Michael's Sports Blog

NBA Draft 2011 First Round Results

The Cavaliers took the player most people expected them to pick, Kyrie Irving.  I actually thought that the Cavaliers would have been more well-suited by picking Derrick Williams, but they were able to land Irving and Tristan Thompson, who is also a great player.  Williams is more of a small forward in my opinion, so maybe they were looker for a better inside presence by picking Thompson.

I was surprised by the Jazz pick of Enes Kanter because he didn’t do that well in the leagues he was in outside of college.  I also didn’t think Jimmer Fredette would go as high as he did because he does not play good defense.  Although a scorer, you can’t put a player in the game who isn’t going to help out much on one side of the ball.

There were a lot of foreign players taken in the first round of this years draft this year.  Many teams have decided to take their chances that these foreign players will be better than the American players who attended college in the United States.

Nikola Vucevic, a USC player, was drafted as a lottery pick.  He has the size to help out his team right away.  I always knew he would be an NBA player after watching him play in his freshman year.  I’ve also seen Jordan Hamilton play in person in high school, and although he can be streaky player sometimes, he is very talented.

I like that Kenneth Faried and Norris Cole were drafted in the first round.  Faried (Morehead State) and Cole (Cleveland State) both go to small schools and played against less competitive teams in their time, but are still impressive players.  Faried led the NCAA in rebounding and averaged a double-double his last three years in college.  Cole is a great rebounding and assisting point guard, and should have an immediate impact on his team.

No. Team Player Pos.
1. Cavaliers Kyrie Irving PG
2. Timberwolves Derrick Williams PF
3. Jazz Enes Kanter C
4. Cavaliers Tristan Thompson PF
5. Raptors Jonas Valanciunas C
6. Wizards Jan Vesely SF
7. Kings Bismack Biyombo PF
8. Pistons Brandon Knight PG
9. Bobcats Kemba Walker PG
10. Bucks Jimmer Fredette PG
11. Warriors Klay Thompson SG
12. Jazz Alec Burks SG
13. Suns Markieff Morris PF
14. Rockets Marcus Morris PF
15. Pacers Kawhi Leonard SF
16. 76ers Nikola Vucevic C
17. Knicks Iman Shumpert PG
18. Wizards Chris Singleton SF
19. Bobcats Tobias Harris PF
20. Timberwolves Donatas Motiejunas PF
21. Trail Blazers Nolan Smith SG
22. Nuggets Kenneth Faried PF
23. Rockets Nikola Mirotic SF
24. Thunder Reggie Jackson PG
25. Celtics Marshon Brooks SG
26. Mavericks Jordan Hamilton SF
27. Nets JaJuan Johnson PF
28. Bulls Norris Cole PG
29. Spurs Cory Joseph PG
30. Bulls Jimmy Butler SF

June 26, 2011 Posted by | NBA, Sports | , , , , | Leave a comment

Mavericks Win the NBA Finals

The Dallas Mavericks beat the Miami Heat in six games in what many people didn’t think was possible (including myself).  The Mavericks were an older team with many veterans, and this allowed them to handle the pressure in the series.  Their players stepped up in game six and were able to defeat the three-star tandem that the Heat brought.

LeBron James received criticism from the press that he and the rest of his team choked during the series.  LeBron specifically didn’t do well in the fourth quarter, and also had a game in the series under ten points.  This is something that couldn’t happen from a star player in an attempt to win an NBA championship.  Michael Jordan was a clutch player when his team needed him, and LeBron was unable to show that during this series.

When the Heat’s three players came together, LeBron said that he believed the Heat would win not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6, and not even 7 NBA championships (in the video below).  However, he is now an aging player, making eight NBA championships seem unlikely unless he is able to win the next eight in a row.  This has never happened before and I don’t think the Heat will be the first to do it.

I would like to congratulate Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks on winning the NBA championship.  They were able to defeat the team that beat them five years ago, redeeming themselves.  This was Nowitzki, Terry, and Kidd’s first NBA championship, and it was well deserved.

June 13, 2011 Posted by | NBA, Sports | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Two NBA Coaching Hires That Make No Sense to Me

I don’t understand the signings of Mike Brown (Los Angeles Lakers) and Mark Jackson (Golden State Warriors).  I think both teams should have taken more time to decide on the coach of their future.

Brown coached LeBron James when he was on the Cleveland Cavaliers, leading the team to a sixty-six win season in 2009 and won coach of the year that year.  There were many talented players on the Cavaliers teams he coached, but they didn’t win a championship under his leadership.  The Cavaliers didn’t think he was good enough to bring back after 2009, and Brown wasn’t signed again after the 2009 season.  The Lakers are a storied franchise, and although Brown may have some experience coaching a big name player, I thought there were many better options out there.

Jackson has no coaching experience, but played 17 years as a point guard in the NBA, and has been an analyst for the NBA for the last few years.  The team must have liked his leadership ability shown through his in-game commentary in their decision to choose him as coach.  Jackson lured long-time assistant coach, Michael Malone, from the New Orleans Hornets, so he will at least have an experienced coach on his staff.  The Warriors have a young team so maybe the owner thought Jackson would be able to draw some fire into the team.

June 10, 2011 Posted by | NBA, Sports | , , | Leave a comment

NBA Finals 2011

This year’s NBA Finals is a rematch of the 2006 NBA Finals, where the Miami Heat beat the Dallas Mavericks.  The two meet again five years later.  That year the Heat won in six games.  During that season, the Heat didn’t have the big three; they only had Dwayne Wade.  And now with the addition of LeBron James and Chris Bosh, I think this year’s outcome will turn out exactly the same with the Heat winning the NBA Championship.

Although this isn’t really a rematch because the teams are completely different, this is going to be a great series.  The Mavericks were on fire in their last series, and I’m looking forward to seeing if they can bring that intensity to the new series.  The Heat showed that their three superstar players can prove to be too much for a team to handle.

I think the Heat will end up winning the series in six or seven games, but I think six is more likely.  The Heat just have too many talented players on their team to fall to the Mavericks.  The one thing the Mavericks have on their team are players with lots of experience, and this could help them possibly pull the upset over the Heat.  However, I think that the big time players on the Heat will cause problems for the Mavericks (ex: matchups, rebounding, spreading the floor).

Prediction: Miami Heat in Six Games

May 31, 2011 Posted by | NBA, Sports | , , , | 2 Comments

Bulls and Thunder Going to Make Comeback?

The Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder are now down 3-1 in there respective series.  According to USA Today, “of the 189 NBA teams that were down 3-1 in a best-of-seven playoff series, eight advanced.”  It doesn’t look good for either team down 3-1.

The Thunder and Bulls seemed to be in control in game four of their series, however, both the Mavericks and Heat were able to win.  If the Thunder and Bulls had won their fourth game, each series would have been tied 2-2, leaving much better odds of advancing.

In the Heat-Bulls series, it seems as though the three-pronged attack of the Heat team is proving to be too much.  LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh came together because they thought this would be the best chance to win an NBA championship, and it seems like this is working.  I think that these three big-time stars are enough to cause the Bulls trouble, and even the team they may play in the finals.

In the Mavericks-Thunder series, Dirk Nowitzki is on fire, and the Thunder don’t seem to have a way of stopping him.  His size and ability to make shots is causing a lot of problems for the Thunder and unless they are able to stop him, they will not advance.

I think the Heat and Mavericks will advance to the NBA Finals easily.  The Heat I believe will win the finals though because they have too much talent not to win.

May 25, 2011 Posted by | NBA, Sports | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sacramento Kings Staying in Sacramento… At Least for Another Year

In a previous post I talked about the possibility of the Sacramento Kings moving to Anaheim and becoming the Anaheim Royals.  The deadline for the decision ended about a week ago, and I wanted to update you on the situation.  The owners of the Kings have decided to keep the team in Sacramento for at least another year.  They are giving the Sacramento Mayor, Kevin Johnson, a chance to come up with a realistic plan for a new arena.  Johnson was able to get support behind the team and raised $10 million to show that people still believe in the Kings in Sacramento.

According to an ESPN article, “co-owner Joe Maloof and NBA Commissioner David Stern made clear that the team will leave after next season if an arena plan is not in place.”  So, this means that Johnson needs to make sure that he has attractive plans for an arena because if not, the team will be heading off to Anaheim.  Without a new arena, the team would be able to get a lot more revenue in Anaheim, which is a good enough reason for the owners to want to move the team.

I am glad that the team is not going to move, at least for now.  I don’t think I could handle another NBA team in Southern California.  I already don’t understand the point of there being two teams in Los Angeles.  Both teams share the same arena-which makes no sense to me who is the home team when both teams play each other- and people have to decide which team they want to be a fan of.  By having a team in Anaheim, that would mean there would be three teams within forty-five miles of each other.  This is way too many teams to have in such a short distance.

May 9, 2011 Posted by | NBA, Sports | , , , , | 1 Comment

Lakers Swept by the Mavericks

The Lakers became another team added to the seemingly impossible statistic of coming back after being down 0-3 in a playoff basketball series.  They are now the 99th team to lose the series after starting 0-3.  There were a few teams who were able to make it to seven games, which I thought the Lakers may have been able to do, but not with their performance today.  Another interesting fact about this series is that there are only a few teams who won the championship the year before and then were swept in a series the following year.  The Lakers are now part of that group as well.

The Lakers didn’t look good today in their 122-86 loss to the Mavericks.  The team shot 38 percent, while the Mavericks shot 60 percent.  Not only were the Mavericks hitting two point shots, but they hit a playoff record 20 three point shots.  A 36-point loss is something you don’t expect in a playoff game because that just means one game completely outplayed the other.  A playoff team should not be outplayed as badly as the Lakers were this series.

Bynum and Odom were both ejected in the fourth quarter for an unnecessary flagrant foul, making them the second and third players thrown out of a game in the series.  The Lakers’ players were frustrated and took out their anger on the Mavericks.  You could see from the players’ faces that they were upset with how each other was playing, and this led to the Laker downfall.  I know from experience that when you are mad at people you are playing with, it gets in your head and causes you to be distracted from your play.

I can’t believe this may be the last game that Phil Jackson coached in his legendary career.  This is not the way you would like to end your career, but he has had many great seasons to cancel out this last playoff disaster.  Jackson may be the best NBA coach ever, with eleven titles and three three-peats.  I would like to see him back next year, but if he doesn’t come back, I hope his successor will be able to do as good a job as he did.

May 8, 2011 Posted by | NBA, Sports | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Lakers Down 0-3 Against the Mavericks

It doesn’t look good for the Los Angeles Lakers attempt to win their third NBA Championship in a row.  The Lakers won their first round series against the Hornets, however, the team looked a little off even with their victories.  The next series against the Mavericks has not turned out well.  The Lakers lost the first two games in the series at home, and then lost the next game in Dallas.  I did not expect the Mavericks to come out with this much fire and the Lakers to play this badly, but they have.

The statistics are against the Lakers chances to come back from the 0-3 deficit.  An NBA blog gave the facts about the Lakers chances of winning the series against the Mavericks: “While three teams in NBA history have won a seven-game series after losing the first two at home, no team has rallied from an 0-3 deficit.”  So, as you can see, the biggest game was the third game of the series because at least by winning this game, there were three teams who had come back from this deficit before.

Although there has been no team that has come back from the hole the Lakers are in now, they have a very talented team and there still is hope that they can win the next four games.  Kobe Bryant is a leader, and if he can talk his players into believing they can win, I think the Lakers may be the first team to overcome the 0-3 deficit.  This is also most likely Phil Jackson’s last season as a coach in the NBA, and I’m sure the players don’t want to disappoint their coach by losing a second round series.

May 7, 2011 Posted by | NBA, Sports | , , , , | 4 Comments

Blake Griffin Wins NBA Rookie of the Year

Blake Griffin won the NBA Rookie of the Year award this year, receiving all 118 first place votes.  He was the first unanimous Rookie of the Year in the last twenty-one years.  He beat out John Wall for the award, and it was well deserving.  I knew he was going to win because he had the best numbers of all the rookies this year.  Griffin was electric, averaging 22.5 PPG and 12.1 RPG.  Not only did he bring down the house in regular season games, he also won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest by jumping over a car in his final dunk (which I blogged about earlier).  There are many YouTube videos that show off his many spectacular dunks this year.

In my sports journalism class, I learned about something called the Griffin Domestic Product (GDP).  He increases ticket sales for Clippers games, but also for games that aren’t at the Staples Center.  People want to see him play, even those who aren’t fans of the Clippers.  The amount of Northern California people who came to see the team also increased.  With Griffin on the team, website traffic has risen, attendance has risen, jersey sales have risen, television ratings have risen, and parking prices have risen.  The team is selling out a majority of their games, something they had trouble doing in the last few years.  Clippers games are cheaper than Lakers games, so this may be a reason why people are interested in the Clippers other than just to see Griffin play.

What I find interesting about Griffin winning the NBA Rookie of the Year is that technically he is not a rookie.  Griffin was drafted two years ago, but suffered a knee injury that year and was unable to play in what was really his first year in the league.  I know that he is known as a rookie, but the fact that he has actually been in the NBA for two years is something I found fascinating.

May 4, 2011 Posted by | NBA, Sports | , , | 4 Comments

Derrick Rose Wins NBA MVP

Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose won the NBA MVP this year, defeating Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant.  He received 113 of the 120 first place votes, dominating the field.  Some thought Lebron or Durant would win, however, the race for MVP wasn’t even close.  Rose was the youngest NBA MVP winner ever, a major feat.  He added this award to his NBA Rookie of the year award he won two years ago.  Rose is trying to lead the Bulls back to where they were when Michael Jordan was on the team.  This year the Bulls had the best record in the NBA, which is sure on the right path.

Although Rose had a great season (25.0 PPG, 7.7 APG, 4.1 RPG) and led his team to 62-20 record, I thought that Kevin Durant
deserved the NBA MVP.  The Bulls have a lot of talented players on their roster, which may have led to Rose’s increased numbers.  He could dish the ball to good players, and those players also could have allowed him to have open looks because the defense had to guard everyone.  I’m not saying Rose isn’t a very talented player, but I think there was someone who deserved the award more than him.

Kevin Durant

Durant (27.7 PPG, 2.7 APG, 6.8 RPG) led his team to a 55-27 record this season.  He led the league in scoring, even though his team was not as talented as the Bulls team.  The center and shooting guard position are weak, which allow defenders to help, and sometimes double team Durant.  Before Durant got to the Thunder, the team was 23-59, so Durant had a major impact in turning the team around.

What’s fascinating about Durant and Rose are that they are both young players.  Both are only 22 years old!  You would think more experienced players would win the MVP, but these two are proving those who believe that wrong.  They have shown that even at such a young age, they are leaders of their team.  I look forward to watching these two play in future years.

May 4, 2011 Posted by | NBA, Sports | , , , , | 1 Comment