NBA Western Conference Playoff Predictions

I’m going to jump right in here. There’s a lot to talk about in the west!

1st seed Oklahoma City Thunder vs 8th seed Houston Rockets
Thunder(4-3)

Revenge of the Beard!!! Fear the Beard!!! This series, especially for an 1 vs 8, should be extremely compelling. I know the Thunder are a better team. I know James Harden has been pretty inefficient the last 10gms or so. But who doesn’t want to see this go 7? The Rockets style of play, fast and no defense, can entice Russell Westbrook to play too fast and take more bad shots than usual. James Harden’s ability to get to the line will put the Thunder in foul trouble. And Chandler Parsons can make Durant work. The Thunder turn the ball over a ton and will help the Rockets. I really like the Rockets. But Durant and Westbrook may average 80 combined ppg this series and will just be too much. But there is an X-Factor. If Jeremy Lin can go Linsanity the Rockets can pull this off! If they can get 50 combined ppg from Lin/Harden they just may win.

4th seed Clippers vs 5th seed Grizzlies
Clippers(4-3)

This series will be a great one to watch. The Clippers have some very obvious flaws but the Grizzlies offensive woes will kill them late in games, much like last year. I love everything about the Grizzlies defensively. But with Zach Randolph only shooting about 46% from the field they aren’t very efficient. The Clippers struggle at the free throw line, struggle getting post points, and I still don’t trust Del Negro. But they have CP3. The 3rd best player in the league for my money. Though I’ve outlined the flaws of both teams, the strength of both is how hard they play. And that’s what makes this so exciting. For two teams so evenly matched you go with the best player, so I’m riding with the Clippers here.

3rd seed Denver Nuggets vs 6th seed Golden State Warriors
Nuggets(4-2) tentatively

My pick is contingent on Kenneth Faried. If he is as limited as I’m hearing he may be, playing only 15min or so, I take the Warriors in yet another 7 game thriller. This is an old ABA throwback game! Scores like 128-120 are expected here. And while these two teams are very much alike; they are so very different. Golden State is going to run but most often to shoot the 3 ball. They don’t apply much defensive pressure nor rebound well. Denver on the other hand, runs for layups. They keep constant pressure on you with their relentless attacking style. Defensively, they stay in the passing lanes and force you to be careful. They have decent rim protection in Javale McGee and Koufos and rebound well at every position. Andre Miller vs Jarret Jack, to me, will be the key to this series. They can control tempo and change the pace of a game. Both are good rebounders and excellent floor leaders.

2nd seed San Antonio Spurs vs 7th seed Los Angeles Lakers
Lakers(4-3)

Ok… Hear me out… I know, I know. This is crazy, but I like the vibe of the Lakers right now. For the first time all year this team has an identity, a true identity. Pau Gasol is playing out of his mind and Dwight is anchoring the defense the way he did in Orlando. But back to the identity. The loss of Kobe forced Coach D’Antoni to get his head out of his ass and do something different. Suddenly this team is playing through the post and getting better shots. Better shots equal higher shooting percentages. And higher shooting percentages equal less opportunities for opponents to run the ball down their throat. The loss of Kobe also improved the team defensively. There was little trust between Kobe and the rest of the team defensively. While at times he was an effective defensive player, most of the time he was lost, getting beat back door, and gambling too often. The Spurs on the other hand, I don’t feel too good about. They didn’t look good ending the season. Injuries are a major concern. I don’t like betting against Tim Duncan or Coach Pop, but something seems off in San Antonio. Maybe it’s just my inner Laker fan making this pick, but I’m pretty confident in my reasoning.

My 2nd round match-ups and results:

Clippers over Thunder 4-3
Nuggets over Lakers 4-2

Conference Finals:

Clippers over Nuggets 4-2

Crazy right? I can’t believe I made those picks myself! If Kenneth Faried ends up missing games for Denver I actually have the Lakers in the Conference Finals. Imagine that, lol.

So that leaves me with a Clippers vs Heat NBA Finals, if you read my East picks. Here’s how I see that going down.

Heat over Clippers 4-2

I think this may be the most compelling finals matchup. The Clippers have the depth to challenge Miami and the athleticism. They can force some awkward match-ups for the Heat. But LeBron James will just be too much for the Clippers to contain. He will have his way with Caron Butler, Matt Barnes, or whoever else the Clips try. When CP3 gets it going the Heat have the luxury of putting the bigger LeBron or D-Wade on him and because of Blake Griffins growing, but limited, post game can get away with guarding him with Shane Battier. I just can’t bet against the Heat.

Those are my picks. I’m usually pretty good at picking these but who knows this year. Hope you enjoyed. Let me know what you think. Tell me I’m crazy or, more likely, a genius! Lol either way. Like, follow, subscribe, comment, and share. Check me out tomorrow for post on the games. It’s the best kinda day for me, a day filled with basketball! Thanks for reading, Life of A Basketball Addict.

Posted in Basketball, NBA, Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NBA Eastern Conference Playoff Predictions

If you read my earlier post about this NBA season as a whole you know I’m not overly excited about the upcoming playoffs. It stinks of being extremely predictable. After listening to most of the “expert” predictions, I see they find it hard to find the drama as well. But I’ll try, with that said here are my predictions.

Let’s start with the Eastern Conference:

1st seed Miami Heat vs 8th seed Milwaukee Bucks
Heat(4-1)

Strangely enough, the Heat have had some struggles vs the Bucks. The Bucks speed and athleticism give the Heat some early troubles in games. But the Heat are well… The Heat. I’m giving the Bucks one game out of sentiment.

4th seed Brooklyn Nets vs 5th seed Chicago Bulls
Nets(4-2)

I know the Bulls won the regular season series (3-1) but the playoffs are a different animal. No D-Rose will be the difference to me. I love everything about the Bulls, except they can’t score. There are rumblings that Rose may play but I can’t imagine that. Brooklyn has been playing well. Going 35-19 since PJ Carlesimo took over. And with big shot makers like Joe Johnson and D-Will I think the Nets will overcome the Bulls stingy D.

3rd seed Indiana Pacers vs 6th seed Atlanta Hawks
Pacers(4-2)

This gets my vote as least watchable series. I’m pretty sure every one of these games will be banished to NBA playoff purgatory on NBA TV. And while I do enjoy watching Paul George, one can only watch Roy Hibbert be soft and Josh Smith take bad shots so long. It actually will probably be competitive but George will be the difference. Not sure Atlanta can defend him.

2nd seed New York Knicks vs 7th seed Boston Celtics
Celtics(4-3)

I really think Doc Rivers can pull this off. The Knicks style of play scream upset. Boston is 2nd in 3pt fg% defense and will force Knicks shooters into contested shots. Avery Bradley will force, the already turnover prone, Raymond Felton into more turnovers. And Jeff Green will make Carmelo work for his. This pick is somewhat biased, I loathe the Knicks and Carmelo. But even more than that, I just really like the match up for the Celtics. And never underestimate the emotion of the tragedy in Boston. They’re playing for a community in need of hope.

We’ll get into 2nd round match-ups when they are set but my brief predictions:

Heat over Nets 4-2
Pacers over Celtics 4-2

Conference Finals

Heat over Pacers 4-1

Thanks for reading! Be sure to check back later tonight for my Western Conference Playoff Predictions, around 6pm pst. Like, subscribe, follow, comment, and share! I appreciate all the support! This is the Life of A Basketball Addict, thanks for reading!

Posted in Basketball, NBA, Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NBA Awards Predictions; 1st Annual Stoda Awards!!!

So… I’m sitting at CarMax, again. iPod on just playing on random, trying to make the best of being here again by enjoying the free coffee and muffin, lol. But since I’m here let’s get some writing done!

Today is the last day of the NBA Season! That being the case, it’s awards time! But no ordinary awards, but the 1st Annual Stoda Awards. While I award the usual MVP, DPOY, ROY, Most Improved, All-NBA, 6th man, and defensive teams; I also award Stodies for the Utility player of the Year, the Stoda Award Winner, and the All-Stoda teams. So let’s get this show going!

I’m going to start with perhaps the easiest award: MVP

LeBron James (26.8ppg, 8rpg, 7.3apg)- MIA Heat
I think this one is self explanatory but just in case here’s my explanation. Besides the obvious, he has shot a career high 56.4% from the field and 40.6% from the arc. Insanely efficient for any player but especially a teams primary ballhandler. You’d expect fatigue to take hold at some point but it never does with him. In addition to those numbers, he led the Heat to 27 straight wins and the best record in the NBA. He also may be the best 2-way player in the league. More on that later.

Defensive Player of the Year:

LeBron James
Well, this is later. No player in the league plays a more complete game both offensively and defensively in the league. OKC’s Russell Westbrook may be 2nd in this category. LeBron’s ability to guard 1-5 is unmatched, probably ever. We’ve seen the guy in his career guard everyone. He allows Coach Spoelstra such flexibility with his rotations because LeBron anchors the defense, regardless of what position he’s playing.

Rookie of the Year

Damian Lilliard (19ppg, 3.2rpg, 6.5apg)- POR Trailblazers
This one may be more obvious than even MVP. The numbers speak for themselves. Add to those numbers 182 made three pointers, NBA rookie record and Blazers All-Time record. It becomes even more clear no other rookie had more impact. But those of us who watched him going all the way back to last summer in the Vegas Summer League will tell you that while his numbers are impressive, the poise with which he plays is similar to that of a veteran point guard. That’s what’s so impressive about Lilliard, haven’t seen that in Portland since Brandon Roy… Just hope this time is different for Lilliard and the fans in Rip City.

The tightest race of all awards to me: Most Improved

James Harden (25.9ppg, 4.8rpg, 5.9apg)- HOU Rockets
Paul George (17.4ppg, 7.6rpg, 4.1apg)- IND Pacers
This award to me has to be a tie. You had two young NBA Swingmen thrust into a leading role to start this season and none of us knew how they’d perform. Well they performed big time. Both becoming All-Stars, Household Names, and next in line to challenge KD and LeBron for best scorer and most versatile player, respectively. What James Harden has done in Houston is remarkable. Taking a bunch of mismatched pieces and turning them into a playoff team. Raising the level of play of every guy on that roster. He, along with Coach McHale, did a great job leading. Paul George on the other hand, wasn’t necessarily expected to take over. But when Roy Hibbert proved, once again, he is soft and unreliable Indiana had to look to someone else. With his length, athleticism, and ability to finish and shoot George became the Pacers best offensive weapon. He did this while still maintaining his true identity as a defensive standout. George was the Pacers, offensively and defensively. He set the tone every night on both sides of the floor.

6th Man

Jr Smith (18.1ppg, 5.3rpg, 2.7apg)- NY Knicks
If this award was given in December it was clearly Jamal Crawford’s. But since then JR Smith has played at an incredibly high and consistent, for him, level. He’s had arguably his best pro season this year. And of all the other candidates, he has more signature moments that stick out in your mind. Some of that due to the injuries that hit the Knicks, but he seized those moments.

1st Team All-NBA

G: Chris Paul- LA Clippers
G: Kobe Bryant- LA Lakers
F: Kevin Durant- OKC Thunder
F: LeBron James- MIA Heat
C: Tim Duncan- SA Spurs

2nd Team All- NBA

G: Tony Parker- SAS Spurs
G: James Harden- HOU Rockets
F: Carmelo Anthony- NY Knicks
F: David Lee- GS Warriors
C: Dwight Howard- LA Lakers

3rd Team All-NBA

G: Stephan Curry- GS Warriors
G: Russell Westbrook- OKC Thunder
W: Paul George- IND Pacers
F: Josh Smith- ATL Hawks
C: Marc Gasol- MEM Grizzlies

1st Team All-Defense

W: Tony Allen- MEM Grizzlies
W: Paul George- IND Pacers
F: LeBron James- MIA Heat
F: Serge Ibaka- OKC Thunder
C: Larry Sanders- MIL Bucks

2nd Team All-Defense

G: Eric Bledsoe- LA Clippers
G: Russell Westbrook- OKC Thunder
F: Kawhi Leonard- SA Spurs
F: Josh Smith- ATL Hawks
C: Dwight Howard- LA Lakers

Now for the 1st installation of The Stodies!!! I tend to focus more on the players who get less recognition but play major roles on teams as far as a coach is concerned. No numbers here, just how I see them.

The Stodie Award
Awarded to the player who plays the hardest.

Russell Westbrook- OKC Thunder
I’m not sure there is a player who plays the game harder. He may not be the most efficient, he may shoot a little too often for some, he may have a temper. But he plays every moment of every play like it’s his last and that you have to respect. He’s still a little raw in his development as a pg, but I hope he never loses his aggression, motor, and fearlessness. He might be the closest thing to Kobe we’ve yet to see.

Utility Player of the Year

Shane Battier- Miami Heat
I have nothing but respect for a guy like Shane Battier. You look throughout his career; from being a big time scorer at Duke, to being a scoring option early on in Memphis, to now being a role player extraordinaire in Miami, Shane has always done what the team needs. While remaining one of the more respected and well spoken players in the league. Take charges, make 3’s, defend other teams best or second best player. He does what the Heat need and is as important a piece in the Heat run for back-to-back titles as any.

1st Team All-Stoda

G: Jarret Jack- GS Warriors
G: Danny Green- SA Spurs
F: Shane Battier- MIA Heat
F: Reggie Evans- BK Nets
C: Deandre Jordan- LA Clippers

2nd Team All-Stoda
G: Kirk Hinrich- CHI Bulls
G: Corey Brewer- DEN Nuggets
F: Matt Barnes- LA Clippers
F: Taj Gibson- CHI Bulls
C: Omer Asik- HOU Rockets

Thanks for checking out this post. Just another day in the Life of A Basketball Addict. Be sure to look for my upcoming playoff predictions. Appreciate the love and views. Like, follow, subscribe, comment, and share. Thanks every one. ‘Til next time!

Posted in Basketball, NBA, Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NBA Awards Predictions; 1st Annual Stoda Awards!!!

So… I’m sitting at CarMax, again. iPod on just playing on random, trying to make the best of being here again by enjoying the free coffee and muffin, lol. But since I’m here let’s get some writing done!

Today is the last day of the NBA Season! That being the case, it’s awards time! But no ordinary awards, but the 1st Annual Stoda Awards. While I award the usual MVP, DPOY, ROY, Most Improved, All-NBA, 6th man, and defensive teams; I also award Stodies for the Utility player of the Year, the Stoda Award Winner, and the All-Stoda teams. So let’s get this show going!

I’m going to start with perhaps the easiest award: MVP

LeBron James (26.8ppg, 8rpg, 7.3apg)- MIA Heat
I think this one is self explanatory but just in case here’s my explanation. Besides the obvious, he has shot a career high 56.4% from the field and 40.6% from the arc. Insanely efficient for any player but especially a teams primary ballhandler. You’d expect fatigue to take hold at some point but it never does with him. In addition to those numbers, he led the Heat to 27 straight wins and the best record in the NBA. He also may be the best 2-way player in the league. More on that later.

Defensive Player of the Year:

LeBron James
Well, this is later. No player in the league plays a more complete game both offensively and defensively in the league. OKC’s Russell Westbrook may be 2nd in this category. LeBron’s ability to guard 1-5 is unmatched, probably ever. We’ve seen the guy in his career guard everyone. He allows Coach Spoelstra such flexibility with his rotations because LeBron anchors the defense, regardless of what position he’s playing.

Rookie of the Year

Damian Lilliard (19ppg, 3.2rpg, 6.5apg)- POR Trailblazers
This one may be more obvious than even MVP. The numbers speak for themselves. Add to those numbers 182 made three pointers, NBA rookie record and Blazers All-Time record. It becomes even more clear no other rookie had more impact. But those of us who watched him going all the way back to last summer in the Vegas Summer League will tell you that while his numbers are impressive, the poise with which he plays is similar to that of a veteran point guard. That’s what’s so impressive about Lilliard, haven’t seen that in Portland since Brandon Roy… Just hope this time is different for Lilliard and the fans in Rip City.

The tightest race of all awards to me: Most Improved

James Harden (25.9ppg, 4.8rpg, 5.9apg)- HOU Rockets
Paul George (17.4ppg, 7.6rpg, 4.1apg)- IND Pacers
This award to me has to be a tie. You had two young NBA Swingmen thrust into a leading role to start this season and none of us knew how they’d perform. Well they performed big time. Both becoming All-Stars, Household Names, and next in line to challenge KD and LeBron for best scorer and most versatile player, respectively. What James Harden has done in Houston is remarkable. Taking a bunch of mismatched pieces and turning them into a playoff team. Raising the level of play of every guy on that roster. He, along with Coach McHale, did a great job leading. Paul George on the other hand, wasn’t necessarily expected to take over. But when Roy Hibbert proved, once again, he is soft and unreliable Indiana had to look to someone else. With his length, athleticism, and ability to finish and shoot George became the Pacers best offensive weapon. He did this while still maintaining his true identity as a defensive standout. George was the Pacers, offensively and defensively. He set the tone every night on both sides of the floor.

6th Man

Jr Smith (18.1ppg, 5.3rpg, 2.7apg)- NY Knicks
If this award was given in December it was clearly Jamal Crawford’s. But since then JR Smith has played at an incredibly high and consistent, for him, level. He’s had arguably his best pro season this year. And of all the other candidates, he has more signature moments that stick out in your mind. Some of that due to the injuries that hit the Knicks, but he seized those moments.

1st Team All-NBA

G: Chris Paul- LA Clippers
G: Kobe Bryant- LA Lakers
F: Kevin Durant- OKC Thunder
F: LeBron James- MIA Heat
C: Tim Duncan- SA Spurs

2nd Team All- NBA

G: Tony Parker- SAS Spurs
G: James Harden- HOU Rockets
F: Carmelo Anthony- NY Knicks
F: David Lee- GS Warriors
C: Dwight Howard- LA Lakers

3rd Team All-NBA

G: Stephan Curry- GS Warriors
G: Russell Westbrook- OKC Thunder
W: Paul George- IND Pacers
F: Josh Smith- ATL Hawks
C: Marc Gasol- MEM Grizzlies

1st Team All-Defense

W: Tony Allen- MEM Grizzlies
W: Paul George- IND Pacers
F: LeBron James- MIA Heat
F: Serge Ibaka- OKC Thunder
C: Larry Sanders- MIL Bucks

2nd Team All-Defense

G: Eric Bledsoe- LA Clippers
G: Russell Westbrook- OKC Thunder
F: Kawhi Leonard- SA Spurs
F: Josh Smith- ATL Hawks
C: Dwight Howard- LA Lakers

Now for the 1st installation of The Stodies!!! I tend to focus more on the players who get less recognition but play major roles on teams as far as a coach is concerned. No numbers here, just how I see them.

The Stodie Award
Awarded to the player who plays the hardest.

Russell Westbrook- OKC Thunder
I’m not sure there is a player who plays the game harder. He may not be the most efficient, he may shoot a little too often for some, he may have a temper. But he plays every moment of every play like it’s his last and that you have to respect. He’s still a little raw in his development as a pg, but I hope he never loses his aggression, motor, and fearlessness. He might be the closest thing to Kobe we’ve yet to see.

Utility Player of the Year

Shane Battier- Miami Heat
I have nothing but respect for a guy like Shane Battier. You look throughout his career; from being a big time scorer at Duke, to being a scoring option early on in Memphis, to now being a role player extraordinaire in Miami, Shane has always done what the team needs. While remaining one of the more respected and well spoken players in the league. Take charges, make 3’s, defend other teams best or second best player. He does what the Heat need and is as important a piece in the Heat run for back-to-back titles as any.

1st Team All-Stoda

G: Jarret Jack- GS Warriors
G: Danny Green- SA Spurs
F: Shane Battier- MIA Heat
F: Reggie Evans- BK Nets
C: Deandre Jordan- LA Clippers

2nd Team All-Stoda
G: Kirk Hinrich- CHI Bulls
G: Corey Brewer- DEN Nuggets
F: Matt Barnes- LA Clippers
F: Taj Gibson- CHI Bulls
C: Omer Asik- HOU Rockets

Thanks for checking out this post. Just another day in the Life of A Basketball Addict. Be sure to look for my upcoming playoff predictions. Appreciate the love and views. Like, follow, subscribe, comment, and share. Thanks every one. ‘Til next time!

Posted in Basketball, NBA, Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WNBA Draft

I’d like to first start this post by sending my thoughts, prayers, and best wishes to the victims in Boston and of senseless violence all around the world. As a world, we have to find a way to create a better future for our children and future children.

There is no easy transition from that to sports but here we go…

Tonight is the WNBA Draft. If you’ve read my previous post about the evolution of the women’s game, you know I feel this class is particularly special. In any sports draft class, you hope for a few of those draftees to be able to elevate the game. In the WNBA, you really hope they become household names as well. With Skylar Diggins, Elena Delle Donna, and Britney Griner the WNBA just may have hit the lottery.

Even bigger for the WNBA is that the top 2 picks belong to the Phoenix Mercury(1st overall) and Chicago Sky(2nd overall). Phoenix has long been one of the more popular WNBA franchises thanks to the teams success and popularity of Diana Taurasi, one of the best players in the league. So adding, assuming they take her, the most dominant women’s player ever in Griner is huge for generating interest and buzz for a struggling league. Chicago hasn’t been a big WNBA market. But it is a big media market. For them to land either Elena Delle Donne or Skylar Diggins won’t only be big basketball wise but marketability wise. With both Elena and Skylar being high in character, having strong personalities, and (let’s face it) being high in sex appeal the advertising possibilities are endless. Which is great for the league.

The 3rd pick belongs to the Tulsa Shock. This could ultimately be troublesome for the WNBA. Tulsa is a relatively new franchise with low name and city recognition. Whoever they take may struggle to maintain relevance being in Tulsa. The WNBA has long struggled but especially in those small markets that aren’t basketball-centric towns. I’m sure the league would have loved that pick to be with New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Houston, or Sacramento but it’s Tulsa’s pick. And with that pick Tulsa has a great opportunity, much like the neighboring OKC Thunder of the NBA had years ago, to find a special player to build around and create a powerhouse.

The draft is about to start, so I’m done here. Once again though, thoughts and prayers out to Boston. Sports, even basketball, are a small part of life. Be sure to love, laugh, dream, believe, and live. Don’t take it for granted. Thanks for reading Life of A Basketball Addict. I appreciate it.

Posted in Basketball, Sports, Women's Hoops | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The End Of An Era???

By now most of us have seen or heard the news about Kobe Bryant and his injury. A possible torn Achilles, MRI scheduled for tomorrow. Given that possibility, the recovery time involved, and the fact that he’s stated next season was to be his last, we have to begin to acknowledge we may have just witnessed the end of one of the most spectacular careers in NBA history.

The recovery time for such an injury varies. From 6-8 weeks, 8-12 weeks, or 3-11 months. The consensus around basketball circles is it takes about 6 months for a player to recover. But given the tremendous amounts of wear and tear and age on Kobe that seems like an unrealistic time frame. If he could somehow do it, and if anyone could it’d be the Mamba, that should have him ready to go around mid-October. Right in time for opening night. But that’s being very optimistic.

If Kobe misses most of next season, or all of it, it creates some very interesting situations and conversations to be had. The Lakers will look much the same next year, assuming things don’t change cap wise. It’s hard to see this team being competitive without Kobe next year. Especially with his $30mil eating most of the cap. If he retires this summer that $30mil will be off the cap and would give the Lakers some flexibility this summer and begin rebuilding sooner than expected. But would Kobe make that decision early in this process? Would the Lakers, behind closed doors, hope for his retirement? There are some obvious benefits to it. If he misses the entire season next year, last in his contract, but decides he wants to continue playing do the Lakers re-sign him? At what price is a good one to re-sign an aged player coming off a Torn Achilles ? Even if he is the greatest player in franchise history.

But right now, let us focus on the legacy of Kobe. If this ends up being the end of the Kobe Bryant Era, we all owe him a standing ovation. Even the haters. I myself have had a love/hate relationship with him through his career. But the excitement and level of commitment he has brought to the game over his 17 years have been remarkable. He carried the torch of greatness with nothing but the greatest work ethic, while showing great respect toward those who carried it before him. If Kobe is stepping down as the guardian of the game of basketball, he will be leaving it in great hands with the likes of LeBron, Durant, D-Rose, and Westbrook(perhaps the most like Bryant). But are you willing to bet against Kobe? Against the Mamba? Me either.

Thanks for reading Life of A Basketball Addict, I appreciate it greatly. I’ll be sure to follow up on this situation as things change. In the meantime: subscribe, follow, like, share, and comment. What are your thoughts on the career of Kobe? The injury? Let me know. It was a crazy night in the Life of this Basketball Addict.

Posted in Basketball, NBA, Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Death of West Coast Hoops

So I’m sitting here at my local Carmax waiting in the customer lounge listening to some Jay Rock. Probably going to be here a while so I figure why not get some writing done. I think today I want to touch on the massive decline in west coast college basketball.

Of course some of you will say that the west coast is still strong with the strength of the Mountain West and competitive West Coast Conference. But let’s be real about this, outside of UNLV, none of those schools can truly be a national power. Not even Gonzaga. So the question becomes, what happened to the Pac-12?

Well first things first, the NBA happened to the Pac12. Consider all the NBA picks the Pac12 produced in the 2000’s. Guys like Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Aaron Affalo, James Harden, Taj Gibson, Oj Mayo, Chase Budinger, Brandon Jennings(An Arizona Commit, went pro in Europe before entering NBA Draft), Brook and Robin Lopez, Andre Igoudala, Klay Thompson, Jared Cunningham, Nikola Vucevic, Trevor Ariza, Jerryd Bayless, Demar Derozan, Spencer Hawes, Jrue Holiday, Terrence Ross, and Tony Wroten Jr, too name a few. Not to say this is a good reason for the fall, as losing this caliber of talent in any given 10yr span for most power conferences is a badge of honor, not burden.

Next, poor recruiting. The Pac12’s top schools, ranking wise, haven’t fallen off all too much. Though their best class in 2013 is ranked only 20th nationally, according to Rivals. The high ranking players realizing the potential of said rankings in the Pac12 has been terrible. The reasons for that are numerous, some I’ll get to later. But one of the main reasons recruiting as a whole, I believe, has fallen off for the pac12 is poor marketing and media availability. I live on the west coast, in the LA tv market. I can count the number of Pac12 games I watched on one hand. Mind you, I watch any ball available to me. The Pac12 network isn’t available in many LA homes, yet alone nationally. This creates a massive disconnect between a conference and it’s home base. I remember as a young kid being able to turn the tv on and seeing Jason Kapono and the Bruins or the Craven Twins at USC almost every night on local telecast. Those days are long gone. If games aren’t on the Pac12 networks they’re on one of the numerous espn platforms(though rarely on their primary channel), competing against the Big Ten or ACC for views. A losing battle every time.

To the point of tv, the few Pac12 games I watched were… Well… Unwatchable. The quality of play was poor, almost low mid-major like. And this brings me to Pac12 coaching. One of the reasons past coaches in the conference such as Lute Olsen, Steve Lavin, and Tim Floyd(his UTEP recruiting class is ranked ahead of all Pac12 schools this year) had success recruiting pro level talent is they played pro style basketball. The reason the Pac12 keeps losing recruits to the ACC and Big 12, besides being better brands, is style of play. My own cousin from here in So Cal, a state champ in the heart of Pac12 recruiting land, chose to go to Oklahoma St. Being a coach here in Southern California, I can tell you that kids here don’t look at UCLA, Arizona, or even USC, Washington, or Cal, the way I did as a kid watching Mike Bibby, Michael Dickerson and Co. win a national championship. I hope that Coach Enfield, formerly of “Dunk City” fame at Florida Gulf Coast, represents a needed change in Pac12 style of play, and helps to put the conference back on prime time tv and back in the forefront of the mind of west coast recruits. Much like Pete Carroll and USC football’s brash and confident style brought Pac12 football back on the national stage. Though I must admit, it helped winning titles and having Heisman Trophy winners.

To be honest, these things to me are only the tip of the iceberg in Pac12 problems. The conference I grew up watching and respecting is a shell of it’s former self. Perhaps some more conference realigning will help, adding UNLV and San Diego State may be a good conference move, but the Pac12 is in serious trouble. I can only hope this turns around soon.

Alright, well after a couple of hours of waiting at Carmax, I’m still here lol. But that’s the end of this blog post. Hope you enjoyed. Feel free to subscribe, like, follow, share, and comment. Always willing to engage in conversation on any topic and love hearing other people’s perspective. Till next time, just another day in the Life of A Basketball Addict.

Posted in Basketball, Men's Hoops, Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment