NBA Awards (*so far)

Here is a look at my top ten candidates for NBA awards as of today (March 16):

Most Valuable Player:

Kobe

1. Kobe Bryant
2. Lebron James
3. Kevin Garnett
4. Chris Paul
5. Tracy McGrady
6. Dwight Howard
7. Tim Duncan
8. Steve Nash
9. Dirk Nowitzki
10. Chauncey Billups

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Rookie of the Year:

Kevin Durant

1. Kevin Durant
2. Luis Scola
3. Al Horford
4. Jamario Moon
5. Carl Landry
6. Al Thornton
7. Thaddeus Young
8. Juan Carlos Navarro
9. Joakim Noah
10. Mike Conley

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Most Improved Player:

Andrew Bynum

1. Andrew Bynum
2. Rajon Rondo
3. Rudy Gay
4. Travis Outlaw
5. Jose Calderon
6. Hedo Turkoglu
7. Ronnie Brewer
8. John Salmons
9. Jordan Farmar
10. Kendrick Perkins

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Coach of the Year

Rick Adelman

1. Rick Adelman
2. Byron Scott
3. Doc Rivers
4. Maurice Cheeks
5. Phil Jackson
6. Don Nelson
7. Jerry Sloan
8. Flip Saunders
9. Nate McMillan
10. Eddie Jordan

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NBA Power Rankings – Week 19

NBA Power Rankings – Week 19

celtics-logo.jpg

RankTeam(Record)+/- Pt DifferentialPrevious Ranking

1 – Boston Celtics (49-12) +10.3 last week rank: 2
Week results: 3-0

2 – LA Lakers (44-19) +7.5 last week rank: 3
Week results: 2-1

3 – San Antonio Spurs (43-19) +5.0 last week rank: 1
Week results: 2-2

4 – Houston Rockets (42-20) +5.0 last week rank: 5
Week results: 3-0

5 – Detroit Pistons (46-17) +7.6 last week rank: 4
Week results: 3-1

6 – Utah Jazz (42-22) +6.3 last week rank: 7
Week results: 4-0

7 – New Orleans Hornets (42-20) +5.0 last week rank: 9
Week results: 3-1

8 – Golden State Warriors (39-23) +3.2 last week rank: 8
Week results: 3-1

9 – Dallas Mavericks (40-23) +3.8 last week rank: 6
Week results: 2-2

10 – Phoenix Suns (41-22) +4.2 last week rank: 12
Week results: 2-2

11 – Denver Nuggets (37-25) +2.5 last week rank: 13
Week results: 2-2

12 – Cleveland Cavaliers (36-27) –0.4 last week rank: 10
Week results: 2-1

13 – Orlando Magic (40-24) +4.3 last week rank: 11
Week results: 2-1

14 – Philadelphia 76ers (30-33) +0.9 last week rank: 14
Week results: 3-0

15 – Portland Trailblazers (33-30) –0.7 last week rank: 16
Week results: 2-1

16 – Toronto Raptors (34-28) +4.0 last week rank: 15
Week results: 2-2

17 – Washington Wizards (30-32) –0.4 last week rank: 17
Week results: 1-2

18 – Sacramento Kings (28-35) –2.4 last week rank: 18
Week results: 1-3

19 – Charlotte Bobcats (24-39) –4.6 last week rank: 24
Week results: 4-0

20 – Chicago Bulls (25-38) –2.7 last week rank: 22
Week results: 2-2

21 – Atlanta Hawks (26-36) –2.8 last week rank: 20
Week results: 1-3

22 – New Jersey Nets (26-37) –5.2 last week rank: 19
Week results: 0-4

23 – Indiana Pacers (24-39) –2.5 last week rank: 21
Week results: 0-3

24 – Milwaukee Bucks (23-40) –6.5 last week rank: 23
Week results: 1-2

25 – LA Clippers (20-41) –5.8 last week rank: 25
Week results: 1-3

26 – Minnesota Timberwolves (14-48) –7.4 last week rank: 29
Week results: 2-2

27 – New York Knicks (18-45) –6.3 last week rank: 26
Week results: 0-4

28 – Seattle Supersonics (16-47) –7.7 last week rank: 27
Week results: 0-4

29 – Memphis Grizzlies (14-45) –6.5 last week rank: 30
Week results: 1-2

30 – Miami Heat (11-50) –7.8 last week rank: 28
Week results: 0-4

Ten Things I’m Sick of…

Charles Barkley and Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade finally got in Chuck’s “Fave 5″… Yesssss!!

  1. David Lee – I know he’s white. I know he plays in New York. I know everyone else on the Knicks sucks. But enough already Knick fans, he’s not the next “Great White Hope”. He’s not untradeable. He’s just flat out not that good. So just stop telling me how great David Lee is. He’s a decent role player, nothing more. I’m sorry that he is the only bright spot in New York (actually, I’m not).
  2. Hubie Brown – Hubie jumped the shark years ago when he traded his perm-fro for the Caesar dew. Nowadays, I can barely watch a game that Hubie is broadcasting. Even worse than his talking in different persons and tenses is his 100% agreement with the referees on every call. Maybe I’m just used to Tommy Heinsohn, but don’t insult my intelligence by defending clearly awful calls with bullshit explanations and then telling me it was an “easy call”. Why is Hubie Brown still around… where is Bill Walton these days? At least give me Tom Tolbert.
  3. Dwyane Wade getting in Charles Barkley’s “Fave 5” – Enough already! Its not even a bad advertising campaign, but stop beating me over the head with this. I can’t even get T-Mobile service in my area and I live right outside Boston. D-Wade should just concentrate on helping the Heat reach the 15 win mark.
  4. Lebron talking about being a Global Icon – Dude, just play basketball. Why don’t you win a championship first, then worry about being the first billionaire athlete. I don’t need to see you hosting the ESPYs (actually I didn’t) or talking to Jay-Z during games. Just play basketball, appear in basketball commercials and maybe host SNL if you really feel the need to force your non-basketball life on the public.
  5. Carmelo Anthony not playing defense – ‘Melo just makes no effort at all on defense and if there is a worse defensive player in the league than Carmelo, I haven’t seen him. The Nuggets could be so good… but not until Anthony either starts giving much more effort or learns how to defend.
  6. Jose Calderon – Sure, he has low turnovers and he did an unexpectedly great job filling in for TJ Ford, but Calderon is not an MVP candidate. I actually saw seemingly legitimate sources put Calderon on the All-Star team over Paul Pierce! His adjusted +/- is +0.3. Calderon is not a difference maker.
  7. PER (Player Efficiency Rating) – With all apologies to John Hollinger, this is just a garbage statistic that means very little. Current players in the top 50 include: Carl Landry, Leon Powe and Amir Johnson. Adjusted plus/minus is a much better indicator of player performance. For those truly interested in basketball stats, steer clear of PER and check out the stats on these sites: 82Games and BasketballValue.
  8. Joakim Noah – I just hate you, Joakim. Please go away.
  9. Manu Ginobili flopping – Ginobili is having a outstanding year, playing at a near-MVP level. But the non-stop flopping and flailing makes it very difficult to like this guy. He must have grown up watching the diving Argentina national futbol team (aka the Argencheaters), but this is the US and fans here don’t appreciate it.
  10. Terrible teams on nationally televised games – The NBA has an inflexible schedule they make before the season that they won’t change no matter what. For this reason, we have been subjected to the Miami Heat over and over again this season. Plus, we have six more national Heat games to go… they’re on pace to be the first NBA team ever to have a greater number of games on national TV than total wins for the season. On the plus side, the country gets to watch the 24-36 Bulls play three times over the next four nights. Sweet!

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

NBA Power Rankings – Week 17

NBA Power Rankings – Week 17

Los Angeles Lakers

RankTeam(Record)+/- Pt DifferentialPrevious Ranking

1 – LA Lakers (39-17) +7.1 last week rank: 4
Week results: 4-0

2 – San Antonio Spurs (37-17) +5.1 last week rank: 7
Week results: 3-0

3 – Boston Celtics (42-12) +9.5 last week rank: 1
Week results: 1-3

4 – Houston Rockets (36-20) +3.8 last week rank: 8
Week results: 4-0

5 – Detroit Pistons (41-15) +8.1 last week rank: 2
Week results: 2-2

6 – Utah Jazz (36-20) +5.8 last week rank: 3
Week results: 2-1

7 – New Orleans Hornets (37-17) +5.1 last week rank: 5
Week results: 1-2

8 – Dallas Mavericks (37-19) +4.1 last week rank: 10
Week results: 2-1

9 – Cleveland Cavaliers (32-24) –0.8 last week rank: 12
Week results: 3-1

10 – Golden State Warriors (33-22) +2.0 last week rank: 9
Week results: 1-2

11 – Phoenix Suns (38-18) +5.0 last week rank: 6
Week results: 1-2

13 – Orlando Magic (36-22) +3.7 last week rank: 13
Week results: 3-1

12 – Denver Nuggets (33-22) +2.3 last week rank: 11
Week results: 1-2

14 – Toronto Raptors (30-24) +4.3 last week rank: 14
Week results: 2-1

15 – Sacramento Kings (26-29) –1.8 last week rank: 18
Week results: 3-1

16 – Philadelphia 76ers (25-32) –0.4 last week rank: 17
Week results: 2-2

17 – Portland Trailblazers (29-27) –0.7 last week rank: 16
Week results: 1-3

18 – New Jersey Nets (25-31) –4.9 last week rank: 19
Week results: 2-1

19 – Washington Wizards (26-29) +0.1 last week rank: 15
Week results: 1-2

20 – Chicago Bulls (22-33) –2.8 last week rank: 21
Week results: 1-2

21 – Atlanta Hawks (22-31) –2.3 last week rank: 20
Week results: 1-3

22 – Indiana Pacers (22-34) –2.6 last week rank: 22
Week results: 1-2

23 – Milwaukee Bucks (21-35) –6.5 last week rank: 23
Week results: 2-1

24 – LA Clippers (19-34) –4.3 last week rank: 24
Week results: 2-1

25 – Charlotte Bobcats (19-34) –5.6 last week rank: 25
Week results: 1-1

26 – Seattle Supersonics (15-40) –6.8 last week rank: 26
Week results: 2-2

27 – New York Knicks (17-39) –6.3 last week rank: 28
Week results: 2-2

28 – Minnesota Timberwolves (11-43) –7.4 last week rank: 29
Week results: 1-2

29 – Memphis Grizzlies (14-42) –5.5 last week rank: 27
Week results: 0-4

30 – Miami Heat (9-44) –7.8 last week rank: 30
Week results: 0-2

The Demise of the Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns

Following the Suns was a fun ride while it lasted

The 2005-2006 Phoenix Suns might have been my favorite NBA team of all time. This was actually the first year that I ordered the NBA League Pass. I had this Suns team on my radar as one of teams to watch, but less than 2 weeks into the season it was clear to me that not only were the Suns a team to watch, but all Suns games were “can’t miss TV”.

This Suns team might have won the championship, but they played outstanding basketball and were by far the most entertaining team in the league. Here was that lineup:

C – Boris Diaw
F – Shawn Marion
F – Tim Thomas
G – Raja Bell
G – Steve Nash

Bench – Leandro Barbosa, Eddie House, James Jones, Kurt Thomas

Could you find a more unselfish group than that? I know that Marion and Tim Thomas might not be the most unselfish human beings on the planet, but on the court these guys were both excellent team players. Nash was the engine that made everyone go; Marion his perfect running mate; Bell added toughness and defense; Thomas hit nearly every big 3; Diaw flourished maybe more than anyone in this style; Barbosa broke out as a borderline All-Star caliber player; and House came off the bench at about 200 miles per hour. The whole team was just a joy to watch offensively.

Last year, they lost Tim Thomas and Eddie House but got Amare Stoudamire back from injury. They still somewhat resembled the run and gun Suns from the previous year, but the unselfishness was gone. A lot of the ball movement had disappeared on offense, thanks to the black hole known as Stoudamire.

Turn the page to this year and the Suns add Grant Hill while keeping most of the core from last year in tact. Now Hill is a great team guy and fit this system perfectly. Everything this season looked great as the Suns had the second best record in the West. The Spurs are struggling with Duncan, Bowen and Horry a year older and the Mavs not looking as good as they had in the past.

And what do the Suns do? Trade their second most important player for a fat, old, washed up Shaq! I still can’t get over this trade. How could the Suns have pulled the trigger on this? Now, not only do they have ballhog Amare clogging up the middle, but they’re going to have fat Shaq camped out there as well?! Forget about running now whenever Shaq is in the lineup. And you can also forget about getting anywhere near the amount of open shots the 2005-2006 team got since they won’t be able to spacing the floor or work the ball around on offense.

You thought Diaw was useless with Stoudamire on the team? Now with Shaq in the mix, he’ll have even less value. As far as Barbosa goes, its going to be harder for him to run or drive (the two things he does best) and he’ll have less open looks now. And if you thought Shaq is going to help their rebounding… Marion is a better rebounder (from the SF position) than either Shaq or Amare. Marion was also an excellent defender and the Suns most versatile defender. Shaq might be the least versatile defender in the league.

Maybe I am wrong and the Suns will make me look like an idiot by winning it all this year, riding a re-invigorated Shaq all the way through the June. But I probably won’t be cheering them on… at least not like I have the past two years. I still love Steve Nash, Raja Bell, Boris Diaw, Leandro Barbosa and maybe even Grant Hill. But I just can’t get into this team and don’t believe in what they are doing.

I also find Amare Stoudamire to be one of the most unlikable guys in the league. He clearly seems like a great player, but how much better does he really make the Suns? Does he make anyone around him better? Or does he do just the opposite? And Shaq is just a disaster… he can’t run, he can’t shoot free throws, he can’t defend, and he can’t do anything outside of the paint. He is the anti-Marion. Well, Marion absolutely flourished in this system and I just can’t fathom why the Suns would trade him away for so little. As Jim Rome said, adding Shaq seems like subtraction by addition for the Suns. So now the Suns are a worse team, less entertaining and less likable.

I hate you, Steve Kerr.

NBA Web Roundup: Trades, a Failed Proposal and the FroHawk

Oden’s Mohawk

Greg Oden is sporting a new look

Top links from around the NBA:

And for our video, we have Steve Nash using Craig Sager as his personal handkerchief. I love how Sager tries to pretend this doesn’t happen right after. Thanks to FanIQ for finding this.