NBA Star/Goat of the Week – Week 17

NBA Star of the Week – Lebron James

Lebron

At 23 years old, Lebron is already unstoppable

Lebron James – Lebron averaged a triple double this past week as the Cavs won 3 of 4. For the week, he averaged 28.8 pts, 12.3 reb, 10.5 ast and 2.0 stl while shooting 51% from the field. If Lebron went to 4 years of college, he would be a rookie this year… WOW!!

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NBA Goat of the Week – John Salmons

John Salmons

Is John Salmons the NBA version of Rick Ankiel?

John Salmons – What the hell happened to this guy? In a 21-game stretch in December and early January, Salmons scored in double figures every game averaging 19 pts, 5 reb, 4 ast and 1.5 stl. In only one game, he had 31 pts, 11 reb, 6 ast and 6 stl. But the last two weeks have been like nothing I have ever seen from any NBA player. I understand that Ron Artest and Kevin Martin are back and taking away some of his minutes and his shots, but that doesn’t begin to explain the monumental drop in his numbers.

In 6 games since Feb 16, Salmons has played 119 minutes and scored a total of 11 points! And he is doing nothing else either. Salmons’ total numbers for this stretch are:

119 minutes, 4-20 FG, 2-4 FT, 11 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals, 0 blocks

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NBA Players Most Valuable to Their Team

Which players in the NBA are the difference makers for their teams?

This is a tough question to answer, but luckily for us the fantastic site 82Games does most of this work for us!

82Games calculates adjusted plus/minus (called Roland Rating) which they explain:

While some are content to use conventional stats like points, rebounds, and field goal percentage in assessing player contributions, a better gauge of a player’s worth to a specific team might come from looking at the difference in how the team plays with the player on court versus performance with the player off court. This rating isn’t an absolute measure of a player’s ability, but it does represent how successful a player is with a given team. In general the player with the best Roland Rating on a team is the difference maker (exclude the guys who play a statistically insignificant number of minutes). When the top guy is on the floor the team performs at a much higher level.

So basically, this number represents how much of a difference each player makes for their respective team when they are on the court. The higher the number, the more positive a difference that player makes. As of 1/22, 38 players in the NBA have a Roland Rating of +5.0 or better. (Note: includes only players who have played at least 50% of team’s minutes)

1. Lebron James – 18.3
2. Kevin Garnett – 16.2
3. Chauncey Billups – 14.1
4. Chris Paul – 13.9
5. Kobe Bryant – 13.6
6. Dirk Nowitzki – 13.3
7. Manu Ginobili – 12.8
8. Steve Nash – 12.7
9 Antawn Jamison – 12.3
10. Dwight Howard – 12.2
11. Chris Bosh – 11.5
12. Paul Pierce – 10.8
12. Baron Davis – 10.8
14. Andrew Bynum – 10.7
15. Allen Iverson – 10.1
16. Caron Butler – 9.9
17. David West – 8.8
18. Shawn Marion – 8.1
18. Josh Howard 8.1
20. Tim Duncan – 7.7
21. Dwyane Wade – 7.6
22. Pau Gasol – 7.2
23. Marcus Camby – 7.0
23. Corey Maggette – 7.0
25. Yao Ming – 6.8
26. Tony Parker – 6.7
27. Amare Stoudamire – 5.9
27. Mike Dunleavy – 5.9
29. Michael Redd – 5.8
30. Vince Carter – 5.7
30. Carlos Boozer – 5.7
32. Rashard Lewis – 5.6
33. Grant Hill – 5.2
34. Ray Allen – 5.1
35. Josh Smith – 5.0
35. Devin Harris – 5.0
35. Tayshaun Prince – 5.0
35. Brendan Haywood – 5.0

NBA Star/Goat of the Week – Week 12

NBA Star of the Week – Lebron James

Lebron James

Another huge week for Lebron as the Cavs have won 7 of their last 8

Lebron James – King James becomes the first two-time winner of the Star of the Week award as he led the Cavs to road victories at Memphis and San Antonio. For the week, Lebron averaged 39 points, 8.5 rebounds, 8 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks while shooting 52% from the field.

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NBA Goat of the Week – Joakim Noah

Joakim Noah

Joakim Noah is not smiling these days.

Joakim Noah – The kid just doesn’t get it. Just shut your mouth and do as you are told. Less than a week after being suspended for mouthing off to an assistant, then having his teammates unanimously vote to double his suspension, Noah is already acting up. The latest incident was a bust up in the locker room with Ben Wallace after the Bull’s 14 point loss at Orlando on Tuesday. Plus, he is terrible… 4.4 points and 3.8 rebounds so far this season.

NBA: High Schoolers vs International Players

In a follow up to “Which College Basketball Conference has the Best Players?“, I figure I’d take a look at NBA players who bypassed college and went straight to the NBA as well as International players.  With the new NBA rules in place, these will be the last High School players to jump straight to the NBA.

What no one remembers about the mass exodus of HS players to the NBA is that it was all started by the fact that Kevin Garnett could not pass his boards and would have to sit out a year before he was eligible to play in college ball.  He was all set to go to Michigan, didn’t pass his ACT or SAT, entered the NBA draft and got picked 4th overall.  This opened the floodgates for everyone from stars like Kobe Bryant to busts like Korleone Young to guys who never even sniffed an NBA team.

Anyway, lets take a look at the lineups.  As good as the ACC team would be, either of these teams should be able to handle them.

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Lebron James in High SchoolHigh School – This team is loaded and pretty much unbeatable – well, at least an unbeatable on paper as a USA team.  How good defensively would a lineup of Howard, Garnett, Josh Smith, Kobe and McGrady be?!

C – Dwight Howard (Amare Stoudamire)
F – Kevin Garnett (Al Jefferson)
F – Tracy McGrady (Josh Smith)
G – Kobe Bryant (Rashard Lewis)
G – Lebron James (Stephen Jackson)

Other notable players – Jermaine O’Neal, Andrew Bynum, Tyson Chandler, Eddy Curry, Monta Ellis, Kendrick Perkins, Andray Blatche, Al Harrington, JR Smith, Travis Outlaw

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International Players – Definitely the deepest of all the teams we’ve looked at as you could literally make up 7-8 rosters of quality NBA players.  Note that I disqualified players who went to college in the US from this team because they already would have been eligible for the conference teams.  So there’s no Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, Luol Deng, Samuel Dalembert, etc.

Dirk Nowitzki playing for the German national teamC – Yao Ming (Mehmet Okur)
F – Dirk Nowitzki (Andrei Kirilenko)
F – Pau Gasol (Hedo Turkoglu)
G – Manu Ginobili (Peja Stojakovic)
G – Tony Parker (Leandro Barbosa)

Other notable players – Andres Nocioni, Anderson Varejao Nene, Boris Diaw, Juan Carlos Navarro, Luis Scola, Mickael Pietrus, Andrea Bargnani, Andris Biendrins, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Sarunas Jasikevicius, Carlos Arroyo, DeSagana Diop, Marko Jaric, Nenad Krstic, Darko Milicic, Vladimir Radmanovic, Bostjan Nachbar, Beno Udrih, Jorge Garbajosa, Jose Calderon

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While we’re on the topic of High School players, take a look at some of the players in the 1995 McDonald’s HS All-American game.  If there ever been a more talented group of HS basketball players together in one place, I would love to hear about it.

Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Vince Carter, Antawn Jamison, Chauncy Billups, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Stephon Marbury, Ron Mercer, Robert Traylor, Wayne Turner, Shammgod Wells and more!

Merry Christmas… NBA Style!

Merry Christmas... NBA Style!

Its Christmas and that means the first big national TV games for the NBA this season. This year… its Heat vs Cavs followed by Lakers vs Suns. The Heat-Cavs matchup features two of the NBA’s best and most marketable players with D-Wade facing off against Lebron. Yet, that game must have looked a lot better on paper a few months ago than it does now with these two teams combining for 20 wins and 35 losses so far this season. If the playoffs started today, neither team would be in. The Cavs probably will be when its all said and done… but the Heat, probably not. Knowing what we know now, Celtics vs Pistons should have been the Eastern Conference showcase game for Xmas.

Lakers-Suns, on the other hand, should be excellent. Any game involving the Suns is potentially entertaining and the fact that the Lakers have been playing great recently sets this up as “must-see TV” for NBA fans. Also, you can’t forget about the fact that these teams have quite a history, which includes first round playoff series wins for the Suns each of the past two years. The amazing seven game series from 2006 was probably the most entertaining and competitive first round playoff series I have ever seen.

NBA ECards for Christmas

With the Portland Trailblazers absolutely on fire right now (10 wins in a row and counting), give that Blazers fan in your life the gift that keeps on giving… a Blazers e-Greeting Card. What embodies the Christmas spirit more than sending your loved ones a picture of everyone’s favorite wife-beating, nanny-raping registered sex offender Ruben Patterson in a Santa hat?!

Ruben Patterson Says Merry XMasSebastain Telfair Blazers ecard

Do I send out Patterson or Telfair? Thats a win-win situation!

If for some reason you are not a fan of the 2004-2005 Portland Jail-Gangstas, you could always send a Suns e-card. They offer coach Mike D’Antoni and a giddy Shawn Marion in addition to the two exceptional cards displayed below.

Suns Gorilla e-greeting Amare Stoudamire Chistmas Card

The Suns Gorilla has a cool signature, especially considering his hairy gorilla fingers.

NBA Star/Goat of the Week – Week 4

NBA Star of the Week

Lebron James
Lebron was a one man wrecking crew over the past week.

Lebron James – Lebron led the Cavs to a 3-1 record this week while scoring 30+ in all 4 games including back-to-back triple doubles over the weekend. For the week, James’ absurd numbers look like this: 36.5 pts, 9.5 reb, 8.5 ast, 2.8 stl, 2.5 3-pts and 1.3 blk while shooting 53% from the field. Wow!

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NBA Goats of the Week

Kirk Heinrich and Tyrus Thomas of the Chicago Bulls
Chicago might have another top 5 pick if they keep this up all season.

Chicago Bulls – The Bulls dropped another 3 games this week, with blowouts at Denver and Toronto sandwiched around a loss to the embarrassing Knicks. Everyone is waiting for the Bulls to pull it together, but they actually seem to be getting worse. Is it too late to trade for Kobe?