Thursday, October 23, 2008

NBA Tip Off

The wait is over...It's going to be someone's coming out party this year, we'll soon know who... A new star will be born this year and old stars will continue their quests for redemption. The West remains wild and the East is out for respect... Showtime is back.

We are just 24 hours away from the tip off of the 2008-2009 NBA season, a season that promises to be one of the most exciting seasons to date.

More so this year than in recent years, the NBA will be about one thing...Winning. For some teams, this was a foreign concept, and individual development trumped it, but this year, I think we will see all of that change. There are veteran players on veteran teams that are looking to establish their legacy and there are young stars looking to carve their names in the rich history of NBA superstardom. It will be on from JUMP this year.

The beginning of the regular season is usually a bit of a joke, teams don't go full tilt and at times the game play appears unspirited. It's terrible to bet on, if you do that sort of thing...Regardless, I think this year will be different. It certainly will be in the West.

Last year, winning 50 games in the West was a prerequisite to just have a shot at getting into the playoffs. And the West hasn't gotten any easier since then. Western teams are going into this season knowing there is no time to waste, every team will be trying to get out to a good start, a sloppy first half of the season could BE THE SEASON.

Don't slip on the East. While I don't think they have caught up to the West, it certainly has improved over the offseason... The top two draft picks, Beasley and Rose went to Eastern teams and D-Wade is back, healthy and plugged into the Matrix. Brand has a new turncoat on and is now part of a dangerous 76er team. Bibby and Joe Johnson will be playing a full season with a ridiculously athletic and raw Atlanta Hawks team, Calderon teams up with Bosh and Jermaine O'neal in the T-dot and King James got himself a scoring and playmaking Pg. Rip, Mr. Bigshot and Sheed along with the rest of the Pistons will be trying to make one last push as Superman and the rest of the Magic look to improve upon last years campaign.

It will be interesting to see what D'Antoni can do with the mess that was the Knicks and how quickly the former Spur teamates "Red Beans and Rice" Vinny Del Negro and Avery Johnson, can turn the Bulls around. Last but not least, can anyone see the Celtics?

In the West, it's the same old story with new characters. While everyone is jumping on the Lakers Bandwagon, there are a number of teams that might be contenders.

The Rockets should be legit if they remain healthy. The addition of Artest is huge and a healthy Yao makes them playoff bound. But for once, just once T-Mac, please tell me you worked out in the offseason, tell me your not made from glass this year... If he stays healthy and he should because he won't have shoulder the entire scoring load on his weak back... The Rockets are a dangerous and hungry team.

What about Phoenix? I caught a glimpse of Shaq in training camp and he looked in shape, yeah, I was shocked too, I thought it was old footage...Shaq in shape to start a season? What year is this?

But it shows that he's out to prove something, if not to his critics, then maybe to himself this time. And you have to believe that the clock on how long Kid Canada's body will hold up is ticking. Nash's ring finger is ready NOW.

We can't slip on CP3 and the Hornets, who only got better with the addition of the championship journeyman, James Posey. And then there's Denver, if they decide to play defense, which from watching their training camp, was a big focus for Coach Karl, they could also be dangerous with the offensive firepower they possess in Melo, AI and an emerging complimentary scorer in JR. Smith.

Sloan and the Jazz will be in the mix and so will the Spurs. It's an odd year 2009, and the Spurs tend to win championships on odd numbered years. That's the best I can do Spurs fans.

What about Portland? That is a team that we all can't wait to watch. IS Oden legit? Can he score? Can he play defense? I saw him getting posterized by Kevin Martin and the Kings in the pre-season, he looked a little slow, and was often out of position. He will have to learn to be an intelligent defensive threat and avoid fouling out every game, but I guess that type of experience comes with age... He should be good then... Right? How old is he really? Watched a game in HD and I swear I saw liver spots on this cat.

There's so much talent on that Portland team it's just a question of when.

For all the Lakers supporters coming out of the woodwork, I'l say this:

"The Lakers winning the championship is about as likely as America electing a black president..."

Ok, It's a little early, but make your calls now. Who's your sleepers, favorites?... Which team will tank? What players will have ridiculous years?

My team is Denver. I support the Nuggets. I'm hoping they learned a little from last year and they start stronger and play real team defense, but with that group of guys I can't call it.

My sleeper team is Atlanta. They are at 30/1 odds to win the Eastern Conference Championship. I think they are filthy. I love Bibby, always have since he was a Wildcat and Joe Johnson is one of the more under-rated stars in the game. Horford is probably going to average a double- double and so might Josh Smith. I even think Smith could be an allstar this year if he worked at all on his outside game and offensive skills in the offseason...

I'm not going to make any reckless championship calls till a little later in the season...
But that shouldn't stop ya'll.

Just so you know where Vegas stands on your team, here are the future odds for every basketball team according to Bodog Sportsbook, including college hoops.


ryyan said...

absolutely positively nothing to talk about in the nba other then 4 teams... and 1 of those teams are going to boil over and become the new "dallas Mavs" of the next 5 years, Im talking about Houston! Interest is on can the celtics repeat? Is this Kobes year to finally win? Can Lebron win...ever? And if youre in canada youre wondering "abooot" the raptors addition of JO, but real basketball fans know that an inconsistent undersized centre wont help against guys like howard and bynum or shaq for that matter in the skeetering moments of his final (thank god) nba season! Artest is a cancer and houston will fold, Mcgrady is exactly what you see, i dont understand why people cannot understand he will not transform into a winner! He is a very talented player who cannot tranform overnight into a winner just because you add pieces or a coach. He is selfish when the game counts and easy to make him 1 dimensional.
I will write more .... bullleeeeeeeeeeed dat!

John Boateng said...

These next two posts are from Casey Archibald:

This will no doubt be a great season.. As much as I would love to say its the year of the Phoenix, I feel like broken record and its either time to throw that record away or accept that you will continually be listening to a broken record. They lost the matrix and picked up a slow big man. As we saw last year that trade didn't do much but slow them down and force them to shoot tough shots in the half court.

I think the INTERESTING teams to watch will be Houston and Portland. I have a hard time hyping Houston because of the fact that they are like a team very close to me (*cough*cough.. t-birds), and can't get out of the first round. Does Artest slingshot them to the 2nd round? Will the bench be more confident with another year under their belt? My problem with Houston is the fact that I would never feel safe betting on these guys based on their characters. You've got Mcgrady who takes questions after losses with a smile and says "yes its all my fault, blame me if you ordered a Heineken and got a Budweiser." And Artest who might decide to throw a punch or miss practice to spend time in the studio working on his LP. Then there's the big man, the great wall of china. I won't hate on Yao too much because a man of his size, mobility and skill set is rare in this world but he's a little too soft for the NBA seasoned vets. Now take a step back and tell me if you want to bet on a team that has a first round curse, is led by a me-first ego, picked up one of the largest headcases in the league, and relies on a 7 foot 14 inch soft big man????


John Boateng said...

More from Casey Archibald, the Spurs fan:

Portland however has nothing but upside. Who knows if Oden is legit or not but i know there are a lot of us out there who can hardly wait to find out. Brandon Roy plays like a Vet which makes it hard for me to believe he is only about to start his junior year in the league.. They finally got rid of the Jail Blazers and have a team that the city of Portland can cheer for. It's good for the NBA, its good for Portland, and now with no Seattle, shit it's even good for dedicated Vancouverites.

Now I have to speak on your Denver call. Denver to me is a dead team. If you look at the teams in contention they are all made up of superstars who have decided to put the team first. They are made of great players who were making all-star teams 8 years ago but couldn't win in the playoffs, but have now realized what it takes to be considered "Great". The other teams in the mix are there because of great Point guard play in the Hornets (who I'm starting to love minus Sams boy Mo-Pete), suns, Jazz.... Denver just doesn't fit. Carmelo hasn't hit the age where winning is a priority and I'm starting to think Iverson either doesn't get it or is content just getting his for the rest of his career.

Atlanta is an interesting pick.. Does bibby still have it?? and does he care enough now? He was a great playoff performer in the sac-town days but those seem to be long gone.

I know everyone hates on the spurs but they are still my team. They have arguably the best or top 5 player at every ROLE. Parker top 5 PG, Manu top 5 guard, Bowen top 5 defender, Duncan top 5 post/reliable go to player, and whoever they decide to start at the 5 willbe a top 5 role player...

last thing.... the Jazz are gonna be tough. Williams is as much of a competitor as anyone in the league and if boozer can be consistent in April then they will be real tough.