Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My Bad

For the lack of posting today. 2k9 will not be played tomorrow, I'm gonna write some good stuff! But check Twitter tonight for my thoughts on tonight's big games and get in on the conversation!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Talk Around The Hardwood

Forget my stupid into, let's link!

  • Hooped Up. If you haven't found all of you NBA Tweeters, here's a list.
  • Fox Sports. Predicting Black Griffin's ability to make it big in the L.
  • YouTube. Interesting piece on Kobe for Real NBA.
  • Forum Blue and Gold. Talking about the Lakers tough loss in Atlanta and the playoffs, "I am not that worried about going into the playoffs with a ton of momentum. I said this in the comments but I think it bears repeating — the playoffs are another season all together. They have their own ebb and flow, and teams will improve during them. Remember last year — the Celitics looked like crap in the first round. And much of the second. Nobody thought they looked like a champion, getting taken seven games twice. How did that end? The playoffs are another animal, all together."
  • Hornets 24/7. Lots of good thoughts on the Hornets big W last night.
  • Pickaxe and Roll. A petition to make sure Birdman stays in Denver.
  • Fear the Sword. A little break down on the race for the best record in the league.
  • Pro Basketball News. "The Hornets are better in the rebounding and defense departments than they get credit for. No, they're not the Boston Celtics on D, but they have shown an ability to get key stops against good teams. Add that to an offense that features Chris Paul, and you have the making of a team that's built for the postseason."

Big Baby Doing BIg Things

The Celtics haven't been in top form without All-Star forward Kevin Garnett. But, this injury has brought the skills of Glen Davis to light. He's getting starters minutes and he's shown he's got more than a big body. He's shown the ability to hit the jump shot, a couple post moves and solid hustle on both ends. His play makes his re-signing a no brainier if I was Danny Ainge.

It's not because Davis is a star player; it's because he fits the Celtics mold. He's a tough, defensive minded big man who's finding his way offensively. At 23, he's got more to learn too. His conditioning has to improve, it'd be sweet if he could shoot threes and defending without fouling is something he has to improve on.

Even though he can improve, he's better than I thought. I didn't think he had the mental toughness needed to contribute as much as he has (that idea came from his crying last year). But, he's surprised me, Boston and himself a little bit. A couple times when he got the ball against the Thunder last night, he scored when it didn't look like he really had the advantage on the defender.

While the big three have been great for the C's; Celtics management has to have their mind on the next group of guys that can play a big role in the next championship team. When you think of the young guys there now, I can see Baby playing a big role in future championship teams.

Your thought on Big Baby's play?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Another Slow Day For Me

It's been a long week, I haven't been able to catch a lot of ball to talk about. All that said, I'm looking to get my NBA fillings tonight. Also, I just got some new kicks I'm going to talk about soon.

Check back for more and don't forget to follow me on Twitter and subscribe!

Some Things That Shouldn't be Headlines

There are some things the media does that make no sense to me. Sure, Shaq's comments about Greg Oden could be considered news. But, the fact that he called Oden a low level ninja needs to be removed from the headlines.

We all know Shaq is going to call people out and say some funny things while doing it. But, I'm tired of it taking center stage. What matters is his team lost a big game last night and probably won't make the playoffs this year.

People, let's take less note of quotes like these and try to take about the thing that matters. BASKETBALL, not trashing other players in the media!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Scoop With SLC Dunk!

This week we got a chance to talk to the guy behind SLC Dunk. If you need a top notch Jazz blog, this is where you have to go.

1. The Jazz are playing well of late, 13 straight home wins, how would you assess their recent play?

With the exception of that three-game slide earlier this month, I couldn't be happier with the Jazz's play. Even then they could have should have won the games against Miami and Atlanta. They played great on the road and just squandered things late. With everyone healthy, everyone is finally seeing how the deep Utah bench will beat most teams.

2. While they've done well at home (only six home losses), they are a below average road team. What is the big difference on the road and how can they fix that problem?

If I had an answer for this, I'd probably have a job sitting next to Sloan on the bench. It's really hard to explain why we can't even break .500 on the road. I think a lot of it though is losing games like the ones mentioned above that you should have won. The Jazz have also lost to Washington, NY, and Charlotte on the road. Not good. To me, it's just a mentality. As much as they thrive from the fans in the ESA, it's almost like they can't play well without it. Maybe the home crowd is an addictive drug for the Jazz and they get withdrawals when they go on the road.

3. On the theme of the last question, without home court, how can the Jazz win a playoff series?
We'll have a better answer to this as they close out the regular season with a lot of tough games on the road. As of right now, I would say they could still win a first-round series if they had to go on the road. But past that would be tough.

4. I don't think Deron Williams has made a big progression in his play this year. Part of that is from that ankle problem he had earlier in the year. How has he gotten better this year and what's the area he's got to improve in?
"This was suppose to be the Summer of George!" That's how I feel about his injury and the team injuries. He's definitely been hampered by the ankle sprain. He stated around the end of January/first part of February that it was pretty close to 100%. His numbers and the Jazz W/L record from that point on have been fantastic. I think the Jazz have the best record in the West since the All-Star break.

We should have had a whole season of this but he hasn't played with the regular rotation until just recently. I think you can judge him from about February on. He's been nothing short of amazing. He had 5 straight games of 30+ points. He's averaging 11.6 assists in March to lead the league. If you don't get to see a lot of him, you wouldn't know about the things he does that don't show up in the box score. His decision making and play creating are with the best in the league.

One of the main things I would like to see him improve on is his turnovers. He hates it as well. Some of that has come from trying to do too much at times. His three-point shooting has been way down this season as well, even when he's been healthy. I don't know what's happened with that.

He's really learning the game though and I think has improved this year. He gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling late in the game when you know that it's going to be oooookay. Might be one of the more clutch players in the league.

5. Every time I watch Mehmet Okur, I think, "he's an underrated player." He can really score the ball and at an efficient rate. Does every one else not give him credit for his abilities? Where does he rank in best big man shooters?

As Bill Simmons might say, I think he's about rate. He's definitely not overrated but I think most people know what he can do. If you're going based on shooting, he's got to be in the top 3-5 centers in the league.

6. Do you want the Jazz to re-sign Boozer? Lots of people feel Millsap has what it takes to make Boozer replaceable. Do you take a players mindset and try to only worry about this season?

My goal this season has been to try to just think about how fortunate we are to have both Boozer and Millsap. When you can have a guy like Paul come off the bench, that's kind of disheartening for the opposing team because there's not really a let down. I want the Jazz to re-sign Boozer. Character issues aside, which I don't think anyone is really qualified to speak with any authority on, he's an overall better player right now than Millsap is. Paul has his strengths and I don't have much that I could speak negatively on about him, but a healthy Booze gives us a better chance to win.

7. A couple of fake Jazz play and coach Twitter accounts have surfaced recently. Which person in the Jazz organization would have the most entertaining Twitter account and why?

Kyrylo Fesenko and Kosta Koufos. They should have a joint account because Fess is the ultimate goofball and quote machine. On the otherhand, Kosta is as serious as they come when you're talking basketball and he's giving interviews. There are a lot of "Yes, sirs" and cliche statements. I may start a fake account based on this now....

8. Kyle Korver has proved to me that he can make smart defensive decisions at times. He's pretty much in his prime now, can he become any better (more all around offensive game, better D) of a bench player for the Jazz?

Offensively, what you see is what you get. He's always been a shooter. He's never going to be a one on one guy or someone that can create his own shot. That's fine. He fits in perfectly. He has been much improved on his D this year. Due to a wrist injury, his shot hasn't been there for a lot of the year. But like losing your hearing, you develop your other senses a little better (I don't know if that's true or just a stereotype/wives tale but it works for this point). His rebounding and blocks are up and unfortunately we don't have a stat for hustle.

9. Who's the x-factor for this Jazz team? What make them go?

Ronnie Brewer and Andrei Kirilenko. I just wrote about this in my game recap against the Rockets. AK was the x-factor in the first half of the season while everyone was out injured. He still is to a point. But Ronnie has turned it on and has been playing phenomenal on D and causing havoc on the the offensive end.

10. How long until the Jazz are legitimate title contenders? Who do they need to acquire to get there?

I think they're contenders now. They're not favorites, but they're contenders. Their offense is probably the best in the league. With a little defensive intensity on the road, they could make some noise. But it all starts there. We'll get a good idea as we see them close out the regular season with all of their road games against high quality opponents.

Thanks man and remember to visit SLC Dunk!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sorry For the Lack of Posting Today

I had kind of an odd day, I'll be back tomorrow. But, be sure to hit up my Twitter tonight for updates on tonight's games and subscribe to the feed!

I'll give you a cliffhanger for tomorrow: the Scoop is back!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

If This Game Were Food

Disclaimer: Everyone loves food. All normal humans eat and I happen to be a big fan of food. Aren't you? Well, I think it would be cool to combine two things I love. Basketball and food. So, we're going to look at certain match ups and consult with our stomach about how it would characterize this game as food. Every stomach thinks differently, so you and your stomach can voice you opinions in the comments. Cooks are especially encouraged to voice their opinions.

This is a really hot game. Houston is coming into this game with a four game winning streak and the Jazz have won their last 12 at home (where they will be tonight). So, we need to find a food that's hot, none of that cold stuff.

The Subject:

Some twists to this Fennel-Pepper Spaghetti: you have to use some of the hotter peppers (chili, etc.) and pour a little hot sauce to give it extra sizzle.

Why: Because it looks pretty good and it's hot. We know the Rockets have made another mini-run here, taking second in the West; the Jazz have turned it up at home. Their match up tonight will flow heat out of Energy Solutions Arena (looks like Utah could use it, the high's 49 degrees).

Who's going to eat their pre-game meal? The Jazz are only going to be hungry for a win. They have a couple of advantages: they are catching the Rockets on a back to back and they have home court tonight. Also, Deron Williams ensured me he'd have fennel-pepper spaghetti for his pre-game meal.

Don't burn you tongue watching this one tonight! Heat starts at 10:30 Eastern.

Talk Around The Hardwood

Anyone having March Maddness withdrawal? I'm not, I've got the NBA to focus on. On that note, let's link!

  • YouTube. If you haven't seen this yet, it's a shot from DWade from about 3/4 court, didn't count though.
  • Fanhouse. Good talk about Stephen Curry vs. Patrick Mills in the NIT. Just as Ziller said, I like both player too (I remember Mills from the Olympics).
  • Bullets Forever. Wizards fans may or may not like Gilbert Arenas coming back, but at least things got interesting.
  • The Two Man Game. Rick Carlisle looking, different?
  • Pro Basketball News. The Knicks haven't been a lot better record wise under D'Antoni. Even though that's true, I like them more with Mike!
  • NY Times. Sounds like Danilo Gallinari is done for the season (too bad).
  • View From My Seats. Tough look at whether TMac and Yao don't work together.

Stan Van Gundy A Hater?

Stan Van Gundy was in the news today, saying the Knicks don't appreciate Patrick Ewing (here's what he said). It seems like he's put his head into a couple of situations I certainly wouldn't put myself in (the little war of words with Shaq). So, that got me thinking, is Stan Van Gundy a hater (or just very complacent)?

Stan is kind of a hater. He's stuck himself into things he shouldn't be worrying about. Those recent comments about Ewing had absolutely nothing to do with him. What he said mostly had to do with the Knicks and, if there's any relation to the Magic, all it would involve is them losing Ewing as an assistant which could really hurt Dwight Howard's progression. If I was Otis Smith (or another high ranking Magic executive), I'd talk to Stan about keeping some things to himself.

In looking at his comments closer, I see that Stan knows the way he is ("I'm a cynical person," he says). Even if he knows what he's doing, I don't like what he's done. He should keep his focus where it needs to be; his team.

Lighten up Stan, you're too serious to be coaching Dwight Howard!

What do you guys think about Stan Van Gundy, is he a hater/complainer? Let's hear your voice!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Talk Around The Hardwood

Monday's, ahhh Monday. Let's get into some links!

  • Lakers. I'm wondering just how good the LA Lakers chemistry is. "I know we can do a much better job of communicating." Lamar Odom was talking about the road trip there on right now. Sounds like the chemistry is there, but it's not Cavs chemistry.
  • DC Pro Sports Report. Gilbert Arenas back this weekend? All I have to say is: Why?
  • The Sporting Truth. Top Five NBA Teams In The Last 20 Years To Never Win a Title.
  • NY Times. If you didn't see this, it's a real good read from the New York Times.
Sorry, but that's it! I will have more talk tomorrow! Come back for that and more. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter and subscribe to the feed!

Playoff Power Rankings!

It was another jam packed week around the L. Time to see who's impressing me!

1.Cleveland Cavaliers: I'll said it before and I'll say it again: I'm impressed. Now it looks like they should have East all locked up and now they have put some separation between themselves and the Lakers. If the season were to end today, Mike Brown would be coach of the year.

2. Los Angeles Lakers: Sure they've been solid, but I'm looking for more from them. I want them to crush teams by more than they have been. They have the talent to crush the big teams and they need to show that. Detroit and Atlanta should be wins by 15+. But, we have to expect less out of the regular-season Lakers. That has to change.

3. Boston Celtics: Sorry Rockets fans, I was thinking about putting you here. But then I thought about the playoffs and who will do more. Anyway, the C's started bouncing back last week. In their three wins, they won by an average of about eight points. Once they get back into full form, I expect that to go even higher. 3-1 for a resurgent week.

4. Houston Rockets: Talk about some quality wins. This week was full of them for the Rockets; they beat the Hornets, Pistons and Spurs. I said this on my Twitter and I'll say it again: Rick Adelman should be in the discussion for coach of the year. Just like Jeff Van Gundy was saying with the MVP candidates, he may not win, but people should give guys like him more credit.

5. Orlando Magic: The Magic beat who they were supposed to beat. The Knicks and the Bucks are must wins for a team this good. I can live with a lost to LeBron and the Cavs. 2-1 week for D12 and the Magic.

6. San Antonio Spurs: Not the best week for the Spurs. They lost in Oklahoma City, and at home to the Celtics and Rockets. Without Manu, Tony Parker has had to pick up a lot of the load. He averaged about 25 points for the week. That's a lot for Tony. That has to be a concern for them. Hopefully Manu gets back quickly.

7. Atlanta Hawks: This part of the rankings was tough. I'm going with the Hawks because I like their recent play. They didn't really impress in Sunday's game against the Cavs, but they've been consistent. 2-1 week for Joe Johnson and crew.

8. Portland Trail Blazers: Underrated week for the Blaze. They beat bad teams, but two of those bad teams play hard (Pacers and Bucks). So I'm going to give them the nod, nice 3-1 week.

9. New Orleans Hornets: Not a tough week for them. They beat the Timberwolves, Grizzlies and Warriors. 3-1, hopefully they'll keep at this pace.

10. Denver Nuggets: Time for Denver to turn it up. They should to finish the season strong; they need a confidence boost.

11. Utah Jazz: They won big and they were supposed to. Let's go Jazz. Time to turn it up even more.

Forget the lower half of the Eastern conference. They are not going to do squat in the playoffs PERIOD. I like some of the teams, but I don't like lots of them. So let's look at who's important.

Friday, March 20, 2009

5 Reasons I'm Starting to Hate the Mavs

Look, I'm sorry in advance to Mavericks fans. Your team is solid, but I just can't stand it much anymore.

1. This team won't win ANYTHING! Sure, the team that Mark Cuban and the rest of the organization put together was a great regular season team, but they couldn't do anything in the playoffs, especially now. I don't want anyone to expect anything better than one or two wins in the first round for this team, at least until it gets blown up.

2. Dirk's talent is being wasted. Dirk is easily one of the best big men in the league right now (by that I mean he's got the skill level to match anyone). He has all kinds of skill, the jump shot, post moves, better defense than in the past; pretty much the whole package. Now, he's 31. In a couple years, people are going to be talking about a slight decline in Dirk. I want to see him win sometime, he's earned it.

3. They're too old. I have nothing against vets, but this team is loaded with vets. This team doesn't have many prospects for the future. Brandon Bass is the only one I'd be really interested in keeping around. The rest are decent role players, at best.

4. Rick Carlisle will probably get screwed again. I love Carlisle. He's a great coach, who always work his butt off to win games. But, he's put into situations like the Mavs. For some reason, he'll probably get fired at some point, not that he deserves it. I may be wrong on that, but, just like Dirk, I want to see Carlisle win too.

5. They traded Devin Harris. Everyone says this, but this really strikes me. I know everyone didn't think Harris was as good as he's turned out to be. But, he was a hell of a lot better than a fast declining Jason Kidd.

Sorry again to all you Mavs fans, but I'm starting to hate this squad. They will come back as a contender at some time, but I want them to blow things up soon (this summer), so they can speed up their comeback and get Dirk somewhere where he can get a ring.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Late Talk Around The Hardwood

Ok, I know we're all trying to get our march madness fix right, but let's link!

  • Hornets247. The Greatest Penetrators in the NBA. Looks like a nice long read.
Actually, you know what, just read that! That's enough, we got all these games and Blazers-Cavs later tonight. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter!

What's The Most Underrated NBA Storyline?

Every season some things go on that the public doesn't give credit it to. There are those same stories this year.

But, what I want to hear from you is which story in the NBA is something we should pay more attention to? Is it the Thunder and that fact that they're a lot better than any other 19 win team, is it the Jazz and how good they are, is it something else I haven't seen?

Every year there's something. Let's hear what you think in the comments!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Talk Around The Hardwood

It's linking time! Oh yeah..

  • YouTube, via GSF homepage. Pretty funny version of Drunk Dialing with Charles Barkley.
  • Cleveland.com. Sounds like Wally's out 2-3 weeks.
  • Fanster. Sounds like there's going to be another outdoor pre-season game.
  • Bullets Forever. Tough season for the Wiz, you can tell when sarcasm about Oleksiy Pecherov has to be thrown around.
  • ProBasketballNews. Are the Spurs right where they should be? This guy thinks so.
  • NBA. Shaq with GP and CWebb. Guess how serious this video interview was.
Not a lot of talk today, hopefully it picks up tomorrow!

NBA Part Time Jobs: Vladimir Radmanovic

This is one funny Serbian basketball player. As you can see in this picture to the left, he's got an interesting taste in clothes. He also has an attitude, he's going to get into it with someone a couple times a season. The best part about him, if you search him on Google images, you're guaranteed a couple funny pics.

The job: Member of the jury in Charlotte courts

Why: He knows this Charlotte teams isn't really going anywhere, even if they somehow get the eighth spot in the East. Also, he wants to put some people in the slammer because he doesn't like the world.

The courts in Charlotte saw Vlad as a guy who could bring an international perspective. He does, but he's one of the more unprepared members. He refuses t do any work at home, and he procrastinates a bit on cases.

One case that made the courts hesitant to pick Raddy was a case against a Serbian robber. They paid the price for it too, sounds like he rallied the jury against giving the guy life. He was given 10 years and soon Raddy's time as a juror would be over.

He fought with other employees, forgot to show up for a couple cases and was deemed a health hazard for smoking (check this picture out). Vladimir lived on though and vowed to do something bad to see his former employees again some day. Lookout for him, Charlotte police!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Late Talk Around The Hardwood

Let's get right to linking!

  • FanHouse. "Orlando's playoffs start tonight. Sure, the Magic have locked up a playoff appearance and are virtual locks for the third seed in the East. But the Magic's season at some point turned from just a rush to compete in the semifinals to "Hey, we can win this freaking thing."
  • About.com. Nate Robinson gives advice for how to play basketball when you're short.
  • AP. Great article on OJ Mayo, here's a quote you don't hear from most guys in the league, "It's been the most relaxed and ... comfortable I've been since maybe the fifth or sixth grade," said Mayo."
  • Vote O.J. To follow up on the last link, I saw this cool site, it promotes Mayo for ROY this year.
  • The Vancouver Sun. Sounds like Steve Nash is on an ownership group trying to bring MLS soccer to Vancouver.
  • ProBasketballNews. Steve Nash interview, I really miss the optimism he had before this season.
I wanted to find more, but honestly there's not a whole lot buzzing around today..

The Hornets Haven't Met Expectations

I like the Hornets. They are a very good team that has a bright future. This year has been a decent year for them. But, in terms of expectations, this team has failed.

Lots of people thought this team could progress to be a top Western team. They are not terrible, but they are in the middle of the pack. That can change if they play well though.

Coming into this year, I thought the Hornets would be better to. I thought that a core of James Posey, Chris Paul, David West and others could be better than last years squad. I think everyone didn't take a long look at the supporting cast. They bring out decent players off the bench (Antonio Daniels, Mo Pete, and Julian Wright), but these guys just don't bring enough. I remember last year when Jannero Pargo could come off the bench and provide much needed fire power (and a rest for CP3). Daniels is no Pargo, that's for sure.

Also, I felt the fire set ablaze by last years play by the Hornets is definitely out. Last year if you were going to play in New Orleans, you knew you'd be in for a battle. While they've turned it up, a true contender is going to maintain its fire, or at least by able to turn it off and on with ease (Lakers).

Some expectations from others
I searched around for some expectations for the Hornets this year. They aren't going to achieve any of these:

The Hoop Doctors: My pick to win the Western Conference regular season race this year is the New Orleans Hornets.

Hoops World: Jason Fleming, "Really the only question is if Chris Paul will run out of gas after the Olympics. If he doesn't, the Hornets could win the West."

SI: With a talented starting lineup and a title-winning veteran in Posey serving as their sixth man, the Hornets believe they have built a championship contender this season. Anything short of a trip to the conference finals would be disappointing and labeled a setback for this group.

To follow up on those expectations, the Hornets are 12 games behind LA for the top spot in the West. No way will they even sniff number 1, they've only got 16 games left. Also, a trip to the Western Conference finals would be a big surprise. The Spurs and Lakers are the two best, the Hornets would have a hard time cracking my top five.

Bottom line: I really don't hate the Hornets. Everyone just needs to realize that this team was not as talented as thought before the season. I'm sure the Hornets don't hear that, brighter days will come in their nest.

Monday, March 16, 2009

If This Game Were Food

Disclaimer: Everyone loves food. All normal humans eat and I happen to be a big fan of food. Aren't you? Well, I think it would be cool to combine two things I love. Basketball and food. So, we're going to look at certain match ups and consult with our stomach about how it would characterize this game as food. Every stomach thinks differently, so you and your stomach can voice you opinions in the comments.

So, this one was tough. I like both these teams, they are solid. They play hard and the Hornets have turned it up of late. So, I'm looking for a food that tastes good and is hard to make.

The Subject:

Some rules on the subject: it has to be made from scratch. The grit and toughness of these two teams isn't manufactured and if we're going to characterize this game in food, it has to come from the chef's heart.

Why: If I were to take a bit a decorative cake made from scratch while watching Rockets at Hornets, what I'd be eating and watching would be strangely similar. Theses teams know they're not the greatest in the West, but they still go out and put up effort, every night. If you're going to make a nice cake from scratch, you know you've got your work cut out for you. Really, these teams have their work cut out for them if they want a title. But yet, the still want to try to put in the work to see how far they can get.

Try to indulge in a cake made from scratch during this game, but don't give your piece to any of the players!

Talk Around The Hardwood

Back to the linking grind! Feels like a while since I've done it, but I'm glad to be back.

Lastly, watch this cool promo for the playoffs:

Can't wait for the playoffs! I'm ready for this week, are you?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Playoff Power Rankings!

After a bit of an absence, Playoff Power Rankings are back!

1. Clevland Cavaliers: While their week wasn't filled with difficult match ups (Kings, Clippers, etc.), they are getting it done. They won each of their four games by an average 5 points. Solid performance, that's what you expect from the Cavs.

2. Los Angeles Lakers: While they've been doing well, as usual, I just struggle liking LA effort for 48 minutes. It's simply not always going to be there. I guess we have to expect that. Or, the players can rise and win be defeating that trend. 3-1 for a Lakers typical week.

3. Orlando Magic: I continue to be impressed by this team. They also didn't have tons of great opponents, but they blew threw the competition. 3-1 week for the Magic, who I'm warming up to.

4. San Antonio Spurs: Ahhh, the always solid, underrated Spurs. They've been solid lateley, even without Manu. I haven't seen a lot of his Spur minutes, but I'm sure Drew Gooden is starting to work his way into the Spurs system. 2-1 on the week.

5. Boston Celtics: I wanted to put them at #4, but I couldn't. I know injuries are a factor right now, but, from what I've seen, their offense has faltered and Starbury doesn't really look that great. Also, losses to Miluakee and Miami don't help. 1-2 for a Boston-is-kinda-worried week.

6. Atlanta Hawks: They easily had the best week of anyone in the league. Solid wins against the Hornets, Jazz, Pacers and Blazers. All solid teams that compete every night. Hopefully they can keep it up, I like their spunk.

7. Houston Rockets: This team always surprises me. They are still competing, even though everyone is counting them out of a title. But, they still play the game. 2-2, but close losses, by an average of 4.5 points (plus, it was the Lakers and Spurs).

8. Denver Nuggets: I had a tough time picking them over the Blazers. There week wasn't the tough, they want 2-1, beating the Clippers and Thunder. I still want to see better play from them. I like their play, but at times it really falls off.

9. Portland Trailblazers: I like this team, but I don't know if they're truly hungry. I know the Lamarcus Aldridge's, and the Brandon Roy's want to win. But, I am worried guys off the bench aren't as hungry. They need consistent ball movement, inside and out. Sometimes, the ball just stays inside or out. Time to step, your game up, Blazers. 2-2 week for Portland.

10. New Orleans Hornets: I am not the biggest fan of this team. I liked how they played last year, but haven't seen enough of last year in their play this year. They have done better recently, but they need to pick it up. 2-2 for a decent week.

11. Utah Jazz: They had a bad week, but I had to pick them because of their play lately. They stepped it up to where they need to be. They could have done better, but a 1-3 week didn't kill them.

12. Dallas Mavericks: They are at least trying out there. I know they won't win a title, so it really doesn't matter. 2-2 on the week, give it up Mark Cuban.

The rest: Are truly not worth talking about. Sure Miami went 3-1 on the week, but that's just Wade being Wade. The lower level of the East stinks, period. They have talent, but won't do anything. End of story.

Dwayne Wade's Pre-Game Routine

I saw this before the incredible three overtime Heat-Jazz game, thought it was really cool:

DWade is the man and he's got the rim at his command!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

NBAtipoff Will Be Back Next Week

I know, I know, it's been four days since we last posted. I apologize, but I had some important tests for school to prepare for. Next week should be a normal week and we will be back stronger than ever!

But, if you haven't been keeping up with NBAtipoff, here are some good posts you've missed lately:

The first post from the "If This Game Were Food" series.
NBA Part Time Jobs, the first victim was Scott Brooks.
My interview and event summary from Kareem's visit to USF St. Petersburg.

Get caught up on what you've missed and get ready for lots more great stuff to come! There might be some light posting today! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter, subscribe to the feed, and get all of your NBAtipoff fix!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Eddy Curry Likes The Band Ok Go

Today, Eddy Curry's name was in some headlines saying he's open to leaving the Knicks after this year. Before we talk about the big party Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni were planning to celebrate, let me tell you how I bet Marc Berman got this story for the New York Post:

So, Eddy Curry has an iPod Touch. Marc or some other Post reporter found this out because he saw him with it at practice. So, in order to get the true scoop on the soap opera that is the Knicks, they get some hacker to hack into it. They can look at all his information while his gear's in da locker. While going through his playlist titled, "these songs r da best," they found a couple of smash hits from the band Ok Go. Then, when looking at his txt's, they found one sent saying, "Here we go again, I can't do this 7 seconds or less man."

Also, when asked about his conditioning, Eddy really praises people that run on treadmills. "You know guys that are able to perform on those high performance machines, especially in something like a music video, I really envy that."

So, just to review, Eddy Curry is ok with going from the Knicks and OK listening to Ok Go! You OK with that?

Also some heads-up on the blog this week: I can't post a whole lot because I have to go to this thing called school. While I do it normally, I have some big tests I can't F up on, so I gots to focus. So, there will be posts, but not the normal load. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter, and subscribe to the feed!

Friday, March 06, 2009

If This Game Were Food

Disclaimer: Everyone loves food. All normal humans eat and I happen to be a big fan of food. Aren't you? Well, I think it would be cool to combine two things I love. Basketball and food. So, we're going to look at certain match ups and consult with our stomach about how it would characterize this game as food. Every stomach thinks differently, so you and your stomach can voice you opinions in the comments.

Today, basketball is a game of money. The NBA revolves around money, its employees do and many other people rely on the NBA to get their paychecks. While it's also a physical game, finasse and control are required to execute at a high level. Looking at the individual match up, Cavs-Celtics, this game is sweet. Some of the top guys on the floor, on ESPN, everyone will be watching. So, we need something that is sweet, expensive, and something that can be enjoyed slowly.


Why: Godiva is the perfect combination of elegance and sweetness. The packaging and brand is fancy and the chocolate is pleasure-inducing for your taste buds. This is also something that's kind of expensive, but yet affordable. While going to the Cavs-Celtics game is expensive, watching the game can be affordable. Basketball is something to be enjoyed slowly, just as Godiva should be.

Also, they create commercials that make you hungry:

You get hungry when you see good food, you go crazy when you see LBJ posterize some Celtic big.

So enjoy this game slowly and don't eat too much Godiva!

Talk Around The Hardwood

TGIF! Yes, it's the weekend! Before you go all out for parties and what not, read what's popping about basketball on the internet!

So, I had trouble finding good stuff that hasn't already been linked around the blogosphere. I know, FAIL, but I don't want to link to stuff that everybody's seen, so sorry!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Talk Around The Hardwood

It's almost Friday, the weekend is in sight! Let's link!

  • Fredrick News-Post. "Ryan Dawson, a former Walkersville High School basketball player, might not ever play for the NBA, but he is $25,000 richer after winning the 2009 EA Sports NBA Live Challenge Championship."
  • Desert Ball. Shaq's greatest hits, he's really funny with the media in a I-know-this-is-funny kind of way.
  • Paneech. How going to game is different compared to 20 years ago.
  • mlive Blog. Joe Dumars talking the future for the Pistons.
  • JBOMB Basketball Blog. How Kobe looked before his first NBA game and during the game.
  • Posting and Toasting. "Highest praise goes to Mr. Danilo Gallinari, who had the best night of his young career and made me change my underwear no less than thrice. Gallo hit four of his five threes, including this nice little mambo with Zaza Pachulia."
  • TwinCities, via Canis Hoopus. Nice Kevin Love interview.
  • Peachtree Hoops. Part of this headline doesn't sound good: "where Josh Smith turns into Eddy Curry."

The Heat Can Score, When The Suns Defend

Last night the Heat beat the Suns with a pretty balanced scoring attack. But, this is a case where the stats are kind of off. Even though DWade didn't have to carry the team, the Suns don't play consistent defense, so Cook got open shots, most of their shots were open and easy. Daequan Cook can hit open jump shots all day long.

Even when they're not open, I'm not going to say the Heat supporting cast is terrible. For a team that won 15 games last year, they are a hell of a lot better. But, in no way can this group of guys support a competitor like Dwayne Wade. Everyone knows that he is hungry to get back on top and I don't care how good he is, this supporting cast can't help enough.

If I'm Pat Riley, I would be a little scared because a title could be five years away. That's how much this supporting cast needs to improve. I could be wrong, the young guns like Chalmers and Beasley could get a lot better quick. But, if my assumptions are correct, a title is far out of reach for the Heat.

How long until the Heat are title contenders?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Tonights Sched: Lookout For Flash!

Tonight, we've got 10 decent games on tap. So, which two get my seal of approval?

Suns at Heat
Two great individual performances could come from this one. The Heat don't have incredible depth at center; while Jermaine O'neal does a decent job on bigger guys, I'm thinking he'll get into some foul trouble. The Suns, ever since getting back to run and gun, will let pretty much anyone score on them. Dwayne Wade has been averaging an un-earthly 43.5 points over the last two games. Basically, it's up to him to score 50, or for the Suns to force it out of his hands.

Most intriguing match up: DWade vs. Jason Richardson. Not because it will be a real gritty defensive match up, but they can fill it up. It wouldn't surprise me if they trade baskets for stretches in this game.

The line for the game has the Heat favored by 3. Honestly, I'm having a hard time going with or against that line. On one hand, the Suns played last night and on the other, the Heat can be inconsistent at times. So, I'm going to bet against the Heat here (if I was betting). I'm not saying they won't win, but I just can't go with that line because the Suns might come in really hungry.

Other preview: Fanster Phoenix Suns Community

Rockets at Jazz
Two tough, scrappy teams that have played well recently; this one should be fun. The Jazz have won eight straight; the Rockets have won eight of their last nine. While both streaks have been impressive, the competition really hasn't been very fierce. But now we'll see which team brings it against a team that's not an easy out.

Most intriguing match up: Andrei Kirilenko vs. Luis Scola. I don't think these guys will go at it all game, but if they do, it should be down and dirty. This is something Jeff Van Gundy would love to watch; two guys that will fight and fight for position; whoever wins triumphs while the other shows his feelings on his face.

Utah is heavily favored, by 8.5. I cannot go with that simply because I know the Rockets are going to compete. Sure, there's a chance for that spread, but Yao is starring me down right now, I can feel it.

Other previews: The Dream Shake, SLC Dunk

Also, get some live updates from me on Twitter during tonight's action! Join in on the conversation!

Talk Around The Hardwood

It's time for a big slew of NBA linkage!

  • ESPN. "The head of officials for the NBA wants to rewrite the league's traveling rule to legalize taking a "second step" and clarify what he considers a hard-to-enforce rule."
  • Total Pro Sports. Video of LeBron James farting, WTF?
  • Rockets Buzz. "Are the Rockets peaking too early? Will they have the same fire left for the first round where it looks like they’ll face Utah, Portland or New Orleans? How much different is it being without TMac this year than being without Yao last year? And the million dollar question: Will they get out of the first round?"
  • 20 Second Timeout. "I've consistently maintained since last season that Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are the two best players in the NBA but some people think that Wade and Chris Paul should be in that discussion. Wade and Paul are both great players but one disadvantage that they have versus Bryant and James is height: James is 6-8 and Bryant is 6-6, while Wade is 6-4 and Paul is just 6-0."
  • HoopsWorld. They use stats to show that the Mavs will beat the Spurs 65% of the time.
  • The Hoop Doctors. I almost always link to the shoe posts, here's some Chris Bosh shoes.

Nuggets Taking a Slide

The Denver Nuggets seem to be taking a slide over this last stretch. The mental complexion of their team doesn't feel right to me. Also, they have had a ton of road games lately, I don't know how much of that is affecting them.

The good
I like the way this team has performed since the trade for Billups. The team is more structured, they're not as crazy and wild as they've been in the past. Also, their schedule for the rest of the season is pretty good. 12 home games, 9 road games. A large number of the home games are winnable too. The Clippers, Nets, Kings and Warriors are coming to town; all must wins if they want a good playoff spot.

The bad
I am no expert, especially in terms of the Nuggets, but I kind of feel like they're not on the same page. Melo and Billups are fine once playoff time comes around. But, I feel like JR, Birdman, Nene and crew are more into the individual game than the team game. I could be wrong, but I just want to see and feel their cohesiveness.

Overall, I have been impressed by the Nuggets this season. They have played better than I thought they would, but, if they show me they're a legitimate second round contender, then I'll be impressed.

What are your thoughts on the Nuggets? Are you impressed or not?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Talk Around The Hardwood

So, sorry again for the lack of linkage yesterday. Today, I'm back and the links are flowing!

  • Gunaxin. Top Ten Basketball Sneakers.
  • The Bakersfield Californian. The Bakersfield Jam become the first D-League team to have its own practice facility.
  • NBA Outsider. Doug Christie sent in a little editorial. Who else totally forgot he was still on the Earth?
  • CBC Sports. Biggest free agent pickup? Has to be Chiek Samb, 10 day Knicks contract. He should help them get crushed a little less on defense, or take up another chair on the bench.
  • Blog a Bull. The quote their shows John Paxson isn't exactly pleased with Vinny Del Negro.
  • Dallas Basketball. Sounds like it's time for Mavs fans to give Nenad Kristic some props.
  • Raptors Republic. In this economy, I'm sure you want some cheaper Raptors tickets.
  • live about Mediocrity. An argument for LeBron to change his number. Do Kings have to submit to this kind of blasphemy?

NBA Part Time Jobs: Scott Brooks

Disclaimer: The NBA is in changing because of the economy. Coaches, players, trainers and ball boys are struggling to make ends meet. So, we're going to fit people around the league into jobs they would seem suited for. Also, we want to have some fun and laugh!

Candidate: Scott Brooks

Why he needs a part-time job: He is working on only as an interim coach (for the Thunder, if you didn't know), struggling with only a little more than a million (probably more). He also cited a need for success in his resume. Also on his resume, "My hair is suited for news."

The job: News reporter, does the week-end news shift, either does weather, sports, or stories outside the studio.

Work nickname (given to him by an angry veteran co-worker): Brookey the Rookie

Overall, he'll be regarded as an okay worker. Sure he comes in, does his work well, but he'll never do enough research to break out of that lower tear. His performance reviews will rate him a 6.5 out of 10.

Ultimately, this is what will get Scotty back to the bench. He realizes that the Thunder are more important than a job that gave him about $3000 in a couple months (he called it play money until I asked the amount). He thanks assistant coach Paul Westhead for holding the weekend shift and gets back to coaching full time.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Tonights Sched: Mondays Kinda Suck..

So, tonight there are maybe 2 good games out of the 5.

Hornets at 76ers
CP3 and bunch have been playing a little better recently. I don't feel they're contenders, but they can make for a good match up against the Sixers. Both teams can definitely score, also they have nice young bigs to boot.

Most intriguing match up: Tyson Chandler vs. Samuel Dalembert. This certainly won't be the best offensive match up, but won't it be fun to watch these guys scrap all game? That's the way they play, should be fun to watch. Close second: Andre Miller vs. Chris Paul. Two scrappy guards, but not as down and dirty Chandler and Dalembert.

So, the spread has the Sixers favored by 2.5. I'm going to go with the Hornets winning by three. Sorry, Sixers fans, your home crowd sucks at times.

Also, if you want to catch Heat at Cavs, I wouldn't blame you. I'm having a Monday burnout, so no talk around the hardwood, or anything else today. Sorry, but I'm going to try to possibly hit up Twitter later!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Exclusive: Up Close with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and his event at USF St. Petersburg

Today, I had the pleasure of seeing an NBA legend come to my town of St. Petersburg, Florida. He came to the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg Campus, to talk about his book, On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance, among other things. If you didn't recognize the author, I'm talking about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

The Event
The event began with an introduction to Kareem and then Kareem came and started talking about his story. He explained many things about basketball and its history. Something he said a couple of times: the Harlem Globetrotters are not from Harlem, they were from Chicago. New York's team was the Harlem Rens.

After he talked about that, he let people ask questions. Questions ranged from his regrets, his feelings on education and what he's looking forward to in life.

Besides seeing Kareem, I also got a chance to see some people with stories as well. A guy named Art Bruno was there, who played against Kareem in elementary school. It was around 1960 and occasionally, he switched onto Kareem. He was maybe 5'8", while Kareem was 6'5"+ in elementary school! Doesn't sound like an easy cover to me.

Also there was a collector named Mike Dowell. He brought a Sports Illustrated from 1974, with Kareem on the cover, a Kareem figure and card from his UCLA days, as well as a book that featured some old pictures of Kareem.

But it was seeing and talking to Kareem himself that really made me realize just how incredible he is. He is very scholarly and able to talk on a wide variety of topics.

I wondered how, after all his accomplishments--six championship rings, 19 All-Star selections, scoring more points than any other NBA player and still finding time to write books how he's managed to stay humble.

"Humility is part of what you learn about life," he told me. "Know what you've achieved; someone has achieved more. You have to stay with your goals, keep doing things you can feel good about."

As for today's players, Kareem doesn't think they are any more athletic than in his time. "You take someone like Mike, Elgin Baylor: you don't see that a lot. Oscar Robertson. They came around when they needed to."

Even though he's been a special assistant for the Lakers, coach Phil Jackson hasn't influenced his style. "(I) don't work with him, I work with players. I've learned things; had philosophical exchanges with Phil, his system is the same as Tex Winter's system."

And how would he play President Obama on the court if he had the chance?

"The President's a guard and (Kareem) doesn't play out there. He seems to like the outside shot. I'd make him drive, but you'd have to play him to find out."

That sounds about right.

So I asked him what he wanted to be remembered for most. "My efforts as an author," he said.

That sounds about right, too. I know what that dream is like.

Also, my local paper, the St. Petersburg Times, interviewed him as well. That's also a good read, I'd check it out. Kareem is also doing a cool fundraiser called HoopIQ. One of the prizes is the chance to take your basketball team to a playoff game with Kareem. Sounds worth it to me!

Here's a picture of an autograph I got:

Thanks to everyone who helped me make this happen!

Coming Soon: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Inteview!

Keep your eyes out for this one! Today, Kareem is in my town of St. Petersburg, Florida! Can't wait to get a chance to meet him! Also, I will try to get some pictures from the event to put up as well.

If you are in St. Pete and need to know the details: USF of St. Petersburg Campus Activities Center, corner of 2nd St. S and 6th Ave. S. 1 p.m. (Doors open at noon). Free. Basketball legend will highlight the lives of America's greatest black heroes.