Best and Off season

July 30, 2010
Just wanted to say something before I start my article. In case you haven’t heard, former basketball star Lorenzen Wright was found dead in Memphis on July 28th. I wanted to take a moment to thank him for what he has contributed to the league. May he rest in peace.

Sorry folks. I haven’t been on here lately due to work and college. Boo hoo…

Anyways, glad you stuck with Peter and I on the blog. We have been getting more followers and attention lately. We thank everyone of you readers out there!

So there has been obviously a huge offseason this year. With the LeBron, Bosh, and Wade trio and big names going to big places like Amare/NYC, it’s time to focus on the minor details to a team. Some teams have been doing a wonderful job sculpting their perfect roster for next season. Some have been taking huge risks. And some just aren’t getting the right message. Let’s get started with a few teams that fall in these groups.

Good Move!

Chicago Bulls – The Bulls took charge this summer. Knowing LeBron fell out of their window, they scooped up Carlos Boozer which is much needed on this team. Carlos will obviously fill a huge role for the Bulls, adding size, experience, scoring, and rebounding. Derrick Rose will definitely have a him as a running partner and so will a few others like Joakim Noah and newly acquired Ronnie Brewer. Ronnie will provide the running offense and will make the Bulls exciting to watch offensively. Kyle Korver was also a huge pick up for Chicago. Adding more depth into their small forward position who’s starter is currently Luol Deng. Korver will bring that 3 point threat and offensive fire power off the new looking bench. Former D-League talent C.J. Watson left the Golden State Warriors and joined the Bulls also. His playing style is also a up-tempo game that fits well with most of the players on the roster. Kurt Thomas was also another addition to the team. Kurt started a few games last season for the Milwaukee Bucks and is one of the oldest players still active in the league today. As a back-up for Noah or Boozer and Taj Gibson with him off the bench, Kurt can be looking at minutes to fill for the loss of Brad Miller going to the Houston Rockets. As a new coach, Tom Thubodeau will be able to have a great start to his coaching career with the current roster Chicago has. Tom is known for great defensive coaching, and for a great offense is a much needed great defense.

Miami Heat – Pat Riley is the answer to all these parties being held in Miami. Getting LeBron and Bosh from the market and getting Wade back on a single team is obviously incredible. When fans started to wonder how and who will be built arouind these three stars was the main concern. Of course, basketball is a team sport, and having only three players won’t cut it. The Heat did exactly or actually even better than what Boston did in 2007. Pat Riley and a few players went to reached out to a many key players that will help build this team’s legacy. LeBron spoke to Big Z which played in Cleveland his whole life and he ends up signing with Miami. Their organization settled contracts with impact players like veterans Juwan Howard, Eddie House, and Mike Miller. Miami also brought back 3-point threat James Jones, veteran point guard Carlos Arroyo, veteran Jamaal Magloire, productive center Joel Anthony, and hustler power forward Udonis Haslem. It’s unbelivable and nearly unfair to how the Heat received these role players. Pat Riley and crew have done an excellent job preparing for the upcoming season. The only goal this fall is to win the title. Period.

Los Angeles Lakers – The Lakers actually had one of the best drafts this year. They had two second round picks and did they put use to it. Los Angeles took Devin Ebanks 43rd overall which in my opinion was a steal and power forward Derrick Caracter was taken 58th overall who impressed during summer league. The Lakers native point guard Jordan Farmar to New Jersey in a 3 year deal and Josh Powell to the Hawks in a 1 year contract. Mitch Kupchak took his time and patience to filling the key areas the Lakers are depleted in. Fisher stayed loyal and came back to the team. LA filled in Farmar’s spot with a more experienced Steve Blake who I believe was a great replacement. Matt Barnes was another addition to the team who can play big minutes behind Kobe and Ron Artest since Sasha Vujacic is mentioned in trade rumors to save money and Luke Walton might miss the season due to his ailing back. Barnes will bring the hustle and defense off the bench with Odom. Lakers also picked up veteran Theo Ratliff who will likely replace center DJ Mbenga and help out Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol down low in the post. Chances of Shannon Brown coming back are still a mystery, but if the Lakers sign their two rookies their depth chart will still be impressive all around.

New York Knicks – The Knicks didn’t get any of the big 2, but that’s okay. Reuniting Amare and coach Mike D’Antoni was one of their better ideas this off season. Amare received a contract worth $100 million over the next 5 years. Stoudemire will perform well, but the biggest concern for all Knick fans is, will he stay healthy? Other than their biggest star addition, the Knicks swapped David Lee for young power forward Anthony Randolph, Azubuike, and Ronny Turiaf. I’m not saying those three former Warriors are better than Lee, but they are a great asset to what the team needs. Randolph is young, athletic, and I believe still has a lot of potential. His game can fit well with Mike D’s run and gun system. Azubuike is the type of player who likes to attack towards the rim and also fits well with the coaching method. Turiaf is an all hustle player. He plays D, scraps for loose balls, and always attempts to block those shots. Another player the Knicks added is Raymond Felton. Felton’s game is solidly polished yet. He’s the more of a scoring guard. He can be crafty at times also. We will see how he works with Mike D’Antoni’s system and how he’ll fit.

Milwaukee BucksIn the past years, the Bucks have been quite quiet. Getting rid of Charlie V, shipping out Yi Jianlian, losing Richard Jefferson, and Redd getting injured left and right. Last season, Brandon Jennings drew a lot of criticism before he put up that big game against the Warriors scoring 55 points. The Bucks reached to the playoffs and gave the Hawks a really difficult series but ended up losing in game 7. This summer, they made sure they got better and tougher. Their first move was trading Corey Maggette for simply nothing. Corey is a attack the rim player which the Bucks really need to finish plays. John Salmons was re-signed who had a terrific season last year in Milwaukee. Drew Gooden and Keyon Dooling was brought in for more depth to the team. Gooden had a great run in the Clippers last year and Dooling gives solid stats off the bench. They will be a tough team all around led by the young point guard Jennings. So yes, fear the deer.

Team’s in limbooo….ehhh

Phoenix Suns The Suns lost their big man Amare and their replacements for him was Hakim Warrick and Channing Frye? Hmm… then they got Hedo Turkoglu in exchange for Barbosa. Very questionable signings and trading. Their only decent addition was Josh Childress. The team had a huge make over. From the looks of their starting line-up, it’s tough to say if they’ll hit anymore above the 7th seed in the playoffs. With Nash in his final years, the Suns should make a huge move soon before he leaves to a championship caliber team.

Dallas Mavericks – The Mavericks recently acquired Tyson Chandler and Alexis Ajinca from the Charlotte Bobcats basically for a few expiring contracts and a horrible contract. How did Mark Cuban pull that off on Michael Jordan? Chandler will likely come off the bench for the Mavs. I believe he still has incredible energy to play for a team in this league. And for him to come off the bench should be the spark to a successful team. Dallas also brought back all-star Dirk which is no surprise and Brendan Haywood who was performing well for the Mavericks last season after the trade. The problem is, did they get better to bring them over teams like the Lakers or the Spurs who they lost to last year in the playoffs?

New Jersey Nets – The Nets lost their chances at getting LeBron early on in the running. So far, the Nets haveonly gotten Jordan Farmar, Travis Outlaw, Anthony Morrow, and Johan Petro to improve their team after a 12-70 season.The reason why they aren’t pure losers is because they still have money to spend and haven’t destroyed their salary for the years to come. Chances of a big trade coming from NJ is likely next season.

Utah Jazz – The loss of Carlos Boozer and replacement of Al Jefferson is still questionable. Can Al be better than Boozer? The loss of Matthews and Korver hurts their bench a lot. Especially now that the Bulls have a few of their former players, it’s going to be tough to improve in depth.


The Biggest Losers


Cleveland Cavaliers – Dan Gilbert stated his team would win a championship before LeBron does. The only thing they did this summer was attain Ramon Sessions and Ryan Hollins. I believe they are ready to win a championship with those two huge acquisitions. Hell, might as well throw in Shannon Brown in there since they are making an effort to signing him. Sounds like a championship contender when you lost one of the top two players this off season and that small forward spot is filled by Jamario Moon.

Minnesota Timberwolves – The biggest loser of them all this year. Giving long term contracts to two role players, shipping out their best player, and having way too many point guards all equal loser in my book. The only good thing they did was acquire Michael Beasley for a second round pick. As the looks of it now, Miami’s second round pick from the Wolves might actually be beneficial. I predict Minnesota to have the worst record in the league next year.

New Orleans Hornets – Chris Paul wants to be traded. No surprise. New Orleans can’t do anything to get rid of theirhorrible contracts. No surprise. The fact Aaron Gray is their only player they chased after this summer. Surprised. The Hornets need to give up their picks and bad contracts for a big man. Chances are, I don’t see Chris Paul in a Hornets uniform by the beginning of this season.


Atlanta Hawks – They got Joe Johnson for the max contract. And three other J names, Josh Powell, Jordan Crawford, and Jason Collins back. First of all, they ruined their future with the Joe Johnson long term contract. Next is the fact they didn’t do much to improve. Look for a early exit out of the playoffs for the Hawks next season and trade demands.



Free Agency Update

July 2, 2010

Not a huge spark on the start of free agency day, but it was still fun to see players switch around some teams. Let’s take a look on some key players that signed with certain teams.

Rudy Gay was the first free agent to make a big splash in the market. As a restricted agent, the Memphis Grizzlies made sure Gay went nowhere. Memphis secured him with a 5 year deal worth $82 million dollars. With a huge contract like that, Rudy should be able to deliver the Memphis fans a great few years. I think Rudy Gay doesn’t get enough attention out in the NBA world. One big reason is probably the fact that he’s playing in Memphis. The last I checked, Memphis fans barely even filled a stadium of people.

Milwaukee’s John Salmons also made a deal with his current team. The Bucks re-signed him for 5 years worth up to $39 million. Salmons is a wonderful player, but I wonder how will the combo of Salmons, Maggette, and Redd is going to work out. Chances are, Maggette will sit on the bench and be that sixth man. It’s great that Salmons can finally settle down in a team that likes him.

Other role players who were picked up by teams:

Drew Gooden – 5 year contract, $32 million with Milwaukee Bucks

Great pick-up for the Bucks. The Bucks are making the most moves so far in the market. Gooden has proved in the past few years he can be a factor off the bench.

Hakim Warrick – 4 year contract, $18 million with Phoenix Suns

Great athleticism for a PF. Warrick can block shots and bring the spark off the bench if he has the playing time.

Amir Johnson – 5 year contract, $34 million with Toronto Raptors

Arguable decision by Raptor’s GM Bryan Colangelo. Amir is young, but is his talent worth the contract given to him?

Darko Milicic – 4 year contract, $20 million with Minnesota Timberwolves

A slap in the face to Al Jefferson. David Kahn, you’re just bringing this team down into the dumps year by year…. No disrespect to Darko, but cmon’ now. He had a decent half season and immediately worth $20 million through 4 years?

Channing Frye – 5 year contract, $30 million with Phoenix Suns

Basically, the Suns are trying to build insurance for Amare if he leaves. Chances of Amare leaving are extremely high. Frye can play, but can he deliver a strong performance in the playoffs. That is the question.

Steve Blake – 4 year contract, $16 million with Los Angeles Lakers

One of the biggest upgrades in the free agent market was from the Lakers. The Lakers picked up a point guard who can run the ball well with the traditional triangle offense. At $16 million for 4 years, the Lakers got Blake for a discount. For he could have gotten an easy $6 million from the Knicks each year.

BIGGEST RUMORS AND CHATTER!

There have been reports about Amare Stoudemire close to reaching a 5 year deal worth up to $100 million dollars with the Knicks. Amare is strongly considering the deal, but will still snoop around on other teams such as Miami and Chicago. The Suns offered the same deal but $5 million dollars less. My prediction before was for Amare to head to NY, so far, it’s looking like it.

Dwyane Wade just met with the Chicago Bulls and is “leaning towards commitment” with the Bulls. That says a lot. Dwade is probably feelin’ the hometown love and putting Miami aside for now. The Heat are still scheduled to meet with Wade on Saturday and that meeting might change is mind in a snap.

Paul Pierce and Dirk Nowitzki met with their current teams and are finding a deal to have them return. Sources say Pierce will sign a deal up to $62 million for four years. Smart for Paul to take advantage before the Collective Bargaining Agreement comes into play.

As for LeBron James, he met with the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers. ESPN news says Pat Riley came out of the meeting with a grin on his face and the Los Angeles owner Donald Sterling did not attend the Clippers meeting since all he wanted to be presented to the King was pure basketball talk.


Winner winner chicken dinner

April 17, 2010

As always, I’m extremely excited for the playoffs to start. I know for a fact this year will not disappoint. You got the young Thunder team in the playoffs for the first time led by superstar Kevin Durant, a possibility Kobe might face LeBron and his old teammate Shaq in the finals, a 50 win 8th seed team in the West, and many more.

Now, let’s go on to the predictions shall we…

EAST

Cleveland Cavaliers vs Chicago Bulls

The Bulls (or maybe just Joakim Noah) say they will shock the world. What does that mean? If they mean beating the Cavs out in the playoffs, I laugh. The Cavs are hungry for a title. They are well balanced with young and veteran players who know the game too well. The Bulls aren’t the same as last season, and they had to squeeze their way into the playoffs.

Cavs in 5

Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat

The Celtics have rested Kevin Garnett before the playoffs. Wait, was he injured? The Celtics never made it too clear. This match-up is the one I’m looking most forward to seeing a dramatic finish to this series. As for the aged stars in the Celtics who won the title in 2008, the Heat have won their last 9 out of 10 games. Dwyane Wade and his Heat players are ready to take on the unpredictable Celtics. I don’t believe the Celtics will turn on the switch since it seems as if they aren’t prepared for the playoffs this season. Heads up, Doc Rivers just told the media he’s unsure about his future with the Celtics. Is that suppose to build confidence for the Celtics through the playoffs?

Heat in 7

Atlanta Hawks vs Milwaukee Bucks

The Hawks are ready and the Bucks are not. Bogut is out which is a big blow to the Bucks. Salmon and Jennings will face a difficult time playing well since they are the main focus for the Hawks. Scott Skiles has done a tremendous job with this team by teaching Jennings, using Kurt Thomas at his fullest in his age, and developing players like Ilyasova into a better role player. The Hawks in the end will be too much for the Bucks. Atlanta will just outrun the Bucks this time, to simply put it.

Hawks in 5

Orlando Magic vs Charlotte Bobcats

I want to see a good fight between these two teams, but that’s not going to happen. If Dwight doesn’t get into foul trouble, the game will be over. The key factor to this series is the Magic bench. They just have way too much depth compared to the Bobcats. After what happened last year in the finals for Orlando, I don’t think Howard or Lewis will let anything less than a reappearance again in the finals.

Magic in 6

WEST

Los Angeles Lakers vs Oklahoma City Thunder

The slumping Lakers say they will finally have Bynum play in the playoffs. The defending champs will flip the switch now that the playoffs are here. The key to that is Kobe Bryant. He will not let this team fail. Just won’t. Kevin Durant is a happy man making into the playoffs, but not so happy about Phil Jackson’s comments about his “game”. The Thunder are a good team and will put up a fight, but I just don’t see the hungry Lakers putting away anything they have in store.

Lakers in 5

Denver Nuggets vs Utah Jazz

Best wishes to George Karl, I hope he comes back for the team as soon as possible. The Nuggets haven’t been on their A game lately, but now that the playoffs are around, hopefully they will click. One huge issue about the Nuggets is that they jack up shots they don’t need to. The Jazz on the other hand are dealing with a injury bug hitting star Carlos Boozer and Kirilenko. If Deron Williams needs to take the load for the injuries, the Jazz will not get it done. If Boozer plays, there’s more chances of winning than doubt in my mind.

Jazz in 7

Phoenix Suns vs Portland Trailblazers

The Suns are hot, and they are about to get hotter. Alvin Gentry is doing a wonderful job with them. Steve Nash is playing at his best with legs as young as a 20 year old. I can’t say the same for the Blazers. Roy is out. Oden is out. Pryzbilla is out. Portland is heading to the playoffs with such a slim roster which will do no good especially without their star.

Suns in 5

Dallas Mavericks vs San Antonio Spurs

Judging by both teams, they both looked prepared. Battle of the Texas cities, this series will be a all out dog fight. In the end, I gotta root for the Mavericks who have a solid and consistent bench that slightly wins over the Spurs.

Mavs in 7


Game previews for 3/3/10

March 3, 2010

Reggie Evans from the Toronto Raptors recently got voted for being the "dirtiest player" in the NBA today.

Here is a look at what’s yet to come for tonight’s games:

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Atlanta Hawks – My hopes and prayers go out to Iverson and his family. With Iverson off the team to help his ailing daughter, it’s nothing new to the 6ers. A.I. played a total of 25 games and the 76ers won 10 with him. Jrue Holiday has been doing well in Iverson’s place. The Hawks on the other hand will have no trouble closing this game out with a win. I believe the most interesting match-up to me tonight will be Al Horford and Samuel Dalembert. The 2 bigs don’t score too much, but play defense very well. Let’s see who can be aggressive on both ends. I predict the Hawks will win by a good 11 points.

Golden State Warriors vs. Orlando Magic – Dwight Howard finally has been getting more touches of the ball to score ever since the All-Star break. The Magic excel if they let Dwight score 20 plus a game. Howard leads the league in rebounds and blocks, he’s probably going to receive the Defensive Player Award of 2010. But this game isn’t going to be about defense. GS and Magic has shooters left and right. This game will be a scoring frenzy with Curry, Ellis, Carter, Nelson, and Lewis. Obviously, this game will go to the Magic. I’d say Orlando should win by 7 points. By the way, Biedrins REALLY needs to shake up his horrible shooting at the line.

Detroit Pistons vs. New York Knicks – Both of these teams probably won’t see the playoffs. Eddy Curry MIGHT have a chance to play in this game since the Knicks are in need of a big man. That decision is however in Mike D’ Antoni’s hands. The Pistons have had 2 heartbreaking losses in the last 4 games losing by 5 to the Nuggets and Celtics. With all the talent the Pistons have, they just can’t seem to put their puzzle pieces together. If I had to choose a winner, I’m going with Knicks winning by 3 points. Why? Big Ben is hurt.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. New Jersey – Recently, the Nets have been desperate to get fans to go to their games just to fill up the stands! Their last idea was everyone over 18 gets their tax done for free, which is great to me. Other than that idea, I liked the one where if you bought 10 or more tickets, the team would buy a jersey for you regardless of any team. This game is probably going to be filled since everyone wants to see LBJ. But too bad they won’t be receiving a number 6 jersey if fans purchased 10 or more tickets. Easy to say, the Cavs will put on a show for New Jersey since that can be a designated place for LeBron next season. Cavs by 14.

Charlotte Bobcats vs. Boston Celtics – The Bobcats seem to be juggling their record around. I really hope they find a spot in the playoffs because they can match up well with the Cavs or Celtics since they beat both teams. The Celtics have been struggling lately, but picked it up with a win against the Pistons. Pierce is finally back so it gives the men in green a lift. However, I believe the Bobcats will take this game in the end just like they did before. Bobcats by 4 is my guess.

Memphis Grizzlies vs. New Orleans Hornets – This game is important for both teams. Chances are, neither team can make the playoffs. But either team can create a season ending run with wins. Darren Collison has been playing incredibly solid in place of injured Chris Paul. David West has also been putting much effort in games. The Grizzlies look to bounce back in a groove they were in when the new year began. This game I believe will become intense as pressure builds up for both teams. In the end, I say New Orleans takes it by 2.

Washington Wizards vs. Milwaukee Bucks – Andray Blatche is blowing UP! What has happened to him? He eat or drink something wrong? After the trade deadline, Blatche makes it look like he’s single handedly putting the Wizards close in games. Don’t forget about the Bucks in the playoff race. They have come back in the running with the held of G/F John Salmons. Honestly, I just want young Blatche to go crazy again tonight. Bucks should win this by 4.

Sacramento Kings vs. Houston Rockets – Kevin Martin will face off his former team for the first time since the Kings traded him. On the other hand, Carl Landry who was in running for the sixth man award will also face off his former team the Rockets. This game will have some friendly play to it. But I believe the more serious team will be the Rockets. After the trade, they are looking to put themselves back into the playoffs. Yesterday, I looked at Stephen Curry’s stats and it gave me a feeling he might receive ROY this year. When I checked out the Kings game yesterday, I was sold on who is the ROY and that is Tyreke Evans. Evans vs. Brooks, this will be fun. Houston by 5.

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Dallas Mavericks – Al Jefferson screwed up at a bad time. This game is quite lopsided for one team to win of course, and that would be for the Mavs to win. Flynn and Kidd will be fun to watch tonight since I see Flynn as a bright point guard and Kidd’s veteran skills will teach Jonny a lesson or two. Dirk will be Dirk and will continue to give his best efforts on the court night in and night out. Kevin Love will probably replace Jefferson for PF or C. Look for Brewer or Hollins to have a better game tonight. Mavs by 8.

Oklahoma City vs. Denver Nuggets – A huge playoff preview game. KD vs. Melo. Does it get any better? Both young, both talented, both leaders, and both leading in PPG behind LeBron in the league. The Nuggets have a more stacked team on paper, but the Thunder have tricks up their sleeves where they can pull out a win. Expect this game to be extremely intense between the two stars. Both players need this win to prove a point for their team. My pick: Nuggets by 2 since OKC played yesterday night.

Indiana Pacers vs. Portland Trailblazers – Pacers will come off a butt whooping night by the Lakers. Matching up with the Blazers tonight will be difficult since Indiana has been cold in their last ten games only winning 2. Indy’s D just falls apart. BRoy will have no problem roughing the Pacers tonight and slashing through the careless D. Blazers should win by a good 9 points tonight.

Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Clippers – I expect this game to be uptempo in not just the Suns side, but the Clippers too. The score can easily be predicted to be over a combined 210 points. Clippers picked up a big win against the Utah Jazz. The acquisition of Drew Gooden has helped the Clips out in a big way. Suns crushed the Nuggets in their last win. The reason maybe because Ty Lawson didn’t give that bench spark? Naw. The Nuggets should know better with all the thug talent they got. This game will be fun to watch also. Suns by 3.


Game Previews for 2/28/10

February 28, 2010

The Love of Two Giants

Here’s some short and brief previews of today’s games:

Phoenix Suns (away) vs. San Antonio Spurs – This game already started but it should be a good game between one of the greatest power forwards of all time in Tim Duncan and one of the greatest point guard of all time Steve Nash.  The fast paced Suns are going against the fundamentally sound Spurs so it’ll be a clash of two completely different playing styles.  I predict Spurs will win.

Denver Nuggets (away) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (12:30 PT) – Two western conference powerhouses coming together at Staples Center which could be a Western Conference Finals preview.  Another game where Ron Artest needs to be Ron Artest and wreck Carmelo Anthony and stop him from scoring.  Chauncy Billups is also going to be a problem too for the Lakers since they don’t have any strong point guards.  I predict Lakers will win though simply because its the Lakers.

Washington Wizards (away) vs. New Jersey Nets (3:00 PT) – Completely different from the last game, this one is between two teams in lower levels of the Eastern Conference.  Al Thornton has been showing his skills ever since being traded to the Wizards and could go off on the weak Nets.  But the Wizards don’t have any centers strong enough to contain Brooke Lopez.  I predict Nets will get their 7th win of the season here because I like seeing the underdogs win.

Milwaukee Bucks (away) vs. Atlanta Hawks (3:00 PT) – This could be a playoff preview game.  Branden Jennings who has taken the ashes of the Bucks and turned them into contenders is facing against the beastly Hawks.  Andrew Bogut vs. Al Horford is going to be fun to watch.  I predict Hawks will win.

Miami Heat (away) vs. Orlando Magic (4:00 PT) – Another playoff preview match between the good friends of Dwayne Wade and Dwight Howard with their supporting cast.  Vince Carter needs to come back and be the Vince Carter of old while the Heat just needs to put it together.  The Heat are under .500 right now and needs this game to get back to a non losing record.  I predict Magic will win and Dwight Howard will posterize Jermaine O’Neal +5 times.

Toronto Raptors (away) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (4:00 PT)- This is going to be a fun fast paced scoring oriented game.  The Raptors will be raining shots while Kevin Durant is going to make them want to go back to Canada.  Both Bosh and Durant are having MVP like seasons.  I don’t know if Bosh is injured or not though for this game but if he is, the Raptors have Hedo Turkoglu to pick up the slack, hopefully.  I predict Thunder gets the W.

Los Angeles Clippers (away) vs. Sacramento Kings (6:00 PT) – A game between the new Los Angles Clippers and Tyreke Evans and the Kings.  The last time they met, Clippers did not have 3 of their guys playing and still got the win.  But Kings have been .500 playing at home so that could be an advantage for them.  Hopefully Eric Gordon will go off on the Kings and drop another 25 points.  I predict Clippers, yes I’m biased here.

New Orleans Hornets (away) vs. Dallas Mavericks (6:30 PT) – The Hornets are fighting for that 8th seed while the Mavs are going nuts with their new acquisitions in Caron Butler and Brandon Haywood.  They are on a 6 game winning steak and I don’t think the CP3-less Hornets can really stop them unless Marcus Thornton, David West, and Collision all have career nights.  So Mavs ftw tonight.


The New Best Draft Class? Part Dos

February 27, 2010

Continuation of my last post which you can find here, here, and here. This post shall describe the last half of the lottery picks of the legendary 2008 draft class.  The same draft class that lost to the rookies during all-star weekend some weeks ago.  So here you, picks 8-14.

8th Pick?

Who?

Every great draft class has a bust and this white boy happens to be the one of 2008.  His name is Joe Alexander, born in Taiwan, knows how to speak mandarin, and a phantom college career I do not know much about.  At one point he was described as being the next Larry Bird such as other white boys like Adam Morrison and Tyler Hansbrough.  On paper, he was considered the best athlete, having the second best 185lb bench reps, and second fastest sprint time during workouts.  And he was also able to drop 15 points on the Los Angeles Lakers once in his professional career.  Other than that, he was injured, assigned to d-league, still injured, and traded.  Not much else to say about him.

9th Pick

D.J. Augustin

The 9th pick drafted to the Charlotte Bobcats had a great rookie season, averaging 11.8 points a game and showing nice athleticism.  His second season though, he fell off a bit, averaging only a little bit over 5 points a game but that can be attributed to the ridiculous playing time that Raymond Felton is receiving.  Augustin lacks size but he has shown that he is a very smart player.  He knows his rotations, knows his plays, and can play pretty decent defense for a big man.  Just every once in a while a bigger point guard would out power him such as Deron Williams did.  As of right now, his game has a lot of expanding to do, but he can drop a lot of points at once if given the playing time.  An above average pick that still has a long way to go.

10th Pick

Brooke Lopez

The only bright spot of the New Jersey Nets right now.  Hell, he is the only person keeping those Nets afloat in this season.  His averaging of 19 points, 9 rebounds, and almost 2 blocks a game is considered all star level.  A talented center that can be almost Shaq-like in terms of dominance, Brooke Lopez will turn the Nets into a devastating team.  He’s young, he’s playing well, and everyone knows that he is only going to get better as the years go on.  All he needs is a strong supporting cast and this half Hispanic center can send his team to the playoffs and beyond.

11th Pick

Jerryd Bayless

Jerryd Bayless is a shooter, slasher, and volume scorer.  This season so far, he has scored double digits 24 times, one of those times, scoring 31 points.  Right now he’s a great backup guard to the great Brandon Roy and knows how to keep the team afloat when the Blazers starting lineup is benched and resting.  Like the rest of the players in this post, he’s still developing but he has shown many flashes of greatness here.

12th Pick

Jason Thompson

Jason Thompson of the Kings kinda got written off because of the beastmode playing of Tyreke Evans.  Last year he averaged 11.1 points a game which is decent for a rookie.  And this year he is averaging 12.7 points a game which shows slight improvement.  He is a forward center who is notoriously known for his jumpshot.  He is not a stretch 4 like Rashard Lewis or Antawn Jamison because he can’t really shoot treys but he has the long jumper which is good enough.  And Thompson also averages around 8 rebounds a game.  Good big man, I just don’t think hes ever going to be amazing now with Tyreke Evans, Omri Casspi, and Carl Landry running the Kings.

13th Pick

Brandon Rush

This guy can’t really do much besides score.  And even then he only averages 8 points a game.  I’m not disappointed because anyone having to play with a ballhog such as Danny Granger would only average 8 points too.  I don’t watch the Pacers play much but I do know from playing 2K10 that Rush can hit the trey often.  Again, he’s not horrible, he’s not great, and he is part of the late lottery picks where its either hit or miss on who you get.

14th Pick

Anthony Randolph

The 14th pick by the Golden State Warriors and the last person I’ll be writing about in this post.  Some may call him overrated, others may call him the second coming of *insert great player here*.  I do know that he was heavily hyped during the offseason last summer by all the bloggers and media.  And really, those last 8 weeks of his rookie year where he averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds was impressive, I’ll give him that.  But he’s skinny like most of his teammates and extremely fragile.  I believe that he is injured right now.  I never understood the hype, but I can tell that he’s talented and athletic.  He has star potential written all over him, he just needs room to grow.  Which means Monta Ellis can’t keep shooting 30 shots a night and should pass it to the inside once in a while.  Randolph though is just one of those players you want to see get better but you’re not sure if it’ll happen.

So there are the lottery picks of the 2008 draft class.  A nice young group of players where besides one has shown many flashes of greatness.  Some other notable people from this year are J.J. Hickson, the 19th pick chosen by the Cavs.  He’s a good power forward who plays with Lebron.  Then there’s Courtney Lee, the 22nd pick chosen by the Magic and is now playing for the Nets.  And George Hill, the fantastic point guard chosen at 26th by the Spurs, who I also have on my fantasy team and is giving me more points than I deserve.  And from the second round, there’s Mario Chalmers from the Heat and DeAndre Jordan from the Clippers.  Then there’s Anthony Morrow who went undrafted and is also on my fantasy team and gives me a lot of points, inconsistently though but whatever works.  And yes, I believe this draft class will be better than the Lebron and Darko Milicic class of 2003 simply because of all the star power here.


Ready for the grades?!?!

February 22, 2010

As usual, rumors often become just rumors before the trade deadline. Not too many big deals at all. Other than that, lets recap with all the trades that went down right before Thursday night.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers

Acquired: Antawn Jamison and Sebastian Telfair

Losses: Zydrunas Illgauskas, Emir Preldzic, and a 2010 first round pick

Probably the biggest trade before the deadline was the Jamison deal. This trade surprised me. I thought the Wizards should have known better to make this team a more of a powerhouse than it already is. Don’t let the Bobcat’s whipping to Jamison’s behind fool you tonight. Antawn is a great player. His age might be a concern for the Cavaliers in the long run, but the man can still shoot the ball. Sebastian is currently injured, but I believe he may be a solid third string point guard if Mo Williams or Daniel Gibson gets hurt.

Grade: A-

2.Dallas Mavericks

Acquired: Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, and DeShawn Stevenson

Losses: Josh Howard, James Singleton, Drew Gooden, and Quinton Ross

Butler and Haywood are the main pieces to this Dallas team. Caron gives the Mavs another offensive threat which Josh Howard hasn’t been filling in for and Haywood gives another big body down low who can crash boards and play incredible defense. What I like to see from the Mavericks after the trade is the productivity of their bench. The bench has to be one of the best in the league today with Jason Terry, J.J. Barea, and Erick Dampier are one of the big names not in the starting lineup.

Grade: A

3.Houston Rockets

Acquired: Kevin Martin, Hilton Armstrong, Jordan Hill, and Jared Jeffries

Losses: Tracy McGrady, Carl Landry, and Joey Dorsey

I thought for one thing Houston would try to find another big man to their roster. They found two decent ones, but nothing to go “WOW” about. Kevin Martin was a great pick up for the Rockets. Shane Battier would probably move back to the sixth man spot where he does exceptionally well. Aaron Brooks should be leading this team now that Carl Landry who was probably the Rocket’s best active player this season is now gone. This trade was a great playoff push trade for the Rockets.

Grade: B+

4.Portland Trail Blazers

Acquired: Marcus Camby

Losses: Steve Blake and Travis Outlaw

In desperate need to find a big man, Portland finally came through landing a experienced player. Camby is a solid acquisition for the Blazers since Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla went out. Old Juwan Howard needed a break from playing so much sometime soon. Portland plays an uptempo style which fits perfectly with Camby since he used to play with the fast paced Denver Nuggets.

Grade: B

5.Charlotte Bobcats

Acquired: Tyrus Thomas and Theo Ratliff

Losses: Flip Murray, Acie Law, future first round pick, and future second round pick

The Bobcats are a fun fast paced team to watch. Funny how they can beat the Cavs and lose to the Nets. Tyrus Thomas is a perfect addition to the team. The Bulls were fed up with the kid, but the Bobcats picked up the slack for them by taking Tyrus off their hands for a decent Flip Murray, traveling guard Acie Law, and a first round pick which Tyrus once was. Ratliff was a questionable decision on the other hand. But having a veteran who can protect the paint for some few minutes won’t hurt much for a second round pick.

Grade: A-

6.Milwaukee Bucks

Acquired: John Salmons, Primoz Brezec, Royal Ivey, and a second round picks (from 76ers and Bulls)

Losses: Joe Alexander, Hakim Warrick, Jodie Meeks, and Francisco Elson

With Redd out the whole season, the Bucks look to start fresh with a new roster look. Redd’s contract will be done by the end of this season, so they are trying to find a replacement for him. Salmons is a decent pick up for the Bucks. But these trades to me doesn’t seem to make much sense. Warrick was a solid player for the Bucks. He didn’t have a great jump shot, but his athleticism makes him have skill talent similar to players like Josh Smith or Shawn Marion. I mean, he was a natural forward so I don’t expect him to shoot the ball outside much. Joe Alexander had potential to become a good player too, but the Bucks gave up on him. Milwaukee should have used this non playoff season to experiment young players like Alexander and Meeks.

Grade: D+

7. Boston Celtics

Acquired: Nate Robinson and Marcus Landry

Losses: Eddie House, J.R. Giddens, Bill Walker, and a future second round pick

Nate Robinson as a sixth man for the already stacked Celtics? That’s crazy talk. Eddie House was a great role player for the Celtics. Shipping him and two young players for the 3 time Dunk Champion to me was pretty much a steal. The one problem on my mind is how is Nate going to share the minutes with Rondo or Allen? His minutes will go down for sure. Let’s see how this will work out.

Grade: A

8. New York Knicks

Acquired: Tracy McGrady, Sergio Rodriguez, Eddie House, J.R. Giddens, Bill Walker, and a future second round pick

Losses: Nate Robinson, Marcus Landry, Jared Jeffries, Jordan Hill, Larry Hughes, and a future protected first round pick

The New York buzz is TMAC. Tracy amazed NY in his debut scoring 26 points. I always thought Tracy still had his talent. New York needs all the expiring contracts they can get for the LeBron chase. Having Tracy a former star on the team can bring in ticket sales for the Knicks at least. Also, the Knicks got lucky getting rid of Jared Jeffries and Jordan Hill whose contracts were going to spill into next season.

Grade: B+

9.Chicago Bulls

Acquired: Flip Murray, Joe Alexander, Acie Law, Hakim Warrick, and a future first round pick (Charlotte)

Losses: Tyrus Thomas, John Salmons, and future second round picks

Chemistry issues made the Bulls ship out Thomas. Understandable in some sense, but Chicago took a huge hit on losing a talented player. On the good side, Salmons for Warrick and Alexander was a great trade for the Bulls. Warrick would fill the spot for Thomas and Alexander hopefully can develop in Chicago behind Deng and James Johnson. If Chicago is trying their best to chase after LeBron, I highly doubt it’ll happen. Their chances of landing Dwade is more likely.

Grade: C+

10.Los Angeles Clippers

Acquired: Steve Blake, Travis Outlaw, Drew Gooden, and Cash

Losses: Marcus Camby, Al Thornton, and Sebastian Telfair

Clippers were all about the money in this trade. They didn’t get much, but as they say “every penny helps”. The Clips will be looking busy this off season in the free agent market. Their best addition I thought was Drew Gooden, but rumors are he might get bought out. Other rumors are that he might stay. If he stays, I see Drew getting some good minutes to show off his role player model. Blake should be starting, but of course LA has Baron as their starter. Outlaw is out. In the end, it comes out to just Benjamins.

Grade: C (If Gooden plays)/ D+ (If Gooden gets bought out)

11.Sacramento Kings

Acquired: Carl Landry, Larry Hughes, and Joey Dorsey

Losses: Kevin Martin, Hilton Armstrong, and Sergio Rodriguez

Another team who will make many moves in the 2010 market is the Kings. The loss of Kevin Martin is always backed up by Tyreke’s break out year. I felt that the Kings could have gotten much more for KMART 2. Hilton Armstrong was also a tough loss for Sacramento. Hilton is surprisingly athletic for his size and Houston got a steal for that. Of course, on the upside the Kings received one of the sixth man of the year candidates and expiring contracts. Too bad Carl is now starting and will soon be out of the award race.

Grade: C-

12.Washington Wizards

Acquired: Josh Howard, Quinton Ross, James Singleton, Zydrunas Illgauskas, Al Thornton, 2010 first round pick (Cleveland), and rights to Emir Preldzic

Losses: Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, DeShawn Stevenson, and cash

Washington is making the biggest push to rebuild before the deadline. They didn’t really care if they gave up Antawn. In desperate times, you need to make a move quickly. Big Z will most likely be bought out, but unsure if he will head back to Cleveland. Al Thornton was a nice cheap pick up and everyone else they got had expiring contracts.

Grade: C+

Minor Trade Deals

Memphis Grizzlies

Acquired: Ronnie Brewer

Losses: Protected 2010 first round pick

I just have to say, Memphis had one of the biggest steals of the deadline day.

Grade: A

Minnesota Timberwolves

Acquired: Darko Milicic

Losses: Brian Cardinal

Darko impressed many NBA fans in his debut as a Twolve. This might be his last shot at the NBA. Darko stated he wants out of the NBA after this season and wants to head to Europ to play. After a performance like that, he should think otherwise if he keeps it up.

Grade: A-

Philadelphia 76ers

Acquired: Jodie Meeks and Francisco Elson

Losses: Royal Ivey, Primoz Brezec, and a 2010 second round pick

Jodie Meeks was a good pick up for two players who practically do nothing for the 76ers. A second round pick would be pushing the Meeks trade outcome. If Philly ends up getting a high pick in the draft, the Bucks would benefit if they picked up a great player. Right now the 2010 mock draft says Greivis Vasquez from Maryland would be the Bucks pick. That’s bad on Philly’s note since Vasquez averages pretty good stats all across the board.

Grade: B-

San Antonio Spurs

Acquired: Protected 2010 second round pick

Losses: Theo Ratliff

Ratliff is old. The pick is protected. Spurs are slipping quickly out of the playoffs. If somehow the Spurs are in the lottery and get a high pick, they will regret it just a bit.

Grade: C-

Utah Jazz

Acquired: Protected 2010 first round pick

Losses: Ronnie Brewer

Why?!?! This was just plain idiotic. Ask Deron Williams and see how he feels.

Grade: F