Tag Archives: LeBron James

DTP: NBA Trade Reactions

The NBA deadline has come and past with a few major moves and plenty that don’t really matter other than money.  So while everyone and their dog are ranking/grading the trades, I thought I better do the same – or something close to that.

Instead of giving an A or something I will try to determine why the move made sense or not.  And if you disagree, please feel free to tell me why.

The Big Deals

1.  Antawn Jamison to the Cleveland

There are more players involved, but this is the only one that matters.  With Zydrunas Ilgauskas more than likely getting bought out and returning to Cleveland, the trade ends up like this.

  • Cleveland receives: Jamison.  From the Clippers – Sebastian Telfair – don’t forget the Clippers are involved here.
  • Washington receives: From the Cavs –  2010 first-round pick and the rights to Emir Preldzic.  From the Clippers – Al Thornton from the Clippers.
  • Los Angles receives:  Drew Gooden from the Wizards.

Why does this make sense for the Cavs?  They get Jamison for a first-round pick that would likely be no higher than 30, and some guy named Emir Preldzic who was the Cavs second round pick last year.  The Cavs make this trade for one reason that leads into more reasons.  The main reason – To keep LeBron James, and hopefully win a few rings.  This trade also makes way more sense then the Amar’e trade – Jamison just seems like the right type of player, but also the right personality to fit in with this group.

Why does this make sense for the Wizards?  If you are going to blow things up – do it big and fast.  This team was going no where and while this is horrible for the 15 fans in Washington, it makes financial sense for front-office.

Side Note – I watch the Wolves vs. Wizards game the other night.  There we more people on the floor and benches then there were in the stands – sad.

I also wonder if this a little jab at Gilbert Arenas and forcing him to seek a trade – look out New York.  I mean, the guy cripples you with his contract AND his behavior.  Destroys the team and I doubt he will want to come back , and I can not blame him.

Why does this make sense for the Clippers? It does not for this season.  But what about next season?  The only way this works is if the Clippers really think they can get a max-level player in this summer.  And it is an appealing option for a talented free agent.  Baron Davis, Blake Griffin, Chris Kaman, Eric Gordon, Travis Oulaw, Steve Blake, and  Drew Gooden provide a pretty solid team to lead.  I am not saying LeBron is coming, but maybe Joe Johnson.

2. Tracy McGrady to Sacramento New York

We knew McGrady had no future in Houston. What we did not know was where he would land and what Houston would get in return.  And by most accounts, Houston walked away with more than the brought to the party.

  • Houston receives: From New York – Jared Jefferies, Jordan Hill, and a protected 2012 first-round pick and the right to exchange first-round picks in 2011.  From Sacramento – Kevin martin and Hilton Armstrong.
  • Sacramento receives:  From Houston – Carl Landry and Joey Dorsey.  From New York – Larry Hughes.
  • New York receives: From Houston – Tracy McGrady.  From Sacramento – Sergio Rodriquez.

Why does this make sense for the Rockets? Really?  There can’t be much question as to why this works.  You trade a player who wasn’t playing and has the largest salary this season.  You get a lottery pick in Hill, and good player in Jefferies, two picks from NY – which could be high picks AND Kevin Martin.  Upgrade!

Why does this make sense for the Kings? The Kings leadership must have seen enough of Tyreke Evans to make him the franchise and unload their best player in Martin for Landry, Dorsey, and Hughes expiring contract.  But this moves clears a lot of cap space to allow for signing a top tier player to a max deal, or couple of really good pieces.  I guess this years team will have time to gel, and play into a top-five pick.

Why does this make sense for the Knicks?  Next season, the Knicks only have $18.6M in salaries.  Meaning more space to make offers to LeBron and another max player – i.e. Chris Bosh.  But they also need to fill a roster that would not include David Lee, Eddie House, Al Harrington or McGrady or any first round picks for three years.  No matter what, the Knicks needed to cut salary for a team that had a $80M+ payroll.

3.  Caron Butler to Dallas

This was the first big move and was the first example of how the Wizards are very giving and want to help solidify other teams as prime playoff contenders.

  • Dallas receives: Caron Butler, Brendon Haywood, DeShawn Stevenson and cash.
  • Washington receives: Josh Howard, Drew Gooden, James Singleton and Quinton Ross.

Why does this make sense for the Mavs?  Dallas has never been mistaking for a team with an attitude or chip on their shoulder.  And a lot of times, teams with an attitude, win championships.  As the Mavs roll into the last few years of the Dirk era, owner Mark Cuben knows that time is running out on this team.

Howard was not the player he once was, and didn’t seem to care, and the Mavs really had no need for Gooden.  With this trade, the Mavs get some grit and a much more capable team.  Plus with Erik Dampier’s outrageous contract coming to a team options for $13M, the team can let him go and resign Haywood for much less money.

Why does this make sense for the Wizards?  Just like the deal with the Cavs, this trade has nothing to do with the players involved, only their contracts.  And this has even less to do with this season.  I am not sure what the Wizards leadership is going to do, but supposedly they want to KEEP Arenas.   I understand that he is not what you would call a hot name, but but he will be if the Wizards are able to void his contract.

Other Deals

1.  The only other deal that matter at was the Knicks sending Nate Robinson to the Celtics for Eddie House.   Here is the deal:  Traded G Nate Robinson and F Marcus Landry to Boston for G Eddie House, G J.R. Giddens, G-F Bill Walker and a future conditional second-round pick. ?  It will be interesting.

2.  Homer side-Note:  The Wolves were active again, sending Brain Cardinal’s expiring contract to New York for Darko Milicic’s expiring contract and cash.  Stupid – but no harm, no foul.

3.  The last deal that is one worth mentioning is Chicago trading Tyrus Thomas for a future first-round draft pick, G Flip Murray and G Acie Law from Charlotte.  Again, this move is not about players, but Chicago’s ability to offer Dwayne Wade and another max level player – i.e. Chris Bosh – a contract.  But I like Thomas and Larry Brown should break him down and maybe make an actual NBA player out of him.

Happy Holidays

I am sure everyone is busy trying to get loose ends taken care of before the end of the year.  I have all my shopping done – which means my wife completed out shopping – I did buy her gift, all by myself!  And I did a fine job, thank you very much.

I hope you have a good holiday and safe travel as we take time to forget about work and focus on family and friends.  With this “time-off”, there will be plenty of sporting events to watch.  The other day we had  No. 2 Texas beat No. 9 Michigan State and No. 1 Kansas beat a tough California team.

So here are some very Quick Hits before I go into a Christmas Cookie Comma.

Final Four = Two Conferences?

There is a very good chance that in the Final Four, we will have two teams from the Big 12 (Kansas and Texas) and two from the Big Ten (MSU and Purdue).  What is missing?  A team from either coasts, the SEC, Big East or the ACC.

Look at the rankings and tell me other than Kentucky, who looks like a legit team?

  • No. 3 Kentucky – Even though I think they are legit – at this point – the Calapari Crew is a John Wall injury away from getting knocked out in the second round of the NCCAs.

Kentucky Side-Note:  Patrick Patterson needs to buy John Wall a very nice Christmas present for getting him easy buckets, and raising his draft stock.  Patterson is ranked No. 9 on Chard Fords Big Board.

  • No.5 Syracuse and No. 6 West Virginia – I have more faith in the Orangemen than the Mountaineers.  But to be fair, I have not seen much of either team.
  • No. 7 Duke – While Kyle Singler is the pre-season All-American, Jon Scheyer is the most important player in Durham.  And if Scheyer goes down, they only have two guards who can really play in Nolan Smith and freshmen, Andre Dawkins.
  • No. 8 Villanova – Could struggle mightily against teams with height and they also do not have the depth like the other teams.  ‘Nova has only two players over 6’8″ in freshmen Mouphtaou Yarou and Maurice Sutton.  Both play around 17 minutes a game, but thats against the cupcakes.
  • No. 10 UNC – While this team is loaded with NBA draft picks,  I am not sure which is the “go-to-guy”.  But I am sure that Roy Williams doesn’t know either.  My suggestion – Will Graves needs more touches.

Note To Media – Everything Will Be Fine With The Vikings!

I am so sick of hearing about a schism – or a feud involving Head Coach Brad Childress and Brett Favre.  Did you notice that I did not have to tell you what Favre’s role is, we know it.  Childress…um…not so much.

This happens to every team, but when it is Brett Favre, it becomes front page news.  Granted, when it is Randy Moss or Terrell Owens, it’s pretty much the same.  Isn’t “ego” great.

If there really is an issue, and Childress is talking about Favre and not to Favre, there is an issue and ultimately Childress is biting the hand that has fed him a nice-new contract extension.  But this happens, you hug-it-out and then you move on.  The have won the division and already locked up their playoff spot, and are playing only because the games are on the schedule.

It will be OK, everyone breath.  Have some egg nog and just one more cookie with the Hersey Kiss in the middle.

*If you go to the serach engine on ESPN.com and type in “Brad Childress” – you get 1948 articles/stories/podcast where Childress is mentioned.  Roughly 92.3% is from the last three days.  Seriously ESPN, way to be your own bull @#$! hype machine.

Mini-Hits

Happy Holidays everyone.

2009-10 NBA Preview: Part 2

Here is part of my “preview” for the NBA – only four game into the season.  I decided to highlight about half of the teams after I wanted to do all the teams, but then I remembered I have a life outside of this blog.  I know, crazy right?

What I have put together are my “Points of Interest” – I know, great name – of teams, players, situations, that may be a little under that radar – or not – but are worth giving more attention and will give another layer of intrigue to the NBA.

Shawn MarionDallas Gets All Maverik-y with Marion

The Mavericks have been lacking the old-school Charles Oakley type power forward.  While, Mark Cuban may not have gotten the toughness, they did get Shawn Marion who is a life time 17.8 ppg and 9.9 rpg player.  Marion’s scoring average has gone down since a career high of 21.8 ppg in ’05-’06 in Phoenix, but I would expect Marion to get plenty of east basket from Jason Kidd like Marion did from Steve Nash.

Here is there stating line-up: PG – Kidd, SG – Josh Howard, SF – Shawn Marion, PF – Dirk Nowitzki, and C – Erick Damiper.  And then off the bench you the have Sixth Man of the Year, Jason Terry.  Not too shabby.

The Heat In Miami

Going into the fourth season removed from winning the Championship, the Heat are not as bad as I remember , having won 43 games last season.  But the heat did not add much to the roster, minus the often traded Quentin Richardson, and lost Jamario Moon and traded away Mark Blount.

Dwayne Wade must be tired, seriously!  Not only has he played an average of 37.9 minutes a game and over 38 minutes in four out of the six seasons, he averaged 30.2 last season which was 31% of the points per game.  Wade turns 28 and you have to wonder how much longer his body can perform and continue to endure the beating he gets every game.

Mr. Michael Beasley’s 13.9 ppg and 5.5 rebounds must creep closer to a 15 ppg and 10 rpg average for him to be consider a legit No. 2 option.  And with his recent trip to rehab will only add to already intense lens that will be on his every move.

Daequan Cook is the wild-card for the Heat.  While his scoring average did not increase much – 8.8 to 9.1 ppg –  his shooting improved from behind the three-point line – 33% to 39%.  Along with Cook, the Heat brought Carlos Arroyo over from Orlando and those two will be key in providing scoring and steady guard play off the bench.

Houston, We Have A Problem

The Rockets lost Ron Artest to the Lakers and Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady to injury.  This is a major hit to Houston and it’s attempt to make the playoffs for a fourth straight season.  Those three players totaled 52.4 ppg and 19.5 rpg, and were the three best players in a Rocket uniform.

This season could be a season similar to the Spurs of 1997, when David Robinson was out for the season with back issues.  The Spurs had a 20-62 record and the ended-up with the No. 1 pick, which turned out to be Tim Duncan.

I am not sure there is a Duncan type players in next years draft, but with the Rockets lacking quality veteran leadership, this team will end up with a lottery pick.  This could add some quality next season when Yao will be healthy.

Aaron Brooks, Trevor Ariza and the crew will get plenty of playing time as this team must look past the McGrady era and plan on a rough road this season.

Cleveland RocksLeBron and Shaq

The elephant in the room is  Shaq.  Shaq has won titles as Batman and as Robin, and was committed to his role as Robin to Dwayne Wades Batman.  But is seems that everywhere else (i.e. LA and Phoenix) Shaq still considered himself the headliner.

Well in Cleveland, there all ready is a headliner.  Without question – the Cavs were called “the LeBrons” for crying out loud.  So Shaq buying into his role and his new team should lead to at least one appearance in the Finals.  Cleveland was close without him before running into the Orlando Magic.

Three Other Points of Interest

  1. Delonte West – Apparently wants to play the Antonio Banderas role in Desperado.  Hopefully, that was a onetime deal.
  2. Jemario Moon – Can get easy baskets and guard players that only LeBron could guard before.
  3. Can Mo Williams have another All-Star caliber season?

San Antonio Spurs – Just One More Time

Tim Duncan (19.3 ppg, 10.3 rpg, and 1.7 blocks – 33 years old) + Tony Parker in his prime + Manu Ginoblli (playing time >44 games at 32 years old) + Richard Jefferson (17.7 career scoring average and playoff experience) + better than advertised bench (George Hill, Roger Mason, Matt Booner, Theo Ratliff, Keith Bogans and DeJuan Blair) = at the very least, a trip to the Western Conference Finals.

Chicago Bulls

There are two major questions facing the Chicago Bulls.

  1. Is Derrick Rose able to continue to improve from his performance last season.
  2. Can Luol Deng get back to his ’06-’08 form?

Let’s start with Deng.  After playing 78 and 82 games in the ’05-’07 season, the following two seasons had been cut short to 63 and 49 games.  Deng had a career year in ’06-’07, scoring 18.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg and 2.5 apg and for the Bulls to take the next step, Deng will need to stay healthy (he is the only true SF on the roster).

Now to Mr. Rose.  Rose had a good rookie season and an even better playoff with his epic battle with Bostons Rajon Rondo.  Rose is an amazing athletic, but has room to grow as a basketball player.  In his rookie season, Rose shot 79% from the foul line.  His biggest weakness is his shooting – he shot 22% from deep – that’s sad.  But like I said, he has room to grow.

Minnesota Brand New Roster

Name the three Timberwolves who have been on the Minnesota roster the longest.  I will give you five seconds to think about it.  5…4…3…(quick)…2…1…0.

Corey Brewer, Ryan Gomes and Al Jefferson.

Al Jefferson and Kevin Love

Since new GM David Kahn was hired on May 23rd, Kahn has destroyed the roster.  Here is a list of transactions from CBSSports.com.

  • 9/22 Chucky Atkins PG Waived
  • 9/17 Sasha Pavlovic G/F Signed as Free Agent
  • 9/11 Ramon Sessions G Signed as Free Agent, Four-year contract
  • 9/9  Antonio Daniels  PG Traded, Part of three-player deal
  • 8/13 Mark Blount F/C Traded, for Quentin Richardson
  • 8/10 Ryan Hollins F/C Signed as Free Agent
  • 7/27 Chucky Atkins PG Traded, Part of three-player deal
  • 7/27 Damien Wilkins G/F Traded, Part of three-player deal
  • 7/20 Quentin Richardson G/F Traded, Part of four player deal
  • 7/10 Wayne Ellington G Signed as Draft Pick
  • 7/10 Jonny Flynn G Signed as Draft Pick
  • 6/24 Darius Songaila F/C Traded, Part of 6 player deal
  • 6/24 Etan Thomas F/C Traded, Part of 6 player deal
  • 6/24 Oleksiy Pecherov C Traded, Part of 6 player deal

The Timberwolves  have no one on their potential starting line-up that has played in the league longer than 5 years.  If Rammon Sessions starts over Johnny Flynn, you would have Brewer and Session with two years in the league, Kevin Love with one year, Ryan Gomes with four years, and Jefferson with five years.  The player with the most NBA experience – Antonio Daniels with 12 years in the league.

This season may be long and ugly at times, but it is necessary for this team to grow.  They will be a lottery team in next years draft, but if they can keep this core of young talent and add a few more pieces through the draft and free agency, this team should be fighting for the playoffs in 3-4 years.

Take Me To Your Leader

The Warrior’s draft Steph Curry to add even more fire offensive power to a team that is not lacking points, but is lacking leadership.  When the best player on the team demands a trade, that is not a good start to the season.

Golden State seems like a train wreck waiting to happen.  Wait, that is every moment when Stephen Jackson is on your team.

Every single moment.

Don Nelson can reload with players after player who can fill the box score but I am not sure they have any player who can provide more leadership then the rookie star Curry.  That is a sad state of affairs.

Look up and down the roster and try to find a relevant player – other than Speedy Claxton – who has any leadership skills or experience that would make other players look to them for guidance.

Golden State Side Note:  Look for break out years from Anthony Randolph and Kelenna Azubuike (who averaged 14.4 ppg last season).

Elton BrandRe-Branding

Do you want to know why the Clippers let Elton Brand go?

After a career high in scoring of 24.7 ppg in 2005-’06, Brands scoring dropped to 20.5 ppg in the following season, to 17.6 ppg in ’07-’08, then to a career low last season with 13.8 ppg and his second lowest in rebounding with 8.8 rpg.

The Clippers were “rewarded” with the Mr. Griffin, but the 76ers are still looking for a return in their investment and get more value in the $14M of Brand contract this season.

The silver lining in this whole ordeal is that the 76ers made the playoffs last season without Brand.   Even with the loss of PG Andre Miller, Philly has talent and a full roster, so managing Brand’s minutes should be easier.

Don’t forget that Thaddeus Young – he is in line for a break out season.  His scoring jumped from 8.8 ppg to 15.4 ppg and his rebounds per game jumped from 4.2 to 5.1.  I am just saying.

Indiana Pacers

Did you that Duke has a campus in Indiana?  With three former Blue Devils on the roster, the Pacers have more than the league quota with Mike Dunleavy, Josh McRoberts and Dahntay Jones.  The also may have the most white players 6’9″ and taller on a single roster in the NBA over with five.

Here we go; Jeff Foster, Tyler Hansbrough, Troy Murphy, Dunleavy and McRoberts.  Travis Diener is only 6’1″.

Oh bye the way, that Danny Granger guy is pretty good.  One must wonder how high the ceiling is for Granger.  Since his rookie year, 2005-’06, he has improved his scoring every year.  From 7.5 ppg his first season, to 25.8ppg last season.  But he has also become a better shooter from distance and the foul line.  Granger shot 23% his rookie to 40% from beyond the arc and 77% from the foul line to 88% in the same time.

The biggest question mark is Mike Dunleavy.  He played in only 18 games last season, missing the time due to a serious knee injury.  And reports have him out because of the same knee  at least the next month.

Side note: Before playing in only 18 games – which was a career low – Dunleavy had averaged 80 games a season.

Laker’s Repeat?

Congrats Laker’s, you won the NBA Championship.  Not only are you going to resign Lamar Odom (aka Mr Khloe Kardashian), but you also get Ron Artest – and all the crazy that comes with this rapper player.

I have no idea why the Lakers brass let Trevor Ariza leave – besides money.  As the player that made crucial plays during the Lakers playoff run, Ariza was the perfect counter part to Kobe.  A defensive hound that makes big plays and can hit the open shot, but did not demand the ball or force bad shots – both are traits that come with Artest.

All that said, you still have Kobe and Pau and one of the deeper benches in the league.  And of course there is the “Zen Master” in Phil Jackson.  But major concern for the 2009-10 Lakers is that is does not turn into the 2003-04 Lakers with Kobe, Shaq, Karl Malone and Gary Payton, who lost in the Finals to a better “team” in the Pistons.  But a line-up of Derek Fischer, Kobe, Artest, Odom/Andrew Bynum and Gasol; is the best starting five in the league.

Next Trick, Please

After a playoff run that exceed all expectations, the Orlando Magic thought they had a good thing going.  Well, they did.  But they did not know it was going to Toronto.  After Hedu Turkoglu signed in Canada, the Magic needed to add offense, and since Hedu didn’t really play defense, there was nothing to worry about when trading for Vince Carter.

Even though signing Carter was important, the added value that came with the signings of Brandon Bass and Matt Barnes will give the Magic even more toughness.  Bass will start at PF and will pull down his share of rebounds, while Barnes will come off the bench with Mikael Pietrus to add grit and even more match-up problems.

Having Jameer Nelson back to be the spark plug for the Magic offense.  His skill and scoring ability was missed in the playoffs.  Plus, a pick and roll combo of Nelson and Dwight Howard is more feared than the 2009 playoff model (i.e. Rafer Alston).  Add Carter and Rashard Lewis – my secret favorite player in the NBA – and the Magic is going to be exciting and do have enough talent to make another run deep in the playoffs.

The New Boston Celtics 3.0boston-celtics-big-three

If the Celtics in the championship, everyone will point to the fact the Kevin Garnett is healthy.  But there are more reasons than “The Big Ticket”.  While the Celtics took a hit losing Leon Powe to the Cavs, Boston added much-needed depth.

  • SG: Marguis Daniels
  • PF: Rasheed Wallace
  • C: Sheldon Williams

Also off the bench you have Eddie House at point,  but Daniels can, and will, handle the ball when needed.  Tony Allen and Glen Davis are young players, but have played in big games.  And Bill Walker adds athleticism and a spark that no one else on this team can.

While Wallace is the biggest name that the team picked-up, there were other players who may prove to be more important to the teams overall success.

Is Toronto Turning Into Phoenix Lite?

Well, look at the line-up.

  • PG: Jose Caldoron
  • SG: Marco Belinelli
  • SF: Hedu Trukoglu
  • PF: Chris Bosh
  • C: Andrew Bargnani

Not only is the line-up very offensive minded, it is very European – which would lead to a more offensive game.  But this team will be able to give you multiple looks that will keep opponents are their heels.  You have Turkoglu and Bosh who can score from the post, but every single player can run and shoot a solid jumper.  Bargnani had the best percentage from 3-point range with 40.9% – he attempted 209 last season.

The Raptors also have some talent off the bench in DeMar DeRozan, Jarrett Jack and a few players who can give the team a lift: Sonny Weems, Quincy Douby, and Amir Johnson.

This team is young, but should fun to watch and could give some of the big boys with match-up issues.

Rose City

How quickly we have forgotten the “Jail Blazers” and now this team is the favorite young team that everyone expects to break through and make a run deep in the playoffs and shock a contender.  Baby steps.

This team is stacked with talent, but I am not sure of what kind of playing time is going to be available for some players. Example: Point Guard – Steve Blake is the starter, Andre Miller is the back-up and Jerrod Bayless is the star in waiting at third string.  Just take a look at the project depth chart from ESPN.com.

POS STARTER 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Point Guard Steve Blake Andre Miller Jerryd Bayless    
Shooting Guard Brandon Roy Rudy Fernandez      
Small Forward Nicolas Batum Travis Outlaw Martell Webster    
Power Forward LaMarcus Aldridge Juwan Howard Dante Cunningham Jeff Pendergraph  
Center Greg Oden Joel Przybilla    

I guess that is a great problem to have.  Finding time for so many good players – and Juwan Howard.  I want to see Greg Oden turn into a force, but this team is lead by Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge, and has some many players that some of the pieces are interchangeable, especially at center and small forward.

Side-Note: Brandon Roy is the 7th highest paid player on the roster behind: Oden, Przybilla, Aldrige, Blake, Miller, and Martell “I am the third string small forward” Webster.  That will not last past this season!

Atlanta = Joe JohnsonAtlanta Hawks

Let me first state that this team has talent.  But without Joe Johnson, the Hawks would not sniff a playoff berth.

While Johnson does not get the marquee billing that certain superstars get, his production is defiantly worthy of being mentioned in the class of LeBron, Kobe, D-Wade, etc.

His scoring averaged dipped, mostly due to other Hawks stepping-up, but his stat for last seasons: 21.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 5.8 apg, 1.1 steals a game.  Johnson also shot 44% from the floor, 33% from distance and 83% from the foul line.  He also played 39.5 minutes a game.  Johnson is skilled, tough, and can perform in the clutch.  He has also proved durable as player – playing an average of 78 games a season.

For the Hawks to improve and go further in the playoffs,  Josh Smith must show that he is reliable option.  Smith’s scoring has decreased over the last three season, but his shooting has gone up – from 44% to 49%.  But Smith’s free-throw percentage gone down faster that the Titanic.  After floating in the 69% to 72% range in his first four-year, last season it sank to 59% – and I am rounding up.  Smith is a crazy athlete who adds another dimension to the Hawks, but he can not yet be trusted at end of games.

   

NBA Updates

I had not planned on posting until after the draft, but with all the excitement, speculation and trades, I had to comment. 

Shaq to the Cavs

This is a good trade all around.  The Cavs get a player who people forget had a good year with a team that struggle to utilize him.  He scored 18 points a game and grabbed nine boards. 

For the Suns it gives them cap space, but more importantly, it allows the offense to flow from Steve Nash to Amare Stoudemire and not be forced to dump into the post. 

The Cavsnow have three good big man who are all very different and will add so much depth to this team.  The one thing they still lack is a player who is not LeBron that is a guard, over 6’6″, and can guard, ala Mickael Peitrus. 

Note to Shaq:  This is LeBron’s team and you are a part of it.  Come in, join the laid back vibe, have fun but remember, this is not 2001

Yao

I like Yao and I feel for the Houston Rocket nation.  Yao is an extremely talented player and has been a ambassador for the league and for the Chinese, but he can not stay healthy.

Get well Yao!

TONIGHT

This will be a fun night, I hope the Clippers mess it up and the T’Wolves don’t and do not pick Thabeet.

I hope feel good with any combo of these players after pick 6:  Tyreke Evans, Jonny Flynn, Steph Curry, James Harden and Ricky Rubio. 

At the 18th pick:  Sam Young or Eric Maynor.

28th pick:  Derrick Brown or Chase Budinger.

I sure there will be plenty to write about tomorrow.

NBA Loser Wish List

As 94% or so of the NBA teams are at home, or the beach, and not playing in the NBA Finals.  So the teams that we close, but yet so far away – everyone sing it –  must start to think about what the playoff loser needs to make the leap to the Finals.

Cleveland Cavs

  • Scottie Pippen – or someone to take that role.
  • A mid range jumper and a post game for LeBron James.
  • Someone over 6’5″ who can play perimeter defense.
  • Charles Oakley – see Scottie Pippen.

Denver Nuggets

  • JR Smith to pull his head from his butt.
  • Chauney Billups to stop jacking ill-advised three and get the ball to Carmelo.
  • To stop making stupid plays and fouls.

Boston Celtics

  • Two new knees for KG.
  • Brain Scalabrine in street clothes.
  • For everyone named KG, Paul Pierce and Jesus Shuttlesworth to become younger.
  • Doc Rivers to learn how to coach.

Houston Rockets

  • A really talent doctor.
  • Trade Tracy McGrady.
  • Ron Artest to stop jacking ill-advised three and get the ball to Yao.
  • Good medical insurance.

Atlanta Hawks

  • Decide what kind of team they want to be.
  • A trade for a real post player – get rid of Marvin Williams.
  • Mike Bibby to take less money.
  • Another All-Star level player.

Dallas Mavericks

  • Depth in the post with better rebounding – there is another German in Chris Kaman who is pretty good and may need a new home.
  • Jason Kidd to continue shooting well.
  • Josh Howard to play like Jason Terry.

Miami Heat

  • Say good-bye to Jermaine O’Neal.
  • Find experienced player through in free agency or the draft.
  • Another Dwayne Wade – just 6’11”.

Portland Trailblazers

  • A better point guard or Jerryd Bayless to get sometime.
  • Travis Outlaw to continue evolving.
  • Rudy, Rudy, Rudy!
  • To go back a couple years a pick Kevin Durant instead of Greg Oden.

Philadelphia 76ers

  • Sign Andre Iquodala!  SERIOUSLY!
  • Elton to play some basketball!
  • A consistent shooting guard.

San Antonio Spurs

  • Tim Duncan to reverse his aging.
  • Manu.  More Manu!
  • Another scoring option as unless Duncan can take care of his issue.
  • Gregg Papovich to shave that damned beard!

Chicago Bulls

  • Make a decision on Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordan.  Please!
  • A shooter guard over 6’4″.

New Orleans Hornets

  • Bring back Jeremy Pargo!
  • Some other than Chris Paul to score 20 points a game.
  • Low post toughness.

Detroit Pistons

  • Get younger, quick.
  • Let Allen Iverson and Rasheed Wallace go.  It’s time boys.
  • Athletic, slashing shooter guard who can get to the rim.

Utah Jazz

  • Sign Carlos Boozer for less money.
  • See last point for the Pistons!
  • A legit 6’11” low post player who only blocks and grab rebounds – Dwight Howard?

Quick Hits 5/28/09

Look Who Showed Up To The Party

Hey everybody, it’s Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom.

Gasol decided to stop holding the ball (LeBron – take note) and was decisive with the ball in the post and Odom actually played well.  They are co-winners of the stat line of the night ; Gasol had 14 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 5 blocks and 2 steals and Odom had 19 points, 14 boards, 3 assists and 4 blocks.

Quick stat run down:

  • The Lakers out-blocked the Nuggets 12-5.
  • J.R. Smith shot 3-for-13 from the field and 1-for-10 from three.  He could be so much better.
  • Both teams shot poorly from distance.  The Lakers were 3-for-16 for 18.8 percent and Denver shot 7-for-24 for 29.2 percent.
  • Derek Fischer had two more shots then Chauncey Billups (9-7).  WHAT?!

This game continued to prove the Lakers can turn it on and off when they feel the need and that Sasha Vujacic will not be back with the Lakers.  Vujacic “highlight of the night” was his reaction to an Odom and-one.  The best thing he did all night.

Kobe’s non-Kobe night always demonstrates a trend (LeBron – take note), when the superstar scores 45, it is because he has to.  Jordan’s teams rarely won in double figures when he scored 40 or more points.  The best games came when Jordan was finding teammates and they were hitting shots (not to the rest of the Cavs).

The LeBrons: Get to Work

The locker before the start of game 5 is going to as tension filled as the season premiere of Jon and Kate Plus Eight.

What is going with the offense in Cleavland?  Watching the Cavs in the fourth quarter is painful and no point comes easily.  I am not sure what Mike Brown can do, but every player without the last name James, needs to make more shots.  It’s that simple.  Mo Williams and Donte West get looks, but are shooting poorly.  And the post game is just like the Lakers, limited at best.

The Magic have been very impressive.  The have the size at every position and are quicker at most.  They are a hot team and it will take a LeBron like performance from someone other than LeBron, for the Magic not to advance.  But they will take nothing for granted.

The Magic are doing the greatest psych job on the Cavs.  They call LeBron the greatest player, saying he is unstoppable, which they haven’t.  But they have stop everyone else.  The more that Stan Van Gundy and the Magic, talk about how unstoppable LeBron is, the more the rest of the Cavs sit back and watch.

Manchester United vs. Barcelona

Lionel Messi lead Spain’s best past the English Champions, beating them 2-0 in Rome.  ManU came out strong putting pressure on Barca, but the Samuel Eto’o goal at eight minutes, turned the match on it’s head and Barca looked in control all game.  The game was capped with Messi’s header at 70 minutes from a nice cross from Xavi.

With the win, Messi should secure the Player of the Year awards.  It was a good game, but United were shell shocked after the first goal.

DTP NBA Mock Draft

In the coming days, maybe a week or two, but defiantly before the draft, we will have a mock draft breaking downs the picks for the June NBA Draft.


NBA vs. College Basketball

This argument comes down to one thing:  In the NBA, players play for the name on the back of the jersey.  In college the players play for the name on the front.

Too simple?  Yes.

True?  I think so.

Quality arguments can be made to point out the positives and negatives on whether the NBA or college basketball is superior. Even after this article, you will still have a preference, and that is good.  Yet I believe that a vast majority of sports lovers assume that the NBA is “better” because the talent is stronger and the players are more mature – last point is debatable.

One disclaimer – everything is the NBA is about money, and a good portion of college ball is as well, but the NCAA can’t admit that.  With that said, I will not need to breakdown the “why do they play”, because we all know.

Let’s breakdown by certain factor’s.  And I will decide the winner of those categories, and the side with the most “points”, wins.

JerseysLeBron James

NBA – Every team in the NBA has at least three different jerseys (if you are the LeBrons, you have 17).  The jerseys range from classics with the Lakers and Celtics, to the WNBAish with the Timberwolves and the Kings.  And you will always know the players because the names are always on the back.

When the average fan purchases a jersey they are usually supporting the individual, not the team.

84254635MW087_NCAA_Second_RCollegeThe college jerseys are not as visual creative and rarely do you have “throw back night”, but I have not seen a jersey that makes me wonder if they accidentally put on the girls team’s jersey.  Certain schools will never put the names on the back, and some have removed the players name to drive the point home that we are one team – not just players.

When the average fan (or alumni) purchases a jersey they are usually supporting the school, not the individual.

Also, you can just by a jersey with any number and unless the player is incredible and the number is retired, you might be able to use it again and again.

Winner = Tie, both are sweet.

Arenas

NBA The NBA is full of teams with new stadiums that are shiny, glitzy, and in HD.  Now, name two famous/historic stadium.  Madison Square Garden, huh, wait there has to be at least one more…nope.  That’s it.

CollegeUnlike the pro’s, the undergrads study in historic buildings.  Cameroon Indoor Stadium, the Hoosier Dome, Williams Arena (Minnesota), etc.  And there are many more.

So this comes down to personal preference.  Do you like the old or new?

Winner = College.  I think everyone needs a reminder of those who have been there before.

CheerleadersBKN-CELTICS-LAKERS-GAME 1

NBA They have many costume changes and get to perform a ton, and might even get to be on a  calender or two.  The downside is that there are probably more implants in the NBA than in college.

CollegeThe cheerleaders are typically less “dancy”, and there is more traditional cheer leading.  Sometimes co-ed, so pyramids and flips are frequent.   But my wife thinks it is weird – and a little creepy –  that the fans are gawking at teenagers.  Good point.

Winner = NBA.  At least they get paid and they are legal.

Rules

NBA Six fouls, 48 minutes, 24 second shot clock, 8 seconds to get over half court.

The rules in the NBA lean towards the one-on-one game.  The introduction of the “zone” has made it better.

College Five fouls, 40 minutes, 35 second shot clock, 10 seconds to get over half court.

The college game leans towards team play and strategy.

If the college game would increase the foul limit to six and increase minutes, this would not be a contest.  But they have yet to do it.

Winner = NBA.  Sometimes 5 fouls just is not enough.

Referring

NBAI am not even going to factor the case of a certain ref named Tim into this equation, that would be unfair.  Some experts say that refs control the games in the NBA more than any other element, and can then pick a winner and it becomes obvious in the way they call the game.

The league has been calling touch fouls on anyone in the area of their stars for years, but now, anyone can get tick-tack fouls on their way to the basket and on the perimeter.  Prime example – hand checks.

College Every time a player steps on the court they have to be ready to adjust to whomever calls the game – the same is true in the NBA, but I think the refs are a little more consistent.  Plus, the way the game is called usually allows the players to play a little more, which is why we watch.

Winner = College.   Give the players a chance to play.

Jerry SloanCoaches

NBA The coaches on certain teams are more high school counselor than NBA coach.  Teams are made up of grown men who are trying to make a living and have ego’s as big – or bigger than most of their second homes.

If the association, unless you are a top-tier coach, you are more expendable than the worst players on their teams.  Coaches rarely get credit for wins, but always get the blame for loses.

Breaking into the ranks of head coach is more difficult in the NBA than any other sport, but once you are in the coaching carousal, even if you are fired – you stay on the ride.

College Coaches are the face of the program. And everyone is very aware of that.  Some would say that coaches in college have bigger ego’s and need to be the center of attention than their counterparts in the league.

A college coaches duties are pretty year round and always changing with the different roster that appears each season.  You have recruiting and players leaving early which means the ability to adjust on the fly is very important.

There is a better chance for coaches to get their “break” and land a good job.

Winner = NBA.  Longer season, but recruiting is not in the job description.  And you don’t have to deal with alumni.

Crowds

NBA One could swear that the mute button is on until halfway through the fourth quarter.

CollegeThe stadiums are always full with students and alumni.  They sing their school songs and go nuts even at 11 am.

Winner = College.  This really wasn’t a contest – the NBA didn’t stand a chance.

Style of Play

NBAThe NBA has long been a league that allows for individuals to showcase their ability to beat defenders one-on-one.  The idea of team defense is all about weak side help, doubling the post and a little zone.  The NBA is quicker at times, but comes down to players making plays in crucial, end-of-game situations.

College– Each squad has to establish their own style and the ability of that team to dominate tempo.  Each possession means more because there less throughout the game.  There are more swings in the success of the team and the crowd can really affect how teams play.

Winner =NBA.  Systems are good, but players should decide games.  And in the NBA they do, if the refs let them.

Postseason

NBA – Finally.  I always feel that way.  Getting through the regular season can be like getting teeth pulled, but the playoffs are magical (see Bulls vs. Celtics).  Many feel the playoffs are too long, the seeding needs to get reworked and that good teams are left out.  But that last point happens in every sport.

College – There are upsets and underdogs making runs deep into the tournament, players can take their lead their team over better teams and make names for themselves.  The only issue is that many times really good get left out on selection Sunday.

Winner = College.  From the brackets to watching the games online at work and every game matters.

Acquisition of Players

NBA – The NBA draft is fun to watch.   It is short and you usually have a good idea of who is going where.

Free agency is a toss-up.  It can help a team rebuild really fast (the Spurs are experts at this), but it also decreases the amount of players that stick with teams their whole careers.  Even All-Stars Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter have played for at least two different teams (T-Mac has played for three – Raptors, Magic and Rockets).

College – Recruiting is interesting to follow and you can keep busy all year round.  With coaching changes and kids changing their minds, it is a very fluid situation.

I understand the “sit-out-a-year” rule when you transfer from one D1 school to another, but think it should be changed if their is a coaching change or family hardship.

Winner = College.  Money is not involved – at least I hope not.  Oh wait.

Final Tally

I think have covers the majority of important issues that make each game unique onto itself.  Even after this extremely logical argument, there will be some that will disagree, and that is OK.  Because you are wrong, or least “less-right”.

Winner = College 6 to the NBA’s 4.