Tag:Amare Stoudemire
Posted on: October 24, 2010 12:12 pm
 

NBA 2010: Breaking Out The Boldest Predictions

LeBron JamesKobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade,Dwight HowardKevin Durant.

Just typing and reading out loud the NBA’s top players names gets me pumped for the season.

After watching the USA team bring home the gold the only thing on my mind was the official start of the NBA season.

With tip-off roughly 56 hours away, NBAPrimetime’s Brandon Ribak presents the boldest predictions for the upcoming season.

NBA commentator Jeff Van Gundy voiced his predictions on the Miami Heat.

The former NBA coach had this to say about the team, “They will break the single-season win record [of 72]. And I think they have a legit shot at the Lakers’ 33-game [winning] streak [in 1971-72], as well. …They will never lose two games in a row this year.”

Analysis: While it would really be incredible to see Miami break Chicago’s epic 72-10 record, I don’t see it being a top priority for the Heat.

Even though the cast of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh have a better chance then any team in the league to break the record, it doesn’t seem likely to happen, especially since chemistry is still an issue.

The Heat will face off against the Orlando Magic (4 times), Boston Celtics (4 times), and the Los Angeles Lakers (2).

Although fully capable of doing so, even winning all 10 of those games seems unlikely as of right now.

Prediction: Miami exceeds 60+ wins for the first time since the 96′-97′ season.

ESPN’s NBA cast gave their playoff predictions and the New York Knicks‘ Eastern Conference seed average was a 7.5.

Analysis: Amare Stoudemire, Raymond Felton, Anthony Randolph, and TimofeyMozgov have the ability to uplift this Knicks team into playoff contention.

With the East’s top 6 already in place (Miami, Boston, Orlando, Chicago, Atlanta, Milwaukee, in no particular order), the Knicks have the opportunity to sneak in as the 7 or 8 seed for the playoffs.

Prediction: Unless Stoudemire falls to a serious injury, or a team like the Pacers and/or Wizards compile for an unpredicted amount of W’s, the Knicks have the talent to secure their first playoff spot in six years.

ESPN’s Chad Ford predicted that the Portland Trail Blazers “could” be the best team in the West this season.

Analysis: The Blazers locker room was seriously affected by the injury bug last season and the team still managed to win 50 games due to their massive amount of talent.

With a virtually healthy roster (with an exception to Greg Oden) Portland undoubtedly has the ability to emerge as a dominant powerhouse out in the West.

Portland has been known to give the Lakers a difficult time when matching up (Blazers went 2-1 against LA last season) and just the other day when Kobe Bryant was asked who is the toughest player for him to guard in the Western Conference, he stated,

“Roy 365 days, seven days a week. Roy has no weaknesses.”

Prediction: The Trail Blazers have the coaching, leadership, depth, and talent to become a top team in the West. If Oden can somehow remain durable once he returns from injury, Portland will have a chance to overthrow the Lakers in the playoffs.

For more of Brandon's content be sure to check out NBAPrimetime.com and follow him on twitter @_nbaprimetime
Posted on: October 15, 2010 12:32 pm
 

NBA's Top Players Destined For a Breakout Season

As the NBA season nears its debut, NBA Primetime’sBrandon Ribak breaks down the top players destined for a breakout this season.

J.J. Hickson (PF, CLE)

Last season J.J. Hickson posted 8.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in just 20.9 minutes per contest. With LeBron not around Hickson should be provided with plenty of minutes per game, giving him an opportunity to average close to a double-double every night.

At the age of 22, Hickson has potential to be a top candidate for the Most Improved Player of the Year Award, especially if he can remain healthy and produce with the ample amount of playing time given.

Anthony Randolph (PF/C, NYK)

The 6’11″ 21-year-old was a top name on this list just one season ago, but after playing just 33 regular season games and averaging a mere 22.7 MPG (due to Don Nelson) the athletic power-forward is getting the chance to make up for lost time in the New York Knicks run-and-gun system.

Randolph has extreme upside and has the arsenal to average a double-double on a nightly basis along with over a steal and block per game.

If Randolph can log starters minutes on a consistent basis, the young gun is capable of posting eye-popping statistics.

Brooke Lopez (C, NJN)

Lopez will look to build upon his sophomore season averages of 18.8 PPG, 8.7 RPG, and 1.7 BPG. Centers that can score, rebound, and defend efficiently are a rare commodity in the NBA and at the age of just 22, Lopez has the ability to emerge as a top two center in the league.

Considering that he has yet to miss a game throughout his two year career, with career shooting averages of 51.5 percent from the field and 81.0 percent from the charity stripe, Lopez has all the weapons necessary to emerge as an All-Star this season.

Jrue Holiday (PG, PHI)

In only 24.2 MPG last season, 20-year-old Jrue Holiday averaged 8.0 points, 3.8 assists, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game.

Holiday will enter the upcoming season as the Sixers’ starting point-guard, signaling that the former UCLA Bruins should be in for a breakout year.

We can expect Holiday to become a top leader in steals per game, along with an above average assist rate.

Robin Lopez (C, PHX)

With Amare Stoudemire out of the picture, Robin Lopez will be leaned upon to log heavy minutes for Phoenix at the center position.

While Robin Lopez certainly doesn’t have the same game as his brother Brooke, he does have the capability of averaging close to a double-double per game.

Starters minutes with Steve Nash as your point-guard is the recipe for a breakout season for any big man.

For more of Brandon's content be sure to check out NBAPrimetime.com and follow him on twitter @_nbaprimetime
Posted on: October 7, 2010 2:09 pm
Edited on: October 7, 2010 9:34 pm
 

Top Five Offseason Acquiring Impact Players

If you’re even a casual NBA fan, you know just how crazy of an offseason the league has had over the last few months.

From Atlanta re-signing Joe Johnson to an offseason highest $126 million deal, all the way to Shaquille O’Neal signing a veteran minimum contract with the Boston Celtics.

NBA Primetime’s Brandon Ribak breaks down the top five acquired players this offseason (excluding re-signings) that will have the biggest impact towards their new teams.

5. David Lee (C, GSW)

After being only one of two players in the NBA to average 20+ PPG and 11+ RPG last season, New York Knicks center David Lee agreed to a sign-and-trade in which he was shipped to Golden State.

Lee led the league in double-doubles during the 08′-09′ season and ranked fourth during last season.

The 27-year old will provide the Warriors with a sure fire double-double threat night in and night out with potential to improve on his career-high stats from last season.

Although the Warriors don’t have much of a chance to contend for a playoff seed this season, adding Lee, in addition to a new owner and head-coach, could be a sign of good things to come.

4. Amare Stoudemire (PF, NYK)

After eight long years with the Phoenix Suns , Amare Stoudemire signed a $100 million contract with the New York Knicks this offseason.

Stoudemire gives the Knicks a dominant threat on the offensive end of the court who has already proven to excel in his former head-coaches system of play.

During the D’Antoni reign in Phoenix, Stoudemire put together career-highs in PPG, FG%, RPG, and BPG.

With a solid core around the power-forward, Stoudemire should have no problem inflating his overall averages during the upcoming season and for years to come.

3. Al Jefferson (PF/C, UTA)

The Utah Jazz spent no time seeking another big man after unrestricted free-agent Carlos Boozer decided to sign with the Chicago Bulls .

Within five days of Boozer’s announcement, the Jazz already agreed in principle to acquire Al Jefferson from the Minnesota Timberwolves .

Jefferson boasts averages of 20.4 PPG and 10.5 RPG over the last three seasons with the Timberwolves (.243 win percentage over that span).

Big Al will be competing for a playoff spot for the first time in his six year career and while he most likely won’t convert his 20 and 10 averages over to his new team, he should be able to produce solid all-around stats (especially with D-Will feeding him the rock).

2. Carlos Boozer (PF, CHI)

Carlos Boozer decided to sign with the Chicago Bulls this offseason after spending the last six years with the Utah Jazz .

Boozer supplies Chicago with a much needed power-forward who can produce on the offensive end of the floor and grab rebounds on the defensive side.

Paired up with Joakim Noah , these big men give the Bulls one of the best front-court duo’s in the league.

With point-guard Derrick Rose blossoming into an even better player, center Joakim Noah continuing to make a name for himself amongst the elite big men in the league, and the acquiring of Carlos Boozer , the Bulls have all the weapons needed to contend for a championship.

1. LeBron James /Chris Bosh (SF/PF-MIA)

LeBron James ‘ presence on the court instantly uplifts the Miami Heat into championship contention.

Teamed up with Wade and Bosh, the Heat have undoubtedly the most talented trio in all of the NBA.

James gives the Heat a born leader (who is salivating for his first title) that can distribute the rock and virtually do anything on the court.

Bosh provides Miami with a big man that can dominate the boards and knock down perimeter jumpers from all around the basket.

Many believe that the Heat have weaknesses at the point-guard and center position, but with the trio on the court, anything will be possible for Miami this season.

For more of Brandon's content be sure to check out NBAPrimetime.com and follow him on twitter @_nbaprimetime
Posted on: September 30, 2010 1:11 pm
 

NBA 2010 Eastern Conference Preseason Rankings

The 2010 NBA season is just around the corner and boy oh boy did we have one heck of an offseason.

From LeBron taking his talents to South Beach, to Shaq joining the Boston Celtics , to Amare Stoudemire joining the Knickerbockers, to Joe Johnson signing the offseasons fattest contract, this historic offseason will surely be one that goes down in the record books.

But enough of who went where. Let’s get into NBA Primetime’s official Eastern Conference Preason Rankings.

1. Miami Heat - Last season record (47-35)

Is too much star-power a bad thing? Miami boasts three of the top players in the league on their roster. Doubters believe a mixture of ego and chemistry could crumble this three-head monster (LeBoshade), but until then they enter as the team to beat in the East.

2. Orlando Magic - Last season record (59-23)

Shifting Rashard Lewis to his natural small-forward position will allow forwards Brandon Bass and Ryan Anderon to showcase their unseen talents. Bass will inevitably emerge as a beast in the paint while Anderson will arise as one of the leagues top three-point shooters. Oh yea, Orlando also has a 24-year-old Dwight Howard and Vince Carter , who’s itching to prove his worth after a disappointing season.

3. Boston Celtics - Last season record (50-32)

It’s tough to ever rule out Boston, regardless of how many gray hairs Garnett, both O’Neal’s, and Allen would have if they weren’t bald. Injuries continue to be the teams biggest concern, but with enough depth at the four and five spot the Celtics should be in for another deep playoff run.

4. Chicago Bulls - Last season record (41-41)

After leading the league in RPG and ranking second in BPG (during the regular season) last year, the Bulls acquired Carlos Boozer this offseason to provide the team with a dominate power-forward. The Bulls are young, talented, and deep with a new head-coach. What more can you ask for?

5. Milwaukee Bucks - Last season record (46-36)

Milwaukee surprised us all last year, winning the most regular season games (46) since the 2000-01′ season. With young gun Brandon Jennings leading the way, along with John Salmons , Corey Maggette (currently injured), Andrew Bogut, and Drew Gooden , the Bucks have the talent to rise as a top 5 team in the East.

6. Atlanta Hawks - Last season record (53-29)

It’s funny how Atlanta gives $126 million to Joe Johnson and somehow they drop in rankings. The Hawks have the same core with virtually the same roster as last season. Reigning Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford continues to seek an extension, so keep tabs on just how well he plays this season if he fails to get one.

7. New York Knicks - Last season record (29-53)

Even though New York failed to acquire LeBron, they made a few impressive offseason moves that should land them in the postseason since who knows when. Amare Stoudemire will easily adjust to his former coach’s run-and-gun offense, while newcomers Raymond Felton and Anthony Randolph should quickly begin to excel in it. Knick fans are pumped for the upcoming season and for once, they should be.

8. Philadelphia 76ers - Last season record (27-55)

Head-coach Doug Collins should be able to turn this Sixers team (that won only 27 games last season) around this year. Jrue Holiday will start at the point and should emerge as one of the league leaders in steals. Spencer Hawes will get his opportunity to shine in a new light and rookie Evan Turner could make a case for the Rookie of the Year Award.

9. Washington Wizards - Last season record (26-56)

With John Wall and Gilbert Arenas penciled in as Washington’s backcourt duo, it wouldn’t come to a surprise if this team quickly becomes a serious threat in the East. Height and depth will ultimately be the Wizards’ weakness and that solely could be the reason why they miss the postseason.

10. Charlotte Bobcats - Last season record (44-38)

After making it to the playoffs for the first team in team history, Charlotte decided to let go of both their starting point-guard and center this offseason. 33-year old Nazr Mohammed will most likely start at the five spot with D.J. Augustin assuming the point-guard duties. Unless Darius Miles gets signed to the roster and somehow becomes a top player in the league, this Bobcats team is in for a downfall.

11. New Jersey Nets - Last season record (12-70)

Anything the Nets do this season will be considered a success due to their horrific 12-70 record last year. Devin Harris , Troy Murphy , and Brooke Lopez sound like a great core on paper, and if Derrick Favors could unleash the beast the Nets could make a run for a playoff spot. Don’t forget, New Jersey is still in the race to acquire Carmelo Anthony .

12. Indiana Pacers - Last season record (32-50)

Indiana hit the jackpot acquiring point-guard Darren Collison this offseason. Throw him into the starting lineup with Danny Granger and Roy Hibbert and you’ve got yourself a pretty decent core. It’ll take time before Indiana makes an appearance in the postseason, but they’re surely on the right path to success.

13. Detroit Pistons - Last season record (27-55)

Injuries plagued the Pistons last season and with Tracy McGrady on the roster, the injury bug could devastate this team once again. Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva will definitely improve after a terrible first year with Detroit and young guns Rodney Stuckey and Greg Monroe should be able to shine this season.

14. Toronto Raptors - Last season record (40-42)

Losing Chris Bosh will force this Raptors team to be entered in the draft lottery for years to come. Andrea Bargnani will lead the team in PPG, and Linas Kleiza is lined up to be in the race for the Most Improved Player Award. Aside from that, the Raptors will end the season near the bottom of the totem pole.

15. Cleveland Cavaliers - Last season record (61-21)

It’s truly crazy how one team could go from leading the league in wins (back-to-back seasons) to ranking dead last in their conference. LeBron James did it all for the Cavaliers and now being in a state of LeBron-less, this team is more likely to re-acquire James then make the postseason.


Posted on: September 18, 2010 8:04 pm
Edited on: September 18, 2010 8:10 pm
 

Phoenix Suns 2010-11 Season Preview

Phoenix Suns

Last Season's Record: 54-28 (.659), Third in West

2010-11 Season Record Prediction43-39 (.524)

Team Strengths 

The Phoenix Suns shook up their roster a bit this offseason, acquiring forward Hedo Turkoglu via trade, and Josh Childress and Hakim Warrick in free agency.

Head-coach Alvin Gentry described Turkoglu as a multiple-position player, stating that he could play basically every position on the court.

The Suns will be at their best during the season when Turkoglu is facilitating the offense and distributing the rock to Phoenix's sharp-shooters (with Nash sometimes playing the two spot). 

Phoenix shot an outstanding 41.2 percent from three-point territory last season (the highest shooting percentage in a season since the 96'-97' NBA season) and will produce similar averages in that department this year.

Putting points on the board will not be a problem for the Suns (lead the league in PPG for the last two seasons), but they'll have to figure out a way to defend efficiently on the other end of the floor.

Team Weaknesses

After falling short to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals last season, it's safe to say that the Phoenix Suns will not get another shot at redemption this season.

Losing Amare Stoudemire was a major blow this offseason and while STAT wasn't the best defender in the paint for the Suns, he grabbed 9 RPG and just around 1 BPG for the team last season.

Without Stoudemire the Suns go from legitimate contenders in the West to a team that will fight for a seventh or eighth seed come playoff time (if lucky enough).

While Turkoglu and Childress are both solid pick-ups for Phoenix, their impact on the court simply won't match up to Stoudemire's. 

For more of Brandon's content be sure to check out www.NBAPrimetime.com and follow him on twitter @_nbaprimetime

 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com