Posts Tagged ‘ dwight howard ’

All Hail the King

FOR6IVEN

So it looks like LeBron James will be donning a Cavs jersey after all.  At first, I lost all respect for him.  Then I read his letter and I can see where he’s coming from.  He wanted to go home, and give hope to those in Ohio who have none.  He’s also forgiven those who have hurt him in the past, which include Cavs’ owner Dan Gilbert, and the fans of Ohio.  If you recall, Gilbert wrote a scathing letter disrespecting James for a decision that James made.  A decision that was rightfully James’s.  And the Cavs just took that letter off their website a couple of days ago.  Then, the fans burned James’s jersey in the streets and took down all the billboards that had him on it.  Gilbert also vowed to win a championship before James.  We all know how that went.

Then came this year’s free agency.  James was expected to resign with the Heat right away, but instead, he dragged the process out for 11 days, stranding the Heat in what they could do.  Then he left.  I read his letter to Sports Illustrated, and I have to admit, I respect him.  At first, when I heard the news, I didn’t know how he could make this decision.  I would have rather had him go anywhere else except Cleveland.  But I’ve accepted it, turns out that James is a bigger man (literally and figuratively) than me.  I don’t think I would have been able to go back after what happened.  I give him tons of credit.

But this one decision creates a domino affect for the rest of free agency.  You’ve already seen it, where Jeremy Lin was shipped off to LA, and then Carmelo Anthony is now only interested in Chicago or New York (ironic).  Houston is making room for Chris Bosh (one of my favorite players), and Dallas now might not get Chandler Parsons.  Also, Andrew Wiggins might get traded for Kevin Love, and there will be a new big 3 that the NBA has to deal with.  It’s just a chain reaction that all starts with James.

The person I should feel bad for is Dwyane Wade.  I don’t really like him, but he gets the short end of the stick.  What happens to him now?  I guess he gets his max money, but will be stuck in the middle of the pack in the Eastern Conference, and that’s thinking positively.  I just hope Miami doesn’t do him dirty and still ask him to take a pay cut.

Again, I respect James’s decision.  Am I going to root for him?  Probably not.  I’ve been a James supporter since the beginning.  So many countless hours defending him against everyone that I know.  But I don’t think I will follow him to Cleveland.  This is where I stop.  And so I must choose a team to root for again.  The Knicks, since I’m from New York?  I can’t put my belief in Carmelo Anthony, no matter how hard I try.  Portland behind Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge, along with with GM Neil Oshley?  The Boston Celtics, behind Danny Ainge, coach Brad Stevens, and whoever is on the roster?  The Clippers, who will hopefully get free from Donald Sterling’s grip?  The Spurs, who play the purest form of basketball, but also just beat the Heat?  The Warriors, who as fun as they are to watch, I just can’t get into anyone else besides Stephen Curry?  The Suns?

I think I”ll start a new leaf but also with that “outcast” pick and start supporting the Toronto Raptors, who have a great fan base, a bright future with Kyle Lowry and Demar Derozan, a good GM in Masai Ujiri, and most importantly, the most recognizable ambassador in Drake.  That’s the LeBron effect on me.  I will start rooting for the Toronto Raptors.

WE THE NORTH

Houston Rockets Pitch to Melo using Jeremy Lin’s Number

Does that number look familiar?

Today the Houston Rockets met with Carmelo Anthony and tried to convince him that Houston is the place for him.  They put billboards up with Melo in a Rockets uniform, with his number, number 7.  That also happens to be the same number Jeremy Lin wears.  And guess what?  He’s still on the Rockets.  While it’s pretty much public knowledge that Jeremy Lin would get traded if Melo signs with the Rockets, it’s pretty disrespectful to use his number while he’s still on the team.  It seems like Carmelo follows Jeremy Lin everywhere he goes and kicks him out.  It happened when Lin was on the Knicks, and now it’s happening with the Rockets.  All I know is that I respect Lin for taking the high road, quoting Luke 6:29 on Twitter instead of lashing out.  It must be awkward.

The LA Lakers’ New Head Coach is….Mike D’Antoni!!

Yeah!! I got the job from PJ!!

so it looks like the lakers decided to go after d’antoni since phil jackson was making outrageous demands from the busses and the organization.  it looks like it was an issue of control and the busses didn’t want to give that up.  it’s not like the split between jackson and the lakers ended amicably last time.  so jackson wanted full control of personnel, didn’t want to travel to some laker road games, and wanted a huge contract from them.  there were even rumors about jackson wanting a part of the lakers ownership.  i don’t know if that’s true, but the lakers decided they weren’t going to be pushed around and went with d’antoni, who signed a 4 year, $12 million dollar contract.  i do believe that the players fit more into d’antoni’s system, rather than the triangle.  and there will still be some adjustments from the players, but it would have been more if jackson was coaching.  so from that standpoint, the lakers are correct saying that d’antoni is a better fit.  and they have dwight howard, who is a defensive monster when healthy, and a great pick and roll guy, especially with steve nash as the point guard.  so we’ll see what happens from here.  there has to be an adjustment period still, the same as if mike brown was coaching also.  but i do believe that the lakers made a great choice in their pick.

Mike Brown Fired as Los Angeles Lakers Head Coach

I know, Mike, I have the same reaction

well, today, after the lakers started out 1-4, only beating the detroit pistons this season, fired their head coach mike brown.  they’ve only won one game out of 14, if you count the preseason also.  i thought it was kinda quick, and i have a feeling many others feel the same way.  they only had steve nash healthy for one game, and they were still learning how to work together.  they were inserting a new offense, the princeton offense, which required many adjustments, in terms of how their team played.  here’s my take on it.

i think that the lakers pulled the plug too early on mike brown.  he is a really good coach, one of the best in the league.  he only took lebron and the cavs to the finals when their next best player was larry hughes.  that’s saying alot.  he i don’t think he had a chance to really make adjustments so that the lakers could succeed.  he came in last year, and personnel was all messed up with pau gasol sad that the lakers didn’t want him, lamar odom all the of sudden getting traded for nothing, and everything out of whack.  so last season was the first season he coached the lakers, and he led them to the semifinals, where they got swept by the thunder.  he wanted to  implement the princeton offense, which involves alot of ball movement.  some people say it’s for players who aren’t really that great, so the ball movement makes up for the skills that the players have.  this was before they got steve nash and dwight, but mike brown wanted to try this even after they got those players.  nash in particular isn’t used to that style of play, and he was trying to adjust.  i think that mike brown

LeBron James and the Lakers

there are rumors from ESPN that there’s a possibility that lebron can go to the lakers and opt out of his contract at in 2014.  yes, there is a possibility, with lebron opting out because he isn’t getting the max right now, but honestly, i don’t think he would go there.  i think he would stay or go where dwyane wade goes.  i can’t see him leaving wade for howard.  and if he did that, i don’t know if he would be my favorite player anymore.  steve nash is already below a couple of notches for me, just because of his LA affiliation now.  but if lebron did that, he would probably be even more disliked, which i’m sure is something he doesn’t want to do.  but that’s just my two cents.

 

Season Award Predictions

Season MVP- Lebron James

Runner ups- Kevin Durant, Steve Nash

Defensive Player of the Year- Dwight Howard

Runner ups- Tyson Chandler, Lebron James

Sixth Man of the  year- James Harden

Runners up- Manu Ginobili, Jason Terry

Rookie of the year- Anthony Davis

Runner ups- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bradley Beal

NBA Predictions 2012-2013 Pacific Division

looks like this division will look pretty much the same, with LA ruling it.  there are just no teams that come close to them.

1. Los Angeles Lakers (60 wins)

i hope they don’t win…

i’ve already written a long article analyzing the “trade” that brought dwight to LA.  i don’t like it one bit, but i would have to admit, they have the potential to have the best record in the NBA.  i’m really hoping that they won’t figure out how to play together, dwight will hate kobe, steve nash will grow tired of his teammates, and pau will complain that he never gets the ball.  with that being said, let me talk about them realistically.  obviously, when you have the best center in the league and one of the top 5 point guards in the league who is a pass-first point guard, things should go extremely well.  just look at steve nash and amare back in 2006.  and now they have kobe, just 5th on the all time scoring list, and pau gasol, one of the most skilled big men in the league (as he proved in the olympics).  add ron artest metta world peace, and i’d say you have a winner.  antawn jamison is going to come off the bench as a 6th man, and the only other bench player worth mentioning is jordan hill.  so that’s a pretty good first six, but their bench is probably the biggest weakness i can see.  in the regular season, they will be fine, barring bad relationships, but in the playoffs, you need to be deep.  just look at steve nash’s suns.  so they need to get better and deeper, although they probably don’t have enough money for anything.

the one big issue is looming is chemistry.  kobe is known to be a tough guy, someone who always looks like he’s not having fun on the court.  dwight is the exact opposite.  he’s the guy who bases everything on how fun he’s having.  so i’m not really sure on how that will work, but i think it will (much to my dismay).  the reason why i say that is not because of kobe or dwight, but because of steve nash.  he will have to be the glue that holds everything together.  he will be the team leader on the floor and off it, and so will kobe.  but nash will balance out kobe as well.  there is much respect between the both of them, and there might be some problems at first, but i think eventually they will figure it out.  pau gasol, will have to continue to find his niche this season, as there might be even less time with the ball.  so that will be interesting to observe as well.  but overall, i think they will definitely be the top 2 team in the west, and compete for the best record.

starting 5: howard, gasol, world peace, bryant, nash

 

2. Los Angeles Clippers (55 wins)

the los angeles clippers made a huge jump last year and got to the semi-conference finals, even though they didn’t have chauncey billups, one of their main leaders.  i feel like they’ve signed some good players, and if everything works out right, they can compete in the west as well.  billups will be back at the 2 spot, and although that isn’t his natural position, he adjusted quite well last year before his injuries.  of course, they have cp3 and blake, and they will only go as far as cp3 can take them.  he is the heart and soul of this club, and if reports are to be believed, blake has made great strides in his game.  hopefully he’ll be more than just a dunking machine.  they also have size, and deandre needs to just take his game to another notch offensively.  defensively, he’s pretty good already.  and they can bump and bruise with the lakers.  their starting 5 is one of the best in the league, and they got some veterans to back them up.  grant hill, now the oldest player in the nba, is a good pick up for them, as well as lamar odom, providing that he’s rejuvenated.  jamal crawford can also provide some firepower, that is, if his shot is a bit more accurate this season.  there are a lot of possibilities here, and if they could put it together, they have a chance to be top 5 team in the west at least.

starting 5: jordan, griffin, butler, billups, paul

3. Phoenix Suns (45 wins)

the phoenix suns went out and spent money this past summer, and they would have been spending more if it wasn’t for some restricted agent rules.  they tried to get eric gordon but couldn’t retain him, as the hornets matched gordon’s offer.  so instead, they got luis scola at a very good price, michael beasley, and wesley johnson.  i don’t know why phoenix is such a hot spot right now, especially with nash out of the picture.  but i guess it’s because of their medical staff, because they certainly aren’t really winning anything any time soon.  with this group, i feel like they’ll be in the middle of the pack, which is the worst place to be.  no lottery picks, no playoff spots.  so it’s harder to rebuild after losing a player like nash.  if beasley can mature into what he’s supposed to be, and gets some leadership from scola and gortat, they can be a decent team.  gortat, scola, and beasley have the potential to be a scary frontcourt.  dragic is a decent guard, although it’s ironic they paid for a player they used to have.  but i don’t really expect much from this team this year.

starting 5: gortat, scola, beasly, johnson, dragic

4. Golden State Warriors (40 wins)

yep, you have a long road ahead of you…

the golden state warriors have always been a fun team to watch, but not a good team.  they have one of the best point guards in stephen curry, but that’s about it.  andrew bogut is a big question mark because of his injuries.  i feel bad for the guy, because he can’t catch a break.  but if he’s healthy, he can actually put some defense into the warriors.  david lee is a double double machine, and klay thompson is a pretty good player, but it seems like with this talent, it still doesn’t translate into wins.  even curry is a question mark because of his ankle injuries.  he missed a lot of games this past year, and i’m not sure if he’s going to be full strength by the time the season starts.  he’s going to be the key to this team and the warriors will be lost with them.  richard jefferson brings some much needed leadership with his veteran experience.  i can’t really say anything good about the bench either, except jarrett jack.  but it just seems like this team will keep on losing alot of games but being fun to watch.

starting 5: bogut, lee, barnes, thompson, curry

5. Sacramento Kings (25 wins)

the kings are like a poor man’s warriors, which isn’t saying much.  they also have talent, but that doesn’t amount to anything.  the thing that they’re missing is maturity.  they have tons of young guys, but they aren’t that mature.  they took a step last year when they fired westphal and hired keith smart, someone who was willing to work with their main star, demarcus cousins.  if cousins becomes a more mature player and person, that is a really great first step for them.  he has the talent to be a top 5 power forward, but he needs to continue to work and not be distracted by things.  if they do well, this season, it will be because of cousins and smart.  tyreke evans will probably have to adjust to being a small forward, after being a point guard in isaiah thomas.  marcus, thornton also brings some great scoring as well.  in a couple of years, if they grow properly, i can see them becoming a good playoff team.  their bench is pretty decent too, with jimmy federette, fransisco garcia, aaron brooks, chuck hayes, and john salmons.  that’s a pretty good core right there.  it’s all on smart to guide this team to where they want to go.

starting 5: cousins, thompson, evans, thornton, thomas