Tag:Jazz
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: July 16, 2010 9:31 pm
 

The Chicago Jazz.

          Well most people understand that the city of Chicago is world renowned for it's love of Jazz music and the city is still a jazz hot spot in America, but this is not the jazz I am referring to. I am pointing to the fact that the Bulls three free agent signings this offseason have all come from the Utah Jazz. The more I think about it the more I like the idea of a team name swap between the Bulls and Jazz. I mean there has to be far more cows in Utah then in the city of Chicago right? I digress. The real point of this thread is to look at the moves the Bulls have made and determine their place in the east.

         
Carlos Boozer. It seems pretty clear to most fans and experts alike that LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh planned on playing with eachother from the get go. The only real question was were it was going to happen and in the end that place was the Miami Heat. That being the case the Bulls' management has made all the right moves with what was left. I am on record for liking David Lee for the Bulls over Carlos Boozer mainly because I felt that Lee would come cheaper. I was wrong. Boozer ended up being the cheaper option and in many ways the better fit. The Bulls have been lacking a back to the basket scorer since Elton Brand was traded away ten years ago. To be a contender a team must have an inside out game. Just about every championship team in history had a playmaker/outside scorer coupled with a scoring bigman. You will be hard pressed to find a historic team that lacked one of those two. The Chicago Bulls of the 90's are clearly the only dynasty to lack a star bigman. Boozer gives the Bulls one of the best offensive bigman in the game today and when I say offensive I do not just mean scoring. Boozer is one of the best passing bigman in the game and he is also one of the best at running the pick and roll and the pick and pop. He also knows were to be to grab offensive rebounds and he is also good for setting a solid pick. His defense is average but is better then Amar'e Stoudemire's or Chris Bosh's. He is a hustler and a perfect fit to play alongside Joakim Noah.
          The real deal with Boozer however is his back to the basket game and his ability to draw the double team. The Bulls have never really had a post player on the level of Boozer that can draw the double team. Now imagine the decisions defenders will have to make. Rose demanded the double team on the perimeter just about everytime he touched the ball last season. Infact, in the playoffs the Cavaliers ended up putting LeBron on Rose but he still averaged 27 points per game. Now teams will have to worry about throwing the double on Rose because Boozer is so good at finishing around the basket they will risk getting scored on in the paint with a simple bounce pass from Rose. Last season the Bulls did not have this. Defenders could rotate off their man to slow down Rose. What happens if Rose drives? Nothing good for other teams for sure. Again boozer gives Rose that inside scorer to pass to when team colapse on him. Lastly, with regards to the Rose/Boozer paring, the PnR and PnP game between Rose and Boozer will be one of the best in the league. Rose shoots a high level jumper from inside 18 and word is he has worked on his three point shooting all summer and is said to have gotton it nailed down. Boozer is also a very good jump shooter as well. This will be the bread and butter for the Bulls this season and should be a nightmare for opposing teams.
          The pairing of Joakim Noah and Boozer is also one of the better combos in the paint in the NBA. In some ways they are like oil and water in regards to the style of play but together they are a perfect match. The Bulls led the league last season in rebounding and now have added Boozer so it is likely they will reclaim mark this season as well. Noah is the ultimate team hustle player and while his jump shot and scoring in general is below average he excels at everything else. He is a top rebounder and shot blocker and is one of the nastiest post defenders in the game. Boozer may be a good rebounder but he is not a shot blocker of a great defender. Noah will be right there to put back Boozer's missed shots or take the pass from Boozer if he gets the double team. Both Noah and Boozer have high basketball IQs and both can handle the ball and make the pass. In my eyes they are a great match.
         Boozer's effect will be felt beyond just Rose and Noah. Luol Deng and the other shooters will benefit from Boozer drawing defenders into the paint and they will surly be on the receiving end of many passes from Boozer for open looks.
              
           Kyle Korver
. I understand that this is not a sexy signing. Nothing really looks that sexy after the moves that the Heat made but it filled another big need for the Bulls. Last season the Bulls lacked a player that could hit from beyond the arc. With Ben Gordon gone so was the threat from downtown. Teams were able to colapse on Rose when he drove the lane and they were able to play loose defense in general on the perimeter. Korver will come off the bench but should still see big mintutes. About 25 minutes a game. He will play behind Deng and Brewer and will give the Bulls instant offense off the bench. Korver is a bit one dimensional and is known mainly for his great shooting ability but he is a solid passer and can grad a few rebounds. His defense is a bit below average but is not bad. He was not signed to defend he was signed to hit big shots in close games and he will do just that.

          Ronnie Brewer
. Well the Bulls did not get their first choice which was the Magic's J.J. Reddick, but in many ways Brewer might be the better longterm choice and he came quite a bit cheaper at nearly 8 million less over three years. The Bulls really wanted to add a shooting guard that could shoot from beyond the arc and Brewer is clearly not the player, but he is still a great fit. Two years ago many thought Brewer was going to become a star in this league. Maybe not a superstar but many felt he could average near 20 points a game. However he got injured last season but is back in shape and he offers the Bulls an athletic and big shooting guard that can both drive and finish and control the ball. He is able to run the offense as well as play off the ball and he could be an intersting fit with Rose if Rose's three point shooting is as good as people are saying it is now. Brewer can at times run the offense and in turn make Rose the off guard. Brewer's drive to the hoop will draw defenders and he can simple kick it to Rose who could either shoot the jumper of take teams off guard by driving himself. The bottomline is that Brewer may indeed offer the Bulls more options on offense then Reddick would have and Brewer is a better defender then Reddick to boot. It has been quite some time since the Bulls had a shooting guard that could dunk the ball with little effort. Gordon rarely did and I am not sure if I ever saw Kirk Hinrich do it so that should be fun to watch for a change.

          More signings to come. The Bulls are not done making moves. They are talking with Brad Miller right now about him resigning and they are saif to be looking at both Matt Barnes and a backup Point Guard. The Bulls will certainly add two more solid roleplayers to this team making them one of the deepest teams in the league. I unterstand that depth can often be over-rated and that teams need superstars to be elite, but Boozer is clearly a star and Rose is on pace to have a breakout season and become a superstar. Last season he ranked 14th overall in points per game and I only see his scoring and assist numbers going up this year with a complete team around him. The Bulls also signed Turkish center Omer Asik. If the Bulls resign Brad Miller I am sure we will see very little of him on the floor, but I have watched a bit of tape on this guy and he looks like he could be useful for a few solid minutes each game. He has length and is a good shot blocker and has some solid post moves but he is really just a project and I do not have high hopes that he will ever be a true contributor to this team.

          So were do these moves put the Bulls in the east
? Not really an easy question. Most have the Heat going to the Finals as they seem to be adding solid roleplayers around the big three. I would not count out the Celtics or the Magic either. I think the Bulls fall in place with those 2. I think they could compete with any of them in the playoffs but the Heat seem to be the team to beat. The Celtics are aging and may fall down a few notches this season but I thought the same thing last summer so I will hold my tongue on that one. The Magic have not made any real moves so I am not so sure they will make it out of the east. The bottomline is that the Bulls have a shot and are a true contender for the first time since MJ left town.

Here is how I see the playoff seedings looking like next season in the east.

1. Heat (62 wins)
2. Magic (56 wins)
3. Bulls (51 wins)
4. Celtics (49 wins)
5. Bucks (48 wins)
6. Hawks (46 wins)
7. Bobcats (43 wins)
8. Knicks (41 wins)
Posted on: June 19, 2010 10:26 pm
 

Why There is No Respect for the 90s NBA.

          This is it. I cannot take it anymore. Too many people have no respect for the basketball that was played in the 1990s. False labels have been plastered on it from people who were not even old enough to have watched a single game from the decade. Some call it a soft decade were no defense was played. Other point that there were no other good teams except the Chicago Bulls. This is a heeping pile of bull crap! The 90s were full of great teams both in the east and the west and outstanding defense was still played because the newer rule changes were not in effect. Shooters were murdered on the floor. Hand checking was not even heard of. But I now know the real reason there is no respect for the 90s. It is quite simple.
        The reason for no respect is due to the fact that neither the Lakers or the Celtics were any good in that decade. Sure the Lakers were okay at the start of it when Magic Johnson was still playing. You see the NBA is so owned by these two franchises that as fans we simply believe that the 90s lacked any real competition for the Bulls because they did not have to face a good Celtics or Lakers team. This is crazy. The Knicks of the mid 90s were a great team. They played gritty and nasty defense. They were as good a team as any other team to reach the eastern conference finals in league history for the most part. People make it out as if the Bulls had it easy. False. The talent level was great in the 90s. The early part of the decade had the Pistons and the Cavaliers in the east for the Bulls to contend with. Then it was the Knicks, Magic, and Pacers. Even the Heat and the Hornets had good stretches in the 90s. 
         Out west there were plenty of good teams like the Trail Blazers, Supersonics, Rockets, Suns, Spurs, and Jazz. The Bulls were simply just better then the rest. Would the Bulls have won 6 Championships in the 80s with the team they had in the 90s. Most likely not, but they would have won 3 or 4 and maybe even 5. I never see anyone ask a question like, "Would the Kobe/Shaq Lakers win three in a row in the 80s?" or "How many titles would Russell have won had his team of the 60s played in the 90s?". Nobody asked these questions. Nobody dears to tarnish the legendary Celtics or the showtime Lakers. But the Bulls, well they were just lucky to have played in the 90s. There is no way they would compete in todays game or at any other time in NBA history. The stars in the sky were all just in the right spot at the right time. Also, Michael Jordan is not even a top 5 alltime player if you ask me. Also, I think Paul Pierce is better then a prime Scottie Pippen. Pippen was only good because of MJ. Whats that you say? Pippen had his best season ever without Michael and finished 3rd in MVP voting. Well that is just because Scottie and the Bulls were lucky to play in the 90s. Pippen is really just a roleplayer.
          I cannot take it anymore! The 72 win Bulls were the best team to ever step foot on the floor. One could argue they were the best defensive team alltime and they had the greatest player of alltime. Jordan(1x DPOY, 9x Defensive 1st team) Pippen(8x Defensive 1st team, 2x Defensive 2nd team) Rodman(2x DPOY, 7x Defensive 1st team, 7x Rebounding Champ). They simply shut other teams down.
          The bottomline to this insane rant is that the Bulls get no respect in the 1990s because the Lakers and Celtics were not good at the time. I would bet my life that had the Celtics had the Knicks' roster and the Lakers had the Jazz's roster in the 90s that there would be no debate. The Bulls 72 win Bulls would be the greatest ever, but because the Celtics and Lakers sucked at the time then so must have the Bulls as well. Dumb.
        Whenever the Celtics and Lakers go through a bad stretch of seasons at the same time you have people calling that a bad era in NBA history. What the hell is wrong with us. The world of basketball should not revolve around two teams should it? Do not get me wrong. I do not hate the Lakers or the Celtics as francises, but I do hate that their winning dictates great basketball, but if some other team is playing well then they are just lucky. That is a big crap sandwich and I am not hungry.
Posted on: June 19, 2010 10:26 pm
 

Why There is No Respect for the 90s NBA.

          This is it. I cannot take it anymore. Too many people have no respect for the basketball that was played in the 1990s. False labels have been plastered on it from people who were not even old enough to have watched a single game from the decade. Some call it a soft decade were no defense was played. Other point that there were no other good teams except the Chicago Bulls. This is a heeping pile of bull crap! The 90s were full of great teams both in the east and the west and outstanding defense was still played because the newer rule changes were not in effect. Shooters were murdered on the floor. Hand checking was not even heard of. But I now know the real reason there is no respect for the 90s. It is quite simple.
        The reason for no respect is due to the fact that neither the Lakers or the Celtics were any good in that decade. Sure the Lakers were okay at the start of it when Magic Johnson was still playing. You see the NBA is so owned by these two franchises that as fans we simply believe that the 90s lacked any real competition for the Bulls because they did not have to face a good Celtics or Lakers team. This is crazy. The Knicks of the mid 90s were a great team. They played gritty and nasty defense. They were as good a team as any other team to reach the eastern conference finals in league history for the most part. People make it out as if the Bulls had it easy. False. The talent level was great in the 90s. The early part of the decade had the Pistons and the Cavaliers in the east for the Bulls to contend with. Then it was the Knicks, Magic, and Pacers. Even the Heat and the Hornets had good stretches in the 90s. 
         Out west there were plenty of good teams like the Trail Blazers, Supersonics, Rockets, Suns, Spurs, and Jazz. The Bulls were simply just better then the rest. Would the Bulls have won 6 Championships in the 80s with the team they had in the 90s. Most likely not, but they would have won 3 or 4 and maybe even 5. I never see anyone ask a question like, "Would the Kobe/Shaq Lakers win three in a row in the 80s?" or "How many titles would Russell have won had his team of the 60s played in the 90s?". Nobody asked these questions. Nobody dears to tarnish the legendary Celtics or the showtime Lakers. But the Bulls, well they were just lucky to have played in the 90s. There is no way they would compete in todays game or at any other time in NBA history. The stars in the sky were all just in the right spot at the right time. Also, Michael Jordan is not even a top 5 alltime player if you ask me. Also, I think Paul Pierce is better then a prime Scottie Pippen. Pippen was only good because of MJ. Whats that you say? Pippen had his best season ever without Michael and finished 3rd in MVP voting. Well that is just because Scottie and the Bulls were lucky to play in the 90s. Pippen is really just a roleplayer.
          I cannot take it anymore! The 72 win Bulls were the best team to ever step foot on the floor. One could argue they were the best defensive team alltime and they had the greatest player of alltime. Jordan(1x DPOY, 9x Defensive 1st team) Pippen(8x Defensive 1st team, 2x Defensive 2nd team) Rodman(2x DPOY, 7x Defensive 1st team, 7x Rebounding Champ). They simply shut other teams down.
          The bottomline to this insane rant is that the Bulls get no respect in the 1990s because the Lakers and Celtics were not good at the time. I would bet my life that had the Celtics had the Knicks' roster and the Lakers had the Jazz's roster in the 90s that there would be no debate. The Bulls 72 win Bulls would be the greatest ever, but because the Celtics and Lakers sucked at the time then so must have the Bulls as well. Dumb.
        Whenever the Celtics and Lakers go through a bad stretch of seasons at the same time you have people calling that a bad era in NBA history. What the hell is wrong with us. The world of basketball should not revolve around two teams should it? Do not get me wrong. I do not hate the Lakers or the Celtics as francises, but I do hate that their winning dictates great basketball, but if some other team is playing well then they are just lucky. That is a big crap sandwich and I am not hungry.
Posted on: April 12, 2010 11:25 am
Edited on: April 12, 2010 11:52 am
 

Playoff Success vs Player Loyalty

          Never before has the NBA sat at such a crossroads. I do not want to attempt to beat a dead horse here but I want to explore the inner minds and workings of this summers free agent class. With so much superpower available this summer the landscape of our beloved NBA is surely at stake. All fans are holding their breaths as their own team may go from a contender to a heap of crap with the stroke of a pen. Still others, like myself, are sweating from places they knew not existed in anticipation of a team altering signing.
         
           However, much balances on each of these free agents success in this seasons Playoffs. Never before has so much been riding on a team making it deep into the playoffs. Every Playoff series won is another cog added to the machine that will allow certain teams to retain the services of their Superstar. Every victory in theory becomes an increase in the percent chance that a player may resign. I thought this correlation needed to be explored a bit more. I have been thinking about this a lot over the past few days and even made up a few different charts that dive into this question. Now these are just my opinions below and I would love to see your feedback.

          Below are listed the top free agents for this summer and the percent chance they will leave for another teams based on how far they make it into the playoffs.

LeBron James. Lose 1st round=100%. Lose 2nd round=100%. Lose Conference Finals=60%. Lose Finals=25%. Win Championship=0%.
          Of all the free agents LeBron must cause the greatest concern for his fanbase in Cleveland. The Cavaliers almost have to win it all in my opinion to keep James in the fold. He is clearly the best of all the free agents and if the Cavs lose him they will become just an average team and that is it. James wants to become a legend. He will make it to the Hall of Fame as it is, but to be considered a legend in the likes of Jordan, Russell, Magic, Wilt, and Bird, he will have to add rings to his fingers. It looks like the Cavaliers have built the best team they can around him. Adding Shaq and Jamison were both solid moves and look like forward progress, but LeBron wants nothing to do with progress anymore. He wants what Kobe has. Rings and lots of them. he sat on the sideline and watched as the Bulls took out his supporting cast a few nights ago, and he must start to question if there is a better mixture of talent out there for him to join. I am not saying he will sign with the Bulls, but the seed of doubt must be planted. If he does not win the Finals I say the percentage is very high that he will leave.

Dwyane Wade. Lose 1st round=80%. Lose 2nd round=50%. Lose Conference Finals=30%. Lose Finals=10%. Win Championship=0%
          You will begin to notice a common theme here. If a free agent wins the finals they will stay. This is the case for all the free agents on my list except Boozer I will break down later. Wade is a big question mark to me. I just cannot put my fingure on him as to his thinking. he seems to love south beach and that might be hard to leave behind, but if this team does not make it far into the playoffs he has to start wondering. He could also stay with the Heat knowing that another star free agent is on the way. This would be the dagger for other teams trying to entice Wade to join them. Wade may have already talked to another of the free agents. We do not really know what goes on behind closed doors. The fact that Miami has the money to retain Wade and sign another max deal makes Wade leaving seem doubtful, but again you never know.

Chris Bosh. Miss Playoffs=100%. Lose 1st round=100%. Lose 2nd round=80%. Lose Conference Finals=40%. Lose Finals=20%. Win Championship=0%.
          The Raptors may not even make the Playoffs and the only way I see Bosh staying in Canada is if they reach the Finals and that will never happen. Bosh is as good as gone. There is no reason to stick around. Toronto has not done a good job of building a team around him. Adding Turk last summer has not worked out at all and while the Raptors do have some nice talent they lack toughness and that is what is needed to reach the next level. The Raptors with bosh simply are not contenders and Bosh knows this now. He almost has to leave. So say goodbye to Bosh Raptor fans because he is packing his bags as I am typing these words.

Amar'e Stoudemire. Lose 1st round=100%. Lose 2nd round=80%. Lose Conference Fianls=40%. Lose Finals=10%. Win Championship=0%.
          Stat is playing for a contract right now and any fan that has been around the NBA for any amount of time knows that. he is not playing at the level he is right now because he wants the Suns to win it all, but rather he is playing for the money. At the begining of the season most thought that Amar'e was not worth a max contract and I would wager that Amar'e thought the same thing. Now he is playing at the highest level we have seen in a long time. I remember when many coined him the best center in the league and then after Dwight Howard grew up he was a close second. He has not been that player the last couple of seasons but suddenly he is playing like a MVP. He will sign with whatever team is willing to hand him the most money.

Joe Johnson. Lose 1st round=75%. Lose 2nd round=50%. Lose Conference Finals=25%. Lose Finals=10%. Win Championship=0%.
          Joe Johnson is already in a good spot. He is on a young team with players he knows well. They are young and still growing and have the ability as a team to become great by just making a couple of smaller moves to add needed depth. Johnson might have to see his team get cremated for him to question leaving. There is however always the question of money these days and I could see Johnson jump ship if his team cannot make it past the 2nd round. Also there are quite a few teams with the money to offer max contracts and while Johnson may not really be max contract worthy he may be able to land that kind of money from a desperate team.

Carlos Boozer. Lose 1st round=100%. Lose 2nd round=90%. Lose Conference Finals=70%. Lose Finals=50%. Win Championship=25%.
          I truly feel that Boozer is in his last season with the Jazz. He is a bridge burner to say the least and seems to not think things out before he speaks. You should never tell people you want to leave in the way Boozer did when he said he wanted to go to Miami. There is no better way to have your fanbase turn on you. It also makes other fans of other teams not want you. Boozer has as many issues in his head as he does with his body but the one thing I do know is that he will be leaving the Jazz. The only way I see him staying is if the Jazz make it to the WCFs of even the Finals and only if Boozer is a big part of this success. Even then however I see him following the money.

         So there you have it. My breakdown of this summers festivities. Here is my overall list of who will leave their team in order of most likely to least likely.

1. Chris Bosh
2. Carlos Boozer
3. Amar'e Stoudemire
4. LeBron James
5. Joe Johnson
6. Dwyane Wade

Here is my list of teams these six are most likely to sign with if they do leave their own team in order of most likely to least likely.

1. Chris Bosh- 1.Bulls. 2.Knicks. 3.Heat
2. Carlos Boozer- 1.Heat. 2.Nets. 3.Knicks
3. Amar'e Stoudemire- 1.Knicks. 2.Heat. 3.Nets
4. LeBron James- 1.Knicks. 2.Bulls. 3.Heat
5. Joe Johnson- 1.Knicks. 2.Bulls. 3.Nets
6. Dwyane Wade- 1.Bulls. 2.Knicks. 3.Nets
Posted on: December 29, 2009 2:03 pm
 

Deadline Dreams and Delusions...

    In a few days we will all be in the new year. The year 2010. With that change comes a shift in focus in the NBA for us fans. No longer are we trying to gauge were are teams stand because we have a good idea by now if they are contenders or pretenders. Now is the time to think about the wonderful thing called the deadline. For a team like my Bulls this is a very important time. Teams will begin making calls and deals will be discussed. Bad teams with little chemistry like my Bulls might make a move and add that player they have longed for. Contenders might add that veteran that puts them over the top, and some teams will dump contracts. The idea of this thread is to allow you to reply with your "Grand Delusion" trades for your team. Make them as crazy or realistic as you want. The only rule is that they work money-wise. Use the trade Machine if you need too. So here is my Dream senario for my Bulls.

     As it stand the Bulls are about 15+ million under the cap for this upcomming summer. I have two blockbuster trade ideas for the Bulls to make before the deadline that will setup a offseason signing of Dwyane Wade or LeBron James and make the Bulls an instant contender just like the Celtics were thrust into glory a few seasons back. Here are the two trades.
     1. Kirk Hinrich, Brad Miller, and future pick for Tracy McGrady. I must stress this right off the bat that McGrady would only be signed for cap space this summer and would not be part of the Bulls longterm plans. The Rockets would get Hinrich which could start at the shooting guard spot and would add a great defender to the already gritty Rockets. Miller is an expiring contract that would give the Rockets 12+ million in cap space to make their own offseason moves. The future pick would be next season 1st rounder. The Bulls will be a very good team next season if my next two moves happen so a 1st rounder next season would most likely be in the 20-25th pick range. Hopefully.
     2. Luol Deng, Tyrus Thomas, and this years 1st rounder for Chris Bosh. I understand that the Raptors already have Turk at SF, but I can see Turk and Deng on the floor at the same time at the forward spots or Deng could slip down and play the 2 spot with Turk and Thomas at the forwards. That could be very interesting with Calderon running things. The Raptors also would land a 1st rounder. With Bosh on board the Bulls would be a much better team and should make the playoffs, but they could still miss them giving the Raptors a lottery pick. Bulls would have their scoring bigman finally. Now if the Raptors say no way then the Bulls could make a similar trade offer to the Jazz for Carlos Boozer or the Timberwolves for Al Jefferson. Bulls would also not have their cap effected by this move as there would just be contracts moved around.
    3. Sign Dwyane Wade or LeBron James. With around 25 million in cap space and Bosh/Boozer/Jefferson on board the Bulls should be able to attract one of these two superstar. Chicago is a much bigger market then Cleveland or Miami and with a star bigman and young talents in Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah they should be in the hunt for one of these two. Wade is the hometown hero but LeBron is a freak and is still very very young. Also, LeBron James is changing his number after the season right? He cannot wear #23 in Chicago right? James would be the perfect fit alongside Rose and Bosh. Now that is a contender. Bulls make the max offer and leave it up to LeBron and Wade. Also the Bulls would be able to offer a MLE to a player like Marcus Camby. I all could happen and the numbers work.
    0. Get a new Head Coach. I must backtrack a bit here and fire Vinny Del Negro. No player will want to sign with the Bulls if he is running things. Jerry Reinsdorf need only dish out the cash to his close friend Doug Collins. While Collins may not be the best coach out there he is a players coach and that should attract a Wade or LeBron.

Next seasons lineup:

PG Derrick Rose/Pargo
SG John Salmons
SF LeBron James
PF Chris Bosh/Taj Gibson
C Joakim Noah/Marcus Camby

Are you scared yet?

So what is your "Deadline Dreams and Delusions" for your team?
Posted on: December 26, 2009 11:25 am
 

Breaking Down the Bulls: Solution #2

     First of all I would like to say that I wanted to add pretty pictures to these threads but for some reason this site will no longer allow me to do so. With that being said I will now actually have to write something interesting as I will not be able to fool you with flashy images. Well, on to the subject of this thread. A week or so ago a laid out a plan for the Bulls involving a trade for Chris Bosh and the signing of Joe Johnson. Most Bulls fans loved the idea, but thanks to S&H and his realistic mindset I have been haunted with pessimism. This is a good thing. I was forced to try and find a more realistic plan for the Bulls. So let us take a look.

     Why Boozer?
OK, for the big trade I think we could shift our focus away from Chris Bosh and towards Carlos Boozer. Boozer is a perfect sized power forward in the mold of Karl Malone. He has has a high level of back to the basket skill. Infact, he is much more of an interior scorer then Bosh. In many ways Boozer is a better fit for the Bulls. He is a brute and not afraid to get dirty in the paint. A combo of Joakim Noah and Boozer would leave other teams at a 10+ rebound deficit everynight. Second chance points would be crazy. They one glaring downside to Boozer is his injury history. He has missed a ton of games. That would be a risk but a solid gamble if you ask me.
     Now what would be a good trade for Boozer? Well the Jazz have a point guard in Deron Williams, but the rest of the team is just OK outside of Boozer. Boozer will leave Utah this summer so the Bulls still have a bit of leverage in that the Jazz will loose Boozer for nothing. If the Jazz want cap space they may not bother to make a trade however. I think Jerry Sloan has a man crush on Kirk Hinrich and Kirk's contract is an asset because it gets smaller every season. I wonder if the Jazz would move Boozer for Hinrich and rookie Taj Gibson, who has shown he is really smart and can start even on some teams. Hinrich would give the Jazz a solid 6th man or he could even start alongside Williams. That would be a scary guard combo. Now we would have to give up a pick in this senario or maybe we could swap Gibson with Tyrus Thomas and make a straight up swap of Kirk and Thomas for Boozer. We could throw in a 2nd rounder as well. Another option is to package Deng for Boozer but the Jazz already have Kirilenko and that would tie up about 27 million dollors in small forwards between Deng and Kirilenko.
     The bottomline is Boozer might be had for less then Bosh and in the long run he may be a better option if he can stay healthy. We could also wait until the summer and just try to sign Boozer straight up. If we can make the trades I layout below then Boozer may want to come play in the Windy City. Now we need a shooter to pair with Derrick Rose and Boozer.



The Bluelight Special. Yes, I am talking about Kevin Martin. He is just the type of scorer we need to replace Ben Gordon. Word is that the Kings are willing to move K-mart because of how well rookie Tyreke Evens is playing. Now we can go two routes for this trade. If the Kings want cap space then we offer up Brad Miller and our first round pick or if they want talent we could try and sell them on Luol Deng. Another option would be a combo of both like Jerome James and John Salmons and our pick. I could go on and on with trade senarios with the Kings because they make a very good trade partner for us. Another option I would jump at is Deng and Jerome James expiring contract for Martin and Nocioni. Nocioni is overpaid thanks to us and the Kings may want to clear up some cap and still get a solid starter in return.

Other Shooters on the Radar. If a move for K-mart fails we could move Deng and his large contract to the Suns for Jason Richardson. We would have to throw in Aaron Gray to make the money work, but Steve Kerr really likes Deng and he would be a nice fit for that team. The advantage on our end is we get a shooter with a shorter contract. Michael Redd is also and option but he is also a health risk. I also wonder if we could make a deal with the Pistons for Rip. With Ben Gordon on the team the Pistons may be willing to part ways with Rip. The issue with Rip is he is overpaid so Deng would have to be part of this trade and to be honest i would rather have Deng longterm then Rip. So scratch that idea. I will leave this open to you guys. Can you think of some solid Starting quality shooters that we could get that would fit in well with Rose, Noah, and Boozer?

The Main Idea Here... The idea of landing Bosh and Wade, or Joe Johnson, or even LeBron James might be out of the question. Boozer is a solid starting point for the Bulls in a realistic attempt he mend things on this team. Add a shooting guard that can score from the outside like Kevin Martin and you have a solid team. It is not a team as sexy as Bosh/Wade, but could very well be just as effective. With the right chemistry of players the Bulls can contend without having a household name type of player on the roster. We have some nice pieces that can be traded, now all we need to do is make the right series of moves and in the right order to attract veteran help in the offseason. If we can land Boozer/Martin this season or this summer then a player like Camby may want on board or another veteran or two. 

I hope you enjoyed the read and please reply with your ideas or thoughts. 
Posted on: May 25, 2009 2:39 pm
 

The Smart GM Trades Kevin Garnett this Summer.

     I understand that many will call me crazy for even thinking that the Celtics should trade Kevin Garnett, but there are plenty of reasons as to why it is the right move. I made mention of this idea back on one of the Bulls vs Celtics playoff threads and then again on another thread about Bostons future and I got mixed feedback. I have since taken a little time to research a bit more as to a few trade ideas and to also solidify my argument. So let us take a look at a few reasons as to why it makes sense for the Celtics to break up the big three.

     Be honest with yourselves. What will it take for the Celtics to get back to the Finals and win another championship? It will take a few things happening that I feel is just a huge gamble for Boston. Kevin Garnett will have to return and be near 100%. Leon Powe will have to heal and continue to grow. Ray Allen will have to shoot consistently and stop aging. Celtics will have to resign Big Baby somehow to slowly take over for the fading KG. Paul Pierce will have to show up a little more in the playoffs. Rajon Rondo will have to pick up the slack by becoming a superstar.
     Can all 6 of those things happen? I think not. If Garnett returns and plays well then the Celtics will make it to the second round of the playoffs again, but the east is fastly changing and the Celtic's core is getting very old. If Boston does not make moves this summer they could very well turn into the next version of the Pistons. An motley grouping of aging vets and mismatched parts that have little trade value. Think of what the Pistons could have done a few years ago if they were smart enough to break up their team. But instead they pressed on and slowly slipped out of contention. Sad.
     The time is now for Boston to bypass this fate. If KG can recover and pass a physical then they should move him while he still have some value. In a year or less he could be worth as much as Rasheed Wallace. Scary. Yes it would be a cruel thing to do to KG after he gave Boston a championship, but basketball is a business not a retirement home. Kevin Garnett could recover and have 1 or 2 good seasons left but that is a big risk to take. I think moving him now is the best option. Rajon Rondo is clearly the future of this team as Paul Pierce will himself slowly start to fade in the next 3 or 4 years. He has a lot of miles on him and to me Rondo looks to be the most well rounded talent on the Celtics right now.
     Many have been saying the Celtics should move Ray Allen but he has only one year left on his contract that expires in the summer of 2010. Having 18 million dollars in cap space next summer might be enough to grab a superstar free agent if the Celtics aready have the right players on board. I say hold onto Ray. Here are a few ideas for the Celtics.
    1) I understand that the Raptors are in the same division as the Celtics, but both can gain somthing by making a deal. The Raptors have to understand by now that Chris Bosh is most likely bolting after next season and they need to start listening to offers now. I want my Bulls to make an offer to be honest. I think if the Celtics offered Garnett and thier 1st round pick they could land Bosh and Jason Kapono. Bosh is not as good as KG was in his prime but Bosh is younger and Kapono gives the celtics another three point threat which they could really use. Toronto gets a superstar in KG and a pick. All of these trade ideas work on the ESPN trade machine just so you know. Different combinations of picks could be used to even out this trade but I think if they can move past the idea of both being in the same division that this is a solid moves on both ends. Raptors will either want another superstar for Bosh or young talent and picks. Few other teams can offer a player like Garnett to the Raptors so they might swallow his huge contract to just fill some seats at home.
     2) OK, I understand that Zach Randolph is a nightmare in the locker room but the Celtics could try to move him during the season or a third team could be involved. I think Camby is a solid replacement for KG. They are both old and Camby is not what he used to be but both ZR and Marcus' contracts expire before KG's contract. In the end this trade really just gives the Celtics a little more flexability and I am sure the Clippers would throw a future draft pick on the table. Clippers love to make bad trades so maybe the Celtics could pull a John Paxson and land two future 1st rounders. The Clippers really want to move Zach. I understand that this is not a sexy trade and it would certainly have the Celtics taking a step back, but if they can land a 1st round pick or two from the Clippers then it is a no brainer to me. The Clippers are always in the lottery and often hold a top 5 pick.
     3) Now I like this idea. Peja Stojakovic's contract is hard to swallow for what he offers but it is one season shorter then KGs. David West on the other hand is a solid young power foward. The Hornet could bite if the Celtics ate another contract and offered a 1st and 2nd round pick. The Hornets might not want to give up a young star like west for an aging one like Garnett, but they might also want to make it look like they are trying to build a contender to keep Chris Paul happy. I seem to remember the Mavericks trading away a budding star in Devin Harris for Jason Kidd. You just never really know what a team will do. But If the Celtics can bring home a player like David West then I think they would remain contenders. I also think that boston can stand to let go of a couple of picks. Rondo, Pierce, and West could be a deadly trio.
     4) Speaking of the Mavericks what about a trade for Josh Howard and Erick Dampier. I think that this could be a nice even trade as is. Howard has a few injuries to ovrecome and a fondness for herbs and Dampier is also getting older but is still a solid player in the paint. Plus Howard's contract ends next summer to give the Celtics some extra cap space and Erick's ends the next summer. Mavericks could be scary with Garnett and Dirk on the floor together. If Jason Kidd can muster a bit more out of his HOF career then the mavericks could contend with this move. Howard would look nice running the floor with Rondo and if the Celtics lose Big Baby then Dampier could be a short term fix. I think with this move the Celtics would free up enough money for the summer of 2010 to go after perhaps Amar'e, Bosh(if he is not already traded), or Wade.
     5) This trade is all about freeing up a bit of money. Celtics would save 5 million right off the bat with the differences in contracts and Matt Harpring's contract ends next summer and Kirilenko's is a year shorter then KGs. AK47 could play the 3 or 4 and be a solid replacement for KGs defense. I am not saying he is as good but he is a very good defender. With freed up cap space the Celtics would have money to add a superstar and maybe resign Big Baby this summer. A 2010/2011 lineup of Rajon Rando, Dwyane Wade, Paul Pierce, AK47, and Big Baby would be a great team to watch and a very good defensive team. Maybe a big instead of Wade might more sense. For the Jazz they get KG to replace Boozer who is sure to leave this summer.
    
     Well, I hope you enjoyed the read. Please understand that these trade ideas can be tinkered with a bit by adding smaller pieces or draft picks to even thing out. I can already see all the negative replies about a couple of these trade ideas. What I really want to hear from other posters is 1) is moving KG in and of itself just a bad idea? and 2) what other trade ideas can you come up with?
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com