Tag:Steve Nash
Posted on: November 8, 2010 11:09 am
 

Turnovers a concern for John Wall and ROY chances

John Wall officially made his presence known after dropping 29 points, 13 assists and 9 steals during the Washington Wizards‘ season home opener.

The 20-year-old became the youngest player in 25 years to collect at least 25 points, 10 assists and 8 steals in the same game.

While credit is clearly due to the speedster that (according to ESPN’s SportsScience) can run faster while dribbling a basketball than Kevin Durant can run without a ball, turnovers have emerged as a point of concern.

In five games this season Wall has committed a total of 29 turnovers, averaging out to just under six turnovers per contest.

Amongst all starting PG’s who have averaged at least 30 MPG this season, Wall currently ranks second to worst in A/T ratio (Steve Nash being the worst thus far), dishing out just 1.65 assists per turnover.

Wall’s competition, Blake Griffin, has played nothing short of spectacular in seven games this year, posting 18.1 points per game and 11 boards on 50 percent shooting from the field.

Will turnovers put John Wall‘s chances of winning the Rookie of the Year award in jeopardy as the season drags on?

With Gilbert Arenas back in action Wall should see a steady decline in overall numbers, with the assumption that his turnovers will decrease as well.

But how low can they possibly go?

During Wall’s one season at Kentucky, he managed to dish out 6.5 assists per contest while turning the ball over four times per game (his assist-to-turnover ratio was 1.62 for the year).

Wall’s advantageous speed enables him to blow by his opponents for quick finishes at the rim, but it seems like it could also be playing a factor in his turnover rate issue.

The season is still very young and Wall could certainly learn to fix his biggest weakness. His chances of winning the ROY award will go to the wire with Blake Griffin this year.

How do you feel about this topic?

For more of Brandon's content be sure to check out NBAPrimetime.com and follow him on twitter @_nbaprimetime
Posted on: November 6, 2010 12:28 pm
 

Rajon Rondo: A Top Three Point-Guard?

When the Boston Celtics managed to acquire Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen during the 2007 off-season, not many thought too much about a guy like Rajon Rondo.

At the time Rondo had just one year under his belt and from a non-Celtics fan perspective, he was virtually unheard of.

Who would’ve ever though that this slim 6’1″, 171 lb point-guard would soon emerge as the face of a franchise that consisted of a top 3 power-forward in NBA history in Kevin Garnett, the soon to be three-point scoring leader of the NBA in Ray Allen, and the potential Hall of Famer in Paul Pierce?

Not many, to answer the question.

Rondo now ranks ahead of the legendary John Stockton and Magic Johnson in NBA history with the most assists (82) through the first five games of an NBA season.

He also tied Isaiah Thomas’ record this season for dishing out the most assists (24) in a game while collecting a triple-double.

But enough of all the highly impressive facts and records, because at the end of the day, should Rondo even be considered a top three point-guard in the NBA?

Throughout the last few years New Orleans’ Chris Paul and Utah’s Deron Williams have both split time holding the crown as the leagues best point-guard.

In the 2010-11 GM Survey, 50.0% answered that Deron Williams was the best point-guard in the NBA, with CP3 getting 35.7%, and Steve Nash getting 10.7%.

Paul, Williams, and Nash each bring something very similar to the table. This talent, along with their incredible vision and IQ on the court is what propels them to rank at the top of the echelon in the eyes of the league.

This talent is called shooting and all three do it exceptionally well.

Career Averages

Chris Paul- 19.3 PPG, 6.8-14.5 FG per game , 0.9-2.5 3P per game, 35.4 3P%

Deron Williams- 16.7 PPG, 6.1-13.1 FG per game, 1.1-3.0 3P per game, 36.1 3P%

Steve Nash- 14.6 PPG, 5.3-10.8 FG per game, 1.5-3.4 3P per game, 43.2 3P%

Rajon Rondo- 10.7 PPG, 4.4-9.0 FG per game, 0.1-0.6 3P per game, 25.0 3P%

Rajon Rondo‘s inability to knock down the open jumper is the ultimate downfall in his overall game and opponents tend to attack this weakness by giving Rondo plenty of separation on the perimeter.

Although he is just 24 years of age and is entering only his fifth season in the league, his FG per game numbers have failed to improve and his three-point shooting is far out of the equation.

Rondo is best at attacking the basket, distributing the ball, and stealing the rock from his opponents.

The most elite point-guards in the NBA tend to have all three of Rondo’s qualities while still being able to light it up from the perimeter and three-point territory on any given night.

Until Rondo can consistently hit a jumper, his chances of being viewed as a top three point-guard in the league long awaits.

Brandon Ribak’s Top Five Point-Guards in the NBA Today

1. Deron Williams

2. Chris Paul

3. Steve Nash

4. Derrick Rose

5. Rajon Rondo

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 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 29, 2010 12:33 pm
 

Fantasy NBA Q&A: Concerns Entering Training Camp

In this Fantasy NBA 2010 Edition, Brandon Ribak breaks down a few critical questions heading into training camp.

Last season Hedo Turkoglu turned out to be a complete bust playing for Toronto. Being surrounded by a new team in Phoenix, how early should Turk be drafted this season and will he return to his fantasy form?

Head-coach Alvin Gentry has discussed moving Steve Nash to the shooting-guard position (at certain times throughout the season) so that Turkoglu could lead the way for Phoenix.

Turkoglu has terrific court vision (standing 6’10″) and knows how to pass the ball (averaging 4.5 APG during the last three seasons).

Playing on a run-and-gun type of offense, everything seems to be in place for the Turkish forward to resurrect this season. Turkoglu could easily end up returning to his 07′-08′ form when he averaged 19.5 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 5.0 APG and won the Most Improved Player Award.

Turkoglu should be drafted no later than the middle rounds of your draft as he could turn out to be one of the biggest bounce-back fantasy players this season.

First it was Jose Calderon that was expected to be traded to Charlotte, then it was Devin Harris who was supposed to join the team and start at the point-guard position. Although it seems like the Bobcats can’t make up their mind, is drafting D.J. Augustin a safe choice this season?

CBS is reporting that Charlotte’s starting point-guard position is Augustin’s to lose. Although it’s tough to say whether or not a trade will be made before the February trade deadline, Augustin could emerge as a solid fantasy contributor with Raymond Felton out of the picture.

Augustin averaged 11.8 PPG during his rookie season when he logged just 26.5 minutes per contest. The 22-year-old out of Texas is a dynamic scorer when given the opportunity and could turn into one of Charlotte’s secret weapons during the upcoming season.

The 6’0″ guard has shot an outstanding 42.0 percent from beyond the three-point line and 85.2 percent from the charity strike during his first two seasons in the league. In categorical leagues Augustin will be able to contribute in virtually every category aside form blocks and rebounds.

Augustin should be available during the late rounds of your draft, making him a safe selection with tons of fantasy upside (for now).

There has been some talk about Linas Kleiza and his fantasy potential playing for theToronto Raptors this season. Is it simply hype or is Kleiza really worth drafting?

Mentioned in my “Don’t Sleep On Em” Edition, Kleiza is a lock to enter the upcoming season as Toronto’s starting small-forward.

The Lithuanian impressed many during the FIBA World Championship, leading his team to an 8-1 record while posting 19 PPG on 57.8 percent shooting from the field.

During his four year NBA career, Kleiza never logged more than 24 MPG (as the back-up forCarmelo Anthony in Denver).

Being the sure-fire small-forward for Toronto, Kleiza could quickly emerge as a fantasy threat.

Kleiza has shown flashes of brilliance when given ample playing time throughout his career and is definitely worth drafting right before you begin to select your bench reserves.

With starters minutes the small-forward has potential to become one of the top fantasy sleepers for the 2010-11 season.

For more of Brandon’s content be sure to check out 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