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Archive for June, 2011

Added June 5th, 2011 by Ryan

Spanish phenom Ricky Rubio set to play for Timberwolves next season

Last season the Minnesota Timberwolves had yet another year to forget as they just won a pitiful 17 games out of 82 and were dubbed the worst team in the NBA at season’s end. Despite finishing with just 17 wins, the T’Wolves did show signs of promise with undisputed leader and All-Star Kevin Love coming into his own.

With Kevin Love making a case for the best power forward in the game after his performance last season, the Timberwolves have something to work off of and a player to build around. Even though Kevin Love seems to be the only player on the team that anyone talks about, Minnesota does have some promising young players like Michael Beasley, Wesley Johnson and Jonny Flynn.

There definitely needs to be some changes in Minnesota in order for them to be even considered to be a legitimate playoff contender in the Western Conference, but they do have the talent to make it happen.

Recently, the Timberwolves got some very good news as they learnt that Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio is finally ready to make his debut in a T’Wolves uniform next season. Even though Luke Ridnour and Jonny Flynn have been a decent point guards for Minnesota, Rubio could be just what this team needs to turn them into a playoff team.

During his time with Barcelona and the Spanish National Team alongside Pau Gasol, Rudy Fernandez and Marc Gasol, the Spanish phenom has been as advertised with the flair of NBA legend Pistol Pete Maravich and two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash.

Whether or not Ricky Rubio can live up the hype remains to be seen, but with the Minnesota Timberwolves struggling the way they have Rubio will be bust or a rising star within the first few months in the league.

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Added June 5th, 2011 by James

Veteran wide receiver Plaxico Burress could be an Oakland Raider

Last season the Philadelphia Eagles’ took a big chance of former superstar quarterback Michael Vick after starting quarterback Kevin Kolb went down in Week 1 against the eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers. There were plenty of people that doubted Vick’s ability to get back to dominant form, but he was able to do just that as he became arguably the most entertaining and explosive football player in the NFL once again.

With Vick getting back to form after serving time in jail, the former villain of the NFL became a superstar once again and made a lot of people forget about his past with his play on the gridiron. The next former star player that will be looking to do the exact same thing next season is former New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress.

With Plaxico Burress soon to be released from prison, a lot of teams around the league in need of a wideout have been considering signing the one-time Super Bowl champion. Whether or not he can still perform at the same level remains to be seen, but with Michael Vick re-emerging as a superstar last season, Burress might benefit from his friend’s success.

Reportedly, one of the many teams that have some interest in acquiring Burress’s services next season is the Oakland Raiders. Last season was a breath of fresh air for the struggling storied franchise as they finished the season at 8-8 and became one of the best running teams in the league with running back Darren McFadden leading the way.

Now that the Raiders have established their running game for the future, they need to make their offense more versatile with a potent passing attack. With that being said, Oakland will be looking to give quarterback Jason Campbell a downfield threat with a wide receiver like Plaxico Burress.

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Added June 4th, 2011 by James

If you’re lucky enough to have tickets to the NBA finals, get ready for some hard-court action

The NBA Finals is two games deep with the Miami Heat winning Game 1 and the Dallas Mavericks stealing Game 2 in South Beach, but the debate over who is the NBA Finals MVP has begun with LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki leading the way. For those of you lucky enough to be at the game, or those that are planning on buying tickets to the NBA finals, tell us who you think is been the MVP thus far.

In Game 1, LeBron James stole the show as he took over the fourth quarter and had a lot of people jumping on the Miami Heat’s bandwagon. With LeBron playing at a high level and the Heat seemingly rolling, Miami seemed to have wrapped up the NBA title after just one game, but that didn’t turn out to be the case after Game 2.

During the second game of the series, LeBron James and company were at it again as they capitalized on all the of the Dallas Mavericks’ turnovers. Despite having complete control of Game 2 late in the contest, the Dallas Mavericks came alive as Dirk Nowitzki motivated his team with some late-game heroics that ultimately tied up the series at one game apiece.

Now that the series is tied up at 1-1 heading into Game 3, the NBA Finals MVP is up in the air as it could go to either LeBron or Dirk. Obviously, the NBA Finals MVP usually goes to a player on the team that won the NBA title (Jerry West being the exception), so we won’t know who will have the edge in the race for the award until later in the series.

Personally, I believe that Dirk Nowitzki has done the better job when compared to LeBron James. With two other superstars to lean on in Miami, LeBron has a much easier time imposing his will where Dirk doesn’t have that kind of help in Dallas.

Get your tickets to Game 4 of the NBA finals.

So as of right now my vote is for Dirk Nowitzki, but in the end it could very well be LeBron James that walks away with the award and an NBA title.

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Added June 4th, 2011 by Ryan

Arizona Cardinals want to get their hands on quarterback Kevin Kolb

A few seasons ago, the Arizona Cardinals were one of the best teams in the NFL with future Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner under center and arguably the best wide receiving in the league in Larry Fitzgerald downfield. The defense wasn’t that great in Arizona, but the potent offense made up for it and resulted in an appearance in the Super Bowl.

Even though the Arizona Cardinals ultimately lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl with a late touchdown grab from Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes, the Cardinals proved that it was no fluke that they were the best team in the NFC Conference. With that being said, this team had a promising future with Warner under center, but that didn’t last long as the one-time Super Bowl champion announced his retirement before last season.

Without Warner as their gunslinger, the Cardinals were just awful offensively and quickly became one of the worst teams in the NFL once again. Despite the fact that this team just fell apart last season and didn’t even stand a chance in arguably the worst division (NFC West) in the NFL, Arizona might have hope for the future as they are possible destination for Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Kevin Kolb.

Now that Michael Vick is the undisputed starting quarterback in Philly, Kevin Kolb wants to leave town and no one can blame him as he will just be spinning his wheels behind arguably one of the best quarterbacks in the league.

Kevin Kolb has been linked to teams like the Washington Redskins, Tennessee Titans, Miami Dolphins and the San Francisco 49ers, but there is a good chance that he might land with the Arizona Cardinals via trade. With Kolb under center, this team might be able to make it back into the playoffs.

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Added June 4th, 2011 by James

Dallas Mavericks have some injury issues heading into Game 3

The Dallas Mavericks struck a potentially fatal blow to the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the NBA Finals as they were able to overcome a 15-point deficit and tie up the series at one game apiece. With the series now shifting to Dallas for the next three games, the Mavs could win an NBA title on their home floor at American Airlines Center, but they may have hit some bumps in the road in terms of injuries.

Everyone knew about Dirk Nowitzki’s torn tendons on his left hand going into Game 2 and a lot of people debated that the injury could drastically change his shooting performance. Ironically enough, the injury had no effect on the German superstar as he scored 24 points and hit the game-winning layup with his left hand.

There is a chance that Nowitzki’s injured finger may start to bother him in Game 3, but it seems like something that he has been able to play through so far. The real concern for the Dallas Mavericks moving forward is their best bench player in guard Jason Terry and backup center Brendan Haywood.

In the fourth quarter of Game 2, Brendan Haywood suffered an injury and before head coach Rick Carlisle could get him off the court the backup center walked to the locker room in obvious pain. The injury was a strained right hip flexor which has put his status for Game 3 in serious question.

As for Jason Terry, who is arguably Carlisle’s biggest concern, the Mav’s sixth man suffered an injury on his shooting hand that could alter his performance in Game 3 and throughout the rest of the NBA Finals.

If Terry isn’t 100% from here on out, the Mavs could be in serious trouble as they will miss their second best scorer’s points off the bench.

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Added June 4th, 2011 by Ryan

Shaquille O’Neal calls it quits via Twitter after 19 seasons in the NBA

It has been 19 years since the Orlando Magic drafted promising young center Shaquille O’Neal with the first pick in the 1992 NBA Draft, but since then the man with unlimited nicknames has become an NBA legend and a four-time NBA champion.

Even though Shaq has played for six different NBA franchises during his time in the league, the Big Aristotle has had an impact on all six teams. There is no doubt that Shaq’s skills have declined with every team he played for after the Miami Heat, but he still had the reputation for being an unstoppable force in the paint when he wanted to be.

With 15 All-Star appearances, one NBA MVP award, three All-Star Game MVPs, three NBA Finals MVPs and four NBA titles, Shaq has cemented himself as one of the most successful big man of all-time. Obviously, Shaq never scored as many points as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or was as dominant as Wilt Chamberlain in his prime, but he could easily be compared with the likes of these great NBA centers and Los Angeles Lakers legends.

There is no question that Shaquille O’Neal’s legacy began with the Los Angeles Lakers. Yes, Shaq did lead the Orlando Magic to the NBA Finals only to lose to Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets, but it wasn’t until he signed with the Los Angeles Lakers that he really started to make an impact on the league.

With Shaq paired up with Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles, there was no stopping the Lakers as they went on to appear in four straight NBA Finals and win three straight NBA titles. A dynasty and legend was born as Shaq became the best big man in the league.

On June 3, 2011, Shaquille O’Neal called it quits after 19 seasons in the NBA. A future as an NBA analyst is the horizon with ESPN or another network.

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Added June 3rd, 2011 by James

NBA Finals Miami Heat at Dallas Mavericks: can I still get tickets to the game?

The NBA Finals has been as advertised so far with the lockdown defense of the Miami Heat giving the potent offense of the Dallas Mavericks a run for their money. Even though the series should be 2-0 in favor of the Heat, the Mavs were able to steal Game 2 in dramatic fashion as they came back from 15 points down in the fourth quarter with just minutes remaining in order to take home court advantage away from Miami. If your still looking to go to Game 3, get tickets to the next game and watch it from court side.

There is no question up to this point in time that the Miami Heat have been the better team in the first two games of the series, but that really doesn’t matter anymore as the series is all tied up at 1-1 heading to Dallas for games three, four and five. With three games being played on the Mavs home floor in Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki and company have a chance to win an NBA title in front of their dedicated fans.

Whether or not the Dallas Mavericks will be able to pull off such a feat remains to be seen, but their never say die attitude has taken them this far up to this point in the NBA Finals. The Heat definitely has the edge in terms of defense and athletic ability, but the Mavs are a passionate team that will not let another opportunity for an NBA title slip through their fingers. See the game for yourself, get tickets to Game 3.

The one thing that the Mavs has to change in order to improve their lead to 2-1 in this series is how many turnovers they commit against the Heat. With Miami being such a good defensive team, Dallas has struggled playing consistently well on offense, especially as the game wears on.

As of right now, the Dallas Mavericks are favored by -2.5 to beat the Miami Heat in Game 3 and that they should be as they will almost certainly play better on their home floor.

Take the Mavs at -2.5.

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Added June 3rd, 2011 by Scott

Is LeBron James of the Miami Heat better than Michael Jordan?

After the Miami Heat beat the Chicago Bulls in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals and punched their ticket to the NBA Finals, former Bulls forward Scottie Pippen made a bold statement by saying that LeBron James might be a better all-around player than former teammate Michael Jordan.

Ever since MJ called it a career after a short stint with the Washington Wizards, the debate over who will be heir to the throne as the best player in the NBA and possibly of all-time began. The clear favorite to be Michael Jordan’s successor as the best basketball player to play the game was Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers.

With Kobe the closest in comparison in terms of championship rings and the consensus that he was the best player in the league, there was no real debate about who was next in line, but when LeBron James burst on the scene in 2003 some people believed he could be on his way to being the greatest of all-time.

The one big knock on LeBron ever since he came into the league with the Cleveland Cavaliers is his inability to hit big shots with the game on the line and the fact that he has failed to win an NBA title. Winning MVPs has been no challenge for LeBron has he already has two to his credit, but the rings have eluded him.

In the playoffs so far, LeBron has stepped up his game and become the kind of closer everyone has been waiting for, but he still has to win that NBA title to convince people that he has made that next step towards being compared to arguably the greatest player of all-time.

Personally, I think LeBron can do some things that MJ couldn’t, but in terms of all-around game, Jordan was and still is the best the NBA has ever seen.

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Added June 2nd, 2011 by James

Dirk Nowitzki will be wearing a splint and play in Game 2 of the NBA Finals

When the Dallas Mavs take to the court on Thursday in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, Dirk Nowitzki plans to wear a splint on his middle finger due to a torn tendon. Dirk injured his hand in Game 1 while attempting to steal the ball from Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat.

It really was not a big surprise that Nowitzki would be playing in this game as he is a much needed asset to the Mavs in this series. Nowitzki scored 27 points in game 1 while playing 40 minutes.

“He looked fine,” forward Shawn Marion said Thursday morning. “Looked the same as he always does.”

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    • Rick: Damn straight they’d make it back! Go Cards!
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