Category: Eastern Conference

Now What’s The Dog And Pony Show Really About Anyone Care To Ask Members of The Miami Heat ?


Now What’s The Dog And Pony Show Really About Anyone Care To Ask Members of The Miami Heat ?

OK the hype has yet to be stop and it appears that we’re not liable to see it be come to a close anytime soon. Now it’s getting to the stage where David Stern views this as the ‘life blood’ that the NBA needs in order keep the brand omnipresent in the public’s eye. The Miami Heat and their triumvirate of stars are looking to take their show on the road this season. I’m sorry to say this but this could end up driving me to feel the same way I feel about Brett Favre and his repeated ‘retirements’ and ‘un-retirements’ . As we all know the player’s repeated cries to be loved by the fans and whomever else would be willing to listen was about as welcoming a dose of the ebola virus. Favre for his part while being a great ambassador for the NFL over the last few years has been about appealing as a member of Congress. Albeit that he’s continually viewed as the goose that laid the golden egg for cable broadcast outlet ESPN. Now here comes a ‘marriage’ created in heaven but now seems to be on its way to hell by way of the idiotic bunkum that LeBron James and the station felt was necessary to further widen the player’s appeal..

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Slide show for your perusal .

As I stated earlier simply making the Miami Heat and their latest escapades the sole reason why we ought to be tuned into the every move of the NBA is like waiting to hear or see what Congress can do for the country at large as it relates to the economy and other acute issues. Less we forget David Stern sought to sell us a ‘bill of goods’ when the NBA sought to borrow $250 million to several teams around the NBA in order for these clubs to remain financially viable. Amongst the recipients of the quarter of a billion dollars doled out was the Miami Heat, whose multi billionaire owner Micky Arison is amongst one of the richest men in the state of Florida and amongst the 250 richest people in America . What am I missing here as it relates to how the NBA hierarchy conducts its business and what we now know to about the owners ? The Miami Heat lost in excess of $45 million in 2009 and then the maneuver set in place to bring in both James , Chris Bosh and along with the re-signing of Dwyane Wade has now made the Heat the team to beat within the Eastern conference. Though it has to be said that the likes of the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls , Orlando Magic and Atlanta Hawks will be looking to make that target on the Heat’s back ‘ripe to be hit dead center’ and to be taken down.

Miami’s first preseason game against an NBA opponent will be against the Detroit Pistons and it will give Heat coach Erik Spoelstra a real chance to assess his much celebrated triumvirate alongside role players who will be looking to defer to these stars while at the same time complementing the team. Heat President Pat Riley , the Svengali behind this all as he’ll no doubt be looking to this team to make an allout assault on challenging the might of the Western Conference as well as being viewed as the team to beat within the Eastern Conference, it has to be said that there’s a great deal riding on this all. The stakes are high but given the fact that ticket sales have seen a twofold spike as well the executive suites and the sale of Heat memorabilia at AA Arena in Miami . These are indeed some bountiful times for the Heat on and off the court , at the same time it has proven to be profitable for the NBA as a whole. But none of that will mean anything should the team fail to make it to the NBA Finals and win it. Riley , the players and Heat front office may well play this all down but simply look at the access that the team has now granted not only ESPN but several international news and sports’ organizations as they seek to embark on this quest ? And while Pat Riley continues to play this all down by leveling his own criticism at those who’ve voiced their displeasure at the way James left the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Now we all know the travesty of the whole James departure from the Cavaliers played out like a rather idiotic Hispanic tele-novela . Now if you’ve viewed one of those shows you’ll understand they have know they have no plot-line but somehow they tend to attract a captive audience. And that now appears to be the case with LeBron James and his sojourn across the NBA . His supporting cast now happens to be the Miami Heat and even if it’s being viewed as Dwyane Wade’s team it will James’ every move that will be under close scrutiny throughout this upcoming season. And if you thought that James isn’t loving the grand stage of Miami then nothing could be further from the truth Over the past forty eight hours the player has been interviewed by various members of the world’s press elite as they want to know about his every move. Not to be left out of any of this are James’ cohorts Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh as they’ve been part of this ongoing circus and the whole spectacle as it unfolds for the public’s consumption.

As enthusiastic as I am about the NBA and this upcoming season I have to admit that this spectacle concerning the Heat while it may lure a lot of discerning fans I do believe that it could well be bored by it all ! Now that’s not to say that it won’t be a profitable exercise in terms of the teams who’ll have the Heat as part of their regular season schedule . You’ve got to understand there’s money to be made and while there’s been a great deal of criticism from within and outside of the game here’s the caveat to it all who wants kill the goose that lays the golden egg ? This goose the NBA hierarchy will be around for years to come as we’ll no doubt soon see the departure of Kobe Bryant , Shaquille O’Neal , Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan from the NBA within the next five years.Their retirements are bound to leave a great void within the game and the fact that the NBA no longer has a rivalry that it can feed to the masses and the mere fact that there’s no dominant team other than that of the Los Angeles Lakers. And the perceived rivalry that many of us might’ve thought was back to its best with last season appearance of the Boston Celtics in last season’s NBA Finals had about as much revelry as watching Rosie O’Donnell strip to the music of George Michael , not exactly a wondrous sight at all but for others it might just do.

To the other aspirants around the NBA it has to be said that their time to step up will be during the season to show the fans what they’re all about. The Los Angeles Lakers while they’re still the reigning champions they know that this season until they’re actually dethroned no matter what ‘type of dog and pony show’ is on the road the true test will come from the team or teams seeking to dethrone them will still have a fight on their hands. While we’re now seeing the Heat now being regaled as if they were the reincarnation of the ‘Showtime Lakers’ I proffer this as a word of advice , this particular ensemble has done absolutely nothing as of yet to justify any comparison with any of the great NBA dynasty’s or teams of the past ,and until they do all we will continue to see are the likes of ESPN regaling us with their every move . Meanwhile in the background remains Stern and Riley simply grinning from ear to ear like cats who’ve come across several bowls of milk and a room filled with mice. Makes them happy no doubt but for some of us at present we’re simply being bored by this all.

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Picture gallery for your perusal and by clicking on each frame you can view that picture in its original formatted size.

In the upcoming season is there a team within the NBA which you view as being capable of derailing the ambitions of the Miami Heat ? If so state your reasons why and also which team do you see as a prospective challenger to the Los Angeles Lakers as possible champions of the NBA ?

🙂

Alan aka tophatal ………… 🙂 _ 😦

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Veronica Vior

Eye candy courtesy of Smooth Magazine ….. Veronica Vior

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Hickory , Dickory, Dock , The Mouse Ran Up The Clock , Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock ……….Time Is Now Ticking In The NBA ….


The NBA season has started off at its usual pace and a number of the teams are either beginning to separate themselves from amongst the pack or those with aspirations of making a name for themselves are surprising their fans , plaudits and pundits alike. That being said ‘controversy’ rears it ugly head with the actions of Washington Wizards’ players Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton . All that you need to know is that the Wizards’ front office as well as that of commissioner’s office have failed to act appropriately with regard to the actions of both players. Little needs to be said other than the fact that David Stern ‘no longer’ has any credibility whatsoever as the commissioner of the NBA. The same can be said of his ‘main enforcer’, Stu Jackson. As to the Wizards’ front office, their inaction only speaks to the ineptitude shown by the organization over the years.

Early  season  MVP  candidates  ?  The  Cavaliers' LeBron  James,  the  Grizzlies'  Zach  Randolph   and  the  perennial  fan  favorite   , Kobe  Bryant  of the Lakers  .     picture appears  courtesy  of  NBAE/ Getty  Images  ................
Early season MVP candidates ? The Cavaliers' LeBron James, the Grizzlies' Zach Randolph and the perennial fan favorite , Kobe Bryant of the Lakers . picture appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images ................

Courtesy of NBA.com

Reeling Wizards brace for fallout from Arenas incident

By David Aldridge

So, you want to hear about how Tim Duncan’s back on track this season?

Didn’t think so.
The Big Fundamental’s renaissance, like a lot of other interesting developments in the league this week (from the latest on Tracy McGrady, to Kobe’s latest incredible game-winner, to KG’s knee) has taken a back seat to a ridiculous problem for the Wizards, all Gilbert Arenas’ doing — and one that will surely cost him money and games when either the Washington, D.C. and/or federal authorities, and/or David J. Stern are done with him.

On Saturday, in front of assembled reporters following the Wizards’ loss to San Antonio, Arenas said he used “bad judgment” in the Dec. 21 incident with Javaris Crittenton in which, according to sources, both players had their hands on guns in Washington’s locker room — though it is not clear that they pointed them at one another, as the New York Post has reported.
Former Wizards beat writer Mike Jones, on his blog, and the Washington Post’s Michael Lee both reported that a frustrated Crittenton threw one of Arenas’ guns across the locker room after Arenas had laid out three guns near Crittenton’s locker and taunted him to pick one up. It was an extension of an argument that began between the two on the team’s plane from Phoenix Dec. 19, when a source told me that Arenas failed to pay a $25,000 debt to Crittenton. (Jones says the amount wasn’t $25,000, and was owed not to Crittenton, but to another teammate: Javale McGee.)
No one disputes that Arenas brought three guns, which were unloaded, to the locker room from his Virginia home. He said he brought them to work because he no longer wanted them in his home with three children around. But it nonetheless was a violation of the NBA’s constitution, which specifically prohibits bringing weapons to team facilities. In addition, Arenas had not registered the guns in the District of Columbia, where Verizon Center is located.
“I take responsibility,” Arenas said. “If I have to deal with the police, the investigation, the DAs, that’s what I have to deal with. I have to deal with that on Monday. I’ve got to put it in their hands, tell the story, and then see what they say.”

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In order to read the remainder of David Alridge’s article just
click on the link provided
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Boston Celtics' Rasheed Wallace (30) yells as he celebrates with teammates Kendrick Perkins (43) and Ray Allen after dunking the ball as Toronto Raptors' Jarrett Jack (1) looks on during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010, in Boston. The Celtics beat the Raptors, 103-96. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Mary Schwalm  ......
Boston Celtics' Rasheed Wallace (30) yells as he celebrates with teammates Kendrick Perkins (43) and Ray Allen after dunking the ball as Toronto Raptors' Jarrett Jack (1) looks on during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010, in Boston. The Celtics beat the Raptors, 103-96. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Mary Schwalm ......

While no real light needs to be shed on the action of both players, other than to suggest that the image that the game strives to exude isn’t helped by the stupidity shown by Arenas and Crittenton by this incident. The ramifications of which could’ve been far more serious had either of them discharged their weapons. But then again we should be thankful that they didn’t self a wound upon their person, or should we ? Think Plaxico Burress and his ‘idiotic antics’. A lesson well served as to the reason why guns shouldn’t be placed in the hands of individuals who have no use for them , other than in the case of Arenas, Burress and Crittenton to make themselves look like complete morons.

Cleveland  January 3rd , J.J. Hickson (#21) of the Cleveland Cavaliers dunks the ball as teammate Shaquille O'Neal (#33) and Nazr Mohammed (#13) of the Charlotte Bobcats look on on January 3, 2010 at The Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.  picture appears courtesy of  NBAE/ Getty Images/ David  Liam Kayle .....
Cleveland January 3rd , J.J. Hickson (#21) of the Cleveland Cavaliers dunks the ball as teammate Shaquille O'Neal (#33) and Nazr Mohammed (#13) of the Charlotte Bobcats look on on January 3, 2010 at The Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ David Liam Kayle .....

In the Eastern Conference the usual suspects are striving for supremacy. And there isn’t a great deal to choose from the triumvirate of the Boston Celtics (24-8), Cleveland Cavaliers (27-9) , Orlando Magic (24-9) and certainly new to the bunch, the rather surprising Atlanta Hawks (21-12). And if you think that the Hawks’ fans aren’t surprised just think as to what this must be doing to the mindset of TNT tv on air analyst, Charles Barkley ? What sound bytes will he be looking to use, to describe the play of the Atlanta Hawks ? Cause as we know ‘Sir Charles’ has never been one to hold things back.

Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls and the Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard look to contest a loose ball during the game played at the United Center , Chicago, Illinois. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ Randy Belice ….

The triumvirate mentioned all lead their divisions with some room to spare. But once again it looks like the Celtics may well be without their most pivotal player in, Kevin Garnett. Age and recurring injuries seem to be catching up fast, with the seasoned veteran. And without him at the helm it appears that they’re not the threat many would believe them to be. Albeit that point guard, Rajon Rondo seems to have raised the level of his play and all-round game. So much so , that this is no longer about the ‘Big Three’ of Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. But you could perhaps now add Rondo into the mix. Never mind the fact that Rasheed Wallace has now been added to this deeply talented Celtics’ roster. And for Celtics’ coach Doc River he must feel like he’s been blessed with an abundance of talent. But I guess it can’t be done without their veteran leader to guide them and guide as they embark on returning to the NBA Finals. But that’d be predicated upon them overcoming the likes of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic.

The Cleveland Cavaliers for their part, in addition to LeBron James have added 15 time NBA All Star center, Shaquille O’Neal to their roster. And this is being done in the hopes that the combination of James and O’Neil can clear the obstacle of making to another NBA Finals and raising the Larry O’Brien trophy to signify them as world champions. Last season’s bittersweet loss to the Magic in the Eastern Conference semi finals was a sour note for the franchise. And for their coach Mike Brown it was a tremendous disappointment. Nevertheless , the team is expected to contend for postseason honors come what may. And if anything O’Neal has something to prove , while LeBron finally wants to show NBA world that he can land the ‘Big One’.

Kryptonite they say is the only thing that makes Superman susceptible and not impervious to defeat. In the case of the Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard, it is his arrogance and lack of maturity, despite his years in the league. This time around there’s nowhere for Howard to hide should the Magic fail in their quest to return to the Finals and redeem themselves from their lopsided series’ loss to the Los Angeles Lakers (4-1). The team performed nowhere near as expected and that was despite their thrilling series’ wins against the Cavaliers and Celtics on their way to last season’s NBA Finals. Stan Van Gundy as their coach , squealed ,squawked , cajoled and with the all of the usual animation you’d come to expect of a cartoon character could not get this Magic team to raise the level of their play as and when needed to stem the tide or play of the Lakers, or for that matter, Kobe Bryant, the Finals’ MVP.

The Western Conference it seems is replete with talent as well teams on a mission. The defending champions , the Los Angeles Lakers are off to a fast start and they possess the best record in the NBA ,with a 27-6 mark. And it’s safe to say that Kobe Bryant alongside his teammates are eager to successfully defend their NBA title. At the same time it gives Lakers’ coach, Phil Jackson a further chance to distance himself record’s wise, from the achievements of Red Auerbach. And one seriously doubts that we’ll ever see another coach replicate Jackson’s feats as an NBA coach.

Los Angeles 3rd 2010.  Kobe Bryant (#24) of the Los Angeles Lakers makes a pass around Dirk Nowitzki (#41) of the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center on January 3, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  The Lakers  would go on to  defeat  the  Mavericks 131-96.  picture appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images / Andrew D Bernstein ............
Los Angeles 3rd 2010. Kobe Bryant (#24) of the Los Angeles Lakers makes a pass around Dirk Nowitzki (#41) of the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center on January 3, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers would go on to defeat the Mavericks 131-96. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images / Andrew D Bernstein ............

With the loss of Trevor Ariza to free agency, the Lakers would acquire Ron Artest. Curiously enough, as Artest would join the Lakers , Ariza did likewise by joining the Houston Rockets</a, Artest's former team. And it’d appear that the Lakers have yet to miss a beat. With Artest in tow to provided some stout defense as well as being the third or fourth scoring option for the team. One would find it hard not to resist placing a wager on the Los Angeles Lakers. With Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum all having that confidence about them. The Lakers are deemed the team to beat in the Western Conference. That’s not to say this is a one man show within the conference. The Denver Nuggets (21-13), Portland Trailblazers (22-14), Oklahoma City Thunder (19-15), aPhoenix Suns (21-13), Dallas Mavericks (23-11) and the San Antonio Spurs (20-12). Each of these teams are looking to take down the Lakers a notch or two. As to whether or not they are capable of it remains to be seen. But so contentious is the Western Conference that it has become a conference wherein the bloodletting once it starts just doesn’t seem to stop. Russell Crowe’s character, Maximus from the movie ‘Gladiator’ would feel at home with the barbarity that ensues within the conference. The bloodletting itself seems to have the fans of the teams in awe. As to the bragging rights. Well, let’s just say ’til you knock the champion of his pedestal, the bragging rights still belong to him.

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, right, drives on Chicago Bulls guard James Johnson during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 4, 2010, in Chicago. picture appears courtesy of  ap/photo/ Charles Rex  Arbogast  .......
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, right, drives on Chicago Bulls guard James Johnson during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 4, 2010, in Chicago. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Charles Rex Arbogast .......

To my mind the most surprising team in the Western Conference at present may well be the Oklahoma City Thunder. And night in, night out , Kevin Durant never ceases to amaze us all with his play , nor his phenomenal offensive prowess. Here’s a guy who looks less than 120 lbs ringing wet but plays with the heart of a lion and has the ‘killer instinct’ of a cold hearted assassin. Need one say, that he’s now beginning to make people think less and less about how god-damn awful the Seattle Supersonics use to be- the Thunder’s previous guise as an NBA franchise. Needless to say that when you’ve a team of complementary parts then things that come to fruition tend to be really good. And in Scott Brooks, the Thunder may well have one of the most unassuming coaches in the entire NBA. If there’s a more unassuming coach in the NBA that you know then let me know about him.

The usual cacophony of teams who all want to be a part of the postseason drama within the conference are as always many of the better managed teams. And with ‘Mr Fundamental’ back to his usual best , the thought is that Tim Duncan and his Spurs’ teammates are ready to assume the mantel as the Lakers most dangerous opponents. Now that’s not to say that the likes of the Nuggets, Suns , Mavericks, Thunder and Trailblazers won’t be a reliable source of drama throughout the regular and postseason. Suffice to say that with all of the bloods and guts that’ll be spilled. Whatever’s left from the carnage more likely than not will have to be viewed as the prohibitive favorites to win the NBA title. I know that there’ll be some derision those who are fans of the Eastern Conference of the NBA. But if the lack of real effort shown by last season’s conference representative is anything to go by. Then whomever comes out of the conference to face the Western representative is liable to get more of the same. How much more is dependent upon the resistance that team is able to put up.

So as of now, the clock is ticking on the NBA season and how things will pan out as the season unfolds. We all know smart a mouse can be as he’s being chased by the cat. But we also know how the guile of a cat can be and the dangers that lie within when the cat has his prey trapped. So which is it to be for the Los Angeles Lakers this season ? Are they going to be the mouse who evades capture from the chasing cat , as in the rest of the NBA ? Or will they be the mouse who gets caught by its erstwhile predator the cat, who’ll no doubt devour its prey ? What are your thoughts on it all ?

A classic ‘Tom & Jerry’ cartoon and the usual staple of classic mayhem ensues that the characters were always known for. Much like what we’ll no doubt see throughout much of the NBA regular season and also in the playoffs.