Friday, June 18th, 2010

Why the Lakers won Game 7 of the NBA Finals

Game 7 was an epic game filled with defensive battles, with the Lakers winning 83-79.

LA became the seventh team ever to face a 3-2 deficit in the Finals to come back to win the final two games. They have now won five titles in the past 11 seasons.

Phil Jackson is now 48-0 when his team wins Game 1 of a playoff series and has won a record 11 titles as a Head Coach.

Key reasons:

1) Defense: The Celtics limited LA to score 34 in the first half but they managed to score 40. Derek Fisher was the only player to shoot over 50 percent from the field (4-6).core 40. They gave the Lakers fits on defense by rotating and switching well.

However, allowing 23 offensive rebounds, committing 15 turnovers and sending the Lakers to the line 37 times overshadows the defensive effort.

Ray Allen and Paul Pierce shot a combined 8-29. The 33 percent Pierce shot from the field was his second lowest total for the Finals. Boston also allowed 30 points in the fourth quarter.

2) Rebounding differential: …

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

NBA Finals: Seven reasons why the Lakers will win Game 7

Since 1959 the Celtics have beaten the Lakers all four times in a Game 7. However, this Boston team lacks a Bill Russel or Larry Bird. Last night reminded us this was the same team that finished 27-27 over the final 54 games of the regular season.

Rajon Rondo picked the wrong time to have the worst game of the Finals. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett failed to attempt a free throw and Ray Allen was the only Celtic to score over 13 points.

It also appeared the refs were on the Lakers side last night, but that’s another topic for discussion.

1) Home court advantage: In the NBA Finals the home team has won 13 of the previous 16 Game 7s, including the four most recent ones.

2) The injury to Kendrick Perkins and the health of Andrew Bynum: Perkins sprained his right knee with 5 minutes and 30 seconds left in the first quarter and did not return. By the end of the first quarter Pau Gasol …

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Most overpaid NBA players for 2010/2011

Here is a look at five players all earning over $10+ million for next season

Rashard Lewis ($20.5 million) Lewis will be the highest paid player on the Orlando Magic roster for the next three seasons. Since joining the Magic in 07-08, his regular season scoring has declined the past three seasons. He had a dreadful conference finals vs. the Celtics averaging just 8.2 points (34 percent from the field). The last time he scored under 15 points in a season was 2000-2001. He also  missed the first 10 games of the season because of a failed drug test. Lewis is a good player because of his size and shooting ability but does deserve to earn more than Dwight Howard.

Elton Brand ($15.9 million) Brand averaged his lowest point (13.1), rebounds (6.1) and blocks (1.1) of his career last season. Before signing with the Philadelphia 76ers he was a big injury risk playing in only 37 games in a two-year span. In February and March he averaged under 13 points and April was his worst month …

Most underpaid paid NBA players for 2010/2011

Glen Davis ($3.3 million)

Despite missing 28 regular season games (injury) his real value has come in the postseason. In Game 4 of the NBA Finals he scored 18 points with four offensive rebounds and two steals. “Big Baby” has the ability to out muscle his opponents in the paint and has been a key reserve during the Celtics playoff run. Davis is 24 years old and next season will be a contract year.

Andray Blatche ($3.2 million)

Gilbert Arenas was suspended for 50 games. Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood were traded during the season. All of these factors allowed Blatche to breakout. With four original starters removed from the Washington Wizards, the offense was mainly run through Blatche.

Over his last 32 games he averaged 22.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.5 steals in 37 minutes per game. In his fifth season these were easily all career highs. The Syracuse born player will be 24 years old in August and is a rising star in the Eastern Conference.

Carl Landry ($3 million)

Andres Nocioni ($6.8 million) and Francisco …

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Is Carlos Boozer that much better than David Lee?

Carlos Boozer had these comments when making his media rounds on ESPN radio this week:

“Oh, absolutely I do. I think he’s a very good, young player though. I think he had a great season. He was an All-Star this year. I think he has a great upside to him. I do think I’m better but, I mean, that’s for you guys to debate about. I don’t worry about that kind of stuff. I just go out there and play hard for my team and try everything I can to win games and win a ring. But David Lee’s a great, young player, a good friend of mine, and of course I wish him the best of luck as well with whatever he does. If he stays in New York or if he also goes elsewhere.”

David Lee: 20.3 points, 11,7 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.1 steals, .5 blocks, 54% field, 81% foul line, 22.28 PER

Carlos Boozer: 19.5 points, 11.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.1 steals, .5 blocks, 56% field, 74% foul line, 21.42 PER

Last season’s stats and how …

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

DeMarcus Cousins tops the college PER metric and NBA pro potential PER

Does DeMarcus Cousins have the best pro potential in the upcoming NBA Draft?

According to John Hollinger of ESPN he does.

This past season Cousins led all NCAA Division 1 basketball players with a 35.45 player efficiency rating. The next notable player was Evan Turner who finished 5th with 31.30.

Cousins projected NBA PER came out to 16.14 which qualified as the fifth-highest rating in the Draft Rater’s nine seasons evaluated. According to the player rater he had a higher grade than Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer, Andrew Bogut, Kevin Love, Greg Oden and LeMarcus Aldridge. If Cousins showed up to the draft combine in better shape (16 percent body fat) he could have had more buzz as the first or second overall pick.

What made Cousins so productive in college was his skill set and size. He was a beast on the offensive glass collecting 20 percent of his teams misses. He had 13 games of 19+ points and 21 games of 10+ rebounds. He measures …

Derek Fisher the key to a Game 3 victory

“Derek Fisher was the difference,”  Doc Rivers declared.

Derek Fisher made three big shots down the stretch to help secure a 91-84 win and 2-1 series lead. He finished with 16 points (11 in the 4th quarter). With the Celtics paying more attention to Kobe, Fisher made five of his seven field goal attempts and the game clinching free throw. His three point play gave the Lakers a 7 point lead with 48 seconds left. As three Celtic players were about to huddle in on Fisher he was able to make the layup before Glen Davis fouled him in the act. It always seems Fisher thrives in pressure situations when the team needs him.

“He pretty much won the game,” said Rajon Rondo. “When we made our run, he seemed to have answers every time”

Fisher was also was a force on the defensive end hounding Ray Allen. After a record setting Game 2, Allen missed all 13 shots. He nearly set another record with most misses …

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Ray Allen sets the NBA Finals three point record. 8 reasons why the Knicks should pursue him in Free Agency.

“Unbelievable,” forward Paul Pierce said.

Ray Allen set an NBA Finals record with eight three-pointers in last nights 103-94 victory in Game 2. He finished the game 8-11-off from downtown for a game high 32 points. The previous record for threes in a game was  seven he shared (Allen made 7 in 2008) with Kenny Smith (1995) and Scottie Pippen (1997).

Allen was one of the main reasons the Celtics tied the series at 1-1.  He scored 27 points in the first half and set another record with seven three-pointers. Kenny Smith and Michael Jordan (1992) previously held the record with six. The Lakers poor defense allowed the sharp shooter to make his first seven attempts. No other  Celtic scored in double figures in the first two quarters.

Allen rebounded well from Game 1 where he scored just 12 points and did not make a three pointer.

His 36 percent from three this season marked the first time it was under 37 percent since 02-03. However, he is …

Cavs make an offer to Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo

According to the News-Herald of Northern Iowa the Cleveland Cavaliers have sent an offer to  Michigan St. Head Coach Tim Izzo. Former Head Coach Mike Brown was fired on May 23rd. We  know that Cavs Owner Dan Gilbert wants to make a coaching splash in hopes to convince LeBron James to re-sign. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert graduated from Michigan State and wants to have a coach in place before July 1st.

Izzo was hired by the Spartans in 1995 and has reached the NCAA tournament in 13 straight years (1998-2010). The 55 year old coach has guided the Spartans to the 2000 NCAA Title and has reached the Final Four six times (including the last two).

The Michigan born coach is under contract through 2016 and makes about $3 million dollars per year. Since 2000 he has coached six players that have been drafted in the first round (11 total). His coaching style is very demanding and preaches toughness. For him to leave the college ranks it is going to take a substantial contract. He is no …

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Knicks to work out six more

Knicks Rumors & News

Eric Boateng C – Arizona State
Jordan Crawford, G – Xavier
Sylven Landesberg, G – Virginia
Hamady N’Diaye, C – Rutgers
Deon Thompson, F – North Carolina
Latavious Williams, F – D-League

The three appealing names on this list:

Jordan Crawford: Crawford is famous for “dunking on” LeBron James, last off season during a skills camp. He originally attended Indiana University but transferred to Xavier. In his lone year at Xavier he averaged 20.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.3 steals. He scored at least 27 points in his three NCAA tournament games including a season high 32 vs. Kansas State. He was named to the Sporting News All-American Third Team. Crawford is 6’4″ with a 6-7 wingspan and shot 39% from three which makes him very appealing.

Hamady N’Diaye: The Senegal native is a physical specimen with a 7-4 wingspan and a 9-3 standing reach. His 4.5 blocks per game was the third highest in the nation. The 6’11” center was named the Big East Defensive Player of the Year. He had 6+ blocks in 7 games and 10+ rebounds in …

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

David Lee to extend range even more

Knicks Rumors & News

“Mark Bartlestein, the agent for David Lee, said that Lee is putting up 500 three-point jump shots per day so far this off-season. Lee is working on improving his long-distance game.”

This is encouraging news for Lee in terms of adding another ripple to his offensive repertoire. Lee has yet to make a three pointer in his five seasons. This past season he set a career high with 8 attempts from downtown. Lee has the ability to convert threes because of his work ethic. He set a career in making 43% of his shots from 16-23 feet. Also, instead of rolling on the pick Lee could pop out which would give him even more open looks. Lee exposed a lot of bigs who did not respect his improved range. Can Lee to have a outburst of three pointers like Channing Frye did with the Suns?

In his four years at Arizona, Frye made 6 three pointers and 20 in his first four NBA seasons. However he showed progress in 2008-2009 shooting 11-33 beyond the …

Beasley for Dooling?

According to ESPN Radio’s “NBA Today” podcast, the Heat offered Michael Beasley to the Nets for Keyon Dooling but were turned down by Nets GM Rod Thorn.

Rivals.com ranked him the top player in the 2007 High School class. Scouts were salivating over his versatile game. He has the ability to be a finesse and powerful player. In his one season at Kansas State Beasley was a straight up beast. He averaged 26.2 points and 12.4 rebounds. He had 28 double-doubles and 3-40 point games.

Beasley was the 2nd overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft but has not lived up to his potential yet. Last season he averaged 14.8 points and 5.4 rebounds. However he shot just 27% from 3.  In his first playoff series he struggled vs Boston. Despite scoring in double-figures in Games 2,3,4 he scored 6 points in Game 1 and 2 points in Game 5.

He is just 21 years old …

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