Tag: Andrew Bynum

Steph Curry

Five overrated teams for NBA season 2013/14

Golden State Warriors
There’s nothing quite like a fairytale playoff run to unrealistically heighten expectations for the following season.

I love watching the Warriors play, especially Steph Curry when he’s on fire and hitting shots from 35 feet off the dribble. I also have no doubt the Warriors will makes the playoffs again this season. But a legitimate championship contender? Hhhmm.

I think the Dubs might miss Jarrett Jack a lot more than people think. Curry is a great shooter, and can get to the paint at times, but his slender frame means he’s not built for consistent penetration. Jack provided that, especially in the fourth quarter of games.

Andre Iguodala isn’t bad with the ball in his hands, but I look at this team, and they’re certainly going to have to move the ball around – and have bodies in motion – in order to get cheap baskets, because there are not a lot of elite level creators on the roster. Iggy might have to be relied upon to create a lot of offense for this team. Which is fine, he’s more than capable of doing it. But I get a feeling the loss of Jack (and Carl Landry) will take some adjusting to.

Throw in the lack of defense by key players – Curry and David Lee – and is this team really likely to be holding the Larry O’Brien trophy at season’s end? I really struggle to see it.

Cleveland Cavaliers
There has been a lot of buzz in the off-season surrounding the Cavs. Though I understand any excitement surrounding Kyrie Irving, I’d be nervous making any overly positive projections for this Cleveland roster.

Don’t get me wrong, there is some nice young talent on the team, with Tristan Thompson and Dion Walters joined by first overall draft pick Anthony Bennett. Combine them with the veteran leadership of Jarrett Jack and the hustle of Anderson Varejao – not to mention the All Star level play of Irving – and you’ve got the bones of a nice lineup.

However, any team that needs to rely heavily on the flaky Andrew Bynum deserves serious question marks about their potential. Even if Bynum returns 100% physically healthy, I fear he’ll never be 100% mentally healthy.

This team doesn’t deserve some of the lofty predictions I’ve heard touted, and it would shock me little if they only won 30 odd games.

Los Angeles Clippers
This team is either wildly overrated, or I wildly underrate the influence coach Doc Rivers will have upon the team.

Yet as much as I respect Rivers, is he really going to help the frontcourt’s free throw shooting, especially in the fourth quarter? Is he really going to improve the team’s low post play? Can he improve the perception around the league that this team can be bullied around?

I’m not so sure.

The Clips added Jared Dudley, Antawn Jamison, Byron Mullens and JJ Reddick to their roster for the season. Absolutely fantastic recruiting, especially if the team’s biggest concern was outside shooting. Yet I’m not convinced it was.

If the Clippers had pulled the trigger on the trade to bring in Kevin Garnett, I would legitimately consider them a championship threat, because he would have addressed their biggest weaknesses. But at present, I see this roster crushing teams all regular season, before getting crushed themselves once the real basketball starts in the playoffs.

Houston Rockets
I fear this is the prediction that will come back to haunt me the most.

Last season, the Rockets were a young and exciting 8th seed in the Western Conference, and won 45 games. In the off-season, they added arguably the best centre in the game, and a player whom – when 100% healthy – is a top 5 talent in the league. All without losing anyone significant from their roster.

So how could I possible think they’re overrated?

Primarily because I’m consistently nervous about Dwight Howard. I have a nagging feeling that he is the epitome of ‘fools good’; a player that gives every impression that he’s a superstar, and yet when you scratch beneath the surface a little bit, he’s found to be lacking true superstar credentials.

He throws his coaches under the bus, he’s a poor free throw shooter, he’s unprofessional, he whinges when things go wrong, he’s unaccountable, he’s unreliable, he doesn’t appear to like pressure, he worries what people think of him, he jokes around too much, and he hasn’t really improved as a player since his rookie year.

Not exactly a player a championship contender should be built around.

Here’s the catch though – the Rockets aren’t really built around Howard. Well, not on offense anyway. On that end of the floor, everything runs through James Harden, who, if he isn’t already a superstar, is on the cusp of being one.

If everything clicks, you could easily envisage the Rockets in the NBA Finals. Yet, it wouldn’t shock me if this team fails to gel, Howard causes issues, and they disappointingly limp into the lower bracket of the Western Conference Playoffs.

Philadelphia 76ers
Some pundits are predicting the Sixers will win double-digit games.

Against who? They’ll only play Phoenix twice, won’t they?!

I bow to no one in my praise and admiration for coach Brett Brown and his basketball IQ, but seriously, look at that roster and tell me how anyone could think this team will get ten or more wins.

I sincerely hope Andrew Wiggins is all he’s cracked up to be, because this team has the potential to be historically lousy, and is aiming to be just that. For Sixers fans, I hope the pain of tanking the season is rewarded with winning next year’s draft. Double digit wins for the Sixers? I think that’s overrating them.



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Ten Things I Love/Hate About You

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The NBA season isn’t too far away now and there’s a lot to look forward to in season 2013/14 but I thought I’d share ten things that are on my mind as we impatiently wait for the season to begin

10. Pre-season.

It’s better than no NBA basketball at all and it’s the pre-cursor to the real thing. Enough said.

9. The Cleveland Cavaliers.

What can I say about this youthful and talented squad? There’s Uncle Drew with those crazy handles, Andrew Bynum with that crazy, well everything, not to mention the hair watch we’re all constantly on. Then you have the explosive and exciting number one pick Anthony Bennett, who should give us Larry Johnson style highlights on the offensive end and be a disaster defensively. If Head Coach Mike Brown can get this roster to gel, they will be a highly entertaining team to watch, if not, there’s always Bynum’s hair to keep us all entertained.

8. Michael Beasley and Greg Oden.

You’ve got LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Ray Allen, etc, etc but what you now have to add to that locker room is a walking frame and a bong. Talk about two guys on their last legs! Oden is a guy I’ve always wanted to see come back from those knee injuries but now he’s on the Heat I’m not sure I feel as strongly about him overcoming those setbacks. Michael Beasley is one lucky cat. He’s also on his ninth life and if he doesn’t get his act to together then I don’t see any more chances coming his way, but then again, like Oden, I don’t want to see Miami gain another valuable piece to their team. Anyone got Beasley’s dealers number?

7. Lakers Losing It.

Now I know I’ll cop some grief for this one, especially considering I converse all too often with many Laker fans, not to mention my fellow NBA Nation Australia writers, but it has to be said that things don’t look too promising in Laker land this year and I for one won’t be losing any sleep over it. Kobe is on his way back from a serious injury at 4000 years old, Steve Nash is 5000 years old and Pau Gasol is just too nice to be a big man in the NBA. Whatever happened to that nice fellow Dwight? Sounds like a sub .500 year for the second best team in L.A. Yes I just called the Clippers the best team in L.A and it feels so wrong, yet so right.

6. Tank For Wiggins?

Things could get really ugly this year between the cellar dwellers. Next year’s draft is off the charts and there’s no shortage of teams willing to tank for Wiggins. I mean seriously, the mighty and proud Boston Celtics blew up their team to have a chance at getting that elusive number one pick next year so you know tanking is the new winning in 2013/14. I fear for my mental health when I switch on League Pass whilst nursing a hangover on a Sunday morning only to see the 76ers playing the Bobcats. Also, MJ, what the hell were you thinking with Cody Zeller!?

5. New Orleans Pelicans.

Of all the names you could choose for a sporting team, the Pelicans is the best you could come up with? Whoever is responsible for this atrocity should be forced to watch Austin Rivers rookie season over and over again. I’m sorry but I’ll never be able to take this team seriously now, actually, come to think of it, I don’t think I ever did beforehand! Move on.

4. Sun Shines In the Golden State.

One team I thoroughly enjoyed watching in last year’s playoffs were the Golden State Warriors. Those huge games from the sharp shooting Steph Curry were ones to remember and although they failed to beat the Spurs in the Western Conference semi-finals they showed they’re not a team you want to take lightly. They have made some solid off-season moves and providing Curry’s glass ankles stay healthy and Bogut can avoid whatever freak injury may occur then the Warriors will be a hell of a lot of fun to watch. Can the sun shine on the golden state?

3. Bring Back Wilt!

It’s about time we seen a scoring champ who averages over 30 points per game this season. KD, Melo, are you there? Shit, I don’t care if it’s Kobe and he shoots .400 to do it, actually I would take great pleasure in witnessing this; see number 7 on this list. I just think the scoring title isn’t the same when the winner averages a mere 28.7ppg. Bring back Wilt!

2. The NBA Finals.

The NBA Finals! What more do I need to say? I’m no fan of the Miami Heat or the San Antonio Spurs but watching that Finals series last season was unbelievably great. The spectacle, fanfare and meaning that comes with each and every game is what keeps me coming back every year to see it all play out. One thing though, hoop gods, can we not have the Heat again this season? Sincerely, Bulls fan Dan

1.The Return.

Ok, so it’s a little later than first anticipated but it’s no less exciting. The prodigal son returns, Chicago’s very own, D Rose, rises from his injury exile to take the league by storm destroying everyone in his path! Ok, so I’m going with the best case scenario here but after almost 18 months it’s my god damn right to be so optimistic! Bring on the season!



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NBA Nation’s Season Previews: Part 2

CHICAGO BULLS:

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The huge story for the Bulls is, of course, the return of their super star guard Derrick Rose after more than a year and a half out of the game following his crippling knee injury during the 2011/12 playoffs. The big questions about Rose’s ability to return at full strength and be the competitive force we all know and love remain the talk of the town, and any Bulls fan will tell you they are as anxious as ever about the return than ever before. After so long out of the game, it’s no secret it will take time for Rose to settle back into his role as the leader of the team, and help them win the games they need to in order to remain a threat to Miami come the business end of the season. Their success this year will depend on it, and if he can’t guide them back to the top of east, the Bulls and their fans will see season 2013/14 as a bitter disappointment. But the Bulls are far from irrelevant, with a lineup that remains competitive enough to warrant being in the conversation when discussing the upper tier in the Eastern conference when playing well. Their tall front court of Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng is one of the more defensively tough lineups in the NBA and should continue to plague team’s who depend on high scoring players to win games. The second string should also provide some valuable minutes off the bench with the likes of Taj Gibson and Kirk Hinrich, as well as new recruit Mike Dunleavy and Jimmy Butler who are all capable of playing their roles well on a team desperate for some talented depth. Overall, the Bulls should enjoy a more consistent season after having dropped the dead weight and simplifying their lineup.

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Andrew Bynum Agrees To $24 Million Deal With Cleveland

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After missing the entire 2012/13 NBA season in Philadelphia, center Andrew Bynum has agreed to sign on with the Kyrie Irving-led Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2013/14 season. Bynum, who has famously struggled with injuries throughout his 8-year NBA career had been considering numerous teams including the Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks, but eventually decided on joining ex-Lakers coach Mike Brown as well as Irving, Jarrett Jack and Earl Clark in Cleveland. The deal is said to be $24.5 million over 2 years ($6 million guaranteed for the first year, $12.5 million team option for the second), a hugely lucrative deal for Bynum who has given no indication as to a return date. Bynum made $16 million in Philadelphia last season whilst not stepping foot on a basketball court during his time there, after being traded to the Sixers as part of the blockbuster deal which sent Dwight Howard to the LA Lakers last summer.

Cavs fans will be eager to see Bynum on the court alongside star point guard Kyrie Irving and number one draft pick Anthony Bennett, and will be hoping this will be the team to guide them back to the playoffs in 2013/14.

Nick C.



Back To Back

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It’s always a tough ask to win an NBA title but it’s even tougher to back it up and win the following year. Every team is gunning for you, wanting to beat the top dog and you never get an easy game. So with the Miami Heat winning their second consecutive championship this week, I thought we would have a look back at some of the NBA’s other back to back title winning teams.

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Friends Don’t Let Friends Do Drugs

I’m sorry…. but what the f**k is going on here?


Andrew Bynum. All Star center for the Philadelphia 76ers. Currently injured. Evidently the victim of a serious crack binge. Now, I’m all for an extravagant haircut or the odd crazy tattoo, but there’s only one man in this world who has the right to look like James Brown. James Brown. Maybe it’s the copious amounts on time on the sidelines, or the simple life out in ol’ Phily. Whatever it is, someone needs to man up and tell big Drew that this looks utterly ridiculous. You wanna make friends when you play for a new team, not scare the shit out of them. Maybe we’re witnessing the first step towards Bynum being one of those estranged NBA players that fades into obscurity after doing something outlandish. Hopefully not, but evidently there’s something going on in the world of Andrew Bynum that none of use are privy to. We’re just reaping the hilarious rewards of a really silly haircut.

As you were.
Nick C.

 

 

 



NBA Season Previews: Part 7

Howdy folks! We’re back today with the latest team season preview taking a look at Western Conference favorites the Oklahoma City Thunder, Perennial dark horses the Philadelphia 76ers (or will they be?) and southern giant killers the San Antonio Spurs. Enjoy!

Oklahoma City Thunder

How Will They Do?

Oklahoma City are the NBA’s darlings, rising out of the ashes of the Seattle Sonics. Last year they fulfilled what most predicted – making it to the NBA Finals before being steamrolled by the Heat juggernaut. This season brings another series of high expectations and even more challenges. As the Lakers rebuilt and retooled for another assault on the title the Thunder took stock and made very few changes. Last season was an important moment for this franchise as it gave them the irrational confidence that they can now reach the highest heights. The biggest story line coming out of this camp this season will be can they re-sign James Harden?  Currently the team is cash strapped. They hold the contracts of Durant, Westbrook, Perkins and Ibaka in their hands. Harden is the icing on this cake, coming off the bench with confidence, fearless determination and one of the best ball handlers in the league. Harden’s presence cements this team atop the Western Conference, without him there is an air of uncertainty.  We really like how the Thunder have built upon their roster and given themselves depth at most positions. Collison & Jones backing up Ibaka & Durant as newest Thunder recruit Thabeet brings size off the bench. Harden, Maynor and Cook act as dynamite off the bench lifting the tempo of the team whenever they are on-court. Sure it’s not the deepest team in the league but it’s one of the most reliable, you know what you will get from your bench. Very similar to Moneyball it’s about working your way to a win any way you can. Coach Brooks knows this, has assembled a squad capable of challenging every team in the league. This team is one of the most explosive and dynamic in the league, a League Pass must every night. There is no doubting they have the talent, if they can just sprinkle in a dash of experience (gained from the 2011/12 Finals & Olympics) this team could destroy the Western Conference. Look for them to pick up 55-65 wins this year. 

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NBA Nation Australia’s Preseason Previews: Part 4

Every day brings us closer to the new NBA season and we are all waiting with baited breath to see our teams run out on the pine in a few weeks time. During the lead up we’ve been updating you with our 2012/13 preseason team previews! Today, we take a brief look at the Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons and the two sides in Los Angeles, the Clippers and the Lakers.

Let’s get into it!

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NBA NATION AUSTRALIA’S TOP 25 PLAYER RANKINGS

With the NBA just around the corner, the team at NBA Nation Australia decided to take a look at who we think are the current 25 Best players in the league. We thought it was going to be easy and that we would all agree, ha! If it was only that simple. After days of discussion and a few little arguments, we have finally managed to put together a list!  Am sure some of you will think we have been too generous with some spots, too hard on some players, or just downright crazy!? Check it out and let us know!


Andrew Bynum ‘Excited’ To Be A Sixer; Considering Long-Term Stay

Ex-Lakers Center Andrew Bynum has been welcomed by the Philadelphia 76er’s in an open press conference in which he expressed his happiness at being part of the team, and how he is leaning towards signing an extension.

Bynum was traded to the Sixers as part of the blockbuster deal which saw Dwight Howard head to Los Angeles to play for the Lakers.

Full press conference below: