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Monthly Archives: May 2010

Gasol lead the Lakers with 29 points and helped them to a 2-0 series lead

When I saw the Lakers scored 128 points and shot 58% in game 1 I said that it was a fluke and Phoenix would come to play game 2. Well I was wrong. LA scored 124 points on 58% shooting again. Only difference this time it wasn’t the Kobe show as it was in game one. Pau Gasol took over this game scoring 29 points to lead all scorers and grabbing 9 rebounds. Kobe wasn’t quite though, he had 21 points, 19 less then game one.

For the Suns Jason Richardson lead the Phoenix with 27 points but again it came down to the no defense style of play that is killing the Suns. I said it in the preview for this series that if they can’t play defense they will get beat and if they can’t control the paint with Andrew Bynum, Gasol and Lamar Odom they would have trouble winning games and right now that is showing. Amar’e Stoudemire hasn’t been a factor. He had 18 points but they were quite points. Not enough energy from a player and team that wins on being more active on the ball. Steve Nash had 15 assist but that part doesn’t matter when you aren’t putting up the points like you did against the San Antonio Spurs. Nash needs to get to the basket and get going early or this won’t be a series I or fans imagined.

Game 3 heads to Phoenix as the Suns look to win at home and right the ship on this series.

-Tim Dimas

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Lopez would be a nice fit for LeBron James and other Free Agents

I waited until tonight to put Part 3 into works. Part 3 of course is the off season moves. I waited until after the NBA Draft Lottery to really start to think about this. After an hour and half thought process I came to the understanding the Nets aren’t in a horrible situation. As Brandon Tierney said on Twitter, “OK Net fans, pick yourself up, google any past NBA Draft, and look at how many NBA legends were drafted after the top 2 spots. You’re fine” Maybe he was just saying it cause he didn’t want anyone committing suicide tonight. Even so here are my ideas into who the Nets should draft at #3 and sign during the off-season.

Draft: If the Nets are content with being at number 3 I would like them to select DeMarcus Cousins, Freshman out of Kentucky. A front court of Lopez and Cousins would look very nice for years to come. Do I think the Nets might make a move to go to number 1? Yes I can see it happening.  Do they have to though? No they don’t. At the end of the day Devin Harris is more then capable of running the point. Injuries are the only thing that hurts him. When healthy he is a nightmare match up for teams because of his speed. Devin Harris, DeMarcus Cousins and Brook Lopez in the starting 5. Can’t say I don’t like it. Lets fill in though who the Nets should sign to help these three players.

Free Agency: Of course the 3 most talked about free agents are LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. Question for Nets fans which one to two players do you bring in? I really can’t see not two of these players on the same team. With Cousins do the Nets really need to go after Chris Bosh? If he’s the only choice yes if not then no. Do the Nets need Dwayne Wade badly? Shooting guard position is wide open. Courtney Lee is there but is he a starter or a bench player. The Nets can also option for Joe Johnson. LeBron James though is of course one of the only three free agents I can’t see the Nets not going after uncontrollably. The Nets have about 24 million to spend this off season not including the mid-level exception or the minimum exception.  So LeBron will command a max contract. They would then have to do a sign and trade with either Toronto or Miami for Bosh or Wade. Even so the Nets only have 24 mil to play with doesn’t mean that’s all. Don’t forget they have a billionaire owner who came out and said he wants to win next year and if not next year then in the next 5 years. Call him crazy but money talks and if he can talk to these stars I don’t see why they wouldn’t sign. But lets say for arguments sake the Nets can only get LBJ. I’m still in favor of adding Joe Johnson. Harris, Johnson, James, Cousins and Lopez is a great starting 5. A play-off team without a doubt and with James it’s a definite Conference Finals possibility.

So we have a possible starting 5 but who’s going to fill the bench roles. Courtney Lee, Chris Douglas-Roberts (If the Nets pick up his contract by June 30th) Kris Humphries, Yi Jianlian and Terrence Williams. Not bad but could use a bit tweaking. If the Nets sign Johnson and LBJ they will have blown their salary cap and only be left with mid-level and minimum exceptions. So who to sign? I say back up point guard and call me crazy but the hometown boy himself, Shaquille O’Neal. Two young centers on your team having one of thee best centers in NBA History teach them for a year or two wouldn’t be so bad. Shaq would be a solid 10-15 minute kind of a guy. 8-10 points and 5-6 rebounds a game but a teacher as well. Point guard now though.  Steve Blake, Luke Ridnour, and Randy Foyle are all possible options for the mid level. All have been in the league long enough and a bench role is something they could work well with. Of course the Nets have two more picks in the draft but this year’s draft isn’t really stocked with tons of point guards. The Nets can choose out of Eric Bledsoe out of Kentucky, Willie Warren out of Oklahoma, Jon Scheyer out of Duke, Sherron Collins from Kansas or Denis Clemente from Kansas State. One guy who doesn’t look like he will get drafted is Scottie Reynolds out of Villanova. Hey if the Nets can invite him as an undrafted rookie free agent I’ll take it. Lets say the Nets sign Blake. I think Blake is a great back up. Solid three point shooter and passing abilities. Would fit perfect in a half court scheme but can run up and down the floor.

If all goes to plan this would be the roster.

Starting Line up:

PG: Devin Harris

SG: Joe Johnson

SF: LeBron James

PF: DeMarcus Cousins

C:Brook Lopez

Bench: Shaq, Blake, C. Lee, CDR, T. Williams, Humphries, Yi, Draft Pick, Draft Pick.

Hey these are my thoughts. I think they fit and have good reasoning to it. I hope as many other Nets fans do, this will be a team we can look at and enjoy.

-Tim Dimas

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It’s always painful to be let down. Whether it’s Christmas presents, a date, or sports, you hate to get your hopes high, just to have them dropped in the end. As a Red Sox fan, I am far too familiar with that.I thought, though, that after having two championships in six years, those days were over for a while.

Boy, was I wrong.

A perfect example came last night, as the Red Sox lost to the Yankees 11-9 on a walk-off homerun by Marcus Thames in the 9th.

The circumstances of this were not typical of the past few years, though. With the two teams going in opposite directions, the Yankees on their way up and the Red Sox on their way down, it seemed no stage for drama. But, once again, I was wrong.

After the Yankees took a 6-1, the Red Sox came storming back in the 5th with a three run homer by JD Drew and three more runs in the 8th inning, courtesy of a two-run shot by Kevin Youkilis and a solo homer by Victor Martinez.

The came the 6’4″ question mark, Jonathon Papelbon. He’s known for giving Sox fans heart attacks, running games to the wire, but usually pulling it out in the end. Last night in the Bronx was NOT one of those cases. The heart attack finally killed us last night.

Alex Rodriguez’s monster shot to left-center field tied the game 9-9 and, three batters later, Marcus Thames took another Papelbon fastball down the line for the walk-off.

This highlights the two very opposite directions that the Red Sox and Yankees are going. At 25-13, I expect the Yankees to run with the Rays until the final days of the season for the AL East crown. As for the Red Sox, watch them fade over the year, back into third and, depending on how Toronto shapes up, even 4th place. It has been a lack of production from guys the Red Sox put a lot of faith into, from Josh Beckett to David Ortiz. Like we say in Boston, perhaps next year is the year.

-Dan Martin

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40 points and a Win

So the true question is … when does The Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns series actually start. What we witnessed last night, I personally hope, isn’t what we should expect for the rest of what could be a short series. Kobe Bryant on the other hand witnessed what he wanted for the rest of the series.

Kobe Bryant scored 40 points and made sure people remembered he was still the best in the game. The Lakers last night seemed unable to do anything wrong. Shooting a remarkable 58% from the field for the game. Pau Gasol scoring 21 points and Lamar Odom with 19 off the bench, the Lakers were looking like the champs from last year and they showed no sings of slowing down.

Phoenix on the other hand. Well they did score 107 points right? That still wasn’t enough. The Suns, a team who on average this post season allowed 95 points or less to their opponents gave up 62 points in the first half and 128 for the game. I don’t think Phoenix got the fact that they aren’t playing The Portland Trail Blazers or The San Antonio Spurs. They aren’t playing Brandon Roy, Manu Ginobili but playing Kobe Bryant. Grant Hill met the floor a bunch of times including in the final seconds when Kobe crossed him up and Hill slipped. The Suns need to stop Kobe for they stop anyone else. Kobe runs the Lakers win. Kobe nonexistent, the Suns have a better chance.

I don’t think this series is over though. I think the Suns will regroup and next game will be a lot closer at the Staples Center. The Suns can score at will and when they are on their is no stopping them. Hey they shot 49% from the field. They just need to guard a lot better and keep LA on their feet.

Game two is scheduled for Wednesday May 19th. Lakers hold a 1-0 series lead as the Suns look to steal a game away. Maybe they should call up the Celtics for a little bit of advice on how to do that.

-Tim Dimas

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Hanley being ... Hanley?

We have heard of players not hustling and being taken out of the game by their managers for it. The best part is the day after reactions to all of it. Last night Florida Marlins star Hanley Ramirez was benched by Fredi Gonzalez, the manager. In the bottom of the first Ramirez fouled a ball awfully hard off his leg and was checked by medical staff right then and there. He gave the team an okay to continue to play but he’d be on the field for only a short time. In the top of the second inning Tony Abreu, of the Arizona Diamondbacks, blooped a single over the head of Ramirez. At first Hanley was chasing it down like any other fielder but after it hit his shin he started to do something less of a jog after the ball. Gonzalez’s would bench him for the rest of the game.

Now lets fast forward to this morning.  Gonzalez said that Ramirez was not benched do to the shin injury but because of the lack of hustles.  Quote, “we felt that the effort wasn’t there that we wanted.” He later said that Cody Ross had been hit by a 95 mph fast ball but remained in the game and did not slow up his game because of the hit.

Hanley responded this way about being benched. “It’s his team. He can do whatever he [expletive] wants.” Then he responded this way about his teammates saying he should apologize. “We got a lot of people dogging it after ground balls. They don’t apologize,”  He said this on chasing the ball, “I wasn’t trying to give up. That was the hardest I could go after the ball.” The best thing he said though was this. “That’s OK. He doesn’t understand that. He never played in the big leagues,” and “He” in this comment is of course the manager.

So if you haven’t grasped the concept yet, Hanley seems to be not caring as much about the situation as people would think he would. He says he did his best and that being taken out of the game was a load of garbage. I can tell you this much. Hanley needs to relax before he becomes the next Ramirez to be given the slogan “Manny being Manny” even though “Hanley being Hanley” does have a nice ring to it.

The Marlins aren’t known for playing players but Ramirez was a different case. They gave him a 6 year 70+mil contract extension to remain in Florida. Ramirez is touted as a top 3 short stop in the game if not number 1 but this isn’t the way to keep a good image. Hanley needs to stop being Hanley and start being a Marlin. Like Fredi said, and I quote, “I got 25 guys all wearing the same uniform with all of the same Marlins insignia on the front and I think it’s disappointing if anybody did it, not just one guy.” Sorry Hanley, just because you’re a marquee guy does not mean you can do what you want.

-Timmy Dimas

All quotes provided in the article was thanks to The New York Post, MLB.com and ESPN

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In his possible destination jersey and new number

I spent part 1 discussing who would lead the Nets into battle next year. Part 2 will be about the guy who will be the face of the media world until he decides what he wants to do with his career. For a lot of Nets fans, also mine, hope LeBron James will wear a Nets uniform come next year.

James is the golden boy. The one they call the King. The King didn’t show up this post season and now is looking like a prince but that isn’t stopping teams like the Nets, Bulls, Knicks, Clippers etc on going after him. Why would it? 2 time MVP and he’s only 25. Like he said at his press conference after his horrendous game 5 against the Celtics, ” I have a lot of basketball left…” and yes he does.

How do the Nets go about this off season in obtaining him this off season. They are given a 100-1 chance to land him by the New York Post and everyone says it’s not a good situation for him. My question is, the Knicks are? The Knicks are going into next season with Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari as the face of their franchise. David Lee is gone as of right now and Sergio Rodriguez and Tony Douglas aren’t anywhere close to being what LeBron needs to get a title. Neither is having Eddy Curry as your starting center. People say well their going to get Chris Bosh. Well okay wonderful but after you blow 17million to each player what will you have left? mid level exception to sign Brad Miller? Two second round draft picks? Not to spend the time on beating up on the Knicks but I have to put my words out there.

The Nets have a point guard that can run the show. His name is Devin Harris. The Nets have a top 5 if not 3 center in the league. His name is Brook Lopez. They also have two other top 10 picks on their roster, Yi Jianlian and Terrence Williams. I know Yi isn’t huge but he was drafted #6 overall and he has the ability to play. LeBron made the players around him look like all-stars, Yi will benefit too. Courtney Lee is better then Anthony Parker and Chris Douglas-Roberts is a player that has tons of potential especially coming from a John Calipari system at Memphis. Kris Humphries is there too and he isn’t horrible. Better then Anderson Verajo for sure.

Now those are the players that are already on the team. What about the draft? Three top 31 picks? A top-4 pick without a doubt? The Nets are in a rebuilding mode but if all goes right, LBJ will be the piece they need to make this rebuilding a micro fix. And why shouldn’t he come to NJ? Sure it’s not a huge market but neither is Cleveland and LBJ isn’t poor. New York City is a 30 minute drive and if I’m not mistaken the Nets will be in Brooklyn by 2012. LeBron is part of Roc Nation Athlete’s which is run by Brooklyn native Jay-Z. There are a lot of pro’s for LBJ to come to NJ. May I also add that there is a billion dollar owner who only cares about winning and not money? Truthfully I haven’t heard a bad one yet. If you read this and have one please feel free to add it.

LeBron is the NBA’s best player. The league goes as he goes. Would the NBA Finals have been bigger had he made it? Of course which is why he needs to go to a team that has pieces to get him there. The New Jersey Nets ( Soon to be New York Nets) have some and almost all the pieces he needs to be a part of a good team.

Part 3 will cover Free Agents. Who the Nets should try and get and possible trade moves. Stick around for that.

-Timmy Dimas

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After coming out of the gate hot, going up by as many as 20 points, the Boston Celtics held off the Orlando Magic 92-88 to take a 1-0 lead in the 2010 Eastern Conference Finals.

The Celtics, led by Ray Allen, who was looking more like his movie alter-ego Jesus Shuttlesworth, stole an important game on the road. Allen’s 25 points came on 8-16 shooting, including four key free throws in the final minute to seal the deal for Boston. Along with Allen, Paul Pierce added 22 points and 9 rebounds.

From the beginning, both sides were playing sloppily, Orlando and Boston alike unable to get much going in the halfcourt. These turnovers allowed Boston to get out to their big early lead, highlighting a key they had been looking to exploit: converting defense into offense. But, it cannot all be attributed to defense, as many Magic turnovers came unforced, lazily throwing the ball out of bounds or losing it entirely.

The brightest spot for Orlando was Vince Carter, who has 23 points on 9-18 shooting. Jameer Nelson, running the point, added 20 points and 9 rebounds.

Though it looked like Orlando was out of it from the beginning, they were able to shake off the rust in the 4th quarter and make it a respectable game. Outscoring Boston 30-18 in the 4th, they had the game within 2 in the final minute.

Surprisingly, Rasheed Wallace turned his game on for the first time this season, playing stellar defense on Dwight Howard and limiting him to just 13 points on an abysmal 3-10 from the field. The Celtics are using the same, smart technique that teams used to employ to beat Shaq on the Lakers. When he gets the ball down low, hack him and send him to the line. Don’t let him throw down on you. Make him earn it from the stripe.

And it seems to be working. The platoon defense of Glen Davis, Rasheed Wallace, and Kevin Garnett sent Howard to the line 12 times, where he made seven. When you eliminate Howard’s ability to dominate down low, you take an important facet away from Orlando’s offense.

This will probably be the most intriguing series of an otherwise boring playoffs. Boston has reason to be scared because Orlando only really played the final quarter. If things had been clicking for them the whole game, the story would be different. Most times, 15 turnovers don’t translate into a playoff win on the road. Boston will have to clean their act up if they want to take this series from a very skilled, yet a bit rusty, Magic team.

-Dan Martin

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