Tag:Denver Nuggets
Posted on: January 27, 2009 8:57 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2009 7:09 pm
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Posted on: December 20, 2008 8:23 am
Edited on: December 20, 2008 1:41 pm

My Top 5 Teams, Surprising and Disappointing

Top 5 Teams
1) Los Angeles Lakers (21-4)
2) Orlando Magic (20-6)
3) New Orleans Hornets (15-7)
4) Cleveland Cavaliers (22-4)
5-tied) Denver Nuggets (17-9)
5-tied) Houston Rockets (17-9)

5 Most Surprising Teams
1) New Jersey Nets
Preseason Projection: 19-63; Current Record: 13-12
Most people, including myself, predicted that the Nets would be one of the 5 worst teams in the league.  Somehow, we are proven wrong.  Devin Harris is one of the top 5 candidates for the Most Improved Player of the Year award.  He averages 24.5 points per game, nearly 10 points over his last season’s 14.8 ppg.  The Nets seem having two biggest stars, Harris and Vince Carter, an eight-time All-Star forward who averages 23.0 ppg this season.  Also, they have a couple of their best defenders, Jarvis Hayes from the Detroit Pistons and Keyon Dooling from the Orlando Magic.  With Dooling and Hayes’ defensive advantages, the Nets have proven that they are one of the potential playoff contenders in the Eastern Conference.

2) Cleveland Cavaliers
Preseason Projection: 53-29; Current Record: 22-4
Surprisingly, the Cavaliers are the best defensive team this season.  They limit their opponents to 89.2 ppg.  As of Dec 19, they are the only remaining team with its perfect home 13-0 record, its franchise’s new record.  They had 11-game winning streak before losing to the Atlanta Hawks on Dec 13.  LeBron James is one of the top 5 candidates for the MVP award.  Of course, I would definitely pick LBJ for the MVP award.  Since the Detroit Pistons have disappointingly gone to the downhill with Allen Iverson, the Cavaliers are now the heavy favorites for the Central Division championship.  I won’t be surprised if the Cavaliers can surpass the Boston Celtics’ record for the East’s best record!  I strongly consider Mike Brown as my top candidate for the Coach of the Year award.

3) Atlanta Hawks
Preseason Projection: 38-44; Current Record: 16-10
Very surprising, the Hawks are in the second place behind the Orlando Magic in the Southeast Division.  They have surpassed the Washington Wizards, who are stunningly the worst team in the Eastern Conference.  They have beaten the Orlando Magic, New Orleans Hornets and Cleveland Cavaliers this season.  They almost beat the Boston Celtics twice but the all-time arrogant Celtics obviously CHEATED the Hawks into the horrible embarrassment in front of the disgusting Hawks spectators on Dec 17.  Honestly, I was very disappointed in the Hawks for not beating my No. 1 hateful team, LOSER Celtics!  (Argh!)  I hope that the Hawks will take their revenge by beating the stupidest Celtics in the next two games to tie the season series at 2-2!  The Hawks are currently No. 4 seed behind the Celtics, Cavaliers and Magic and ahead of the Detroit Pistons in the East.

4) Denver Nuggets
Preseason Projection: 44-38; Current Record: 17-9
After the 1-3 start, the Nuggets made its right move by acquiring Chauncey Billups from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Allen Iverson.  Looking like a winner, they are 16-6 since the Billups-Iverson trade.  They currently lead the Northwest Division.  As of Dec 19, they are one of the only two teams that have beaten the bragging Boston Celtics.  In truth, I keep my fingers crossed that the Nuggets will SWEEP the two-game season series against the defending NBA champions when they host the Celtics in Denver on February 23, 2009.

5) Portland Trail Blazers
Preseason Projection: 49-33; Current Record: 17-10
At the average 24.1 age, the Trail Blazers are the second youngest team behind the Golden State Warriors (24.0).  They led the Northwest Division once or twice before the Denver Nuggets took the division’s lead.  The Blazers have beaten a number of the good teams, including San Antonio Spurs, New Orleans Hornets and Phoenix Suns at home and Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons on the road.  On Dec 18, Brandon Roy had career-high 52 points in the Blazers’ 124-119 victory over the Suns, snapping its 11-game losing streak against the Suns.  They also improved to 9-2 at home this season.

5 Most Disappointing Teams
1) Boston Celtics
Preseason Projection: 51-31; Current Record: 25-2
Obviously, the all-time LOSER Celtics are still CHEATING all opponents, like they did last year.  After 2 losses, they must have found something in secret that they REFUSE to lose any game.  They have won the 17 straight games since Nov 14, last time they lost to the Denver Nuggets at home.  I cannot stand the sickest Celtics anymore, especially Kevin Garnett (whom I always hate!), Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.  Not to mention, I also hate Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins, Eddie House, Tony Allen, Sam Cassell and all others on the sucked team!  The Celtics have limited the opponents to 90.9 ppg, and their averaged margin is 10.4 ppg.  I’m so SICK of seeing this LOSER team staying in the top of the league.  They are the most overrated team ever in the NBA this season!  I LOVE to see this sickest team LOSING to all opponents, especially league-worst Oklahoma City Thunder!  Ha, Ha, Ha!  I hope that either Orlando Magic or Cleveland Cavaliers WILL SURPASS the Celtics’ record for the East’s best record later this season, period!  I don’t want to see the Celtics coming back to the NBA Finals.  They have ENOUGH 17 NBA championships and DO NOT need another damn one!  NO more NBA championships for the Celtics, period!  It’s TIME for a different team, such as Magic, Cavaliers, New Orleans Hornets and Utah Jazz, to get its first NBA championship in each franchise’s history.  This is a main reason why I have never put the Celtics on my top 5 teams list.  End of story!

2) Los Angeles Lakers
Preseason Projection: 68-14; Current Record: 21-4
Despite its best record in the West, I’m very disappointed in the Lakers that they are still having problems with defense lately.  I was very impressive with the Lakers’ one-time best defense that they limited the opponents to 86.7 ppg in the first 7 games before they embarrassingly lost to the supposed-be weaker Pistons with ‘loser’ Allen Iverson at home, snapping their 7-0 perfect home record.  In the last 13 games prior to last night’s game versus the Miami Heat, they allowed the opponents to score averaged 103.8 points that doesn’t look good.  It was unacceptable and NO excuse for the supposed-be league-best Lakers to lose to the three average or lowly teams (Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings and lately Heat)!  Like they had done in the first 7 games, their defense should have won over the Pacers, Kings and Heat on the road!  They would have the league’s best record at 24-1!  Unfortunately, I can see that the Lakers have too much problems with poor defense, which they can’t play in the way what the Cavaliers and Celtics have played.  The Cavaliers and Celtics are the top two defensive teams in the league that each team limits their opponents to 91 or fewer ppg.  I really wish that the Lakers and Celtics should SWITCH for the league’s best record!  After the embarrassing loss to the cheap Heat, the Lakers are going to have tougher times against a couple of the elite teams, Orlando Magic and New Orleans Hornets, on the road.  Both Magic and Hornets may give the Lakers more troubles than they had with the Heat last night.  That was why I was wise that I did not label my Lakers-Magic and Lakers-Hornets predictions on North Harbour’s NBA Pick Em Challenge blogs.  The Lakers’ poor defense worries me, especially facing the Celtics on Christmas Day!

3) Detroit Pistons
Preseason Projection: 61-21; Current Record: 14-10
It personally saddened me that the Pistons lost their best team leader, Chauncey Billups, when he was sent to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Allen Iverson last month.  The Pistons made its blockbuster trade for the salary cap purposes.  Billups is still on his contract through 2011 while Iverson and Rasheed Wallace are in the final year of their contracts.  With Iverson and Wallace potentially off the books, the Pistons will have approximate $35 million available to spend on the free-agent market in the 2009 summer.  Since the Billups-Iverson trade, the Pistons are on the downhill at 10-10.  Suppose Billups remains with the Pistons, they would have the best record between 21-3 and 22-2 in the East by now and finish with the East’s top seed spot.  They also should have defeated the average or lowly teams (i.e. Minnesota Timberwolves, Washington Wizards, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets and New York Knicks) instead of embarrassingly losing to them.  I would consider their losses to the underdogs unacceptable and inexcusable as if I were the Pistons fan in the same way I’ve been dealing with the Lakers’ three embarrassing losses to the heavy underdogs.  Of course, the Pistons should have defeated the baddest Boston Celtics in the first two of the four games to take a 2-0 lead in the season series.  Unfortunately, in reality with Iverson, the Pistons are projected to finish as the disappointing No. 4 or 5 seed and possibly get exited in the first or second round.  This is why I would rather have Billups on my team because he is truly a veteran leader and team player.  Iverson sucks because he is so selfish, troublemaker and one of the all-time losers!

4) Washington Wizards
Preseason Projection: 48-34; Current Record: 4-20
The Wizards lost a few key players due to the injuries or player transactions.  Gilbert Arenas (knee) and Brendon Haywood (right wrist) haven’t played this season.  Arenas had a third knee operation last September.  His return remains uncertain, although some rumors have stated that he is expected to return in around January 2009.  Haywood underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right wrist before the preseason began.  He is expected to miss the entire season.  Roger Mason and Antonio Daniels are no longer with the club.  Mason currently plays for the San Antonio Spurs.  Daniels was sent to the New Orleans Hornets in the three-team trade that also involved the Memphis Grizzlies on Dec 10.  After the horrible 1-10 start, head coach Eddie Jordan was fired.  At the bottom line, the Wizards still struggle with lacks of defense.

5-tied) Golden State Warriors
Preseason Projection: 48-34; Current Record: 7-20
The Warriors have lost some key players for some reasons.  Baron Davis opted out and signed a multi-year contract with the Los Angeles Clippers in the offseason.  Mickael Pietrus signed with the Orlando Magic.  Monta Ellis hasn’t played in a game this season because of an ankle injury that has sidelined him for over 2 months.  They have new players, Corey Maggette (via free agency) and Jamal Crawford (via trade from New York Knicks for Al Harrington).  They are the youngest team at the average 24.0 age and have 9 players younger than 23 years of age.  They seem lacking experiences of playing at the pro level that is tougher than college basketball.

5-tied) Philadelphia 76ers
Preseason Projection: 50-32; Current Record: 12-14
After Elton Brand joined the 76ers club from the Los Angeles Clippers via free agency in the offseason, many predictions believed that the 76ers should be one of the playoff contenders.  Somehow, they turned out to be disappointing as a losing team in the first 23 games.  Team president Ed Stefanski fired head coach Maurice Cheeks and replaced him with assistant general manager Tony DiLeo after the 76ers stumbled to a slow 9-14 start.  Although the 76ers have improved to 3-0 under DiLeo, they already lost Brand for a month.  Brand suffered with a dislocated right shoulder in the 76ers’ 93-88 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks at home on Dec 17.

My game predictions on Christmas Day
@ Orlando Magic 115, New Orleans Hornets 108
@ Phoenix Suns 102, San Antonio Spurs 97
@ Los Angeles Lakers 142, Boston Celtics 88
@ Cleveland Cavaliers 103, Washington Wizards 85
Dallas Mavericks 102, @ Portland Trail Blazers 100

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Posted on: November 22, 2008 3:02 pm

2008-09 NBA Power Rankings (22 Nov 2008)

Here are my current NBA power rankings!
Note: The previous rank numbers are in the parenthesis after each team’s current record as of 21 Nov 2008.

1. Los Angeles Lakers, 10-1 (1): Remain in the first place with its best record despite its horrible embarrassment to the bragging “Bad Boys II” Detroit Pistons.  It was NO excuse for the Lakers to lose that game to the underdog Pistons at home.  Supposed to go up to 8-0 but fell to 7-1.  See you in Detroit on March 26, and the Lakers will win in revenge, pulling the season series at 1-1 period!  No exceptions!

2. Boston Celtics, 12-2 (6): Only two losses to the Indiana Pacers and Denver Nuggets.  The Pacers did the excellent job to hold the defending NBA champion to only 79 points, handing them its first loss.

3. Cleveland Cavaliers, 9-3 (11): LeBron James and Mo Williams are the Cavaliers’ best duo to help the team to exceed their expectations.  They are one of the biggest threats to upset the Celtics in the potential Eastern Conference Finals.  Yes, they are favored to clinch its Central title this season, and watch out of them!

4. Orlando Magic, 9-3 (10): The Magic embarrassingly started with a 0-2 hole after losing to the underdogs, Atlanta Hawks and lowly Memphis Grizzlies.  Surprisingly, they have won the 5 straight games.  Don’t get surprised that they have now edges over their No. 1 hateful rival, now-weaker Detroit Pistons, by at least 8 points!

5. Utah Jazz, 8-5 (5): The Jazz have played well despite having Deron Williams sidelined with a sprained ankle most of the times.  They continue with their road woes.  They have lost the last 19 games in San Antonio, dated back to February 1999.

6. Denver Nuggets, 8-5 (17): Wow, a great sky rocket from No. 17 to No. 6!  The Nuggets are 7-2 with Chauncey Billups since the blockbuster trade.  Huge advantage for the Nuggets with their true veteran leader!  Not to mention, it was Nuggets’ greatest win over the Celtics at Boston!

7. Portland Trail Blazers, 8-5 (12): A lot of improvement with the youth, including second-year veteran Greg Oden, who is technically a rookie after missing last season with a knee injury.

8. Phoenix Suns, 8-5 (8): The Suns impressively outplayed the newly Detroit Pistons featuring Allen Iverson, but they were outplayed and defeated by the Lakers at home.  Notably, Shaquille O’Neal finished with just one rebound versus the Utah Jazz, and it was his only second time in his NBA career.

9. Houston Rockets, 8-5 (4): They have played very good but a little disappointment that they did not meet my expectations.  They have lost to the two best teams, Celtics at home and Lakers on the road.  Also, not to mention, it shocked me that the Rockets lost a game to the injury-depleted Spurs by 2 points in San Antonio.

10. New Orleans Hornets, 6-5 (3): Unbelievable, the Hornets embarrassingly lost to the underdogs, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Bobcats and Sacramento Kings.

11. Detroit Pistons, 8-4 (2): My biggest disappointment about their stupid trade involving with the Nuggets but it was probably the best for the salary cap purposes only.  Sadly, the Pistons don’t have their good veteran leader anymore since Chauncey Billups was sent to Denver for Allen Iverson in exchange.  The A.I. and Co. team is 4-3 since the trade.  Honestly, I really wish that the Lakers should outplay and rout the weaker Pistons, like the Celtics had done to the Pistons twice!

12. Atlanta Hawks, 8-4 (19): Shockingly, the Hawks went with a 5-0 start before the Celtics handed them its first loss.  They have won the last two games after suffering with a four-game skid.

13. Toronto Raptors, 6-6 (14): Seemingly bad news for the Raptors, Jermaine O’Neal got re-injured in an overtime 129-127 loss to the New Jersey Nets at home last night.  Hopefully, he won’t be sidelined too long like he did with the Pacers last year.

14. San Antonio Spurs, 6-6 (7): The Spurs went with a 1-4 start for the first time in 12 years, a season before Tim Duncan entered the NBA.  Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili have been sidelined with the major injuries and won’t return until at least December.  Despite the injury-depletion, the Spurs rallied to reach 50% winning for the first time this season after beating the Utah Jazz last night.

15. Dallas Mavericks, 6-7 (9): The Mavericks finally won its first home game over the lowly Memphis Grizzlies after losing to the four playoff contenders (Rockets, Cavaliers, Lakers and Magic).  They have won the four straight games since the last loss to Orlando.

16. Miami Heat, 6-6 (16): Improving with very healthy Dwyane Wade and Sharon Marion, but still struggling.

17. Philadelphia 76ers, 6-6 (13): The 76ers embarrassingly lost to the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves on the road, but they rallied to win a 89-88 victory over Elton Brand’s former team, Los Angeles Clippers, at home last night.

18. New York Knicks, 6-6 (24): Big surprises with a lot of improvement under new coach Mike D’Antoni.  To clean up the salary caps, they made two deals yesterday: acquiring Al Harrington from Golden State for Jamal Crawford; sending Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins to the Clippers for Cuttino Mobley and Tim Thomas.

19. Indiana Pacers, 5-6 (25): Most impressive in a big surprise, the Pacers became the first team to beat the defending NBA champion Boston Celtics 95-79, handing them its first loss.  Excellent job, Pacers!

20. Chicago Bulls, 6-7 (20): Ben Gordon (20 ppg) and rookie Derrick Rose (18.8 ppg) lead the Bulls in scoring.

21. New Jersey Nets, 5-6 (27): Unbelievable, Vince Carter flushed the Raptors with his backward dunk to give the Nets an overtime 129-127 victory at the last second in Toronto.

22. Golden State Warriors, 5-7 (15): The Warriors are still struggling while Monta Ellis is sidelined with an ankle injury.

23. Milwaukee Bucks, 6-8 (22): The Bucks have played without Michael Redd in the last 10 games.  They are 4-6 without Redd.

24. Sacramento Kings, 5-9 (26): The Kings are 2-5 without Kevin Martin, who has been out with an ankle injury.

25. Charlotte Bobcats, 3-8 (30): The Bobcats embarrassingly defeated the two heavily favored teams, New Orleans Hornets and Utah Jazz.

26. Memphis Grizzlies, 4-8 (28): A big shock, the lowly Grizzlies defeated the heavily favored Orlando Magic with Rudy Gay’s 18-foot jumper at the last second.

27. Minnesota Timberwolves, 2-9 (23): After its first win over the Kings, the Timberwolves suffered with the 8-game skid before they finally beat the Philadelphia 76ers.  Last night, Kevin Garnett led the Boston Celtics with 17 points in his first appearance in Minnesota against his former team, Timberwolves.  At this time, the Celtics routed the Wolves 95-78, and the Wolves fell to 2-9.

28. Washington Wizards, 1-9 (18): It is so embarrassing to see this playoff contender that has started with a horrible 1-9 start.  They have played without their 2 key players, Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood, due to the major injuries.

29. Los Angeles Clippers, 2-10 (21): Not surprise to me, and they are just a well-known losing team.  The Clippers acquired Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins from the New York Knicks for Cuttino Mobley and Tim Thomas.

30. Oklahoma City Thunder, 1-12 (30): The Thunder team sounds like an expansion team, although they actually moved from Seattle, where they spent 41 years as an NBA franchise, in the offseason.  Following a 105-80 loss to the New Orleans Hornets at home and falling to the NBA-worst 1-12 record, the Thunder fired head coach P.J. Carlesimo and named Scott Brooks interim coach.

Posted on: November 19, 2008 8:44 pm
Edited on: November 20, 2008 6:33 pm

Sweep of 2008 NBA Finals Contenders

On the same night on Friday, 14 Nov 2008, something unexpectedly happened to the last season’s NBA Finals that featured the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, top seeds from the Eastern and Western Conferences meeting for the first time in 8 years.  (To clarify any confusion, the Lakers and Indiana Pacers were the last top seeds from both conferences meeting in the 2000 NBA Finals.)  Both favored teams hosted the games against the visiting and underdog teams, which were involved in the most recent blockbuster trade.  The Detroit Pistons acquired Allen Iverson from the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Chauncey Billups, Antonio McDyess and Cheikh Samb on Monday, November 3.

The Celtics played against the Nuggets at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston.  The Lakers later played against the Pistons at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Here are the odd and unbelievable results:
Nuggets 94, Celtics 85
Pistons 106, Lakers 95

What!  I thought that both Celtics and Lakers were supposed to win the games at home, but I got wrong!  Argh!  I could not believe that both teams from the last season’s NBA Finals were swept by the newly Nuggets and Pistons.

Boston Celtics vs. Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets became the first West team to beat the Celtics for the second year in a row.  Last year, the Celtics’ perfect 16-0 streak versus the Western Conference teams was snapped when the Nuggets with A.I. defeated the league-best team at home in Denver.  Last Friday, the Nuggets with Billups surprisingly won a road game over the defending NBA champion in Boston, where the Nuggets have won only 3 of the last 19 trips since 1990-91.  In the last 19 trips to Boston, the Nuggets’ 2 other victories were November 1996 and December 2004.

On the other hand, I was so glad that the Nuggets won that game over my No. 1 hateful NBA team!  Great win for the Nuggets!  The Celtics will visit the Nuggets in Denver on February 23, 2009, only one day after a game against the Phoenix Suns.  It is possible that the Nuggets may sweep the Celtics in the two-game season series, so don’t get surprised.  Who knows?

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Detroit Pistons
In A.I.’s second game as a Piston, the Celtics outplayed the slightly weaker Pistons and won its road game by 12 points at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit.  Prior to last Friday’s game, the Lakers were the only remaining undefeated team at 7-0.  They were also the best defensive team to allow their opponents under 86.7 ppg.  Since the Lakers hosted the Pistons unlike the most recent Celtics-Pistons game, I personally expected that this game was supposed to be worse and duller, as the Lakers should outplay the weaker A.I. and Co. team and win this game very easy.  The Lakers should beat the Pistons by at least 20 points and go up to 8-0.

Somehow, I gasped in shock at seeing the Pistons outplaying and humiliating the Lakers in the first 3 quarters of the game in front of the disgusting and hostile crowd of the Lakers spectators.  What!  It was so nuts!  With the Pistons 77-62 lead in the late third quarter, I became so mad and immediately turned my TV off!  I could not stand seeing my hometown team losing to the underdog Pistons.  Later, the Pistons won that game by 11 points (106-95) and handed the Lakers its first loss, falling to 7-1.  That game was totally so embarrassing and nonsense!  This game reminded me of the 2004 NBA Finals, which the underdog Pistons killed and almost swept the heavily favored Lakers 4-1 into the horrible embarrassment.  That is a main reason why the Pistons have always been my No. 2 hateful NBA team behind the Celtics.

On March 26, 2009, the Lakers will meet the newly “Bad Boys II” Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills.  I expect the Lakers to avenge their embarrassingly nonsense loss to the Pistons in the next game!  Lakers 112, Pistons 92!  The season series should get tied at 1-1!  Good fair!

Current Results since Trade
Please refer to my Billups-Iverson Blockbuster Trade blog if you’re interested to read my blog about why I would rather want to put Chauncey Billups than Allen Iverson on my NBA team.

As of 18 Nov 2008, the Nuggets are 6-1 with Billups and Pistons are 3-3 with Iverson.  I know that it’s a little too early for now, it seems that I am right about them!  I can see that Billups is a winner with one NBA championship ring.  Also, he is a true veteran leader for the entire team.  I understand that there are millions of fans who are fond of A.I., but I hate to say something realistic about him.  Unlike Billups, A.I. is very selfish player, sometimes has bad tempers in the games and has never been a true team leader in his entire 13-year NBA career.  He always tends to do all things by himself such as making too much layups to score.  That is why A.I. is a great scorer but he still cannot win any ‘championship’ game.

Don’t get surprised that the Pistons will lose in either first or second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.  It’s possible that the Nuggets may win at least first-round playoff series.  I really don’t see that the Pistons will become one of the East’s top 3 anymore since the Billups-Iverson trade.  At this point, I lean toward the Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic for the East’s top 3 as they are the bigger threats as the championship calibers than the now-weaker Pistons.


As of 19 Nov 2008, here are my top 4 teams in each conference:

Eastern Conference
1. Boston Celtics (10-2)
2. Cleveland Cavaliers (9-2)
3. Orlando Magic (8-3)
4. Detroit Pistons (7-3)

Western Conference
1. Los Angeles Lakers (8-1)
2. Phoenix Suns (8-4)
3. Utah Jazz (7-4)
4. Houston Rockets (7-4)

My current top 5 teams follow:
1. Los Angeles Lakers
2. Boston Celtics
3. Cleveland Cavaliers
4. Orlando Magic
5. Phoenix Suns

At the end of the regular season, my projected top 5 contenders follow:
1. Los Angeles Lakers
2. Boston Celtics
3. New Orleans Hornets
4. Cleveland Cavaliers
5. Utah Jazz

Eastern Conference Finals: No. 1 Celtics and No. 2 Cavaliers
Western Conference Finals: No. 1 Lakers and No. 3 Jazz
2009 NBA Finals: Lakers and Celtics

Posted on: November 5, 2008 5:12 pm
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Posted on: November 4, 2008 9:25 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2008 7:35 pm

Pistons-Nuggets Blockbuster Trade

Shocking News: The Detroit Pistons acquired Allen Iverson (A.I.) from the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Chauncey Billups, Antonio McDyess and Cheikh Samb yesterday, November 3.

After reading three members’ blogs on my favorite list and many messages posted by the other members in a hottest thread on the NBA board last night, it was pretty difficult for me to decide whether I liked or disliked this trade.  There have been a lot of awful arguments between the Pistons and non-Pistons fans.  Earlier this morning at work, I talked with a colleague of mine, a Philadelphia native who is a fan of the former 76ers guard.  I weigh the trades that affect both teams - Pistons and Nuggets.  Also, this trade affects my prediction of the Pistons and Nuggets finishing off as well.

Well, to be honest, I really don’t like this blockbuster trade for many reasons.  My colleague agreed with me that this trade was stupid.  Now, here I am weighing both teams to determine which team has more edges.

Chauncey Billups vs. Allen Iverson

Chauncey Billups
As if I were the Pistons fan, I personally like Chauncey better than A.I. because of his sportsmanship and veteran leadership, not just his playing stats.  The 12th-year veteran had been a great mentor for a number of the younger players, including Rodney Stuckey.  Also, three-time All-Star Billups had been the Pistons’ team captain for a few years.  He is one of the NBA’s best defensive guards, averaging almost 15 points and 5.5 assists per game in his NBA career.  In the last 6 years, Billups, Richard Hamilton (Rip) and Tayshaun Prince (Tay) had been the core players to lead the Pistons to the Eastern Conference Finals.  They advanced to the back-to-back NBA Finals, winning the franchise’s third championship in 2004 and losing to the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs in 2005.  Billups was named to the 2004 NBA Finals MVP.

This season, the Pistons went 2-0 before Billups was sent to Denver, his hometown.  Personally, I really like the Pistons’ good-looking All-Star trio consisting of Chauncey, Rip and Rasheed Wallace (Sheed), considering as one of the best defensive All-Star trios along with the Boston Celtics’ Big 3 (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen).

Allen Iverson
The nine-time All-Star guard had carried a whole team with either little or no help from his teammates during his first 10-year tenure with the Philadelphia 76ers.  Now entering his 13th NBA year, A.I. is one of the NBA’s best offensive guards, averaging almost 28 points, 6 assists and 2.3 steals in his NBA career.  He led the NBA league in averaged scoring 4 times.  The one-time MVP led the 76ers to the 2001 NBA Finals, but unfortunately the A.I. and Co. team was inexperienced and overwhelmed to deal with the very strong Los Angeles Lakers, led by All-Star duo Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.  That was why the 76ers got swept by the eventual back-to-back NBA champion Lakers.  Before he was dealt to the Denver Nuggets for guard Andre Miller in exchange in December 2006, A.I. averaged 28.1 points per game as the 76ers star.  A.I. is one of the well-known bad-tempered players and has many historic clashes with the 76ers organization, including then-coach Larry Brown who is currently a head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats.

In the past 2 seasons, A.I. and younger Carmelo Anthony (Melo) had become the Nuggets’ best hip-hop All-Star duo like twin brothers with the corn-rows hairstyles and sporting tattoos.  Although I am not a big fan of either star, I really like the perfect twin brothers!  The A.I.-Melo combination averaged 53 points per game (26.5 points per player).  In my opinion as if I were the Nuggets fan, I would be very happy to see both A.I. and Melo locking as the Nuggets’ core duo for the next few years.

Best/Worst-Case Scenarios

Detroit Pistons
* Best-Case Scenario: Suppose none of the Pistons’ Big 3 (Chauncey, Rip and Sheed) is sent to another team, the Pistons would finish in the top three of the East and top five of the league.  Chauncey was the most respectful veteran with the best sportsmanship and leadership to provide his teammates, especially the younger ones.
* Worst-Case Scenario: Since A.I. is considered as a strong offensive player, he won’t fit the defensive-mind Pistons.  Since veteran leader and mentor Chauncey is gone, the attitudes of the Pistons’ players are one of the major concerns I can see - bad tempers of A.I. and Sheed.  Also, unlike Chauncey, A.I. is a very selfish player and not a team leader.  He always thinks about himself all the time.

Denver Nuggets
* Best-Case Scenario: Chauncey is returning to his hometown of Denver.  He is looking forward to play in front of his family, relatives and friends.  His sportsmanship, veteran leadership and defensive skills are among big advantages for the Nuggets team.
* Worst-Case Scenario: Since Chauncey is considered as a defensive guard, the Nuggets will need to adjust both offensive and defensive sides.  With A.I. gone, Melo may get loaded in scoring since Chauncey averages only 15 points, about 10 points fewer than A.I.’s averaged score.

One main reason for this blockbuster trade: A.I. is so desperate to get an NBA championship ring, like Garnett, Pierce and Allen who all finally got the first NBA rings last June.  However, unfortunately, I still don’t see that A.I. will be able to win the championship, no matter where he plays for.

On the other hand, this move is for the salary cap purposes as well.  A.I. is in his final year of his current contract.  So are Sheed and Antonio McDyess.  Billups is still under contract through 2011 with a team option for another year.  With A.I. and Sheed potentially off the books, the Pistons want to free more than $35 million to spend on the next summer’s free-agent market.  According to several sources, McDyess may retire since he doesn’t want to play for another team than the Pistons.  The Nuggets can buy him out, so he can re-sign with the Pistons in 30 days as he has been seeking a first NBA championship ring for years.

It is very possible that A.I. is a biggest threat to carry the whole Pistons team by himself like he had done with the 76ers before.  With selfish A.I., it is very possible that the Pistons may go to the downhill, probably at least 7 fewer wins from last year’s 59-win record.  They are projected to finish 47-52 wins and at least 1-2 spots lower than last year’s second seed in the East.  Unlike last year, they are going to battle with the Cleveland Cavaliers, which have four-time All-Star LeBron James and rising star Mo Williams, for the Central Division title.  Also, the Pistons possibly won’t pass the Eastern Conference semifinals.  Honestly, A.I. is a great player but he still cannot win the NBA championship if he continues loading the whole team by himself with either little or no help from his new teammates including Rip and Sheed.  He is not the Chauncey Billups style because of his strong offense and natural bad-tempered and arrogant attitudes.  Also, the AI-Rip-Sheed trio won’t be as good as the Celtics’ KG-PP-RA trio.  I can see that the Celtics will possibly outplay the Pistons at least 3 times out of the 4 meetings this season.  So will the Cavaliers and even Orlando Magic.  However, regardless of having Billups or A.I., I still hope that the Pistons must sweep the all-time cheating meanest Celtics in the season series, period!  Go Pistons killing the evil KG-PP-RA and Co. team!

As for the Nuggets, I still don’t see that they will improve from last year.  Like I have previously stated, the Nuggets still have 50-50 chance to make the playoffs since the Western Conference is getting tighter in the next few weeks.  They are projected to finish as the No. 7 to 11 seed in the West.

As if I were the Pistons fan, I would definitely be very disappointed and upset to see Chauncey Billups leaving my team since he would have been my favorite Pistons player.  I can not stand A.I.’s bad-tempered attitudes and disastrous fashions.  I would know that the Pistons could not advance to the seventh consecutive East’s Finals as they could lose in either first or second round.  I would feel that Pistons GM Joe Dumars just made stupidest trade I’ve had ever seen!  This blockbuster trade sucks!

As if I were the Nuggets fan, I would have mixed feelings.  I really like the perfect hip-hop twin brothers with the similar corn-rows hairstyles - A.I. and Melo.  I would miss A.I. playing with Melo, although I am not a big fan of either star.  A.I. was still not able to help the Nuggets to get out of the first-round exit.  Like I’ve stated earlier, he is a very selfish player to dribble, dribble, dribble all the times and has never been playing as a team player in his entire 13-year NBA career.  That was another main reason for the Nuggets to make the right move.  As for Billups, it would be very fantastic to have him on the team.  He is one of the most respectful and humble players in today’s NBA.  He can provide better veteran leadership for Melo and other younger players on the Nuggets team.  Considering Billups as a good coachable player, he also can teach his new teammates about a key of defense that must be balanced with the offense.

Final Result: Nuggets slightly edge the Pistons.

Category: NBA
Posted on: October 30, 2008 9:47 pm
Edited on: October 30, 2008 9:55 pm
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Posted on: October 27, 2008 8:25 pm
Edited on: October 28, 2008 7:43 pm

2008-09 NBA Power Rankings (27 Oct 2008)

You know, tomorrow is the opening day of the 2008-09 NBA regular season, so I rather post this second entry on my blog tonight instead of tomorrow night.  Here are my first NBA power rankings:

  1. Los Angeles Lakers
  2. Detroit Pistons
  3. New Orleans Hornets
  4. Houston Rockets
  5. Utah Jazz
  6. Boston Celtics
  7. San Antonio Spurs
  8. Phoenix Suns
  9. Dallas Mavericks
  10. Orlando Magic
  11. Cleveland Cavaliers
  12. Portland Trail Blazers
  13. Philadelphia 76ers
  14. Toronto Raptors
  15. Golden State Warriors
  16. Miami Heat
  17. Denver Nuggets
  18. Washington Wizards
  19. Atlanta Hawks
  20. Chicago Bulls
  21. Los Angeles Clippers
  22. Milwaukee Bucks
  23. Minnesota Timberwolves
  24. New York Knicks
  25. Indiana Pacers
  26. Sacramento Kings
  27. New Jersey Nets
  28. Memphis Grizzlies
  29. Oklahoma City Thunder
  30. Charlotte Bobcats

I know many of you believing that the Boston Celtics should be No. 1 because they are the defending NBA champions.  Sorry, I strongly disagree for many reasons.  In my belief, the Celtics had cheated all opponents and tended to humiliate them into the horrible embarrassments with too much blowouts.  They had always cheated them at the defensive end, leading them to the league’s nonsense 66-16 record - 42 more wins rocketing from 2006-07’s 24-58 record!  It was totally ridiculous!  (LOL)  Well, the disrespectful Celtics, especially their arrogant Big 3 (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen), are obviously overrated!  Of course, Boston’s Doc Rivers is the NBA’s most overrated coach as well!  In truth, I was so glad that the Orlando Magic made the right move by firing Rivers in the 2003-04 season after the Magic embarrassingly went 1-10 in the first 11 games and later finished the league’s worst 21-61 record.

Now, like many Celtics haters, I strictly hope that the Celtics will finish at least 10-15 fewer wins than last year’s nonsense record.  That is why I rather rank the baddest and all-time cheating KG-PP-RA and Co. team as No. 6 out of the 30 teams in the beginning of the NBA regular season.  The Celtics are LOSERS, period!

Sorry, it’s too bad if you don’t like or agree with my power rankings above.  No debate please, but only positive comments are welcome.  My next NBA power rankings will be posted sometime in the third week of November, about a week before Thanksgiving Day.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com