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HOOPSWORLD Week In Review
Posted By Mark Nugent On April 8, 2012 @ 7:00 am In All,Main Page,NBA | No Comments
Busy Summer For NBA Trades?
By Derek Page
It could be an exciting summer of 2012 in the NBA as we’ve got some intriguing story lines and players primed to be moved before the start of next season.
Let’s take a look at five of the players that could be moved in the offseason along with what our guys with the inside scoop in that particular market feel about their prospects of leaving town this summer:
Dwight Howard – Magic:
After re-upping for another season with the Orlando Magic, Dwight Howard put the rumors to rest that he would be heading elsewhere at the 2012 NBA trading deadline. For the rest of this season, at least, Howard is assuring the Magic organization and fans that he is staying in Orlando.
This summer, however, could be a different story.
What Stan Van Gundy Really Said
By Bill Ingram
One of the problems with the world of Twitter is that so much is lost in translation, so much is lost in the 150-character limit, that what people wind up believing about a situation might be fairly far removed from the actual situation.
This is largely what happened this morning when the news “broke” that Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy said he knew Dwight Howard wanted him fired. Instead of a fully-developed and contextualized story, people read bits and pieces of tweets that might have led them down the wrong path.
So here, for the record, is all of what Stan Van Gundy had to say after shootaround this morning.
“Look, stuff like that, it happens in the NBA and when it comes out that one of the highest profile guys in the league has asked for his coach to be fired. It’s going to be the story, but it’s disappointing. I’d rather not have it come out, but I’d rather it hadn’t rained a couple of days ago. Life goes on.”
Playoff Preview: Eastern Conference
By Tommy Beer
With the NBA playoffs now just three weeks away, it is time to start taking a close look at the playoff picture in each conference. Below we breakdown the remaining schedule of each team in the East and take a brief glimpse at the current state of affairs in each city…
#1. Chicago Bulls (43-13)
Remaining Schedule (5 Home, 5 Away): @NYK, NYK, MIA, @DET, WAS, @CHA, @MIA, DAL, @IND, CLE
Outlook/Prognosis: The story of the second-half of this Bulls season has been Chicago remarkable ability to string together wins despite playing without their best player, reigning NBA MVP, Derrick Rose. Consider this interesting fact courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau: “Earlier this month, Derrick Rose became only the fifth player to miss as many as 20 games as the NBA’s reigning Most Valuable Player. To their credit, Chicago has fared much better without Rose this season (15-7) than the Lakers did without Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1977-1978 (8-12) or the 76ers did without Allen Iverson in 2001-2002 (7-15). The other MVPs to miss at least 20 games missed the entire season: Bill Walton (MVP in 1977-1978) and Michael Jordan (following Retirement #2 in 1998)…” However, as we all know, the Bulls are only a legit championship contender if D Rose is at, or at least close to, 100%. And there was some encouraging news out of the Windy City on Thursday, when Rose stated he would suit up on Sunday when the Bulls take on the Knicks at MSG. More good news for Bulls fans: Chicago plays just 10 times (fewest in the NBA) over the next 20 days, which should give Rose more time to rest.
Ranking The Top NBA Executives
By Stephen Litel
As is the case with all awards given out in the NBA, it is difficult to make a true determination on what the criteria is for making a selection for the Executive of the Year. Each team in the league is in a different place and needs different things, so the answer is not an easy one to come up with. The job of being the executive in charge of making some of the toughest decisions a franchise has to make is a thankless one, one which always keeps these men in the public’s crosshairs.
There are executives around the league doing fine jobs for their teams—and, of course, there are some who are not—but this group of four executives is some who have bettered their respective teams in the past calendar year. Some of these choices may surprise you, but if you just look at the work they have done in the window of the last year, they have, in fact, done a fine job.
Coach: Control The Middle Of The Floor
By Anthony Macri
A high priority in teaching great individual and team basketball is recognizing the value of the middle of the floor. Too often played on the fringes, basketball’s true “line-of-scrimmage” is in the middle of the floor, the space in the center that extends from one lane all the way through to the opposite end of the court. This 16’ wide area (the college area is 12’ wide) is the major determining factor in how good a team is offensively – in a number of ways.
One of the most valuable pieces of real estate in the game is the area directly in front of the rim: a 6’x6’ chunk of the paint. Both post players attacking toward the middle and perimeter players who are penetrating to the basket want to get right to the front of the rim for the finish. Both the action of getting there and the threat of going there at some point forces defenses to collapse, and being in front of the rim preserves fantastic passing angles to cutters and shooters.
Sometimes we call this area of the floor the “And-1 Zone.” Constantly getting shots here leads to certain opportunities to score the hoop while getting fouled, which is a fantastic result of any scoring possession. Because it is right in front of the rim, defenses are keen not to allow players to score there easily, and tend to be aggressive in a help posture, which can lead to more fouls for offensive players who value this piece of real estate more than others.
McGee Didn’t See Nuggets Trade Coming
By Alex Kennedy
JaVale McGee had no idea that the Washington Wizards were going to trade him. In the hours leading up to the trade deadline, many players obsessively check their phone or read the latest rumors. McGee wasn’t worried. In fact, he was sleeping when the Denver Nuggets finalized the deal to acquire him.
“I was sleeping, taking my pregame nap,” McGee told HOOPSWORLD. “When I woke up, I found out that I had been traded. I had a bunch of text messages from different people and I talked to the team. I was shocked. I just asked, ‘When do I leave?’”
McGee was expecting to finish the season in Washington and the move definitely caught him off guard. However, after the shock passed, he realized that the change of scenery would be good for him. It’s not often that a notable player gets to jump from a lottery team to a playoff team. McGee is enjoying the experience in Denver, where the team expects to win every night and compete come playoff time.
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