Tag:Utah Jazz
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 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 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 27, 2010 6:36 pm
 

Four-team Carmelo Anthony deal officially dead?

The Utah Jazz‘s General Manager, Kevin O’Connor, told the media on Monday, “If you’re going to make that trade, it would’ve been done Friday.”

ESPN’s NBA analyst Chris Broussard reported on Outside The Lines that the longer the Melo deal stayed up in the air, the better chance Anthony would remain a Denver Nugget, at least until the February trade deadline.

From the looks of things Melo will most likely begin the season where he has been for the last seven years, in Denver.

O’Connor also stated that other teams involved in the potential four-team deal were the ones driving the trade talks in which they “got ahead of themselves.”

For more breaking news updates follow us on twitter @_nbaprimetime

Posted on: September 26, 2010 12:13 pm
 

Carmelo Anthony, four-team deal comes to a halt

Little to no progress has been made for Carmelo Anthony since the four-team deal first broke out onto the scene on Friday.

Melo’s reps continues to push for a trade to be made to one of the swingman’s preferred destinations (New York or Chicago) but the likelihood of that happening diminishes by the hour.

Reports state that the Denver Nuggets have been searching for a deal with other teams, leaving Charlotte, Utah, and New Jersey in limbo.

“Everyone is waiting on Denver, not Melo [committing to an extension],” one source told ESPN.com‘s Chris Sheridan.

As breaking news continues to surface on the Anthony discussions, be sure to check out NBAPrimetime.com and follow us on twitter @_nbaprimetime for live updates.


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