Tag:Marcus Banks
Posted on: October 25, 2008 3:57 pm
 

Breaking Down the Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns logoLast season, the Phoenix Suns made headlines by trading away All-Star forward Shawn Marion and point guard Marcus Banks for superstar center Shaquille O'Neal. This season, the effect of that trade will take place early on.

Starting Lineup:

Head Coach:

  • Terry Porter

Just by looking at the starting five, it is clear that the Suns still have the talent to go deep into the season and get to the playoffs. However, they have a lot of major issues that they must get by first in order to go far this year.

It starts with Shaquille O'Neal, who came to Phoenix last season in the trade that sent Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks to the Miami Heat. The move let Amare Stoudemire move to power forward, where I believe he will play better than center. There is no doubt that Shaq is aging and that he is not the player of the three-peat Los Angeles Lakers. Still, Shaq is a large inside force who can force teams to shoot farther away from the basket, away from where O'Neal resides. His offensive game is faltering as the seasons go by. The once dominant scorer is losing his offensive touch, it seems. Yet he will find a way to score ten-fifteen points with his ability to make defenders move out of the way voluntarily.

I like Steve Nash. His defense is atrocious no doubt, but he has the best offensive game among any point guard in the league. He can hit any shot, including the three. His leadership is amazing. He controls the pace of the game, and the other four Suns on the court seem like they're following his orders. His passing is also spectacular. I'm starting to believe that there is no pass he can't make. There are better point guards out there in the NBA, but not many.

Grant Hill worries me. I'm not sure how he will step in and take over a spot that Shawn Marion occupied for so long. Also, Hill is aging and he is on the decline, along with Shaq. Sure he can put up ten-fifteen points per game and grab a couple of boards, but other than that his game is very much lower than Shawn Marion's. Hill may prove me wrong... there is no doubt he is a tough guy, but even he knows that his game is faltering.

Robin Lopez was a good draft choice, and here's why: he's playing behind Shaq, who can mentor him and turn him into the center that he (Shaq) was. Now Lopez is no Shaq, but with Shaq showing him the ropes, I have no concerns that Robin will disappoint this season. He has a strong defensive game, and if he can polish his offensive game, he can have some success in this league.

Amare Stoudemire amazes me every time I see him on the court. His offensive game is just simply amazing. His defense needs to improve, but if he can improve it (which I think he will), he will be a top 5 player in this league. He's too dominant, even for opposing big men.

In the end, I think the Suns will struggle more this season than last. Shawn Marion was worth more to this franchise than a declining Shaquille O'Neal. I still think the Suns have the ability to make the playoffs, and there is no game that they cannot win with Stoudemire and Nash leading the team. However, there are too many question marks for the Suns that will cause them to falter this season, with the Western Conference being as talented as it is. Terry Porter has an interesting map in front of him, and it will be fun to watch which way this franchise goes.

Posted on: July 11, 2008 12:35 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2008 12:36 pm
 

2009 Miami Heat just got better with James Jones

The signing of James Jones was a great one for the Miami Heat. Gives us great depth, and an instant three point threat off the bench.

On a team with no real three point shooter, James Jones should be a great addition to the team. I'm already excited about what we can do with him off the bench.

Current Miami Heat Roster:

Point Guards


Mario Chalmers
Chris Quinn
Marcus Banks

Shooting Guards


Dwyane Wade
Daequan Cook

Small Forwards

Shawn Marion
James Jones
Dorell Wright

Power Forwards

Michael Beasley
Mark Blount

Centers

Udonis Haslem
Earl Barron
Alonzo Mourning

If we decide to play Haslem at C, here's our probable starting lineup:

PG- Mario Chalmers
SG- Dwyane Wade
SF- Shawn Marion
PF- Michael Beasley
C- Udonis Haslem

I like this lineup because we don't have any major holes here. Sure, Haslem is a true PF, but I would rather have him than Barron or Zo. There are some young players but I think we will be fine as the season goes along and these players mature. Also, head coach Erik Spoelstra is young, so it will be interesting to see him develop that bond with his team. And as of now, we have a solid bench with guys like Jones, Cook, Quinn, Banks and Wright.

After watching Beasley's summer game against the Bulls and Derrick Rose, you have to be excited about this kid as well.

Once again, watch out for the Miami Heat next season. It should be a fun one.
Posted on: June 27, 2008 1:21 pm
Edited on: June 27, 2008 2:11 pm
 

Miami Heat: Grades, Thoughts after the Draft

After looking at the two players Miami got through yesterday's draft, I am actually quite thrilled.

Michael Beasley, PF, KSU:

I've decided to give Beasley a chance, although he was not the guy I wanted to see on the Heat originally. However, I think a young rebounder/scorer can really help us. With improvement on his defense, I think he can make some noise, especially being mentored by Shawn Marion, a similar player that can help Beasley tremendously with his defense. I love Beasley's rebounding skills, I cannot deny that. I also love his ability to score. If he improves his work ethic and defense, I think he can prove some doubters such as myself, wrong.

Grade: A

Mario Chalmers, PG, KU:

This trade was a very good one. We needed a defensive point guard, and we got one. I think there is a very good chance that Chalmers begins the season as a starter. There are lots of things Chalmers needs to work on, but some things I like about him are his clutch play, his lockdown defense, his ability to steal the ball, and just pressure the opponents. He is small no doubt, but that won't make me regret this trade to land Chalmers. Also, it doesn't hurt that Chalmers was my favorite Kansas Jayhawk!!!

Grade: A+

After the Philadelphia Eagles blew their draft, this draft was definitely a breath of fresh air. Next year's team will be very dangerous if both Beasley and Chalmers play up to their potential. There is a very high chance now that Haslem goes, but to where, I do not know... unless we choose to keep him and play him at center, which could possibly work, although Haslem is a true PF.

Miami Heat Depth Chart

Point Guards

Mario Chalmers
Chris Quinn
Marcus Banks

Harst's Thoughts: Solid group of young guys that all have tremendous upside. Quinn was impressive late last season, Banks has a lot of potential, and of course Chalmers is great defensively, and very clutch as well. Underrated group here that will make some noise.
Grade: A

Shooting Guards

Dwyane Wade
Daequan Cook

Harst's Thoughts: Dwyane Wade is of course the leader of the team, but injury-prone. Cook has shown he is a capable backup. I think Cook can be a great role player in this league.
Grade: B+

Small Forwards

Shawn Marion
Ricky Davis
Dorell Wright

Harst's Thoughts: Shawn Marion is the only player in this group that can do anything, but if needed, Davis is not half bad, although he needs to do more than just score. I'm not Wright's biggest fan, let's leave it at that. 
Grade: B

Power Forwards

Udonis Haslem
Michael Beasley
Mark Blount

Harst's Thoughts: I love this group, although it will probably look different soon. Haslem is very good on both sides of the ball, Beasley is a monster on the boards and on offense, and Blount is not as bad as people make him seem. He can actually shoot the ball when called upon.
Grade: A+

Centers

Earl Barron
Alonzo Mourning

Harst's Thoughts: Zo is not the Zo of his prime, and Earl Barron isn't good for much more than 5 points and 5 boards...
Grade: F

Recap:

I truly think the Heat could make some noise with the pieces we have set in place right now. Other than center, I think we have strong depth at every position. An upgrade at center could really mean possible playoff contenders for the Heat next season.

Let's go HEAT!
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com