The 10 Worst NBA Drafts in the Lottery Era

The calendar now reads June. In the NBA that means it’s time to crown an NBA Champion. However among the biggest of NBA nerds, it also means it’s time to get ready for the NBA draft. We’re only two weeks and a few hours away from the 2011 NBA Draft. This year, it’s preparing for the likes of Kyrie Irving, Derrick Williams, Enes Kanter and Brandon Knight to join the greatest basketball league on the planet that has us basketball geeks totally psyched.

Wait, what?

By Peter Christian

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NBA Free Agent Signings: Billups, Richardson, Carter, West, Odom

Our resident NBA nerd David Kay is on vacation this week; in a much warmer place. However, being out of the country hasn’t stopped him from being on top of the news. He’s got a lot to say on what’s been going on with the league this week.

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Melo blockbuster lands Timberwolves young, athletic Anthony Randolph

The New York Knicks finally got their guy.

Late Tuesday night the Denver Post reported that the Knicks acquired superstar forward Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets in a blockbuster three-team trade.

The Knicks receive a package based around Anthony, but also includes veteran point guard Chauncey Billups.

For the Nuggets, their package is based around emerging point guard Raymond Felton, up-and-coming wing Wilson Chandler, and Italian wing and budding star Danilo Gallinari.

The third team involved in this deal is the Minnesota Timberwolves. [Read more…]

Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant Headline list of Team USA Finalists

derrick rose bulls

Following four days of training and an intra-squad exhibition in Las Vegas, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo announced his 15 NBA superstar players picked as finalists for the 2010 USA World Championship Team.

The three biggest names on the roster are Chicago Bulls franchise player Derrick Rose, Nuggets superstar Chauncey Billups, and Oklahoma City Thunder go-to-guy Kevin Durant.

The 2010-12 USA National Team will be coached by Duke University’s Mike Krzyzewski, with USA assistant coaches Syracuse University’s Jim Boeheim, New York Knicks head mentor Mike D’Antoni and Portland Trail Blazers head coach Nate McMillan.

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NBA Western Conference Finals Preview

By: Andy Weise

This is what playoffs are all about – star power. Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwight Howard. Four of the top 10 superstars in the NBA lead their teams now. Kobe has three rings but has as many as the other three combined when Shaq isn’t on his team: zero.

In the west, it was only a matter of time before the Los Angeles Lakers finished off the Houston Rockets. Ron Artest did everything he could to keep the Rockets going after losing Yao Ming during the series but Kobe and his boys were just too tough. Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals? Wow! After thinking they would be the team to implode this year, a great trade that helped Mark Warkentien win the executive of the year award now has paid great dividends as the Nuggets have become the surprise story of the year.
In the West, Chauncey Billups has brought what Allen Iverson was supposed to: a complimentary guard to Carmelo Anthony. The Nuggets are a completely different team with Billups rather than Iverson, but that’s not the only reason why the Nuggets are where they are now. Kenyon Martin and Nene have remained healthy while only playing a little more than 30 minutes a game during the regular season. Chris Andersen aka BIRDMAN has emerged as a capable defensive big for the Nuggets. The Nuggets gave up Marcus Camby in the offseason and without Andersen’s play this year, they wouldn’t have been here even if they would have gotten Billups.

How do the Nuggets matchup with the defending Western conference champs? Both teams have the dominant playmaker (Kobe/Carmelo), both teams have size on the block, both teams have really good sixth men (JR Smith & Lamar Odom). So where is the advantage? Bryant will be tough to stop whether it’s Anthony, JR Smith or Dahntay Jones guarding him. Trevor Ariza or Bryant will likely guard Anthony, which will make it a tough series for Anthony.

Billups and Anthony Carter are much better than Jordan Farmar and Derek Fisher. This is where the Nuggets have the advantage in the series and need take advantage. Fisher looked badly outplayed by Aaron Brooks in the Houston-LA series.
Andersen will have to be on his game as the energy guy off the bench too with Gasol, Bynum and Odom up front. Gasol is the most talented big man in this series, the Lakers need to take advantage of the Nuggets’ inability to cover Bryant and Gasol. If the Nuggets can slow down these two, they definitely have a shot but it’s much easier to talk about than actually do.

X Factor: Andrew Bynum. His minutes and play have been inconsistent, but all three times he played against the Nuggets this season the Lakers won.

My prediction: Lakers in seven. This series will be a good, back and forth but the Lakers are too tough upfront. It would be interesting to see the Anthony-led Nuggets get into the finals, especially if the Cavaliers also get there, but the Lakers are too tough at every position other than point guard.

Scoop B’s Soap Box: NBA Player Camaraderie

By Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson
Does it bother you when you see players shaking hands and hugging before games?

On Sunday, I tuned in to the Cavs-Mavs game on ABC—and I must say that I was intrigued first by the picture taking and then the handshakes and poses by the Cavs, despite how most basketball purists may dislike it. But I digress.

As the players were all lining up for the tip off, I am amazed by how many people Mo Williams is high-fiving. Jason Kidd, Eric Dampier are shaking and hugging Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ hand, and Antoine Wright may be asking Delonte West how his family is.

Of course we all know, as Kevin Garnett has said in his Adidas commercials that basketball is a brotherhood. But I wonder if perhaps players have become too friendly and that the league has become more of a social country club instead of a collection of players who  simply show up to get the job done. Then again, don’t we mix and mingle with our co-worker s? Perhaps we have just became so enamored with the various rivalries from the 80’s and 90’s i.e. Bulls/Knicks, Bulls/Pistons, Heat/Knicks (and so and so on).

Since a lot of athletes know one another since their high school days at AAU, maybe it’s not really a big deal. You would think that last year when the Pistons and Celtics played in the playoffs last year the intensity Garnett displayed and that big snarl of his would be combative to Rasheed Wallace’s North Philly (shout out to Simon Gratz High School) swagger and Chauncey Billups’ toughness. But after dissecting that, you realize that Chauncey and Garnett have been friends since high school from playing one another and that Rasheed and KG (who have similar skill sets) greatly respect each other’s games. Perhaps, it is the fans or the media who expect them to act that way, or egg it on to represent one thing, when it’s actually another.  After all, these guys do have lives off the court.
Hmm, I wonder….