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The Lay-Up Line

Posted in NBA on February 18, 2010 by 25ftrange

Just some random thoughts about basketball and other things by yours truly.

Bill Simmons released his annual trade value column this week. This is always my favorite Sports Guy column even though I don’t agree with everything he says. Look what he wrote under Dwight Howard. Now read what he wrote under the grouping of Deron Williams, Brandon Roy, and Derrick Rose. Now tell me why Durant, Wade, and Kobe are behind Howard.

If they remade ET and had a current NBA player act as ET who would you choose? I’m pretty sure 75% of you said Rajon Rondo. If you could choose a retired NBA player, Sam Cassel would be the hands down choice. This is more of a lock than James Cameron making a film in 2020 with a terrible plot but amazing special effects that grosses $5 billion worldwide. Here is a list of others who could play ET. You already know who number 1 is.

Wouldn’t it be great if the crowd started chanting “Conan, Conan” during the first episode of Leno’s return to The Tonight Show?

I wish I could hit a 99mph fastball. I really wish I could dunk a basketball. Most of all, I wish I could do this.

Speaking of Shaun White and the Olympics, I know winning the World Series, Superbowl, or NBA Championship would elicit an incredible feeling; but getting a gold medal placed around your neck, with your national anthem blaring in the background, in your home country would have to trump it all.

As Nate mentioned below, Jamison is going to the Cavs. Where is Amar’e going? To the Heat? A Wade, Stoudemire, Beasley top 3 would be nice, but I don’t think they could contend with the Cavs, Magic, or even the Celts or Hawks. Although, with the corpse of Jermaine O’Neal shaking off the cobwebs and performing like an actual NBA player recently, who knows.

The other 2 major trades involved the Mavs getting Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood while the T’ Blazers got Marcus Camby. I really like both trades for both team. With the Wizard being terrible and Gilbert Arenas trying to channel his inner Dirty Harry, a lot of people really don’t know much about Buter or Haywood. Both of them are tough players which the Mavs definitely need. While Strong Juice Butler will help Dirk with the scoring, I like the acquisition of Haywood more. He is a better defensive player than Erick Dampier and actually has a semblance of an inside post game. He will help against the Duncans, Gasols, etc. Both helped out last night in the victory over the Suns. This guy thinks Butler is going to make a huge difference.

As for the Blazers, I think getting Camby makes them the 3rd best team in the West, right behind the Nuggets – as long as Brandon Roy comes back completely healthy. With Greg “Sam Bowie v2.0” Oden and Joel Pryzbilla out, the Blazers were in desperate need of a center who could defend and control the boards. That’s what the Camby man does best. He was defensive POY three years ago and I think he will be reinvigorated playing for a contender.

Why can’t the Lakers play this hard with Kobe on the floor?

I have a solution for the Dunk Contest. Let this guy participate.

Females are crazy. We already know how girls turn everything around when it comes to another girl they don’t like. For example, people in the Aniston camp love saying that Angelina Jolie’s lips are too big and she is just craving attention by adopting all those kids. Whatever. Those lips are amazing and she’s making those kids’ lives 100 times better. Well, women do it to athletes as well. Let me explain. My mom – sorry mom for calling you out – moved to the US in her 20’s and therefore didn’t have a loyalty to any NBA team. Therefore she gravitated towards the best player and best team which was Jordan and the Bulls. She followed Jordan’s career and thinks he is the greatest player of all time. Nothing wrong with that. A majority of people would agree with her. However, most people would also acknowledge the greatness of others, like Kobe and LeBron. Not my mom. I think MJ is the greatest ever and I don’t think Kobe will ever reach his level, but I think Kobe is going to come closer than anyone. LeBron hasn’t reached that level yet, but based solely on talent and God-given skills, LeBron is unmatched on the hardwood. If I mention this to my mom, she won’t listen. She’ll say something about how Kobe and LeBron really suck and that Michael is the greatest ever. That’s it. Kobe and LeBron suck. MJ is the best. No reason why. No acknowledgment of Kobe’s 4 rings or LeBron’s great all around game. That doesn’t matter to her, and in her opinion it shouldn’t matter to anyone else. She’s crazy….oh and she’s also obsessed. Whenever she sees MJ on the TV she reacts the same way a fan of Lost reacts when they see a preview for the next show. Some shrills, some shrieks, and then a smile. She would marry him right now if she could (watch out dad).

If a Duke player gets a black eye, does anybody feel bad for him?

Duke killed Maryland last Saturday when they played at Cameron. Maryland has since won 2 in a row, and if they continue playing this well and handle Duke at home, then Greivis Vasquez should be ACC player of the year. (I am a huge UMD fan. I lived in Maryland for 10 years and my favorite chant is “Fear the turtle”. If I was a bigger homer my last name would be Simpson).

Alright now for some links to articles I think you guys will enjoy.

Ball Don’t Lie midseason awards

A rundown of who might go number 2 in the NBA draft this year.

A look at the underachievers of the last 10 years.

A great read about why the Spurs aren’t as good as they used to be.

Who are the greatest fictional basketball players of all time? Well here you go.

Finally, my cousin Vijay asked me a great question last night. If you could have LeBron and Wade in their prime, or Jordan and Pippen in theirs, who would you chose? I said Jordan and Pippen because they already proved how great they are together. Pippen was the perfect second banana to MJ, the greatest player of all time. If Bron and Wade are on the same team, which one of them is gonna play Robin? What if it’s Game 7 of the NBA finals with one possession left with the score tied and Team Bron/Wade has the ball. Who is the coach going to call the play for? Does he flip a coin? Do they do rock, paper, scissors? I don’t know how that would work. I know Phil Jackson never had to worry about that while coaching the Bulls. I also know people think they would be perfect as teammates based on what they saw during the All-Star game and the 2008 Olympics. Well those are basically exhibition games. I don’t know if they would play so well together for a whole season plus playoffs. Although, there is a chance 6 years from now I read what I just wrote and bang my head on the wall.

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All-Star Weekend Recap

Posted in NBA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2010 by 25ftrange

Just a few thoughts about the all-star game and all the festivities.

The Slam Dunk Contest, if you can even call it that, was terrible. It was, by far, the worst ever. We’ve gotten to the point that just because some guy is our size, and can dunk, we deem him a great dunker. That’s stupid. Nate Robinson is athletic and has amazing hops. He’s not a great dunker though. Look, we all know that the dunk contest isn’t what it used to be. As Rick Pitino would say Dr. J, Dominique, MJ, Vince Carter, they aren’t walking through that door. The best players in the NBA are not going to compete in the dunk contest. We won’t ever see LeBron, Wade, Melo, etc. That doesn’t mean the dunk contest has to lay a big one. There are tons of athletically gifted players in the NBA who do not get much playing time or aren’t well known to the average fan. If they compete in the dunk contest, they should take that opportunity to get their name out there. Shannon Brown, Gerald Wallace, and DeMar DeRozan all had that chance, but they failed. You would think they would take advantage of being in the national spotlight. Instead, it seemed like they really didn’t care. I was very disappointed. Hopefully Dwight Howard will come back next year and add some excitement to the slam dunk contest again.

The All-Star game played out like it normally does. For the first three and half quarters, we get to see the most star-studded pick up game. Then for the last 6 minutes it becomes a real competition and the players actually care who wins or loses. While it’s hard to judge players based on one exhibition game, there were a few who stood out to me.

  • Deron Williams: I stated in an earlier post that Chris Paul was much better than Williams; that the debate between them shouldn’t even be a debate. Well, I was wrong. Paul is still better than Williams, but the difference between them is minimal. Williams is a great jump shooter, and while he isn’t the quickest PG, he is very strong and can get any spot on the floor when he wants to. He’s also taken charge of the Jazz and become the leader of the team. The Jazz are 9-1 in their last 10 games and are only 2 games behind the Nuggets for 2nd place in the division. They’ve always had enough talent and coaching to be contenders in the West. Now they have a leader to match.
  • Chris Bosh: Toronto doesn’t get much national attention, so Bosh doesn’t get the recognition he deserves, which is a shame. He has led the Raptors to a 29-23 record and he consistently puts up a 23 and 11 every game. Take into account that Jose Calderon has been plagued by injuries this year and Andrea Bargnani hasn’t progressed as the Raptors had hoped, and it becomes very obvious that Bosh is one of the top 10 talents in the league. It will very interesting to see where he goes after this year, along with LeBron and Wade.
  • Speaking of LeBron and Wade, they put on quite a show playing on the same team yesterday. Heat fans can only hope that LeBron joins Wade next year in Miami, forming the greatest duo since Shaq and Kobe. ESPN’s John Hollinger has more information about it here.

With the all-star game behind us we can get on with the final third of the season. There are many questions still to be answered. Is Stoudemire going to the Cavs? Who else is going to make a big trade? Can the Celtics and Spurs get healthy and make a strong run into the playoffs? Can any team or teams keep a Lakers-Cavs final from happening? I’m a fan of the unpredictable, but I hope the answer to the last questions is no. I guess we’ll all just have to wait and see and enjoy the rest of the season.

Best NFL Team Never To Play Football

Posted in NBA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2010 by 25ftrange

I already know what you are thinking. “Come on Subhodaya, this is a basketball blog and here you are writing ANOTHER post about football. Do you know what the hell you are doing?” Of course I do.

My cousins and I always discuss athletes playing other sports than what they went pro in; so, with the NFL season ending and the NBA approaching the all-star break, I thought it would be appropriate to answer this question: If the NBA had to put together a professional football team to play in the NFL, who would be on the team? The biggest problem this question poses is there are so many players to choose from. Out of the 3 major sports (sorry Canada, hockey doesn’t count) basketball players, as a whole, are the most athletic and well-rounded athletes, unless they are 7′ 7″, from Romania, and starred in the movie My Giant. To narrow down the field, I have decided to only pick players who were productive during the last decade and the reason for that is this is my list so I make the rules. Also, when you imagine each player on the football field, imagine them during their prime. Without further ado, here is the greatest football team never to play football.

Offense

QB: Allen Iverson. With NFL defenses getting faster and faster, you need a QB who can avoid pressure and also present the threat of the run on every play. Who better than AI? During his prime Iverson was one of the quickest and most tenacious players. He drove to the hole without hesitation and was not afraid to get hit. You need that type of toughness in the leader of your offense. After a sack or a knockdown, it always helps keep morale up when the quarterback bounces back quickly and moves on to the next play. No one got up more after being sent sprawling to the hardwood than Iverson. Also, Iverson was the center of the Philadelphia 76ers offense and everything ran through him, causing people to label him as a ball hog. Well, by making him my QB I’m making sure the ball is in his hands on every play. Some people might argue that he is too small. To channel my inner Joy Behar so what, who cares? People said Drew Brees was too small and he just won some big game or something. If you still don’t like my choice of Iverson, watch this.

RB: LeBron James. With all due respect to every other RB who has ever played in the NFL, LeBron would be the most feared one. Who wants to try to tackle a 250 pounder running full speed? I have an answer. NO ONE. With his speed and strength he could score 6 anytime he touched the ball, no matter where he was on the field. LeBron also has great vision and would be able to see holes before they opened up and would also know when to break a run outside or just barrel up the middle for 4 yards. He would make Adrian Peterson look like Betty White.

WR1: Kobe Bryant. At 6’6″ he would tower over any defensive back who played against him. If he is covered one on one, just throw it up and there’s a 90% chance Kobe is coming down with it. Hell, even if he’s covered by three guys throw it up to him. He’ll come down with it 80% of the time or draw a penalty. Another reason Kobe would make a great receiver is his footwork. What sets 24 apart from his peers in basketball is his impeccable footwork. He is by far the best at the pump fake, spin on your pivot, and score…without traveling. To be a great WR you need great footwork. You need to be able to make tight cuts and not lose speed while making them. Kobe would be a master at doing this. Also, with his amazing stamina and competitiveness, Kobe would not take plays off a la Randy Moss.

WR2: Leandro Barbosa. He’s fast. With Kobe dominating on the other side, I need someone to stretch the field. I was looking at Tony Parker, but he’s French…not that there’s anything wrong with that. You guys make excellent toast. Anyways, all Barbosa needs to do is run down field and occupy one of the safeties, and block every once in a while. He’ll have no problem doing that.

TE: Joakim Noah. Yeah he’s annoying, but if he’s on your team that’s okay. He’s a hustle guy and does a lot of the little things that help your team win. With Kobe and LeBron getting most of the touches, I don’t need my TE to be a pass catching TE. I need him to block, make a big play here and there, and pump the team up. I will get that from Yannick’s son. Also, like I said he is really annoying, so there’s a good chance that at least once a game he pisses off the opponents so much that they do something stupid and get an unsportsmanlike penalty.

FB: Anderson Varejao. I want my fullback to not care about anything except blocking for the RB. Believe me when I say the fullback is not going to get any touches. When you watch Varejao play, you can tell that he enjoys getting rebounds, playing defense, and most importantly setting screens for LeBron. Well on my football team he can enjoy blocking for LeBron. He can also use his hair to clear space.

Guard, Center, and Tackle: Shaquille O’ Neal. Trust me, Shaq will be enough. If not we can throw in Robert “Tractor” Traylor to help him out. And yes, that is really him.

Defense

CB1: Bruce Bowen. Would be great at bump n run coverage. The key to bump n run is to use your hands to knock the receiver off his route. Bruce was great at using his hands to defend players during his run with the Spurs, even though most of the time it was illegal. Now he can do it legally. Also, he had very quick feet and anticipated well, so he could definitely cover a receiver one on one. Most importantly, Bowen was regularly touted as the league’s dirtiest player, so he would trip, claw, and bite the opponent’s number one receiver into submission.

CB2: Josh Smith. Might not be quick enough to cover a receiver one on one but my safeties can help with that. With his height, length, and leaping ability, he would be hellacious in zone coverage. He could basically cover two zones by himself. Might gamble a little bit too much to get a pick (similar to him shooting so many 3’s even though he has a horrible percentage) but I can live with that.

FS and SS: Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul. Neither of them is very big but I do not need them to make big hits. Both of them are among the league leader in steals, which makes them perfect as my safeties. They have great instincts, would get good jumps on the ball, and would definitely be able to read the eyes of the opposing QB. Both of them are very smart players and would most likely always be in position to make a tackle or make a play on the ball. If they are ever out of position, they have enough speed to make up for it.

MLB: Ron Artest. Very strong and versatile. In the NBA, Artest is one of the few players who can guard anyone from a point guard to a power forward. On the football field, I could put him on a tight end, the third receiver, or have him blitz and cause havoc in the pocket. Also remember, this is Ron Ron in his prime aka Crazy Ron Artest so opponents would definitely be afraid of him because there would be a good chance he would punch them in the face. I would have Stephen Jackson chilling on my bench just in case Ron needed help.

Defensive End and Tackle: Shaquille O’ Neal and Robert ‘Tractor’ Traylor. Trust me, they will be enough.

Secret Weapon: Dwight Howard. Anytime the opponent is lining up to kick a field goal I’m bringing in Howard. With his height and leaping ability he is going to block every kick or at least make the kicker push the ball wide right or left. No field goals against my team I guarantee it.

Personnel:

GM: Me. I put the team together. I’m the GM.

Coach: Jim Caldwell. Just seeing if you are still paying attention. I would only have Caldwell as my coach if this was a team full of mimes. The coach would be…me. As the GM, I would play the loyalty card and hire myself as coach. Hey, that’s just the way it goes.

Offensive and Defensive Coordinator: Me…again. What did you expect?

With the athletes on this team, and with the great coaching I would provide, we could just fill up the other positions with random scrubs and the team would still go 16-0 in the regular season and destroy everyone in the playoffs. First team to go 19-0. Take it to the bank.

A few quick thoughts

Posted in NBA with tags , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2010 by 25ftrange

Peyton Manning choked. That’s all that can be said. Some people argue that it was just one game, and one bad throw and it shouldn’t tarnish his legacy. Well it wasn’t just one game, it wasn’t just one throw. It was the biggest game of the year, and the throw occurred during the most critical point of the game. Manning can no longer be put in the same sentence as Montana, Elway, Unitas, and even Brady (it pains me to say that because I do not like the Patriots or Brady). Yes Manning has one ring but it came against a Bears team that started Rex Grossman at quarterback. Rex freaking Grossman!! His name says it all. His playing is gross man (never said I was a comedian). The good thing for Manning is he still has a few good years left and he plays on a team that has been really good for a long time. We’ll see what the future holds for Manning and his legacy, but I know this throw is always going to come to mind when I think of Peyton Manning.

To put it into basketball terms, let’s take a trip back to the 2009 NBA Finals and let’s imagine the Magic were able to pull out games 5 and 6 and forced a deciding game 7. Game 7 goes back and forth, and with 30 seconds left the Magic are leading by 2 points, but the ball is in the hands of Kobe Bryant and everyone is expecting the spectacular. Instead of the spectacular, Kobe throws a lazy pass intended for Derek Fisher and it gets stolen by Jameer Nelson who coast in for an easy lay up, essentially ending the game and the series. Now, no matter what Kobe does the rest of his career – even if he wins another 2 or 3 titles – you would always remember that pass. You would always remember that he lost that series; that during the most important game of the season, during the most important possession for the Lakers, Kobe Bryant turned the ball over which lead to the series clinching bucket for the Magic. Well I am always going to remember Peyton’s pick 6, no matter what he does from here on out.

Now that football season is over we can concentrate 100% on basketball. What is wrong with the Celtics? Look where Mark Stein has them ranked in his power ranking. 11th. Nobody could have foreseen that at the beginning of the year. I stated in an earlier post that if the team was healthy, and with Rondo playing at an elite level, they would be the best team in the East and would make the finals. I still believe that but I don’t believe the team will get healthy. They are just too old and Garnett, Pierce, and Allen have too many miles on them. To quote Charles Barkley “old people, they don’t get healthy, they die.” While none of these players are on the verge of death, Chuck is right when he says they won’t get healthy. Garnett has lost his lateral quickness and this not only affects his play but the whole teams’ play. When Garnett came to the Celtics two years ago, it wasn’t his offensive prowess that helped the team win the championship. It was his defense and intensity. He challenged his teammates to perform as hard on the defensive end as they did on the offensive end and they of course responded. Would you want to disappoint this man? Now with Garnett’s knees more used up than Jenny Gump during her hippie period, he can’t be the same defensive force or influence on his teammates that he used to be. Look at the 3rd quarter score of Sunday’s game against the Magic. If this was two years ago or even last year, Garnett would never have allowed 36 points to be scored on his team in one quarter. This year, he is part of the problem. He can’t move side to side and quicker players are able to blow by him off the bounce, while stronger players can just back him down and wait until his knees buckle. Without Garnett at his best and most importantly healthiest, I don’t see the Celtics being a factor in the Eastern Conference. It’s going to come down to the Magic and the Cavs.

Super Bowl: More Than a Game

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 5, 2010 by 25ftrange

I realize this is an NBA centric blog, but with the Super Bowl fast approaching, the matchup between the Colts and the Saints needs to be addressed.

The last two Super Bowls have lived up to the hype, and this year’s is going to surpass it. This will be the first year since 1994 that both number one seeds made the big game and if anyone watched a lick of football this year they know that these are the two best teams. Also, with apologies to Chris Johnson, the two best players this year were Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. There are so many stories for this game but let’s focus on the main ones.

On one side of the field you have Peyton Manning, The Sheriff, or as I like to call him, The Professor. Whatever you prefer to call him, just know that this game will help determine his legacy. Manning has all the stats and will continue to shatter more as he shows no sign of slowing down. With only one Super Bowl to his name though, it’s hard to put his name up there with Montana, Elway, and Unitas. Add one more Lombardi Trophy to Manning’s resume though, and he officially announces his candidacy for Greatest QB of All Time, and when you compare his stats to the other greats it would be hard to argue against putting Manning as number one. Peyton knows what this game means to his legacy and he knows he has to take advantage of this opportunity. The Super Bowl isn’t something that comes to you every year. Just take a look at Mr. Gisele Bundchen (some eye candy for your pleasure) himself Tom Brady. A couple of years ago Brady was having the greatest statistical year by a QB and was about to lead his team to a Super Bowl title and an unprecedented 19-0 record. The Giants changed all that, and at the start of the next year Bernard Pollard ended Brady’s season just minutes into the first game (go ahead people of New England, throw darts into your David Tyree and Bernard Pollard voodoo dolls). He hasn’t been the same since. Manning has been a model of consistency and durability, but you never know when an awkward landing or a vicious hit will change the course of your career. If Peyton wants to cement his status as one of the greatest, he needs to do it in this game.

The other big story of this game is the New Orleans Saints. This is a team that used to be called the Aints and their fans did this. Now, the former punching bags of the NFC are on the verge of delivering the first professional championship to New Orleans. Of course this story is more than just about a football team. It’s about a football team uniting a city and lifting it’s spirits. Cynics will wonder if sports can lift up a city and my answer to them is a resounding yes.

There is something special about sports. I know it is cliché, but sports are more than just a bunch of games. My belief is that sports represent what we want the whole world to be like. You take what God gave you, work hard and dedicate yourself to your craft, and in the end you will be rewarded. Of course, our world doesn’t always work this way; but, anytime we see Drew Brees throw a perfect pass up the seem, or see Kobe stare an opponent down and nail a 3 with a hand in his face, or watch as Pujols works the count in his favor and deposits a 3-1 pitch into the upper deck, it makes us believe for a second that the world does work that way. It turns us jaded grown ups into wide-eyed kids who believe anything is possible. The people of New Orleans suffered through a horrible situation. Most of them were hard-working individuals who were just living their life and trying to support their family. While most of the city of New Orleans is rebuilt, the Saints are rebuilding the people of the city. A team once referred to as the Aints is a football powerhouse. Fans who used to put bags on their heads have turned the Superdome into the greatest home field advantage in pro football. If that’s possible, then one has to believe that anything is possible.

Sports also has a way to bring people together from all different backgrounds. Sports is the reason this blog exists and one of the reasons a black guy, a white guy, and a Nepalese guy became such great friends. You might not know anything about that guy at the bar, but if your favorite sports team is on the TV and you notice him cheering for them, you automatically want to start a conversation with him…and you do. If said team pulls out a victory you give each other awkward high fives and drunkenly yell out how great the game was. When you see that same guy out in public a couple days later you probably don’t remember what his name is, but you definitely remember he is a fan of your favorite team. People bond over sports the same way the Seinfeld gang bonded over making fun of that overweight guy in the season finale. We treat our favorite team or favorite player like our kids, to some degree. When the team or player succeeds we become elated. When they don’t, we become disappointed. Yet, we stick with them no matter what. This article from ESPN’s Bill Simmons proves this point to a T. It’s kind of heart breaking reading those peoples’ responses.

I’ve met a few people who compare the effects of sports to the effects of love. Why is that when your significant other continually makes the same mistake, and knows they are making a mistake, you take them back? Because you hope the last time is the LAST time and after that everything will be the way you imagined. Well let’s hope the LAST time has already happened for New Orleans and at least for one day everything will be the way they imagined.

WHO DAT!
Saints 38
Colts 31

James v. Wade: Rivalry??

Posted in NBA with tags , , , , , on February 4, 2010 by 25ftrange

The Cavaliers take on the Heat tonight at 8pm. While LeBron versus Wade is a great individual match up, this is not a great team match up. Over the last 3 years the Cavs are 8-1 against the Heat. That’s the equivalent of any random army facing the French army. Just complete domination. Wade just does not have enough support on his team. The Heat are currently starting Rafer “Skip to my lou” Alston at PG. Unless you are playing outdoors and on concrete, you don’t want Alston as your starting PG. Wade is basically the facilitator and scoring options 1 through 3 for his team. He is currently averaging 28% of his team’s points. If you contain Wade you have an excellent chance of defeating the Heat. Of course containing one of the greatest players in the game is easier said than done, but if you play discipline team defense, it’s possible. During the Heat-Celtics game yesterday, there was a critical possession late in the 4th quarter with the game still up for grabs. Wade tried to drive to the hole with his patented inside-out dribble and the Celtics collapsed on him. Tony Allen was able to strip him and the game was basically over after that. No matter how good you are, you cannot carry your team night in and night out and expect to compete all the time. The fact that the Heat are on the second day of a back-to-back and the Cavs are 20-3 at home means that this game will not be close. Wade and James get theirs and the Cavs get the win 98-86.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Phil Jackson passed Pat Riley to become the winningest coach in Laker history. He, of course, is also the winningest coach in Chicago Bulls history. Critics always point to the fact that Jackson has benefited by having an immense amount of talent on his teams, but all I care about is that he has a ring for every one of his fingers. As Herm Edwards said “you play to win the game.” Hello! Well Jackson gets his players to play to win the championship and he has done that better than any coach in the history of the NBA. So here’s to Phil Jackson, the Zen master.

Quick Transition

Posted in NBA with tags , , , , , , on February 4, 2010 by 25ftrange

Good morning everyone. I just a have few quick thoughts on yesterday’s action.

Disclaimer: If you are from Seattle please do not read this, you have suffered enough.
The Thunder got a big win yesterday, even though it was against a Paul-less Hornets team. Like people always say about the League though, any road win is a good win.
Everyone is focusing on Durant and rightfully so. Man is playing out of his mind lately. In my opinion he is the best pure scorer in the NBA. Kobe, LeBron, and Wade have been the holy trinity of bball players during the last few years but Durant is slowly creeping up on them. Look at what he’s done in January. There are other good players that should get recognition on that team. Jeff Green is one of them. I’ve followed him since his days at Georgetown, where he helped lead them to a final four in 2007. He’s an unassuming guy but leads by his play. I can definitely see him playing Pippen to Durant’s Jordan. Another players who has impressed me is Russell Westbrook. He’s very long, athletic, quick, and has a strong pedigree playing on those Ben Howland led UCLA final four teams. Along with Lebron and Kidd, he is one of the few players who can put up a triple double on any given night. The Thunder are still very young though. They average 15.5 turnovers a night which won’t cut in the playoffs, but they are a team on the rise and I am excited to see them mature and become a great team like I believe they can be.

Boston got a 5 point win yesterday. Unfortunately for Miami, Wade did not go to the line 15+ times like Nate had predicted or else the Heat would have pulled the upset. Two years ago Boston had a big three of Garnett, Pierce, and Allen. Last year people were clamoring to make it a big four and include Rondo. This year, with the injuries to Garnett and Pierce and Allen regressing, is Rondo the best Celtic? I say yes. He has carried the team lately. I know they have a losing record since the new year, but if it wasn’t for Rondo they would be in the bottom 8 of the Eastern Conference. Against the Lakers last Sunday, he was the best player on the court. Kobe did what he does at the end of the game, but Rondo dominated for all 48 minutes. If the Celtics can get healthy and with Rondo playing the way he is, they will beat the Cavs and make the finals.

Alright I’m out. Hope everyone has a great day.