L.H.P erspective

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Posts Tagged ‘NBA

The NBA is coming, the NBA is coming!

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Well if you know me, you know that I’m a huge basketball fan. I’m not into fantasy football, and though I’ve done fantasy baseball, I get pumped every year for my fantasy basketball league. Along with my buddies, we’re entering the sixth season of our league.

As the NBA season draws near, the excitement naturally builds. The media hypes that this is “the most anticipated NBA season in history” because of everything that happened last summer. Bosh and LeBron went to Miami, Amar’e to the Knicks, Jermaine and Shaq became Celtics, Al Jefferson to Utah, Boozer to Chicago, Blake Griffin and John Wall really creating buzz for the rookie of the year, something we haven’t seen since LeBron and Carmelo, Kevin Durant truly arriving and a few other stories really captivated the NBA audience since the Lakers repeated as NBA champions.

For me, I’m looking forward to 4 things:

  1. How will the Miami Heat play?  People said that the ego of a superstar was going to be a problem in Boston when they brought in their ‘Big 3’ but that clearly wasn’t an issue.
  2. Possibly the greatest power forward of all time, Tim Duncan, is making his last stand as a superstar in the league. This is his absolute last chance. For New England fans, picture Tom Brady with declining abilities (which I hope doesn’t happen for a long, long time), still under Bill Belichick going for one last ride. The tandem will use their wits and skill to go about business as usual one last time and make a run in the playoffs.
  3. The youth of Oklahoma City. These guys will make some mistakes but dazzle you with athletic ability highlighted by quite possibly the best player in the world, Kevin Durant, to the point where they will undoubtedly become everybody’s second favorite team.
  4. Will anybody be able to challenge Kobe and the Los Angeles Lakers?  Can Kobe still do it?  Is he getting too old?  Will injuries add up?  The thing is, Los Angeles can survive without Kobe, but they are not a threat without him. Every year I look for a decline in Kobe, and every year he becomes a more complete player. His statistics change but the the number in the win column, which is the only thing he cares about, stays the same.

I’ve asked my friends, people who I think are, for the most part, intelligent basketball people the question everybody asks:

Who is going to make the Finals?  And, who is going to win it all?

They’re all Lakers fans and all of them have unanimously picked their home team to make it all the way. Clearly the pendulum of power, as a whole, has swung to the Eastern Conference. We’ve left the early 2000’s where Los Angeles, Portland, San Antonio, Dallas and Phoenix were all fighting for the right to beat the crap out of the East representative.

Now, the West has solid teams, but nobody is really that great (Lakers excluded, of course). When you really look at it, Portland has been “getting there” but have never really made it, Phoenix is no more, Utah will be exciting and people will think they’ll be able to challenge, but there’s a difference between challenging and winning.  Dirk is older and though Dallas will throw up some numbers they won’t really do anything. San Antonio will show up and give it their all, but it’s just not going to be good enough. Sacramento, Golden State, Houston, Denver…thanks but no thanks. The only two things that can stop L.A. in the West are injuries and Oklahoma City. Now you can never predict injuries, and though OKC is great, exciting, and all those other positive words, but their just not good enough because the Lakers went out and got defenders to stop Durant and Westbrook.

The East, on the other hand, is challenging and much more difficult. There’s Chicago, Orlando, Boston, and Miami. Whoever makes it out of the east is going to be all tuckered out because there will be at least two really difficult and grueling series’. By virtue of their road, does that mean that Los Angeles will inevitably win again?  I hope not, and I don’t think so.

The Celtics under Russell and Bird always had a difficult road to the Finals. Whether it was Wilt and Philly or the Bad Boy Pistons, they were always battle tested and it often led to continued success when it came time for performing on the biggest stage.

Not because I don’t like them, but rather because I just don’t think they’ll do it again, I say the Los Angeles will not win the title and thus fail to grab their third title in a row. The 2008 Celtics built chemistry and character throughout the season and finally hit their stride in the Eastern Conference finals against Detroit. That’s when they became the championship team and to that end, I think the champion will come out of the east…and then it comes down to matchups to figure out who makes it out.

Miami will have the top spot and go against number 4 Chicago and number two Orlando will go against Boston. I think Miami has a ton of trouble with the speed of Rose and the strength of the front court that Noah and Boozer provide but Miami will always have one, if not the two best player on the floor. Orlando’s strength comes in the front court with Dwight Howard, who will be a man possessed this season but Boston got bigger for this series, and to face Los Angeles. Boston wins and takes on the Heat in the conference finals. Boston’s drive, size and swagger outsmarts the younger and more athletically talented Miami team and goes all the way.

Call me a home, call me an idiot, or call me a genius…but this is my perspective. One thing for sure, is we’re in for one fantastic season with some faces gone from the landscape while some have changed their place or residence. We know what we know, but so many other things will occur that we’ll all be hooked from start to finish.


Written by lhpious

October 25, 2010 at 8:26 pm

What’s to Come at ESPN

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Well, a little more than a month ago I was fortunate enough to receive a summer internship with ESPN. I’ll be here in Connecticut working at their headquarters in Bristol for the next 10 weeks in the International Department. From what I know so far, I’ll be helping with the production for the Australia/New Zealand and Europe Sports Center. I’ll try to keep everybody updated with what’s going on at the Worldwide Leader and hopefully give some interesting stories along the way as well as my opinions on what’s going on in the sports world.

So far, here are some of my first impressions:

  1. Hartford, CT is vacant. Today was the first time I saw over 50 people. Definitely different from Los Angeles and Boston.
  2. There are no out-door basketball courts in this city.
  3. You can walk through the entire city (a state capital mind you), in less than 20 minutes.
  4. The people here are really cool.

Sports-wise, it’s crackin’. The NBA finals are set, Los Angeles v. Boston in a 2008 rematch, the French Open is going on, Le Tour de France, Wimbledon and most importantly the World Cup are on their ways. This summer will definitely be one to remember!

Written by lhpious

June 1, 2010 at 3:38 pm

A Twitter Expedition

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My brand new twitter page.

Our most recent assignment was to follow a few people on twitter.com and give our initial impressions of this new wave of internet communication/information dissemination. Since I’m all about sports, I decided to follow some athletes, writers, teams, and league accounts.

My first impressions are:

  1. I don’t really get Twitter. To me, it seems as though people are, in essence, going on their front porch with a megaphone and announcing whatever they want to the world.
  2. It’s just a bunch of quick snippets and you have to look into everything if you really want to know what’s going on.

The second point is why I don’t really like twitter. With following the NBA, several ESPN accounts (MLB rumor central, NBA rumor central,and  Soccer news), every tweet is a link to an article. I thought that tweets were supposed to be informative and a fast way to break stories to a large audience–for example, ‘Lackey signs with Boston! Contract negotiations to come.”

As a Boston sports fan, I decided to follow the Celtics, and the Patriots. Their posts are more of what I thought twitter would be like.

With respect to individuals, for now, I’m following Bill Simmons (A.K.A. The Sports Guy), ESPN personality Kenny Mayne, and all around character/wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. Their stuff is a bit more entertaining because it’s just shameless self promotion. They’re not trying to break news, they’re just screaming into the megaphone that is the internet. I guess the difference is that I decided to follow them because I believe that once in a while one of their quotes will be memorable or memorably hilarious.

To me, if you really want to take advantage of Twitter, you need a smart phone and you need to completely throw yourself into it. Personally, I don’t want to go back and consistently check twitter to find out what’s going on all the time. Perhaps I’m just already accustomed to receiving news and information the way it’s currently offered and I don’t need a more immediate medium. Maybe things will change, who knows. But for now, I’m not a fan of twitter.

Written by lhpious

March 17, 2010 at 12:18 pm

NBA All Star selection process

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One thing we do know about the NBA All Star game is that it’s hyped. And how is it hyped? Through advertising, advertising and advertising.  So much money is spent that the NBA has to some how recoup some of its costs. This year is even more obvious that the past. Just look at where they’re holding the event–Cowboy Stadium. One estimate in the Sports Business Daily lists the maximum capacity as potentially over 100,000 people with the standing room only section.

Boston Celtics guard, Ray Allen, raised the interesting question, why do the fans vote for the starters in the NBA All Star game? This year poses some glaring issues to the current system. No disrespect to Tracy McGrady or Allen Iverson, but they’ve barely played and are clearly undeserving of All Star appearances this season. An AP story points out that though “unwanted by their teams, Iverson and McGrady are still adored by their fans, who still consider them stars even though their stats say otherwise.”

Many people answer this question the same way former New York Knick coach Isiah Thomas and current Charlotte coach Larry Brown do, voting certain players in based on their career achievements and giving them on last All Star appearance as some sort of a curtain call.

“I’ve seen Willie Mays and those older guys start based on what they’ve done in their career in baseball, and we’ve had that happen in basketball for years, guys that have made a contribution,” Brown said. “That’s why the fans are involved, and I think it’s kind of neat that they are involved. They support the league, they vote for their favorite players. I always look at a guy’s body of work.”

Allen, however, is not arguing to completely take the fans out of the equation, saying “I like the fact that the fans get the opportunity to vote and pick who they’d like to see in the All-Star Game, but I don’t think it should be 100 percent.”

Yao Ming is an interesting case to follow.  He was the #1 draft pick in 2002 and was voted as a starter to his first five All Star games. Consequently, he was elected as a starter by fan voting. Well, there are over 1 billion Chinese people and he is a national icon. Now I’m not saying he was undeserving for most of them, but he was injured in 2007. It’s not his fault he was elected, and to commend Ming, since he was injured he gave up his spot.

The NBA says vote early and vote often.  So if  you want to keep the current trend of American Idol voting going, don’t wait because today is the last day to cast your vote !

Written by lhpious

January 18, 2010 at 2:53 pm