The 2024 NBA playoffs thread

Cheesebeef

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Umm, lead them? Well I guess it depends on your definition of leading.
he took on the principal responsibility of shutting down Murray in the second half, which totally swung the game. Offense isn't all that matters, Proximo.
I think the media is trying so hard to make him the face of the NBA and he's not quite there yet. Any other star that had such a lousy game 7 would be getting all kinds of crap.
Dude kept fighting and fighting through it. He had an AWFUL 1st half with 4 points and 2 assists and 2 rebounds, but in the second half he clamped down on Murray, had 12 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals.

And for the series, he averaged 29/5.5/5.5. Yes. When you averaged that over 7 games and defeat the defending champs in Game 7 on the road, it means he led the team to the Conference Finals.
 

Suns_fan69

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he took on the principal responsibility of shutting down Murray in the second half, which totally swung the game. Offense isn't all that matters, Proximo.

Dude kept fighting and fighting through it. He had an AWFUL 1st half with 4 points and 2 assists and 2 rebounds, but in the second half he clamped down on Murray, had 12 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals.

And for the series, he averaged 29/5.5/5.5. Yes. When you averaged that over 7 games and defeat the defending champs in Game 7 on the road, it means he led the team to the Conference Finals.
Ant is the defacto best 2 guard in the game now with this run. Bringing it on both ends on the court.
 

Covert Rain

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What I really cannot understand from you and everybody else that criticizes the pre KD trade Suns is the difference is that team had youngish players and draft picks that you could improve with.

You have to be stupid to not want the pre trade team knowing what we all know now, because that team had hope to improve the current version has almost none.
Because it doesn't matter how young your team is if those horses are still not good enough to get you a title. We are talking about a team that fell apart in the finals, then got the best record to get worked early in the playoffs. The team was headed in the wrong direction. We still needed a big time star to play next to Book and I didn't see any of them clamoring to come here sans one. With your plan, the Suns never get said player and keep rolling and tweaking. Book is not a #1 on a title team.

Maybe they could have taken their chances that some star down the road would want to come here but given that only one was clamoring to play here, I don't blame the Suns for taking a chance. It didn't work out. There is nothing you can do to change it.
 
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Ouchie-Z-Clown

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What I really cannot understand from you and everybody else that criticizes the pre KD trade Suns is the difference is that team had youngish players and draft picks that you could improve with.

You have to be stupid to not want the pre trade team knowing what we all know now, because that team had hope to improve the current version has almost none.
There may just be crossed signals. Because to me it sounds like you guys thought that team was still contender. You weren’t referring to bridges, cam, Ayton as “assets” back then. The fact that you are now just comports with what we were saying, that the team needed changes. We might have disagreed what changes. I fully accept the KD deal was a bad one now. But the counter argument back then wasn’t that you wanted to save those pieces for other trades, it was that y’all thought it was still the basis for a contender, which it wasn’t.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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What I really cannot understand from you and everybody else that criticizes the pre KD trade Suns is the difference is that team had youngish players and draft picks that you could improve with.

You have to be stupid to not want the pre trade team knowing what we all know now, because that team had hope to improve the current version has almost none.
Also, that team didn’t have that much hope to improve. At least not to those of us that saw it for what it was:

Bridges had upside, but it was limited. He’s never become the player that some of you believed he would be. We were right about him.

Cam was what he was. He still is. An oft injured adequate starter. Not a championship level player.

Ayton regressed. Nuff said.

Paul was done as anything more than a bit role player.

Yes they could’ve added draft picks. In the 20s.

That was the reality of that team.
 

Covert Rain

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Also, that team didn’t have that much hope to improve. At least not to those of us that saw it for what it was:

Bridges had upside, but it was limited. He’s never become the player that some of you believed he would be. We were right about him.

Cam was what he was. He still is. An oft injured adequate starter. Not a championship level player.

Ayton regressed. Nuff said.

Paul was done as anything more than a bit role player.

Yes they could’ve added draft picks. In the 20s.

That was the reality of that team.
Bridges is a little better than he was in Phoenix because of opportunity. However, he evidently was not as good as the gaudy numbers he was putting up in 2022-2023. He dropped to just a couple points above what he was doing her in Phoenix his last season.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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Bridges is a little better than he was in Phoenix because of opportunity. However, he evidently was not as good as the gaudy numbers he was putting up in 2022-2023. He dropped to just a couple points above what he was doing her in Phoenix his last season.
That’s my point. He had limited upside. He’s a good player. But that seems to be his ceiling.
 

ajcardfan

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Also, that team didn’t have that much hope to improve. At least not to those of us that saw it for what it was:

Bridges had upside, but it was limited. He’s never become the player that some of you believed he would be. We were right about him.

Cam was what he was. He still is. An oft injured adequate starter. Not a championship level player.

Ayton regressed. Nuff said.

Paul was done as anything more than a bit role player.

Yes they could’ve added draft picks. In the 20s.

That was the reality of that team.
Sure. But that team played in the NBA Finals and had a 2-0 lead. It wasn't because Chris Paul was so much more awesome than Durant and then Durant and Beal. That unit played a lot better team ball.

We'll never know if that core of young players was kept it would or wouldn't improve with other roster additions. You guys can be emphatic as you want in your opinion but we will never know because that isn't what happened.
 

clyde2tw

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I don’t think ant is a better on-man defender than mcdaniels. Any makes highlight reel splash defensive plays. But McDaniel is a tremendous on-ball defender always.
Ant fights through screens to chase Murray better, maybe due to size and strength. As defensive specialist on the team, MCD has the comparative advantage to take on the task of POA defense. However, Ant already has the tools to be the best wing defender, but it's not wise for the team success that he always spent such energy to do so.
 

Cheesebeef

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Because it doesn't matter how young your team is if those horses are still not good enough to get you a title. We are talking about a team that fell apart in the finals, then got the best record to get worked early in the playoffs. The team was headed in the wrong direction. We still needed a big time star to play next to Book and I didn't see any of them clamoring to come here sans one. With your plan, the Suns never get said player and keep rolling and tweaking. Book is not a #1 on a title team.
Sure. But that team played in the NBA Finals and had a 2-0 lead. It wasn't because Chris Paul was so much more awesome than Durant and then Durant and Beal. That unit played a lot better team ball.

We'll never know if that core of young players was kept it would or wouldn't improve with other roster additions. You guys can be emphatic as you want in your opinion but we will never know because that isn't what happened.
But we DO know that unit was built around CP3 playing at an All-NBA level. The second CP3 stopped being that guy, we got humiliated in 4 of 5 games to end the 2nd round versus a Dallas team we were massively favored to beat and the next season, we were a painfully mediocre 25-26 that might not have even made the playoffs before the trade.

They played great team ball because they had one of the greatest team leaders/PG orchestrating the entire thing.
 

Hoop Head

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Also, that team didn’t have that much hope to improve. At least not to those of us that saw it for what it was:

What you say after this doesn't matter considering you also felt the KD deal put us closer to a title. So you were wrong and your judgement was wrong then. Maybe you're wrong about all the rest too, right? It's not inconceivable that how you felt about that team was off since you thought we improved with the KD trade and we regressed.
 

95pro

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Also, that team didn’t have that much hope to improve. At least not to those of us that saw it for what it was:

Bridges had upside, but it was limited. He’s never become the player that some of you believed he would be. We were right about him.

Cam was what he was. He still is. An oft injured adequate starter. Not a championship level player.

Ayton regressed. Nuff said.

Paul was done as anything more than a bit role player.

Yes they could’ve added draft picks. In the 20s.

That was the reality of that team.

In a vacuum, yes the KD is better that Mikal and Cam.

I'm not sure if anyone saw that Bridges had limited upside before the trade, even before we had a new owner. I knew he was young, I liked the defense, I like what i saw when he started picking up some offensive skill sets. But did anyone here say we were wasting time keeping Bridges on the roster prior to the finals year and the year after? Once he went to the Nets, yes he was the #1 guy, but here, he was our #3-4 guy, who was pretty good in that role.

I don't think Ayton regressed as much as you want to believe, just looking at stats he didn't waiver much in his last year with us, except his % was down slightly. But I think its more of him not growing and maturing, that was the disappointing part of his development or lack of, while with us. I think he wanted a bigger role, and some of this separation was probably on Monty as well. Maybe even JJ, because the suns got rid of Monty and Ayton still wanted out. I mean, heck, we even soured things with Crowder.

I think we could have re-upped if the Crowder and Ayton relationships were better, and we flipped CP3 for something usable. This would still leave us with some flexibility going forward. I hear all this talk about, oh will this and that team didn't blow it up, look at them, it took them a few years to put it together; see teams like the Wolves, everyone thought the Gobert trade was awful, a healthy Nuggets, what was looking to be a healthy Clippers team. Even the Mavericks kept their core somewhat and re-tooled, how? Because they kept their flexibility and players happy.

Outside of a vacuum, the trade has been a failure. This was an awful season to watch.
 

Covert Rain

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But we DO know that unit was built around CP3 playing at an All-NBA level. The second CP3 stopped being that guy, we got humiliated in 4 of 5 games to end the 2nd round versus a Dallas team we were massively favored to beat and the next season, we were a painfully mediocre 25-26 that might not have even made the playoffs before the trade.

They played great team ball because they had one of the greatest team leaders/PG orchestrating the entire thing.
It's the story of this team. We keep bringing in these guys at the end of their careers hoping to squeeze one last historic run out of them. It works in spurts but it always turns out to be like a great car you had on it's last legs. Then one day you are driving and it breaks down 1 mile short of the nearest mechanic. I stand by I thought it was better than doing nothing. That team was headed in the wrong direction. It was like having Harley eyes for a bunch of tricycles. Something needed to be done. We just appeared to do the wrong thing....AGAIN.
 

Cheesebeef

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In a vacuum, yes the KD is better that Mikal and Cam.

I'm not sure if anyone saw that Bridges had limited upside before the trade, even before we had a new owner. I knew he was young, I liked the defense, I like what i saw when he started picking up some offensive skill sets. But did anyone here say we were wasting time keeping Bridges on the roster prior to the finals year and the year after? Once he went to the Nets, yes he was the #1 guy, but here, he was our #3-4 guy, who was pretty good in that role.

I don't think Ayton regressed as much as you want to believe, just looking at stats he didn't waiver much in his last year with us, except his % was down slightly. But I think its more of him not growing and maturing, that was the disappointing part of his development or lack of, while with us. I think he wanted a bigger role, and some of this separation was probably on Monty as well. Maybe even JJ, because the suns got rid of Monty and Ayton still wanted out. I mean, heck, we even soured things with Crowder.

I think we could have re-upped if the Crowder and Ayton relationships were better, and we flipped CP3 for something usable. This would still leave us with some flexibility going forward. I hear all this talk about, oh will this and that team didn't blow it up, look at them, it took them a few years to put it together; see teams like the Wolves, everyone thought the Gobert trade was awful, a healthy Nuggets, what was looking to be a healthy Clippers team. Even the Mavericks kept their core somewhat and re-tooled, how? Because they kept their flexibility and players happy.

This totally ignores the point that all those teams you mentioned continued to build on top of their best player who made the entire team go… Luka, Ant, Jokic. CP3 was that guy for the Suns and when he forgot how to play basketball on his 37th birthday, the ability to build on what was working went out the window. We didn’t and still don’t have a unicorn to build around.

That doesn’t mean that we didn’t get bent over on the KD trade. We absolutely did. But the 2023 Suns were on their way down because their heart and soul and ringleader was dust. Moves along the edges weren’t going to do much of anything but treading water as the West continued to get better and any kind of swing to get a unicorn was going to involve Bridges and picks going elsewhere… if a Unicorn to build around even became available.
 

95pro

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This totally ignores the point that all those teams you mentioned continued to build on top of their best player who made the entire team go… Luka, Ant, Jokic. CP3 was that guy for the Suns and when he forgot how to play basketball on his 37th birthday, the ability to build on what was working went out the window. We didn’t and still don’t have a unicorn to build around.

That doesn’t mean that we didn’t get bent over on the KD trade. We absolutely did. But the 2023 Suns were on their way down because their heart and soul and ringleader was dust. Moves along the edges weren’t going to do much of anything but treading water as the West continued to get better and any kind of swing to get a unicorn was going to involve Bridges and picks going elsewhere… if a Unicorn to build around even became available.

We also tried to build on top of our best players 'who made the team go', unfortunately the unicorn trade made that very difficult.
 

Hoop Head

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This totally ignores the point that all those teams you mentioned continued to build on top of their best player who made the entire team go… Luka, Ant, Jokic. CP3 was that guy for the Suns and when he forgot how to play basketball on his 37th birthday, the ability to build on what was working went out the window. We didn’t and still don’t have a unicorn to build around.

That doesn’t mean that we didn’t get bent over on the KD trade. We absolutely did. But the 2023 Suns were on their way down because their heart and soul and ringleader was dust. Moves along the edges weren’t going to do much of anything but treading water as the West continued to get better and any kind of swing to get a unicorn was going to involve Bridges and picks going elsewhere… if a Unicorn to build around even became available.

Except the Suns had a winning record in the playoffs without CP3 and went up 2-0 on the Clippers without him.

Yes, he was an important piece but he could have and should have been replaced rather than going for a marginal upgrade on the wing. Yes, I'd say KD is marginally better than Mikal and Cam since the scoring is about the same between them and KD can't guard 2 men. His contract also puts in position where we can't have more than a bottom feeder next to him.

So keep beating that drum, it doesn't make you right. You were wrong on the KD trade so your view of what makes this team better has proven to be off. Rather than admit you were wrong and we overpaid, you won't actually say the trade was bad. It was bad. We gave up too much to get worse. Theres no 2 ways about it, we are worse now as a basketball team, the future is worse because we have less draft assets, and we have no draft picks.
 
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Cheesebeef

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We also tried to build on top of our best players 'who made the team go', unfortunately the unicorn trade made that very difficult.
no we didn't. the best player who made the team go (CP3) stunk by the time we made the unicorn trade. What we tried to do was build on top of a team quickly sinking in quicksand. All around terrible decision, but that unit was toast unless they somehow got another NBA Legendary Point Guard without giving up Bridges at the same time.
 

Proximo

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There may just be crossed signals. Because to me it sounds like you guys thought that team was still contender. You weren’t referring to bridges, cam, Ayton as “assets” back then. The fact that you are now just comports with what we were saying, that the team needed changes. We might have disagreed what changes. I fully accept the KD deal was a bad one now. But the counter argument back then wasn’t that you wanted to save those pieces for other trades, it was that y’all thought it was still the basis for a contender, which it wasn’t.
They were and are assets. As Minnesota clearly is showing a strong bench can be better than having 3 stars.

What I'm saying is that team was not a contender but we had draft picks every year to add to that team and since those guys were young we had time to build it up. Trading for KD who had 2 or so productive years left while giving up all our draft picks made last season all or nothing - and we got nothing. Now we have to endure 5 or 6 more years of nothing, and I'm not happy about it. I would of 1000 times preferred to stay with that old core who I actually liked watching even if they never contended, because this team won't contend either and they are not at all likeable.
 

Cheesebeef

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They were and are assets. As Minnesota clearly is showing a strong bench can be better than having 3 stars.

What I'm saying is that team was not a contender but we had draft picks every year to add to that team and since those guys were young we had time to build it up. Trading for KD who had 2 or so productive years left while giving up all our draft picks made last season all or nothing - and we got nothing. Now we have to endure 5 or 6 more years of nothing, and I'm not happy about it. I would of 1000 times preferred to stay with that old core who I actually liked watching even if they never contended, because this team won't contend either and they are not at all likeable.
did you really enjoy their 30 point humiliation in Game 7 after pathetically blowing a 2-0 series lead to a ridiculously inferior Dallas team? Or the 25-26 mess who also kept getting it's ass handed to them the next season? Because i bet if you went back to those threads, you wouldn't be all that happy with what was going on. That was getting old REAL fast.
 

Phrazbit

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But we DO know that unit was built around CP3 playing at an All-NBA level. The second CP3 stopped being that guy, we got humiliated in 4 of 5 games to end the 2nd round versus a Dallas team we were massively favored to beat and the next season, we were a painfully mediocre 25-26 that might not have even made the playoffs before the trade.

They played great team ball because they had one of the greatest team leaders/PG orchestrating the entire thing.

First off... when they made the trade they were 30-26, had won 9 of 11 including beating a healthy Celtic team in Boston. Their record when even reasonably healthy was one of the best in the league.

Even if that, good team, wasn't a title contender, they had a boat load of assets at their disposal. they had control of their own draft perpetually.

And if one took the exaggeration of the situation at face value... it still doesn't remotely justify gutting the franchise and condemning it's future for a 35 year old. His age alone was enough of a factor to slam the breaks; him being a passive aggressive, gutless, toxic, malcontent are secondary factors.
 
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