Exciting Moments Ahead

Only 22 more days till the most anticipated NBA tip-off in recent memory. The excitement is indescribable, already rumours are beginning, teams are practicing and fans are biting their nails, anxiously awaiting Christmas day. Exciting moments are on their way. In the spirit of Christmas I bring to you the 12 most exciting things to look forward to this season.

12. NBA Tip-Off

Although, the NBA tip-off is only one day of a 66 game season. It will begin the domino effect of exciting games. The match-ups all consist of star players and exciting teams. Boston’s Big Three takes their talents to New York to match up against the Knicks Big Three.  A finals rematch in Dallas. Former MVP’s match up as the Bulls take on the Lakers. Superman is flying to Oklahoma as the Magic take on the Thunder. And Bad Blake will begin the hundreds of mind-blowing dunks as the Clippers take on the Golden State Warriors. Merry Christmas indeed.

11. Celtics Too Old?

After the Celtics lost to Miami’s Big Three in the conference semi-finals last year, a lot of people said they didn’t have the young talent to compete with the upcoming teams in the league. Such as, Miami, Oklahoma, Chicago and so on. The Big Three in Boston have a title and know how to win and what it takes to win. Something that is taken for granted through the eyes of fans. Garnett still has his toughness, and maybe he isn’t as quick as he used to be but he still has a killer shot and knows when to step up. Ray Allen, hasn’t aged at all. His three is still lights out, as well as his mid range jumper. And people can say nothing about Paul Pierce, after all his exciting plays this season. This play in particular….

There is no need to even watch past 0:24. I’m just saying, the Celtics still got it and although they may be looked upon as the old timers in a new generation they have some tricks up their sleeves. The Celtics may play with a chip on their shoulder and that means terror for other teams in the league.

10. KD Not Kidding Anymore

After barely beating the Grizzlies last year and losing to the Mavericks in the conference finals, KD knew he could never go through anything like that again. He was done losing, after getting his heart broken by the Lakers in the 1st round in ’10 and losing to Dallas in ’11 he knew he had to change. This summer he has wasted no time improving his game. Here is proof…..

I cannot wait to see Kevin Durant develop more as a player and as a scorer and bring Oklahoma City their much deserved ring.

9. Grizzlies Back on Their Grizzly

When the Grizzlies defeated the number 1 seeded Spurs in the west I was shocked. Heck, the whole world was shocked. The Spurs had been having a picture perfect season. 60 wins and the 1st seed in the West. They thought they had a legitimate chance at a title. Then the young, scrappy, Grizzlies came along and silenced San-Antonio and the NBA world. Then when they forced a game 7 against KD and the Thunder we began to really take them seriously. Unfortunately, they couldn’t push past the Thunder. However, they exited the playoffs with nothing to be ashamed of. They gave two of the best teams in the West a run for their money. They may have failed in the playoffs but succeeded in imprinting their game in everyone’s mind. Now that Mike Conley, Z-Bo, and Rudy Gay are back, the Grizzlies will enter this season as legitimate competition. I can’t wait to see more of their electrifying game.

8. Rookie Class

This year’s rookie class is nothing special. There are no Lebron’s, no Kobe’s, nobody that is an obvious star. However, that’s what makes it interesting. Anyone of the  rookies can jump out and surprise us, almost like Blake Griffin did with his first  NBA dunk. The favourites for Rookie of The Year are Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams. However, Enes Kanter, Kemba Walker, Jimmer Fredette and Ricky Rubio may want a piece of the spotlight. Maybe this rookie class isn’t filled with future stars but they are filled with exciting players.

7. Knicks Gelling

The new look Knicks played 42 games together last season, Melo and Amar’e brought  a glimmer of hope to the one city that needed it most. Now they hope to develop upon that and expand that glimmer of hope into a championship.  Due to Amar’e’s back injury during the 1st round of the playoff’s last year the Knicks didn’t have a chance. I believe if Amar’e had been fully healthy they would’ve played Miami in the 2nd round. The big question heading into this season, is how will Amar’e, Melo and Billups work together. Last season there was definitely some miscommunication on the court, but when these guys learn how to work together. Miami better watch their back.

6. D-Rose 2 Time MVP?

After D-Rose’s breakout season last year and the Bulls surprising success, I’m intrigued by what they will bring to the table this year. Lockdown defense is for sure. But can Derrick Rose match the stellar performance he gave last year.  He clearly has tricks up his sleeve, and if you haven’t seen his highlights from last season then prepare to be astounded….  

 The question is what will he surprise us with this season? A 50 point game? More killer crossovers? Unbelievable hops? D-Rose is unpredictable, but what we do know is that he will be eager to show everyone that last season’s success was no fluke. And that the Bulls and himself are here to stay among the elite.

 5. Lakers Redeem Themselves  

The Los Angeles Lakers suffered an embarrassing defeat in the Conference semi-finals to Dirk and the Mavs. Phil Jackson will try to forget his last series as a coach. He will try to forget Andrew Bynum throwing an elbow of frustration to J.J Barea. He will definitely try to forget being swept by Dallas. Now with a new coach, and a hungry Kobe, the Lakers can start on a clean slate. Everyone knows Kobe is angry and wants back on that throne. NBA fans everywhere, brace yourself for a Kobe overdrive.

4. Miami Back With a Vengeance  

Miami suffered at the hands of greatness last season when losing to Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks in the finals. Everyone, including themselves called the season a failure. This summer Lebron, and D-Wade didn’t waste time sulking or lowering their heads. They’re focused on greatness and focused on championships so they’ve been hard at work preparing for this season….

 Now that Lebron, D-Wade, and Bosh have additional criticism and motivation from last season it will be interesting to see how they come back this season. I’m predicting full on domination.

  3. Blake Show is Back  

If you ask any fan what team was most exciting to watch last season I bet you more than half would say the Los Angeles Clippers. This young and talented squad showed true potential last year when the Blake Show came along. They even made the Lakers a little nervous about being the top team in Los Angeles. But, Blake Griffin and the rest of his crew are back with more experience and more flavour this year. I’m eager to see them in action and to see Blake throwing down monster jam’s this season.

 2. Dallas 2-Peat

 After winning a title last year, Dirk and the Mavericks must be careful about their throne. The Lakers will be back and ready to redeem themselves, Miami will have more firepower than ever, and every other team in the league wants a seat on top. Dallas are prime targets this season and the fact that Tyson Chandler hasn’t signed an extension should worry them more. They’re veteran roster must be ready for the new guys in town who will do anything to defeat them. I wonder if J-Kidd, Dirk and Jason Terry will have what it takes this year. It will be more than exciting to see them in the finals once again.

 1. CP3 and Superman

 The best center in the league and arguably the best point guard in the league are free agents next summer. CP3’s agent has released statements that he wants a bite out of the Big Apple and there is speculation the Dwight wants out. We know the Magic and Hornets will try to improve their rosters around their stars before it’s too late. We also know they will trade them to get the most out of them if their stars don’t agree to an extension. This will be the most exciting part of the season due to the impact that these players will make on any team. Imagine CP3, Melo and Amar’e in New York. They’d instantly be best in the East. Or if Dwight went to Los Angeles, the Lakers would instantly be best in the West. After the Melo-Drama and the free agent frenzy of 2010-2011 we have all grown to love stars teaming up. It will be exciting to follow the drama that surrounds these players all season.

Changes Needed: Miami Heat

After a season of stardom, criticism, and losing the NBA finals, the Miami Heat have some things to think about. Playing against the Mavericks in the NBA finals really took their flaws and put them under the spotlight. There was Lebron’s disability to finish out games and their depth not being able to produce.

I think this offseason the thing they have to focus on most is their roster changes. It was clear that if one or two of the big three wasn’t producing like a superstar, their bench couldn’t hold up their load and stay in the game. They’ve won about 55 of their 58 regular season wins solely on the production of D-Wade, Chris Bosh and Lebron James. The biggest problem they knew they were up against in the Finals is the monstrous depth of Dallas’ bench. Jason Terry, J.J Barea, Brendon Haywood all contributed greatly to the success of the Mavericks. From J.J making big shots of pick and rolls, to Jason Terry scoring 27 in game 6, to Brendon Haywood protecting the paint from people like Lebron. Often times when Lebron or D-Wade or Bosh sat down for a break, that’s when the game got a bit out of hand, and they started to lose their handle on the game. Then it was too late to get back into it. The Heat need to keep their eye out for productive role players. Ones who know their place on a team and are willing to do that to win. Players like Mario Chalmers. He was the only helpful player besides Haslem off the bench but they need more then that. They need someone they can count on to pour in 10-15 points off the bench. Someone like Shawne Williams from New York or Delonte West from Boston.

Then they need Lebron to start playing like the label he gave himself. A king. Not a scared little boy afraid to get physical in the paint. C’mon Lebron you owe the NBA better then you have given us this year. This summer it’s not his skills or his endurance or his jumpshot that needs refining but it’s his self confidence, his ability to make big plays when they count and his aggressiveness back. In the first 3 rounds of the playoffs he was attacking that basket like a man fighting for his life. He saw the basket, and drove straight to it. That was the Lebron we expected in the finals but unfortunately for some people and fortunately for those Lebron haters it wasn’t the one we got. He passed the ball away too many times in big moments to players like Mario Chalmers and Mike Miller. What does he expect those guys to do with the rock in their hands in the biggest moment of the game. I was so disappointed with how he played, and this summer he has to look in the mirror, start listening to the criticism, get angry, and translate that into his play. For the big moments there is no way to practice those until your actually in the big moment but Lebron’s problems are all in the mind. That’s harder to solve then the play itself. But he is the king, isn’t he?

It’s not all him though, Lebron isn’t perfect, he wasn’t exactly given a plan in the 4th quarter. He had had to improvise which is hard to do when the pressure is all on his back. Erik Spoelstra was out coached during the finals in his aspect of 4th quarter planning. They ran no plays for Lebron or D-Wade. I bet if Lebron or D-Wade were given a play to run in the 4th quarter and a plan to work on then their 4th quarter production would be much greater then it was.

To be honest the Miami Heat played a great series and with some slight depth changes and some determining of their 4th quarter star then the Miami Heat will be the ones with the parade after next season.

 

 

 

Who is the Greatest Player Ever?

As Lebron James continued to dominate the post-season, well respected hall of famer Scottie Pippen had some words about James.

“Michael Jordan is probably the greatest scorer to ever play in the game, but I may go as far to say LeBron James is probably the greatest player to ever play the game.” Scottie Pippen said those words on a radio show.

Do I agree? No. Scottie may be getting ahead of himself here, but putting Lebron James an 8 year veteran with no ring ahead of Michael Jordan seems a bit farfetched even for Pippen.

Kareem Abdul Jabaar said that Scottie doesn’t have the right to determine who is the greatest ever. He played in one era of basketball. He is forgetting the 11 championships of all time great Bill Russell, he is forgetting the dominance of #33 Larry Bird, he is forgetting the all time leading scorer in Kareem and the sheer talent of sir Wilt Chamberlain.

Isiah Thomas said that maybe when it’s all said and done Lebron could be as good as Michael but no better.

All this quarrel over the greatest ever begs the question. Who is the greatest basketball player ever?

It’s one of the hardest questions i’ve ever been asked. How can you compare Wilt Chamberlain who played in the 60’s to Michael who played in the 90’s to Lebron who is playing in the 21st century. The shot clock has been added, the hand check rule has been added, players agility and strength has changed. The definition of the greatest ever has even changed.

Is the greatest player ever defined by his all around statistics, by their championships, by their MVP’s, or by their leadership?

If I had to name the top player ever to play the game well it’d be hard. I’d have to compare so many different players. I won’t bore you with 3000 words but instead i’ll leave you with my brief thoughts and let my readers figure the rest out. I certainly won’t be comparing players because that is impossible, but I will make a case for every player I believe should be in the discussion for the greatest player ever. href=”https://nbathroughmyveins.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/wilt.jpg”>

Wilt Chamberlain is not the greatest player of all time if that’s what Kareem was getting at. He was selfish and most to all of his teammates called him one of the most selfish, self centered people they’ve ever met. Can the greatest player of all time be a player who wasn’t respected by peers and coaches? Coaches even said he was one of the most un-coachable players ever. During games he took 35-45 shots and cared more about his stats then actually winning a ring. He set a goal to lead the league in scoring and he did with 50.3 points a game. Then when he was being dubbed selfish by every NBA fan, he set a goal to lead the league in assists the next year. His legacy was all about individual achievements and that’s why he finished his career with only two championships. Despite his sheer dominance in all aspects of the game, he was a selfish and arrogant player. In my opinion, he isn’t the greatest player ever but i’ll leave the vote for all of you.

Kareem Abdul Jabar is not the greatest player of all time but is definitely in the conversation. He was a wonderful team player, he was a pure scorer and possessed the most unstoppable shot the world has ever seen. His signature sky hook was absolutely unguardable. He held the ball so high that nobody could even contest the shot. It was shot after shot after shot and Kareem went down as the all time leading scorer in history. When you look at Kareem’s game you see that he was a dominant scorer and an invaluable defensive presence. He protected that paint like it were his new born babies. He played tough and confident basketball and led his Lakers to 6 championships the same amount as Michael. He was an aggressive and persistent rebounder but his game was solely in the post. He had a very limited offensive game, of course the shot he took constantly was unstoppable so he made up for it but can the greatest player EVER really be a player who scored all of his points from a sky hook. I guess it could, it shows how dominant he was and how unstoppable he was as a player.
I guess he is in the conversation.

Bill Russell the classic citizen, teammate and competitor. He stayed on one team and led them with courage and independence. He never looked back, he was always focusing on the game ahead, the quarter he was in. The spotlight was not something that he demanded like other super talented players. He was fine making a humungous impact behind the scenes. His offensive game was certainly limited. He had no jump shot, his free throws weren’t consistent and his array of low post moves were nothing to brag about. It wasn’t his offense that made him great, it was his leadership, defense and rebounding. His career averages consist of 22.5 rebounds a game, 15 points and 4 assists. Blocks weren’t recorded back then but we all know what a presence Bill had inside. All his friendly, cheerful personality off the court vanished when he was defending the paint. It was his territory and his house and he let nobody into his house. Then there was his leadership. His teams were never extremely talented, they had no Larry Bird or Michael Jordan. But Bill Russell believed in the heart of a champion and it was that heart that brought him 11 championships. Think about how amazing that is. Think about how dedicated you have to be to lead your team to 11 championships. When you think about that, then definitely consider Bill Russell in the conversation for greatest player ever.

#33 Larry Bird. The small town boy out of Indiana. The guy who never gave up, the man who loved to win. People will always remember Larry Bird. They will remember him for his defense. They will remember his amazing passing abilities for a guy of his height. They will remember his sweet three point shot. They will remember his rivalry with the great Magic Johnson. Larry Bird had something about him. He had a way of walking into a building and lighting it up. Was it his wavy hair or his warm smile, or his unfathomable brilliance on the court. It seemed so easy for him, everything he did on the court was a breeze. Whether it was scoring, passing, stealing the ball, rebounding the ball. Whatever it was, Larry made it look easy. His career stats show it all. 24 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists his whole career. With Parish and Mchale by his side he led the Boston Celtics to 3 championships. Back spasms and injuries held him back late in his career but we will still remember the greatness.

Earvin ” Magic ” Johnson. The man with the plan. The passing skills of a magician, the height of a power forward the athleticism of a point guard, the scoring ability of a god and the personality of a superstar. Magic was one of a kind. When will we ever see a 6’9 point guard who can pass like a magician, score like an all-star and rebound like a power forward. He was like no other player. How can you guard him. He could post up smaller guards. If a forward guarded him then his team had a mismatch in their favour. This guy had class and stardom written all over him which is what led his teams to 5 NBA championships. This guy gets underrated when in the conversation of best players ever, I think maybe because he didn’t score like the other players did. But I believe he should be in the conversation.

Lebron James is the one who is still establishing himself into this group of elites. With his all around dominance and his build of 6’8, 270lbs he is unstoppable even in the most athletic NBA era ever. His numbers speak for themselves, his 26 point 7 rebounds and 7 assists are numbers we have never seen before. He is a selfless passer who always gets his teammates involved. He is a determined defender who prides himself on the boards and on shutting down opponents. Then there is his aggressive scoring ability. He is a scary guy, he is the best player in transition I have seen in a long time. But if he were the best player in history you think he would have won at least one championship in 7 years in Cleveland. The best player ever is a very prestigious name, I don’t think going ringless in your first seven years is a good start to the resumé.

Kobe Bryant. The Black Mamba has a certain pride and swagger about him. I guess living in Hollywood for 13 years has really rubbed off. As soon as he steps onto the court you can tell he wants to win. Out of all the players that have come and gone I think it’s safe to say Kobe is the most like Jordan. They both are the most unstoppable scorers of their era. Kobe’s turnaround jumper and his three in transition have become a routine that he makes every game. His combination of speed, strength and offensive I.Q makes him unbelievable to watch. That’s what has led his team to 5 championships. It still amazes me that in 13 years he has only won one MVP award. He and Derrick Rose have the same amount. That makes no sense at all. He deserves at least three more. I hope we see more of Kobe in the future and some more rings on his fingers.

Michael Jordan. The player all players want to be. That should be the answer to the question right there. He is the player that everyone is compared to. He was the most unstoppable scorer in history. He could actually score whenever he wants to. Whenever. If he wanted 70 one game he could get it. If he wanted 5 he could get it. There was no way of stopping him. Nothing could stop him. He could shoot a three. He could shoot a turnaround jumper. He could take you off the dribble. He could dunk over a whole defense if he wanted to. And oh boy did he want to. Then he realized being a sole scorer wouldn’t win him any rings so he focused more on defense and became the best perimeter defender ever to play the game. So now he was the best scorer ever and the best perimeter defender ever and he had 6 rings, what more do you want. This guy was unstoppable in every aspect of the game. His leadership, his passing abilities, his sheer scoring ability, and his rigorous defense has made him the most talked about athlete ever.

In conclusion I believe Jordan is the best. I realize I may have left out the Big O, Hakeem and Jerry West but I don’t think they can be considered the best to ever play. If you have thoughts, or comments please write. I’m looking for an answer and I need the reader’s thoughts.

Keys For The Finals

That trophy keeps them going. The thought of them crying with the prestigious trophy in their arms is enough to keep them going. The thought of having NBA champion before their name keeps them going. The thought of being at the top of the basketball world keeps them going. The thought of all their hard work paying off keeps them going. Keep going they must.

This is no time to give up. The Mavericks and Heat realize they are too close to make a mistake. Too close for comfort is the right term in this context.

With the pressure increasing within every second they must execute their game plan. I have a few keys for each team that will help them win this series.

For the Mavericks the main thing they have to do is play amazing team and interior defense. They don’t have the defenders to guard Lebron or D-Wade. Shawn Marion isn’t quick enough or strong enough to deal with Lebron. Deshawn Stevenson doesn’t have enough defensive I.Q to deal with the craft of Dwyane. Which is why it’s crucial that the Mavs look out for each other on defense. If Lebron gets by his man then the other perimeter defenders have to shift over and take him on. Besides Lebron and Wade the Heat don’t have many threats to score from midrange. They won’t have to worry too much about the other players knocking their shots down when they rotate.

Keeping Miami in the half-court game could win them this series. The Heat often get stagnant on offense and leave it to Lebron or Wade for an ISO on the wings. That’s where their offense struggles most. They score most of their points off fast breaks, and from the free throw line. If the Mavs can force the Heat into a stagnant offense then the series will be much easier.

Then there is the interior defense that needs to step up. Tyson Chandler will really be tested this series. He’s facing off against the persistent rebounder in Joel Anthony. Don’t underestimate him based on size or age. This guy definitely makes an impact. He grabs

rebounds when it matters and is always a pest down low.  Tyson Chandler will have to keep an eye on him while trying to stop D-Wade and Lebron’s penetration.

J.J Barea will be a very important piece of the puzzle for Dallas if they want to win. We all know Miami’s bench is one of the worst in the NBA, while Dallas has one of the best benches in the league. He has made players like Russell Westbrook and Brandon Roy look like inexperienced rookies with his dribble penetration and crafty layups.

He’s going to need to lay it all on the line this series when he plays against inexperienced bench players like Mario Chalmers. He’s going to have to know his mismatch at the point guard against Mike Bibby as well. He has to try and drive by him on almost every possession that will bring the interior defense out and give open shots to Jason Terry on the outside.

Then there is the three point shooting. Dallas made it clear that they are a three-point threat to be reckoned with. After knocking down 20 three pointers in the conference semi-finals against Los Angeles they made a statement to future teams that they should be scared of their three point talent. They have to keep that up this series. Miami has great perimeter defenders like Mike Miller, Lebron James and Dwyane Wade. It might be hard for them to penetrate so their three point shot is going to have to be working for them to produce.

You’re probably wondering why I haven’t mentioned Dirk in this. Well it’s because there is nothing different he has to do, he can’t step up anymore than he already has. He has been clutch, he has knocked down timely buckets, passed well out of the double team and led Dallas to the finals. We all know he is going to take Bosh apart. He has to do it with confidence, he has to realize this may be his last legitiment chance at a title and I think he knows what he has to do.

The Heat have keys that are a bit more simple.

Lebron and D-Wade must take over this series. Due to them being the best players on the court they have to take advantage of their match-ups.

It’s really no competition on the perimeter.

They can’t handle them, the Mavericks don’t have a Luol Deng or a Shane Battier kind of player. They need to run all over them, get them off the dribble, draw fouls. Anything to take over the perimeter.

Then they need Udonis Haslem to step up off the bench. When he produced for the Heat in game 2 against the Bulls the Heat killed in the 3rd quarter. He is such a versatile player and really stretches defenses because he has a mid range shot as well as a mean post game. If he can produce like he did in game 2 then the Heat’s bench production and confidence will go up immensely as well as their chance of winning.

Also, they need James Jones and Mike Miller’s three point production. The Heat’s three point percentage in the playoffs has been terrible their shooting around 30%. The Mavericks bench will kill the Heat’s bench if they can’t make their threes. Making their threes not only keeps the defenders on their toes more, but makes it easier for Lebron or Wade to pass out of the penetration, or when they blow by their man.

It’s these things that will separate the two teams in this series. Whoever can execute these keys the best then they’ll have the best chance of glory and pride.

Help!

13 seconds were left on the clock. The crowd was silent, anxiously awaiting the shot that was supposed to take the Bulls a step closer to the championship. They waited 8 more seconds, until the ball was put in the hands of their saviour. Derrick Rose. He dribbled to the left wing. He bent his knees, and released. The Chicago fans opened their eyes to see the ball being blocked by Lebron James, the enemy in their minds. The buzzer rang, and that was it. The end for Chicago.

A shame, losing this series was a real disappointment to Chicago. They thought this was their year. Coach Thibodeau won Coach of the Year. Derrick Rose won MVP. They were the #1 seed in the NBA. Even Michael Jordan said they were going to win the championship.

Every team has to go up the mountain before their at the top.That’s the step the Bulls are currently taking.

It was clear to me in the last 5 minutes of game 5 that Derrick Rose needed help. Defense can win you as many games as you like but when your team is in crunch time, with the ball in your hands, it’s offense you need.

Derrick Rose did everything he could possibly do in the last 5 minutes. He drove in and tried to get the call. He passed to the open man on the pick and roll. He passed it to Kyle Korver for one of his invaluable threes. Nothing would break the Heat’s defense. D-Rose is amazing, he is a wonderful young talent, but no player can go one on 5 in crunch time and win a game. He tried but unfortunately failed.

He needs help. On offense, D-Rose needs help. Luol Deng will produce a solid 18-20 points per game, Joakim Noah gets a solid 10 but where is the offensive force that could help D-Rose when he really needs it. Which brings me to my point.

Last offseason, the free agency market was filled with all-stars. Joe Johnson, Amar’e Stoudemire, the Big 3, Ray Allen, Manu Ginobli and many strong role players

The Bulls were in need of a low post offensive presence to battle with the elite teams. Or so they said. I believed they didn’t need to invest their money in a low post threat when they have Taj Gibson developing into a low post force. When there are 6+ all stars on the market, and your team has apparently the best presentation of most teams with cap space. You don’t waste your money on Carlos Boozer. You just don’t. He may be a good post player, and may have been a 16 and 10 guy in Utah but you evidently need scoring at the shooting guard position. Why didn’t they fish for those types of players.

They may have went a bit wrong with their choice last offseason. That’s ok, it’s part of being a young organization. Carlos Boozer missed half of the season this year and only produced about 14 points and 8 rebounds when he was playing. He didn’t help Rose offensively, or beat players down low like he was supposed to. If you compared Taj Gibson and Carlos Boozer this season you’ll see that they’re numbers are very similar. Maybe Taj will be the next Boozer, who knows.

For now, I think the Beatles said it best. ” Help, I need somebody, help!”

Rose or Lebron?

Who would you rather take? If you were starting an NBA team who would you rather take Lebron or Rose. They’ve both been MVP’s. Let’s compare.

I think there is an upside to Rose and Lebron. We’ll start with Rose.

He’s definitely a leader, he’s taken the Bulls all the way to the conference finals this year with a team most people expected to be first round exits. He took them to the #1 seed in the NBA and in the process he managed to just win the MVP.With Rose you get a lot of things. He’s the fastest player in the league. He blows by a whole team on a fast break and when he gets to the rim he’s one of the best. He could throw it down with sheer force or lay it in with agile grace. His leadership abilities are unfathomable for a player of his age and with his experience. He’s only in his third season, I think people forget that. He’s 22 years old and is being compared to all time greats. His leadership abilities are what make him one of a kind. In every interview he’s had all year he’s never mentioned himself in the Bulls success but his teammates and coaching staff. He often apologizes for mistakes publicly and privately after games. Whether it be too many turnovers or too many shots, he calls himself out whenever he makes mistakes. He holds his teammates accountable and himself accountable for all mistakes made. He’s only 22 but it looks like he’s been leading an NBA team for 10 years. His passing is an underrated aspect of his game. People usually mention D-Rose in the context of amazing athlete, MVP, scorer. Passer doesn’t usually come up. Maybe it’s because he only averages 8 assists per game. It’s not the assists that define his passing skills but his eye for the game. He sees holes in the defense, he can anticipate movement, he can spot the open man. He isn’t flashy like Steve Nash or CP3 but simple and basic and that gets the job done. Coaches like Tom Thibodeau stress keeping it simple. Even if he’s not getting the assist he is getting it to a teammate who can get the assist. He often passes to players who need to get warmed up. Then there is his scoring. When he came into the league people doubted his shot. They said he couldn’t shoot the three or shoot the mid range jumper consistently. This season he kicked dirt in the haters mouths and proved them wrong. He’s been knocking down open shots like it’s natural.

Then there are his flaws. Every player has flaws, they’re human, D-Rose has very little. One is his turnovers. On many occasions D-Rose gave the ball up around 5-6 times. Much more than is usual for a point guard in the NBA. It’s not sloppy dribbling or careless passes that can be the blame. It’s his speed and his movement. He’s always moving, very rarely do we see Rose standing around except for if he’s on the bench. He’s so fast that sometimes the ball can’t keep up with him which is when the ball goes out of control and it results in 2 points for the other team. Another flaw is his jump-shooting. It’s a strength when he’s on, but when he’s off it’s not pretty to watch. He’ll brick shot after shot and teams often take advantage of it. Helping them play off D-Rose more. One of his flaws that some people haven’t picked up on is his inability to be effective against very tough defenses. If he can’t be effective enough he kind of shuts down almost. He doesn’t produce in many other ways and he starts turning the ball over. That may be a sign of his youth but against the Heat he surely hasn’t put up MVP type numbers. He hasn’t helped them doing the small things even though he’s been ineffective. This isn’t the time to choke, Derrick. He needs to play like he has all season in the next few games.

Lebron: He’s the two time MVP at the age of 26. He was second in MVP voting this year, some of it I think was the hate from the media from his decision this summer. If the MVP was measured in stats then Lebron would win by a mile. His strengths are too many to list. He’s almost the perfect type player. He’s a team player while being a dominant scorer whenever he wants to be. He’s a tough defender, a persistent rebounder and artist on the break. He could play 4 positions and could be the best at each position in the league if he wanted to be. The strengths start at his passing. He will be in the top 5 in most assists once it’s all said and done. He averaged 7 assists in almost every season in the league, he finds every teammate on the team. In so many different ways. Maybe it’s an entry pass to the post. An alley hoop pass to D-Wade on the break. A dish out from penetration to Mike MIller on the perimeter. He’s a silky passer while being aggressive in getting his teammates involved in what he does. If he took less shots he could have a great chance of averaging a triple-double. Then his defense. A lot of superstars put more effort on the offensive end then the defensive end. He puts more in on defense. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen him chase down players for a monster block. Or cut off someones lane to the basket,  or steals a pass that nobody saw coming. He sees the whole game in slow motion and he uses that skill to his advantage to excell on defense. Then there is his biggest strength. He is such a talented scorer it seems like his was born to be one. He has the strongest penetration in the league and he gets to the line almost every time or he will just forget about the 7 footers in front of the hoop and dunk on them. Or he’ll take you off the dribble. Go through both legs, behind the back, gather dribble back, fake a shot, get you in the air and drain the mid range jumper. Or he’ll recieve it in the post. Look back, fake left, and drain a fade away to the right. Or his specialty. He’ll steal it on defense and jolt up court for an agile finish or a monster dunk. There really is no way to guard him, if you pressure him too much then he’ll drive by you. If you give him too much room then he’ll drain the jumper.

Then the flaws. His three point jump shot is below average. This is a big hole in his game. He’ll maybe make 4 out of 10 three pointers. Teams are afraid to give it to him because his offense is good enough to surprise everybody but his three point jumper is inconsistent and teams should give it to him. Another flaw is his rare choke at the end of games. I don’t believe all this stuff about him giving up in tough games. It’s not true, it’s just some dumb critique to stir up some argument. He does get nervous in clutch situations some times. Like the 5 game losing streak the Heat faced in the middle of the season. Lebron had clutch moments against New York and Chicago but was unable to take the game.

So who would I rather take. Lebron. No question. He has the passing skills of Steve Nash, the shooting touch of Ray Allen the drives of Derrick Rose with the rebounding ability of Charles Barkley. His IQ is unbelievable for a 26 year old. D-Rose is up and coming but he was called the King for a reason.

Changes Needed: Celtics

Boston embraced instant success when they brought the big three to Boston. They embraced instant failure against the Heat’s big three in the playoffs. There window is clearly closing, their big three are getting older, their edge is fading away and their toughness is disappearing. If they want to be contenders again then there are some changes that they may want to think about.

Age. It can kill a team but also carry a team. In the Celtics case it’s hurting them. The NBA is taking a turn in the young, athletic direction right now. The Thunder, the Heat, the Knicks, the Bulls. They’re all up and coming and will be contending for a championship almost every year from here on out. The Celtics are getting older, slower, and aren’t able to keep up with the younger teams like they did in 2008. Their Big 3 are all in their early to mid thirties. They need youth, maybe not for right now but for the future. Once the big three is gone the Celtics will have to be led by Big Baby Davis, Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green. Those are really the only young players who have the talent to carry the Celtics once their legacy dies away. They need a backup point guard. Don’t call Carlos Arroyo a backup point guard because he’s not even that. He’s one of the players that would play if Doc Rivers cleared his bench. He was shipped out of Miami because he couldn’t play alongside the big three. He has a few good plays here and there but they need a really productive point guard. The Celtics almost lost the first two games of the first round series to the Knicks because their bench ran all over the Celtics bench.

Jeff Green looked like an up and coming all star in Oklahoma. He was scoring around 18 points grabbing around 6 rebounds. He was a great 6th man and was right at home in Oklahoma. Then on the trade deadline he was sent to Boston in exchange for Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson. That’s when his confidence and his energy dropped. Maybe it was the change of scenery. The Thunder are known as quite a soft team and he was traded to what was the edgiest team in the league. He’s missing easy jump shots, shaking on rebounds and sulking on the bench. Maybe Kevin Garnett should shout at him to get him in the game because he needs a jolt of energy. He’s going to be one of the leaders when the big three retire and he should start preparing.