Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Opening Night in the NBA

LeBron James the Best Player On the Planet, PERIOD.

Blog by Haz Bey
Finally the off season is over.  It's time for the players in the NBA to stop being polite and start getting real.   The Miami Heat are the defending NBA Champions and seem like they are just getting started.  The Heat will have their ring ceremony tonight and guess who they invited to watch?  Their arch nemesis, the Boston Celtics.  

The Celtics have developed a hatred for Miami for many reasons.  The Heat led by LeBron James & Dwyane Wade has bounced Boston out the playoffs for 2 straight seasons including last season's classic 7-game series in the Eastern Conference Finals.  Plus let's not forget Ray Allen basically handing out his resume after the game 7 loss and eventually signing with the Heat for less money then what the Celtics offered.  Paul Pierce has lost his brother.  Kevin Garnet has lost his brother.  Doc Rivers has lost a son.  What was "the "Big 4" with the emergence of point guard Rajon Rondo, is now reduced to a "Big 3".  The Miami Heat has stole Ray Allen away from them.  The Miami Heat are the defending champions.  The Miami Heat are standing in the Celtics way from competing for a championship.  Oh yeah, there is a lot of hatred there, but I am not even sure if the feeling is mutual from Miami's side.  

LeBron is attending his first of what might be multiple ring ceremonies that he will be receiving the ring that represents NBA supremacy.  Having Boston there is just icing on the cake.  I do not think at this point that he and his teammates are going to be sitting in the locker room before tonight's game and think about how they hate the Celtics so much.  Miami just won the NBA crown, defending it is the only thing on their mind.

Howard & Nash Has Eyes On the Prize
Opening night also brings us the premier of the new-look Los Angeles Lakers against a Dallas Mavericks team that is a far from the team we knew that shocked the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals.  Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard,  Steve Nash & Paul Gasol are as formidable a "Big 4" you will find in any era in NBA history.  With that being said, the Lakers will need them to stay healthy come April, because the bench is thin.  In today's NBA, most teams are so athletic off the bench, so when the Lakers go to their own bench, execution of their new Princeton offense is top priority.  As good as the Lakers' "Big 4" is, they are an aging bunch for the most part and with a long season ahead of them, the Lakers' bench will have to have quality minutes night-in & night-out to prevent the "Big 4" from wearing down during the playoffs.  Offensively Steve Nash is the key.  His job will be getting all those stars involved and not turning the ball over which is key for opposing teams that want to get out and run on the Lakers.  Dwight Howard will be the anchor defensively.  He will force teams to shoot outside the paint that will create more fast break opportunities for the Lakers which the Lakers haven't really seen that often since Kobe wore the the number 8 on his jersey.  

With Dirk Nowitzki out of tonight's game, look for the Dallas Mavericks to play hard, but don't expect them to make tonight's game an instant classic.  Even if Kobe does not play tonight to nurse his ailing foot, the Lakers are still too big and too talented to let a "Dirkless" Mavs team to beat them on national television on opening night at home.  

I am more than excited to get the NBA season underway.  Every season since LeBron James joined Dwyane Wade in South Beach has gotten better and more exciting.  We are in a new "Golden Era" of the NBA, so sit back grab a beer (if you are 21 & older) and enjoy the moment.  NBA basketball is FANTASTIC!