Connect with us

NBA

Can Dwight Howard propel Atlanta Into NBA Finals?

Published

on

Dwight Howard - Atlanta Hawks

On July 12, 2016, the Atlanta Hawks announced they had signed veteran center Dwight Howard.

“We would like to welcome Dwight, and his family, home to Atlanta and into our Hawks basketball family.  We feel Dwight will have a huge impact on both ends of the court with his physical presence and the force he brings to the game,” President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Mike Budenholzer said, per NBA.com.

This is a great move for basketball reasons, but also because it brought a legendary player back home. Howard is from Atlanta, Georgia, and his presence, and cache will spark interest in the Hawks across the United States.

The Hawks are a playoff team in the Eastern Conference, qualifying every year since 2008, but have only one Conference Finals appearance in that time span.

Howard is a player that can change the negative spiral the Hawks find themselves in every spring, which is Atlanta is good in the regular season, but fades away in the playoffs. After all, he led the Orlando Magic to the NBA Finals in 2009. And, that Magic squad was one blundered away – Stan Van Gundy’s decision to bring Jameer Nelson back in the starting lineup, which destroyed the rotation – from winning it all.

Howard will strengthen Atlanta’s defense, which was one of the best unit in the NBA, a year ago. According to ESPN.com, the Hawks had the second best defensive efficiency, behind San Antonio, at 98.8. This defense could potentially be the best in the NBA, which could translate to a more successful post-season for Atlanta. After all, defense wins championships.

However, the Hawks are not a good rebounding team, because Al Horford, now in Boston, played out of position during his tenure with the team. Dwight Howard will change that immediately because he plays his natural position. He has a career average of 12.7 rebounds per game, and recorded 613 double-doubles.

Must Read:  Utah Jazz Trey Lyles victimizes Gorgui Dieng

According to NBA.com, Howard ranks 13th in NBA history in rebounds per game, 20th in blocks per game, 21st in blocked shots (1,824), and 27th in total rebounds (11,149).

A year ago, Atlanta was horrendous in rebounding, ranking 25th in defensive rebounding behind the Los Angeles Lakers! And dead last in offensive rebounding (30th). Dwight Howard will turn those numbers around.

When you consider that the Hawks are a pretty good shooting team, tied with Toronto for seventh best in the NBA at 55.2 per cent in true shooting percentage. Although their offensive efficiency ranks low (18th in the NBA), they still average over 100 points per 100 possessions (103.0). Atlanta can score; they just need to be more efficient with their offensive possessions.

The knock against Atlanta, in recent years, has been that they don’t have a go-to guy that can win them tough contests; however, with a collection of talents spread around the court, and an immovable pillar below the rim, the Hawks could shoot the lights out of a gym, and Dwight Howard would only have to rebound and execute put-back dunks.

The 2016-17 Atlanta Hawks could look a lot like the 2008-10 Orlando Magic squads that did not have great outside players, but players who collectively could shoot (very) well, and a monster in the middle of the paint.

Atlanta could very well be Dwight Howard’s last stop in the NBA, and with his career on the line, in the town where he was born, could Howard make believers in all of us that he has changed since the ugly on-going battle to leave Orlando in 2012?

NBA

Is Isaiah Thomas IT For The Lakers?

Published

on

Usa Today 10601289.0
IT Came On A Hollywood Night

It’s All-Star break this weekend in Los Angeles, but the Lakers already have a new one since the trade deadline to lead their young core in the heart of the city. Even if Team LeBron didn’t pick him for Sundays pick up.

But how long will IT last?

Right now in the NBA the amount of movers is really putting the shakers on teams. So much so that in regards to loyalty in this league it’s even colder than the Olympics in Pyeonchang, South Korea right now. But then again it is the Winter after all. Recently Cleveland cleaned house and LeBron’s land for some Cavalier moves. Jettisoning several All-Star points for their changing of the guard. Including former MVP Derrick Rose, ‘Bron brodie Dwyane Wade back to the Heat of Miami, South Beach and even the guy they traded Kyrie for.

Yep that’s right after summer swapping Irving for Isaiah, the Cavs sent Thomas along with versatile big-man vet Channing Frye to Lakerland. In return they got the buckets of ‘Sixth Man’ sure thing Jordan Clarkson and another Akron hometown hero in the form of Larry Nance Jr.

And although the Lakers picked-up a certified All-Star with Iverson kill at will, little man syndrome scoring a lot of fans where left tweeting negative emojis and gifs following the deadline deal. And not because their new number seven seal was a former Boston Celtic great only a season ago. Or that the former tooth chipper is now a befallen superstar by way of injury. More that the Lake Show loved the young Ball, Ingram, Kuzma, Randle and Zubac core that has lost it’s first big time players of the future since the de-loading trade of D’Angelo Russell last summer.

Must Read:  Raptors versus Knicks in Montreal - Much more than a Game!

Clarkson was a class act and there from the luck of the late round steal start. Whereas when Nance Jr. ran the floor like his pops all the bleachers snapped shut, tilted up. Lakerland finally thought they would see their own slamming son represent them in the Slam Dunk Contest he should surely win now like father, like dunk today. But now he’ll be doing it all for one and one for all.

But with the fast tracked pace of the Lakers new speedy dynamite dynamo it could still be Showtime again for Magic’s men like when Earvin Johnson was kissing another Isiah Thomas hello in the golden era 80’s. But this Isaiah Thomas-so long as he can ball in the same backcourt as Ball once injury time gives way to the Lavar…excuse me the Lonzo Angeles Lakers-could attract even more free agents like the expected homecoming of Paul George from the Thunder to the purple reign this offseason. Even if rumour has a Black Panther/Killmonger like relationship between this point prince and the King of the Ohio land.

But if it’s between LeBron as a Laker or another one of James’ sidekicks than who do you think will hold the headlines for tomorrows Los Angeles Times? Especially as Isaiah could aim higher than coming off the bench this summer as a free agent without restriction himself. His big contract coming off the books with Channing’s (Frye not Hollywood’s Tatum), another big three big in Brook Lopez and another former All-Star in Luol Deng (yep…he’s still here).

All these multiples of millions would surely make for a kings ransom.

This could be it, so lets enjoy I.T. whilst he lasts.

Continue Reading

NBA

Nuggets Jamal Murray breaks Steven Adams Ankles with Filthy Handles

Published

on

Nuggets Jamal Murray Breaks Steven Adams Ankles Filthy Handles

Denver Nuggets Guard Jamal Murray breaks OKC Thunder center Steven Adams ankles with his filthy and deadly combination of handles and three-point shooting. Murray was sensational finishing with 33 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds in a thrilling 127-124 victory. The Canadian guard (Kitchener, ON) is having the best year of his NBA career and has arguably become best Canadian basketball player in the NBA. The 6’4″, 207 lbs guard is flourishing under Head  Coach Mike Malone’s system and is averaging a respectable 16 points per game, 3.6 rebounds and 3 assists per game through 50 regular season games including a career-high 38-point outburst against the Portland Trail Blazers.

BTW. I can watch this all day!

Continue Reading

NBA

Like Father, Like Glove…Gary Payton II Makes Family Franchise History

Published

on

Like Father, Like Glove…Gary Payton II Makes Family Franchise History
The Gloves Are On For The Lakers.

From L.A. to South Bay the storied Lakers franchise has growing family ties rooted in their ever evolving modern history.

There’s the Walton. Son of Bill, former player and now coach Luuuuke. The Slam Dunk king he runs lay-up line plays for Larry Nance Jr. like his 80’s dunk champ dad. And even former player and D-League, South Bay coach Coby Karl, son of the legendary George Karl.

And then there’s the Glove story.

All trash talking, stop you from scoring, Seattle Supersonics NBA legend Gary Payton joined the Lakers with fellow golden era 90’s great post mailman, Karl Malone to try to get one more ring at the end of the Shaq and Kobe era. Payton ended up getting one with Shaq in the talented South Beach pool of Miami before the G retired. But now the gloves son and fellow Beaver, Gary Payton II (there’s a Tim Hardaway Jr. trend for NBA legend fathers to name their sons after themselves) is putting on the gold for the future of this franchises youth revolution.

After starting his unbelievably undrafted career with the young Milwaukee Bucks led by the alphabet Giannis Antetokounmpo, it wasn’t all A-B-C. But now he’s looking to put up numbers with the purple Lake Show off alphabet street like 1-2-3. Now number 23 (three more than his dad…but that isn’t the reason that number should p### the retire No. 20 off) is looking at a fresh start with Luke and Lonzo’s (not to mention Lavar’s) Lakers like no other.

The two-way guard has signed a two-way contract with both the Los Angeles Lakers and their NBDL team the South Bay Lakers (now more official than their former Los Angeles D-Fenders affiliate name, even if not in city). So now G.P. II will play for both Coach Walton and Coach Karl. How’s that for some family ties!?

Young Gary Payton the second had some impressive debuts off the bench for L.A. But now Payton mark II is assigned to South Bay like fellow two-way dunking Alex Caruso (he really does have a detective grade surname and a game that does not go with his frame) he’s ready to ball. Messing around in his debut and getting a triple double of 14, 11 and 12.

Must Read:  King James Cavalier Grammy Win Calls On Love

Payton II could be a big part of the Lakers youth movement too like many of his current teammates going from South Bay to L.A. like Hollywood fans and script-writers can only hope LeBron will decide to this free agent offseason like he did South Beach all those last summers ago. Just like another rookie with a familiar surname in Thomas Bryant (no…Kobe isn’t THAT old) and of course Zupac.

Lead by the Ball family, the even better rookie and in no way number two Kyle Kuzma (who even goes one better in the Twitter troll back and forth with Ball brother LiMelo. “Fire your stylist”?! Oh yeah? “Fire your dentist”! Damn…can we smell a Shaq and Kobe beef cooking?!), three times a great rookie selection in the defensive Hart, big Brandon Ingram, of course Nance junior and the original future Julius Randle and his late round draft genius Jordan Clarkson (who’s not only balling like he’s the Sixth Man of the Year but like he should start too) this young Showtime, purp Laker legacy are making their own, unique legend in Mamba moment black.

This season it looked like the chance for an outside eight seed was thinner than the backlight on a retro Casio, but now the future is brighter than the South Bay sun from downtown L.A.

And with the Payton patent making Lakers history by becoming the first father and son duo to suit up for the franchise, it might just take a glove to hold this young core together.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
300 x 250 BB-Subscribe-Save

Buzzing