Archive for the ‘Basketball’ Category

Rose wins NBA Rookie of the Year Award, and deservedly so.

April 23, 2009

For the third time in NBA history, a Chicago Bulls player has been named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year.

Point guard Derrick Rose learned that he had won the award on Wednesday, following in the footsteps Michael Jordan and Elton Brand (who was a co-ROY with Houston’s Steve Francis), who won the award in 1985 and 2000 respectively.

And while he might act cool and collected on the court, and not seem to succumb to pressure or media attention, Rose made it clear that winning this award was something he planned to do from the start of his young career.

“When I first came into the season, my biggest thing was to get this award,” Rose said according to the Associated Press. “I was telling you all that I didn’t care, but I did. You really do want this award. There was a lot of talent out there that I had to go against.”

Rose garnered a majority of the first place votes (111) to beat out the likes of Memphis’s OJ Mayo (5), the Net’s Brook Lopez (1) and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook (1). The Clipper’s Eric Gordon rounded out the top five.

Mayo made a run of it, ranking first among rookies in points per game (18.5), but the pact that he could not lead his team to a playoff berth might have cost him.

Lopez far exceeded expectations, averaging 13 points and roughly eight rebounds per contest, while Westbrook played for a sub-par (but rapidly improving) Thunder team, and averaged 15.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game.

It comes as no hock that Rose was a finalist for the award, but at the beginning of the season, I was under the assumption that the ROY voting would come down to the two top players selected in the NBA draft in 2008, Rose, who went first overall, and now-Heat forward Michael Beasley.

Though he had a very good season, averaging 13.9 points per game, and pulling down 5.4 boards, Beasley was overshadowed by Rose, who notched 16.8 ppg and 6.3 assists.

Both men are currently in the midst of playoff pushes with their respective teams, and both will likely prove to be fine NBA talents. However, the trophy case don’t lie, and now Rose has some more impressive hardware to occupy some more space in it to go along with his 2009 NBA Skills Competition trophy.

Now that they have started, what are my NBA Playoff predictions?

April 20, 2009

Yes, I’m quite aware that the NBA playoffs have already begun, but hey, like any informed customer, I wanted to get a taste for how things would shape up before I made any picks in terms of winners and losers.

EASTERN CONFERENCE:

Cleveland vs. Detroit (Cavs ahead 1-0): Is this Lebron’s year? No.  However, he and his teammates will easily handle the Pistons, especially when they’re sans AI. All in all, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Cavs sweep this series.

-Cavs over Detroit 4-0

Boston vs. Chicago (Bulls ahead 1-0): Boston is missing a key compenent, with superstar Kevin Garnett on the shelf with a knee injury. To makes matters worse, the Celtics likely will not have him back for these playoffs, and their are rumors that surgery is on the horizon for Garnett. Elsewhere, the Bulls looked greatin Game 1, and have obviously gained a ton of confidence through their win in the first game. That confidence could be a lot of trouble for Boston.

-Bulls over Celtics 4-2

Orlando vs. Philadelphia (Sixers ahead 1-0): Don’t be fooled, the Magic haven’t lost anything. And now they’re mad. Philly’s good, but not that good. Dwight Howard is an absolute superstar, and will prove that in the coming games. Expect the Magic to get things on track on Game 2, and eventually take the series. If Orlando can gain some swagger from this series, they could make a long run in the East, maybe even winning it outright.

Magic over Sixers 4-1

Atlanta vs. Miami (Hawks ahead 1-0): I was actually fairly shocked that the Hawks took Game 1. I know that they’re a higher seed, but I banked on Dwyane Wade being far too much for them to handle. This could go seven games, but six is more likely. However, the Heat will take it in the end.

Heat over Hawks 4-2

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WESTERN CONFERENCE:

Los Angeles vs. Utah (Lakers ahead 1-0): The Lakers are a dynamic group, and now that Andrew Bynum is back, they’re going to close to unstoppable. Kobe and Co. will handle the Jazz, likely sweeping them, and then eventually win the West .

-Lakers over Jazz 4-0

Denver vs. New Orleans (Nuggets ahead 1-0): Don’t get me wrong, I really love the Hornets, and Chris Paul. However, they’re one great player away from being an elite team in the conference, maybe even the NBA. Look for the mto make a big splash come free-agency time. But for the time being, Carmelo Anthony and his merry men will likely win this series, but not without a fight from CP3 and Co.

-Nuggets over Hornets 4-2

San Antonio vs. Dallas (Mavs ahead 1-0): This could end up being the most compelling matchup of the first round. The Spurs without Manu Ginobili are not the Spurs at all. Tim Duncan and Tony “Don’t call me Mr. Longoria” Parker can hold their own to a point, but Dirk Nowitzki, Josh Howard, Jason Kidd and Jason Terry will prove to be too much for the Spurs to take.

-Mavericks over Spurs 4-2

Portland vs. Houston (Rockets ahead 1-0): If Tracy McGrady were playing in this series, I could probably give the Rockets the edge. However, he is not, nor will he be for the remainder of the playoffs. Aaron Brooks will not score 27 points again in this series, but the Blazers will score a ton. The series could go seven games, but Portland will come out on top.

-Trial Blazers over Rockets 4-3