Should Derrick Rose Return This Season?

There has been loads of recent discussion regarding Derrick Rose, primarily focusing on whether or not he should or shouldn’t return to game action this season. Be it during the playoffs, or the last few games for a “tune up”  there is a bigger and larger picture to look at here, that being Derrick Rose’s long-term basketball career. According to Rose, only god knows when he will return.

The first thing that bothers me when ingesting the pundits thoughts about the quasi-Watergate news leaks about Rose’s psychological versus physical condition How people even consider that Derrick Rose would hesitate to play unless he is 100% ready to perform is annoying. He’s smart for being cautious. Its a major reconstructive fix up of his knee.

ROse on bench 300x196 Should Derrick Rose Return This Season?

 

Rose is an all-out-all-energy type of player who operates in only one gear, and that is accelerating at a speed and strength that makes him the leagues most dangerous point guard. When healthy. The mind is ultimately part of the body, so if it isn’t ready, his body is not 100% ready to return.

The Bulls are clearly not a contender without Rose in the lineup, but they are growing to play stronger without him, which will only be beneficial once he is back and the Bulls roster is at full strength again.

Rose should sit until he is ready to play again. The league will be abetter place for it, and the Bulls will have a better long term outcome as his knee will only become stronger, and his outside shooting should only become better.

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NBA ALL STAR BLUNDERS: Those who SHOULD have made it

Today the NBA announcement of the 2013 All Star team reserves was made. This year, the course-correction NBA head coaches vote for, to try to make amends for critical voter error, due to their loyalty to under-performerss, or in some “Lin-sane” cases, vote based on ethnical identity were made (see China internet voting).

I completely understand and acknowledge that we all, at times, make mistakes. In a preference-based system such as an All Star Ballot, we can let our judgement be met with cloudy decisions at times due to these longstanding loyalties to favorites and franchises.

However, now that the likes of Jeremy Lin have rightfully been denied All Star status, we can look at these rosters and determine whom might have been better suited, and why.

2013 Eastern Conference All-Star Team

  • Carmelo Anthony (New York)
  • Chris Bosh (Miami)
  • Tyson Chandler (New York)
  • Luol Deng (Chicago)
  • Kevin Garnett (Boston)
  • Paul George (Indiana)
  • Jrue Holiday (Philadelphia)
  • Kyrie Irving (Cleveland)
  • LeBron James (Miami)
  • Joakim Noah (Chicago)
  • Rajon Rondo (Boston)
  • Dwyane Wade (Miami)

Biggest snub: Brook Lopez (Brooklyn)

Brook Ommision 300x203 NBA ALL STAR BLUNDERS: Those who SHOULD have made itLopez has a been a monster in the middle this year, and at times has actually displayed interest in rebounding and playing defense. Offensively, he currently possesses the 4th-highest player efficiency rating (PER) in the league.

I am adamantly against advanced statistics in most scenarios as they don’t perpetuate the intangibles that cannot be measured by statistics, but this is just too glaring to overlook. Out of all of the All Stars, the player with the 4th-highest ranking PER, in the LEAGUE, is not on the team, and in a Eastern Conference that lacks quality centers.

At minimum, this means Lopez is the best offensive center in the league this year.

I love defensive players, and I completely support Tyson Chandler as he makes any team he plays for relevant, and shoots field goals at a percentage that most skilled players drain free throws (slight exaggeration, but you know what I mean), currently .674 on field goals this year. That is amazing efficiency and he should be the starting center in my opinion.

Most undeserving, yet included: Kevin Garnett

Garnett is nowhere near All Star level anymore, and as his team continues to disintegrate, people who know the game must be scoffing at his inclusion on this team as a starter. He remains a fan favorite on a team swiftly on the decline, with a loyal fanbase that thrusts him blindly into All Star prominence.

Compare him to Tim Duncan for a moment. Duncan is playing revived ball on a dominant Spurs team that refuses to go away and lose, whereas Garnett’s Celtics appear to be in serious trouble this year. Meanwhile, Lopez’s Nets are currently ranked 2nd in the Atlantic Division, and third overall in the Eastern Conference.

2013 Western Conference All-Star Team

  • LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland)
  • Kobe Bryant (L.A. Lakers)
  • Tim Duncan (San Antonio)
  • Kevin Durant (OKC)
  • Blake Griffin (L.A. Clippers)
  • James Harden (Houston)
  • Dwight Howard (L.A. Lakers)
  • David Lee (Golden State)
  • Tony Parker (San Antonio)
  • Chris Paul (L.A. Clippers)
  • Zach Randolph (Memphis)
  • Russell Westbrook (OKC)

Biggest Snub: Stephen Curry (Golden State)

cury 1 300x199 NBA ALL STAR BLUNDERS: Those who SHOULD have made it

Curry has been the leader of the revolution taking place in the Bay Area sports scene. It is rather simple, from my perspective, that if the decision was down to one Warrior, it should have been Curry all the way. Aldridge, Randolph, and Lee are all basically the same position, and Curry is the guy providing Lee with good looks for scoring. It’s the threat of Curry’s range and ability to score form anywhere that has inevitably led to the uptick of Lee’s easy baskets.

It is also the main reason Lee and all the other Warriors have been experiencing a revival in the concept of defense. If anyone is injured and cannot play during the game, it would be a crime if Curry is not immediately selected to be the replacement. Curry has been durable, and is showing what he can do as a healthy PG in this league, and the team is skyrocketing to heights well ahead of anyone’s expectations.

Alas, the fans select the starters. If anything, and speaking strictly form a basketball perspective, I believe Marc Gasol has been the best center in the NBA this season, and should have also been on this team, ahead of Randolph.

Most undeserving, yet included: Dwight Howard

I might be critiqued harshly for this, but hear me out before jumping on your soap box and screaming “this dude is crazy, and shouldn’t have a blog!”

Howard did a lot to lose my respect on how he handled his affairs exiting Orlando, and further compounded this in Los Angeles with the affect he has had on team chemistry for the Lakers this year. He tell his teammates, who are deeply concerned about his free throwing, those who see the value of his improvement will bring to the team success, that he simply isn’t listening. This shows where his head is at.

All these personal reasons aside. Dwight Howard has not made the Lakers better, and they are sinking.

By my definition, an All Star is a star player who makes his team better, and does so by playing inspired basketball. Tim Duncan has been a far better player, and so has Marc Gasol, and both are playing on teams who currently would be playoff bound if the playoffs started now.

Conclusion

The All Star game is supposed to award recognition to players based on the current season. It mostly fails to do that.

Did this new restructuring of the All Star team permanently derail legitimate centers from being able to make the team? My inclination is yes.

Did fans loyalty also play a massive factor by derailing more deserving players a chance at moving up a tier in the All Star status? Unequivocally yes.

Ultimately this is a meaningless game showcasing tons of offense in an attempt to promote the NBA to newer heights, ad should be taken as such. Sadly, those of us who are purists who cherish the game at a level bordering on lunacy must painfully accept this. We can only sit and watch, and pray, that the universe balances these mistakes out, and course-corrects in the form of replacement players.

 

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Golden State Warriors Draymond Green making a Difference

The Golden State Warriors now stand at 17-8 thus far this season, marking their first season in a long time that they have played serious basketball for quite some time.

In an unlikely and highly unpredictable start to this season, with heavy rotation usage of the three draft picks this year, the Warriors have fought their way into 5th overall in the Western Conference, and are second behind the Los Angeles Clippers.

If you told me three years ago that the Clippers and the Warriors would rank first and second respectively in the Pacific Division, I would ask you how much drugs you spiked me with.

With Andre Bogut shelved indefinitely now that the truth around his “exploratory” to now micro-fracture surgery on his ankle, the Warriors have been able to not only survive, but compete with Festus Ezeli in the middle, and then go small ball moving David Lee to the 5, with Carl Landry replacing Lee as the 4.

Furthermore, and most importantly for the Warriors, Andris Beidrins has remained on the bench of late. Crucial to any success to be had, to be certain.

The healthy Stephen Curry-Klay Thompson back court is healthy and dangerous, and thriving with a barrage of inside out game. Jarrett Jack has been a spark plug for the Warriors bench, allowing for Curry to play off the ball as well.

For me, however, no player has been as important, and coming on stronger with each passing game, then rookie Draymond Green. He’ll inevitably lead to many a executive around the league asking themselves “Why didn’t we take a chance on this kid?”

Screen Shot 2012 12 19 at 1.59.13 PM 233x300 Golden State Warriors Draymond Green making a Difference

He’s the real deal, and I cannot see Harrison Barnes dominating the minutes much longer at the small forward position. Green has been outworking, outsmarting, and most importantly, out-rebounding Barnes and almost anyone else on the Warriors bench not named Carl Landry.

Watching Green is jut downright fun to basketball connoisseurs. He is always in the right place, making the right decision, making the right cut, or the right pass. It’s like he is a throwback to when basketball IQ persevered against superior athleticism. It doesn’t hurt that he is a ridiculous rebounder. Bottom line, dude makes plays.

Green has quickly won me over, and it appears that Mark Jackson has a lot of faith in Green, as he gets important minutes, and his workloadis constantly increasing every game. During tonights game against the New Orleans Hornets, he had more minutes than Barnes, and it doesn’t look as if he will see this changing any way, other than in his favor, anytime soon.

 

 

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Kobe Blasts Pau, then his knees hurt to much to play?

Kobe Bryant blasts Pau Gasol via the media, informing his dynamic power forward to “put his bog boy pants on” and mysteriously the tendinitis in his knees flares up to the point where he cannot play the very next game.

Strange things have been known to happen, but is it more likely that Gasol decided to toss his big boy pants on the ground, and opt to instead act out by not playing at all?

pau knees 300x206 Kobe Blasts Pau, then his knees hurt to much to play?

Kobe Bryant has a lot of leeway from his team, his coach, the league, and his fans whom alway seem to justify everything he does. He is a great basketball player. A legend indeed. One thing that Kobe should have figured out by now (after all he has been a professional since age 18) is that you do not blast your current teammates (the dig on Smush Parker was just priceless) via the media. You keep it in the family.

What could/should have been a locker room discussion is now a massive scaled media matter, fuelling the already highly critical flames of the Lakers thus far.

And now the Lakers are down their star power forward, and with an injury like tendinitis, who knows when he will be back. Will it be when his knees are better, or after his ego has fully recovered from the sting of Kobe’s media blast?

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