Tag:Magic
Posted on: June 20, 2011 1:27 pm
 

Boozer the Loser

Boozer has been a thorn in my side ever sense there was talk of the Bulls being interested in him a couple of years ago. I protested as much as a fan could last offseason when it became clear that Boozer was again on the radar. I tossed my hands in the air in disgust on my drive home from work when I heard of the actual signing. I screamed at the radio when I heard he “tripped” over a duffle bag and broke his wrist. Sure, there were a handful of games during the regular season that he looked like a nice fit, but they were few and far between. During the playoffs his game was horrid, only overshadowed by Derrick Rose’s inability to hit a shot. Now the offseason is here again breathing down my neck. Again, the Bulls are “one player away from contending”. What now?

Trade Boozer!

I know, I know, no team is going to take on that kind of money for 4 more seasons, right? I can think of but one trade option and I want to get some feedback on it.

The Orlando Magic are in a pickle right now. They have made big trades in order to keep Dwight Howard happy, but it has backfired in that the Magic went from serious contender the last couple of seasons to a 4-5 seed with no real hopes of getting back to the finals. The writing is on the wall. Again, the Magic are going to have to have to try to pull a rabbit out of the hat. Keeping Howard happy at this point is just as import as winning for the Orlando front office. Oddly, winning is about the only thing that will keep Howard happy. It is the new paradox in today’s NBA. Build a winner around your superstar in a handful of seasons or lose them in free agency. Dwight Howard has to be on the fence right now in his mind, much like LeBron was a couple of years ago and Melo was last year. Heading into the final year of his deal Howard has a lot to toil over.

It is common knowledge that Boozer and Howard are best friends. They hang out in the offseason and are very close. So would the Magic consider a deal that would bring Carlos Boozer down to Florida? What deal would work out for them? Would adding Boozer to the roster be enough to ensure that Howard sticks around? These are the big questions. Here is one proposal.

To continue reading this article check out the link below. Thanks and enjoy.

  http://thesportsheadquarters.blogsp

ot.com/2011/06/boozer-loser.html

Posted on: March 7, 2011 2:36 pm
 

East vs West = Defense vs Offense

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

Defense

East.

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

West.

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

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

Offense

East.

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

West

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

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

Conclusion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ChiTownCliff's Top 10s

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

Top 10 Point Guards

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

Top 10 Shooting Guards

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

Top 10 Small Forwards

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

Top 10 Power Forwards

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

Top 10 Centers

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

Top Twenty Players Overall

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

Top 10 Teams 

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

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

Posted on: February 4, 2011 12:50 pm
 

Turkish Delight.

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

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

The Celtics have Paul Pierce, the Heat have LeBron James, and the Bulls have Luol Deng. "Luol Deng?" you say. Yes, Luol Deng. Deng completely outshine Turk last week with 26 points and 8 rebounds to Turk's 5 points and 4 PFs. Deng scored at will and at the same time shut Turk down. At some point in the playoffs the Magic will face one or more of these 3 players and it might be the x-factor matchup that sends the Magic home. The playoffs are a lot about matchups and without a perimeter defender to slow down the likes of LeBron, Pierce, and Deng, the magic might be in trouble. Against the Bulls Dwight Howard scored 40 points, but that was becaus the Bulls played him straight up and at the same time shut everyone else down. The magic can be beat even when Howard has a huge stat night. Turk struggles against aggressive defenders like Deng and at the same time cannot stop SF that are quick of the dribble and can shot from range. Turk is like a lost puppy on defense. And just like Turkish Delight he is mainly made out of soft jelly.
Posted on: December 16, 2010 3:14 pm
 

Bulls/Magic Trade Idea.

Okay, so we know that Joakim Noah is going to miss 8-10 weeks do to his thumb injury. I think if the Bulls do nothing and play with the players they have that they should continue to play well. their schedule is finally going to be soft for the next 30 games and they should be able to win at least half of those if not 20 of them. However, there are those out there that seem to think the Bulls will not be able to rely of Omer Asik and Kurt Thomas to fill the hole. I think they will be fine with a healthy Boozer and a vet like Thomas for the time being, but there is a trade that could happen that would help out both teams. Here it is:

Bulls send Kurt Thomas, James Johnson and Keith Bogans to the Magic for Marcin Gortat and Malik Allen.

The Magic have no real need for a high paid backup center with Dwight Howard playing MVP basketball. The Bulls could afford to loose one of their three shooting guards even if Bogans is their starter. brewer could start and the Bulls would be fine. James Johnson has a ton of upside and part of me would like to keep him, but you need to spice up this trade somehow. JJ would give th Magic a great energy wingman off the bench that can hit jumpers, defend, and do a lot of the little things. Kurt Thomas is a savvy vet that is a better fit for the Magic because he would be fine playing only 10 minutes or less behind Howard. The magic simply do not need to be paying a guy 6.3 mill per to play so few minutes. The Magic would be better off with a Defensive minded Sg to play behind Carter that can slow other SG down with his aggressive defense and a wing player in JJ. The Magic are also not playing the best of basketball and perhaps a smaller trade like this would be enough to boost this team up a bit. The Magic would not be giving up very much and 3 fresh players that can all contribute might be just what the doctor ordered to spark a fire under this team.

As for the Bulls, Gortat is certainly not as good as Noah, but he is a better starting option then both Asik or Thomas. he could play 30 mintues a night and be a nice partner with Boozer in the paint. he would be a solid fix for the Bulls while Noah is out and would continue to be a factor with the Bulls once Noah returns. Gortat would allow Noah to play less minutes as he recovers before playoff time. The downside is that Gortat's contract is long but i think he is a perfect fit for Chicago and I always felt that way. Besides, Chicago has the largest polish population in america. He would feel right at home here. Malik is a former Bull that would go little but keep the bench warm and be a solid lockerroom guy to replace Kurt Thomas.

I really think this is a great idea. Any thoughts? Is the trade unequal in some regard? Thanks.
Posted on: November 29, 2010 1:49 pm
 

ChiTownCliff's Top 10 - Power Rankings #2

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

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




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




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





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





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




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




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




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




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




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





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ChiTownCliff's Top 10 - Power Rankings #1

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

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

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




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




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





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




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




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




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




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





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




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





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope you enjoyed the read and please reply with your Top Ten and your Sexy Seven or simply give your thoughts. Thanks. 
Posted on: October 6, 2010 10:46 am
Edited on: October 6, 2010 11:17 am
 

I Know It's Just One Preseason Game But...

...I do have a few opinions and I shall lay them out as likes and dislikes. So here we go.

Like. Kyle Korver Looked really good and a great fit for the Bulls with all the screens we run. I knew he was a great shooter but I did not know he was so good of a shooter off a pick. He has a very quick release. I think the Bulls need to strongly consider starting him at the 2 guard as much as possible. His defense looked above average as well. I really like tis kid and it finally looks like we have a solid scorer to replace Ben Gordon.

Dislike. James Johnson still looks lost. He looks like he is in great shape, but He makes bad choices with the ball in is hand. He seems to think he is a point guard, but he lacks the skills to be a playmaker. His drives to the rim remind me of Andres Nocioni in his rookie season. Out of control!

Like. Keith Bogans looked pretty good as well. He did not produce a great statline but he was playing smart ball and looks like a savvy vet. Once Ronnie Brewer is back I am sure Bogans may not see many minutes, but at least the Bulls have good depth in a position that was in bad shape last season. I am sorry Flip Murry but we have 3 2 guards much better then you.

Dislike. Omer Asik needs to spend some time in a tanning bed. It was hard to look at the screen when he was on the floor, not just because he looked completly lost, but because he is so white he looks like a 150 watt lightbulb. Besides giving up the ball every time he got it in the post, his defense was way bad as players just drove past him. He is a project for sure. The one thing I did like was is slam dunk, because he never lowered the ball, he just went up and dunked it. Too many bigman lower the ball and get it stripped or allow defenses to adjust and he just went right back at the rim. I was taken off guard by that to be honest.

Like. Brian Scalabrine looked pretty good. I really thought this guy was a joke and he may still prove me wrong but he looks as if he could be useful in small stretches like perhaps 8 minutes a game. He has range and he plays hard and his defense looks perfect for the Bulls new system. On the flip side he is very slow, cannot finish around the rim, and to be honest just looks silly with his little red afro. 

Dislike. Taj Gibson looks like he lost weight over the summer. I was hoping he added at least 10 pounds but he looks skinny and he tweeked his back. His conditioning looked off and if he does not spend more time with the strength coach he may see another season on the bench in street clothes or playing hurt.

Like. I love what I saw from Luol Deng. The guy was driving and slashing and moving great without the ball. He looks like the Deng of old and had his way whenever he wanted it. He really did a nice job of using his length to shut off passing lanes and his defense in general was good. His jumper also was solid and he added a little range to his jumper as he looks in control while shooting threes.

Dislike. I thought that C.J. Watson would be a bit more agressive with the ball in his hands and he seems to be giving it up to Korver all night long. It is always wise to get the ball in the hands of the hot shooter, but sometimes he forced the pass when he could have just rotated the ball or drove himself. He had little Earl guarding him so he should have backed him down or shot over him. I expected a little bit mor from him.

Overall. It was a good game. I like the Bulls depth but they do have some bugs to work out. I think the preseason will give the Bulls the time they need to do just that. Derrick Rose looked great. He was in control whenever he had the ball and made smart plays. He should have a superstar season. My concern is with post scoring without Boozer. Noah looks better in that department but not great. He needs to use his size and strength and just slam over some of these guys instead of tossing up a flip shot. Gibson has the fundamentals to be a solid post scorer but like a stated above the guy needs to add weight, like 20-25 pounds worth. Other then that I think the Bulls have a nice balanced team that just needs time to gel and should be able to win 50+ games this season.

A note on the Bucks. I understand it was just 1 preseason game but the Bucks are scary. Jenings did not look great but the rest of the team that played played hard dispite 25+ turnovers. They were without Slamons, Bogut, Maggette, and Redd. When those four are back and somewhat healthy this team is going to be very very good. I will go so far as to say that they could easly win the Central and snag a playoff seeding as high as the 2nd. No I am not sniffing glue. This ina veteran team with a very good head coach. They just need to get healthy. I predict them to be 2nd in the central behind the Bulls and land the 5th seed, but I would not be shocked if they moved up from there ahead of the Magic, Celtics, and Bulls 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com