True Hoop Drew

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

Tag: derrick rose

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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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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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 »

Winning can’t be everything in the NBA

Is winning everything in the NBA? This question will be as relevant as ever if we have a Miami Heat-Dallas Mavericks NBA Finals matchup. In terms of winning and as it relates to success, two franchises could not be more opposite.

You have the city of Miami that has three championships since 1997, two for the Marlins and one for the Heat. Other than those three seasons where they won it all, both the Marlins and Heat have been pretty awful teams. They each have had their stars but overall, not a lot of success outside of three rings.

Then there’s the Mavericks who have no championships ever yet have won at least 50 games in 11 straight seasons and have come so close to hoisting a championship trophy, most notably when they lost to Miami in 2006.

What would you take as a sports fan? What would you take as an owner? It’s nice to win it all three times but it must also be nice to be able to go see a great product on the court for 11 straight years with the best owner in sports and one of the greatest players in NBA history right? Read the rest of this entry »

Coming to grips with the Heat being really good this year

The Miami Heat beat the Chicago Bulls Sunday night to take a 2-1 advantage in the Eastern Conference Finals and seem to be in prime position to win the title this year.

This is a hard thing for me to admit. Not really that they are probably going to win the title because I have thought all year that if I had to bet on one team to win it all, it would be them but I still would of bet on the field instead. It’s because they have plenty of weaknesses and holes in their team and such holes that you usually don’t find in championship teams. Combine that with the rooting against them all season because of the “LeBron Decision.”

Then my biggest problem with LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh coming together which was that they were doing it at the perfect time and so sudden that the league wouldn’t be ready for it and that’s what happened. Every other contender was either too old or too young and that means that the margin for error is far smaller. The Big Three for the Heat are all in their primes and can simply make up for less perfect basketball with overpowering talent and skill.

I care a ton about NBA history and the legacy of players. I felt like LeBron could be taking advantage of the time to get a ring without earning it as much because he joined Wade. Also not to mention that Wade could be getting a second after he was gift wrapped his first in 2006. Read the rest of this entry »

Why the Bulls can beat the Heat

I know, Game 1 already happened and it’s much easier to write how Chicago can beat Miami after they already captured the first game and are in great position to do so. But there are still many doubters and still many who think that Miami should have no problem coming back. Like they were just hung over from Boston and didn’t show up and that’s okay because they’ll turn the switch and start playing hard all of a sudden (my main issue with watching this team all year).

First off, Chicago is better than Boston this year. There’s a reason they finished the regular season strong and with the best record in the NBA while Boston stumbled to the finish line. Both teams are built similarly and have similar philosophies. People seemed to assume Boston may have been better because of their history the past three seasons, how they handled Miami earlier in the regular season, and their track record of going to another level once the playoffs started.

Well, Boston looked and played old in the second around against the Heat. A lot of people then got to thinking that since Miami and LeBron got past Boston, a team that seemed like a huge hurdle, that they were now destined for a title. The team actually seemed to think this too with their celebrating after the Game 5 win and noticeable lack of effort and urgency in Game 1 at Chicago.
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How important is it to be in your prime?

As the Miami Heat were busy eliminating the Boston Celtics, I got thinking about how it was clear that the Celtics did not have anything left in the tank and were too old and too injured to keep up with Miami.

As someone who was watching the series hoping that Boston would advance because I like watching them play more, before the series even started my biggest fear was essentially what ended up happening.

Things like Kevin Garnett wouldn’t be able to be effective enough on both sides of the court, Ray Allen would be relegated to a jump shooter and not hitting in every game and Paul Pierce would have to carry too large of an offensive load. Even while watching the regular season meetings between the two teams you could kind of see this fate looming. While Boston seemed to always get a ton of good looks, it also seemed like they had to play pretty perfectly to get those looks and it’d be harder in the playoffs.

A big reason why Miami won the series was youth and talent overpowering Boston. They have their best three guys in their prime. It sounds simple but it really allows for them to play more minutes and play them more effectively. When Doc Rivers was forced to bring back Garnett early in the fourth quarter for Game 4, Boston was doomed and Garnett ran out of gas as the game eventually went into overtime.
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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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