Sunday, October 28, 2012

Harden Trade

Last night the NBA world was rocked with news that James Harden had been traded from the OKC Thunder to the Houston Rockets. From OKC's perspective, it was a trade that had to be made. While Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins have taken less to remain with the Thunder, James harden was unwilling to make the same sacrifices that go into the OKC Thunder's way. The individual sacrifices for the good of the team. Harden was set to become an unrestricted free agent and OKC General Manager Sam Presti decided to avoid the season-long drama by trading Harden now. OKC is a winner in the trade because they unloaded Harden for an expiring contract (Kevin Martin) that can duplicate Harden's off-the-bench scoring, a potential superstar in the making (Jeremy Lamb) and multiple 1st round draft picks. The downside of this trade is that KD, Westbrook and Harden formed one the league's most explosive offensive trios. OKC made a trade to make themselves better for the future but clearly disrupted their chemistry and will miss Harden pg skills. They also will miss his defense, which is lockdown compared to how Kevin Martin plays. I think this trade takes OKC out of the title conversation at least for this year. Houston won because they had been stockpiling assets for the past few years in an attempt to land a star player via trade and after numerous strikeouts() they finally got their man, a cornerstone player to build around. Harden lost because he won't be playing for a contender this season. Harden won in this deal because he stands to make up to $25 Million more and he gets the chance to become the number option on a team. He had to realize that no matter what, he would always be third fiddle to Durant and Westbrook.

Friday, October 19, 2012

NBA Standings

Barring major injuries, here are my picks for the playoff seedings

Eastern Conference

1.) Miami Heat      60-22
2.) Boston Celtics  55-27
3.) Chicago Bulls  54-28
4.) Indiana Pacers  52-30
5.) New York Knicks 50-32
6.) Brooklyn Nets  48-34
7.) Philadelphia 76ers 47-35
8.) Milwaukee Bucks 44-38

First teams out: Cleveland Cavaliers 42-40, Washington Wizards 41-41

Western Conference
1.) La Lakers 61-21
2.) OKC Thunder 58-24
3.) San Antonio Spurs 55-27
4.) La Clippers 55-27
5.) Memphis Grizzlies 53-29
6.) Denver Nuggets 52-30
7.) Dallas Mavericks 50-32
8.) Golden State Warriors 48-34

First teams out: Minnesota Timberwolves 46-36, Houston Rockets 45-37

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


     Preseason games have started and the beginning of a very highly-anticipated season is fast approaching. With coast to coast storylines, a good crop of rookies and a host of players ready to take the next step to superstardom, this season should be very fascinating. I'll start with a couple of questions I have:

-What will the reigning Rookie of the Year, Kyrie Irving do for an encore? All-Star selection?

-Will the Lakers, Heat, and Thunder be as dominant as everyone thinks?

-When will Derrick Rose make his return and what state will the Bulls be in by then?

-Will the Brooklyn Nets be a top-four team? Or will they just be glad to get into the playoffs? Im expecting big things from Brooklyn, health granted.

-Will Linsanity live up to the hype in its new stop?

-What will Brandon Roy look like after his brief retirement?

-What about Anthony Davis and the rest of the rookies?

Now I will give my awards:

MVP- Kevin Durant/OKC Thunder. After finishing second last year, Durant will come out fueled by OKC's loss in the Finals and play like a man possessed on his way to his frist MVP trophy. Runner up: LeBron James, Kobe Bryant

Defensive Player of the Year: Serge Ibaka/OKC Thunder.

Sixth Man of the Year: Jason Terry/Boston Celtics. Terry will take his title back as he will benefit from the play diagraming wizardry of Doc Rivers.

Most Improved: Paul George/Indiana Pacers. I expect George to have a breakout year and become the unquestioned best player and go to guy on the team.

Rookie of the Year: Anthony Davis/New Orleans Hornets. As I type this I'm still trying to figure out if this is the right choice. A huge part of me wants to go with Damian Lillard of the Blazers, as he will man the point and have the ball in his hands much more than Davis. I'll just bank on Davis' versatility and game-changing defensive ability to help him edge Lillard in a close race.

All-NBA First Team: Deron Williams, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard

All-NBA Second Team: Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Love, Andrew Bynum

All-Rookie First Team: Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal,  Jeremy Lamb, Harrison Barnes, Anthony Davis

In conclusion, these are the players I am anxious to see continue their development:  Klay Thompson, Greg Monroe, Marshon Brooks, Eric Gordon, Jeremy Lin, Kyrie Iriving and Paul George.