Sunday, July 25, 2010

DotA ESWC Grand Finals 2010 Recap

EHome vs DTS Gaming

Line Up:
EH.GIGABYTE.X!! - Vengeful Spirit
EHOME.820.CN - Demon Witch
EH.GIGABYTE.lJy - Admiral Proudmoore
EH.GIGABYTE.357 - Earth Shaker

DTS)Light - Drow Ranger
DTS|Dread - Witch Doctor
DTS|Dendi - Nevermore
DTS|ArtStyle - Lightning Revenant
DTS^NS - Crystal Maiden

The ESWC DotA Grand Finals proved that EHome is clearly at its peak dominating DTS the entire game. With all of their hero picks having disabling skills, it became tough for DTS to make a comeback out of early harrasing of the top and bottom lanes.

Besides the lack of warding, the late skill addition of the Drow Ranger of Silence which may have mightily helped them against early ganking by EHome has been one of the key factors in their loss. For the most part, Earth Shaker was constantly jungling and with the help of the Vengeful Spirit, they have torn apart the top and bottom lanes. In addition to that, the Admiral Proudmoore was able to push around the Lightning Revenant at the bottom lane with the lack of help from other players. Crystal Maiden was jungling but was unable to assist most of the times coming in late or getting killed resulting in a huge level gap unlike EHome's jungler Earth Shaker.

DTS had no strength heroes to rely on to carry the game should it become a long battle with both the Drow Ranger and Lightning Revenant unsuccessful in their attempts to farm early in the game.

Eventhough the game was lopsided, DTS has managed to defend the middle lane although it is unclear if EHome did it on purpose concentrating on how to harrass other lanes and just allowing the Demon Witch to level up and rack up its disabling abilities.
The clash at around seven minutes before the game ended showed how resistance against a team full of disabling skills was futile especially playing with heroes of low HP.

Stats and Replay can be found here.
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Monday, July 12, 2010

Post Reactions: Miami Heat gets LeBron James, Chris Bosh in Free Agency

In what will probably be the most talked about offseason in NBA history, the Miami Heat has acquired three superstars in their prime to play for six years with one goal - to win multiple championships.

LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade and sacrificed signing maximum contracts to play together to perhaps challenge the two-time champion Los Angeles Lakers. One can argue that the climax falls on LeBron's decision to join the Heat, but as we fast forward and think about June next year, this is their way of taking down Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.

As much as I despise James's obsession to fame and business at the age of 25, his move to the Heat is a very wise one compared to staying in his hometown Cleveland. He made a ideal decision unminding what his handlers Maverick Carter and World Wide Wes would do and what others especially his hometown asked for of him.

Sure this decision has prompted a lot of criticism and dreams shattered especially to Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and the Cavaliers fans but hey that is what free agency is for - the right to choose the team you'd like to play with.

Dan Gilbert's provocation of anger and grief towards James was his defense mechanism of how he pampered James and his colleagues and gave them power to rule the Cavs franchise for seven years. It is not entirely James's fault to begin with. Their approach towards player acquisition to strengthen the team was more of a product of hurried decisions like choosing Antawn Jamison over Amare Stoudamire and resigning Anderson Varejao over a better player like David Lee. Believing that Mo Williams is the ideal Robin for James is also a misconception as evidenced by his crumbling to pressure as the co-captain of James.

The only thing entirely wrong for James was to announce his selection on air. He should have taken a graceful exit on his hometown by a quiet declaration of departure. But who's to blame him if he chose not to re-sign? Gilbert shouldn't have tolerated this in the first place. Anyone else should've stepped up and spoken even before his drama anthology began except for Stan Van Gundy of whom many were quick to write off.

Nevertheless, it is hard to leave the team who picked you up in the draft and made you become the special player you are now just like James. With the impending lockout on the following year to come, players, owners, management and most especially the fans can't control the player's chosen path. After all, that's why it's called free agency.
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Sunday, July 4, 2010

NBA 2010 Free Agency

As you all may know, the NBA 2010 free agency market is the most anticipated in all of NBA history. With premiere superstars threatening to unite and move to a bigger market and win a championship such as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Amare Stoudamire, everything has its own trickle down effects even to the last left of the free agency.


Chicago Bulls, New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks, Miami Heat - these teams are all capable of signing two or more maximum contract players and provide the big market the superstars are craving for. But what happens if LeBron James and Dwyane Wade chose to stay in their home teams just like Paul Pierce, Dirk Nowitzki and Joe Johnson has done? The key here is not to overspend to pay maximum contracts to second-tier superstars should the top crop of players resign to their respective teams. Giving max contracts to these players reek desperation for teams who will most likely make the playoffs but will regret signing these guys and making them untradeable assets such as Rudy Gay of the Memphis Grizzlies.

Rebuilding through the Draft and Trade Acquisitions

Whatever happened to drafting a potential superstar? Oklahoma City Thunder's GM Sam Presti has done a heck of a job in this NBA 2010 offseason. By moving up in the draft, they hope to finally get a true center who can complement the young core of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green through Cole Aldrich. Also, along with the movements and salary cap space, they acquired three-point shooters of whom they are lacking in the past season through Morris Peterson and Daequan Cook instead of involving themselves with the drama this free agency offseason has offered the world.

The New Jersey Nets is a team with great young core players at hand. With Brook Lopez and Derrick Favors, they have a bright future with them although I still have doubts that Devin Harris, an all-star potential, injury-riddled point guard, is still in their line of thoughts when it comes to core players. With the failure to land the top pick in the draft lottery and acquiring John Wall, they have a nice consolation promising power forward in Derrick Favors. Hopefully through a couple of years, they can get someone who will be willing to step up as the leader of the team like the prospective number 1 pick of next year's draft Harrison Barnes who coincidentally is a small forward as well just like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony. Should they fail to acquire LeBron James, they should hire New Orleans Hornets' GM Jeff Bower as their new general manager primarily of his great drafting skills which produced talents such as Marcus Thornton and Darren Collison who is performing like Chris Paul in Paul's injury-ridden season. Of course, Sam Presti is a given to recruit but he won't be leaving anytime soon.

The Chicago Bulls have also shown great flashes of drafting good young players to fit it in their system thanks to GM John Paxson. Players like Ben Gordon, Luol Deng, Tyrus Thomas, Taj Gibson, Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose were drafted by the Bulls which shows that they have real talent in drafting. The only problem with the Bulls is their way of managing their young players and their contracts once their rookie contracts begin to expire. Also, the cheap shot at hiring a rookie coach Vinny del Negro to coach a potential superstar Derrick Rose is a big no-no for them. But now, thanks in partial to the LeBron James-hype, they've acquired a great coach in Tom Thibodeau. Why credit LeBron James? Because Thibodeau's agency, Creative Artists Agency, apparently is connected to LeBron's agent, Leon Rose. Which is also the reason why the Nets acquired Avery Johnson.

Superstar Pressure

Suppose the top crop of players land in let's say Bulls or Nets, what will young talents like Brook Lopez, Derrick Favors, Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose become of? Will they successfully develop into complementary players? Will they succumb to the pressure of having to produce? Or will they ever reach their maximum potential?

An ideal example of this situation is Rajon Rondo. Rondo has been playing superb as of late and is currently the driving force that the Boston Celtics Big Three of Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett heavily rely upon. He took charge of handling the team of "aging" superstars. However, in his case, the Big Three were united in Celtics past their prime. This is not the case for the Bulls or the Nets because they'll be receiving talents within their prime and their young core of players are still raw especially the Nets.

Well, that was the worst case scenario - pressure to play up to the level of the superstars and then fall off from there. On the other hand, wouldn't it be nice to gamble on a potential superstar's development while he is still young allowing him to be the leader of the team just like Kevin Durant?

Having superstars acquired from free agency is a gift from the basketball gods. However, on the brighter side, failing to land one may also be a blessing in disguise for these teams especially to their young core of players. Who knows, when their free agency time arrives and the market is wide open, it'll be hard for them to leave because the team has shown great trust in them leading their respective teams just like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade who's actually inclined to staying in their home teams.
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