Monday, April 30, 2007

TrueHoop: Baron Davis

Permalink of this article

Ever since TrueHoop got assimilated into the Borg that is ESPN.com, there hasn't been one single post where you could just forward to your friends without further debate. After all, TrueHoop was supposed to be the facilitator of stories, where one thread could explode into a much bigger, well-rounded, knowledge-enfused medium with the help of its valued commenters. Now in the ESPN cube, you can't so much as make an educated guess as to what to type into your URL box to get there (what's with the "myespn-dot-go-dot-com" nonsense?) -- this is just the tip of the iceberg and Poor Man's Commish promises to make a full frontal assualt on TrueHoop's Borg assimilation in the future.

But let us not digress. Baron Davis has truly been playing like a perennial NBA MVP lately, in the most important games of his career and of the modern era of his franchise, against the best team in the NBA which has the consensus real MVP on its team. If you were watching last night in the closing moments when BD hit a clutch drive-and-fade swish, then surgically dismantled the proud Mavs' defense by finding Andris Biedrins for a dunk-and-one, you were sitting there shaking your head in disbelief of how good he his. The number of highlights this guy had from just this one game approached Michael Jordan's level, making it a similar sacrilege to leave your seat from tipoff to final buzzer.

Alas, there's really nothing to add, no extra comment to make about TrueHoop's post, "The Baron of Davis".

__________

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

What's with all the Warrior hatin'?

Permalink of this article

[From Stephen B. Snyde...]

What's with all the Warrior hatin' these days?

It's amazing how people who have no first-hand knowledge of what a 13-year playoff drought feels like, write as if no 13-year drought occurred. Every anti-Warrior article contains something to the effect of...
"What the Warriors (or Warrior fans) fail to realize is..."
No, no, no. What Warrior-haters fail to realize is, after 13 years, we'll gladly accept -- RE-ACCEPT! -- Nellie ball even though it has no justifiable championship-level future.

Let's wait until the Warriors are the #8 seed for the next 13 consecutive years before you can start wiping the euphoric grin off Warrior fans' faces.

Didn't anybody see The Pursuit of Happyness? After so many years of livin' on the streets, we'll gladly take a decade of living paycheck to paycheck. It's no high-life mansion, but at least there's a roof over our heads.

Go pick on some other team, you cowards.

__________

Labels:

Monday, April 23, 2007

The eeriness of MJ's last championship

Permalink of this article

While researching for the blogpost about the Warriors win meaning the Mavs will win the championship, I came across another couple eerie finds about Michael Jordan's last championship against the Utah Jazz. You know, the one where he drove on Bryon Russell.

Now, we all know about his 45 points, with 23 of them coming in the first half (for those of you have been living in Antarctica, he wore #45 when he came back from retirement and then went back to his #23 shortly thereafter).

But here's another couple that are weird, that I just discovered today:
  • The all-time scoring leader in terms of points per game shot exactly 15-for-35 from the field in both Game Six finales in 1997 (boxscore here) and 1998 (boxscore here).

  • John Stockton only had exactly 5 assists in each of those games. We're talking the all-time assists leader, who averaged 10.5 assists per game his entire career.
Wow, two all-time NBA leaders in their respective categories in one game happening twice in a row, and one clearly outshining the other on both occasions.

__________

Labels: , ,

Guess this means the Mavs will win the championship

Permalink of this article

The #8 Golden State Warriors just beat the #1 Dallas Mavericks by double-digits (12, to be exact), leading to much joy in the Bay Area today. Which got me wondering, when was the last time the team with the best record in the NBA lost its first playoff game?

Let us preface by noting ESPN's Elias Says, embedded in the game's boxscore, which mentions the following...
Only one other team in NBA history lost its first playoff game following a season in which it won more than 63 games. The 1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers won 68 games during the regular season and went on to win the NBA title despite dropping their playoff opener to the Cincinnati Royals (120-116 at Philadelphia, March 21, 1967).
If you look up the last 10 years of playoff results on Wikipedia [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1997_NBA_Playoffs, where you can type in your desired year in the URL], you'll see that there are only two instances in the last 10 years when the team with the best record lost its first game in the playoffs...
  • 2003: The Stephon Marbury-led Phoenix Suns defeated the San Antonio Spurs, 96-95, on Marbury's buzzer-beating bankshot trey.

  • 1998: The Houston Rockets, behind Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, Charles Barkley coming off the bench (?), and -- believe it or not -- an 18-and-14 by Kevin Willis, defeated the Utah Jazz by 13, 103-90. Utah tied the Chicago Bulls for the best record in the NBA that year and had the tiebreaker over the Bulls.
So now that they have botched Game 1 against the #8 seed, this means the Mavs are guaranteed to reach the Finals, because we know the 76ers did it 1967, Jazz in 1998, and Spurs in 2003.

Both the 1967 76ers and 2003 Spurs won the championship. Since the 1998 Jazz don't count because they faced Michael Jordan's 2nd three-peat and impending retirement, as well as the Willis factor (remember, he's now on the 2007 Mavericks!), this means the Mavs will win the 2007 championship. I'm not a Mavs fan, I'm just showing you the voodoo.

__________

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Friday, April 13, 2007

What happens in dreamleague happens in the NBA

PERMALINK

[From Stephen B. Snyde for Friday tidbits...]

Any given dreamleague AAA game, any given night: guy dribbles down the court with about 10 seconds left, down by 1. He's already taken most of the team's shots and, quite frankly, the team is better off with him shooting this last one, and they want him to shoot it. Only one problem: the other team knows this too.

So anyways, the guy's defender is doing a pretty good job, especially as the guy dribbles some more to the sideline, further choking his options, as the clock ticks down 10, 9, 8. Another defender from the other end of the court comes over to try and pick it while his teammate has the guy preoccupied. Guy heaves it with two hands in his face at the buzzer, ball comes nowhere near hoop. Game over. Yuck. Guy and his teammates all go home depressed a little, but not that bad. Gotta get up for work in the morning. Hey, it's AAA. We're here for fun anyways. No need to go yelling at each other and strive for perfection.

Well, this same thing happened to Lebron James and the Cavs last week. Same exact thing (sadly, even the post-mortem). The 2-guard was nowhere to be found. The 3 and the 5 decided to watch from the baseline. The 4 failed to cut to the wide open middle. No one on the bench really knew what to say. Coach forgot to draw up a play. Total, utter lack of basketball IQ exhibited.

It's just a good thing we dreamleaguers don't end up in the newspaper later in the week with sentence after sentence of ridiculously obvious observations and comments.

__________

Labels:

How 'bout Yao now?

[From Stephen B. Snyde for Friday tidbits...]

This one goes out to all you who dumped on Yao Ming in the past. From Charles Barkley to Shaquille O'Neal to TrueHoop reader "Femzilla", who once wrote...
...there haven't been many Chinese players in the league, and going by the track record Yao has really been the only one to accomplish success--and he hasn't even lived up to the hype...
The upcoming NBA playoffs in a few weeks is probably going to be the more visible, noticeable turning point for Yao. To be accompanied by silence. From all those critics from before who will be shut up with nothing to say.

I give you The Evolution of Yao, by Chris Ballard for SportsIllustrated.

__________

Labels: , ,

Afflalo doesn't watch American Idol

[From Stephen B. Snyde for Friday tidbits...]

While Kevin Durant, Greg Oden, and Mike Conley, Jr. (and Joakim Noah last year) are/were all weighing regrets about leaving their cherished college lives, Arron Afflalo's on the first train outta UCLA. Ah, to be The Man on campus. But not just any campus, we're talking UCLA, the mecca of college hoops -- almost guaranteed Final Four, these days (!). Not to mention the weather and surroundings in Westwood ain't all that bad either.

To leave that for, what, maybe getting picked in the 2nd round (via Chad Ford, ESPN Insider subscription required). And if he doesn't get picked, that's it, because as Ford points out, it's his 2nd and last try at the NBA Draft; he can't return to UCLA.

The more you make it appear you want something, the less those who have it want to give it to you. Hasn't Afflalo learned anything from watching Sanjaya Malakar and his "victims" on American Idol?

__________

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Cuban came close to selling the Mavs -- yeah, right

[From Stephen B. Snyde, for Friday tidbits...]

Preetom Bhattacharya of Hoopsworld.com had a One-on-One with Mark Cuban, in which Cuban reiterated his dismay with the NBA and how close he came to selling the team last summer...
"I hated dealing with the NBA, the league itself. I love the players, I love the organization, I love the fans, I love being part of the community - there's just so much that's so positive. I hated dealing with the minutia of the NBA. They specialize in administrivia a lot of times and that's not me. We just have a different view on the business side of things and from there, it's my choice."
Uh, dude. You're a billionaire. Money grows on trees in your backyard. For chrissakes, will you just hire someone to deal with the administrivia for you? What's that, like 8 bucks an hour?

As for the whole charade about selling the Mavs, there is no way to describe it other than visually (above).

__________

Labels: ,

76ers keep oversized rabbit for 10 years

[From Stephen B. Snyde for Friday tidbits...]

Heard this past week on a random NBA telecast on ESPN: a pre-game ceremony in Philadelphia to honor the tenth anniversary of their mascot, Hip-Hop.

The Sixers have a mascot?

Ewww, what the hell is this thing? Attack of the giant killer bunnies!!!

Seriously, who's the genius over there in Philly who thought of this?

Who's his boss who decided to keep it around for ten years?

__________

Labels: ,

SuperfluousGuy gets paid

[From Stephen B. Snyde for Friday tidbits...]

John Ourand of the SportsBusiness Journal (SBJ) reported a couple weeks ago...
ESPN.com has retained its most popular columnist, Bill Simmons, signing him to a multiyear contract. Simmons signed a four-year extension through 2010.
It's probably an incentive-laden contract. Like one dollar per word after the first 10,000 words in each piece.

The SportsGuy also managed to burp out a CLM in celebration...
There were some rumors that SI.com would make a run at Simmons, but Simmons said he would never consider working for that site following the publication of a March 2006 Sports Illustrated article that Simmons felt treated him unfairly.

“I would never work for them,” Simmons said.
Let's see, ESPN's probably #1, SI's probably #2, who's #3? SportingNews?

For those of you who don't work in Corporate America, CLM = career limiting move.

__________

Labels: ,

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Sick-ass adidas Kobe IIIs

Seems we've been talking a lot about shoes lately, with Jason Kidd's new Nike ad and the reference to Phil Knight. And now that Kevin Durant is turning pro, a $40 million-or-so deal (just like Kobe Bryant's) with Nike is surely right around the corner.

So I was randomly researching stuff recently when I came across the adidas Kobe IIIs shown in the picture above, which were never released because Kobe jumped ship. Maybe you knew this already, but I had no idea how sick these are/were. And let's not forget that the now-defunct Kicksology.net raved about the performance of Kobe I. If they released the Kobe III (or whatever they'd call it), I might have to jump ship myself, being a loyal Nike wearer since the Air Force III followed by the Air Revolution followed by -- well, I could go on for days. And no, I'm not a sneakerhead. That's a little pet peeve of mine that I'll save for a longer rant on dreamblogue someday.

Here's the link to the Kobe III for close-ups and a short explanation...

http://www.kobe8bryant.net/shoes.html

__________

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Basketball Never Ends

Louis Loo
At 72, Louie still got game.
[From NYC commish...]

A couple Sundays ago, I went on down to Chinatown – no, not to get my dollar dumplings, a 50 cent massage, or to play in a New York Rockit tournament that Denny Lee was organizing (after all, it’s been real cold if you haven’t noticed outside), but rather to watch a group of men run in their regular Sunday morning pick-ups that they’ve been doing since 1969.

?????

Okay, first, get back in your chair, cause I know you just fell out of it.

No, ’69 is not a typo. 1969. Nixon was the president. Led Zeppelin released their first album. Apollo 9 returned safely from the moon. John Lennon married Yoko Ono. The Vietnam War was just reaching its midway point. The Brady Bunch came out. UCLA wins the NCAA title...

Read the rest of the story

__________

Labels: ,

Friday, April 6, 2007

Nike's J.Kidd still has commercial value

Despite his well-publicized domestic problems, Nike still thinks Jason Kidd has commercial value.

How do we know this? Well, we got another casting call this week (recall the Jerry Rice and LeBron James casting calls).

Poor Man's Commish was a little too under the weather to get this out in time, but the fact remains, we got this email from a reputable casting agency earlier in the week...
"...a Nike ad featuring J.Kidd in Oakland/SF area. We're looking for other players [men, age 20-30] to be in it with him. It pays $2000.00 if selected and we'd like to interview those interested ASAP."
First guy I would've called would have been Hook Mitchell, who called last month to check in after dropping off the map for about a year. Oh, but he's like 36 by now.

Anyways, I guess J.Kidd still has some staying power? Been awhile since his original Air Zooms.

__________

Labels: , , ,