Tag:Chris Kaman
Posted on: October 13, 2010 5:20 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2010 5:26 pm
 

The seven teams you should pick for LP Broadband

Posted by Royce Young



If you could pick only seven TV shows to watch , what would they be? Like seven shows, period. Once you picked them, that's what you're watching for the next season of programming. Wouldn't be easy, huh?

Would you go with your favorites? Would go with what's fun to watch ? Or would you go with something informational or important? Questions all that help determine the criteria on your selection.

It's a question die-hard NBA fans have to ask themselves every year when it comes to getting NBA League Pass Broadband. For a little less, you don't get the whole league. Just unfiltered access to seven teams. But the hard part - and kind of the fun part - is figuring out what seven squads you want to have any time you want them. 

Who would I pick? Well I'm glad you asked. Here's my seven choices:

1. Miami Heat - In my crude rating system that I just made up as I was typing this sentence, the Heat pretty much score high in everything. Watchibility . Interesting-ness . Talent on the floor. Importance to the league. And of course the fact they're one of the league's three or four absolutely legit contenders.

I mean, how could you not include the Heat? Even if you hate everything about them down to their weird looking mascot, this is the most intriguing NBA roster well, since I can remember. Because of what's going on in South Beach, the NBA offseason took precedent of Major League Baseball and NFL training camps. Yeah, so it's kind of a big deal.

And how could even think about missing any of it this year? Yes, they will be on national TV a lot. But you're not guaranteed to get every big performance there. What if the biggest Heat story of the year happens some random February night against the Raptors where Dwyane Wade and LeBron both explode for 40? Or in late March, there's a little argument on the bench between LeBron and Bosh? How could you be willing to miss that?

2. Los Angeles Lakers
- Every game the Lakers play, it's an event. Kobe Bryant doesn't have that many games left and how could you give up the chance to watch one of the greatest ever try and win a sixth ring?

What makes the Lakers interesting? It's all in what they are. First, they're the Lakers . They're Hollywood basketball. They're Jack Nicholson sitting courtside , Phil Jackson running the show, Kobe hitting big shots. And Ron Artest doing potentially who knows what night-to-night. It's can't-miss stuff.

Plus, for a lot of teams, playing the Lakers is the biggest game of the month. It's just a little more important and a little bit more meaningful to both the team and its fans if the game's not in L.A. So you can expect packed houses, fired up crowds, pumped up teams and good basketball.

3. Milwaukee Bucks
- You know who I had here originally? The Celtics. And why did I take them off? I don't really know, honestly. Because the Celtics are definitely a good team to have. But I guess I just don't find them all that interesting. They're old, potentially washing up and they're going to have 50 percent of their games on TV anyway.

So instead, I'm going with an upstart team featuring a fun scorer in Brandon Jennings, an emerging center in Andrew Bogut , an underrated forward in Ersan Ilyasova and a dark horse contender in the East.

4. Washington Wizards
- I for one, am fascinated by this team. First, Gilbert Arenas. He's the league's most interesting personality. He makes up stories about being hurt. Like Jerry in the Seinfeld episode George asked him to not be funny, Arenas is touching his dark side and trying to be serious. And like Jerry, he can't not be funny. With that beard, it's impossible to take Arenas completely serious (though he's shaving it off soon).

More than that though, this team is coming off a season full of incredible turmoil, plus it has some of the most erratic personalities in the league. Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee and extremely talented but borderline on the headcase chart. Josh Howard never minces words. Al Thornton is already a little perturbed about his role. And then of course there's John Wall who is supposed to now be the face of the team. Put it all on the court together and you've got an intriguing team to watch .

Plus, any time you can get a good look at one of the future talents in the league as a rookie, it's a must. Don't you wish you could go back and watch LeBron James for 82 games as a rookie? Or Dwyane Wade? Or Kevin Durant? John Wall is almost a guarantee to be great and here's your chance to watch him get started. Here's your chance to watch him evolve and grow. I wouldn't want to miss it.

5. Oklahoma City Thunder - In terms of pure excitement, there probably isn't a more fun team to watch in the league. They're got exceptional athletes. They've got exciting young players. They've got talent. And best of all, they're actually good.

Watching Kevin Durant score is like a Sunday afternoon nap. You're never unsatisfied with what you get. Durant scores in the most boring exciting way possible. It'll be the third quarter and a graphic will flash at the bottom and you'll see a line of 27 points on 10-16 shooting and you'll only remember three of his baskets.

And while Durant scores in the quiet, efficient way, Westbrook scores in the loud, look-over-here way. This team is something you can't miss. Nobody knows how good they can really be and what makes them so fun to watch is that they never take a play off and truly love each other. They play hard and they play together. Nobody is more refreshing.

6. Los Angeles Clippers - Just look at that starting five. It looks pretty good, right? Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, Ryan Gomes , Blake Griffin, Chris Kaman - looks nice.

But what makes the Clippers a team I wouldn't want to miss is Griffin. From the small pieces we've gotten in preseason, he's going to provide at least one "WHOA!" moment a night. Whether it's a block, an oop or just a stuff over three defenders, Griffin is always going all out.

Add in the fact that when Davis is locked in, he's as good as any guard out there and the evident emergence of Eric Gordon as a scoring guard and you've got a team that could maybe make some noise. Griffin and Kaman on the inside is as good a looking interior one-two you'll find and the fact they don't get much spotlight in a city that has lights to spare makes them just a little more cool to watch .

The problem with picking the Clippers though is that a month in when two key players are hurt, Baron Davis is already putting on weight and taking quarters off and you realize Vinny Del Negro is the coach, you'll really regret picking them. But it's almost becoming an NBA tradition to be interested in the Clippers in October. The talent is there and they should be fun.

7. Chicago Bulls - The new Bulls era is off to a bit of a rough start with Carlos Boozer breaking his hand because of a gym bag. But this is a team transitioning in a weird way. They're combining their exciting young talent with quality veterans. The Baby Bulls of a few years ago fell apart, but this group is set up to actually compete.

But forget that. Derrick Rose is the only reason you actually need. End to end, he's just about as exciting a player as you're going to get. He just moves differently than other guys. Even a simple thing like a driving layup has another kind of flash, another kind style with Rose.

He may not be there in terms of stepping into the truly elite, but he's a can't-miss player. And with him on a team that's going to be good with players that are also talented, exciting and interesting, the Bulls are definitely a must-watch .

Obviously the two toss-ups on my list are the Clippers and Wizards. Those could be HUGE mistakes come January. Substitute in the Celtics and Magic and you've got a guaranteed solid seven. Or the Spurs and Mavericks. Or the Blazers and Hawks. Or the Jazz and Nuggets.

Or just say screw it and buy the whole League Pass and watch on TV. That's probably a better call. This season is going to just be that good.
Posted on: September 23, 2010 12:13 pm
Edited on: September 23, 2010 12:15 pm
 

Preseason Primers: Clippers

Posted by Royce Young

Coming in to last season, there were higher hopes than usual for the Clippers. Top pick Blake Griffin was on the squad and Baron Davis had supposedly gotten in shape and was eager to play. But then Griffin was injured, missed the whole year and Davis stopped caring in January. But this year, they get a do-over. They're next in our Preseason Primer series.

Training camp site:
Los Angeles, CA

Training camp starts: Sept. 28

Key additions: Blake Griffin (back from injury), Ryan Gomes (free agent), Al Farouq-Aminu (draft)

Key subtractions: Steve Blake (free agent), Travis Outlaw (free agent), Drew Gooden (free agent), Brian Skinner (just kidding)

Likely starting lineup: Baron Davis, PG; Eric Gordon, SG; Ryan Gomes, SF; Blake Griffin, PF; Chris Kaman, C

Player to watch: Blake Griffin. Remember him? Yeah, this guy? Supposedly, he's back to his old, dunk-on-your-face self. With a full season already under his belt in which he didn't play, you can bet he's hungry. Griffin is a tremendous talent that's been compared to players like Karl Malone and Carlos Boozer. He's going to be ready and he's going to be a monster.

Injury watch: Well, I guess this is going to be pretty much the same as "Player to watch."

Camp battles: The Clippers' roster is pretty close to completely set, but if there's one interesting battle to watch it's at small forward. The Clips took Al Farouq-Aminu in the lottery and plan for him to be a small forward scorer. They also signed Ryan Gomes in the offseason. Aminu could potentially beat out Gomes for the starting spot, especially because the Clippers have an eye toward the future right now. More than likely Gomes has the job, but if you're looking for a position competition to watch, that's the one.

Biggest strength: Starting five. On paper, as Rodney Stuckey would say, it doesn't look that bad. Baron Davis, Eric Gordon (who was fantastic in Turkey), Gomes/Aminu, Griffin and All-Star Chris Kaman. That's a pretty quality unit right there. They probably lack that go-to scorer, but there's enough divvied up among Davis, Kaman, Gordon and Griffin that the Clips should be able to put the ball in the basket.

Glaring weakness: Defense, experience and depth. Last season, the Clippers ranked near the bottom of the league in defensive efficiency (22nd). (They actually ranked lower in offensive efficiency, but I'm banking on that improving with Griffin.) Baron Davis has never been a great defender and Kaman is a score-first center.

They're extremely young with Griffin, Gordon, Aminu, backup point guard Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan. So this group is youthful.

As for depth, DeAndre Jordan is their backup 5 at this moment. So yeah, that's not good. And there's no one behind him. If Kaman gets in foul trouble of has an injury, DeAndre Jordan is seeing big time minutes. Again, not good.
Posted on: September 7, 2010 2:52 pm
 

Pop Quiz: How will the All-Star Game look?

Fall is here, hear the yell, back to school, ring the bell ... The NBA season is right around the corner, and NBA training camp starts in just a few short weeks. To get you ready for the NBA season, we've put together 25 pop quizzes. Pencils ready? We continue our Pop Quizzes with this question...



What will the All-Star Game look like?


Los Angeles. City of Angels. Home of the back-to-back NBA champions, the legendary LA Lakers. And in February, home of the 2011 NBA All-Star Game. It's going to be ridiculous, it's going to be over-the-top (more so than even your normal All-Star Game). It's going to be expensive. Really, really expensive. It will also be interesting as next year there are likely to be big changes in the All-Star Game. So what exactly is that game going to look like?

It's difficult to predict, obviously, who will be participating in the game. Even more so than any other episode of predicting the future, there are so many factors that can play into who makes it. Not only things like injuries, team downturns, unexpected rises, and trades, but the popularity contest of the voting system. But there are some things we can examine the possibility of.

For starters, with Amar'e Stoudemire headed to New York, there's a spot down low for the West. You can slide in Tim Duncan, because he's like Johnny Cash. Steady like a freight train, sharp like a razor. Pau Gasol's another lock, as many think he's the best power forward in the league right no w. From there, you've got Zach Randolph and Chris Kaman as the other two bigs from last year's squad. Kaman's unlikely to return with the addition of Blake Griffin, and Randolph's success is tied to an inconsistent Grizzlies team. Meanwhile, Yao Ming returns from injury and will most likely look like a legitimate contender for the starting spot.

But what about Andrew Bynum? We've been waiting for Bynum to live up to his potential for three seasons, and he's constantly referred to as one of the best centers in the league, despite his numerous injury issues. With the Lakers getting older, and Bynum supposedly healthier than he has been in years, Bynum has to be considered a strong contender not just for the backup position, but possibly as a starting center (which would put Tim Duncan at power forward, where he belongs).

Speaking of Duncan, he and Dirk Nowitzki are headed down the stretch and it'll be important to note that one of them is going to take a step backwards. Age demands it. And though Duncan is widely considered the best power forward of all time by those that consider him a power forward, he's most likely to have the dropoff. You saw it at times last season. The writing isn't on the wall, but there's a pen by the chalkboard. Bear in mind we're talking about inches below the greatness he's always provided, but it might be enough with a rising Bynum to shove either him or Dirk out of the starting lineup. And that will just be weird.

This is all before we start trying to figure out the point guards in the West. Steve Nash showing no signs of slowing down. Chris Paul back to full health. Deron Williams healthy with Al Jefferson beside him and more of the offensive load. Tyreke Evans, out of the rookie well and into the general pool. Russell Westbrook, possibly coming on as one of the better slide and dice guards in the league on a team that looks poised to make a run. Stephoe Curry, a rookie of the year runner-up with another season under him and a license to score. This likely means Jason Kidd will not be returning to the team for the 11th time in his career.

And oh, yeah, Kobe will be back in the starting spot. No "probably." He will be.

In the East? Well, the Miami Triad was formed from guys in the East, so they're likely to stay. Even with a downturn in production from sharing the ball, all three should be locks, though it's hard to see Bosh making the starting spot as he was a reserve last season. Amar'e Stoudemire could wind up knocking Kevin Garnett out of the starting spot which would be another changing of the guard. But a more likely scenario is Joe Johnson being unable to reach the starting spot again and moving into the reserve spot as the East looks like the West from last year: four bigs and a guard (Dwyane Wade). Which will be disappointing considering Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo's existence, both of whom are probable to return as starters.

Carlos Boozer, freed from the big-heavy West, may be able to work his way into a spot, and Paul Pierce may be on the bubble. If Andrew Bogut returns healthy, he could complicate matters, along with Brandon Jennings. Basically, point guards are going to massively complicate these rosters.

Sure, some of these players are going to go down to injury, others will have downturn seasons. But there's a strong indication that this might be a year of big changes in the All-Star Game, both with starting rosters and the reserve spots.

But the parties will be awesome regardless.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com