2010-11 NBA Preview
The Fanalysts give the news!
by Phife and The Gambler
The Fanalysts will be watching this NBA season with more intensity. Not just because we are New Yorkers and our Knicks are slowly nudging toward respectability again thanks to Mr. Stoudemire. There is a more pressing issue threatening the NBA. With the collective bargaining agreement ending after this season on June 30 — and no agreement in sight — we may not have basketball in 2011. The commissioner is asking players to give back up to $800 million in salary to get a deal done. That’s like a surgeon asking you for a kidney back because they skipped somebody on the donor list. Not likely. The NBA owners are claiming player’s salaries and benefits are crippling the League financially and costing over $2 billion annually.
This dispute may also lead to the loss of an NBA franchises. CBSsports.com reported that the League is considering contraction and folding at least one franchise, to gain greater cost certainty.
Let’s hope that a battle between millionaires and billionaires doesn’t result in a nasty work stoppage, leaving us as the idiots in this financial power play. We saw how greed almost destroyed baseball. Let’s believe that cooler heads will prevail and the Player’s Union and the League will find some common ground. Let’s stay optimistic that both sides at least consider the idea that alienating fans is not the best thing to do.
Let’s really break down the Eastern Conference of the Dave Stern league!
(Phife sent us his newest song, “Sole Men,” a tribute to the different sneakers over the years that have helped shape sports, music and street culture. It’s Phife’s way of setting off the NBA season. Homie loves his feet wear.– Ed.)
Boston lost a tough NBA Finals to the hated L.A. Lakers in a grueling yet entertaining seven-game series. The Celtics wasted no time wallowing in pity. The NBA’s favorite Leprechauns went out and purchased two giants by the name of Shaquille O’Neal and Jermaine O’Neal. In addition, there is always the Big Three (Pierce, Allen, Garnett) and big-play point guard Rajon Rondo! The key to a Celtics Finals return will be the bench, led by “Big Baby” Davis and Nate Robinson.
The Celtics are old on paper, but that age is what makes them dangerous. Experience is the best teacher. This June marks three years since the Celtics won title No. 17. They were just a Kendrick Perkins knee away from claiming title 18. That’s reason enough to be hungry! The Heat can be defeated in the East. If it happens, the Celtics will be the team to do it.
WHAT? The Knicks may finally make the Playoffs It’s been a long time coming. It’ll be nice to see some of the NBA’s most committed and smartest fans attend a Knick playoff game. Free agents Amar’e Stoudemire and former Bobcat Raymond Felton will largely dictate that success. The defense of Azubuike and the further development of Anthony Randolph are also needed for a winning Knicks season. Sharp-shooting Danilo Gallinari needs to be more aggressive. Wilson Chandler can be an All-Star. We have seen the Knicks be exciting and lose games 130-125. Now we need to see them D-up and close out. I see 34-40 wins and a 7th or 8th playoff seed.
The Sixers have a bunch of young talent with nothing to lose. Doug Collins has inherited a quick and small squad made for running, running and more running! Coaching won’t be the problem if these young guys falter. I’m looking forward to seeing how Thaddeus Young, Jrue Holiday and rookie Evan Turner gel together! I think it was a huge mistake letting Dalembert go. They lose a big chunk of that defensive interior presence! Spencer Hawes is OK, but Elton Brand seems to be on his last leg. Marreese Speights has shown that his future will be bright. Let’s not forget the other AI, Andre Iguadola — the straw that stirs the drink!
OK, so the Nets suffered over 70 losses last season. That won’t happen again. They have cleaned house and are starting fresh under the ambitious command of a new Russian – billionaire owner [Mikhail Prokhorov], new coach, and a good young center in Brook Lopez .The Nets should lift some eyebrows this season! Playoffs? Don’t push it, but they don’t call Coach Avery Johnson the “General” for nothing. He’s won a chip as a player and almost won a chip as a coach in ‘06 with the Dallas Mavericks. On that same Dallas team was a young, inconsistent guard by the name of Devin Harris. Now with an All-Star appearance and few years under his belt, I’m sure Harris and Coach Johnson will collab to do it real big in Jersey (oh… I mean Brooklyn). The Nets tried to get Carmelo Anthony, but will have to rely on the young talents of Lopez, top pick Derrick Favors, and second-year swingman Terrence Williams. One day at a time Nets!
The Gambler and I caught a bunch of flack from Raptor fans when we gave them a bad review leading up to the ‘09-10 season. You saw the results. A feeble 40 wins and Chris Bosh couldn’t leave town fast enough. It only gets worse this season.
Now Colangelo really has his work cut out for him! Jose Calderon is a great point man and Bargnani has a bright future in this league. Unfortunately I can’t think of one European player whose defense is better than his offense. It sure ain’t Andrea!