That’s a wrap for the 2016-2017 NBA regular season. Is mid-April maybe the best time of the year? Bucco baseball starting back up. You can usually bank on seeing the Pens in the dance. Golf season is among us. Or maybe that late August and early September feel is the best time of the year (for obvious reasons). All debates aside, the NBA playoffs makes for excellent television and excitement around this time of the year. We as Yinzers can only sit back and enjoy without having any hometown squad to root for. I want to offer my picks for the first round, my picks for MVP and ROY, and some other things that we are left with from the end of the regular season.
Another year, another sorry season for a player I’ve loved since I was a kid. For crying out loud can we please get Carmelo Anthony onto a squad with a big 3 that at least has a fighting chance? Don’t get me wrong, Kristaps Porzingis has great talent and a long career ahead of him. But can we blame him for not going to the final meetings of the year with the rest of the Knicks team? Who wants to be part of a team where your owner openly admits that your star player “would be better off somewhere else”, regardless of the meaning behind it. Well Phil, if you want it then make it happen. Derrick Rose’s bones are more brittle than a Kit Kat bar. Joakim Noah has been non-existent since he dissed the entire city of Cleveland. I would love to see nothing more than Carmelo go somewhere that he can compete with a couple other players who can create some chemistry and ball movement. The dude does need to start playing some defense, but I feel that creating a new big 3 for Melo would be interesting. GET OUT of New York,
When it comes to the MVP, is there even a debate? We were fortunate to witness history this year. Russell Westbrook is a freak and I’m pulling for him to single-handedly take this Thunder team to a deep playoff run. If they end up playing Golden State down the line, what more could you ask for? He’s been a freak this year and I’ve never had the privilege to witness pure athleticism like he has while watching this great game in my life. Not even considering the fact that he AVERAGED A TRIPLE DOUBLE this year and broke the record for most in a season, Russsell deserves the MVP miles ahead of Harden, LeBron, and anyone else because of where he was able to put this team in the playoff race after the departure of Durant. I stick to what I said a few weeks ago. If Russ don’t win MVP, we riot.
For Rookie of the Year, I have to go with Malcolm Brogdon. He was lighting it up at Virginia in college. His stat line from his rookie year may not jump out at you at 10.2 PPG, 4.2 APG, and 2.8 RPG, but he was left with getting this team to the 6-seed after another Jabari Parker injury and when The Greek Freak draws double teams. I look forward to a healthy Bucks team next year between Brogdon, Parker, and Antetokounmpo.
Looking into my picks to make it to the second round, don’t @ me:
Celtics over Bulls in 6
Cavs over Pacers in 4
Raptors over Bucks in 7
Wizards over Hawks in 5
Warriors over Blazers in 5
Spurs over Grizzlies in 4
Thunder over Rockets in 7
Clippers over Jazz in 7
Stay tuned to Keystone Sports for my later round picks and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @Keystone412. In the meantime, kick back, grab an Iron City and bitch about how Pittsburgh needs a hoop team while you’re enjoying the first round of the NBA Playoffs.