NBA REVIEW – WEEK 11

The Flyer’s prayers and sympathies go out to the victims and families of Saturday’s senseless shootings in Tucson, Arizona.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Lakers are outworked and outhustled in 104-85 loss to the Grizzlies

Lakers Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher on the bench during the 4th quarter of Sunday’s blow-out loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK – NON-NBA DIVISION

Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) congratulates the new Speaker, John Boehner (R-OH), as he accepts the gavel on Wednesday.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“When you’ve been around Phil for as many years as I have, we all understand that he likes coaching publicly. I think it’s important for the new guys to understand that – Ron [Artest], Pau [Gasol], guys that kind of have issues with that. That’s how he coaches. … Just let him do his job and go about your business.” – Lakers guard Kobe Bryant on Monday responding to coach Phil Jackson’s comments in the press.

THEY SAID IT

“I’ll just say they came out tonight and got outworked by a team that played [Saturday] night, lost in Utah, had to fly back in here for a ballgame. I think we took for granted the fact that we’ve been beaten in Memphis and everybody thought we were going to come out here and play better and no one took responsibility on themselves to play better.” – Laker coach Phil Jackson after Sunday’s home loss to the Grizzlies.

“I love that Jeanie Buss’ boy-toy had something to say about us. I don’t know if it was his thought or Jeanie’s thought, but it’s nice to know that she lets him speak in public about other teams.” – Mavericks owner Mark Cuban in response to Lakers coach Phil Jackson offering his opinion about the impact of Caron Butler’s season-ending knee injury.

“I love it. I consider myself an old man. I’m a boy toy? That’s terrific.” – Phil Jackson

“I asked them if they wouldn’t mind maybe playing a little bit better [against Boston] tomorrow. They said they’d think about it. We’ll see what happens.” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich after his team’s stunning loss to the Knicks Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. They lost in Boston too.

“I’ve worked so hard to keep everything positive. It’s hard to comment on something right now until I speak to Coach. I’ve tried not to be part of any conflict or anything negative, I’ve tried to avoid any confrontation. To have this happen now is not good.” – Lakers forward Ron Artest before Tuesday Night’s game against the Pistons responding to the report of a recent verbal altercation between he and head coach Phil Jackson.

“The one thing that’s better with Turk was he was out of shape for all the years he was here and now he’s like 8% body fat, which is the lowest since he’s been alive.” – Magic center Dwight Howard, on Hedo Turkoglu, starring in Orlando after leaving for pratfalls in Toronto and Phoenix.

From Saturday’s LA Times Sports Section (Letters to the Editor)

This was always going to be the final result of choosing the unknown (Artest) over the known (Trevor Ariza). I’ve always contended that because Ariza and Andrew Bynum had the same agent and the Lakers were still mad about being forced into giving Bynum his big contract before they really wanted to, they cut ties with Ariza and rolled the dice with Artest. Here’s hoping they wrote some protection into the contract, because there’s absolutely no way this marriage goes full-term.

Charles L. Freeman
Baldwin Hills

THEY SAID IT – NON-NBA DIVISION

“The Tea Party was born because of the economy. The economy is probably the worst it’s ever been except for maybe the Great Depression. The Tea Party will disappear as soon as the economy gets better. And the economy’s getting better all the time.” – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in response to a question from “Meet The Press” moderator David Gregory touching on the tough fight he waged to defeat Tea Party-backed contender Sharron Angle in the 2010 midterm election season.

“How about THIS? For the first time since June, President Obama’s [Gallup] approval rating is back over 50 percent. How frustrating is that for him? For 23 months, the guy is busting his butt, trying to keep campaign promises, and his approval rating goes through the floor. Then he says, ‘Screw it,’ goes to Hawaii for 10 days, plays golf – he’s popular again! What happened?” – Tonight Show host Jay Leno.

SAY WHAT?

New Republican House Speaker John Boehner says he doesn’t question President Barack Obama’s place of birth but it’s not within his purview to tell others what to think.  

“The state of Hawaii has said that President Obama was born there. That’s good enough for me,” Boehner, R-Ohio, told NBC ‘s Brian Williams in an interview that aired Thursday night on NBC Nightly News.

Pressed by Williams on what he would say to members of his party who have expressed doubts about Obama’s citizenry, Boehner replied: “Brian, when you come to the Congress of the United States, there are 435 of us. We’re nothing more than a slice of America. People come, regardless of party labels, they come with all kinds of beliefs and ideas. It’s the melting pot of America. It’s not up to me to tell them what to think.”

THE “CHILE, PLEASE” AWARD GOES TO (tie)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hall of Famer and current Knicks radio analyst Walt “Clyde” Frazier for wearing this “jacket” at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday and Oprah Winfrey for saying, “I see myself as a messenger for a message that is greater than myself and my message is you can, you can, you can” during a recent press appearance to promote her new OWN cable network. Both Mr Frazier and Ms Winfrey suffered from delusions of grandeur and pomposity this week. 

STORIES OF THE WEEK – The Redemption of Ted Williams

Cavaliers offer job to homeless man with ‘golden voice’  

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Before

Ted Williams on the Today show

After

Blake Griffin: The Clippers’ slam-dunk rising star  

Blake Griffin, Brad Miller

Clippers forward Blake Griffin rises above Rockets center Brad Miller for a dunk in the first half of a game last month at Staples Center.

AROUND THE ASSOCIATION

Mark Heisler on the NBA: Even Kobe Bryant is having trouble motivating Lakers  

Kobe Bryant

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Heisler on the NBA: Lakers’ problems go deeper than any so-called ‘dysfunction’   

Portland’s Brandon Roy problem  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 “What did I do to deserve the ‘Portland Plague’?”

Gary Neal of the Spurs Excels by Being a Mystery  

LeBron James wants you to meet the “Heatles” “King James” still doesn’t get it: you can’t give yourself nicknames! That’s why no one refers to Kobe Bryant as “Black Mamba”.

San Antonio vs. New York – Recap – 04, 2011 I guarantee you NO ONE saw the Knicks getting this good this fast even with Stoudemire. Now, if they could just stop Isiah Thomas from talking about his time with the team Isiah Thomas makes crazy proclamations about his Knicks draft record | I am a GM, they can forget all the harm he did to one of the league’s flagship franchises.

Clippers show promise in win over Nuggets

Nets remain optimistic of landing ’Melo  

Agent pushing Hamilton into ‘Melo deal  

Stoudemire, D’Antoni return to Phoenix in style as Knicks roll  

End is in sight for Nuggets, Carmelo Anthony  

‘Melo deal would revamp Nets

Reality show is ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity for Lamar Odom  

Khloe Kardashian, Lamar Odom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why do I get the feeling that this has the possibility of being a television train wreck of epic proportions? BTW, how does an NBA champion, who plays for the LAKERS,  end up with the Kardashian sister who looks like she was put together in Grandpa Munster’s basement ‘la-bo-ra-tory’? Hell, Kris Humphries doesn’t even start for the Nets and he’s “dating” Kim!

CHUCK’S CHALK TALK

I’ve been told by someone in the know that Phil Jackson needs to understand that dealing with Ron Artest, a volatile person who struggles daily with real emotional problems, is different than dealing with Dennis Rodman who was more of a harmless goofball who just wanted to be noticed.

You would think that everyone in the NBA learned a lesson from the Gilbert Arenas fiasco last year, but I guess someone has to get either seriously injured NBA Brawl Erupts on Team Plane — Card Game Goes Terribly Wrong or God forbid, killed, before teams do the smart/right thing and ban gambling on team property (practice facilities) and flights.

Well, at least one has – Grizzlies ban gambling on flights after recent altercation.

If Herr Commissioner Stern can invoke a “Dress Code” and “Zero Tolerance” policy on whining about calls and non-calls, why can’t he ban gambling on all team premises and flights? Hell, I’ll even write it up for he and Stu Jackson, “VP of Crap David Stern Doesn’t Want To Deal With”, to review.

There’s no way the Hornets can end up staying in New Orleans Hornets might have to leave New Orleans even though the players would hate losing one of their favorite party cities in the league.

It’s beginning to look like Amar’e Stoudemire was the one who made Steve Nash an All-Star and not the other way around.

BLAKE GRIFFIN DUNK OF THE WEEK

Video: A Blake Griffin alley-oop to start the year right  

MY TEN NON-NBA THOUGHTS OF THE WEEK

  1. Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger should be tarred and feathered for commuting the sentence of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez’ son, Esteban, who was convicted of second-degree manslaughter pursuant to a guilty plea in the fatal stabbing of 22-year-old college student Luis Santos in San Diego in October 2008 after being refused entrance to a fraternity party. Nunez’ sentence was cut from 16 years to 7.
  2. If John Boehner was a real leader and “patriot”, he would publicly and loudly tell the 12 members of his party to drop their so-called “birther” crap in the House and get on with the business of helping America and Americans.
  3. I, for one, will miss Robert Gibbs’ daily sparring, excuse me, briefings with the WH press corps.
  4. I would LOVE to see Donna Brazille as the new WH press secretary.
  5. I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that if the numbers were in their favor, Gearing Up For Health-Care Repeal Effort, Republicans Push To Delegitimize CBO Analysis, the GOP would be trumpeting the CBO to the high heavens.
  6. Not that it will make Detroit Lions fans feel any better or different about his tenure as the team’s GM, I’m sure they appreciated hearing Matt Millen say, “I Stunk at Being GM.”
  7. There’s nothing about the Green Hornet trailer that makes me want to see this movie even a little bit. In fact, I’d rather sit through a Tyler Perry film festival, seated between Sarah Palin and Haley “Boss Hogg Jr” Barbour with Tom De Lay in front of and Ann Coulter behind me.
  8. Did the Jackson Five know everything that Joe did as their manager? No they didn’t and frankly, they didn’t need to. I say that to say that maybe Cam Newton really didn’t know that his father was out there shopping him to SEC colleges last year.
  9. There is no way Terrelle Pryor ever suits up for Ohio State again.
  10. I’m so glad that The Good Wife returns this week.

THE WEEK AHEAD by Mark Heisler

MIAMI AT CHICAGO
Saturday at 5 p.m.
TV: NBA TV

In a welcome development, the attention the Heat gets now is for stuff that happens on the court, as opposed to conspiracy theories and dumb TV specials. This will be the fifth game of a five-game trip that began with Friday’s win in Milwaukee and will take them to the West Coast and back with the big question being whether anyone can beat them on the way.

They’re 20-1 since starting 9-8 when Coach Erik Spoelstra seemed to be dangling, including their Christmas rout of the Lakers. They’ll play in Portland on Sunday, at the Clippers on Wednesday and at Denver in a TNT game Thursday before meeting the up-and-coming-but-not-there-yet Bulls.

With Joakim Noah out until February, the Bulls have been up and down recently but will, at least, be excited for this one. 

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

Mark Heisler – Tribune Newspapers

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Record and statistics through Friday’s games

1. Heat 29-9 (2): All together, “We never lost faith in you!” 20-1 since 9-8 start. Still not big enough in the frontcourt to beat Boston or Orlando in a 7-game series.

2. Celtics 28-7 (3): Home-court advantage they worry about isn’t vs. Lakers any more. Hello San Antonio in the spring.

3. Spurs 30-6 (1): Lost in New York, Boston, had to come from 15 down vs. Pacers. No need to worry; “Pop” knows how to pace the Spurs.

4. Magic 24-12 (5): Just went 8-0 with new guys even if they’re not all new. Hedo LOVES central Florida.

5. Mavericks 26-9 (4): Lost 3 of 5 without Dirk Nowitzki then Caron Butler left, for season. Let’s see how Mark Cuban reacts now.

6. Lakers 26-11 (6): So greatest-Laker-team-ever talk in November was premature? About as premature as “Oscar buzz” for any film directed by Tyler Perry.

7. Thunder 24-13 (7): Started 5-4, won 14 of 18 but have leveled off since. It’s not easy when you can’t sneak up on teams anymore.

8. Jazz 24-13 (8): At 16 points, 8.6 rebounds, he’s not Al Jefferson of old. Yes, but in his defense, it’s colder in the SLC.

9. Bulls 23-12 (9): Circus trip was better; 13-2 before losses in New Jersey and Philadelphia. And now Carlos Boozer’s acting like “Carlos Boozer” again.

10. Hawks 24-14 (13): Sore elbow and all, Joe Johnson gets 29-29-28 as they go 3-0. Larry Drew considering hurting rest of team’s elbows.

11. Knicks 21-14 (14): 121-96 victory in Phoenix settles question of who made out in this deal. Steve Nash THIS close to walking off into the desert, never to be seen again.

12. Hornets 21-16 (15): Deal hurting everyone: Trevor Ariza’s 17-7-6 shows Lakers what they miss. I hate to say “I told you so”, but…”I told you so.”

13. Nuggets 20-15 (10): In denial: Asked for Blake Griffin, now spurning all offers for Carmelo Anthony. Even Donald T. Sterling isn’t that stupid. I think. I hope. I pray. Oh hell, Griffin’s a future “former Clipper” and Clipper Nation knows it.

14. Trail Blazers 20-17 (11): Vintage Nate McMillan: After all lickings, they’re still ticking. I knew a girl like that once.

15. Grizzlies 17-19 (16): Not doing badly for team with Zach Randolph, O.J. Mayo on way out. People in Memphis just getting over “Elvis Birth Week”; will get back to ignoring the Grizz soon.

16. Rockets 16-20 (12): Supplanted by Kyle Lowry and hurt again, Aaron Brooks available. Kyle who?

17. 76ers 15-21 (19): No. 8 in East, winning 12 of 20 without Andre Iguodala in last six. AI2 needs to get healthy again and soon.

18. Warriors 15-21 (22): Here’s to Keith Smart: They’re 6-3 since dropping to 9-18. Is this Maxwell Smart’s secret “love-child”?

19. Pacers 14-19 (17): Roy Hibbert averaged 16 in November, 11 last month, benched this month. Is D-League next?

20. Bucks 13-21 (20): Brandon Jennings hopes to return soon, as do Bucks, 3-6 without him. Yawn.

21. Clippers 11-24 (21): Breakout: DeAndre Jordan blocks 19 shots in three games. And some of them were actually the other team’s.

22. Suns 14-20 (18): Worse: When Amare Stoudemire, Steve Nash reunite next season, may be as teammates. Knicks would be stupid to trade for or sign Nash as Raymond Felton doing just fine in the role of Stoudemire’s assist man.

23. Bobcats 12-21 (23): Letting them play doesn’t work with Gerald Wallace, Stephen Jackson out. Rumor has Michael Jordan actually attending a home game this month.

24. Raptors 12-24 (24): Breakout: DeMar DeRozan averaged 16 last month, just put up 37-27-18. And that’s in Canadian points!

25. Pistons 11-24 (25): Trailing embalming fluid, Tracy McGrady takes over at point guard. This would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

26. Nets 10-26 (26): Now he warms up? Sasha Vujacic averaging 11, 41 percent on 3s as a Net. No pressure to be good on a bad team.

27. Wizards 9-25 (27): One young guy getting it: Nick Young averaged 18 last month. One young guy – Nick Young; I get it!

28. Kings 8-25 (30): 3-2 as Tyreke Evans makes belated debut. Oh, he was there all along? Why does it seem as if the Maloof brothers have disappeared from the face of the earth?

29. Timberwolves 9-29 (29): With last season’s 2-29 finish, they’ve lost 57 of 68. Well, Kurt Rambis said he wanted to be a head coach in the worst way and it surely can’t get any worse than this.

30. Cavaliers 8-28 (28): Could be while for title Dan Gilbert promised: 1-19 since 7-9 start. Oops, I was wrong. 

JUST FOR THE HELL OF IT!

John Boehner

 

 

 

 

 

                        

      

 

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