NBA All Day. NBA All Day. NBA All Day.

Basketball at it's Finest. Also, other stuff. Sometimes.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Yo, Kobe'. &^$%# Just Got Real.

Pau delivers in the clutch. And in a scarf.
Ah, the NBA is on an' poppin'; teams are past the "getting in gear" phase (except the Magic, they got another 2 week window to get it together). Remember the DEFCON-1 when Miami stumbled out the gate, the "I think LBJ and Wade are beefing!" rumbles and the "Spoelestra is GONE!" muttering? Yeeeeeah, about that. And how about LA bullyfooting out the gate, rolling to 8-0, then 14-2, while Pau displayed the full tool chest he has at his disposal, Shannon Brown unleashed his devastating long-range game and came out scorching,  and Kobe' played the facilitator, when the "LA is so good they're bored" talk had LA fans foaming at the mouth? To paraphrase that ol' Jay-Z song "it was all good just a week (ok, about 3 weeks) ago..." LA fan But LA is approaching the crucible of it's season; starting with the Bucks playing custodian by mopping the floor with a LA in front of a disgusted Staples Center crowd, and followed by a 16 point shellacking on a national by the resurgent Heat, the schedule ratchets up the opposition level; before LA lost to the Bucks, a wearing down Pau Gasol said, "You have to start tightening things up. You want to see some progress."  At the time they were 21-7, giving the "all-business" sound bites as the fervor built for the Christmas showdown with Miami. Since then... 0-2, their 5th loss to a sub-.500 team (last year around this time they were 21-4;  they hadn't lost their 1st game to a team with a losing record until their 35th game. And while 21-9 is perfectly respectable, watching LA from the 1st week and a half compared to the disjointed performances from the last 2 losses is like night and day. Now, this isn't me crowing about the Fall of the Lakers; if Boston taught us anything with their Rope-A-Dope performance last year, it's that to veteran, established teams, the regular season is less about W's and more about fine-tuning rotations and maintaining health (which is why even I, a Laker-hater, feel bad for Pau Gasol; almost 40 minutes a game for a not-particularly-athletic 30 year old big is tough). But even the most pro Pro-Lakers apologists like the writers at Silver Screen And Roll have to admit that, with opponents winning a paltry 41ish% of their games (that's like a 12-17 record, gross). It all averages out, though, with the 2nd half of January sees LA battling foes with a projected 65% win percentage, and from there on out the opposition projects at +.536. LA IS still the team to beat, no doubt; their resume' earns them that much. Artest has got to do SOMETHING on offense, and Pau has to return to his November (12 g, 20 ppg, 12.3 rpg, 54% from the floor), and Bynum needs to move from "potential" to "bonafide" if LA is going to duplicate the success of the past 2 years. On deck- Tuesday San Antonio Express rolls into town. Good luck with that...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday's Twitter Stuff: Bloggers Blogging Bloggers

  OK, something new. I get all kinds of good stuff all day on twitter, so why not grab a few and save 'em for posterity? Follow me on Twitter at james2477911.

Scott Schroeder, on Ricky Davis Being Ricky Davis (with Mike James getting in the act) over in the Far East. Marcus Williams, c'mon DOWN.
 " Random NBA stat of the day: J.R. "We Just Saw a Man Fly" Smith has played 548 minutes this  season and has yet to block a shot. Not one."
Damn. one of THE most athletic cats in the league and ZERO blocks?? Ballard let's us know that even Luke Ridnour has 5 this season. That's a damn shame.
  • The good fellows at Hardwood Paroxysm tweeted what we all know; it's time to go to the extreme in Charlotte (NBA Point Forward). Last year was squeezing the max out of minimal talent. That 33 point loss to the Wiz was a disgrace. At the very least, Gerald Wallace deserves better. You can't be nicknamed "Crash" and play for such a crappy team.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Gilbert Arenas: Sidekick, Actually

Gilbert Arenas
We can all agree that Gilbert Arenas' new start is necessary; we wonder exactly what kind of production we can expect going forward from the 28 year old guard. I mean, in his heyday, Gil was giving you 28.4 a night; the percentages were never great (42% with 35% from 3. Yikes.), but MAN, when it counted he got buckets, right? This season his 17 ppg on 39.4% shooting, with an abysmal 32.4% from deep looks sobering for Dwight n' Co. BUT...let's look at the games he's played as Numero dos, with John Wall running the show. It's a small sample size, only 11 games, and if you throw out the 2 absolute stinkers, a 2-14 bomb vs Charlotte and a 1-10 clunker at Toronto, as "just bad nights", Agent 1 looks decidedly better when he's riding shotgun; the other 9 games playing Robin to Wall's Batman he was at 18 ppg, 42% overall, but 44% FROM 3.  Playing with a much better assortment of talent around him, Gil's minutes may drop, but his efficiency should, I say SHOULD, be at an all time high for him. Not worth friggin' 22 MIL a year, but given the situation, I guess Otis Smith is making the best of it. At least Gil has a pulse, he'll affect the game somehow; there are stretches where you're not even sure Rashard Lewis was in the bulding, and if a 6'11" dude can make himself invisible doing what he's grossly overpaid to do, then something's gotta give.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

When The Smoke Clears...Magic Make Things Appear.

So there I was, it's 11 AM on a Saturday, I'm gettin' my head kicked in by a Statistics final, and my phone goes nuts. Texts. 3 missed calls. Twitter alerts. After I turned my test in, dried my tears of failure, it was time to see what the fuss was abo...DAMN! So Orlando is trying to do what the Cavs and the Raps couldn't do and and now the Nuggets and Hornets are trying so desperately to do: keep the Franchise content with his lot in the NBA landscape. Dwight Howard's locked in until 2012, and best believe, as jokey and "aw shucks" as he seems, he's got a shark's eye on the moves of the Heat, and the Bulls, and the moves that CP3 and 'Melo make. It's a business, the leagues Last Dominant Big wants to win. the Magic have been Mavs East (regular season juggernauts who look lost when they get ousted in the playoffs), so Orlando rolled the dice: Said "our bad",bringing back Turk, along with athletic streak scorer Jason Richardson and enigma Earl Clark, while shipping out the gutless VC, Martin Gortat, and Michael "Peaches" Pietrus. Almost simultaneously, they admitted that 'Shard Lewis fooled 'em into giving him that utterly ridiculous 119 million dollar (goddamn) contract and swapped him Gilbert Arenas, AKA 2010's fontrunner in the "Mike Vick Comeback Award". For some reason the rumbles seem to be that 1) Orlando panicked, that 2) replacing VC with Arenas/Richardson is a somehow a downgrade, and that 3) Turkoglu being brought back is pointless. Well, let's see...
1) Define "panic". Is it panic because, while the Magic looked unstoppable at times last season, especially in the 1st 2 rounds of the playoffs, the front office realized that the throttling they recieved by the Lakers 2 years ago and the thrashing the Celts laid on them in the '10 would continue if the Magic didn't make some significant moves? This team isn't the Blazers or the Thunder, being built painstakingly and lovingly via draft and shrewd midlevel free agents; the "let's be patient and let it marinate" tact won't fly, D. Howard's clock is ticking. Panic or not, this is what a GM is SUPPOSED to do; see your teams weaknesses and try to improve on them.

2) Richardson is a MUCH better defender than VC, and J-Rich in last year's playoffs was SPECTACULAR, providing timely scoring and clutch play. Arenas? For all the baggage; the bad knees, the bonehead gunplay, the silly "faked injuries", Arenas still has to be feared by the opposition for his scoring and his fearlessness in the clutch. Sure, the shooting percentages don't look good, but how quickly we forget the insanely clutch play Arenas showed just 3 years ago, when he was turning his back and celebrating while the ball was still in-flight on a last second shot he put up. Plus take into account that Gilbert was handed the keys to 2 of the most dysfunctional franchies out there, G-State and Washington. A team with strong leadership in Van Gundy  and an exceptionally bigger star like Orlando should bring out the best in Gil while keeping his insanity in check. Give me Arenas/J-Rich over Carter any day, hands down.

3) Championships aren't won by stars, they're won by stars driving the engine built on role players. Turk in Orlando was a unique thing. he was a role player who carried himself like a star, but THE STAR WAS COOL WITH THAT. Why they let him leave is baffling to me, and it's cool to see Otis Smith pretty much shrug and say,"my bad, lemme get that back and try again." He was good when he had 2 things; the ball in his hands and someone to pass to. He was bad when he was expected to do "little things" and be a catch-and-shooter. This is a win-win; he comes back to the situation that made him look so good, and Orlando get the ONE thing that really made them devastating; the 6-10 guard who can create a matchup nightmare for anyone. And Lewis? Lewis was like paying Lambo money and having it show up with a Camry engine: Camry's are ok, but Lambo money should NEVER be spent on one. At least he should bring some professionalism and shooting to the Wiz, alleviating the Arena/Wall overlap, and shoot ALOT of 3s.

Honestly, the thing that may hurt the Magic in the short-term is the absence of Gortat and "Peaches", leaving the bench pretty dang thin. Somehow Gortat got labeled as a "starter" talent which is foolish, but the guy was quality in his short stretches. Same with Peaches; he might never be the player HE thinks he is, but his shooting, D, and athleticism will be missed, at least by Chuck Wagon. I dug watching the Polish Hammer and Air France when they'd dominate lesser second units, or when they were plugged in with Howard and Nelson and were part of a ridiculous 23-4 scoring run.
Memo to the Heat and the Bulls; Orlando may have been stumbling, and they haven't been a "story" all year. They realized that they were juuuust a cut below the Celts and Lakers,  while the Bulls, Spurs, and Heat are all bristling with talent, so they made a huge gamble. At the very least the Magic now are a team to watch as they try to integrate new variables into the always elusive "team chemistry" while attempting to slug it out with the NBA big boys, and at most they've thrown their hats into the ring with the rest of the contenders. Can't wait to see Nelson running with Agent Zero on one wing and J-Rich on the other with Howard rumbling down the middle behind them. Your turn, N'awlins!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Menage A Trade: T. Will, Old Smith, Sasha Vu Switch It Up: Melo-Drama

Three players. One goal. We know the Nets want Carmelo, like an insecure young woman trying to woo the guy who's sweating her better looking older sister. So this isn't about the "Established Coach X vs Promising Young Player Y" duel playing out yet again, (I hate when an in-all-other-ways reasonable coach gets a wild hair up his, y'know what, and ends up with some personal vendetta against a talented young player, then tries to "break" them, i.e. D'antoni vs Nate Robinson . From 18 ppg to benched when the new coach comes in? That's beef...). Terrence Williams is, by all accounts, a very, very good young basketball player who needs an alarm clock and rubbed The Lil General the wrong way. So the Rockets get ANOTHER exciting, hardworking perimeter player (yawn), Sasha Vujacic is kicked off the coattails of Kobe' and Co., and the bones of Joe Smith are forced to shuffle out of the duct on NJ's bench and actually may see court time for the Lakers. PLUS, the Nets have like 487 1st round picks over the next coupla years.

Now in Denver.

Even though fake-named Lionel Bienvenu and his 7News team insist otherwise, the Favors/Murphy/2 1st rounders-for-Melo deal is far from done. My question: Why would Melo sign an extension in Jersey? Is Brook Lopez an upgrade from Nene? Is Devin Harris THAT much of an upgrade from Chauncy (well, yeah, he is). Adding Melo, subtracting Derrick Favors and his potential, and the roster in Denver is more talented than Jersey's would be, right? Ah well, at least Houston's pick might be worth something next year if Chairman Yao's feet keep exploding....

Demar DeRozan: Baptizer of Fools

DeMar DeRozan:" 'Sup, Double T."
Tyrus Thomas: " S'happenin', DeMar."
DD: "Chillin' man. Lemme get by?"
TT:"Can't do that, homie."
DD:"I'm goin' in."
TT:"Dang. I see bright light...."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesday: Quick Hitters

OK, this is just ridiculous.
*So, who is Charles Pierce? He wrote this review of Bill Simmons, AKA ESPN's Sports Guy's book. Simmons is a big boy, right? Wrong; he tries to big time CP. Silly stuff for national writers, but it's comedy.

Wait. What part of practice is THIS?
*Oh, LeBron, it's NEVER your fault; now Wade is the worst finisher in the L? LBJ's mom Mrs James respectfully disagrees, Delonte hangs his head in shame.

D Rose makes Pointguard-coladas.

*Donald Sterling. Clippers owner. Racist. Cheapskate. Slumlord. Heckling his OWN players? David Stern, fix this. Shout out to Trey Kerby at thebasketballjones blog.

*Silly Tyreke Evans; you can't wear skates and play basketball! Derrick Rose puts Evans in the blender.

*Anybody need a shooter? The 76ers might as well post Jason Kapono on Craigslist.

Monday, December 13, 2010

James Harden: Demolition Man. Harden harkens back to a time when men with beards did fantastic things.

Blake Griffin is an Engine of Destruction

See, what had HAPPENED was....

What?!?! October 27th was the LAST post?! It's not my fault, coach. I'll fill y'all in on the tale of bullets, mistaken identity, and shift Colombians with big guns that had me MIA later, let's just say that whoever the real Justin Nellerton is, he should thank me for dealing with the Lionaza family for him. Can't believe it's been that long; since then we've got excessive successes, suprise flops (*ahem*Miami*cough*), and as always, some dope basketball. Quick hitters:


OK. Um. My bad. Wait...what? So I figures if you take 3 of the top 5 or 6 STATISTICAL players from last year, add 2 really good spot-up shooters, throw in the janitor (or hell, even me), you'd see an offensive explosion, Shock and Awe in South Beach. WRONG. WRONG.They've "righted the ship" recently, winning 8 in a row, but damn. 9-8? It was like if someone had used a time machine, uniting 80s Michael Jackson, vintage James Brown, and Luther Vandross, and they come out singing "Rumpshaker" and "Stanky Leg".


OK, out the gate, the Fakers Lakers, the Hornets (huh?), the Celtics, and the Spurs killed. A quarter of the season passed; LA has stumbled a little, with a 4-game swoon, some uninspired play, and they are KILLING Pau Gasol (some call NBA bigs work horses; then somebody needs to call the ASPCA, cuz Phil Jackson heaping 40 minutes a night on his 30 year old back is downright cruel), the Hornets are looking like the Washington Generals in this piece (6 field goals in the 1st half last night. Against a pathetic Philly team. CP3 is gonna look GOOD in Knicks blue-n-orange), but the Spurs and Celts, both anchored by PFs who played for James Naismith (I'm playin', but KG and Duncan are OLD), are both just chuggin; along, gobbling up wins. The Celts (KG, Ray Ray, Pierce, and Shaq average out to 35 years old) defensive execution, led by a '02 Kevin Garnett, is a nightmare for all comers, and the Spurs' (Duncan, Ginobili, and TP average almost 32 years old) new-found offensive juggernaut is being driven by Manu and "Text Pimp" Tony Parker, letting Duncan take his Centrum Silver in peace (yeah, it's a career low 14 and 9 a game, but the minutes are nice and low, he's gearing up for the play-offs).


Blake. Griffin. Highlights don't do him justice. For a 21 year old about 20 games into his 1st season, to be considered Must See TV is incredible. I've watch John Wall, and dude is extra nice, no doubt. BLAKE is on another level; he already has a season's worth of highlights, and he has the um, admiration of vets such as Ron Artest (pause...) and Amare Stoudemire. Once the Clips slip the shackles of Baron "Fat Boy" Davis' crappy contract and get a real coach, they will beast with Griffin (20 ppg(!), 11.7 rpg(!!)), and Eric Gordon (24 ppg, 4.6 apg) leading the charge. DeMarcus Cousins put the "revolt" in "Youth In Revolt"; the whispers about his attitude have become a dull roar in Sac Town, and he's already been kicked out of a practice because of his behavior, but his game is obviously tight. The question "Why did Philly draft &$%# Evan Turner?!" is a valid one; dude can barely crack the rotation, and as a #2 overall pick on a turrrrible team, that's NOT a positive sign.

Alot more to cover: The Rise of Westbrook, the Flight of Amare', The Young Team Conundrum, but Rome wasn't built in a day, and YTNITC won't be rebuilt in one session...but once I finish puttying over these bullet holes in my kitchen I'll work this blog back to respectability. Shout out to Zach Harper at; his work kept me in the loop while I was evading Cartel goons and setting up contract killers in desert ambushes.