LBJ, “The Special” and Some NBA Odds and Ends

Some quick hits on all these comings and goings in the NBA:

First things first ….. yeah, I think the “decision special” is a bit much but you know what else is a bit much: The faux outrage over the decision special. Yeah, we get it. James is a narcissist and this will surely turn some people off. But folks, GROW UP! If you don’t like it, don’t watch and come 9:45 tomorrow night, this will all be in the rearview mirror.

On the big question, I think it will be Cleveland or New York and if I had to place a bet, I guess I would go contrarian and say New York. Folks, he isn’t going to win in Cleveland with that current crew. Sorry, but that supporting cast just isn’t good enough unless JJ Hickson absolutely blows up. The Knicks, on the other hand, have one big advantage here ….. Eddie Curry. When that contract expires, the Knicks could go out and get a third to go with LBJ and Amare and that is the decider.

* I really have no idea where James will go but I would say this ….. I agree with the small minority who think a move to Miami would KILL his franchise. He already took a big hit for that Boston series and I’m sorry but legendary players don’t join parties, they throw them. So yes, James could pick up a championship down in South Florida but don’t think for a second that it won’t be discounted by historians.

* If James stays in Cleveland, I think the Celts really dodged a bullet. With James and Wade staying home and away from Chicago, the East really doesn’t change all that much and the Celts remain right in the mix. Yeah, Boozer to the Bulls is a nice gain for the Bulls, but remember, the Bulls have given up plenty to get Boozer. Now if James JOINS Boozer in Chicago, all bets are off as the Bulls probably become the team to beat in the East.  And if these numbers are right and Boozer agreed to a 5/80 deal, doesn’t that leave some room for LBJ? Maybe I need to reconsider …… AND HERE COMES CHICAGO UP THE MIDDLE!

*”I’m sure we’ll talk to [the Bulls] later [Wednesday]. ” That is what David Lee’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, had to say about the Bulls on Wed morning. Well Mark, did they get back to you?  

* So the Heat have pulled off a big “get,” but I still wonder if Chris Bosh is really all that good? Yeah, I have sliced and diced all the numbers on Hoop Data and it all looks good. But I have also seen plenty of Raptor blowouts and I can’t help but think this guy is a numbers hanger on a bad team.

* Count me in the camp that thinks Miami, without Lebron and with just $12M to round out their team (assuming no S&T with Beasley), will struggle to win more than 50-52 games. Bosh will help Wade but this team still needs some shooters, a guy to protect the rim and some offense off the bench. You don’t just find that stuff in the bin full of minimum salary guys. As such, it is going to take some time for this team to find itself and when it does, Wade and Bosh might be ten-year vets with considerable wear on their tires.

Where do the Nets and Clippers go from here? Plenty of dough and nothing to spend it on. And the Knicks (if LBJ stays)? Well Amare is a bump but if I were them, I might hold some powder back and choose to use it next year. Maybe pick up a point guard here (Ridnour, Felton) but go all-in next Summer for Melo. Still no idea what the Knicks are going to do to defend the rim because Amare could play with a broom and still not scare anyone.

I realize everyone has been waiting on LBJ, but it doesn’t seem to me like many teams are using much imagination this offseason. Guys, there is plenty of money out there to be spent but that doesn’t mean it has to go to free agents. As such, I would have thought we would have seen more on the trade front and perhaps we will now that the LBJ saga is winding down and teams will have a better sense of the landscape. The next couple of weeks should be interesting.


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