Posted on: October 16, 2010 1:03 am
Edited on: October 16, 2010 1:07 am
Boston Celtics wing Marquis Daniels hits a halfcourt shot during a preseason game against the Toronto Raptors. Posted by Ben Golliver.
There's no better way to close another week in the NBA than by watching this nonchalant buzzer-beating half court three-point heave by Boston Celtics wing Marquis Daniels.
The shot closed the scoring in the first quarter of Boston's 117-112 win over the Toronto Raptors in Toronto and was all the more impressive because it was somewhat contested by Raptors wing DeMar DeRozan.
Video via NBARauf on Youtube.
Posted on: October 15, 2010 3:42 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2010 5:55 pm
CBSSports.com's Ken Berger discusses the tech debate, Amar'e Stoudemire's MSG debut, the Celtics' depth, and the continuing MeloDrama about Carmelo Anthony.
Posted by Matt Moore
Each week we'll be bringing you five questions for our own Ken Berger of CBSSports.com about the inside happenings of the league. This week, Ken talks about the Celtics' depth, this ridiculous tech debate, and drops some knowledge on the latest happenings in the Carmelo Anthony trade discussions. You can email your questions to the Friday 5 With KB at email@example.com or hit us up on Twitter at @cbssportsnba.
1. Obviously the big story this week is about the technical fouls and Kevin Garnett's ejection which you wrote about. Do you see the league trying to take this hard of a line when the season starts or will they back off to make sure we don't have Garnett tossed on opening night against Miami?
Ken Berger, CBSSports.com: Both sides are going to have to adjust and find some sort of middle ground. The NBPA put its cards on the table Thursday by threatening legal action over the league's clampdown on complaining. On one hand, this is a way for the union to force the league to make the next move and soften its stance. With the CBA showdown looming, I don't see that happening. In fact, by doing exactly what the league is trying to eliminate -- complaining -- the players may have actually caused the league office to dig in even harder on its desire to enforce the new rules. There's no comment or response from league executives yet regarding the players' lawsuit threat. I suspect the NBA will publicly ignore the players' complaint, but privately urge the officials to lighten up a bit. I think players, officials and fans will agree that blatant bullying and demonstrative complaining should result in a tech. It's unrealistic to think that spontaneous outbursts -- a fist pump, a clap, a shrug, and "and-one" gesture -- can be legislated out of the game. Another undesirable result of teeing up every player who disagrees with a call will be the shutting down of communication between players and refs. A little give-and-take is vital to keeping the game moving and letting the players feel as though they have a voice. Trying to force the players to clam up and become robots will only heighten their frustration, lead to more techs and ejections, and make for a bad, bad scene.
2. The other story this week is the continuing saga of the idiocy that is Gilbert Arenas. Flip Saunders talked about how disappointed he was in Arenas, and that seems like such a shame because Saunders has gone out of his way to try and embrace Arenas back into the fold. Is this going to to renew the Wizards' efforts to move him, no matter how difficult that may be?
KB: The problem is this: Washington's best chance to trade Arenas would be if he proved right away that he's OK mentally and physically. He's 0-for-2 so far -- faking an injury and getting fined, and then actually getting hurt in the very next game. So until Arenas can stay on the court, tone down the distractions and prove that he's still capable of playing at an All-Star level, the Wizards are stuck with him and the $80 million he's owed. He has to do that consistently; I'm told that any teams that may be interested in taking a chance need to see a body of work consisting of at least a month or two with effective play and no shenanigans before they'll be willing to consider it.
3. Amar'e certainly looked good against the Celtics, even during the brief period Garnett was on the floor. Raymond Felton seems to be struggling with him in the pick and roll, but is it possible that Stoudemire (gasp) actually doesn't need Steve Nash in order to be a top flight power forward in this league?
KB: You're right. If he stays healthy, Stoudemire will put up immense numbers in New York. Mike D'Antoni's offense has been like a giant fan with nowhere to blow the air. Stoudemire is the outlet the system has been craving. It will take time for Felton and Stoudemire to achieve anything that resembles chemistry; and it hasn't helped that Felton embraced his new team, new power forward and new system by showing up barely a week before camp, and overweight, at that.
4. Boston's depth seems like it's going to be better than it has been in years. If that's the case, they're going to rest starters even more than last year, right?
KB: That's the plan, but Doc Rivers is ready for the plan to change. The players he's most concerned with health-wise aren't Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. They're the role players, such as the role players named O'Neal. Rivers already has admitted publicly that it's unrealistic to think the Celtics can make it through the regular season without injuries. Once Kendrick Perkins comes back, Jermaine O'Neal will go to the bench, but he won't be any less susceptible to aches and pains. I think if Doc could shave a minute or three off Pierce's and Allen's averages from last season -- 34 and 35, respectively -- he'd feel good about it going into the postseason. Keeping Garnett around 29 minutes -- his average last season -- is probably about right, given that he's healthier than he was at any point in 2009-10. The big concern is with the aging bigs. Doc is going to have to be careful with anyone named O'Neal.
5. The Blazers got outed this week as one of the failed participants in the last gasps of the Carmelo four-way. Miller's got to be getting tired of being on the block, especially after only a little more than a year with Portland. Is that situation going to go anywhere any time soon?
KB: The Melo talks never stopped; they've just quieted down. New Jersey has continued to engage in discussions with Denver, though there's been little progress over the past week or so. Rarely does a low-profile front-office hire have a major impact on a franchise-shaping decision, but the Nuggets' hiring of cap whiz Pete D'Alessandro will greatly streamline the Melo negotiations once they Heat up again. One of the biggest problems for teams dealing with Denver was that new GM Masai Ujiri had never put together a trade of such magnitude. His strength is personnel; with Mark Warkentien out of the picture, the Nuggets had nobody well-versed in the complexities of structuring complicated trades. D'Alessandro's knowledge of the CBA and his relationships with other deal-makers around the league will breathe new life into the Melo talks. There may still be philosophical hangups among Denver's convoluted power structure, but at least there will be someone involved who has experience navigating the minefield of NBA trade rules. The Nuggets, Nets, Jazz and Bobcats were close enough to agreeing on a deal that a little tweaking here or there by someone with a strong background in such things would've pushed it to the finish line. It's only a matter of time before it gets to that point again. And once it does, a significant obstacle to completing the original deal won't be a factor anymore.
Posted on: October 15, 2010 2:55 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Not a ton of people are loving the new technical foul rules that enforce a quicker whistle. In fact, some may even feel it's "stupid." One such large player (in more ways than one) also doesn't love the new quick whistle and of course, this player isn't shy.
Shaquille O'Neal talked to reporters today and shared his feelings on the new stricter rule:
"I just think that if you give those guys that much control you might as well start selling their jerseys at Footlocker. This is an emotional game. I know when I pay the money to different arenas and I take my sons and my daughters, I want to see everything. I want to see them talking smack, I want to see it all. You can’t try to just cut off an emotional game — expect people not to have emotion.
There's definitely two sides to this issue. One says, "Come on. You can control what you do. I understand an emotional outburst but it makes no sense to keep talking and complaining. Just walk away!" The other says, "Basketball is an emotional game and players get caught up in it. Part of the game is working officials and it's impossible for them to stay consistent with these calls."
Me personally, I don't mind smack talking, but watching a player whine after every call gets really old and annoying (I'm looking at you , Tim Duncan Face.) I think the NBA realizes how it makes the game look like a whiner sport. The way the rule is laid out, it says you can react, but don't carry on. Doesn't that seem fair? Players have the opportunity to let out the uncontrolled outburst, but they just need to zip it and get over it shortly thereafter.
More than likely, the NBA will cave and relax the rules. They've tried this kind of enforcement before, but it didn't hold up. They've got to stick to it if they want it to work. And I hope they didn't just use preseason to really emphasize it only to back off in the regular season. Give this half a season and players will start shaping up. Let a guy pick up a big technical late in a game and maybe he'll think twice about badgering an official for an extended time.
I do kind of like Shaq's line about selling the referree's jerseys. It's pretty annoying when an official inserts himself into a game and tries to prove a point. I agree there. And I guess that's what the heart of this debate is.
But I don't know Shaq, I can't really say I'd be in the market for a Bill Kennedy replica jersey. Not my thing, I guess.
Posted on: October 14, 2010 9:50 pm
Player's Union intends to file suit against league for rule regarding player's acting like four-year-olds.
Posted by Matt Moore
Tantrums. That's apparently what the NBA's Player's Union feels is the hill to push litigation over . Not a better pension plan, or fewer regular season games, or even revenue sharing, apparently. They're going to pursue litigation over their right to stomp and yell and scream and curse the officials who are only doing their jobs. Because, really, when you think about it, that's what the Union needs most of all.
Perhaps you were curious about what the union is actually saying. Here's their press release, courtesy of KB:
The new unilateral rule changes are an unnecessary and unwarranted overreaction on the league’s behalf. We have not seen any increase in the level of “complaining” to the officials and we believe that players as a whole have demonstrated appropriate behavior toward the officials. Worse yet, to the extent the harsher treatment from the referees leads to a stifling of the players’ passion and exuberance for their work, we fear these changes may actually harm our product. The changes were made without proper consultation with the Players Association, and we intend to file an appropriate legal challenge.
Let's go through this line by line, in the most often-replicated-never-really-dupli
cated way possible, shall we?
"The new unilateral rule changes are an unnecessary and unwarranted overreaction on the league’s behalf."
Unnecessary. An ironic word to use since, considering no referee has ever reversed a call on the basis of a player's complaint, the complaint in and of itself is unnecessary. So the rule to prevent unnecessary actions is unnecessary, which would of course make the complaints necessary, but they of course are not necessary. Now, that's some faulty logic, but the point's still the same. The rule is necessary. It's how it's execute that you can argue may not be.
"We have not seen any increase in the level of 'complaining' to the officials and we believe that players as a whole have demonstrated appropriate behavior toward the officials. "
I'll believe there's been no increase, but that doesn't mean the level is appropriate. Because it's not. Watch Tim Duncan. Or Kobe Bryant. Or even Kendrick Perkins. Or, you know, Kevin Garnett (or look at the gigantic picture above). Even Celtics fans complained about how much the team complained last year. But maybe that's just an accent thing.
"Worse yet, to the extent the harsher treatment from the referees leads to a stifling of the players’ passion and exuberance for their work, we fear these changes may actually harm our product."
This as opposed to players taking games off in the middle of the season because they're "bored" or the fact that officials being influenced towards not calling fouls leads to a physical game like existed in the late 90's, AKA the most boring brand of basketball on the planet. But whatevs. The players are clearly worried about the product. That's why they're so easy to coach.
Right, because the change wasn't discussed for weeks and the players weren't given a heads up on it. That's how that went down. It was a sneak attack! Like Pearl Harbor, only with Kevin Garnett being ejected for yelling and screaming!
I tend to side with the Union on most issues, including those regarding the upcoming CBA and the essential need for a better revenue sharing model. But to pick this as the issue they want to sue over in a season with as many issues to discuss as this one is absurd. Just tell your guys to chill out and go play.
Posted on: October 14, 2010 9:43 am
Posted by Royce Young
Posted on: October 13, 2010 5:20 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Posted by Royce Young
If you could pick only seven TV shows to watch , what would they be? Like seven shows, period. Once you picked them, that's what you're watching for the next season of programming. Wouldn't be easy, huh?
Would you go with your favorites? Would go with what's fun to watch ? Or would you go with something informational or important? Questions all that help determine the criteria on your selection.
It's a question die-hard NBA fans have to ask themselves every year when it comes to getting NBA League Pass Broadband. For a little less, you don't get the whole league. Just unfiltered access to seven teams. But the hard part - and kind of the fun part - is figuring out what seven squads you want to have any time you want them.
Who would I pick? Well I'm glad you asked. Here's my seven choices:
1. Miami Heat - In my crude rating system that I just made up as I was typing this sentence, the Heat pretty much score high in everything. Watchibility . Interesting-ness . Talent on the floor. Importance to the league. And of course the fact they're one of the league's three or four absolutely legit contenders.
I mean, how could you not include the Heat? Even if you hate everything about them down to their weird looking mascot, this is the most intriguing NBA roster well, since I can remember. Because of what's going on in South Beach, the NBA offseason took precedent of Major League Baseball and NFL training camps. Yeah, so it's kind of a big deal.
And how could even think about missing any of it this year? Yes, they will be on national TV a lot. But you're not guaranteed to get every big performance there. What if the biggest Heat story of the year happens some random February night against the Raptors where Dwyane Wade and LeBron both explode for 40? Or in late March, there's a little argument on the bench between LeBron and Bosh? How could you be willing to miss that?
2. Los Angeles Lakers - Every game the Lakers play, it's an event. Kobe Bryant doesn't have that many games left and how could you give up the chance to watch one of the greatest ever try and win a sixth ring?
What makes the Lakers interesting? It's all in what they are. First, they're the Lakers . They're Hollywood basketball. They're Jack Nicholson sitting courtside , Phil Jackson running the show, Kobe hitting big shots. And Ron Artest doing potentially who knows what night-to-night. It's can't-miss stuff.
Plus, for a lot of teams, playing the Lakers is the biggest game of the month. It's just a little more important and a little bit more meaningful to both the team and its fans if the game's not in L.A. So you can expect packed houses, fired up crowds, pumped up teams and good basketball.
3. Milwaukee Bucks - You know who I had here originally? The Celtics. And why did I take them off? I don't really know, honestly. Because the Celtics are definitely a good team to have. But I guess I just don't find them all that interesting. They're old, potentially washing up and they're going to have 50 percent of their games on TV anyway.
So instead, I'm going with an upstart team featuring a fun scorer in Brandon Jennings, an emerging center in Andrew Bogut , an underrated forward in Ersan Ilyasova and a dark horse contender in the East.
4. Washington Wizards - I for one, am fascinated by this team. First, Gilbert Arenas. He's the league's most interesting personality. He makes up stories about being hurt. Like Jerry in the Seinfeld episode George asked him to not be funny, Arenas is touching his dark side and trying to be serious. And like Jerry, he can't not be funny. With that beard, it's impossible to take Arenas completely serious (though he's shaving it off soon).
More than that though, this team is coming off a season full of incredible turmoil, plus it has some of the most erratic personalities in the league. Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee and extremely talented but borderline on the headcase chart. Josh Howard never minces words. Al Thornton is already a little perturbed about his role. And then of course there's John Wall who is supposed to now be the face of the team. Put it all on the court together and you've got an intriguing team to watch .
Plus, any time you can get a good look at one of the future talents in the league as a rookie, it's a must. Don't you wish you could go back and watch LeBron James for 82 games as a rookie? Or Dwyane Wade? Or Kevin Durant? John Wall is almost a guarantee to be great and here's your chance to watch him get started. Here's your chance to watch him evolve and grow. I wouldn't want to miss it.
5. Oklahoma City Thunder - In terms of pure excitement, there probably isn't a more fun team to watch in the league. They're got exceptional athletes. They've got exciting young players. They've got talent. And best of all, they're actually good.
Watching Kevin Durant score is like a Sunday afternoon nap. You're never unsatisfied with what you get. Durant scores in the most boring exciting way possible. It'll be the third quarter and a graphic will flash at the bottom and you'll see a line of 27 points on 10-16 shooting and you'll only remember three of his baskets.
And while Durant scores in the quiet, efficient way, Westbrook scores in the loud, look-over-here way. This team is something you can't miss. Nobody knows how good they can really be and what makes them so fun to watch is that they never take a play off and truly love each other. They play hard and they play together. Nobody is more refreshing.
6. Los Angeles Clippers - Just look at that starting five. It looks pretty good, right? Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, Ryan Gomes , Blake Griffin, Chris Kaman - looks nice.
But what makes the Clippers a team I wouldn't want to miss is Griffin. From the small pieces we've gotten in preseason, he's going to provide at least one "WHOA!" moment a night. Whether it's a block, an oop or just a stuff over three defenders, Griffin is always going all out.
Add in the fact that when Davis is locked in, he's as good as any guard out there and the evident emergence of Eric Gordon as a scoring guard and you've got a team that could maybe make some noise. Griffin and Kaman on the inside is as good a looking interior one-two you'll find and the fact they don't get much spotlight in a city that has lights to spare makes them just a little more cool to watch .
The problem with picking the Clippers though is that a month in when two key players are hurt, Baron Davis is already putting on weight and taking quarters off and you realize Vinny Del Negro is the coach, you'll really regret picking them. But it's almost becoming an NBA tradition to be interested in the Clippers in October. The talent is there and they should be fun.
7. Chicago Bulls - The new Bulls era is off to a bit of a rough start with Carlos Boozer breaking his hand because of a gym bag. But this is a team transitioning in a weird way. They're combining their exciting young talent with quality veterans. The Baby Bulls of a few years ago fell apart, but this group is set up to actually compete.
But forget that. Derrick Rose is the only reason you actually need. End to end, he's just about as exciting a player as you're going to get. He just moves differently than other guys. Even a simple thing like a driving layup has another kind of flash, another kind style with Rose.
He may not be there in terms of stepping into the truly elite, but he's a can't-miss player. And with him on a team that's going to be good with players that are also talented, exciting and interesting, the Bulls are definitely a must-watch .
Obviously the two toss-ups on my list are the Clippers and Wizards. Those could be HUGE mistakes come January. Substitute in the Celtics and Magic and you've got a guaranteed solid seven. Or the Spurs and Mavericks. Or the Blazers and Hawks. Or the Jazz and Nuggets.
Or just say screw it and buy the whole League Pass and watch on TV. That's probably a better call. This season is going to just be that good.
Tags: Andrew Bogut, Baron Davis, Blake Griffin, Boston Celtics, Brandon Jennings, Chicago Bulls, Chris Bosh, Chris Kaman, Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Gilbert Arenas, John Wall, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Russell Westbrook, Washington Wizards
Posted on: October 11, 2010 2:30 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Remember LeBron James' elbow problems last season during the playoffs? It was so bad, he even had to shoot free throws left-handed. Then the Cavs lost to the Celtics, LeBron didn't play great in the last few games, then he signed with Miami and everyone forgot about the problems James had with his trusty right arm.
Finally, LeBron is talking a little about it. He told Lang Whitaker of SLAM a little about what he went through with the elbow:
“It was pretty bad. It was something we couldn’t figure out exactly what it was. There was times where I couldn’t fully extend my elbow, and that’s my shooting arm. And I do a lot with my right hand [laughs] … Close to the last week of the season it started hurting a little bit, and then it just got worse throughout the playoffs.”Wow, couldn't fully extend his elbow? I'm no David Thorpe here, but I'm pretty sure that sort of things is required to successfully shoot a basketball. Still no official diagnosis as to what was bothering LeBron though with the elbow or how it came about. We just now have LeBron finally saying, "It was pretty bad."
Credit to LeBron though, because he never made an excuse about the elbow. He is now, but that's well after the fact. Following a few of those dismal performances, he easily could've pointed right at his elbow and passed it off on that. But he didn't. He doesn't talk about how or where he's hurting. At the time, then-GM Danny Ferry said LeBron would've rested if it weren't the playoffs. Instead, he played.
If you remember, LeBron went to the jumper more and more when the elbow pain hit. Instead of aggressively bulldozing his way into the lane like he normally does, he shied away from the inside punishment and lingered on the perimeter. Now of course the whole elbow situation coupled with his poor performance and the way he tossed his Cavs jersey to the ground after Game 6 led people to crank up far-fetched theories that LeBron was throwing the series to escape town. But that stuff is as real as Sidd Finch.
Thus far in Miami, there haven't been any apparent affects still lingering over from the elbow issues. LeBron's jumper has looked healthy and he's been aggressive as ever. And so far, he hasn't shot any left-handed free throws.
Via Ziller at FanHouse
Posted on: October 8, 2010 12:05 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2010 12:08 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Did you know Shaquille O'Neal was born in Newark, New Jersey and spent the first 14 years of his life there? Yeah, me neither.
But the Big Fill In The Blank is committed to keeping basketball there. The Nets plan on moving to Brooklyn in a few years, but Shaq doesn't want to let that happen. So much so that he's said he's willing to become the Nets new general manager.
"I would have liked to see the new owner get with the guy who built the arena and keep the Nets there," O'Neal told the Bergen Record. "I don't want to see the team go to Brooklyn. Maybe the two heads can get together, they can do that and I can come down there and become general manager ... "We got a great owner, a great arena, let's keep it where it's at. Not only that, I'm saving the owner money so he doesn't have to pay another $300 million to build this new arena in Brooklyn. I know he has it. Hopefully he'll stay and hopefully he'll make me general manager because I will be available in 745 days."The 745 days referencing Shaq's set retirement date, of course.
It's pretty interesting that Shaq calls the team/city "we." He must still feel a pretty strong connection to the city. Newark definitely isn't known as one of the beautiful, premier metropolitans in the country and the Nets haven't exactly been a model franchise. But that doesn't mean Shaq isn't interested in the path of his hometown team.
From the story it says O'Neal hoped he could influence owner Mikhail Prokhorov to make Newark a permanent home. But through an e-mail, Prokhorov said he has "the greatest respect" for Shaq, yet buying the Nets was "predicated" on moving them to Brooklyn.
Sorry Shaq. But here's the good news: Give Billy King a year or two and you just might have your shot. That's kind of the way it works around there.