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Wednesday , Aug , 25 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Shaq ‘absolutely’ OK with bench role in Boston

Rivers said in a radio interview with ESPN 950 in Washington that the legendary center plans to be flexible. "Absolutely coach," O'Neal told Rivers when asked if he'd be OK with a reserve role. O'Neal went on to agree that he'd even be fine with playing just 10-15 minutes per game.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Easier said than done.
 
Shaquille O'Neal has always been the main attraction, so it's hard to imagine him in the supporting cast. But this is The Deal between O'Neal and Boston Celtics' coach Doc Rivers.
 
The future Hall of Fame five-man had limited options this summer as a free agent. The problem: teams were reluctant to give O'Neal the money, term, and playing time he wanted.
 
Enter Boston.    
 
Rivers knew his squad needed another big body low with Kendrick Perkins recovering from knee surgery. O'Neal landed a two-year deal for the veteran's minimum.
 
The catch: minutes would be limited. Transitioning from star to reserve is never simple. Especially since O'Neal has done movies, music, and reality television.
 
Unfortunately, Father Time is a factor. O'Neal had to play a role if he wanted an NBA job. Credit him for swallowing his pride and taking a seat on the Celtics' bench.
 
--Oly Sandor.
 
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Wednesday , Aug , 25 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Parting ways best for Rajon Rondo and Team USA

The Celtics point guard withdrew from Team USA yesterday, sensing the writing on the wall as coach Mike Krzyzewski began to test different backcourt combinations minus Rondo.

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Did he withdraw? Or, did he get cut?

These are the questions surrounding Rajon Rondo’s departure from Team USA on Tuesday afternoon. Yesterday’s news may have been sudden, but it wasn't surprising.

Rondo swallowed his first career DNP-CD (Did Not Play-Coaches Decision) against Spain. While his poor outside range and inconsistent free-throw shooting were rarely exposed with the Boston Celtics, it would have been a liability in international play.

Clearly, Rondo didn’t fit Coach Mike Krzyewski’s plans, so parting ways made sense.        

After losing the championship in heartbreaking fashion to the Los Angeles Lakers, Rondo needed time off to heal his mind and body. A death in his extended family wouldn’t have helped, either.

Team USA is also point guard heavy, with table-setters Chauncey Billups, Stephen Curry, Derrick Rose, and Russell Westbrook. All are better shooters than Rondo.  Even if he made the final roster, there would have been few minutes available.

Bottom line: whether he withdrew or got cut, Rondo and stars-and-stripes are better off after yesterday’s decision.

--Oly Sandor.   

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Tuesday , Aug , 24 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Carmelo Anthony prefers Houston over New York

Anthony has hesitated to sign a three-year, $65 million extension and expressed intrigue with opting out of his contract next summer to become a free agent. Despite significant speculation the New York Knicks are the team that Anthony would most likely want to join, two sources close to him insisted the Knicks have been overstated as an object of his desire. Privately, Anthony has expressed more enthusiasm over joining the Houston Rockets than the Knicks, sources said.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: For Carmelo Anthony, it's not all about New York.

Recent reports indicate Anthony is lobbying for a trade to the Houston Rockets, which would leave the Knicks in the cold. 

This is a surprise, but not a shock.

The Knicks lack the parts to trade for Anthony, so team and player would have to link up in July when the superstar hits free agency.

This may be too great a risk for Anthony, especially with a three-year, $65 million offer on the table from the Denver Nuggets. The Collective Bargaining Agreement expires next summer, and a new CBA would likely reduce the salary Anthony could earn as a free agent.

The star is trying to protect his earning power by engineering a sign-and-trade. And it explains why Anthony is considering taking the Nuggets' money and heading south to the Rockets.

The Rockets possess the assets to trade for Anthony and can still provide a solid supporting cast. He'd also remain in the Western Conference, away from the Boston Celtics' veterans, the Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard, and the Miami Heat's Three Kings.

Bottom line: Anthony isn't sleeping on Houston. Neither should we.    

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 

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Monday , Aug , 23 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

4-6 teams interested in Antoine Walker and The Shoulder-Shimmy

Antoine Walker is receiving interest from four to six NBA teams, according to Chico Walker, the forward's uncle. "He said, 'I made a lot of mistakes,' " Walker, a former member of the Red Sox, said.

"[He said,] 'I made a lot of mistakes and I trusted the wrong people. I realized going forward I have to have positive people around me, just in life period. I have to have a lot of positive people around.' And I think now he gets it."

The younger Walker has endured a DUI charge, reports of gambling debt, real estate gone bad and a bankruptcy filing in May.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: In the words of the late rapper The ODB: ‘Shimmy shimmy ya, shimmy yam, shimmy yay’.

This is the only way to describe a potential comeback by Antoine Walker. After all, Walker is known for celebrating a big basket with a shoulder-shimmy celebration that would have made the good folks on Soul Train proud.

Unfortunately, he’s also known as the multi-skilled All-Star who became a puffy and selfish three-point gunner. And he’s also known for blowing through career earnings of around $120 million and declaring bankruptcy.

If in shape, focused, and committed to defense, Walker could help a team. The early signs are good: he’s been humbled enough to train with Rick Pitino, his former coach at Kentucky and Boston.

Perhaps a happy ending is in order for Walker. And perhaps we'll see his shoulder-shimmy soon.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Aug , 22 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Eddie House on Miami: ‘This is going to be Boston on steroids’

"I compare it to the year I went to Boston when the Big 3 got together in 2007," House said. "But this is going to be even bigger. This is going to be Boston on steroids."

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HoopsVibe's Very QUick Call: Eddie House, sharpshooter for hire, is in a unique position.

Three years ago, around this time, House signed a one-year deal with the Boston Celtics. His role was simple: hit jump-shots and punish opposing defenses for double-teaming superstars Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce.

Of course, the charismatic journeyman also witnessed the hoopla surrounding the green-and-white’s Big Three. Expectations were high; night-in, night-out, opponents got up for the Celtics.

House is right: the Miami Heat will face even greater pressure in 2010-11 than the Celtics of 2007-08. After all, South Beach pulled off the all-time free agent coup, re-signing superstar Dwyane Wade, while adding Chris Bosh and LeBron James.

Wade and James are two of the NBA’s top four players. Bosh is a perennial All-Star and legit’ 20-10 guy down low.

However, it’s not what they did, but how they did it. Resentment lingers at Miami’s Three Kings for how they handled free agency, especially James for turning ‘The Decision’ into a spectacle.

Now the Heat is public enemy number one. They’re controversial rock stars. Their every move will be chronicled. And many are hoping they fail.

So House’s steroid analogy works. This year should be awfully interesting.  

--Oly Sandor.
 
Got a call on this? Get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Thursday , Aug , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Paul Pierce:’I pushed’ for Shaq

"I pushed," he said. "You looked around and you looked at the free agents. I saw Shaq was the best available at the time." Pierce doesn't buy into the notion that the O'Neal signing is simply adding another over-the-hill player to an already aging roster.

"When you put him in our group of guys, he's going to have a different role now," Pierce said. "The role he had in Cleveland, he had to be the second guy or the third guy at times. With us, it's not going to have to be that way. We have a number of guys we can play through. There's not a lot of pressure for Shaq to go out and get the 15 or 20 (points) a night like he had to in Cleveland for them to be successful.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: 'The Truth' speaks the truth.
 
Paul Pierce is right when stating Shaquille O'Neal will succeed with the Boston Celtics because expectations are realistic.
 
Translation: The Big Shamrock won't have to be The Big Aristotle.
 
Coach Doc Rivers wants O'Neal defending the paint in a reserve role, not functioning as a 38-year old second option on the low block.
 
All that's left is for O'Neal to buy-in and help the Celtics compete for another championship.
 
--Oly Sandor.
 
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Sunday , Aug , 15 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant: beating Celtics in Finals was ‘enjoyable’

"It's more special because it was the hardest one to get," he said. "The Celtics are a great, great team. They gave us a challenge. I think that's what makes it so enjoyable."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: No doubt about it, it had to be sweet.

After all, Kobe Bryant didn`t just win the NBA Title -he beat the arch rival Boston Celtics in a seventh game thriller to capture consecutive championships and the fifth Larry O’Brien trophy of his career.

This was necessary for Bryant to be an all-time great Laker. He had to beat the storied Celtics. And he had to redeem himself and the Lakers’ for their 2008 NBA Finals loss to those same Celtics.

Bryant responded, preserving through bouts of poor shooting, numerous injuries, and the green-and-white’s air-tight defense.

All that’s left is for Bryant to enter MJ territory with a three-peat next summer.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at us in the comment box below.

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Tuesday , Aug , 10 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Shaq on the Celtics: ‘it’s all about winning, nothing else’

Shaquille O'Neal was officially introduced as a member of the Celtics on Tuesday.

"I've done everything individually that I've set out to do," O'Neal said. "Now, toward the latter part of my career, it's all about winning."

O'Neal, who wore a suit and bow tie for the introduction, insists that he'll accept any role in Boston.

"I still have hunger, I still can play, I still want to win," O'Neal said. "When I close my book at the end of the day it's all about winning, nothing else."

In terms of nicknames, O'Neal likes the Big Shamrock but was also partial to the Big Green Mile.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: He gave his word. Publicly.

Today, the Boston Celtics unveiled Shaquille O'Neal at a press conference, and the future Hall of Fame center promised reporters he'd play any role for the Eastern Conference champions.

Minutes, shots, and touches don't matter. Only winning.

This sounds nice, but will O'Neal keep his word and mouth shut in the middle of, say, a January losing streak? And how will he influence his younger, impressionable teammates?

Fortunately, the Celtic players police each other. When this fails, Coach Doc Rivers has the people skills to finesse O'Neal.

Hopefully, they won't need it.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Aug , 09 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Size matters: Al Horford must play PF for Hawks to contend

Hawks coach Larry Drew has told Al Horford that he wants him to spend more time at power forward this coming season. "[Coach] Larry Drew told me he wants me to play as a 'power forward' next season rather than at center," Horford said.

"I can agree on a lot as a player because that's what I've been all my life," he continued.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Size matters.

This is the Atlanta Hawks’ philosophy for 2010, and not the jingle for a Viagra ad or a late night infomercial.

The Hawks must super-size their line-up to compete with the top squads in the Eastern and Western Conferences, so they’ll give Al Horford considerable minutes at power forward, not center.

The Hawks are hoping to sign a legit seven-footer to play center. Josh Smith and Marvin Williams will split minutes at small forward, and may also see action at power forward.

Such a move is necessary. After all, the Hawks front-court was talented, but undersized in 2010.

And the rest of the league is big: the Boston Celtics have Kevin Garnett, Jermaine O’Neal, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kendrick Perkins; the Orlando Magic has the hulking Dwight Howard; the Miami Heat will use Joel Anthony, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and Jamaal Magloire down low; and the Los Angeles Lakers’ frontcourt has exceptional length.

To compete, to have any chance at advancing past the second round, to go from good to great, the Hawks must shift Horford and become big.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Aug , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Jeff Van Gundy: Heat will ‘break single-season win record’ of 72

"They will break the single-season win record [of 72]," Van Gundy said. "And I think they have a legit shot at the Lakers' 33-game [winning] streak [in 1971-72], as well. And only the Lakers have even a remote shot at beating them in a playoff series. They will never lose two games in a row this year.

"They have put together a much better roster than anybody could ever have expected," Van Gundy added. "There is now no good way to defend them. They are unguardable. They are indefensible. They are just too good and have added so much shooting and are so versatile that they will score at will.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call:  The only thing that matters is winning the NBA championship.

The Chicago Bulls' single-season mark of 72 games and the L.A. Lakers' 33-game winning streak are meaningless if the Miami Heat fail to win the Larry O'Brien trophy come June.

Nothing else matters. Nothing else will do. The Heat's Big Three were assembled to win it all; the blending pieces were specifically signed because they could help achieve this goal.

Jeff Van Gundy is right on one thing, though: the Heat are indefensible. However, their own defense will determine their playoff success.

After all, the Boston Celtics and Lakers have again shown that getting stops, specifically on the road, is the most important tool in winning a championship.

So regular season records are nice. Championships and defence are what matters for Miami.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.   

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Friday , Aug , 06 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

The business of Shaq will thrive with Boston Celtics

Shaquille O'Neal will only make $1.39 million with the Celtics next season, but the team's newest player is expected to cash in on endorsements.

O'Neal made $15 million through endorsements last year and some expect him to eclipse that market in Boston.

"Shaq is a marketing giant," said John Vrooman, a sports economist at Vanderbilt University. "He will benefit from the Hub's strong media presence, where there's money to be made on local endorsements."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He won’t be eating Macaroni and Cheese, using coupons at the check-out aisle, or taking public transport.

(Not that there’s anything wrong with KD, scoping up discounts at Costco, or riding the bus with characters. I regularly do all three.)

Shaquille O’Neal’s 2011 salary with the Boston Celtics is just $1.39 million. While this is nothing to sneeze at, it represents a massive reduction from the $20 million he earned with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010.

No need to shed tears for O’Neal.

The future Hall of Famer will still rake in an estimated $15 million from endorsements in 2011. After all, he gets love from Icy-Hot and has that silly television show on ABC.

Of course, Boston is a terrific market. There's a huge population base. And the Celtics are one of the game's glamour franchises.

O’Neal’s on-court game is in decline, but his off-court game, the business of Shaq, is very much thriving.

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Aug , 05 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Shaq to Jim Rome: ‘I challenge you to a boxing match’

"The Big Aristotle" is upset over comments Rome made on his radio show Wednesday. Rome said that Shaq's career was not as great as it could have been and that he "never approached the game with the dedication or discipline of Kobe Bryant," his former teammate on the Lakers.

He also added that Celtics GM Danny Ainge made a mistake in signing Shaq.

"Normally, I'm on board with what Danny Ainge does, but not this time. I don't like this move," he bluntly said.

Those barbs set the big man off. Shaq took to his Twitter account (THE_REAL_SHAQ) last night to fire back. "Jim Rome, I am happy with my career and the legacy that I have left behind, obviously u r not happy wit yur legacy I 4got u have no legacy," Shaq tweeted.

The 15-time NBA All-Star then laid out the challenge. "Forget the back and forth Jim Rome, I challenge you to a boxing match, live at ESPN studios, show the world you can back up the tuff talk," he posted.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: These two have history.

Jime Rome is based in Los Angeles. Shaquille O'Neal spent years with the Lakers.

So Rome has witnessed the best and worst of O'Neal. He saw the three championships and World Wars with Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson.

Rome never, ever missed an opportunity to comment on the soap opera that was the purple-and-gold. And Rome has never, ever missed an opportunity to comment on Shaq's career after he left the Lakers.

For instance, in early 2008, Rome had these thoughts on O'Neal's debut with the Phoenix Suns, which, if you're keeping count, was two teams ago.

(Romie calls Shaq 'The Big Has Been'.)

Later in 2008, the radio and television host even went on MadTV to 'interview'  O'Neal. The end result is rather hilarious. 

(The mumbling, full length sweat suit, and questions on Kobe's 'ball-and-chain' is gold.)     

With so much fuel on this already blazing fire, the Rome-Shaq beef is far from finished.

The best way Shaq can silence his longtime nemisis is to accept a reserve role with Doc Rivers' squad and help the Celtics raise another championship banner.

Even that may not be enough.

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Aug , 05 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Is Larry Hughes ‘Willing’ to support Boston Celtics?

Marc J. Spears: Celtics still need swingman behind Pierce and Allen.Could it be Larry Hughes? Word is Cs and CHA interested. Hughes looking good in workoutsTwitter

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: He remains versatile.

Larry Hughes is no longer a blending star, but can still play and defend all three perimeter positions. His unique skill-set would help numerous teams, especially his alleged number one suitor the Boston Celtics. 

Coach Doc Rivers could use Hughes as Ray Allen and/or Paul Pierce's primary back-up. The veteran could also get minutes at the back-up point guard spot if Nate Robinson gets injured or if the green-and-white goes big.

Best of all, Hughes has the athleticism to take over for Tony Allen as the club's lockdown defender. Let's be clear: Hughes can't replace Allen, a terrific on-the-ball defender. He can, however, play the same role because of his physical attributes.

Currently, these are hypotheticals. One question is still to be answered: would Hughes accept a supporting role?

Fair or not, right or wrong, Hughes has a reputation for demanding shots, touches, and minutes. In Boston, his role would fluctuate. There'd be no guarantee of shots, touches, or minutes.

His sacrifice could result in a championship, though. The Celtics have added Jermaine and Shaquille O'Neal to a nucleus that was one quarter from winning an NBA Title.

So he is versatile. But is he willing?

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.          

The Boston Celtic Expendables gunning for one more title.
Thursday , Aug , 05 , 2010 J.N.

The Boston Celtic Expendables gunning for one more title.

The 2010-2011 Boston Celtics features the stars from the 1990s such as Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Jermaine O’Neal, and the eventual return of Rasheed Wallace. Either they moved one step closer to a title or hospital bed, the Green Machine remains the team to beat in the East despite Miami’s Super Friends. The Celtics are still the Eastern Conference Champions and until any other team officially knock them out; they remain the favorites to return to the Finals.

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Wednesday , Aug , 04 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Celtics and Shaq will work because of clarity

Celtics fans may get the chance to see how well Shaquille O'Neal's hyperbole or ego mix with a bench role. The Celtics, [a] source said, have told O'Neal that he has to come off the bench next season, and that O'Neal said he could accept a reserve role for the first time in his career.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Clarity is the key.

Credit the Boston Celtics for telling Shaquille O'Neal - one of the NBA's top 50 players of all time - that he would play a role for the green-and-white.

O'Neal also deserves credit -if he signs with the Celtics and comes off the bench. After all, how many aging superstars have killed their careers by making unrealistic demands?

Last I checked, Allen Iverson and Stephon Marbury are out the league because they had to start. Tracy McGrady's career is almost over, in part, because he doesn't want to become a reserve.

Signing with the Celtics will prolong O'Neal's career and give him a chance at a fifth NBA Title. All he had to do was swallow his ego.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Thursday , Jul , 29 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Eddie House’s job with Miami: more than catch, shoot, pound chest

Eddie House's agent says the veteran guard has agreed to terms on a $2.8 million, two-year contract with the Miami Heat. Agent Mark Bartelstein said Thursday that the second year is a player option.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Catch. Shoot. Pound chest.

This will be Eddie House's official job description with the Miami Heat in 2011. And for his ability as a sharpshooter, for his ability to punish opposing defenses that double-team the Three Kings, House will earn in excess of a million dollars.

However, the journeyman also brings certain intangibles.

In 07 Seconds Or Less - the best seller by CNNSI's Jack McCallum that covers the Phoenix Suns' 2006 season - House was universally loved by teammates and coaches. Same thing with the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks. 

Once again, the Heat did well with the House signing. He'll do more than 'catch, shoot, and pound chest'. He'll provide some much needed moments of laughter and entertainment.

This will be his unofficial job description.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box.

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Sunday , Jul , 25 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rajon Rondo on Miami Heat: ‘they ain’t done nothing yet’

Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo doesn't agree with those that are already handing the 2011 NBA Title to the Heat. "They should be good, but they ain't done nothing yet," Rondo said recently. "They ain't done nothing."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: He's right.

While training with USA Basketball in Las Vegas, Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo wondered why the Miami Heat has been handed the 2011 NBA championship.

Miami will be good, very good.

Rondo correctly points out that the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers are still the team to beat. The Lakers have balance, chemistry, and defense. The Heat does not. It will take time to establish these components.

On-paper, South Beach does look good. They have their Three Kings: Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade. They have their supporting pieces: Joel Anthony, Udonis Haslem, Juwan Howard, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and Mike Miller.

But Haslem and Wade are the only strong defensive players on the roster, so the Heat may struggle to advance out the Eastern Conference.

For instance: how will Miami's star-studded roster match-up against Boston`s tough guys?

The Heat will take those meaningless games in the regular season. The outcome could be different in the playoffs when the best defensive team wins. Bottom line: the Heat isn’t a better defensive squad than the Celtics.

Last year, the green-and-white used their get-stops mentality to take out the highly favoured Cavaliers and Magic in the playoffs. And their grinding style nearly beat the Lakers in the NBA Finals.

Rondo is right. For now, we should hold off anointing the Heat NBA champions.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Jul , 20 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Must have: Colangelo and Raptors can`t lose Barnes

Matt Barnes announced on Monday night that he is going to sign with the Raptors. However, ESPN.com's Marc Stein reports that Orlando's limited sign-and-trade options may scuttle the deal, according to sources.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Before they sign the contract, before they shake hands, before they profess their love for each other in front of reporters, there is business to attend to.

Yesterday, Matt Barnes – a coveted free agent – announced via twitter he had signed a two-year, $10 million contract with the Toronto Raptors.

His tweet omitted that Toronto and his old team, the Orlando Magic, have yet to work out a sign-and-trade. Unless Barnes restructures Toronto’s offer, a sign-and-trade is the best option because both teams have limited cap space.

Once again, the Raptors’ plan has hit a snag.

Last week, they thought they had a deal to send often injured point guard Jose Calderon to the Charlotte Bobcats for forward Boris Diaw and center Tyson Chandler.

But Bobcats owner and executive Michael Jordan got cold feet. His Airness suddenly called off the trade, pulled out his blackberry, and took the Dallas Mavericks’ package for Chandler.

Now there’s a complication with Barnes.

Look for GM Bryan Colangelo to pull out all stops to complete a sign-and-trade with Orlando. After all, Barnes would inject the right quota of nasty into an all too docile Raptors squad.

For instance, last season no teammate stepped to the Boston Celtics’ Paul Pierce after he dunked on and kneed franchise-face Chris Bosh. No teammate challenged Pierce, and, with Bosh on the ground in agony, Coach Jay Triano had to confront Pierce.
 
  
(Triano forced to play tough guy because no Raptor defended Bosh.)

This play surely influenced Bosh’s decision to depart the Great White North as a free agent for the warmer pastures of South Beach and the Miami Heat.

Consider what would have happened if Barnes was a Raptor last year. He would have gotten in Pierce’s grill; he would have taken revenge on the next Celtic to drive the lane; and - for good measure or, perhaps, his own enjoyment - he would have talked smack on-line.

Such an edge is rare. And Barnes developed his nasty streak floating on the fringes of the NBA for several years. As a result, he plays each game like it’s his last; nothing is taken for granted.        

So Colangeo and the Raptors can’t take for granted that they have Barnes. Too much is at stake not to. 
 
--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Jul , 18 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Brandon Jennings on Milwaukee: ‘We can be a top four team in the East’

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He put it out there.

Second year point guard Brandon Jennings believes his Milwaukee Bucks could finish in the top four in the Eastern Conference.

Jennings – also known as The Gremlin for rocking his, well, unique ‘do – may be overlooking the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Orlando Magic, and that other team in the state of Florida.

Still, Jennings’ optimism is always appreciated, but is it misdirected?

Watch the clip by clicking the link courtesy of HoopsHype. Then get at us in the comment box on how Milwaukee will do in 2011.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Jul , 16 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Matt Barnes to replace Tony Allen in Boston?

Since losing Tony Allen to the Grizzlies, the Celtics have warmed to the idea of signing Matt Barnes, according to an NBA source.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Losing Tony Allen may be a positive for the Boston Celtics.

While Allen's defensive game improved during the playoffs and in the NBA Finals, he had limits on offense. Defenders would slough off the athletic swing and dare him to fire away from the perimeter.

Matt Barnes is Allen's equal as a lockdown defender, but also stretches defense with his three-point range and intimidates. For instance, Barnes averaged 9 points per game last year with Orlando, mostly on a steady diet of outside shots.

However, the Mohawk's greatest asset is his intensity. In 2007, he was an integral part of the Golden State Warriors improbable upset of the Dallas Mavericks. And last season he declared viral jihad via twitter against the Los Angeles Lakers' Lamar Odom.

Barnes is reportedly announcing where he'll sign today. The mighty green-and-white is hoping he'll pick Boston and provide an upgrade on Allen. 

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.