Posted on: February 4, 2011 12:50 pm
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: June 19, 2010 10:26 pm
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: January 16, 2010 11:09 am
It has become clear to me that Joakim Noah is now my favorite player in the NBA. If anyone is missing from the Allstar ballot it is him. I cannot believe the league has Brad Miller on it and not Noah. Silly. In this blog I am going to make a case for Noah to be a reserve on the eastern conference Allstar team and I will also give you my top ten centers in the league today. I understand the noah has a couple of weaknesses and I will talk about them as well. I am a bit bias, but I am not a fool. So what has Noah done to make me a huge fan? Let us take a look.
Rebounds Per Game. 12.2. First we will look at perhaps Noah's biggest strength and that is his rebounding. He is second in the league behind only Dwight Howard and is half a rebound ahead on Marcus Camby. Noah is not a biggest or the strongest center so how does he grab so many missed shots? With his brain. He is very smart and knows were to go on every play and understands how to box-out. Couple this with his nasty take-no-crap attitude and you get a rebounding machine. If Noah puts on another 10 pounds of muscle this summer like he did last summer then he could lead the league in rebounding next year.
Field-Goal Percentage. .495. Now we will look at one of Joakim's weaknesses. He has come a long way on the offensive side of the floor and is averaging 11.2 points a game, but to be considered a major threat in the paint you have to shoot a higher percentage from the floor. Somewhere above .550 for a center seems like the qualification to me and Noah still needs to work a bit more on this part of his game, but he has been getting better every game this season. He has a back to the basket game but needs to perfect his 15 footer. If he can hit the jumper with consistency then defenders will be drawn out of the paint and that will open things up for Derrick Rose to drive and create a nightmare for other teams to defend. Then Noah can learn from Brad Miller about the power of the shot fake and drive to the hole maneuver.
Blocks Per Game. 1.74. Noah is a top 10 shot blocker in the league and to me shot blocking is one of the keys to being a great center along with rebounding and shooting a high percentage shot. In todays game the power forward is typically the scorer and the center tends to play of the scorer and block shots and score on put backs. Dwight Howard is really the last old school type center that does it all on both ends. Cases could be made for Brook Lopez and Chris Kaman in this regard. Not every team is so lucky as to have a scoring center. They are just rare these days. The bottomline is that the role of the center has changed over the last decade or so into more of a support player and less of a focal point.
Double-Doubles. 20. Noah is tied for second amongst centers in total double-doubles and ranks sixth overall in the NBA. He is also one of only 4 total centers to be averaging a double-double.
The Intangibilities of Noah. There are many like his passing ability that ranks in the top 3 amongst centers or his overall NBA Efficiency score of 20.79 that ranks 7th. If you add up his points, assists, and rebounds he ranks 8th amongst centers. But the real key to Noah is what you will see every time he steps foot on the hardwood. It is his passion and love for the game. He plays hard and focused every second on the floor. He more then makes up for his weaknesses with his heart and desire. He plays nasty defense and will not back down to anyone and is not afraid to speak his mind. Just ask LeBron James. He is not the quite leader, but a vocal leader that also leads by example. Much like Ben Wallace was once the heart and soul of the Detroit Pistons, Noah is now become that kind of player in that he can light a fire under a teammate with a little yell in the ear or by inspiring his whole team by making an incredible offensive rebound and then pushing off a defender and slamming home the ball for an and-one. Noah's overall game has few limits. He is a great athlete and has a great basketball mind. Just watch him take the ball up court by himself and you will see his great ball handling skills or you can always just watch his now epic steal in game 6 of last years playoffs were he runs 80 feet with the ball and beats Paul Pierce to the basket and slams in home. That moment just might have been the turning point in Noah's career. Here take a look.
Just a few stand out games from the last few weeks:
vs Wizards. 17 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks
@ Celtics. 15 points, 11 rebounds, 4 blocks
vs Pistons. 16 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists
vs Timberwolves. 20 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
@ Bucks. 10 points, 18 rebounds,
@ Pistons. 15 points, 21 rebounds, 4 assists
vs Hornets. 17 points, 18 rebounds, 4 blocks
vs Knicks. 10 points, 21 rebounds
vs Lakers. 11 points, 21 rebounds, 6 blocks
vs Warriors. 18 points, 14 rebounds, 3 blocks
And these are only going back through december. There are many more great games from Noah during this time, but I do not feel like typing them all out.
My Current Top 10 Centers in the NBA.
1. Dwight Howard. The Best and it is not really close.
2. Brook Lopez. A distant second with a big upside.
3. Marc Gasol. Another young guy with a lot of upside.
4. David Lee. A center in a PFs body. Is he just a product of a system?
5. Chris Kaman. A classic 20 and 10 center. Watch out for injuries however.
6. Al Jefferson. Getting better with every game. Was my number two center last season.
7. Joakim Noah. See above.
8. Al Horford. Wonder what his numbers would look like on another team?
9. Andrew Bynum. Shows promise, but needs to become consistant.
10. Nene. Good defender and solid in the paint on both ends.
Honorable Mentions: Andrew Bogut, Brendon Haywood, and Kendrick Perkins.
Tags: Al Horford, Al Jefferson, Andrew Bogut, Andrew Bynum, Ben Wallace, Brad Miller, Brook Lopez, Bucks, Bulls, Celtics, Chris Kaman, David Lee, Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard, Hornets, Joakim Noah, Kendrick Perkins, Knicks, Lakers, LeBron James, Marc Gasol, Marcus Camby, Nene, Paul Pierce, Pistons, Timberwolves, Warriors, Wizards
Posted on: July 2, 2009 10:09 pm
Well there have been a few big moves in the NBA over the last week and I am not so sure it is for the best of the NBA or not. The Cavaliers which were already in this last seasons eastern conference look to have locked up Shaq for next season and gave up basically nothing in return. Vince Carter is going to play for the Magic next season. The Spurs, who are still a good franchise but have battled injuries, have bolstered their lineup with the addition of Richard Jefferson. The Celtics look to be adding Rasheed Wallace and now there are talks of Ron Artest joining Kobe on the Lakers. Are all these moves good for the NBA? Let us take a look.
Magic- Dwight Howard, Vince Carter, Jameer Nelson, Rashard Lewis. You have to think that Turkoglu is going to go elsewhere for the money, but a guess he too could still be in the fold in Orlando. This team has all the parts needed to win a title with Howard anchoring this team. I think Carter might just be the player the magic needed in the Finals. A guy who can hit the clutch shots and draw defenders out. If they somehow manage to keep Turk as well then they are going to go back to the Finals.
Well as a Bulls fan, unless we trade for Chris Bosh or Amar'e this summer, I can hope for no more then maybe a trip to the second round of the playoffs next year and that is better then I can say for most other teams. So do you think that these new Mega-Teams will cause some fans to finally give up on their teams or are you just excited to see how all these move play out? I for one can not wait to watch these new teams, but to be honest part of me is a bit sad that my team is on the outside looking in.
Tags: Bulls, Cavaliers, Celtics, Chris Bosh, Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Lakers, Lamar Odom, LeBron James, Magic, Manu Ginobili, Mo Williams, Pau Gasol, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Rashard Lewis, Rasheed Wallace, Ray Allen, Richard Jefferson, Ron Artest, Shaq, Spurs, Tim Duncan, Tony parker, Vince Carter
Posted on: May 25, 2009 2:39 pm
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?
Posted on: March 21, 2009 12:07 pm
The Bulls now hold the 8th seed in the eastern playoffs, and while they could very likely still lose that seeding and slip out of the playoffs all together, one has to wonder if they really want to move up to the 7th seed. The Bulls have a very light schedule the rest of the way. They face one real strong team tonight in the Lakers and then things become much easier the rest of the way. My real point here is that the Bulls could very well pass the Pistons or 76ers for that matter and move into the 7th spot in the playoffs. The problem there is that they would then be faced with the Celtics or Magic in the first round and while I do not see the Bulls getting out of the first round, I do think their best shot is against the top rated Cavaliers.
The Bulls just match up better with the Cavaliers and I can see the Bulls stretching a seven game series to a sixth or seventh games. The Bulls have a pretty balanced team right now with Brad Miller down low giving the Bulls some size and skill for the first time in a long time. Tyrus Thomas is starting to show signs that he can be a force in the paint on both ends but more so on defense were his ability to get above the rim and block shots is at the highest level in the league. He is starting to remind me of Tyson Chandler a bit on defense, but with the ability to hit the outside jumper. Thomas is coming into his own and his future is bright.
LeBron James can not really be stopped by anyone so the Bulls would have to rely on a team effort to try and slow him down a bit. The one thing the Bulls can do is make it hard for hm to score in the paint. Thomas, Joakim Noah, and Miller offer a nice combination of size, skill, defense, and athleticism. Most of all Brad Miller matched up well against clevelands bigs and I think if Tyrus continues to grow that the Cavs might have trouble defending against him. I am not saying that Tyrus is a 20 and 10 player against the Cavaliers, I am only saying that I think he matches up well against them. Anderson Varejao is about the only guy I can see slowing him down. Joe Smith is a bit to slow to hinder him, but Smith is a savvy vet so I could be wrong there.
I think Cleveland might have a bit of an edge with Mo Williams facing Derrick Rose. Rose has shown that he struggles against larger point guards like Rajon Rondo and Williams. If Rose can rise to the occasion then the Bulls have a shot every night. The Bulls have an overall edge with guards due to their strong depth with Rose, Kirk Hinrich, and Ben Gordon. That is a strong rotation with option to score, playmake, and play defense. I really like how the Bulls matchup here. While the power forward and center positions almost seem to be a wash, I think the Bulls have an edge in the guard catagory.
Then we come to the small forward position were the Bulls have a nice all around player in John Salmons who can do a bit of everything and the often injured Luol Deng. If Heathly Deng can be a nice player to have on the floor but Salmons is the better defender and just seems to fit better with Vinny's gameplan and more importantly he seems to complement Derrick Rose much better then Luol Deng. Deng had a nice string of strong games before hurting his leg last month, but Salmons needs to be the starter here for the Bulls.
While John Salmons is nice he is in no way in the same category as LeBron James. James is just better in every way. James is just a machine set on kill mode. So by default the Cavaliers get a huge edge here and in my mind the ability to move on to the second round. I think if the Bulls play hard the series could be stretched but it would take an effort not yet seen by the Bulls for this to happen. On the other hand, I do not see the Cavs sweeping the Bulls. The Bulls will have at least one night were all their jump shooters are hitting and this will most likely happen in the United Center. If Gordon, Salmons, and Rose are hitting their shots then really nobody can stop them.
The real question is if the Bulls can score inside as well as outside. If Miller can find his shot and in turn spread the floor then Tyrus and Noah might be able to make noise down low. I still think that Vinny needs to run the high screen and roll with Miller and Rose much more. Miller is an outstanding passer for a bigman and can shoot the seventeen foot jumper. Derrick can shoot, pass, or drive. I see the high screen and roll with these two as a powerful weapon not truly utilized. This would spread the floor and allow Tyrus and Salmons to slash to the rim for feeds from Rose. I would just like to see this happen more often. Gordon could sit on the three point line for an open shot and to keep the floor spread and the the forwards could cut to the rim. Seems like a simple gameplan that could win a lot of games.
The real reason however that I want the Bulls to hold ont the 8th seed and not move up is I think they could very well get swept by either the Magic or the Celtics. We have no answer for Dwight Howard at all and Kevin Garnett seems to charm Tyrus Thomas everytime they matchup. Rondo is not a great matchup for Rose at all and Paul Pierce and Ray Allen demand more defense then the Bulls can offer up. The Magic and the Celtics both are to balanced and have to much depth for the Bulls. The Bulls too are more balanced now and have depth but are to inconsistant.
Bottomline, if the Bulls are to have any hope of making it to the second round, which is unlikely at best, it will be through the Cavaliers and not the Celtics or Magic. So listen up Bulls! Keep playing well but lets not go on a 5+ game winning streak.