Thursday, December 10, 2009
You'll notice that the only two plays involving the Chicago Bulls and the Philadelphia 76ers were that they were on the receiving end of the highlight. It sums up the situation facing those teams right now.
In Sunday's power rankings, I wrote that Indiana Pacers head coach Jim O'Brien is my tip to be the most likely coach next to get the gun, but seeing the Chicago Bulls go down to the Atlanta Hawks by 35 points really means that Vinny Del Negro has stormed into favouritism.
It was the Bulls ninth loss in 10 games and second 30+ point hammering in the last three games. In between? A two point loss to the New Jersey Nets, who by the way won on the road for the first time this season.
There's no fight in the Bulls and it they give up too easily. It hasn't been a great year for sophomore Derrick Rose which has been really surprising. He was so good last year, especially in the playoffs, but he looks unsure of himself at the moment.
At 7-13, Chicago starts a six-game homestand tomorrow night which Del Negro's fate will likely be decided by, but, with the Celtics and Lakers coming to town, if I was a betting man, I'd have a few bob on Vinny to be unemployed by Christmas.
The euphoria of the second coming of Allen Iverson as 76er has worn off pretty quickly.
Kate Fagan of the Philadelphia Inquirer "On Monday night in Iverson's emotional return to the Sixers, 20,664 people packed the Wachovia Center. Last night, that number dropped to 12,136.
Along with the attendance, so too dropped Iverson's effectiveness. He played 33 minutes, scoring 11 points on 3-for-10 shooting with three assists, six turnovers and no rebounds.
Last night's game should have been the streak's end: The Sixers were at home, playing an injury-wracked opponent, a team with double-digit losses."
The Philly faithful saw Iverson and fell in love for one brief encounter, but the 11 straight losses is just too much. For the record, Philadelphia is only better than the New Jersey Nets in the eastern conference.
Maybe Philly's head coach Eddie Jordan will also be looking for another job soon. If so, it will mean he has been sacked twice in 12 months.
Is this really Tom Cruise?
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
LeBron James posturing and dancing upset Chicago Bulls star Joakim Noah.
Sitting on the bench, Noah said something to James to the effect of "You're not a very good dancer".
LeBron took offence and the biggest pussy-est scuffle in NBA history broke out.
James didn't need to approach Noah. Nothing was going to happen physically, and LeBron was just being the smaller man of the two.
It's exactly this type of incident that James needs to be at least spoken to about by Cavaliers management.
There was no need for him to go over to Noah. But, because head coach Mike Brown and GM Danny Ferry are merely more of LeBron's "yes" men, no action was apparently taken.
Just like last year in the playoffs when LeBron sulked his way off the court after the Orlando Magic had just dispatched the Cavs.
LeBron's "I don't shake hands" was accepted as a manly thing to do by Cavs management.
Somebody involved with the Cavs needs to get the balls to say something that LeBron might not like, because otherwise he will just treat the organization with little or no respect.
One of the stupidest hoaxes comes from Utah.
Apparently up to 7,500 fans turned up expecting to see the real Michael Jordan take on Bryon Russell (or Byron, whatever his f*cking name is) in a charity one-on-one match.
This is an extension of the challenge Russell issued after Jordan mentioned him during his Hall of Fame induction speech.
What gets me is that Russell couldn't even tie Jordan's shoes when they were both in the NBA, so why does he think he could beat him in a one-on-one game now?
All this is, is Russell desperately trying to cling onto anything that connects him to Jordan other than being the guy that MJ nailed his real final shot of his career over.
Every kid wants to go to work with their Dad for a day. It's a bit different for this kid.
More insight into the Mike D'Antoni-Nate Robinson fued.
Robinson might have some of the MSG crowd behind him (chanting for his name), but D'Antoni has the support of Knicks GM Donnie Walsh.
I'm fully in D'Antoni's corner on this one. The Knicks are a bad team and Robinson hasn't been taking his business seriously.
I have been a critic of D'Antoni in the past, saying that he lacks the discipline required to coach a team like the Knicks, but he's definately got my respect on this decision.
Oh yeah, the Knicks are 3-1 with Robinson DNP-CD'd.
Monday, December 7, 2009
- LA LAKERS - Boredom appears to be the only real obstacle facing the Lakers face right now. Phil Jackson must be hoping it doesn't turn Ron Artest back to the (halftime)bottle.
- BOSTON CELTICS - Boston won its four road games this week by a combined 50 points. Therefore, the C's are probably not too daunted by playing three of their next four on the road.
- ORLANDO MAGIC - The Magic are going about their business quietly, and I think they remain the biggest threat to both the Lakers and Celtics—yes, even more so than the Cavs.
- CLEVELAND CAVALIERS - LeBron has got the Cavs playing pretty well, but on form, they are still only third best team in the east. If LeBron does shoot through next year, do you think that Dan Gilbert would be interested in retiring the No. 23 league wide?
- DENVER NUGGETS - The only real blotch on the Nuggets season so far has been the losses to the Clippers and Timberwolves. Still, Denver is off to its best 20-game start in franchise history.
- ATLANTA HAWKS - Atlanta smoked Toronto for 146 points but needed only 80 points to beat Dallas on Saturday night, which was interesting considering the Hawks missed 20 straight field goals during one stretch.
- PHOENIX SUNS - The losses to the Knicks and Cavs can't be overlooked. Just a week ago, Phoenix looked like they were a serious contender, but that doesn't seem as believable anymore.
- PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS - What a blow it was for the Blazers and any basketball fan to see Oden go down again. However, it may give Portland even more incentive to try to deal Andre Miller as soon as the December 15 deadline passes.
- DALLAS MAVERICKS - Add the Memphis Grizzlies to the Mavericks list of boogie teams. Dallas shot a season low 35-percent and scored a season low 82 points en route to their third straight loss in Memphis on Wednesday.
- HOUSTON ROCKETS - Seeing Greg Oden go down would have been an untimely reminder to the Rockets that they are still without Yao. Luis Scola once again displayed his super talent, but the Rockets still lost again to the Blazers.
- OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER - I was expecting more from the Thunder against the Celtics. Is Kevin Durant a starter in this years All-Star game? He deserves it.
- SAN ANTONIO SPURS - I know the Spurs don't care about what happens in November and December, but losing both games at home to the Celtics and Nuggets was a pretty poor effort by San Antonio's standards.
- UTAH JAZZ - Utah couldn't beat the Timberwolves on Saturday, so just how are they going to fair this week where they face the Lakers twice, San Antonio and Orlando?
- MIAMI HEAT - For all of Miami's struggles of late, Dwyane Wade has a knack for saving his absolute best form for when he faces the league's best. However, he needs to show it against opponents not named Bryant, James or Roy.
- SACRAMENTO KINGS - The Kings are 1-7 on the road but a tidy 8-3 at Arco, so by the looks of it they'll need every advantage they gain at home if they are to stay within reach of the playoffs.
- MILWAUKEE BUCKS - The wheels aren't completely off in Milwaukee, but the Bucks have dropped seven of the last eight and are at Boston next. Brandon Jennings hasn't shot better than 40-percent from the field more than once in the last eight games.
- MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES - The Grizzlies 16-point blowout of the Mavericks was impressive not because of Memphis' offensive, rather its defense, especially on Dirk Nowitzki. It will be put to the test again this week against LeBron James and Kevin Durant.
- NEW ORLEANS HORNETS - The key to New Orleans season might not rest on the return of Chris Paul. Instead, it could come down to how David West snaps out of his early season funk.
- TORONTO RAPTORS - The Raptors finally stood up for themselves against the Wizards and Bulls after Atlanta humiliated them earlier in the week. This could be a turning point in the season, but most likely it will be just a mirage.
- LA CLIPPERS - That the Clippers shot 35-percent but still crushed the Indiana Pacers says quite a lot...about Indiana.
- DETROIT PISTONS - Last year Ben Wallace looked like bored and done with playing basketball. On Friday night he had four monster dunks on five field goals and he already has half as many rebounds this year as he had all of last season. He's back.
- CHARLOTTE BOBCATS - By becoming the first team to lose to the New Jersey Nets this year, it confirmed what I'd thought for a while. The Bobcats aren't very good.
- WASHINGTON WIZARDS - Every time I think Earl Boykins is little more than a crowd pleaser, he keeps proving me wrong. His game-winning free throws against the Bucks showed that he's got smarts much bigger than his size.
- GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS - Five-game road trips are never easy, but four of the Warriors opponents this week have records south of .500. It will be very interesting to see how they play without Don Nelson who'll miss the entire trip.
- CHICAGO BULLS - Joakim Noah was right to call LeBron out for his dancing, because that's Shaq's gig. If only the rest of the Bulls team had Noah's attitude they wouldn't be four games below .500.
- INDIANA PACERS - I just can't help but wonder how Indiana knocked off the Celtics but have won just twice in 11 games since. With Lawrence Frank done, Jim O'Brien must be the bookies favourite to the next coach to go.
- NEW YORK KNICKS - The Nate Robinson-Mike D'Antoni feud has stretched to three games. If Robinson needs reminding about his attitude, maybe he should watch this again.
- MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES - With Kevin Love's impressive numbers in his return and two wins from four games made it easily the T'Wolves best week of the season. Still a lot of work to do, but maybe this is the start.
- PHILADELPHIA 76ERS - Allen Iverson's return to Philadelphia began with tears and I have a feeling it will end that way too. Philly has lost nine straight so for Iverson; it will probably feel like he's never left.
- NEW JERSEY NETS - The Nets breakthrough victory was a relief no doubt, but they still need another nine wins to avoid the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers(9-73) for the worst season ever. See, there's a reason to watch the Nets this year.
Questions, comments or suggestions email:
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Should Tiger make a full confession? Tell us more, tell us everything? He can if he wants or if he doesn't want to. Won't change my opinion of him. It might change others but who cares?
Like any athlete who spends a lot of time on the road, Tiger Woods must have women - skanky and sexy - absolutely heaving themselves at him everywhere he goes.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
The situation I'm referring to is in Sacramento. The Kings are a modest 8-8, half a game out of eighth playoff spot in the west.
It doesn't sound like a great record, but given that they are 7-4 without guard Kevin Martin and his 30-ppg average, some Kings fans are starting to wonder if they are better off without him.
Martin is a big time scorer and has been getting to the line almost 10 times per game over the last four seasons.
There are two reasons why I would consider trading him. First, Martin does little else other than score the ball. He only gets a hand full of rebounds and his career high in assists is 2.7-per game.
For a player who is on the floor as much as he is (37-minutes per game over the last four seasons), it's not good enough.
The second reason is that Martin is injury prone. While no player chooses to become injured all the time, it's hard not to notice the fact that Martin missed 21 games in 2007-08, 31 last year and he's slated to miss at least another 15 on top of the 11 he's missed already with his fractured wrist.
Sacramento has a bright future with Tyreke Evans, Donte Green and Jason Thompson so maybe it's time they put out a few feelers out for Martin to see what they can get for him.
Certainly the Kings could use another scorer, just one who isn't injured as often as Martin.
Still in the northeast and the despite boasting a 12-7 record, all is not well with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Portland lost at home to the Memphis Grizzlies last Friday, then got dumped by the Utah Jazz a night later.
The Blazers seem to have too much offense. Brandon Roy is the teams undisputed leader. He's easily in the top 10 players in the league but this year his numbers are down. He's scoring about three points per game less than last year, but more importantly, despite taking fewer field goals, his percentage is down also.
Part of the reason stems from the fact that Greg Oden is finally becoming an option in Portland's offense. However, the problem is that he is taking up the lane more than he has done in the past, and that means that Roy - who loves to attack the hoop - can't get into the paint as often as he would like.
Portland has a brilliant head coach in Nate McMillan. He is one of the most underrated coaches in the league and because the Blazers made the playoffs last season, losses like the one at home to Memphis weren't part of the plan this year.
I think that it will all turn out ok for the Blazers. They are still young but behind Roy and Aldridge, they have a solid core. They're not quite ready to win it all just yet, but watch out in two or three years time.
I think the Philadelphia 76ers would be mad to sign Allen Iverson.
On Monday, before the game against the Dallas Mavericks, Iverson and his entourage met with Sixers GM Ed Stefanski and head coach Eddie Jordan.
And, it appears that Philadelphia will roll the dice with their former golden boy.
This will end in tears. Iverson and Philly are done. They had 11 sometimes good years together, but a reunion now would be a disaster.
Iverson clearly has absolutely no desire to win a championship.
If he did, he wouldn't be going to play for Philadelphia again. Instead he would pester a team like the Lakers, Cavs or Celtics, telling them he's willing to do whatever he can to get his hands on the Larry O'Brien trophy.
But, nope. He wants to go back to being a ball hog in Philadelphia.
While the Sixers season isn't going to well (they've lost seven straight), the young nucleas of players they have such as Lou Williams and Marreese Speights gives Philadelphia a bright future. One that gets dimmed if Iverson returns.
Iverson should know also that the only reason the Sixers are interested is because of the spate of injuries they've suffered. Otherwise, they wouldn't consider it.
Nope, Iverson's time as a Sixer should be over. There's just no way that this story has a fairytale ending.