Hometeam Brandon Leak

BLOG-HOMETEAM

It’s Time To Move On

By “Hometeam” Brandon Leak

lebron james
LeBron James (Photo: Brandon Wade /AP)

Is LeBron James a bad father, husband, or teammate? NO! Was he the leader of a gang? Ever have off-court issues? NO! Multiple arrests or any arrests for that matter? NO!

You can pick a reason not to like LeBron James if you want – to not respect him is just plain silly.

No more heckling, no more hating, no more hard feelings. LeBron James should have turned many people around when it comes to his perception with his last performance in the NBA Finals and if not, he should shut them up.

The man carried HIS team to his third championship against one of the most potent offenses in the history of the NBA.

209 points, 79 rebounds, 62 assists, 18 steals, 16 blocks and 31 free-throws made. Enough said. The man took over the 2016 NBA Finals and led his team to victory, beat a 73-win team and a Warriors club that had the best record at home in the history of the game.

You don’t have to root for LeBron James but you do need to understand he is the greatest player of his generation and now one of the all-time greats.

I was wrong about him about not being as good as some of the greats I have seen in the past as he was just not my cup of tea, but I will not root against him any longer. He has had a long road with wins and losses, ups and downs and has found a way to deliver a championship to one of the most starved cities in sports.

He is the king and now has three championship jewels in his crown.

And … there it is!

What if it Were LeBron?

By Hometeam Brandon Leak

What if LeBron James:

lebron-james-free-agent
(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Was the the back to back MVP?

Had the number one scoring team in basketball?

Won the NBA title the previous season?

Had a team that set a new NBA record for three point baskets made?

Had Klay Thompson on his team?

Had Draymond Green on his team?

Had a coach who had coached a team to an NBA title?

He’d be favored to win the NBA Championship … but that is what Stephen Curry has … and why his team should win.

 

… and there it is!

 

LeBron May Run Away With the East

by “Hometeam” Brandon Leak – 05-20-2016

LeBron James (AP Photo:LM Otero)
AP Photo/LM Otero

The Eastern Conference in the NBA is boring. LeBron James and the Cavaliers are destroying everyone in their path and no one or no team seems game enough to stop them. Paul George and Carmelo Anthony are All-Stars who should be able to be competitors – It’s not working. However, taking a look around the east proves those two men are not alone and are not the only guys with under-manned teams who will be watching LeBron in the NBA Finals for years to come:

-The Miami Heat have Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh – They are old.

The Raptors have DeMarr DeRozan and Kyle Lowry – they are not good enough.

-The Boston Celtics may be putting something together for a future team of young talented stars but they are two to three years away.

-The Hawks have major decisions to make in the offseason with Al Horford hitting free agency and Jeff Teague having one year left on his deal.

-Derrick Rose’s body is failing him and Jimmy Butler may not be able to carry the team alone.

-Detroit is Athletic but is not deep enough to make a series run despite a good head coach.

-The Magic and Bucks are youthful and athletic – Milwaukee is probably ahead of the curve but was nearly a 50 loss team.

-The Wizards and Hornets are competitive but can’t pose a serious threat to a James led team in a late playoff series.

-Philadelphia has the number one pick in the 2016 NBA Draft and the Brooklyn Nets don’t matter.

LeBron James may end up with the last laugh, piling up championship rings in east unless someone puts together a super team. LeBron has had to wait, deal with losing early in his career, but now he has the appeal to get other stars to come play with him in Cleveland.

LeBron James owns YOUR team and the Eastern Conference … and there it is!

 

What’s in the Middle for the Hawks

5/12/16

Old School or new school? The Hawks have been successful the past three seasons with the motion/triangle/hybrid/San Antonio-up-tempo/ get points out of the pinch-post/ offense. It has been successful but it does have flaws.

HorfordThe Hawks move the ball well and have multiple players touching the ball who are constantly involved in the offense. The bad – There is no clear go-to-guy at the end of games, missed three-point shots hurt rebounding opportunities and there is not a sure-fire paint threat for needed baskets.

With Al Horford coming into free agency and the team wanting to keep him, big decisions need to be made. What is the future of the 5-position? Al Horford has shot more three-point shots the last three seasons than he did in his entire career. That means one of your best bigs is on the perimeter and can’t rebound all of the time. 

What about Edy Tavares? At 7’3” he is a traditional center and apparently the future in the middle.

The Hawks finished 28th in rebounding in 2015-2016. They were out-rebounded by 37 in their game before their elimination game against the Cavaliers! 37! Ball movement and playing outside did not help them in a game they lost by one point 100-99. More rebounds would have made a difference in playoff seeding and certainly in the series against the Cavaliers.

The Hawks shot 12 and 14 free-throws respectively in their final two playoff games and why? Perimeter shooting and no inside presence.

Moving forward the Hawks have to figure out the identity of the big man on the team. Kyle Korver will be 36 next season and much of what he did helped the Hawks shape their offensive identity. There is not another Kyle Korver he is special. Shooting is going to change on this team and I think the Hawks need to work their offense inside-out.

If you are going with Tavares at center, why not go after an established big man who plays the traditional 5 until Edy is ready. Tiago Splitter will be coming off of injury and will be over 30 so the Hawks need to get serious about the big man business.

New school has been fun to watch but old school may be the way to go – get a big man in the middle now.

…And there it is.

The Falcons Will Have To Live With It

DirtybirdsShaq Lawson, Darron Lee and Kevin Dodd were on the board when the Falcons selected Keanu Neal out of Florida with the 17th overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft. Neal is fine player but no one had him ranked as number 17 … except the Falcons. I believe Dan Quinn when he says the birds drafted for scheme and Neal is the best fit in the secondary. But earlier this month GM Thomas Dimitroff admitted on national radio his biggest mistake was not drafting Clay Matthews-because he drafted a player Peria Jerry for scheme, instead of the player who was the better Athlete. WHAT?!

The Falcons just committed the same act … at the same position which was admittedly the biggest mistake in the Dimitroff era! Certainly Neal is a physical player who is a thumper but he would have been available later is he consensus of most who disagree with the selection. Lee was without a doubt the best athlete but was not taken.

The Falcons have four more picks if they do not trade this draft and could get a pass rusher or linebacker with later picks which would soften the shock of their first pick to many. To be a team that finished with 19 sacks last season and pick a player who is furthest from the line of scrimmage with the first pick is something the team and the fans will just have to ponder until Neal proves he’s first round worthy or that the Falcons prove they can pick sack-masters and perennial All-Pros on the defensive side of the ball.

…and there it is.

Take Brooms To Boston

Apr 21, 2016 — 11:32pm

Celtics SweptIf the Hawks want to get closer to being an elite team in the NBA a sweep of the Boston Celtics would be a step in the right direction. The Hawks are the superior team, better coached and the more seasoned squad. One of the best Boston players Avery Bradley is likely out for the series and the Hawks have the better point guard in Jeff Teague.

Sweep these guys!

No need to allow this series to go six or God forbid seven games when the Hawks are able to get any shot from the perimeter and are playing better defense in the series.  The Hawks have deep playoff experience from the Eastern Conference Finals last season and need to use it.

This should not even be close. Forget the history and the magic of leprechauns in Boston … beat these guys and get ready for the Cavaliers.

Dennis Schröder is out – no problem! Put in Kirk Hinrich and let him shoot. Kent Bazemore is a bit banged up – so what? His energy can help get rebounds and transition buckets even if he can’t score.

The backcourt is better, the coach is better, the bench is better … the Hawks are better! Beat Boston and move on.

…And there it is.