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Let me see you Euro Step

Everyone knows of basic moves like the crossover, behind the back, through the legs, but not everyone knows the euro step, also known as the 1,2 step.

It may seem like an easy move at first but there are a lot of factors that play into it in order to perfect it. If you would like to see the mechanics of the move I would suggest seeing the video above. The idea of the move is to fake out the last defender by planting a jab step one way and then explode onto your other foot so you can then get off a layup. Doing the move however is just not enough to get the easy basket. You must see which ever side the defender is leaning to, once you establish that in your head you must plant the jab foot in that direction and then execute the move how you normally would.

In particular, Manu Ginobili and Dwyane Wade are spectacular at executing the euro step (1,2 step). Both of these players are able to think on the dime and know exactly when to use the move. Also, they both have the athleticism to really execute the move very well.

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.

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.

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.

San Antonio Spurs are the Team to Beat

The San Antonio Spurs are a powerful dynasty with 4 championships, 17 division titles, and 19 playoff appearances in the last 20 seasons. The Spurs currently stand first in the whole league, with 39 wins and 7 losses, an 84.8% win record. A big part of the team’s success can be credited to “The Big Three,” as the trio of Emanuel Ginobili, Tony Parker, and Tim Duncan are often called.

Manu Ginbobili joined the Spurs in 2002, previously playing in the Argentine basketball league. Ginobili’s importance to the team has been proven – whenever he is injured, the Spurs start to lose. In fact, the Spurs were knocked out of the2008 playoffs in the first round, largely because Ginobili was out due to injury. In the 2010-2011 season, Ginobili averages 18.7 points per game, 4.9 assists per game, and 3.9 rebounds per game.

3-time all-star Tony Parker has changed the Spurs’ overall game play. Once Parker became a starter, the team had to immediately increase the tempo and pace at which they played to keep up with their swift and agile point guard. Parker’s statistics have been improving over the past 7 or 8 years now. In fact, Parker’s persistence on improving is what kept the Spurs from acquiring all-star point guard Jason Kidd. This season, Parker averages 6.9 assists per game and 17.5 points per game.

6-foot 11-inch, 260 pound forward Tim Duncan is the captain of the Spurs. He is a 12 time all-star and leads the team in rebounds with an average of 9.5 per game. He dominates defensively while still posting good numbers for points, an average of 13.6 per game this season. Tim Duncan is the main cause for turning the Spurs dynasty around. Before Duncan became a part of the team, the Spurs had no championship rings to show. Since then, the team has won 4 championships, most recently in 2007.

The Spurs rely on The Big Three. If even one member of the trio is injured or not playing up to par, the whole team falls. If Ginobili, Parker, and Duncan manage to stay healthy during the season and perform consistently, the Spurs have a good chance of keeping their position with the best record in the league and could possibly win their 5th championship.

Felton

Raymond Felton has resurrected his game and established himself as a premier player at his position as a New York Knick this season. The explosiveness that we all saw Felton play with during his college years at UNC has has returned and shown itself through his drastically improved statistics.

Last season, playing for Charlotte, Felton wasn’t the most efficient player. He averaged a mediocre PER of 15.6 in his 33 minutes on the court. His statistics in that time period weren’t much to rave about either. Felton averaged a low PPG total of 12.1 and an average APG total of 5.6. These were the numbers that a slightly below average point guard in the NBA would put up. Felton’s scoring and passing abilities that he possessed in college seemingly failed to stick with him in the NBA.

This season however, Felton shocked his teammates and silenced his critics showing a miraculous improvement in his game and playing at a level that no one thought he was still able to play at. His PPG has gone up to 17.5 and his APG are at an impressive 8.9 making him much better than the average point guard in the NBA. His PER has gone up to 17.5 as well, making him a more efficient player. Felton’s game has shown a remarkable improvement this past season.

The Knicks demanded a lot out of Felton and he has exceeded the enormous expectations that D’Antoni had for him. Expect a strong season and a possible all star appearance within the next few years from this outstanding player.

Portland-The Struggle to Survive

Greg Oden– first overall pick of the 2007 NBA draft-Injured

Brandon Roy– three time all-star-Injured

Marcus Camby– defensive player of the year in 2006-2007- Injured

With the deprivation of three exceptional players, it is almost unfathomable that Portland is still holding the 8th seed in competitive West. It’s even harder to believe that the Blazers were recently on a five game winning streak. Although this Portland team has become injury prone, key players are stepping up and are making the best of what they have.

First off, LaMarcus Aldridge has been an outstanding player thus far. Playing at an all-star caliber, Aldridge is making his team look competitive. Bound to make his first all-star appearance, LaMarcus Aldridge since December 15 has been averaging 26.3 points per game as well as 10.3 rebounds per game. Aldridge has stepped up as much as he can since his team has been plagued by injuries and has really been the go to guy for the Blazers. Secondly, Andre Miller has also helped his team out a lot. Currently in his 13th season, Miller has been a valuable asset. He constantly gets it done on both sides of the court averaging 1.7 steals per game while also dishing out 7.1 assists per game. Essentially, Andre Miller has stepped up in the absence of Camby and Roy and continues to produce solid numbers. Next off, Wesley Matthews has really established himself on the Portland Trailblazers. This un-drafted player has filled much of the void at the shooting guard position in place of Brandon Roy. Matthews has been quite the contributor, averaging 16.2 points per game, and even more staggering, Matthews has averaged 22.7 points per game in the last 3 games. Moving on, Rudy Fernandez has been a spark off the bench for the Blazers putting up some descent numbers as well as making the highlight reel every once in a while. Lastly, Nicolas Batum has also been showing progression in the absence of Roy and Camby. He recently scored 23 points and then four days later scored 24 points. Batum has shown some potential during this period of injuries and has been a solid small forward.

Hopefully this array of talent continues to mesh well together as well as keep on winning ball games. It is important they keep on winning games in order to hold their spot in the playoffs. These next few weeks will really test this Portland team.

Bottom Line- Portland is a solid team that could have a promising future if Roy, Camby, and Oden ever get back onto the court.

Can the Lakers pull off another 3 peat?

To start, let’s list the Lakers top players:

Kobe Bryant – Team captain and longtime NBA all-star, this shooting guard leads his team in points and assists. He is undoubtedly the key to many of the Lakers’ past success and is the center point of the whole team; the game revolves around him.

Derek Fisher – This point guard just doesn’t slow downwell maybe a little. At the age of 36, Fisher is still a dominant force with the Lakers and continues to contribute to the team’s triumphs. Derek Fisher’s outstanding 5 Championships and has the experience needed to push the Lakers through the playoffs.

Ron Artest – With a reputation for outstanding defense, Artest is a valuable asset. Although a strong defender, this forward no longer comes up with strong offensive results.

Andrew Bynum – BIG MAN. Bynum leads the team in rebounds and always looks for the easy bucket at the end of the paint. Bynum serves as the Lakers’ center.

Pau Gasol – Recent NBA all-star, Gasol heavily aids the team in boards and points. He takes much credit for the Lakers’ championship in 2009, giving Bryant a dominant force to pass to.

Lamar Odom – Arguably the best 6th man in the NBA, Odom is an all around player: he can score, defend, rebound, and do anything else he has to.

The Lakers stand as the second seed in the Western Conference, just behind the San Antonio Spurs. Their record is 32-13. The team does have chemistry, but the players are starting to age. With a stellar lineup and decent bench, the Lakers are still dominant in the NBA. But can they win championship this year and continue to bring honor to the franchise? It’s possible, but not probable.

The Lakers should be able to make the conference finals. However, from there, a tough road will be upon them. Many of the players may tire out by the postseason. Additionally, getting past the other conference finalist is obviously a difficult achievement. Even if the Lakers do make the NBA finals, they stand a very small chance to the possible Eastern Conference finalist, assuming one of the top teams from the East makes it. The Lakers will probably not win this year’s NBA finals, let alone make it that far; but if they do, the dynasty will only further their list of achievements.