This season, the Los Angeles Lakers were considered as the team to watch out for because of their major changes with their starting lineup. Many people thought that All-Star player Pau Gasol will leave the City of Angels because of his lackluster performance last season but Dwight Howard came along and strengthens their post offense and defense. However, with the current standing of the team, does the change really have a positive effect at all?
Now that Kobe Bryant already has an impressive point guard in Steve Nash on his side, many are expecting amazing plays through Nash’s ball handling and passing skills. On the other hand, this supposed-to-be dominating team is not showing any signs of greatness as of the moment. After all the hype the Lakers received during offseason, there’s a need to change something about the team’s strategy.
One thing that should be considered is their team chemistry. It is true that the Lakers already have all their need to get them another shot at the NBA championship but it is important to know if the “Fab 5” will get along as a team. It is still early to judge them but so far, the chemistry is not shown at all.
Kobe Bryant should also make some adjustments. This is not the old Lakers anymore. With All-Star players, the Black Mamba should also learn how to trust his team mates. They should not run isolation plays that often because all five of them know how to score points. The record shows that the 34-year old star is still not creating extra efforts to make some assists.
Aside from the NBA legend, Coach Mike Brown is also a factor in this scenario. Many basketball fans around the world were blaming the former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach about what is happening to the team since last season. It would be better if Brown will prove that he is not just depending on LeBron James’ isolation plays for the Cavs.
Steve Nash was known as a ‘Pick and Roll’ expert therefore, there is a possibility that he is having a hard time adjusting on the ‘Princeton Offense.’ This can be considered as a barrier from their comfort zones. It would be better if they will be able to maximize Dwight Howard’s capabilities.
The young core of the Oklahoma City Thunder officially broke up when the management and last season’s Sixth Man of the Year, James Harden, were unable to have an agreement for a contract extension.
Thunder general manager Sam Presti made an immediate decision to trade the guard for Houston Rocket’s Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb and future draft picks after Harden rejected the four-year deal that would pay him $53-54 million as his base salary.
Along with the 23-year old hoop star, Cole Aldrich, Lazar Hayward and Daequan Cook will be sent to the Rockets.
Once the deal is officially done, the Rockets management are expected to offer a four-year or five-year maximum contract extension to Harden.
Coming off the bench, James Harden recorded an impressive 16.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists last season.
Three-time All-Star Gilbert Arenas is close to having an agreement with the Guandong Southern Tigers of the Chiness Basketball Association.
Averaging 20.7 points for his 11 seasons with the Golden State Warriors, Washington Wizards, Orlando Magic and Memphis Grizzlies, the 30-year old basketball star is possible to be with the league on a one-year contract.
His 17 games with the Grizzlies recorded an average of 4.2 points and 1.1 assists last season.
Arenas still wanted to return to the NBA this season but no team showed interest.
With fellow former All-Stars Tracy McGrady and Stephon Marbury, Gilbert Arenas will join the long list of former NBA stars under the Chinese Basketball Association. If the deal with Guandong comes to fruition, Arenas will team up with another former NBA star, Yi Jianlian of the Dallas Mavericks.
After the departure of Ray Allen, many are wondering if former Dallas Mavericks sixth man Jason Terry can live up to the hype of being the new range shooter of the Boston Celtics?
Yes these two men are good in perimeter shots (though Allen holds the record in this category) but what separate the man from the other? It is Terry’s willingness to go off the bench.
Aside from his locker room war with Rajon Rondo, the record shows that one of the complaints of the former Celtics guard was about Avery Bradley replaced him on the starting lineup.
The Jet loved the idea of being a sixth man. In fact, he only started 34 games but had a tremendous record of at least 15 points per game with a field goal percentage of 45%.
Other than in-game ego, Terry is different from Allen in terms of roles on the floor. The 35-year old NBA star can play the point guard position. It could be the reason why Boston did not sign a back-up for Rajon Rondo.
The 6 foot 2 framework of Jason Terry is perfect for him to fill-in the spot in case Rondo needs to take a break. His record on assists is no joke as well having an average of 4.7 assists per game.
He’s not just a typical shooting guard; he is also a point guard who doesn’t see anything wrong being a substitute.
After the knee injury, NBA All-Star Blake Griffin feels like he’s already 100% for the next season. The medial meniscus tear of his knee left him unfit to be at the 2012 London Olympics and was replaced by the up and coming rookie, Anthony Davis.
”I’m doing all my normal movements,” said Griffin on his continuous knee rehab. ”I feel like I’m at 100 percent.”
Blake Griffin had been preparing for the Clippers’ return the whole summer. He already signed a five year contract extension last July and the man can have a total of $95 million.
The franchise already had a major rebuilding with Lamar Odom returning to Los Angeles, Chauncey Billups re-signed with the team, and the addition of free agents Jamal Willie Green, Jamal Crawford, Ronnie Turiaf, Ryan Hollins and Grant Hill.
”This is a great place to play and guys want to come here,” said the 6-foot-10 basketball star. ”The fact that we’ve had guys toward the end of their careers, guys like Grant Hill, that chose to play here, I think that says a lot about our team and the direction we’re heading in. It’s great to be a part of something that has kind of turned the corner.”
Last season, the Oklahoma City Thunder reigned supreme leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a second-round exit in the NBA playoffs 2012. Can Kevin Durant and the rest of the Thunder do it again now that the Lakers recharged their line-up with the likes of Antawn Jamison, Steve Nash and Dwight Howard?
OKC still have their core players Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins. The only man in question right now is James Harden with no contract extension yet. Dwight Howard is considered as the number one center in the league today but the defensive mind of Kendrick Perkins can put it to the test.
Lakers legend Kobe Bryant is still a heavy bomber against KD who is the league’s leading scorer today. In terms of experience, Steve Nash is better than Russell Westbrook but this young man still has a long way to go.
No doubt, the 2012-13 NBA season will be much more exciting with these two teams expected to collide in the western conference. Kobe Bryant is running out of time for his sixth ring but Kevin Durant is hungry for the title since their defeat against the Miami Heat at the NBA finals.
After being a key player in the 2012 London Olympics for the Spain Basketball Team, youngster Serge Ibaka extends the length of his services for Oklahoma City.
The man agreed to a four-year extension with the Thunder worth $48 million. This deal will add the 22-year old player to the list of core players staying with the team.
However, James Harden’s future became uncertain as both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have maximum contracts following NBA’s collective bargaining agreement. Aside from that, Kendrick Perkins’ contract is about to end as well.
Serge Ibaka is considered as one of the best rim defenders averaging 9.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and an impressive 3.6 blocks per game.