NBA REVIEW – WEEK 14

 PHOTOS OF THE WEEK

Verve Sol Patrol member Nick Corrales scores a basket using himself during a timeout in the third period of the Suns-Bobcats game Thursday.

Heat Dwyane Wade takes a jumpshot as Knicks Wilson Chandler tries to defend during the first quarter.

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade shoots over Knick Wilson Chandler during the first quarter of Thursday night’s game at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks went on to upset the Heat 93-88.

Kevin Garnett’s “Beat LA” shoe with the all-time record between the two teams (Boston has the edge) that he was scheduled to wear in Sunday’s game against the Lakers.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“Because he’s old as hell!” – Celtics coach Doc Rivers explaining why center Shaquille O’Neal is always listed as day to day. O’Neal is the league’s oldest player at 38.

THEY SAID IT

“He tried to get a little bit too freaky on it.” – Laker center Andrew Bynum on why teammate Shannon Brown missed a breakaway dunk in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s win at home over the Jazz.

“I guess people talk about the sophomore jinx for a reason.” – Sacramento Kings coach Paul Westphal who was never one to believe in a sophomore slump before this season – all three of the NBA’s rookie of the year finalists from a season ago (Sacramento’s Tyreke Evans, Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Milwaukee’s Brandon Jennings) have slipped into that often-predictable pitfall in year two – forced him to think otherwise.

“I would like to see him [Carmelo Anthony] happy. If that’s staying in Denver or being in New York or (New) Jersey, I want to see him happy. I like to see what happens and when it happens I can make a comment about it. The No. 1 thing is he’s happy. It doesn’t matter where he’s at.” – Miami Heat forward LeBron James said of the Nuggets forward before Thursday night’s 93-88 Knicks win at the Garden.

“You’re going to play the style we want you to play, not the style that you want to play.” – Hornets swingman Trevor Ariza talking about the team’s defense during a recent 10-game winning streak.

“He should be an All-Star. It’s a joke for people not to consider him an All-Star. He should be. He has what, 30 straight double-doubles? What more do you want from a power forward? What more do you want from him?” – The Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, on Clippers rookie Blake Griffin’s All-Star worthiness.

“On a personal level, Phil may be retiring after this season. Only he knows what he’s going to do next and whether he’s going to stay in LA. If he does stay in LA with nothing to do, he’ll drive me insane. He knows that this is my career, so I’m not going anywhere.” – Lakers executive Jeannie Buss talking about Phil Jackson’s pending retirement and how it could affect their personal relationship.

“Only when I go to the bank.” – Michigan State basketball head coach Tom Izzo when asked by radio talk show host Dan Patrick if he regretted turning down the Cleveland Cavaliers job offer last summer.

Why you should never, ever give Tracy Morgan a “hot” microphone on live TV. Tracy Morgan on TNT’s Pre-Game Show and one writer’s opinion Blame for Tracy Morgan’s Sarah Palin comment falls on TNT for putting comedian on NBA pregame show about what happened when TNT did.

AROUND THE ASSOCIATION

Despite lots of mileage, Dirk Nowitzki, Kobe Bryant and Ray Allen remain highly productive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do these three have in common? They’ve all managed to put off “The Change.” Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Steve Nash: Defying the longevity odds

Tyson Chandler

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tyson Chandler has been one of the biggest surprises of the season so far, fortifying the middle for the Mavericks. The Point Forward » Posts A few other unofficial midseason awards «

 WHAT MAKES A MVP?

amare2.jpg

 

 

The Point Forward » Posts How NOT to build a case for MVP candidates «

Kwame Brown Is Helping Michael Jordan’s Bobcats  

Colangelo move to NYC unlikely

Danny Ainge was intent on keeping Ray Allen, Paul Pierce  

NBA sophomores are dealing with second-year setbacks  

Nuggets’ travels lead ’Melo back home  

Richard Hamilton-John Kuester feud takes turn for worse  

Grizzlies’ O.J. Mayo suspended 10 games for testing positive  

Nets’ New Arena Is Finally Taking Shape in Brooklyn  

Hornets earning more fans with re-emergence, winning streak  

Spurs use balance to climb to top  

Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan have won more than 70 percent of their games in their 13-plus seasons together.

“I don’t care who you are and how many rings you’ve helped win, the next time you drink all my red wine at dinner without asking, I’m trading your future Hall of Fame a** to the Cavaliers! Capiche?”

Knicks rock Garden like ages ago  

Charles Barkley doesn’t believe Mike D’Antoni’s offensive system will win Knicks an NBA championship

Clippers Becoming Relevant in Los Angeles  

Inside the NBA: A look at the NBA coast to coast  

Mark Heisler on the NBA: Shaquille O’Neal looks good in green, which isn’t good news for Lakers  

Shaquille O'Neal

Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal plugs his ears as the crowd chants his name during a game against the Raptors in Toronto.

Hoops, family led way out for for Warriors’ Ellis – NYPOST.com

End of the road for Phil .

LA Lakers’ Jeanie Buss Doesn’t Play By The Rules  

CHUCK’S CHALK TALK

I must admit that prior to reading ‘Melo: Stay in Denver for now – NYPOST.com by Marc Berman of the New York Post, I was convinced that Carmelo Anthony would still try to force a trade to the Knicks this season so he can sign the three-year $65 million extension that’s been on the table since last summer. But, what Berman writes here makes far more sense if  Anthony, as he and others in his camp have been insisting, is about winning a title.

Well, you had to know that this was coming sooner or later The next Carmelo: Deron Williams after what happened last summer.

It’s one thing to get players to come to Phoenix or San Antonio, but for the Cavaliers to even have a shot at getting and keeping the caliber of players a team needs to even compete for a title Cavaliers need lost season to rebuild after LeBron James, they’ll have to overpay like the Nationals did to sign Jayson Werth. The difference is baseball doesn’t have a salary cap but the NBA does.

Are you more surprised by the fact that Amar’e Stoudemire is the first Knick since Patrick Ewing in 1997 (Ewing didn’t play due to injury) to be selected as a starter for the All-Star Game or that the last white American All-Star starter was during the Clinton administration? Can you name him and the year (without Googling)? Answer below.

Speaking of the All-Star Game, since so many coaches act like they’d rather spend the weekend doing anything but working, why not give them the time off and have the leading vote-getter in each conference be player-coach for the game?

If you’re like me, I often wonder about the guys on the end of the bench. The guys who never play but are necessary to fill out an NBA roster. Here’s a nice story about one such player Hilton Armstrong is the invisible man for Washington Wizards that I found interesting.

The saddest thing about this story The Heat bail out Tim Hardaway and his mansion is that Tim Hardaway is no different than over 75% of the players in the NBA once their high-earning days are over. One of the things that most impressed me about the late Wilt Chamberlain was that the house in Bel Air, CA that he built for $1.2 million and moved into in early 1972, was the same house he died in 26 years after he retired from the NBA in 1973. And here’s what Wilt got for his $1.2 million:

Wilt Chamberlain’s Ursa Major Estate

Since being traded to the Heat after the 2003-04 season, Shaquille O’Neal has played for Miami (2004-08), Phoenix (2008-09), Cleveland (2009-10) and now Boston. I ask you, has any other future Hall of Famer has a more nomadic, pathetic and undignified end to his career?

BLAKE GRIFFIN SHOT OF THE WEEK AWARD (tie)

Lamar Odom with the rainbow runner  

Video: Earl Boykins’ shot goes around, and around, and… 

LeBron’s Electrifying Alley-Oop Against Knicks  

Phoenix Suns Entertainer Goes Through Hoop on Dunk Attempt 

THE WEEK AHEAD

Frankly, the week ahead is all about the Lakers who play the Celtics at home today (Sunday) then have home games on Tuesday and Thursday against the Rockets and Spurs respectively before heading out on a season-long 13-day, 7-game road trip that starts in New Orleans and ends in Cleveland with stops in Memphis, Boston, NYC (back-to-back games), Orlando and Charlotte (another set of back-to-back games) before breaking for All-Star Weekend. 

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

By Mark Heisler, Los Angeles Times

January 29, 2011

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

1. Celtics 35-11 (1): Back in L.A. already? You guys forget something? Just make sure they don’t try to leave Shaq behind on their way out of town.

2. Spurs 39-7 (2): If they finish 24-12, Lakers must go 31-4 to beat them. And if everyone in America loses their mind at the same time in 2012, Haley Barbour will be the 45th POTUS.

3. Lakers 33-14 (4): Unhappily, after ripping them, Jerry West took rest of week off. Even God rested on the seventh day.

4. Heat 32-14 (3): LeBron James shoots 7 of 24 as everyone flips out in loss in N.Y. The only thing more shallow than the Heat’s depth chart is Sarah Palin’s intelligence pool.

5. Bulls 32-14 (6): If Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer ever play together, might never lose. And if LaToya Jackson had talent…

6. Hornets 31-16 (8): You’re unbelievable: Hornets allow 87 per game in 10-0 run. Who knew Monty Williams was this good of a coach?

7. Magic 30-17 (5): Jameer Nelson shot 50 percent as All-Star in 2009, at mere mortal 45 now. Paging Gilbert Arenas circa 2007!

8. Thunder 30-16 (9): Still make what they have go a long way, just not as far as last season. It’s not easy when you can’t sneak up on teams anymore.

9. Mavericks 30-15 (7): Dirk Nowitzki still hurting? Rebound average since return is 4.9. Hard to rebound when you’re constantly shooting fade-away J’s.

10. Hawks 30-17 (10): Rookie Larry Drew in one of more under-appreciated coaching jobs. No joke.

11. Jazz 28-19 (11): Happily this isn’t season it takes 50 victories for playoffs: Just went 0-6. Time for Jazz owner to emulate Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams and fire Jerry Sloan after this season.

12. Nuggets 28-18 (12): Just went 4-0, if only vs. teams with a combined 54-111 record. Only 26 more shopping days to move ‘Melo.

13. Trail Blazers 25-22 (13): Part of ensemble cast no longer, LaMarcus Aldridge at 25-10 this month. So?

14. Knicks 24-22 (15): Bagged elephant, even if Heat thought it was summer league game. See #12 above and change the word shopping to buying.

15. Grizzlies 23-24 (16): Closing in on .500 hard way: Came from 21 down to upend 76ers. This would have never happened if Doug Collins were still Philly’s coach…oh, he is? My bad.

16. Suns 21-24 (14): Bagged elephant, even if it was old Celtics playing back-to-back. New slogan in the Valley of the Sun: “A win is a win is a win!”

17. Rockets 22-26 (17): Just think if Spurs had kept him: Luis Scola averaging career-high 19. San Antonio – the United Nations of the NBA.

18. 76ers 20-26 (21): Doug Collins kept away from sharp objects after blowing 21-point lead. Cue the sad music.

19. Bobcats 20-25 (20): Fooled another one: Bobcats hoping Kwame Brown is their answer at center. That’s as absurd as putting your presidential hopes in the hands of a MILF-quality, first-term governor of Alaska with the foreign policy experience of being able to see Russia from her state and nobody in their right mind would dare do that.

20. Bucks 18-26 (23): Happily, just have to catch Bobcats. Brandon Jennings’ return will help. Maybe, maybe not. Scott “Killer Eyes” Skiles has to hope that Jennings returns with his game intact.

21. Warriors 19-27 (18): Meet most improved: Dorell Wright averaging 17 since Dec. 1. Is he Orville or Wilbur’s great-grandson?

22. Pistons 17-30 (25): Won in Orlando, blew seven-point fourth-quarter lead in Miami. Sounds like a night in Vegas.

23. Clippers 16-28 (19): If you didn’t notice before Eric Gordon left, depth isn’t a strength. Oh, Clipper Nation noticed.

24. Pacers 17-26 (22): 4-12 run ends worry about breaking up team that could make playoffs. Oh yeah, like the playoffs were ever more than a dream in the Hoosier state.

25. Kings 11-33 (28): Lord of Flies cast stuns Lakers. Who knew they play basketball too? Paul Westphal so stunned, he poured Gatorade on himself in the locker room after the game.

26. Nets 14-33 (27): Relief rally: Knowing they’re here, actually playing, went 3-1. And Carmelo Anthony still doesn’t want to play for them.

27. Wizards 13-32 (24): Andray Blatche baffled at booing. Try taking your 6-11, 260 around the hoop. Hell, or anywhere near the paint.

28. Raptors 13-34 (26): GM Bryan Colangelo, hostage in Chris Bosh dilemma, now shaky as ownership shifts. Colangelo sprucing up his resume as we speak.

29. Timberwolves 10-36 (29): Something bad must have happened since Feb. 6: 12-65 since. I’ll you what happened: THEY’RE AWFUL!

30. Cavaliers 8-34 (30): Must have worn themselves out hating James: 1-27 since playing him. Seriously, you’d think a NBA could f**k around and accidentally win more than one stinking game since December 2nd. 

Answer: John Stockton in 1997

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