Monday, October 25, 2010

2010 NBA Preview- Part One


Last October in my NBA preview, I went with the theme of Ridiculous NBA Predictions. I jokingly predicted the Lakers were going to self-combust at the end of the season due to the fact that Lamar Odom would find out that Ron Artest had been sleeping with Khloe Kardashian. I continued to say that this would lead to a Cleveland NBA championship. Fast forward to the following May. Coincidentally, an incident similar to this occurred. Unfortunately, I put the reverse jinx on my Cavaliers, and I was the reason that Delonte West slept with LeBron’s mom. I am taking full blame for the Cavs not winning the NBA title. Therefore, I am the reason LeBron James is now a member of the Miami Heat. So rightfully so, I am very excited for the season I have played a vital part in creating. Let’s get to it!

Now, this isn’t your normal NBA season. Commissioner David Stern said so. Stern said, “We're going to have, really, our most successful season,” and “I think you're going to be getting to see some of the greatest basketball ever played.” That is really saying something. The man has been in charge for 25 years, which means he saw:
Bird’s Celtics vs. Magic’s Lakers at its peak
The Bad Boy Pistons
Michael Jordan’s 1st Three Peat
Olajuwon stepping up in the void left by Jordan and winning two titles
Michael Jordan’s 2nd Three Peat
Popeye Jones, Sam Cassell and Tyrone Hill (the 3 ugliest NBA players ever)
Lakers Three Peat
An Underrated Spurs Dynasty
Tim Donaghy
Celtics return to the top
The beginning of a LeBron vs. Kobe rivalry

Through all of this, he feels like the 2010-11 season is going to be the most successful and greatest NBA season ever. You may be asking yourself why. Well I am here to tell you. David Stern is entering his 26th NBA season as Commissioner, so in honor of this, here are 26 tidbits of information about the 2010-2011 season.

1. Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Lakers- Could we start anywhere else? No matchup is more anticipated than Miami and LA. They play in Miami on March 10, a game I will most likely be going to, which will be legen…wait for it… dary! And they play in the City of Angels on Christmas Day. By the way, thank you Santa. That is exactly what I wanted for Christmas! Now if you also give me one day of snow in Florida, you’re covered. I’ll just put it this way, 3 of the top 5 and 5 of the top 15 players in the league are going to be playing at the same time. That’s 60% of the top 5 and 33% of the top 15. Yeah, it’s going to be on like Donkey Kong! Plus, this matchup doubles as a potential NBA Finals preview, which triples as the most watched NBA Finals ever. Speaking of which, the five most watched NBA Finals of all time are:
1. Chicago vs. Utah 1998
2. Chicago vs. Phoenix 1993
3. Chicago vs. Utah 1997
4. Chicago vs. Seattle 1996
5. Los Angeles vs. Boston 1987

The top five of the 2000’s are:
1. Los Angeles vs. Philadelphia 2001
2. Los Angeles vs. Indiana 2000
3. Detroit vs. Los Angeles 2004
4. Los Angeles vs. Boston 2010
5. Los Angeles vs. New Jersey 2002

Take a look at the top five from the 2000’s. With the exception of LA vs. Boston, is there one matchup there that is anywhere close as intriguing as a potential LA vs. Miami series? Not close.

2. Adam Morrison- LeBron James taking his talents to South Beach was the most talked about move of the off season. Perhaps no move was more important however than Adam Morrison taking his talents to the team in the nations capital. Let’s not forget that Adam Morrison is a two time defending NBA champion. He was a key contributor to the Lakers, offering a number of back pats and chest bumps, along with awkward white guy high fives with Luke Walton. Can the Lakers deal with the loss of Morrison? And what kind of impact will he have on Washington? Will he start carrying around gats and doing the John Wall dance? Only time will tell.

3. Josh Childress- The Dr. J look alike of the 2000’s makes his way back to the NBA after spending a few years playing overseas… that’s all I got considering Childress isn’t really that good. As long as he keeps the afro I’m happy.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers- Is there anything for Cavs fans to be excited for? To answer that question I’m going to revert back to being a Cavs fan. (Gulp) Here we go.
Question: Sonny, what’s the outlook on your Cavaliers this year?
Answer: Well, we lost the greatest physical specimen and one of the best NBA players in the last decade. Not only does that move devastate the team, but it also destroys the city. Our next best guys are Antawn Jamison and Mo Williams, who are proven pants crappers come playoff time, but that doesn’t matter because we won’t even sniff the playoffs. For the first month of the season the fans might be united and loud and try to show everyone LeBron didn’t mean too much. But by Christmas time when the Cavs are hovering around 13th in the eastern conference, the attendance will slowly dwindle and the city will officially start their upcoming 50 year slump. That’s right, it might be 50 years before there is sunshine is Cleveland again. Translation: There is nothing to be excited about. It looks bleak.

5. Charles Barkley- How fat is Chuck going to be this upcoming season? It’s definitely something that needs to be mentioned. Remember the Taco Bell commercial? You know, “the five buck box, it rocks it rocks.” He could barely make his way out of the phone booth in the commercial. I think he got to sample several thousand five buck boxes before he signed the contract to film the commercial. He brings a lot to the table for TNT’s pre-game show… and a lot of food to the dinner table as well.

6. Rondo vs. Rose- Don’t you think Rondo’s exit from Team USA this summer had a little bit to do with Coach K deciding Derrick Rose would be starting, and Rondo wouldn’t? Two years ago these two squared off in an epic first round matchup where we established two things: 1. Rajon Rondo was the best player on the Celtics (this was hammered home by his superb play in last year’s series versus Cleveland) and 2. Derrick Rose was on his way to being really, really good. Possibly the best point guard in the league (which was hammered home by his superb play in last year’s series versus Cleveland.) In the last 11 games these two played against each other (seven playoff games and four regular season games) these were their averages:

Rondo: 15.7 ppg, 11.3 apg, 7.8 rpg, 6 wins
Rose: 20.3 ppg, 5.9 apg, 5.9 rpg, 5 wins

Pretty close right? I see Rose playing with a lot of confidence due to some big minutes with Team USA this summer, and Rondo playing with a bit of an edge because he was slighted by that same team for his rival. They play four times, all on television. I advise tuning into one of the best rivalries in the NBA. This rivalry leads me to…

7. The Golden Age of Point Guards- The last time there was a golden age in the NBA was during the late 1990’s to early 2000’s when we saw a golden age in power forwards (Malone, Duncan, Garnett, B. Wallace, R. Wallace, J. O’Neal, Webber, Nowitzki, Rodman and Horry.) Right now, the NBA’s crop of point guards is absolutely outstanding. There are twelve quality point guards in the league right now which are one of the two best players on their respective team. Rose and Rondo obviously, Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Steve Nash, Russell Westbrook, John Wall, Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings, Tyreke Evans, Aaron Brooks and Darren Collison are all on that list. Not to mention you have guys like Raymond Felton, Mo Williams, Jason Kidd, Derek Fisher, Jameer Nelson and Tony Parker all leading playoff teams. Almost every team can confidently say “at least our point guard isn’t a disaster.” Most teams have at least one position that is a major question mark, and rarely is it the point guard.

8. Lorenzo Mata Real- I had to bring him up since I mentioned Popeye Jones, Sam Cassell and Tyrone Hill. Mata-Real, or as I affectionately call him, Lorenzo Mata-Really Ugly, has been playing in the Mexican league LNPB. If he somehow makes an NBA roster this year, he will immediately bring himself to the top of the list of ugliest NBA players ever. Keep your fingers crossed. On second thought, do we want this atrocity making his way to the USA? If you feel like having fun, do a Yahoo! Image search for all four of these guys and decide for yourself who is the ugliest.

9. LeBron’s Mental Notes- So far my count of who is on the list of people who questioned LeBron is Charles Barkley, Skip Bayless, Dan Gilbert along with most of Ohio, the Orlando Magic Organization, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest and Michael Jordan. I wish LeBron would announce what the mental notes are. Who are the people that the King feels crossed him? Will he tell us at some point and if he does will it be another one hour special on ESPN? That would be way more exciting than the release of the Mitchell Report.

10. Carmelo Anthony- CAUTION: The following paragraph was written before any Carmelo Anthony trade.
I don’t know who Carmelo thinks he’s fooling. For a month all we heard about was how Melo wanted out of Denver. Then it comes time for the start of training camp and Melo is still in a Nuggets uniform. Now all of the sudden, he never wanted to leave. He loves Denver. He thinks it’s happening place. He loves Aspen too! What a crock. Listen, if Chris Broussard and J.A. Adande are telling people that you demanded a trade, you demanded one. Those men do not lie and they are not misinformed. I find it ironic that Carmelo wants out of the Mile High City so bad considering he has been caught with pot before and he must be smoking it again if he actually thinks anyone buys the fact that he wants to play for Denver. Carmelo wants exactly what his buddies LeBron, Wade and Bosh got: A bunch of attention and a chance to play with other superstars. All of the sudden Birdman, Earl Smith and Chauncey “we have a 3 on 2 fast break so I’m going to kill it with a pull up three that will brick off the side of the rim” Billups aren’t looking so promising. Apparently, Carmelo wants to play with…

11. Chris Paul- Who has also made it pretty obvious he wants out of his current situation. Can you blame him really? Three years ago CP3 looked like the modern day Isiah Thomas, but better. Now due to some injuries and a crap team, he might waste away his career unless he makes a move. Can we really blame Melo and Paul for wanting out of their current situation? Why not want to play in Madison Square Garden? It’s clear that they both want to end up in New York, the concrete jungle where dreams are made of. And frankly, Melo might be there sooner than later.

12. Three Promising Rookies
1. John Wall- As an Evan Turner fan this past college season, I didn’t really appreciate John Wall so much during his one soon-to-be-named illegal season at Kentucky. However, Wall has every quality you want in a point guard dominated league. Fast, strong, athletic, confident and he is a playmaker. In five years we may look at John Wall as the cream of the point guard crop.
2. Blake Griffin- The way I look at Blake Griffin has changed over the last year. Griffin was as close to a sure thing as you could’ve asked for, until he broke his knee which we can solely blame on the Clippers. Now, I see Griffin as a bundle of potential. He can be the super athletic power forward that Charles Barkley was in his prime before he ate several thousand five buck boxes. He can dominate like no power forward has. I’m excited to find out if he will.
3. DeMarcus Cousins- Cousins might be the biggest sure thing of any player from this draft. He is a guaranteed 20-10 guy for a number of seasons. Just wait, when the Kings are a top five team in the west within the next five years, Cousins will be leading the charge.

13. NBA on NBC- This hasn’t showed up on the radar of any type of NBA discussion in quite some time, but God I miss NBA on NBC. Is the pain ever going to go away? There has to be someone who wants this back as much as I do, right? I mean it was only the single greatest sports theme ever, with bright/flashy graphics during a period when the NBA’s greatest player was at his best. I think you need a reminder of NBA on NBC as you get ready to read part 2 of this NBA preview tomorrow.