AC’S Spotlight Episode 30-Remembering Anthony Mason & The 90’s Knicks

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I had to do a podcast to talk about the late Anthony Mason, who passed away a week ago Saturday. He exemplified the personality of those beloved Knicks teams in the 1990’s. To do that Anthony Donahue of the Knicks Blog Radio and the SNY Knicks podcast joined me to trade some 90’s stories and remember Anthony Mason.  You check out the podcast here.

 

 

 

 

AC’S Spotlight Episode 29 Parts I and II w/ Rafael Canton and Chris Herring

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The Trade Deadline is near and my podcast is back as both Rafael Canton and Chris Herring both joined me in this two part podcast. Part I is here and Part II is here. Thanks to both gentlemen for joining me to discuss Carmelo’s surgery and being out for the season, the Goran Dragic situation in Phoenix, and more around the league as we get close to the deadline.

AC’S Spotlight Episode 27- Talking NBA W/ Rafael Canton

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As we inch closer and closer to the NBA All Star Break, Rafael Canton of NBA Trades stops by to talk some NBA with AC as they go through some of the playoff races, the all star reserves, Klay Thompson’s performance and the legitimacy of Atlanta and Golden State’s claim to being best team in the NBA. Check it out here.

 

Analyzing the 3-Way For 8th In The Western Conference

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As we’re officially just a bit past the halfway mark and headed straight to the all star break, there are plenty of fun storylines in the NBA. The Warriors and the Hawks have provided for fantastic basketball with their respective scintillating starts. Teams tanking has been a theme for comedy, and the Western Conference in general has been a nightly war that has provided some intriguing matchups. We have a 3 team race for the 8th spot and what seemingly is a date with the Golden State Warriors. The 3 candidates are the Thunder, Suns, and Pelicans.

Currently as of today the Suns are leading the Pelicans by 1 1/2 games and OKC by 2 1/2. Each have their strong points and each have their issues, let me try to handicap them.

Phoenix Suns (26-20)- The Suns have 36 games left, 25 vs the West and 24 against plus .500 teams. Included in that are 3 games against the Warriors while the Thunder are finished with them. The Suns are in a stretch where they’ve lost 2 in a row to the Rockets and Clippers and have the Wizards, Bulls, Warriors, Grizzlies, and Blazers next on the schedule. After a 14-14 start to the season, a 12 of 18 stretch has elevated them to this spot.  Biggest issue for the Suns is their defense which is 28th in the league allowing a whopping 105 points per game. They’re prolific offensively as they’re 3rd in the league but if they’re going to make the playoffs that will have to change and they’ll need to be more consistent. The Suns will probably need to improve their home record (currently 13-9) and that will give them a chance here. The schedule is tough, granted though I think the Suns will hang in until the very end of the season.

New Orleans Pelicans (24-21)- The Pellies are interesting from this standpoint, they’ve only played 20 home games and are 15-5 in them and they have Anthony Davis who to me is a top 3-4 MVP candidate. I happened to see them live without AD against the Knicks, and let’s just say they missed him dearly. All of the numbers with Davis and without Davis tell you that he needs to be on the floor. (A minus 9.7 net rating without and a +5.3 rating with) The Pelicans are only playing 18 games against +.500 teams and 24 vs. the West. One would have to think that’s a huge advantage. We’d also like to think that Anthony Davis would get the ball more, let’s see if his teammates help him with that. The Pelicans are probably the weakest of the three teams, but they’ve won their last 4 and are playing better. The schedule is an advantage as well.

Oklahoma City Thunder (23-22)- The Thunder have been talked about all season as the big question of whether they would make the postseason after the injuries to KD and Russell Westbrook. As they’ve come back they’ve gotten over .500 but still have some issues to look at. They’ve only played 20 home games as well so they have that in their pocket. Amongst the issues, are still trying to find the right lineups exactly. Also, Reggie Jackson’s fluctuation of playing time plus what’s hanging over him as far as his status with the team is an issue. Dion Waiters has been inefficient (what else is new?) and their starting lineup still has problems starting off most games against good teams. With that being said, they still have the most dangerous 2 man wrecking crew in basketball and that gives them a leg up. Big issue schedule wise? 21 above plus .500 teams and 25 against the West. I still think the Thunder make it, but it isn’t a lock like we all thought earlier this season.

 

Random NBA Thoughts:

LaMarcus Aldridge foregoing surgery to continue to play through the Blazers schedule is admirable. You just hope that he doesn’t reinjure himself and torpedo their season.

The Clippers have started to play better and they’ve raised their status in the West. I still can’t trust their 6 player squad.

Lionel Hollins and the Nets were a bad fit. The Nets roster is just bad, and not getting better anytime soon.

The 3 point shootout almost might be more entertaining than the All-Star Game.

Can’t wait for Atlanta-Golden State on Feb 6 so we can overreact to the winner and loser.

Chicago is not a contender until further notice, but I love the Cavs right now.