A Die-Hard Bulls fan
There's not just one way to write an article - there's plenty, and the clue is to figure out what you want to do.
Personally, I write a lot of opinionated articles, and I often turn to stats to back up my opinions.
It's up to you how you prefer to present your thoughts, but I'm happy to give share some of my experiences with you.
Like my friend Craig once told me: "(...) keep yourself lean and mean and try to captivate the reader with quick hard hitting opinions and facts" - what was trying to say was that you shouldn't try to bite off too much.
What you want to do is to keep your topic narrow. For example, instead of writing down everything you have to say about the lockout, enlighten your audience about how the lockout will affect one certain player.
Also, keep your paragraphs short and your articles not too long. People on the internet don't like to spend an hour reading an article - they would have bought the newspaper instead. What they want is quick facts and interesting opinions.
Generally, A paragraph that's four lines long, is already too long.
Lastly, once you get editor feedback after you've published an article - check it out, memorize it and try not to make the same mistakes in your next article. That way, you'll improve every step of the way.
Best of luck.