Possible clinchings for Sunday April 22, 2012:
CHICAGO clinches best record in East with a Miami loss.
LA LAKERS clinch division title with a win AND a LA Clippers loss.
We are 6 days away from the start of the 2012 playoffs!
Possible clinchings for Sunday April 22, 2012:
CHICAGO clinches best record in East with a Miami loss.
LA LAKERS clinch division title with a win AND a LA Clippers loss.
We are 6 days away from the start of the 2012 playoffs!
On Sunday February 5, 2012 the New York Giants and New England Patriots battled for the most coveted trophy in professional football, the Lombardi Trophy. After the first quarter seemed to be dominated by the Giants, the Patriots bounced back in the second quarter to take a 10-9 lead at the half. After another touchdown put the Pats up 17-9, the Giants were able to tack on two field goals to make the score 15-17 in favor of New England at the end of three quarters. After some stops from each team in the first half of the fourth quarter, Eli Manning got the ball back on his own 12 yard line with 3:46 left in the game. He then led his team on what would be the game winning drive that was capped off on a 6 yard touchdown run by Ahmad Bradshaw. Eli Manning was named the games MVP and finished with 296 yards, one touchdown and went 30 for 40(75% completion) on passes.
The NBA has been taken over by a new phenomenon by the name of Jeremy Lin. “Linning” is a new phrase being thrown around a lot lately and it is great for the game. A kid that bounced around from team to team may have just found himself a home in New York with the Knicks. The hottest selling jersey in New York is not Carmelo Anthony, A’mare Stoudemire or Tyson Chandler, but that of Jeremy Lin. They can’t print them fast enough! I am interested to see how Lins game will be once a healthy Carmelo returns to the line up. He sure is something special to watch and I for one can not wait to see more!
If you are a fan of basketball like myself, then you have been treated to some great college games early this season. Some great players that are emerging to become superstars are Austin Rivers, Seth Curry, Anthony Davis, Tyler Zeller, Thomas Robinson and Jared Sullinger just to name a few. We were treated to a game that came down to a Austin Rivers buzzer beating shot to win it this week by North Carolina and Duke. Coach K and Roy Williams have always been two coaches who I look forward to seeing on the sidelines. This is an exciting time for college basketball and I am looking forward to the March Madness tourney this year more than I have in the past few years! Below are the most current rankings.
MLB quick hits……The pitchers and catchers are set to return by February 22nd……..Jose Canseco has announced that he will give it a shot in a Mexican League…..Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers had another relapse episode in his alcohol addiction battle…..AJ Burnett may be on the move to Pittsburg if the Yankees and Pirates can work out all of the numbers money wise……The Texas Rangers and catcher Mike Napoli reached a one year 9.2 million dollar deal to avoid arbitration……Boston Redsox 3rd baseman Kevin Youkillis is now engaged to Patriots quarterback Tom Bradys sister……Asdrubal Cabrera and the Cleveland Indians agreed to a one year 4.55 million dollar deal to avoid arbitration, Cabrera was easily the Indians best player last year so this is a win-win for both sides. Until next week, stay classy KnuckleHeadz!
This morning, Mr(s). David Stern and the owners blocked a potential trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers in a three team deal. I first learned of this blockbuster deal last night, only to wake up to hear that it was blocked by said commish. What really made me irate (ground my gears) was hearing that Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cavaliers, wrote a letter to the league stating that the proposed trade was “a travesty” and that it would be a simply be another case of a superstar demanding to be traded. In other words, the small market v. big market dichotomy.
Well Mr(s). Stern and Mr(s). Gilbert, I assume you fail to recognize the rise of the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder. Let’s not forget that the Spurs, a small makret team that gets no love from any of the major sports networks, have won four (count them) championships since 1999. Furthermore, that Oklahoma City has rising stars Durant, Westbrook, et al., who gave the current champs (still won’t give them credit!) a run for their money. The small market/big market dilemma in this case is null & void. The trade would have made ALL of the teams involved better. Bottom line.
Does Mr(s). Stern & Co. actually believe that they can block this deal simply for “basketball reasons?” The backlash has been fierce and CP3 is considering legal action. What really bugs me is that Dell Demps, the Hornets manager, was given the green light to make this deal and when they presented it to the league office, it was shut down immediately. What repercussions will this have for the rest of the league? Will Stern shut down a Howard trade or Tyson Chandler signing? Highly doubtful. Where is the justification? What will the Hornets get in return will CP3 ultimately leaves after this truncated season?
…and that’s what I think of Mr(s). Stern, Mr(s). Gilbert.
The date was June 19th, 1988. I can remember it like it was yesterday. My dad had some family and friends over to watch game 6 of the finals that featured the western conference champions, the Los Angeles Lakers, against the eastern conference champions, the Detroit Pistons.
I had been watching the entire series with my dad and his pals, who were all Lakers fans and was forced to hear about how great they were all series long. Which indeed was true, let’s face it, a team that featured hall of famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Earvin “Magic” Johnson and James Worthy. Not to mention key contributors Byron Scott, A.C. Green, Michael Cooper and who could forget Kurt Rambis?! Now that is one tough line up to deal with night in and night out without a doubt, but I was fed up with my dad and his pals bragging about this team! So just to spite them, I decided to root for Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer, Dennis Rodman, Joe Dumars and the rest of the “Bad Boys”.
The Pistons were up 3 games to 2 in the best of seven series, so this was an elimination game for Magic Johnson and company. Like I said, I had been watching the entire series but I did not really start paying attention until this game. I am not going to sit here and bore you with all the stats and what happened quarter by quarter. But what I will mention is what everyone mentions when they talk about game 6 of this series: Isiah Thomas’ sprained ankle. The one quarter that I do want to talk about is the 3rd one, where Thomas put on a classic performance. Oh and I must mention he did this with one severely sprained ankle for the last four minutes or so!
Despite playing with a sprained ankle, Thomas managed to score a NBA finals record 25 points in the 3rd quarter, a record that still stands to this day. The sprain came with a little under five minutes to go in the 3rd quarter when Thomas was making a pass to teammate Joe Dumars. Thomas had scored 14 points up until this moment but immediately after spraining the ankle, he could not even walk much less put pressure on the ankle. After sitting out for a minute(game time not real time) or so, Isiah checked back into the game and managed to score 11 of the Pistons last 15 points to give them a two point lead after trailing by eight points just a couple minutes earlier in the game.
It was then when I was amazed at how a man could play on basically one leg and still dominate the game and help his team come back after trailing for most of the game. Naturally, with the team that I was rooting for leading after the 3rd quarter, I began to rub it in my dad’s face. This began a face off that his friends did not hesitate to join in on! The rest of the game was back and forth with everyone yelling when each team would score a basket. It was official, I fell in LOVE with the game of basketball that night and haven’t fallen out of love ever since.
The next day I remember going to our back yard and pretending I was Isiah Thomas, shooting the ball on one leg and limping around as if I had sprained my ankle. Being young and blind I also thought that Earvin’s real name was “Magic” and thought that this was the coolest thing ever! I would imitate Kareem’s sky hook and shoot 3′s from the corner and yell “Michaellllll Cooooooooper”, just as the announcer would yell every time he hit a 3 pointer. I was hooked on this game and could not get enough! Every year, 95% of my friends and family anticipate the start of the NFL and NCAA football seasons, not I. I ALWAYS look forward to the start of the NBA season year after year, so it pains me to see this lockout continue to go on day after day with the chance of it ending growing smaller and smaller as the days go by.
So this was the moment that I fell in love with the game of basketball, what was yours?
What a perfect time for a new blog. 100 (+) degree weather. Casey Anthony found not guilty and a NBA lockout.
Here’s a quick recap of how we arrived at this particular juncture. Unlike the NFL & NHL, the National Basketball Association utilizes a “soft cap” which allows owners to exceed their cap space for special exceptions. The owners are now pushing for a “hard cap” or a fixed cap because of their reckless spending under the “soft cap” model. With a fixed cap they claim that they can promote a “more competitive and balanced league”. On the other side, certain players will be hurt financially by this new “hard cap” system. All of the exceptions (i.e. mid-level, Larry Bird & c.) have benefited from the “soft cap” system that has been in place since the 1983-4 season.
In the 1998 collective bargaining agreement, the owners essentially got what they wanted: 1) they received 43% of the overall revenue 2) the “soft cap” was implemented 3) mid-level exceptions and 4) maximum contracts were put into place under their assumption that they would keep costs down. However, here we are 13 years later with the owners complaining about the situation they put themselves (and us) in. Can we reasonably believe that they will have a better solution this time around?
The owners are not even able to convey a consistent message. At certain times they claim that they want to promote a “more balanced and competitive league” (i.e. the small v. big market dichotomy) and other times they claim that they want to simply increase overall revenues. These positions are contradictory. It has been proven that to increase revenue marketing muscle and talent should be filtered through big market teams (i.e. Lakers, Celtics, Knicks & c.), which would be able to support the entire league. In other words, if the owners wanted more balance among the league, it would take money away from these same big market teams and thus from the league as a whole.
Although the players have been silent for the most part, the owners, meanwhile, have been spewing out figures of how much they are losing. This has been the owners only consistent message and if this is all fans hear, they are liable to believe it (see politics). The players should either a) call them out and settle on a revenue sharing model, which would promote a more competitive league. If the owners don’t agree with that model, it would show that all they care about is revenue and taking all they can from the players or b) the players could also agree to a 50/50 split, which would negate the maximum individual contracts and hard cap. This extra money should be enough for the owners to manage their expenditures (if not then they probably shouldn’t be owners at all!)
It is a shame that what has been the highest rated NBA playoffs in the cable era will end with another NBA lockout. It’s unfortunate that the league is high in it’s popularity around the globe and yet not structured well financially. Although the league always seems to get what it wants, the players and the fans are the ones suffer from the owners imprudent ways. This is a repeat of 1998 (not the kind of repeats we want!) in that the league ended on a high note only to go into a lockout that same summer. What should trouble fans is that professional basketballs reputation is once again on the verge of being tarnished. It seems like if we keep following these owners advice we will be heading down this same path in the near future. Oh yeah, the leagues television contract expires in 2016…
A couple of surprises. A lot of foreigners. An impending lockout. A few highlights.
Everyone speculated that Cleveland was going to pick Kyrie Irving (Duke) as this years numero uno draft pick and they were correct. The Cavs acquired this pick from their trade with the LA Clippers. The Clippers felt that it was in their best interest to let Baron Davis go (along with his 2 year/28 million dollar contract), get Mo Williams [sic] in return and resign Jordan and Gordon. It will be interesting to see how this situation with Irving, Davis, Sessions and Gibson at the point plays out. As previously mentioned, please, no more comparisons to the “anointed one,” I just don’t have the strength to hear people complain!
However, what surprised a lot of people was that the Cavs chose Tristan Thompson (Texas) as their #4 pick. Irving seemed happy that Big XII Freshmen of the Year would be joining him in Ohio. Although he does need to develop his game, in the meantime, his 7’1″ wingspan, great foot work and ability to block a couple shots will surely suffice.
With the second pick, the Timberwolves chose Derrick Williams (Arizona) to join the Love Train. He was the obvious choice for number 2 and is probably the most NBA ready player in this years draft class (you probably already heard that one before). Minnesota will finally get Ricky Rubio at the point to play alongside Williams and Love. The problem with this acquisition is that the Wolves are already to committed to Milicic and are not giving up on Love (pun very much intended) after his streak of double-doubles. Will Minnesota try to move Beasley or keep Williams? It seems they are adamant on keeping their pick, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
Kemba Walker (UConn) was chosen by the Charlotte Bobcats as their 9th pick. The former Huskie point guard will join #7 draft pick in Biyombo (Congo) in Charlotte. The Bobcats acquired Biyombo from a trade that sent Stephen Jackson to the Bucks. Kemba is explosive around the net and his team first attitude is probably what got him drafted over Brandon Knight (Kentucky).
This draft day is a culmination of Jordan’s (Michael that is) new approach as majority owner. Charlotte recently let go of Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Gerald Wallace and now Jackson. This new strategy of clearing the deck and going for a younger core of players has been happening for the past couple years, albeit he faced much criticism. It seems like Jordan is clearing cap space to make a move in the summer of 2012. I hope he knows what he’s doing.
Jim Jam (for fans of Weeds). Jimmer Fredette (BYU), the National Player of the Year and most talked about player of the season went to the Kings (via Milwaukee) at #10. He was exciting to watch at the college level and should continue to garner interest at the pro level. He has Tiger Woods range (not girl wise but shot wise, yes that was his teammate) and has the ability to finish in the paint. Although he has been criticized for his lack of defensive prowess, I think he will develop that aspect and it will come with time. He joins Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins in Sac-Town and should bring some money to the Maloof’s. Let’s just hope he’s still as exciting as he was in Brigham Young.
However, this all seems bitter sweet because there is an impending lock-out. Twenty-two out of the thirty teams are losing money (lots) and it seems that the players association and owners cannot see eye to eye. After hearing Derek Fisher saying the player’s union won’t back down to avoid a lock-out does not comfort me at all. I hope that they are able to come to an agreement, otherwise, these rookies will have plenty of time to practice!
Whether you’re a Spurs fan or not, it’s hard to argue the heart and passion that Fabricio Oberto has for the game of basketball. Oberto was forced to retire from the game due to a heart condition and I can personally say that it sad to hear. However, luck may have turned in his favor just in time for the Olympic Qualifiers taking place in Mar de Plata, Argentina. The tournament will begin August 30th and end September 11th and according to Ole.com, a statement was made that Oberto has been medically cleared to play.
Here is the statement (translated from original site)*
Finally the moment that we’ve all be waiting to announce, according to the results of many studies I have received medical discharge and consequently I am able to resume the practice of sport safely.
So from today I put myself at the mercy of the Technical Corps of the national team so that I may achieve peak physical condition and according to the Basketball Tournament in which we participate and the rank and prestige of our Selection that it requires.
In this regard, and because of the long downtime, it should be made clear that I will try every effort to arrive at suitable conditions to participate in the international tournament like the one we have before us, and maybe not achieve it; I will be the first to leave my place of respect that is required by the National Team and out of the love I have for my colleagues and friends.
We greatly appreciate all the continuing concern you have shown me and the affection and support constantly received.
I hope we meet in Mar del Plata.
It would be great to be able to watch Oberto play the sport that he loves once again. It was a bitter sweet day when he announced his retirement and I hope he can represent his country once again.
Argentina is seeded in Group B which also includes Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Panama and Paraguay. Group A includes Canada, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Brazil and Cuba. For more information please visit FIBA Americas.
In other news surrounding Argentina, according to Leandro Ginobili’s twitter account, Manu Ginobili may be in doubt:
“Manu Ginobili in doubt, medical diagnosis? Hyperextension of the nasal septum! It seems he has suffered this from the age of 12.”*
It will be interesting to see how this latest development plays a role. If we’ve learned anything about Manu Ginobili, it’s that it takes a lot to stop him from playing.
*I have attempted to make sure that my translation is as accurate as I could make it. Please visit the original websites in which these comments were posted if you would like to see the original Spanish text.
From all of us here at 2 KnuckleHeadz, we would like to say Happy Father’s Day to the fathers around the world. For your enjoyment we leave you with a memorial staple in the legacy of one of, if not the greatest, to ever play the game of basketball, Michael Jeffrey Jordan.
This is a different type of post.
I wanted to wait a couple days before I followed up on my weekly post. Mainly because a) I didn’t want to overreact and speak from an emotional stance b) I wanted to see what other people had to say on the situation and c) I am still waiting to wake up from this nightmare of a season.
Okay, I will give THAT team credit. Happy? They swept the Lakers and ruined my prediction, which I would still make! However, let’s get one thing straight. I never claimed to be a Miami Heat fan, I just dislike the M@$%&!#s that much. Which means it could have been ANY other team in the Eastern conference. What really makes me sick is frequenting the various “hot-spots” in and around San Antonio and hearing people actually cheering for the M@$%&!#s (projectile-vomit). So spoiled rich boy Mark Cuban decides to shut his mouth for once and all of a sudden he’s likable? Okay fair weather fans, when the M@$%&!#s visit the AT&T Center next year you need to STFU [noobs]. That’s right, I don’t care what the media says about the Heat or whatever antics LeBron or Wade are involved in (at least they didn’t hit their wives or get a bro-ner everytime Hasselhoff hits a high note), rivalry trumps everything! So I emoted, sue me.
This is what boggles my mind. After attending several games vs. the M@$%&!#s at the AT&T Center, I distinctly remember an all encompassing hatred of said team. Every sign I saw succinctly reflected this and every fan from this alien town looked genuinely frightened. Although it’s all in good fun, it’s simply part of the rivalry aspect. I’ll say it one more time, rye-vul-ree. It’s okay not to forget that there is a rivalry regardless of what the pretty shiny screen says in front of you!
If you want listen to the media and hear them constantly compare LeBron to Jordan, that’s just to draw up hatred (and/or ratings) and simply put, silly. Face it though, when someone is dubbed “The One” from what seems like infancy, that has to do something to your psyche. By no means am I giving any excuses for LeBron’s poor play (which was very poor!). I am talking about something deeper in regards to people searching for the “next Jordan.”
It seems awkward to say but deep down inside, we all want to see someone who is Jordan-esque (or better). Someone who simply transcends our understanding of the game of basketball and dominates in every way imaginable. It’s entertaining, inspiring and frankly, the reason we love the game! Believe me, there will be a day, when someone surpasses the likes of Jordan (blasphemy!). It’s inevitable. The law of the land. Records were made to be broken. However, will that person actually make it out of eight grade without a camera in his (or her) face and his (or her) high school games made available only on pay-per-view? Whether you admit it or not, if you are a fan of the game, then like me, you kept an eye on the young LeBron James. We like to raise people up but what we really love, is to watch them fall.
Just to be clear, I am not comparing James to Jordan or vice versa success wise. I am saying that we want our athletes to be great and have great character as well. LeBron clearly lacks character, sure, but there are dozens of people in the NBA who do as well. He just happens to be in the limelight although the masses came to him and paid for his high school games & c. (i.e. watched his every move since). If we are talking about off court antics, Jordan is no saint himself. If Jordan didn’t exist, the game wouldn’t be the same as it is today. However what gets me thinking is if the media exists as it does today would Jordan still be the same Jordan? In other words, if he were dubbed the second coming of Magic or Dr. J from HS would that change anything?
All in all, I’m glad that this nightmare is finally over! I’m looking forward to next season and forgetting this one altogether. It was an interesting year to say the least. Although, we were given this horror to try to wipe from our memory, I still love the sport of it and will be at the AT&T Center next season in a M@$%&!#s jersey!
Prior to Game 5, LeBron and Wade were seen mocking Dirk Nowitzki. Specifically, they coughed and giggled like a couple of school girls. Wade begins by coughing and saying, “Did ya’ll hear me cough? I think I’m sick…” LeBron then says, “Man, this weather man. It’s hard going from 85 degree weather then go to 90…”
Now, I’m not stupid. I realize in a competitive atmosphere, players will poke fun at the other team and (often) themselves to make light of a situation and ease the tension. But let’s be smart about this fellas. In front of a Dallas News TV camera?! Seriously? How stupid can you be? And of all the people to poke fun at on LIVE television, you choose to make fun of Dirk? The guy that is averaging 25 and 7 a game? The guy that has scored 52 points in the 4th quarter against you? Not to mention Dirk is one of the most humble superstars in the NBA. Great decision guys. You already know you’re the most scrutinized team on the planet so why give the media more ammo?
I think what really shocks me is Wade. I honestly would expect a childish antic like this from Baby Bron Bron, but not from Wade. I guess that confiden…whoops, I mean COCKINESS is going to be their achilles heel. One would think they would’ve learned their lesson after Game 2′s epic meltdown. Dancing around in front of the Mavs bench like you’re P. Diddy. Just to end up hopping on the plane with a big fat L.
Their antic blew up in there face as they lost by 9 in Game 5. *cough cough* still think you’re sick? *cough cough* Where are you LeBron? Are you sick too? You must be with that disappearing act you’ve been pulling. If you’re supposed to be the next Jordan, then act like it. Jordan never scored below 22 points in the Finals. Because I’m a fan of the game I realize LeBron leads in 4th quarter assists, which is an incredible stat, but when the pressure is on it should be YOU scoring the buckets to carry your team into victory. Wade said earlier in the Playoffs that this was YOUR team LeBron, so how about you stop acting like a 16 year-old school girl and man up.
Game 6 is tonight and I’m confident the Mavs’ defensive schemes and ball movement will continue to cause problems for the Heat in the 4th quarter. This has been an excellent series and one of the best NBA Finals match ups I’ve seen in a long time. When the Mavs win, I hope the Heat will learn a lesson in humility. If they don’t, well, have fun getting raped by the media with no lube.
I almost forgot. Hey LeBron, tell Rashard Lewis I said hey. He’s such a great guy isn’t he? *cough cough*