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  • do you feel like the Nets and Lakers are a lock to meet in the finals?

  • Yes, I dio, um, if Anthony Davis with 100% I think the loss, the Los Angeles Lakers going to the finals.

  • If the Brooklyn Nets are 100% there's nobody in the East that's beating them.

  • I've stated that from Day one on.

  • Guy maintained that position that the Brooklyn Nets in the Los Angeles Lakers will meet for the NBA championship come July.

  • My attitude is very, very simple.

  • I think that when you look at a D and you look at LeBron James's greatest, the Utah Jazz are looking right now as much of a threat is the Denver Nuggets could end up being Portland could end up being etcetera.

  • I think LeBron and his brilliance combined with the greatness of Anthony Davis and the way Frank Vogel and his staff have those guys playing defense.

  • They get themselves ready for playoff competitions and it's all about matchups.

  • And nobody is better at exploiting matchups than LeBron James.

  • Alright, so that's what I think about what the Lakers plain and simple.

  • When I think about the Brooklyn Nets, I think that Kyrie, James Harden and Kevin Durant are just lethal.

  • Um, they are absolutely sensational offensively.

  • And I think in this particular case, a great offense, uh, makes for a better defense.

  • I don't think that they're gonna be the elite defense by any stretch of the imagination.

  • Max is highlighted, how awful they have been.

  • Nevertheless, we found ourselves looking at them and we said, You know what?

  • They're getting a little better defensively, particularly at key moments and fourth quarters.

  • I've seen them do it.

  • And then you look at how later they could be offensively, not just from the perimeter, not just scoring overall, but what they do from the free throw line.

  • They don't miss free throws, either, and I think that's pivotal.

  • And I think when you look at the Philadelphia 70 Sixers Ben Simmons as great as he is, he doesn't even attempt perimeter shots.

  • I don't think that you could beat them without him doing that, even though they have Seth Curry and Tobias Harris.

  • I look at Boston, I question their depth.

  • Andi, I don't know what's going on with Kemba Walker and I look at you know Miami.

  • They are They're sliding fast and not what they used to be.

  • The Milwaukee Bucks.

  • They've been struggling.

  • And if Johannes can't make perimeter shots, as I've said on many occasions, you don't have a prayer in hell against the Brooklyn Nets and specifically Kevin Durant.

  • So I look at the Brooklyn Nets and I don't see anything standing in their way but themselves, and I don't think they will do that.

  • The Brooklyn Nets, If healthy, the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers will meet for the N B A championship in July, and I don't have a scintilla of doubt about it.

  • That's possible, but I think there's plenty of doubt.

  • Number one, the Western Conference.

  • Let's not pretend this is the same old jazz.

  • This is something different.

  • Mike Conley was not Mike Conley last year.

  • He is this year.

  • He's one of the best players in the league, and when you combine them with Donovan, Mitchell and I just consider that the Jazz gave the Nuggets is sort of the all time great seven game Siris in the first round.

  • Give them everything they wanted without Bogdanovich.

  • Now add him, and also add the rial Mike Conley they're being compared to this Spurs from several years ago on those teams beat everyone.

  • They beat LeBron James teams.

  • They beat everyone, had the Lakers Onda for good reason.

  • They're being compared to them.

  • And then the Clippers.

  • The Clippers have gotten better when healthy.

  • Not only does Paul George have a lot to make up for now, but they have Ibaka and, as I mentioned, Nick Batum, who's back to playing kind of like he played when he got that Max Steel or close to it in the first place.

  • That's just in the Western Conference, and I haven't even mentioned Denver of Dallas can get it all together, right?

  • Is choppy waters in the Western Conference?

  • But what about the Eastern Calm?

  • You know, I agree with you about the Bucks, Steven.

  • I'm not convinced about the Bucks, but the Sixers or another story, and I will tell you why you mentioned Ben Simmons.

  • Can't shoot the three.

  • If he could.

  • I'd be just taking the Sixers already, because the difference between the Sixers and the Nets no team in the last 20 years has won a championship ranked lower than 11th.

  • Defensively, James Harden is right when he says, Guys, we don't have to be awesome defensively.

  • Just average if we're just average defensively.

  • But Stephen A, they're not.

  • They're dead last like they're awful defensively.

  • Sixers aren't matter of fact.

  • And when you talk about Ben Simmons three point shooting Stephen A.

  • On the court when Ben Simmons is on the court, they shoot 41% from three.

  • It's the second best in the league when he's on.

  • When he's off the court, they shoot 29% from the three.

  • At least this was true a week ago, UM, 29% dead last.

  • So while Simmons himself doesn't shoot, he makes everybody else much better.

  • They go from worst, basically to basically best with Simmons on the floor.

  • So you know what the difference is here with the Sixers.

  • This is not your slightly older siblings.

  • 70 Sixers.

  • They have Daryl Morey now and obviously Doc Rivers.

  • But what Maury did in Houston is the same thing he's doing here.

  • He's like we are gonna play the most efficient brand of basketball.

  • He just didn't have the horses in Houston.

  • Not really.

  • He has the horses in Philadelphia and beats playing at M v P level.

  • He'd be my pick for MVP right now.

  • And Ben Simmons is also excellent.

  • And they've got shooters everywhere.

  • You look the Nets, Congar there.

  • But they must start playing defense.

  • Let me educate you about something here, Max.

  • And I say that respectfully, Um, when you're watching the game of basketball, let me give you a little bit of insight in the my philosophy about certain things when you spend years not showing up when it counts.

  • And what I mean by that is I'm not talking about choking or anything like that.

  • I'm just talking about you just don't have it.

  • You're not that person.

  • You see them saying you're a role player, you're a marginal player.

  • I'm not talking about James Harden, who has been a little less than what we're accustomed to seeing him being a regular season once the postseason arise.

  • Because I believe in James Harden.

  • I believe that James Harden is going to show up in some capacity and have some kind of a positive impact.

  • I'm talking about the guys that just don't necessarily have it.

  • It's not who they are.

  • There are limits.

  • There's a ceiling I don't rely on those folks when it comes time.

  • See when you see it during the regular season, that's nice.

  • But when it gets tight and when the competition gets elite and that pressure mounts, I'm not sold on you.

  • If I've never seen you there before, that's just stop me.

  • And so when I think about the Philadelphia 76 is I like Tobias Harris a lot.

  • I believe in Seth Curry.

  • I love Jo Ellen being and what he brings to the table, and I believe in Ben Simmons to a point.

  • Do I believe they could get to the conference finals hell year?

  • Do I believe they can win it all going up against an offensive juggernaut like the Brooklyn Nets?

  • That's where my reservations kick in Milwaukee.

  • Yeah, honest, you ain't never work on your J.

  • I don't believe all of a sudden you're gonna find it come postseason time.

  • When I think about Boston, I believe in Jason Tatum and Jalen Brown.

  • Ah lot.

  • I don't believe in their depth.

  • Thanks for watching ESPN on YouTube for live streaming sports and premium content.

do you feel like the Nets and Lakers are a lock to meet in the finals?

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Stephen A. predicts Nets vs. Lakers in the NBA Finals if both teams stay healthy | First Take

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/02/18
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