During last night’s game against the Utah Jazz, both Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade only played the first three quarters. Were they injured? No. They were actually benched. Two of the the Miami Heat’s ‘Big 3’ stars were benched for their poor performance in the game. The Heat look to be in a pretty bad funk, but can the defending NBA Champions bounce back?
Of course they can. There is absolutely no reason for this team to panic. One big advantage they have right now is that they play in the Eastern Conference which has significantly less talented teams than the Western Conference. If they were playing in the West, then they would be competing to stay afloat with the Thunder, Clippers, Warriors, and Grizzlies. However, this team is stocked with talent and they know what it takes to get to the Finals and walk away with the trophy. This team just needs to get through this month and stay at a winning pace until April when they start picking it up again. This team will make the playoffs and in my opinion will be playing in the Easter Conference finals.
People have called him all types of names, but in 2012 you have to add NBA champion to it. Lebron James has long been considered one of the greatest players ever to grace the NBA. He has won many awards including regular season MVP and the scoring title however, a championship had always eluded him. Finally, in his second year as a member of the Miami Heat, he got his title. He and his teammates beat the Oklahoma City Thunder four games to one. He finally showed critics that he was not the choke artist that everyone had made him out to be, even though people still had their opinions. People can say that he could have never won it without an amazing support cast, but who cares? He still won it and he is still the 2012 Finals MVP. So in 2012, James quieted the world with their doubts and then went out to represent our great country in the London Olympics where he brought home the gold! It was definitely a good year to be Lebron, but the many is making boat loads of money so when is it ever bad to be Lebron James?
The New York Knicks are one of the hottest teams in the NBA right now. The last time these two teams met, the Brooklyn Nets beat the Knicks in a thrilling game that went into overtime. Injuries have plagued both teams, but the Nets are without Brooke Lopez. The Knicks have both Carmelo Anthony and Jason Kidd in this game, who have both missed games this season with different injuries. The Nets are trying to stop a four game losing streak, while the Knicks look for revenge after losing to their crosstown rivals. So who wins? I am predicting the Knicks to take this one easily this time. If the team that played the Heat shows up, this will be an easy one for them. So, who you takin?
Did he just jump over somebody? Yes, Lebron James just jumped over an actual person, John Lucas, for a monster dunk. This might not be a memorable moment for people who wanted the Chicago Bulls to win, but it was for the world of basketball. Everyone knows how freakishly talented Lebron James is. However, in that moment he did something that put him above everyone else in his generation of basketball. If you don’t believe me just watch the video and tell me he is not one of the best ever. Now if only we could get him to do the dunk contest maybe more people would actually watch NBA All Star weekend.
The Miami Heat look to get some revenge on the hottest team in the NBA tonight. The Knicks come into South Beach tonight and Lebron James and company wants to show them they run the Eastern Division. On opening night at Madison Square Garden, the defending champions lost by twenty points. The Knicks look to show they are real contenders, but might have to do it without their MVP Carmelo Anthony who suffered a hand injury last night. Anthony suffered a deep cut on his middle finger and will be a game-time decision. Even if Carmelo plays tonight, he will not be at 100% and even if he is, I am picking the Heat to win at home. There is no way Lebron will be embarrassed twice in such a short period of time by the same team. So, New York or Miami, who you takin?
They fired a coach last week and have now made their decision on a new one. Mike D’Antoni. D’Antoni has coaching experience, most recently with the Phoenix Suns and the New York Knicks. He has never won a title, but he is a former Coach of the Year. As he embarks on taking over in Los Angeles, just how much pressure is on him?
A lot. Luckily for D’Antoni, he has worked in a highly stressful environment in New York City. If you can handle New York media, you can pretty much work anywhere. The media constantly put a wedge between D’Antoni and superstar Carmelo Anthony. This is what SUPPOSEDLY led to his firing, but in case anyone forgot, there is an even bigger star in Los Angeles. So, if D’Antoni does not lead this team to a championship, will he be considered a failure?
Unfortunately, the answer is yes. The NBA has created an atmosphere that if you do not win right away, there is something wrong. Don’t believe me? How many people said that a Miami Heat led by Lebron James failed because they did not win the title. They made it to the finals, but did not bring home the title. It took an entire year for Lebron to get some of the critics off his back when he got to hoist the trophy up and people still doubt his talent.
D’Antoni is a great coach and no one will take that from him, but if he does not take his team all the way he is a failure. Everyone will say, well if they would have hired Phil, then they would have gotten there. One problem. The Lakers have some serious competition in the West, namely the Oklahoma City Thunder. Even if they get into the finals, they will still have to face the Heat who look to be the favorite to win the Eastern Championship again.
My conclusion is that no matter what D’Antoni does, he will be criticized. If this team ever hits a skid, which it naturally will, people will be ready to say that if Phil was coaching they would be winning. It is easy to speculate, but slumps happen regardless of who is coaching. I do not predict the Lakers to win it all or even win the Western Conference. I am still picking a rematch of last year’s matchup.
The Miami Heat and Boston Celtics are already bitter rivals in the Eastern Conference, but it looks like it has become much more personal. Every Boston fan has a gripe with its former superstar Ray Allen choosing to leave the team and take his talent to South Beach.
Boston’s Big Three was always Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen. They were supposed to compete together and finish their careers together. Well, Garnett happened to agree and has chosen to distance himself from Allen. He confessed, “I don’t have Ray’s number anymore. I’m not trying to communicate. I’m just being honest with everybody in here … It’s just what it is. Garnett is always one to be honest, but you can tell he feels betrayed by the decision. Allen was always a clutch shooter that the Celtics could count on to make the big three or foul shot. The Celtics did acquire Jason Terry and Courtney Lee in the offseason, but the Celtics definitely took a hit by losing Allen. Pierce somewhat agreed with Garnett, but balanced it with some humor. “I thought we would finish our careers together, me, Kevin, and Ray,” Pierce said Friday. “It was very surprising, him going to Miami. But, you know Ray. He’s a grown-up. He has to make a decision that he feels is best for his family, for himself. I wish he could have went to the Clippers if he was going anywhere. But he went to our Eastern Conference rivals. But as you all know, Ray likes to golf. Maybe that factored into his reasoning. Maybe he didn’t like the golfing in Boston in the winter. Who knows?” Expect this rivalry to be turned up even more than it already is. The Celtics have a new fire to beat the Heat, who look to be favorites again to win the Eastern Championship.