Posted on: April 29, 2009 11:20 am
The Tweet came across a couple of hours after the Mavericks had eliminated the Spurs, who will not be venturing past the first round for the first time since 2000. How many starting point guards in the west under the age of 30 will be playing after saturday? #fb
Take a bow, Cubes. Just don't strain your back.
The taunt obviously was in response to a world of critics -- myself included -- of Cuban's decision to trade Devin Harris to the Nets at last season's trade deadline. Now that the Mavs have slain the Spurs' dynasty, Cuban is well within his rights to gloat.
At the advanced age of 36, Kidd had an excellent series against San Antonio, shooting 40 percent from the field and 44 percent from 3-point range. Rick Carlisle did a nice coaching job with Kidd, playing him with J.J. Barea and protecting the slowing, aging Kidd from his defensive liabilities. Cuban is right in that by the end of the weekend, the two younger point guards in the West most capable of exposing Kidd on the defensive end -- Tony Parker and Chris Paul -- will be at home and not on the court. The other is Houston's Aaron Brooks, but the Mavs wouldn't see him until the conference finals -- and only if they can beat Denver and the Rockets can knock off the Lakers (assuming they finish off Portland at home Thursday night).
Chauncey Billups is tough to defend, but doesn't have the burst that Parker and Paul possess. With a combination of Kidd's savvy, Barea's peskiness, and Antoine Wright's length, Carlisle should be able to figure out a way to keep Kidd from getting sliced and diced too badly in the second round, too.
The bottom line is this: Yes, Harris is a better player with bigger upside than Kidd at this stage of their careers. But this is an example of a progressive owner taking a calculated risk and watching it pay off. It is hard to argue with the results. Harris and the Nets won 34 games this season and are saddled with Kidd's former running mate, Vince Carter, and his $34 million over the next two seasons. The Mavs are done with Kidd after the playoffs are over. And for them, the playoffs are far from over.
Given the Hornets' 58-point loss to the Nuggets in Game 4, it isn't too early to look ahead to Mavs-Nuggets in the conference semifinals. Denver will have home court by virtue of its 54 wins compared to 50 for the Mavs. The Nuggets swept the regular season series 4-0. although three of those losses were by three points or less. But once you're this deep into the playoffs, regular season matchups don't mean as much. It's about how you're playing now, and the Mavs have their superstar, Dirk Nowitzki, playing at a high level. They also have an effective bench led by sixth man of the year Jason Terry, a certain geriatric point guard who's still hanging on, and a trigger-happy, tweeting owner who isn't afraid to point out when he's right.
Posted on: April 2, 2009 12:24 pm
Edited on: April 2, 2009 12:24 pm
Time to chase away the crickets from that Lawrence Frank post. Can you hear 'em?
Yes, LeBron James is on Twitter. Allegedly. According to J-Cam's reporting, the Twitter folks say it's really him.
Funny thing is, there are 426 followers, but no posts yet. The world awaits breathlessly. My guess is, LeBron is waiting for someone to pay him to Tweet. That's what I'd do, if someone would pay me to Tweet. (I'm working on it.)
As it usually goes on the interwebs, one click leads to another, which leads to another, and by the time I was finished digesting J-Cam's Twitter story, I had learned that Paul Pierce, Baron Davis, Danny Granger, and Chris Bosh are on Twitter, too. Pierce used the social networking site to advise fans to show up at the TD Banknorth Garden at a specified time to get free tickets in his suite.
“first 5 people who meet me at the garden in the players parking lot entrance at 445 with my jersey on get free tickets password is truth,” the Truth wrote. This was no joke. Five fans scored the tix and watched the Celtics beat Oklahoma City from Pierce's personal suite.
I also learned that not only is Bosh on Twitter, but he's on Facebook, too. He has 44,405 friends and counting, all of whom apparently were at his 25th birthday bash, photos of which are posted here. Ah, to be young, rich, and going from one max contract to the next. There's also a photo of the Eastern Conference All-Stars posing with Muhammad Ali in the locker room. Bosh scooped every major and minor news organization in the world with that pic.
Interesting times. I guess the question I'll pose is this: Which is bigger right now? LeBron or Twitter?
Posted on: March 23, 2009 9:28 am
"If he gets 25 and 11," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said when informed of Shaq's plans, "he can do anything he wants."
That's cool, I guess. One halftime post isn't going to hurt anybody. But I'm concerned about the 37 Tweets Shaq posted to between 1:57 a.m. and 2:19 a.m. I'd say that's evidence the Big Shaqtus needs Twitter detox.
Shaq, please, step away from the BlackBerry.
Posted on: March 17, 2009 6:32 pm
There was a time -- oh, about 17 days ago -- when my reaction would've been, "What's tweeting?" Now, I say to myself as I read Skiles' comments condemning this transgression, "What's the big deal?"
Skiles said Villanueva sneaking a tweet at halftime would lead "reasonable people" to conclude that he wasn't paying attention or focusing on the game.
Really? Since when do players pay attention at halftime? Aren't they all busy texting and emailing their friends? In any event, with his first full season three-fourths over, I would've guessed that Skiles' players tuned him out months ago. That's what happened to him in Chicago.
Anyway, technology is charging past me so fast that I sometimes formulate opinions I can't believe. A purist would say that players shouldn't be messing around with Twitter at halftime. They should be paying attention to the coach. But that's boring. Plus, today's players are fully capable of paying attention to the coach and texting at the same time. Today's players are multi-taskers, baby!
It's a losing battle for any coach who wants to curtail his players' texting, emailing and the like. And an impossible one to win. If Villanueva can't post on Twitter at halftime, what about all his teammates who were texting their friends, wives, and um, girlfriends?
Now you have to draw the line somewhere, and here's where I draw it: During the All-Star Game, Chris Bosh was conspicuously and constantly texting and emailing throughout the game on the East's bench. It didn't matter that he was injured and wearing a suit. That's just wrong. When you are in public view on the court, your cell phone stays in your pocket. That's just the way it is.
But what do we make of this? During halftime of the Bucks' victory over Boston Sunday, Villanueva grabbed his PDA and transmitted the following to his Twitter feed:
In da locker room, snuck to post my twitt. We're playing the Celtics, tie ball game at da half. Coach wants more toughness. I gotta step up.
Now, if there are Pulitzers for Tweeting, I think it's safe to say the other finalists are safe. But at least he did step up and deliver a team-high 19 points as the Bucks beat the listless Celtcs 86-77.
"I was very into the game -- as you can tell, the way I played," Villanueva said.
Twitter -- and much worse things that haven't been invented yet -- may very well succeed in bringing Western civilization to its knees. Until then, I don't see much wrong with tweeting a couple of thoughts at halftime. Just make it better next time.
In da locker room, snuck to post my twitt. Close game at da half. I'm about to light up Pierce for 40. No way that stiff can guard me.
Then we'd have something to tweet about.