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Tag:Thunder
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: 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: 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 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.
Posted on: January 15, 2009 12:55 pm
 

Could the Bulls be Back?

     Well, I guess I would be called a fool to think that the Bulls are back after just one game, but as a fan you have to be happy with what you saw from Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng last night. Kirk really could thrive as a sixth man and I really hope that Luol is healthy and can keep playing at the level he did last night. We will find out for sure tonight what the bulls are made of as they face the Cavaliers. I can not see us winning, but this game could be used as a measuring tool to see were we are as a team. With a healthy squad will we overcome a back to back game against one of the top teams in the league and keep it close? or will we just get it handed to us?

     If the Bulls can stay within 10-12 points throughout the game tonight and make the Cavs work for a win then I guess we should be happy with that. If they get killed and lose by 15+ points and trail by 20+ points at any point then we know are team has a way to go before they can make a playoff push.

     Kirk hinrich really looked much better then i thought he would. He must have had the right amount of time to heal and it is nice to see that he did not rush back into it. 12 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds in 33 minutes is about what i would expect from him as a starting PG. Off the bench he is a huge asset.

     Luol Deng looked like the player we have seen in the past with 16 points and a wopping 14 rebounds. He was a machine. To bad he has been so upand down this season, now I just expect him to have 3-4 bad game in a row now. That just seems like the pattern followed by another injury. Knock on wood. He did a nice job of playing in the paint with Drew Gooden missing yet another game due to a injury. I am shocked we won this game with out Gooden.

     Drew Gooden has been our only real consistant inside guy but it is too bad that his body is so inconsistant. If he could stay healthy and play every game 35+ minutes then I bet the Bulls would have a few more wins this season and could be .500 right now. Tyrus Thomas is like that girl in high school who always would flirt with everyone but never date. Yes, he is a big tease. Some nights we all just wonder who is this superstar on our team and why does Vinny not play him 48 minutes a night and then other nights we are screaming at the T.V. for Vinny to bring Andres Nocioni back in. I am not sure if Thomas will ever be a star in the NBA and that is a shame because he is a beast of an athlete.

     Well I can always cure the blues by talking about Derrick Rose a bit. Rose took over last night and he needs to do that a little more often. He is a good shooter and a great scorer, so he needs to take over if he sees his team is having a rough shooting night. 25 points and 10 rebounds could very well be Rose's averages in a few years and I do not think anyone would be shocked by it either. He needs to keep puting together good games like this, but more importantly he needs to get the Bulls some more wins and into the playoffs if he is going to win the Rookie of the Year Award. O.J. Mayo and Rose are neck and neck and if Rose cant get the Bulls into the playoffs then he may very well be sharing the award with Mayo or may not get it at all.

I do not want to really talk about the Thunder game and I am sure nobody else does either. I did however pick the thunder to beat us last week and for us to win our other two games. In my heart I was half joking that we would lose, but it still hurts to lose to a team that bad. I predict that we will lose tonight to the Cavaliers. Big stretch I know. Being that it is a back to back game I think we will really struggle. I see a blow-out. Things do not get any better for the Bulls as we face the Spurs on Saturday. Another loss for sure. Our only hope is for Drew to play well and our shots to go in. I just do not see us winning.

Till next time. Go 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