Posts Tagged ‘Amare Stoudamire

06
Sep
09

Who Are Candidates for NBA Comeback Player of the Year?

Which former superstar will overcome injuries and make a comeback? This upcoming season’s list of possible Comeback Player of the Year Award nominees could read like an All-Star roster. Even though the NBA doesn’t officially give out the award, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at which players have the opportunity to be considered the best comeback players. The criteria would be that each player must have been at an All-Star caliber level at some point in their career and who’s numbers have dropped recently because of injuries, played on a bad team, or just had an off season.

 

T-Mac

Tracy McGrady – The player known as T-Mac has not made a major contribution to his Houston Rockets team for the past 2 seasons. Playing in only 97 games since ’07, McGrady has averaged 21.6 and 15.6 points the past two years. While this may be considered good for some players, it is not what we are used to from the 2 time scoring champion(’03 and ’04) and 7 time All-Star. As great players usually do, he upped his scoring average to 28.5 points even though he has never won a 1st round series. Back and knee injuries have ravaged the one time top 5 player, but recent reports have him rehabbing well and on the road to full recovery. At age 30, T-Mac could still be a great player if healthy. Putting up monster numbers for a rebuilding Rockets team seems tough since he doesn’t have much help. At $23+ million this season, Houston hopes he comes back hard!

Gilbert Arenas

Gilbert Arenas The Hibachi has been seen all over the internet recently testing out his surgically repaired knee. Footage was accidentally purposely leaked of Gil playing at Barry Farms in Washington DC this Summer as well as playing in the Chicago Pro Am while training for his comeback. The man with many nicknames like Agent 0, and most recently, Black President, was once one of the league’s hardest players to guard during the ’05-’07 seasons where he averaged between 25 and 30 ppg. The 3 time All-Star has three 50+ scoring games, even scoring 60 during the ’06 season. Since ’07 ,the Wizards franchise player has appeared in only 15 regular season games averaging 17.6 points because of two surgically repaired knees. As the video footage showed, Gil looks good and claims to be at 90% of his former self. There are once again high hopes in Washington with a good supporting cast and only at age 27, Arenas could still have many good years ahead of him.

Elton Brand

Elton Brand – It bothers Elton Brand that he never has truly been able to show the Philly faithful what he has to offer. He had high hopes coming to Philadelphia and joining a contending team which  has made the postseason the past two seasons with a young and talented nucleus of players after playing his heart out for perrenial NBA doormat LA Clippers for the previous 6 seasons. He averaged only 15.9 points and 9.8 rebounds before dislocating his shoulder in December. When he returned he would come back slowly from the bench and finished averaging only 13 points and 8 rebounds, which is a far cry from the 2 time All-Star’s career numbers of 20 points and 10 rebounds. He is still one of 6 current players to average 20 and 10. While in very good company, he will have had 6 months of time off which should be plenty of time to be 100% going into ’09-’10. A new coach, offensive system, and point guard should do Brand some good. I look for a strong return next season from EB24.

Garnett

Kevin Garnett – Everyone in the Celtic organization missed The Big Ticket for the final 25 regular season games and the playoffs. The 12 time All-Star averaged only 15.8 points and 8.5 rebounds before sustaining a right knee sprain which occured during a game with the Utah Jazz in February. Garnett could only play cheerleader during his team’s loss to the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Semi-Finals. One has to wonder that even though he is not ancient, at age 33, how the toll of playing more than 1100 NBA games straight from high school has taken a toll on the one time MVP’s knee joints. Garnett who has career averages of 20.2 points and 11.1 rebounds, dipped to 18.8 and 8.8 during the Celtics ’08 Championship season. While he may be voted an All-Star when he returns, I doubt he will ever return to superstar status.

Amare Stoudemire

Amare Stoudemire – Stoudemire is seemingly on this list every year, but it is only because he has so much potential. He missed the final 29 games of the regular season because he sustained a detatched retina to the same eye which he injured in preseason in February. Before the injury he averaged 21.4 points and 8.1 rebounds in his 7th season. Stoudemire seemed to be finally fully recovering from microfracture surgery in ’05, which was his best season averaging 26 ppg. With Coach Alvin Gentry bringing back the uptempo offense we are used to, and Steve Nash resigned for two more years, Stoudemire will have might have the best chance on this list to put up big numbers. At age 26, Amare definately has the most upside of anyone on this list.

Jameer Nelson 1

Jameer Nelson – Jameer Nelson has two meaningful tatoos across his back, All Eyes on Me and Accomplish Everything Without Fear. Both sum up his offseason coming back from a dislocated shoulder. Even though the Magic made news by letting Hedo Turkoglu go to Toronto and bringing Vince Carter to Orlando, All eyes are on Nelson, who is probably the most important player on the team. He is the floor general that brings it all together for a team that has aspirations of returning to the Finals. If healthy,he could be the piece of the puzzle that pushes them over the top. Before the injury, Nelson averaged 16.7 points, 5.4 assists, and selected for his first All-Star Game. Nelson, who was a former Naismith Player of the Year at St. Joe’s University, is supposedly back to All-Star form. If so, watch out Eastern Conference, because we have not seen the best of Jameer Nelson.

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21
Jul
09

Why the Warriors Could Be a Sleeper Team in the West

Golden state warriors logoAllen Moll is an avid NBA and College Basketball fan who watches and studies games religiously and coaches youth basketball in his native Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania.  He also writes for Hoopdoctors.com

Don’t look now, but a California based team who drafted one of the most exciting NCAA players in recent memory has aspirations of making the playoffs next season. No, it is not the LA Clippers, but possibly the youngest NBA team in terms of experience, the Golden State Warriors. Although the Warriors finished a dismal 29-53 and in 3rd place in the Pacific division, they did have a winning record at home. After a few on and off the court changes, they could be a team to make some noise in the 09′-10′ season.

Before the NBA draft, several moves were made to jump start this young and exciting team that seems stuck in mediocrity or worse for the last few seasons. Starting with the front office, former Warrior legend, Chris Mullen was left go as GM, and replaced by Larry Riley. The new GM quickly started altering the team by trading Jamal Crawford, a 19 ppg scorer to Atlanta for 3rd year point guard Acie Law, and 11 year veteran Speedy Claxton. Although this could be a cost cutting move, Law could become a valuable back up at the point since 2 years ago he was worth the #11 pick in the draft out of Texas A&M. The real coupe was drafting former Davidson sharpshooter, Stephon Curry, #7 overall in this year’s draft. While many scouts weren’t sure if he could handle playing the point in the pros, it is undeniable that the kid knows how to put the ball in the basket averaging over 28 ppg in his senior season. The new GM has so much confidence in Curry that he nixed a draft day trade to acquire the Sun’s Amare Stoudamire for Curry.

The young Warriors have been the talk of the Las Vegas Summer League with two players setting new scoring records with 2nd year players, Anthony Randolph scoring 42 points, then teammate Anthony Morrow racking up 47 in one game. The trio of Randolph(26.8), Curry(17.4), and Morrow(10.1) has been impressive this Summer playing against other NBA newcomers.

That trio is surrounded by a few underrated veterans, namely leading scorer Stephan Jackson, who has found a home with the Warriors, averaged 20.2 points, 6.5 assists, and 5 rebounds. Jackson, a 9 year veteran just needs to learn to control his emotions. Corey Maggette, who hasn’t quite lived up to the hype of being the #13th pick out of Duke 10 years ago, is a steady 16-18 ppg scorer when healthy. Maggette, who had off-season wrist surgery should be ready by August 1st to resume basketball activities. Kelenna Azubuike, a 3rd year player from Kentucky has steadily increased his numbers in each year to 14.4 ppg last season.

The true diamond in the rough may be former 2nd round pick in 05′, point guard Monta Ellis. The 4 year pro, signed a 6 year, $66 million dollar contract in 08′ after averaging 20.2 points. Last season he averaged 19 points in only 25 games because of a 30 game suspension and injuries sustained from a moped accident. On the defensive front, Ronny Turiaf led the team with 2.1 blocks.

There’s no denying the Warriors are on the right track as far as scoring the basketball but the real test for Hall of Fame Coach Don Nelson will be defense. The upstart Warriors ranked among the leagues worst in defensive categories among NBA teams last season. They may need another veteran player to direct all of their young talent as evidence of their decent record at home and horrendous 8-33 on the road.

Even in a tough Western Conference, “Nellie” just might be the perfect architect to motivate these young Warriors to play a little defense and sneak into the 2010 playoffs.

 

 




About the Author:

Allen Moll is an avid NBA and College Basketball fan who watches and studies games religiously and coaches youth basketball in his native Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. Allen also writes for thehoopdoctors.com, Bleacherreport.com, and UpperDeckblog.com.

Favorite teams include everything Philly, like Sixers, Eagles, Phillies, Villanova , St. Joe's , Hoops, LaSalle, and Lehigh University Hoops.

Contact info: mollallen@yahoo.com

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