Tag:Shaquille O'Neal
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: June 11, 2008 11:30 pm
 

20 Greatest NBA Players of All-Time

1. Wilt Chamberlain, C
2. Magic Johnson, PG
3. Michael Jordan, SG
4. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, C
5. Bill Russell, C
6. Larry Bird, SF
7. Oscar Robertson, PG
8. Hakeem Olajuwon, C
9. Tim Duncan, PF
10. Shaquille O'Neal, C
11. Jerry West, SG
12. Elgin Baylor, SF
13. Kobe Bryant, SG
14. Julius Erving, SF
15. Karl Malone, PF
16. David Robinson, C 
17. Moses Malone, C
18. Elvin Hayes, PF
19. Pete Maravich, SG
20. John Stockton, PG

Thoughts?

Posted on: June 11, 2008 2:12 pm
Edited on: June 11, 2008 2:13 pm
 

Funny Shaq Quotes (Part 1)

Here are a few that I found:

"They shot the ball well early. What comes out of the microwave hot doesn't always stay hot. I know, because I eat bagels in the morning."

“The Hack-A-Shaq is just a way of telling me that you can’t stop me. Thank you. I appreciate it.”

“When I concentrate and focus, they always go in, so I’m gonna continue to do that, and they will go in.” (Explaining the miracle he performed in hitting two consecutive free throws.)

“I’ll beat you up right now if you want me to.” (When asked to comment on his strength.)

“I don’t have to shoot from more than two feet. I’m top 50. I’ve got 23,000 from where I shoot.” (Responding to Danny Fortson’s statement that Shaq is ineffective when he is more than two feet away from the hoop.)

“My game’s like the Pythagorean Theorem. It ain’t got no answer.”

“I’d like to thank everyone who voted for me. And the one guy who didn’t vote (for me), thank you, too.” (After receiving 120 of 121 first-place MVP votes from a panel of broadcasters and sports writers throughout the United States and Canada.)

“I’m the first graduate of LSU to graduate in crayon biology.”

“Who’s that?” (When asked about his new Miami Heat coach, Stan Van Gundy.)   “We’re focusing on the whole pie, not a slice. A slice is good, but it’s not good enough to get you fat. We’re trying to get fat.” 

I'll post some more later tonight.
Category: NBA
Posted on: June 2, 2008 10:15 am
 

NBA Finals Preview and Predictions

(1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (1) Boston Celtics

Los Angeles Lakers:

PG- Derek Fisher
SG- Kobe Bryant
SF- Vladimir Radmanovic
PF- Lamar Odom
C- Pau Gasol

player photoplayer photoplayer photoplayer photoplayer photo

Boston Celtics:

PG- Rajon Rondo
SG- Ray Allen
SF- Paul Pierce
PF- Kevin Garnett
C- Kendrick Perkins

player photoplayer photoplayer photoplayer photoplayer photo


Two of the best dynasties in NBA history, either the Los Angeles Lakers or the Boston Celtics will add another championship ring to their already large collection.

In Los Angeles, the stars went from Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, and Elgin Baylor, to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, and Magic Johnson, to the Shaq days, and now to what you could call the Kobe Bryant era.

In Boston, the stars went from Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, and John Havlicek to Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish, and slowly to the Big Three era of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce.

Now, one of these teams will win again, something that both of these teams sure know how to do.

On one side, you have the surprise team, the Celtics, who made huge changes in the offseason, acquired Garnett from Minnesota, Allen from Seattle, and rolled to the best record in the NBA. Also, a young prospect named Rajon Rondo showed he's not all hype.

On the other side, you have the Lakers, who are down but never out. Led by young prospect Andrew Bynum for the early part of the season, the Lakers looked stronger than ever. However, when tragedy struck and Bynum got injured for the season, the Lakers traded Javaris Crittenton in a package deal to Memphis for big man Pau Gasol. Gasol's impact on the team was amazing, as the Lakers rolled to the best record in the West.

The battle of the number one seeds should be a great one, but a quick one. The Cetlics' road woes throughout the postseason is a major cause of concern, and something the Lakers will look to take advantage of. The Lakers also have a problem, however, with being able to stop all of the Big Three, which will require some great defense throughout the series. Also, will the Celtics be able to stop the phenomenal NBA MVP Kobe Bryant? They did stop LeBron James, but remember that took 7 games to do. And the Lakers, unlike the Cavaliers, have other stars. Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom are both excellent options.

If you compare the matchups:

D.Fisher vs. R.Rondo (Advantage Fisher)
K.Bryant vs. R.Allen (Advantage Bryant)
V.Radmanovic vs. P.Pierce (Advantage Pierce)
LOdom vs. K.Garnett (Advantage Garnett)
P.Gasol vs. K.Perkins (Advantage Gasol)

Although the Lakers win the matchup battle three to two, the Rondo-Fisher matchup could really go either way, so the head-to-head matchups don't provide much help after all.

However, if you combine the Kobe Bryant factor, the Celtics' road woes, the Pau Gasol-Lamar Odom factor, the fact that Phil Jackson is still a great coach after all these years, and Doc Rivers is just okay at best, and lastly the fact that the Lakers are simply the better team, then you get the winner...

Prediction: Lakers in 5
NBA Finals MVP: Kobe Bryant

Posted on: March 14, 2008 6:12 pm
Edited on: March 14, 2008 6:12 pm
 

Ranking the All-Time Great Centers (NBA Style)

Here we go with the top ten:

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • Wilt Chamberlain
  • Bill Russell
  • Shaquille O'Neal
  • Hakeem Olajuwon
  • David Robinson
  • Moses Malone
  • George Mikan
  • Patrick Ewing
  • Robert Parish

Honorable Mention:

  • Bill Walton
  • Willis Reed

Comments?

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com