Monday, June 25, 2007

major trade looms as draft approaches

Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, together? Yes, it's true, the Lakers and Timberwolves, along with help from the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers are working on a four team deal that will send Garnett to the Los Angeles Lakers, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom to the Pacers, Jermaine O'Neal to the Celtics, and the #5 overall pick (from the Celtics) and either the #19 pick (from the Lakers) or Al Jefferson to the Timberwolves. This may or may not keep Bryant in Los Angeles after he demanded to be traded last week, but I think that this will keep him in LA with an improved team with Garnett as his sidekick.

This deal makes sense for all teams except for Boston. After all, rumors were swirling about Garnett going to the Lakers, Jefferson and the #5 pick going to the Timberwolves, and Bynum and Odom going to the Pacers, although all of them were in separate deals. In order for this big deal to get done, it will probably have to happen before the #5 pick is announced. The draft is this Thursday and begins at 7:00 EST.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Kobe, Garnett are on the trading market

Over this past week, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kevin Garnett of the Minnesota Timberwolves appear to be on the available for trades. Both are superstars on teams with minimal support and are headed nowhere fast. Bryant asked to be traded last week after a meeting with team owner Jerry Buss and Timberwolves GM Kevin McHale is finally listening to calls for Garnett.
Bryant is in his late 20s and Garnett is in his early 30s, making it possible for both to contribute for about 5-7 more years apiece. Reportedly, the Lakers are actually interested in acquiring Garnett, but they do not have the pieces necessary unless they are willing to trade every decent player except for Bryant. The Celtics have also shown some interest in acquiring Garnett, but will probably not trade Paul Pierce in a deal. They would need to trade Al Jefferson, their #5 overall pick, and enough contracts, maybe Wally Szczerbiak, to acquire Garnett. Obviously the Knicks are interested, but Garnett wants to go to a winner and I don't think the Knicks would even contend for the Eastern Conference title even with Garnett. Garnett could also go to the Bulls, but I don't think GM John Paxson will pull the trigger on any deal if he needs to give up more than one of the following players: Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon, or Luol Deng.
As for Bryant, He could go to the Phoenix Suns for Shawn Marion and maybe another player or a draft pick, but GM Mitch Kupchak is unlikely to trade him to their division rivals. This would put the Suns over the top with more offense and more defense in addition to a great closer and Steve Nash as his point guard. Reports also say that he could go to the Bulls or Knicks. Another intriguing possibility is to the Washington Wizards for Gilbert Arenas, who will opt out of his contract after next year.

Monday, June 11, 2007

What Indiana should do during the offseason

Like the Sacramento Kings, the Indiana Pacers had a disappointing season and missed the playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade (1996-97 was the last year they failed to make it). A major trade occured part way through the season for the Pacers in which Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington were traded to the Golden State Warriors for Mike Dunleavy, Jr. and Troy Murphy, a deal the Pacers probably regret now. Jackson and Harrington were key in leading the Warriors to the playoffs and Dunleavy and Murphy never really did make up for what was lost in the trade. Indiana collapsed late in the season and fell all the way out of the playoffs.

Unfortunately, they didn't even get their lottery pick, which was eleventh overall. That pick goes to the Atlanta Hawks as part of the Al Harrington deal. Jermaine O'Neal is rumored to be going to the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason and the Pacers may get a first rounder out of it. If they do, I suggest that they take the best available player because they will have no star power if O'Neal goes. The Lakers first round pick is ninteenth, so someone good could potentially slip to that spot. Maybe they can take Brazilian center Tiago Splitter with that pick. Then they could have a big man for the future.

They offseason will likely be very interesting for the Pacers with O'Neal's potential trade. I expect the Lakers to give up a combination of Lamar Odom, Kwame Brown (who is entering the last year of his contract), Jordan Farmar, Andrew Bynum, and first round picks. I don't see the Lakers willing to give up Bynum and I don't see them parting with Odom unless absolutely necessary, but the Lakers will do anything this offseason to keep Kobe Bryant happy. The Pacers could get a decent deal, but O'Neal could also get dealt to a team like the Knicks and knowing Isiah Thomas, he'll give the Pacers David Lee and multiple first rounders.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Check out this new game

I have posted a link for Super Smash Flash game. It's similar to the game Super Smash Bros. Melee. What you do is fight different Nintendo stars like Mario, Kirby, Samus, and Sonic.

What Sacramento should do in the offseason

The Sacramento Kings missed the playoffs for the fisrst time since the 1997-98 season this year. On paper, they don't seem to have a bad team and had they been in the Eastern Conference, I think they would have made the playoffs this year with a nucleus of Mike Bibby, Kevin Martin, and Ron Artest. Brad Miller, a key player, was injured for most of the year and never did find his form.
The Kings need to draft a good big man this year. Their best players are all smaller players and with a high pick in this year's deep draft, they could easily get someone who can contribute at either power forward or center. Also, with this great draft year, the Kings could trade it for more depth and veterans.
Mike Bibby was nearly traded at this year's deadline to the Cleveland Cavaliers, but the Kings refrained because Cleveland did not give up enough. Especially with this year's supporting cast, I expect the Cavaliers to make another big push at acquiring Bibby. Cleveland will probably have to part with either Daniel Gibson or Drew Gooden and draft picks. As long as Cleveland can give LeBron James some reliable help, I think anyone is available but LeBron for trading.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

What New York should do in the offseason

The New York Knicks surprised the NBA for a while last year. In fact, the Knicks actually were the eighth best team in the East in March, but then Isiah Thomas was extended and the Knicks crumbled after that. In my opinion, had Thomas not been extended before the season was over, I think we would have seen the Knicks in the playoffs this year.
They have the Chicago Bulls pick in the first round, which is 23rd overall. With this pick, they can either trade it in a package to get a guy like Rashard Lewis or Jermaine O'Neal, two guys they have expressed interest in or they can draft a small forward or a shooting guard. I know, they already have Jamal Crawford, but he could move over to the point and shop Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis around.
New York is set at center and power forward for the next decade with Eddy Curry at center and David Lee at power forward and Channing Frye backing them up or moving Lee to small forward and Frye starting at power forward. Where their problems occur, other than Thomas of course, is at point guard. They have two people who don't yet know how to win in Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis and an undersized, but productive Nate Robertson. Marbury and Francis have also been sidelined for significant periods of time last year with injuries. Remember, this couldn't have been due to tanking, since they had to exchange their pick to the Bulls in the Curry deal.
For the offseason, I expect the Knicks to go after Lewis, O'Neal, and Kevin Garnett, but end up getting none of them and only be able to use their midlevel exception. In case some of you don't know, the Knicks are way over the salary cap and can't sign any major free agents without doing a sign and trade. Of course, just about anyone they are willing to give up does not generate a lot of interest from most of the other teams in the NBA. I expect them to try to either buy out or trade Francis and if someone offers them something decent for Marbury, he could go too since they are two of the highest paid players on the team.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

What Charlotte should do in the offseason

Charlotte is a very young team and has only been in existance for three years, so that could be why they are a bad team. However, they are trying to build their team like the Chicago Bulls did once Michael Jordan left. They are bringing in winners. Currently they have drafted three national champion players in the first round in Emeka Okafor, Raymond Felton, and Sean May. This is why I expect them to take either Al Horford or Corey Brewer with their first round pick (#8 overall) this year. These two spent their last two years at Florida winning the national championship both years. They know what it takes to win.
For the free agency period, the Bobcats have one real weakness, power forward. Sean May is their power forward, but he has been injured a lot and I think that he is better suited as a backup. The Bobcats' number one priority is to resign rising star Gerald Wallace, but I expect them to not be able to do so because Wallace is very versitile and talented and can fill up a stat sheet (trust me, he was on my fantasy team). This could give him a rich contract and just about every team would love to add him to their roster. Charlotte can also sign Okafor, Felton, and May to extensions this year. May is rumored to be traded this summer, and I think he will be, but I still think the Bobcats will extend all three of these players this offseason because they all contribute when healthy and Okafor and Felton are essential to the team's future success.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

What Minnesota should do this Offseason

Basically the Minnesota Timberwolves' entire offseason will be centered around Kevin Garnett and the debate about whether or not the Timberwolves should trade their franchise's all time best player. I think they should because there is a lot of demand for an unselfish superstar like Garnett and he has done so much for the Timberwolves with little to no help around him for all but one year, 2003-04, the year the Timberwolves made the Western Conference finals. The Lakers have been interested in Garnett for some time now and while that is still an intriguing possibility in him teaming up with disgruntled superstar Kobe Bryant, he will likely not go there because reportedly, the Lakers have lined up a trade with the Indiana Pacers to get Jermaine O'Neal. However, if the Lakers don't need to give up Lamar Odom or Andrew Bynum, I could still see Garnett to the Lakers as a possibility.

I could also see him going to the Dallas Mavericks. Jerry Stackhouse's big contract expired this year, possibly clearing up enough space for the Mavs to pair him with someone like Devin Harris or Jason Terry to go to Minnesota and begin the rebuilding process there. I expect the Mavs to make a big change this offseason following their disappointing playoffs.

A free agent that is available for the Timberwolves to get that could help Garnett is Gerald Wallace of the Charlotte Bobcats. Wallace provided the Bobcats with good stats across the board and probably will with whatever team he plays for, as long as he manages to get playing time.

As for the draft, I expect Minnesota to get the best player available. Al Horford from Florida could help right away on the Timberwolves' front line, maybe as the starting power forward and putting in Garnett at center in a small ball lineup like what the Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors do so well.

What Milwaukee should do in the offseason

The Milwaukee Bucks might not get their hands on either Greg Oden or Kevin Durant during this year's NBA Draft, but that's okay because they are already a young team on the rise. Really, the only thing they are lacking is a good point gurad, which is something they can get in their position in the draft at #6 overall. If Mike Conley doesn't go #3 to the Hawks or maybe the Trail Blazers if the two teams do a trade to reunite Oden with Conley, he could easily slip to the Bucks at #6. If that would be the case, the Bucks will undoubtedly select him. If he is not available I could see them trading for a point guard. The Bucks already have rising stars Michael Redd, Andrew Bogut, and Charlie Villanueva, and really the only reason why the Bucks missed the playoffs is because all three of them missed significant time due to injuries.

During the free agent signing period, the Bucks will make a strong push toward trying to get Chauncey Billups to wear purple and white next year with Milwaukee. It has also been rumored that Bogut could be on the trading market to add depth and a point guard. Bogut was the #1 overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft and was selected over all-star quality point guards Deron Williams and Chris Paul. This combined with his youth still make him a very valuable player to include in a trade.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Lakers: Either get West back or trade Kobe

In recent years, the Los Angeles Lakers have had disappointing seasons since trading star center Shaquille O'Neal to the Miami Heat. Kobe Bryant is fed up with all of this losing. The Lakers have had just four playoff wins in the last three seasons playing without Shaq. Recently, Kobe has said that he wanted Jerry West, the architect of the Laker dynasty in the beginning of the decade, back as Lakers general manager. If the Lakers could not do this, it has been rumored that he wants to be traded.
Mitch Kupchak could have done several moves to get a second star in Los Angeles, but every time he has failed to do so. The most publicised was during the trade deadline this February when Kupchak could have gotten Jason Kidd if he included center Andrew Bynum in the deal. He refused, saying that he didn't want to risk the future of the Lakers in favor of one or two years as a legitimate title contender. However, Kupchak didn't consider that everywhere he has gone, Kidd has made his teammates better and his game could last until his late thirties like John Stockton's did.
Also, Kobe could have been traded during his free agent year in 2004 to the Chicago Bulls. The deal was already set up, but Kobe did not want to leave Los Angeles in favor of another place where the future was uncertain. He also could have gone to the Los Angeles Clippers without a sign and trade being involved. After weighing his options, Kobe decided to stay with the Lakers because he wanted to remain loyal to his franchise. In my opinion, the Clippers have the better team right now even without Kobe.
The main reason why the Lakers aren't a contender right now, other than that they are in the Western Conference, is that they didn't get enough in return for Shaq and they are a young team that doesn't have a consistent second scoring option. When Shaq was on the trading market, the Dallas Mavericks were willing to give up almost anyone other than Dirk Nowitzki, but the Lakers said no because they thought that they would not be able to beat the Mavs in a playoff series. What they forgot was that Shaq was entering his mid thirties. Now, if the Lakers did a deal with the Mavs for Shaq, they could still be playing in this year's playoffs.
Instead, they traded Shaq to the Heat for Lamar Odom, Caron Butler, and Brian Grant. Odom is the only one of the three left on the team. Butler, an all-star this year, was traded after only one year in purple and gold for Kwame Brown. If Butler was still with the Lakers, he would have been the second scoring option that the Lakers needed so badly the last three years. Grant has been a salary cap killer for the Lakers. Sure, the Lakers used him as their amnesty exception in 2005, but that only counted against the luxury tax, not against the salary cap. Odom has had some great moments with the Lakers, but he is prone to injuries and hasn't always been as consistent as the Lakers have wanted him to be. Odom has been in trade talks with almost every all-star player the Lakers have been after, so that could take its toll on Odom.
If Kobe wants to be traded, that's okay, but where will he be traded to. The Lakers will demand a lot more than they did for Shaq and Most of the contenders in the NBA don't need that radical of a change to become a championship team. I couldn't see Kobe be traded to the Bobcats or Hawks because they are not ready for a championship run yet. A team like the Cavaliers or the Timberwolves who are looking to add another superstar don't have the necessary pieces to give to the Lakers in exchange for Kobe. However, a team like the Golden State Warriors or the Sacramento Kings have the necessary pieces that they are willing to give up and probably the interest to bring Kobe to their teams. The Warriors could give up a guy like Jason Richardson, an all-star level player when healthy and one of the most exciting players in the NBA. The Kings could give up Kevin Martin or, if the Lakers want to take a risk, Brad Miller.

Monday, May 28, 2007

What Boston Should do this offseason

The Boston Celtics, like the Memphis Grizzlies, were the big losers of the NBA Draft Lottery. Of course, under the non-lottery system, the Celtics and Grizzlies would have had a coin flip to see who pick number one and who gets to pick number two. Unfortunately for both, that was not the case. Instead, the Celtics draft fifth this year. A decade ago, the Celtics had a 36% chance of getting the #1 pick and Tim Duncan and they lost that year too.
In this year's draft, I expect the Celtics to trade the pick to a team that is willing to give them a couple of good, experienced veterans to teach the young Celtics how to win. Maybe a deal with Portland for Zach Randolph and Jarrett Jack will help out them. After all, Sebastian Telfair is most likely out and Jack would step right in as starting point guard.
The Celtics will also probably need to have some major changes, beginning with getting rid of Telfair. The Celtics will probably release him if they cannot find a team who wants to trade for the troubled point guard. Also, don't be shocked if Paul Pierce gets traded. I know that this hasn't been publicised, but Pierce is probably frusturated in Boston and he is deserving to be on a championship team. Miami could potentially be interested, as would the Knicks if Pierce makes himself available. I also could see a major trade happen involving some of the Celtics younger players to get Pierce some help right now. If this were to happen, Delonte West, Rajon Rondo, or Ryan Gomes could be gone. Either way, I expect a busy offseason for the Celtics.
A lot of their problems are from blunders by general manager Danny Ainge. During last year's draft and earlier this year, he had the chance to get Allen Iverson in a trade. To get him, the Celtics just had to package a couple of their younger players and the #7 pick of last year's draft for the current Nuggets star. Instead, Ainge traded the pick for Telfair. That #7 overall pick could have given them Rookie of the Year Brandon Roy. Instead, it just gave the Celtics another bust and trade bait for this offseason.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

What Memphis could do this offseason

Memphis lost big in the draft lottery, getting the number four overall pick despite having the worst record in the NBA. Of course, star forward Pau Gasol was injured for the beginning part of the season. If it weren't for Gasol's injury, the Grizzlies might have made it into the playoffs. In my opinion, they might have been one the teams who tanked the last few games of the regular season to try to get the most ping pong balls for the lottery, which the succeeded in doing. With their first rounder, I could see the Grizzlies doing a variety of things. They could trade it to a team like the Portland Trail Blazers, who are looking to move up in the draft to get Mike Conley, Jr., they could take Brandan Wright out of North Carolina, a guy who has the potential to team up with Gasol and become a good tandem of big men, or I could also see them bringing a winning attitude to their team in either Corey Brewer or Al Horford of Florida, the back to back national champions.

The Grizzlies also have a lot to think about for the offseason. They need a new coach and general manager. Since they don't have a top two pick, those tasks could be a lot more difficult to accomplish. The Grizzlies originally talked to Billy Donovan of Florida and Hall of Famer Larry Brown also had interest. Of course, this came with the assumption of getting to coach Greg Oden or Kevin Durant, but that will probably not happen. The Grizzlies also have to deal with the disgruntled Gasol, who demanded a trade last year. He could have gone to the Chicago Bulls, but didn't when the Bulls refused to include rising star Luol Deng in the deal. I expect Gasol to go this offseason, but nobody knows who will take him on yet. I still see the Bulls as a possible destination, but not if they have to include Deng in the deal, especially after his playoff series against the Miami Heat. He could also go to the Knicks, who are always looking to make a splash in player transactions, or the Lakers, who said they will upgrade the team for Kobe Bryant. The Grizzlies have a lot to think about this offseason.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Free Agency could change teams next year

Although none of the great players from the NBA Draft class of 2003 are among the free agents this summer, there are still many players who could change lottery teams into playoff contenders, or playoff teams into title contenders.

Chauncey Billups is a free agent this summer and he is an all-star point guard who thrives in the clutch. He was the 2004 NBA Finals MVP and could win another championship this year. If he stays in the Eastern Conference, he could lead just about any team into the playoffs next year. Face it, there are only three title contenders right now in the East, Detroit, Cleveland, and Chicago. Billups could probably lead the Celtics into the eighth seed next year, assuming they don't tank again next year to get OJ Mayo, a great prospect who will attend USC next year. Billups is unselfish, is a finisher, and plays excellent defense.

How about a good guy who could sell tickets. Look no further than Vince Carter. There are already rumors about the New York Knicks signing him this offseason. I could actually see him joining the Knicks if he doesen't rejoin the Nets. Isiah Thomas would probably give him the $20 million a year he wants if he could concoct a trade and, knowing him, everyone could be available. I could also see him joining a team like the Bobcats, who need a marketable player, or a team like the Lakers who need a reliable second scorer.

The star free agent I think would be most likely to leave is Rashard Lewis of the Seattle SuperSonics. The SuperSonics will probably draft Kevin Durant in the first round this year and he plays small forward, just like Lewis. If I were to predict a possible destination, I would probably say somewhere in the East, maybe New York or Cleveland. The Cavaliers could trade Zydrunas Ilgauskas or Drew Gooden because every team in the West needs a big man. New York could trade someone like, well, who knows what Isiah would do? Lewis shoots a lot of threes and is a very good scorer. He is always capable of scoring for thirty or more. He even has a fifty point game in his career.

One very underrated player in this year's draft class is Gerald Wallace of the Charlotte Bobcats. I could definitely see him leaving in favor of a better team. He could go to Cleveland, the Lakers, the Knicks, maybe the Heat. He will be in high demand because he fills up a stat sheet with all five major categories, points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. With all these skills, Wallace could be an all-star in the future.

In addition to these four players, Darko Milicic, Anderson Varejao, Andres Nocioni, Chris Webber, Jerry Stackhouse, Luke Walton, Jason Kapono, DeShawn Stevenson, and James Posey are all free agents this summer.

What the Atlanta Hawks will do this offseason

The Atlanta Hawks really lucked out by winning the number three pick in next month's draft. Of course, had they gotten a pick from 4-14, it would have gone to the Phoenix Suns. With that number three pick, the Hawks should pick Mike Conley, Jr., but mock drafts have them picking Chinese forward Yi Jianlian. However, there is a possibility that they could trade the pick to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for a package that could include Zach Randolph and Jarrett Jack, or players from a third team if the Hawks don't have enough interest in those players.

For the offseason, the Hawks should go after a point guard if they don't get Conley in the draft. Something they could do but probably won't is to make a run at Detroit Pistons guard Chauncey Billups. If the Hawks could somehow pull that off, they could make the playoffs next year. Also, like many other teams in the East, the Hawks could use a big man, so expect them to make a run at Magic forward/center Darko Milicic. In my opinion, he would be a lot cheaper now than in two or three years. I just think he is waiting for his chance to break through.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Seattle's possible offseason plans

In the recent NBA draft lottery, nobody was hoping for a top two pick more than the Seattle SuperSonics. They have made the postseason only once since trading Gary Payton and there are rumors that they could move to Oklahoma City. The reason why is because the owners don't want to pay for a new arena, so they are trying to let the city do it for them. With the number two pick, it would be a shocker if they picked someone other than Kevin Durant out of Texas. Durant could be the next LeBron James or Kevin Garnett and he could be the right guy to keep the SuperSonics in Seattle. He would be part of a nucleus that would include Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis, and Luke Ridnour. I expect it to be raining threes in Key Arena next year at a record pace, which could entertain Seattle's fans so much that they could want to help fund that new arena.

In addition to that entertaining lineup, the SuperSonics will likely have a new rival, the Portland Trail Blazers, who are expected to take Greg Oden with the number one overall pick. The SuperSonics and Trail Blazers play in the same division, which means that the Northwest Division won in the lottery more than any other division. These two teams will play four games against each other every year, so Oden vs. Durant will probably be the big rivalry of the next generation.

As for the rest of the offseason, I expect the SuperSonics to try to keep free agent Lewis around and if they can't do that, entertain trade offers to potentially bring in a decent big man. Maybe they could also bring in a proven veteran to help out their bench. Seattle could have made the playoffs this year if they didn't suffer injuries to Lewis and Allen.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What Portland could do in the draft and offseason

The Portland Trail Blazers lucked out last night by earning the number one overall pick in next month's draft. Had they gotten anything other than a top two pick, I thought that they should have traded it for a veteran presence. Instead, they will pick Greg Oden with that pick. He will lead the Trail Blazers to multiple NBA Titles someday with a young nucleus including Jarrett Jack, Rookie of the Year Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Zach Randolph. However, I expect Randolph to be traded, possibly in exchange for a high draft pick, which the Trail Blazers could use to select Mike Conley, Jr., Oden's long time teammate. Oden has said that he would love to play in the NBA with Conley, so that trade could end up making Oden happier.

This offseason, I do expect Randolph to go because the Trail Blazers would already have two good big men in Oden and Aldridge. Randolph is currently the highest paid player on the team and a trade could free up some salary cap space. With that added space, they could either save it to sign their younger players once their contracts expire or bring in a good veteran for a couple of seasons. Like the Chicago Bulls, the Trail Blazers are a very young team. Last year, the Bulls brought in Ben Wallace and PJ Brown and it paid big dividends for the Bulls, those two led them to their first playoff series victory since Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen left the team.

Especially now, the Trail Blazers future couldn't look brighter.

What is Google Adsense?

I know that some of you are wondering what this Google Adsense link is that is on my blog page. Well, it's a system that could potentially earn you money. Just click on the link to get more information. It involves a lot of promoting, but you can potentially earn a lot of money by adding Google Adsense to your blog or website.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Blazers win lotto, Sonics earn second pick

After much anticipation about which two NBA teams' futures will be changed for the next fifteen years, the results were announced live tonight regarding who will draft 1-14. Despite nearly
20-1 odds, the Portland Trail Blazers were able to defy the odds and earn the number one overall pick. They already have a bunch of good young players and a guy like Greg Oden, who I think the Blazers will choose, could vault them into the playoffs and maybe a team like the Lakers out. One interesting fact about the Blazers' representative, Brandon Roy, is that he was this year's Rookie of the Year. I guess if you don't have a good luck charm, just send out the rookie of the year.

The number two overall pick went to the Seattle SuperSonics, also a longshot to get a top two pick. They will likely select college player of the year Kevin Durant with that pick, possibly sending Rashard Lewis out since both are small forwards. Durant is regarded as the most complete perimeter big man since Kevin Garnett, and we all know what KG has meant to his team. This luck for the SuperSonics might also mean that they might be able to end speculation that they are moving out of Seattle.

The third pick in the draft went to the Atlanta Hawks, represented by Dominique Wilkins. Wilkens' lucky tie really did turn out lucky despite not earning a top two pick. With the third pick, the Hawks will not need to give their pick to the Phoenix Suns (picks 4-14 would have gone the the Suns as part of the Joe Johnson trade). The Hawks also got the Pacers' pick, number eleven, as part of the Al Harrington deal (if that pick was 4-14, it would have been the Pacers' pick).

Perhaps the biggest loser in the draft were the Boston Celtics, earning the number five overall pick. I believe that they tanked their season after their eighteen game losing streak in hopes of landing Oden or Durant, so now I guess that their season was a total waste. The Blazers or Sonics might be getting some very interesting trade offers, but I don't think either will accept anything the Celtics will offer them in exchange for one of the picks.

Here is the lottery order of the draft

1. Portland
2. Seattle
3. Atlanta
4. Memphis
5. Boston
6. Milwaukee
7. Minnesota
8. Charlotte
9. Chicago (from New York)
10. Sacramento
11. Atlanta (from Indiana)
12. Philadelphia
13. New Orleans
14. Los Angeles Clippers

Saturday, May 19, 2007

NBA Playoffs thrilling, revealing this year. Lottery will be dramatic.

Despite only one game seven so far in this year's NBA Playoffs, this year's playoffs have shown many thrills and many things that teams revealed about themselves, both good and bad.

First off, the Golden State Warriors just may be contenders some day, with or without head coach Don Nelson. Small ball is the way that a lot of teams go with the lack of big men and the quickness that leads to high scoring and exciting teams and the Warriors have been the latest to prove its affect it has on a team like the Dallas Mavericks. Of course, they beat those Mavs in six games and put on a competitive series against the Utah Jazz in the second round. Some defense could be just what the Warriors need to get over the hump.

Another great thing about this year's playoffs is that the "Baby Bulls" might be growing up. After ousting the defending champion Miami Heat in a four game sweep, the Chicago Bulls also put on a competitive series against the Detroit Pistons, coming back from a 3-0 deficit to lose in a hard fought six game series. This experience will come useful to the young Bulls in their quest to win a championship without NBA legend Michael Jordan.

The Houston Rockets need a supporting cast for and some offense for all-stars Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming. I'm sure that they could have gotten a higher seed in the playoffs if Yao didn't spend all that time injured, but throughout their series against the Jazz, the Rockets just could not put together enough support for their stars to advance. In fact, in one game, only four Rockets scored. No wonder why Jeff Van Gundy got fired. What the Rockets should do during the offseason is get a good perimeter player like Jason Kapono, a free agent, to sign on so he can hit open threes when teams double-team McGrady and Yao.

The New Jersey Nets may have a winning formula after all. During the season, the Nets suffered injuries to starters Richard Jefferson and Nenad Kristic. They were able to pull together and earned the sixth seed in the playoffs and a win against the Toronto Raptors in the first round, although with Jefferson back in the lineup. They were then able to push the Cleveland Cavaliers to six games in the next round behind brilliant play by ageless wonder Jason Kidd. Vince Carter is a free agent this summer, so the Nets will need to make sure to either resign him or trade him for a good big man. Needless to say, the Nets' playoff run made trade rumors surrounding Kidd and Carter totally dumb for the Nets.

Perhaps the biggest thriller in the 2007 playoffs was the Phoenix Suns vs. the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Semifinals. It proved that the Spurs are in fact a dirty team and they are somehow able, and in this series rewarded, for their dirty play. During game two, Bruce Bowen kicked Amare Stoudemire on the foot while Stoudemire was going in for a dunk. No penalty. During game three, Bowen knees Steve Nash in the groin. No suspension, but there was a flagrant foul. During game four Robert Horry checked Nash into the scorer's table. Horry was suspended for two games, but the Suns were hit harder. Stoudemire and his backup Boris Diaw were each suspended a game for leaving the bench during an altercation that broke out after the hit. In my opinion, the Spurs were definitely rewarded for Horry's cheap shot by ultimately winning the series against the Suns.

Because of these plays, the Suns were able to shed their image of being a "soft" team. In addition to these cheap shots the Spurs game them, there was also an incident in game one where Nash and Tony Parker of the Spurs banged heads. Nash was bleeding from the nose and the trainers just couldn't stop the bleeding. Nash tried to play anyway and was able to briefly before having to leave the game in order to stop the bleeding. This showed the warrior in Nash because he needed to have stitches after the game and refused to have them before the game was over.

However, perhaps the most dramatic moment in this year's playoff season may not involve a basketball, but ping pong balls. The NBA's draft lottery may provide many things. If the Boston Celtics win the lottery, their tanking might prove to be worth it with Greg Oden and Kevin Durant being in this year's draft along with a bunch of other potentially productive players. If the Memphis Grizzlies win, they might not have as much trouble needing to trade star forward Pau Gasol. If the Bulls win, they might have that missing piece to produce another dynasty. If the Atlanta Hawks don't get one of the top three picks, they will need to give that pick to the Suns, which could vault the Suns to becoming the favorites in the West. If the Minnesota Timberwolves win, they could finally give Kevin Garnett the help he deserves to win a championship with the Timberwolves. This year's lottery could make or break the futures of many teams.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Stoudemire, Diaw Suspended for Leaving Bench, Duncan, Bowen not.

After much debate over the last couple of games against the Phoenix Suns, the San Antonio Spurs added even more evidence against them in possibly being a dirty team. With 18 seconds remaining in a loss against the Suns, a frusturated Robert Horry checked Suns star Steve Nash into the scorer's table. This resulted in a near fight between Horry and Raja Bell of the Suns, and later another near fight between Horry and Nash. Horry was immediately given a flagrant two, resulting in an automatic ejection. This foul play was very similar to a play in last year's playoffs in which James Posey of the Miami Heat shoved The Chicago Bulls' Kirk Hinrich intentionally, also resulting in a flagrant two.

To add fuel to this altercation, the Suns' Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw left the bench and usually that results in a suspension. Speaking of leaving the bench, in a separate altercation in the second quarter, The Spurs' Tim Duncan and Bruce Bowen left the bench area. The NBA suspended three players earlier today as a result of the Horry foul. Horry was suspended two games and Stoudemire and Diaw were suspended one game each for leaving the bench. Duncan and Bowen were not suspended.

My ultimate question about the suspensions are why were Stoudemire and Diaw suspended but not Duncan and Bowen? It is possible that they might eventually be suspended, but it appears unlikely. In my opinion, either they all deserve to be suspended or none of them do. When they left the bench, none of them played a significant role in the altercations.

As a result of these suspensions, the Suns just might have given up their chances in beating the Spurs, given that they host game 5 and the Spurs host game 6. It will take a great team effort and outstanding games from Nash and Shawn Marion for the Suns to triumph over the Spurs in game 5, but they played nearly all of last year without Stoudemire.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Earl Wins Survivor: Fiji, Dreamz Keeps Immunity

Earl Cole, an ad executive from Kansas City, won Survivor: Fiji last night after a stunning decesion by fellow castaway, "Dreamz" Herd. After winning a reward challenge for a car, Yau-Man Chan, the most popular player on this season or Survivor, won a truck. He offered to give the truck in exchange for immunity in the final four in Dreamz won immunity. They both managed to reach the final four and Dreamz beat out Yau-Man in a challenge in which the four remaining castaways had to hang from barrels that had water pouring out of them. After debating about it during tribal council, Dreamz decided to keep his immunity necklace, saying that he would not make it to the final three without it. Once Dreamz told the remaining castaways his decestion, Earl, Cassandra Franklin, and himself voted out Yau-Man probably because they all knew that they would not stand a chance against him in the final vote.

Once Yau-Man was voted off, that pretty much sealed the deal for Earl's big payday. The jury, who decides who the winner is every season, pummeled Dreamz with questions about his broken promise to Yau-Man and his integrity. Cassandra was probably known as the person who coasted along in the minds of the jury, so the obvious choice for the champion was Earl, who was the first Survivor winner in history to win a unanimous decesion by the jury.

In my opinion, if Dreamz gave up his immunity necklace, he would have been voted out. However, crazy things happen in Survivor and maybe the other three would have voted for someone other than him. If that were the case, I think Yau-Man would have won, but Dreamz would have gotten a lot more respect and might have even won.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Are the Golden State Warriors America's Team?

As almost everyone knows, the Golden State Warriors have stolen some headlines in this year's NBA Playoffs. To start off, they beat the Dallas Mavericks, a team that was supposed to contend for the NBA championship with the Phoenix Suns and the San Antonio Spurs. Along the way, we were able to see the best basketball of Baron Davis' career and a courageous effort from him in the decisive game six in which he played through an injury to lead the Warriors to a stunning 25 point victory.

The Warriors have also enjoyed the best homecourt advantage I have ever seen. I guess their fans just built up their energy for the thirteen year drought they had from the 1994-95 to this season. The crowd has been able to make the Warriors' opponents commit a ton of turnovers and led to many exciting highlights, including multiple halfcourt shots being made (although one of them didn't count because it didn't beat the game clock) and a Baron Davis posterizing of Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko in game three of Golden State's conference semifinal game against Utah. America loves the underdog, and because of that the NBA should want the Warriors to advance deep in the playoffs, or at least to the conference finals to make a "David vs. Goliath" final versus either the Suns or the Spurs (Spurs lead 2-1). It would just be incredible to see the another eight seed advance to the finals like the New York Knicks were able to do in 1999 and the Warriors fans deserve it because they are cheering their hearts out for their team.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Should the Heat trade Shaq?

Recently, there have been some rumors about the Miami Heat trading Shaquille O'Neal, their fading star center. Currently, O'Neal ranks among the highest paid players in the NBA, making $20 million a year. Is this kind of salary for a good center who played just forty games in the 06-07 season and is 35 years old really worth it? The New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks could give the Heat something decent, especially since the Knicks still have Isiah Thomas as their GM, and the Mavericks are probably trying to shake up their roster after two straight heartbreaking playoff series losses. Also, if the Heat trade O'Neal for someone with an expiring contract and a first round pick, they could give superstar guard Dwyane Wade some help five years down the road when over half of the Heat's current rotation could be retired. When asked whether or not the rumors are true about trading O'Neal, Pat Riley, the Heat's GM said, "Amongst growing speculation in the media, in reference to Shaq, I want to set the record straight and say that we are not trading Shaq," This seems like Riley is setting the record straight, and O'Neal did lead the Heat to a title in 2006, but I have seen crazier things happen.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Dirk Nowitzki is NBA MVP

Today it was announced that Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki will win NBA MVP this year. Of course, many people think he is not MVP after he choked for most of Dallas' series vs. Golden State, a series in which the Warriors shocked the Mavericks in six games. In the final game Nowitzki scored just eight points and had only two field goals in an embarrasing 25 point loss. Because of Nowitzki winning MVP this year, there has been much debate about when the votes should be cast for the MVP awards in sports.

Of course, in the NBA, the votes need to be in once the regular season is over, but does a regular season really define what an MVP is? In my opinion, MVP means Most Valuable Player, which means that the team the MVP is on should lose a lot more games if he wasn't on his team. A couple of players that immediately come to mind are Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns, LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, and Jason Kidd of the New Jersey Nets. Without those players, all four of those teams would probably be seventh of eighth seeds at best. As for the Mavs, without Nowitzki I think they could have been the fifth seed because remember, they have a good bench that has DeSagana Diop and Jerry Stackhouse in addition to all-star forward Josh Howard in the starting lineup. After the first round of this year's playoffs, I think that most people who watched NBA basketball for the first time would think that the MVP the announcers were talking about was Baron Davis of the Warriors and not Nowitzki. In my opinion, if the MVP voting was at the end of the year, Nash would be celebrating his third straight MVP award.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

What you can find cleaning up after people

I go to college and my job is to set up and tear down from events my campus has. It's actually pretty fun. One of the reasons why is because we find many different things when we clean up, many of them are edible. My rules for consuming food that I find is that it needs to look like nobody did anything to it or it needs to be sealed in some way. Some notable things I have managed to find so far this year are multiple bananas, cookies, doughnuts, Gatorade, and probably a few other things I forgot about. I also was able to find a highliter, a drumstick (the one percussionists use), and many pencils during my tenure.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Roger Clemens...a Yankee again

As many of you know, Roger Clemens is now a Yankee again after a three year reign as a Houston Astro, his hometown team. He surprised the fans at Yankee Stadium on Sunday's game by announcing his return himself. Despite his age, 44, many experts believe that he could be the missing piece to a return to the playoffs to the Yankees. Clemens' contract includes $28 million for what will probably only be four months and the playoffs if the Yankees make it and also a clause that will allow him to leave the Yankees on days which he isn't scheduled to start, a clause that a few major leaguers don't agree with, including San Diego pitcher David Wells.