Wednesday, October 31, 2012

And We're Off!!!

The NBA season tipped off last night with the Heat beating the Celtics and the Mavs surprising the Lakers.  Oh and Uncle Drew put up 29 to go with the Brazilian Rodman's 23 boards to lead the Cavs over the injury riddled Wizards.

First observation is the Lakers' bench is atrocious.  They kind of remind me of Miami of 2010.  If Nash, Gasol, Bryant and Howard don't pour in 20ppg each, the Lakers have little chance of winning.  Nash struggled last night finishing with only 7 points and 4 assists, and generally looked out of sorts the entire game.  Kobe looked hampered by his strained foot, lacking the explosiveness that we have come to expect from him, but The Black Mamba shot an incredibly efficient 11/14 to end with 22 points.  Gasol and Howard both looked good putting up around 20 and 10, but Howard's free throw shooting was again a huge factor.  He went 3/14 from the line missing several clutch freebies.  If he can't improve his free throw shooting, there is no way you can have him on the floor in the clutch and he will always be the second best big in the league.

Second observation: D. Wade and Rondo should kick box.  It all started in the 2011 playoffs when the fashionista known as D. Wade intentionally tackled Rondo to the floor dislocating his elbow in the process.

Seems Rondo didn't forget the pain associated with a dislocated joint and last night he went for the kill towards the end of the Celtics 120-107 loss in Miami.

This rivalry is getting to be all kinds of hot.  Wade called the foul a "punk play" after the game and said he almost threw the ball at Rondo, but got scared Rondo would try to fight him and did not want to risk a broken nail.  These teams both looked great last night and barring the Fountain of Youth being discovered in Grand Central, these teams will be your Eastern Conference Finals representatives.

Happy Halloween from Ludacris/Anthony Davis

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

KG, Master of the Cold Shoulder

The NBA is back baby! The Heat beat the Celtics tonight. And this happened:
In other opening night news, Steve Nash has apparently hired D. Wade as his personal stylist.

Bye, Smooth J: OKC Sacrificed Title Shots for Financial Security

After taking a few days to digest the Harden to Houston trade, I'm no less upset than I was on Saturday night.  With the trade of Harden to Houston, Presti traded away almost certain title opportunities over the next 5 seasons (probably more).  When is the last time a team had 3 of the top 20 players in the league and those players were all UNDER the age of 25?  The answer is never.  Houston was able to offer Harden the max contact he desired (5 years, $78M) and a shot at being The Man.  Harden never demanded the spotlight in OKC, that's not what he wanted.  He just wanted what he was worth.  He already sacrificed numbers and a starting spot and now Presti wanted him to sacrifice the money he deserved.  Hadn't he already sacrificed enough?

OKC is obviously a small market team, so there will be those that argue this all comes down to the plight of a small market and while there may be SOME truth to that (the Lakers would not have batted an eyelash at the luxury tax they would have had to pay to sign Harden to a max deal in part because of their $150M/yr TV contract, almost 10x what OKC makes on their annual TV deal), I call bull shit.  OKC made $35M in PROFIT last year in a shortened season.  According to Forbes, they are the 15th most valuable team in the NBA.  That being said, their operating income is 5th highest in the entire league, so for those arguing that OKC's ownership is just ensuring that they get theirs, let me assure you, they are getting theirs on a nightly basis.  If they would've re-signed Harden to a max deal, they would have been over the luxury tax cutting into their profit greatly, but it only needed to be for one year.  At the end of this season, they could've amnestied an aging Kendrick Perkins or tried to find a trade partner for Ibaka (I'll visit Ibaka more later), so for those arguing ownership did not have a choice, you lose.  Ownership had to take a cut to their profits for ONE YEAR (pending the right offseason moves) to sure up title contention for the next 5.  While I understand sports are a business, by choosing profits, OKC broke up a trio the likes of which we may never see again.  A trio that could have competed for championships for a decade.  A trio that could have gone down as one of the greatest threesomes of all time.

In return for Harden, Presti acquired Kevin Martin, an established wing scorer who averages around 18.0 ppg for his career but does not play anything resembling defense, Jeremy Lamb, who averaged 20 ppg in the NBA Summer League but doesn't strike me as the superstar type, 2 first round picks, one of which may not happen until 2018 and a second round pick.  No piece that was acquired will provide the spark that Harden gave off the bench and no piece will be pointed to at the end of the year as the reason the Thunder went back to the NBA finals.  In fact, this trade will be pointed to after the season as the reason the Thunder lost to the Lakers in the Western Conference finals.  The Lakers had no answer for Harden in the Western Conference Semis last year... I doubt they are going to have the same problems with Kevin Martin.

An angle that has not been talked about is the negative effect this could potentially have on the psyches of Russ Russ and K. Smoove.  The Thunder should know first hand what breaking up such a tight knit group of players can do to a team.  When OKC acquired Poppa Perk from the Celtics, what happened to Boston?  They struggled.  Not because they were dramatically less skilled as a team, but because Poppa Perk was the glue that held that locker room together.  I'm not suggesting that Harden was the glue in OKC's locker room or that I think Russ Russ and K. Smoove will struggle this year, I'm just saying to keep an eye on the demeanor of OKC's remaining superstars.  If I were either of them, I'd hold a bit of a grudge towards management for breaking up something so special for the dollar signs.

OKC is making an enormous bet on the maturation of Serge Ibaka's offensive game.  I'm not saying that can't happen, but all the evidence we have up until now points to that process taking a long time if it happens at all.  I understand that Ibaka provides unbelievable contributions on the defensive end, but he is a liability on the offensive side of the floor and anytime that is the case, you put an enormous amount of pressure on the other four guys.  K. Smoove and Russ Russ can handle the pressure, but there is no longer a relief valve for when Russ Russ goes into one of his 0-8 slumps.

In a perfect world, Serge Ibaka's offensive game would mature quickly and Perry Jones III and Jeremy Lamb would develop into reliable scorers making Smooth J an afterthought in OKC, but I doubt thats how this will play out.  While I desperately hope I am wrong, I fear that this trade will cripple K. Smoove's title chances for the next couple years especially with the emergence of super teams like the Lakers and the development of other teams like the Clippers.

Presti, I hope the boys prove me wrong or you will be my least favorite GM in sports.


Tonight, the NBA gets back underway.  Coming off one of the best seasons in years, the league awash in a level of talent not seen since the early 90s, big offseason trades, and storylines out the wazzoo, everyone in da Club couldn't be more excited.  Welcome back.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

BronBrons thoughts on the Harden trade

Pappa Perk gonna be getting that one in his grill all Finals (if the Thunder can even get there again now).

In unrelated news, GERALD GREEN WHAT'S GOOD

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Jeremiah is FUCKED UP, Smooth J to the Rockets

Sam Presti would not agree to give Jeremiah his white woman.  I hope Jeremiah is happy.  He and Smooth J are now headed to the mecca of Houston to play alongside Jeremy Lin's sizable IQ, small member and lack of athleticism.  Presti could've done worse... Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, 2 first rounders and a second rounder.  My emotions are running circles around me.  For now, I leave you with the beauty below... when I compose myself, I'll be back for more.

Can only imagine what Poppa Perk is like right now...

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Saga Continues: Delonte West ousted from Dallas

As previously referenced here in da club, Delonte West has had his fair share of troubles.  Well, the troubles continue for the young birthmarked Mr West.  He's done did it again, getting himself kicked off the Mavs.  Unfortunately, details are shy outside of his conduct being "detrimental to the team," and the organization getting worried about his influence on the younger players.  But the speculation runs rampant!  Word out of Dallas has Delonte crashing his crotch rocket while doing wheelies and firing a 9mm handgun, dressed in his finest St. Pauli Girl outfit, in an attempt to cheer up Mavs star Dirk Nowitzki while he recovers from surgery.  Waiting on confirmation from a few witnesses, but consider that the story as of now.  Thankfully, Delonte took to twitter to assure his fans that this was not a bi-polar trip, and that he is now staring at American Airlines Arena with tears in his eyes, and presumably tattooed on his face.

In related breaking news, the Mavs wasted no time in filling the open roster spot with Eddy Curry, fresh off a hard-earned championship in South Beach.  Will he provide the spark Dirk desperately needs?  Which contending team will take a chance on a deranged Delonte?  Only time will tell.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bye Bye Dictator Stern

ESPN's Marc Stein reports that David Stern will be stepping down on February 1, 2014 and be replaced by Adam Silver.  The news will be formally announced tonight.

Listen, I appreciate what David Stern did for the NBA.  He brought the NBA back to relevancy and took it out of the days of tape delayed NBA finals.  I can't believe there was ever a time when the finals of one of the big 4 sports was tape delayed, but that's for another time.  For all the good he did, he was (is) an arrogant, power hungry, smug dictator (being smug is the worst of qualities) that ran over anyone who had the stones to stand up to him.  My hatred for David Stern boiled over during a recent radio interview with Jim Rome (Rome is a raging douche, too) where Rome asked Stern if the "fix was in" when referring to the Hornets (an NBA owned team at the time with a 13.7% chance of winning the #1 pick in the 2012 draft) winning the 2012 draft lotto.  The following insinuation and back and forth is the stuff dreams are made of.  Check out the audio below.  If you haven't heard it, it's fantastic.

I'm happy Stern is gone.  Maybe the NBA will stop fixing games now so K Smoove and the boys have a chance to knock off Stern's horse, LeBron.

Thanks for the story Blackface.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ref, Marat Kogut feels the same way about LeBron James as I do...

Atlantic Division Preview (Wheelchairs and HOVA)

Just a week before the NBA is back in business, so it's time to preview one of the most well-rounded divisions in the L, the Atlantic.  There were a lot of offseason moves here, so let's dive right into it.

We begin with the hometown 76ers, who are looking to improve on their surprise run to game 7 of the conference semifinals.  Even if DRose and his untimely knee injury helped get them there, they played great basketball and still nearly got past the Celtics to the ECF.  With a lot of good basketball to build on, they snuck in and managed to land Andrew Bynum, the best center outside of Dwight Howard, who conveniently switched conferences (If you're about to say something about Brook Lopez, shut up.  Just shut up).  So the Sixers have the best center in a conference really lacking in big men.  That's a huge start.  Hopefully his paper maiche knees hold up long enough for him to average 22 and 13.  Swaggy P is also in town, so the off-court antics are covered.  If Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday make good on the big development we're supposed to see from them, expect the Sixers to fight for the top of the Atlantic Division.

Next stop, Beantown.  What more can be said about Boston?  The huge storyline for them is Shuttlesworth jumping ship to Miami.  Between an apparent beef with Rondo, and the fact that they've tried to trade him for 2 years now, that wasn't that surprising.  It's officially Rondo's team, with KG and Pierce serving as the compliments.  Bringing in Jason Terry, getting Jeff Green back, Brandon Bass coming into his own, and Avery Bradley back at some point, the C's are a very solid team, and you can't count them out with Doc at the helm.  They will most likely be the biggest challengers to Miami for the Eastern crown.  Whether they stick to their routine of late of coasting into the playoffs and turning it on is still to be determined.  But expect Rondo to play out of his mind, KG to just be completely out of his mind, and Pierce to keep doin his thing

Further down the Eastern seaboard, we find the now-crowded city of New York.  Kudos for the NBA for scheduling them to play their first game head-to-head in the house that HOVA built.  The Knicks are the oldest team in NBA history.  That is pretty wild.  Offseason transactions include bringing back Rasheed Wallace, for whom there is not enough time in the day to talk about, Kurt Thomas, Raymond fatty Felton, and Jason Kidd's drunk ass.   That is an unbelievable haul.  Melo must be hyped.  Oh, and Amare is already out with knee troubles?  Looks like another great opportunity for Carmelo to exit the first round of the playoffs with the ball parked firmly in his hands on the wing. 

But what of the fancy new Brooklyn Nets?  They managed to avoid the complete offseason disaster that would have been losing Deron Williams, and actually managed to go grab Iso Joe Johnson from the ATL.  The Gerald Wallace trade was fucking stupid, but that's long done now.  Between Williams, Johnson, MarShon Brooks, Kardashian, CJ Watson and Brook Lopez, they have a half-decent team.  Not one that's going to remotely challenge for a championship, but one that should be entertaining enough for all the BK hipsters.  Expect a hard-fought first-round exit.  Anything less and Prokhorov will have them thrown in the gulags.  And I don't want to dwell on the subject, but how the fuck is Brook Lopez getting so highly rated?  I know Shaq is just trying to be a douche saying he's better than Dwight, which I can respect, but is the league that devoid of centers that this guy is on a max deal?!  Brook Lopez!  Unbelievable.

Last but not least, the Raptors.  Some solid players in the mix with Calderon, DeRozan, Valaciunas, and Lowry, but I don't see them improving too much on last years 0.35 winning percentage, especially with the big steps the rest of the division has made.  They won't be Charlotte bad for sure, but definitely in the bottom 5 of the Eastern Conference. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Secret Agent Zero To Be Stationed In China

In sad news for locker-room gangsters everywhere, sources report that Gilbert Arenas will be playing in China this year. After failing to catch on with the Grizzlies (after getting amnestied by the Magic) last season, Agent Zero will be joining T-Mac, Starbury, and other washed-up NBA players in the Land of Dragons and Emperors. Good luck Gilbert, and try not to poop in anyone's WADEs.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Weekend Recap

This one pains me.  Everyone knows my feelings about Iggy and K Smoove.

Thomas Robinson settling in nicely... Looks like Dwight has more to worry about than just his offensive game, Kobe.

Love Jeff Green.  Loved him more when he wore orange and blue, but you can't hate on a guy that comes back from heart surgery (except if it was Ronny Turiaf).  That's what you get when you spell your name, Mychel.

Once again, the Jazz doing everything they can do to prove me wrong.  I don't know why, but I get a real kick out of teams throwing down on "Lob City".

Michael Jordan Was A Racist

Sir Charles recently sat down with WIP in Philly. As everyone should be aware, Chuck has some of the most hilarious stories of all time. This time, he discussed Michael Jordan's thoughts on NBA defense:

"I gotta tell you this funny Michael Jordan story," Barkley starts off. "We're playing the Bulls for the championship and we come out of a timeout. Micheal's BS'ing and BS'ing, I don't even know what he's talking about. He's like, 'Man, this is bull. This is bull!'"

"Man, you guys got a white guy guarding me!"

"I said, 'dude what are you talking about,'" Barkley said.

"It's disrespectful," Jordan apparently responded.

Maybe there was some meaning behind that mustache after all.

Source: Blackface Logan

Friday, October 19, 2012

Smooth J and the Contract Caper

Time to address the elephant in the room, Smooth J's expiring contract.  The Thunder and Super GM, Sam Presti, have until October 31 to sign Smooth J to a contract extension or he's destined to become a restricted free agent on July 1.  The implication here is if Harden gets to free agency on July 1, he will receive multiple max offers (4 years, $60mil) which the Thunder will not be able to match.  In interviews leading up to this year, Harden has stated that he is willing to "sacrifice" to keep the Thunder's Big Three intact, just like Westbrook did before the beginning of last year and Durant prior to that.  What the Thunder have is special.  Never in the history of the league has a team been so good and so young at the same time.  It would be a shame if J can't see that.

According to our sources close the situation, the major hold up on getting a deal hashed out is not Smooth J himself, but his beard, Jeremiah.  After all the attention Jeremiah has received over the last 3 years, he has become a full blown diva.  Demanding a cut of the profits on any beard related sales (in addition to Smooth J's cut), his own personal assistant, his own seat on the bus and even his own white woman, Jeremiah has become the Elton John of basketball; high demands but not much production when the lights turn on.

For now, we all wait with bated breath to see if Smooth J, Jeremiah and Presti can work a miracle.  Smooth J would never leave on his own (too scared of Poppa Perk), but with the influence of the power hungry, Jeremiah, no one can say for sure how this saga will end.

Suck it, Lebron!

This proves it.  Andre Drummond is faster, quicker, bigger and more athletic than Lebron James.

Unfortunately, that's not true at all.  All this video proves is that Drummond can throw down a reverse alley oop with the best of 'em.  All this game proves is that the Pistons still could barely beat a college team and the Heat are still going to be title contenders.  Final score 105-78. 

Disclaimer: I don't actually think a college team could compete with the Pistons.

Maybe I Spoke Too Soon About The Jazz

So with Kevin Love now out 6-8 weeks for being Mr. Tough Guy during a recent workout, my prediction of Minnesota being the surprise team of the Northwest Division is shot to shit.  A couple days ago, Jeremy Evans, who won the weakest dunk contest in history last year, put in his two cents about who will supplant Minnesota as that surprise team.  This video leaves me with: 1) Why is Ronny Turiaf taking a 19 foot jump shot in the first place? 2) Gonzaga Turiaf made me believe in underdogs, NBA Turiaf makes me hate them. 3) I think if Jeremy Evans stood at the 50 yard line on a football field, he could touch both field goals.

Credit for the find: Left Coast Pete

Thursday, October 18, 2012

That's So JaVale

Check out this ESPN profile of JaVale McGee, one of my favorite NBA players. Pure gold. While you're at it, take a look at his highlight reel below:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

K-Love Breaks His Paw!

Kevin Love, aka Birdweiser the Second Coming, aka Big Love, aka White Chocolate, broke his hand in a workout today. Here's hoping to a speedy recovery, although this guy knows what to do with his down time.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Today in predictable news: Delonte West suspended again

Your favorite birthmarked, gun-toting, bipolar guard Delonte West has been suspended again.  This time, he is suspended from the Mavs for "conduct detrimental to the team," apparently over some weird shit he did in the locker room after a preseason game.  Unfortunately, his tweet apologizing to his mom saying he "showed off on ur birthdy again" has been deleted.  But you should just go read his twitter page anyway.  A glimpse into the mind of a crazy person.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Heat Already Making Excuses

Are you kidding me?  The season is still 2 and a half weeks away and the Heat are already starting to get their excuses ready for when K Smoove and the boiz steamroll through Miami in June.  What is it this time?  They are complaining that they are TOO open from the 3 point line.  Seriously?? TOO open!?  Dummies.

Is LeBron really wearing a t-shirt with a picture of his face on it?  That's something I would do because I think it's funny.  LeBron isn't doing it to be funny; he's doing it because he thinks he's the man.  Douche.

Kobe on a roll!

I am on the record as not being a big Kobe fan.  I know that's a really confounding thing to a lot of people, but I don't care.  Guy just never did it for me.  Plus he beat AI in his only real shot to win a title, so fuck him.  ANYWAY, I think I'm developing an appreciation for Kobe as he realizes that he's only got a couple years left, is a top-10 player ever, and can just talk whatever shit he wants.  First, we have Smush Parker responding to Kobe's comments yesterday by saying that Kobe wouldn't let Smush talk to him off the court?!  That is GOLD.  You have to be a serious kind of narcissistic asshole to pull something like that off. 

Then he trashes the Sixers and the fact that they gave Kwame Brown a two-year, $6 million contract.  And the fact is, he's completely right.  Kwame freaking Brown, on the Sixers.  If they got him after Bynum, I guess it would make some kind of sense to have him as a backup for when Bynum either collapses into a pile of torn ligaments or he pulls JJ Barea's head off of his body mid-game.  But Kwame was here before Bynum!  Seriously, this guy is going to get paid millions of dollars, and log actual playing time.  Unbelievable.

Kobe, when you're right you're right.

Scalabrine: Benchwarmer, Philosopher

Scal just laying it out in layman's terms.  Brian Scalabrine made a career for himself by sitting on the end of the bench and dancing.  Blows my mind.

I need The White Mamba and The Custodian to play one-on-one.  Like I NEEEEEEED it.  There is literally nothing that I can think of that I wouldn't do to see those two men go at each other.  Need to make this happen...

Friday Morning Pearls of Wisdom

Jason Thompson of the Sacramento Kings found the words to say what I have been trying to say for so long.  It's very evident that the Kings will be the headiest team in the league this year.

@ClubBosh is all up in twitter gettin' theirs. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Kobe Just Don't Care

Kobe was feeling frisky last night before the Lakers' exhibition game with the Blazers.  Check out his quote about his 2005/2006 squad.

"I almost won an MVP with Smush Parker and Kwame Brown on my team. I was shooting 45 times a game. What was I supposed to do? Pass it to Chris Mihm or Kwame Brown?"  Then he got a bit more involved with Smush: "the worst. He shouldn't have been in the NBA but we were too cheap to pay for a point guard. So we let him walk on."

Kobe's 05-06  Lakers' roster also included Brian Cook, Stanislav Medvedenko and Devean George.

Kobe is at the point in his career where you can liken what he says to the nonsensical ramblings that come out of your 95 year old grandma when she refers to her neighborhood getting "dark" in ear shot of her new, African-American neighbors.  You look at her cross eyed and shake your head, as does her new neighbor, but ultimately she gets away with it because she is 95 years old and can say what she pleases.

I'm excited to see what other golden nuggets Kobe bestows on us in the next two years.

A little background on this video.  In '05, the Lakers' starters were just pulled because they were up 20+ points midway through the 4th.  Kobe was laughing because Smush was close to his career high in points and wanted to go back in in the game.  Kobe told him Phil Jackson wanted him to go back into the game so Smush went to the scorer's table.  As soon as he got to the scorer's table, Jackson told Smush to sit back down. 

PS Smush was probably bad, but I don't think he was quiiiiiiiiiite the worst....


Throw out your Shaqs and your Starburys, there's a new player in the Chinese shoe game!

Exciting news was announced for Dwayne Wade, fashion icon and noted veteran of the Club Bosh VIP room: Wade will be launching a new brand called WADE, in association with Li-Ning, a Chinese manufacturer. Wade will be parting ways with the Jordan brand, who has its own fashionista in charge.

Word on the street is that the first line will include a clear toebox so that the wearer can show off their pedicure. Be sure to get yours today so that you can be wearing the hottest fashions when you hit South Beach this year.


Central Division Preview (Joakim's Pool Party)

Our NBA preseason preview rolls along with the Central Division.
We'll start off with the Chicago Bulls, who posted the best regular season record last year, only to lose their superstar point guard Derrick Rose to a torn ACL just in time for playoffs. While they have dominated the Central over the last couple years, there are so many questions for the Bulls this year. When will D. Rose return and how long will it take him to get back to All-Star form? Did Pooh-Dini get any sweet tats while rehabbing his knee? Can Tom Thibodeau deliver after signing a big offseason contract? What do women find attractive about Joakim Noah? Can the "Bench Mob" recover after losing Kyle Korver, CJ Watson, Ronnie Brewer, Omer Asik, and John Lucas III? Does Rip Hamilton sleep in his facemask? Is Luol Deng really British? While they are not going to be an elite team without D. Rose, the Bulls will still be a solid squad. Thibodeau will have them playing good team defense and giving maximum effort every night. Deng is a legitimate All-Star and Hamilton is a proven scorer. Carlos Boozer still sucks, but he'll be effective on the glass. Noah, while quite possibly one of the ugliest players of all time, is one of the better-passing (not to mention flopping) bigs in the game right now, and Taj Gibson should provide some help in the paint. Look for the Bulls to start off being competitive but not great, and make a run late in the season when Rose returns.

After a second round loss last season to the eventual champs, the Pacers will be looking for some redemption this year. They are returning their entire starting five, and Roy Hibbert will be looking to prove his worth after getting paid in the offseason. Danny Granger will still be their first option, and Paul George is strong on the offensive end, although his defense needs work. And even though he had a little bit of a rough off-season, we all know not to count out Psycho T. The Pacers are a solid team, even if they lack star power, and keep an eye on them to win the Central this year.

Lead by the dynamic backcourt duo of Monta "The Human Canvas" Ellis and Brandon Jennings, and coached by Scott "Super Sperm" Skiles, the Milwaukee Bucks should be exciting to watch this year. After losing Andrew Bogut, the Milwaukee frontcourt is a collection of defensive-minded no-names. Ellis and Jennings are both high-intensity players who like to get to the basket, but we will have to see how they play off one another after an offseason together. At the end of last season, they pretty much took turns driving to the basket, not unlike Lebron and D. Wade in their year together in South Beach. The Bucks' season will live and die with their backcourt. Unfortunately, their guards are good at scoring, but terrible at handling the ball and defending, so Milwaukee will most likely struggle again this year.

Excuse me for stating the obvious here, but both the Pistons and the Cavs are currently in "rebuilding" phases. Fortunately for the Cavs, they are rebuilding around last season's Rookie of the Year, Kyrie Irving. Unfortunately for the Cavs, they really don't have anyone else. Time to spend some of that Fathead money, Dan Gilbert. Anderson Varejao and Boobie Gibson aren't going to help much. The Cavs also lightened up in the off-season by picking up Tyler Zeller, so get ready to see two white boys from UNC match up whenever they face the Pacers.

Meanwhile, the Pistons are looking to build around Brandon Knight and Greg Monroe. Monroe nearly averaged a double-double last season (15.4 and 9.7) playing out of position at center. After picking up rookie Andre Drummond, Detroit will look to move Monroe back to his natural position at power forward. Hopefully this will allow him to become a bigger offensive threat going forward.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pacific Division Preview (Kobe's Rape Den)

The Pacific Division is home to the greatest player of the last decade in Kobe "it was consensual" Bryant.  He taught us how to rape and pillage on and off the floor and in the process, he made the Pacific Division his proverbial bitch (save a couple years when the Nash/Amare combo was in its prime).  This year, we will be seeing the best and the worst of the NBA out West.

Let's start with the best, the Los Angeles Lakers.  With off-season acquisitions, Dwight Howard (the second best big man in the league) and Steve Nash, to pair with the Black Mamba himself, the Lakers should be a force for the last 2 years of Kobe's career.  Being able to hold on to that big softie, Pau Gasol, who can now focus on being soft and shooting 17 foot jumpers was a huge win for Jerry West.  No team in the league has a front court that can evenly match up with the two seven footers the Lakers are going to bring on a nightly basis.  Couple all that with the original wild card, RonRon, and what you have is a team has the potential to knock off the Thunder and represent the West in the Finals.  (My favorite part of the "Elbow Heard 'Round the World" was not the elbow itself, it was when RonRon grabbed his honker and squared up with Ibaka.  Stuff was what dreams are made of.)  The only misstep the Lakers made in the off-season was acquiring Jodie Meeks, who is the least clutch, "clutch" 3-point shooter in the league, to back up Kobe.  The Lakers will finish 59-23, good enough for a 2 seed in the West.  Literally the only way I will be satisfied with this season is if the Lakers and Thunder play in the Western Conference Finals.  Every other possible outcome will be a letdown in my book. 

Side note: can you believe this shit happened?  In real life, that happened.  Metta World Peace is from Mars.

 If Stephen Jackson doesn't slip at the 2:04 mark, he literally punches through that guy's head.

This off-season made it painfully obvious that the Clippers will be second best in their own building for at least 2 more years.  They are one of the more exciting teams in the league with the Chris Paul to Blake Griffin combo, but exciting only gets you so far.  There is no arguing that Chris Paul is the best point guard in the league, but the verdict has to still be out on Blake Griffin.  When all you can do is dunk, no matter how cool it is, it is a problem. When he adds some back-to-the-basket game and some semblance of defense (his main defense of flopping has been outlawed), the Clippers will be much better off.  Maybe even more important than Griffin's development is the health of Chauncey Billups, recovering from a season ending Achilles injury, and the effectiveness of Lamar Odom.  Listen.  I don't agree with Lamar Odom's life choices, but if he can regain half the form he had when he was playing for the other LA team, the Clippers will be a tough out come playoff time.  The Clippers finish the season 49-33, good enough for 4th in the West.  They lose to the Lakers in the second round of the playoffs.

One of my favorite young teams is the Golden State Warriors.  With a strong nucleus of Stephen Curry (if he can stay healthy), David Lee, Andrew Bogut and late season star, Klay Thompson, there is little doubt they are going to put up points.  The question becomes, will they be able to stop anyone on the defensive end?  That has been their major problem the last (insert number of years they have been around here) years.  They had a very strong 2012 NBA draft with notable additions of Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green (huge steal at #35 overall) and also were able to sign notable backups Carl Landry and Jarrett Jack, all good defensive players.  My guess is 2012 will be the first year I can remember where the Warriors keep teams under an average of 100 ppg.  Besides, how can you hate on a team with some of the best jerseys in the league?  The Warriors finish with their first winning record in a million years at 43-39 and MAY sneak into the 8 spot in the West to have the honor of being swept out in the first round by K Smoove and the Thunder.

Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins are those bulls for the Sacramento Kings.  DeMarcus is going to average 23 and 15 in 2012 while Tyreke is going to get that scoring average back above 20 per game.  After DeMarcus and Tyreke, the Kings are garbage.  Marcus Thorton can score the ball but doesn't play a lick of defense and Isiah Thomas does not remind me of THE Isiah Thomas.  The addition of rookie Thomas Robinson means the Kings could easily have 2 front court guys averaging double digit rebounds.  If Robinson develops quickly, the Kings could be tough, but I can't see it happening.  The Kings finish 30-52, DeMarcus gets his second head coach fired and the Maloof Brothers move them to Alberta.

When your biggest off-season signing has a crippling weed addiction, you know you are in trouble.  The Suns finish the season at 29-53 and receive absolutely no time up in da club.

So Long, TMac

Tracy McGrady official retired from the NBA today, and is shipping off to play in Communist China.  Everybody's gotta get paid.  It's a damn shame though.  McGrady could never seemingly get to the level he should have.  Combine lots of back injuries, and his getting paired with  guys with their own injury issues (Ming, Yao), Tracy never quite reached the heights everyone expected.  The days of him playing in Toronto with Vinsanity were awesome though.  Regulars up in the club scene.  Oh well, at least we'll always that dunk contest. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Southeast Division Preview (BronBron's Trophy Room)

Our NBA preview continues with the Southeast Division.  And what better place to start things off than in Club Bosh itself. 

The Miami Heat are coming off the first championship of the "Big 3" or whatever you want to call it era.  And they are doing so because LeBron finally realized he is the best player in the world and nobody can stop him.  With a newfound comfort playing in the post, the "When will he win?" monkey off his back, and the arrival of Jesus Shuttlesworth and the potentially still good Rashard Lewis, the Heat should expect another strong season.  A lot will depend on how DWades knees hold up, and keeping Bosh in the gym and out of the club, but I think it's a safe bet to say that, come June, Dexter Pittman will be looking to double his ring collection.  Figure on the Heat going somewhere in the neighborhood of 63-19 and be in the hunt for the top record in the league.  They should run away with the Southeast.

Next up, the Atlanta Hawks, who accomplished a minor miracle and got Joe Johnson's contract off their books, which was a good move for everyone involved.  It got Brooklyn some more star power, but more importantly helped free up some touches on the Hawks.  A combo of Josh Smith and Al Horford is certainly solid, and Jeff Teague & Kyle Korver will continue to be good role players.  But their level of impact will depend on how Josh Smith handles being the number 1 option.  He's an extremely good player, and 19ppg & 10rpg isn't anything to sneeze at.  But he still feels the need to jack up too many 3's, and a career .278 average says all that needs to be said there.  The Hawks should be the same as always - a midlevel seed that doesn't make much noise in the playoffs. 

Here's where things get a little trickier.  I really want to see the Wizards put something together and sneak into the 8 seed.  John Wall will be out for the first month, but I am hoping last season's player shakeup and coaching change will benefit Wall, who hasn't quite reached the huge potential he has.  Adding Ariza, Okafor and Nene, plus new guy Bradley Beal, gives the Wiz a good nucleus.  But their success will depend on Wall.  And odds are, they are on the outside looking in come playoffs. 

On the other hand, we have the new-look scrap heap that is the Orlando Magic.  After all their posturing and all Dwight's whining, they ended up with probably as bad a trade as they could have made.  With Glen "Don't Call Me Big Baby" Davis leading the line, I see Orlando probably in the 8th seed, and as one of the most uninteresting teams in basketball.    

And bringing up the rear are the Charlotte Bobcats, fresh off the worst season in NBA history.  Ever.  By any team.  With their fearless leader at the helm, the Bobcats will rise from the basement of futility and shock everyone by making a strong playoff push!  Just kidding, they won't do a damn thing.  I like MKG, but there's no reason to believe they'll be a substantially better team than last year.  The draft is a real bitch, huh?  Their record will improve, because it's really, really hard to be any worse.  But I still see them in the bottom of the League.  Hopefully Kemba Walker will shape up a little bit at least. 

Northwest Division Preview (Smoove's Playground)

The Northwest Division finds itself in unfamiliar territory as the strongest division in the Western Conference and arguably, the entire NBA (case can be made for the Atlantic Division as well).  With perennial Western Conference contenders, Oklahoma City and up and comers like Minnesota, Denver and Portland, the Northwest could easily produce 3 playoff teams in 2012.  

Let’s start with the crème de la crème, the Oklahoma City Thunder.  Although Smooth J, Russ Russ, Poppa Perk and Business Tats himself, K Smoove will be spending much time in Club Bosh for their off court antics, today we’re going to focus on their on court mojo.  Last year saw a disappointing end to their season as they lost to Darth Vader and the Evil Empire in the Finals in 5.  I honestly believe they blew their collective load coming back from the 0-2 hole they dug themselves in the Western Conference Finals to the Spurs and had nothing left by the time they got to Miami.  This year sees the return of Eric Maynor off of his 2011 season ending knee injury.  Maynor is an underrated contributor on this stacked OKC team as he handles the point on the second team, plays great defense and doesn't turn the ball over.  This will free up Smooth J to move back to his native position at shooting guard where he can put all his focus on scoring instead of facilitating.  You know what you have on the first team with OKC.  You have the best scorer in the league, K Smoove, his little brother Russ Russ and their dad, Poppa Perk.  K Smoove will lead the league in scoring for the fourth straight year (he’ll average 33.75 this year), Russ Russ will be the quickest point guard in the league while taking 30 shots per game, being completely out of control 92% of the time and averaging 25 ppg and Poppa Perk will average 1.7 mean mugs per game.  Throw in a dash of Serge Ibaka impersonating Mutombo and the Thunder will find themselves back in Miami in June.  The Thunder will finish the season 62-20, win the Northwest Division and have the number 1 seed in the West.

Next, let’s move to my surprise team of the 2012 season, the Minnesota Timberwolves.  Minnesota is by far the “lightest” team in the league with 9 Tom Cruises on their depth chart.  That being said, Kevin Love is a superstar.  Period.  He might look like and play like an unathletic, out of shape Larry Bird, but being compared to Larry Bird in any circumstance has to be taken as a compliment.  I highly doubt Love can put down Budweisers like Bird, but when you average 25 and 25, you get a pass on your drinking prowess.  Following the common theme for the Northwest, Minnesota will see the return of Ricky Rubio around December off of his season ending knee injury.  Rubio has some of the best vision in the league and when healthy is the best true point guard the Northwest has to offer.  Other notable additions in the offseason were Brandon Roy, that guy from Rocky IV and Chase Budinger.  As long as Roy’s knees stay healthy and Budinger doesn’t try to dunk, I’m impressed with the Wolves offseason haul.  Minnesota is going to finish 2nd in the Northwest with a 46-36 record, good enough for the 6 seed in the West.

The best part about the 2012 Denver Nuggets is their new alternate uniforms.  I can’t stand Andre Iguodola.  Dude somehow has tricked the entire league and NBA fan base into thinking he is elite because he can defend.  He averages 12 POINTS PER GAME.  HE CAN’T SHOOT A JUMP SHOT!  HE CAN’T SHOOT FREE THROWS!  I’ll admit, having him on the court to defend the other team’s best guard or small forward is nice, but he provides NOTHING on the offensive end.  That all being said, Denver went out and traded for him in the offseason with the hope that he could provide ANY defense to a team that literally plays none.  With the emergence of Kenneth Faried and the late season acquisition of Javale McGee, this team has the potential to change their identity from 2011 and actual hold teams under 109 ppg.  If they can do that and with a healthy Wilson Chandler for the whole year, the Nuggets finish 43-39 and MAY steal the 8 spot for the playoffs.

The 4th place team in the Northwest this year will be the Portland Trailblazers.  This squad pales in comparison to the great Portland Jailbreakers teams of the 90s led by ‘Sheed and Stoud.  Last season, on the back of LeMarcus Aldridge, who averages less rebounds a game than my parents’ cat, the Blazers lost in the first round of the 2011 playoffs to Dirk and the Gang.  With rookie Damian Lillard out of Weber St. starting at point for the Blazers, expect it to be a long, ugly year.  Their biggest offseason move was resigning Nicolas Batum for $15 million more than what he was worth.  Their hand was forced by the offer sheet given to him by the Timberwolves, but the dude is French.  The Blazers should know not to let the French throw around ultimatums.  The Blazers finish 39-43, fire Terry Stotts and in a surprising and exciting twist, hire Rasheed Wallace to be player/coach for the 2013 season.

The Utah Jazz also play in the Northwest Division.  They have delusions of grandeur for 2012.  They finish 1-81 because of the liquor laws in Salt Lake City.