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: January 2, 2010 5:34 pm
So we start a new decade this week and I got an idea to write a thread to discuss the decisions that made the biggest impacts in the NBA during the last decade. I must credit Bucfan for giving me the idea to write this. One of his replies in my last blog sparked it. That is just how I roll. Anyways, these decisions can be just about anything as long as a player, coach, or GM actually had to make them. For instance the Bulls winning the lottery and drafting Derrick Rose was a big story, but there really was no desision made except for the Bulls' desision to pick Rose with the pick and not Beasley. I just do not want this to turn into "what was the biggest story of the decade". So here are a few examples to get things going starting with the one that BucFan mentioned in my blog.
Duncan decides to stay with Spurs. I was the summer of 2000 and I remember it well because my Bulls were loaded with cap space but not able to land a single star in free agency. To the south it was a different story as the Magic signed both Tracy McGrady and Grant Hill. But before the Magic settled on Hill they tried everything to lure Tim Duncan and it almost happened, but in the end Duncan stayed decided to stay with the Spurs. What could have been screams BucFan every night before bed ever since. A combo of McGrady and Duncan would have been nasty and might have created a dynasty.
Grizzlies decide to trade Pau Gasol for peanuts. Another decision that stings me as a Bulls fan. We could easily made a better offer for Pau Gasol and we were in talks with Memphis but in the end the Lakers made perhaps one of the best trades of the decade. A bag of garbage, except for the right to Marc Gasol, for one of the best bigman in the league. The Lakers were fighting to make the playoffs but this decision turned it all around and the Lakers have been to the Finlas twice since and won the Championship last season because of it.
Portland decides to draft Greg Oden with the first pick. The Trailblazers already had Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge in the fold and some solid role-players and drafting Greg Oden seemed a no-brainer at the time but passing on Kevin Durant is like 1984 all over again. I am not saying that Durant is Michael Jordan, or that Oden is Sam Bowie, but it looks like a curse to me. It is still to early to say that Oden will not be good, but I think we all can agree that Durant will have a much better career then Oden. Had Portland picked Durant they would for sure be a big time contender right now.
Timberwolves decide to end marriage with Kevin Garnett. This was yet another moment in time were the Bulls could have made a move for a bigman. Oh, what could have been. The Timberwolves got Al Jefferson in return and he has turned into a solid player, but at the time this trade seemed quite one sided. Garnett would go on to turn a storied franchise around and win his first Championship while increasing the Celtics total wins a record 42 games. The Timberwolves may win out in the longterm if Al Jefferson can return to preinjury form, but in basketball it is all about winning right?
Pistons decide to draft Darko. The year was 2003 and LeBron James had already been picked and Pistons are on the clock. Tick, tick, tick. With the second pick in the 2003 NBA draft the Detroit Pistons pick Darko Milicic. The worst part was that the Pistons were already a contender as it was and had they only picked one of the other players in the top 10 they would have won multiple Championships. Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Chris Kaman, Kirk Hinrich, and David West. Very sad indeed.
So what are some other major decisions that molded the last decade of NBA basketball?
Posted on: December 29, 2009 2:03 pm
In a few days we will all be in the new year. The year 2010. With that change comes a shift in focus in the NBA for us fans. No longer are we trying to gauge were are teams stand because we have a good idea by now if they are contenders or pretenders. Now is the time to think about the wonderful thing called the deadline. For a team like my Bulls this is a very important time. Teams will begin making calls and deals will be discussed. Bad teams with little chemistry like my Bulls might make a move and add that player they have longed for. Contenders might add that veteran that puts them over the top, and some teams will dump contracts. The idea of this thread is to allow you to reply with your "Grand Delusion" trades for your team. Make them as crazy or realistic as you want. The only rule is that they work money-wise. Use the trade Machine if you need too. So here is my Dream senario for my Bulls.
As it stand the Bulls are about 15+ million under the cap for this upcomming summer. I have two blockbuster trade ideas for the Bulls to make before the deadline that will setup a offseason signing of Dwyane Wade or LeBron James and make the Bulls an instant contender just like the Celtics were thrust into glory a few seasons back. Here are the two trades.
1. Kirk Hinrich, Brad Miller, and future pick for Tracy McGrady. I must stress this right off the bat that McGrady would only be signed for cap space this summer and would not be part of the Bulls longterm plans. The Rockets would get Hinrich which could start at the shooting guard spot and would add a great defender to the already gritty Rockets. Miller is an expiring contract that would give the Rockets 12+ million in cap space to make their own offseason moves. The future pick would be next season 1st rounder. The Bulls will be a very good team next season if my next two moves happen so a 1st rounder next season would most likely be in the 20-25th pick range. Hopefully.
2. Luol Deng, Tyrus Thomas, and this years 1st rounder for Chris Bosh. I understand that the Raptors already have Turk at SF, but I can see Turk and Deng on the floor at the same time at the forward spots or Deng could slip down and play the 2 spot with Turk and Thomas at the forwards. That could be very interesting with Calderon running things. The Raptors also would land a 1st rounder. With Bosh on board the Bulls would be a much better team and should make the playoffs, but they could still miss them giving the Raptors a lottery pick. Bulls would have their scoring bigman finally. Now if the Raptors say no way then the Bulls could make a similar trade offer to the Jazz for Carlos Boozer or the Timberwolves for Al Jefferson. Bulls would also not have their cap effected by this move as there would just be contracts moved around.
3. Sign Dwyane Wade or LeBron James. With around 25 million in cap space and Bosh/Boozer/Jefferson on board the Bulls should be able to attract one of these two superstar. Chicago is a much bigger market then Cleveland or Miami and with a star bigman and young talents in Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah they should be in the hunt for one of these two. Wade is the hometown hero but LeBron is a freak and is still very very young. Also, LeBron James is changing his number after the season right? He cannot wear #23 in Chicago right? James would be the perfect fit alongside Rose and Bosh. Now that is a contender. Bulls make the max offer and leave it up to LeBron and Wade. Also the Bulls would be able to offer a MLE to a player like Marcus Camby. I all could happen and the numbers work.
0. Get a new Head Coach. I must backtrack a bit here and fire Vinny Del Negro. No player will want to sign with the Bulls if he is running things. Jerry Reinsdorf need only dish out the cash to his close friend Doug Collins. While Collins may not be the best coach out there he is a players coach and that should attract a Wade or LeBron.
Next seasons lineup:
PG Derrick Rose/Pargo
SG John Salmons
SF LeBron James
PF Chris Bosh/Taj Gibson
C Joakim Noah/Marcus Camby
Are you scared yet?
So what is your "Deadline Dreams and Delusions" for your team?
Posted on: June 26, 2009 12:20 pm
Well, the 2009 NBA draft is now behind us and there have been a number of big moves around the league, but nothing involving the Chicago Bulls. One thing stands out from the draft and I am sure many Bulls fans thought of it after the Bulls drafted Taj Gibson. Having already picked up James Johnson with the 16th pick the Bulls then draft another power forward. There have been rumors that Tyrus Thomas might be traded, so was the Bulls decision to draft two power forwards a sign that a Thomas trade is in the works? Let us take a look.
I for one think Tyrus Thomas is a great player but is too small to play the power forward and not a good enough ball-handler to be a star small forward. He is the classic tweener. He can jump out the gym and could very well be the most athletic player in the NBA. It would seem he would be a perfect fit alongside a point guard like Derrick Rose, right? He has worked hard on his shot and has become a fairly good shooter from around 17 feet but the problem is he can not seem to shake a player off the dribble and then drive to the basket. If only he had a better basketball IQ and some better handles around the rim. He is an enigma and therefore a hard player to just give up on.
Posted on: February 21, 2009 7:50 pm
Here we go:
Posted on: February 14, 2009 6:36 pm
Posted on: February 7, 2009 11:51 pm
Here we go.
Posted on: November 2, 2008 11:47 pm
Well, one week of the NBA season is behind us and we have witnessed a few surprises and seen a few of our beliefs solidified. The Lakers look balanced and deadly and most of the top teams seem to be just that, top teams. However, we saw teams like Hawks and Raptors make strides into the right direction and teams like the Spurs and Magic slide in the other way. It is to early to draw any real conclusions yet, but Power Rankings are just that. So let's have at it:
1. L.A. Lakers (+1)
Kobe looked to be a little under the radar until the fourth quarter against Denver were he took over and pounded the Nuggets into the dirt. Andrew Bynum is not quite living up to expectations, but he will come around. With eight players averaging over eight points per game, the Lakers look really deep.
2. New Orleans Hornets (+1)
With wins over the Warriors, Suns, and Cavaliers the Hornets look to be proving the few critics wrong who thought they were a one hit wonder. Chris Paul is a beast and is looking more and more like a MVP. The Hornets also have great depth with 6 players averaging over 10 points per game. The James Posey experiment looks to be working out just fine.
3. Boston Celtics (-2)
A close win against the Cavs followed by a thrashing of the Bulls, only to get beaten by the Pacers does not equate to consistant basketball. With KG, Allen, and Pierce they need not worry to much for they will certainly go on a few winning streaks. Leon Powe looks really good thus far.
4. Houston Rockets (0)
The Rockets remain in the 4 spot with their 3 wins this week. Yao Ming looks a monster down low and Ron Artest seems to be fitting in quite well. Tracy McGrady is Tracy McGrady. The Rockets need to run more plays that get him open looks rather then counting on him to create his own shot. His FG% is nothing to write home about.
5. Detroit Pistons (+2)
Wallace and Chauncey look like they are slowing down a bit, but Piston's basketball has never been about one or two players. Detroit basketball is about team ball and the Pistons have been playing just that. They look savvy and poised. By the way, who the heck is Walter Herrmann?
6. Utah Jazz (+2)
A couple of wins against a couple of teams does not seem a great feat but without their star it is a big deal. Without Deron Williams on the floor Carlos Boozer has turned into a beast and put the Jazz on his back. Jazz fans should be really happy to see their team succeed with Deron. Can you say good coaching?
7. Toronto Raptors (+4)
Let me start out by saying that Jose Calderon is by far the best point guard in the east thus far. He, like Chris Paul, make everyone around him look better then they are. Chris Bosh is the exception. He is in Allstar form and a real force down low. The Raptors are young and deep, so look out east!
8. Phoenix Suns (+4)
They are off to a better start then I thought. Losing to the Hornets is understandable. The real key here is that the Suns are shooting over 52% as a team. That is crazy. Sure, they will not be able to keep that kind of shooting going forever, but they will outscore teams as long as they keep shooting like that. Shaq also has looked pretty good.
9. Cleveland Cavaliers (-3)
So they lose a close one to the Celtics and get it handed to then by the Hornets. Those are top 3 teams, so not to much can be drawn from that. They did beat the Bobcats. Sad, I know. The problem is very obvious. They have no depth or consistant inside scoring. LeBron James can only do so much as we all know.
10. San Antonio Spurs (-5)
Wow, the Spurs really need Manu Ginobili back fast. They look a step slow and really have no depth whatsoever. It is early I know, but the Spurs can not expect Tim Duncan and Tony Parker to continue playing the way they have been. In their defense, both game were very close, but they should have won against the Blazers.
11. Atlanta Hawks (+8)
The Hawks just flat out look great. Joe Johnson, Mike Bibby, and Josh Smith are as good a trio as any in the league. Johnson looks like he could remain the league leader in scoring and I would be surprised to see him out of the top 5. Josh Smith is a stat sheet filler and a headache for opposing teams coaches. Watch out Cleveland!
12. Dallas Mavericks (-2)
The Mavericks have all the parts to be deadly and a darkhorse, they just need to step it up a notch. Dirk needs to make at least one assist and Terry needs to take better shots. On the bright side, Kidd is putting up nice numbers and Josh Howard is playing the way I wish Luol Deng was. This team is still dangerous.
13. Philadelphia 76ers (-4)
Were in the world is Andre Iguodala? Elton Brand seems to be doing what he was brought over to do and the rest of the team looks pretty solid. They have 7 player averaging over 9 points per game. If Iggy can start playing like he did last season then the 76ers will be just fine. This team has too much talent to be losing.
14. Chicago Bulls (+2)
The Bulls took care of the Bucks and the Grizzlies but got it handed to them by the Celtics. Tyrus Thomas has gone from looking like a young stud to a dud. He needs to be more consistant. The one real bright spot is Derrick Rose. He looks like he is the real deal and if he continues to play this way the Bulls could become a factor.
15. Orlando Magic (-2)
The Magic are not looking so hot. With Dwight Howard and his insane stats so far you would think they would be off to a better start. The Magic flat out lack depth. Lewis and Turkoglu have been good for sure but who else is going to step up. It is to early to read a whole lot into a couple of losses, but Magic fans can not be happy.
16. Indiana Pacers (+8)
Yes, I am moving the Pacers up eight spots for beating the Celtics. Besides, HurricaneDij39 wired me 50 bucks to do so. Kidding aside, I think the Pacers showed a lot of heart in that game and I think they could build on that victory. When Mike Dunleavy returns they will have more depth and will be in even better shape.
17. Portland Trail Blazers (-3)
Greg Oden looked really bad before he got injured again. This does not bode well for the Blazers. They do have a lot of other good players, but so much was riding on Oden being a factor this season. If he does not return and contribute then the Blazers just might miss the playoffs.
18. Denver Nuggets (-1)
It is hard to blame them for losing to the Lakers or the Jazz. They were just outclassed. This team has 6 players averaging over 13 points per game, so what in the world is the problem? Turnovers. If they took better care of the ball and if Melo wakes up then they could turn the boat around.
19. Washington Wizards (-4)
The Wizards really need Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood back A.S.A.P. The season has just begun but they do not look very good at all. Nick Young is a bright spot but the team as a whole is not grabbing rebounds and they lack size. Things seem to be heading in the wrong direction.
20. Milwaukee Bucks (-2)
Redd is jacking up shots like crazy. Jefferson seems the odd man out. Villanueva needs to be traded. Bogut is not being used really at all. I think it is time for Skiles to lose his cool.
21. Charlotte Bobcats (+2)
22. N.Y. Knicks (+4)
Sit down Stephon Marbury and Eddy Curry! We do not need you! The Knicks look good under Mike D'Antoni and I think they will keep their fans on their toes. They appear balanced and anything is possible under D'Antoni.
23. Golden State Warriors (-1)
They kept their games close but could not seal the deal. Maggette and Jackson are a nice 1-2 punch and Andris Biedrins is a stud down low. I thought he would improve, but not this much. Warriors fans should rest knowing that they have talent on the floor.
24. Miami Heat (-3)
Losing to the Bobcats and Knicks and beating the Kings is not going to get you moved up on my list. After Wade, Haslem, Beasley, and Marion this team really drops off the map as far as talent goes. They should have moved Marion this past summer.
25. Memphis Grizzlies (+2)
This team plays with heart, but lack the players to really do much. Gay and Mayo are a nice combo, but nobody else has stepped up and I am not sure that player is on the roster.
26. N.J. Nets (+3)
They have this guy on the team named Vince Carter and this other guy named... uh uh uh... They have this guy on the team named Vince Carter and this other guy named... uh uh uh
27. L.A. Clippers (-7)
The Clippers are back were they are most comfortable. Near the bottom. Injuries really have hurt this team. When everyone is healthy they could get back into the mix.
28. Minnesota Timberwolves (0)
This team needs to just play the rookies and young guys and let them get experienced. This team is out of the picture right now.
29. OKC Thunder (+1)
Thunder Thunder Thunder Thundercats HOOOOOOOOOO! This is about all you are going to get from me on this team. Sorry.
30. Sacramento Kings (-5)
They lost 3 games to average to crappy teams and were just hammered by the Heat and Magic. Kevin Martin is a wasting away in Sacramentoville.
Well, that concludes the 2nd Power Rankings of the season. Please feel free to mail complaints to David Stern. Also, thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope you enjoyed it.
Tags: 76ers, Bobcats, Bucks, Bulls, Cavaliers, Celtics, Clippers, Grizzlies, Grizzlies, Hawks, Heat, Hornets, Jazz, Kings, Knicks, Kobe Bryant, Lakers, LeBron James, Magic, Mavericks, Nets, Nuggets, Pacers, Pistons, Raptors, Rockets, Spurs, Suns, Thunder, Timberwolves, Trail Blazers, Warriors, Wizards