The Brooklyn Nets are turning their series into a competition. They turned it up in Brooklyn, New York as Joe Johnson and Brooklyn took it to Miami 104-90 and the San Antonio Spurs had no problem handling the Portland Trail Blazers. The Spurs win 118-103 in Game 3 and send Portland to play an elimination game for Game 4. The Spurs flat out just played better basketball than Portland did. How the Spurs executed their basketball plays was the nail in the coffin. Portland had no answer for them.
The Grizzlies hung on to beat Kevin Durant and his Thunder 98-95 to take the pivotal Game 3 and lead the series 2 games to 1. The L.A. Clippers held on to beat the Golden State Warriors 98-96 in their Game 3. Both were exciting games to watch. The Brooklyn Nets beat the Toronto Raptors 102-98 and they did it in style behind Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce. The Bulls take Game 3 against Washington, 100-97 and so do the Houston Rockets against the Portland Trail Blazers 121-116. So the Pacers win Game 4, 91-88 behind Paul George and it wasn’t easy, because a determined Hawks squad wanted to dismantle a united Pacers team on that night only. The Miami Heat take a 3-0 commanding series lead with a 98-85 victory and they look confident in the first round, knowing that the later rounds will get difficult as time goes on. The Mavericks win Game 3 on Vince Carter’s improbable three-pointer at the buzzer as Dallas wins 109-108 to lead the series against the San Antonio Spurs, 2 games to 1. And, the Oklahoma City Thunder take Game 4 92-89 against a mentally tough Memphis Grizzlies team led by Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. Is there anyone in the league who can contain these two from getting their points? The San Antonio Spurs have shown that in the past playoffs. The Miami Heat are cruising here, because the first round competition is too easy to handle. The Raptors-Nets series, the Pacers-Hawks series, the Thunder-Grizzlies series, Mavericks-Spurs, and Bulls-Wizards are all very closely competitive contests. The Raptors and Nets are equally talented on paper, however the Nets are more experienced. The Hawks are giving Indiana all they can handle. The Grizzlies and Thunder face off in another showdown, while the Mavericks-Spurs and Bulls-Wizards are very closely played basketball games. Given from the start, the Wizards are showing us they are a very good ball club now against Chicago in these playoff games. The Atlanta Hawks are also showing the world they are a good basketball team against the Indiana Pacers.
Jason Kidd is entering his first year being the NBA head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, yet he is struggling. Since retirement, we do not know what coach Kidd has yet to learn about basketball coaching, yet he has the caliber chance to deliver an NBA title to Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez, and Andrei Kirilenko. The real question we should be asking Jason Kidd is why do we care about him being a good coach. Don’t get me wrong, Kidd was a veteran presence to have in the locker room and on the court, and because of his savvy ball handling skills, he knows how to get the rock to his teammates where he likes to have them make shots. The fact is, Jason Kidd is a rookie coach and shouldn’t be taken seriously. This is his first year being a basketball coach, and should we be surprised that he is struggling? Not all first-year NBA coaches do well on the job. Stay tuned for future articles on Jeff Hornacek, the new coach of the Phoenix Suns and Brian Shaw, the new coach of the Denver Nuggets.
This is the start of the NBA season and I have yet to witness, but read about it, Paul George’s basketball brilliance. He continues to expand his perimeter game and he is on the cusp of greatness, the same as Lebron James, and both George and James are continuing to put the hurt on opposing perimeter defenders with their long-range shooting and slashing to the hoop. Houston is 4-1, because of James Harden and new Rocket Dwight Howard’s post interior defense, scoring, and rebounding. It will all depend on Howard’s ability to finish games, because he was unable to help Kobe Bryant finish late in the closing seconds of basketball games when he was with the Lakers. Cleveland is 2-2 and I am keenly interested in how Jarrett Jack mentors the young Cavs in Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters. Teams to watch out for as November games continue: the Brooklyn Nets with their starting five of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Brook Lopez, and the Chicago Bulls and their star point guard Derrick Rose plays since his injury, and Phoenix’s Eric Bledsoe, who got off to a fast start having 18 points and 6 assists against Utah on November 1, 26 points and 14 assists against OKC on November 3, and 25 points and 5 assists against New Orleans on November 5.
Hi, NBA summer! Welcome to the NBA off-season where anything can happen. Leandro Barbosa is a free agent and I expect the Indiana Pacers to re-sign him soon. I am interested in how the Chicago Bulls handle new personnel as Marco Bellinelli is on board as Kirk Hinrich is back with Chicago again and Mike James again for another stint. The Bulls also signed Vladimir Radomanovic and Nate Robinson too as well. The Bulls are interested in giving NBA rookie Marquis Teague a chance to do well in the Bulls’ backcourt. That would be possible too as well. The Bulls should be ashamed of themselves for letting Omer Asik leave to play for the Houston Rockets.
The Atlanta Hawks also shook up their roster too by letting Hinrich leave and having traded for Devin Harris from Utah. They also signed Kyle Korver from Chicago also. Sharpshooter Anthony Morrow is on board for the Hawks as well. DeShawn Stevenson from New Jersey (now called the Brooklyn Nets) was also signed and so was Lou Williams from Philadelphia. The Celtics have a new team now that Ray Allen is longer a part of Boston. Jason Terry has been signed on for a championship run and the C’s have gotten Jason Collins and re-signed Jeff Green. They also signed Courtney Lee from the Houston Rockets to replace the sharpshooting that Ray Allen once gave the Celtics offensive fire power. I’m interested in seeing how Jared Sullinger does for the Boston Celtics.
Joe Johnson, Jerry Stackhouse, and C.J. Watson are playing for the Brooklyn Nets and are all seemingly to reside in Manhattan, rather than live in Brooklyn and playing in the practice facilities in Brooklyn, New York.
I’m not looking forward to seeing a lot of dramatic changes in the Charlotte Bobcats, but expect Kemba Walker to improve and do better and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to make a spark there in North Carolina.
The L.A. Lakers landed Steve Nash now. Nash and Kobe Bryant will make a good duo in the backcourt. If Ron Artest a.k.a. Metta World Peace stays and Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum also stay, they will make the Lakers tougher to beat with Nash aboard. Nash will make the Lakers play more up-tempo, but with Bynum and Gasol clogging up the lanes, the Lakers will be forced to play some small ball and then some slow-tempo basketball. Joe Johnson was traded to the Brooklyn Nets now. Mo Williams went to the Utah Jazz. Marvin Williams also went to the Utah Jazz also. Jason Terry has joined the Boston Celtics organization after being dealt from the Dallas Mavericks. Laundry Fields went to the Toronto Raptors. What a crazy combination. Why would Fields go to the Toronto Raptors, one of the worst NBA teams in the NBA after being in New York City with Jeremy Lin, Carmelo Anthony, and Amare Stoudemire? Eric Gordon just signed an offer to play for the Phoenix Suns and left the L.A. Clippers. Lamar Odom is officially a Clipper now. Why does Odom like to play in L.A.?
Non-USA Basketball Team U.S.A. Basketball team
PG Tony Parker PG Rajon Rondo
SG Leandro Barbosa SG Joe Johnson
SF Andrea Bargnani SF Tayshaun Prince
PF Dirk Nowitzki PF Paul Millsap
C Zydrunas Ilgauskas C Greg Monroe
PG Jose Calderon PG Ben Wallace
SG Manu Ginobli F/C Kevin Durant
SF Carlos Delfino SG/SF Anthony Morrow
PF Tiago Splitter F/C Kevin Love
C Andris Biedrins SG/SF Rudy Gay
PG Patty Mills PG Ty Lawson
SG Marco Bellinelli G/F Josh Smith
I was recently approached by a supervisor/friend of mine at JobPath and I asked him what I thought of the Americans being outplayed by the world’s best basketball players not playing for the United States of America. He told me, “we have to pass better, we have to shoot better, we have to make our layups better,” which was a point of view. He didn’t concede that the world outside of the United States has better basketball players. If I were to construct a Dream Team from the NBA to represent U.S.A., who would it be? I suggest picking players that would considerably be good for a skill-set for a position. Rajon Rondo has said in Hoops Hype he has no interest in playing for the U.S. basketball team at the Olympics. He would make a good starting point guard. Rondo’s play making and his shooting has overlooked his entire basketball repertoire and he is a fantastic point guard and knows how to run a team. Joe Johnson has a silky smooth jump shot and he is athletic enough to take on the best shooting guards at his position. I like having Tayshaun Prince at my small forward position. He is long and lanky and has the offensive and defensive skill set to create his own shot and baffle the opposing small forward with his length. I like Paul Millsap at the power forward position. His toughness, his ability to hit the boards, and find his own offense is unique to Millsap at this position. Greg Monroe is my center for this U.S. basketball team. His shot-blocking ability and prowess on the rebounds are valuable for my team. As far as the basketball bench goes, Ben Wallace would make a great sixth man. His energy and defense are assets for helping boost an American offense with having Rondo, Millsap, Prince, and Johnson a go at it. In this situation also, Kevin Durant should fill out a reserve role in helping Team U.S.A. with his perimeter shooting, length, and defense on the seventh spot down the bench. Also, Team U.S.A. should have a three-point shooting specialist and it should be Anthony Morrow, a sharpshooting guard and forward for the New Jersey Nets. Kevin Love is next down the list and he should help Team U.S.A. with offense and rebounding. In the tenth spot, Rudy Gay will be Team U.S.A’s top perimeter defender. As 11 and 12 goes, Ty Lawson would make a great backup point guard here. I think Josh Smith should make my U.S. basketball squad. He has the skill-set to be a shooting guard because he is a reliable shooter and he can rebound and play defense with small forwards and power forwards and is agile enough to overpower slower power forwards and athletic enough to outwit bigger small forwards. I’m looking forward to comments, because I know definitely well that the world’s best basketball players come from outside the United States now.