Tag Archives: Derrick Rose

Paul George Injury Leaves Questions in Eastern Conference

After Paul George suffered that devastating leg injury that will keep him out for next season, the Indiana Pacers lost a valuable member of their squad. Without George, there is little hope for the Pacers’ title hopes in 2015. Although this may not take them out of the postseason just yet, let’s look at some threatening teams in the Eastern Conference.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are a favorite simply because they have LeBron James. Not only that, but they also have an All-Star point guard in Kyrie Irving and a future superstar in Andrew Wiggins. However, their front court could be their ultimate downfall. The main reason why James was so successful in Miami was because he had Chris Bosh pulling in rebounds and giving him extra chances. Last year’s number one draft pick Anthony Bennett was a huge disappointment, but he is the best option for next season’s starting forward position. For center, they have Anderson Varejao and Brendan Haywood, but they are old veterans that can be reliable in all 82 games next season. Tristan Thompson would make a good fit at the power forward spot and Dion Waiters will make a great back-court player that could compliment both Irving and James. It’s mostly wait-and-see at this point for the Cavaliers.

LeBron James' return to Cleveland gives the Cavaliers the best chance for a title run next year. Credit: www.cleveland.com
LeBron James’ return to Cleveland gives the Cavaliers the best chance for a title run next year.
Credit: http://www.cleveland.com

The Chicago Bulls look to be the favorite in the East as well. They have an established coaching staff that knows how to win with low-caliber players, but this year, they get Derrick Rose back…again. If Rose can stay healthy, this Bulls team will be Cleveland’s main competition in the Central Division. They signed Pau Gasol in free agency and landed Doug McDermott in the NBA Draft. All of the pieces are there with Joakim Noah coming off a terrific year, winning the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. Guys like Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler and Ronnie Brewer will also aid Rose in chasing that elusive NBA Finals, somewhere they haven’t been since Michael Jordan led the way many years ago.

Derrick Rose looks for a breakout year. The last time he played a full season, he won the MVP averaging 25 points, 7.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game. Credit: pagesix.com
Derrick Rose looks for a breakout year. The last time he played a full season, he won the MVP averaging 25 points, 7.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game.
Credit: pagesix.com

With the Pacers, Cavaliers and Bulls fighting for the Central Division, let’s take a look at some other potentially threatening teams in the East. The New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors will be battling for the Atlantic Division. Carmelo Anthony’s decision to return to New York will definitely give them a chance. Phil Jackson looks to make this team a consistent winner in the East and will have to go through the upstart Raptors in order to get there. The Raptors finished last season with the 3-seed in the East with a surprising 48-34 record. They did better than the Brooklyn Nets who landed a tight 44-38 finish. Coach Lionel Hollins will try to make his new Nets team a title contender this year. If he can’t get them that good in a short amount of time, the Knicks and Raptors will dominate this division.

The two most surprising teams last year were the Washington Wizards and the Charlotte Bobcats. Both finished with more than 42 wins, which is saying a lot for both of these franchises. The back-court combination of John Wall and Bradley Beal will definitely keep the Wizards in the championship race, but their front court will have to play consistently well in order to compete in the division. The Bobcats are now back to being called the Hornets and hopefully this rejuvenated team will make more surprises this year. With the Miami Heat losing some firepower because of the whole Decision 2.0 fiasco, the Southeast Division is wide open for the taking. Even the Atlanta Hawks are contenders after making the playoffs last year with a losing record. You can never count out everyone  in that division. Unless you’re the Orlando Magic.

The Eastern Conference will definitely be more interesting this year and a lot more competitive. Unfortunately for the Pacers, their chance at a title shot is dampened with the George injury. Hopefully they can learn some lessons from Chicago on how to make the playoffs without your superstar player.

Lord of the Two Rings: Return of the King

It’s official! LeBron James has decided to go back to his hometown and play for the Cleveland Cavaliers. A contract has not been presented yet, but James will probably get a max deal, making him the highest paid basketball player in the NBA. As for Chris Bosh, he will remain loyal with the Miami Heat and keep his talents in South Beach where he will just landed a 5-year deal worth over $116 million. Dwyane Wade is also a free agent and is probably going to stay in Miami as well. However, the Chicago Bulls have made a push to bring Wade back to his hometown. Everything will start falling into place once Carmelo Anthony makes up his mind on where he wants to play. He has narrowed his choices down to Chicago and staying in New York. Anthony is leaning towards the Knicks, but if Chicago is still a great place for Anthony to land. He will play for a championship-caliber team with a All-Star point guard in Derrick Rose and NBA-Defensive-Player-of-the-Year winner Joakim Noah. If the Bulls sign Wade, that could also attract Anthony to move west.

Now back to LeBron. James is the franchise-leader in points, free-throws made, and steals. He just needs to make 32 three-pointers and he will have the franchise record for that as well. He will also have the opportunity to play with something he has never had in his NBA career: a really talented All-Star point guard. Kyrie Irving has emerged as the leader of the Cavaliers since James left town. Now James won’t have the pressure to carry the team on his back like he did back when he first played with Cleveland. Irving will provide that All-Star power and the play-making ability to compliment James’ style. Not only that, but James will also get to play with rookie sensation Andrew Wiggins. The first-overall pick in this year’s draft will learn from LeBron up close and personal. It’s likely that the two players will share a bond on the court that will help develop the young star into one of the best rookies in the league. James will serve as a mentor for the young Wiggins, but he’ll do more than mentor him; he’ll show him how it’s done.

I think everyone in Cleveland now forgives LeBron for The Decision back in 2010 and now Cavaliers’ fans will have something to cheer about this season. Home games are going to be sold out, jerseys are going to be dug out of the trash can and Johnny Football will be closer to his new friend. The Heisman-winning quarterback will be playing for the Cleveland Browns this year and Manziel will definitely bring some excitement to the city. With both him and LeBron, a little hope has been poured into Cleveland. Now we’ll wait and see if LeBron can bring a title to his hometown.

Should the Chicago Bulls keep Derrick Rose?

Chicago Bulls’ point guard Derrick Rose won Rookie of the Year back in the 2008-2009 season. He went to three straight NBA All-Star games from 2010-2012 and he was named the NBA MVP in 2011. Since then, Rose has had two season-ending injuries. The former 1st overall pick out of Memphis hasn’t played a game since November 22nd of 2013. He had surgery on the meniscus in his right knee on November 25th, which should rule him out for the rest of the season. Then Rose made an interesting comment on Thursday about his status for this season:

“If I’m healthy and the situation is right, I’m going to be back playing,” he said at his first press conference since the injury. (Credit: ESPNChicago.com)

The Bulls ruled Rose out for the whole season, but the injured point guard said that he might return in time for the playoffs. If the NBA season ended today, the Bulls would be the six seed in the Eastern Conference. Should Rose risk another injury by returning for the playoffs, where it gets more physically demanding? I think the Bulls are in an interesting situation here. Rose has had a great young career. He’s only 25 and he has accomplised so much at such an early age. But should Rose keep playing for the Bulls? At this rate, Chicago is paying a man that hasn’t been playing that much in the last two years. Sure he’s a great talent, but how are you going to win an NBA championship without a top point guard? The NBA draft is going to produce some great point guards this year. There’s Marcus Smart from Oklahoma State (who can also play shooting guard) and there’s also Russ Smith from Louisville (who knows how to win big games). If I was Chicago Bulls’ General Manager Gar Forman, I would give Tom Thibodeau a brand new start. Forman already traded  their leading scorer Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers and picked up a bunch of draft picks for it. The Bulls did acquire Andrew Bynum in the trade (great, another injury prone player to add to the roster), but how long will that help the team? Bynum may be a young and talented player, but he is also on the downward spiral of his career. Forman doesn’t believe in rebuilding a team and hey, with a successful franchise like the Chicago Bulls, I don’t blame him. But he does have to think about the future here. Even if Rose does come back, how productive would he be after two knee injuries? I would trade Derrick Rose for a 1st round draft pick to a team like the Orlando Magic, Sacramento Kings, or even the Los Angeles Lakers (who knows how many years Steve Nash has left in him). Those three teams could produce a good draft pick, so you may not land Marcus Smart or Russ Smith, but you can still get someone pretty good. If it were up to me, I would move on in Chicago. You already gave up your third-best player in Luol Deng and you can’t rely heavily on Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer. Build a younger team that Thibodeau can coach and the Bulls should be championship contenders about two years from now.