Life Is What You Make It Not The Belly aching One Associates With Prima donna Athletes …..
By tophatal ….. ..2012-04-28 7:14:05 AM
Well the NBA Playoffs for the 2011 season is now here , and we are aware of the final standings within the various divisions and conferences thereof . The Charlotte Bobcats had the dubious distinction of finishing with the worst record percentage wise in league history . And for team owner Michael Jordan , apart from the accolades of a distinguished career he will now be associated with of two decisions that will haunt his position as an executive for years to come. First , in 2001 when he drafted Kwame Brown straight out of high school as the number one pick from that 2001 NBA Draft , ahead of far more established and polished college players , ready to play at the professional level . And for the Washington Wizards’ … franchise they have not been the same ever since that epic blunder.
Slide show for your perusal .
The one hope from out of this all is relates to the Charlotte Bobcats will be the hope that they can actually win out in the Draft Lottery pick from this year’s draft . With a slew of proven talent on offer , there is the possibility that Rod Wiggins can start the rebuilding process by obtaining Anthony Davis and making him the #1 overall pick. Anything short of that , and it will be another ” nail in the coffin ” of this moribund NBA franchise.
Now there’s no denying that the most enticing of the first round match-ups in the playoffs has to the be the Eastern Conference series between the Miami Heat and New York Knicks . Their epic regular and postseason battles have been well chronicled and it is certainly not going to be any different with so much on the line for both teams. The respective coaches , Erik Spoelstra and Mike Woodson have a great deal to prove . Spoelstra is under the added pressure , given the fact that his team failed miserably in the NBA Finals of last season , eventually losing to the Dallas Mavericks , in one of the biggest upsets in recent NBA history . Woodson , for his part having assumed the reins after the resignation of his predecessor Mike D’Antoni , has the team … playing with some semblance of consistency . But their biggest flaw still remains the unwillingness to play a consistent brand of defense throughout the entire 48 minutes of a game. It will be incumbent upon the coach to get his players to buy into the fact that they will have to play stoutly in that particular aspect against on of the NBA’s most prolific offenses .
There’s a reason why the presumptive favorite for this season’s MVP ……… LeBron James remains one of the most dynamic and prolific scorers within the game today . And this season by any stretch of the imagination has been one of his best . Alongside James , we have Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh , two players who of anything will have to be at their very best if the Miami Heat are to come away with a first round series victory.
Game one of this best-of-seven series will be played at the AA Arena , in Miami, Florida , in what is sure to be in-front of a sell-out crowd and a national television audience of millions. That being said , I am sure that the New York Knicks led by the team’s leading scorer ……. Carmelo Anthony would like nothing better than to upset the apple cart and take down the Miami Heat. And with the highly anticipated return of power forward Amar`e Stoudemire , even if it is in something of a limited role . It is hope that they will be competitive enough to make this series a highly entertaining one . Stoudemire , coming off what has been a forced rest because of a back injury will no doubt be eager to prove that he’s back to his very best . And though earlier in the season for the Knicks the hype was simply about the play of Jeremy Lin . Let’s get one thing clear , Lin was good , but to suggest that he single-handed resurrected the fortunes of the Knicks’ season would be preposterous ! And it remains to be seen as to whether or not the former Harvard player will at all be able to make any sort of contribution to the Knicks’ postseason efforts , as he remains on the team’s injury list .
Pat Riley and Glen Grunwald as the respective front office executives for the Miami Heat and New York Knicks have a great deal riding on this series . From an economic and competitive standpoint it is imperative that their teams have undoubted success this postseason. Anything short of the Conference Finals would be looked upon as a distinct failure. Granted , over the past two years both of these franchises have been amongst the best supported teams in terms of attendance . ( 2011 & 2010 ) . And with that sort of loyalty there are the financial gains to be accumulated for both franchises . The two teams within the NBA have amongst the highest payrolls , with several of the players on the respective rosters being amongst the highest paid within the game.
LeBron James in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated (SI’s) Lee Jenkins , where he stated that this season , he had his own personal epiphany , and that he has changed as a player . That may well have been the case because as such I would like to believe that he has shown signs of maturity as a human being and also as a player. Who can forget the sheer mendacity of James and teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in posing the question and then answering it in their own inimitable way that the team as it consisted was capable of winning multiple NBA titles , many of which James believed could be done in succession. Showman-ship no do doubt orchestrated by Pat Riley in the lead up to and acquisition of both Bosh and James indicated to us that the Miami Heat was about to become a “ three Ringed Circus” and not an actual basketball team . Everything was being force-fed to the public and fans alike that it simply began to alienate the vast majority of supporters of the NBA . And LeBron James certainly didn’t help his cause with that rather asinine and tedious extrapolated interview with ESPN’s … Jim Gray concerning his intent in making the announcement that he would be leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers as a free agent to then play for the Miami Heat . That single act had made James look something of a “joke ” at the time , albeit that some rather asinine NBA analysts jumped to the player’s defense merely suggesting that it was simply naivete` and a sign of James still being young and unable to truly understand the media . I beg to differ , as LeBron James , fully understood but in this case , having been coddled as a prodigious talent in high school and having the press at his beck and call along around the clock coverage in the print and television media as to his each and every move ! He simply continued to crave the attention , with the press being all too willing to fall into the trap of ” caving to and listening to his every word” , no matter how incoherent and nonsensical his comments were said to be . One simply had to await for the self-induced implosion to happen . And for the player’s detractors it came about in the most appealing of ways , with the Miami Heat’s demise in the NBA Finals of last season. Heat GM Pat Riley was critical of those who leveled any type of criticism for the team’s play in the aftermath of the loss and it has to be said he was none too pleased even when there doubts about his decision to acquire both Bosh and James prior to last season.
Courtesy of Sports Illustrated (SI)
By Lee Smith , Sports Illustrated
LeBron James sinks into a restaurant booth on the first floor of the Westin in Jersey City, N.J., and orders a chamomile tea. The sun is setting on a Saturday in the middle of April, and through the windows he can see cars snaking toward the Holland Tunnel, beckoned by the lights of New York City. “For me,” says James, “this is chillin’ time.” It is the travel day between two back-to-backs, four games in four cities, and he is swaddled in black sweats and a red Heat baseball cap with a flat black brim. His voice is hoarse but he says he doesn’t have a sore throat. He prepares the tea as if it is a science project, lifting a small jar of honey and slowly pouring it into a teaspoon he holds over the mug, until the honey is about to overflow. He lowers the spoon and gently stirs, then squeezes three lemon wedges into the tea and sucks the rinds. It is suggested that lemons are bad for his teeth. “That’s OK,” James says, easing his massive shoulders against the back of the booth. “My teeth are already terrible.” He smiles wide enough to reveal almost every one.
Tranquil moments are few in the chaotic life of LeBron James. He steals them when he can, sitting on his patio in Coconut Grove, Fla., and admiring the waves on Biscayne Bay, biking across Rickenbacker Causeway with friends to Key Biscayne, watching basketball on television and flipping the channel when the announcers utter his name. Forward Shane Battier, in his first year with Miami, sounds as if he could lead a seminar at Duke deconstructing the James phenomenon. “He is a global icon, a basket-ball monolith, the most prevalent and recognizable athlete of our generation,” says Battier. “And he’s one of a kind, because he’s the first to rise to prominence in the Information Age, which is why he’s such a fascinating sociological observation. He’s accountable every single day for every single thing, from how he plays to what he tweets to what he says in the pre- and the postgame interviews. He has a camera and a microphone on him wherever he goes, and then when he [goes out to] dinner, there’s a camera phone on him. This is what he signed up for. There is a price to pay. He understands that. But I don’t think a lot of guys could handle it.”
James isn’t just coping, he is completing one of the finest all-around seasons in the NBA’s modern era. At week’s end he was averaging 27.1 points with 7.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists while shooting 53.1 percent. Larry Bird never shot 53.1 percent. His player efficiency rating of 30.6 leads the league by more than four points, and he is holding opposing small forwards to an anemic efficiency rating of 10.4, according to 82games.com. The 6-foot-8 James is the Heat’s best ball handler, passer and post scorer, but he also covers everyone from point guards to centers, sometimes in the same game. “We are asking him to play at an MVP level,” says coach Erik Spoelstra, “and at a Defensive Player of the Year level.” James is attempting fewer three-pointers than ever while making them at a higher clip (36.2 percent). He is grabbing more rebounds in part because he is spending more time inside. His game log is a litany of near triple doubles. The NBA has not witnessed such a balanced and prolific individual assault since Michael Jordan in 1988-89, two years before his first title.
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Another seismic meltdown at any point of this postseason would be catastrophic for the Miami Heat organization in so many ways. Pat Riley and team owner Micky Arison can ill afford to go another season without a trophy within their cabinet . And though it as has been five years since the Heat’s sole triumph in the NBA Finals , it was felt with the acquisition of both Chris Bosh and LeBron James . The owner and the franchise’s fans would reap the benefits of that deal and in James’ own words verbatim ………………. “not one , not two , not three our four but perhaps five or six NBA titles would in the franchise’s future. ” Well as of now , the team in its present guise has yet to win its first and though on paper they well be viewed as the best team within the conference , neither their record or their play has simply reflected ….. that !
The game itself proved to me once and for all , inasmuch as Mike Woodson had in recent weeks made the this Knicks’ team play with some resolve from the defensive end . What we all witnessed was the very fact that the New York Knicks have no real wish to play defense . If that were the case , then they would not have been blown in a lopsided thirty-three point loss to the Miami Heat . Bosh , James and Wade simply waylaid the Knicks and had their way with the team . It looks as if this series will probably not go seven games but it would be of grave concern to the Knicks’ fans should they witness the team fall from grace in such an aspect.
It had to happen , a simple twist of fate can turn a season of hope into one of unimaginable nightmares . The playoff fate of Chicago Bulls as the number one seed s within the Eastern Conference now looks in jeopardy with the apparent loss of Derrick Rose in their first round series against the Philadelphia 76ers . In the latter part of the third quarter Rose was injured in a play that at the time seemed innocuous but it has somehow led to the player missing the entire postseason. The tearing of Derrick Rose’s anterior cruciate ligament ( ACL) means the Bulls’ best player will have to undergo off-season surgery to repair the damage . The Bulls came away with a victory but Tom Thibodeau is now left in something of a dilemma as how best to recover and have his team make something of their season’s aspirations .
Picture gallery for your perusal .
This NBA postseason has been beset by injuries to a number of players and it certainly has cast something of a shadow for the aspirations for Boston Celtics , Orlando Magic , Bulls and New York Knicks . Simply go down the list of players now downed by injuries ? Ask yourself this , how different would the scenarios now not what they now appear to be with a slew of players now disabled by their injury woes ? And what if anything are you most looking forward as the NBA postseason unfolds ? Simply leave a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support of the site as it is greatly appreciated .
Picture and slide show details below . =======================================================================================================
(1) LeBron James and ESPN’s Jim Gray speak at the LeBron James announcement of his future NBA plans at the Boys & Girls Club of America on July 8, 2010 in Greenwich, Connecticut. James announced during a live broadcast on ESPN that he will play for the Miami Heat next season. Getty Images North America / Larry Bussaca ….
(2) LeBron James and ESPN’s Jim Gray speak at the LeBron James announcement of his future NBA plans at the Boys & Girls Club of America on July 8, 2010 in Greenwich, Connecticut. James announced during a live broadcast on ESPN that he will play for the Miami Heat next season. Larry Bussaca / Getty Images North America …..
(3) ) MIAMI, FL – APRIL 28 : Guard Iman Shumpert (21) of the New York Knicks is carried off the court against the Miami Heat in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on April 28, 2012 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images …
(4) MIAMI, FL – APRIL 28: Guard Iman Shumpert #21, Amar’e Stoudemire (1) (C) and Carmelo Anthony (7) of the New York Knicks argue with the referee against the Miami Heat in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on April 28, 2012 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. The Heat defeated the Knicks 100-67 . Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images ….
(5) Forward LeBron James (6) of the Miami Heat shoots over J.R. Smith (8) of the New York Knicks in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on April 28, 2012 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images ….
(6) Dimmer and dumber ! New York Knicks fans hold signs against the Miami Heat in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on April 28, 2012 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Marc Serota /Getty Images ………
(7) (7) Forward LeBron James (6) , (C) Guard Dwyane Wade (3) and Forward Mike Miller (13) of the Miami Heat celebrate against the New York Knicks in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on April 28, 2012 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images …
(8) Chicago Bulls Head Athletic Trainer Fred Tedeschi assists Derrick Rose ( 1) after injuring his knee against the Philadelphia 76ers in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NBA Playoffs on April 28, 2012 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images …..