Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Questions Of The Week 10/31-11/6

1. Will Russell Westbrook and his team's motivation to beat KD allow the Thunder to beat the Warriors?

Aaron:  Russell Westbrook has had major games before. He's played some great basketball before. But does Kevin Durant really want to lose this game? Doesn't he have the want to win as well? Westbrook is a great player, but we've learned this from the 2015 NBA finals with LeBron James. You can put up great numbers, but if you you aren't efficient, you're going to have a tough time. And this was a series versus a Warriors team that was struggling. You have to be efficient to beat a team like this. It can be done though. The Wolves last year beat a 73-9 team, you just have to play really efficient basketball, offensively and defensively. 

Willy: Westbrook can do all he can to have the greatest game possible but I just don't see this team beating Golden State. The Thunder barely won games against the Sixers (won by 6 points) and the Suns (won by 3 points) and these are two of the worst teams in the league, so if they barely beat them, imagine playing the Warriors. And just like Aaron put as an example, 2015 NBA Finals LeBron was flat out spectacular but his team as a whole couldn't beat Golden State. So Westbrook will go off but their only chance of winning is if Golden State just can't score, or if Westbrook's teammates step up.

Akshay: We are the ones that determine how determined another team is EVEN THOUGH they almost lost to the Suns and the Sixers?

2. Can Anthony Davis's spectacular performances lead the Pelicans to their first win this week?

Aaron: Of course. They face the Suns and Bucks this weekend. All Davis and the Pelicans have to do is outscore the suns. Greg Monroe isn't the best defensively and Davis will be going at him all night. If they don't get their win there, I think they'll get it versus the Suns.

Willy: Yes, they will have to win at some point and I think they'll beat Phoenix.

Akshay: Anthony Davis is going to get the Pelicans first win this week because of how much effort he puts in. He single handedly willed the Pelicans to almost beating Durant's warriors.

3. Can the Celtics prove that they are still a dominant team in the East?

Aaron: They already are. They lost to a hot Bulls, on a back to back. Avery Bradley has been amazing. This team in my mind is better than last year. So yes, I think they will prove it.

Willy: To me they are, but this week they play some good Eastern Conference teams so they will be able to prove themselves more.

Akshay: The Celtics don't have anything to prove. They are the biggest surprise of the league because of the way the front office handled things. When they traded the big 4, it was thought to be a rebuilding era yet they have managed to exceed expectations. If they win 55 games this year, it's great. If they do not, it's not a big deal.

4. Can the Bulls continue their Hot Streak?

Aaron: The Bulls have now won against 2 good teams, however, both of these teams are still getting used to everything. They were both amazing wins and then they dominated the Nets. However, they play the Celtics and the Pacers again this week. This time around, I think the Bulls won't shoot as good and will lose. The Celtics and Pacers have something to prove this week and I think the Bulls are going to be on the receiving end of it.

Willy: Both of the games that they played were at home which definitely plays a factor, and the two games they play Indiana and Boston are on the road. Also when a good team like the Pacers and the Celtics lose they obviously want to beat them the next time especially Division Rivalries like the Pacers, so we will see a different motivated team playing the Bulls. Speaking of motivation, how about Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah's return to Chicago, we will definitely see those two fired up. So I'm really not sure how this week will end up for Chicago, but I think one of these teams will put the three game winning streak to a stop.

Akshay: I don't see Dwyane Wade raining 3 point buckets as he is doing right now. He was 7/44 from behind the arc last season and that's what worries me. The front court toughness isn't present here but their back court has covered for it. Wade is reaching father time and it will start to show soon.

5. Will we see an improved Knicks team?

Aaron: I think we already have. They played a great game against the Grizzlies. This to me was the Knicks playing some good basketball. Are they going to be better this week? Not really. I think this is what you'll see from the Knicks this season.

Willy: The Knicks are slowly getting themselves used to each other and building the chemistry, so it will take time. They do have a tough week, you can say that at least 3 of the 4 teams they are playing will make the playoffs this season which can be a tough schedule. So as far as the record I don't think so, but we will see them play better Basketball.

Akshay: The Knicks are terrible.

6. How dominant will the Cavaliers be this week?

Aaron: The Cavs are a great team. They will dominate 76ers, but the Celtics could be a bump in the road. They sort of remind me of an athletic grit and grind Grizzlies. This is a team that beat the Warriors last season the same way they beat most teams, with great defense and amazing offensive execution. The Cavs will be good, but just not as good as last week. 

Willy: They play two games this week, and honestly they will win both easily. But the game against Boston is not one they should treat like the Sixers game. This Boston team is one of the teams in the East that is looking to take that crown from Cleveland and Cleveland will have a chance to show they are still the top of the East

Akshay: The Cavaliers will be as dominant as LeBron wants them to be. The team is clicking on all cylinders and could compete for 65 games this season. I'm calling it that they will win 67 games.

7. Can the Thunder continue their hot streak?

Aaron: Listen..... the 76ers, Suns, and Lakers are totally different from the Clippers, Warriors, and Wolves. They play the Clippers and Warriors back to back and I think a loss to the Clippers won't mean a whole lot to Westbrook anyways as long as he gets to put in full effort against the Warriors.

Willy: No they will not. You can even say that they will go 0-3 this week. Playing the Clippers, one of the most dominant teams in the West, will not go well. Playing Golden State, is an expected loss, but you never know. And playing the young Timberwolves team who are much different than last year. So at the end of week we could see them at 3-3 and wouldn't be surprised.

Akshay: The thunder will not continue their hot streak. If you ask me, this isn't even a hot streak. They beat up on three of the four worst teams of last season and barely won those. It was a 4 point game late in the Lakers game in which the inexperienced lakers let it slip away. They went to overtime with Phoenix which shouldn't happen if you consider yourself to be on a streak.

8. Who will win the first battle for the 2nd spot in the West, the Spurs or the Clippers?

Aaron: Spurs. Who has the best defensive player in the league? Spurs. Who has the best bench in the league? Probably the Spurs. This team is amazing offensively and defensively. Pau has had an instant impact and fits right in. And to top that off, Kawhi is playing better than he ever has. And why are we talking about 2nd seed? I think the Spurs have a shot at the first. This is the best we've seen the Spurs in a few years.

Willy: I see the Spurs taking the first game. Only because of what we saw them do to the Warriors, who are viewed as the Number One team. Also Kawhi and the Spurs are ripping right through their opponents and are undefeated, just like the Clippers, so expect a close one.

Akshay: The Clippers will win the battle for the second spot. Blake Griffin is playing like a monster. If he can be the Griffin of the 2015 playoffs, he can be a dark horse MVP contender.

9. Can Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis continue their stellar performances?

Aaron: We are honestly going to see amazing play from Westbrook all year. He's going to be very inefficient and you'll see the numbers. Davis on the other hand will decline. Guys will come back, and when they start to lose too many game, Davis won't try as hard. Simple. 

Willy: Yes. Although Westbrook is playing two of the best point guards this week, there is really no stopping him. And he is really their main Offensive player so he will get the ball the most and get the great stats. Same with Anthony Davis, he is their main player and really their only player on his team with his amazing talent.

Akshay: No, Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis can not continue this. They are playing out if this world but that's going to stop soon. Their legs won't stay under them if they keep doing this.

10. How will Playoff pictures be affected?

Aaron: The Bulls, Thunder, and Knicks will start to drop. The Warriors, Wolves, Wizards, and Pacers will start to climb.

Willy: A lot of the playoff teams are playing other teams in their conference, so this week we will get to see a glimpse of who is better than who.

Akshay: The playoff picture will look almost the same as people predict. It's not like there has been a surprise team so far this season. The Blazers might take the third or fourth seed and that's the biggest shakeup so far.