Archive for February, 2012

Legitmate Contenders to win the 2012 NBA Championship: Part I

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Where is your favourite team in the race to win this year’s League Championship?

Ranking the Legitimate Contenders 

to Win the NBA Championship

[as of Mon-Feb-06-2012]

Team PDR PAR RDR QR QIR WCR ECR
Bulls 2 3 1 6 1 1
Lakers 12 5 2 19 2 1
Pacers 10 4 9 23 T-3 T-2
Heat 3 16 4 23 T-3 T-2
76ers 1 1 23 25 5 4
Blazers 4 10 12 26 T-6 T-2
Thunder 5 17 4 26 T-6 T-2
Hawks 7 7 15 29 8 5
Spurs 8 12 15 35 T-9 4
Celtics 9 2 24 35 T-9 6
Mavericks 11 6 19 36 T-11 5
Magic 16 8 12 36 T-11 7
Timberwolves 15 18 6 39 13 6
Rockets 14 20 6 40 14 7
Nuggets 6 25 10 41 T-15 T-8
Hornets 24 11 6 41 T-15 T-8
Grizzlies 17 9 17 43 17 10
Cavaliers 22 22 3 47 18 8
Clippers 12 24 12 48 19 11
Knicks 18 14 19 51 20 9
Jazz 18 23 11 52 21 12
Raptors 25 13 18 56 22 10
Bucks 20 15 27 62 23 11
Pistons 28 19 21 68 24 12
Suns 23 20 26 69 25 13
Nets 26 26 22 74 26 13
Warriors 21 28 30 79 27 14
Kings 27 30 25 82 28 15
Wizards 29 27 29 85 29 14
Bobcats 30 29 28 87 30 15
LEGEND: PDR – Points Differential Rankng; PAR – Points Allowed Ranking; RDR – Rebounding Differential Ranking; QR – Quality Rating [i.e. PDR + PAR + RDR = QR; QIR – Quality Index Rating [i.e. QR ranking from 1-30]; WC – Western Conference Ranking; Eastern Conference Ranking.

Related:

What it takes to win the NBA Championship

The day after the Super Bowl …

Monday, February 6th, 2012

In an effort to achieve a specific goal in life, it is always difficult to try one’s very best and still come up short.

What distinguishes an authentic champion in life from everyone one else isn’t their ability to emerge victorious from the battlefield every time but, rather, their willingness to get up and start again every time after they have been beaten to the ground when non-champions would, in fact, on occasion, choose to stay down.

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If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise; 

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

By Rudyard Kipling

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Simple words to live by with significant meaning for those who elect to compete in the arena.

Delicate balance of terror

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

On occasion, in this life …

There comes a time when you have to plant your feet, stand firm, and make a point about who you are.” – Leon Riley [Pat Riley's father]

because the simple fact is …

and the real joy comes from doing what you believe is right, both, for you …

and

for others

even

in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, and the opinions of countless other so-called experts.

Khandor’s Sports Service, Super Bowl XLVI Selection

For this little corner of the ethernet, today just happens to be one of those occasions. :-)

Benchmark game for Toronto Raptors

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

What is really at stake in tonight’s Raptors vs Wizards match-up?

This is what the current standings look like in the NBA.

12. Toronto Raptors, 7-16, .304
13. Washington Wizards, 4-18, .182

Given that these 2 teams have already played each other one time this season:

Game 1, Tue Jan 10, in Washington, [Toronto, L]

and that they will be playing 2 more times after this evening:

Game 2, Fri Feb 03, in Toronto
Game 3, Mon Feb 06, in Washington
Game 4, Sun Apr 01, in Toronto

… there is actually more than a good chance that the loser of tonight’s game will eventually finish this season as one of the 5 worst teams in the league and, therefore, secure a relatively high selection in the 2012 NBA Draft Lottery.

To wit …

If you happen to be a die-hard Raptors fan who:

i. Is happy that Toronto had the good fortune to acquire Jonas Valanciunas [C] with the No. 5 [overall] Selection in the 2011 NBA Draft Lottery;

and,

ii. Actually wants to see your favourite team be able to eventually develop into a legitimate contender to win a League Championship, sometime in the not-too-distant future;

then, you best be cheering hard this evening for a victory … by the visiting Wizards … so Toronto actually improves its chances of adding Harrison Barnes [G/F] to its roster next season, as well.

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PS. As difficult as it may seem, sometimes in life it really is most important that one goes “backwards”, temporarily, so that one can eventually go “forwards”, again, in a way which authentically significant.

Correct way to deal with trade demands from up-coming free agents in the NBA

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

There are many good reasons this little corner of the net has long held that Jerry West deserves to be placed in an exalted category among NBA General Managers:

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Last season it was Carmelo Anthony. This season it’s Dwight Howard. Players who hold the threat of walking as a free agent over a team to force a trade to a destination they prefer.

Jerry West wants none of it. He says teams should call the player’s bluff — make him leave the money on the table to walk away.

The legendary player and long-time league GM of the Lakers and Grizzlies (and current Golden State minority owner and team consultant) was asked in interviews on ESPN Radio in Los Angeles how he would handle such a situation if it were his team.

“I honestly think I’d call their bluff,” West said in an interview on 710 ESPN’s Mason and Ireland show Thursday, not mentioning Howard specifically. “I really would, because I don’t think any agent or player is going to leave $30 million on the table. I just don’t believe that’s going to happen….”

“If I were an executive on a team where a player says he’s going to leave, let him leave,” West said on 710 ESPN’s Max and Marcellus show earlier Thursday. “It would be better than saddling yourself with a bunch of players that are not going to fit in to what you’re trying to do — high-salaried players, in many cases overpaid players by today’s standards, that would burden you going forward.

“I’d almost rather start over again myself. You’re not going to replace that player, but there’s an enormous penalty there and it looks like to me like the inmates are running the asylum if you let that happen.”

Jerry West just became very popular in Orlando.

West has always been a risk taker and his strategy comes with one big risk — that the player isn’t bluffing and would leave. Meaning the franchise gets nothing. Maybe West would rather just start over, but if you hold out like Denver did (and find an owner like James Dolan who caves to work with) you can get a fair amount of talent back.

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The most important of which involves a specific perspective on the game of life that transforms negatives into positives, at all costs.

i.e. When a free agent leaves your team it is simply not the case that, “The franchise gets nothing [in return].” The simple facts are that: i) The franchise actually gets the Salary Cap space formerly associated with the departing player to use as it sees fit going forward; and, ii) The departing free agent gets to sign an employment contract with a new team worth $30.0 M less than he could have received from his former team.

If someone says that they no longer wish to work with you, or your team, then, once their present contract expires, you should simply wish them well and allow them to leave, so that you are in position to continue moving forward without them.

It really isn’t about the playing bluffing games at all.

What it’s really about is the important difference between: a) Being a Winner; and, b) Being a Loser.

The correct answer to the key question about the 76ers …

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

is that:

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Justin Kubatko, of Basketball-Reference, doesn’t mess around with numbers. He doesn’t get all excited about things that don’t matter. And the other day in The New York Times he wrote:

There have been 38 teams in N.B.A. history with a point differential of at least plus-10.0 points a game through their first 18 games. The median winning percentage of those teams was .753, which translates to 49.7 wins over a 66-game season. Additionally, 24 of those teams advanced to the N.B.A. finals, with 19 claiming the championship.

In short, mediocre teams do not go on extended runs in which they routinely outscored opponents by double-digit margins. If history serves as a guide, Philadelphia is a contender.

In other words, there are interesting numbers to suggest the Sixers are even money to win the title this year. Which is one nutty thing to suggest.

On the other hand, half the teams that have started this hot in NBA history did not win the title. And there is good reason to suspect these Sixers may fall into that category. They have played just about the easiest schedule in the NBA. When they have played the power teams on the road they have generally lost — at Portland, at Utah, at New York, and badly at Miami. They have also lost at home to the Nuggets and (gulp) Nets.

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Unfortunately, Philadelphia is not yet a legitimate contender to win the NBA Championship this season … since there are 5 teams in the Eastern Conference with more overall talent on their roster.

Although Philadelphia is a much better team than many so-called “NBA experts” may have erroneously projected in the off and/or pre season, in reality, this team is also not nearly as good as the number-crunchers might try to tell you it is, at this point in the season, based on their marginal of victory to-date … and, until the 76ers actually have Top 4 talent on their roster, they should not ever be considered as one of the few legitimate contending teams in the hunt for the NBA Championship in a given season, at least, by an authentic NBA expert.

Addition of Przybilla would secure NBA Championship for Miami Heat

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

As of today, the odds to win this year’s NBA Championship look like this.

However …

If there is one player who is currently on the open market that Pat Riley SHOULD try to add to his existing squad, in order to ensure that his team has the best opportunity possible to win this year’s NBA Championship, it is none other than …

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Miami Heat extend contract offers to Kenyon Martin, Joel Przybilla

The Heat have offered contracts to both Joel Przybilla and Kenyon Martin, their agents told ESPN.com. Przybilla is expected to make a choice between the Chicago Bulls and Heat, according to agent Bill Duffy. Martin is interested in several teams, with the Heat in the mix, according to agent Andy Miller.

The Sporting News reported Wednesday that Przybilla is planning to make a choice by the end of the week.

Heat president Pat Riley has been recruiting both players as the Heat look to add depth to their frontcourt. According to multiple league executives, the belief is that the 7-foot-1 Przybilla is healthy and believes he can contribute to a contender in a limited role off the bench.

Przybilla played in 36 games for the Portland Trail Blazers and Charlotte Bobcats last season, averaging 1.8 points and 4.0 rebounds.

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Joel Przybilla [C, 7-1, 259].

It says here and now that … if Mr. Przybilla is indeed 100% healthy, once again, and in position to play regular minutes, as a highly effective role player, either, as a “starter” or a “key sub” coming off the bench, then … the Miami Heat will win the NBA Championship this season, and the mere possibility of still getting them at odds of 5-2 is, in fact, a huge value investment.