Wednesday, January 22, 2014

NBA Players in New NBA Jerseys

         So there is no doubt that the NBA with Adidas is for some reason leaning toward short sleeved jerseys and material. It all started when the Warriors came out of nowhere with their short sleeved jerseys which earned quite a few critics including Stephen Curry says it "restricts his shooting." Earlier there has been talk inside the NBA and they approved small ads on jerseys and the short sleeved jerseys hinted those ads. This regular season many more teams have come out with short sleeved jerseys as their alternate jerseys and then the special edition Christmas jerseys, and now the short sleeved All-Star jerseys have been released. Well, my prediction is that in the next five years all NBA teams alternate jerseys will have ads and be short sleeved, take a look. (These are all real sponsors for each team)

This original photo was taken during on Christmas, if you can tell. Bacardi and Coca-Cola has been sponsors for the Heat even before the decision.  

Surprisingly, the Nets don't have a jersey that says "Nets" and I won;t be surprised if they do. The Nets have experience in advertising of jerseys because they already advertise PNY on their practice uniforms

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Return of Rondo

Rajon Rondo (#9) returns against the Lakers


What do Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose, and Russel Westbrook have in common? They all got injured in the 2012-2013 and the 2013-2014 season. Its not looking positive for these All-Stars. But there is one other All-Star that is the face of his team. Rajon Rondo made a season debut on Friday, January 17, a made quite an impact to his team. Besides missing the game winning shot, Rondo scored 8 points and 4 assists, not bad for the Celtic, but still not enough. With his big brothers gone to Brooklyn, Rajon Rondo is now the leader of this emerging team, and really needs to step up in order to get some wins.

With competition drastically increasing over in the East, the Celtics are currently the 12th seed in their conference. Not such a great position to be in with improving teams like the Knicks, Nets, Bulls, and the Wizards, and not to mention a certain someone named LeBron James. Even if the team in green decides to tank this season, Rondo still has to play a major role in the development and reconstruction of the young team. 

Last season, Rondo averaged 13.7 ppg, and 11.1 apg. Pretty effective for the starting point guard. But last year he also had his mentors Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, who really contributed in scoring and overall leadership of the team. This year, Rondo is without them, and he has to average at least 18 ppg if he really wants to be considered the leader of a good team. As with assists? Rondo is that kinda guy that distributes well, but he needs to start scoring on his own.

With a new shoe line out and the new title of the 15th Celtic Team captain in NBA history (thats something pretty big), things are looking for the better for Rondo, and even if the Celtics don't make the playoffs this year, he is still going to be considered one of the elite point guards in the league.

What are your thoughts on the Return of Rondo? Leave it in the comments below!

Friday, January 17, 2014

The East Finally Coming Back?

                   In the 2013-2014 season of the National Basketball Association, there has been one main talk, which became one of the NBA's biggest headaches. This, my friends, is how much the Eastern Conference sucks. Right now, the West has a crazy 315-245 lead in wins overall, by every team in each conference! That's a 70 wins advantage, for crying out loud! Anyway, the main reason of this deficit are the highlight teams of the NBA with great talent and huge expectations but just completely failing due to no team chemistry, fatal injuries, and much more and we all know who they are. So, these teams are currently, or pretty recently all were on a five game winning streak, bringing their names back up into the positive conversation. All the three teams in the image above came back from under the eighth seed back into the playoff picture in the last two weeks, which is pretty impressive, even with the horrific (but getting there) Eastern Conference. 

               Let's start with the Brooklyn Boys. Okay fine, the Brooklyn Men. Yeah, the Brooklyn Pretty Dang Old Men. The team of Hall of Famers, with great stars and role players with endless talent. The team is guided (or is paying eight million bucks for this person's courtside seats)  by the rookie coach and former Net and legend point guard, Jason Kidd. Kidd is probably, well in my opinion, the main reason for the Nets' horrific disappointment early in the season. Also the team chemistry with KG, Paul Pierce and even somewhat the Jet isn't working out with Deron and his old crew because the former Celtic stars who are currently struggling to shine Brooklyn, are used to an all unselfish  athletic point guard who distributes twelve dishes a night known by Rajon Rondo, where Deron ain't about that life. Kevin Garnett used to put up 17.7 points and 10.6 boards on his career before this season where he averages 6.8 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. Now, in the past two weeks or so, the Nets are finding that Brooklyn groove when they had recorded an impressive five game winning-streak, especially with a stunning double overtime win against the back to back reigning champions Miami Heat, where LeBron was fouled out of the game (finally,) and the nickname jerseys gave the Nets a boost in confidence. From the bottom of the league to now the eighth seed, the Nets future just gets brighter from here and is yet to fully turn heads.

          Now let's get into the New York state of mind as we head to Manhattan for a closer glance at Melo's New York Knicks. Last year, the Knicks ended with the sensational number two seed and were thought to only get better until they started with inefficiency this year. The reason? Nothing major in my opinion, maybe a lack of some team chemistry or something like that. I actually believe they should've exceeded expectations because they only lost Jason Kidd and other role players, but signed big names like Metta World Peace or (INSERT FUTURE NAME HERE) and Andrea Bargnani. Melo is just being Melo, and JR Smith had stepped up to a crucial player for the Knicks. The Knicks have just been a sob story at the beginning of the season but like all the teams in this article they came back for five games in a row and are currently just one place short of gaining appearance into the playoff picture.

        Now in the Windy City of ChiTown where the Bulls reside, a whole different story takes place. Chicago was saddened by the fall of the rising MVP superstar, Derrick Rose in the first game of the 2012 NBA Playoffs for the Bulls where he tore his ACL. We all know the rest, the Bulls lost the series to the eighth seed Sixers and signed a couple players over the off-season, made a statement by ending with the fifth seed, beating the Nets to advance to semi-finals, and losing to the Heat in five, all without Derrick Rose. Over the course of #thereturn he released five shoes and a logo with Adidas, as well as receiving much criticism came from fans regarding D Rose not returning. Finally, on October 29, 2013 Derrick Rose made his regular season debut with the Bulls against the Heat after going 8-0 in the preseason. They desperately lost by over twenty points and Derrick Rose still proven rusty. He fought back the game after against the Knicks to hit the game winning floater. A few games later, while slowly improving as he came along, the Bulls were at the 3rd seed in the East, after Indiana and Miami. Derrick Rose tragically went down on his right MCL and after a critical MRI, he was done for the season. There went all the hopes for the Bulls and Derrick Rose, not only for t his year, but for many years to come. The Bulls were down to the ninth seed after a horrific losing streak. With the beautiful gift of the newcomers and some experimenting by Tom Thibodeau, the Bulls were on their way back. With a five game winning streak, they were back into the playoff picture at the sixth seed.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Rising Stars

All-Star Game 2013 in Houston


Within the hype of the competition for the top seeds in both the West and the improving East, the All-Star Game is slowly sneaking up. Scheduled to be on Sunday February 16, the voting has been quite competitive with a lot of new players in the top ranks. But none beats the familiar faces: Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony, just to name a few. Still, the competition remains tough for the lower spots as many young stars are looking to play this year.

Here are the votes for the All-Star selection as of Dec. 26, 2013:

* The red dot means that player is currently injured

As shown, many of the usual All-Star players have been injured, which leaves an opportunity for new youngsters to take their place. These are my picks for NEW All-Stars this year.

1. Stephen Curry

It is clear that this kid HAS to become an All-Star in his career. His crazy 3 pointers and ball handling skills have clearly shown this season he has reached an elite level in the league. Averaging 23 points also shows that he is a leader for his team, and that he can put up amazing numbers. And a career 3 point percentage of .437 won't hurt as well. I think that when he gets selected to become an All-Star, he is going to put up quite a show.

2. Anthony Davis

With a huge transformation from last year's game, Anthony Davis has been really taking control of his league. Bumping up all his stats from last year, Davis has been averaging 18.8 ppg, 10.2 rpg, and an astounding 3.6 bpg, as he is the leader for blocks per game in the NBA currently. The setting of the All-Star game right in his hometown will also make him the unofficial 'host' of this years game, and will certainly be another step in his ladder of growth.

3. John Wall

The new, proud face for the strengthening Washington Wizards, John Wall is having the best year of his career. The Wizards, who are finally in playoff contention at 6th seed, are finally getting their stuff together and they have really improved from the last 2 seasons. Wall, currently in his best season, averaging 19.9 ppg, and 9.1 apg, and he has been continuously working on his deficiencies. If he gets chosen, he will not be disappointing.

4. Damian Lillard

Who can deny the progress of the Trailblazers? The young team has been 29-9, and is pretty much a recipe for success. Damian Lillard, a key ingredient has been performing like an All-Star already. The reigning Rookie of the Year has been averaging 21.4 ppg this season, and he's not planning to stop. Its going to happen one day, but I think this year is the year Lillard will become an All-Star.

And sadly, here is someone who is not going to make it this year:

5. Josh Smith

Josh Smith has never been an All-Star, surprisingly, as he was the franchise face of the Atlanta Hawks for all of his career (except this year where he joined the Pistons). And unfortunately, he will not be an All-Star this year. Josh hasn't been having the the best season, and he has been in All-Star consideration a few times, but there is always someone who is better than him. Either that or he cannot fulfill his expectations, or anyone else's for that matter. He might be an All-Star later in his career, but not this year.

What are your predictions? Leave them in the comment below!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

An Unexpected Trade-off

The Bulls trade Luol Deng for Andrew Bynum


It finally happened. Andrew Bynum who has been quite a nuisance to the Cavs has been traded. Trade rumors were galore for him, including the most famous one, Bynum for Lakers Foreword/Center Pau Gasol. After Gasol made it clear he wanted to stay in L.A., people thought Bynum was sticking with Cleveland for good. Until the Cavs made a last minute trade for an All-Star.

Since the beginning of the season, everyone knew that the Bulls wanted to trade Luol Deng. But as the season moved on, it was clear that after the Derrick Rose injury, the Bulls needed a player that could really step up and take the lead, and thats exactly what Deng did. As the season progressed, it seemed like the Bulls really needed Deng's skill sets, so everyone thought the trade rumors were off. Deng has been putting up quite some numbers, averaging 19 ppg, and 6.9 rebounds this season. I guess thats why the Cavaliers needed to trade a few more things than Andrew Bynum.

The whole trade :

Cavs get: Luol Deng

Bulls get: Andrew Bynum, Kings' first round pick, 2 second round picks, and the Bulls can swap the 2015 first round pick.

Thats a lot for just Luol Deng. Is this a good deal? Leave your comments below!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Rose No Longer Blooming for the Bulls?

        Is Derrick Rose really the future of the Bulls? Two season ending injuries in two years isn't a good sign for the top draft pick of 2008. A highly critical article from CBS Chicago by Dan Bernstein has it that  Derrick Rose is upset with the team rebuilding in his absence and is suddenly a self-centered  arrogant player. His performance in the 2013-14 season was just starting to improve from his disappointing start until he came down again. Now the Bulls are suffering, even with additions like DJ Augustin to replace Derrick Rose and are struggling to stay in the playoff picture. Derrick Rose will be back but it's now a question of will he be better than ever as he claims, or will his career go downhill along the path of the "could've been greats" like Jermaine O'Neal, T-Mac, Baron Davis, Yao Ming and the entire list of players whose careers were ruined by injuries. If so, now what? 
      There is no doubt that Derrick's style of play is going to have to change in to a sharp jump shooter if he comes back as a role player. Also, in order for the Bulls to go uphill in any way, somebody else has to emerge as a star or the chosen one must be acquired. This might be Carmelo Anthony the sharp shooting superstar from New York. In any worse case the Bulls get Nikola Mirotic, the Spanish prospect from the Euroleague, where he shoots a stunning 59.4% from beyond the arch, plus an amazing 72% field goal percentage! The Chicago Bulls's future could go in two directions, positive or negative, and as for now, we wait for #thereturnII . How do you think Derrick Rose's career will go from now and the Bulls' as well? Comment below.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Lets Get the Engine Running

Josh Smith (#6) complains about a foul call


The City of Detroit has won 3 championships, the last one not to long ago in 2004. With recent signing of Atlanta's star Josh Smith the Pistons are looking to at least make the playoffs. Smith however is not performing as expected. With only averaging 15 ppg, he has not been putting that much of an impact as the hype wanted him to be. 15 ppg is the lowest average since his rookie year of 9.9 ppg. Thats a problem. Ok, well Josh is a mostly defensive player. Well the numbers are not proving that either. He is averaging 6.6 rebounds per game. Again, another low other than his rookie season of 6.2 rpg. Honestly, I think the Pistons will make the playoffs this year, but they won't get past the first round.

Lets take a look at another 'star' of the Motor City. Unlike Josh, Andre Drummond is really improving. Completely obliterating his rookie season stats (7.9 ppg, 7.6 rpg), Drummond has really taken leadership of this emerging team. Now with average 13 ppg and 12.4 rpg, Im predicting this kid is going to be an All-Star sometime soon. He's already out stat-ing (if that a word) the supposed star of this team, Smith. The other big, Greg Monroe, is also putting some numbers in the bucket (14.6 ppg, 8.9 rpg), and it looks like this team is ready to become one of the endangered Foreward-Center run teams.

Well, we can't forget about the guy from next door, Brandon Jennings. The former starting Buck point guard has certainly made an impact on Motor City. With incredible passes and the ability to score on his own, Jennings has really taken the lead of his team. Averaging 17 ppg and 8.3 assists, he has really proved that he's got some fuel in him (see what I did there). Continuing the same stats from last year, Jennings is proving himself to be a great player, and maybe even an All-Star.

What are your thoughts on the Detroit Pistons? Let me know in the comments below!