Tag Archives: Marc Gasol

Western Conference Power Rankings

 

How Many Golden State Warriors Deserve a Spot on the West NBA All-Star Team?

Tony Gutierrez- Associated Press

   We enter the final stretch of the NBA regular season as teams begin to jock for playoff positioning. With the trade deadline behind us, teams have bolster their rosters for a championship run while others decided to stand pact and put their trust into what has gotten them thus far. Here’s a look at the top five teams of power rankings beginning with the Western Conference.

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1. Golden State Warriors

     As the Western Conference has become the king of the hill, the Golden State Warriors are at the top looking down at those coming got their position. The depth of Golden State’s bench will continue to play a role with the foot issues of Stephen Curry going forward into the postseason.

 

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2.  Oklahoma City Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder are a force to be reckoned with behind the leadership and play of All-Star MVP Russell Westbrook while Kevin Durant continues to battle foot injuries. In his last 10 games, he has averaged a staggering 29.5 points, 8 rebounds, 10.1 assists and 1.5 steals per game, putting him in the MVP conversation amongst the elite. OKC has also improve the team by acquiring players Enes Kanter and DJ Augustin that has made them a contender to represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals.

 

Spruce Derden

3. Memphis Grizzlies

Memphis Grizzlies have picked up where they left off before the All-Star break going 6-2 in the month of February thus far. Defeating Portland Trailblazers and Los Angeles Clippers on back to back nights on the road should put the Western Conference on notice that they are forming into midseason form. The addition of Jeff Green adds to the bigs of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph and point guard Mike Conley, who may be the most underrated player in the league, makes the Grizzlies a tough out come playoffs.

 

The Case for DeAndre Jordan as the NBA's Most Underappreciated Player

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4. Los Angeles Clippers

Despite the elbow injury to Blake Griffin, the Los Angeles Clippers have not lost a step going 4-2 without him behind the point guard play of Chris Paul and the unsung hero of DeAndre Jordan. Since Griffin being sidelined, Jordan has continued to be a defensive presence and a focal point on offense averaging 16.6 points, 17.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game. However, the Clippers have a void to fill  that will make them a championship caliber team.

 

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5. Houston Rockets

Houston Rockets continue to be amongst the elite teams in the West without the assistance of Dwight Howard, giving MVP candidate James Harden more responsibility to consume for them to succeed. While Harden is more than capable of leaving a team into the postseason, the one man band will not go far into the playoffs without the veteran leadership & role players contributing at a high level.

FIBA Four Breakout Players

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While we await the anticipated return of the NBA season, we are just a few weeks away from the start of the 2014 FIBA World Basketball Championships. This summer’s basketball festivities will give fans not only the opportunity to see the many talents from around the world, but also the growth of the global game of the sport. As all eyes will be on USA Basketball, we focus the spotlight on who to watch in each group’s pool play.

 

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Group A- Marc Gasol (Spain)

      Spain continues to find success throughout international play through players such as Pau Gasol, Juan-Carlos Navarro and Jose Calderon. Marc Gasol has slowly became the leader of Spain basketball. As a veteran of FIBA competition, he has became a global household name being a leader on defense and a focal point of the offense. Gasol must lead by example and set the tone early in the tournament in order for Spain to win it all.

The Immense, Incalculable Potential of Giannis Antetokounmpo

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Group B- Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece)

The horizon of Greece basketball has caught the eye of people and made them a favorite to win in group play. The player to look out for will be the second year player of the Milwaukee Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Greek freak has captured the attention of fans with his size and athleticism while showing his talents in spurts during his rookie season. The FIBA platform is an ideal stage for Antetokounmpo to shine and display his game.

 

Derrick Rose Returns to the Court a Changed Player for USA Basketball

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Group C- Derrick Rose (USA)

With the departures of Paul George and Kevin Durant, the stage has been set for Derrick Rose’s return to basketball to lead USA Basketball to repeat as FIBA World Basketball Champions. So far throughout the two scrimmages we have seen, Rose has played with confidence and performed at an exceptional level. The basketball world will be anticipating the comeback as he has only played 11 games in the previous two seasons due to injuries. Whether he is still elite will not be a concern, but rather the health will be a problem for Rose in this tournament.

 

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Group D – Dante Exum (Australia)

The new kid on the block that may have a breakout performance in pool play is Dante Exum. Without team leading scorer Patty Mills, more responsibility will be asked from the 4th overall pick in order for Australia to compete for a shot at the championship. Not knowing what Exum can bring to the table makes this the best opportunity to show what he is able to bring to the Utah Jazz in the upcoming season.