True Hoop Drew

I breakdown basketball constantly in my mind and occassionaly translate it into blog form

Tag: carmelo anthony

NBA All-Star starters announced

NBA.com

Last night on TNT the NBA All-Star starters were revealed as voted by the fans. Yao Ming, Vince Carter and Allen Iverson all somehow were not selected. Those days are over at least.

Dwight Howard was the overall leading vote-getter and Kobe Bryant received the second most votes. I don’t think anyone really has a problem with that but the fans do tend to make the wrong choices every year voting more based on popularity than worth.

This season in particular the starters have been voted on very early into the season because of the lockout and the All-Star game remaining at its original date.

Below I will take a look at each selection and weigh in on whether or not it was the right choice.
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Dwyane Wade returns in 99-89 win for Miami over New York

(Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Miami Heat got 10 dunks from LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in their win Friday night over the New York Knicks. The game was close for awhile due to good long range shooting by the Knicks who went 18-for-43 from three in the game.

The Heat pulled away in the end and looked at their best with LeBron and Wade working together and making highlights. LeBron had 31-7-8 in the game and Wade 28 points and five steals.

I wrote earlier this week how the Heat looked better overall with Wade out of the lineup and LeBron running the show. I still feel like that is true to some extent but when they both get going like they did Friday night it can be pretty impressive and demoralizing for an opponent.
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Who should be taking a shot with the game on the line

NBA fans love to argue about what player is the most clutch or who they would want taking the last shot in a game. It seems most would always say Kobe Bryant including other NBA players and GM’s.

It is amazing how everyone simply agrees with this when the numbers don’t entirely back Kobe up during crunch time. He is the most prolific at taking shots when the game is on the line. He is just not the most efficient in doing so.

For example, the Lakers over Kobe’s career tenure with them have had the most efficient offense in the NBA. The drop off in their efficiency once games enter crunch time is the greatest of any other team.

Chris Paul on the other hand, is by far the most efficient player once the game enters crunch time. And not only as an individual but his team has been the most efficient in the NBA during this time.

Henry Abbott goes into more detail about this.

Paul didn’t become the most efficient by taking fadeaway jump shots over two defenders but by always trying to run offense and find the open man in late-game situations.

But sometimes in the NBA you can’t always find an open shot and you have to take a bad shot. That’s why stats can’t definitely tell you who the most clutch player in the league is. Kobe’s skill and ability to get off a decent shot from anywhere on the court does have its value, it’s just not always the best decision.

Here’s my ranking of players I want taking a clutch shot in the NBA, based on the type of shot or scenario in the game.
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The future looks bright in Minnesota

No team has jumped up everyone’s “NBA League Pass Power Rankings” quite like the Minnesota Timberwolves this season. It was expected early in the season just because we’d finally get a chance to see rookie Ricky Rubio for the first time in his career but now the Timberwolves are turning into one of the most interesting teams in the league night in night out.

The Timberwolves dropped the Washington Wizards to 0-8 yesterday with 93-72 win led by rookies Rubio and Derrick Williams who each posted a +29, +/- number. Rubio led the way with his most assists yet, 14, five of which accounted for each of Williams’ field goals, four three-pointers and another sweet alley-oop dunk.

I’m leaving out Kevin Love from the equation who had another monster game with 20 points and 16 rebounds, now averaging 25.4 points and 15.0 rebounds on the year, find me someone else doing that.

The core of Rubio-Love-Williams has to be getting fans in Minnesota excited, I know I’m getting excited (writing about how they are the next great team after they beat Washington). With Rubio looking like the next Steve Nash and Williams starting to remind me of Shawn Marion, the Timberwolves may easily become the team I watch more than any other for the next 10 seasons.
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Part 2: Ranking the best players in the NBA by position

Now that I have explained all of the positions or types of players in the league that I respect, here are my rankings:

High post iso guy

Tier 1:If he’s you’re best player, it gives you the best chance to win a title

1. Dirk Nowitzki – see 2011 Playoffs.
2. Kevin Durant – if he tries to emulate Dirk from last year, and I think he is, he is the next in line for this type. He needs to do less running off screens (although deadly) and handling in pick and rolls and more of this.

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2011-2012 NBA Season Preview

Nothing compelled me to write more than the NBA Playoffs last season. And during the lockout and offseason, nothing interested me enough to write because nothing could compare to the NBA last season. I just wanted to get the lockout over and have a season. We’ll finally be getting that now Christmas Day and with the announcement that I will be receiving NBA League Pass as a Christmas gift, I feel the need to fire up this blog again. If ever a time then now, right?

I always wanted to do season preview articles and love thinking about this stuff so I’m going with predictions on win totals to start in the shortened 66-game season. I’ve done my research (listened to the NBA Today podcast and read Bill Simmons’ 12 Days of Christmas) and I’m ready to give it a shot.

Disclaimer: with the condensed season I expect a ton more injuries like last lockout. Also, there are some transactions that I’m sure will go down before the season starts still or right after it does. So in six months when everyone is Googleing me and reading this article, please don’t hate on me too much. Also I watched all of the NBA players’ lockout mixes on Hoopmixtape.com and will be weighing those tapes heavily when making these predictions.

Really, just pay attention to the order of teams and win totals to get the most out of this preview, what I write about each team is a lot of filler.

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Forecasting the next decade of the NBA

Before the Finals started I did a little research looking at the past NBA champions and runner-ups. I basically came to the conclusion that the Dallas Mavericks could not beat the Miami Heat this year. The Heat’s big three were all in their primes and Dallas was simply older than any other team that won the title.

The only thing I could see that could explain Dallas winning the series in a historical context was that Dirk Nowitzki really was one of the greatest 15 or 20 players to ever play in the league and despite being in his 12th season was still in his prime and thus a worthy star to single-handedly lead this team to a title.

Now the Mavericks did win this series with great “team” basketball, as everyone likes to say, but at the end of the day when people look back at the record books and the teams that won it all, this Dallas team will stand out and be remembered for having one unbelievable star player.

When I looked back at all of the NBA champions since 1980, it was never surprising who won and why they did. Everything made sense. At the end of the day, you needed to have one of ten different players to even have a chance: Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Moses Malone, Isiah Thomas, Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Tim Duncan, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant. And now Dirk is on that list. He and Moses are the only ones I put on that list who only won a single title. Dirk could have easily won two and Moses was a top 12 player of all-time and deserving. Read the rest of this entry »

My ‘Why LeBron isn’t winning titles’ theory

It’s been awhile since my last post. But I’m back for now just because the NBA playoffs are finally going to get interesting and I’m thinking of applying for some journalism jobs soon so I don’t want my blog to look dormant.

The most talked about subject the last few days in sports is LeBron and his early exit from the playoffs. I have a theory for this and I think it’s a good one. So here I go, I’m just jumping right into it.

LeBron is too good right now to win a title. Yes, this is a bad thing in the league today which is so talented and deep.

Right now, LeBron is far and away the best player in the league. It’s not even a question. Kobe is a little too old and Wade and Melo just aren’t on his level. LeBron won the MVP last year and had a pretty similar season this year and no one questioned him getting it again. Usually, voters look for improvement or just want a different face winning the award but not even a very deserving second-place season by Kevin Durant could sway the voters.

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NBA Dunk Contest: something needs to be done fast

I missed the dunk contest for the first time since I remember dunk contests but I guess I didn’t miss much. Everyone has a fix for All-Star Weekend and how to make the dunk contest more relevant so here’s three options I feel the NBA should entertain:

1. Star Power

This is a pretty obvious one but it is the most important. Nothing would be more entertaining than a LeBron-Wade showdown in the dunk contest final.

That’s a fact.

They would both be spectacular in the contest but it wouldn’t even really matter. With lesser-name guys it’s all about the dunk and how crazy it is and it’s originality.

That wouldn’t matter nearly as much if the stars competed in the contest. It would just be about which star had the better dunk. If LeBron brought back some dunks that Michael did in the 80’s, we would be fine with it. But when a guy like DeMar DeRozan does it, we’re pissed because we’ve seen it already.

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I’ll take Reggie over Ray; Carolla’s better uncensored

It’s always a good day when I get a call from Stanke. We went to Applebees with Koby, too. It was nice. It was a treat.

We watched the Heat-Celtics game. Boston won 107-102 behind 22 and 14 from Rondo and 23 points from Ray Allen who shut the door on the Heat with free throws late.

Allen was impressive from the line. There was just no chance he was going to miss. But I don’t get why everyone talks about how pretty his jumper is. He’s a great jump shooter but it’s not particularly pretty. It’s just a quick jump and quick release and he delivers a line drive ball that goes in quite a bit. J.J. Redick and Mike Miller have pretty jumpers, Ray’s is just better. When I look at him and then look at a player like Reggie Miller, the obvious comparison of the two, not even close.

Give me Reggie every time. Maybe I didn’t see enough of Ray Allen using the dribble in his days with Seattle and Boston but I think Reggie is a way more complete player. I know everyone used to talk about how underrated a finisher and dunker Ray was, but whatever. Allen’s career scoring average is a little higher than Reggie’s but he has averaged more minutes than Reggie and shot a lower percentage from the field while their three point percentage is nearly identical.

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