Playoff Hopes Extinguished

That's Ama're

Picture Source: http://losthatsportsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/amare-hand-injury.jpg

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgBtz5eunCY

The Knicks are all but out of the playoffs at this point, and though they have had a plethera of injuries recently, I can only focus on the perhaps the most idiotic move of all time.  Of course, I’m referring to Amare trying to pick a fight with a fire extinguisher after the Knicks’ Game 2 loss.  Needless to say Amare lost the fight….badly.  Since everyone else has reacted to it, I thought I would throw in my two cents.

To those analysts who feel that it was nice to see a sign of intensity and care from a player, I would argue that its impossible for an NBA player not to care about a playoff game.  The playoffs define a player’s career not regular season games.  And while we’ve all gotten angry and maybe even done some done things, like throwing a camera (e.g. Ron Artest), we regret, its inexcusable for a player to put himself at risk to injury outside of the court during the most/only important part of the season.  While intensity is great, this proves that a player has to keep it under control in order to be effective both on and off the court.

Amare does owe the fans, his teammates, his coach, and his owner an apology.  And I feel that he should even have to forfeit some of his salary or pay the team back int he form of a fine.  He cost the owner revenue by jeopardizing the Knicks’ chances to have further home games and jeopardized his team’s aspirations.  The Heat should be asking Amare what he wants in return because if he would have been on the court, the serious could have turned in New York’s favor.  If I were a member of the Knick’s organization, Amare would have played his last games in a Knicks’ jersey after an incident like this.  Though the argument can be made that last season he almost singlehandedly but New York back on the basketball map until Carmelo joined him, this incident trounces any prior success.  One injury doesn’t define a player’s career but one stupid moment can — again look at Ron Artest.

This injury derailed the Knicks and deflated the team.  I realize Stoudemire feels bad, but this injury is unforgivable in my book.  It shows why some people feel athletes lack maturity and ultimately gives a previously esteemed player a completely different reputation.

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The Status of the NBA

   

Julius Peppers Playing Hoops
“We soon could see some of the best NFL players in a different league”

        With all the concussion issues and legal issues surrounding them, the future of the NFL seems to be in serious doubt.  Malcolm Gladwell, documents a possible demise to football (http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7559458/cte-concussion-crisis-economic-look-end-football).  He raises some interesting points and addresses some realistic concerns for the future of the NFL.  With this being a semi-realistic outlook, I feel that the NBA will most definitely be affected if this were to occur.

      First off, if the NFL does cease to function as it does now, the NBA would be the favorite to take over as the main professional sports association.  Moms may no longer let their children play football, and in turn the sons may turn to basketball.  Therefore the market for the NBA will continue to grow and become even more widespread.  Without contact, the NFL may come to resemble the Pro Bowl, which has less contact than the NBA.  The evolution of the NBA athlete has resulted in a much more physical game that appeals to many NFL loyalists.  Though there are no pads, if safety is such a concern in the NFL, the NBA may appeal to viewers looking for a little contact in their entertainment.

       The best athletes may choose the NBA over the NFL in the coming years.  Athletes like Julius Peppers (pictured above) and Tony Gonzalez (pictured below) may opt to play basketball instead of football. They are differently skilled enough and the NBA provides some incentives that NFL fails to provide.  For professional athletes, career longevity is very important and on average the NBA career is much longer, due to guaranteed contracts and a significantly less amount of serious injuries.  The NBA also has more flexibility, having great relationships with the International Leagues allowing players who aren’t quite ready for the NBA to play overseas and gain the necessary skills and maturity to compete stateside.   The International leagues offer much better payment incentives than the smaller football leagues and therefore could potentially be more attractive to athletes. 

Tony Gonzalez: The Basketball Player

"Most NFL skill players are skilled enough to play basketball competitvely at the highest level."

      With better athletes, the NBA could get much more competitve and could be played even higher above the rim.  Who knows maybe they might have to raise the rims someday if athletes didn’t have the NFL to consider.
 
      The NBA schedule would also have to change because it would need to shift to the primetime slots in the fall on the weekends, a spot the NFL currently monopolizes.  This would result in higher TV paychecks, which means more compensation for players, fans, owners, and executives.  The league could even expand rosters and the number of teams to cater to more markets and rake in more profit with more athletes able to compete.
 
    I love watching the NFL, but I for one would be excited to see the NBA take over as the dominant sport in America.  Besides all the drama, it has the best athletes on earth and always makes me believe that humans can fly (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7k1b8s1VfMQ).
 We’ll see how things play out.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Charlotte Jordans

Picture Source: http://www.terezowens.com/46-year-old-michael-jordan-dominates-bobcats-practice/

Since my Bulls no longer have Derrick Rose, part of me has already transition into offseason mode.  Therefore I’ve started to set myself on the NBA draft.  While the Bulls need to add another perimeter scorer, my focus is on the lowly Bobcats and the lottery.

The Bobcats just completed the year with the WORST winning percentage in NBA history despite having the BEST player ever as an owner.  Michael Jordan has now destroyed two franchises, the first of which being the Wizards – still feeling the aftermath as having the second worst record in the NBA this season.  Some may argue that Jordan did the right thing by getting bad – incredibly bad for that matter – before getting better.  I do not hold that viewpoint.

Jordan traded away Tyson Chandler, now a leading candidate for Defensive Player of the Year.  He jettisoned Gerald Wallace, widely considered one of the mos thigh-flying athletic wing players.  Furthermore, he made a dark horse playoff team into the worst team ever.  Tyson Chandler could have been a cornerstone of the franchise and Wallace as his wingman.  Instead Byron Mullins, who hardly looks like he weighs 200 punds wet despite being seven foot tall, is the starting center for the Bobcats.  Jordan did the same thing with the Wizards trading away a versatile Rip Hamilton and adding a disappointing Jerry Stackhouse.  He alienated the team by praising a player one day and defacing him the next.  He has zero clue how to handle players and therefore should not be given the benefit of the doubt just because of his playing accolades.

Not only can Jordan not manage his personnel, he also has no idea how to handle the draft.  Jordan has been a part of two of the worst lottery picks in the last twenty years: Adam Morrison third overall for Charlotte and Kwame Brown first overall for the Wizards.  After drafting straight out of high school, he has only drafted “proven” college players ala Morrison.  But this has resulted miserably – Jordan has yet to have a winning season off the court in an executive role.  So even though, Anthony Davis will most likely fall into his lap, I’m going to reserve judgment until we see how Jordan interacts with the potential superstar.  I for one think Jordan may ruin another prospect resulting in another disappointing eyar for the Bobcats.

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Championship Deterred

As excited as we all for this post season, it has taken a dramatic turn that leads me to believe that this season’s championship should be stricken from the record books or recorded with an asterisk.  After the first slew of games, there’s no Dwight Howard, no Jeremy Lin, no Derrick Rose, no Iman Shumpert, an ailing Ray Allen, a hurt Z-Bo, an injured Hortford and a suspended Ron Artest.  The hectic season was a fast-paced, action-packed sprint for fans, but we must now ask the question was it worth it?  While I personally enjoyed the endless action, I now look back and think that it severely handicapped the NBA’s second season. Without the players listed above, its impossible to truly tell whose the best team.  The championship team may in fact be who had the healthiest super stars at the end of the year, which should never be the case.

The Derrick Rose injury is by far the most significant and one the entire city of Chicago feared after watching him limp through the last ten games.  The season wore down Rose and now the Bulls-Heat burgeoning rivalry will be pushed back another year along with the Bulls’ title aspirations.  While I accept that injuries are part of the game, I can’t help but look back and wonder what if there was more rest during the season, would we have the same champion?

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Malice at the Palace Part II

Yesterday, our favorite “peace” offeror had yet another blunder in his attempt to salvage what little reputation he has left.  Ron Artest’s ferocious elbow that knocked James Harden out for the game with a concussion is a travesty.  Yet his comments after the game are even more appalling.  After watching the video, it was obvious that Ron intentionally clocked Harden, but he claimed it was on accident.  This incident, along with other incidents like the Dwight Howard mess, just prove that NBA focuses on drama as much as it does on basketball.  I mean two players were at one point married to Kardashians, which should be evidence enough.  I just hope that the drama doesn’t affect the basketball as it has recently.  Kris Humphries made far less money because of his presence on the Kardashian show and now Ron may cost the Lakers a first round victory if he receives a multiple game suspension.  Hopefully, the ship will eventually be righted…

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Playoff Prospectus

http://espn.go.com/nba/powerrankings/_/year/2012/week/16

As the regular season begins to come to a close, a few teams have emerged as clear front runners for the Larry O’Brien Trophy this year.  As usual there are the perennial powerhouses, a few young teams with “on-the-rise” talent, and teams that have no business in contention but have out-played their potential.  After watching and analyzing these select teams, I’ve concluded that these teams have the best potential. Further analysis is presented in the link listed above.

Best shot: Oklahoma City Thunder

Though they haven’t been remarkable recently, going 3-3 in their last three games, the Thunder still are the front runners. They have a dynamic big three in Harden, Durant, and Westbrook that play seamlessly together and can all isolate almost any defender in the NBA.  Though they lack consistent interior scoring, they also prevent a lot of inside scoring with shot blockers (Perkins and Ibaka) roaming the paint. The Thunder are going to be a tough out with a supreme home court advantage and youthful exuberance.

Good shot: Chicago Bulls

The Bulls have had an up-and-down season this year and have the league’s best record despite missing Derrick Rose for over forty percent of the season.  Lately, the offense has been sputtering, but as long as they figure it out and Get healthy, they should be able to get through the Eastern Conference.

Miami Heat

The Hear are who we thought, they have three supreme stars and a very weak supporting cast.  If they can get some production from Chalmers and Haslem and maybe a little shooting from Miller, then the Heat can win.  However, if Lebron doesn’t put up near triple-double numbers every game, the Heat aren’t going anywhere.

San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs are the same team they’ve been for the past ten years.  They move the ball, play hard every possession, and almost always have the coaching edge. If the Spurs run into a team with multiple bigs, this could pose a problem.  However, if Tony Parker continues to dazzle, we could be looking at another title run for Duncan and crew.

Dark Horses:

Los Angeles Lakers

With the addition of Ramon Sessions, the Lakers now have a chance to win it all,  especially with Andrew Bynum having thirty rebound games. They have the best closer in the game who is determined to get his sixth ring in what could be one of his last years to tie Jordan. The Lakers could be a tough out this postseason.

Boston Celtics

The Celtics possess all they keys to win especially with the emergence of Avery Bradley and the chemistry of the team.  If KG and Ray Allen can turn back the clock, no one will want to play the Celtics.

 

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Tip-Off: The Stationary Jump

Considering I’m a little vertically challenged for the sport I love, decided to take my talents to the web instead of the hardwood. I spend most of my timeplaying, watching, analyzing – living basketball. It’s poetry in motion: part entertainment, part battle, and all drama – especially when it comes to the NBA. Therefore this blog will revolve around the organization with the best basketball in the world.  Posts will analyze certain areas, provide opinions (completely objective of course…), and predict futures for prospective teams.

 

 

 

 

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