serious NBA lackage

6 11 2008

Man, it’s just over a week into the season and I’ve remembered why I hate the coverage of the NBA down here in NZ. I have seen one game, yep, one. The Boston Celtics versus the Chicago Bulls. It was a no contest, the Celtics were too intense, too focussed and way too skilled for the Bulls. At least I got to see Derrick Rose. The kid is going to be gooooood. ¬†

I was supposed to watch the Spurs versus Suns but it got bumped for the World Series. What do I care about the World Series? Bah. This afternoon it’s the Cavs versus the Bulls. I’ll watch it when I get home from work. I’m feeling a bit meh about the contest (why oh why couldn’t they have shown us the Rockets versus Celtics earlier this week?) but at least it’s a game ūüôā

I’ve been watching highlights on NBA.com but its not the same – hell, highlights make Vince Carter look like an MVP!

Some thoughts on the NBA season: 

  • Greg Oden’s injury is depressing – I still think the Trail Blazers have enough to make the playoffs but will Oden be there? He hasn’t even made it through one game so far!
  • I think Denver definitely “won” the trade with Detroit. Chauncey Billups gives them a legitimate point guard who can distribute and take over a game when necessary. If they had kept Marcus Camby then they would be a dark horse favourite out west. Detroit on the other hand acquired Allen Iverson who is still an amazing athlete and scorer as well as possessing a juicy expiring contract. Yet I don’t feel this trade. Does AI’s game fit with the Pistons? He’s a ball hog and when he achieved his success in Philadelphia that was their gameplan. Detroit play a more structured team game and I’m just not convinced that AI is a good fit. Where does he play? At the point? In place of Richard Hamilton? Off the bench? It’ll be interesting to see.
  • The Celtics will lose a few games through the regular season that they shouldn’t (like the Indiana loss) but they’ll be dominant by the playoffs.
  • I don’t think the San Antonio Spurs are done, despite starting 0 – 3, but I think there are worrying signs. They’ll make the playoffs but we’ll have to wait and see how Ginobili comes back from his layoff.

Anyway, there’s my thoughts so far. You guys in the states don’t know how lucky you are!





Detroit Piston Season Preview

9 10 2008

My NBA Central Division preview continues with the Detroit Pistons:

Detroit Pistons

2007-08 Standings 59 – 23, 2nd Eastern Conference

2008-09 Predicted Record 51 – 31, 2nd Central Division, 3rd Eastern Conference

Projected Starting Five:  Rasheed Wallace, Antonio McDyess, Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton, Chauncey Billups

Sixth Man:  Rodney Stuckey

Rasheed Wallace is the emotional heart of the Pistons. Can he summon the fire once again?

Rasheed Wallace is the emotional heart of the Pistons. Can he summon the fire once again?

While the San Antonio Spurs have been the best team in the West for the past decade the Detroit Pistons have been the East’s Beast for the same time. Seven consecutive seasons of 50 wins, two trips to the Finals, one NBA title, numerous All Stars – a resume of success. Yet there is a sense that the best has come and gone for the Pistons.

They were beaten in six games in the Eastern Finals last year by the Boston Celtics, the eventual champions. The year before LeBron James hammered them. It feels like its time to retune the roster so what did the Pistons do? They signed Kwame Brown, the poster boy for underachievers. A decidedly underwhelming offseason.

Still, the Pistons do possess close to the best starting five in the NBA and if you add rising star Rodney Stuckey to that, the best first six players in the league. Yet there is a sense that the Pistons have become almost blas√© with success. They know they’re good but the jeopardy isn’t there, or rather they don’t feel it. Personally I think they should have traded Billups and/or Rasheed Wallace this past offseason and brought some new urgency to the team.¬†

Despite this the Pistons are still one of the contenders for a title. They have superb defence, a solid frontcourt, an All Star backcourt and in Stuckey a young stud.  Their bench has an imposing look about it with bruisers such as Jason Maxiell and Amir Johnson which makes it so puzzling that they signed Brown. Why bring a chemistry killer into the mix?

The Pistons will win 50 games again this season but I have a feeling this will be the last time this lineup will be together. Will they leave with a ring?

Coach:

Michael Curry takes over the team from Flip Saunders. An assistant coach in Detroit last season, this is his first head coaching gig. Hopefully he won’t find himself in over his head.

Bench:

The Pistons bench is one of the best in basketball. Rodney Stuckey will be the eventual starter for the Pistons but for now he leads the bench crew.

Star Player:

It could be argued that the Pistons have four stars in Wallace, Billups, Prince and Hamilton but I’m putting my money on Richard Hamilton. The masked one is an effective (if dirty) defender while being the closest thing in the NBA to the retired Reggie Miller.

Team MVP:

For the Pistons to contend at the highest level they need Rasheed Wallace playing effective basketball. Too often he settles for the outside shot. That’s not even counting his hotheadedness.

Final Prognosis:

It’s time for the Pistons to trade one or two of their stalwarts while they still have value. They’ll win 50 games but will struggle to make another Eastern Conference Final.

 

You can find an index of past Previews here.





NBA Season Preview Index

3 10 2008

Atlantic Division Previews:

Boston Celtics Season Preview

Philadelphia 76ers Season Preview

Toronto Raptors Season Preview

New York Knicks Season Preview

New Jersey Nets Season Preview

Northwest Division Previews:

Utah Jazz Season Preview

Portland Trail Blazers Season Preview

Denver Nuggets Season Preview

Minnesota Timberwolves Season Preview

Oklahoma City Thunder Season Preview

Central Division Previews:

Cleveland Cavaliers Season Preview

Detroit Pistons Season Preview

Chicago Bulls Season Preview

Milwaukee Bucks Season Preview

Indiana Pacers Season Preview

Pacific Division Previews:

LA Lakers Season Preview

Phoenix Suns Season Preview

Golden State Warriors Season Preview

LA Clippers Season Preview

Sacramento Kings Season Preview

South East Division Previews:

Orlando Magic Season Preview

Miami Heat Season Preview

Atlanta Hawks Season Preview

Washington Wizards Season Preview

Charlotte Bobcats Season Preview

South West Division Previews:

New Orleans Hornets Season Preview

San Antonio Spurs Season Preview

Houston Rockets Season Preview

Dallas Mavericks Season Preview

Memphis Grizzlies Season Preview