Friday, June 27, 2014

2014 NBA Draft 1st Round Recap

Posted by:
 Anthony Sanchez

                  PLAYER                                          COLLEGE                                               TEAM

1.     Andrew Wiggins (SG)                                 Kansas                                            Cleveland Cavaliers

2.     Jabari Parker      (SF)                                  Duke                                                  Milwaukee Bucks

3.    Joel Embiid          (C)                                   Kansas                                               Philadelphia 76ers

4.   Aaron Gordon      (PF)                                 Arizona                                              Orlando Magic

5.   Dante Exum         (PG)                                 Australia                                             Utah Jazz

6.   Marcus Smart      (PG)                                Oklahoma St.                                       Boston Celtics

7.   Julius Randle        (PF)                                 Kentucky                                           Los Angeles Lakers

8.   Nik Stauskas       (SG)                                 Michigan                                            Sacramento Kings

9.   Noah Vonleh       (PF)                                  Indiana                                               Charlotte Hornets

10.  Elfrid Payton       (PG)                                  UL Lafayette                                      Philadelphia 76ers
                                                                                                                          (proposed trade to Magic)

11.  Doug Mcdermott (SF)                                Creighton                                             Denver Nuggets
                                                                                                                           (proposed trade to Bulls)

12.  Dario Saric           (PF)                               Croatia                                               Orlando Magic
                                                                                                                            (proposed trade to 76ers)

13.  Zach Lavine         (PG)                                 UCLA                                       Minnesota Timberwolves

14.  TJ Warren           (SF)                                 NC State                                    Phoenix Suns

15.  Adreian Payne     (PF)                                 Michigan St.                                Atlanta Hawks

16.  Jusuf Nurkic         (C)                                  Bosnia-Herzegovina                     Chicago Bulls
                                                                                                                        (proposed trade to Nuggets)

17.  James Young       ( SG)                               Kentucky                                      Boston Celtics

18.  Tyler Ennis           (PG)                                Syracuse                                      Phoenix Suns

19.  Gary Harris          (SG)                                Michigan St.                                 Chicago Bulls
                                                                                                                        (proposed trade to Nuggets)

20.  Bruno Caboclo     (SF)                                Brazil                                            Toronto Raptors

21.  Mitch McGary      (PF)                               Michigan                                      Oklahoma City Thunder

22.  Jordan Adams      (SG)                               UCLA                                          Memphis Grizzlies

23.  Rodney Hood       (SF)                                Duke                                            Utah Jazz

24.  Shabazz Napier     (PG)                              UCONN                                        Charlotte Hornets
                                                                                                                  (proposed trade to Miami Heat)

25.  Clint Capela          (PF)                               Switzerland                                     Houston Rockets

26.  PJ Hairston           (SG)                               North Carolina                                Miami Heat
                                                                                                         (proposed trade to Charlotte Hornets)

27.  Bogdan Bogdanovic (SG)                            Serbia                                             Phoenix Suns

28.  C.J. Wilcox             (SG)                            Washington                                     Los Angeles Clippers

29.  Josh Huestis            (SF)                              Stanford                                      Oklahoma City Thunder

30.  Kyle Anderson        (SF)                              UCLA                                          San Antonio Spurs

**The Miami Heat gave up the 26th pick, the 55th pick and a future 2nd round pick to obtain the rights to Shabazz Napier (PG).

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Look back at the finals While looking Ahead To The Future

Posted  by:
Anthony Sanchez

The Miami Heat fan might be upset, might be annoyed, might be ungrateful or just plain ole might be spoiled to the greatness that has taken place here for the past four years. Miami has represented the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals year after year, a bulls eye is painted on their backs all due to coming together and uniting to accomplish a common interest which was to win NBA Championships and that has been accomplished despite your disappointment about how this season ended.

 Games four, five were mirror images of each other, there was the typical slow start, there was the lack of rebounding, the lack of intensity, our players especially the role players truly showed their age in this series, ultimately you have to admit that the overall better team won this series, which also goes to show you that just because you arguably have the best player on your side does not mean it will translate over to victories.

The Miami Heat organization will have to sweat it out a little as their big three ponder if to opt in on their final year of their contracts or opt out and test free agency. The consensus is that they will return and give the reunion one more chance to flourish together, but there are some out there that believe Lebron James is seriously contemplating moving on from Miami. The Miami Heat as a team need to get younger, more athletic, add some size, find reliable shooters and just stabilize the bench to provide more productivity. There are some players that have already decided what to do next like Shane Battier who is retiring, "Birdman" Chris Anderson has made it clear he will not be returning, you have Ray Allen possibly retiring as he stated and you have to decide what to do about Mario Chalmers contract situation. 

In my opinion the the big three will stick around for the last year of their contracts anything past this year is a toss up and it will actually boil down to what the Miami Heat organization do to fine tune their line up. The Heat need to revamp the roster with players who have something to prove, who ache and will do what it takes to hold the championship trophy up, players that their game is consistent and players that truly buy into team and the concept of team basketball. One thing that the San Antonio Spurs did is remind everyone that when you play as one team there is nothing that can not be accomplished, again congratulations go out to the San Antonio Spurs who earned it and showed true basketball enthusiast that you can still win with old school basketball. 

It was a great run, you can not deny that the Miami Heat went to four straight NBA Finals and came out winning two titles. The Miami Heat as a team and organization showed a commitment to excellence, to compete, showed that they are one of the top organizations in all of sports, in the end as a Miami Heat fan what can you complain about when your expectations are championship or bust that means you have one heck of a team. I will say this do not let winning, the accolades and all the glitz stand in the way of how hard this team has worked to maintain the level of excellence that it has, because aside from the pressure set by they themselves you always had the rest of the league watching, waiting for the opportunity to dethrone them, you had the so called haters waiting to pounce on any mistake or any quote that would bring separation to this team and through it all this Miami Heat team stayed the course, in my view this team will always be a champion.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Day After Game Three Of The NBA Finals

Posted by:
Anthony Sanchez

The series is now two games to one in favor of the San Antonio Spurs, the Miami Heat were reminded by the Spurs that they would not go quietly and in doing so recovered home court advantage once again. To quote the great Lebron James as he addressed his team for game one of these NBA finals "we must treat every game like we are playing a game seven", well I must admit that those words so far have fallen on deaf ears, because up to now they are playing like they did throughout the season undisciplined at times, lackadaisical, looking for the switch to turn on and to be quite honest they might want to check that at the door, because as great as Lebron, Wade and Bosh are that switch right now is not working.

The point guard play has been embarrassing between Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole in this series, we have zero production and plenty of turnovers. Mario Chalmers looks like a man looking for answers or should I say looking for his game since the playoffs started he's been missing in action, Norris Cole is just running around and dribbling a little too much without moving the ball, the defense is not there like how he showed up against the Pacers and quite frankly the guard play of the Spurs has just been better then ours overall.

If you have read my blogs I have praised coach Spoelstra's in game adjustments, but I will admit in last nights game three he stuck with his rotation to a fault, Chalmers is not producing period, the defensive rotation seems out of whack, there is no intensity, no flow to the defense as we have seen in the past, the pressure comes in spurts, James Jones on defense is a liability plus he has not been hitting his three point shot and to me it just seems like coach Spoelstra is trying to force the issue with his current rotation.

In my humble opinion I think coach Spoelstra has to shake up the rotation in game four, use more Shane Battier, Udonis Haslem, Toney Douglas and why not use Greg Oden's size for additional rebounding and defense if anything for a new face to guard Tim Duncan who is having his way down low. Shane Battier will bring toughness, he will annoy the player he defends, he knows his role on the team, will hit threes and is known to draw a charge or two. Udonis Haslem and Greg Oden can provide additional rebounding, can maybe provide a spark that up to this point has been dismal from the current rotation with the exception of "Birdman" Chris Anderson, Rashard Lewis and last but not least why not give Toney Douglas a chance to play the point, he plays solid defense, can hit the three and will have something to prove coming off the end of the bench.

Ultimately what needs to happen in game four from my point of view is the Miami Heat must get back to suffocating defense, team basketball, avoid the one on one play that leads to the hurry shots late into the shot clock and wouldn't be a bad idea to play some tape of how they lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 finals, because many of their mistakes right now remind me of that team, as a reminder the Miami Heat lost that series four games to two. In game four we will find out what this team is made of, can they bounce back as they have done before, can Eric Spoelstra counter the great Greg Popovich with adjustments of his own and or will this team stand up an fight to defend their championship, stay tuned for game four Thursday June 12th at nine o'clock pm on (ABC).

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs Game 3 Preview

Posted By:
Anthony Sanchez

The Miami Heat are back home for game three tonight, they also have the chance to try and take two games at home to take a commanding lead three to one. First things first Miami needs to secure a pivotal game three against the Spurs while riding high with the win in game two and Lebron James silencing doubters, if just for one game.

Games one & two were two different stories, game one you all know we had the a/c debacle, Lebron James with the leg cramps and the team pretty much after that gave up. Game two was more like the Miami Heat, but the major difference was Lebron James being more aggressive, attacking the rim, hitting his jumper, rebounding and playing stifling defense. The trio of James, Bosh and Wade had a combined point total of sixty-seven points, Bosh once again hit a timely three pointer down the stretch and wade only had fourteen points, but made a crucial lay-up with just 9.4 seconds remaining in the game.

For game three the Heat will need Lebron to stay aggressive, Bosh to stay active and Wade to keep attacking, hitting the mid-range jumper and just keep providing timely baskets along with his defense. The Miami Heat showed that when they can turn up the defense, Lebron is aggressive making decisive plays it is almost impossible to stop or slow down this team. Many doubters believe Miami is a one trick pony, which is further from the truth I have seen Ray Allen find the fountain of youth in these playoffs, I have seen the "Birdman" Chris Anderson's energy, defense and rebounding provide a spark, I have seen Rashard Lewis step up to take a more significant role with the team and I have seen Erik Spoelstra have one of his better years making in game adjustments.

My one concern is from the point guard position where neither Mario Chalmers nor Norris Cole have really contributed, which to me is a surprise because when Chalmers is usually not on you can count on Cole, but that has not been the case in these first two games of the finals. I will say the X factor in all this will be if either one of them can get off their slump and provide a spark from the position to help this team win, which brings me to my next point if Chalmers and Cole continue to struggle what do you do? Well in my opinion we know Wade can handle the ball, I would move Wade to the point, bring in Ray Allen at the two guard, play Lebron at the small forward, bring in Udonis Haslem or "Birdman" Chris Anderson to play power forward and play Chris Bosh at center.

The Spurs will not lay down, they have a future hall of fame coach in Greg Popovich who will have adjustments ready for game three, they have a future hall of famer power forward in Tim Duncan who is a force an will get his, they have a point guard in Tony Parker that is an assassin if he can penetrate an will cause issues with your defensive switching, they have one of the best over seas player in Manu Ginobili who looks much different in these playoffs then he did last year at this time and last but not least they have a bench that at any moment can make it rain three's.

I will say I expect the Miami Heat to come out energized, the crowd to be electric and fully expect the Miami Heat to come out victorious in game three. In doing so the Miami Heat will need an unsung hero to contribute, whether its Mario Chalmers finding his way, Shane Battier bringing his defensive prowess an three point shot, Udonis Haslem bringing his toughness, defense and rebounding skills, James Jones stroking three point shots in front of his home town, bottom line is they need someone else to step other then just the big three.

My final thought is this series is far from over, but the Miami Heat can take control of this series tonight and maintain the home court advantage after splitting the series in San Antonio, so as long as they handle their business at home, stay tuned tonight on ABC at 9pm for game three of the NBA Finals.

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Monday, June 2, 2014

2014 NBA Finals Match-Up Preview between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs

Posted by:
Anthony Sanchez

The NBA Finals gets started on June 5th, 2014 at 9 pm, there is plenty of excitement for this rematch. The Miami Heat are looking to three-peat as they have made it now to four consecutive NBA Finals, while the San Antonio Spurs are looking for a little revenge, they feel they allowed last years championship to slip away.

Both Teams come into the finals battle tested, both teams made it seem easy arriving to the finals as they both disposed of their opponents quite easily. The Miami Heat bring a certain swagger and confidence, while the Spurs always maintain an even approach a lunch pale mentality of just another day at the office. When you look at the rosters for both squads there is talent, experience and championship pedigree, most people will say that players are the ones who win it all for you, but in my opinion when the talent pool is just about equal on both sides you have too look at coaching. This match up pairs up two of the best coaches in their profession, on one hand you have the veteran even keeled coach in Greg Popovich, who in coaching and player circles is respected, admired for his basketball IQ and basketball brilliance, then you have the young Erik Spoelstra who to this day in my view is still highly underrated, many people outside of the Heat locker room struggle to allow themselves to believe in Spoelstra, because they can not get past Lebron's greatness or if it is Pat Riley's influence in the back ground. Spoelstra has not been given enough credit for his in game adjustments, his ability to inspire, motivate his team and the most important the way he stays calm in the face of adversity, this will be a great series to watch and observe two of the best maneuver throughout the series.

My expectations for this series is that both teams are disciplined, experienced, talented, poised and there will be plenty of ups and downs for both sides it will come down to execution. The Spurs starting five of Tiago Splitter, Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are a formidable one that has size, strength and the ability to play with anyone. We know that the Spurs will play set basketball, they will make the extra pass, they will drop the ball down low to Tim Duncan and with their size they will do a good job rebounding. The key player in my opinion will be Kawhi Leonard who will mostly be guarding Lebron James on defense and when on offense can play with his back to the basket as well as shoot it from the outside. The Spurs have a solid bench that contributes especially from the three point range such as; Marcos Belinelli, Matt Bonner, Boris Diaw, Patty Mills and Danny Green. I believe the Spurs success in this series will highly be predicated on how much assistance can the starting five receive from their bench and up to now in these playoffs they have answered the bell.

The Miami Heat Starting five of; Chris Bosh, Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Mario Chalmers, Udonis Haslem or Shane Battier will have their hands full with an equally talented team in the Spurs. The Miami Heat need to come out in game one aggressive, set the tone of how they want to dictate the flow of the game to go, they must not fall into playing the Spurs game which is too slow it down. In my opinion the Heat need to run as often as possible, find ways to cause turn overs and score off of them. Dwayne Wade will be a person to keep your eye on, the Heat need Wade to attack the basket and to keep shooting his mid-range shot at a high percentage, so in turn he can have easier attempts heading to the rim. Another name that jumps out at me that needs to step it up in this series is Mario Chalmers, he was not at his best in the Indiana Pacers series he seemed frustrated and not his typical confident self. Mario Chalmers defense will be needed to stay in front of Tony Parker and deter him from penetrating to the basket, also he needs to reestablish his three point shot which will be called upon with Lebron and Wade driving to the basket. The Miami Heat must understand that the San Antonio Spurs are a mentally strong team, a team that plays together and as previously discussed a well coached team. Execution on offense, defense will be imperative, rebounding must be kept close considering the size Spurs offer, in game adjustments by Spoelstra will be a key, the Miami Heat bench will be tasked with providing energy & fire power when called upon, that means Ray Allen, Shane Battier, Norris Cole, Chris "Birdman" Anderson and Rashard Lewis must find ways to contribute consistently and ultimately in a series that is pretty much equal, bottom line is whoever impose's their will and who's game plan is executed better will come out victorious.

My final thought is that we are in for one heck of an NBA Finals, both teams are evenly matched, it is said that match ups make a game, well this series has a little bit of everything in store for us. If the Spurs are allowed to pass freely, run their offense at the slow pace that makes them efficient and Tony Parker penetrates unchallenged then the heat will be in some trouble, but if the Heat can run up and down the court, cause turn overs and efficiently stop the Spurs pick an roll offense then the Miami Heat have a really good chance to three peat, once again stay tuned for game one live from San Antonio on Thursday June 5th, 2014 at 9:00 pm.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Miami Heat Eastern Conference Finals

The Miami Heat are on the road today to take on the Indiana Pacers in game five, they have a chance to shut the door and shatter the Pacers dream of an NBA Finals appearance.

This game in the mind of many people might not seem like a must win, but in my opinion this is a game that the Heat must show up and play hard right from tip-off. The Indiana Pacers are reeling right now and looking for answers on how to stand up to big brother, they wanted home court advantage and lost it as quickly as they asked for it.

In order for the Miami Heat to win this game they must stick to their game plan and not slow the game down. The Pacers want to control the pace, throw it down to Roy Hibbert, David West and kick it out to their shooters for three's which is the one thing they have done especially when they go on their runs. Miami will need a bigger contribution from Shane Battier, Mario Chalmers and if the team can get any points from Rashard Lewis would be a bonus, although his defense has helped against David West, the Bench of Miami will be important especially with Ray Allen considered a game time decision, even if he plays he will do so with a sore hip and the "Birdman" Chris Anderson is also a game time decision dealing with a thigh injury.

The Mind set of the Miami Heat should be let's get this series over with, so that we can rest our injured players considering that the players injured are veterans that have some age to them. This would be a key heading into the finals considering that the Spurs and Thunder series is now knotted up at two games a piece. Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, and Udonis Haslem leaders of this team must keep their composure, but also maintain discipline within the team to stay the course because make no mistake about it the Pacers will come out strong in front of their home crowd, the Heat have to anticipate their will be runs made throughout the game, but in the end the team that manages to keep cool an collected will win this game.  

My Final thought is that today's game is going to come down to mental toughness, discipline, Rebounding, bench contribution, suffocating old school playoff defense and the ability of Eric Spoelstra to make in game adjustments.

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