Archive for October, 2007

30
Oct
07

Kobe is to Blame. Is not to Blame. You Decide.

It was always believed that Shaq was traded as a result of Kobe’s wishes, but this summer we were lead to believe Kobe had nothing to do with it. We were told Jerry Buss didn’t want to pay Shaq the money he required. Jerry believed he could build a contender around Kobe, without Shaq. I mean, that’s why Kobe went on the Stephen A. Smith show during the summer to request a trade. The Lakers organization was blaming him for the Shaq trade, and that made Kobe very upset, because it just wasn’t true (at least that’s what Kobe and now Jerry Buss are saying).

Hmmmm

Did you watch halftime of the Spurs vs Blazers game on TNT?? I wonder how Kobe feels now, after watching Magic Johnson, Lakers Vice President, say it was Kobe’s fault. Read the transcript below:

Kenny Smith

“The Lakers thought it would be easy… when you allow the Shaquille O’Neal trade and other things to happen, you’re under the assumption that your going to get back. You don’t get back. It’s not written in stone that teams get there. There are great players in the league that have never played at a high level and there’s a reason for that, because it’s a difficult league and a talent driven league and when you have talent you cannot let that just go and walk away.”

Magic Johnson

“Kobe didn’t understand that. See, if Kobe had been smart, he would have mended those fences with Shaquille. Let Shaquille be the man and we wouldn’t be in this position. And Kobe now after four years later understands he can’t do it by himself so now he’s blaming the organization. Part of that blame should be on him, as well as the organization.”

I’ll give Magic credit, because in mid sentence he realized what he was doing – reacting emotionally and raw to Kenny coming right at the Lakers organization – and he made sure he added that last statement “Part of that blame should be on him, as well as the organization,” but even with that caveat, he still said Shaq was traded because of Kobe. Magic said Kobe was to blame for this situation. Personally, I agree with him. Kobe is to blame.

Kobe wanted to be the man. Kobe wanted to control the offense and the team. Kobe wanted to be the alpha male. Kobe wanted to lead the team AND league in scoring; he knew he would never do that with Shaq on the team. Kobe thought he was so good, that he didn’t need Shaq to win. Kobe wanted to be Jordan.

This selfishness is Kobe’s biggest flaw and the sole reason he will never win another championship, let alone NBA MVP, unless he does have another dominant player on his team. He simply can’t lead and direct a team. Kobe truly believes his team is better off when he’s shooting the ball. He doesn’t trust anyone else.

It’s because of this selfishness and supreme cockiness that Kobe needs to have another alpha male on his team who will put him in his place. Kobe is arguably the best pure talent in the league, arguably; but he is best served as a scorer. He is fundamentally not capable of setting up his teammates and making them better night in and night out. That’s why the Laker’s biggest mistake is not trading Bynum for Jason Kidd. Kidd is the leader and playmaker that would allow Kobe to be Kobe. Kidd picks up his teammates and makes them better. Kobe scores. Kobe would also trust Kidd to lead, which might be the biggest reason to do the trade, because as stated above, Kobe doesn’t trust anyone.

Magic is right; Kobe didn’t understand how tough it is to win in the NBA. It all came to easy for him in the beginning. What’s sad, is when you look at the current circus Kobe has created, he still doesn’t understand. I will admit the Lakers have not managed their team well, but it’s not like Kobe has been put with a bunch of no-talent misfits. He simply doesn’t have the ability to lead and inspire people to be more than what they are.

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29
Oct
07

2007-08 Preseaon Predictions

Before we get into my preseason rankings, I want to give the Kobe caveat. He will be traded, I have no doubts about that, and I’m sure he’s going to the east, unless the Mavericks grow a brain and trade Dirk for him (I hate Kobe and even I know they should do that). Obviously whatever team he goes to in the east becomes an instant contender and these rankings are pointless, to a degree. If he goes to the Bulls, I still think Boston will be better because of what they will give up to get Kobe (Three is better than one – unless the one is Michael Jordan, which Kobe IS NOT), so it may not change at all.

Let’s look at the East first:

1) Boston Celtics – The combo of KG, Pierce and Ray Allen is too potent for any team in the East. They are three unselfish, yet dominant superstars in the prime of their careers (Allen is the only one on the older side), so how can you pick against them. Also, the bench is not that bad.

2) Chicago Bulls – With or without Kobe, they are number two in the East in regular season play. However, they need Kobe to get over the hump in the playoffs and truly be a contender this year.

3) Detroit Pistons – I hate this pick, but the starting five is still intact and more motivated than ever. They have good young players coming off the bench, but Flip is not the coach for them, which is why they will not win the East this year.

4) Toronto Raptors – Everyone is discounting this team, AGAIN! They like it that way. The Raps are extremely good and fearless. Bosh will be an MVP candidate.

5) Cleveland Cavaliers – LeBron has improved his shot, which means trouble for the rest of the league, but Varejao and Pavlovic were just that important to them. Even LeBron himself sees that, see his comments this preseason. Danny Ferry better get this resolved and those two guys with the team.

6) Orlando Magic – The loss of Grant Hill, Darko and Tony Battie will hurt, but they got Rashard and Dwight supposedly has a jump shot (I haven’t seen it yet, but that’s the rumor). Plus Stan van Gundy will get this team playing better than last year.

7) Washington Wizards – Same as last year, they’ll make the playoffs, but won’t contend. Kobe might be going here for Arenas, if that happens the Wizards move up substantially in my rankings.

8) New Jersey Nets – I know they have Nenad and Richard Jefferson back and healthy, but I hate the Magloire signing and the east got much much better, specifically their division.

9) Miami Heat – Wade will come back in January, and fight like hell to get them in the playoffs, but he’ll come up short because Shaq will probably be hurt when Wade comes back and they won’t have enough time to get the job done after they are both healthy. They’ll get close, though.

10) Atlanta Hawks – I wanted to put them in the playoffs more than any other lottery team, but I just can’t believe they will over take any of the top 8 teams. That being said, they will surprise a lot of people this year.

11) Milwaukee Bucks – Yi is starting? That’s all you need to know to realize they won’t be making the playoffs.

12) Indiana Pacers – Troy Murphy and Mike Dunleavy will have productive years, but the Pacers need more than those two, Jermaine O’Neal and Granger to get it done.

13) Charlotte Bobcats – The injuries of May, Morrison and future injuries of Okafor and Gerald Wallace really hurt this team.

14) New York Knicks – Does Isiah finally get fired this year??

15) Philadelphia 76ers – I love Iguodala and Andre Miller, but they are just too young everywhere else.

Now the West:

1) Houston Rockets – I know T-Mac and Yao have never been out of the first round, but it’s not just up to them this year. They are the most talented team in the league from top to bottom. Kudos to Daryl Morey.

2) Phoenix Suns – Grant Hill was a huge signing for them and they still have the best PG in the league.

3) Dallas Mavericks – They needed to do more than just send Terry to the bench in place of Stackhouse.

4) San Antonio Spurs – They always start off slow after winning a championship, but this year the Rockets and Suns are too good to let them make up all the lost ground.

5) Denver Nuggets – It’s a coin flip between them and Utah, but Denver has more talent with Kenyon Martin back (if he’s truly healthy), so they get the nod.

6) Utah Jazz – They are actually better, just not enough to improve on last year’s success.

7) Golden State Warriors – Nellie has this group of renegades playing with more confidence than anyone else in the league, that alone will carry them into the playoffs again.

8) Memphis Grizzlies – This is my surprise team of the league. They are a very very talented and well rounded team. Rudy Gay will breakout this season. I have high hopes for their future.

9) Los Angeles Lakers – Kobe is gone, and unless they get Gilbert Arenas or Dirk in return, they aren’t making the playoffs this year. They should be better off in the long run for trading Kobe, unless it really is a fire sale. We’ll have to wait and see.

10) New Orleans Hornets – Chris Paul is everything he’s advertised to be, but they just don’t have enough around him.

11) Sacramento Kings – They weren’t making the playoffs before Bibby got hurt and they certainly aren’t now.

12) Los Angeles Clippers – This starts the list of teams with no hope in the West. Brand might not be coming back until March. OUCH!

13) Portland Trailblazers – The only playmakers they have are Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge, who are both sophomores in the league. Another high draft pick is in their future.

14) Seattle Supersonics – The only thing that matters this year is the development of Durant, Jeff Green and at least one of the 3 centers they have taken in the first round 3 of the last 4 years.

15) Minnesota Timberwolves – Al Jefferson will have a MONSTER season, but everyone else is still learning to play in the NBA.

The West was much easier to predict than the East, because so many western conference teams have mailed it in this year and declaring “rebuilding” while the East got stronger. Here are my picks for individual awards:

MVP – Kevin Garnett

Scoring Title – LeBron James

Rebounding Title – Dwight Howard

Defensive Player of the year – Josh Smith

Sixth Man of the year – Leandro Barbosa

Most Improved Player – LaMarcus Aldridge

29
Oct
07

Seattle Supersonic Dancers

I REALLY hope the Sonics don’t move to Oklahoma!!!

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29
Oct
07

Seattle Supersonics Preview

This won’t by the normal preview, because they have changed so much.  The projected starting lineup is:

Luke Ridnour
Kevin Durant
Damien Wilkins
Chris Wilcox
Robert Swift

This lineup isn’t even in stone yet. I think they are better served with Nick Collison starting at center, and Delonte West starting at PG. This team will revolve around Kevin Durant and Jeff Green’s development.

I think Chris Wilcox is a huge sleeper this year. He will be asked to handle more of the scoring load than ever before and he is a good rebounder. Stay away from the point guards, because no one knows what is going to happen there. The Centers are even worse.

It’s all KD all the time in Seattle!!!!

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29
Oct
07

Utah Jazz Dancers

I have moved my blog to blogspot.com. You’ll find much better pictures and updated stories there. Here’s the link:

www.justgivemethestats.blogspot.com

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29
Oct
07

Utah Jazz Preview

Here’s what the Utah Jazz gave us last year:

  •  A surprise team in the Western Conference finals
  • Proof that the Jazz did not make a mistake by taking Deron over Chris Paul last year
  • A healthy and DOMINANT Carlos Boozer
  • The first NBA player to come out of the closet

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  • The first NBA player to cry on national tv because his “feelings” were hurt by his coach

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  • A Hall of Fame coach confused about when he started coaching in the WNBA and must keep track of the positive to negetive critisism ratio

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  • One of the best dunks of the year

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  • They gave obsessed crazed Jazz fans something to scream about for the first time in 7 years

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Quick – count the black people…………………………………….

Let’s look at the Starting lineup with last’s years stats:

 PG – Deron Williams
16.2 – 3.3 – 9.3 – 0.98 – 0.16 – 46% – 37 min

SG – Ronnie Brewer
4.6 – 1.3 – 0.4 – 0.66 – 0.11 – 53% – 12 min

SF – Andrei Kirilenko
8.3 – 4.7 – 2.9 – 1.06 – 2.06 – 47% – 29 min

PF – Carlos Boozer
20.9 – 11.7 – 3 – 0.95 – 0.28 – 56% – 35 min

C – Mehmet Okur
17.6 – 7.2 – 2 – 0.45 – 0.48 – 46% – 33 min

Key Bench Players

Matt Harpring
Paul Millsap
Gordon Giricek
Morris Almond
Jason Hart
Jarron Collins

PG
There is a serious debate about who’s the better PG – Deron or Chris Paul. Paul has the lead right now, but it is slight, and if Deron can average 19 points and 10 assists per game with 3 boards and a good 3-point percentage, then I’ll give Deron the nod.

SG
Ronnie Brewer is a great hustle man, and gives the Jazz the athletisism they have been missing. I’m excited to see what he can do, but my expectations are tempered a bit. I expect 10 ppg with a few boards and assits.

SF
Will Kirilenko’s balls finally drop and just accept his role on this team as a defensive specialist. I can’t believe he actually told his coach he needs to make sure he gives him an equal amount of praise to the critisism he hands out. What a puss. People think he’ll bounce back, but I think he’ll have a marginally better year than last. There just isn’t enough room on this team for his horrible offense. Ignore the preseason stats, Boozer didn’t play. If Ak47 could just borrow one of Matt Harpring’s testicles for a day, he would understand what it means to be a man.

PF
Boozer is one of my favorite power forwards in the game. He can finish with his right and left hand, and is extremely smart with the ball. His rebounding rate is astounding for a man his size, especially when playing in the west. I love him. You’ll get more of the same. I also love Millsap, which is also why I think AK47 should just move on.

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C
Memo is Memo. He’ll do what he did last year again. I just hope he doesn’t disappear in the playoffs again.

They will compete for the Nuggets to win their division and finish in the top 6 of the West.

28
Oct
07

Trailblazer Dancer

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