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Sunday , May , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Kevin Durant wants The Decision 2.0?

Asked if any inch of him wanted to someday experience his own summer of LeBron, Durant said: "You said an inch, so I'll take that inch. One inch of my mind just wants to experience that, see what it's like, you know. I've been through the recruitment process, of course, going to college, but I want to see how that is. I'm not saying that I want to go to another team or I want to go to a greater market. But just how much it was publicized this summer, I just want to see what that's like. I'm an interested person, I'm a curious person. And once again, I'm not trying to say I want to leave or anything. But I just want to see how that is.

"I'll be 27 when my contract's up. So maybe when I'm 27 … But you never know. Two or three years down the line, I might sign another extension here. So we'll see. We'll see. But right now, I'm happy where I'm at, I'm glad I'm locked in for five years."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kevin Durant, don’t do it. Don’t pull a LeBron and hold ‘The Decision 2.0’ when you become a free agent in a few years.

Don’t announce your future on national television like a raving egomaniac. Don’t pull Jim Gray out the ‘reporter’ scrap heap for a paid gig. And finally, don’t ruin your nice guy persona in an afternoon by acting like a jerk.

Just don’t. Don't even think about it.

In a few years, you’ll be a free agent. You have the right to pick where you play. Nobody can take issue with what you decide. As James learned the hard way, how you decide is everything.

For instance, James had given Cleveland seven years. They couldn’t provide a legit’ co-star, so he left. Fair enough. He had that right.

However, the backlash occurred mostly because James acted like a diva. ‘The Decision’ was unprofessional; his image has yet to recover.

Hopefully, Durant was misquoted. And hopefully, Durant has learned. One bad decision –like 'The Decision'- can change years of goodwill.

--Oly Sandor.

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

All-NBA Teams Announced; Let The Second Guessing Begin
Saturday , May , 14 , 2011 Paul Eide

All-NBA Teams Announced; Let The Second Guessing Begin


On the first team, the only unanimous player selected by all 119 media writers and broadcasters was LeBron James. Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard each received 118 votes, each shunned by one short sighted voter. D Rose is good enough to win the MVP but not be a unanimous selection? Must’ve been a Hawks or Pacers fan.
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Saturday , May , 14 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

LeBron and Wade nearly joined Rose in Chicago

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade admitted they strongly considered signing with the Bulls. "It was two mornings," Wade said at Friday's practice of waking up during the summer of 2010 envisioning himself with Chicago. "I definitely had one or two mornings where I woke up thinking I'd be a Bull too, but ultimately I decided to come here," James said.

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This would be the Three Kings. For real.

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade seriously contemplated signing with the Chicago Bulls last summer during The Great Free Agent Chase of 2010.
So imagine this: James and Wade with 2011 MVP Derrick Rose.
This trio would dominate the NBA for years, forcing Commissioner David Stern and league head office to make annual reservations for Chicago in June.
Perhaps scariest of all would be their athleticism. James, Wade, and Rose are freaks. They are quick. They are strong. They are agile. And they are the top finishers in the open court.
So imagine them running the break. Together. This would strike fear into the hearts of their opponents.
Some would worry about the fit. All three like the ball. And all three would have to spend significant time off the ball.
They`d make it work, though. Great, unselfish players can almost always play together.
Of course, this is just speculation. Wade re-signed with the Miami Heat. Chris Bosh followed him to South Beach. So did James. And Rose has Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah in Chicago.
And these superstars are set to clash in a potentially epic Eastern Conference Finals. Still, it`s nice to imagine what could have been.
--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
Against Heat, Bulls Front Court Needs To Produce
Friday , May , 13 , 2011 Paul Eide

Against Heat, Bulls Front Court Needs To Produce


Carlos Boozer has taken a lot of “heat” over the past couple weeks for his lack of production. But of all the injuries to play with turf toe is not something minor; though because it’s a toe injury (you have nine other ones that can carry the load, right?) it’s not seen as limiting as say a knee injury, or the shoulder injury Boozer dealt with earlier in the season.
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Saturday , May , 07 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Bosh: ‘I’ve never tried to fit’ with LeBron or Wade

It was never a show of disrespect toward Bosh, but a way for James and Wade to display the friendship they had built over the years. For Bosh, it was an easier way to distinguish his preference of standing alone. "With me, I've always just been different," Bosh said. "I've never tried to fit in. I'm one of the fellas, great. I get along with everybody, great. But if I'm going to read my book, I'm going to read my book and this is what I'm doing."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Miami Heat doesn’t care if Chris Bosh is his own man. They don’t care if he’s one of the ‘fellas’ -or not. And they don’t care if he conducts interviews with LeBron James and/or Dwyane Wade.

They care about one thing: his play. That is all.

If Bosh produces, the Heat will be tough. They’ll likely win the Eastern Conference and stand a good chance at capturing the NBA Title.

If Bosh falters, the Heat is beatable. Their half-court sets become predictable. Opposing defences will cheat on James and/or Wade with little or no repercussions.

Bosh is that all-important third scorer. His skill keeps opposing defenses honest, and his length makes him a solid rebounder.

When Bosh is at his best, the Heat can turn to an undersized unit of The Three Kings with two shooters. The most interesting feature of this line-up is when James and Wade runs pick-and-rolls.

All of this hinges on Bosh playing his best. And nothing else matters.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Thursday , May , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: LeBron and D-Wade embarrass Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Game two of the Eastern Conference semi-finals wasn’t good for the Boston Celtics.

First, they lost to the Miami Heat. And second, they got crossed-over, rejected, and embarrassed on several highlight reel plays by LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

Don’t believe me? Want proof? Check out the video clips below and get at us with your thoughts.

(Wade breaks Ray Allen’s ankles.)

(Wade tangles-up Garnett in the open-court.)

(James blocks Garnett’s shots.)

-Oly Sandor.

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

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Wednesday , May , 04 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Mark Cuban Weighs in on Miami’s “Three Kings”

Our big brothers at CraveOnline caught up with the always interesting Mark Cuban at SXSW recently, and naturally it didn't take long before the conversation turned to hoops. Among other topics covering the NBA and more, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks dropped his thoughts on Miami Heat's acquisition of LeBron James and Chris Bosh over the summer.


Mark Cuban weighs in on the Miami Heat “Three Kings” fiasco:

Mark Cuban: I’m a believer in karma. You’ve just opened yourself to a big old whack across the head like they did, you typically get it. It was a unique opportunity. There was a lot of excitement. They were smart to try to extend the excitement throughout the community, but I just think they went a little overboard. They tried to make it like a rock concert. They tried to make it like the biggest event, the Super Bowl of player signings. It becomes very anticlimactic. That’s the challenge. You don’t want to shoot your wad before you even get in business. That’s basically what they might have done. So you’ve got to be careful. You’ve got to understand, particularly in sports, at the start of the season, everybody’s undefeated, everybody’s excited about their team and you want to try to have a crescendo that builds through the season to hopefully something good at the end. It actually worked to the benefit of the league because instead of the Beatles, they were The Knack. They were the knockoff that so far hasn’t quite worked. Maybe it will but they became the villain. They were like the Oakland Raiders so that’s actually helped the league because people go watch them to boo ‘em. You always want a villain.


Head over to CraveOnline to read the rest of the interview.

Miami Heat making NBA playoffs look too easy. Who can stop them?
Wednesday , May , 04 , 2011 J.N.

Miami Heat making NBA playoffs look too easy. Who can stop them?

Everything is set up perfectly for the Heatles to win it all. They made quick work of the Philadelphia Sixers. The Boston Celtics are falling down all over the place trying to guard LeBron and Wade. Their opponent in the Eastern Conference Finals will probably be quick work, too. This is what LeBron, Wade, and Bosh wanted. This is reality. They are making the 2011 playoffs look like an exhibition. It’s like that?  

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Derrick Rose. The 2010-2011 MVP. Haters welcomed!
Tuesday , May , 03 , 2011 J.N.

Derrick Rose. The 2010-2011 MVP. Haters welcomed!

Derrick Rose is officially the youngest NBA MVP for anyone living in a cave kicking it with John Rambo. He earned it at 22 years old. Leading the team to the number one record is a tall order for anyone. The 2010-2011 season is historic mainly because of this. Basketball fans witnessed something amazing that we will not see again from any 22 year old NBA player. It was fun to see all of the games on DirecTV. Chicago’s offense and the opposing team’s defensive game plans truly revolved around the Poohdini of the Hardwood.

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Sunday , May , 01 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Doc Rivers on Chris Bosh: He’s a ‘Key Guy’ for Heat

“LeBron and Wade are going to be LeBron and Wade,” Doc Rivers said. “They were great before the series, they’ll be great during it and they’ll be great after it and this summer when you’re talking about it you’ll say LeBron and Wade are great players. That’s not going to chance. But when Bosh plays great, then their team plays great. He’s a key guy for them.”

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Chris Bosh has taken ‘heat’ for his play this year.

As LeBron James and Dwyane Wade meshed together seamlessly for Miami, Bosh often struggled to find his way on both ends of the court.
At times, the Three Kings looked more like Two Kings and a Baron. Or, in an ode to Charlie Sheen, Two and a half Kings.
Make no mistake about it, as Bosh goes so goes the Heat. A focused, active CB4 gives the Heat a third option. He establishes an inside-outside game and punishes defenses for cheating on James and Wade.
While an unfocused Bosh makes the Heat a predictable, two-horse squad. And it’s too much to expect James and Wade to carry the offense come playoff time.
Not surprisingly, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers has identified Bosh as the key. The green-and-white know they can’t stop James and Wade from ‘getting-theirs’, but the lanky left-hander is a different story.
The stakes are high. If Bosh plays well, the Heat likely win. If Bosh plays poorly, the Celtics likely win.
It’s not just about this year, though. If Bosh performs and the Heat advance, the Three Kings experiment will continue. If he does not perform and the Heat loses, he may be traded for cap space/depth.
The upcoming Heat-Celtics series could well define Bosh. Is he a superstar or a very good player? At least, we’ll get an answer.
--Oly Sandor.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Friday , Apr , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

LeBron and Heat want Celtics for lunch

Taking a metaphor right through the final bell of the first round,LeBron James was asked how his breakfast -- with NBA playoff rounds serving as meals -- went. "It was good!" said James, smiling. "Now we're preparing for lunch."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Is LeBron James hungry? Did he miss a meal?

I bring this up because the Miami Heat superstar referred to his team’s first round opponent, the Philadelphia 76ers, as ‘breakfast’.
James dropped this little metaphor at the end of the Heat-76ers series. The implication being that the heavily favored Heat was going to ‘finish their breakfast’.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the end of the King’s little literary devices.
James’ Heat is facing the Boston Celtics in round two. Facing the mighty green-and-white hasn’t stopped James from continuing to torture us with the meal metaphors. James called the Celtics ‘lunch’. This won’t get over well with Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, or Rajon Rondo.
After all, the Celtics are reigning Eastern Conference champions. Not some also-ran. Or lower seed that stumbled into the second round. Perhaps they are deserving of greater respect. Perhaps not.
Providing the mediocre 76ers with bulletin board material is one thing. Providing the talented Celtics with bulletin board material is entirely different.
They’ll make James pay. And in a couple of weeks he could be the one getting feasted on.
--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Thursday , Apr , 28 , 2011 Andrew Flint

The good part of LeBron James’ Decision

Boys & Girls Clubs in Cleveland, Akron and Elyria report receiving a total of more than $480,000, part of about $2 million that James has distributed nationwide since the July broadcast, billed as "The Decision." In Cleveland, clubs in the Mount Pleasant and Slavic Village neighborhoods have received $130,000. Link
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: We knocked it –and with good reason.
Nine months ago, LeBron James announced he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers and signing with the Miami Heat as an unrestricted free agent.
If James wanted the sun of Miami instead of the snow of Cleveland, so be it. He had rights as a free agent. Who are we to judge?
However, the actual decision wasn’t the problem. The Decision, as in announcing where he would sign on national television, was. This made for ESPN spectacle ruined James’ image.
Nothing good came from it –until now. James donated all the advertising dollars to the Boys and Girls Club of America, which ended up being close to a half million dollars.
So The Decision wasn’t all about stroking James’ ego. Somebody else benefitted from his hour on television.
--Oly Sandor.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 
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Saturday , Apr , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

LeBron: Cleveland wasn’t my city, the Cavaliers weren’t my team

If you tell LeBron James that Cleveland was his city or the Cavaliers were his team, prepare for a quick correction.

The Akron native didn't wait for the end of a question Friday when a reporter referenced Cleveland as "your city." James' message was that he can't disown something that was never his. "It wasn't my city. It wasn't my team either," he said. "I was just a player, you know, I helped get that franchise to leaps and bounds that they haven't seen before.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This looks like LeBron James once again dumping on Cleveland and the Cavaliers.

We’ve seen this before from LeBron. He has an entourage that puts Vinnie Chase to shame and The Decision, last year’s TV event where he announced where he would sign as a free agent, revealed much about his character.

James is from Akron, Ohio. Akron and Cleveland aren’t the same. A a rivalry exists between the two. Cleveland never showed James much love as a prep phenom’.

Then there’s Dan Gilbert, the Cavaliers’ owner. The Decision was bad, but so was Gilbert’s response, publishing a letter that was unprofessional and personal.

Perhaps Gilbert’s ego exceeds LeBron’s. Perhaps working for the business mogul wasn’t a walk in the park/Quicken Loans Arena.

And James correctly points out that the Cavs' had several elite players before him: Brad Daugherty, Larry Nance, and Mark Price.

So maybe Cleveland was never his city; the Cavaliers never his team. Fair enough. Maybe this wasn’t the match we thought.

Here’s the question: Can we move on?

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Wednesday , Apr , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Chris Bosh ‘comfortable’ playing center for Miami

He's changed his tune thus far in the postseason. Because of Philadelphia's speed at the position, Bosh has played extended minutes at center. His role is expected to remain the same throughout the series. "It just took some time to get comfortable to it," Bosh said." At first, I was kind of frightened. I didn't really want to play the five. I know I've said that a bunch of times."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There’s a saying. Winning changes everything, especially if there’s a chance to win a championship.

Case in point: Chris Bosh.

At the start of the season, Bosh wasn’t into playing center for the Miami Heat. After all, he labored at the position for the Toronto Raptors, even though he fancied himself a power forward with skills and a face-up game.

When he signed with the Heat as part of The Great Free Agent Chase of 2010, he was under the impression his days at the five were over.


Now Bosh is open to playing center. A playoff run and the possibility of hoisting a championship will do this.

The Heat is at their best with Bosh at center. This allows them to spread the floor with two shooters, and lets LeBron James and Dwyane Wade isolate against their man or run a pick-and-roll.

Only time will tell if Bosh playing out of position will pay off with a championship, though.

--Oly Sandor.

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


Examining Rose’s Bulls climb to 62 wins
Wednesday , Apr , 20 , 2011 J.N.

Examining Rose’s Bulls climb to 62 wins

The Chicago Bulls becoming the number one team, record wise, reveals a quantum leap this season and ramifications for the future. Not many people are examining the Bulls massive improvements – they practically flew over the Atlantic Ocean without breaking a sweat. Imagine predicting that the Bulls would be the number one team with the best defense before the season started. Imagine that. People laugh, mock, wants some weed that you smoked, and then label you a Bulls homer. That is why some of us should say, “We’ll see.”

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Tuesday , Apr , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Heat flex defensive muscle in game-two win over 76ers

James scored 29 points, Bosh had his second straight double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Miami took a 2-0 series lead with a 94-73 victory over the abysmally shooting 76ers -- who managed their second-lowest playoff scoring total in the last 56 years -- on Monday night.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: All season, we’ve focused on what they aren’t. Perhaps we should focus on what they are: a defensive juggernaut –especially, on the perimeter.

On Monday night, the Miami Heat easily defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in game two of their first round series. They did this by playing airtight, stingy defense.

Consider the numbers:

•    The 76ers made one half-court basket in the opening quarter, and shot just 26% from the floor in the first half.

•    Only one starter reached double-figures, Jrue Holiday had 12 points.

•    Doug Collins’ squad ended up with a paltry 74 points.

The Heat’s ability to get-stops shouldn't surprise. Even when they were struggling with a 9-8 mark early on, the Heat had the makings of a fabulous defensive squad.

There are two keys to their success. First, the Heat is athletic on the perimeter. See LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Both can lock-up their checks, while playing the passing lanes.Second, Coach Erik Spoelstra rewards his players with offensive freedom -if they follow his scheme in their own end.

And this formula will be the key to the Heat advancing deep into the playoffs.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Saturday , Apr , 16 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

No excuses: Paul Pierce tells Celtics to forget Kendrick Perkins

"It was even worse last year when we went through our struggle," Pierce said. "Definitely Kendrick had his impact, but you’ve got to remember he missed a big portion of the season and, during that portion, we were able to beat a lot of the good teams also.

"I think that’s just an excuse at this point. I think that it’s time for us to move on from that. It hurts when you lose a teammate … but at the end of the day, the guys that are in this locker room are the guys you’ve got to go to war with." Pierce said a healthy Shaquille O’Neal is capable of filling the void on both ends.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Leave it to The Truth to speak The Truth -at least, as he sees it.

Paul Pierce, the captain and star swing of the Boston Celtics, feels his club is using the Kendrick Perkins trade as an excuse not to play their best. And he’s right.

Sure, Perkins, not Kevin Garnett, was their defensive anchor. And sure, Perkins was great on the defensive and offensive glass, getting points through tips and effort.

However, Perk’s contract was up at season’s end and his knees are wonky, so GM Danny Ainge swapped him for Jeff Green to better match up against LeBron James and the Miami Heat in the playoffs.

Now Pierce may be frustrated. With Perkins, he won a championship and advanced to two NBA Finals. Yet the Celtics still changed a winning formula at mid-season.

What’s done is done, though. Pierce is keeping his thoughts private and challenging teammates to play better, especially if Shaquille O’Neal gets healthy.

Perhaps O’Neal comes to the rescue. If fit and healthy –these are big ifs- the legendary five could theoretically turn back the clock and hold his own over a seven-game series.

This may be wishful thinking, as O’Neal has missed three months. His conditioning will be suspect, and he’ll struggle to defend pick-and-rolls.

Just don’t tell Pierce. He’s having none of it. No excuses.

--Oly Sandor

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

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Sunday , Apr , 10 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

DeMar DeRozan on improving 3-point shot: ‘it will come’

Hoops Hype: You had only attempted 46 three-pointers in the first 78 games. Is that the next part of your game that you want to expand?

Demar DeRozan: Oh yes, definitely. It will come through time. I really don’t stress about it. Because once it comes, that is another part of my game that will develop. Will work on that this summer a lot and come back ready next year.

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He has been a bright spot in an otherwise dismal season.

The Toronto Raptors 2011 struggles can be tied to former franchise face Chris Bosh joining pals LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in South Beach.

Without Bosh, the Raptors had to rebuild. They already had a key piece in DeMar DeRozan -the second year man from USC, who looks more than capable of filling Bosh’s considerable shoes.

DeRozan is explosive, dynamic, and committed, and deserves greater consideration for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award after his terrific campaign.

However, to become an All-Star, to regularly attend David Stern’s February classic, he must extend his range. Currently, DeRozan is a solid mid-range shooter; he must become a three-point gunner.
Then DeRozan will be unstoppable. He’ll be able to go to the hoop at will or punish sagging defenders with his newfound stroke.

He’ll have help, too. There’s a crew of up-and-coming pieces in The Big Smoke: Jerryd Bayless, Ed Davis, Amir Johnson, James Johnson, and Sonny Weems.

The Raptors also have cap space, a trade exception from the Miami Heat, and an upcoming lottery pick. The future is looking up north of the border. It starts and ends with DeRozan taking the next step and developing his three-point shot.

Fortunately, he knows this. Fortunately, he’s a gym rat, who loves working on his game. Fortunately, he’s mature beyond his years. And fortunately, he wants his team to succeed.

So next year looks promising -or just better than 2011- because of DeRozan. Bottom line: there’s something for Raptor fans to look forward to.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Saturday , Apr , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Heat still thinking of trading Chris Bosh?

Do you think Miami trades bosh next year too improve overall? Ric Bucher: I've heard it's already been discussed.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Could ‘The Three Kings’ lose a member this summer?

According to ESPN’s Rich Bucher, the Miami Heat has already held discussions about trading Chris Bosh.

Of course, Bosh signed in South Beach last July as a free agent for two reasons: LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. And the trio expected to waltz its way to multiple championships.

While the early returns weren’t awful, ‘The Three Kings’ first regular season together produced mostly mixed results. At times, they were brilliant. At times, they were mediocre.

The key is that it was the regular season. All will be forgotten -if the Heat captures the NBA championship, and then there'd be no major changes.

So Bosh will stay put provided the Heat win and his salary remains manageable under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The pressure is on. What did Bosh, James, and Wade expect when they joined forces?

Oly Sandor.

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


Biggest Surprises and Fails for 2010-2011
Monday , Apr , 04 , 2011 J.N.

Biggest Surprises and Fails for 2010-2011

The season is almost over. It is time to look back and reflect on the positives and negatives. The hype before tip-off was through the roof. There was a lot of anticipation on new rivalries and storylines to be played out. Will the South Beach trio work out? How will Blake Griffin play? Is Steve Nash’s window closed? Are the Lakers still the team to beat? Kevin Durant got the MVP? The Chicago Bulls are 4th seeders, right?

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