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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The NBA Is Making Noise? It's About Time

(AP Photo/Jim Mone)

All the talk lately has been about one guy, and one
team, Jeremy Lin and the NY Knicks, but for the NBA
it's been more than just that. Last year was marked
with all the talk of the Miami "Dream Team" the ugly
break up of LeBron, the Cleveland Cavaliers, their
owner and their fans, certainly not a way you want
your league to be remembered. Though it's often been
said that no publicity is bad publicity, this type of
publicity wasn't always so good.

Enter the 2012 NBA season, wait, what 2012 NBA season?
Lockout, public indifference, bickering among the ranks,
and the owners with a stranglehold around the players
neck. Not a very good start. Fortunately for the
league and it's fans their has been a little bit of a
turnaround even while it struggles to justify why it's
trying to squeeze in 66 games in so few days other than
to admit and be honest about the fact that all they are
really concerned about how much money they can make.
OK, enough negativity. Truth is there are a few nice
things going on in the league right now that are making
it appealing to more people than usual.

Like I said at the start, Jeremy Lin has made quite a
few headlines, and if you're on Twitter the one thing
you notice is that it's not just NBA people. Everyone
from Adam Schefter who covers the NFL for ESPN to fellow
MSG mates on the NY Rangers are constantly Tweeting about
this guy. The nicknames don't stop coming, Lin-derella,
Just Lin Baby, Lin-ing, and yesterdays favorite was
appropriately "Be My Va-LIN-Tine". As long as he and the
Knicks keep winning, don't expect it to stop.

Then of course their are the aforementioned Cleveland
Cavaliers who have found that their is "LAL", or Life
After Lebron. Stinking it up in the 2010/11 season put
them in a position to get a good draft pick and though
that doesn't always pan out (LA Clippers past 20 years),
it has so far for them. They have already won more than
half as many games as they did all of last year, and Kyrie
Irving has been anything but a bust with 18ppg and 5.1ast.
Until he had his concussion it was clear they were doing
much better with him in the lineup, and he returns tonight.
Believe it or not they are only two and a half games out
of the final playoff spot in the east, and there are still
forty games remaining for them. Cleveland can be relevant
again, and you better believe that their owner will try and
lock up this young talent before he hits the free agency in
a few years. And oh yeah, by the way, he's Australian.

How about those Sixers? 20-9 as of this writing and leading
the Atlantic division. David Stern has to be loving that!

The Oklahoma City Thunder leading the West at 22-6 is another
feather in the NBA's cap. Young vibrant starts ready to make
noise, and bring some of middle America into the mix. Gotta
Love it if your ready to negotiate new TV rights for the NBA.

The LA Clippers in 1st in the Pacific division ahead of the
Lakers? That's a double LA TV boom for the Stern. Shhhhhh

So many more stories that are worth mentioning, but I will
leave you with the Minnesota Timberwolves who finally got
their Ricky Rubio, and along with Kevin Love are only two
games out of a playoff spot out West. With Rick Adeleman
at the helm there, it's only a matter of time before they
compete, and make some noise as well as be fun to watch.

And don't forget the trade deadline that is right around the
corner. Will Dwight Howard be traded?, and if so where?
Does he make the Nets respectable? Put the Clippers over the
top? Change places with Amare Stoudimire? So many scenarios,
and so many more headlines for the league to capitalize on.
Difference is, this time they can smile a bit.

Don't Believe In Plays, Believe In Players - Al Davis

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