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martes, 26 de febrero de 2008

NBA: A REVISION (This article is available in English and Español)

After diverse football´s articles, now it is time to talk about other sports, like basketball, since there are many news in the main important competitions of the world, the Nba and the Euroleague. This article is dedicated to review the situation in the Nba, cause there are many news produced during this year 2008.

Pau Gasol is the main name during this 2008 in the NBA, cause he has finally left the Memphis Grizzlies in order to play in a team with aspirations, the legendary Los Angeles Lakers. We think that this transaction is very good for Pau Gasol, because we believe that his Grizzlies´s period was concluded, since the player did not seem happy in that uncompetitive team, since Pau Gasol had only one good player playing with him, the excellent shooter Mike Millar, since for example, Rudy Gay is a good player for the future, but at this moment he is too young and he should learn many thing in order to be a “basketball´s star”. Moreover, many Grizzlies´s supporters shouted against Pau Gasol last season, when there were transaction´s rumours, so it was not the best situation in order to play well and in fact Pau Gasol´s game was stagnant with the same plays and being the only option to score. Now we will see the Grizzlies´s future, which at the moment is not too promising, because the owner wants to sell the team and it is decreasing the numbers of fans, who go to the FedEx Forum to see a Grizzlies ´s game, so it is possible that the franchise will go to another city- this fact also can happen with the Seattle Supersonics-.

Well, as we have said, Pau Gasol left a team without any aspirations to play in a great team with many chance to win the NBA´s title, because Los Angeles Lakers has an excellent team in all the positions and it has, with Pau Gasol´s arrival, its particular "Big three", composed by the super-star Kobe Bryant (27.8 points per game), Lamar Odon (10 rebounds per game) and Pau Gasol. Moreover the Lakers has, at the moment, good players, as the guards: the experienced Derek Fisher-11 years as professional player and he has an excellent shot-or the Slovenian Sasha Vujanic –he also has an excellent shot- or the young Jordan Farman; as forwards, players like Luke Walton -son of the legendary Bill Walton-, or the Serbian Vladimir Radmanovic- he also has a good shot-; and as centers, the French player Ronny Turiaf, who always has a smile and he always carries out his functions. But besides Phil Jackson-our "Lord of the Rings" (9 times champion of the Nba) – will have a stronger team when he can use some players, who are in the injury´s list like the forward Trevor Ariza or the centers, Chris Mihn and the magnificent Andrew Bynum, who is a powerful player (13 rebounds per game) and everybody wants his comeback in order to see together Pau Gasol and Bynum, since they can be the best couple of the league.

Gasol´s transaction has produced some consequences, since on the one hand, Lakers is now a stronger team and it is in the First position in the Pacific´s Division (Lakers has a record of 9-1 with Gasol),and on the other hand, the rest teams of the Western conference have taken the decision to strengthen the team in order to have a competitive squad. So, we have seen significant movements during these days as the powerful and determinant center Shaquille O'Neal-15 times All-Star-, who has arrived to Phoenix Suns from Miami Heat( Suns changed a good player like Shawn Marion for O´Neal, we will see if Shawn Marion will remain in Miami next season),or the imaginative guard Jason Kidd, who has left the New Jersey Nets to play in Dallas Mavericks with the sensational Dirk Nowitzki, or the San Antonio Spurs´s transactions, since it signed good players like Damon Stoudamire, who is an experienced guard, or the competitive center Kurt Thomas, who arrived from Seattle Supersonics.

In all these transactions, we think that the best movement is Pau Gasol`s arrival, cause now Kobe Bryant will play, knowing that there is another player, who can assume the responsibility in the difficult moments of a game.Moreover, Kobe can be calm about who will be the Lakers´s leader, since Pau Gasol will not discuss this role and it will not be any problem about it and therefore the squad will be united, which is essential in order to be a serious candidate to be NBA´S champion.
The other significant transactions, O'Neal and Kidd, show some doubts, as both are very old players and we will be see if Saquille can play in the frantic Sun´s play and if Jason Kidd carries out Mark Cuban´s expectation, since he played very irregular this season with New Jersey Nets.
Anyway, the true is that after all these movements we will see a spectacular western conference´s final, since there are many team(Lakers, Spurs, Mavericks, Suns, New Orlean Hornets of the superb guard,Chris Paul, Utah Jazz of Jerry Sloan and Carlos Boozer, Denver Nuggets of Carmelo Anthony (26.2 points per game) and Allen Iverson (26.6 points per game), or Houston Rockets of Yao Ming and T-Mc Grady)with options to be the Western Conference´s Champion and play the NBA´s final against Boston Celtics ( this team was the favourite, after it formed this summer its "Big Three" (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen ) or Detroit Pistons- a very competitive team with players as Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace or Taysahaun Prince- or the strengthened Cleveland Cavaliers (Now Lebron James can shot with more calmness, since he has in the squad a player like Ben Wallace, who is one of the best defensive players of the league, and besides “King James” will be helped by “shooters” as Wally Szczerbiak, who just arrived to Dany Ferry´s franchise, after a multi-transaction of 11 players)or our last candidate, the Orlando Magic of the powerful center Dwight Howard and the good forward Turkish Hedo Turkoglu.
Finally, we want to speak about Gilbert Arenas´s commentators about the Spanish guard Jose Manuel Calderon, because Arenas criticized the Toronto Raptors ´s guard, saying that the possible inclusion of Calderon in the All-Star Game is a joke. The truth is that we were surprised about these commentators about the level of a player, who is playing very well this season and he is showing that he has a place in the Nba as an important player, since this season he has assumed the responsibility and leadership of the Toronto Raptors´game , after TJ Ford´s injury, being a fundamental player for Toronto along with the phenomenal Chris Bosh. The numbers do not deceive: more than 20 double-double until this moment during this season (10 or more points and 10 or more assists in a game), Rank 5th in the NBA in assists per game,rank 9th in the NBA in the Fiel-goal´s percentage,Rank 8th in the NBA in 3-points Fiel-goals´s percentage, Rank 1 in the Nba in free throw´s percentage,Rank 5th in the NBA in Assist, Rank 4th in the NBA in assists per 48 minutes, Rank 1 in the NBA in Assists per turnovers, Rank 20 in the NBA in Efficiency Ranking per 48 minutes(if we speak about your efficiency, Gilbert, it seems that your team, Washington Wizards, does not need you too much, since it is in the 6 position of the Eastern Conference, so it is in Play-off´s zone )What do you think about these numbers? Can Calderon be an all-star? Well, I suppose that for you, it is necessary to shot 37 times during a game in order to be an All-star.But, Gilbert, do you know what is basketball? It is a Collective sport.And the All-stars game? It is game in order to reward the players, who are playing well, helping their team to be a competitive team during the season and therefore a player who is playing well, must be in the All-Stars game and it does not matter if he shows more or less spectacle, since if we only want spectacle, we already have the Harlem Globetrotters, What do you think? If we follow your theory, why did you not criticize the presence of a defensive player like Ben Wallace when he played these games? In short…No comment…I think that you should be to see more respectful with your rivals and please, do not undervalue a world champion, as Jose Manuel Calderon (it is funny that you do this thing,cause you wear number 0 because of the number of minutes his detractors said he would get at the University of Arizona).
Cheers,
J&F

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