International Potential

FIBA has come and gone and as expected, the USA won with no threat to their gold medal dreams. This has been the relative norm ever since NBA players were allowed into international competition back in 1992. A concern I had while watching this year’s World Cup was that this particular USA team had a very, very young squad with every player, with the exception of Rudy Gay (who really shouldn’t have been on the team anyway) was born after 1988. Despite the wave of youth in the team and not entering the best players the US has to offer (LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, Paul George, Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, Dwayne Wade, Kobe Bryant etc.) they still managed to annihilate every opponent put forth. Spain was a very real chance to contend if they had not been shockingly knocked out by France and France themselves could have caused an even bigger upset then they did had the put forth a full strength team, but USA was still always going to be immensely heavy favourites.

The concern I had with this is that the World Cup should be the pinnacle of all basketball competitions, yet attendance and fan interest compared to the soccer world cup and the NBA is laughable. The only way to fix this is if the other countries start to challenge the US to ensure games aren’t over well before half time. Originally it seemed that this wasn’t going to happen any time soon seeing as though the US had a squad they could easily put forward for the 2018 and possibly 2022 World Cup with out a single change in the roster, until I dove into the international talent that is floating around and making huge strides to better themselves at basketball. So I thought I would select the 5 best basketball countries outside of the US who seemingly have the brightest future and take a look at what prospective and current talent they have to try and make the World Cup what it should be. Continue reading

Australian Boomers Tanking Allegation

After last nights loss to Angola the Australian men’s basketball team have recently been accused of tanking. The origin for the allegation stems from the fact that the Boomers were heavy favorites to beat Angola and also due to the format of the round of 16, by avoiding the second place finish in the group D division, Australia would avoid the USA juggernaut for as long as possible. Continue reading

Implementing the triangle (New York Knicks)

The Zen Master is back in the Big Apple and he’s brought 5 time NBA champion point guard and former player Derek Fisher along with him. His plan is simple; rebuild a once proud origination back up to the glory days (which just so happened to be when he was the sixth man). First step is clear some cap space (unloaded Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton onto Mark Cuban), next was to obtain a pick in this year’s draft (drafted Cleanthony Early with the 34th overall pick in 2014 NBA draft and may have gotten the steal of the draft, while also acquiring the Greek Freaks older brother Thanasis Antetokounmpo). Finally it’s to make this team respectable for the upcoming season so that free agents will join Carmelo Anthony in the 2015 offseason. Through the eyes of Phil Jackson, the best way to get this team anywhere near the playoffs is to implement the triangle offense. The question is, will it work with this particular set of players. Continue reading

Regular Season Predictions

With the long boring portion of the offseason still continuing I reiterate there is very little to talk about, so I will keep rolling out the 2014-15 predictions. In this post the predictions that will be made will consist of the major individual awards. They of course include: Most Valuable Player, Most Improved Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year, Coach of the Year and both All-NBA and All-Defensive teams. The Rookie of the Year and All-Rookie teams are not included as my predictions have already been made in: http://mjbasketball.com/?p=28. Continue reading

The new Big Three (Kevin Love trade)

Just a short article today on how the Kevin Love trade has affected Cleveland and Minnesota and what kind of impact this new big 3 will have in the history books. First things first, the details of the trade are as follows: Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a 1st round pick for Kevin Love, of course the deal can not be finalized until August 23rd when Wiggins has been signed for over a month and by that time the trade will most likely have some small changes, such as a third team, which is looking more and more likely that it’s going to be Philadelphia and their enormous amount of salary cap space. For now though I’ll just talk about what we know, Love is going to be in Cleveland next year and the last 2 years first overall picks will be together in Minnesota. Continue reading

Western Conference Rankings

It is officially the most depressing time of year, the playoffs are long gone, the draft and summer league have finished, and most major free agent signing have been finished. The next few months are rough for NBA fans. With that in mind there isn’t all that much to write about, so with my Eastern conference predictions completed a few weeks ago, I thought I would try and do my best at ranking this ridiculously competitive Western Conference. Continue reading

The Power of Hype (Wiggins/Love trade)

Andrew Wiggins, arguably the best high school basketball player since LeBron James. He hasn’t played a single second of NBA basketball and yet he is in serious trade rumors for a 3 time All-Star. Not only that, but some still believe Cleveland shouldn’t commit to the trade because Wiggins is just too valuable (and they could be right). Make no mistake; hype/potential is a very powerful entity in the world of professional basketball. In 99% of circumstances I would say that given the choice between a young player with a ton of potential and a proven superstar, you have to choose the superstar, but this is that 1% and I will explain why. Continue reading

Post LeBron decision Eastern Conference rankings

LeBron has gone home, the dust is beginning to settle and the endless “I’m coming home” montages on YouTube have commenced. LeBron’s decision this time around went a lot smoother than the previous and seems as though all NBA fans that don’t support the Heat are generally content with the outcome. The only question remains is, what does this change of scenery mean for Cleveland, Miami and the rest of the league. The simplest and most effective way to predict the outcome of the free agency changes is to do an eastern conference power ranking.

The western conference is left out because A) the free agency moves have not had that much of a significant impact on contending teams, B) the major emphasis of this article are two eastern conference teams and C) the west have (by far) the 3 best teams in the NBA, being the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder, so to add them in this analysis just seems cruel to all eastern conference teams who fancy themselves a title contender. Without further ado, we start at 15. Continue reading

LeBron’s next Decision

LeBron James, the most scrutinized NBA player of all time is at it again. Decision 2.0 is looming ever closer; let’s just hope it goes a tad smoother then last time. Where The King will end up has been talked to death, so I’ll throw my hat into the ring and try and breakdown where his kingdom should reside. I want to make this clear; this is not predicting where he will go, but rather where he should. The teams who seem to have a realistic chance of landing James consist of: Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Clippers. Continue reading

Early Rookie Predicitons

Seeing as though most of the current NBA talk is about the free agency and The Decision 2.0, I thought I’d get in early and share my picks for this year’s rookie award “winners”. I have put winners in quotations as there is only one real award these rookies can win, but I like to make things more interesting then that, so not only will I choose my prediction for rookie of the year, I will also choose the rookie leader in each major statistical category (points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks), the rookie most likely to make noise in the playoffs, the rookie who will increase his teams win percentage by the most, both All-NBA 1st and 2nd teams and the rookie most likely to become Darko Milicic. Continue reading

The importance of Michael Carter Williams (Sam Hinkie letter)

There have been rumors of a possible draft day trade for the current rookie of the year, as do all 76ers fans, I hope they stay as just that, a rumor. So I thought someone had to point out to the Mr. Hinkie, just what a gem of a player we have. As a long time basketball and 76ers fan, I like to think I know talent when I see it, and I see it in spades with the young Michael Carter Williams. Unfortunately the 76ers General Manager Mr. Sam Hinkie doesn’t appear to share this thought. I thought the best way of getting my point across would be as a letter, a letter he may not receive, but one I thought necessary for all Philly fans to see. Continue reading