Tag: Miami Heat

Who Let The Dogs Out ………. ?


Who Let The Dogs Out ?

Well now that the fallout in the aftermath of the Los Angeles Lakers’ abrupt demise within the NBA Playoffs it appears that the repercussions and ramifications could be long lasting . We know that the team’s coach Phil Jackson will be stepping down and it’s presumed that a decision will be made by GM Mitch Kupchak in conjunction with the team’s principal owner Dr Jerry Buss as to who Jackson’s successor might be. Who could’ve foreseen the Lakers being swept in four rather lopsided games by the Dallas Mavericks in the conference semi finals of the playoffs ? The Mavericks now await the winners of the series between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals .

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Slideshow for your perusal .

In light of what we’re now hearing it could well be that the remnants of this team will be torn asunder and be completely revamped . This much we do know, the only piece liable to remain untouched could well be Kobe Bryant . But inasmuch as that is a certainty I do believe that Bryant , himself , will go a long way having his own input as to the personnel decisions that will most definitely have to be made. A successor to Phil Jackson will probably come from amongst the ranks of the assistants on this coaching staff of which the leading candidates appear to Brian Shaw and Jim Cleamons . It remains highly improbable that the hierarchy would go outside their stable of assistants to hire a coach unless it’s a high profiled experienced coach amongst the professional ranks . I certainly don’t believe that they’re liable to look amongst the collegiate ranks for a successor to Jackson !

It became pretty much clear that during this series the Lakers were mentally and physically outmatched and from a defensive standpoint this team was simply not there as a willing participant or competitor . The Lakers bench was never present and rarely did we see the best from Lamar Odom , Ron Artest , Matt Barnes and sparingly did we actually get a glimpse as to the consistency of either Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol . The one consistent factor throughout the series for the Lakers was in fact the player of Kobe Bryant who was the leading scorer on the team throughout the conference semi finals .

I do believe that if anything the Lakers’ players came in with the mindset that as the two time defending champions all they had to do was to literally turn up and that the Dallas Mavericks would quiver in their wake. Complacency and naivete had set in and if anything Phil Jackson was simply out-coached by his opposing number Rick Carlisle . But consistently throughout the series the Lakers simply didn’t have an answer for Dirk Nowitzki , the very astute and intelligent play of Jason Terry , Tyson Chandler , J J. Barea and the unselfishness of wily veteran point guard Jason Kidd . These aren’t your Mavericks of old as they’ve become resolute and very much more defensively oriented with the combined play of Chandler and utility player Shawn Marion as they’ve provided the team with that much needed one ….. two punch from a defensive standpoint.

Now any thoughts that NBA Commissioner David Stern might have had for a proposed Finals’ matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and the presumed favorites to make it out of the Eastern Conference the Miami Heat , will now have to be placed on the back burner. The Heat are now looking to fully vindicate themselves by closing out their series against their heated conference rivals the Boston Celtics . Now 3-1 up in that series and with the Celtics ailing on a number of fronts it’s hard to see how Doc Rivers’ team will be able erase this deficit and actually come back and win this series outright. An aging roster of stars now seems to have met its Waterloo and this will most certainly have to be the last charge for Kevin Garnett , Ray Allen , Paul Pierce and Shaquille O’Neal .

As to the direction that may well be taken by the Lakers’ hierarchy as they look to rebuild I for one can’t really see them delving once again into the free agent market with the impending free agents that will come to the market . Granted , there may well be one or two desirable free agents but nowhere near the number that came to the market this past season . Mitch Kupchak will look to see where the deficiencies are on the roster and make the necessary moves to bolster a team that underachieved and that had performed well below the hierarchy’s as well as their fans’ expectations . This much we do know the this Lakers’ team of the 2010-11 season won’t in many respects resemble the one we’re liable to see for the 2011-12 season.

Game four of what’s now turning out to be an intriguing and suspenseful series brought a cumulative points total not often seen in an NBA playoff game . If I said you that the game between went into triple overtime and there’d be 256 points scored you would’ve probably thought that I was insane . But that’s what transpired on Monday night at the Fedex Forum in Memphis , Tennessee, as the Oklahoma City Thunder would defeat the Memphis Grizzlies 133-123 in a thrilling and exhilarating game . Russell Westbbrook and Kevin Durant would account for more than half of the Thunder’s output with the duo scoring a combined 75 points on their way to the team’s impressive win . Not to be outdone in all of this were Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol who each chipped in with 60 points between them for the Grizzlies.

Tonight’s game resumes the series in Oklahoma City in a pivotal game five where the victor take’s the reins and more likely than not will the upper hand in this series . To my mind for both coaches Scott Brooks and Lionel Hollins after this explosive and unbelievable offensive output where defense was simply left at the door I seriously doubt that the two teams will be able to reproduce another epic of this magnitude ! If anything tonight’s game should be somewhat less stressful for the discerning NBA tv viewer in terms of the suspense we could expect. Thrills and spills asides this series has indeed taken on a life of its own wherein the two teams seem to be evenly matched . Albeit that as the number eight seed in the Western Conference , few might have expected the Grizzlies to have made it this far in the playoffs . Should Randolph and his teammates prevail against the Thunder , then a much anticipated conference final’s match-up against the Dallas Mavericks awaits them.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

As the postseason unfolds were you at all surprised by the Los Angeles Lakers’ exit from the NBA Playoffs ? And which series to your mind of those played so far has been the most exciting to watch in your opinion ? Simply offer a comment as to your thoughts on the topics raised within this piece and anything else you feel to be pertinent with regard to the NBA postseason .

Alan aka tophatal ………………..

http://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) EL SEGUNDO, CA – MAY 11: Phil Jackson, coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, speaks during his last official Lakers news conference at the team’s training facility on May 11, 2011 in El Segundo, California. The Lakers were swept out of their best of seven series with the Dallas Mavericks four games to none. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images …..

(2) Phil Jackson, coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, hugs a Kevin Ding reporter for the Orange County Register as he leaves his last official Lakers news conference at the team’s training facility on May 11, 2011 in El Segundo, California. The Lakers were swept out of their best of seven series with the Dallas Mavericks four games to none. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images ……

(3) Lamar Odom (7) of the Los Angeles Lakers speaks during a news conference at the Lakers training facility on May 11, 2011 in El Segundo, California. The Lakers were swept out of their best of seven series with the Dallas Mavericks four games to none. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images ……..

(4) Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers speaks with members of the convened press at the team’s facility at the Toyota Center in El Segundo, California. Getty Images / Kevirk Djansezian ……

(5) Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, right, reacts to a dunk by teammate James Harden, left, in the second quarter of Game 5 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies in Oklahoma City, Wednessday, May 11, 2011. AP Photo/Alonzo Adams …..

(6) Oklahoma City Thunder guard Daequan Cook, left, shoots in front of Memphis Grizzlies guard O.J. Mayo, right, and forward Zach Randolph, center, in the fourth quarter of Game 5 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, May 11, 2011. Oklahoma City won 99-72 . AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki …….

(7) Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins shoots as Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen watches in the second quarter of Game 5 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, May 11, 2011. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki ………

(8) Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph, left, shoots in front of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka in the first quarter of Game 5 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, May 11, 2011. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki ……

(9) Oklahoma City Thunder forwards Kevin Durant, front, and Serge Ibaka, right, cheer in the fourth quarter of Game 5 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, May 11, 2011. Oklahoma City won 99-72. AP Photo/Alonzo Adams ……..

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NBA News

NBA Playoffs 2011

NBA Stats (Playoffs)

NBA Schedule 11th May 2011

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If at all interested do take time to participate in the above mentioned poll .

Do The Right Thing …………….. You’ve Been Bamboozled


Do The Right Thing …………….. You’ve Been Bamboozled

Did I miss something but since when did respected movie director Spike Lee become a conduit for the front office of the New York Knicks ? I know that he’s an avowed fan of this team but now it’s becoming somewhat ridiculous when Lee is now an intermediary for the front office as they seek to lure Denver Nuggets’ guard Carmelo Anthony. As we’re all now aware the front office of the Nuggets though they’ve to yet state it categorically that it’s their intention to trade the player. In the last year of his existing contract the Carmelo Anthony hasn’t stated his intent to re-sign with the team. The uncertainty for the Nuggets also stems with the growing concern of the health of coach George Karl . Having undergone chemotherapy for throat cancer the coach’s recovery has been slow but there’s a lingering concern that even with a full recovery there will be times when Karl’s mindset will not be completely about the game and that is totally understandable. At the same time there seems to be rumblings of discontent from the player though no formal statement has been made by him to that effect.

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Slide show for your perusal .

Given the possible upheaval and impending uncertainty one would’ve thought that the the organization would seek to trade the player now prior to the start of the season by looking to get an equitable return. The number of teams out there that would desire Anthony at this moment in time aren’t thought to be that many and with a number of them now having settled into their roster setups as they prepare to embark on their season . It’s extremely difficult to see which teams are seriously interested in making a trade for Carmelo Anthony at this juncture. Now as I alluded to earlier the New York Knicks it appears have been monitoring the situation closely and are intent on making Anthony their next acquisition. In joining the Knicks alongside Amar’e Stoudemire I don’t view the team as an immediate threat within the Eastern Conference . Most certainly however, they will improve but to my mind unless the complimentary players surrounding Stoudemire and perhaps the newly acquired Anthony actually step up their play this will be a team that will suffer the pitfalls expected of being forever perceived as a woefully inept team.

Knicks’ GM Donnie Walsh , owner James Dolan and head coach Mike D’Antoni no doubt want to facilitate this trade as quickly as possible. And with the start of the season merely a week away should this trade not go down then we are likely to see an organization showing a great deal of uncertainty and a team not knowing what their perceived direction ought to be. The trade deadline though early in the season it does create something of a dilemma should the Nuggets then seek then to trade away the player as it readily promotes the fact that they’ve already given up on their season. Granted , the nucleus of this roster is a veteran one with veterans such as Chris Andersen , Al Harrington , Kenyon Martin and Chauncey Billups. And though the team had an excellent postseason last year where they would succumbed to a more competitive and resolved team in the Los Angeles Lakers in Western Conference semi-finals who would then go on to win the NBA Finals .

Rosie Perez seen here dancing to the theme song from Spike Lee’s seminal movie ‘Do The Right Thing’ . Theme by Public Enemy ………. “Fight The Power”

While no one doubts that Nuggets would want to remain competitive it’s extremely hard to see them doing so were they to relinquish the services of Carmelo Anthony. But given the player’s reluctance to commit to the organization and to my mind the owner Stanely Kroenke his son Josh Kroenke , team President and their willingness to complement Anthony with players matching his talent and zeal then the possible trade of the player might well just be the best possible move that can be made that is acceptable to all parties. If nothing else it gives both groups the chance to start afresh .

Now if the perceived trade to the Knicks does happen then this doesn’t automatically change the overall picture within the Eastern Conference but it most certainly gives notice that the Knicks and their fans mean business. Granted the landscape within the conference still will revolve around the Miami Heat and their trio , along with the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic. How this all plays out will be incumbent upon the desires of the teams mentioned. The pressure will be on the Miami Heat led by Dwyane Wade , LeBron James and Chris Bosh. And with the organization’s financial combined commitment to the trio by team owner Mickey Arison said to be upwards of $200 million it is understandable to see how and why the organization is hoping for a quick return on that investment . Having lost in excess of $45 million in 2009 nothing short of an NBA title win will be considered anything less than their season being viewed as a success. The vast majority of teams who’ve the Heat on their schedule this season are said to be doing a blistering business in terms of ticket sales. And for the Miami Heat from a commercial standpoint the re-signing of Wade along with the acquisition of Both and James had led to a financial windfall of spectacular proportions. Both ABC/ESPN , NBA Tv and TNT Sports whose televised coverage of the NBA has become the staple for the fans of the game. Each of the broadcast outlets in question have not only beefed up their coverage of the Heat but they are also using the team as part of their overall marketing and promotional programming schedule.

Now while I’ve no doubt that the Heat are and will remain bona-fide favorites within the Eastern Conference and the thinking will be that they’ve but to play above average basketball merely to make their presence felt . I do believe that they’ll become complacent and it could very well lead to their demise. Overlooking this all will be team President Pat Riley and his subordinate coach Erik Spoelstra . Perhaps no other coach in the NBA will be under more pressure to achieve this season. And should Spoelstra and this team falter in any way then it wouldn’t at all surprise me to see Riley step down from his executive position and assume the reins from his protoge`. Behind that alleged calm persona of Riley belies and individual who’s a chameleon and a narcissist at heart. Nothing would give him more pleasure than to win another NBA title as a coach and then rub it in the faces of the press and public who view acquisition of both Lebron James and Chris Bosh as simply a PR stunt .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

For James Dolan and Donnie Walsh the big splash of landing Carmelo Anthony would make the Knicks more relevant as an organization and team within the NBA. Even if they are one the most valuable NBA franchises it means absolutely nothing when you’re still viewed as something of a laughing stock around the league. My own perspective concerning this all is that should this coup be pulled off and with Anthony joining the New York Knicks will that now enable Spike Lee to actually either become a an executive with the Knicks’ organization ? Furthermore what does that tell you about Lee as a sport’s fan if he’s able to make this happen when an alleged basketball mind in the guise of Isiah Thomas as an executive and coach simply wreaked havoc within the Knicks’ organization and almost brought it to its very knees ? Kind of makes you wonder who’s …….been doing the right thing and who’s been bamboozled here doesn’t it ?

Do you envisage Carmelo Anthony being traded at some point in the season and if so to which NBA team ? To your mind would he be a perfect fit within the Knicks’ organization should that particular trade ever take place ? Chime on in with a comment as you deem fit.

NB New York Knicks roster

NBA News

Alan aka tophatal …….. 🙂

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Rosa Acosta

A little bit of eye candy Rosa Acosta .

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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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