Posted on: February 6, 2011 1:34 am
Posted on: February 1, 2011 12:46 am
All this talk about Carmelo Anthony is tiring. I mean, who really cares where he goes? He couldn't get it done in Denver and he has had his chances. We all know that his "brand" is more important than winning a title. So, why do we continue to hear reports about teams that interested in acquiring Anthony. I think we should be more concerned about the fact that no good team is showing interest in Anthony.
Don't get me wrong, I like Anthony as a player. He has it all. He can beat you in the low post. He can beat you from the perimeter. He can defend, and he can rebound. He can also run the floor. There's just one thing missing here. Can we win a title?
Well, the answer is...maybe. He can win you a title if he is your 2nd or 3rd-best player. If you plan on making him your #1 player, you won't win a title. That is for sure. For example, if Anthony were to go to the Nets, they would never win a title with him as their best player. Same goes for the Knicks, Suns, and Rockets, just to mention a few interested parties. He had his chance in Denver with a very good supporting cast. The Nuggets went out and got Allen Iverson, but that didn't work out. They got Chauncey Billups, but that wasn't enough either. The Nuggets have put together a very strong supporting cast, minus that dominant player in the post, but the Bulls won 6 titles with serviceable centers. Anthony is not Jordan by any means, and the Nuggets certainly do not have a Scottie Pippen either. The bottomline is that the Nuggets have underachieved with Anthony as their best player.
That all being said...I have produced a list of teams that should attempt to acquire Carmelo Anthony. These teams could put together a nice run in the playoffs by adding a player like Anthony to their lineup. No, he would not be their best player, and on some teams he might even be their 3rd best player. But, as I mentioned before, Carmelo Anthony will not win a title as his team's best player. He simply does not have what Kobe, Bird, Magic, and Jordan have...and that is the ability to make your teammates better. Seriously, who has improved their game as a teammate of Carmelo Anthony?
The following teams should make a run at Anthony:
1. Dallas (32-15): Anthony would be the 3rd-best player on this team behind Dirk and Kidd. Imagine those three together in the playoffs. That would make them the 2nd-best team in the West, in my opinion (depending on what they would have to give up to Denver).
2. New Orleans (31-18): Anthony would be the 2nd-best player on this team, behind Chris Paul and just ahead of David West. As of right now, the Hornets are primed for an ealr playoff exit, but that would change with the addition of Anthony. I can see them getting to the conference semifinals with Anthony, West, and Paul.
3. Chicago (33-14): The Bulls are a great team even without Anthony, but I believe that he could put them in the Eastern conference finals. The Bulls would be better than the Heat and Magic with Anthony, Boozer, Rose, and Noah. They would probably have to give up Deng and some draft picks, but Anthony is twice the player Deng is.
Dallas, New Orleans, and Chicago, are all playoff-caliber teams right now. Adding Anthony to their teams as their #2 or #3 best player would put them ina position to compete for a conference title. Of course, none of these teams (DAL, CHI, NO) would win a conference championship this season, as they would have to get past the Celtics in the east and the Lakers in the west. However, I can see these three teams getting to their conference finals with Anthony as a very productive supplementary player.
In conclusion, I don't wish to hear any more about how the Rockets, Knicks, Nets, or Suns are vying for Anthony. Only one of those teams would make the playoffs this season (Knicks), only to be bounced from the playoffs very early. And, for those of you that think Anthony wants to win a title, please ask yourself this question. Why hasn't he made a deal with the Knicks? Why hasn't he taken a pay cut to allow the trade to go through in order to team-up with Stoudemire, Felton, and Gallinari? The answer is simple. Anthony cares first about developing his brand, making money, and then winning. Anthony would be the best player on the Knicks, which means that they would not win a title until they added a better player along his side. However, by inserting him into the lineup with Stoudemire, Gallinari, and Felton, would put this team ina position to get to the conference semifinals. The Knicks won't ever win a title with Anthony as their #1 player, but they would compete at a higher level almost immediately.
Posted on: January 28, 2011 1:41 am
Kevin Love...meet Ernie Banks.
If the NBA season ended today, Kevin Love would be the MVP of the league. His numbers are absolutely staggering and his domination of the boards is nothing short of spectacular. The biggest question is: can a player from a sub-.500 team win an MVP? Well, Ernie Banks did it twice, for the Cubs, in 1958 and in 1959. The difference is that the Cubs were much closer to the .500 level than the lowly Timberwolves (10-35).
The Timberwolves could find themselves with the NBA's MVP at the end of the season while awaiting their order in the NBA's lottery. Realistically, the NBA won't allow the MVP to be on a lottery team, even though the numbers would warrant such an award for Kevin Love.
Love is currently averaging 21.6 ppg, and 15.7 rpg. Love has 188 more rebounds than Dwight Howard, who ranks second in rebounding in the NBA. Love isn't just a banger in the paint though. He has also converted 63 of 141 three-point attempts (44.7%).
Let's put the rebounding numbers into proper perspective. Love certainly gets a ton of rebounding opportunities on the offensive end from all those bricks his T'wolves' teammates throw up there. And, he has definitely taken advantage of it by corraling a league-leading and mind-numbing 225 offensive boards. Love's 15.7 rpg average is the highest in the league since Dennis Rodman's 16.1 rpg during the '96-'97 season. Besides Rodman, who is widely considered to be one of the greatest rebounders of all-time, the last person to average more rebounds than Love's current number (15.7) was Moses Malone in '78-'79 (17.6 rpg), which brings up a great question.
Who was the last NBA player to score at least 21.6 ppg and collect 15.7 rpg? That's right sports fans, it was the aforementioned Moses Malone, who scored 24.8 ppg, and had 17.6 rpg in '78-'79. Kevin Love wasn't even born yet. It has taken 32 seasons for someone to even come close to Malone's feat. Now...Love has a lot of work to do to match Malone's unbelievable feat of 24.8 ppg and 17.6 rpg.
Kevin Love will finish the season with a rebounding title, barring any unforeseen injury, of course. Love's accomplishments, thus far in 2010-2011, has put him right in the middle of a group of some of the best rebounders in the NBA over the past 30 years. None of the following rebounding greats ever eclipsed 20+ ppg and 15+ rpg in a given season: Dwight Howard (20.7 ppg, 14.2 rpg in '07-'08), Charles Barkley (23.0 ppg, 14.6 rpg in '86-'87), Kevin Garnett (24.2 ppg, 13.9 rpg in '03-'04), Karl Malone (27.7 ppg, 12.0 rpg in '87-'88), and Hakeem Olajuwon (24.3 ppg, 14.0 rpg in '89-'90).
Of course, Wilt Chamberlain never went lower than 18.2 rpg in any of his 16 NBA seasons. Kareem had 4 seasons of 16+ rpg while scoring between 27.7 and 34.8 ppg during those seasons in the early '70s. However, Kareem and Wilt were, and still are, on different levels than anyone else in the history of the game in terms of rebounding and scoring in the paint.
Getting back to Kevin Love...is it possible that we are seeing the rise of one of the greatest rebounders of all-time. Not only that...we could very well be watching a kid, a 22-year old kid, start what could be a Hall of Fame career in the making. Why is that so far-fetched? He can beat you on the offensive boards and he can score in the low post. He can clean the defensive glass and he can make three-pointers. Who else in the history of the NBA has ever done this? Nobody.
If, and I emphasize "IF", Love can even finish with 20+ ppg and 15+ rpg by the end of the season, he has to be considered for the NBA's MVP. His team's lack of success will kill that notion, for sure. But, on the other hand, who has had a better individual season? Once again, the answer is nobody.