Tag:Brooke Lopez
Posted on: October 22, 2010 1:12 pm
 

Top NBA Players Stepping Into Stardom This Season

The top NBA players stepping into stardom this season are players that have never made it to the All-Star game. These players performed exceptionally well last season and have the tools to lift their game to the next level this year.

With the NBA season quickly approaching, NBAPrimetime’s Brandon Ribak presents the top NBA players stepping into stardom this season.

Tyreke Evans (G, SAC)

If winning the Rookie of the Year Award isn’t enough to convince you that Tryeke Evans is destined to become an All-Star this season then maybe this little fun fact will.

Evans was one of only four players to ever average at least 20 PPG, 5 APG, and 5 RPG during his rookie season.

The other three?

Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James. Pretty good company, huh?

Being just 21 years of age, the Memphis alum has all the weapons in his arsenal to improve on last seasons statistics, making him a legitimate candidate for the All-Star selection.

Andrea Bargnani (C, TOR)

Andrea Bargnani was viewed as somewhat of a bust after being selected with the first overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft.

With averages of just 12.4 PPG, 4.3 RPG, and 0.8 BPG on 42.1 FG% during his first three years, it was reasonable for Raptors fans to get a bit concerned about their former first overall draft pick.

But after last seasons performance (17.2 PPG, 6.1 RPG, and 1.4 BPG on 47.0 FG%) and the departure of Chris Bosh this offseason, Bargnani has instantly become the face of the Toronto Raptors’ franchise.

Without Bosh taking up 20+ PPG and 10+ RPG, Bargnani’s stats will inevitably increase, giving him potential to average close to a double-double per night (with well above 20 points per contest).

Aaron Brooks (PG, HOU)

Aaron Brooks took home the Most Improved Player Award last season and rightfully so. The point-guard out of Oregon dropped 19.6 PPG, 5.3 APG, and 2.6 RPG in 82 games played.

He managed to lead the league in three-pointers made per game and drained the most three-pointers (209) in the entire NBA.

Brooks has officially become an upper echelon point-guard in the league and has the potential to continue to improve at the age of 25.

Brooke Lopez (C, NJN)

If you don’t know much about Brooke Lopez now, you certainly will after this upcoming season.

Lopez boasts career averages of 15.9 PPG, 8.4 RPG, and 1.7 BPG on 51.2 percent shooting from the field.

At the age of 22, the seven-footer is destined to improve on virtually every statistical category this season.

Last season Lopez posted just under 19 points and 9 rebounds per game, giving us a sign that a double-double per contest is well in reach.

The former Stanford Cardinal has proved very durable during his first two seasons in the league (failing to miss a game) and will be amongst the top centers in the Eastern Conference selected for the All-Star game this year.

Stephen Curry (PG, GS)

Many analysts doubted Stephen Curry and his potential due to his tiny 6’3″ and 183 lb. frame, boy were they wrong.

Curry finished his rookie campaign as one of the top candidates for the ROY award, averaging 17.5 PPG, 5.9 APG (led all rookies), 4.5 RPG, and 1.9 SPG (led all rookies) on 46.2 percent from the field, 43.7 percent from three-point territory, and 88.5 percent from the charity stripe.

Being just 22 years old, the sky is truly the limit for this young and upcoming point-guard.

Curry has potential to become a top five point-guard in the NBA this season with the chance to lead the league in steals per game, three-point shooting percentage, and/or free-throw percentage.

Joakim Noah (C, CHI)

Joakim Noah made a major leap last season when he grabbed down 11.0 rebounds per game (T-6th most in the NBA) along with 10.7 PPG and 1.6 BPG.

With the offseason signing of Carlos Boozer (out until December) Noah’s rebounds could take a hit, but his scoring and blocks per night should continue to rise.

The 25-year old has one of the top point-guards in the NBA in Derrick Rose and if he can manage to stay healthy for the duration of the season, the 6’11″ big man has the upside to emerge as one of the best centers in the league.

Kevin Love (PF, MIN)

Kevin Love ranked 14th in the NBA last season in double-doubles (36) and 10th amongst all big men.

The 6’10″ power-forward will have the opportunity to improve upon last seasons performance when he pulled down 11 rebounds per contest (T-6th best in the NBA) with starting center Al Jefferson shipped to the Utah Jazz.

Love has averaged just 26.7 minutes per game throughout his short two-year career and should see a major increase in playing time this season.

With more PT Love should be able to emerge as a top three rebounder in the NBA.

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: 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 25, 2010 2:02 am
 

Carmelo Anthony: Be Careful What You Wish For

The most exciting off-season NBA news since witnessing LeBron James flip his hometown the bird broke out yesterday.

Unlike LeBron, very few anticipated that Carmelo Anthony would switch jerseys this off-season, especially after winning 53 games last season and competing in the Western Conference Finals just two years ago.

The Nuggets consist of one of the leagues top point-guards, a deadly sharp-shooter, three big men defenders, and one of the NBA's most driven coaches.

With a recipe like that, one would think that all a superstar (like Carmelo Anthony) needed was the heart and determination to make a deep playoff run and win a championship, right?

Wrong.

Carmelo Anthony is so fed up with this Denver team that he has pushed for a trade to be made, preferably with him ending up in either New York or Chicago.

Out of his short list, the Nuggets have worked out a four-team deal that would send him to the New...

Nope, not the New York Knicks... worse, much worse.

The New Jersey Nets.

The team that managed to win a whopping 12 games last season, only three more victories than the worst record (9-73, Philadelphia 76ers 1972-73' season) in NBA history, which was accomplished nearly four decades ago.

Although the Nets won only a handful of games last season, they do have a solid future with a young star in Devin Harris and a potential stud in rookie Derrick Favors.

Too bad both players won't be a part of the Nets roster in 48 hours if and when Carmelo Anthony arrives in town.

Anthony came into this off-season with one goal in mind, and that goal was to get traded.

After forcing the issue for weeks (without thinking of the repercussions, cough, playing in New Jersey) Melo is now the one stuck in the hot seat.

It's now literally all in his hands.

The swing-man can throw the potential deal into the garbage and rejoin the team that made it to the Western Conference Finals just two seasons ago (and simply become a free-agent at seasons end) or convince himself that signing an extension with the New Jersey Nets--a team that greatly lacks the championship caliber mentality-- is a genius idea.

Maybe this scenario will be a lesson for superstars in the future, be careful what you wish for.

For more of Brandon's content be sure to check out NBAPrimetime.com and follow him on twitter @_nbaprimetime
Posted on: September 23, 2010 12:33 pm
 

Eastern Conference Q & A's: J-Wall to Win ROY?

The 2010-11′ NBA season is just 33 days, 7 hours, and 57 minutes away, but who’s counting?

With the season approaching faster then it took LeBron to make his “decision” thisoffseason, NBA Primetime presents to you a two-part series of Q and A’s, starting with the Eastern Conference.

Will the New Jersey Nets make the playoffs this season?

After recording a league worst 12-70 (.146) record for the 09-10 season, the New Jersey Netshead into the upcoming year with Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov as the new majority owner, Billy King as their General Manager, and Avery Johnson as their head-coach (with a revamped roster as well).

With Avery Johnson, the NBA’s fastest coach to win 150 wins, and a core composed of Devin HarrisTroy Murphy, and Brooke Lopez, the Nets have potential to completely turn things around this season.

Third overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft –Derrick Favors– has impressed Johnson thisoff-season and could make a major impact in New Jersey’s success this season.

Although the Nets are certainly a much better overall team, chemistry could emerge as a serious issue as only four players remain on the roster from just one season ago.

Will New Jersey make the playoffs this season? -No.

Will the No.1 overall pick John Wall capture the Rookie of the Year Award this season?

John Wall has received plenty of hype prior to and after being selected as this years No.1 overall draft pick.

With former Washington Wizards franchise player Gilbert Arenas anticipated to be the starting shooting-guard for the club, the concern will be whether J-Wall can post solid statistics alongside of Agent Zero.

In 34.8 MPG as a freshman, Wall posted 16.6 PPG, 6.5 APG, 4.3 RPG, and 1.8 SPG on 46.1 percent shooting from the field.

Five of Wall’s fellow Wildcat teammates were drafted in the first round of the 2010 NBA draft, providing enough evidence that Kentucky had an extremely productive roster.

Wall will certainly get his own as the starting point-guard of Washington. He will see ample playing time and should post averages along the line of 15 PPG and 5-7 APGwith over one steal per contest.

But is that enough to be crowned as the Rookie of the Year?

I think not.

The Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin is projected to average 16.3 PPG, 8.2RPG, 2.2 APG, and 1.2 BPG during the upcoming season (according to CBS).

After suffering an injury during preseason which forced Griffin to miss his entire rookie season last year, the forward is expected to be 100 percent healthy by the start of this season.

If Griffin can stay healthy, he will undoubtedly be crowned as the Rookie of the Year.

Will the Miami Heat break the Chicago Bulls’ 72-win season?

Heat fans are loving the anticipation while others are flat out sick of the hype.

The Heat are a team that is composed of players that you’d most likely find on a 12-year old’s 2K10 fantasy draft team.

And even though it still sounds absurd to this day that LeBron James and Chris Bosh are now apart of Dwyane Wade’s Miami Heat, to win 72 games in a single season is pushing it.

Regardless if the big trio manage to stay healthy for an entire season, the likelihood of Miami winning more than 72 games is slim to none.

It’s more likely for Brian Scalabrine –the red-headed forward who just signed with the Chicago Bulls– to win Most Improved Player of the Year this season.

Will Miami break the Chicago Bulls’ epic record this season? -No.

Can they win 65 plus games? -Definitely.

For more of Brandon’s content 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