Give and Go
By Erie Times-News Sports Erie Times-New staff bloggers
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Posts tagged ‘Russell Westbrook’
Posted: October 30th, 2012

With his first ring finally tucked away, LeBron James is back to earn another one.AP Photo.

This might be the most anticipated NBA season since Michael Jordan played his first full season with the Chicago Bulls after playing baseball.

So many storylines.

So many players.

So let’s get it on.

Fab 5 (Favorites to win it all)

1. Miami Heat. LeBron James finally got his ring last season in leading the Heat to an NBA title. With Dwyane Wade being healthier than ever and Chris Bosh finally learning how to play with the two superstars, Miami is poised to win a second straight title in 2012-13.

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Posted in: NBA, New York Knicks
Posted: June 20th, 2012

Russell Westbrook's 43 points was not enough to lead the Thunder past Miami in Game 4 on Tuesday night in Miami./AP Photo

Just a week ago, Oklahoma City had won its fifth consecutive playoff game to take a 1-0 series lead in the NBA Finals.

The Thunder had taken four straight against the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference finals and disposed of the Miami Heat in Game 1 by 11 points, 105-94.

Now they’ve lost three straight to Miami by a total of 16 points.¬† The Heat beat them in Game 4 on Tuesday night, 104-98, despite having a 17-point, first-quarter lead and Russell Westbrook going bonkers with 43 points.

If the Thunder lose Thursday night in Miami, their season will end on a four-game skid just San Antonio’s did at their hands.

Wouldn’t that be ironic.

Can OKC avoid this early of an elimination and force a Game 6 at home? Sure, but this franchise is going to through the same process great teams had to do before signing free agents to win now, not later.

The Detroit Pistons had to get through the Boston Celtics before winning back-to-back titles (1989-90). The Chicago Bulls had to get through the Pistons before winning three straight championships. (1991-93).

The Thunder’s time will come as they will learn from these 2012 finals:

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Posted in: NBA
Posted: June 12th, 2012

Has the time come for 3-time MVP LeBron James to win his first R-I-N-G? OKC doesn't think so./AP Photo.

Got to stick my with pick.

Before the season started, I picked the Miami Heat as one of the five favorites to win it all.

Before the NBA playoffs, I picked them to win it all.

Now with Game 1 of the NBA Finals about to start in a few hours, the Heat are right where they’re supposed to be, but face the team I picked they’d meet in the finals – the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Oh boy.

The Thunder are serious, folks.

They play fast, can score as will, defend the paint and their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden are not only shot makers, but shot takers.

None of them are afraid to launch when all is on the line.

It’s hard to beat a team like that.

The Heat have the team to do it, but are they up to the challenge?

This isn’t the New York Knicks, who had talent, but couldn’t put it together in time to really challenge them.

This isn’t the Indiana Pacers, who although physical and tough, lacked the experience to put a team way.

This isn’t the Boston Celtics, who are savvy vets that ran out of gas.

This is Oklahoma City. The Thunder have the NBA’s best fans, just beat the league’s best team in San Antonio four straight times after the Spurs had won 20 games in a row.

However, this is LeBron James’ time.

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Posted in: NBA, New York Knicks
Posted: May 15th, 2012

San Antonio's Tony Parker and Gregg Popovich may be the NBA's best point guard-coach duo./AP Photo

The debate is finally going to be settled where it should be settled – on the court.

Chris Paul and Tony Parker are considered two of the top five point guards in the NBA along with Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and Rajon Rondo.

Some say they’re the top two. They’re generals in their own way.

Paul leads and motivates the Los Angeles Clippers with an iron hand, is the mayor of Lob City and closes games with great decision making and precision.

Parker leads and motivates the San Antonio Spurs with flair and creativity, gets to the rim at will and leads an offense that is arguably the most potent in the NBA.

The question is which one will do more to help their team get one step closer to the NBA Finals?

Will that ultimately determine who’s better? No, but people can use the results of this series as a barometer to pick one over the other.

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Posted in: NBA
Posted: May 14th, 2012

Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol better be up to the challenge of Kendrick Perkins (5) and Serge Ibaka or else./AP Photo.

Denver pushed them to the brink.

The Los Angeles Lakers needed a Game 7 at home and the return of Metta World Peace to outlast the Nuggets and advance to the Western Conference semifinals.

Up next? Durant. Westbrook. Harden.

The Oklahoma City Thunder have their Big 3 РKevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden - muscle and shot blocking on the inside and depth at power forward and center positions.

What they don’t have is Kobe Bryant, who in his 16th season is still the game’s best closer.

As great as Bryant is, he’ll need help to get past the Thunder.

Paging Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.

By the way, watch the elbows World Peace and watch out for them Harden.

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Posted in: NBA
Posted: May 14th, 2012

Marc Gasol and the Memphis Grizzlies couldn't come back from a 3-1 series deficit to beat the L.A. Clippers./AP Photo.

Not bad. Not bad.

With the Los Angeles Clipppers beating the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 7 Sunday to advance to the Western Conference semifinals, all the first-round series are complete. I finished 6-2 in predicting the first round.

Eastern Conference

(1) Chicago Bulls vs. (8) Philadelphia 76ers.
Prediction: Bulls in 5
Outcome: Sixers in 6.
What happpened: Derrick Rose got hurt. Joakim Noah got hurt. Bulls didn’t have enough.

(2) Miami Heat vs. (7) New York Knicks
Prediction: Heat in 6
Outcome: Heat in 5
What happened: Knicks not ready as a team to seriously challenge Miami.

(3) Indiana Pacers vs. (6) Orlando Magic
Prediction: Pacers in 5
Outcome: Pacers in 5
What happened: Without Dwight Howard, Magic had no shot to win this series.

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Posted in: NBA, New York Knicks
Posted: April 27th, 2012

(1). San Antonio Spurs (50-16)

1st round foe: (8) Utah Jazz (36-30)

Biggest concern vs. Jazz: With big boys Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson, Utah can cause the Spurs problems in the paint.

Last 10: 10-0 (Won 10)

Strengths: The hottest team in the NBA, the Spurs have great chemistry, Tony Parker is playing at a very high level and they’ve got one of game’s best coaches in Gregg Popovich.

Weaknesses: Still wondering if this regular-season success is a product of the schedule? Are they really as good as they appear to be? What happens if Parker gets in foul trouble early?

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Posted in: NBA
Posted: June 20th, 2011

The Cleveland Cavaliers will likely draft Duke freshman Kyrie Irving in Thursday’s NBA Draft. ESPN is reporting that the Cavs are committed to doing so.

I understand the reasoning.

It’s a PG league.

Point guards are needed because a lot of the better teams have quality ones. Chicago has 2010-11 NBA MVP Derrick Rose. Oklahoma City has Russell Westbrook. Memphis has Mike Conley. Boston has Rajon Rondo. New Orleans has Chris Paul.

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Posted in: NBA
Posted: April 30th, 2011

He's in a new uniform, but same foe awaits LeBron James in the NBA playoffs - the Boston Celtics./Photo by AP.

Goodbye Shield. Welcome back logo.

With the NFL Draft ending today, let’s talk NBA Playoffs.

The first round was good. Correction. It was great.

The Memphis Grizzlies stunned everyone except Charles Barkley in beating the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs in six games, the Boston Celtics posted the only sweep in a first-round series and Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star Kevin Durant has been the best player in the playoffs so far.

Now the conference semifinals are here. We’ve got the match up everyone wants (Miami Heat vs. the Celtics), the one we didn’t expect (Grizzlies vs. Thunder), the one that will end quickly (Atlanta Hawks vs. the Bulls) and the one that will last longer than it should (Los Angeles Lakers vs. the Dallas Mavericks).

Let’s do this:

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Posted in: NBA
Posted: December 22nd, 2010

Kobe Bryant is still the game's best player.

I made my list.

Checked it twice

Now you’re going to find out.

The NBA players I think are oh so nice.

These guys are why I love the game of basketball. Here are my 10 favorite players in the league right now.

These are the guys if I had the money to buy NBA authentic jerseys instead of the replicas, these guys would be on my wish list. They not only provide the highlights, but you have to keep your eyes on them every play because the moment you go to grab a slice of pizza, they’ve done something you may never see again.

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Posted in: Uncategorized

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