This Bouncing Ball Isn’t Coming Back Anytime Soon ………

This Bouncing Ball Isn’t Coming Back Anytime Soon ………

By tophatal …………

This season’s NBA All Star game is but three weeks away with the Eastern Conference All Stars will be taking on their Western Conference counterparts in the NBA’s mid-season showcase . Hosting the event will be Amway Center in downtown Orlando , home to the city’s NBA franchise the Orlando Magic . This will be the first time that the city has been the host of the event and it is something that the city will be a spur to the city’s economy .

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Slide show for your perusal .

To my mind this season has been anything but interesting given the fact the assertiveness of the teams has bordered upon being mediocre in large . Excuses are being made for the the poor play of the teams and the very fact from a defensive standpoint the effort put forth has monstrously bad . .Now while some are looking for excuses as to the reasons behind the poor play , I would have to say that the insight being provided by on air analysts such as Tim Legler , Chris Broussard , and Kenny Smith and Reggie Miller have looked to placate the poor play of the teams by suggesting that the NBA lockout is in part responsible for the rather poor showing we have seen so far this season .

With all of the hoopla that was made concerning the moves made by the New York Knicks with the acquisition of Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets . Who would have thought that we would be talking about the Nuggets being one of the teams to watch this season . So much so , that Nuggets’ coach George Karl is stating this current team has given him far more pleasure to coach than at any other time over the course of his tenure with the organization . Strong praise indeed for a franchise that as of late as Thursday night was actually vying for the second seed within the Western Conference and who sat second within the Northwest Division behind the Oklahoma City Thunder , the conference’s number one team.

Can someone explain to me how it is that the Knicks now find themselves with an able bodied point guard on their roster ? With Baron Davis lost to Mike D’Antoni for an indeterminate period . It has been trial by consensus with a number of players playing the position and offering nothing tangible in return. Anthony along with Amare` Stoudemire , Landry Fields , Tyson Chandler and Iman Shumpert have shown me nothing that I wasn’t already aware of concerning the New York Knicks ! For some reason fans were buying into the fact that this newly constructed team was ready to take the next step in their so called resurgence but if anything the team’s record clearly reflects what they are , nothing more than being barely average.

New York Knicks’ owner James Dolan with all of the knowledge having the NBA’s second most valuable franchise but undoubtedly its most profitable would trade that to have a franchise that is capable of winning the NBA title . Having to contend with the Miami Heat , Chicago Bulls , Atlanta Hawks and from out of nowhere a Philadelphia Sixers’ team who under Doug Collins seems to playing a brand of basketball that has everyone sitting up and taking notice . Who would have thought that Elton Brand and Andre Iguodala would now be playing at such a high level wherein they can be considered amongst the most proficient players in the league at present .

If the New York Knicks are not prepared to play a lick of defense then why would anyone believe that this team even has the ability win an NBA title ? All that glitters isn’t necessary gold ……………. in the case of this team they are not even close to resembling fool’s gold ! The Knicks will have a hard time going deep into the playoffs were they even to to make it beyond the first round . Knicks’ GM Glen Grunwald and the front office are under a great deal pressure to succeed , failure to do may well mean another shake up within organization not seen since the days of Isiah Thomas , when he single handedly did his utmost to turn this franchise into an environment that simply thrived on being mediocre !

In reality , I know that the coaching pool within the NBA is rather thin and that in many respects coaches at the college level are compensated well enough to the point where in some cases number of the top coaches there are immeasurably better compensated than their professional peers. Granted, coaches such as Rick Pitino and John Calipari’s tenures within the NBA couldn’t exactly be looked upon as a ringing endorsement how best to coach within the professional ranks. I was led to believe that when the Golden State Warriors hired former TNT NBA analyst hired Mark Jackson , the intent was to hire someone who would provide the team with the impetus to win while Jackson would provide the franchise with his profound and learned experience within the NBA as a player. Wow ! Was I ever wrong in that assumption because instead of the aforementioned premise , Jackson has simply made that team a great deal worse than anyone could have ever possibly imagined !

A team of talented players such Monta Ellis and Steph Curry at the core of this roster we are a witnessing a club that is ill disciplined who have shown little if anything as to what it takes to win at this level , much less have the ability to win an NBA title . Far be it me for me to suggest that Jackson has the qualities to be a very good coach within the NBA but his start with the Warriors has been woefully inept perhaps even by his own standards. As of Thursday night the Golden State Warriors’ record was a less than inspiring 7-12 within the Pacific Division of the Western Conference . And any thought of this team having the remote chance of winning that division much less garnering a playoff berth is at this juncture totally out of the question !

The Golden State Warriors having won a mere four of their last ten games are having a less than stellar season . And though I do believe that the Warriors are a work in progress but unless the coach shows that he has the ability to turn things around as to the fortune of this organization then I fully expect Jackson’s tenure to be a short-lived one within the NBA and specifically as the coach of the Golden State Warriors.

There is little to suggest that Jackson can take this team to where the owners …. Joe Lacob and Peter Guber believe where they need to be . Apathy amongst their fans is one thing but the belief that Mark Jackson clearly was the right hire has to be befuddling to most with a keen insight on the NBA . My thought on the matter clearly with an apparent thin field of candidates may well been interviewed for the then vacant position . But what were the credentials being sought for any potential hire by the Warriors’ front office ? The organization may well have hired former Los Angeles Lakers’ great Jerry West as a consultant but here’s my thought on the whole matter how much input will he indeed have with regard to the personnel decisions concerning this team ? A face saving image merely to impress the fans and be noticed or simply to show the rest of the NBA that the Warriors in their old guise are a thing of the past . Your thoughts on the matter ?

The NBA does have a great deal going for it at present , given the antics of the league hierarchy and union during the off-season as a precursor to 2011-2012 schedule . Fans are slowly coming around to realizing that the game is back , albeit , not at a pace that many of us would like . But if anyone would have told me now that the brand of basketball being played would be so woefully inept , that a number fans and on certain NBA analysts would continue to make excuses for the players and their teams. Then I would be of the opinion that they’re either too dumb or simply are just apathetic to what is being served up to them at present !

I’ll say this for Stan Van Gundy the rather animated coach of the Orlando Magic , , nothing about him physically would suggest that he’s an astute individual who’s well respected by his peers . This season Van Gundy has seen his team play inconsistently while stumbling out of the gate . Dwight Howard remains a one man wrecking crew while his teammates have essentially stood by through much of the season while the center displays his considerable skills .

Far be it for me to suggest but Howard is now fighting a losing battle with an organization that has missed the boat in terms of being competitive within the league this season . Never mind the fact that GM Otis Smith has encumbered the Magic with some ill fitting pieces on the roster who are vastly overpaid , offering little in return to their fans and this organization as a whole . Smith knowing that Howard becomes a free agent at the end of 2012 can either seek to trade the player or consider resigning him to a renewed contract . All signs now point to the fact that Dwight Howard is on the verge of leaving the Orlando Magic the sole franchise where has played his entire career in the NBA , ever since being drafted as the number one overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft .

Now one would subscribe to the fact that the Orlando Magic as a franchise is simply making up the numbers within the NBA . But for all of the brevitas by the team and the wherewithal being shown by team at present it would appear that the ambitions of the Magic will be stymied by their poor play and the very fact that in comparison to their divisional and conference rivals this franchise simply isn’t good enough to deemed a legitimate contender for the NBA title . Hedo Turkoglu , JJ Redick , Jason Richardson , Brandon Bass , Chris Duhon , Von Wafer and Howard , himself . Are those names that awe inspiring that on first take that would have you believe this team capable of defeating the likes of the Chicago Bulls , Miami Heat , Boston Celtics , Philadelphia 76ers , Indiana Pacers and dare I say the Atlanta Hawks in a best of five or seven game series during the x Eastern Conference playoffs ?

The Eastern Conference for all of its plethora of stars with their offensive prowess it could very well that once again this season the teams here will be playing second fiddle to their Western Conference counterparts . At present the Oklahoma City Thunder has the best record within the conference with a 18-4 mark as of 3rd February . The team led by two time NBA scoring champion ….. Kevin Durant might just be the most well balance team in the NBA at present . If the Scott Brooks’ players can overcome their experiences from last season in the playoffs then we may well see the coming of age of the Thunder this year.

Defending champions the Dallas Mavericks led by Dirk Nowitzki are considerably now a different team from last season . Mark Cuban as owner of the franchise seeks to build a perennial contender and in doing so it has meant an upheaval in the roster . The departures of Tyson Chandler and Caron Butler have been the most notable losses to their championship team of 2011. Rick Carlisle as coach of the Mavericks , in preparation for the defense of their title now has to refocus the players and make them aware that their exploits of last season are now a thing of the past . So far for the team , the defense of their title has been anything but smooth in terms of the results and the fact that the players have been playing with a great deal of inconsistency .

It would be easy to suggest that the loss of a coach of Phil Jackson’s magnitude would be a burden that no franchise should have to bear . But it would appear that with Mike Brown now at the helm as the successor to Jackson the Los Angeles Lakers are about to begin a new chapter. The mainstay on the roster is their fourteen time All Star guard Kobe Bryant who along with Pau Gasol , Andrew Bynum , Derek Fisher and Metta World Peace are the holdovers from . last season’s roster.

The Lakers this season now have to deal with deal with their upstart divisional rivals ( Pacific Division) , venue neighbor the Los Angeles Clippers . Now while the talk has been about the Clippers and their acquisition of Chris Paul from the New Orleans , and what the point guard brings to the table by way of his talent to complement Blake Griffin .

And while the NBA seems to be in awe of the of the Clippers’ impressive start to the season it has to be said that Vinny Del Negro’s players may well be in for a rude awakening should they make the postseason . This is an organization that hasn’t made the playoffs in over a decade and therein lies the expectations for this team after their audacious start to the year . Can this team make the NBA’s postseason showcase and acquit themselves well ? That’s certainly the question that needs to be answered , most definitely the players and fans believe that this team is capable of doing that . A case could be made in part that the Clippers are proving to be upstart rival that the Lakers now need to push them given the inconsistent showing of the Mike Brown’s players over the course of this season . Some fans might now be of the opinion that of the two franchises within Los Angeles , it is the Clippers who might now be the best franchise now playing in LA . Your thoughts on the matter ?

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Case in point what if anything has been the most pleasing for you in terms of the NBA and its season so far ? Also to your mind which team or player has been either most disappointing or impressive in your estimation ? By all means simply a comment as to your thoughts and as always thanks for the continued support .

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl shouts to his team in the third quarter during an NBA basketball game with the Portland Trail Blazers Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012, in Portland, Ore. The Trail Blazers defeated the Nuggets 117-97 . AP Photo/Rick Bowmer ….

(2) Denver Nuggets’ Danilo Gallinari (8) , of Italy, loses control of the ball as Portland Trail Blazers’ Nicolas Batum , left, defends in the second half during an NBA basketball game Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012, in Portland, Ore. The Trail Blazers defeated the Nuggets 117-97. AP Photo/Rick Bowmer ……

(3) New York Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni reacts during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game against the New Jersey Nets Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012, at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Knicks defeated the Nets 99-92 . AP Photo/Bill Kostroun …..

(4) New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin , , top right, puts up a shot as New Jersey Nets forward Kris Humphries defends during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012, at Madison Square Garden in New York. Lin led all scorers with 25 points as the Knicks defeated the Nets 99-92 .. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun … …

(5) Orlando Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu (15), of Turkey, drives against Indiana Pacers forward Danny Granger (33) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Saturday Feb. 4, 2012. Orlando won 85-81 . AP Photo/Tom Strickland ……

(6) Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy calls a play in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis, Saturday Feb. 4, 2012. Orlando won 85-81. AP Photo/Tom Strickland ….

(7) Golden State Warriors forward David Lee , left, talks with teammate Monta Ellis, as they walk to the bench during a timeout in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento, Calif., Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012. The Kings won in overtime 114-106 . AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli ….

(8) Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, right, eludes Sacramento Kings guard Isaiah Thomas during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012. AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli …….

(9) Former NBA great Mark Jackson the coach of the Golden State Warriors . Having just started his professional coaching career , Jackson is now finding that it’s not all a bed of wine and roses in terms of communicating and teaching the players in his custody . AP Getty Images/ Paul Matthews ….

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NBA news

NBA All Star Game details & news Game to be played 26th February , 2012 .

NBA All Star Conference rosters

NBA schedule & results

NBA Standings by division

Denver Nuggets

Golden State Warriors news

Orlando Magic news

New York Knicks news

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Kanye West …… & …. Jay-z …. ” No Church In The Wild ” …………. Theme to the upcoming movie ” Safe House” starring Denzel Washington , Ryan Reynolds & Sam Shepherd .

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This movie is bound to be one of the major box office hits of 2012 !

14 thoughts on “This Bouncing Ball Isn’t Coming Back Anytime Soon ………

  1. Give Stern his due , he knows that the brand of basketball currently being played is just dire but just as long as the money keeps rolling in there’ll be no excuses from himself , the members of the league hierarchy or the owners within the league .

    So Goodell is now of the belief that if the Pro Bowl isn’t more competitive then the NFL might as well do without it . Finally a decision that actually makes sense from the commissioner !

    tophatal ………………

    Like

  2. I think since the game is in Orlando, they should have a “Dwight Howard Lottery” with all teams interested in making a written offer for his services submitting sealed bids…and then having ping pong balls randomly selected as to which teams’ bids get read first. The number of balls would be determined by record…those teams at the bottom of the standings get more balls. Then, the fun starts as Dwight has to decide whether he wants to go to the first team’s (first ball selected) bid…or pass on it FOR GOOD and risk the next bid being lower in value and/or a team he’d rather not go to. His decision is final and binding. A ratings bonanza.

    Like

    1. sportsattitudes

      That’d probably work but as of now you’re giving way too much credit as to the apparent intelligence with regard to anyone inside of the Magic’s front office as as well as the coaching staff . Never mind the fact that team GM Otis Smith when it comes to assessing talent shows about as much insight on the subject as Sarah Palin does on anything remotely concerning US domestic political issues and the country’s foreign policy .

      “Had I been in charge of this organization when Kwame Brown came out in 2001 I’d have drafted him Stan ” ! Otis Smith “Otis let me say something , you don’t know sh@t and neither do I ” ! SVG

      “This much lipstick goes a long way if you’re a soccer mom ” . Sarah Palin

      tophatal ………….

      Like

  3. I’m not ready to give up on Mark Jackson this early. I do see them playing better defense, so that’s a plus. He is working with the 2nd youngest roster in the league, and most of his players aren’t good defensively. They’re still short a big man, and until they get one it’s tough to truly evaluate this team or his coaching abilities…

    Like

    1. chappy

      In all honesty would you have the patience to wait around for perhaps another two to three years before things start to turn around for the franchise (Warriors) ? Also I’m not overly impressed with his assistant coaching staff ! And that to my mind has been the biggest detriment to this team !

      Look at the assistants on Jackson’s staff and you tell me what these guys actually bring to the table ?

      It’s not the inexperience of the roster and their age but the the lack of real coaching ability of the Jackson and his staff . Having Jerry West as a consultant has helped but I believe that the front office could have made a far better hire !

      Like

  4. sportsattitudes

    Sooner, rather than later real entertainment in the greater Orlando area will be confined to the theme parks in and around Disney World . Because it’s not going to be happening with the Magic and the crap they’re continually serving up for the edification for their fans !

    tophatal ………….

    Like

  5. I won’t be attending the all-star festivities in Orlando this year but I am headed there tomorrow to check out Heat-Magic where there’ll be four all-stars on the floor.

    Unfortunately only one of them will be in a Magic uniform…. and probably not for much longer.

    Like

    1. Chris Humpherys (@SportsChump)

      Which of the upcoming events will pique your interest the most …….. the NBA All Star Game in Orlando or the GOP Convention to be held in Tampa ? And to your mind which will provide the most hilarity ? Chime in with your thoughts .

      I thought that Palin wanted to epitomize what the soccer mom’s were said to be about ? No soccer balls on that table but to be sure she probably enjoys a “pair of balls” resting on her chin .

      This’ll be the only time you’ll ever see Howard in the same uniform as his peers and where anyone will actually give a damn as to how he and they are actually doing !

      A Heat Magic game , well what else could one wish to see at this time of the season within the NBA ?
      The Magic haven't exactly been setting the world alight with their displays as of late have they , never mind their standing within the division and conference .

      tophatal ………….

      Like

  6. Hey Alan. Nice piece! In regards to the Knicks, the team was at their lowest and all of a sudden, a Harvard kid steps in and shines a bit of light on everyone. It has been a great three games for the young D-League star. I like the kid a lot, which is why I wrote about him in the first place when he played in the D-League. It’s not a surprise, J.Lin is saving D’Antoni’s job, which is why the coach is playing this guy so many minutes and driving him to the ground. The Knicks play L.A next… somehow, if New York can survive this game and pull out the victory, it’s time to start forgetting about B. Davis.

    I am not getting carried away just yet because the team played three teams (two below average). The L.A game will for sure tell if J. Lin is the real deal.

    -CDR

    Like

    1. Blog Surface/ CDR

      Don’t get me wrong I’ve a great deal of respect for Lin’s game and he may well be what the NBA needs to now still resonate the brand amongst the Far Eastern fans of basketball . But herein lies the caveat to this all can Jeremy Lin succeed where Yao Ming failed and that is to lead a team deep into the postseason ?

      Jeremy Lin

      This Knicks’ team leaves a great deal to be desired because they’ve yet to show me that they can play a lick of defense . Until they do , and that’s something I seriously doubt given the mindset and coaching philosophy of D’Antoni and his coaching staff things will drastically change in terms of their overall play ! .

      “Why am I here ” ? Mike D’Antoni

      The other issue I have with the Knicks is their front office’s lack of real insight and the fact that owner James Dolan and GM Glen Grunwald appear to be so damn clueless from a personnel standpoint .

      tophatal ………..

      Like

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