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Howdy all! It appears that there is a jolly ol' St Nick after all!....
The Nba season is back, and it promises above all else to be as controversial and busy as its ever been. The rumour mill is in absolute overdrive, players have decided to have their own "boycott" and skip the first day of camp (either that, or Lamar Odom must really like more than just the cooking at home), a muli-team blockbuster trade has already been rescinded and we've only had 1 day.
To those of you taking some of your precious time out to have a read of this I thank you, and I hope you enjoy a simple yet somewhat knowledgeable guy having a go at putting some more of his current thoughts and ideas up on a computer.
First things first, a little update what's going on at the moment in the life of Money-Shot: University is going great. I'm now coaching the Womens team here, and having a real blast doing it. Ive missed the game so much, and didnt really how much until i played a few pickup games not so long ago. So I may look to get back into that at some point soon.
In terms of the scouting and talent identification career path, ive made some progress with 3 teams over here about working with the relevant departments at their ball clubs, so hopefully I can get some experience in the near future in that area. And yes, its still my passion, I cant get enough of it.
Hmm... had enough about me and looking for some nba related chatter to read?... yeah, me too...
The Real Deal:
Ok, so lets get on to what really matters.
The Nba is back and it seems Christmas has served its purpose to the Nba fan. Whilst its depressing to think that it took this long to carve out a deal, we have one none the less and that means basketball for everyone. Its also a chance to see what a potential shorter season (though squashed together) might look like, as its something some people have suggested the league adopt anyway.
But, I digress. What I thought I'd do is create a spin on the old "12 days of Christmas" classic, and do a christmas special of "This Week in "Money-Shot's World" and bring you the 12 things I am looking forward to most this coming season. its in no particular order, but I just thought looking at some of the positives ahead of us would be a nice change of pace from constantly worrying about the issues and headaches that are behind us.
1: NBA IS BACK!
Hell yeah!... its simple enough, but after the long and painful wait we get to revel in the game once more and watch the thrills and spills as our favourite teams battle it out, rivalries come back to our screens, new ones are born and anything else you were watching the game for beforehand.
We can complain all we want, kick and scream about the lack of play but admit it, we'll all be watching the games on christmas day with the family and friends crowded round after their big christmas dinner feast with a mass sense of anticipation waiting for that first ref to throw the ball in te air wont we?.. I know I will be.
2: Celtics Season
As I'm sure is apparent, I'm a celtics fan. Through and through. I'll be watching what plans the team have the season. do we blow it up and start over? or do we make one last push? and does rondo fit at all? .. these are all questions I'm waiting on the edge of my seat to find out the answer too.
There's a number of things that I can say about this team. The first is my reaction to the news we have reportedly traded Big Baby for Orlando's Brandon Bass- I dont miss this deal. Bass can score in bunches, is consistent and can rebound and defend. I dont think its a loss, but I also dont see this as a big gain.
I'm itching to see how good Johnson is too. The guy is athletic and looks a good pickup, hopefully he can learn alot in a short period from KG and be a player we can count on.
Overall, I think its obvious that I'll be watching religiously and with great intrigue to see how we do this year and what results we produce.
3: Rose improves? can he improve?
Last season's young stud scooped the MVP award and deservedly so. My question is, can he grow upon last year?.. if he does then he will be just plain scary. The funny thing is that I think he needs another shooter on his team if he wants to win again. Because last year in the players that forced him into bad shots and with Lebron and Wade playing incredicble defense he was left flailing out of the playoffs.
4: Which teams get off to a better start
Youth and young legs? Age old experience? Or just plain luck with your schedule? .. Which of these will prove to produce the best starting teams this year?
All of the analysts have their opinion, but mine is that it will be a mixture. In my opinion I'm expecting the Clippers to start off great, as I do the grizzlies. the Thunder i can see pulling some wins, and no doubt in my mind that the Heat will want to make a statement early.
My biggest fear here though is that with the back-to-back-to-backs and the tough schedule with a short camp that we will see alot more minor injuries that can disrupt a season. So ankle sprain, muscle tears, shin splints, pulled muscles, these are the things that I hope the players can avoid.
5: Durant still on the rise?
I cant wait to see this kid play again. He is easily one of my fave players, and with a smooth as silk jumper to go along with size, length and ball handling, there isnt much the kid hasn't got.
I'm itching to see if he has add a post game, and I'll be watching with great interest to see if he has learnt to take better shots. As much as I love KD's game, adding a post game and the ability to find the space better and get teammates involved are all things he could become even better at... which is a scary thought when you think about how easy he seems to find scoring, and how easy he found scooping that scoring title.
6: Thunder contenders?
To go along with durant's continued improvement, I cant wait to see what the thunder are capable of. Some would argue that this lengthened break is bad for their growth, whereas some argue its a good thing. Personally, I think its a good thing. the players get the chance to individually disect last season for a longer time, and with a shorter pre season the team as a whole will have less chance to dwell on the negatives. So I can see this being a very strong year for this ball club.
7: The Knicks ready?
People can claim to hate them. People can claim to not be watching them. People can claim to not talk about them very much. The reality- EVERYBODY has their opinions on the Knicks. Now this isnt always a bad thing, because what would the league be without talking points? What would it be without a team with such scoring power and such a feel about it? I cant wait to see what the knicks are truly capable of with (granted, a quick) pre season under their belts.
Do I think they can win it all?... not unless they get bigger, and get 2 more defensive stoppers.
8: The heat need a team... first and foremost
Simple enough so I wont dwell on it since the Heat have enough press. I along with many others want to see the heats latest attempt to put together a winning group around their 3 stars. Bosh looks stronger physically this year which is good, and adding battier is a great start.. but what they do next and quite simply, who they get to play for them is something to hold my interest over the next week or so.
9: Orlando better use some "Magic" tricks
I have heard so many things about the future of Dwight Howard even I have decided to loosen my intense focus from it somewhat. From what i can see the magic dont have enough assets to trade away to get the right pieces to get him to stay... that is, however, not including one possible scenario;
I dont see any reason that they cant use Nelson and other pieces to go out and get Deron Williams. To me, that seems the most realistic chance of bringing in another legit star and keeping Howard in Orlando. Can they do that, it remains to be seen, but I honestly dont see how they can convince him to stay based soley on personnel. Having said all that, Dwight seems to be a grounded and level headed guy, but money talks and so does the LA lifestyle... if i'm otis smith, I dont know right now what I do, but whatever I do I do quickly and avoid a repeat of the original superman saga.
10: Clippers Climbing
Come on, I cant be the only one chomping at the bit to see Blake break the rim down, or just so high he sits on the backboard and drops the ball in from above the rim? Not only that, with the (somewhat risky) addition of Caron Butler the Clippers could well make a name for themselves, and if they can get just a little bit deeper at the wings, I dont see why not. bring on the new human highlight film!
11: Dallas without Chandler= Title?
Charles Barkley has said he doesnt see the reigning champs winning it again, or even having any chance of winning it again if they dont resign Tyson Chandler. Now whilst I dont agree with that, i'm super interested to see what they do here because tyson chandler is a great guy to have, but its not a type of player you can find somewhere else. So I'm really intrigued by this.
12: Arena's gets a new start
I'm a tradition guy, I love PG's that get their guys involved, handle with both hands, yada yada yada. But my exception was always Hibatchi. Gilbert Arena's was by far one of my favourite players in the league before he get injured and has all those other issues. So explosive and good to watch.. you could almost argue he was Derick Rose with a 3pt shot. I am hoping that he finds himself a good home after being dropped by the magic, and really hope he can revive his career in a big way. i'm rooting for him.
Ok ladies and gents. That about does it for Money-Shot's 12 things he's looking forward to edition of "This Week in Money-Shot's World". I hope you enjoyed the read, and please feel free to leave a comment or ask me anything.
Until next time, peace.