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NBA Blog: Rookies to Watch For

By Zach Herring

Rookies to watch in the 2010-2011 Season
We all know the John Wall and Evan Turner will most likely have great rookie seasons. But there are other rookies to watch out for. Here are a few.
Damion James, Nets
Damion averaged 18.8 points and 5.3 rebounds in Summer League. He had a huge 30 point game that I was lucky enough to see. He also had a 21 point, 11 rebound game. At 6'7 James can play the shooting guard and small foward positions. Many teams passed on James and in a few years some of those teams might regret that decision. Overall I think he will have a great year coming off the bench for the Nets.
Paul George, Pacers
Paul averaged 15.2 points and 7.8 rebounds in Summer League. His best games was a 22 point, 12 rebound game against the great Thunder squad. A stat that jumped out at me was the 2.2 steals per game. At 6'8 George also can play the shooting guard and small foward positions. George was taken higher than expected but I think the Pacers saw this players great potential. Overall I think he will have a great rookie year but that he also will be one of the best players out of this draft.
Larry Sanders, Bucks
Larry averaged 14 points and 8.4 rebounds in Summer League. His best game was a 14 point, 8 rebound, 5 blocks game. He averaged 3.2 blocks. So I think he will be more of a defensive threat and will block a lot of shots. At 6'11 he plays the power foward but with his agressiveness I think he could play some center also. When the Bucks took Larry I'll be honest I didn't even know who he was. Overall I think he will have a pretty good year, his defense will be a lot better than his offense.
Derrick Favors, Nets
Derrick averaged 10.6 points and 6.8 rebounds in Summer League. His best game was a 23 point, 11 rebound game. At 6'10 Favors is a power foward. Favors was taken at #3 and coming into the draft many said he will eventually be a great NBA player. Overall I think he will have a good rookie year.

States without NBA Teams: Expansion?

By Zach Herring

States without NBA Team
(according to WikiAnswers)
Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Out of this list I would think that Connecticut, Kansas, and Kentucky would be firsts to have an NBA team because their states have great college teams, these states already have a loyal basketball fanbase. The last expansion team was the Charlotte Bobcats back in 2004. So its been 6 years since there was a new NBA team. Message me on twitter at @3jenningsfan3 and tell me what state you think should or will add an NBA team in the future.

NBA Blog: Where Will Shaq Go?

By Zach Herring

Now that LeBron isn't in Cleveland it is almost 100% that Shaq wont return. So where will the big man go?
The Spurs were rumored to be interested in Shaq and it was said that was the only team that he would take a minium contract from. Other teams I have heard are Bobcats, Heat, Hawks and Celtics.
If Shaq wants to win a championship or two before he retires then he should sign with the Heat. He would get a minium contract though. If he signed with the Celtics he would have a shot at winning the championship but not as good of a shot as signing with the Heat. I think the Celtics will still be pretty good this season, especially if everyone stays healthy.
Signing with the Bobcats he would get a better contract than with the Spurs and Heat but if he wouldn't have a shot at another ring with the Bobcats. He would get more than a minium contract if he signed with the Hawks but the Hawks aren't going to go very far in the playoffs either.
If Shaq stays healthy he could have a great year, but it still could be his last year.

NBA Blog: Where Will Stackhouse Go?

By Zach Herring

I would have like the Bucks to keep Stackhouse since he did great off the bench for them but it doesn't look like they will sign him now that they got Maggette, Salmons, Douglas-Roberts, and eventually Redd off of injury. So the question is where will Stackhouse go?
One team that could pick him up would be the Miami Heat, since there looking for Veterans, Stackhouse would be a great choice. He has been to the playoffs many times and the Finals in the 2005-2006 season. The Heat need that kind of experience.
Another team that could pick him up is the Boston Celtics, if they can't get Fernandez or another good back-up for Allen and Pierce, Stackhouse would definetly be someone to think about.
A team I would like to see Stackhouse go to is the Okalahoma City Thunder. They have a great core of young players but in last years playoffs fell short to the Lakers in 6 games. Adding a great off the bench scorer like Jerry would help come playoff time.
Many thought that Jerry Stackhouse was done with his basketball career after not starting the 2009-2010 season on a team. Then in January he signed with the Bucks and along with Bogut, Salmons, and Jennings helped carry the Bucks to the playoffs. I read an article on by Scott Howard-Cooper that said Jerry wants to keep playing. So I guess we will have to wait and see where he lands.

Team USA

By Quentin Haynes

After the “Redeem Team” won the Gold in Beijing, Coach K and crew have a whole new set of players ready to line up and win the World Championships in Turkey.  Team USA has young superstars like Rajon Rondo, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry. Throw in Derrick Rose, Tyson Chandler and Lamar Odom?  The new team USA is born.

When you look at some of the players on the roster, the build of Team USA is taking shape. Among players I previously named, Coach K and the coaching staff have also brought in Danny Granger, Andre Iguodala,  Chancey Billups, Rudy Gay, Russell Westbrook, Javale McGee and Jeff Green are all players who help taken the roster into shape. I believe Team USA has all the balance and solid players who I believe can gel into a gold medal winner.

If I had to project a starting roster? It would be Billups-Mayo-Durant-Odom and Chandler. I believe Derrick Rose, Javale McGee, Jeff Green, Iguodala and Granger will be solid enough to come off the bench. The sixth man could be Derrick Rose. He’s capable to play both guard positions and still be effective

No ROY for Jennings, Really?

By Zach Herring

When Jennnings walked onto that stage last June, nobody knew he would score 55 points in a game and be a serious contender for the Rookie of the Year award. A lot of people (including me) think he should have been the Rookie of the Year. I am going to give 3 reasons of why he should have been.
1. Making the Playoffs
When the Bucks came into the 2009-2010 season they were expected to win about 25-30 games. So I am guessing nobody expected 46 wins and making the playoffs. Jennings was a huge part of why the Bucks made the playoffs. He came out every night and played his and always wanted to win. During the time that Jennings and the Bucks were playing in the playoffs where was Evans? Probably chilling at his house because his team had a 25-57 record and didn't make the playoffs.
2. Earning a spot
When the Bucks were getting ready for their first game of the 2009-2010 season many didn't expect Jennings to be the starting point guard. As Coach Scott Skiles later explained he earned the spot as a starter. For his first game in the NBA he had 17 points, 9 rebounds, and 9 asissts. When Evans came in last season everyone expected him to start because there wasn't a good starting guard.
3. Their Teams
Jennings came to the Bucks who were expecting Redd to eventually come off injury and a good center in Andrew Bogut. So Jennings wasn't expected to go out and average over 20 points a game and 8 or 9 asissts, because like I mentioned before, it wasn't even sure if he would start. When Evans got to the Kings there wasn't any good veterans or all-stars. He was expected to be a big scorer for the Kings. The best player the Kings had when Evans joined was Kevin Martin who was a pretty good player, but definitely wasn't looked at as an all-star.
Jennings Stats Evans Stats
                           ppg: 18.7 20.1
                      rpg: 3 5.3
                    apg: 3.6 5.8
                  fg%: 40% 45%
                3p%: 29% 25%
In the end I think the reason Tyreke Evans won was because of stats. I think the voters should look at stats but also team record and if the team made the playoffs.

LeBron James: Seven Reasons the Miami Heat Won't Win an NBA Title in 2011

By Garrett Tucker

On paper, the Miami Heat have become arguably the best team to ever be assembled...only with five players at this point. Yet they are still favorites to win multiple championships in the next five years.

While the city of Cleveland weeps and riots over the loss of their former star and the beaches of Miami party throughout the night, Dan Gilbert said something very interesting in his open letter to Cavalier fans:

"I personally guarantee that the Cleveland Cavaliers will win an NBA championship before the self-titled former ‘King’ wins one."

For once, Gilbert may be right.

Can this team really go all the way? Win some rings?

Everyone says they can; however, are we being deceived because of the huge star power up front for the new "DeBrosh" Heat squad?

Here are seven reasons why LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh WILL NOT win an NBA Championship in 2011.

7.) No Team Chemistry

Every team sport requires some amount of team chemistry, and what the Heat are assembling at this point isn't much (if any) chemistry at all.

But what can you expect from a team that only had two players definitely coming back next season prior to the start of the free-agency period?

Sure, LeBron, D-Wade, and Bosh have played together for short stints of time on All-Star teams and National teams, but does that mean they have great chemistry at this point?


LeBron doesn't know everything Wade will do; Wade doesn't know everything Bosh will do; Bosh doesn't know everything LeBron will do; and so on and so on.

What about the other seven roster spots available? Who will fill those?

Once those select rookies and/or minimum guys come in, how long could it take for everyone to come together?

You can say that it only counts in the postseason, but let's be honest, everyone wants to take the easy road, and if the Heat get the No. 1 seed in the East, they'll have the easy road to the NBA Finals.

At first glance this roster looks great, but they have to produce together on the court to become champions.

6.) Not a Good Supporting Cast

This goes back to team chemistry, but even if the Big Three cut down their pay, there still will not be enough money to go around; there are sources reporting the Heat are trying to grab Mike Miller as well, and while that will help, who will be behind him and Chalmers?

Yes, there will be veterans longing for a chance to win coming to Miami, but is that enough?

Anything can happen in a game and over the course of an NBA season: foul trouble, injuries, etc.

Who will be there to fill in if such happens?

Someone like Jalen Rose (and yes, I just said that. I wouldn't be surprised to see him come back)?

To win a championship you have to have a full team; if the Heat fail to put together a decent bench, the only thing they will receive from this fiasco is great publicity and a load of cash because of sellouts game in and game out.

5.) No True, Experienced Point Guard

Mario Chalmers came into the league with a great future ahead of him, and no doubt, he still does, but he hasn't quite panned out like the Heat had hoped.

Every championship team needs a good point guard to help get them to the Promise Land and as of right now, I don't think Chalmers is that guy.

There have been talks that LeBron James could even be the "true" point guard of the team, and while that would be very exciting and interesting, I don't think that would work. You need someone with experience at the position.

Veterans like Allen Iverson are out there waiting for teams to call, and I doubt the Heat try to land A.I., but they may fare better if they try to get someone like him.

This so-called point guard doesn't necessarily have to start, but must be able to be a positive impact off the bench.

If you ask me, they wouldn't be doing a bad thing signing veteran Jason Williams to a cheap contract. He's a proven winner and can get things done at the point, which this team will need.

4.) The East Has Talent

During recent seasons we have been accustomed to seeing most of the top-tier teams coming from the Western Conference; however, aside from the Lakers, it seems the tide is turning somewhat back to the East...okay, so it's starting to even out a little.

No matter which conference is stronger or what not, the Eastern Conference still has great talent not only to individuals, but to teams as well.

Everyone expects to see Paul Pierce and the Celtics competing yet again in 2011, and while this Big Three will be a good bit older, they will be no pushover. They have experience and as you read this their roster is quietly improving.

Despite the adversity surrounding the Orlando Magic, you can never count out a guy like Dwight Howard and his team. Stan Van Gundy will throw whatever he can at their in-state rivals and will try to bring them down as best he can.

And the teams don't stop there. Those are just examples.

The Bulls seem to be the lone forgotten team at this point, even though they even have improved this off-season adding Carlos Boozer to the likes of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah.

Amar'e Stoudemire and the Knicks will lurk in the Big Apple and the young, athletic Hawks also can poise a threat to the new super team.

It's possible for the Heat to trump the East, but by no means will it be easy.

3.) No Experienced Playoff Coach

During his highly anticipated interview, LeBron James said that Erik Spoelstra would indeed be the coach of the Miami Heat next season...

At least that's to his knowledge. You never know when Pat Riley could come out and coach once again. I don't put it past him.

Before I say what I am going to, I want everyone to know I think Spoelstra has a great future as an NBA coach; he knows so much at a young age that many coaches these days miss out on and I have the utmost respect for him.

But can the Heat trust him in the midst of the playoffs when games can be decided by one wrong decision by the coach?

Sure, all coaches gain knowledge with experience, but what if you don't have time to slowly get used to the playoffs like the Heat do at this point?

Just ask Mike Brown how it turned out for him in Cleveland.

If the Heat fail to win a championship in the first couple of years of this new super team, it all could come back to the coach, and in this case, Erik Spoelstra.

If you want a ring, you may want to get a coach that is accustomed to playing deep into the NBA Playoffs.

2.) They're All No. 1 Guys

Before all of this came together, back in the 2009-10 season, all three of these superstars were No. 1 options for their respective teams.

So how will this translate to Miami with them coming together?

If it's possible to see it all gel together, it will take a heck of a long time. I don't see it possible for the three guys to come together and co-exist, and that's saying something, as these are some of the most unselfish players the NBA has to offer.

Two No. 1 players joining forces is a little better, but not the best scenario that could happen (just see Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony), but it's a load better than three.

With LeBron, Wade, and Bosh coming together, points will be cut down, as well as minutes, and maybe more importantly, pay will be cut.

It's going to be interesting if these guys don't win some rings, especially with the sacrifices they have made so early in the process.

1.) Kobe Is Still Kobe

While all this free agency drama has been going on, out in L.A., Kobe and the Lakers have enjoyed another championship to add to their collection.

Everyone believes the Heat can now blow through the Eastern Conference, but what happens when they possibly have to meet the Lakers in the NBA Finals as they will be aiming at yet another three-peat?

Kobe Bryant showed the world that he still should be considered as one of the best to play the game during the playoffs after players such as LeBron James were sent packing for home.

Not only did he prove he still has some gas left in the tank, he was personified by many as the best active player the game has to offer.

The Heat will have a challenge in the Finals with the Lakers waiting on them. Until they are taken down, the Los Angeles Lakers are still the reigning champions of the NBA.

And more importantly, Kobe is still Kobe.

He can still get it done, and in an assortment of ways.


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