Looking Into the NBA Playoffs: 4 Teams To Watch For

With less than 25 games left in the regular season the NBA Playoffs are drawing near. Finally the playoff picture is beginning to come into focus. Top teams look to continue their dominance while the bottom-feeders fight for position. And this is why we love the NBA, the end of the regular season and the playoffs. Because any team on any given night can be beat in this league that’s just how it goes. Whether your team is sitting among the top tier of title contenders or playing like a humble rebuilding project, any team can show out in the playoffs. It’s a completely new season. In the playoffs 16 teams come in with a blank records and only one can win. Think sweet sixteen. But other than home court advantage, nothing from the regular season matters except the seven game series ahead. Fortunately this years eastern & western conference match ups look to be exciting. In no particular order, here are four teams to watch for this post season.

One: Los Angeles Clippers

Recently crowned as the best team in L.A., the Clippers are pacing toward the playoffs in style with the western conference 3rd best record (43-19). Led by All-Star MVP Chris Paul, the team looks to be moving forward toward their next feat; winning the western conference quarter finals. After defeating the Memphis Grizzlies in an exciting first round match up 4 games to 3, the Clippers were swept by the ageless wonder San Antonio Spurs four games to none. A year removed from the disappointing showing against the Spurs, the Clippers have made enormous strides toward greatness this season. In fact, they have beaten the Spurs twice out of the teams three meetings in the regular season thus far. The Clippers have also managed to improve their defense as they currently lead the league in steals. Look for L.A.’s best to make waves in this years post season.

Two: New York Knicks

Aside from the 54 point clinic Stephen Curry put on for the Knicks last Wednesday night, the Knicks beat the Warriors 109-105. Carmelo Anthony dropped 35 points while handing out 8 assists, J.R. Smith added 26 points off the bench and Tyson Chandler had 16 points and 28 rebounds. Yes, 28. But no one was talking about any of that. 54 points later and 4 points too short, that night the Knicks hushed Warrior fans while making the statement that they are a good team. “Team” being the key word. New York displays good balance and rhythm with multiple contributors from the starters to the end of the bench. They currently sit third in the eastern conference at (35-21) but many would argue that they look much better than their record. I cannot believe I’m saying this but I believe the Knicks are one of a select group of teams that can contend with the Miami Heat in this years playoffs. If they can get back into the groove they had early in the season I don’t see why they can’t make a deep run in the playoffs in April.

Three: Denver Nuggets

Ever heard of the term “Run & Gun” ? Meet this years Denver Nuggets squad. All they do is get buckets. The Nuggets are among the leaders in field goal percentage, assists, total points and they are one of few teams in the league to feature six different players recording double-digit scoring averages. How is their defense you say? Not so great; but their scoring efficiency has allowed them to win games (38-22). Enough for them to be sitting comfortably at 5th in the standings among league leading western conference teams. Although some may have thought the Nuggets future was over after moving Carmelo Anthony to New York a couple of seasons ago, ironically they are more of a team now than ever before. But much like the Knicks, the Denver poses multiple threats on the fast break as well as from behind the arc. They’re tough to deal with in the open court because their versatility. Presumably coming into the playoffs at no. 5, look for the Nuggets to start turning heads.

Four: Indiana Pacers

Although I said this list had no particular order, I lied; Best for last. The Indiana Pacers ARE my choice to represent the east in this years NBA finals. If that prediction involves beating the Miami Heat in 7 then so be it because if any team has the tools, it’s this one. Led by first time All-Star guard Paul George the Pacers have snuck into second place in the east while passing the New York Knicks on the way. They have won 7 of their last 10 games and hold a solid 10-2 divisional record. If you think about it the Pacers are a lot like the Heat. They are tough, they play solid D, feature a great transition game and they take care of the ball. It’s a great formula for winning, maybe that’s why these two teams are at the top of the east. Last year the Heat beat the Pacers after trailing two games to none. They finished the series winning four straight, closing out the series in 6. If anything, that series gave Indiana confidence and urgency. Caution: Dangerous combination. From last years meltdown against Miami to the emergence of Paul George and the sudden rise to the top of the eastern conference, it is time that the Pacers make their statement as the best team in the east. Stay Tuned.

NBA Update Monday

I wish I could say that there was a lot going on in the league right now as far as trades go. That isn’t the case this year. But part of me wishes that none of last years trades ever occurred. It just so happens that Lou Williams and Andrew Bynum suffered injuries after they were traded. Williams is expected to miss the remainder of the season due to a torn ACL injury he suffered vs the Brooklyn Nets last week. As for Bynum’s return from Knee injury, 76ers Head Coach Doug Collins was quoted saying “There shouldn’t be bells and whistles sent out that he is anywhere close to playing (bleacherreport.com)”. It’s safe to say that nobody saw that coming. Bynum was expected to return immediately following the all star break but coach Collins doesn’t seem to approve of his readiness. ESPN sources reported earlier this morning that Bynum looked to be overweight as well. I bet the Lakers would rather have an injured Bynum than an injured Dwight. Bynum was always hurt, but when he did decide to play he played well. Howard manages to play hurt, cry and stink up the court all at the same time. Keep these big fellas in your prayers because it isn’t easy being 6’11” and 7 feet tall.

On a brighter note, James Harden. He didn’t get hurt (knock on wood) he’s starting for once and he made his first appearance in the All-Star game. Sadly, he’s playing for the Rockets who continue to underachieve (31-27).  We’re now realizing that the old Jeremy Lin was a lot better than the new guy they got wearing #7 in Houston. I forgot his name. Subsequently the Oklahoma City Thunder are nearly the same without Harden minus the beardly brother of the KD, Westbrook, Scott Brooks family. Kevin Martin comes off the bench too. No hard feelings, the Thunder are (40-15) sitting in second in the west behind the Spurs.

Trade Deadline February 21, 2013:

This year, Thomas Robinson and J.J. Reddick topped the short list as headliners of the trade-deadline that looked something like an empty garbage can. The Fiscal Cliff must have hit NBA front offices hard. The problem is not that no trades were made, it is that no BIG trades were made. The trade-deadline is supposed to be like entertainment after All-Star Weekend. Not this year. It looked more like an exchange of role players. Heres the complete list of transactions that took place February 21, 2013:

• Atlanta traded guard Anthony Morrow to Dallas for guard Dahntay Jones.
• Golden State traded guard Charles Jenkins and cash to Philadelphia for a protected second-round draft pick. Traded forward Jeremy Tyler to Atlanta for cash and future draft considerations.
• Houston traded forward Marcus Morris to Phoenix for a 2013 second-round draft pick. Traded forward Patrick Patterson, center Cole Aldrich and guard Toney Douglas to Sacramento for forward Thomas Robinson, forward Francisco Garcia and forward Tyler Honeycutt.
• Miami traded center Dexter Pittman, a 2013 second-round draft pick and cash considerations to Memphis for the draft rights to forward Ricky Sanchez.
• New York traded guard Ronnie Brewer to Oklahoma City for a 2014 second-round draft pick and cash.
• Oklahoma City traded guard Eric Maynor to Portland for the rights to forward Georgios Printezis and cash.
• Orlando traded guard J.J. Redick, center Gustavo Ayon and guard Ish Smith to Milwaukee for guard Doron Lamb, guard Beno Udrih and forward Tobias Harris.
• Phoenix waived forward Luke Zeller.
• Toronto traded center Hamed Haddadi and a 2014 second-round draft pick to Phoenix for guard Sebastian Telfair.
• Washington traded guard Jordan Crawford to Boston for center Jason Collins and guard Leandro Barbosa. (NBA.com)

Loss Angeles Lakers:

Although I do enjoy cracking jokes about everything purple and gold, I will take this moment to say something serious. For once. All Laker jokes aside, we must say R.I.P. to Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss who died last week at 80 years old. This is the very last time we are going to let the Lakers say “…the new season starts today.” as they have done on countless occasions this season. But with the passing of their longtime owner, they have seemed to tap into a new level of focus, they looked like a cohesive unit when they defeated the Dallas Mavericks in stunning fashion yesterday. Besides Kobe’s 38 pts, 12 reb, 7 ast. I do not think the Lakers will make the playoffs, but if they do don’t sleep. If they gain enough momentum to make it in, that can have them feeling good heading into round 1 depending on how long they last. If the Lakers believe that they are a top team in the west, they will have to become road warriors because losing games on the road isn’t an option at this point.

NBA Today & All-Star 2013

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It wouldn’t be right if we didn’t start by saying congratulations the Super Bowl XLVII Champion Baltimore Ravens. I am even happier for Ray Lewis. Legend. Now that football is over we can turn our full attention to NBA hoops. As we slow down in the coming week for All-Star weekend, lets recap the first half of the season.

The New York Knicks Are Back

Led by Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith, the New York Knicks (32-17) are headed into the All-Star break sitting at number two in the Eastern Conference standings behind the Miami Heat (34-14). Under once interim head coach Mike Woodson, the team has never looked better. Not to mention Carmelo Anthony is playing out of his mind averaging just under 29 points and 6 rebounds a game. Some might say that we’ve seen this Melo before and we have but those teams never performed this well. The Knicks feature an aggressive offensive attack while displaying a much improved defensive game. They have silenced the critics, including myself. And what better way to silence the critics than to win, without Lin. Last summer  the Knicks decided not to match Houston’s 25 million dollar offer for Mr. Jeremy Lin. The same offer I said they would regret in the long run. I was wrong. That could have been the single best thing the Knicks could have done. They went in a different direction when they picked up Jason Kidd. A guard who isn’t going to take shots away from Carmelo but one who will create shots for him. Good move, nobody can run the point like Jason Kidd can. Kidd recorded his 12,000th assist last week against the Minnesota Timberwolves. And lets not forget that he and Tyson Chandler are just over a year removed from the 2011 Champion Dallas Mavericks team who defeated the Heat four games to two. Who knows we may see a playoff rematch between the Knicks and the Heat in the coming months but one question still remains: Are the Knicks the team that can beat the Heat in seven games? It’s tough to say, but right now they hold a 2-0 lead in the season series with the Heat. The teams will meet two more times before the regular season comes to a close. Stay tuned.

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Lost Lakers

Where to start. The L.A. Lakers are bad, real bad. Looking into the playoff race from the outside in, the Lakers currently hold the tenth spot in the Western Conference standings (24-28). The last time the Lakers were this bad (2006 Los Angeles Lakers) Kobe Bean Bryant was seeking a trade. But after speaking with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Kobe seems to be patient at this point of the season and his career at large. Following the release of head coach Mike Brown just five games into the season, the Lakers have had to adjust to new coach Mike D’Antoni and his system. They have also hit an early case of the injury bug resulting in multiple key players going down. With Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, and Pau Gasol in and out of the starting lineup due to injury, Kobe has played different roles for the Lakers this season such as being the teams leading scorer, defensive stopper and facilitator. He has been trying new things like playing lock down defense and passing the ball. “I’m just trying to figure out a way to win ball games..” Bryant said. During the month of January, Kobe recorded 3 back-to-back double-digit point/assist games resulting in 3 consecutive wins for the Lakers. While Kobe’s assists may be a small victory for the Lakers, the fans have grown restless with the way the team has performed thus far. Especially following all of the anticipation that followed the teams new acquisitions. Newcomers Steve Nash (leg/back) and Dwight Howard (back) have been battling injuries throughout the first half of the season hurting the teams chances at building chemistry, costing them games. Maybe the decision to send Andrew Bynum to Philadelphia wasn’t quite worth it after all. Yea, Bynum may have had his fair share of injuries while he was a Laker but at least he could make a free throw; Something Dwight has never been able to do. Howard’s shooting this season has been abysmal, shooting (.494) percent from the free throw line. There have been various reports of Kobe Bryant calling out Dwight Howard on a number of topics including his poor play, toughness and his free throw shooting. “That will get better..he’s working on it” said Bryant. All things considered, I don’t believe we’ll be seeing the Lakers in the post season.

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NBA’s Newest Star Kyrie Irving aka “Uncle Drew”

If Kyrie Irving and “Uncle Drew” are not a common names around your homes basketball conversation they very well should be. Meet Kyrie Irving. A 20-year-old star point guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He’s 6’3″, slim and a nightmare to handle. Now meet Uncle Drew. He’s..older, some might say that his career as a basketball player is over but if you’ve seen him play you’d say he still got it in him. He’s known for embarrassing younger generation players at local courts across the country with his dazzling moves. Ironically they are the same person. Kyrie actually wrote, directed and acted in a Pepsi Max commercial as “Uncle Drew” See HERE. Kyrie Irving is not only a great player but an even better personality. After playing in just 9 games as a freshman at Duke, Irving decided to enter the NBA Draft where he was the unanimous number one pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He would go on to earn Rookie of the Year honors in his first season averaging almost 19 points 5 assists and 4 rebounds a game. At 20 years of age, Irving has shown great deal of maturity and leadership in becoming the Cavaliers leader and floor general. His scoring has gone up to 24 points a game and has scored 30 or more 10 different times this season with a career high of 41 points against the New York Knicks. This weekend, Kyrie will make his first appearance as an All-Star as a representative on the Eastern Conference team. Although the Cleveland Cavaliers have not been the most successful franchises of late, the future is looking all too bright and Kyrie Irving will take credit for that.

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All-Star Weekend 2013 Houston

Next to the Super Bowl, the NBA All-Star game is the next big thing in the month of February. NBA All-Star weekend will be held in Houston Texas from Thursday February 14 – Sunday February 17 featuring an array of events including the Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, 2013 D-League All Star Game, NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented by State Farm and finally NBA All-Star Game presented by Kia. The Eastern & Western Conference rosters were announced earlier last week. Sundays game between the East and West All-Star teams looks to be an exciting matchup. Be sure to tune into ESPN, TNT and NBA TV for live coverage of this years NBA All-Star Weekend. Look forward to an exciting weekend of basketball to come.

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A New 82, The NBA Today

As we close out the end of 2012 a new chapter begins. This year flew by, it feels like just yesterday we were watching the NBA Finals. The Heat beat the Thunder 4 games to 1 and the playoffs were done. The Olympics came and went, Gold! WNBA games began, and basketball died. Admits all the anguish, there’s hope. In about 18 days the hoops go back up, so wake up, don’t sleep, another season arises.

Looking Forward to the Future of the NBA

Sean Carter better known as Jay-Z looks over the Barclays Center located in his hometown Brooklyn, New York. This season for the first time ever the Brooklyn Nets will call  the Barclays Center home. “Hello Brooklyn.”

Timeflies. No really, time flies. The future is here people, take notes. We’re lockout-free, 82 games to go and there’s a whole lot of anticipation as to whats in store after such an eventful offseason. Let’s begin. The Brooklyn Nets have finally released their new home/away uniforms which are now available over at the NBA Store if you like. Goodbye red, white and blue. Black and white is as good as it’s going to get. Think Jay-Z, The Black album (2003). They’ve waited a long time for this so..Congratulations Brooklyn, you officially have your own hoop team. As for Jersey, you still have the New York Giants & The New York Jets to watch over there at MetLife in East Rutherford. My advice, just pretend the Nets have been taken to the big city for collateral. And, by the way the Barclays Center looks, you’ll never see them again. Goodbye Jersey, Hello Brooklyn.

Trades for Days

This summer was full of trades, free-agency, signings and everything player-personnel. Old faces in new places.

If you didn’t know already, we just survived the wildest NBA offseason ever. Countless transactions later, we’re here. This summer there were enough transactions to have you honestly questioning your teams starting five. Good news is, NBA 2K13 is out, the rosters are updated and the rookies are in. Pick up a copy, get familiar. See details of all NBA player transactions Here.

New Kids on the Block

Rookies! This years draft class may be the most talented rookie class in the past 5 years. If you think about it, the 2012 NBA draft was actually two years in the making. When freshman like Harrison Barnes, Terrence Jones, Jeremy Lamb and Jared Sullinger decided to stay in school for their sophomore seasons, we knew it wouldn’t be long before they would declare for the draft. This year what we got was really a combination of players from the classes of 2010 & 2011. It’s kind of crazy to think about how most of these kids were freshman and sophomores in college just a couple of months ago. Loaded with talent, potential and promising players the NBA could be back. Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist? Rookie of the Year is up in the air. You decide, follow NBA.com’s Rookie-Ladder.

It’s Comeback Season..

Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls suffered an ACL tear in his left knee during the first round of the 2012 NBA Playoffs. He hopes to return sometime this season.

Was it just me or did EVERYONE get injured last season. Last season players such as Dwight Howard, Ricky Rubio, Jeremy Lin, Derrick Rose, Iman Shumpert, Chauncey Billups, Jeff Green & Avery Bradley all suffered season ending injuries. But, thanks to the summer and the grace of God, it looks like everyone is returning from injury. I’m sure they have all been rehabbing for months just to get back on the court. Wish them luck. However, the most compelling return is that of the late Brandon Roy. For details on his story Click Here. Roy returns to the NBA after a one year retirement in which he sat out because of chronic knee injuries. But he’s back and so are the rest of them, so don’t miss opening NBA action starting Tuesday October 30th. In the mean time check out NBA.com for pre-season action.

The Fall, The Rise: Derrick Rose

Both Derrick Rose and the Adidas team wants to make sure you didn’t forget about them. With this clip and many more to come from their latest documentary series called “The Return.” It’s clear, D-Rose is planning to make a strong comeback from his ACL tear injury in April. The same ACL injury bug that hit promising players like Ricky Rubio and Iman Shumpert last season. Why so many you ask? Some people say it was because of the lockout. Blaming it on short-lived training camps that rushed players into a shortened 66 game schedule. Assuming players hadn’t been in as good shape as they could be. I believe that’s only half the story, the other half being bad luck. Three young players with mountains of potential, just really bad timing.

There’s no fragile icon under Derrick Rose. He’s a strong dude with a strong game. Coming off a season in which we saw him earn MVP honors, an injury was the last thing we saw coming for the 23 year-old Chicago native. The Bulls suffered in the playoffs because of it, but there’s no one to blame. The only thing Chicago and Rose can do is hope for a strong recovery. And as explosive as he was. A miracle. It looks like he’s working hard to make that happen. I hope Derrick and the Bulls return this season in top-form. Somebody’s gotta beat the Heat. Plus, they were quite fun to watch.

Derrick Rose is officially on Twitter.

Follow him @drose

Dwight Howard, The Lakers & The Craziest NBA Off-Season Ever

Just as we were beginning to get used to all the moves this off-season had to offer, four more teams stepped up and made trades we could have never imagined. Over rumors we never heard.  But there was one thing were sure about. Somebody from Orlando was on the move. And among all the trade-rumors and talks we heard a sound all too familiar. Superman theme music had taken over the airways again. There he was, Dwight “Clark Kent” Howard took off from Orlando, but this time it was for good.

Late Thursday night sources announced that the LA Lakers had become home to yet another superstar; Superman. Thank God that the Dwight Howard edition of Entertainment Tonight is over. I don’t hate Dwight but I have utter dislike for that show. Moving on. Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum and Andre Iguodala became headliners in a four-team trade that have the Orlando Magic rebuilding again. Here’s the details, props to NBA.com

  • “Orlando sent center Dwight Howard, guard Chris Duhon and forward Earl Clark to the L.A. Lakers and guard Jason Richardson to Philadelphia. The Lakers sent center Andrew Bynum to Philadelphia and forward Josh McRoberts, forward Christian Eyenga and a 2017 first-round draft pick to Orlando. Philadelphia sent forward Andre Iguodala to Denver and forward Moe Harkless, center Nikola Vucevic and an undisclosed first-round draft pick to the Magic. Denver sent guard Arron Afflalo, forward Al Harrington and the lower of its 2014 first-round draft picks to the Magic.” (NBA.com)

– Lets start with the Lakers. LA has come a long way since last season. One in which we saw them ship off two starters from their back-to-back championship run back in 2009 and 2010. Getting rid of Lamar Odom and later Derek Fisher last year was devastating. You have probably the most decorated player in past decade in Kobe Bryant and you trade away two of his best friends. What kind of managing player personnel is that? And to make matters worse Phil Jackson, the only coach Kobe’s ever known retires. Say goodbye to the triangle. No literally. But with the addition of Dwight and Steve Nash I can see it coming back together. For a championship? Who knows, with everyone healthy they would have a whole checkers set of pieces. We couldn’t say that this past season, shoot, we couldn’t recognize hardly any players on the bench! “Is that..Devin Ebanks? Ohh, oh I remember him..” Stuff like that. But I’ll take my chances with Howard anchoring the purple and gold down low. A few years ago, Dwight practically made it to the Finals by himself; With the help of about eight 3 point shooters but the Lakers took that to the bank. However, the situation in LA looks good; For the Clippers too. Don’t sleep.

Some people have questioned what kind of offense Mike Brown is going to configure with all his new toys. Earlier this summer Kobe commented on the possibility of running the Princeton offense. Kobe really, in the NBA? Probably not. The quick answer is who cares, you’ve got veterans everywhere and the most dominant big in the game today. Look at all of the Championship Laker teams, it’s the Laker-Way. You ever notice how rookies who are drafted to the Lakers hardly EVER play? Haha yeah, vets only. It’s like that, and it’s worked for them. Just count the banners..you’ll probably fall asleep in the process.

– The Magic – “Oops we did it again.” They had the best big-man in the league and traded him away; twice, both times to the Lakers. Shaq made the same trip from Orlando to Los Angeles almost twenty years ago. 3 rings later, nuff said. The Magic haven’t won a championship since..well, forever. And Dwight was their only hope. For a guy who smiles  about 120% of the time, you’d think keeping him happy would be easy. Not quite, I guess Orlando didn’t have what it took to keep the happiness flowing. I bet he’ll have more fun in LA. Shaq did, for a while..On the upside, they do receive first-round picks from each of the participating teams while acquiring Moe Harkless (Rookie selected 15th overall by PHI), Nikola Vucevic, Josh McRoberts and Christian Eyenga. There’s some names you hear everyday.

As for everyone else, we’ll be watching. Andrew Bynum was practically born in a Laker uniform but seeing him as the centerpiece for his hometown Philadelphia 76ers will be a first. Congrats to Denver for stealing Andre Iguodala. A guy like that may have been exactly what they were missing in their lineup. He’s solid, consistent and hey, a Gold medalist.

Welcome Back: Brandon Roy

July 31, 2012. Minnesota Timberwolves sign Free-Agent Brandon Roy to 2 year, $10.4 Million contract.

If you haven’t heard already, Brandon Roy is back. From both injury and retirement. What a sad combination. Roy announced his decision earlier this summer via Twitter on former Husky teammate Will Conroy’s account (Since Roy does not own one..smh) saying:

  • “Lord willing, I will play again soon..Yes, I’m preparing for a comeback…I’m training daily. I’m preparing for a return next year..I appreciate the love..Hopefully I’ll be back on the floor soon. Health is good.” – Brandon Roy

Maybe you we’re hoping for a press conference, don’t hate, the future is here alright. These days it doesn’t get any more formal than Twitter. A retweet is like an autograph to these kids but back to the topic, you heard it. Loud and Twitter..Roy will be starting the this season in the same place he should have landed six years ago.

Flashback. June 28, 2006 Madison Square Garden, the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Roy 6th overall just before Boston snagged Randy Foye 7th. So you ask how did Roy end up a Trailblazer and Randy Foye a Timber-Wolf? Trades my friend, lots of them. Long story short, the Celtics took Foye with the #7 pick, then promptly traded him to the Portland for Sebastian Telfair in a five-player deal. Let’s do a quick recap on exactly what went down six years ago. Boston was dumb enough to trade the draft rights for Foye to Minnesota for some guy named Sebastian Telfair and a couple of no-namers. Then they took a chance and somehow convinced Phoenix to give them Rajon Rondo for a couple of future picks. Steal right? Lets not forget that Boston thought Telfair would be a greater asset to the franchise than Rondo, but they brought him in anyway. We all know how that position battle turned out. After acquiring Foye from Boston, Portland made a deal with Minnesota swapping Foye for Roy and it was done. Portland 1, Minnesota 0.

Brandon Roy and the Portland Trailblazers 2006-2011:

In his short 5 year career, Brandon Roy was easily considered one of the best young players in the league. He averaged 19 points, over 4 rebounds and 4 assists per game, was the 2007 Rookie of the Year, led the Trailblazers to the playoffs three times and was a 3 time All-Star. He was a cold dude. But due to numerous knee injuries that limited his minutes to less than 20 minutes per game, he surprised the basketball world and hung up the sneakers for good; At least that’s what we thought. He’s gettin back to his ways. I’m happy for him. Loved his game since day one, and also because I have some knee issues of my own..but we won’t get into that.

Overall Minnesota looks alright. They recently lost Wes Johnson and Michael Beasley to the Suns but look on the bright side. You’ve got Ricky Rubio coming back from injury, Kevin Love, Derrick Williams, now Andrei Kirilenko, Chase Budinger and Brandon Roy. Sounds like a solid-five to me. And if all goes well they could get back free-agents Martell Webster and Anthony Tolliver. Hey, maybe with a few more pieces they can make it to the playoffs. I wouldn’t say the future looks bright because the Western Conference is no playground; However, it does look opportunistic. They share Northwest Division with Oklahoma City, Denver, Portland and Utah. Rough but doable. We’ll see what happens, the Timberwolves open their season Friday, November 2nd against the Sacramento Kings.

USA Basketball, need I say more. Catch all the news and updates over at NBA.com