Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NBA Thoughts November 23, 2010

"Tony Parker's not playing tonight so I'll yell at you instead!"
Magic vs Spurs last night was one of the top games this year.  Best defensive team vs the 2nd best offensive team (yes, you read that right) playing with playoff intensity, yet somehow the NBA stuck this on NBATV instead of ESPN or TNT.  Shame on you NBA.  For those unlucky enough not to watch it some notes from the game bullet point style.
  • First play of the game, Dejaun Blair doesn't get through a screen fast enough and Rashard Lewis his an open jumper.  Blair immediately subbed for Bonner. This is at the 11:09 mark of the first quarter!  Just one reason I love Greg Popovich.
  • Blair gets put back at 9:55.  I guess he learned his lesson
  • Now that Rashard Lewis is strictly a shooting only machine at this point without any ability to do anything else, and Vince Carter is completely finished, shouldn't teams just switch everything against the Magic?  Is there going to be difference on who ends up guarding Lewis on the switch?  He'd have trouble getting around Shaq at this point.
  • Great Ginobili play that most people will never know about...Ginobili dribiling down the middle of the court with Howard trailing him. Howard trying to get back on defense as Tim Duncan is running ahead unimpedded, so Ginobili gets in front of Howard to slow him down, then does it again, making Howard stop as to not bowl him over for a cheap foul.  After getting in Howards way for the 2nd time Ginobili makes a great pass to a wide open Duncan who catches it in stride for an open layup.
  • Duncan defending Howard in the post first four trips. Insane spin move for the dunk. Duncan adjusts next time down and forces Howard to a bad hook shot for a miss, Duncan gets two blocks in a row on the next two Howard posts.  Duncan doesn't move like he used to but he's still a great post defender and one of the smartest players ever.
  • Close game so far with the Spurs up one at half time.  Both of these teams are extremely well coached, but the Magic aren't the same as they were two years ago.  Howard's better but they have no other player that really creates offense. 
  • 34 seconds left in the third and after a few seconds Pop tells his team, who are over the foul limit, to foul Howard so they can effectively have the last shot.  Rookie Gary Neal stupidly fouls Chirs Duhon.  Pop tells Neal to come to the sideline as everyone lines up for the first foul shot.  He looks right at Neal and lets out a "HOWARD!!!!!!" that can be overheard over the announcers.  Classic Popovich.
  • Duncan makes a great block that goes out of bounds, which are the type of blocks that make Sports Center the next morning. Fans and teammates are both excited while Duncan is very mad at himself that he hit the ball out of bounds instead of to a teammate.  Hopefully Howard was taking notes.
  • Both teams trading three pointers, but Ginobili takes over in the end and the Magic have no answer.  I've seen Howard multiple times this year and he's much improved.  Can a top 5 MVP the year before win the most improved player award the next year?  
  • For Spurs fans would a potential talent upgrade be worth the possibility that the new player wouldn't be comfortable with his new role until later?  What if the Spurs could move Jefferson for a Iguodala?  Would the talent upgrade be worth the risk that Iggy could potentially look as lost in Black and Silver as Jefferson did last year?
  • Top Five Now
    1.Spurs- Moving up to number one from four because of wins againts the Bulls, Jazz, and Magic this week.
    2. Celtics- Destroyed the Hawks last night.  So much deeper than last year.
    3. Lakers- I hope the Spurs and Lakers get to meet in the playoffs with everyone healthy.  Odds at 100-1 but it would be nice.  On second thought if Kobe, Gasol, Odom, Bynum, and Artest get hurt I'd be fine with that too.
    4. Hornets- Didn't do anything wrong, and made a great trade, but the teams above them are just better. 
    5. Bulls- They have pieces that fit together well.  They need one more shooter and a healthy Boozer to make a serious run at the Celtics in the East.
    Trade that should happen but won't

    76ers trade Andre Iguodala

    Hornets trade Ariza, Banks, Thorton, P. Mensah-Bounsu (this trade won't work for a couple of months because of the trade rules attached to Banks)

    For the 76ers this gets the out of the Iggy max contract when Iggy clearly isn't a franchise player.  In return they get some expiring contracts and a decent asset in Trevor Ariza who they can either keep or shop as a part of another deal.  At worst they get another expiring contract and a draft pick or two.  Best maybe they package him in some kind of deal with Brand to get rid of that his contract and start the rebuilding project fresh.

    For the Hornets they're not giving up much to get a really good, yet overpaid player.  In the end it doesn't really matter because after they re-sign West combined Okafor and Paul's salaries they won't be able to sign a player of Iggy's calabier any ways.  While not the most ideal outside shooter to pair with Paul he is a great preimeter defender and is a clear upgrade over Ariza.  This trade also keeps the Hornets just under the luxury tax, which is an absolute must for the Hornets.

    Watch Em!

    Bulls vs Lakers Tuesday- Lakers first hard game and against a team that has a killer point guard which the Lakers always struggle with.  Noah vs Gasol is the match-up to watch.
    Spurs vs Timberwolves Wednesday- GIINOOOBIIILLLLIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Hornets vs Jazz Wednesday- I don't enjoy when the media tries to make the a team game a one-on-one battle, but you know what? Paul vs Williams!  The battle to rule the Universe!

    Heat vs Magic Wednesday- Supposedly two of the favorites this year, but so far both have some pretty big flaws.  Magic should be able to fix theirs this year.  Heat have no such luck as they lack any tradeable assets (hello Chris Bosh trade block?)

    Thursday- Happy Thanksgiving!

    Mavs vs Spurs- One of the better rivalries over the past decade and who doesn't like rooting against Germans?

    Lakers vs Jazz- Lakers own the Jazz.  Would be a nice win for the Jazz to take one from the Lakers even if it's only in the early season.

    MVP-Chris Paul
    Rookie of the Year- John Wall
    Defensive Player of the Year-TBD
    Coach of the Year- Pat Riley
    Best Hair- Andre Kiralinko
    Best Face-The Tim Duncan I want to bulge my eyes but I don't want to get a techincal face
    Most Stylish Yamaka- Manu Gibobili's White One
    Most Gasol- Pau Gasol who's looks much more Gasolish than Marc so far this year
    Its been nice having you around, but now its Goodbye- To Chauncy Billups and Caron Butler.  It was fun while it lasted.
    Least Shocking Development- Draw between Tony Parker cheatin' and Greg Oden being Greg Oden.
    Most Softest- Amare Stoudimire and Chris Bosh


  1. TBD??? You can't make predictions and then say "TBD". That's like Lawrence saying "um, well we can't say they're eliminated until they're mathematically out of it"!

    Great post, love the awards and the break down of the game "Match of the Day" style. Duncan's knowledge of the game will keep him playing longer than he SHOULD be allowed by his declining body. Less than 20 min per game is going to be crucial for the Spurs.

    Magic/Heat - I'm watching this game right now and leave it to the Magic to exploit the Heat's inside weakness. Brandon Bass is completely having his way through this first half and I'm not sure I've seen anyone but Dwight Howard get a rebound. It's 43-35 Magic before half, and I know it's still early, but I'm loving the Heat "collapse", if you can call it that. Spoelstra gone by Christmas.

  2. Jameer Nelson was the player of that game. As much as the big men were allowed to do their thing, Nelson created plenty of those opportunities.