*cough*Cuchulainn*cough* bless his warped heart.
posted by BobbyC at 01:57 PM on September 12
Uhmmm.... I'm just sayin' but I think the Lakers - Spurs series only went 6 games. Meanwhile, the Pistons beat the Nets in 7, with a triple-overtime game thrown in, and then beat the Pacers in 6. Both of those series were likely more physical than anything that happened in the West.
posted by BobbyC at 06:31 PM on June 19
Granted I'm a Pistons fan, but I actually thought it was the Spurs - Suns series that was boring. As someone who has played basketball for fifteen years, with a few years of organized ball, I find it boring (and reminiscent of bad playground ball) to see a shot go up in the first five seconds ON EVERY POSSESSION, which is what the Suns do as a strategy. Alot of the Suns plays were either a wing or Stoudamire slashing to the basket for a weird shot or Nash slashing to the basket to jump up and pass. And when defense is being played by the Wallaces and Tayshaun it's very exciting.
posted by BobbyC at 09:36 AM on June 18
Hmmm... I was disappointed by the Eastern Conference Finals a bit, but I also think it would have been easy for the Pistons to let the Shaq mystique and the next Jordaning of Wade overwhelm the them. I think the Pistons have three advantages and the Spurs have three advantages. Pistons 1 better defense (the ability to play all-time defense) 2 five different players capable of going for thirty (Billups, Hamilton, Prince, RWallace, McDyess) 3 they haven't blinked twice now against Shaq (and Duncan and the Spurs have) Spurs 1 quick, slashing guards (I've been watching the Pistons all year here in Detroit and this seems to be a weakness) 2 Tim Duncan 3 easier path to the Finals
posted by BobbyC at 04:41 PM on June 07
Okay, Darko is the worst because of who Detroit could have drafted instead... hmmm... I'm no Yahoo! sports writer, but immediately I seemed to recall a certain Sam Bowie, who was terrible throughout his whole career, also drafted number 2, right ahead of a certain Michael Jordan, as well as Charles Barkley and John Stockton. But sure! Darko's the worst! Darko does dog it when he gets in some times, but he's playing behind a rather talented frontcourt in Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace and Antonio McDyess. Heck McDyess the former All-Star doesn't always seem to be trusted by Larry Brown. I don't think we can say how good Darko is until Detroit gets a new coach or he goes to another team.
posted by BobbyC at 02:01 PM on May 26
The article mentioned that Chapman was often described as the greatest high school basketball player Kentucky had produced (I believe Tim Couch was described the same way in football, although Shaun Alexander looks to be having a bit better NFL career). Chapman was good, but I'd say he wasn't better than Wes Unseld or Darrell Griffith who have high school, college and NBA titles between them. But their problem was that they were from Louisville, and what's worse, the West End. Even when he was at Kentucky, my mother didn't like him, because she knew Kentucky fans loved that he was white. Being a fan of Louisville, the arch-rival and largely black university, got me called n----- lover quite a bit at school. Perhaps the funniest thing is that winning changes a lot. Now that Pitino is at UL, and they made the Final Four, I have seen quite a few rural white people sporting UL gear. (I'm a white guy who grew up in the Louisville area and now lives in Detroit)
posted by BobbyC at 01:45 PM on May 18
You have to count on a good team falling apart, too. Like this year's TWolves who were picked by some to win the NBA title this year. I think the Celtics are actually kinda like the Knicks in that they have lots of people who are hard to trade - who will want Payton, Walker or Davis? They basically have Paul Pierce and some very young wing players. I think Pierce is really problematic. When he's on, he's one of those demoralizing players who can just hit anything he throws up. But ultimately that kind of player is disruptive to any team's offense if they are the first option. Pierce definitely needs to figure out how to get other people involved, because junk players confuse their teammates and make them stand around. I'm curious to see how long the Pistons can last... They won early last year, not having done the traditional 'lose in the Finals the first try and win it soon thereafter.' They basically came out of nowhere, having done well for two years and then reaching a title. It seems like Shaq should only have two or three years left and I think his dominant days are over as more and more seven footers come in the league. I think the teams that are liable to explode next year would be your Houstons or Clevelands. I think Indiana and Dallas might fall apart next year. Indiana has too many head cases...
posted by BobbyC at 11:29 AM on May 10
In my opinion the author was correct that Kareem's sky hook was the hardest shot to defend (even harder than the dunk). I think you have to assume in a discussion of 'hardest to defend' shots that all shots could be made, within reason. Obviously it's easy to defend a dunk by me because I can't dunk. Just step out of the way and I won't make the shot. Shot properly, the hook shot leaves the hand (and travels upward) with your body perpendicular to your defender. The entire width of your body separates the defender from the ball and thus they have to be considerably taller than you to block it (more than likely they would foul you trying to block you). If I could dunk, and you and I were the same height, you could get between me and the basket (again assuming both of us could jump that high). If I could shoot the hook (and we were the same height) you would be less able to get between me and the basket. Caveat - I'm 29, so don't call me an oldey. I also play Rip Hamilton style (shooting off picks and motion).
posted by BobbyC at 05:46 PM on February 15
Having flown to Beijing this Summer, I hope in twenty years the trip is easier... One of the major impediments to a global NBA is getting the players to travel. Or, at least, having a travel system that wouldn't be brutal.
posted by BobbyC at 08:48 PM on August 22
It wouldn't totally surprise me if DC broke out of last year's funk and turned in a very good year. Locally, Williamson was thought to be in Brown's doghouse for his defensive play (well, lack of). Corliss played well in the Finals but you could see his defensive unawareness exposed quite a bit at times. Rasheed and DC is a little scary, but they could turn into being very scary on the court, too.
posted by BobbyC at 04:24 PM on August 05
I think Wade will work well with Shaq. I say that more from seeing Wade in Conference USA - I think he can do the spot-up shooting. I believe Wade has a rather high FG% particularly for a rookie (I checked, it's .455% highest on the TEAM in the playoffs, .465% in the regular season). You don't get that from driving to the basket, commentators aside, that comes from a good midrange game. So Wade may be even better with Shaq, although that's without a sophomore jinx. I think Eddie Jones will be good with Wade and Shaq. Jones can slash, Wade can distribute and shoot. Maybe Haslem, Allen and Butler can platoon at the forward spots. I think Miami will have to pick up some free agents, maybe some diamond-in-the-rough rookies to make this work. I don't see this making Miami a Finals contender without another good player or two. This Miami lineup is not better than the Lakers were, imo. If Shaq goes on the revenge tear suggested by Bill Simmons and returns to a good playing weight, maybe that can help them challenge for the East's top spot. Maybe he just needs some controlled carbs.
posted by BobbyC at 09:08 PM on July 12
What MAY work is that Boozer is the anti-Okur. Boozer will do the hard, dirty rebounding, putback play, while Okur can shoot the three and occasionally slash inside. Okur is big and played well against Shaq in spots, but generally suffers the Euro problem - not big on fighting under the basket. And hey, I think Harpring will be challenging for a spot, too. When he went down he was the team's leading scorer. Granted Kirilenko cannot be put on the bench... But maybe Utah can be the Western Detroit.
posted by BobbyC at 08:14 PM on July 08
Somehow I didn't see lilnemo's post (maybe the browser cache?), so sorry for the duplication... I think I have a bit of a different angle, but I could have put it in his post.
posted by BobbyC at 12:08 PM on July 01
Sam Bowie is always trotted out as the bad choice. He was a bad choice. But the Blazers could have said "OK. We don't need this Jordan guy because we have Drexler. Let's draft the most talented player in the draft besides Jordan." What if they had taken Barkley for instance? Their decision to draft based on need wouldn't have looked so bad. I think the draft for height looks worse and worse every year. Someone is going to take Pavel Podkolzine and it ain't gonna be pretty. Joe D might not have drafted Carmelo also because of his propensity for tantrums. Sure Carmelo looks like he might have helped the Detroit offense, but their offense wasn't as bad as people claimed. It looked bad when you put them up against a similar defensive team, but their offense looked incredible at times against the Lakers.
posted by BobbyC at 07:15 AM on June 24
Emphasis on 'even without a supporting cast'! Because Houston has traded away their entire guard corps ( Moochie, Francis and Mobley ). If this goes through as reported, the third best player for Houston will be Eric Piatkowski! Since we discussed Ralph Wiley's passing - Wiley also predicted it would be McGrady who would become the next king of the league (not Kobe). I kinda hate see more of that East-to-West talent migration, but McGrady didn't do much for the East last year. I have a friend who theorizes that the East - West gap is due to the West having better General Managers, so they snag all the good players out of the East. I guess the Blazers GM is the exception (Rasheed Wallace, Jermaine O'Neal).
posted by BobbyC at 06:26 AM on June 22
Yes, Brown is coaching, btw.
posted by BobbyC at 09:04 AM on June 18
I think Wallace has already been added. I believe, last I read on this revolving door, that Wallace and Hamilton will both be added from the Pistons.
posted by BobbyC at 06:34 AM on June 18
Well, on Darko, yeah he looked very strange, but I think if you imagine yourself in his place - he's 18 (well, just turned 19), he's from Eastern Europe, speaks little English, doesn't get to play even though he's the number 2 pick, etc. - you could see how he ends up so out of place. I almost felt bad for him seeing the team picture with him staring at the camera, alone, behind everyone. Maybe the Pistons will get Vlade Divac this summer (who would be a good fit, sort of) to help Darko along. But wow did he ever look bad. The whole last quarter was quite the denoument from the game, if you will. Perhaps another thread is necessary but I'd like to speculate on the Lakers... I say Shaq gets traded to get any remaining value out of him. They get some high-profile coach (I bet Doc Rivers is mad he went with the C's). They build around Kobe. Maybe they don't make the playoffs next year. My crazy guess is Shaq goes to New Jersey for something like Martin and Collins. Although he is too slow for that, really. Maybe Shaq goes to Dallas? I can't think of a good slow team... Maybe New York?
posted by BobbyC at 07:46 PM on June 17
I think Tayshaun deserves consideration as MVP, but his offense is probably too inconsistent - Billups is a fine choice. Any of the starting five is a fine choice! But I am very much enjoying Tayshaun's vindication (versus the Carmelo Anthony pick)!
posted by BobbyC at 08:08 AM on June 14
As a homer, I have been annoyed by the general tone of the national media.* Leading up to the game, everyone proclaimed a Lakers sweep. Now after the game, the consensus seems to be that the Lakers weren't trying. I agree with Hal - they were trying all right, and it didn't work. Think of the missed layups and free throws early - Detroit could have put them away early and won by 20. I can't imagine Detroit winning before the seventh game, and I still have a hard time imagining them winning anyway (after the gore of the Eastern Conference Finals, last night's game had some real weenie fouls called to help Shaq along). I did figure they would have better offense because of the weakness of the Laker D (the Pistons two and three scorers, Sheed and Chauncey, going against two dudes with NO wheels). I also think the "Detroit should have taken Melo" people need to eat some crow. I didn't like Tayshaun at first because he's from Kentucky (Louisville fan), but perhaps Joe D was thinking about a Kobe stopper rather than yet another small forward who can score. Ask the Blazers how a team of Melo's works out... And maybe Darko will be good next year and the Pistons can sit on the Eastern Conference crown for a few more years... * - That's a level of annoyance commensurate with the fact that it is just a game.
posted by BobbyC at 11:01 AM on June 07
I seem to recall Charles Barkley talking in an interview about how hitting a baseball, he thought, was the hardest thing to do in sports. He added that even his grandma could hit a few baskets in the NBA... But you know I bet his grandma is just a good basketball player. I have a few criteria in my head, all arbitrary to make basketball look really hard. One is the out-of-shape index. Baseball has a lot of out-of-shape guys. Football has a few. Basketball has almost none (Barkley was only out-of-shape in the end, and then it showed). Basketball is about the only sport, especially team sport, where if you are playing, you are PLAYING. The ball can't go to a part of the court that doesn't concern you (you don't just play offense or defense). Even though a play may not be designed for you to score, you likely still have a role in it and need to be ready to react to its outcome (perhaps rebound the ball or pass it). I think this is why basketball is an attractive sport to people in other sports (say, Tony Gonzalez) - when you play there is always something happening.
posted by BobbyC at 05:24 PM on June 03
Well, if the Lakers are playing Samaki Walker big minutes, things could get ugly as he plays for the Miami Heat. Who would get the points if he scored? The opponent? Miami? Throw Tyronn Lue in there and you got some Florida sizzle! I guess, really, with your inclusion of Brian Shaw, also, that you were just trying to make a point about Lakers' lineups of the past... but I couldn't pass it up.
posted by BobbyC at 04:47 PM on June 02
posted by BobbyC at 04:45 PM on June 02
Dusted, I think I agree with the commentators for once (I'm a bit shaky on Doc Rivers, ordinarily). The fake-and-jump-into-the-defender play is a bit lame. It's one thing if the defender jumps into you and you jump straight up. It's another thing if the defender jumps straight up and you (the offensive player, like Miller) jump into them. That is an offensive foul, if it's anything.
posted by BobbyC at 08:35 AM on May 27
I'm pretty tired of this 'Pistons don't score' business, too. During the Milwaukee series they scored pretty well. In fact in Games 1 and 5, they played highly entertaining basketball, the kind the league makes commercials out of : 1 steal or crushing block 2 crisp outlet 3 dunk or layup. Sure, the opponent looks terrible, especially Milwaukee in Game 1 (there were several series in a row that went the same way. Milwaukee guard dribbles in the paint, loses the ball in a throng of Pistons, good outlet, Rip or Tayshaun or Chauncey or Ben with a dunk). Yes, I live in Detroit. Nelson is probably on his way out. Sports Guy has a good non-cliche column over at ESPN discussing the Mavs and other NBA issues.
posted by BobbyC at 08:35 AM on May 01
I like the title of this post. I would have liked it better if it turned out to be someone like Wang Zhi Zhi.
posted by BobbyC at 07:50 PM on April 18
While I think this sort of thing is useful, basketball is rather hard to break down. I suppose this makes up for the otherwise unaccountable, unobservable stats. There are certain players who just raise the energy level of the whole team, even if they don't contribute in the stats. You can always tell if you play the game yourself - if you start playing manic defense other people on your team will reach, move their feet, help out, dive on the floor, etc. You might only get 1 steal, but the whole team picks up... I imagine certain coaches, etc., like Isaiah, want to think that they intuitively can see these things happening on the floor and don't need stats to help them.
posted by BobbyC at 07:49 PM on April 18
My take on Shaq and Vlade - Shaq's year with 3.8 assists was likely an abberation, looking at all the other years. That was the first year with Phil and so probably the triangle offense got him a lot of assists, which have tailed off as the Lakers' quality of players has declined. Shaq gets a lot of assists from being a little outside the blocks and passing to a man who is cutting to the basket. The team has fewer and fewer folks capable of getting to the hoop. Vlade has many more and better scorers on his team, although I would argue, in general, he plays a more interesting game and with less athleticism to see him through. The Wiz have TWO members of the All-Ballhog team : please don't forget Jerry Stackhouse!
posted by BobbyC at 09:57 PM on April 14
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