Just some quick thoughts Free Agency 2014

Alright, just wanted to drop some thoughts on the upcoming Free Agency. I am going to be overseas so I won’t be able to post for a week, just wanted to get this done before I go.

  • LeBron and the Miami Heat

I believe he’s going to stay and that all of the Big Three are coming back. I doubt there is any other team capable of giving him the best chance of winning at the moment. I feel that they will all take less money or at least both Bosh and Wade will. I am interested to see who they sign although, I feel that if they don’t sign some young guys it’s going to be tough and I don’t really think the Heat are capable of playing the trapping defense. 3 years ago when they were younger, yeah they could. It’s a bit difficult now, I think they will need to change their scheme.

Anyway, I feel that if LeBron wins at least 2 championship with he’s next team, he will go back to Cleveland. Not this time, but maybe the next time he’s in Free Agency.

  • Carmelo’s situation

I think the Bulls would be the best fit for him because they really would let him take over on offense, I am sure Rose will find a way to make his impact though not very sure if Rose wants him as a teammate. I think Houston is a good team but there is only one basketball, not enough to go around. The Mavs are great but adding Melo won’t make them a title contender, the West is just too deep at the moment. The Lakers would be interesting but would they be able to compete in the West right now? How long will they be able to challenge the Thunder or the Spurs?

The Bulls would give him the best and “easiest” road to a title, oh and if Carmelo joins Miami… It just wouldn’t work out. Unless you tell me Wade is going to come off the bench, then there might be a possibility.

Yup, I am just covering the 2 top stories. There’s still plenty of talent out there on the market, Deng, Lowry, Bledsoe, Parsons etc etc, this is just my thoughts on the top 2 stories. Going to be interesting to see how this pans out, so let’s just wait and see folks!

Free Agency. Who benefits more? Teams or players?

Almost every summer, there’s a crop of big names on the market.

While this is interesting for the general fan, it can be quite unnerving if your team’s All Star or Franchise player is deciding whether or not to opt out. They can just leave and you will be left with nothing.

As a GM what should you do?

Should you trade them before hand to try and get something back at least, should you make changes to your coaching staff to try and keep them happy? It’s tough, players have so much power, but think about this, Franchises have the ability to get better in a hurry as well. They can just make a few signings and instantly they are a title contender. Sure, they won’t be great immediately but they will definitely get better over time. So I guess it’s fair right? Win win situation for both sides?

 

Here’s what I think, it favors the players slightly.

Look, I know you’re going to say ‘Hey man! Slightly? Are you joking?’

Okay, I agree that it’s very frustrating for us sport fans to see players just pack up and decide to join forces or look for the grass that is greener on the other side. We would prefer to see loyalty in sports, prefer to see players continue to give back to the team that stick with them.

But it’s hard and it’s tough when you keep losing, very few players are willing to stick it out. Free Agency is more than just players changing teams, it’s also about how they have a chance to earn a living and realize their dream. Here are a few factors why Free Agency is important.

Not everyone has as many options as Carmelo (Via Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/keithallison/)

Not everyone has as many options as Carmelo (Via Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/keithallison/

 

Everybody wants that ring

Everyone wants to compete for a championship every year, everyone in the league is a competitor. I am sure every player joined this league thinking about winning a title. Everybody wants to win, nobody likes losing.

Sometimes (no offense to any teams) some teams are just focus on tanking or rebuilding for that season, perhaps a player feels that he wants to win right away. Or maybe a player has been on the same team for a few years and he feels that he is not getting enough help or his team has max out it’s potential. Free agency give them that opportunity to try and join a team to win a title and fulfill their childhood dream.

You’ve got to earn your living

Look if you are a role player or even just a bench player, every single dollar counts. I understand they still make millions, but they can only play basketball to a certain age before their bodies give up. They still have a long way to go after they retire so unless you are looking for a job after that, then you need to make the most you can in your prime. This of course doesn’t apply to All Stars who easily make 10 million a season.

Unless you are Kobe or LeBron…

Then you can just rely on endorsements, selling shoes and advertisement to help boost your income. But how many Kobe or LeBron are there? Let’s face it, most of the players’ income come solely from their contract.

 

Teams also have one huge advantage with Free Agency, you can get better fast!

Signing of a few key players or All Stars instantly could make you a title contender. This is probably the best advantage for teams. One moment you are in the lottery and the next moment you can be challenging for the title.

Not every team will be able to achieve this and it does not guarantee a title even if you do it but it gives you hope. It give your fans hope that they might get a key signing and give them hope for a title. This might just be one thing, but if your team gets this right, you will be singing a different tune about Free Agency.

 

 

 

 

San Antonio Spurs, 2014 NBA Champions

Larry O’Brian Trophy

SPURS, 2014, NBA CHAMPS. Title says it all. First off, I’d like to congratulate the San Antonio Spurs, they are one of the most deserving team to win the title because of their selflessness and the way the play the game. There is no “I” in their game, it is entirely “Team”. They are the epitome of team basketball if you ask me.

First off, I would like to say that I was rooting for the Heat. It’s not so much that I like the Heat but rather I like to see LeBron succeed and prove all his doubters wrong. But against the Spurs, I knew there would only be one word for this”, “TOUGH”. Last year Final’s went to 7 games and I would say the Heat was pretty lucky to win it and Ginobili wasn’t even playing well. Well, we all saw what happened this year.

Talking about last year, well… You gotta give it to the Spurs. It was tough & heartbreaking to lose last year, but they used it as motivation to help them instead. They stayed focus throughout the regular season, clinching the number one seed in the west and advanced to the playoffs beating Dallas, Portland, OKC and finally Miami. It would have been easy for the to beat themselves up, not play well and keep feeling that it was taken from them. Yet, the focus, resolve and determination from them brought them back to the Finals. You could see them fighting for every loose ball, every possession, not taking anything for granted. This was a team looking for redemption and they got it.

They say that this is their sweetest championship yet and you can see why. All the hard work, all the belief, all that effort paid off and it just might make what happen last year “ok”. The San Antonio Spurs, your 2014 NBA Champions.

Heat vs Spurs. 3peat vs Number 5

Hi, today’s post will be about the upcoming Game 1 of the Nba Finals. The Miami Heat vs the San Antonio Spurs. I believe there are 3 key areas that will help to determine the winner of this series. This is a series of fine margins but whichever team is able to constantly win these 3 areas will stand a huge chance of bring home the Larry O’Brien trophy.

 

1. Bench production

The team whose bench is able to consistently produce while their starters rest will help to shift their series in their favour. The Spurs’ bench lead the postseason in mins per game(19.8), 3 pointers attempted(11.7), steals per game(3.6) & points per game(42.7).

The Heat’s bench has been pretty good, coming up with well in the various categories with mins per game(17.2), 3 pointers attempted(10.0). Except maybe for the steals per game(1.6) & points per game(26.5) where they aren’t as good as the mighty Spurs. However, the Heat are better than the Spurs at 3 point field goal percentage(40%) compared to the Spurs(37.6%) & in +/- the Heat leads the postseason with 3.8 compared to San Antonio’s 3.1 which is 1st & 2nd respectively in the playoffs.

This shows that both teams’ bench do not disrupt the flow of their play even when their starters take a break. But with such a deep bench and role players who know their jobs well, the Spurs gets the advantage over the Heat in this aspect.

Advantage San Antonio

 

2. Which Big 3 will bring it?

The Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs both have a Big 3 of their own, albeit there are slight differences, it will be interesting to see which Big 3 is able to impose their presence on this series. Will Parker’s ankle bother him? What about Wade’s knees? Will Ginobili be able to produce at a high level consistently for this series? Will Bosh bring his ‘A’ game every time?

I believe the rest will help both Wade & Parker heal, or at least let them get to about 80%, but as this series goes on, perhaps we will see one of them let their play get a bit affected by their injuries. Hopefully this won’t be the case.

Manu only managed to average 11.5 ppg for last year’s playoff. This year he is currently at 14.3 ppg, so i would expect Ginobili to be ready to go the moment Game 1 starts. Bosh will not be expected to put up huge numbers but he is currently at 15.2 ppg, an increase from last season 12.1 ppg during the playoffs. Expect him to be ready and he will want to erase last year’s memory of 0 points in Game 7.

I expect the decisive factor to be between Duncan and James. Although Duncan is without a doubt the greatest power forward of all time and is still performing at a ridiculous level. James’ versatility will be hard to match and it will be difficult trying to keep him quiet during this series.

Advantage Miami

 

3. LeBron’s Jumper

Yes, will LeBron bring his Jumper? Since the 2010-11 postseason, LeBron has shot 37.4%, 35.9%, 37.2% and 41.9% from the mid range thus far. Remember that the mid range is the most inefficient shot in terms of points and it really isn’t one of LeBron strength, although to be fair to him, he has worked on it. With such a tough defender like Leonard and you can expect the Spurs to continue to go under screens and defend the paint, LeBron has to find ways to score and knock down the occasional open jumper.

Note that in his first season with the Heat, in the Finals against the Mavs’s zone defense, LeBron only managed to shoot 33.3% in the paint. Against the Spurs last season, LeBron managed only 21.1% in the paint. His averages in the paint for both of the postseasons were 37.7% & 34% respectively. Compare these to when he played OKC in the 2011-12 finals, he averaged 38.1% in the paint with a post season average of 45.1%.

In 2010-11 against the Mavs, LeBron shot 38.1% from mid range, but that was because he only attempted 21 shots. Compare it to last year’s final against the Spurs(48). It’s easy to see why it’s so high. Because he wasn’t aggressive enough then and because the Spurs are forcing him to shoot. If LeBron can make them pay, it’s going to be a short series for San Antonio. If LeBron misses too much, he has to find other ways to contribute or else number 5 is going back to Texas.

Advantage? Find out in Game 1.

 

To be honest, i would like to see LeBron succeed. I would like to see him go for the 3peat and win it all again. But i really respect what the Spurs have achieved at the same time and it would be really great for Timmy and Pop to get ring number 5. My heart says Heat in 6, but my mind says Spurs in 7. Either way, it’s definitely going to be a great series.