Thursday, October 05, 2006

NBA News : Around the traps

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The New York Knicks have once again maintained that they are not making any moves prior to the season starting to re-jig their roster and thin out the backcourt logjam. Mention is made of the non-completed rumoured Darius Miles trade with Portland.

Alonzo Mourning is ready to go for the coming season continuing to fulfill his fate, destined as he has been since he was drafted second in 1992, backing up Shaquille O'Neal. There was speculation that Zo would retire at the end of last season with the Heat's Championship success, however that Zo competitive spirit does not allow him to quit. Mourning is definitely a key to the Heat's title defense as he provides a solid backup when Shaquille increasingly plays less minutes with age, in addition to his value as a replacement starting centre when the inevitable injured pinkie toes come along for the Diesel.

Over at ClipsNation, they've analysed the ill-fated moves of Clippers draft picks in past seasons.

I thought it was worth a look at the history of the McDonald's Open (otherwise known as the World Club Championship) which pits top club teams -- including NBA and Europe -- against each other to determine the top club team in the world. To date, the NBA squads have been perennial winners. However given the tidal shift in world basketball, I would venture to say that it is only a matter of time before a non-NBA team goes on to win the Open.


derrenmatts said...

Mookie, do you feel that Miami is the favorite to win it all again this year?

Prior to the start of the playoffs, I actually didn't think they were going to win. I thought they were too old and slow, and too many main players who are over their primes (Shaq, Payton, Walker, J-Will, Zo, etc.). But they made it happen somehow and now enter the season as defending champions.

My pick for NBA champion this year is the San Antonio Spurs. I would love to say my Boston Celtics, but that's probably next year ;D

derrenmatts said...

Just saw on the ticker that NBAtv will be showing the Blazers' training camp in their segment called Real Training Camp. I'll try to catch it so I can get more familiar with the players on the team.

mookie said...

I have to say I predict San Antonio to win it all. The fundamentals are there and I just can't see Miami having the recipe in place again...there are too many 'luck' factors that the Heat need in place in order for them to do it...

The key things in Portland camp centre around the SF position. It looks like Darius Miles has knee issues that will hamper him and co-incidentally, the Blazers are big-upping Travis Outlaw's impact this season. So look for Outlaw to be given every opportunity to contribute this year.

derrenmatts said...

I think that's a good thing for you guys. I just don't care much for Miles (please don't hate me for saying that ;D ). Give Webster the starting 3 spot (or if Outlaw has turned the leaf, let him start), let Roy play the 2 and let Jarret man the Point.

IMO, you guys are missing an aggressive slasher--a guy who can take it from the wing and take it to the front of the rim for a throw down monster slam. Webster and Roy are nice guys who are more on the perimeter side. This is not to discount their games because they could turn out to be terrific players.

Yep, I think it will be San Antonio's turn to win the title this season. But the Suns (with Amare) and the Mavs will be in their grills, giving them a hard rub.

Gotta think that the Bulls will be a team to watch in the east, now that they have Ben Wallace and PJ Brown adding their defensive prowess in the paint. They have really solid players in Hinrich, Deng and Gordon, and excellent role players in Duhon and Nocioni. I'm not sure if Tyrus Thomas will be an immediate impact player, but he should be an effective energy player off the bench.

I don't think Miami will repeat, and I think that Detroit will miss Ben Wallace a lot.

Cleveland is a key piece away from being title contenders.