GREG GAMBLE’S 2008-09 HARDWOOD Picks: 58-44 ats…57%
NBA 40-31 - NCAA 12-11 - Teasers 6-2 - Church League 69-0
How bout my flawless prediction for Duke/UNC yesterday?!
IS AMARE REALLY THE ANSWER IN CHI-TOWN?
When the rumors first circulated about Amare potentially paired with Derrick Rose, I jumped on the idea like I was Roller Girl & Marky Mark was chillin’ on the sofa. In my opinion, nobody in the NBA runs the pick-n-roll, pick-n-pop, or pick-n-dunk-on-ur-head better than Mr. Stoudemire, while his athleticism & experience running with the floppy-haired Canadian immediately raises D-Rose’s game another level.
As for the talk he cares about defense as much as Nautica Thorn cares about celibacy, first off, he’s not nearly as pedestrian as they say, and two, let’s not forget he was raised in Mike D’Antoni’s system where they never-EVER practiced defending the rock. In addition, before Shaq arrived he was forced to play out of position at center, and now with the aging-Diesel, he’s actually responsible for more in the paint then you think. Throw-in how desperate the Bulls are for some back-to-the-basket scoring to open things-up for their shooters, and this deal simply sounds like a slam-dunk for the Bullies…right?
While Paxson is more than deserving of the criticism for the team’s lack of development, on the flipside, he does have more young pieces around him than T.T. Boy on the set of Teen Tryouts #27. But as the roundball experts spend their energy arguing about which youngsters should be included for the so-called Black Jesus, I content that aspect of the deal doesn’t really matter (give them anybody but Rose). What Pax must wrestle with…is it worth it to trade for the star-PF for a year & a half if they can’t or won’t re-sign him after next season. And don’t be fooled by the naysayers, if he stays healthy, he will command a max contract. Taking it a step further, even if the Bulls offer him the max deal, couldn’t you see the Florida-raised, Phoenix-played baller having no interest staying in the Windy City after a long winter?
As for what I believe GM Stevie “I f*cked this thing up pretty good” Kerr wants, considering the contracts have to come close to matching, his owner wants cap-relief next season, and their need to get younger, more athletic & better defensively, the deal seems blatantly obvious to me: Drew Gooden’s expiring 7M, the still oozing potential & suddenly productive skills of Tyrus Thomas, the underrated & unutilized skills of 6-7 SG Thabo Sefolosha, and the Bulls 1st round pick next season. And because hardly anybody else in the Association can match Mr. Kerr’s specific criteria to make the trade, if Amare’s really on the table, it’s up to GM Johnny Pax to place an order.
As for what the GM of Insideplays would do, it’s a no-brainer…take a chance for once and suit-up the Black Jesus at the United Center! Even if he walks after next season, winning is contagious and this is the best opportunity to let our youngsters experience it. Throw-in the added development of Rose’s game playing with this style of big, the swagger he brings that Vinny Del Scott Baio desperately needs, and a fan base yearning & deserving of some excitement, and I can’t see how Reinsdorf’s pseudo son doesn’t pull the trigger!
Want to skip to my Bulls/Heat Preview...Touch Me Here Please
BOSTON CELTICS (-2.5) @ DALLAS MAVERICKS
I do care that Shuttlesworth might be a late scratch tonight (thumb), but for a different reason than most. Considering Jason “6th man of the year & Mavs savior this season” Terry is out, I’m actually glad Ray-Ray will be pimped-out in a suit to keep this line nice-n-low. But the biggest reason I’m taking my hard earned dollars and rolling with Doc’s crew is the match-up between Dirk and KG. Of all the teams on the professional hardwood, nobody strikes fear in the German Diggler more than the lanky, athletic, and passionate defense from Mr. Garnett.
Especially with this being a TNT special and last game before the Weed & Groupie Weekend, I have feeling we’ll be seeing plenty of chest-pounding & yelling from the 7-footer as he dominates this contest. In addition, the match-up between Grandpa Kidd and the freakishly-athletic Rajon Rondo has all the makings of an embarrassment for the Cali kid. Rondo has been running circles around the quickest of PGs and averaging a sick 12 ppg, 11 apg, 7 rpg over his last five games. And speaking of the Weed-infested Break, you think Josh Howard is thinking about this first half finale or chilling in PHX with some Funjuns & Pizza?...CELTICS BY 8-12 POINTS
PORTLAND BLAZERS @ GOLDEN ST. WARRIORS (-3)
I’ve been riding the Warriors home-bandwagon of late and have no desire to jump off. Nellie’s fast-break crew has won three straight at home (Phoenix, Utah, NY) and averaging a ridiculous 127 ppg over that span. S-Jax is playing like an elite superstar of late (last 5 games: 29 ppg, 9 apg, 7 rpg), Kelenna Azubuike might be the most improved player in the NBA (14 ppg, 5 rpg, 47 3-pt%), Corey Maggette should easily overpower the Blazers SFs (20 ppg, 6 rpg, +8 FTA/gm), the combination of Jamal Crawford & Monte Ellis should run circles around starting PG Sergio Rodriguez, and surprisingly, Ronny Turiaf seems like a perfect fit in this system manning the middle with Biedrins out (last 5 games: 10 ppg, 6 rpg, 3 bpg, 57-fg%).
On the Blazers side, after a solid start and a dominating record at home, they’ve lost four of their last six on the road and are not playing with much confidence overall. Especially with the face-paced style of the Warriors, I have a feeling Nate McMillian’s youngsters will get caught up in their free-wheeling style…especially with carnival atmosphere we’ve seen from GST of late. In addition, with Brandon Roy always a little hobbled, LaMarcus Aldridge nursing a sore hip, and Greg Oden virtually useless in a game like this, I actually think we could see another blow-out from the suddenly sexy squad from the Bay…WARRIORS BY 10-16 POINTS
MIAMI HEAT @ CHICAGO BULLS (-3)
TOUCH ME HERE for my Bulls/Heat Preview & more Lovely Ladies!
MIAMI HEAT @ CHICAGO BULLS (-3)
While most believe D-Wade will be desperate to get Miami back on the track heading into the break, I believe the young Bulls will actually be the team showing the most adrenaline on TNT now that their finally playing well. And have you seen the roster surrounding Mr. Wade of late…the Matrix is simply waiting to be traded, some dude named Joel is playing 30 mpg in the middle, and The Bease has been yanked in-n-out of the line-up more than Greg Paulus at Duke the last few years.
In addition, the injury to rookie PG Mario Chalmers (questionable) means D-Rose will have plenty of opportunities to race past the overachieving-whitie Chris Quinn. Especially with the intensity we’ve seen from Noah & T-Time in the paint lately (last 3 games combined: 32 ppg, 22 rpg, 3 bpg), the momentum following a crazy game-winner from the contract-weary Ben Gordon, and Capt. Kirk’s past success guarding Dwyane, and I’m pretty confident the Bulls will open my ATS night 1-0…BULLS BY 7-12 POINTS