Sunday, 26 August 2012

THIS BLOG HAS BEEN MOVED TO BUSTASPORTS.COM



This blog has been moved to http://www.bustasports.com

Bustasports is a site that I started 4 months ago. The site is roughly half debates and half articles. We pay all of our writers, and are one of the up and coming sites on the web. If you're interested in writing for bustasports, email me at lmssports@hotmail.com

1 on 1 Debate

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Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Top Ten Dunks of this NBA Season

This season has had tons of great plays, mainly dunks. Here are the top ten dunks of the season thus far:

1. Blake Griffin DESTROYS Kendrick Perkins

2. Gerald Green's proves he would have won the dunk contest

3. LeBron dunks... and jumps over John Lucas III

4. Russel Westbrook forgets he's just 6 foot 3

5. Blake Griffin Jumps over 4 people and dunks... wow

6. Paul George doing his best Vince Carter impression

7. Josh Smith dunks on Serge Iblaka


8. Nicolas Batum embarrasses Javale Mcgee

9. Paul George unreal reverse double pump dunk

10. John Wall forgets he's a point guard

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Why Kevin Love is NBA MVP -- The MVP Debate



There are three things that make a player the MVP. His impact on his team, his stats, and his team's performance. Here's the comparisons of the top MVP candidates and how they stack up:

Most Valuable to Own Team
1. Chris Paul -- Last year at this point Clippers were 19-31. They add Chris Pual, they're 29-21. You can't deny the facts, he's more valuable to the Clippers than any player on any other team. 
2. Kevin Love -- Putting his whole team on his back, keeping his team in contention. Without Love T-Wolves are one of NBA's worst teams. 
3. LeBron James -- Tough call between KD and LBJ, went with LeBron. The Heat's various injuries made LeBron the pick here, because without LeBron the Heat would have actually really struggled.
4. Kevin Durant -- There are nights when he's overshadowed by Westbrook, and his team would win without him more often than the Heat would win without LeBron. 


Best Stats:
1. Kevin Love -- 26.6ppg, 13.9rpg, ESPN#NBAMVP rank: 6
Kevin Love is putting up ridiculous numbers. With his 51 point game, and his 40 point 19 rebound game, he's having a ridiculously good statistical season. 
2. LeBron James -- 26.7ppg, 6.6apg, ESPN#NBAMVP rank: 1
If LeBron's PER can remain the same he will have the best PER ever. That's incredible. He's only behind Love because of Love's amazing rebounding rate that goes with his scoring.
3. Kevin Durant 27.8ppg, 8.1rpg, ESPN#NBAMVP rank: 2
Kevin Durant is the best scorer in the NBA, and he's always going to put up impressive stats. This year he's scored less than the two previous years though. 
4. Chris Paul 19.4ppg, 8.8apg, ESPN #NBAMVP rank: 4
With Chris Paul the stats don't show the affect he has on the game being played. While his stats are impressive, they're not nearly as impressive as the stats of the players above. Paul's affect on the game comes with his speed and leadership along with the scoring and passing which he of course also does well. 


Team Record/Quality of players of team (How well team has done compared to expectations)
1. Kevin Durant -- OKC is living up to expectations with the second best record in the NBA, and Durant is a big reason why. 
2. Kevin Love -- With Rubio out for the season the T-Wolves season is fully dependent on Love. He's embraced this, and has gotten his team of NBA draft busts into playoff contention.
3. Chris Paul -- The Clippers were expected to compete for the division and make the playoffs. That's been exactly what has happened, and they are currently leading their division.
4. LeBron James -- It's pretty crazy for a team to be second place in the confrence and be underachieving... but that's the case with the Heat. 

Who Should be MVP:
After looking at the three things that are considered when deciding who's MVP, I've decided Kevin Love should be the 2011-12 NBA MVP. He has the best stats out of the four candidates, and has carried his team by himself like none of the other candidates. Love was the best player in the NBA in March, when he scored more than 35 points 5 times, including a 51 point game and a 40 point 19 rebound game. He's been dominating every team he faces, and the teams play fully relies on him. If Love were not on the Wolves they'd be one of the worst NBA teams instead of a playoff contender.





Monday, 26 March 2012

Full 2011 NBA Re-Draft

      The 2011 NBA has turned out to be a surprisingly good one. There wasn't a superstar in the draft, a LeBron James or Dwight Howard, but there were a lot of good players who got drafted last year. Most of the first round draft picks have gotten consistent minutes and have had solid production this season, and some second round picks have had a huge impact as well. 15 of the first 20 picks have gotten more than 5 starts this season, and 4 second round picks have gotten starts. Looking back there were some very good picks and some very bad picks in that draft. Here's how the draft would have gone if it could be re-done right now.


      ***fg%=field goal percentage, 3P% = 3 point percentage, ppg = points per game, rpg = rebounds per game, apg = assists per game, spg = steals per game, mpg = minutes  per game, bpg = blocks per game



1.       Cleveland Caveleirs: Kyrie Irving PG -- .472 fg% .401 3P% 18.8 ppg 5.6apg  31.3 mpg

Cleveland Caveleirs Actually Picked: Kyrie Irving

Explanation: Kyrie Irving has been the best player to come out of this draft. His rookie numbers have been comparable to Derrick Rose's rookie stats, which shows just how good he has been. He's turned the worst team in the NBA into a playoff contender. 

2.       Minnesota T-Wolves: Kenneth Faried PF/C -- .589 fg% 9.6 ppg 7.1 rpg 1 bpg 20.5 mpg
Minnesota Timberwolves Actually Picked: Derrick Williams
Explanation: Derrick Williams would be the T-Wolves would be the second best option here, but the best pick would be Kenneth Faried. The undersized power forward has been one of the most effective big men all season. Every time he steps on the court he gives 100%, and it has shown in his production. He has been improving all season, and should keep improving in the future. He has begun to consistently get over 10 points and 5 rebounds, while playing great defense. On a Minnesota team with a frontcourt of Pekovic and Love, who are both "below the rim" players, Kenneth Faried with his above the rim style would be very valuable. Also Derrick Williams was better at PF than at SF, so the T-Wolves wouldn't be losing significant production at SF.
3.       Utah Jazz: Derrick Williams SF/PF -- .449 fg% .313 3P% 8.7ppg 4.9rpg 21mpg  
Utah Jazz Actually Picked: Enes Kanter
Explanation: Although Derrick Williams is better at PF, he is still an option at SF. He would fill a need at SF for the Jazz, and would add huge depth the the already stacked frontcourt of Jefferson Millsap and Favors. Kanter is getting very little playing time, and has not lived up to the expectations the Jazz had for him when they picked him 3rd overall. Derrick Williams would provide help at the SF position along with adding depth at PF. 
4.       Cleveland Caveleirs: Kawhi Leonard SF --  .486 fg% .365 3P% 8 ppg 1.4 spg 24.5 mpg
Cleveland Caveleirs Actually Picked: Tristan Thomson
Explanation: Kawhi Leonard is a coaches dream. He rebounds, scores, is a good passer, plays great defense. He isn't "great" at any one aspect of basketball, but instead he's good at all of them. His play in college with San Diego State was very similar to his play in the NBA, but scouts always thought he couldn't be as effective in the NBA. They were wrong. Leonard is a very solid consistent player, who will give good minutes to whatever team he plays for. The only reason he fell to 4th pick is that his upside isn't as high as the players ahead of him. With Tristan Thomson, much like Kanter he hasn't lived up to the expectations, and hasn't quite learned how to score consistently on NBA big men. 
5.       Toronto Raptors: Jonas Valencunas PF/C (Europe) --.660 fg% .83 ft%, 19.5 points per 40
Toronto Raptors Actually Picked: Jonas Valencunas
Explanation: The Raptors need a real franchise center to compete for a playoff spot in the east. They have that player in Valencunas. He's been playing on the Lietuvos Rytas Team and has been tearing up the Lithuanian League. Valencunas will be joining the Raptors in the 2012-2013 season, when we will find out whether this pick was genius or very dumb.
6.       Washington Wizards: Isaiah Thomas PG -- .438 fg% .373 3P%,10.1 ppg, 3.5 apg,  22.5 mpg
Washington Wizards Actually Picked: Jan Vesely
Explanation: Washington had an opportunity to use their #6 pick for a very good player that would help the Wizards get to the playoffs. That is absolutely not what happened. Jan Vesely, although loaded with potential, has not been able to put his skill together and consistently play well for the Wizards. The Wizards needed a player who would consistently play well and create scoring opportunities. Jan Vesely doesn't do these things, but Isaiah Thomas does. The very last pick of the 2011 draft has proven that 29 teams made a mistake by not picking him. He has been the creator of offense for the Sacramento Kings this year, and has been a huge surprise. His speed and consistent jumper makes him very hard to cover. This pick would also make sense because there is a lack of depth at SG after Nick Young was traded away, and Isaiah Thomas would quickly become a reliable shooter guard option (he's a point guard but also plays shooting guard).
7.       Charlotte Bobcats: Kemba Walker PG -- .37 fg%, .37 3P%,12.1 ppg, 4.1 apg, 1 spg 27 mpg  
Charlotte Bobcats Actually Picked: Bismack Biyombo
Explanation: In the 2011 draft Kemba Walker was picked by Charlotte with teh 9th pick, but if the draf were to happen again the pistons would surely pick Kemba. That's why the Bobcats would pick him here, instead of waitig for their next pick. Kemba has struggled with his shooting this season, but has still managed to get 12.1 ppg. He is the lone bright spot on one of the worst teams in NBA history, the Charlotte Bobcats. Kemba's U'conn team could have beaten the Bobcats. It should be presumed that when Kemba does get other good players around him in Charlotte he will become a much better player. 
8.       Detroit Pistons: MarShon Brooks SG/SF -- .430 fg%, .331 3P%, 12.8 ppg 29.6 mpg  
Detroit Pistons Atually Picked: Brandon Knight

Explanation: Brandon Knight was supposed to be the next great Kentucky point guard to become an NBA star, following in John Wall's footpaths. That hasn't happened. Although he hasn't been awful, he hasn't been as good as expected, and has been outplayed by Rodney Stuckey. With Stuckey at point guard that leaves Ben Gordon and Teyshaun Prince at shooting guard and small forward. For a team rebuilding, those are not the guys you want playing most of your minutes. The Pistons are looking for a shooting guard, and the best one in the draft is MarShon Brooks. In college he was much like Jimmer Fredette, shooting from wherever and putting up insane numbers. The difference is Brooks's success has also happened in the NBA. He's proved if healthy he can be a consistent NBA scorer.

9.       Charlotte Bobcats: Tristan Thomson PF/C -- .431 fg%, 7.6 ppg, 1.1 bpg, 22 mpg

Charlotte Bobcats Actually Picked: Kemba Walker

Explanation:   Kemba was picked by the Bobcats with the 7th pick, so this pick was between Bismack Biyombo and Tristan Thomson. Even with as good as Biyombo has been for the Cavs, Thomson would be the obvious pick here. Thomson is a good defender and rebounder, and his offensive skill while raw is improving. He's much better offensively than Biyombo, and has a more promising future than Biyombo does, even with Bismacks blocking ability. 
10.   Sacramento Kings: Iman Shumpert PG/SG -- .385 fg% .263 3P% 9 ppg 1.8 spg 27.2 mpg
Sacramento Kings Actually Picked: Jimmer Fredette
Explanation: Jimmer is a good three point shooter, and that's about as far as his skill set goes. He can't defend, struggles to drive and tries to make too great a pass. Picking Jimmer with the tenth pick was a HUGE mistake for the Kings. The Kings are the worst defensive team in the NBA, and what they really need instead of a shooter is a guard who's great at defense. With Shumpert they'd get one of the leagues best on ball defenders, and a guy who can play point guard, which is something the Kings will need with Isaiah Thomas being picked by Washington.
11.   Golden State Warriors: Klay Thomson PG -- .436 fg%, .434 3P%, 10.2 ppg, 20.8 mpg
Golden State Warriors Actually Picked: Klay Thomson
12.   Utah Jazz: Bismack Biyombo C -- .452 fg%, .477 ft% 4.5 ppg, , 1.8 bpg, 20 mpg
Utah Jazz Actually Picked: Alec Burks
13.   Phoenix Suns: Brandon Knight PG -- .407 fg% .368 3P% 12.6 ppg, 3.6apg, 32.3mpg
Phoenix Suns Actually Picked: Markieff Morris
14.   Houston Rockets: Chandler Parsons SF -- .462 fg% .325 3P%, 8.9 ppg, 1.1 spg, 27.5 mpg
Houston Rockets Actually Picked: Marcus Morris
15.   San Antonio Spurs: Markieff Morris PF-- .390 fg% .381 3P%, 7.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 19.1 mpg
San Antonio Spurs Actually Picked: Kawhi Leonard
16.   Philadelphia 76ers: Nikola Vucevic PF/C -- .473fg .375 3P% 6.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg,17.1 mpg
Philadelphia 76ers Actually Picked: Nikola Vucevic
17.   New York Knicks: Enes Kanter C -- .462 fg% 4.7 ppg, 4.6 rbg, 13.8 mpg
New York Knicks Actually Picked: Iman Shumpert
18.   Washington Wizards: Alec Burks SG -- .448 fg% .296 3P%,6.8 ppg, 0.8 apg, 14.6 mpg 
Washington Wizards Actually Picked: Chris Singleton
19.   Millwaukee Bucks: Marcus Morris PF --.269 fg% 2.2 ppg, 7.2 mpg, 9 games played
Millwaukee Bucks Actually Picked: Tobias Harris
20.   Houston Rockets: Jan Vesely SF/PF -- .531 fg%  3.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 15.1 mpg  
Houston Rockets Actually Picked: Donatas Motiejunas
21.   Portland Trail Blazers: Jimmy Butler SG/SF --  .431 fg%, .250 3P%, 2.7 ppg, 8.8 mpg
Portland Trail Blazers Actually Picked: Nolan Smith
22.   Denver Nuggets: Jon Leuer PF -- .509 fg% .250 3P%  4.8 ppg, 12.2 mpg
Denver Nuggets Actually Picked: Kenneth Faried
23.   Chicago Bulls: Chris Singleton  SF/PF -- .363 fg% .333 3P% 4.5 ppg 1.2 spg 21.5 mpg
Chicago Bulls Actually Picked: Nikola Mirotic
24.   Oklahoma City Thunder: Norris Cole PG--.40 fg% .295 3P% 7.2 ppg 2.2 apg 19.9 mpg 
Oklahoma City Thunder Actually Picked: Reggie Jackson
25.   New Jersey Nets: Tobias Harris SF/PF --.446 fg% .294 3P%4.7 ppg 2 rpg  11 mpg 
New Jersey Nets Actually Picked: MarShon Brooks
26.   Denver Nuggets: JaJuan Johnson PF -- .489 fg%, 3.6 ppg, 8.4 mpg
Denver Nuggets Actually Picked: Jordan Hamilton
27.   Boston Celtics: Jimmer Fredette PG --.384 fg%, .377 3P%, 1.9apg,  18.7 mpg 
Boston Celtics Actually Picked: JaJuan Johnson
28.   Miami Heat: Reggie Jackson PG -- .331 fg%, .213 3P%, 3.3 ppg, 0.6 spg, 11.6 mpg 
Miami Heat Actually Picked: Norris Cole
29.   San Antonio Spurs: Shelvin Mack PG --.400 fg% .343 3P%  3.3 ppg 1.6 apg 11.5 mpg
San Antonio Spurs Atually Picked: Cory Joseph
30.   Chicago Bulls: Donatas Motiejunas PF (In Europe) --12.5 ppg, 7.9rpg, 31.3mpg
Chicago Bulls Actually Picked: Jimmy Butler

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Casey Mack -- The Man Who Completely Predicted Linsanity

The greatest part of Jeremy Lin's story was that it was completely unexpected. Lin came seemingly out of nowhere to quickly become one of the biggest sports stars in the world . No one saw it coming. Coaches, analysts, owners, reporters, writers, no one. Except for Casey Mack. 


From August of 2010 to March of 2011 Casey Mack was a writer for the website dimemag.com. The 8th of the 35 articles that Casey wrote for dimemag.com was a historic one. It was proof that linsanity was in fact predicted. In Casey's article, "The Warriors Have The Next Steve Nash On Their Roster", he talked about how Lin could turn out to be a very special player. He wrote this article before Lin had played an NBA game (written in September 2010), and much of what Mack predicted has been remarkably accurate. Here are the main predictions from the article, and how they've really turned out.

Prediction: "Each [Nash and Lin] is a blur in the open court, with great vision and dependable pull-up jumpers.".... "By always keeping his options open with the ball in play, Nash creates extra time and space for himself and for his teammates to get open and get buckets. I think that knack for keeping his dribble is what will translate into Nash-type success for Lin more than anything."

The Truth: That prediction could not have been more correct. All the comparisons that were made between Nash and Lin's game were because they both have amazing quickness, vision, a dependable pull-up jumpers and the ability keeping his dribble alive. Those things are what have made Lin such a great player. Lin's ability to keep his dribble alive gives his teammates time to get wide open and get easy buckets has also been a huge part of his game, just as Casey suggested it would be.

Prediction: "If Lin can keep his handle up to par and keep that chip on his shoulder until the right opportunity comes along, the double-doubles are sure to come for this Asian-American sensation."

The Truth: The right opportunity wasn't the Warriors, wasn't the Rockets, it was the Knicks. Once again the prediction was correct.

Prediction: "Just like Nash, Lin didn't hone his skills at a college basketball powerhouse. Just like Nash, he is a minority in the game who has had to prove himself at every step in the process and plays with a perpetual underdog chip on his shoulder."


The Truth: Everything mentioned, his Harvard education and Asian background have been the reason he's been overlooked, and has been the reason he's been able to fight through adversity and find success.

Casey Macks must have seemed insane at the time it was written, but now it seems genious. Here's a link to the full article: http://dimemag.com/2010/09/the-warriors-have-the-next-steve-nash-on-their-roster/

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

NBA Players Draft Round 1 -- All Players Eligible

Every year kids from college are drafted into the NBA. Here's what the draft order would look like if GM's got to draft anyone in the NBA, not just college players. (These teams would be drafting these players to their team for many years to come, not just this year)
1. LeBron James (SF) -- Some question how clutch he is, some question his competitiveness, but no one questions that LeBron is the best overall player in the NBA. He's more valuable to a team than anyone else.
2. Dwight Howard (C) -- Dwight Howard single handedly makes his team one of the best defensive teams in the NBA. He also has eight 20 point 20 rebound games this season. He's tough to turn down.
3. Kevin Durant (SF) -- Kevin Durant is the best scorer in the NBA. He's won the scoring title the last two years, and is just 23. The only reason he's third and not first in this draft is that the two players above him are much better defenders than he is.
4. Derrick Rose (PG) -- Derrick Rose has not peaked yet, which is unbelievable for a player that has already won an MVP. He may not be the best point guard in the NBA right now (Chris Paul) but he's just 23 and is still improving. Imagine how good he's gonna be when he peaks...
5. Chris Paul (PG) -- As mentioned Chris Paul is arguably the best point guard in the NBA right now. He's behind Rose though because he's three years older and isn't going to improve as much as Rose will in the future. Paul does have a huge impact on a team though, a perfect example is the LA Clippers.
6. Blake Griffin (PF) -- Blake Griffin's upside is enormous. His offensive game is currently very raw, yet he still averages 21.2 ppg this year. When Griffin learns learns how some good post moves and gets his jumper more consistent, NBA watch out. Also no one sells tickets quite like Blake Griffin which is very important to some struggling franchises.
7. Dwayne Wade (SG) -- Wade falls back to no. 7 because of age and injuries. He's been struggling with a number of injuries this season, which has resulted in inconsistent play. Also Wade is 7 years older than Griffin Rose and Durant, so why pick Wade over those guys?
8. Kobe Bryant (SG) -- Sadly the great Kobe Bryant is getting old (well... basketball old). At 33 no one know how many more great seasons he's going to have. He may be getting old, but it doesn't seem to be affecting his scoring. He's a great scorer and shooter, and will likely be able to put up the amazing numbers he's currently putting up for at least the next 3 years. Kobe is a great leader, and when crunch time comes there's no one in the NBA who's I'd rather have.
9. Russel Westbrook (PG) -- Russel Westbrook is insanely athletic, and can do things at the point guard position that no one else can. The downside is that he's often criticized for shooting too much and not passing to the other star his team, Kevin Durant. If Westbrook is on a team that fits his playing style, he could become a point guard very similar to Derrick Rose.
10. John Wall (PG) -- Similar to Blake Griffin, John Wall has incredible upside. A change of scenery and a new system could turn this much hyped no.1 overall pick into the best point guard in the NBA.
11. Demarcus Cousins (PF) 
12. Andrew Bynum (C)
13. Deron Williams (PG) 
14 Kevin Love (PF)
15. Carmelo Anthony (SF)
16. Al Jefferson (C)
17. Rajon Rondo (PG)
18. Roy Hibbert (C)
19. Ricky Rubio (PG)
20. Kyrie Irving (PG)
21. Rudy Gay (SF)
22. Pau Gasol (PF)
23. Tony Parker (PG)
24. Brandon Jennings (PG)
25. Tyreke Evans (PG/SG)
26. LaMarcus Aldridge (PF)
27. Steve Nash (PG)
28. Paul Pierce (SF)
29. Dirk Nowitski (PF)
30. Monta Ellis (PG/SG)

Monday, 19 March 2012

The Most Underrated Player in the NBA -- By Far

In the Air Canada Center in Toronto the least talked about, most forgotten, and most underrated team in the NBA play about twice each week. That team of course is the The Toronto Raptors. On that forgotten team are 12 players who all deserve more media attention and most of them are very underrated. The most underrated player (by far), on the most underrated team is James Johnson.

The 6 ft 9 starting SF for the Raptors has been having an amazing season. Johnson is underrated by fans, writers, reporters, virtually everyone outside of Toronto. The players know how good Johnson is though. He is as strong defensively at his position as anyone else in the NBA. LeBron, Igoudala, Gay and Durant are generally looked at as the best small forward defenders, but James Johnson is equal to all of them, if not better. He defends the opponents' best scorers, and defends them just as well as the names I previously listed. Don't believe me? Look at the stats below.




















As the charts show James Johnson is one of the best defenders in the NBA even though outside of Toronto he's virtually unknown. He definitely deserves to be in the Defensive Player of the Year discussions, but given how underrated he is, he may not. James Johnson deserves way more credit than he receives for his defense, and he's improving on the offensive side as well.

Friday, 16 March 2012

5'6 Aquille Carr --- The Future of the NBA

At just 5'6 Aquille Carr is tearing up high school basketball. In his freshman season with Patterson High School he averaged 25 points, 8 assists and 5.3 steals per game. That was good enough to get him freshman of the year honors. His best game came against Lake Clifton when he was being guarded by current Memphis Grizzlies bench player Josh Selby. Carr scored 39 points along with 19 assists while being defended by the 7 inches taller Selby. In his sophomore season he lead Patterson High School to a 25-2 record and to the Class 4A state championship game. That season Carr had an incredible 57 point game against Forest Park, where he broke the school's 50 year record for most points in a game. In his junior year he just kept improving as he averaged 31.3 points, 5.6 assists and 4.5 steals per game. His senior year was very similar to his previous two, and it ended with leading his school to a Class 3A state championship. In that game Carr had 28 points, 8 assists, 6 steals and 3 rebounds.

Carr's success is being noticed all around the world. CBS Sports called him "one of the most explosive scorers in the country". ESPN wrote that he's "one of the quickest and [most] explosive players in the country, regardless of class." Sports Illustrated wrote, "He has explosive speed, electric ball handling and court vision that could rival Steve Nash's."

A 5'6 140 pound kid scoring 57 points in a game with a 48 inch vertical leap and the ability to dunk is certainly going to get peoples' attention. He was reportedly offered 26 scholarships at the start of his sophomore season. As well, after averaging 40 points a game with the U.S. junior team in the Junior International Tournament in Italy he was offered $750,000 to leave school and go play professionally for the Italian team Lottomatica Roma. He has decided he will graduate high school (this is his final year) and he has verbally commited to playing for Seton Hall next year. Here are some videos to show just how explosive and talented this young man is.


Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Why Stoudemire Stands In the Way of a Knicks Postseason Run


The Knicks are hoping to surprise some people and make a deep run in the post season. There is just one thing standing in their way. His name is Amare Stoudemire. Amare was most at fault for the Knicks struggles earlier on this season, and the same problems will likely occur in the postseason. Since Mike Woodson's arrival Stoudmire has barely played because of his injury, and when he does return the Knicks are destined for trouble. Here's why. 
The low point of the season for the Knicks came after losing to the Bulls on March 12th. They were 18-24 which was an embarrassing record for a team of such talent. Two days after that loss D'antoni resigned, and since then the Knicks season has been revived. They're winning a lot more under Mike Woodson and are playing with more passion and effort than they were with D'antoni. Even with the success of the Knicks under Woodson, as I look back at the first 42 games of the Knicks season I realized the Knicks struggles were even more Stoudemire's than D'antoni's.
Up to that point the Knicks had been a tale two teams. One team that is 10-23, and one that is 8-1.
The 10-23 team is an unexcited and unenerergized group that is stagnant on offense and plays minimal defense. This is a team with chemistry problems and with guys that just don't play well together. This is a mix of egos, between Amare Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, and even at times Jeremy Lin.
The second team, the team that went 9-1, is a completely different story. This is a team that is very willing to share the ball, and that plays great team defense. This team features a lot of Jared Jeffries, Billy Walker, Steve Novak and Iman Shumpert, and even with the lack of star power these guys work great together. These guys are easily excited and show emotion after virtually every play.
There was tons of blame going around about why the Knicks weren't able to play to their potential (which they're now doing). Some of the blame was on Carmelo Anthony for not passing enough and some was on D'antoni for poor coaching. Both of these men were at fault for the Knicks struggles, more D'antoni than Carmelo, which has been proved by the success the Knicks have had since D'antoni's resignation. The real blame though should have been on Amare Stoudemire.
This aging superstar has never been a fit in New York. He was the main reason for the stagnant offense which has cursed the Knicks all season. He's also liability on defense. Opponents intentionally target him as a guy to score on, which has been done successfully many times this year. The lack of defense and the stagnant offense he brings to the Knicks are the two things that have killed the Knicks all season. Since Stoudemire's recent injury the Knicks have looked like a new team, just like they seemingly do every time Stoudemire isn't playing. That's why the Knicks made a huge mistake not trading Amare at the trade deadline, and they should trade him in the off season.
You may be asking; But who will become the team's power forward? Jared Jeffries. Jeffries is a very unselfish passer who plays unbelievable defense and always hustles. He's almost the very opposite of Stoudemire. You may also be asking; But you have no proof the team struggles because of Stoudemire!!? Wrong. The Knicks are 5-18 when Stoudemire shoots more than 12 times in a game, and 4-15 when Stoudemire plays more than 35 minutes. On the contrary when Jared Jeffries plays more than 20 minutes in a game the Knicks are 12-6. If the Knicks want to make a run in the postseason, they need to play Jared Jeffries and Steve Novak a lot more than Amare Stoudmire. 

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Why Nash Could End Up in Orlando Next Season


According to CBS sports and Sports Illustrated during Dwight Howard's weeks of indecision about whether to re-sign in Orlando or not he asked the Orlando Magic front office to pursue 38 year old 2 time MVP Steve Nash.
Both Nash and Howard stayed with their respective teams, but a Nash to Orlando move could be in the horizon. This summer Nash is a free-agent. He has stated that he wants to win a title right now, and that he won't be returning to the Suns if their isn't significant improvement to their roster (which isn't likely). Nash would be a very good fit in Orlando, with a team similar to Phoenix just many, many times better. Just like phoenix the Magic are a team of sharp shooters, and have a dominant center. Nash would fit in right away, and would likely take this team from a mediocre playoff team to a serious title contender. 
Nash has averaged the most assists per game in the NBA thus far, and has made guys like Jared Dudley and Marcin Gortat look spectacular (though Gortat is pretty good). Nash's passing ability and Howards finishing ability would make them a 1-2 punch no defense would want to play against.
The team Nash ends up with will be a big part of this years off season, and Orlando seems like the best possible fit for the future hall of famer. 


Saturday, 10 March 2012

Thunder Wrong to Decline Trade for Dwight Howard

Brian K. Schmit, a Magic insider recently tweeted that the Oklahoma City Thunder have recently turned down a trade that would send Dwight to OKC and James Harden and Ibaka to the Magic. There may have been other players or cash involved in the trade to bring the Thunder below the salary cap, but if a trade involving mainly these players was purposed and declined by the Thunder as Schmit suggested, than the Thunder may be regretting this decision for a long time. There are lots of positives and negatives for the Thunder about this trade, here they are.

Positives: Dwight Howard is much better than any other center in the NBA. His incredible size and shot blocking ability makes it very difficult to drive the lane, and Howard's defensive ability is shown by his 3 defensive player of the year awards in the last 3 years. Dwight also has incredible scoring and rebounding abilities. That has been shown by his seven 20 rebound 20 point games this year, and his incredible 23 rebound 45 point game against the Warriors. Dwight would give the Thunder what no other contender has, a consistent offensive presence inside. Dwight would give them the very important edge inside over most teams, especially the Heat and Bulls.

Negatives: Right now the Thunder have a great core of players with Durant, Westbrook, Harden and Ibaka. They have some nice depth as well with Thabo Sefaolosha, Nick Collison, and Eric Maynor. This team has been one of the best this year, and has the looks of a being contenders for the next decade. This trade would send two of their talented young pieces to the Thunder for a Dwight Howard. This would give the Thunder three superstars who demand the ball and who demand to get their fair share of shots. That isn't always always a bad thing, but adding Howard to the mix could mess up the chemistry in Oklahoma City.

Analysis: Adding Howard would turn the Thunder from contenders for many years to come into favorites for many years to come. Harden is likely to leave Oklahoma City when his contract expires (because he's too good to be a career 6th man), and Ibaka's shot blocking wouldn't be missed because of Dwights inside presence. This trade could result in the Thunder to struggle with chemistry in the short term, but in the long run this Thunder team would figure out how to play together and would become a multiple championship winning team.

Overall: The Thunder definitely should have accepted this trade, and will likely be regretting declining this trade in the future.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Why The Raptors Will Be A Force in the East Very Soon

The Raptors are one of those teams that people don't pay much attention to. At first glance they seem like one of the worst teams in the NBA and a relatively untalented team with many losing seasons ahead of them. Those people are right and wrong. The Raptors right now are pretty untalented. Their best player has been injured for most of this season and is a seven footer that barely rebounds, and struggles to defend (although he is improving). Other than Bargnani, Calderon, and Derozan the Raptors are a team full of role players. In terms of raw skill, they are the worst in the NBA (yes, worse than the Bobcats). But unlike the Bobcats the Raptors have found a way to get their players to work well together, and have a bright future ahead of them.

This year the Raptors have actually been a good team. With Bargnani the Raptors are 6-7, which if continued throughout the whole season would likely have gotten them a playoff birth. Bargnani's injury forced the Raptors to learn how to play without him though. They struggled at the start but have since figured out how to play without the big seven footer. In the last 16 games the Raptors are 6-10. During that span the Raptors have not lost by more then 7, and have lost in the last seconds to the Knicks, Lakers, Celtics, Magic and Spurs. They have been very close to winning every one of the last 10 losses.

They've had success with great passing, but mostly with great team defense. The Raptors coach, Dwane Casey, who was the genius behind the Mavericks' championship winning defense last year, has been an incredible coach. He's gotten this team from worst in the NBA in team defense to the middle of the pack in the defensive rankings. The more time Casey's had to coach these guys the better they've gotten. This whole season they've only given up more than 100 points 5 times. Last year at that point it had happened 23 times!! The only thing that must improve is the offense.

The Raptors are clearly missing a consistent scorer, a reliable center, and a solid wing player. The consistent scorer is already on the team roster, Andrea Bargnani, and though plagued by injuries he's shown huge improvements this season. The reliable center, Jonas Valanciunas, is tearing up the Lithuanian Leagues and getting ready to join the Raptors next year. The solid wing player will come out of next years draft. The Raptors will likely have a high pick in the draft, and this is a draft packed with small forwards. There are many options, including Perry Jones III, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Harrison Barnes, and Terrence Jones. In my opinion, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is the most likely pick. If he was picked by the Raps this would become their 2012-13 starting lineup.

PG: Jose Calderon
SG: Demar Derozan
SF: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
PF: Andrea Bargnani
C: Jonas Valanciunas
This offensive minded group will work perfectly with Dwane Casey's defensive ingeniousness, and as a result this team will be a force in the east for many years to come.


Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Michael Jordan Punched Teammate During Practice -- Teammates Explain

Michael Jordan was loved for his competitiveness. His competitiveness was why he always wanted the ball, and demanded that he was the one taking the final shot to win or lose the game for his team. His competitiveness was not loved by everyone though, as his teammates were often on the other side Jordan's raging anger. In this video Jordan and his former teammates discuss some of Jordan's angriest moments, including when he punched teammate Steve Kerr in the face during practice.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Why Chris Paul Has The Edge Over Than Derrick Rose

The NBA is currently stacked with talented point guards, including Deron Williams, Rondo, Nash, Parker, Westbrook and many others. The best two point guards though, without much dispute, are Derrick Rose and Chris Paul. I recently did a poll asking who was better between the two point guards and the results were 47% voted for Chris Paul and 53% voted for Derrick Rose. I decided to figure out myself who was better between the point guards. Here's the comparison in all the main aspects of being a point guard.
Scoring:
Chris Paul: Career Stats: 18.7 ppg -- .472 FG% -- .365 3P%
Chris Paul is a pass first point guard. Paul has the ability to score with his very good jumper and ability to drive, but he isn't as aggresive as he could be. When Paul chooses to he can be a huge scoring threat, but often he feels his team will do better if he passes instead of shoots, so he doesn't shoot as much as he should. Paul has the ability to take over games with his very underrated scoring ability.
Derrick Rose: Career Stats: 21.1 ppg -- .468 FG% -- .312 3P%
Derrick Rose is unbelievable at driving in the lane. He consistently cuts past defenders to the basket, and either gets fouled, makes the shot or passes it out. The only problem with Rose's game is his long distance shooting. His shooting has improved over the last few seasons, and he is now a threat to hit 3's, but is still not making them as consistently as he needs to. Rose is a very aggressive scorer, and is allways looking for the bucket.
Analysis: Chris Paul is a better shooter than Rose, but Rose is much better at driving to the hoop. Rose affects games more with his scoring and is much more aggressive on the scoring end. Rose's outside shooting has improved, and if he could become a more consistent shooter from outside he would become nearly impossible to stop. Chris Paul could put up the amount of points Rose puts up if Paul took more shots, but Paul often chooses to pass instead. Rose's aggressiveness and driving ability gives him the edge over Paul's pass first attitude about scoring.
Score: 10-8 Rose
Passing:
Chris Paul: Career Stats: 9.8 apg-- 2.5 turnovers per game 
Last season the Clippers were 32-50, this year they're 22-13. The reason for that is Chris Paul, but mostly Chris Paul's passing ability. Paul has an uncanny ability to find the open man, and even averaged more then 10 assists a game twice with a fairly untalented Hornets team. Paul makes the players around him better by consistently getting them open looks, and has been in most opinions the leagues best passer over the last five years.
Derrick Rose: Career Stats: 6.8 apg -- 2.9 turnovers per game
Derrick Rose is a good passer, but he's not a Chris Paul caliber passer . He has never averaged more than 8 assists while playing on a very talented Bulls team. Rose gets a lot of assists by driving and dishing the ball out at the last second, which can also be very risky and cause turnovers. Rose has improved his passing throughout his career, and if he can continue to improve his passing at the rate it's improving he'd become one of the best passers in the league.
Analysis: Paul has established himself as one of the best passers in the league, probably the best, while Rose is still trying to improve his passing. Paul plays a pass first version of pg, while Rose plays a more aggressive scoring style, which really affects their assist rates. Paul has gotten more assists and less turnovers with a less talented Hornets team then Rose has had with a very talented Bulls team. Overall Paul's ability to consistently find the open man and make his teammates better without turning the ball over gives him the edge over Rose.
Score: 10-7 Paul
Defense:
Chris Paul: Career Stats: 2.4 steals per game -- 0.1 blocks per game -- 104 defensive rating
Chris Paul throughout his whole career has been at the top of the steals leaders for that year. Paul is a master at picking the pocket of the opponent and using that to turn defense into offense. His 2.4 career steals per game is absolutely remarkable, and he's even had two years where he was very close to 3 steals per game. Paul has lead the league in steals 3 times, and has proved that he's one of the hardest point guards in the NBA to score on.
Derrick Rose: Career Stats: 0.9 steals per game -- 0.4 blocks per game -- 107 defensive Rating
 Derrick Rose's stats may not look too impressive but he is actually a very good defensive stopper. Rose is very quick which helps him stay in front of his man and not let opponents drive by him. Rose is great at stopping players when driving to the basket, and when they're isolation situations, but when the player starts running off picks and shooting Rose struggles to close out on the shooters. Rose plays for one of the best defensive teams in the NBA, so when Rose's defense is struggling he hears about it from teammates, and from defensive coach Tom Thibodeau.
Analysis: Chris Paul and Derrick Rose are very different types are defenders. Paul is known for being one of the best defensive point guards in the league, with his ability to pick his opponents pockets and get big steals. Rose is great at defending players like himself who are often driving to the hoop, but struggles to guard players who are great shooters. Paul's stealing ability gives him the big edge in this category.
Score: 10-7 Paul
Winning/Leadership
Chris Paul: Career Stats/ Achievements: 21.9 ppg, 11.1 apg in playoffs -- .539 reg. season win % -- .474 playoff win %
Plain and simple, Chris Paul is a leader. He's one of the most vocal players to ever play point guard, and if you watch him during the game he is ALWAYS talking. Communication is a big part of basketball and Paul is the master at communication. Whether on offence, defence, or on the bench he's allways directing traffic and telling people where they should go and why while congratulating them. Paul is also a very competitive player, and is has shown that with his clutch ability. Paul has been one of the most underrated clutch performers in the NBA, and has hit various game winners throughout his career.
Derrick Rose: Career Stats/ Achievements: 25.2 ppg, 7.3 apg in playoffs -- .585 reg. season win % -- .464 playoff win %
Derrick Rose is also a leader, but a different kind of leader. Rose doesn't lead with his talking like Paul does and instead leads with his actions. Rose has been a huge part of his teams winning, and his many clutch performances have been his way of leading.
Analysis: The playoff and reg. season win percentages for both players have been pretty equal, and have been pretty average. Though their teams haven't found enormous success in the post season, it certainly hasn't been their faults. Both Paul and Rose improved their assists and points once the playoffs came around, and both players were the reason their teams even made the playoffs. Both Paul and Rose are leaders, though in different ways, and both players have yet to make it past the Conference Finals.
Score: 9-9 Tie

OVERALL Score: 
37-33 Chris Paul





Sunday, 4 March 2012

What was Expected vs. What Really Happened on Deadline Day

I wrote an article days before the trade deadline about what the active trade deadline teams were expected to do by most NBA analysts. That article is below and the trades these teams actually made is also included.
With the NBA trade deadline coming up there are tons of different rumours about what trades that could happen. The Celtics, Lakers, Clippers, Timberwolves, Nets and Magic are the teams that will be the most active as the trade deadline emerges. Here are the players that those teams are looking to trade away and looking to receive through trades.
(All this information has come from espn.com, nba.com, bleacherreport.com and deadspin.com)

Boston Celtics: 
Willing to trade away: Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett
Looking to receive: Michael Beasley Josh Smith, Chris Kaman
Analysis: Rondo has been told he won't be traded, and after his montrous game against the Knicks the odds of him being traded are very low. It seems the Celtics are willing to break up their big three though. Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen have both been in many trade rumours, with the most likely to be traded being Ray Allen. The Celtics were looking to receive Josh Smith for the likes of Ray Allen, but the Hawks were not liking the idea. The Celtics are trying to land a talented young big man but are struggling to make a deal.
What really happened: Nothing.

Los Angeles Lakers: 
Willing to trade away: Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Draft Picks
Looking to receive: Michael Beasley, Raymond Felton, Kirk Hinrich, Ramon Session, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash
Analysis: The Lakers need a point guard. Of the names above Sessions is the most likely to land in LA and is actually a very good player who's stuck behind Kyrie Irving in Cleveland. Also a Beasley for a first rounder deal was offered and declined, but LA may still end up with Beasley by the trade deadline.
What really happened: Received: Jordan Hill, Ramon Sessions Traded away: Derrick Fisher, 1st round pick (Dallas), and a protected 1st round pick.

Los Angeles Clippers:

Willing to trade away: Randy Foye, Eric Bledsoe, Ryan Gomes, Draft Picks
Looking to receive: Ray Allen, Jamal Crawford, virtually any solid SG available
Analysis: Chauncey Billups' injury left a gaping whole in the SG position for the Clippers. Ray Allen and Jamal Crawford are two guys who the Clips looking to trade for, and they might need to trade away Randy Foye and some draft picks to get either of those guys.
What really happened: Received: Nick Young Traded Away: Brian Cook and "possible draft pick"

Minnesota Timberwolves:

Willing to trade away: Michael Beasley
Looking to receive: Pau Gasol, Draft Picks
Analysis: Michael Beasley and his huge contract just doesn't fit in Minnesota. The Timberwolves are aggresively trying to shop Beasley, and could get draft picks in return. Minnesota is also looking to receive Gasol in a larger deal with the Lakers.
What really happened: Nothing

New Jersey Nets:

Willing to trade away: Anyone but Deron Williams
Looking to receive: Dwight Howard
Analysis: The Nets really want Dwight Howard. They will trade away anyone on their team except for their exceptional point guard Deron Williams, for the big Howard. The Nets are the current front-runner in the Dwight Howard Sweepstakes.
What really happened: Received: Gerald Wallace Traded Away: Mehmet Okur, Shawne Williams, future first round pick
Orlando Magic: 

Willing to trade away: Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson, Hedo Turkoglu
Looking to receive: Monta Ellis, Draft Picks
Analysis: The situation for the Magic is a complicated one. They are trying to get good players in Orlando to play with Dwight so that when the summer comes Dwight will want to stay. The problem is that most teams don't want to trade any good players to Orlando because they want to receive Dwight back in return. Orlando doesn't have good enough players outside of Dwight to trade for another good player, so Orlando might end up trading Dwight to a team like the Nets, Warriors or Rockets for a number of good young players.
What really happened: Dwight decided to stay in Orlando for another year.