Tuesday, August 2, 2011

REAL ballers do Real things

If you are reading this you are already a hoops head, so I don't gotta tell you why basketball is the best sport invented. But I will anyway, all you need is a ball and a hoop, and you got a game (2-on-2 baseball, football and futbol sucks). You can get better all by yourself.

We all know the L, is locked-out and NBA.com/NBA TV is ghost-town. I'm glad we are fans of a sports where dudes love to ball and will play anytime, anywhere if they were not getting paid. These young athletes are extremely smart in marketing themselves, being out among the people, gaining more street cred, which is what endorsers want in a client so they can sell them to the people buying game tickets, sneakers, gear, video games, etc.
(Wait a minute......Stern's got something to do with this)

So I wanna give a huge shout out to all the sites holding the fans down:
Ball is Life
Mars Reel
and on and on.........

After watching KD's explosion last night at the world famous Rucker Park in Harlem World.
I got inspired to get back on my blog shit (as you can tell from the last post I had more than a year ago). I just decided to hook-up all you hoop heads with some clips mainly NBA dudes getting busy this summer at a gym, rec or park near you.

*************ALL CLIPS ARE THRU YOUTUBE************

Kevin Durant goes off @ the Rucker

John Wall doing work in NC (going at Julius Hodge, what happened to him?)

Brandon Jennings vs. Josh Selby

LeBron balling in Cleveland (haters turned back to d-riders)

Durant, Mike Beasley, Game and more dudes hoopin' in the Drew League

George Hill & Eric Gordon ballin at Indy Pro-Am

James Harden (killin' Drew league, bout to have a breakout season)

Shannon Brown & Demar Derozan (more Drew league)

Chris Paul (teaching young ballers)

John Wall (in B-More)

D-Rose, CP3, Kobe, KD, Tyreke Evans, Javale McGee and other NBA ballers in the Philippines

LeBron James (@ the Drew League)

Lance Stephenson ballin' in Indy Pro-Am

Sick Nick Young dunk (when will he become more than a gunner in the L, he got serious game goes for you too J.R. Smith)

Nate Robinson, John Wall, Terrance Williams, Isaiah Thomas (Jamal Crawford Summer League)

JaVale McGee (@ Drew League bout to have a breakout season)

There are WAY more clips floating around the internet (hopefully of D-Rose, Blake Griffin, Russell Westbrook, D Wade etc.). If you got time check out and support the sites I have linked to on this post. They are doing a great job of getting to places most of us will never see.

You won't see Adrian Peterson or Larry Fitzgerald at your local park killing dudes.
You won't see Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols hitting 430 footers at your local diamond.
You won't see Messi and Ronaldo dribbling around some side field for free having kids jump all over them.

Only hoops baby if you don't respect that, you were always the last one picked!

****Don't sue me for using your site and links I HAVE NO MONEY (just free time at work)****

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What The 2010 Off-Season Moves, Really Mean (Atlantic Division pt.3)

Toronto Raptors
Drafted: Ed Davis
Key gains: Amir Johnson, Linas Kleiza, David Andersen
Key losses: Chris Bosh, Hedo Turkoglu, Antoine Wright

Time to rebuild yet again in the T Dot. This time they have no star player to build around and it's gonna be a total team effort. They do have some young athletes that will at least keep the Raptor fans excited. I know it was only summer league but DeMar DeRozan looks like the next start north of the border. He's not just a dunker, he showed the ability to get his own shot off and shoot with range. So by the time DeRozan puts it all together and is an All-Star or borderline All-Star he'll be looking to get out of Canada as well. The loss of Chris Bosh and Turkoglu leave the main scoring load on Andrea Bargnani, and it's time for the one time #1 pick to produce and be more consistent. Bargnani is a match-up nightmare for centers in The League because he has to be checked all the way out to the 3-point line, he's pretty much a WAY more athletic Mehmet Okur. If Andrea can put up 20 and finally start hitting the glass and be around 10 boards every night, the Raptors might be in the mix for a surprise playoff appearance.

Ed Davis also showed some promise in Las Vegas this past July. He was injured most of his sophomore year at UNC so his stock took a hit, but he can get it done in the post and might be Bosh 2.0, of course he needs to get stronger but he has a good motor and can finish strong in the post, he may be a better long term prospect than Derrick Favors. The Raps also had a sneaky pick-up by getting Linas Kleiza on his return to The League, he was huge off the bench for the Nuggets a couples seasons back, he's only gotten better, giving this team a legit inside/outside guy. They re-upped Amir Johnson who is a good run/jump big that can block some shoots and finish off from guard penetration. This leads to the second biggest question mark on this team, and that is the PG spot, is it gonna be Jarret Jack who has great leadership qualities, or Jose Calderon who seems to have fallen off. I think Jack should be the guy, and if you got Calderon, Kleiza, Davis and maybe Sonny Weems (also had a good summer league), you have a solid second unit.

In conclusion: Toronto took a huge hit by losing their most consistent player (Bosh), but maybe gained something by losing their most inconsistent player (Hedo). Now the young players can spread their wings and one will hopefully emerge as "The Man" on this squad. They most likely won't make the playoffs, but they'll be fun to watch and no push over in the improving East.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What The 2010 Off-Season Moves, Really Mean (Atlantic Division pt.2)

New York Knicks
Drafted: Andrew Rautins & Landry Fields
Key gains: Amar'e Stoudemire, Raymond Felton, Kelenna Azubuike, Anthony Randolph, Ronny Turiaf
Key losses: Chris Duhon, Al Harrington, Sergio Rodriguez, Eddie House, David Lee, Tracy McGrady

Swing and a miss, this off-season for NYK in the LeBron chase. They had been getting rid of contracts and waiting for his potential arrival for years. At least they got a legit big man in Amar'e Stoudemire an upgrade at the point guard positions (Felton) and maybe a potential star in Anthony Randolph. They didn't lose much even though David Lee was a fan favorite and one of those players good teams need to have on their team to win, but he was far from a franchise guy. I don't think Amar'e is that guy either but he gets opposing bigs in foul trouble and at times demands a double team. If Felton can run D'Antoni's system the way he likes the Knicks could be an 8 seed, but Felton has to prove he can shoot the rock with range, which is a weapon Steve Nash had that allowed him to get in the lane at will and open things up for his teammates.

They still need more help in the paint, because we all know STAT ain't to concerned with D, but Turiaf does bring some toughness and if Eddy Curry can get in better shape and out of D'Antoni's dog house they might be working with something down low people forget he was buckets down low before he was a Knick and he's still young enough, and I almost forgot a contract year for big Eddy. On the perimeter Chandler is decent and Azubike can battle the Wade's, Stephen Jackson's, Grangers, Joe Johnson's on the defensive end.
However (shout to Stephen A.), the key might be Anthony Randolph who is an elite ball handler for a big man (on-par with Lamar Odom), and has miss match problems written all over him. If he can play up to his potential he's a 17 pt., 10 reb., 4 ast. guy in that system. Nellie messed him up with the inconsistent playing time, and whatever other mind games Nellie liked to play.
At least one of the 2 rookies (Rautins & Fields) will see significant playing time and add more offense off the bench which never hurts.

In conclusion: This team at least will be fun to watch, with Danilo Gallinari bombing away from beyond the arch and Stoudemire, Chandler, and Randolph attacking the rim. Countdown to 2011 started the day after "The Decision".

Philadelphia 76ers
Drafted: Evan Turner
Key gains: Tony Battie, Spencer Hawes, Andres Nocioni
Key losses: Samuel Dalembert

Hopefully Doug Collins can get the best out this group, not that they should be winning 50 games but they have underachieved with a talented/athletic roster since Mo Cheeks had them in the playoffs giving problems to the Orlando Magic. The core of the team is still intact and one year older, many people are still waiting for Andre Iguodala to take that All-Star step and they have a gem in PG Jrue Holiday. They have another potential star in Evan Turner, some like his game more than others, he's a jack of all trades master of none thus far, and best case scenario he's a Brandon Roy (minus the injuries, fingers-crossed) type. That trio matches up well with any in the league, in about 2 more years.

As for this season, I'm sure the Philly faithful would like to see if Elton Brand has anything left, he's not 20/10 every night anymore but I'm sure they'd be more than happy with 18 and 9. Rounding out the starting 5, Spencer Hawes needs to bring the type of low post game that the coaching staff knows he has then Philly can make some playoff noise in the East.
They got depth, Lou Williams was a decent starter before he got his jaw Kanye'd, Thaddeus Young used to be a starter, and Marreese Speights was showing signs of maybe making Brand irrelevant before he picked up a knee injury, and Andres Nocioni may still be a pesky defender but most people probably still think he plays for the Bulls.

In conclusion: The last few playoff spots in the East are up for grabs, and this Sixers team can sneak in there. They have no interior D, put they have lock-down guys on the perimeter and if you got a young team that plays all out and together anything is possible i.e. OKC. I think Doug Collins can motivate this group but they need a 1st team All Rookie season from Turner, an All-Star appearance from Iggy and Brand to regain past glory and they could be on their way. That's not asking to much is it?

Monday, August 2, 2010

What The 2010 Off-Season Moves, Really Mean

The Celtics have not had much comp in this division for a few years now. With an aging roster and other teams getting better, the C's will only win the division by about 5 or 6 games this year and not the usual 10+.

Drafted: Avery Bradley & Luke Harangody
Key gains: Von Wafer, Jermaine O'Neal
Key loss: Tony Allen

The Celtics surprised a lot of people last season by making the Finals after a poor regular season. They lacked depth and their Big 3 were looking old. Rajon Rondo's emergence as a top 4 PG led them to their great playoff run. Had Kendrick Perkins not blew out his knee and missed game 7 where the Lakers pounded them on the glass, and Ray Allen hit a jumper, they very well might be entering this season as defending champs.

So going into the 2010-11 season they added a badly needed backup point guard in Avery Bradley who was highly rated coming into Texas as a freshman, and 2 bigs with the rookie Harangody and veteran Jermaine O'Neal. Bradley most likely won't see much time early on since they re-signed Nate Robinson, but he's athletic and a good defender. Harangody showed in the Orlando Summer League that he could really stretch the floor with his outside shooting and we all know about his toughness down low so you'll know he'll fit in nicely. Jermaine O'Neal was mainly brought in to spell Perkins who's out until January 2011 with the knee. J.O. hasn't looked good over the past few years but if he can stay healthy (huge if) he brings more offense than Perkins which should help KG and he can still block shots with the best of them. Wafer returns to The League after spending last season overseas. He is an explosive player coming off the bench, I see Nate and him doing some damage in the regular season.
Defense will be an issue in the backcourt with this team because they lack size but they are pesky and will rack up the steals with Rondo leading the way. Tony Allen is gone and he was the main guy slowing the Kobe's and D-Wade's down.

In conclusion: They did they best they could this off-season, they had to re-sign Pierce and Allen. They got potential steals in the draft (Avery could be Russell Westbrook-like, Harangody was 2-time Big East P.O.Y.). They overpaid for O'Neal but he should fit in nicely to this veteran unit.

Drafted: Derrick Favors & Damion James
Key gains: Travis Outlaw, Johan Petro, Jordan Farmar, Quinton Ross, Anthony Morrow
Key losses: Tony Battie, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Yi Jianlian, Keyon Dooling

So the Nets sucked last year, really bad. Injuries, no veteran leadership and coaching were the main issues, oh yeah the leagues worst defense too. This team does have some building blocks, a new owner, new coach, new arena in Newark and in the east anything is possible and the 7th and 8th seeds are always up for grabs. But main guys like Brook Lopez and Devin Harris have to have borderline All-Star seasons for them to even think playoffs?!?! (Jim Mora voice).

By getting Derrick Favors in the draft, these Nets could have the best 4-5 combination in the East in the very near future. Lopez is getting 20-n-10 on most nights and he plays D, Favors is raw but athletic as shit, and has a great motor (what every franchise wants from their bigs). The Nets are set in the paint and not even the contenders in The League have that. However (Stephen A. Smith voice), they need help on the perimeter to be able to compete at a high level, they got solid bench guys in their starting line-up. The additions of Outlaw and Morrow will open the paint up even more for their young bigs which will speed up their development. None of those guys are really known for their defense but at least they'll get buckets. The key player for the Nets on the perimeter may be 2nd year SF Terrance Williams, who is an elite athlete even by NBA standards, this is a guys who can start your offense, find the open man and cause havoc in the paint, POTENTIALLY, he has shown flashes and if he can put it all together the Nets will have their version of Andre Iguodala. With all this said the Nets need Devin Harris to return to his form of a couple years ago, he is injury prone with his attacking style of play but they need a top PG especially with the NBA now being PG heavy. They got Jordan Farmar for the inevitable injury, and he's a borderline starter in the NBA so the Nets should be ok here.

In conclusion: I really like the Nets to at least be SportsCenter highlight worthy on a nightly basis. They will be battling for 3rd in this division and the future actually looks bright in the swamps of Jersey.

Friday, July 16, 2010

73 is Possible

Now that the dust (I mean hate) has mostly settled on the Heat getting LeBron James people in the media are realizing how sick this team is gonna be. A lot has been said about egos, low post defense, final shot and other possible downfalls of this team. So I'm here to dispel or debate (which is what this blog is all about) how the 2010-2011 Miami Heat will overcome it all.

vs. EGO
I'm sorry but very few people seem to realize that these guys are actually friends and are really cool with each other. I think they'd know better than anyone how they will interact with each other having played with each other on All-Star and Olympic teams. Even though LeBron's "Decision" made him look like an ego-maniac I think he'll be cool with sharing the spotlight, he is a very team oriented guy (why else would he let the Big Z puppet in on his commercial, joke) he had to know that some of his teammates in the past were just not as talented as he was but he still made the right basketball play (this will be a theme) and actually passed them the ball, something guys like Kobe Bryant just aren't crazy about. Dwyane Wade is also a willing passer and he already took a back seat to Shaq with no fuss, something that Penny Hardaway and Kobe couldn't do. The only question mark would be Chris Bosh but he seems like a guy that is just happy to be out of the T Dot.

vs. Interior Defense/Teams with Size
This seems to be what a lot of pundits keep harping on, I don't think it'll be that much of a problem. Bosh isn't known for his D but if he's giving up 20 and 10, he's giving 20 and 10 right back so that's a wash against other top power forwards in the league. Udonis Haslem on the other hand is a very good defender even though he's undersized, so guys like Carlos Boozer for example won't be getting off when he goes up against the Heat. If the Heat put out a line-up of say Bosh, Haslem, Miller, Wade and James that's a lot of length (pause), and will give any team trouble with all those guys being good on the boards, thus making second chance points for the opposition almost non-existent. If this were the mid 90's and David Robinson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing and a young Shaquille O'Neal were around it might be an issue but no centers in today's league demand a double-team. Dwight Howard should be that guy but his best post move is a running hook, which is effective but if you make him shoot that, it's a win for your defense he's not prolific with it like Kareem yet. Yao Ming is the only center that would torch them but he'll only play like 40 games this season so it's not an issue.

vs. 4th Quarter/Final Shot
This issue pisses me off the most, how many of you out there really think this team is gonna have any close games? Really?!?!?! These guys won't be logging heavy minutes and most of these games will be done by the end of the 3rd quarter. LeBron was dancing on the sidelines in the 4th with the Cavs for crying out loud. If and when the final shot ever becomes an issue I think the Reilly puppet/lottery winner/luckiest coach ever, I mean Eric Spoelstra will put the ball in James or Wade's hand and they will make the right basketball play. Whether that be driving and kicking it to the open man or finishing it solo. Some players are glory hogs and would love to take a step back with 2 defenders in their face (e.g. Jamal Crawford, Kobe, etc.) but I think these guys have been there, done that, and are really focused.

vs. Injury
This is a very real possibility, especially with Wade on the team, but he's been pretty durable these past 2 seasons. Having said that he won't feel the need to attack the basket as much on the offensive end and won't be logging as many minutes. Freak injuries do happen so you can't rule this out, and I do expect some thuggery/hate so these guys might take some hard falls. So barring injury this team should be just fine.

This Miami Heat team will be on a mission from day 1 of training camp. They hear all the hate and want to prove a point especially LeBron, who still does want to be considered the G.O.A.T. despite people saying he doesn't have the heart for it. When Michael Jordan's Bulls got 72 the league was much weaker than it is now, but I think this team can at least flirt with 73.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Whatup Cuz

Thank the heavens (or just whoever's idea it was in the league office) for the NBA Summer League being on NBATV. These are definitely the dog days of summer and we are lucky to get our hoops fix with what's going on in Vegas.

As I watched the game tonight I saw a future star, maybe even a transcendent player in DeMarcus Cousins. The media would have you believe he's crazy and undisiplined, which he very well might be but he is a hell of a player. He's like Chris Webber 2.0. He can handle, shoot with range, board at a high rate and the best thing about his game is his court vision/passing ability. In other words he's a franchise player. I don't see what there is not to like, and he may well be considered the BEST player from the 2010 Draft when it's all said and done (mainly because he's a big). I was unsure at first, I just thought he was beating up on mediocre competition in the SEC, but I always did see the talent.
He should for all intents and purposes be the best Center in the league in 5 years, maybe sooner. I hope to spark discussion with that last statement from the Dwight Howard fans out there. Cousins is WAY more skillful than Dwight was at the same age, so natural progression and hard work (which is the only unknown about Cousins), should put him as the premier center in the L very soon. Howard only trumps Cousins on the defensive end, and in rebounding acumen slightly (I know I'm getting ahead of myself seeing as Cousins has yet to play a meaningful NBA game).
This Kings team will be fun to watch for the next few years until Tyreke and DeMarcus do their Kobe/ Shaq thing which is inevitable.

"Allow me to re-introduce myself..."

Actually I'm introducing myself.
In lue of all the the nonsense I've been hearing lately I have decided to create something for people of my ilk. My ilk being die-hard knowledgeable basketball fans. I ain't die-hard for a team (not that there is anything wrong with that e.g. Cavs fans), I'm die-hard for the beautiful game of basketball. I played, I coached, I watch. Having said that, some of these so-called experts we listen to on the radio and watch on TV don't know shit or they just have an agenda when it comes to certain players and/or teams. The purpose of this blog will be to have open discussion and just rant about basketball (mainly NBA, but some international, collegiate, and high school will be thrown in as well, sorry no WNBA).
I love this game and don't like seeing it misrepresented to the public in a dumbed down fashion. So if you like hoops read my shit, leave comments, start a debate, argue, hate on me (or players or teams), whatever let's just talk hoops.