Monday, October 29, 2007

Tip Off Time For Six Aces

It wasn’t too long ago that Mundo Albiceleste (or back then we were known as Vamos Argentina) chronicle the journey of Manu GINOBILI and Fabricio OBERTO to NBA glory with San Antonio SPURS.

Now that journey will start all over again as the new NBA season will tip off at the end of the month. There will be a record of SIX Tall Albiceleste players that will take to the court for their respective franchise, with one of them particularly being my most favourite.

Now lets take a look on each and every one of them and what can we expect (or should I say prediction) for the coming season.
Manu GINOBILI & Fabricio OBERTO of San Antonio Spurs

MANU is already touted as a legend in San Antonio and who can argue that with 3-championship ring already to his credit. He is probably one player that every coach would die to have on the bench. The argument will go on why he is not starter but to me it is pointless because starter or bench, MANU plays with great heart and spirit and is the real deal why Spurs were so magnificent last season.

At the tender age of 32, Fab OBERTO is living the time of his life. Not only did he realize his dream of winning an NBA title, but also his name will be remembered as one of the starters of that championship winning team. It is likely that Gregg POPOVITCH would stick to his winning formula by employing him as the starting center.

Overall Spurs do looks good enough to do it all over again though there will tough fights along the way to prevent that from happening. If that happens, fear no one cause SuperMANU will be there to save the day.

Andres NOCIONI of Chicago Bulls

The summer was kind enough to Chapu as he penned a new 5-year deal with the Bulls, despite suffering an injury plague season. But he did post a career high performance and much of those progresses were put on hold because of his injury. He also played a big part in Bulls shocking 4-0 series win over the defending champion Miami HEAT in the first round play-offs

Now that he has fully recovered and fresh for the new season, Chapu is ready to rumble all over again. And the much-improved Bulls do look good enough to capture a place in the play off. But the main question will remain, is it possible for this generation of Bulls to recapture back the glory days of JORDAN/PIPPEN.

Carlos DELFINO of Toronto RAPTORS

For three years in Detroit, DELFINO wasn’t given enough opportunity to prove himself. This is silly considering that Carlitos is player with tremendous talent especially throughout his time in Europe and don’t forget he is an Olympian medal winner. Despite of all his trouble time with the Pistons, DELFINO was instrumental in helping the Tall Albiceleste to qualify for Beijing 2008 during the summer with some superb display in the FIBA Americas.

Perhaps a wind of change is needed and came Toronto knocking on his door. I feel this could be a good move and with an environment that suits him well. The Raptors are well known for its successful internationals roster (BARGIANI, GARBAJOSA, CALDERON etc.) and DELFINO could be the next big hit there.

Walter HERRMANN of Charlotte Bobcats

When the Bobcats failed to make it to the play off last season, what was the biggest thing they could have learned from there? They should have trusted “El Guerero” in the first place. It was such an amazing moment to see the way Walter played during the end of last season. Subsequently he was voted as the Rookie of the Month in March.

Now that the Bobcats have retained him, it will be interesting to see just how much of time play is he going to receive. However there have been plenty of calls within the Charlotte camp from both fans and critics that HERRMANN should start or at least given more prominent play. If that happens, then it will be a long summer for Walter and the Cats

Luis SCOLA of Houston Rockets

I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long, long time and finally he has arrived. This was one of the biggest news during the season break and why not?
After all, SCOLA is probably the biggest player in the world outside in the NBA.

SCOLA is expected to form the Rockets own version of BIG THREE, along side Tracy McGRADY and YAO Ming. He could just be that missing puzzle that the Rockets were looking for all the way. Many experts believe his game will compliment both of them and so do I.

SCOLA will be the one that most observers may keen to keep an eye on due to his status as one of the best in Europe over the last few years. A fact that has been strengthened even further after his MVP display at the recent FIBA Americas.

Over the past few seasons, the Rockets have had troubles of going beyond the first round of the play offs. Perhaps they lacked the inspiration and energy that is needed to win games at that sought of stage. In SCOLA, they have someone who has plenty of knowledge and experience on playing in the big stage.

Overall, the Tall Albiceleste will have their work cut out for two reasons. Of course is creating a fabulous impression to their American employee, which is important but there is that other big challenge waits form them after the seasons end. And where exactly am I referring to, Beijing 2008 that is.


Dingo said...

Nice work, John. It's good to see international players, and especially Argentines, get the attention they deserve.

Twenty years ago, Petur Gudmundsson, from Iceland, was the only Spurs player not born in the United States.

Fast forward ten years, and the Spurs roster only included two non-natives: Tim Duncan and Carl Herrera.

A lot has changed in the last decade. The Spurs have won four titles and have become an NBA dynasty thanks to players like Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Fabricio Oberto. And the NBA has benefited from players like Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki.

Professional basketball in the US has never been more exciting or more competitive. I look forward to seeing more international players, and more Argentines, excelling in the NBA in the years to come.

John said...

Hi Dingo, thanks for visiting our blog.

Also thanks for introducing to me Petur Gudmundsson, whom I must admit I never heard of before.

Yes, you're right about how much the NBA has changed in recent times since the arrival of these international players.

Argentina is just one of many nations that has benefited from this. To prove that, we got the gold in Athens 2004.

Thanks for your comments once again

Noce said...

I like your blog a lot. Andres Nocioni is my favorite Bulls player (hence the name) - his work ethic and intensity is amazing. I may be of Spanish descent but I do love the way Chapu plays.

Raps Fan said...

unfortunately for delfino, he was in detroit. they didn't play milicic either. he will get his chances to slash, play defense and rebound for the raptors. mitchell likes to play everyone on the team, like back in public school.

John said...

Thanks for all your comments,

Noce, in my opinion CHAPU is one of the most hard working player on the Bulls roster. But then again, there are some aspect of his game that even Bulls find it hard to appreciate.

Lets hope that he has a injury free season and that would allowed him to concentrate on his game better.

Raps fan, to be honest with you I loved the Raptors because of its diversed group of players, just like SA Spurs and Phoenix Suns. I'm hoping that this could help DELFINO's to improve and play his own game.

Thats said good luck to both of your teams in the new season.

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