You Want An NBA Storyline …………………… ?

You Want An NBA Storyline …. ?

It’s been something of an anticlimax to the say the least as the NBA season has got off to a rather inauspicious start. The Miami Heat of late has been the storyline that everyone wants to follow as the ‘Big Three’ have become the talk of the town . LeBron James , Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade have made the Heat relevant once again. That being said to my mind the story that has me wondering how asking what else can befall a team has been that of the Houston Rockets . It’s hard to comprehend the misfortune that has beset this team as having lost All Star center Yao Ming for the season to a recurring injury . While much of this has been happening the one constant to this all has been the play of Kevin Martin and the fact that without him the Rockets would simply just another byline to the NBA season.

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The troubling here there though has been the fact Yao hasn’t played a meaningful game in over a year and the danger is that his career now seems to be on the verge of being at end. Barring a miracle I seriously doubt that we’ll see this player back on a basketball court in a competitive NBA game. Say what you will but Yao Ming had his admirers as well as his detractors . At his peak, he was certainly one of the most admired but also one of the best centers in the game but herein lies the caveat to this all once injiries started to befall the player , you simply knew that it was only a matter of time before things would go south for both he and the organization . What now happens for the Rockets is now merely dependent upon the players and their desire play the remainder of the season with the zeal one would come to expect of a team looking for some type of redemption. If nothing else they owe it to themselves and their fans.

The NBA Western Conference has now become awash of the unexpected and as the plot thickens the idiocy surrounds the sudden lull in the play of the Los Angeles Lakers . Don’t be fooled by anything you’ve heard or read at this point of the season teams will have their ups and downs and it’s how they respond that will define them. The Lakers have rebounded back and Kobe Bryant and his teammates seem to now back in the driver’s seat and their resolve will be to play the games as they come and then in the postseason show the NBA world why it is they’re the reigning NBA champions . If nothing else you simply have to respect that pedigree and until they’re toppled off the pile then due respect has to be given .

The Lakers’ neighbors within the Staples Center the Los Angeles Clippers and their sudden recognition around the league. No one person is more responsible for this other than Blake Griffin and his play through much of the season so far . In the same way that Dominique Wilkins came to be known as the “Human Highlight Reel” , Griffin has single handedly made that nom-de-plume his very own this season with his spectacular dunks. Unfortunately for the Clippers and their fans this hasn’t resulted in that many wins and at the same the Clippers still remain the same old Clippers. I’ve often maintained that when an organization simply lacks the will and ambition to win then whatever befalls that team is simply one of its own making. Is there now a more despised owner in professional sports than the Clippers’ Donald Sterling ? OK, so we could add the Redskins’ Daniel Snyder , Pittsburgh Pirates Bob Nutting and last but not least Jerry Jones of the Cowboys.

I understand that the business of sports is primarily about making money and any bye product sought is to win championships but what can be said as to morass that continually extends and surrounds the Los Angeles Clippers ? Someone needs to explain to me at what point will their fans simply say enough is enough ………? It’s apparent that NBA Commissioner David Stern and the league hierarchy isn’t overly concerned as to the mediocre plight of the Clippers under the tenure of Donald Sterling. But then again simply but as long as the league is reaping the vast rewards of the billions of dollars that unyieldingly comes into its coffers he’s not going to be concerned. For Stern the storyline here is that of the attention gained by the likes of the Heat , Boston Celtics and Lakers . If they’re being repeatedly on by the press then Sterling’s concerns aren’t that great but then again this is the same individual who last season issued the statement that the $250 million paid to a number of teams should not be viewed as a bailout because of those teams’ financial plight due to the economic climate. Kind of makes you wonder what perception the commissioner is trying to create with that rather asinine statement ?

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Clueless in Phoenix as that appears to be the situation with the Phoenix Suns at present under Alvin Gentry as the Suns’ coach. Ever since their most recent trades with the team acquiring Vince Carter and a number of other players which in turn sent Jason Richardson to the Orlando Magic . This team can’t find a win much less play a lick of defense and statistically they rank in the bottom half of the league with that rather dubious distinction. And now with rumors circling that the franchise may well be willing to offload Steve Nash with a view as building for the future , the question being asked is where they go from here ?

With the competitiveness of the Western Conference where week in week out it’s something of a dog fight one could say that last season’s Western Conference finalist’s this season appears to be something of a regression back to the ways of old. In all likelihood if Gentry is unable to have the Suns playing with any semblance of a will to win then team owner Robert Sarver will look to bring in a coach who can take the team back to the heights and expectations that he feels befits the organization .

There’s reason at present for noted film director Spike Lee and avowed basketball fan to be happy as his New York Knicks are once again relevant . Coach Mike D’Antoni and his coaching staff has the team playing with a great deal of resolve within the NBA. Amar’e Stoudemire , Raymond Felton , Landry Fields and Wilson Chandler have been playing at a pace that not many may well have expected. And those in attendance at Madison Square Gardens for the Knicks’ home games have to be more than pleasantly surprised but also extremely excited.

With what we’re now seeing within the Eastern Conference there’s no reason to believe that the Knicks cannot play themselves into contention within the conference and garner their first playoff berth in almost a decade. At their current pace the Knicks are on target to win 47 games, albeit that a sub .500 record or slightly above can garner a playoff spot within the conference. If that’s not enough of an indictment as to how bad the conference can be, then simply look over the past seasons and the records of the teams that have prevailed within the conference in garnering a postseason berth ? It hasn’t been uncommon for the teams ranked four through eight to have a record barely above .500 (41-41). It remains to be seen if this season we can see a vast improvement of the teams in the lower half of the seedings within the conference and how they may well fare. If nothing else the remainder of this season will be proof of that and what we ought to expect from some of those teams within the conference.

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Should the Knicks make the playoffs there’s a distinct possibility that Mike D’Antoni could very well be in with a chance of winning the NBA’s Coach of The Year Award . Given what he’s been able to achieve in assessing and building this team with the help of President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh this has been a season of redemption for the Knicks and their long suffering fans . One can only hope that barring injuries they can remain on course of achieving their goals .

Chime in with your comments as to your thoughts on the NBA season and any of the topics raised within this piece .

NB: NBA Conference Standings ..

Latest NBA news …..

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NBA Divisional Standings ….

NBA Statistics ….

NBA win streaks by conference and division

Alan aka tophatal ……………………….

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Faran W

Eye candy ……………. Faren Williams

More of Faren….. as you know doubt like it ?

Faren

That’s a body worth watching from any view ! Faren’s that is !

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Lupe Fiasco feat’g …… Matthew Santos …….. ” Superstar”

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The Fallout …………………

The Fallout

Well it’s happening the ramifications of not living up to expectations. It is to be expected in the highly volatile world of competitive professional sports. The NBA has seen its first casualty of the postseason as the Atlanta Hawks’ ___ Mike Woodson was informed that his services will no be longer be required as coach of the Eastern Conference __ team . A rather somewhat understated and lackluster performance in the playoffs was enough for the Hawks’ front office to come to a quick and conclusive decision.

With Woodson now out as coach of the Hawks this makes it four vacancies within the NBA. The Chicago Bulls , __ New Jersey Nets and New Orleans Hornets now are in search of a coach. Now one might think that this might not have any bearing on the prospective free agency market. And with all the hype over LeBron James and his impending free agency decision. With at least five or six teams said to be in the mix for James’ service apart from his home state team . It has to be said that should James decide to leave the only club he’s played for professionally. It’s obvious that should he make the decision to leave then he could overnight become the most despised person in the state of Ohio. Well we know that former Browns’ owner Art Modell is about as liked within the state as Osama Bin-Laden is said to be liked by the US government and the rest of the Western hemisphere.

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Now there’s no denying that the whole NBA universe will be waiting with baited breath as to impending decision to be made by LeBron James. He can remain in Cleveland and re-sign with the team for the maximum contract possible. Or he could seek out pastures green and make his desired destination either to the East Coast or stay essentially within the mid-west. That asides Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert and team GM Danny Ferry have a great deal to think about concerning James and building “a team” that would be complementary to his skills .

While it was clear that during the regular season the Cavaliers were a competitive team. It became increasingly clear that once the postseason was under way there were a great many flaws that came to the fore concerning this team. None of them more transparent than the fact that James failed to live up to those perceived expectations of grandeur. Only rare glimpses of brilliance did we actually see from James in his postseason performances. That being said it was far better than the contributions made by his teammates . And for Ferry this has to be frustrating to see a team that was assembled in mind towards winning an NBA title . The team’s abysmal performance in the Eastern Conference semi-finals loss (4-2 the Boston Celtics) indicated to us all that this squad was actually no nearer to an NBA title than Lindsay Lohan could be considered to be a legitimate contender or nominee for an Oscar . Would it be fair to say that the Cavaliers under achieved this season ?

Now with the conference finals now set to get under way with the Los Angeles Lakers taking on the Phoenix Suns and in the East we have the Boston Celtics taking on their conference rivals and perhaps most competitive adversary in the Orlando Magic . And it would be fair to say that the quartet of teams would have something to prove to not only their respective fans but also to the rest of the NBA. The Magic as the defending conference champions will be looking to defend their crown successively and make a return to the NBA Finals . As the losing finalists in last year’s finals . The Magic led by their dynamic center Dwight Howard will be looking to avenge their 4-1 series’ defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers. And for coach Stan Van Gundy this will give him the chance to prove once and for all that he’s finally ready redeem himself after last season’s loss in the NBA Finals.

It ought to come as no surprise that NBA Commissioner David Stern looks to the game’s showcase event as a way of ensuring the game’s burgeoning popularity . To be sure that the game has its fans the world over. The game’s popularity in particular in the Pan Pacific basin is astonishing.. And when one considers that the three most popular selling branded jerseys are that of Yao Ming , Kobe Bryant and LeBron James . It gives you the evidence that suggests that the , Beijing Olympics did more than open up the Asian market for the NBA brand.

Either way the stage is being set for what could be the decidedly perfect setup of a possible rematch of Celtics ___ Lakers’ NBA Finals . But then again the Orlando Magic and Phoenix Suns might have a great deal to say about that. Suns’ coach Alvin Gentry can use this to prove to his peers and the fans alike that he’s more than capable of leading “a team” to the NBA Finals. He has been widely accepted as a very good coach at the assistant level. But we’re now finally seeing how capable he is as a head coach . And the possibility of Gentry leading this Suns’ team to raising the Larry O’Brien Trophy would be viewed as quite a tremendous achievement and accolade. And given the fact that for Suns’ veterans Grant Hill , Steve Nash and Jason Richardson this may well be the last chance that they will have to grace the game’s grandest stage with their presence.

The Los Angeles Lakers are simply looking to add to last year’s triumph and for this team to cement their own legacy. At the same time Lakers’ guard Kobe Bryant merely wants to show the rest of the world that having reached the NBA summit once , without the assistance of Shaquille O’Neal he can still do it a second time with a much understated cast of players. And at his side once again providing the venerable advice will be the team’s legendary coach Phil Jackson . And for Jackson with the speculation once again rising as to his immediate future with the team. It will be very interesting what arises out of this all at the culmination of the NBA postseason. Speculation may well begin as to who his immediate successor might be should he choose to step down from his position, as coach of the team.

The two conference finals are now being viewed as something of a mismatch. And it has to be said that in reality at the end of the day ” this is a win win situation for the NBA” ! . The viewership will be there for the event , no matter what the two final teams might be. The preordained belief that a Cavaliers ___ Lakers match up would be of benefit to the game as well as the fans was essentially shot to hell. And the given reason was due to the fact that the Cavaliers were vastly overrated to begin with. As I’ve alluded to in earlier pieces, it’s all well and good to rave on about LeBron James. But it is becoming abundantly clear that the player is not in the class of Michal Jordan , Magic Johnson , “Dr J or Larry Bird when it comes to leading a team in the game’s premiere event. His supporting cast has been anything but glorious and the player himself , has finally shown that he has what it takes but clearly can’t do it all by himself. And the reality may well be that it is now in the best interest for the player to go to a team that would better serve his needs and ambitions. Truth be told there’s the suspicion that the player may well choose to remain in Cleveland and give it just one last shot at a title run . Why you say ? Essentially because James is a businessman and economically it is in his best interests to do so. I’ve read the asinine assumption that the player would seek to go to a club were he would be offered a stake in the franchise. Well given the fact that the contributor was using the most ridiculous of and speculative of situations and the notion from the outset that this isn’t allowed by the NBA hierarchy . One has to assume that this individual has very little knowledge about the game, much less the rules governing the sport. And from a business standpoint his knowledge might be in light with that of Sarah Palin’s knowledge on the US economy and its macro economic diversity upon the nation and around the globe.

The one thing that we can however be sure of is , that as of now , absolutely nothing will be out of the ordinary as these series now unfold. You make your choices now and simply just stick with them. As for what the future holds for LeBron James does anyone really care ? Well perhaps those teams who are actually in with a chance of landing him to begin with. And the way I view it , if you haven’t even assembled a core group of talent that would complementary to the player’s talent to begin with. Then why in hell’s name would you even consider trying to lure the player to begin with ? I mean we’ve seen what has taken place with the Cavaliers to begin with. An aging Shaquille O’Neal and a player in Antawn Jamison who simply couldn’t get the job done with the given talent there. So anyone who’s under the assumption that the New York Knicks might fare any better simply ought to look at the team and their legacy recently . Need I anymore on the matter ? They haven’t a coach worth a damn or a general manager who knows what the hell he is actually doing !

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The resumption of the “NBA Playoffs” may well tell us a great deal about the remaining quartet of teams and their ambitions ! Who do you view as being the final pair left standing and ” which team” do you actually see being triumphant in the end ? By all means chime in with a comment . I look forward to responding with as succinct a response possible . Thanks in advance for the continued support as it’s always appreciated !

NB: Prospective list of 2010 NBA restricted and unrestricted free agents. Simply click on link provided to view the list of names in question. Click here to view . Heading the list as we know is LeBron James but there will be a wide and assorted list of names coming to the market. Here are but a few of the names.

1) Carlos Boozer __ Utah Jazz
2) Ray Allen __ Boston Celtics
3) David Lee ___ New York Knicks
4) Dirk Nowitzki _____ Dallas Mavericks
5) Dwyane Wade ___ Miami Heat
6) Amar`e Stoudemire ____ Phoenix Suns
7) Chris Bosh ____ Toronto Raptors
(8) Carlos Bozer ____ Utah Jazz

To view the list of restricted and unrestricted free agents for the 2010 NBA Free Agency class just click on the link provided. 2010 NBA Free Agents ………..

For details of the ongoing 2010NBA Playoffs click link provided for further information. 2010 NBA Playoffs ……….


Alan Parkins aka tophatal

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Mary J Blige ……………… “I’m Going Down”