The Basketblog

Celebrating the love of the Game.

NBA Season Preview

I had to wait a day to post this preview. I had to see for sure whether the Spurs are actually better than the Trail Blazers. Turns out, they are.

In fact, nearly all logic tells me that the Spurs are once again the best team in the league and will win the championship. Only I’m not going to pick them. I’m going to pick Phoenix. San Antonio might be the best team with the best coach, but they’re not going to have the fire that Phoenix will this year. Think about it: Steve Nash and Grant Hill both know they’re on the down side of their careers and may not have another chance. They’ve already talked about trading Amare Stoudemire or Shawn Marion; this might be the last year their core group is together. I think Stoudemire will be improved, and the veterans will not let them lose. They will upset the Spurs in the playoffs even though they’ll be the higher seed.

Continue reading

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October 31, 2007 Posted by | Atlanta Hawks, Big Ten, Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, LA Lakers, NBA, New Jersey Nets, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs, Seattle Supersonics, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a 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 5

Houston/Utah Series Recap
Well, I’d write about how Utah won because Okur and Kirilenko finally broke through and got back to their old selves, but that’s what everyone else is saying about this series (that and McGrady fails to get out of the first round again; as mentioned here, players without college experience tend to struggle in the playoffs.), so I’ll give you something else: Utah won because they were clearly the better team.

Even despite Okur(their second-leading scorer)’s and Kirilenko’s terrible play at the beginning of the series, they still led at the half of every game and kept the games in Houston close. I know scores can be deceiving but all of Utah’s first three wins were by double digits; all of Houston’s wins were by single digits. Except for McGrady, Houston did not have a single player as good as his counterpart on Utah. Houston’s other star was predictable on offense and ineffective on defense, while Carlos Boozer was dominant. It’s to Houston’s credit that they did not lose this series earlier.

And Houston really needs to give the foul at the end. That’s just unexcusable.

Coming tomorrow: Later round previews and first round awards! You’re not going to want to miss this one.

May 5, 2007 Posted by | Houston Rockets, NBA, Utah Jazz | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NBA Playoffs: April 27

Oh man, I love David Stern. He’s getting interviewed and being asked a dozen questions about conspiracies and controversies and basically says “shut up and let the viewers watch the game.” I also love the Golden State crowd. Anyone could win in front of that crowd. Local teams always do well at the IHSA state tournament, and I believe it’s because they have the biggest crowds. Rarely are they good enough to finish as high as they do; it’s just built-in home-court advantage.

“My grandma said she was gonna whoop me if I got kicked out again.” Bang. Too bad Ron Artest doesn’t have a grandma like that. By the way, have you ever seen a game when so many incredible shots went in for one team? The Warriors weren’t just beating up on the Mavericks, they were doing it in style!

Hey, quick poll: When’s the last time you saw a stat line as good as Jason Kidd’s 16/16/19? You can’t count the Kirilenko stat lines I posted the other day. I can’t ever remember seeing a triple-double that pretty. The only other two players to get a 15/15/15 in the playoffs were Wilt Chamberlain and a guy nicknamed “Fat.” That’s great company if I’ve ever seen it.

I didn’t think Wade would be good enough to take Miami to a series win, but I didn’t realize he’d be this ineffective. It’s almost sad. I can’t help but feel that this was the last year the Heat would be great. In hindsight, Wade should have just gotten surgery.

I’ve got to give a shout out to my boy Marcus Camby. Apparently the voters for Defensive Player of the Year read my blog. In that case, MVP ought to be either Nash or Kobe.

April 27, 2007 Posted by | Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, IHSA, Miami Heat, NBA, New Jersey Nets, Sacramento Kings | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NCAA Championship Game

Quick poll: Which is more impressive? That Florida won back-to-back championships with the same line-up or that Florida now holds both football and basketball championships? I would write up more about it, but I have real life stuff to do. Homework, lot’s of it. I have some low-quality comments on the game though. Continue reading

April 2, 2007 Posted by | Big Ten, NCAA, SEC | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NCAA Championship Tournament: Fourth Round

Stop the presses! Half the games in this round were upsets! In other news, I only had four of my elite eight picks correct but got three of my final four picks correct. Ohio State was the only one I missed. The first three games went pretty much like I expected (nevermind that I predicted Oregon on here; no fool actually though they would win), and I had to watch the very end of the exciting game on a miniature tv sitting in the parking lot of my church. And I missed all of overtime because I was inside. Anyway, I know what happened though and have comments… Continue reading

March 25, 2007 Posted by | ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, CUSA, MVC, NCAA, Pac-10, SEC | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kansas vs. Southern Illinois

Well, I knew this game was gonna be grind-it-out slugfest, but I never imagined this. SIU is statistically one of the best defensive teams in the country. After watching tonight, they are the best that I’ve seen this year. I’m sure they’ve played games that weren’t as good, heck they may have played games where they’ve been better, but I’ve not seen it. SIU forced 13 KU turnovers in the first 25 minutes of the game. KU averages on 14 turnovers/game. SIU is just a great defensive team who came into San Jose ready to play ball, and they did! They held KU to its lowest point total all season long (61), but what did KU do? They buckled down and played a little bit better. They held SIU to less than 60 because KU is also a very good defensive team. Continue reading

March 23, 2007 Posted by | ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, MVC, NCAA, Pac-10 | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment