Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Eastern NBA Playoffs

So the playoffs are going to kick off next week.




Indiana vs. Atlanta.
Indiana has been playing very bad since the All-Star break, including a 107-88 blowout loss to the Hawks. As for the Hawks, they have been play very solid basketball. The past, however, shows how the Pacers can #ComeThru (#Drake) in the playoffs. Still, since the Pacers have been doing very bad, the Hawks will give them trouble. My guess is that Pacers take the series 4-2.

Chicago vs. Washington.
Not many people expected either of these teams to be up here, especially the Wizards. Chicago has done extremely well with the Rose-less roster they have. Joakim Noah has been leading the charge for the Bulls team, earning a DPOY and All-NBA First Team Honors campaign. However, Washington has also been playing really good with Wall, Beal, and Gortat leading their charge, but yet again Chicago does well in the playoffs, upsetting Brooklyn and defeating Miami n the first game. This year I think the Bulls will not preform in the playoffs. Washington wins, 4-3

Toronto vs. Brooklyn
Brooklyn has been below many people's expectations, especially because they have the leagues biggest luxury cap. With the star power they had in the beginning of the year in Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry, many people thought they would be Miami's main competitor in the East (other than Indiana). They only managed a 44-38 record. Part of the reason is because of Pierce's and Garnett's realization that they aren't on the Celtics anymore. Ever since the Brooklyn vs. Boston game in Boston, which honored Pierce's years as a Celtic on the big screen, Pierce has been playing like his old self. Joe Johnson has stepped up his game a lot his year. If Garnett comes back with a bang off his injury, they might just advance pretty far. Toronto has a promising young team, with DeMar DeRozan, Terrence Ross, and Kyle Lowry. If Toronto makes a splash in free agency this year, I think they can be a top-tier team next year, but now, I'm calling the upset. Brooklyn in six.

 Miami vs. Charlotte
The two time reigning champions, Miami Heat are hungry for their third title. They want it badly. LeBron wants it badly. If he wants to get on that Mount Rushmore, he needs this. Charlotte made a great move in signing Big Al, Al Jefferson, in free agency last year. He and Kemba Walker seemed to click instantly, and they were rewarded with a playoff berth, but they are playing Miami. Miami wins, 4-1.

Mock Draft

With the regular season ending today, I thought it would be a good time to put out a Mock Draft.

1. Philadelphia 76ers
     - Andrew Wiggins, Kansas
2. Milwaukee Bucks
     - Jabari Parker, Duke
3. Utah Jazz
     -Joel Embiid, Kansas
4. Orlando Magic
     -Julius Randle, Kentucky
5. Los Angeles Lakers
     - Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State
6. Boston Celtics
     - Aaron Gordon, Arizona

7. Sacramento Kings
     - Noah Vonleh, Indiana
8. Detroit Pistons
     - Dante Exum, Australia

9. Cleveland Cavaliers
     - Rodney Hood, Duke

10. Philadelphia 76ers (via New Orleans, Jrue Holliday trade)
     - Garry Harris, Michigan State

11. Denver Nuggets (via New York Knicks, Carmelo Anthony trade)
     - Nik Stauskas, Michigan

12. Orlando Magic (via Denver Nuggets, Dwight Howard, Andre Igoudala trade)
     - Tyler Ennis, Syracuse

13. Minnesota Timberwolves
     - T.J. Warren, North Carolina State

14. Phoenix Suns
     - Doug McDermott, Creighton

Best Plays of the Year

Best Crossover:
Andre Iguodala. Although he missed the shot... Still some sick handles

Best Dunk (In Game):
Paul George.

Best Dunk (Out of game):
LeBron James

Best assist:
Dwayne Wade

Best Buzzer Beater
Stephen Curry

Best Single Game Performance:
Carmelo Anthony: 62 points, 13 rebounds, 65.% shooting

Best Shot:
Paul George

Best Block:
Russell Westbrook

The Beginning of the End 2

All right, time for the bad ones.

Least Valuable Player (s)
I think J.R. Smith was the biggest let-down. Winning the 6th Man of the Year award last year was a big ego boost to him and made him think he could do anything he wanted to do on and off the court. His stats decreased in almost every category this year.

Evan Turner (2nd half)
Evan Turner was averaging 17.4 points 6 rebounds and 3.7 assists, which are career highs in every category. What's so bad you may ask? At the trade deadline, the Pacers traded for him. Since the trade, Turner is averaging 6.8 points, 3 rebounds, and 2.2 assists while dipping from 43% to 39% field goal percentage and a 12.39 PER.

Anthony Bennett
The first overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft... And for what? Of course no one expected it *insert Bill Simmons' "WHAAAT" on national television*. Well people should agree with him. 4.1 points and 2.9 rebounds? And on top of that, he missed his first 15 professional shots.

Least Improved Player

I'll take contract extensions/signings into play here

Josh Smith was signed by the Pistons to a four year $54 million deal. Right now, that deal doesn't look very good right now. Smith is averaging career lows in every category since his rookie year. Most of this blame can be put on the Pistons coaching staff because they wouldn't let Smith play his preferred power forward position. Instead, they insisted on starting all three bigs, in Drummond, Monroe, and Smith.

Andre Iguodala signed with the Warriors for a four year $48 million deal. Like Smith, he's put up career lows in everything since his rookie year, except he has no excuse. The Warriors presumably had excellent talent, but they are only the 6th seed. Coach Mark Jackson just may be on the hot seat.

O.J. Mayo was signed to a three year $24 million deal by the Bucks. So far, he has career lows in everything for this excuse of a NBA team. You know what they should do? Every team with below 25 wins has to play the NCAA champion, and if they lose, they can't get a lottery pick.

Not Coach of the Year
Mike Woodson. It could be his fault to be in the state that they are-Bargnani over Stoudemire-after the year they had last year. They kept almost the same roster, but they are still a below 40 win team.

Worst Play(s) of the Year

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Beginning of the End

So the regular season is coming to a close and I thought it wastime to give out some awards, and not just good ones.

Most Improved Player:
Can we give it to a whole team? Look at the Suns' players and tell me no.
Gerald Green
Markieef Morris
Miles Plumlee 
P.J. Tucker
Eric Bledsoe
Goran Dragic
With this roster last year, they would have been in the bottom half of the leauge.

6th Man of the Year:
I think it's no question that it's Markieff Morris. Call me biased, but he leads the leauge in total minutes, points, and rebounds off the bench. 

Defensive Player of the Year:
Joakim Noah led a Rose-less team to the 3rd/4th seed in the East with his monster defense and rebounding.
If you would've asked me before the All-Star break, I would have said Roy Hibbert, but the Pacers have absolutley broken down. 

Coach of the Year:
Jeff Hornacek. I believe that he took a very decent Suns roster, and made it a 50 win team. Call me biased again, but look where I'm coming from. If not Hornacek, then Gregg Popovich. The only 60 win team this year is the Spurs.

Rookie of the Year:
I would give it to Michael Carter-Williams, but no one on a 26 game losing streak team should have any awards. So, I'm giving it to Victor Oladipo. Oladipo and MCW are so separated from this, in my opinion, undeveloped draft class. In my mind, MCW will be better for the long run.

Most Valuable Player
Kevin Durant. LeBron has been amazing with his usual 25 7 6 stat line, but KD has been phenomenal. We saw that 41 game streak of 25 or more points, breaking Michael Jordan's record. KD is leading the league in scoring with 32.7 points on 50% shooting. That's crazy. Blake Griffin is third on the list, but LeBron and KD are on a whole another mountain compared to the rest of the MVP race.  

Saturday, April 5, 2014


As the season unwinds, here's how the Eastern Conference stacks up.









New York33440.42920.022-257-6

By the end of February, it seemed like it was impossible for the Knicks to make the playoffs, but a recent change in the tide put the Knicks in a 10-4 record since they snapped their 9 game skid. Since the Knicks are in an abysmal Eastern conference, they still have a chance. Seriously, the West is twice as powerful: they have a 50 win team (Phoenix/Memphis/Dallas) not making the playoffs while the East has a below 40 win team in the playoffs.  

Anyway, the recent success could be due to a few things: the appointing of Phil Jackson, their ridiculously-should-be-but-isn't schedule, or the realization that they traded away their lottery pick. But I think that it's the resurgence of Amar'e Stoudemire. Earlier this year, I was mad that the Knicks didn't play him more. They gave him around 15 minutes, and who got his starting role? Oh yeah Andrea Bargnani! (refer to last post).
In games where Amar'e played over 30 minutes since the All-Star Break, he's averaged 17.13 points. This isn't like the numbers he's put up in his Phoenix days (that seems ages ago, like it was 1901), but it's definitely a start. Amar'e will never, and I say this with 90% assurance, return to his former glory. James Dolan made one of his many huge mistakes signing Amar'e back in 2010 to a max deal, butt now they have to work with what they have. This is the type of play Melo needs surrounding him and not major defensive lapses and a  YOLO mentality of J.R. Smith.

So unless Phil Jackson can do something and bring the Knicks back to supremacy, the Knicks will have no Melo, no lottery pick, and Amar'e's fat contract (would you do that? Amare'e's?). If Melo was smart he would leave. He has options to go join Harden and Dwight in Houston, Rose (if healthy) and Noah in Chicago, the Showtime Lakers with Kobe, or Bledsoe and Dragic in Phoenix.