Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Mavs Steal One in Boston

Dirk Nowitzki talking to ref. Photo from Keith Allison
The Mavs absolutely stole a win in Boston tonight. Boston came out really hot, but the Mavs experience and perseverance won out. The Mavs hit timely three's, stole the ball and Boston showed their youth. Deron Williams was a big catalyst for the Mavs, as was Wesley Matthews.

Mavs basketball was not on display in the first quarter. The Mavs came out super flat, turned the ball over and the Celtics (specifically Avery Bradley) were on fire. After the tough start, the Mavs won every quarter by an average of more than six points per quarter. Boston cooled down, the Mavs hit more shots and played their pace.

The second half was where the Mavs really played their pace. Pace is a huge part to winning games and it was a tale of two conflicting paces tonight. Boston wants to run the ball, while the Mavs are a more methodical, older squad. Once the Mavs slowed the game down and committed less turnovers, they were able to relax and play better.

The Mavs are real lucky to get this win though. Boston played the better overall game, they just are inexperienced and don't execute great down the stretch. There was one particular shot by Isaiah Thomas late that was way too early in the shot clock (an out of control three taken off the dribble). So the Mavs need to be more energetic to start games.

Coming out missing shots, not penetrating on offense and turning the ball over will only make getting wins harder. When the Mavs watch this game film, surely they'll notice a huge difference in their intensity and game pace after the first quarter.

The Mavs are a solid squad who got this win. If the Mavs want to go far, they must play a complete 48 minutes and not 36 minutes.

Knicks: Offensive Woes Late

Carmelo Anthony shoots over two Wizards. Photo from
Keith Allison
The Knicks are becoming stagnant late in games. Typically the offense is to give Carmelo Anthony the ball and then all the other Knicks stand around and watch. When it's not that, it's a lot of dribbling and the triangle seems to have disappeared from the Knicks heads. This showed heavily when the Knicks went scoreless for a few minutes in a win against the Hornets last night. In order to be an elite team, the Knicks must stick to their offensive system, dribble less and space the floor better.

Surely Knicks coach Derek Fisher knows that an offense dependent upon isolation won't take the Knicks far. As great a scorer as Carmelo Anthony is, his continual desire to clear out a whole side of the floor could be the Knicks Achilles heel. While it's nice for maybe a few possessions a half, the Knicks offense must have continuity. Walt "Clyde" Fraizer said it last night and it was evident in the way the Knicks were playing.

One Melo isolation here, countless dribbles for Langston Galloway there. The Knicks have shown the ability to run the triangle and run it effectively. Why stray from what works? It makes no sense, it's like using a fan to stay cool, but then, at the hottest part of the day, turning the fan off and putting on a long sleeved shirt.

The Knicks need to stay cool and remember what offense they're running. Melo is certainly a part of the triangle, but he isn't the only player on the court! Some of the Knicks young guards seem a little tense down the stretch too. What the Knicks coaching staff needs to make clear is that they need to play the same way throughout the whole game.

Simply because the game becomes tight doesn't mean you have to overhaul everything. The best teams stick to their systems, only tweaking small elements of what they do.

The Knicks need to play as a team for 48 minutes. Anyone who strays from the team concept ought to be benched. Knicks basketball is at its best when the ball moves, not when the ball sticks! Get the glue off the ball and the Knicks will be that much better off.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Video: Knicks Show Promise

Here's some video analysis on the Knicks:

Note this was shot before the Knicks 99-95 win over the Lakers. Keep working, Knicks!

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Video: Bradley Beal Game Winning Three

Bradley Beal drained an amazing three to seal the game for the Wizards.

How awesome was that? Way to go Bradley Beal!

Atlanta Hawks: Excellence

Jeff Teague with the ball. Photo Credit: Keith Allison
The Atlanta Hawks are a fabulous ball club. They play as a team, can quickly make something out of nothing on offense and the Atlanta Hawks are deep. Atlanta Hawks basketball (and the whole organization) is modeled after that of the San Antonio Spurs. No wonder it's so successful.

Playing as a cohesive unit is one of the more underrated aspects in basketball. The Atlanta Hawks not only look to set up teammates, they yearn to put the ball in exactly the right spot. When Kyle Korver comes off of away from the ball screens, guys like Jeff Teague and Paul Millsap put the ball right in Korver's shooting pocket.

If Kent Bazemore is cutting to the basket, most of the time an Atlanta Hawk will throw a bounce pass that's right on the money. The whole Atlanta Hawks squad is full of guys who are unselfish and proud of it. As a unit they understand it puts them closer to their goal (of winning a title) if they move the ball around.

Occasionally the Atlanta Hawks offense becomes stagnant. Luckily, the Atlanta Hawks have two starting level point guards at their disposal who are as quick as greyhounds. Jeff Teague and Dennis Schroder can make plays swiftly when the Hawks are deep in the shot clock. Time and time again this was on display in the Hawks 98-92 win over Miami.

Teague and Schroder not only set the pace for the Hawks offense, they drive, suck in the defense and create easy opportunities for their teammates (even without a ton of time on the shot clock). Having Schroder come off the bench when he could start elsewhere puts the Atlanta Hawks on a different level.

The Atlanta Hawks sparkle greater than most of the NBA's stars. So long as they continue to play together, hit jumpers and stay healthy they'll go far. How far? That's tough to say this early, but to say the Atlanta Hawks are good is an understatement.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Video: The Longest Oop

The Detroit Pistons and Funny Or Die are on a roll. They're making some awesome, entertaining content that's worth seeing.

Check out the latest video, The Longest Oop:

Classic! Did you recognize anyone? Who should catch The Longest Oop?

Kristaps Porzingis: Potential Impact Player

By Ed (AIMG_1464) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Kristaps Porzingis has shown flashes of greatness for the Knicks in this young season. Kristaps Porzingis is incredibly skilled for his size, can become a defensive presence and Kristaps Porzingis adapts quickly. Phil Jackson is on to something with this kid. Kristaps Porzingis capped what Carmelo called, "a brilliant game," with this awesome putback dunk (Merci to CBS for the video):

If you haven't seen Kristaps Porzingis play yet, you've got to get hyped after seeing that! Kristaps Porzingis is only 20 years old. To be 7' 3" and have that smooth of a shooting stroke, some defensive instincts and to handle the ball as adeptly as he can is magnificent. Tim Duncan even thought Kristaps Porzingis was an impressive young fella.

While Kristaps Porzingis is getting hyped a ton, Kristaps Porzingis has a long way to go. Kristaps Porzingis is foul prone, must work on his post defense and stop standing around on offense (the whole Knicks team has this problem really).

What basketball player doesn't have something to work on, especially at the ripe young age of 20? Kristaps Porzingis is easy to cheer for. Kristaps Porzingis is helping breathe new life into what is finally an improved Knicks team. He's worth watching.

Kristaps Porzingis is learning from his rookie mistakes. They happen for everyone, but so long as Kristaps Porzingis stays healthy, he'll improve greatly with time. The Knicks franchise knows they've got someone great to work with and surely they'll give Kristaps Porzingis the facilities and feedback he needs to shine ever brighter.

Give a Knicks game and Kristaps Porzingis a watch. The Knicks are much more entertaining than last years lousy squad and Kristaps Porzingis is one of the reasons why. Thumbs up to Kristaps Porzingis!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Celtics Lack Intensity

Watching the Celtics lose to the Raptors last night was tough. The Celtics intensity was incredibly low and the offense made no sense. The Raptors are a more talented team than the Celtics, but the Celtics simply didn't care throughout most of the second half.

By Bradjward [CC BY 2.0 (], via Flickr

The Celtics offense was so bad that when Kelly Olynyk stole the ball from Patrick Patterson and the Celtics tried to convert a fastbreak, Isaiah Thomas shot a three (that inevitably was a brick). The Celtics couldn't get to the basket for an easy two? No, the Celtics made last nights game harder than it had to be.

Kelly Olynyk launched way too many three's (five to be exact) and if I'm Brad Stevens, that's simply intolerable. Is Olynyk a decent shooter? Yeah he's alright, but the Celtics did not work the inside game enough. Rarely did they penetrate, really suck the Raptor defense in, then kick the ball out to wide open shooters.

The shooters had small amounts of air space and still the Celtics launched 26 three's last night. The Celtics are an average three point shooting club at best and they need to focus on movement towards the basket first. This idea of trying to be the Warriors won't work for the Celtics.

The Celtics ought to focus on early offense, Evan Turner had the right idea at times when the ball was pushed ahead enough. Neglecting the mid range game will not only continue to hurt the NBA, but especially the Celtics who have guys who could propel at those spots (Turner, Bradley and even Thomas).

Defensive intensity was another problem. In the third quarter, when the Raptors made a big push, the Celtics transition defense was deplorable. All they needed to do was get back and show some signs of life.

Instead, the Celtics folded and made Toronto look much better than they are. Talent is great, but effort trumps talent. The Celtics lacked effort last night and that's why they lost.

Celtics players and fans know this team can play closer to Toronto. While the Celtics only lost by 10, the deficit was much larger throughout most of the second half. What do the Celtics need to do to play better? Utilize ball penetration to provide better floor spacing, shoot the right three's (not shooting as many as Golden State does) and play with greater intensity.

Play harder, Celtics!

Friday, October 02, 2015

Detroit Pistons Team Up with Funny Or Die

The Detroit Pistons got creative in this years media day. They teamed up with Funny Or Die for a segment called "The Backboard." Watch below:

Can you say lol? This is some great stuff. Thanks Funny Or Die and of course the Detroit Pistons!

Merci to Uproxx for the link!

Tony Allen Is Hilarious!

Tony Allen is one funny dude. When talking about his teammate Mike Conley's pregame music he told the Commercial Appeal this, "He stopped listening to Usher and he's listening to Tupac, Future. He's turnt up now, so his whole preparation before the game is seek and destroy now. I like that ambition about him."

From ana-foo on Tumblr
Will Mike Conley's pregame music selections propel him this season? Maybe, but it sure is hilarious to hear Tony Allen chime in on the subject. Tony Allen would make a great commentator.

Gracias, The Score!