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Posted on: June 20, 2011 1:27 pm
 

Boozer the Loser

Boozer has been a thorn in my side ever sense there was talk of the Bulls being interested in him a couple of years ago. I protested as much as a fan could last offseason when it became clear that Boozer was again on the radar. I tossed my hands in the air in disgust on my drive home from work when I heard of the actual signing. I screamed at the radio when I heard he “tripped” over a duffle bag and broke his wrist. Sure, there were a handful of games during the regular season that he looked like a nice fit, but they were few and far between. During the playoffs his game was horrid, only overshadowed by Derrick Rose’s inability to hit a shot. Now the offseason is here again breathing down my neck. Again, the Bulls are “one player away from contending”. What now?

Trade Boozer!

I know, I know, no team is going to take on that kind of money for 4 more seasons, right? I can think of but one trade option and I want to get some feedback on it.

The Orlando Magic are in a pickle right now. They have made big trades in order to keep Dwight Howard happy, but it has backfired in that the Magic went from serious contender the last couple of seasons to a 4-5 seed with no real hopes of getting back to the finals. The writing is on the wall. Again, the Magic are going to have to have to try to pull a rabbit out of the hat. Keeping Howard happy at this point is just as import as winning for the Orlando front office. Oddly, winning is about the only thing that will keep Howard happy. It is the new paradox in today’s NBA. Build a winner around your superstar in a handful of seasons or lose them in free agency. Dwight Howard has to be on the fence right now in his mind, much like LeBron was a couple of years ago and Melo was last year. Heading into the final year of his deal Howard has a lot to toil over.

It is common knowledge that Boozer and Howard are best friends. They hang out in the offseason and are very close. So would the Magic consider a deal that would bring Carlos Boozer down to Florida? What deal would work out for them? Would adding Boozer to the roster be enough to ensure that Howard sticks around? These are the big questions. Here is one proposal.

To continue reading this article check out the link below. Thanks and enjoy.

  http://thesportsheadquarters.blogsp

ot.com/2011/06/boozer-loser.html

Posted on: March 8, 2011 10:07 am
 

Trading Bosh?

Okay, so Heat fans are going to certainly jump on me for this idea as well as others, but I have mentioned in the past that the Heat should trade Chris Bosh to create a more balanced team. They, as in the Heat players and coaches, keep telling us it is only a matter of time before they gel. I am not buying it. How long did it take for Jordan and Pippen to gel with a player they hated named Rodman? Oh, that's right, that was the season the Bulls won 72 games. On there own the big three in Miami are great players, with Bosh being a tier lower then Wade and LeBron. I also understand that the real chemistry issues are with Wade and James and not so much with the thrid wheel named Bosh, but the Heat are never going to trade LeBron or Wade. They simply would never get enough assets in return for either of the superstars for it to make sense for them. Bosh could be traded however and i think I found the perfect team.

The Hornets are at a hard spot right now. They are a playoff team with a superstar Point Guard that might skip town. They are simply not good enough to contend in the west and will continue to be a 5-8 seed unless they make another move. Now add to that the reality that Chris Paul might be leaving and the Hornets certainly have to do something. Trading Paul is an idea that could be explored, but not today. I have other plans.

What if:

The Heat Traded Chris Bosh and Joel Anthony to the Hornets for Emeka Okafor, Jarrett Jack, and Quincey Pondexter. Now Athony and Pondexter could be removed from this trade and the numbers still work out, but I think the Hornets might want a Center in return and Pondexter adds a little depth to the Heat.

Why this works for the Hornets.

By adding Bosh to the mix the Hornets give themselves a chance of keeping Chris Paul in town. They could then shop West if they wanted to for a better SG. A Paul/Bosh combo could be really interesting and with West fading it might be time to make a move like this. Anthony would just be a filler player at the center position, but a Paul/Ariza/Bosh trio might make some noise in the west. The real reason to do this trade always comes back to keeping CP3 in town, and if he still leaves for New York, the Hornets would still have a star player in town to draw a crowd in Bosh.

Why this works for the Heat.

The biggest issue with the Heat is chemistry, and having all three of your superstars being jump shooters is not helping them at all. They simply need balance and depth. This trade does just that. Jarrett jack is an underrated PG who can be a starter without an issue. He is certainly an upgrade over what the heat have now. He is explosive, has great size and strength, can finish at the rim, and is a solid defender. He is a much younger option then Andre Miller or some other washed up player they could target. I think Jack is a perfect low-profile player that can run the floor and hit open shots. Okafor gives the Heat the defensive-minded Center that can block shots and get offensive rebounds to create second chance shots for his teammates. Pondexter is a decent young SF that would give the Heat some needed depth.

Sure, this is not a super sexy trade for the Heat, but I think it is the right move if they cannot make some noise in the playoffs. If they win the Finals, or even get there then forget all that I am saying, but if the are out in the 1st or 2nd round then a trade is a must. Having 3 superstars can be the right formula, but not three that all shoot jumpers. They need balance. They need defense in the paint. Also, let us not forget that Haslem will be back and healthy. Here is what their new roster would look like:

PG Jack- Chalmers
SG Wade- Miller- House
SF LeBron- Pondexter 
PF Haslem-
C Okafor- Big Z

Looks a lot more balanced to me. Any thoughts?

Posted on: March 7, 2011 2:36 pm
 

East vs West = Defense vs Offense

Well I was just looking at the Power Rankings at NBA.com and this week they have the teams Pace, Offensive Rating, and Defensive Rating listed next to each of the teams. Something pretty odd stood out to me. While I knew that the east's elite teams were better at defense then that of the wests, I did not know how dramatic the difference was. On the flip side the west's elite teams are much better on the offensive side and it is not really close. It is just strange to me that each of the top 4 teams from each conference play such different basketball. Let us take a look at the numbers.

Defense

East.

Celtics- 97.7 (2nd in the NBA)
Bulls- 97.1 (1st in the NBA)
Heat- 100.4 (5th in the NBA)
Magic- 99.4 (3rd in the NBA)

West.

Spurs- 101.1 (7th in the NBA)
Mavericks- 102.8 (11th in the NBA)
Lakers- 101.4 (8th in the NBA)
Thunder- 104.6 (16th in the NBA)

The two teams that stick out are the Lakers and Spurs as their defensive rating are quite good and rank in the top 10, but all 4 of the elite east teams rank top 5.

Offense

East.

Celtics- 105.1 (13th in the NBA)
Bulls- 103.8 (16th in the NBA)
Heat- 108.2 (4th in the NBA)
Magic- 106.2 (10th in the NBA)

West

Spurs- 109.0 (2nd in the NBA)
Mavericks- 107.7 (6th in the NBA)
Lakers- 108.6 (3rd in the NBA)
Thunder- 108.1 (5th in the NBA)

In regards to offense the only team that stands out is the Heat who rank 4th overall in the NBA making them the only team in the NBA to rank top 5 in both offense and defense. All 4 of the elite teams in the west rank top 6.

Conclusion.

Well I guess I do not spend enough time looking at these numbers and they certainly paint a clear picture. The east = defense and the west = offense. I think we all already knew this, but the numbers are still very interesting. Infact when you look at the rest of the teams in th eplayoff picture in both the east and the west you see the same trend.

Hawks-13th Def 18th Off
Knicks- 17th Def 7th Off
76ers- 9th Def 15th Off
Pacers- 12th Def 23rd Off

Nuggets- 18th Def 1st Off
Hornets- 6th Def 19th Off
Blazers- 15th Def 14th Off
Grizzlies- 10th Def 17th Off

The east follows the trend more closely then the west but you can still see that in general the east is more defensive heavy, while the west is more offensive heavy.

Now I thought the best way to simplify this was to add up all the ranks of the top 4 teams in each conference and then compare. Obviously, the lower the total number the better and here is what I came up with:

East Defense Total=11
West Defense Total=42
East Offense Total=43
West Offense Total=16

Any thoughts?
Category: NBA
Posted on: February 23, 2011 12:05 pm
 

The 5 Reasons Noah’s Return Could Mean Top 2 Seed

With the Bulls going into the All-star weekend with a huge victory over the league leading Spurs, the Bulls appear to be firing on all cylinders. The Return of Noah should only add fuel to the fire that is the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls have won 17 of their last 23 games which equates to a .739 winning percentage. Let’s look at 5 ways that Noah’s return could spell out the Bulls getting home court in the Playoffs.

5. Easy Adjustment

Of all the important players on the Bulls, Noah is the easiest one to move back into the lineup without disturbing the flow of the team’s offense or defense. The Bulls are simply going to move Kurt Thomas to the bench and insert Noah. Noah does not demand the ball or disrupt things on offense. In fact his abilities on the glass and knack for making plays and running the floor instantly makes the Bulls better on all fronts.

4. Picking up the Pace

One thing, amongst many, that Noah does better then Asik and Thomas is run the floor. The Bulls have not been a great transition team since Noah has been out. Noah’s ability to run the floor will change all that and Derrick and Joakim can start pushing it again against slower opponents. Quick buckets are simply underrated and the Bulls’ offense sure could use some more help in that department.

3. Rebounds

The Bulls are already leading the league in rebound differential, but what they are missing is Noah’s keen ability to grab offensive rebounds and thus hand the Bulls another opportunity to score. Second chance points are going to be important for this Bulls team as they lack scoring at the shooting guard position and getting another chance at the basket will help to mask this issue a bit.

2. Defense

Sure Big Sexy stood up and did a heroic job of filling Noah’s shoes while Noah was out, but Kurt simply lacks the size, length, and agility to deal with today’s centers. Noah on the other hand can stay in front of most centers and has the length and strength to bang down low with all but the biggest of the big. Noah adds another shot blocker to the mix and his overall heart on defense will be felt the first second he steps on the floor. A great defensive team just gets better.

1. Vocal Leadership

We all know that Noah is a good rebounder and defender, but his vocal leadership is way underrated. Great teams always have that player that screams after a big play and encourages his teammates to be even better. Boston has Garnett in that role and we have Noah. The effect of this ability is constant and passive and cannot be measured but it can win Playoff games and Noah has it in abundance.

Category: NBA
Posted on: February 21, 2011 2:16 pm
 

ChiTownCliff's Top 10s

Well the Allstar Game is over and we can move on to "real" basketball. The weekend, was for the most part, a waste of time to watch. Between watching the NBA field guys that cannot even shoot three pointers for the three point content and Griffin being handed the slam dunk contest, I really felt sick as a gazed at the TV. The actual Allstar Game itself was okay, but it was cool to see Kobe Bryant win the MVP even with LeBron doing all could to win it for the east. Anyways, I felt that right now was a good time to throw out my top ten lists. These ARE for play this season so far and for play I expect to see for the rest of the season. I have a Top 10 for each position and Top 20 for players overall and for Top 10 teams. Let us take a look.

Top 10 Point Guards

1. Chris Paul. Pros. No weaknesses and very efficient. Cons. Injuries.
2. Derrick Rose. Pros. Freaky fast and leading the Bulls to a +.700 mark. Cons. Defense is still just average. 
3. Russell Westbrook. Pros. All around very sound player that can do it all. Cons. Needs a better jumper.
4. Rajon Rondo. Pros. Scary good playmaker. Cons. Blackhole when it come to scoring.
5. Deron Williams. Pros. Like Westbrook with range. Cons. Ego?
6. Steve Nash. Pros. Still as silky smooth as they come with the ball. Cons. DEFENSE.
7. Tony Parker. Pros. Great penetrator or the paint and finisher. Cons. Assist numbers are low.
8. Raymond Felton. Pros. Has really elevated his overall game this season. Cons. Below average FG%.
9. Stephen Curry. Pros. Deadly shooter. Cons. Needs to focus slightly more on playmaking.
10. John Wall. Pros. Flashes of greatness spellout big upside. Cons. He's a rookie so I will give him a break.

Top 10 Shooting Guards

1. Dwyane Wade. Pros. Great scorer, defender, and is clutch. Cons. Likes contact, but gets hurt often.
2. Kobe Bryant. Pros. Savvy vet that can do it all and is clutch. Cons. Too many shots for a team with so many options.
3. Manu Ginobili. Pros. Smooth cutter and shooter. Cons. Average defender.
4. Monta Ellis. Pros. High volume scorer that can play the passing lanes well. Cons. Is a tweener size-wise.
5. Joe Johnson. Pros. Great shooter and a solid leader. Cons. Overpaid.
6. Ray Allen. Pros. Best 3 point shooter ever. Cons. Not a great defender.
7. Eric Gordon. Pros. Explosive and can score in bunches. Cons. Clipper's record.
8. Kevin Martin. Pros. A great pure shooter. Cons. Defense and injuries.
9. Stephen Jackson. Pros. Solid defender meets great shooter. Cons. Tarnished reputation.
10. Tyeke Evans. Pros. Explosive and can score well. Cons. FG% and leadership.

Top 10 Small Forwards

1. LeBron James. Pros. A force in both size and athleticism. Cons. His mouth.
2. Kevin Durant. Pros. Perhaps the best pure scorer in the game. Cons. Too soft spoken.
3. Carmelo Anthony. Pros. A threat inside and out of the paint. Cons. Lackluster defense
4. Rudy Gay. Pros. Solid all around player with a level head. Cons. Overpaid.
5. Paul Pierce. Pros. Still able to take over games from time to time. Cons. Sometimes needs a wheelchair.
6. Gerald Wallace. Pros. Great slasher and defender. Cons. Leadership.
7. Danny Granger. Pros. One of the better shooters. Cons. Forces shots sometimes.
8. Dorell Wright. Pros. Great 3 point shooter. Cons. Overall FG%.
9. Luol Deng. Pros. Good shooter, slasher, and defender. Cons. Ball-handling.
10. Andre Iguodala. Pros. Solid all-around SF that can defend well. Cons. Consistant jumpshot.

Top 10 Power Forwards

1. Dirk Nowitzki. Pros. Best shooting 7 footer ever. Cons. Slightly above average defense.
2. Pau Gasol. Pros. Great finisher and passer. Cons. Perhaps toughness.
3. Amar'e Stoudemire. Pros. Best scorer within 12 foot of the rim. Cons. Still not a good defender.
4. LaMarcus Aldridge. Pros. Should have been an Allstar because he is doing it all. Cons. Should be playing for the Bulls.
5. Kevin Garnett. Pros. Still an elite defender that can score when needed. Cons. Needs a zipper installed over his mouth.
6. Blake Griffin. Pros. Oozing with pure talent. Cons. Lacks fundamentals.
7. Chris Bosh. Pros. Good shooter and rebounder. Cons. Thoughness.
8. Kevin Love. Pros. Historic statline in the making. Cons. Defense anyone.
9. Zach Randolph. Pros. Great scorer and rebounder. Cons. The ball stops moving when he gets it.
10. Carlos Boozer. Pros. Great scorer in the paint with a solid jumper. Cons. Defense and inability to dodge luggage.

Top 10 Centers

1. Dwight Howard. Pros. A Beast on defense and on the glass. Cons. Makes some bad choices with the ball sometimes.
2. Al Horford. Pros. High FG% and a good passer. Cons. Needs to work on shot blocking.
3. Andrew Bogut. Pros. Great scorer and defender in the paint. Cons. Injuries.
4. Joakim Noah. Pros. Great vocal leader,defender, passer, and can run run run. Cons. Injuries
5. Nene. Pros. Pros. Able to use his size to overpower others. Cons. Rebounds are lacking.
6. Al Jefferson. Pros. Good on the boards and blocking shots. Cons. FG%.
7. Emeka Okafor. Pros. Smart player that can defend, rebound, and block shots. Cons. Scoring.
8. Tyson Chandler. Pros. Good rebounder that shoots a high FG%. Cons. Should be blocking more shots.
9. Andrew Bynum. Pros. Great size and inside scoring. Cons. If healthy he could be top 3.
10. Andrea Bargnani. Pros. One of the better shooting centers the league has seen. Cons. does nothing but shoot.

Top Twenty Players Overall

1. LeBron James
2. Dirk Nowitzki
3. Dwight Howard
4. Dwyane Wade
5. Kobe Bryant
6. Chris Paul
7. Kevin Durant
8. Carmelo Anthony
9. Derrick Rose
10. Pau Gasol
11. Amar'e Stoudemire
12. Manu Ginobili
13. Deron Williams
14. Monta Ellis
15. LaMarcus Aldridge
16. Rajon Rondo
17. Russell Westbrook
18. Rudy Gay
19. Kevin Garnett
20. Joe Johnson

Top 10 Teams 

1. Spurs. Pros. Just like a fine aged wine. Cons. Will they still have legs come playoff time?
2. Celtics. Pros. Great starting five with perhaps the best depth in the league. Cons. Age and injuries?
3. Mavericks. Pros. With a healthy Dirk they are well balanced. Cons. Without a healthy Dirk they are not the same.
4. Heat. Pros. Best 1-2 punch in the NBA. Cons. Lack of a center and PG will hurt against other elite eastern teams.
5. Bulls. Pros. Great chemistry and defense. Cons. Lack of another scorer at the shooting guard position.
6. Lakers. Pros. Kobe and the Lakers will show up in the Playoffs. Cons. Have they lost their edge?
7. Thunder. Pros. Balanced team that can put up big numbers. Cons. Lack of real size inside.
8. Magic. Pros. Pros. Best bigman in the game never hurts. Cons. Chemistry since the trade is not there.
9. Trail Blazers. Pros. LaMarcus Aldridge has this team on his back and they are winning. Cons. Brandon Roy's Knees.
10. Hawks. Pros. Have the talent to get out of the 1st round. Cons. Very inconsistant.

Well I hope you enjoyed the read. Please leave your thoughts and your Top 10 lists. Remember, these are just my opinions based on stats and watching games this season. I had a hard time positioning players on some of these lists so a player ranked 7th might be very close to 4th in my mind, but I have to rank them. Anyways, let me know what you think.    

Posted on: February 16, 2011 2:51 pm
 

91-92 Bulls vs 10-11 Heat

Now that we have a good portion of the season done with and with the Allstar break coming up I think we have enough information to form a comparison between the super team that is the Heat and the super team that was the Bulls. I chose to compare the Heat against the 91-92 Bulls because it was Jordan's 8th season in the NBA and we are now in the 8th season's of both Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. This is not an attempt to bash the Heat or the Bulls for that matter, but to look closely at the roster formula that both these teams use/used and see just how far away the Heat are from becoming a dynasty.

First we should look at the individual stats from the two key players on both teams and compare.

91-92 Bulls

Jordan:
30.1 ppg, .519 FG%, .270 3P%, 6.1 apg, 6.4 rpg, .9 bpg, 2.3 spg, 2.5 tpg
Pippen: 21.0 ppg, .506 FG%, .200 3P%, 7.0 apg, 7.7 rpg, 1.1 bpg, 1.9 spg, 3.09 tpg

Combined Average: 25.5 ppg, .512 FG%, .235 3P%, 6.5 apg, 7.0 rpg, 1 bpg, 2.1 spg, 2.79 tpg 

10-11 Heat

LeBron:
26.1 ppg, .485 FG%, .349 3P%, 7.3 apg, 7.3 rpg, .58 bpg, 1.58 spg, 3.69 tpg
Wade: 25.0 ppg, .495 FG%, .316 3P%, 4.4 apg, 6.8 rpg, 1.0 bpg, 1.32 spg, 3.2 tpg

Combined Average: 25.5 ppg, .490 FG%, .332 3P%, 5.8 apg, 7.0 rpg, .79 bpg, 1.45 spg, 3.44 tpg

A few things pop out when you look at the combined averages. Both of these super combos average the same amount point per game and rebounds per game which I thought was sort of cool. Both Wade and James are far better 3 point shooters at this stage in their careers then Scottie and MJ were back in 1991-92. Pippen and Jordan would go on to become pretty solid 3 point shooters, but they clearly were not very good at this point in time. Good thing they had B.J. armstrong and Craig Hodges sitting behind the arc to spred the defenses. Because Wade and LeBron shot better and more 3 pointers their field goal percentage average is lower then that of the Bulls' combo. What this means? Simply put, the LeBron/Wade combo are a better scoring combo in the light that they can do damage from more spots on the floor, while Jordan/Scottie shot a lot of 17 footers or simply scored in the paint as both were alltime greats at finishing at the rim. However, this does not mean that the Heat combo was better then the Bulls combo at scoring, because you have to factor in just how damn good MJ was at getting to the basket and finishing. I do not think that there has been a better player in NBA history at breaking down defenses and getting into the paint. Pippen was also no slouch at this either, and as good as LeBron and Wade are at getting to the rim, MJ and Scottie were better. The bottomline is that the Heat combo are more perimeter oriented while the Bulls combo looked to penetrate. I for one think both are good in there own ways, but in the end getting to the paint and drawing fouls  creates more for the rest of the team and wins games in the playoffs, so I give the edge to the Bulls.

The Bulls combo also wins out in the other 4 catagories of Steals, Blocks, Assists, and Turnovers. Many Heat fans thought that the LeBron/Wade duo would certainly outshine that of the Jordan/Pippen duo but that does not seem to be the case. I am not poking fun or doing a "I told you so" thread, I am actually here to say that the Heat team as built is very close to that of a team that won 6 Championships. Now I may not like leBron as a person, but he is a great player and the best player in the game right now. I take issue with how he deals with the media and how he handles himself on the sidelines, but there have been worse players in NBA history in this regard. Let's move on shall we?

Lets look at the 3rd man on both of these teams. While many might want to call me out for saying that Horace Grant was close to as good as Chris Bosh, I will simply point to the proof.

Horace Grant: 14.2 ppg, .578 FG%, 0 3P%, 2.7 apg, 10.0 rpg, 1.6 bpg, 1.2 spg, 1.2 tpg
Chris Bosh: 18.4 ppg, .498 FG%, .316 3P%, 1.6 apg, 8.1 rpg, .71 bpg, .76 spg, 1.71 tpg

Okay, so what we have here is a case of a shooting power forward and a low post power forward. Bosh simply shys away from contact and loves to shoot jumpers which is not a bad thing, but when you have two superstars on the team that do the same thing you need to adjust your game. I do not think Bosh is the right fit to be honest. Infact a healthy Udonis Haslem might be better. The Heat need a banger in the paint that is not affraid of contact and enjoys defense. Horace Grant was a good defender and shot high percentage shots around the basket. He did not have a lot of range, but he was a perfect fit for the Bulls. Chris Bosh, to me is one of the most glaring mistakes the heat made. They would have been better off with a banger like Carlos Boozer or Amar'e Stoudemire, but they could have saved money and just added a decent defensive minded PF and they would have saved a ton of money. That money could have been spent on a decent Center that is younger then 40 and a starting level point guard. The league is full of talent at the PG position, yet the Heat have one of the worse starting PGs in the NBA.

The Bulls formula was better. Two superstars, and decent talent at every position. As it stands the Heat need help at the PG and C position and Bosh, while a nice talent, is not the right fit. Sure Bosh has big games from time to time and his scoring and range are nice, but he is not the right fit, period. The Bulls had Paxson and Armstrong at the PG and Cartwright at center, which was just enought to make the Bulls deadly. 

When you compare the benches it is not close. The Heat have Mike Miller and that is about it, while the Bulls had Stacy King, Will Perdue, Craig Hodges, and Cliff Levingston. They had depth in the front court and that is an area that the Heat need to address.

So how far away are the Heat?

Not to far. what they really need to do, but I never see it happening, is to trade Chris Bosh for 2 or 3 good roleplayers. Maybe I will make another thread with trade ideas, or perhaps you guys can come up with some, but I bet the Heat can get 2 or 3 solid players for Bosh. They simply need a banger at the PF, a younger center that can play defense, and a sarting level PG. Look at what teams with good PGs and bigman have done to the Heat this season. Look at all of the Heat's losses this season and look at what players on the other teams had big games and what positions they played. The other issue is that as a team the Heat are WAY to perimeter oriented and they need to attack the rim with Wade and LeBron much much more. If you live and die by the three pointer, you are certainly going to die in the playoffs.

In conclusion, the Heat need to:

1. Move Bosh for 2-3 good roleplayers.
2. Attack the paint on offense.
3. Take care of the ball. Way to many turnovers from your stars.

Final thought.

The Bulls combined salaries for the 1991-92 season was 16.7 million dollars. LOL. That would buy you one star player in todays game. This is why the CBA is going to be ugly.
Posted on: February 4, 2011 12:50 pm
 

Turkish Delight.

While the Magic have not been a super elite team this season they have been fairly solid. Dwight Howard is putting in another season with MVP-like numbers and is the front-runner for the DPOY. The Magic made that big trade and at first it looked like a great move but now I am not so sure. The main issue is Hedo Turkoglu or the Turkish Delight. He offers the Magic a player that can shoot from just about anywhere and that can also play the point-forward. The problem is his defense. He has to be the worst defender of all the starting small forwards in the league.

Last night allowing LeBron James to score 51 is insane, but that maight happen to anyone right? However Turk has had his share of defensive issues over his career and he now should be a major concern to any Magic fan. While the magic have the best bigman in the league, the other elite teams in the east at least have somewhat respectable players at the center position. The Boston Celtics have Perkins, Shaq, and even Big Baby to throw at him. The Bulls have Noah, Thomas, and Asik. The Heat have.... Oh I forget. Anyways, the Magic's biggest strength has been their play from Dwight, but the lack of a starting small forward might be their undoing come playoff time.

The Celtics have Paul Pierce, the Heat have LeBron James, and the Bulls have Luol Deng. "Luol Deng?" you say. Yes, Luol Deng. Deng completely outshine Turk last week with 26 points and 8 rebounds to Turk's 5 points and 4 PFs. Deng scored at will and at the same time shut Turk down. At some point in the playoffs the Magic will face one or more of these 3 players and it might be the x-factor matchup that sends the Magic home. The playoffs are a lot about matchups and without a perimeter defender to slow down the likes of LeBron, Pierce, and Deng, the magic might be in trouble. Against the Bulls Dwight Howard scored 40 points, but that was becaus the Bulls played him straight up and at the same time shut everyone else down. The magic can be beat even when Howard has a huge stat night. Turk struggles against aggressive defenders like Deng and at the same time cannot stop SF that are quick of the dribble and can shot from range. Turk is like a lost puppy on defense. And just like Turkish Delight he is mainly made out of soft jelly.
Posted on: January 20, 2011 10:23 am
 

Carmelo to the Bulls? Nope. Not happening.

Okay, so we all are aware that the Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov yesterday dropped out of the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes during a press conference. Yesterday it was also reported by YahooSports' Adrian Wojnarowski that the infamous Worldwide Wes is going to Chicago and sources are saying that Melo's "people" are going to try to work a deal with the Chicago Bulls.

This past summer the two sides talked about a trade and neither side would budge on two sticking points. The Bulls wanted to package Deng and his 40 million dollar contract as a centerpiece to any deal, but the Nuggets wanted no part of taking on the extra cap. Also, Denver wanted Joakim Noah and the Bulls flat out said no way. It is hard to think that a deal could ever be put together between these two teams alone. A third team would certainly have to be part of the deal.

So, do I think that Carmelo will become a Chicago Bull? Absolutely not. I think that any person with a clear understanding of how recent negotiations in the NBA have been cunducted with regards to superstars should have a keen insight as to what these talks between Chicago and Melo's people are really all about. It is simply smoke and mirrors. Sure Melo had Chicago on his short list "publically", but in reality there is but one team and city that he want to play for and that team is the New York Knicks. Not really a big shocker at all. So why now are Melo's people moving to the Bulls and trying to spark an old fire? They are using triangulation negotiation tactics in order to place a fire under Donnie Walsh's ass. Walsh is a pretty savvy businessman as he has stepped back a bit from this whole Nets/Nuggets deal and held firm on his offer. He most likely even knew that the Nets would back out. Now the Nuggets are in a hard spot. They turned down the best deal they could possibly get and now are either going to sit on Melo until this summer calling his bluff, trade him to a team like the Rockets or Mavericks as a loaner and get little back in trade, or try to work out a deal directly with the Knicks. Part of me thinks that Donnie Walsh saw all this coming a mile away. This whole thing has shifted a ton of power in the negotiations over to the Knicks who can make a reasonable offer and the Nuggets almost have to take it.

So the Bulls are only being mentioned as a cheap ploy to make it look as if there might be interest from another team in order to drive up the Knicks offer. Melo's people have a clear understanding that Nuggets ownership is being unreasonable and they know if a deal is to be done with the Knicks, that the offer is going to have to be higher or the Nuggets may simply hold onto Melo, or trade him for cap space and a picks as a rental. I am pretty sure that this angle will not work for two reasons. One, the Bulls are not going to part with Joakim Noah. That has not changed and if anything the Bulls will be more firm on the subject as Coach T loves what Noah does for the team and the Bulls have the upper hand now in the negotiation. Also, again the Bulls almost have to deal Luol Deng in any deal to make the money work. On the Nuggets side the Bulls simply have little to offer them. The Bulls would give up Luol Deng, James Johnson, Taj Gibson, and a 1st rounder, but the Nuggets do not want Deng's contract and I am sure they are not that desperate. Maybe a third team could get involved, but again this is never going to happen. Melo wants NY and so does his wife and we all know what that means. Wink wink. 

Donnie Walsh must see right through this as well. He has no reason now to raise his offer. Melo may or may not be traded and all the Knicks need to do is sit and wait and sign him in the offseason. Sure Melo might say he would sign an extension in Chicago but I simply do not see it happening. Would Melo make the Bulls better? Sure, but how much better and is it even worth the risk? Deng is their top defender and Melo plays no defense or very little of it. Sure Melo is a superstar and a much better talent then Deng, but Coach T has a man crush on Deng as you can see from Deng's minutes(3rd in the NBA). The Bulls need an upgrade at the shooting guard, not a high usage player like Melo. I digress. 

The bottomline is that Melo will be on the Knicks next season. He may or may not finish the year out with the Nuggets, but he will become a Knick.  
 
 
 
 
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