What makes you beautiful.. Kobe Bryant’s dunk

So I think it’s safe to say that everyone has already seen Kobe Bryant’s ridiculous dunk last night against the Brooklyn Nets.

If you haven’t here it is again.

There are just too many good things about this dunk performed by the 34 year old Kobe Bryant.

  1. It came down as the shot clock was expiring.
  2. Kobe hammered it down between the high-fiving high-fives of Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace
  3. The score was tied up in the dying minutes of the final quarter
  4. The crowd erupted in cheers for the Lakers afterwards
  5. Finally, immediately after the dunk the Lakers went on to score 10 more points. The Nets? 3 points. COMPLETE DOMINATION

Seriously though, well done Kobe. On another note Pau-Pau Gasol went down with a foot injury in the third quarter and he says that something “popped”. Hopefully he’s ok because the Lakers have actually been interesting to watch since Dwight Howard went down with the shoulder injury.

 

Changing of the Guard- Los Angeles Lakers Edition

Well, it’s been a long time coming but is it safe to say that the Los Angeles Lakers are finally finished?

I’d say so.

If you had asked me at the beginning of the season how this team would do this season I would have pegged them as a top four team in the West. It probably has been a long time coming considering we’re about two weeks past the halfway point of the season, but I think it is finally time to close the books (at least for the next few seasons) for one of the most successful franchises in NBA history.

Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, Metta World Peace, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol

Currently the Lakers are tenth in the Western conference and four games under .500. Their home record is a passable 15-10 and their road record is an abysmal 7-16. Dwight Howard was the Lakers big off-season haul and together with Steve Nash the two of them should have been the most dominant pick-and-roll players in the league. However Nash was lost early in the season from a broken leg bone and Howard hasn’t been his dominant self since returning from surgery last season.

Pau Gasol has been battling with his own demons. The man is always one step behind on defence and he can’t score worth at all in the post. His numbers are down across the board but that can mostly be attested to his loss in minutes.

That pretty much sums up the bad with the starting five in Los Angeles.

Kobe Byrant and Metta World Peace are playing the most efficient basketball they’ve played in a very long time. Bryant has remembered how to pass and Peace is playing with a youthful step that we haven’t seen from him in a very very long time. Although he has been suspended for this little scuffle with Brandon Knight.

So, what do I think is wrong with the Lakers?

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard

I won’t lie, I don’t like the man. He put Orlando through a lot of needless drama throughout his last two years there. He ousted a very good coach in Stan Van Gundy and he kept flip-flopping between staying in Orlando and wanting out. If I was in the shoes of the Magic management I would have sent him to a team like Sacramento or Charlotte. That’ll teach him.

Anyways, I don’t think that Dwight is a motivated player. His constant smiles on courts are infuriating to watch while the other four players on the court continue to play hard. Some people think that that’s just the way he is, a happy guy who always has a smile on his face. That’s ok though, there’s nothing wrong with being happy, but there is a time and place for everything. Don’t forget that your shooting guard is Kobe Bryant, probably one of the most serious players out there who’s only goal in the world is to win that ring to tie him up with Michael Jordan.

Basketball is a team sport, don’t let anyone else tell you anyways. Every superstar needed his team to hoist that trophy at the end of the season. So when one of your team mates is slogging up the court with a big, goofy smile on his face it can be the most frustrating feeling in the world. Then one game he’s going to brick a bunch of free-throws, in the next game he’s going to get injured, and then in the game after that he’s going to miss free throws and then have that stupid smile on his face again. So what does the team do next? They phase him out of offence, if you don’t play D you sure as hell aren’t going to play any O.

Dwight is one public debacle from wanting out of the Lakers. After all he has already made it clear that if he isn’t going to go the distance in Los Angeles, he would be willing to leave.

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“So I want to do it the best that I can and I’m going to take everything in I can to get what I can out of the NBA. Which, for me, is winning a championship,” he added. “So if I have to play on another team or do whatever I have to do to get one, that’s my goal. This is my passion, so I’ll continue to fight.”- Dwight Howard

I think most people are still hanging onto the hope that the Lakers will bounce back and make a push for the playoffs and be the team everyone wants them to be. Good Bye LA, see you next season. It’s going to be weird not seeing the purple and gold in the playoffs this year.

Not So Fast! – Houston Edition

So is your draft day around the corner? You’ve got your sleepers, busts, and sure-things lined up and ready to go? NOT SO FAST.  Before you pull the trigger and draft these players, take a step back and think about their values.

Jeremy Lin

Jeremy Lin is stepping into the big big shoes of his predecessor, Yao Ming. As the new face of the Houston Rockets franchise there is a ton of pressure on the Harvard grad to live up to his massive back-loaded contract. So what can we expect from Lin now that he isn’t playing with the likes of Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire?

A fair amount actually. Here is a quick breakdown of what to expect from Lin.

  • He’s going to have a ton of turnovers

Lin was never good at taking care of hte ball. Even during the high point of Linsanity he still averaged more than 3 turnovers a game. Let’s say he plays 3 times a week, that’s at least 10 turnovers from a single player every week. Now that teams know what he is capable of, point guards are going to be coming after Lin with a vengeance. Nobody wants to fall to the newest hot point guard in the league.

  • Points and assists and steals and points and assists and steals

Expect him to be the leading scorer with the Houston Rockets. The Rockets completely revamped their roster this year and there are only 4 players that have more than 5 years of NBA experience. WIth 4 new rookies expect Kevin McHale to be constantly tinkering with his lineups. Jeremy Lin, Kevin Martin, and Omer Asik are probably slated for consistent minutes but the substitutions as as well as the other starters are completely in the air. Kevin Martin can score in bunches but he’s probably on his way out of the rebuilding Houston because of his contract.

Lin is great on defence so you can rely on him as a solid source of steals but his percentages will be mediocre at best .

  • He couldn’t do it for half a shortened season, he can’t do it for a full season

If you want a solid, consistent, and healthy option, you should definitely look somewhere else. Lin is good in short bursts and will definitely have the occasional monster game, but don’t expect 20/10 on a nightly basis.

First on Deck- Kevin Martin

Kevin Martin is due to make 12.5 million dollars this year. Kevin Martin is also on a contract year, Kevin Martin is going to be huge this year. Regardless of whether he finishes the season with the Rockets, Martin is going to play his ass off to get a big paycheque next season. He has always been a great shooter with great percentages. His numbers will be very similar to that of Marcus Thornton. Plenty of 3’s, points, high percentages, and nothing else. However he has looked amazing in preseason and can always fill the score sheet.

What’s Left?

Everyone thought that Omer Asik was wildly overpaid this season. WIth the exact same contract as Lin (30 million over three years), people thought that this contract was ridiculous for someone who averaged 4 rebounds, 3 points, and shot less than 50% from the free throw line. However he is a hustler, and hustlers who are 7 feet tall tend to grab a couple rebounds. Although his field goal percentage hasn’t been amazing in the preseason expect his points to pick up with more playing time. Throughout the pre-season he has averaged 8 points, 11 rebounds, 75% free-throw, and 47% field goal. All while also getting just under a steal and a block per game.

Asik is definitely a solid late-round draft pick, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he went earlier than that.

Not So Fast! -Minnesota Edition

So is your draft day around the corner? You’ve got your sleepers, busts, and sure-things lined up and ready to go? NOT SO FAST.  Before you pull the trigger and draft these players, take a step back and think about their values.

The ball! It came and it sorta broke my hand..

Kevin Love

The big man in the middle was projected to go top-5 in pretty much every league out there. But in some kind of freak accident he broke his hand just weeks before the regular season was slated to start. Love was a fantasy stud last year until he completely dropped the ball and sat out the end of the regular season. A regular 20/12 guy with 3’s to boot.

Now he is slated to miss 6-8 weeks for his hand to fully recover which means that most fantasy owners won’t be getting anything out of him till mid-December to early January. If you think he still warrants a first-round pick… then you better rethink your draft strategy buddy. Although he will still come back and produce like he usually does it isn’t worth crippling your team for almost half of the regular fantasy season.

First on Deck: Derrick Williams

Coach told me to put the ball in the hoop!

Williams will most likely shoulder the load during Love’s absence for the first two months of the season. HE has shown flashes of offensive talent and expect him to live up to being the 2nd pick of the 2011-2012 NBA Draft. With the ability to catch and shoot the 3-pointer as well as create his own shot he is going to be a solid fantasy option going forward. There is a void in Minnesota right now and without their two franchise players  someone will need to step up in order to keep the Wolves in play-off contention. Hopefully Williams will be able to pick it up on offense and grab a solid number of rebounds.

What’s Left?

Let’s not forget that the Timberwolves have also signed Andrei Kirilenko and Brandon Roy during the off-season. Roy looks to be a great pick-up and to be honest it wouldn’t be that suprising if he came back and performed like he did in his rookie year, he seems healthy in his pre-season games. Without Love and Rubio to create on the offensive end, Roy will be called upon to distribute and score every night.

In Russia, balls baskets you!

Kirilenko was a statiscal beast in Utah until Deron Williams showed up. He is the only player to have ever recorded a 5×5 (5 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals, 5 blocks) since 2006. After a deflating career with the Utah Jazz, AK-47 has looked energized in his preseason games and also looked great in the 2012 London Olympics (playing for Russia). He isn’t going to be the AK of old but he’ll definitely be a multi-stat contributor on a nightly basis

Here’s to a New Season of Basketball- Back from the Holidays

Well it looks like the NBA season is just around the corner, that means that The FBD needs to get back to work too. It’s been a long holiday for us, we’ve been coming up with great ideas to kick off the new season and for those of you that will stick around we hope that this will get you past the daily work doldrums.

We’ll be posting funny memes, opinions of the basketball scene, and most importantly FANTASY updates and advice. The writers here at FBD will be taking all your thoughts questions about your fantasy league. The three writers here are all in a league together this year and have been around the fantasy scene for a while, we’re always down to answer your questions so hit us up on twitter, facebook, or shoot us an e-mail.

BTW, don’t draft Lin too early.

Jordan Brand’s newest ad: ‘This Is Where It Starts’

With basketball in the Olympics in full swing, Jordan Brand has released their newest commercial ‘This Is Where It Starts’. The ad has a very global feel to it as it prominently features USA basketball and China basketball in the form of two kids watching the Olympics and being inspired to ‘rise above’ and become international superstars themselves. Enjoy and take in all the details in the ad just up above!

Team USA Olympic Opener

Team USA is going to square off against France tomorrow at 9:30AMET on NBC. Both teams are coming out of pool A and I couldn’t be more excited about the Team USA’s first Olympic game.

France’s starting lineup will most likely consist of Tony Parker at the point, Nicolas Batum at small forward, Boris Diaw at power forward, Kevin Seraphin at center, and Nando de Colo at the shooting guard position. De Colo will join the Spurs for the 2012-2013 season.

USA will most likely start Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Lebron James, and Tyson Chandler to open the game.

Although the US is undefeated against France in the Olympics, expect Tony Parker to put on his usual arrays of passes and court magic when scoring the ball. His pairing with Batum and Diaw ought to put on a entertaining show for at least the first two quarters until USA really turns it on. Team USA completely dominated their exhibition games leading up to the Olympics, with their closest game against Argentina resulted in a 8 point victory that saw Team USA leading by as much as 20 on two separate occasions.

Surprisingly, France did not qualify for the previous two summer Olympics, with their last appearance in the Sydney Olympics yielding a silver medal.

If France was also able to recruit a healthy Joakim Noah to play for them this season then I would have said that had a fighting chance at pulling this game out. However without a strong defensive presence on the inside (Seraphin plays for the Wizards) it’s hard to see France taking advantage of Team USA’s weakness in size.

These games are always fun to watch though because it’s like watching an All-Star game where the players actually play defence. The blow-outs are still pretty great to watch too because Anthony Davis doesn’t get any real playing time so those garbage minutes off the bench yield some pretty exciting plays.

Look forward to our post-game recap tomorrow!

Free-Agency Recap

This week hasn’t been nearly as busy as the last few weeks have been. It really isn’t all that surprising given that the Summer League is coming to an end and most of the big boys in the head office are more concerned with how their draft picks are shaping up.

There have been some moves here and there though and they break down like this:

Dallas Mavericks

After losing out on Dwight Howard, Deron Williams, Steve Nash, Jeremy Lin, Jason Kidd, and every other big name out in the free agency pool, the Mavericks somehow pulled it all together and came out with a decent haul. They wrestled O.J Mayo away from the Grizzlies in a move that filled the shooting guard position with a young, explosive guard who can score in bunches. Traded away Ian Mahinmi for rookie star Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones. This was a great move because they gave up virtually nothing for a great passing/scoring guard who is in just his third year in the league.

Whatever size they lost with Mahinmi was gained in the signings of Elton Brand and Chris Kaman. Two veteran all-stars who are still capable of putting up impressive numbers. Although these Mavericks will look very different on court from their roster last season, expect them to still make a good playoff push next season.

Boston Celtics

The Celtics have brought in Courtney Lee, to further help fill in for the absence of Ray Allen. Having some young blood in Lee and old blood in Jason Terry ought to keep the Celtics relevant for at least another season…

Los Angeles Clippers

Grant Hill is going to Los Angeles! Only it’s the wrong side of town and he will not be joining long-time team mate, Steve Nash.

Houston Rockets

The Rockets have signed Jeremy Lin to a massively back-loaded contract that succeeded in keeping Lin from going back to the Knicks. They also brought in Omer Asik to a 3 year, 20 million contract and boy that’s really going to help…

Phoenix Suns

The Suns picked Luis Scola off the waiver wire and they actually are looking like a decent squad after the departure of Steve Nash. With Goran Dragic and Michael Beasley in the mix, the Suns are still going to be a really fun team to watch next season.