NBA Finals Boston vs Dallas (poll)

Who will be Champions?


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Cheesebeef

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What a devastation it would be if this was Luka’s only trip to the finals? Book found out how hard it is to return and it likely won’t happen here. That would be an albatross around Luka’s career if this is it. It wouldn’t be the first time a great player only got one shot. Some get none.

He’s already gotten the Mavs to the WCF twice and a Finals with basically one good player next to him both times and pretty much nothing but role players otherwise… at 25. I get people are loving his performance or lack thereof so far in the Finals, but ruminating about him never getting back there right now feels kinda premature.
 
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Lorenzo

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What a devastation it would be if this was Luka’s only trip to the finals? Book found out how hard it is to return and it likely won’t happen here. That would be an albatross around Luka’s career if this is it. It wouldn’t be the first time a great player only got one shot. Some get none.
you never know. in 2006 I never thought that dallas would have to wait until 2011 to get back. and honestly after their meltdown in 2007, I didn't think it would happen again. I definitely thought dallas ceiling this year was the second round.

I think if dallas continue to upgrade their roster doncic can get back there one day. assuming he stays in dallas. I think Hoop Head might have said it, but doncic and Irving both need players around them that can defend, and they need them in large numbers. dirk and Terry needed it in 2011 for example. but those players have to be 2 way players. they can't be bystanders on offense which is what we are seeing in these finals. It's kind of strange how this dallas team that is in the finals basically flipped a switch midseason. they are unrecognizable from what they were. they were a play-in level team winning and losing games in the high 100's on a nightly basis before the trades.
 

Covert Rain

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He’s already gotten the Mavs to the WCF twice and a Finals with basically one good player next to him and pretty much nothing but role players next to him… at 25. I get people are loving his performance or lack thereof so far in the Finals, but ruminating about him never getting back there right now feels kinda premature.
Oh no doubt. Then again, I heard the media types over and over and over talk about Book getting there multiple times after he went. I can also name other HOF players who thought they would get another shot too.
 

Lorenzo

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Oh no doubt. Then again, I heard the media types over and over and over talk about Book getting there multiple times after he went. I can also name other HOF players who thought they would get another shot too.
Book is still young. I think he will get back there. but he is a good example of how hard it is to get back. dallas had almost a mirror image in 2006/2007 as what phoenix did in 2021/2022. except dallas got eliminated by the 8th seed in the first round in 07 (in 6 games). it was so bad in 2007 that dirk's MVP award was embarrassing. But that's also a reason why it is important to stay loyal with your franchise player and not turn on them when times are tough. As great as Boston look now, they too have had their fair amount of letdowns. this hasn't been an easy road for them by any means.
 

Cheesebeef

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Oh no doubt. Then again, I heard the media types over and over and over talk about Book getting there multiple times after he went. I can also name other HOF players who thought they would get another shot too.
I don’t remember people saying that about Book because he isn’t, never has been and never will be a HOF Legend level player you can consistently build an entire team around.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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Eh… I’ve seen comments about Luka having already almost reached his ceiling since his rookie season.

He’s gotten better every year and is still only 25. This is the first time he’s really being hammered on a National scale. Still think it’s a toss-up if he can get more mature.
Omg I remember that. Someone here argued that he was essentially at his ceiling his rookie year because he was so good and had been playing with pros in Europe, and blah blah blah, and that’s why Ayton was going to be so much better. I called that ridiculous then and it’s only been proven moreso over the years. So funny. Had forgotten about that.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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I used to hate Tim Duncan's ref interaction. I can't remember a foul call when he raised his hand and admitted to a foul. I just remember him arguing every single foul call and no foul given when he thought he was fouled. he had personal beef with refs. he's the only player I've ever seen getting T'd up and ejected for laughing at a ref while on the bench. yet in spite of this I don't think it was ever a talking point with the national media.
The spurs were darlings. Everyone loved them. They were multiple times champions. Buys you a ton of leeway. And Duncan was a refreshing low key all star at a time when stars were all about self aggrandizement, so the media fell in love with him. But yeah, he was incredibly whiny.
 

Phrazbit

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Luka, absolutely, can grow up, and I think he probably will.

But I think it's a minor miracle that they've gotten this far. He's, on an individual talent level, a top 5 guy, for sure. But he seems insufferable, not just as a fan, but to his coaches, to his teammates and to the refs... who still seemingly bend over backwards to appease him and he still openly despises them. The Mavs have had a great run, surrounding Luka with a bunch of young hungry players and a castoff star in Kyrie who was mostly unwanted. Which, at this stage, is probably the best type of team to put around him. Kyrie is there because no one else wanted him, they made some truly great moves at the deadline to surround Luka with lengthy, athletic, defensive guys who don't demand the ball. Absolutely the type of guys to pair him with.

But it's a reflection of his weaknesses. He doesn't defend, he's the most ball dominant player... ever.

I do think he can mature out of this. I don't doubt that at some point we will see a season where Luka focuses on his conditioning. Not just coming into camp in shape but maintaining that for a season (he's clearly gassed late in games... and obviously tubby). But his mentality has to change. He needs to play faster and actually give a crap on defense. He also can't have these ego battles in series... it went in his favor against the wolves, ANT went haywire trying to make it a one on one series, but not everyone is that stupid.

He is a really competitive person, and that goes a long way. I expect him to continue to elvove and eliminate his weaknesses... but I'd rather he didn't. I also hope he does so once it is too late and he has continuted to alienated basically every talented teammate he played with.

Kobe was pretty similar... obviously, Kobe actually defended, unlike Luka, but Kobe was a guy who tended to make things about himself and drove away a lot of teammates, but was still an obviously phenominal talent. If not for Phil Jackson, and making things work despite the egos, Kobe's career would be a different story.

If I had to bet... I think that at some point Luka either evolves on his own or a coach comes along who can temper the situation.

But I'd rather it didn't happen.

Side note: If he continues this crap with the refs, he will find himself in Chris Paul territory. A player whom the refs can hardly tollerate, and in certain situations openly antagonize.
 

Yuma

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It really is set up for NBA teams in the new CBA to have TWO big stars and no more, to effectively build a team around. Taking on Beal's contract really limited us. That money would have been better spread among 2-3 players. No qualms about trading CP3 at the time. Maybe that trade would have been better flipping him for a draft pick?

I can't help but think the firing of our old cap guy played into some of this. Reading articles on our new cap guy and everyone sings his praises. Supposedly is real inventive in helping to get guys on teams. Let's see that magic.
 

ajcardfan

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I think Luka will never significantly improve on defense unless he greatly improves his conditioning. Playing defense takes more out of you than offense. Luka looks like the type of guy who has a beer in between every game at the playground (um... could be referencing myself here). Part of all those blow bys is he is puffing around. He is such a great talent on the offensive end, he can still score when he is puffing. But, he will never be a good defender the way he physically prepares. I see a lot of similarities in this regard to Barkley.
 

Mainstreet

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A couple of seasons ago, Luka came into the season in great shape. Actually, I thought he might have slimmed down too much.

The problem is, he has to carry some extra weight (muscle) to carry Dallas offensively. The season is a grind.

Even for Luka to do what he does now, he has to be in incredible shape. All bodies are not built the same. I think he gets too much criticism because he does not have a stereotypical NBA body. Steve Nash didn't have that type of body either.
 

ajcardfan

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A couple of seasons ago, Luka came into the season in great shape. Actually, I thought he might have slimmed down too much.

The problem is, he has to carry some extra weight (muscle) to carry Dallas offensively. The season is a grind.

Even for Luka to do what he does now, he has to be in incredible shape. All bodies are not built the same. I think he gets too much criticism because he does not have a stereotypical NBA body. Steve Nash didn't have that type of body either.
He is strong as a bull, no doubt about it. I think he can improve his cardiovascular conditioning. But, I am not close up to him, so maybe he is elite in that area too. It just doesn't look like it when he is constantly bent over grabbing the bottom of his shorts in the 2nd half almost every time play stops, taking deep breaths.
 

Mainstreet

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He is strong as a bull, no doubt about it. I think he can improve his cardiovascular conditioning. But, I am not close up to him, so maybe he is elite in that area too. It just doesn't look like it when he is constantly bent over grabbing the bottom of his shorts in the 2nd half almost every time play stops, taking deep breaths.

It's hard to know what the peak cardiovascular conditioning is for Luka. IMO, Dallas depends on him too much, so he may be giving it all he has. I lean towards the latter.
 

Covert Rain

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I don’t remember people saying that about Book because he isn’t, never has been and never will be a HOF Legend level player you can consistently build an entire team around.
After we went to the finals, commentators and analysts were saying after that finals that Book is going to have other shots. The assumption was the Suns were young and hungry and would be back.
 

Covert Rain

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It's hard to know what the peak cardiovascular conditioning is for Luka. IMO, Dallas depends on him too much, so he may be giving it all he has. I lean towards the latter.
Luka was looking really fit in the offseason. I think it was @Cheesebeef that posted the photo but I could be wrong. It was the leanest I have seen him ever. Now he looks like normal Luka like that all went out the door during the season which is strange.
 

Peter Sheldon

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It takes a team, not three supposed stars. The future is not looking bright for the Suns.
yup.
Our 3 stars are overrated to begin with. And to tie up $150million on these three is insane.

KD has a nice mid-range but can't seem to dribble without getting ball stolen. Passes are awful.
His defense is adequate at times but not stellar. Can rarely play well in 4th quarter due to being spent.
And obviously not the player he once was. A good 3rd best player on a good team.

Book can be an offensive monster when he is on, but quickly comes back down to earth for the next couple games.
He struggles with heavy contact and is just a hair too short and unathletic to cover 6'6" players and above. His lateral
defensive quickness is just not elite. A fair passer but not elite. A good 2nd or 3rd best player on a good team.

Beal is not close to all-star level anymore. Too short and not a great defender. Shot comes and goes.
Drives to the hoop well. Not a good passer or rebounder. Barely starter material or more likely off-the-bench on a good team.

This team is hosed without a miracle trade. League is going to tall, young, fast wings who can defend every position, rebound
with a vengeance, hit 3s and score at the hoop in traffic. We have nothing like that at all. Not even close.
Look at Boston. Aging KD is the closest thing we have to that and even that is a super stretch.

Gonna be 5-10 years before Suns are relevant again. Hope I'm wrong. It'll take trading a star or two and getting REALLY lucky with the return.
 

Lorenzo

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I remember in dallas in the early 00's we had similar discussions about Nash's fitness. no one was saying Nash was too heavy, but people were always talking about him wearing down and getting targeted on defense by Sacramento or the spurs. it became a national narrative so much so that Nash started to become a scape goat in dallas. it was stupid. I wish dallas kept him and dirk together.
 

Covert Rain

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I remember in dallas in the early 00's we had similar discussions about Nash's fitness. no one was saying Nash was too heavy, but people were always talking about him wearing down and getting targeted on defense by Sacramento or the spurs. it became a national narrative so much so that Nash started to become a scape goat in dallas. it was stupid. I wish dallas kept him and dirk together.
Yeah, those are not remotely the same thing. Nash was never nationally blasted for his fitness. The worry about Nash was his playing minutes and his back. Luka is getting blasted for being out of shape.
 

Lorenzo

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Omg I remember that. Someone here argued that he was essentially at his ceiling his rookie year because he was so good and had been playing with pros in Europe, and blah blah blah, and that’s why Ayton was going to be so much better. I called that ridiculous then and it’s only been proven moreso over the years. So funny. Had forgotten about that.
sometimes it's the narrative, especially with the national media. with Luka it's now focusing on what he doesn't do well which is ridiculous when you look at how much he carries dallas. with dirk it was always he wasn't clutch and was too soft. that became the national narrative when in reality he was arguably the most clutch scorer in the NBA when he was in his prime.
 

Lorenzo

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Yeah, those are not remotely the same thing. Nash was never nationally blasted for his fitness. The worry about Nash was his playing minutes and his back. Luka is getting blasted for being out of shape.
he was when he was in dallas. I remember it well.
 

Covert Rain

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he was when he was in dallas. I remember it well.
Maybe locally with a narrow few but it was never a national narrative like with Luka. Everybody is bashing Luka. I also don’t recall that being part of any scouting report when he became a free agent either unless you can provide one.
 

Lorenzo

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Maybe locally with a narrow few but it was never a national narrative like with Luka. Everybody is bashing Luka. I also don’t recall that being part of any scouting report when he became a free agent either unless you can provide one.
It was a national and local narrative when dallas got eliminated in the playoffs and Nash often got upstaged by the opposing team's backcourt, particularly Sacramento on 2 occasions. people were saying that Nash could not last a full season without wearing down physically. Cuban let that get to his head. Nash's best year in Dallas IMO was in 2003 when he played a full season with Van Excel. But cuban traded Van Excel away after that season and Nash would only play one more year in Dallas after getting bounced in the first round by Sacramento.

Here is a good article by one of the few ESPN writers that I used to consume back in those days. Marc Stein who covered dallas well. He was covering the topic in 2005 when dallas and phoenix had their first playoff showdown.

 

Lorenzo

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A couple of seasons ago, Luka came into the season in great shape. Actually, I thought he might have slimmed down too much.

The problem is, he has to carry some extra weight (muscle) to carry Dallas offensively. The season is a grind.

Even for Luka to do what he does now, he has to be in incredible shape. All bodies are not built the same. I think he gets too much criticism because he does not have a stereotypical NBA body. Steve Nash didn't have that type of body either.
That's a good point about Doncic. I think it may have been Bill Walton who would would always make sarcastic comments about Nash's frame and his stature in regards to his billed height. it used to annoy me, but I came to find out that he loved Nash and thought very highly of his game. In the end I am very happy that Steve made Cuban look stupid in Phoenix and Nash kicked all of his critics to the curb. Steve is one of my all time favorite players along with MJ, Olajuwon, and Dirk.
 
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Covert Rain

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It was a national and local narrative when dallas got eliminated in the playoffs and Nash often got upstaged by the opposing team's backcourt, particularly Sacramento on 2 occasions. people were saying that Nash could not last a full season without wearing down physically. Cuban let that get to his head. Nash's best year in Dallas IMO was in 2003 when he played a full season with Van Excel. But cuban traded Van Excel away after that season and Nash would only play one more year in Dallas after getting bounced in the first round by Sacramento.

Here is a good article by one of the few ESPN writers that I used to consume back in those days. Marc Stein who covered dallas well. He was covering the topic in 2005 when dallas and phoenix had their first playoff showdown.

That article says no such thing. Again, it talks about his minutes being a concern and his ability to play more minutes than normal due to injury. That's not even close to what is being said about Luka. Nowhere can I find anything that says Nash is lazy and out of shape. I tried searching based on our comments and couldn't find anything like that.
 
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