Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Jeremy Lin Was Going to be Traded to the Raptors

Reports from the Toronto Sun say that The New York Knicks were about to trade Jeremy Lin. The Raptors would recieve Lin, and Anthony Carter, 36 year old point guard averaging 2 points per game would be sent to the Knicks. Lin only would have been eligible to be traded on March 1st, due to when he was picked up on waivers, so the trade likely would have been done then. The Knicks likely decided that before they trade him he should get some real playing time so they could see just how good he is. His first big game was against Nets, which ended up being his breakout game. Exactly a week after the Raptors and Knicks were discussing a Lin trade, Lin hit the game winning shot to get the Knicks a win over the Raptors. That has been the best moment of Lin's season, and in my opinion the best moment in the NBA thus far. Just to make a little worse for the Raptors, the player they almost traded away for Lin, Anthony Carter, has been put on waivers since this trade almost happened.

If Lin was traded to the Raptors he definately would have gotten playing time, and most likely would have found stardom north of the border. Looking back this could have been one of the most one sided trades in NBA history. "We knew one thing about him after bringing (Lin) in," said Bryan Colangelo (Raptors GM). "We knew he was one tough kid. He took one of the hardest hits I've ever seen on a court and one of the toughest falls. He got hit from behind, crashed to the floor, eventually got up. We didn't think he'd get up, to be honest. And he shook it off and continued the workout."
"We were extremely impressed by that."

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The Greatest Dunk Ever That No One Has Seen

Last week I posted about the D-league dunk competition, and how it was better than the NBA dunk contest. I posted a video of the best dunks of the D-league dunk competition. The video left out the final winning dunk, which was the greatest dunk I have ever seen and I have no doubt that others will feel the same way. On this Friday February 24th Kevin Dobbs did something no one had ever attempted, and no one had ever come near completing. Dobbs decided to take three dunks that could win a dunk contest, and put them together into one. He did the Cedric Cebalos blindfold dunk, the Vince Carter through the legs dunk, and the Paul George dunk over two people, except he did it over three... Kevin Dobbs couldn't see, but yet could still jump over three people, take the ball from one of their hands, put it through his legs then dunk it. Oh and Kevin Dobbs is just 6 foot 3!!! The NBA players at this event were absolutely stunned by this incredible and never seen before dunk. This was no doubt the best dunk EVER.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Why LeBron Is Better Than MJ

"Michael Jordan is probably the greatest scorer to play the game, but I may go as far as to say LeBron James may be the greatest player to ever play the game." That was a quote by Michael Jordan's basketball sidekick and former teammate Scottie Pippen. When Pippen said this many people were outraged, and strongly disagreed. I thought Pippen was crazy at first, but as compared the two players I started to see where he's coming from. I believe that Michael's ability in crunch time and competitiveness get's brings him above LeBron, but the comparison is close. Jordan's a better shooter and winner (by far), while LeBron's a better passer, rebounder and defender. If LeBron can figure out his clutch problems, which he will throughout his career, he will become the best ever.

Lebron: Career stats: 27.7 ppg -- .482 FG% -- .331 3P% 
Early in LeBron's career with the Cavs he had no help on the offensive end. He was relied on almost every time down the floor which resulted in him taking some bad shots. Even with the lack of help he managed to shoot .474 FG% with the Caveliers in his seven years there. He has improved his FG % every year but one throughout his career, including shooting over 50% in the last three seasons. This year James is on pace to have a better FG% then Jordan ever had in his career, and a 3 point percentage Jordan only did better then once in his career. 
Jordan: Career stats: 30.1 ppg -- .497 FG% -- .327 3P%
Michael Jordan was a natural scorer. He averaged over 30 points eight times during his career while LeBron has done that just twice. Jordan was a whole step above his competition during his career, getting ten regular season scoring titles. 
Analysis: Jordan has the edge because of the amount of points he averaged, but if LeBron can continue to shoot well over 50% for the rest of his career he will surpass Jordan in this comparison.
Score: 10-9 Jordan

LeBron: Career stats: 7.0 Apg -- 3.34 Turnovers per game
LeBron is an exceptional passer. He always gets his teammates involved, and uses his intimidation over defenders to bring double teams and then send the ball out for the open bucket. He makes his teammates better (i.e Mo Williams, Anthony Parker), and is one of the few stars ever to honestly be "team first" when it comes to scoring. If he feels someone else has the hot hand he'll feed them instead of demanding he take the shot. LeBron averaged 8.6 Apg (assists per game) in his last season with the Cavs which is absolutely amazing, because he did that with a team that without him lost 26 games in a row the next season. The turnovers often come because he's trying to set up his teammates a little too much.
Jordan: Career stats: 5.3 Apg -- 2.73 Turnovers PG
Micheal Jordan wasn't a bad passer, but he wasn't a great one either. 5.3 assists per game would be an impressive amount an for the average small forward, but not for a guy like Jordan. MJ played almost every minute of every game he played in and had the ball in his hands for most of the time during the games. When you always have the ball and have a guy like Scottie Pippen on your team you should average more then 5.3 Apg. 
Analysis: LeBron is a much better passer then Jordan. Although he now has wade to pass to, Jordan had Pippen, so it evens out. LeBron gets his teamates involved more, and is better at making his teammates look good then Jordan is. Jordan's 2.73 turnovers per game compared to LeBron's 3.34 is impressive, but that is largely due to how Jordan didn't pass as much as LeBron.
Score: 10-7 LeBron
LeBron: Career stats/achievements: 1.7 Steals per game -- 0.8 Blocks per game -- 3 All NBA Defense Team --
Defensively just looking at the stats above LeBron's defense does not seem too impressive. But when you think about that LeBron either has to play defense as an undersized power forward, or is defending the opponents best player, it seems he's doing a bit of a better job. LeBron's steals and blocks go up come playoff time, as he's really shut down opponents star players in recent playoff series'.
Jordan: Career stats/achievements: 2.35 steals per game -- 0.8 Blocks per game -- 9 All NBA Defense Team -- 1 Defensive Player of the Year --
Michael Jordan made a huge impact on the game with his scoring, but also with his defense. He had a knack for getting steals. He did an unbelievable job of picking the pockets of the players he was guarding, and the guys he was guarding were often the games best. Jordan often turned defense into offence with those steals, which was why he had the ability to bring his team back in any game.
Analysis: Both these players are world class defenders, and they were both experts at certain aspects of defending. Jordan was the master at forcing turnovers and turning offence into defence. LeBron was the best at just plain stopping his man. He didn't force as many turnovers as Jordan but he did play as good defence, shown by his higher Defensive Rating then Jordan.
Score: 10-9 Jordan
LeBron: Career stats: 7.1 Rebounds per game
When LeBron entered the NBA it was thought that rebounding would be a large problem with him, but that certainly has not been the case. LeBron has improved his rebounds per game every year since he came to the NBA. The lack of a real center on the Heat has forced LeBron to take on more of a rebounding role, which he has embraced. LeBron is averaging 8.1 rebounds per game this year, which is very impressive due to the fact that he's a small forward. 
Jordan: Career stats: 6.2 Rebounds per game
Unlike LeBron Michael Jordans Rebounds per game went down every season since his rookie season. Whether it was lack of rebounding effort or not having the energy to rebound, Jordan never came close to the 8 rebound per game pace he set as a rookie. As Jordans career he virtually stopped rebounding and starting using all his energy on defense and scoring instead of rebounding.
Analysis: LeBron may be slightly taller then Jordan but that's not why he's such a better rebounder. LeBron decided to put effort into rebounding for his team, while Jordan didn't nearly as much. It's as simple as that. 
Score: 10-6 LeBron
LeBron: Career stats: .635 regular season win perc -- .608% playoff win perc.
LeBrons biggest problem has been the ability to win big games. Eight times LeBron has brought his team to the playoffs with high hopes, and eight times LeBron's team has lost in the playoffs. His teams have lost twice in the finals, including the 2010-11 finals when he played awfully in the fourth quarter of the games. When LeBron was faced with a big shot in the finals he deferred to his teammates instead of taking the big shot. Except for the finals in 2010-11 LeBron has actually been a clutch player throughout his career, but the fact that he played so badly on the biggest stage cannot be denied.
Jordan: Career stats: .659 regular season win perc -- .665 playoff win perc.
Michael Jordan is a winner, plain and simple. 6 NBA championships and 6 finals MVP awards should show just how good Michael Jordan was when it came to big games. Jordan hit 25 game winners throughout his career, including many in the playoffs that were the reason his team was able to have the success they had.
Analysis: . Michael Jordan has more titles, more games won, and has more finals MVP's than LeBron. Michael Jordan has had success in the end of big games, while LeBron hasn't. This doesn't meen LeBron isn't a winner though. He still has a very good .635% regular season win percentage and .608% playoff win percentage. He has been the reason his team has one so many games but he just needs to perform better on the big stage to become widely known as a winer.
Score: 10-4 Jordan
43-42 Jordan-- If LeBron can improve his performance in the clutch and win some championships, which he very likely will, he will become the best ever.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

The REAL Dunk Contest

The D League may be a league of players who can't quite make it to the NBA, but they have some exceptional dunkers. This years dunk contest had some incredible dunks, including an off the back board through the legs dunk. This year and in some of the past years the D league dunk contest has been more exciting, and more creative then the NBA dunk contest. These guys may not be the best basketball players, but they can certainly dunk. Here's some of the best and most creative dunks of the real dunk contest.

Players Who Should Be In Next Years Dunk Contest

This years dunk contest featured a bust of a high draft pick (Derrick Williams) a player who averages 5 minutes of playing time a game (Jeremy Evans), a player who has not fulfilled the high expectations given to him last year (Paul George), and well... a white man who truly did not seem to fit in with the others (Chase Budinger). I must admit all these players can definitely jump and have some great dunks in their arsenal but the dunk contest is all about the hype, and these players had none of it going into the contest. Some of the dunks were pretty good, especially Paul George's glow in the dark dunk and the Jeremy Evans two ball dunk, but the dunk contest overall was not very good. In the end a virtual unknown prior to the dunk contest, Jeremy Evans, came out on top. If the NBA really wants to put on a show they need to put the legitimate best dunkers in the contest. These guys would make the most memorable slam dunk contest ever.

Contestant #1: LeBron James:
LeBron is in most peoples opinion the most athletic player in the NBA. Most athletic=epic dunks. LeBrons problem is that he has a poor reputation for not being clutch, and putting on a great show in the dunk contest would get his "King" reputation back. LeBron shows off his amazing dunking ability in almost every Heat game and there is no doubt that he could bring a new standard to slam dunk contest dunks with a dunk never seen before..
Contestant #2 Russel Westbrook:
For a 6 ft 3 187 lb man, Russel Westbrook can jump insanely high. His in game dunks are ones that would still be impressive if done by someone a foot taller. He loves to be in the spotlight, which sometimes brings problems when playing on a team with Kevin Durant, but a dunk contest is a perfect place to put yourself in the national spotlight.
Contestant #3 Kobe Bryant
Many of the complaints about the dunk contest is that there are no more competitive rivalries like there was back with Michael Jordan vs. Dominique Wilkins. Back then it was two of the best players in the world battling it out to become the best dunker. Kobe would bring that competitive edge back to the contest. Kobe's known for his competitiveness and he would likely build off his rivalry with LeBron during this contest.
Contestant #4 Blake Griffin
And last but not least, the dunking artist, Blake Griffin. Blake's had some of the most incredible in-game dunks ever,which has made him very well known. The 2011 dunk contest winner can do things no one else in the world can do, and if he can fully showcase those skills in the dunk competition it would be something never seen before.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Shumperts Dunk That Would Have Won the Dunk Contest

Iman Shumpert won't participate in the dunk competition due to a left knee injury, and it is truly a shame. During Jeremy Lin's press conference during All-Star Weekend he spoke about the dunk Shumpert was planning on doing during the Dunk Contest.Shumpert was going to do a windmill dunk over Lin lying down on teamate Landry Field's couch. Lin was going to throw the alley-oop from the couch to Shumpert, and after the dunk Shumpert was going to sit on the couch and Fields was going to hand him a Sprite (the sponsor of the contest). The three Knicks players were going to sit drinking some Sprite while the crowd went crazy. This dunk would be taking part of what making made Lin so famous, and using it in a memorable dunk. The couch obviously symbolizes how nights before Linsanity began Jeremy Lin's had been sleeping on either his brothers couch or Landry Field's couch. If Shumpert hadn't gotten injured, this could have been one of the most memorable, and funny dunks ever. Lin has become a worldwide sensation, and using his great story for a memorable dunk would have been amazing. Because we won't be able to see Jeremy Lin and Shumpert putting a great dunk together, here's  a video of Lin doing the Dougie. 

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The All Jeremy Lin Team

Right now if you ask a non basketball fan which NBA players they know of they'll likely say Lebron James, Kobe Bryant and..... Jeremy Lin. He's gone from a virtually unknown third string point guard to being the most talked about story in the sports world. He has shined on a team that prior to Linsanity had struggled to get wins even with with three players making more than 12 million dollars this year. Lin only got his shot because two of the players making the big bucks, Amare Staudemire and Carmelo Anthony, got injured. The Knicks won the first 7 games that Lin got good playing time in, and even with Amare and Carmelo coming from injuries Lin and the Knicks have continued their success. His trash to treasure story is an incredible one, as he was sleeping on his brothers couch not sure about whether he'd be able to stay with the Knicks just days before his success began. 
Lin's popularity in the media world has overshadowed some players that have done nearly the same thing as him. They've gone from the end of a teams bench to having a major role on the team by taking advantage of the opportunity given to them. If there was going to be a team full of players that have done the same thing as Lin throughout this year, this would be it.
The All Jeremy Lin Team

Starting PG: Isaiah Thomas (Sacramento Kings):
This 5 9' 22 year old point guard was the very last pick of the 2011 NBA draft. He cracked the Sacramento Kings roster after really impressing at the pre-season camp and has now become the starting shooting guard for the Kings. He has completely outplayed his fellow rookie, Jimmer Fredette, who unlike Thomas had incredible hype after being picked with the tenth pick of the draft. No one expected Isaiah Thomas to have a key role or even a role at all for the Kings, but he has shown that he deserves it due to the spark he brings to the games he's in. Unlike Jimmer Isaiah had zero hype when entering the NBA, but he's showing he can be a solid starter in the NBA.
Starting SG: Danny Green (San Antonio Spurs):
Danny Green had a rough start to his NBA career. After playing just 20 games with the Cavs in the last year of the LeBron era he was waived (basically meaning was cut). The next year he was picked up by San Antonio, and after just twelve games there he was waived. After getting cut by two teams it seemed like his NBA career might be nearing an end, until the Spurs decided give him another try. They picked him up at the start of this 2011-2012 season and he has not disappointed. Manu Ginoblis injury gave Green an opportunity and he's taken advantage, resulting in now being the starting shooting guard for the Spurs. He has earned his coaches trust, especially on the defensive end on the floor. Recently he shut down Chris Paul during overtime in one of the biggest games of the season for the Spurs. Green has come from the end of the bench to become arguably San Antonio's best shut down defender.
Starting SF: Ersan Ilyasova (Milwaukee Bucks):
Since 2006 Ersan Ilyasova has been on the Milwaukee Bucks. He's started some games, mainly because of the lack of power forwards on this team, but made virtually no impact the Bucks team. Milwaukee was looking to trade him during the off season but couldn't make a deal so ended up keeping him. It seems that all he needed were some trade rumors to get him going because this year he's been a rebounding beast. He had 29 points and 25 rebounds against the Nets, and even managed 16 rebounds against Dwights Magic.
Starting PF: Tiago Splitter (San Antonio Spurs)
For a team with an old core of players to do well a lot of things have to go right. That's been the case with the San Antonio Spurs this year. The top three players on San Antonio are all in the end of their career, and arguably their best player (Ginobli) has been inured for most of the year. One of the things that went right for the Spurs has been Tiago Splitter. The critics of the Spurs had said that the Spurs won't be successful without a center that can guard other teams centers. The Spurs have Blair and Bonner who are both unable to successfully guard a good center, and Tim Duncan is just too old for that. Splitter has stepped up this season and taken the role as the teams best center defender while scoring some points as well. This has all happened just a season after being a bench player that got minimal minutes last season.
Starting C: Nikola Pekovic (Minnesota Timberwolves)
Nikola Pekovic is a lot like Jeremy Lin. They both had gotten barely any playing time until an injury to a teammate  when they took advantage and showed just how good they can be. Since Darko Milicic's injury Pekovic has been a beast. He has been a double double machine and has been exactly what Darko Milicic was supposed to be (when he was picked over Bosh Carmelo and Wade!!!). Pekovic has become the starting center for the Timberwolves, but his story has received barely any media attention because of Linsanity.
Sixth Man
Greivis Vasquez (New Orleans Hornets):
Last year Greivis Vasquez was a very small part of the great run that Memphis put together in the playoffs. He averaged just 3.6 points per game with the grizzlies, and at the time seemed like a below average backup point guard. Oh how things can change. Vasquez has meshed very well with the Hornets since his arrival. He's shooting an amazing .462 on three pointers, and has a .457 field goal percentage. When Jarrett Jack got injured Vasquez got more minutes and started dishing and scoring at will. He has made the decision of who to start at point guard very hard for the Hornets coach Monty Williams to decide now that Jarrett Jack has come back from injury.
Other Team bench players:
Backup SG: Eliot Williams (Portland Trailblazers):
Backup SF: Chandler Parsons (Houston Rockets):
Backup PF: Brendan Wright (Dallas Mavericks):
Backup C:Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets):