NBA All Day. NBA All Day. NBA All Day.

Basketball at it's Finest. Also, other stuff. Sometimes.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day Zero: What We Learned

Don't Do it. Don't look at Boston's 88-80 stifling of the Heat and start the hand-wringing and sneering about how MIAMI SUCKS or I KNEW THEY WOULD BE HORRIBLE. Just stop. Along with the harsh glare of opening night shining on the Heat, here's what we learned:

*Miami has a ways to go; ESPN construction of a dedicated news team JUST for the Heat and people like Jeff Van Gundy smoking a bowl and then declaring them 72 game winners put alot of pressure on 'em, and last night we saw that, simply put, they're not ready. BUT-

- To open with the Celts was one of THE worst scenarios for MIA. THe Celts are the epitome of supreme defensive squad , their suffocating defense ranking 1st, 2nd, and 5th  in John Hollinger's Defensive Efficiency in the last 3 years. (The 5th place finish last year is misleading; Garnett, Rasheed n' Co. sandbagged the regular season and stepped up at the end, cumulating in the throttling of the Magic and Cavs in last years playoffs, then giving the Lakers ALL they could handle in the Finals). Boston's disciplined rotations, paint-clogging bigs and swift close-outs on the perimeter were too much for the still-developing Heat squad.

- Mike Miller is going to be a HUGE part of the Heat offensive attack; his sharpshooting, passing, and rebounding (no, really) are expected to lead that 2nd unit and boost the Miami Thrice. Right now, he's a spectator due to a cracked thumb.

- 3 minutes does not a preseason make. This was basically Dwyane Wade's 1st on-court action since the Celts bounced him from the playoffs, and it showed. He seems out of rhythm and lacked that Burst,  going for a weak 13 pts on 25% shooting. Give Wade a week and a half of court time before we proclaim the LBJ/Flash experiment a failure.

- 1 game does not a legacy make. Bosh had a crap game with 8 and 8. It's one game. He's a 25 and 10 guy. I got faith he'll make up for this clunker.

What else did we learn Opening Night?
- Lakers are even BETTER than last year. Just typing that makes me wanna sit in a dark room with a bottle of brandy and a cigarette. Shannon Brown might have made the biggest sacrifice of any player this off-season, passing up bigger money and minutes to play his position in LA. If he shoots even close to the way he did last night, he's going to be a problem for the rest of the L. Matt Barnes looks like he was made for this squad. All the Steve Blake nay-sayers? Shhhhhhh. It's amazing how playing with quality teammates brings the best out of even those considered "mediocre".
-Pau Gasol is the best center in the league right now. He's toughened up, he boards, he can shoot, and he's got a full toolbag of post moves. I hate him.  His 29/11 and 2 blocks somehow wasn't the headline, but it should have been.
- Speaking of centers; if you KNOW Yao is only playing 24 minutes, shouldn't the coaching staff down in Houston wouldn't force the issue a little, get the team to STOP SHOOTING JUMPERS while Yao's out there??

Phoenix is in big trouble, and Portland is gonna be good. As much as I think we'll see Amar'e struggle without Nash, the Suns now have a gaping 25 ppg hole in the middle. Nash may still have" It", but if you got no one to pass it to, you end up with 26 points (good...), 6 asts (eh..), and 9 TOs (What the..?!?). Hedo Turkoglu's Karma is kicking him in the crotch; I bet he cries into the obscene amount of money he stole from Toronto every night, thinking about throwing lobs to Dwight Howard.
Nicolas Batum  = Bruce Bown 3.0?

That's enough of what I learned...what else stood out on Opening Night?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Reality Check: This WILL Happen

"They are SO mean on Twitter."
 Right now, as a wanna-be blogger, I'm slackin'. I post less than Chris Bosh does. I produce less than Vince Carter in Crunch-Time. I put up less numbers than Michael Redd's kneecaps. I got all kinds of issues, My ISSUES got issues, and I'm not updating what is SUPPOSED to be the dopest blog in the land enough, but it's cool, because it's STILL the dopest blog in the land. The season starts in less than 48 hours.  Skip Bayless, Bill Simmons, John Hollinger,  and especially Zach "Bacon" Harper at, they all pontificate, subjugate, evaluate, palpitate and insinuate their season previews. I'm gonna tell you what exactly is gonna happen this season. As I type, I'm watching Ahmad Rashad try to slurp Kobe, telling him he doesn't "need" the same motivation MJ needed; the same guy who woulda spent millions to pay for the medical situation that  would have allowed him to take Michael Jordan's child into his man-made womb if MJ woulda lrt him, is now tryna put Kobe into the conversation with Mike. Ms. Cleo has temporarily given me the gift of sight (Ms Cleo and the fact that I know what the &%#@& I'm watching), so I'm gonna bless you, the NBA reader. As an NBA fan, I hold these truths to be self evident...

1. One of the 3 following teams will win the 2011 championship: Miami Triple Threat, LA Lakers, or the    
Boston Celtics. I'd bet anyone, any time, any where.

2.The Miami Heat might not win the champiuonship, but they will DESTROY alot of teams, win a butt-ton of games, and are gonna have nights where we wonder if they'll ever lose. The vitriol and venom is aimed at the Heat. The message board fake-gangstas are trashing the Heat, saying that they're overrated, they don't have the talent to support the hype. Be real. LeBron screwed over a city (and by Electricity, a whole state), but statistically he can't be touched. the foolish babble about Durant being the "best player" is pure media-driven hogwash. Best scorer? Durant, hands down. Best player to build around? I'll take LeBron's 29.7 pts, 8.6 asts (DUDE IS 6'8". 270 LBS!!!!!) and 7.6 boards over Durant's 30.1 ppg, 2.7 asts, and 7.6 boards ANY DAY. Look  at those assists numbers again.  And damn, Dwyane Wade, who's been missing through the whole "what's wrong with the Heat???" preseason, put up 26.6 points, almost 5 boards, and, most importantly, 6.5 DIMES A GAME last year. That's over 15 dimes a game between those Heat's two primary ballhandlers. Why are some fools claiming that the 2 stars can't co-exist, as if  they have some kind of selfishness syndrome?  And somehow, Bosh got stuck this label of being some kind of lame, just along for the ride with these 2 superstars. 24/11/2.4 steals and a block. Bad team or not, those are elite numbers. In the preseason games I watched, Bosh shut that talk down. His jumper was wet, he drove to hole with authority, he used crafty shimmies and fakes on the low box...Bosh is doing exactly what he did in Toronto, with alot more room to fry his opposite number. We are going to witness history.

24 min 5 sec. Yao shuts it down.
3. Yao Ming will play well but get hurt at some time and miss significant time. It's all well and good to try to limit Yao's minutes protect him, but we ALL know the old adage: if you're out on the court worried about getting injured,sooner or later (probably sooner than later), you WILL get injured. No real baller can thrive on such a rigid minute farce. If you had a sleek top-of-the-line SUV with a known bad axle or a faulty transmission, would you be scared, driving it only to the store 6 miles away at 8 miles and hour, no more, no less? Or would you go out and get a less awesome but more dependable vehicle? It's getting to that point with Yao. The Rockets will be exciting to watch, may make a surprisingly deep playoff run, but the absence of Yao will sink 'em in the playoffs, Ground Hog Day-style...Kevin Martin will score in bunches, Aaron Brooks will cook and look unstoppable at times, and Budinger's a legit NBA threat, but where's that ROCK for that squad, the dude to get tough buckets down the stretch when there's 3:13 seconds left and they're down 7?

NOT the recommended box-out.
4. Orlando has a motivated D. Howard (you're a multi-millionaire with physical gifts no one else in the league can touch- why the HELL weren't you motivated last year? You're paid to do one thing: pay basketball really, really well. Why didn't you holla at Hakeem last year, or the year before???). Orlando also is depending on the ultimate dog-player/frontrunner, Vincent Carter. VC HAD breathless talent; but he admitted to dogging it in Toronto, and he's gakked in all his bigtime moments- he is what he is. He's not-good when it matters. He worried about being a star without ever being a star. He'll find a way to trip up the Orlando Magic. They won't win one until they go through a mini-rebuilding and shed that idiot Carter's contract. I saw a mock deal to Denver for Carmelo an' Chauncey for Peaches/Reddick/Bass and Carter and Jameer, which would have given Orlando it's best shot. if the Magic wins a 'ship this year I'll eat one of VC's "I suck at life" hats. Let's be real; you can't teach "playing nasty", so Howard hasn't learned how to play nasty. He's a physical freak, he'll probably win 2 or 3 'ships sometime in his career, but this Orlando team is a Regular Season Killa and Playoff Pansies.

taken yesterday. They've already given up.
5. Let's be real. Dallas is like the Cowardly Lion- they just don't have the heart. The basic talent is there- Boubeaouis is freakin' Tony "Longoria" 2.0 with a J; Dirk is a 7 footer raining Js, Jason Kidd is Mr. Do-It-All M.C. Guess what? 2 of those 3 have been the exact same for the last 13 years. Who exactly is gonna make Dallas an elite team? Caron Butler? Yeah, if this was 4 years ago when he was a dominant player. Tyson Chandler? He couldn't hold Kevin Love's jockstrap this summer at the World Games. Prediction- Dallas wins 50+ games and flames out in the 1st two rounds of the playoffs. Dirk isn't an Alpha. Jason Kidd's hanging on but he won't put a team that needs a serious 2nd star like Dallas does over the hump.  Jason Terry will give you 20 on some ridiculously in-the-mug jumpshots in losing efforts as usual. Stop playing, that's the Dallas max.

6. Who else, San Antonio? C'mon, Tim Duncan is still a very, very, very, VERY good player, but the years haven't just caught up with him., they've built condos on his back and strip clubs in his knees. Yeah, he'll give you 17-20 ppg and 8-12 boards in the monitored minutes Pop will give him, but with the athletic freaks all over the center and PF landscape, how is this throwback gonna lead his team to the Ring? When's the last time we saw Manu and Tony Parker dazzle on a consistent basis? When's the last time we saw San Antonio string a 4 week period of dominance together? Can you see the Spurs, with no perimeter stopper, dealing with 7' Durant, jumping jack Ibaka, and X-Men mutant Westbrook in 7 games? Be real; Splitter will help, George Hill will help, but in what reality are they beating LA, Miami, or even OKC? The Spurs have fallen back to the pack.


7. The Nugs window is nailed shut. Carmelo's girlie-drama and Kenyon Martin's mentally deficient reasoning (dude, you're PAID for what you DO, not for what you MAY DO IN THE FUTURE; any time you miss games is stealing money) already got the Nuggets out of the picture. Chauncy's overrated at this point, Nene' is good but not that bomb big man they need, JR Smith is insane...they're like the Atlanta Hawks West.

"Yaaaay! Chcaaago!"
8. Utah Jazz? We love Deron Williams, BEST PG IN THE L, (can't wait to see him somewhere in Texas in 2013!) and we love Jerry Sloan, in my opinion the best coach in the league over his career; he took Karl Malone, Stockton, and the 99 Cent Store Clearance rack to the finals, and more recently he molded Deron, Boozer, and The Other Jacksons into "contenders" (getting Wesley Matthews an bloated contract from the Blazers in the process). real...

9. The Nets Terrence Williams will catch some poor soul slippin' and destroy all nonbelievers with one of those once-in-a-generation, reality twisting, make-me-scream-while-watching-from-the-couch monster poster dunks....

13. Blake Griffin will be Rookie Of The Year. I like John Wall, he's got his own style, carries himself like a star (I refuse to use "swag". Not gonna happen...), but if you've seen Griffin in the preseason, you've seen an animal ready to be unleashed on the bigs of the league. He can snag double-doubles in his sleep, goes to the rim with bad intentions, and he's got that elusive "motor" so many GMs would give their first-born child for their power forward to have.

14. This year will mark the 1st noticeable of the slow-but-steady decline of Kobe' Bryant. Say what you will, at least I admitted that he IS the league's best....but age + mileage on his knees + lingering finger problems -LeBron's prime -KD's ascension to an elite player = Kobe' finally reliquishing the "Best Player" label at the end of the season. I'm not hatin', not saying he'll suck, or any of the old "Aw, hell naw, youza hata!!!" standbyes....Lakers fans, enjoy him while you can, it's goin' down...

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Man On Trial

I'm under the gun. I have a confession to make. Firstt, a little backstory. I love watching dominant basketball. I remember watching Mike eviscerate teams and destroy dudes careers and when the horn sounded, I had the satisfied feeling of a full man who just finished polishing off his favorite meal; when Rodman was added to that Bulls squad and we witnessed the record setting rampage through the league, I was in basketball Heaven, it was the dopest of the dope. Watching that 1st LA Shaq/Kobe juggernaut in the early 2000s was like watching a damn top-notch boxer laying all challengers on their back in a parking lot brawl. Somewhere along the way, with Shaq blowing town and Kobe showing certain Diva-like tendencies and allegedly taking unsuspecting hotel service-workers gross panties against their wills, I admit it, I stopped liking Kobe'. I admit, the whole "I'm-not-trying-to-be-like-Mike" while desperately trying to be like Mike thing irked me. The whole "won't-get-Ason (no J)-Kidd-cuz-of-Bynum?-Trade-his-azz!!!" garbage and the BS trade demands when the team struggled got on my damn nerves. So when Vince Carter, T-Mac, and now LeBron hit the scene, I would go through all the rigmarole to put one of these guys, ANY of these guys, above Kobe in the 2 guard hierarchy, cuz I just didn't dig that dude. I mean, who beefs with Ray Allen? Fast forward to December 2009; Lebron is stampeding any and all defenders, the Cavs are doing skits and dancing on the sidelines, and I'm telling any and everyone that wanna babble about Kobe',"Yo yo, my man, Kobe' is nice and all, and I'mma let you finish, but LEBRON JAMES is the BEST PLAYER in the League!!! THE WHOLE LEAGUE!!!!" *Shrug*. Did he dance on the sidelines DURING  a game, pissing of Chi? Yeah, and that was some bull. Did he start to really get full of himself, and start referring to himself in 3rd person WAY too much? Hell yeah, and that was crap. But guess what? I didn't care; he wasn't Kobe. The League bestowed him his MVP, Kobe' was banged up, life was good. Then- The Celtics expose LeBron as gutless (I don't care about his "the fans are spoiled" talk; a true warrior would have went out with both guns empty, shot 6 for 24 with 7 turnovers if he had to, he would have TRIED). THEN...Kobe' wills his team to ANOTHER Finals. And DENNN....Kobe' DOES shoot 6/24, but dude grabs 15 boards; at 6'7" with a bum knee, that's insane. I remember sitting in that sports bar with my homie Dun, surrounded by rabid, drunk Lakers fans, while I crowed and heckled with Boston bruising their way to a 4th quarter lead IN LA!!!! BUT...Kobe' goes 8-9 from the line and grabs 4 boards in the 4th. It's over, LA wins. Are you ^$%#* KIDDIN' ME!?!? Did he shoot 40% for the series? Yeah, the Boston D was a wall, and Kobe' was a walking wounded wing all by himself. Did Pau play better than Bryant in Game 7? Hell yeah, Pau's 18 points and 19 boards was game changing, but in the crunch, that jerk Kobe' grabbed the game by the throat and took it home as his. So yeah, as much as it makes my eyes bleed and my teeth itch, I will admit it: Kobe'snot the fastest or more athletic anymore, he's not the best shooter, not the best pure scorer, or the best defender. He's still not a good person, but Kobe' Bean Bryant is the best player in the damn WORLD. Excuse me while I go set myself on fire. I see you Dev...
I hate this guy.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Weekend Flash Pt. Dos

KB n' LBJ, right before Kobe's cracked sternum.
*OK, as a pro athlete, you HAVE to have to think highly of yourself; it tales a certain level of arrogance to be elite in your sport. I dig that. So when Kobe' says he'd win a 1-on-1 match-up with LeBron no sweat, I understand. But PLEASE, how can anyone who watches basketball not fear for Kobe's life if this ever happened? LBJ would simply go beast mode and steamroll Bryant. It's not even a question. I respect Kobe's work ethic and competitiveness and his "jaw-jut" (that's a lie, I find that idiotic face he does when he's "on a mission" ridiculous), but head up, LeBron is smashing Kobe.

"I'm 'bout to bust yo' head."
*It's funny the kinds of head-games NBA players run on each other. LA is gonna feel the wrath brought on by RonRon's slick talk (or non-talk) about LeBron. I'm a huge Kevin Durant(ula) fan, but to put him ahead of LeBronicus Rex just because of a (justifiably) superlative run this summer is ridiculous. Durant DID give LA 25 a night in their thrilling 1st round series, but he shot 35% from the floor. This isn't an indictment of him of him, but he's not better than LBJ in any facet of the game right now except humbleness. Remember this tongue-in-cheek diss when LeBron drops a sick 47/13 board/14 assist night on Artest's head sometime this season.

Like this, but like 40 more times.
*I LOVE John Hollinger's work; he's insightful, and leans on smart statwork to bolster his theories. I gotta disagree with him trying to disprove MJ's boast that he could score a 100 if he played now-a-days. You know why I KNOW he could have? He's MICHAEL ^%#$* JORDAN. He was basically unstoppable when the league was allowed to push, grab, trip, slap, and pound on him to no end (watch tapes of Detroit and NY playing D on MJ; if Kobe or T-Mac took punishment like Mike had to deal with, their heads would have imploded). Now? With the "no touching" rules, lack of burly interior defenders and even less high quality wing defenders? I can definitely see Mike having one of "those nights" and dropping triple digits on the Suns or Clippers.

*Interesting post from, but I could have saved 'em A LOT of work analyzing stats. Joe Johnson's contract became a negative to Atlanta the minute he placed the tip of the pen on the SIGN HERE: line. In no way, shape, form, or alternate reality is the guy who just went for 18, 5 and 5 on 38% shooting in this years playoffs worth 119 mil.

Weekend Blast


OK, I want my NBA back. I want to see real ballers going all in, screw how much their making. Remember McHale/Rambis WrestleMania VII? Remember MJ dunking on Ewing, then screaming in his face? Mutombo's finger-wave? Shawn Kemp eviscerating Alton Lister in '92, then pointing to show the world who just tasted his junk? I wanna see the best athletes in the world goin' hard in the paint, without worrying about the ticky-tack fouls or BS calls robbing them of their aggressiveness or breaking their concentration. It's so bad that the NBPA might take 'em to court to stop this nonsense. Yeah, the NBA is a billion dollar corporation, but the essence of those billions boils down to athletes trying to dominate each other, mentally and on the scoreboard. I remember watching the Rocky when he fought Ivan Drago; they showed the huge, ice-cold Russian ripping through his training partners with his face as impassive as stone; his emotionless destruction of Apollo Creed (Throw in the %^#*$ TOWEL!!!!) was chilling, sociopathic. Now, why would we want our NBA to be like that? I've read the sheeplike "this is a good rule!" responses like this clown, to which I respond: Shut up. I mean, are there SOME athletes *cough-KobeGarnettDuncan-cough* who DO whine at every call or non-call. Did the refs, over time, let this be the situation? Of course, this is a league of stars, and some dudes are given excessive leeway. But get outta here with that "ruining the game" crap.

Except Sheed. He took it pretty far sometimes. Still liked it, though.
Are you telling me that, as a man, if Gerald Wallace is playing hard-nosed, all-out D  on Duran tin the last 5 minutes of a 3point game, he doesn't fall for any jukes and fakes, and as Durant goes up he challenges the shot heroically, the shot misses but *TWEEET* the whistle bails KD out, are you telling me that Gerald Wallace can't turn, in the heat of the moment, turn in disbelief and be like "WHAAAT?!?!?"? Are you telling me if Kyle Korver comes hard off the screen, pulls up and drains a slick 18 footer while obviously getting smacked on the arm, it's a TECHNICAL FOUL because he surreptiously smacked his arm to show the ref where he was hit as he ran back down the floor (this actually happened.)? I get it; the Rasheed-Full-Court-Run-N-Screams after foul calls and the KG F-bombs gotta go.
But is Tim Duncan's bug-eyed "Who ME??" reaction to commiting fouls or Kobe's glare at a ref is worth a tech? Basketball is a sport, it's entertainment, and seeing the best players in the world show raw emotion is a big part of it; we as fans like to see that these millionaires care just like we do when we play pick up, that they take pride in doing what they do and have no problem showing the world. I know Doc Rivers and other coaches (and even some players) are regurgitating the brown-nosing company line (which is hilarious, Rivers is notorious for working the refs), but this is just another tug on the noose that's strangling the personalities of the NBA. From the crackdown on taunting to the dress code, to the "Leave The Bench" rule that derailed the Suns playoff run in 2007, to this crap, Stern is going all Animal Farm on the players, constricting them, brick by brick, into a confining image of what conservative (read: "White") America needs to see. You can't deny the controlled violence and necessary animosity needed to perform at a high level in the NBA. If the worst spillover is players being irked by calls they don't agree with, then we're ahead of the game. This is about players playing, the refs are no more than details and accessories. THey do NOT deserve even close to equal billing, nor should they whine about "respect"; theit job is to judge, so why can't the players voice the displeasure with shoddy reffing??

Friday, October 15, 2010

10 Day IR...

...but the training staff has cleared me to resume full-contact basketball witng activities. For the last 10 days, while suffering from lazybumitis, I've soaked up as much preseason a healthily possible, pored over about 658 other ball blogs, watched the NBAtv previews, and tried o sneak into the Staples center disguised as Artests' Zoloft carrier (I made that up), and marveled over Gilbert Arenas' Cosby look. As much as the world drools  while waiting to see how LWB get loose in MIA, there are uncountable other storylines percolating, from the Arenas saga while Wall hits the scene in DC to the D. Cousins psyche experiment during young Tyreke's "fork-in-the-road" 2nd season (we KNOW Evans is talented, but can he use the Force to expand his team game and raise the Kings collectively, or will he start toward the Dark Side, putting up huge numbers on a team that can't find ways to win?). Here are 2 major plotlines in "As The League Turns" that got me tuning in:

1. Rise of The Fallen
  Last year, the Nets were putrid, Washington was embarrassingly painful to watch, Minnesota looked like a Div II team that snuck it's way into the NBA, and watching the NO Hornets was like watching an injured fighter trying to limp through a 12 rounder with one arm. There's no way to sugarcoat it, there was some disgusting basketball played in those there cities. This is what I love about the NBA, though; we've seen these squads low, now we get to see what they're made of. Michael Beasley gets to try and jumpstart his career while simultaneously helping the Wolves return to threat status out west. Yeah, it's the preseason, but watching dem Minny Boys run the Lakers off the floor over in Spain was a promising sign; Beaz looks confident with his slick drives and wet leftie pull-ups, K Love looks dominant on the boards, and the rook Wes Johnson looks like the real deal. The Nets were a W.O.A.T. candidate last year; but now, with new owner, new coach, new athletic wings, and a new lotto pick forward, I'm excited to see these young cats grow together. Washington had one of the most atrocious seasons ever from a PR and bad luck standpoint; Agent Zero went from being a near-Top-10 "Hibachi" player to living in a halfway house upon his release from frickin' prison. The DC brass said screw it, blew the squad up (sending Jamison to be "The Guy Cleveland Got Instead of Amar'e. D'OH!" and Caron Butler to the "Ground Hog's Day" Mavericks).  but we see the young talent in Javale, Blatche, and Nick Young. Add the insane potential and speed of  # Uno John Wall and the tantalizing Yi Jialian, we got us something to watch in DC. Finally, we heard the rumblings from CP3 in the NO, and after watching the Hornets be continually outgunned and out-muscled last year even when Paul WAS on the court was just sad (just 18 months ago they were considered the "young team on the rise out West". OKC says "Gimme that!"). No Paul is chillin' in public, but the Hornets front office KNOWS the clock is ticking, and Trevor Ariza and Marco freakin' Belinelli ain't gonna cut it. What big move can N'awlins pull off to convince their savior to stay? Man, I'm amped...

2. Youth Movement
It seems like the league kinda stagnated for a few years in the early 2000s. There was some ugly, ugly basketball out of the East, I mean, the Nets made the Finals twice, and Philly went with Iverson, Mutombo, a plumber, and some dudes from the local Philly bars on the squad, for crap's sake. I was watching the replay of the Nets/LA Finals in 2002, and it was jaw-droppingly horrendous to see Keith Van Horn stinking it up in June. BEN WALLACE made 4 All-Star teams. Let that sink in. 4. Look at some of the number one draft picks: Kenyon Martin (2000), Kwame "Hands Of Stone" Brown (2001), Bogut (2005), and Bargnani (2006). ALL are decent player, Bogut looks like he may be a borderline All-Star, but as far as number one picks, they sucked. One positive about these lean years, though; it makes the hardcore NBA fans really appreciate the explosion of talent we're about to see throughout the league. There's gallons of talent every where you look; CP3, Deron, D. Rose, Aaron Brooks,  John Wall, and Rondo are trying to unseat Steve Nash as The PG of the NBA.  Yeah, LBJ and Kobe are the top 2 perimeter players, but Wade, Carmelo, Durant, Danny Granger, Rudy Gay, even relative unknowns like Wilson Chandler (don't trip, 15/5 isn't tuuurrible) and young comebacker Mike Beasley are pushing them for supremacy. Just like 2 years ago, Elton Brand was a 20/10 guy, but now the new crop of long, athletic, multiskilled bigs like Anthony Randolph, Javale McGee, Gallinari, Chris Bosh, Blake Griffin, and rooks DeMarcus Cousins and Derrick Favors are smashing the old "back to the basket" idea of post players. And with Tim Duncan in the twilight of his career, Boston's Big Three all showing signs of decline, and Kobe' showing a few chinks in the armor due to age, in-their-prime teams like D. Howard's Magic and The Miami Triumverate, along with super-young squads like OKC, Portland, New Jersey, The Wizards, and even Philly and the Clips, are licking their chops, waiting for their chance to shine. All in all, young talent spread out + the "Old Wolf/Young Challenger" dynamic will make for some fierce, compelling basketball this season.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

They SHOOTIN'...Made You Look

FINALLY. Real NBA players doin' real NBA thangs. Yeah, the Knickerbockers squared off against a team sponsored by jeans from the 1996 hip-hop scene, and Kobe' didn't play enough  against the Tito-Wolves to scuff his Mambas (AND Beasley is still clear-eyed and motivated, so you KNOW it's pre-season), but it's been almost a month since Durantula Go-Go-Gadget'ed all up in Turkish grizzillz, I've been jonesin'. THere's all types of League detritus dusting up, from stupid injuries in the Chi, Reinsdorf had to CTC of Noah, and 'Melo going super-Hollywood.

*I was hoping the Italian team came out rockin' some 1996 Armani Jeans and Troop boots, but I was disappointed as the Knicks squeaked by Armani Jeans Milano over in Italy. Amar'e is who we thought he was; a tough 32 points but only 6 boards (it should be noted as a sign of things to come: Milano power forwards scored 41 points on 13-22 shooting. New PG Felton looks "eh", Wilson Chandler looks official, and Mozgov, the new Ivan Drago had a tidy 10 and 5 with 3 blocks. D'antoni has a ways to go, but this team must be like a ray of sunshine for NY fans because, dude, the Knicks have been horridly putrid for the last few years.

*If God has any mercy, then this smashing of Maccabi Haifa is just the 1st of many (at LEAST 12) wins for the Nets. Rook Derrick Favors ran the floor and looked ready to contribute big-time with 14 and 8. I know, I know, pre-season, a non-NBA team, yada yada yada. For the Nets, ANY win is a positive step in erasing the nightmare that was the '09-'10 season for them. 6 players had between 10 and 14 points. Former GSW baller Anthony Morrow showed his slick shooting stroke, draining 4 threes. Let's hope this team bonds and gets it in this season, I wouldn't wish a repeat of Jersey's last season on my worst enemy.

*Hey, D. Howard, you're developin' and all, an' I'mma let you finish, but until you show some fire like this, Shaq is the greatest Magic center who raps of all time...OF ALL TIME! (He went platinum. Seriously.)

*Yeah, it's only the preseason, but the T-Wolves looked ready to put last season's debacle behind them with a 19 point win over the LA Champs in the UK.. With such a young squad, consistency is going to be a problem, but with bona fide wing scorers B-Easy (21 pts) and Martell Webz (24 pts) and legit defensive bigs, they can only get better (because they REALLY sucked last year). Let's hope Rambis goes easy on the triangle and let's his squad of young athletes run a little. And Wes Johnson, the Wolves lotto pick, keepin' it real about his priorities in England. (hint: it's girls).

*There's a way of thinking that purports champs can't be made; either ballers have that win-at-all-cost "dog" in them or they don't. Whatever the case, if the Magic need the Super-Friends to motivate them, they aren't  gonna win one as presently constructed. and with Rivers leading the Celts taking it all Zen-like, it's obvious why already have a 'chipand are primed to go again. Look, I get that pro athletes are like everyone else; certain things get them fired up more than others, and over the 82 game grind they might need little mind-games to push them. But seriously, Dwight n' Co. are in the '10 ECF and they call losses wake up calls? That's not only soft, but to actually say it with a straight faced to the media is weak-minded. If pride, the millions they're being paid, the lavish NBA lifestyle, and the hours upon hours they've spent in their lifetimes honing their skills isn't enough to make them want to win at all costs, all the time, then retire. On the other side of that coin, the Gang Green in Boston is showing why they're the defending Eastern champs, saying "no sweat" when questioned about the Heat. The Celts might be older, slower, and less athletic as the years creep up, but the no-nonsense mindset goes along way. I admit, I drank the Magic Kool-Aid in the '10 playoffs, but I()along with about 98% of basketball heads) seriously underestimated the heart and guts of the Celts. Orlando can play great ball, but until they learn to play grown-man ball, it's a wrap.

* is one of the sites that I wish I could write like, they know their stuff. Carlos "Mr. Glass" Boozer is already proving his worth in the Chi (worth: not much) by breaking his hand answering his ^#%$* doorbell. Seriously. Since he pulled a super-slick-double-fast one on Cleveland before the '04-'05 season, Boozer's played in over 75 games only twice, averaging 23 games missed with his injuries a year. Yo Booz, karma is a &#^%@.