Tag:Los Angeles Lakers
Posted on: October 26, 2010 1:24 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2010 1:26 pm
 

NBA Primetime's 'Opening Game' Power Rankings

NBAPrimetime's Brandon Ribak presents the "Opening Game" installment of his NBA 2010-11 Power Rankings.

Be sure to check out his Western Conference's Preseason Power Rankings and Eastern Conference's Preseason Power Rankings.

RK= Ranking

REC= Last season record
Team                                     RK                        REC         SUMMARY


1Lakers57-25The defending champs kick off the season on top of the NBA. The addition of Blake and Barnes will improve the teams bench, giving the Lakers an even better chance of three-peating.
2Celtics50-32A healthy KG, a 24-year-old Rondo, plus Allen, Pierce, and the offseason signings of both O'Neals place the reigning Eastern Conference champs one up on the Miami Heat.
3Heat47-35Chemistry and injuries are Miami's two major concerns entering the upcoming season. If LeBron, Wade, and Bosh can put those worries to rest, expect the Heat to shoot up in the rankings.
4Magic59-23Unlike the East's other two powerhouse teams (Miami and Boston), the Magic had a rather quiet offseason. Don't be surprised if their roster looks quite different by the February trade deadline.
5Thunder50-32KD and Co. gave LA a major scare during the first round of the postseason and they will certainly look to do so again. The teams young core should uplift the Thunder to a 50+ win season.
6Jazz53-29D-Will will have his hands full feeding Jefferson and Millsap in the paint, but the team will have to start playing better on the road if they want a shot at the title.
7Mavericks55-27Dallas' roster always looks stacked on paper. Maybe this year that talent can translate into a NBA trophy.
8Spurs50-32Parker is back to full strength and Duncan still has enough in the tank to play efficiently and give his Spurs dynasty one last go.
9Trail Blazers50-32Portland fans know just how good this team can be and this season the Blazers will finally prove it. Fingers are crossed for Oden to stay healthy.
10Bulls41-41Losing Boozer for a few months could cut into the amount of W's that Chicago was predicted to win when they first acquired the forward. Regardless, the team is young, well-coached and very, very talented.
11Bucks46-36The Bucks will have yet another successful season, but defeating any of the Eastern powerhouses is out of the question.
12Rockets42-40Yao's back, but he is only projected to play roughly 20 MPG. The combo of Aaron Brooks and Kevin Martin is very appealing, enough for them to be ranked as high as they currently are.
13Hawks53-29Hawks must believe that Joe Johnson will take them far this season or they wouldn't have given him his $126 million contract, right?
14Nuggets53-29Melo is as good as gone by the trade deadline. Once a deal goes through the Nuggets will go from a top Western team to a thing of the past.
15Suns54-28Nash still has it and the offseason acquiring of Turkoglu, Childress, and Warrick should help. But lets face it, Stoudemire was a major loss.
16Knicks29-53New York will put themselves back on the map this season once they make the playoffs for the first time in 6 years. A first round exit should be considered a success, that's unless they acquire Melo mid-season.
17Wizards26-56If you haven't hopped onto the John Wall bandwagon yet then you definitely should. The combo of Wall and Arenas could prove to be deadly, but many questions arise regarding to the former Agent Zero.
18Grizzlies40-42Could an undefeated preseason be a sign of great things to come for Memphis? Probably not, but they definitely should be able to build upon last seasons 40-42 performance.
19Clippers29-53Blake Griffin's beastly self added to a potential breakout season from Baron Davis could place the Clippers in position to compete for a playoff spot.
20Hornets37-45A healthy CP3 could bring any team to the postseason. Add Trevor Ariza and newly acquired Jerryd Bayless to the mix and the Hornets already look destined for a bounce back year.
21Bobcats44-38Charlotte lost their starting point-guard and center this offseason. Forward Gerald Wallace posted career numbers last season and most likely will never average 10+ rebounds per game again.
2276ers27-55Jrue Holiday will enter the spotlight this season and Evan Turner should post solid numbers if all goes well. A playoff spot is possible, but unlikely.
23Pacers32-50Acquiring Darren Collison will undoubtedly help the Pacers snap out of their consecutive playoff absence, just not this season.
24Warriors26-56A backcourt filled with talent, plus a new frontcourt composed of one of the leagues top rebounders (plus a new head coach) will help the Warriors win 5-10 more games this season.
25Nets12-70The Nets are really a new team this season. They have a new coach, a new owner, a new starting power-forward, and a potential monster in Derrick Favors.
26Pistons15-67Detroit battled tons of injuries last season. Their major investments in Ben Gordon and Charlie V should be able to pay (half) off this season, that's if they both can stay healthy.
27Kings25-57Sacramento got off to a hot start last season. The team is loaded with young talent, led by ROY Tyreke Evans. If all goes well, they should notch close to 40 wins this season.
28Timberwolves15-67Michael Beasley thinks Minnesota is the team to beat this season. If they can capture 20+ wins this season I'll consider it a successful year for the Wolves.
29Raptors40-42Losing Bosh drops Toronto to the bottom of the totem, along with the Cavaliers. Unless Bargnani can average close to 30 PPG (even then it probably won't help much), the Raptors are far from making another playoff appearance anytime soon.
30Cavaliers61-21Cleveland will attempt to move on from the LeBron-era. Appearing in just 2 national games this season will make the Cavaliers less popular than a high-school girls volleyball team.

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 14, 2010 1:26 pm
 

Could Miami win a Ship without one of their stars

The Big Three, Miami Thrice, LeBoshade, Miami Vice…the superhero list goes on.

But after watching Dwyane Wade fall to injury during the first three minutes of the Miami Heat‘s (massively over-hyped) first preseason game, it’s time for reality to settle in.

No matter how bad fans would like to convince themselves that LeBron, Wade, and Bosh are dispensable immortals, at the end of the day these guys are humans just like each and everyone of us.

What would happen if one of the big three fell short to a season (and playoff) ending injury?

Would the other two superstars be able to carry their team to the promise land and capture a championship trophy?

James and Wade

Without Chris Bosh the Miami Heat would be severely undersized. Udonis Haslemwould most likely slide into the starting four spot (unless LeBron decided to step up and play the power-forward position).

While both James and Wade’s scoring averages would quickly increase, the Heat as a team would struggle on the boards.

Come playoff time, the Magic and Celtics would provide mismatches to their advantage due to the plethora of big men on both of their rosters.

Would the Heat win a championship without Chris Bosh?- No.

Wade and Bosh

Miami would place Mike Miller at the starting small-forward position without LeBron James on the court.

Losing LeBron would instantly put a serious load of work right back onto DwyaneWade’s shoulders (just like in the previous seasons).

Without James around to control Miami’s offensive scheme, Wade and Chalmers would be forced to split time bringing up the ball.

For every turnover Mario Chalmers averaged just two assists last season (good enough for 34th best out of leagues point-guards).

Subtract James from this Miami Heat team and they don’t seem too big and bad after all.

Would the Heat win a championship without LeBron James?- No.

James and Bosh

If the Heat were going to have any chance at winning the championship without one of their superstars it would be without Dwyane Wade.

Sound crazy? Well, it’s not!

The duo of James and Bosh are much stronger than the other two combinations listed above.

While talent-wise James and Wade would create a headache for any team that they match up against, they would also lack the legitimate big man needed to secure the paint on both ends of the court.

Similar to how James never had a top-tier power-forward in Cleveland, it wouldn’t be possible for Wade and James to pass through Orlando, Boston, and the Lakers come playoff time if they lack size.

Without Wade on the court LeBron would still be able to play his game while making his teammates better simultaneously.

With Mike Miller at the starting shooting-guard position, James would have the leisure of attacking the basket and dishing the rock out to various three-point shooting threats.

With Bosh being the versatile big man that he is, James would be able to feed the former Toronto Raptor in the paint and all around the perimeter on the offensive end of the court.

Would the Heat win a championship without Dwyane Wade?- Yes.

For more of Brandon's content be sure to check out NBAPrimetime.com and follow him on twitter @_nbaprimetime
Posted on: October 9, 2010 1:30 pm
Edited on: October 9, 2010 1:46 pm
 

Western Conference Q&A's: Lakers To Three-Peat?

The 2010-11′ NBA season is just 17 days, 6 hours, and 54 minutes away, but who’s counting?

With the season approaching faster then it took LeBron to make his “decision” this offseason, NBA Primetime presents to you the second part of a two-part series of Q and A’s, Western Conference style.

Can Kevin Durant lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Western Conference Finals?

Last season the Thunder exceeded expectations, finishing the regular season with a 50-32 record, good enough for the eighth seed in the Western Conference.

After an intense battle against the Los Angeles Lakers (which would’ve went to a final Game Seven if LA’s Pau Gasol failed to make a last second tip-in) Oklahoma City’s run ended as quick as it began.

During that first round series the Thunder, led by scoring champion Kevin Durant , officially emerged as an uprising threat in the Western Conference.

Unless the Thunder finish as the fourth, fifth, or eighth seed during the upcoming season (NBA Primetime predicts them to end the season as the two seed ) –in which they would face the Lakers during either round prior to the WCF– they should have no problem making their way to the Conference Finals.

While the team lacks playoff experience, they create mismatch problems against their opponents, ultimately giving them an advantage come postseason time.

Are the Portland Trail Blazers the biggest threat to the Los Angeles Lakers ?

ESPN Insider’s Ric Bucher and Chris Broussard recently debated about who the biggest threat to the Los Angeles Lakers are.

After going back and forth Broussard ended the debate with this statement.

“Everyone besides the Lakers is a long shot to win the West, but if L.A. falls, it’ll be Portland, not OKC, that picks up the torch.”

Is it true?

Just a few seasons ago the Portland Trail Blazers sat in the same shoes of the Oklahoma City Thunder . They were the young team of the future composed of a roster flooded with talent.

After a couple of major injuries and front-office firings, the Blazers sit as the sixth best team in the West (according to ESPN’s Marc Stein ) trailing behind teams like the Jazz and the Spurs.

The Blazers will undoubtedly be a top defensive team this season, especially after extending Marcus Camby’s contract and signing Wesley Matthews this offseason.

In addition, lanky Nicholas Batum will get the opportunity to prove his worth at the small-forward position, while Miller, Roy, and Aldridge will look to carry their team deep into the postseason.

On the flip-side, center Greg Oden has already been ruled out of preseason action (with no timetable for a return), and shooting-guard Rudy Fernandez seems to want out of the league.

If the Blazers could prevent the injury bug from entering the teams locker room this season, and Greg Oden can return to full strength come playoff time, Portland will definitely be a threat in the West, just not the biggest threat to the Lakers.

Will the Los Angeles Lakers make a three-peat this season?

The Lakers offseason signings of Steve Blake, Matt Barnes, and Theo Ratliff vastly improves the teams bench (in comparison to the seasons before).

LA will end the season as the top seed in the West, but injury problems are still a concern.

Andrew Bynum is expected to miss the first month of the season and could be sidelined until December. Although Pau Gasol will switch to the five spot and Lamar Odom will take over the power-forward position, the Lakers desperately need Bynum if they want to win the championship this season.

So will the Lakers make a three-peat this season?

It’s tough to predict right now, but if Bynum can return and stay healthy for the long haul of the playoffs, then there is no reason why they can’t make a three-peat.

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

Posted on: October 5, 2010 12:24 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2010 12:27 pm
 

NBA 2010 Western Conference Preseason Rankings

The Western Conference has been the most dominate conference in the NBA for years, but after an off-season filled with transactions, that power has now shifted to the East.

Will the West, and by West I mean the Los Angeles Lakers, be able to make a three-peat this season?

Let’s cut to the chase to find out.

NBA Primetime’s Western Conference Preseason Rankings

1. Los Angeles Lakers- Last season record (57-25)

The back-to-back defending champs just so happened to improve on its only weakness this off-season, the bench. Steve Blake and Matt Barnes should provide the Lakers with plenty of spark off of the bench, keeping LA on top of the West until proven otherwise.

2. Oklahoma City Thunder- Last season record (50-32)

Kevin Durant has officially entered super-stardom in the NBA, but the rest of Oklahoma City’s roster must step up if they want any chance at rising to the one seed in the West. Regardless, the Thunder have a young core with massive upside (which is why they rank where they currently do).

3. Dallas Mavericks- Last season record (55-27)

Dallas is stacked with seven-footers, high-profiled players, and a franchise player who signed a contract extension this offseason. The Mavericks always enter every season as one of the elite teams in the West, but a strong playoff run is never definite.

4. San Antonio Spurs- Last season record (50-32)

The championship core is still intact, although a serious decline is approaching for Tim Duncan. The Spurs have assembled a solid group of youngsters (Hill, Blair, Splitter) over the years and it seems like their opportunity to step up is looming.

5. Denver Nuggets- Last season record (53-29)

With Carmelo Anthony still apart of the Nuggets roster (at least until the trade deadline), Denver will remain as a top competitor in the West. George Karl is back, Al Harrington will fill in for Kenyon Martin, and if everything goes well, the Nuggets should clinch another 50-win season.

6. Portland Trail Blazers- Last season record (50-32)

Both Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge are tippy-toeing into their prime and if 22-year-oldGreg Oden can manage to stay healthy for an entire season (unlikely), the Blazers have the weapons (Wesley Matthews, Marcus Camby, Andre Miller) to make a run for the title.

7. Utah Jazz- Last season record (53-29)

Al Jefferson was a great addition to the team, especially after Carlos Boozer decided to sign with the Bulls. The Jazz have talent, but it seems like its never enough to pass the second-round hump with Los Angeles in the way.

8. Phoenix Suns- Last season record (54-28)

Phoenix will in no way shape or form repeat last seasons performance; but as long as Steve Nash is on the court dishing out the rock the Suns should be in contention for a playoff spot.

9. Houston Rockets- Last season record (42-40)

Yao will return to the court this season but plenty of questions surround the 7’6″ center. With Aaron Brooks leading the way for Houston and Kevin Martin easing into his role the Rockets will fight for a playoff seed, just like Phoenix.

10. New Orleans Hornets- Last season record (37-45)

Trevor Ariza is now apart of the team, Marcus Thornton should continue to improve, and Emeka Okafor could be in for a breakout season. Is a playoff seed a possibility for Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets?

11. Memphis Grizzlies- Last season record (40-42)

Memphis lacks depth since the majority of the team is built up of inexperienced young guns (only five players on the team are above the age of 28). Their starting five is solid with potential to get better, but a playoff appearance is against the odds.

12. Los Angeles Clippers- Last season record (29-53)

Good news is Blake Griffin will be on the court this season. Bad news is head-coach Vinny Del Negro criticized Baron Davis for reporting to training camp out of shape (and already has a few nagging injuries). The Clippers will need B-Diddy at his all-time best if they want to see even a small chance at reaching the postseason.

13. Golden State Warriors- Last season record (26-56)

New ownership + New head coach = better record this season? David Lee will quickly make his presence as one of the best big men in the Western Conference and the Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis duo should uplift Golden State to 30+ wins this season.

14. Sacramento Kings- Last season record (25-57)

Sacramento is another very young squad that has a chance to improve upon last seasons performance. They drafted a few solid big men and acquired seven-footer Samuel Dalembert this offseason. In addition, franchise player Tyreke Evans should be able to elevate his overall game to the next level.

15. Minnesota Timberwolves- Last season record (15-67)

Michael Beasley stated the the Timberwolves are the team to beat this season. After losing Al Jefferson (the teams best player) and failing to win more than 30 games in a season since the 06′-07′ season, it’s very tough for many to believe Beasley. Maybe next year (but probably not).

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

Posted on: September 25, 2010 5:32 pm
Edited on: September 25, 2010 5:35 pm
 

Lakers Andrew Bynum to miss first month of season

The Los Angeles Lakers starting center, Andrew Bynum, reported that he will be out of action until the end of November.

Head-coach Phil Jackson stated the other day that Bynum could miss the first three to four games of the season, but today's news reports otherwise.

Doctors have given Bynum a four-week timetable before he can get back onto the court for full workouts.

At the age of 23, the young center has already partially dislocated his kneecap, torn his medial collateral ligament in his right knee, and is now rehabbing his right knee after having surgery due to a tear in his meniscus. 

Bynum is a top center in the league when healthy, but has failed to prove durable throughout his five year career. 

With the 7-footer out of the starting lineup, Pau Gasol will assume the center position with Lamar Odom sliding into the four spot.

For more breaking news updates be sure to follow us on twitter @_nbaprimetime

Posted on: September 22, 2010 12:06 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2010 12:10 pm
 

Carmelo leaving Denver, Phil Jackson on Miami

Periodically NBA Primetime will publish the “NBAPT Roundup”, providing you with the most popular news around the NBA.

Melo to leave Denver for good?

News broke out last night that the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls are listed as the top two preferences for swingman Carmelo Anthony.

ESPN reported, “Over the last 72 hours, sources said, Anthony’s representatives — headed by agent Leon Rose — have been ramping up the pressure on the Nuggets to complete a deal with the Knicks or the Bulls before training camps open leaguewide next week.”

Melo and company are clearly ready to pack their bags, however, Denver’s front-office is in no rush.

The Nuggets organization is hoping for Melo to change his stern decision once training camp begins. Point-guard Chauncey Billups and head-coach George Karl have had immense impact on Anthony on and off the court and could influence the star to remain with his team.

Where do you think Anthony will end up, if anywhere?

Phil Jackson talks about Miami’s Big Trio

LA’s head-coach and 11 time championship winner Phil Jackson was interviewed on ESPN 1000 in Chicago recently.

Inevitably, the Miami Heat came about in the discussion and Jackson had this to say about the newly formed Heat squad.

“They got great talent… There’s no question about their talent they have. But, talent doesn’t always win. The team that shows the best teamwork will win it. We think that [the Lakers] have established something. But, if [the Heat] can unite — and build quickly — they might be able to do it.

Jackson then backed up his statement, providing some proof from the past.

“I always refer to when Wilt Chamberlain was traded from Philadelphia to Los Angeles and that put [Elgin] Baylor, [Jerry] West and Chamberlain together — three of the top scorers in NBA history — and they never won a championship together the four years they were together,” Jackson said.

“It’s not always scorers and talent that wins it. But it’s teamwork that does it.”

Hmmm, wise words from a wise man, don’t you say?

Will the Miami Heat win the championship during the upcoming season?

Scottie Pippen wouldn’t trade Melo for Noah

Pippen spoke on ESPN 1000 recently about the recent heat in discussion regarding to Carmelo Anthony.

Rumors have circulated around Anthony possibly being dealt to the Chicago Bulls in which Chicago's center, Joakim Noah, would be a likely candidate to be shipped to Denver.

When asked if he would pull the trigger Pippen stated, “I would definitely think about it very hard…But I don’t know … if I’m a GM, I don’t know that I could pull the trigger based on Carmelo’s … sort of what he’s doing now. Based on his reputation, I’d probably have to stay with Joakim because you know that this kid is going to come out and play night in and night out. There’s no excuses. He’s a great teammate. That’s what you want.”

Would you trade Joakim Noah if it brought Carmelo Anthony to your team?

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

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