Posts Tagged ‘nba playoffs

24
Jul
09

The Greatest NBA Champions Since 1980-#9 – ’05 Spurs

#9 – 2005 San Antonio Spurs

San-Antonio-Spurs-Logo--C10106609

With this season’s NBA Finals behind us, I decided to take a look back and rank the greatest NBA Championship teams in the modern era(post 1980). This will be a ten part series with a new entry each week. Which teams had the most dominating seasons and playoff runs in the last 30 years? How would they stack up against each other? Which teams had the most Hall of Fame players or coaches? The rankings were limited to two teams per franchise in the top ten. Let the debate begin.
 
 

 

Starting Lineup – Bruce Bowen, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, R. Nesterovic, Tony Parker
Reg Season Record – 59-23 Playoffs – 16-7 Finals – beat Pistons 4-3
Individual Awards – Tim Duncan – All NBA 1st Team, All Defensive 1st Team, Finals MVP Bruce Bowen – All NBA 2nd Team

Although the 04′-05′ NBA season’s most memorable moment will forever be the infamous brawl between the Pistons and Pacers, the Spurs ran through the NBA with the perfect mix of efficient offense and absolute shut down defense. In the regular season, the Spurs breezed through a tough Western Conference with a record of 59-23, finishing 2nd overall behind the NBA’s highest scoring team, the Phoenix Suns. San Antonio was led by future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan who averaged a workmanlike 20.3 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks. The coming of age of a pair of 2nd and 3rd year players named Ginobili(16ppg) and Parker(16.6ppg and 6.1apg), along with Duncan, and an experienced mix of veterans off the bench like Robert Horry, Brent Barry, and Glenn Robinson was the perfect mix to roll through the playoffs as well. The Spurs allowed only a stingy 88.4 points per game ranking 1st in many defensive categories. They held teams to under 70 points a record 8 times.

Led by defense, the Spurs rolled past the Nuggets (4-1), Sonics(4-2), and in a show of defensive intensity, dominated regular season MVP Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns(4-1) setting up a showdown between the previous two NBA Champions, Spurs(03′) and defending champion Pistons(04′). In terms of competitiveness, it was regarded by many as one of the best NBA Finals match-ups in recent history by going the full 7 games. The Spurs set a NBA Finals record by holding the Pistons to under 80 points in 3 of their 4 wins in the series. In Game 5, Robert Horry hit another of his patented game winning shots which shifted momentum towards San Antonio for good. The win gave Horry his 6th NBA title tying Jordan and Pippen. It was the third time that Tim Duncan won his 3rd Finals MVP.

The trio of Duncan, Ginobili, and Parker is still one of the best trios of players to win titles in recent history by winning another in 2007. This team is considered the best of a Spurs dynasty which would go on to win 4 titles over a 9 years span(99′, 03′, 05′, and 07′) and still challenge for more titles through 2010 and beyond.

Check out thehoopdoctors.com for the final selections

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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.

 

 

21
Jul
09

Why the Wizards Could Be a Sleeper In the East

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 Hoopdoctors.comWizards logo

When the Washington Wizards traded out of the #5 pick in this season’s draft, it left many people scratching their heads wondering why a last place team that finished a dismal 19-63, would do such a thing. There were more puzzling reactions once Minnesota used that lottery pick on European superstar Ricky Rubio. I am going to attempt to talk all Washington Wizard fans off of the ledge by breaking down why it was actually a good move to trade the pick, and how the Wizards can make the playoffs next season.

First of all, and most importantly, Gilbert Arenas, aka Agent 0, must be healthy. The Wizards have been hit by the injury bug harder than any team over the last few years. A close second may be Houston with the reoccuring T-Mac and Yao Ming injuries. When healthy, Arenas, a 3 time all-star, is as talented and deadeye shooter as you can find in the entire NBA as evidence by his career scoring average of almost 23 ppg. In his last three full seasons from 05′-07′, he established himself as one of the game’s elite players averaging 28-30 points, more than 5 assists, while shooting more than 42% on 3’s. The problem is he has played only 15 games in two seasons. Amazingly, reports have him making a full recovery, hoping to be ready by training camp.

A healthy Arenas, along with Antawn Jamison, and Caron Butler forms one of the most imposing offensive trios in the league. Jamison, an 11 year pro out of North Carolina, has a 20 ppg career scoring average to go along with 8 rebounds per game. He had arguably his best season in 08′-09′ at 22.2 points and 8.9 rebounds while playing in all 82 games. Caron Butler, a 7 year pro has apparently found his home playing for his 3rd team in Washington after establishing career highs in points averaging 20.8 and also has 1 All-Star game appearance. The question on Butler also is health, since he has never played a full season in the NBA.

The Wizards chose to try and win now when they traded the #5 pick and three players to Minnesota for Randy Foye and Mike Miller, a former Rookie and 6th Man of the Year. Why wait for a rookie to possibly develop when you can acquire two proven NBA veterans. Foye, coming from Big East power Villanova in college, has been a double figure scorer each of his 3 years in the league topping out at 16.3 points while averaging 4.3 assists in 09′. Many feel he hasn’t reached his full potential yet. Mike Miller, known as one of the leagues best 3 point shooters, is actually one of it’s most underrated all around players averaging 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists while shooting over 40% on 3’s for his career. Their roster also includes ever improving Nick Young(10.9 ppg), NBA badboy but talented DeShawn Stevenson, Brendan Haywood, and Andre Blatche(10 points, 5 rebs), who is performing well in the NBA Vegas Summer League, to come off the bench.

Trading Rubio may be a blessing in disguise since Minnesota is now having a hard time working out the details of his buyout from his European team. Some rumors even have him returning to Spain for another season with Jonny Flynn getting early reps at point guard. Financially, the Wizards are also in decent shape next season, with under achieving Mike James’ $9 million dollar contract due to expire at season’s end, allowing Washington to possibly acquire a better than average role player for 2010.

Hopefully, Washington Wizard fans can now take a deep breath and have some hope going into next season. Some rumors have the Wizards not quite a finished project just yet as they may add another player or resign free agent Juan Dixon before free agency is done. With an injury free Agent 0, along with a strong supporting cast. and a little luck, the Wizards may just surprise everyone and contend for an Eastern Conference crown




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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