The dead period in sports that follows the Super Bowl can only mean one thing: it’s time for an NBA column that answers the league’s burning questions at the All-Star break.
Where will Carmelo Anthony end up?
The latest I heard was that Denver is close to sending Anthony to the Lakers, who would then send him to the Nets, who would then ship him to Europe to play overseas. I made those last two parts up but at this point, wouldn’t you believe anything?
In the end, ‘Melo will wind up with the Knicks because that’s where he’s wanted to be all along. Either the Nuggets will take New York’s trade proposal, or Anthony will refuse to sign an extension with another team and head to Manhattan as a free agent. And I think this ordeal has set the unofficial record for most unfounded trade rumors in league history.
When will Mikhail Prokhorov make an impact as Nets owner?
When Prokhorov became majority owner of the Nets in May 2010, he guaranteed a playoff appearance this year and a championship in five years. He also promised an “element of surprise from Russia.” I was a little bit afraid at what that last comment could mean, but I was excited for the next couple of years of Nets basketball.
Fast-forward to 2011 and New Jersey is 20 games below .500 and headed for another 50-loss season. But the key factor is that Prokhorov has been unable to sell Anthony on a future playing for the Nets. It’s been known that New Jersey has the best trade proposal for Anthony, and if he had been convinced the Nets are his best option, he’d be there right now.
The only hope now is for the Russian to hold a “meeting” with Anthony, where the All-Star emerges by telling reporters, “Wait a minute, I’ve always loved the Nets! Of course I want to play for them!”
When is the next time the Washington Wizards will win on the road?
Do this year’s NBA Playoffs have the potential to be memorable?
I’m glad you asked! This year’s postseason is on track to be one of the best, especially if you look at the possible second-round matchups. Miami, Boston, Chicago and Orlando in the East and San Antonio, Dallas, Los Angeles and Oklahoma City in the West could set up the playoff picture perfectly.
I’ve read this far and still no mention of Derrick Rose? What’s wrong with you?
Settle down, settle down. A whole 700-word column wouldn’t be enough to do the Chicago point guard justice, much less a short 100-word blurb, but here it goes. Rose is the clear-cut MVP in the first-half of the season, and he made a statement by outplaying Deron Williams and Chris Paul in succession last week, especially down the stretch. Two games is a small sample size, but the scary part is Rose is in his third season and continuing to get better. This season, he’s averaging 24.7 PPG (up from 20.8 last season), 8.1 APG (up from 6.0) and has seen his three-point accuracy jump 10 percentage points. Which makes a possible Rose-Rajon Rondo showdown in the playoffs so tantalizing .
The dunk contest has been awful the last couple of years. Why should I watch?
Go to YouTube and either type in “Blake Griffin 50-foot Alley-Oop Dunk from Randy Foye” or “Blake Griffin Dunks All Over Knicks.” You’ll thank me for this later.
Are we destined for another Los Angeles championship?
Short answer: No. Long answer: The Lakers’ struggles (by their standards) this season have shown how hard it is to win three-straight championships. So much has to go right, and it has to go right for such a long period of time that I feel the three-peat is underappreciated. That’s why I hate when people compare Jordan to Kobe because Jordan pulled the three-peat twice as the main guy on his team, but that debate is for another day.
Even if the Lakers are able to navigate the West and can get by a Spurs team making its final stand, I still don’t feel they’re strong enough to beat this 2010-11 Celtics squad.