Archive for April, 2011


Top 10: NBA Scorers

Here’s my list of top 10 scorers in the NBA. I’ve based my rankings on their play during the current season, with track record being a small factor

10 Joe Johnson

As gifted as a talent there is, he can shoot from the outside and though he may not be the fastest guy in the league, he’s quick and shifty enough to slide past you and get to the basket. Many get frustrated with Johnson because he doesn’t show a killer instinct. While that may be true, the guy can score, and on the Hawks he’s the one you want with the ball at the end.

9 Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose in my opinion is the fastest guy in the league, and with that speed he is able to get the hole with ease. Over the offseason Rose improved his jump shot making 112 more 3 pointers this season than he did in the 2009-2010 season and also raising his free throw percentage to 86% from 77%. Now that you have to respect his outside shot defenders are less prone to lay off of him. Though you may prefer he shoot the ball, you can’t just leave him wide open, and this has further opened driving lanes for Rose.

8 Kevin Martin

He’s quiet, he’s not likely to make the highlight reel, but what he will do for you is shoot 40% from the field which he’s done every season but his rookie year. Last season he shot 38% from 3 point land and ranked 9th in points per game averaging 23 points. He’s a guy that can get you 20 points anytime he steps on the floor.

7 Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki is as consistent as they come; he’s only averaged above 46% shooting all but one year of his career, and at least 20 points per game but twice. At 7’0”, he’s a match up problem for just about anyone that guards him. He can shoot, take you off the dribble and is a willing passer. The only missing is a legit post game, but when you can face up and rise above the defender, he figures why play with his back to the basket.

6 Manu Ginobli

Ginobli is a career 45% shooter. After that none of his other stats will blow you away. To truly understand and appreciate his game you have had to watch him. He’s crafty, he’ll never win a racing competition, but he always manages to find his way to the hole. He plays with a reckless abandon for his body that is matched by very few. For the majority of his career with the Spurs he’s been the spark off the bench and the one the keeps everything flowing between their big 3.

Ginobli may never be in the top five of scoring, but if you need a critical basket, he’s definitely on your short list.

5 Dwayne Wade

Who could forget his performance in the 2006 NBA Finals where he led the Miami Heat to their first championship? Wade has made a living getting to the basket and creating havoc for defenders. A good first step, excellent mid-range game, and one of the few players below 6’6” who can post up there defender there’s not too many places you feel comfortable making him shoot from. Wade percentage wise had his best shooting season, shooting 50% from the field. Wade has shown himself to be as clutch as they come, and no matter who is on the team with him, you love having the ball in his hand with the game on the line.

4 LeBron James

The last 4 years LeBron has been a beast to keep it brief. Over the last 4 seasons he’s shot an average of 49% from the field, with this past season being his best at 51%. Watching LeBron drive down lane is like watching a train drive at you. With passing ability comparable to Magic and Jason Kidd you can’t play off of him but so much. Granted you much rather give him a jump shot, but once the man gets hot, he’s as unstoppable as they come. The only thing missing from his game is a legitimate post game. For as physical as he likes to play he doesn’t seem comfortable playing with his back to the basketball. However, 8 years in, it hasn’t seemed to slow him down yet. All he’s ever done is average a minimum of 26 points every year but his rookie season.

3 Kobe Bryant

For a long time Kobe was the best player and scorer in the league. A few years, injuries and championship rings later Kobe no longer remains numero uno. However, he still can get the job done. He may not have the burst to blow by you all the time, but go to you tube and search Kobe over Okafor and you’ll see that when needed Kobe can still throw it down it you. Instead of using his athletic ability to beat you he now uses skill and craft to get the shot he wants. He’s worked with Hakeem Olajuwon and developed a fade away jump shot over the last few seasons. Though older, Kobe still possesses the ability to drop 35 on you if necessary.

2 Kevin Durant

Upon this 6’9” thin frame lays a two time scoring champion and a career 46% shooter. Durant is a threat to score just about anywhere on the court. You give him space and he’s able to drive past you. You lay off of him and he’ll sink a jump shot from anywhere on the floor. Only 4 years into his career and the sky is the limit. The only thing left for him to do is add some muscle and post moves to his repertoire and he’ll be unguardable.

1 Carmelo Anthony

Post moves, check. Mid-range game, check. Penetrator, check. You name anything that has to do with scoring and Carmelo Anthony can do it, and is probably tops in the league at it. Carmelo has never shot below 42% in his career tied a career high shooting 37% from 3 point land. There aren’t too many ways you can defend him, you just kind of hope he has bad shot selection and shoots his way into a bad night. But I wouldn’t bank on it.

The next 5

Paul Pierce

Monte Ellis

Dwight Howard

Amare Stoudemire

Monta Ellis

Advertisements

NFL Draft Recap Round 1

As the 2nd round of the draft is upon us, here’s my recap of round 1:

The Carolina Panthers did what they had to taking quarterback Cam Newton from Auburn; they now have to surround him with talent to make sure he succeeds. He’ll have to dive right into the playbook and learn the NFL terminology. They’ll definitely have to get a wide receiver as Steve Smith is getting up there in age.

The Arizona Cardinals are desperate for a quarterback, but when cornerback from LSU Patrick Peterson fell to them, they had no choice but to take him, and with the majority of the top tier quarterbacks taken already they’ll most likely have to look in free agency or trades to acquire.

With the #6 pick the Cleveland Browns traded with the Atlanta Falcons receiving the 27th Pick a 2011 2nd and 4th round pick as well as a 2012 1st and 4th round pick. The Falcons then proceeded to take wide receiver Julio Jones from Georgia, now pairing him up with Roddy White gives them a solid one two punch on the outside. If Jones can play to his potential, the Falcons will have two Pro Bowl caliber players to throw to for years to come.

The Tennessee Titans selected quarterback from Washington Jake Locker. The intrigue with this pick, he has darn near the same skill set as Vince Young, the player they plan on releasing. He’s athletic and there are concerns with his accuracy, however Locker doesn’t pose any off the field issues and that’s what many are saying why they selected a player so close to one they already have. Time will tell if Locker can produce like Young.

The Jacksonville Jaguars selected quarterback Blaine Gabbert from Missouri. Quality pick, they have the luxury of sitting him behind David Garrard and grooming him over the next season or two. Then depending on the production of Garrard, that learning curve may need to be fast tracked and this is a perfect example of no job is safe in the NFL.

The Minnesota Vikings have been in need of a quarterback for the last few seasons. After the Tavaris Jackson experiment wasn’t going how the envisioned, they then acquired Brett Favre and now they have Christian Ponder quarterback from Florida State. At the 12th pick, they passed on defensive lineman Nick Fairley, offensive lineman Anthony Castanzo. Both of these players could’ve added youth to an area of their team that is aging. Ponder may fit a need, but due to the pieces surrounding him, who knows how long it will stay filed.

The Detroit Lions in my opinion got the steal of the draft selecting Nick Fairley defensive lineman from Auburn. You pair him with Ndomakung Suh and I find it very hard to believe a team will be able to run on them with much success. With Jim Schwartz calling the defensive call, you may see a team that will cause chaos for Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler for years.

The Browns who traded out of the 6th pick down to the 27th pick decided they weren’t done. They then swapped first round picks with the Kansas City Chiefs (the Browns receiving the 21st and the Chiefs receiving 27th pick) and sending their 2011 3rd round pick to the Chiefs as well. And with all that movement, the Browns took Phil Taylor defensive tackle from Baylor. This does fill a need the Browns are desperately weak in, considering there ineptness against the run. However, rumors of injury concerns with his feet gave some teams some hesitation in taking Taylor and he has battled weight issues during college. Nonetheless, a focused Taylor could mean a productive run defense for the Browns.

Cool, calm and quiet the Indianapolis Colts continue to add pieces around Peyton Manning to keep him upright, and this year’s draft is no different. The Colts selected offensive lineman Anthony Castonzo. Value and depth is what was obtained here; this won’t win any awards for flash, but Peyton will be more than appreciative.

The New Orleans Saints needing help at only a few positions selected Cameron Jordan defensive end from The University of California. Growing up under the tutelage of his dad former tight end Steve Jordan knows firsthand what it will take to be successful. With a his strength Jordan won’t be pushed around, and will provide a solid anchor opposite of fellow Saint defensive end Will Smith.

The Baltimore Ravens have had one of the best defensive runs in the history of the NFL. However, as the defense ages, there is the need to have an influx of youth to preserve your veterans. And with their 27th pick the Ravens selected Jimmy Smith, cornerback from Colorado. Though Smith has some character issues, surrounding him with veterans Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs, he should be just fine. As far as talent goes, he’s a top 10 talent; however character issues are what caused him to fall. Time will tell if Smith has seen the error of his ways, cause if he has, on a team like the Ravens he could be the one the torch is passed to.

Here we are again talking about the Saints; they traded back into the 1st round sending the New England Patriots their 2011 2nd round pick and 2012 1st round pick. With that 28th pick the Saints drafted work horse running back Mark Ingram from Alabama. Ingram is as reliable as those hands in the All State commercials. He holds on to the ball, can run in between the tackles and has the burst enough to run away from defenders. Playing on turf should only help his elusiveness.

The Pittsburgh Steelers were picking 31st and it should be no surprise they obtained a quality player here. Always known for their solid drafting skills the Steelers chose defensive end Cameron Heyward from The Ohio State University. Adding that young man to a defense that was already dangerous with James Harrison and company, Heyward should have no trouble fitting in.

The Green Bay Packers at times last year had issues keeping Aaron Rodgers upright, he suffered numerous concussions last year which could’ve easily derailed their Super Bowl run. So them taking Derek Sherrod out of Mississippi State makes all the sense in the world. He’s solid in pass protection which will serve the Packers well considering how often they throw the ball.

Brandon Marshall gets stabbed by his wife, whatever happened to just grabbing a blanket, a pillow and hitting the couch after an argument? I understand fighting, but if we are man and wife can’t we have a heated discussion without the use of weapons? Maybe Brandon Marshall should equip his home with nerf balls, this way the most you’ll have to deal with are a few welts compared to a few stitches. I know this is no joking matter but, there had to be a better way to fight and release your frustration right? Considering this is not the first time they’ve caused physical harm after fighting, at what point do they get some help? All reports say Brandon will recover in little over a month, but that’s only physical. No one knows how he will recoup mentally. Some will speculate this latest melee Marshall was in was due to a lockout by saying he had too much time on his hands. Why can’t we just say this was a spat that all couples get into that just went too far? Why does the situation have to be something more than that? Once the lockout is officially over, the Miami Dolphins will now have the option of cutting ties with Marshall and would only have to pay him $3 million compared to $15.5 million if they choose to keep him. The Dolphins will have to determine whether Marshall is worth the trouble considering they gave up two 2nd round drafts picks (2010 & 2011) to acquire him. Marshall last season had his worst statistically since his rookie year; yet still having 86 catches, racking up 1,000 yards, but only scoring 3 touchdowns. However, the slight drop in production could be attributed to the inconsistent play of his quarter back Chad Henne. The NFL Draft and free agents moves will give us some insight on how the Dolphins will approach the situation. But for now we wait and see what happens. For Brandon Marshalls’ sake and safety, does anyone know where you can get a daybed; I heard those are pretty comfortable.

Buyer? No. Renter? Yes

The Cleveland Indians are 12-4 16 games into the season, and to say that anyone outside of the hardcore fanatic saw this coming, would be crazy. However, the Indians have not done this with smoke and mirrors; they are ranked 3rd in overall runs, 7th in batting average, and 5th in earned run average. Believe it or not, the Indians are actually good… so far. So the question is, are you buying into the Indians yet? Well I’m not quite a buyer, but I’ll rent with the option to own. It’s still early, and too many things that can happen that can affect how their season will go. You don’t know about injuries, how Grady Sizemore will play coming back from his knee injury, slumps and trades. But so far the Indians have made April an exciting time for their fans so we must give them credit for that. Because the last few seasons they’ve started so bad in the first two months of the season it made it hard to believe that the team had a chance in July and August. Currently they are first in their division and have shown no signs of slowing down. The saying goes in baseball judge a team after the first 40 games and you’ll have a big enough sample size to see who they are. So as we await these next 24 games I ask you this, are you buying into the Cleveland Indians yet?

Update April 26, 2011

The Indians over the weekend were swept by the Minnesota Twins, and though they are still first in their division it should be noted they’ve not won a series against a team with a wining record.  Remember this factor in your vote. It is for this reason why right now I’m renting the Indians with the option to buy. They have to show me they can compete with quality teams in the league. I still stand by my 40 games theory, so they have some time, until the Indians beat someone of note I’ll keep my renting options open.

Western Conference

As we enter the playoffs the Los Angeles Lakers come in losing five of their last ten, hobbled with injuries and their back-up point guard is battling the chicken pox. The San Antonio Spurs who are the number one seed in the west are unsure of the production they’ll get with Manu Ginobli as he injured his right elbow in the final regular season game. The Dallas Mavericks will look to shed the image they have of being soft, while the Denver Nuggets strive to prove they can win even without Carmelo Anthony. The Memphis Grizzlies look to show that they are not your everyday eight seed. They match up pretty well against the Spurs along the front court with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, the issue they will face is can Mike Conley and O.J. Mayo slow down Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli. If Ginobli is healthy he’s the x factor for the Spurs, he creates his own shot and is as reckless with his body as any player in the league. However, if Ginobli isn’t healthy I give the Grizzlies a great chance to win this series in seven games… but I’ll lay my money on the Spurs to pull it out in six or seven. The Lakers should have a relatively easy road to the second round as they take on the New Orleans Hornets without their second best player David West. The Lakers have fought boredom and a listless attitude all season, but now they must bring a focus that will be important for them to have to win their third championship in a The Hornets with Chris Paul will cause issues for the Lakers point guards but with not much else on the team I don’t see how the Hornets having enough fire power to score enough with the Lakers. The Mavericks and Portland Trailblazers is an interesting series to watch. The Trailblazers are looking to get out of the first round since the 1999-2000 season. LaMarcus Aldridge has emerged as the scoring leader of this team since Brandon Roy’s injury, the addition of Gerald Wallace has given them another defend alongside Marcus Camby. Now with Brandon Roy coming off the bench, they have a legitimate scoring option with the reserves. The Mavericks in the series must find a way to be more physical than the Trailblazers, Dirk Nowitzki has the ability to score anywhere on the court, but he doesn’t post up often. If the Mavericks can also outrebound the Trailblazers and allow their three guard line up to get out to run and score in transition they should have no problem winning this series. The Mavericks should win this series, but it’ll go seven and I’d be the least surprised if the Trailblazers won either. The Nuggets take on the Oklahoma City Thunder. The difference in this series will be one team has a guy they can go to five times in a row and he can score. The other team doesn’t. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook will give the Nuggets fits and as good as the Nuggets have played they don’t have one particular guy that can carry the team on their back. The Nuggets will make it close but in the end the Thunder will when in either six or seven. In the semi-finals the youthful Thunder will take on the number seeded Spurs. The Spurs will look to expose the Thunders’ youth with the experience of Tim Duncan, Parker and Ginobli. Nevertheless it won’t be enough to get them past a more athletic Thunder squad. With Westbrook and Durant will a one two punch that the Spurs won’t have an answer for. Duncan’s’ fading star will have his hands full guarding Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins. This will be the series where Durant shows why he was the back to back scoring champion. The Mavericks vs. the Lakers is the next match-up in the second round. The Lakers by this round should have a healthy Bynum as well as a healthy Steve Blake who for the last week of the regular season was plagued by chicken pox. Having Blake back will give the Lakers second unit a floor general and another reliable shooter and ball handler. With no strong low post presence the Mavericks won’t have enough to slow down Gasol and Bynum and the perception of softness will continue to follow the Mavericks. In the Western Conference Finals it’ll be a rematch of the last year’s first round match up, Lakers vs. Thunder. This series will go seven, the advantage the Lakers had last year is no longer there. The Thunder  now have Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins to battle Bynum and Gasol down low which means the Lakers cannot rest on their laurels. The Lakers must defend and win the rebounding battle unless this series will end with them going home in May. Their bench must show up this series as well as its one of the few other areas they hold an advantage over the Thunder. Oklahoma City will look to expose Derrick Fisher for the old defender that he is with Russell Westbrook. Fisher can no way chase Westbrook around and this will put even more pressure on Gasol and Bynum in pick and roll situations. However, for as even as this series will look on paper I’ll go with the two time defending champions. This Lakers squad is a veteran group and they still have the best closer in the game Kobe Bryant. It will go seven, until somebody beats the champs, I can’t pick against them.

Breakdown

Round 1 (Winners of series are in bold)

(1) Spurs   4 games to 3    (8) Grizzlies

(4) Thunder 4 games to 2  (5) Nuggets

(3) Mavericks 4 games to 3  (6) Trailblazers

(2) Lakers 4 games to 1  (7) Hornets

Conference Semi-finals

(1) Spurs 3 games to 4 (4) Thunder

(2) Lakers 4 games 2 (3) Mavericks

Conference Finals

(2) Lakers 4 games to 3 (4) Thunder

Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers

Eastern Conference

The Chicago Bulls have been the most consistent team during the regular season, the Miami Heat have been the most talked about and the Boston Celtics have been the most changed. This makes for a most interesting playoff in the Eastern Conference. In the first round the Bulls should have no problem with the Indiana Pacers and barring a miracle the Heat should be able to handle the Philadelphia76ers with relative ease. But the Celtics may have their hands full with a revamped New York Knicks team. The Celtics haven’t yet rebounded from trading Kendrick Perkins, and they can’t seem to stay healthy long enough to generate some new chemistry with the new players they’ve traded for. With the acquisition of Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire the Knicks now have a superstar tandem that will keep them competitive with anyone in the league. Nonetheless, the Celtics experience will prevail, as the Knicks won have enough role players to overcome a veteran laden Celtic team.  The Atlanta Hawks and the Orlando Magic are like an under card match in a boxing event, fun and exciting but nobody expects them to go far. I do expect the Magic to advance to the second round, but how far will they go from there is a mystery. If they make shots and Dwight Howard stays out of foul trouble, the sky is the limit. However, all season they haven’t looked like the team that went to the finals in 2009. The Magic won’t get past the Bulls in the second round due to speedy gonzales on hardwood aka Derrick Rose. Granted the Bulls have no consistent answer against Howard, they at last have some kind of answer. The Magic have absolutely no way to slow down or stop rose and that will be the difference. The Celtics and Heat will fight to death in the conference semis; LeBron will look to avenge his lost from last year while the Celtics will aim to do what we all wish for. That is, knock the Heat off the parade mobile they rode in on during their signing parade. Home court will belong to the Heat and that will be a small factor, the Celtics are not the same team from a year ago, they are missing something. It will be interesting to see if they have enough time to put it together. The Heat have two of the four best players on the same team, but they lack leadership, no one knows who the ‘go to guy’ is, who’s the one guy that when it all looks but over gets you back in the game. No matter how good they’ve looked at times that’s still an issue. And with no one willing to step on someone’s toes, always will be. Also their lack of a point guard and center will be the death of them. They have no one to run their offense. LeBron and Wade don’t listen to Bibby or Chalmers, and for whatever reason LeBron doesn’t want to play point guard. And though they trampled the new look Celtics the last Sunday of the season, I believe the Celtics will win. As always, all season, Chris bosh will be vital to their success and if he doesn’t average 10 rebounds they will lose. He must be the one to do the grunt work every night. And for that I’m picking the Celtics, even as disconnected as they looked. Until the Heat prove they are worthy, I’ll give Boston’s big four the benefit of the doubt. Celtics vs. Bulls will be great. Rose boozer and Noah vs. rondo and the big three. Let’s not forget Rose is guided by Tom Thibodeau the former Celtics defensive guru and for this advantage is why I’m picking the Bulls. The defense the Bulls play won’t allow the Celtics to get into a rhythm and exploit the chemistry issues the Celtics have. Rose will continue his MVP caliber play, while father time will finally catch up to the Celtics.

Breakdown
Round 1 (Winners of series are in bold)
(1) Bulls 4 games to 1  (8) Pacers
(4) Magic 4 games to 2  (5) Hawks
(3) Celtics 4 games to 2  (6) Knicks
(2) Heat 4 games to 1   (7) 76ers

Conference Semi-finals
(1) Bulls 4 games to 2  (4) Magic
(2) Heat   4 games to 3  (3) Celtics

Conference Finals
(1) Bulls 4 games to 3 (3) Celtics

Eastern conference champion Chicago Bulls

10 Chauncey Billups

He’ll never lead the league or his position in any statistical category. But what he will do is make the right play at the right time. He’ll be unafraid to take the big shot. Billups is as consistent as they come with leadership as his best asset.

9 Jason Kidd

Best passer in the league, Kidd has a penchant for putting the ball right where it needs to be. His defense has dropped the last few years, but he still finds a way to finish top 10 in assist per game. Though he is no longer a triple double threat, you still can’t sleep on his court vision.

8 Andre Miller

For the last 10 years he’s been the most under rated player in the league all he does is average 7 assists, 14 points and 46% shootings for his career. Remember his days with Carmelo Anthony in Denver? Carmelo had two of his best scoring seasons with Miller as his point guard. His production after him and Brandon Roy got comfortable. All he does is produce.

7 Steve Nash

Possibly the best shooter on the list, he works the hardest cause he’s not the fastest, but he creates the easiest scoring opportunity for his teammates. He shot 49% and averaged a little over 11 assist per game, but had his lowest point average in the last six years. The Phoenix Suns had a lot of moving parts so that is to be attributed to his drop in production. But Nash still has a few good years left, but none of those will be in the top 5 of this list.

6 Chris Paul

Injuries have gotten the best of Chris Paul but with a bounce back 2010-2011 season very few put teammates in a better position to score than him. He’s lost a step in his first full season from his knee surgery which used to be his best asset. However, Paul still finished top 4 in assist per game. He doesn’t score much, but never has, he puts the ball in the hands of others to finish. Paul after another year removed from the surgery I believe will rise on this list.

5 Deron Williams

Williams is strong, can drive, shoot and pass. He is one of the few point guards that is dangerous in the post position. Give him a supporting cast and he’ll be even more dangerous. Nagging injuries from time to time have hindered him a little, but at his best he’s top 5 in any given year. Basis this ranking on this year alone he ranks here because his production since the trade dropped some. Yes he almost carried the New Jersey Nets to the playoffs, but close only counts in horse shoes. Williams when healthy will regain his reign as one of the best for now he’ll have to settle for top 5.

4 Rajon Rondo

The best floor general in the game, the only thing holding him back is his jump shot. For him to garner the respect of three future hall of famers was no easy task. And for as bad as his jump shot is he still finds a way to get to the basket.

3 Tony Parker

One of the most underrated guards in the league, shoots nearly 50% every year, can drive to the -hole with efficiency. Parker may not be the best shooter, but his mid-range jumper has improved over the years, and he still has one of the best runners in the game.

2 Russell Westbrook

Second fastest guard in the league, and his consistent defense and ability to shoot makes him hard to defend. Westbrook has puts pressure on everyone he plays because you have to respect his driving game. But that leaves you vulnerable to his outside shot. He’s as good a 3 point shooter as anyone in the league and ranks 3rd in steals and 9th in assists.

1 Derrick Rose

The fastest point guard in the league, can get to the rim and finish with the best of him. He can stop on a dime, and is in total control at all times. Also he plays defense, it may not show in the stats, but notice how he plays against the other top point guards, he’s rarely out played.

The Next 5

Stephen Curry

Mike Conley

Raymond Felton

Tyreke Evans

John Wall

To the dismay of many fans around the country the Miami Heat aren’t that bad. The great demise of the Heat has been greatly exaggerated. Did you know they only have 24 losses out of 80 games? Do you realize for all their struggles they will still finish in the top 3 in their conference? Yes, they are the new team that everyone loves to hate. Yes they have two guys who before July 8th were two of the most likeable guys in the league. But none of this factors into how they will play on the court. No matter how you feel about the summer of 2010 people still like LeBron James. They still think he’s funny; people will still buy his shoe, jersey and follow him on twitter. And you can’t hate someone forever. No matter how you feel about the man, that Nike commercial was hilarious. Same goes for Dwayne Wade, you like to like him. For as much as a 6 foot 3 person can he represent the little guy, he plays with a reckless abandon and aggression that people can relate to. But, you can’t hate them forever. This too will pass. Let’s be honest for a minute. The Heat do have problems, however, they do have talent and they will win a lot of games, maybe a championship or two. And winning cures almost everything. When you don’t like someone or something, it becomes easy to continue that feeling when the opposition embraces that hate. LeBron and Dwayne don’t want to be hated; they don’t embrace being the villain. Matter of fact, they hate the fact that you hate them. These 2 great players want nothing more than to be loved and adulated like they have been the last 7 years. And the more they rebel against the hate instead of rolling with it, the harder it will be to dislike them. The Detroit Pistons of the late 1980’s 1990’s loved being the most hated team in America to the point they were called ‘The Bad Boy’s’. The Miami Heat of 2010-2011 doesn’t understand the hate. And for the better part of this NBA season Americas’ hate for them has blinded a lot from seeing how good this team is. Put feelings aside for a second. This team has no consistent point guard or center.  No constant rotation, no above all leader, a young coach with little playoff experience, and they’ve still managed to win 54 games. This team exudes the saying of your never as good as you are at your best or as bad as you are at your worst. Inevitably the Heat will be judged on their performance in May and June. Coincidentally when they heat starts to turn up everyone.

To win or not to win is the question many fans have about the Cleveland Cavs right now. The Cavs currently have the 29th worst record in the league, which would give them the second most ping pong balls in terms of the lottery for the number one pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. Nevertheless, when did losing become the chic thing to do? When did it ever become acceptable for a team, coach, or player not give the most they can to win? The same effort Cleveland fans crush LeBron James for during his performance in the eastern conference semi-finals, is the same effort they’d like to see the current Cavs take. You can’t have it both ways, and why would you want to. For a team that’s already bad enough, you want them to intentionally be worse than they are. Say that out loud, and then think about it. What if we applied this to everyday life? Let’s say you have a co-worker that isn’t the greatest worker and their deficiencies create more work for you. Would you want them to perform worse so that they’ll get fired? Now, understand that if they perform any worse than they are now, it will create even more work for you; hopefully only in the short term. That is, assuming this person gets fired at all. But if they are never let go then you’re stuck with even more work than before. Now does that sound like a gamble your willing to take? Assuming that your answer is no, why would you want a team that is rarely entertaining, struggles with a lack of talent and experience to purposely lose? We went from championship wishes to lottery dreams in the time it took for the ‘decision’ to take place. So let’s not compound our despair with wanting our team to lose, because they don’t need any help doing that.

%d bloggers like this: