Melo and Deron Williams Finish Power Shift, Thanks to…LeBron?

I thought about the NBA’s current situation and came up with this, LeBron James is responsible for the NBA power shift from the Western Conference to the Eastern.  Before you criticize, think about it.  Who were the most active teams during LeBron James’s free agency? (Before he took “his talents to South Beach.” You know what he should’ve done was make an hour program preceding his choice of who he’d like to play for and donate all the proceeds to the “Boys and Girls Club of America”…wait.) They were the Knicks, Nets, Heat, and (because I have to mention them) the Cavaliers.  They each spent years basically throwing seasons and trading away contracts in order to prepare for the ultimate 2010 free agency goal: LeBron James.  Well, only the Heat got him and while the Cavs burned his jersey (Note: Cleveland can burn jerseys and cause mayhem without consequences but if Philadelphia did it, then Skip Bayless would be calling us rude and crude), the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets went to their fall back plans.  Enter Carmelo Anthony (who was plan C behind Amar’e Stoudemire) and Deron Williams (to the Nets, who wasn’t plan A or B, but is a very good plan C)

First, I want to introduce you to Bryant Collins (BC).  To paint a picture of him, think of a Mos Def look-alike, with the vernacular of T.I.  Starting off every sentence with “Let me tell you something about (insert player/team name)…” he has no problem expressing his opinion in a series of big rants and I love it. BC is probably the biggest basketball fan I know so  when I told him the news about Carmelo Anthony getting traded to the New York Knicks (which dooms the 76ers for a most likely 7th seed and a first round playoff matchup against the Miami Heat) his first response was “Whaaaaaaaaat, Chazz you serious?”  He left for a few minutes, getting briefed on the trade and came back with a good argument.

 “In 11 months, the power has shifted from the West to the East, this is why basketball is the greatest sport in the world.”  He has a good point. The NBA is the only sport where “blockbuster” deals happen often, whether through trades or free agency (think of the 2010 free agency:  James, Chris Bosh, Amar’e Stoudemire and now the Anthony and Williams deals. Or the Celtics in 2007 when they acquired Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett). Also, Anthony and Williams being traded to the Knicks and Nets respectively has officially shifted the power to the East (who already have the Celtics, Heat, Bulls, Hawks and Magic). People in New York are excited, as they should be because Anthony is an elite scorer who draws doubled teams.  With him being at the perimeter and taking those defenders with him, that opens up the paint for Stoudemire (my MVP before the Knicks cooled off) who is averaging (a mere) 26.8 points and 9 rebounds a game. By the way, don’t forget the least talked about part of that trade, Chauncey Billups (who just happened to drop 21 for his Knicks debut). With Anthony being 26 and Stoudemire being 28, they are going to relatively still be in their primes during the 2012 free agency when the likes of Dwight Howard and Chris Paul hit the market.  As BC says, the Knicks are “gonna be a problem.”

The same goes for the Nets.  Picking up a top 3 point guard has put them in prime position to make a move on the big name players come 2012.  The Nets aren’t contenders right now (either are the Knicks, yet. I just find it so hard to believe that in 28 games they can make a run like this.  Yes they scored 114 in Melo’s debut, but they gave up 108, to the Milwaukee Bucks) and they know it.  But they have a solid player to run their offense.  To be effective in the NBA, there must be a big presence down low with a point guard to can run the offense and facilitate (think Kobe and Shaq/Pau Gasol, Dwyane Wade and Shaq, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan, or Jameer Nelson and Howard).  The Nets just got the latter and Mikhail Prokorov (owner) will not hestitate making a move for Howard.  Plus, how much more appealing is it to Howard hearing that: the Nets have Deron Williams, Jay-Z owns part of the team along with a billionaire, and the team gets moved to Brooklyn? BC only said the transition from West to East “is official.”

Take a final look at the East as they stand: The Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Orlando Magic, and Atlanta Hawks. NOW a the New York Knicks.  As Apollo Creed said, it “sounds like a damn monster movie,” (First “Rocky” reference, I’m officially a Philadelphia writer) which it really does because that’s how scary the Eastern Conference is.  Now think about the first sentence, it sounds good doesn’t it?

Special thanks to BC.

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  • John Ndicu  On February 24, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    BC knows his NBA!


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