Posts Tagged ‘Carmelo Anthony’

It’s time once again for postseason greatness in the NBA.

Here are the Eastern Conference series:

(1) Miami Heat vs (8) Milwaukee Bucks

(2) New York Knicks vs (7) Boson Celtics

(3) Indiana Pacers vs (6) Atlanta Hawks

(4) Brooklyn Nets vs (5) Chicago Bulls

Break Downs and Predictions:

(1) Heat vs (8) Bucks:

image

This series hardly requires any breaking down. Simply put, the Miami Heat are out of the Bucks’ league.

It’s possible that the Bucks may come within ten points of the Heat in one or two of the games, but even that is being optimistic.

Prediction – Miami wins series 4-0

(2) Knicks vs (7) Celtics:

image

Much like the “2-vs-7” match-up in the West between the Spurs and Lakers, this series is very likely going to the final seventh game.

The New York Knicks have seen MVP level play from star Forward Carmelo Anthony and stellar support from J.R. Smith and Tyson Chandler.

The Celtics have been coping with the loss of All-Star Point Guard Rajon Rondo to an ACL injury. Stepping up to fill the void has been Avery Bradley. Forward Jeff Green has provided much needed scoring and will likely be the “X-factor” in the Knicks series.

Because both teams have formidable scoring threats as well as defensive abilities, I would give the edge to the better head coach. Doc Rivers is one of, if not the best coach in the East.

Prediction – Boston wins series 4-3

image

(3) Pacers vs (6) Hawks:

They should call this series the “under-the-radar” series.

Both the Indiana Pacers and Atalanta Hawks have done simply just enough over the course of the season to make the playoffs without turning many heads or making any waves.

This strategy worked well for the Pacers last season as they proved the first real test on the Heat’s road to their championship, nearly stealing the series while Dwyane Wade struggled and Chris Bosh recovered from injury.

The Hawks pose no such threat to the Pacers who, even without Danny Granger, should handle Atlanta without much issue.

Prediction – Indiana wins series 4-2

(4) Nets vs (5) Bulls:

image

The Chicago Bulls surely thought they’d be going into the first round of the playoffs this season with a healthy Derrick Rose, who tore his ACL in the first round of last year’s playoffs.

That, however, is not their reality as Rose continues his rehab months after being cleared by team doctors to return to action.

The Brooklyn Nets pose a large challenge for the shorthanded Bulls with All-Star Center Brook Lopez and elite Point Guard Deron Williams enjoying home court advantage.

The biggest chance the Bulls stand at beating the Nets is by exploiting their physical play. The X-factors for Chicago will be Joakim Noah and Nate Robinson.

Prediction – Chicago wins series 4-3

That wraps up the Eastern Conference first round match-ups. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Advertisements

image

Back in the late 90’s, the Knicks and Heat played with intensity vying for top spot in the East.

Patrick Ewing, John Starks, and Coach Jeff Van Gundy vs Alonzo Mourning, Tim Hardaway, and Coach Pat Riley.

Enter Miami’s “Big 3”; LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh squaring off against New York’s “Big 2” (will be 3 after summer); Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire.

This is the future of the East with Celtics “Big 3” getting older and slower.

New York’s victory at Miami Sunday night proves even more that the rivalry is back.

There were so many moves this season before the NBA trade deadline. All-Stars were moved (Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams) and draft picks changed hands like playing cards.

Some of these trades were expected. Carmelo Anthony, for instance, was the center of trade talks this past season due to ‘Melo’s contract expiring the end of the season and Anthony’s concern with leaving potential money on the table with the collective bargaining agreement.

Other trades, however, were blindsides. For instance, the Deron Williams to the New Jersey Nets trade.

Now that the deadline is passed, there are clearly teams that did better than others when it came to improving through trades. I’ve come up with the 3 top teams as far as strengthening themselves.

#3 – New Jersey Nets

Ok, we all know that Deron Williams will leave the Nets after 2012, just like he would have left Utah. Of course there are exceptions to every situation, and if New Jersey can pull off a makeover of the century on the current Nets team and maybe pull in a huge free agent or two this summer, Williams could change his mind. I just don’t see it.

The reason I put them at #3 is the sheer improvement this makes in the Nets line-up. A facilitator like Deron Williams has been making very average players very productive with his play-making and passing abilities. Problem is, there won’t be a lot of players capable of finishing the assist for Williams. Lucky for the Nets, he can shoot too.

#2 – LA Clippers

The Clippers come in at #2 for making the most lopsided trade on the board. They successfully traded Baron Davis, who has lost all motivation in LA, and a first round draft pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Jamario Moon and Mo Williams. The Cavs must be trying to break their recently set record for consecutive losses.

#1 – New York Knicks

This one was easy. After LeBron James announced he would go to Miami the Summer of 2010, many people wondered whether or not the Knicks would be able to land a player good enough to make the Knicks competitive in the East. Although Carmelo Anthony is no King James, he was absolutely a key addition on the pathway back to not just relevancy, but dominance. This move makes the Knicks a very enticing place to play now for free agents. For the first time since the ’80’s and ’90’s, the Knicks are the hottest ticket in the Big Apple.

Reports surfaced last off-season that Carmelo Anthony wanted to play basketball in New York. Being from the east coast, Baltimore, MD, Carmelo would have no reservations playing back 2500 miles closer to home.

The off-season heard talk of ‘Melo going to the Lakers as well as the Knicks after the 2010-’11 season. Lakers talk only gained steam because of the closeness of Anthony’s and Kobe Bryant‘s relationship. The Knicks made plenty of off-season moves including picking up Amar’e Stoudemire and, like the Heat, had plenty of room left under the salary cap to sign another big name such as Carmelo Anthony.

Now that the trade deadline is nearing and ‘Melo’s contract expires at the end of this season, the Nuggets are open for trade offers. So far, there have been talks with New Jersey, New York and supposedly Los Angeles.

Reports have come out that Denver and New Jersey have been talking trades the last week. Although Anthony has come out publicly and stated he would like to play in New York for the Knicks, New Jersey has the most to offer Denver in a trade with draft picks.

The Knicks, I assume, are confident that ‘Melo will sign with them as a free agent this Summer if Denver doesn’t trade him away first, because they have not put out a trade offer – also, they declined an offer made by Denver where the Knicks would give Danilo Gallinari.