Category Archives: NBA

NBA MAYHEM

 

 

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With Byron Mullens, Leandro Barbosa and Cole Aldrich all entering free agency, it is clear that this Summer will be of the most epic NBA off-seasons ever. Teams will be dumping contracts, making trades and doing whatever they can in order to land these prized free agents. It’s not just those 3…Hedo Terkoglu, Beno Udrih, Robbie Hummel and Tony Douglas are all a part of this legendary group of free agents.

 

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Jokes aside, this NBA Summer actually will be epic. LeBron, Melo, Wade, Bosh, Love, Dirk, Kyle Lowry, Eric Bledsoe, Greg Monroe, Pau Gasol, and Zach Randolph are all free agents this summer. Expect guys like Dirk to re-sign with their teams. LeBron is obviously the only guy people are really talking about right now, and rightfully so. He is the first piece to the puzzle. I can’t picture too many guys, especially Melo, Wade and Bosh signing anywhere before LeBron. Once LeBron signs we’ll see the rest of the dominos fall. It’s pretty obvious that if LeBron goes back to the Heat, Wade and Bosh will follow and the Big 3 will be back for another run at it. If he leaves Miami…watch out. With all of the attention on the Big 3 and Melo, guys like Kyle Lowry, Eric Bledsoe and Greg Monroe who can be major additions are flying under the radar.

 

Break down of the Major free agents and potential landing spots:

 

LeBron:

It is well documented that I am a big fan of LeBron. At first  I wanted him to stay in Miami to avoid all the, “Oh look at that LeBron leaving again, no loyalty.” But after I thought about it i realized that would a terrible decision. In his prime, Wade was the most fun player to watch in the league. Lighting quick, could jump through the roof, and get to the hole any time he wanted. But let’s face it, he’s terrible now. He can’t stay healthy and when he is healthy he’s not nearly the player he was. He needs 3 pump fakes to get his jump shot off because he can’t create space. So if LeBron comes back and the big 3 continues, I don’t see them winning another ring. Bosh is still good, but is LeBron and Bosh enough? Pat Riley’s line of “We don’t need to rebuild we just need to re-tool,” is pure bullshit. You can’t just fill the roster with average cheap free agents and expect to be good again. With a healthy and full strength D-Wade maybe…but not anymore. Riley has to legitimately fill the entire roster.

 

If LeBron left he would have the opportunity to do something MJ, Bird, and Magic never did…win a championship with 2 different teams. Obviously I think it’s awesome when guys play their whole careers with 1 franchise, but theres no arguing against the fact that bringing 2 different franchises to the promised land is impressive. His best chance to do that is in Houston. LBJ, D12 and Harden is a much better big 3 than Bosh and Wade at this point in time. If Houston can resign Parsons he’s a 6th man of the year candidate off the bench. There’s a lot to be worked with down in Houston. Lebron and Kyrie could be a nice 1-2 punch, but there’s not enough outside of Kyrie in Cleveland for LeBron. Clippers are also interesting. They would have to move some pieces, but could end up enticing LBJ. Obviously they are already a good team with deep talent. It would be an interesting dynamic with LBJ and CP3 though considering LeBron is pretty much a point forward. 2 smart players that i’m sure would find a way to make it work though. Chicago has been decimated the past couple years, but are always tough. Outside of D-Rose and Noah there aren’t many pieces. Chicago would probably have to promise LBJ some other pieces would get added, but it’s definitely in the mix. Those are the 5 teams that i think are in the running, and there’s always things outside of basketball that rarely get talked about that could also be deciding factors. His wife and family could sway the decision..we have no idea. Get a grip Pat Riley you jamoke.

 

MELO:

Melo is unquestionably one of the coolest players to step on the NBA court. Swag is always on 100 thousand trillion. I love him, but he has to be the most overrated players in the history of the league. It’s not that he’s not a top 3 or 4 talent, his catch and shoot, post game and midrange game are all money, but it’s his style of play. All he knows is isolation 1 on 1 basketball. Volume shooter. Not to mention he’s never been deep into the playoffs. I’m the biggest advocate out there for not solely judging individual players by their team’s success, but come on you have to at least give me a couple trips to the conference championship or something in your 11 years if you’re going to be called a top 5 player in the league. I said it when the Knicks first traded for him, no team will ever have a legitimate chance at a title with Melo as their key player. You can’t feature Melo and then have really good role players around him and expect to be great. But….if Melo was on a team with a couple other really good players, that’s different. Like, I don’t know, maybe Harden and Dwight? Maybe D-Rose? LeBron? I’m all on the Houston train if i’m Melo or LeBron. If you put Melo with some other great players, especially a good point guard, now that could be dynamite. A guy like Rose or Harden could get Melo open and easy shots. Melo can be less of a volume shooter, but still take over a game when he needs to. This is all assuming Melo can adjust his game a bit…play without the ball a little more and not dominate it less. I think it’s between Houston, Chicago, and then possibly teaming up with LeBron somewhere.

 

The thought of Melo and LeBron teaming up is intriguing. At first i thought no way because they both play the same position and need the ball so much. But LeBron is the type of player that could play with anyone. Again, if Melo could play without the ball a little more him and LeBron could easily play together. How in the world would teams guard both LeBron and Melo? Next to impossible.

Love:

All signs are pointing to Love going to Golden State. The Warriors have been dangling Klay Thompson around, putting him out there then saying he’s untouchable, who knows what’s up with that. I would love to see Curry and Love play together. Love deserves to get the hell out of Minnesota and play for a playoff team. He was also spotted in Boston with Rondo, which both of them deny being any type of recruiting. Love is an offensive and rebounding force. Combine him with a Rose, Rondo, Steph Curry or Kyrie and some fireworks could be in store. I think Love ultimately will end up with Golden State. But the Bulls, Cavs and Celtics are major players. Again, a lot depends on what happens with LeBron.

Wade:

He’s staying in Miami regardless of everyone else. I would be absolutely shocked if he were to leave Miami at this point in his career. No further comments.

 

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Bosh:

Again this has so much to do with what LBJ does. Bosh still has a lot left and would be a key addition to a lot of different teams. It’s close to impossible to predict where he would go if LBJ does not come back to the Heat. Obviously if LeBron doesn’t come back, i don’t expect Bosh to. I’ve blogged it before…Bosh is vastly underrated as a complete basketball player at both ends of the floor, he’s a hard worker and a good guy that would make any team better.

 

 

You never know what’s going on with these guys. It’s an interesting group of free agents considering these 4 guys are all good friends. All 4 came into the league together in one of the best draft classes ever and have been good friends since their rookie year. You never know what they’re plotting and scheming.

— Steve Butabi

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NBA Draft Preview (top 3)

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Obviously it is no secret that the top 3 players in this years NBA Draft are Joel Embiid, Jabari Parker, and Andrew Wiggins. Now is there a possibilty that something happens and a different name jumps up into the top 3? Yes, its the NBA, crazy shit happens often. If I was a betting man I would say that the three young men I mentioned earlier will be the first three names called in a few weeks. The reason I am writing about this is because very recently a report has came out that the Cavaliers were “BLOWN” away by Joel Embiid’s workout the other day, and that they are pretty set on who they are taking with the first overall pick. So with that being said, let’s take a look on how I think it goes down (which is pretty much how every mock draft has it going down as of now.)

1. Cleveland – Joel Embiid – first things first, absolutely absurd that the Cavs got the first pick again. I think the Lottery is a cool idea and all, but if they get near the top 5 again next year something has gotta change. Anyway… When the lottery came out the immediate consensus was that Wiggins would go in this spot, either if the Cavs took him or someone like the Sixers traded up using some sort of combination between the #3 pick, #10 pick, and Thad Young. After Embiid has silenced most the talk about his back being a serious red flag, I think unless the Cavs get an unreal trade offer they take the 7 footer and they fill a much needed spot on their roster. He is huge, relatively solid, can block the dickins out of shots, and can actually shoot the ball better than you think. Embiid. 1st pick. Done.

2. Milwaukee – Jabari Parker – all the experts agree that he is the safest and most sure thing when it comes to the top 3. Hell, the way he can contribute to an offense he might be the most sure thing in a loooong time. The simple reason for the Bucks taking Parker here is that he is already as polished as they come out of college. He will score for them the second he gets there, and he probably becomes the go to guy early into the season. My partner in crime, Steve Butabi, thinks Parker is head and shoulders above Wiggins, and no matter if I agree or not, I think he has a solid point because the NBA is an offensive driven league and Parker is instant offense. Kid should be very fun to watch over the years. Bucks can’t go wrong here.

3. Philadelphia – Andrew Wiggins – draft day, A Wiggins, bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep we stay winning. This works out perfectly for the Sixers. A lot of talk has been focused around Philly trading rising star Thad Young in combination with this pick to get up to Cleveland’s spot, but thanks to Joel Embiid’s physical therapist its looking like the Sixers can sit tight and get what they want, while also keeping their 10th overall pick. Wiggins has been Philly’s eye candy for a while now. It is no secret that they need a shooter, but with the 10th pick in their back pocket and a loaded draft of SG’s, they can afford to take an “all-around” guy. Wiggins is also great for them because the Sixers have cap space out the ass, and are going to try and land at least one big name this offseason. Unlike Parker, Wiggins isn’t going to be Philly’s first or second offensive option, therefore creating more appeal for a scorer to come over in FA. He might be a bit more of a “project”, but he has an extraordinarily high ceiling and thats what GMs like to hear. Perfect piece to the puzzle they are putting together in Philly.

PLENTY of other big names in this years NBA draft, deeper than the marianas trench some might say… But these three are once in a decade type players and that is why they go 1, 2, 3. The Cavs and Sixers are both frequent names on the hot-list of teams to land superstars such as Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony and so on… So once the draft takes place, the NBA free agency circus should be wild. Can’t wait.

– Throc Morton

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SPURS BEAT LEBRON

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A lot of people thought that for most of the season the Spurs were the best team in the NBA. They made that clear in the NBA Finals. They ran the Heat right out of the gym in games 3, 4 and 5 and finished the series in 5 games. Many people including myself thought this series would be a lot like last year’s. I picked the Heat to win in a thrilling series that would end in 7 games. After games 1 and 2 I could have sworn that my prediction was going to be correct. But the Spurs came out and dominated the last 3 games of the series. The Spurs roster top to bottom was the clear cut best in the NBA. It’s hard to find flaws in their roster construction…they have 3 future hall of famers and the deepest and most effective bench in the league, oh and they have Pop. They were deep at every position and could rebound, shoot, and defend as well as anyone. Kawhi Leonard rightfully got Finals MVP but they had multiple guys that were in the running. They were better than the Heat at 4 positions on the court no matter what group was out there for them. The Spurs are a classy organization and group of guys that deserve and have earned everything they have received. You never hear about guys getting  in trouble or any distractions in SA. I was rooting for the Heat, but i can’t lie It was cool to see Duncan enjoying it with his kids and Ginobili kissing his wife. I tweeted it yesterday: I think it’s awesome to see guys who make millions of dollars care so much about their craft…on both sides. Seeing the joy and jubilation on the Spurs side, and the frustration and sadness on the Heat side is awesome to see as sports fans.

 

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Popovich has the be the second best coach in the history of the NBA right? Not only has he won 5 championships, the Spurs have been a solid team every single year he has been the coach. It’s not just the rings, it’s the way he got the rings. He has constructed the best team he could, not just a collection of the best athletes. He used international flavor better than anyone in the history of the league. He has an unbelievable eye for talent…to think Danny Green was a starter for this championship team after failing to make other rosters is outrageous. Nobody has a better feel for his team and manges minutes better than Pop. In my opinion, he’s the second best to ever put on the sideline suit. 

 

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Lastly…LeBron. The fact that people are ripping LeBron for this finals loss is crazy. He absolutely carried this Heat team the entire season. Nobody does more for their team than this guy. He is their leading scorer, assist man and rebounder on most nights, and he covers the best opposing player no matter what postion he plays. The Spurs were just a clear cut better team than the Heat. Do people understand that it’s a team sport? Like i get it if you want to compare LeBron to the greatest of all time he has to be graded by the highest of high standards. But i just don’t think you can look at LeBron and be like “Well he’s 2-3 in the finals which is bad so he can’t be up there with the greatest of all time.” That’s just not fair. People forget how hard it is to win a championship. Elgin Baylor, Stockton & Malone, Charles Barkley, Reggie Miller, and Patrick Ewing are some of the greats that never hoisted a single trophy. Durant, Westbrook, CP3, Mel and Steve Nash, are all some of the current ones who don’t have a ring. You have to take more into account. Like the first time LeBron was in the championship and got swept by the Spurs…his team was average at best. The second and third best players on that team were Mo Williams and Big Z…come on now. LeBron takes a super average Cavs team all the way to the finals, and they lose to a great Spurs team so it becomes a negative? LeBron puts the Heat on his back all year, and falls to another great Spurs team, so it’s a negative? I get it, the greatest have to come through in the biggest moments, which is why the finals is worth so much. In the loss to the Mavs, he flat out crumbled. He was terrible and consistently wilted late in fourth quarters, you can always hold that one against him. All I’m saying is I don’t think carrying 1 very average team, and 1 decent team all the way to the finals, then losing to 2 great Spurs teams with 3 future hall of famers and the second greatest NBA coach ever is something that should define LeBron’s legacy.

 

— Steve Butabi

 

 

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NBA Finals

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 It’s the perfect time for Throc and myself to fire up Press Box Pillow Talk right now amidst the NBA Finals. One could not script the first two games of the series any better. Twitter has been a warzone…LeBron haters got to feast on him after his cramps got the best of him at the end of game 1, but LeBron fans won the battle after he went for 35 and 10 in a game 2 win last night. Whether you like, love or hate LeBron, you cant argue that after 2 games this looks like it is going to be another thrilling series.

 

Before I delve into some analysis of the first 2 games, I want to address something that i’ve seen all over twitter, facebook and every other social media site out there. It’s the comparisons between LeBron James and hockey players.

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These memes along with tweets like, “LeBron would never last a period in the NHL he’s so soft.” “I would like to see LeBron step in front of a slap shot then keep playing.” These comparisons are so unbelievably ridiculous it’s infuriating. No shit LeBron isn’t as tough as most or all NHL players…he plays basketball. We’re talking about 2 completely different sports with 2 completely different cultures made up of 2 completely different types of athletes, from 2 completely different demographics. Everybody knows NHL players are some of the toughest guys out there. So comparing LeBron or any other basketball player to an NHL player is plain stupid. LeBron, Duncan, Jordan, no NBA player has or ever will have to take a slap shot to the ankle coming from Chara at the point. NHL fans jump at every opportunity to brag about how tough their players are. I can’t remember in my 21 years of existence anyone questioning the toughness of hockey players (as a group not individually, everyone knows Crosby’s a pussy). Playing through pain, finishing shifts, coming back early from injures…that stuff is all a part of the culture of hockey. Basketball does not have that kind of culture. My guess is that die hard hockey fans do this because they are bitter about the fact that the Stanley Cup Finals games are getting less than half of the viewers that the NBA Finals games are getting. We get it, LeBron can be soft and whines for calls…but compare that to Kobe, CP3, Noah, and other basketball players that are considered “tough” because comparing him to NHL players is beyond dumb. 

 

Now…my take on the first 2 games.

 

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Game 1: Through 3 and a half quarters game 1 was amazing. Back and forth action, teams trading buckets at both ends. It was cool to see all of the stars show up, Duncan was 90% from the field, LeBron was his usual self, Wade was getting buckets, it was just fun to watch as a basketball fan. Then the AC went out. It was easy to see both teams were fatigued, and the level of play went down. While it is true that both teams had to play in the same temperature, it is safe to say that with San Antonio’s deep bench, they were better suited to play in the conditions. I’m not saying that if the AC didn’t go out that the Heat would have won, but you can’t tell me that temperature didn’t play a big role in the game. LeBron went out with cramps and the Spurs went on a huge run to close out the game. I’m not even going to talk about the cramps, LeBron plays more minutes than any other player and does more for his team at both ends of the floor than maybe anyone in the history of the game. AC unit or no AC unit…Duncan was lights out, Danny Green couldn’t miss from 3, and Manu was balling out and that is why the Spurs won the game, cramps or no cramps.

 

Game 2: Also a fun game to watch, this time through to the finish. The storyline was simple, LeBron was out to prove something after his failure to be on the court at the end of game 1. After the first quarter he consistently made championship plays and carried his team. Not only did he go for 35 and 10, but he locked down Tony Parker at the end of the game. Unsung hero of the game and a guy that doesn’t get enough credit: Eric Spoelstra. I think he did a great job of managing minutes (specifically LeBron’s), and watching the Heat defensive rotations is unbelievable. Not to mention some of the sets they were running sending Ray Allen off screens as a decoy to get guys like Rashard Lewis open…incredible. LeBron gets so much credit because of the floor general that he is and sometimes Spoelstra is forgotten about. The Spurs are a great team, but if LeBron gets locked in like that and their shooters are hitting 3’s they have no chance. Don’t forget about Bosh hitting the go ahead 3 then tossing the sweet bounce to Wade for the nail in the coffin. Bosh is so underrated as a complete basketball player. He can defend, rebound, has a midrange game, post game, and can hit 3’s. Miami did what they had to do in San Antonio getting 1 of the 2, but the Spurs are a great road team so they can’t take a deep breath. In last year’s series the Spurs were close in all of the games in Miami. I hope the rest of the series is like these first 2 games. 

 

— Steve Butabi

 

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HDH: August 7th, Gilbert Arenas

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Agent 0…

Now he is a STUD on the Shanghai Sharks, but it wasn’t that long ago when Gilbert signed a 111 million dollar contract with the wizards. He was one of the hottest Shooting Guards in the league at the time, but there was one thing wrong for the wizards… he gave 0 fucks… Lets start things off with looking at the way he organized his Blackberry Messenger (BBM) contacts…

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you wonder how that stuff gets out to the public, right? Well Gilbert might have helped when he tweeted that he wanted girls to see how he rates them, and changed his avatar to that picture.. such a respectable play by Agent 0 fucks.

Now lets look at some of his other ridiculous superstitions, ways of life, and accomplishments.

While with the wizards he: ate Boston Market before every game, Tickled Antwan Jamison’s armpit in the pregame huddle every game, changed shoes at half time if he wasn’t playing well, wore shoes 2 sizes too small because he was self-concious of his foot size, and would yell “HIBACHI” during his release when he was hot shooting 3-pointers.

how can we forget his infamous pre-game gun shooting antics! He just served a meaty suspension for having a gun in the locker room (no comment), and comes back trying to piss David Stern off even more. He busts out of the huddle pretending to shoot all his teammates, you can’t make this shit up, Agent 0 fucks is a legend.Imagejust take a look how he made his teammates smile, guy was a walking gem, better yet a shooting star… and that is why he is this weeks HDH. Now go crunch those numbers and scream hibachi every time your feeling good. Happy hump day.

-Throc Morton

Hump Day Heroes: July 17th, Rasheed Wallace

As we start up our blog, we have some pretty good ideas being thrown around, I mean are you really surprised though? We are pretty much legends. That being said, we are installing a weekly post titled “Hump Day Heroes”. HDH will be bringing you some of the greatest sports characters of all time, in attempt to brighten your day and put a smile on your face.  Hopefully this installation will help you battle through the hardest day of the week, and make you laugh in the process.  Enjoy!

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Today’s Hump Day Hero is one of my personal favorite athletes of all time, Rasheed Wallace.  I probably don’t even need to say much about him because the man is so damn legendary, I mean he is the only human being ever to be thrown out of the McDonald’s High School All-American Game. I mean really, if that doesn’t get you laughing than you are a misanthrope. Here are a few other reasons why Sheed is so legendary.

– He has 317 career technical fouls, that is just outstanding work, MJ couldn’t do that if he tried.

– Ball Don’t Lie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZqHXeZ7Tyg .. One of the better catchphrases in modern day sports

– I don’t think he actually gets pumped up for games, see for yourself http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yV8dPEELruE

– People forget that he was actually an extremely solid NBA player, take a look http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OR8e35c6ebc

Hopefully Rasheed Wallace has helped you push through that final project your working on in the office or whatever the hell you are doing. If you want more of him check out youtube and have a field day.  Happy Hump Day, later fools.

– Throc Morton

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