Tag:Joakim Noah
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 19, 2010 12:30 pm
 

Each Conferences Biggest Surprise Team

The NBA’s biggest surprise team this season for both the Western and Eastern conference, brought to you by NBAPrimetime’s Brandon Ribak.

Western Conference

Utah Jazz

Although Jerry Sloan has yet to intake a big whiff of an NBA trophy in over a decade, his team has consistently made the postseason for the last four years in a row (winning at least 48 games during the regular season in that span).

This off-season the Utah Jazz obtained center Al Jefferson via trade, providing the team with a much more dominate inside threat on the defensive end as opposed to Carlos Boozer (career average of 1.2 BPG compared to Carlos Boozers’ 0.5 BPG).

Center Mehmet Okur is currently sidelined with an injury and has no timetable for a return. With Okur out, 25-year-old Paul Millsap will once again step into the starting power-forward role.

During the 08′-09′ regular season, Millsap averaged an impressive 18 points and 11 rebounds per game in 19 starts (with Boozer sidelined), achieving a double-double in each game.

The duo of Jefferson and Millsap should uplift the Jazz’s regular season win total up a few notches, but for a deep playoff run the team will look for the league’s top point-guard, Deron Williams, to quarterback the offense (Williams has posted at least 18.8PPG and 10.5 APG in each of his last three seasons).

Eastern Conference

Chicago Bulls

Even though the Chicago Bulls were never able to obtain Dwyane Wade, LeBron James or Chris Bosh this off-season, they were able to sign key players that should help make the team one of the top in the Eastern Conference this season.

Carlos Boozer (out until December) was a huge signing and will assume the power-forward duties for Chicago once he returns to the court.

Boozer gives the Bulls a stretch four forward who can knock down perimeter jumpers and rebound with the best of them.

Chicago also signed shooting-guards Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver this off-season.

Brewer is known for his perimeter defense and will match up against the top stars in the league for the Bulls.

Korver is one of the best sharp-shooters in the NBA and has the ability to absolutely light it up from downtown at virtually any moment during a game. Last season Korver shot an absurd 53.6 percent from three-point territory and the guard will look to shoot the same for Chicago this season.

Add Chicago’s off-season additions (along with their new head coach Tom Thibodeau) to a team composed of point-guard Derrick Rose, center Joakim Noah, and small-forward Luol Deng, and you’ve got yourself a roster destined to make a splash this season.

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: October 3, 2010 10:45 pm
 

Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls agree to extension

ESPN is reporting that the Chicago Bulls and starting center Joakim Noah have agreed in principle to a contract extension.

The reports state that the deal will be “in the neighborhood of $60 million.”

After an offseason swarmed with Carmelo Anthony rumors, the Chicago Bulls finally made a deal that was much needed.

Noah averaged 10.7 PPG and 11.0 RPG last season and continues to improves as he is just 25 years of age.

For more breaking news updates be sure to follow us 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 24, 2010 1:11 pm
Edited on: September 24, 2010 1:26 pm
 

NJ Nets, Carmelo Anthony deal coming along?

Update 1:17 PM 9/24- A proposed four-team deal is in the works. Denver would acquire New Jerseys Derrick Favors, Utah's Andrei Kirilenko, and multiple first-round picks. New Jersey's Devin Harris would get sent to Charlotte, and Bobcats forward Boris Diaw would be shipped to Utah.

According to Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski, the New Jersey Nets are in the process of putting together a multi-team trade in which Carmelo Anthony would be dealt to the Nets.

Although Anthony's top two destinations have been the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls, Wojnarowski states that Melo is growing more comfortable with the idea of signing a contract extension with New Jersey.

Meanwhile, Denver refuses to include Anthony in any trade scenario with the Chicago Bulls unless center Joakmin Noah is involved.

Nothing seems imminent as of yet, but a trade could be brewing within the next few days. 

The Nets seem determined to acquire Anthony before the start of training camp next week. They believe that their chances of obtaining the forward will drop once camp begins due to the influences of his teammates and head-coach.

NBA Primetime will keep you updated on all the breaking news updates, so be sure to follow us on twitter @_nbaprimetime


Posted on: September 10, 2010 11:25 am
Edited on: September 10, 2010 11:28 am
 

Chicago Bulls, Joakim Noah Working On Extension?

After the sudden Melo for Noah rumor broke out yesterday, it seems as if the Chicago Bulls priorities are facing the complete opposite direction.

Early this morning Marc Stein from ESPN reported that the Chicago front-office is working on a contract extension that would keep starting center Joakim Noah on the Bulls roster for the long term.

"The sides have been negotiating quietly for weeks and sources close to the process say that sufficient progress has been made -- although no deal is imminent -- to all but guarantee that terms on a five-year extension will be reached before the Halloween deadline."

"Noah is determined to stay in Chicago, one source assures, while the Bulls continue to send clear signals that they have no interest in parting with their center. Not even for someone of Anthony’s pedigree, as one source told ESPNChicago.com's Nick Friedell."

Putting yet another Carmelo Anthony rumor to rest, it's safe to say that Chicago fans have nothing to worry about when it comes to the 6'11" 25-year old out of Florida.

Noah averaged 10.7 PPG, 11.0 RPG (6th in NBA), and 1.6 BPG --all career-highs-- during last season.

With newly signed Carlos Boozer teamed up with Noah in the front-court, the Bulls have plenty to look forward to as the season nears.

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

Posted on: September 9, 2010 4:56 pm
Edited on: September 9, 2010 9:27 pm
 

Joakim Noah to Be Involved In Melo Deal?

ESPN has reported that the Bulls "are discussing internally whether to include Joakim Noah as part of the deal, according to a league source."

The article continues, stating that the Nuggets are reluctant to take on Luol Deng and his remaining four-year, $51 million contract (with the collective bargaining agreement expiring on June 30, 2011).

While Melo is now indeed on Chicago's radar, giving up the teams captain and undoubtedly their best defensive player in Joakim Noah doesn't seem like the wisest choice.

Unless the Bulls receive a legitimate starting center in return, the team would have to start either veteran Kurt Thomas at the five spot or rookie Omer Asik.

It doesn't seem likely that the Bulls would be willing to let go of Joakim Noah, especially after the team lead the league in rebounds per game and ranked second in blocks per game last season.

For more breaking news content from Brandon Ribak be sure to check outwww.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