As closeout Game 5 of the NBA Finals approaches, WTLC and The Rude Dog Show host Rudy Reyes collaborated on a two-fold venture pertaining to these NBA Finals, Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder basketball and more.
This is the written Q&A portion of our interview.
Rudy Reyes: What are your opinions concerning Game Four of the NBA Finals. How do you explain the much-discussed officiating?
Joshua Broom: To answer: While setting multiple NBA Finals team scoring records, in Game 4, Cleveland played near-flawless basketball.
Though some insist the Cavaliers gained first-quarter officiating help while attempting 22 free-throws during the frame, I still believe, even barring their anomalous opening quarter, due to uncanny shooting, the Cavaliers were unbeatable in Game 4.
More so: LeBron James (31 pts, 11 rebs, ten ast) continued his stellar triple-double play (31 PPG, 11 RPG, 10 APG in these Finals) while Kyrie Irving (40 pts, 7-of-12 3PM) proved unguardable.
Simply, the Cavs' supporting cast did all the things necessary to avoid being swept.
-Overall Cleveland shot 24-of-45 from three. Kevin Love added 23 pts & 6-of-8 3PM
-The records set that historic night included: Cleveland scoring an NBA Finals record 49 first-quarter points, and NBA Finals record 86 first-half points en route to a commanding 137-116 game three victory.
Also of note, Steph Curry scored just 14 pts on 2-of-9 3PM for the contest. Meanwhile, Golden State shot an uncharecteristic 11-of-39 from deep and 44/28/75 split.
Though spectacular, I do not believe this Cleveland performance can be repeated.
2)Where do the Cavaliers go if they lose Game 5 tonight? How likely is a close-out at Oracle?
J.B.-Due to Cleveland’s glaring home/road win-loss discrepancy during the regular season (20-21 road record), the odds favor Golden State closing in Game 5 from Oracle.
If this transpires, during the summer Cleveland will likely prepare for one final championship run with its "big 3" as LeBron is under contract through the season's end.
Meanwhile, this off-season, notable Cavalier reserves Kyle Korver and Deron Williams become free-agents.
That stated, Cleveland sports the NBA's highest current payroll. So, of course, both men would need to sign minimum deals just for Cle. to maintain its quality bench.
Though, in the East, barring a major off-season coup, even with a reduced bench, Cleveland should enjoy another easy path to the Finals.
3)How does Steph Curry match up with the best?
J.B. In addition to being the most potent shooting and scoring point-guard in NBA history, Stephen Curry resides among the most decorated players ever.
The four-time All-Star has earned two regular-season MVP awards and is one victory shy of hoisting his second NBA Finals trophy.
I'd list Curry behind only Magic Johnson on an all-time NBA PG list.
Overall, Curry is a top 25 all-time NBA player.
4)What do the Cavs do by locking LBJ up in 18' or does he join LAC?
(Let's remember: LeBron is still under contract thru the end of the 17-18 season)
So, while some speculation abounds concerning James to the Clippers (Paul and Griffin are rumored to leave this off-season) or Lakers, neither franchise can offer LeBron the coveted 5-year $200 M contract-extension which would essentially put James in a Cleveland uniform until his probable retirement at 38 years-of-age.
So, as of now, I lean in the direction that James will re-sign with Cleveland, though he has jumped ship before.
4) Is Matt Barnes a one-year wonder for GSW?
J.B. Interesting question: Only in the sense that he filled in for Durant during KD's 19-game absence and offered active play. This opportunity may not again present itself.
Though, Barnes is worth re-signing for the right price.
4A) Do the Warriors re-sign, Matt Barnes?
J.B. Again, I believe so. Even at 37, Barnes represents a capable bench presence and fits in well with this Warriors team.
Furhter, the wing-enforcer from UCLA has stated that he'd like to play another season for the Warriors.
5)Where does J.R. Smith rank with the Cavaliers? He is struggling from deep on the road.
J.B. After two ineffectual opening contests vs. GSW (1-of-6 FGM, 1-of-4 3PM, 1.5 PPG) Smith has emerged as an X-Factor of sorts in Cleveland's past two games averaging 15.5 ppg, on 50%FGM and 52% 3PM.
Signed through 2020, while just 31-years-old, as shooting tends to age well, Smith will likely call Cleveland home for the foreseeable future.
6)Shifting gears: How will the NBA MVP race end?
Due to a historical regular season: Russell Westbrook will edge James Harden for 2016-17' Kia NBA MVP honors.
Truly, this was the season of Westbrook.
7)Kevin Durant Finals MVP?
J.B. Yes. Barring a miraculous turn of events, Durant is the overwhelming choice for Finals MVP by way of averaging 34 PPG, 10 RPG, and 6 APG on 56% shooting in Golden State's 3 Finals wins.
Durant is one victory from gaining everything he desired by signing with Golden State.
8)Does GSW re-sign Durant this offseason?
J.B. Unequivocally, yes. I forsee no instance in which Durant and Golden State do not re-negotiate to secure a legacy franchise.
The Warriors could conceivably win the next three to four NBA titles before another team presents a serious challenge to their dominance.
9)One final question: What happens with Lonzo Ball and the Lakers? Do they take a chance on his baggage:
If Lonzo is available, he will be drafted by the Lakers. These Hollywood guys have seen it all, but still, may not be prepared for father Lavar.