A Point Guard , A Point Guard , My Kingdom For A Point Guard

A Point Guard , A Point Guard , My Kingdom For A Point Guard

By tophatal …….

I’m trying to figure out the mindset of the Phoenix Suns and the very fact that team’s ownership group headed by Robert Sarver has me wondering whether or it is their intent trade Steve Nash or retain him at the NBA’s trade deadline on the 15th March , 2012 . It’s clear that the team simply isn’t going anywhere and that head coach Alvin Gentry and the players are going through the motions.

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The fact that a solid veteran such as Steve Nash is still playing at a high level on what is essentially a very weak team has to elicit some sort of response from the Suns’ fans in attendance for the franchise’s home games . Struggling to contend within the Pacific Division of the Western Conference and it’s hard to see how the team can even make a spirited attempt at a playoff berth within the conference .

Nash alongside another seasoned veteran in Grant Hill might just be about the only thing warrants anyone taking an interest in seeing the Phoenix Suns play at at all this season . At 14-20 with the season resuming after the NBA’s mid-season showcase in the All Star game .

Inasmuch as Gentry has the appearance of being a good X’s and O’s coach , one of the ongoing reasons for the Suns’ failure in not being competitive , is the mere fact that the team fails to play any type of defense resolutely . This has been the same premise that has been the mantra of this organization as Mike D’Antoni , Alvin Gentry’s predecessor never quite got the handle that defense was a prerequisite to any game played by a team under his coaching tenure . Care to take a look at how the New York Knicks are doing as a team in spite of their recent streak ? And the very fact that Jeremy Lin , though a starting sensation remains a turnover machine of unimaginable proportions .

With the trade deadline coming up on the 15th March , we could very well see some major movements as a number of players seeking greener pastures and teams seeking to dump salary as they place themselves in position for the NBA Draft . With points guards not necessarily being at a premium in free agency market , it could very well be that if the right offer comes along the Suns may well seek to trade Steve Nash. And play of Nash’s productivity and wily leadership skills could very well be what the Los Angeles Lakers seek as productivity at the position , from both Steve Blake and Derek Fisher over the course of this season , can be best described as being mediocre !

With a young core at the center of the Suns’ roster it would certainly make sense for the front office to think about the future now rather than seeking to simply meander aimlessly nowhere over the coming years. For the Phoenix Suns over the course of their history there have very few highs but a great many lows as their annual record bears this out . Suns’ President and Head of Basketball Operations Lon Babby in conjunction with Robert Sarver will be hard pressed in trying to justify retaining Nash if the team isn’t simply in with a chance of gaining a playoff berth and given the team’s most recent ….. performances that now appears to be highly unlikely .

Marcin Gortat , Steve Nash and Grant Hill clearly can’t do it all by themselves albeit that the core members of the team such as Jared Dudley , Shannon Brown , Markieff Morris , Michael Redd and Ronnie Price have ably assisted in whatever ways necessary . With Nash possibly leaving this organization , Grant Hill would be the last remaining remnant of the organization in terms of a lengthy tenure with the Phoenix Suns. Amare` Stoudemire’s departure purely from the standpoint I believe where money was the prevailing factor , joined the New York Knicks . And as we know as glamorous as the organization now appears to be , from a competitive standpoint the Knicks still remain a franchise through its insistence of simply playing pure offense will be a team that won’t be any closer to winning an NBA title than a leopard would be in changing its spots !

Speculation continues to surround whether or not Deron Williams will remain with the New Jersey Nets . The point guard can opt out of his contract this season and all signs now seem to pointing towards that being a possibility , given the team’s poor showing within the Atlantic Divison of the Eastern Conference . The Nets are an incredulous 2-8 in their last ten games and their coach Avery Johnson in spite of undoubted talents , just doesn’t seem to be able to corral his players together in order to get them playing with any type of cohesiveness . Injuries have plagued the team this season with Brook Lopez being sidelined for much of their schedule . It has been left to the likes of Williams , MarShon Brooks , Anthony Morrow , and Kris Humphries to provide the much needed offense for the Nets as well as whatever meaningful defense that can be attained . The fact of the matter is , on both sides of the ball , defensively and offensively , this Nets’ team is very suspect .

The New Jersey Nets as a concern are caught between a rock and hard place when one bears mind the moves made by the front office in acquiring Deron Williams , during which a large part of the team’s roster was used as the primary bargaining chip in obtaining the point guard . The fact that Williams’ tenure with the Nets could be so short-lived speaks to the fact that this team has performed poorly and the very fact there has been very little insight being showed by GM Billy King . With team owner , multi-billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov focusing his talents elsewhere , as he looks to succeed Drmitry Medvedev as Russia’s President . It is hard to see how Prokhorov cannot be concerned with the free-fall of the team and the very fact that it could very well be on the verge of losing its biggest asset from a commercial and competitive standpoint. Granted , the main purpose was actually to build a competitive team that complemented the talents of Deron Williams , with the franchise also looking to move into their soon to be completed multi-billion dollar venue , the Barclays Center /Atlantic Yards Development in Brooklyn , New York . The venue could very well become an ominous white elephant if as such , there isn’t a lure to attract fans to the venue to see one the league’s brightest stars and one of their most accomplished players at the point guard position .

With the fomenting troubles said to be brewing within the Los Angeles Lakers’ front office and the mere fact that Kobe Bryant isn’t at all happy with the lack of movement by way of bolstering the team’s roster . The player has been very vocal in his dissatisfaction with Mike Brown , Mitch Kupchak and the ownership of Jerry Buss but specifically Buss’ son , Jim Buss . Bryant’s expletive ladened rant which was seen and caugh by the local tv stations and then televised nationally by ESPN was venomous in its direction , tone and length . I’d dare say that the ears of all three Lakers’ executives are still ringing from Bryant’s blast across their bow ! Let’s just say that in the NBA it’s still a players’ league but primarily the superstars’ league and there’s not really the coaches , owners or league hierarchy can actually do about it !

Does anyone really believe or think that the likes of LeBron James , Bryant , Carmelo Anthony , Deron Williams and Amare` Stoudemire can’t speak their mind and still be punished by the NBA , given their high profile ? Never mind the fact that the players in question earn a king’s ransom both on and off the court . A mere $100,000 monetary fine for being critical of the league isn’t going to necessarily burn a hole in the pocket of a player who’s earning in excess of $18 million a year at all is it ? David Stern chooses his battles with scrutiny when it comes to casting his powers to punish with impunity , when it comes to many of the league’s high profiled stars . I’m not saying the NBA commissioner is a chicken but that clucking sound you might sometimes hear could be coming from one of the subordinates within his office as he (Stern) simply wants to be viewed as a nice guy by the fans and public alike !

The premise was this , I believe with regard to the thought process by Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss when it came to hiring a successor to Phil Jackson but simply get a high profiled but young coach who could win over the players on the roster ! Perhaps it’s me but I felt that the organization had a ready made successor in Brian Shaw , as the former Lakers’ player and an assistant to Jackson , had a very close relationship with Kobe Bryant . And if the rumors are to be believed , then there was very little input sought from the player as to whom Jackson’s successor should be . Do you think that Kobe Bryant isn’t still miffed at that , given his recent tirade against the Lakers’ organization ? Now we come full circle , as to Bryant’s primary gripe with the general manager and coach . And that has been their lack of action in bolstering the playing personnel . Rumors have been rife that as of late the Lakers were prepared to shop Pau Gasol as trade bait with a view to luring Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic . That may or may not happen the case , given the uncertainty now swirling around the Magic franchise and specifically the lack of outright candor from team CEO Alec Martins or GM Otis Smith .

The premise was this , I believe with regard to the thought process by Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss when it came to hiring a successor to Phil Jackson but simply get a high profiled but young coach who could win over the players on the roster ! Perhaps it’s me but I felt that the organization had a ready made successor in Brian Shaw , as the former Lakers’ player and an assistant to Jackson , had a very close relationship with Kobe Bryant . And if the rumors are to be believed , then there was very little input sought from the player as to whom Jackson’s successor should be . Do you think that Kobe Bryant isn’t still miffed at that , given his recent tirade against the Lakers’ organization ? Now we come full circle , as to Bryant’s primary gripe with the general manager and coach . And that has been their lack of action in bolstering the playing personnel . Rumors have been rife that as of late the Lakers were prepared to shop Pau Gasol as trade bait with a view to luring Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic . That may or may not happen the case , given the uncertainty now swirling around the Magic franchise and specficially the lack of outright candor from team CEO Alec Martins or GM Otis Smith . Now unless both of these executives are willing to play a high risk game of poker and stake their profession , then they had better prove to their All Star center , that it is their intent to retain his services and to go about building a championship caliber team , rather than the quite clearly inept product that is currently on display . Otherwise , Dwight Howard will be following in the footsteps of another former Magic player , in , Shaquille O’Neal , and simply leave the organization to ply his trade elsewhere .

For the Los Angeles Lakers to be viewed as a viable alternate and legitimate contender to the likes of the Oklahoma City Thunder , San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks then clearly they are going to need far more productivity than they are currently getting from either Steve Blake or Derek Fisher at the point guard position . I wouldn’t mind but the Lakers’ bench isn’t necessarily something to be fearful of to begin with but you’d be hard pressed to convince a Lakers’ fan much less the coaching staff of that fact !

To my mind what the Los Angeles Lakers clearly need to do, is package a multi-player deal that will either get a point guard capable of producing the productivity that they seek , rather than continuing with the duo that they presently have within their midst ! Steve Nash at barely 50% is clearly better than Blake and Fisher combined . Deron Williams at his best is an upgrade far beyond anything that the Lakers’ fans have been use to in the last five years at the point guard position. But clearly the question for Mitch Kupchak , Jim Buss and Mike Brown , is do they have the intestinal fortitude to do what it takes to make this team better ? Or are they going to wait for their now clearly unhappy guard , Kobe Bryant to lay another volley of abuse across their bow and stern once again ? Simply put , it’s time for Kupchak and Brown to earn their damn money and stop with this facade that they know what they’re doing at present . If they did , then perhaps Bryant wouldn’t be abusing their ass like a pimp bitch slaps one of his whores for not earning enough to keep him in the lifestyle ………. he’s become accustomed to ! Do I really need to say anymore on the matter at this juncture ? .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

In light of the point raised within this piece do you believe that either Steve Nash or Deron Williams would be a viable option for the Lakers’ given their issues and lack of productivity from the point guard position ? Or do you feel that Kupchak and Brown will keep things as they are concerning the team ? And what thoughts if any do you have concerning the impending future of Dwight Howard with the Orlando Magic ? Should he remain with the organization or request a trade given what appears to be the reluctance of the front office to actually build a championship caliber team around him ? Simply chime in with a comment as you see fit ?

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Picture and slide show details below.
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(1) Western Conference’s Steve Nash, right, of the Phoenix Suns, and Dirk Nowitzki, of the Dallas Mavericks, warm up for the NBA All-Star basketball game , Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012, in Orlando, Fla. AP Photo/Chris O’Meara ….

(2) ORLANDO, FL – FEBRUARY 24: Markieff Morris (11) of the Phoenix Suns and Team Shaq dunks during the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge part of the 2012 NBA All-Star Weekend at Amway Center on February 24, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images …

(3) Golden State Warriors guard Monta Ellis , right, cannot save the ball from going out of bounds as he is guarded by Phoenix Suns forward Grant Hill, left, in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012, in Phoenix. The Warriors won 106-104 . AP Photo/Paul Connors … ….

(4) Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash (13) drives to the basket against Golden State Warriors guard Monta Ellis, left, in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012, in Phoenix. The Warriors won 106-104 . AP Photo/Paul Connors ….

(5) Suns’ owner Robert Sarver seen here is seated next to Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers attends the NBA game between the Boston Celtics and the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on January 28, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. …..

(6) ORLANDO, FL – FEBRUARY 26: Deron Williams (8) of the New Jersey Nets and the Eastern Conference dunks during the 2012 NBA All-Star Game at the Amway Center on February 26, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. Photo by Jeff Haynes-Pool/Getty Images ….

(7) Nets’ coach Avery Johnson , left, is seen here alongside team owner Mikhail Prokhorov and GM Billy King during a brief interlude at the team’s training session . Prokhorov seeks the Presidency in his native Russia as an independent candidate hoping to beat Vladmir Putin and succeed incumbent Drmitry Medvedev . AP/Getty Images/ Sharon Messer … …

(8) Mike Brown (left) is seen here alongside the Los Angeles Lakers’ general manager Mitch Kupchak at the team’s training facility the Toyota Ceneter in El Segundo , California ,. The two are said to be under a great deal of pressure to facilitate a trade that would bring in a high profiled player to complement the existing roster. LA Times / Brad Hurst ….

(9) Western Conference’s Kobe Bryant (24), of the Los Angeles Lakers, reacts after Dwyane Wade’s hard smack to his nose, during the second half of the NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012 in Orlando, Fla. A bloodied Bryant scored 27 points , moving past Michael Jordan as the career scoring leader in the game . AP Photo/Chris O’Meara

(10) Kobe Bryant (24) of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Western Conference looks to pass as he is defended by Dwight Howard (12) of the Orlando Magic and the Eastern Conference during the 2012 NBA All-Star Game at the Amway Center on February 26, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images …

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NBA news

NBA schedule Tuesday 28th February , 2012

NBA Standings by conference & by …. division

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New Jersey Nets news

New Jersey Nets’ front office

Head coach Avery Johnson & coaching assistants

New Jersey Nets’ roster

New Jersey Nets’ team stats

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Phoenix Suns’ news

Phoenix Suns’ front office

Head coach Alvin Gentry & coaching staff

Phoenix Suns’ roster

Phoenix Suns’ team stats

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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Picture gallery . By clicking on an individual frame you can view that picture in its original formatted size.

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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A Good Workman Never Blames His Tools But You Can Be Sure That Others Will ………………..

A Good Workman Never Blames His Tools But You Can Be Sure That Others Will ………………..

Well the ramifications have been felt from the abrupt departure of the Cleveland Cavaliers from the NBA Playoffs and they’re being bounced out in the Eastern Conference semi-finals (4-2) by the Boston Celtics . Anyone who was of the opinion that the Cavaliers were in for an easy ride to begin with , obviously were riding on the LeBron James’ bandwagon. And for much of the season it was quite a pleasant ride. But for me when I’m taken on a journey I also like to have a change of scenery and view many of the different venues on that journey. In essence what I’m saying is I just don’t want to see how LeBron plays but also how his teammates contribute to the play of the team and its makeup. And it would be fair to say that for much of the season it was essentially all about LeBron . I mean the NBA writers and the broadcasters such as ABC/ESPN , TNT and NBA Tv wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Never mind what the tv pundits had to say about it all.

To see the like of Kenny Smith , Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller fawn over LeBron was akin to watching several pubescent teenage boys discover a Playboy centerfold expose’. I’m not saying that their erections lasted way beyond 4 hours but it wouldn’t have surprised me if each had used more than the average dosage prescribed of Cialis “Charles have you got a hard on for LeBron ” ? Kenny Smith . “Course Kenny , I gets a hard on anytime I sees something that I want to stick my di_k into and that includes your momma” !

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With the fallout , now comes the speculation as to whether or not James leaves the only professional franchise he’s ever played for or whether or not he remains with the team and gives it another shot at chasing that elusive first NBA title . Given the fact that the Cavaliers’ front office placed a team around around the player that was hardly complementary to his skill-set. I can see how some would surmise that this isn’t all LeBron’s fault ! But is it Mike Brown’s fault or that of his coaching staff ? Or does the blame actually lay with GM Danny Ferry who essentially was the architect of this roster with some input from the star player (LeBron), himself . Apparently , it was mentioned that the player and the executive couldn’t agree upon whether it was prudent at the time to acquire Amar’e Stoudemire from the Phoenix Suns just prior to the trade deadline. Instead the team went after and acquired an aging Shaquille O’Neal .And the rest as they say is history.

As the three tv pundits and former NBA players made claims as to the argument to be made. It was plain to see that all three were enamored with the two time league MVP and the prowess shown throughout much of the season . But not once did any of them make a case that any of LeBron’s teammates had contributed to the team’s success as they perceived it. Albeit, that TNT show host , Ernie Johnson did try to set them straight on that very fact. But to see Johnson try and interject himself between the triumvirate to make a case was in essence, a losing battle.

What we can candidly take away from this all without reservation is that LeBron James while being a phenomenal player, he is no leader either on or off the court. If he is , then someone show me a clear indication where that is in fact the case. He strives to be like his childhood hero , Michael Jordan . But he’s so far away from reaching that pinnacle of excellence that it doesn’t bear talking about. And even if you start to make comparisons as to either player’s abilities at varying points of their careers. What is it that we already know about Jordan that we’ve yet to see in LeBron ? It is the fact that Jordan over time trusted those around him and made them an integral part of the success that he and his teammates strove for . Can we actually say that about LeBron at this juncture ?

Now one could make the claim that James has been given little to work with. And that may well be a fair observation. But how can one explain away the abrupt demise of the team that posted the league’s best record of 61-21 ? And then the next minute they fall as flat as a pancake ? And this was a team that many believed to be the prohibitive favorite to win it all this season . So much so, that they were even favored over the defending NBA champions , the Los Angeles Lakers . And the talk was of a finals for the ages with a matchup of the two best players of this generation in LeBron James and Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers. As we now know , it wasn’t to be.

With there being little left to say on the matter other than to say stop with the inanity of making comparisons between James and his predecessors and that of his peers as of today. All we’re now seeing from those who choose to chime in with comments are tidbits of idiocy that as such have no merit on where , how and what may well happen in the future. It is the immediacy of the here and now that actually counts. And what I believe that we can now all agree upon is that the lavish praise and hype heaped upon LeBron James while to many it was deemed justified . It has now in fact cast a giant shadow over the player and his presumed greatness. If we’re now questioning his abilities then what do you think is going inside the player’s head at this moment in time ? He was expected to lead the Cavaliers to triumph and he’d been given the tools to get the job done. Instead , not only did he fail miserably but his leadership now comes into question as does his temperament and whether or not he’s capable of handling real adversity when it looks him in the face.

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And while this is all going on James can only look from afar and admire while Kobe Bryant makes it all look so damn easy ! The Lakers are now embarking upon making a successful return and defense of their title. Having defeated the Phoenix Suns – ____ 128-107 in game one of the Western Conference Finals. Phil Jackson’s __ team are now but three wins away from making an impressive run and return to the 2010 NBA Finals .

There’s a great deal to happen between now and the culmination of the NBA postseason. Come July 1st we could know a great deal more about what lies ahead for the NBA and its future. Chances are we could see LeBron James with a new set of work tools , a new team or we won’t. Which is it to be ? How do you as such view the debacle surrounding the Cavaliers and where as such should the ultimate blame lay ? With the player and his teammates ? With the coaching staff or indeed the front office ? By all means chime in with a comment and I’ll do my utmost to answer succinctly and in an appropriate time frame.

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………………………….

Johnny Cash ………………..”I’ve Been Working On The Rail Road”

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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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Picture gallery for your perusal .

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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”

Fill In The Blank or Blanks As The Case Maybe ……………….

Fill In The Blank or Blanks As The Case Maybe ……………….

Well now that the NBA Playoffs have reached the conference semi-finals stages. It’s beginning to look like the “presumed favorites” as it now stands ought to be making their way to the respective conference finals. As an avowed Spurs’ fan all I’ve got to say about the team at present is “……….what the hell are you guys doing or thinking” ? Were the San Antonio Spurs a race horse and they came up lame up as they have done is this series against the Phoenix Suns , thus far. Then I for one would have them euthanized. How the hell can Gregg Popovich have himself be out-coached by Alvin Gentry ? That’s akin to having someone subscribed to the statement that Britney Spears is a far much better performer and singer than Alicia Keys ? So now lip syncing now beats out sheer raw talent ? What is the world now coming to ? I guess that’s why we’ve got “American Idol” on Fox television ?

Performers can come and go but “real talent” stands the test of time !

Fill in the blank as to what Kobe might be saying to Lamar or vice versa ?

Here are few suggestions to start you off concerning the perceived exchange being made between the duo.

1) “Man, Khloe is a ‘ho in the bedroom but a lousy cook” ! Lamar

2) “Vanessa doesn’t like it when I ask her stop drop and roll during sex” Kobe

3) “I still think that I’m in with a chance of nailin’ Khloe’s mom , Kris Jenner “! Lamar

4) “Damn man that’s what I was thinking too ” ! Kobe

5) “I’d definitely like to try having oral sex with Kim just to see if she’s any different from that chick in Eagle, Colorado. She gave “good head” and that was it . The rest wasn’t all that “! Kobe

6) “Dang Kobe why you gotta go there man” ? Lamar

7) “I dunno’ ’bout you but I don’t think LeBron is all that ” !___ Lamar. ” That’s for sho’ he ain’t got goin’ on like me. He ain’t poppin’ it like me and I’m off the chain fo’ shizzle ” ! ____ Kobe

(8) “Kobe do ya’ think the sistas hate us ’cause we’ only been with “white chicks” ? ___ Lamar. “Man shut the _uck up I dated a sista’ in high school and I took Brandy to her prom. That’s gotta count for somethin’ ! ” _________ Kobe.

So guys chime on in with a comment concerning the caption as well as your thoughts on the NBA Playoffs so far.

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This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Slide-show for your perusal.

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For now I’ll abide by whatever, fate has in store for my “team” but I can’t say at all that I’m entirely happy with their display in the series so far ! It’s as my Royal Marine drill instructor one told us on an exercise . “We’re not here to merely play games we’re here to fight and it’s my duty to make men out of you ……… “you bunch of cherry assed choirboys ” ! Do I like what I see from the Spurs as of now ? Hell no ! But I’ll support them come hell or high water but at the same time I’ll call their asses out if they’re playing like a “bunch of wimps” ! Which is exactly what they’re now doing in this series. It’s hard to believe that this is the same team who dealt with the Dallas Mavericks so clinically in the previous round !

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Picture gallery .

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Click on the respective links provided to view the details of the series now underway in the NBA Playoffs.

Conference semi-finals

Eastern Conference * Denotes team with home-field advantage.

* Cleveland Cavaliers vs Boston Celtics . _____ Click here .

* Orlando Magic vs Atlanta Hawks . ____ Click here .

Western Conference

* Los Angeles Lakers vs Utah Jazz ___ Click here .

* Phoenix Suns vs San Antonio Spurs ___ Click here .

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………..

Jamie Foxx feat’g Justin Timberlake & TI ………….”Winner”

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<font face="andalus"  size="3">   Brittany  and   Surelyn   packin'  a  whole  of  <b> fire   power    in  their   "as_ses" </b>   don't   you  think  ?  </font>

Models Brittany (left) and Surelyn (right). Each seems to be packin’ a great “deal of firepower” in their “bootylicious” booty’s don’t you think ?

The Other Lopez Boy ………………

The Other Lopez Boy

Well now that we know the New Jersey Nets won’t be making the postseason . Lets look at what the other Lopez is doing in the NBA ? It’s not often that you have siblings competing in the same sport at the same time. Though it’s not a rarity but seldom does it happen where the siblings are said to be comparable in talent. In the case of Brook and Robin Lopez , such was the scenario. case.

Brook  & Robin  Lopez
Brook & Robin Lopez of the New Jersey Nets and Phoenix Suns. Both were drafted in the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft by their respective teams out of Stanford University. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Robin Truman ...............

Both were drafted out of Stanford , with Brook going to the Nets and Robin going to the Phoenix Suns . Both were drafted in the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft by the aforementioned teams. Each has had their share of struggles acclimatizing with their respective teams and to the rigors of the NBA. Now in their sophomore season they’ve begun to make strides and are contributing to their teams. Though in the case of Brook and the Nets those contributions won’t be recognized in terms of anything tangible by way of on-field success for the team . For Robin on the other hand , he and the Suns are proving to be major threat in the Western Conference of the NBA, as they strive for a playoff berth.

Courtesy of New Jersey Record Herald & News

Nets shock first-place Celtics

By Al Iannazzone

Boston- As the Nets exchanged high-fives and patted each other’s back after an unexpected job well done, Rasheed Wallace removed his headband and slammed it to the floor before walking off in disgust.

The Celtics didn’t want to be that team, but they were. The Nets were going to break through at some point and get a victory over a good team and that time came Saturday afternoon and that team was the Celtics.

Showing tremendous and surprising poise, the Nets didn’t buckle under the pressure of Boston’s fourth-quarter comeback and a deafening arena. The Nets stood tall down the stretch and finished off a stunning 104-96 victory inside TD Banknorth Garden.

“To finally break through against a good team like this shows us what we’re capable of,” Brook Lopez said after leading the Nets with 25 points.

“This is a big win for us,” said Devin Harris, who celebrated his 27th birthday with 23 points. “Hopefully it’s a building block for us.”

In the other locker room, there was frustration, a feeling the Nets know all too well.

“I got nothing to say,” said Kevin Garnett, who scored 26. “I feel disgusted.”

The Celtics (36-21) were humiliated Thursday, losing by 20 here to Cleveland on national TV, but this tops that.

Playing without Paul Pierce, the Celtics opened a 12-2 lead. They were outplayed badly from there as the Nets (6-52) were more aggressive by far. The Nets took the lead at the end of the first quarter and never relinquished it, building an 18-point edge in the fourth.

Last week, the Nets squandered an 18-point lead in a loss to Memphis, and fourth quarters have been their enemies lately. But they wouldn’t let up this time. Their assertiveness showed from the line, where they took 41 foul shots, 30 more than Boston.

The Nets go for their first two-game winning streak this season – a real possibility – tonight with Washington visiting Izod Center. Four wins in their remaining 24 games and the Nets will avoid matching or setting the record for the most losses in NBA history.

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Click on the above link to read the article in its entirety.
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New Jersey Nets center <strong> Brook Lopez </strong>(11) slaps hands with teammate Chris Douglas-Roberts during the fourth quarter of their <strong> 104-96</strong> win over the Boston Celtics in an NBA basketball game in Boston Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010. photo appears  courtesy  of  Associated Press/ Winslow Townson....
New Jersey Nets center Brook Lopez (11) slaps hands with teammate Chris Douglas-Roberts during the fourth quarter of their 104-96 win over the Boston Celtics in an NBA basketball game in Boston Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Winslow Townson....

For the Nets and their entire front office this has been a season which they’d rather no doubt forget. Losing their first 17 games , the team now sits with a 6-52 record within the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. Atop of the table within the division are the Boston Celtics (36-21) . For Nets’ President of Basketball Operations Rod Thorn and the team’s GM Alex Diaz , this can’t have been what they had envisaged for the team at the start of the season. And it certainly hasn’t helped their cause that the organization is said to be financially ‘cash strapped’
because of the development of the development of the commercial venture which will house the team when they proceed to move to Brooklyn, New York. Bruce Ratner the one time team owner and now a minority stake partner in the team, has done as much as he can to bring the franchise on par with the likes of the New York Knicks , Los Angeles Lakers , Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics as a competitive and financial powerhouse within the NBA. I ought to take that back with regards to the Knicks as they couldn’t spell the word competitive much less play competitive , if you spotted them the letters ‘C’, ‘O’, ‘M’, ‘E’, ‘T’, ‘I’ and ‘V’ ! For Russian energy tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov , who recently acquired a majority stake in the New Jersey Nets, he wants nothing more than success for the organization. And he’ll no doubt do whatever it takes to make sure that becomes a reality for the organization and for its fans.

Nets’ coach Kiki Vandeweghe has struggled to gain any semblance of cohesiveness from the team. And with that ‘ 6-52’ record now becoming a yoke around the team’s very neck.. It’s hard to see what else Vanderweghe and his coaching staff can do at this juncture. There’ve been very few bright spots for the team and the fans to be proud of ! There have been glimpses of what one could expect from the team in the future in the play of Brook Lopez, Courtney Lee, Chris Douglas-Roberts , Josh Boone and perhaps the team’s best player , Devin Harris . But it is the immediacy of the ‘here and now’ that is really of importance and not about ‘what might be’, as to the team’s impending future. They may well choose to become a part of the ‘LeBron James’ sweepstakes, once that particular show gets on the road this upcoming off-season. No doubt Lebron will be willing to listen to all offers that’ll be forthcoming his way. One has to remember that, ‘LeBron’ now sees his himself as something of a ‘global commercial icon’ first, rather than as a ‘basketball player’ in the NBA. And if he’s to truly maintain that status, though Cleveland has served him well, it doesn’t match the bright lights and big city atmosphere that can he had in New York and at the same time ‘catch the eye’ of the corporate behemoths of Madison Avenue.

While the malaise of the Jets continues , the Phoenix Suns have quietly gone about their business within the Pacific Division with unassuming confidence under the guidance of their coach Alvin Gentry . And should the team make the playoffs , as I fully feel that they will ! Then it is my belief that Gentry ought to be considered one of the prohibitive favorites for the accolade of NBA Coach of The Year . Quite surprisingly he seems to now have the team playing not only with confidence but showing at times that as and when needed, they can play a modicum of defense. Which has always been the ‘gripe against the team’. It’s one thing to put up 100 points on the scoreboard but it doesn’t help when your opponents put up anywhere between 110-120 points and ends up winning the game. It certainly doesn’t serve you well as the losing team. And it’s something that Gentry’s predecessor Mike D’Antoni didn’t seem to understand.

<strong> Robin Lopez </strong> (#15) of the Phoenix Suns puts a shot up against the Los Angeles Clippers in an NBA Game played on February 26, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona.  The  Suns   would   go  on  to  defeat  the  Clippers  <strong> 125-112 </strong>  . photo appears  courtesy  of   NBAE/  Getty  Images/  P Molumby ...........
Robin Lopez (#15) of the Phoenix Suns puts a shot up against the Los Angeles Clippers in an NBA Game played on February 26, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns would go on to defeat the Clippers 125-112 . photo appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ P Molumby ...........

The biggest surprise to my mind as far as the Suns’ organization goes. It may well be with the firing of D’Antoni and the installing of Gentry as the team’s coach . Steve Kerr as the team’s general manager may not only have saved the Suns’ season but his very own position within the organization. As I felt sure that were they to fail then owner , Robert Sarver , would have ‘no choice’ but ‘to fire’ the much beleaguered executive. Now with the team playing as they are and with wily veteran and two time league MVP, Steve Nash playing as he has been. Then there’s every reason to believe that the team could make some noise in the playoffs. ‘And as Nash goes, so does the team’ .

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

Lopez leads streaking Suns past Clippers

Phoenix (AP)—Robin Lopez went to the free-throw line two points from tying the family’s single-game scoring mark.

He didn’t get it, but his career-best 30 points and 12 rebounds were more than enough to help the Phoenix Suns beat the Los Angeles Clippers 125-112 on Friday night for their fifth straight victory.

“I wasn’t even aware of it,” said a smiling Lopez, whose twin brother, Brook, leads the fraternal competition with a 32-point game. “I was just trying to catch (teammate) Goran Dragic’s 32 points.”

Lopez made 13 of 16 shots for the Suns, who beat the Clippers for the seventh straight time.

“To shoot that efficiently tells me I’m doing my job out there,” Lopez said. “That shows how much faith my teammates have in me and my coaches have in me.”

Amare Stoudemire added 20 points and Grant Hill had 18 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Suns, who won for the sixth time in seven games since the All-Star break. Phoenix has won 12 of its past 14 overall.

Eric Gordon scored 25 points, Travis Outlaw had 16 and Craig Smith had 16— 14 in the first half—and for the Clippers, whose three-game winning streak ended.

“They stretched us out pretty good,” Gordon said. “We were playing good defense, then they stretched us out and started knowing down a lot of 3s. We just couldn’t score as much as they did.”

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And while Nash has been playing his customary role , it’d be remiss not to mention that both Amar’e Stoudemire and Robin Lopez have been playing very well for the team. Some might even view Lopez as the ‘heir apparent’ to Stoudemire, should the veteran no be re-signed by the team in the off-season. He becomes a a free agent and can opt out of the final year of his contract which pays him an ‘understated’ $16.97 million . But that asides , it has been the surprising play of the former Stanford Cardinals’ player that has the Suns’ fans rejoicing and hoping that finally this might be their year. As to what might transpire during the postseason , we can only wait to see. But as things are now proceeding it appears that it is the other Lopez boy who seems to be having his day sun while the other seems to be languishing in the Nets own personal form of hell and purgatory all rolled into one.

Somehow this might all seem unfair to some ? One sibling is having the time of his life , while the other can only wish that the Nets could have a life , rather than one of sheer embarrassment and ridicule. At the end of the however , it is what you tend to make of it that in essence defines your character and you also as a person.

Alan Parkins aka tophatal

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Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes …….’If You Don’t Know Me By Now’

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Both  Sportschump  &  I  <strong> love  our <em> 'milque-toast' </em>  as well  as   Denise  Milani  !</strong>   And   there  ain't   nothing   wrong  with  that  at  all  !
Both Sportschump & I love our 'milque-toast' as well as Denise Milani ! And there ain't nothing wrong with that at all !

Say It Ain’t So R.C ? Say It Ain’t So ? Not My Beloved Spurs …..Please Don’t Split Up ‘The Big Three’ ! Don’t Do It …..Please……. Just Don’t Do It !

Say It Ain’t So R.C ? Say It Ain’t So ? Not My Beloved Spurs …..Please Don’t Split Up ‘The Big Three’ ! Don’t Do It …..Please …… Just Don’t Do It !

Just when I thought that things couldn’t get worse in the world of sports, insofar as the teams that I support. The whole damn carpet gets pulled out from underneath me with one big earth shattering utterance. And then finding out that this scenario is fomenting around the front office of my beloved San Antonio Spurs. What’s that you might ask ? Well according to well placed sources and now reports. It is being alleged that Spurs’ GM R.C Buford in conjunction with the team’s coach Gregg Popovich are considering acquiring Suns’ longtime center and power forward, Amar’e Stoudemire. Great you might say ? But my question is, who do the Spurs relinquish in order to obtain Stoudemire from the Phoenix Suns ? At first thought , I felt upon reading the story that there’d be no way in hell that the either Burford or Popovich would think of ‘splitting up “The Big Three” ! But that may well be the case, as the supposed options are that it’ll be either Manu Ginobli or Tony Parker leaving the team. What in the wide world of sports is going on here ? Have they both lost their friggin’ minds ? I love both ‘Pop’ and ‘RC’ to death, as they are ‘the architects’ of the team’s undoubted success over the last decade and a half. But this is just about to send me right over the edge and into an abyss of despair. I cannot envisage either of the two players in question not being on this roster playing for the organization. But if it’s meant to be , then so be it ! And I am saying this all, rather reluctantly. If it brings another NBA title to the organization then I may well overlook this all and just chalk it up to overzealousness on my part.

Antonio McDyess (#34) of the San Antonio Spurs shoots against the Chicago Bulls on January 25, 2010 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.
Antonio McDyess (#34) of the San Antonio Spurs shoots against the Chicago Bulls on January 25, 2010 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.

If push comes to shove, then it may well be that Ginobli will be the pawn that’s given up in order to acquire Stoudemire from the Suns. If any of you have read my most recent NBA piece, (click here) in which it dealt with the ineptitude shown by the Phoenix Suns under the guidance of their GM, Steve Kerr and that of their renowned owner , Robert Sarver. Then you’ll be fully aware as to what I’ve been talking about. For all sense and purpose in the evolution of things. If R C Buford can be considered to be one of the most astute and knowledgeable general managers around the NBA. Then Steve Kerr would be considered to be most certainly amongst ‘the worst’ of the general managers in the entire NBA. Just look at his assemblying the Suns’ roster and their recent personnel decision making and maneuvers and one can well consider why Suns have underachieved and continue to do so to this day. And it hasn’t , with them naming Alvin Gentry to take over from Mike D’Antoni, who was fired by the organization after a rather disappointing season. The fault of which is by no means was D’Antoni’s alone. It was a collective collapse allround from within the organization from top to bottom. Much of it constructed with the sheer ineptitude shown by ‘the team’, as well as that of their front office.

George Hill (3) of the San Antonio Spurs shoots over Derrick Rose (1) of the Chicago Bulls in a game that was played at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The Spurs would go on to lose the game to the Bulls 98-93 that was played on 25th January, 2010.

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports

Spurs consider bidding for Stoudemire

By Adrian Wojnarowski

Another intriguing suitor could emerge in the bidding for Phoenix Suns star Amar’e Stoudemire(notes): the San Antonio Spurs.

Multiple league sources say the Spurs’ front office has researched and debated pursuing Stoudemire to play alongside Tim Duncan.

There are questions for the Spurs to answer: Would they be willing to part with the personnel – including possibly Manu Ginobili – to make a deal happen?

Do the Spurs want to re-sign Stoudemire to a contract extension and swell their payroll?

Do they believe Stoudemire could be the difference for their fifth championship?

All questions with no clear answers for the Spurs – yet.

Nevertheless, the possibility of an athletic, offensive force like Stoudemire has become too irresistible to easily dismiss. The Spurs (25-18) have lost five of their past six games, and have fallen into sixth place in the Western Conference.

“They know they’ve got to do something,” says a source familiar with the front office’s thinking. “They feel like they’ve got to at least look at this … and they are.”

The Miami Heat are exploring the possibility of a deal, but Pat Riley also knows he can keep Dwyane Wade and sign Stoudemire as a free agent this summer. Miami’s president doesn’t have to make a trade now. Chicago, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Detroit and Minnesota are among other teams with an interest with Stoudemire.

For Phoenix and San Antonio, there could be a different urgency. The Suns are motivated to move Stoudemire out of a growing belief they’ll never come to terms with him on a contract extension. Stoudemire can opt out of the $17.7 million owed him next season. Suns owner Robert Sarver has been in constant cost-cutting mode, and although he does want to keep Stoudemire, it’s become increasingly unlikely that will happen.

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In order to read Adrian Wojnarowski’s article
in its entirety just click on the link provided
herein
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 John Salmons (#15) of the Chicago Bulls drives down court against Manu Ginobili (#20) of the San Antonio Spurs on January 25, 2010 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.
John Salmons (#15) of the Chicago Bulls drives down court against Manu Ginobili (#20) of the San Antonio Spurs on January 25, 2010 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.

San Antonio has been playing quite well at present, given in fact how competitive the entire Western Conference appears to be on year in , year out basis. And within the division where the Spurs play , things aren’t the less difficult at all. Within the Southwest Division they’re aligned alongside the Dallas Mavericks (30-15), Memphis Grizzlies (24-19), Houston Rockets (24-20), New Orleans (24-20) and the San Antnio Spurs (25-18) themselves, with a recrord that would garner them the seventh seed within the Western Conference. The division makes for one, that is as combative and competitive as it appears to look at first glance. This may well be in terms of ‘from top to bottom’ the most competitive of all the divisions within the entire NBA. It’s certainly not lacking in class, in terms of either the talent to be seen or the overall caliber of the teams.

San Antonio Spurs’ General Manager, R.C. Buford speaking with the convened press at the team’s headquarters in San Antonio, Texas.

Amar’e Stoudemire is in the last year of a contract that pays him $17.7 million for the 2010 season. But it appears as such that he’s reluctant to re-sign with the Phoenix Suns. What one might choose to read into that, is open to a great deal of debate and speculation. But given the situation there in Phoenix , where other Stoudemire , Steve Nash and Grant Hill. The team is a relatively young one that Kerr may well now feel that it’s best to build for the future , rather than carry on with certain remants of the past. Most certainly Nash and Hill aren’t getting any younger and in all reality the window of opportunity for this team to have won an NBA championship passed by a number of years ago. Such has been the inconsistency shown from the teams making their presence really felt in the postseason. That with each passing effort , it has been repeatedly deja-vu all over again. And much of that and the failings of the team can be squarely laid to rest on the shoulders of Steve Kerr.

 Tony Parker<strong> (#9)</strong> of the San Antonio Spurs jumps to pass over Taj Gibson <strong>(#22)</strong> of the Chicago Bulls on January 25, 2010 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.
Tony Parker (#9) of the San Antonio Spurs jumps to pass over Taj Gibson (#22) of the Chicago Bulls on January 25, 2010 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.

While no disputes the fact that Stoudemire would be a good fit for the Spurs. There’s no denying that the Popovich and Buford might well be giving up far more than is needed to acquire the Suns’ player. Unless the deal involves multiple players or quite possibly a third team needs to be involved to facilitate such a deal. Then we may well see nothing at all go down . But the fans of this particular flame that has started this rumor continues to go on unabated. As alluded to earlier, Stoudemire is in the final year of a contract that pays him $17.7 million for the 2010 season. Though it’s not known whether or no the Suns do have a desire to re-sign the player. There does appear to be a reluctance on Amar’e Stoudemire’s part to remain with the team. He knows that he can test the .’waters of free agency’ at the end of this season. There, he will be amongst a ‘crop of top-line’ of marquee names , of which are LeBron James, Dwyane Wade , Chris Bosh and Joe Johnson will be the most desired of all, alongside Stoudemire, himself.

Tim Duncan (#21) of the San Antonio Spurs shoots against Taj Gibson (#22) of the Chicago Bulls on January 25, 2010 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.
Tim Duncan (#21) of the San Antonio Spurs shoots against Taj Gibson (#22) of the Chicago Bulls on January 25, 2010 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.

While I for one won’t deny that Stoudemire would on the face of it, be a good fit for the San Antonio Spurs. My reluctance just doesn’t stem from the fact that I don’t want to see the triumvirate of Tim Duncan , Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker broken up. It also comes from the very fact that the Spurs may well be giving up far more than is necessary in acquiring the player. Granted , it may not only be Ginobli that’ll be part of the mix should this deal go down. But for all essence and purpose , Ginobli is the bait that is being dangled by Buford and Popovich as they supposedly go about trying to acquire the All Star center and power forward. It may well take an additional number of players to facilitate the deal or quite possibly a third or fourth team to enact a multi-player deal. Whatever now takes place, this could very well be the first salvo being fired as a number of teams jockey themselves with an eye to the trade deadline and beyond.

Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich speaks with the convened press concerning the team’s NBA draft picks of last season .

If I were as such just a bystander in all of this with no real affiliation other than being an NBA and a sport’s fan. Then I would look at the proposed deal and say ….’wow the Spurs intend to give the Lakers a run for their money’ ! But I am not, I’m an ardent and an avowed fan of this team and while I see the deal’s advantages. I also see its inherent dangers and the possible seismic shift that it could bring should things not work out right. But when you’ve got a coach with the pedigree of Gregg Popovich and a General Manager as astute as R. C. Burford , then I guess that I shouldn’t really have to worry ? Or should I ? What do you think ? All I know is that this roster when they’re playing at their optimum level , they are good enough to derail the ambition of the Los Angeles Lakers and ‘any other team’ who might stand in their way !

My sentiments concerning what may well be the imminent departure of one of my favorite Spurs’ players can be summed up in this TLC song …….’Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls’.


<strong> OK , so  Denise  Milani  doesn't  have  anything  to  do with  the  NBA or the   San  Antonio  Spurs.  </strong>  But  this  is  my  site  and  I can  do  as  I please  when  it  comes  to  showing   <strong>'a  fine   buxom   female'  !</strong>   What   do   you  want  a   picture   of   Rosie  O'Donnell  to  get  off  on  ?
OK , so Denise Milani doesn't have anything to do with the NBA or the San Antonio Spurs. But this is my site and I can do as I please when it comes to showing 'a fine buxom female' ! What do you want a picture of Rosie O'Donnell to get off on ?

All photos appear courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images or courtesy of the Associated Press

The One Trick Pony ………….. They Will Never Contend For An NBA Title …………Phoenix Suns Come On Down Your Time Is Up ……….

The One Trick Pony ………….. They Will Never Contend For An NBA Title …………Phoenix Suns Come On Down Your Time Is Up ……….

Isn’t it strange you support a team and they’re expected to contend. Year in year out during the regular season, the Phoenix Suns play at a heightened level but in the end they just continue to disappoint. And it certainly hasn’t helped that Suns’ GM, Steve Kerr continues to concoct a team along the lines of a mad scientist. I look at him and then I see the Gene Wilder character ‘Dr Victor Frankenstein’ from the Mel Brooks’ comedy classic ‘Young Frankenstein’ (1974).

Amare Stoudemire (#1) and Robin Lopez (#15) of the Phoenix Suns fight for a rebound with Corey Maggette (#50) of the Golden State Warriors in an NBA Game played on January 23, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. photo appears courtesy of   NBAE/Getty Images/ Barry  Gossage  .........
Amare Stoudemire (#1) and Robin Lopez (#15) of the Phoenix Suns fight for a rebound with Corey Maggette (#50) of the Golden State Warriors in an NBA Game played on January 23, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Barry Gossage .........

The situation now surrounding the Suns hasn’t been helped by the cluelessness shown by the team’s owner, Robert Sarver. He’s been pretty much asleep at the wheel, as the team has failed to fulfill their promise . From the ‘failed Shaquille O’Neal experiment’ to the very fact that the players on the team simply don’t believe that there’s a need to play defense. There’s no denying that on the offensive side of the ball they’re amongst the highest scoring teams in the NBA, statistically. But when it comes to defense then this team takes something of a front seat when it comes to this sole statistic. Now with the team coach, Alvin Gentry, you have someone who is very good when it comes to the X’s and O’s but as ‘a motivator’ and ‘a coach’ who’s able to get things done. He’s not the right candidate to meet the demands of the task needed to put this team over the top ! .

Louis Amundson (#17) of the Phoenix Suns pulls down a rebound against the Golden State Warriors in an NBA Game played on January 23, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona.  photo appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/  Barry  Gossage  ........
Louis Amundson (#17) of the Phoenix Suns pulls down a rebound against the Golden State Warriors in an NBA Game played on January 23, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ Barry Gossage ........

Courtesy of and Yahoo Sports

Suns seeking trade offers for Stoudemire

By Adrian Wojnarowski , Yahoo Sports

After recent discussions with Amar’e Stoudemire’s agent that didn’t appear to destine a contract extension, the Phoenix Suns have increased their efforts to trade the All-Star forward, league sources told Yahoo! Sports on Sunday night.

League executives say the Suns have become more active initiating talks over the past few days, and believe the franchise will take the best offer for Stoudemire before the Feb. 18 trade deadline. The Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets and Detroit Pistons are among multiple teams that have a strong interest in Stoudemire, sources say. The Arizona Republic reported Sunday night that the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers have also inquired about Stoudemire.

Suns general manager Steve Kerr met with Stoudemire’s agent, Happy Walters, on Thursday, and league sources say there was little sense an agreement could be reached before the trade deadline. With Stoudemire able to opt out of the final $17.7 million season of his contract, the Suns don’t want to risk losing him for nothing in free agency this summer.

As they did when shopping Stoudemire last season, the Suns want a combination of young talent, salary-cap relief and draft picks for him. Some teams are hesitant to trade for Stoudemire for fear he won’t want to re-sign with them this summer. The Minnesota Timberwolves lead that group of teams, sources say. The Wolves are mostly eyeing small forwards, including the Memphis Grizzlies’ Rudy Gay, the Bulls’ Luol Deng and the Washington Wizards’ Caron Butler . No one is untouchable on the Wolves roster, sources say.

With Stoudemire having undergone knee and eye surgeries in recent years, there are differing perspectives on his market value. Nevertheless, Stoudemire has made a strong comeback from eye surgery this season – averaging 20.9 points and 8.6 rebounds – and impressed rival executives and scouts. Stoudemire has been inclined to use Pau Gasol’s(notes) three-year, $57 million contract extension as a parameter for negotiations, and more than one league executive believes that circumstances will result in Stoudemire getting richly rewarded this summer.

If LeBron James and Dwyane Wade don’t leave Cleveland and Miami this summer, teams like Chicago, New York and New Jersey may be apt to turn to Stoudemire as an alternative. After James and Wade, Stoudemire is part of a second tier of free-agent stars with Toronto’s Chris Bosh and Atlanta’s Joe Johnson.

“Someone will pay him the max – or very close,” one Western Conference executive predicted.

As it stands now, it appears unlikely that will be the Phoenix Suns.

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Goran Dragic (#2 )of the Phoenix Suns drives against Stephen Curry (#30) of the Golden State Warriors in an NBA Game played on January 23, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. photo appears   courtesy of NBAE/Getty  Images/  Barry  Gossage ...........
Goran Dragic (#2 )of the Phoenix Suns drives against Stephen Curry (#30) of the Golden State Warriors in an NBA Game played on January 23, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Barry Gossage ...........

In the Western Conference the team has to contend with ‘the very best’ of ‘the best’, in terms of ‘the cream’ of the NBA rosters. And then within their own division of the Pacific Division , they have to contend with the reigning NBA champions in the Los Angeles Lakers , as well as a somewhat resurgent Los Angeles Clippers . And clearly if the Suns are to contend within the conference and their division they’re going to have a play a form of basketball that will be demanding and at a consistently high level. Anything short of that and the team and organization will have failed to live up to their perceived expectations for the season. Granted , on the roster they have a perennial All Star and future ‘Hall of Famer’ in Steve Nash. And with Grant Hill now playing solidly and very much in the mold that we once expected of him, from his early years with the Detroit Pistons. One could surmise that the Suns would be a formidable challenge for any team in the NBA. Nothing could be further from the truth. Their 26-19 mark within the conference at present, would only garner them the seventh seed within the Western Conference. Closely followed behind the Suns are the Houston Rockets with a 24-19 record. And it clearly has to be of great concern for Alvin Gentry and his team. Any further slippage in the standings and we could just see the Suns missing the playoffs altogether. But would also be predicated on the form of the teams just below them as well as those above them in the standings.

Corey Maggette (#50) of the Golden State Warriors drives against Grant Hill (#33) of the Phoenix Suns in an NBA Game played on January 23, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona.   photo  appears   courtesy  of NBAE/ Getty Images/  Barry  Gossage ................
Corey Maggette (#50) of the Golden State Warriors drives against Grant Hill (#33) of the Phoenix Suns in an NBA Game played on January 23, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ Barry Gossage ................

With the NBA trade deadline looming large, a number of teams around the league are either positioning themselves to make a big splash or the customary salary dump , in order to prepare for next year. And if the rumors are to be believed then the Phoenix Suns are prepared to listen trade offers for their power forward and center , Amar’e Stoudemire. As to the reasons why the team now envisage it a need to trade away the player is open to a great deal of conjecture and speculation at this juncture. Obviously if Stoudemire were to come to the market then there would be a number of teams around the league eager to pursue a deal for the player. Especially those with the ambition of making a run at a playoff berth and who are within shouting distance of such a spot. Amongst the teams said to be interested in the player are the Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves and the Chicago Bulls. The player is due to earn $17.9 million for the 2009-10 season and he will be able to opt out of the last year of his contract. It may well be that the Suns’ hierarchy now sees that is in their best interests to see what they can get for the player via trade, rather than seeing him go elsewhere having no wish to remain with the team or sign a long term contract with them.

Steve Nash (#13) of the Phoenix Suns drives against Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors in an NBA Game played on January 23, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. photo appears courtesy  of  NBAE/ Getty  Images/  Barry  Gossage  .........
Steve Nash (#13) of the Phoenix Suns drives against Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors in an NBA Game played on January 23, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ Barry Gossage .........

A loss of this magnitude could very well set the organization back a number of years. But it may well be that Kerr and Robert Sarver view it that another change in course is needed and that they ought to be building for the future. They have an aging veteran in Steve Nash, who’s about to complete his ‘fourteenth year’ in the NBA. Never mind the fact that Grant Hill can’t continue to just show the fans rare glimpses of brilliance. That in ofitself won’t be enough to ward off any hatred that the fans may well now see as a betrayal if Amar’e Stoudemire r were to be traded away at this juncture. It creates the perception to the fans that Gentry , Kerr and Sarver are essentially giving up on being competitive for the remainder of the season. Granted, if they can get obtain the right mix of lottery picks and young talent from a trade of Stoudemire. Then this may well go some way dispelling those unfounded fears. But Steve Kerr’s track record in recent years, I for one feel that he’s now facing an uphill battle in dispelling those perceived fears of the fans ! It’s not as if he’d been completely upfront as to the reasons why the O’Neal experiment failed. What with that and the firing of Gentry’s predecessor , Mike D’Antoni , it has essentially given the perception that the organization has no idea as to where it it is going and nor have they a formula as to how to get to where they want to be.

Alvin Gentry, right, smiles after being introduced as the Phoenix Suns' interim coach by general manager Steve Kerr, left, Monday, Feb. 16, 2009, in Phoenix. The NBA basketball team fired coach Terry Porter on Monday.  photo appears  courtesy of  Associated Press / Rick Scuteri  ..........
Alvin Gentry, right, smiles after being introduced as the Phoenix Suns' interim coach by general manager Steve Kerr, left, Monday, Feb. 16, 2009, in Phoenix. The NBA basketball team fired coach Terry Porter on Monday. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press / Rick Scuteri ..........

Now all that remains to be seen is whether or not the Phoenix Suns pursue the trade of their All Star as they look to compensated equitably. Or will they look to see if they can persuade Stoudemire to remain with the team and make one last onslaught at winning an NBA championship ? From where I stand, that horse bolted from the stable a long time ago. Neither Steve Kerr or Robert Sarver for that matter, bothered to look and see that this particular ‘one trick pony’ as in the Phoenix Suns had in essence become an old nag on its very last legs. This team has absolutely no chance of winning an NBA championship ! At best, all they’ll be able to do is to put up a commendable effort in the postseason before the inevitable seems to happen. And that’s for them for them to get blown out of the building much like when a sandstorm hits a barren desert landscape and just raises everything in its path. That is in essence is what the Phoenix Suns has now become !

Billionaire mogul and business entrepreneur , Robert Sarver seen here at a business symposium

NBA Western Conference Standings Click the link provided to see the standing in its entirety.


1 Los Angeles Lakers (33-11)
2 Denver Nuggets (29-14)
3 Dallas Mavericks (29-15)
4 Portland Trailblazers (27-18)
5 San Antonio Spurs (25-17)
6 Utah Jazz (25-18)
7 Phoenix Suns (26-19)
8 Houston Rockets (24-19)

Click here to view the Phoenix Suns’ roster.

Can we say that Victor Frankenstein and Steve Kerr do indeed have something in common ? Allegedly brilliant minds both but they either tend to surround themselves with incompetency or they just tend to have a knack for performing incompetently themselves ?

Jim Cramer’s Mad Money …………Buys, Sells And Holds ………..NBA Style …..

Former hedge fund manager and now CNBC stock tipster and analyst Jim Cramer has always had his own style and presentation on television. That being said, he’d be the last person I’d be taking advice from on anything to do with the indices of the stock market. Or anything else when it comes to financial analysis or any information involving the companies listed on the NSYE.This is the same guy, who was dishing out advice to his avid viewers that they ought to invest their savings in the now disreputable companies, AIGand Bear Stearns. Now, to say that Cramer isn’t deserving of having his testicles removed and served up to him in the form of a meal wouldn’t be doing the people who lost money from his advice any justice whatsoever ! But such are the benefits to those who choose not to seek due diligence when taking advice from an individual , who despite his immense knowledge , comes across as nothing more than a charlatan.

You’ve got to hand it toComedy Central’s Jon Stewart for pointing out something that not even the so called knowledgeable pundits at Fox Business Channelwould’ve thought newsworthy.But then again when have Fox ever been known to be informative to begin with in terms of being a news channel ? And for those of you still seeking out the advice of Jim Cramer ? I wish you well , well about as well as leper who’s now beginning to realize that what the doctor prescribed just isn’t working. And Cramer’s own asinine assertion and suggestions as to what he did or didn’t say, shows you what a complete asshole he really is to begin with !

The NBA at present is filled with teams whose very prowess on the court can at present be measured by the volatility shown by the Dow Jones Index (DJIA). And were a number of the franchises of the NBA placed within the DJIA. I wonder what price and recommendations there’d be forthcoming from those covering the game ? Again I’d preface this by saying that the likes of Stephen A. Smith,Tim Legler,Ric Bucher and Skip Baylesswouldn’t be the guys I’d be looking to for comfort , advice or any form of solace when it comes to the NBA or otherwise. Whatever insight they’re liable to provide is about as welcoming as be told by your proctologist that he’d like to give you that customary finger wave of your rectum,merely to elicit having some fun on his part. Pretty safe to say that one finger wave too many a year is one finger less welcomed.

New Jersey Nets team members from left, interim coach Tom Barrise, assitant coach Doug Overton, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Devin Harris, Josh Boone and Trenton Hassell look on during the second half of their NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009, in Los Angeles. The Nets matched the worst start to an NBA season with their 17th straight loss Sunday night in the Lakers' 106-87 victory.picture appears  courtesy  of AP/Photo/Mark J. Terrill ..........
New Jersey Nets team members from left, interim coach Tom Barrise, assitant coach Doug Overton, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Devin Harris, Josh Boone and Trenton Hassell look on during the second half of their NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009, in Los Angeles. The Nets matched the worst start to an NBA season with their 17th straight loss Sunday night in the Lakers' 106-87 victory.picture appears courtesy of AP/Photo/Mark J. Terrill ..........

Straight out of the gate, some of the teams have performed exceptionally badly. And for beleaguered Lawrence Frank and the hapless, New Jersey Nets. At this juncture there’s absolutely no chance of a do-over whatsoever ! What may well have started out as a season of promise has slowly fallen apart and become an absolute nightmare for Frank, his players,ownership and no doubt the fans, in particular. I’d hate to think what’s now going through the mind of principal partner,Bruce A Ratner ? Especially as he sees this team sink into the abyss of sheer ineptitude. Any thoughts that they might’ve had of luring LeBron James to Brooklyn in 2010 , has to be shelved at this time. Not with this team in need of a backbone and so much more ! At 0-16 and on the cusp of NBA infamy in terms of successive games lost to start a NBA regular season schedule the Nets seem to be just one loss away of equalling that dubious record. My recommendation : Sell !

Can someone explain to me what fate the basketball gods has in store for the New York Knicks ? Needless to say, after the abrupt departure of former coach and executive Isiah Thomas. It was felt that the organization was stepping in the right direction with the hiring of Mike D’Antoni, as their coach. Also,the bringing in of Donnie Walsh, to oversee the basketball operations,in terms being the general manager of the Knicks. Needless to say, the Knicks are no further along in their progression, as the coalition forces are in finding Osama bin Laden. And for those of you who’d rather be up in the Tora Bora mountain range on the Pakistani , Afghani border ,rather than watching the Knicks play. Reserve me a seat , as I’d no doubt would want to join you in that particular exercise. Not only have the Knicks become worse under D’Antoni, they’re a complete embarrassment to the NBA ,as a whole ! Commissioner,David Stern, is there no chance that we can have some contraction within the NBA ? As there are now one or two teams that are making a mockery of the game and how it ought to be played. And the New York Knicks is undoubtedly one of those very teams ! My recommendation : Sell ! Not to hold, just damn well , sell !

Detroit Pistons center Ben Wallace (6) takes a shot over Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith (5) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009, in Auburn Hills, Mich. Wallace scored 10 points and pulled down 18 rebounds in the Pistons' 94-88 win. picture appears courtesy of  AP/photo/ Duane Burleson  ..............
Detroit Pistons center Ben Wallace (6) takes a shot over Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith (5) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009, in Auburn Hills, Mich. Wallace scored 10 points and pulled down 18 rebounds in the Pistons' 94-88 win. picture appears courtesy of AP/photo/ Duane Burleson ..............

I not saying that the Detroit Pistons have fallen on hard times. But their fall from grace , makes the demise of Michael Jackson seem like an act of overt kindness. OK , so we can dispute the facts that’ve led to the untimely death to the one time ‘King of Pop’. What no one can doubt however, is that Jackson apart from being a mild neurotic was enabled by family members and others amongst his entourage to keep up his absurd behavior. And along with that came an assortment of medical professionals who proffered up whatever medication of the day was the norm for Jackson. What of the ‘hippocratic oath’ for these doctors ? First do no harm ? Somewhere along the lines it must’ve been blurred for them from the sight of the money that Jackson was needlessly spending on their services !

As to what Pistons’ GM Joe Dumars, was seeking to do,when he traded All Star point guard Chauncey Billups to the Denver Nuggets,in exchange for Allen Iverson. Well, let’s just say that experiment was about as worthwhile as sticking your arm into the mouth of a hungry crocodile waiting and then waiting to see what the outcome will be.And with Iverson, now said to be mulling retirement , after not being able to find a franchise willing to take him. One might clearly think that at the time Dumars was merely flying by the seat of his pants in thinking that Iverson could provide the team with a much needed spark. In essence, the Pistons had become an old team spoilt on its earlier success and who weren’t willing to make the necessary changes need at the time, in order to build for the future.

Now with the departure of Rasheed Wallace to the Boston Celtics, the team is nowhere nearer to being one of the once dominant franchises with the NBA’s Eastern Conference. Dumars and the team’s coach, John Kuester, now have their work cut out for them, if they’re to turn things around make this team be one with a presence, not just within their division but throughout the NBA as a whole. The window of opportunity for the Pistons has closed and they’re not about to scale back to the heights of prominence ,which they once held. It’s now far too late for that , despite the appearance of youth on the tea’s roster. They now lack a true leader and a proven and consistent scorer on their roster. And it is something that will become their undoing. My recommendation : Sell !

In the Western Conference where it’s presumed the star talent of the NBA is reserved and perhaps the better of the teams throughout the league on the whole are domiciled. We all know that at the end of the day it’s very competitive within the conference. With the reigning champions, the Los Angeles Lakers looking to successfully defend their crown. The bullseye is now comfortably placed upon their back. And with the likes of the San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trailblazers, Utah Jazz , Houston Rockets and a newly revitalized Oklahoma City Thunder all looking to take them down. One would suspect that the Lakers and in particular Kobe Bryant and the team’s coach ,Phil Jackson are relishing the challenge of defending their NBA title.

You’ll know doubt get some criticism from those in the Eastern Conference who’ll state that the play and talent there is somewhat better than their counterparts in the West. But I’d view that as something of an anathema at this juncture. Teams in the Eastern Conference tend to play a much more conservative type of basketball and where defense is their mainstay. Whereas, in the West much of the play there is most definitely predicated upon offense. Although the likes of the Spurs and Jazz would beg to differ in that context.

Los Angeles , California , November 29th,. Jordan Farmar (1) of the Los Angeles Lakers goes up for a shot against the New Jersey Nets at Staples Center on November 29, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  picture appears  courtesy  of NBAE/Getty Images/ Noah Graham ..........
Los Angeles , California , November 29th,. Jordan Farmar (1) of the Los Angeles Lakers goes up for a shot against the New Jersey Nets at Staples Center on November 29, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Noah Graham ..........

Of the three pre-eminent teams in the Eastern Conference ,in no discerning order, we have the Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers and the Orlando Magic. The most well balanced and deepest in terms of their roster , may well be Stan Van Gundy’s Magic team. Of the three teams also, I do believe that the Magic by their play as of late, is the most improved. The additions of Brandon Bass, Vince Carter and Jason Williams has proven to be fortuitous.And General Manager,Otis Smith, might just be one of the least celebrated if not the most astute front office executives in the NBA at present. If nothing else it gives the Magic’s center, Dwight Howard, room to do what he does best and that’s to pound the boards and show off his defensive and offensive prowess. My recommendation : Buy and buy strong.

Besides the Magic in the Eastern Conference , the really only other noteworthy teams one ought to look at, are the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics. The Cavaliers for their part, with the addition of Shaquille O’Neal to complement with the undoubted talents of LeBron James , might just well give the team its best chance of making another appearance in the NBA Finals. But here’s the caveat with regard to the team , when they face real adversity they’re not always able to handle it well. And that could once again become their undoing.That’s in light of having the experienced veteran presence of O’Neal on this roster. My recommendation: Hold . If things fall their way,they could just go out and finally achieve the winning of that elusive ring for James.

Denver Nuggets guard Chauncey Billups, left, drives for the basket as Minnesota Timberwolves center Al Jefferson defends in the fourth quarter of the Timberwolves' 106-100 victory in an NBA basketball game in Denver on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009. The victory broke Minnesota's 15-game losing streak. picture  appears courtesy of  AP/photo/David Zalubowski ............
Denver Nuggets guard Chauncey Billups, left, drives for the basket as Minnesota Timberwolves center Al Jefferson defends in the fourth quarter of the Timberwolves' 106-100 victory in an NBA basketball game in Denver on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009. The victory broke Minnesota's 15-game losing streak. picture appears courtesy of AP/photo/David Zalubowski ............

The Boston Celtics for their part has the experience and with seasoned veterans , such as Kevin Garnett, Paul Piece,Ray Allen and now Rasheed Wallace. This is a roster, whose coach Doc Rivers, knows how to win games and how to motivate his team. Added to the fact that they now have a point guard of note in, Rajon Rondo, they would be viewed as the presumptive favorites in the conference to win it all. My only concern with the Celtics however, is their health, especially when it comes to the question of their main quartet of players. That issue alone may well be enough to make on hedge their bets as to the overall chances of the team winning a second title for the organization with Rivers at the helm as their coach.
My recommendation here : Again a Hold. Down the stretch run of the regular season if the quartet is healthy , then there could be everything to play for with the Boston Celtics being added into the mix.

As the reigning champions ,the Los Angeles Lakers have added by subtraction. In losing Trevor Ariza to the Houston Rockets and obtaining free agent,Ron Artest. One could say, that they’ve become a much better team ? They’ve added a defensive presence in Artest and an additional scoring option behind Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. And that’s with no disrespect to either,Lamar Odom or Andrew Bynum. But the addition of Artest does make a great deal of sense , if one takes away the baggage that he brings along with him. Here’s a player that brings along with him mental toughness and a willingness to do the dirty work required on either end of the floor. The same can’t be said of certain players on this Lakers’ roster. My recommendation on the Lakers : Buy, a very strong buy ! They’re the team to beat in the Western Conference. As defending champions and with Bryant as the ever present catalyst . How can you bet against them ?

San Antonio, Tx, November  29th. Richard Jefferson (24) of the San Antonio Spurs shoots against Samuel Dalembert (1) of the Philadelphia 76ers on November 29, 2009 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: picture appears courtewsy  of  NBAE/Getty mages/D. Clarke Evans .........
San Antonio, Tx, November 29th. Richard Jefferson (24) of the San Antonio Spurs shoots against Samuel Dalembert (1) of the Philadelphia 76ers on November 29, 2009 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: picture appears courtewsy of NBAE/Getty mages/D. Clarke Evans .........

Besides the Lakers in the Western Conference , if anyone is to challenge their supremacy within the conference. Then, the challenge well come from the San Antonio Spurs,Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks and the up and coming Portland Trailblazers. Now where would should one start ?

First off , the four time NBA champions, the San Antonio Spurs seem finally to began to have realized that they can’t simply rely on the aging triumvirate of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker to lead this team. As great as they’ve been over the years , last year was a telling one for the franchise . They simply plugged away but with recurring injuries to each of the triumvirate, you knew it was only a matter of time before the wheels on the bus would continually happen to go flat.

Coach,Gregg Popovich, and the team’s GM, R. C. Buford, sought to bring in Richard Jefferson from the Milwaukee Bucks via a trade. Added to that they’d re-signed veteran Antonio McDyess to a three year deal and they’ve now got another creative play-maker in Roger Mason on the roster. This could prove to be a resurgent year for the Spurs. But much of that will no doubt be predicated upon the fitness of their triumvirate throughout the season and of course into an extended playoff run. And no doubt with the added depth of the team. Coach Popovich will make sure that his players are well rested and free of those worrisome and niggling injuries. My recommendation on the Spurs: Buy !

As good as the Denver Nuggets have looked this season, I can’t help but wonder if their heartbreaking loss of a series in the conference finals of last year wasn’t their one and only opportunity that they’ll have with George Karl, leading the charge as their coach ? The team is resplendent with stars such as Carmelo Anthony,Kenyon Martin, Chauncey Billups,J. R. Smith and Nene’. Built primarily around speed, athleticism and a great deal offensive prowess, the team has now seen that offense alone can’t be their only virtue. And with All Star point guard , Chauncey Billups providing much of that much needed efensive grit and presence. The team has now found a new sense of urgency and acceptance of the task at hand. As to whether or not they can usurp the Los Angeles Lakers remains to be seen. But if there’s one thing that we’re no doubt sure of , it is that the Nuggets are not prepared to lie down and be walked all over. My recommendation : A buy.

If there’s a team that I’ve come to admire in the Western Conference . Then that would have to be the Portland Trailblazers. For so long, they were often seen as a the pariahs of the NBA. In some respects they were more noted for their off the field problems, far more than they were known for anything that they were trying to achieve on it. And it took a turnaround in the mindset of owner, Paul Allen and that of the Trailblazers’ front office in making the drastic changes needed to right this listed ship. General Manager, Kevin Pritchard and Head Coach, Nate McMillan, saw fit to build from the ground up, uprooting the roster of the malcontents and ill fitting parts to a team that had continually underachieved.

Now in its place the Trailblazers have a young, competitive and desirable team that is the envy of the NBA. They’re led by such aspiring stars as Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Rudy Fernandez, Steve Blake and now it’d appear to be fully fit and resurgent center,Greg Oden. The latter of whom, has begun to justify the team’s faith in him, having missed his first season in the league ,due to a sever knee injury and then surgery.

You’d be highly mistaken in thinking that because the Trailblazers on the face of it are very much a young and inexperienced team, that they wouldn’t have what it takes to pull of an upset. But this is very much a team that knows how to play to its strengths and negates much of the weaknesses that others think that they often see. And in their coach, Nate McMillan , they have someone whose coaching philosophy is being listened to by his players and being heeded all too well. My recommendation on the Portland Trailblazers : Hold !

For me , I very much placed both the Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns in the same boat. As time goes by, their window of opportunity to win an NBA championship continues to close ever so rapidly. And if they’re unable to do it now, then they’re not going to be able to do it at any time in the near future. On both counts they’ve something of an aging roster and though in essence neither team can ever be viewed as being out of the picture. The fact of the matter is, that each time when they’re called upon to take that final step forward. They appear to be only all too willing to fall flat on their proverbial behinds,when trying to take that step to the next evel. One wouldn’t mind if it wasn’t for the fact that their front offices, in terms of the respective general managers have continued to make considerable mistakes concerning personnel decisions.

And in both,Steve Kerr of the Suns and Donnie Nelson of the Mavericks, you may well have two of the worst GM’s in all of the NBA. But then again I may well be overlooking the once terrific job that was done by then GM, Elgin Baylor for the Los Angeles Clippers ? Let’s just say that Baylor’s knowledge of player personnel as it regards the NBA game of today,ranks up there alongside the intelligence quotient of both Paris Hilton and Tara Reid, combined. And in this case both Kerr and Nelson aren’t that far behind him in that dubious distinction !

As good on paper as both teams might appear to be what they both lack in mental toughness and leadership. Dirk Nowitzki and his cast of teammates of the Dallas Mavericks are about as scary,as Clay Aiken trying to show his masculine side by claiming to be an all-out action star. The thought of which makes you wonder what it is that Aiken does in his down time ? Please no salacious answers to the question ? How else can one explain the Mavericks’ recent 111-103 loss to an undermanned Golden State Warriors’ team, that could only field eight fully fit players for the game ? Needless to say the answers forthcoming will as diverse as usual ! My recommendation for the Mavericks: Sell ! They’re just simply not worth it at this juncture !

The Phoenix Suns for their part can only go as far as the ageless wonder, Steve Nash can take them. With the ‘Shaquille O’Neal experiment’ now long gone. It’s back to the up-tempo basketball that they were once known for. That being said one doubts that their game that’s very much predicated upon primarily offense , will stand them in good stead come playoff time. Especially when given light to the fact for the Suns to play defense is like asking a crack addict to give up his crack pipe for 72 hours. It simply can’t be done without them going ‘cold turkey’. And that in essence is what one simply sees,when viewing this team. My recommendation with regard to the Phoenix Suns : Sell !

Now comes the easy part as to the bottom feeders at present in the Western Conference. The Golden State Warriors. My recommendation : Sell !
The Los Angeles Clippers my recommendation : Sell . The Minnesota Timberwolves,what more can I say, but sell !
The New Orleans Hornets and Memphis Grizzlies sell !

Bottom feeders in the Eastern Conference ? Well, the New Jersey Nets have seen fit to get rid of Lawrence Frank and that still hasn’t stop the losses. Enough said ! Sell ! As with the sentiment concerning the Buffalo Bills. No one knows of better ways of losing, than the New York Knicks. Sell the whole damn lot of your allotted stake in this sorry ass team ! You’ll thank me in the long run for suggesting that !
Washington Wizards and Indiana Pacers ? Someone suggested to me that there’s optimism there concerning the Wizards ? Well , I’ve got a suggestion for that certain individual, look at their damn record at present and tell me where you see them progressing to ? The Indiana Pacers and their GM , Larry Bird are simply now treading water, awaiting some sort of divine intervention. The sad part to this all, is that the Pacers’ Danny Granger is now languishing on a team, whereby the talent he’s surrounded by is no better than that of a D-affiliate of an NBA franchise. My recommendation: Sell both !

NBA Standings By Conference click here ……….

Eastern

Team Record

New Jeresy Nets 0-16

New York Knicks 3-13

Indiana Pacers 6-8

Detroit Pistons 5-11

Washington Wizards 5-10

Western Conference

Team Record

Minnesota T’wolves 1-15

Los Angeles Clippers 7-10

Golden State Warriors 5-10

New Orleans Hornets 7-9

Memphis Grizzlies 6-10

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