The Basketblog

Celebrating the love of the Game.

About the top-two picks going to the Northwest

I’m going to break my fast from posting for this. Ironically, I’ve been in Seattle and Portland the last few days.

At first I agreed with the thoughts that having Oden and Durant both going to the Northwest would be bad for the league because of the time difference. But as I thought about it, I don’t think that will be the case.

Does anyone ever complain that it’s bad for the league that Phoenix games start late? The Lakers are one of the glamorous teams in the league, but they play in the Pacific Time Zone. Golden State was the great story of the playoffs, but they play in the Pacific Time Zone. A few years ago the Sacramento Kings were the most fun team in the league to watch, but they were in the Pacific Time Zone. There has been talk of moving a franchise to Las Vegas, which is in the Pacific Time Zone. Why does the Pacific Time Zone not matter in any of those cases? Perhaps the reason that the biggest NBA markets are in the East is that the tv schedule favors them. Maybe the West will become so stacked that the NBA will change the schedule, which will in turn make the Western teams more popular. Maybe the Western teams aren’t as good for tv ratings, but the Kings, Warriors, Jazz, Suns, and Mavericks (in the Central Time Zone, but stick with me) have some of the best fans in the league. I think that giving the best players to the best fans will help the league more than giving the best players to the biggest markets.

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May 24, 2007 Posted by | Golden State Warriors, LA Lakers, NBA, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, Seattle Supersonics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

NBA Playoffs: May 9

Well, it’s pretty clear that this is going to be one heck of a series. Golden State has been great at home in the playoffs, as my esteemed colleague hoops has said. However, what he failed to note is that Utah’s home court has been even greater. They have now outscored their opponents at home by a combined score of 516-463 in five games compared to Golden State’s 323-276.

What he also failed to note is that Utah is a very, very good team. Now that Kirilenko is playing up to his old abilities, they may be, top to bottom, the best team in the league. Deron Williams has become a top-5 point guard, Derek Fisher is a tough guard with a lot of experience, Kirilenko is perhaps the best all-around player in the league, Boozer is becoming a star, and Okur is the best shooting big guy in the league. Every player coming off their bench can play–Ronnie Brewer and Dee Brown don’t play much, but they’ve both shown the ability to make some key plays in this series. In Williams, Millsap, Brown, and Brewer they have perhaps the best young corps of players in the league. The only thing that keeps them from being an elite team is their lack of a superstar. Dallas has Nowitski, San Antonio has Duncan, Phoenix has Nash, Houston has McGrady; but Boozer isn’t quite a superstar.

If Boozer could develop into a superstar, we could be talking about Utah as a contender for many years. He’s been getting 24/12 so far in the playoffs. If he can continue that throughout the playoffs, they can compete against either San Antonio or Phoenix–they are that good.

Here are some of my other thoughts from tonight: Continue reading

May 9, 2007 Posted by | Big Ten, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, NBA, Phoenix Suns, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Game recap

Well, I was either fishing or cleaning fish during the Chicago/Detroit game, but I saw the score and the final 5 minutes or so and know that I didn’t miss much. Yes, I’ve probably missed my prediction on this series. Uh-oh!!

The GS/Utah game was one of the best NBA games I’ve seen all year. It probably comes right after the 2OT PHX/Dallas game a few months ago. After watching this game, I still like my pick of GS in 6. Heres why

1. I think that Utah did not like to play this style of basketball with GS. Jerry Sloan nearly admitted that in a post-game interview, but wouldn’t come out and actually say it. Its very similar to the SA/PHX game, except Tim Duncan openly admitted they didn’t like this style of play. One main reason that everyone said Utah would win (I used this as to why they could win) was because they would slow down or stop the GS transition game. Not they would keep up with it and play it with them. I can’t see Utah continuing to run this style all series and keep winning games. When you adjust your game to that of your opponents, its quite rare to come away with consistent wins.

2. The adjustments that Nellie is going to make. There were several things that I saw throughout the game that I think could have been done differently, both offensively and deffensively that could have exploited a few of Utah’s weaknesses. I’m more than sure if I saw them, Don Nelson saw them. He’ll get it fixed

3. Golden States ability to just keep fighting. No matter what the situation is, down 1 down 15 down 30, Golden State will give themselves a chance to win in the end. With these kind of runs and that much fight, I don’t think Utah is a good enough team to win 4 games at home that way. They nearly blew their first chance last night, but good ole Boozer grabbed 2 key offensive boards (see multiple blogs involving who wins games late and why. Also note that I told Von with 3 minutes left whoever gets OR and gets stops wins this game) which gave Utah more clock to burn and 4 more points. I believe they won by 4 points. I think that Golden State can put together enough runs to take a road win in game 2 or 5. When this happens, they will win game 6 at home.

People can feel free to come and congratulate me on my basketball knowledge when this happens, even though, yes, I picked Chicago.

May 8, 2007 Posted by | Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, NBA, Phoenix Suns, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Conference Semis Preview

Well, its an hour into studying, and I have the notes that my professor posted on the internet nearly memorized. Those being the only notes that I have to study, I’m going to post for awhile and see if I still have them memorized when I’m done. On we go

1 Detroit vs. 5 Chicago

Chicago wins in 6

I could be stupid like a friend of mine, who will remain anonymous, and mulligan my pick after the shocking Game 1 loss, but I however, am not retarded. I don’t declare a series over based simply on Game 1. If you want to know any details on that series, see that blog I posted about it….or you can just wait and watch it all come true. heh

2 Cleveland vs. 6 New Jersey

Cleveland in 7

I couldn’t decide if I thought this series would go 5 or 7, because I couldn’t decide if New Jersey would steal one on the road. Then I remembered certain starter named Jason Kidd. Yes, he will….er…the nets will get one win on the road. I think the nets are to good to lose Game 6 at home, but Lebron is too good to lose Game 7 at home. However, we have all seen Lebron not only choke, but throw up in clutch situations *insert chuck yelling “Pass the ball! Pass the ball! Pass the ball! (repeat until play is over)*, so we know that NJ is capable of winning Game 7 on the road. I’m very not confidant about this series.

2 Phoenix vs 3 San Antonio

Phoenix wins in 7

Not much to say here that you would not have already read from Von. I continue to stick by my pick and am honestly even more confidant about this pick due to this stat here.

San Antonio 3-12 when their opponent scores over 100 points. Up until yesterdays game, they were 2-12, but they shattered Steve Nash’s nose and wouldnt let him play to squeak by with a win, lol. The suns average 110 points a game. Thats not only 100, thats solid over 100. The Spurs are not the type of team who likes to score 100 points a night. Tim Duncan himself admitted that in an interview after the game. “We’d rather play in the 90s, we’d rather play in the 80s,” he said. “That’s our type of game, but we’ve got a lot of guys who are shooting the ball really well. We’ve been moving the ball really well, and the points are going up on the board.” Your right, Timmy, but fortunately, Nash couldn’t play the last 2 minutes of the game….and you still only won by 5 points. Point being, you can’t count on the Spurs to score that many points all the time, and you can’t count on not having Nash in the game the last 1:30 all the time. Pheonix still wins this series.

5 Utah vs. 8 Golden State

Golden State wins in 6

This series is the one that interests me most. I’m not picking this series based on what I want to see, because I want to see it go to 7. Then Von and I could go watch Game 7. That’d be tight! But I also think that Golden State really can pull this off. Heres how…

Baron Davis. If this man continues is onslaught of basketball superiority, Williams and Fisher are not going to be stopping him. Some of the best defensive guards in the NBA didn’t do it, and we’ve seen how Utah has managed to falter down the stretch of the regular season, so can they keep playing well down the stretch of the post-season?

Transition Golden State can score in transition as good as anyone in the league. Carlos Boozer is a big man who can get back as good as any in the league and this could make the GS transition game a little more difficult, but I still think with Richardson and Jackson’s ability to run the floor, they should be able to get the job done.

Home court advantage. Yes, on paper, Utah has the home-court advantage, but I’m going to say right now that GS will not lose a game at home the entire rest of the season. I also think that they are good enough to steal one on the road. When they do this, they will win game 6 at home and win the series. If they are gonna steal one at home, tonights game will probably be it. If I was Kornheiser or Wilbon, I’d pick that game for my TV pick of the day.

Bottom line, this is going to be an outstanding series, but probably won’t be the best one we’ll see all year, simply because, if I’m right, Golden State will play Pheonix in the Western Conference Finals. Heh, this will be a basketball fans blessing from Heaven.

May 7, 2007 Posted by | Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, NBA, New Jersey Nets, Phoenix Suns, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

NBA Playoffs First Round Awards

Because completely pointless things like this are what I do.

MVP: Baron Davis
He was simply unstoppable. Dallas had no one on their roster who could contain his penetration, and he was so on fire from three-point range that Dallas couldn’t let him do that. He had a points/rebounds double-double twice, as a 6’3″ point guard. He increased his three-point shooting percentage from 30% to 46% from the regular season. When he was off the court, Golden State struggled; but when he was on, they controlled the best team in the league. Stephen Jackson might have starred at times, but they would have been swept without Davis.

Honorable mention: Jason Kidd and Carlos Boozer
LVP: Dirk Nowitski
His defensive numbers admittedly went up, but playing against a small, fast-paced team, that is to be expected. His offensive numbers all went way down though, especially his shooting percentages. His three-point percentage was half what it was during the regular season, and his overall shooting percentage was 12 points lower. He did not help matters by saying that the season was basically over if they lost game 4…which they did.

Best player on a losing team: Antawn Jamison
He had to be great to give his team a chance, but even that wasn’t enough to avoid the sweep. He averaged 12 points and 2 rebounds more than his season average during the series, including 38/11 in game 3.

Honorable mention: Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Tracy McGrady, and Josh Howard

Note–Five of the top six scorers in the first round were on losing teams (LeBron was the exception).

Best Coach: Don Nelson
It was unfair to Dallas that they had to face the coach that built them in the first round. Nelson was brilliant in getting those guys to play together and get the wild and crazy style to work. They harried Nowitski into a terrible series and came up with the big plays down the stretch in every game besides game 5. None of that would have happened without Don Nelson.

By the way, my dad is a history teacher at a local high school. The other history teacher at the school is the niece of Don Nelson.

Best team performance: Phoenix over Los Angeles 126-98 (game 2).
Phoenix was great everywhere in this game. They shot over 54% from the field and 42% from three-point range; all five scorers were in double figures, but Leandro Barbosa led them all with 26 points. Everyone on the roster scored at least 2 points. They only committed 8 turnovers and held Kobe Bryant to 15 points.

Honorable mention: Golden State over Dallas 111-86 (game 6), New Jersey over Toronto 102-81 (game 4), and Utah over Houston 81-67 (game 3)

Best individual performance: Jason Kidd (game 3)
There were several I wanted to give it to, but 16/19/16 was too incredible to pass up. As I mentioned, that has only been done twice before in NBA history, which was more rare than the other performances.

Honorable mention: Kobe Bryant (game 3), Steve Nash (game 4), Amare Stoudemire (game 4), and Baron Davis (game 1)

Here’s to more great performances in the second round!

May 6, 2007 Posted by | Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, LA Lakers, NBA, New Jersey Nets, Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

NBA Playoffs: Later Rounds Preview

I figured I probably should do this before the second round was finished. Every one of these matchups has proven to be difficult to predict (at least, it seems like they will be). I’m already doubting my picks in all three series that have played a game so far, so I wouldn’t bet any money on these picks.

Because I know you all care, hoops and I could see the Utah/Golden State game 7 if it goes that far, so I’ll be rooting for that one to go the distance. You all should too because then you’d get a real, live game review. Continue reading

May 6, 2007 Posted by | Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, NBA, New Jersey Nets, Phoenix Suns, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

NBA Playoffs: May 3

Dallas/Golden State Series Recap
I think this says it all:

PWND

Just give the cat a bad hamstring and make sure the bear doesn’t call timeout even in the midst of an 18-0 run.

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It’s been overshadowed by other series (such as the Golden State series), but the Utah/Houston series has possibly been the best series of the first round. Each team has held serve on its home court so far, but Kirilenko and Okur are now playing well for Utah. They might be able to steal game 7 in Houston. Every basketball fan needs to watch that game to see who gets to lose to Golden State in the second round.

May 3, 2007 Posted by | Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, NBA, Utah Jazz | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Baron Davis

I would like to dedicate this blog to Baron Davis and his awesomness. This guy reminds me of a much larger and more talented scale me when I was a senior in high school. His team is very similar and plays very similar to how mine did, the only thing we don’t really have in common is I played in the middle of a 2-3 defense and got alot of rebounds; he plays out front of a match-up zone and gets alot of steals. But I’m not talking about stats or style of play; I’m referring to how he never ever quits in any game. He plays with so much passion and leadership! Due to this, I love to watch him play. Dallas has tried to close out on GS and seal up a game so many times, but this man just keeps coming and coming and coming. To quote Avery Johnson, “He’s a good player. He’s a strong-willed guy, but strong-willed guys can be beaten.” Heh, clearly not by this Mavericks team. Johnson went on to talk about how regardless of how Dallas has been trapping him, he manages to get out of it and make a play. I’v noticed that no matter how far down GS gets, Davis manages to make a few big plays in a row and put them back in the game. All it takes is about 3 good plays in a row and that GS crowd is going nuts. Thats tough to play in. That is mostly why I think that Dallas will win Game 5 at home, but GS takes it away in Game 6. If they gave away game balls in basketball at the end of a series, game ball goes to Baron Davis.

For those of you who can find the similarities between how I used to/still play and how Baron Davis plays, well, you have a good knowledge of the game of basketball. For those of you who can understand it like I do, you have a great one.

April 30, 2007 Posted by | Calvary Baptist, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, NBA | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Golden State vs. Dallas

So, this has been the best series of the year, thus far. Not because they have had the best games consistently (see San Antonio/Denver series), but because its one of the worst good teams in the NBA taking it straight at the best team in the NBA. No matter how far down these Warriors get, they just keep coming back. They’re like a fly at a barbecue: no matter how many times you swat at it, its still coming back unless you kill it. The only thing that I have against them is they sometimes allow to many offensive rebounds and I think sometimes they tend to get a little out of control. But coming from one who played on a team that loved to run and press and get up and down the floor, that is gonna happen, but that rarely acts as an Achilles’ Heel.

Heres the other aspect of this. How many breakdowns are these Mavericks gonna have? Not just defensively, but offensively! I mean, they are just completely missing defensive assignments and giving up easy lay-ups and sometimes fouls to go with it. They are not taking care of the basketball and not executing the offense we’ve seen all year. This is not the 67 win Dallas Mavericks team.

As this game continues to close. and Dallas continues to just look worse and worse, I realize how GS completely changed one of the things that I said I feared of them. I said they don’t play lock-up defense to close games. They have held Dallas to just 4 points in the final 3 minutes I believe, while scoring 16 points of their own. This is why they will go on to win this game. On the flip side, this is also why they did not go on to win Game 2. I know I had picked Dallas in 7 and do kind of want that to happen (only to watch PHX beat them as I’ve called since November), I’d also like to see GS win this series. Although, hold on, Dirk has hit two miracle threes and has 3.2 seconds to do it again…….STOLEN INBOUND PASS!!! wow!

As we stare at a stunned Mark Cuban, lets recap what we’ve figured out here. First of all, I really wish I’d given Don Nelson more credit and Dirk less credit than I did. I knew that Nellie knew how to coach against the Mavs, but I didn’t know that he could do this to them. I thought that Dallas was to good, to deep, and too experienced to lose this series. But these Warriors to not quit!! They have been down in these games repeatedly and every single time, they make runs to pull themselves back into this game. They are one of the two most fun teams to watch in the league. Possible second only to PHX.

Charles Barkley= greatest addition to the sports broadcasting world ever! All who disagree are ignorant fiends!

April 29, 2007 Posted by | Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, NBA | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

NBA Playoffs: April 29

Here’s a few of my thoughts after today:

Mike Tirico summarized Antoine Walker’s entire career in one call: “Walker…tippy-toe triple…is off.” Really though, if he played the way he does now at the beginning of his career, he never would have lasted more than three years. When he was younger, he was a huge match-up problem because he was equally good from three-point range and the block. He actually averaged over 10 rebounds per game his second season in the league.

I giggled like a little girl when Ben Wallace was running away from the foul at the end of the fourth quarter. That was one of the goofiest things I’ve ever seen in an NBA game, and it made me wonder why I’d never seen it before. Teams pass the ball around at the end of games to kill extra time before a foul can be committed, so why doesn’t the bad free throw shooter just run around to avoid the foul? Then I realized that Shaq is the player usually “hacked,” and he can’t outrun anyone.

Baron Davis Celebrates
Me when Baron Davis hit the buzzer beater at halftime. “I think it’s over now.” As it turns out, I was wrong but it didn’t look that way for the first few minutes of the third quarter. I said it again when he got the dunk at the end of the third quarter…and was wrong again. I really thought he’d do it again at the end of regulation, but of course I was wrong again.

Reason X why Northern California is better than Southern California: the basketball fans. Golden State and Sacramento have arguably the two best crowds in the league, and LA fans are notorious for leaving games early. Jack Nicholson and Billy Crystal can be seen courtside at LA games, Jessica Alba can be seen at Golden State games. There’s no competition. I think the crowd influenced the refs in some way because it did seem like the calls were going more in Golden State’s favor most of the two games. Golden State deserved to win both games, but I’m saying they had a little help.

Continue reading

April 29, 2007 Posted by | Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat, NBA, Orlando Magic, Sacramento Kings | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment