Tag:Yao Ming
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 21, 2010 11:48 am

Houston Rockets In The Hunt For Carmelo Anthony

Another day, another rumor.

The Houston Rockets have joined the “aggressively pursuing” group of organizations in the hunt for Carmelo Anthony.

While yesterday’s rumor stated that the New Jersey Nets emerged as the front-runners in the Melo sweepstakes, no source verified the validity of the rumor.

The Denver Nuggets are interested in trading Anthony to the Eastern Conference while obtaining draft picks and young talent in return.

The Rockets could provide two of the three demands.

Draft Picks

According to the NY Times, Houston has the right to swap first-round picks with the Knicks in 2011, a right they obtained via trade.

In addition, Houston will also obtain New York’s 2012 first-round selection.

Young Talent

While Kevin Martin isn’t necessarily considered “young” in the NBA world, his talent is intriguing enough to catch Denver’s front-offices attention.

At the age of 27, Martin has proved to be a top tier scoring threat in the league, averaging at least 20 PPG throughout his past four seasons.

During K-Mart’s 08′-09′ campaign he produced career-high numbers in points per game, dropping 24.6 PPG, good enough for seventh best in the NBA.

Although Martin has a history of various injuries, he has the ability to light up the scoreboard when placed into the right system.

In addition to Martin, the Rockets have eight players on their roster that are 25 years of age or younger.

If Denver is really interested in acquiring young guns for Melo, Houston seems to be the team to make a deal with as they have a surplus of young talent on their roster.

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

Posted on: September 20, 2010 5:05 pm
Edited on: September 21, 2010 12:35 pm

Houston Rockets 2010-11 Season Preview

Houston Rockets

Last Season’s Record: 42-40 (.512)

2010-11 Season Record Prediction46-36 (.560)

Team Strengths

Houston signed veteran center Brad Miller this off-season to add depth to the center position. With Yao Ming being limited to only 24 minutes per contest, Miller will be provided with a bigger role as the teams second string center.

Power-forward Luis Scola lead all players in PPG during the FIBA World Championships, averaging 27.1 points per game on 56.9 percent shooting from the field.

Scola, 30, will be entering his fourth season in the league and has continued to improve statistically in each and every season.

Reigning Most Improved Player of the Year Aaron Brooks has plenty of potential to emerge as a top guard in the league this season, especially with Trevor Ariza shipped to New Orleans.

In addition, the Rockets have sharp-shooter Kevin Martin. Martin's personal coach David Thorpe had this to say about the guard,

"It's fair to say I'm not an expert in much, but I know what a good shooter looks like and I never had a shooter shoot like Kevin this summer."

Two seasons ago K-Mart was one of the top scoring threats in the league, averaging 24.6PPG before falling short to injury. If he could return to his All-Star potential form, the Rockets are in for a great season.

Team Weaknesses

The Rockets are composed of eight players that are 25 years of age or younger.

While youth provides teams with raw talent and massive amounts of potential, it also supplies clubs with the lack of experience needed to make serious playoff runs.

Although Houston is composed of numerous veterans that have plenty of postseason experience, the ultimate concern will be whether or not those vets can lead their youngsters deep into the playoffs.

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


Posted on: September 16, 2010 3:36 pm

Fantasy NBA 2010: "Forget Yao-Bout It" Edition

In this fantasy NBA edition, Brandon Ribak breaks down the risky players for the upcoming season. Due to injuries, these following players should be selected with caution on draft day.

Yao Ming (C, HOU)- Yao suffered a foot injury during the 2009 NBA Playoffs which led to him missing the entire 09'-10' season. (Unfortunate for keeper league owners).

With Yao projected to be back in action for the start of the new season, many would believe that it's safe to draft the 7'6" center on draft day, right? 


According to ESPN and the Houston Chronicle, "Yao will not play more than 24 minutes a game next season in an attempt to limit stress on his bones."

Averaging 24 minutes per contest will not be enough to make Yao a suitable player for any type of fantasy format. 

Forget Yao-bout it, at least for this season.

Kenyon Martin (PF, DEN)- Martin underwent a knee operation this off-season and currently has no timetable for a return.

K-Mart has yet to play a full 82 game season, an obvious sign that injuries have played a factor during his 10 year career in the league.

The 32-year-old out of Cincinnati has potential to be a solid forward in fantasy play when healthy, but without a set date for a return and aging beginning to kick in, it would be safer to let someone else draft Martin on draft day.

Greg Oden (C, POR)- If anybody in the NBA has dealt with the most unfortunate luck throughout the last three seasons, general consensus would say that it's Greg Oden.

Being a victim of the injury bug, Oden has failed to play one full season without going down with a season ending injury. 

Coming off of his most recent knee surgery -- back in December-- which led him to play in only 21 regular season games, General Manager Rich Cho anticipates Oden to return in the next couple of weeks.

Since Cho is simply hoping for Oden to return before the start of the season, it isn't in fantasy owners' best interest to select the former Ohio State Buckeye until the middle to late rounds of the draft. 

For more of Brandon's content check out 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