NBA Free Agency 2010 – July 5

Fourth of  July weekend is over and let’s review what big fireworks went off in the NBA.  We have two huge contracts offered to two NBA players.  I was hoping it would be LeBron and Wade but my dreams were shattered.  What’s taking LeBron so long?  It time for him to man up and make a decision.  Lebron just remember one thing: NBA Championship, forget what your homies are telling you.

First major contract to look at is Joe Johnson resigning with the Atlanta Hawks for $120 million for 6 years.  I understand the Hawks resigning Joe Johnson but $120 million.  Let get real, he’s not worth it.  I think the Hawks could have offered less and still kept him.  Do I blame Joe Johnson, no way.  They offered him the max and he was very smart to take it. 

The second big contract I want to talk about is Amare Stoudemire signing with the New York Knicks for $100 million over five years.  You have to be kidding me.  This is a huge risk by the Knicks.  Amare is good but I don’t think he is worth $100 million.  I know the Knicks are rebuilding and doing whatever it can to make a move into the playoffs but I think they overpaid for Amare.  I have no doubt signing Amare is step one  to relaunching the franchise but the Knicks need to land superstar Lebron James or it’s all for nothing. I can’t see Wade coming to the Knicks but if he does look out.  Again do I blame Amare for signing with the Knicks for $100 million, no way.

Both Joe Johnson and Amare Stoudemire made a wise decision.  Owners showed them the money and they took it.  Before Lebron make his world shaking decision to change the landscape of the NBA, free agents  such as Joe and Amare were wise to get their share of the pie before it was too late.

Two other players to exit free agency and return to their teams were Paul Pierce with Boston and Dirk Nowitzki with Dallas.  These two players just entered free agency to secure their futures.  I have to say smart move.  Both players signed on for another 4 years with their teams.

One last comment is the LA Lakers signing Steve Blake.  Steve Blake played point guard for both the Blazers and Clippers.  I think this is a great move for the Lakers.  I always believe their weakest position was point guard.  I like Derek Fisher but he is getting old.  Eventually this position has to be addressed and no better time than now to address it.

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NBA Playoffs – Round 2 (2009)

April is here and that means NBA Playoffs.

I am not too excited this year about basketball yet.  The first round was alright.  The only series that brought any excitement was the Celtics/Bulls series.  I wished the Bulls had won.  Let’s move to the second round action.

Yesterday we saw game one of the Denver/Dallas series.  I really enjoyed watching Denver beating Dallas.  Dallas is no longer the team they use to be.  The window has  closed for Dallas.  Denver is red hot and will advance to the Western Conference Finals.

The Lakers/ Houston series will be another fun series.  The Lakers will win this series but I think it will take 5 games.  Houston is  really no match for the Lakers but I hope Bynam will step it up this series.  They will need him in this series.  Lakers will make it easily to the next round.

The Cavs/Hawks series I am looking forward to.  I think the Cavs should breeze through this series but Atlanta is a team that will compete with the Cavs.  I will say that the Cavs will win the series in 6 games.  Watch out for Atlanta to make some waves but Lebron and the Cavs will overcome.

The Orlando/Celtics series is another series that I am hoping for total domination by one team, The Orlando Magic.  After the first round, I think that Orlando will struggle against the Celtics.  Orlando must play hard early to finish the series quick.  Don’t let Boston hang around.  I say this series will be close but Orlando will win it in 6 games.  If it goes to seventh game, then Boston will win it.  Orlando do whatever you have to not to take it to a seventh game.

The fall of the Dallas Mavericks – Avery Johnson fired as head coach

The Dallas Mavericks have fired Avery Johnson as head coach. I am not surprised by this move but I would put most of the blame for an early exit from the playoffs because what the Dallas Mavericks gave up to get Jason Kidd. I expect Avery Johnson to be coaching somewhere else very soon.

Last year’s early exit from the playoffs was due to the genius of head coach Don Nelson and an overachieving Golden State Warrior team. I believe the Mavericks panicked to find a fix to their team. When the LA Lakers traded for Pau Gasol, Dallas thought they would need to add another piece to their puzzle. Unfortunately they took away the wrong pieces just to add an old NBA star.

I think in this situation the coach was not at fault. I truly believe this falls on the GM and Mark Cuban. I am not too sure who their GM is. Dallas’ window to win a championship ended when they lost to the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. The West is packed with some great teams and no longer is Dallas an elite team in the NBA.

A new era is dawning in the West and a team like New Orleans has emerged. The LA Lakers are ready to reclaim the NBA Championship with NBA superstar Kobe Bryant and his all star teammates Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol. A remaining obstacle for these two teams in the West are the San Antonio Spurs. Can they win a back to back title? They do have a stellar line up with Duncan, Parker, Ginolbli, and Finely but will their age show? We will find out this June.

NBA Playoffs – Fall of the Suns, Mavericks, Rockets

I thought the Western Conference playoffs wasgoing to be competitive this year.  I have new insight since last night (Tuesday). 

Let me start with the Rockets.  I expected the Rockets to lose and it’s not because of the Tracy McGrady curse but because they need Yao.  Utah looks great with winning two games in Houston.

Dallas losing two games to New Orleans is a shock.  I expected Dallas to make it a competitive series but instead New Orleans is killing them.  I like the way New Orleans is playing and I hope they continue to play like this into the next round.  New Orleans is definitely a good team and can be a contendor for the Western Conference Finals.

Dallas and San Antonio is another series that is letting me down.  After game one with the miracle three pointers putting this game in double overtime, I thought Phoenix would come back in game 2.  i was wrong.  I think the tables will change for San Antonio in Phoenix.  I expect Phoenix will tie up the series.  I hate San Antonio and the sooner they are out of the playoffs, the better off for the rest of the league.

The Lakers and Denver series is what I like to see.  I hate Kobe but Gasol was definitely the hero of the game. With the Lakers having another All-Star on their team, this allows Kobe to have a bad night here and there.  The Lakers need to finish this series and get ready to play some defense in round 2.

The West is definitely a mix of something old and something new.  The Lakers, San Antonio, New Orleans, and Utah look to have a handle on their series but soon these series will switch to a different arena.  With the exception of Utah, the rest of the teams are going to be on the road and its time to finish of business and go to the next round. 

NBA First Round Predictions

The first round of the NBA playoffs have a few good series,  I honestly believe that we may see an upset or two in the West.  I believe the East may have one upset.  Let’s start with the East.

Boston Celtics vs. Atlanta Hawks

Boston is too dominate not to win this series.  It is good to see Atlanta in the playoffs but they are going to get killed by the Celtics.  Easily a sweep, Boston in 4 games.

Detroit Pistons vs Philadelphia 76ers

This is another potential sweep. Detroit is a powerhouse. Philadelphia does not have a chance. Detroit may lose a game but they will win this series. This is a warm up series for the next round.  Detroit in 5 games.

Orlando Magic vs. Toronto Raptors

This series may provide some entertainment.  These two teams are good playoff teams.  I honestly believe these two teams are a piece away from becoming contenders in the East.  i like Dwight Howard and this will definitely influence my pick.  Just watch the highlights from the dunk competition at the All Star game, and you will see that Dwight can dunk.  This will be a hard fought battle and I believe Orlando will win the series in 6 games.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Washington Wizards

Here is another good series with two good playoff teams.  Cleveland is still two pieces away from being a NBA champion.  There is a major chemistry problem with this team and their trade earlier this year did not help.  Washington is one hungry team and will do everything they need to do to win this series.  I believe that Washington will barely win this series but will do it in a stunning 7 game series.  Washington is 7 games.

Let’s head out West.

LA Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets 

This will be an easy series for the Lakers.  The Lakers have MVP Kobe Bryant and a great supporting teammates such as Lamar and Gasol.  The other role players that are key are Turaif, Fisher, Farmer, and Walton.  The Lakers have a deep bench and Denver needs help.  I will be shocked if the Lakers do not win it in 4 games.  So LA Lakers in 4 games.  (On a side note watch for both Kobe to win the MVP and Phil Jackson to win coach of the year. )

New Orleans Hornets vs. Dallas Mavericks

I think New Orleans had a great year but they fell apart during the last week of the regular season. That is not good for the post season.  Dallas is on a mission and if Dirk’s ankle holds up, I think Dallas will win this series.  I did not like the trade for Jason Kidd but he is hungry for a championship as is Dirk.  Dallas will prevail in this series and will be a fun series.  Sorry New Orleans but Dallas to pull it out in 6 games.

San Antonio Spurs vs. Phoenix Suns

Another great series I am looking forward to.  I think Phoenix made a horrible trade for Shaq but he will help them make it past the first round.  The San Antonio Spurs are going to make an early exit.  The longer the Spurs stay in the playoffs, the more games they win.  The Spurs look old and tired. Phoenix will have their way and win the series in 6 games.  (I would like to thank the Suns in advance for making sure we don’t have another Finals with San Antonio representing the West.)

Utah Jazz vs. Houston Rockets

I am having a tough time thinking who will win this series. Well I remember now, Tracy McGrady has never been made it past the first round of the playoffs.  I guess I will take the Utah Jazz.  Watch Houston go up 2 to 1 in this series and watch the Rockets and their NBA all star, Tracy McGrady, self destruct and lose the series.  I like Utah in 6 games

 

Los Angeles Lakers New Look

Well Friday’s trade with Memphis was a shocker.  Everyone knew the Lakers were in need of a big man ever since Andrew Bynum got hurt.  The Lakers go from pretender to contenders with this monster trade.  As many of you know, I am not a Kobe fan but a Lakers fan. This trade shakes up the Western Conference. 

The Lakers traded away Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton,  and a couple of draft picks.  I also heard that Aaron Mckie and the rights to Marc Gasol were in the mix as well.  The Lakers ended up with big man Pau Gasol. Let me say this was a trade that works perfect.  We get rid of Kwame “butterfingers” Brown and end up with a previous NBA All Star.  This is a very good trade for the Lakers.  Let examine the potential starting lineup for the playoffs this April.

  • Derek Fisher
  • Kobe Bryant
  • Lamar Odom
  • Pau Gasol
  • Andrew Bynum

Watch out San Antonio and Phoenix because the LA Lakers are ready for you.  I believe the Western Confernece Finals will be the LA Lakers versus the Dallas Mavericks.  Dallas will be the only really competition for the Lakers in the West.  This playoff seasons every team in the West will fear the LA Lakers. 

A thought for the NBA Finals – LA Lakers vs Boston Celtics.  I am getting goosebumps just think of that.  I know it won’t be the same as in the days of Larry Bird and the Celtics versus Magic Johnson and the Lakers but it is a chance the rivalry could be back this year in the NBA Finals.