Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Second Half of the NBA Starts with....Matt Devlin vs Wale?

So the "unofficial" second half of the NBA season started yesterday and while the NBA decided to give us a stellar schedule of games yesterday (no Heat, OKC, Lakers, Clippers, Knicks games), there are many storylines that might make the 2nd half of the NBA season pretty damn interesting. Here are my top 4

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.

We're Backkkkkkkkk?

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.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy Belated 50th Birthday Mr. Jordan!

It only seems fitting that the first thing I should write about is Michael Jordan. A lot of people only started watching basketball recently so they never really had a chance to watch #23 in action. If you haven't, I suggest watching some YouTube clips (the one below is probably my favourite) to really understand how this man not only dominated the game of basketball, but also inspired an entire generation of current basketball stars.

One of the biggest debates in basketball right now is the whole MJ vs Lebron vs Kobe fiasco. Fact is, this debate will probably carry on right until Lebron retires, or until people realize that Kevin Durant may outshine all of them with the way he is currently playing (he's on par with Lebron James, but about 5 years younger!!!). But in any case, I thought I would give my two cents on the issue.

First off, I would take Lebron over Kobe. That debate is not very tough for me. While Kobe is without a doubt one of the best shooting guards to every play the game, he just does not have the skill set that Lebron James has. While Kobe is a better overall scorer, Lebron is a better playmaker, rebounder and defender than Kobe. Not only that, but Lebron seems to be getting better as he grows older. He is currently averaging 27 points per game on an astonishing 56% field goal shooting and 42% shooting from 3 point range – a stat line that Kobe has never even come close to averaging. Now of course, people will mention how Kobe has 5 championship rings and Lebron has 1 (MJ himself mentioned that) but the question I ask is, If Lebron had a teammate like Shaq in his prime, would he himself not have won as many rings as Kobe did? If Lebron had Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom (pre Khloe) instead of Mo Williams, Antawn Jamesion and a Shaq past his prime, would he have not won a couple of rings there as well? In no way am I knocking Kobe's accomplishments but Lebron is finally starting to show that killer instinct that was missing. Not only that, he has turned his one weakness (shooting) into a strength. He is currently dominating the competition and is on his way to another MVP award and quite possibly another championship ring.

Now for the main event, MJ vs Lebron. For some people this is a no-brainer and some would even pick Jordan just for the sake of not wanting to "embarrass" themselves in front of others. To me, this is much closer than people think. In fact, from a talent standpoint, I have to go with Lebron James as not only is he a better shooter than Jordan at this point in his career, but he is a better rebounder, passer and maybe even a better defender. Also, Lebron is 6'8 and weighs 260 pounds (all muscle) while Michael Jordan was 6'6 and weighed close to 220 pounds (all muscle as well) during his playing days which clearly gives James the size advantage. Given the numbers, this should be a simple choice right? However, there is one thing that Jordan has better than any ball player past, present and future, which is his "competitive 
drive" to win no matter what. No NBA player can come close to the willpower that Michael Jordan has and quite possibly, no one ever will. If you ever look at any of his past clips, you will see that no matter the situation, Michael never took second place to anyone. Hall of Fame players like Karl Malone, Reggie Miller and Charles Barkley admit that Michael Jordan is the sole reason they never won a championship. Even compared to both Lebron and Kobe, Michael won championships with relatively less star power than Lebron and Kobe. While Lebron has his big 3 and Kobe had Shaq, Gasol and Bynum throughout his career, Michael had Scottie Pippen and a group of role players that, chances are, no one could even name if they wanted to. Yet, Michael Jordan went on to win 6 NBA championships. As good of a talent Lebron is, he just simply does not have the drive that Jordan had to win. Whether MJ was injured or even sick (search up his infamous "flu game" on YouTube), he had no quit in him and is the reason he is so well respected not just in the sport of basketball, but all sports in general. I hope to see the passion we saw from MJ in Lebron one day as I feel he is just too good a talent to not go down as one of the best ever. But until he shows that fire, my choice will go with Michael Jordan all day, everyday.

Well, that's my take. Let me know who you guys pick in this debate!


What's up everyone!! Welcome to my first ever blog. It's weird because people who know me know I'm not really into the whole blogging craze that has been going on, but a few buddies of mine encouraged me to write a blog and I figured why the hell not? The only question that remained was, what should I write about? After taking a full minute (maybe even less), I realized I would write a blog about basketball. I've always enjoyed talking about basketball with my buddies and even strangers at times so I thought I would make this blog as a way to talk with not only friends but others about my favourite sport. Also, I choose basketball because my own personal life is not really all that interesting, except for those pesky rumors that I apparently have kids all over the world that I don't even know about (Man I would have fit right in with the characters on Game of Thrones).

In any case, hope you guys enjoy the blog and visit often! Feel free to comment/bash whatever it is I have to write about!