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NBA PM: Top Five Players Missing From Playoffs
Posted By Bill Ingram On April 19, 2013 @ 6:00 pm In Main Page,NBA | No Comments
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Top Five Players Missing From Playoffs
The NBA playoffs are usually about the best players in the world going head-to-head in a battle for the right to be crowned champions. This season, however, quite a few of the players we normally look forward to watching in postseason play are out, either because they are injured or because their teams had off years. With that in mind, we take a look at the top five players we will miss as the 2013 NBA Playoffs get underway.
Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers – The Lakers may have squeaked into the playoffs without Kobe Bryant to ice the playoff berth in the season’s final games, but the Lakers’ chances of advancing are as ruptured as Kobe’s Achilles’ tendon.
It’s not just Lakers fans, however, who will miss Kobe as the playoffs get underway this weekend. He is one of the most dynamic players on the court, but also one of the smartest players in the league. His pithy observations and commentary will be missed almost as much as the eye-popping plays he makes in clutch moments. The NBA playoffs are significantly diminished by Kobe’s absence.
Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks – Dirk Nowitzki may not have the national following of someone like Kobe Bryant, but those who are avid followers of the Dallas Mavericks know that there is no fiercer competitor in the NBA.
Easily the greatest European player to ever grace the NBA hardwoods, Dirk’s flair for the dramatic, blue-collar approach to the game and ability to fill up a box score have made him one of the most exciting players to watch since he came into his own in Dallas.
The Miami HEAT look poised to steamroll their way to the Finals, and a big part of the reason why is that Derrick Rose will not be leading the Chicago Bulls in an effort to dethrone the defending champs. Rose is a highlight reel waiting to happen, both at the rim and behind the three-point line, and without him a Bulls team that might have gotten out of the East will do well to get out of the first round.
Andrew Bynum, Philadelphia 76ers – The arrival of Andrew Bynum in Philadelphia was supposed to spawn a new contender with the firepower to possibly challenge the HEAT. Instead, Bynum has become the butt of many jokes and is, without question, the biggest disappointment in the league this season.
You don’t have to be a fan of the Sixers, though, to miss seeing one of the few dominant centers go to work in postseason play, especially if he has a chance to help an underdog team upset a heavy favorite.
Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics – When the Boston Celtics had a successful stretch of games after Rajon Rondo went down for the season, people across the NBA made the leap that Boston was actually better without their All-Star point guard.Over the course of a long season, however, it has become painfully clear just how much the Celtics need their floor leader.
Instead of making one more deep run with their aging core group, the Celtics look like first round fodder. Rondo may not be one of the great personalities in the game, but his play speaks volumes, and the Celtics will miss him terribly.
The 2013 NBA Playoffs are here. Which player will you miss watching the most? Cast your vote below!
Mike Brown Returning to Cleveland?
The Cleveland Cavaliers parted company with head coach Byron Scott yesterday, and it didn’t take long for word to surface that Scott’s replacement might also be his predecessor.
Mike Brown, of course, guided the LeBron James-led Cavaliers to back-to-back 60-win seasons before being let go. Expectations were a little higher then, with everyone itching to see LeBron win his first championship and Brown perceived as being unable to deliver that for him. Scott subsequently guided the team to just 64 wins to go with 166 losses over three seasons, though of course with LeBron gone those numbers were not unexpected. For his part, Scott played his role, taking losses for a rebuilding team, and it spoke volumes that budding star Kyrie Irving was vocal in expressing his disappointment at Scott’s firing.
Nonetheless, Scott is out and the Cavaliers are about to embark on the search for their next head man.
“We have not started that process,” Grant said at a press conference on Thursday. “We’re looking for someone with proven success, looking for someone who has a strong defensive system, someone who is a teacher, grinder and a worker.”
Brown, of course, is known as one of the best defensive coaches in the league, and would seem to fit the requirements set forth by Grant. The rub, however, is that according to an ESPN report Brown may not be all that anxious to return to coaching. He has two years and eight million dollars remaining on his contract with the Lakers, so he can essentially get paid to sit back and spend time with his family on the Lakers’ dime.
The Cavaliers’ job is certainly not an unattractive one, though there are still some games to be lost. Irving is one of the brightest young stars in the NBA when he’s healthy, which has been an ongoing issue for Cleveland. In fact, injuries have been a huge part of why the team fell short of expectations, with Anderson Varejao missing all but 25 games this season. Irving played in just 59, and even rookie Dion Waiters managed just 61. The first job in Cleveland is going to be working to keep everyone healthy.
Still, the sky is the limit for the young Cavaliers, given the right guidance and time to mature. It’s a daunting challenge for the wrong coach, but a golden opportunity for the right one.
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