Lakers' Ramon Sessions entering free agency.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: Sessions smells that the Lakers are in a tough position and he's smart to levarage it for more money.
Los Angeles guard Ramon Sessions is declining his one-year option for 2012-2-13 and instead looking to test the free agent waters. He's clearly hoping to garner more than the $4.55 million option the Lakers had on the table.
Sessions had a productive year with Los Angeles averaging 12.7 points, 6.2 assists, and 3.8 rebounds in 23 regular-season games. The Lakers need his speed and quickness both on offense and defense. They will be forced to still try and sign him through free agency, but would likely have to pay more.
LA traded long time point guard Derek Fisher away last off-season, due to his declining lateral mobility and will be in a bad situation if they can't resign Sessions for a reasonable amount of money. They've still got Gasol as an option to trade, but the problem is they don't have much money to play with and the number of quality guards available this off-season with comparable quickness are few.
Photo Credit: AP NEWS.
It wasn't pretty, but it's still a win.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Miami has the momentum up 2-1 and homecourt advantage. Maybe the King will finally be crowned.
The Heat started off strong building a 20-26 first quarter lead, but as we all know Oklahoma has a history of starting slow. The Thunder game roaring back winning the 2nd and 3rd quarters to set up the fourth quarter showdown we've all come to expect in these playoffs.
The Thunder didn't quite look like themselves going into the 4th. James Harden was having a horrible game with just 9 points on 2-10 shooting and Kevin Durant had sad a large portion of the 2nd and 3rd quarters with early foul trouble in the game.
On the other side of the ball, LeBron was able to get good looks largely inside the paint. When LeBron receives the ball from 17 feet and in, his shooting percentages go way up. In game three LeBron lived in the paint in the first half. This is a recipe for success as it give him more confidence in knocking down the jumper when it presents himself, but prevents his settling for long fade-away shots the Thunder are relieved to see him attempt.
In the 4th it was really anyone's game. The Heat build up a 7 point lead with about 5 minutes left and it looked like Miami would cruise to their second NBA Finals win, but 30 seconds and 2 Wade turnovers later it was a 1 point game. Sefolosha is a defensive machine and has proved capable of picking Wade's pocket multiple times late in games.
In the end Miami won it at the free throw line. It wasn't the most glamorous win in NBA history watching LeBron and Wade knock down free throws, but it was still a win. LeBron ended up with 29 points and 14 rebounds as Wade had 25 points. Durant had 25 points on limited minutes due to foul trouble and Russell Westbrook 19 points.
Game 4 is in Miami on Tuesday.
Photo Credit: AP NEWS
Chris Brown gets his ass kicked by Drake and Tony Parkers gets hurt in the process.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Drake punching Chris Brown feels right, but Tony Parker getting into it is so random.
Boston 3-point specialist Ray Allen wants to play for either Miami of New York next year.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: Damn Ray, the season isn't even over yet and you're making moves.
Here are your position-by-position Finals matchups.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It all starts with Lebron vs. Durant. The matchup of the year. This is the head-to-head mathup everyone wants to see.
CENTER: Kendrick Perkins vs. Udonis Haslem.
Perkis is tough as nails, but isn't much of an offesnive threat. Haslem's been battling it out with Garnett for 7 games, so it's difficult to see Perkins bing any more intimidating that KG. Plus, Haslem has a mid-range jumper he can knock down. Edge: Heat.
POWER FORWARD: Serge Ibaka vs. Shane Battier or Chris Bosh.
Ibaka has always been regarded as a shot-blocking machine and with his recent addition of consistent mid-range shooter he is a true threat on both ends of the court. The real question is whether he can continue to shoot lights out or if his 11-11 night of shooting was a fluke. Bosh is still getting his legs under him, but dropping 17 points and 3 3-pointers in game seven is only going to help. Edge: even.
SMALL FORWARD: Kevin Durant vs. LeBron James.
Durant shoots the 3-pointer better than Durant, but will he be able to get the looks he needs with LeBron on him. LeBron is unstopable from 17-feet and in, but tends to settle for too many outside jumpers, instead of taking the ball to the rim. The real benefit of Durant is he is better at getting his entire team involved. LeBron's the MVP, but Durant is a better franchise player. Edge: Thunder (barely).
SHOOTING GUARD: Thabo Sefolosha vs. Dwyane Wade.
Dwayne Wade hasn't exactly been himself this playoffs. He's been putting up descent numbers, but never really taking over. Sefolosha will put the defensive clamps down on Wade, but Sefolosha lacks offensive skills Wade bring to the table. Edge: Heat.
POINT GUARD: Russell Westbrook vs. Mario Chalmers.
Chalmers is quick by normal standards and a descent shot, but Westbrook is lightening fast and a better shooter. Chalmers will have his hands full trying to keep Westbrook from penetrating at will. Edge: Thunder (By far).Read More
Pau Gasol told reporters on Thursday that he expects to be traded.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Gasol will not return next year as a Laker.
Pau Gasol's duties with the Los Angeles Lakers officially ended on Wednesday. The question that remains is whether this is the end of the line for Gasol in LA. He struggled through trade rumors earlier in the year when it looked like the Lakers were going to acquire Chris Paul, but after those negotiations fell apart, Gasol position on the team was never quite the same.