It's time for the final installment of our recent Q&A with GSoM friend Preetom Bhattacharya from Hoopsworld. Definitely flip back to Part 1 and Part 2 for some more interesting discussion.
Hit Read More for some thoughts on the Portland Trail Blazers and a little NBA rule change game.
Golden State of Mind: Portland is going nuts! 13 wins in a row and at the top of the Northwest division. I don't think anyone expected them to be this good with Oden out. From what you've seen in the past few weeks, do you think this team will make the playoffs? 30 games into the season, there's a 10 team race for 8 spots in the West. Which two of these 10 teams misses out on the playoffs? For those two teams, what moves do they need to make to get in the playoffs?
Preetom Bhattacharya: The Blazers have what it takes to make the playoffs; I have no doubt that they can keep playing well because they've won games as a team, not because they rode the coattails of a single star. Aldridge and Roy are the real deal and what Outlaw is doing off the bench is really great. They've got a solid trio of PGs (Blake, Jack, Rodriguez) and a respectable big man rotation (Aldridge, Przybilla, Frye).
Their weakness will continue to be outside shooting, but they're very solid all the way around. They've got to keep their ball movement up and keep people involved - it'll be tough, but it's doable.
Golden State of Mind: The new rule change or rather change of enforcement where players cannot step in at the last second to draw a charge has seemed to, in Warriors games at least, decrease the number of charges called and let the players play. The NBA is not perfect right now, so if you were commissioner, what kinds of rule changes would you make to improve the NBA?
Preetom Bhattacharya: I think I'd make the salary cap a hard cap and do away with this luxury tax business. :)
In all honesty, I think I'd get rid of the salary-matching in trades. It should be about talent rather than contract figures like it is now. I can understand expiring deals being important, but why can't a team deal a budding star on his rookie contract for an aging veteran who has a max deal if both teams agree to it? I know what the team was hoping to protect .. I just don't know if it was necessary.
All of us at GSoM wanted to thank Pree for all his continued support. Hit up his work on Hoopsworld on the regular.
Feel free to leave some follow up questions and thoughts in the comments for Pree. If he has time and your follow up thoughts are well researched and thought out, he'll try to get to them. Please be respectful of our guest and make sure to give our brother that golden treatment!