Can anybody beat the Heat?
If you were to ask me at the beginning of the season who would win the championship this year, I wouldn't have hesitated and told you the Charlotte Bobcats. Okay in all seriousness, I would have said the OKC Thunder. Being a team that got beat in the finals last year, I thought they would be motivated to come out stronger and better. However, two losses to the Heat this season makes me think that OKC may be in for a long playoff run that will end in disappointment. Yes, while the Heat have been dominate, the Pacers have beat the Heat many times this year and may be the dark horse heading in to the playoffs. But, and although this pains me, I can't see any team in either the East or West beating the Miami Heat in a 7 game series, especially with the way Lebron James is playing right now.
It's hard for me to ever imagine Derrick Rose and Danny Granger being "X-Factor" type players. Just last season, they were the franchise players for the Bulls and Pacers respectively. However with both players suffering season long injuries, it will be interesting to see how things unfold. Danny Granger is expected to come back this week, although the Pacers are now Paul George's team and whether Granger will accept a more secondary role remains to be seen. On the other hand, while Derrick Rose was expected to come back this season from a devastating knee injury suffered in last year's playoffs, he has stated that he would have no problem sitting out the rest of the year in order for his injury to heal 100%. While the Bulls are clearly a better team with Rose on the floor, it will take time for him to get adjusted to playing in a NBA game and perhaps the intensity of playoff games is not the best venue to be making a comeback from such a serious injury.
The Los Angeles Fakers
Some people must be enjoying this season just to see the Lakers failing after building a "Super Team". While the playoffs is still a realistic possibility, it's hard to see such a storied franchise lasting very long in the playoffs with a roster that doesn't get along and with one of the most overrated coaches in the history of basketball. Their biggest trade chip, Pau Gasol, is down with an injury and the Lakers management have publicly gone out and stated that they will NOT trade Dwight Howard (guess they missed "The Decision"). In any case, fun days are ahead for the Fakers.
Trade Deadline: Who's Coming and Who's Going?
With so many names being tossed around the NBA trade deadline figures to be an important day for many teams. Big names like Al Jefferson, Josh Smith, Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis all seem to be available for the right price. Smaller names such as Paul Milsap, Andrea Bargnani and Ben Gordan are also available but I don't see them being moved (atleast until the offseason). While big names are out there, I expect it to be a quiet trade deadline as it seems like teams want to get a lot, but not want to give up a lot either.
So Toronto Raptors commentator Matt Devlin decided to have some fun with rapper Wale and take some shots at the "local" rapper. Of course, it's only natural for Wale to defend his street cred and confront a middle aged white guy with no knowledge of rap music.
OK let's play a game here. What was Matt Devlin thinking when he was confronted by rapper Wale?
a) Damn, I don't have any spare change for this guy.
b) I didn't know T-Pain lived in Washington!!
c) You're going to challenge ME to a freestyle???
d) Is this the guy they call Little John?
Seriously dude, you got some problems if a basketball commentator who knows absolutely nothing about rap gets under your skin.