By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
A BASN Exclusive: Part Two
In alignment with the current Planetary edict that the “last shall be first” the following 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!
The Western Conference
1.. Los Angeles Lakers: The Los Angeles Lakers– the universal favorite to win a third succession NBA winner take all– will find it galling for a 2010-2011 Finals actualization. From east to West several challengers have closed distance with the champs. Los Angeles enters ultimate defense with center Andrew Bynum shelved due to injury; notably jolting their perceived length/height/ interior inhabitance dominance. Kobe Bryant the league’s best player from tipoff to buzzer beater had arthroscopic knee surgery and has been gimpy not limply in preseason basketball. Bryant whose mental toughness can obscure injuries and remain in the moment like Bruce Lee can’t fast forward the surgical healing/strengthening process. Kobe who dominated the playoffs with a broken index shooting finger cancelled summertime finger surgery on account of convalescence time jeopardizing weeks of playing minutes at new season outset. Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak copped a South Beach gust of former coach Pat Riley tendering free agent summer contract offers and decided to get busy. Kupchak after receiving word guard Derek Fisher shared shrimp cocktails and key lime pie with Riley in Miami upped his Lakers proposition homecoming the point guard glue opposite Bryant. Kupchak also corralled all purpose Matt Barnes, drive thwarter Theo Ratliff, and Steve Blake to reinforce the Lakers triangle set. Lamar Odom, Ron Artest, and Pau Gasol is still the West’s best NBA forward line but they all elevate production parallel to Bynum. Eleven championship rings as an NBA head coach Phil Jacksonâ€”circle backs to the sidelines to admonish all Lakers haters as he chases a dozen rings. Jackson who appeared ready to retire his bench high chair could not resist silencing the fast guns looking to gun down his hierarchy– and could not resist putting down the resistance. Jackson who has been played down as the Zen Master is the ultimate all time NBA intellectual when it comes to managing team ego, all time great NBA players (Jordan, Pippen, Shaq, Kobe) idiosyncratic talents (Rodman, Artest), internationals (Kukoc, Vujacic, Gasol) 82 game schedules, and major Metropolis media (Chicago, Los Angeles). Jackson’s playoff workmanship not limited to strategy and referee whistles have fronted seated his active coaching participation in 13 NBA Finals. Jackson craves number 12 more than any other and has to bring all his cleverness and savoir-faire to make it so. The LA three-peat will not be a Hollywood walk of fame cakewalk and Jackson knows that better than anyone walking an NBA sideline.
2. Dallas Mavericks: Mark Cuban the Mavericks meddling magnate seeks clearance to escape Western conference playoff interference. Cuban has spent the cents for 500 hundred plus wins over a dime span– yet Cuban’s competitive common sense resents attainment of no NBA championships. Cuban can be described as someone who says, ” I take my time and I will not let time take me, I make the money the money does not make me…out with the old in with the new this championship drought is what we(professional sports franchisees) all go through”. To smooth out the Mavs’ second season trouble Cuban has stockpiled Dallas depth in double. Former 6th man of the year Jason Terry and ex league MVP Dirk Nowitzki are the only Dallas deuce remaining that loss the L.O.B. trophy to Miami. The playoff plunges have been linked to a Texas sized choke up so the Mavs’ need a team check up from the neck up before the next post season wreck up. Jason “Stick-up” Kidd was brought in to be the energizer/stabilizer/ neutralizer and NBA champion know how equalizer. Kidd has been Kidd (no kidding) maxing and relaxing while assist stacking –though golden trophy slacking/lacking (stop cackling). Forward Caron Butler, center Brendan Haywood, and Shawn Marion need to ball like a final contract year to overture championship champagne cheer. Tyson Chandler was brought in to “Iron Mike” the middle as a post defense man-handler. Coach Rick Carlisle is out of denial as anything less than a championship appearance– will plunk his Dallas survival on the faint pulse of not being resuscitated to revival.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder: Twenty one year old basketball prodigy Kevin Durant upon culmination of an NBA season in which he vied all 82 games; quietly inked his 5 year 85 million contract continuation without any ballooned billboard ballyhoo. Durant after torching the NBA for a league leading 30 points per game remains in the Oklahoma City the novel now NBA neighborhood without wondering will he get major mainstream media exposure. How refreshing. Gold medalist Durant the global number one stunner at the FIBA World also had intern duties before his US basketball service. Durant interned as a coaching aide for the Thunder’s summer league team in Orlando; and stumped for the Thunder as the face of the franchise while attending the NBA Draft in New York City. No Kevin Durant is not a round-ball nerd he just realizes the only competition he has is with him. The Thunder is a spunky inventive contingent with lofty aspirations pioneering into 2010-2011. Scott Brooks the bounce back NBA Coach of the Year has guard Russell Westbrook to execute his basketball brainstorms in a manner beyond the bounds of Brooks floor plans. Westbrook who merged with Durant for a Turkish summer of gold medals is the prototype urbane lead guard that chumps opponents like a runaway loose cannon. Westbrook is in the discussion as an uppermost NBA floor manager as he and Durant are in your grill “ball-aholics”. Thunder forward Jeff Green, defensive lockup jailer Thabo Sefolosha are the other young guns in the Oklahoma City holster looking for NBA crowning achievement now– not in the Spalding in the sky hereafter. International’s Serge Ibaka and center Nenad Krstic round out an OKC posse anxious to round up the best the NBA can saddle up. Top banana Brooks must deftly pull the strings when to turn loose his eager to blowout up to the mark cavalry– and when to reign in the pizzazz to triumph with class.
4. Houston Rockets: The Houston Rockets have been cloaked by NBA headlines garnered to other tile aspirants to sly Commander Rick Adelman’s “close to the vest” delight. In order to de-mystify the Rockets hoop science enigma the following analysis is conveyed. Houston slips into the NBA crusade with one of the league’s bountiful balanced bunch. Houston’s starting back court of rocket fuel propelled Kevin Martin and jet pack accelerator Aaron Brooks; is 4 of the topmost fleet tandem feet in open hardwood space. Hoopster’s Martin and Brooks matching their team moniker– is equally complimentary/conscientiously bucket minded rack up weaponry. Defensive warning system monitor Shane Battier and global best of the World Games scoring scholar Luis Scola– pairs two basketball opposites that are as stout as their opposite’s greatest weakness. Usher in the return of China’s magnanimous basketball export 7-6 Yao Ming warranting Adelman’s core five– as deluxe as any hoop group worldwide. The Rockets’ reserve forward line of never phased Chuck Hayes, ex lottery pick sophomore Jordan Hill, Knick refugee Jared Jeffries, and budding Chase Budinger are projected starters for bottom rung NBA squads. Quintessentially qualitative backup point guard Kyle Lowry– was pursued by many a league team the summer of 2010; due part to Lowry’s discipline on maintaining salubrious on floor dictates in synchronicity with the whims of the game flow. Further declassifying Houston’s team builds; GM Rocket scientist Daryl Morey acquired the experiences of been around center Brad Miller– and open court demolition wing bomber– Courtney Lee. Commander Adelman has his best human resources since he guided the Portland Trailblazers (Western Conference titlists) of the early nineties—with Ming recoiled and the supplementary ball of fire Rockets — 29 NBA teams may have burning problems in Houston.
5. Utah Jazz: Utah’s keen basketball front office keeps their ear to the NBA Street while rocking rival front offices to sleep. Ex Jazz horn player Carlos Boozer takes the money grab in Chicago so the Jazz conducting orchestra trades for on beat saxophonist center Al Jefferson. Kyle Korver who set an NBA record shooting 54% from behind the arc gigs on in ChiTown– therefore the Jazz brass section autographs Raja Bell to man Korver’s drum set. Paul Millsap auditions for Boozer and keeps composer Jerry Sloans’s pick and roll harmonized– strumming the double bass. Smooth pianist C.J. Miles is ready to harmonize the shooting guard position while lead vocalist Deron Williams remains the Jazz headliner. Xylophonist AKA AK-47 Andrei Kirilenko returns full time to time keep tunesmith Sloan’s winning musical compositions and bestow defensive reflexes when musically scaling the passing lanes. Backup vocalist Ronnie Price Louie arm strong’s the backup musicians and “scats” the fast break. Butler rookie Gordon Hayward plays several gizmos pressure free and is instrumentally tooled to play rotate roles for melodist Sloan. All in all the Jazz will be recommended for regular season and playoff symphonious honors.
6. San Antonio Spurs: In every profession there exists an example of stability that no matter the economic or sociological dynamism ; one business organization collectively remains highly productive without their success graph zig- zagging like an old school fan waveâ€”whirling around at defunct minor league sporting events. The San Antonio Spurs are the NBA’s version of the formidable fulfillment firm facsimile– that enters the hoop occasion with a knuckle down disposition– assertively attempting to win every banner up for challenges. San Antonio has the usual suspects center/forward Tim Duncan (who eradicated excess body weight to stay nimble for full time effectiveness), valorous slasher Manu Ginobili (the flexible contortionist of unorthodoxy), and Tony Parker (coming off the bench ?) the NBA’s greatest displayer of efficient touch mastery– releasing off the dribble floaters and runners from any painted angle. Guard George Hill was second only to Duncan in minutes played, transition artisan Richard Jefferson; and sophomore b-ball goon DeJaun Blair are mired/ integrated in Greg Popovich’s winning basketball infomercial. Venerable forward 6-10 Antonio McDyess (played in 77 of 82) and Brazilian international star 6-11 Tiago Splitter are heavyweights eager to confront Western Conference front runners. Popovich has the NBA 82 game ledger figured out and will be posturing the Spurs for silver and black attack at LA’s Jack (son).
7. Denver Nuggets: 65 million dollars for three years is Denver’s ownership contract offer that Nugget number 15 has elected not to endorse. The best pure scoring three slots (small forward) league wide has allowed that tendered contract to dwell in perpetuity of inactivity– upon the eccentricity of Carmelo Anthony. Plain and simple Anthony would like a new basketball address and control of his future zip code. Anthony’s signature would allow Denver to trade ‘Melo without clearance. To compare the gifted Anthony to a recording artist Denver upon contract ratification can barter Anthony’s talents to a whack recording Production Company reducing his career to climbing the charts as a scoring leader not an industry champion. Carmelo no longer has a Rocky Mountain high after glimpsing the frenzied free agency free for all this prior summer. Anthony’s NBA elitism receives no blame as a prima donna seeking a summer class of sipping lemonade; to collect his “LBJ like” pursuers kissing his glass. Unfortunately for Carmelo NBA summer 2011 will be about contraction and the L-O-C-K-O-U-T. Crossing over with the speed dribble much congratulatory kudos to Nuggets ringleader George Karl whose public battle with cancer and subsequent return to custodian Denver are equally gallant/ inspirational. No Nugget player can honestly look Coach Karl in the grille and seek empathy for being unable to perform based on baby mama drama or hangnails. Courtside wise the Nuggets have leadership in infinity with Denver icon Chauncey Billups (Mr. Big Shot) whose floor game is still nice. Nugget newcomer forward Al Harrington and J.R. “Swish” Smith provide affluent half court firepower. Denver’s frontline remains undersized and injuries to Kenyon Martin, Chris “Birdman” Andersen and NeNe Hilario have not been hilarious for healthy hoop honors. Denver no longer leads the league in player tattoos and above sea level venue measurements…the Nuggets rate City mile high in strength of character when overcoming life challenging situations.
8. Memphis Grizzlies: Memphis, Tennessee once housed a soul music factory — Stax records known as Soulsville. Otis Redding, Luther Ingram, Johnnie Taylor, Rufus Thomas, the Barkays, Isaac Hayes, Staples Singers and Sam and Dave were soul power funk masters that kept undiluted soul music on black ice. The Grizzlies are starting to embody the funky baselines entrenched in the cracks of Memphis city streets. Lionel Hollins is coaching like “Shaft” the man who would risk his neck for his brother man (fellow Grizz’). Hollins has Memphis “sitting on the dock of the bay” of the Western Conference playoffs imploring the Grizzlies faithful “I’ll take you there’. Rudy Gay is the ‘soul fingers” offensive weapon eager to “walk the dog” of Grizzlies failures. Power forward Zach Randolph super conducted a “funky chicken” of a season as many confronting post forwards after being clowned by Z Bo for four quarters notified Zach, “I’m your puppet”. Shooting guard OJ Mayo’s whose picture perfect jump shot form constantly reminds shooting fundamentalists, “If loving you (OJ’s jumper technique) is wrong I don’t want to be right”. Starting center Marc Gasol has finally stepped up to perform like an NBA “Mr. Big Stuff” effectuating positive results for the seemingly FedEx Grizzlies overnight. Memphis urges point guard Mike Conley to be “hyperbolic-syllabic-sesque-dalymistic” for 82 games of plus .550 % hoops and playoff consummation.
9. Phoenix Suns: The Southwest’s Valley of the Sun pro hoop squad balls into the forthcoming NBA season dangerous as a scorpion plus the modus operandi of a shrimp. Phoenix will resemble a golden sand desert version of bay bound Nellie-Ball without the loser’s fog. The Suns score at all cost logical process reflects their non-existent post office/offense attack and matador style defensive barricade. Coach Alvin Gentry coming off a season where his quick hitting go getter’s won an NBA 3rd best in the west 54 games; works without his prized student (off to NYC) Amare Stoudemire–and has limited option but to rely weightily on a perimeter wing style field goal barrage– signified on outscoring/out scrapping the opposition. Gentry has a clever lane clog in rangy Robin Lopez yet Lopez; will be in continuous foul jeopardy due to a flurry of unimpeded get to the rack dribble drivers beginning at –straightaway, baseline, and wing floor gap tracts. Perennial all star Steve Nash clocking in off a swell 2009-2010 Sun run spell– will approach difficulty in duplicating his aforementioned exploits with the Suns current court collection. In somewhat promising news Gentry received a puzzle clue in forward (native of Turkey) Hedo Turkoglu. Turk Turkoglu was wangled to turnkey Gentry’s offense since Hedo will do him meaning ‘he does little defense”. Arizona who’s profiling laws does not document the pro bono of the Sun’s up-tempo– will have America West Arena fans– finding Phoenix defensive stands; alien and without prejudice to every NBA assailant.
10. Portland Trailblazers: The encore for Portland drill instructor Nate “Sarge” McMillan’s Trailblazer’s after prevailing 50 games in 2009-2010 and having 311 contests combined missed by Portland Players– is to dig the applause for noble coaching excellence– heading into a new season fraught with uncertainty. Second time Trailblazer’s the defensively dauntless Marcus Camby and cagey cager Andre Miller blazed a trail of leadership as disciplined NBA masterminds for Sarge’s depleted troops. Yet the NBA is a fresh leg combat zone; and recovering knee surgery recipients center Greg Oden, backup five Joel Przyzbilla, and All Star 2 guard Brandon Roy must fully recover for the Blazers to win the NBA battle of Wounded Knee. Portland has enjoyed longtime locale love due to its exclusive access to the Northwest and the Oregon companionless seal as the lonesome professional sports franchise (though Nike HQ would disagree) — has shaken/undergone front office and sideline variance. Rich Cho is owner’s Paul Allen’s choice to replace once chosen one Kevin Pritchard. No truth to the rumor former GM KP was bounced for favoring ailing Oden over defending NBA scoring champ Kevin Durant several years ago. Longtime Sarge top assistant and trainee Monty Williams left to steward the New Orleans Hornets and Sarge not one to bicker– hired bench admiral adept –Bernie Bickerstaff to his staff. Portland has to fissure the cyclical overachieving injurious brand to surge the Western conference standings Brandon Roy willing.
11. Los Angeles Clippers: Red, white, and blue the Clippers apparel coloration has been one basketball nation under fraud. Loading up for the ’10-’11 season the Clipper fan base is eagerly anticipating home games featuring red, white, and Blake. Blake Griffin the Clip joint’s overall NBA draft # 1 boy wonder in 2009; is in the saddle for his Association motion picture dÃ©but after a knee injury (acquired after polishing off a rim dusting field goal) sidelined #32 all 82 . Leading man Blake hinged on preseason seasoned NBA critic’s reviews has the former Oklahoma Sooners starring as a devastating fast breaking trailer. Boy wonder Griffin is primed to have an outstanding season for Clipper conductor Vinnie Del Negro’s off-Hollywood basketball act in Los Angeles County. Griffin’s activation lining up with detonative combo guard Eric Gordon, return to uniform # 5 lead guard Baron Davis, and All Star center Chris Kaman is a admixture of a potent Western Conference ensemble. Baron Davis has rededicated himself to basketball excellence after returning home to Tinsel Town and finding himself caught up in his baronial film producing/directing post hoop objectives. Kaman and Griffin have the swagger and show biz gusto to be LA’s best strong forward center combo by scaling the purple and gold fortress Mount Bynum Gasol. Under the radar Clippers 1st year GM Neil Olshey has made some prudent/exemplary maneuvers with the contract rubber stamping of forward Ryan Gomes, ex lottery pick guard Randy Foye, and all time Clippers single season three pointers made record holder Rasual Butler. The red, white, and Blake’s Clipper club last appeared in the playoffs in 2006– with this upcoming season potentially lifting the second season hex.
12. New Orleans Hornets: New Orleans and its residents have proven they can tough out any adversity. The devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina reduced acres of habitable abodes for New Orleans citizenry and to date the population has not recovered to pre Katrina tallies. The voluminous BP oil spill in the waters adjacent to New Orleans (Gulf of Mexico) contaminated miles of fresh water and terminated untold aquatic life. Despite being one of the planet’s greatest seafood providers local fisheries absorbed a crippling cheap shot yet New Orleans soldiers on. It is in this setting that the Hornets basketball brass spin cycles positivity behind the NFL shield of the champion Saints. The Hornets are in a complex correct it (corexit) impasse as stars Chris Paul and forward David West seek co-exist clarity in the Hornets here and now direction. First year head coach Monty Williams regarded as a top assistant under Nate McMillan in Portland has a laid back external nature /observer coaching style not unusual for long time sideline bench help. Williams level of leadership passion is to spark up a franchise in steady decline (motivation, personnel, morale, etc.) since the New Orleans haunt banner year of ’08. Chris Paul had to be convinced by new GM Dell Demps and Williams that the Hornets –though weak on depth/size are compelling by their hire additions and the glory days will be restored like Mardi gras. On the real, Paul is locked in for this season but will be bailing out of the bayou at seasons end. New Orleans has no predictable definitive playing system since freshman coach Williams is not known for any exlcusive basketball philosophy culled by his yet to be displayed game adjustment methodology. As the entire world focuses on the best for the Gulf region and all its uniqueness the Hornets will offer locals a diversion as they struggle for league legitimacy. The upcoming Hornets highlight reel will be friendly to CP3, West, and Emeka Okafor unfortunately in a predominant losing Louisiana legacy.
13. Sacramento Kings: The Kings enter the season with gaping holes in their half court attack positions. Coach Paul Westphal is still seeking scoring consistency at the small forward and shooting guard slots. Westphal an offensive minded coach derived on his coaching yesteryears– has no athlete at the 2 or 3 position capable of providing 18 to 22 points a game when scrutinizing his rotation blueprint. Sacramento forges on with twenty 10 Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans and solid stock ubiquity in first timer DeMarcus Cousins. Evans and Cousins are the zenith scoring options for the Kings. Sac Town’s dependence on Evans/Cousins forecasts astronomical point tally bugaboos for Westphal; reducing mediocre success in the Wild West this fall. Evans is a penetrating open court scorer who needs vast improvement from the perimeter as NBA teams are boned up to obstruct his top of the key heavy handling the rock penetrations. Cousins a crafty rookie will have to be able to pass effectively out of double teams since rotating rivals will dispatch multiple defenders from an assortment of blind sides. Even more indigestible for Westphal is the Kings scarcity of dependable mid range and behind the arc shooters. Sacramento increased its post size by trading for Samuel Dalembert, drafting raw rook Hassan Whiteside, and the addition of lottery pick Cousins. Sacramento is indeed taller yet not quicker. Omri Casspi is a promising player whose high intensity game approach was short circuited due to superseding/hyperventilating the pace needed to endure a full 82 game slate. Casspi had several DNP’s (did not play) propped on fatigue and further faded meeting the demands/burdens/expectations of being Israel’s first natural citizen to sport NBA on floor regalia. The Kings offensive creativity aside– has won 10 games in 60 rumbles the last two seasons versus the NBA East. Sacramento has to improve against the eastside’s to avoid anther Eastern seating arrangement in Secaucus.
14. Minnesota Timberwolves: Wolves 2nd year helm holder Kurt Rambis has experienced firsthand the extremes of NBA hoops. At the end of the 2009 season Rambis was the lead assistant coach to Phil Jackson’s Lakers seeking visine for champagne drenched eyelids in Orlando as the Lakers commemorated another crown. Last hoops juncture Rambis ditched his Manhattan Beach lifestyle to start his frigid existence as the head coach of Minnesota’s basketball winter wonderland. Rambis must have felt Kevin McHale was still lurking in the Minny locker room as Rambis struggled for bench elbow room sitting next to (former bad boy) assistant coach Bill Laimbeer, and assistant coach Reggie Theus. The ideology of the T-Wolves game time reasoning’s struggled woefully as Rambis bench became a chilly igloo of 15 wins and 67 losses. Per Rambis last year’s platoon was thrown to the wolves and served up as a sacrificial lamb to the gluttonous carnivore called NBA rivals. GM David Kahn (pronounced like con) has herded up the toothless Wolves while craftily drafting Syracuse forward Wesley Johnson and not Ricky Rubio– again. Johnson has the look of a big time NBA performer as Kahn also acquired forward Martell Webster and Heat castoff Michael Beasley. Beasley is an intriguing player and for the first time in his brief basketball existence has substance to prove in the worse way. Corey Brewer and Kevin Love carry forward Kahn’s timber log jam at forward with space eating positive poster Al Jefferson traded away to Utah. Wolves point guard Jonny Flynn is a factor reducing the urgency to retrieve Rubio from Spain. Kahn feeling point guard nervous did a just in case by retrieving floor general reserves– Luke Ridnour and Sebastian Telfair. Rambis supposes this (2010-2011) is his first year of business -since Coach Kurt considers last year’s losing avalanche an anomaly. Unfortunately for Rambis his returning players have much to defrost while the newcomers snow bank Rambis second year unthawing.
15. Golden State Warriors: Don Nelson the NBA’s all time winning coach (win total wise) did not need much prodding when he relinquished his head coach duties and salted away the Nellie-ball playbook forevermore in Maui. Nelson who burnt many golden gate bridges on his bay getaway knew when to parachute out of Oaktown before the next quake shook the Warriors column. Nelson who missed an assortment of games himself a result of pneumonia had his final NBA coaching grind closeout 26-56. Nellie’s inconclusive hoop infirmary had a league high 503 combined player games missed due to injuries. The Warriors go into 2010-2011 without Anthony Morrow, Corey Maggette, Kelenna Azubuike, Ronny Turiaf, Anthony Randolph, Raja Bell, C.J. Watson, Anthony Tolliver, Nellie, and owner Chris Cohan. The Warriors have new ownership and not the highest bidder Larry Ellison CEO of computer software beast Oracle. Though the Warriors home venue is Oracle Arena Ellison will watch his failed biddy compete and compute basketball logarithms’ with Nellie’s replacement hopeful hoop smart chip Keith Smart. Golden State fans will drive to the Arena in Oakland and watch their Warriors San Francisco don upgraded uniforms with a SF bridge design centered in mesh. The locale confusion will not end their as the Warriors media guide for this season will be condensed with unfamiliarity and flavored expansion. Fortunately for season ticket holders Oracle heralds NBA All Rookie (World game gold medalist) Stephen Curry. Hoop artist Curry will delight by wielding his unique intelligentsia as it interconnects to his passing, ball handling, and shooting excellence. Curry optically is a fascinating sophisticated executioner of offensive applications. Monta Ellis had an all star year statistically but the West’s talent laden guard sets kept Monta from his all star day. David Lee arrives in Oakland as a freshly minted all star yet he Lee; has never been acquainted with a minimum of a 500 winning percentage in 5 NBA years. The Oracle faithful will continue to support off Barbary Coast NBA action that will enthrall the duo of Ellis/ Curry and laborer Lee– left handling a hard hat double double yet no Run TMC.