It Ain’t Over ’til The Fat Lady Sings ….. Or Is It ?
Well it’s now crunch time in the NBA with teams in contention for the playoff spot are getting themselves ready for the shakeup as things set themselves in motion. After all of the hype and praise we’ve all seen or heard that the Miami Heat would be setting the league and Eastern Conference alight. Well that couldn’t be further from the truth as the Heat has simply struggled to make their presence felt . This from a team who’s posted a 3-8 record against top five teams or teams with a .500 record or better . Am I really supposed to be impressed by that or the fact that Pat Riley still continues to bemoan that fans are being critical of the team ? Well this was the team that Riley built and he ought to expect the any form of criticism when the Heat simply hasn’t lived up to expectations.
Slide show for your perusal .
In the midst of this all while the Heat having posted the third best record within the conference . The Miami Heat now finds themselves sitting behind the Boston Celtics and the surprising conference leading Chicago Bulls led by possible league MVP candidate — Derrick Rose . While I’ve no doubt that the Bulls are capable of landing a playoff spot I’m not so sure that this present team is actually capable of winning the NBA title ! What I am aware of though is that coach Tom Thibodeaux has this team playing an exciting brand of basketball that has fans across the league surprised and actually taking notice of this team .
Courtesy of NBA.com
By Steve Aschburner , NBA.com
The ballots haven’t even been mailed, much less cast. What eyewitnesses, admirers and victims across the NBA have been volunteering — Michael Jordan, Doc Rivers and Avery Johnson are among the latest to board the Derrick Rose-as-NBA-Most-Valuable-Player bandwagon — has been strictly unofficial.
But there is momentum in play. Twenty-one of the NBA regular-season’s 25 weeks (84 percent) are nearly complete. While Rose, Chicago’s third-year point guard, has won nothing at this point, the Bulls’ spot atop the Eastern Conference standings, his individual improvement and his impact on teammates make a compelling argument on his behalf.
Dwight Howard isn’t close to being done as an MVP candidate. LeBron James still might have to figure out where to stage a third straight acceptance ceremony (somewhere outside of Ohio, presumably). Kobe Bryant or Dirk Nowitzki could close in a rush and carry the Western Conference precincts.
But if — just if — Rose were to be named 2011 MVP, a fair amount of history would be made:
• He would become the youngest MVP in league history. Rose turned 22 on Oct. 4, which would leave him with about six months on Wes Unseld , the Baltimore/Washington great who turned 23 just days before winning the award in 1969.
• Rose would be the first NBA MVP to earn the honor while still chronologically eligible to be playing in the NCAA tournament. Rose would be a senior at Memphis this season — no MVP winner ever has been within four years of his high school graduation when he won.
Click on link to read this article in its entirety .
Rose for his part has been ably assisted by Luol Deng , Carlos Boozer , Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson . The United Center has once again become the place to be. Not since the heyday of Michael Jordan , Scottie Pippen and the Bulls’ teams that were dominant within the NBA , having won 6 NBA titles in a ten year span .
It may well be too much to suggest but were the NBA world to be turned upside down with an unexpected Bulls’ win of the NBA title would it be such a bad thing ? Look I’m not against star laden teams being touted , hyped and lauded over if there’s a justification for it ! But good God all of the crap concerning the Heat has bored me beyond comprehension. There hasn’t been this much hype over a team since the Lakers team that embodied stars such as Kobe Byrant, Shaquille O’Neal , Gary Payton and Karl Malone . And as we all know the fate that awaited the team when they played the Detroit Pistons in the 2004 NBA Finals , a summary ass kicking of a team that simply didn’t know what the hell they’d been hit with. Could that be what awaits the Miami Heat should they make the Finals , I’ll let you all decide the outcome of that scenario. This much I do know Erik Spoelstra , his coaching staff and Pat Riley are under a great deal of pressure not only for this team to perform but anything less than a NBA Finals’ appearance and win will be considered a complete failure .
There are instances where we know things are either for the benefit of the game or they’re not but with what’s now transpiring within the NBA , I do believe that although the league hierarchy led its commissioner David Stern would like nothing more than seeing a Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers’ finals , I’m not so sure that scenario will indeed arise. The Lakers have been struggling somewhat of late , with Byran and his teammates not always finding the level of consistency sought by Phil Jackson and his coaching staff .
As contentious as the Western Conference is known to be , this season for the Lakers have had their problems and they now seem to be looking more susceptible than ever , perhaps even ripe for the picking , as to be taken down by a playoff opponent. The conference was very much thought to theirs for the taking but they’re even now in a struggle to make their present felt when they now see themselves sitting behind both the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs within the conference standings and the very fact that they don’t hold the number one seeding may well be the difference to the Lakers having a very good postseason experience or one where it becomes an abysmal failure.
I’ve no doubt that the Los Angeles Lakers will make the playoffs but as I alluded to in the last paragraph their postseason will be one of their own making. A team that I’m looking at to be a real threat this postseason is the Oklahoma City Thunder and the play in particular of Kevin Durant , Russell Westbrook and James Harden . What has been achieved by this Thunder team over the course of the season has simply been amazing and with Durant now leading the league in scoring and being viewed as a viable league MVP candidate, it has to be said that things are now looking up for coach Scott Brooks and his team.
The regular season itself if nothing has been somewhat of a surprise albeit that teams such as the Minnesota Timberwolves , Sacramento Kings , Washington Wizards and Cleveland Cavaliers continue to underachieve and while I’m not about to suggest that all four teams have been so abysmal and downright mediocre . There’s absolutely no other way to describe the play of all three teams throughout the course of the season .
While there have been suggestions that the Cavaliers are tanking their season in order to have a greater chance in the NBA Draft I’m not so sure that Byron Scott’s — coaching staff and GM Chris Grant would simply know what to look for in terms of the talent to make the Cavaliers a much better team . And given the fact that the Cavaliers have struggled to maintain some semblance of consistency since the departure of LeBron James as a free agent to join the Miami Heat.
As to the fate that awaits the Cavaliers, Timberwolves and Wizards over the remainder of the season remains to be seen . The NBA as a league is s much better league when all of its teams are playing at a competitively high level. The vast majority of the teams have been playing well but in reality it’s hard to adjudge what in reality is great and well when you see the inconsistency of the teams in the upper echelons of the NBA .
By clicking on an individual frame you can view that picture in its original formatted
The NBA playoff picture hasn’t yet become clearer but given what we’re now seeing and the surprise of the Chicago Bulls it’s now clear that the fate of a number of teams who believe that they’re playoff contenders will certainly raise the level of their game. I can’t help but now wonder what awaits the Bulls and their fate over the remainder of the season . Do you believe that this team is capable of winning the NBA title given their playoff play and their aspirations ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts on the Bulls and the NBA scenario as a whole .
Alan aka tophatal …………….
Chicago Bulls’ schedule
Chicago Bulls’ history
Chicago Bulls’ front office
Chicago Bulls’ roster
Chicago Bulls coaching staff
Chicago Bulls’ team statistics
Bulls’ team splits
Bulls’ draft history
Picture and slide show details below.
(1) Chicago Bulls’ Taj Gibson, left, goes after a loose ball with New Jersey Nets’ Sundiata Gaines during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 17, 2011 in Newark, N.J. The Bulls won 84-73 . AP Photo/Bill Kostroun …..
(3) Luol Deng gets a good look for a jumper over the Pacers. The Pacers would go on to defeat the Bulls 115-108 . NBAE/Getty Images .
(4) Derrick Rose (1) of the Chicago Bulls passes the ball under pressure from Al Jefferson (25) of the Utah Jazz in a game played at the United Center on March 12, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Johnathan Daniels/ Getty Images North America …….
(5) Derrick Rose (1) of the Chicago Bulls puts up a shot against Josh Smith (5) of the Atlanta Hawks on his way to a game-high 34 points at the United Center on March 11, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Hawks 94-76 . Getty Images North America / Johnathan Daniels ………..
Take time to participate in the poll shown above.
Eye candy …………. Kameco Cuaolo
Alba Lydia ..
2 Pac ……… feat’g ………… Scarface ……… “Smile”