Posted on: November 30, 2010 2:11 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Nominees for the 2011 Basketball Hall of Fame were released Tuesday and while the list is strong, there's just one slam dunk. And it's a guy that didn't do much of that, but instead holds the NBA record for most 3-pointers made (2560) and attempted (6486).
Reggie Miller heads the 2011 candidates with his first appearance on the ballot. Miller spent all 18 years of his NBA career with the Indiana Pacers, was selected to five All-Star teams, led the league in free throw shooting five times and was a two-time gold medalist in the 1994 World Championships and 1996 Olympics.
Nobody was more deadly from outside with even a breath of space than Miller, whose eight points in nine seconds is still one of the most incredible NBA feats of all-time.
Miller is pretty much a lock for the 2011 class, but who could join him? As Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com pointed out, with the lighter class this year, some players that have been overlooked in years past might have a better shot this time around. A few of note:
Mark Jackson: He's third on the all-time assists list and after being left off the final ballot in his first shot at it. I think Jackson will probably end up being sort of basketball's Jim Rice. A qualified candidate that deserves to eventually be in, but someone that might have to wait a while.
Chris Mullin: Remember, the Basketball Hall of Fame isn't the NBA Hall of Fame. Not that Mullin didn't have a nice NBA career, but he's probably one of the greatest college basketball players ever. At St. John's he was a Wooden Award winner and All-American. And in the NBA, he was a five-time All-Star, was part of the 1992 Dream Team and the 1996 gold medal team, plus averaged 25 points a game for five straight years. But as mentioned by Howard-Cooper, Mullin has been a finalist the past four years and if he makes that list again this year but doesn't get in, he'll have to wait five years to be nominated again.
Don Nelson: At some point, Don Nelson is a sure-thing Hall of Famer. He's the NBA's all-time winningest coach and wouldn't you know it, just finished up his career in basketball (for now, at least). He wasn't the most beloved coach in NBA history but you can't ignore a guy that's on top of a list. Especially a list like "Most Wins Ever." That's kind of a big deal.
Bernard King: I'll be honest - I kind of assumed he already was a Hall of Famer. But because of injuries, King didn't finish with the type of gaudy career stats he otherwise would have. I think we should make a Sandy Koufax-ish exception here and put King in. He's one of the very best pure scorers the game has ever seen and when you're mentioned as one of the best at something, that's Hall of Fame material. And with the weak nominees, maybe this is his year.
Dennis Rodman: If it were all about what happened on the court, Rodman is a no-brainer. Maybe the game's most pure rebounder ever (led the league for seven straight seasons), a defensive wizard that was named to eight consecutive first or second All-Defense teams and a multiple-time champion, Rodman has a Hall of Fame resume. But of course there's the issue of his personality and who is and was off the court. When you're talking about people voting you in, that's an important aspect and something Rodman may not pass. Rodman wasn't even a finalist last season though and in this class if he doesn't make it, it might not look so hot for him in the future.
Maurice Lucas: Honestly, I'd hate for him to get in now. I just hate for great players to be inducted into the Hall of Fame after passing. It just sucks that they can't be a part of that great honor. But his family would surely treasure the honor and as a player, Lucas was as gritty and tough a guy this league's ever seen. Bill Walton called him the best player on the 1979 championship team and because of his recent passing, there might be a chance Lucas gets some sentimental votes. Not that he wouldn't deserve it otherwise though, because he really was a great player.
Other nominees include Jamaal Wilkes, Rudy Tomjanovich, Cotton Fitzsimmons, Tex Winter, Spencer Haywood, Maurice Cheeks, Ralph Sampson, Bill Fitch, referee Dick Bavetta, Rick Pitino, Joe B. Hall, Jim Valvano, George Raveling and Marty Blake, the long-time head of the NBA scouting bureau.
Chet Walker was nominated by the Veteran's committee. Arvydas Sabonis and Sarunas Marciulionis are candidates from the International committee (two very deserving nominees), while Tara VanDerveer and Teresa Edwards will be candidates from the Women's committee.
Nominees must receive approval on at least seven of nine ballots in the North American group, and five of seven in the others, to become a finalist, cuts that will be announced at All-Star weekend. Finalists will need to receive at least 18 of 24 votes from a different panel -- the names of voters are never released -- to be announced at the Final Four as an inductee.
Posted on: November 1, 2010 9:36 am
In memory of Maurice Lucas who passed away Sunday night at the age of 58.
Posted by Matt Moore
In honor of Maurice Lucas, NBA champion and 4-time ABA All-Star, we present a series of videos in honor of his playing days and how he'll be remembered to fans. Lucas passed away Sunday night at the age of 58 .
Posted on: November 1, 2010 9:21 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:19 pm
The Heat are rolling, the Thunder are struggling, Brandon Jennings goes triple-double, Jason Kidd hits from way downtown, Rajon Rondo dresses up like Tiger Woods for Halloween, and a bunch more. Posted by Ben Golliver.
Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.
THE BIG ONE: MIAMI KEEPS ROLLINGAnother day, another runaway win for the Miami Heat, who clobbered the New Jersey Nets on Halloween, 101-78. The result wasn't particularly surprising, but it was a nice chance to see how the Heat handled one of the league's best big men, New Jersey's Brook Lopez. Entering the season, many felt Miami's biggest vulnerability was at the center position. The Heat uses a rotating cast of characters -- including centers Joel Anthony, Zydrunas Ilgauskuas, Jamaal Magloire and power forwards Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem -- to handle opposing big men. While there is both size and talent in that group, none of the players individually stands as an ideal match-up for guys like Lopez, Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum. On Sunday, Lopez had a nice game. He finished with 20 points, five rebounds and an assist on 8-17 shooting in 28 minutes. He wasn't dominant, but he was clearly New Jersey's go-to player and he hit from a bunch of places and in a variety of ways. Unfortunately for Lopez, his teammates combined to shoot 3-14 from distance and 22-67 from the field. So while he shot 47%, his teammates shot 33%. And that was basically the ball game. The Heat showed Sunday that one-tricky pony offenses are simply no match for its balanced attack. Without New Jersey's shooters -- multiple shooters -- hitting from the outside, Miami's perimeter defenders were free to harass Lopez to their heart's desire. Coach Erik Spoelstra used Anthony, Ilgauskas, and Bosh on Lopez at different points over the course of the game, and each received help from teammates collapsing into the paint. Miami's active defense combined for 10 steals and they paid careful attention to boxing out Lopez on the offensive boards, limiting his opportunities for second-chance points. While Lopez is very good already, he is not an elite force capable of swaying a game single-handedly. On Sunday, he was just a puzzle -- a relatively simple one at that -- for the Heat to solve. With six Heat players scoring in double figures and a team shooting percentage above 53%, Lopez needed a lot more help than he received. Sunday felt like a lesson for the rest of the NBA teams. Bring a balanced offensive attack -- some credible outside shooting to complement a solid interior game -- or risk watching LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh yuck it up on the bench during the fourth quarter, your fate already sealed.
GO-GO-GADGET LINES OF THE WEEKEND:Brandon Jennings: 23 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, 6-8 shooting.
Young Money cashed his first triple-double in Milwaukee's Saturday win over the Charlotte Bobcats. Honorable Mention goes to... John Wall: 28 points, 5 rebounds, 9 assists 9-17 shooting. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft showed he's going to be a serious problem for NBA defenses, blasting off in Washington's loss to Atlanta on Saturday. Paul Millsap: 30 points, 16 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 12-19 shooting. With this stat line in Utah's win over Oklahoma City on Sunday (their first W of the season), did Millsap just officially stick a fork in the Carlos Boozer Era?
DON'T MISS:Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that the New York Knicks are cooperating with a league investigation into allegations of illegal pre-draft workouts that stretched over multiple seasons. He also writes that New York needs to surround power forward Amar'e Stoudemire with some better talent.
THUNDER STARTING COLD:By Royce Young Offensively on paper, the Oklahoma City Thunder should have it good. They have the league's reigning scoring champ in Kevin Durant. They have rising scorer and potential star Russell Westbrook. they have quality role players with scoring ability in Jeff Green and James Harden. And yet, the Thunder offense has sputtered in the first three games. Yes, the team is 2-1 after a Sunday night loss to the Utah Jazz. But on the season, OKC is shooting 39.9 percent from the field and 20.8 percent from 3-point range. So really, it's sort of amazing the team has two wins under its belt. What's kept the Thunder alive is the free throw line. OKC is taking an average of 41.6 free throws a game and is making 84 percent of those attempts. Without all those freebies, the Thunder could very well be sitting at 0-3. Against the Jazz Sunday, it's the first game the Thunder didn't make more free throws than baskets. (In their first two games, the Thunder took 47 and 44 free throws, respectively.) OKC made 32 shots total and 30 free throws (out of 34). Still a large number from the stripe, but obviously not enough in a game the Thunder lost by 21. Not to dismiss the Thunder's two victories by simply saying they were gifts from the charity stripe, but at this point, the Thunder offense isn't really getting it done. For instance, against the Utah, Oklahoma City went 23-35 inside 10 feet, but 9-45 outside of that. In fact, Durant made five of those longer 2-pointers (four 3s) and the rest of the team just four. The Thunder are settling for jumpers, the ball movement is poor and the typically deadly transition offense just isn't there right now. The 3-point shot just isn't there and outside of Durant who is 6-13 on the season from deep, OKC is just 5-40 from 3 as a team. That's 12.5 percent. That's fairly terrible. So is there a problem with the Thunder offense? No, not really. It's just kind of a matter of progress. Scott Brooks runs his training camp and preseason based almost entirely around defense and has even said publicly that he's not too concerned with OKC's offense. Any team looks better offensively when its making shots and right now, OKC's not making shots. Durant is shooting just 38.8 percent from the field which is obviously not something that will keep up. The Thunder can thank the free throw line for their two wins and curse poor shooting and some defensive breakdowns for Sunday night's loss. The offense is sputtering right now, but it's a result of settling for jumpers and the fact that some of those jumpers just aren't going down.
WHIMSY:The Boston Celtics clearly had a good time on Halloween. For a full look at all the Halloween costumes around the NBA, click here.
VIDEO CLIP MANIA: