Tag:Trail Blazers
Posted on: October 31, 2010 10:10 pm
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Paul Millsap > Carlos Boozer

Yeah, I said and I mean it. Paul Millsap has had to sit on the bench behind for 3 years but this year he is finally the starter with Carlos Boozer going to the Bulls . I've said before that if Millsap was a starter he could be a Top 10 Power Forward and I will stick with that statement going into his first year a starter. Watch and see this guy become better better the Boozer was for the Jazz . You may not think much of him because he's only 6'8", but the guy has athleticism, strength, and hops to make up for not having the size that Boozer did. He has proved to be just as good or better of a rebounder than Boozer, so I guess his stature isn't a problem.

Millsap has already started off this averaging 21.3 ppg  12.3 rpg  3 apg  1.3 spg  63.4% FG  after having a monster night for the Jazz tonight putting up 30 points (12-19 FG  6-8 FT) 16 points 6 assists  and 2 steals in a win for Utah over the Thunder . It's not like this guy hasn't shown he had this potential before; he's given us plenty of flashes in the last two seasons of how good he could be. Do you remember back in the 08/09 season when he became the starter for a stretch when Boozer went down with an injury and went on to post 19 consecutive double-doubles and finished with 29 double-doubles on the season? How about last year when he had a few huge games when Boozer didn't play or had limited minutes? The guy has shown when he gets starter minutes, he produces like a damn good big man.

The biggest advantage Millsap gives you is his hustle, defense, and health. Those are three things you don't think of when you think of Boozer. Boozer has regularly been injured and is already missing the first month and a half (or more) of this season with an injury. In Boozer's six years with the Jazz, he's only had 3 years of playing more than 70 games a year, and only 1 year where he played 80+ games in a year. In Millsaps 3 years with the Jazz he's played 75+ games each time where two of the season he played the ful 82 games in both.

The Jazz proved they would rather have Millsap over Boozer by matching the offer sheet the Trail Blazers had made to Millsap in the off season and did a sign-and-trade with the Bulls to move Boozer. Don't be surprised that even when Boozer is healthy and playing for the Bulls, you see Millsap still out performing him this year. Don't forget this is only Millsap's 4th year in the league and he's just starting his career. He's going to have a break-out year and prove to be better for the Jazz than Boozer was.

Posted on: September 22, 2009 7:18 pm
 

The Mavericks: Old Stars bring new success?

What do Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion, and Dirk Nowitzki all have in common? Other than being teammates on the Dallas Mavericks of course Tongue out

They are all over 30 years old (Nowitzki & Marion are 31 and Kidd is 36), all have had great careers and are seen as one of the top players at their position in their best days, and (most importantly) none of them have a championship ring. I bring this up of course because they are now going to be all teammates with the Mavs in the upcoming 09-10 NBA season. We all remember the Kidd/Devin Harris trade between the Mavs and Nets a couple years back, and now this summer Marion was involved in a 4 way trade between the Mavs, Raptors, Magic, and Grizzlies  that sent Marion to Dallas. Kidd and Marion spent two years together with the Suns (99/00 - 00/01), but that was Marion's first two years in the league and when Kidd was in the prime of his career. Both are now "over the hill" (with Kidd WAY over the hill) and are not quite the players they were once. Kidd is still one of the best defensive PGs and a good passer, but he is much slower, can't jump to get tons of rebounds like he use to, and doesn't look as sharp on his passes or drives as he use to. Marion is still a good defender (not great anymore) and rebounder, but he hasn't been able to his scoring (shooting percentages) have went down and his athleticism isn't as "freakish" as it use to be.

Now neither one is a bad player at all, and both can still contribute a lot to a team. Kidd is still one of the best floor generals and leaders at the point, and Marion is still the "Matrix" who can defend anyone from the 1 to the 4 (even some 5's). They just are not at the top of their game anymore. This is more true for Kidd than Marion who may just have been missing an offense that allowed him to contribute a lot of offense. When he had Kidd in his prime, Kidd would set him up with lots of alley oop chances, and when he left the Suns 3 years (in which he still put up really good numbers) until they started the "D'Antoni Run n Gun" with the Anti-Christ. The all offense no defense style provided some very entertaining seasons and boosted Marion's stats. But once he left the Suns in 07 for the Heat, he didn't have an offense or a PG who could set him up and give him the scoring chances. He showed some flashes of returning to his glory days with the Raptors, but it was short lived.

However, this team isn't just about Kidd and Marion, but there is still a player I've yet to talk about who is the best of all of them: Dirk Nowitzki. Even though he is 31 years old, he is still playing as well as he ever has. He averaged 25.9 ppg last  year (3rd highest of his career, 4th in the league) and got the Mavs to another 50 win season. His rebounds have went down, but that is not because he is declining but due to the fact he doesn't need to rebound as much with the improved rebounding of the team (Kidd adding some to that). Dirk is a former MVP that is one of the most difficult players to guard in the league because of his size and ability to shoot the long ball. His biggest weakness, and the reason he hasn't been able to win a title yet (losing to the Miami Heat in 06 season NBA Finals), is his defense. But with Marion being able to cover 3's and 4's, that may not be as big of a problem as it once was.

All 3 of these players have had plenty of recognition and success for their individual success (Kidd making 9 All Star teams, 6 All NBA teams, 9 All NBA Defensive teams, being regarded as one of the best PGs ever, and having 2 NBA Finals appearances; Marion has made 4 All Star teams and was regarded as one of best defenders in his day; Nowitzki has made 9 All Star teams, 8 All NBA teams, made an NBA Finals appearance, and won an MVP), but they have yet to win NBA's greatest achievement: the Larry O'Brien NBA Championship Trophy. Their time is running out on a chance to win one (especially Kidd), and I'm sure they are hoping this is the year they can do it. They have other good teammates in Josh Howard, Jason Terry, and Drew Gooden.

The West is tough, but there are only 9 teams that have a shot at the playoffs (Lakers, Spurs, Nuggets, Mavs, Hornets, Trail Blazers, Jazz, Rockets, and maybe the Suns but really probably just the other 8). There are a lot of the games top PGs on these teams (Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Tony Parker, Chauncey Billups, and Andre Miller) so it's a good thing the Mavs have Kidd. However, the teams that look to be favored (Lakers, Spurs) and the some of the other top teams (Hornets, Jazz) have a big post prescense. Will Marion being able to help mask Dirk's bad defense? Is Erik Dampier just a waste of space that can't rebound and defend well enough anymore? Can Drew Gooden be the new defensive presence for the Mavs down low? Can this team of old stars band together and pull out a surprising title run? These are some important questions when judging the Mavs and they should be one of the interesting teams to watch this year.

Posted on: March 13, 2009 11:33 pm
 

Allen Iverson Haters: Pay closer attention

Now this isn't just directed at Allen Iverson haters, but anyone that makes the assumption that the Pistons are better off without AI. You only hear people saying that because they either: a) have always hated him since his days on the 76ers and Nuggets, or b) don't pay close enough attention to the Pistons, or c) strong haters of the AI for Chauncey Billups trade, or d) all of the above. Everyone wants to keep saying "I told ya so" about the trade for AI, and the Pistons recent winning streak without him is their latest so called proof of this. Now I'm here to show you all that this is not only completely absurd, but complete ignorance to the fact that the Pistons went on a strong winning streak early in the season without another one of their important players. But how could that be? The media never told us about this?

Earlier in the season, not too long after Christmas Day, Richard Hamilton went down with an injury. The Pistons had to play an 8 game stretch without him, but to many people's surprise, they went 6-2 during those games. Now where does that look familiar? Why that's the exact same record the Pistons have right now without AI in this current 8 game stretch since he went down with his injury. Now I dare you to make the argument that the Pistons played tougher competition this time and played easier teams when Rip was out. Go ahead, you'll just make yourself look foolish. In fact, it's almost the exact same in each of the stretches. The Pistons have beat both the Magic and the Nuggets in both the stretch without Rip and the recent one without AI. Now you might say, "But they beat the Celtics this time!" Let me remind you they don't have their most important player and their cornerstone on defense in Kevin Garnett. If the Pistons played the Celtics when Rip was out, and KG was out then too, then the Pistons would have beat them then. Also, let's look at who the losses were against each time. Without Rip, the Pistons lost to the Trail Blazers and the Jazz (at Utah). Now those two teams are doing pretty well for themselves if I remember correctly. Now without AI, there two losses are from the Hawks and the Knicks. The Knicks are no where near the Blazers or Jazz, and the Hawks were on their bad streak when they beat the Pistons.

So continue to make the foolish assumption that the Pistons are better off without AI, but you're only saying that because you already have that instilled in your mind because of your hate/bias for Allen Iverson, or because the media has been feeding you this garbage and you can't think for yourself. The fact is, the Pistons are a team that knows how to play with great teammwork and defense, and they know how to continue to play at that high level and get wins even without some of their key players. So whether be AI, Rip, Tayshaun Prince, Rasheed Wallace, Antonio McDyess, Rodney Stuckey, or any other Pistons player, the Pistons can easily go on a good winning streak with any of them being injured. The Pistons have been very streaky this year, and that is not something you can blame on AI alone.

Morale of the story is: Things are not always as they appear.

Posted on: March 13, 2009 11:33 pm
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Posted on: September 18, 2008 3:33 pm
 

2008/2009 NBA Awards Predictions

MVP - Dwyane Wade

This is his year to shine, and he will relish the opportunity. He has Shawn Marion and Michael Beasley to be his wing men that will help him get the Heat back into the playoffs in the East. If you didn't get this feeling like me from seeing him play in the Olympics, than you didn't watch the Olympics. He is back at full health and will stay there all season long. Watch him pull off once spectacular year and earning himself his 1st MVP.

Rookie of the Year - Greg Oden


Yes, I said Greg Oden. Now be honest, who forget Oden is still a rookie because he didn't play all of last year? It's okay to admit if you did. He is a monster on the boards, and shot blocking machine. He has some solid moves in the paint as well, but his scoring is one thing that he will need to improve on at the NBA level. I'm saying he pulls down double digit rebounds over the whole year, and gets around 2 blocks a game as well. Some where around 10-15 point per game too.

Defensive Player of the Year - Josh Smith

This will be the year he explodes. Josh has been a top defender for the last couple of years, but he hasn't been able to put himself at the top yet. I believe this is the year he puts himself at the top. He is going to average a double double this year with points and rebounds, and he will average over 2 blocks and 2 steals. Not only that, he will help the Hawks make back to back playoff appearances.

6th man award - Manu Ginobili

Now Ginobili should be starting so this isn't really fair. Even with a bum ankle he can win this 6th man award because he will be playing starters minutes and put up lots of good numbers.

"Real" 6th man - Jason Maxiell

By "real" I mean an actually 6th man. Unlike Ginobili, Maxiell most likely won't start and get starter minutes. He will be part of the "Zoo Crew" for the Pistons and continue to improve on his game as he has year after year. Him and Rodney Stuckey will be huge off the bench for the Pistons. He will come in to give them lots of energy and a post presence on offense and defense. He should be starting by next year if not sometime this year.

Most Improve Player - Randy Foye or Devin Harris

I couldn't decide here. I believe both of these guys will have huge years, and improve a lot from last year. Harris was better last year, but I believe he will still be better than Foye this year as well. However, I believe Foye will finally start playing like the PG the Timberwolves have been expecting out of him since they drafted him. Harris will be starting for the Nets, should put himself into the Top 10 PGs after this year, and Foye will put himself right outside that Top 10.

Coach of the Year - Mo Cheeks

The 76ers made the playoffs last year as the 6th seed. Mo Cheeks was a huge part of that and would have won this award last year if it wasn't for Byron Scott and the Hornets. Now this year he will have Elton Brand and a young team that just added some more experience under their belts. Look for Cheeks to lead the 76ers into the playoffs yet again, but this time they will be a higher seed (Top 4).
Posted on: April 3, 2008 8:22 pm
 

Shawn Marion: Where will he go?

We all know now that the Matrix was banished to exile, or in other words the Miami Heat, after the Suns traded him for Shaq. Everyone (mainly Heat fans) are excited about how good their Heat will be next year with him, a healthy Dwyane Wade, and Michael Beasley (or some other top draft pick). The problem is, his contract runs up at the end of the year and who would blame him for not wanted to stay on the Heat. So it's not a "lock" he will be in Miami next year. So the question is, if he doesn't stay in Miami where will he go? If he decides to go into free agency what team would most likely pick him up?

I'm sure there are a few teams that could use him, but with his high salary who could afford him? Here are the teams I see that are most likely to go after him: Heat, Cavaliers, Nets, Raptors, and the Trail Blazers. The heat obivously would want him back. The Cavs would want him for the obvious reason; to help LeBron James win a title. The Nets would want him for his defense and rebounding skills down low. The Raptors would want him for similar reason as the Nets. The Trail Blazers would want him for the same as the Raptors and the Nets, and also he would fit into their offense very well. The question is, which one will get him?

I think the most likely destination for Marion is Nets or the Heat. Both will have the cap room to pay him the money he wants and both would feature him as one of their best assets. With the Heat, he would be primarily used for defense and rebounding and make some big dunks in the fast break. In New Jersey, he will have a similar role he did on the Suns, but he would have to be more involved on offense due to them only having Devin Harris and Richard Jefferson as offense threats (sorry Vince Carter). It all depends on who he thinks he would most likely be able to win a title with. When it comes down to it, I think he will resign with the Heat and play with D-Wade and whatever top draft pick they get next year.
 
 
 
 
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