Posted on: January 27, 2011 8:02 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2011 8:04 pm

This Earl Boykins jumpshot will blow your mind

Posted by Royce Young

Once when I was in high school during a game, a guy on my team took a jumper that rolled around the rim a few times and ended up coming to a stop and the back iron. I had never seen that happen before. It was a jump ball, but something that was pretty cool to see.

Earl Boykins had one roll around the rim more than a few times against the Hawks and it did not come to a complete stop (though it looks like it will at one point). However, it didn't look like it might ever stop spinning around the iron either.

The ball makes four complete circles around the tin and just watch how far it goes down before spinning back up. During the super-slow-motion shot, it truly seems like it goes on forever.

I wonder what the ruling would've been if it hadn't ever stopped spinning? I guess that might've meant this was all a dream though right? Maybe Earl Boykins' totem is a basketball? I just blew my own mind.

Category: NBA
Posted on: January 25, 2011 11:57 am

Video: Trailer for Kobe's 'The Black Mamba'

Posted by Royce Young

Kobe Bryant has some sort of Nike Basketball movie thing coming out Feb. 19 on the Internet called "The Black Mamba." It's clearly an advertisement, but by the way it sounds, it's going to be like a short film or something, directed by Robert Rodriguez.

And now, we see the first trailer for it. It stars Kobe, Bruce Willis and Danny Trejo. In other words, what a cast, eh?

It looks pretty fun though, but what doesn't when Rodriguez uses that cool voice-over guy? That makes everything sound like it's awesome. I wish that guy would narrarate my life.

Category: NBA
Posted on: January 23, 2011 1:44 am

Blake Griffin doing very Blake Griffin things

Posted by Royce Young

The Clippers won again at home, taking down the Warriors 113-109 for a sixth straight win at Staples. And guess who played a really good game for them?

Blake Austin Griffin. (Did you know his middle name was Austin? That means his intials are BAG. Anyway, what was I saying again?)

Griffin nearly did something entirely amazing, flirting with a historic 30-20-10 game, but came up just short. I guess 30 points, 18 rebounds and eight assists is pretty OK though.

And then of course, Griffin did this.

What can you possibly say about the Clipper rookie at this point? Let's list a few things he's done:

1) Revived a fan base that was one of the most depressed in all of sports. 2) Is averaging almost 30 and 15 in January. 3) Has brought back the good Baron Davis. Because of Griffin's inspiring play and hustle, the Clippers have gotten two good players because of Griffin. 4) Has the Clippers talking playoffs. This year. 5) Made the Clippers a must-watch team while also making them nearly as big a deal in Los Angeles as the Lakers. For real.

That list could go on and on. But for now, just admire his work from Saturday against the Warriors. And get ready to see a lot more of it.
Posted on: January 23, 2011 12:42 am
Edited on: January 23, 2011 3:41 pm

Kevin Durant ices the Knicks at the buzzer

Posted by Royce Young

OKLAHOMA CITY -- As is the case most times when someone hits a game-winner at the buzzer, the real story gets overshadowed.

Yes, Kevin Durant hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to beat the New York Knicks 101-98. Yes, it was awesome. Yes, it was the most important play of the game.

But Durant wouldn't have ever had a chance to win it for his team has the Thunder not made some serious changes at the half. The Knicks were ahead 60-53 at the break, but were ripping the Oklahoma City defense apart. The Knicks had scored 19 fast break points, a bundle of buckets in the lane and looked ready to run the Thunder out of the building at any minute.

But the halftime horn sounded and that's when Scott Brooks got the attention of his group.

“My mom would not be very happy with what I said," Brooks said after the game.

Whatever it was, it definitely worked. The Thunder held the high-powered Knicks to just 38 second half points and allowed just two in the final three minutes. Without that defense, Durant doesn't get to play hero.

Brooks talked after the game about adjustments and probably the biggest and most important one he made was going with one of the Thunder’s best lineups down the home stretch. He had Westbrook, Harden, Durant, Ibaka and Collison on the floor to defend New York’s stellar pick-and-roll game. It worked well, forcing the Knicks into long jumpers and also meant that the Thunder crushed the glass.

OKC shot just 38.6 percent in this game but outrebounded the Knicks 57-40, including 22 offensive rebounds. Serge Ibaka had a career-high 15. Nick Collison grabbed six, five offensive, Durant pulled in 12.

But again, this was about Durant's game-winner. It was only the second of his career (the first was against the Hawks his rookie year when the team was still in Seattle) and something he called a relief.

"To be honest, it feels good," Durant said. "I've missed so many of those and to finally make one, it feels good. That’s one of the all-time best feelings I’ve had in this league."

The thing is about Durant's shot, is that he's one of very few players that could've hit it. The play didn't work out how Brooks drew it up and Durant was left with a fading 3-pointer over the outstretched hand of 6-10 Danilo Gallinari. Not very many players would've even been able to get that one to the rim. But Durant swished it.

After it dropped, Durant calmly walked with little expression, soaking in the moment. He knew he had done something bad. He knew how cold-blooded it was. He was holding that swagger, but then it came out. A small grin as his teammates rushed him. Just another little reminder that at 22 years old, he's still getting used to this whole cold-blooded killer thing. But it's something we had better get used to, because this won't be the last one.
Posted on: January 21, 2011 4:39 pm

Five years ago, Kobe Bryant dropped 81 on Toronto

Posted by Royce Young

Five years ago tomorrow, Kobe Bryant did something amazing. Something only one other player in NBA history has done better. Kobe scored 81 points in one game against the Toronto Raptors.

Eight-one points. I mean, think about that. Last night the Dallas Mavericks scored 77 as a team against the Bulls. The Milwaukee Bucks are only averaging 10 more than that a game this season. Yet Kobe put up 81 stinking points.

Just look at the box score from that night. Kobe was 28-46 from the field, 7-13 from 3, 18-20 from the free throw line and played 42 minutes. Kobe scored 14 in the first, 12 in the second, 27 in the third and 28 in the fourth. That's 55 points after halftime. The Lakers actually trailed by 18 in the third quarter, which ticked off Kobe. So he went off. Eventually the Lakers poured it on, beating the Raptors 122-104.

Michael Jordan's career high was 69 points, and only four players had ever scored more than 70 -- Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, David Thompson and David Robinson. Kobe's previous career-high was 62 against the Mavericks a month earlier. And he actually sat out the entire fourth quarter of that game.

An even more interesting note from that game? Chris Mihm, Kwame Brown and Smush Parker all started. I think you can kind of understand why Kobe scored 81 now, can't you?

That Laker team was one of the worst over the past decade, struggling to a 45-37 record only behind Kobe's huge scoring binges. That season he scored more than 50 five times. He averaged 35.4 ppg for the season. The closest he's come to duplicating the 81 was when he scored 65 against Portland in 2007.

After the game, Kobe said, "Not even in my dreams. That was something that just happened. It's tough to explain. It's just one of those things.

"It really hasn't, like, set in for me. It's about the `W,' that's why I turned it on. It turned into something special. To sit here and say I grasp what happened, that would be lying."

Five years later, I'm still not sure we can grasp what happened.
Posted on: January 18, 2011 3:27 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2011 3:42 pm

Blake Griffin isn't just a dunker, he's a scorer

Posted by Royce Young

Blake Griffin leads the NBA in dunks. By a wide margin actually. According to the CBS Sports Dunk-O-Meter, Griffin has 91 dunks on the season, nine more than Dwight Howard.

In fact, 26 percent of Griffin's total field goals have come via a dunk. (Howard's number is at 27 percent.)

With his inclusion as the headliner in All-Star Weekend's dunk contest and the highlight reel he's put together halfway through the season, Griffin has become known as a dunker first, basketball player second.

But in his best game of the season, a 47-point explosion on just 24 shots, Griffin only dunked once. I know what you're thinking. Well how in the heck did he score then? The answer is, by doing a bit of everything. Watch:

As Ben Golliver pointed out yesterday, Griffin scored every way you can, except from the 3-point line. He attacked the rim. He got to the line. He posted. He hit the boards and put back rebounds. He spun, twirled and whirled all over the floor. And that little face-up bank shot? Oh my, so money.

The question really becomes after we saw the entire Griffin arsenal unleashed, how do you guard this guy? If he can hit a face-up jumper one second and then dribble right by you and finish with his face at the rim, how in the world do you stop him? You can try sending double-teams, except that Griffin is a gifted passer and can even dribble out of them. You can try and deny him the ball, except that he's so big and strong that he will get it. Or you can just foul him and try and make him beat you at the free throw line. Except over the past few games, he's hitting close to 70 percent from the stripe.

A lot of people wonder where Griffin got all this ability. I mean, how does a 6-10, 250-pound guy have the handles of a point guard and the moves of gifted small forward? First off, it's hard work. Nobody, and I mean nobody , has worked harder than Griffin at perfecting his game and getting into stellar shape. Blake and his brother Taylor spent their summers in college working out in California with trainer Frank Matrisciano. The Griffin brothers worked out on sand dunes and cliffs hanging over the Pacific Ocean. Taylor said once, "It's definitely one of the hardest things you will ever face. Frank's thing is that if you can run up a 60-degree incline in sand with a 60-pound weight vest on, then running 94 feet down a flat court should be easy."

After that, it's just Blake's background. I actually had the good fortune of knowing the Griffin brothers growing up, having played little league baseball with Taylor and also going to church events with both of them. (It's funny for me because I actually remember Blake being this little annoying kid that wouldn't get out of our dugout. Blake so badly wanted to play on our team, but he was too small. Imagine that.) Blake and Taylor both were homeschooled up until high school and played homeschool basketball. And both of them primarily were guards. Or more specifically, point forwards. That's the way things work a lot of times. Your best player has the ball and your best player does all the creating. That was certainly Blake's role.

If my memory serves me, Blake didn't really sprout into the monster he is now until he was a freshman. For most of his basketball career growing up, he was bigger than the other kids, but not THAT much bigger. So he played a lot of point guard and handled the ball. Taylor did the same. So as Blake grew into the beast that he is now, he had already overcome what so many big men battle. Blake had conquered ball handling and passing, because he did it extensively when he was 12. While other big men were planted in the post from the time they could pick up a ball, Griffin played outside, handling, passing and moving.

So really, that's the scariest thing about Blake's ceiling. He hasn't even had a ton of time to refine a real post game yet. He's still figuring out what he's good at and what the best way for him to score is. And just dropping 47 points on 24 shots in the meantime

But get this much straight: It's not just about the dunks.
Posted on: January 18, 2011 10:56 am
Edited on: January 18, 2011 10:58 am

Video: Charles Barkley does the Dougie

Posted by Royce Young

This was in today's Shootaround, but it really deserves the honor of being embedded. Over the past week, Chris Webber has really came into his own as an NBA analyst. It started last Thursday when Webber replaced Barkley because of travel issues for Chuck.

Barkley returned last night to Inside the NBA and reminded us why he's the best. Well, maybe not the best analyst, but the best personality. Seemingly out of nowhere, Barkley stood up and starting moving. And eventually, busted out the Dougie.

He didn't go on for a slightly awkward amount of time like John Wall and I'm not sure if Colin Cowherd is going to call Barkley out today for it, but regardless, it was good stuff. Inside the NBA has always been the best pre and post-game show in sports and Barkley is a big reason why. And it's not just for the analysis.
Category: NBA
Posted on: January 17, 2011 10:25 am

Kobe is going to be in a Robert Rodriguez 'movie'

Posted by Royce Young

It's being called a movie, but it's really more of a longer, more creative shoe advertisement. At least that's what I'm thinking it is.

Via the OC Register, Kobe Bryant has filmed a movie in which he acts in it. (So no, this isn't a sequel to Kobe Doin' Work.) A real director is filming (Robert Rodriguez of Spy Kids , Planet Terror and Sin City fame.)

The movie, as it's being called, will be released during All-Star weekend. I don't if know if "released" means in a theater where you buy a ticket, but I assume it means that the full version will be posted on the Internet.

But this is no Kazaam. Kobe's movie is all being done as a promotion for the Zoom Kobe VI shoe and Bryant’s new “True Colors” apparel line. It's being billed like this: “The world’s best basketball player. … Biggest challenge yet. … Kobe Bryant is the Black Mamba. … A Robert Rodriguez film.”

Of course this isn't Kobe's first adventure into acting. He appeared in Call of Duty's new commercial for Black Ops recently sporting a huge grenane-launching gun. As for this film, I would assume it's just going to be a super long commercial and not actually a two-hour full-length feature film. Please don't let it be a full-length feature film.

Category: NBA
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