College vs. NBA

March 20, 2008

It’s an argument I have had with many people, many times. A lot of the time I get too fired up and overly passionate and get way too into the argument. But in the end, I’m always right and the person sees that I’m right. (well not really everytime, actually not even half the time, but whatever) I have always been a firm believer that NCAA basketball is a better product than the NBA. Twice in public speaking classes, I have given a persuasive speech in favor of college basketball. And believe me, I do love college basketball very much still. However, I think the NBA is making a serious comeback to the good old days of #23, MJ, your airness, whatever you would like to call him.

With the Big Dance ready to get underway tomorrow, I figured it would be a good time to revisit this topic. This season the NBA is has given us some great storylines, along with some great basketball. We have seen the resurgence of one of the all-time great teams in the Boston Celtics as they have gone from celler-dwellers to the cream of the crop. The Houston Rockets just finished off winning 22 straight games en route to taking the top spot in the West. More big names have been traded than in any season before this and finally, we are seeing two superstars, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant come from behind the shadows of the late great MJ.

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I am totally looking forward to the start March Madness tomorrow, but for the first time in a long time, I am also looking forward to the NBA playoffs.

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SOS… Same Old Spurs

March 5, 2008

I remember a month ago when every sports reporters around the country was writing off the San Antonio Spurs. With the Lakers, Suns, and Mavericks making big trades to position themselves for a top spot out West, the Spurs made the quiet ones and allowed their team to get healthy. The Spurs big three, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli, have all missed time due to injury, but in the end this could be a blessing in disguise. All three have been given the chance to rest and now the Spurs are riding a 10-game winning streak and are tied for first with the Lakers out West.  The acquisitions of role palyers Kurt Thomas and Damon Stoudamire, might be the most valuable pick-ups by any team this season.

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 Now, I’ll be the first to admit, the Spurs may be the most BORING team to watch in the history of the NBA. They don’t do anything fancy and often times lull both their opponents and their fans to sleep. But, this is what makes them so great. The play solid fundamental basketball that seems to just translate into W’s. If the rest of the West doesn’t take notice of the Spurs slow resurgence back to the top of the standings, they might be lulled to sleep, and when they wake up the Spurs will be collecting their 4th NBA title in the past six seasons.

A Fan’s Dilemma

March 4, 2008

To say that i am a die-hard New York Knicks fan would be a gross understatement. Since the tender age of 5, I have followed my beloved Knicks through thick and thin. I remember the great times: Ewing leading the Knicks to the finals in 1994, Allan Houston’s game winner to upset #1 seeded Miami in the first round, and Larry Johnson’s 4-point play.

But, lately, the times have not been so good. It seems like James Dolan and Isiah Thomas have made it their mission to personally destroy the Knicks and run them into the ground. Right now, the team consists of over-paid, underachieving, selfish players who only care about their big, fat paychecks. We have traded away numerous potential stars and draft picks for the likes of Eddy Curry. However, through all these bad times, the Knicks are still the team I love the most.

So, here’s my dilemma. With the end of the season only a month and a half away and the Knicks struggling at 18-42, do i do the unthinkable? I hate even thinking about the unthinkable because I believe it is gross and despicable. And the unthinkable is… to root against my own team in hopes for a better draft pick. For once, the Knicks own their first-round pick and could end up with a top 3 selection. But when i think about the unthinkable, it makes me sick to my stomach, and I know that I bleed Blue and Orange. So, even though we are virtually eliminated from the playoffs, I’ll say what I have said for years… Let’s Go Knicks!!

Down For The Count

February 27, 2008

In the extremely tough Western Conference, the Houston Rockets got off to a slow start at the beginning of the season. But of late, things were starting to turn around as they were riding a 12 game winning streak and had climbed to 7th in the West with a record of 36-20.  They recently had acquired lights out scorer Bobby Jackson to compliment  Yao and T-Mac. But as the old saying goes, “what goes up must come down” and the Rockets might be returning to Earth as they learned that Yao Ming will be done for the season becaused of a stress fracture in his left foot.

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The 7-foot-6 Ming was having one of the best seasons of his career as he was averaging  22 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. The door has now been opened for the 9th place Denver Nuggets to slide into the playoff picture if the Rockets fold without Ming. However, last season when Ming missed 32 games, the Rockets compiled a record of 20-12. It should be interesting to see which way the Rockets go as their big man has gone down for the count.

The Lake Show is Back

February 25, 2008

Not too long ago, Kobe Bryant was asking Los Angeles Lakers management for a trade. It seemed like he had enough of Lakerland and wanted to start fresh elsewhere in the NBA. A few months later, Kobe is still wearing yellow and purple, and the Lakers are currently38-17 and hold the best record in the super-competitive Western Conference.

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Kind of crazy how things can change so quickly. When Kobe demanded a trade he was upset that the Lakers were not doing enough to put good players around him. This is when the Lakers got smart. Instead of trading their star player, they did exactly what he wanted, put good players around him. When the Lakers had the chance to trade Bynum to New Jersey for Jason Kidd, they decided to keep Bynum because of the potential he held. Then, in a huge steal, the Lakers acquired Pau Gasol for a very little.

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Now, when Bynum returns, the Lakers will be able to put a crunch time line-up that includes sharpshooter Derek Fisher, Kobe, do-everything Lamar Odom, Gasol, and Bynum. Arguably, it could be the best line-up in the NBA and it makes the Lakers the favorite to win out West.

Must See T.V.

February 21, 2008

Tonight is going to be a great night of basketball. Both Jason Kidd, who was traded to Dallas yesterday, and Shaq will be making their debuts for their new teams tonight. Kidd and the Mavericks will be taking on the Hornets, while Shaq and the Suns will host Kobe and the Lakers. For those of you that would like to check out the matchup between the Suns and Lakers it will be on at 9 p.m. on ESPN tonight.

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Many have questioned whether or not Shaq can fit into the Suns running style. Shaq has said this week that he is ready to run like Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. For Jason Kidd, the Mavericks will hope that he hcan bring some mental toughness to a team that folded to the #8 seed Golden State Warriors in last seasons playoffs. I highly recommend checking out the Suns-Lakers game if you get a chance to, it will be a good one.

The dunk contest is back

February 18, 2008

For those of you that watched the dunk contest the other night, you were lucky enough to see some of the best dunks in the history of the contest. For years now, many folks have believed that the dunk contest was played out and not that good anymore because there were not enough new dunks out there for people to try. Renowned sports columnist Bill Simmons believed they should replace the dunk contest with a game of H-O-R-S-E. Well folks, Dwight Howard has proved these people wrong.

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Howard flew through the air on his second dunk of the contest with a Superman shirt and cape on. It was probably one of the most athletic moves I’ve ever seen by an individual. Quite frankly, Howard is a freak of nature. Howard wasn’t the only contestant that electrified the crowd. The Minnesota Timberwolves, Gerald Green had one dunk where as he dunked it, he blew out a candle sitting on top of a cupcake.

Check out the below video to see some of these dunks.

George Blocks the Deal

February 14, 2008

When the disparity between the West and the East in the NBA looked at an all-time high heading into this season, there seemed to be no way it could get stronger. Over the last 2 weeks, two blockbuster trades have made the West one of the strongest conferences in sports history. On Wednesday, a third trade was on the verge of happening-that would have involved the New Jersey Nets sending Jason Kidd to the Dallas Mavericks for Devin Harris, Jerry Stackhouse, Devean George, a few other players, and possibly draft picks and money. However, George denied the trade as he has the right to deny any trade as it is part of his one year contract.

The trade would have sent Kidd, who was drafted by the Mavericks and won Rookie of the Year honors for the team, to one fo the best teams in the league. Kidd would have been paired up with reinging league MVP Dirk Nowitzki and up and coming star Josh Howard.

Last month, Kidd said that it was time for him and the Nets to part ways as it would be good for both organizations. The Mavericks would be the winners in the short run, while the Nets with the young Harris and more possible draft picks could win out in the long run. We will have to wait and see if the teams can figure out something to get around George’s denoal of the trade.

The Diesel Heads West

February 7, 2008

Today the NBA saw one of the biggest trades in its history occur. It can be labeled a big deal because of the sheer size of the man involved. The Miami Heat sent the 7-foot-1, 325-pound, Shaquille O’Neal to the Phoenix Suns in return for Shawn Marion and and Marcus Banks.

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Many people have been left scratching their heads after this deal was made. O’Neal doesn’t really fit in with the Suns fast -break style offense and may even slow them down. Others believe it is a good trade as Shaq’s size will help the Suns match-up against teams like the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, and Houston Rockets.

 On the other side of the fence, the Heat pick up the ultra explosive Shawn Marion. The Matrix has been of the top forwards int he league for many years now. On any given night, Marion can lead the team in points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals.

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The other player involved in the trade is guard Marcus Banks. Banks has not played much of a factor in for the leading Suns.

It will be interesting to see if the Diesel can bring a ring to the desert.