Archive for the ‘NBA’ Category

Last night provided a special moment in the NBA as the TD Garden was the place to be with the return of former Celtics Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. The game between the Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets was minor in comparison to the honoring of two Celtics who brought so much to the Celtics organization and gave so much back to the city of Boston. This type of connection is rare these days as fans at the TD Garden somberly, yet proudly reminisced on the Big 3 era. The Celtics organization changed drastically when Pierce and Garnett were sent off to Brooklyn as the team moved forward with its rebuilding phase, but last night everyone was reminded of the great times they had wearing their green-and-white jerseys, and there was not a dry eye in the house. (more…)

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Back in September, it was announced that Toronto-born rapper Drake had been named the new “global ambassador” for the Toronto Raptors. While the term is a rather vague one, it was clear that Drake was hired to plan an integral role in promoting the festivities for the 2016 NBA All-Star game, which will be held in Toronto. Drake is also playing a part in helping the team rebrand as it redesigns its image and apparel in honor of the Raptors 20th anniversary next season. The team decided to honor the partnership this weekend when the Raptors took on the Brooklyn Nets coining it as “Drake Night”. From a halftime DJ set to giveaways of the new black-and-gold Raptors T-shirts as well as the new OVO Jordan’s, there was no shortage of celebration at the Air Canada Centre. Before the game started (the Raptors won by the way), Drake had a press conference in which he answered some questions about his role within the organization, comparisons to Jay-Z, as well as his overall goals for the city of Toronto.  (more…)

While teams like the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks have struggled to start the season, out in the Western Conference the Portland Trail Blazers have taken the league by storm as the team has greatly exceeded their expectations. The team is 18-4 and has won eight out if its last ten games, defeating strong opponents such as the Oklahoma City Thunder and Indiana Pacers. Portland has only lost twice at home, one of which being a buzzer-beater defeat at the hands of Dallas. Needless to say, people are excited in Oregon as the team is off to its best start since the 1990-1991 season. In a potent Western Conference, the question on everyone’s mind is how do the Trail Blazers keep winning? Let’s take a look at some of the key reasons.

  • Lamarcus Aldridge: Going into the season, there was some chatter about Aldridge wanting to get out of Portland and move to a bigger market team. Aldridge has put an end to that talk as the All-Star forward is on a tear recently, earning his second Western Conference Player Of The Week honor this year after an impressive 38 point, 13 rebound performance in Portland’s win over the Thunder. He is averaging 23 points and 10 rebounds so far and has taken on a leadership role for the Trail Blazers. As long as Aldridge is playing at this pace, Portland will continue to be a tough team to beat.
  • Offensive Efficiency: While Portland hasn’t been the best team on the defensive side of the ball, they have more than made up for it by being the strongest offensive team in the NBA. The Trail Blazers are shooting about 42% from three-point range, which is absolutely incredible. It is hard for opposing defenses to plan a scheme against hot-shooting, so if Portland continues to shoot lights out they will continue to hold their own against elite teams in the league.
  • Team Confidence/Chemistry: It is obvious that this group is gelling well together as they have not been intimated by top teams like the Thunder or the Spurs. Along with Aldridge, the supporting cast of Mo Williams,  Damien Lillard, and Robin Lopez have played great basketball to start this year off as they all feed off each other. Portland has enjoyed taking everyone by surprise and will continue to prove any naysayers wrong if they keep playing at this astonishing pace.

It has certainly been a rough start to the season in Brooklyn as the Nets have lost 11 of the first 15 games. In the off-season, Brooklyn welcomed veterans Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to New York after their time had come to an end in Boston where they excelled for a number of years. Combining them with point guard Deron Williams and big man Brook Lopez, this was a team that had NBA Finals aspirations going into the 2013-2014 campaign. However, they have been far from championship contenders so far as they have struggled even in an Eastern Conference that overall has had a slow start. The Nets rank 22nd in overall offensive efficiency and have done nothing on the defensive side of the ball to make up for it.

Overall, there seems to be a ton of confusion with this new group and a lack of chemistry. The Nets are mostly scoring on isolation plays and are not sharing the ball effectively as a collective team. And although they have been plagued by injuries early on, it really isn’t an excuse for Brooklyn to be playing this badly. It seems that first year head coach Jason Kidd has not been able to rally his troops in order to correct these issues and, understandably, Pierce and Garnett are frustrated. But the two of them have not helped the cause as both are having a difficult time adjusting to their new home. KG isn’t hitting his mid-range jumpers and Pierce’s age is showing as he is nowhere near the athlete he once was. It is tough to predict whether the team can regroup and get back in playoff discussions, but we do know that they have a lot of work to do in order to get back in contention.

Final Consensus: Simply put, nothing is going right in Brooklyn. Pierce and Garnett don’t seem to have faith in Jason Kidd as a head coach yet. The injury bug has hit the team early on and the individual talent of these players has not translated into any kind of chemistry. The hype was at an all-time high in Brooklyn going into the season, but the come down has happened very quickly. Pierce and KG aren’t getting younger, so Kidd will have to grow up fast as a head coach and get the rest of his team to make up for their lack of productivity. In this Eastern Conference the Nets can certainly come back and be a playoff team come 2014, but it is hard to have faith in them to do so currently.

Derrick Rose Out Indefinitely, Tears Meniscus

Posted: November 24, 2013 by ericbernsen in NBA, Sports
Tags: , ,

Chicago Bulls star point guard Derrick Rose just cannot catch a break. Rose has been diagnosed with a torn medial meniscus in his right knee and will be out indefinitely after undergoing surgery on Saturday. Rose did not play for the entirety of the 2012-13 season due to a torn ACL in his left knee and this injury will be another setback for the guard and the Bulls. With the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat being the toughest competition in the Eastern Conference so far, Chicago had just been gearing up to put themselves among the elite as Rose was getting back in the swing of things. Although the Bulls are still in position to have some postseason success this year, the team has to be wondering about Rose and his long-term future. Rose is a game changer and a potential future Hall of Fame player, but there certainly will be some concern as to if he can return to form after suffering another serious injury. People from all over the NBA reacted today to the news, and as fans of the game we all wish him a speedy recovery.

Final Consensus: Although it could be easy to say this news will ruin the Bulls season, I am not so quick to arrive at that conclusion. The Bulls have played without Rose before and since the Eastern Conference seems to be extremely weak this season, Chicago will still be one of the most talented teams around come playoff time. The team is well-coached, experienced, and outstanding on the defensive side of the ball. These reasons alone should keep the Bulls in contention come spring. How Rose recovers from this setback is a different story, but we know he will give it his all to get back on the floor and play to the caliber we are used to seeing him at.