Tag:Kings
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: July 31, 2009 9:44 pm
 

Bulls - Best/Worst-case - John Salmons

   I would like to breakdown the Bulls as a whole going into next season, but I thought I would start with writing a blog on each of the Bulls major contributing players first. I already have wrote on Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, and Kirk Hinrich. Now it is time to breakdown John Salmons. Salmons came to the Bulls along with Brad Miller in perhaps the best trade of last season. Some will argue that the Nuggets trade for Chauncey Billups was better and I might agree, but nobody can say the Bulls got the short end of the deal with the Kings. The Bulls robbed them. Salmons was a steal. He is a sure starter on just about any team. He can play both the shooting guard and small forward and is a good defender and can create his own shot. In many ways he is what the Bulls wanted Ben Gordon to be. Sure BG is a better scorer and a bit more clutch, but Salmons is bigger and plays savvy basketball on both ends. Something that Gordon will not give you. Bottomline Salmons is a complete player, much like Kirk Hinrich. So were does Salmons fit in on the Bulls and how good can he be? Let us take a look.

Best-case.
First off, with no Ben Gordon on the team Salmons will be looked for to score more and he will see a lot of minutes. There is a chance that the Bulls may have Salmons start at the small forward spot and have Luol Deng come off the bench until he can prove himself, but in a perfect world John Salmons would be out starting Shooting guard and Deng would play well enough to start at small forward. Hinrich would then be the 6th man. If this is the case, which I hope it will be, then look for salmons to be playing 35+ minutes a game and be either a second or third option on offense. For the sake of best-case senario we will have John as the Bulls number two option and spliting time as the starting SG and some time at SF. It is possible then that Salmons could average 20 points, 4.5 rebonds, and 3.5 assists while shooting .475 from the floor.

Worst-case. I think it is within the realm of possibilities that John Salmons had a career season last year and that he really is not that good. Many players have come into this league and had one good season and then gone down hill. Remember Ron Mercer? Mercer had season were he almost averaged 20 ppg. So one could argue that Salmons having one solid season was a fluke and that nobody should count on him to repeat what he did this year. He is also 29 years old. That is pretty old to finally be figuring out how to play in the NBA. So let us pretend that this season was an accident and that Salmons returns to his old playing habits. If this happens then Kirk will be the starter and John will come off the bench and may only see 25 minutes a game or even less. If this is the case then he may only average what he did a season ago. 12.5 ppg, 4 rpg, and 2.5 apg, all while shooting .460 from the floor.

My Prediction. Well if you look at Salmons career stats you will quickly see that he has gotten better every season and has taken a couple of big jumps the last two years. To me he simple is comming into his own and the Bulls just might have a very good player on their hands. If Salmon's game continues to improve at the same pace that it has then he could be an Allstar, but I am not that bold to predict anything like that. I do think that he has shown to be more reliable then Deng and therefore should be the Bulls second leading scorer behind Rose. Infact he could become the leading scorer depending on how much better Rose is this season, but one would have to think that Rose will be the centerpiece of the Bulls offense and judging on his rookie play you have to think he is an Allstar talent in this upcoming season. I think Salmons will fill in nicely for Ben Gordon if he starts at the two guard which i think he should. He is the perfect sized SG at 6'6" and 210 lbs. He also is a solid shooter from anywhere on the floor. I think he is a much better fit with Rose then BG was and is smart enough to know when to pass the ball. I think Salmons will be a big factor for the Bulls this season adn should see about 35 minutes a game and average 18 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists all while shooting .470 from the floor.

Hope you enjoyed the read and let me know what your thoughts are. Next Up. Tyrus Thomas
Posted on: May 5, 2009 11:25 pm
 

A Season in Review: Chicago Bulls.

  Before the season even began this year I wrote a blog that was part a preview and a part my predictions for the Bulls season. I was off a bit in some areas and pretty close in others. I thought it would be a fun way to look back at the season by looking back at what I thought the season was going to look like and then break it all down. So if you are a Bulls fan or just interested in the NBA in general, please grab something to drink and have a seat because this may take awhile. I will put quotes around my original blog ideas and then break them down below in bold. Feel free to leave a reply.

 

“The Helm: Preview

John Paxson is known now for taking a few risks. When he first took over I thought he was going to be very conservative and in many ways he is, but he seems to pull a fast one every year or so. Signing Ben Wallace, firing Scott Skiles, and trading Tyson Chandler to name a few. This summer he shocked me and I can only imagine all Bulls fans by hiring Vinny Del Negro as the head coach. I really was hoping for Avery Johnson. Others really wanted Rick Carlisle or Mike D'Antoni. In the end Paxson went a different route. 

At first glance Vinny seems a bad choice. A young team with some locker room issues really seemed to me to need a veteran coach to keep things in order. What really makes this hiring work is the additions of Del Harris and Bernie Bickerstaff. Del Negro will have two former NBA head coaches on the bench to field questions and concerns too. I am sure that Vinny will want to run a faster pace offense then we have seen the Bulls run in a long time. This will really help many of the Buls players shine. I love the idea of just about every player on the roster in an up tempo style of basketball. Tyrus, Gordon, Thabo, and Deng come to mind right away, but Kirk and the other will do quite well also.”

 

I think I got this one right for the most part. Vinny Del Negro has been far from perfect and with a better coach like the ones I mention I think the Bulls might have made it past the Celtics in the Playoffs.

 

“The Helm: Prediction

I think Vinny will hold his own and his fast paced game will push the Bulls into the playoffs. Del Negro and his wise staff will be able to get the best out of the Bulls young players and the Vinny Del Negro hire will end up making Paxson look smart.”

 

I was wrong on this one. The Bulls did play a bit faster but nothing like I thought and Vinny and his staff were far from wise. They were what they were, rookies. John Paxson in the end does not look smart or a fool. Vinny has been just OK and the Bulls did make it to the playoffs, though that had more to do with the Kings trade then anything.

 

“The Roster:

I will write my preview and predictions for each impact player below. I am not going to write about players that I do not think will get enough playing time to make much of a difference. So, let us begin.

The Starters:

   Kirk Hinrich

“Preview: Kirk will be the starter at PG until Rose proves he is the better player. I do not see that happening this year. Kirk will return to his old scrappy self and establish himself as the best all around guard on the Bulls. Let us not forget how good Kirk was but a season ago. He was a top 10 PG without question and I think he has a lot to prove. His hard-nosed defense will keep him on the floor for long stretches and at the end of the game he will run the show. I know this may not be what Bulls fans want to hear. I also want to see Rose turn into a top Pg in the NBA, but it will take time, and frankly the Bulls have it. I also do not see the Bulls trading Kirk this season unless I am way off base and Derrick turns into a real stud and Hinrich's services are no longer needed.

Predictions: 12 ppg, 3 rpg, 6.5 apg, 1.4 spg, FG% .420”

 

This has to be my biggest bust as far as predictions go. I really thought that Rose was going to have growing pains like Jay Williams did for us a few years ago. I was dead wrong. Derrick Rose proved to be our starter from day one and there was no looking back. Kirk's averages fell even more then I thought. He ended this season averaging 9.9ppg, 2.4rpg, 3.9apg, 1.3spg, .437FG%.

 

   Larry Hughes

“Preview: Larry has some competition at the SG spot with Gordon resigning and Thabo getting better every day. The thing that gets Hughes the nod is his size and defense. Gordon is by far the better shooter, but Hughes will match-up better with other teams starters. I could see Larry lose his starting job to Thabo if Larry takes so many silly shots and does not play team basketball. Thabo is a younger and maybe better version of Hughes anyways. But when the season starts I feel that Larry will be in the starting lineup. He should do quite well in an up tempo game and if he plays his cards right he could have a real nice season.

Predictions: 13.5 ppg, 3 rpg, 3apg, 1.5 spg, FG% .405”

 

Larry did start for the Bulls for a while until he kept getting hurt and he really never panned out. Infact Larry was a cancer to this young team and did little but complain about playing time. Thanks Cleveland! The funniest part of this prediction was how much love I was giving Thabo. He really never worked out for us even though he had some nice skills. In the end Hughes averaged 11.6ppg, 2.9rpg, 2.2apg, 1.3 spg. .402FG%. I was not too far off on his stats.

 

   Luol Deng

“Preview: I think might be the year for Luol. He finally got his money, so there should be no distactions. We will find out this season what Deng is all about. Will he become complacent now that he has his contract, or will he take a step forward and become the team leader and All-star that he could be? That is a real hard question to answer these days with players striving more often towards the money rather then team success. However Luol has not shown signs of being a head case, so I gather that he will take a step forward this season. With so many shooters on the Bulls and some decent inside threats like Gooden and Thomas, I think the floor will open up a little more for him. I hope he drives it to the hole more and plays with his back to the basket every so often. When Deng decides to drive he often scores or draws a foul. I think he will become a better all around player and flirt with becoming the first Bulls Allstar since Jordan and Pippen left.

Prediction: 19.5 ppg, 7 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.0 spg, FG% .485”

 

Well Luol ended up only playing 49 games this season and we really could have used him down the stretch. It was not the year for Deng like I thought it would be. My key statement is the one were I ask if Loul is going to be complacent or not. I thought he would shine with his new contract but I guess I was far off. I saw him as an All-star and I still think he could be if he got in the gym and got into shape. I think if healthy he would play very well with Derrick Rose. Deng could be the slasher and shooter the Bulls need to reach the next level. This season he averaged 14.1ppg, 6.0rpg, 1.9apg, 1.2spg, .448FG%.

 

   Drew Gooden

“Preview: This is were I think things will get very interesting. Drew showed last season that he is a low post threat. He may not be the star caliber PF that most teams seem to need to go to the Finals, but he is very solid. I think with a training camp and more time with the Bulls he will only get better and more consistent. He will exploit weaker PFs all day long and will continue to struggle with faster and longer power forwards in the league. In the end Drew is a match-up guy. He can put up huge numbers when an opposing team cannot match his strength and that is what we will see all season long. Also, if Tyrus steps it up and gets his head on straight he could prove to be a better starter then Gooden by seasons end. I just do not think Thomas has the basketball IQ to be starter right now.

Prediction: 12 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 1.0 bpg, FG% .470”

 

I thought Drew was a solid player for us this season and my preview was right on. Drew did look great some nights but when he had to play against a good power forward he looked lost. In the end he averaged better then I thought at 13.1ppg, 8.6rpg, .4bpg, .457FG%.

 

   Joakim Noah

“Preview: I think that Noah is never going to be a scoring Center in the NBA. I know that that is not a shocker to most of you, but it must be said right up front. Noah is a very smart player who will play hard on both ends. He is and will become an even better passer out of the post witch will contribute to many open looks. I think in the end Noah is a player that does make everyone else on the floor better. His energy will lead the Bulls in down times and his ferociousness will turn things around in close games. He is a winner and he will become more and more a vocal leader on the Bulls. He is much in the likeness of Tyson Chandler only a little smarter but less athletic. All in all he will have a pretty good season and should be the starter throughout the season.

Prediction: 7 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.5 bpg, 1.0 spg, FG% .500”

 

I was close on this one as well. Noah has turned out to be all the things I said he would be and I was very close on my predictions for his stats. 6.7ppg, 7.6rpg, 1.4bpg, .556FG%.

 

The Bench:

   Ben Gordon

“Preview: The real question is how much playing time will Ben get? I think Vinny will find that Gordon can take over a game and create his own shot, and for that reason Ben will see a lot of minutes off the bench. Gordon really is a 6th man no matter what he feels. He is built to take advantage of second-string players from the other team. He creates a lot of problems for opposing team's coaches. I really would have liked to see him sign the $58 mil. Contract over 6 years that is reported that he was offered. In any case he is playing for a contract this season and that could be good and bad. If he looks to build up his stats and not play team ball then he could be a thorn in our sides. Vinny and staff will have their hands full trying to keep Gordon in a team mindset. I hope Vinny has the guts to just bench Gordon, even if it hurts the Bulls this season, if it becomes apparent he is not playing to win. Regardless, I think Ben will see a lot of action this season but maybe not as much as in past seasons. I think Thabo could eat up some of his minutes so I really do not think he will put up the numbers that he wishes he could.

Prediction: 17 ppg, 3 rpg, 3 apg, 1.0 spg, FG% .430”

 

 

Well I was wrong and right with this prediction. Ben Gordon in the long run might have disturbed the flow of the offense but he did contribute much more then I thought he would. Gordon has acted like a professional and has not caused any problems on the team. I Just think he is not the right mix with Rose. I think we would be better served with a player who knew they were just a jump shooter. Here are his season numbers. I was a bit off on his scoring. 20.7ppg, 3.5rpg, 3.4 apg, .9spg, .455FG%.

 

  Derrick Rose

“Preview: Rose will be affective right away, but he will not be ready to take the helm from Kirk Hinrich. Derrick reminds me very much of Jay Williams. Jay was a second overall pick behind Yao Ming and had a bumpy rookie season. Rose will have much of the same thing in his rookie season. I am sure we will witness many great passes and plays at his hand, but we will also see a lot of rookie mistakes. He is lucky that Hinrich is still around. It takes some pressure off of him to lead right away. He can learn a lot from Kirk and I like this one two punch very much. I am also excited to see him come off the bench with Gordon and Tyrus. There will be some highlights for sure with those guys all on the floor together. I look forward to watching him grow, and If I am wrong and he does become a starter this season then us Bulls fans should be very happy.

Predictions: 8.5 ppg, 4.5 apg, 1.5 rpg, 0.5 spg, FG% .410”

 

 

Wow, was I wrong here. Rose was a stud from day one and was as consistent as anyone in the NBA. We knew what he was going to give us every night. There were maybe a handful of games that he was off and scored in single digits. Comparing him to Jay Williams seems really funny to me now. Look at my crappy predictions for his stats. lol. Here is how he ended the season. 16.8ppg, 6.3apg, 3.9rpg, .8spg, .475FG%. I even could not make up my mind on him or Michael Beasley. Silly.

 

   Thabo Sefolosha

“Preview: It is to bad for Thabo that Gordon resigned. I really felt that Thabo would have had a breakout season with enough playing time. Now he is forced back into last season’s role as the odd man out. He could see minutes at small forward and if Nocioni misses time with an injury then he could be a viable back up for Luol Deng. I think the fast passed game that Vinny will most likely run will suit Thabo very well. Thabo will also be used for certain match-ups were his size and defense are really needed. I cannot stress it enough how much I like Thabo's game, but he will not be afforded the opportunity to make a real impact.

Predictions: 6.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.0 spg, FG% .430”

 

Man, someone needed to tell me to get a room with this guy. I was in love. I must have been crazy too. Thabo regressed with the Bulls this season before being traded. He was a good defender but everything else was crap. He loved to turn the ball over and took bad shots. He just looked lost. Here were his stats. 5.9ppg 3.7rpg, 1.7apg, 1.14spg, .426FG%. I was close on the stats but he really was just inconsistent. He would have a great game and then not score for 4 games in a row. Crazy.

 

   Andres Nocioni

“Preview: Nocioni is my favorite player simply because he plays so hard and with so much passion. The problem is he is showing signs that he may be a little injury prone. I think his hard-nose style of ball has taken a toll on his body. If healthy, Andres is a great SF, but he is relying too much on an outside game. I am sure his injuries have forced him to alter his game, but he was at his best when defenders were not sure if he was going to drive hard or take the jump shot. Sadly, I feel Nocioni will not return to his old self anytime soon. With that being said, he is still one of the best back-up small forwards in the league and he will win a few games for us with his great 3-point shooting.

Predictions: 11 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.0 apg, FG% .435”

 

I think I was right on with this one. Nocioni became a shooter and he stopped driving and it hurt his game.  I was also very sad to see him go. His stats were. 11.4ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.3apg, .427FG%. I was close on his stats as well.

 

   Tyrus Thomas

“Preview: I think we will see Tyrus take a small step forward this season. He could end up a starter by seasons end, but I am not certain he will stay out of foul trouble enough to stay of the floor for long stretches. By far Thomas is the hardest player to wrap my mind around. On one hand he is an athletic freak with loads of talent, but on the other hand he seems lost on the floor and not comfortable with the ball in his hand and his back to the basket. This is a do or die season for him in many ways. He needs to prove that he can use his talent and become a star power forward or he may solidify himself as a bust. Reports have it that he has packed on some muscle; hopefully he has worked out his brain as well. He should focus on defense, because at the very least he could become a top defender in the NBA.

Predictions: 9 ppg, 6 rpg, 1 apg, 1.5 bpg, FG% .430”

 

I think I did a good job on previewing and predicting for Tyrus. Funny thing is is I could make these same comments about him going into next season. Stats. 10.8ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.0apg, 1.9bpg, .451FG%. In the end Thomas did better then I thought he would and I think he could still prove to be a good starting power forward in this league.

 

   Aaron Gray

“Preview: Word on the street is that Aaron Grey is in shape. If that is the case and his conditioning is in check then Grey could be a real darkhorse on this team. He has showed us already that he can play well in the post. Now if he can keep his energy level up and stay on the floor then he could prove to be a real great back-up Center. I might even go so far as to say that he could challenge Noah for a starting job. That may be a stretch, but a low-post scorer with real size is very rare these days. Worse case Aaron will be better then last season and good help off the bench.

Predictions: 7ppg, 3.5 rpg, FG% .510”

 

Another player I had high hopes for. The rumor about Aaron being in shape was a total lie. He was fatter then ever. I still contend that he is worth a roster spot because he does has a post game even thought he makes Brad Miller look like Rajon Rondo when it comes to speed. His stats were as follows. 3.5ppg, 3.9rpg, .485FG%. Get in the gym fatty!

 

Awards:

“Most Improved Player: Tyrus Thomas. I think he has to get better. His talent level is way too high for him not to get better, plus he should see quite a bit of playing time.”

 

While Tyrus did shine at moments what stands out to me is that he was not on the floor at the end of games and Joakim Noah was. I would have to now give this award to Noah.

 

 

“Welcome Back Award: Kirk Hinrich. I think Hinrich will return to his old form and have a nice season.”

 

I was wrong with this award and would now have to give it to a more fitting player, Brad Miller. It was nice to see him in a Bulls uniform again.

 

 

“Defensive Player Award: Hinrich/Thomas. Hinrich will when unless Tyrus turns it up and starts grabbing rebounds and swatting away shots.”

 

It is har to argue this one. Hinrich played great defense on Paul Pierce in the playoffs and against shooting guards all season long and Tyrus became a force down low blocking a ton of shots.

 

 

“MVP: Luol Deng. He should have a great season, and the there is no reason that he should not take a step forward and capture an Allstar appearance”.

 

Wow, was I off here. Just about anyone on the roster deserves this award ahead of Deng. Of course I have to give it to the rookie of the year Derrick Rose even though Ben Gordon won us a lot of games.

 

Conclusion:

“OK. So you have read a lot so far I know, but I have to give my final Predictions for the season. I really hope you enjoyed the read and feel free to reply or give your own predictions or thoughts. Thanks.

2008-09 Season Record: 50-32. I think the Bulls will shock many and have a great season. There is no reason why the Bulls cannot be a top 4 team in the East. I think the Bulls will end up with the 5th seed in the playoffs and face the 76ers in the first round and win the series in six. They will then go on to lose against the Celtics in five. That would be a great season in my eyes. Maybe I am a homer, but I really think last season was a glitch and I think the Bulls can pick up were they left of in the 2006-07 season. I will cross my fingers.”

 

 

Well I was 9 games off on my predction for season record which is not that great. I did really think the Bulls would turn things around and be more like the Bulls of two years ago who won 49 games and swept the Heat in the playoffs, but I was wrong and John Paxson made one hell of a trade to fix this team. I was correct in saying we would lose to the Celtics but we never did make it to the second round.

Well I do hope you enjoyed my critique on my self and I will be writing some more blogs on offseason ideas and Roster moves, so stay tuned.
Posted on: May 5, 2009 10:42 pm
This entry has been removed by the administrator.

Post Deleted by Administrator

This message has been removed by the administrator.

Posted on: February 21, 2009 7:50 pm
 

Power Rankings Feb. 22nd

Here we go:

  1. Lakers. The team to beat and without doubt the best in the NBA right now. Best record plus being the hottest team in the league is proof enough.
  2. Cavaliers. Just when you think this team is not as good as the Celtics LeBron James does something insane that gives me a Michael Jordan flasback. Lack of depth? Who cares? Who is going to stop LBJ?
  3. Spurs. Overtime loss to the Knicks was a hard one for any fan to watch who does not live in New York. I still think this team has a real shot at an upset when the WCFs roll around.
  4. Celtics. How will this team adjust without Kevin Garnett? I think they just lost themselves the number one seed for sure. Will KG come back in full health? Scary for Celtic fans I bet.
  5. Magic. Rafer Alston was a great move for the Magic with Jameer Nelson out for the season. Magic fans must be breathing a sigh of relief right now. There is yet a flicker of hope off in the distance.
  6. Nuggets. Loss to the Bulls was ugly for sure. But Billups has been great for this team. They need to be a bit more consistant and play with passion every game.
  7. Portland. With Michael Ruffin on board they could make it to the Finals. Sorry, that was a joke. This team is young and balanced. Most of all they keep winning games.
  8. Jazz. Look out here they come. They are just 3 1/2 games out of the 4th seed and playing quite well. Have won 3 in a row. I smell a darkhorse.
  9. Rockets. This team iwins three games without Tracy McGrady. Didn't this happen before? Tracy McGrady is a cursed player. There I said it.
  10. Mavericks. Another darkhorse team. Dirk is playing his best ball this season and this team has nice depth. I hope they can do without Jason Terry.
  11. Hornets. I really liked the double reverse trade for Tyson Chandler. I wonder if they knew how bad his toe was? This will hurt them in future trades. What seed does this team get in the playoffs? 8th vs Lakers? Ouch!
  12. Hawks. Young and balanced. They are the fourth best team in the east but are this low in the rankings. Says a lot about the east.
  13. Suns. This team was reborn the day they fired Terry Porter. How far will they get without Amar'e Stoudemire? That is the real question.
  14. Heat. Not to sure that JO was the right move or not. He is injury prone so you have to wonder if he will be there come playoff time. Good thing they have that other guy Dwyane Wade to carry them.
  15. Bulls. This team is one of the hottest teams in the east right now. Beating the Nuggets with only 7 players says a lot about this teams passion. They are playing gritty, backs against the wall basketball. Hello playoffs.
  16. Pistons. Rasheed Wallace will jack up 5 failed 3 point attempts before I finish writing this sentence. Someone needs to buy Coach Curry a chemistry set. Sad when AI is not the problem.
  17. Bucks. This team has one thing going for it. Scott Skiles. He and he alone will will this team into the playoffs. I am not sure that will be enough at the end of the day.
  18. 76ers. This team will most likely make the playoffs but lets hope Miller gets back soon to run this team before they rack up to many losses.
  19. Knicks. Starting to rack up a lot of points on other teams. Larry Hughes should be a nice addition to Mike D'Antoni's run and gun offense. Knicks could slip into the playoffs yet.
  20. Pacers. This is were the teams really start to slip off for me. Granger can not do it by himself. This team needs to make some smart draft selections this summer and let the rebuilding continue.
  21. Nets. They could not get rid of Vince Carter. Souldn't they have done that like 3 years ago anyways? Brook Lopez is a solid piece to the puzzle for the future.
  22. Warriors. Despite what some Warriors fans think Monta Ellis has not been playing that well and without Andris Biedrins in the paint this team will continue to struggle.
  23. Raptors. Record or no record, a team with Jose Calderon, Chris Bosh, and Shawn Marion can not be this bad, can they?
  24. Bobcats. Is this team ever going to be a .500 team after an Allstar break? They have rebuilding down to a fine art in Charlotte.
  25. Timberwolves. No Al Jefferson equals a lot of tears in pillows. Timberwolves fans need only think about the draft to find comfort.
  26. Grizzlies. At least this team has a bright future to think about. To bad the owners do not like to spend money.
  27. Wizards. Two wins in a row is nice to see. Other then that this team has been shockingly bad this season.
  28. Clippers. Baron Davis needs not to be traded for Tracy McGrady, we need to get these two guys on the same team. That would be interesting.
  29. Thunder. Maybe the best young talent in the NBA reside here in Kevin Durant. What a joy to watch he is. Let's hope they can build something around him.
  30. Kings. What else can be said. Drew Gooden and Andres Nocioni could help things out. I will miss Andres Nocioni though.
Posted on: February 18, 2009 8:53 pm
 

Not Sexy, but Smart.

Well the Bulls finally pulled the trigger on a trade today. Let us take a look at it. The meat of the trade is that the Bulls will land veteran center Brad Miller and young stud John Salmons and the Kings will get Andres Nocioni, Drew Gooden, and Cedric Simmons. I for one think the Bulls made a really nice and quite move here and here are my thoughts as to why:

  1. John Salmons is a starter and can play both shooting guard and small forward. He is a good defender and can score well and has size for a SG. Something we have really needed. Sorry, Larry Hughes is a joke. Sure he can defend but he jacks up crazy shots and I hope the Bulls move him by tommorow or this summer. Salmon's contract is smaller then Nocioni's and for two less years. Andres Nocioni has just become a jump shooter the last two seasons. I loved him early on with the Bulls and part of me hates to see him go but this was a good trade. Salmons is clearly better then Nocioni.
  2. Brad Miller is the best big we have had since, well Brad Miller. I always have loved his game, and while he is getting older and his game is slowing I thing he is a great locker room player and a good leader. He should be able to teach Joakim Noah and Aaron Gray a few tricks. His contract also is up by the summer of 2010. Drew Gooden had some flashes were he did look really good, but he is soft and plays no defense. Brad Miller is an OK defender and a banger down low. Miller is also a great passer for a bigman and he knows how to set a pick and do all the little things.
  3. Ben Gordon in my mind is gone after the season for sure now. I would much rather have John Salmons starting for now and save some more money for later signings. In my mind Larry hughes needs to be moved soon and not later.
  4. With Larry and Gordon gone this offseason the Bulls should draft a shooting guard to back up Salmons or a Small Forward to back up Deng and then just hold tight through next season. I think the Bulls are a playoff team now. Not a high seed team, but I think they should make the playoffs this season and next.

Roster going into next season:

Pretty solid. If we can pick up a big like Chris Bosh in 2010 then we are set. We also would be well served with Dwyane Wade as well. Let us see what Tyrus Thomas can do now.

Posted on: February 14, 2009 6:36 pm
 

Power Rankings Allstar Weekend.

  1. Lakers. Great road trip only solidifies their dominance. Sole loss to the Jazz should not faze them what so ever. They are the team to beat.
  2. Spurs. Win over the Celtics move them up in my book. This is a scary team that is now playing their best ball of the season. It seems this way every year. Spurs always make a push come midseason.
  3. Celtics. Losses to the Lakers and Spurs hurts their chances to be called the top dog. Even with that being said they are still playing fairly good and should rebound. They are the best in the east for now.
  4. Nuggets. Call me crazy but this team is quitely pushing itself up the standings and beating solid teams on the way. Chauncy Billups is proving to be a top point guard. Piston fans must be missing him.
  5. Cavaliers. A loss to the Lakers is understandable but a loss to the Pacers is just sad. The question of depth once again the topic of conversation amongst Cavalier fans.
  6. Magic. Still sitting pretty in the east. A loss to the Nuggets is bound to happen. Will the loss of Jameer Nelson keep the Magic from going deep in the playoffs?
  7. Trail Blazers. This young team may be to young to win rings this year, but Laker fans have to be a bit afraid of the future. The Blazers are looking more and more like the team of the future.
  8. Hawks. The Hawks are for the east what the Blazers are for the west. A young team that could be in the finals for years to come. Young and athletic, this team has a bit off everything needed to win.
  9. Hornets. Something tells me this team will finish the season strong. A healthy Chris Paul is a must or this team is not going anywhere and they will continue to slip in the standings.
  10. Jazz. Creeping back to life this is not a team anyone wants to face in the first round. When Boozer returns this team will make a push. I could see them landing the 6th seed.
  11. Rockets. With Tracy McGrady out again with knee problems the Rockets can say goodbye to the season. What looked like a promissing season has turned into what most expected. Injury plagued.
  12. Mavericks. A Darkhorse? I was starting to think so but they play so hot and cold it is hard to figure them out. On a bright note Dirk is having his best season ever.
  13. Heat. Is Jermaine O'Neal the answer? Maybe not but they finally got rid of Shawn Marion and I like the pickup of the young and athletic Moon.
  14. 76ers. Elton Brand who? To bad they owe Brand so much money because it looks like they do not need him at all. In the end though how far will this team get in the playoffs?
  15. Suns. What is going on in sun city? This is a team that is about to dismantle and start over. Not even Steve Nash can make this team look good. Say goodbye to Shaq or Amar'e or both.
  16. Bucks. Even with all the injuries this team still keeps winning. I do think that this team will still slow down and slip in the standings and maybe out of the playoff picture.
  17. Pistons. Slip sliding away. 3 losses in a row only magnifies their issues. Rasheed Wallace needs to be traded. I would trade Iverson if I were them and build around Rip, Stuckey, and Prince.
  18. Bulls. This team is either winning or losing close games. There is a lot of turmoil behind the scenes with talk of Paxson stepping down after the Allstar game and trade talks with the Suns could hurt this team.
  19. Nets. Brook Lopez has been outstanding thus far this season. He looks like he may be what most thought Grag Oden was. A future Allstar Center. He will be key for this team down the stretch.
  20. Pacers. Big win over the Cavaliers was a great game for Pacer fans and Danny Granger is becoming a top 10 player overnight. No only if they can build a team around him.
  21. Bobcats. This team has 6 players averaging more then 10 points a game. You would think that is a good thing but they have no go to guy down the stretch.
  22. Warriors. They have won 3 in a row. To bad there is no hope of making the playoffs in the stacked western conference.
  23. Knicks. Another Hot and Cold team that has little chance of making the playoffs. They have to hope for other teams ahead of them to really fall apart. 2010 can not come soon enough.
  24. Raptors. With Shawn Marion teamed up with Jose Calderon and Chris Bosh you would think this would be a great team. we will just have to see.
  25. Grizzlies. They move up just because others have moved down and not because they have gotten any better. O.J. Mayo and Marc Gasol are a solid young pair and can be built around.
  26. Thunder. Kevin Durant is the next big thing but I am sure you already know that. By next season he will be a top 10 player. To bad he is on the Thunder. When is his contract up?
  27. Clippers. This team has a lot of solid players. They have to start winning some games right? No, they most likely be looking for yet another high draft pick.
  28. Timberwolves. Can this team even land one more win without Al Jefferson? I would be shocked if they win more then 3 games by seasons end.
  29. Wizards. Two players averaging more then 20 points is nice but when your top assist maker is your small forward and he only averages 4.4 assists then you are in trouble.
  30. Kings. Kings of crap that is. Kevin Martin needs to demand a trade if this team is in the same boat next season. On another note I think they should trade Brad Miller to my Bulls for Larry Hughes.
Posted on: February 7, 2009 11:51 pm
 

Power Rankings. Feb. 7th

Here we go.

  1. Lakers. How can they not be number one right now? Kobe Bryant's 62 points against the Knicks aside the Lakers have been very balanced and even without Andrew Bynum I still see them finishing at the top of the west.
  2. Celtics. I think it is a safe to say that the Celtics are the second best team in the NBA and continue to play solid on both ends. An overtime loss by one point to Lakers goes to show how close these two teams are.
  3. Cavaliers. LeBron James and company are in a standings war with the Celtics and even though the Cavs have a slight edge right now, I feel they are just not as complete as the Celtics. Cavs and Celtic should be in the ECF.
  4. Spurs. Call me crazy but the Spurs are healthy and playing very well of late. They are not as deep as they have been in the recent past, but they still run a flawless game and have one of the best coaches leading them.
  5. Magic. The loss of Jameer Nelson is going to hurt, but with Hedo Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis, and Dwight Howard I do not see them losing the three seed.
  6. Nuggets. Chauncey Billups would really look good in a Pistons unifrom right now. All kidding aside Denver looks really strong, but I am not sure how this will all equate in the playoffs.
  7. Hornets. This team is not the same without Chris Paul, but they are still good and when he returns and Chandler as well I see them going on a winning streak. They have things to prove.
  8. Rockets. If Healthy they could end up in the WCF, but I have this feeling that another injury will strike this team down. That being said they have been playing well as of late.
  9. Trail Blazers. I would have them a couple notches higher if they were not so young still. Roy and Aldridge have been outstanding. Let us hope Steve Blake can get healthy so they can move up the standings.
  10. Mavericks. They are the Darkhorse in the west. Not just because they have been playing well but because at any moment Mark Cuban could pull the trigger on a big trade. Chris Bosh? Amar'e?
  11. Hawks. A distant fourth in the east the Hawks just seem one step behind the pack. Joe Johnson is looking like the third best shooting guard behind Kobe and Wade. Could he lead this team deep into the platoffs?
  12. Jazz. This team has a good excuse for their record unlike many other teams. Injuries have plagued them. Let us see what happens when Carlos Boozer returns.
  13. Pistons. This is a team that has no excuses. Allen Iverson has been a mistake and it really looks like the Pistons a fading fast. They should have made moves before. A good trade is their only hope.
  14. Suns. They are like a puzzle comprised of pieces from five different puzzles. You just can not figure them out because nothing seemd to fit together. Trade and rebuild time for sure.
  15. Heat. They really remind me of the Bulls two seasons ago. I solid team missing that inside difference maker. Without that player they will not get out of the first round.
  16. Nets. Another incomplete team. Two very good guards and a solid young Center, but not much else. They do have depth but no real starters outside the aforementioned. They need a swingman with skills badly.
  17. Bulls. Luol Deng has been a machine since his return from injury and Kirk Hinrich is great off the bench. Could the Bulls swing a trade before the deadline with all their young talent and expiring contracts? Derrick Rose = ROY.
  18. 76ers. Elton Brand has been a nightmare. I am just happy the Bulls did not go after him. Even without him the 76ers still have been playing well. I do expect them to slip in the standings however.
  19. Knicks. They have won six of their last ten and even though they made history in a bad way with Kobe they still seem to be playing better under D'Antoni.
  20. Pacers. Danny Granger is a stud but this team needs to make some trades if they want to reach the playoffs. I think they should focus on the offseason and the draft.
  21. Bucks. Stick a fork in them. They are done. Michael Redd, Andrew Bogut, and Luke Ridnour are all out with injuries and they just traded Lue. I see them falling out of the playoff picture.
  22. Timberwolves. Al Jefferson should have made the Allstar team instead of Shaq. That is a solid snub if you ask me. That being said the Wolves need help in the draft or a trade in a bad way.
  23. Warriors. The Warriors do not want to come out and play. They put forth little effort for a team loaded with talent. The only player I would want off the roster is Andris Biedrins.
  24. Bobcats. Decent starters but no depth is killig this team. Will they ever stop looking like an expansion team or is this all Charlotte can hope for? Bobcat fans need to move to Atlanta.
  25. Thunder. Do not look now but the Thunder are creeping up the standings. Maybe they will win 20 games this season after all. Kevin Durant is a monster.
  26. Raptors. What a shocking season for Raptor fans. I saw them as a top 5 or 6 team in the east at the begining of the season. They should trade Chris Bosh now before he bolts in 2010. They need to rebuild.
  27. Grizzlies. Gasol and Mayo are nice players to build around. The draft is their only hope to improving quickly. O.J. Mayo could be ROY if his team wins a bunch more games. Do not see that happening.
  28. Wizards. Another team that we all saw making the playoffs. Injuries have crushed this team but they should get a high draft pick and maybe a healthy Arenas for next season. Cross your fingers wizard fans.
  29. Clippers. The great experiment has failed. Baron Davis has been exposed as a player that can not lead. Can you imagine if they had kept Brand? They would be even worse then they are now.
  30. Kings. Kevin Martin is trapped in a place that lies between fate and destiny. A place we like to call the Twilight Zone. I really feel bad for this young star.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com