Kobe Needs To Leave Now

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 19:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers wipes sweat from his face while playing in the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 19, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Retire his number, give him gifts and praise him to the heavens, but get Kobe Bryant off the Lakers now.

Bryant is Willie Mays staggering under a fly ball while ending his career with the Mets. Did you see Bryant’s shooting line against the 76ers last night? It was 7-for-26 from the field, including 4-of-17 from 3-point range. He is shooting 18% on the year from behind the arc and hurting the team each night.

The Lakers are 2-15 now. They could be the worst team after losing to the worst team. This is what Byron Scott said of Bryan’t shooting last night: “Yeah, there’s going to be some games like that that you’re just going to live and die with it.”

Scott’s better at jumping on a hand grenade than he is as an NBA head coach. Bryant has shot like that all season, continually hogging the ball and spotlight keeping a young Lakers squad from growing and getting needed shot experience. There is some talent on the Lakers – you just can’t get past Bryant to find it.

Bryant is dead last – 120th – in field goal percentage making just 30.1 percent from the floor. Bryant makes Emmanuel Mudiay look like Wilt Chamberlain in field goal accuracy. It’s getting worse, too. Bryant is 25-for-102 (24.5 percent) shooting from the floor in his last five games.

Bryant already has announced this is his final season. Now, for the good of all involved, the retirement process needs to be sped up immediately.

Written by Stephen Nover from VegasTopDogs.com

Has Father time has caught up with Kobe Bryant


Kobe Bryant has been a top notch elite player for 17 seasons, entertaining crowds for many years. Coming in at just 18 years old, he was a hall of famer waiting to happen. But now with Kobe Bryant calling it a season after his knee injury, one has to question many things about the Lakers and their approaching plans? And one has to look at Kobe as well.

Kobe has claimed he’s all about winning championships. And he has won his share, evidently with 5 in his back pocket. But yet, he took a tremendous contract at the ripe age of 35 for his 48 million and fundamentally handcuffed the Lakers organization with no room to get any talent around him. Tim Duncan showed more than his share of winning teamwork mentality for the Spurs by accepting less money so they could spend for talent around him, and they have been a changeless winning team for years, winning 55 games a season, like clockwork. Maybe Kobe should of thought about the team instead of taking that extension at his age. Realizing that taking a pay cut may have been the best thing for the team itself, and then getting pieces around him to be able to get closer to winning that ring he claims he is all about, but what does he do? The selfish thing, and takes the huge contract. For Kobe lovers and Lakers fans, can you conceive of his Lakers legacy if he had? He would have been the “Golden Child.” But Kobe more than anything proves again, Kobe is about Kobe.

But he is not just to blame, of course, the Lakers organization was implausibly foolish when they did it in the first place. And now the Lakers and Kobe both shot themselves in the foot with that very same contract. They are seeing now, the actuality off having him take up half the cap space isn’t the way you build a challenger. I would have thought the team would have been smarter than that. They should never have splurged the money to him in the first place, particularly to a player towards the end of his career.

He has been a great player, but no superstars in the league had ever wanted to play with him, going back for years. And until Kobe is retired for good, no superstar will come to Los Angeles. He seems to perpetually blame everyone else and never himself for anything that has gone awry with the team. Maybe the fact that he has shot the ball roughly 9-10 shots more than even the 2nd option scorer on the Lakers team when he plays full time. The Lakers have become a Circus and Kobe is the main attraction. “Come watch our aging player score point on 25% of the teams shots, while we lose by 12.”

This is going to take time to heal for Lakers fans. It’s going be a 2 to 3 year operation. With or without Kobe, they are going nowhere for sometime. The West is way too powerful for them. They are truly in reconstruct mode in every aspect of the word. I would not expect much from them till Kobe’s contract is done and over with. An aging player with way too many miles on those knees. Father time has caught up to Kobe, like he does to every person.

Written by TonyK of VegasTopDogs.com

2013 NBA Preview and Predictions


We are getting all set for a new season of NBA basketball, three point shots, buzzer beaters, rim rocking dunks, and shake your head dimes. Making fans all over, like myself, get excited for the opening nights games, I always look forward to seeing what players step it up, and what ones don’t. <p> So with the season knocking on the doorstep, let’s take a gaze forward and take a look into the 2013 season ahead, and forecast where our teams may perhaps end up this season.  <p> Welcome back to the NBA!  <p> Eastern Conference <p> Atlantic        <p> Y-New York Knicks; Last season, 54-28; this year 56-26

X –Brooklyn Nets; Last season, 49-33; this year 53-29

X -Toronto Raptors; Last season, 34-48; this year 40-42

Boston Celtics; Last season, 41-40; this year 29-53

Philadelphia 76ers; Last season, 34-48; this year 24-58 <p> Central        <p> Y- Indiana Pacers; Last season, 49-32; this year 52-30

X –Chicago Bulls; Last season, 45-37; this year 51-31

X -Milwaukee Bucks; Last season, 38-44; this year 39-43

Detroit Pistons; Last season, 29-53; this year 30-52

Cleveland Cavaliers; Last season, 24-58; this year 26-56 <p> Southeast        <p> Z -Miami Heat; Last season, 66-16; this year 62-20

X -Atlanta Hawks; Last season, 44-38; this year 48-34

Washington Wizards; Last season, 29-53; this year 35-47

Charlotte Bobcats; Last season, 21-61; this year 26-56

Orlando Magic; Last season, 20-62; this year 25-57 <p> Western Conference  <p> Northwest    <p>    Z- Oklahoma City Thunder; Last season, 60-22; this year 60-22

X – Denver Nuggets; Last season, 57-25; this year 59-23

X – Minnesota Timberwolves; Last season, 31-51; this year 43-39

Portland Trailblazers; Last season, 33-49; this year 36-46

Utah Jazz; Last season, 43-39; this year 33-49 <p> Pacific        <p> Y – Los Angeles Clippers; Last season, 56-26; this year 60-22

X – Golden State Warriors; Last season, 47-35; this year 53-29

Los Angeles Lakers; Last season, 45-37; this year 41-41

Sacramento Kings; Last season, 28-54; this year 27-55

Phoenix Suns; Last season, 25-57; this year 20-62, <p>

Southwest     <p> Y- Houston Rockets; Last season, 45-37; this year 56-26

X – San Antonio Spurs; Last season, 58-24; this year 54-28

X – Memphis Grizzlies; Last season, 56-26; this year 51-31

New Orleans Hornets; Last season, 27-55; this year 33-49

Dallas Mavericks; Last season, 41-41; this year 25-57 <p>

Rookie of the Year 2013 Predictions <p> VICTOR OLADIPO (6-5, 220 lbs – Orlando Magic) <p>

– Honorable mention (in the race all year long)

Trey Burke (6-1, 190 lbs – Utah Jazz)

Ben McLemore (6-5, 200 lbs – Sacramento Kings)

C.J. McCollum (6-4, 200 lbs – Portland Trailblazers)

Nerlens Noel (7-0, 225 lbs – Philadelphia 76ers)

Otto Porter (6-9, 200 lbs- Washington Wizards)


Coach of the Year 2013

DOC RIVERS, Los Angeles Clippers


Defensive Player of the Year 2013

DWIGHT HOWARD, Houston Rockets


MVP of the Year 2013

LEBRON JAMES (6-9, 265 lbs – Miami Heat)

<p> – Honorable mention (in the race all year long)

Chris Paul (6-0, 195 lbs – Los Angeles Clippers)

Kevin Durant (6-10, 225 lbs – Oklahoma City Thunder)

James Harden (6-5, 220 lbs – Houston Rockets)

Carmelo Anthony (6-9, 235 lbs, New York Knicks)

Steph Curry (6-3, 185 lbs, Golden State Warriors)


EAST Champs 2013

Miami Heat over the New York Knicks


WEST Champs 2013

Los Angeles Clippers over the Denver Nuggets <p>


MIAMI HEAT over the Los Angeles Clippers


It’s been another great season. I have been entertained even through the year, with some great feats all season long. Several big-time winning streaks, some big scoring outputs, and watching players develop into true team players. Let’s take a look at how the season has been, with VTDs 2012 NBA season awards.

MVP of the year LeBron James, SF, Miami Heat; 27 ppg, 8 rpg, 7 apg, Shooting 57% from the field, 41% from behind the arc, with yet another phenomenal season under his belt, LeBron has without difficulty shown the world yet again, why he is the best player on the planet. His game has evolved into pure supremacy, and now he has become clutch, the Heat are his team, and everyone knows it. With all that said,  it does help that he had All-Stars Dwayne Wade who led the Heat in scoring before James arrived, Chris Bosh who averaged a double-double for the Toronto Raptors, Ray Allen who is a future Hall of Famer and Shane Battier who was one of the best defensive players on the Rockets on your team.  Put those guys with Carmello Anthony, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant and it would make things easier and they could win the MVP as well.

Most Improved Player of the year Kemba Walker, PG, Charlotte Bobcats; 18 ppg, 4 rpg, 6 apg, Kemba had brought his game up so well this year, shooting better, scoring better, playing a better game of ball on the court. He now is looking like the guy who was breaking ankles on the court during the NCAA tournament a few years ago.

Defensive Player of the year Serge Ibaka, PF, Oklahoma City Thunder; 3.03 blocks/ game, he is a threat in the paint all game long, also adding 5 defensive reb/game. The 6-10 Ibaka is justly a game changer in the middle of the lane, with quick feet, long arms and physical play, holding it down with a ridiculous 44 games with 3+ blocks in a game, which includes 19 games with 5+.

Rookie of the year Damian Lillard, PG, Portland Trailblazers; 19 ppg, 3 rpg, 7 apg, he has played excellent, being a foundational player for them to build off of on the team making an instant impact. Knocking down 37% of his deep balls, where he led them with 185 made on the season. He has a great future on the horizon for the young 22 year old star with the Blazers on his back.

Coach of the year George Karl, Denver Nuggets (57-25); I will tell you Karl has brought a team with no extraordinary superstars who drop 25+ a game not only laying it out night in and night out, dominating opponents at home, but into the playoffs looking for a genuine run. Led by a team that lives off of great team play, and hard rebounding. He has a young team built with heart, they were a tough team last season, and have been since he has taken over the team several years ago, he’s making it work in Denver. Karl knows how to get guys to play, and they are a legitimate contender in the West.

VTD All-NBA 1st team PG- Chris Paul 17 ppg, 4 rpg, 10 apg SG- James Harden 26 ppg, 5 rpg, 6 apg C- Brook Lopez 19 ppg, 7 rpg, 2 bpg PF- David Lee 19 ppg, 11 rpg, 4 apg SF- LeBron James 27 ppg, 8 rpg, 7 apg

VTD All-NBA 2nd team PG- Deron Williams 19 ppg, 3 rpg, 8 apg SG- Kobe Bryant 27 ppg, 6 rpg, 6 apg C- Al Jefferson 18 ppg, 9 rpg, 1 bpg PF- LaMarcus Aldridge 21 ppg, 9 rpg, 3 apg SF- Kevin Durant 28 ppg, 8 rpg, 5 apg

Written by Sean Higgs of VegasTopDogs.com

NBA Stretch Run: The Best of the East

It’s been a long haul, longer than last year’s
abbreviated 66-game NBA regular season, but the playoffs are just around the
corner. So who wins the NBA title? The most talented team? The luckiest? The
We all know the favorites don’t waltz to the NBA Finals. Last
year San Antonio was a No. 1 seed and up 2-0 on the young Thunder in the NBA
Finals. Then, WHAM, Oklahoma City won 5 in a row to take a 1-0 lead in the
Finals. Then, WHAM, Miami won 4 in a row to shell-shock wide-eyed OKC.

Even in college we just saw Wichita State make a deep run, and tiny
Butler was a fifth seed in 2010 and a No. 8 seed in 2011, advancing to the NCAA
Championship game twice. Two years ago the Dallas Mavericks were the No. 4 seed
in the West, then knocked off everyone on the way to a surprising title.

There’s another factor that stands out, best summed up in a famous
quote: “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the
strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The
credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by
dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short
again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but
who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a
worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high
achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring
greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who
knew neither victory nor defeat.”

The speaker? Not a famous coach, but
Teddy Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States. The quote was from his
speech “Citizenship in a Republic,” but the hard work he was describing about
the man “In the Arena” could apply to any NBA star pulling on sneakers and
battling for the right to advance to the championship over the next two months.

It takes teamwork and effort, lots of effort, to hoist the crown at the
end of a long season. In 2004 and 2008 the Lakers appeared to be the most
talented team in the NBA Finals, favored each time, but were knocked around by
the hard working Pistons and Celtics, both of whom really earned their rings.
Next week I’ll take a look at the best of the West, the conference that has won
10 of the last 14 NBA titles. This week, it’s the best of the East.

Heat: The defending champs are easily the team to beat, fresh off a
27-game win streak, the second longest in NBA history. Miami is not a good
rebounding team, but so what? They weren’t last year, either, and met every
challenge in an impressive postseason run. The Heat is not lacking for star
power with 28-year old Lebron James (26.8 ppg, 8 rpg, 6.5 apg), 31-year old
Dwyane Wade (21.4 ppg) and 29-year old Chris Bosh (16.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg).

There are very good role players in Udonis Haslem, Shane Battier, Mario
Chalmers and newcomer Ray Allen. Miami has exceptional balance, 5th in the NBA
in scoring, 7th in points allowed, a flexible, deep team capable of playing any
style. The Heat is 10-4 ATS on the road, 7-1 over the total against the Western
Conference and 18-7-1 over the total versus the NBA Southwest. Miami is the team
to beat again, in the East and for the whole ball of wax.

Bulls: Will he
or won’t he? That’s the waiting game in the Windy City, wondering if star guard
Derek Rose will be able to return for the playoffs. Chicago has clearly missed
Rose on offense, falling to 29th in the NBA in scoring. They rely on slowing the
pace down, rebounding and playing a physical defensive style, 3rd in the league
in points allowed.

Chicago is No. 6 in the NBA in rebounds, led by
Joakim Noah and hard working Carlos Boozer. The key for the stretch run is to
get Rose and Richard Hamilton healthy. The Bulls are 10-24 ATS against the
Western Conference and have been money burners at home.

NY Knicks: New
kids on the block? The Knicks feel like they can challenge the Heat in the East
but this is anything but a young team on the rise. This veteran group has good
balance with 28-year old Carmelo Anthony (27.5 ppg), 27-year old J.R. Smith
(17.4 ppg) and 30-year old Amar’e Stoudemire (14 ppg) handling the offense.

Veteran Jason Kidd was brought in and big man Tyson Chandler blocks
shots and is a fine defensive roll player up front. But aging teams are prone to
more injuries and that has been a problem for this team down the stretch. They
just ripped off an impressive 6-0 SU/ATS run. They rely on the three-pointer to
carry them too often and note tat Miami is 10th in the NBA at defending on the

Pacers: Indiana certainly has the kind of team to make a
terrific postseason run: great defense, rebounding and a big frontcourt. They
are tops in the NBA in rebounding and points allowed. 6-9 David West (17 ppg),
6-8 Paul George (17.7 ppg) and 7-2 Roy Hibbert form a dominant front line, while
26-year old PG George Hill (14 ppg) runs the b backcourt.

They can
dominate bad teams: The Pacers are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games vs. a team
with a winning percentage below .400, as well as 11-4 under the total against
those teams. But will they wilt under the playoff spotlight again? Last year’s
flameout to Miami (blowing a 2-1 lead) was embarrassing and the Heat just
thumped up again, 105-91, during their win streak.

Written by Jim Feist of VegasTopDogs.com

The Lakers need a serious attitude adjustment

The LA Lakers have been the big shots from the Western conference for several seasons. But things have rapidly taken a downward swing into a wasteland in 2012 early into the NBA season.

And with the up and coming Clippers playing very good ball, sitting atop the Pacific division at this point, and playing much better than the big daddy’s from the other LA court. Question arises who is the paramount team in California?

And of course, Oklahoma City has their dynamic team, have made big changes losing their knock down shooting guard, James Harden, who is playing sound in Houston, putting up 24/gm. Looking at everything, the Thunder are the kings in the Western conference, and the Lakers don’t matchup well with them. Durant lights them up when playing them and Westbrook additionally.

One would think these alterations would make things a bit easier for the Lakers in their conference, with the young and talented Thunder having to deal with some drastic changes as well. Yet they continue to struggle.

After signing an aging 38 year old Steve Nash and picking up the glorified C Dwight Howard to be their big man in the middle, the Western conference was supposed to be set up to be theirs to rule.

A fraction of the issues has been the Lakers have struggled awfully on the road, at present with a 2-6 record. Losing to careworn teams like Portland and Sacramento. Struggling to play defense, allowing 103/game. With Dwight in the middle, they still allow 11 offensive rebounds/game to opponents, which after Howards signing should have been fewer.

Getting a bunch of stars together is a development and could take some time. It’s never going to be an overnight success. And now the lack of winning is getting the team to be ill-tempered at one another as well. Kobe Bryant, who has constantly been vocal to teammates when they played inadequate to his expectations, is getting jawed at by new teammate Dwight Howard. And Kobe didn’t like it. This could be a very troublesome situation the Lakers have gotten themselves into.

Losing Pau Gasol and him not giving his 18/game doesn’t help matters any, with his tendinitis in his knees. So awaiting his return is suspicious. And who knows what kind of shape he will be in, or how long it could take for him to become productive again? He is a key element to the team, scoring and getting his 10 boards a night in his 6 yr career in LA, no matter how many want to jump on him for being soft.

The Lakers were built up this off season as the “be all-end all” team that had put together the final piece of what was going to be a historic run across the NBA. Instead they are dealing with team chemistry issues, and poor play. Players on the team need to play diverse roles and work together as a unit, as the much detested Miami Heat had done.

A team has to be genuinely unselfish to put together a group of superstars who are accustomed to being the scoring option 1 on their teams, to becoming another scoring alternative for a team. Many people bashed the Heat for what they did, and there really is no right or wrong answer to how a team ought to be built to win titles. Some favor a team to draft and built a team ground up, some others who have the cash and pick up players and their massive contracts and move them to their teams. Kobe needs to become less selfish, and become more of a veteran team player, give up the 22 shots a night and 27+ ppg, grow to be a leader, not just that scoring threat.

Written by Tony Karpinski for VegasTopDogs.com