LeBron James Capable of Beating Pacers by Himself If Indiana Dares Him to
Monday, 20 May 2013 23:51 | Written by Chris Carter
The Miami Heat have lost just one game thus far in the NBA playoffs, but they will face their toughest test of the postseason on Wednesday when Game 1 tips off against the Indiana Pacers.
he Pacers, fresh off a tough victory against the New York Knicks, do not seem intimidated by the Heat’s aura, or by the star power of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and friends. Instead, Indiana seems ready to embrace the challenge of facing this top-seeded Miami squad and trying to take advantage of some potential matchup problems.
The unfortunate reality, however, could very well be that even those problems will not be enough to derail Miami’s momentum. NESN.com NBA writer Ben Watanabe joined NESN Nation’s Dan Duquette on the podcast Monday, where the two previewed the upcoming Eastern Conference finals. They also broke down the Spurs-Grizzlies matchup out West, Greg Oden‘s chances of landing with the Celtics and which dinosaurs would have made the best basketball players.
Report: Dwight Howard Favors Rockets or Mavericks, Plans to Take His Time Deciding Whether to Stay With Lakers
Monday, 20 May 2013 23:49 | Written by Chris Carter
Dwight Howard has said he doesn’t want a big, circus-like atmosphere surrounding his free agency decision this summer. But a small circus may do. While the Lakers reportedly want to figure out quickly whether Howard will return, Howard “has privately indicated he plans to give strong consideration to multiple teams,” Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports league sources as saying.
“Howard re-signing with the Lakers is far from a done deal,” Berger says. The Lakers’ ability to bring Howard back is hampered by the amount of money they have available — not for him as much as for his supporting cast. While Howard can get a larger contract by staying in Los Angeles, which can offer him a max deal, the Lakers may not be able to get other key players due to the large contracts the team has already handed out. A couple of other teams, however, already have good pieces in place if they want to add Howard. Berger says Howard is most interested in the Rockets, who have a good core as well as Kevin McHale, who knows defense, as their coach.
Houston also has some flexibility if it needs to move players to get Howard in the fold. The Mavericks are another team that interests Howard, although Dallas will also have to move some pieces to offer him a contract. While neither team could offer Howard the off-court marketing opportunities of Los Angeles, Howard’s time with the Lakers has been marked by enough friction that the hopes of quicker success elsewhere could lure him away. None of that means Howard is ready to wrap his search up soon, though. This free agency season could become even more complicated than getting him out of Orlando was.
LA Lakers Rumors – Could Kobe Bryant's Career Be Over?
Saturday, 20 April 2013 18:54 | Written by Chris Carter
The LA Lakers are having one of the most disappointing seasons in team history as the franchise was expected to challenge for an NBA title, but inconsistent play, injuries, and off court issues have hurt this team, but the worst news of all occurred on Friday night when Kobe Bryant went down with what could be a torn Achilles Tendon.
What makes matters worse is this team is struggling to hold onto the eighth and final playoff spot inthe Western Conference and despite a big win over Golden State, things are looking bleak for the storied franchise.
Kobe has already stated that he was going to reflect on his game and decide if next year would be his last, but now with what could be a major injury, his decision to return to the game he loves is in risk.
Rumors have already hit social media that Bryant could call it a career and it would be a shame to finish on such a sour note, but with the front office needing to make some big changes, this injury could keep Dwight Howard with the LA Lakers and the team some room to work under the salary cap and bring in some younger players that can keep this team competitive for several more seasons, but in the short term, this injury will hurt the fans and the team as they looked to hold off Utah for that final playoff spot.
Should Derrick Rose Help Chicago Bulls Through NBA Free Agency Instead?
Saturday, 20 April 2013 18:53 | Written by Chris Carter
As time has gone one, it's clear Derrick Rose isn't ready to return to the Chicago Bulls. That playoffs are starting. It's too late. However, can the team captain help his club in another way by getting in some early calls for NBA free agency?
KobeBryant offers insight into fears of Rose about late season return
Fans and experts have grown tired of the debate over whether Rose should or should not return. By and large, the players fall on the side Derrick. They believe bringing him back this season from a torn ACL before he feels he's ready is the complete wrong course of action. Meanwhile, the media has begun to wonder if Rose isn't as mentally tough as initially thought. While such a criticism is unfair since many of those same people have never played pro basketball after a major knee injury, it is at least fair to at least explore contrasting mindsets about why he won't return. Huffington Post wrote an article doing this, comparing Rose to Kobe Bryant. Where the Bulls point guard has stayed hesitant to hit the floor, Bryant was on the floor for the most minutes of his Hall of Fame career. At age 34, it was a huge demand by the Los Angeles Lakers of their star and it ultimately cost them when his Achilles tendon gave up just before the playoffs. Perhaps, that explains why Rose fears an early return. For all the good things head coach Tom Thibodeau does in Chicago, managing minutes has become a sore spot between him and the critics. So based on the outlook, the Chicago Bulls will play out the 2013 playoffs without Rose. That doesn't mean he can't find a way to help them.
Andray Blatche and Carmelo Anthony present interesting FA options
One often overlooked value of having a superstar is his voice. What does that mean? Superstars aren't just good for their ability on the court. They also serve a greater purpose in recruiting other stars to the team. Rose could've done this back in 2010 but was too young to understand what teaming with LeBron James could've done. Instead the older, more experienced Dwyane Wade got to find out. With NBA free agency fast approaching next year, Rose could use his extra time away from the game to get a head start on helping his team find help. There is no shortage of big names that will hit the market. Obviously, LeBron James is the biggest one, but also a bit unrealistic. On the other hand, Carmelo Anthony could slip out of New York if he loses another first round playoff series. Chicago could sorely use his scoring ability. There is also rising star Andray Blatche in Brooklyn. The Bulls may need options at the center spot given the health concerns of Joakim Noah. Blatche is 26 years old and has played better than a lot of centers who start in the league. If Rose can do anything for his team, he should place phone calls to both of them and others as the playoffs grind on.
Derrick Rose deserves the benefit of the doubt when it comes to his health. However, he still has a responsibility to help the Chicago Bulls improve in any way possible. Recruiting for NBA free agency is the next best option.
2013 NBA Mock Draft – Nerlens Noel Back as Top Prospect This Year?
Thursday, 04 April 2013 20:34 | Written by Chris Carter
The NBA regular season is nearly over and teams that will miss the playoffs can begin the process of getting their draft boards ready and establishing what free agents to target this summer.
With the NCAA Tournament now down to the final four teams, basketball experts have a clearer picture of how youngsters can help teams and the latest mock from Bleacher Report now has Nerlens Noel of Kentucky as the top prospect. The young center has missed most of the 2012-13 season with a torn ACL, but after the struggles of several of the top college players during March Madness, Jon Wasserman believes the big man will be the top pick this summer and that could be good news for the Charlotte Bobcats and their fans.
Noel was leading college basketball with over four block shots per game and his 9.5 rebounds were also good numbers, but his offensive game needs work, especially against players with the same size, but his athletic ability makes him a clear top five choice if healthy.
Another youngster that broke onto the scene this year is point guard Marcus Smart of Oklahoma State. This youngster already has the size needed to succeed at the NBA level and with some added experience, could become a star in the league in the very near future and that could help Detroit, who is projected to take the young guard, for several years.