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Monday, December 26, 2011

Sportaholic: The Association shows us what we missed in first two days of action

For those who missed it (If you could with the wall to wall ESPN coverage) the NBA is back with a vengeance. In two days of action we have already witnessed a Kevin Garnet throat shove, Lebron James and Dwayne Wade looking like Jordan and Pippen 2.0, a Derrick Rose game winner, Chris Paul take over in the 4th for the Clips,Mr. former Mr. Kardashian himself Kris Humphries drop a 21 point 14 rebound game, and Dwight Howard make up a song about his on again off again trade rumors.  And that’s just half the story. I didn’t know what to expect as a writer and fan when the NBA finally got over themselves and stopped the madness. From “Witnessing” Lebron show up at his alma mater’s varsity football practice, players moving overseas, Delonte West working at The Home Depot, and Kevin Durant do a little bit of everything made me think these guys wouldn’t be ready come when the lockout ended. Just didn’t seem like the focus was on getting better with all of the additional free time they had.

I was as wrong as I could I could be especially about the King himself. James and the Miami Heat look as if they could beat the ’96 Chicago Bulls with their aggressive defense and spectacular fast break offense.  Lebron and Dwayne Wade combined for 63 points 18 rebounds and 12 assists and just continually got in the lane to punish the Mavericks (0-2 now after losing to Denver tonight). The Mavs look to have the dreaded “Championship Hangover” as they have looked old, slow and discombobulated to start the season. Some of that is to be expected when you add veteran players such as Lamar Odom and Vince Carter but the effort just didn’t seem there. The Los Angeles Lakers are clearly a different team under new Head Coach Mike Brown. They are much more post oriented in their offense and will use a lot of screens to open up their 3-point shooters. All that being said the ball still ended up in Kobe’s hands in crunch time and that old bugaboo of them not being able to defend small quick point guards rang true. Derrick Rose absolutely left Derek Fisher stuck to the ground and floated a leathery soft floater over Pau Gasol (Don’t get me started on him) to finish off a sensational 22-point 8-assit game. The Bulls showed they will be able to match superior offensive teams by adding Richard Hamilton (Can anyone tell me why he still wears the face guard mask?)

Carmelo deserves a big mention as well with his 20-point 2nd half outburst. "Most importantly for us, as a new team, we showed something," Anthony said. "We came together as a team. Even when we got down, there wasn't no frowns. Nobody was down. Mentally everybody was still up about it, and we willed our way to this win." The Knicks have the look of a team that can make a run but the injury of Rook Iman Shumpert going down with a MCL sprain hurts them at a position that they are already thin at. They still can score on you at will wit Melo, Amar’e Stoudemire, and a cast of talented role players. But the most important development for them was the shot blocking by newly acquired center Tyson Chandler. He obliterated 6 shots and showed that as long as he is around New York won’t be pushovers in the paint.

Lastly I can see why Dwight Howard will be traded or leave in the off season if he isn’t The Magic don’t have even half the talent around him to sniff an NBA championship.  Not when you wing player rotation consists of Jason Richardson (1 of 10), Hedo Turkoglu (3 of 10) and J.J Redick (0-3). They would have to pull off some kind of miraculous trade that they don’t have the money to do thanks to a couple of bloated contracts. The Lakers should smell blood in the water soon with Howard’s first choice New Jersey having to deal with Brooke Lopez breaking his foot.  One way or another the writing is on the wall for that situation even if Howard wants to make up little Christmas carols about it.

It was just a damn good way to start off the season after all of the bitterness that ensued during the lockout. The marquee players that we all expect to performed pretty much did that on the first two nights of the season.  Things can only get better from here and it looks like the NBA is ready to make up for dragging us into a shortened season with exceptional play all throughout it. 


  1. Happy New Year to you and yours Carlos... man the Chicago Bulls (and the Miami Heat) are looking REAL GOOD early on.

  2. Hey i know its a little late but good read. and to answer your question Can anyone tell me why he still wears the face guard mask? Rip still wears the mask because he broke his 3 different times, twice in one season. Doctors told him to wear it the rest of his career otherwise he would need reconstructive surgery on his nose

  3. Hey John, thanks for explaining that for me. I really wondered what was the reasoning behind that mask. Mask or not he is adding a different dimiension to the Bulls with his scoring and veteran leadership. Early season prediction Bulls and Heat in the Eastern Conference (Not that I'm going out on a limb or anything) I appreciate you reading.

    And Happy belated New Year to you Jim, as you can see i;;m high on your hometown Bulls. They have a chance for a special year.