Author Archives: TheBaselineBlurb

About TheBaselineBlurb

I'm an aspiring sports writer, I love the LAKERS!, and anything to do with sports. The NBA is the most featured topic on this blog so if your a hoops lover you landed in the right spot. Buckle up and enjoy your sports journey with me

NCAA Final Four Predictions and Analysis

The people are filing into the city of New Orleans for this years NCAA Final Four 2012, march madness has been “MAD”as always, numerous teams have been bounced and sent home. All the drama, all the excitement, all the heroics, have built the stage for only 4 teams to stand on, BUT who will steal the show when the curtain closes? Lets look at the matchups below:

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Are New Look Lakers Now Contenders?

While Kobe Bryant said it was 'difficult' to see Derek Fisher leave, the addition of Ramon Sessions (left) could help the Lakers.

After a long trade deadline process, the Los Angeles Lakers made the decision to keep starting power forward  Pau Gasol. With his name being mentioned throughout this whole process,  Gasol has delivered despite the trade rumors. At the end of the day on Wednesday March 15th, point guard Ramon Sessions was a Laker along with Center Jordan Hill. Sadly the Lakers parted ways with veteran guard Derek Fisher, but that also saved them oodles of money. Luke Walton and Jason Kapono were also dealt to Cleveland along with a 2012-13 draft pick they also DON’T have to pay. In acquiring Ramon Sessions the Lakers definitely improved at that point guard position that deeply needed maintenance. Personally, I’m ecstatic that Gasol remained a Laker, and now Pau along with Kobe Bryant are the captains of the team. Its been thrown around on ESPN and at any local barbershop, that the Lakers have moved into contention for an NBA title. With that being said I too believe that L.A. will be playing in June, that was a totally UNBIASED (those of you that know me know I’m a Laker Fan) answer. Futhermore, I’m going to reveal the reasons why I believe the parade may be in Los Angeles this year.

The first, and most important reason is the fact that Kobe Bryant is still in a Laker uniform. To add, the Lakers also obtain the largest frontcourt in all of basketball, (which is why I’m happy Gasol was not dealt) by keeping Pau Gasol the Lakers obviously want to play to their strength which is their SIZE. Andrew Bynum has been impressive a bulk of the year, and was named Western Conference Player of the Week 3/13/2012 thru 3/18/2012. During that span Bynum went bonkers averaging 27.5 ppg, 14.8 rpg, also”Drew” shot a notable 66.5% from the field, while corralling 1.6 bpg. Quite deserving of the honor needless to say.

People speak about the Lakers offense mostly, but we do need to recognize their swarming defense as well. Los Angeles ranks seventh in the NBA in points allowed at 92.6 ppg, and that’s good enough for second in the Western Conference. Again, their size allows them to alter a galaxy of shots and their quick enough to get in passing lanes for steals. One thing Mike Brown does preach is defense, even dating back to his days in Cleveland he was recognized as defensive orientated. But…that’s another topic.

With the Big Three in tact, and adding that key ingredient in Ramon Sessions the Lakers are aiming to cause turbulence out West. Trailing only the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs, the new look Lakers are third in the West standing at (28-17), Home (19-3), Away (9-14). If the Lakers get solid production out of Metta World Peace, and the bench plays kosher, title #6 for Kobe is within arms reach.

*Since acquiring Guard Ramon Sessions the Los Angeles Lakers are 1-1

Razor Ramon played his first game as a Laker March 16, 2012, that night he posted seven  points to go along with five assist, and scrapped up four rebounds. Lakers beat the Timberwolves 97-92,  Sessions didn’t look so hot in the 103-99 deficiency against the Utah Jazz, he tallied 10 points, but shot a nefarious 1-7 from the field. Sessions did manage to distribute 6 assist and took first-class care of the ball with 0 turnovers. The Lakers travel Tuesday night to Houston taking on the Derek Fisher-less Rockets.

Why the Lakers are now Contenders:

No team in the league can match their size down low, the Lakers were a defensive liability at the point guard position nightly. With the addition of Sessions that is no longer a debate, now the Lakers are able to match Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook and San Antonio’s Tony Parker. Oh and not to leave out Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers (step-brother). Am I saying Sessions will hold these guards score-less NO, but he is quick enough and strong enough to be quite disruptive on defense.

*Ramon Sessions is  6 foot 3 inches tall and weighs 195 lbs.

Offensively, Sessions can give you anywhere from 10-13 points a game and makes commendable decisions with the basketball. Also, Ramon is bona fide athlete who is quick off the dribble and can finish at the rim with either hand. Not mentioned in a  defensive light very often, but Sessions can stay in front of the quicker guards Lakers have struggled with containing in the past.

The last Laker point guard who could generate his own shot was retired guard Nick Van Exel. Kobe has never had a backcourt counter-part that was athletic and could handle the ball quite like Sessions. The Lakers have compiled all the necessary components needed to make a legit dash for a championship this season. More importantly the team is buying into Mike Brown’s system, and players are adapting to their new roles, it won’t take much time for the Lakers to gell in my opinion.

Another advantage the Lakers have along with the rest of the 28 teams, is this breve stagione. This has given the older teams time to rest those ancient bones, franchises such as the Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Lakers. Extra rest means a lot come playoff time, that’s when the game becomes more slothful, and teams need to  execute in half court sets. Again that will play to the Lakers advantage, because they are a half court team.

The achilles heel for the Lakers has been the production from the bench. Without Lamar Odom, or Shannon Brown coming off the bench Lakers personnel has been looking for answers. Producing one of, if not the lowest total of bench points in the league is this Lakers gang. Steve Blake, and Matt Barnes, make up 66% of the Killer Bee’s now that Shannon Brown has been emancipated. Strange enough the bench blossoms in front off the home crowd at the Staples Center, its away from home that causes the headaches. If the Laker bench can put up standard numbers life would be a lot easier

Point blank period the Lakers are contenders in the Western Conference no matter how much you try to down play it. When playoff time rolls around this new look Lakers team will be put to the test. Most people want to throw Oklahoma City in the Finals, but believe it or not folks Los Angeles is equipped to make some serious commotion come playoff time.

*Follow me on Twitter @JdotBras also be sure to check out my additional sports blog at thesportsoutlaw.com please stop by sportsblogmovement.worpress.com and see bio and get a good read  a host of different writers including myself.

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“Clutch Factor” Does LeBron James possess it?

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OK basketball heads and NBA guru’s, it’s time to dissect the meaning of the word “CLUTCH”. It’s often thrown around in the world of sports to add more emphasis to a big play.

 “Clutch” means performing well under extreme pressure.

Often time it refers to a high level of production in critical moments; for example the final hole of the Masters, or Game 7 of the NBA Finals, the last drive of the Super Bowl etc. Athletes are tagged with being clutch performers based on how they perform in nerve racking situations. I believe that every “GREAT” player should have a clutch gene in their system.

Now over the years I have been a faithful NBA fan, I have watched basketball since the age of 8 and been playing since age 9. I have seen many “CLUTCH” performers in my time, from Reggie Miller, to Michael Jordan. The NBA athlete that seems to get the most critism in the clutch factor topic is  Miami Heat’s forward LeBron James. It’s been argued that he is the best player in the NBA at this point in time, but I believe he is only the best athlete.

   In order for you to have the label of being “the best” you have to shine at the brightest moments. LeBron James simply just shies away from the moment more than he embraces it.

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NBA All Star 2012! “The Rundown”

I guess it’s that time of year again! NBA Fans across the globe are all geared up for NBA All Star Weekend 2012. From the Rising Stars Challenge to the NBA Slam Dunk contest this weekend never disappoints. If you glance below you can get a closer look at what’s going on in Orlando this NBA All Star Weekend.

Friday February 24, 2012  the festivities begin with the Sprint Celebrity Game.

Participants: (R&B Singer) Neyo, (Rapper) Common, (Curb Your Enthusiasm) JB Smoove, (Actor, “Jersey Shore’s”) Vinny Guadagnino, (Comedian/Actor) Kevin Hart, (“The Voice”) Javier Colon, (“Property Brothers) Drew and Jonathan Scott, (“Greys Anatomy”) Jesse Williams, (NBA Legend) Mitch Richmond, (4x NBA All Star) Penny Hardaway, (NBA Legend) Nick Anderson, (2011 WNBA MVP) Tamika Catchings, (ESPN’s) Doug Gottlieb

The Sprint Celebrity Game Coaches: Orlando Magic Center Dwight Howard and Reigning NBA Scoring Champion Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Also, Friday night the NBA Rising Star Challenge will display some of the top young talent in the NBA (Rookies and Sophomores). This Year teams were selected by the coaches, Hall of Famer Charles Barkley and 4 Time NBA Champion Shaquille O’Neal.

#Team  SHAQ:

Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers

Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves

Jeremy Lin, New York Knicks

Kemba Walker, Charlotte Bobcats

Markeiff Morris, Phoenix Suns

Landry Fields, New York Knicks

Norris Cole, Miami Heat

Brandan Knight, Detroit Pistons

Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers

And, on the opposing bench is none other than……………………………………

#Team CHUCK

Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers

Derrick Williams, Minnesota Timberwolves

DeMarcus Cousins, Sacremento Kings

Paul George, Indiana Pacers

Marshon Brooks, New Jersey Nets

John Wall, Washington Wizards

Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz

Tiago Splitter, San Antonio Spurs

Evan Turner, Philadelphia 76ers

Derrick Favors, Utah Jazz

Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs

*That rounds out the Festivities for Friday Night

Saturday February 25, 2012

Haier Shooting Stars Challenge: Teams and players from the NBA as well as the WNBA get together for bragging rights in this remarkable jump shooting challenge.

Teams/Participants:

Team Orlando: Orlando Magic Guard Jameer Nelson, WNBA All Star Mary Ferdinand-Harris, and former Orlando Magic Forward Dennis Scott

Team Atlanta: Atlanta Hawks Guard Joe Johnson, WNBA Atlanta Dreams Lindsey Harding, and NBATV Analyst and Former Atlanta Hawks Guard Steve Smith

Team New York: New York Knicks Guard Landry Fields, 4x WNBA All Star of the New York Liberty Cappie Pondexter, and Former New York Knick great Allan Houston

Team Texas: Houston Rockets Rookie Chandler Parsons, Sophia Young of the San Antonio Stars WNBA, and Two Time NBA Champion and Former Houston Rockets Guard Kenny “The Jet” Smith

*Followng the Haier Shooting Star Challenge will be the Taco Bell Skll Competition get ready for this tremendous showcase of ballhandling skills, passing technique, and clock management.

Participants:

Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers

Deron Williams, New Jersey Nets

Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs

John Wall, Washington Wizards

Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

*Note: Reigning Champ Stephen Curry will not participate.

After the Skills Competition, will be none other than the guys that like to make the long distance calls you guessed it the Foot Locker 3 Point Shootout!

Participants:

Reigning Champion: James Jones, Miami Heat

Anthony Morrow, New Jersey Nets

Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves

Ryan Anderson, Orlando Magic

Mario Chalmers, Miami Heat

Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

*Joe Johnson will not compete Kevin Durant will take his place in three point shootout

After we have been dazzled by the trey ball we can feast our eyes on the highlight of the evening none other than the Sprite Slam Dunk Competition.

*Although reigning slam dunk champion Blake Griffin will not participate along with New York Knicks Roookie Guard Iman Shumpert

Participants:

Derrick Williams, Minnesota Timberwolves

Paul George, Indiana Pacers

Jeremy Evans, Utah Jazz

Chase Budinger, Houston Rockets

*Also this year there is a new Dunk Contest format that has been placed into effect

Sunday February 25, 2012

Sprint Pre-Game Concert:

Before the All Star game will be a concert performing live will be Grammy Award Winning Artist J. Cole, Also performing will be Acapella great Pentatonix, also up and coming star Kayla Brianna will be performing, Lastly Neon Hitch will hit the stage.

*Following the concert will be the tip-off of the All Star Game!

61st NBA ALL STAR GAME!!!

East Starters:

Lebron James, Miami Heat

Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks

Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat

Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls

Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic

Reserves:

Luol Deng, Chicago Bulls

Chris Bosh, Miami Heat

Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics

Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics

Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia 76es

Roy Hibbert, Indiana Pacers

Deron Williams, New Jersey Nets

*Head Coach: Tom Thibodeau (Chicago Bulls)

West Starters:

Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers

Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers

Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers

Andrew Bynum, Los Angeles Lakers

Reserves:

Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns

Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies

Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks

Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs

LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trailblazers

Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves

*Head Coach: Scotty Brooks (Oklahoma City Thunder)

NBA All Star Weekend 2012 is coming your way this weekend! I LOVE THIS GAME!

Follow me on Twitter @JdotBras, also check out my blog at thesportsedification.wordpress.com and thesportsoutlaw.com

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“Love Tap”

On Saturday Minnesota Timberwolves superstar foward Kevin Love  stomped on Luis Scola of the Houston Rockets. The NBA has suspended Love for 2 games, its been said that he stomped him twice. One time to the face and one time to the chest. When asked about the incident after the game he responded and said ” It was not intentional at all”, and then went into the Rockets locker room and apologized to Scola. Even with the apology the NBA upgraded the foul to a floagrant-two call, so now Minnesota will be without their leading scorer and rebounder. The Timberwolves host the Sacramento Kings in their next game on Tuesday night.

Follow me on Twitter @JdotBras and check out my website at thesportsoutlaw.com

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” Nets’ MarShon Brooks STEAL of the NBA Draft?”

Around this time last season rookie guard MarShon Brooks was a senior at Providence College, and not really a prospect on many analyst draft boards. Maybe because he wasn’t at a powerhouse university, or the fact that his team’s record wasn’t the greatest, say what you want but he was slept on. Not talking tempur- pedic, but what i mean is analyst and critics showed little interest in Brooks. The guy then scored 43 points on a well coached John Thompson Georgetown Hoyas team, only to turn around and rip Notre Dame for 52 points. Displays like that earned him 3rd team All America honors, on March 5th 2011 Brooks scored 28 points against Rutgers to place himself at the top of the all-time big east single season scoring record. MarShon was also named to first team All Big East and was on of 20 finalist for the John R. Wooden Award. By the seasons end Brooks also was second in the nation in scoring averaging a stellar (24.6 ppg).

After life in Providence, Brooks worked hard training and getting his body ready for the NBA Combine. Hearing Len Elmore rave about MarShon Brooks was surprising to some, but was not a surprise to Brooks. As the combine went on Brooks’ stock would rise, killing top guards in workouts such as Alec Burk and Klay Thompson he began to open eyes. At the combine his measurements also stuck out like sore thumbs, but  most of all that 7’1 inch wingspan that you find on power forwards. Being overshadowed by names like Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, and Jimmer Fredette, MarShon barely received the recognition he deserved yet.

On June 23rd 2011 at the NBA Draft the New Jersey Nets traded up two picks to pry Brooks away from the Celtics. Due to his performance at the combine many thought he would be gone by the time pick #25 was on the clock. With Brooks being from New Jersey it couldn’t be a better fit, some don’t know but MarShon played his high school basketball at Tucker High School in Georgia. In 2007 he led Tucker High to a Class 4A State Championship and was selected First Team All- State. So far in his young rookie season Brooks has pleased coach Avery Johnson and staff with his willingness to learn and listen. Coach Johnson has switched the starting lineup on several occasions with Brooks getting the nod a majority of the time. Making the most of his opportunity Brooks is averaging 15 ppg and 4 rpg so far this season. Not mentioned in Rookie of the Year talks early because all the Jimmer, Kemba, and the Rubio hype,but now his name is starting to get thrown around a lot more. Why not? Brooks is putting up solid numbers for a number 25 pick in a not so watered down draft, and he is shooting at a very efficient rate. Brooks can flat out score at will similar to Jamal Crawford of the Blazers, he has scored double digits in 12 out of the 15 games so far this year. “Marswagg” as he has been referred to by New Jersey fans has been playing good defense, getting in passing lanes, blocking shots, and rebounding. Just take a closer look at the rookie and determine for yourself. In my book I believe MarShon Brooks is the steal of this years NBA Draft!

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