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Tag:Heat
Posted on: March 8, 2011 10:07 am
 

Trading Bosh?

Okay, so Heat fans are going to certainly jump on me for this idea as well as others, but I have mentioned in the past that the Heat should trade Chris Bosh to create a more balanced team. They, as in the Heat players and coaches, keep telling us it is only a matter of time before they gel. I am not buying it. How long did it take for Jordan and Pippen to gel with a player they hated named Rodman? Oh, that's right, that was the season the Bulls won 72 games. On there own the big three in Miami are great players, with Bosh being a tier lower then Wade and LeBron. I also understand that the real chemistry issues are with Wade and James and not so much with the thrid wheel named Bosh, but the Heat are never going to trade LeBron or Wade. They simply would never get enough assets in return for either of the superstars for it to make sense for them. Bosh could be traded however and i think I found the perfect team.

The Hornets are at a hard spot right now. They are a playoff team with a superstar Point Guard that might skip town. They are simply not good enough to contend in the west and will continue to be a 5-8 seed unless they make another move. Now add to that the reality that Chris Paul might be leaving and the Hornets certainly have to do something. Trading Paul is an idea that could be explored, but not today. I have other plans.

What if:

The Heat Traded Chris Bosh and Joel Anthony to the Hornets for Emeka Okafor, Jarrett Jack, and Quincey Pondexter. Now Athony and Pondexter could be removed from this trade and the numbers still work out, but I think the Hornets might want a Center in return and Pondexter adds a little depth to the Heat.

Why this works for the Hornets.

By adding Bosh to the mix the Hornets give themselves a chance of keeping Chris Paul in town. They could then shop West if they wanted to for a better SG. A Paul/Bosh combo could be really interesting and with West fading it might be time to make a move like this. Anthony would just be a filler player at the center position, but a Paul/Ariza/Bosh trio might make some noise in the west. The real reason to do this trade always comes back to keeping CP3 in town, and if he still leaves for New York, the Hornets would still have a star player in town to draw a crowd in Bosh.

Why this works for the Heat.

The biggest issue with the Heat is chemistry, and having all three of your superstars being jump shooters is not helping them at all. They simply need balance and depth. This trade does just that. Jarrett jack is an underrated PG who can be a starter without an issue. He is certainly an upgrade over what the heat have now. He is explosive, has great size and strength, can finish at the rim, and is a solid defender. He is a much younger option then Andre Miller or some other washed up player they could target. I think Jack is a perfect low-profile player that can run the floor and hit open shots. Okafor gives the Heat the defensive-minded Center that can block shots and get offensive rebounds to create second chance shots for his teammates. Pondexter is a decent young SF that would give the Heat some needed depth.

Sure, this is not a super sexy trade for the Heat, but I think it is the right move if they cannot make some noise in the playoffs. If they win the Finals, or even get there then forget all that I am saying, but if the are out in the 1st or 2nd round then a trade is a must. Having 3 superstars can be the right formula, but not three that all shoot jumpers. They need balance. They need defense in the paint. Also, let us not forget that Haslem will be back and healthy. Here is what their new roster would look like:

PG Jack- Chalmers
SG Wade- Miller- House
SF LeBron- Pondexter 
PF Haslem-
C Okafor- Big Z

Looks a lot more balanced to me. Any thoughts?

Posted on: March 7, 2011 2:36 pm
 

East vs West = Defense vs Offense

Well I was just looking at the Power Rankings at NBA.com and this week they have the teams Pace, Offensive Rating, and Defensive Rating listed next to each of the teams. Something pretty odd stood out to me. While I knew that the east's elite teams were better at defense then that of the wests, I did not know how dramatic the difference was. On the flip side the west's elite teams are much better on the offensive side and it is not really close. It is just strange to me that each of the top 4 teams from each conference play such different basketball. Let us take a look at the numbers.

Defense

East.

Celtics- 97.7 (2nd in the NBA)
Bulls- 97.1 (1st in the NBA)
Heat- 100.4 (5th in the NBA)
Magic- 99.4 (3rd in the NBA)

West.

Spurs- 101.1 (7th in the NBA)
Mavericks- 102.8 (11th in the NBA)
Lakers- 101.4 (8th in the NBA)
Thunder- 104.6 (16th in the NBA)

The two teams that stick out are the Lakers and Spurs as their defensive rating are quite good and rank in the top 10, but all 4 of the elite east teams rank top 5.

Offense

East.

Celtics- 105.1 (13th in the NBA)
Bulls- 103.8 (16th in the NBA)
Heat- 108.2 (4th in the NBA)
Magic- 106.2 (10th in the NBA)

West

Spurs- 109.0 (2nd in the NBA)
Mavericks- 107.7 (6th in the NBA)
Lakers- 108.6 (3rd in the NBA)
Thunder- 108.1 (5th in the NBA)

In regards to offense the only team that stands out is the Heat who rank 4th overall in the NBA making them the only team in the NBA to rank top 5 in both offense and defense. All 4 of the elite teams in the west rank top 6.

Conclusion.

Well I guess I do not spend enough time looking at these numbers and they certainly paint a clear picture. The east = defense and the west = offense. I think we all already knew this, but the numbers are still very interesting. Infact when you look at the rest of the teams in th eplayoff picture in both the east and the west you see the same trend.

Hawks-13th Def 18th Off
Knicks- 17th Def 7th Off
76ers- 9th Def 15th Off
Pacers- 12th Def 23rd Off

Nuggets- 18th Def 1st Off
Hornets- 6th Def 19th Off
Blazers- 15th Def 14th Off
Grizzlies- 10th Def 17th Off

The east follows the trend more closely then the west but you can still see that in general the east is more defensive heavy, while the west is more offensive heavy.

Now I thought the best way to simplify this was to add up all the ranks of the top 4 teams in each conference and then compare. Obviously, the lower the total number the better and here is what I came up with:

East Defense Total=11
West Defense Total=42
East Offense Total=43
West Offense Total=16

Any thoughts?
Category: NBA
Posted on: February 21, 2011 2:16 pm
 

ChiTownCliff's Top 10s

Well the Allstar Game is over and we can move on to "real" basketball. The weekend, was for the most part, a waste of time to watch. Between watching the NBA field guys that cannot even shoot three pointers for the three point content and Griffin being handed the slam dunk contest, I really felt sick as a gazed at the TV. The actual Allstar Game itself was okay, but it was cool to see Kobe Bryant win the MVP even with LeBron doing all could to win it for the east. Anyways, I felt that right now was a good time to throw out my top ten lists. These ARE for play this season so far and for play I expect to see for the rest of the season. I have a Top 10 for each position and Top 20 for players overall and for Top 10 teams. Let us take a look.

Top 10 Point Guards

1. Chris Paul. Pros. No weaknesses and very efficient. Cons. Injuries.
2. Derrick Rose. Pros. Freaky fast and leading the Bulls to a +.700 mark. Cons. Defense is still just average. 
3. Russell Westbrook. Pros. All around very sound player that can do it all. Cons. Needs a better jumper.
4. Rajon Rondo. Pros. Scary good playmaker. Cons. Blackhole when it come to scoring.
5. Deron Williams. Pros. Like Westbrook with range. Cons. Ego?
6. Steve Nash. Pros. Still as silky smooth as they come with the ball. Cons. DEFENSE.
7. Tony Parker. Pros. Great penetrator or the paint and finisher. Cons. Assist numbers are low.
8. Raymond Felton. Pros. Has really elevated his overall game this season. Cons. Below average FG%.
9. Stephen Curry. Pros. Deadly shooter. Cons. Needs to focus slightly more on playmaking.
10. John Wall. Pros. Flashes of greatness spellout big upside. Cons. He's a rookie so I will give him a break.

Top 10 Shooting Guards

1. Dwyane Wade. Pros. Great scorer, defender, and is clutch. Cons. Likes contact, but gets hurt often.
2. Kobe Bryant. Pros. Savvy vet that can do it all and is clutch. Cons. Too many shots for a team with so many options.
3. Manu Ginobili. Pros. Smooth cutter and shooter. Cons. Average defender.
4. Monta Ellis. Pros. High volume scorer that can play the passing lanes well. Cons. Is a tweener size-wise.
5. Joe Johnson. Pros. Great shooter and a solid leader. Cons. Overpaid.
6. Ray Allen. Pros. Best 3 point shooter ever. Cons. Not a great defender.
7. Eric Gordon. Pros. Explosive and can score in bunches. Cons. Clipper's record.
8. Kevin Martin. Pros. A great pure shooter. Cons. Defense and injuries.
9. Stephen Jackson. Pros. Solid defender meets great shooter. Cons. Tarnished reputation.
10. Tyeke Evans. Pros. Explosive and can score well. Cons. FG% and leadership.

Top 10 Small Forwards

1. LeBron James. Pros. A force in both size and athleticism. Cons. His mouth.
2. Kevin Durant. Pros. Perhaps the best pure scorer in the game. Cons. Too soft spoken.
3. Carmelo Anthony. Pros. A threat inside and out of the paint. Cons. Lackluster defense
4. Rudy Gay. Pros. Solid all around player with a level head. Cons. Overpaid.
5. Paul Pierce. Pros. Still able to take over games from time to time. Cons. Sometimes needs a wheelchair.
6. Gerald Wallace. Pros. Great slasher and defender. Cons. Leadership.
7. Danny Granger. Pros. One of the better shooters. Cons. Forces shots sometimes.
8. Dorell Wright. Pros. Great 3 point shooter. Cons. Overall FG%.
9. Luol Deng. Pros. Good shooter, slasher, and defender. Cons. Ball-handling.
10. Andre Iguodala. Pros. Solid all-around SF that can defend well. Cons. Consistant jumpshot.

Top 10 Power Forwards

1. Dirk Nowitzki. Pros. Best shooting 7 footer ever. Cons. Slightly above average defense.
2. Pau Gasol. Pros. Great finisher and passer. Cons. Perhaps toughness.
3. Amar'e Stoudemire. Pros. Best scorer within 12 foot of the rim. Cons. Still not a good defender.
4. LaMarcus Aldridge. Pros. Should have been an Allstar because he is doing it all. Cons. Should be playing for the Bulls.
5. Kevin Garnett. Pros. Still an elite defender that can score when needed. Cons. Needs a zipper installed over his mouth.
6. Blake Griffin. Pros. Oozing with pure talent. Cons. Lacks fundamentals.
7. Chris Bosh. Pros. Good shooter and rebounder. Cons. Thoughness.
8. Kevin Love. Pros. Historic statline in the making. Cons. Defense anyone.
9. Zach Randolph. Pros. Great scorer and rebounder. Cons. The ball stops moving when he gets it.
10. Carlos Boozer. Pros. Great scorer in the paint with a solid jumper. Cons. Defense and inability to dodge luggage.

Top 10 Centers

1. Dwight Howard. Pros. A Beast on defense and on the glass. Cons. Makes some bad choices with the ball sometimes.
2. Al Horford. Pros. High FG% and a good passer. Cons. Needs to work on shot blocking.
3. Andrew Bogut. Pros. Great scorer and defender in the paint. Cons. Injuries.
4. Joakim Noah. Pros. Great vocal leader,defender, passer, and can run run run. Cons. Injuries
5. Nene. Pros. Pros. Able to use his size to overpower others. Cons. Rebounds are lacking.
6. Al Jefferson. Pros. Good on the boards and blocking shots. Cons. FG%.
7. Emeka Okafor. Pros. Smart player that can defend, rebound, and block shots. Cons. Scoring.
8. Tyson Chandler. Pros. Good rebounder that shoots a high FG%. Cons. Should be blocking more shots.
9. Andrew Bynum. Pros. Great size and inside scoring. Cons. If healthy he could be top 3.
10. Andrea Bargnani. Pros. One of the better shooting centers the league has seen. Cons. does nothing but shoot.

Top Twenty Players Overall

1. LeBron James
2. Dirk Nowitzki
3. Dwight Howard
4. Dwyane Wade
5. Kobe Bryant
6. Chris Paul
7. Kevin Durant
8. Carmelo Anthony
9. Derrick Rose
10. Pau Gasol
11. Amar'e Stoudemire
12. Manu Ginobili
13. Deron Williams
14. Monta Ellis
15. LaMarcus Aldridge
16. Rajon Rondo
17. Russell Westbrook
18. Rudy Gay
19. Kevin Garnett
20. Joe Johnson

Top 10 Teams 

1. Spurs. Pros. Just like a fine aged wine. Cons. Will they still have legs come playoff time?
2. Celtics. Pros. Great starting five with perhaps the best depth in the league. Cons. Age and injuries?
3. Mavericks. Pros. With a healthy Dirk they are well balanced. Cons. Without a healthy Dirk they are not the same.
4. Heat. Pros. Best 1-2 punch in the NBA. Cons. Lack of a center and PG will hurt against other elite eastern teams.
5. Bulls. Pros. Great chemistry and defense. Cons. Lack of another scorer at the shooting guard position.
6. Lakers. Pros. Kobe and the Lakers will show up in the Playoffs. Cons. Have they lost their edge?
7. Thunder. Pros. Balanced team that can put up big numbers. Cons. Lack of real size inside.
8. Magic. Pros. Pros. Best bigman in the game never hurts. Cons. Chemistry since the trade is not there.
9. Trail Blazers. Pros. LaMarcus Aldridge has this team on his back and they are winning. Cons. Brandon Roy's Knees.
10. Hawks. Pros. Have the talent to get out of the 1st round. Cons. Very inconsistant.

Well I hope you enjoyed the read. Please leave your thoughts and your Top 10 lists. Remember, these are just my opinions based on stats and watching games this season. I had a hard time positioning players on some of these lists so a player ranked 7th might be very close to 4th in my mind, but I have to rank them. Anyways, let me know what you think.    

Posted on: February 16, 2011 2:51 pm
 

91-92 Bulls vs 10-11 Heat

Now that we have a good portion of the season done with and with the Allstar break coming up I think we have enough information to form a comparison between the super team that is the Heat and the super team that was the Bulls. I chose to compare the Heat against the 91-92 Bulls because it was Jordan's 8th season in the NBA and we are now in the 8th season's of both Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. This is not an attempt to bash the Heat or the Bulls for that matter, but to look closely at the roster formula that both these teams use/used and see just how far away the Heat are from becoming a dynasty.

First we should look at the individual stats from the two key players on both teams and compare.

91-92 Bulls

Jordan:
30.1 ppg, .519 FG%, .270 3P%, 6.1 apg, 6.4 rpg, .9 bpg, 2.3 spg, 2.5 tpg
Pippen: 21.0 ppg, .506 FG%, .200 3P%, 7.0 apg, 7.7 rpg, 1.1 bpg, 1.9 spg, 3.09 tpg

Combined Average: 25.5 ppg, .512 FG%, .235 3P%, 6.5 apg, 7.0 rpg, 1 bpg, 2.1 spg, 2.79 tpg 

10-11 Heat

LeBron:
26.1 ppg, .485 FG%, .349 3P%, 7.3 apg, 7.3 rpg, .58 bpg, 1.58 spg, 3.69 tpg
Wade: 25.0 ppg, .495 FG%, .316 3P%, 4.4 apg, 6.8 rpg, 1.0 bpg, 1.32 spg, 3.2 tpg

Combined Average: 25.5 ppg, .490 FG%, .332 3P%, 5.8 apg, 7.0 rpg, .79 bpg, 1.45 spg, 3.44 tpg

A few things pop out when you look at the combined averages. Both of these super combos average the same amount point per game and rebounds per game which I thought was sort of cool. Both Wade and James are far better 3 point shooters at this stage in their careers then Scottie and MJ were back in 1991-92. Pippen and Jordan would go on to become pretty solid 3 point shooters, but they clearly were not very good at this point in time. Good thing they had B.J. armstrong and Craig Hodges sitting behind the arc to spred the defenses. Because Wade and LeBron shot better and more 3 pointers their field goal percentage average is lower then that of the Bulls' combo. What this means? Simply put, the LeBron/Wade combo are a better scoring combo in the light that they can do damage from more spots on the floor, while Jordan/Scottie shot a lot of 17 footers or simply scored in the paint as both were alltime greats at finishing at the rim. However, this does not mean that the Heat combo was better then the Bulls combo at scoring, because you have to factor in just how damn good MJ was at getting to the basket and finishing. I do not think that there has been a better player in NBA history at breaking down defenses and getting into the paint. Pippen was also no slouch at this either, and as good as LeBron and Wade are at getting to the rim, MJ and Scottie were better. The bottomline is that the Heat combo are more perimeter oriented while the Bulls combo looked to penetrate. I for one think both are good in there own ways, but in the end getting to the paint and drawing fouls  creates more for the rest of the team and wins games in the playoffs, so I give the edge to the Bulls.

The Bulls combo also wins out in the other 4 catagories of Steals, Blocks, Assists, and Turnovers. Many Heat fans thought that the LeBron/Wade duo would certainly outshine that of the Jordan/Pippen duo but that does not seem to be the case. I am not poking fun or doing a "I told you so" thread, I am actually here to say that the Heat team as built is very close to that of a team that won 6 Championships. Now I may not like leBron as a person, but he is a great player and the best player in the game right now. I take issue with how he deals with the media and how he handles himself on the sidelines, but there have been worse players in NBA history in this regard. Let's move on shall we?

Lets look at the 3rd man on both of these teams. While many might want to call me out for saying that Horace Grant was close to as good as Chris Bosh, I will simply point to the proof.

Horace Grant: 14.2 ppg, .578 FG%, 0 3P%, 2.7 apg, 10.0 rpg, 1.6 bpg, 1.2 spg, 1.2 tpg
Chris Bosh: 18.4 ppg, .498 FG%, .316 3P%, 1.6 apg, 8.1 rpg, .71 bpg, .76 spg, 1.71 tpg

Okay, so what we have here is a case of a shooting power forward and a low post power forward. Bosh simply shys away from contact and loves to shoot jumpers which is not a bad thing, but when you have two superstars on the team that do the same thing you need to adjust your game. I do not think Bosh is the right fit to be honest. Infact a healthy Udonis Haslem might be better. The Heat need a banger in the paint that is not affraid of contact and enjoys defense. Horace Grant was a good defender and shot high percentage shots around the basket. He did not have a lot of range, but he was a perfect fit for the Bulls. Chris Bosh, to me is one of the most glaring mistakes the heat made. They would have been better off with a banger like Carlos Boozer or Amar'e Stoudemire, but they could have saved money and just added a decent defensive minded PF and they would have saved a ton of money. That money could have been spent on a decent Center that is younger then 40 and a starting level point guard. The league is full of talent at the PG position, yet the Heat have one of the worse starting PGs in the NBA.

The Bulls formula was better. Two superstars, and decent talent at every position. As it stands the Heat need help at the PG and C position and Bosh, while a nice talent, is not the right fit. Sure Bosh has big games from time to time and his scoring and range are nice, but he is not the right fit, period. The Bulls had Paxson and Armstrong at the PG and Cartwright at center, which was just enought to make the Bulls deadly. 

When you compare the benches it is not close. The Heat have Mike Miller and that is about it, while the Bulls had Stacy King, Will Perdue, Craig Hodges, and Cliff Levingston. They had depth in the front court and that is an area that the Heat need to address.

So how far away are the Heat?

Not to far. what they really need to do, but I never see it happening, is to trade Chris Bosh for 2 or 3 good roleplayers. Maybe I will make another thread with trade ideas, or perhaps you guys can come up with some, but I bet the Heat can get 2 or 3 solid players for Bosh. They simply need a banger at the PF, a younger center that can play defense, and a sarting level PG. Look at what teams with good PGs and bigman have done to the Heat this season. Look at all of the Heat's losses this season and look at what players on the other teams had big games and what positions they played. The other issue is that as a team the Heat are WAY to perimeter oriented and they need to attack the rim with Wade and LeBron much much more. If you live and die by the three pointer, you are certainly going to die in the playoffs.

In conclusion, the Heat need to:

1. Move Bosh for 2-3 good roleplayers.
2. Attack the paint on offense.
3. Take care of the ball. Way to many turnovers from your stars.

Final thought.

The Bulls combined salaries for the 1991-92 season was 16.7 million dollars. LOL. That would buy you one star player in todays game. This is why the CBA is going to be ugly.
Posted on: February 4, 2011 12:50 pm
 

Turkish Delight.

While the Magic have not been a super elite team this season they have been fairly solid. Dwight Howard is putting in another season with MVP-like numbers and is the front-runner for the DPOY. The Magic made that big trade and at first it looked like a great move but now I am not so sure. The main issue is Hedo Turkoglu or the Turkish Delight. He offers the Magic a player that can shoot from just about anywhere and that can also play the point-forward. The problem is his defense. He has to be the worst defender of all the starting small forwards in the league.

Last night allowing LeBron James to score 51 is insane, but that maight happen to anyone right? However Turk has had his share of defensive issues over his career and he now should be a major concern to any Magic fan. While the magic have the best bigman in the league, the other elite teams in the east at least have somewhat respectable players at the center position. The Boston Celtics have Perkins, Shaq, and even Big Baby to throw at him. The Bulls have Noah, Thomas, and Asik. The Heat have.... Oh I forget. Anyways, the Magic's biggest strength has been their play from Dwight, but the lack of a starting small forward might be their undoing come playoff time.

The Celtics have Paul Pierce, the Heat have LeBron James, and the Bulls have Luol Deng. "Luol Deng?" you say. Yes, Luol Deng. Deng completely outshine Turk last week with 26 points and 8 rebounds to Turk's 5 points and 4 PFs. Deng scored at will and at the same time shut Turk down. At some point in the playoffs the Magic will face one or more of these 3 players and it might be the x-factor matchup that sends the Magic home. The playoffs are a lot about matchups and without a perimeter defender to slow down the likes of LeBron, Pierce, and Deng, the magic might be in trouble. Against the Bulls Dwight Howard scored 40 points, but that was becaus the Bulls played him straight up and at the same time shut everyone else down. The magic can be beat even when Howard has a huge stat night. Turk struggles against aggressive defenders like Deng and at the same time cannot stop SF that are quick of the dribble and can shot from range. Turk is like a lost puppy on defense. And just like Turkish Delight he is mainly made out of soft jelly.
Posted on: November 29, 2010 1:49 pm
 

ChiTownCliff's Top 10 - Power Rankings #2

Well we are about 15 games into the season and it is fair to say that we have a decent sample now to produce a better and more accurate rankings. Again I am only looking at the Top 10 teams. These are the teams that look like they are contenders or close to it at this point. We will alos look at my picks for the Sexy Seven, players that have been plating great since my last rankings. So let us begin.

1.
Spurs (10). As long as Ginobili, Parker, and Duncan can stay healthy, I see no real end in sight to their great play. We all new they would be a top 5 team in the west, but nobody thought they would come out of the gate the way they have. Not only are they racking up wins but they are wins against above .500 teams. There is no illusion here, the Spurs are for real. Can they keep this up? Can they stay healthy? Those ar the only two questions I have for this team, but if they are playing like this in the playoffs, then the Lakers are in trouble.




2. Mavericks (7). This team is hot right now and have recently beat Miami, San Antonio, OKC, and Atlanta. They are firing on all cylinders and Dirk is looking like a true MVP again. He ranks 2nd in NBA Efficiency is the league with 26 points, 8 rebounds, while shooting 54% from the field. How do you stop that? Props also have to be thrown at Tyson Chandler, who looks like a perfect fit in Dallas averaging nearly 10 points and 9 rebounds, with 1.6 blocks to boot. Let's hope he can stay healthy.




3. Lakers (1). The Lakers could be number two, but they have just dropped two in a row. I can see losing a game to Utah, but they should have adjusted and beat Indiana. All in all this is still the most complete looking team in the league and could very well reclaim the top spot in my rankings. Kobe is looking better and better with each game and Gasol himself is in the running for MVP. Two MVP level talents together and it is working. Take notes Miami.





4. Celtics. (2). Their record does not show the whole truth as they have been beatin up on the weaker teams in the league lately, but they have adjusted well to losing Rondo to injury, so I have to give then some credit. They still are the deepest and most well rounded team in the east and the favorite to make it to and out of the ECF. As a team they are shooting over 50% fromthe field. It is no wonder that Rondo is averaging near 15 assists per game.





5. Jazz. (-). This is a team on the rise. Out of the deepest corners of the west this team has crept to near the top. Recent wins against both L.A. teams, Portland, and New Orleans has brought this team into the spotlight. We all knew what Deron Williams was, and most of us thought that Al Jefferson would patch the injury left when Boozer left, but few thought that Paul Millsap would become a top ten power forward this quickly. With 19 points and 8.5 rebounds, while shooting 56% from the floor, Milsap has become the next in a long line of great power forwards to play in Utah.




6. Hornets. (4). This team is still hanging in there as one of the top teams in the west. They have a nice inside out game and Okafor finally looks like a good addition. Chris Paul is the real story though. Many wondered, including myself, if he would still be the same player as he was before he got hurt. The answer is yes. He has recaptured the rank of the best point guard in the league is most people's eyes. If not the best, he is certainly top 2 or 3. With a healthy CP3 the Hornets should have a nice season ahead of themselves.




7. Magic. (5). There record is very much like the Celtics in that a lot of the wins have been against weaker teams. Their revenge victory against the Heat however was very nice to see and puts them ahead of the other Florida team for now. Dwight Howard's slight shift from a Defensive to Offensive mindset is almost needed and is a clear sign that this team has a hole. They lack a go to shooter that would clearly make them perhpas the best in the east. Carter and Nelson can light it up from time to time but they need a consistant thread on the wing and they will be complete.




8. Thunder. (8). So who is the best player on this team? In the begining of the season everyone would have killed me for even asking such a question, but not anymore. While Kevin Durant was bathed in talk of the next MVP, Russell Westbrook was transforming into a top 5 point guard. Some could even debate him as the best right now in the NBA. Him and Durant are both top 10 candidates for the MVP. They have started out a bit slower than most thought but they are still winning games and could be a contender out of the west.




9. Bulls. (-). The Bulls have been playing pretty good thus far and better then teir record shows. Close loses to the Spurs and Lakers and a last second loss to the Nuggets without Rose have scarred their record. They have been playing great lately and their 4-3 record on the annual circus trip is a team best since 1998 with MJ and Scottie. Once Boozer returns this week the Bulls will become near complete. They still have needs for a better shooting guard, but with scoring from Rose, Noah, Boozer, and Deng, perhaps a defensive minded Bogans or Brewer might be best.




10. Nuggets. (-). I myself am waiting for this team to implode. Denver knows Carmelo is leaving and his teammates know as well. You would have to think that this will start effecting his temas play. However, having a veteran coach like George Karl might be the difference keeping this storm of emotions in check. As it stands the Nuggets are playing quite well, but Nuggets fans must be more nervous then a Clevelnad fan during the "Decision".





Off the Top 10 this week are the: Heat, Hawks, and Trail Blazers.

Sexy Seven. These are the seven players that have been playing out of their minds over the past few weeks in no order.

Kevin Love. I do not care if he is playing for the Timberwolves or not, the guy is averaging 20.5 ppg and 17.2 apg over the last 10 games. If you are in the NBA and are putting up those kind of numbers then you are the real deal.

Kobe Bryant. Slowly over the past few weeks Kobe is coming to life. Scoring 41 points is only the begining, as he is averaging nearly 30 points per over the last 10 games.

Blake Griffin. Dropping 22.6 and 12.5 over the past 10 games have him a clear favorite for ROY until John Wall can prove otherwise.

Russell Westbrook. He can score, make a play, and defend. He is almost complete and has been playing like a MVP with 24.6 ppg, 8.8 apg, 4.3 rpg, and nearly 2 spg over the past ten games.

Amar'e Stoudemire. STAT is finally making a splash in New York and making him look almost worth the 100 million they spent on him. With 25 ppg, 9.1 rpg, and 2.3 bpg, he has simply been a beast as the Knicks piled up some wins over the last 10. 

Derrick Rose. He now ranks 2nd in the league in scoring with 26.6 points per and 8th is assists with 8.2 per. Rose is clearly a superstar now scoring 30 or more in 5 of his last 6 games in which the Bulls went 4-2 with losses only to the Lakers and Spurs.

Dwight Howard. Over the last ten games he is scoring 22.3 points per, with 12.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks. He has the Magic on his back and is getting it done on both ends.

Hope you enjoyed the read and please reply with your Top Ten and your Sexy Seven or simply give your thoughts. Thanks.
Posted on: November 5, 2010 11:43 am
 

ChiTownCliff's Top 10 - Power Rankings #1

Well most teams have 4 to 6 games under their belt so I think we have a small taste of what teams look good early off and what teams should be able to establish themselves as forces for the rest of the season. I only want to look at the top 10, because that is all that really matters right? If you make the top 10 then you are either a contender for the title or real close to it. Outside of the top ten and you have some issues to deal with or you simply are a bad team. 

Well let us take a look at the Top 10 teams thus far.

1. Lakers
. How any other team could be ranked number 1 is beyond me. The Lakers are clearly the best team in the league. Kobe looks like himself and should still be considered in the running for the MVP, but the real stars of this team are the newly added Matt Barnes and Steve Blake. These two smaller pickups were well thought out by Laker's brass and have been a big part of the Lakers early success.




2. Celtics. Coming out of the gates and handing the Heat a loss goes was the perfect start to their season, but they have looked very good since as well. Rondo is averaging an amazing 16.4 assists per game and the green machine is off and running like they are well oiled. Paul Pierce has showed little signs of aging and the J.O. pickup looks like a solid move thus far.




3. Heat. The number that sticks out to me so far with this team is the average margin of victory which is a league leading 16.6 points. That is pretty scary. After their first game loss to the Celtics this team has looked pretty great since. Winning big against the Nets and Timberwolves is not a big deal, but the pounding they put on the Magic is.





4. Hornets. Who would have thought, right? This team is not only 4-0 but they have won against the likes of the Bucks, Nuggets, Spurs, and Rockets. Beating those 4 in a row proves you are doing something right. Chris Paul looks like his old self leading the NBA already in NBA efficiency with a 21-6-9 statline. Play from Belinelli and Thornton have been key but really missing in action is Trevor Ariza, who if he can get on track, could be an X-Factor for this team.




5. Magic. Getting hammered by the Heat does not make a good statement, but this team is still a great team. They simply had a bad night. I do not tink they will lose like that to the Heat again. In their two wins thay have looked great and Dwight Howard has added a little offensive punch to his game in the form of an outside shot that looks better then ever, but he needs to continue to be that force in the paint on defense if this team want to make it to or past the ECF.




6. Hawks. Okay, so they are 5-0, but I do not think this team is quite top 5 yet. Their wins have come against the Pistons, Cavaliers, Wizards, 76ers, and Grizzlies. That might have been a feat 5 years ago but not today and they face the Timberwolves tonight. We will not know what to think of this team until after next week when they face the Suns, Magic, Bucks, and Jazz.




7. Mavericks. This team has all the parts to have a 60+ win season. Most have played together for a few seasons and Jason Kidd continues to defy age, but the key to this team is the fact that Dirk is still in his prime and puting up great numbers. His ability to score from anywhere opens the floor for everyone else. This team has plenty of scoring theats and now they have some big defenders to clog the paint in Chandler and Haywood.




8. Thunder. Big wins against the Bulls and Trail Blazers has this team close to being in the talks with the elite. They still lack size and that may turn into a bigger issue down the road, but for now the duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook looks like a top 1/2 punch in the league.





9. Trail Blazers. It is hard not to like tis team. With Brandon Roy putting up jumpers from the outside and LaMarcus Aldridge turining into an elite back to the basket player Portland has their bases covered. Sprinkle in a savvy veteran point guard in Miller and a defender of the paint in Camby and this team is on a roll. Just wait until they add more size in JP and Oden.




10. Spurs. The combo of Duncan, Parker, and Manu is already a thing of history and it looks like they will continue to be together for quite some time. Sure they could use some new springs in the legs, but they are wise and well coached. This team can never be ruled out until Duncan retires. Jefferson is also starting to play the way they were hoping he would. This is a darkhorse team in the west if you ask me.





Let us take a look at a few players that have come out of the gates on fire. The Sexy Seven.

Monta Ellis.
they guy is just thowing up sick numbers and is leading the league in points per at an even 30 a game. His Warriors are 3-1 and just missed my list. Toss in 4 rebounds, 6 assists, and 55% shooting from the floor and Warriors' fans must be happy.

Joakim Noah. It is still early but it looks like Noah could lead the league in rebounding. He is right now with 15.3 per game to go along with 14 points and 2 blocks. He also has had 4 double doubles in 4 games and it seems unlikley that that trend wont continue.

Luis Scola. 23 points and 14.5 rebounds per! Are you kidding me? While the Rockets may be 0-4, Scola is proving to be a star player in this league. I wonder if these numbers will continue.

Rajon Rondo. I do not care how overrated the steals per and assist per statistics are, if you are averaging 16+ assist per game you are doing a good job of gettting the ball to were it needs to go. Rondo certainly is the front runner to lead the league in assists and by a large margin.

Pau Gasol. 23.8ppg, 11rpg, and 4.4apg is pretty darn scary. The Lakers made the best trade perhaps of the past decade when they landed this guy. He is a top 3 bigman for sure with Howard and Dirk and he plays with the best team in the league. I see no end to these types of numbers from him.

Derrick Rose. With 26.8 ppg(2nd) and 10 apg (5th) Rose is slowly becoming the superstar that many thought he would be. Thesse numbers should stay high but his scoring will certainly come down a bit when Boozer returns. 

Russell Westbrook. Durant who? Just kidding, but this guy must be the most underrated point guard in the league. A debate could be had that he is a top 3 PG right now. He certainly is as good as Derrick Rose if you ask me.

Just missing the Sexy Seven are: Paul Millsap, Dirk Nowitzki, and Rudy Gay.

Hope you enjoyed the read and please reply with your Top Ten and your Sexy Seven or simply give your thoughts. Thanks. 
Posted on: October 30, 2010 12:28 pm
 

Player Hate vs Team Hate

I know I have come across as a flat out hater lately, so I thought I would clear a few things up and apologize for a few of my comments. I may have pushed this Heat hater business a bit too far and I am sorry. Most old time posters know me more as a quite guy that just likes to write about my Bulls. But this summer I got cought up in this whole LeBron mess just like most other people. I too was hoping that he would choose to come to Chicago, so yes I felt a little burned. What i am most sorry for is making fun of the city of Miami or even the fans of the Heat. I understand that there are true fans for all teams, even the Clippers. lol. So if I bent someone wrong, I am sorry.

The real point of this thread is to discuss the difference between a team hater and a player hater. I am not a team hater and I know that i have come off as one lately and again I am sorry. I am however a player hater, and i think we all are to an extent. There are just certain players that rub you wrong for one reason or another. I have had a long history of not liking Rajon Rondo becuase I think he is a dirty player and I did not like his hit on Brad Miller or Kirk Hinrich in the playoffs 2 years ago. I really hated that team even more when Garnett started mouthing off all the time. I never liked Paul Pierce that much after the whole wheelchair deal. Then they added the thug Nate Robinson to the mix. To top it off they added Rasheed Wallace who I have hated for years, dating back to him laughing at the Bulls bench during games with the Pistons. So for a small moment in time I was a Celtic hater. Not because I hate Boston fans or the city of Boston and not because I hate the Celtics as a team, but because I did not like the vast majority of players they had. It did not help that they won game 7 in perhaps the best playoff series i have ever seen.

Before that i did not like the Knicks because of all the punks on the team and I did not like te pistons either. Both of those teams have rosters with players I think are good so I take no issue with the Pistons or Knicks anymore. The Celtics still bother me a bit, but whatever.

This brings me to the Heat. I do not hate Miami or the Heat as a franchise and I know I have said a few thing lately that might make this sentence seem false, but I really have no issue with all of that stuff. I simply do not like the top three players on the team. It is that simple. Here are my reasons for hating.

LeBron James. I sat on my coach and watched the "Decision" just like everyone else. Word was out that he was going to sign with the Heat, but I still held out hope that he would say Chicago. I sat there like a kid with my older brother watching a well and hoped and dreamed of what could be. I looked past the hate I already felt for him for all his dancing on the court and no shaking of hands against the Magic, because I thought the Bulls might land him. I am a fan just like everyone else. Then when he said "South Beach" I knew it was over. I was not mad at LeBron for saying no to the Bulls. It was not until I saw the reaction from Cleveland that I realized how crappy it was to go on TV, on your own show, to tell the fans of Cleveland that you are leaving. that was a very low blow and showed not a bit of class. This is when he became my number one target over Rajonda Rondo (Yes, "Rojonda"! He was born with both male and female parts you know.). You see LeBron in a way is a capsule of what is wrong with the NBA today. He is so self-serving that he does not see that it is the fans that matter. He lacks class and comes off as an ego-driven monster. Now some will say he jointed the Heat because he was not selfish, but that is garbage. He will still put up the stats and in a few seasons Wade will begin to fade and LeBron will be averaging 30 points a night again. He joined the Heat simply to get championships because he knew he could not do it on his own and he tried. The underlining drive was not sacrificing for a greater cause (winning rings as a team) as many fans like to point out, but simply because LeBron wants rings and made a choice that would get him those rings. In short he took the easy road instead of sticking with his hometown team and making it happen there. In the end it is all about him and his rings, not about a the team. We all know now that it cannot be about the team with LeBron. If it was he never would have left Cleveland. The Cavaliers did have some good teams and they did try to build around him. Some will say they failed, but when you look at the last few additions you could see they were trying. I thought the Shaq and Jamison moves put them over the top, and they won a ton of games, but still LeBron could not carry them. I digress. The bottomline is that Lebron is still up to his ego-driven stunts like his new TV ad were he asks " What should I have done" and takes gabs at all his critics. He continues to show no class or tact and he is the main reason I dislike the Heat.

Dwyane Wade. You would think living in Chicago that i would love the home town hero, but I do not. Yes, he is a great player, just like Lebron, but when he made uneducated remarks about the Bulls organization it pissed me off. He stated that the Bulls do not retain prior players and allow them to grow within the organization. What a load of crap. Just because Michael Jordan is an owner of the Bobcats and not the Bulls does not validate this stupid lie. The Bulls have plenty of previous players working for the team. John Paxson is VP, Scottie Pippen is an ambassador for the team. The late greats Norm Van Lier and Johnny Red Kerr were both long time broadcasters that left us a couple years back. Stacy King and Bill Wennington are now both broadcasters for the Bulls and Bob love is always working for the Bulls. Even Adrian Griffin is an assistant coach and B.J. Armstrong was a longtime head scout. Wade's remarks were backhanded and only an attempt to lure LeBron and bosh away from the Bulls. He sold out on his hometown. To add injury to insult he then went to the Bulls and made it appear he was interested in signing with them this offseason only to shift the Bulls focus away from Bosh and LeBron. He is a snake oil salesman and a turncoat.

Chris Bosh. hard to hate on a guy that goofy looking but I do anyways. I do not so much hate him as I do lebron and Wade to a lesser extent, but Bosh still rubs me wrong. the guy always claimed over and over that a contender could be built around him but he never could manage it. Even after the Raptors added some nice players he could not lead them to the playoffs. Still he thought he was worth a max deal without question. That is another problem with the league today. Player way overvaluing themselves. Only about 10 players are worth max deals if you ask me. So my real issue with Bosh is that he has this ego that he is the best power forward in the game and that he could be the main man on a championship team, yet he simply followed Lebron and Wade around in the offseason like a lost dog. As much as Kevin Garnett bugs me from time to time, I would still take him in a 7 game series over Bosh at the drop of a hat.

So there you have it. I do not hate Miami or the Heat as a team, but rather the 3 stars on the team. I am sorry for letting myself wander from my hate for those three players and to start picking on a great city and fanbase like Miami.

I vow to never make a thread again attacking the city of Miami or it's fans. I will simply stomach my hate from now on. Sure I will still point out Lebron classless antics and such, but I will move away from focusing on the team and focus more on why I think players like LeBron are giving the NBA a bad name.

Thanks for taking the time to read my rant. I will pose a few questions for all of you.

Am I alone here in this Player Hater vs Team Hater thing? Do you you hate certain players but not so much the team? or are there just certain teams you hate no matter who is on the roster? I am more of the former. I hate based of certain players and not so much certain teams. Thoughts?
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com