Archive for NBA

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

NBA Preview Spotlight: The Philadelphia 76ers

Two NBA preview posts in one afternoon? Must be a slow day for the FPB staff…time to fly to the city of Brotherly Love and look at what Philly brings to the table this year.

Where They Stand

Out with Iguadala, in with Bynum. Philly has their big man signed to a one-year deal. Will he stay longer? Or bail after one season? Can Philly live up to the hype? So many questions, only a few paragraphs to answer. I love the way this team has developed over the past few seasons. Doug Collins knows how to get the best out of his players, and Philly had a strong season last year. Going 35-31 and grabbing the 8th seed of the playoffs ended up being a gift due to the D-Rose injury as the 76ers were able to make it out of the first round before losing to Boston in the second in seven games. This is another team just making their way over the fence from “pretty good” to “pretty great” and the Bynum addition will either be fantastic or destructive.

Basketball is huge in Philly, and the 76ers haven’t had a whole lot to cheer about since the days AI was breaking ankles. The fans miss making the playoffs every year, they crave the national spotlight. In a loaded Eastern Conference, as well as a loaded Atlantic Division, Philly will need to put in the work to keep their head above the rest.

Roster Thoughts

Philly has some big names, but lets get into their roles a little bit. Starting with the point guard: Jrue Holliday. Holliday puts up solid numbers (13.5 ppg last season), never seems to get injured, and runs the floor brilliantly. He will be backed up by Royal Ivey and Maalik Wayns, though Turner will get time at point, one a veteran the other a rookie. Philly will be in good hands again if Holliday is at the point. J-Rich and Nick Young will be the tandem at shooting guard. Richardson brings experience playing alongside a great center, like he did with Dwight in Orlando, and gives them a viable scoring option to replace Iggy. Young is one of the streakiest shooters around, but once he gets hot he is pretty much unstoppable working for his shot off the dribble. After getting run out of Washington, playing a season under the lights in LA, Young might finally have a stable home in Philly.

The move of Iggy will move Turner to the 3, in front of Thaddeus Young and Dorrell Wright. Turner was drafted to one day be the face of the franchise once Iguadala left, and now is his chance. Could a breakout year be in the cards? Young is a very good option off the bench, able to play multiple positions and will probably see a lot of time at power forward as well. Wright has impressed throughout camp with his shooting. At power forward Spencer Hawes will be, as Bleacher Report’s preview stated, the “Pau Gasol of Philly.” A better outside shooter than Gasol, Hawes showed flashes last year of his ability. Working with Bynum underneath, Hawes can feel free to play the high post and work some pick and rolls with Holliday and Richardson. Lavoy Allen brings a defensive presence off the bench, a key piece in Collin’s plan. Last we get to Bynum, one of the most confusing and frustrating players to watch sometimes. So much potential, so many questions. If Bynum can get past the mind games, get past the immaturity, he can blossom into the next Dwight (a role  that was pushed onto him in LA). He can be great, but Philly won’t be lessening the pressure for him to perform. Behind him is Kwame Brown…enough said.


Time to unwrap the crystal ball and make some probably way off predictions about the Philadelphia 76ers this season!

Bynum Blossoms. Sounds like a weird song title, but Andrew could find his own this year and develop into the player LA always wanted him to be. I’ll predict his averages: 15 points 12 rebounds 3 blocks

Nick Young will still be hilarious. The guy goes by “Swaggy P” on twitter….

Philly makes the leap. This is the year folks. Give them a 4 or 5 seed in the playoffs and let them work their magic.

-Collins wins Coach of the Year. I’m a fan of Doug, liked him on the Olympics broadcasts. Seems like a good guy and a hell of a coach.

-Turner turns it on. Plenty of eyes in Philly will be watching this kid, he’ll shine this season.

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

NBA Preview Spotlight: The New York Knicks

Time to look at our next team to preview: The Knicks!

Where They Stand

The time for excuses are over in New York. With the arrival of the Nets in Brooklyn, the Knicks will have to fight to keep their fan-base and try to get Melo to the promised land. They lost one  media darling in Jeremy Lin, but brought in many intriguing names like the former-retiree Rasheed Wallace and the almost-retired Jason Kidd. The Knicks are one of those teams who just can’t quite get over the hump, losing to Miami last year in the playoffs, including the whole “Amare beat up a fire extinguisher” story.

For the Knicks to be great they need their two stars, Melo and Amare, to pull their weight. There is no Linsanity to take away the press from their lockers, Melo will have the spotlight completely on him; just the way he likes it. Can MSG host a NBA Finals game this year? Will the new faces in training camp be the surrounding cast capable of getting the job done? Lets get into it.

Roster Thoughts

Can we just take a second and recognize the fact that a 38-year-old Rasheed Wallace will be in New York this season? The trash-talking, technical-foul getting, ball of fury that is Wallace fits in perfectly in New York. Here’s a look at Sheed the past two summer, still has some ups as well 

Let’s go through this roster up and down, starting with the starting five. J-Kidd came to New York expecting to play mentor to Jeremy Lin, now he will backup Raymond Felton. Felton had a rough season with Portland last year, and will be glad to lead the ship for the Knicks, even without the Mike D’Antoni’s fast paced style. At shooting guard Ronnie Brewer will get the nod initially, with Shumpert injured, in a defensive specialist role. His 6’7 frame will cover most shooting guards to power forwards, and will bring a high-energy style of defense. We all know Melo is at Small Forward, who will have to prove to angry New Yorkers that he can get the job done. Same with Amare at Power Forward, who battled plenty of injuries last year. He looked slow at points, which i’m sure he worked on in the off-season. At center is the beast that is Tyson Chandler. The Defensive Player of the Year will shine again on this team, with no need to worry about his offense.

First guys off the bench include J.R. Smith, J-Kidd, Steve Novak, Kurt Thomas, and Marcus Camby. Smith proved himself to be a very capable sixth man last year, a pure-shooter who lights a fire off the bench. Kidd will be the steady hand off the bench, glad to rejoin his pal Tyson Chandler. The two had some of the sickest pick and rolls on the Mavs, and will look to rekindle that chemistry in New York. Novak is the 3-point specialist off the bench, with Thomas and Camby big bodies down low. Other notables rounding out the lineup include: Pablo Prigioni, James White, Chris Copeland, and the aforementioned Rasheed Wallace. These names in the 3rd spots in the depth charts are actually pretty talented. With Prigioni having a strong showing for Argentina in the Olympics and Wallace bringing smack talk back to NY.


Time to unwrap the crystal ball and make some probably way off predictions about the New York Knicks this season

Melo finishes top 3 in scoring. Right off the bat I know I’m probably going to be wrong, but what the hell. He will have to challenge Durant, Lebron, and Kobe but this might be the season for Melo to do it. He has the pass-first unselfish point guard in Felton (as well as his backup J-Kidd), he has pretty much free reign in the offense, and looks pretty healthy heading into the season. Why not?

Rasheed will get tons of technicals. For old times sake, when Rasheed played on Detroit during the 2004 title run he was one of the most entertaining players to watch. Not only did he bomb threes, but he loved to get in trouble with the officials. And boy did they love teeing him up. Here’s a hilarious ejection from his days on the Jail-Blazers

J.R. will get unhappy with his playing time. Smith is already saying he should be starting at the two, but the Knicks will most likely keep him coming off the bench. Which is exactly where he belongs. His game is too inconsistent for a starter, and they like what Shumpert will bring when he comes back.

-Knicks make Eastern Conference Finals…but lose to Heat. I’m sorry but as much as it pains me to say, Miami is definitely poised to make another run at this thing coming from the Eastern Conference. New York will have a great season, but I still don’t believe they can beat the evil empire (the other evil empire).

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

NBA Preview Spotlight: The Brooklyn Nets

Okay, so I lied…these preview posts won’t be released every single day. But we will try our hardest to get them to you on a regular basis. Let’s stick with the Atlantic Division and talk about the Brooklyn Jay-Z’s! Whoops I mean the Brooklyn Nets…

Where They Stand

The days of J-Kidd, Kenyon Martin, and Vince Carter are long gone. The new era of the Nets began when they traded for Deron Williams from the Jazz a few years ago. Williams gave them a relentless scorer, a player who (when playing to his potential) morphs into one of the best guards in the league. Honestly, an on-fire D-Will is right up there with the Roses, Pauls, and Nashs of the world. The only problem was the lack of talent surrounding him. The potential was there: Brooke Lopez, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks just to name a few, but they weren’t able to put anything together last year.

The scene has changed quite a bit now, literally. The transition to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, the input and redesign by part-owner Jay-Z, and the acquisition of plenty of fresh faces has turned Brooklyn into a team to watch this season. Let’s be honest, with all the player-movement around the league the Lakers will be followed ferociously by everyone, but it is in Brooklyn where a sleeping giant lies.

 Roster Thoughts

Let’s first recap the player movement with the Nets this summer. Players added: Joe Johnson, Reggie Evans, Mirza Teletovic, CJ Watson, Andray Blatche, and Josh Childress. Players gone: Gerald Green, Johan Petro, DeShawn Stevenson, Jordan Farmar, and Anthony Morrow. The Johnson deal with Atlanta obviously made the most noise, giving Brooklyn a solid option at shooting guard. A proven talent, this gives Williams a great option to kick out to. The two trees down low include a healthy Brook Lopez and a rebounding machine in Kris Humphries (maybe now we can finally stop talking about him and Kim Kardashian’s split-up??….please??). Lopez had a rough time last year, missing half the season with a broken ankle, but the guy can flat out score. He averaged 20 ppg in his ’10-’11 campaign, with his other years full of similar averages. And lastly: Gerald Wallace. I’m still not entirely sure how the veteran forward fits in with this team. Wallace doesn’t shoot all that well, but is a pure scorer. This might actually work well to balance out the outside shooting of Johnson, and gives Williams a slashing option to pass to.

Time to talk about the bench, another group of players that have been upgraded. If the starting five looks like I just discussed, the backup group should include CJ Watson at point, MarShon Brooks at shooting guard, Josh Childress at small forward, Teletovic at forward, and Blatche at backup center. This is all still speculation, mostly from blogs on Bleacher Report and Yahoo, but this seems about right. This is not a bad backup group by any means, with Brooks happily able to come off the bench and do what he does best: shoot. Watson is a strong ball handler, and completely used to backing up a star like he did in Chicago. Teletovic averaged over 20 ppg playing over in Europe, and will be a 27 year old NBA Rookie this year. That down-low tandem of him and Andray Blatche is my only concern, but maybe Brooklyn will be able to figure out how to get the best out of that enigma. Besides them, Tyshawn Taylor, Keith Bogans, Jerry Stackhouse (you dirty ring-hunter you), and Reggie Evans rounds out the rest of the squad.


Time to unwrap the crystal ball and make some probably way off predictions about the Nets this year:

Deron Williams gets back to his Utah days, averages a double-doubleIt is strange to realize that since D-Will arrived on the Nets, his passing stats have decreased, mostly due to his “If i’m not going to score than no one is” attitude he had to bring last year. The weapons weren’t there, he had to press a little bit and put up a high volume of shots (he took more threes last season than he had ever before). Now with Johnson and Wallace on the perimeter, Williams gets back to his passing game.

-Joe Johnson will hit a game-winner. Along the same lines as the first prediction, Johnson gives another great option on a final play. With all the attention probably focused towards Williams at the end, Johnson is coming off a season in which he hit 4 of 9 last-second shots to win the game for the Hawks. The number of last second shots will clearly decrease, but he will hit them when it counts.

Drama will continue to follow Andray Blatche. I’m not just saying this as a scorned Wizards fan, the guy is messed up in the head. This is from years of watching The Andray Blatche Show in Washington, he might be the dumbest player in the league. Blatche believes he is a point guard trapped in a forward’s body. He has no muscle definition, not great handles, and a below average mid-range jumper (which he takes constantly). Something will come up about his work ethic, his complaints about lack of PT, or he may just retire in disgrace. If Brooklyn turns Andray in a prime-time player I will eat my Wizards jersey.

-Kris Humphries becomes the next Kevin Love. Don’t shoot me, please. I love Love (that’s fun to say), and I am not the biggest Humphries fan but the guy can flat-out rebound. Now, let’s say he worked on his outside game over the summer. Let’s say he starts growing an awesome beard, let’s say he starts doing commercials…..Kevin Love 2.0????

-Brooklyn challenges New York and Boston for best team in the Atlantic, wins. I can’t just discount the Knicks and the Celtics and their playmakers, but again Brooklyn is so darn intriguing. This is just a prediction, don’t freak out on me. But wouldn’t it be sick to see Brooklyn take on a team like Miami or Indiana in the playoffs?


Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

NBA Preview Spotlight: The Boston Celtics


With the NBA regular season rapidly approaching, no lockout this time to spoil our November, I figure it is time to unload our first NBA Preview post. Each day we will be picking a team to talk about, providing insight on where they stand heading into the season, random bits of news from Training Camp, and our prediction of where they will finish. Today we begin with the Eastern Conference, Atlantic Division, and the Boston Celtics.

Where they Stand

The Celtics come into this season in a strange place. They’ve lost their longtime clutch shooting guard in Ray Allen to the evil empire down in Miami, with the “Courtney Lee/Jason Terry/Keyon Dooling Era” underway. That trifecta will clearly not replace the hole left by Ray-Ray, but still should be productive. They took a big risk in drafting Jared Sullinger, one that could pay off immensely, or lead to him turning into the next Greg Oden. Sullinger, Fab Melo, and newly acquired Jason Collins will all have their shots to prove they can be the next man up when Garnett calls it quits. The age issue will continue to be discussed at great length this season, with this being probably the last shot for the Celtics to try and grab one more title. The original “Big Three” still exists just in a different way: (Rondo, Pierce, and Garnett). Can Boston stay healthy enough to sneak into the playoffs, an environment in which they thrive?

Roster Thoughts

Rajon Rondo will make or break this season for the Boston Celtics. If he does not get his “double’double” in points and assists they are doomed. Already count on Pierce and Garnett missing some time with injuries this year, that’s pretty much a given. But Rondo will need to keep himself healthy and a mainstay at the point. His backup Avery Bradley will be important as well. Bradley checking in to 64 of the 66 games last year averaging about 21 minutes. Bradley brings an intensity off the bench, one that is important when replacing a high motor guy like Rondo. I actually like the trifecta at shooting guard. Lee gives you a spot shooter who can pass, Terry is your lightning rod off the bench (a role he played in Dallas for years), and Dooling is your defensive master.

At small forward we will get to witness the comeback tour of Jeff Green. A big piece in the Perkins trade, Green missed the entire last season with aortic surgery. Boston spent money and got rid of a big piece in their title runs to acquire Green, who has looked great through training camp. Green and Pierce are a strong combo at the small forward position. At power forward Brandon Bass will start, bringing a mid-range jumper and a defensive presence. It is in his backup Sullinger where the Celtics find themselves excited. This year’s draft found many teams backing off certain players. Perry Jones for his motor, Royce White for his anxiety issues, and Sullinger for his injuries. The Celtics may have found a gold mine in their 6’9 rookie from Ohio State. All signs through training camp show Sully as the real deal. Also don’t forget about Darko, Milicic brings a 7 foot frame and rebounding ability that the Celtics desperately need. At center we could see Garnett bounce around with Milicic and Melo. Melo definitely gives them a better option than Chris Wilcox.



Time to unwrap the crystal ball and make some probably way off predictions about the Celtics for this year:

Sullinger will start over Bass by mid-season. Not a completely ridiculous idea, one that has bounced around various blogs and team sites.

Lee will not click with the other big three.  It is hard to replace the chemistry Allen had with those guys, Lee will struggle to replace him. I find Terry a better fit.

-Rondo averages 15 ppg, 12 assists, and 5 rebounds. With Allen gone, Rondo will need to increase his offensive production. We all know he is pass-first, but he will have to get some more looks.

-Green wins Most Improved Player of the Year. Jeff Green has worked his butt off to get back on the floor, don’t think for one second he won’t give his all.

-Celtics make playoffs….but lose to Heat. Sadly I don’t see the Celtics finding the success they are craving this season…wouldn’t it be so “Boston” to have Ray Allen hit the game winner to eliminate the Celtics?

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Good for this guy

I’m over a foot taller than this guy and have half the skills…

Monday, October 1st, 2012

New Nuggets Jerseys

Like them? Hate them? Don’t care? Give us your thoughts…


Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

What does the return of D-Rose mean for the Bulls? Less than you think

All-Star point guard and reigning MVP Derrick Rose finally returned to the Bulls starting roster after missing five straight games with lingering back spasms. In his return, he scored 23 points as well as six assists and five rebounds in 35 minutes. He looked good running the floor with his elite speed, and his jumper looked good, adding two 3-pointers.

Now, what does that mean for the Bulls, who have the second best record in the east after the heat? Not as much as you may think. Yes, the Bulls need a healthy Rose to make a run for their first title since the Jordan era. However, they are 6-3 without Rose this year, and Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah and especially Luol Deng, who will join Rose in the All-Star game this year, have been fantastic in his absence. Backup point guard CJ Watson is a premier three-point shooter, and though he lacks the athleticism of Rose, he is a starting-caliber guard that many teams (Lakers!) would love to have as a starter.
The three losses without Rose have a lot to do with other injuries, specifically to Watson, Deng, and the starting two-guard Richard Hamilton, who, when he straps on the mask, can flat out score. When your scoring options at guard are 36-year-old Mike James ad 5’11” John Lucas III, you can foresee some problems. Those three losses have less to do with Rose’s absence and more to do with the fact that the Bulls’ first THREE options at guard were injured. Still, they went 6-3 without the reigning MVP, which by the definition of that award is impressive. It’s also impressive that most of those games were on the road. Deng also became the first Bulls forward to have 20 points and 10 assists in two consecutive games since Scottie Pippen.
Now, I want to reiterate this is not at all a dis on Rose’s importance to this team. It is paramount that he is healthy come playoff time. Just look at the rest of this team, though. Deng, Noah, and guard Ronnie Brewer are some of the best defensive players in the league. So is Taj Gibson off the bench. The Bulls may not have the Big Three, but they have eight players that are starting caliber players in the NBA. This team is incredibly different from the Jordan-led Bulls of the 90s, but it gives Chicagoans a feeling of déjà vu.

This team is built to win it all. They have the best on-ball defenders of any team in the NBA (Brewer, Deng and Noah), a star player (D-Rose), multiple scoring options (Rose, Deng, Boozer and Watson off the bench), tough post play and rebounding (Noah and Taj Gibson) and the veteran experienced in the finals (Rip Hamilton). Plus, they didn’t destroy the city of Cleveland to get this team, so what’s not to love?
The Chicago Bulls are among the favorites to win the title, and they should be America’s favorite. The 2011-2012 Chicago Bulls play the game the way it’s meant to be played, hard and as a team. That’s why the loss of D-Rose isn’t crippling to this team. They’ll use depth, sweat and motivation to win, even if their MVP isn’t able to showcase his talents on the court.

By Adam Pope

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

New Lakers in Town ???

There is no arguing that the Los Angeles Lakers are one of the most successful and respected franchises in the history of Sports. This storied franchise might be adding some new faces to an already dangerous squad. Listed below are some possible players that might end up in a Lakers jersey.

-Michael Beasley, SF (Minnesota Timberwolves)
-Gilbert Arenas, PG (Free Agent)
-Jose Calderon, PG (Toronto Raptors)
– Kirk Hinrich, PG (Atlanta Hawks)
– Steve Nash, PG (Phoenix Suns)
-Ramon Sessions, PG (Cleveland Cavs)
-Derron Williams, PG (New Jersey Nets)
-Rajon Rondo, PG (Boston Celtics)

Now any of these additions would provide the Lakers with an extra boost and maybe place them back into talks as NBA Championship contenders. I’ll make sure to keep you updated if any new players get added to the mix.

Friday, February 17th, 2012

The Evolution of the New York Knicks

Only 2 weeks ago the New York Knicks were the laughing stock of the NBA, now they’re the hottest team in the NBA. Their PG Jeremy Lin has turned into an overnight celebrity while blazing opponents on a nightly basis and now they have added another quality player by the name of , wait for it…..J.R SMITH !!!

Smith is an amazing Talent and can easily go for 25 at any given night with his amazing 3 point shooting and explosive dunks. Take the amazing play of Lin, add the return of Melo and Amare and the addition of Smith and you could make an argument that the New York Knicks are now a serious contender in the Eastern Conference. Lets not forget that the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls are still the front-runners in the East but with this new lineup the New York Knicks are a team to consider.

By Mujtaba Elgoodah

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Hell I’d See It