Breaking Down the Trade Deadline Bonanza

To say the trade deadline was eventful is an understatement. We had trades from all over the country, ones we expected and ones that came out of nowhere. I’m here to give my take on each and every significant move.

1. Dwight Stickin in Orlando

After months of anticipation and rumours Dwight Howard officially opted in with the Magic for the 2012-2013 season. This was a bad move for Dwight and a good move for the Magic. The Magic are playing great basketball as of now. They are going to make the playoffs and most likely the 2nd round. However, that’s where this season will end for them. Dwight wanted to wait out this season, and see what the organization could do to surround him with supporting guys this offseason. However, the Magic really don’t have much financial flexibility for this off-season. And not too many assets to send over in trades. All this extension gave the Magic was more time to figure out a way to improve the roster. On the other hand I don’t think Dwight really thought this over. This team won’t be changing too drastically from now until the next trade deadline next season. We’re in for dejavu.

2. Nene to Washington

This trade came out of nowhere. Nobody even saw Nene as a trade piece for the Nuggets this season. However, he’ll now be paired up with the electrifying speed and talent of John Wall. The Wizards received Brian Cook from the Clippers and a future second round pick, and Nene from the Nuggets. The Clippers received Nick Young. And the Nuggets received Javale McGee and Ronny Turiaf. In this trade I see three winners. The Clippers were desperately looking for a shooting guard after Chauncey Billups got injured earlier this season. Now they have Nick Young a young scorer who can make plays alongside guys like Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. He gives them an outside scoring presence. This season he is currently averaging around 17 points a game. The Wizards upgraded in this trade as well. One of the main problems for them as a team was the lack of maturity and the lack of veteran leaders. So by trading Javale McGee for a more experienced center in Nene was an upgrade. The only downside, is that Nene has a history of injuries and you can’t be certain if he will be healthy for long periods at a time. But when he is healthy he is one of the best centers in the West. The Nuggets may have upgraded the least in this trade. Nene like I said has a history of injuries, Javale McGee has no history of injuries. He is younger and can play more of the fast-break style that the Nuggets like to run. In terms of stats, the two are almost identical. Javale McGee is averaging 12 points and 9 rebounds. While Nene is averaging 13 points and 7 rebounds. What Denver did lose in this trade is an inside scoring presence. Javale McGee is more of a defensive stopper and crash the boards type of guy. He’s not someone you can throw it down to in the post and watch him put up two points. That’s an aspect of their game that is now gone. Which means the Nuggets are very much a perimeter team right now on the offensive end.

3. And end to an era

The Lakers made two significant trades yesterday. One that made us smile about the future. The other made us reminisce on the past. The first trade was sending Luke Walton, Jason Kapono, and a 1st round draft pick (lottery protected) to the Cavaliers for Christian Eyenga and Ramon Sessions. The Lakers kill two birds with one stone in this trade. Not only do they upgrade immensely at the point guard position but they shed the 6 million that they were paying Luke Walton. The Lakers biggest weakness was at the point guard position. Both Derrick Fisher and Steve Blake are seasoned veterans who can’t fast break, or keep up with the faster guards in the league. Now with 25 year old Ramon Sessions running the Lake Show, the Lakers have fresher legs, a deeper bench and a more consistent backcourt. The other trade they made was trading Derrick Fisher the 5 time NBA champion with the Lakers and a first round pick for Jordan Hill in Houston. It had to be done. After adding Ramon Sessions it seemed inevitable that one of the other point guards had to go. Derrick Fisher, who is 37 was the more sensible choice. He is way past his prime, he is retiring in a couple of seasons and Steve Blake is a more versatile guard who can play the 2 if he needs to. Although this trade makes us sad to see the end of the Derrick Fisher era in Los Angeles it’s a good move for the future and a good move for the Lakers.

4. Monta Ellis finally on the move

Monta Ellis’ name has been flying around trade rumours for a few years now. Finally, he has been traded. The Golden State Warriors traded Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh and Kwame Brown for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson. This trade makes me think a few things. First, that the Warriors have given up on this season. Which may be the practical thing to do, but always the sad thing to see for a young team. By getting rid of Monta Ellis they lose a scoring threat. One of the best scoring threats in the league. They receive Andrew Bogut who won’t play again all season, and Stephen Jackson who is known for his off court antics more so then his on court prowess. Keep in mind Stephen Curry is currently injured. So the Golden State Warriors are pretty much out of the picture for the rest of the 23 game season. However, this trade wasn’t about the short term for them. This was about the longterm. By giving up on this season they will get a high draft pick in a young draft stacked with talent. So they pick up a top draft pick, they get a healthy Andrew Bogut down low and a healthy Stephen Curry at the point and you have yourself a very exciting team. Don’t forget the rookie Klay Thompson who is slowly developing into a lethal scorer on the court. For the Bucks, I think this trade was a very smart one. It’s no secret Scott Skiles and Stephen Jackson didn’t get along. So sending him away clears up the locker room and brings in some fresh air. And by giving away Andrew Bogut they can look toward the future and shed his salary. Not to mention his achy body. And bringing in Monta Ellis gives their backcourt a humongous boost on the scoring front. Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis playing side by side is something that needs to be watched. The only downside to this is their defense will take a hit. Monta Ellis is no Stephen Jackson and Ekpe Udoh is no Andrew Bogut but let’s focus on the positive for now.

5. Jackson Returns to San Antonio

Another good move for the Golden State Warriors was trading Stephen Jackson to the Spurs for T.J Ford, Richard Jefferson and a protected 1st round pick. The 1st round pick is lottery protected, which gives the Golden State Warriors another 1st round pick to go along with the one their bound to get when the rest of their season tanks. Another move made for the future. The Spurs on the other hand really improve their roster and bring back flashes of their 2003 NBA Championship run. They improve on their perimeter defense and now add another scoring punch alongside Ginobli, and Parker.

6. Pacers Add Depth with Barbosa

The Indiana Pacers season has been all about chemistry, hustle and depth. This team doesn’t have one superstar. They have several good players. Roy Hibbert was an all star this year. Danny Granger an all star last year. Paul George bound to be an all star in a couple of years. David West an all star a few seasons ago. Their roster is stacked with solid guys. Now by adding Leonardo Barbosa they improve their depth immensely. Barbosa was averaging 12 points off the bench in Toronto. The best thing about this trade, is that all the Pacers gave up was a 2nd round pick. Life is getting better in Indiana.

7. Wallace to the Nets.

With the Nets missing out on their potential blockbuster deal for Howard. The Nets needed something to try and persuade D-Will to sign an extension. So they brought in Gerald Wallace a guy averaging 13 points a game in Portland. An improvement? Definitely, but anything is an improvement for the Nets these days. Now we’re learning that it wasn’t even enough to keep D-Will interested, according to ESPN he says he will not opt in with the Nets but will test free agency this summer. But besides that, it was a good move for New Jersey who are slowly trying to build a team around a player who isn’t even the least bit interested.

8. Camby to Houston

This trade was a surprise, but as the day progressed players leaving Portland seemed like a common theme. Marcus Camby the defensive stopper was traded to Houston for Hasheem Thabeet, Jonny Flynn and a 2nd round pick. This move along with letting Gerald Wallace go and the firing of Nate McMillan implies the rebuilding stages for Portland who were stuck in groundhog day once again. The Blazers acquire expiring contracts and gain more financial flexibility for the next season. In Houston they are slowly putting together a better team. With Dalembert and Camby down low this team will be very difficult to score in down low. They have their own set of twin towers. This trade is a definite upgrade for Houston but not what they were looking for ideally when it came to the trade deadline. They were looking bigger, someone like Pau Gasol. But hey you get what you get and you don’t get upset. The Rockets are getting there, this move along with their flexibility this off season makes for exciting possibilities in the future.

Chris Paul + Clips

Finally, David Stern and the rest of the owners gave in to a trade involving Chris Paul. The Clippers traded Chris Kaman, Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu and the 1st pick of the 2012 draft. All for CP3 and two second round draft picks. Now that CP3 is with the Clippers, the first question that needs addressing is an extension. Did the Clippers trade young talent for a guy who will dash out when he gets the chance? Also, who is the better team in Los Angeles? Questions need answers, so here we go.

If I was Chris Paul, I would sign an extension with the Clippers. It’s actually a no brainer. You’d be playing with the rookie of the year and one of the best big men in the league. You’d be playing in the best city in america. Hollywood. Where the opportunities are endless. Don’t forget being mentored by 2004 finals MVP Chauncey Billups. And playing with a developing Tyson Chandler type of player in Deandre Jordan. He won’t get anything better in the offseason. This team can take him far in the short term but also in the longterm.

The other question under discussion is the rivalry between the Lakers and Clippers. Who is better? The Lakers have ruled the city of Los Angeles for as long as the NBA has been around. The Clippers are like the disappointing son who is stuck in their father’s shadow. Kobe has been the king of Los Angeles and only until Blake Griffin came along did people even consider the Clippers as a legitimate team.

Now it seems like the Clippers are the better team in Los Angeles. The Lakers have the experience point. They have Kobe one of the best players in the league, and along with him, Pau, Metta World Peace, Andrew Bynum and Derrick Fisher who all know what it takes to win a championship. However, the Clippers have the fresh legs. They have the developing stars and two all stars who are both under 30. The point guard competition between the two teams isn’t even a comparison. Chris Paul almost single handedly beat the Lakers in the first round of the playoffs last year. The Lakers only won 4-2 in what was an expected blow out. Chris Paul will take Derrick Fisher to town all day long. The shooting guard position isn’t a comparison either. Kobe will burn Eric Bledsoe every time down the floor. He has the moves even at 33, he can still score 40 if he wants to. The small forward position is pretty equal to me. Ron Artest is clearly the better defender, and is the tougher and stronger player. However, last season he scored a career low 8 points a game. He is an offensive liability and won’t be too hard to defend for Caron Butler. The Power Forward position goes to the Clippers. Everyone may be a bit surprised by the last statement. However, last postseason I couldn’t stand watching Pau Gasol play basketball. A ‘7 footer playing soft actually agitates me. If you have the size, strength and agility then use it. He didn’t at all. He also won’t be able to keep up with the speedy, and strong Blake Griffin who will jump over him any time he wants. The center position however, has to go to the Lakers. DeAndre Jordan is becoming a force in the paint but Andrew Bynum has the experience and more of a developed game on both sides of the floor.The bench goes to the Clippers. After the Lakers losing Lamar Odom and Shannon Brown their bench is pretty empty. They signed Josh McRoberts however, there is a limit to his game. The Clippers bench has Chauncey Billups the 2004 finals MVP and one of the smartest players in the game, who will mentor every young player on the team.The coaching competition is the easiest of all. Vinny Del Negro needs to go. Mike Brown is a defensive mastermind, and has been to the finals before with James and the 2007 Cavaliers.

Now that we’ve established the better team in Los Angeles, we have to take the Clippers to the whole conference and see how they compare. I can see them winning the Pacific Division. It will be close but they can get it over the Lakers. When playoffs come around they will definitely be in contention. They will come in the top 4 in the West but that’s when their run might end. They have talent, they have fresh legs, they have superstars but they don’t have too much experience. That is the key when a game 7 comes around in the playoffs. The smart players, and the players used to pressure will prevail. The Clippers only weakness is their experience. If they could add another veteran on the bench that could do wonders.

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.

Here We Go Again

The NBA is on it’s way, which means the trade rumours have already arrived. The curtain has dropped. The spotlight is on. The show has began. And with the show comes the drama.

Dallas Ditching Chandler?

On the first day that free agent contracts could be discussed, Tyson Chandler took away one thing from the day. He was getting traded. “I really think I’m going to be on a new team come training camp,” Chandler told on Wednesday. He believes Dallas won’t offer him the long term extension that he deserves. And he does deserve it. For three years in a row the Dallas Mavericks were 1st round dropouts. Disappointments to their city and to the NBA. But when Tyson Chandler came to town he changed the whole team. He brought height, he brought hustle and most of all motivated the team to play defense. It’s no coincidence that last year the Dallas Mavericks were 7th in points allowed per 100 posessions in 2010-2011 and were 12th, 15th and 17th the three years before that. He provided them with an inside presence in the finals and deserves a contract. His biggest worry is that Dallas may sign Nene over him. Nene and him are the two most coveted free agents this year.

Nene Fever:

The big man on the free agent campus this year is Nene. Teams from all over the league have shown interest in him. Dallas, Golden State, New Jersey, Denver, Houston, Indiana, Los Angeles (Clippers) and Portland were all teams who made contact with Nene’s agent on Wednesday. A perfect fit for Nene would be teams lacking an inside presence. Teams like Golden State, Denver and Houston. The Nets have shown interest in Nene due to Deron Williams’ statements that he would be far less inclined to re-sign a long-term deal with the Nets if they don’t immediately improve their roster.

Ron Artest…. I mean Metta World Peace:

It has been reported that the Los Angeles Lakers may waive Ron Artest….. I mean Metta World Peace’s over-priced contract. Although, the small forward is one of the best defenders in the league and filling the void later with other players is very difficult considering the type of defender he is. On the offensive side, he is in decline. Last season he averaged 8.5 points and it’s clear that his age may be taking a toll on his body and his speed. He doesn’t have the strength he once had (and I might regret this) but he’s become a  liability on offense. Letting go of his 3 year 21.5 million dollar contract would be a relief, causing the Lakers to save up to 27 million dollars in taxes and salary through 2013-2014.

Hollywood Wants Superman:

A minute doesn’t go by when we don’t wonder how many championships Shaq and Kobe could’ve won together had their problems not gotten in the way. Finally, years later Superman may be coming back to Hollywood. Not the one who has the superman logo on his bed. The one who wore the cape during his slam dunk performance. Jim Buss has said that he would trade Andrew Bynum “for the right deal.” The right deal or the deal that involves Dwight Howard? But Andrew Bynum may not be what the Magic are looking for in a replacement for Dwight and rumour has it that Andrew Bogut would be a better fit for them. I disagree but a three team deal has been circling, sending Dwight to the Lakers, Bogut to the Magic and Bynum to the Bucks. The Clippers also seem willing to do whatever it takes for Dwight. The Clippers have tons of young depth with players like Eric Gordon, DeAndre Jordan and Al-Farouq Aminu and can provide more assets in a trade with the Magic. Although, Dwight and Kobe together may look like a championship on paper. In reality they wouldn’t gel. Dwight loves the ball down in the post, he takes it in all day. And why wouldn’t you when you’re the most dominant player in the NBA. Then there is Kobe, who loves the ball on the perimeter and taking it to the hole. They are both types of players who demand the spotlight and I can’t see it working out.

Blazers and Brandon Roy:

A source had said that the TrailBlazers had waived Roy but team president Larry Miller firmly stated that, ”We have not, and regardless of what’s been said by John Canzano and others out there, (made a) decision on amnesty as of yet,” On January 17th of last season Brandon Roy underwent arthroscopic surgery on both knees. He returned to the lineup on February 25th and scored 18 points off the bench. The rest of the season was a quiet one for Roy, he came off the bench for the whole season and averaged 12.5 points as supposed to his career average of 19 points a game. His future looked grim, until the playoffs came around and  Portland needed someone to step up. Brandon Roy came off the bench in Game 3 against the Mavericks and scored 16 points in 23 minutes. Larry Miller added, ”With everything that Brandon has done for this organization, there’s no way we would make a decision like that without having conversation with him, without evaluating where he is.” I wouldn’t give up on Roy yet, his knees may let him down at times but he showed that in big situations he can shine. He knows how to win and he is a valuable piece on any team.

Celtics Discussing Rondo Trades:

Just to be clear, the Celtics don’t want to get rid of Rondo. He is the future of their organisation and will be their saviour once Pierce, Allen and Garnett are gone. However, the Celtics are exploring options in exchange for Rondo. Danny Ainge said, “I don’t make any comments on trade rumors. I’m just not commenting on any of it. Everybody knows how valuable Rondo is to our team. I’ll talk to Rondo, but I don’t want to talk about it publicly.” I sense insecurity in the Celtics front office. They realise that their Big Three aren’t big news anymore, they are getting older and soon they won’t be able to compete with the up and coming talent in the league. Additionally, they realise Rondo isn’t the best Point Guard out there and it makes sense for them to get better. Rumours have circulated that a Rondo for Paul deal may be developing, although they are very vague rumours.

Grizz and Gasol:

After last years semi-breakout season for Marc Gasol teams are showing more interest in him now that he’s a free agent. He provided Memphis with defense, hustle and a quick inside presence that Tim Duncan and the 1st place Spurs couldn’t handle. The Grizzlies organization have shown interest in keeping him. “Obviously, we want to sit down and try to make a deal with Marc,” Heisley said. “I’m committed to keeping him.” Gasol has made it clear that he would like to return to Memphis this season. However, they may not have enough money to satisfy Gasol after agreeing to contract extensions with Zach Randolph, Rudy Gay and Mike Conley. All we know now is that the Grizzlies want Gasol and Gasol wants the Grizzlies. Personally, I would love to see last year’s team come back stronger this year and make it back to the playoffs. Every time they stepped onto the floor, the game was bound to be exciting. They were the most energetic team in the NBA and it was a joy to watch them burst through the playoffs and surprise everybody.

Back in Action

Thank goodness! The NBA is back and threatening to overshadow Santa himself. There could be no better Christmas present than to see the revival of the NBA after a very dark couple of months.

When that first whistle blows in stadiums across the country, the return of the NBA will be official. The crowds will gather from MSG in the East to Staples Center in the West. The thrill of basketball will re-energize the nation and bring back something that his been dearly missed in our lives.

So this is cheers to a new season and let the games begin!

What Happened to the NBA?

Here we are, 90 days into the lockout.
Each day has begun with a sense of hope of optimism and ended with disappoinment. Now we hear that David Stern is saying that the fate of the NBA season is depending on this weekend’s talks. I am no longer disappointed with the NBA but irritated with the players and owners’ union.

The lockout in simplest terms is due to greed. The players want more money, the owners want to pay the players less.

Don’t we always hear players talk about playing basketball because they have a passion for the game, they have a competitive drive, they have love for the sport. How are we supposed to believe that when they would rather make more money then do the thing they love.

I’m 100% correct in saying that every single NBA player is a millionaire. I just can’t grasp the fact that money is what is holding the NBA season up. If Derek Fisher (the president of the players union) is making 4 million dollars a year, does one or two million a year more really make a difference. 12 NBA owners rank among the 400 wealthiest Americans. Yet, owners want more money. The owners and players are making more money in a year then average families would make in a lifetime. Everybody is just too caught up with money, fast cars and the Hollywood lifestyle that they all seem to have forgotten why they started loving basketball in the first place. Kids like myself look up to players because they’re supposed to be our role models. They play the best sport in the world and through years of hard work and commitment, they have become the best at what they do. But I have lost a little respect for those involved in the players and owners union due to the fact that we’re still praying for a deal.

What ever happened to the good old days where NBA players and owners genuinely enjoyed being apart of the NBA – the place where “amazing happens”. Well right now the NBA is the place where disapointing happens.

Finals: Game 3

Texas. Known for it’s persistent droughts, it’s southern accents and most of all it’s crazy fans.

It’s those fans who will seal this game for Dallas. We all know that the bench plays better when they are surrounded by a stadium of people right behind them. J.J Barea, Tyson Chandler, Peja Stojakovic have yet to play their games in this series. Dallas will be praying that their fans can bring the benches esteem up and make them play Maverick basketball.

No matter what happens now, the series is 0-0. Nothing has happened before this game. Any feuds, mistakes, highs, lows made in the past two games are history. This game is the thing that counts. If Dallas wins this game then they send Miami back to the locker room down for another game in a row. They also carry more momentum for the next two games in Dallas. As well as getting the fans more involved for the rest of the series, which will be vital for their success.

If Miami wins this game then they’ve almost accomplished what they have to do. Win 2 out of 3 in Dallas. They know that to win this series they have to win at least 2 out of 3 in Dallas. Otherwise it’s byebye to the Larry O’Brian trophy.

How are they going to win though? Game 3, I call the step up game. It’s the game where the players who haven’t yet reached their full potential in this series will come out.

Take Chris Bosh for instance.

He had two 30 point games in the Chicago series. He scored 12 in game 2 of this series. This isn’t the time to back away. He is a vital part of this team. The most important part as well. With all the attention on Wade and Lebron in this game, he will have to be very aggressive and send a message to everybody saying,

” Hey, forget about me, I’m also an all-star.”

For Dallas it’s Jason Terry who I’m looking to step it up.

His whole Dallas career he has played his best games in Dallas. He gets in a groove, he rides off the crowd’s energy, his three point shooting touch starts working and the jet leaves the run-way, flies off onto a whole other level and doesn’t come down until the buzzer has sounded. Just look at this postseason. 9 three pointers in game 4 against L.A. 24 points in game 1 in the conference finals. 23 points in game 3 of the conference finals. 22 in game 1 against Portland, 20 in game 5 and 22 in game 6. Notice he scored 20 points in all of those games in Dallas.When he is feeling it, then he stretches the defence, making them have to rotate more, something the Heat don’t like doing.

Then in general, this is a redemption game for Miami. Many people including myself have been doubting Miami’s maturity and desire for the championship after their 7 minute meltdown in the 4th quarter of game 2. They stepped on the gas, went 100 miles an hour, then slowed down to 10 miles an hour and stayed like that for 7 minutes. While Dallas was on the verge of a speeding ticket in the last 7 minutes. They have to focus their minds on taking one game at a time, they have to grab this game from the beginning, take Dirk and the fans out of it and never let up.

For Dallas, they have to show that their 7 minutes of heaven last game wasn’t a goof. That it wasn’t just a veteran run, but that it was proof of desire and heart to win a finals game. They’re coming home with the energy, the momentum and the confidence. Miami will most likely start the game on their heels, the Mavs have to trip them up and show them that desire beats talent.

Game 3, see you in 2 hours.