Breaking Down the NBA
Lakers hire Mike D'Antoni has head coach after they can't land Phil Jackson.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: This is a horrible decision that will not end well. I feel like I'm watching the movie John Carter in slow motion.
#10 Wrong System. D'Antonio's system did not work in New York with the Knicks where he went 121- 167. These are not the kind of numbers the Lakers are aiming for.
#9 Egos. D'Antonio does not handle big ego players well. He never had to deal with this in Phoenix and struggled with it in New York. He will drown in egos in Los Angeles and be fired by the end of the year.
#8 No Game Plan. It only makes sense to fire Mike Brown after 5 games if you already have a contract in place with Phil Jackson. Since Jackson was not already locked up to coach, this instead looks like Laker management is in a panic. They will really be in a panic when D'Antoni's system takes weeks and months to implement and then realize it's a horrible fit.
#7 Track Recrod. D'Antoni does not have a history of winning big games. He doesn't have any rings nor has he really ever come close. This season will be no different. He failed in Phoenix, he failed in New York, and this season with the most high-powered offense in the league he will fail again.
#6 Horrible Defense. The Lakers have one of the worst defenses in the league right now. This is largely why they are losing. Mike D'Antoni is famous for having teams that guard no one. He is not a defensively minded coach. Be prepared to watch the Lakers give up a lot of 3 diget scoring nights this season.
#5 Jery Sloan. Although I don't think Sloan is a good fit for the Lakers, he is a better fit than D'Antoni. At least Sloan's offense fits the existing Laker personnel and he brings a tough-minded approach to defense the Lakers drastically need.
#4 Brian Shaw. How is Brian Shaw not getting this coaching gig? If Phil Jackson is your number 1 option, Brain Shaw should logically be your number 2. They believe in the same offensive flow. Shaw coached under Jackson in LA and understands the triangle offense and has the respect of most of the existing players. Shaw should be the Laker's coach not D'Antoni.
#3 No Youth and Quickness. D'Antni's system is based on players that are fast up and down the court and quick on and off the ball. I don't know when anyone ever called Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, and Metta World Peace quick.
#2 Wrong Players. Mike D'Antonio has his old point guard back in Steve Nash, but the problem is this is not a fast break team. This is not a run-and-gun team. They have big men that are built more for pick-and-roll or pick-and-pop. Even straight post-ups or some type of triangle offense would be more appropriate for this team. D'Antoni has the wrong group of guys for his system.
#1 Wrong System. Mike D'Antonio's up-tempo style of ball is not conducive to the Laker's personnel. This is a horrible match. His style of offense does not fit the players the Lakers are paying $100 million to have on the floor. This will not end well.
Top 10 biggest surprises of the 2013 NBA Season.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Lakers Suck, Chicago's Legit, Who's Gortat, and Harden's unstoppable.
#10 Marcin Gortat blocks a ton of shots.
I don't think you would have found too many NBA analysts picking Marcin Gortat as the shot block leader, but after one week of games he sits atop the standings with 3.5 blocks per game. He beat out big name guys like Roy Hibbert 3.25 blocks per game and Josh Smith 3.0 blocks per game, but can Gortat keep this up or is he simply on a lucky streak?
#9 Brandon Jennings lights up the league.
After one week of NBA ball, Brandon Jennings leads the league in both assists with 13 per game and steals with 4 per game. This may be the year Jennings fully comes into his own and shows the NBA he is not simply a solid player, but a star in the league.
#8 Houston Rockets can compete.
Starting off the season 2-1 is encouraging for the Rockets. This is especially true because their new guard combo of James Harden and Jeremy Lyn appears to be clicking on all cylinders. Harden at marched out to an amazing first week and Lyn as put up rock solid numbers too. Lyn's put up 15.8 points per game, 7.3 assists per game, and 5.7 assists per game. More on Harden's numbers below.
#7 Clippers beat Lakers.
With the Lakers grabbing Dwight Howard and Steve Nash this off-season, it appeared Los Angeles was safely in the grips of the Lakers. Yet, when these two teams met for their first inter-city competition this year it was the Clippers that looked faster, strong, and more dominant. They handed the Lakers their 3rd straight loss of the season.
#6 Knicks destroy Miami.
The Knicks put a whooping on the defending NBA champions 104-84 the first week of the season. They also marched out to a 3-0 start in the first week. It looks like New York might have just figured out how to make all these pieces fit together and the answer much just be the great facilitator Jason Kidd.
#5 Milwaukee Bucks got game.
The Bucks are out to a 2-0 start and are showing they are no pushover this year. Lead by feisty point guard Brandon Jennings who leads the NBA in both assists and steals, the Bucks have quickly become a team to watch out for. They might just be the sleeper team of 2013.
#4 Spurs aren't that old.
Everyone always seems to count the Spurs out even though they had the best record in the NBA both of the last two years. They started of this season hot again going 4-0. So much for too old, too slow, and not enough talent. With the Lakers struggling and the Thunder figuring out how to win without Harden, this could the the Spurs year to take the West.
#3 Chicago Bulls are legit without Rose.
Everyone figured this season was a bust with Derek Rose out, but Joakim Noah and Luol Deng are picking up the slack and have Chicago 3-1. This team still maintains a great defense and ability to shutdown opposing teams. If they can keep their offensive production solid, they just might make a run at the East.
#2 James Harden is an animal.
James Harden has singe-handedly taken the NBA by storm this year. Who knew putting Harden in the starting lineup would result in a 35.3 point per game average over the first week of the season. Harden has shown why at 6 foot 5 inches tall and a quick 220 lbs. he is so difficult to guard. Everyone knew he was good, but so far this year his numbers are amazing.
#1 Lakers Suck.
The Lakers were supposed to tear the Western Conference apart this year. They signed the best center in the league and a perennial NBA All Star at point guard to go with already impressive lineup of one of the best shooting guards in the history of the NBA and two other regular NBA All Stars in Gasol and World Peace. This was going to be a Dream Team of sorts. People were predicting a 72-win season and yet they started 0-3! They eventually won a game and now stand embarrassingly tied for last place in the Pacific Western Conference.
Top 10 David Stern mistakes as NBA commissioner.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: We know David Stern would like us to only remember the good, but here's a look back over his biggest blunders.
Yes, David Stern globalized the NBA and grew the bottom-line for executives and players, but he also dropped the ball on a number of issues too. Here is a list of Stern's Top 10 biggest bloopers, blunders, and flat out mistakes. Some involve his personality, while others focus on his policies and implementations of rules. All are definitely 100% Stern and 100% wrong.
#10 Biggest Ego
The fact that David Stern is not retiring, but rather simply stepping down as commissioner, but will still be employed as a consultant by the NBA speaks volumes. He is also giving the NBA a 15 month transition to Adam Silver taking over, which looks a lot more like a David Stern farewell tour.
#9 Under-23 Olympic Rule
This was the idea that Olympic Basketball should be a 23-under competition. David Stern went public with this brilliant idea without consulting with anyone throughout the league or his own team. He wanted to prove he could still sell a big idea and quickly ran for cover when the blow-back from this grew out of control, allowing Adam Silver to absorb most of the fallout.
#8 Anti-Flopping Rule
This is the rule Stern just enacted this year to try and avoid players from flopping on potential charge calls. This penalty is handed out after the game and the player is not told what particular play during the game incurred the penalty. This is seen largely as a cosmetic rule change that will do little to nothing to stop flopping and more of a hollow rule.
#7 Concerned with his Legacy
Stern is well aware that he will be regarded as the driving force that globalized the NBA. He is perhaps a little to aware and proud of this in fact. Stern has kept one eye on his legacy throughout most of his career, weighing decisions as much against how it would make him look personally as he reflected on what was judicious.
#6 Power Hungry
One thing that league executives agree on is that power was consolidated under Stern. They are hoping to more localize that power in the post-Stern NBA. The problem with this is that Adam Silver is Stern's right-hand man and will certainly not speak out against any Stern policies as of yet.
#5 Anti-Player Commissioner
It is no secret that David Stern was not liked by the players or Player's Association. Stern's lack of concern with player's health and well-bing was no where more pointed than in last years condensed season. Questions were raised by players and the players association about the potential for injury with such a small amount of rest between games. Stern was not concerned. I'm betting Chicago and Derek Rose wish he cared a little more.
David Stern appointing Adam Silver as his replacement is like Fidel Castro stepping down so his brother Raul Castro can takeover. Stern made sure the subsequent commissioner owed him and agreed with him on every detail of NBA labor issues and league regulations. This is simply David Stern 2.0, the Silver edition.
#3 Absurd Penalties
From fining Amare Stoudemire 50,000 over a tweet to Kobe being fined $100,000 for a homophobic slur at a ref, David Stern is known for arbitrary penalties. He once fined Mark Cuban $500,000 for criticizing refs when they clearly goofed the call and then turned around and penalized Metta World Peace with a mere seven game suspension for a vicious elbow that could have possibly ended James Harden's career. Don't look to Stern for judiciousness.
#2 Anti-Union Commissioner
Stern established himself as clearly an anti-player and anti-union commissioner during negotiations in the 2011-2012 season. He not only stood against the players, but also insulted many of their negotiation tactics.
#1 Over-Involvement in Trades:
People will not soon forget the fact the Stern vetoed the trade of Chris Paul to the Lakers in 2011 only to allow the trade of Dwight Howard to the Lakers in 2012. This raised the question of the NBA's involvement with Charlotte playing a role in the decision. Stern claims no harm no foul, but many still scratch their heads at the unprecedented move.
Top 10 Reasons LA Won't Win the Championship This Year.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Even with Dwight and Nash many don't pick the Lakers to win this year. Here's why.
Below are the Top 10 reasons Los Angeles won't win the title this year. This is drawing from other teams of similar build as well as an analysis of their existing pieces. Los Angeles is loaded with talent, but talent doesn't always equal championship rings and these are the reasons why.
#10 Metta World Peace is wild.
World Peace is a solid defender, but his offense is sketchy and his ability to control himself in pressure situations is horrible. Look for him to have another incident this year as he continues to age and get more frustrated with his slowing body. It's not a matter of if, but simply when World Peace will go nuclear.
#9 Pau Gasol is weak.
Gasol simply doesn't pay with the heart of a champion. Now that he is the 3rd or 4th option in the offense it won't be as glaringly obvious, but having people on your team and on the court that lack desire is a killer to team moral. Look for Kobe to continue to get pissed with Pau.
#8 Dwight can't shoot free throws.
When the game is on the line Dwight can't touch the ball. This is the same problem the Clippers have with Blake Griffin. The Lakers can overcome this by simply having everything flow through Kobe and Nash, but having your key big man not able to touch the ball is a serious weakness.
#7 Nash's defense sucks.
Steve Nash is a wiz at no-look passes and floaters in the lane, but lateral movement and man-up defense isn't one of his strengths. This will be exploited when he is matched up with speedsters like Russell Westbrook. This will be a key matchup the Thunder will exploit. This is why the Thunder are still stronger than the Lakers out West.
#6 Dwight's attitude
Dwight is known as a happy-go-lucky guy. He has always been much stronger and more talented than his competition. Unfortunately, this has made him weak. Dwight is not tough. He does not have the heart of a lion like Kobe. He has the heart of a kitty like Pau. This lack of mental toughness will be spotlighted in the playoffs.
#5 Kobe pressing
Kobe want's his sixth championship more than anything. He knows time is running out on both his career and the Laker's ability to hold this squad of players together. Look for Kobe to up in Pau and Dwight's faces early in the season. This could backfire with Dwight who isn't used to being scolded publicly.
#4 Mike Brown needs a spine
The Zen Master not only knew how to win, he knew how to let his leaders lead, but also how to keep them within his system. Mike Brown is no Phil Jackson and doesn't command the type of respect needed to keep massive egos in check. If things get bumpy early in the system look for Mike Brown to start catching some of the heat.
#3 No Toughness.
The toughest player on the Lakers is Kobe followed by Steve Nash. Where LA doesn't have grit is underneath. They lack the big men with muscle that are willing to both hit the floor and set a bone-crushing pick. Their big men are more pretty and gritty. Teams like San Antonio and Oklahoma City that don't suffer from this same prima donna mentality will exploit this lack of toughness.
#2 LA wants results.
Look for the temperature to be turned up as the Lakers struggle early in the season. They may even loose some early games to the Clippers and be threatened with losing the crown of their home town. Los Angeles has extrememly high expectations for the Lakers and if things start going south look for egos to get bruised and fingers to start pointing.
#1 First year together.
The Miami heat didn't win the first year their Big Three united in South Beach. The Lakers are no different. No matter how much talent a team has, it takes time for players to find their roles and fit together. The Lakers have the advantage of having winners already on the roster, but so did Miami. Look for the Lakers to win in year 2, but not their first year with this grouping of players.
Video Coverage of GQ and Hennessy's CP3 cover launch party.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: HoopsVibe talks one-on-one with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Terrell Ownes, and more at CP3's GQ cover release party.
HoopsVibe is on location at Sayers Club in Hollywood, CA to cover the Chris Paul GQ release party sponsored by Hennessy. The stars walked the red carpet as we caught up with some of the NBA's most popular players just as they are set to return to camp for the 2012-2013 season.
The event was put together by Hennessy and GQ Magazine to celebrate Chris Paul's first ever GQ cover. Watch Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan dish on which Clipper have the worst fashion sense as Matt Barnes and Chris Paul talk about trying to find clothes they're wives dig. Even T.O. chats with HoopsVibe about how Sports influence fashion and fashion influences Sports.
It's a classy night for a classy man, as CP3 leads the Clippers to the promise land of style. Hennessy handles the party with R&B-Pop sensation "Miguel" killing it on the mic. See how this amazing night all got started as HoopsVibe chats with NBA All-Stars and Hollywood celebs on the red carpet.
Garnett, Rondo, and Allen feud looks explosive.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: I predict a few flying elbows the first time Allen drives the lane in Bean Town.
Garnett struck first saying he no longer has former friend and teammate, Ray Allen's, phone number in his phone. Ouch, that doesn't sound like the type of lifelong friendships everyone in Boston was talking about just a few years ago when the Big Three hung another banner? Rondo followed suit in a similar interview stating he and Allen hadn't always gotten along. Rondo told Yahoo Sports "It's just life. If you look at your job, everyone doesn't always get along with every co-worker they work with. It's just part of life." Rondo also admitted to not having spoken to Allen since his decision to go to Boston's biggest rival in the East, the Miami Heat.
Allen responded to Garnett's comments saying, "That's a shame ... I'm not really worried about it." Looks like these "friends" are now bitter enemies. Allen crossed a scared line in Garnett and Rondo's minds. It isn't simply that he left the Celtics. It's that he left the Celtics and went to their bitter rival. Boston and Miami met in the Eastern Conference Finals last year and although most people thought Boston was over-matched, it was still a hell of a battle.
This has all the makings of adding series kerosene the this already explosive fire. I predict the Celtics vs. Heat games this year will be especially chippy and look for Garnett, a noted hot-head and capable of a questionable cheap shot from time to time, to dish out at least a couple hard hits when Allen returns to Boston in a Heat uniform.
The only saving grace for Allen is he only drives to the basket these days if on one is on his half of the court. He's much more content to camp out behind the arch and wait for hit opportunity to show what a lifetime 40% 3-point shooter looks like in action.
Top Ten Definitively Worst NBA Nicknames
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Do you really want to be called Boobie, Pooh, or Bimbo? Really?
Here are the worst of the worst. If you're looking for a nickname on the blacktop do not ask one of these ballers for advice. I repeat, do NOT ask one of these NBA players. Here you go, the 10 worst NBA nicknames ever.
#10 Harold "Baby Jordan" Minor
Yes, he could leap through the roof, but with his NBA career only lasting 4 seasons comparisons to Jordan seem a bit absurd.
#9 Jameer "Crib Midget" Nelson
It's hard to view this nickname as anything but offensive. We know it's playful, but this one is simply weird.
#8 Vernel "Bimbo" Coles
We can only hope this isn't the type of nickname that got passed on to his daughters. What kind of grown man wants people calling him Bimbo to his face.
#7 Craig "Eggs" Ehlo
It's tough to be a dominating force in the NBA with a nickname like Eggs, but Ehlo actually managed quite a respectable NBA career. Ehlo reported got the nickname from John Lucas because when they played together in Houston they would play one-on-one for breakfast.
#6 Damon "The World's Greatest Shooter" Jones
I am a believer in positive thinking, but this just ridiculous. Jones isn't even in the top 10,000 NBA shooters of all time, let alone #1. Lucky for him though, he made another prestigious list. With a self-dubbed nickname like this, he was destined for the Worst Nickname List.
#5 David "DaWhite Howard" Lee
Anytime your nickname is referencing how you are the white version of a great black player you have the recipe for a Top 10 Worst Nickname. David Lee does not disappoint. Yeah, Dwight Howard is a beast in the game and Lee has his moments, but lets not get carried away her folks.
#4 Sasha "The Machine" Vujacic
The only way this nickname works is if his ex-girlfriend and mega-hot tennis pro / model Maria Sharapova gave it to him. She didn't and he rides the pine, so take it easy there Sasha. Your first name is feminine enough, don't try to overcompensate with your forced nickname.
#3 "Pooh" Richardson
I'm not sure what could be more demeaning than pooh. This Timberwolve's nickname is literally calling himself pooh, as in shit. Not The shit, just shit.
Although we are a fan, we have to say we don't want to be called Boobiey all day long. Just think of the scenarios: "Looking good Boobie. Use your head Boobie. Do you need some water Boobie." It just seems wrong.
#1 Corey "Bad Porn" Maggette
The logic behind this one actually makes sense if the judgment does not. Corey apparently got the nickname "Bad Porn" because of his ability to penetrate the oppositions defense at will, so for all that penetration people started calling him Bad Porn. Yuck.
Athletic seven footers in the NBA are some of the most coveted players in sports.
Hoopsvibe's quick call: Having said that, I was surprised to find that the most productive big men in the NBA measure under seven feet tall.
When I sat down to write an article today, I wanted to look at the tallest players in the league and compare their height to their on-the-court production. So I looked at the best big men, meaning the most productive players from a stat sheet standpoint, that played as either forwards or centers. What I found was that the majority of them stood in the 6'10" - 6'11" range. (I purposely excluded the larger, more dominant guards that can play every position like Lebron and Durant.)
Tim Duncan - 6'11"
Blake Griffin - 6'10"
Dwight Howard - 6'11"
Chris Bosh - 6'11"
Kevin Love - 6'10"
Amare Stoudemire - 6'11"
So what ballers in the NBA stand seven feet and post solid numbers?? Here's 8:
1.) Brook Lopez - 7'0" - Center
Lopez was drafted by the New Jersey Nets in 2008 after playing two seasons at Stanford. He immediately made an impact as a rookie, averaging 13 points a game, and has only gotten better. To some degree, Jay-Z's Nets, which are now Brooklyn's finest, have been built around the big man. Last season, Lopez averaged 19.2 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. Surprisingly, though, that he averaged under 4 rebounds per game at 7 feet tall.
2.) Dirk Nowitzki - 7'0" - Forward
Nowitzki is the anomaly on this list only because he's seven foot tall forward that plays more like a guard. But the Mavericks and Mark Cuban certainly haven't been complaining. The big fella from Germany averaged 21.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game for Dallas last season. Not to mention, he averaged just under 27 points per game in their first round playoff series loss against OKC. Like him or not, the seven footer can ball.
3.) Javale McGee - 7'0" - Center
While not the most impressive player on this list from a statistical standpoint, (he averaged 11.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per game last year) I had to include McGee because I saw him play against the Lakers last season in the first round of the playoffs against Denver - and he was definitely impressive. We couldn't figure out if it was because Bynum was pouting and Gasol was playing soft but regardless, he owned both of them that game. (Sidenote: Bynum and Gasol are both on this list as you'll read below). And while the Nuggets would eventually lose the series to LA, they won that game; and it was largely due to the fact that Javale McGee went for 21 points and 14 rebounds. Homeboy was possessed.
4.) Andrew Bynum - 7'0" - Center
Although he's been widely criticized for his attitude problems, there's no disputing Bynum's talent. The youngest player ever to play in an NBA regular season game (at 18 years and 6 days old) finished last season with the Lakers having averaged 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. He was traded to Philadelphia this offseason, where I think he will be one of the greatest players to ever put on a 76ers uniform. But that's TBD.
5.) Pau Gasol - 7'0" - Forward/Center
Pau gets a bad wrap for being soft, and maybe he is, but he puts up numbers. He averaged 17.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game last season for the Los Angeles Lakers. But even more than that, he has soft hands, is a great passer for his size and shoots over 78% from the free throw line, which compared to his seven-foot peers, is pretty astounding.
6.) Marc Gasol - 7'1" - Center
Marc Gasol, the younger and taller brother of Pau, is a big baller as well. Interestingly enough, Gasol was acquired by Memphis in 2007 from the Lakers in a package deal for his brother Pau. In the past few seasons, he has been a big reason that the Grizzlies have turned into a contender and even made it to the playoffs the last two years in a row. Marc averaged 14.6 points and 8.9 rebounds for the Grizz last season.
7.) Roy Hibbert - 7'2" - Center
Hibbert, who played all four years and graduated from Georgetown, was drafted by Toronto in 2008 and immediately traded to the Pacers on draft night. His best year with Indiana was his most recent, where he averaged 12.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game on the season, and in game 1 of the first round of the playoffs against the Magic, Hibbert recorded a career-high 9 blocked shots. Something tells me there's more games like that in Hibbert's bright future; the Pacers re-signed him to a 4-year $58 million deal in July.
8.) Andrea Bargnani - 7'0" - Forward/Center
Probably the least known of the big men on this list, Bargnani became the first European to be selected with the number one overall pick in an NBA Draft when the Raptors picked him in 2006. Bargnani was born in Rome, Italy and is nicknamed "Il Mago" aka "The Magician." He played a few seasons in Italy before making it to the NBA and averaged an 19.5 points and 5.5 rebounds for Toronto last season.
Questions or comments?? Let us know, Hoopsvibers.
For more news, info and updates follow us on twitter @hoopsvibe
Follow Matt @mformica
Image source: AP Images
The definitive Top 10 shooting guards of all time.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Some things are debatable, but these top 3 are a lock.
Off-guard, 2-guard, shooting-guard, no matter how you say it this is the position that has produced some of the most exciting players in NBA history. HoopsVibe sizes up the best of the best and put together this list of Top 10 shooting guards of all-time.