Posted by thethreelions on 28th June 2012
In 2007 both Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen joined forces with Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics, and what seemed to be a simple move to make their team stronger, the Celtics dramatically changed the NBA. The Boston Celtics had arguably created the best starting line-up in the NBA, since the 1998 Bulls (remember this includes Rondo and Perkins) and the way they did it was like never before.
Most teams before had one or two strong players, and one of these was generally because one was drafted into the mix, like that of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Lebron James in Cleveland, but now a team was able to create its own all-star team, and they made it look easy. The Boston Celtics went on to win the NBA title that year, and while they didn’t create any sort of legendary dynasty, like the Bulls in the 1990’s, they helped change the way teams went about creating their rosters.
Today we see teams like the Heat with Dwayne wade, Lebron James, and Chris Bosh, a line-up that is 3/5 the way to an eastern Conference All-Star game, and one that if I mentioned seven years ago, people would of laughed. As the 2012 NBA Draft nears we see more an more teams then ever before making moves and trades in hope to build their very own “super-team”, whether it be the Nets trying to lure Dwight Howard along side Deron Williams, or the Knicks trying to get Steve Nash to an already failed attempt as a super team.
There is suddenly this perspective that the only way to win an NBA Championship is to create their very own All-Star team, which I feel in a lot of ways kind of ruins the NBA, its now like the ideas of role players is a distant memory from the past, and realistically there are only a select few teams with that kind of money to create these teams. Its no longer about a players skill and a teams chemistry like the past, its about what great players you can hopefully throw together and hope for the best. I don’t even know what the need for a coach is for teams like the Heat, because their isn’t much strategy in “give Lebron the ball”, and if he isn’t open, “give it to Wade”.
Tags: Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Chris Bosh, Cleaveland Cavaliers, Deron Williams, Dwayne Wade, dwight howard, Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Miami Heat, Michael Jordan, NBA, New Jersey Nets, paul pierce, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen
Posted in Basketball Stuff, Boston Celtics, Deron Williams, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, NBA, NBA Draft, NBA Finals, New York Knicks, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rando, Steve Nash, dwight howard | No Comments »
Posted by briesen on 18th June 2012
The NBA Playoffs often serve as a stage for players to earn big contracts. Summer free agents like Roy Hibbert and Brandon Bass have surely earned themselves nice contracts from their post season play. But not everyone benefits from team advancing in the playoffs.
Serge Ibaka and James Harden are two players who looked destined to get huge contracts when their current ones run out in 2014. There’s even been recent buzz lately about Harden possibly getting a max contract somewhere, but if the season were to end today, that would be hard to imagine. Their play in the NBA Finals has been sub par to say the least. Now you don’t want to overreact to just 3 games, because after all they’re just 3 of 84 games the Thunder have played this year. They’re also playing one of the most versatile defensive teams in the league in the Heat. But it’s still worth noting. Harden’s had an especially tough time averaging just 11.6 ppg on 41% shooting. He’s struggled defensively getting benched in favor of Thabo Sefolosha for much of Game 1 (the only game the Thunder have won…).
However, in my opinion, it’s Ibaka whose been the bigger disappointment. He’s averaged just 7.0 points and 5.0 rebounds. What’s been so disappointing though is his paint protection. Ibaka has led the league the last two years in blocked shots, but has been completely infective stopping the Heat from getting to the rim. He has 7 blocks in 3 games, which isn’t bad stat wise, but considering the Heat have made just 38 shots outside of the paint, as oppose to 65 in the paint, Ibaka should have a lot more then 7. Luckily, neither is a free agent this summer, but both may be remembered this season more for what they didn’t do then for what they did.
Tags: James Harden, NBA, NBA Finals, Serge Ibaka
Posted in James Harden, NBA, NBA Finals, Serge Ibaka | No Comments »
Posted by briesen on 15th June 2012
Games 1 and 2 of the NBA Finals were oddly similar on paper. Both games the Heat played a solid first half and took a fairly comfortable lead into half time. Both games the Thunder were carried back into the game by Kevin Durant. The individual stats of each star player were also similar. Lebron, Wade, Durant and Westbrook all finished with very similar numbers in both games. Chris Bosh and James Harden, who are each considered the third part of the tricycle on their respective teams, had weak performances in Game 1 and strong performances in Game 2. The difference between the two games? The Thunder won Game 1, the Heat won Game 2.
So what happened? The biggest difference between the two games was what happened in the paint. Despite Bosh playing center for most of Game 2, the Thunder shot just 17-49 (35%) on shots in the paint. Compare that to Game 1 where they shot 26-50 (52%) on shots in the paint. In Game 1, they had 56 points in the paint; in Game 2, they had just 32. In Game 3, the Thunder will have to make the Heat pay for playing Bosh at center by continuing to get to the rim. Whether or not they can finish their shots will most likely decide the game and ultimately the series.
Tags: Dwayne Wade, Kevin Durant, Lebron James, Miami Heat, NBA, NBA Finals, Oklahoma City Thunder
Posted in Kevin Durant, NBA Finals | No Comments »