Greg Oden Plans to Make Decision Today

Former No. 1 overall pick Greg Oden plans to choose his new team today, according to sources. Oden, who hasn’t played an NBA game since Dec. 5 2009, worked out for 6 NBA teams over the passed few weeks. Each team sent a representative to watch his workout, all of which said that Oden looks as if he has slimmed down and is moving around much better than he was last season. Oden says he has not ruled out any of the 6 teams interested, but sources close to the situation say he will most likely choose from the trio of Miami, Dallas, and San Antonio.

For someone who has only played 82 games in his career, Oden is getting a lot of interest, especially from the defending champions. Miami Heat Owner, Pat Riley, has been recruiting the center since before the end of the 2012-2013 season. In my opinion, it is not a surprise that the Miami Heat are so urgent to sign him. We all know that rebounding is a major problem for Miami. Oden, who averaged 8.5 rebounds in 2009, can solve this problem. With him, the Heat will finally have the big body they need down low.

As I see it, the Heat are definitely the front runner to sign Greg Oden. They can offer a decent amount of cash, more playing time, and most importantly, championships. Oh yeah, they can also offer him the opportunity to play with the best player in the world. I am almost 100% that Oden will sign with Miami later today.

 

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Who will Win the NBA Atlantic Division

Brooklyn? New York? Boston? Does anyone really know who will win the Atlantic Division this season? As of right now, I would say that the only thing separating these teams in the standings at the end of the season would be a couple of games. This division became alot more interesting when the Nets decided to resign Deron Williams, and trade for all-star Joe Johnson. They are also still making a push to get Dwight Howard in a trade with the Magic. The Knicks have reportedly traded for Marcus Camby, who is old, but can definitely still play. They also have signed Jason Kidd who can run the pick and roll with Stoudemire, and they have one of the best one on one players in Carmelo Anthony. The Celtics may have lost Ray Allen but have way more depth then they did last season. They drafted big men Fab Melo and Jared Sullinger, and have signed veteran shooting guard Jason Terry. They also have their best on ball defender, Avery Bradley, coming back from a shoulder injury.

When you look at all these teams, they are all pretty stacked, but all have some flaws. The Nets may not have chemistry just like the Heat early in the 2011 season. The Knicks seem like they can’t play any type of defense, and the Celtics are old. The winner of this division will just be who can handle their flaws the best, and I think that will be the Celtics. Even though their old they have veteran players who know who how to step up in big situations, they also have arguably the best point guard in the league in Rajon Rondo. They have young legs coming off the bench to help out the old guys. Oh yeah, they have also won the division for 5 straight years, so they are getting used to it.. The Celtics are my pick to pull through and win the Atlantic, but this may change, its still way to early to really know. There could be injuries,trades, etc, which would leave the door wide open for the Knicks and the Nets.

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Where will Dwight Howard Land?

The Dwight Howard trade saga all started last season and is still going on today. Everyone knows that he wants to go to Brooklyn, but is that really where he will end up?  As of today, there are two teams who are the front runners to get Howard, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Brooklyn Nets. Both teams have put very big offers on the table. The Lakers are willing to trade all-star center Andrew Bynum, and the Nets are willing to trade Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries, Marshon Brooks, and 3 first round draft picks. When you look at the offers, you would think that Brooklyn has the edge right? Wrong…The Magic are way more interested in another big man that they can build their team around, then a few role players and some unknown talent. The Nets would have to find a 3rd team to bring into the trade so the Magic could free up some cap room by getting rid of bad contracts. So as of right now, I believe the Lakers are the clear front runner in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes. They are simply putting more interesting offer on the table. The only reason the Magic haven’t jumped on this deal already is because they know about Bynum’s expiring contract, and they do not want to deal with that at the end of next season. With all this said, the Nets are not out of it yet, they just need to sweeten the pot..

Washington Wizards v/s Orlando Magic February 4, 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Ray Allen to the Heat, Does this Mean Repeat?

Yesterday, free agent guard, Ray Allen, decided to take his 3 point shooting talents to South Beach. He turned down the Celtics offer which consisted of more money, but less playing time. Many people believe that he came to Miami to capture a 2nd title under his belt before he retires. People are also saying that signing Allen makes the Heat the unanimous decision to repeat and win the NBA Title again in the 2012-2013 season, but is that all true? By the look of it, I would say it is true. This one signing changes the Heat from a great team to an almost unbeatable team. When you think about Miami’s weaknesses, what comes to mind? In my opinion it is their role players. Let’s face it, they have mediocre talent coming off the bench, Mike Miller had an awful season and postseason, Shane Battier, besides a resurgence in the NBA Finals, had one of the worst seasons of his career, and that list goes on and on. But now that they have Allen, their bench gets 100x better. Ray Allen is coming off the best seasons of his career statistically, and he can sure shoot the lights out. If he can score 10-15 points a game coming of the bench the Heat bench will be one of the strengths not weaknesses. When you combine a fantastic bench and the best starting line up in the league, what do you get? The best team in the NBA.

Now, there are a few reasons why I think even the signing of Ray Allen isn’t going to help Miami repeat. #1 The Celtics are reloading their team, and have a win now mentality. They have 2 solid draft picks in Fab Melo and Jared Sullinger. They also resigned Kevin Garnett and signed free agent Jason Terry. If they Heat aren’t careful, they could be upset by the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. #2 The Lakers are a championship Contender again. With the signing of Steve Nash the Lakers are a whole new team. Kobe no longer has to carry the offense on his shoulders, and, oh yeah, they also have 2 seven footers!  This could mean big trouble for any team who plays them. #3 The young OKC Thunder team is going to be hungry to beat the Heat this year. They want a title now, and want revenge on Lebron and the rest of the Miami team.

So, when it’s all said and done, I do believe the Heat have a legitimate chance of repeating in the 2012-2013  With the signing of Ray Allen they now have an elite bench to go along with the starters Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. They are also getting healthier and healthier each day of the offseason. But even with all this, it doesn’t lock up next years title. There will be teams just as hungry as the Heat to get the trophy. I guess we will all just have to wait and see who’s hoisting it above their head at the end of the season

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