Monthly Archives: February 2011

Behind the Scenes look on Carmelo and The Knicks

With the Knicks acquiring Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Renaldo Balkman, and Anthony Carter they give up key players such as Raymond Felton, Danillo Gallinari, and Wilson Chandler.

In a sense, this trade was beneficial to both teams. Although it may seem like the Knicks lost a little too much to get Anthony, it is important to reiterate the fact that Billups is still an exceptional player and that the purpose of the trade was to rebuild.

More often than not when one team acquires a superstar there is bound to be success. Carmelo will definitely take the Knicks to the next level. Carmelo Anthony has a per of 21.28 and is an extremely prolific scorer averaging 25.2 points per game. On the offensive side the Knicks should be great. They have arguably the two best forwards in the league as well as Billups. Although the Knicks have two superstars, there are going to be a lot of kinks to work out. It is going to take time for the overall team chemistry to build as does for any trade. Not only that, the Knicks normal fast pace game is going to be slowed down dramatically with Anthony looking to play one on one whenever he can. Also, because the Knicks gave up some valuable assets in the trade, most games are going to come down to whether Stoudemire and Anthony played well. Excluding Billups, I can’t think of another descent scoring option, unlike when the Knicks had Felton, Gallinari, and Chandler who could all score on any given night.

Though this trade may have its downs, the Knicks are still benefitting from the trade nonetheless. For one, the Knicks brought in much experience by acquiring the veteran Billups and superstar Carmelo Anthony. Offensively speaking the Knicks have nothing to worry about. Stoudemire can overpower opponents on the post and Carmelo can play out on the wing or work his way inside. Also, Chauncey will complement these two scores extremely well. Billups with his precise three point and ability to penetrate and dish will really open up the floor for Stoudemire and Anthony. With these weapons on the offense, the Knicks will really be able to pack a punch and could start climbing up on the playoff ladder.

It is important to know, that this trade was merely the second stage of rebuilding for the Knicks. This current lineup is not the full championship piece. The Knicks still lack a dominant center and are weak on the defensive end. The Knicks are still developing but should definitely be able to make a noise in the playoffs this year.

Check Back in March

Hey readers, we at NBAnalysis have been really busy in the month of February and will be back to posting regularly in March! See you then!

Inside the NBA mind

Have you ever wondered why certain NBA players try so hard to win and excel as players. It almost certainly is not the money because NBA players make enormous sums of money, at least they will until the league “Contracts”. The drive that NBA players have is the result of a few prominent factors. One factor that is perhaps the most significant is recognition, once a player has made a good amount of money and possesses a certain degree of skill they strive for recognition. They want people all around the world to know their name and attempt to do that by putting up commendable numbers and winning a couple of championships in the process. This brings me to the second factor which is “winners mentality” . If a player has made it so far as the NBA, they have “had things their way” on the court for a majority if not all of their lives. An NBA player was probably the star of their high school and college teams and have grown accustomed to winning and excelling on the court. When this trend of success is broken, an NBA player will try their hardest to get it back and win again, hence the term “winner’s mentality”. The third factor is remembrance. Players want to achieve a certain degree before their careers end so that they can be remembered long after they retire.

Charlotte- A Happy Ending?

Before the start of the 2010-2011 season the Bobcats neglected to re-sign Raymond Felton and also traded away Tyson Chandler. With these detrimental mistakes it seemed as if the Bobcats were destined for failure. This was all too true when the Charlotte Bobcats began an ignominious season under head coach Larry Brown.

The Charlotte Bobcats started out 9-19 and during this stretch they put up abominable stats such as last in turnovers per game, 29th in points per game, 20th in Fg%, and 23rd in 3ptFg%. Although Larry Brown is a hall of fame coach his desired style of play is not applicable to this Charlotte Bobcats. Larry Brown’s defensive-minded and slow pace game did not pass muster with the young Charlotte Bobcats. In addition, as the season progressed matters only got worse for Coach Brown. Players no longer listened to Brown nor did they execute his plays during the game. With the Bobcats losing interest in their coach, it was time for a change. Larry Brown decided to resign from his coaching job and Paul Silas took the job as interim head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats. During the Bobcat’s first practice with the new head coach, drastic changes were made instantly. Silas wanted to bring energy to the table by introducing a fast pace game to his young Charlotte Bobcats team. By the time of the Bobcat’s first game under new head coach Paul Silas, the new uptempo pace of game immediately clicked for the Bobcats. The Bobcats wound up beating the Detroit Pistons 105-100, with major contributions from D.J. Augustin scoring 27 points and Stephen Jackson with 23. This new uptempo pace worked like a charm for the Bobcats. Not only does Silas like playing uptempo but he also accentuates the importance of taking the open shot. Silas allowed his team more reign over the game by minimizing the amount of plays called and letting players like Jackson and Augustin to do their “thing” on the court. As of now the Bobcats are 5-2 with Coach Silas, and have an overall record of 14-21. With this record they are in playoff contention and can make the eighth seed or better if they continue to play the way they do. Lastly, former all-star Gerald “crash” Wallace will be returning to the Bobcats soon, once he is fully recovered from his injury. After traveling the downward slope, the Bobcats could be making their way back up the ladder.

Atlanta- A Team Not to Overlook

Atlanta is right on the tail end of some of the best teams in the league. With a staggering record of 33-18, they have shown they can hang with other championship caliber teams. Atlanta continues to improve as a team each year and will look to build even more throughout the 2010-2011 season.

Though shy of a superstar, the Atlanta Hawks really remind me of the 2003-3004 Pistons. Similar to the Pistons team of Chauncey Billups, Rasheed Wallace, Ben Wallace, Richard Hamilton, and Tayshaun Prince, Atlanta seems to really emulate after them. Atlanta has many fine players which really piece together to make a great team.

Like Billups, Joe Johnson is the leader of this team. With his much experience and profound ability to score he has established a strong base for the Atlanta Hawks. Complementing his talents are a few other great players such as Al Horford, Josh Smith, and Jamal Crawford. Now, with Al Horford transitioning out of the beginning stages of his careers he is now playing an elemental role on the Hawks. Bound to make his first All-star appearance, Horford is averaging 16.2 points per game along with a monstrous 9.9 rebounds per game as well as preforming solid in every other category. In addition, Josh Smith is another key player. He is similar to Ben Wallace in a way for they both have outstanding defense. Smith averages almost 2 blocks per game and has a per of 19.07. Along with his great defense Smith has the ability to dish out assists and average 16.3 points per game. Lastly, I would compare Jamal Crawford to Richard Hamilton. Their games both consist of a strong offense, relying primarily on their jump shots.

As you can see, talent is built all around the Atlanta Hawks. And this is going to separate them from most playoff teams. For example, if you look back at last year, the Cavs lost to the Celtics in the playoffs because when Lebron couldn’t find his game he had no teammates that could step up and lead them past the opposition. However, because Atlanta is so well balanced they will never have to worry about this problem. As long as the Hawks work cohesively and find the right guy the Hawks will succeed.

Bottom Line- The Hawks will finish with a record of 46-36 and I wouldn’t be surprised if they won a big playoff game or two.

Worst Team in History?

The Cleveland Cavaliers may be the worst team in NBA history this season. Not only are they on a horrendous 24 game losing steak, they have also dropped 34 of their lat 35 games with the exception of an overtime win against the New York Knicks. Questions are looming on whether the Cavs will lose 70 games this season. By the way things are going, it doesn’t look like Cleveland will win another game this season. Things are not looking too good with injuries to star player Mo Williams and Anderson Varejao. Their best player currently is 34 year old Antawn Jamison who is currently unhappy with playing in Cleveland. At least the Cavs can look to the future to divert their minds from the present with young talent in J.J. Hickson, Manny Harris, and Christian Eyenga.

With a record of 8-43, their aren’t many good things to say about this team. Sure Jamison’s one heck of a player and when healthy Mo Williams can play relatively well but as of right now, the best player on the team is an unhappy 34 year old veteran who is surrounded by inexperienced young players. You can’t expect to win games when the best player on your team wants out. J.J Hickson is decent young talent, but cannot be depended on to become a franchise player. Hickson is a solid player with a decent game but he lacks the tenacity and winning mentality to lead or even start on a good team. He would make a great sixth man or perhaps a solid 4th option offensively but should not under any circumstances be regarded as the second best player on a team. The other young talent isn’t bad either, maybe one day they’ll all be good enough to be able to create an average starting lineup. Williams is good when healthy but now doesn’t have a “Lebron” figure to attract attention offensively. Williams will still get his points but it will be off poor shooting and the occasional layup. Williams and Jamison’s two man offense proved unsuccessful as the three games prior to Williams injury, the Cavs were losing by an an average of 28 points a night. Four out of the five players on Cleveland’s starting lineup would not start for most other teams in the NBA and that in itself is a recipe for disaster.

Cleveland has it’s future to look forward too which is better than nothing. They already have young talent and will definitely pick up more in the next couple drafts. Whether this will result in wins is another story entirely but young talent is better than nothing. They could also probably trade Williams and Jamison for some draft picks and some more young talent if they are looking to go that way.

The Cavs this season are probably the worst team in NBA history talent wise. Watching them play is like watching a train attempt to run off a cars engine as they have no player that can be identified as a star and pull out wins. Although it is unlikely that this will happen, I don’t think they will win another game this season. I don’t see a single team in the NBA that the Cavs even have the slightest advantage against. Any wins that the Cavs will be able to pull out will rely purely on luck which hasn’t been too kind for Cleveland in the past year.

An Incredible Pace

If you are not familiar with the man who I am speaking of, you probably are not an NBA fan. Blake Griffin has developed as a player at an incredible pace and established himself amongst the NBA’s elite all in his rookie season. Griffin has shown that he was born to play basketball professionally and that all the hype and expectations that came along with him were legitimate. This tale is not perfect though, after being drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers and being named Summer League MVP Blake suffered a painful injury while landing on his kneecap after a dunk. Griffin was able to overcome this but at a huge cost. He was forced to sit out his entire rookie season due to his injury and rumors circulated as they were expected to. People said that he would be injury prone for the rest of his career, that the injury would have a significant impact on his game and make him a below average player and a disappointing first round draft pick. These rumors and injury served no purpose but to motivate Griffin to use the year off to properly recover and polish his already outstanding game.

When Griffin was in college, every basketball fan, player, and coach acknowledged his talent and knew that one day he would be a great NBA player. It was also obvious that injuries would be an issue in this remarkable young players career due to his size and physical game. Griffin’s tendency to acquire injuries first made its debut in his freshmen year when he sprained the MCL in his left knee playing for the University of Oklahoma. Two months after he recovered, Griffin tore his cartilage and required a minor surgery that put him on the sidelines for one week. Griffin’s talent came a high cost as his health was jeopardized with painful injuries. Regardless, he still had an outstanding college career and put himself in a position in which every NBA team would willingly add him to their roster. He was the first pick of the 2009 NBA draft and landed himself a slot playing for the Los Angeles Clippers. The drama didn’t end there though. In the last game of the preseason, Griffin landed awkwardly after a dunk and had a stress fracture in his left knee. This would postpone his NBA debut for a projected 7 weeks. After those 7 weeks were over though, it was apparent that Griffin was not recovering properly and would have to have knee surgery that would land him on the bench for his entire rookie season. Questions loomed whether he would be injury prone for the rest of his career and not play to his full potential when healthy like Greg Oden another player who was in a similar situation. Griffin entered his second NBA season full of uncertainty whether he would live up to the expectations placed upon him a year ago.

Not only did Blake live up to the enormous expectations placed upon him, he exceeded them. Griffin is already one of the best power forwards in the NBA and still possesses the ability to score at will as he averages 23 ppg. His size combined with his physical game allows to rebound exceptionally well as he averages a whopping 12.7 a game. Not only is Griffin a great player, he is also an efficient one with an amazing 23.3 PER that is among the league’s best. Blake Griffin is also a phenomenal scorer with an above average offensive rating of 113. Words cannot describe the level that Griffin is playing at so early in his career.

Griffin is already an all star and many more appearances are expected of him. Unless John Wall plays some of the best basketball in history for the remainder of the season, Griffin will win rookie of the year. Although injury prone, the reward of having Griffin outweigh the few cons. Expect great things from this young player.