Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Chris, Chris, Chris... Wipe the Tears Away

Poor Baby
Chris Bosh is mad as hell, but is the Heat to blame or is it him?  My answer is "It's all on you Chris."  Chris Bosh is power forward with the size of a center & the game of a small forward.  The Heat need Chris Bosh to develop a dominant inside game.  He has the skills necessary to be a dominant force on the block, but he settles for jump-shots time after time.   The Heat have 2 of the top 3 players in today's game in LeBron James & Dwayne Wade, both of whom dribble, penetrate & shoot jumpers.  The Heat also have knock-down shooters in 3-point shootout champ James Jones, Mike Miller, Mike Bibby & former champion Eddie House.  So it should have been common sense for Chris Bosh, but yet he didn't recognize it & the Heat are paying for it losing to not just the elite teams, but any team that over or around .500.  Chris Bosh more than anybody else, can rid the Heat of their problems which are currently on a 5 game losing streak with the World Champion Lakers coming to South Beach for an annual visit.  Chris Bosh is what we call "Soft" in the sports world & will need to shake that tag off starting Thursday.  I don't want to hear that he's not getting the ball or that he's not evolved, because when you shoot 1 for 18 & 3 for 11 from the field in recent losses then maybe you should stop taking "Js" & start backing people down, Chris.  That's what the Heat need,  not somebody whining & crying about his role on the team.

Are they really the "Big 2"

Haz Bey
Sports Blogger

The 76ers... Where Did They Come From?

Lou Williams brings instant offense off the bench
2 triple-doubles in the last 2 games
By Haz Bey
Early last season in the NBA & the 76ers were looking horrific.  They were 3-13 & was considered the worst team in the league.  Coach Doug Collins was changing line-ups on what seemed to be an every night basis.  Then all of a sudden something clicked in Coach Collins mind & he was ready to define roles for his young team.  He composed a starting line-up of not his best players, but his best mix of players.  See in Philly, this years team was built just like the few seasons... Athletic, fast wing-men with undersized, jump shooting bigs.  Difference is that Coach Collins is a true teacher of the game & commands the respect that warrants all hands on deck to comply to or else.  So what Doug did was start Jrue Holiday & sharp-shooting Jodie Meeks in the back court teaming them up with a front line composed of Spencer Hawes, former All Star Elton Brand & team captain Andre Igudala.  This move provided not just balance & stability at the start of games, but it allowed the Sixers to kick it in high gear the leagues best 2nd unit.

 Collins deserves Coach of the Year considerations
When Lou Williams, Thaddeus Young & then rookie Evan Turner were called upon, the Sixers do not miss a beat.  So for 48 minutes a night teams have to match their intensity while not running out of gas doing so.  The 76ers fast-break is deadly when you have all their young, athletic talent coming at you full speed.  9 times out of 10 a spectacular play happens resulting in a Sixers score.  The 76ers ended up with the 7th seed in East with a match-up in the 1st round with the Miami Heat. The Sixers lost the series 4 games to 1, but they faught Miami to the very end staying highly competetive all seriest long.

Young Guns
Let's fast forward to this season.  The Sixers jumped out the gate like gang busters with a 20-9 record and was 3rd in the Eastern Conference.  Just smotherling teams with their defense and confusing teams by moving the ball effenciently to multiple scoring options around the court.  When you don't turn the ball over and play great defense, you will win and win big in the NBA and that is what the Sixers were doing.  Andre Igudala finally received the All-Star bid that was due to him maybe 3 years ago and the Sixers were receiving the respect around the league they haven't had since "The Answer" Allen Iverson was leading them to the Playoffs on an every year basis.  Everything was going great until the one thing that can truly disrupt what the Sixers were accomplishing, the "Injury Bug" hit.  Spencer Hawes was playing at a close to All-Star type level and then back & ankle problems have gotten the best of him.  Side lining him for many games this season forcing 2 young rookies to step up and pick up the slack left behind with Hawes' absence on the court.  Lavoy Allen & Nikola Vucevic are playing as well as the can possibly play as rookies on a team that many consider a true contender in the East, but their play together does not match what Spencer Hawes brings to the team on both ends of the court.  Spencer was having his best NBA season while averaging 10.8 ppg with 8.3 rpg & 2.3 apg.  He was scoing inside & out, rebounding at a high rate and protecting the paint like a good big man should.  Elton Brand has been in and out the line up as well as of late leaving the Sixers very undersized in the paint area allowing teams to score inside on them and get to free throw line more frequently.  The combination of all factors involved including a stretch where the Sixers had to go on the road for a 4 out of 5 game stretch has resulted in a 5 game losing streak heading into the All Star break. 

Difference Makers
The Sixers open the second half of the season with a 20-14 record.  I believe their are 3 points of emphisis the Sixers need to improve on to finish with one of the top 3 seeds in the East.  Number 1, Andre Igudala needs to drive to the basket more to create foul shooting opportunities.  The Sixers rank amungst the league's worst when it comes to free throw attempts & makes.  If Andre attacks the rim more frequently, I believe only good things will happen, but with him still trying to shoot that inconsistent jumper of his, the Sixers waste possessions and allows teams to get out on the run against them.  Number 2, designate Lou Williams as the teams go to guy.  The man is an relentless scorer and I personally believe he should not be coming off the bench.  He wants the ball in the biggest moments and has delivered.  Remember game 4 in Philly against the Heat?  He drains a deep three with a few seconds left to win a highly contested playoff game against the eventual Eastern Conference Champions.  And let's not forget what Lou did against the Lakers earlier this season at the Wells Fargo Center scoring 14 of his 24 points in the 4th quarter out dooling 14-time All-Star Kobe Bryant by erasing a 7 point deficit with 4 and a half minutes to play to win a big game for the Sixers and their fans.  He is the teams leading scorer with 15.7 ppg.  He should be playing 32-35 minutes a night.  That probably will not happen, but if he gets more time on the court, I think the Sixers will be very hard to stop on every possession.  Last, but not least, number 3, they have to get healthy and fast.  With the emergence of Jeremy Lin, the New York Knicks have return from the grave to be a serious contender in the East and they are eyeing the Sixers position on top of the Atlantic Divison.  If the Sixers can get their roster completely healthy in the next few weeks, then should be able to maintain their dominance of the Atlantic Division.  When the Sixers are healthy, they are 1 of the most balanced & deep teams in all of basketball.  They run teams to death.  They also have a gnact of thrashing the teams they are supposed to beat, so let's just say as this team's health goes so does their position in the Eastern Conference.

Bottom line, Philadelphia has a winner on the basketball court.  A team they can be proud of.  A team that is exciting.  A team that has a chance to achieve something great.  The Philadelphia 76ers are on the right path to greatness, let's see where their journey take s them.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Who is more Clutch then Jordan?

Do you remember the MJ commercial where he talks about all his failures and how many game winners he missed? I do and I loved him for it. Jordan was hands down the best to play the game so far and maybe ever. Yes, Bill Russell has 11 championships and was the most dominant player of his era, but Mike dominated then took two years off and came back and dominated again. We all know the great games he had, 55 points at the Garden, 35 point Flu Game in the playoffs against the Jazz, 63 points against the Celtics in a playoff loss. I could go on for days about how good this man was but the focus today is how clutch he was and how he has paved the way for clutch stars like Kobe, Durant, Melo, Roy, Peirce, Ginobli, and Rose. jsut to name a few. Not so much for Mr. James as we all have been WITNESSES to over the last few weeks. The fact that MJ was never scared to take the last shot and wanted the ball in clutch moments is what help his legacy. He knew that he could put the team on his back whether they succeeded of failed. To have that type of pedigree and drive takes pride,character and heart.
Kobe doing Work!

Drive is just one of many traits needed to be a great player in the NBA and a key trait to be a clutch player in the NBA. When MJ took the court teams feared him in clutch moments and his teammates encouraged him doing these moments. This is evident in Kobe's game today. The Lakers in "Money" time, as I like to call it, or clutch time as it's commonly known as, look to go to Kobe and know he wants and is willing to take those shots. Now like MJ Kobe has missed more than his share of game winners or clutch shots but the drive is there and the will is there. We see the same thing in other players in the league that are younger then Kobe. I like to call them them the New age Ballers. Kevin Durant of the Thunder has proven to be a prolific scorer and maybe he will be the all-time leading scorer in this leagues history when it is all said and done for him. He doesn't shy away from the challenge and will shoot from anywhere on the court. The new Chi-Town star Derrick Rose is taken his new role as leader and embracing it to the point where he is a clear cut favorite as league MVP. And we all know what Melo' can do and will soon do in NY. I would even throw Brandon Roy of the Blazers in there because when healthy he was not only an All Star but a clutch and big shot performer. Unfortunately not all our NBA superstars can carry the the Michael Jordan Clutch Torch!
El Cold!

What ever happen to the former Finals MVP D-Wade? He drop the nickname Flash and has become an innocent bystander to what has become a crime scene in south Beach. I remember when the Heat had just Wade as the only prime time player and was exciting to watch and won close games because he would take over the game. I remember when he would hit a clutch shot or dunk on somebody and yell at the Miami crowd, "This is My House". Who's house is it now Mr. Wade? I can't believe one of the games best players is not only taking a backseat to a kid who looks 40 but is really 25 years old but is also excepting the role as Robin and not Batman. OK you are a great teammate and you guys are brothers, "yada yada yada" that's all BS and I'll tell you why. This man is not only having to force his way on the court he is not even getting plays called his way anymore. To me that is a straight slap in the face to the man who brought that city a title. Mr. James might be the Marquee but what has he done in this league to deserved all the praise. I mean Steve Nash won two league MVP trophies and to me that doesn't warrant a, put the team on his back nod. I just think D-Wade or Flash as I like to call him should start stepping up and becoming the leader and play maker we all know and take over this ship because come playoff time they will sink fast.
Words fit Perfect

Mr. James, Mr. James, you have said numerous times, "I do not want the pressure of having to go out and score 30 a night", ummm your second or third in the league in scoring, you also said, "I don't have to take over games just to keep my team in it to win", If I'm not mistaken the offense is ran through you. You have recently stated that you will not continue to fail your teammates anymore. I have a suggestion, PASS THE DAMN BALL!!! All the things you said, on why you left the Cavs, you are doing in Miami, so I'm really confused on what you are trying to achieve in this League. You was a two time league MVP, had back to back season with the NBA's best record, and you contended for a Championship once. All of which was in Cleveland. So, you come to the Heat with Wade and Bosh and hope the Three Horseman effect will dominate the league and win 8 RINGS as you put it. Your team is 3rd in the east right now and have not beaten a top 5 team outside of the Lakers on XMAS who usually lose on XMAS anyway, not really a go and get them game for the Lakers in December I'm sure. Prove to your teammates that you are not full of yourself and go do what you did in Cleveland but use the best player on your team, Mr. D-Wade and also stop being a bunch of cry babies. After every loss you guys are barking at the media because they are grilling you. So, What this is what you asked for. a man defines his own legacy by what he stands for and what he has accomplished in his profession and yours is blank right now Mr. James because I'm not sure you can be that man to put it all on your back. I could be wrong though. Believe me I'm no expert.

"Dub Dub" King

NBA's new Rebound King
When told about Kevin Love breaking his most games with a double double streak Moses Malone didn't even know he had a streak. He said they didnt use the term double double when he played nor did they really care. The fact that Kevin Love is able to do what he does on the glass doesn't surprise me, I mean he plays for the T'Wolves, somebody has to score and rebound on a team with less than 20 victories this far into the season. Having 11 games with at least 20 points and 20 Rebounds is an amazing feat. BUT, The question is would Love be able to perform like that on a nightly basis playing on a team like the Spurs, Lakers, Celtics, Bulls, or even the lack of post presence Heat? The answer is clearly NO! I will tell you why. For one he won't get nearly the minutes he needs to perform like he is now because he is great player on a bad team but a role a role player on a good team and also teams in the NBA on certain nights are going to play to the level of their competition. So, When a good team like the Spurs, Celtics, or Lakers see T'Wolves on the schedule, they play hard enough to win, which allows a player like Love to out play and rebound the man next to him. If Love is on the Spurs and they are playing the Celtics or Lakers, then the level of energy and hustle on each side goes up.Nobody is saying the kid can't play or is a "bum" I'm just saying that when you play with a team that is in the basement of the league somebody has to shine and for the Wolves that man is Kevin Love. He has plenty of time to become a great player in the league but his lack of athleticism will keep him from out performing the LaMarcus Aldrige, Blake Griffin, Lamar Odom, and Chris Bosh's of the NBA.

Monday, March 7, 2011

There's No Crying in B-Ball!!!

It's only March you guys. Save the tears for the playoffs...

Coach Spo dropped the ball when he leaked that a couple of his own players were crying inside the locker room after Sundays lost against the Bulls.  It's March of the regular season & grown professionals are crying over a string of of tough losses.  Grown-ass men whining & crying after these same men celebrated their new found "brother-hood" with a "WWE-like" light show featuring song & dance.  Claiming to the world they are going to win not 5, not 6 but 7 titles.  Get the hell out of here.  The adversity they are going through right now will strengthen them, but for the meantime, the Heat need to stop crying & give the damn ball to D-Wade, please!!!

Haz Bey
Sports Blogger

Here Comes Showtime!!!

Annual Championship Celebration
 America, some of you guys might hate it & I know a lot of you guys love it, but the 2-time defending champs are back.  Yeah I said it... They're back.  When analyst & "Laker-Haters" alike wrote them for dead, it was people like me warning all of you that the Lakers has been there & done that.  The regular season means nothing to them.  Now seven games deep after Kobe's MVP performance at this years NBA All Star Game, the Lakers are starting to find their groove at the right time.  A perfect 7 & 0 against their opponents including wins against the playoff bound Hawks, Thunder, Blazers & a down-right beat-down against the San Antonio Spurs. 

"Don't act like you're not impressed."
Now we all know the Lakers are very talented, but they're are not team that was meant to challenge the legendary 95-96 Michael & Scottie-led Chicago Bulls historic 72-10 mark.  The Lakers are built to beat any team out there in a 7 game series.  Throughout a playoff series they will wear you down with their size & length, then finish you off with arguably the game's greatest player since Michael Jordan last wore a Chicago Bulls Jersey, Kobe Bryant.  Not to mention, that old dude that sits on that big chair on the Lakers bench every game does know a thing or two about winning the biggest games on the biggest stages.  If the Lakers are healthy this playoff season, they are virtually unbeatable in a playoff series.  Now with the Celtics dealing their size away to OKC, for business reasons, not 1 team in the league can dominate the Lakers on the glass & in the paint.  Some people think San Antonio can top the Lake-Show, but I will make this very clear to all of you out there.  The Spurs have peaked.  The will not get any better, they will not get any worse.  They have been playing at a high level all season, but match these 2 teams up in a conference finals situation with the Spurs having home court, LA would win in 5 games.  I'm serious 5 games.  Not only I know this, the Lakers know this & so do the Spurs. 

"And they thought we were dead."
Respect the World Champion Lakers.  They've been to Finals for 3 straight years while winning the last 2.  They have with no doubt in my mind the games best player playing to today in the Black Mamba.  They present the league's best front line.  Plus with Phil Jackson running the ship, a 3-peat is well with-in their sights.

Haz Bey
Sports Blogger

Friday, March 4, 2011

Give D-Wade the DAMN Ball Already!!! Please?

"Hey D-Wade, maybe you should take the last shot."

Heat lose to Magic 99-96

I'm sick & tired of watching the Miami Heat fail down the stretch game after game.  LeBron James has "LeBricked" 3 3-point attempts with-in the last 8 days.  "Where they do that at?" (quoting rapper Fabolous)  I'll tell you where, Miami.

D-Wade 2006 Finals MVP

Dwayne Wade is known as a clutch performer down the stretch of games, also doing so for 4 straight games on the league's biggest stage, the NBA Finals, but this Miami Heat team for some reason is convinced, for no apparent reason, to get the ball to "Prince James", thanks Skip.  Miami is now 5-12 in games decided by 5 points or less.  In this case, the stats don't lie.  Miami, not surprising to me, is beating up on the bad teams on sheer talent alone, just like the LeBron-led Cavs did the last few seasons before James took his "talents" to South Beach.  What is surprising to me is that Miami can not executed when it matters most. 

LeBron is so unsure of himself

LeBron is a confused superstar.  He doesn't know if he wants to be a scorer or distributor, a leader or wing man, small  forward or point guard.  Well what ever he decides, he need to figure it out fast, because the playoffs are looming & no one is going to feel bad for him when it's money time.  Dwayne Wade needs to damn-near go to blows with LeBron & Coach "Spo" to take control this team behind closed doors.  This is Dwayne Wade's team.  He's the Finals MVP, not LeBron.  He brought the city of Miami a title, not LeBron. So here's a simple task for you Coach "Spo". Next your team is down by a single possession with the shot clock turned off, JUST GIVE D-WADE THE DAMN BALL ALREADY!!!  PLEASE?

Haz Bey
Sports Blogger

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Where is D-Wade??

D-Wade at his finest hour
Maybe I'm a Mr. James hater or maybe I am just speaking the truth, when I say Mr. James needs to let D-wad be the man of this Miami Heat team. Miami is 14-15 against teams with winning records and the last 3 losses where by 7 points or less, all 3 games having the Heat with chances to win in crunch time. And in all 3 games Wade was nowhere to be found in the clutch. In the loss against the Celtics coach "Spo", as the heat players like to call him, drew up a play where Mr. James catches the ball from the in-bounder and passes to an open Mike Miller at the top of the key, he missed. D-Wade set the screen on that play to get Miller open. Again maybe I'm wrong or maybe I'm a Mr. James hater, but the loss against the Bulls proves my point to be somewhat valid. Chalmers was the in-bounder on this crunch time possession and had a clear pass to an open D-Wade but opted to wait for James who was not open and called a time-out, check the the game tape I'm not making this up, Wade looked right at him and said, "I'm open". After the time out Chalmers passes the ball in bounds to Mr. James and he hoisted up a three with plenty of time left on the clock and straight clanked the side of the rim. Maybe I'm a hater or maybe I'm speaking the truth like my man rapper Beanie Sigel would say. I mean the last loss the heat had was this past Sunday against the new look Knicks, "We got Carmelo, We got Carmelo", they really need to put that Whiz Khalif song to bed, but I digress. In this game Mr. James tried to make it a one on one battle with Melo in the closing minutes, IN MY EYES anyway, but again coach "Spo" draws up a play that has Mr. James at the top of the key with seconds left going one on one with Melo and Mr. James gets his "wig pushed back" aka he got his shot blocked. D-Wade again not a factor in clutch time.

Maybe it's me but is Mr. James the one with a Finals MVP trophy, no that's D-Wade. Oh that's right Mr. James is the one with a Finals Ring, no that's D-Wade again. Oh that's right Mr. James scored 48 points against the Pistons in 2007 NBA Eastern Conference Finals, 25 straight points, and since then he hit a cool buzzer beater against the Magic back in 2008 playoffs, that should count for something, right? Since Shaq left Miami D-Wade has been a Lone Ranger and I can understand him wanting help down there and wanting to get back to champs status, look Kobe did the same thing and after all his crying he got Pau Gasol, but Mr. James is a ball "whore", (he needs to have the ball in his hands all the time), and to me that doesn't work for D-Wade in clutch moments. He needs the ball and he needs it when it counts the most, unlike Mr. James who said he doesn't want to carry the load and doesn't like the pressure. So why the hell are you taking so many shots in clutch moments? Makes no sense to me but apparently they think Mr. James is the man for the job. Well if they want to improve that record against winning teams they need to get D-Wade the ball when it counts. Not against bum teams like the Wizards, where he will score 40 plus points. To me that is a waste of a good game. You don't need to score 40 against teams like the Wizards, C'Mon Man!

Grant Hill... Back to the Future

At 38, Grant Hill continues to play at a high level
Grant Hill played down-right out of his mind last Sunday against the Pacers.  Dropping 34 points including an game-tying 3-pointer that set up Channing Frye for the eventual game winning shot to send the Indiana fans home wondering "What the hell just happened".  Hill's play should come to no surprise, because when the man came out of Duke he was so talented, so polished that people wanted to anoint him as the next "Air Jordan".  

Grant Hills first 6 seasons he did not disappoint.  Virtually a triple-double machine every time he stepped on the court with the Detroit Pistons.  I mean the boy was bad, I mean Michael Jackson with Wesley Snipes "Bad".  Then summer of 2000 comes around.  Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady team up to sign with Orlando.  A dynasty was born, or was it?  The injury bug literally stripped us, the public of our shinning star.  Tracy was basically left to do it on his own & then years later he was traded to Houston. 

The dynamic-duo that never was
Then 2005 comes around & guest who's back in the All Star Game... Good ol' Grant.  Playing at a high level and healthy for the first time in 5 years.  Fast forward to Phoenix.  Grant joins the Suns with incredible point guard Steve Nash & immediately becomes a perfect fit for the Suns run & gun system.  Due to all the injuries & surgeries, Grant has not had the same wear & tear on the his body as a Kobe Bryant or Jason Kidd does & these players have played at a high level and made deep playoff runs there throughout their whole career.  Grant has fresh legs at 38 years of age & is in phenomenal shape which allows him to guard the oppositions best perimeter player night in & night out.  Oh yeah, Mr. Hill's mid-range "J" is as lethal as ever.  So when you watching Sports Center & you see Grant Hill highlights don't say "I can't believe he still has it.", better yet, stand up & applaud his love & dedication to the game of basketball, because the boy worked extremely hard to get to back to where he is today.
Grant Hill is still going strong while maintaining his health

Haz Bey
Sports Blogger

B.O.M not M.O.B.

Bibby in his prime with the Kings
Basketball over Money not Money over Basketball, that's what NBA point guard Mike Bibby choose when he decided to take a buyout from the Washington Wizards, the team he was traded to last week from the Atlanta Hawks on the day of NBA trading deadline. Bibby turned down $6.2 Million next season to become a free agent and sign with a winning team, unfortunate for him that "winning" team is the Miami Heat. That's neither here nor there, the point is he turned down a lot of "dough", "paper", "cheese", and like Randy Moss would say, "straight cash homey", for the love of the game. He is a 12 year veteran that has played in clutch games when he was a Sacramento King, and knows what it means to be a winner. I couldn't name 5 other players in today's game that would give up that much money to go and sign for extremely less than half of that amount, just to have a chance to win a ring.

Not his best work
The big "Tacos", I mean 3, all said they would put the money aside to have the chance to play with each other and try to win MULTIPLE championships as it was put by Mr. James himself during their big concert slash welcome to Miami expose'. If I'm not mistaken they still signed for over $100 Million a piece, maybe in millionaires terms that means we could have gotten $125 Million instead of $116 Million. In any case they did not give up as much as Bibby, who turned down a whole season of pay in 2011-2012. He is taken the biggest risk because his deal with the Heat is just for the remainder of the season. Next year, many of the contending teams are going to want to sign him because of his leadership and experience, but he will not make nearly as much as he was due to earn next season. I commend any man who loves his craft and has the passion and will to become a champion. Good for you Mr. Bibby!