Archive for the 'New York Knicks' Category
New York Knicks
Posted by briesen on 24th July 2012
On June, 11–a day before Team USA’s first exhibition game against the Dominican Republic–Kobe Bryant claimed that his currently constructed team could take down the original 1992 Dream Team. Two weeks later this claim has changed from laughable to absurd.
While Team USA still remains the heavy favorite, there is also no way to deny that there are weaknesses. There is really only one true center on the team, Tyson Chandler, and he is offensively challenged to say the least. Because of this offensive ineptness, Chandler has only averaged 14 minutes through the first four games. Team USA’s strategy seems to be to go small with Kevin Durant, Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony handling the big man duties. While this has helped Team USA’s offense, their rebounding has suffered. Through four games Team USA has grabbed 161 rebounds, their opponents have grabbed 160. They’ve been out rebounded by both Great Britain and Brazil and were only +3 in rebounds in a six point win over the 3rd ranked team in the world, Argentina.
However, what makes Team USA the heavy favorites is the fact that they win nearly every other category. By going small, everyone on the court can both handle and pressure the ball. They’ve averaged just 11 turnovers per game while forcing 22.
Later today, Team USA faces their toughest challenge when they play Spain, the 2nd ranked team in the world. Spain can put more quality big men on the court then any team including Team USA. Their front line is anchored by Pau and Marc Gasol, both of whom are better then any big man on Team USA. They have NBA leading shot blocker Serge Ibaka coming off the bench. For Team USA to win, they’ll have to find a way to minimize Spain’s low-post advantage which likely means more minutes for Chandler. Whether they can win this way is yet to be seen.
Team USA needs to stop worrying about being better then a team that played 20 years ago and start worrying about how they can beat the team they’re playing later today.
Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, NBA, Team USA
Posted in Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, NBA, Team USA | No Comments »
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 19th June 2012
I got into a debate with a friend the other day. It was on a subject I and everyone else has debated about too much: is Lebron James a clutch NBA player? The media and fans seem to think not. While it may look like it, the question can’t be answered with a simple yes or no. The perception of Lebron changes almost everyday depending on what happened in his last game. This isn’t what makes it difficult though. The problem is clutch has no standard definition when it comes to basketball. Is it putting up great stats in a big game? Is it hitting a last second shot? Is it not charging into the stands when a fan throws a beer at you? Is it avoiding a TV special to announce where you will take your talents? Is it not bringing guns into the locker room? Maybe it’s all these things, maybe it’s none of them.
The media seems to want to define it as hitting shots at the end of a close game. So when Lebron dropped 45 points and 15 rebounds on the Celtics in a must win Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, that wasn’t so much clutch as it was a great performance in a big game. Since everything in the NBA is defined by stats, clutch has to be held to the same standard.
For the sake of this argument lets define clutch as shots taken with under 5 seconds to tie or take the lead in the fourth quarter or overtime. Let’s apply that only to star players starting in the 2000-01 season through February of the 2011-12 season. Using that formula, Kobe Bryant has hit more shots then anyone going 9-19. Carmelo Anthony is second at 6-15. Lebron James on the other hand, is 0-11. For these players, perception seems to fit perfectly with reality, but that is not always the case.
Kevin Durant is the three time scoring champion, but is just 3-23 in “clutch” situations. Sure, he’s made 3 more then Lebron, but he’s also taken 12 more. On the other hand, Rudy Gay is 4-7, better then guys like Dirk Nowitzki (4-12), Dwayne Wade (4-13) and Paul Pierce (2-9). Gay has never had the reputation as a clutch player, but according to stats he is. The bottom line is that “clutch” isn’t something based on numbers or reality. It’s based on perception and that will likely never change. Just know that reality and perception don’t always match up.
Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, NBA
Posted in Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, NBA | No Comments »
Posted by briesen on 17th May 2012
The 2011-2012 NBA playoffs are only in their second round. Yet injuries have already put a large asterisk on whoever will be named champion this year. What’s been surprising about the injuries is not necessarily that they’re happening, but who they’re happening to. Old teams like the Celtics and Spurs have stayed relatively healthy, while younger teams like the Bulls and Heat have lost key players.
This injury saga started before the playoffs when Dwight Howard attempted to give Stan Van Gundy a piggy back (just kidding) and herniated a disk in his back. He would elect to have surgery that would cause him to miss the rest of the season.
Then came Derrick Rose whose injury was reminiscent to that of Boobie Miles from the movie Friday Night Lights. In Game 1 of their series vs. the 76ers, the Bulls led by twelve with 1:20 to go. It’s not over until it’s over. But this game was over. Rose drove to the basket to attempt to extend the lead to fourteen and fell awkwardly on his knee tearing his ACL. The Bulls were the only team that could challenge the mighty Heat so the Eastern Conference had an asterisk on it from Game 1. As if that wasn’t enough, the Bulls would go on to lose Joakim Noah to an ankle injury and then become the 5th number one seed to lose in the first round.
Then came the Knicks slew of injuries which included Iman Shumpert doing his best Rose imitation by tearing his ACL and Amar’e Stoudemire showing he is in fact capable of crashing the glass. While the Knicks posed no real threat to the Heat, they at least could have momentarily slowed them down.
Finally, two days ago Chris Bosh went down with an abdominal strain that will sideline him indefinitely. Bosh has often been referred to as the half man in Miami’s “Two and a Half Men” but his absence was clearly noticed as the Pacers beat the Heat in Bosh’s first game out.
Many fans are glad to see something bad happen to the Heat, but at least they made things exciting. Just wait until we’re watching Indiana play San Antonio in the NBA Finals.
Tags: Amare Stoudemire, Chicago Bulls, Chris Bosh, Derrick Rose, dwight howard, Iman Shumpert, Joakim Noah, Miami Heat, NBA, NBA Playoffs, New York Knicks
Posted in Amar'e Stoudemire, Chris Bosh, Derrick Rose, Miami Heat, NBA, NBA Playoffs, New York Knicks, dwight howard | No Comments »
Posted by briesen on 14th May 2012
For 75% of NBA teams the season is over and that means its time to look ahead to next season. 2012 free agency isn’t full of stars, but it is full of important players who could turn good teams into contenders and contenders into even more powerful contenders. Here’s a quick look at the top five from each position and where they could be headed:
1. PG- Deron Williams (player option), Steve Nash (unrestricted), Andre Miller (unrestricted), Jason Terry (unrestricted), Jameer Nelson (player option)
- It seems inevitable that Williams will end up in Dallas so the most coveted free agent point guard becomes Steve Nash. Nash has expressed interest in joining a contender and they’ll most likely be lining up at his door to offer him a contact. Miller is a nice consolation prize for whoever ends up not getting Nash. Terry will most likely demand the largest contact other then Williams because he still considers himself a top scorer. Nelson seems likely pick up his player option and stay in Orlando for one more year of the Dwightmare.
*Special Note: Many see Jeremy Lin’s name on the free agent list and assume he will leave the Knicks for a big contact, but thanks to The Gilbert Arenas Rule (that’s seriously what it’s called, and yes that makes two NBA rules that involve Arenas) he will most likely have to stay. The rule was created in 2005 and it prevents teams with restricted free agents that have been in the league for less then two years from being outbidded. If you want more details you can Google it, but the bottom line is he’ll be on the Knicks for one more year.
2. SG- Eric Gordon (restricted), O.J. Mayo (restricted), Ray Allen (unrestricted), J.R. Smith (player option), Louis Williams (player option)
- The free agent shooting guards are represented by many players who may have the ability, but haven’t had a chance to be a primary scorer. It’s possible Gordon gets a max offer from a desperate team like the Nets, but it depends on his health. Like Nash, Allen will be looking to join a contender on what will likely be a short deal. Smith, Mayo and Williams will most likely leave their respective teams for more money. They’ll all likely join sub par teams unless they’re willing to take a pay cut.
3. SF- Gerald Wallace (player option), Nic Batum (restricted), Steve Novak (unrestricted), Grant Hill (unrestricted), Matt Barnes (unrestricted)
- Small Fowards are the weakest of the free agent position. Batum is an underrated player due for a large contact. He’s a restricted free agent and it seems likely that the Blazers will match whatever another team offers. Wallace has a player option and could stay with the Nets and possibly (and sadly) be the initial face of their Brooklyn franchise. Novak earned his place in the NBA this season by leading the league in three point shooting and should get multiple offers. Hill and Barnes are respected veterans who will most likely become bench players for contenders.
4. PF- Kevin Garnett (unrestricted), Tim Duncan (unrestricted), Brandon Bass (player option), Ryan Anderson (restricted), Kris Humphries (unrestricted)
- Power Forwards are the most intriguing of the free agent positions. The only one that is surely resigning is Duncan who will probably sign his last contract and retire with the Spurs. It’s hard to imagine Boston losing both Garnett and Bass so it’s likely that one will stay. They’ll probably attempt to sign Garnett first. Anderson is coming off a stellar season where he won the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award and will probably be leaving Orlando for a large deal. Humphries couldn’t find an offer he liked last year but now that he’s shed the Mrs. Kardashian tag, he should be sought after by many teams.
5. C- Roy Hibbert (restricted), Javale McGee (restricted), Brook Lopez (restricted), Spencer Hawes (unrestricted), Chris Kaman (unrestricted)
- With the center position rather thin right now, Hibbert becomes a rather coveted free agent. He’ll be sought after by more teams then any other free agent, but is restricted so the Pacers would have a chance to match any offer and most likely will. At the beginning of the season McGee was considered a raw talent better known for his mistakes. After being traded to Denver he has gotten his act together and turned himself into a legitimate center; its hard to imagine Denver letting him go. Lopez is coming off an injury ridden year and it seems unlikely he’ll leave the Nets. With the lack of centers there is certainly a market for both Hawes and Kaman and both will likely leave their teams.
Tags: Andre Miller, Brandon Bass, Brook Lopez, Chris Kaman, Deron Williams, Eric Gordon, Gerald Wallace, Grant Hill, J.R. Smith, Jameer Nelson, Jason Terry, JaVale McGee, Jeremy Lin, Kevin Garnett, Kris Humphries, Louis Williams, Matt Barnes, Nic Batum, O.J. Mayo, Ray Allen, Roy Hibbert, Ryan Anderson, Spencer Hawes, Steve Nash, Steve Novak, Tim Duncan
Posted in Basketball Stuff, Deron Williams, Jeremy Lin, Kevin Garnett, NBA, Roy Hibbert, Steve Nash, Tim Duncan | No Comments »
Posted by "You play to win the game" on 22nd June 2011
Gearing up for the NBA draft this Thursday, I started playing around with ESPN’s NBA trade machine and found a potential trade that could improve the Knicks point guard position going forward once the Chauncey Billups- 2 year plan is over in New York.
Bill Walker SG- $854,389 for 1 years
Renaldo Balkman PF- $1,675,000 for 2 years
Jonny Flynn PG- $3,192,000 for 3 Years
Analysis: David Kahn, GM of the T-Wolves, has three point guards on his bizarre NBA roster made up of former college All-Americans. With Ricky Rubio finally coming to the Timberwolves, Kahn needs to get rid of Jonny Flynn, whom he foolishly picked with the 1st round pick the Timberwolves received from the Kevin Garnett trade to Boston. Flynn was never put in a good situation to succeed with the T-Wolves. He was constantly playing with new teammates, the wrong system in Kurt Rambis’s triangle offense, bad chemistry coupled with the worse team in the NBA, and of course had to deal with Rubio waiting in the rafters to take over the starting point guard position. The Knicks would be an ideal landing spot for Flynn, who had a terrific college career at Syracuse University and would be embraced by the Garden faithful for being a hometown kid. Flynn is also a true point guard, and his distribute the ball first mentality is something the Knicks need going forward. Further, having Chuancey Billups as a mentor to Flynn could work wonders for the Knicks and could potentially make Billups even more expendable at the trading deadline next season.
Written By, Mike Durnin @ Sports Fan Blog Network
Tags: Jonny Flynn, Landry Fields, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, New York Knicks, Ricky Rubio, Toney Douglas, Wayne Ellington
Posted in Basketball Stuff, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, New York Knicks | No Comments »
Posted by "You play to win the game" on 21st June 2011
For weeks now, speculation out of New York has been that the Knicks are looking to trade up the NBA draft board to snag Jimmer Fredette out of BYU. While Fredette’s college career was a great TV watch, and his potential marketability to NY fans may be something sought after by the Knicks, it is 7’ foot-20 year old Jeremy Tyler, whom New York should be taken in the 1st round this Thursday night. Tyler made the horrendous decision to skip his senior year of high school to play pro ball in Israel, where he struggled with maturity and dealing with adversity for the first time in his life and eventually returned home after only one season. He then decided to take his talents to pro ball in Tokyo, Japan where he re-established his game and draft stock to NBA teams. Tyler possesses great size paired with even better athleticism, and is able to face up to the basket or post up. The real surrounding concerns for Tyler centers around the poor decision he made to skip out on college and the lack of maturity at this point in his life. However, the Knicks have no size in the paint, to put it lightly, and young seven-foot big men with athleticism on par to a Dwight Howard, are a rare commodity and highly coveted by all NBA teams. Fredette is a savvy sharp shooter who’s game translates to a combo guard. In the good scenario Fredette’s game could turn out to be similar to that of a Jamal Crawford or Toney Douglas. In the bad scenario Fredette’s game could mimic that of a JJ Redick or Adam Morrison. Fredette can’t play a lick of defense, which neither can the Knicks but at least the selection of Tyler would bring a big body in the middle and would be a step in the right direction. In Chad Ford’s latest mock draft he has Jeremy Tyler falling to the Celtics at no. 25, although NBA executives and GM’s believe Tyler is rising on many big board’s as a result of impressive workouts with teams over the past two weeks. The Knicks themselves invited him back for a second workout on Monday. The Celtics organization would love to add Tyler and develop him after having paid for their foolish investment of Shaquille O’Neal’s corpse in the NBA playoffs. Holding the 17th selection, the Knicks should invest in Tyler and add legitimate size to their frontcourt of Amare Stoudemire, Ronnie Turiaf, and Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks next order of business?…..Firing Mike D’Antoni.
Written by, Mike Durnin @ Sports Fan Blog Network
Tags: Jeremy Tyler, Mike D' Antoni, NBA, New York Knicks, Shaquille O'Neal
Posted in NBA, New York Knicks | No Comments »
Posted by sasilverandblack on 5th November 2010
There are a pair of games on ESPN tonight that are sure to impress. The humiliated Bulls, who lost to the Knicks at home last night, travel to Boston to play the Celtics. In the night cap, Blake Griffin and the Clippers travel to the mile high city to play Carmelo Anthony and the Nuggets. Both should be good games, but the one I wanted to see was the Heat going up against the surprisingly 4-0 Hornets. It will be interesting to see how the Heat match up with quite possibly the best point guard in the league in Chris Paul.
So without further ado, here are my picks for each of the 12 games on the Friday night slate.
Bucks over Pacers
Scott Skiles is having a hard time getting their opponents to fear the deer in this early season. They’ve stumbled out of the gate at 1-4 and are facing Granger and the steady 2-2 Pacers. I like the Bucks to get the road win against another East team who is still trying to find their way. Indiana looks pretty good though with the improvement of Roy Hibbert and the arrival of Darren Collison.
Magic over Nets
Stan Van Gundy’s crew is fresh off a butt-wooping they put on the lowly Timberwolves in which they scored 78 points by halftime. They get this win at home tonight over a Nets team that is still figuring out who they are with all of the new pieces.
76ers over Cavaliers
This was a tough one, but I’m going with the home team. I’m still waiting to see what Evan Turner has to offer this team. I had high expectations for him, but with Andre Iguodala still in Philly, it will be tough to figure out where he fits in on this team. Still, I like them over the reeling Cavaliers, losers of three straight after their opening win over Boston. Antawn Jamison is likely out but Mo Williams will play and start for the first time this year.
Bobcats over Pistons
Will this be the game where the Pistons get their first win? I don’t think so. After stumbling out of the gate a bit, the 1-3 Bobcats eked out a win against the Nets on Wednesday. I look for them to keep it going against the hapless Pistons.
Wizards over Knicks
I like the wiz kid, John Wall, to lead them to victory over the three-point happy Knicks who coming off a big win in the Windy City last night. This is the type of up and down game Wall should thrive in tonight. Don’t be surprised if he does a lot of the things he did against the Sixers on Tuesday where he almost got a triple-double.
Celtics over Bulls
Boston’s not good on back-to-backs. That was made evident in their loss to Cleveland after beating the Heat. Going on two days rest and a grind-out win over the Bucks, I think the Celtics get the win at home in a tightly contested battle of two top teams in the East.
Hornets over Heat
The undefeated “Nawlins” Hornets are at home for the slightly hobbled LeBron James and the Miami Heat. Chris Paul will impose his will whoever is guarding him. Which begs the question: who will that be? It should be interesting. On the flip side, who accounts for James and Dwyane Wade?
Hawks over Timberwolves
The Wolves are just bad. They’ve given up at least 100 points in each of their four losses, including 129 and 128 to the Heat and Magic respectively. The Hawks are undefeated at 5-0. They’ll easily win this one despite not having Marvin Williams.
Suns over Grizzlies
Steve Nash and the boys are coming off a close home loss to the Spurs. I think their bench gets it done against the Grizz with Zach Randolph questionable to return to the lineup.
Clippers over Nuggets
In the ESPN night cap game, I like the Clippers upsetting the Nuggets on the road. They played well against the Thunder a few nights ago and I think they will play well enough together to get this win. The Nuggets continue to be without post presence with the absences of Kenyon Martin and Chris Anderson. Griffin should be able to have a field day on the glass.
Warriors over Jazz
Golden State is a surprising 3-1 to start the season. They are at home for the Jazz, a team that just can’t win on the road. They do have an impressive road win against the Thunder, but they also got blown out by the Suns. Monta Ellis will continue his hot shooting streak in this one. I believe the Dubs get the upset win.
Lakers over Raptors
I don’t really have to explain this. Toronto is at the bottom of the East and L.A. is at the top of the West. It should be a blowout in a game where Kobe Bryant is done by the fourth quarter, maybe even sooner.
By Josh Delp of the Sports Fan Blog Network
Posted in Basketball Stuff, Boston Celtics, Charlotte Bobcats, Cleveland Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, New Jersey Nets, New Orleans Hornets, New York Knicks, Original Content, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards | No Comments »
Posted by sasilverandblack on 28th September 2010
The 2010-11 NBA Finals matchup will be the Miami Heat against the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. What’s this you tell me? It’s only September? That doesn’t matter, these teams are locks to face each other. Just cut the regular season short and get to the inevitable. Kobe vs. Lebron will finally happen this year!
This is what the consensus seems to be from experts and fans alike for the upcoming NBA season. The super trio of James, Wade, and Bosh will face off against Kobe and the defending champs. Put it in the books. Let’s take a step back and consider the alternatives.
Despite the assumption of there being two teams in this league (Lakers and Heat), there are 28 others. There will be 14 other playoff teams that will be vying for a chance to represent their conference. Although there will be 16 teams in the playoffs, only a handful are considered of championship caliber, or in many people’s opinions, there are only two. I know it sounds like I’m beating a dead horse, but every year there are knuckleheads who pronounce a team the champs only to fall flat on their face once the time comes to prove themselves. Let’s take a look at some specific instances:
The 2004 Los Angeles Lakers had added two hall of famers in Karl Malone and Gary Payton to an already formidable squad with two surefire future hall of famers in Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. Four straight titles was surely in the cards. The rest is history. The Lakers made the finals, but were absolutely overpowered and demolished by a more cohesive, focused team in the Pistons. The Lakers were embarrassed, losing in five games.
The 2007 Dallas Mavericks were coming off of an NBA Finals defeat against the Miami Heat in which they lost four straight games after winning the first two. They started out the season 0-4. People were wondering what was wrong with them. Suddenly, they finished the season with 67 wins, losing only 11 more times. The Mavs were poised to make a run for another Finals appearance, then the Warriors happened. Baron Davis led an inspired, young bunch to upset the Mavs in the first round 4-2. To this day I have a hard time believing the Warriors actually pulled it off. I liken it to seeing Superman flying in the sky as I walk down the street. I asked myself: “Did that just happen?” Sure enough, it did.
The 2009 Cleveland Cavaliers breezed through the regular season with the best record in the league at 66-16. Lebron James had won his first MVP award. The Cavs had a second All-Star in Mo Williams because the team had played so well (How else did Mo make the roster?). Everyone was certain Lebron vs. Kobe would happen. The Magic had other ideas. Dwight Howard and Co. taught Lebron and Co. a thing or two about teamwork. They simply outplayed the Cavs, winning the series 4-2, which set up a Lakers vs. Magic Finals matchup.
The 2010 Cleveland Cavaliers zipped through the regular season with the best record in the NBA once more, finishing 61-21. Lebron had won his second consecutive MVP, putting him in elite company. The Cavs looked poised to atone for their shortcomings a year prior. People were saying that Lebron would not let last year happen again. But it did. The upstart Boston Celtics, a team everyone left for dead, took them out in six games in the second round.
These are just some of the modern examples of teams expected to win it all but failed miserably. Let’s flip it now. There have been countless examples of teams that were dead in the water rise up and annihilate everyone around them. Let me point out a few examples:
The 1999 New York Knicks finished a lockout shortened year as the eighth and final seed in the Eastern Conference. The NBA’s first and only eighth seed to reach the Finals knocked off two rivals and favorites to win the East in the Heat and Pacers.
The 2007 Cleveland Cavaliers, with a young and still developing Lebron James, defeated Eastern Conference Finals mainstays in the Pistons and Nets to reach the NBA Finals. The Pistons were believed to make the Finals as they had in two straight seasons (04-05). They returned with the same roster in tact, but the Cavaliers upended them.
The 2010 Boston Celtics started the regular season at a blazing 23-5. They were considered by many to be back among the East elites with a relatively healthy Kevin Garnett back in the lineup. Then they finished the last 54 games at an utterly mediocre 27-27. People were wondering what they had left. Then came the playoffs. They defeated the top 2 teams in the Cavaliers and Magic successively and came within a second half spurt in Game 7 of the Finals of nabbing their second title in three years.
Of course, the team worth mentioning, and the reason I am writing this article, is the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs were considered to be too old in 2007 to make another run at their fourth title. Lo and behold, number four came to fruition to everyone’s disbelief, including mine. Don’t forget about 2008 when the Spurs upended their rival Suns, followed by a gritty seven game series against the Hornets to get to the Western Conference Finals. No one thought they had it in them.
In short, what I am trying to prove in all of this is that nothing is set in stone. I’ll throw a cliche in as well: That’s why they play the game. In a league that is considered rather top heavy, there is still parity. I’m looking forward to the parity that will occur this year. So go ahead and put the Lakers and Heat in the Finals in September, but make sure that’s written in pencil and not pen. Just saying…
By Josh Delp of the Sports Fan Blog Network
Tags: celtics, heat, knicks, lakers, mavericks, NBA, pistons, Spurs
Posted in Basketball Stuff, Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, LeBron James, Miami Heat, NBA, New Orleans Hornets, New York Knicks, Original Content, Orlando Magic, San Antonio Spurs | 1 Comment »
Posted by sasilverandblack on 24th September 2010
This year’s sixth man of the year award will be a good race. Jamal Crawford took home the award last year with the Hawks in averaging 18 points a game. There are a couple of mainstays in this department that could win this year with an especially successful season both for the team and individually.
Manu Ginobili is always a candidate for this award every year. He won the award during the 2007-08 season and is a constant favorite to win. He spurred (no pun intended) the Spurs second half rally last year after a sluggish start to the season. Look for him to provide a spark off the bench with Tony Parker and George Hill being the likely starters.
Jason Terry is another sharpshooter for the Mavericks who has won the award before. His shooting can get the Mavs back into a game. He is a focal asset off their bench and can catch fire quickly.
With Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap likely starting for the Utah Jazz frontcourt, Mehmet Okur has an opportunity to shine off the bench. The 6’11 Turk can light it up from three. He shot 38.5% from behind the arc last year in averaging 13.5 points per game. I think he can be very effective in his new role off the bench.
I am tempted to put Al-Farouq Amino of the Clippers in the conversation for the sole purpose of being a homer. I’m a Wake Forest fan and I think he will be a serviceable pro. Maybe he won’t win it this year, but down the road, he has a shot to be a solid piece to this team’s puzzle.
Ben Gordon of the Pistons is another interesting pick. Coming off of an injury-plagued season, Gordon says he’s coming back healthy and with a renewed focus on attacking the basket more. He scored 13.8 points per game last year after averaging 20 for Chicago, so don’t be surprised if he as a bounce back year.
My winner for this award is Anthony Randolph of the Knicks. He is the perfect guy for Mike D’Antoni’s run and gun system in New York. He will be a key cog next to Amare Stoudemire and has the potential to actually live up to his potential in this new opportunity.
Up next, my prediction for the winner of the most valuable player award.
By Josh Delp of the Sports Fan Blog Network
Tags: Al Farouq-Aminu, Anthony Randolph, Ben Gordon, Jason Terry, Manu Ginobili, Mehmet Okur, NBA
Posted in Atlanta Hawks, Basketball Stuff, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA, New York Knicks, Original Content, San Antonio Spurs | 1 Comment »