to think that the San Antonio Spurs will not make the playoffs this year, but a team like the Clippers or Jazz will take their place.

Now, I fully realize that at the time of writing this, the Spurs are technically out of the playoffs, if they started today. Well, the playoffs don't start today. In fact, we have about 2-3 weeks before the playoffs begin, if not more time. And, I have watched more than enough NBA, and the San Antonio Spurs, to know that they will find some way to make the playoffs, even if it is as an 8 seed.

First off, the Spurs have been without their best player pretty much all year, and they are still in the hunt. If you watch any NBA, or even ESPN for that matter, the fact that Kawhi Leonard has only played 9 games all year is a definite factor as to why this current team is struggling to stay in the hunt. Well, he should be back in action as early as next week. The moment he steps on the floor, if he is at least 70 percent, his presence will easily put them team right back into the hunt. He is such a transcendent talent on both ends, he will ail what hurts them right now.

I know of all the talk, talk of him wanting out of San Antonio, him waiting until he is fully healthy, some rift between him and management and Jordan brand, all that stuff is out there, but I think it is all nonsense. Leonard is just a quiet dude. I get that. I do not like being the face of anything. I'm happy to just blend into a crowd. I'm happy to do the stuff no one wants to do on a basketball court. I'm happy to kind of just stay in my little bubble of the people that I care about. I'm sure that Kawhi Leonard is the same, he just happens to be an exceptional basketball player, a world champ and a NBA Finals MVP. That has got to be hard for him to just kind of want to stay in his lane with social media and major sports networks proclaiming him to be the next big thing. So while some of those stories may be true and some may be false, I just think the fact that he is a soft spoken dude that never changes his facial expression has made some in the media, I'm looking at you ESPN and The Ringer Network, to make these claims about him. When he comes back, and the Spurs start to look like the Spurs again, they will all be singing a different tune.

Another thing, LaMarcus Aldridge is having a much better season this season, he was dreadful last year, but he too is down with an ankle injury. He will be back soon, but not having Kawhi, and now LMA, that is a problem. When you don't have your 2 best players, unless you are the Warriors, it is going to be hard to find win streaks. That is just the truth.  

I have also heard all the things about the rest of their roster too, that it is either too old or unproven. Give me a break. Guys like Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli will find that extra gear at the right moment. They always have, so why doubt them now. I really like Dejonte Murray too. I remember when Tony Parker came up and people said he was going too fast and needed to slow down. Well, Murray is doing that right now, but, shouts out to Shea Serrano for pointing this out, he looks like he is the next Tony Parker for this team. He will be the point guard the moment that Parker decides he cannot play anymore. I also like guys like Kyle Anderson and Pau Gasol for this team. Anderson is the type of role player that the Spurs covet, and Gasol, he, much like Parker and Ginobli, can turn that switch when it is needed.

The thing I always go back to when talking about the Spurs, and hearing the whole, "is this it" narrative, they still have the greatest NBA coach of all time on their sideline. Greg Poppovich is a genius when it comes to basketball, and he will always find a way to get his team in the playoffs, and give their opponents headaches. Poppovich has been doing this at such a high level for such a long time, I am never, ever going to write any team he coaches off. Ever. He is that good and he has earned that reputation.

So no, I do not see the Spurs missing the playoffs this year. I think they will grab either the 6, 7 or 8 seed with relative ease when Leonard returns. Also, for those people saying they are out of the playoffs right now, yeah, buy like one game, so ease the hell up. This team has earned the right to not be given up on at any time. They will make the playoffs, and hell, they might even win a round or two. I know the Rockets and Mike D'Antoni sure as hell don't want to see them in round one.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on all the internet.

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If You Do Not Think Russell Westbrook is the MVP, You Have Lost Your Damn Mind

You say that Westbrook is not the MVP. What the hell is wrong with you?

You say that Westbrook is not the MVP. What the hell is wrong with you?

The other night Russell Westbrook had just an incredible performance against the Magic. I know it was the Magic, but still, 13 rebounds, 11 assists and 57 points.

57 POINTS!

That's the most in a triple double ever, which Westbrook now has 38. Westbrook has been putting on a show all year long. I had very little faith that the Thunder would be any good going into this season. I figure they'd be a playoff team, but it would be fringe and they'd be an easy out.

Well, with Westbrook completely running the show, the Thunder have been very competitive. They have clinched a playoff spot, and they could climb as high as the 4 or 5 seed in the West. This is all due to Westbrook's play this season. The fact that he will, I'm calling it now, average a triple double is amazing. No one since Oscar Robertson has done this, and most thought it would never happen again. I remember people joking that he'd do it, but no one believed it. It is happening now. Throughout this whole season he has been a one man wrecking crew, physically winning and willing his team game after game.

With this being said, why is he not the favorite to win MVP? Not only do people with votes say he's not a shoo in, a lot don't have him in their top 3. That's insane. James Harden seems to be the favorite, and he's had an incredible year, but he has a much better supporting cast and coach. Harden has been great after a tough season last year, but I'd have him second behind Westbrook. LeBron James has gotten a lot of love, but the Cavs have been horrendous lately, and James sits out too many games to be eligible, in my opinion. Kawhi Leonard, my preseason pick, has had his moments, but he's not quite at that level yet. He's fantastic, but he's not an MVP right now.

It's basically those 4 guys, and how most sports writers have Harden ahead of Westbrook is just wrong. MVP stands for Most Valuable Player. Take Harden off the Rockets and they would be bad, but I'd still pencil them down for 30-35 wins. They'd be a lot like the Magic or the Heat. Take James off the Cavs, but keep Love there, they'd still be a playoff team in the East. Take Kawhi off the Spurs, I'm sure they'd still be awesome because they're the Spurs. But, take Westbrook off OKC, they're as bad as the Nets, 76ers and Lakers. No disrespect to guys like Victor Oladipo, Steven Adams and Andre Roberson, but without Westbrook, this team would be lucky to win 15 games. That screams MVP to me. The fact that he averages 30 points while averaging a triple double is equally impressive. He is their one and only threat. And with teams game planning strictly for him, he is still putting up ridiculous numbers and his team is a playoff team.

Unfortunately for Westbrook, I don't think he'll win MVP. Voters seem to have already made up their minds on Harden because his team will have 4 or 5 more wins. That's a shame. Russell Westbrook is the MVP. He is far and away the most valuable guy to his team. This team lost KD and they are still a playoff team and a threat to win a series. That is all due to Westbrook. If I had a vote it would go to Westbrook and Westbrook alone. He has been nothing short of incredible and reliable and insanely durable this year.

Russell Westbrook is the MVP, whether the voters give it to him or not. He definitely deserves this award.

Ty

MVP or Not, Kawhi Leonard is the Best Player to Watch in the NBA

I have a new favorite NBA player.

During my childhood I was an enormous Shawn Kemp and Seattle Super Sonics fan. After he had his falling out with the Sonics and moved on to Cleveland, and later, Portland, I kind of fell off the NBA. I didn't watch it nearly as much. In high school, I got into players like Darius Miles, Quentin Richardson and Paul Pierce.

But, none of those guys held a card to Kevin Garnett. He was my new guy. I loved his tenacity and the pride and joy with which he played the game of basketball. I was crushed when he retired before this season. For the longest time, the longest since Kemp in fact, Garnett was my guy. But, after he left Boston for Brooklyn, I kind of stopped paying attention to him. T

his was when I went to Kevin Durant. I was an OKC fan and I liked what I saw from Durant as a rookie all the way to carrying that team to the Finals. I loved his game and his style. He was a better Dirk, in my opinion. Everyone knows how I feel about Durant now. He left OKC high and dry, has done nothing but complain and make childish comments about Westbrook and OKC, and now he is hurt, making him a non factor in the end of this season.

Today I realized that one guy I have watched with alarming consistency, even when he was in college, is Kawhi Leonard. I LOVE Kawhi Leonard as a basketball player. He is the definition of a guy that lets his game do the talking. He is probably the most quiet dude in the entire league. He is a bona fide star, but no one talks about him because he barely speaks. And, when he does speak, he uses very few words, but they are important and meaningful.

Kawhi Leonard has achieved a lot in his short career thus far as well. First off, he was the best guy on a really good San Diego State team. He carried that team to a deep tournament run, but no one ever talked about him as a game changer in the NBA. He was a good defender in college, but he was an underrated scorer. He didn't have the jump shot yet, but he could get to the rim. Due to his "lack" of an offensive game, he slipped in the draft, but that was a blessing in disguise because he ended up in San Antonio with Gregg Poppovich, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli.

Leonard got to learn from some of the best veterans on the most consistent team in my lifetime. The Spurs ALWAYS win 50 games. It's like death and taxes. I have come to expect it from them. As for the Spurs, I don't like or dislike them. I have watched them a ton because they were my dad's favorite team when he still watched the NBA, but I respect the hell out of them. What they have done in this day and age of NBA basketball is incredible. I was a Sonics fan, turned into an OKC fan, and now, as you all know, I have hitched my wagon to the Timberwolves, even though they have wildly underachieved this year.

Anyway, back to Kawhi.

I remember really enjoying watching him play three years ago when they smoked the Heat on their way to the title. In fact, I really liked watching him the year before when the Spurs blew the title. He was a ferocious defender. He seemed to be everywhere on the court. He was, and still is, the only guy that strikes fear in LeBron James when he sees him on the court. LeBron overpowers everyone else in the NBA, but not Kawhi. Kawhi is strong, not LeBron strong, but still strong and he doesn't back down. When he is out on the court, even though he is quiet, he knows he is the best defender, and that no one will take advantage of him. He is the one and only guy that can guard LeBron one on one in the NBA. That is why he won the Finals MVP three years ago. Sure, he was putting up points, but the fact that he made LeBron a non factor was the sole reason he won that Finals MVP, just like Andre Iguodala 2 years ago.

After that Finals, with it looking like Duncan may play only one or two more years, the Spurs, even after signing LaMarcus Aldridge, gave the keys to the team over to Kawhi. He is the guy now. In his first season as the guy, he greatly improved his offensive numbers while still being the shut down defender that he is known for. He vastly improved his jump shot. You cannot play off him now. He will crush you from the outside if you leave him alone. Then, if you try to play him close, he will scorch you on his way to the basket for an easy 2. He is the guy that the opposing team game plans around when they play the Spurs. I think this is perfect for Aldridge as well. Aldridge is a much better second option, and Kawhi has taken on that first option easily and with authority. Yes, the spurs got run off the floor by OKC last year, but it was not because of Kawhi Leonard. He came to play. He was the guy that stopped Durant, but that left Westbrook to go off. And when he would switch to Westbrook, Durant would go off. He, unfortunately for the Spurs, cannot guard everyone.

This year Kawhi Leonard has taken his game to a whole new stratosphere, without changing who he is as a person. He is a legitimate MVP candidate. He won't win it, Westbrook and Harden are putting up ridiculous numbers, and that is what seems to win the MVP, but man oh man is Kawhi a force in the league. Look at what he did the other night to the presumptive MVP favorite, Harden. First off, the Spurs came back from down 16 against the Rockets, much of that due to Leonard scoring at will. Then, the final 30 seconds of that game was just incredible, awe inspiring basketball from Leonard. To hit that three, with his team down 2, going to his left and shooting it over a 7 footer was exceptional enough. Then, the chase down block was the best chase down block since LeBron in game 7 of the Finals last year. He rendered Harden's layup useless. He sent it back like Harden stole something from him. You'd expect Leonard to be jawing and talking trash after doing this, but he did not change the expression on his face at all. He did all this with that steely demeanor that has made me an enormous fan of his.

Leonard threw himself into the MVP conversation with that performance. He may have taken Harden's spot for me, if I had a vote. Right now, my top four would be Westbrook, Leonard, James and Harden. It has to mean something when the best guy on the most consistent team continues to get better every year and is now the focal point of said team.

Kawhi Leonard is so good at basketball. He just needs to be recognized by the casual fan, not the rabid NBA fan. He is firmly my favorite player to watch and root for in the NBA now. He is so good and so understated and lets his game due the talking. He never complains to officials, yell at officials, mock other players or coaches. He just goes out and does his job. Kawhi Leonard is awesome.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. In his preseason basketball writing, Ty had a familiar name penciled in for MVP.  Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.

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Ty Tells You Who Will Win the NBA Finals and All the Other Awards

Lots of game balls to give out

Lots of game balls to give out

I finished my 10 day NBA preseason countdown yesterday, so today, I will give you my finals prediction, award predictions and some surprises, be they good or bad, that I think will happen this upcoming season.

Let's start with the finals.

I don't see how this is not part three of Cavs-Warriors. They are both the superior teams in their respective conferences. They have no real challengers. Some will say the Cavs will be pushed by the Raptors, Celtics or Pacers. The Raptors are perpetual underachievers. The Celtics don't have a super star, ball dominant, get you the tough points when you need them type of guy. The Pacers have no one that can defend both LeBron and Kyrie Irving. The Cavs are just so much better than any team in the East. The Warriors have no one, and I mean no one, that should slow them down one bit. They have the 3 of the 4 best players in the league in their starting five. They have scorers and playmakers all over the floor. As far as the Spurs being a threat, Kawhi Leonard can only guard one of those guys. The Clippers can't stop a pick and roll to save their lives, and the Warriors own them. OKC lost KD, and Westbrook will not be able to beat them alone, even though he will certainly try. The Trailblazers are just not on their level. The Warriors have such an easy path, it's ridiculous.

As stated, we will have a third straight rematch. The Warriors should win this title in no less than 5 games. LeBron will get one, he always does, but the Warriors are absolutely stacked, and anything less than a title would be deemed a disappointment. They will try and talk down the high expectations, but with a team like this, they should be huge, huge favorites.

As far as MVP goes, I mean, LeBron should probably win every year, but he won't this season, unless he wants to. All he has to do is try and play hard every night, and he could walk away with it. But, he has a ton of mileage on his legs, so I don't think he will play as many games this year that would be needed to win the MVP. As far as other contenders, Steph and KD and Klay will all cancel each other out. Those three on the same team will be lethal, but none will separate themselves as MVP. James Harden will score a ton, but he will play no defense, so that will not get him many votes. Russell Westbrook may put up ridiculous numbers, but he will play out of control a lot, shoot too many shots and that will cost him the MVP. He will be fun to watch, but I bet very infuriating at times as well. All these guys are great, but I think that Kawhi Leonard will take the next step and win the MVP this year. The Spurs are now his team, I think he will take that next step offensively and he is the best defender in the league. It may sound crazy, but I think Kawhi is going to become that superstar that we all expect him to be.

Coach of the year is going to go to Tom Thibodeau, unless the T'Wolves fall flat on their faces. Everyone has already penciled him in, so the award is his to lose. The T'Wolves have looked really good in the preseason, and if they finish above .500, he is a shoe in for the award.

I think Kawhi Leonard will double down and not only win the MVP, but also defensive player of the year. As I have said too much the past two days, he is the best defender, hands down, in the NBA. There is no equal.

Rookie of the year is going to go to Kris Dunn. He will usurp Ricky Rubio as the starter in Minnesota, and he looks ready to play right now. I do like Buddy Hield, he will score a ton, Joel Embiid, he has looked unstoppable in preseason and Brandon Ingram will get looks, but he is too skinny and needs to toughen up. But, Dunn will pass all these guys and play important minutes on a team that could possibly push for the playoffs, and he will play well.

As far as some surprises, I think OKC will struggle, but still get in the playoffs. Losing a player like KD is going to hurt a hell of a lot more than they are letting on. Westbrook will play like a man on fire, but he needs help from guys that haven't had this much on their plates in their NBA careers. The Celtics will be the third best team in the East. A lot of people have them as the surefire 2 seed, behind the Cavs, but I think the Pacers will snatch that 2 seed from them. The Pacers have scoring all over the floor, and with Nate McMillan as their new head coach, they will run up and down the court and score tons of points, while playing high level defense. The dunk contest won't be as good as last year, but it is starting to become must watch TV for NBA fans again. The dunk contest was in the toilet for almost a decade, but last year was one of, if not the, best dunk contests ever. I also love that Vince Carter is saying that he might enter this year. I'd love that.

And one last thing, the NBA is so watered down, I would suggest to everyone out there, only watch the Cavs, Spurs and Warriors, as well as your team. There is no point, if you are not a fan of either of these teams, to watch a midseason game between the Nets and Hornets. Neither of those teams will make any difference in the final outcome, so who cares. There are only 3 really good teams, then the rest. Get ready for a third straight rematch, and a lot of the same stuff we have seen for the last few years.

That's it for the NBA. Thanks for reading, and tomorrow, I will have my NCAA men's basketball preview. I will also have my "Eric Andre Show" and "Bar Rescue" recaps next week for everyone, I have just been hyper focused on basketball, since the season is right around the corner. It's very exciting.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. The NBA may be watered down, but Ty believes in drinking plenty of water. Make sure you get the good stuff. The Warriors would be like the Fiji of bottled water. Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

Ty Tells You How each NBA Team can Win the Title: Spurs, Cavaliers, and Warriors

Before I get to my final 3 teams on my NBA countdown, I have to address something Rockets GM Daryl Morey said on the Ringer's "NBA Show" from yesterday. He said, and I am not making this up, that "James Harden is the best passing 2 guard of all time".

Is he out of his god damn mind!? I mean, I understand backing your franchise player, but come on, does he not have a television, or is he blind?! I have never once seen Harden make a clean, crisp pass to an open teammate. He either holds the ball for 20 seconds, then shoots it, drives to the basket to try and draw the foul, or jacks up a contested three. That is blasphemous, and shows how out of touch Daryl Morey truly is.

Had to get that off my chest.

Anyway, the final three teams today. The cream of the crop. I think you all can glean who I have. It's pretty obvious, because these are the only three teams that have a real shot at the title. It may only be 2 of these teams, but I have three teams left. GM's, coaches and talking heads on sports shows will say that the gap is closing, and other teams, i.e., the Celtics and Pacers and T'Wolves are coming, but they are blowing smoke. There are only three real teams in this league, and it's been that way for the past three seasons. On with the countdown.

At number 3, I have the San Antonio Spurs. Yeah, Tim Duncan is retired, he is an all time great and surefire first ballot hall of famer, and yes, Boris Diaw is gone, but as long as Greg Poppovich is the head coach, the Spurs will be perennial contenders. I love Tim Duncan, he was so much better than any player from his generation, but lets be honest, he was on his last legs a few years ago. He was still putting up numbers, despite playing on one leg, but he was older and his time had come. I actually like the Pau Gasol signing. He will fill in just nice in Duncan's spot. He will probably put up better offensive numbers, and his legs aren't gone yet. It was a good decision on both parts. Manu and Tony Parker are still plugging along. Manu is definitely a few steps slower, doesn't attack like he used to and misses more than he makes, but he is still a threat, somehow. He does the little things this team needs him to do. Tony Parker seems so much older than he actually is, but he still has that killer floater and runs the offense very well, but he is a total liability on defense. That's of no matter though, because the Spurs have the best defender in the game in Kawhi Leonard. He is absolutely lock down on defense on all opponents best players. He is the only guy that I have ever seen totally shut down LeBron. His offensive game has gotten so much better every year. He is becoming a true star, he just needs to accept that. I know that LaMarcus Aldridge's name has come up in trade rumors recently, but I don't think he is gong anywhere. He fit in very well with this team last year, and I like him on this team. He is a great inside out forward/center, and he has become a better defender. Danny Green is still there, and he is still a great defensive player and a good three point shooter. They have Kevin Martin now, and he is an excellent three point shooter and instant offense off the bench. They signed David Lee, who isn't that good anymore, but he was once an all star. Johnathan Simmons is going to get extended playing time this year, and I think he is going to break out. He looked good in minimal minutes last year, and I think he will look even better playing more and more. Kyle Anderson and Patty Mills are both excellent bench players that know their roles. Look, as long as Poppovich is there, the Spurs will win upwards of 55-59 games and be a perennial contender.

So Ty, how will the Spurs win the title? The Spurs can win the title if Leonard takes that next step offensively and dominates both ends of the floor. They also need Aldridge to step up the defense a bit and Gasol to play and score more than Duncan did last year. This could all happen. People are sleeping on the Spurs, and that is never a good thing.

At number 2, I have the defending champs, the Cleveland Cavaliers. Some may say they should be number one, but they didn't sign KD. They do have the best payer in the league in LeBron. He proved that in the finals last year. LeBron is so much better than everyone else in the league, its not even fair. He does it all and can impose his will whenever and wherever he wants. LeBron is an all time great NBA player. As long as he is there, he will make the Cavs the team to beat in the East. Kyrie Irving, while being a mediocre defender, is a wizard with the ball, and was on fire throughout the playoffs last year. He is a deadly scorer, and pairing him and LeBron, on the offensive end of the floor, is dangerous for opponents. Irving could legitimately challenge for the MVP this year. Kevin Love, who looked like a shell of himself at times last year, seemed to figure out his role for this team in the finals. They don't need him to be the T'Wolves version, they need him to get double figures in rebounds, throw excellent outlet passes and score 12-15 points a night. As I said, he seemed to finally figure it out in the finals. Tristan Thompson played some incredible defense in the finals last year, now he just has to do that for the whole season. He is a great rebounder as well. He and Love should grab every board if they are in the area. JR Smith just re signed, and he knows exactly what to do on this team. He is an okay defender and an excellent offensive player. He hit some huge shots last year. Iman Shumpert has fallen off a bit. He is not the defender or shooter he was when he got traded there, but he is a fine bench player. Channing Frye will stretch the floor, and he can play a little defense too. Their rookie, Kay Felder, is a huge step up from Matthew Dellavedova. He is super fast and can get a ton of buckets. Chris Andersen is an okay signing, but I don't love it as much as others. He is an okay player, but they already have 2 guys that do what he does, except they are way better than he is. Richard Jefferson, James Jones and Mike Dunleavy Jr are all about a million years old, and I don't think they will play all that much. This Cavs team is good, they are the defending champs. They could easily win 60 games if they want to, and they will definitely be the one seed in the East.

So Ty, how will the Cavaliers win the title? The Cavs can win the title if they do exactly what they did last year. They need to slow the game down, let LeBron run the show, let Kyrie Irving slash and shoot and let Love and Thompson do the dirty work. They can also get help from officials, as game 4 of the finals showed last year, so they are more than capable of winning back to back titles.

And then there was one.

My number one team is the Golden State Warriors. I mean, who else could it be? They signed KD this offseason. They added another devastating shooter to an already devastating shooting team. How on Earth is any team going to beat these guys in a series? They have threats all over the court. And, I don't want to hear about, well their bench has been ripped to shreds to get KD. Who cares, they got KD. They also still have a decent bench anyway. I'll get to that in a minute. This back court is incredible. It's like nothing I have ever seen before. Steph Curry is the 2 time MVP, the best shooter I've ever seen and cannot be stopped, unless the refs get involved, see the finals last year. Klay Thompson is the second best shooter that I have ever seen. He gets the ball and has a quick release, and more times than not, the shot goes in. He is also this team's best defender, and he is really good at defense. And now, they have KD. He is probably the third best shooter in the game right now, and he is on the same team with the best and second best shooter. He also totally stepped up his defense last year. He needs to stop with these little side comments, and he better get used to people booing him and rooting against him, but he is still an excellent player. The Warriors back court has the last 3 MVP winners. I don't know how any team is going to stop these guys from scoring at will. Then, they have the best swiss army guy in Draymond Green. He needs to quit kicking guys in the groin, and stop talking trash, but he is really good on this team. He isn't their best player, not by a mile, but he is their most important. He is the key to this team and he is their toughness. He is also the only guy that showed up in game 7 last year. Andre Iguodala, two seasons removed from being finals MVP, is still on this team, and he is still good. He is a good shooter, another very good defender and a great veteran on this team. Shaun Livingston is still coming off the bench, and anywhere else, I think he would be a starter. He is a really good player. They don't have any dominant big men, but was Bogut ever dominant? No. Anderson Varejo, ZaZa Pachulia and JaVale McGee will split time, and they are all fine, even if McGee has had some crazy stuff happen to him in the NBA. David West signed on, and he is still ultra tough, can shoot the jumper and, like Iguodala, a great veteran. Even James Michael McAdoo got some run last year, and he looked okay. This team is absolutely loaded. They will be impossible to stop. I know people are trying to temper expectations, but I'm going the exact opposite direction. If this team doesn't win at least 70 games, and the title, it should be deemed a failure. They are just too good, loaded with too many scorers and have one of the better coaches in the NBA. No team with 2 of the best shooters ever has ever added a third, lethal scorer. This signing was unheard of. It definitely watered down the league, but the Warriors are going to be fun to watch, and also, root against. They were the lovable underdogs 2 years ago, but now, they are the hunted. They are the bad guys. They are the team that everyone outside of the Bay Area wants to lose. They will be the most scrutinized team by a wide margin this year. Hopefully those guys have thick skin, because a lot of people will be hating on them all season.

So Ty, why will the Warriors win the title? The Warriors should win the title simply because of this collection of shooters. There has never been a team like this put together before. They will be unguardable. I know it's just the preseason, but they have already been putting up ridiculous shooting numbers. As I have already stated many times, they should expect nothing less than a title this year, and they should have little to no resistance from anyone, not even LeBron and the Cavs.

That's my countdown. Tomorrow I will have predictions for the title, I think you all know where I'm leaning, as well as awards predictions and some surprises that will happen. And on Friday, I will have a NCAA basketball preview. Come back for those in the next couple of days. Thanks for the eyeballs.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He wanted to say that the Warriors were going to win at least 80 games, but the head editor made him lower the expectations. Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

 

DeAndre Jordan Does Not Belong on the NBA First Team

DeAndre Jordan should not even be warming the first team's bench

DeAndre Jordan should not even be warming the first team's bench

Yesterday the NBA released their all NBA teams. The teams were pretty much what we all expected. The first team had LeBron, Russell Westbrook, Steph Curry, Kawhi Leonard and DeAndre Jordan. The second team had Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Damien Lillard, Boogie Cousins and Chris Paul. The third, and final team, had Klay Thompson, LaMarcus Aldridge, Paul George, Andre Drummond and Kyle Lowry.

They got it right for the most part.

As far as snubs go, maybe flip Durant and Westbrook, but I don't think it really matters, they are both great and they both deserve a spot. Anthony Davis was hurt, but when he was in there, he was great, and he lost 24 million dollars by not making the team. If Kyle Lowry made all NBA, I think DeMar DeRozan deserved equal consideration. Other than that, they got everything right except for one humongous, glaring, gaping hole on that first team.

How on Earth does a player like DeAndre Jordan make first team all NBA? He shouldn't be on any of these all NBA teams. All he is good for is rebounding and dunking. His defense isn't anywhere near elite. His offense is a joke. His free throw shooting is even worse. His demeanor on the court is garbage. He carries himself so poorly. He isn't even the best player on his team. He isn't even the second best player on his team. When you look at the other first team players, those players were the best players on their team this year, and yes, Westbrook was better all year than Durant, that is a fact. DeAndre Jordan is way behind Chris Paul, and even though he is an abusive man child that whines and complains and blames everything on everyone else and never comes up big when the Clippers need him most, Blake Griffin is still better than DeAndre Jordan. Hell, guys like Paul Pierce, Jamal Crawford, and at times, even Jeff Green were more crucial to the Clippers than DeAndre Jordan.

DeAndre Jordan is a problem for this Clippers team. He cannot be counted on late in games because his low post game is non existent and his free throw shooting is the worst that I have ever seen. He is worse than Drummond. Hell, he is a worse free throw shooter than Rajon Rando, and Rajon Rando is a garbage free throw shooter. His defense is not nearly as threatening as it was a year or two ago. People attacked him way more this year and would score or draw fouls on him more often than him getting a block or altering the shot. And on offense, unless it is a lob from Chris Paul for an alley oop, he is completely useless. He is a poor screener. He rolls away from the rim way too often on pick and rolls. He cannot move in the low post. He can't shoot free throws, so he obviously is no threat to shoot jumpers. When he gets the ball in the high post, he is so quick to give it up for fear of getting fouled, or having the ball stolen from him. He is a problem on this Clippers team when they have to run half court offense.

With all those problems, the people that vote on all NBA put DeAndre Jordan on the first team. What a joke. Why was he even considered? Is it the LA thing? Since the Lakers are a dumpster fire, do the writers, most of whom live in LA, feel like they need to have someone, no matter how crappy they are, from an LA team be on the all NBA first team? That's not fair. With DeAndre Jordan being first team all NBA, I'm surprised these dip shit voters didn't put Kobe Bryant on any of the all NBA teams. Then, to vote DeAndre Jordan over guys like Boogie Cousins, LMA, Andre Drummond, what a crock and slap in their faces. LaMarcus Aldridge completely overhauled his game to fit in with the Spurs, and they were a great regular season team, due to him and Kawhi Leonard. LMA definitely deserved that spot more than Jordan. While Andre Drummond is an equally terrible free throw shooter, he is a much better rebounder, defender, low post threat and teammate than Jordan will ever be. I'd take Andre Drummond 10 times out of 10 before I'd take Jordan if I were starting a team and I had to pic between the two of them for my center spot. Then there's Boogie Cousins. While he may be uncoachable and a very tough player to play with, Cousins is the best center in the NBA. He has all the tools that the old time centers had and he can also run and shoot the way the newer bigs can. Boogie Cousins is a tremendous talent that deserves that first team spot so much more than DeAndre Jordan. Cousins is a better rebounder, defender, and is so far ahead of Jordan on offense, it is almost laughable that he didn't get the first team spot. If I were Boogie Cousins I'd take this very personal and go at DeAndre Jordan every shot I get for the rest of my NBA career. Then there are guys that didn't make any all NBA teams that I would take well before I take Jordan. I'd take Anthony Davis, Steven Adams, Serge Ibaka, Bismak Biyombo, Al Horford, Paul Millsap and many more centers and power forwards before I'd even consider DeAndre Jordan.

The love for Jordan needs to stop and stop now. He is a very marginal NBA center. If he did not have Chris Paul throwing him passes, he may be out of the league, that is how overrated I truly think DeAndre Jordan is. The voters got this one terribly wrong. I don't think anyone could pose an argument that would sway me on this. This is a joke and this proves how useless and pointless all these all NBA teams are. Who in the hell cares, all the fans know who are the best players in the league, and Deandre Jordan is not one of the top five. He isn't even one of the top 25 players in the league. What a crock is truly is that he made first team all NBA. He should be getting rewarded for his mediocre play all season. This was a huge mistake.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He looks forward to the day when NBA writers value the players skill more than their geographical location. Follow Ty on twitter @tykulik.

Mid Season Checkup on Ty's NBA Predictions.

Ty's picks are actually in better shape than the hoop.

Ty's picks are actually in better shape than the hoop.

Now that we have made it to the All Star break in the NBA, I want to go back and look at my giant, 10 day NBA preview I did before the season and see how it looks now. I did get some things wrong, we all do, and I will address those first, but I feel like I picked the top teams pretty well, with one exception.

So, before I pat myself on the back, let's get to the stuff I was off base on. First of all, I was way off on the New Orleans Pelicans, the Dallas Mavericks, the Portland Trailblazers, the Houston Rockets, the Washington Wizards and the Milwaukee Bucks. In the case of the Pelicans, I thought they'd be much, much better than they've shown this season. Sure, they've suffered a plethora of injuries, but they just don't look like that good of a team right now. I watched them play the OKC Thunder last night and they got blown out. The game wasn't even competitive mid way through the third quarter. Sure, they didn't have Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans, but they still have Anthony Davis, my preseason MVP and Defensive Player of the Year winner. Davis has looked good, but he was supposed to look great. He was supposed to be the new face of the NBA. He hasn't shown that he is ready to take the next step, but he still has time. This is a lost year for the Pelicans. Too many injuries and a terrible start doomed them. They should blow it up and try to get a decent pick to add next to Davis.

I also thought that the Bucks would be a much better team than they are right now. They haven't really had to deal with any injuries, they just can't play competent defense and they have no go to scorer. Giannis Antentekoumpo has not taken the leap he was expected to take, becoming kind of a nuisance. Jabari Parker has not lived up to the hype that he can be a top tier scorer and he plays no defense whatsoever. The Greg Monroe signing has been an absolute disaster and their back court is mediocre at best. They have looked pretty awful this year. They already had their highlight of their season, when they ended Golden State's perfect start.

The Washington Wizards can't stay healthy and they can't get John Wall any kind of significant help. Wall is a star. He is one of, if not the, top point guard in the NBA, but he has no help at all. Bradley Beal was supposed to be his wingman, but he can't stay healthy and when he is in there, he's been ice cold from the field. Marcin Gortat looks slow and is not scoring like he did a year ago. Nene looks disinterested and I wouldn't be surprised if he gets traded. Otto Porter Jr has been hit or miss and other than those guys, they have very average NBA players. But, it all really boils down to piss poor coaching from Randy Whitman. The fact he still has a job is ridiculous. He is the one wasting John Wall's talent. I feel bad for John Wall because he's a really great basketball player.

The Houston Rockets have been a mess from the start of preseason. James Harden decided he'd rather party than stay in shape. Dwight Howard can't get touches, but he also mopes and complains more than any NBA player I've ever watched. The trade for Ty Lawson, which I loved, has been a complete disaster. And this team, as a whole, plays absolutely no defense. The offense they run is equally terrible. I swear, they tell Harden to dribble for 20 seconds, then either shoot a 3 or try to drive to draw a foul. It's atrocious. They fired their coach after 11 games, but they haven't been any better since letting McHale go. As was reported last night, this is truly "a broken team".

Now, to get away from teams I thought would be good that aren't so good to teams that I expected to take a step back, but are playing much better than I thought. First, the Trailblazers. They traded away 4/5 of their starting lineup and made some interesting offseason moves, but damn it if it isn't kind of working for them. They lost LaMarcus Aldridge, Robin Lopez, Wes Matthews and Nic Batum, but still find themselves in the playoff race. If they do end up making the playoffs, it will be as an eight seed and they will get crushed by Golden State, but I thought there was no way they'd win more than 25 games this year. Damien Lillard really is that good.

The other team that I kind of crapped on, thought they were too old and that they missed out on some key free agency moves, the Dallas Mavericks, have been very competitive. Dirk is still Dirk. He is still getting 18 to 20 points per game and his jump shot is still unguardable. Wes Matthews, their only free agent signing after the DeAndre Jordan fiasco, has been great, coming off a torn ACL. He has actually looked really good, considering his injury. Chandler Parsons has been okay, he just does what he does, and that's enough for this team. But, Deron Williams has been rejuvenated by his move to Dallas. He was done in Brooklyn. His career seemed to be over, but he has played some pretty good basketball since joining the Mavericks, much to mine, and everyone else's surprise. He looks like a decent NBA point guard again. You have also got to give a lot of love to Rick Carlisle for the job he's doing with this team. He is a top of the line NBA coach. .

Now, let's get to the stuff I was on the mark with in my preseason preview. Golden State and San Antonio have been great. Golden State, whom I've written about a couple of times already, has been historically great. They are the most fun to watch NBA team that I've ever seen. Steph Curry is the best player in the NBA, no questions about it, and they also have Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut and Andre Igoudala, and I could name a lot more. They are so, so good.

The Spurs are right there as well. The Aldridge signing has been great and Aldridge has taken very easily to playing the "Spurs Way". David West, who they signed for the veterans minimum, has been a great addition as well. Then they still have Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli. I know Ginobli just recently got hurt, but they can plug Patty Mills, Danny Green, or anyone on their bench to take over until Ginobli returns. Sure, they got blown out by the Warriors recently, but the Spurs save their best for the playoffs. I still really like the Spurs to compete for the title this year.

The Oklahoma City Thunder have been pretty good as well, yet no one is really talking about them. They won their 40th game last night and Kevin Durant looks like he is 100 percent back. To go along with Durant, Russell Westbrook is still doing all the great and reckless things he does on the court, but he's found a way for it to help his team this year. Serge Ibaka is still one of the top rim protector and he has increased his range all the way out to the three point line. Steven Adams is the new Bill Laimbeer and the rest of the team knows their place. Andre Roberson is a lock down defender, DJ Augustin and Cameron Payne are strictly there to give Westbrook short breaks. Enes Kanter is instant offense off the bench and Dion Waiters, when he is on, can score in bunches. OKC is lurking and I wouldn't want to play them in the playoffs if I were either San Antonio or Golden State.

In the East, there are two teams and that is it. The Cavs, another team I've written plenty about, is the best team in the East, but they have a problem with their roster and since they fired David Blatt, Tyronn Lue hasn't really set the NBA coaching world on fire. I wouldn't be surprised if they make some moves, trading guys like Kevin Love, Timofey Mozgov and/or Tristan Thompson or Anderson Varajo and bringing in more shooters, but it won't matter, they will still lose in the Finals. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving are great, but then you have guys like JR Smith, Iman Shumpert, Matthew Dellavedova and James Jones that are playing critical minutes in the playoffs. LeBron the GM needs to make better player personnel decisions and sign good NBA players, not his buddies.

The other team from the East that is setting the world on fire completely took me by surprise. I thought the Toronto Raptors would be good, but not this good. DeMr DeRozan and Kyle Lowry are playing All Star level basketball, although Lowry is the only one that made the team. Jonas Valenciunas is becoming that rebounder and low post scorer that they need him to be. Corey Joseph has been awesome since he signed there this offseason, scoring points and playing good defense. DeMarre Carroll, who's been out with an injury, looked just as good as he did last year in Atlanta, playing lock down defense and hitting open shots. The Raptors have been a whole hell of a lot better than I thought they would be, especially after their rough finish in the playoffs last year, and they look like a real threat to the Cavs. I would love if the Raptors faced the Cavs in the East Finals, swept them and then get crushed by either OKC, Golden State or San Antonio. That would be hilarious to me because it would freak out David Silver and make the fans in Cleveland that much more miserable. I really, really like Toronto.

As far as award predictions, Steph Curry is the MVP. I picked Anthony Davis, but it's Curry. Emmanuel Mudiay, my preseason rookie of the year, has been hurt and can't shoot, so I will now go with Karl Anthony Towns. He is a star in the making. Kawhi Leonard is hands down the Defensive Player of the Year and Gregg Popovich has to be coach of the year. You can't give it to Steve Kerr, and Adam Silver doesn't have the cojanes to give it to Luke Walton, so it's Poppovich.

To close it all out, at the All Star break, my finals prediction is going to be Golden State and Cleveland. I know I picked San Antonio and Cleveland, and that could still happen, but Golden State is something special this year. Not only will Golden State repeat, probably sweeping the Cavs out of the Finals, but I think they will break the single season record of wins. In 1996 the Bulls finished 72-10 and I think the Warriors will finish this season at 74-8, besting them by two games. The Warriors are that good and they will finish their historic season with a second straight NBA title.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man podcast. He really wanted an all Canada final of the Raptors and the Grizzlies, but then he realized that Memphis is not in Canada. He also realized their are no Grizzlies in Tennessee, no lakes in LA, and definitely no Jazz in Salt Lake City. The NBA is weird. Follow Ty on twitter @tykulik.

The Cavaliers Will Win the East, and Get Destroyed by the West

The Cavs need more practice, and a lot more talent.

The Cavs need more practice, and a lot more talent.

Last night the Cleveland Cavaliers got their asses handed to them by the Golden State Warriors 132-98. They gave up 132 points to an NBA team. Sure, they're the defending champions, but still, 132 points is an insane amount. That shouldn't happen to a team that is widely considered to be a championship contender.

Sure, the Cavs are good, they already have 27 or 28 wins and have won something like 12 of their last 14, but I want to focus on those two losses. They were to the Warriors last night and the San Antonio Spurs last Thursday night, the two best teams in the West and the two best teams in the NBA. Sure, they were competitive when they played the Spurs, but the Spurs pulled away from them late in the third quarter. And the Warriors absolutely man handled them last night.

In the post game press conference, LeBron James kept talking about the fact that they're a young team and they haven't experienced a lot of success and they still have a long way to go, but I've heard this song and dance from him before. In fact, I heard all the same stuff last year. I'm at the point now where I call bull shit. They have experienced success, they were in the finals last year and won two games. They are not that young. LeBron has been in the league for 12 years now, Kyrie Irving been around for at least five years and Kevin Love has been in the league for 7 years, I believe, now. The three of them have played in multiple all star games and Love and Irving got their first taste of the playoffs last year. In fact, most of the players on the Cavs have been in the NBA for awhile now. Stop with the young and inexperienced talk. The only player with any clout on the team that is young is Tristan Thompson, and he is not the world beater that LeBron and company have the media believing he is. And winning 50 plus games last year and making the finals, like I said before, equals measured success.

The only thing he said in the press conference that I agreed with was, they have a very, very long way to go. They don't use Kevin Love correctly for one. They've turned him into a three point shooting power forward. His post up game, that was unguardable while he was in Minnesota, is non existent. They don't want him clogging the lane so LeBron and Irving can drive, relegating him to the three point line. Sure, he's a good three point shooter, but he's a much better post player. Love looks lost a lot when the Cavs run their half court offense. Irving is not a point guard. He has phenomenal handles and dribbles the ball up the court, but that's not his game. He is a slasher that likes to get to the rim and can score on open jumpers. He is a two guard in a point guards body. He is a wizard with the basketball, but he is not a point guard. He's never been a good distributor and the offense doesn't run through him, it runs through LeBron. I love the way Irving plays, but he is much more suited to be a two guard. LeBron is LeBron. He's one of the best to ever play the game, but I feel like all those games and minutes that he's played is starting to wear on his body. He doesn't seem to have that quick first step anymore and he looks like a bowling ball when driving to the basket. He seems to create more contact than the players that the fouls are called on. He also cannot shoot from the outside. If I was guarding him, I'd take two steps back and let him shoot jumpers all night. That's what I'd want him to do. He's an all time great, but he hasn't looked that way so far this year.

Now, lets get to the two games I mentioned earlier. I've heard on ESPN and sports talk radio and talk shows that the East is closing the gap on the West. I've heard that the Cavs are a real threat to the Spurs, Warriors and even the Thunder, but look at the Cavs most recent losses to see how wrong these columnists and TV personalities are. They held a slim lead over the Spurs going into half time last Thursday, but then the second half started. The Spurs looked unstoppable. Tony Parker was getting to the rim at will. Aldridge was having an off night, but he was finding open shooters left and right from the post. Kevin Love was getting schooled by Tim Duncan all game. Kawhi Leonard was shutting down LeBron on defense and getting his on offense. The Spurs were clearly the superior team. Side bar, the Spurs play the most beautiful basketball I've ever seen. Their offense is so sophisticated, yet they make it look easy. I love watching the Spurs play. The Spurs dominated that second half and when the Cavs have to turn to Matthew Dellavedova and JR Smith for offense, god help them.

The Warriors just demolished them last night. They were hitting threes at an insane rate. They were running up and down the court with ease. They looked like they were in so much better shape than the Cavs. The Warriors suffocated them on defense. Draymond Green was shutting down all the Cavs big men and Steph Curry did Steph Curry things. As good as the Spurs looked the week before beating them, the Warriors looked better. They looked so much better than the Cavs in fact, I couldn't believe that they were on the same court. It looked like a varsity team playing a junior varsity team. The Warriors are about a thousand times better than the Cavs, even with both teams at full strength. Curry lit up Irving, Green and Barnes crushed Love all night and any number of Warriors player, be it Andre Iguodala or Barnes moving over to James or Shaun Livingston, basically anyone they threw at James, completely shut him down.

The Cavs may be the best team in the East, but stop with the talk of the East closing the gap on the West. The West's three top teams all have better records than the Cavs and I'd take any one of those teams, be it the Thunder, Spurs or Warriors, any day before I pick the Cavs. The Warriors and Spurs proved in the past five days that the East's best cannot even come close to competing with the West's best. I'm sure the Cavs will represent the East in the finals again this year, and I'm sure they'll lose to either the Spurs or the Warriors.

It will probably be a sweep too.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man podcast. He has been practicing his Lebron defense and cannot wait to get his shot at the Cavs. Follow Ty on twitter @tykulik.

The Warriors may be the best team in NBA history

Steph Curry would average over 60% on these rims

Steph Curry would average over 60% on these rims

As you all know by now, I'm a HUGE NBA fan. It is on my TV whenever possible. I wrote a ten part season preview. I love the NBA almost as much as college football.

NBA basketball is getting back to the good ole days. Sure, teams don't shoot the midrange jump shot as well anymore, and if you turn on ESPN, all they show are Clippers highlights and the men's college game is becoming borderline unwatchable, with all the one and done players, but the NBA has gotten a wee bit better. It's more enjoyable to watch games now than it was 5 or 6 years ago. Most of the teams have become pretty competitive, save for the 76ers, Lakers and Nets. The East has even improved from last year. The West is still much better though and will continue to be for awhile. The Spurs signed LaMarcus Aldridge and resigned Kawhi Leonard. They also still have Tony Parker, Manu Ginobli and Tim Duncan. When the Thunder are at full strength, Durant has missed the past 10 days, they're as competitive as any team in the league. The Clippers look bad right now, much to my delight, but they will fix things and still win in the 50's. The Mavericks have played surprisingly well 15 games into the season. Dirk is still Dirk, and Wes Matthews, coming off a torn ACL, looks pretty good. The Pelicans had a terrible start, a possible playoff hopes crushing start, but Anthony Davis is back completely healthy, and they've won their past two, beating the Spurs in one of those games. The Rockets are a mess, I'll give you that. Firing Kevin McHale may prove to be a huge misstep. It's not his fault that Dwight Howard doesn't care about basketball that much anymore. And what in the world has happened to James Harden? He was the MVP runner up last year, but this year, teammates are griping about playing with him, calling him a diva and a ball hog, and he spent the entire offseason partying and not staying in shape. It's gotten so bad with him that even Bill Simmons has cooled on the Thunder trading him being the worst thing that ever happened in the NBA, and he hasn't shut up about it for five straight years. The Grizzlies and Jazz are .500 teams right now, but they, much like the Clippers, will figure it out.

All these teams pale in comparison to what the Golden State Warriors are doing right now. As you all know, the Warriors beat the Nuggets last night and tied for the best start in NBA history at 15-0. Sure, they've had some close calls to inferior teams, the Nets, but other than two or three games, they've been blowing out teams. Each win seems to be by at least ten, and the starters rest almost all of the fourth quarter. Steph Curry has been unbelievable to start the year too. He's averaging something like 33 or 34 points a game, shooting almost 50 percent from three, 60 percent from two and 90 percent from the free throw line. That's incredible! I don't know that there's ever been a 60, 90, 50 player ever. It would be astounding if Curry can accomplish that this year. He's also stepped up his game on defense as well this year. Sure, he won't be first team all defense, but second or third team is a real possibility. But, it's not just Curry winning these games. You're probably thinking, well it's him and Klay Thompson scoring in bunches. Nope, Thompson has, I don't want to say struggled, but he hasn't been scoring like he normally does. He still is playing absolute lock down defense though. That part of his game has never wavered. He's one of the best, if not the best, maybe a step behind Kawhi Leonard, the best defender in the NBA. Harrison Barnes, who turned down an extension, betting on himself, has been a beast so far. His numbers may not show it, I think he's a 14 point per game and 5 or 6 rebound per game player statistically, but what he's doing for the Warriors is awesome. He's already had two of the best dunks of the year, he's is getting to the line more frequently, and he's hitting midrange and floaters on a regular basis. He's going to get paid this offseason if he keeps this up. Draymond Green is proving that he's an elite defender, rebounder and he's becoming a pretty good scorer. He's also a total pain in the ass with the opposition, and the Warriors love that about him. I've never seen a guy under 6'8 that can guard centers like he does. It's amazing. He made the right decision to stay in Golden State. This is the perfect team for him to be on. The other players on the team are doing whatever they need to do to help this team to continue to dominate. Andrew Bogut is protecting the rim and grabbing rebounds like he has his whole career. Andre Iguodala is knocking down open threes and dominating on defense like he has his whole career. He's also taken to being a sixth man better than anyone who used to be a franchise player that I've ever seen. He clearly just wants to win. Shaun Livingston is still a point guard in a 6'7 players body. He has command of the second unit and he finds the open man every time. Festus Ezeli is still crushing it on defense for the second unit and he seems to have found a bit of a scoring touch lately. Mo Speights and Leandro Barbosa still play out of control at times, but they are both instant offense off the bench for a team that has a ton of offensive weapons. The only other bench player that kind of contributes is James Michael McAdoo and in his limited playing time, he hustles his ass off. That's great for an 11 or 12th man off the bench. You usually don't see a lot of hustle from guys that deep on the bench.

The main reason I'm singling out the Warriors today is, I feel like I didn't give them enough love in my preseason preview. I had them as the second best team coming into this season behind the Spurs. Time will tell, but the Warriors, right now, are far and away the best team in the NBA. They may be historically one of the greatest teams of all time if they continue to play like this. I never thought, not only would I say it, but see a team that has a chance to win as many games as the Chicago Bulls did in the 95-96 season. That was the team that went 72-10. That was unreal to watch that team play because they could've won 75 or 76 games that year. The Warriors won't win all 82 games, that's impossible, but I think they have a real chance to tie, or even surpass the Bulls team that won 72 games. Their schedule will get tougher and players will get injuries, it's a long season, but they seem to have a goal in mind. This offseason a lot of people said that they didn't earn the title, they didn't have to play all the tough teams, they faced teams with key injuries and so on and so forth. The thing that was said that really got to them, in my opinion was, that they were "lucky", and that they weren't "true" champions. First of all, that's bull shit. Any team that's won a title in any sport needs luck, be it with health of their players, bounces going their way, a player on a hot streak, any kind of luck has been involved with every champion in every sport. But saying they weren't "true" champions, that just gave a team that won 67 games and a title last year, a chip on their shoulder. Now, they don't just want to beat you, they want to destroy you. That's the killer instinct that people talk about when it comes to champions. Sure, they won last year, but they want to continue to win and they want to crush you while doing it.

I'm not a Warriors fan, I'm indifferent when it comes to the Warriors. They're a ton of fun to watch, and Steph Curry has surpassed LeBron James and Kevin Durant as the best basketball player in the world, but I'm a Thunder fan, so that's who I root for.

Oh, they are also doing this without Steve Kerr. Luke Walton has been the interim head coach while Kerr's back heals. That's crazy.

I just want to apologize to the Warriors fan base and the Warriors organization for not ranking them as the preseason number one team in the NBA. They're doing something magical right now, and this could be a historic season. Just sit back and realize when you watch the Warriors this year, you could be watching a historically great NBA team. Maybe the greatest of all time. The rest of this season will be the judge.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture Editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He has seen one team go 82-0 in an NBA season, his Oklahoma City Thunder on NBA 2K13. Follow Ty on twitter @tykulik.