D-Rose Out For Postseason

Funny how an injury to one guy can shake up the whole postseason. Derrick Rose tore his ACL with 1:10 left in game one against the 76’ers. He went up for a layup, and when he came down the whole building went silent with fear. Derrick Rose is out. What does that mean for the Bulls? Well, they can still beat the 76’ers considering they only have to win 3 games. They have homecourt advantage. And most of all they are used to playing sans Rose. They are 18-9 without Rose this season, meaning they have the players to step up and a strong enough defense to make up for his loss. Against the 76’ers the Bulls are safe. But when they reach the second round they will be beaten by the Celtics, considering they win their matchup against Atlanta. Without Rose against an intense, experienced team like the Celtics they don’t have a closer. A closer becomes less necessary when facing the 76’ers but against Boston they are going to need one.

This kind of paved the way for the rest of the playoffs in my mind. Heat beat the Knicks. Bulls beat Philly. Boston beats Atlanta. Indiana beats Orlando. Boston beats Chicago. Miami beats Indiana. Miami beats Boston. Miami loses to either OKC or the Spurs.

It’s terribly unfortunate for Chicago’s dreams to slip away so suddenly. They had the chance to win the NBA title this year but that was torn along with Rose’s ACL. I can’t believe he’s done, after such an extraordinary season for the Bulls, once again clinching the #1 seed in the East. This team is better then last year’s team as well, as a result of the addition of Rip Hamilton and the development of CJ Watson. They really had a chance, but like I said that’s all gone now.

Oh and on another note, I no longer give my coach of the year honors to Tom Thibodeau. Why the hell was Rose in the game when the Bulls were up 12 with a 1:10 remaining? Why wasn’t he resting his star for game 2? Why not play John Lucas III who hadn’t played a single minute in that game? Sending a no mercy message is a good way to begin a series, but at what cost? Certainly, the price of the title dreams is too steep. Just a silly mistake for a coach who had had a near perfect season up until now. Cheers to Gregg Popovich.

MVS: Most Valuable Star

Three NBA superstars are injured or aren’t really sure if they’re injured or not. One star is Dwight Howard, who is suffering from a herniated disc. Kobe Bryant suffering from a bruised left shin. And Derrick Rose who seems to miss every other game with an ankle sprain. Without these stars these teams have varied in success. The Chicago Bulls; arguably the deepest team in the NBA are 16-7 without Derrick Rose. The Lakers are 4-1 without Kobe Bryant and the Orlando Magic are 1-4 without Dwight. Although these records show the depth and balance (or lack there of… Magic) of these marquee teams, they mean nothing come playoff time regarding the most valuable superstar. Each star has a case, so let’s weigh through them.

Bulls without Derrick Rose:

The Bulls are arguably the deepest team in the league, and surprisingly nobody saw this coming. We knew what Gibson, Asik and Korver could do. But did we ever think CJ Watson, Mike James, or John Lucas III would provide the Bulls with a reliable bench. Nope. That’s the nice thing about the Bulls bench, they are mysterious, and we never really know which player will show up and step up.  Even in their starting line-up they have players who can step up at any time. Players like Rip Hamilton, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, and Luol Deng. The problem with this team without Rose is the lack of a closer. Boozer can’t create his own shot, Noah can’t…. play offense. Rip may be limited in his attacks to the basket, so the team looks upon the British shoulders of the unsung all star Luol Deng.  He’s not a consistent closer, but he’ll do in the regular season. When the playoffs come around, Chicago can forget it. In a playoff series without Rose this team could grab 1 or 2 wins based solely on defense and hustle points, but that’s as far as their journey would take them.

Lakers without Kobe Bryant:

This team is quite interesting without Kobe. They’re 4-1 and it almost seems like Kobe is just as effective as a coach then he is on the floor. Even off the court, his wisdom and IQ of the game have an impact on his teammates. Another aspect of this team is that they have a budding superstar in Bynum and an all-star in Pau Gasol. Without Kobe on the floor, the offense flows solely through their twin towers. There is more space for Bynum to isolate and attack other bigs. Remember the league right now isn’t known for it’s big centers. Besides Howard, Hibbert and Chandler the NBA lacks tall centers who could stop Bynum. They differ from the Bulls and Magic because the supporting cast has two stars and have players with more experience to the playoffs and to the finals. Without Bryant their depth does plummet though, Matt Barnes has to start and then the bench isn’t as consistent. Kobe Bryant’s input is incomparable, and the Lakers have the challenge of making up 28 points every game, but without Kobe the Lakers are an interesting team and can be an upset type of team. That can jump out of nobody and become a threat in the West.

Magic without Howard:

Effortless. Lackluster. I invite anybody reading this to come up with some more negative comments about this team without Howard. Honestly, comment with APPROPRIATE criticisms and you’ll probably be right. The only reason this team is successful season in and season out is a mixture of two things. One, the influence Dwight Howard has on the defensive end and on the boards. And two, the three point shooting percentage of the inconsistent shooters surrounding Howard. Other then those factors this team is no better then Milwaukee, or Sacramento. They don’t hustle, there just doesn’t seem to be any energy, any excitement to be playing basketball on this team. And now that Dwight isn’t in the middle, and Hedo is out for the rest of the season, the Magic are frankly terrible. Nobody in that line-up likes to play defense, and the only reason they are such a good defensive team with Howard is because when the offense beats the perimeter defenders they choke when they see Howard awaiting his umpteenth block. So yeah, I think without Howard the Magic are nothing magical. (Get what I did there?)

So to round of this discussion, we can conclude with the Magic are atrocious without Howard, the Lakers can still be a semi-threat and the Bulls can still win a game here and there off of their suffocating defense. If your ideas differ, then comment with who you think is the Most Valuable Star. And hey, when you’re at it, subscribe. Just hit that button, you know. Never hurt anyone, I won’t let ya down. Until next time…

Top 7 Players in the NBA

After Rick Bucher gave one of the most atrocious top 7 NBA rankings I’ve ever seen, I figured it be appropriate for me to give my rankings. Around 10 games into the season my top 7 players are as follows.

1. Kobe Bryant:

Maybe not overall is he the best, but right now, Kobe Bryant is the best player in the NBA. He has two back to back 40 point nights. He is playing with a hurt wrist, he is in his mid thirties and he is carrying a team that everyone was doubting earlier in the season to a 7-3 record. 4 games remember were without Bynum on the court.

2.

Kevin Durant will go at number 2 not number (8) like Rick would’ve wanted. I had Lebron at this spot a few games ago but his recent troubles in the 4th quarter have left a sour taste in my mouth. Kevin Durant is dropping 26 points a game as always and is bulldozing through the Western Conference with a record of 10-2 See the difference between him and Westbrook is that if Westbrook left the Thunder, they would still be contenders. If KD left the Thunder, well….

3.

Lebron James: He seemed like the early MVP candidate a few games ago, unfortunately he slid down my rankings with his 3-6 performance from the free throw line last night. Including a missed free throw that could’ve won the game. However, he is dominating every game he plays. Not only with 29 points a game but with about 8 assists per game as well. He probably has the most overall game in the NBA, he can do everything on the floor.

4.

Dwight Howard: He and Dwyane Wade are really irreversable at this spot but I think the way Dwight has been able to carry his team to a very surprising and fast start in the midst of all the trade drama is truly exceptional. He is dominating the big men in the league with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Look at Dwight’s supporting cast and then look at what he has been able to turn their team into this season.

5.

Dwyane Wade: Dwyane Wade is playing great this season and I had him as a surprise Defensive Player of the Year. His numbers are a bit lower than last year but that’s thanks to Lebron’s dominance this season. Dwyane Wade has most impressed me in the way he was able to close out games in the beginning of the season. Look @Charlotte and @Minnesota

6.

Derrick Rose: The Former MVP had to be here somewhere. I don’t think he could be any higher on this list. He is still carrying his semi-weak offensive crew through the season and he is still making unbelievable athletic plays. However, he isn’t putting up numbers like any of the guys on this list, and thanks to his team’s lockdown defense he isn’t having to make clutch plays. I don’t think he has a chance of MVP this year, to be honest the only reason he won last year was because Boozer and Noah missed a ton of games and he had to carry the team alone. He wasn’t any more explosive then Lebron but it’s what his play was doing for his team, if they had been there last season he wouldn’t have won MVP.

7.

Carmelo Anthony: I am very impressed with Melo this season. He is doing his job on the offensive end, scoring around 27 points a night and grabbing 7 rebounds a game. He is extremely clutch, and has been this whole season. Look @Washington or opening day vs Boston. But what’s really stood out is his extra effort on his defensive game. The area of his game that has been criticized the most. He is clearly getting into players on defense and he’s averaging around 1.5 steals per game.

Players that didn’t make the cut were Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook. I didn’t include Dirk because he hasn’t been having the best season this year, and neither has his team. Chris Paul is just starting to make a serious impact on the Clippers and I think it’s too soon to judge him as a top 7 player. And Russell Westbrook just isn’t a top 7 player because he has too many flaws in his game. For example, his turnovers, jump shot, and decision making. He is too young and I cannot believe Rick Bucher had him ahead of Durant.

Christmas Day Predictions

As the clock hits 12 tomorrow the NBA season officially begins. Let’s take a look at the Christmas day match-ups. The winners and the losers.

Knicks vs. Celtics:

A repeat of the first round of the playoffs from last year. The Celtics swept the Knicks, however this year the Knicks are back with a vengeance. They drastically improved their roster this off season with additions like Tyson Chandler and Baron Davis among many others. This match-up should be very interesting. Or it should’ve been interesting, however recent changes in the Celtic roster have made this game a no brainer. Losing Jeff Green was a huge blow to their depth, and the injury of Paul Pierce just gives Melo more room to score. That means Marquis Daniels will start and that leaves the bench with…. Brandon Bass? That won’t be enough to hold off the Knicks, especially when the Celtics core are all in the mid 30’s and need breaks often. Tyson Chandler will also have whatever he wants in this game. He will most likely be guarded by Jermaine O’neal, a slower and shorter center. Tyson will have his way in the paint, and since Jermain O’neal isn’t an offensive weapon he will be able to play lots of help. Furthermore, Amar’e Stoudemire will play along the elbow and the perimeter causing Kevin Garnett to come out as well. Leaving Jermaine O’neal all alone. The guard play will be vital for the Celtics in order for them to win. Rajon Rondo has a large advantage over Toney Douglas, however Iman Shumpert has shown defensive capabilities as well as quickness and a 6’5 frame. He will need to step up this game, as well as Ray Allen. He will need to do more then just shoot, due to the absence of Paul Pierce. If I had to predict right now, I’d give it to the Knicks.

Heat vs. Mavericks:

A finals rematch, probably the most anticipated game of the Christmas match-ups. After winning the finals, the Mavericks made substantial changes to their roster. Letting Tyson Chandler, Deshawn Stevenson and J.J Barea go made the team softer. However, they added veterans Lamar Odom and Vince Carter. This game will be a test to see if the Mavericks still have the toughness and defense they had last year. Nobody will be able to guard Dirk in this game, because frankly, it’s impossible. He will get his share of points, no doubt. Lamar Odom will also be a threat on the floor, he and Bosh will be a great match-up considering they’re almost the same type of player. Then you have D-Wade and Lebron. It’s very rare that players can guard them. And this game will be no different. There is no way, an older Vince Carter can guard Lebron James. He’s slow, and he’s not interested in playing defense. At the shooting guard position there really is nobody to guard D-Wade except for Jason Terry. Although, the Dallas bench can still out battle the Miami bench, I will give this game to Miami. The loss of Tyson Chandler is bigger then they think, they lost toughness and a defensive anchor. Who’s really going to stop D-Wade and Lebron in the paint? Nobody.

Lakers vs. Bulls:

This game features the Bulls and the second best team in Los Angeles. The Lakers are out to prove that they can still win games, doubt has surrounded this team for weeks. Kobe’s injured, Bynum’s out, Lamars gone, the triangle offense is gone. Everything seems to have gone wrong, well unfortunately tomorrow won’t be the light at the end of the tunnel. I predict a Laker loss. Let me explain. The former MVP is going to destroy this whole team. It’s as simple as that. Derrick Fisher can’t guard him, neither can Kobe. He will get by the first man and Bynum will block him. Oh, wait Bynum is out. Pau isn’t a shot blocker and isn’t as intimidating as a Bynum. I forsee a Derrick Rose takeover tomorrow. Another strength of the Bulls is their bench. Taj Gibson…. 

Ya, remember him? Omer Asik and Kyle Korver are other names among the young bench who averaged around 27 points a game last season. Another weakness of the Lakers is their bench. They lost the 6th man of the year in Lamar Odom, and they lost Shannon Brown. Now that Bynum is out for 5 games, they have to move Josh McRoberts into the starting lineup, which leaves the Laker bench with…. Matt Barnes? Steve Blake? That won’t get the job done. Among all this doubt, there is a strength that the Lakers have. An angry Kobe Bryant. Kobe is the type of player to go off when he is mad, and oh boy does he have things to be mad about. His wife left him, he tore ligaments in his wrist, the front office traded Lamar Odom, and Mike Brown was appointed without any discussion. Even though he might go crazy tomorrow, that won’t be enough to get past Derrick Rose, the Bulls defense and their bench. I’ll give this one to the Bulls.

Thunder vs Magic:

The Magic fans will be happy to see Dwight Howard on the floor in an official game as a member of the Orlando Magic. They won’t be happy to watch their team get beat by the Thunder. The Thunder pride themselves in their defense and their energy. Their young talent and their scoring champion in Kevin Durant. I bet Kevin Durant is smiling somewhere right now as he thinks about the poor perimeter defense he will match up against tomorrow night. Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, Quentin Richardson. What a joke. Kevin Durant will rip them up from all over the floor. As well as his partner in crime Russell Westbrook. Who has no problem being guarded by Jameer Nelson. I bet James Harden is even looking forward to the loose defense of the Magic. However, getting to the basket will be harder then ever. Whenever you’re up against Dwight Howard you know points in the paint won’t come easy. He should have his way in the middle, nobody on the Thunder can really out muscle him. They do have a good chance of constraining him though, considering the depth at the power forward/center position. Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins, Nick Collinson and Cole Aldrich are all very defensive minded players and will try keep Dwight Howard under control, but we all know that’s close to impossible. The depth is also a huge problem with the Magic. Besides Big Baby Davis and Quentin Richardson the bench is pretty empty. Everyone else is inconsistent and won’t be a match for the young and energetic  bench who scored around 30 points a game last season. This game will go to the Thunder. I will also predict that this win against the Magic will be the beginning of their finals run. A win in the finals? Possibly but this could be the beginning of something special.

Clippers vs. Warriors:

The world is buzzing about the Los Angeles Clippers. The most exciting team in sports right now. The “Lob Angeles Clippers,” they’ve been dubbed. The talents of Blake Griffin and CP3 combined seems like something out of a video game. I would say they scored the biggest this off season with the additions of Chauncey Billups, Caron Butler and Chris Paul. They’ve proved they’re no fluke, while beating the Lakers in both preseason games. I could see this game being more of a challenge for the Clippers. The Warriors actually have players who can stay with CP3. Stephen Curry has shown defensive aptitude in his career and although Monta Ellis isn’t a defensive minded guy he can still keep with CP3.  The Warriors bench is also very young and talented. Ekpe Udoh, Klay Thompson, and Brandon Rush are among the bench. They will provide a boost of energy for the Warriors if they need it. Unlike the Lakers, the Warriors are a very young team and I wouldn’t be surprised if they really give the Clippers a run for their money. This match-up is especially interesting because  neither team really plays too much defense. This should be a score-a-thon. Both teams somwhere in the 100’s. The X-factor in this game for me is DeAndre Jordan. Blake Griffin will pound David Lee down low, he isn’t quick or strong enough to guard him. DeAndre Jordan is the key to a Clippers loss or win. It is yet to be seen if he can be a defensive anchor in the middle, if he can man the paint and provide an intimidation factor, then Monta Ellis and Steph Curry will have a harder time scoring. If he ignores the defensive end, then this game will come down to who can outscore the other. We’ll see. I’m going to be spontaneous and give this one to the Warriors. I have to have at least one surprise. I think the Clipper mania will come to a halt when the Warriors come out of nowhere and beat the Clippers.

What do you think? Comment who you have to win each game. Only 13  hours until tip-off. Here we go!

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.

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!”

Nowitzki or Durant?

It’s an interesting comparison, they’re both playing some of the best  basketball of their careers. Dirk at 32, Durant at 22. Both have strengths and flaws. Who would I take to have on my team? Let’s see.

Strengths are still developing for this young superstar. He has aspects of his game that are unbelievable. Such as his shooting. His unorthodox release is as effective as any shot in the NBA. His quick flick of the wrist, the perfect rotation through the air and the beautiful swish through the net. From any where on the court. Off the dribble and from a pass. His three point shot has evolved every year in the NBA. This year it was as good as it has been his whole career. He drains shots from there like it’s a daily routine. He can come off curls and pop the shot. Come of V-cuts and pop it. He can take one dribble and pop it right over the defenders head. He can pretty much pop the J whenever he wants to. Then there is his shot off the dribble. He takes one powerful gather dribble and a mix between a floater and a smooth jumper. It goes in every time though so who really cares. Then his maturity and leadership. He’s a modest age of 22 and is more modest than any superstar i’ve ever watched. He’s always crediting teammates for their success and always calling himself out whenever he deserves it. He’s living the dream in the NBA and nothing can stop him from enjoying it. Every time he steps on that floor it looks like he’s a boy in a candy shop. His passing skills are underrated as well. He is one of the best passers on the fast break in the league. Whether it’s a baseball pass down the length of the court or if it’s a sneaky dish inside for a teammate to dunk it in.

His flaws are noticeable. At a young age like his it’s normal for an NBA player to have weak aspects of his game. One is being soft. He is not aggressive enough for his team to win a championship. That’s my bold statement. It may be how he was raised or how modest he is but he has to get mad and charge at the basket. Something good happens every time he goes to the hoop. He goes to the line or finishes with a dunk. He’s a 7 foot small forward with hops like a pogo stick. He has to be aggressive. Then he has to be able to pass off to teammates when he’s penetrating the inside. Kevin Durant being the superstar that he is, attracts a lot of attention from the defense. When he drives from the left or right side the big men will come out to get him which leaves players wide open in the corners for three pointers. He has to learn to look for them even while he’s driving in. Look up KD! It’s frustrating to watch these wide open players not get the ball because their superstar can’t find them. Another flaw is his inability to be effective in other ways when he’s struggling. Just like Derrick Rose he has trouble flushing his mistakes because their so modest. They take some time to swirl around in his mind before being flushed. In that period of time, Kevin has to do other things besides scoring to help his team win. Don’t be idle on the court. He should be setting screens or making distracting cuts, not running into a wall again and again.

Then there is the 7 foot German they call Dirk Nowitzki. Ya, I know you’ve heard of him.

Strengths are very strong with Dirk. If you haven’t noticed his jumpshot is the most unstoppable shot since Kareem Abdul Jabar’s sky hook. It’s actually unstoppable though. Sure he may miss it once every 10 attempts but that’s not stopping it that’s missing it. He holds the ball so far above his 7 foot head that’s it’s physically unreachable for any human defender to get a hand in front of. Then there is his extreme talent of balance that he maintains while leaning back. He doesn’t wobble but keeps complete stillness while leaning back. Then there is his flexibility to take off of one foot to lift him upwards. It’s my favorite shot in the whole game, it never gets old. After watching him take that shot for 10 years now I still am dumbfounded at how he manages to do it. Another strength is his leadership. If you watch Maverick games he is always shouting things out. Usually directing the defense, calling out screens or cutters. He is the voice of the Mavs defense and he is always there to remind the Mavericks of their goal and what they have to do to reach it. Then their is his amazing IQ for the game. He is so smart at reading the defense when he is in the post. He can tell where the perimeter players are. He can tell how the post player is going to defend him. He can anticipate where his teammates are going to cut to. He is also a master at getting fouled on the shot. When defenders guard Nowitzki, they’re always on their heels. How can they tell what’s going to happen, is he going to drive in, will he take the unstoppable jump shot? If he fakes the shot, the defenders jump right up because they’re scared he’s going to take it. Then he adjusts takes the contact and flips up a shot to get fouled. After Jamal Crawford he is the best at 4 point plays.

Then there are his flaws. He doesn’t use his size enough for a 7 footer. I understand completely that his game is primarily on the three point line and from mid range but he is a 7 footer. He should try post up more and bully his way inside. He hasn’t done this his whole career. He may want to start now if he wants a championship. He’d be unstoppable if he used his size and strength to get closer to the basket. It would also spread the defense out more because they wouldn’t know if he was going to step back for a jump-shot or post up for an easy layup. His other flaw is that he’s ringless. He’s played 11 years and he still has no ring. He’s one time MVP and 1st ballot future hall of famer but he’s ringless. He needs the elite status of a ring to really ink his name in peoples minds as one of the best power forwards ever. I hope he can succeed in the finals if he gets there.

I would take Nowitzki. His size, leadership, jump shot, and IQ for the game make him invaluable to have on a team.