Eye of the Hurricane

May 10, 2011

Working Overtime

Filed under: NBA — magdebar @ 1:23 am
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After last night’s Mother’s Day games left us with some good story lines…tonight’s games did not disappoint, with both going beyond regulation. The Heat outscored the Celtics 12-4 in overtime to pick up a 98-90 victory and 3-1 lead. This team played with heart and should wrap the series up Wednesday back in Miami.

The Big Three combined for 83 points and 35 of the Heat’s 45 rebounds. Also notable: Miami forward Udonis Haslem made his much anticipated return tonight…The only thing he picked up in his three minutes of action? A technical foul for arguing with a ref.

And in the second part of the doubleheader…
For the second time in as many games, Zach Randolph and company needed more than 42 minutes and even more than 48 minutes to try to extend their lead against the OK City Thunder. Both Western Conference teams fought through THREE overtimes. In a game that lasted just under four hours, the Thunder broke open to win the game 133-123 and tie up the series at two apiece.


May 9, 2011

Playoff Headlines

Can someone please remind me what Kobe Bryant said after the Lakers went down 0-3 Friday night against the Mavericks?

I’m sorry, Kobe. There’s a difference between saying your team has a chance to keep the series alive and just completely blowing smoke. After last night’s ugly 36 point loss to the Mavs, what are you going to say now?

So the Lakers bow out in four straight and Phil Jackson looks like he might retire. But those aren’t the only story lines coming out of this weekend…

Atlanta evened its series with Chicago last night despite MVP Derrick Rose leading the Bulls with a game high 34 points. But Rose took 32 shots from the field to get those points (making only 12 for an unimpressive 37.5 field goal percentage).

Meanwhile the Memphis Grizzlies…yes, the Grizzlies…continue their Cinderella story as they’re up 2-1 against Kevin Durant and the Thunder. Will tonight’s contest be as exciting as Saturday’s overtime game where Zach Randolph and the Grizz went off and established themselves in the extra five minutes?

And before that game, we’ll see if the Celtics have the energy, heart, and healthy bodies to tie their series against the Heat. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 PM ET.

April 27, 2011

Heat have plenty to work on heading into series with Celtics

Filed under: NBA — davidfurones @ 9:55 pm
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With a 97-91 victory against the 76ers Wednesday night in Miami, the Heat finished off the pesky Sixers four games to one and advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinals where they will face the experienced and playoff-savvy Boston Celtics.

Miami’s pure talent was enough to get them passed the Sixers, but they’re going to need to show much more hustle, determination, and outright desire if they plan on being as successful against the Celtics.

Throughout their first round series, we saw far too often that the Heat had their minds more set on looking flashy and winning with flair, style and ease. Against Boston, they’re going to have to change that attitude. In a seven game series against the Celtics, you have to match their intensity, their scrappiness, and their bully state of mind.

The Heat was drastically outscored in points in the paint in Game 5. Although they turned on that interior defense late in the game, as Joel Anthony contributed with a few key blocks, it took them quite a while to get that figured out. Philly was a jump shooting team for most of the series, and Miami was getting dominated inside during various stretches.

They need to display greater toughness near the basket on both sides of the ball. On the offensive end, a team that throughout the year was able to reach the free throw line at will was settling for perimeter jump shots. Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh combined to shoot 11 three pointers.

In their defense, the referees were extremely inconsistent in how much contact they would allow players to get away with. There were several plays where Heat players, specifically their stars, felt they got fouled and let it be known to the officials.

But that’s another thing. Just play the game!

On one play in the third, LeBron thought he was fouled on a fastbreak and missed a layup. The teams sprinted down to the other side of the court off the miss while James stayed behind pleading his case to the ref and leaving his team to defend five-on-four for a series.

With about a minute remaining in the game, Dwyane Wade, on a play where he missed but Bosh rebounded and was fouled, received a technical foul for arguing on the shot he took.

Earth to Dwyane: your teammate was fouled and will get two free throws. It’s a positive play for your team. Albeit, the technical did not ultimately decide the game, but against a good team in a close game, every point given away is pivotal.

Both discipline and hustle are lacking, and I have not seen it from this team since that regular season series finale against Boston when they dominated the Celtics at home.

I have never seen this team move around defensively with such determination and gusto the way they did that afternoon.

Watching this game, I can almost say I was secretly rooting for the series to go seven so Udonis Haslem can buy himself some time to get back and any sense of hustle can be restored on the floor for this team.

And then there’s the shot selection… well, I’ll save that for another rant.

One thing’s for sure. It’ll be extremely interesting when the Celtics and Heat get their series started Sunday at the American Airlines Arena.

Billups Retained by Knicks

Filed under: NBA — eadeutsch @ 3:44 pm
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The New York Knicks are reportedly picking up the option to keep Chauncey Billups in New York.  The retention of Billups will cost New York $14.2 million.

Billups will be 35 years old at the start of the 2011-12 season, and the investment in the veteran point guard is a risk by the Knicks front office, who visibly have no plan b in terms of picking up a less expensive guard before next season.

Billups is only signed through the end of next season, so the Knicks may look to deal for a point guard, or trade up in next year’s draft to get a point guard who can run a team featuring two premier players in Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire.

Billups averaged nearly 17 points per game this season, as well as averaged over five assists  per game.  If he can retain these numbers next year, the Knicks may be in the position to break into the top half of the conference standings.

April 25, 2011

MRI on Rose Comes Back negative

Filed under: NBA — michaelperchick @ 6:17 pm

An MRI on Derrick Rose’s ankle came back negative, meaning the Bulls shouldn’t expect to see their star point guard missing any time.  Rose is probable to play in Game 5 in Chicago, as the Bulls try to knock out the pesky Indiana Pacers.

Rose said his ankle is sprained, and that he is “definitely” playing in Game 5.

April 24, 2011

Knicks Swept by C’s

Filed under: NBA — michaelperchick @ 7:17 pm

In a game that saw the Celtics embarrass the Knicks throughout the first half, and almost blow a 23-point second-half lead, Kevin Garnett’s 20 points after halftime were enough to knock New York out of the playoffs today.  The Celtics are the first team to advance to the second round, and the Knicks are the only team to have been swept in the playoffs so far.

It is an offseason of uncertainty for the Knicks, who must decide on the options of starting point guard Chauncey Billups, and President/GM Donnie Walsh.  Here’s to hoping both are back (hopefully with center DeAndre Jordan via free agency), to help the Knicks bolster their chances of improving on this seasons’ success.

Jason Richardson and Zaza Pachulia Suspended for Game 4

Filed under: NBA — michaelperchick @ 12:18 pm

Orlando’s Jason Richardson and Atlanta’s Zaza Pachulia have both been suspended for the teams’ Game 4 match-up in Atlanta.  Pachulia wasa suspended for head-butting Richardson, while Richardson was suspended for shoving Pachulia in the face.

Richardson is one of Orlando’s top perimeter scorers, but has struggled to find much of a groove so far in the series.  Pachulia is a back-up, but is very physical, and a key contributor off the bench.  Expect the Magic to try and exploit the loss of Pachulia, by looking to Dwight more than ever before.

April 22, 2011

Conflicting information from two sides on movement of NBA franchise

Filed under: NBA — davidfurones @ 10:56 pm
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Sacramento Kings part-owner Joe Maloof said today that no decision has been made on his franchise’s potential movesouth from the California’s capitol to Anaheim.

The NBA, however, said today that it is likelythe Kings will stay in Sacramento and play their home games in Arco Arena for the 2011-12 season.

Several teams have relocated within the past decade of NBA basketball, including the Seattle Supersonics becoming the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Hornets making the move from Charlotte to New Orleans, and the Grizzlies moving from Vancouver to Memphis.

The Sacramento Kings, as they are currently known, have constantly been relocating. The storied franchise that started off in New York as the Rochester Royals moved to Cincinnati in 1957. They continued moving west to be known as the Kansas City-Omaha Kings in 1972 for three seasons before simply calling themselves the Kansas City Kings starting in 1975. Then they finally arrived in Sacramento in 1985.

April 20, 2011

Post-Dodgers Takeover: A Look at League Owned Franchises

Following Bud Selig’s announcement that the MLB will take over day-to-day operations of the LA Dodgers, I decided to take a look at the owners of various teams in the four major professional sports leagues. After scrolling through a list of NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB teams the only other teams currently owned by the leagues themselves are the New Orleans Hornets and the Phoenix Coyotes.

The Hornets previous owners, Gary Chouest and George Shinn, supposedly had an arrangement planned where Chouest would buy out Shinn’s contract and become sole owner. However, the deal fell through and when finances became a question, the NBA bought out the team in December 2010.

The Coyotes situation is a bit more difficult. The NHL took over for the Coyotes approximately two years ago when the team went bankrupt under former owner Jerry Moyes. Since then, various parties expressed interest in owning the franchise. Each time, talks fell through. The NHL fought in the interest of Glendale, Arizona, home of the Jobing.com Arena.

But now it’s becoming a bigger question of what actually is better for the city: Would keeping the Coyotes be economically viable? Or, with new giveback fees acting as terms of keeping the team in Glendale, is it becoming too much of a hassle? Here’s a good read where ESPN columnist Scott Burnside tries to sort through all the financial and now political woes battling the city of Glendale.

Other times that pro sports leagues seized ownership of its teams were the MLB with the Washington Nationals (2002-06) and the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres (2002-03) and Pittsburgh Penguins (1975).

April 19, 2011


Filed under: NBA — michaelperchick @ 10:18 am

Today, the Bulls have something the Magic, Lakers, and Spurs- three legitimate title contenders have- a playoff win.  In fact, the Bulls’ have two of them.

But in both games, the Bulls have thoroughly been outplayed.  Outside of Derrick Rose, and the clutch shooting of Kyle Korver (5/5 from downtown in the series), no Bull has stepped up to help carry the offense.  With two home games, and getting to face the Pacers without starting point guard Darren Collison for the second half last night, the Bulls still seemed complacent at points, rarely showing the fire and intensity of a championship-bound team.

I don’t think they’re going to lose to Indiana, and they’ll have a big advantage in the second round no matter who they play.  But if they have to play Boston- a team that is pedal to the metal, or a run-n-gun team like the Knicks, the Bulls’ sluggish play won’t fly.

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