Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
 
Tag:LeBron James
Posted on: December 22, 2011 10:54 pm
 

2011-2012 NBA Awards Predictions

With only a few days until the NBA season starts, I felt like getting my predictions out now. So instead of wasting time trying to talk them up, here they are: 

- MVP -


Kevin Durant

Durant is primed to have his best season yet and I think everyone seen it coming as early as watching him light up the summer leagues. No, I'm not naive enough to say that is the reason why he's going to win the MVP, but if you can't tell his best overall scorer in the game, you just haven't been paying attention. KD can score from anywhere on the court and just continues to improve on defense each year. This should be the year he explodes for well over 30+ ppg 8+ rpg 1.5+ spg 1.5+ bpg and finally over 3 apg this year (improving his passing, which has really been the weakest part of his game). He's going to put up the stats and he's likely going to lead his Thunder to a top seed in the West and contend for a title. 

Runner Up - LeBron James

I hate him, you hate him, everyone hates him. Doesn't change the fact that he's got more talent than anyone in the game. If you put a brain of a smarter player in his body (yes, we can play ChiTownCliff's game for a minute here) he would have won a couple titles on top of his two MVPs already. What makes him even more likely to be an MVP is that he's got the talent to dominant on the defensive end as well, and juding by last season, he's starting to focus on that end quite a bit more. If he does that as well as continuing to be a threat on offense, he's going to make another MVP run without question. Only thing holding him back is his other superstar teammate in Dwyane Wade and star big man in Chris Bosh. But even those guys can only slow him to 27 ppg 6 apg and 8.4 rpg, which is still MVP stuff. Heat will obviously be one of the top teams again and contending for the title, so there is no reason to think LBJ can't win another title unless he defers to Wade and Bosh more than he did last year. 

Dark Horse - Dwight Howard

I don't care what team this guy plays for, he's still the best big man in the game, the best defender in the game, and the most dominant presence the paint on both ends of the floor. His offensive game continues to improve (although a little slower than you'd hope for) and he's always going to own the boards and swat shots. He has the ability to impact a team even more than perimeter players like LBJ and Durant because he can control the paint, and it's been proven on many occasions if you can control the paint, you have an inside track to winning lots of games. If he developed any time of a passing game, he would take his game to the next level and be a real threat to win the MVP. 


- Defense Player of the Year -


Dwight Howard

See above. No one can impact a defense like Howard can. Sure, there hasn't been any other real great defenders in awhile to challenge Howard, but that doesn't change the fact that he is still a 3 time DPOY and could tie Big Ben Wallaceand Dikembe Mutombo for the most all time this season.

Runner Up - Andrew Bogut

He's a great rebounder, strong post defender, and a top notch shot blocker. He's got the skills, but his health has kept him from being looked at very highly, and rightfully so. I think he will be able to stay healthy in this shortened season and put up the strong play on defense all year long and get the Bucks into the playoffs. Maybe I'm being too optimistic for an injury prone guy like Bogut, but he's got be healthy at least one full season, especially when it's only 66 games instead of 82 right?

Dark Horse - Gerald Wallace

When he was with the Bobcats he was a DPOY contender a couple years as he's a strong rebounder and excellent help defender. He didn't get as much time and action with the Trail Blazers last year as LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicholas Batum didn't leave tons of minutes for him. However, this year without Roy, I expect Wallace to take an increased role with the team. Aldridge can lead this team on offense, but not on defense and that's where Wallace will have to step up. If he gets back to 8-10 rpg and 2+ spg and bpg like he was with the Bobcats and the Blazers have a good season behind Aldridge and Wallace, he could be a DPOY candidate.


- Rookie of the Year -


Kemba Walker

He didn't win a national title by accident; he's the real deal. Kemba has alot of thigs going in his favor this year that easily point to him as the ROY. First of all, who the hell else do the Bobcats have? D.J. AugustinBoris Diaw? Yeah, not like Kemba is going to have a tough time taking over this team. He's going to be thrown into the fire as the leader right out of the gate and after watching him play at UConn, I think he's up for the task. This guy just seems like a natural born leader and winner. Excellent scorer and a pretty good passer as well. He may not put up Blake Griffin rookie numbers, but they will still be impressive nonetheless and earn him the DPOY.

Runner Up - Brandon Knight

Biased Pistons pick? Maybe, but let me at least make a case before you call me a homer right off the bat. I know the easy way to discount him right off the bat: "The Pistons have too many other guards. He has to fight Rodney StuckeyBen Gordon, and Will Bynum for minutes." Ah, but it's not that simple. Gordon is a 6th man and no matter how much money is thrown at him by the stupidity of Joe D, it doesn't change that. He is able to put up some points off the bench and light up the scoreboard at times, but you can't trust him on defense or to be consistent and fit well with his teammates on offense. Stuckey is no longer a PG, he's an SG and that's how new coach Frank will use him. He doesn't have a shot, but has a great slashing ability to get to the rim and has the size to play the spot and not be a weak spot on defense. 

Bynum and Knight will be the PGs this season and while I love Bynum and he has spurts of great play, both I and coach Frank know he's not the future. Knight may start on the bench, but it won't be long before he gets the starting job and takes over as the PG of this team. He's already shown to be a willing passer and does well at getting his team involved and finding open shooters (which the Pistons have plenty in Gordon, Daye, and Charlie V). He's also shown the willingness to give effort on defense and pick off passes and turn them into transistion offense. Then there is the obvious that everyone knows: he's a strong shooter and can beat his man to the paint. Knight and Monroe will provide a great inside-outside core to this young team for many years to come and show glimses this season of a team on the rise and on it's way to getting back to the playoffs.

Dark Horse - Bismack Biyombo

This was the guy I was begging for the Pistons to get. However, that was before I knew Knight would drop all the way to the Pistons. Still, I would love to have this guy next to Monroe. He's the best defensive prospect since Howard and has rare explosiveness, wingspan, and leaping ability. He's going to get time with the thin front court of the Bobcats and as long as he's not completely incompetent on offense, he'll get enough time to put up some impressive numbers on defense. I wouldn't be surprised to see 8-10 rpg and 2-3 bpg. Future DPOY is in Biyombo's future.


- 6th Man of the Year -


Lamar Odom

From what I've heard and understand, despite him being traded from the Lakers to the Mavericks, he's still going to be used in the 6th man role off the bench (with Shawn Marion and Dirk Nowitzki starting at the two forward spots). With his role not changing much and going to a team that needs rebounding and bench scoring (after losing Tyson Chandler on the boards and Juan Jose Barea for the bench scoring), I don't see any reason for him to not win the 6th man award again this season.

Runner Up - Jason Terry

Yes, the 6th man will come from the Mavericks. Terry is still going to put up points and with Kidd gettin ga year older and no more Barea, he'll have to run the point at times for the Mavs and play an important role in the Mavs having another shot at the Finals.

Dark Horse - Austin Daye

Another Pistons player? Yes, I can't help myself. Daye wasn't very good last year; he looked very uncoordinated and horrible on defense. If he couldn't shoot the ball so well, he wouldn't have gotten any time at all. However, this year under a smarter coach and one that is actually teaching the young players and giving them direction, Daye looks to be responding well to coach Frank. What's most impressive is he looks focused especially on the defensive end. He got 5 blocks in the first preseason game and 2 more in the second game. He's got lots of length at 6'11" and can shoot the ball very well. He looks to take a big step this year and the only thing that might keep him out of contention for this is that he gets moved to the starting lineup. 


Most Improved Player of the Year


Andre Iguodala

I don't believe Iggy was as bad as he played last season. I know he's never been a great #1 option for a team and I would expect his numbers to drop off some when he got other good players around him in Philly, but I never thought he'd be that bad. It wasn't just on offense either. He use to be a strong defender, but last year lost alot of that strong play as well. He was banged up quite a bit last season as well, and is reportedly in much better shape this season dropping 10 pounds and not having any lingering injuries. I expect him to bounce back closer to his old self; maybe not as many assists this time around as he's Jrue Holiday looks ready to take over as PG, but I expect to be scoring well and back to his strong defensive play.

Runner Up - Andrew Bogut

All he has to do is stay healthy, that's it and he will be a contender to win this award. 

Dark Horse - Richard Hamilton

Giving the best attacking PG in the game a shooter like Billups is dangerous for the Bulls and makes it so much more diffcult to defend them. After the big MVP season Rose had last season, I can't see teams just inviting him to score and dominant. Thus, Rip will get plenty of open looks and chances to knock down shots like he was with the Pistons. I don't expect him to score anywhere near 20 ppg, but scoring about 15-16 ppg on a lot higher FG% than he did last year is a big improvement from what he was doing last season for the Pistons.

- Coach of the Year -


Lionel Hollins

The Grizzlies seem to come out of nowhere at the end of last season and making a strong playoff performance. This year there will be no "surprise factor" for the Grizz and there are big expectations out of them from alot of people. In order for them to deliver, it will be coach Hollins job to make sure they can duplicate that late season success and even improve on it. The tricky part will be doing it this time with Rudy Gay in the lineup as he was hurt when the Grizz made the late season run. Chemistry is a huge part of teams and he's got to make Gay and Randolph able to work well with each other as well as the rest of their teammates. If he can do that, this team will be in the playoffs again and maybe even make a run at a Top 4 seed.

Runner Up - Tom Thibodeau

The Bulls had a great season under coach TT last season, so it's kind of hard for them to get any better right? Wrong, they were without Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah for big chunks of the season last year, and also had no respectable shooter to take pressure off Rose. They have the shooter in Rip now and Noah and Boozer (at least for now) are healthy. If they stay together all season long, the Bulls will not only be one of the best regular season teams, they could get to the Finals this time around.

Dark Horse - Nate McMillan

He no longer has Roy as his franchise player and now has Aldridge as his go-to player. However, that doesn't seem to be a huge deal for the Blazers and Coach McMillan as they still made the playoffs. Aldridge will big improved with another season under his wing, Wallace should be even better in a full season with the Blazers, Batum should improve in a bigger role, and they have couple new guards in Jamal Crawford and Raymond Felton to make the loss of Roy not sting as much. Blazers should again be the playoffs and maybe have a shot at being a dark-horse team in the West.


- All NBA Teams - 


All NBA First Team:

G - Chris Paul
G - Dwyane Wade
F - Kevin Durant
F - Blake Griffin
C  - Dwight Howard

All NBA Second Team:

G - Derrick Rose
G - Kobe Bryant
F - LeBron James
F - Dirk Nowitzki 
C  - Al Horford 

All NBA Third Team:

G - Rajon Rondo
G - Eric Gordon
F - Paul Millsap
F - Kevin Love
C  - Andrew Bogut 


All NBA Defensive First Team: 

G - Rajon Rondo
G - Dwyane Wade
F - LeBron James
F - Gerald Wallace
C - Dwight Howard 

All NBa Defensive Second Team:

G - Chris Paul
G - Russell Westbrook
F - Josh Smith
F - Bismack Biyombo
C - Andrew Bogut 


All NBA Rookie First Team:

G - Kemba Walker
G - Brandon Knight
F - Derrick Williams
F - Marcus Morris
C - Bismack Biyombo 

All NBA Rookie Second Team:

G - Kyrie Irving
G - Darius Morris
F - Jan Vesley
F - Tristan Thompson
C -  Enes Kanter


That's all folks! Discuss, make your own predictions, or just rip mine if you can't think of anything better to do.
Posted on: December 12, 2010 11:41 am
 

The Miami Heat Go as Dwyane Wade Goes

Like everyone, I've been paying close attention to the Heat to see how their much anticipated season goes. Of course it's not been living up the hype obvious, but most knowledgeable NBA fans would have seen this coming and would not have expected a team of 3 stars to just mesh right off the bat and dominate, at least against good teams. But they have been looking very good as of late and I think it's also fairly obvious how they've been so successful...........Dwyane Wade is in charge.

Before the season started, one of the many debates about the Heat was who was going to be in charge and who's team this was going to be. Would it remain Dwyane Wade's team as he's been here his entire career and won an NBA title with them? Or would LeBron James come in, take over, and lead this team into a dynasty of many titles? Well to start, it was definitely LeBron's team. He was leading the charge, the team, and the offense. He was the primary playmaker as well as being the primary scorer, just like he was with the Cavaliers. But as we all know, the Heat had a very slow start going 9-7 through the first 16 games.

Now since their last loss against the Mavericks, the Heat have gone on a 8-game winning steak including wins against the Hawks, Warriors, and Jazz. What I've seen be different in this stretch is Wade being more assertive in the offense and being the focal point, while LeBron still is very involved, but Wade isn't being left out as much or playing as bad as he was earlier in the season. Wade has turned it up, and the Heat have thus started to see alot more success.

Now I know, you're saying "Well duh, of course if Wade does better the Heat win. If LeBron did the same thing, the Heat would win." Ah, but that's just the thing. I did some research on Wade and LeBron's numbers in their wins and losses to prove my point. Here are Wade and LeBron's statline's in the Heat's wins:

Wade (17 games): 24.9 ppg 6.9 rpg 4.6 apg 2.9 TOs 55.8% FG (16.2 attempts pg) 33.2 mpg
LeBron (17 games): 23.4 ppg 5.6 rpg 7.1 apg 3.4 TO 50.5% FG (16.6 attempts pg) 34.1 mpg


Now Wade's numbers were lowered by a couple games where he played limited time and didn't put up high numbers, and LeBron's numbers were inflated by a couple games (mainly the game against the Cavaliers) where he went off. But if you look through each of their wins, you'd see it was generally Wade having the better game.

Now let's take a look at Wade and LeBron's numbers in the Heat's losses as well, because this is where you can really see the big difference:

Wade (7 games): 18.7 ppg 5.9 rpg 3.9 apg 4.9 TO 34.2% FG (16.7 attempts pg) 39.1 mpg
LeBron (8 games): 26 ppg 6.8 rpg 7.6 apg 4.4 TO 40.7% FG (18.9 attempts pg) 41.5 mpg


As you can see, LeBron actually improves all his stats other than FG% and TO/game in the Heat's losses compared to the Heat's wins. However, Wade's numbers are significantly lower (especially the horrible FG%) in the Heat's losses compared to their wins.

So after looking through all this, watching Heat games, I think it's obvious what the Heat need to do to start being more successful. Let LeBron play the facilitator role and play off Wade, and put the ball in Wade's hands more and let him be the primary scorer and focal point of the offense. Now this will at least allow them to be more successful on offense, but their defense is another story. Unless Wade or LBJ somehow get 7'0" tall and weight 300 lbs or Chris Bosh actually learns how to play defense, their interior defense is going to suffer and the good teams will still be able to beat them.

Category: General
Posted on: November 25, 2009 11:33 pm
 

Allen Iverson: The Answer is Retirement

Sad to see The Answer hang up his sneakers. I don't want to insult anyone's intelligence or call anyone an stupid, but if you don't think Allen Iverson deserves to be in the HoF you need a serious mental evaluation and should consider checking yourself into a psychiatric hospital.

The guy gave us the greatest crossover of all time and broke countless ankles. He is one of the greatest scorers in NBA history: he is tied for 4th all time in points per game with 27.0 ppg (tied for 5th if you count LeBron James, but I don't) and 17th all time in total points. He's ahead of guys in scoring like Charles Barkley, Elgin Baylor, Adrian Dantley, Clyde Drexler, and even Larry Bird. Explain to me how those guys deserve to be in over him (except for Bird, Baylor, and Drexler; but how does Barkley and Dantley deserve to be in?). And I don't see how you can say he's only a scorer? The guy has a career average of 6.2 assists per game and has proven to be a very good passer. Yes, he takes a lot of shots but when you're one of the greatest scorers of all time then I think you should take a lot of shots. And if you know you're history well, I'd like to see you show me someone on those 76ers teams in AI's prime that should have got more shots because they could score good and be worth taking points from AI. He can penetrate the lane just as well as LeBron can now and he's about 8-9 in. shorter and almost 100 pounds lighter. He was able to draw a lot of contact and get a lot of FT opportunities which he knocked down at a good percentage.

And what about his ability on defense? Yes, I just said defense. No, a 6 foot guard is not going to be able to defend 6'6" and 6'8" guards but he could defend other PGs his size very well. And he was an excellenct ball hawk which got his teams a lot of easy points in transition. He is 7th all time steals per game average with 2.2 spg and 12th all time in total steals. He has a better steals per game average than John Stockton and Maurice Cheeks, both whom are seen as two all time great defensive PGs. Then you throw in the fact that he was a warrior and could play just about the entire game every game all year long. He has a career average of 41.4 minutes per game (4th all time), and has played through countless different injuries and has been banged up on many occasions while still playing big minutes in games.

Plain and simple facts are AI is one of the greatest scorers the NBA has ever seen in it's entire history. Pound for pound, he is the most athletic player of all time. Pound for pound, he is one of the greatest players we've ever seen play the game. He could play 5 on 1 and still win and make it all the the NBA Finals in 2001. You can't blame him for being a ball hog when he became one out of necessity when playing for those horrible 76ers teams. And then later in his career with the Nuggets and Pistons, it's hard to ask him to change at 30+ years of age; I'm sure the old saying "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" really applies here. Regardless of whether he needed the ball in his hands alot or not, so did all the great scorers. Did MJ, Wilt, Kareem, West, etc. not have the ball in their hands for most of the game when they were in their prime and scoring a ton? It's just an excuse to hate on AI because you don't like him because he could beat your team all by himself.

Allen Iverson is my 2nd favorite player of all time behind Ben Wallace, and unless the HoF voters are a bunch of haters then there should be no question this guy gets into the HoF and is a Top 50 NBA player of all time.
Posted on: July 21, 2009 5:09 pm
 

What has the world come to?

Can you remember when athletes were just athletes? Before all the movie star, celebrity athletes when all they cared about was traing hard and doing their best at their sport. Now I'm not talking about way back when athletes weren't paid millions of dollars and they had to have other jobs to survive. I'm about since athletes started making the big bucks. Can you remember back when there wasn't any star athlete in any sport that was looking improve their image or make even more ridiculous money by staring in a movie or doing some other form of entertainment?

I bring this up of course because it seems to be worse now than ever. Athletes are no longer looking to star in movies or get big time endorsement deals anymore, but no that's not enough for them. Now they want their own "reality TV” shows that are all about them. It's one thing to have an athlete play a role in a movie, which forces them to miss some training time, but it's another thing when that athlete plays a huge part or is the star of a movie. But it's plain our ridiculous for any athlete to have their own TV show. Why I ask? What's the need for it? What good can it do? It can't be about the money because they have plenty already.

Before I get too far ahead of myself, I'm talking about Terrell Owens and Shaquille O'Neal. Of course if anyone would do it, it would be T.O. so that comes as no surprise to me. It's still ridiculous because he's wasting his time participating in the "Superstars" challenges (where he could very well injury himself and really screw himself and his team over) instead of practicing and preparing for his up coming debut with his team, the Buffalo Bills. If that's not enough, he also has to have a "reality" TV show, "The TO Show" to have people watch him and his entourage in their "real lives." Like we haven't seen enough of the "The TO Show" when he was with the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Dallas Cowboys. Shouldn't TO be worried about actually contributing to a team and be a team player for once; he has yet to win the ultimate prize in the NFL: The Super Bowl. Shouldn't that be his main concern, and not reality TV shows?

Then there is Shaq. Now it's really not that surprising that Shaq is doing his own TV show as well because he can never be out done by anyone (he won't let TO get all the lime light). His makes a little more sense (but that's not saying much) than "The TO Show," because he's actually competing in athletic events and will be training before each show. However, he is not like Shaq is some young guy here. He is 37 years old and his body is not near what it use to be. He could very well get injured in one of these events, especially since he has a very competitive nature and will be going up against the best players at their respective sports (who are also very competitive and could get very carried away, especially if it looks like Shaq could beat them). You'd think with all the time he wastes on movies (Kazaam) and TV shows that he could have very well used that time to improve his game? I bet if he had practiced free throws instead he'd be able to make more the 50% of his FTs. He says this is a new way to help him train in the off-season, but why wouldn't you train practice with your Cavaliers teammates and train for basketball instead of training for different sports?

I really don't want to see this become a trend, but know today's culture which is driven and ruled by the media and "reality TV shows." I wouldn't be surprised to see more athletes follow suit; especially someone like LeBron James. "The King" doesn't want to be out done by anyone either, and will have to come up with some reality TV show in order to remain "on top" in the public eye. I've got a good suggestion for a show he should do: "I Dunked on LeBron James." Xavier's Jordan Crawford could be the guy who introduces each new player that will get a shot at dunking on LBJ. I'm sure Nike would walk right into MTV's station and ask for their tapes of the show so we'd never be able to see it.

It's a sad sad thing to watch great athletes do things like this. If this is a sign of things to come and is the future of entertainment, maybe Mike Judge got things right when he made the film "Idiocracy."

Posted on: May 31, 2009 9:54 pm
 

Will history continue to repeat itself?

History tends to repeat itself a lot; not only in sports but in all of life. However, here we're only interested in the sports history. One such thing that has been consistent in NBA history is defense winning championships. Almost every time, one of the best defensive teams will win the championship. Now of course there are a few exceptions here and there, but you have to look at the overall picture. This, however, is not about defense in NBA history, but instead great big men winning championships. The majority of NBA championships have been won by teams who are lead by a great big man (almost always one who has very good defense, if not great defense). You can go all the way back to Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain to see that great big men have always been able to win championships with their great post play on both offense and defense (mainly defense though).

I only bring this up of course because of this year's NBA Finals matchup: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Orlando Magic . Now Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol are both very good big men, but neither one could come close to being consider one of the best big men in the game (on both ends of the court). Of course I am talking about Dwight Howard , who most would agree is the best big man in the NBA right now. Howard has proved very worthy of that title thus far leading his Magic to the 3rd seed in the East, being a Top 5 defense in the NBA, winning the DPOY (well deserved), and getting his team past the favorites, the Cleveland Cavaliers led by LeBron James . Without a shadow of a doubt he has been the main reason for what has got the Magic into this year's NBA Finals. Of course there are always very important role players for every great team, so Rashard Lewis , Hedo Turkoglu , Rafer Alston , Courtney Lee , Mickael Pietrus , etc. have all contributed to the team's success as well.

The last 10 years in the NBA has been dominated by big men - as far as championships go. Shaquille O'Neal has four NBA titles (2000, 2001, 2002, 2006), Tim Duncan has four titles (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007), Ben Wallace has a championship ((2004), and Kevin Garnett has a championships (2008). You can argue the Pistons were led by Chauncey Billups (but he couldn't get them one after Big Ben left) and Paul Pierce led the Celtics (although he couldn't get the Celtics one without KG), but regardless the last ten years of NBA champions have been dominated by big men (Shaq & Duncan combine for 8). Will Dwight Howard be next on the list of great big men to lead his team to a championship? Or will Kobe Bryant and the Lakers break the cycle?

There are some things to point toward a break in the dominance of big men. Howard is still very young and has never been in a situation like this before. Can he step up and rise above the pressure to prove he has what it takes at this young age to win his team a title? Kobe Bryant has contributed to three championships himself (although Shaq was with him too), and is the best player in the game. He has always been a great closer and clutch player that has gotten his teams deep into the playoffs almost every year. Phil Jackson is one of the all-time great coaches who knows them game just as good as anyone. Also, even when Shaq was young and first with the Magic, he led them to the only other Finals appearance for the Magic. He was swept 4-0 by the Rockets . However, they also had one of the best big men in the game with Hakeem Olajuwon (so Hakeem was just a better big man at that point in their careers).

There have been two all-time great players who have risen above dominate big men and led their team to championships: Larry Bird and Michael Jordan. Yes, both did have very good defensive big men who contributed to their teams' success, but it goes without saying that MJ and Bird were the ones who led the teams to the championships. Now Kobe has been an all time great player, but he is not in the class yet of MJ and Bird. However, if he can led his team this year and win a championships without any dominate big man (like Shaq), then I believe he could be entered into that group of the NBA's greatest wingmen (although it doesn't mean he is just as good or better). He might need to win another one to really solidify that, but I would be satisfied with just this year (but that's just me).

So this is definitely something to think about when watching this year's NBA Finals. Will we see history repeat itself again? Or will we see one of those exceptions when a great player rises above it? Will Dwight Howard be able to handle the pressure and be good enough to lead his team to the championship, or is he still too young and not enough developed offensive game? Can Kobe finally win a championship without Shaq and thus solidify his name on the list of the NBA's greatest wingmen? For me, I've always been a fan of defense and will always root for defense to come out on top. I'm a big Howard fan, but I also remain in a pact between Pistons and Lakers so I cannot officially root against the Lakers. I will be happy with who ever wins the championship this year to be honest, so I will just sit back and enjoy the NBA Finals while the rest of you argue over who is better and who will win. I just figured I'd give you all something more to add to your discussions.


Posted on: April 12, 2009 10:18 pm
 

Big B's Top 5 DPOY Candidates

Here are my Top 5 Defensive Player of the Year candidates. I don't really think anyone else could be in consideration for the award other than these five guys, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong:

1. Dwight Howard : 13.9 rpg (1st) 2.9 bpg (1st) Team Defense: 2nd

Howard has been a complete monster on defense this year for the Magic . He has owned the paint on defense and made it very difficult for any team to score there. He has made this team rise to the top of the NBA defensive rankings currently sitting at 2nd in total defense for the year. Considering they don't have much other good defense and Van Gundy isn't some defensive genius strategizer like Popovich, you know Howard has really been a huge impact on their defense. Anytime you have a big man that can own the paint and make the other team shoot jumpers, you have yourself a great defensive player. Howard is leading the league in rebounds with 13.9 rpg and also leading the league in blocks with 2.9 bpg. Hard to argue with his stats or the way he impacts his team; can't find any weakness to his case as the 2008-2009 DPOY.

2. Dwyane Wade : 2.2 spg (2nd)  1.35 bpg (1st for all guards) 5.0 rpg (8th amoung guards) Team Defense: 13th

Dwyane Wade has been unbelievably great this year on defense and it shouldn't go unnoticed. He has not only been effect on guarding ball handlers, but has also contributed in shot blocking and rebouding. Considering the Heat don't have any dominating big men defenders in the paint, Wade knew he had to step for this Heat on defense this year. However, no one would have expect him to be this great on defense. He knows how to stay in front his man and keep his hands up making the ball handling have a difficult time getting a shot off or passing it away. However the key for Wade's defense has been his help defense and his timing abilities. He has great awareness and is always watching the ball like a hawk ready to swoop down on it's prey. He read's the passes and can pick off the passes getting plenty of steals. He also has shown the ablility to get a good timing on when opponents will put up the shot being able to time his jump and block the ball. There's no question he has stepped up big time for the Heat on defense, but the problem is that hasn't made them a dominating defense or even one of the Top 10 defense. Wade is 2nd in the league steals with 2.2 spg, he is 1st amound all guards in blocked shots with 1.35 bpg, and is 8th amoung all guards in rebounds per game with 5.0 rpg. The Heat can't rely on Wade to anchor the defense like a big men could (like Howard) because a guard can only do so much for your defense.

3. LeBron James : 1.71 spg (7th) Team Defense: 3rd

LeBron doens't have a lot of impressive defensive statistics other than his team's overall defense. The Cavaliers have been one of the best defenses in the NBA, and it's no doubt LeBron is a big part of that. However, like Wade, he can't do it alone and can't be the anchor do a defense because he is a wingman. The only difference between Wade and LeBron is that LeBron's teammates and system make their overall team defense better. You switch Wade and LeBron and I don't the Cavaliers get worse or the Heat get better. But the biggest thing I've noticed about LeBron's defense this year is his man defense on the perimeter. He has done a very good job of staying in front of his man and keeping them out of the paint, but even if they do get in the paint the Cavs have good post defenders who make it very hard to score. LeBron has stepped up his D and done a good job on defending some of the league's best wingmen scorers (Carmelo Anthony , Paul Pierce , etc.). LeBron is one of the best defenders this year and has really stepped up, but like Wade, he isn't an anchor for his defense so you can't really make an argument for him being #1.

4. Tim Duncan : 10.5 rpg (4th) 1.71 bpg (13th) Team Defense: 4th

Timmy is still one of the best defenders in the game, and that is without question. However, his age is working against him and he is no longer the domianting post defender he once was. He is still great, but not great enough to make the Spurs defense at the top of the league anymore. But he is still anchoring his defense which is still one of the best in league, which still makes the Spurs one of the best teams in the league. He doesn't have the huge numbers of Howard, but has respectable numbers as well as making his defense and all the players on defense around him great. He is 4th in the league in rebounds with 10.5 and 13th in the league on blocked shots with 1.7 bpg. No doubt Timmy is still one of the best (one of the all time great defenders), but I don't think even he has outmatched Howard this year.

5. Chris Paul : 2.83 spg (1st)  5.5 rpg (4th amoung all guards) Team Defense: 11th

Paul, like Howard and Duncan, is the Hornets anchor on defense. The only difference is, it's much more difficult for a PG to do it than a big man. You'd have to be one of the best PG defenders in history to anchor your defense enough to make them one of the best (Gary Payton, Walt Frazier). Paul is great, and the best PG defender in the league, but he isn't at the level where he can make his defense one of the best. He still needs guys like Tyson Chandler in the paint and James Posey on the perimeter. Paul is 1st in the league in steals with 2.83 spg, and 4th amoung all guards in rebounds with 5.5 rpg. He has been great, no doubt, but you can't really argue him at #1 or even in the Top 3 for that matter.

 

Well there you guys have it. That's how I see this year's best defenders of the year. I believe Howard should get this award easily because he has had a combination of the best numbers and easily the most impact on his team's overall defense. Wade and LeBron are interchangeable at runner-up, and Timmy and Paul arenot just not quite good enough be this year's winner. Feel free to comment, critize, or make your own judgments if you wish.

 

Posted on: January 27, 2009 1:51 pm
 

Under the Radar?

With a great performance against Philly last night, I was surprised when I looked at Chris Paul's stats and realized how little he is being talked about this year. We are all hearing LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard, and Kobe Bryant for MVP but why no Paul? Do people just think of it as a given after his breakout year last year? Do we think that he has the #1 PG spot locked up so we expect this kind of play from him? What he's been doing this year is even more amazing than last year. Let's compare the stats shall we:

Last year (07-08) : 21.1 ppg 11.6 apg 4.0 rpg 2.7 spg 48.8% FG  36.9% 3pt  85.1% FT

This year (08-09) : 21.3 ppg 11.1 apg 5.5 rpg 2.8 spg 50.1% FG  33.7% 3pt  87.3% FT

He is also leading the league in triple-doubles with 5, and has even came close, on two occasions, to getting the coveted quadruple-double. Once against the Mavericks on Januray 14th (33 points 11 assists 10 rebounds 7 steals) and again last night against the 76ers (27 points 15 assists 10 rebounds 7 steals). There is still time left this season, so he still has a good shot at getting one. He finished 2nd behind Kobe last year for the MVP, but this year I don't think I've heard anyone even put him in the Top 3. Why is that? You can't say the Hornets were better last year because they were 29-12 at this point last year and are 27-14 right now (only a 2 game difference). They could very well finish just as good or better than last year.

So after going through all of that, I'm still confused at why we are not hearing as much about CP3 this year? Why is he not in the discussion for MVP (most seem to have it pegged down to LeBron, Kobe, and Howard)? Please, someone explain this madness to me!

Posted on: October 24, 2008 7:40 pm
Edited on: October 25, 2008 9:03 am
 

NBA 2008-2009 Season: 1st Half Games to Watch

Here are 10 games to watch for in the first half of the season:


Tuesday, October 28th: Cleveland Cavaliers at. Boston Celtics

Boston and Cleveland's opening game of the season. Both teams should be looking to the start the season off on a good note. We should get our first good look at how Mo Williams will be able to contribute to the Cavs against the top teams.



Sunday, November 9th: Boston Celtics at Detroit Pistons

First rematch of last year's two ECF teams. The rivalry has been reborn, anyone that saw any of last year's games has noticed this. All the games are so intense and all the players are playing physical. The games should always come down to the final minutes, and making it a great game to watch.



Sunday, November 9th: Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Lakers

Our first look at the Rockets with new addition Ron Artest. It will be against the defending WCF champion Lakers. We should always get a good look at Bynum as well. Should be a great game to watch and get some early analysis on these teams and some of their players.



Wednesday, November 12th: Los Angeles Lakers at New Orleans Hornets

 Should be exciting to see if the Chris Paul and the Hornets will try to show everyone that they are going to be a top team again this year. Kobe vs. Paul, last year's top two MVP vote getters (with Kobe actually winning MVP).



Friday, November 14th: Detroit Pistons at Los Angeles Lakers

These games have become a lot more fun to watch after the Pistons beat them in the 04 Finals. Both teams are top teams in their conference, and will be looking to get a big win here. Detroit has one of the best records against the West in recent years.



Friday, November 14th: Houston Rockets at San Antonio Spurs

As my good friend Chrisper would say: "TEXAS FIGHT!" Always a great battle between two Texas teams. Should be even better with the improvements the Rockets made in the off season.



Wednesday, November 19th : Cleveland Cavaliers at Detroit Pistons

This has become a great rivalry over recent years. Especially when the LeBron James.......I mean the Cavs beat them in the 07 ECFs (only to get swept by the Spurs in the Finals though). Even people who are not fans of either team has to enjoy these games because they always are a great divisional battle.



Friday, November 28th: Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics

The new and improved 76ers look to show they are going to be a threat in the East this year. Newly acquired PF Elton Brand vs. 2008 DPOY winner Kevin Garnett should be great to watch. I can't wait to see how Philly plays against the defending champs. Should be a great game here.



Thursday, December 25th : Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers

Rematch of the 08 Finals. The Lakers will look to try and get some revenge here, and the Celtics will look to show them who's boss again. You better believe if the Lakers win big, they will remind us how they didn't have Andrew Bynum last year and they would have won the championship if they had him.



Wednesday, January 14th
: Los Angeles Lakers at San Antonio Spurs


Rematch between last year's WCF teams. Lakers vs. Spurs is always a great game to watch. The Spurs better hope Manu Ginobili is healthy enough for this game, or they could have a tough time keeping up with the Spurs. Then again, you can never count out Tim Duncan in big games. I think he has shown that time after time. Remember the 3-point buzzer beater in the playoffs last year?
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com