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Found 63 results

  1. The points per game say it all: 2003-2004: 21.0 2004-2005: 20.8 2005-2006: 26.9 2006-2007: 28.5 2007-2008: 25.7 2008-2009: 22.8 2009-2010: 28.2 2010-2011: 25.6 2011-2012: 22.6 2012-2013: 28.7 2013-2014: 27.4 2014-2015: 24.2 2015-2016: 21.4
  2. "It's Showtime: Why The Cavs and Warriors in the NBA Finals is the Best Thing for Basketball" by Anthony J. Fredella on straighthoops.com
  3. Here is to the Wizards. They made the playoffs. Do you realize they have had the aggregate worst record in the NBA since 2000. They probably had one of the worst records between around 1980 and 2000. They have been a disappointing team. ....and I've followed them virtually all of that time. I started watching them way back....in Baltimore...When Wes Unseld turned them into a fearsome team and Earl Monroe was a one of a kind unstoppable offensive whirlwind. They had other great players back then including the incredibly powerful Gus Johnson. And then the team got BETTER. They won a championship in the late 1970's had an excellent team....and a couple of dismal decades.... So it is good to see this team with some young stars plus some wise stable veterans finally make the playoffs. The Washington Post has an astonishing statistical look at the Wizards season thanks to 6 cameras attached to the tops of arenas catching every moment of every game. Here is an astonishing little detail one might never know: John Wall basically controls the ball more than any other player on any other team. Lots of other little nuggets in the story. In any case good luck Wizards in the Playoffs. You would have made Abe Pollin proud. --- [The following posts have been split into separate threads: Wes Unseld (DonRocks)]
  4. Stephen Curry: His unique version: Float Like a Butterfly Sting Like a Bee Stephen Curry has surprisingly risen to the very upper echelon's of professional basketball. Last year he led his team, the Golden State Warriors to a tremendous regular season record and an NBA championship. He was the league MVP. His play epitomizes the changing nature of the pro game of basketball-> more outside in than inside out. His ascendancy is surprising. While he was a relatively high draft choice, he had been a very slight shooting guard from a small school. He only played point guard in his last year of college so he was not an accomplished ball handler. His father, though, was a noted NBA sharpshooter before him. Curry's improvement is spectacular. He is clearly one of the premier, most important, most valuable players in professional basketball at the moment. With all that Curry is extraordinarily fun to watch. He really seems to float, not run. Its as if his feet and coordinated extraordinary ball control are moving in a different dimension but all in sync and only he knows where he and the ball are going. On top of that he has the deadliest outside shot, with a quick release. He is dangerous. And to top it off, he is a "dancing celebrating athlete in his prime". Watch him play and dance. Entirely different but reminiscent of Mohammed Ali in his fighting, floating, stinging prime. "Best of Steph Curry's Incredible Start" on espn.go.com
  5. Among the great athletes of the 20th century Julius Erving, Dr. J, deserves mention among the most famous, most relevant, best and most impactful. He played professional basketball from 1971 to 1987, 11 years in the NBA for Philadelphia, five years in the ABA for two different teams. Dr J, who has been referenced here quite a bit, albeit without a thread, introduced artistic soaring, starting from the outer edge of the court slam dunking to the NBA. He was certainly not the first, but he elevated it and turned it into a "thing", now, and for 3 decades one of the most commented and revered parts of the game. During his first five years of professional ball he played in the upstart ABA, winning two championships and dominated his team and the league, at times leading his team in points rebounds assists and guarding the best forward on the other team. In the NBA he led a Philadelphia team that kept competing for a championship all the while featuring the individual play of stars, (like Erving) while negating the team game. Frankly I got to watch him a bit in the 70's and 80's. In the 70's I saw him play for the Nets against a Denver team with a similarly talented super duper star, David Thompson, wherein they both elevated their games to lead their teams and created one of the more memorable sporting events I've ever seen. Dr J is among the 50 great basketball players of all time, appropriately so. Some of his most startling plays..... and then a look at his ABA slam dunk competition against among others David Thompson.....
  6. I think what you say is perfectly reasonable. Ironically, I remember, or at least think I remember (visually remember), Walton better from college than I do the pros - I have this film in my mind of him running in to receive an alley-oop pass, jumping up, catching it in mid-air, and laying it in off the board. (At some point, weren't alley-oop passes illegal somewhere?) Also ironically, it was Walton who first gave LeBron James so much hype - he was the on-court commentator for James' nationally televised high-school game, and I distinctly remember him saying, "[LeBron James] is the best high school player I have ever seen." Perhaps most interesting of all: I bet that if you asked self-described "NBA fans" which team(s) Bill Walton played for, the majority of them - perhaps the vast majority of them - would say "Portland" (where he won his championship) "Boston" (where he played with Bird and won his second championship, and how do we not have a thread on Larry Legend?) or "Portland and Boston." In reality, the team he spent the most time with was the Clippers which is doubly amazing because they ended up being right there, in Los Angeles, where he rose to stardom. Bill Walton's NBA stats are incredibly mediocre: 13.3 points per game, 10.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 2.2 blocks. He *never* averaged more than 18.9 ppg. But man, did he come out (forgive me) Blazing, averaging 13.5 rebounds per game over his first four seasons, and winning it all in 1976-1977. That's when he began suffering from chronic injuries so severe that he couldn't overcome them - this is a good article: "The Ecstasy and the Agony" by Shaun Powell on sportsonearth.com I'm pretty sure that if it wasn't for his college career, Bill Walton would not be in the Hall of Fame - what he did in college was so extreme that it sort-of "carried over" into the pros, and his reputation tagged along with it. He was great in the NBA, but it was for such a preciously brief period that few remember, but man oh man was he good in college - first-team all-time college player for sure (you'd have to move him to power forward to let Alcindor play center). This would make a great thread - who else would be on it? Maravich for sure. Christian Laettner? Oscar Robertson? Adrian Dantley? This would be one heck of a tough team to fill based *exclusively* on the players' college record, and completely ignoring what they did in the pros. Dave, you should start a thread and see what you come up with. "When Healthy, How Good was Bill Walton?" on basketballforum.com
  7. Admittedly I'm a basketball junkie. Its nice to have an outlet like this section of DR.com. I can rip off a quick piece without the need to create my own blog, be an editor, research, write, rewrite, edit, find and place pictures, and spend an enormous amount of time on each piece. This is easier, quicker. Thanks, Don. But I found this article, "Kevin Love: Overrated, Underrated, or Properly Rated?" about the ongoing Kevin Love trade, written by Bill Simmons to include a wonderful piece that completely captures the unique basketball brilliance that made Barkley one of the signature players of the NBA. Simmons is the editor of Grantland a repository of smart and clever writers about sports. Simmon's expertise is basketball. He is an unabashed junkie, a fan, a Boston Celtics homer, and combines love of the game with research and wonderful writing. In the above referenced article he strives to dissect the Kevin Love trade to Cleveland matching Love up with LeBron James. Its a high risk trade on behalf of both teams. Cleveland is giving up someone who could develop into an all-time all star, Andrew Wiggins before he ever plays a game in the NBA. Love is a current star, but is not an all-time transcendent player. Wiggins might develop into one of those unique players. Wiggins almost assuredly couldn't pair with LeBron at this point and contribute the strengths that Love can provide right now. The trade offers drama and its consequences or who made out best won't be decided for years to come. Meanwhile matching Love with Lebron today creates the possibility of an instant top of the line contender for NBA championship honors for next season and possibly a couple of seasons. Simmons' articles often include long discourses on NBA history and various stars. He has an inimitable style of writing with catchy phrases and thoughts. I thought he hit a home run in this one especially as he compared Love to Barkley when Barkley was traded in his prime. Simmons acknowledges Love is no Barkley and here are his thoughts on "Sir Charles" when he was at his best...... (my bolding of certain lines below) I agree with Simmons. During Barkley's early years in Philadelphia I often purchased packages of games to the Wizards/Bullets. The Bullets and 76ers played often. Barkley was a magical player with a magical dimension. Nobody has played quite like him before or since. When Barkley grabbed a rebound on the defensive side and turned to race down the court on a drive, the seas would part. No player would dare to get in his way. No player has had so much bulk, racing at so much speed, hell bent toward the basket. I sat in the stands and wanted to get out of the way. He was SCARY. Scary good and talented. But forget what I write. Reread Simmons above. "Barkley a tornado with legs"....."F---this I'm getting out of the way" That is exactly as I recall him. Never seen anything like it, before or since.
  8. Lonzo Ball, I fear, is somewhat overrated, has too much baggage, and might be a disappointment in the NBA. Look at his stat line this year: 14.6 points, 6 rebounds, 7.6 assists. That's very impressive, especially for a freshman, and especially in the assists category. However, his shooting technique is extremely flawed, and he's not mature enough to tell his father to back off. Yes, he can shoot an open 3, but his free-throw percentage this year is 67.3% - think about that for a moment. He's big and quick, he can jump, and he can pass very well, but he is a big risk - my dark side hopes the Lakers pass on him at #2, just to irk his father. I believe Lonzo Ball will be a good NBA player, but I'm not convinced he'll be the superstar his father claims he already is. Feb 1, 2017 - "Why Lonzo Ball Isn't the Surefire NBA Superstar Some People Seem To Think He Is" by Colin Ward-Henninger on cbssports.com
  9. Selected in the 2013 NBA draft with the #15 pick in the first round by the Milwaukee Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo is a name you may not yet know, but may be forced to learn to spell and pronounce sometime in the near future. Born in Greece to Nigerian immigrant parents, Antetokounmpo is more commonly known by his American nickname, an embarrassing term which speaks more about Americans than him (you can find it easily on the internet; I refuse to go along with it even though it's more laziness than malice). This is a very obscure statistic, and it's surely one that was made up to demonstrate what a complete season Antetokounmpo is having for Milwaukee, but this year, he could become the first player in NBA history to average (take a deep breath) ... 20 points-per-game, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. Granted, that's a tailor-made statistic, but it *does* reflect what an all-around player this man is - he is the Bucks' *playmaker*, just as often playing point guard as small forward, and he's 6'11". Pundits are saying that Antetokounmpo is "Next" - and what they mean by that is: After the James's, Currys, etc. step down, who will fill their shoes? They're saying that Giannis Antetokounmpo is going to be in that group - remember him: You'll be glad you did. "Add Buzzer-Beater to Antetokounmpo's Superstar Résumé" by Ohm Youngmisuk on espn.com
  10. Sometimes, when I'm watching a basketball game, I get bored, and decide to focus on a single player - not looking at the ball; just that one, single player ... it sounds wacky, but I get quite a bit out of it, and learn a whole lot about how that player operates. In the past few minutes, it has been #5 for the Portland Trail Blazers, Rodney Hood, who has also played for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Utah Jazz - in college, he played for Duke after transferring from Mississippi State. My initial impression of Hood is that he's very big (he's 6'8"), and also a step too slow for playing so far out of the paint - he has gotten burned a couple of times based on his lack of quickness, and I wonder if he'd have done better in the NBA of 20-years ago. Anyone who thinks this is a crazy way to watch a basketball game should try it, even if only for ten minutes - you can really get a feel for what a player is doing, and how he plays. I "know" Rodney Hood's game a lot better now than I did just 20-minutes ago. With 5:23 left in the 3rd quarter, he's covering Stephen Curry. He just drove strong to the hoop, and missed a dunk, but was fouled hard by Draymond Green - Hood is a lefty, and sank both free throws - he now has 9 points coming off the bench.
  11. I'm running out the door, and don't have time to read your post right now (much less the article), but I'm glancing at the Bucks-76ers - I've come to the sad conclusion that I no longer particularly like watching NBA basketball - and I don't know what else it could be than the 3-point shot. Steph Curry was a pioneer in beating the system (and ruining the game). However, I don't blame him at all - he just maximized his advantage based on the current rules - Grinnell College started it all. PS - Joel Embiid just this second had one of the best individual efforts I've seen in quite awhile ... with about 7:30 remaining in the 4th.
  12. As discussions swirl around the GS Warriors, the Cleveland Cavs and other teams, I keep going back to my favorite basketball "dynasty" (really meaning mini dynasty) of all time; the Kniicks from 69-70 to 72-73. Four years in the playoffs, three years in the NBA finals and two NBA championships. Very long ago. I realize that. I suspect that Steve R has memories of this mini dynasty. Any others? Here are some interesting elements to that team: For 3 of those 4 years they allowed the fewest points per game in the league. In the 4th year I think they allowed the third fewest points. They won championships with defense. They might have been the greatest passing team of all time; and did so while spreading the ball to the entire team with every player being a potential shooter and with no player dominating the shooting stats by any stretch of the imagination. Possibly the most balanced scoring of any championship team of any period. Completely unusual and even more balanced in that regard than other teams that approached ball distribution (thinking 2014 Spurs team as the most recent example and the 2004 Detroit Pistons before them). The Knicks of that earlier era simply spread the shots around more evenly than either of these two teams. Shooting stats from the team in the 69-70 season: (see below) The 69-70 team developed as a result of what had to be one of the great trades in the history of the NBA from the previous season, (68-69). Midseason the Knicks dealt the big talented but erratic Center Walt Bellamy and their starting point guard, Howard Komives to the Detroit Pistons and the Pistons sent forward Dave Debusschere to the Knicks. Reed became the starting center, Debusschere was the starting power forward and Walt Frazier became the starting point guard. From mid season on the Knicks developed into a league power. The enigma and missing piece was who would be the small forward, Bradley or Cazzie Russell. Cazzie was the better offensive player and scorer. Bradley fit Coach Red Holzman's scheme better. Holtzman put Bradley in the starter's role and it clicked. The 69-70 team was the epitome of this spread it around type offense, but it continued to operate in the same manner over the next 4 seasons; (through 72-73 another championship season and one additional year, as Debusschere, Reed, and Lucas remained with the team). It wasn't until Reed, Debusschere and Lucas left that shot attempts skewed more toward Frazier, Monroe, and thirdly Bradley. Remarkably when Earl the Pearl first joined the Knicks he changed from one of the leagues leading offensive weapons and leading shot takers, to the fifth option. He sacrificed his offensive orientation to be part of the team concept. I was lucky to watch them a fair amount. I moved to Baltimore for college and got to see Bullets/Knicks games in Baltimore. Possibly the greatest, most fierce mano a mano matchups in NBA history. Reed vs. Unseld, two height deficient Centers who were muscular physical brutes. (they must have crushed one another every game). Even more ferocious were the man on man battles between Debusschere and Gus Johnson two of the most rugged players in the league with Johnson additionally being one of the early skywalkers. Watching Bradley and Jack Marin play was fascinating in a different way. Those two guys covered a lot of ground from one side of the court to the other, moving out to the perimeter for outside shots. Man, those two guys were always grabbing and clutching. The creme de la creme matchup was the artistry between Earl Monroe and Walt Frazier. Mr offense vs Mr Defense. The Bullets emphasized offense, being one of the highest scoring teams in the league, the Knicks emphasized defense, being the league leaders. Over the course of a season neither team dominated, while the matchups and games were always fascinating. Everyone on those old Knicks could pass. Every player. The only starter who might not have been a stellar passer was Reed...but when you watched those games the Knicks always had a teammate in Reed's eyesight. He became a good passer and that coach and the teammates helped him become one. Well its over 40 years later...so who cares? Possibly Steve R, who related this great tale that I'm sure every star struck kid who idolized pro's would love to experience. (Steve R Schooling Earl the Pearl on the Playgrounds) As the current NBA season moves along, the Warriors with their great scorers also face defensive problems: players such as Harden, DeRozan, Westbrook, and Davis, all averaging over 30 pts a game, are monopolizing the ball; the Spurs play this Knicks type game, though nobody has ever distributed the ball like the Knicks....and the Cavs have the remarkable Lebron James..who admittedly makes his teammates a stellar team....I still yearn for those Knicks. PS (undoubtedly if one looks at old tapes of those games and that era today's players are more athletic. Still I maintain that Reed would be a star in today's game. He has a midrange jumpshot. How many of today's centers can do that? Uh...maybe one or two. He was amazingly tough against one and all including the giants of that time such as Chamberlain and Kareem. I can't see how anyone could control Monroe. His offensive moves were remarkably different and defied defensive efforts. If there was anyone who was as rugged and indefatigable as Debusschere he would probably be the all time best linebacker in all of football. I'd love to see Frazier play against today's guards. Besides passing his shooting was based on a sense of how to beat the defense, not just pure athleticism (like Larry Bird in a way). That team would be strong today. ....and getting back to Earl the Pearl. I defy anyone to come up with any player who could successfully defend against Earl the Pearl at any point in basketball history...
  13. Don: I think this is the ONLY great 17 year run characterized by a single coach and a single starter. The ONLY one. Simply unprecedented. One other remarkable thing about this run of coach/player/superstar and many many changing parts: Their style of play has changed ...and changed dramatically over this run. In the early years Duncan was the hub of the offense and was a "twin tower" with David Robinson. Robinson, who had been a huge star in his own right graciously moved from being the offensive highlight of the team and put even more effort into defense...and Tim Duncan was the offensive focus. Then over many years the team changed and kept changing in composition...and over the last several years especially as Duncan has aged the focus of the offense changed considerably. Between the Robinson years and the more recent years...a different offensive focus arose as Parker and Ginobelli became stars in their own right and style and partook in 4 of the 5 championships while becoming stars in their own right. Parker significantly evolved as he added passing to his repertoire and his remarkable ability to penetrate, along with developing a reliable jump shot. Ginobelli is a remarkable player in his own right. In the last couple of years the team evolved again. This particular team this year remarkably showed off an exquisite passing attack spread throughout the team. So many players contributed in this thorough passing attack. Really remarkable that an entire team participated. I particularly found it fascinating in that Tiago Splitter, who looked like a big stiff to me, became the recipient and the passer of so many effective incredibly quick "touch passes" that resulted in baskets. Was he capable of this before he joined the Spurs? I doubt it. Finally this article expounded on advanced metrics by stats.com that chart things like "miles run by the team" spacing, and other advanced metrics that work to explain this transformation. The spurs outran the Heat by almost 1 mile in their 3rd and 4th games...and outpassed them by over 100 passes per game in that dominant stretch. Of relevance here: within the world of basketball, and often publicized, Coach "Pop" is well noted as a foodie. Last year, after losing the championship, two long time assistant coaches left to take over other pro teams and two new assistant coaches joined the team. One thing they noted was that at team and group preparatory meetings there diets were going to change from beer and burgers to wine and fish and finer dining. Maybe its Coach Pop's foodie obsession that has helped fuel this extended period of excellence. Were the Spurs that great in this series or the Heat that bad? I'm not sure. But it was a dominant victory during a long stretch of excellence.
  14. An interesting article analyzing the tremendous season the Milwaukee Bucks are having, currently and for much of the season, leading the NBA in wins and winning percentage attributes much of their success to the changes instituted by Coach Mike Budenholzer. Budenholzer had one or two excellent coaching seasons turning the Atlanta Hawks into a playoff contender with a great regular season record, wherein he altered their game. He was a long time assistant under Coach Pop at San Diego. He took over from Jason Kidd, and Kidd's replacement from last season. Hmmm. Must admit Jason Kidd was one of my favorite players to watch, was an all time star, had a dramatic impact on teams that pushed them to winning records, seemed to carry that throughout his career,, even into the doddering end of his career and was clearly a player who had "coach" written all over him. Alas his coaching tenure's have also come with problems and his results as a coach didn't mirror his results as a player. Budenholzer has done very well...and this Milwaukee team has changed its character and is playing at an excellent level with a variety of changes that reflect the coaching changes. The article --- The 3-Point Shot (DonRocks)
  15. In the midst of the NBA playoffs, the Warriors have beaten the Houston Rockets twice; once in which Stephen Curry played only 20 minutes, lit up the scoring, then got hurt and sat for the rest of the rout(game). In the 2nd match up, Curry didn't play due to injury...opening up tremendous opportunities for Houston. Didn't pan out though as the Golden State Warriors won again, even without Curry. Of course there could be a variety of reasons for the results...but one suggestion is that James Harden's defense is simply not that stellar. Below a video of some of his shining moments on defense: "Great Moments in James Harden Defensive History" on espn.go.com
  16. I'm not a fan of listicles, but since this is Sports Illustrated, I'll give them the benefit of this one: "Roundtable: NBA All-Time Starting Five?" on si.com
  17. The first time I saw LeBron James play was on the nationally televised high school game against Oak Hill Academy. Before the game, then-announcer Bill Walton came right out and said that James was 'the best high school player he had ever seen.' In that game, James scored 31, with 13 rebounds and 6 assists; yet, only went 12-25 from the field. There were moments of greatness, but the incredible pressure of national TV had clearly compromised his performance. No longer. "History! LeBron Nets 61, Heat Top Bobcats, 124-107" by Tim Reynolds on abcnews.com In a career-high scoring effort, James shot 22-33 from the field, including his first *eight* 3-point attempts. He scored 25 points in the 3rd quarter alone. James makes greatness look easy - he dominates without looking like he's dominating. Who do you go with right now, James or Durant? It's so nice having both to see, to witness. Career stats
  18. Did we really not have a thread on Wilt Chamberlain? I don't have much to say that hasn't already been said, but I'd like to list for everyone Chamberlain's single-season rebounds-per-game average in the playoffs over the course of three different decades: 1959-1960: 25.8 1960-1961: 23.0 1961-1962: 26.6 1963-1964: 25.2 1964-1965: 27.2 1965-1966: 30.2 1966-1967: 29.1 1967-1968: 24.7 1968-1969: 24.7 1969-1970: 22.2 1970-1971: 20.2 1971-1972: 21.0 1972-1973: 22.5 If I had to name five athletes of the 20th century who had the most imposing statistics, in any sport, Wilt Chamberlain would be on that list.
  19. One player who may not belong on this list, but was an *amazing* finisher given his physical attributes was Muggsy Bogues. I mentioned somewhere that I saw him play for the DC team in the 1983 McDonald's Capital Classic (click on "About," then "Final Scores" for some fun pictures), and he was the MVP in leading the Metro All-Stars to a two-point victory over the US All-Stars. Now, that does not a pro make, and it certainly doesn't put him on any all-time Best Finishers list, but it did give me a fairly intimate view of his incredible driving capabilities - he was like this little black dot, twisting and torsing through the air like a knuckleball, somehow managing to get off a shot under the outstretched arm of some pedigreed future NBA All-Star. My guess is that in a 23'9" race (which is the distance from the 3-point arc to the basket), he's one of the fastest people in NBA history. Anyway, does he belong on the "Best Finishers" list? Probably not, but it's worth at least giving him a nod. After posting this, I went to check if Bogues was by any chance the all-time leader in "Steals per Minute," and although I could only find the "Steals per Game" statistic, he isn't even close: he's number 72 on the list with an average of 1.54 steals per game. One thing I did notice was that in the elite group of 14 players who averaged over 2 steals per game, Allen Iverson is number 10, and that reminded me that Iverson was perhaps just as quick as Bogues (Iverson was certainly faster, but I'm defining "quick" as explosive speed in the first few steps (Russell Westbrook is *quick*)). As an aside, I was shocked to see none other than Michael Jordan at #4 (!), and John Stockton (!) at #9 - astoundingly, George McGinnis averaged more steals per game than Gary Payton. I'll close with a very obscure fact: Every Hall of Famer who has averaged over 2 steals per game was a guard; Rick Barry, a small forward who was the same height as shooting guard Clyde Drexler, came in just under the mark with 1.99 steals per game - apologies to Muggsy (one of the all-time great nicknames) for straying off-topic in this paragraph. Heck, I'll throw this in too: In the 1981-1982 and 1982-1983 seasons, Dunbar High School in Baltimore went 60-0, ending up ranked #1 in the nation by USA Today.
  20. You might be right; unfortunately, they weren't yet "my Orioles," as I was only 5 years old - the only reason I wish I was 5-10 years older than I am is so I could remember the 1966 World Series. Orioles by decade: 1966: World Series Champions with Frank Robinson 1970: World Series Champions with Brooks Robinson 1983: World Series Champions with Cal Ripken, Jr. 1990s: Peter Angelos 2000s: Peter Angelos 2010s: Peter Angelos I wish I could live to see a cage match fought to the death between Dan Snyder and Peter Angelos, the only rule being that both of them have to die before it's over. Have any two people done more to damage the morale of their respective cities? Maybe Bob Irsay, but not too many others that I can think of. Think about Jack Kent Cooke, Ted Leonsis, and the Lerner family and how much they're loved by Washingtonians. Hell, even Abe Pollin, despite being a terribly unsuccessful owner, was at least loved and respected (let's not forget he's largely responsible for Verizon Center). Sports-team owners have three functions: 1) Hire experts 2) Write checks 3) Stay out of the way Snyder and Angelos are micro-managing control freaks, and don't have the strength of character to remove their personalities from their failed endeavors. Sorry to hijack this thread; I just got immensely pissed off thinking about how these two *ruined* two of the greatest franchises in the history of American sports.
  21. "LeBron James's Injury Could Lead to Nightmare Scenario for NBA's Broken Playoff Format" by Ben Golliver on washingtonpost.com The NBA Western Conference has become dominant in recent years, winning nearly 60% of the games against the Eastern Conference - worthy Western Conference teams are missing the playoffs due to lesser teams from the Eastern Conference squeezing in with better conference finishes.
  22. This human pogo stick deserves his own thread. I can think of three unstoppable shots off the top of my head in NBA history: Elvin Hayes backing in to the basket on his strong side, then turning around and shooting a fadeaway bank shot; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's sky hook, and Kevin Durant's jump-back from 25 feet. Critics say all he needs to become the "total offensive weapon" is to put on some upper-body muscle; I disagree. Let him wait until later to muscle up; right now, he's so quick that he can do anything - drive past you and tomahawk it, or back off and shoot a three. When he's in his 30s, then he can hit the weights - let him stay slender while he's young. The only comparable player I can think of, style-wise, is Dirk Nowitzki. Tonight, he broke his string of 12 consecutive 30-point games, and he did it by scoring 24 points, going 10-for-12 from the field, sitting out the entire 4th quarter, and dishing out 7 assists - many of them to Serge Ibaka who went 12-for-12 from the field: the two combined to go 22-for-24! This is just crazy what we're witnessing right now. Jordan, Bryant, Maravich, Erving, Bird, James - I've never seen more jaw-dropping highlight reels (although some of Jordan's and Bird's come close). All Durant needs is longevity, and he could well become the NBA's all-time leading scorer.
  23. Who knew?! PS - If you have an image of Pistol Pete in your mind, and want it preserved, then don't watch this video. I've heard horror stories of Willie Mays playing for the New York Mets, and I suspect they aren't that much different than this. "Remembering The Sad And Too-Short Celtic Stint Of Pete Maravich" by Professor Parquet on celticsblog.com --- [The following posts have been split into separate threads: Pete Maravich (daveo) Nate Archibald (Barbara)]
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