Los Angeles Lakers
Well, there’s not much to be said about the Lakers. They added the best Center in the NBA and one of the best Point Guards of the last decade and they didn’t have to give up Kobe or Pau. So yeah, they have that going for them. However, adding big names together doesn’t just magically turn into wins. They will still have to find chemistry with each other, but that shouldn’t be a problem. The Lake Show will finish 1st in the Pacific Division.
Los Angeles Clippers
Lob City added some pieces to a roster lacking depth. Jamal Crawford, Grant Hill, Matt Barnes, Lamar Odom, and Ronny Turiaf will add some much needed depth for the Clippers. Sure, they aren’t superstars, but Chris Paul’s passing abilities make anybody look good. Clippers will finish 2nd in the Pacific Division.
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors are a talented team, there’s no denying that. They have two of the best pure shooters in Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. They have two nightly double-double threats in David Lee and Andrew Bogut. Along with them, they also drafted North Carolina Tar Heels standout Harrison Barnes. The only problem is, they are very injury prone. Barring any long-term injuries, the Warriors will finish 3rd in the Pacific Division.
With arguably the best Center in the NBA outside of Dwight Howard, the Kings have to be loving what DeMarcus Cousins is turning into on the court. He averaged 4.1 offensive rebounds in 2011-12, for tops in the NBA. However, the Kings have to be disappointed in Tyreke Evans. Since his rookie season, his stats have lowered in points per game, rebounds per game, assists per game, and 3-point shooting percentage. Not much will change for Sacramento, and they will finish 4th in the Pacific Division.
The Steve Nash era in Phoenix is officially over. The Suns should be in the rebuilding state of mind, and luckily for them, they are rebuilding with a fairly good roster. They have a respectable starting five of Goran Dragic, Shannon Brown, Michael Beasley, Luis Scola, and Marcin Gortat. Outside of Jared Dudley, however, the Suns don’t have much depth. Phoenix will finish 5th in the Pacific Division.
The best twitter account that you’re not following @DntBeThatGuy.
Never has there ever been a truer Twitter account. When I saw this:
On Saturday evening, while I was watching the Giants shut down the Tigers in game three of the World Series, I got a notification on my iPhone. James “Fear The Beard” Harden had been traded. Along with many other NBA fans, I didn’t know what to think. We all knew this might happen, but not before the regular season has started. We all thought the Thunder would do one of three things: sign Harden to a contract, and keep him, complete a sign-and-trade, or just let Harden enter free agency next off-season.
After turning down a $52 million offer, Harden’s agent, Rob Pelinka flew to Oklahoma City to try and get the 23-year old Shooting Guard a max-contract (4-years, $60M). It had also been reported that for a very long time, Daryl Morey, the GM of the Houston Rockets, has called Sam Presti, GM of the Thunder, numerous times asking about working out a trade for James Harden. Presti always declined. Well, now the tables had turned.
After Harden and his agent couldn’t come to terms on a new contract with the Thunder, Sam Presti called Daryl Morey. For a long time, Morey and the Rockets wanted James Harden because they believe that he is a superstar in the making, and they are probably right. As reported by Yahoo! Sports, the original price was very steep for James Harden. Sam Presti wanted to receive Guard Kevin Martin, Forward Chandler Parsons, rookie Guard Jeremy Lamb, and three first-round draft picks. As good as Harden is, and will be, those are some very valuable players. After talking it over, the final deal became this:
Oklahoma City Thunder receive: Shooting Guard Kevin Martin, Shooting Guard Jeremy Lamb, a lottery protected first-round draft pick from Toronto (Houston acquired this pick from the Raptors in the Kyle Lowry deal), another first-round draft pick (acquired when they traded Jordan Hill to the Lakers), and a second round pick (acquired when they traded Courtney Lee to Boston).
Houston Rockets receive: Shooting Guard James Harden, Shootjng Guard/Small Forward Daequan Cook, Small Forward Lazar Hayward, and Center Cole Aldrich.
It is expected that Daryl Morey will offer James Harden a 5-year, $80 million contract before Wednesday. It is also expected that James Harden will sign the contract, immediately making him the center-piece of the Houston Rockets.
On Thursday, October 26th, NBA commissioner David Stern announced that he would be stepping down from his duties on February 1st, 2014, exactly 30-years to the day that he became the NBA commissioner. Of the four major sports in North America, Stern is the longest-tenured Commissioner. Roger Goodell has been at the helm of the NFL for six years, and Bud Selig has overlooked the MLB for fourteen years. Gary Bettman has done a horrible job at running the NHL since 1993, but that’s an article for another time.
Stern made it extremely clear that he will still be in charge of operations for the next 15 months, and believes that he is leaving the NBA in terrific condition. “It’s been a great run. The league is in, I think, terrific condition. I’d like to think I did an adequate job.” Stern said, as he addressed the media on Thursday afternoon. “But one of the things I did best was provide a successor. I’m not going anyplace in the next 15 months, but this gives us the opportunity to have a very smooth transition.”
It was no surprise that David Stern was at least considering stepping down, as he had handed off some of his duties to Deputy Commissioner and COO of the NBA, Adam Silver. Although there will still be a vote and negotiations, Adam Silver is widely believed to step into Stern’s role in 2014. Silver has worked multiple jobs in the NBA, including NBA chief of staff and Senior Vice President of NBA entertainment, for over two decades.
When asked about his time as commissioner, Stern said the lowest point in his career was banning players from the NBA due to positive drug tests. Although he may not be the most popular figure in the sports world, just ask any basketball fans in Seattle, David Stern did a lot of good for the NBA. He expanded the league from 23 to 30 teams, vastly improved the revenue for each team, and moved teams to small markets such as Oklahoma City, Sacramento, and Memphis. Along with that, he backed the movement of NBA players playing in the Olympics, and established the WNBA. When he was asked why he wanted to retire 30-years to the day he was hired, he jokingly said that he wanted to stay one year for every team in the NBA.
“Life is a journey and it’s been a spectacular journey. Each step along the wa there are things that you have to do, things you maybe wish you hadn’t done. But I don’t keep that list, and so I’m totally please and I’m particularly please with the transition of which we’re now embarking.” Stern said. He may not be the most like man, or the most respected, but there is absolutely no denying that David Stern was, and is, a great commissioner who saved the NBA.
Oklahoma City Thunder
For many years to come, I think it is safe to pencil in the Thunder as a title contender. They have two superstars in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook,
and the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, James Harden. Add a few solid pieces like Serge Ibaka, Nick Collison, and Thabo Sefolosha, and the Thunder should finish 1st in the Northwest Division with ease.
The Nuggets have the potential to do a lot of damage this season. They got one of the NBA’s best defenders in Andre Iguodala, and they only had to give up a few bench players to get him. They already had a very exciting team with Ty Lawson, Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, and Javale McGee, and the addition of Andre Iguodala makes them that much better. Denver finishes 2nd in the Northwest Division.
Portland Trail Blazers
The Trail Blazers are a decent team. They have a great Power Forward in LaMarcus Aldridge, two Forwards in Nic Batum and J.J. Hickson, and a rookie Point Guard in Damian Lillard. However, they play in a division with some above average teams. Right now, it’s a toss up whether they will finish 3rd or 5th.
Just like the Nuggets, the T-Wolves were poised for a breakthrough season. That was until their best player, Kevin Love, broke his hand. Thankfully, he will only be out for 6-8 weeks. Along with that, Ricky Rubio won’t be back in action until January. The time without their superstars will make or break the T-Wolves season. Unfortunately, I just don’t think they have it in them. Minnesota finished 4th in the Northwest Division.
With Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors, and Enes Kanter, the Jazz have one of the best front-courts in the NBA. Yes, Favors and Kanter are still relatively unproven, but they have shown tons of potential. Juts like Portland, though, they play in a tough division. If they play to their strength, they will finish 3rd. If they get away from running their offense through their bigs, they might slip to 5th in the Northwest Division.
The Irish improved to a record of 8-0 this weekend as they defeated the Oklahoma Sooners on the road in Norman, OK. Golden Domers did just enough to beat a very tough Oklahoma team. The Irish came home to South Bend, IN with a W. Here are the grades:
No turnovers, but no touchdowns. Golson came to play this weekend after missing last week with concussion like symptoms. He finished at 13 of 25 with 177 yards in the air. Not Heisman worthy but he is building and that is the most important part.
Running Game: A
For this game, George Atkinson was in South Bend recovering from the flu. Everyone thought GAIII absence would be the nail in the coffin but it was not. The Irish stepped up and made up for a missing team leader. 148 yards on the ground on 26 attempts.
Wide Recievers: A
TJ Jones led the squad with five catches for 55 yards. Of those five catches, three were for first downs. Freshman Chris Brown had a huge reception of 50 yards in the final quarter that led to another Irish touchdown and sealed the victory for the Golden Domers.
Tight End: A
Every opposing team in the NCAA loves Tyler Eifert so much that they devout two players to his every movement. He had only two receptions for 22 yards on the night. He did a great job of blocking
Offensive Line: A
They blocked, which creates holes for the running backs and gives the QB time to find his open targets. Golson was sacked once last night and that is due to a superb O-Line.
Defesnsive Line: A
Two sacks on the day of a very good quarterback in Landry Jones. 15 yards on 24 attempts for the Sooners and that is because the defensive line took it to the house.
What else is there left to say about this group of young men who do everything and anything for their team. Te’o had 11 tackles, one sack and one interception, which was a result of defensive line pressure.
Defensive Backs: A
Not too many yards after the catch was the highlight of the night. Jones couldn’t complete passes to his receivers so he hit his tight ends for easy dumps.
Special Teams: A