‘Cause You’re My Best Friend!

LeBron-james-Dwyane-Wade-Cavs-jersey

Brother.

Definition: A man or boy in relation to other sons and daughters of his parents.

Sometimes, definitions need not apply. Lebron James and Dwyane Wade don’t have the same mother or father, but they’re certainly brothers. Don’t take my word for it. Read Lebron’s words, “It’s kind of like when you start school and you walk into the classroom and you’re not quite sure who your classmates are, but one of your best friends is in there, you’re like, oh yeah, this is going to be fun. It’s going to be a good class.”

Not that Lebron is walking into a classroom of strangers, but he’s clearly giddy to see Dwyane Wade sitting next to an empty seat.

Wednesday evening, Dwyane Wade became the newest member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. This move became possible when the Chicago Bulls agreed to buyout Wade. Wade walked away with $15.8 of his $23.8 million salary for this upcoming season. Hey, anyone want nearly $16 million to go away?? Yes, I’ll literally pay you to not work for me anymore.

By the way, the worse the Bulls get, the better the draft pick the Knicks received from the Thunder looks (via the Bulls). 

Following the buyout, Wade cleared waivers at 5:00 P.M., making him eligible to sign with any team. Wade agreed to a 1-year, $2.3 million contract with the Cavaliers, otherwise known as the veteran’s minimum (same as new teammate Derrick Rose).

I know what you’re thinking, that sounds like a really good deal for the Cavaliers. Duh! Dwyane Wade, at 35, is still a good player. If he hit the open market in free agency, he would earn upwards of $10 million per year. Dwyane Wade is coming to Cleveland for 2 things (not crab cakes and football), a chance at 1 more ring and to hang out with his best bud.

The question is, will the Cavaliers win the championship this season?? Everyone knows the road to the championship goes through Golden State. That’s the main reason we’ve seen an INSANE offseason. Every team is scratching and clawing to compete with the Warriors. The new look Cavaliers should waltz through the Eastern Conference — again. However, barring an injury, it’s hard to picture a world where the Warriors aren’t NBA champions in 2018.

The primary reason the Cavaliers lost to the Warriors in the finals last year, wasn’t the superstars faltering, rather their lack of depth and size. While adding Wade, Jae Crowder, and Jeff Green solves the depth problem, they still lack the size to compete inside and on the boards with the Warriors. Check out the Cavaliers roster here. There are worse situations than Crowder, Green, Rose, Jr Smith, and Kyle Korver coming off your bench, but I still don’t see a 7-footer on the roster. If Tristan Thompson is your only big, ‘Houston, we have a problem’.

 

What do you think of this trade?? Will the Cavaliers win the Championship this year?? Post your prediction in the comment section below.

 

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:10 P.M. – 8:10 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports .

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

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I’m Taking My Ball, And I’m Going….Nowhere??

kyrie irving

To trade him or not to trade him?? That is the question. Following the NBA’s primary Free Agency season, they have remained in the spotlight. Adam Silver is probably sitting in a dark room somewhere, doing his best Dr. Evil impersonation while counting stacks of money. The buzz around the league was dying down, until news broke out of Cleveland last week: Kyrie Irving requested a trade out of Cleveland. This has caused the levees to open, and the rumors to come pouring in.

Media outlets and reporters everywhere are speculating why Kyrie Irving wants to be traded away from the Eastern Conference juggernaut, and that’s all it is, speculation. No one knows exactly what’s going on in Kyrie Irving’s mind. No one knows what the dichotomy is like in the Cavaliers’ locker room. And no one knows if the Cavaliers will actually trade Irving. See, even if Irving did request a trade, the Cavaliers don’t HAVE to trade him. He is under team control, and if Dan Gilbert wants to make 1 more trip to the NBA Finals this upcoming season he’ll hold on to Kyrie Irving.

Now, let’s say the Cavaliers decide to appease Irving and send him packing, they’d reportedly be seeking a king’s ransom. As they should be. While Irving doesn’t play a lick of defense, he IS an unbelievable offensive talent. He has the best handle in the NBA, can shoot from anywhere, and is the best finisher at the rim (under 6’8″) in the NBA. Oh yeah..and he’s ONLY 25 years old. He also has 3 years remaining on his contract (the 3rd year is a player option), so his new team wouldn’t be taking on a rental.

According to reports, Irving has a short list of places he’d like to play:

  • San Antonio Spurs
  • Miami Heat
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • New York Knicks

Oh no, you don’t need new glasses, you read that right. Kyrie Irving becomes the 1st player since 1864 to WANT to play for the New York Knicks.

Irving’s reason for wanting to flee Cleveland is he wants to be ‘The Man’. In other words, he wants to trade in his Robin suit for a Batmobile. I am Batman! Reports are also swirling around that he and Lebron James can no longer co-exist. I’m sorry, but this is preposterous. Lebron James may be overbearing, but Kyrie Irving is perfectly happy going to 3 consecutive NBA Finals. Kyrie Irving is perfectly happy leading the team in field goal attempts. And Kyrie Irving is perfectly happy with his contract and enormous Nike deal. Now if you told me he’s trying to preemptively jump ship because Lebron is 1 year away from leaving as well, then we can share a beer. Plus, Dan Gilbert is one of the worst owners in the NBA, so he’s not helping.

Irving is at the Cavaliers’ mercy. They can trade him to Brooklyn. They can trade him to Atlanta. Or they don’t have to trade him at all. But, allow me to dissect each of his preferred destinations, ya know, just in case Dan Gilbert wakes up on the right side of the bed this morning.

Spurs

If Irving were on the Spurs, he certainly wouldn’t be ‘The Man’. That’s Kawhi Leonard’s role. Plus, San Antonio isn’t exactly the most conducive environment for being ‘The Man’.

Miami Heat

In South Beach, Irving would be the alpha male, and he’d be joining a decent roster. This isn’t the worst situation in the world.

Minnesota Timberwolves

This is interesting. The Timberwolves, in the past few months, have become the talk of the town. It would be fun to watch Irving play, and co-exist, with Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns. The rest of the NBA should hope Irving doesn’t land in Minnesota.

New York Knicks

And last, but certainly least, MY New York Knicks. First of all, it is AMAZING that someone publicly said they WANT to play for the Knicks. Even when Irving doesn’t come to New York, this will be a win for the most poorly run organization in the NBA. Irving would definitely be the top dog here, and watching him not pass to Kristaps Porzingis would be a lot of fun.

 

Will Kyrie Irving be traded?? If so, where will he go?? Send me your predictions to the comment section below.

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel called DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

The Knicks’ International Affairs Are In Order

NBA: Draft

Bonjour! Comment-vas tu? Bon.

“Oh, this isn’t France. Is this France? This isn’t France, is it? I didn’t think so.”

The New York Knicks selected 18 year old Frank Ntilikina of France with the 8th overall selection in last night’s NBA Draft. Now, I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I’ve watched his whole career and can fairly predict his future, but I AM going to tell you about the last time the Knicks selected a player from France. Anyone older than 25 should remember this one. Ah yesssss, the 15th pick in the 1999 NBA Draft, Frederic Weis. Let’s just say that one didn’t work out so well.

I know, I know. It’s unfair to compare this kid to a player who was drafted 18 years ago just because they’re from the same country. It is fair, however, to point out that France hasn’t exactly produced a plethora of NBA talent. Tony Parker is the best French player of all-time, but he’s technically not even French. He grew up in France, so apparently that counts. It is also fair to be skeptical of any draft pick the Knicks make. I mean, they are ALL-TIME BAD at drafting. Don’t believe me?? Click here to see this list of mediocrity. But they drafted Kristaps Porzingis, and he’s a good international player. Yes, they did, but 1 pick doesn’t change 69 years of poor drafting.

Everyone who has seen this kid play has said he’s the real deal. He’s 18. He’s 6’5″. And he actually likes playing defense. Did you hear that Derrick Rose?? We found a player who likes playing defense. The ‘machine’ is also telling us he’s been playing professionally since the age of 15, so he’s an experienced 18 year old. Well, someone is going to have to define playing for me. At the age of 16, he played in 3 games (8 mpg). At 17, he played in 26 games, but only averaged 9.2 mpg. And at 18, he has finally received regular playing time of 18.2 mpg. The only problem is he’s averaging just 5.2 points and 1.4 assists per game. While he’s 18, with room to grow, and scouts universally projected him as a top-10 draft pick, it concerns me that this is the sample size they are using. 5.2 points and 1.4 assists????

I really hope I’m wrong about this kid.

If I were running the Knicks (a man can dream), I would have gone with Malik Monk out of Kentucky. Today’s NBA is filled with long-range shooters, and Monk was, without question, the best shooter in this year’s draft.

The Knicks also had 2 picks in the 2nd round. They selected Damyean Dotson (44th), a 6’6″ shooting guard out of the University of Houston. Dotson is an athletic guard who can shoot baby shoot. He averaged 44.3% shooting from 3-point range last season. And with the 58th pick, they selected Ognjen Jaramaz out of Serbia. At 21 years old, Jaramaz is a 6’4″ point guard.

Back to Ntilikina. Did you know his team is in the midst of a playoff run in Europe?? Immediately following the draft, he had to fly back to France to reunite with his team. ESPN reported he was scheduled to arrive at the game just in time for warm-ups. That’s nuts, but good for him! My only concern is, what if Ntilikina gets hurt playing overseas?? I know anyone can get hurt walking down the stairs, but the majority of last night’s draft picks are currently nursing hangovers in a New York City hotel room, not traveling halfway across the world to play for someone else.

Let’s collectively knock on wood.

Are you happy with the Knicks draft?? Give them a grade in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends about me!!

 

 

“I Think We Know What We’re Doing”

Phil-Jackson

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Phil Jackson is craz….AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Sorry. I’m having a hard time controlling myself after RE-watching Phil Jackson’s interview from last night with Al Trautwig. It is hard to sit through 4:59 of non-stop insanity. Try it..I dare you. You can click here to see the entire interview. I do not know where to start, but I’m going to try….

With any good story, you must establish the setting. Ya know, that word you learned back in elementary school. So it’s June, and we are leading up to the 2017 NBA Draft (which is tonight). Trades are happening, rumors are flying around, and teams are doing their final evaluations of the talent in the draft. We are in New York, and the Knicks are in complete rebuild mode. That means working toward the future. Which leads me to the craziest thing Phil Jackson said last night.

Phil was asked why he would consider trading Kristaps Porzingis. His response was a 1-word answer; FUTURE. As in, trading Porzingis (who is 21 years old) would somehow help us build toward the future. PORZINGIS IS THE DEFINITION OF FUTURE!! What else could you possibly want in building toward the future than a 21-year old with so much potential they need to raise the ceiling in Madison Square Garden?? Now let’s rewind to Al Trautwig’s first Porzingis question. Trautwig asked if the trade rumors were true surrounding Porzingis. Phil took that as an opportunity to stress how upset he was over Porzingis skipping an exit meeting last season. Phil continued by misremembering his own history as a coach. Phil said, “I’ve never had a player skip an exit meeting in my 30 years of coaching. Nope. It’s never happened to me. It happens to other people but not me.”

Enter Shaquille O’ Neal, ummm, twice PHIL!! Shaq skipped not 1, but 2 exit meetings with Phil Jackson (in 2003 and 2004) when he was with the Lakers. I love the part where he says it happens to others but not me. As if he’s special. Oh he’s special alright.

Maybe Phil is legitimately going senile.

Phil was also asked if he planned to re-sign Derrick Rose. His answer should have been a knee-jerk reaction NO. Instead, he hit Trautwig with an “it depends”. It depends on what Phil?! If you are wearing depends by the time Rose blows out his knee for the 14th time?! Give me a freakin’ break!!

And this last one takes the cake….

Al Trautwig appropriately pointed out that Knicks fans are “uneasy” with what’s going on with the Knicks. There’s the understatement of the century. He then asked Phil what he would say to fans who feel this way?? His unbelievably smug response was, “I think we know what we’re doing.”

YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING?!?!

Did you know what you were doing when you gave Joakim Noah the worst contract in NBA history? Did you know what you were doing when you hired and fired Derek Fisher after YOU put the team in tank-mode? Did you know what you were doing when you ripped Carmelo Anthony publicly and THEN tried to trade him?

So why the hell should we think you know what you’re doing as you try to trade the Knicks’ best draft pick since Patrick Ewing???? It only took 30 years by the way, of occasionally drafting in the 1st round, to find Porzingis. Yeah, we should trade him for a bag of peanuts.

Hey Phil, stop trying to get fired, and just quit already. You have enough money, and you’re driving me insane.

What did you think of Phil Jackson?? Is he the worst General Manager of all-time??

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends about me!!

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

Melo Takes Paycut to Return to Knicks

carmelo-anthony

After weeks of deliberation, Carmelo Anthony has finally decided to return to the New York Knicks.  Anthony made the announcement Saturday (even though he had probably made up his mind by Friday) that he would be re-signing with the Knickerbockers.  The deal will be worth $122 million over the next 5 years.  Who said Melo wasn’t a team player??  This guy just made the ultimate sacrifice by taking a whopping $7 million less than the max deal over 5 years.  He just saved the franchise $1.4 million per year over the next 5 years.  What a guy!  Now the Knicks have the cap space to sign Kurt Thomas.  Can you say game changer?!?!  In all seriousness, the Knicks did what they had to do and so did Carmelo Anthony.  The Knicks, as much as they didn’t want to, had to throw the whole bag of cash at him, because if they missed out on Melo, where would they be?  And Melo actually wanted to leave for a better, more championship ready situation.  The only problem was that option didn’t exist in this years free agency.  The Chicago Bulls were only a better option if Derrick Rose is healthy, and at this point I’d say that is an enormous if.  I don’t believe the Lakers were ever a real option seeing as they don’t have a coach, and they actually have a worse roster than the Knicks.  And as good as the Houston Rockets would have become with the addition of Melo, who wants to live in Houston?? 

 

As for the Knicks, in the horrid eastern Conference, they shouldn’t fare too badly this upcoming season.  They are no championship contender, don’t get me wrong, but don’t be surprised if they creep up to the 4 or 5 seed.  Yes, Derek Fisher is a wild card in this equation, but I have the utmost confidence that Phil Jackson will steer him in the right direction.  Now, I need to say something to all of the Carmelo Anthony haters of the world.  Y’all are out of your damn minds!!  As much as critics and fans alike enjoy picking Anthony’s game apart, he is undoubtedly one of the best players in the NBA.  He may not be the best defender in the NBA, but does defense really exist in the NBA??  And the notion that a team can not win with Carmelo Anthony on its roster; is ludicrous.  Carmelo Anthony is what he is.  He is one of the best pure scorers the game has ever seen who also happens to grab 8 -10 rebounds a night.  Everyone is trying to turn him in to a player that he simply will never be.  You know what Melo’s biggest mistake is?  That he isn’t Lebron James.  Ever since high school, the two have been linked.  Their head-to-head matchups in high school were televised, they came out of the same NBA draft class, and most recently they shared the same free agency spot light.  Melo is not the passer Lebron is, he’s not the defender Lebron is, and he simply is not the all around player Lebron is.  And you know what?  That’s okay.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t win a championship with Carmelo Anthony on your roster.   Phil Jackson will put a roster in place that highlights the strengths of everyone on it, and most importantly, Carmelo Anthony will be utilized correctly for the first time in his career.  Just watch for Anthony’s 4th quarter contributions under Phil Jackson opposed to the tired, wobbly legged Anthony we’ve grown accustom to seeing under the likes of Mike and Mike (no not that Mike and Mike); Woodson and D’Antoni.  Anthony has always been asked to do too much.  With a real point guard and a proper system in place, don’t be surprised to see Anthony thrive as a member of the new look Knicks.    

 

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!         

One Liner Friday’s

Hey Derrick Rose, how’s your knee feeling?

Are you comfy?

Those chairs on the bench do look pretty comfy.

I think it’s safe to say that the Miami Heat are done messing around.

No no, don’t stop shooting J.R. Smith, please don’t!

Tigah Tigah Woods y’all.

If the Yankees can win with a Minor League lineup, why can’t the Mets?

Yay, Floyd Mayweather won…….again.

That lady at the Miami Heat game looks so nice I think I want to invite her over for thanksgiving dinner.

You know instant replay doesn’t work if your looking at a TV from 1979, right?

Valiant effort New York Islanders (I hate you Sidney Crosby, I hate you).

Stephen Curry is really really good at basketball.

Does anyone on the planet have a smoother jumper than Curry?

There is one word and one word only to properly describe Matt Harvey and that word is FILTHY!!

Hey Los Angeles Angels, you guys stink!

Don’t you have to do something wrong to get ejected from a Major League Baseball Game?

Apparently John Hirchbeck didn’t know that when he threw Bryce Harper out of a game for not saying excuse me after he burped.

Hey Jason Kidd, the baskets that way
——–>

Phil Jackson, hi, we all know you are a great coach, but just stay home, be retired, and enjoy the rest of your life.

The NBA needs to fire whoever schedules their games.

Whoever decided that the Heat and Spurs series’ should play Wednesday/Friday while the Knicks and Thunder series’ should play Tuesday/Saturday needs to see a doctor immediately.

I’m surprised no one is making a big deal out of that.

By the way, could NBA players dress worse?

I don’t think so.

And finally if you missed Iman Shumpert’s dunk from Game 2 of the Knicks/Pacers series then click here:

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=uirM5sljfO8

This has been another installment of One Liner Friday’s.

Please comment in the section below with your feedback.

Thanks.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

One Liner Friday’s

Every Friday, I will be writing a new installment of One Liner Friday’s. This will wrap up the week in sports in one line and one line only. Enjoy!

Hey Derrick Rose, if Nate Robinson can puke on the bench and then go back in the game I think you can give it a shot (I mean you are 100% healthy, lol).

The New York Knicks are class personified.

Ron Burgundy agrees.

Ah Eureka! I figured it out, Carmelo Anthony must want to be home for Mother’s Day every year and that’s why he can’t move on past the 1st round.

Are we really still in the 1st round?

Has there ever been a slower more un athletic all star than Paul Pierce?

Hey Mark Sanchez, nice headband!

Does Mark Sanchez know he’s not good at football?

Somebody should tell him.

Apparently Robert Guerrero’s father doesn’t like women beaters, who knew?

Why is it that Guerrero’s father was at the podium in the first place?

And did anyone see Oscar DeLa Hoya’s face immediately following Guerrero’s removal from the stage???

He looked like a deer in head lights, hahaha.

People are saying Tim Tebow isn’t good enough to play in the CFL.

You know you’re in trouble when Canada doesn’t even want you.

Stephen Curry is good at basketball.

The Miami Heat have been resting for so long that Shane Battier has actually grown a full on mustache (can I get a little Fu Manchu here?).

Yay, A-Rod has been cleared for baseball activities so now he can go back to not earning his contract.

I’m glad I’m not Mike Greenberg right now.

He just had mud, whipped cream, eggs, bacon, cereal, and syrup dumped on him…..mmmmm fun!

That’s what you get for sucking at picking sports games.

Did I mention that Stephen Curry is good at basketball?

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

Mid-Season NBA Awards

It’s that time of year again. We’ve played about 50 games so far, and it’s time to gear up for the All-Star Game. It is also time to dish out some mid-season awards. The awards to be given out are MVP, Sixth man of the Year, Defensive Player of the year, Most Improved Player, Coach of the Year, and Rookie of the Year. Some of these races have clear cut winners at this point in the season, and some are so difficult to differentiate a front-runner that we need to delve further into each category. I am here to clear up any confusion as to what you’ve seen thus far in the 2012-2013 NBA season.

Let’s start with the easiest debate, Rookie of the Year. If the season were to end today, the obvious winner for this award would be Damian Lillard of the Portland Trailblazers. There are some other nice rookies this year(Anthony Davis, Bradley Beal, and Dion Waiters come to mind), but Damian is head and shoulders above everyone else right now. He has started every game this season for the Trailblazers. In those games he is averaging 18.2 points on 42% from the field in 38.5 minutes per game(not to mention he’s shooting an impressive 85% from the charity stripe). That is the easiest award to give out, but the rest are a little tougher. Don’t be scared. Just close your eyes, count to three, and rip off that band-aid.

Let’s move on to Sixth Man of the Year. For me this is a two man race between Jamal Crawford and JR Smith. Both have been instant offense off their teams bench. They have both been an integral part of their teams success this season. As much as I love the Knicks, this award has to go to Jamal Crawford. Not only did he outplay JR this past Sunday in a head to head match up, but he has been the better player all season, barely.

Next let’s talk about Coach of the Year. This is a tough one, so let’s throw all the potential candidates out there and then break them down until this makes sense. The candidates are Mike Woodson, Mark Jackson, Frank Vogel, and Tom Thibodeau. If you read my blog you know I am a die hard Knicks fan, and while Woodson has done a phenomenal job with the team so far, their most recent struggles against good teams might hurt him for now.  He did, however, do a great job right from the start of the season.  He was motivating Carmelo Anthony, JR Smith, Jason Kidd, and even Rasheed Wallace to maximize their potential out on the floor.  He had everyone buying into his concept of team defense and an uptempo offense.  It was working perfectly until Amar’e Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert came back from injuries.  I believe it will work out in the end for the Knicks, but there is definitely a growing period that the Knicks and Woodson are going through right now.  The final chapter for the Knicks will determine whether Woodson is the Coach of the year or not.  As of now, I say he is not.  As for Tom Thibodeau, he has impressed by continuing to succeed without his superstar.  For the second straight season Derrick Rose has missed a significant amount of time, yet the Bulls continue to put up winning records. His team plays a defense first, physical brand of basketball that creates nightmare match-ups for smaller teams and turnover prone teams.  It is also extremely impressive to win with Luol Deng as your best player(no offense to Luol he is a nice little player, but let’s be real, he is NOT a #1 guy). With all that being said Tom is still not the coach of the year. Who is? I’m getting there just calm down! The popular pick right now is Mark Jackson.  I like what Mark Jackson is doing with Stephen Curry and the rest of those boys, but his team is not good enough to push him to the top of this debate. While I always liked him as a player, and I personally always thought he would make a good coach some day(ahem, Jason Kidd, ahem), he is not the coach of the year at this point of the season.  My pick for coach of the year right now is Frank Vogel.  I bet most of you don’t even know what team he coaches. That is part of the reason why he is coach of the year right now.  He is a nobody to most people, and he is succeeding with nobodies.  Even his best player who is not playing right now due to injury is a nobody amongst the ranks of superstars. I like Danny Granger’s game, but he like Luol Deng is not a #1 guy. The only problem for the Indiana Pacers(ohhh that’s who Vogel coaches) is that Granger IS their #1 guy. Frank Vogel is my pick for Coach of the Year.
There could have been a nice segue into this next category, seeing as The Pacers have two candidates for Most Improved Player, George hill and Paul George. They have both vastly improved their games, but I think this award is a two man race. Greivis Vasquez and Jrue Holiday have both taken their game to the next level. They have both increased their points and assist totals tremendously from a year ago, and they both have bright futures ahead of them. No disrespect to Greivis, but Jrue Holiday has taken his game into another stratosphere. He has quickly become one of the premier point guards in the NBA, and the league recognized this by selecting him to his first all-star appearance. My award for most improved player goes to Jrue Holiday.
This next category is the toughest for me to choose. It is difficult to find a clear cut winner for Defensive Player of the Year. There are many worthy candidates so far this year that include: Tyson Chandler, Serge Ibaka, Larry Sanders, Lebron James, and Joakim Noah. Larry Sanders and Serge Ibaka will most likely be battling each other for this award for years to come. They are both physical presences underneath the hoop and both block approximately 3 shots a game. It is not due to their lack of defensive effort that they aren’t going to win this award, it’s because someone else on this list has managed to stand out above all the rest. This is me building suspense. Next, what else can you say about Lebron James? The guy is as physically gifted an athlete as anyone who has ever stepped foot on the hard wood. He can guard 4 positions at anytime while still managing to dominate on the offensive end. He is not going to win this award though(at least not this year), but don’t feel too bad for him I’m sure he’ll win another award real soon(hint hint). The reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Tyson Chandler, has yet again found his way into contention for this award, however when he played the Bulls earlier this season he learned why he isn’t going to repeat as DPOY(he would get my vote for the most intimidating man on the planet though if that was a real award). Joakim Noah has placed himself at the forefront of defensive forces in the NBA. Man is he ugly!! Anyway, as much as I dislike Noah, he does anchor the best defense in the NBA. When he’s on the bench they give up 10 more points then when he’s on the floor.  Joakim Noah gets my vote for Defensive Player of the Year.
Finally, last but not least, the MVP award. This is always a fun debate because people think it’s strictly about offense. It mostly is, but you really need to look at the overall skill-set of a player plus his impact on his team to measure the MVP. The candidates this year are: Lebron James, Kevin Durant, and Carmelo Anthony. There are two honorable mentions for this category, Chris Paul and Tony Parker. Parker is doing spectacular things that go mostly unnoticed, especially with a banged up Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobli on his team. Chris Paul will be in this conversation at the end of the year because he is clearly the best point guard in the NBA. For right now though he has missed too many games to be considered for this award. I love what Carmelo Anthony is doing this season, and I hope he can sustain his outstanding play throughout the whole season, but he doesn’t do enough of the little things to make his teammates better. Let me see if I can use an analogy that makes sense for this argument. Kevin Durant is like The Utah Jazz in the 90’s. If it wasn’t for that Jordan guy and the Chicago Bulls, they might have a couple of rings right now(sorry John, sorry Karl). Get it? Not yet? See, Kevin Durant has improved every facet of his game this year. The problem is that there is this guy named Lebron James in the NBA. As good as Durant is(28.9 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 51% from the floor, 43% from three point range, and 90% from the free throw line), Lebron is better. Sorry Kevin, I know I’m pulling for you because I certainly don’t like Lebron “I can’t win a title without an all-star roster” James, but Lebron is on his way to another MVP.  As much as I don’t like Lebron, I must give credit where credit is due.  My vote for MVP and best player on the face of the earth is Lebron James.