Monday, December 29, 2008

My Christmas Gift to Myself( Warning this is a sports column)

I got myself an NBA Ticket broadband membership when I got back from Australia and have been enjoying 3-4 NBA games a day since then. I have learned a few things that I want to blog about.

Don't worry i will re-start the Sports Blog this year it'll be in my NY resolutions post I put up in a few days.

But for today dear reader, I present the 5 things I've learned since getting NBA TV Broadband.

1. Blackouts make no sense. I had the Lakers Hornets Game blocked out- Understandable as it's on TNT. But sometimes random Kings games get blacked out or The Thunder at the Wizards. I don't get it, but I don't like it NBA TV should have everything including the games on other networks. Lame.

2. Lebron actually looks like he cares on defense. Not only is he playing hard, he's frighteningly good for how little coaching he's probably had.

I was talking to my Friend Ron the other day and I had a theory about guys like Lebron and Kobe and to a lesser degree Garnett. Because they became famous so young, they go crazy like child stars. They never have solid careers. Kobe had the sidekick thing and being evil, Mcgrady had the whole never winning a first round series thing(ongoing), Garnett was afraid of the big moment(somewhat ongoing). Much akin to the pregnancies, bad marriages, bad albums or movies and eventually turning to Skinemax of child stars. But that's not my theory it just makes sense. My theory is the reason why they go crazy is because they get everything they want. Lebron James probably hasn't had anyone say no to him about anything since he was like 13... So you then want more and more and you never get satisfaction(like Mick Jagger sang about) and you eventually go nuts

I really hope Lebron doesn't go nuts, because watching him take over games DEFENSIVELY is insane. Last night I watched him force the ball away from Dwayne Wade and into 3 straight turnovers with the Cavs down 6 and 5 or so minutes to go. He smothered Wade. The first possesion he switched onto Wade, Wade backed up and hit a jumper. Then 3 straight turnovers keyed by lebron erasing Dwayne from the court. It was suffocating. I remember last year he switched onto Kobe and kept Kobe from beating them. But this year he's taking the best scorer on the other team and making them disappear in the fourth. They can't beat him off the dribble, he's too big and strong to not make it through a pick, scary.

And then on the other side of the court he's just as explosive. Last 5 minutes of a game he creates points EVERY time down court. He killed the Heat last night with a layup, an assist to West in the corner for a 3, and two free throws. This was while he guarded Wade at the other end.

It's crazy to nitpick anything in Lebron's game when he's already so great at age 24. But... For him to take reach his potential(The unquestioned greatest basketball player of all time),he needs to stop taking so many threes and get a post up game. He's done it defensively, he's already there, not the best defender in the league, but a top 3 Forward who understands how to play good defense. He'll only get better with coaching. For a little while, I saw Lebron playing at the Power Forward spot and posting up, something that would make him unguardable. If he just adds a drop step or spin move and a fadeaway jumper, it's over for the league. If he develops a variety of post moves like MJ had or Kevin Mchale, or Olajuwon, he scores 50 a game easily. End of rant about Lebron it's just cool to see him care about basketball.

3. The Rockets are never going to be healthy. EVER. They're just built of glass. Plus I think Tmac has officially reached the Jermaine O'Neal stage of his career. All those guys from the 1996-98 draft class are starting to show signs of slowing down. Even Kobe. He couldn't really take over at will against either The Celtics or Warriors. Even Stu the decidely homer announcer noticed Kobe's noticable lack of arch on his shot after a quick start against the Warriors.

4. The Suns Can't beat the Spurs. They can't do it. This time they lose at the buzzer by leaving the best three point shooter in the league open to double Tony Parker. Last year in the playoffs Duncan makes a 3. The year before that Nash splits open his nose in one game and Amare gets suspended for getting off the bench in another... Everytime there's a chance for Phoenix to win, the Spurs crush their spirit. At this point the mental and physical tolls have mounted for The Suns and I can confidently predict the Nash led Suns will not ever beat The Spurs in a playoff series.


5. The Hornets aren't that good. I liked the Hornets a lot starting out this year. It felt like James Posey was the missing piece. But this team can't really stop anybody, and they have trouble scoring against elite defenses that contain Chris Paul's penetration like the Lakers did. I think They need to change something in NO. I'm not sure what, but it sure looks like they need a rougher rugged player. Someone like a Carlos Boozer. I don't think anyone like that is really on the market though. If The Suns decide to blow things up in the next few years, I'd kill to see Amare with CP3.

I also think that so far the 5 best players in the league are:

1. Lebron James. Hands down the best, right now. His physicality is unmatched by anyone other than a young Shaq. He's a beast at both ends of the court, and steps up huge when it matters most. He's officially seized the crown from Kobe in his 6th season.

2. Kobe Bryant. I always try to be brutually honest about players and until late last year Kobe was the best player in the league. Even though I hated him. I'm actually sad to see the less dominant Kobe. The Kobe who misses shots and I'm not surprised. The guy who doesn't get on those NBA jam like rolls. He's way less fun to watch and you're still never gonna convince me he's a good guy. No matter how many low top sneakers he makes.


3. Dwayne Wade. I'm giving Kobe the respect vote at # 2 because I know he is coasting somewhat this year. Though he looked unable to take over two very close games. The only time Wade can't take over a game is when Lebron's on him. Wade is the only player I've ever seen who looks Jordanesque. The slice and dice moves into the lane, the will to keep driving, getting up and knocking down free throws in close games, the competitiveness. This year his defense is off the charts as he's was averaging close to 3 blocks a game for awhile. He's spectacular. Just not able to match Lebron physically. I'd kill for a close Heat/Lakers game in the 4th quarter.


4. Chris Paul. I think he needs to be able to take over more consistently. He's a little more Magic Johnson than Isiah Thomas in crunchtime and I'd like to see him become an end of game killer. He's super fun to watch though. A little bit of a defensive liability though even though he gets a ton of steals. Doesn't scare you when he has the ball the way Lebron, Kobe and Wade do. Not even as much as this next guy...

5. Brandon Roy. He's spectacular. Over the first 30 games of the season he's scored 52, hit back to back game winners against Houston, and averaged 36.7 for a week for a 19-10 Portland team. Portland is shaping up to be a superteam. If Greg Oden can get to 70% of what people want him to be in a few years that team will be stocked. It's weird he's the 5th best player in the league but Paul Pierce started out of the gate way too slowly this year.

Allright next time it'll be in the sports blog...

S

4 comments:

  1. Sup Sinn. Love the comments here, but remember, KB is dialing back big time this year.

    You might see him go off for 40-50 if the Lakers need that, but the point is, they shouldn't need him to do that. In fact, if KB takes shots on consecutive trips up the floor, that means the Lakers are getting away from the triangle offense. Why? Cuz he's double and triple teamed all the time. Why would he, out of 5 guys, have the best look if he's doubled?

    LeBron is totally sick, but his ballhandling abilities are nothing compared to KB. Invariably, his dominance will get tiring after a while, and he'll want better players around him (we saw that last season), so LBJ's team success now is more important than his own success.

    I can't really imagine what facet of the game you can look at KB and say, yea, he needs work, but I will submit that LBJ was a built like a MAN when he was 18, and KB looked like Olive Oil when he first came into the league.

    Remember when AI was tearing shit up and getting scoring titles and MVPs? Where is he now. Exactly. Its about team ball, and that's why Kobe's stats are down accross the board (check his minutes), and his team just beat the Celtics.

    Later,
    Mike

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  2. Hey Sinn, ypu talk about guys who "became famous so young, they go crazy like child stars. They never have solid careers." Then you reference LeBron, Kobe, and Garnett, who are 3 of the 10 best players in the league, and McGrady, who would be if not for being consistently injured. That makes no sense.

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  3. you made your case for the top 4, but i gotta strongly disagree with your Brandoy Roy kid because i can't see how someone who has never played in the playoffs and taken a big shot be regarded as one of the best. How can you put him above other shooting guards like paul pierce, manu ginobli, or even rip hamilton... all guys who have taken and made big shots in championship games

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  4. Anonymous7:00 PM

    How did Tim Duncan or Amare get left out...for B Roy? He's good, but those two are great.

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