Monday, October 27, 2008

The NBA season is all but here

With the NBA season upon us I, as a Knicks fan, am looking forward to the season for the first time in what seems like decades. Here are my thoughts, surprises, expectations and other things for the 2008-09 season.

- For all of those folks who may play fantasy basketball I am going to give you a name to remember (I'm not big on fantasy basketball so he may actually be on the radar or what have you). Wilson Chandler of the New York Knicks. That is the name, he will have a major impact this season statistically. I believe he'll throw up a 15 and 7 type season in his first season in D'antoni's system. And who knows, if he starts it could be better than that. Picking that guy in round 8-10 will be great value for a lot of people. Hopefully he stays healthy as I think the guy can flourish.

- I am very interested to see how the young nucleus in Memphis performs. Now I realize they are a bad team, have been so forever, and will probably continue to do so, but the core of Mike Conley/O.J. Mayo and Rudy Gay can be something special in the future. I'm curious to see what strides they take this year. Gay just came off of a 20 and 6 season in his sophomore season in the NBA, and the sky is the limit with a guy of his caliber of talent. No offense to Shane Battier as guys like him are valuable in their own kind of way but I didn't understand it on draft night, and I still don't understand why you would trade away the #8 overall pick, which ended up being Gay, for Shane Battier. That moves still makes me scratch my head.

-Speaking of young talent has anyone paid attention to what the Blazers have done in the draft the last couple of years? They drafted a potentially game changing big man, they drafted a young stud in Brandon Roy, another nice big in LaMarcus Aldridge, now Jerryd Bayless. On paper, the Blazers have absolutely made a living in the draft. They are building their team the right way and seem to be on the road to success. We'll see how it plays out. I think having Oden in the middle defensively will do wonders for their defense. When you have a shot blocker and inside presence on the inside it makes offense harder for everyone on the opposing team and it makes perimeter defense easier for everyone on your team given that they can play tighter defense. It's somewhat similar to playing CB with a guy like Ed Reed playing behind you. You can be as aggressive as you want with that kind of security blanket behind you.

- If Jermaine O'neal can stay healthy (yep I know, that if is as big as
Shaquille O'neal), the Raptors will be tough to handle. Having both O'neal and Bosh to block/alter shots will do wonders for the Raptors defense, and with their assortment of perimeter shooters and a rising young point guard in Jose Calderon, who reminds me of a poor man's Steve Nash. They have the talent, but I don't think much of their head coach. Sam Mitchell seems like a loose cannon. I'll be interested in seeing what they do this year.

- Maybe this is the season, Tyrus Thomas finally elevates from glorified pogo stick to good player? I doubt it, but boy has he been disappointing for a #2 overall pick. All the talent in the world, but a limited offensive game, and what seems like a limited basketball IQ. Between Thomas and one of the biggest stiffs in the NBA Joakim Noah, could the Bulls have done any worse?

- The Denver Nuggets are stuck in neutral. Bringing back Iverson from a basketball standpoint, is kind of pointless. If they did feel they were title contenders, they wouldn't have just given Marcus Camby away for the good ole fart in the jar. So if you don't feel you are a title contender, the point of bringing back Allen Iverson at his price (besides the business ramifications), was? He's a good player but at this point is he worth 22 million?

- Can Chris Paul be the best point guard
EVER when his career is over? I know, I know, that is a very lofty and presumptuous kind of question but his numbers and progress cannot be denied as he gets better annually and has one of the better skillsets at the position that the league probably has ever seen. He just came off a 21 and 12 season where he should have been league MVP. It's scary to think, but I truly believe that he can do that consistently. Can you imagine that? Nope, I can't either.

-Interesting to see that in the first year, of that incredibly unwarranted contract, that Gilbert Arenas is already hurt. So he's injury prone, selfish, doesn't play defense, has no sense of what a good shot is, and is practically a black hole offensively. Washington's management was thinking more economically than their brains on this one in my opinion. We will look back at that and it will be one of the worst contracts in recent memory.

- I love Jason Kidd, and I've made that be known as much as I can. He has brought me some of my greatest memories as a basketball/sports fan, and I miss him dearly even though it was probably the best thing for all the parties involved that he was traded. It's a shame he probably won't see a ring, but I still am greatly entertained by his game, and hope he can have a big year. I think he will, as this is a contract year and its probably his last chance to cash in.

- LeBron James for MVP, start the campaign now.

- I swear I feel like I'm the only one who doesn't understand what was so great about the Mo Williams acquisition for the Cavaliers? What does he add that they didn't already have? All he is, in my opinion, is a rich man's Delonte West. Cleveland needs a post threat, and they still don't have that. Instead they are paying a better version of Joakim Noah 17 million (Ben Wallace). Was getting Wally Sczerbiak and Delonte West really worth taking on that absolutely horrific contract? I think Mo will contribute but I don't really think he makes them that much better.

- With the presence of Elton Brand in Philly now, I definitely think that Iguodala can vault himself into the company of the elite, he just needs to work a little on his offensive game. The athleticism is there, and the defense is there, if he can get to the point where he can be a go to player offensively, he will be the straw that stirs the Philly drink, all the way to the playoffs.

-The Boston Celtics will repeat as champions this year.
- The Portland Trail Blazers will make the postseason
- LaMar Odom will not finish the season with the Lakers
-The Hawks will fall back to obscurity
-The Spurs will start off slowly with Captain Flop...err, I mean Manu Ginobili on the injured list.


Amani Roberts said...

Who will the Celtics play?

Agree about the Mo Williams deal.

Agree about CP. I love his game and he went to Wake Forest. :O

Agree about Portland. My goodness.

"Fart in the jar"?

Nice post. Time for u to get into fantasy bball.

Unknown said...

I thought I share with a fellow Knicks fan the opportunity to win free tickets. Enter the "2008 Knicks Ticket Giveaway" to score one of the pairs we're giving away. Offer ends October 30th!!!

Ticket Info: