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NBA Nation Australia’s Roundtable Featuring Jaimee Rogers

Welcome to the first NBA Nation Roundtable for season 2012! We’re extremely excited to be back and to bring you new installments of our favorite segment. It’s been a turbulent start to the season and there’s plenty to talk about, so to help us discuss some of the bigger talking points we invited the lovely Jaimee Rogers of TAB Sportsbet along for the ride! Jaimee is a huge NBA fan and an avid Chicago Bulls supporter and you can follow her on Twitter @Jaimee_Rogers. We’re stoked to have you on board, Jaimee. Let’s get into it!

1. The Knicks have started 7-1. Their best start in a long, long time. Is this aging lineup good enough to go the distance, or will Carmelo Anthony eventually find himself carrying the weight of the team on his shoulders?

Nick Caro: Great start, and good to see the team banding together after all the hype surrounding their cross town rivals the Brooklyn Nets. The Knicks really needed to come out firing as many thought New York may now be a black and white city rather than a blue and orange one and they have done exactly that. The Nets are now back in what appears to be their rightful spot on the pecking order when it comes to NBA teams in New York City. The Knicks look great on offense and are doing a phenomenal job suffocating the life out of their opposition. They are getting good production out of their bench and their veterans, and Carmelo Anthony looks to be in career-best form following on from his brilliant Olympic performance and is already an early contender for scoring champ alongside Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Do I think they will continue to dominate like this? No. While I love seeing them in this mindset, I don’t think they have the legs to see the season through in this type of form. While they are 7-1, the reality is they have played some pretty sub-par teams. They’ve come up against the plagued Mavericks, the lowly Magic and the disappointing 76ers, none of which are exactly high performing teams right now. Give them credit for a great win over Miami, but further to that, there’s not a lot of competition there. I also worry how they will perform when Amare Stoudemire returns to the lineup. Amare is a huge asset, but we know that he and Melo do have trouble co-existing so when he comes back it will be a matter of finding his place in the team again and I don’t see it going very well. One must remember this is the oldest team in the NBA and it is a long season. The Knicks playing well and winning is great to see, but don’t expect it to last.

Jaimee Rogers: In my opinion, Carmelo Anthony is one of the top 3 players in the league. Knicks have historically not been able to find a point guard that could play with Carmelo Anthony.  In Jason Kidd, they have found someone who can bring some cohesion to the team. Kidd also brings an NBA title with him as does Tyson Chandler who was named defensive player of the year last season. JR Smith is becoming that pivotal 6th man that every team needs to be successful (for example Jason Terry at the Mavs, James Harden last season at OKC, Ginobilli last season with the Spurs). Any injuries could be very disruptive to this team. If they all stay fit and healthy, I put them as a fighting contender for a position in the Eastern Conference Final.

Nick Russell: What a start for the Knicks! They certainly look like a team that is hungry to prove the doubters wrong and take it to the Eastern Conference and shake up the dominance of the Heat, Celtics and Bulls. They certainly look the goods so far. Kidd and Felton are proving to be a dynamic guard combo. What they lack in speed, they are making up for in ballin IQ and smart play as they look to get the ball into scoring positions. Chandler has started where he left off last season and has been keeping a strong presence down low at both ends. The bench has been firing, led from the front by a JR Smith who finally seems to be relishing his position as 6th man and his scoring off the bench has made a massive difference to this team. And then we have Melo and what a year he is having. Is this his year to really step up and show the league that he can lead this team? I think so. Melo is showing a maturity that hasn’t been there in seasons gone past. I think he has finally come to a place where trust, in both his teammates and coaching staff is obvious…and this is a good thing! He doesn’t need to carry this team; this is a team that is prepared to carry each other. BUT…it’s so early in the season that making bold predictions is going to come with baggage that this writer just doesn’t want. So I ‘m not going to say much more than the Knicks are looking good, and when Stat and Shump come back, well….you know what I am going to say. Bring it on!

Sam Monaghan: New York in the house!! The Knicks are off to one of their best starts ever. The reason is defense – they are 4th in points allowed in the NBA. At one stage they were first in defensive efficiency. Who would have thought the NBA’s oldest team would be first in defensive efficiency. It’s a strange situation as they are winning games without Melo leading the box score as well. Their win over the Spurs saw Melo struggle, scoring only 9 points. Woodson has this team running at 100% already. Melo can lead this team – we saw him take the mic on opening night, assuming the role of team spokesperson. I think the Knicks will fall victim to the 82 game season and they will gradually fall back into the pack.

2. It’s been a turbulent start for the Lakers to say the least. Following the firing of coach Mike Brown, is Mike D’Antoni the right fit for the team? Can he help them out of their current form slump and what will he do for the team as a whole?

Nick Caro: Simply put, yes. If you’d like to delve a little deeper, then maybe not. This is a hugely complex situation and given the start that the Lakers have had (5-5), and they desperately need something to go right for them. Some will argue (yours truly included) that while Mike Brown is a phenomenal coach, he was never right for the Lakers and in the end firing him was the only option the Busses had. I will also say however that I don’t believe this was spur of the moment, and that they had been considering the prospect of firing Brown since the end of last season. If that is the case, then they should have done it before the season started, knowing D’Antoni, Jackson and Sloan were out there. That’s the mistake I believe they have made, not the hiring of Mike D’Antoni. He will be huge for this team. If you read my piece from late last week, you’ll know that offensively the Lakers will be one of the best in the league, and with a guy like Dwight Howard on defense, D’Antoni’s rep matters little. While it would have been incredible to see big Phil back, there are enough reasons why D’Antoni is actually the better choice. Mike Brown’s Princeton offense was one of the pitfalls of this squad, and it is modelled off the triangle, which Jackson would have almost certainly reinstated. Why continue to keep the ball out of Steve Nash’s hands, and not run pick and rolls with Dwight and Pau? It makes no sense after firing a coach for doing exactly that. The other big win? Phil wasn’t going to stick around. I know Laker fans will hate me for saying this, but better having a coach willing to stick around through a rebuild (give it a year or two), than having a coach for two years max, then rebuild with a new guy running the show. When this team needs a dedicated coach, D’Antoni will be there. Phil wouldn’t have been. The future will be bright because of the D’Antoni era, and although we are all disappointed about the Zen Master not being on the sidelines, you can be rest assured we’re better off for it in the long run.

Jaimee Rogers: The Lakers have been disappointing so far. However, a team full of stars will take time to gel. The Miami heat were in this exact same position back in 2010 when they were 9-8. They went on to the playoff finals. The difference being of course Lebron and co. were a lot younger and possibly hungrier for a ring. Mike Brown had a good record at Cleveland, but I think the Kobe factor is what lead to his demise at the Lakers. Phil Jackson seemed like the clear pick with his amazing record of 11 Championships, 5 of which were with the Lakers. D’Antoni brought out the best in Steve Nash, who won two MVP awards while being coached by him. With so much emphasis on the Nash signing in the off season, it’s clear that the Lakers boardroom want to bring out the best in Nash – both on and off the court. D’Antoni has said that defence is an integral part of his game plan, which is something the Lakers are currently lacking. It’s a long season, and I think D’Antoni will get the Lakers to where they want to be.

Nick Russell: This might be hard for some Laker fans to hear, but Mike D’Antoni was a better choice for this Lakers team than Sir Phil Jackson and Buss was right in moving fast to sign up Mike for the next few years. Forget about what happened at the Knicks. That wasn’t the team for D’Antoni. This Lakers team is the right fit for a coach, regardless of his once love of super quick movement and baskets. D’Antoni is at his best when he can work his way through a Pick N Roll offence whist looking to get the wing into isolation plays. Don’t believe me…look at how successful the Knicks were when it was just Amare. Before Melo arrived, we had Felton and Amare running the pick n roll and they were dominant. With Steve Nash looking for the pick and both Howard and Pau rolling off it, I expect to see some big numbers from this offence. Add to this Kobe as the other option on the wing in isolation with the other 4 on the court looking to create space for his, this is an offence that will get it together, and with it, their season back on track. The one aspect that worries some Lakers fans more than anything though is defense. D’Antoni has never had a strong reputation for a solid defence, but then again, he has never had Dwight Howard in the centre, so unless everything falls apart at this end, I can’t see this being too big of a problem. Expect players like Pau and World Peace to have bigger years on the defensive end this season. The addition of Howard is surely a motivating force for these guys to step up their game. It might take a few games for the Lakers to get back on track, hell, maybe even through to the All Star Break, but this will be a team that will peak at the right time of the season, and even if they get a low seed in the playoffs, their ain’t gonna be any team that will want to face them come playoffs. Showtime is back Lakers fans…you wait and see.

Sam Monaghan: Los Angeles – the home of 90210, the home of drama. Jackson should have been hired, but it seems like the Buss family dont want him around. D’Antoni is the next best available coach on the market. He is a players coach, its going to be a fun, loose locker room. Expect this to translate to on-court form. Points per game is going to rise, wins will start piling up and the the Lake Show will be back on track. D’Antoni’s challenge will be whipping the defense into shape and maintaining some structure.

3. Two weeks into the season, which rookie have you been most impressed with? Is anyone going to steal the Rookie Of The Year Award from Anthony Davis?

Nick Caro: Some great stuff coming from the 2012 rookies. Thomas Robinson is playing well (before being suspended for a Metta World Peace’esque elbow), Bradley Beal is about the only shining light on a terrible Wizards team, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is coming in to his own after a shaky start…. It’s really looking up for plenty of the rookies this year. One that has stuck out for me though is Damien Lillard from the Blazers. This guy can ball! You saw it against the Lakers, and you’re still seeing it now. His speed and athleticism is electrifying and he’s got all the makings of a future all-star. His numbers are very impressive also. He’s averaging 18 points on .43% shooting and 6 assists a game for Portland who desperately needed a good young player to help them rebuild. With Ant Davis still not 100% after a heavy concussion, Lillard is currently the most impressive of the rookies so far for me.

Jaimee Rogers: It will be hard to take the award away from Anthony Davis. He is the number 1 draft pick. He led Kentucky to an NCAA championship and has also gained experience at the international level playing next to the likes of Kobe Bryant, Carmello and LeBron James at the Olympics . However, should Charlotte produce a .500 season, which is unlikely, but possible we can’t go past Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. He is the Number 2 draft pick from Kentucky, and has a wealth of experience from his college career. Already this season he seems to be carrying the Bobcats, and there seems to be a lot of potential around him. Damian Lillard from the Portland Trailblazers will also be a contender for the rookie of the year award leading all rookies in point per game and assists per game thus far.

Nick Russell: It’s hard to go past Anthony Davis really. This kid has proved time and time again over these first couple of weeks that he is an NBA superstar in the making. I’ve watched a few of Hornets games this year and have been immensely impressed in his ability at both ends of the court. He is scoring well and holding his own against bigger, stronger and fiercer players in his position. It’s scary to think that with a season or 2 of conditioning in the gym what Davis might just become. Add some bulk to that frame and Davis turns into a beast. While I think that Davis will win the ROTY Award, Damian Lillard of the Portland TrailBlazers will push him all the way. What a start for the #6 pick out of Weber State. This league is full of elite PG’s and Lillard is well on his way to joining them. Free scoring, fast and has a knack for pin point passes, I expect Lillard to not only push Davis all the way this year in the race for the ROTY, but over the years rise to the top of the pile of the 2012 rookies and prove that he probably deserved to go #2.

Sam Monaghan: Most impressive has been Lillard – some of shots have a beautiful look about them. Davis obviously being hit with the concussion earlier this season isn’t a great start for him, but he has a body and a game capable of a long career in the NBA. My money is still on Davis, putting in consistent performances day in and day out.

4. Chicago are at a crossroads without their star point guard Derrick Rose and many people are of the opinion they aren’t the force they were last year. Are the Bulls able to contend even without Rose? Additionally, does Coach Tom Thibodeau have the right players to fit his system?

Nick Caro: There’s little doubt they aren’t the team they are with Rose in the lineup, but something tells me they won’t be as dominant even when he does return. One of my main hopes at the moment is that Rose comes back and is just as good as he was before his injury. This guy has and will do wonders for the game, and should he come back a shadow of his former self it will be a huge, huge shame for the game of basketball. Having said that, I think the Bulls relied way too heavily on him, and now that he’s not there, they aren’t really sure of what to do. Before you see red Bulls fans, remember that this happens to teams a LOT when they have a superstar on the roster who’s suddenly not there, and it’s nothing that can’t be overcome. At the moment, I believe that’s where the Bulls are. They are waiting for the return of Rose, while trying to play as if he was never there. It’s a real tough one because Chicago has an incredible group of players in Deng, Gibson, Noah and Hamilton (Boozer?) that can all be game changers for the team, but in the wake of D-Rose it seems like no one is stepping up to the plate just yet. I think the fact is that Rose is such an integral part of this team that without him, the fabric of the team tends to fray. Hopefully he can return and the Bulls can regain some of that form they had at their peak last season. I’m almost positive that the players on the roster are there because they are built to play alongside Derrick Rose and without him there I don’t think Thibodeau is properly able to execute plays. The Bulls aren’t in the best shape, but don’t believe for a second that that can’t change. Whether or not it does is anyone’s guess.

Jaimee Rogers: I think the Bulls have proved they are still a fighting team without Rose. It has been tough without Rose, as the team was built around him, and they just do not have someone to step up to the role. Luol Deng is one of my favorite players in the league but unfortunately I do not think that he can fill the gap that Rose left. Deng is a pure role player and is an asset to any team, however, he is not going to be able to transform into a Derrick Rose style player.  He is a perfect complement to Derrick Rose. Tom Thibodeau faces a tough decision. Does he change the dynamics and structure of the team while Rose is injured? Given the fact that Rose may not be back till the post season, I would think that he has no choice. Can the Bulls possibly emulate the Detroit Pistons of 2004 and 2005? I see definite similarities in the current line-up. They have a team that can lock down on Defense. Luol Deng is one of the best defenders in the game. Instead of trying to have Luol Deng step up and fill Rose’s roll offensively, why not play to Deng’s strength and have the team focus on defense. Great defense can lead to great offense. This could also help soften the impact of a Rose return and another change in team dynamic.

Nick Russell: I gotta say…I was one of the doomsayers when it came to this Bulls team. Early on, I had them completely falling out of the Eastern Conference top 8 and really struggling while they waited for the return of their superstar and MVP PG. But I am pretty happy that they have been able to prove me wrong so far. They have looked the goods starting strong with a 5-3 record and currently sitting 2nd in the central division. Deng, Noah, Boozer and Hamilton have shown that they can lead this team in Roses absence and all 4 of them have shared the load during their first 8 games. It’s really been a team effort and to spread the offence across these 4 players has certainly led to opposing defenses wondering who the pressure should be applied to. Kirk Heinrich and Nate Robinson have been tasked with the PG role in Roses absence and they have proved to be reliable and strong on both ends of the court. But the real key for success for this Bulls team, especially now that rumors are surfacing that Rose might not even be back this year will be consistency. Deng, Boozer and Noah will need, night in and night out to have consitenlty dominant games if this team is to be there in the post season. They are certainly good enough, but with another 72 games to go, I wonder if they can keep up the momentum. I hope they can and it must be a blessing for Rose to know that he has these 3 players on board and keeping the boat pointing in the right direction, cause the last things Rose and the Bulls really need is to panic and rush him back to the roster to save the day, only to, well…I don’t even want to say it. Legs up Rose….your boys have this.

Sam Monaghan:  I love what Coach Thibodeau has been able to  do with this team. only a few weeks in and they are getting good results out of his system. Without Rose his philosophy of lock down defense and consistent scoring puts pressure on opposition teams and forces turnovers.  The Bulls miss Rose offensively (21st in the league in points scored per game) but defensively they are allowing on 93 points per game. Missing Rose has lead to more assists per game and seen Deng as their highest scorer so far this season. Deng is a little machine, he is consistent and deadly from anywhere on the court. Players like Deng, Gibson and Hinrich fit the coaches system perfectly. Should be enough to hold on till Rose returns.

5. The Timberwolves have been a surprise packet this year, even while crippled by injury going 5-3 so far. Great off season moves have really helped this team progress. How far can they go once the likes of Ricky Rubio, Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic return to the lineup?

Nick Caro: Tough loss against Charlotte. You could really tell how much the Wolves are missing their key components, and the injuries associated with the team are staggering. Kemba Walker was instrumental in their win and completely took over while making Alxey Shved look like an amateur; this Bobcats team is suddenly looking competitive! News last week that the Wolves had signed Utah Jazz swing man Josh Howard should help their perimeter defense and inject even more depth into this roster. The likes of Andrei Kirilenko and Shved have been huge for this team while their stars are out injured, but when they do return, the Wolves will be one of the deepest teams in the league. Rubio is going to be a star, and Kevin Love is undoubtedly the lynchpin that holds this squad together. Before injuring himself, Pekovic looked as though he was going to have one BIG season with increasingly interesting stat lines and overall dominant performances. Rick Adelman is a superb coach for this team and going forward should enjoy even more room to move with an expanse of great talent at his fingertips. There was a sense that the Wolves may be on the right track last season, and had there not been injuries one wouldn’t be wrong in thinking this team might actually be one of the top teams in the West at this point. But, unfortunately for them it’s still a matter of dealing with many issues before that becomes a reality. I for one can’t wait to see this team at full strength and competing at the level they are capable of.

Jaimee Rogers: Like the Knicks, Timberwolves are a team to watch this year. Expect Rubio to get better and better every season over the next 5 years. The Timberwolves are going to be hard to beat. I wouldn’t say it would be impossible for them to be seen in the Western Conference Semi – Finals but don’t think they have the team to make the Western Conference finals this year. It’s also good to see so many international players making their presence felt in the NBA.

Nick Russell: What a start, I love it! The TWolves are playing some very clever basketball and have put together a team that will shake up this western conference all the way to the playoffs. This is a team designed to not only compete, but be there at the end and maybe, if the stars align for them shake up the playoffs. I ain’t saying this team is going to go all the way, don’t start throwing things at me….but I guarantee you that OKC and the Spurs won’t want to play them come the 1st or 2nd round of the playoffs. I expect the TWolves will continue to grow throughout the season and if they can stay healthy, especially with returning stars like Love and Rubio, well, I expect to witness a little revolution at Minnesota and they will not only compete, but might just contend for the next few years.

Sam Monaghan: In a wild North West division a strong start will go a long way. The Timberwolves have been out of this world so far. The answer is defensive consistency, only 3 times have they had teams score more than 90 points on them this season. That’s bad ass. Some success can be attributed to an easy schedule but they have been getting results from players they expected to be bench warmers. The most interesting storyline in Minnesota will be how they will integrate Rubio and Love back into their lineup.

6. LeBron James has had a great start to the season. Does he have what it takes to top his amazing Championship winning MVP year, or is somebody else’s name on that MVP title?

Nick Caro: So hard to tell this early in the season. LeBron’s Championship year was one for the ages, and to top it would take something special. He’s started well, but I personally feel that every now and then LBJ is a victim of his own team mate’s susceptibility to superstar syndrome. For example, he completely took over in the game against Houston a couple of days ago, notching 32 second half points because there was very little production from anyone else. Bosh had a good game, Wade looked OK but really the only reason Miami won that game was LeBron James. In yesterday’s loss against the Clippers, he simply didn’t have enough gas to pull out all the stops and carry the team. Bosh struggled, Wade was lethargic (and slightly injured) and the rest of the team contributed little. Many teams are guilty of it, and it does happen after a while. The superstar takes the front seat and the players around him tend to sit back and watch, but what happens when the superstar can’t get it going? What I’m saying is, is that I believe LeBron needs his supporting cast just as much as they need him and if they aren’t contributing, he won’t have the year everyone is anticipating. Having said that, it’s early days, and we’re talking about the Heat. They’ll get it going, and LeBron will be incredible, and they’re still the favourites. Deservingly so. I said at the start of the year that now LeBron has a very heavy monkey off his back, he’ll be able to let loose and play without the stress of chasing a ring. This is still the case, and I believe we’ll see some incredible basketball out of LeBron this year. Do I believe he’s going to walk away MVP? I’m not sure. There are more candidates this year, and some very stiff competition. Names being tossed around are Durant, Rondo, Bryant, Harden… the list goes on. This is a tough group of players. Impossible to pick just yet.

Jaimee Rogers: Lebron James is odds on favorite with our NBA Futures market. The MVP is his to lose. Kevin Durant has been struggling a little at the start of the season and I think the James Harden departure is having more of an impact on Kevin Durant than people would originally have thought.  For value, I am going to split my money in half for Tony Parker and Carmelo Anthony. Tony Parker had one of the best seasons of his career last season, and Carmelo Anthony is averaging 26.8 points per game – the highest scorer at the moment.  Whether Tony and Carmello can take out the MVP title will depend strongly on the performance of their respective teams. So far, both teams have had a great start to the season.

Nick Russell: Without a doubt, LeBron is the firm favorite to go back to back in the MVP race this year. If he can continue with the form he has shown in these first 8 games, then it’s his. But as always, there will be some stiff competition. Obviously Durant must be mentioned for obvious reasons, he will push LBJ all the way and can take it from him, especially if OKC have a massive 2nd half of the season. If the Knicks can continue their winning ways and can finish the season somewhere in the top 3 in the East, then you would expect to hear Melo’s name mentioned a few times heading into the award. His stats have been impressive, and if he can lead this team to a much higher seed than most expected, it wouldn’t surprise me if he steals it from LBJ and Durant. To throw another name into the ring which may ruffle some more feathers after mentioning Melo, I think if Harden can keep up his early season momentum and guide the Rockets into a surprise playoff spot, even if it’s just the 8th….I wouldn’t be surprised if he shocks the world and takes it. You can’t deny his stats….they are remarkable so far. In the last few games he certainly wasn’t matching the huge stats from those first few games, so maybe once coming back down to earth it leveled it all out, but I think we will witness the rise of one of the greats here, and if it’s not this year, just wait…Harden will win an MVP award sometime very soon.

Sam Monaghan:  At the moment he is too busy carrying to Heat to worry about the MVP title. Wade has let him down so far, struggling to get any traction early. Coach Spo has brought in Allen to bolster the perimeter offense which should allow James to get inside more often and pick up easy baskets. Lebron could be at the start of mammoth season if he has to carry the Heat for months this season. Its neck and neck between James, Durant and Anthony.

7. It’s been an interesting start to the season, with many teams boasting good records, and some high profile teams being relatively disappointing. Who is your current team to beat and why?

Nick Caro: I’m actually surprised with the way the season has started. Some teams I thought would be great haven’t been, and some I thought would suck have been fantastic! I guess it’s great when some small market, lower level teams can shake up the competition and give the super powers a run for their money. Teams like the Clippers and the Knicks have both come out of the block fast and have been amongst the most impressive, but for me the team to beat right now is the Memphis Grizzlies. Watching them play the Knicks on Saturday I was amazed by their ability to suffocate the life out of the Knicks on defense and be utterly devastating on the scoring end. Rudy Gay looks to have gone up a couple of notches as has Marc Gasol, and Zac Randolph looks to have found some form as well. This is a team which has seemingly found some chemistry to build on and look like a real chance to come out of the West. Sure, it’s early days but right now I can’t see another team that’s going to seriously challenge them while they are playing this well. The Spurs, Thunder, Clippers and Lakers might get close, but I truly believe the Grizz are the team to beat right now. While not one of the faster teams going around hey have depth, strength and ability to tower over their opposition. When it comes to the East, this Memphis team is playing a lot better than Miami or Boston and dispatched the cruising Knicks on Saturday with relative ease. It may not last, but for now they are easily my team to beat.

Jaimee Rogers: The Knicks are off to a great start this year, currently 7-1 and are my current team to beat in the East. I also like the Memphis Grizzlies in the West. I think they are extremely underrated, and are ones to watch. Rudy Gay has started the season in fantastic form averaging over 20 points per game. Randolph, Marc Gasol and Conley seem to be in great shape. They are an energetic team with a good attitude. Look out for Lionel Hollins as a potential coach of the year.

Nick Russell: I’m going to be boring here and go with the Heat. Other teams may have started better, but when push comes to shove, I just don’t think teams like Memphis, NYK, Spurs and the Clippers will be able to stop the Heat when we get to the pointy end of the season. They may be sitting in 4th in the East right now, but when you look at the teams above them and realize it’s NKY, Milwaukee and Brooklyn, well, you just can’t imagine that they can keep the momentum up. For me, it’s going to be a repeat finals series with OKC v Miami. They just have the experience to make up the difference at the end of the season. Don’t get me wrong, I would LOVE nothing more than to see the two current #1 teams duke it out come the finals…. Memphis v NYK would be freaking amazing! But really, if I am being honest with myself, at the end of the long season, the Heat are most likely going back to back here and the only team that can stop them is OKC, and maybe the Knicks…maybe. Ouch. Don’t throw rotten fruit at me…I had to say it.

Sam Monaghan: San Antonio. The Spurs can play any one anywhere and take to the last shot. Their game against the Lakers is proof of this. They can play small ball rotating players off their bench, or match it with taller, stronger teams in the league like the Clippers and Grizz. This team is built on versatility, their record is strong so far without significant contributions from Parker & Ginobilli. Duncan leads the team in points, rebounds and blocks, expect Parker and Ginobilli to start collecting huge point totals of their own before too long. I can see the Grizz giving the Spurs a fight to come out of the West, but  unsure if anyone in the East can trouble them in a 7 game series.

That’ll do it for another edition of the Roundtable. Remember to follow us on Twitter @NBANationOz and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nbanationoz. Again we’d like to thank Jaimee Rogers for being a part of today’s roundtable. Hope to have you back again soon!

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