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Tag:Timberwolves
Posted on: January 16, 2010 11:09 am
 

Noah's Bark

     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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUuQxaAZ7HU

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.
Posted on: January 2, 2010 5:34 pm
 

Decisions that Shaped the NBA Most Last decade.

    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
 

Deadline Dreams and Delusions...

    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
 

Breaking Down the Bulls: Is Tyrus Thomas gone?

     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. 
     The problem now is that the Bulls have way to many tweeners. Luol Deng is a small forward but plays the PF position at times because he does not have great speed but does have length. Tim Thomas, Tyrus Thomas, James Johnson, and Taj Gibson along with Deng is just way to much depth. Something has got to give and with Ben Gordon maybe leaving the Bulls really need a starting shooting guard unless they plan to use John Salmons there which could work nicely. 
     If the Bulls lose Ben Gordon then they will most likely keep Kirk Hinrich to backup both Salmons and Rose. This would give them solid depth at the guard position. Vinny could start either Captain Kirk or Salmons at the 2 spot depending on what team they face. The Bulls could pick up another true point guard as well for depth or just keep Hunter around if he does not retire. Rose will be playing 40 minutes a game this season for sure. I think the Bulls will be fine with or without Gordon. Infact if Gordon stays and Luol Deng is 100% heathy this leaves John Salmons the odd man out and Salmons should be starting. Hinrich is not as good as Gordon overall, but he is a great floor leader, playmaker, and defender. 
     This brings me to the small forward spot. If healthy Luol Deng is a 18 and 8 player and maybe better so he needs to start. I could see James Johnson filling the backup role very nicely behind Deng. Johnson is athletic and a solid shooter. He is not a great defender but is Deng? I could see Johnson playing a solid 15-20 mionutes off the bench. He has size and strength to play right noe in the NBA.
     We will come back to the power forward spot in a minute but first let us look at the center spot. I do not know about you but I feel good about Joakim Noah as a starting center in this league. He is not the big back to the basket center that wins championships, but really how many of those types of Centers are there? Not very many. Infact Yao Ming, Shaq, and Dwight Howard are the only true giants in the NBA right now and Ming is hurt and Shaq is old. The fact of the matter is that Noah is a good center in todays game. What he really needs is a back to the basket scoring power forward to share the paint with him. You also could do much much worse for a backup center then the savvy veteran that is Brad Miller. I think the Bulls are solid in the center position for now. The gaping hole to me is at the power forward spot.
     Tyrus Thomas is a shot blocking, rebounding, energy player and that might be it. He makes bad choices with the ball and I am in fear every time he is on the floor at the end of a close game which ironically not often. Vinny sees it too. Tyrus has limits. He is not a good man to man or off the ball defender. He is good for a few amazing blocks a game and somecrazy dunks but that may be it. Noah, while not nearly as athletic is ten times smarter and knows when to get rid of the ball. Tyrus loves to force low percentage shots in the paint at that cost the Bulls games. When he tries to blow past a defender he simply does not have the skills to do so and often just plows them over and gets called for the offensive foul. We could do better then Thomas. Tyrus could fit well on a different team like the Warriors or Knicks. Tim Thomas is an expiring contract that othe teams may bite on. He is still a good shooter and can hit some big shots, but again he is not a post player and can not drive to the hole very well. We could stand to lose Tim Thomas as well. Taj Gibson is at best an energy player and defensive stopper. He is very much like Tyrus in that his Basketball IQ is below average. Gibson is a garbage minutes player.
     I really do not understand why the Bulls took Gibson at the 26th spot of the draft. Blair was still there and while fat and slow he is a back to the basket player that would have been a steal at 26. If Tyrus is traded then the Bulls could have started Blair in place of him and had a scorer in the paint. Think Big Baby Davis here. I am not saying that Blair is the answer to anything longterm, but he would have made much more sense then Taj. The only thing that makes sense is that Blair's knees are really that bad off.
     So how do we solve our power forward issues. Well after drafting two power forwards I would say that Gar Forman has a plan. I think Chris Bosh is off the table this summer but maybe a mid-season trade with Toronto could still happen. The Bulls could just offer Bosh a contract in the summer of 2010 when he becomes a free agent. I still think the Bulls can make a trade this summer and fix the PF mess.
     One idea I had before was a trade with the Knicks for David Lee. I still contend it is worth looking at. Tim Thomas and Tyrus Thomas in a sign and trade for Lee might just work. Mike D'Antoni could start Tyrus at the 3 spot if he wanted to alongside rookie Jordan Hill. that could be an exciting team and if the Knicks could work out a deal with the Timberwolves for Ricky Rubio then the Knicks could become a very fun team to watch. The Bulls would get a solid blue collar power forward that can post up and rebound. I think the Bulls could get by with Lee and Noah. There would be a ton of second chance scoring and physical play. If then Bosh goes on the market before the trade deadline the Bulls could package Brad Millers expiring contract with Joakim Noah and maybe land Bosh. That line up would look like this:

PG- Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich
SG- John Salmons, Kirk Hinrich
SF- Luol Deng, James Johnson
PF- Chris Bosh, James Johnson, Taj Gibson
C- David Lee, Aaron Gray

     Not to bad. In the end us fans will have to see just what happens, but I do smell something in the works. I could also see the Bulls going after a player like Chris Kaman. The Bulls could then slide Noah into the power forward spot. The Clippers have to get rid of some bigmen with having just drafted Blake Griffin. Bulls could make a similar trade for Kaman as they would for Lee and the Bulls might be able to pry a future draft pick out of the Clippers hands. 
     I do not know about you, but I can not wait to see what happens this summer.

 

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: November 2, 2008 11:47 pm
 

NBA Power Rankings: Nov. 2nd

     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)

Gerald Wallace and Jason Richardson both look great thus far and Okafor is a solid rock down low. I think if Larry Brown does not give up on this young team then they could make some strides.

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.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com