The Kobe Bryant – Pau Gasol led Lakers have been in 3 Finals apperances and have captured 2 Championships and have had good seasons in the past three years. But something tells me that this year’s Lakers will be better than previous years. Here are the reasons why:

Lakers’ One-Two Punch Reloaded

In their previous championship runs, both Kobe and Pau have been playing for their national teams during the summer. Kobe for the U.S.A and Pau for Spain. They only get to rest their body and relax for about 3 weeks.

Last season, Gasol’s body was apparently wear down and missed 17 gamse because of Hamstring injuries. Kobe also had numerous injuries including a sore knee, fractured finger and torn ligament on another finger.   

This year, Pau Gasol will not be part of the Spanish National team for the first time in three years to rest his banged up body. Kobe be will also be stepping away for his National team obligations. Kobe also had surgery on his right knee which was bothersome last season.

The Lakers’ two superstars will be well rested and reloaded come training camp.

Veteran Bench 

One of the Lakers’ problems last season was their young and inconsisitent bench players. They would give up big leads and put pressure on the starters to get the lead back. This offseason, the Lakers’ front office did all they could to stop this from happening again.

The Lakers’ Acquired veterans Steve Blake, Matt Barnes and Theo Ratliff. These players, who are starting caliber players, will be playing backup to one of the best starting line-ups in the NBA. If you have Steve Blake and Matt Barnes playing as bench players, you know you have a very deep and talented team.

Chemistry

The Lakers’ core group of Bryant, Gasol, Bynum, Fisher and Odom have been together for three chamionship runs now. This only means that they are well accustomed to each others style of play, resulting to better execution both offensively and defensively.

Motivated Black Mamba

Just winning his 6th NBA championship is enough to motivate the firecest competitors in the league. But Kobe has another motivation, thanks to the Miami Heat. Kobe will have his eyes set on beating the Heats’ Big three of Wade, James and Bosh. Ill tell you one thing, Kobe can’t wait for Christmas day.

There you go, those are the reason why I think the Lakers’ will complete their three-peat.

Of course, we can all agree that the Top Performers of the Fiba world championship are the ones named to the All Star Five which are Kevin Durant, Luis Scola, Linas Kleiza, Hedo Turkoglu and Milos Teodosic. Here are the other players who also had good showing.

Yi Jianlian

Although China didn’t fare so well in the tournament, one bright spot is the performance of Yi Jianlian. With Yao Ming still recovering from a foot injury, Yi was asked to step up and lead the Chinese national team. And he did not disappoint, with monster averages of 20.2 ppg, 10.2 rpg, but it was not enough to lead them past Lithuania.

Goran Dragic

After a breakout season in the NBA, Dragic followed it up with an impressive showing in Turkey. Goran  lead the Slovenia National Team to a decent 8th place finish in the tournament. He lead his team both in points and assista with 12.7 ppg and 4.1 apg.

Carlos Delfino

Delfino’s brilliant play in the FIBA was outshadowed by a greater performance by Luis Scola. Carlos averaged 20.6 ppg 4.7 rpg.  He was shooting lights-out the entire tournament shooting 38.6 from 3s and 52.2 FG%. He surely took advantage of the absence of Manu Ginobili.

Hamed Haddadi

Haddadi was a force inside the entire tournament with his scoring, rebounding and shotblocking. He leads his team in all three categories with 20 ppg, 8.6 rpg and more than 2 blks. Inspite of his great efforts, Iran finished only 19th in the tournament.  

Juan Carlos Navarro

With Pau Gasol and Jose Calderon not playing for the Spanish National Team, there had to be someone who had to carry the scoring load. That responsibilty was gladly accepted by Navarro. This flashy combo-guard averaged 16.9 ppg and 3 apg. Unfortunately, Spain was not able to defend their FIBA crown.

Carlos Delfino – Carlos Delfino was shooting lights-out during the

The FIBA world chamionships 2010 is nearing it end with Turkey and U.S.A facing in the Finals. There has been pleasant surprises but there are also disappoinments. Here are the most disappointing preformances in this years tournament.

Boris Diaw

Diaw was suppose to lead the French National Team this year, but his performance was sub-par the whole tournament. The only good game he had was against Turkey where he had 21 pts 5 rebs 4 assts 2 stls 1 blk. He only averaged 8.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 3.7 apg, far from what we all expected.

Marc Gasol

With his brother, Pau, not playing for the Spanish National Team, everyone expected that the younger brother will somehow replace the void of his older brother inside. Marc, who was inconsistent the entire tournament had pretty good averages of 12.4 ppg, 6 rpg, but people expected more from him especially in the scoring standpoint. His rebounding was also sub-par. A bright spot in his preformance was his blocks where he averaged more than 2 a game.

Rick Rubio

Ricky , I think, was  passive the entire tournament especially in scoring. I know that he is a pass-first point guard, but he has to know when to score and when to pass. And with the kind of team the spanish have this year, without Calderon and Gasol, he was expected to step up his scoring and unfortunately he didn’t.

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Top 5 Centers in the PBA

Posted: September 10, 2010 in Uncategorized

5. Dennis Espino – Although he is past his prime, he still has some gas left to be a bankable center in the PBA. Using his veteran savvy and craftiness, he is able to score in the low-post. Also has a reliable mid-range shot.

4. Jay R Reyes – Is a young versatile player. He once averaged 18.5 pts, 9.9 rebs and 3.3 blks but has struggled mightily in the past seasons. He is more comfortable in the perimiter rather than inside, good thing he has a decent outside touch.

3. Ali Peek – An excellent low-post operator. He takes advantage of his strength and footwork to manuever and outpower his defender inside. Developed a consistent mid-range shot.

2. Sonny Thoss – One of the rising centers of the PBA. He is one time member of the national team which is a testament that he is a top center in the PBA.  Is also a pesky defender in the low-post and a good shot-blocker.

1. Asi Taulava- Arguably the most dominant center that ever played in the history of the PBA. Taulava can dominate the game both offensively and defensively. He uses his freakish frame to outpower and overwhelm opposing centers. Opposong teams have no choice but to double team him. Also a force defensively just because of his huge presence.

Top 5 Power Forwards in the PBA

Posted: September 10, 2010 in PBA

5. Eric Menk – It is clear that “Major Pain” is way past his prime, but he is still one of the most reliable players at the Power Forward position. He still has the mid-range shot and a few post moves left in him.

4. Harvey Carey – One of the most athletic Power Forward in the PBA. Beacause he is undersized he uses this athleticisim along with his upper body strength to outrebound bigger opponents. He also brings energy on the court.

3. Marc Pingris – The main things that Marc Pingris can bring to a team is his energy and rebounding. He is an excellent rebounder and willing to do the dirty work. He has made the All-Defensive Team multiple times proving that he is a great defender. Also has a pretty decent low-post game and mid range shot.

2. Ranidel De Ocampo – A power forward who possesses an excellent shooting touch from the perimiter. Perhaps the best shooting big man in the PBA. Ranidel also has an array of post moves in his arsenal.

1. Kerby Raymundo – Very talented scorer form the low-post. Has excellent footwork and soft touch that makes him hard to stop downlow. He is one of the elite players in the league and many times has been a part of the National Team. Has also developed a reliable outside jumper.

Top Small 5 Forwards of the PBA

Posted: September 9, 2010 in PBA
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5. Joe Devance –  One of the most offensively talented small forwards on the PBA. Devance can score form the outside with his, although unorthodox, accurate outside shooting. He can also score inside and is a threat in the low post where he is usually taller than other small forwards in the PBA.

4. Gabe Norwood – A stat-stuffer. Mr. President gives you points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. Sometimes not assertive enough in the offensive end but makes up for it with his intensity in the defensive end. His quick feet and long arms make him a very good defender and is the designated stopper of the elasto painters.

3.  Arwind Santos – An atletic, tall and skinny small forward. He has a great slashing ability thanks to his speed, exlposiveness and atlethicism. Also is a great defender for he is a one time Defensive Player of the year. Also has a decent shooting touch.

2. Jay Washington – A small forward who is a good 3 pt shooter. Usually goes to the low post and uses his superior strength to other small forwards in order to score. Also goes to the free throw line quite often. He also works hard on the glass and is a pretty good rebounder for his position.

1. Kelly Williams – Is extremely talented and a freak of an athlete.  This former MVP makes use of his atlethicism to score form either the outside or the low post. Is also a terrific rebounder and a decent shot blocker. A very exciting player because of his frequent slam dunks.

5. Dondon Hontiveros – The “Cebuano Hot shot” is arguably the best spot up 3 point  shooter in the PBA, shooting 41% from downtown. He has a very smooth stroke and almost unstoppable when in he gets hot.  He is also a pretty decent defender.

4. Mark Cardona – Although he has an unorthodox shooting stroke, Cardona is still one of the top shooting guards of the PBA. He has a deadly outside shot despite his stroke. Also has a reliable floater or hook shot when he gets into the lane to get his shots over the taller defenders.

3. Cyrus Baguio – One of the very exciting shooting guards of the PBA expescially in the open court. He also has the atlethicism to perform acrobatic circus shots and high flying dunks. Has also developed a reliable jumper to his arsenal.

2. Gary David – Is one of the great scorers of the PBA averaging 21 pts per game. He has a very accurate and consistent shooting and has a knack for scoring the ball in many different ways. Also a very good defensive player for he is a one time defensive player of the year.

1. James Yap – The best shooting guard is James Yap. King  James can dominate a basketball game in the offensive end with his scoring. He has an array of shots that makes him almost unstoppable for other teams to defend. Also has the ability to make shots even with great defensive pressure. He also has the ability to drive the the hole and draw a foul.