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Running with the Bulls!!

November 30, 2011 Leave a comment

The Chicago Bulls are back and ready to take the court Christmas day against the Los Angeles Lakers.  I don’t know about anybody else, but I wasn’t too worried about missing the season since I still have fantasy football, and the Blackhawks to watch.  I knew the Players and owners were far apart in negotiations, so I wasn’t giving my hopes up for having a season.  Since the deal is reached I couldn’t be anymore excited for the Basketball season to start, and fantasy basketball to begin.

Derrick Rose won’t have to miss a year of his prime now that the lockout is over, and that only benefits the Bulls.  The Bulls come in the second favorites to win the NBA Championship only below the hated Miami Heat.  Free agency is set to begin soon later this week, and everybody will be watching to see what the Bulls do to address the shooting guard position.  I actually like having the rotation of Kyle Korver, Keith Bogans, and Ronnie Brewer, call me crazy but I actually think it worked to our benefit.  Most of the free agents such as Jamal Crawford, O.J. Mayo, and Aaron Afflalo don’t play defense like Bogans, and Brewer do, where they play both ways.  I say keep it the way it is and let the bench mob play out the year, without bringing in some offensive minded ball hog.

I will be putting up the 2011-12 Fantasy Basketball rankings up soon, and will be talking about whether Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, or Carlos Pena are the better fit for the Cubs at first base.

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#NBArank gets it all wrong

October 23, 2011 2 comments

First off, as this is my first post as a blogger for Windy City Sports talk, I would like to thank Skip Bauer for asking me to become a contributor.  I’m extremely pumped to get rollin’ as a regular blogger, and I hope you all enjoy our insights and opinions on all things Chicago sports.

I figured for my first post, I would write about my favorite (American) sport to watch: NBA basketball.  As we all know, the NBA is in a lockout and sadly, it looks more and more like we may not even have a season this year at all.  As we prepare to face a long, sad, and lonely winter without pro basketball, ESPN produced a system to rank all 500 current players in the NBA.  They asked 91 different NBA “experts” to rank each player 1-10.  After all the scores were averaged out and the list was announced, here’s my question: Who were these so called NBA “experts”?

Here’s the list of the top ten NBA players according to #NBArank:

  1. Lebron James – 9.91
    GM PPG RPG BPG FG% FT%
    78 22.9 14.1 2.4 .593 .596
  2. Dwight Howard – 9,82
    GM PPG RPG BPG FG% FT%
    78 22.9 14.1 2.4 .593 .596
  3. Dwayne Wade – 9.72
    GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
    76 25.5 6.4 4.6 .500 .758
  4. Chris Paul – 9.68
    GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
    80 15.9 4.1 9.8 .463 .878
  5. Dirk Nowitzki – 9.67
    GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
    73 23.0 7.0 2.6 .517 .892
  6. Kevin Durant – 9.62
    GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
    78 27.7 6.8 2.7 .462 .880
  7. Kobe Bryant – 9.40
    GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
    82 25.3 5.1 4.7 .451 .828
  8. Derrick Rose-9.27
    GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
    81 25.0 4.1 7.7 .445 .858
  9. Derron Williams – 8.98
    GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
    65 20.1 4.0 10.3 .439 .845
  10. Blake Griffin – 8.78
    GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
    82 22.5 12.1 3.8 .506 .642

When I first saw this list, I was shocked.  To me, there are some glaring problems here.  Now I don’t really mind Lebron at number 1.  I know a lot of people will probably be upset about this, and I don’t really blame them.  I don’t think there is any question that he is the most physically talented player in the league, if not of all time.  The problem with Lebron is that he doesn’t have something that the best player in any sport should have: Championships.  He has a huge reputation for choking in the playoffs.  Two years ago, he completely gave up against Boston in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.  Last y ear, he could not match Dirk Nowitzki in the finals, and once again failed to win a championship.  Having said all this, I still am okay with him being number 1, since he is always the in the MVP mix and his teams are consistently one of the favorites to win it all every season.

One of the biggest problems I have with this list is Chris Paul at number 4 and Derrick Rose at number 8.  To me, Derrick Rose is the best point guard in the league.  Now I know this comes off as extremely biased, and maybe it is, but I’m not the only person who believes this.  Derrick Rose was last seasons MVP.  MOST VALUABLE PLAYER.  This was not a fluke!  Now I’m not saying Derrick should be ranked at number 1, but how can the MVP not even be the best player at his position?  He got his Bulls team, with no other stars and very little offensive help, to the Conference Finals.  Chris Paul failed to make it out of the first round.  His performance in the series is probably why he was rated so high.  He had a lot of success against the Lakers, and he probably would have beat them if he had a better team.  But as the Lakers moved on, they showed they were nowhere near the team they have been in the past.  His regular season statistics were not very impressive either.  He only averaged 15 points a game.  Paul has always been a pass first point guard, and he did average 9.8 assists per game, but that was only the fourth best mark in the league.  His other stats are sub-par when compared to other point guards.  He brings a lot of intangibles to the floor, but so do all the other players on this list.  I see no reason for him to even be in the top ten, let alone fourth.

Another problem I have with the list is Kevin Durant’s position.  How is he not even in the top 5?  This guy was the leading scorer last season, and got his team to the Conference Finals where they ran into a red hot Mavericks team.  He is the most offensively talented player in the league, and is virtually unstoppable when he is on.  Think about it this way:  If you were a GM of a team, and the NBA demolished all the rosters and had a draft with all the players, who would be your first round pick?  Durant is the best scorer in the league, and he just turned 23 years old.  I don’t think too many of you would pass this guy up in the first few picks.

Finally, the most mind-boggling player on this list is one Blake Griffin.  What? Blake Griffin is the 10th best player in this league? I don’t think so.  Griffin is not even in the top 5 at his position.  Sure, he is a freak on the court, an excellent rebounder, and one of the most fun players to watch with his rediculous dunks, but that’s as far as the complements are going to go from this fan.  Defensively he is average at best, and he has virtually no game anywhere other than right above the rim.  His post moves are non-existent.  If this guy is the best player on your team, at this point in his career, then your team is probably in a lot of trouble.  The Clippers were atrocious last year.  Now, just think about the other big men who are ranked behind Griffin:  Pau Gasol, Zach Randolf, Marc Gasol, Amare Stoudemire, Kevin Garnett, Kevin Love, Al Horford, Lamarcus Aldridge, just to name a few.  And here’s the real kicker:  Griffin is ranked ahead of CARMELO ANTHONY.

So, after much thought, I’ve came up with my own top ten.  Feel free to comment, or even give your own list in the comments.

  1. Lebron James
  2. Kevin Durant
  3. Dirk Nowitzki (out of respect, I mean the guy DOMINATED the playoffs, out-balling James and Wade in the finals.  Probably won’t be nearly this high after next season)
  4. Dwayne Wade
  5. Dwight Howard
  6. Derrick Rose
  7. Kobe Bryant
  8. Chris Paul
  9. Deron Williams
  10. Carmelo Anthony
Here’s the link the #NBArank, if you want to check out the rest of the list.  I recommending reading some of the twitter comments as well, some of them are hilarious.

NBA-1 Chicago Bulls-0

October 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Say it isn’t so!! The Chicago Bulls finally get a good team, wait.. Let me rephrase that, GREAT team on the court, and the NBA and NBPA can’t come to an agreement.  I can see why the NFL took so long on their lockouts, because there is more risk for long-term health issues in the NFL than the NBA. Why the Players and the NBA can’t come to an agreement on revenue streams to me is mind-boggling.   If there were to be no season at all, it will be really disappointing for NBA fans, and especially the Chicago Bulls.  This means every player gets a year older, MVP  Derrick Rose will be 23 instead of 22, Kurt “Big Sexy” Thomas will be in his 40’s then, and it just kills any momentum the Bulls had going their way into this season.  The Bulls had a great draft, having traded for the rights of #23 draft pick Small Forward Nikola Mirotic, and getting Jimmy Butler with the 30th pick, a great Small Forward from Marquette.

Having lost to the dreaded Miami Heat in the Conference Finals was a heart breaker to all Bulls fans, that team felt like nothing was going to stop them from winning the NBA Championship.  This team reminds me of the Blackhawks Stanley Cup team, having so much depth, and so many role players,  guys like Kyle Korver, Luol Deng, Omer Asik, Taj Gibson, and of course spark plug Joakim Noah. 

Lets just say if there is no season we all should take a day to reflect what this year could have been, and basically what that means is NBA Finals.  Lets hope David Stern and the NBA find a miracle to get a deal done.  If not I’ll leave you all with something to enjoy!!