Sunday, October 12, 2014

Greg Crawford On Basketball, For October 12th, 2014

By Gregory Crawford----- TV, Radio and Print Basketball Analyst---on twitter @wchoops @crawssportsbiz @kcsportsmgmt

Craig Robinson--- Good for ESPNU for picking up former Oregon State coach Craig Robinson as a studio analyst and color analyst on college basketball games this coming year.

I always wonder about the thought process of schools giving contract extensions to coaches and then firing them as Oregon State did with Robinson in the span of a less than two years. Robinson did as well as anyone has at Oregon State since 1990, the last time the Beavers were in the NCAA tournament.

One good thing, by ESPNU hiring Robinson, it will reduce the amount the Beavers will have to payout to Robinson in future years after letting him go.

Shame---- Sports is sports and injuries will always happen. But it was disappointing in my hometown of Portland, Oregon to hear some people almost in joy over the broken foot injury to Kevin Durant. Durant's Thunder play the Blazers in the season home opener in Portland on October 29th.

As I say all the time, if you can't beat a team with their best players playing, then you really are not that good of a team to begin with. Of course this year, Portland will challenge Oklahoma City for the upper tier in the Western Division of the NBA.

Never earn sports show glee over injuries, cause they are coming your way very soon, it always happens.

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Greg Crawford On Basketball, For October 11th, 2014

By Gregory Crawford---TV, Radio and Print Basketball Analyst---on twitter @wchoops @crawssportsbiz @kcsportsmgmt

iPads----You will not see any iPads in the hands of Los Angeles Clipper players this season. Pretty simple reason, Steve Ballmer, the new owner of the team earned enough money to buy the Clippers by having a great career at Microsoft.

You also really have to doubt if any players will have iPhones as well, almost certainly not. It makes sense, although the debate will rage forever, Apple vs. Microsoft in the world of technology.

Heat vs. Cavs----There is obviously not the best of feelings between LeBron James and his former teammates on the Miami Heat. You have to think that Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade have to think they kind of got jilted by LeBron, even though they have not come public with it, but the tension is there. Not one-all to way to seven championships materialized from that famous media conference in the summer of 2010.

Of course two championships is pretty good, as most players do not even win  one championship in their entire career.

Coaches---- We moved closer to my power rankings of coaches. In all of basketball, who do you think are the top five coaches of all time? You can mix and match professional and amateur basketball, as well as both genders.

I will get your started right here:

1. John Wooden

2. Phil Jackson

3. Coach K.

4. Red Auerbach

5. Pat Summitt

Ok, now is it your turn for sure.

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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Greg Crawford On Basketball, For October 5th, 2014

By Gregory Crawford----TV, Print and Radio Basketball Analyst---on twitter @wchoops @crawssportsbiz @kcsportsmgmt

AN NBA Finals Team----In the short version, here is why I think the Portland Trail Blazers will be in the NBA Finals this year and eventually lose to the Chicago Bulls in 7 games.

If you really look at the entire NBA, the Blazers' have a winning big time formula, that has won many teams,  many regular season victories and playoff wins.

There is no question they have an experienced and very good coach in Terry Stotts, who seems to have a great perspective on not only the NBA, but life.

There is also no question that the Portland Trail Blazers have one of the top 5 starting line-ups in the NBA with players like Damian Lilliard, Robin Lopez, Wesley Matthews, Nicholas Batum and LaMarcus Aldridge.

Of course everyone knows that Lillard and Aldridge are in the top 3 of their respective positions in the NBA depth charts.

It is totally fair to say that no one wins in the NBA without a good bench. The addition of Chris Kaman could turn out to be huge. We have never really been able to see how good Kaman is, because of his constant injury problems. If the Blazers can even get 10 good minutes out of Kaman this year, they will have a tremendously elevated bench.

Another player who has shown signs at times, especially in playoff performances off that bench is Will Barton. He very easily could have a breakout season in 2014-15.

These players also can be very good at times and will help with bench depth, giving NBA quality minutes: Thomas Robinson, C. J. McCollum, Joel Freeland and Allen Crabbe.

Of that group, Crabbe could really become a future star in the NBA, with his ability to big time shots under pressure as he did at California during his college career.

The best might be last. Portland has a great NBA owner in Paul Allen and he has now tasted a championship with his ownership of the Seattle Seahawks, but for sure basketball is his first love and he knows this team has the capability of winning it all and will be supportive when needed.

Yes, they called me crazy 3 years back when I said Damian Lillard would be a super-star in the NBA, enough said. Blazers in the NBA Finals in 2015.

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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Greg Crawford On Basketball, For October 4th, 2014

By Gregory Crawford---TV, Radio and Print Basketball Analyst---on twitter @wchoops @crawssportsbiz @kcsportsmgmt

Atlanta to Seattle---- Why not, why not. The Atlanta Hawks last played a regular season NBA game in Seattle, during January of 2008.

Perhaps it is time for the Atlanta Hawks to make Seattle their permanent home. NBA basketball has never been great in Atlanta and that is nothing against the city, it is just plain a fact.

So it is time for Seattle, potential owners to make a strong run to bring the Hawks to Seattle. The team is for sale as we all know, Seattle's potential NBA owners need to make their move. And you know what, I bet the league under Adam Silver would not get in the way.

What do you think?

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Greg Crawford Basketball, For September 28th, 2014

By Gregory Crawford---TV, Print and Radio Basketball Analyst---on twitter @wchoops @crawssportsbiz @kcsportsmgmt

D-1 Basketball--- Here are 9 things I will be watching in relationship to west coast basketball this year. Teams on the west coast are getting better and getting much more attention, much better to follow for all basketball fans.

1. Will this be the year that Gonzaga goes deep into the postseason? I think so. I will go far as to say they will be a Final Four team for the first time. Great guards and such a good shooting team should propel the Bulldogs.

2. Although everyone seems to be giving the regular season title in the Pac-12 to Arizona, do not sleep on UCLA or Colorado this year. The Bruins and Buffs are so well coached by Steve Alford and Tad Boyle, respectively, not to forget both UCLA and Colorado have deep benches.

3. Maybe I might be the only one watching this, but anxious to see how Idaho will do in the Big Sky, in there first year back in the Conference since the 60s.

4. Can Ernie Kent bring some respectability back to the Washington State Cougar program? Kent seems to be a perfect fit in Pullman, we know he won big at times during his tenure at the University of Oregon.

5. Oregon State has not been to the NCAA basketball tournament since 1990. That is correct 1990 and it has been so long, Gary Payton was a member of that team. Wayne Tinkle was a great hire for Oregon State and he should bring Beaver basketball back. Already Tinkle has a top 10 recruiting class coming in for 2015-16.

6. Will this finally be the year Cameron Dollar has some success at Seattle University. Dollar was brought in to lead the program back to D-1 prominence and so far his teams have been major disappointments. Seattle U. has an iconic history in basketball, their court is named after Elgin Baylor and you can only hope Seattle U. will have a great year in the WAC Conference.

7. It will be fun to watch the Portland State Vikings and its coach Tyler Geving. Geving is an underrated coach and on paper he has his best roster in his six years at Portland State. They should contend for the Big Sky title, no doubt.

8. Can Lorenzo Romar regain the flash in Seattle with his Huskies? The last two years have not been good for Washington basketball, fans are starting to get a little impatient. Romar is a good coach, good person and almost certainly will bring Husky basketball back.

9. Who will win the NWAACC South. Yes, the NWAACC is a great community college league in Oregon and Washington, with outstanding longtime coaches and great players, many who go onto four year schools. The Southern Division of the NWAACC is always tough, really tough and a fun league to watch for sure.

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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Greg Crawford On Basketball, For September 27th, 2014

By Gregory Crawford--TV, Print and Radio Basketball Analyst---on twitter @wchoops @crawssportsbiz @kcsportsmgmt

NBA----As the NBA heads out on its 2014-15 season, here are some issues for all to watch and some things I will be watching for sure.

1. How will the Cleveland Cavaliers do, with the addition of the best basketball player in the game and super star Kevin Love? Will Dave Blatt be able to coach these guys, the way he is expected to do so and also it will be interesting to see how LeBron plays with his weight loss.

2. Is Doc Rivers really worth $10 million per year as a coach. I will tell you this, if you pay someone that kind of money in the NBA as a coach, they better be in the Finals each and every year, end of story.

3. Will these 3 coaches be around in 2015-16. Monty Williams of New Orleans, Mike Malone of Sacramento and yes, Kevin McHale of Houston. It is safe to say, all 3 are on the hot seat.

4. What will the new NBA TV deal be like? Almost certain to be announced soon and will be in effect starting with the 2016-17 season, it will have a major impact on the NBA player's association and if they consider to opt out of the collective bargaining agreement in 2017, as the contract would allow them to do.

5. It will be an interesting season for the Miami Heat. Erik Spoelstra will have his work cut out for him, losing the best player in the world, but the Heat also have a really good club and have lots to prove. Miami will never be bad with Spoelstra as the coach, he is that good.

6. My surprise and somewhat shocking thing to look for in 2015-16 will be if the Portland Trail Blazers can make the NBA Finals. Yes, I am predicting them to play Chicago in the Finals. As well, there is some pressure on Terry Stotts, to move this team further down the line in the playoffs, way beyond the first round, as they are that good.

7. Will NBA players stay out of any kind of trouble? Hopefully they can learn some lessons, as they should from the NFL and beyond.

8. How much of an impact will Phil Jackson have as the leader of the Knicks? It is time for basketball to return to New York City and not Brooklyn, but Brooklyn has the edge.

9. Finally, as I like to keep things in 9s, will we see some movement in 2014-15 to see an NBA franchise back in Seattle before the end of this decade.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Greg Crawford On Basketball For September 22nd, 2014

By Gregory Crawford---TV, Print and Radio Basketball Analyst---on twitter @wchoops @crawssportsbiz @kcsportsmgmt

Scheduling--- Sometimes your schedule can make you the best team, in a highly competitive league such as the Pac-12.

On paper at this point it would certainly appear that Colorado, UCLA and Arizona will be battling for the regular season Pac-12 men's basketball title in 2014-15.

Since the Pac-12 plays an unbalanced schedule, meaning for the novice basketball fan, each team does not play certain teams each year on the road or at home.

Examples of 2014-15 league schedule and how it might just favor Arizona. The Wildcats do not have to travel to UCLA/USC this year and at home do not get Washington/Washington State.

Obviously UCLA does not get Arizona/Arizona State at home, the Bruins do not have to travel to Washington/Washington State.

Colorado will not play Oregon/Oregon State at home, but will not have to travel to California/Stanford.

With the unbalanced schedule in the Pac-12, things are out of balance and you really do not get a "real" regular season champion.

I have covered the Pac-12 for years and have never heard one logical reason why there should not be a balanced schedule with each team meeting every other team both at home and on the road. It just makes sense. It also makes sense to me always that the Pac-12 Network would much rather want to show a league game as compared to Yale at California. (Sorry Yale, you have great academics by the way).

You would think the Pac-12 would want to put their best product on the floor, but with an unbalanced schedule they do not when it comes to league play. It really is important to win the regular season title as well because if you are an NCAA bubble team and do not win the postseason tournament, you are going to get some special consideration for your league play.

It really is time for the Pac-12 in men's basketball to get out of the dark ages and play a balanced schedule of 22 league games.

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