Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
 
Tag:Suns
Posted on: January 21, 2009 11:12 am
 

2009 Free Agent Class - Overlooked and Forgotten?

I know we are all focused on 2010 when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh become free agents and the rumours that are swirling around with that, but what about next years class? looking over the list i see a lot of pieces that many teams would love to have, so, the question is do you think this season's batch of free agents will be pretty much ignored or will there be a flurry of trades and deals to secure some of these guys before 2010 which, in my opinion, is really a three team race right now.

Here is the list

Hawks -Josh Childress, Solomon Jones, Marvin Williams
Mike Bibby, Zaza Pachulia
 

 

 

Celtics - Glen Davis, Leon Powe
Eddie House (P)
 

 

Bobcats - Shannon Brown, Jermareo Davidson, Raymond Felton, Ryan Hollins, Sean May

 

 

Aaron Gray,Drew Gooden
 

 

 

Cavaliers - Lance Allred, Tarence Kinsey
Zydrunas Ilgauskas (ETO), Damon Jones, Joe Smith, Eric Snow, Wally Szczerbiak, Billy Thomas, Anderson Varejao (P)
 


Mavericks - Brandon Bass, Gerald Green, Eddie Jones, Jason Kidd, Keith McLeod, James Singleton
 

 

 

Nuggets -Linas Kleiza
Chris Andersen, Anthony Carter, Steven Hunter (ETO), Allen Iverson, Dahntay Jones
 

 

Pistons - Will Bynum (T), Jason Maxiell, Check Samb
Kwame Brown (P), Richard Hamilton (ETO), Rasheed Wallace
 

 

 

Warriors - C.J. Watson
Al Harrington (P)
 

 

Rockets - Mike Harris, Luther Head
Ron Artest, Ron Francis
 

 

 

Pacers - Danny Granger, Jarrett Jack, Josh McRoberts
Maceo Baston, Marquis Daniels (T), Travis Diener (P), Jeff Foster, Stephen Graham, Rasho Nesterovic
 

 

Clippers - Ricky Davis (P), Steve Novak, Brian Skinner
Jason Hart
 

 

 

Lakers - Coby Karl
Trevor Ariza, Kobe Bryant (ETO), Chris Mihm, Lamar Odom
 

 

Grizzlies - Juan Carlos Navarro, Hakim Warrick
Antoine Walker (ETO)
 

 

 

Heat - Stephane Lasme, Joel Anthony
Mark Blount (ETO), Shawn Marion
 

 

Bucks - Ramon Sessions, Charlie Villanueva
Malik Allen (P), Tyronn Lue, Desmond Mason
 

 

 

Timberwolves - Rashad McCants
Calvin Booth, Jason Collins
 

 

Nets - Nenad Krstic
Trenton Hassell (ETO), Jarvis Hayes (T), Stromile Swift
 

 

 

Hornets - Melvin Ely, Mike James (P)
 

 

 

Knicks - David Lee, Nate Robinson
Jamal Crawford (ETO), Eddy Curry (ETO), Jerome James (P), Stephon Marbury, Quentin Richardson (ETO), Malik Rose
 

 

Thunder - Johan Petro
Adrian Griffin, Chris Wilcox, Damien Wilkins (ETO), Donyell Marshall
 

 

 

Maqic - Marcin Gortat
Keith Bogans, Brian Cook (P), Adonal Foyle, Anthony Johnson (P), Hedo Turkoglu (ETO)
 

 

76ers - Royal Ivey (P), Andre Miller, Kareem Rush
 

 

 

Suns - D.J. Strawberry
Matt Barnes, Grant Hill

 

 

Trail Blazers - Ike Diogu, Channing Frye, Martell Webster
Raef LaFrentz

 

 

Kings - Bobby Brown (P), Francisco Garcia
Shareef Abdur-Rahim (ETO), Bobby Jackson
 

 

 

Spurs - Ime Udoko, Jacque Vaughn

 

 

Raptors - Carlos Delfino, Joey Graham, Jamario Moon, Will Solomon
Jermaine O'Neal (P), Anthony Parker

 

 

Jazz - Paul Millsap, Kyrylo Fesenko (T)
Carlos Boozer (P), Jarron Collins, Brevin Knight, Kyle Korver (ETO), Mehmet Okur (ETO), Ronnie Price

 

 

Wizards - Etan Thomas (ETO)

Posted on: May 14, 2008 3:10 pm
 

Kobe Bryant and his Lifetime Achievement MVP

here is a collection of posts discussing Kobe Bryant winning the MVP this season. I will say that he should have had at least one by now, but this was the wrong year to give it to him unless you are making it a compilation of the past 3 seasons with the slugs he had around him calling themselves Lakers. this might seem a bit random, but i am responding to other posts which i will try to separate when i can.

Please enjoy. Comments and hate always welcome and i will read it all.

here are some posts i have made in the past few days..

here is the first post and the original article

http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/
8111712/How-Kobe-fina
lly-earned-his-first-MVP

i agree that Chris Paul probably was the more deserving winner this year over Kobe Bryant... but here is how i see the final weeks in the voters heads... humour me abit :-)

"ok, Kobe finally has a team and looks like he wants to play with Pau Gasol, Derek Fisher, Lamar Odom and Jordan Farmar.. but this Chris Paul kid with the Hornets.. wow, he has taken a team that struggled for years to the top of the Western conference... young guys like David West, Tyson Chandler, vets like Peja Stojakovic and Morris Peterson sure have helped make him a worthy candidate... let's see.... o dear, it seems Kobe has NEVER won an MVP, we can't give one to this kid until Kobe gets one... maybe then he and his army of loving adoring homer fans will shut up and stop emailing us about how good he is..."

vote Kobe Bryant for MVP.... not saying he didn't deserve one this year or by now... but i am pretty sure he got more than a few votes that way... next year, it will be LeBron James who will win as he has to get one before anyone else new gets one... maybe the Cavaliers fans will stop whining about how great he is by then.. yes he is good... Bill Russell is was and always will be great. When LBJ can show us 11 rings, he can tell us how great he is.

then the guy responded

Kobe and Paul were clearly the clear-cut MVP candidates this season - both were equally deserving based on their cumulative merits based on this season's performances.  In the end, the balance of the scale finally tipped in Kobe's favor based on one key reality - the Lakers finished the regular season atop the hotly contested Western Conference.

 

so based on this statement, the MVP SHOULD have been Kevin Garnett since he was the Best player on the team with the BEST record, or is it only based on the best record in the west..?? it seems the playoffs have revealed to you western conference fans that the east is not as full of walkover teams as the west as the Nuggetts barely made the Lakers break a sweat yet were touted as a championship caliber team stuck in the tough west.. same for the Warriors.. the 76ers and the Hawks both put up a great first round battle to teams that had better records than both the Lakers and the Hornets in the Pistons and the Celtics.

Now, finally, in this season, it all crystalized for Kobe - he was finally able to become the team leader that the Lakers always needed him to be - the final result speaks for itself.  Trust in his teammates and ultimately being surrounded by the correct pieces to allow that trust to flourish into confidence and a winning team attitude was the difference in the Kobe of this season from season's past.  Paul was all that to the Hornets as well, but the bottom line is that Kobe was the best player on the best team in the toughest conference this season

i for one am tired of people saying the MVP went to the best player on the best team... if that was the only criteria, the voting would not be done after the regular season. As for the teams themselves.. the Hornets improved by 17 wins, while the Lakers only improved by 15 so that arguement favours Chris Paul not Kobe. and finishing 1 game atop of the pack when there are only 3 games separating the top 5 teams does not mean they are the best team in the division... that is what the playoffs are going to determine... what i have heard over and over again is how this is a team award... that is bs or it wouldn't be called the Most Valuable PLAYER award... i fear that the award has digressed from the days when it was given to the player who was consistently shown that his team is not as good without him in the lineup.. the Lakers can't say that this year.. but the Cavaliers can... LeBron James will win a few as will Chris Paul... Kobe deserved one, but i think he should have won 2 years ago when Steve Nash won his second... that year, he carried a bunch of slugs... this year, he can score or not and the team can win.

then he made the "best player on the best team" comment

i think that simply saying the MVP award goes to the most statiscally impressive player does the award a dis-service - also, then Kobe would have won a couple more as his numbers were more impressive than Steve Nash's except in assists per game both the years he won his MVP and he was statistically better than shaq the year he won. Kevin Garnett won his MVP for taking a bunch of slugs to the Championship round... not because he was the best player in the league or the top statistically in every catagory. this year KG's personal stats suffered as he melded into a system that rewards tough defense and unselfish team play, thus they won the most games of any in the league. i could make a case that Chris Paul means way more to this young Hornets team than Kobe Bryant does to a talented though hurting Lakers team. there have been periods when Pau Gasol has looked absolutely unbeatable and periods when Lamar Odom has been a beast.. Andrew Bynum was on his way to a career year and a possible MVP candidate before his knee said stop and he didn't.. LeBron James is one of the most impressive athletes in any sport. there is no question he IS the MVP of his team as he is about 75% of his teams offense and about the same defensively as well.

so why did Dirk Nowitzki win MVP last year? was he the best player on the best team? well his team did have 67 wins so he was the best player on the team so just give him the award? then Kevin should have got it this year.. the award has to be more than that since Nash did not have the best team in the west the years he won...

true, the last game of the season the Lakers and Hornets played, Kobe took the kid to school... but i offer that made little difference. the award was Kobe's to lose this year as a makeup for the 2 or 3 that got away...  is he the best player in the league? won't go there.. too many people love their team too much to debate that. is he the best player on his team? yes. is he the most valuable? yes, but it is very close as the team seems to be very well balanced and we won't know how beast like Bynum could have been... imagine him down low with Pau!!! wow

and one more for now

I'm really tired of hearing people say that Chris Paul took a WNBA team and turned them into a legit contender for the NBA championship. WIth or without CP3 the Hornets are a good team. Besides CP3 they have 2 allstars and a great defensive center. 

 i agree.. this team was a decent team last year.. 39 wins is decent, but the 17 game turn-around clearly is due to the fact that this year CP3 stepped up big time.. as well, the exact same could be said about Deron Williams who i think should not have been so quickly dismissed. head to head these two gave us a few very good games to watch and the Jazz are not out of the series yet because he has carried them on his shoulders... as he did most of the season... as did Kobe Bryant..

Tyson Chandler has always been a great defender and rebounder.  Before Chris Paul, Tyson  Chander avg 7ppg and since Chris Paul he avg 10 ppg in the last 2 seasons.David West is an allstar. He can create his own shot  and hit the mid range jumper. Before Chris Paul arrived the David West only started 9 games and avg 15 min per game over 2 years. The same year CP3 arrived David West became a starter and his minutes increased to 35 min per game. David Wests numbers and production went up as his minutes reflect.Peja S is one of the greatest 3 point shooters in the game. He is a 3 time allstar and in the 2003-04 season he was 4th in the MVP rankings. Enough said

 i won't disagree with any of this either red, but as we know about the NBA, it is a team game and one that the Magic are so quickly showing us, talented front courts NEED at least an average back court to be consistantly successful. the Celtics are proving how young Rajon Rondo is as he struggles in the few games and the Celtics struggle. David West has struggled this post season i suspect due to the lack of room down low for him to create those shots he made all season.. as Peja Stojakovic has struggled, the defense has packed in around him and Tyson creating a very small area for West to work. and being guarded by Tim Duncan will cause a lot of good players fits.

This team was destined to be a great team this year. Last year they had 3 allstars miss a total of 120 gamges. Peja missed  70 games, David West 30 games and Chris Paul 20 games. It is not a surprise the Hornets are in the second round of the playoffs.

 i understand the injury situation all too well.. the fact is, they won only 39 games last year, this year they won 56, only one behind the Lakers. the play of Chris Paul has been brilliant and that is why he was in the hunt. All i was saying is that i think that Kobe received this award this year to make up for the slight some people think he has received.. not that he doesn't deserve it, that is NOT what i am saying... i just think that his career weighed very heavily on his selection and the fact that the best player on the best team as many say should get the award, Kevin Garnett, already has one.

that of course, is just my opinion...

 
Posted on: April 8, 2008 12:37 pm
 

Playoff Preview 2008

As we near the last of the pre-season games, we are all aware that the real season is about to begin in the NBA with the first play-off games getting closer every day.

It has been a fantastic season with huge deals and bad deals and no deals to alter the landscape on both sides of the country. We have seen new contenders on the scene as well as the usual suspects. here is my take on the season so far the anticipation of what might be.

We started the season with the Celtics making the blockbuster of the decade by acquiring Kevin Garnett for Al Jefferson, giving Paul Pierce a huge power game to work with, then acquiring Ray Allen for the back court and later adding Sam Cassells to anchor off the bench, this team has won 60 games or 80% of the games they have played this season... good for 1st overall and looking very tough as they are the #1 rated defense in the league and have been most of the season. Most seem to question not the talent level of this team but the lack of playoff experience. With former NBA MVP Kevin Garnett so close to his ring, i am pretty sure this team will roll to the Eastern Finals where they will be a very tough team to beat in a 7 game series. This team is more than 3 players as we have watched guys like Rajon Rondo step up and play the point with confidence and skill... a good solid guard who is efficient and getting better as he gains more playing time. a very solid bench offers support from James Posey, Glen Davis backing Kendrick Perkins and Scot Pollard there as well, this team is at least 10 players deep... and can roll all ten when needed. As far as i am concerned, this is the team to beat this year as i have not seen much wavering in this team even while Kevin was out earlier this year...

The Pistons offer us the best option in the East to the Celtics train. With a very solid and mature (read OLD) starting 5 with Rasheed Wallace, Chauncey Billups, Tayshaun Prince, Antonio McDyess, and Richard Hamilton, this team can play a scoring game or a slow half court game and are very good at both. they are 1 -2 against the Celtics with all three games having the teams at 90 points or less and only one game more than a 10 point game... and they were all exciting to watch!! yes, defensive ball games are usually very good to watch. this team is basically the same team that won it all a few years back and without the distraction that Ben Wallace was, team chemistry is excellent and confidence is very high... this team will be tough to beat but i think the Celtics will win the ECF only because they will have the extra home game. the bench offers us Jason Maxiel, Rodney Stuckey, Aaron Afflalo who could probably start on most teams in this league.. they don't lose much to 10 players as well... that will make them a tough match for the Celtics.

the Magic are the wild-card as i see it in the East.  With Dwight Howard in the middle, this team has the explosive inside game vital to playoff ball, and with Jameer Nelson developing into the true point and Rashard Lewis on the front end with Hedo Turkoglu and Maurice Evans shooting, this team can run with the best of them but often find it hard to close teams out.. but are on a 5 game win streak which bodes well for the play-off run if they can sustain this.

Other than the LeBron's in the Cavaliers, i don't see any of the other East teams with a chance this year. Wizards are still recovering from that horrible injury, the 76ers just aren't deep enough to challenge at this point.. the Raptors have been discussed as well, but can't play defense to beat the Hawks or the Bobcats. i can't see any of the bottom 5 teams making a lot of noise in the playoffs unless the LeBron's ALL play like LBJ they just don't have enough to win a second round series.

Out in the Wild Wild West we have some fantastic teams made up of young studs and some old guys blending styles and great coaching to offer us the shootout we all were looking for with 9 teams fighting for 8 spots. i will start with the 8 and 9 spots and work my way up.

As of today, the Warriors and the Nuggets are tied with 46 - 31 records so both have 5 games left. the Nuggets games are against the Clippers, Jazz, Rockets, Warriors and the Bobcats. Losing Sunday to the SuperSonics was a huge blow as you MUST beat teams below you at this point in the western race. Thursday's game AT Golden State will tell us if this team with 3 all-stars will get in... Imagine at the beginning of the year being told that you as a coach have Allen Iverson, Marcus Camby and Carmelo Anthony starting with Kenyon Martin and Anthony Carter, you will win more than 50 games or so and NOT make the playoffs by a game or 2. this team scores, but is not committed to Defense and as we all know, you can't win letting teams back into games because you can NEVER score enough points.

the Warriors were a surprise last year as Baron Davis was just starting to be heard of nightly and Don Nelson knew that Mavericks team as he built it. this season, they will will 50 games again with the Kings, Clippers, Suns, Nuggets and Sonics left to play, they should win at least 3 and could win 4 or all of them as they are the hungry team and the Suns don't need the wins... Monta Ellis, Steven Jackson, Andris Bierdrins score.... LOTS... but until they decide to play defense inside, they will struggle in the half court as they are small up front against teams like the west seems to be full of this season.. strong, large front courts.. Can the Warriors end up #8 and run the West this year? I don't think so as they West is much stronger and more aware of Nellie Ball this season.

in 7th right now are last seasons 67 game winners, the Dallas Mavericks. Dirk Nowitzki, and now with Jason Kidd and Josh Howard, Jason Terry and Eric Dampier, this team has balance it has needed seen as they rolled without Dirk last week and a new attitude that Kidd brings of a calm confidence that they have not had before... With Juwan Howard  and Brandon Bass off the bench this team is at least 8 deep and might be more. this team can make noise in the playoffs and will end up with 51 wins or so with 2 against the Sonics, as well as the Hornets, the Trail Blazers and the Jazz who can't seem to win on the road. though they are in 7th, they are only 6.5 games out of first so to say they are an underdog is not quite accurate. if i was the 2, i would not want to play these guys...

in 6th, we find the Suns - a team given very little respect on this board, which is a shame because they do play exciting basketball, and now with Shaquille O'Neal in the middle, can play very well in the half - court too. since the trade, this team has not fallen apart as predicted, has not stopped scoring as predicted, has won games because Shaq is still one of the BEST rebounders in the game - which is the biggest thing they were lacking, Amare Stoudemire has gone back to the 4 spot and is proving to be pretty much unstoppable most nights as predicted. Steve Nash has not had to take over games, though he can still do it dropping 35 the other game, but with Shaq passing like he used to, Steve's total has dropped as predicted which is fine, since they are still winning. this team has 5 games left against the Bobcats, the Spurs, the Rockets the Warriors and the Trail Blazers... i wonder who they pissed off in the office to have that killer of a schedule the last 2 weeks of the season... with 3 wins, they could still catch the top spot in the division but a Lakers -- Suns first round match looks very likely... that will be fun to watch!!

in 5th we have the Rockets - the team that was to collapse when Yao Ming went down. the heart of this team IS Tracy McGrady and for a large part of the year, it looked like he finally had the team to take him out of the first round... then Yao went down... did they fold? NO they won the next 11 games without him to clinch at least 5th place or so with chance to end up with 55 wins with games against the Nuggets, the Suns, the Sonics, AT the Jazz and the Clippers. they look very Solid with Rafer Alston playing his best ball and Shane Battier becoming the beast we thought he could. Dikembe Mutombo i think turns  65 and will qualify for seniors discount later this year, but looks great in the middle. the bench is the issue with the Rockets as they aren't very deep, maybe 7 players, this is where injuries could cost them a playoff series victory.

the Utah Jazz are in 4th place right now with 51 wins, but will probably win the NorthWest division while being it's sole play-off representitive. though they are great at home going 35 - 4 at home, they are not a road team and thus have a short life expectancy in the playoffs as you MUST win on the road to win... ask the Cavaliers about that last year's surprise run as well as the 8th seeded Warriors last year winning HUGE games on the road. the Jazz starters of Deron Williams Andrei Kirolenko, Carlos Boozer Memhet Okur and Ronnie Brewer play Jerry Sloan balance on offense and solid defense which is why they are seldom blown out. this team will have to overcome a lot of bad losses on the road this year to have success in the first round but should take the Rockets out.

In 3rd right now we have the Lakers who are proving quite resiliant through an array of injuries that had them thin up the middle again. with the acquisition of Pau Gasol, this team with Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom Derick Fisher and Vladomir Radmanovic offers one of the most potent offenses in the league, but leaves them a bit weak on the defensive end of the floor. having a true point guard in Fisher and Jordan Farmer on the bench, this team moves the ball well and has adequate depth on the bench as we have seen them not lose much when Gasol went down... this team will be very hard to beat from the outside, but can be beat inside as they are a bit thin up front right now. But having Kobe is a great plus and this team MIGHT be able to beat the Suns this year... maybe...

in 2nd we find the team that was to be as extinct as the dodo bird this late in the season, the Spurs. everyone said they are too old, too slow, too fragile, too bland, boring, soft... you name it, they were called it. WHO knew the heart of this team was still beating. Tim Duncan again has brought his boring fundamental game to the top of the tight western conference with solid defense and an offense fueled by Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, Michael Finley, and Fabricio Uberto - Bruce Bowen IS THE BEST DEFENDER in the game.. ask Kobe so anything he adds on offense is wonderful. this team has one of the greatest coaches in the history of the game in Popp and just keeps winning.

At the top of the heap right now, but only 1.5 games up, are the Hornets. with the Little Engine that Could named Chris Paul - who will probably win his 1st MVP this year - this team offers solid offense with Tyson Chandler and David West as well as Peja Stojakovic with a solid year from Morris Peterson - the Raps were foolish to let him go... - this team has beat teams they were not supposed to this year. the only question this team needs to answer is are they ready to play in the playoffs with what appears to be a very inexperienced team. i think after watching the style they play, this team will compete and make it to the finals.

so, what do i see going on in the playoffs... round by round, here it is

East

1) Celtics vs. 8) Hawks - Celtics play hard and sweep to rest for a week

2) Pistons vs. 7) Raptors - see above but say Pistons where is says Celtics

3) Magic vs. 6) 76ers - 6 games but Dwight is too much inside... Magic win

4) Cavaliers vs 5) Wizards - the Lebrons sweep

2nd round

1) Celtics vs. 4) Cavaliers - 5 games as the LeBrons win 1 at home to show he wants to stay there past 2010

2) Pistons vs 3) Magic - Dwight is not ready for this yet, Pistons in 6

Eastern Conference Final

1) Celtics vs. 2) Pistons - this will be a classic battle that we will talk about for years... Celtics just too strong to the 10th man, win in 7 as they will be home

Western Conference

1st Round

1) Hornets vs 8) Warriors - no magic run this year, this team is too good for Nellie Ball - Hornets in 5

2) Spurs vs 7) Mavericks - this will be great ball to watch with the Spurs winning game 7

3) Lakers vs 6) Suns - do you think the Suns did this on purpose? Suns in 7th game upset with Shaq dropping 34 and grabbing 25 boards

4) Jazz vs 5) Rockets - Jazz win game 7 at home

2nd Round

1) Hornets vs 4) Jazz - i don't think they reseed!! but either way the Hornets beat either the Jazz or the Suns

2) Spurs vs 6) Suns - Spurs will beat either as well...

Western Conference Final

1) Hornets vs 2) Spurs - as much as i love the Hornets, they just can't beat the Spurs in 7 games.

NBA Championship Series

1) Celtics vs 2) Spurs - this will be an instant classic with drama, great ball, tough defense, David Stern's goldenchild team, all the stuff a finals is made of. these two teams are very hard to dispute as the top two teams in the league right now.

i say the Celtics will win game 7 at home, and will win at the line as Kevin will just be too much to handle.

that is my opinion. thanks for reading it.

 

 

Posted on: February 21, 2008 1:15 pm
 

The Morning after blog writing

<table width="800" class="mcct_container"> <tbody> <tr class="mcct_header"> <td> </td> </tr> <tr class="mcct_body" valign="top"> <td>

Okay, what a great night of basketball that was!!! Congratulations Lakers fans that was some game last night. here is what i saw last night watching the new teams in the West and how i think the trades will affect the balance of the season.

First, i gotta give props to the Raptors who pasted the Magic last night. Chris Bosh dropped 40 points shooting 14/16 and 11/11 from the line and he hit a 3 pointer in there as well. Dwight Howard scored 37 but Bosh was scoring from anywhere on the floor he wanted. Jose Calderon had another spectacular game going for 19 points and 13 assists with only 1 Turnover... wow when this team is shooting, they can be a very scary bunch...

okay, that being said... let's talk about the Suns/Lakers game. going in it was billed as the Shag/Kobe Bryant duel. as the game wore on, we saw a Suns team struggling to find itself on offense - to the tune of 124 points... the problem was the inside strength that the Big Fella was to provide was not there... sure he grabbed 9 boards, but the Lakers attacked the middle all night and scored at will as Pau Gasol lit up the Suns for 29. that being said, i still feel that Shaq will find a way to contribute at both ends of the floor as the rust will come off and by May/June, this team will be ready... was Amare Stoudemire not fantastic last night?? wow

Mavericks/Hornets and the return of Jason Kidd. we saw last night what most of us suspected.. that Jason Kidd can't be effective as an interior threat anymore... he looked slow and scared to attack... 8 points, 5 assists will not be enough to help the Mavs push over the top... i understand it is still early in the new season for him, but he didn't have a good sense of what the Mavs are about... and Chris Paul was awesome with his 31 points and 11 assists... probably the most consistant guard this year.

The Nets won which has to be a good thing, so for them the trade was a success.

we know that Shawn Marion has helped the Heat and will probably be a good trade for them, but i am still not sold on Shaq in Phoenix...

the Spurs getting Kurt Thomas for almost nothing suddenly makes all our Power Rankings irrelevent. he will provide strength at both ends of the floor and could make the Spurs very tough to match up in a playoff series with Tim Duncan, a healthy Tony Parker, Manu Ginobli and Kurt on the floor, who do you double? Can't wait to see him play a game with the spurs

So here is how i see the new Western conference Power grid...

1) Hornets - now have the best record in the west and continue to amaze with solid offensive and defensive play and probably the 2nd best player in the league in Chris Paul as well as David West and Tyson Chandler and Peja Stojakovic who looks like he wants to play again... this team will destroy hopes and could end up 1st over all in the west

2) Lakers - this team looks like a championship team again.. and if Andrew Bynum comes back, this team will win most playoff matchups... Kobe, Pau, Derek Fisher and Lamar Odum form a great nucleus, and with Bynum in the mix, this team should get to the finals in the west

3) Spurs - i had written them off until the trade for Kurt Thomas.. this team will be in the final four again... but i am not sure they can out play either the Hornets or the Lakers for the title this year

4) Suns - I still naively believe that this trade will make them stronger if Shaq doesn't die first... Steve Nash, Amare, Leandro Barbosa... this group is solid, but i am not sure they have enough to get past the Lakers this year, they still seem to lack intensity and inside play from the wing position...

5) Jazz - a very solid team that could make noise in the playoffs if they get a good seeding.  Deron Williams, Andre Kirilenko and Carlos Boozer make this a tough team to keep up with.

6) Mavericks - second round loss will disappoint, but this team NEEDS Jason Kidd to perform at above the level he has been playing so far... i think he could do it, and this team could be the dark horse in the west playoffs

 7) Rockets - I think this team will stay hot and catch the 7th spot, which would draw the Lakers.. that would be fun to watch... Kobe vs. Tracy McGrady Pau vs Yao Ming...

8) Nuggets - i hope this team can figure out how good they are and start playing more consistently. Marcus Camby, Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson can play against any 3 on any team...

</td> </tr> </tbody> </table>

 

here is my take on the East now

having had a bit of time to ponder, i have decided that i should do a list for the east as well... it might be a bit shorter

1) Celtics - i think they will end up first overall as Kevin Garnett gets healthy again this team will again roll through the East and dominate the west with it's stingy defense... Paul Pierce is flourishing with quality support from Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins... a very solid team that will be tough to beat in a 7 game series

2) Pistons - after a nice 9 game run they have dropped 2 they should have won... not worried though, this is a vetern team that is above average in every area and very solid defensively, i think they could beat the Celtics in a 7 game series only if they have home court... March 5th will be a huge step on that quest...

3) Raptors - after last night, i think this team could beat most teams but need too many things to work right for that to happen... With Chris Bosh playing like a beast and Jose Calderon commanding the floor - 1 turnover is sick!!! - this team can score outside at will.. what is missing is power on the inside... Kris Humphries had a decent game, but neither him nor Rasho Nasterovic can pound to the point of being a constant threat.. and as much as i like Andrea Bargnani, he needs to gain about 25 pounds to become a relevant player in this league...

4) Magic - they might have had an off night, but this team seems to rely too much on Dwight Howard to do everything... the lack of top quality guards will hurt this team.. and already has done so as this team had no consistant pressure from the back end.. Jameer Nelson is not a top level guard, but does have flashes... he is just too small to take on a large back court like the Raptors, Pistons or Celtics can floor.

5) Cavaliers - this team has a perpetual mvp candidate with LeBron James, but not much else... Daniel Gibson needs to be elevated beyond his years as this team needs another scorer.. if they can play defense like they did last year, they might challenge, but i am not sure the support is there for LBJ this year... this team really needed to make a move to challenge and haven't yet...

the rest don't have a shot as far as i am concerned and will lose in the first round to whomever they play...

so i see the Celtics and the Pistons going 7 games with the Pistons pounding out the victory at home... Celts win if it is in Boston...

so i will put Celtics and Lakers in the finals right now... if Shaq can play at even 60% the Suns might roll the west... but it will be a great second half..

Category: NBA
Posted on: February 6, 2008 10:30 am
Edited on: February 6, 2008 10:52 am
 

My thoughts on "THE Suns/Heat TRADE"

 

here are my thoughts on "THE TRADE"

The Suns are NOT underachieving - not sure how a 34 - 14 record and 3rd overall behind the Celtics and the Pistons and 1st overall in the West can be described that way, but yes they have lost to the Timber Wolves 2x and bad nights happen or they just lost interest. We have seen the top 5 or 6 teams all tank some nights as the 82 game schedule is made to be endure more than conquered.. not sure how the Spurs survive the Rodeo Road trip year in and year out, but they seem to come back and begin their season after the all star break.

what we saw last night in the Lakers vs. Nets game was the emergence of a new team in purple and gold.. how long has it been since we have seen Kobe Bryant have so much fun scoring 6 points and WINNING???!!!! When Andrew Bynum gets back, this team will power through the rest of the west... i have no problems saying that... even adding Shaq won't help the Suns stop that team... and they will be fun to watch... like the Suns with a very active interior which Shaq can no longer provide.

The lack of inside dominance let alone presence has cost this team 2 great regular seasons with 2 bad playoff years... does this trade give them the strength to get past the Spurs? or the Lakers? or the Mavericks? hard to tell as Shaquille O'Neal is very damaged right now and needs to heal... not sure this was the guy to pick, but i doubt anyone else was available.

Did Shawn Marion have to go? maybe, but as good as he was, he can be replaced.. there are very few men in the league who can't be replaced and that is why deals are made... some times a guy is such a disruption, he needs to go, like Allen Iverson was a couple years ago and Vince Carter was with the Raptors.. when a guy becomes a distraction to the team... any GM will look to move him. I will miss Marion's skill, but i think that bringing in a winner will only enhance a fragile locker room.

Is this a "sacrifice at all costs deal"? i don't think so as Shaq will bring a lot to the table that we will never see... but the Suns will know that he is there and that alone will allow them to play a bit better.. maybe if nothing else, they will all start to play better defense if they really believe this deal puts them 4 on 5 on both ends of the floor...

the team dynamic just changed dramatically... i for one am willing to trust that the Suns know what they are doing... i won't change my Suns to the Raptors just yet... but if Shaq tanks...  i will have to change... this team won't be the same if they give marion away for nothing... which some think shaq is at this point... we shall see...

Category: NBA
Posted on: January 25, 2008 10:16 am
Edited on: January 25, 2008 12:08 pm
 

A little debate for the weekend... Point Guards!!

It seems the boards are full of GM types who have varying degrees of love/hate for point guards. What i am offering today, is a place to discuss and debate the position, the prototype and the current players who fill the spot.

A point guard has been equated to the quarterback on the football team. The analogy has merit, but i am not sure it says enough as Mark Rypien owns a Super Bowl ring as a starter.... hmmmm...  a canadian by the way, but not what i would call a great qb. Joe Montana, Dan Marino.. most would consider them great. what they brought was an ability to get the most out of the talent they had and the talent around them... that is why the point guard is compared to the qb is some aspects.

for me, Bob Cousey, Oscar Robertson - MR. TRIPLE DOUBLE!! Magic Johnson, Dennis Johnson, John Stockton. John Havelichek. these guys defined the role as playmaker and floor general. they scored when needed they passed the ball to the finishers and made thier teams winners by virtue of elevating the play of the entire team. A point guard often plays the role of coach on the floor as he runs the offense and sets the defense up either on his own or from the bench direction. Those great Celtic teams in the 60's, 70's and 80's with strong guard play and of course SHOWTIME!!!

Today, the NBA has a wealth of wonderful point guards, perhaps no other era has had the depth now from team 1 to team 30 for point guards. for me, this is fantastic as it has elevated the game on many levels.

So what follows is my take on the top guards in the association that play the true point.

here is the statistical link for the cbs ranking... i will try to give my take on the ranking..

http://www.sportsline.com/nba/playe
rrankings/regularseason/PG

Player                                     Rating   Last Wk    Change   GP    MPG  PPG  RPG  APG   FG % FT %

1. Chris Paul, NO                  82.00   81.62         +0.38        39     37.3  21.0    3.8   10.4  48.8   88.6
 2. Baron Davis, GS               81.76   81.26         +0.50        44    39.2  22.3    4.9     8.1   42.7   74.5
 3. Steve Nash, PHO             77.38   76.25         +1.13         42    34.1  17.5    3.5   12.1  51.3   90.3
 4. Deron Williams, UTA       76.24   75.86         +0.38         42    36.6  19.3    3.0    9.2   51.7   78.2
5. Jason Kidd, NJ                  73.43   73.25         +0.18         41    37.3  11.3    8.3   10.6  36.6   81.1
6. Chauncey Billups,DET     72.94   72.44         +0.50         41    34.0  17.9    3.0    7.1   45.5   90.6
7. Mo Williams, MIL                72.50   71.97        +0.53          40   37.6  16.8    3.6    6.8   47.5   86.6
 8. Tony Parker, SA                 70.46   70.51         -0.05          37   34.8  19.6    3.0    6.2   49.1   72.5
 9. Jose Calderon, TOR        69.63    68.62        +1.01         42   31.3  12.1    3.2    8.5   51.4   91.9
10. Andre Miller, PHI              68.96    69.09         -0.13         43   36.1  16.2    3.9    6.1   48.1   72.4

man i wish the formatting thing worked.. i hate notepad!!

We see by the rankings, that Chris Paul statistically is the top rated point guard. So what does this actually mean? does this mean he is the BEST in the league right now? does it mean that HE should be the starting all star? or does this just mean that he puts up numbers?

he is the top rated point guard on the one of the top 5 teams in the league. his team has never played better, and they deserve the position they are in. Baron Davis, Steve Nash, Deron Williams, Jason Kidd.. what a list.. all these players should be and would be guys ANY team would want playing for them.  Toronto Raptors have a unique situation with T J Ford out, Jose has developed into a top 10 guard... no one saw that talent, but his numbers are showing the growth he has had this past season.... what a position to be in for Sam Mitchell.

So the question becomes, what factors do we place the most emphasis on to say that one guard is BEST or that much better than another to determine the over all best or worst guard. i have seen posts that tell me that Steve Nash is a horrible guard, yet his numbers have him in the top 3 AND he is the overall assist leader, which to me is the point of emphasis for a point guard. another is assist/turnover ratio, which has Jose Calderon as the top full time PG on the list. this has been a large reason why the Raptors win... it sure isn't interior defense!!!

the question of value becomes subjective then. i might look for certain aspects of talent, character, team play and each of these will have greater of lesser value than someone else. some value experience more than youth - the Steve Nash and Jason Kidd are the best group as oppossed to the Chris Paul, Baron Davis, Deron Williams crowd. then there are PG's on great teams that seem to benefit more from the team than they contribute - Tony Parker, some would put Steve Nash here as well and Chauncey Billups of the Pistons.

Bottom line, we have a large pool of very talented point guards, each seems to bring his own flavor to the mix.... which to me means that each team with develop a unique style and not all guards will thrive in all the styles. We know guys like Nash and Davis LOVE the run and gun, but guys like Parker and Paul can run, and can play out of a set with the same effectiveness. Jason Kidd - love the guy, but guards should not necessarily be a leading rebounder on your team... theirs a guy who needs a team in front of him... he would look fantastic in a Maverick's uniform!!! Another thought.... as with any debate, imagine what the team would be without the player... could you imagine how pathetic the Nets would be without Kidd?? or the Hawks without Johnson? we have all seen the Suns while Nash rests his back... and even the Raptors have no answer when Jose is out. But what about the Hornets without Paul? Would the fall off be as great? I suspect it would be at least as far... the Warriors without Davis struggle at best. And look at the stability that Derek Fisher has brought the Lakers in perhaps the least talked about signing in the past couple years... what a catch he was for them and we see Kobe realize he doesn't need to run the show and they have responded as a team.

So what will it take to win a championship? how critical is guard play? well, last year we saw Tony Parker light up the Caveliers from the guard spot as they had no real answer for his play. We have watched Dwayne Wade light up the finals a couple years ago and lead the Heat to the promised land... he is not playing well despite his numbers as he has no one on that team he can work with ... sort of like Kobe .. having to do it all himself.. great numbers on a lousy team!! Look how the Timberwolves struggle without thier man Randy Foye... hard to watch... but they have enough to beat a sleeping Suns team..... go figure...

Let's not forget about the up-and-comers like Acie LawMike Conley and Juan Carlos Navarro with the Grizzlies, Taurean Green, and of course, Rajon Rondo with the Celtics... all with bright futures, some needing a lot of work, others in a groove at this point... the future will of course bring us more young guards to watch excel at their craft.

thanks for stopping by and please feel free to leave your thoughts

Category: NBA
Posted on: January 15, 2008 11:06 am
Edited on: January 15, 2008 11:10 am
 

Welcome to my basketball world!!

Welcome to my world of ball.

What a season we have had so far!! We have two teams roll through the East with ease and 4 teams in the West that could be a threat to win it all.

In the East we have watched the Pistons and the Celtics roll over teams from both conferences, yet lose a few games they should not. The Wizards without Agent Zero have discovered DEFENSE works and have shut down the Celtics 2 games in a row. We have seen the Pistons lose to the Knicks. No comment necessary on that one I hope...

In the West we have a great race developing as the top 8 delight in beating each other up!! Watching the Kings hang around the Mavericks and win at the buzzer was fun to watch as they scrapped their way into a lead, lost it, but fought back to win... Well done. I guess in the West the saying "any given night" holds true. The Spurs have not woken up yet and when they do, they will be tough to beat again. The Suns and the Warriors are still convinced that offense will be enough... but we all know better.

Watching the young talent like Dwight Howard explode onto the scene has been great, the future looks good as the association morphs into a league with athletic big men not afraid to bang inside, but willing to step out and be a threat facing the hoop as well.

I hope this blog catches the interest of many who love basketball and facilitates discussion about issues and observations on our great sport.

Have a great day!

WELL DONE CBS!!

Category: NBA
Tags: NBA, Raptors, Suns
 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com