This is will also serve as your Finals Game 2 Thread.
Lakers in 6, btw, is my prediction. I didn't do a full preview. Reason: Meh.
Abbreviated Preview: Injuries, matchups, revenge. RONDO! Gasol?
ESPN.com has a new Free Agent Slot Machine. It is the least entertaining thing since Hope Floats. ESPN has had some success with their highly entertaining trade machine, as well as they (less) entertaining draft lottery machine.
Those items combine the whimsy of gambling with hard facts. The Free Agent machine combines randomness with conjecture. It reminds me of Obama's domestic policy. Ba-zing.
I'm here all week, folks... All. Week.
Meant to mention this earlier, but Wages of Wins echoes my sentiments exactly on the potential of the top draft targets, and John Wall in particular. Basically, as top three picks in the NBA draft go, John Wall is unspectacular.
It boils down to this. Derrick Rose was better in college. Derrick Rose, while having justified his number one pick in a mediocre draft, is not yet a superstar. Wall projects to be nominally worse.
By my lights, DeMarcus Cousins is the prize in this draft. If a team isn't going to draft him, they should strongly consider trading the pick.
I'm not saying you trade him for Larry Hughes, but if you can land a star in exchange for swapping picks? And no, Portland, LaMarcus Aldridge doesn't count.
Speaking of Cousins, ESPN reported that the Nets turned down a trade that would have sent them Michael Beasley in exchange for Keyon Dooling. Yikes.
Keep that in the back of your mind when you hear that teams have questions about DeMarcus Cousins, even though his worse transgression seems to be that he's a knucklehead. Two years ago, Michael Beasley and Gilbert Arenas were just knuckleheads. Tyrus Thomas is a knucklehead. Monta Ellis is a knucklehead.
Did I do a good job of talking him down, there?
Chris Wilcox is back! I was the first to bemoan the player option, although that may play into our favor. Combined with Prince's expiring, the Pistons can now take just about any contract back in return.
Alternately, he could play better basketball and earn a rotation spot. You know, that whole thing.
Prediction: Rajon Rondo will come into next season as a sleeper MVP candidate. He will "struggle" (i.e. match last year's production) and the sportswriter class will consider him a disappointment.