Saturday, January 31, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
NBAtipoff: How would you assess the Suns recent play, they've gone 5-5 in the last 10 games.
Ben: In a word - mediocre; and we're lucky that we went .500 in that stretch.
NBAtipoff: You recently made an argument for the Suns to switch to the triangle offense. I feel their defense needs work. What can they do to be more consistent defensively?
Ben: Well, our defense has been better the past couple games in Atlanta and Washington, but it's all about knowing which gaps to fill and anticipating rather than reacting. The Suns have largely been a reactive team on defense the past few years and that was something Porter wanted to change this year.
NBAtipoff: What's the best piece or skill on the Suns team that is not used? Why is it not used?
Ben: Great question. I think at the beginning of the season, our best piece/skill was certainly not being used, and that was allowing Nash the freedom to create.
NBAtipoff: Exactly what style are the Suns playing? I think it's a mix or running and half-court execution, but is there more to it?
Ben: That's pretty much it. However, the reason I called for the triangle (even though it will never happen) is because our offense becomes so stale after a while of just running set plays. I see hints of a set motion offense but we get caught up in where the ball "should" go rather than just looking for the open man.
NBAtipoff: 52% of the Suns shots come within 11-20 seconds of shot clock use, how do you think this fits into the style the Suns want to play?
NBAtipoff: Amare has been a little inconsistent when I've seen him, what's going to put him over the hump and get him playing well about 95% of the time?
Ben: I've been a huge critic of Amare this year.
All in all, I think it will just take time for Amare to find his niche in the offense. It's clear that he isn't the focal point we thought he'd be, but we do need his energy and determination to go anywhere in the playoffs.
NBAtipoff: You are liveblogging the Suns game with Suns and Spurs bloggers! Is there going to be a virtual flagrant foul tally someone will have to keep track of?
NBAtipoff: How will the Suns play this season translate to the second half of the season?
NBAtipoff: How far can they get into the playoffs? What piece could they add to help them?
Yes, the Lakers have established themselves as a clear favorite in the West. But do you really think that the Jazz couldn't knock them off if they played well? The Rockets? The Spurs? Any one of those teams could start playing well at the right time and take the series.
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High and Lows
It's fun to watch this team go from happy to sad and back again. When they get on a run, you can feel the energy just watching it. Nate Robinson pumps his fist, QRich bounces up and down and they get up and bump each other once the other team calls a timeout. They typically will let a team back into the game at some time, then frustration insues. Robinson wears his emotions on his sleeve, D'Antoni yells and begs for more out of his squad.
Nate Robinson has to be one of my favorite Knicks. It's not even because of his play, it's because of his pure enthusiasm. He lets it all hang out on the court, it's fun to watch.
Duhon's Control of the team
Duhon is not the most talented point guard, but he leads the Knicks well. He has good control of the team; he knows when to pull the ball back and get into halfcourt offense, he also knows when to run the ball.
So, watch the Knicks and see if you see what I see. The crisp highs, the crisp lows (taken from a Bose commercial from NBA TV, btw) of the team, Nate Rob's crazieness, Duhon's complete control. The game they've got against the Lakers Monday will be fun to watch.
Got a pick for most entertaining NBA team? Let's hear it in the comments!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Look at these great, in game dunks:
If you don't like that, you don't like basketball!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
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NBAtipoff: Thanks for joining us on the first edition of Scoop feature. Could you talk to us about the Blazers recent play, tell us things you've liked and didn't like.
Kellex: Their play has definitely been sporadic and not in a good way. Inconsistent play on the offensive end from Roy and Aldridge have led to some disappointing losses to subpar teams. On a positive note though, Greg Oden had his first monster game as a professional and gave everyone a glimpse at what the future could hold. Let's just hope he can stay loose and build on it.
NBAtipoff: The Blazers offense hasn't looked as fluid recently without starting point guard Steve Blake. Since the team doesn't have a pure point without him, what's the best way Nate McMillan can keep the ball moving?
Kellex: Well, when you lose your starting point guard, things are going to look different for any team. Luckily for the Blazers, they have a solid, although sometimes inconsistent, backup in Sergio Rodriguez. Plus the rookie Bayless has also come off the bench as a spark without Blake. In the few games Stevie has been gone, one of those two that I just mentioned has stepped up to help the team win.
NBAtipoff: On a softer, non-Blazers note, was Blaze of Love the biggest snub from the big, new Truehoop Blog Network?
Kellex: Haha, funny you ask. I'm not sure Heny would really allow a Blazers blog in seeing as he is such a Blazers fan himself. Although I would have been honored to be a part of the network, I'm still satisfied with my independent work. It'll be interesting to see how those blogs grow now that they are a part of the mothership.
NBAtipoff: If you could pick any five (or six?) Blazer combination to be on the floor (not old school, just active Blazers today), what would be the dream offensive and defensive sequence?
Kellex: Well...Roy, Aldridge, Oden, Fernandez and Batum. Spread the floor for Brandon and let him work his magic.
NBAtipoff: So Rudy Fernandez was voted into the dunk contest. He's definetley not the favorite, but as a Blazers fan, will you show love even if he's not the best?
Kellex: I'll always root for a Blazer especially when it is helping get the team some positive press after the Miles debacle. I think any intelligent basketball fan knows that Rudy doesn't stand a chance in hell, but you never know, he could pull some secrets out of that Spanish hat.
NBAtipoff: So how far do you think Portland can go this year?
Kellex: With the way they are playing right now, I wouldn't say they'll make it anywhere. They have been far too inconsistent to make any sort of run. But after the All-Star break, it's a new ballgame and if they can put together a special run like they did last year...watch out!
NBAtipoff: How far can they get in the playoffs?
Kellex: Well it depends on where they end up in the first round. if they end up 8th, they'll probably get swept by the Lakers. If they can climb up to 7th, 6th, or 5th, then you may see them sneak out of the first round. The Rose Garden gives them such an advantage, plus their road play is far superior to last year's.
NBAtipoff: Where do you see them three years from now?
Kellex: I'd love to say "championship" but you just never know. These days, it's hard to keep a team together and actually watch them grow. I think teams are more into the buying-a-champi
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The Pacers are one of the quickest teams in the league. They push all the time, put up lots of three's, the whole run and gun deal. The Spurs might try to force a slow, half court execution kind of style. If they do that, the Pacers will have to try keep the game at their pace. If you didn't see the Celts make trash of the Suns, you know running against a fast team works. The Celtics fast brand of ball was great, the ball was in the post and up six or eight seconds into the shot clock. It caught Shaq and the others off guard. So, I would like to see the Spurs take a running approach to this game. Running off of Pacers makes will be key. It will give them many more easy opportunities.
So, who ya got?
Well, I've got the Spurs tonight. Considering both teams played last night, I think the Pacers will come out strong, look for them to take the first quarter, then the Spurs will wake up. The line is Spurs -7.5, they should win by a range of 5-10.
So, if you didn't watch the video, this is what Nate Robinson does at the free throw line. First, he touches his ears. He does this because he is a fan of the movie Bad Boys II and Martin Lawrence touched his ears in order to get comfortable. I kind of like the idea, it's unique, just like his overall game. Then he does a couple of circles with the ball. This seems to be a guard trend, I've seen Mo Williams doing it, Gilbert Arenas (when healthy) and Nate doing it.
Keep touching those ears and doing those ball circles Nate! It's the key factor in why you've raised your free throw percentage by six percent this year!
Monday, January 19, 2009
Change is in the air, we've got a new name, new look, it's a new era. What does it all mean? It means we're going to be bringing all kinds of new coverage, new features, everything you could want!
Today is the official launch day! Take a look around, get comfortable! We plan to keep you here for a long time!
Owner: Alex Curtis-Slep
At 20 years old, I'm already a blogging vet. Blogging since I was nine, I'm a complete NBA-junkie. My eyes are glued to league pass 24/7, I'm either watching, playing, or writing about basketball!
I look forward to making this a top site. As the NBA constantly evolves, so will this site. Who’s ready for the ride?
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Contributor: Rob Small
Rob is a journalism student at Azusa Pacific University in Los Angeles. A Sacramento native, he has covered the Sacramento Kings for multiple local outlets since 2009. Aside from contributing to the NBAtipoff, he also writes about the Kings on Examiner.com.
Follow him on Twitter at @rc360.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Thanks to Kellex for getting that up for me to post.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Lawerence Frank benched Devin Harris and Vince Carter for the second half. I'm sure you'll see this headline around most news sites. It was the right thing to do though. If someone's not playing well, whether it be a star, or not, he has the right to sit them. I would have done the same thing, except maybe half way through the third quarter.
While the Nets game was an overall negative, I got a good look at Brook Lopez. He had one of his better games and he showed he has a wide skill set. His jump shot went in consistently, his range goes out to the circle ahead of the three point line. If he can keep improving the mid-range game and his footwork in the post, he can be a nice offensive player. On defense, he just needs to learn to be tough all the time, no lapses.
This should help get the Celtics back on track. They got a nice win without getting the big three a lot of run. If they don't watch their backs, the Magic may creep up on them (they've now swept the Lakers and Spurs in the season series).
Friday, January 16, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Marreese Speights really impressed me with his play tonight. He hit the glass, made some jumpers, showed his whole game. He just had an overall efficient game, his +/- was a team-high 16. 10 of his 12 points came in the fourth, he played big when it mattered.
Atlanta has got to pick up their intensity. They've lost four of their last five, and the losses are by an average of 11.6 per game. The problem is not their team, although Horford being out for the next three games hurts (bruised knee), the problem is fire and intensity. If they can come out, win the first quarter by five or more points, I think that will keep them at their best for 48 minutes. Tonight, both teams started packing it in with two minutes left. The shots the Sixers got were good looks, that's a no-no. No matter what the score, players have to get up into their man and make each and every shot as difficult as they can.
The next stretch of games for Atlanta is a perfect time to catch fire. After Tuesday's game against the Suns, they've got teams like the Clippers, Warriors, Bucks, Bulls and Raptors. If they can have a good stretch there, they can get back to playing the elite teams tough.
Photo by: Scott Cunningham
Friday, January 02, 2009
I also saw a lot of frustration from Shawn Marion. He had only four points and clearly disagreed with the ref's about 90% of the time. I have a hunch he'll bolt away from Miami after this season. He needs a more Suns-like team, maybe NY would consider? It would be a good fit, although he'll want a lot of money.
Orlando has been great. They've beaten LA, they've beaten who they're supposed to beat. This team is a serious contender, although their journey will probably end at the Eastern conference finals. They are a really solid team, but they can't beat the Cavs or Celts in a best of seven series, yet.
Photo by: John Raoux