Tag:Chris Paul
Posted on: January 18, 2011 4:17 pm

07-08 Hornets = 10-11 Bulls?

Okay, it has been a while since I dropped a blog so I thought now was as good a time as any. I have always felt that the Hornets and Bulls of recent had some very similar teams, but I really think I struck something while researching a bit. This seasons Bulls team has a ton in common with the 07-08 Hornets and in a way I find is a bit scary, because the Hornets did lose in the 2nd round, but I could see the same thing happening to the Bulls. So let us take a look down memory lane and find some eerie similarities together shall we?

 The Paul/Rose Factor. In 07-08 it was CP3 third season, just as it is Rose's third season, but that is just the cherry on the top of the cake. Paul had his breakout season that year with 21ppg, 11.6rpg, 4rpg, and 2.7 spg, just as Rose is having his with 24.5ppg, 8.1apg, 4.7rpg, and .376 3P%. At the time Paul was on the short list of players to become the MVP. I remember thinking he should have won the Award, but in the end Kobe became the MVP and CP3 finished 2nd in voting. Not to shabby for a 3rd year player. Paul became a household name. All of these things seem to be in the works for Rose as well. He is at the top or near the top of every MVP rankings I have seen, and while he may not be quite as good as CP3 was and is, Rose is certainly now a household name and a superstar. Rose will also be landing some votes for the MVP award if he continues to carry the Bulls. I just find this very interesting, that both of these players broke out bigtime in the third season, but this is only the begining of how the Bulls and Hornets mirror eachother.

The Rest of the Roster. Now comparing Derrick Rose and Chris Paul and what they mean/meant to their teams in the 3rd seasons is a bit creepy, but let's look at the other major players on these two teams. David West was in his prime this season and put up 21-9 for the season and was the post player that meshed so well with Paul. The Bulls have Boozer, who has been hurt, but in the 25 games that he has played he has averaged 20-10. West and Boozer are very much alike in many regards and both supply their teams with post scoring and 15 foot jumpers. Now let's look at the centers. Tyson Chandler had his best NBA season this year after being traded to the Hornets form the Bulls for P.J. Brown. Chandler was a double double machine and averaged 12ppg and 12rpg. He played above the rim and fit very well with Chris Paul. Now Noah is not really the above the rim type of player that Chandler was but both put up about the same numbers with Noah averaging 14ppg and 12rpg. Chandler was considered by many to be a top 10 center if not better at the time and Noah is also considered a top 10, if not top 5 center by many as well. Both are energy guys that play hard-nosed defense in the paint and both are very very vocal. It does not end there my friends. Let us look at the 3rd scoring options on both of these teams. The Hornets had the highly overpaid Peja Stojakovic and guess what? The Bulls have the highly overpaid Luol Deng. Both play the small forward position and both are known as streaky shooters that can light it up from time to time. Both have long histories of being injured and both put up very similar numbers. Peja with 16ppg and 4rpg and Deng with 18ppg and 6rpg.

The Records. This brings up another factor. What about the teams records? Well the 07-08 Hornets finished with a 56-26 record and the Bulls are now at the half way mark and sit on a 28-13 record. Do the math people. Yes, if the Bulls go 28-13 for the rest of the season they too will end up with a 56-26 record. Creepy. Now remember this is all in fun and I do understand that the Bulls play a defensive halfcourt game and the 07-08 Hornets got out and ran a lot more then the Bulls do, but the numbers are scary. The fact that the top 4 players on both teams were so much alike in so many ways is at the very least a bit weird. Now I certainly hope the Bulls end up doing better in the Playoffs this season but I could see the same outcome happening.

What this all means. Well if the 10-11 Bulls follow this pattern to the final outcome, then I for one will be freaked out. I could see it happening. I really could. The Hornets won there first round battle against the Mavericks. I see the Bulls, as do most, getting out of the first round. The Hornets then took the Spurs to an epic 7 games and a great series were the Hornets led the series early by winning the first two games before the wheels started to fall off. Well, what team in the east reminds me of that 07-08 Spurs team? Hmmmm. Maybe the Boston Celtics? Yes. If the Heat get the 1st seed and the Celtics and Bulls end up in the 2nd and 3rd seed(which they are both in now) then this would set up a 2nd round battle between the Bulls and Celtics. The Bulls and Celtics matchup very well on the floor and neither has played the other with a healthy roster this season. The Bulls took the Celtics to 7 games 2 years ago in perhaps the best 7 game series I have ever seen with a record 7 OTs. I could see the Bulls and Celtics putting on another show in the 2nd round this time and I could see it going 7 games. Sadly, I could see the Bulls losing that final game. Then the Bulls would be just like the 07-08 Hornets.

Posted on: October 8, 2010 2:08 pm

The ASSASSIN Team is...

I must make it clear as to what I term as an ASSASSIN Team. I am not refering to a crappy team that somehow makes the playoffs or a low to middle seed playoff team that wins the the NBA Finals. What I am looking for is a borderline playoff team that somehow makes the playoffs and grabs the 8th seed and knocks off the top seed in the first round. Think of the Warriors knocking off the Mavericks a few seasons ago. They then went on to lose, but the damage was done. That was a peret expample of an assassin team. Against the odds they killed off a much greater foe.

So which of these four teams do you think could sneak into the playoffs and knock out the top seed in the East or West, likely but not certainly the Heat or Lakers

Wizards. With John Wall looking like a stud early on and with Josh Howard returning at some point and a guard rotation of Wall, Arenas, and Hinrich the Wizards could be a crafty and quick team. Andray Blatche continues to grow this team might have the pieces to pull off an upset. Another key will be the play of Yi Jianlian.

Knicks. Amar'e Stoudimire and Danilo Gallinari make a nice combo and with a solid a cast of roleplayers the Knicks could be in great shape to make an upset. Amar'e and newly added Anthony Randolph as the center and power forward, with Gallinari on the wing and Felton and Walker in the backcourt is a perfect fit in a fast paced Mike D'Antoni system.

Hornets. If Chris Paul can return to old form then the sky is the limit. A West and Okafor frontcourt is a perfect defense/offense combo that should gel sometime this season. The addition of Ariza at the shooting guard is a huge upgrade for this team and his play and CP3's health are the only concerns at all.

Grizzlies. Sure they overpaid for Rudy Gay but this team is young and has a lot of good pieces in place. They have a pretty good foursome in Mayo, Gay, Randolph, and Gasol. This team could give a contender real trouble. They lack a lot of depth but I could still see them pulling off an upset.

So which of these 4 teams has the best chance of knocking off a top seed in the playoffs? Please leave feedback or add teams into the mix for a healthy debate. Thanks.
Posted on: June 2, 2010 2:14 pm

Hornets or Bulls?

Okay, so a debate started on another thread about these two teams and why Tom Thibodeau should choose to coach them. I think this is a great debate but I think we should move away from the arguments about which city is better, which city is bigger,  or even which team plays in which conference and I think our focus should be on which roster looks better to an incoming coach. The other stuff is nice but I think Head Coaches know that it is really the players that make the difference. So let us take a look and debate.

For fun I am ranking both teams rosters together. Feel free to yell at me or post your own rankings. Now you must also consider that the Bulls will add a player or two with their cap space. LeBron James or Dwyane Wade might not happen but Chris Bosh could or even Amar'e Stoudemire. Heck the Bulls might just land David Lee on the cheap and then pick up a 3 point shooter. In any case the Bulls will have one or two impact players heading into next season to consider. To be fair the Hornets will also have cap space after this next season to go after a max player their own so that is on the horizon. But you are playing the part of the head Coach and you must pick which team's roster looks better now and in the future.

1. Chris Paul He is clearly the best player of the bunch. He is a superstar and the best all around point guard in the league. Rondo and Deron may be better defenders, Rose a better scorer, Nash a better playmaker, and Billups a better clutch shooter and leader, but CP3 is in the top 5 in each of those catagories.

2. Derrick Rose. A rising star and a scoring machine. He has a great jump shot but needs to work on his 3. His defense is average and is his only real weakness. Ranked 14th in scoring in his 2nd season and could be top 5 this year.

3a. David West. A good inside scoring option and an overall solid player. He should average more rebounds for his size and is not a shot blocker at all. A good back to the basket player but just an average defender at best.

3b. Joakim Noah. The anit-David West if you can follow me. Noah is an average scoring bigman but a savvy defender. He is a top rebounder and shot blocker and is full of energy and is vocal which can be good at times. Needs to work on his offense a bit.

5. Luol Deng. He plays the part of a second option but should really be a third option. He is a solid defender with his length and has a silky jumpshot. He has yet to become a threat from downtown.

6. Emeka Okafor. A good defender of the paint and can sometimes be effective on offense. It is he later that is his true weakness. I do not think he will ever become an Allstar level player but is close.

7. Darren Collison. He is an explosive player that could be a starter on a few teams around the league. Will continue to grow as long as he gets playing time.

8. Taj Gibson. A steal in the draft Gibson only got better as the season went on and should come close to averaging a double double if he gets the playing time. He is a good defender and has a nice jumper and reminds me of a smaller P.J. Brown. Needs to add size.

9. Kirk Hinrich. A streaky shooter that looks to often to pass then shot, but he is a top shelf perimeter defender and often is guarding the other teams top scorer even if that means playing small forward at times when he is clearly a point guard playing out of position.

10. Marcus Thornton. He is a young scoring stud that has a bright future and could move up this list if he works on other aspects of his game. We know he can score but I want to see what else this sleeper can do before I am sold.

Good arguments could be made in a few spots but I think that is a fair top 10.

So based on rosters alone which team would you rather be the Head Coach of going into next season.
Posted on: November 7, 2009 11:58 am

Unexpected Observations Thus Far.

     I thought I would quickly point out a few interesting things that have happened so far this NBA season. We are only a couple of weeks in but a few things have jumped out at me. I am not saying these things will continue and set a trend but they are a bit shocking. Let us take a look.

1. Rockets are at the top of the Southwest division with a record of 4 and 2. The real shocker here is that the Spurs are in third with a 2 and 3 record. Not exactly what we thought we would see after the Jefferson trade to the Spurs.

2. Gerald Wallace is averaging 14.8 points a game and 14.8 rebounds a game though 5 games. I bit scary and reminds me of a young Marion with a better looking shot.

3. Bulls have the lead in the Central. I am sure the Cavaliers will take it back within the next week or so, but the Cavaliers have not looked that strong after snagging Shaq this summer. Could the Cavs be worse then last season for having made the trade? Infact if the playoffs started today the Cavaliers would not be in it. Strange. I am still sure they will end up in the top 3.

4. Kobe does not look any older. He is averaging an amazing 34.5 points per game. Looks like there is plenty of gas in the tank after scoring 41 in each of his last two games. Scary.

5. The Suns look great without Shaq slowing them down and have come out of the gates on fire. Nash is his old self and man do they look like they have depth. Playoffs for sure. I really thought they were going to be one of the westcoast teams fighting to make the playoffs.

6. Remove Chris Paul from the Hornets and they become the worse team in the league. The Hornets do not look very good at all but it is still early. Peja is ready to hang it up and this team really needs a shooter bad.

Well I could go on I am sure but I would like to hear from you. Are you shocked by the same things as I, or is there something else that has you doing a double take? 

Posted on: June 23, 2009 12:53 pm

Top 20 NBA Players for the next 5 years.

     Ok, we have all seen these types of list before, so I thought I would give it a shot. The season is over and the draft is two days away. I simply compiled my list based on the question, " Who would I pick first to be on my new NBA expansion team?" Many of these lists are based either on past accomplishments or perceived future greatness. I wanted to put my list together using a balance of the two. I am not looking so much for the best player to win a title with next year, nor am I looking for the player to win titles with for the next 10 years. Simply, who are the best players in terms of raw skill and experience together. An aging superstar like KG might win you a championship next season, if healthy, but in two or three seasons he will really begin to fade. On the other hand a player like D. Rose may become a top 3 point guard in two years, but that too is a risk to take. Bottomline, I am looking for the player that will be the best option for the next 5-6 seasons. So, in fear of all the negative replies, I give you my Top 20 Players.

 1) LeBron James.

I will admit I am more of a hater then a fan of James due to his sometimes abrasive attitude. He is the best player and he knows it. Sure Kobe is right there, but if I am looking longer term then this becomes a no-brainer. Sure Kobe has 3+ great years left, but James will only continue to get better in those 3 years as Kobe begins to fade. I saw it with MJ with my own eyes. As great as Michael was he lost his edge in his last few years with the Bulls. LeBron is both short term and long term making him my choice for number one. Sorry Laker fans.

2) Dwyane Wade.

Oh no I didn't! Yes, I did. To me Wade is as good as Kobe is already and is younger. If you put Wade in place of Kobe on the Lakers do you not think the Lakers would have won the Championship? They might have not lost a single playoff game. I hate all the Kobe vs LeBron threads, put a case can be made for Wade vs Kobe and if I had to pick from the two I would go with Wade. Both are very similar in that they are strong team leaders, clutch shooters, outstanding defenders, and nightmares to defend. In Wade's own words " I am heading into my prime", while Kobe is on the backside of his.

 3) Kobe Bryant.

You may think I am a Kobe hater but that is far from the truth. I think Kobe is still the best player today, but LeBron and Wade will shortly pass him as Kobe begins to fade. However, I think Kobe will fade much like MJ did in that he will still be a force until he is 35 or 36. Kobe is in great shape both mentally and physically and has a good few years left to lead the Lakers to more Championships. Kobe will also continue to be in the MVP talks for the next few seasons as well. I would still pick Kobe this high because he is that good. Remember I am not just looking short term here, so Kobe being at number three is generous considering the competition.

 4) Dwight Howard.

I argued with myself on this one a lot. If Howard would have led his Magic past the Lakers in the Finals or even pushed the series to seven games then I might have picked him ahead of Kobe. You can not teach size as we have all heard so many times. Howard has a couple of holes in his game for sure like free throw shooting and shooting in general. If he could get his ft% up to around 70% and learn how to shoot a 15 footer then he could become the greatest in the game. He also needs to step up and demand the ball like Shaq did back in the day. Howard is still very young and raw and in time could prove to be a top ten center all-time.

 5) Chris Paul.

With the rules the way they are right now in the NBA a player like Chris Paul is a thorn in every teams side. He can drive and kick better then any other player in the league. He is a threat to shoot from anywhere on the floor and he is a solid defender. In short, he is the total package. Maybe not as fancy as Steve Nash but I think nobody would doubt who the better scorer or defender is. You give Paul a solid bigman to play off of and good wingman and you have a contender everytime. If the Hornets had a better wingman this season they would have been a much better team.

 6) Kevin Durant.

I know that Durant at 6 may seem a bit high, but he is the real deal. He still has holes in his game but with a couple of veterans around him he would shine even more. He will become the NBA scoring champion a few times before his career is over and he will only get better as time goes on. If he can learn to use his length more on defense and bulk up a bit he will become an all-around force in this league for years to come. Can you imagine if the Thunder would have landed the 1st pick in the draft and got Blake Griffin? Scary thought. With a true lowpost player Kevin Durant would be even that much better.

 7) Al Jefferson.

A bit of a gamble here. Jefferson may not be the same after his injury, but all signs look good. He is young and a beast in the paint and as you can see I think he is the second best bigman in the NBA in the near future. He scores well down low and has the size to compete with the best in the league and will overwhelm lesser opponents. Pair him with a solid point guard and a slasher and you have a great team on your hands. It is always wise to build around a great bigman.

 8) Danny Granger.

On just about any other team Granger would be a Superstar. He has not only the stats to prove it but anyone who has watched him play about a half dozen games or so will see that he is a special kid. He is very athletic and is therefore a solid rebounder and shot blocker for a small forward. He seems to be getting better and better every game and the sky is the limit. Maybe the best testament to his ablilty is his consistency. You know what you are going to get from him day in and day out and that will help Pacer fans sleep at night.

 9) Dirk Nowitzki.

I understand that Dirk is getting older, but he just had perhaps his best season ever and Nowitzki has one thing going for him as he ages. He is an outstanding shooter. of all the aging superstar bigmen like Duncan and Garnett, only Dirk is really a great shooter from long range. With his size he will always be able to grab rebounds but even if he starts to rely solely on jumpshooting he will still be a huge threat on the floor. A seven footer shooting threes will always be scary. I still think he has 3 more years to in his prime and he will be very useful past then as well.

 10) Pau Gasol.

He is in the middle of his prime and he is as smart as they come with his back to the basket. Not as good as Duncan but has fresher legs. On just about any other team Gasol would be a 22 and 10 player but his scoring is effected by Kobe. Another huge factor for me with Gasol is he is a great teammate and while Amar'e may have more talent Gasol has more overall skills that make a team winners. Gasol has 5 more productive years left and for that reason he makes my top ten. I wish my Bulls would have snagged him. I still cry myself to sleep about that trade every night.

 11) Deron Williams.

Never should he be called the poor man's CP3. In many ways he is just as good as Paul. He has good size for a point guard and it shows in his ability to rebound and defend. He is still quite young as has many more years to prove himself. Some will argue that he is the best point guard right now in the NBA and deron's stats can make make a case for it. In any event, I think he is a great place to start when building a team. If you start building a team with a bigman or a great point guard you will most likely be ahead of the game.

 12) Chris Bosh.

He is not the best post player in the league, infact he likes to shoot to many jumpers if you ask me and a player of his size should block more then just one shot a game, but with that being said Bosh has a great all-around game and is still young so there should be a bunch of good seasons left in him. He will never contend for a MVP that is for sure but he will be considered a top power forward for the next 8 seasons barring injury. He is a good teammate and a smart player and that could take him far. Maybe even far way from Toronto.

 13) Brandon Roy.

Still young and is already one of the best guards in the NBA. 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists can not be balked at. He is the clear leader of a young rising team and his future is bright. I may even have him too low on this list. I just feel that Dirk and Gasol will still be great bigman for the next 5 years. If the Trail Blazers can make a solid trade they could contend next season. I still think this team would be better with a solid veteran leader to help calm them down a bit. Still if they stand pat they could blossom on their own.

 14) Amar'e Stoudemire.

He is a risk after knee surgery. He is however perhaps the best inside scorer in the game but he disappears on defense and I question him as a teammate. He seems to have an ego problem that could be a cancer in the locker-room. He is a hard player to wrap my mind around. If the stars are aligned correctly he could be a centerpiece of a championship team, but I do not think he is quite that good of a player. He needs to be in the right setting and a number two option behind a superstar point guard or shooting guard. He would do well teamed up with Wade on the Heat.

 15) Carmelo Anthony.

Let's face the facts, Melo could not lead this team with a map until Billups showed up. Chauncey Billups is the sole reason that the Nuggets had such a great season. I might have Billups on this list if he were not so old. I can not see Chauncey being a stud in 3 to 4 years. Anthony will however continue to fill up stat sheets do to his talent and athletic ability. If he could get his head on straight for 48 minutes on the floor then he could be a top five player, but he always seems to get lost in games at times. 

 16) Devin Harris.

What a season for Devin Harris. He has turned into a top player over night. If the Nets somehow land LeBron James in 2010 then look out NBA. Harris, LeBron, and Brooks will make for a great young core that will contend every season. Harris is a solid shooter and a good defender as well as a playmaker with insane speed. He has many more great years ahead of him as well and I think he would be a great 2nd option behind LeBron. Way better then Mo Williams. He is also a smart player and a great teammate.

 17) Tony Parker.

It is hard to think of the Spurs without thinking of Duncan, but this season some might say that Tony Parker was the best player on the floor. He has many great seasons ahead of him and with his ability to make things happen of the floor he will always be high on people's wishlists. He can drive and kick with the best of them and is a great finisher for a smaller player around the basket. As Timmy begins to slow down more and more I look for Parker to take over as the leadr of this team. He too could be higher on this list.

 18) Joe Johnson.

I think we might have seen the limits of Joe Johnson. I think he is a top talent for sure and coulf even be the go to guy on a championship team. What makes him stand out to me is his size for a shooting guard. He is big. I think he tried to do to much this season and attempted to many hard shots. He needs to work on that a bit. Two seasons ago people had him as the third best shooting guard behind Kobe and Wade. He has some work to do to get back there. I would love to see him in Chicago though.

 19) Tim Duncan.

If I wanted to win a Championship next season I might pick Timmy, but he has had a long career and I think we all see him starting to slide. For the same reasons I do not even have Kevin Garnett on this list I have Duncan at 19. While he will still be a great player for a few more seasons he will fade hard. His body can not take that much more, and his outside shot is not as pretty as Dirk's. It is sad to admit, because I have always loved his game, but I do not see Duncan being a huge factor in 5 years.

 20) Rajon Rondo.

From a fading legend to a rising superstar we come to my last player on my top 20 list for the next 5 seasons. Rondo proved to be a great all-around player all season long but in the playoff series against the Bulls fans got to see the Future of the Cletics. Rondo is a true triple double threat in the likes of Jason Kidd. I like to compare Rajon to kidd because to me they are very much the same. Rondo might be a better finisher at the rim, and Jason could dish out better passes, but neither player have a good looking jumpshot. Lucky for Celtic fans Rondo is still young enough to fix that.


Well I hope you enjoyed the read. I am sure I will not like my own list tomorrow and for that reason I am sure many of you will not like my list at all. You have to remember I am looking at players to build a team around now for the next 5 seasons or so, so players like Kevin Garnett and Chauncey Billups simply did not make my list. Players like Yao Ming and Carlos Boozer missed out as well because I think neither will ever play a full season again. Some of my choices were easy and others were a gamble. I would love to hear what you think and would like to see your Top 20 list using the same criteria. 

Posted on: March 30, 2009 6:15 pm

An Interesting Statistic for the MVP Candidates.


 I understand that there has been a ton of threads created about who everyone thinks will win the MVP this year. It is a good debate and we see a new poll posted about it every three days or so and I really think it is a close race myself. I was looking at the Bulls team schedule and noticed that they list the high scorer for each game. I first counted to see how many games Ben Gordon led all scorers and the sum was 10. Then I wondered how many games the MVP candidates had led all scorers and came up with some interesting numbers. I took it a step further and counted how many of those high scoring games lead to victories for their teams and then in turn what the winning percentage was for these teams when their superstar outscored everyone else. Yes, I do need a life. Here is what I found out.

 LeBron James

     We all know that LBJ is having a great year but I was shocked to see the number of games in which he led all scores. He is 2nd in the league in scoring behind Wade at 28.4 point per game, so it is no wonder that he would lead all scorers a lot. How many games?

51 games

How many of those games were wins for the Cavaliers?

43 wins

What does this mean?

This means that the cavaliers win 85% of their games when LeBron leads all scorers. The Cavaliers winning percentage stands at about 82% for the season meaning that it looks like the Cavs are well served when LeBron James is on fire, which seems to be often.

 I understand that there is a lot more to basketball then scoring, but the thing that separates the MVPs of the NBA is their ability to score down the stretch and carry their teams to victory.

 Dwyane Wade

Second on the list is the Miami Heat's own D. Wade. At the moment he is laeding the league in scoring with 29.8 points per game. He looks to have locked up the scoring title unless LeBron James can find a way of scoring 50+ points a night until the end of the season. So how many games did Wade lead all scorers?

48 games 

How many of those games were wins for the Heat?

30 wins

What does this mean?

This means that the Heat win 63% of their games when Wade leads all scorers. Since the Heat have a total winning percentage of about 53% for the season you can really see how important it is for Miami to have Wade score often. The Heat really do not have much depth and I think this stat shows that. It also show me that Wade has to pick his team up and put them on his shoulders more then any other player in the league. Does this mean he is more valuable to his team then LBJ or Kobe are to their teams? Maybe.

 Kobe Bryant

     To me Kobe is on the outside looking in as far as the MVP goes. The Lakers are playing great team ball and the scoring bruden on Kobe has lessened. However, when you look at the top three players this season, he is clearly one of those guys. Infact, I was shocked to see just how many games that Bryant has led all scorers in spite of how balanced one whould think the Lakers are. So, how many games did Kobe lead all scorers?

45 games

How many of those games were wins for the Lakers?

37 wins

What does this mean?

It means that when Kobe leads all scorers the Lakers win 83% of thier games. The Lakers now sit with a winning percentage as a team of about 80%. To me this looks as if Kobe is a small notch below LeBron James this season statwise and much of that is due to the fact that Kobe has a real team around him. Because of the Lakers as a team being so sound, I think Kobe's chances of winning a MVP are quite slim. Fact is he would most likely win the MVP if the Lakers sucked.

A few more interesting stats I came across.

When looking at assists per game it should come to you as no surprise as to who leads the way. Here are the top three players to have the most game highs in assists.

  1. Chris Paul with a whopping 58
  2. Steve Nash with 51
  3. Deron Williams with 46

So, who had the most game highs in rebounds? Yes, Dwight Howard with 55. Crazy.

Well I hope you enjoyed the read and if you come up with different numbers then I did I apologize in advance.

Posted on: January 10, 2009 6:28 pm

MVP Race is Heating Up. Who Wins?

    Well the race for MVP looks about as close as I have seen in recent years. By now we usaully are down to Kobe and LeBron, but this season it seemd a lot closer. So let us look at the top players and make a choice thus far.

LeBron James

     James seems like the front runner with an insane stat line and leading the Cavaliers to greatness this season. They have still not lost at home and have to now be the favorite to come out of the East. James as we all know is an all-around beast. He only really needs to work on his defense a bit, but that is me being really picky.

27.7 ppg 6.6 rpg 6.6 apg 2.0 spg 1.3 bpg .508 fg%

Chris Paul

     While the Hornets are not quite playing as well as we all thought they would be, Paul has picked up from where he left off last season and is by far the best point guard in the league. He is the best player at making those around him better and at the same time is putting a great season together for himself stat-wise.

20.4 ppg 5.2 rpg 11.3 apg 2.8 spg 0.15 bpg .500 fg%

Dwyane Wade

     He is leading the NBA in scoring and has the Heat looking pretty solid. They are a team that has hole but Wade seems to find new ways each night to fill them. He scores 40 if needs be or hands out 10 assists or pounds the paint for rebounds. In my eyes Wade is slowly creeping into the best shooting guard spot in the NBA.

29.1 ppg 5.1 rpg 7.0 apg 2.3 spg 1.54 bpg .479 fg%

Dwight Howard

     Howard is for sure the best Center in the League and is now very much the new Shaq. To me he is a cross between Shaq's power and David Robinson's skill set. He will be the force down low for years to come. Also, let us all not forget that he has the Magic number 2 in the standing in the East. Also leads the NBA in blocks and rebounds.

19.9 ppg 13.7 rpg 1.4 apg 0.9 spg 3.31 bpg .562 fg%

Kobe Bryant

     I almost left him off the list just to upset people. I knew that would be a mistake. What else can be said about him? He is a machine on both ends of the floor. He is a threat to shoot, to drive, and to make a play. he is a nightmare to all but Laker fans and as long as he is on the floor the Lakers have a chance to win any game.

27.2 ppg 5.3 rpg 4.5 apg 1.4 spg 0.37 bpg .483 fg%

     Well those are the five players I see at the top right now. I am sure some of you will argue for players like Chris Bosh, Paul Pierce, and Tim Duncan, but the fact is I think these five are a class all their own and all have the best shot of winning MVP.

     So who do you think will take home the big prize? While I know it is still a young season, I think we can say it will be one of these five.

Posted on: November 10, 2008 6:28 pm

A Rose Blooms in Chicago.

     Two weeks into the season and the Bulls are about as murky a team as any in the NBA. Winning some games against good teams by large margins and then letting leads slip away in the fourth quarter to other teams. Through all this fog one thing appears to be very clear. The Bulls finally, after 10 years, seem to have a real star on there hands. Yes, Elton Brand was great, but he is not the caliber of player that leads a team to new heights. The Bulls have not had a player that looks as good as Derrick Rose since you know who. Let's take a closer look at this Bulls rookie and see what makes him so special to a fan like me.

     For the first time in a long time the Bulls have a player that looks like a winner. He is not just a great individual who does a lot of things well, he is a player that makes the players around him better. His insane speed causes countless problems for other teams. He is a great ball handler already. Most rookies looks shaky at best when they step onto the big stage called the NBA for the first time, but Rose looks like a savvy veteran already. He is by far the most consistant Bulls player right now. His assist numbers would be much better if his teammates could knock down their shots. Let's look at his numbers for each game so far:

Game 1) 11 points, 4 rebounds, 9 assists, and 3 steals.

Game 2) 18 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal.

Game 3) 26 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists.

Game 4) 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 assist.

Game 5) 20 points, 7 assists, and 1 steal.

Game 6) 18 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals.

Game 7) 17 points, 5 rebounds, 9 assists, and 1 steal.

     Now, it should be noted that he is shooting over 45% from the floor. I understand that these stat lines are not superstar level by any means, but they are quite impressive for a rookie players first 7 games. The key is consistency here. Rose looks to be going against the common thought process that a rookie will have his ups and downs. I think after just 14 days we have a good idea what to expect from Derrick. That is a rarity for a rookie, let alone a point guard rookie.

     I am not an idiot who thinks that Rose will not have bad games this season, nor am I saying that he is a lock for ROY or a spot on the Allstar team. What I am saying is he looks quite good and he is only going to get better, and if the rest of the Bulls can feed off his energy and start hitting their shots then Rose will blossom into a star in this league much sooner then most people thought he would. That includes me. In my very own Bulls season preview Blog a month ago I had him averaging 8 points and 4 assists with Kirk Hinrich the starter for the whole season. I just could not see a rookie point guard making an impact so soon.

     Before I let you go I will leave you with a few more stats to ponder.

These are the rookie stats of a few of this leagues recent great point guards. I am not saying for sure he will ever reach these players level, but it is still interesting:

Derrick Rose) 17.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 5.1 apg, 1.1 spg, .458 FG%, in 37 min. a game.

Chris Paul) 16.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 7.8 apg, 2.2 apg, .430 FG%, in 36 min. a game.

Deron Williams) 10.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 4.5 apg, 0.8 spg, .421 FG%, in 29 min. a game.



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com