When the Lakers and Spurs retire
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  1. Herr
    Posts: 643

    Posted 12/29/2010 1:57 AM

    Just.... something I wrote on NBA.com.  Some feedback on how I write would be cool.  I'm thinking of writing some articles and maybe becoming an NBA expert in which I get paid money to be stupid and biased.  (Don't worry about spelling I didn't have spell checker on and it's like 2am so I'm pretty tired).  Also, your answer to my question would be cool too.  This isn't writing class so don't concentrate on my writing skills too much, I just would like some small feedback.

    Enjoy! (it's long)

    As most of us know, the Lakers are the favorites to win the West again this year, even with the Spurs dominating them last night and, Duncan being in his expected last year, are making a push for the Championship.

    But, we have to ask ourselves a few questions with this team...

    1) How long will Fisher be around?
    2) How long will Bryant be around?
    3) How long will Gasol and Odom be around?
    4) How long will PJ be around?

    As much as we don't like to think about it (well, if you're a Laker fan), this Laker championship core will be broken up eventually, and probably soon.  I don't think PJ will resume coaching after this season, ring or not.  Gasol is in his 11th year, and Odom is in his 9th year.  (or it might be the other way around).  Bryant is getting old as well, and we already know he's way past his prime.  Fisher also had thoughts of leaving the team and/or retiring.

    Without Fisher of PJ, who are the oldest, I do not think this team can be the championship team they've been.

    Also, if this IS Duncan's last season, I don't think the Spurs will be this big either, especially if Pop retires.

    So, assuming these two teams, that have been performing well as of late (let's just say the Lakers have just won their championship even though they're playing badly) aren't a threat anymore, regardless of what happens, just pretend they aren't a threat.   Which team will be the team in the Western Conference Finals and winning it and advancing to the finals (where they'll likely meet the Miami Heat when Boston retires).

    Will it be...

    L.A. Clippers?
    OKC Thunder?
    Dallas Mavericks?
    Portland TrailBlazers?
    Utah Jazz?
    Houston Rockets?
    Memphis Grizzlies?
    Phoenix Suns?
    Minnesota Timberwolves?
    Sacromento Kings?
    Denver Nuggets?
    Golden State Warriors?
    New Orlean Hornets?


    The question is up to you to answer for your own opinions.  Here is my take on each team.


    L.A. Clippers

    The Clippers have a decent, young core with Eric Gordon and Blake Griffin being the players to score.  In my opinion, Baron Davis and Chris Kaman need to go and replaced with a young point guard and young center that compliments Griffin on the defensive end, who needs to improve there.  Blake is a beast of the boards, but his defense isn't good enough to bring the Clippers the wins to progress as a playoff team.  Also, Gordon reminds me a lot of Monta Ellis and Russel Westbrook.  A score first, pass second guard.  Unless I'm mistaken, he needs to look for his team more.  From what I've seen, he needs to look at his teammates more often than the jumpshot.  The drive however, is a masterpiece, and he needs to continue that.  The Clips also need to get a new coach eventually.  Vinny Del Negro is a professional coach, but he's the type of coach in the league that gets hired to start a team off.  He can take the Clippers to playoff talks, but he can't get them there, or past the first round.  This team could make the playoffs,  but I do not see them being a second round team and especially going to the Finals.  Also, as much as people love to see the highlights, the way Griffin is playing is not going to keep him in this league for many years.  He's a beast, but he plays dangerously, and he could suffer another significant injury.

    OKC Thunder

    I decided to look up OKC's stats, as a team.  They rank 30th in 3pt% and 29th in 3 pointers made while 24th in 3pt attempts.  So, they obviously aren't a good 3 point shooting team.  They are 20th in FG%, 19th in attemtps, and T18th in makes.  They are 7th in points scored per game.  Worst part?  They are T19th in Turnovers and 26th in assists.  So, how does OKC do it?  They are 1st in FT's made, attempted, and FT percentage.

    So a not so good shooting team, that doesn't pass the ball, averages a good amount of turnovers, isn't on the good half of rebounds, and scores a lot of points.  They get most their points from the FT line... averaging 31.1 FTs a GAME.  (Do people seriously think there are no biased calls?  This is a jumpshot team people!).  Looking at OKC shows me two things, and I'm not trying to be a hater here, but they're overrated, don't shoot the ball well, don't pass it well, and aren't going to be winning many playoff games when the refs allow the game to get physical, which is a majority of the time unless you're in the 4th quarter of Game 7 against the Lakers.

    For them to improve, they need a few things.  First off, they need a veteran to help teach the team.  Their oldest player is like Collison or something at 25.  They need Harden to shave that ridiculous beard.  And they need more post presence.  They are a jumpshot team, and jumpshot teams don't win championships, just ask Orlando.  Jeff Green is a great player, but he's not the height you want at powerforward.  They also need to find ways to get Durant to be productive without 40 minutes of play.  Eventually that's going to hurt him.  Also, it wouldn't hurt Westbrook to pass the ball more.  He's averaging 8.3 assists, which is a thing of beauty, but he's one of the few on that team that can move with the ball.  Either Westbrook needs to look for his team more, or they need to get themselves open.

    Dallas Mavericks

    You know, I'll be honest. I'd like to see this team succeed.  Kidd and Dirk are great players and should get a ring.

    But we all know how it goes, like it did tonight, where Toronto was missing 4/5 starters, with another getting ejected and another getting injured, and they still end up losing.  Sure they didn't have Dirk, who averages 24, but honestly?  No excuses for the Mavs losing, and we see this all the time.  No excuses for them.  And also, is Charlise a championship coach?  Choking is the number one concern for the Mavs.  Makes me wonder why Cuban hasn't gotten rid of the Chokers yet.  He's the most passionate owner in the entire league.

    Portland TrailBlazers

    Heh,  HEALTH HEALTH HEALTH HEALTH HEALTH HEALTH.  So, Roy isn't returning to 100%?  That's fine with me, as long as he can close the game out, and the Blazers perform like they've been performing as of late, this team could be very dangerous when they are healthy.  I still have faith in Oden returning and at least being what the team needs him to be.  Once he can consistently stay on the court, the Blazers are going to be a huge threat, especially with how much LaMarcus has improved his game.  But, if he doesn't return, and the Blazers are able to pick up another decent center once Camby goes, and maybe a decent point guard when Andre goes, the Blazers *could* contend.  They're known for their injuries, but... the "new" possible core of Wesley Mathews and LaMarcus Aldridge... they have both played every game this season, and neither has suffered from anything major. 

    If the Blazers do get Oden back, and Roy is able to score at least 10-15 points a game, the Blazers could be the favorites to win the West.  But that's a big if (and I may be a bit biased).

    Utah Jazz

    I think the only team that really hurts the Utah Jazz in the western conference has been the Lakers.  If you remove the Lakers, this team could contend and win the west, no doubt about it.  They're a crafty team, fairly young, and Jerry Sloan has been the coach of Utah for 22 years, and is known as one of the best coaches in the league.  They've also got arguably the best point guard in the game.  When D.Will has at least 10 assists, the Jazz have a great record.  When he has less than 10... not so much.  (Against Portland, he had 6).  Over the years, the Lakers have been the ones to hurt them.  Eliminate the Lakers, and the Jazz could win the West, no doubt about it.

    Houston Rockets

    I'm going to be honest, I don't follow the Rockets.  I know Yao is done, and Scola is a beast and same with Brookes.  This team could return to the playoffs soon, and I hear Kevin Martin has been playing well.  They've got a good core, but need to regain the height in the center that made them contenders in 2008-2009.  They also have one of the best coaches in Adelman.

    Memphis Grizzlies

    This team reminds me of a scale.  They're on the uprise, but also... how long is Zbo going to be able to play like a 20-20 player?  With the growth and primes of OJ Mayo and Rudy Gay, Zbo is only getting older, and so is Gasol.  They also need to move to a new location.  They've got a young and exciting team, but no one is going to give a crap about a team that brings only 10 fans into their arena.  If they hit the playoffs, the league would make quick work of them and kick them out.  No one but the other teams fans would be watching.  Maybe give them to Seattle? Vegas?  Point being, this team needs to move if they want to win the west.  As much as people want to deny the big market favorable calls, a team that draws NO fans definently won't be getting any fair ball games in the playoffs.

    Phoenix Suns

    Steve Nash says that they have a chance.  Really now?  Sorry Stevie, but this team needs to rebuild.  Their best players are arguably Nash, Hill, and Cartar, both who are more old than young.  I can see all of them being traded soon for some young talent.  Do they have a chance?  Who knows, this team is in rebuilding mode, so we don't know what they're going to look like next season, or the one after that.

    Minnesota Timberwolves

    Ugh... now we get to the bottom feeders.  Let's put it this way... Love needs to improve defense.  He's already a beast on the boards and offense, but the team gives up like, what, 110 pts a game?  Beasley also needs to improve on being a closer.  He's done good so far, but each successful team needs their closer.  I don't see this team making the playoffs for awhile... but they do have some nice talent.

    Sacromento Kings

    Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins.  That's all that needs to be said.  Those two, along with the next high draft pick for the Kings since they'll be getting one again, are what determine where this team goes.  Reminds me a lot of Portland actually.  They got their Roy and their Aldridge.  Who knows, maybe they'll pick a center next season.

    Denver Nuggets

    Hmmm... JR Smith will probably be traded.  Chauncy is getting old.  Kenyon Martin is getting old, and isn't exactly healthy.  Nene has been playing very good basketball, but Carmelo is leaving.  Well, they're now 1-3 since Melo's sister passed, in which he's been absent.  So if Melo leaves, and Chauncy retires... where does that leave Denver?  Rebuilding mode!  So basically, they're in the same area as Phoenix, but they can keep some of their players.  Especially Nene. That guys a BEAST.  Afflalo also has some high hopes for Nugget fans.

    Golden State Warriors

    Now, to me, shoot first pass second point guards don't lead teams to championships. Ball movement creates open shots.  The Warriors are one of the deadliest shooting teams in the league.  And hey!  They got better at defense!!  Do they have hopes?  I don't think so.  Ellis will probably be traded, and I don't think Curry will be much of the improvement they need.  Fantastic player, but he isn't exactly the best at passing the ball either.  Depending on what they get for Ellis, I don't see this team making much progress.  They have a chance at hitting the playoffs, but I highly doubt it, and if they do, they won't last there long.

    New Orlean Hornets

    Chris Paul liked the changes.  The Hornets came out stinging.  But do they have the Talent to win?  I think not.  I have great respect for the Hornets, so don't think I'm a hater for saying this, but they're a pretender, and I don't think Chris Paul will want to be there another season.  I don't think they'll make the playoffs this season, especially if Portland and Houston continue their play (strange saying that after Portland lost by 18, but aside from missing key players and having an off night by WM and a below average night from Dre, the Blazers played fairly well).  West is a tad overrated, and needs to do what LMA is doing... and attack the basket.  We fans yelled at LMA, and we're loving the results, and so is he.  Trevor Ariza is talented, but the rest of the team is not enough to get them far into the playoffs.


    So... to answer my initial question, the three teams I think have the best chances are Portland, Utah, and Dallas.

    If a team takes care of the Lakers, I would not be surprised if Utah makes it to the WCF and Finals this season, or at least make some noise.

    I am a fan of
  1. BDawg
    Posts: 1593

    Posted 12/29/2010 3:39 AM

    Mavs (as of right now)
    I am a fan of players that play with PASSION and PRIDE
  1. freddead
    Posts: 321

    Posted 12/29/2010 11:41 PM

    dirks gettin old to btw its going to be okc i hate to say it cause it hurts this unless they lose westbrook or durant wich i dont see either of them going anywhere
    I am a fan of
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