Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Uncle Drew

A couple of guys from work forwarded me this ad the other day. I think it's unreal and very well done. Pepsi Max have come up with a great ad which these days is hard to come by.

I wonder if the people at the court watching had any clue.

Enjoy and tell me what you think.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Boomers Destroy Greece B Team

The Australian Boomers have opened up their pre Olympic campaign with a lop sided victory over the Greek B National Team. The 87-60 score line probably flatters the Greek side. 

The side that Greece has chosen to represent them at the Farewell Series is disgraceful. They are young, soft and tiny. They have no interior size whatsoever and their ability from the perimeter has nothing going for it. How on earth does this prepare us for what the Olympics is going to offer?

Last night Aleks Maric, Australian Centre, could do no wrong as there was nobody who could deal with his size. Many people are praising him after his efforts last night. I don't believe it just yet. I'll wait until he matches up with Anderson Varejao of Brazil or Marc Gasol of Spain before I make my judgement. In this series however he should be racking up numbers for fun and it will do his confidence no harm. We will need a strong inside presence to free up our outside guys. 

I thought our point guards were great. Patty and Delly both showed great vision and leadership. Mills was on fire throughout the contest and showed why the Boomers will be relying heavily on him during their campaign. There aren't too many point guards around the world who will be able to stay in front of him on the break. If he can continue to be hot from outside the three point line through July/August the Boomers will be in great shape. 

I was appalled by our inability to secure the defensive rebound. There were times when the Greeks were racking up consecutive offensive rebounds. The size in which we possess over this Greek B team is scary. Brett Brown's timeout early in the third said it all. He looked disgusted and had every right to be. I think the big's in game two, which is on tonight, will be making sure the Greeks only get one look at the basket. 

I think we have the pieces there to be really competitive come London. I just believe that we could have found a more competitive team to help us out. Last night there were calls from Andrew Bogut to maybe have played games against an Australian B Team instead. I totally agree with this. They could have easily formed another team and even added an import or two to help out. I think this is something to think about in the future especially knowing Greece have their Qualifiers next week. 

I think the Aussies start to click into gear tonight and we may see an even bigger margin than what we did last night. However basketball is a funny game!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Heat Steal 1 Away From The Thunder

What a way to start the NBA Finals. Everything that everyone had hoped for is happening before our eyes. Kev and LBJ have been amazing, Rusty and Wade have been good and you couldn't ask for more from Harden and Battier. The best thing about it is we're going to definitely have five plus games. No sweep here as Miami pull off a big win away from home 100-96 (stats here).

Game 1 was all about KD and Rusty. Miami got off to a flyer but couldn't hold off a scorching hot Durant and Westbrook. Durant was amazing with 36 points and Rusty chipped in with 27. LeBron again put together a nice 30 points but seemed to struggle from outside the paint. With help from his bench in the form of Battier and Chalmers, Miami couldn't get anything from Wade which in the end proved costly as the Thunder went on to win 105-94 (stats here).

With their backs to the wall in game two Miami again came out flying, leading 25-8 at one stage. The Thunder opened up 1-12 from the field. Westbrook started atrociously and was only looking for himself. It wasn't until James Harden came into the game where the Thunder got going. He was aggressive and played with a lot of confidence. He got the crowd going and it gave them a little burst of energy.

Miami continued to repel any type of run the Thunder produced with deep threes by Battier and LBJ getting to the rim. With Durant in foul trouble the Heat capitalised. They continued to lead by double figures throughout the third quarter and took a strong 11 point lead into the final break.

However as they have always done in the past the Thunder found form and took an almighty chunk off the lead. KD had fire in his eyes and made some massive plays hitting three's and a fat driving dunk on Battier which got the crowd going. Westbrook fed off the energy with a nice score and foul. Shane Battier as he has done all series so far hit a bank three from the top of the three point line to silence the crowd. LBJ then hit a tough floater going left and then Bosh followed up with a two handed slam which pushed the lead back to seven with 53 seconds remaining.

Game over right? No chance.

After a Durant layup Wade lost the ball which led to a wide open KD three cutting the lead to two with 37 seconds to go. Westbrook was so close to shooting that three. Imagine if he did and missed and didn't pass to a red hot Durant. I don't think he would have got out of there alive. Can you ever count this team out of a game?

After LeBron missed a three the ball ended up with KD in the post. Is there anyone that doesn't think that was foul? I mean there was more than one foul that could have been called on James. I understand that it may not have been called if it was in Miami, because the refs just wouldn't do that, but at home, it's a given!

The Thunder definitely did not deserve to win game two but it was an almighty comeback that was robbed of two game tying free throws to one of the best shooters in the game. LBJ's bank shot was incredible and may give him some confidence in hitting the big shot in the games to come.

In the last two NBA final series the away side has won game two and then gone home to lose game three. What do you think happens?

What a series I can't believe we have to wait until Sunday for the next one!

Monday, June 11, 2012

It's NBA Finals Preview Time

This is the series the NBA was hoping for as soon as the lockout was over. Two teams who will make up for the lost two months in November/December. Two teams in which have some of the most marketable players the NBA has seen in a long time. A team that has promised so much and has yet to deliver and on the other hand a team that has taken their talents to a whole new level over the last two seasons. The Oklahoma City Thunder will host the Miami Heat in a best of seven NBA Final Series beginning on Wednesday.

It couldn't get any bigger. Kevin Durant v LeBron James, two of the best players in the NBA over the last three or four seasons. For any basketball fan this is going to be fun! Mouthwatering, frothing, exciting are some of the words I've heard around town already. Facebook and twitter blew up as soon as the Heat won the East. There was instant excitement for the upcoming final series. This is what the NBA wanted and needed. Congratulations David Stern you can now relax again. I can't wait to see how many (if any) technical fouls are called on the Thunder this series.

As I've done with previous series I'm going to preview the match-ups and give my verdict.

Point Guard: Russell Westbrook v Mario Chalmers.
As I said with the last series, Chalmers can't stop any good point guard and this is no different. His confidence will be riding low as Rondo ran rings around him all series. Rusty does the same here. Westbrook is too quick and also has a jumpshot that Rondo doesn't have. LeBron may have to take turns with Chalmers in guarding him. There is no harm in putting Chalmers on Sefolosha. I can see this happening a fair bit actually. Westbrook needs to be smarter in this series and really limit turnovers and bad shots as Miami are lethal on the fastbreak.
VERDICT: Westbrook no question and is a massive contender for MVP.

Shooting Guard: Thabo Sefolosha v Dwayne Wade
This should be a great contest if they guard each other. We saw that Wade struggled in the Boston Series against the length of Pietrus and Ray Allen hassling him all game long. Thabo has that length which could trouble Wade. If Wade does guard Thabo he could be saving energy for the offensive end. Thabo isn't a massive offensive threat unless connecting on open three's. Wade is going to have to be much better in this series against the Thunder. He also needs to stop bitching to the refs. All series against the Celtics he was seen complaining to the refs while Boston scored in transition.
VERDICT: Wade just for his god given talent. He isn't playing his best basketball at the moment and he will need to for the Heat to steal an away game.

Small Forward: Kevin Durant v LeBron James
What a match up! Kevin Durant is playing some of his best basketball these playoffs. He is virtually unstoppable. On the other hand so is LBJ. You could not ask for a better matchup. Everyone will have their opinion on who is the better player obviously, but you could not look past James. He is on fire at the moment on both ends of the floor and is literally carrying his team through these playoffs. He will have to work very hard on the defensive end this series trying to stay in front of KD. Durant has also been lights out these playoffs. One of many things going for KD is his ability in the crunch. He has been big time finding the bottom of the net in the 4th quarter when the going has got tough. Look for LBJ to put his hand up especially in the fourth quarter to put a stop to the Durantula.
VERDICT: LBJ just for his ability to be brilliant on both ends of the floor. In no means am I saying he is better as I love KD's game. I would have the ball in KD's hands in the last five minutes any day of the week over LBJ.

Power Forward: Serge Ibaka v Chris Bosh
Yes Chris Bosh will be starting from now on after that game seven performance. He will have a much more athletic defender guarding him now though. Ibaka can defend out to the three point line with no problems. He will force Bosh to shoot over a hand at all times. He will also be a major deterrent to LBJ and Wade getting to the rim. Ibaka must not get into foul trouble in this series. It could hurt the Thunder big time. They do have Collison coming off the bench who is also very good at defending his opponent. Bosh will have to make his outside shot and continue to bring that passion to the court every night for the Heat to win away from home.
VERDICT: Serge Ibaka is a big key to the Thunders defence and keeping LBJ and Wade outside of the paint.

Centre: Kendrick Perkins v Udonis Haslem
I have no idea who starts in this position for the Heat. Perkins may even be defending Bosh at some point. I think Perkins is like Ibaka, the rock in the Thunders defence. He will also use his size in the post on offence. This could free up their outside shooters if his baby hook is falling. I think the Thunder need to make his presence felt on offence early. If it's not working then Brooks will have to make a decision if to keep him in the game or get Collison in. Haslem has been a little all over the place in these playoffs. His outside jumpshot hasn't been as reliable as it's been in the past and his defence has been garbage. Haslem is going to have to pull his finger out for the Thunder big man to respect his jumpshot and not be a target for the Thunder's offence.
VERDICT: Perkins. His strength on both offence and defence could be a telling story in this Finals.

Sixth Man: James Harden v Shane Battier
Harden has been amazing for the Thunder for the past two seasons. The Heat are going to have to work really hard to stop him. Wade or James could put their hand up. If they do they are going to have to spend a lot of energy running around after him. If Spoelstra puts Mike Miller or James Jones on him they will get torched. His ability in crunch time has been phenomenal. Shane Battier was phenomenal on the offensive end against the Celtics. He was underdone on defence as Garnett was just too big and too strong. He hit some monster threes when Miami needed them most. He also surprised me with his ability to put the ball on the floor and find an open man. I wonder how long this is going to keep up. If he does it will help LBJ and Wade enormously.
VERDICT: James Harden's ability to tear a game apart is enough for me. However Battier's ability to lock up Durant could also be a telling tale in this series.

I can't wait to see how this series pans out. The Thunder fans are amazing and I can't see Miami stealing one of the first two games. Miami will have have to go home and hold court for all three games. I can't see that happening unless LeBron goes for 40 a night!

VERDICT: OKC win this series in Six and Westbrook gets MVP.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Miami Heat Win The East

Well we are all set for one of the most mouth watering contests in years as the Miami Heat beat Boston in Game 7 today. It was an extremely tight game until the Heat pulled away in the last quarter.

It was all about LeBron pre match! His big game in game six was the reason the Heat were still alive. However I believe it was all about Chris Bosh today. His 19 points on 8-10 shooting was critical in their win. He was lethal from the outside and came up with some big baskets in the fourth quarter. Who would have thought Bosh was so important to that Miami big three. I think many people who in the past have cursed on him will be eating their words as they eat dinner tonight.

I think Boston fought hard all game long but I felt their strategy on LeBron James wasn't the right one. They guarded him too tightly and allowed him to get to the rim which led to dunks or free throws. James was 1-10 outside the paint and that one shot was 2 metres behind the 3 point line on the shot clock buzzer. However they persisted with Bass guarding him at the top of the three point line. It killed them massively.

The Heat will take some confidence into the NBA Finals especially with their big road win in Boston. I will have my match up preview on the blog tomorrow. Hope you have a chance to check it out.

Here are the highlights from todays big game:

Thursday, June 7, 2012


What an incredible game six that was in Oklahoma! It looked as if they were playing the game at the Cameron Indoor in front of the Crazies. The crowd was phenomenal and why wouldn't they be when they witnessed some of the most entertaining basketball they've seen all year.

OKC came out victors at home and take great confidence into the NBA Finals knowing they have home court advantage. They will meet either Miami or Boston beginning on Wednesday the 13th June Australian time.

San Antonio had one of the best first halves you will see from an NBA team. They started red hot and continued that form up until half time. They scored 63 points away from home and led by 15. They simply could not miss. Tony Parker was amazing, he could't put a foot wrong. It wasn't as if OKC were playing terrible, the Spurs were making some incredible threes. Stephen Jackson was unreal all night from beyond the arc hitting 6 from 7.

However in the second half a new OKC team came out. They were hungrier on defence and KD went to work on the offensive end along with his pals Rusty and Beard man Harden. Tony Parker was woeful in the second half. He seemed to lose his rhythm and way allowing OKC to get in on the fast break and do damage on the scoreboard. I disagree with Pop's coaching strategy at the beginning of the second half. He did not call a time out until the Thunder had gone on an 11-2 run. That is insane, especially with the way the crowd was screaming and clapping. The first five minutes of a quarter is most crucial when trying to stave off a comeback. Personally I would have called a time out after OKC went on a 4-0 run. I know it sounds like nothing but it is huge when it's over a 2:30 minute period and you haven't scored.

I thought Derek Fischer was key in the last few minutes when the Spurs kept on coming at them. He made a big three to put them up five with 4:30 to go and a bank shot with 2 minutes left to put them up six. James Harden's fearlessness in the clutch is amazing for someone his age and inexperience in big matches. I can't imagine what it's going to be like if this team sticks around when they are actually in the prime of their careers. It's scary!

I'm thinking OKC wants to play Boston. They will rip them apart in the big man department. Boston will struggle to get that easy lob pass in which they are having their way with Miami at the moment. That is a big part of their offence in their series against the Heat. OKC will shut that down and they will have to make big plays from the perimeter. Westbrook will also be able to contain Rondo much better than what Chalmers is capable of. Miami match up a little better but I still don't think they have enough depth to match the Thunder.

Check out game highlights below courtesy of www.NBA.com

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Miami v Boston Game 5 extravaganza

Well how about Game Five in Miami. One of the all time greats. There was great offence, excellent defence and big time shots. Miami started incredibly well and then Boston even though shooting terribly stayed within two points at the half time break. The Celtics continued to mount comeback after comeback until they hit the lead during the fourth quarter on some crafty moves by Rondo and some brilliant shooting by Pietrus and Garnett. They weren't to look back as Pietrus and Pierce hit huge threes to bury any chance of Miami holding court. Boston take a shock 3-2 lead heading back to the Garden on Friday.

Boston proved that experience matters come the crunch. Paul Pierce's three ball over a stretched LeBron James was amazing. It felt like he took an eternity to shoot that. Even though he was playing poorly Pierce stepped up in the fourth taking the ball strongly to the hoop and hitting some key perimeter jumpers.

On the other hand it was the same old story for LeBron James. He hit a wide open three and a uncontested layup in the fourth quarter. In the final 8 minutes of the game LeBron had four shots. Eric Spoelstra should have his contract ripped up no matter what happens in this series or even if they win the final. This is outrageous. He can't coach basketball to save his life let alone his career. He has been handed two of the best players ever to play the game and he shits himself in the final quarter every time.

The highlights of this awesome game can be viewed here (check out Wade's block and then Rondo's pass. Incredible from both guys).

Here are some awesome pics going around from today's game.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

NRL and Gallop Part Ways

David Gallop has officially resigned from his position at the National Rugby League today. This is news people have seen coming for a couple of weeks now.

Over the course of his duty at the helm of the NRL David Gallop has gone to hell and back. He has had to deal with some of the biggest issues Rugby League has witnessed in the history of the game. I feel as if he has dealt with many of them as well as anyone could have. He has set a platform for the person who steps into his position.

Many Rugby League fans haven't seen eye to eye with a lot of Gallops decisions during his tenure. He had to deal with the Bulldogs and Melbourne Salary Cap drama, Brett Stewart's infamous court case and all the other moronic things NRL players do in their spare time. Even though I was shattered with what he did with the Bulldogs (stripping them of all their points), he was consistent when the Storm were caught.

I hope Gallop has left the Rugby League in a good position in terms of the broadcasting deal. I know this is one thing the fans have felt he could have done better in the past. The league needs to keep their players in this country and stop the exodus overseas. A large deal could be what helps the NRL get back on it's feet.

Gallop was quoted in saying that he will take a break and use his services elsewhere. Where do you think he will go? Will any other sporting organisation take him on board? I believe so. I think he is a very smart man who has dealt with issues no sporting code in Australia has. That has to benefit somebody greatly.

Shane Heal has already tweeted "Lets get Gallop to run the NBL. I thought he was great at the NRL.Would be terrific for basketball." I couldn't agree more. It would take basketball to a better place in Australian sport and give us a recognised face at the top.

Good luck David Gallop in your endeavours and thanks for keeping as much control as you could of our game in your time at the NRL.

Who will be next in charge of our beloved game?

Monday, June 4, 2012


In both the East and Western Conference Finals the home team has held fort and will now play in a best of three. Could the NBA Playoffs get any better?

After going over both my Western and Eastern Conference previews I'm quite happy with how I felt the series would have developed.

I feel as if OKC are taking a lot of momentum to San Antonio for game 5. However Coach Pop will have something up his sleeve to keep the Spurs in front I think. The Spurs have not lost three in a row all season. I struggle to think it will be this one. They have not looked great in Oklahoma which suggests this could possibly go the distance. Kevin Durant's final quarter was simply amazing in game four. He absolutely torched the Spurs in every way possible.

I see game 5 being a lot more of a tussle and a little less free flowing than the first four games. The pressure is starting to mount on both sides and each possession means so much. I think we will stop seeing silly turnovers on the fast break and both sides will try to develop a post game before the small guys take over. Tony Parker is going to have to find his feet again after struggling in Oklahoma. Another one of those magical 16 for 21 nights will definitely help the Spurs stay ahead in this series.

What a series this Miami vs Boston is turning out to be! I find it a lot of the time you are guaranteed a big finish in the Eastern Conference just for the fact it is played much tighter than the West. Today was no different. Wade found himself wide open after Daniels bit on the shot fake. It wasn't to be an Boston evened up the series.

There was big call after big call in game four. Pierce fouling out and then Garnett's foul in the last few seconds of regulation were the big ones against Boston. Miami lost LBJ in overtime to a similar foul that we saw on Garnett. I think it was a square up for the call earlier. There were also some dubious charge calls which could have gone either way. One of the fouls I couldn't believe they missed was Wades block on Pierce. Did anyone else see the contact on the body?

I thought Wade over the last two games hasn't been himself. He can't go back to Miami and play the way he has been playing in Boston. It could potentially mean Boston go home being up 3-2. It will be a big feat if Rondo and the Celtics can win this series but I'm not entirely convinced Miami can get a full team effort for the next three games. Boston's bench has all the confidence in the world heading into the fifth game. Could that be the telling factor?

Does anyone else believe LBJ thinks Udonis Haslem is more clutch than him? Why does he continue to pass the ball to him with two seconds left on the clock. I feel for Haslem a little bit. What is he seriously meant to do!

I'm really looking forward to these games. They are going to be rippers. Do they both go to seven games or does someone get the job done in six. What do you think?

If you're looking to have a bet, click on the link below and get signed up. Plenty of value floating about!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Battle Of The East


Tomorrow at 10:30am Miami will begin their quest for a second straight NBA Finals appearance against the Boston Celtics. It is extremely disappointing that the Chicago Bulls are not fit enough to take on the Heat. That's old news now and I am moving on.

The Miami Heat are coming off a tough series against the Indiana Pacers. The Heat struggled at times with the size of the Pacers and had to rely heavily on their big two. LeBron and Wade came up big time in their four wins. Dwayne Wade was incredible in game six. He literally put them on his back and took them to the Eastern Conference finals. There were a few incidents in that series that pissed me off a little:

  • Lance Stephenson giving the Heat the choking signal during their game three victory at home. Who on earth do you think you are? You are a nobody who woke up the dead. 
  • In Game 5 Udonis Haslem clearly tried to take Tyler 'Crazy T' Hansborough's head off while defending his  jump shot. This was only given a flagrant one at the time and allowed Haslem to stay on the court. It is clearly a disgrace the NBA allowed him to take any further part in that game. The reason I say this is because if it was Metta World Peace he would have been ejected with no questions asked! I agreed with the one match ban, I thought that was enough.
  • Also in Game 5 Dexter 'Who?' Pittman takes out Lance Stephenson with a flying elbow. It was exactly like Andrew Bynum's elbow on J J Barea if not worse. If someone cares to explain how this moron only got three games go right ahead. The NBA should be disgraced that we will see this guy play again in the playoffs. I go back to MWP again, if it was him we wouldn't be seeing him in the playoffs and maybe sometime into next season! David Stern and the rest of his puppets should be ashamed. 
The Boston Celtics had a very tough time taking care of the pesky Philadelphia 76ers. It took them 7 whole games to finish them off. It could have gone either way when Paul Pierce got fouled out with 4 and a half minutes left in game 7. However Rajon Rondo stepped up to the plate making some huge plays down the stretch. I think the NBA are very happy with the series they have been dealt. I don't think a Heat/76ers Eastern Conference final will have been too exciting. 

As I did with the Western Conference finals, I'm going to go through the key match-ups and decide on my winner and in how many games. 

Point Guard: Mario Chalmers v Rajon Rondo
Rondo is the X Factor on this Celtics team. If he doesn't play well, Boston don't win. There are no if's or but's about it. Chalmers will not be able to stop him or slow him down. Rondo should be able to get in the paint whenever he wants and distribute the ball to his shooters. The keyword here is 'shooters'. Will the Boston big guys continue to hit their shots? Brandon Bass and Kevin Garnett are on a tear at the moment. If Ray Allen can find the bottom of the net it is going to help Rondo so much more. This is going to pull Joel Anthony out of the paint and create more room for Rajon to do his thing. Chalmers in the meantime is going to have to help LBJ and D-Wade out by hitting the open jump shot. If he can average 10-12 points in this series it will be big time in deciding the outcome. 
VERDICT: Stop the FIGHT! Rondo wins this hands down.

Shooting Guard: Dwayne Wade v Ray Allen 
Wade is one of the best players in the league when it comes to big matches. He showed what he is more than capable of doing when he torched the Pacers in their own gym. Now he will have an aging Ray Allen to run rings around. One thing for sure is that Allen will not stop running after Wade. He will try and make every shot of Wades difficult and make him work for every point. We all know Wade is going to get his points but is Ray going to find some form in this series? Allen has been struggling with his shot all playoffs since he has returned from his injury. However he did see one drop in game seven of the last series. Sometimes that is all that is needed for a shooter. I'm sure a few of my readers can vouch for that. If Allen gets hot it is going to force Wade to run through screens for an extended period which could tire him out. If Allen isn't hitting his shot Wade can cruise on and save energy for the offensive end where he is so deadly.
VERDICT: I'd be taking Wade any day of the week but the Heat must keep an eye on Allen. He may just put out the Heat's fire. 

Small Forward: LeBron James v Paul Pierce
LBJ looks as if someone has waved the red cape in front of his face and said charge. Indiana did not know what had hit them in their final three playoff games. James torched them in every way possible. The guy can do everything bar take a game winning/tying shot ;) He may be called upon in this series. I can tell you one thing the Boston fans will be egging him on all game. The problem is he has heard it all before. The heckling is nothing new to him. James will know however that he must win this series for it all to stop. He will have Paul 'The Truth' Pierce trying to stop him though. Can Pierce slow the raging bull down? I don't think he can over seven games. He may not need seven games though. Pierce must stay out of foul trouble for Boston to be competitive. I don't think they have anyone else that can contain James. Pierce is an almighty clutch player and will definitely be called upon during this series.
VERDICT: Silly question. LBJ wins this one quite easily. I will say however I'd be taking Pierce if I needed the game winner/tie any day of the week.

Power Forward: Shane Battier v Kevin Garnett 
Battier has stepped into Chris Bosh's position and given them a much needed physicality in the paint. He did a superb job on David West in the Indiana series. He will be called on to defend KG in this one. I think he struggles with this matchup. Garnett is so much smarter than West and doesn't take as many stupid shots or shots that just aren't on. Everything KG does is within the structure of the Boston offence. Battier has the advantage of getting a hand up on KG's perimeter shots as he will be able to contain the dribble. This is something Elton Brand and co for the 76ers couldn't do. Battier is going to have to continue to hit his three ball like he did in game 6 of the last series. He came out feeling confident and hit a few threes early. If he is hitting his shots Garnett will be forced out of the painted area which could allow for plenty of offensive rebounds for the Heat. If not, Garnett will be at his best, gobbling up the boards and keeping the likes of Wade and James out of the paint. KG has the nickname of 'The Ticket' for a good reason. Whenever the Celtics are in trouble and need a win they go to the big fella for the bucket inside. He knows when he is needed, this is one of his key traits. If he continues to hit his outside jump shot the Celtics might be headed to another NBA Finals.
VERDICT: I'd be taking KG in this one. I know exactly what I'm going to get from him night in night out. Battier is a mixed bag on offence and could turn out to be a liability on defence if KG gets going.

Centre: Joel Anthony v Brandon Bass 
Anthony does one thing and does it well, blocks and changes opposition shots. He is a liability on offence and isn't used much at all. At times it's 5 on 4. I think Boston may use this to their advantage during the series. On the other hand Brandon Bass has found a new gear in his play during the playoffs. He has found that happy medium with his jumpshot which is helping the rest of the team find theirs. If he can somehow drag Anthony out of the paint by continuing to hit perimeter shots, Miami could be in a bit of strife. Bass needs to stay aggressive even if his jumper is not falling. He must also help out on the defensive glass and limit second chance opportunities for the Heat. 
VERDICT: It's a tough one because you know what Anthony brings to the table every night. Bass on the other hand is a little all over the place. However Bass is the form player so I will take him on in this one.

Coach: Erik Spoelstra v Doc Rivers
Spo needs this desperately! If he doesn't win this year it's curtains. That is a lot of pressure on a young coach. He is going to have to find time for the big two to rest. He will also need to find the motivation for his role players and to get them going from the beginning of the series. On the other hand you have one of the better coaches going around. Rivers knows all the tricks of the trade and will have a brilliant game plan on how to destroy the two-headed monster in Wade and James.
VERDICT: Rivers in a beat-down.

This series is going to be incredibly scrappy. The players are going to have to fight for every possession like it is their last one. Baskets will be hard to come by and this series definitely won't be as fluent as the Western Conference one. It is how the coaches get their team ready for the grind. The team who is patient enough for the full 48 minutes could be the team who comes out with the series win and takes their talents to the NBA Finals. 

This all being said I think Miami goes through but only just. I think Boston gives themselves a really big sight. They match-up really well and it will come down to one or two plays in which will decide the outcome of the series. I think Boston playing a seven game series against Philly could hurt them big time. I can't count them out though. 

I'm looking forward to watching the difference in style to how the Western Conference is being played out. Miami in 6 for me. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


The Western Conference finals have been decided after the Oklahoma City Thunder finished off the Los Angeles Lakers in 5 games. They will meet the red hot San Antonio Spurs who haven't lost a match in over a month. This should be a great series. Two teams who love to run and gun and have weapons who on any given night could steal a game from their opposition. There are some great match-ups on show and I can't wait for it to begin. I think I recall ESPN Australia are going to be showing all Eastern and Western Conference final games live. This is great for basketball fans in our country. Hopefully it leads to one day bringing over NBA TV so we can stop flogging our internet usage meter.

I'm going to go through the match-ups and who I think comes out on top in each. I'd love to hear what you all think.

Point Guard: Tony Parker v Russell Westbrook
I believe Tony is going to win this match-up quite comfortably. I can't wait too see how Rusty goes when he matches up against a guard who can play. In the first two series he has had an old Jason Kidd and then Ramon Sessions (I can't believe I even referred to Sessions in my blog). The big question mark I have is if Westbrook will have learned from previous years when he has struggled. I don't think he will. The reason I say this because he has been given a massive confidence boost playing against the muppets in the first two series. If he had tough opponents in the first two series it may have gotten him ready for the big show. Tony Parker on the other hand is a seasoned veteran when it comes to the Western Conference finals. In addition to that he has had to battle with Chris Paul (even though injured he is miles ahead of Kidd and Sessions) over the 4 games. It will have gotten him ready for this contest much more than Rusty.
VERDICT : Tony Parker goes about his business much better and wins this match-up.

Shooting Guard: Daniel Green v Thabo Sefolosha
How good is Danny Green going this season? He is going to have a much tougher time this series with the much longer Thabo. His speed could trouble Sefolosha which could mean James Harden sees more minutes than usual. If Green can average double digits in this series it will help the team dramatically. Thabo has been struggling with his shot over the last two series and will need to hit his corner three ball to help the big three with the scoring. He is going to need to regain the trust of KD and Rusty, otherwise Spurs will leave him alone and have a bigger focus on the big three.
VERDICT: Green has been a star this season and I can't see this changing. Thabo's inability to keep up with Green may be good for the Thunder as Harden will see much more time. Green takes this one for me.

Small Forward: Kawhi Leonard v Kevin Durant
We all know what KD is capable of. He is one of, if not the most, lethal scorers in the NBA at the moment. He will have his hands full though with Leonard. This kid is going to be a superstar. In his rookie year for the Spurs he has been a shining light. His hustle and determination alone is unseen in most NBA franchises. Even though he is only averaging 24 minutes, it's what he brings in those 24 minutes that is so impressive. I don't think you could play that hard for 48 minutes. He is going to have to stay out of foul trouble while trying to make KD's life tough. I think he can make Durant play defence a hell of a lot more that Metta World Peace did. That could play a part in Durant's ability to last the 48. Could Leonard be the X-Factor that gets the Spurs through?
VERDICT: You can't go past KD in this one. The bloke is just too good. Leonard has to make Durant fight for every point on both ends of the floor.

Power Forward: Boris Diaw v Serge Ibaka
I'm really looking forward to this one. Both of these guys can hit their jump shots when left open which could be a lot in this series. On the offensive side I have to give it to Diaw. I think he can bring Ibaka out of the paint which will let Parker do his thing. If Ibaka comes out to guard Diaw he has the drive to get by Serge. His width could also be troubling. This could force  Kendrick Perkins to guard Diaw. On the other end of the floor however Ibaka shines. His ability to block shots could be worrying for the Spurs. Parker gets alot of his points close to the basket, Diaw is going to have to hit his shots to force Serge outside the painted area.
VERDICT: If I had a gun to my head I'd pick Ibaka as he could potentially stop Parker from getting his easy baskets. However, if Diaw is hitting his shots Ibaka could become a non factor.

Centre: Tim Duncan v Kendrick Perkins
Duncan has found a new lease of life this season. It maybe because he has so many talented youngsters surrounding him, who knows but whatever it is it's working. I can Perkins trying to muscle Duncan around like he has done with Bynum. I think Duncan has too many veteran tricks when it comes to not allowing himself to be fronted. When Duncan gets the ball either in the post or in his favourite spot just off it, I don't see Perks being able to stop his bank shot or his slick post moves. It was easy for him with Bynum as he could just body him up or front him. He will be dead tired after a few minutes and Nick Collison could be called upon alot more. On the other end Duncan won't have to do too much work guarding Perks. If Perkins can find a way to slow down the rejuvenated game of Timmy D it could be the key to the Thunder going through to the NBA finals.
VERDICT: Duncan wins this and gives Scotty Brooks nightmares with who to put on him.

Sixth Man: Manu Ginobili v James Harden
Two of the best players in the league to come off the bench and change the game for their respective teams. They're both left handed which causes trouble for opposition defences but will now go toe to toe. It's never going to let the series have a dull moment. These guys are massive in letting the key players have a breather. They are the rock in the second unit. If they aren't playing well it could see the game slip into the opponents hands. These two rarely let that happen. I personally think Manu is on another level, I think Harden will reach this level in a couple of years. The Spurs have many guys they can throw on Harden to upset his game. It's how he reacts to this will be a big factor in them winning or losing.
VERDICT: I believe Manu's smarts and ability to hit big time shots and make big time plays are what gets him this match-up.

This is an easy one for me. The Spurs have had the deepest bench in the league all season long. They all have playoff experience and have played plenty of minutes throughout the playoffs. I can't say the same about the Thunder. Nick Collison and Derek Fischer are all they really have. I'd much prefer a 10 man deep bench then an 8. Foul trouble could kill the thunder in this series.
VERDICT: Spurs, not even close for me.

COACH: Gregg Popovich v Scott Brooks
The Master vs The Apprentice. Pop has shown he is more than capable of dealing with his star studded roster this season and in the playoffs. He will have no problem in this series. The big question I have with Scotty Brooks is his ability to take control of Rusty. Will he be able to pull him aside when the going gets tough and tell him to get the ball to Durant and Harden? I don't think so.

There are plenty of great match-ups but I think the Spurs take this one in Six. The Spurs play their guys for not as many minutes as the Thunder do and that will be the telling tale as the series gets deeper.

I can't wait for the series to begin. I believe the winner of this takes the Championship out, unless they take each other out and have no players left for the finals!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Two big announcements came about today for the Australian Boomers. Firstly the two pools for the Olympics games were drawn. Secondly the Boomers squad for the 2012 Olympics was published.

I am and sure others have to be stoked with the teams the Boomers have drawn in London. It couldn't be any better. This gives us a great chance to get second in our pool and get that weaker crossover game that we haven't been able to obtain in the past. It is highly unlikely we will take the Spaniards down but we can easily account for the likes of Great Britain and China. We will have an almighty battle with the Brazilians especially if they field the likes of Leandro Barbosa and Tiago Splitter. The big key is which qualifier we get in the group. I think it could potentially be Greece. We get the weakest Qualifier out of the three that make it. That's what it looks like anyway. I can't see the Greeks beating Lithuania and Russia. There is no reason we can't beat this Greek team. It's a much weaker team than in the past and we need to take some revenge out from the last time they beat us at the World Championships in 2006. I don't think Australian basketball fans will ever forget that game. 

FIBA have given us some hope and we need to take care of business over in London. This is Australia's chance to make the semi finals and give us some hope for a medal. It will be broadcast to millions of homes around the world. It potentially will be against the USA on Friday the 10th of August. Bookmark it folks, it could be what kick starts basketball in Australia once again. In no way am I saying we will beat the DreamTeam. I think this is when the Australian population becomes fully aware of how good our sport is and how much talent we have in such a small country.

I posted not so long ago the squad I would have going over to London to compete in the games. I will say once the camps are over and they are ready to announce the team it won't be too far off. The NBL website posted the squad today. There is some serious talent to pick from which is exactly what we need. Most of the squad has had experience or are experiencing basketball in Europe. After watching how the Boomers play defence you can see some serious similarities to the European game. The DreamTeam don't like rough physical play at all. This is why the Spaniards are starting to catch up to them. I believe if Rubio didn't injure himself during the NBA season they could have beaten the USA. There are also some young guys out of college who have cracked the squad which is always good to see. It will be good for their experience and will continue to make them better. It is also great to see nine  players in the squad are currently playing in the NBL, some of them will definitely make the team. This is great for our league as it continues to grow into one of the best in the world.

I wish Andrew Bogut was playing in this team. There is no doubt we would have had a solid performance in the quarter finals and a big chance for a medal. We will have to do without the big fella in London. I'm sure he will be there with the boys cheering them on. He will bring valuable knowledge and experience to the sidelines. 

Here's to hoping there are no slip ups on the way to the games and that the final squad that gets picked does us proud.

Bring on August 10th!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Patty Putting In Work For Spurs

Patty Mills has exploded with 27 points in their 2nd last regular season game against the Phoenix Suns. San Antonio will cap off an extraordinary season tomorrow when they play the Golden State Warriors. The Spurs have only lost 16 games all season and will tie with the Chicago Bulls if both teams win tomorrow.

Mills has burst onto the scene in the latter half of the season and provided a great backup to Tony Parker. He has a renewed confidence and seems to have the green light to shoot. Spurs coach Greg Popovich must have assistant coach, and Australian Boomers head coach Brett Brown, in his ear telling him good things. If so Patty is living up to it! He has done contract extensions no harm. In a team that is so stacked it must make Mills feel so good.

All it takes is something to spark some confidence. After coming to the NBL this season and not having produced the best stats he headed to China where he put up some heavy numbers. As a player when you see the ball continually going through that hoop, confidence is sky high. Patty is probably seeing the basket as a hoola hoop right now.

 I wonder if Mills will see many minutes in the playoffs. Mr Popovich has his favourites and will be tough to crack. There is no reason not to have faith in one of the deadliest benches the league has seen in a long time.

Western Conference finals are live on ESPN. It would be great to see an Aussie running around in one of the biggest events on the sporting calendar. It could give basketball some more exposure and get everyone ready for the Olympic Games.

I don't see too many teams beating the Spurs in this years playoffs, especially if Tim Duncan is on song. We all know Parker and Manu Ginobili are going to do their thing. Hopefully Patty can play a big part in the Spurs getting an NBA Championship.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

5 Games Please??

Unless your a die hard NBL fan you would have had no idea the Perth Wildcats are trying to even up the three game Grand Final Series tomorrow night against the New Zealand Breakers. You probably had no idea the season had even begun!

However I'm one of those fans that wish the series would last a little longer than the three games (or two if NZ win tomorrow night). I say bring back the 5 games series. It lets the fans see the best of the best going at it. The NBL would be kicking themselves right now. They could have had 5 sellout games which would have been great for the newspapers and the delayed telecast. Instead Perth sell their game out in no time and the fans who missed out don't get another chance to see their team in the GF. A little disappointing if you ask me. The NBL are always claiming that attendance has grown over the last few years, so why not add a few extra games to a superb final series. I don't think too many people will complain.

Tomorrow night Perth have to hold home court to send this series into a deciding game back in NZ. The way Perth played the GC at home over the last couple of weeks was incredible. If they can replicate that style of play, their will be a third game. I think they will be a little disappointed in not bringing home the win last week, especially without Thomas Abercrombie missing the game. You can never be too confident with Perth no matter where they have played this season. The Wildcats have squandered many a lead over the last six months. In the end it cost them top spot.

I think Abercrombie rests this game and plays in the third. If that's the case I believe Perth win and take lots of confidence back across the Tasman. Who wants to see the NBL trophy back in NZ again? I certainly DO NOT!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

LBJ 17 Points in 3 Minutes

I don't know if everyone has caught up with today's NBA happenings but I thought I'd fill you in on LeBron's 17 point final three minutes! I'm not a big fan of LBJ but this was impressive. If he had performed it against the Bulls and not the Nets I may have even crossed over to the dark side. I know that will never happen so I'm safe.

Here is the clip of him taking over the game and the Nets choking dramatically.

What are your favourite all time comebacks from your NBA heroes? Here is an incredible one by T-Mac. Spurs fans would have been furious that day!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Shoot 8 Million In Our Basket

Today the Australian Government funded a new Western Sydney A-League team 8 million dollars. I have nothing against this what so ever but, if they are able to throw 8 million around like that, why can't they throw Basketball Australia some too?

I think soccer in the west of Sydney will be great. I think it's what's been missing in the A-League for a long time. It will bring a great rivalry to our state. You only have to watch the Melbourne Victory v Melbourne Heart games to see what passion and excitement it brings to the fans of the game. However, should the Government be throwing 8 million dollars into a sport which they blew 45 million on to try and get our country the World Cup. It seems like a bad gamble to me, especially when we only just witnessed our Olyroos not score a single goal in their Olympic campaign. The sport really seems to be going places, so why not throw another 8 million their way?

On the other hand, Basketball Australia can't even get their product live on National TV. It has ruined one of the most popular sports in this country, let alone the world. Why doesn't the Government do something about that? The Government should be buying into something that is growing. The NBL reported that crowd growth has continued for the third season running. You may not think 4100 people attending a game is many, but this is the problem. The NBL doesn't have the funds to go and buy big stadiums. The Government needs to take a long look at their allocation of funds to sporting codes around our country. It just doesn't seem right. I'm glad the new chairman of Basketball Australia, Kristina Keneally, stood up for our code today. Basketball players and fans across Australia needed to hear someone stick up for the sport.

I'm hoping something gets done about this and the Government come to their senses. It just seems that the only way Basketball Australia is going to take off is if the Aussie men medal at the Olympics. I do say the Aussie men only because the women always do well and it's no surprise. However the men are carrying some big name players, such as Andrew Bogut and Patty Mills, who people have become familiar with over the years with their stints in the NBA. It will create a big buzz and hopefully gain some exposure across the country. No-one knew who Tim Cahill was before he scored those two goals in the World Cup match against Japan. Why can't it be the same if Patty Mills hits the buzzer beater to sink the DreamTeam(USA)? Will the Government show their faces then?

Thursday, March 29, 2012


While making sure I had the Please Marry My Boy Finale taped, I was flicking through my twitter timeline and came across Robbie Farah's tweet. "Just got ambushed on NRL on Fox. Pretty fired up ATM to be honest and pretty pissed off. Wanted to unleash more then I did". I was intrigued so I called my boss who is a mad Tigers supporter to see if he knew what on earth went down. He must have been bombarded with phone calls so i had to watch it for myself.

Just as I sat down to watch it, my lovely girlfriend told me I had to go down to the supermarket, lucky I have IQ. I quickly taped it and ran off to the shops. It just so happens I live right near the Fox Sports Studio. While walking past I was hoping to catch Robbie Farah blowing up at some executive but that wasn't to be. 

I got home just as it was finishing so I rewound it and watched the interview from the start. It was quite full on and awkward. I just don't think anyone else would have the balls to confront a captain like Matty Johns did. Was he in the right? In my mind he definitely was. The Tigers are playing woeful, out of character and with no heart. To sum that up in one word, "soft", and that's exactly what was said on air. I'm one for excuses so I can't really give it to him for that, but why was he so wound up about it when he continually said "it's only March". Johns was spot on about the Tigers play over the last couple of weeks and Farah only had to say "did you see us scramble". I mean at least come up with something good, I'm surprised the boys didn't start laughing. 

It is about time some of these players got told how it is. I can't wait for someone to tell them that they are all overpaid athletes, I'm sure we will see fireworks erupt then. 

I don't know if anyone noticed but when Matty asked if he could delve further, Robbie peers over Johns shoulder. I'm guessing it was either to his manager or maybe the production manager. You could tell he was burning up inside, his death stare after Matty had finished speaking with him was priceless. A captain under fire and not coping with it at all well is not a good image for the Tigers. I mean he even swore on air. Mark Geyer even rubbed it in further by saying "I had you guys missing the 8". 

I could see the tension growing between Robbie and Matty, I somehow don't think this is over! 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sporting World Gone Mad

Tony Williams (T-Rex) getting seven weeks for being too strong. Willie Mason coming back to the NRL. Robert Lui finally pleading guilty. Our first, and I'm sure not the last, NRL casualty of having a big night in the Gold Coast. The New Orleans Saints defensive co-ordinator paying his team extra for big hits. These are only some of the crazy headlines the papers have seen this week. Journalists around the country must have thought they'd won the lotto.

Firstly, how on earth is T-rex getting seven weeks for his tackle on Isaac De Gois? There was no intent on spearing him into the ground at all. He didn't pick him up between the legs but just used his sheer strength to pick him up and drive him to the ground. The problem was it became awkward and De Gois fell head first. T-Rex just doesn't understand how strong he is. De Gois is tiny compared to the big guy. You think that would come under consideration when the panel looked at the footage. I really don't know what the panel are doing when viewing these incidents. A probable scenario could be that they punch a cone and then lather themselves in chocolate and lick it off each other while they place players seasons in jeopardy. In the same week Trent Merrin and Jeremy Latimore from the Dragons come in late with swinging arms and clenched fists and both make contact with the head. NOT EVEN A PENALTY. One of the incidents even went upstairs with nothing came out of it. I don't even want to know what the video ref was doing up in his box at Kogarah. The consistency of the Match Review Committee and Tribunal early in the season is disgraceful and I hope it starts to come together sooner rather than later.

Secondly, two of the NRL's favourite sons are back in the spotlight this week. Willie Mason coming back to play for the Tigers and former Tiger Robert Lui finally pleading guilty to bashing his girlfriend. Are the Tigers really at ground zero to bring back Willy? We all know he is more trouble than he is worth. If his head is screwed on he could be great for the Tigers, but how long can he keep that up, before hitting up the Sapphire at the Cross and getting into all in brawls with his brother?
Robert Lui finally came out and pleaded guilty. Good on you mate it's about time. However now you should be de-registered from the NRL and never to play in it again. How can the NRL let this sick human play in a league that has a dedicated round to Women. It will look terrible for the NRL if Lui is seen playing on the football field for the Cowboys.
It's only taken three weeks for the NRL to see their first player get in trouble on the piss in the Gold Coast. It might be a weekly occurrence as most of the teams will be celebrating after beating the GC up there. What are the NRL going to do about this type of behaviour? Whatever they have been doing just isn't working! These guys are getting paid too much money.

Lastly, I couldn't believe the news I heard regarding the New Orleans Saints NFL Team. Who in their right mind would give players extra money for hurting other players. This guy is a sicko! Why would players agree with it? I'd understand if Isaac Luke was suiting up but he isn't! The footy field is a battlefield. Players go out there to win and play with intensity and passion. I'm sure in the back of their mind they are not thinking to hurt their opposition so they can get a bit of extra cash. Are these players who accepted the challenge not getting paid enough? I find that hard to believe. How do they live with themselves? I'm sure some of the teams they would have matched up against would have been their mates. Do they not participate in games against friends? How are their mates going to react to this situation? I certainly wouldn't be happy if I knew one of my mates during the game was being payed to hurt me. Coach Payton now has to suffer the consequences of covering all this up. He was suspended a year of coaching, the first time this has happened in the NFL. If he really did know about this going on, I will have lost a lot of respect for the man as a coach.

I may have missed somethings like Thorpie missing the Olympics but we all knew that was going to happen so it's pointless writing about it!

Monday, March 12, 2012

What's Not To Love About A Sporting Rivalry

Since I became a sports fanatic all those years ago I've come across many sporting rivalries and the stories in which they produce. I've also been involved in plenty myself. The passion and excitement in which a game between two rival associations is not witnessed anywhere else in the world, unless your a carny fighting for turf at the Easter Show.

I have grown up as a Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs fan who went to High School at Marist College Kogarah. I was a Doggies fan at a school in the heart of the St George area. During my high school years I was certainly outnumbered. There were a bunch of us that flew the Blue and White flag and we did it well. The Dogs had a lot of success against the Dragons in those years which helped us get through our time at Kogarah. It was a good feeling walking through the school gates when the Dogs had a big win against the Dragons and not so good when we got rolled. Rivalries bring out so much tension and fun at the same time. The banter that goes on before and after the match is brilliant but when the match is on, friendships are put on hold.

The Dogs went through a real rough patch over the last four years against the Dragons and we have copped it. Watching the Dragons finally win a premiership was a sickening feeling, something I hope I'll never have to do again. I think I'm still listening to my mother gloat about it. The one thing that you can't say to a rival fan after a loss is that it doesn't matter. I know it matters, it's mattered the last 4 years and it burns inside until you get that revenge back!

Over every sport there are 100's of rivalries and it makes it all that more exciting. When the draw comes out at the start of the season you scan through and look out for the games in which you need to take work off for, or tell the Mrs you will be out for the night with the boys.

It starts at an early age. When I played basketball for NSW Metro at the National Titles I was subject to my first real rivalry. I heard many stories about Victoria Metro and how much it means to beat them. They were like the Manly Sea Eagles of the NRL, no-one liked them and everyone wanted to smash them. Why was that you may ask? They were the cream of the crop, Victoria was the basketball state and produced the best basketballers in our nation. I'll never forget we played them in the final of the Under 18's Nationals. They had Brad Robbins and Tom Burns, we had Steve Markovic. However we had the whole crowd on our side. There may have been 1500-2000 people there and every single one of them, apart from family and friends of the Victorians, were cheering for the NSW boys. We even had the VIC Country boys on our side. They beat us in the end. It's a rivalry that has existed for many years and continues to do so.

I was also involved in the Sydney Kings v West Sydney Razorbacks rivalry. A sold out Grand Final series showed how much this rivalry put basketball back on the map in NSW for those couple of years. The papers were filled with banter where journalists had a field day eating up Brian Goorjian's passion and Geordie McLeod's strategical prowess. It was a cinderella story for the NBL as the series went to 5 games and 10000 people filled the Sydney Entertainment Centre for Game 5. How it ended will also be remembered forever. Ebi Ere taking the game over in the final quarter after we looked dead and buried. How much it meant to beat them and keep the reigns in the Harbour region was reflected in the celebrations. Walking out to 1000's of people getting blind and celebrating was something I'll never forget.

These are some of my favourite rivalries, I'll let you tell me some of yours!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


The SportsShmuck is back! I haven't been able to post in a while and I'm sorry to anyone who enjoyed reading my posts. I will now make an effort to keep this blog up to date with the latest happenings and issues in sport. Don't forget to post your comments down the bottom. I will reply as soon as I get the chance.

The Boomers have been dealt a blow before their Olympic campaign takes full flight with the announcement Kyrie Irving, rookie sensation in the NBA, has decided to keep his talents in the USA. Irving has been by far the best rookie in the NBA this season only being overshadowed by the LIN nonsense. I personally didn't think he would do that well in the league only having played a handful of College games for Duke. I totally got that wrong! He is a superstar.

The problem is he is sitting behind 4/5 of the best point guards in the world. Standing in the way of Irving's Dreamteam aspirations are Chris Paul(CP3), Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Rajon Rondo and Deron Williams(D-Will). Some of the PG's mentioned above will be at their prime basketball age when 2016 comes around. I struggle to see them giving their spot up to some young kid. If he thinks he will make the 2016 team he has rocks in his head! I know he is tight with Coach K, but what is to say he will be locked into the 2016 gig. If they don't win the Olympics in London I struggle to see him at the next one. Europe is slowly catching up to the Americans and we continue to see this in the amount of Europeans not only in the NBA, but doing very well.

If Irving was smart he would have played for Australia and been guaranteed a spot in every Olympics for the rest of his career. The Boomers would have been a force to be reckoned with at the London Olympics with many of the players on the roster having played at previous Olympics or World Championships. If Bogut is fit for the games, the Boomers will be a force even without Irving. I think we will definitely come out of the group phase but we desperately need to miss the Spanish or the USA when we cross over. A one off semi final could be the chance to put Australian basketball on the map.

I can tell you one thing, Irving will be cursing he didn't come and play for the Boomers in years to come. There must be people out there giving the kid false hope. I'm sure however he is keeping an eye on D-Wills 57 points, Rondo's monster triple-double, Rose's MVP numbers, Westbrook leading the Thunder to one of the best records and CP3's dominance in the clutch for the Clippers.  By 2020 or 2024 he may have a whole new class to compete with and Coach K may not be around. I think this is a huge risk knowing he may have had three Olympics under his belt with the Boomers before he gets a chance of one with the Dreamteam.

Enough of Irving as I believe Brett Brown, Boomers coach, has plenty of talent at his disposal and will have to make some big decisions at training camp. Here is the 12 men who I think could put Australian basketball on the map for good:

Adam Gibson
Patty Mills
David Barlow
Matty Nielsen
Aleks Maric
Joe Ingles
Mark Worthington
Andrew Bogut
David Andersen
Brad Newley
Nathan Jawai
Matthew Dellavedova

Stephen Markovic
Peter Crawford
AJ Ogilvy
Damian Martin

I may have missed some players but this looks like my strongest roster. Let me know if you think I've missed anyone. I'm looking forward to the camps and seeing the boys fight for their positions. I have my fingers crossed Bogut will be ready to go and lead the boys to a medal. Bogut has not yet impressed at the international level and I think it could be his time to shine.