NBA Big-Timmers’ Schedule

As ESPN reports, the schedule for the 2009-2010 NBA season is out and there are a few surprises, but lots of good bait for betting online. There are a some changes from last year however. The Houston Rockets were broadcast plenty in the 2008-2009 season because they were stacked and a force to be reckon with. They pushed the Lakers to a seventh game in the playoffs and all. Amazing how quickly things can change. With Yao Ming and T-Mac injured and sulking on the bench and with Artest NBA-main_Fullhaving left to the defending champions lineup, the Rockets will not receive one nationally televised regular season game this year. Of course they aren’t the only team that is expected to produce boring and lackluster performances. New Jersey, Sacramento, Charlotte, and Milwaukee will also not have a game televised anywhere but on NBA television this year.

That leaves us with the teams that we want to watch and which will receive plenty of  camera time. On October 27th on TNT, the season opener will boast the new look Cavaliers against Eastern Conference rivals, the Boston Celtics. Later that evening the defending champs will play their ugly shadow, the Clippers. October 29th will be your best opportunity to see Richard Jefferson dressed in Oakland Raiders attire for his first game as a San Antonio Spur playing against a Chicago Bulls team.  And most importantly we all want to know what we will be unwrapping presents to on Christmas day. We will unwrap gifts to a second consecutive year in which the NBA broadcasts a quintupleheader. For those of you who like me had no idea what that word means; a 5 game match up. That’s right, this year on December 25th we will see the Heat vs. Knicks, Celtics vs. Magic, Cavs. vs. Lakers, Clippers vs. Suns, and the Nuggets vs. Trailblazers. It will surely be an amazing day.

Rasheed Wallace chooses Boston Celtics

Rasheed Wallace was one of the leagues best available free agents until this evening when reports surfaced that he has officially chosen Boston as his next location to play. Wallace was considering San Antonio, the Orlando Magic, and the Dallas Mavericks as other possibilities but in the end it looks like he chose Boston in order play alongside Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce. Immediately the discussion on ESPN is whether Wallace will provide the lift the Celtics need to return to an NBA final. My answer is contingent upon whether Cleveland adds any more pieces to their team.Rasheed_Wallpaper_NBA

Right now I would imagine an Eastern Conference final featuring Boston and Cleveland with Boston slightly edging out Lebron and the big Diesel. However if the Cavaliers add anything more, I mean anything more like a better towel boy that keeps the players better hydrated, then it would seem the duo of Shaq and Lebron with solid complimentary players would still be too much for Boston to handle. Lets face it those Boston stars are getting up there in age. Not to say that Shaq isn’t but that is only one player compared to the core starting 4 of Boston. On paper Boston does looks better, on the court Cleveland does. This Celtics line up can be compared to that of the Los Angeles Lakers a few years back when they had 4 future hall of fame players in the starting line up: Kobe, Shaq, Malone, and Payton. That line up also looked amazing on paper but did not on the court. The NBA championship teams of the most recent years tend to be built around a perfect mesh of young talent and clutch veteran play. Big news that Wallace has chosen Boston but still no upgrade for the Celetics. Trevor Ariza would have been a better fit there with the defense that he brings, his youth, and his low-key profile.

Blazers after the Turk

At the 13 hour mark of the free-agent signing period fans are awaiting the first major deal.  Nonetheless, there are things to talk about.Turk + Trophy

It looks like the Portland Trailblazers, are in hot pursuit of Hedo Turkoglu.  Turkoglu would immediately improve the Blazers lineup, likely replacing Nicolas Batum in the starting rotation.  If the deal goes down minutes at the small forward spot might be thin for Blazer players, especially with the steady improvement of Travis Outlaw and the athletic youngster Batum.  Ignoring the issues of chemistry, the Blazer squad could look quite impressive, not to mention, HUGE. Although Brandon Roy isn’t taller than the prototypical two guard, he plays bigger than he is.  With: 6’10 Turkoglu at the three, the lanky 6’11 Lamarcus Aldridge at power forward and Joel “the vanilla gorilla” Pryzbilla inside, the Blazers would have the potential to create serious matchup problems.  If the deal goes down the Blazers will win the Northwest division.

Also, no big surprise here, it looks like Kobe will try to sign a contract extension with the Lakers instead of jumping ship.  The injury cursed Houston Rockets are rumored to be after backup Orlando Magic Center, Marcin Gortat, to replace Yao if his injury does prove to be season or career ending.  If, and this is a big if, the Rockets can sign Gortat or another decent center, retain Ron Artest and stay healthy they will still have a great squad.  One other note: it’s rumored Ben Gordon will end up a Piston.

Stay tuned as free agency continues to unfold, it’s bound to be fun.

What is Vince Carter going to do for the Magic?

Vince Carter was recently traded from the New Jersey Nets to the Orlando Magic along with Ryan AndersoNets Magic Trade Basketballn for Rafer Alston, Tony Battie, and Courtney Lee. This is a brilliant move on the part of Orlando. Phil Jackson and the Lakers exploited the weakness of Orlando a few weeks ago in the NBA finals by showing the world that 1) Dwight Howard can’t make free throws and 2) that the team is still lacking a court leader (and maybe a head coach). The first problem Dwight will figure out. He just needs to sing Soulja Boy in his head to relax himself at the line but the second problem needed to be solved with a trade.

Vince Carter works as an answer to the second issue. He is a fiery individual on the court and he will make his voice heard when it counts at the end of playoff games. He might say something to his teammates along the lines of, “Remember, contest all three point shots or foul them while they are on the floor. We got this game by three right now and can’t afford them an open trey.”

Best of all the Magic didn’t have to give up much to acquire Vince. I love Skip to my Lou, a.k.a. Rafer Alston but  he still hasn’t figured out his three point shot with all that practice and free rebounding from coaches and for some reason still refuses to bench the bar in the weight room. I can’t figure that out. Jameer Nelson will come back in as starting point guard this next season for the Magic with his shot on que and with enough bulk to gain a loose ball rebound at least. In regards to losing Courtney Lee, that is definately good for both the Magic and Courtney. I heard the Magic owners and committee members were so upset that Lee missed that lay up tip-in from an out of bounds pass in game 2 of the NBA finals that they went down to the court after the game and after the arena cleared out to try that move themselves. Once a committee member with grey hair and tux on made that play that Courtney couldn’t, they decided they just had to let him go… so out with Alston and Courtney and welcome home Vince.

Best draft picks from second round in past 10 years

With the NBA draft another day closer, we have decided to recall the best draft picks from the second round in the past 10 years. These players were selected at positions where a career normally doesn’t exist for them  in the NBA after a matter of 3 or 4 years. We will start with the top pick and work down to the fifth best pick.redd

2000 – Bucks selected Michael Redd 43rd- That is just crazy. Michael Redd the guy with the sweet left hand jumper that seems to never miss was passed up 42 times before his name was called in the 2001 NBA draft. Redd is an NBA all-star now and franchise player for the Bucks. He also was chosen to represent the Dream Team in the Olympics in 2008 in which he contributed to a U.S. gold medal.

2001- Warriors selected Gilbert Arenas 31st- One of the league’s premier players was selected in the second round. Agent zero a.k.a. Gilbert Arenas, the franchise player for the Washington Wizards was offered the league maximum $127 million for seven years back in 2008. Instead he opted to receive $111 million so that his team had more money to spend elsewhere. Arenas has worn the number zero since high school when he was never given a chance to flourish on the court. He wore that number at Arizona and now in the NBA in order to remind himself what he has to prove.

1998 – Supersonics selected Rashard Lewis 32nd- Rashard Lewis who was just featured in the NBA finals as a member of the Orlando Magic is obviously talented. He is a 6’10 forward who can knock down long distance shots like he was a guard. He represents everything the NBA wants in a player. He is humble and extremely talented. He chose to take less money and play for the Magic because he understood that the majority of teams that win a championship do so with a dominant player at the center position. Lewis felt Dwight Howard was his best chance.

2003 – Mavs selected Josh Howard 29th- Josh Howard is still growing as a player but is already un-stoppable on the offensive end. He has a solid jump shot and is athletic enough to drive the lane. If the Mavericks or his team ever pushes far into the playoffs look for him to step up and take over big game situations.eva_longoria

2001 – Spurs selected Tony Parker 28th- Alright I know the 28th pick falls as the last pick of the first round but for matters here that is close enough. How amazing that Tony Parker was drafted so late. He is dominant at the point and has one of the quickest first steps in the league. He is an NBA allstar and three time NBA champion. He is also a pimp. He was approached after a playoff game in L.A. by Eva Longoria’s father and was congradulated on an impressive performance. Parker responded by explaining how hungry he was after his performance and invited Eva’s father and Eva herself to a late dinner. Parker treated the two to a late night Denny’s meal while playing everything casual. Before long he had his own date with Eva and now as you all may know she goes by Eva Longoria Parker. What a player.

What does this Lakers Championship really mean?

An article by David Peterson.

I have heard it over a hundred times…”Kobe can’t win a championship without Shaq“. ESPN made sure to tagline this past finals series between the Lakers and Magic as Kobe’s quest for a ring of his own. But can the Lake87746142AB051_LAKERS_NUGGETSrs recent title be watered down to simply acknowledging that Kobe led the re-built Lakers back to the top of the NBA world? I would like to argue otherwise.

There is no doubt that Kobe Bryant was dominating in the playoffs and deserved finals MVP honors. However, without the addition of Trevor Ariza, the stronger play of Lamar Odom, and a healthy Andrew Bynum, the Lakers would have been in the same spot as last year, when they walked out of TD Banknorth Garden with green and white confetti falling to the court. The fact is this: Kobe is Kobe, a dominant, consistent, top 5 player in NBA history. However, he alone cannot win an NBA title. Jordan had Pippen, Rodman, Harper, and Kukoc. Kobe now has Pau Gasol, whom Magic Johnson calls “the second best skinny big man in the NBA behind Kevin Garnett“, as well as Trevor Ariza, who is the most athletic player on the team and who came up with some of the biggest steals in playoff history. Throw in strong play from Lamar Odom and an emerging star in Andrew Bynum, and you have a team with no visible weakness or flaws.

This Lakers team, and this championship season, is much more than Kobe getting the Shaq monkey off his back, it’s the beginning of another Lakers dynasty. This team is built to win two more titles within the next three years. Now it’s just up to Mitch Kupchak to keep the team together and Phil Jackson to somehow find another finger for his next ring. Parting words of wisdom: WARNING-don’t ever leave Fisher open for a crucial 3, you will get burned!

Player’s Poll

SqueezeColumnsThe NBA finals has concluded. Congrats to the Los Angeles Lakers for a record 15th title. Look out for a celebration parade in L.A. tomorrow, Wednesday the 17th if you live in the area. As seen with footage of Mark Madsen giving a celebration shout out (see below), they tend to be an event you wouldn’t want to miss.

In other news I wanted to post the results of our most recent Player’s poll. It seems the majority of votes preferred the Orlando Magic to win but felt the Lakers had what it takes. Those fans were correct. If you have any suggestions for the next Player’s poll please let me know.

  1. 58% of voters felt the Lakers would win/wanted the Magic to win.
  2. 35% of voters felt the Lakers would win/wanted the Lakers to win.
  3. 7% of voters felt the Magic would win/wanted the Magic to win.
  4. 0% of voters felt the Magic would win/wanted the Lakers to win.

A True Game Summary?

LAKERS1-1It is amazing how many sports reporters manipulate the summary of a sports game. Not just reporters but “professional” analysts as well tend to select specific stats to use and always omit others in order that it looks like they know exactly what there talking about.

This evening I found an article on a very popular site that I felt was very biased in the way in which it was written. The reporter simply did not include the correct information to make his argument fair. With this in mind I dug up the stat sheet for the first two games between the Lakers and Magic to produce some other stats to show you below. It’s always good to hear the rest of the story.

  • Dwight Howard has only 6 field goals in the first two games combined.
  • Howard has been to the free throw line 7 more times than Kobe in these first 2 games.
  • Kobe has 40 more shots than Howard in the first 2 games of this series.
  • Both Kobe and Howard had 7 turnovers in game 2.
  • Rafer Alston A.K.A. Skip to my Lou and J.J. Reddick were 1 of 10 from three point distance in game 2.

Magic vow to give better effort in game 2?

nba finals 2009 schedule lakers vs magicThe NBA Fastbreak crew on ESPN is awesome. Jalen Rose always knows exaclty what the game plan is for both teams before the game and gives accurate analysis after as well as he stirs up interesting conversation. The other day Rose and his crew were speaking about the poor effort that the Orlando Magic gave in game one of the NBA Finals. Dwight Howard, the starting center and rising superstar for the Magic, said that his team will give a much better effort in game 2 of the finals series on Sunday. Rose reacted to this comment by asking the NBA Fastbreak crew why in the world wouldn’t the Magic be giving complete effort in the first game of the series in which they got hammered by the Los Angles Lakers. What a great question. What was Orlando thinking in Game 1? Why as Howard admitted are they having to put forth more effort in game 2? Shouldn’t they be matching the effort put forth in game one and hopefully the ball will bounce better for them and they make escape with a win? After all it is the NBA finals. As professional basketball players where your job is to play this game, when your teams makes it to the NBA Finals you better be going full steam after the ball all the time! How ridiculous that the captain of this team feels that his teammates weren’t giving full effort. Either way the NBA and all their fans want to see a closer game 2 on Sunday and an exciting series from here on out which means the Magic guards better hit a jump shot and Dwight Howard needs to average 20 points a game.

Michael Jordan? No, Mikey V.

Hey everyone, it’s Mike here.  I wanted to get this introduction post out of the way before the Finals was set, but some issues made that feat a bit difficult.  The point is however, that I’ll be helping out with and contributing to the blog as much as possible.  I think I’m a qualified observer and articulate enough to speak intelligently about the game of basketball, however only time will tell; the ball never lies.  I’ll do my best to be objective and fair but I do have allegiances.Allison me

I’m bummed out by Cleveland’s elimination.  I feel for the city of Cleveland, my dad is from there.  Ever since that pitifully heart wrenching collapse in the World Series against the Marlins, I have silently (and not so silently) cheered on Cleveland teams in addition to my own home teams.

Moving on.  I’m disappointed with the way the Conference Championships panned out.  The Nuggets’ effort in game 6 was atrocious and the Cavaliers proved they were over-matched the whole series.  We’ve all read and heard enough about it by now that it’s not worth rehashing.  That being said the Finals series should present some really interesting individual match-ups.  In particular with the tweener fowards on both clubs:  Odom, Lewis, Turkoglu, Ariza and Pietrus. The play of Pietrus, and the entire Magic bench will again be extremely important since the Lakers bench is so deep .  It will also be interesting to watch the coaching in these games.  I’m praying for matchup carousels.  I don’t think very highly of Stan Van Gundy, although I really like his brother in the booth.  Then again I tend to think coaching in the NBA is an overrated endeavor, an opinion of mine that usually earns me a bit of grief.

The 2-3-2 series in my opinion makes upsets more probable. My predictions for the finals are as follows: the Magic steal a game and play well at home, winning in 6.  As that series gets underway, you’ll hear more from me. Be ready for it.