By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
A BASN Exclusive: Part One
Normal 0NEW YORK (BASN) — The NBA trial tribal try all quest for excellence is on like “Bonita Applebaum”– as the charade sensed sensational seasonal spectacle escapade hoop parade is presently jelling marinating equivalent to a choice Chardonnay marmalade.
Anticipations remain abundant — as new battle lines have been magnetized affording neither NBA team nor singular player a free pass based on assumed celebrity, accumulated championship jewelry, and the hefty soon to be locked out salary.
The 30 NBA families ALL have something to prove (STP) and this delectably obliges the whims of the global fan base and as importantly the pop shot artists from the NBA peanut gallery.
The two-time defending NBA champion enters the new hoop year as a second page item based on the Florida vote recount in Miami. Yes, the Lakers the NBA’s flagship franchise have plenty to prove.
The NBA’s two time NBA MVP relocated from the place of his birth to start a new renaissance in Southern NBA territory and has plenty to answer and yes…prove.
Therefore, whenever the reigning champs and reigning MVP approach the seasons with shoulder chips that no global casino can payout –the entire NBA down line has no alternative but to ante up and separate the pretenders from the contenders while utilizing that ever fading fiat legal tender rendering unto Caesar…hopefully without surrender.
The BASN Team Strength Evaluation is not declared as the alpha and omega penned by yours truly (who never trips on player haters) just keeping the splendor as a rhythmic writing innovator.
In alignment with the current Planetary edict that the “last shall be first” the following Eastern/Western Conference ranking revelation is offered to be shared abundantly with all your Facebook relations as you have done so many times (much appreciated). From the heart welcome to the juggernaut jargon jubilee and please note the meek are rising for all to see!Eastern Conference
- Miami Heat: Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra is halfway on a NBA coaching elevator that only has two destinations– the acme of Spoelstra’s elevator ride is hoop heaven the basement is hoop hell. Spoelstra commands the most anticipated team makeover in league history by virtue of Miami President Pat Riley contracting free agent NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James and Olympian All Star Chris Bosh. Riley who guided the Heat to their first and only NBA Championship as coaching maestro also re-signed former NBA championship round MVP Dwyane Wade. The specter exists of Riley climbing downstairs to relieve Spoelstra amid any type of team failure. Riley insists this is Spoelstra’s team yet the lead suit leash for Spoelstra is woefully tight/short if any form of team incursion manifests. Spoelstra has the most coaching player artillery league wide– armed with the still peaking James, the ever improving Bosh, and in his prime Wade– the following potency computation is relayed. LeBron James at worse is equivalent to 3.5 positional roster players in effectiveness, Wade at worse is analogous to 3 competent roster players, and Bosh strongly appraises at 1.5 sufficient NBA roster players. Cumulatively LBJ, Flash, and Bosh can inventory 8 qualitative roster player allowing Spoelstra an infinite array of play style Heat attacks. Mike Miller, Eddie House, Juwan Howard, Udonis Haslem, and Jamaal Magliore are all dual position players. Miami also have specific specialist such as James Jones further supported by position specific players such as guard Carlos Arroyo, savvy center Zydrunas Ilgauskas, field goal rejecter Joel Anthony, and guard Mario Chalmers. Spoelstra virtual in real time knowledge of basketball X’s and O’s will be on display and by judging with the covert schemes Miami has shown in preseason his philosophy seems appropriateâ€”which is without opposition let up– full court three quarter court and full court. Defensively James, Bosh, and Wade will disrupt deactivate any offense with their athleticism and sophisticated neural anticipation software. Spoelstra has stealthily not played all 3 players together offering no review for opponent’s to dissect. The Heat’s team basketball IQ and competitive passion/spirit not withstanding that Wade, Bosh, and James on the lonesome can carry a franchise for weeks –when all three plays with focused zeal on court cumulatively there is no zone, man to man defense, which could hinder Spoelstra’s never ending wave up tempo attack. Matchups rule the NBA way and the Heat readiness of shooters, penetrators, hustle guys, tough guys and the games best utility man Udonis Haslem sets them above the Eastern competition. The NBA is entering a “what have you done for me lately “threshold therefore until proven otherwise –the Heat with their extraordinary balance of lineup personnel–are the team to topple on the NBA east side.
- Boston Celtics: Celtics head coach one of the league’s primo Glen “Doc” Rivers elucidated after his green machine team fell short in the NBA finals that his shamrocks ‘showed its age”. So what did Doc and GM Danny Ainge do this past free agency summer? Danny kept his “ainge-ent” racket roster rebuilding resignation by resigning 15 year adept (shooter supreme) the 35 yr old Ray Allen, 13 year battle-scarred 33 year old (the non duplicitous) Paul Pierce;– to hoop on with 16 year Association hardened (number 5 in your Celtics media guide) the 34 year old Kevin Garnett. To keep the antediluvian blarney stone rolling Doc and Danny endorsed two O’Neal’s for Beantown’s Irish sports pub’s viewing pleasure– the 39 year old not born yesterday Shaquille, and 15 year warhorse 32 year old spry Jermaine. The aforementioned signings help Boston desperately reap the size and space eating post acumen they have thoroughly lacked under Rivers regal regime. To keep rolling with the letter R Rajon Rondo established himself as one of the games elite players with his 4th dimensional mastery regarding read react recognition reconnaissance recognizance readiness. Rondo was a typhoon force for the Celts’ in Boston’s push for another banner last season which was epic in having the Celtics faithful roll their Rondo R’s like a cyclone (rruh…rruh…rruh…rruh…rruh). Boston as has been mentioned has that S.T.P. (something to prove) factorâ€”that Uno last year’s Eastern Conference championship was not a flukeâ€”and Dos that experience/expertise in plenitude is the qualitative championship quotient that can not be quickened or questionably quantified.
- Orlando Magic: Inside the Orlando Magic training camp the internalized words amongst Magic players is vented towards the heat of the competition; and that directed disdain is projected towards one team specifically– the Miami Heat. Though Miami possesses the state’s only NBA championship hardware, the twice runner up and two time former Eastern Conference champs Orlando– have impassive empathy for South Beach’s NBA charter– which is astonishing since Hollywood’s two time defending vanquishers have collected a Lawrence O’Brien trophy courtesy of the Magic. The Magicians are built around super specimen Dwight Howard who spent the offseason trying to de-robot and fluidize his “krypton” cryptic scripted offensive repertoire. Howard who is the league’s best middle man and has statistically stacked consecutive years of earning the Association’s top rebounder top block shot manifesto. Howard locked his game day brain in a hoops dungeon this summer reintroducing finesse into his mental database– with the design to augment Howard’s one way ticket rim wrecking applied force power game. Orlando sideline dean Stan Van Gundy whose timeout verbal delivery can screech like fingernails scraped along a blackboard– is in a contentious season that has his insidious inflective verbal rants receiving more attention than his meant message for success. The Magicians seeking a return breakthrough as Houdini of the East have to have the following; forward Rashard Lewis has to return to All S tar calibration and pound the defensive fiberglass, Jameer Nelson has to have his beat interval as a pro, and half man half amazing Vince Carter is on the bubble and is without option for a full season of full man full amazing to actualize Conference accolades for Orlando’s Magic hoop Kingdom.
- Milwaukee Bucks: Christmas arrived early and late for the yuletide holiday hued uniformed Kris Kringle crisp (antlers are back) the Bucks stop here. The doe boys doted on a breakthrough 46 win season ensued by a rousing 7 game playoff series that fell short of progression opposing the Atlanta Hawks. Milwaukee bucked the ATL without no longer bogus heretofore bonafide bonus big Aussie Andrew Bogut. Bogut laid foundation as an authoritative 5 position post play act–and will keep the ball rolling–under skillful Scott Skiles the lead Buck. Second year super deer Brandon Jennings who scored a double nickel (55 points) his rookie season; is the turbo pump that provides constant free energy for Jennings Wisconsin will o wisp teammates– skyrocketing towards top flight status in the NBA East. Milwaukee significantly improved with the free agent signing of John Salmons and oft traveled power forward Drew Gooden. Bucks directorate also traded for swing man Corey Maggette who is envisaged to rain/lane down quick buckets netting celebratory confetti. The Buckaroo Banzai’s are alive for the 2010-2011 wireless hoop Wi-Fi eventuating in a season of game concluding– palm thumping high fives.
- Chicago Bulls: Chicago has been the epicenter for the word change– prominently heralded by Chicagoan and free world leader President Barack H. Obama. The Windy City’s NBA Bulls once the bastion of worldwide hoop lore has changed a chockfull after their 41 win season (.500 winning percentile) and subsequent first round playoff extermination less than 12 months ago. ChiTown has a just out (first time NBA head coach) an established NBA defensive technical expert Tom Thibodeau. Thibodeau heralds a spick and span Bulls head count crucial to platform NBA All Star Derrick Rose and bottom basket safeguard Joakim Noah. Thibodeau couriers the roll call makeover with the personnel additions of brawny bruiser Carlos Boozer, three point candy corn specialist Kyle Korver, high hoppin’ Ronnie Brewer, money may C.J. Watson, and licensed NBA workman Kurt Thomas. Thibodeau known for his defensive stratagem peccadilloes; still longs to treasure trove the appropriate offensive schematic that analogues Rose’s solid gold point guard largesse– and empowers Luol Deng favorable circumstances to get an equitable proportion of love-a-Bulls field goal attempts. Enter Boozer the truest low post offensive menace to don Bulls red and black sinceâ€”Bill Cartwright. In closing, Tom Thibodeau has a full house of dibs to construct the Bulls into triumphant troupe but to remain 100% Thibodeau’s success is predicated on Derrick Rose no offense family — you already know..
- Atlanta Hawks: Larry Drew the freshly minted Hawks lead bench suit will ascertain on opening night that the celebration at Phillips Arena is not for his personal birthday ; even though Atlanta’s first year head coach name is stamped calligraphy style–on the party cake for all gathered to imbibe/review. Drew slides one bench seat to his left or right (depending on the venue) to not only win 50 plus contests but to headway the Hawks sagaciously into the playoffs without being swept. Atlanta command broke off All Star Joe Johnson some considerable cake in feeding J.J. green icing reserved for the Kid Dynamite elite of the NBA. Joe Johnson is ATL’s lead chef and has to now be the “caked up” superstar for the ATL to proactively premiÃ¨re productively this upcoming 82 game ledger– or proffer in the NBA ‘cred” registry as crumb cake. As the season draws near the Hawks fan flock will eagle eye if Drew’s dramatics drawing dribble drives game winning diagrams results in mass appeal for Georgia’s bird of prey fan base.
- Cleveland Cavaliers:. The State of Ohio witnessed the decision and the close of an era. No need to embellish the past since the Cavaliers have one of the Central Division’s better rosters despite losing Delonte West, head coach Mike Brown, GM Danny Ferry, and Shaq diesel…did I forget anyone ?. Byron Scott returns to the bench and although his initials are BS his coaching style earns playoff trips. The Cavaliers have new uniforms maintaining the wine color for road trips as despondent Cav’s fans will drink to that– and enter the season ogling a roster without any player donning/mimicking–number 23. Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert who lost ownership investors from China’s mainland vowed that his team will get a ring before one of the Florida teams. NBA players league wide have axed off any free agent visit to Cleveland based on the wordings of Gilbert’s summer poetry. Somewhere former head coach Mike Brown the Cavaliers most successful coach is mirroring his Rhett Butler “Gone with the Wind” impersonation, “frankly my dear”…….
- Washington Wizards: Time has been most forgiving for Wizards head honcho Flip Saunders. In Flip’s quiet time last winter Saunders while imbibing on a holistic flambÃ©– fleeced his basketball neurochemistry in a flailing fleeting flaccid flawless whirl to gee whiz his Wiz ‘ winning flat line. Flip’s floppy flub of a flagitious season flamed out after somersaulting 25 different starting lineups bereft of once District of Columbia stalwarts– Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, Brendan Haywood, and Deshawn Stevenson who all were nowhere near Flip’s flagrantly fleeced bench at season’s end. Going into the current campaign the NBA’s Washingtonians have a new Wall to scale for a better future in the presence of overall number one pick mach speed ace aerialist John Wall. Wall split seconds a minimum of 50 points to Saunders’s coaching intelligent quotient (IQ) while J-Dub networks prowess of raw organic talents/ upper echelon instincts/ in partnership with youthful center and physical dynamo JaVale McGee– whose basketball cerebral coordinates are combining and cohabiting with his physiology that will potentially ignite an unconquerable center centerpiece– for the Wizards now and onward. Washington D.C.’s NBA designate has an open portal to the 8th place Eastern Conference locality. Mid Atlantic States b-ball fans are optimistic that Wizard returnees Nick Young, Josh Howard, Andray Blatche, and bulletin board Gilbert Arenas will benefit from the bounce of Wall ball as Flip’s floats the gondola to a flourishing flowing surprise team prize on the rise.
- New Jersey Nets: 12 wins and 70 losses is how the New Jersey Nets closed out their last NBA playing gig at the murky Meadowlands. Avery Johnson returns to the NBA sidelines where Johnson signs in with the NBA’s all time winning coaching percentile in jeopardy–as he reigns over the new look Newark home game bound Nets. Unlike Johnson, NJ owner Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov will not have the Nets winning percentage associated to his individual chronicle after all; Prokhorov provides an indigenous global presence to all scheduled NBA Governors/Owner gatherings. Prokhorov is adamant his recent investment will be an NBA champ sooner than later -whereas the Nets summer 2010 free agency objectives were steamrolled side by side the former Brendan Byrne arena. Johnson and Nets General Manager Billy King have some competent coachable cornerstones starting with center Brook Lopez and former All Star guard Devin Harris who played for the “little General” in Dallas. Lottery pick forward Derrick Favors is pumping winning playmaking blood to the Nets toxic lymphatic system. King’s acquisition of Lakers back up guard Jordan Farmar, ex-Warriors perimeter marksman forward Anthony Morrow, ex Pacer power forward (New Jersey native) Troy Murphy, and lengthy leak out 3 man Travis Outlaw should have NJ in lower seed playoff contention.
- Philadelphia 76ers; Words of wisdom to the 76ers marketing departmentâ€”World Game Gold medalist Andre Iguodala is the face of the franchise. Doug Collins is grooving to the “welcome back Collins” musical melody yet Coach Collins will not decide one game with a free throw or wide open layup. Collins who returns to the sideline as a lifetime hoopologist has struggled to translates his TV analytical demeanor to coaching .The 82 game season grates on Collins and in past coaching assignments Collins facial contortions over an NBA season relay the inner turmoil the intense Collins has difficulty turning down. Collins incredible caring for coaching/motivating success trades off in his track record for developing young players. Iguodala’s hoop DNA that operates in hyperspace will greatly benefit from Doug Collins experience– ditto for youngsters point guard Jrue Holiday and 2010 overall second pick Buckeye Evan Turner. Collins will not have much respite as the Philly faithful want the aroma of playoff basketball to return retentively like the wafting fragrance of Geno’s cheese steaks. Collins needs to find the fire starter for gregarious power forward Elton Brand and integrate Spencer Hawes as a back to the basketball big not the designated three point shooter. Gritty forward acquisition Argentinean Andres Nocioni affords the Sixers a battler (Collins loves true grit) and dual position guard Lou Williams is also a Collins styled competitor. Philly has a chance to improve if they can activate Iguodala to upper echelon consistency.
- Charlotte Bobcats: EA Sports NBA 2k11 video game has the GOAT (greatest of all time) Michael Jordan uploaded at his prime playing powers peak calling out the competitors from the NBA new and old school. Round ball extraordinaire MJ recently chimed that under contemporary NBA rules (not to mention all the protective body wear) he would score 100 points in the present day NBA. Jordan in his mind is perpetually the hardwood halcyon hoop hero as evidenced at his Hall of Fame speech. Michael Jordan though he stood on the dais in Springfield as Charlotte’s majority owner spoke in present tense when describing himself as a player that just crushes a lot– at his induction ceremony. Bob’s Cats are no longer BET founder Bob Johnson’s play toy who via comrade owner Michael Jordan relinquished his ownership fantasy to live out his days with his Viacom payoff. The Cats’ fresh off a first round playoff arrival (only to be swept by Dwight Howard’s Magic) have lost momentum–moving on without exiting post players Tyson Chandler and Theo Ratliff. Chandler and Ratliff were Charlotte’s backside help–back-boning the defensive Bobbie’s backboard back line. Charlotte presumes to supplant Tyson and Theo with Eduardo Najera and Erick Dampier (stop giggling). Ray Felton who was barbequed by Jameer Nelson in the foregoing Magic playoff series– headed north to the Big Apple– as New York birth placed Brown and Jordan scoffed at video of Felton’s playoff ruination. Brown’s “play the right way” philosophy will have to work astonishment to outshine last year’s conquest totals. Fortunately for Tarheels Brown and Jordan; kamikaze forward Gerald Wallace and no nonsense wingman Stephen Jackson will relish their rugged roles as spoilers mucking up the standings in the NBA East.
- New York Knickerbockers: The Knickerbockers go into the 2010-11 NBA campaign without their ace player from a year ago David Lee. Nine consecutive losing seasons and six straight without a playoff appearance has the Knicks faithful hungering that recently conjoined Knickerbockers All Star center Amare Stoudemire, point guard Raymond Felton, and swingman Kelenna Azubuike will not be just another Donnie Walsh orange and blue clad experimentation of now -”let’s increase our cap space”. The Knicks roster is built like an expansion team as all current effectiveness relies on Coach Mike D’Antoni. D’Antoni has not come close to the success he had in Phoenix and is desperate that Stoudemire who played for D’Antoni in Arizona brings that old seven second Suns magic. Stoudemire scoring play style beseeches help from the wings and lead guard to get his offensive game grooving. Stoudemire’s ex-teammate in Phoenix Steve Nash remitted Amare with assist amore strengthening Stoudemire’s statistical output galore. Stoudemire has to rebound at a seasonal double digit clip for New York to negate the Knicks from reaching a decade of suffer loss systems. Stoudemire will be challenged physically nightly in the body banging ways of the NBA East. Danilo Gallinari is required to step up his efforts and the Knicks team wide need to reduce all the selfish three point hoisting (bailout offense) half-court brick laying. Knick fans enter the new hoop span with a competitive/substantive12 man crew on paper…can D’Antoni pull off the playoff caper?
- Indiana Pacers: Indiana Pacers fans are assured the team will win 30 to 35 contests and check out Indy All Star forward Danny Granger average 25 plus points. The Indianapolis NBA fan base will admire the lightning reflexes of newly acquired lead guard Darren Collision and as equally will view Collison tussle to tally assists when the rock isn’t earmarked to World Gamer Granger. Pacers coach Jim O’Brien will preach to Pacers fans that “help is on the way” and yearn not to gulp his uttered kool-aid. Indiana bred Larry Bird will privately wonder what he did to receive this stagnant stance station in the front office and kickoff scouting for the Pacers 2011-2012 lottery pick before mid year. Pacer fans will continue to wonder aloud why Indiana a State so basketball crazed has such a mish mash NBA yield. On the proverbial upside the Pacers have one of the league’s optimum performers embodied by Granger– who will continue to ascend grounded on knowledge/exposure reaped as a component of the gold medal USA World Games squad. Collison grasped robust understudy tutelage studying under Hornets All NBAer Chris Paul appearing as the Pacers most fitting floor luminary since Mark Jackson. Collison, Granger, and rock steady Roy Hibbert is clearly not an upper tier league triumvirateâ€”nonetheless it’s a troika treading the Pacers patient path to winning 30 to 35 games.
- Detroit Pistons: Decline and the City of Detroit are synonymous as peanut butter and jelly. The Pistons won 59 games in 2008 and have cascaded in the prosperity column akin to their automotive corporate neighbors. The once proud Motor City baller’s plunged to 20 less victories in 2009 and closed out twenty 10 with a 27 and 55 record…ouch. The Pistons access this upcoming season with no roster player or team component (offensively/defensively/ intangibly) causing rival NBA wide coach game plan apprehension. The Pistons are a hodgepodge of players that individually have unique talents but collectively resemble an automobile composed of various body parts causing all viewing spectators to ponder, “What model of NBA team (hoopty) is that? The answer: Detroit Pistons- Baaaaa-Sket-baaaaaallll! John Kuester the Piston’s sophomore lead driver still shacks up heyday Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince and guard Richard “Rip” Hamilton yet, Kuester’s half court concepts his freshman year– resembled a pre-assembly line automotive relic (the Desoto) of NBA winter’s passed. Motown front office mogul Hall of Famer Joe Dumars who 82 games ago opened Detroit’s budget to big bank free agent’s guard Ben Gordon and frontline frontiersman Charlie Villanueva; stated injuries to both Joe D’s signees derailed the Pistons road to the playoffs. Dumars declaration is Kuester’s reminder to offset further failing hoop terms. Typically NBA teams resembling the Pistons stumbling under a first time head coach oft times seek upgraded body parts. This past off season Dumars utilized the Pistons lottery selection drafting ripening forward Greg Monroe and rolled the Detroit alley way dice by signing oft injured swingman Tracy McGrady. The Pistons allying their home city Detroit will slump some more before Detroit professional basketball recuperates.
- Toronto Raptors: Keeping things frank like Sinatra the Canadian Mounties red robed Raptors dismount at this year’s NBA opening bash Bosh-less. The free agent “summer wind” has helped blown in to Toronto GM Bryan Colangelo’s twelve the NBA East slot #15. From here to eternity Colangelo’s free agent signing 2 summers ago of –Hedo Turkoglu and arguably the Raptors organization eminent player Chris Boshâ€”fully cost Colangelo hefty chunks of decision making peace of mind. Colangelo who swaggered into the league’s only Canadian outpost envisioned Toronto as an international city that he would galvanize into a blossoming Euro-league playing style NBA battalion. BC’s hopes of modernizing his ideology regardless of the truth that the best global basket is still rooted in the USA was worthy of the dream at nap time. Colangelo’s visceral vision has not only burned and crashed it has crashed and burned. Raptors coach Jay Triano still has three point shooting big Andrea Bargnani, Brazilian speedster Leandro Barbosa, and wing leaper DeMar DeRozan. Sonny Weems, Jarret Jack, and Reggie Evans should keep things interesting for the Raptors strangers in the night. Colangelo and Triano doubtlessly know that the way the Raptors look on opening night was executed by Colangelo’s “Sinatra-esque” mannered… my way.
Next week: The Western Conference.