Sunday, April 29, 2012

Flop of The Year

I am happy Van Gundy was announcing when this happened. Something has to be done about flopping.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

2012 NBA First Round Playoff Predictions

I am not going to go too in depth with these predictions, but here they are.

1) Chicago vs. 8) Philadelphia
Chicago in 6.  Philadelphia has looked horrible lately but I think they can take 2 games in the series.  Could easily be Chicago in 5.

4) Boston vs. 5) Atlanta (ATL has home court)
Boston in 6.  Great news that Horford is out for the series and Pachulia out for a couple of games.  Atlanta is a team that does not bang down low and is a jump shooting team.  I don't think they can beat Boston at their own game.  Josh Smith also has not shown up vs. Boston most of his career.  Could also easily be 5, Atlanta is not really a threat.

3) Indiana vs. 6) Orlando
Indiana in 4.  Orlando without Howard is the worst team in the playoffs.  It is too bad Indiana is on Miami's side of the bracket, cause they match up great with Chicago.

2) Miami vs. 7) New York
Miami in 5.  Miami can handle New York easily.  The Knicks MVP, Tyson Chandler, can only do so much.  Miami is much better at every position from 1-4.

1) San Antonio vs. 8) Utah
San Antonio in 5.  Utah is playing their best basketball of the season, but I just don't think they can keep up with San Antonio.  Especially when Millsap is not %100.

4) Memphis vs. 5) Los Angelos Clippers
Memphis in 6.  I have Memphis or San Antonio coming out the West.  They are by far the most complete team in NBA right now.  CP3 in playoffs is always scary though, he can almost win a series by himself.  Being the only playmaker on the team is just to much to weight on one shoulders vs. a team like Memphis though.

3) Los Angelos Lakers vs. 6) Denver Nuggets
Lakers in 5.  Bynum has been crazier then ever, but also playing the best basketball of his career.  Looks like Kobe finally does trust him, which matters much more then if Mike Brown does or doesn't.  Him and Gasol should be able to take care of Nuggets.

2) Oklahoma City vs. 7) Dallas
Oklahoma City in 7.  Although Chandler leaving was huge for Dallas, they still create some of the same match up problems from last year.  Oklahoma City has no one to cover Dirk and Marion has great defense for Durant.  Westbrook going to be asked to do a lot this series.  I think Oklahoma youth and energy will win it for them, but could easily go either way.

I have Memphis vs. Miami in the finals.  If Memphis not coming out West I think it will be Spurs.  Oklahoma City is too much 1-1 and long jumpers in half court sets, which there is much more of in playoffs.  Most of the blame is on Scott Brooks shoulders.  If not Miami in finals it should be Boston.  That is not just a homer pick either.  In 2nd round Chicago should beat Boston, but they do not have a shot vs. Miami in ECF while Boston actually have a good one.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Bill Simmons Draft Diary Blunders

 As much as Bill Simmons loves to point to his Durant over Oden pick, he has had some horrible blunders over the time.  If anyone shared their thoughts about every draft I am sure you would find mistakes too, but Simmons being so sure of himself, having horrible predictions year after year, and his reasons sounding like something you would read at tmz get to me.  Please ignore the random order.  Here are some of his highlights.
7:37 --The Magic are on the clock with the first pick. If they're smart, they take Emeka Okafor. If they're dumb, they take Howard. It's that simple.

7:39 -- They go with Howard. Of course they do. He's the third high schooler taken overall in the past four years, as well as the first top pick with braces since Pervis Ellison. Not a good sign. "Praise the Lord!" screams Dwight Howard Sr., who didn't realize that the Lord had Okafor going first in his mock draft.
Braces are always the first thing a scout should look at when deciding who to pick. 
5:31: I present two athletic perimeter guys for you, both freshmen:
• Xavier Henry (born March 1991), 2-guard: a top-3 college recruit in 2009, started on the No. 1 college team (regular season), averaged 13.4 ppg (27.5 mpg), shot 45.5 percent and 41.8 percent on 3s, didn't get a ton of touches on a veteran team, did everything he could to fit in.
• Paul George (born May 1990), small forward: not a top-100 college recruit, best player on a 15-18 team in the WAC, averaged 16.8 ppg (33.2 mpg), shot 42 percent and 35 percent on 3s, played inferior competition.
Whom did the Pacers take? Naturally, George. Did I mention that their best player (Danny Granger) is a small forward? I love the NBA.
Great research again.  Pacers must really regret getting George.  Henry now averages 16 minutes per a game with the Hornets.  When you struggle to get playing time for the Hornets, there is a problem.
5:44: Memphis happily takes Henry at No. 12. That was like last year's Hasheem Thabeet pick, only the complete opposite.
Memphis lucked out that Pacers let Xaver Henry slip...
7:49 -- Charlotte takes Adam Morrison. Love that pick.
So did we all. So did we all.
8:00 -- Atlanta keeps its promise and drafts Shelden Williams fifth. Another solid pick, even if his nickname is "The Landlord" (sounds like a bad WWE gimmick). 
The landlord nickname was definitely the thing Atlanta should of been worried about.

5:39: Our long national nightmare is over: The Hawks finally drafted a quality point guard (Acie Law IV). It's like Billy Knight just pooped in our fridge and ate a whole wheel of cheese, isn't it? Mark Jackson celebrates the occasion by making a midget joke.
Am I happy Acie Law ended that nightmare.  I forget, why didn't the Hawks build around Shelden Williams and Acie Law again?
8:29 -- The Warriors take Patrick O'Bryant, a mortal lock for the Reggie Cleveland All-Stars who has the most Irish-sounding name of any black athlete since Troy O'Leary. Not a bad pick. Let's cancel the scheduled Chris Mullin intervention for tomorrow.
After being trip to D league O'Bryant now plays pro in Puerto Rico.  Solid 9th pick.
5:59: Our last two blue-chippers get taken: Julian Wright (Hornets) and Al Thornton (Clippers). Love both of those picks -- not just the players, but the fits with the teams.
Where do they both play now?  You guessed it, one in D league the other in Puerto Rico.
9:40 -- Just when this draft couldn't get any crazier, my beloved Celtics just bought the 21st pick from Phoenix to take Rajon Rondo, the Kentucky guard who Chad Ford touted all summer because he mistakenly thought Rondo was foreign. Unfortunately, Rondo can't shoot. This is an understatement. As Bilas says, "Teams in the SEC didn't even guard him." Put it this way: The list of NBA teams that won an NBA title with a point guard who couldn't shoot looks like this:
1. (empty)
What a horrible pick by Celtics.
6:16: Bledsoe's off the board. Damn. OKC just took him. Typically smart move by them. I'm starting to hate Sam Presti. Make a mistake already, Sam. If there were 30 GMs like you, I'd have nothing to write about.
6:30: Buch reports on another trade: OKC traded the rights to Bledsoe to the Clippers for a future No. 1 because of the "any time you can trade for a future No. 1 from the Clips, you have to do it" rule. It's just the rule. Perfect third guard for the Clips. I'm a fan.
 Great move by Clippers.  Bledose for his career has averaged 2.9 assists per a game and 2 TOs a game.
7:39 -- Our no. 1 pick? Yup … Kyrie Irving. You know, because any time you can grab a freshman point guard who missed two-thirds of the season when you have $20 million of point guards on your roster, you have to do it. We'll see how this goes: I see him settling somewhere between an extremely poor man's Chris Paul and a rich man's Mike Conley. Will he ever make an All-Star team? It's possible … maybe one or two.
Irving has only put together one of the better rookie PG seasons ever.
8:29 -- Ladies and gentleman, it's Jimmer Time! Sacramento just grabbed him with the 10th pick. I see him becoming a more consistently explosive version of JJ Barea, only with deeper range. That's a guy you'd want on your team, right? 
9:12 -- The Knicks take 2-guard Iman Shumpert at no. 17 (huh?), followed by lusty boos from the Knicks fans in Newark, the obligatory shot of a confused Spike Lee, and David Stern blessing the pick by saying, "Iman is not with us tonight." Ooooof. 
Shumpert and Faried ended up being steals of the draft.
8:30 – Apparently the Lakers are trading Kobe this summer – they just took 17-year-old, 290-pound center Andrew Bynum with the 10th pick. I'm speechless. The best high schooler in the draft (Green) and the best perimeter player (Granger) just inexplicably dropped out of the top 10. You figure it out.
I can't figure it out either.  Bynum?  Imagine Lakers with Gerald Green!
4:54: Andy Katz tells us Seattle is keeping the No. 4 pick. Unfortunately, Seattle isn't keeping its team. Anyway, the Sonics pull a minor shocker by taking Russell Westbrook. Loved his potential, loved him all season ... but even I can't defend that one. "Who would have thought last year at this time that Russell Westbrook would have been the fourth pick in this draft?" Bilas asks. Last year? What about last week? What about five minutes ago? 
No one can defend picking Westbrook.  Unforgivable.
5:10: So much for Minnesota doing the right thing. The Wolves just took Syracuse's Jonny Flynn … whom I really like … but … well … he's a point guard.
I agree drafting two PG was dumb, but he did say he really liked Flynn..
7:42 -- Heather Cox interviews Kyrie's dad, Drederick, under the NBA's little-known rule, "Any time a lottery pick's father is in the audience, you have to interview him." Uh-oh, guess who's on the clock ….
A quick recap of Kahn's 24 months in charge: his Timberwolves lost 132 of 164 games; he used the fifth and sixth picks in the 2009 draft to take a Spanish guard who couldn't come over for two years and a point guard who bombed so badly that he's probably getting traded tonight;
What happened Simmons?  I thought you really liked the guy?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Celtics Revival

I can not get enough of Avery Bradley.  He is already one of the best defensive guards in the league and in a year or two could be the top one.  He is currently better then the overrated 1st team defender Rondo.  His D on Wade and Rose in the playoff will be crucial if they want to make a run.  He is the smaller Tony Allen, but smarter on the offensive side.  Like Tony Allen, he still has some trouble with his handle and his shot is very inconsistent, but he is extremely smart without the ball and gets almost all of his points doing backdoor cuts while his man is paying attention to Rondo or whoever else has the ball.  The other way he scores is off of TOs he forces or just out hustling his man on fast breaks.  Rondo finally has a someone who wants to run at every chance.

At this point I actually think he is the better starting SG for the Celtics then Ray Allen.  Allen defense has fallen off tremendously, and although Allen does spread the floor, so does all the other starters (with KG as C).  Bradley brings something that Celtics desperately need, someone who actually cuts towards the basket.  Most of the time when scoring gets stagnate in Celtics first unit it is due to everyone 'spreading the floor' and just waiting for something to happen.  Bradley makes the defense move and gives other options besides just resetting or shooting long jumper.

Another change for the Celtics is KG at center.  He is now forced to play in the low post and is matched up with bigger slower Cs who can't chase him or contest his perimeter jumper.  And, like usual, his defense has been great.  Watching Love struggle to do anything against KG last week was one of my favorite games of the season.  As starting PF this year Garnett averaged 14.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 assist, .8 blocks, .7 steals, and was shooting .496%.  As starting C he averages 16.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.4 blocks, 1.2 steals, and has shot .526%.  His averages have gone up drastically in every single category since moving over.

The last big change for the Celtics has been Pierce finally shaking off the rust.  He was named Eastern Conference Player of the Month for March.  You can always tell when he is feeling good by just looking at his rebounding numbers, where he has averaged 7.6 in his last 10 games.  He also had 6 games with 25+ points and dropped his season high of 36 on the Bobcats.  I do not think the Celtics will be much better then they are right now for the rest of the season.  While the chances are still very slim, I have some hope for first time all season they can really make a run.