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Archive for the ‘NBA’ Category

Same Ol’ Spurs — James Plays Passive, Now 0-5 in Finals vs S.A.

Posted by RichieZ23 on June 6, 2013

The narrative prior to Game 1 of the NBA Finals was how much LeBron James has evolved as a player. Six years ago, James was swept in the Finals by the Duncan-Parker-Ginobili led Spurs while James was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

With a more talented team via the Miami Heat, James can now get his revenge for 2007. LeBron is a completely different player since then. He is also a completely different player than in 2011, his first season in Miami that saw LeBron lose again in the Finals, this time to the Dallas Mavericks.

James finally broke though in 2012 as the Heat defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder for his first championship.

But in Game 1 of the 2013 Finals, James played like the LeBron of old. Forget about his stat-stuffing triple double that many will point to. Sure, 18 points, 10 assists, and a ridiculous game-high 18 rebounds is nothing to sneeze at. It’s a career game for many. And while the Spurs played good defense on James, too often he was too passive with the ball in his hands.

Lebron Game 1

James watched as the Heat fell behind 0-1 (Photo: Christian Petersen, Getty Images)

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Posted in NBA | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Dwight Taking Flight in 2012? — Will poor contracts cause the D12 reign to end in Orlando?

Posted by RichieZ23 on April 6, 2011

With the NBA playoffs approaching, the playoff seeds in the Eastern Conference are nearly set.

Chicago will most likely hang out to the No. 1 seed.  Miami or Boston will have the two and three slots, and Orlando has locked up the fourth.

It’s hard to imagine anyone other than one of the above four teams making it to the NBA Finals.  On the broad shoulders of Dwight Howard, the Orlando Magic will be looking to make its third straight appearance in the Conference Finals, and its second Finals appearance in three years.

The run in Orlando with D12 has been a success so far, even though falling short of the ultimate goal.  However, how much longer is Howard looking to stick around town?

How long will Howard's run in Orlando last? (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)

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Posted in NBA | 1 Comment »

Cavaliers Are Still Alive In Playoff Series Despite 32-point Embarrassment

Posted by RichieZ23 on May 12, 2010

Alright, just when did winning three games in a best-of-seven series win a team the series?  Anyone?  The last time I checked, you still have to win four games to advance, and the Boston Celtics have won just three so far.  Yet it seems to be a foregone conclusion to many people that the series is over, Lebron is bolting for New York, and he’s suddenly deserving of the MVP.

Get real people.

The Celtics have been all over James so far -- but the series is not over yet. (Photo by Michael Dwyer / AP)

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Boston Now Boasts Big Four: Celtics Will Go as Far as Rondo Takes Them

Posted by RichieZ23 on May 10, 2010

The past season was a historic one for Rajon Rondo.

In his fourth season, Rondo eclipsed career-highs in what seemed like every statistical category.  His 36.6 minutes, 50-percent from the field, 9.8 assists, 2.3 steals, and 13.7 points were all career bests for the former Kentucky Wildcat.

Even more impressive for Rondo was he broke the Celtics franchise-record for assists in a season, as his 794 assists surpassed the 60-year mark previously held by Hall-of-Famer Bob Cousy, who dropped 715 dimes back during the 1959-60 season.

Rajon Rondo has emerged as one of the league's top point guards, and is Boston's best player. (Photo by Nathaniel Butler/NBAE/Getty)

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Posted in NBA | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Note to NBA: Start Paying Attention to the Orlando Magic — They’re For Real

Posted by RichieZ23 on May 4, 2010

Are you kidding me?  How are people and the national media not seeing this?  All we keep hearing about as far as title contention is Kobe in Los Angeles, Lebron’s elbow and how healthy he is, and the Celtics and the experience they have.

You don’t hear a thing about the Orlando Magic yet.  And it’s an absolute joke.  Even tonight when they destroyed Atlanta 114-71, it was because Atlanta was tired and Orlando had rest.  Yes that is a reason, but it is also because Orlando is the vastly superior team.

The NBA is an individual driven sport, I think we all realize that.  From Wilt to Kareem, from Jordan to Kobe, the NBA markets individual athletes as their main attraction.  But how are the Orlando Magic not amongst the favorites to win the ‘Ship this year?

Because Dwight Howard couldn’t stay out of foul trouble in the first round?  Because they don’t have Lebron?  Because they don’t have Kobe?

Dwight Howard is the most physically dominating center in the game today, and is the forefront for what Orlando does offensively and defensively. (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)

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Posted in NBA | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Steve Nash Proves He — And the Suns — Are Still Amongst NBA Elite

Posted by RichieZ23 on May 3, 2010

You could hear the talk dwindling.

No more was Steve Nash’s name mentioned along with the other top-tier point guards across the league.  Gone were the glory days of his two-time MVP run when he dropped dimes at will and led ultra high-tempo Suns as the highest scoring team in the league.  He was getting too old.

In fact, sports writers even suggested it was D’Antoni’s scheme that made Nash what he is.  It wasn’t Nash’s court-vision, smarts, and unorthodox layups that won games, it was merely Mike D’Antoni’s scheme that made Nash what he is.  The best part in the slap-in-the-face article to Nash is below:

Steve Nash is still an elite point-guard in the NBA (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images)

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Let’s See What Leading-Scorer Kevin Durant Does When Facing Elimination

Posted by RichieZ23 on April 28, 2010

The Seattle SuperSonics Oklahoma City Thunder were the most improved team in the league this year improving from third-worst in the league last year, to a 50-32 this season, somehow landing them the eight and final seed in the Western Conference Playoffs.

Kevin Durant can make it rain on any jumper he wants. (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)

In the process Kevin Durant became the youngest player to ever lead the league in scoring, and won me a bet with my roommate made prior to the season that Durant would average more than Lebron.  His league-leading 30.1 points-per-game average helped the Sonics Thunder reach their first 50-win season since they relocated to Oklahoma City.

Durant has improved drastically over the his brief three-year career in the NBA.  He has increased his scoring average by five point every year, and this past season also led the Thunder in rebounds and steals.

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Posted in NBA | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Allen Iverson Proves Yet Again Why He’s Not A Champion

Posted by RichieZ23 on March 8, 2010

I’m not usually one to kick a player when they’re down. In all honesty I have, over the last few seasons, become a somewhat fan of Allen Iverson. The same Iverson who I disliked more than any other professional athlete for a good ten years or so.

But now comes reports of Iverson having gambling and alcohol issues, after taking a leave of absence from his team, the Philadelphia 76’ers to aid in his ailing four-year old daughter.

There are more important things than basketball to Iverson -- like drinking and gambling.

I support Iverson 100% in taking time away from basketball and handling family issues, especially when it relates to his children. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in NBA | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Knee Issues Could Potentially Hinder NBA Future of All-Star Paul

Posted by RichieZ23 on February 26, 2010

The human knee is quite possibly the most important part of the body in any form of physical athletics. Notice how I said physical, as poker is not a sport, regardless of whether it is on ESPN or not. Football, basketball, and soccer may be the three most demanding sports on the knee.

When you think about it, the elements and function of the knee are quite amazing: four bones operating together within an area of tendons, ligaments and cartilage.

However, think about how many high-profile athletes that have either had their careers shortened by knee injuries, or suffered a severe, or somewhat-severe knee injury and just weren’t the same player since.

Penny Hardaway comes to mind.  Chris Webber as well.  Even Gale Sayers. 

All three had knee issues in their career, and saw their careers spiral downwards as a direct result.

Recently in the NBA we’ve seen leading assist-man and best point guard in the league Chris Paul, sustain a knee injury that could potentially put him on a path similar to Penny or C-Web later in his career.

While he is under the age of 25, the injury still leaves reason to be concerned for future effects.
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Posted in NBA | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 24 Comments »

Shock and Awe: The Real Winners and Losers of the NBA Trade Deadline

Posted by RichieZ23 on February 24, 2010

I can’t remember a more exciting NBA trade-deadline in recent memory.  With it being almost a week since the deadline, I think enough time has passed to determine who has of now, come out ahead.

It was a pretty sweet deadline though.  What a barrage of trades that happened at or near the trade deadline this past Thursday, Feb. 18 at 3 p.m.  It felt like a shock-and-awe theory of war, with several teams pulling the trigger on league-changing deals, leaving many analysts and fans both in awe, unlike previous seasons with a quiet deadline with minimal trades.

Some teams added some missing pieces to a potential deep playoff run, others cleared cap-space for this summer’s free-agent bonanza, and others added a few picks to help them out later down the NBA road.

However, while all teams tried to get better, only a handful of teams actually did get better, whether it be now or down the road via draft or free agency.  While all of the trades didn’t happen right at the deadline, I’m including all trades that happened within five days of the deadline.
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Posted in NBA | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »