Oct 302015

With all the changes that Phil Jackson has made to the New York Knicks to make them contenders again, the question still remains, how good will they be, and will they make the playoffs this year?

There are many questions as we start off the 2015-16 season for the Knicks, so let’s first take a look at their roster:

4 Arron Afflalo SG 30 6-5 210 UCLA $8,000,000
17 Lou Amundson PF 32 6-9 220 UNLV $1,635,476
7 Carmelo Anthony SF 31 6-8 240 Syracuse $22,875,000
3 Jose Calderon PG 34 6-3 200 $7,402,812
11 Cleanthony Early SF 24 6-8 210 Wichita State $845,059
2 Langston Galloway PG 23 6-2 200 Saint Joseph’s $845,059
13 Jerian Grant PG 23 6-4 195 Notre Dame $1,572,360
8 Robin Lopez C 27 7-0 255 Stanford $12,650,000
9 Kyle O’Quinn PF 25 6-10 250 Norfolk State $3,750,000
6 Kristaps Porzingis PF 20 7-3 240 $4,131,720
1 Kevin Seraphin PF 25 6-10 278 $2,814,000
42 Lance Thomas SF 27 6-8 235 Duke $1,636,842
18 Sasha Vujacic SG 31 6-7 195 $947,276
23 Derrick Williams PF 24 6-8 240 Arizona $4,000,000
Coach Derek Fisher

Here’s a couple observations that I noticed. Carmelo has started off the season slow with poor shooting in both of the Knicks games. But he’s been very aggressive, and seems to be taking on a leadership role this year that we haven’t seen in the past. Noticeably taking promising rookie Kristaps Porzingis under his wing. If he can get his legs, he’ll get back to his All-Star play. Right now, he doesn’t have any lift on his jump shot. They’ll need to get Arron Afflalo back in the lineup in order to have a true scoring shooting guard. Sasha Vujacic isn’t bad, but he lacks the consistency of Afflalo, especially on the defensive end.

Robin Lopez will help him in the post, but they’ll need to make an concentrated effort to get him the ball more often inside. Jose Calderon supplies them with steady play at the point guard with very little mistakes, but they’ll need rookie back up Jerian Grant to learn quickly while Langston Galloway keeps improving as well.

I believe that Derrick Williams is the key, he’s athletic, aggressive, a decent shooter, and has the mentality to take over games when he’s in rhythm coming off the bench to help Carmelo with scoring. Also, Kristaps Porzingis shows a lot of promise (avg. 13 pts, 6 rbs, 2 blks in first two games), the 7-3 rookie from Latvia has length and athleticism, and a feathery touch from the outside. He’ll get better and better as the season goes on, but he’ll need to get stronger. The good thing is, he doesn’t back down from anyone, and he loves to compete.

Derrick Williams vs Hawks 102930

Kristaps Porzingis vs Hawks 102915

That’s my assessment of the Knicks so far, let me know your thoughts…….

Oct 072015

What’s up everybody?!! It’s good to be back, I’ve had a rough summer, but what ever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and God is good!

I wanted to my come back by talking about one of the most exciting players that we’ve seen in recent years, my man White Chocolate, Jason Williams. Here is is at age 39 still looking good playing in the Orlando Pro-Am league. My brother Jeff and I always argue about how good he was. My brother thought he didn’t pass enough, but I think he’s forgetting about the Sacramento years and is thinking more about his final years in Miami, where he won a championship I might add (with Shaq and D Wade).

Check out this videos as well as some of his greatest highlights of his career. Enjoy!! Note: As a special bonus, check out the ESPN special on Jason Williams, “The Life” of Jason Williams

Jason Williams championship

Jason Williams pass

Let me know your thoughts about J. Will…..Are you “hoopsoupin'”?

Feb 162015

The Minnesota T-Wolves Zach Lavine won the 2015 Slam Dunk contest last Saturday with 4 sick dunks that we really hadn’t seen before. We’ve seen similiar dunks, but not with the combination of jumping ability, a sense of stlye, and power since maybe Vince Carter.

When asked who would win a dunk contest between himself and LeBron James, Zach LaVine picked himself.
In an interview with “SportsCenter” after his All-Star Saturday night dunk competition win, LaVine said he’d take himself in a one-on-one dunk-off with LeBron James. (ESPN)

“I never go against my own talent so I’ve got to say me,” LaVine said.(ESPN)

LaVine became the first Minnesota Timberwolves player to win the dunk contest since Isaiah Rider in 1994. He also became the first player with multiple dunks with perfect scores in the same contest since Dwight Howard in 2009.(ESPN)

The 19-year-old rookie gave James, a four-time MVP and two-time champion, his due, but still predicted a win in the hypothetical dunk contest.(ESPN)

“I know LeBron’s got some stuff that he ain’t showed the world, either,” LaVine said. “LeBron’s one of the most freaky athletes of all time … But like I said, I’m a confident person.” (ESPN)

href=”http://www.dbrownshoopsoup.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/2015-NBA-All-Star-Logo.jpg”>2015 NBA All Star Logo

How do you rate Zach’s performance in the 2015 Dunk Contest? Where does he rank against the great dunkers of all time? And what do you think about him going one on one against LeBron?

Let me know your thoughts…… you “hoop soupin”?

Zack dunking

Jan 312015

Just in case you missed it last Friday, Klay Thompson scored 37 points in the 3rd quarter to set the record for most points in a quarter. Check out this article by the Washington Post that lays it out for you:

The Splash Brothers only needed one splash on last Friday night.

Golden State was locked in a tight game with Pacific Division rival Sacramento in the third quarter. Then Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson went bonkers … nuts … or whatever superlative you find appropriate. All of them are apt after the fourth-year player erupted for 37 points — yes, that’s 37 points — in the third period to set a record for points in a quarter in Golden State’s 126-101 blowout of the Kings. The previous record of 33 points was shared by George “The Iceman” Gervin and Carmelo Anthony.

Thompson could not miss in the third quarter. Quite literally he could not miss, connecting on all 13 of his shots, including nine three-pointers to account for 37 of Golden State’s 41 points in the period, giving the rowdy Oracle Arena crowd yet another reason to cheer on the Warriors, who boast an NBA-best 35-6 record.

Moments after committing a turnover, Thompson hit a 12-foot jumper. But he was just getting started. His first three came at the 8-minute 21-second mark of the third, giving the Warriors a 63-60 lead. Then he hit another three. Then a two-pointer. Then a three … and another three … and another three. See a pattern?

Klay Thompson celebration

Draymond Green managed to squeeze in a layup, but it quickly returned to the Klay Thompson show. He nailed another three before making a driving layup. Then another three, a 15-foot jumper, a three, a three and then for good measure, two free throws to complete the scoring for the period. Thompson’s scoring spree included a record nine three-pointers.

What started out as a hotly-contested ballgame had turned into a rout. When Thompson started his ridiculous quarter, it was 60-60. By the en of the quarter it was 97-73 in favor of the Warriors.

The final line for Thompson: a career-high 52 points on 16-for-25 shooting (11 for 15 on three-pointers), 9 of 10 free throws, five assists and four steals.

I’m back everyone, sorry for the wait. As always, let me know your thoughts about Klay Thompson and his other “Splash brother” Stephan Curry.

Klay Thompson celebrates after knocking down a 3 during his historic 3rd quarter against the Clippers.

Klay Thompson celebrates after knocking down a 3 during his historic 3rd quarter against the Clippers.

Oct 092014

If you have NBATV, you’re probably familiar with the show Open Court were former NBA players sit and around and discuss topics about the NBA. It’s a great show, and I love to hear their perspectives on they think is great, and all of their stories about things we would never know about as fans.

Right now, they’re discussing who they believe the Next 10 Great Players in the NBA are. I’ve included a clip of their conversation, but I want to hear your thoughts. Who do you think are the Next 10 Great Players?

Here are the next 10 great players that the panel of Open Court picked.  Who's your 10?  Do you agree?

Here are the next 10 great players that the panel of Open Court picked. Who’s your 10? Do you agree?

consensus next 10

One of the discussions was around 2 time MVP Steve Nash, and Reggie made a point of why Steve shouldn’t be on the list. Read the caption in the pic I included and let me know what you think?

Should Steve Nash be on the list?

Should Steve Nash be on the list?

When Reggie Millers name was brought up, Isiah Thomas said that he “was one of the clutch shot makers ever in this league.”

Reggie was one of the greatest clutch shot makers the league has ever seen.

Reggie was one of the greatest clutch shot makers the league has ever seen.

Charles Barkley said of C-Webb, that every team he played on not only got better when he came, they started making the playoffs.

C-Webb made every team a played on a winner.

C-Webb made every team a played on a winner.

Thanks for reading D Browns Hoop Soup. Let me know your thoughts…..

Oct 062014

Now that the NFL season is in full swing, if you’re an NBA fan, you know when the leaves start falling, and football’s under way, it’s time for the NBA to start. And what a season I anticipate this season being. With 22 days until opening night, I can’t wait for the start of the NBA.

But before I talk about the new NBA season, I want to apologize for being gone for so long. It’s been an incredible summer, and a lot of changes for me both personally and professionally, so thanks for hanging in there with me. And welcome to all of my new subscribers, thanks for your interest in dbrownshoopsoup, and thanks for those of you who have been with me from the beginning.

Here are some things to look for:

1. The new look Cavs – Now that LeBron James has decided to return to Cleveland, the Cavs look to make a run to the Championship, or least the Eastern conference finals. With the addition of Kevin Love and returning All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, the Cavs expect to make a championship run right now. LeBron returning to Cleveland was such a feel good story for Cleveland and the league, I’d like to see him do well there. But there are some questions. How well Kevin Love fit in, and what will he be like now that he’s in a pressure situation? I was having a conversation in the Barber Shop about this subject, and a guy said that Kevin’s never had a meaningful game in the NBA. My first thought was “what”, “what does that mean”? He’s a double double guy, and he does it all, why wouldn’t he do the same in Cleveland with LeBron? I believe that he can, but the fact is, we haven’t seen him in pressure game situations since the T-Wolves have never even been to the playoffs since he’s been there. Let’s wait and see.

What does Kevin Love mean to the new look Cavs?

What does Kevin Love mean to the new look Cavs?

2. The New York Knicks new Triangle offense – Basically, the Knicks are tired of losing. It’s been a long time since the Knicks have gone deep in the playoffs, let alone the NBA Finals (remember the O.J. Simpson White Bronco chase in the middle of the Finals?). So what are they doing about it? They went and got Hall of Fame Coach and ex-player (won a championship with the Knicks) Phil Jackson to run the front offense. Then he turned around and hired Derek Fisher to be the head coach, and run Phils infamous Triangle offense (10 championships, 2 teams, Jordan/Pippen, Bryant/O’Neil). So what does that mean for high scorer Carmelo Anthony? It’s been reported that Melo has reached out to Jordan, Pippen, and Kobe Bryant in order to get some advice on how to score and be effective in the Triangle. And it’s been reported that Phil Jackson has had long talks with his star in order to get him to buy-in to the new system. I’m a knick fan, so I’m optimistic, but I’m not holding my breath.

How will Carmelo embrace the new Triangle offense in New York?

How will Carmelo embrace the new Triangle offense in New York?

3. The return of Kobe Bryant – After 19 years in the league and a Achelous tendon injury, and knee injury in the last two years, there are question marks around how Kobe will return. Will he be like the Kobe of old, or has Father time finally beaten Kobe? Kobe says he feels great, and new coach and Laker legend Byron Scott says that Kobe looks as good as ever, and expects him to be a 20 point scorer in the league again. Kobe said that he has become wiser, and he will use his wisdom a little more now, but he feels confident that he will be fine, especially now that he’s had a chance to scrimmage 5 on 5. But what will the Lakers look like? Will Steve Nash be the Nash of old, and who will support Kobe now that Pau Gasol his gone, especially in the front court. What will Jeremy Lin bring the Lakers? And now it’s been reported that Nick Young will be out for 6 to 8 weeks with a broken thumb. Kobe has signed a two year contract extension with the Lakers, but is that enough time to get him his 6th championship ring that would tie is idol Michael Jordan? Let’s wait and see.

My bet is that Kobe will come back strong.

My bet is that Kobe will come back strong.

I think that’s enough to get you started about thinking about the new upcoming season. Let me know your thoughts……

Aug 062014

So with all the excitement of the upcoming season, LeBron James returning to Cleveland, Derrick Rose’s return, Carmelo Anthony resigning with the Knicks, Pau Gasol going to the Bulls, and Kevin Love potentially joining LeBron in Cleveland, etc. One of the big questions is how will Kobe Bryant return this season? Will he be the Kobe (Black Mamba) of old, or has father time and injuries finally taken its toll on Kobe?

This was a familiar site last year, watching Kobe sit on the bench. How will he fair this season?

This was a familiar sight last year, watching Kobe sit on the bench. How will he fair this season?

Kobe stated that he vows to return to the top of his game, “I”m not fading into the shadows” he stated. If Kobe’s dedication, work ethic, focus, and will to be best is any testament of what lies ahead, how can you bet against him? Kobe once said that he won’t stay in the league if he can’t average 20 points a game or more. Well I believe that this season will be the ultimate test to see if that’s true or not.

Black Mamba

Are we witnessing the last dance for Kobe? Where does he fall on the basketball depth chart of the greatest players to ever play the game? Is he top 5, top 10? And of course the age-old comparison to Michael Jordan, who he patterned his game after. Will he ever get another ring to tie his idol with 6 rings? Let me known your thoughts……

My bet is that Kobe will come back strong.

My bet is that Kobe will come back strong.

Jul 182014

I know by now you’ve heard the news that LeBron James is returning home to Cleveland where he started his career. This is such a feel good story for the NBA, and the city of Cleveland, who has been thirsty for a championship, and was heart-broken and down right mad with the news that LeBron James was taking his talents to South Beach. In Miami, LeBron won back to back championships and went to the Finals 4 straight years in a row teaming up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

What does this all mean for the city of Cleveland, the NBA from a free agency perspective, and for LeBron James himself? If you didn’t get a chance to read the speech that LeBron gave explaining his return, enclosed in this post is the speech directly from SI. Also, I’ve included a movie about LeBron James called; LeBron James – The Legacy III which takes us from his high school days all the way up to his return to Cleveland. Here it is:

Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.

Remember when I was sitting up there at the Boys & Girls Club in 2010? I was thinking, This is really tough. I could feel it. I was leaving something I had spent a long time creating. If I had to do it all over again, I’d obviously do things differently, but I’d still have left. Miami, for me, has been almost like college for other kids. These past four years helped raise me into who I am. I became a better player and a better man. I learned from a franchise that had been where I wanted to go. I will always think of Miami as my second home. Without the experiences I had there, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing today.

Clevland fans rejoice after hearing the news that LeBron "the King" James has returned.

Cleveland fans rejoice after hearing the news that LeBron “the King” James has returned.

I went to Miami because of D-Wade and CB. We made sacrifices to keep UD. I loved becoming a big bro to Rio. I believed we could do something magical if we came together. And that’s exactly what we did! The hardest thing to leave is what I built with those guys. I’ve talked to some of them and will talk to others. Nothing will ever change what we accomplished. We are brothers for life. I also want to thank Micky Arison and Pat Riley for giving me an amazing four years.

I’m doing this essay because I want an opportunity to explain myself uninterrupted. I don’t want anyone thinking: He and Erik Spoelstra didn’t get along. … He and Riles didn’t get along. … The Heat couldn’t put the right team together. That’s absolutely not true.

I’m not having a press conference or a party. After this, it’s time to get to work.

When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission. I was seeking championships, and we won two. But Miami already knew that feeling. Our city hasn’t had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.

I always believed that I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there. I just didn’t know when. After the season, free agency wasn’t even a thought. But I have two boys and my wife, Savannah, is pregnant with a girl. I started thinking about what it would be like to raise my family in my hometown. I looked at other teams, but I wasn’t going to leave Miami for anywhere except Cleveland. The more time passed, the more it felt right. This is what makes me happy.

To make the move I needed the support of my wife and my mom, who can be very tough. The letter from Dan Gilbert, the booing of the Cleveland fans, the jerseys being burned — seeing all that was hard for them. My emotions were more mixed. It was easy to say, “OK, I don’t want to deal with these people ever again.” But then you think about the other side. What if I were a kid who looked up to an athlete, and that athlete made me want to do better in my own life, and then he left? How would I react? I’ve met with Dan, face-to-face, man-to-man. We’ve talked it out. Everybody makes mistakes. I’ve made mistakes as well. Who am I to hold a grudge?

I’m not promising a championship. I know how hard that is to deliver. We’re not ready right now. No way. Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic. It will be a long process, much longer than it was in 2010. My patience will get tested. I know that. I’m going into a situation with a young team and a new coach. I will be the old head. But I get a thrill out of bringing a group together and helping them reach a place they didn’t know they could go. I see myself as a mentor now and I’m excited to lead some of these talented young guys. I think I can help Kyrie Irving become one of the best point guards in our league. I think I can help elevate Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters. And I can’t wait to reunite with Anderson Varejao, one of my favorite teammates.

Now that LeBron is back in Cleveland, how good will the Cavs be? Can he win a championship there?

Now that LeBron is back in Cleveland, how good will the Cavs be? Can he win a championship there?

But this is not about the roster or the organization. I feel my calling here goes above basketball. I have a responsibility to lead, in more ways than one, and I take that very seriously. My presence can make a difference in Miami, but I think it can mean more where I’m from. I want kids in Northeast Ohio, like the hundreds of Akron third-graders I sponsor through my foundation, to realize that there’s no better place to grow up. Maybe some of them will come home after college and start a family or open a business. That would make me smile. Our community, which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get.

In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.

I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home.

Jul 162014

The San Antonio Spurs beat the Miami Heat 4-1 in the NBA Championships by playing the game the right way. The Spurs were a beauty to watch, and they played total team basketball, sharing the ball, hitting the open man, making the extra pass, etc. Sometimes the ball wouldn’t even touch the floor as they continued to “swing” the ball to the open man for the best opportunity to score. Sometimes passing up a good shot, for a better shot.

As Magic stated in his tribute to the Spurs, they looked like a throw back to the Lakers and Celtics from the 80s (Magic & Bird), or as I would say, the old ’69, ’70 Championship New York Knicks that beat the mighty Wilt Chamberlin and the Los Angels Lakers. Those teams all made the right play, being unselfish, and not going one on one every time.

If any kids were watching the championship series this year, the Spurs gave them an in-depth inside look at how real basketball is supposed to be played. While dunks and crossover dribble moves are exciting, they can’t beat a well executed offense being ran to perfection. The Spurs ran an offensive clinic on how to move and cut without the ball, setting screens, ball movement, and just how to be unselfish.

Spurs win their 5th Championship by playing basketball the right way.

Spurs win their 5th Championship by playing basketball the right way.

So my question is, will other teams around the league adopt the Spurs style of basketball? The NBA is a copy cat league, we’ve seen it multiple times, such as when the Lakers had Magic, everyone wanted a big guard to run the point. When the Bad Boys from Detroit had the 3 guard offense, everyone wanted to adopt it. Or having a dominant big man in the middle in the 80s and 90s, Jabbar, Ewing, Hakeem, and Shaq come to mind. Now it’s seem like passing and being unselfish could be the new wave of the future. Do you belive teams will adopt this style? Let me know your thoughts……

May 272014

The Miami Heat dominated the Indiana Pacers in Game 4 102-90, with Lebron James scoring 32 points, grabbing 10 rebounds, and dropping 4 assists and 2 steals, showing why he’s the best in the NBA.

Lebron James scores on a left hand lay up for 2 of his 32 in Game 4.

Lebron James scores on a left hand layup for 2 of his 32 in Game 4.

Lance Stephenson’s attempt to get into Lebron’s head only worked against himself, as he didn’t score until 5 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter, and Hibbert’s scoreless night didn’t help matters. The Pacers looked defeated as Lebron and Dwyane Wade kept their foot on the gas pedal all night long. Lebron had several highlight reel dunks to include controlling the offense like Magic Johnson, while D. Wade continued to shoot over 55%. Chris Bosh joined the party as well dropping 25 points, 17 of those in the first half, most on long-range jump shots spreading the floor for Lebron and company to operate.

Lance may want to re-think trash talking to Lebron. My advice, focus on your own game first before you talk trash.

Lance may want to re-think trash talking to Lebron. My advice, focus on your own game first before you talk trash.

Chris Bosh stepped up with 25 points, 17 coming in the first half.

Chris Bosh stepped up with 25 points, 17 coming in the first half.

Here are some comments that I made after reviewing an ESPN article about last nights game: “The Heat are just tougher from a mental perspective, and it doesn’t hurt that they have the games all around best player in Lebron James. When he and Wade come to play, they’re very hard to beat, and to your point, everyone knows their role on the Heat, and they perform under pressure and play as a team. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see the Pacers team broken up in the offseason, or at least bring in a leader (true point guard). Also, Paul George has to step up and be the “man” for that team in order for them to succeed. Although Lance didn’t show up last night until the end of the 4th, he’s become the true leader of that team, although sometimes not in the right capacity, but at least he’s taking the lead. If the rest of the Pacers played half as hard as him, the series might look a little different although Lebron looks like he’s not to be denied”.

You’ve heard what I have to say, let me know your thoughts……

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