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BIG SHAQ RETIRES; SAD DAY FOR THE NBA

Shaquille O’Neil put the Orlando Magic on the map.  He brought prominence back to the Los Angeles Lakers.  He popped Dwayne Wade’s cherry in Miami.  With that said, the last few years of his career were plagued with injuries, mostly from his weight and lack of conditioning.  Sad to say, if Shaq wasn’t going to take care of his body, he should’ve retired years ago.  That seems to be the classic trend with superstars in sports, hanging around 1 year too long. Going back to Shaq’s career, he got swept out of the finals twice in Orlando.  Those were the days that Hakeem Olaujuwon used to dominate the paint.  It took a couple years for him to get his act together in LA, but when he finally did, he netted 3 Championships in a row and a sad finals defeat at the hands of the Detroit Pistons.  If the Kobe-Shaq fued never blew up, both these guys would’ve had a little more hardware hanging on their mantle. As for the run in Miami, we all know it driven by vengeance.  The spite that brewed inside of him after the Lakers chose, I mean traded him away of Lamar Odom and some scraps. The bottom line is, Shaq was one of the most dominant big men in the league.  Not by skill, but by brute force. He was too strong, too big for the league.  His only move was the dunk. With that said, he was still unstoppable. All three of these teams should, must retire his jersey.  Send the big guy off in style.  He deserves it, he put them either on or back on the map. We’re gonna miss you big fella.  The last of the true centers is gone.

June 2, 2011 Posted by | NBA BASKETBALL | , , , , | Leave a comment

VINCE CARTER: BORN LOSER

There are some guys that are winners and some that just aren’t.  Let me introduce you to Vince Carter, of the Orlando Magic, Mr. Individual.  Never won a title as a Tarheel, couldn’t win when he played for Toronto with a then good Tracy McGrady (remember, he missed a game winning jumper because he had to attend his college graduation); couldn’t make noise with the Nets when they had Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson; and now, is trying to fill the empty shoes left by Hedo Turkoglu. I was the first to say that the Magic downgraded when they let Hedo sign with the Raptors and signed Vince.  Carter is a “sexy” sign (on paper), but on the court, he rarely shows up when it counts.  His last game against Boston, he was 5-15. He’s a good individual player, not a team player.  He is was a dunker. Not sure if I’d vote him into the Hall of Fame, as I don’t think that spectacular dunks is a category? 1 week ago, everyone was talking about how the Magic were the best team in the NBA, having swept through the first 2 rounds of the playoffs. And now, after going 0-2 to the old and decrepit yet Wiley and savvy Boston Celtics, the Magic suck and are about to get swept. The main difference between last year’s Magic and this one…VINSANITY.  Kudos for dunking over that 7 foot French center in the 2000 Olympics and possibly being the greatest slam dunk champion ever, but ala Chris Webber, neither you nor the team you play on will ever win a title.

May 22, 2010 Posted by | NBA BASKETBALL | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

EASTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS

Chicago v. Cleveland: I love watching the Bulls play. Derek Rose is awesome.  Unfortunately, they have no chance against the Cavs.  Lebron is on a mission this year. There is noone that is going to stop this team.  I don’t care what other 4 players are on the court with him.  Cavs in 4, bring out the brooms.  Not this year Rose, you’re gonna need to make a big off-season signing (hint hint: Bosh).

Milwaukee v. Atlanta: I don’t even know how the Bucks got into the playoffs. I know about that kid Brandon Jennings (good move playing in Europe for 1 year).  I also know they’ve lost Bogut for the year. The Jennings/Salmons combo is solid, but not good enough.  Who’s going to step up for the Bucks? Atlanta is gonna roll over these guys in 4.  Might be the easiest first round matchup in the playoffs.  I don’t even think I need to go into the strengths of this team, but I’ll name a few just for kicks: J. Johnson, Horford, J. Smith, Bibby, Jamal Crawford, Mo Evans.

Miami v. Boston: I’m not sure who I hate more, Boston or Denver.  Since they won 2 years ago, Kevin Garnett has turned from a role model into a thug.  Paul Pierce has game, I can’t even hate on him.  Ray Allen is a has been that has 2 things going for him, his FT% and his steaky 3 pointers. D-Wade might be playing his last series as a Heat.  Beasley’s the only other Heat I can name and frankly, he’s not getting it done either.  Can’t wait to see what happens to Dwayne in the offseason… Boston in 5.

Charlotte v. Orlando: Interesting match-up here. On one hand, you have the reigning Eastern Conference Champs, big Dwight Howard, healthy Jameer Nelson, improving J.J. Reddick, and two key offseason pickups in Matt Barnes and Vince Carter.  I actually think Barnes’ presence on the court is more vital than Vince’s. Kudos for the Bobcats for making the playoffs.  Stephen Jackson has turned this team around.  Gerald Wallace has always been a box-score filler. He his one of the best defenders in the league and one of the hardest guys to guard.  Depth will be a problem for this team as well.  They will give Orlando a run for their money but the Magic should pull this off in 5.

April 17, 2010 Posted by | NBA BASKETBALL | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cleveland Cavaliers: 2010 NBA CHAMPS

Plan the parade… this one’s in the bag.  If there was one team I thought could knock off the Cavs in the East it was the Orlando Magic.  Well today, they beat the Cavaliers… barely, 98-92.  No Lebron James, no Shaq, no Anthony Parker.  The Magic on the other hand, a full squad. What a pathetic win for the Magic.  If you can’t send a post season message and demolish the Cavs, then you got problems.  The Orlando Magic don’t stand a chance against the Clevaland Cavaliers WITH a healthy Lebron James.  Forget Shaq, forget Parker.  The Cavs don’t need ’em.  As long as Lebron is 80%, we’re gonna witness the King and his ring.  I did think the Lakers would have a chance to knock them off but the way they’ve been playing lately… ugh!!!! They lost to their arch-nemesis Portland Trail Blazers at Staples.  Lakers bench, once again playing the role of Harry Houdini and disappearing, going 3-15 for a whoppin 8 points.  This team ain’t going anywhere until they get some production off that bench. Even Kobe’s  not the same, going 8-23.  That finger is hurting more than we are led to believe. Until something dramatic happens in the West like the Lakers do a 180 turn or the Nuggets mature, we’re gonna see Shaq and Bron Bron get a ring.   And you know what, this might be the first time I’ve said this out loud, I’m not bothered by it.  They’re the best team.  They’re taking care of business. They deserve it.

April 12, 2010 Posted by | NBA BASKETBALL | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ohio Renames Capital: SHAKRON

shaqIf’s official folks, the Big Shaqtus is heading to the Big Nowhere.  Mr. Orland-Los Angeles-Miami-Phoenix is going to experience the cold winters of Cleveland, Ohio to play with the King, Lebron James. Will this make Cleveland an instant favorite to win the title? Only if the Lakers don’t sign Ariza AND Odom.  Oh yeah, those pesky Celtics and Magic might have something to say something about who’s the favorite. And not to be outdone, the Magic traded and got Vince Carter. Getting back to Shaq, I’m of the belief that this trade doesn’t help the Cavs as much as people think it does. The last thing the Cavs need is to slow down their game.  If you recall, they were getting killed by Turkoglu and Lewis of the Magic.  Not sure Shaq can defend these guys.  Remember what happened to the run and gun Suns when they added Shaq? Now they’re just an 8th seed team at best.  As for the Cavs, they didn’t get worse, but let’s see how long it will take before the Big Shaqoff starts bitching about not getting the ball.  I’ll give it to him, he’s got a knack for latching onto the best (see Kobe, Wade, Stoudamire/Nash, and now the King).  I just hope he doesn’t pick up a fifth ring.  That’s gonna hurt. As for the Cavs, anything less than a Championship (not just an appearance) is a failure. By the way, now that he’s teamed up with the King, doesn’t that make Shaq…the “Queen.” Them Sacramento Queens Kings might have something to say about that.

June 26, 2009 Posted by | NBA BASKETBALL | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

LAKERS WIN! LAKERS WIN!

NBA Finals Lakers Magic BasketballNo catchy titles, just the truth. The Los Angeles Lakers are the World Champions. Congrats to Phil Jackson for getting his 10th ring and passing Red Auerbach for the # of coaching championships. Congrats to Kobe for finally winning without Shaq. Congrats to the Lakers bench for not doing shit (except Lamar Odom).  Congrats to Derek Fisher, because if he didn’t hit those threes in game 5, I was gonna wring his neck. The Magic on the other hand, you live by the 3, you die by the 3. That’s it.  Nothing you can do about it.  If they only had a dominant big man… hmmmmm… I do believe Stan Van Gundy is a decent coach.  He did however make a big mistake by putting Jameer Nelson back into the rotation and f-ing up Rafer’s confidence and the team chemistry.  At least wait until your team loses a game in the final. Then you can use the guy as a motivational tool. Oh well, could’ve, would’ve, should’ve.  I’m not going to back seat drive this car. Time to plan the Lakers parade and find an excuse to get out of work. I wonder if Mbenga will do the Mark Madsen dance.  I LOVE LA!!!

June 15, 2009 Posted by | NBA BASKETBALL | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Big FISH in a small pond

Derek Fisher’s night went from turnign the ball over which led to a Michael Pietrus 3-point play to a a 3-pointer to send the game to OT and then a dagger from range to ice it.  Biggest shot I’ve seen in ages.  I’m not giving this guy the MVP of the series after a horrendous playoffs but MMMMAAAAADDDD props for shooting after missing so many. Big mistake by Stan Van Gundy for not fouling Fisher when he got the ball. Big mistake not fouling Ariza. Big mistake with the full court press allowing the Lakers to break it and hit the 3-pointer.  Big mistake Dwight Howard missing 2 freethrows that could have essentially iced the game.  Big mistake for Hedo Turkyglue talking smack and missing 4 freethrows in the 4th quarter.  Big mistake EVER bringing Jameer Nelson back AND giving him quality minutes.  So many mistakes by the Magic, so many opportunities given to the Lakers that they capitalized on.  That’s the difference between a good team and a bad team. I’d love to see Rafer Alston’s reaction after the game. I do feel bad for Dwight though, wish it wasn’t him that missed the 2 freethrows, cuz he is one of the few good guys in the league.  Michael Pietrus, on the other hand, thug-life came out after hacking Gasol.  Classless play, the league should definitely suspend him for the next game. Finally, a dis to John Barry for blaming that last play on Gasol for going up for the dunk.  Screw that, you play to win.  This is a series, you have to send a message.  Gasol should have knocked out Pietrus.  Smart move though for not starting too much shit and getting himself suspended.

June 12, 2009 Posted by | NBA BASKETBALL | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Saaaayyyyy CONTRACT!

NBA Finals Magic Lakers BasketballWho? What? When? What the hell’s going on here? Two finals games in a row, four consecutive playoffs performances in double digits, by Lamar Odom of the Lakers? That’s right folks, its a contract year for L.O. as he becomes a free agent at the end of the year and looking to cash in HUGE, unless he resigns with the Lakers where he might have to give a hometown discount.  I don’t really care about the motivation factor, as long as the Lakers win the Championship but I do wonder why these guys can’t show up every game, especially given the amount of money they make. And it’s not just Lamar, this type of inconsistent play is prevalant league-wide.  Back to the game though and the Lakers’ victory, looks like the Magic missed their best chance of evening out the series but Courtney Lee’s missed alley-lay up was nowhere close.  That’s gonna be eating him all off-season. Nice game for Rashard Lewis and his $118 million contract, I’m glad that he’s proving that he’s worth it, somewhat… Going back to Orlando for 3 in a row, what are the chances that the Magic sweep.  None?  Look at the Lakers’ track record: best road record in the league; playoff victories in Utah, Denver, and Houston. I’m thinking it too, Magic are done.   But they should be happy to be there.  Noone gave them a chance to go deep in the playoffs and well, a finals appearance makes the season a success.  I’m pretty sure they won’t be there next year but that’s another post for another day.  I said Lakers in 6 before the season started, looking solid so far.

June 8, 2009 Posted by | NBA BASKETBALL | , , , , , | Leave a comment

This is for the (LAKER) Haters

kobeWow!  Talks about a Magical performance. The Lakers put down a royal ass-whooping last night against the Magic.  I’m a firm believe of “you live by the three, you die by the three” and that’s exactly wh at the Magic did… died that is, 8 for 23 from distance.  All week, everyone’s been talking about how the Lakers are gonna have problems matching up against the quicks of the Magic. What about the bigs of the Lakers?  I’ll take size over speed ANY day.  Who’s gonna guard Gasol when Bynum’s in?  Who’s gonna guard Odom when Gasol’s in?  Forget Kobe, he’s unstoppable.  By the way, BIG MISTAKE giving Jameer Nelson those minutes.  You don’t think it’s affecting Rafer Alston’s play?  If you don’t, then you don’t believe in team chemistry. I’m gonna give some love right now to someone I’ve been hating on for ages… LUKE WALTON.  He’s not longer the worst player in the league, let alone the Lakers.  That title goes to Sasha and Jordan Farmar, who combined yesterday for 0 points in 18 minutes of play. I think the last Lakers  solid point guard was Magic. Not that it matters right now anyway becasue the way the Lakers are playing, they can take on the Magic 4 on 5. P.S. not into the Kobe gritty teeth look.

June 5, 2009 Posted by | NBA BASKETBALL | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Battle of the Draft Picks: Howard v. Okafor

dwight howard onthebuzzer.comFriday night featured a highly anticipated battle of the draft picks.  OK, maybe not highly anticipated. And maybe not a battle, more like an after school fight. But nevertheless, still an underlying story.  In the 2004 draft, Omeka Okafor was drafted #1 from UCONN by the Charlotte Bobcats. #2, was my man, your manchild, straight out of high school, Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic . There really isn’t an argument as to who the better player is.  Howard has led his crappy team to the playoffs and to the 2nd best record in the eastern conference so far this year.  Okafor on the other hand, has led his team into a wall. Howard hasn’t missed a game in his NBA career yet and has failed to start just 1 while Okafor’s career has been plagued by injuries. I’ll give it to Omeka, his game has turned up a notch this year, averaging 14 pts, 11 rbs and 2 blks per game.  On Friday night against the Orlando Magic, he did show some flashes of brilliance, finishing the game with 16 pts and 12 boards.  Howard on the other hand, shined with a whopping 33 pts, 18 boards and 4 blocks.  I’m glad I picked up this kid in my fantasy league with my 2nd round pick, because he is averaging 23 and 15 and almost3 blocks per game.  I could imagine that the Charlotte brass didn’t want to take a risk with a high school kid. Looks like they lost anyway. As for the Orlando Magic, with another win tonight against the Bobcats, 103-87, it seems like they’ll be cruising to the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics.  KG v. Dwight.  What else could you ask for?

December 15, 2007 Posted by | Ara, NBA BASKETBALL | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment