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The last legit Eastern Conference contender Lebron faced?

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by shastarocket, May 13, 2016.

  1. shastarocket

    shastarocket Contributing Member

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    It's uncanny how they have been powderpuffs since the 08 Celtics
     
  2. Von Rafer

    Von Rafer Member

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    2013 Pacers were good, that was a really competitive series.
     
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  3. UtilityPlayer

    UtilityPlayer Member

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    The Pacers before PG terrible injury & Hibbert falling off the map.
     
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  4. Lurch

    Lurch Live Wilder.

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    Yea it's disappointing. This plays into the narrative of the watered down league. LeBron is about to make it to his 6th(?) straight NBA Finals which is an amazing accomplishment, but then you look at his roads to the playoffs in all of these years and it's not impressive. He has no rival team to face in the playoffs so it's not as exciting.

    It would be more fun if there were just one team in the East that had a superstar and good team around him that could be a perennial ECF matchup.
     
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  5. steddinotayto

    steddinotayto Contributing Member

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    What's even more disappointing is that he's only finished at the top 2 out of the 5 times he's been in the Finals, with the 2nd one mostly due to the choke job by San Antonio.

    "Not one, not two, not three...."
     
  6. count_dough-ku

    count_dough-ku Contributing Member

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    Yep, had it not been for this play, the Pacers would've actually won that series:

    [YOUTUBE]4p3xWG3mkXE[/YOUTUBE]
     
  7. MrButtocks

    MrButtocks Contributing Member

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    The Hawks won 60 games last year, playing extremely well on both ends and beating the top western conference teams. Lebron had to play without Love or Kyrie and still beat them.
     
  8. kevC

    kevC Contributing Member

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    Exactly. If you're really trying to use this as a knock on Lebron, look at last year's team and the '07 team he took to the Finals.
     
  9. count_dough-ku

    count_dough-ku Contributing Member

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    Were the Hawks really that good though if they got swept by a shorthanded Cavs team despite having home court advantage?
     
  10. Ariza4MVP

    Ariza4MVP Member

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    In fairness, couldn't the same case be made for the lakers in the 80s?
     
  11. da_juice

    da_juice Member

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    That Bulls team before D-Rose's injury was pretty good if I remember correctly.
     
  12. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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    Cleveland
    2003-2004: 35-47 - Missed Playoffs
    2004-2005: 43-39 - Missed Playoffs
    2005-2006: 50-32 - Semifinals
    •First Round: Beat Washington(42-40) 4-2
    •Semifinals: Lost to Detroit(64-18) 3-4​
    2006-2007: 50-32 - NBA Finals
    •First Round: Beat Washington(41-41) 4-0
    •Semifinals: Beat New Jersey(41-41) 4-2
    •Conference Finals: Beat Detroit(53-29) 4-2
    •NBA Finals: Lost to San Antonio(58-24) 0-4​
    2007-2008: 45-37 - Semifinals
    •First Round: Beat Washington(43-39) 4-2
    •Semifinals: Lost to Boston(66-16) 3-4​
    2008-2009: 66-16 - Conference Finals
    •First Round: Beat Detroit(39-43) 4-0
    •Semifinals: Beat Atlanta(47-35) 4-0
    •Conference Finals: Lost to Orlando(59-23) 2-4​
    2009-2010: 61-21 - Semifinals
    •First Round: Beat Chicago(41-41) 4-1
    •Semifinals: Lost to Boston(50-32) 2-4​

    Miami
    2010-2011: 58-24 - NBA Finals
    •First Round: Beat Philadelphia(41-41) 4-1
    •Semifinals: Beat Boston(56-26) 4-1
    •Conference Finals: Beat Chicago(62-20) 4-1
    •NBA Finals: Lost to Dallas(57-25) 2-4​
    2011-2012: 46-20 - NBA Finals
    •First Round: Beat New York(36-30) 4-1
    •Semifinals: Beat Indiana(42-24) 4-2
    •Conference Finals: Beat Boston(39-27) 4-3
    •NBA Finals: Beat Oklahoma City(47-19) 4-1​
    2012-2013: 66-16 - NBA Finals
    •First Round: Beat Milwaukee(38-44) 4-0
    •Semifinals: Beat Chicago(45-37) 4-1
    •Conference Finals: Beat Indiana(49-32) 4-3
    •NBA Finals: Beat San Antonio(58-24) 4-3​
    2013-2014: 54-28 - NBA Finals
    •First Round: Beat Charlotte(43-39) 4-0
    •Semifinals: Beat Brooklyn(44-38) 4-1
    •Conference Finals: Beat Indiana(56-26) 4-2
    •NBA Finals: Lost to San Antonio(62-20) 1-4​

    Cleveland
    2014-15: 53-29 - NBA Finals
    •First Round: Beat Boston(40-42) 4-0
    •Semifinals: Beat Chicago(50-32) 4-2
    •Conference Finals: Beat Atlanta(60-22) 4-0
    •NBA Finals: Lost to Golden State(67-15) 2-4​
    2015-16: 57-25 - Conference Finals
    •First Round: Beat Detroit(44-38) 4-0
    •Semifinals: Beat Atlanta(48-34) 4-0
    •Conference Finals: ---
     
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  13. kevC

    kevC Contributing Member

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    Chicken or egg?
     
  14. conquistador#11

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    Boston definitely
    and if Shuttlesworth doesn't quit on the celtics, lebron only wins 1 title and he had to create a super team to do so.

    Now I want lebron to win one for Cleveland. They can do it, just keep love from doing any fisted pushups and keep irving in a bubble for this next series.
     
  15. MrButtocks

    MrButtocks Contributing Member

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    How do you determine how good a team is? Clearly elite teams like the 93-94 Sonics and 06-07 Mavs lost in the first round. Were they suddenly never considered contenders at all because they lost to big time underdogs? The Hawks were great last year by every metric, they just lacked a superstar so got little respect.

    A lot of people will knock Lebron simply because they don't like him personally. Hell, they'll criticize him for losing to GS in the finals last year when there was nothing more he could do. That's the only way to criticize him, really. You can only chide him for lack of team success because his talent and individual performance is amazing.
     
  16. ivanyy2000

    ivanyy2000 Contributing Member

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    Every year, the least conference is a cake walk for LBJ.

    That is why he stays in the east.

    The last rival team he had was the Celtics. BTW, my definition of rival is you have to at least beat LeBron once in the playoffs. Making the series competitive is not enough.

    That Hawks team was a joke, a chicken hawk. They proved nothing when it mattered.
     
  17. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    The west only has three great teams

    And last year, the warriors didn't even have to face the spurs or thunder

    Let's not exaggerate
     
  18. francis 4 prez

    francis 4 prez Contributing Member

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    that's the thing. the east has definitely been weak, but rarely has lebron cruised to the finals. there has almost always been at least one series, if not 2 or 3 where lebron had to be lebron for his team to win. like putting up amazing numbers to get his team over the hump. he hasn't just been putting up 20/5/5 and resting on the way to the finals. he generally has to be the best player in the game to get to the finals.

    2007 - obviously had to be great with that supporting cast and went crazy in game 5 against detroit
    2011 - had to be great against boston and chicago
    2012 - had to be great against indy and then legendarily great in game 6 against boston
    2013 - had to go 7 against indy and wade and bosh were kinda falling apart
    2014 - only year that was pretty easy
    2015 - had to be great against a chicago team that was up 2-1 with lebron hitting the game-winner to avoid 3-1, atlanta was an easy win but that was partially because lebron was averaging a triple-double (combined with thompson and mozgov dominating the glass)
    2016 - while i think miami will step their game up if they get past toronto, cleveland could have it very easy

    and then there's a year like 2009 where he averages 38/8/8 against orlando and still loses.


    as for the thread question, the first d-rose chicago team was a legit contender. they were tied for the most wins in the league. other than that you'd have 2009 orlando and 2010 boston and maybe 2011 and 2012 boston. 2013 indy was just a great matchup for miami but would have been handled in the finals pretty easily.
     
  19. SamFisher

    SamFisher Virtuous

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    THe Hawks won 60 games but won a ridiculous 31 of them from December to January - and then weren't the same team after that, and then struggled to even get to the ECFs. It should not have taken 6 games for them to get past a 38-win Nets team in the first round.

    By the time LeBron and the Cavs rolled in they were done and then started losing guys to injury.
     
  20. daoshi

    daoshi Contributing Member

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    The Hawks team were not built for playoff style basketball. Their team style play with ball movement can win a lot of game during the regular season, because teams won't commit to defend much.

    It's a different story in playoff where you need to have someone demand a double team, which the Hawks simply doesn't have.
     

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