Blogtable: Winners, losers so far

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

BLOGTABLE: Winners, losers so far | The Vogel dilemma

VIDEO: The Wizards finish off the Bulls and win their first playoff series since 2005

> Winners and losers of the first round? Player and team, please.

Steve Aschburner, Leaving Donald Sterling (loser) and Adam Silver (winner) out of this, I’d go with LeBron James as the biggest winner so far just because of the clear path he and the Miami Heat appear to have to their fourth straight Finals and possibly third straight championship. Sweeping Charlotte earns them extra rest, they won’t have to face pain-in-the-rump Chicago at all and the big projected challenge from the Pacers doesn’t look like it will materialize. One of the biggest losers has to be Indiana and, specifically, guard Lance Stephenson. An almost-All Star and an early favorite for Most Improved Player, the Pacers’ shooting guard saw those honors slip away. His team’s swoon and his increasingly helter-skelter play might have cost him millions in free agency this summer.

Fran Blinebury, Thanks for the two Nerf balls sitting on the tee. John Wall and the Wizards are the obvious winners. Third playoff win for franchise in last 35 years and most of the country outside D.C. gets to see how good Wall is. As far as losers, could it be any other player than Roy Hibbert and any other team than the Pacers?  In more than three decades of covering the NBA, I have never seen a group or an individual fall faster than a bag of bag of hammers off a roof.

Roy Hibbert (Ron Hoskins/NBAE)

Roy Hibbert (Ron Hoskins/NBAE)

Jeff Caplan, John Wall has been telling us for a while now that he’s the best point guard in the league. Not sure I’m buying that yet, but what a breakout party he’s having in the postseason. This is only the beginning. As for team, hard to top Washington as the surprise of the postseason, but give me Terry Stotts’ Portland Trail Blazers. My biggest loser so far is the man who will likely soon accept the MVP trophy, Mr. Kevin Durant. As for the team, the Thunder certainly are disappointing, but the Indiana Pacers are the only true answer here.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.comBiggest winner: the Wizards. Beating the Bulls would have been impressive enough. Beating the Bulls in five, while winning close games on the road, grinding out wins against that Chicago defense is a big accomplishment. Biggest loser: Donald Sterling. And not just of the first round.

John Schuhmann, Team winner: Washington, for finding ways to score against a the league’s best non-Indy defense, despite a lack of their precious corner threes, and for having an open lane to the conference finals. Individual winners: Free agents for Toronto (Kyle Lowry, Patrick Patterson and Greivis Vasquez) and Washington (Trevor Ariza, Marcin Gortat and Trevor Booker) who are earning themselves some money by playing well in the postseason. Team loser: Indiana, of course. Individual loser (other than Roy Hibbert): James Harden, because his defense has been awful, his offense hasn’t been much better, and because he hasn’t been alive as long as Fran’s been covering the NBA.

Sekou Smith, John Wall and the Washington Wizards are clearly my biggest winners. I remember all of the bellyaching that went on when the Wizards presented him with that huge contract extension. He justified the Wizards’ faith by leading his team into the playoffs and past the Chicago Bulls in the first round. He’s already paid back at least a down payment on that extension. My biggest loser is, and this comes before we even know what happens to them, is Roy Hibbert and the Indiana Pacers. It’s almost too easy, picking on them, after the way they have performed (or not) against the Hawks. Hibbert’s tough guy talk from last season’s playoff run is coming back to bite him in the worst way. That 0-for-everything performance of his in Game 5 the other night sums it up perfectly.

Lang Whitaker, All Ball Blog: Let’s stay in the same series. Biggest winner thus far has to be Mike Budenholzer. He didn’t really rate in the coach of the year voting but he took a team with nothing to gain and convinced them to share the ball and play defense. Even after Al Horford went down and they had a dreadful post-All-Star stretch, they snuck into the playoffs and Budenholzer been masterful thus far in pushing the Pacers to the brink. The biggest loser? Roy Hibbert. In a crucial Game 5 at home, Hibbert went for zero points and zero boards, against a team without a center. Again, Hibbert went for 0 and 0 against a team with no center that mostly uses a 31-year-old “rookie” at the 5. Hibbert has been struggled, and Indiana has mostly followed his demise.


  1. Dieter says:

    Biggest winner = Lamarcus Aldridge, close 2nd the Washington Wizards. Biggest losers = Indiana Pacers… it’s unreal how much troubles they have, but I’m not writing them off yet. If Hibbert can find a way to play great again, it will lift the team again to contender status… but it’s a big IF. I still don’t understand why they traded away Granger, the heart, spirit and toughness of the Pacers, very stupid move. My guess for the Semis: Washington – Brooklyn and Portland – LA Clippers, this will be the year of big upsets and a not top 3 seed will win a championship, hopefully my Blazers, but the Clippers will be a very big obstacle.

  2. KRIS SCHADE says:

    Paul Allen has been the biggest winner in this series and this year.
    Go Vulcanasia

  3. rocketman says:

    Big disappointment is the Rockets with all that talent letting Portland steal 2 in Houston on the other hand it’s been the best 1st
    rounds series of any. Portland is good but Houston has under performed.
    The East please none of those teams outside of Pacer’s and Heat could compete in the west.

  4. wak9 says:

    Winners = Miami/washington

    losers = pacers/thunder

  5. HP3 says:

    The Lakers organization has to e wondering what they were thinking when trading a young and talented Trevor Ariza who contributed to a championship for a aging, non-offensive but yet defensive minded player in Ron Artest via Metta World Peace….Come home Kevin Durant and play with a true Point Guard#dc rising!

  6. steveaschburnerlovelebronalot says:

    my nickname says it all.. hahaha

  7. jdub455 says:

    Biggest losers are the Nets Pacers and OKC. Biggest winners are the Hawks and Grizzlies. Lol. But I think that there would be no other bigger loser than the Nets’ owner if the raptors would win that series. Them being the highest paid ballclub in the league. While the biggest winners eventually will be the 3peat Miami Heat!!!

  8. okc2014 says:

    Biggest winner to me is the Atlanta Hawks and Coach Bud. Who would have thought? Biggest loser to me is the Pacers, Cause it just doesn’t make any sense. OKC looks like they want to win. The Pacers look like they want to lose.

  9. Winners – Bullets / Wizards and those retro-uniforms. Can’t get enough of John Wall. Plus, Ariza is definition of clutch in Game 4. Love the intensity and team ball played by first great DC team in 20 years (all sports).
    Can’t wait to watch the East Semifinal – did I really say that?

  10. lakerslakerslakers says:

    biggest loser is dwight howard who left the lakers to exit in the first round the next year. biggest winner: miami,,,,obvious reasons

  11. 3PEAT says:

    biggest winners: lebron and the heat. they are the only team that sweep another team in the first round.
    biggest losers: westbrook and roy hibbert. ball hog and the big mouth

  12. thespectator says:

    by far hibbert is the biggest loser…at least harden and westbrook know how to jump to get a rebound and know how to move their hands when they shoot a ball…hibbert is a flop…if he stretched his arm out and tippy toed..he could actually touch the rim…pitifiul

  13. AK24 says:

    Winners : Miami Heat.
    Making the Finals in the East is a walk in the parc.

  14. LordP says:

    Winners:Portland and his 1-2 punch L.A & Dame;Atlanta with Jeff Teague who is showing that he’s not afraid to perform on big a stage and the young W. Wizards,Memphis has been tremendous and unexpected.
    Losers:Pacers and all the hype around their team..they didn’t won nothing yet to be acting like they’ve won something..Paul George is good but not a superstar..Lance is too full of himself need to be humble..shut the f### up and work hard(a great example is Kawhi leornard) I’ve always seen in Hibbert that softness..softer than roses under the sun ..he’s not an allstar and definitely not an intimidating force on both end of the court.if there’s a year this is the year they can compete for the 6 will tell!!Good luck

  15. mee(a)t says:

    Winners: Wizards and Grizzlies. People looked at them and immediately thought an easy series for the Bulls….i guess people forgot that the bulls can’t shoot. Last year with the absence of WB, people kinda took away the Grizzlies win because Durant couldn’t handle the load…the Grizzlies are leading the series 3-2 now.

  16. steppx says:

    Hibbert is biggest loser, but Harden and Westbrook are not far behind. Westbrook is shooting somewhere below the Mendoz line. Dreadful. Harden is so bad on defense that if he werent a super star (ha) he would be benched to hide him.