Hoops Rumors Polls

Poll: Which 2-2 Series Will End In Upset?

Last year’s NBA Finals combatants, the Cavaliers and Warriors, made quick work of their first round playoff opponents, dispatching the Pacers and Trail Blazers respectively in four games apiece. However, many of the other first round series around the NBA remain very much up in the air.

Currently, four series are tied at 2-2, with two of those Game Fives scheduled for tonight, and two more on tap for Wednesday. The Clippers and Jazz have each split their home games, resulting in a 2-2 tie, while the No. 7 seeded Grizzlies won two home games over the Spurs following David Fizdale‘s post-Game 2 “take that for data” rant, pulling even in that series. Those four teams will be in action tonight.

Over in the Eastern Conference, the No. 1 seeded Celtics find themselves tied with the No. 8 Bulls in an unusual series in which road teams are 4-0 so far. Meanwhile, the Hawks ripped through the Wizards‘ defense in two games in Atlanta, evening that series at 2-2. Both of those series will resume on Wednesday.

In each of those four series, the higher seed maintains the advantage, with two of the final three games on their home court. But most of those higher seeds don’t look as formidable as they did entering the postseason.

What do you think? Will any of these series result in upsets? If the Jazz are able to knock off the Clippers, should that series even be viewed as a legit upset, given the absence of Blake Griffin and the teams’ identical regular season records?

Vote below on which lower seeds will make it through the first round — you can pick as many as you want. After placing your vote, share your thoughts in the comments section!

Poll: 2017 All-NBA Third Team

In an NBA season packed with incredible performances and remarkable statistical achievements, we’re letting you decide which 15 players are most deserving of All-NBA recognition.

On Tuesday, we opened voting for the All-NBA First Team, and 24 hours later, we had clear answers for which five players you believe deserve spots on that team. On Wednesday, we published polls for the Second Team, and we have now have our five players for that squad too. In this case, the vote was a little closer, particularly at center, where Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert went down to the wire in the race for a spot on the Second Team.

Here are the voting results so far:

All-NBA First Team

All-NBA Second Team

While your First Team choices consisted mostly of this year’s top MVP candidates, your Second Team picks were heavy on the best players from this year’s best teams — the NBA-leading Warriors got two spots on the Second Team, while Thomas, the top scorer from the East’s No. 1 team, earned one of the guard spots.

We’re moving on today to the All-NBA Third Team, so cast your votes below for the two guards, two forwards, and one center that you believe are most deserving of being named to that squad. You’ll have until about 12:00pm CT on Friday before we close this round of voting and round up the final results. You’ll also have the opportunity to select two players apiece in the guard and forward polls, so be sure to take advantage of that.

Who should be on the All-NBA Third Team?

Guards:

Note: This poll was reset after a top candidate was initially omitted. If you voted in our original poll, please feel free to re-submit your vote.

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote on the All-NBA Third Team guards.

Forwards:

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote on the All-NBA Third Team forwards.

Center:

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote on the All-NBA Third Team center.

Poll: 2017 All-NBA Second Team

In an NBA season packed with incredible performances and remarkable statistical achievements, we’re letting you decide which 15 players are most deserving of All-NBA recognition.

On Tuesday, we opened voting for the All-NBA First Team, and 24 hours later, we have clear answers for which five players you believe deserve spots on that team. James Harden and Russell Westbrook ran away with the two guard spots, while LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard comfortably won the vote for forwards. At center, Anthony Davis topped all challengers to earn a spot on our All-NBA First Team.

The voting results so far:

All-NBA First Team

With four clear-cut MVP candidates on the First Team, the choices were somewhat straightforward, but that’s not the case for the next 10 spots, where there should be several interesting races. We’re moving on today to the All-NBA Second Team, so cast your votes below for the two guards, two forwards, and one center that you believe are most deserving of being named to that squad.

You’ll have about 24 hours for this round of voting before we move on to the All-NBA Third Team on Thursday. You’ll also have the opportunity to select two players apiece in the guard and forward polls, so be sure to take advantage of that. And if there’s a player not listed below that you believe deserves All-NBA consideration, be sure to mention him in the comments section too — if I agree, I’ll make sure he’s included in our All-NBA Third Team poll.

Guards:

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote on the All-NBA Second Team guards.

Forwards:

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote on the All-NBA Second Team forwards.

Center:

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote on the All-NBA Second Team center.

Poll: 2017 All-NBA First Team

Russell Westbrook‘s full-season triple-double was the most impressive statistical achievement of the 2016/17 regular season, but the NBA’s stars put up astounding numbers across the board this year, making All-NBA decisions tougher than ever. No matter which 15 players earn spots on the three All-NBA teams for 2017, worthy candidates will miss the cut.

Still, we want you to do your best to identify which 15 players are the most deserving of All-NBA recognition this year. Over the next few days, we’ll be running a handful of polls to let you make your selections for this year’s All-NBA teams.

We’re starting today with the First Team. Polls for the guards, forwards, and center are below — you’ll have the opportunity to pick two players apiece in the guard and forward polls. We’ll leave today’s polls open for about 24 hours, at which point we’ll name the players with the most votes to our All-NBA First Team and move on to voting for the Second Team.

Vote for your All-NBA picks below, and then take to the comments section to explain your reasoning. And if there are a player not listed below that you believe deserves All-NBA consideration, be sure to mention him in the comments section too — if I agree, I’ll make sure he’s included in our Second and Third Team polls.

Guards:

Note: This poll was reset after a top candidate was initially omitted. If you voted early in our original poll, feel free to vote again.

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote on the All-NBA First team guards.

Forwards:

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote on the All-NBA First team forwards.

Centers:

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote on the All-NBA First team center.

Poll: Best Point Guard In The Draft?

In 2017, we may see a draft class that contains the greatest collection of point guards in the history of the league, according to Chad Ford of ESPN.com (ESPN Now link). Ford added that as many as four point guards could be selected in the first five picks. Here’s a brief breakdown of the point guards who could have their name called early on draft night:

  • Markelle Fultz is expected to be the top pick in the draft, according to Jonathan Givony of Draft Express. He averaged 23.2 points and 5.9 assists per game while sporting a 27.9 player efficiency rating during his lone season in Washington. His massive wingspan, coupled with his ability to make plays, should allow his game to translate to the next level. However, he wasn’t able to elevate his college team to the NCAA Tournament and he struggled against better competition, which are worrisome factors when evaluating the young prospect.
  • Lonzo Ball is not better than Stephen Curry. He is one of the best point guards in the draft and if you can get past all the noise his father is making, you can see why teams are placing Ball near the top of their draft boards. There aren’t many 19-year-olds who can control the game the way Ball does. His passing ability and court vision are top-notch and it wouldn’t be shocking if he’s the first player to have his name called in the upcoming draft.
  • Dennis Smith Jr. is an explosive athlete with great awareness on the court. He’s not the best shooter and like Fultz, Smith wasn’t able to get his team into the NCAA Tournament. Ford has him going to the Magic with the No. 5 pick in his latest mock draft.
  • De’Aaron Fox outdueled Ball and UCLA to lead his team to the elite eight. Fox is one of the fastest point guards in the draft. He’s an athletic prospect who excels on the defensive end. If Fox isn’t selected in the top-5, it’ll be because of his shaky jump shot has scared teams off. He made just 23.1% of the 3-point attempts during his lone season at Kentucky.
  • Frank Ntilikina is a long-armed, quick point guard from France with a smooth game that should transition well to the league. Givony believes he has plenty of room to grow and adds that the 18-year-old’s versatility and basketball IQ will reward whichever team selects him on draft night.

[RELATED: Hoops Rumors 2016/17 NBA Reverse Standings]

Assuming all five of these prospects declare for the draft (Fox can’t declare until his team either wins the NCAA Championship or is eliminated. Fultz and Ball have officially declared. Smith is expected to declare; same with Ntilikina), which point guard selected in the 2017 draft will have the best career?

Don’t limit yourself to just a click of a button. Take to the comment section below to explain your selection. Think another point guard will have a better career than the aforementioned prospects? Let us know and make your case below. We look forward to what you have to say!

Poll: No. 8 Seed In Western Conference

For most of the 2016/17 season, seven Western Conference teams have comfortably held postseason positions. The Warriors and Spurs have led the pack, followed by the Rockets, with the Jazz, Clippers, Thunder, and Grizzlies rounding out the top seven. The order those teams finish in has yet to be determined, but none of them are in danger of losing their playoff spots.

That leaves just one open spot for Western Conference teams vying for playoff contention, and the battle for the No. 8 seed has been an interesting one. With one or two exceptions, virtually every team in the bottom of the Western standings has been viewed as a viable candidate for that final postseason spot at some point since October — even the last-place Lakers created a little buzz when they opened the season with a 10-10 record before falling off significantly.

At this point, two teams look like top contenders for that No. 8 seed, and those two clubs actually completed a trade with one another just last month. The Nuggets and Trail Blazers swapped Mason Plumlee for Jusuf Nurkic in February, and those players have thrived with their new teams, helping to position them for a run at the West’s No. 8 seed. Both teams have been among the NBA’s best so far in March — Denver currently holds a one game lead over Portland with 13 to play, but the Blazers have won three games in a row and have a favorable schedule down the stretch.

Ultimately, it might not matter much which team claims the No. 8 spot — neither the Nuggets nor the Blazers is a serious threat to upset the top-ranked Warriors (or Spurs). Still, either club could at least make things a little interesting in round one as a frisky underdog, given how well they’ve been playing as of late.

What do you think? Will it be the Nuggets or the Blazers in that No. 8 spot at the end of the regular season? Or will another Western team – such as the Mavericks, Pelicans, or Timberwolves – sneak into that final spot with a hot streak in the season’s final weeks?

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote.

Poll: 2017 NBA MVP Race

In addition to being one of 2017’s most entertaining games – and a potential playoff preview – the matchup between the Rockets and Spurs on Monday night may have represented a turning point in the 2017 NBA MVP race.

For most of the season, James Harden and Russell Westbrook have been viewed as the frontrunners for the award, for good reason. Harden ranks third in the league in scoring and first in assists, while Westbrook is vying to becoming the first player since Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double over the course of a full season.

On Monday night though, Harden squared off with Kawhi Leonard, who has flown under the radar for much of the 2016/17 campaign. Leonard proved in the Spurs’ dramatic win over Houston that he deserves to be in the discussion with Harden, Westbrook, and the rest of this year’s contenders for MVP. Leonard’s incredible 39-point night – his fourth straight game of 30+ points – was capped by a last-minute sequence that saw him hit a go-ahead three at one end of the court, then block Harden’s layup attempt at the other end.

While the MVP buzz for Leonard is growing, and Harden and Westbrook remain excellent candidates, it’s not just a three-man race. Over in the Eastern Conference, LeBron James is having one of his best seasons for the Cavaliers (No. 1 seed), Isaiah Thomas is averaging nearly 30 points per game for the Celtics (No. 2), and John Wall has established new career highs in PPG (22.6) and APG (10.8) for the Wizards (No. 3).

Even Kevin Durant, who is currently out with a knee injury, deserves a look — he has been more efficient than ever in Golden State, making 53.7% of his shots this season for the Warriors, though his injury will likely take him out of the running.

What do you think? We’ve still got more than a month left in the 2016/17 season, so things could certainly change in the coming weeks. But if the season ended today, who would be your choice for 2017’s NBA MVP? Vote in our poll, and weigh in below in the comments section with your thoughts.

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote.

Poll: Biggest Eastern Conference Threat To Cavs?

While oddsmakers – and most NBA fans – still expect to see a rematch of last season’s NBA Finals this June, there’s no guarantee that the Warriors and Cavaliers will come out of their respective conferences once again. The Cavs, in particular, looked ordinary in January, finishing one game below .500 for the month, with a 7-8 record.

Last spring, it was the Raptors who battled the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals, pushing LeBron James and company to six games before eventually losing the series. And for most of the first half of this season, Toronto appeared to be Cleveland’s top challenger in the conference once again.

However, the Raptors’ January struggles (8-9) mirrored the Cavs’, and Toronto has already compiled an 0-3 record this year against the defending champions. Injuries to Patrick Patterson and DeMar DeRozan have played a part in the Raptors’ swoon, but there’s still reason to question whether they’ll be the biggest threat out of the East to the Cavs in the postseason.

Led by Eastern Conference Player of the Month Isaiah Thomas, the Celtics have moved into second place in the East, pulling within just two and a half games of the Cavs. The Wizards have also surged in recent weeks — the team is 26-12 since its 2-8 start, and has matched the Celtics’ current five-game winning streak.

Behind those top four teams in the standings, the Hawks have continued to play well even after trading Kyle Korver, and the Pacers have looked very impressive at times, including on their current four-game winning streak.

The Cavs may ultimately make it out of the East once again, but these clubs – and others – will look to give the champs all they can handle in the series leading up to the Finals. Teams like the Raptors and Celtics also have plenty of assets available to potentially fortify their rosters in the coming weeks, making them even more dangerous.

What do you think? Which of the Eastern Conference contenders has the best chance to knock off the Cavs this spring?

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote.

Poll: Should The All-Star Voting Process Change?

The NBA unveiled a brand new voting platform for the 2016/17 All-Star Game, giving fans 50% of the vote while players and a media panel accounted for 25% each. This was regarded as a breath of fresh air in some respects, as fans previously held a unanimous vote for All-Star Game starters.

The process had its shortcomings, however. As the league’s player voting results reveal, several players appear to have used the opportunity to exclusively vote for their teammates. What’s more, over 100 players neglected to cast a ballot. Warriors coach Steve Kerr used his platform to sound off, chastising certain players for not taking their vote seriously.

“I am very disappointed in the players,” Kerr told Anthony Slater of The Bay Area News Group. “They asked for the vote and a lot of them just made a mockery of it…I saw the list. I saw all the guys who got votes. Were you allowed to vote for yourself? I don’t know. Were guys voting for themselves? There were 50 guys on there that had no business getting votes. But a lot of guys wrote in their buddies for the presidential campaign. So maybe that was their own way of making a statement. But I think if you give the players a vote, they should take it serious.”

While the league’s #NBAVote strategy was a success on social media, some work needs to be done in revitalizing the voting process. So what do you think: should the league continue fan voting in 2017/18? Give the media a higher percentage of the vote? Or do you have a different idea entirely?

Vote below, and share your ideas in the comments section!

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote.

Poll: Will You Watch New BIG3 League?

A new professional basketball league is set to debut this summer. Starting on June 24, former NBA players like Allen Iverson, Kenyon Martin, Rashard Lewis, Mike Bibby, Chauncey Billups, Jermaine O’Neal, Stephen Jackson, and Jason Williams will play in the new BIG3 league, created by rapper and actor Ice Cube, along with former NBA guard Roger Mason.

The league will feature eight teams made up five players apiece. The half-court, three-on-three games won’t be timed — the first team to 60 points will win, and teams will have the opportunity to get to 60 even faster with new wrinkles like a designated “four-point circle.” TNT’s David Aldridge has several details on the BIG3 in his latest NBA.com piece, and spoke to some of the players and organizers about the new league.

[RELATED: Allen Iverson commits to new BIG3 league as player/coach]

“This (bleep) isn’t any kind of gimmick,” said Mason, who will serve as the league’s president. “JO was like, ‘There’s nobody who can guard me in halfcourt.’ Gilbert Arenas is in the gym every day; he doesn’t even want anybody to know he’s playing.

“This is going to last beyond Cube, me, Jeff (Kwatinetz). This is the new thing. Every year there’s new players that still have some gas still in the tank. Maybe they can’t play back-to-backs. Maybe they can’t do the full wear and tear of an 82-game season. But it’s not like, after 10 to 12 years in the NBA, that their fans forget about them. And it’s not like their game goes to (bleep). They don’t have the athleticism. But in a halfcourt game, one game a week? They still have something to offer. We’re just the landing spot for those guys.”

The league, which will travel to a different city each week, has yet to announce a broadcasting deal, but games are expected to be televised or streamed somewhere. So today’s poll question is this: Will you check out the BIG3 when it gets underway? Will the big-name former players be enough to draw you in, or do you prefer to stick to watching current NBA players?

Vote below, and jump into the comments section to weigh in with your thoughts!

App users, click here to vote.

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