The NBA has become well known of late for being a new mecca for fashion. Players are under the microscope more and more about what they wear to and from the game. Even post game, some questions relate to their choice of attire over the game itself.
Being just under a third of the way through the NBA season its time to check back in on my Rookie to see how season number 1 is tracking.
As I stated in my initial Rookie Watch article, I’m a pretty tough judge on this kid.
There have been incredible glimpses of what he could one day eventually produce on a nightly basis but far too often there have been games where next to nothing has happened.
By: Kamal Hylton (@KamalHylton)
I don’t know about you guys, but one of the first things I do when a new NBA season starts is to circle all my “League Pass Teams to Watch”.
I’ve been a NBA League Pass (or NBA Game Time) subscriber for quite a while now and follow it religiously, just being able to scour the league for those hidden gems or late night thrillers gets me amped!
If you haven’t caught up on the articles that have been published thus far, make sure you get around to reading them.
All three articles have been brilliantly written and not one is following any unique pattern, which I think has been my favourite thing to pick up on.
With that in mind, my article today is going to again be remarkably different. I’m quite tough on my Rookie and all for valid reasons. You be the judge and make up your own mind.
Remember way back in 2002 when, during an LA Lakers Finals sweep, the great Shaquille O’Neal dubbed the opposing team the “Sacramento Queens”? So do we. Well, today it has been reported that the NBA great-turned TNT analyst has purchased a share in the Kings’ franchise and is now a minority stake holder in the team.
O’Neal spoke with USA Today’s Sam Amick earlier today about his decision:
What interested me in this deal is the new vision, the new Kings, the new everything. I’ve always wanted to be part of something like this. … It’s going to be great.
It is also hoped that Shaq’s presence will help to mentor promising, yet wayward Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, and help him become the player that many believe he can be. Cousins has the gift, but has a history of aggravation and suspension which has clouded his reputation and ability to grow as a player. The inclusion of Shaq as a part of the franchise will surely go a long way in helping the young star in the making, stating he plans on helping him grow as a leader
I’m not going to try to change his game — I like his game. But he’s the leader on our team, so I’ll talk to him about leadership and good examples. I’ll talk to him about doing things a certain way and doing things consistent.
This is surely a step forward for the struggling franchise, which has languished at the bottom of the Western conference for a number of years now, amongst waves of uncertainty surrounding their future. Following the decision by the league to keep them in Sacramento, it is further clarification that the team is attempting to replicate the dominance they shared with the Lakers and the Jazz through the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.
It will certainly be interesting to see how Shaq operates as an owner in the NBA, and if he can indeed help them get back to being the team he so famously battled throughout his time with the Lakers.
We have a big NBA Sunday coming up overnight, we here at NBA Nation Oz cant wait to see what happens. See below for some bets we think are worth a punt.
Miami @ Oklahoma City
The biggest game of the day could be a preview of the NBA Finals – 2 of the NBA’s hottest teams. Oklahoma are looking to defend their NBA best home court record of 21-4.
Our pick: OKC -1 ($1 = 1.91 on Sportingbet)
Oklahoma City just came of a inspiring win over Minnesota yesterday in double overtime, this win should give them the confidence to tackle the Heat head on. Each time the Thunder have beaten the Heat (since 07) it has been by 9 + points. We like the Thunder at home.
Utah @ Atlanta
This game will see one streak come to an end, Utah on an incredible streak of 6 wins while Atlanta look to defend a 3 game streak at home. Utah’s streak and crushing beat down on Denver on friday night has driven them into 7th in the Western Conference, giving the Jazz a shoot in the arm. Can Atlanta survive with it’s injury toll mounting (see: Injury Report)
Our Pick: Utah win ($1 = 2.05 on Sportingbet)
Utah are playing with enthusiasm and their bench is deep. Atlanta are at the tail end of a back-to-back-to-back and that could be their undoing. We like the inside presence and power of Favours & Jefferson to do some real damage to Smith and Pachulla.
Memphis @ Los Angeles Lakers
A reinvigorated Lakers outfit should see the team through the challenge that is the Grizzlies. The speed and tenacity of newly acquired point guard Ramon Sessions coupled with the size and strength of Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol will undoubtedly be too much for this Memphis side. Because of these factors the pressure has been taken off Kobe Bryant, which in turn saw ALL FIVE starters register double figures on Saturday against Portland.
Our Pick: Los Angeles win ($1 = 1.33 on SportingBet)
LA have shown they are a real threat in the West, improving their win loss record to 30-18 and holding a 3-Game advantage over their cross-town rivals the Clippers. We are increasingly impressed with the power of Bynum who is playing MVP-quality ball, and how the team is coming together since the inclusion of Sessions. This will undoubtedly be too much for the likes of Randolph and Mayo in the confines of the Staples Center.
Washington Wizards @ Boston Celtics
It’s been a tough week for both these sides. The Celtics are coming off a crushing loss to Philadelphia which saw injuries sustained by Mickael Pietrus and Avery Bradley, and the Wizards are out of form in almost every way having won only three of the last ten games. They have also lost Rashard Lewis and Andray Blatche to injury.
Our Pick: Boston win ($1 = 1.17 on SportingBet)
TD Garden has become a safe house for the Celtics of late with the team winning their last 5 at the venue, and will be looking to sweep the series with the Wizards 4-0. Paul Pierce is averaging 18 points a game and is still a genius in the clutch, whilst John Wall has averaged 12 points over the past three starts, not to mention making only 4/13 in his last visit to TD Garden. While the Celtics are struggling this season, we know that they still possess the ability to overcome the lowly Washington Wizards.
Stay tuned overnight as we launch our very own tipping comp.
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