Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Eddy Curry's Mansion in Foreclosure

Can things get any worse for Eddy Curry? He's been bound and robbed, had important people in his life die and has been an utter failure on the professional basketball circuit.

I can't help but feel sorry for him and Knicks fans. Maybe he'll come in next year and be in half way decent shape? That's all you can really hope for.

Here are some numbers on the whole debacle from ESPN:

Documents show that Curry was more than $217,000 behind on his $3.7 million mortgage as of Friday. Records reviewed by the Chicago Sun-Times show that Curry and his wife, Patrice, took the 30-year mortgage out in July 2003 to buy the home. A court filing says the Currys' initial interest rate on the home loan was 9.25 percent with a monthly payment of $28,675.

Ouch. Help a Knick out, people!

Michael Curry Fired

Yahoo! is reporting that Michael Curry was fired as head coach of the Detroit Pistons. My quick analysis: AMEN!

I did like him going into the season, but as the season progressed, I didn't like how he handled the team. So I am happy with the move, but I want to see where the go from here. That's all I need to say at this point.

Who do you guys think is going to be the next Pistons coach? Pistons fans, how happy are you about this??

Talking Off-Season With Jeff of Project Spurs

We are talking to lots of team bloggers and getting their takes on what their squads will be doing in the off-season. Now we have Jeff of the great Spurs blog, Project Spurs. Make sure to check them out and stay up to date on everything Spurs.


1. Let's first talk about the Spurs big trade. Getting Richard Jefferson for Obricio and some other old guys, how happy did that make you feel? How close were to you writing that the Spurs front office really wasn't doing their job?

So happy I packed Oberto's bag, got him a 1-way ticket to Milwaukee and lied to the Dept. of Homeland Security that he is illegally in the USA and needs to be deported immediately to Argentina. Said to Bowen thanks for everything, see you at your jersey retirement party in SA and asked Thomas "Can we get you back instead of Oberto and Bowen?" That's how happy I was. Seriously the Spurs lacked that athletic small forward. It was very apparent in the Mavs series when Howard was having his way with the Spurs. This was a missing piece the Spurs needed to address and they sure did! Four guys (Jefferson, Duncan, Parker and Ginobilli) who can score over 20 a night has to be something other West teams are nervous about. As for me writing on the Spurs front office, I was taking a "wait and see" approach. So far I like what I see and will wait to see if they address the Spurs other weakness. . . center position.


2. You have been a guy that has wanted to get rid of Manu Ginobili for a while. In talking to you when we meet in New York, I know you don't trust how healthy his ankle is anymore. All that being said, what pieces would you like to get for him? I know you would want young, athletic talent, but who would be at the top of your list?

Well seeing how everyone knows Manu's health is questionable, I shouldn't expect a lot in return. I like what Washington offered for Manu, but I would want to get high draft picks for him and a legit big man. With Duncan's NBA career is closing to an end and it would be time for the Spurs to start rebuilding around Parker and trading Manu might just help.


3. The big time guy the Spurs picked up in the draft was DeJuan Blair. Talk about how happy you were to get him and also talk about the craziness of the draft since you got to go.

The Draft was so much fun. Just being with people who enjoy the NBA was good enough for me. It didn't matter if you were a Spurs fan, Bulls fan, Knicks fan, etc just all of us there hoping the best for our teams was the common bond. I even found myself yelling and booing teams picks for no reason. Also getting drunk and twittering live was a bad idea. Nonetheless it is something every NBA fan has to do once in their life. As for Blair what can I say, the Spurs had a glaring weakness in the paint and Blair fits that need. I often wonder if it's the Spurs organization who does their "homework" or are the rest of the NBA teams that stupid. If Blair pans out he would be added to the list of gems the Spurs found late in drafts (Parker, Manu, Hill, Blair). This guy is as rugged as they come. Physical, a beast on the boards, passionate on the court, and can grab offensive boards. Plus he annihilated Thabeet when they met head-to-head during their college days. Still, the thought of Duncan, Gooden and Blair in the paint for the Spurs just brings to me a smile.


4. Tim Duncan is no young guy (in NBA years) at 33. Predict how many more good years he has in him and what his legacy will be with the Spurs.

He has 2 more years. His knees are a concern, and he lost a lot of lift in the post. However it was awesome while it lasted. His legacy is cemented to this franchise. He was cool on the court, almost unstoppable on the court, never became a "diva", put team first above himself, allowed others to blossom, and led by example. The memories he gave Spurs fans are endless but I say his performance against the Nets in the 03 Finals, his 3 against the Suns in the playoffs, and seeing him play side-by-side with David Robinson are etched in my mind. He was never boring and when he is gone, then we will see people give him the credit he deserves which is a shame.


5. This question comes from the Fan House twitter: Are you concerned about DeJuan Blair-is he an injury risk/not a smart pick?

A bit. There has to be something to his knees if a bunch of teams passed on him. I heard doctors red-flagged Blair causing numerous teams to pass on him. However the Spurs get a guy who is not getting a guaranteed contract, low risk (financially), and if he does work out then the Spurs win as well. I say smart pick, low risk. Besides he did play a full season at Pitt and showed no signs of knee trouble.


6. This is from Howlin' T-Wolf (also check their blog): Besides obviously health what's the biggest key for the Spurs to win it all?

I say "rest". The core guys (Duncan, Parker, Finley, Manu) play deep into the playoff year after year. Any amount of rest will pay dividends for the Spurs long-term. My concern right now is how Parker will feel heading into the season. He is playing for the French National Team this summer and hope he isn't tired come opening night. Another key is how quick the new guys can gell with the Spurs system. Young guys like Blair, McClinton, Mahinimi, and Hill and the newest Spurs Richard Jefferson will need to take advantage of any practice time. As the saying goes, it takes about 1 full season to understand the Spurs system.


7. Getting RJ was clearly a step towards more contention for the Spurs. With every great team, there are down years and growing pains that ensue at some point. When does that point come for the Spurs and do you as a fan think you are prepared to cheer during tough times?

That point comes when Duncan retires. Sure Parker is there but gone is the low post threat TD provides that helps Parker to get to the lane easily. As a Spurs fan I know we won't abandon ship. Sure I am very critical about the team but I never stop defending them, reminding others they have 4 titles, etc. Spurs fans around the world will continue to cheer for them even when times are tough.


8. Another Twitter question from thattalldude (he does some writing for Jeff, at Project Spurs) Who are the top three centers to target in free agency? And will we see another trade before the season?

Top 3 centers to target: Zaza Pachulia, Andy Varejao, and Rasheed Wallace. Pachulia provides more toughness in the paint, Varejao will do the dirty work, and Wallace gives the Spurs another low post threat, scoring and shot blocking. As for another trade I sure hope so if it involves dumping Bonner. However I don't see another huge trade like the RJ trade but I can see them signing another free agent like Rasheed Wallace.


9. Lots of people interested in the Spurs, this question is from nmiko: Do you think the spurs are still interested in Sheed after they got Blair?

Oh yes. Blair is a nice, young big man but there is nothing like the experience Wallace brings to the table and his ability to block shots, board and score. He is an established vet but I hope Blair spends more time learning from TD and not Sheed should he come to SA for obvious reasons.


10. If you had to take Fabricio Oberto to dinner to give him his late celebration as a now former Spur, where would you take him and what would you say to him? How much crap would you give him?

I would take him to the Wendy's dollar menu and say to him "The Spurs couldn't sign Scola but got you? You can't board, play volleyball on the court and posted a pic of yourself on Twitter shirtless, eating ice-cream. Seeing you on the court actually made me miss Rasho Nesterovic. Have fun in Detroit!" I might give him some thanks for his play in the 07 Finals but he never was the right type of center the Spurs needed to play along side Duncan.


11. Hot seat question: how far do the Spurs get next year?

If they stay healthy and address the center position I say WCF vs the Lakers. Again if they don't address the center position then Spurs are in for one hell of a fight going up against Gasol, Odom, and Bynum. Right now all we got is Bonner, Blair and Duncan. Doesn't reassure me.

Thanks again to Jeff. Remember to check out Project Spurs!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Talking Off-Season With: A Royal Pain

We got a chance to talk with Bryan of A Royal Pain. He writes a tremendous Kings blog, so make sure you check it out. Also check out his other site, Kings Forum.


1. Looking at your draft review, I see you were one of the guys that wanted the Kings to select Ricky Rubio. Tell us what you do and don't like about what you got and if you'd still deal Kevin Martin for Rubio.

I think a lot of people were more shocked than upset at the selection of Tyreke Evans, including myself. I watched Evans at Memphis quite a bit and thought he'd be a really nice player in the league, but, I still think we made a mistake passing on Rubio. The way the Kings roster is built, guys like Spencer Hawes, Jason Thompson, and Kevin Martin all need to be set up for shots and that's something Rubio could have done with ease. Despite what a lot of people are saying, I really don't view Evans as a point guard even with his great ball handling skills but his ability to break down defenders one on one is a welcome addition to a team that had no ability to do that. With all of that said, I would personally walk Kevin Martin to Minnesota in exchange for Rubio. With Rubio, Evans, Greene, Thompson, and Hawes the Kings would have one of if not the youngest team in the league with such promise.


2. From a cap standpoint, the Kings only have a guaranteed payroll of about $47 million. Do you expect any activity in free agency, or do you think this team will stay young going into next season?

I actually made a mistake in my numbers and forgot to add in Mikki Moore's guaranteed 2 million dollar buyout situation the Kings are stuck with, so after playing with the numbers it looks like the Kings will have around 7 million in cap space to play with assuming the NBA salary cap drops this season as expected. With only 7 million dollars available, Bobby Jackson still unsigned, and Rashad McCants and Ike Diogu on qualifying offers, the Kings might not have any cap space if they bring back those three players. So, I don't expect anything large action in free agency this season. I do however expect them to look into trading Andres Nocioni and Kenny Thomas' 8 million dollar expiring contract.


3. Let's assume that the Kings don't change anything about their current point guard situation. Since this team is in a rebuilding stage, is it okay having Beno Udrih, Sergio Rodriguez and a combo guard in Tyreke Evans? While I know you'd like to have Rubio, I'm sure you could deal with that as the team develops.

In all honesty, we don't have much of a choice this season. Hopefully Evans will surprise us all and be more a point guard and floor general than we think, but I highly doubt it at this time. One thing with Beno - he did NOT get along with with Kenny Natt so it'll be interesting to see how well he and Paul Westphal get along and if it improves his game. Beno did play pretty well when Reggie Theus was coaching (as evidenced by that horrible contract he got) so we're crossing our fingers; it was more of a issue between player and coaching style than Beno playing over his head for 25-30 games during the Mike Bibby injury.


4. In the limited time that I saw the Kings last season, one of the guys I really liked was Spencer Hawes (if you haven't seen him play, watch this incredible mix). He's only 21 and a solid, young big man. I see a young Gasol, but a more athletic version and an even better shooter. Where does he need to improve and could he become an All-Star at some point in his career?

Spencer has spent a great deal of time working with specialists and at the University of Washington this off-season on his post moves, which is the one area he really needs to improve on. Like most young players, his footwork in the post needs help. Despite getting the "goofy white stiff" reputation in the media, he's actually far from that. He's not the most mobile guy but he can run the court extremely well and he has a great ability to recover and block shots from behind. He's still 21, so, his confidence can be a bit shaky at times but there is no denying the talent is there to be an all around big man in the league. If he ever does add a legit post game, he'll become a serious threat in the league when combined with his outside game.


5. Where do you see this team in five years? You think they still be in Sac Town then and how good will the team be?

With California having the financial issues they're having, keeping the Kings in Sacramento is going to be one tough process. The Kings do need a new arena in the worst way and getting the state and/or city to pay for it has been like pulling teeth. I'm not sure why the Maloofs (with all of the business ventures and contacts they have) haven't been able to strike their own deal and pay for it themselves (much like the San Francisco Giants did with real estate investments). The Kings do have a very preliminary agreement with the state that was passed a few months ago that gives them one year to fine a developer for the Cal Expo arena plan, but with California's budget woes - it's not looking good. As far as the actual talent on this team, it really is going to depend on the progress the players make. Tyreke Evans looks like a sure thing, Jason Thompson and Spencer Hawes both did well this past season, and the Kings really improved their coaching staff. They're going to need to develop a bench in due time and hope Donte Greene emerges as a good player but the Kings do have some talent in the making. Let's not forget Kevin Martin did miss a good portion of the season this past year (and the time he did play he was never himself) so the Kings really weren't a 17 win ballclub. By no stretch were they a playoff contender but 25-28 wins would not have been out of the question. If the expectations from the youth pull through, the Kings should be back in the playoff picture year in, year out in 5 years.


6. Since the Kings had the worst record in the league last year, do you find it hard to be a Kings fan? Do you ever take heat from people about being a Kings fan?

It seems like it's a constant disappointment to be a Kings fan...so it can be hard, but I've been rooting for them since I was a kid and they were lucky to win 25 games a year. Most people assume since one is a Kings fan, they've only rooted for them since the Webber era but I've been a diehard since I was about 6 years old. I think I've started to bleed purple.


7. I've seen a couple funny prank videos come from the Kings in the past. Which one is your favorite and talk about how much and fun and chemistry this team has amassed.

The chemistry this team has off the court is great - I wish they'd be able to copy it onto the court though. lol. But they're definitely a funny bunch off the court. The most popular videos were the popcorn in the car videos, which were hilarious as well as the videos from the Donte' Greene show but I think the best moment was Jason Thompson's brand new Escalade was filled with popcorn. Everybody knew what went down other than JT, and Spencer Hawes comes out of the practice facility on the phone to the car dealership (pretending to be Jason Thompson) going "Oh dang, popcorn is the S'Calade...popcorn in the S'Calade...I got loads of popcorn is the whip son".


8. Do you know where Kevin Martin got that crazy shot of his and have you ever tried to emulate it? Being a pretty good three point shooter myself, I find it funny how these crazy looking shots are so consistent

As ugly as that shot is, it's actually got a near perfect release. How he ever gets the shot off though without it being blocked is one of the great mysteries of man.


9. Since the Kings fans are so great, how many down years do you think they can endure?

You know, we can deal with the losing for a while...we understand it takes time to rebuild. All we ask is that the players on the court go out there every night and play with heart and passion. In the past few seasons, other than Ron Artest and Mikki Moore, the Kings really lacked guys that would lay it all on the line...but the new collection of talent really has shown a different desire for the game and it's a nice change. I think Jason Thompson spent more time on the floor going for loose balls last season than Brad Miller did during his entire Sacramento career. Give us a reason to pull for you, and we will. Sacramento is one of the most loyal fan bases in sports.

10. Give your expectations for next season in one sentence.

It's going to be a season full of growing pains, but I think we'll start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Remember to check out A Royal Pain! Thanks again, Bryan!

Talk Around The Hardwood

Link time baby!

  • The Scores Report. The top restricted free agents for this summer.
  • Dime Mag. Episode six of Johnny Flynn's draft diary, he takes you through most of draft day.
  • Waiting For Next Year. New Shaq Cavs jerseys, anyone?
  • Examiner. Great little look at the upcoming LeBron movie, More Than a Game. It's coming out October 2nd.
  • Bullets Forever. A little talk about the potential of Andray Blatche.
  • Rockin' Steady. The last chapter of Stephen A. Smith draft heckling. Have your tissues prepared!
  • The Hoop Doctors. Kobe Bryant talks to MTV about how Michael Jackson influenced his life (his time stops at 2:30 in the video).
  • Yahoo! Sports. Things don't sound great for Yao Ming and Rockets fans.
  • Basketball Fiend. Looking for a basketball fix? Check this out, the Fiend talks about Gunnin' For That #1 Spot, a basketball documentary you can watch free on Hulu.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Remembering Great Moments in NBA History: McGrady Scores 13 points in 35 seconds

Since it's the off-season, it's time to start remembering and reflecting on great moments in NBA history.

I remember watching TMac light the Spurs up in the final half minute plus. It is really a breathtaking moment and something I want to remember forever.

Here it is:

What other moments should we highlight?

Shoe of The Week: adidas Forum Mid Red White

Disclaimer: I'm no full on sneaker head, but every week we're gettin our shoe on here! Each week I'll pick a shoe that I like, basketball, or normal. Get your new leather smell ready!

How about some not too flashy, but overall nice shoes? That's how I would describe these adidas kicks. They are pretty nice overall, but they probably aren't going to make everyones head turn. They would go great with tons of NBA gear. I'm thinking of the Rockets, Blazers and Clippers.

Here's a description from Kix and The City:
Built to the original Forum spec, the Red/White adidas Forum features a Red upper with White accents. True Forum purists will also notice that the Trefoil on the heel that appeared on the newer Forums has been removed to keep it more OG.

These are going to be released in select adidas accounts starting in July. Look for them!

Any shoes catch your eye of late?

Video: Is Jennings Right For The Bucks??

If there are kids in the room, be aware that this phone conversation has some cursing in it. Also a high amount of Haterade from Brandon Jennings! This kid is sooo cocky!

Sports Videos, News, Blogs

Friday, June 26, 2009

Assessing the Recent Blockbuster Trades

Being that I have been kind of quite with all the recent trades going on, it's time to get loud! I wanted to let all the deals happen and now that they have, I'll give my thoughts!

Timberwolves get:
No. 5 overall pick (Ricky Rubio)
Etan Thomas
Darius Songaila
Oleksiy Pecherov

Wizards get:
Mike Miller
Randy Foye

Right now, the obvious winner of this deal is Washington. They trade four guys that don't do a ton for them (though Songaila is a solid back up) and get two proven backcourt players. If Ricky Rubio decides not to stay in Spain, he'll have a shot to prove himself.

Even if he does prove to be a good player, the Wizards now have a sure fire backcourt. There will be someone their if Gilbert Arenas still isn't healthy. If Gilbert is finally healthy, then they've built some very solid depth with Foye and Miller.

Foye can penetrate in and make things happen. He's somewhat inconsistent, but he had a pretty good year last season. Hopefully he thrives in Washington. Billiups did well under Saunders, we'll see what kind of effect he can have on Foye.

Miller is a great jump shooter. He's always been a consistent shooter. The key for him helping the Wizards is that jumper. If it's falling, the Wizards will get what they wanted out of him. He does other things, but those are just icing on that jump shot of his. Great veteran to come off the bench and teach guys like Nick Young.

If I was a Wizards fan, I'd be looking forward to next year. They have put together a deep backcourt, and have young talent up front. The thing they need is another big man. Maybe someone will be available in free agency. because they need help down low (a backup).


Spurs get:
Richard Jefferson

Bucks get:
Bruce Bowen
Kurt Thomas
Fabricio Oberto

Another easy trade to assess. The Spurs put themselves back into the conversation of contenders in the West. They get younger. Jefferson will bring fresher legs and experience from two trips to the finals. The Bucks save money and secure their mediocrity.

Looking at the Bucks, I was somewhat surprised by this move. I thought if they brought back last years team, they had a shot at the playoffs. Ownership is simply putting things in perspective: we can't win a title right now. Why not suck and get younger and save some money while doing it.

The Spurs fans probably just exhaled deeply when they heard about it. In talking to the guys of Projectspurs.com, they were becoming restless. Now they are happy and eagerly awaiting the next move.

thatalldude of Projectspurs.com talks about the trade on Twitter:
RJ is a major injection of youth and athleticism that we desperately needed, but we still need a big defensive presence at C.


Cavs get:
Shaquille O'Neal

Suns get:
Ben Wallace
Sasha Pavlovic
Second-round pick in 2010
$500,000 in cash

Remember the days when Shaq netted you good player like Lamar Odom and Caron Butler? Those days are long gone. Now all you get is cap relief and a notable step back.

Does this propel the Cavs to early favorites? NO. They still need another big. Something else they need is a player that can create his own shot. They don't have a ton of those. LeBron and West are the only guys who can really do it consistently. Everyone says they need a shooting power forward. I would love that for them, but I'd like a guy who can create his own shot even more.

When the Cavs are in the fourth quarter of big games, they can't just run a high pick and roll for LeBron James. As effective as it is, you can't run the same play for eight minutes. For one thing it's boring after the first couple times and defenses will adapt and play the pick and roll better and better. Kobe talks about taking what the defense gives him. The D will figure out what they can allow and adjust their coverage accordingly. That's why you can't run the same set again and again.

This trade gives them a guy they can throw the ball into and either get open jump shots from, or consistent low post scoring. It makes things a lot more interesting if you're an NBA fan.

The Suns have finally realized that this team needs to be blown up. Last year they made a couple panic deals, trying to see if they could make the playoffs. If they could've made the playoffs, I don't know if we're talking about a Shaq trade.

For the future, this is probably the right move. They have take a step back and regroup. I just want to see how they deal their other star players. Amar'e is likley off to Golden State once free agency beings (it's not a done deal, but they have certainly talked about it). Where will Nash go? We'll have to just wait and see I guess.


Magic get:
Vince Carter
Ryan Anderson

Nets get:
Rafer Alston
Tony Battie
Courtney Lee

For some reason, this trade slipped my mind when I initially wrote this. But, basically it's like the Bucks-Spurs trade. The Spurs showed that they are a hungry team, and in this case, the Magic are showing they want to get better. They loose a young guard in Courtney Lee, but otherwise this deal makes a lot of sense.

Rafer Alston was only a one year experiment. He was added to makeup for the absence of Jameer Nelson. Now that Nelson is supposed to come into next season healthy, there's no point in keeping two point guards that will become greedy for minutes (I'm sure a lot of people are thinking about the TWolves right now). While Battie is a serviceable backup, he really didn't get a huge chance for the Magic when it counted.

As I said before, losing Lee will hurt in the future. He will be a great player for a long time in the NBA. But, the Magic are putting it all on the table and all they are loosing is frontcourt depth.

Since Battie will be in New Jersey, it becomes imperative to re-sign Gortat. If that's not done, the Magic will be forced to find a new backup center. A free agent in Zaza Pachulia comes to mind, but I doubt that Hawks will let him go easily.

So, I like the deal only if they can find a way to re-sign Gortat. I love the deal if they can bring Gortat and Turkoglu back. That team would have tons of firepower, especially in the starting five. But, if they are all brought back, I'm not sure how strong their bench will look. That's something Otis Smith will have to address.

For the Nets, this is obviously a move for financial flexibility and the future of the team. What I do love about the Nets is the future of their backcourt. Devin Harris at point guard for years to come and Courtney Lee as your two guard for years to come. Don't forget your center Brook Lopez. Those are some very solid pieces for the future. I like the way they are building in New Jersey.

Lots of deals. What do you think of your teams trade or pick up??

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Video: Top 10 Draft Day Outfits

Every year, there's usually someone who gets looked at on draft night for their hair or outfit. Check out these blasts from the past:

Breaking: Shaq traded to The Cavs

Yep, that's not a typo.


The Cleveland Cavaliers have reached an agreement in principle to acquire Phoenix Suns center Shaquille O’Neal, a league source told Yahoo! Sports late Thursday night.Cleveland will send Ben Wallace, Sasha Pavlovic, the 46th pick in Thursday’s draft and cash to the Suns for O’Neal.

I'm sure we'll hear more about this soon. Updates via Twitter and blog tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Heads Up: Live Tweet Chat With Breaking Tweets Sports Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the draft! I'm hyped for it and ready. I will be doing a live chat on Twitter. My friend Jon from Breaking Tweets Sports will be asking me about the draft. It's going down at two tomorrow, so look out!

Here is my Twitter profile!

Bring on the DRAFT!!

Talk Around the Hardwood

The draft is so close, can you feel it?

  • Yahoo! Sports. Knicks and Grizz talking trade? Lots of other rumors, also.
  • Nike Basketball. If you understand Spanish, all these Meet the Rubio videos could be entertaining.
  • The No Look Pass. Tim Duncan featured in a graphic novel. Make sure you get yours.
  • Truth About It. Brendan Haywood no like poets!
  • King James Gospel. Tarence Kinsey was charged with a DUI. It happened not far from the town I live in!
  • Project Spurs. Hopefully the Spurs don't pick up guys like this, Jeff gives the top 3 worst Spurs draft picks.
  • Steady Burn. Six teams that should go back to their old logos (three are NBA teams).
  • Examiner. Robert Horry is now going into reality TV. I bet he'll still be clutch.
  • RealGM. Sounds like KG's knee is doing good.
  • Talk Hoops. Great Truehoop Network style Hardwood Paroxyzm style podcast.

What Should Minnesota Do Now?

Lots of trades went down yesterday. Here is the info on the big Timberwolves trade and the Spurs deal (a small trade was Oberto to Detroit for Amir Johnson). As an NBA fan, all this action made me very happy. With all that said, the Timberwolves now have the number five and six picks. What should they do with them?

They could trade the picks and try to get a higher pick in the draft. Lots of people have talked about them getting the number two pick for the fifth and sixth, in order to secure Ricky Rubio. They could also package the picks with some players to get some veteran help. The only other option is to keep the picks and bring in two rookies next season.

I'm torn between two of the options. I would like to see them trade up, if they can get a veteran or two in the process. I would also like to see them keep the picks and stay young. They are still very far from winning anything, why not add some solid rookies to the mix.

Since I'm not a GM, I don't know what kind of deals are out there. All I know is that Minnesota fans are pressing right now. They know they need a great guard that can lead their team. That's why, if they do end up trading up, they should grab Ricky Rubio.

This guy is a high risk, high reward player. You never know what you get from overseas players. He could be ready to contribute today, or he could turn out to be a project. Isn't that a risk Wolves fans can take at this point? The team is not in a good place right now. At times, when I would browse around League Pass during commercials, I saw a dead Target Center.

It was a sad sight. Professional basketball being played without a lot noise from the fans. That's why Rubio could make sense. He'll have plenty of minutes to adjust to the NBA game. All of those minutes will be plenty enough for the team to evaluate him and plan their future accordingly.

Put simply: the new Timberwolves GM is going to look like an idiot or a genius by the end of draft night. Any bad moves will get you on the bad sad of Sota', so look out!

What do you want Minnesota to do with their draft picks?

Video: Blake Griffin on Jimmy Fallon

Blake Griffin was the latest NBA player to make the late night TV round last night. Our thanks to jose3030 for posting it on Twitter.

Enjoy:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

NBA Talk: Samuel Dalembert to the Charlotte Bobcats?

Philly.com reports that Philadelphia 76ers center Samuel Dalembert and their 17th overall pick in this year's NBA Draft look to trade them to the Charlotte Bobcats for power forward Vladimir Randmanovic, center Nazr Mohammad, and their twelfth overall pick in the NBA Draft.

Although it does sound like a good deal, and that many Philadelphia fans, including the man who wrote that article for Philly.com, want to see Dalembert go, it will mess up the cap even more for the Sixers as it will add two million dollars more to the cap.

And also, the Sixers can get someone at the 17th pick that's very valuable. Probably someone like Tyler Hansbrough for a change. The Sixers announced they liked Ty Lawson and they don't want to risk their chance of losing him because they do have a possible chance of getting him at the 17th pick.

We never what may happen, but maybe that Bobcats trade may actually work. It may happen. Time will tell and NBA fans will wait.

Poll: Your Thoughts on the Jefferson Trade?

Vote away people! Also leave any additional thoughts in the comments!

Bucks get:
Bruce Bowen
Kurt Thomas
Fabricio Oberto

Spurs get:
Richard Jefferson

Vote:

Talking Off-Season with Tom Martin of The Dream Shake

In our first edition of off-season talk, we talked Cavs with Cavs: the blog. Now we're talking about the Rockets, with Tom Martin of The Dream Shake. A tremendous Rockets blog you have to make part of your daily reads.

1. Are you over the whole TMac situation? You talked about the options the Rockets have with him, but which one do you want to see happen? How many good years does he have in him? Are you so over the whole thing that you don't even want to answer?

I'm not over it just yet. I think he needs to come back and prove himself to be valuable for us to keep him past the trade deadline. Not only that, but he must prove that he can adjust his game to fit into Rick Adelman's offense. There is no doubt that a healthy McGrady is a huge asset to our team. The only problem may have to do with team chemistry. He needs to have a much more consistent season. If there are too many roadblocks, I expect us to move him by the trade deadline. If all goes well, you may see him with us through the end before his contract is up.


2. The Rockets always show a lot of fight and grit when they play. While I love watching that, I know that unless TMac is 100%, this is probably not a team that can win the title. What needs to happen for them to make that move up? Is it a trade, or is it just continued development?

We need a very good and quick wing player, as well as a backup center. If McGrady can play the wing with some explosiveness, that's great. If not, look for us to be active in 2010 to try to find someone. I suggested Joe Johnson - he would be the cheapest, youngest option available. Ron Artest and Shane Battier are great, but we need more quickness and explosiveness. The only Rocket who can really throw down at this point is Von Wafer (James White and Joey Dorsey need to get some minutes before I add them to the list).


3. Aaron Brooks had a coming out party in the playoffs. I was amazed by his quickness and his jump shooting ability, especially when they blew out the Lakers a couple times. What is the next step he has to take? What parts of his game need the most work?

He's not really a point guard yet. He's closer than most people think, but he needs to really make the effort to become a great passer instead of doing it because the position asks it of him. There were too many forced shots and lazy passes of his that can be eliminated. He's got all the ability in the world - he just needs to become smarter. Experience helps in that respect.


4. Once the draft is over and done with, the focus will shift to free agency. Crazy idea: would Allen Iverson be a free agent the Rockets should pick up? What I'm thinking is he could be a dynamic scorer off the bench. A guy you might be able to get at a bit of a bargain. Kyle Lowry is a solid backup point, but could AI be the key to a title run?

I don't want Iverson anywhere near Houston. Great player - one of the best scoring guards of all time, but he's not the type of player that we would want on our team. Giving him a boatload of money would handicap our contract situation as well as our future. Yao is almost 30, T-Mac is over 30, and Ron Artest is near 30. We need to start thinking about the future as well as the present. Adding AI would do nothing to address the coming 4-5 years.


5. With no picks in the draft, is there any prospects you'd like to trade for and add to the Rockets? The guy that strikes me as a Rocket is Dejuan Blair, because of his tough, gritty attitude. On the plus side, the Rockets picked a pretty weak draft not to have a pick. Smart move.

You're right, it's not deep at all. I wouldn't want Blair simply because we already have too many Blairs. We love toughness, we love grittiness, but we need some athleticism too. If we see someone we like in the 20s, we may go for him, but I expect us to look at shooting guards in the early second round to push James White. Someone like Wayne Ellington. I can't really think of too many names at this point, because there are not that many.


6. This question was submitted by the Basketball Fiend via Twitter (here's my profile): Who has been Yao's closest teammate over the years?

Yao's closest teammate? Hmm. I've really got no clue. In the good times, he has been close to McGrady, at least from what I can see. I'll assume that he and Shane Battier are friends, if only because they are two of the smartest and classiest human beings you'll find anywhere. Unless of course the whole "opposites attract" rule comes into play and they get bored talking to each other. But that's unlikely.


7. I could go all day about how ugly Chuck Hayes free throw is. I understand offense is foreign to him, but do the Rockets not have a shooting coach? Do you close your eyes everytime he gets fouled in the act of shooting?

For whatever reason, Chuck Hayes will always end up with the ball when the shot clock nears zero. You'll get the occasional floater or even (gasp) jump shot from him every few games or so. He's actually quite the lay-up artist, and he has a decent hook shot in the lane. I've seen Chuck warm up before games, and I've seen him make about five or six three pointers in a row. It's not that he can't shoot - he just doesn't have the same rhythm and timing that other players have. He doesn't focus on offense, because if he did, he may only raise his scoring average by four or five points. Instead, he focuses on improving his defense, which is what gets him paid. I love watching him shoot free throws, because unless Rick Adelman is asleep during the fourth (which has happened before), he won't be in the game when it matters. Cheap entertainment if you ask me.


8. Another question from Twitter, from an Australian basketball fan, DJ Rod: are the Rockets planning on getting their 2nd round pick from two years ago, Brad Newley, to add to their NBA roster this season?

Ah yes, Brad Newley. Daryl Morey actually had a chat this morning with our friends at Sports Radio 1560, and he touched on the importance of storing players overseas in the hope that they may one day develop (like Luis Scola, for example). I don't see Newley having a future as a Rocket, because we have better options. I did like the pick when we made it, but I just don't see us paying him any money that we could pay someone else.


9. With Yao Ming's long injury history, do you think his body allows him to play a whole season healthy? If not, how much is Yao worth if he can't stay healthy?

Yao played in 85 games this season, including the playoffs. I don't know if you can ask much more of him. He played in 82 games per season for his first couple of years before having a few unlucky injuries (knee-bumps). He's a health risk, but it's not like he's really that fragile. Of course, I would like the Rockets to sign a dependable backup center just in case, but if we can see 70-80 games out of Yao for the next few years, that would be fantastic. And really, how many centers in the NBA play more than 70-75 games year in and year out?


10. The Lakers would say ring when they huddled up after games and practices. If you had to create a couple word motto for the Rockets, similar to that one, what would it be?

"Sex Mutombo."


11. Hot-seat time: how far do the Rockets next season? Western conference finals, what?

Sadly, it all depends on health once again. I think we can certainly reach the WCF. At best, we make it to the NBA Finals behind a rejuvenated McGrady. At worst, we lose in the second round. That's my call.

Thanks, Tom. I especially love the answer to number 10. Remember to check out The Dream Shake for all your Rockets fix. Also I need to thank DJ Rod and the Basketball Fiend for their questions. They submitted them via Twitter.

Video: Bill Russell on The Daily Show

Bill Russell made his way over to The Daily Show to promote his new book, Red and Me.

Enjoy:
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Bill Russell
thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJason Jones in Iran

Monday, June 22, 2009

Talk Around The Hardwood

Link time!!

  • WaitingForNextYear. LeBron is doing a lot of talking through his T-Shirts now a days.
  • Epic Carnival. The 10 most entertaining NBA players of all-time.
  • Basketball Fiend. Do’s and Don’ts: The 2009 NBA Draft Edition.
  • MLB. Kobe reacts to a double play at a Dodgers game. "WOW."
  • NBAdraft.net. They have been doing team needs posts by divison. This one is for the Pacific divison. Checkout this and the other great content from NBAdraft.net (since the draft is three days away).
  • Inside Hoops. The Las Vegas Summer League is starting July 10th and going until the 19th. They have the schedule posted if you are making the trip.
  • True Hoop. This is a very well done piece on Earl Clark.
  • SI.com. Since there are so many backcourt prospects in this draft, why not catch some highlights of them.
  • The Hoop Doctors. Top 10 dunks of the 09 playoffs (I noticed one is not because Kobe didn't have Smush Parker on his team this year).

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Shoe of The Week: Nike KD2 (Kevin Durant)

Disclaimer: I'm no full on sneaker head, but every week we're gettin our shoe on here! Each week I'll pick a shoe that I like, basketball, or normal. Get your new leather smell ready!

Nike is bringing Kevin Durant back for his own signature shoe. I was interested as soon as I saw this headline. I am a proud owner of the KD1's. They are my game shoes and I have been very happy with them.

So what about the 2010 version? They are very similar, except they've got a strap in the middle of them. I don't hate the strap, but I certainly don't love it. I'd say the black colorway of these shoes is fine, but the other colorways (check them out) are not really that nice.

I was kind of torn between not liking them at all to being okay with them. I need to see them up close and personal before I would pull the trigger.

Runner-up: Nike Zoom Kobe IV Draft Day

Hornets fans, get your anger out with these. Just think if Kobe would not have been traded and came to your squad. That's what these shoes are all about- draft day.

Nike has released so many limited edition versions of these. This is another. I like them, but if I'm a Lakers fan looking for Kobe shoes, this isn't the colorway for me. I'd look for another colorway. Nike has released TONS.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Could Injury Prone All-Stars Thrive With the Suns?


Some great players have only been turned mortal because of injuries. It's plagued players like Grant Hill, Gilbert Arenas and Tracy McGrady. Each one of them are All-Stars in terms of talent; but injuries have slowed them down. Grant Hill is onto something though. He joined the Suns.

The Suns are known for their excellent training staff. Guys that play for them rarely have injuries (how Steve Nash injuries can you remember?). Grant Hill went from missing entire seasons, to playing an entire 82 game season with the Suns. You can't tell me that's not something the Suns training staff did right.

I also remember when Shaq was traded to the Suns. He had tons of problems with injuries in Miami. The Suns gave him specific exercises to strengthen areas where he was weak (as Shaq worded it, his gluteus maximus). Now, Shaq has once again found the fountain of youth and he had a great season; despite the Suns struggles.

So Shaq and Grant Hill's success without injury in Phoenix got me thinking: could playing for the Suns be the key to fountain of youth?

I think it's the closest thing the NBA has to a fountain of youth. Every player I can think of that's gone there has improved their stability throughout the season. If other guys can do it, why not trade guys like McGrady and Arenas there to try it out?

Call it a test program, Stern. If healthy, those guys could make the current Suns roster a title winning team. That's the difference that health for these stars could make.

I'm not saying the Suns have the key to making it so players never get injured again. All I'm saying is that they do a great job at keeping their guys healthy. Other teams need to steal their training methods. If teams like the Rockets and Wizards could do this, you'd have two more teams with a lot more firepower.

This video gives you a little idea of what the training staff does:


I have to add Amar'e Stoudemire as an exception. He does have an injury history (knee problems, and most recently an eye problem). I'm not sure why, but he is the only exception I can think of. Hopefully the Suns training staff can work their magic on him for next season.

I would like to see how guys like Gilbert Arenas and TMac could do with the Suns. They would probably be much healthier and get their bodies in better condition for long careers. I'm not saying create a Suns dynasty, but I'm just thinking of the possibilities!

I want to see what you all think of this. Could All-Stars with injury problems thrive in Phoenix? Why or why not?

Video: The Lakers On Jimmy Kimmel

This is some great late night TV.

Enjoy:


Video: Phil Jackson Does Conan

First it was Kobe, but now Phil Jackson made it over to the Tonight show with Conan O'Brien.

Enjoy:

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Video: Lakers Celebrate At Disneyland

The celebration continues! Here are the Lakers celebrating at Disneyland:

Talk Around the Hardwood

How about some linkage, people?

  • Celtics Blog. One GM finally gets brutally honest about this years draft.
  • Truth About It. Javale McGee shows off his workout plan.
  • Project Spurs. Where were you when the Spurs won the title back in 1999?
  • Docksquad Sports. Shawn Marion posts a 12 second video from a Cubs game.
  • InsideHoops. New trade rumor of the day: Al Jefferson for Amar'e Stoudemire.
  • Total Pro Sports. Video of the day! These are CRAZY basketball shots!
  • HEAT.com. NBA hopeful Jack McClinton talks about his workout with the Heat.
  • Google News. Former NBA player is helping fight crime by sending tips!

Thanking Everyone From Blogs With Balls

I know I'm a little late in doing this, but I have to thank everyone from the Blogs With Balls Conference. It took place last Saturday, June 13th at Stout in New York City. The event was supposed to be a place for sports bloggers to meet for the first time and talk about issues in the sports blogging field.

Overall I'd say the event was a huge success. Everyone was ready to network and talk about the field. The panels were entertaining for the most part. I learned to just work harder than everyone else and try to see what other bloggers are doing and use that to develop my own style.

I want to thank Matt Moore of Hardwood Paroxysm. He was really nice and is going to help me become a better blogger. More on how in time. I also have give big thanks Jeff Garcia of Project Spurs. He knew the area and helped a little in that regard. He also was just real cool and made the conference better.

More thanks:
Adam Best, Fansided
Michael De Leon, Project Spurs
Jimmy Castro, The No-Look Pass
Rey-Rey, The No-Look Pass
Zach Harper, Talk Hoops
John Fischer, In Lou We Trust (it's about hockey, but dude's nice)
Lenny aka Houroc, Hail Mary Jane
The Bloguin Network People
HHR Media Group

I'm sorry if I missed you (comment to be added on), but I just want to once again thank everyone involved with making this event happen! See you in Vegas? I hope so!

Video: Kobe Does Conan

Last night Kobe made his first late night talk show visit. He was on the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien.

Enjoy:




Thanks, But The Game Is On!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Talking Off-Season With Cavs: The Blog


Now that the off-season is upon us, it's time to start talking to some team specific bloggers on where their teams are going. The plan is to get the conversationg going about every team, with another blogger joining in. John Krolik of Cavs: The Blog took some time to talk about what the Cavs are doing this off-season.


1. Everyone is talking about the Shaq to Cleveland rumors. On your site you sounded mixed on the whole idea (saying he could help with some of the Cavs weaknesses, but also take away some of their strengths). So what player do you want to come to Cleveland? Is there any player that could fit in quickly?


John: I'd like a guy who can fit into what the Cavs like to do defensively in terms of being able to cover a lot of ground and show hard while rotating back to their man who would also provide a true playmaking threat, a guy who's really comfortable creating for himself and others rather than playing off of LeBron-as much as I love Delonte and Mo, Mo's really best offensively when he's catching and shooting and Delonte is best on secondary drives.

2. To get all the rumors out there early, people also questioned Mike Brown's status with the Cavs next year. Rumors aside, I feel like now is certainly not the time to make a change there. What's your thought on that situation? Why mess with chemistry now when they were a couple wins from getting to the finals?


John: My thought on the situation is that it's an idiotic one if it exists. Maybe in prior years MB had legitimate flaws, but refer to the post above: this team has one real playmaker. How is that lineup going to get people the offensive creativity they seem to think MB should be able to provide? Pretty much everything a coach can give you, MB gave you this season.


3. In a recent interview with Blog Talk BayHawk, you mentioned the Cavs will most likely target guards with the 30th and 46th selections in draft. If a guy like Patrick Mills slips down to 30, would he be the guy to pull the trigger on? Today I heard the Hornets have interest at #21, but anything can happen. Also, I see it's a true PG you want. Talk a little about the true PG's available there.


John: Mills is far from a sure thing, but he fits the need and at 30 he's just too talented to pick up in my opinion. Collison is probably going in the 20s, and in my opinion he'll be a steal there-he's a pipe dream for me, but stranger things have happened. As far as true PGs, Collison is really the best chance, or maybe A.J. Price in the second round-true points with starting talent do not slip very far in drafts.


4. LeBron James had a great season. He was the MVP, the team leader and improved his jump shot. What's the next step for him? Is it more posting up, an even more consistent jump shot? Can he really get a lot better? What's his window?


John: The scary thing about LeBron James is it feels like he could always get a lot better, even when he's playing at an almost incomprehensibly high level. This is generally one of my big summer posts, but the cliff notes would be Free Throws to 85%, Post Game, Mid-range footwork. And at this point for him, he needs a championship, plain and simple, before we can talk about him raising a level, because in every other aspect of the game he had one of the best years in history this year, which is of course a bit of a compliment and an insult all in one.

5. Guys like Charles Barkley always talk about how the Cavs need to play faster. How do you feel about that? Is the offense in place now good enough? I feel like their defense is where it needs to be, but their offensive sets could improve.



John: You want to play fast, you need a push guard. Mo's an improvement in that regard, but he's not a transition point. Other ways to get out would be to do things like ball-hawk or cheat out on the break, both of which would compromise their defense and rebounding philosophies. Ultimately, it would be wonderful if they could get LeBron in the open-court more, but playing slow is the best way to win basketball games with the personnel they have.


6. With all the NBA players using Twitter now (here they are), who would be the best Tweeter from the Cavs? Andy Varejao maybe?


John: Full disclosure-I don't Twitter. I have a vague moral opposition to it-I think it's the opposite of what a journalist, especially one working without access like 99% of bloggers, is supposed to provide. I'll probably cave at some point because it does have benefits, but for now I'm holding off. I'm sure Andy would be a fabulous Twitterer.


7. It's not a hot topic right now, but lots of talk about LeBron and 2010 always seems to be floating around. Do you ever let yourself think about that, or do you try to focus on what's going on with the team this off-season, rather than just projecting the future?


John: It's in the back of my mind. There's a lot of pressure on this season. There's no doubt about that. If the season ends again with the Cavs going out without a championship in a series where LeBron plays out of his mind but gets no help, that's a situation where you realistically have to say LeBron would be a fool to not give leaving serious consideration. Everything this off-season is linked to what could happen in the summer of 2010.

It's not focus to not point out if a guy we're looking at's contract could cut into our flexibility in the summer of 2010. It's just stupidity.


8. Everyone also talked about how LeBron didn't shake anyone's hand and didn't talk to the media after being taken out of the playoffs by the Magic. I didn't like it, but it doesn't ruin my perception of him. How did you feel about that whole ordeal?


John: I didn't like it at all, both the action and the non-apology. I wrote about it for SLAM here. But in 6 years, it's really his first misstep. Hopefully he learns from it.

9. Looking at the Cavs unrestricted free agents (Zydrunas Ilgauskas (ETO), Wally Szczerbiak, Anderson Varejao (P), Lorenzen Wright), how would you rank these guys in order of must keep and why?


John: Well, I don't expect Z to opt out, and Wally and Lorenzen are worthless. So I'd say Andy would be the priority. He's extremely crucial to everything this team does on both ends of the floor.

10. If you had to word in one sentence what the Cavs have to do to win it all next year, how would that sentence read?


John: You know the big games are coming-win them.


Our thanks to John! Make sure you check out Cavs: The Blog. You won't be dissapointed.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

NBA Talk: The Lakers Are NBA Champs-----But Can They Repeat Next Year?

The Lakers won their 15th NBA Title in franchise history, and it's number four for Kobe Bryant and his first without the Diesel.

But you see that picture up there? He is holding four fingers up, isn't he?

Well, now he is going to have to hold is thumb up next year, I bet, because the Lakers are going to be the team to beat and may go to the Finals again next year.

With a little help from John Hollinger of ESPN on his research with all the big stats, I have all the details to give with statistics backing it up:

The Lakers won an NBA Championship without doing anything right. Pau Gasol was being soft all year but only brought it up a little notch. As I have said in one of my article about Gasol not being soft anymore, he was still a little soft.

And then there was Andrew Bynum, who was horrible throughout the whole span of the NBA Playoffs. Hollinger found out that he only scored 30 points and had 21 fouls in just the NBA Finals. That is four fouls per game!

Jeez.

And remember Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown. They were supposed to help the aging 34-year-old veteran of Derek Fisher, but it turned out that Fisher was the one who was helping out Farmar and Brown.

And Farmar and Brown looked the guys who were aging as well.

Fisher didn't play very well, shooting 39.3 percent of his shots and being 28.4 percent from the three-point line. Even though those aren't very good stats, Fisher did average eight points per game and made some huge shots in Game Four of the NBA Finals.

But really, it didn't matter about stats for Fisher, as he won his fourth NBA Title.

Then you got Sasha Vujacic, who was the man who made all the shots, especially the ones from downtown as he shot 43.7 percent from behind-the-arc in 2007, which got him an extension (and don't forget the $15M!).

But in the NBA Finals, Vujacic didn't even exist and was supposed to remove the hard-fought double-teams from number 24 and Mr. Softie (Pau Gasol). Vujacic failed. And remember when I just said he didn't even exist in the NBA Finals, well...he didn't. In the last seven games, he played a total of only 33 minutes!

That is about playing five minutes per game!

And guess what made it worse? He never made one single shot in the NBA Finals, as John Hollinger has reported.

But who gives? They won the NBA Finals but here is the biggest question for next year: can they repeat, and also, are they the team to beat next year? Last year, when Boston won, they were the team to beat, but unfortunately, they lost James Posey and some other guys and lost KG for a little while during the year. They were NOT the team to beat. That year, it was Cleveland, and they failed to reach their mark.

The Lakers are now the team to beat at the starting of the year, or so I have been told. But how can they? They have to key players, Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza, who are going into free agency and it doesn't look like they can sign both (Shannon Brown, too, but I don't think they'll need him).

Even if they can't sign on of them, or both, Adam Morrison and Luke Walton will have to step up their game as they both have one year left of their contracts, as Hollinger reported.

Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher will be the only starters next year who will be older than 30 in the lineup. Kobe, who will be turning 31, is in outstanding shape while Fisher still has it after he will be turning 35. We don't if Fisher might retire though.

But hey, if you got a guy who can do this at a pretty old age, I think LA can keep him for about another two years or so.

For all we know, the Lakers can repeat but it will be tough. They might be losing three important guys: Trevor Ariza, Lamar Odom, and Shannon Brown. The Lakers have to somehow bring Ariza back for the sake of the 2009-2010 season next year.

If they keep Ariza, they could be the team to beat. Ariza was known for his top-notch steals in the Western Conference Finals, and his big three-pointers in the NBA Finals. If Ariza stays, Phil Jackson could win eleven titles.

And if the Lakers keep playing like they do, after finally winning a championship with the Diesel, big ol' Phil can win about three more titles for his Los Angeles Lakers.

And back to the picture up there. Kobe, it's time to put your thumb up soon.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Things to Change About the NBA Finals



I thought the finals overall were entertaining. Unfortunately, it only went five games; only three of which were close. As a self proclaimed Laker fan, I'm not against the results by any means (I do love all NBA basketball, though). Here are some ideas I have for the NBA to change about the finals:




Pre-game and In-game crews:



Why are they always the same? I mean, I understand that it's important to become familiar with the people that will be calling the games. But I get that in the season; also in the playoffs. Why not switch up the radio guys with the TV guys?



I like Hubie Brown and would like to see another perspective. Everyone views the game differently and Hubie and others have different experiences and expertise to bring to the broadcasts. Why do you have to get us loyal NBA viewers stuck in a rut? You know where I'm coming from, religious NBA viewers??



I'm not saying they should bring in people we've never seen broadcast before. All I'm asking for is a game or two where the TV guys do radio and vice versa. Does that frighten you, ABC? If it does, that shows exactly why I like TNT broadcasts more than yours.




Schedule-ness




This is something where I agree with Phil Jackson. Someone asked Phil about how this time of year it the greatest and what not. Phil went on to say that it was great, but all the scheduled practices and media availability was something that killed the greatness.



Why can't we give these guys a little time to enjoy? Let them pick when they want to practice and talk to the media? These are professionals, employees of the league. Since the league says when they should play, it's only fair to allow them some flexibility in setting other parts of their profession.



These are very well paid professionals, though. I would certainly shut up if I was getting those kinds of bills. Call it a slight gripe, not a full on complaint.




2-3-2 Format




This is a change that @eMomma78 sent via Twitter. She wants the 2-2-1-1-1 used, rather than the 2-3-2. 2-2-1-1-1 is the norm for the first three rounds.


I don't really have a problem with it. Either format you have, all it comes down to is executing. I do believe that being on your homecourt is a huge advantage, but this format changes nothing in terms of who gets more games on their floor. If you earn homecourt, you have nothing to gripe about with this format.


I wouldn't mind if the same format (2-2-1-1-1) was used throughout all four rounds though. It's not a must-do, but it would be nice.




People who ask ?'s in Press Conferences




If you've every watched the press conferences, you know they suck. They ask all the questions that these guys are expecting. Can't they be original and actually pick these guys brains? I know it's hard to get the best answers in the world out of these guys, but damn.


Something else they don't do is adapt to the persons traits. You should know that after a tough loss, or something like that, a person's going to be very mum and irritated in their answers. If you don't pick that up after the first couple of answers, you're an idiot. But they keep pushing that envelope that pisses the person off.

Why? Because they are that mainstream media that sucks and needs to let great people ask hard questions! That was rant worthy!




Take some time off for now, NBA. But, before next season's preparations get into full force, take a look at this post and make the NBA finals even better next year. You know you want to!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Shoe of the Week: Nike Hypermax “McFly” NFW

Disclaimer: I'm no full on sneaker head, but every week we're gettin our shoe on here! Each week I'll pick a shoe that I like, basketball, or normal. Get your new leather smell ready!
These kicks personify sweetness. I absolutley love this picture. These would be nice to rock with a Celtics away jersey. I like this colorway in particular because black goes with everything, of course.

Information on avalibility is not out right now. That's the only downside to these kicks right now.


Here's the runner up:


The DC X Ken Block. Also very nice. I would consider rocking these with some Laker yellow. Skaters won't hate rocking these.
I love these shoes. What shoes are you loving?
Thanks to Nice Kicks for the info on the Hypermax. The DC shoes I found on Sneaker Freaker.

Since People Critize Coach Ewing; Can we Critize Coach Abdul-Jabbar?


Patrick Ewing and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have taken young bigs under their respective wings. Patrick Ewing coaches Dwight Howard and Kareem coaches Andrew Bynum. Howard is more of a begginer in terms of post offense, while Bynum has progressed to be a better low post player. What I don't understand is, based on Bynum's recent performance, why don't more people critize coach Abdul-Jabbar?
A lot of people say Ewing should help Dwight more. Kareem has worked with Bynum longer, even though Bynum's two years younger. All Bynum has shown are moments of dramatic improvement. Overall, all he's shown is he's a solid rotation player. So, why don't we have an equal amount of accountability for both of these coaches?
Coach Ewing has taken too much heat if you ask me. You can't ask for anything more but effort and time put into molding a player. That's what Patrick has done. He works with Dwight on post moves and free throws. What else could you ask for? It really comes down to Dwight. It's his work that will propel him into a perrenial All-Star. Ewing is just an aid in helping him to do so.
I'm not lobbying for people to become anti-Kareem. I just want each guy to be critized and praised fairly. They each coach guys that will be great players if they continue working. Some people say one coach is not doing his job so well. Until you really see a whole workout with them working, you have to shut your mouth. You can't judge a coach without really seeing him in action.
Don't bag on Patrick Chewing, people. But, if you must, bag a little on Kareem, too.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

LA's Offense Too Big for the Magic's Defense?

The Lakers offense have been punishing Orlando for the last three games. All I can say is that the Orlando's defense is struggling, badly.

The Magic played great in Game Three of the NBA Playoffs.

Dwight Howard was hitting way more free throws tan Kobe Bryant imagined. Then there was the record-setting 62.5 percent shooting.

Mikael Pietrus was owning the Lakers D, while Rashard Lewis was doing what he does best: three-point shooting.

It was Orlando's night but, however, they almost lost. The Lakers offense was great too, shooting close to 50 percent in their last three games.

Sure, the Magic won, but they barely got away with it. They could have lost this game, easily.John Hollinger of ESPN says that the Orlando's defense is struggling against the Lakers offense.

I agree.

So I, with a little help from John, will see the struggling defense of this Magic squad.

Let's get a move on, shall we?

You might think I am a little crazy for saying the Magic's defense is sloppy because they have Dwight Howard on the team, a goofy fellow who won the Defensive Player of the Year Award this year.

But if you have seen the Finals, they have been pretty bad.

Hollinger found out that the Magic's D is number one in defensive efficiency and number two in playoff defensive efficiency.

Pretty good, huh?

But compare that against the Lakers third-ranked offensive efficiency. Even though the Suns and Blazers are ahead of them in that category, look who's made the furthest.

Compare this: The Lakers average 109.8 points per 100 possessions. The Magic give up 98.9 points per 100 possessions.

And the Lakers have been dominant throughout the Finals, averaging 102 points per game, compared towards the Magic's 93.Now you see where I am getting?

But it could be like what Bull4Ever said on one of my recaps when the Magic beat the Lakers, 108-104:


I'm sensing just another Dallas/Miami Finals, if y’all ask me, where
Orlando comes from down 2-0 and winning this series in six. And we all know
Orlando will win tonight no matter what happens during the next 3
games.

I could agree.

But if the Magic keep doing what they are doing with their defense, it WILL cost them an NBA Finals title.