HOOPSWORLD Week In Review
Stoudemire Willing To Form New League
By Alex Raskin
The NBA may have cancelled the first two weeks of the regular season, but Knicks power forward Amar’e Stoudemire is as busy as ever. In addition to playing charity basketball games during the NBA lockout, Stoudemire has taken up acting, gone back to school to study history, launched a fashion line and at a Foot Locker in mid-town Manhattan on Tuesday night, he presented onlookers with his new Nike sneaker.
With his entrepreneurial spirit running at top speed, Stoudemire also divulged his latest brain-storming efforts: a new basketball league.
“If we don’t go to Europe then let’s to start our own league,” Stoudemire told a group of reporters. “That’s how I see it. It’s very serious. Yeah. It’s very, very serious. It’s a matter of us coming up with a plan, blueprint and putting it together. So we’ll see how this lockout goes. If it goes one or two years, then we got to start our own league.”
That’s how Stoudemire had intended to end the interview, but he was persuaded to expand on that thought a few minutes later.
Trade Targets: Veteran Missing Pieces
By Jason Fleming
Every year when the trade deadline comes teams trying to put together a playoff run look across the market for veteran leaders, players who can fill a specific need. These players tend have short contracts, ideal just in case they aren’t a good match, and they tend to be players who have had success as starters in the past. Want some examples?
Check out the list below – each one of these players could make a definite impact on a team in need of a specific skill set. (Obligatory notation of “if there is a season…”)
Antawn Jamison, Cleveland Cavaliers – 1 year, $15.2 million
Need some scoring in the frontcourt, perhaps couple with a little bit of rebounding? Jamison is your man, boasting career averages of 19.7 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. While he has started most of his career, Jamison also won the 2003-04 Sixth Man of the Year award with the Dallas Mavericks. Coaches and players respect his leadership and work ethic, and he’d love a chance at a ring – he’s only hit the second round of the NBA Playoffs twice in 13 seasons. The purchase price is a little steep and the Cavs will want young players and draft picks in return.
Coach: Potential NBA Talent (Part 1)
By Anthony Macri
With the lockout likely to stretch into the winter, one place many NBA fans turn their attention is to the college game and specifically the professional prospects their team may eventually have when things are resolved. For many fans, the part-science / part-art of evaluating players is confusing and rarely straightforward. Front offices seem to miss often enough that the process can resemble a table game at a casino, which is rarely a gamble their fans are willing to take.
Finding value at different points in the draft is critical, and it requires an ability to evaluate potential talent and assess it in relation to current personnel, style of play, contract situations, and a host of other factors. As college basketball teams kick off their season tomorrow, a quick summary of effective ways to appraise potential talent seems appropriate.
With the recent release of the movie Moneyball, questions about the use of advanced statistics and analytics as opposed to the “old” method of visual assessment have arisen in the NBA as well. The reality is that a strong front office will use a combination of these approaches to make conclusions about players. In my own personal “assessment matrix,” I often use advanced analytics to either confirm (or refute) observations or to give me a foundation from which to start the observation process.
Top 5 All-Time Cleveland Cavaliers
By Joel Brigham
In the grand scheme of things, Cleveland’s basketball franchise is one of the younger ones in this league, and since they joined the NBA in 1970 you could argue that the 40+ years of hoops played in Ohio should be counted as one big growing pain. The franchise has never won a championship, and before 2007 they had never even been to the Finals.
Despite all that, they’ve had some darn fine ball players over the years, and we’re going to look at the best of them here:
#5 – Zydrunas Ilgauskas (1997-1999, 2000-2010)
What he did for the Cavs: Big Z is the career Cavalier. He’s the all-time franchise leader for games played, offensive rebounds, total rebounds, and blocks—all that despite the fact that he spent a lot of his time in Cleveland injured. He was a two-time All-Star in Ohio and made the All-Rookie team his first season in the league. He stuck with the team through all sorts of thick and thin, which is why when both he and LeBron James left for Miami in 2010, Ilgauskas was welcomed back to applause while James was booed amidst a pyre of flaming #23 jerseys.
By Yannis Koutroupis
We’re roughly a month away from the beginning of the chase for a national championship in college basketball. The five-month long season will reveal team’s strengths and weaknesses, but as we learn year in and year out, it’s really all about who plays the best during tournament time. What happened previously doesn’t matter at all once the big dance starts; everyone needs just six wins in order to be crowned the best. Nobody had Butler or Virginia Commonwealth ranked in the top four during the preseason last year, but they ended up in the Final Four because they peaked at the right time. So, while the following teams compromise our top ten right now, it’s important to note that things change greatly throughout the year. By March this list could be completely different. As for now, though, these ten teams are projected to be a cut above the rest.
1. North Carolina Tar Heels
Key Losses: None
Key Additions: James McAdoo, P.J. Hairston
Outlook: It’s national championship or bust for the Tar Heels this season as they return virtually everyone of importance from last year’s squad while adding two instant-impact freshmen in McAdoo and Hairston. Anything less would be a disappointment. Last time Roy Williams had a team this talented he won it all in 2009 and this team has the potential to do that as well. Their frontline, featuring future first-round picks Harrison Barnes, Tyler Zeller, Jon Henson and now McAdoo, is virtually flawless. With the steady Kendall Marshall setting the table the Tar Heels should undoubtedly be one of the teams in the mix at the end of the season as long as they stay healthy.