Posts Tagged ‘vince carter

07
Feb
08

Sefolosha should continure to start, Gordon should go

Bulls 97 – Blazers 100

Good effort last night by the Bulls.  They were extremely shot-handed, which I’ll get to in a  moment,  but still stuck with a surprisingly solid Blazers team.  The Bulls story of the night in my opinion was Thabo Sefolosha.  Sure it was only one game, but he had 22 pts on 9-17, 6 assts, 3 steals, 2 blocks, 4 boards and only 2 turnovers.  Those are some good, starter-worthy numbers.  Here’s to hoping we see Thabo starting at the 2 guard for the foreseeable future.

One of the main reasons I want to see Thabo starting at the 2 is that I now want Ben Gordon off of this team almost as much as I want Paxson gone.  Of course Gordon isn’t going anywhere until Pax does because we all know John isn’t trading any player he drafted or signed.  I have to admit that my comments these days are the result of my extreme frustration with this season and I probably won’t agree with them all a couple of months from now.  Nevertheless, a lot of Bulls have been missing games with injuries lately and I don’t think most of them would be missing some of these games if the Bulls were in third place in the East.  Chief among these offenders, I believe, is Ben Gordon.

Ben Gordon recently said,

It has been hard watching, especially because we have been having
trouble scoring, but I need the wrist to be 100 percent
so I'm not thinking about it and it doesn't affect my shot.

After making these comments he came back for two games and averaged 26.5 points while shooting 49% from the field including 75% from behind the arc.  It doesn’t look like his shot was affected too much.  However, after pulling out prior to last night’s game he said,

I probably need to stay off it for a little while, especially with it
being my shooting hand. Say we make a playoff run. I
don't want to be worrying about it down the stretch."

When he says, “Say we make a playoff run.  I don’t want to be worrying about it down the stretch”, I take that to mean, “If we were contending I’d play through the pain, but right now I just need to make sure I only play when I’m 100% so my numbers look as good as possible going into contract negotiations this summer.”

That would be an acceptable stance from, say, Vince Carter.  With Carter you know what you’re getting and know what his personality is.  However, these Bulls players were supposed to be different.  They were drafted or signed over more talented players because they are supposed to have more character and desire to win.  I believe Gordon started out this way but has since grown more selfish.  At this point BG7 and his expiring contract should be traded to another team where he can become somebody else’s sixth man prima donna.  The Bulls already have Ben Wallace to fill that role and it doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere.

Answer me this Gordon, how exactly is the team going to make a playoff run if you and your 20 ppg (and only 2.9 assisst/game) are sitting out while the team is already missing Luol Deng?

Advertisements
31
Oct
07

10/31/07 – Bulls vs. Nets preview

A quick preview of tonight’s action. 

6:30 Bulls’ time – Comcast Sports Net – Bulls vs. Nets

Joakim Noah is out for tonight’s game.  As far as we know at this point Ben Wallace is expected to play.  The Tribune is interestingly projecting Joe Smith to start at PF.  I would have guessed it would be Tyrus.  Everything else should go according to the default plan.  If Wallace doesn’t play I’m guessing Smith moves to C and Thomas starts at PF, but it could always be Noce too.

The New Jersey Nets aren’t, in my opinion, anything for the Bulls to worry about this season.  They haven’t played well against the Nets in the recent past, but the both teams are a year older this year and that’s a good thing for Chicago while it’s a bad thing for New Jersey.

The Nets have Nenad Kristic back this season which should make a huge difference.  He showed some great progress in his young career before missing last season with an injury.  They also added Jamaal Magloire who is a solid big man if not spectacular and should add much needed depth up front.  Mikki Moore is gone, but shouldn’t be missed too much.  He had a decent season statistically because he had a lot of playing time for a guy with his limited talents.  Overall, the Nets are a more complete team this season than they were last season but they’re also getting old.  Jason Kidd is 35 and his age is going to show up in his play sooner rather than later.  He looked good in the Tournament of the Americas this summer, but in the NBA he’ll be playing with far less talent around him and far more on the opposing teams.  Vince Carter, coming off of a great year statistically, also isn’t as young as he once was and, more importantly, isn’t in a contract year.  Vince has shown himself to be the Randy Moss of basketball, an amazingly talented player who only tries when it suits him. 

The Nets suffered a lot of injuries last season and very well could again this season.  If they don’t, they should have a decent record.  If they do, they’re done for.  I think the age of Kidd and Carter will become more and more evident as the season progresses.  However, they should be fresh enough on opening night.  I think this game will be close for a long time and then one team will pull away.  New Jersey is a -2.5 favorite.  I’m not sure who will win, but I think it will be by more than three points.  Since it’s the first game of the season and I don’t have much to work with, let’s say Chicago wins and covers the spread.

I plan to do a mini diary during the game and post it afterwards, so look out for that later tonight.  Go Bulls!

31
Jul
07

Team to beat in the East? It’s just hype.

Again, once the Garnett trade happens the Celtics will be a successful regular season team and probably win one or two playoff series.  They HAVE NOT, however, become “the team to beat” or favorites in the East.  Yes, the trade is exciting.  Superstars don’t change teams everyday.  But people need to calm down and look at this situation realistically.  Everywhere I look I’m reading that if LeBron could take the Cavs to the finals last season with no supporting cast then this Celtics team will go undefeated in Eastern Conference competition.  There are so many flaws with that logic I don’t know where to start.  LeBron last season was a more dominant player than any of the three players who will be on the Celtics were last season or will be this season.  Also, LeBron didn’t have much of a supporting cast but he had a hell of a lot more than the Celtics will have beyond Pierce/Allen/Garnett.  LeBron had Zydrunas Ilgauskas while the Celtics will have Kendrick Perkins.  LeBron had Donyell Marshal, Anderson Varejao, Daniel Gibson and Damon Jones coming off the bench.  Now these guys aren’t going to win any sixth man of the year awards but the Celtics will have . . .oh yeah, they won’t have a bench left after this trade.  Under contract the Celtics will have Brian Scalabrine, Tony Allen (coming off of knee surgery), Leon Powe and Brandon Wallace.  Cleveland’s supporting cast sounds pretty good now, huh?


Now that the deal is done Brian Scalabrine
is poised for greatness in his new role as
the Celtics 6th man

The other problem with the logic if LeBron could do it with that Cavs team then the Celtics will reign supreme is that people are forgetting that the Cavs path to the finals was only so easy because of luck.  First they faced the Wizards without Arenas who was at least as valuable to his team as LeBron was to the Cavs.  Then they faced a Nets team that didn’t really care.  Once Vince Carter beat his old team in Toronto he accomplished all he cared to.  Why put off the summer any longer.   Finally they faced one good team in the Pistons.  However, the aging and arrogant/apathetic Detroit team was worn down from from an energetic Bulls team and believed they were so good they didn’t have to try in order to win the series.  Overall the Cavs only had to play one out of the 5 best teams in the East on their way to the finals.  That will not be the case for the Celtics in the ’08 playoffs.  The team to beat in the East will probably still be the Pistons but it’s a Conference that’s very much up in the air.  I don’t believe the Pistons will win the East nor do I believe the Celtics will. 

There are too many talented young teams in the East for old teams like those two to make it to the Finals.  Even a team like the Magic, if it somehow reached the the conf. finals, could take that Celtics team. Howard would negate KG, Lewis would match Pierce and Redick or some other one dimensional shooter would match Allen.  Ray Allen is a great player, but with the talents that Garnett and Pierce bring Allen is not going to have more of a role than a spot up shooter.  With each team’s big 3 doing the same things the thirty-somethings would simply tire out before the twenty-somethings.  Not to mention the Magic would have a good coach in VanGundy while Boston is putting up with Doc. 

The new look Celtics are very exciting but lets see them in action before crowning them Eastern Conference Champions.   

31
Jul
07

Who wins with a “big 3”?

After reading this insanely positive article by SI’s Ian Thomsen I have ask, when was the last time you can remember a team winning their conference or the championship with a “big 3” and nothing else around them?

I remember the Wolves had a big 3 with Garnett, Sprewell and Cassell but they lost in Western Conf. finals to a deeper Lakers team.  I remember when the Mavs had a big 3 of Nowitzki, Finley and Nash but they lost twice in the Western Conf. semis and once in the Conf. finals.  The Nets had a big 3 last season with Carter, Kidd and Jefferson but they lost in the Eastern Conf. semis.

Garnett, Pierce and Allen have more combined talent than Garnett’s last big 3 and certainly more than New Jersey’s.  They’ll also be playing in the Eastern Conf. which, although improving, is not as strong as the Western Conf. that those Mavs teams lost in.  Nevertheless, it’s a team game and short of having Michael Jordan on the court it takes a team to win a championship.  This will not be a team.  These three superstars will most likely fit well together.  However, after a season of playing 44 minutes per game because they have absolutely nobody on the bench to help will these three guys – all of whom are over 30 – have enough left to carry this team to a championship?  When young, deep teams like the Bulls and Raptors are pushing the tempo on them in a 7-game series are they going to look like the Heat did in last season’s playoffs, old and slow?

I expect this team to win 50 or so games in the regular season and be extremely fun to watch but they’re not going to win any championships.    

UPDATE:  ESPN’s John Hollinger made a similar point about a big 3 not being enough.  He noted last season’s Wizards as another team with a big 3 who didn’t go all the way.  I’d say they’re more of a big 1 and medium 2 but you get the point. 




December 2017
M T W T F S S
« Apr    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
Basketball Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory