Since the NFL is kicking off, I thought it would be fun to compare NBA teams to their NFL counterparts. Looking back at former Eagles’ quarterback Vince Young, making the bold “Dream Team” statement, many where convinced that the Eagles of last season were chasing a championship the same way the Miami Heat were trying to at the time: by luring the best free agents on the market. However this edition of the comparison will compare the teams of the NBA Southeastern division.
Atlanta Hawks = Oakland Raiders
First, let me give my condolences to the great Al Davis who passed away last year. He gave the Oakland community a great sports team and showed a bit of much needed swagger in the NFL. Back to the comparison. Hotlanta craves a championship with its history of proud sports teams. The Hawks have seemingly faltered in that cause. Even with the tremendous amount of talent they have had, they haven’t won a Championship, let alone, a deep run in the playoffs. Sometimes its hard to question whether management is looking to rebuild or build a contending team, especially after they traded their star Joe Johnson this past offseason. The Raiders can be presented in the same way. For the last several years, the organization had some of the biggest and talented names in football, but they have always been average or just plain mediocre. The Raiders have never really committed to rebuilding and they haven’t done a great job in bringing together a championship team. However the one constant between both teams are their immaturity levels. The Raiders are laughably prone to be given silly penalties. Its the barking and the non-disciplined actions that have given the Raiders’ organization a bad name. Same goes for the Hawks. The Hawks don’t have a leader and they often show their selfishness by simply quitting on their teammates if they don’t get the ball, look at Josh Smith repeatedly this season.
Charlotte Bobcats = St. Louis Rams
Yeah both teams emphasize the consistent losing traditions in their respective sport. The Bobcats are just plain terrible. The Rams are just hopeless. They both have some talented players on their roster but they lack any chemistry and simply can’t match up with far more talented teams. I’m mandating that Michael Jordan not have a say in team management. He has proven consistently that he fails at managing a team. I don’t know if any more evidence is needed especially after he drafted Kwame Brown over a decade ago. Both teams are just god-awful. Realistically, I don’t what more comparison is needed between the two teams. They both, seemingly, have always been bad in recent history.
Miami Heat = Philadelphia Eagles
I know I hinted upon this in the introduction, but both teams have very much in common. Both their head coaches, Erik Spoelstra and Andy Reid have really had a love affair with their star players. Just look at how much respect Coach Spo has for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in the huddle and just hear an interview of Michael Vick where he doesn’t mention Coach Reid once (none exist). Yes, besides that, the obvious is that both teams made huge free agency splashes. Both teams were instant favorites to win the championship but failed to do so, the first year after the dynamic free agency. However if the Eagles are really like the Heat, they will bounce back from a disappointing year and become the next team to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.
Orlando Magic = Jacksonville Jaguars
Well, I have to say the Jaguars got lucky when their star player and really entire offense, Maurice Jones-Drew, came back to the Jaguars after holding out for nearly the whole preseason. Had Jones-Drew continued to hold out, he would have easily been trade bait for the Jaguars to continue in their rebuilding stages. Similar to the Dwight Howard nightmare, the Jaguars are essentially nothing without their star player. Luckily for both teams, the nightmare of their star player keeping their team hostage is over as Dwight Howard was traded and Jones-Drew will continue to play for the Jags. But overall I see both teams struggling this year, maybe being in discussions of being the worst team in their respective league. Overall, the Magic and Jaguars need a lot of rebuilding if they want to compete and become the better teams within the Sunshine State.
Washington Wizards = Buffalo Bills
The Bills and Wizards for many years have been roaming the bottom of the pack in their sport, but it seems they both can now make cases for the playoffs after both their underrated free agency additions. Do I think they will contend for a title? Absolutely not. However, maybe the proud fans close to the border and in our Country’s capital can watch their team in the playoffs. The Wizards made some very solid additions when they acquired Emeka Okafor, Trevor Ariza, and Martell Webster, while drafting Bradley Beal. They will easily be better and with their salary burden, Rashard Lewis, gone, they can look to build up a stronger team in the nearby future. For the Bills, signing Mario Williams makes their already solid defense twice as better. In a sense, both teams have struggled mightily for the last few years, but the forecast is looking bright as both teams are my surprise teams in the upcoming season.