Nov 12, 2010

Early NBA season thoughts

I have been tweeting about sports a lot lately, but that doesn't mean that I have only followed sports this year. I have been watching football / soccer since I was a boy but the NBA is that one sport that I have been watching a long long time, back since Larry Legend was still playing and Patrick Ewing was just drafted into the Knicks. I have since gone from watching one / two games per week to watching games online and shortcut versions on TV.

From Lebron's decision to Kobe's quest to matching MJ in a second 3peat, this has probably been the most anticipated NBA season since Jordan officially returned back in 96. (that short #45 stint doesnt really count), so its only reasonable that an avid NBA follower like I am, would have some thoughts about this NBA season that I would want to write about.

A - The Heat really isn't as good as media hyped it to be.
It may seem like there is a lack of originality here but I have been saying on FB for a LONGGGG time that the Heat is no where close to a championship team. Why?
Reason #1 - The team lacks depth and have weakest bench among all the contenders, unless you really expect them to play Lebron and Wade 48 minutes per game during playoffs, there is no way you can win a game when you have a 6 minute stretch of arroyo / miller / joel anthony / juwan howard / stackhouse / house or 4 of the above + Wade or Lebron. If Lebron or Wade has an off night, the Heat is done
Reason #2 - A premier PG and any decent PF/C will kill this heat team.
Dont believe me? Of the Heat's several losses, it has come to Rondo x 2, Deron Williams, and CP3. Small sample, yes, but it's also true that every time the Heat matches up against a GOOD PG, they lose. The best case scenario is to play Lebron at PG, Wade at SG except that Lebron came out in public and said he doesnt want to play PG. So this heat team is forever stuck with Arroyo / Eddie House / Mario Chalmers to guard CP3 / Rondo / Deron / Derrick Rose... which obviously isnt going to work. As for the PF/C position, yes, Udonis Haslem was resigned for low post toughness but when Emeka Okafor and Paul Milsap comes in and post career numbers, I think we can officially declare that Haslem's toughness/defense/whateverelse he brings to the table isnt good enough. We are only a Kwame Brown a 30/20 game away from completely certifying Heat's inside presence.
Reason #3 - Chris Bosh. I havent forgotten about him. Mr. Max Salary PF. The PF who cant really play down low, play center position, and worst yet, rebound and defense. Sure, I give Bosh the benefit of doubt for being lost on offense cos its he's a perimeter PF and Lebron and Wade never played with one before; but when Rondo dunks on you for dunk of the night and you just stand around and watch? or the fact that you haven't grabbed any rebounds? or even tried? I still dont understand why Riley went for Bosh and not Amare or Boozer. Chris Bosh might as well sign himself up for the next Dharma Initiative experiment.
Reason #4 - Heat offense. I have watched several Heat game so far, and their offense is really similar to Cav's offense last year. Meaning, pass to Lebron and let him free flow. Only difference is you upgrade Mo williams for D wade... who's been kind of out of sync offensively as well. Also, like Charles Barkley mentioned on Inside the NBA, Wade and Bosh are players that needs the ball, except that Lebron has the facilitator role now and they cant play with the ball, so they have to relearn the game in the same time. My friend Erik summed it up the best "Celtics pass the ball around 3-5 times each possession and get a good shot set up, while the Heat is always just Lebron to someone"
All these combined, the Heat is just isnt ready... and may never be.

B - The Lakers look awfully scary
Off season signing (Steve Blake, Matt Barnes, Theo Ratliff) aside, isn't Pau Gasol looking like the best player in the NBA right now? And the reason why? Because of Kobe. Somehow, Kobe learned from last year's playoffs. There is no need to go all out during the season and mess up the knees for playoffs. He has only played more than 40 minutes 1 game so far (in last night's loss) and he's been on cruise control. Just letting Pau take over... which can only mean that Lakers' chance of 3peating is greater than ever.... (Let me stab my hand with a knife before i continue... ... ok ready)

C - My Magic are done
For the team that I have been rooting for since the Penny Hardaway / Shaq days... they are once again... done. So much for the whole Dwight Howard learning the dream shake story. Latest news? Al Jefferson comes in and destroys Dwight... ughh....
(P.S. - Al Jefferson has always been one of my favorite)

This is getting kind of long so I will end it here for now... but this is purely my view of things, and this is supposed to start arguments, not end it, so feel free to comment.

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