Monday, October 25, 2010

Baselines demographics!

Cool feature I just found out on blogger is you can see where in the world people are viewing your blog. So here's mine!

So cool! Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Baseline Bold Predictions!

Well after a long summer of a whole lot of player movement (see my off season cheat sheet), the season is finally upon us. Embrace it. Cherish it. For it may be the last season before a possible lockout! But that's not what this post is about. These are my predictions on widely discussed topics as well as some other random predictions for specific teams.

Let's get the boring predictions out of the way.

MVP: Kevin Durant of the Thunder. LeBron coming 2nd in voting. Dwight Howard and Dwyane Wade coming in 4th and 5th or vice versa. Kobe 5th at best. I doubt he'll play the whole season, Pau Gasol, Ron Artest, Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum... "too much" help and voters will go for the feel good story of the Oklahoma City Thunder and the more-quiet-than-a-mouse-after-a-thunderous-dunk-humble Kevin Durant.

Defensive player of the year: Dwight Howard of the Magic. He'll lead the league in blocks and defensive rebounds. And then who? Are there any more impact making defensive players? Shane Battier? Anderson Varejao? Howard will run away with this award.

Rookie of the year: Blake Griffin of the Clippers. I'm biased. I have Clipper season tickets and have seen more Blake Griffin games live from this and last year before he got hurt but he's just simply put: beastly. Powerful on the LeBron scale without the ball handling skills, but has more post moves than his unfair NBA comparison Carlos Boozer. Griffin will be better than Carlos Boozer when it's all said and done in 10 years. 2nd place John Wall. Clippers will have a far better record than the Wizards who have 3 point guards, one of whom is so out of touch with reality he seems to be in a 24/7 daze (Gilbert Arenas). Griffin's 18 points and 12 rebounds for a 45 win team will impress more than Wall's 15 points/7 assists on a 25 win team.

6th Man - Jamal Crawford of the Hawks. He'll have the same role this year as he did last year and if the Hawks owner keeps not re-signing him to an extension, he'll be playing for a contract this summer (unless he demands a trade). Jason Terry on the Mavericks is always a contender and could swoop in and take the award.

Most Improved Player - Any good bench player who becomes a starter or any starter who gets a lot more minutes. I have mad beef with this award, but I would have to go with Kevin Love. On a horrible, horrible team and they just got rid of Al Jefferson. He's the only big guy who can grab rebounds (unless Darko Milicic proves his 20 mil contract) and will be counted on for a lot more scoring than he had gotten last year. I'm telling you. He always had the ability. I watched him at UCLA, it's just now he'll get the minutes which means he'll get the stats... which means he'll get the award!

Executive of the year - PAT RILEY! LeBron, Wade, and Bosh and yeah, a completely new team.

Playoff teams

1. Lakers
2. Mavericks
3. Thunder
4. Jazz
5. Nuggets (if Carmelo stays, if not, 8th or lottery)
6. Blazers
7. Spurs
8. Clippers (Rockets as well if Denver falls out)

1. Heat
2. Magic
3. Bulls
4. Celtics
5. Hawks
6. Knicks
7. Bucks
8. Bobcats

Finals Matchup - Lakers vs. Celtics
Finals winner - Lakers
Finals MVP - Pau Gasol

Now some predictions you may not have thought about:
  • Steve Blake will be starting for the Lakers in place of Derek Fisher within 25 games of the season.
  • Toronto will have the worst record in the league and will be praying for the first pick in the draft (or Minnesota, or Detroit).
  • Marcus Camby will average double digit rebounds for the Trailblazers, AGAIN, whether or not Oden plays the whole season.
  • Kobe will hit the league limit in technical fouls and will be have to be suspended for at least 1 game. So will at least two Boston Celtics, Matt Barnes, Vince Carter and Amar'e Stoudemire.
  • Carmelo Anthony's desires to be out of Denver will show in his game, kind of the way LeBron's Game 5 and Game 6 against Boston in the playoffs played out (until he's traded, if he's traded).
  • Gilbert Arenas won't suit up for at least 10 games and NOT because of an injury.
  • Tiago Splitter for the Spurs will play magnificently for his draft position and for coming out of nowhere (well not NOwhere but from Europe).
  • Jermaine O'Neal will be instrumental in the Miami Boston series should they meet in the playoffs. Oh, and Rondo will average about 13+ assists in that series.
  • Houston's playoff chances will all depend on the health of Yao Ming's foot. No Yao, no playoffs.
  • Cleveland will set the noise-o-meter record when LeBron is announced for the starting lineups in the Miami @ Cleveland game.

That's all I got so far but I'm sure I'll be posting more predictions on here and on my twitter account @betweenbaseline

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Is Joakim Noah Worth That Spicy Meatball?

Joakim Noah, while being speculated and rumored to almost be traded in a package for Carmelo Anthony, has just had his contract extended. This season he will be paid $3 million. Then the following season he will be paid: $10, $11, $12, $13 and $14 million for a grand total of around $60 million dollars! Is he worth it? Let me work it...

Starting with the 2011-12 season and the following years (in other words, not including this 2010 season, as Noah's extension kicks in in the 2011 season) the following players will be paid around the average of those five extended players.

Atlanta's Josh Smith: $12.4, $13.2 million
Boston's Rajon Rondo: $10, $11, $12, $13 million
Detroit's Richard Hamilton: $12.6, $12.6 million
Detroit's Ben Gordon: $11.6, $12.4, $13.2 million
Golden State's Monta Ellis: $11, $11, $11 million
Golden State's David Lee: $11.6, $12.7, $13.8, $15, $15.4 million
Houston's Kevin Martin: $12, $12.9 million
Indiana's Danny Granger: $12, $13, $14 million
LA Clippers' Baron Davis: $13.9, $14.8 million
LA Clippers' Chris Kaman: $12.2 million
Milwaukee's Andrew Bogut: $12, $13, $14 million
Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala: $13.5, $14.7, $15.9 million
Phoenix's Hedo Turkoglu: $10.6, $11.4, $12. 2 million
Portland's Lamarcus Aldridge: $11.8, $13, $14.1, $15.2 million
San Antonio's Manu Ginobili: $13, $14 million

Well I honestly didn't know what I'd find 10 minutes ago, but I've come to two conclusions. First, some teams overpaid some players based on prior accolades from previous teams: Ben Gordon, Baron Davis, Hedo Turkoglu come to mind. Other teams got lucky and have some really good players for a decent price: Lamarcus Aldridge, Andrew Bogut, and Rajon Rondo.

So what can we make of Joakim Noah's new deal? It's definitely debatable. But overall, it's a good deal. Good centers are hard to come by and Joakim Noah, all 6'11 and 225 lbs of him, is a good center. The other big men who make around what he makes from the list above: Lamarcus Aldridge, Andrew Bogut, Chris Kaman, David Lee. Ok so over half of those players are better than Joakim Noah but Noah is a part of that Chicago core and they didn't want to risk losing him next summer. Especially since they just got Carlos Boozer and are looking to make a playoff push to try and compete with the Miami, Boston and Orlando heavyweights.

Plus he's got mad comedy:

"I have my friends, I don't care."

He's got heart and cares a lot about winning. Although we'll see if that hustle and hard work continues after this huge extension. I say it does continue. He is a key piece to this Chicago team and will continue to be a key piece for the next half decade. Here is to you, Joakim Noah! Although I'll never forgive you for taking out the Bruins your two years in college, I got respect for your work ethic!