Tag:Trail Blazers
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: December 1, 2010 1:06 pm

Stick a fork in them, They're done!

Well, I was just looking at the standings and noticed one team in the east and one in the west that were supposed to make some noise this year but look like they may not even make the playoffs. I thought it would be interesting to write up each team a bit and debate which team will or will not make the playoffs. Here we go...

Bucks. With a rosters including Jennings, Maggette, Salmons, Redd, Gooden, and Bogut, some thought they could challn=enge the Bulls for the Central. I am on record myself in this idea. I really thought they had a nice mix of talent and a solid starting five. In the preseason they looked pretty good against my Bulls, but I guess that really does not count. Injuries have been an issue, but it is far from their biggest. They simply cannot score. They remind me of the Bulls a few years back. The Bucks are dead last in the league in scoring at 91.18 ppg as a team. With players on the roster (even without Redd) you wuld think they would be able to score at least 95 per game if not more. So then you have to go to their defense. With Scott Skiles at the helm you would think they should be in the top 10 in most catagories, but they are not. The only stat that they crack the top ten in as a team is Rebounding differential which is at +1.64 and ranks 9th. Nothing very special there. The stat that stands out the most to me is Opp FG% which they rank 20th at .446%. Not really looking like a Scott Skiles team. The also rank dead last in assist per game at a crappy 17.65 per.

What does all this mean? I think the Bucks have built a bad team to fit Coach Scott Skiles style. You have players that create on there own and do not set eachother up on one end and do not like to play defense on the other. Jennings, Maggette, and Gooden are not known to play defense at all. Bogut and Salmons are average at best, and Redd, when healthy, is a black hole on defense. Skile must cry himself to sleep every night, and it is a shame, because he is a great coach in my eyes. The Bucks are simply not built to defend or play team ball on offense. Maybe it is too early, but I think we can stick a fork in them. Indiana has simply been playing too well with a healthy Granger and Hibbert on the rise. The only team the Bulls need to fear at all in the Central might be the Pacers now. I think the Bucks will miss the playoffs.

The Trail Blazers. Man, this team looked great early on but with Oden not coming back this season or perhaps ever again and more importantly, with Brandon Roy's knees shot, this team is on the brink of fading into the sunset of the west. If this team were 100% healthy with Oden on the floor they would be a top 3 team in the west and top 5 in the league, but I think their window is closed. Aldridge will quickly become the teams best player if Roy's knees keep him shooting jumpers from the outside, and I am sorry but a Brandon Roy that does not drive is no longer an elite shooting guard in the NBA. Bone on Bone? How long can he really continue to play at a high level? This season, maybe next? They rank 26th in scoring, 26th in 3 point shooting, and 27th in rebounds per. However, they are still playing good/great defense and that is keeping them in games. They force a lot of turnovers and take care of the ball themselves, but it is simply not enough. With no rebounders other then Aldridge and no true 3rd or 4th options on offense this team is in trouble.

What does this all mean? Well, I think we can count on the Blazers missing the playoffs this season. That is simply my opinion, but with no size down low and Roy's knees a ticking timebomb, I just see a long season ahead. In the west the 8th seed team will have to be over .500 and I simply do not think they can do it against all the strong teams out there. Rudy Fernandez was to be the x-factor for this team, but is mind is elsewhere and is averaging just over 7 ppg, while shooting 33% from downtown. Unless he can turn things around and get his scoring up to 12-14 ppg, and start shooting 40% from three point land, Portland is in trouble.

So, do you take issue with my write up? Do you think I missed a team? Any other team that you would like to stick a fork in? Thanks for reading. 
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.

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: June 19, 2010 10:26 pm

Why There is No Respect for the 90s NBA.

          This is it. I cannot take it anymore. Too many people have no respect for the basketball that was played in the 1990s. False labels have been plastered on it from people who were not even old enough to have watched a single game from the decade. Some call it a soft decade were no defense was played. Other point that there were no other good teams except the Chicago Bulls. This is a heeping pile of bull crap! The 90s were full of great teams both in the east and the west and outstanding defense was still played because the newer rule changes were not in effect. Shooters were murdered on the floor. Hand checking was not even heard of. But I now know the real reason there is no respect for the 90s. It is quite simple.
        The reason for no respect is due to the fact that neither the Lakers or the Celtics were any good in that decade. Sure the Lakers were okay at the start of it when Magic Johnson was still playing. You see the NBA is so owned by these two franchises that as fans we simply believe that the 90s lacked any real competition for the Bulls because they did not have to face a good Celtics or Lakers team. This is crazy. The Knicks of the mid 90s were a great team. They played gritty and nasty defense. They were as good a team as any other team to reach the eastern conference finals in league history for the most part. People make it out as if the Bulls had it easy. False. The talent level was great in the 90s. The early part of the decade had the Pistons and the Cavaliers in the east for the Bulls to contend with. Then it was the Knicks, Magic, and Pacers. Even the Heat and the Hornets had good stretches in the 90s. 
         Out west there were plenty of good teams like the Trail Blazers, Supersonics, Rockets, Suns, Spurs, and Jazz. The Bulls were simply just better then the rest. Would the Bulls have won 6 Championships in the 80s with the team they had in the 90s. Most likely not, but they would have won 3 or 4 and maybe even 5. I never see anyone ask a question like, "Would the Kobe/Shaq Lakers win three in a row in the 80s?" or "How many titles would Russell have won had his team of the 60s played in the 90s?". Nobody asked these questions. Nobody dears to tarnish the legendary Celtics or the showtime Lakers. But the Bulls, well they were just lucky to have played in the 90s. There is no way they would compete in todays game or at any other time in NBA history. The stars in the sky were all just in the right spot at the right time. Also, Michael Jordan is not even a top 5 alltime player if you ask me. Also, I think Paul Pierce is better then a prime Scottie Pippen. Pippen was only good because of MJ. Whats that you say? Pippen had his best season ever without Michael and finished 3rd in MVP voting. Well that is just because Scottie and the Bulls were lucky to play in the 90s. Pippen is really just a roleplayer.
          I cannot take it anymore! The 72 win Bulls were the best team to ever step foot on the floor. One could argue they were the best defensive team alltime and they had the greatest player of alltime. Jordan(1x DPOY, 9x Defensive 1st team) Pippen(8x Defensive 1st team, 2x Defensive 2nd team) Rodman(2x DPOY, 7x Defensive 1st team, 7x Rebounding Champ). They simply shut other teams down.
          The bottomline to this insane rant is that the Bulls get no respect in the 1990s because the Lakers and Celtics were not good at the time. I would bet my life that had the Celtics had the Knicks' roster and the Lakers had the Jazz's roster in the 90s that there would be no debate. The Bulls 72 win Bulls would be the greatest ever, but because the Celtics and Lakers sucked at the time then so must have the Bulls as well. Dumb.
        Whenever the Celtics and Lakers go through a bad stretch of seasons at the same time you have people calling that a bad era in NBA history. What the hell is wrong with us. The world of basketball should not revolve around two teams should it? Do not get me wrong. I do not hate the Lakers or the Celtics as francises, but I do hate that their winning dictates great basketball, but if some other team is playing well then they are just lucky. That is a big crap sandwich and I am not hungry.
Posted on: February 12, 2010 2:12 pm

Trade Rumors. Which ones will happen?

OK, there are a few trade rumors starting to float around on the web. Some seem to make some sense and others seem very odd. Let us take a look.

Celtics and Wizards.
This has to be the biggest rumor of the day. It has the Celtics moving Ray Allen to Washington for Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison. Boston would throw in Scalabrine and Giddens to make the money work. This is a no-brianer for the Celtics. They would agian be a lock for the Finals adding these to players. What a sick lineup this trade would create for the Celtics. If they did not win a Championship after this move it would be a huge upset. The Wizards are clearly looking to start over again and this would give them some big time cap space. Perhaps the Wizards could land the Celtic's 1st rounder out of the deal. Cross your fingers Celtic fans.

Bulls and Trail Blazers.
The Blazers are hurting in the paint and the Bulls really want to move Tyrus Thomas so this seems like a good partnership. The Bulls have had little luck turning Thomas into a star power forward that many thought he could be and perhaps a job in the new city could be just what he needs to turn his raw talent into something. The Bulls would be getting a expiring contract or two in return along with two 2nd rounders from Portland. Bulls get picks for a bad seed. Makes some sense.

McGrady to the Knicks.
Now this makes sense on all levels. The Knicks love to bring in old fading superstars in hopes of the player having a turn around. Could the Knicks consider resigning Tracy in the summer? Maybe, if they cannot land one of the big free agents. This deal would give the Knicks some more cap space, but who do they plan on signing. LeBron looks like he is staying in Cleveland for now. Wade will stay put unless he moves to Chicago. Bosh might go the New York, but the Knicks need to lure two superstars if they plan on making any noise in the east. The Celtics, Magic, Cavaliers, and Hawks are just too good as it stands. Darko, Nate, Larry, or Al look to be part of the Knicks bait.

Cleveland in lots of talks.
It looks like the Cavaliers are looking into many different players from Rip Hamilton to Troy Murphy. Even Antawn Jamison is in the works. It looks like most of these trades would involve a third team, most likely Houston. If the Cavs can land a solid big like Jamison or Murphy then they will be even sicker.

There are a lot of rumors flying and I for one cannot wait for a team to make the first move. So, do you have any thoughts on these trades or have you heard or any other one?
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: August 16, 2009 8:15 pm

ChiTownCliff's Power Rankings: Top Ten

     I really want to do a Power Rankings this season but it is a lot of work to write about every team so I thought I would try to keep it simple by only including the top 10 teams. This will be my offseason rankings. I will do another one after the preseason ends and then as much as I can after that. I understand that no matter how I rank these teams that I will upset someone and I am fine with that. This is my opinion and nothing else. Many factors will go into these rankings. I will not assume that the team will be 100% healthy either. If there is a history of injuries it will play into things. So let us take a look.

1. Lakers. It is really hard for me to think that any team should be ahead of the Lakers at this point. For one they are the Champions and for two they are the same team plus they added a very solid piece in Ron Artest. Sure Kobe Bryant is starting to age and is not as explosive as he was a few years back but he is still a top 3 talent in the league. This team is stacked from top to bottom with the only real hole being in the point guard position but in the triangle offense an elite point is not needed.



2. Magic. I did not just put them here because they made it to the Finals last season but rather for the solid moves they made this offseason. Sure they lost a few players and a key one in Turk, but they more them made up for it by snagging Vince Carter, Matt Barnes, and Brandon Bass. This team is now very balanced and now that Jameer Nelson is back this team is very scary. They will have a chip on their shoulder and I am sure Vince Carter came with chip already on his shoulder.



3. Cavaliers. Ok, so they were the best team in the regular season last year and were heavily favored to make it to the finals and then they laid an egg. Maybe their egos did get in the way. Maybe their lack of depth revealed itself in the intense playoffs of the NBA. The bottomline to me is that this is a great team with perhaps the best player in the game and they just added a future hall of fame center in Shaq. Shaq is old as we all know but he has looked good lately and I think he is a nice fit on this team. They still need a consistant second option though if you ask me.

4. Celtics. If this team stays healthy they are the deepest team in the NBA if you ask me, but I can not move them up higher on the list because the chance of an injury is so high on this team. What are the chances that this team will enter the playoffs with a full roster? Rasheed Wallace could be a gamble but I think he will mesh well, but if he starts jacking threes then he could hurt the chemistry on this team. Age is the biggest factor and I really wonder how much gas is left in Kevn Garnett and Ray Allen. Rajon Rondo could become the best player on this team this season. Strange.

5. Spurs. It is clear to me that the top five teams are the top five teams and that things drop a bit after the Spurs. You could rearrange the top 5 and get few arguments. The Lakers however have to be number one, but after that the next four are very close. Again, this is a team that could win it all if they stay healthy. With the addition of Richard Jefferson they get a very good wingman. Tim Duncan is fading much in the way that Kevin Garnett is, but in both cases they are still at the top of the class for thier position. Nobody should be shocked if this team wins 60+ games this season. 

6. Nuggets. Part of me was hoping this team would take out the Lakers last season just for a change of pace, but that did not happen. Chauncey Billups is the heart and soul of this team. He really brought a winning attitude to this ballclub. I am not a big fan of Melo and I do not like J.R. Smith at all. I think Melo made a case however that he is a top 10 player in the NBA with his play last season and while I may not like Melo the man I have to admit he is darn good. My big problem with this team is Nene. He was great last season, but I can smell an injury coming. With him out this team will lack the size to compete with the big dogs.

7. Trail Blazers. This team oozes with talent. A young shooting guard that in my mind is the third best at his position in the league is the cornerstone. Roy will only get better as his young team grows around him. already LaMarcus Aldridge is a top power forward and is getting better every year. I wish my Bulls had a chance of snagging him. Oh wait, we did. (single tear runs down my cheek). I digress. If Greg Oden can defend the paint then this team could go places. I also love the addition of Andre Miller as well. I see no major weaknesses on this team.

8. Mavericks. On paper this is one of the best teams in the NBA, but I am not drinking the cool-aid quite yet. This team always seems to have the talent but lacks chemisrty. Dirk, Kidd, and Marion seems like a winning combo but you just never know in Dallas. Marion should give them the defense in the post that they were missing outside of perhaps Dampier. I also like the Drew Gooden pick up. It heals the wound left by Bass leaving. Gooden should fit in nicely. this is just one of those teams that i will have to see play together as a team before I am sold on them.

9. Hornets. This team struggled last season to live up to all the hype but Chris Paul is the best point guard in the NBA and he makes the player around him shine. I really think the story for this team this season is the pickup of Emeka Okafor. I think this is a great move for the Hornets and for Okafor. It will be interesting to see how Emeka does on a good team alongside a scoring post player like West. Was he held back all these years by playing on the Bobcats? Maybe. Can CP3 turn him into an Allstar? Maybe.

10. Wizards. There is a ton of buzz surrounding this team lately and it all has to do with Gilbert Arenas. Remember him? You know, that buzzer beating, highlight making, scoring machine. Talk is he is back and healthy. Butler really looked great down the stretch last season and Jamison is Jamison. However this team only won 19 games last season so I had to swallow really hard before I put them in the top 10 ahead of the Jazz, Hawks, Heat, 76ers, and Suns. Infact, You can replace the Wizards with any of those five teams if you like. If Arenas is his one self then this team can win 50 games, if not maybe only 30.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the read. Like I stated before, I will write up the Top 10 as often as I can. Numbers 11-30 I will leave for others. Getting into the Top 10 is all that really matters. I means your team is a contender and winning a championship is what it is all about. Please leave you replies and your Top ten list as well.

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