All-Star Weekend Came and Went… Now What?

All-Star Weekend has come and gone, and on Tuesday, the second half of the NBA season began.  Twitter played a big role in the outcome of MVP votes.

On Friday night, we were reminded that the Secretary of Education Arne Duncan can play some basketball. He was awarded the MVP of the Celebrity All-Star game.  Andre Drummand, of the Pistons, set the record for most rebounds in the Rising Stars Game. He pulled in the MVP for that game with 30 points and 25 rebounds.  Fans used Social Media specifically Twitter, to vote for the MVP.

Saturday night, the Wizards’ Bradley Beal finished second place in the Three-Point Contest. His teammate, John Wall, won the Slam Dunk Contest… Like I predicted (see previous blog).  He was voted by the fans via Twitter. He was the last player to dunk, but the “speed and agility” of the voters “won the moment” for Wall, according to The New Rules of Marketing & PR book by David Meerman Scott.

The All-Star Game on Sunday ended as the highest scoring all-star game in history.  Kyrie Irving, of the Cleveland Cavaliers, brought in the MVP.  But does this mean the Cavaliers are on the road to improvement? Since firing their GM, Chris Grant, on February 6th, the Cavs are 5-0. The Cavs are trying to get their record above .500 so they have a better chance of making the playoffs.

The Lakers, well, lets just say being 17 games under .500, and their stars always hurt, it might be hard to make a push. The only thing the Lakers can look forward to is their 1st round draft pick that they cannot trade.

Speaking of trades, the trade deadline is on Thursday and there are a number of rumors out there. Will Rajon Rondo get traded? Will the Knicks get a point guard? Will the bottom feeders, Bucks and 76ers, make any moves to try and salvage their season?

The All-Star Weekend was fun, but now that the season has resumed, teams are going to make a push for the playoffs.  Because at the end of the day, the farther teams go, the more money players get paid. And at the end of the day, it’s all about money.

-RV

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KD 4 MVP

Did you know? Kevin Durant graduated high school from Montrose Christian. That’s right outside of Washington D.C. He grew up in the area and had an incredible growth spurt going into his senior year of high school.  I almost had a chance to actually play with him a couple years ago. I was playing for my junior college, CSM, and we had open gyms every week. Anyone could come and play and practice their game. The one night I decided not to go, Kevin Durant showed up. I was so jealous! Ever since then, KD has been one of my favorite top-elite players. I’m a LeBron James hater, but he’s grown on me… A little.

Kevin Durant has proven to the league you don’t need big huge Kris Humphries muscles. The nickname I’ve heard him be called recently is The Slim Reaper. This is such a great name because he is a 4th quarter killer. He murders the defense. No one can stop him. The 6’11” power forward is so adaptable, he can play almost any position. This has given him an unheard of advantage against any player. His length, speed, and quickness allow him to shoot from distance. If you put a shorter, quicker player on him, he’s will post you up and shoot over them. If you put a taller, bigger player on him, he’ll pull up or drive right past them. This advantage has given KD the front runner spot for the MVP race this season. In the month of January alone, his stats are unheard of. He averaged 35.9 points and shot 54.9% from the field in 16 games. If you ask me, that’s pretty good! Not only are his statistics MVP worthy, his team has the best record in the NBA at 43-12. The Oklahoma City Thunder are a team to be reckon with come the second half of the season. His “thunder buddy for life” Russell Westbrook has been injured and will be coming back soon. The NBA playoffs should be very interesting this year.

-RV

Wall-Star

The Washington Wizards are above .500 for the first time since 2009. They’ve had 8 other chances throughout this short season alone to climb the hurdle that’s haunted the Wizards for the past 51 months.  Can anyone guess who the starting line up was for that win against the Nets? Well, Gilbert Arenas is a definite, Brendan Haywood(not in the league today), Fabricio Oberto (who?), Randy Foye(well he did hit a game winner last night), and Mike Miller(old, yet still playing).   But today, the Wizards have a very talented starting lineup that includes the explosive John Wall, the sharp shooter Bradley Beal, the veteran Trevor Ariza, the big Brazilian Nene, and the bald one Marcin Gortat.  The win comes at a surprise to me because the Trail Blazers are one of the top teams in the east.  Wall had 22 points and 5 assists to lead the team.  Fresh off making the All-Star team, Wall has proven to the fans and coaches, that he is the player he once was.  Wall graduated from the University of Kentucky and was taken first overall by the Wizards in the 2010 draft.  A recent snub from the National team could be the reason for why he’s been playing so well. If you ask me, he deserves the chance to play for the USA in The Olympics.  His level of play this year has been overall better.  The past year or so, he’s been plagued with injuries and lack of support.  Now that his back court mate Bradley Beal is healthy and playing night after night with him, they have grown on and off the court to become one of the top back courts in the league.  I say this because what other team has two young high-flying guards that can do what Beal and Wall can do? The Wizards are on the up and up right now, and I see no signs of them slowing down.  Unless the injury bug flies from Southern California to the nation’s capital by the end of the season.

-RV

Nash is back!

The injury bug is constantly nagging the Los Angeles Lakers this season.  My favorite player, Kobe Bryant, has missed a total 41 games due to a torn Achilles and fractured knee.  Steve Nash, Steve Blake, and Jordan Farmar are all set to return to the lineup tonight against Minnesota.  Each guard has started at least one game for the Lakers this season due to the numerous injuries that have happened throughout the team.  This is a huge lift to the 16-31 Lakers because they will be without their all star center Pau Gasol due to a right groin strain.  Nash signed with the Lakers at the beginning of last season with hopes of getting another ring alongside Bryant and Dwight Howard (who is no longer with the team).  Nash broke his leg early in the 2012-2013 season and hasn’t been 100% healthy since.  Blake took the place of Nash in most of the games he was out and prospered.  Long story short, the Lakers had to sign Kendall Marshall, who last played for the Suns, to lead the team at the point guard position. But is Nash, Blake, and Farmar the answer to the Lakers’ prayers?  With a record that has placed them in the bottom of the western conference, the Lakers need to do something if they want to at least make the playoffs.  Gasol might be packing his bags soon. Kobe is getting old. And is Mike D’antoni really the right fit at coach for this team? At the end of the day, it’s Kobe’s team and he should have the final say in any big executive moves. Should the Lakers just tank their games in order to get Duke’s Jabari Parker or Kansas’s Andrew Wiggins? No! Actually hell no! The roster they have right now includes Jodie Meeks(stellar 3-point shooter), Xavier Henry (who’s also been hurt), Chris Kaman, Wesley Johnson, Nick Young, Jordan Hill, and the bench hype-man Robert Sacre.  This young talent has been getting a lot of court time due to the big namers being hurt.  Well tonight’s game should be interesting, along with the rest of the season.

-RV