One thing that will hold back Miami if they do not win this year’s NBA title is complacency. Another year gone by. A championship year followed by this. If they don’t get over the fact it’s a new year and not the year 2011-2012 NBA season, the Miami Heat will see failure in their championship reign. They will not repeat again. I quite honestly think, winning the second NBA title is the hardest thing to do. Winning the first NBA championship is easy. It’s hard work, and like always, hard work always pays off. Michael Jordan was the only retired NBA player among NBA rivals to win multiple and consecutive NBA titles in a row not named Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. Kobe Bryant won multiple NBA titles in a row, but can we say he did win it on a L.A. Lakers team that had Shaquille O’Neal on it? Try winning more than three NBA titles in a row and you got my vote. You might beat Michael Jordan to the spot for toughening up by upping him up on championship trophies. Lebron James is in that category now. This is his second season AFTER winning an NBA title. How will he fare? How will James do after winning his very first NBA title? This will be interesting considering the roster changes to having Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis on the roster now.
Matt Barnes is officially an L.A. Clipper! Why is that?! This Clippers team is going to scare me than the L.A. Lakers. They have Lamar Odom, Grant Hill, and now Matt Barnes, three veteran players who know how to help their team win. Most of all, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan are leading the way for Lob City. Do you see that dude Blake Griffin on television? He’s huge. Some guy I was reading a news article on says Blake Griffin looks like a football linebacker. He does look qualified and he has the body and physique to be a football linebacker. However, Griffin is a professional NBA basketball player and he is a big dude and I wouldn’t want to be messing with someone who could mash my brains out. Having a recent acquisition like Jamal Crawford from the Portland Trail Blazers would definitely help out the L.A. Clippers. Ronny Turiaf, Ryan Hollins, and Willie Green are also recent acquisitions brought to the Clippers via trade and this could be a dangerous team to watch out for, besides the L.A. Lakers.
It seems the U.S. basketball program is intent on making its players going to represent basketball players from this country based on talent and athleticism. If that is the case, the Americans will have trouble defending bigger players whose basketball talents lie in the areas of length and size. They will keep running against the world’s best basketball players and if that is the case, the world will take their bigs and take it down low against the Americans where they lack the size against the world. I think the U.S.A. basketball program should rethink organizing and retooling a reinvented basketball team based on length and size. If I were to organize a team against a Spanish team that has the likes of Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol, and Jose Calderon, I would like to have a defensive-minded and solid distributing point guard in Rajon Rondo. I would like to have Rondo match up against Jose Calderon. What about Pau Gasol and Marc Gasol, you say? Greg Monroe and Lamar Odom. The Gasol brothers gave the Americans a bunch of headaches and the Americans didn’t like the Gasol brothers patrolling the lane. What about Brazil? Leandro Barbosa against Ty Lawson. The quicker Barbosa is a lot to handle for Lawson. Nene? I’d put the lighter Kevin Durant who is my favorite bench warmer on Nene. Durant on the perimeter will open up the paint for Odom and Monroe, whoever is the 4 or 5. Whatever the thinking the U.S. basketball program has about athleticism, it’s working against the world’s best basketball players, however it has trouble defending and keeping the world’s big post players from scoring the basketball on the inside. They might want to rethink about going with length and size, if that’s what they want to see in their own best basketball players.
The Phoenix Suns are going to miss Steve Nash. Coming back to Phoenix and went to Houston and back again is Goran Dragic. This is a new Phoenix Suns team without Steve Nash. How posh is that?!
This Portland Trail Blazers are rebuilding and rebuilding fast. No true point guard. No true shooting guard. Where is this franchise going?
Aaron Brooks is now playing for the Sacramento Kings. How awesome is that? Tyreke Evans is still there. Demarcus Cousins is still there. John Salmons, Marcus Thornton, and Francisco Garcia are also there. Where is this franchise going? There is no true leader here.
The San Antonio Spurs are old. What will become of Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobli? Who replaces them?
Experience is killing the Toronto Raptors. How do we rid of the inexperience bug? Laundry Fields and John Lucas III are now in Toronto playing for the worst team. Why’d they leave for Toronto?
I have no idea where the Utah Jazz are going. They do not have a true point guard.
The Washington Wizards will soon be hot stuff. Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza arrived in town. If the young guys in the locker room respond to them, especially John Wall, all is good. If not, prepare for a long 82-game season.
The Minnesota Timberwolves get Andrei Kirilenko? This is a big day for the T-Wolves. They’ll get a defensive player who will help them stop the opposing team’s best perimeter scorer. They also added Greg Stiemsma, an interior big man who will help Minnesota play tough defense and get those pesky rebounds. Brandon Roy is back in a big way for the T-Wolves and hopefulyl he’ll get back to where he started. Expect another big year from Kevin Love.
So the New Orleans Hornets are rebuilding behind Eric Gordon and Austin Rivers. Getting rid of Chris Paul and sending him to Los Angeles to play for the Clippers was a big deal for them. They got nothing in return for sending CP3 away and will play for nothing in return.
The Knicks will look good on paper with defensive additions with Marcus Camby and Ronnie Brewer and the arrival of Jason Kidd. But New York won’t play any better because of team chemistry. This is a crowded roster that needs time for its starting five and bench to jell and learn how to play together.
The only time OKC will see its championship trophy every time they get to play in the NBA Finals is if they will get to play angry and with a purpose. It will start with Kevin Durant and end with his offensive and defensive repertoires. If Durant gets more muscles and I mean more muscles, get to the weights in the gym and get stronger he will be a force to be reckoned with. His length will be hard to guard.
So the Orlando Magic start over without Dwight Howard. This will be interesting considering that they have new personnel in management and in head coaching status. Expect the Magic to do terrible things because they don’t have a Dwight Howard anymore. On the good side, expect Arron Affalo and Al Harrington pick up the slack.
The Philadelphia Sixers get Andrew Bynum. This should be an exciting time for the Sixers. Bynum should be able to pick up where he left off when he was with the Lakers. I really expect Bynum to make a bigger impact in Philly now. They’ll expect more out of him, but how much can Bynum develop as more time passes by?
Nothing much has changed about the Indiana Pacers, although they have recently acquired D.J. Augustin from the Charlotte Bobcats and Ian Mahinmi. How well will they play after last season’s finish against the Miami Heat in the 2012 NBA playoffs? Will Danny Granger get any better? Will Roy Hibbert try and be a better offensive and defensive force?
If you’ve read my previous basketball posts, I am really excited by what the L.A. Clippers have done this summer. They have added Lamar Odom and Grant Hill and acquired Ryan Hollins, Jamal Crawford, and Willie Green. They really can’t and won’t do any harm for them this season, although I regret saying that if they do have had high expectations since last season, they will regress a bit this year.
I really can’t emphasize this any further, but can the L.A. Lakers get any better and bigger by trading for one of the biggest big men in NBA history in Dwight Howard. Steve Nash is also the Lakers’ biggest acquisition too. But one thing that will hold the Lakers back if they don’t win the 2013 NBA title is age.
One of the three characteristics that strike me most about the Memphis Grizzlies is hustle. They have heart and the grind. When they hustle, they really go after it. Tony Allen and Marc Gasol have to be two of the Grizzlies’ best hustle players. It’s really a shame that Memphis let O.J. Mayo go to Dallas in hopes of the Mavericks getting better last season after winning the NBA title two seasons ago.
I really liked how Miami went after Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis this summer. The starting five will give opposing teams field days with a lineup of Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen in the backcourt, Lebron James and Rashard Lewis in the front court and Chris Bosh at center. This star-studded cast of superstars will go after the NBA title again for another year. What will hold the Heat back? Repeating is harder than winning an NBA title for the first time.
The Bucks have an ultra fast back court in Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings. They eliminated the slow and fleet footed Andrew Bogut at center and sent him to the Golden State Warriors. What about their defense? It’s nonexistent now.
I expect to see Ben Gordon contribute in some big way to the Charlotte Bobcats’ offense. I really don’t see the Bobcats having an exciting season to the NBA playoffs. Expect Charlotte to make an impact with their youth movement.
The Cleveland Cavaliers will be held back by the lack of depth. Kyrie Irving is the engine that runs the ship and he is the engine that will stop running the ship also. There will be no surprises here in the Cavs’ season.
The Mavericks get Elton Brand to pair up with Dirk Nowitzki? What are they thinking? Darren Collison has come abroad now with his scoring offense first and his assists-to-turnover ratio second. They’ve got Chris Kaman and O.J. Mayo from the Memphis Grizzlies now.
Watch and see the Denver Nuggets get hammered by Javale McGee’s personal development. He will hold back the Nuggets’ positive process as Denver is rebuilding behind their new acquisition in Andre Iguodala, their best perimeter defender.
Expect to see the Detroit Pistons rebuild in these better days behind draft pick Andre Drummond as he pairs up with Greg Monroe in the frontcourt. The Pistons aren’t expected to do any better, but is Tayshaun Prince happy in Detroit these few declining NBA seasons of missing the NBA playoffs?
The Golden State Warriors are in need of some really good bench players. They signed Andrew Bogut last season during the trade deadline. Watch and see how Harrison Barnes develops for the Warriors. He is a good NBA player who will be expected to thrive in this type of competitive and physical environment.
The Houston Rockets have too much youth. They have a lot of players on their roster who are either rookies or are 26 years old and under. They don’t have a clear-cut leader for this team. Better be Jeremy Lin or they’re really lost.