kevin-garnett
Hoopsvibe default image
Monday , Nov , 29 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Older, wiser Shaq the NBA’s best bargain?

Shaquille O'Neal is averaging 22.7 minutes per game and has provided the Celtics everything they could have hoped through 16 games. A key to his resurgence is that he arrived without his Shaq-Fu attitude. While every superstar's impact eventually fades, it is up to the star to determine how he wants his career to conclude. Some never recognize that their skills have eroded, while others decide to reinvent themselves as someone who can help their team despite diminishing talents. O'Neal said he decided to move to Sudbury to avoid the allure of the Boston nightlife and concentrate fully on basketball. During his postgame interview, two of his sons were milling around the locker room, soaking in the new environment. In his younger days, O'Neal said he would have capitalized on the Friday nightlife after a victory, especially with the weekend off. Not now.

Link  
 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Older and wiser.

In the twilight of his career, Shaquille O’Neal appears to be avoiding the pitfalls of his youth. No nightclubs. No attitude; just a team-first approach to helping the Boston Celtics.

It’s working, too. O’Neal is averaging 13 points and 7 rebounds in 22 minutes. He’s also hitting a scorching 69% of his attempts from the floor.

Best of all, O’Neal has bought into Coach Doc Rivers’ get-stops philosophy. The Big Shamrock isn’t doing his typical defense-is-a-contagious-disease routine.

Instead, O’Neal is clogging the lane; showing effectively on pick-and-rolls; and taking the pressure off veteran defensive anchor Kevin Garnett.

At $1.5 million per season, he’s the best bargain in the NBA.  Who would have thought that after O’Neal’s mediocre 2010 with the Cleveland Cavaliers?

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
Hoopsvibe default image
Friday , Nov , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Paul Pierce mocks LeBron James

"It's been a pleasure to bring my talents to south beach now on to Memphis''.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Can you say rivalry?

The Boston Celtics do not like the Miami Heat. Not one bit.

The Celtics, who were a quarter away from winning the NBA Title, are miffed the Heat was picked to win the Eastern Conference, even though The Holy Trinity had yet to play a game together.

After manhandling the Heat for the second time in two weeks, Pierce, the Celtics’ closer and leading scorer, felt obligated to talk a little viral trash. His tweet is spoofing James’ (in)famous line during The Decision. 

Fair enough. Pierce has good reason to be confident.

Kevin Garnett has turned back the clock; Rajon Rondo is the NBA’s top all-around table-setter; Ray Allen’s stroke is still silky; the bench will be productive, especially when Kendrick Perkins and Delonte West get healthy.

Garnett and Rondo, in particular, should please Pierce and worry the Heat

The Big Ticket is one of many physical Boston posts who will give Miami’s smaller frontline trouble. Also, Rondo will have his way with the underwhelming Carlos Arroyo.

A rivalry is brewing between the Celtics and Heat. Right now, it’s one way, though.

--Oly Sandor.


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

Hoopsvibe default image
Thursday , Nov , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Joakim Noah on Kevin Garnett: ‘I don’t like him’

Bulls center Joakim Noah has made it clear that he dislikes Celtics forward Kevin Garnett.

"Kevin Garnett will not -- will not -- get a Christmas gift from me," Noah said Wednesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "I don't like him."

The feud started during last season's playoffs.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There’s little love lost between Joakim Noah and Kevin Garnett. In fact, there’s none whatsoever.

By publicly calling out Garnett, Noah is supporting fellow New Yorker and friend Charlie Villanueva, who was embroiled in a nasty tweet off with The Big Ticket last week.

Of course, there’s more to it. These two are rivals.

Noah’s Bulls are an up-and-coming squad expected to challenge established contenders. Garnett’s Celtics are the reigning Eastern Conference champions.

Noah and Garnett have much in common: they both are defensive anchors; they both are known league-wide as tough guys; and they both have never shied away from talking a little smack.

However, Noah is developing into a blue-collar star, while Garnett – a former MVP and perennial All-Star – is the downside of his career.

Noah’s comments are a case of him, the student, challenging Garnett, the master.

--Oly Sandor.

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

Hoopsvibe default image
Sunday , Nov , 07 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Garnett on Charlie Villanueva: he’s a ‘Nobody’

As far as Kevin Garnett is concerned, his feud with Charlie Villanueva is over. "It's a nobody," Garnett said. "I'm not paying attention to nobodies any more."

The controversy struck on Wednesday morning, the day after Boston faced Detroit and Garnett and Villanueva had words. Villanueva accused Garnett of calling him "a cancer patient," which the Celtics forward denied.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call:
Kevin Garnett is finally finished with Charlie Villanueva.

In case you missed it: last week, Villanueva, who suffers from a rare skin disease, accused Garnett of calling him a cancer patient, while Garnett maintains he only called Villanueva a cancer to his team and the league.

Their he-said, he-said battle caused a stir. Thankfully, it’s over. However, Garnett couldn’t resist a final jab by telling reporters he would no longer comment on a ‘nobody’ like Villanueva.

Typical KG.
The future Hall of Fame post always gets the last word. After all, he could have said no comment, but had to slam Villanueva.

Still, he’s right. Villanueva has talent; however, he refuses to channel that talent and become a consistent scorer.

After last week’s drama, this wasn’t the time for Garnett to fuel the fire by calling Villanueva a 'nobody'.

--Oly Sandor.

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

Hoopsvibe default image
Thursday , Nov , 04 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Did Kevin Garnett drop ‘The Cancer Bomb’ on Charlie Villanueva?

Garnett, known as a trash talker, stuck to his usual routine and did not speak to the media before Wednesday's game against the Milwaukee Bucks.

He did issue a statement before the game.

"I am aware there was a major miscommunication regarding something I said on the court last night. My comment to Charlie Villanueva was in fact: You are cancerous to your team and our league,"' Garnett said. "I would never be insensitive to the brave struggle that cancer patients endure. I have lost loved ones to this deadly disease and have a family member currently undergoing treatment. I would never say anything that distasteful. The game of life is far bigger than the game of basketball."

One of Villanueva's tweets read: "KG called me a cancer patient, I'm [mad] because, u know how many people died from cancer, and he's tossing it like it's a joke."

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: No doubt about it, Kevin Garnett has crossed the line before.

More than once, ‘The Big Ticket’ has exercised questionable judgment, elbowing, pushing, shoving, and brawling with opponents.

Two years ago, he made even Glen Davis cry. Davis is a teammate.  

Despite his questionable reputation, Garnett wouldn’t unleash The Cancer Bomb on Detroit Piston Charlie Villanueva.

Garnett would, however, call the forward cancerous to his team and league. And his version of events was recently confirmed by Boston Celtics coach Glen 'Doc' Rivers.

With respect to Villanueva, Garnett is right.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

Hoopsvibe default image
Monday , Oct , 18 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Timberwolves to make ‘serious run’ at Carmelo Anthony?

If Carmelo Anthony is still with the Denver Nuggets at trade time in February, look for the Timberwolves to make a serious run at him.
 
 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Not happening.

Under no circumstances will Carmelo Anthony suit up, play for or sign an extension with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

So the T-Wolves can try all they like to facilitate a trade, but ‘Melo will never, ever call the Frozen Tundra of Sota home.    

Here’s why:

1) Anthony wants to win. Like now. Minnesota –even if Ricky Rubio crosses the Atlantic and Kevin Love continues developing –are years away from contending for a playoff spot.

2) While Minnesota is a nice place with good people, players see it as a foreign outpost with cold weather. Anthony and wife LaLa Vasquez want a sexy, major market, not the league’s Siberia.

3) Call it The Kevin Garnett Effect. For years, Garnett toiled admirably and the Wolves lost, only once making the Western Conference Finals. Anthony doesn’t want to waste his prime seasons –like The Big Ticket.

Minnesota reporters need to stop dreaming and deal with reality -Anthony will never play for the lowly Wolves.
 
-Oly Sandor.
 
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
 
Hoopsvibe default image
Sunday , Oct , 03 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Shaq The Big Unselfish for Boston Celtics?

Shaquille O’Neal practiced with Boston's first unit for the second straight day. Doc Rivers said the plan was to start Jermaine O’Neal at center, but nothing was set in stone.

“I think just watching what [Shaq’s] doing, he doesn’t care [whether he starts],’’ Rivers said. “He just wants to play and help the team. He really wants to prove that he can play still, No. 1. And I think he just wants to win, and you can see that.’’

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Is Shaquille O’Neal really becoming The Big Unselfish?

Reports from Boston have the future Hall of Fame center switching in and out of the first and second units. Right now, he’s happy. Right now, he’s being a good teammate.

This can change. And fast.

Remember, these Celtics get stops. It’s who they are. Their defensive prowess – at home and on the road - gives them a chance in every game.

O’Neal has never been a committed defender. Even during the glory years with the L.A. Lakers, he was reluctant to guard the pick-and-roll.

Over the years, his pick-and-roll defense has gotten worse. Today, opponents run O’Neal through a steady diet of pick-and-roll sets to get easy hoops and draw cheap fouls on the big man.

Suppose O’Neal doesn’t improve his pick-and roll ‘D’. How long before coach Doc Rivers rotates in Glen Davis and/or Jermaine O’Neal? What happens when defensive star Kendrick Perkins returns from his knee injury?

Well, nobody knows exactly how minutes will be dispersed. However, Boston’s plethora of bigs will have to check their egos and put the team first.

This is where O’Neal could struggle. He’s always been the main attraction. Now he’s a supporting piece on a star-laden squad.

Being unselfish in October is easy. It’s much harder in May and June when you’re a former MVP and watching from the bench.

--Oly Sandor.

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

Hoopsvibe default image
Saturday , Oct , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rajon Rondo’s goal for 2011: prove he’s the NBA’s top PG

Rajon Rondo is eager to prove that he is the NBA's best point guard. “That I’m the best,’’ Rondo said. “Hands down. No speculation. ‘Oh, he may be top three, top five, top 10.’ No, I’m the best.’’

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Rajon Rondo is getting his ‘Gordon Gecko’ on.

The Boston Celtics point guard is wisely following the mantra of Oliver Stone’s fictional Wall Street character, greedily stating he wants to be the premier table-setter in the NBA.

Not top five. Not top three. But number one. Like Gecko preached: ‘Greed is good’.

Rondo must continue to emerge because the Celtics are his team. Ray Allen, at 36, is a spot up shooter; Kevin Garnett has health issues; Paul Pierce is on the downside of his storied run with the mighty green-and-white.

Raising an eighteenth banner and avenging last year’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Finals rests mostly with Rondo. After years as a supporting piece, he’s now the straw that stirs the drink, the lead dog on a veteran squad

So the Celtics will go only as far as the ‘greedy’ Rondo takes them in 2011.  

--Oly Sandor.


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

Hoopsvibe default image
Sunday , Sep , 26 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Report: Boston expects healthy Kevin Garnett in 2011

Kevin Garnett appears to be very healthy as the Celtics begin training camp.

"I think Kevin needed some rest, some time off, and he took it, but he's ready for camp," said Danny Ainge. "He's in much better shape than he was last year in training camp. I think that KG got better as the year went on last season and we saw him moving much better in the playoffs than in the regular season."

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They need more from The Big Ticket.

For the past two years, Kevin Garnett has been a shade of his former self. He’s older. He’s slower. And he’s been weighed down by wear-and-tear and injuries.
 
Last year, the results were particularly tough. Garnett’s offensive numbers were off. The Celtics’ defensive anchor spent too many minutes on the bench in foul trouble for careless infractions.

A healthy Garnett would do a few things: the O’Neals - Jermaine and Shaquille - could ease into their new surroundings; Kendrick Perkins wouldn’t have to rush back from knee surgery; and the green-and-white would continue their reign as an elite defensive club.

Remember, the Celtics take their cues from Garnett. He’s a major part of their get-stops identity. They'll have to be at their best defensively to hold off the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic, and get revenge on the Los Angeles Lakers for last season's defeat in the NBA Finals. 

--Oly Sandor.

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



 

Hoopsvibe default image
Monday , Sep , 20 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rondo left Team USA to ‘win another championship’

 "It was great to practice every day against the best young talent in the league, a veteran like Chauncey Billups and play for a Hall of Fame coach [Mike Krzyzewski]," Rondo said. "But some of these guys hadn't played since April. Lamar [Odom] and I had just got out of Game 7. And next season is right around the corner. I feel like I had to take advantage of the opportunity I have right now to win another championship. It's not often you get to play with four Hall of Famers. Another couple of years and I won't have that."

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s hard to criticize Rajon Rondo’s decision to step away from Team USA.

Rondo hadn’t recovered from the Boston Celtics’ crushing seven-game loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. He was drained and needed rest.

The emerging table-setter understands the championship window is closing on the green-and-white. Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce – also known as The Big Three - are hitting the end of their careers.

Rondo knows he needs to be at full strength in 2011 and 2012 because opportunities to win championships are rare. Playing in the World Championship would be tiring.

Fortunately, Stars and Stripes had talented floor leaders in Chauncey Billups, Stephen Curry, Eric Gordon, Derrick Rose, and Russell Westbrook. His departure wasn’t an issue and, in fact, eased the log-jam at point guard. 

Rondo’s choice may be a win-win for all involved.

--Oly Sandor.

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

Hoopsvibe default image
Thursday , Sep , 16 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Minnesota seeking ‘singular move’ for version of Kobe, D-Wade, or Durant

The reality is, we are still lacking a dominant player – our version of Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade or Kevin Durant – and that will remain an item at the top of the To-Do list.

It’s possible this player could emerge from within the roster.  Nearly every player on our team has his best days ahead of him.   Some could make an All-Star team during their careers and one has already become an impact player on the USA Men’s National Team in this year’s FIBA World Championships.  We also have eight players currently on the roster who were selected in the top-seven of their respective drafts:  Michael Beasley, Kevin Love, Wes Johnson, Jonny Flynn, Darko Milicic, Corey Brewer, Martell Webster and Ricky Rubio.

The average age of those eight players is 22. However, if one of our players fails to emerge, we will be prepared to find more talent for our team – and we will seek a singular move rather than a series of moves, as we did these last 14 months.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The ‘singular move’ Minnesota Timberwolves executive David Kahn mentions isn’t happening in today’s NBA.

Superstars want to play with other superstars. For instance: there’s The Three Kings in Miami; The Big Four suit up for the Boston Celtics; and Kobe Bryant and his star studded supporting cast have won consecutive championships with  the Los Angeles Lakers.

No elite player worthy of Kahn’s ‘singular move’ tag will sign with the Timberwolves, especially as a solo act. Their young supporting cast is irrelevant; superstars still remember Kevin Garnett wasting away in The Frozen Tundra of ‘Sota.

Kahn quickest way to attaining a superstar is through the draft. In fact, he may already have a potential superstar in Ricky Rubio, the club’s 2009 lottery pick.

Of course, it’s not known if Rubio is merely refining his game in Europe or refusing to play for the lowly T-Wolves.

Either way, Kahn’s job is bigger than a ‘singular move’.

--Oly Sandor.

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

Hoopsvibe default image
Thursday , Sep , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Mutually Beneficial: Delonte West and Boston Celtics a match

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed free agent guard Delonte West. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

West, a 6’3” guard, has posted career averages of 10.0 points, 3.7 assists and has shot 37.3% from beyond the arc. Originally drafted by the Celtics with the 24th pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, West posted a career-high 12.2 points during his last season with the Celtics in 2006-07.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This is a fit for player and team.

Those that love Delonte West and the Boston Celtics must be doing cartwheels, summersaults, and back flips after learning these two reached agreement on a new contract.

The troubled guard started his career with the Celtics, so this is familiar territory. His coach is the personable and friendly Glen ‘Doc’ Rivers. Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins are old teammates. He’s lived in Boston before, which isn’t far from his home of Maryland.

So West knows the organization. And vice-versa.

Rivers and GM Danny Ainge will support West through his personal issues, and accept that the guard will miss the first ten games of the season due to an NBA imposed suspension for a firearms infraction last summer.

Also, the Celtics are a veteran-laden club with big personalities. There’s The Big Three: Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce. Rondo is now an elite point guard. Shaquille and Jermaine O’Neal have presence. Of course, there’s Glen Davis and Nate Robinson, also known as Shrek and Donkey.

This boisterous group can shield him from the media and spotlight. West only has regain the form he showed with the Celtics before getting traded in a package to the Seattle Super Sonics for Ray Allen.

The combo guard will provide scoring, intensity, and toughness off the bench. All it cost Boston was the league minimum for a sixth year player and a little faith.

--Oly Sandor.

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

Hoopsvibe default image
Thursday , Aug , 26 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Boston Celtics considering Rudy Fernandez?

The Celtics have a roster spot open and are currently looking for a shooter, meaning Rudy Fernandez could be an option.

“We’re just continuing to explore available players and trade possibilities and see what sort of options are there,’’ said Danny Ainge. “There are some trade discussions that we’re having. I don’t know the likelihood of those happening, but we’ll continue to not rush into something unless it’s something that we’re really excited about.’’

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: In theory, it’s a yes. Rudy Fernandez’s energy, youth, and sharp-shooting would greatly benefit a veteran-laden Boston Celtics’ squad.  

In reality, it’s a no. Fernandez has whined, complained, and moaned about being a reserve for the Portland Trail Blazers. The Spaniard wants to start, or he'll break his NBA contract and return to Europe.

With Boston, he’d back-up sure-fire Hall of Famers in Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. And the Celtics’ old school, collectivist approach wouldn’t stand for Fernandez’s diva tendencies.

For instance, if the super-intense Kevin Garnett can literally turn Glen Davis into a Big Baby, think what he’d do to Rudy?

Credit Boston executive Danny Ainge for exploring all possibilities. Fernandez, however, isn’t the right fit.

--Oly Sandor.

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

Hoopsvibe default image
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."

Link

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.

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.

Read More
Hoopsvibe default image
Thursday , Jul , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Ray Allen re-signs with Boston Celtics for 2 years, $20 million

The Boston Celtics' new Big Three will stay together to try for a second NBA title. Ray Allen confirmed to The Associated Press on Wednesday night that he has agreed to a two-year, $20 million contract to return to Boston.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Big Three is back in business, and returning to the Boston Celtics to complete the mission of winning a second NBA Title.

Of course, the green-and-white surprised the basketball world by advancing to the NBA Finals, where they lost a heartbreaking game seven to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Today, Allen inked a very fair two year deal for $20 million. Paul Pierce just re-upped for four seasons. Doc Rivers delayed retiring to Orlando. Kevin Garnett is under contract until July, 2012.

With their veterans returning, expect the Celtics to add blending pieces this off-season and take another run at a championship next spring.

-- Oly Sandor.

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

Hoopsvibe default image
Friday , Jul , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Pierce reduces salary, so Celtics can sign Allen and Lee or Miller?

The Celtics have reached an agreement with captain Paul Pierce to keep him in Boston, according to sources. The new contract is said to be four years and $61M in length, with only three of the seasons fully guaranteed.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The Truth is back. And at a discounted price.

One day into free agency the Boston Celtics have announced they've agreed to terms on a new contract with franchise face Paul Pierce.

Pierce's salary will fall from $21 million to $15 million annually, giving the green-and-white the financial flexibility to re-sign Ray Allen and also add another valuable piece. 

For instance, reports indicate Boston is still talking to Allen, while simultaneously pursuing post David Lee or shooting guard Mike Miller.

In the short-term, Lee could replace the newly retired Rasheed Wallace as a reserve. In the long-term, he could, perhaps, take over for Kevin Garnett at the four-spot.

And Miller can play and guard multiple positions, and also stretch opposing defenses with his outside range.

If the Celtics can retain Allen and bring in other piece, they'll contend in 2011. And they'll have Pierce to thank for it.

-- O.Sandor.

Got thoughts? Get at us in the thoughts in the comment box! 

 

Hoopsvibe default image
Saturday , Jun , 26 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Minnesota keeping Darko Milicic, trading Al Jefferson?

David Kahn admitted on Friday that he is exploring a trade of Al Jefferson and the likelihood of a trade increases if the Wolves re-sign Darko Milicic.

"It's the right time finally for us to explore this," Kahn said of a possible Jefferson trade. "I've met with Al and discussed this. If Darko comes back, there could be a need to create some playing time. We really need to get our front line settled."

Link
 
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Minnesota wants to trade Al Jefferson, the power-forward who was supposed to be their lead wolf.
 
Remember, Jefferson was acquired from the Boston Celtics, as the key to the blockbuster trade involving Kevin Garnett. He initially responded to his new surroundings by posting 20-10 numbers in his first season with the Timberwolves.
 
Their relationship has suddenly soured, though.
 
Minnesota's new head suit, David Kahn, sees Jefferson as a guy who posts good statistics on bad teams. For instance, talented players should always be able to play together, but Jefferson struggles next to youngster Kevin Love.
 
And Jefferson seems to have lost faith in Minnesota. He probably sees the franchise as incapable of ever becoming more than the NBA's Siberia. For instance, lottery pick Ricky Rubio has stayed in Europe rather than joining the Timberwolves.
 
Of course, Jefferson's DUI charge in late February didn't help.
 
Unfortunately, club and player should invest in therapy or counselling because they're likely stuck together. Jefferson's contract - three years and $42 million - will be tough to move in this economy.
 
Re-signing Milicic, also known as The Human Victory Cigar, is an interesting development. Most thought the left-handed Serbian would catch the first flight back to Europe and sign in the ABC League when the NBA season ended.
 
Clearly, the Wolves believe Milicic's career can be salvaged. And he has a most intoxicating skill-set for a seven-footer. Hopefully, the former second overall pick gets a legitimate opportunity if he stays in the NBA.
 
However, Milicic might not stick in Minnesota because of Jefferson's big ticket contract can't be dealt.
 
Got thoughts?
 
Hoopsvibe default image
Friday , Jun , 18 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Sweet Repeat: Bryant and Lakers win game seven and defend NBA Title

Beating Boston for the first time in a Game 7, the Lakers came up champions again after trailing in the last quarter of the last game of their season.

Kobe Bryant, the finals MVP, scored 23 points despite 6-of-24 shooting and the Lakers won their 16th NBA championship Thursday night, dramatically rallying to beat the  Boston Celtics 83-79 in Game 7 of the NBA finals.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call:  In game-seven of the NBA Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers showed that defense wins championships.

After all, tonight’s game was supposed to be a dream match-up between the Celtics and Lakers, but – at least on the offensive end – it resembled a bit of nightmare.

Both teams couldn’t execute their offensive sets. Both teams couldn’t hit shots. So both teams dug-in, defended, and battled.

Take the victorious Lakers: Kobe Bryant, the Finals MVP, shot a horrendous 6-for-24 from the floor, but grabbed 15 huge rebounds; Pau Gasol pulled in 18 tough rebounds, which offset his missed chippies and free throws; and Ron Artest – who thanked his psychiatrist in a classic Ron-Ron post-game interview – hit clutch shots, however, his greatest contribution was battling Celtic superstar Paul Pierce.

As a group, the purple-and-gold overcame a 13-point second-half deficit and won their second consecutive championship by getting stops. For instance, they held the Celtics to just 79 points on 40% shooting from the floor.

Lamar Odom sparked the turnaround. The forward entered the game in the third quarter with the Lakers trailing 49-37 and looking desperate.

Odom used his considerable length and versatility to score, rebound, and most importantly, provide energy. And his contribution was far greater than his modest stat line of 7 points and 7 rebounds.   

Boston led for most of the game and looked capable of pulling off the upset to win their second championship in three years.

Their offense went cold for long stretches of the second half. For instance, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, the Celtics’ top scorers, were a combined 8-for-29 from the floor.

And the talented bench – which so often provided a lift when the starters struggled – had little impact. Of course, the reserves were short-handed with Rasheed Wallace replacing the injured Kendrick Perkins in the starting-five.

Tonight, Bryant’s Lakers defeated the Celtics for the first time in a game-seven duel, something greats like Jerry West and Magic Johnson failed to accomplish.

Winning back-to-back championships cements this team’s place in history. And their leader and best player, Bryant, keeps solidifying his standing as an all-time great.

And the Lakers, the NBA’s glamour team, achieved this feat with grimy, blue-collar defense.

Got thoughts on the Lakers winning game-seven and consecutive championships?

Hoopsvibe default image
Thursday , Jun , 17 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Game-Seven Prediction: Lakers 95, Celtics 88.

The Lakers have the best player, but Boston's depth of big-time playmakers will prevail in a game like this. I count eight Celtics -- the four current or former All-Stars in their starting lineup, plus Rasheed Wallace, Glen Davis, Nate Robinson’s and little-used Michael Finley, a three-point shooter with the potential to become this game's Steve Kerr -- who have it in them to make the big shot. The absence of Kendrick Perkins may create more offense for the Celtics, and they'll make up for his rebounding with a team effort led by Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo. Anticipate nothing less than a tightly wound classic played to a tempo that suits Boston.

Click here for Ian Thomsen's official game seven prediction and more analysis from the CNNSI crew.

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call:
The Boston Celtics are deserving of respect.

Consider their road to the NBA Finals. First, they took out Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat -despite some questionable tactics from Kevin Garnett. They made the Cleveland Cavaliers – the NBA’s best team in the regular season – implode, which, unfortunately, gave us an extra month of The LeBron Watch. They then coolly took out the Orlando Magic, the reigning Eastern Conference champions, in six games.

This was a most improbable run for a club that was supposedly dead, gone, and over at mid-season. Clearly, they saved their best for last, though.

The green-and-white have now pushed the defending champion and heavily favoured Lakers to the limit. The secret to Boston’s success: inspired team play on the defensive end.

Look at the NBA Finals: they’ve mostly contained Ron Artest and Lamar Odom; they’ve battled superstar Pau Gasol; and they’ve made the immortal Kobe Bryant look surprisingly mortal.

Doc Rivers’ crew is an all-time great defensive team. They can hang with any of Phil Jackson’s Chicago teams that had notable defenders like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Horace Grant/Dennis Rodman. And they hold their own against Detroit’s Bad Boys and any of Pat Riley’s squads in Los Angeles or New York.

Offensively, somebody different carries the load each night. For instance, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo have all had moments.

Of course, reserves Glen Davis and Nate Robinson – also known as Shrek and Donkey - won game four of the NBA Finals. And the defending Sprite Slam Dunk Champion went off in game six of the Eastern Conference Finals, too.

That said, the Lakers have the edge in the decisive game-seven. Here’s why:

1) Home-court matters: The purple-and-gold is a different team at home. They’re confident. They’re nasty. And they’re arrogant.     

2) No Perk’: The Celtics will miss Kendrick Perkins. They lack the size to win the paint, and contain Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.

3) Kobe Bryant: He’s the best player on either team. He’s the best player in the NBA. And he understands tonight is a legacy game.

Bryant – if he wants to be considered an all-time great – can’t afford a loss. After all, five championships are far better than four. And two losses to the arch rival Celtics in the NBA Finals would be devastating.

Expect Bryant to drop a Jordan-like effort. And HoopsVibe News expects the Lakers to win.

Prediction for game-seven of the 2010 NBA Finals: Lakers 95, Boston 88.

Got thoughts? What is your prediction for game-seven of the NBA Finals?