Questions in the NBA Answered: A Realistic View on the Contenders
In the NBA publicity rule the minds of many. We are told who is the best team by everyone else with out looking at the facts. I sat down thinking about the things that make my blood boil to hear repeated from insignificant sources such as team sites, money controlled media, and band wagoner’s.
I wish and hope to set something’s clear with this slideshow of reason.
A big question this season is if the Lakers can repeat?
The big answer is yes.
Keeping the main core of the team and swapping forwards to get Ron-Ron the best team in the playoffs last year just got better. With a stronger Paul Gasol and a learning Andrew Bynum they have a starting backcourt that is better then most in the NBA.
Kobe is Kobe....I shouldn't need to explain that anymore...
Ron Artest outside of all the stupid crap he does is a pretty good player. I say pretty good because he is slowing down, especially when it comes to defense. He looked just a step slow guarding guys like Brandon Roy and Kobe Bryant this last playoffs. But he won't need to worry as much having a solid starting four along his side.
Lamar would be a great 6th man if could be consistent...which i fear he never will be. Lamar Odom has to be the most erratic forward I've seen in a few years. One night he'll light up every stat on the sheets, hitting threes and grabbing every rebound. Other nights he'll do virtually nothing.
The only other problems would be Derek Fisher, injures, and their bench.
Although Derek hit a few clutch shots in the finals he was a liability on the defensive end getting abused by speed guards like Aaron Brooks Deron Williams Cortney Lee and Rafer Alston. Injuries can happen unexpectedly and change a season (KG, Yao Ming ring a bell?). Lastly there beach....well sucks. Lamar Odem and Shannon Brown are the only things that make it even some what attentive to the common eye.
So they can repeat, but this year will make last years one look like a cake walk. If teams other then them can stay healthy, look for it to be a dog fight to the top Laker fans.
Are the Orlando Magic reloaded?
Now Magic fans before you skip this page and try to erase my answer from your heads give me a chance to explain. The Orlando Magic are still a strong team in there confence, matter of fact the whole NBA. They will make some noise this year but don't expect fireworks. If you do you may sadly be disappointed.
After a Finals whopping by the hand of the Los Angles Lakers you knew the Orlando Magic are looking for a title this season. They made this totally clear when they traded for Vince Carter on draft day.
The losses of Hedo Turkoglu, Courtney Lee and Rafer Alston will hurt. Alston was their best point guard come playoff time. Jameer Nelson was forced to ride the pine because of a shoulder injury, Anthony Johnson had no D, and Tyron Lue wasn't activated. Rafer Alston would have been a brilliant back up for the still somewhat recovering Jameer.
Courtney was a rookie man child showing flashes of greatness every now and then. He would have been a crazy player in about 3 more years. But caught up in the arm race with almost every other team they over looked this for Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson.
Ryan was a great addition for the power forward position on the team. He can hit outside shots like most of the players on the Orlando team. He's shown he can score in the summer league but really knows how good defensively he is.
Vince Carter will be replacing Hedo in the starting line up. He is a prolific scorer, one of the games best, but as for clutchness? Not so much. He tends to force up a lot of shots which is exactly what the magic need less of. Another negitive is that Vince Carter is not a leader like Hedo was, his IQ is just a little lower. They also picked up a solid back in Brandon bass hoping he can be can be Superman’s Clark Kent in the frontcourt. They also matched offers and forced Marcin Gortat to come back.
They can beat the Cavs but the Celtics, Lakers or Spurs? Come playoff time that’s debatable. The Celtics have the strongest backcourt in the NBA right now. They have every player in the eastern conference that could man handle Dwight Howard last year. Those to players are Rasheed Wallace and Kendrick Perkins. That is not good at all if your Orlando. I suggest Magic fans start praying for league injuries or hexing opposing players into a shooting slump. If they don’t, they may not be getting as far as they hoped.
Hyped Up Hype?
The Cavs are pretty much best team in the NBA and will win the eastern conference hands down?
My answer people is a big fat NOPE!
Please don't believe that just because the Cleveland Cavilers grabbed Shaquille O’Neil they will win it all!
The addition of Shaq does bring an all around center to the Cavs roster which is something they never really had. They also have LeBron "Man Child" James coming off of a MVP season. But don't believe that means their now the "best team" in the NBA.
The eastern conference is more loaded then it may have ever been. The Celtics and Orlando Magic have all made moves that defiantly make them the two favorites to win the conference. The Cleveland Cavilers are not added to this for a couple of reasons. The biggest one is their backcourt.
LeBron and Shaq can make any frontcourt better. They are two definite future first ballot hall of famers. It’s the other parts of the roster that cripples this team. Mo William’s proved usless shooting .408 form the field .372 from three-land in the playoffs when you need star players to, well shine. The only stat of his that stayed the same was his blocks average which is .1. Every other stat dropped as well.
Big Z is at the big age of 34 and declining. Anderson Varejao was brought back after another pitiful season and playoffs for a starter on a “championship” caliber team. Leborn and Shaq will have to carry this team for pretty much the whole season. I do think Jamario Moon and Danny Green (if signed) will help this playoff troubled team a little but in the long run this team well run out of gas and underachieve in the playoffs like they do every year.
Fans, get ready to say goodbye to the franchise that is LeBron James.
To Old to Roll?
Another belief in the public mind is that the Boston Celtics are too old.
My answer? No.
I have reseached into the age of their players and found that 50% of the players on their roster were 25 and under. (25 Sheldon Brown, 24 Kendrick Perkins, 24 J.R. Giddens, 24 Lester Hudson, 23 Rajon Rondo, 23 Glenn Davis if signed, and 21 Bill Walker). Only 5/15 players in the roster are over 30. Yes most of the providers are older, but if the bench plays well they'll injury free.
If Glen "Big Baby" Davis is signed expect this team to create noise in the playoffs. They are the best team in the east with the addition of Wallace to their front court. Although Rasheed is a walking technical he was the best defender on Dwight Howard last year. Kendrick Perkins also held his own against Superman himself. If KG comes back and remains healthy the Celtics can be the best defensive team in the league and possibly the champions again.
The only question mark is the beach and point guards. The Celtics bench as been filled with some under achievers like Sheldon Williams and Marquis Daniels for this season. Whether or not they can turn this around on is championship team is unknown.
One last thing unknown is rondo's back up. It could be the strictly shoot first guard Eddie House, unproven draft pick Lester Hudson, or the resigning of the 'no show' Starbury. If they can find just on real point guard the Celtics will be fine.
The core has not been tampered with and the older players will now get the resting time needed to be fresh in the playoffs. I see nothing other then health stopping this stacked team so Celtics fan please cross your fingers and hope no one falls to injurys like KG did last year.
Are the Spurs the underdogs?
My educated answer? No way Jose!
Many say that the Spurs are underdogs which I strongly disagree with. This is a team that can beat any team in the league when really needed, do not sleep on this team.
With Timmy Duncan and Manu hopefully returning healthy, this team can rip the crown away form the Lakers. Tony Parker has been playing his best basketball at age 27 and won't hit a declined for awhile. He has a mild sprain right now but will have enough time to recover.
The addition of Richard Jefferson gives them an athletic scoring small forward averaging 19 points with the Bucks. They also stole DeJuan Blair the hard noised player out of Pittsburg averaging 15 points and 12 rebound from the draft. The Spurs then dipped into free agency picking up Antonio Mcdyess. With Roger Mason making clutch shot after clutch shot and a defensively developing George Hill this is a very dangerous team.
Similar to the Celtics health is the key. If (a really big if) Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan can stay healthy they could knock off the Lakers this year or take the whole thing.
What About Us???
Hey what about the Nuggets and Trail Blazers?
What about them? I expect them to do the same as they did the year before.
Now the Nuggets may be able to upset things in the west like last year. But until George Karl is gone this team is going nowhere.
Will they win a lot of games during the season?
Can the get far into the playoffs?
Yes, once again its possible.
Can they win it all?
How about the western conference?
I highly doubt it. You have no idea what a coach with some real plays can do to that team. Melo would have the key to unlock the potential he’s been trying to lock pick his whole NBA career. They would play real defense instead of just standing there and work hard. This team would be a real contender in every way.
But the team doesn’t run plays.
This team plays minimal defense if any.
There a run and gun team. The last time I checked teams like that didn’t win a title. The San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics and the Los Angles Lakers won having some of the best defense in the world. These three teams won the last 3 finals in this order.
So why do you think the standard would change now?
Don’t expect anything but high scoring and over 50 wins for this team. Asking anything else of this team is similar to a midget to grow, not gonna happen. But if the did win it all it would have been by the grace of God, not skill.
As for the Trail Blazers I see the light at the end of the tunnel.
They have a young roster learning all about the playoffs with Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge leading charge. They achieved a winning season in 2008-2009, the first one since 2002-2003, they can only go up from here.
They took an early exit from the playoffs last year but they could upset someone, you never know with this team. The lost of Hedo in the bidding war could take awhile to recover from. But hey, on the flip side you got a constellation prize in Andre Miller.
If you expected this team to dominate they don’t, and when you expect them to lose they win. Consistency is their goal this year and soon they might raise a banner to a franchise thats been in a long drought.
Is There a Method to His Madness?
Well is there one?...
….none that I see.
Okay let’s try and break this mess of a team down.
One of there first moves was to resign an aging Jason Kidd back to the roster with a three year deal. My question is why?
He is coming off his worse season basically ever. His points, rebounds, assist, steals, field goal percentage, 3 point makes dropped, some drastically. He’s 36, slow, reluctant to shoot, coming off a horrible year and Mark Cuban gives him a 3 year deal for 25 million?
My friends I ask you….Why???
Then he decided to pursue and sign Shawn Marion. That’s an understandable move I guess at first glace….but it could have been better. What Shawn brings to the team is versatility and a above par defense. But when you look at the stats some may start to cry.
Shawn put up a messily 13.5 points the last three seasons, two with the Miami Heat and the other with the Toronto Raptors. Then you look at the games he actually played. He’s only 31 but missed 161 games out of the last 264 playing a weak 28.3% of the games for the last three seasons. Marion has had a back injury, strained groin, and season ending foot injury in the last 3 years. So they pay money for one of the most fragile players in the league?
Then to make things even better Cuban signed up Tim Thomas and Drew “no more goatee” Gooden. My friends the dumb just got dumber.
I have no idea to why he signed these guys. Yes there are some okay players there but that’s not my problem, my problem is different. They Have this kind of a roster….
PG: Jason Kidd/ Jose Barea/ Rodrigue Beaubois…? Never heard of…
SG: Jason Terry/ Matt Carroll
SF: Josh Howard/Shawn Marion/Greg Buckner/Tim Thomas/Shawne Williams/Quinton Ross, who no one seems to want
PF: Dirk Nowitzki/Shawn Marion/ Kris Humphries/Tim Thomas/Ahmad Nivins/Nathan Jawai/Drew Godden
C: Erick Dampier/Drew Godden/Ryan Holland/Nathan Jawai
….now I’ll be honest and tell you I rarely watch the Mavs unless a better team is playing them. But when you look at this roster doesn’t it seem just a wee bit off balanced?
You have 5 guards for your backcourt, but your frontcourt has 13 players. Okay they have 18 players to there roster, I thought you could only have 15? Even once he gets down to 15 the players aren't excatly watch you need to get back to the Finals. I have no idea what this man is doing, I’m really really trying to understand?
To make matters even worse, the only ones becoming free agents form this mess of a NBA squad is Tim Thomas, Ryan Holland, and Quinton Ross. But that is in two yeas. Until then the players he has assembled will stay put unless waivered or traded.
The last time this team was good was in the 2005-2006 era when Avery Johnson took them to the promise land (the Finals) for the first time in franchise history. They lost in seven games to the underdog Miami Heat, after that the wheels started falling. They were kicked out of the playoff by the number eight seed Golden Warriors. Soon after this some of the players like including Dirk blamed the coach for their post season lost. So Mark Cuban needing to fire someone to look like he was fixing problems and fired arguably the best coach they ever had, Avery Johnson. They then lost in the first round to the Hornets next year. They then beat an injury weakened Spurs to only get kicked out by the Nuggets in the next round with little fight. This franchise needs to get rid of Mark Cuban but it may already be too late.
He has signal handily drove this franchise into the ground?
My advise to Mav fans?
Get a new team.
Why Can't We Win Anything?
Can the Suns do anything this year?
I guess they’ll win over 40 games. As for the playoffs, don’t expect them to go deep.
The reason why this team will not go anywhere is for a few good reasons. The first is that this team’s philosophy is run’n gun. As I’ve said before this won’t win you any kind of championship. The last time this team had a real defensive presence is back when Charles Barkly was suiting up in 1992.
I’ve always hated this team for its lack of heart on the defensive end. I had high hopes for this team when Terry Porter became the head coach. Things started to slow down and it was 120 point scoring games every night, they were looking better. Now it would have took time but they were going down the right path. But what happened?
The players opened their mouths
Matt Barns started to complain about playing time. Amare Stoudemire complained about not being able to use worked on offensive moves. Raja Bell said he wasn’t scoring enough. So they fired the coach once again and kept the players for the most part, only losing Raja Bell and Boras Diaw.
They made two mistakes this season, resigning Steve Nash and Grant hill. This team should be rebuilding a bit. The other problem is big and goes by the name Amare Stoudemire. He wants to get a new contract and get paid big, really big. Now can he be worth that amount of money. Yes he can but there’s just one problem.
He’s as immature as the kid that takes his basketball home when he isn’t picked to play.
One night after a win or a 50 point game he’ll lean out to say that he’s a captain of the team. He’s typically the first to point at himself for the cause of a win. But when he loses he’ll say things like ‘It’s not my fault’ or ‘Who ever said I was a captain?’ to the press. Until he matures he’s not worth it. Other power forwards like Kevin Garnett and Paul Gasol are not only good because of skills but they take responsibly for things. Paul said himself he was to weak in the Finals against the Celtics so he bulked up this year along with Kobe Bean Bryant. Kevin tries to take the full blame for lost games on his shoulders, he typically admits things like that. And when his team wins? He say it was team work, and it is. Amare is not that type of player. Watching this team play some of the leagues best makes me cringe.
The Suns don’t need a trade, they need a purge!
The Lakers or Celtics.
In my mind its a tie. The Lakers should be favored to win it all but if the Celtics can stay health they could possibly take the championship back.
What about team rankings?
Thats hard to do seeing how the year goes up and down, but if every team is healthy this would be order.
1. Boston Celtics
2. Los Angles Lakers
3. San Antonio Spurs
4. Orlando Magic
5. Cleveland Cavialers
6. Dever Nuggets
7. Portland Trial Blazers
This is my take on things in the NBA, some may agree, others disagree. Please feel free to comment on this, I love to debate!