Thursday, 24 August 2017

Cavs - Celtics trade

So about a month ago Kyrie Irving decided he wanted out of Cleveland! Yesterday he got his wish. Being sent to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and Brooklyn's 2018 first round pick.

So the big question, who came out of the trade better off...Short answer, I believe Cleveland did.
Heres why...

Before I get into it I just want to say my knowledge of the "business side'' of the NBA is pretty basic! I dont know what the "Derrick Rose rule" is. I also dont know what "Bird Rights" are. But based simply on the pieces moved and players who will either be unrestricted free agents or have player options after this season, here is my analysis.

In my eyes, this deal improves Boston a little, but not enough to elevate them above Cleveland! They get Irving who, in my opinion, is a taller version of Isaiah Thomas. An elite scorer and big time clutch performer, an ok but not elite distributer and fairly average defender. They got Gordon Hayward in free agency, but does he make up for the loss of Avery Bradley (how was he not an All NBA defensive player??), Kelly Olynyk and now Jae Crowder? Its hard to say, Marcus Morris (in the trade for Bradley) is a nice addition and they probably are better than they were last year. But you have to remember Cleveland absolutely demolished Boston in the East playoffs this year, if memory serves there was a game where Cleveland were up by 50 at halftime ON THE ROAD and lost in 5! This trade doesn't make up to much ground to me! Instead of an uncompetitive five game series, you might be looking at a five-six game series with score lines a little closer. But Cleveland still make the finals.

For the Cavs, I believe this deal helps them in the short term, but also gives them a little bit of security in the scenario that LeBron leaves after this season! Nothing can obviously make up for the hole left by a player like LeBron if he does leave. But I think this deal leaves them in a position where it's not 100% doom and gloom if he does.

First of all, Kyrie wanted out. If they didn't move him Cleveland's locker room this season would have been reality TV show worthy! Getting a player like Thomas in return is massive and I think will probably match Irving's production, or at least be thereabouts. Jae Crowder is a great fit next to LeBron being a "3 and D" wing player who can spread the floor and can guard the KD's, PG13s, Kawhi's and Haywards of the world. LeBron was pretty much the only viable match up for those taller, wing scorers the Cavs had last season and with Crowder they now have someone who can match up with them and allow LeBron to conserve a little energy. I don't know much about Ante Zizic, except he's Croatian and last season played in Turkey, funnily enough for a team coached by former Cavs coach David Blatt, not sure if he will stay in Europe or come to Cleveland, will just have to see. On top of that they also get the Nets first round pick of Boston which will most likely be a top 5 pick because let's face it, Brooklyn will probably be pretty ordinary. So in the short term the deal gives them a shorter version of Kyrie, a very solid and under rated 3 and D guy on the wing and an almost definite top 5 pick. In the scenario that Lebron leaves they would almost definitely be in rebuild mode and probably wont pay Isaiah Thomas the max deal he will looking for, Kyrie, Lebrons and Thomas' salaries will be off the books so they will have a tonne of cap space to work with and a high draft pick to build around. Obviously doesn't make up for the loss of LeBron but it doesn't leave them in a terrible position if he does.

So for those reasons if you had to pick a 'winner' of the trade I would pick Cleveland. However Boston didn't really 'lose'. They are still easily the second best team in the East and if Lebron leaves, will easily be elevated to the top spot.

As I said i'm not an expert on the business side of the NBA and hopefully there isn't some sort of rule or other little detail somewhere which makes all of the above irrelevant haha. But based on what I know, this is how I see it.


Wednesday, 28 June 2017

NBA awards

Heyyyyy I'm back...people have been asking me why I stopped posting on here and that I should get back into it (and by 'people' I mean Mike Lacey)

I started this website, well my Girlfriend did, (I don't know how to internet) about two years ago because I was injured and had nothing else to do! Im in a little off season break at the moment and have a lot of stuff I wanna chat about! Bailee (my aforementioned girlfriend) hates basketball so I'm gonna chuck a few thoughts here...LUCKY YOU lol

First things first, the NBA awards. Well not the awards, but the show! I actually like the idea of having a night to celebrate all the NBAs award winners in one place! Had a bit of an academy award feeling to it, like people outside doing 'best dressed' type stuff which I wasn't a fan of (very E channel) but the idea of having it all in one big night rather than periodically giving out awards during various times throughout the playoffs! However I did find the timing of it weird! For example the league MVP award, everyone knew Westbrook was going to win it. But he lost in the opening round of the playoffs, almost two months ago! Since the second round of the playoffs how many of you have thought about Russell Westbrook? I know I havent (well not much) ...I think the little gap after the regular season but before the playoffs would be better! They are the regular season awards after all! Makes sense doesn't it? It does to me at least haha

But now for the actual awards!

MVP - Russell Westbrook

There was no doubt really with this one! The second player ever to average a triple double, not only that but a 30 point triple double! He carried a team that isn't overly talented to the sixth seed in the West, Cleveland for example only won 4 less games in the much weaker East just to show what an impressive accomplishment that is! Perhaps saying they aren't overly talented is a bit harsh, but they definitely aren't built for the modern 'space the floor, 3 point heavy' game the NBA has become! Westbrook himself is an average to slightly above average deep shooter, Victor Oladipo is an average 3 point shooter (S/O) to him for dunk of the year though) Andre Roberson is the there pretty much exclusively for defence (Second team All-Defence) Domantas Sabonis had his moments from the outside as a rookie but they spent most of the time with some combo of Steve Adams, Enes Kanter and Taj Gibson out there together, neither of whom shoot the three and on the roster there isn't a person I would consider a 'sniper'. Imagine what Westbrook would have done if he was surrounded by gunners like Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon! Keeping him out of the lane is already impossible! Scary to think how much more damage he could have done with the floor spacing James Harden had to work with! A very deserving winner.

Defensive player of the year - Draymond Green

Another easy choice in my opinion! Green does a little bit of everything for the Warriors, while he definitely isn't there best player, to me he is there most important. He brings a physicality and presence that no one else does, does all the dirty work, defends every position, scores, rebounds, is probably there best passer and they just function better when he is out there despite some of his antics that annoy some people. Adding KD to the Warriors made them better at what they were already the best team ever at, shooting the deep ball, but giving up all of there big men and a lot of there bench most people (me included) thought they would fall off defensively. But they had the number one rated defence in the league! Green is the leader of that defence and despite stiff competition from The Klaw (Kawhi Leonard) and The Stiffel Tower (Rudy Gobert) was a bit of a no brainer for me.

Ill leave it here for now! Ill continue tomorrow with most improved and coach of the year tomorrow! Don't want your brains to explode with my first post in a while haha


Sunday, 13 September 2015

Cweb invited to Pelicans training camp

CWeb has cleared the first hurdle!!

After a few days of working out in front of Pelicans coaching staff and along side available players, Corey has impressed enough to get an invite to training camp and be one step closer to his goal of making the big league.

The training camp begins on the 29th of this month so he will be staying there continuing to work with the Pelicans staff and get himself ready. As has been mentioned there is a spot for a player of Corey's skill set on the roster and the fact he has been invited to camp is a pretty clear indication that he has impressed them and they think he might be able to play at the NBA level.

Im not an expert when it comes to NBA contracts (guaranteed vs non guaranteed). From what I can gather the contract is non guaranteed and to earn a spot on the regular season roster he will have to impress even further during training camp and then the pre season which begins not long after training camps finish.

Making the NBA is not easy but Corey has proven himself at the highest international level against some of the best teams and players in the world and the fact he has done enough to earn a camp invite  may be a sign that New Zealand is close to having a fourth player make it to the big league!


Saturday, 5 September 2015

CWeb gets his shot at the NBA

If recent social media posts are to be believed CWeb has just boarded his flight to New Orleans for his shot at the big league.

Its been a pretty amazing run for Corey over the last 18 months! A championship and league MVP award in the 2014 NZ NBL, was the Tall Blacks leading scorer at last years World Cup, he became our go to guy offensively in our fourth championship season and further solidified his position as the Tall Blacks go to guy after his performances during the international season that just passed! As we all know he is already on the NBA radar after his mini camp invite with the Indiana Pacers a few months back but now has a real shot at a training camp invite and roster spot with the Pelicans.

His recent performances in the Oceania series against NBA Champion Patty Mills and Cavaliers cult hero Matthew Dellavedova obviously opened a lot of eyes and proved to everyone that he is more than just a guy who can get buckets in the NZNBL and Aussie NBL but that his scoring ability is world class.

Looking at the current Pelicans roster he isn't going over there just to be training fodder! He has a very real chance of getting a training camp invite and competing for a roster spot! As of right now Eric Gordon and Bryce Dejean-Jones are the only SGs they have, they have several players who are capable of swinging between the SG and SF spots but in terms of natural 2 guards they only have Gordon and Dejean-Jones! With the recent departure of Jimmer Fredette and Eric Gordon having a pretty average history with injuries there is definitely a spot for a player with his skills.

A player I think is a pretty good comparison, in terms of the type of role he would likely have if he was to make it, is Eddie House who was a key bench player for the 2007-08 Boston Celtics championship team (google him). His role was pretty simple, come off the bench and get buckets. They are similar in that they are slightly undersized for SGs (by NBA standards) but just know how to put the ball in the hole.

I think I speak for all basketball fans in New Zealand in wishing him good luck! It will be extremely tough to get an invite to their training camp let alone making the final roster but he has proven he can put the ball in the basket against pretty much anybody and hopefully will do enough to impress the Pelicans coaching staff.


Monday, 31 August 2015

Injury Update

Today was our first day with this seasons entire team being in the same room so thought id update everyone on how things are going.

As has been the case throughout my entire rehab period things are going very well. After we all met each other this morning and all the support staff introduced themselves and explained what they will be doing this season we all went on court for workouts...I finally got to actually run up and down on a basketball court!! That may not seem like a huge deal to most since thats what we do, but when it has been close to six months of stationary bike, rower and stepper (the absolute bane of my existence) it felt great to lace up the boots and jog up and down the floor a little bit, even if only for 10 mins (baby steps).

In the gym I've had full clearance for about 6 weeks and our strength and conditioning coach, Steve Buckley, has been working with me to get my body back up to speed while Mark our team physio sorts the foot out...Its a slow process but thats just the nature of this particular injury! But for the first time in over a year I'm starting to feel like my old self again.

Its hard to say exactly when ill be able to resume full on basketball activity/training but my next visit with the surgeon in a few weeks will be bang on the six month mark and hopefully after that will be able to start some more higher intensity on court training and not long after that hopefully will be able to join the boys on the court...Cant wait!!

Its at that point where its feeling pretty good and it feels like I could push it a little bit but just a little bit more time is required to get it to 100%...I can see the light at the end of the tunnel :)


Friday, 14 August 2015

Oceania series - A few keys to the series

Corey Webster 
I’ve known Corey since I was about 17 and he’s always been a guy that never had trouble putting the ball in the basket. He’s an exceptional one-on-one player but the area that he has really improved in the last couple of years is his ability to score within the flow of an offence rather than being a 1 on 1 guy. 
He has much greater understanding of moving without the ball, using screens and reading defence to get to his spots. All this combined with his improved playmaking and passing ability he is definitely a world class offensive player. 
Over the last couple of years Corey’s confidence has grown and while he perhaps isn’t quite at the level Kirk Penney was at during his prime, he is definitely getting close to it. 
Andrej Lemanis obviously knows his game pretty well from his days with the Breakers and I’m assuming one of Matthew Dellavedova, Adam Gibson or Damien Martin (all excellent defensive players) will be assigned to him at all times. 
Corey’s ability to put up points while under constant defensive pressure while also getting his teammates involved because of the attention he will attract will be key if the Tall Blacks are to walk away with the series win 
Matching up with Andrew Bogut 
Bogut is suiting for the Boomers for the first time in quite a long time and for pretty much the entire team outside of Mika Vukona and maybe Lindsay Tait, it will be the first time they have played an Aussie team with him in it. 
Bogut is multi-faceted on the offensive end, he may not have a huge role within the Golden State Warriors offence in terms of shot attempts and scoring, but he does have a very good back to the basket game and the Tall Blacks being pretty small his size alone will make it difficult.

What sets him apart from a lot of big men though is his excellent passing ability. He will be the biggest guy on court when he is out there and will be able to see over double teams (should the Tall Blacks do that) and hit the open man. 
While he doesn’t look to shoot the outside shot very much, his ability to facilitate and make plays from the high post and in dribble hand off action will also be tough to contend with. 
It’s the defensive end is where he will make the biggest impact! He is one of the best post defenders and rim protectors in the NBA. Rob Loe and Isaac Fotu, who are both playing centre for the Tall Blacks, are both good offensive players but I don’t think Andrej Lemanis will have many concerns with Bogut guarding them in 1 on 1 situations down low. 
However they both shoot the three pretty well and Isaac Fotu in particular has good face up ability off the dribble. Both of them have the ability to drag him out of his comfort zone and open up the floor a little bit. How productive they can be against him will be a big factor in the outcome of the series. 
Patty Mills 
Obviously the circumstances surrounding the late addition of Mills aren’t the greatest. You never want to see players go down with an injury as serious as a torn ACL, especially a 19 year old like Dante Exum. But adding a player of Mills’ ability is obviously going to make the Boomers a lot more dangerous.
He has been their most consistent performer over the last 5-7 years and in fact has been one of the best performers on the international stage across all nations. Mills is a player who commands touches and shots and integrating a player like that so late in the piece won’t be easy. 
The players that were on the team during their recent tour of Europe will have to adjust the roles they have gotten used to without Mills and that isn’t easy to do with so little time. 
Those are just a few of the keys that will have a massive impact on the outcome of the series! New Zealand vs Australia in any sport is always extremely competitive and this will be no different. It should prove to be a very fiery and entertaining series and I can’t wait to see it. 



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