Have You Had Your Dose Of The NBA Today ?

Have You Had Your Dose Of The NBA Today ?

Well it’s back to the hum drum return of an NBA schedule that will play its part in now separating the contenders from the pretenders amongst the stalwarts of the league. And I’ve no doubt at present we’ll see one or two surprises as the season now enters its post midseason point. The San Antonio Spurs still remain the team with the best record in the league but they’re closely followed by what seems to be a resurgent Dallas Mavericks team led by their All Star —– Dirk Nowitzki .


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Slide show for your perusal .

Now while the talk has been about the multiple team , multiple player trade that sent both Carmelo Anthony , Chauncey Billups and several other players to the New York Knicks in exchange for Raymond Felton and what GM Donnie Walsh and coach Mike D’Antoni feels are players obsolete to the team’s needs in the opposite direction to the Denver Nuggets I can’t help but wonder what happens should the Knicks not go deep into the playoffs ? And as much as the Knicks’ fans are in awe of this deal , on the face of it , it merely adds some luster to a team and fanbase that has been in need of it for over a decade . I mean as heralded the legacy has been for Madison Square Gardens you’ve got the readily admit the place has resembled a graveyard in terms of recent success when it comes to the New York Knicks. The days with which the Knicks under Pat Riley were thought of as a constant omnipresent threat in the Eastern Conference seems an eternity ago.

Courtesy of NBA.com news

From West to East, the balance of NBA power starts to shift …..

Dallas-Tx,. Tyson Chandler wasn’t speaking on behalf of the just Dallas when asked about the balance of power relocating from the Western Conference to the East. He might as well have been a spokesman for anyone with designs of winning the West after Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups and Deron Williams split for Greater Gotham.

“I wish we could get Kobe and Duncan and Ginobili and all those guys over there, too,” he quipped, “but I guess then it wouldn’t be any fun.”

No doubt there has been a seismic shift in the makeup of the two conferences. The West, for the past decade, has been considered the superior collection of teams from top to bottom. Twice in the previous three years, all eight of the West playoff teams won at least 50 games.

Not gonna happen this season.

And while the East may struggle to field more than six playoff squads with winning records, the so-called Least only figures to get more Beast in the years to come. The days of Western dominance are over, according to a certain All-Star known to wear a cape.

Click on the link shown to read the article in its entirety.

Don’t get me wrong I’ve no doubt that the Knicks will do well with their new revamped team but here’s the caveat , in acquiring Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups while they gain a great deal of offense the team now loses to an extent a great degree of defensive capability. But then again a Mike D’Antoni coached team has never been known for its defense and therein now lies the dilemma facing the Knicks over the remainder of the season . As good as this team now becomes unless Amar’e Stoudemire and Anthony are on the same page in conjunction with the coach then this costly experiment will all be for nought ! And this experiment is proving to be costly as the Knicks are now committed to a $65 million commitment for the next three seasons. For some of the Knicks’ most vociferous fans in terms personalities Spike Lee and ESPN radio sport’s show host Stephen A Smith this now becomes their personal Utopia and future aspirations as it relates to the Knicks.

The trade deadline itself wasn’t without other deals that took place but in reality the real talk was in essence WWCAD ……………..”what will Carmelo Anthony do” ? Well for the Denver Nuggets under coach George Karl their future may well seem bright and the coach himself feels that his team can make a run at a Western Conference playoff berth. It may well be that a sub .500 record or slightly above that may well garner the team a playoff spot. For Nuggets’ GM Masai Ujiri this maneuver may well the deal that breathes life into the Nuggets or casts a shadow organization for the immediate and long term future. It seems along way from a postseason where the team made the playoffs before succumbing to the Utah Jazz in a rather lopsided series .

Of the teams that I’ve followed within the NBA this season the Oklahoma City Thunder to my mind are a team to be feared and coach Scott Brooks does seem to have this team playing at a high level . Potential league MVP candidate Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook provide one of the “most potent one two punch ” in the NBA . And if things do pan out as I believe that they will concerning this team I do believe that they will be one of the teams to be feared come playoff time !

From the sublime to the ridiculous as the Cleveland Cavaliers continue their slide into an abyss of ineptitude . I’m not saying that coach Byron Scott has suddenly found himself in quicksand or in a riverbed filled with piranhas but given the state of things there in Cleveland at the Quicken Loans Arena I’d have said that either of those two scenarios might’ve been preferable . This team now seems to have found enumerable ways to lose —- games with ghastly consequences not only for the team but for the entire organization from a competitive and financial standpoint . Dan Gilbert may well be ruing the day that he sought to remain in control of this team rather than sell it outright to a Chinese investor .

Not to be outdone when it comes to showing ineptitude this season we have the continuing woes of the Washington Wizards , Sacramento Kings and Minnesota Timberwolves proving to us that you can’t teach can’t teach an old dog new tricks . Losing with increasing regularity has become ingrained into these teams and when that happens the fans do tend to depart in droves from the those teams’ respective home venues. I’ve read where fans of some of these complaining that no one comes to watch them play . Well , would you be willing to shell out your hard earned cash to watch three teams who have a combined 36 wins and 130 losses between them ?

The reigning NBA champions the Los Angeles Lakers didn’t dive into the trade market looking to bolster their roster but you can bet that Phil Jackson has bent the ears somewhat of the players whom he feels have been underachieving . It has been left as usual to the likes of Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol to lead the charge offensively but there continues to be disappointment as to overall erratic and inconsistent play of the team. Arguably , Lamar Odom , Ron Artest and Andrew Bynum have played nowhere near their perceived potential when measured by their contributions to the team last season .

There’s now a growing belief that the Los Angeles are now ripe for the taking as it now seems that the team is now more susceptible than ever before in losing the grip on the defense of their NBA title. The two time defending champions are a pale comparison at present of the team that took control of last season’s finals when it looked as if the Boston Celtics to have the championship all sewn up. Instead we saw this Doc Rivers’ coached team flounder like a capsized vessel with the passengers on board being without the assist of a life jacket ! I do firmly believe that both of these teams will make the postseason and should they meet once again in the NBA Finals it will be fascinating to see whether or not this current Celtics’ embodiment of a team can usurp their Western Conference foe.

Now it goes without saying that while the season progresses our thoughts can’t be far away from the current situation evolving the ongoing collective bargaining negotiations between the league’s hierarchy and the NPBA (union). Union President Derek Fisher and Executive Director Billy Hunter have stressed the fact they wish to come to an amicable resolution during this process. And it has to be said that David Stern wants no part of the madness now taking place between the NFL and NLFPA (union) . That whole slew of cow dung now being mediated by a federally appointed mediator can only suggest that these two groups of mindless idiots are so out of touch with reality that it simply doesn’t bear thinking about. And I can only hope that their NBA counterparts show some insight and wisdom and actually do what’s right rather than thinking solely about greed and their pockets ! If not , then both of these sports could very well lose whatever goodwill is left to be had from the fans .


By clicking on an individual frame you can that picture in its original formatted

Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the most recent incidents that’ve have taken place within the NBA over the past few days ? And how as such do you see the remainder of the season panning out ? By all means leave a comment as to your take on it all and as always thanks for the continued support as it’s greatly appreciated .

Picture and slide show details below as a guide .


(1) Amar’e Stoudemire is joined by new teammates Carmelo Anthony (left) and Chauncey Billups (right) in an official picture to introduce the duo to the convened press at Madison Square Gardens , New York City, New York. The duo were part of a multi-player , mutli-team trade that brought them from the Denver Nuggets with several players from the Knicks heading in the opposite direction to the Western Conference team and elsewhere. Getty Images / Chris Trotman …………..

(2) Cleveland Cavaliers general ganager Chris Grant announces a trade which will send Cavaliers’ Mo Williams and Jamario Moon to the Los Angeles Clippers for Baron Davis and a first round draft pick in the 2011 NBA Draft , at a news conference at the Cavaliers training center in Independence, Ohio on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011. AP Photo/Amy Sancetta ……

(3) Carmelo Anthony (7) of the New York Knicks drives against Carlos Delfino (10) of the Milwaukee Bucks at Madison Square Garden on February 23, 2011 in New York City. The Knicks defeated the Bucks 114-108 . Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images ……….

(4) Carmelo Anthony (7) of the New York Knicks shoots the ball over Andrew Bogut (6) of the Milwaukee Bucks at Madison Square Garden on February 23, 2011 in New York City. The Knicks defeated the Bucks 114-108. Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images …….

(5) Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, right, celebrates with teammate Ron Artest after Bryant scored two free throws to ice the game in overtime during their NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, Feb.23, 2011. Bryant scored 37 points and Artest scored 24 as they beat the Blazers 106-101 . AP Photo/Don Ryan ……..

(6) Kevin Durant (35) of the Oklahoma City Thunder shoots against Tim Duncan (21) and Manu Ginobili (20) of the San Antonio Spurs on February 23, 2011 at AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The Spurs would end up defeating the Thunder 109-105 . Photos by D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images ………..

(7) In this Jan. 26, 2011, file photo shows Utah Jazz guard Deron Williams , center, attempting to score over Spurs guard Tony Parker of France, left, and Spurs forward DeJuan Blair , right, during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Salt Lake City. A person with knowledge of the trade says the New Jersey Nets have agreed to acquire All-Star point guard Deron Williams from the Jazz in a three-team deal. The Nets are sending rookie Derrick Favors and point guard Devin Harris to the Jazz as part of the package in a deal that also includes the Golden State Warriors . AP Photo/Colin E Braley ……..


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You Can Lead A Horse To Water But You Can’t Force It To Drink…….. Ah !

So the NBA season still in its infancy, and already it has had its first managerial casualty. Put your hands up if you thought that the New Orleans Hornets’ Byron Scott would’ve been that first casualty ? C’mon now, raise your hands I can’t see them ? Well, surprise, that’s definitely what has happened. Much to the surprise no doubt, to the Hornets’ fans and quite possibly the team’s All Star point guard Chris Paul. Now don’t get me wrong , I love Byron Scott and I believe him to be one of the better coaches in the NBA ! But how the hell can he not get the best out of this team which has a very good nucleus of players and if anything one the league’s elite players in Chris Paul ? Am I missing something here ?

Byron Scott,  the  now fired former  coach of the  Hornets.  GM ,  Jeff  Bower  who  has now  assumed  the  position  of  head coach  on  an  interim  basis.   And assistant  coach  ,  Tim  Floyd.   It's safe  to assume  that the  reins may  well be  handed  over  to Floyd   at some  time in the  future  given the  fact  Bower  has  no  experience  as a  coach of  any kind with   regard to the  NBA .   picture  appears  courtesy  of  nbae/  getty images / Richard  Tyson ..............
Byron Scott, the now fired former coach of the Hornets. GM , Jeff Bower who has now assumed the position of head coach on an interim basis. And assistant coach , Tim Floyd. It's safe to assume that the reins may well be handed over to Floyd at some time in the future given the fact Bower has no experience as a coach of any kind with regard to the NBA . picture appears courtesy of nbae/ getty images / Richard Tyson ..............

Now to make matters worse for the team, they will be without Chris Paul for anywhere up to two weeks. At 3-8 , having lost three straight games and with their last defeat being a rather lopsided loss to the Atlanta Hawks, 121-98. And with GM, Jeff Bower having assumed the reins, as coach of the team , on what is believed to be an interim basis. No one is quite sure what to make of the situation and what led to Scott’s abrupt firing and departure. Needless to say, that there’ll be a great deal of speculation as to what may well have went on, with regards to the action taken by Bower. Meanwhile,the task ahead for Bower and his assistants is to get the players, playing with a sense of urgency and more consistency. And that has obviously now been made a great deal harder with the loss of Paul, due to an injury. As he’s was viewed as the leader vocally , both on and off the field of play.

And things aren’t going to get any better for the Hornets in wake of what has transpired. In the Southwest Division of the Western Conference, they’ll have to deal with the likes of the Dallas Mavericks (6-3), Houston Rockets (5-4), San Antonio Spurs (4-4) and the ailing Memphis Grizzlies (2-8). Any respite that the team thought it might have , has been clouded in the aftermath of this internal upheaval. And with each of the teams in question having made significant changes to their player personnel. The thought that this might be the year for the Hornets to do something significant may well have to be reviewed.

Courtesy of NBA.com

Byron Scott relieved of coaching duties

Hornets General Manager Jeff Bower to serve as Head Coach

November 12, 2009

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have relieved Byron Scott of head coaching duties. Scott will be replaced by General Manager Jeff Bower.

“I want to thank Byron for the hard work he has put in during his time with the Hornets,” said Hornets Owner George Shinn. “I’ve hired Jeff Bower to take over the coaching reign. He knows this team better than anyone, has the respect of the players and in basketball circles, is regarded as one of the best basketball minds in the business. This is our best opportunity to reach our goals this season.”

Bower, who has spent his 14-plus seasons with the club, has been an invaluable asset for the Hornets at all levels in basketball operations. He began his tenure with the Hornets as an advance scout from 1995 to 1997 before earning a promotion as the team’s director of scouting. In addition to his scouting duties during the 1998-99 season, Bower joined the coaching ranks as an assistant after Paul Silas was named interim head coach on March 7, 1999 (and helped him lead the Hornets to a 22-13 record). After serving as the assistant general manager for the 2000-01 season, Bower was promoted to general manager in June of 2001 and has since held that position. He returned to the bench as an assistant coach under Floyd in 2003-04. Bower’s years of experience working at all levels in the Hornets’ basketball operations department culminated with his appointment to the current post of general manager just prior to the start of the team’s 2005-06 training

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Bower for his part, does have within his midst the experience of assistant coach,Tim Floyd,to fall back on. And with Floyd’s experience as a coach within the NBA , as well as at the collegiate level. It may augur well for the self installed novice coach. But that would of course be predicated upon Floyd being able to provide the much needed analysis and communicative presence to get his points across to Bower and the players alike. And based on what has transpired with Floyd on his previous foray into the NBA with the Chicago Bulls. I’ve a feeling that things might not go the way he or Bower might anticipate.

Certainly I’ve misplaced feelings about this all. As Byron Scott was the coach who brought along and nurtured the talents of Chris Paul. And it was also under his watch that David West also became an All Star in the NBA. All of a sudden, overnight, Byron Scott can’t have become the worse head coach in the NBA ? He’s had the privilege of leading the New Jersey Nets to consecutive Eastern Conference Championships and the on to consecutive NBA Finals, where upon, his teams would lose firstly to the Los Angeles Lakers, (2001-02) 4-0. And then the following season they would lose to the San Antonio Spurs, (2002-03) 4-2. On both occasions Byron Scott’s teams gave a spirited account of themselves. Albeit, that the sweep at the hands of the Lakers, came on the final leg of a hree-peat under the watchful eye of their coach, Phil Jackson .

And though this scenario may well seem far fetched. I’ve no doubt in my mind that Byron Scott will resume a coaching career in the NBA ! If the rumors are to be believed and that this could very well be Phil Jackson’s last years as a coach in the NBA . Then who better to assume the reins as his successor there in Los Angeles ?
Byron Scott as a former player with the team and a winner of multiple titles with them also. He’d essentially be the perfect fit for the team. The Lakers’ coaching staff as it is , it is bereft of someone with the same level of experience as a coach based upon the level attained by Byron Scott.Whether or not Mitch Kupchak, as general manager of the Los Angeles Lakers and the team’s owner, Dr. Jerry Buss would be amenable to such a hire, would no doubt be predicated upon the thoughts of Jackson, himself.

The fate now awaiting the New Orleans Hornets seems an uncertain one. I’d like to think also that Bowers’ action wasn’t a rash rush to judgment in getting rid of Scott. It’s tough enough for Jeff Bowers as he tries to maneuver through the terrain of the NBA as a novice coach. But it’s even far more daunting a prospect, if you’re doing that without your best player and vocal leader being on the court.

As one tries to look over the situation and review what transpired. You can’t help but wonder how much of this was in part due to Byron Scott ? And how much of this was due in no part to the players who were unable to follow the lead of their coach ? And it would be remiss , if not in part to question the action of Jeff Bower. At this stage of the season which is still in its infancy. One would’ve thought it best to keep Byron Scott on board and let him try and turn things around. Instead the scenario is now being created , that if things do get much worse.It could very well place the franchise in an irretrievable situation.And that’s something that no one within the Hornets’ organization, I fear would be willing to contemplate.

New Orleans Hornets’ roster 2009-10

12 Hilton Armstrong C-F 6-11 235 11/11/1984 Connecticut 3
6 Bobby Brown G 6-2 175 09/24/1984 Cal State-Fullerton 1
23 Devin Brown G 6-5 210 12/30/1978 Texas-San Antonio 7
2 Darren Collison G 6-0 160 08/23/1987 UCLA R
1 Ike Diogu F 6-9 250 09/11/1983 Arizona State 4
4 Sean Marks F-C 6-10 250 08/23/1975 California 9
50 Emeka Okafor F-C 6-10 255 09/28/1982 Connecticut 5
3 Chris Paul G 6-0 175 05/06/1985 Wake Forest 4
24 Morris Peterson G 6-7 220 08/26/1977 Michigan State 9
41 James Posey F 6-8 217 01/13/1977 Xavier (Ohio) 10
9 Darius Songaila F 6-9 248 02/14/1978 Wake Forest 6
16 Peja Stojakovic F 6-10 229 06/09/1977 Belgrade, Serbia 11
5 Marcus Thornton G 6-4 205 06/05/1987 Louisiana State R
30 David West F 6-9 240 08/29/1980 Xavier (Ohio) 6
32 Julian Wright F 6-8 225 05/20/1987 Kansas 2