Author Archives: Andrew Bartlett

Bogut may never reach potential as injuries continue to dog his career

It’s hard to watch. Andrew Bogut, the talented Australian center who plays for Golden State, has had to rest due to another injury. After the horrendous elbow break, Bogut has really struggled to get back on his feet. Now he has back issues that simply refuse to go away. After being traded to the Warriors from Milwaukee, Bogut has only played 12 games out of a possible 82. At 28, its looking more and more unlikely that the once bubble All Star will ever reach his ceiling.

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Bogut looks to go up strong against the Suns Luis Scola

To say that it is a shame is an understatement. Bogut showed true stretches of dominance at Milwaukee, and was the hope of a team that often struggled through the season. Unfortunately, when things seemed to be coing togehter for the Bucks, Bogut was nudged in the back by Amare Stoudemire, and simply slammed to the ground. From there, everything has gone quickly down. Here’s hoping that Bogut can mean more to the Warriors than an expiring contract.

Knee injury massive hurdle for Rose, let alone the Bulls

The collective intake of breath that went around the arena when Derrick Rose collapsed clutching his knee was not without good reason. A knee injury is not an easy one to overcome for all players, let alone one who dodges and weaves through traffic in the manner that Rose does. Few players need stability in their legs like Rose does. There are also fears that his explosive leap would be adversely affected by the ACL tear. Whilst this has not been proven wrong, Rose appears to be taking all the right steps towards recovery as the start of the season draws near.

“My rehab is good, my leg is getting a lot stronger and I’m able to run a little bit more. My body is feeling good. I’m in a peaceful place right now.”

Derrick Rose

Whilst the injury is a huge obstacle for Rose himself to overcome, if he’s not ready to go at the start of the season, the Bulls face a big challenge in trying to remain in the race for upon Rose’s return. Without Rose the Bulls have essentially no offense whatsoever, as no other player has the ability to create plays like he can. There will be a dangerous limbo period for the Bulls if Rose is not able to return straight away.

Mavericks introduce new pieces.

The Dallas Mavericks have introduced the franchise’s spoils from the free agency period in a press conference. OJ Mayo, Elton Brand, Chris Kaman, Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones were all presented to the media as a group for the first time. An always exuberant Mark Cuban expressed his delight in signing to the group.

“With Chris and OJ available, we took a calculated risk….these players want to win…Our plan is to have these guys in a Mavericks uniform for a long, long time.”

– Mark Cuban, Owner of the Dallas Mavericks

With the introduction, the Mavericks have set their roster for the 2012 season. The additions come after a somewhat tumultuous off season, where they lost floor leader and point guard Jason Kidd to the New York Knicks. This was preceded by an early exit from the playoffs from the then defending NBA champions. However, Rick Carlise says that the team has rebuilt, added new pieces and will be back on the way up

“We’re excited about this group of guys…we’ve got a little bit of everything here”

-Rick Carlise, Mavericks coach

As Carlise said, the Dallas Mavericks are most certainly welcoming these new additions with open arms.

Brooklyn full of promise for the struggling Nets

It’s been a very long time since we were able to say that the New Jersey (now Brooklyn) Nets are relevant. Yet suddenly this is the case, with a new stadium and a big name player to stand alongside Deron Williams in free agent signing Joe Johnson. The Nets might finally be able to compete in the East once more. Avery Johnson, head coach of the Nets, is cautious but optimistic of the Net’s hopes:

“We’re not there yet. We’re not a championship team. We got a lot of work to do. But at the same time, we have a much better talent pool than we’ve had the last two years.

We’re much more versatile than we’ve ever been. Right now, we look good on paper. Now we got to take it from looking good on paper and apply the work to go (forward).’’

-Avery Johnson, Head coach of the Brooklyn Nets

The Nets should be contenders with their All Star back court alone. Williams and Johnson are still in their prime and strong leaders. Both will be keen to win after years of playing on under achieving teams. The only possible issue is that they are both ball heavy guards, they both love to have the ball in their hands. But as the Miami Heat have shown, players can adapt and both Johnson and Williams will likely enjoy having another high calibre player to rely on

However, it’s not just their backcourt that gives them strength. Their front court of Gerald Wallace and Brook Lopez are also dangerous, with Brook Lopez verging on being a top five centre in the East. Gerald Wallace has lost some of his explosive offensive power, but is still a phenomenal defender that is feared throughout the league. Keep an eye on the Nets, that’s for sure.

Some free agency news.

The best three point shooter in NBA history Ray Allen has turned down the Celtics offer and agreed to a contract with the Miami Heat.

Jason Terry and the Celtics have agreed to a deal that will see the Mavericks man move to Boston on a three year deal.

Jason Kidd has left the Mavericks and agreed to a deal with the Knicks.

Hall of Fame point guard Steve Nash has left the Phoenix Suns and joined Kobe in Los Angeles.

All Star Joe Johnson has signed with the Brooklyn Nets helping to prompt Deron Williams to resign.

Elton Brand has been amnestied by the Sixers while Rashard Lewis has been by the Wizards

Nick Young has agreed to a deal with the Sixers, leaving the Clippers.

Beasley and Eric Gordon both sign with the Suns, bring back Goran Dragic as well.

Batum likely to sign with the Timberwolves.

Jameer Nelson resigns with Magic.

A King Is Crowned

Its done. The King has been crowned. LeBron James and the Miami Heat won their first title in the “Big Three” era as they defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 4 games to 1 in the NBA Finals. LeBron James monster run throughout the Finals and the playoffs continued as he tore through the Thunder for a triple double of 26 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds. However, it was Mike Millers BIG 23 points off the bench that pushed the Heat over the edge as they won by a 15 point margin but it aws much bigger throughout the game.

 

Whilst it was hugely dissapointing for the Thunder to go down, it was another huge step forward. This is a ridiculously young team here and they have the core to win a championship. As LeBron James said after the game, watch out for the Thunder!

NBA FINALS: GAME ONE

The Oklahoma City Thunder overcame a half time deficit to continue their perfect home playoff run as they defeated the Miami Heat in Game One of the NBA Finals 94-105. Kevin Durant was his usual ridiculous best scoring 36 points. LeBron James had 30 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists in the losing effort. Dwyane Wade added 19 points, 8 assists and 4 rebounds.

Russell Westbrook was massive for the Thunder, giving them the second scoring option they needed as Harden was well guarded by Wade and the Heat. Westbrook had 27 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists in a near triple double effort. Shane Battier also added 17 for the Heat giving them an unexpected boost

Thunder vs Spurs: Game 6

The Oklahoma City Thunder showed they meant business these playoffs as the showed their resolve with an emphatic come back win against the reeling San Antonio Spurs. Rarely has a series taken such a sharp change of events as the once seemingly invincible Spurs have been thrown out by the burgeoning power in Oklahoma.

“This is a group of young men that has unified this city and this state as never before.”
— Thunder chairman Clay Bennett

 

 

After being down by as many as 18, the Thunder refused to keel in and took the game from the Spurs. After having 21 points and 10 assists in the first half alone, Tony Parker was significantly quieter during the remainder of the game, finishing with 29 and 12.  Steven Jackson was big as well, hitting 6-7 three pointers on his way to 23 points. But it was Kevin Durant who was victorious with 34 points and 14 rebounds.

Celtics vs Heat: Game 5

The Boston Celtics took a major advantage against the Miami Heat as they won in Miami and can now go home to close out the series. The Celtics have gone from the “old” Celtics to a winning team.  TD Garden will surely be roaring when the C’s return home for Game 6 and KG will be doing the same.  The men in green have all the momentum heading home.

 

“They jumped on us at the beginning of the game and we just told our guys to just hang in there. Just hang in there. Don’t overreact. Hang in there. The longer we’re in the game, the better we’ll play.”
— Celtics coach Doc Rivers

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade combined for 57 points but not a single other player registered in double figures for the Heat. For the Celtics, Garnett had 26 points and 11 rebounds while Paul Pierce scored 19 points.

 

Thunder vs Spurs: Game Five

The Oklahoma City Thunder continued their momentum as they notched their third win in their series against the San Antonio Spurs and one away from the NBA Finals. In a perhaps unforeseen turnaround, the Thunder have won three in a row and suddenly people are saying that the Spurs look to old. With the loss today, the Spurs lost three in a row for the first time this season. Kevin Durant led the way for the Thunder with 27 points on 10-19 shooting while James Harden had 20 points of the bench.

“Bottom line is you can’t turn it over 21 times for 28 points. That’s what we did again. Turnovers have been theme during the entire deal.”

Spurs coach Greg Popovich

Manu Ginobli was huge for the Spurs, scoring 34 points, including 2 big threes to bring the game close. However, it was not enough as the Spurs now face elimination from the playoffs.