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Archive for the tag “Dwyane Wade”

Traveling With The NBA

(Photo courtesy of The Big Lead)

(Photo courtesy of The Big Lead)

The NBA All-Star game is traveling to Toronto for the first time. In honor of the NBA crossing the boarding and heading to the North, why not honor some really good travels on the court? The NBA All-Star weekend will be doing their best to entertain us, but what is better than watching NBA players travel worse than youngsters who are just learning the game? Let’s give it up for some of the best travels in the NBA!

Corey Brewer has been around for a while now in the NBA. He is known for being a good defender and knocking down threes. But unfortunately he is also known for confusing basketball with the triple jump on this play:

Corey may have got the basket, but he surely traveled a good way to get it.

 

Not to be outdone, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s DJ Augustin definitely had a good one. Just watch his feet go:

If you pay attention to his feet, you may miss that he did a pump fake while traveling to. And to boot, the refs seemed to be so mesmerized that they did not call the travel.

DJ Augustin and Mike Conley Jr both must have trained together because he surely took just as many steps as Augustin did right here:

Conley figured he could not beat him to the rim with the dribble, so he may as well run his way to the rim.

Jeremy Lin may be in Charlotte now, but he did some of his best traveling work when in Houston. Just watch how he takes five steps on the way to the rim:

Lin was definitely trying to fly away there. He could have at least made the layup or go to the foul line with how much effort he put into that travel.

Lance Thomas is a relatively unknown player in the NBA. He got his shot as a member of the New York Knicks last year. He has played solid this year. But this uncalled travel against the Charlotte Hornets last season has to be one of the most comical travels ever.

This travel by Thomas reminds me of the kid that just started playing but has not figured out how to dribble and shoot yet. Glad Lance is doing better now, but this one will never go away.

 

These two were bad, but this one right here has to have people wondering what Kendrick Perkins was thinking. Just take a second and count the steps on this one:

I wonder if Kendrick was practicing his dance routine and forgot he was playing in an NBA game. And if he was practicing, that was a bad version of the Twine.

 

But Kendrick wasn’t the only dance machine on the basketball floor. Although Dwyane Wade is a great player, he once did a little two-step on the Portland Trailblazers’ home court:

Dwyane Wade has had some injury issues over his career. He even looks like he is in pain doing the two-step here.

 

Travels this bad aren’t brand new. In fact, they have been going one for a while now. For instance, check out this travel reel from Michael Jordan himself (this one was actually called folks):

Hey. Even the best take a few extra steps every once in a while. But I bet everyone still loves Michael Jordan regardless.

But the guy that many seem to stay on the most about traveling is one of the best players in the NBA. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you LeBron James:

LeBron may be a great player, but he surely traveled the globe on that play. Maybe he thought it was track that day instead of basketball.

Travels have become commonplace in the NBA in this day and age. And we will probably see more of them happen. But these ones right here not only are funny to watch but will make you laugh as well. Which one is the best in your opinion? Or is there a nominee that you would like to add?

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Signing Goran Dragic To A Five-Year, $80 Million Deal Would Be A Mistake For The Miami Heat

Goran Dragic has been offered a lucrative five-year deal by the Miami Heat. But is this the right decision for Miami? (photo courtesy of www.sun-sentinel.com)

Goran Dragic has been offered a lucrative five-year deal by the Miami Heat. But is this the right decision for Miami? (photo courtesy of http://www.sun-sentinel.com)

Goran Dragic was not happy in Phoenix last season. He was heading into a free agent year and could not come to an agreement on a new deal with the Suns. Couple that with his unhappiness with how things were going on the court with the team and it was inevitable that he and the Suns were headed for a divorce. It wall came to a head in February of last season when Dragic and his representation essentially informed the Suns that he had no plans to re-sign in Phoenix after the season. It was almost immediately after this statement was released that the Suns unloaded Dragic. The Suns shipped him to the Miami Heat via trade along with his brother Zoran Dragic. The Suns, who had an abundance of point guards, could afford to get rid of Dragic because they had just signed guard Eric Bledsoe to a big deal before the season and he was more than able to play the point guard position exclusively. But for Dragic, the trade showed him that the Heat were seriously wanting his services and that he could potentially get an offer from them in this upcoming offseason. Dragic, who is seeking a max contract, is expected to be wooed by a few teams that have some deep pockets this offseason. In what could be a bidding war, the Heat took the first shot at the veteran guard. Miami reportedly is offering him a five-year deal worth over $80 million. Dragic reportedly is seeking the max amount he can get and that could potentially not be enough for Miami. If his agent is smart, he will take this offer and use this as the minimum amount Dragic makes. But if you are Miami and Dragic does accept this offer, is this really a sound investment?

Goran Dragic has been in the NBA for some time now. He started his career in Phoenix as the backup to star point guard Steve Nash. And over time, Dragic has received more playing time and grown as a player. However, his biggest jump was when he came back to Phoenix for the second time and played under head coach Jeff Hornacek in the 2013-2014 season. Under the fast-paced style he implemented, Dragic was on fire and playing the best basketball of his career, averaging 20 points and six assists a game. He may not have been happy with a few things in Phoenix when he left, but one thing he missed was the fast-paced style he played in. When he got to Miami, the pace was slower and that was not conducive to how he liked to play. Well, the Heat have made some assurances to Dragic that they would speed up the tempo should he return. The style of play may fit Dragic well, but there is some issues with running that style of offense all the time. Power forward Chris Bosh and center Hassan Whiteside should be fine in adjusting to the changeup. But there will be two players that may have a tougher time adjusting to the new style should they stay in Miami. Both Luol Deng and Dwyane Wade have player options for next season in Miami. And although Wade has indicated he is going to opt out of his deal, Deng has been non-committal so far. Hypothetically, let’s say these two come back to Miami next year. These two are not the spring chickens they used to be. And increasing the tempo for them would mean a lot of wear and tear on their bodies. With Wade, that would be an issue due to his injury history. At a fast-paced tempo at this stage of his career, he probably would be lucky to finish 50-60 games. As far as Deng, he has had some issues the last couple of seasons with injuries also and has missed some games. The Heat would end up having to dig into their bench, which as it stands, will not be as solid yet again. Miami could be exposing their team to something that they are not prepared for as a whole.

Another issue with Dragic signing in Miami long-term is the competition he could be facing. Dragic is a good guard and has had some great moments in his career. But let’s take a look at the point guards he would be facing in the East: Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls (when healthy), Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers (when healthy), Jeff Teague of the Hawks, Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets and that is not even including the young point guards that are coming up in the East. Dragic is solid, but he may be in for some trouble defensively when he sees any of these guys out there taking him on. Dragic is crafty and makes some athletic plays, but he would have some problems trying to keep up with the athleticism of some of the points guards listed in the East. And essentially, he would give up all that he scored. The best thing for him when he was in Phoenix was he had a young guard in Eric Bledsoe to take some of the defensive pressure off of him. In Miami, he may potentially have Dwyane Wade or some other guard that may not be as tough defensively as Bledsoe can be. And with having to extend himself more defensively, that may began to wear down Dragic and reduce his numbers. And with his numbers not the same as they once were, he would not be impacting the team as much as they need him to.

Signing Dragic would be something that would make some Heat fans happy, but it would not make as much as a difference as the signing would suggest. The Heat want to save face in the trade they made to bring in Dragic and by signing him, they will do so across the league. But they also will be signing a player that is asking them to change to something they may not be fit for going into the 2015-2016 season. And that could ultimately hurt their team.

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Dwyane Wade, The Miami Heat And The Summer Of 2015

Dwyane Wade is potentially going to be n the market. But does he really leave Miami? (photo courtesy of www.halestormsports.com)

Dwyane Wade is potentially going to be n the market. But does he really leave Miami? (photo courtesy of http://www.halestormsports.com)

Dwyane Wade has been a staple of Miami Heat basketball ever since he was drafted there back in 2003. Back when he was selected 5th overall in the infamous 2003 draft, some thought he wondered how good he would be. Well, a few years later, he has churned out a Hall Of Fame career and is closing in on retirement with each passing day. He has also been able to do something that many have not been able to do in their careers: stay in one place. Through the years, he has been very visible on the court for the Heat along with part of their community. The dynamic shooting guard has also been very unselfish as well, taking less money to help the team over the last five seasons. And to his credit, the team was able to bring in superstar forward LeBron James and perennial All-Star Chris Bosh to help make the team better. The results were four NBA Finals appearances in the first four years and two more NBA championships for Wade, adding to the title he won with Shaquille O’Neal in Miami in 2006. But after the fourth year and a disappointing loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals, Wade, James and Bosh all decided to opt out of their current deals for new ones. In the summer of 2014, Wade agreed to a new deal worth $31.1 million over two years with a player option for the second year. Being that Wade had two years and $42 million left on his deal, Wade took a $5 million per year paycut to stay in Miami. And although LeBron James decided to go back home to Cleveland after four years in Miami, the Heat still had money to re-sign Chris Bosh to a max deal (5 years and $118 million) and LeBron James’ replacement, Luol Deng (2 years and $20 million with a player option for the second season). Unfortunately, taking less money did not work out for him or the team this time. Wade and the Heat missed the playoffs and were not as successful as some thought they would be. Of course, the absence of Bosh due to blood clots in his lungs for the second half of the season was a costly injury to their success, but the Heat were still fighting uphill to make the playoffs with him. During the season, the Heat traded for point guard Goran Dragic even though he was expected to be a free agent this offseason. And many though that he would be the one person to watch with this team this summer. Would they sign him or would he take a deal form another team? Well, all that talk about Dragic has been silenced by one Dwyane Tyrone Wade, Jr.

Recently, word began to matriculate out that Wade may opt out of his current deal with the Miami Heat. There are rumors out there that he wants to get paid more money in a longer-term deal. Well, apparently the Heat do not have the same feelings and in some circles, there are people that think the threat of Wade leaving Miami is real. Honestly, this would be something that many would not have seen coming. It was thought that he would retire a member of the Miami Heat and potentially land a job with the team in the front office. But this isn’t about loyalty this time. This is about business. Wade is 33 years old now. He is a veteran that knows time is limited in the NBA. Whether he values more money, winning or both are things that have yet to be answered by him at this point in his career, but it can be assumed he would like to win and get paid more at the same time. So, the question now falls on the Miami Heat and what they are willing to do. Do they pay him more money or do they let him walk? On one hand, they cannot let him walk. Like mentioned earlier, he is the face of Miami basketball and has made many sacrifices for the team over the years. The Heat could take a public relations hit if they let Wade walk considering all he has done. And if he walks, Dragic could potentially leave with him. That would leave the Heat with Chris Bosh and a bunch of players that are not prepared to step up in Wade and Dragic’s absence. And at that point, the Heat would probably either get players one-year deals in hopes of attracting Kevin Durant in the 2016 free agency class or they could take their shots at some free agents out there on the market this offseason. Either way, there is some decisions that Miami has to make and this season, they all hinge on the decision of Dwyane Wade and not LeBron James as it did last summer.

If Wade is to opt out and seriously go somewhere else, where would he go and get the money he wants? There are only a select few teams that have the deep pockets to pay him what he wants. One team that does have money to spend are the Los Angeles Lakers. But the thing that would hinder him going there would be one Kobe Bean Bryant. Wade and Bryant both play the same position and both are getting up there in age in their careers. This would be the most unlikely of scenarios for the Lakers and something that isn’t what they would want to begin with. The other team that has cap space this summer would be the New York Knicks. Of course that would mean he would leave to go play with Carmelo Anthony in New York. That combination and the Triangle offense would not necessarily be a good fit at all either. Melo is a scorer and needs the ball in his hands. Wade has gotten better playing off the ball, but that pairing would be mean that the Knicks are giving up on Tim Hardaway Jr. and that they are not going to take that money and sign a point guard and big man they need more than another shooting guard. There are surely other teams out there, but these two can offer Wade the most money to finish off his career. And for those that are thinking it already, there is little to no chance that the Cavaliers can bring Wade to Cleveland, pairing him with one of his best friends, LeBron James. The team is already over the cap for this season and they have their own decision to wait on from Kevin Love amongst other things to figure out in their offseason. And there is also the chance that LeBron James could opt out of his deal as well, making him a free agent again. The situation with James is unlikely being that the cap goes up in the summer of 2016 and that would position him to be paid in the neighborhood of $30 million per season, but there were many that thought he would never leave Cleveland in the summer of 2010 and that happened. Many things are on the table for Wade at this time, but thinking that he will get more money from another team this summer is something that is not very realistic when looking at the entire picture.

The battle between Wade and the Miami Heat has begun. One wants more and the other wants to keep building towards contention. In this battle of the face of the team versus the team, it should be interesting to see who comes out on top. But be for sure Dwyane Wade saw the contract extension Kobe signed with the Lakers for two years and $48.5 million. He envisions himself as second to Kobe at the shooting guard position, so we can guess he feels he should get something near that amount of money. Which side blinks first on this one will be something to watch going forward.

Michael Beasley Down To His Last Chance

Beasley is down to his last chance(photo courtesy of www.fansided.com)

Beasley is down to his last chance(photo courtesy of http://www.fansided.com)

In the 2008 NBA Draft, many wondered what the Chicago Bulls would do with the first pick of the draft. The team was in need of a post threat at that time and many thought they would take the uber-talented forward out of Kansas State, Michael Beasley. He could score in the post, had a solid midrange jump shot and he also had three-point range. He could do almost anything he wanted on the court and had the handles to make it happen as well. But instead of taking him with the 1st pick that season, the Bulls decided they would take Memphis point guard Derrick Rose. The hometown kid became the 1st pick for a franchise he grew up watching. As for Beasley, his star-crossed career began in Miami. The talented big man was thought to be a permanent staple as a sidekick to Dwyane Wade. But unfortunately, he ended up being a player that would have glimpses of great play and then moments of disappointment. Beasley could never hone into consistently producing like his talent said he could. And just like that, the star power that many thought Beasley had would began to wane as time would go by. He was eventually shipped out of town as the Heat traded him to form the trio of Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade for a championship run.

Beasley would go on to have more inconsistent stops with the Minnesota Timberwolves, where Miami traded him, as well as the Phoenix Suns and the Miami Heat again after his contract was terminated in Phoenix after an incident off the court. After last season, he was not looked at by anyone. Surely someone would take a chance on the now 26 year old forward who was still as talented as when he first came in the NBA. Beasley would sign with the Memphis Grizzlies, but he would leave the team and head to China and sign with Yao Ming’s Shanghai Sharks. There Beasley would play and play well, but he knew he longed for another shot in the NBA. And on February 26th, he got a chance again to revive his career in the NBA. The Heat signed Beasley to a 10 day contract. And he again got another chance to make it happen. When asked about the opportunity, Beasley said: “ I’m definitely blessed and humbled to have another opportunity.” And with that comment, you can definitely understand what Beasley may be feeling with this third chance with the Heat. After they did not re-sign him following their playoff loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals, they ended up coming back to him when the injuries mounted and pieces did not pan out the way they thought they would. And now Beasley is in position to make a difference in Miami while realizing that this could be his last chance.

Beasley has not been getting the regular minutes off the bench for Miami. In fact, he has had times where he does not play and other times where he has a hot streak like he did versus the Chicago Bulls in the first half Thursday night (13 points in the half). But what you can tell is he is doing some things that he had not done earlier in his career. Beasley is bringing it a little bit more on the defensive end of the court. You can see him actually in a stance these days, trying his best to defend his position as well as help his teammates. Earlier in his career, you would see Beasley sauntering down the court after making a play or giving up on closing out to a shooter. Another thing that you can notice differently is Beasley being more within himself while on the team. He has emotion, but he also is not causing disturbances and being difficult as he can be provided his past. He is pretty much a guy that knows time is running out on his career. No longer is he the guy that teams will be lining up to try and resurrect. He know is the guy that teams are beginning to give up hope on and he knows he has to remake his image in that aspect or risk no longer be a viable option in the NBA.

Who would have thought that a guy as talented as Beasley would be barely hanging on in the NBA? He is playing well when he gets his opportunities to contribute. But unfortunately he is still inconsistent at times. Even with that, you can realize that something is different though for Beasley this time around. And for his sake, hopefully he showed enough restraint and poise along with ability this time around. Michael Beasley is a very talented player and should be in the NBA. And at 26 years old, he still could have much to offer. It seems like this time around he is trying to actually help himself more than any time before. And in turn he tried to help Miami in whatever way he could. It looks like something is clicking mentally for Beasley despite the inconsistencies on the court. Hopefully that maturity can be something that can help him be on someone’s roster if he is not in Miami next season. But if he is not on a roster next season, he cannot do anything but blame himself. He set the precedent with his past and now that past continues to haunt him like a ghost. But hopefully with his showings in Miami, he squelched some of those memories and made teams more comfortable with him.

With The New Additions, Can The Pacers And Nets Knock The Miami Heat Off Their Throne?

(Photo via Getty Images)

(Photo via Getty Images)


The Miami Heat are the reigning champions. They escaped sure defeat in Game 6 on the heroics of LeBron James and Ray Allen to come up with another championship. The veteran Spurs just could not muster enough to win in Game 7 as the Heat pulled away in the end. But going into next year, the Heat will not only have competition from the West but from teams in their own conference. Looking at the Heat as the barometer, the Indiana Pacers and the Brooklyn Nets made some interesting changes to bolster their team. But is it enough for them to beat the Heat come playoff time?

The Pacers pushed the Heat to the brink last season in the Eastern Conference Finals. But in Game 7, their youth showed up as point guard George Hill and wing player Paul George disappeared at the wrong time. The one thing the Pacers had that damaged the Heat a lot last postseason was their post game. Big men Roy Hibbert and David West were hitting the Heat with body blow after body blow and the Heat could not do anything with them. But the one thing that hurt the Pacers inside was they did not have that third big man to give the Heat problems. Well, the Pacers think they have resolved that issue. According to Yahoo! Sports, the Pacers have acquired veteran forward Luis Scola and sent forward Miles Plumblee, guard Gerald Green and a protected 2014 1st round draft pick to Phoenix. This move, along with the re-insertion of sharpshooter Danny Granger and swing forward Chris Copeland, makes the Pacers a stronger offensive team while still retaining the toughness that they are known for. Imagine if they would have had Scola, Copeland, Lance Stephenson and veteran point guard CJ Watson coming off the bench. They would have been even tougher last year.

But with the additions, the Pacers are still missing a lead guard to initiate the offense. George Hill is good, but he is not a point guard. And we all saw what happened with him at point guard when the pressure picked up against Miami. His uneven play cost them big time. They don’t necessarily need a star point guard, but a guard that won’t turn the ball over in crucial times. And other than Hill, the only other guy that can initiate that offense is the newly acquired Watson. If the Pacers could rely on a guy like Granger or Paul George to initiate the offense, then maybe they would be fine with Hill (who is really an undersized shooting guard) playing the point. But because of no solid addition at the point guard spot, the reservations are still there about the championship aspirations of this team. For the Pacers’ sake, they better hope Hill has learned from last year and will be better when the pressure comes his way.

In Brooklyn, the thirst of Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov for a championship is real. And to quench his thirst to make the Nets a serious contender, he has thrown money and caution to the wind. The Nets made a trade that brought them veterans Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry from the Boston Celtics. Immediately the expectations of the team went through the roof as some touted them as the biggest contender to the Heat. The starting lineup they now boast will be Garnett and Pierce at the forwards, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams at the guard spots and Brook Lopez at center. But not only will they have those guys starting for them, the Nets re-signed backup big Andray Blatche, signed forward Andrei Kirlenko to backup Paul Pierce, brought in guard/forward Allan Anderson to backup Joe Johnson along with having the aforementioned Jason Terry to backup Deron Williams. This team has all the tools to make a run.

But one thing that has to be looked at is the age of their key additions. Paul Pierce has been an incredible player for Boston his whole career, but over that time he has broken down. Injuries have taken away some of his explosiveness and with that, some of his effectiveness as a player. Signing Kirlenko was a good thing, but if he is playing more than Pierce when it really counts, then the Nets basically wasted money to bring him in. Another thing that may be an issue with Pierce is how he fits in Brooklyn. After being in Boston so long and becoming a legend there, how will playing in a new city for a new team for the first time in his career affect him? It could be excellent, but it could also be something that goes like Joe Namath when he played for the Los Angeles Rams. Kevin Garnett has been very durable during his entire career, but last year he started to show signs of breaking down. He ended up missing 14 games last season and he also had the lowest rebound and point totals of his career last postseason. Garnett brings intensity and passion when he plays, but what happens when your body is telling you that it cannot produce like it used to? It seems like in the case of Garnett and Pierce they are battling two enemies: the Heat (as the defending champions) and Father Time. The Nets will need these two to be at their best to win the East. We shall see if they can get it going when the time is right.

Both squads made perceived improvements. But in the end, it is still in question whether it is enough to defeat the Heat.

Follow me on Twitter @General_MP or hit me up on Facebook at Mike Patton The General for more conversations on sports and other things.

Old School vs. New School

The NBA of today is interesting. There is more social media that makes the superstars of today larger than life. Compared to the NBA of yesteryear, this new NBA is different. But is it a better product than the NBA of the past?

I often wonder what would happen if the players of today played in the same era as Magic Johnson’s Lakers, Larry Bird’s Celtics and Isaiah Thomas’ Pistons. Would these players adapt to the style or would they continue to play the way that they are playing now? I wonder how LeBron would react if he took a hard foul like Lakers forward Kurt Rambis took back in the day. The game was definitely more physical back then. In this day and age, there isn’t any hand-checking. Hand-checking would allow players to use their hands to nudge and guide players where they wanted them to go defensively. No hand-checking allows players like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to go to the basket and use their speed to their advantage. Would Kobe just complain about the physicalness of the game or would he adjust? Would LeBron wolf to the officials or would he use the brawn he possesses to bully people into submission? That would be interesting to see.

Another difference in today’s game compared to yesteryear is the presence of specialists. Guys like Steve Novak, Steve Kerr and Kyle Korver are players who possess one skill: shooting the basketball. Back in the day, there weren’t any specialist. Even though players were less athletic back then, they were better all-around basketball players. But even more than that, the players back then thought the game and didn’t just play it. Bill Laimbeer could think, shoot and play defense. Vinnie “The Microwave” Johnson could play defense as well as score. More guys today just rely on athleticism or their certain skill to maintain their roster spot.

If I had a choice to watch old school or new school basketball, I would choose the old school. There was more scoring, more all-around basketball play and there was also the physical part of the game as well. You had to go hard or go home when you drove down the lane back then. Today’s game is geared more towards the offensive players, yet and still, teams struggle to score. What I wouldn’t give to see some of today’s players trying to hang in there in that type of atmosphere.

What are your thoughts sports fans? Do you like the new school basketball more than old school basketball? Let your voice be heard.

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