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  Blog Archive

 - January 2011


Home - Aaron Golden's Basketball blog

  Aaron Golden's Basketball blog

Bulls Miami Showdown
Posted by: aarongolden | May 20, 2011

Derrick Rose, Lebron James, Dwyane Wade are all playing in one series!  The three best finishers in the NBA go head to head.  Right now the series is 1-1 and I can tell already this is going to be a roller coaster series.

Let’s look at Miami- To start, Lebron James has been the brunt of the Miami offense.  He has done a good job so far in getting to the hole and making big shots during the waning minutes of the game.  Lebron needs to use his versatility to make things happen.  He needs to capitalize on Bull’s turnovers and then convert those turnovers into points on the other end.  Another thing Lebron needs to do is to make sure his team stays away from those dreaded scoring droughts.  When Lebron isn’t producing he needs to get his other players involved.  Far too often, Miami does not score for 5-10 straight minutes and that allows the other team to bounce back and then gain momentum.  Just yesterday, the big three on Miami went 10.5 minutes without scoring while the Bulls came surging back.  Before you knew it, the Bulls were rolling and then they even got their crowd into it and that is a great plus for the home team.  Next, Dwyane Wade has to show his presence.  He can let Lebron run the show sometimes but he has to step up and bring what he’s got to the table.  Wade has to break down the defense by attacking the rim relentlessly.  The Bulls are defensive stalwarts, so Wade has to spread the floor.  If Wade can get the Bulls up and moving on D, he will be able to use his great footwork to get to the paint and finish.  Additionally, Chris Bosh has to win the match up between him and Boozer.  Bosh can’t play a quiet role in this series nor does he have to score 20 points.  Bosh has to clean up the boards and pull the occasional offensive rebound and get the tip in.  Lastly, Udonis Haslem has to be Miami’s defensive specialist.  He needs to gobble up every board and he just has to outwork Noah.

Now let’s look at the Bulls

Derrick Rose has to take advantage of his matchup against Mike Bibby.  He needs to to get the ball into the paint and make the Miami defense rotate.  Once in the paint, Rose needs to look for Noah and Boozer to finish down low.  Miami will have to pick up Rose leaving his next teammate open.  Rose needs to be aggressive as well.  He needs to lead his team on offense and that’s the bottom line.  Next, Luol Deng has to be another leading offensive force.  Deng has been consistent all year so I honestly think this won’t be a problem for him.  However, he needs to shutdown Lebron down on defense like he did in game 1.  Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah have to take advantage of their size.  They need to finish strong in the interior as well as create second chance opportunities.

In the end, either team can win, but I think Miami with send the MVP home.

The Mavericks are Back
Posted by: aarongolden | May 10, 2011

The Dallas Mavericks are grooving through this years playoffs.  They beat the Blazers and then swept the Lakers.  More notably, the Mavs showed their true capabilities in game 4 against the Lakers, in which they won by 36 points. This was an embarrassing game for the Lakers because throughout the game the Mavs bench just exploited them.  Jason Terry scored 32 points and went 9 for 10 not from the foul line, not from the field but from the three point line!  The Lakers had no answer to Terry’s shot and simply could not close him out.  With this, the game was pretty much over at half time.  To make matters worse, Peja Stojakovic went 6 for 6 from the three point line.  To add, Jose Barea, the small statured guard for the Mavs, ran circles around the Lakers.  Nobody had the foot speed to keep up with Barea, as he scored 22 points coming off the bench.  And due to so much frustration, the game just got ugly.  Lamar Odom got a cheap shot on Dirk and then Andrew Bynum disgraced him and his team for a ridiculous foul on Barea.

The Mavs have proved themselves as a formidable team, but will they have enough to get the crown.

Philadelphia 76ers Succeed
Posted by: aarongolden | March 23, 2011

After trailing the Knicks in the playoff rankings for virtually the whole season, the 76ers finally became the 6th seed.  The 76ers have shown great potential through the duration of the season and could be a formidable team come playoff time.  The 76ers don’t necessarily have any great all-stars, but they certainly have some standout players.

First off, Elton Brand, a once fallen player, has  reestablished himself back into the league.  With this being his third year on the sixers, Brand has shown some real improvement.  Although not as good as he once was, Elton Brand has done a good job assimilating to this team.  Brand is an efficient all around player making him a lead contributor to the team’s success this year.  In addition, Andre Iguodala has been solid all year.  He produces nice numbers in just about every stat and has an extremely high, assist to turnover ratio.  Iguodala’s efficiency on the court also helps make the sixers a good team.  Lastly, the 76ers have very good young talent.  Jrue Holiday and Louis Williams have both played very well at the point guard position this year.  Overall, the sixers have a bunch of versatile players that mix really well together.  Each player complements the other extremely well and that leads to their success.

March Madness Bracketology
Posted by: aarongolden | March 17, 2011

The competitive eastern region is going to be interesting.

1st Seed- For the most part, Ohio State should come out triumphant in this eastern region.  Ohio is a great all around team.  Jared Sullinger can do damage down low, Diebler has great range, and Aaron Craft is an elite defender.  Ohio will undoubtedly win the east.

2nd Seed- North Carolina- They will go far, especially with Harrison Barnes leading the way .  However, they could lose an upset game to the rank 7 Washington.  Washington has Isaiah Thomas who has proven to be an offensive juggernaut all year.  If North Carolina beats Washington , UNC will still have to get by Syracuse a three seed.

3rd Seed- Syracuse has played extremely well all year but when they match up against Ohio the odds of them winning is slim.

4th Seed- Kentucky is again another good team in the conference but Ohio is simply too much to handle in the long run.

Game to watch- Xavier vs Marquette- Marquette should win this game.  Marquette was in a tougher conference so you have to disregard the ranks.  Marquette has also played a top 25 team 14 times this season while Xavier has only played a top 25 team once.

Let me see you Euro Step
Posted by: aarongolden | March 2, 2011

Everyone knows of basic moves like the crossover, behind the back, through the legs, but not everyone knows the euro step, also known as the 1,2 step.

It may seem like an easy move at first but there are a lot of factors that play into it in order to perfect it.  If you would like to see the mechanics of the move I would suggest seeing the video above.  The idea of the move is to fake out the last defender by planting a jab step one way and then explode onto your other foot so you can then get off a layup.  Doing the move however is just not enough to get the easy basket.  You must see which ever side the defender is leaning to, once you establish that in your head you must plant the jab foot in that direction and then execute the move how you normally would.

In particular, Manu Ginobili and Dwyane Wade are spectacular at executing the euro step (1,2 step).  Both of these players are able to think on the dime and know exactly when to use the move.  Also, they both have the athleticism to really execute the move very well.

Behind the Scenes look on Carmelo and The Knicks
Posted by: aarongolden | February 28, 2011

With the Knicks acquiring Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Renaldo Balkman, and Anthony Carter they give up key players such as Raymond Felton, Danillo Gallinari, and Wilson Chandler.

In a sense, this trade was beneficial to both teams.  Although it may seem like the Knicks lost a little too much to get Anthony, it is important to reiterate the fact that Billups is still an exceptional player and that the purpose of the trade was to rebuild.

More often than not when one team acquires a superstar there is bound to be success.  Carmelo will definitely take the Knicks to the next level.  Carmelo Anthony has a per of 21.28 and is an extremely prolific scorer averaging 25.2 points per game.  On the offensive side the Knicks should be great.  They have arguably the two best forwards in the league as well as Billups.  Although the Knicks have two superstars, there are going to be a lot of kinks to work out.  It is going to take time for the overall team chemistry to build as does for any trade.  Not only that, the Knicks normal fast pace game is going to be slowed down dramatically with Anthony looking to play one on one whenever he can.  Also, because the Knicks gave up some valuable assets in the trade, most games are going to come down to whether Stoudemire and Anthony played well.  Excluding Billups, I can’t think of another descent scoring option, unlike when the Knicks had Felton, Gallinari, and Chandler who could all score on any given night.

Though this trade may have its downs, the Knicks are still benefitting from the trade nonetheless.  For one, the Knicks brought in much experience by acquiring the veteran Billups and superstar Carmelo Anthony.  Offensively speaking the Knicks have nothing to worry about.  Stoudemire can overpower opponents on the post and Carmelo can play out on the wing or work his way inside.  Also, Chauncey will complement these two scores extremely well.  Billups with his precise three point and ability to penetrate and dish will really open up the floor for Stoudemire and Anthony.  With these weapons on the offense, the Knicks will really be able to pack a punch and could start climbing up on the playoff ladder.

It is important to know, that this trade was merely the second stage of rebuilding for the Knicks.  This current lineup is not the full championship piece.  The Knicks still lack a dominant center and are weak on the defensive end.  The Knicks are still developing but should definitely be able to make a noise in the playoffs this year.

Atlanta- A Team Not to Overlook
Posted by: aarongolden | February 7, 2011

Atlanta is right on the tail end of some of the best teams in the league.  With a staggering record of 33-18, they have shown they can hang with other championship caliber teams.  Atlanta continues to improve as a team each year and will look to build even more throughout the 2010-2011 season.

Though shy of a superstar, the Atlanta Hawks really remind me of the 2003-3004 Pistons.  Similar to the Pistons team of Chauncey Billups, Rasheed Wallace, Ben Wallace, Richard Hamilton, and Tayshaun Prince, Atlanta seems to really emulate after them.  Atlanta has many fine players which really piece together to make a great team.

Like Billups, Joe Johnson is the leader of this team.  With his much experience and profound ability to score he has established a strong base for the Atlanta Hawks.  Complementing his talents are a few other great players such as Al Horford, Josh Smith, and Jamal Crawford.  Now, with Al Horford transitioning out of the beginning stages of his careers he is now playing an elemental role on the Hawks.  Bound to make his first All-star appearance, Horford is averaging 16.2 points per game along with a monstrous 9.9 rebounds per game as well as preforming solid in every other category.  In addition, Josh Smith is another key player.  He is similar to Ben Wallace in a way for they both have outstanding defense.  Smith averages almost 2 blocks per game and has a per of 19.07.  Along with his great defense Smith has the ability to dish out assists and average 16.3 points per game.   Lastly, I would compare Jamal Crawford to Richard Hamilton.  Their games both consist of a strong offense, relying primarily on their jump shots.

As you can see, talent is built all around the Atlanta Hawks.  And this is going to separate them from most playoff teams.  For example, if you look back at last year, the Cavs lost to the Celtics in the playoffs because when Lebron couldn’t find his game he had no teammates that could step up and lead them past the opposition. However, because Atlanta is so well balanced they will never have to worry about this problem.  As long as the Hawks work cohesively and find the right guy the Hawks will succeed.

Bottom Line- The Hawks will finish with a record of 57-25 and I wouldn’t be surprised if they won a big playoff game or two.

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