BREAKING: Lamar Odom Reported Missing For The Last 72 Hours


   According to TMZ, a report has been released saying that NBA free agent Lamar Odom has been reported missing for the last 72 hours. During these three days nobody has been able to get in contact with him and people are starting to get very worried. What are they worried about? They are worried he is hiding from everyone to continue with his cocaine drug addiction. 

   We earlier that the reason Odom went into rehab before the previous NBA season was because of his drug addiction to cocaine. Everything was clean for Odom when the year started and was still clean throughout the entire season. However once the season ended, apparently his addiction started up again. It even got the point where Lamar was kicked out of his home by his wife, Khloe Kardashian, for rejected an intervention that was setup for him. Only four days after that has happened and now we find that Odom is completely missing. Hiding away to do drugs is definitely a concern and is very dangerous

   Odom is one of the top free agents going into this year's season. However with this occurring, if everything turns out okay for him then his next problem will be playing in the NBA. Teams are willing to give players chances to redeem themselves from things like this, but Odom will have to work for it and I do not know if that is going to happen right away. Priority wise, Odom has a lot of things to fix right now. He has a drug addiction which needs to go away immediately, he is having marriage issues because of it, and finally he is an unemployed basketball player who needs to find a job. 

   The bottom line though is that I hope they find Odom and everything turns out fine. His safety and health are the top concerns right now and hopefully they can find him before anything bad happens. 

Top 5 NBA Free Agents Still Available for 2013-14


   This summer there have been a lot of moves big and small throughout the NBA. Whether a team has signed their next franchise centerpiece or just filled their final roster spots, it looks like they are starting to finish up with free agent signing for the summer and focus on the roster they have for the upcoming season. However, their are still quite a few players that surprisingly still do not have a home in the NBA this season. Here are the top 5 NBA free agents that are running out of time to find a team before the 2013 NBA season begins. 

5. Tyrus Thomas: In what would be his 8th season in the league, Thomas finds himself still looking for a place to land after Charlotte which is surprising. There usually are always teams that look for explosive young power forwards to fill a spot on their roster. In 27 games last season, Thomas put up 4.8 points and 2.3 rebounds per game. It is not terrible for only playing about 14 minutes a game, but it is not anything amazing either. If Thomas is signed, it will be to simply come off the bench to play solid minutes while the starters take a rest. He is not 6th man material anymore, but he has enough talent and experience to come in the game and keep things from getting out of hand when the starters are on the bench. With his age and skill set, Thomas will find a home this season. It just may not be before the season begins. 

4. Leandro Barbosa: After tearing his ACL and being unable to play because of it, we find Barbosa without a team. Leandro has always been a very good off the bench guard that could provide production every time he played. The biggest reason that I think he is a free agent though, is because he is getting older. Barbosa is 30 years old and would be entering his 11th season in the league. In most cases being 30 is not really that big of a deal. However when you add in his injury last season and the fact that his game relies on his quickness, it becomes a bigger situation. Barbosa has always been known for his quickness and ability to be crafty because of it. With his quickness in question, teams may be hesitant to sign him. I think Barbosa will find a team this season though and it will be either in the next couple weeks or when a team needs a good backup as they plan to move into the postseason. 

3. Lamar Odom: Odom will be 34 this season and is entering his 15th year in the NBA. Throughout the past few years Odom has played the role of a solid bench rotation player pretty well. Last season as a part of the Los Angeles Clippers, he averaged 4 points per game and about 6 rebounds as well. He not the offensive threat that he once was, but his ability to rebound and handle the ball is always something that can impact a team in a positive manner. There is no doubt in my mind that Odom will get signed before the year starts, but I am still kind of shocked that he is still available. The rumor is that he will sign with either L.A. teams and that is something I can really believe. Most of his career has been spent as a member of the Lakers or the Clippers so returning to either would not surprise me. The Clippers are clearly moving on to contention and do not seem to have a reason to sign him so I expect Odom to once again become a Laker before the 2013 season begins. 

2. Antawn Jamison: Jamison is 37 and should be aiming to close out his career soon. In 76 games last season for the Lakers, Jamison was able to put up a decent 9.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. Those are definitely solid bench numbers for Jamison, but the biggest factor in his signing is going to be his age. When a player reaches this age it is hard to rely on him because things like an injury occurring are more likely for him than a younger guy. Now there is no way Jamison is done with basketball. He was still able to play 76 games last year and showed that there is still plenty of gas in the tank for a few more seasons. Jamison may not get signed this offseason, but he will be in an NBA uniform and will be playing as a rotation player for a team who really needs in during the 2013 season.

1. Richard Hamilton: If there was one thing that really confused me during last year's playoffs, it was the fact that I did not see Hamilton play once in the Miami series. He may have be bearing a minor injury, but his spot up shooting ability is something that could have made things a lot easier for the Bulls. They would not have won in the end still, but that fact that Rip never made an appearance was shocking to me. Almost as shocking to me as the fact that he is still unsigned. After being waived from the Bulls, Hamilton still finds himself without a home. Now he is 35, but with the shape that Hamilton keeps himself in that should not be an issue. His off-ball movement and spot up ability is something that he will always have as a big part of his game. He can provide solid minutes off the bench for a team and provide good offensive production during those. This season I do expect to see Rip get signed and I expect to see him on a young team where he can provide veteran minutes off the bench while also providing experience that will help the young players grow throughout the 2013 NBA season.  

Does Detroit Have Another "Bad Boys" Team on Their Hands?


   This past Thursday, the Detroit Lions put a beat down on the New England Patriots by a score of 40-9. Everything was working for the Lions and everything was falling through for the Pats. New England turned over the ball four times and Detroit's defense had a lot to do with it. Now yes the Patriots were 80% responsible for their fumbles/interception, but Detroit capitalized on every mistake and showed that if they are focused they can be a very strong group. Another thing I noticed however, is the fact that some of our defensive players have a hard time keeping their emotions under control after plays end. Last Thursday the Lions defense racked up multiple personal fouls and none of them had any true reasoning behind them. Now yes having an aggressive and passionate defense is something this team needs in order to succeed, but being stupid does not have to come packaged with aggressive play. However, maybe this is not such a terrible thing for Detroit.

   From the late 80's to the early 90's the Detroit Pistons possessed the nickname "The Bad Boys". This team won back-to-back Championships during this time and a big reason for their success was their aggressive play. Back then, the NBA was not anywhere near as soft as it today. The Pistons played the bully role in the NBA and completely embraced it. Whether it was the constant trash talking or blatant hard fouls, the Bad Boys always left their opponents defeated both physically and mentally. There was no worrying about fouls or getting fined. Their mentality was that they were going to leave every game being the tougher and more physical team whether they won or lost. This mentality brought championships to Detroit and proved that the good guys do not always win in the end. This type of mentality is something I am starting to see in the Lions as we approach the 2013 season. 

   Now before this year we knew that Ndamukong Suh is a person that really does not care when it comes to aggression. He is looked at as one of the dirtiest players in the entire league. This is something people have frowned upon, but those people also need to remember that he is also a dominant force on the field. Aside from Suh's physical size and speed, it is his attacking mentality that separates him from the rest and now we are starting to see that from others on the Detroit defense side. Willie Young and Nick Fairley among others are beginning to play with that fierce mentality. The personal fouls that arrive as a result from this type of play are stupid mistakes by players, but maybe this type of play is exactly what the Lions need. The personal fouls still need to be lowered a bit, but I would not be totally against seeing a defensive really attack an opponent while picking up a few personals on the way. 

   Playing like this definitely bring a lot of possible consequences along with it. The Lions cannot afford to lose key defensive players because of stupid decisions. However if Coach Schwartz can get these guys to play just below a level that will cause them disciplinary issues, I say do it. Sometimes if you want to win you have to play a little dirty and I have no problem with them doing so. Football is a physical game and because it is you can get away with being over the line at times. Whether it was preseason or not New England was only able to put up 9 points in Detroit which is something worth noting. Now I am not saying that the Lions' defense should just play without any amount of self-control. What I am saying is that if this is the kind of defensive production we will see this season if Detroit decides to play with a big chip on their shoulder, there should be no questions about doing it. 

The Good and The Bad: Detroit Lions Preseason Week #3


 As we enter the 3rd week of the preseason, the Detroit Lions faced off against the New England Patriots at Ford Field. Fans were excited to both see their Detroit team show improvement and to see Tom Brady back in Michigan. When the game ended, the Lions proved to be the better of the two winning by a score of 40-9. Detroit made up for their disappointing loss in the previous week to Cleveland and capitalized on the multiple mistakes that New England made throughout the game. The Detroit Lions improve to 2-1 in the preseason and here are the good and bad parts that stuck out the most to me in tonight's game.

The Good:

Creating Turnovers: Well it took three weeks, but we finally got to see Detroit's defense look legitimate and like what we have expected it to be when the regular season starts. In total, the Lions capitalized on three fumbles and added on an interception courtesy of Chris Houston. Now for the most part, New England was responsible for turning over the ball. They looked sloppy and out of sync tonight which is shocking for them because they are usually so sharp. However, the Lions' defense was able to put tons of pressure on New England's QBs and more importantly took advantage of these opportunities to take the ball which is something they have struggled at. Detroit has always had issues when it comes to capitalizing on mistakes by their opponents but tonight they showed improvement in that area which is a great sign.

Joique Bell: It is always nice to see a backup player put up big numbers in the preseason. Bell had a big night tonight rushing for 52 yards on 5 attempts and receiving for 49 yards on 2 receptions. He was first on the team in rushing and second in receiving behind Reggie Bush who had 103. Bell possess an explosive running talent that will be very valuable for the Lions during the year. He probably will not get the amount of snaps he got today during the year with Bush around, but he is proving to be worthy of the backup role and has shown that he has the ability to take advantage of every chance he gets.

The Bad:

Defensive Penalties: Now although I love the fact that Detroit's defense looked good tonight, they also hold a high level of responsibility for the 11 total penalties for 102 yards. Nick Fairley among others showed that they still do not have the discipline to avoid stupid penalties. There are no excuses for getting personal fouls. As a professional, you should know better and if this bad habit extends into the regular season Detroit will be in some trouble. I am all for a passionate and angry defense, but if it cannot be kept under control when it comes to emotions it is going to be tough to watch. The defense needs to learn how to keep their intensity without making silly mistakes and costing Detroit yards that could make or break a game.

Matthew Stafford: So far this year, I am not impressed at all when it comes to Stafford's performance. Tonight Stafford threw for 166 yards and completed 12/25 attempts. He did throw for a touchdown, but his 83.1 QB rating is not something to be proud off. Stafford has struggled so far this year and although he has been without Calvin Johnson for two games now, he should not be this shaky. Having Megatron back will improve Matt's performance without question, but he needs not to rely on Johnson so much if this team wants to get anywhere. Stafford still has one more week to convince me otherwise, but if things do not change this season will be very rough for Detroit's starting QB.

Overall:

In the end it hard to be disappointed at all when your team wins and puts up 40 points on the board. The Lions overall showed a huge turnaround from last week and have left me feeling a lot better about them overall. Even though Stafford was not as sharp as he should have been, the offense in terms of the receivers and backs looked pretty solid. It was nice to see that Detroit still has the ability to put points up on the board without Megatron in the game. On the defensive side, I loved everything but the silly penalties. If they can lower the amount of those during the year and keep that level of attack then the Lions defense could be feared by many. Preseason may not mean much when it comes to wins and losses, but if Detroit can close out with a win next week and another good performance like this I will be feeling pretty good about the upcoming 2013 season.

Will New Presidential Role Prevent CP3 From Getting a Ring?


 The NBPA finally has a new president to lead their Union towards a brighter future. The man that has been chosen the job is Chris Paul. LeBron would have been a great choice in a lot of people's eyes, but Chris Paul may be the next best option. Paul, who had previously held a Vice President position for the NBPA, is no stranger to being in a high position in the Union which means that the transition to President is not going to be as rough as it could have been for somebody like LeBron. Chris is also the biggest star to assume this position since Patrick Ewing left in 2001 which is awesome, but it could lead to problems for Chris Paul when it comes to balancing his new job with his old one.

 As well all know, Chris is still the leader of the Clippers. If they want to stay a championship contending team, they will need him to be focused on the season and lead them to where they want to go. Paul was a great choice for the NBPA President in terms of how he is as a person, but with his career where it is basketball wise I do not know if he should have taken the position. The biggest reason James did not pursue that role is because he felt like he needed to stay focused on his main priority which is adding more championship rings to his resume. That should have been the same reason CP3 did not take this role, but now that he has taken it I am curious to see which side of his career he favors more. When you are the leader of a top NBA team and the President of the Players' Union, you cannot do both to the best of your ability. It will be impossible for Chris to put 100% of his energy into both areas and as a result one will take a little slide.

 Now if I was Chris, I would have to take responsibility for my new role and focus more on the Players' Union. The league has trusted him with this position and now it is his job to make sure that he delivers what needs to be done. The NBPA is a bit of a mess right now and Paul will need to put in a lot of work to start the trend back up to the top. Normally teammates would be a top priority. However when you now represent the entire league, your priorities made need to change a little bit. He may be the leader of his Clippers' team, but that roster has plenty of talented players that have the ability to pick up the slack if Paul ends up needing to take a small step back.

 In the end, I think Chris Paul was a great choice for the President position in the NBPA. He is a born leader and has experience from being a Vice President already. LeBron would have been the best choice when it comes to getting other players to follow him and be more involved, but I think Chris Paul will still do just fine in that areal. The NBPA needed a big voice and they got one in CP3. I expect to see some good changes in the Union over the next couple years, but I also expect that the Clippers could end up falling short with their leader being so busy with all of his responsibilities. Does this completely kill the Clippers' chance to win it all? No of course not. With Doc Rivers and that talented roster they could definitely still make a run. However, it would be a lot easier with a completely devoted Chris Paul and now that he has all of this on his plate it will be interesting to see how he performs in the upcoming 2013 season.

 


In Depth Review: 2013-14 Detroit Pistons Roster


 After the signing of forward Josh Harrellson, we can now officially say that the roster Detroit has now is the complete roster for the 2013-14 NBA season. This team has taken a complete flip over the last year in terms of its members and looks to be on the rise back up the ranks in the NBA. In this article I will be taking a much deeper look into this team. I will not only go into each player's profile on this team, but also sum up how I think they will work together as the year progresses. Detroit has a lot of new faces but still has some of the old in the background and I am going to put each one under the spotlight in today's "In Depth Review" of the Detroit Pistons.

Chauncey Billups (#1):Billups has returned to the Motor City after being traded in '09 to the Nuggets. Mr. Big Shot will not exactly pick up where he left off in Detroit but will provide an invaluable amount of leadership from his experience and a solid shooting touch from beyond the arc. Expect Chauncey to play backup roles in both guard positions throughout the year if he stays healthy and be a strong mentor for Brandon Jennings among the other young guards during the season as well.

Will Bynum (#12): Bynum is entering his 6th season in Detroit and has been able to provide solid bench play throughout. Last season he played 18.8 minutes per game and although his minutes may take a cut because of the arrival of Billups, Caldwell-Pope, and Jennings he will still play a strong role on this team. Every team needs their explosive player off the bench who can heat up quickly, and Bynum is that guy. Odds are he will play around 15 minutes a game to provide instant offense whenever the team needs it.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (#5): The 5th pick in this summer's draft has a pretty big role in his first NBA season. Not only does the rookie have a good chance to land the starting shooting guard spot , but will most likely be this team's go-to spot up shooter as well. Caldwell-Pope will not be the main scoring option like he was at Georgia, but he will earn his fair share of open shots if he can learn to move without the ball well. Pope may not get starter minutes because he needs to develop first, but expect to see him starting at least at some point this year and for him to have a very solid NBA season.  

Luigi Datome (#13): The former Italian League MVP has decided to join the Pistons this season as he makes his transition in the NBA. Last season over in Italy Datome put up just over 16 points and almost 6 rebounds per contest. His strongest skill is his jumper which is really going to help the Pistons with their spacing issues. He is also the type of player to make a lot from a little which means he will not need to the ball as much as the other players in order to put points up onto the board. Datome is likely to see a good amount of minutes this season at the small forward position. With Smith rotating around and really being the only person above him that can play the position, Datome will have plenty of opportunities to come in and make an instant impact in his first NBA season.

Andre Drummond (#0): This guy had a monster offseason and has shown that he is ready to take on the rest of the NBA head on. Besides Dwight Howard, Drummond may be the most athletic and explosive center in the league on both ends of the ball (when healthy). Andre will be starting for the Pistons this season and if he stays healthy will be all season. I expect him to have a double double year and provide a defensive presence for Detroit that hey have not seen since Big Ben.

Brandon Jennings (#7): Jennings is entering his 5th NBA season as a new member of the Detroit Pistons. This new change of scenery may be just what he needed in order to take on the next level in terms of his overall development in as a player. Brandon's selfish attitude and bad shooting habits will be an obstacle to overcome at first, but if he can change those and realize what his role is on this team he will become a very productive player. He will more than likely become the starting point guard, will be responsible for running the floor effectively, and being the court general that Detroit has been without for the past few years.

Jonas Jerebko (#33): Jerebko has been a member of the Pistons for 4 years now and has slowly regressed into smaller roles in each season. Jerebko is a decent bench player who basically only comes in to give the starters a rest now. He has no special skill but overall is someone who can come off the bench and hold his own for the time that he is out there. Sadly, I see Jonas possibly getting traded this season but while he is still here I expect him to continue his role as a bench player that play about 16 minutes a game this season in Detroit.

Tony Mitchell (#9): The rookie from North Texas may end up being a huge steal for Detroit from this summer's draft. the 6'8'' forward showed this summer that he will adjust to NBA game just fine, especially on the defensive end. He has an explosive game that may not translate a ton scoring wise, but he will provide a great defensive option off the bench for Detroit. In my opinion he will hold the same role that Jason Maxiell held earlier in his Piston career. Mitchell will not play tons of minutes per game this year, but when he plays expect 110% effort and for his energetic play to possibly make a couple highlight plays during the season.

Greg Monroe (#10): Monroe is entering his 4th season in Detroit and is going to benefit greatly from flying under the radar with all the hype now around Andre Drummond. Monroe is an incredibly talented young big man that has tons of time to keep improving. He was the leader of this team last year, and although he is not the most talented anymore he is still a big part of this group. Monroe will continue to be a force on the rebounding end as well as occupy more space down low offensively to help spread out the floor on offense. Greg still needs to become a better defender, but will start at the power forward position for Detroit and provide the same solid assets he always had as he continues to grow through this 2013 season.

Kyle Singler (#25): In his 2nd season in the NBA, Singler will end up taking a small step back from where he was last season. With the lack of small forwards, Singler got a lot of playing time last year to work on his game and adjust to the pros. Now with players like Smith and Datome, his minutes will slip but he will still have plenty of time to show off his skills. I expect Singler to play about 12-15 minutes per game this season off the bench for Detroit. This is a step back in terms of playing time, but I think as a result we will see Kyle up his efficiency offensively and make use of each minute he plays this year.

Peyton Siva (#34):Siva had to fight for a roster spot this summer and he definitely earned it. He had a very solid Summer League and showed that he has the work ethic to improve and deserve a roster spot. His ability to pass the ball without turning over and his ability to steal the ball quickly on the defensive end are the skills that he will have to rely on in order to get any time this season. Siva is undersized, lacks a jump shot, and is basically last in line on this guard-filled roster. I expect to see Siva on the court, but not very much. Most likely, the only time you will see Peyton is during blowouts where he will do what he can to make an impact with the small amount of time he is given.

Josh Smith (#6):In his 10th NBA season, Josh Smith is now a Piston. He brings his electric play to Detroit and although he could clash with the current frontcourt, he brings a level of energy that Detroit has rarely seen in one player. He is a dominant athlete that can attack the basket with force as well as send shots flying on the defensive end. Smith will have to learn to shoot a lot less if he wants to make the biggest positive impact he can in Detroit, but overall he brings a lot of pluses to this roster. I expect to see Josh start at the small forward position for Detroit and although it will start out rocky because he is not in his natural position, he will still be able to make highlight reel plays that will bring a lot attention to this Detroit team as they move through 2013.

Rodney Stuckey (#3): It feels like Stuckey has been a Piston forever. In his 7th season in Detroit, Stuckey will be playing the backup role for both guard positions. With his size and ability to attack the rim, he will be a great offensive weapon of the bench. He will take less minutes because of all the guards on this team, but Stuckey will still make a big difference for this team. Although he could be traded this season, expect to see Stuckey play a good chunk of minutes off the bench for Detroit and continue to put up solid numbers as he had his whole career as a member of the Pistons.

Charlie Villanueva (#31): This will be Villanueva's 5th and final year in Detroit. It is safe to say he has overstayed his welcome and will not be doing much this season. Charlie has continued to disappoint Detroit fans and has shown little effort to change it. In the final year of his contract I expect Villanueva to play minimal veteran minutes for this team. He could easily get traded because of his expiring deal, but while he is still in Detroit he will come off the bench and make a very small impact in the upcoming season.

Josh Harrellson: Harrellson fills out the final spot on this Detroit roster after previously playing overseas in China to finish his 2013 season. Harrellson was signed for two reasons. He can provide rest time for the starters and he shoots above 30% from three. Josh will rarely play this season, but having a shooting big man is always something to be happy about. He may be the final roster player but when he does play expect to see him spot up from beyond the arc and possibly provide a little offensive boost for the Pistons while their starters are taking a seat.

Overall: Overall, I am very excited to see this team play. They have more depth than they have had at basically every position and have the overall talent of a playoff contending team. In the 2013 season I expect things to start out rough chemistry wise, but in the end they will return to the playoffs and show the league that they have made their way back from the bottom. With a new head coach in Mo Cheeks among all the new faces, the future looks bright for this team. They are nowhere near championship contention, but that is not a priority right now. The goal should be to make the playoffs and for this team to develop as a group for the future. To sum it up, exciting basketball is finally back in the Motor City and I among many others are very anxious to see how this season plays out.

The NBA's Most Intimidating Backcourts


 When most people think of the word intimidating in terms of NBA, they usually think of the dominant big men that are physical forces that are impossible to stop. They do not really ever associate the word with guards besides maybe Kobe, but I look at it differently. There are plenty of intimidating guards in this league that put fear into the defender because of things like their handling ability or because they are a constant threat to score from anywhere. A team is not complete unless they have a strong backcourt and here are five teams that I think not only have some of the strongest backcourts, but the most intimidating backcourts as well.

5. Mario Chalmers and Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat): Now some people may completely disagree with this because Chalmers seems so "replaceable" as the weakest link of the top players in Miami, but this duo can do some damage without question. When it comes to Chalmers, he is a pretty decent offensive point guard. Whether it is his above average long range game or his ability to attack the rim against smaller defenders, Mario has a lot of weapons to use on the offensive end. He is by no means flashy but he knows his role and when he needs to can step it up in an instant. For Wade, well we pretty much already know. Even with his knee issues this guy can straight up ball. His ability to create shots whenever is invaluable and he can explode to the rim with force which is unmatched by most guard defenders. Not to mention his euro step is by far the best in the league as well. When these two are on the floor together, they really work well. It is hard to recognize because of the talent around them, but having to deal with Chalmers and Wade is not easy. They are a decent sizes duo for their positions, can be lock down defenders, and have numerous offensive abilities that keep defenses guessing every time.

4: Deron Williams and Joe Johnson (Brooklyn Nets): I have no idea if this new Brooklyn teams will actually do well, but I know I can still expect some pretty good numbers from their starting guard combo. Both Williams and Johnson have proven over the years that when it comes to scoring, they are naturals at it. Johnson has really dipped numbers wise since being on the Nets, but he still has the ability to both create shots and be a good spot up shooter from a distance. Deron has not dropped much at all. He is an offensive machine and seems to be able to score in bunches whenever he wants. He may have off nights where he never slows down his shooting even when he is off, but it is that confidence alone that always keeps the defending on his heels wondering what Williams will do next. Chemistry wise there is not anything special when it comes to these two, but with their experience and natural scoring abilities, they are quite a handful. Both have the clutch gene and will not hesitate to hit that last second jumper on you that makes you regret ever guarding them in the first place.

3. Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls): We have yet to actually see how these guys play with each other, but as individuals they really can make impacts on both ends of the court. Butler has emerged as very talented young shooting guard who can put up numbers in multiple areas on the stat sheet every night. He has shown he has elite defensive potential in terms of completely locking people down as well which is always intimidating. With Rose, if he comes back right from where he left off there is plenty to be intimidated by. The former MVP excels in every area of a guards game and more. He can put up solid steals numbers and is one of the most explosive point guards in the league right behind Russell Westbrook. When it came to defending Rose, there were very few who could actually contain him. Putting him next to Butler will not make things any easier. I see the two working very well together on both ends of the floor and in a couple years becoming the top backcourt duo in the league.

2: Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford (Los Angeles Clippers): The only reason these two are not number one on this list is because Crawford is not a starter so we do not see this duo as much as I think we should. When you mix the best point guard in the league with someone who has the talents of J Crossover, there is nothing but good that can come from that. Jamal Crawford has the handles and the jumper to literally create a shot from any spot on the court. His handles are unmatched and his crossover will make any defender look silly. Paul is so intimidating because of how well he sees the court. Not only does he have his own scoring options, but if you cut his options, his passing ability will leave you watching Lob City the entire game.Now defensively, Paul is the superior defender of the two but they are still pretty solid as a pair. Overall with Paul and Crawford, you really have everything to fear as a defender. Crawford is one of the best spot up shooters in the league and with Chris Paul running the point you can bet he will be found every time for the open jumper.

1. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors): Last year we saw what the future holds for the Warriors and it starts with these two. From a pure offensive standpoint, I have never seen a better backcourt duo when it comes to shooting ability. Both of these guys are pure shooters and have the ability to hit from any spot at any time with anyone defending them. They are cold-blooded scorers and while they are pretty intimidating alone, when they are on the court together it is almost impossible to prevent them from finding open shots and catching fire on the offensive end. Klay is not the overall player that Curry is, but his shooting ability is still pretty good and is only going to get better. When it comes to Curry, I am convinced that if he was blindfolded he would shoot exactly the same. There is not one person in this league that can cause Curry to take a bad shot. His handles allow him to make space and because his release is so fast defenders barely have time to react when he pulls up to shoot. The best part about these two is that they are still so young, with years and years to come these two are only going to get better which just makes them that much scarier. This Warriors team looks very sharp for the upcoming season and having the most intimidating backcourt in the league only makes them look even better.

Selected NBA Teams To Use New OptimEye Injury Prevention Technology in 2013


 In the past few years we have learned one thing about teams that are heavily lead by stars. If that player gets injured, the team instantly drops as a whole and as a result fall short of their goals. Let's think about a couple examples from the past few years that can backup this realization strongly. Last year in the playoffs, Kobe tore is Achilles which cost the Lakers their postseason against the Warriors and will probably be the last time they make the playoffs for at least a few years. Another example is when Derrick Rose went down with his ACL tear, which ruined Chicago's Finals goal that year and left them struggling to stay competitive throughout last season. What if Bryant never got hurt? Where would the Lakers be? What if Rose never went down with an ACL injury? Would the Heat still be back-to-back Champions? These "what ifs" will be forever left untouched and there was nothing these teams could have done to stop it mainly because you cannot predict these types of injuries.

 In 2013 however, things may just be a little bit different. In this quickly advancing technological world that we live in, a new device has come out that could allow teams to possibly prevent these injuries among others from ever happening. This new device is called OptimEye. This device, which is worn by players during workouts, practice, and even games, measures basically every type of movement that a player makes at pinpoint accuracy. From things like velocity, distance, and change in direction to heart rate and energy exertion, this thing literally does it all. The main use for this device is to track a player's training habits and discover areas where a player may be pushing themselves too far. Once the area is recognized, teams can then work on changing that players habits to where he is far less likely to get injured from working something too hard. To sum it all up, this new technology that the NBA will be testing this season could prevent injuries that make or break a team's season hopes.

 This season there will be eight teams using this device to track their players throughout the year. The San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks, and Houston Rockets are the four teams that have been revealed to the public while the other four have chosen to remain anonymous. When it comes to aging teams like the Spurs or to players who have been struggling with injury like Dwight Howard, this could really make a positive impact on how their team does during the year. This even help players like Brandon Roy and Greg Oden stay healthy for a longer period of time. If the OptimEye lives up to its hype in terms of injury prevention, it could change the world of sports without question.

 If the OptimEye proves to be what it seems to be, players' careers could be completely different. Instead of being limited from injury or from an aging and worn out body, players could stay healthy longer and have longer careers as well. We could end up seeing more players like Tim Duncan who seem to play like they are young even if they are 37 years of age.In the end, I expect to hear great things about this new device after the 2013 season and expect that all NBA teams will give it a try in the near future. The OptimEye should be something every sports team should be using to watch how their players work themselves. It could help prevent a season of disappointment and more importantly possibly prevent an individual from hurting themselves and putting their career on the line.

 


Why Andre Drummond Learning from Rasheed Wallace Will Improve His Game


   As most Detroit fans know, Rasheed Wallace became part of the Pistons' coaching staff as an assistant coach this summer. I am questionable on how much of an impact Wallace can make on the sidelines as a coach but I know he still brings energy and can teach young players a lot. Wallace spent a long time playing in the NBA and has now focused on taking all that experience and sharing it with the young Andre Drummond. Now if you think back, Rasheed's game is nowhere near what Dummond's is. Andre likes to stay down low and attack the rim with force, while Wallace was mainly a spot up and post shooter who rarely attacked the basket. Some people would look at this and say Wallace has nothing to show Drummond because their styles are so different, but in reality that actually why these two are going to work so well together. 

   If there was one thing that Andre Drummond lacked in his game last season, it was shooting. When it came to shooting the ball and shooting free throws, Drummond was not exactly successful in those areas. He rarely shot the ball and when he went to the line, he shot 37.1%. When you shoot worse than Ben Wallace at the free throw line, you know you really have to get some work done. Rasheed shot a solid 72% during his career and while that is nothing amazing, it would be a huge improvement on Andre's part. Right now Drummond's biggest weakness is getting fouled and because he is a big man, it is going to happen a lot. If Drummond can acquire some free throw talent from Wallace than there will be much less pressure on Andre when he gets to the line. Now in terms of actually shooting, I think the best Andre will pick up is a nice post shot. There is no way in the world that Drummond will become the same 3-point shooter that Rasheed was, but he can definitely learn and develop a low postshot to add to his impressive offensive arsenal. 

   In a recent interview, Drummond discussed how he pretty much got destroyed in a game of H.O.R.S.E. against Coach Wallace and realized how much he can learn from him. Wallace would have gotten the sweep on Andre, but since Wallace cannot drunk Drummond figured he might as well you that to his advantage. Overall though, what he learned is that Wallace has something that can really add another dimension to Andre's game. Will we see Drummond shooting from long range while the crowd scream "Dreeeeeeeee"? Well, no. However, we may see an improvement in Drummond's shooting and free throws which will make him that much more intimidating. I have yet to be convinced if Wallace will be a great coach, but if he can mentor Andre Drummond in the right ways this partnership could take Andre's game to the next level. 

Top 5 Underpaid Players in the 2013-14 NBA Season


 Now let it be known before you read any further that I do not think NBA players are underpaid by any means. From the rookies at the bottom to the superstars on top, they are all making the big bucks compared to other jobs they could have for a career. However, here are the top 5 players in the league that I think are way underpaid compared to their fellow players who occupy the same position:

5. Reggie Evans: Reggie Evans is going to earn about 1.7 million this season and probably should be earning a little bit more. Evans is no top talent by any means and has rarely scored over 5 points a game in his career, but he is a complete monster on the boards. Last season he grabbed 11 rebounds per game and that was coming off the bench. This man is the definition of grind it out basketball and he fights for boards like no other. He may a completely one dimensional player, but he is really good in that area and should be rewarded as such. Not many people average that many boards especially off the bench so Evans deserves more than just the veteran's minimum.

4. Ray Allen: Okay now I know Ray Allen has been paid a ton and a lot of people will disagree with me on this, but right now he is getting very underpaid for what he brings. He took a bench spot to win a Championship with the Heat and we saw how valuable his shooting really is to this team against the Spurs. Allen will be getting paid just over 3 million dollars in 2013. It is not often that you will hear a low salary alongside one of the greatest shooters in NBA history. Allen could still probably get a huge deal even at his age and the fact that he is taking a salary cut like this is big to me. The Heat are stacked but Allen still deserves more money for how much he can bring to any team in the NBA.

3. Mike Conley Jr.: Conley will be making just under 8 million dollars this season. That is a real chunk of money, but compared to the other players at his level in the league he is not being given that much. Conley has only emerged in the past few years, but he is deserving of more money for what he does. He has become and incredibly productive point guard and although he is no All-Star, he still has plenty of time to improve at only 25 years old. With the departure of Zach Randolph being a possibility this season, expect Conley Jr. to receive a pretty big extension because he has earned it and definitely will continue to deliver for years to come.

2. Stephen Curry: Now part of this is because of how little he has been around the NBA as a player, but Curry is way underpaid for what he can do. Last year he showed that he is the next best guard in the league right beside Kyrie Irving which is deserving of a much bigger salary. Curry is scheduled to make just under 10 million and when you see a player like Deron Williams making almost 19, you start to realize how little Curry is taking for his talent. He is the leader of a young and powerful team in the Warriors and should be paid more for doing so. There is no doubt in my mind Curry has tons of money in his future if he keeps this up, but for now he is an underpaid player and will be until his new contract is signed.

1. Tim Duncan: Tim Duncan has convinced me that he actually knows where the Fountain of Youth is and has convinced me that he is the most underpaid superstar in the league. At 37 years old, the Hall of Famer is still putting together amazing number and at an incredibly efficient rate. For a Top 10 player in NBA history to be making only about 10 million is amazing to me. It may be because San Antonio expects that he would have slowed down by now but he clearly is still just as effective as he has always been. Duncan will be retiring soon and will have no reason to make an extension, but if he did it should be a lot more than 10 million a season. The fact that Carlos Boozer makes 5 million more is astounding to me. Duncan is one of the greatest at his position and even as he has aged he has still shown that he is worth way more than what San Antonio is paying him.