(Image Credit: Getty 3/2/11)
Robin, Nenad’s head is not the ball.
But it’s totally cool because you look like you’re stoned.
However, one thing is for sure, I’d much rather have him on my team than not.
Garnett talking about the departures of five of his teammates due to trades yesterday:
(Video via espnforsberg)
Ryan feels a little down after watching this video, cheer him up at @rpravato on Twitter.
NBA All-Star weekend tips off tomorrow and I’m anticipating it to be one of the best we’ve seen in a while. Me and the chief-of-staff, Rey-Rey, will be tweeting all weekend from Staples on behalf of American Express and AmexSports (Follow us on twitter for all updates, behind the scene pictures and live tweets: @TheNoLookPass & @Suga_Shane).
For all the participants in this weekends events, check out http://espn.go.com/nba/allstargame. On to my predictions for the weekend.
Rookie/Sophomore Game MVP:
This game has some promise although Tyreke Evans, the reigning Rookie of the Year, won’t participate. DeJaun Blair took home the MVP last year and he will be suiting up for the Sophomore team again this season but I’m going to go with DeMar DeRozan here. Kid’s been a beast as of late and one of the lone bright spots on a dismal Toronto team. His jumper has really come along and I don’t really need to tell you about his athletic abilities.
The skills challange is setup in such a manner that it favors speedsters with passing accuracy and a nice mid-range shot. That mid-range shot and passing accuracy become very important half way through the challenge because you have to hit a 20 footer and then thread a some what difficult pass into a tiny hole. I have to eliminate Chris Paul because of how hurt he’s been looking the last few weeks. He’s going to be lacking the necessary speed to win it all.
I’m going to go with Stephen Curry here. Curry has some sneaky quickness to him plus he is the second most accurate passer and the best shooter in the bunch. D-Rose fans: Sorry i snubbed your dude, but I’ll make it up to you in a bit.
This event will probably be the funnest of all the sideshows mainly because of all the characters involved. Mainly Paul Pierce. He was really lobbying to get himself selected because he wanted to have a nationally televised shootout versus his Celtics teammate, Ray Allen. Well, Paul got what he wished for but it’s not going to be easy to repeat as the 3-point champ this year. Ray Allen happens to be the newly crowned 3-point king and James Jones is a dark horse to surprise everyone. I honestly don’t know who will win this one but I’m going to go with my gut here and select Ray Allen.
Slam Dunk Contest:
I keep having these horrible nightmares where Blake Griffin pulls a Shannon Brown and disappoints the entire world. Deep down inside, I know you are all fearing the same outcome. But really, who would bet against Quake? Anyone? No? Didn’t think so. Then again, DeMar DeRozan is a scary foe in this competition.
Have you seen the Eastern Conference starting five? It’s pretty much you All-NBA First Team and your TeamUSA starters for London 2012. No joke. This has to be the meanest 5-man line-up we’ve seen in a long time. If the East doesn’t take this, then blame it on Rondo (why not?).
Derrick Rose has to be the MVP, right? Now that he is a starter, the offense is going to run through him for the majority of this game. And after watching him go H.A.M. vs. the Spurs (and the majority of this season) I feel compelled to side with Rose. After all, why can’t he be MVP?
By far my favorite part of the All-Star weekend. This is the part were we, the fans, win. Enjoy.
video via SBNation
One of my favorite videos I use to watch as a kid was Dazzling Dunks and Basketball Bloopers hosted by Marv Albert and Frank Layden. I probably watched that VHS tape a hundred times. So it brought me some joy to see Glen Davis get a steal and go the length of the floor and completely blow the wide open dunk.
This clip would have fit perfectly in the “Dunk or Blooper” segment.
Luckily, Big Baby redeemed himself later in the game by hitting to free throws with 6.3 seconds to finish with 16 points and help give the Celtics the 85-82 win over the Heat.
Nick is a contributor to Stacheketball, full time lover of all things roundball related, and has missed a dunk like Big Baby before. Follow him on Twitter because you know you want to. @Jubanator14
Photo credit: Associated Press
In their 92-86 win over the Boston Celtics Thursday night, the Los Angeles Lakers added another win to their much-criticized record against the NBA’s top teams (1-6 in games vs. SA, BOS, MIA, DAL & CHI, the lone win coming against the Bulls). A key contributor in this win was the Laker center, Andrew Bynum, whose name had been thrown into the Carmelo Anthony trade fracas this week. With his play, though, he submitted favorable testimony as to why the Lakers would be wise to keep him. I am not one who likes to place too much significance on one regular season win or loss, especially early in the month of February. The focus here isn’t that the Lakers beat the Celtics, but on an example of how Andrew Bynum’s play can contribute to a Laker victory against a formidable opponent.
Bynum scored an efficient 12 points on six FG attempts in the 1st half, and played good defense, including an emphatic block of a Kendrick Perkins jump-hook. It was his play in the 2nd half, however, that provided the strongest impact. The Lakers had rallied from a 15 point deficit to trail only 53-45 to end the 1st half. They carried that momentum into the 3rd quarter as they staged a 10-0 run during which Bynum made multiple positive plays. Let’s examine his contributions.
First it’s important to note how the Lakers use Bynum. They do not run a lot of plays for him, nor do they frequently run the offense through him. He is primarily stationed on the weak side as he either looks to be a cutter to the basket or to receive a pass in the post on ball reversals; other times he will work as a screener in pick-and-roll (P&R) tandems with Kobe Bryant.
Byunm filled his role ably throughout the game and especially during this run as he set solid screens, and made strategic dives when rolling to the basket. Watching him, it was clear that he wanted the ball, yet the Lakers don’t always get it to him. He is at least 2nd to Pau Gasol in the post-touches pecking order, and the Lakers have been criticized for not even getting it enough to Pau. Still, he remained active and didn’t merely stand around when his number wasn’t called. He kept his hands extended, always ready to receive a pass when the ball was in his area. Twice, Kendrick Perkins chose not to rotate off of the cutting Bynum, even as Kobe Bryant eluded the other Celtics to score layups right in front of Perkins. Pau Gasol was also able to work Kevin Garnett one-on-one in the lane while Perkins was hesitant to leave Bynum.
This off-the-ball activity eventually netted him an easy dunk when the Boston D was overly focused on a Bryant drive; Kobe drew the D and passed out to Gasol, and as the Celtics rotated to close out on him, Pau found Bynum alone under the basket. Although he was anxious to be involved in the offense, he was patient and did not force shots when he finally received the ball. On his first touch he was doubled on the baseline, and made the right pass out to Gasol who converted an elbow jumper. Later when he caught the ball in the middle of the lane, he found an open shot as he turned away from the double team to nail a turn-around jumper.
His defense was particularly impressive, if not obviously so. During the Lakers’ 3rd-quarter run, he always made the right rotation, and exerted commendable effort showing on the pick-and-roll (P&R). His defensive highlights included a fine close-out on a Ray Allen 3PT attempt when he was drawn away from the lane defending the P&R; a forced turnover when Kendrick Perkins tried to face him up on the baseline; through his aggressive hedges, he twice forced Paul Pierce to give up the ball on the P&R; still another time he showed on the P&R and then rotated to close out on a Glen Davis jumper (which he missed). He secured rebounds, and only once (by my count) did he fail to contest a shot taken in his area.
Bynum and the Lakers continued their solid play in the 4th quarter as they were able to hold onto the lead they worked hard to build. Bynum never scored in the fourth quarter (0-2 on two good looks in the paint that just missed), but he continued his solid defense, and stayed out of the foul trouble that plagued him in the first match-up against Boston (an uneven 28 minutes with 5 fouls). This allowed him to be on the court for more minutes than any game in which he has played this season (nearly 34). This also showed trust from Phil Jackson, as he played him the entire first quarter and gave him extended run in the 3rd and through a good portion of the 4th while Pau Gasol rested.
There is still over a third of the season left to play, and to date, the Lakers have been one of the best teams in the league, even though they haven’t run away with the West as most predicted. They haven’t needed Bynum in every game to do this – their wins in games when he has played are nearly equal to those in which he has been out. They will need him in the playoffs, however, when the game typically slows down, and the size, skill and production of the Laker big men – including Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom – can overwhelm some opponents, and help them mitigate the front-courts strengths of others. Thursday night, Bynum, with his activity on both ends and his efficient scoring demonstrated the advantage the Lakers have when he plays well.
(Image via Chuck Burton-AP)
The Stephen Jackson-less (for the 2nd half anyway) Bobcats beat the Celtics Monday night.
Word on the street is that Garnett is a big ol’ you know what on the court.
Ron Jeremy ain’t got nothing.
I used to like Kevin Garnett when he wasn’t a meany. But actually he probably always was a meany and I just didn’t know it. If you remember a time when KG wasn’t a meany then get at me on Twitter @rpravato.
Well, I hope everyone enjoyed the Super Bowl. While I am a die-hard NBA fan, I DO love me some NFL as well. It’ll take a little time for me to get back into the groove of things but I’ll try my best.
However, before the Super Bowl, we did have a scary moment on an NBA court.
Marquis Daniels went down in a heap after he collided with Gilbert Arenas‘ shoulder/chest area on a drive attempt. His neck snapped back and he laid motionless on the floor for quite a while. It was a really scary moment. Some 15 minutes later, he was taken away on a stretcher. Daniels, however, gave a thumbs up, signaling that he is okay. He was just released from the hospital this morning.
What I am appalled, though, is the reaction of some Laker fans. Some said that “he’s milking his injury for all its worth. Those damn Celtics.” The guy almost got paralyzed out there! And some have said that “Doc Rivers has another excuse when they lose in the playoffs.” What?! Really?! They’re thinking about basketball when someone out there could lose his movement for a long time?!
My gosh. What did the Celtics do to them? Okay, so they root for a team and… what? Did the rival team kill their firstborn or something? Sure, they make a lot more money than the average Joe does (understatement) but this is also their job and they have families to go home to. Are they really rooting for someone to get hurt? For someone not being able to move for the rest of his life? For his kids to see his father in a helpless state? What kind of world do we live in? Would they want someone to wish them injury? Look at former NBA player, Rodney Rogers. He is confined to a wheelchair for possibly the rest of his life. He can’t MOVE. We all complain about being limited after an ankle sprain or a wrist sprain… but THIS MAN CAN’T MOVE. Moving to the kitchen is a chore. Going to bed is a chore. Let me say this again just to hit the point… HE CAN’T MOVE. And fans were saying that Marquis Daniels was milking his injury for all its worth? I’m appalled and very, very disappointed. Health is more important than anything. I hope the people that said that about Marquis realize that.
I love basketball. But I am thankful that I’m healthy. And I hope the fans that said these deplorable things about Marquis don’t take their health for granted.
By the way, Marquis, hope you feel better soon. We’re glad it wasn’t any worse.
PHOTO CREDIT: Elsa/Getty Images.
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