NBA REVIEW, WEEK 7

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Derek Fisher

Lakers guard Derek Fisher, right, shoots over Clippers center DeAndre Jordan to score the game-winning basket in the Lakers’ 87-86 victory Wednesday. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press / December 8, 2010)

STORY OF THE WEEK

Hornets face long road to profitability  

New Orleans Hornets: Will NBA be salvation of New Orleans Hornets franchise?  

NEWS FROM AROUND THE ASSOCIATION

Inside the brain of Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest

A Day In The Life Of Ron Artest – ESPN Video  

Warning to kids: Don’t try being Ron Ron at home.

Boston Celtics’ Kevin Garnett seeks out Denver Nuggets coach George Karl to clarify cancer comments about Charlie Villanueva .

Some are saying that this was a “classy move” on KG’s part but, I’m not one of them. The truly “classy move” would have been to never make the statement in the first place.

A MILESTONE FOR DENVER COACH GEORGE KARL

Denver vs. Toronto – Recap – 10, 2010 – Basketball – NBA – SI.com 

TWO PLAYERS SEEKING REDEMPTION

Arenas nears troubling anniversary  

Walker’s comeback begins with minor step  

AND ONE SEEKING TO BE THE BEST HE CAN BE

Lakers’ Shannon Brown returns home to Chicago as a rising star  

THIS IS GETTING UGLIER BY THE DAY

Billy Hunter, NBA players union won’t budge on hard cap stance

Phil Jackson: Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson sorry he will miss Chicago Bulls championship ceremony  

Lakers’ offense might be Bermuda Triangle for Ron Artest

Amar’e’s opening in Apple reminiscent of some greats

Serby’s Sunday Q & A with… Raymond Felton  

 Nuggets hope trust can keep their star  

Blake Griffin’s Dunks Earn Online Views and On-Court Smiles

Top 10 Blake Griffin Dunks Of The Season (So Far)

I’m starting to believe that Blake Griffin very well may kill a rim before the All-Star break.

Lebron James’ Miami Mansion [PICS]  

TNT “Inside the NBA”

Mark Heisler on the NBA: Broadcaster Ralph Lawler is the most valuable Clipper  

QUOTES OF THE WEEK

“I just felt together with them, I felt connected with them. A lot of times during an NBA season, the coach and players aren’t really connected, they’re fighting a lot. This was a moment, not only on the court but in the locker room afterwards, there was a great connection.” – Denver Nuggets coach George Karl after winning his 1,000th career game on Wednesday.

“He’s one of the best coaches I’ve played for. He’s all about winning, he’s all about playing the right way and sharing the basketball and everybody having their opportunities out there. I believe that’s the way you win basketball games. Obviously, with 1,000 wins, he knows what he’s doing.” – Nuggets guard Chauncey Billups on coach George Karl.

“I really don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it, but yes, I anticipate this will be the last time I coach in this building.” – Lakers coach and former Bulls coach Phil Jackson at Friday’s shoot around in Chicago’s United Center.

“You know the key to their team? There’s too many keys. The opposing team comes in and says, we’re going to shut down [Rajon] Rondo and KG [Kevin Garnett] and then Paul Pierce and Ray Allen explode. Shaquille O’Neal is a great fit. [Glen] ‘Big Baby’ Davis is wonderful…. “The biggest thing is Kevin Garnett’s health has improved drastically and he’s back where he was two years ago.” – ESPN’s Chris Mullin, on the Boston Celtics.

“I never drank beer until I got to Vancouver, and we started losing. I would stay up after games until 2 in the morning. I was like, ‘I can’t deal with this. It helped me to understand the difference between losers and winners. There’s a big difference.” – Cavaliers Coach Byron Scott, on going from the Lakers to the expansion Grizzlies.

“Oh, Kareem. Oh, yes. Shaq can only score with power, but Kareem could score so many different ways. He had a hook shot and a bank shot and could hit his free throws and dominate late when games were hanging in the balance. I don’t think you will ever find a center in basketball more dominant on the offensive end than Kareem. The man was just incredible.” – Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson after being asked who was a more dominant center, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or Shaquille O’Neal by Vincent Mazolli of the NY Times.

CHUCK’S CHALK TALK

Psst. The Knicks are much better this season thanks to newcomers Amar’e Stoudemire (expected) and Raymond Felton (totally unexpected) who, under coach Mike D’Antoni’s “Just wave your hands in the air and act like you don’t care” system of go-go offense and just look interested on defense, is looking like the Raymond Felton who ran the point on Carolina’s 2005 national championship team. And, they’ll be even better when they finally add Carmelo Anthony to the mix. Yes, I said when, not if.

Is it just me or is there a legitimate chance of the Hornets, Kings, T-Wolves folding in the next year or so?

The thing I’ll remember most about the Lakers last second win over the Clippers Wednesday night was the haunted look on Blake Griffin’s face after the game as he suddenly realized just what it means to be a Clipper. It was sad and chilling to see.

Sad news – Venice Beach playground legend Sidney Deane reported to the Federal Correctional Institution McKean in Pennsylvania Thursday to begin serving a three-year bid for failure to file income tax forms. I guess not reporting those hustle wins with Billy Hoyle and off-the-books construction jobs was a mistake after all.

Am I the only one who finds it hard to believe that it’s already been 20 years since the Bulls’ first championship team? YouTube – Michael Jordan switches hands  

MY TEN NON-NBA THOUGHTS OF THE WEEK

  1. The president’s tax compromise – Is Barack Obama playing chess while his opponents are playing checkers?
  2. I’ve got grudging admiration for congressional GOPers. They’re against extended un-employment benefits but want tax breaks for millionaires, they’re against a healthcare law that allows more Americans access to the same level of care they receive as federal employees and yet, they’ve convinced many voters that they’re the party of middle-class Americans.
  3. The Bill Clinton Show never closes it for good, it just takes time off to retool the act.
  4. If Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton is telling the truth when he says he’s not “disappointed” in his dad Cecil who apparently tried to sell his son’s football services to Mississippi State before the junior college transfer enrolled at Auburn, I’d hate to see what Cecil would have to do for Cam to be disappointed.
  5. Anyone who cares about and loves Miley Cyrus must be afraid for her these days.
  6. Hank Steinbrenner must think that he, and not his late father George, is the one responsible for turning the Yankees into the powerhouse franchise it’s become in recent years. That’s the only possible explanation I can see for the public position he took against Derek Jeter during the Yankee captain’s recent free agent negotiations.
  7. I predict a long, bruising legal battle between the Washington Redskins and recently suspended defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth over the $21 million bonus the team paid him in April of this year.
  8. The Cowboys and Vikings should have changed head coaches earlier in the season.
  9. Speaking of the Vikings, I can’t understand why they’re still allowing Brett Favre to hold them hostage to his streak of starting games. It’s wayyyyy past time to turn the team over to Tavaris Jackson and find out what he really can do.
  10. Michael Strahan is having the post-NFL career – FOX pre-game show, commercials (Subway), talk-show appearances – that former Giants teammate Tiki Barber wanted to have.

THE WEEK AHEAD

Los Angeles Lakers to meet President Barack Obama next week

I’m glad that this year’s Lakers “Meet and Greet” with President Obama will take place at a Washington, DC Boys and Girls Club and not the White House. What a thrill it will be for these impressionable children to see two diverse symbols of achievement and excellence at the same time.

MIAMI AT NEW YORK: Friday, 4 p.m. PST. TV: ESPN – There are several intriguing matchups on national TV this week (Boston at New York on Wednesday, San Antonio at Denver on Thursday), but we’ll go with this Paparazzi Special. This one not only matches the coming Heat against the coming Knicks, it pits the ESPN task force covering the Heat against the mighty Gotham press corps, which was unchallenged before the rise of cable TV. The Heat’s recent rally is no surprise, except perhaps to LeBron James or whoever put out those distress signals pointing at Coach Erik Spoelstra. The Knicks’ rise is a huge surprise after their 2-8 start when the Gotham press said Raymond Felton couldn’t even run pick-and-rolls. With Felton and Amare Stoudemire on fire, running pick-and-rolls, there appear to be new developments in the story. Mark Heisler

I’ve got five, count ‘em, FIVE final exams, including THREE on Wednesday alone! Oy vey.

RANKINGS – WE’VE GOT RANKINGS! (my comments in italics)

By Mark Heisler, Tribune newspapers

Celtics stay on top, but Heat making move

December 11, 2010

Records and statistics through Friday (last week’s rank)

1. Celtics 18-4 (1): Dreaming of Lakers rematch — with Game 7 at their place. And wait until they get “Mushmouth” Perkins back.

2. Spurs 19-3 (2): West has two teams on pace to win 71-68 and neither is Lakers. Wellll…

3. Mavericks 18-4 (3): If Tyson Chandler stays healthy, these aren’t same old Mavericks. Chandler is the legitimate “5” that Dirk’s been praying/begging for ever since the ’06 Finals.

4. Heat 16-8 (7): 7-0 since LeBron James or whoever revealed doubts about Eric Spoelstra. And yet, until they get a “Big” to call their own, they’ll just be attractive also-rans in the East.

5. Jazz 17-7 (5): Still not ready for prime time: Heat blow them away at home. And it wasn’t even that close.

6. Thunder 16-8 (9): You will know they’re really back if they start holding teams under 100. Young guns of last season have finally stopped reading their press clippings.

7. Magic 15-8 (4): Oops: Just lost four in a row, averaging 87 points. Fat Van Gundy brother about to attack the team with the same vengeance he exhibits at an all-you-can-stuff-in-your face buffet.

8. Bulls 13-8 (12): Real good news is holding last three opponents to 90-83-84. R.O.S.E., first name Derrick.

9. Knicks 15-9 (13): On 13-1 roll with Raymond Felton averaging career-high 19, 37 percent on threes. Tar Heel!

10. Lakers 16-7 (6): Andrew Bynum better be ready, not returning because they’re short a big man. Andrew Bynum is more important  to the Lakers title hopes than most fans realize.

11. Hornets 14-8 (8): What kept you? Hornets are 3-7 since 11-1 start. Reality is a b*tch!

12. Nuggets 14-8 (10): Yahoo’s Marc Spears, who’s close to Carmelo Anthony, keeps talking Knicks trade. When, no if.

13. Hawks 15-9 (11): 4-2 without Joe Johnson, out till January. But it’s getting harder. I could make a really good dirty joke here but I won’t.

14. Trail Blazers 12-11 (16): Andre Miller, Marcus Camby ticketed to ride with this going nowhere. Both are gone before the All-Star break; you read it here first.

15. Suns 11-12 (14): Not doing so hot either: Lost twice to Blazers, rival for No. 8. Valley of the Sun, prepare to say farewell to Steve Nash.

16. Pacers 11-10 (15): Best part: Doing it in midst of crunch with seven of nine on road. Call me in February.

17. Bucks 9-13 (21): When Andrew Bogut is healthy, they’re someone: 3-1 since he returned. I’m assuming coach Scott “Crazy Eyes” Skiles threatened to kill everyone on the team if they didn’t start playing better.

18. Grizzlies 9-14 (17): Same players but not chemistry. Lionel Hollins blasts ‘different agendas.” The Clippers of the South.

19. Rockets 8-14 (18): Aaron Brooks misses targeted return, yet to be cleared to practice. Is Yao Ming still alive? Just asking.

20. Bobcats 8-14 (23): Bobcats grumble as ex-teammate Felton tears it up in N.Y. Aim that grumbling in Larry Brown’s direction.

21. 76ers 7-15 (26): Found: shooter: 4-2 with Jodie Meeks going 17-30 on 3s. Who the hell is Jodie Meeks and why is she playing in the NBA?

22. Raptors 8-15 (19): Whatever was working just stopped. It’s a hockey nation.

23. Warriors 8-15 (20): 2-13 since 6-2 start and Stephen Curry is out again with ankle injury. That noise you hear is Don Nelson laughing at his house in Maui.

24. Timberwolves 6-17 (27): Kevin Love isn’t all they need but he’s averaging 24-17 over last nine. Love auditioning for his next team.

25. Cavaliers 7-15 (22): Bottom drops out after 7-9 start losing by 19-28-34-10-20-5. Byron Scott happy two days a month; the 1st and the 15th.

26. Wizards 6-16 (24): John Wall sidelined again, has missed seven of 22 games. I guess we can hold up on his Hall of Fame bust for now.

27. Nets 6-17 (25): Avery Johnson rips Brook Lopez’s rebounding, benches Travis Outlaw for rookie Damion James. And he’s not too crazy about Newark either.

28. Clippers 5-18 (28): Best game of season vs. Lakers until Eric Bledsoe let Derek Fisher go left. This one hurt real badly. I mean, talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

29. Pistons 7-17 (29): Bulls, Ben Gordon rue day he came here for a few more bucks. All money ain’t good money.

30. Kings 5-15 (30): NBA version of “Lord of the Flies” actually won one last week. Too bad it was on X-box.  

JUST FOR THE HELL OF IT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actress/Singer Christina Milian

 

Stay classy America.

 

 

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