Once Oden’s season went up in flames again, everyone immediately thought back to Sam Bowie. The former Blazers big man empathizes with Greg’s struggle with injuries (and unmet expectations). From The Columbian: “I got the news last week about the injury. I think I felt it more than anyone besides Greg because I can relate to that scenario,’ said Bowie, now 49 and living in Lexington, Ky. ‘I feel so bad for the kid. I know what he’s going through.’ Twenty six years ago, Portland drafted Bowie with the second overall pick. He averaged 10 points and 8.6 rebounds as a rookie, but played in just 63 games over the next four seasons due to injuries …
Everyone knew this was coming, but it still hurts. First the MJ fiasco with Bowie, then Durantula and Oden. Brandon Roy isn’t exactly durable. Maybe that northwest air makes people injury prone? I almost forgot to mention Walton?!?!
Good luck Blazers fans. Eventually you’ll get over this. Or someone will stay healthy long enough so you get over it. I’m rooting for you.
I write this not as an anti-LeBron Clevelander, or a pro-LeBron Clevelander, but just as a fan of the game of basketball.
Before the season, I was as big of a believer in Miami as anyone I know personally. Right now, however, the Heat are only 5-4 - which is worse than the “new look” Cavs started each of the past two seasons. In truth, I thought the Heat would roll off about twenty wins in a row after they destroyed Orlando a couple of weeks ago. But that win was earned because of a suffocating defensive presence … a presence that has more or less faded. As a result, Miami hasn’t finished games against good teams. You know what happened at home against Utah. You probably saw what happened against Boston tonight. Without defense, the Heat’s offense simply isn’t good enough to carry them to victories.
Hold on a second. Did I just write what I meant to write, or was that an accident? The Heat’s offense - with arguably the two best perimeter players in the league and a top ten PF - is bad?
Yep. Right now, it’s bad. And I’m beginning to have my doubts about whether it will actually get better or not.
Stats heads love Miami. I believe in data. I believe in statistics. I also believe that numbers don’t tell the entire story. Basketball is a team game. The way the pieces fit matters. Miami, I realized, could have issues because they had two guys, in LeBron and Wade, that played essentially the same role. Ball in hands. Get to the rim. If the lane gets clogged, make a play or get to the free throw line. This is basic basketball…
What I also knew was that LeBron and Wade were going to have to learn how to be effective off of the ball. I thought they could figure it out and figure it out quickly. At the moment, I’m not so sure.
It’s important to remember that both LeBron and Wade have been playing a specific way - the way we saw them both play last year - not just for the past 7 years, but probably for the past 15 years, at least, for as long as they’ve been playing basketball. It’s not easy to simply wake up, step out onto the court, and suddenly make yourself into a different player. It would be like if Tim and I abruptly started writing poetry instead of movies…
The problem I see with Miami, so long as they’re not going to play defense, is that when LeBron or Wade plays their usual role, i.e. high pick and roll with the 5 or the 4, the other superstar is turned into a spot up shooter. In this way, Dwyane Wade or LeBron James becomes Anthony Parker. Which is just a total waste because LBJ and DW are actually far worse shooters than AP. Miami certainly shouldn’t be paying Wade what they are to take spot up 3P shots.
This is, I think, why the Heat’s defense has, in spots, been better than their offense. Individually, Wade and LeBron can both do what they’re use to doing on defense, and the team will still be effective. It’s on offense where they have to change their games - and, I would argue, perhaps for the worse - that they look lost. And they should.
This was the fundamental problem the Cavs had for the past couple of years, trying to build a team. Analyst after analyst would scream at the Cavs for not having a second superstar … but, in reality, LeBron was too good of a playmaker and scorer for the Cavs to have another superstar. Why get Dwyane Wade just so you can turn him into Mo Williams or Jamario Moon?
Short answer: you don’t. You pay Anthony Parker $2.9M and you smile about it.
I’m not sure how Miami can attack this problem. The easy answer, and maybe the best answer, is to start playing consistent, lockdown defense. When it comes to offense, however, Wade and LeBron can only adjust so much. Their games have been built on fundamental skills that have made them great. You can’t just tell a player to stop being great, to try to be average, to make spot up jumpers when they know they’re capable of far, far more.
In actuality, my theory that the Heat should trade Dwyane Wade is only gaining support. I would love to see how the Heat would look right now with just Bron and Bosh and not Wade (I’d love to see Bosh and Bron playing together on a slightly adjusted ‘09 - ‘10 Cavs team even more, but I digress…). Miami has LeBron. They don’t need Wade. Really, Mike Miller is a more appropriate player for this team than Wade is.
If the Heat continue losing, this could get really ugly. I will be very, very curious to see how LeBron reacts if - somehow - Miami’s record stays around .500 for several more games.
Nine games down. Seventy two to go. Man, it’s fun to jump to conclusions.
The nice thing about tumblr, and I do it a lot with the RealKingFish when it comes to Knicks coverage, but sometimes you want to write about things, and you’re too tired or busy or distracted by the Joose at your local bodega to really be able to spend time with a given subject. So, I found this JoseMesaIsDead post, and it sums up just about everything I wanted to say. Thanks. I’m going to bed now.
Last night I went to the Knicks vs. Warriors game for work. It was a pretty good game, high scoring and entertaining. The Knicks stayed competitive, though trailing most of the game, particularly in the late third quarter when they were down by 12 or so. However, they made a big move in the fourth to tie things up with about 3 mins to play and even at one point went up a few points before collapsing and giving the game right back.
When they made that come back late in the fourth, I genuinely thought they might pull out a win. Of course they didn’t. After the game, the best way I could come up with to describe the feeling: basketblueballs. That feeling when your consistently underperforming team looks like they might actually win, so you get your hopes up, only to be left with the fan equivalent of an unsatisfied chubby.
It’s very possible that I’ve heard basketblueballs before and subconsciously repeated it thinking I might have had a clever moment. As someone who follows basketball so closely, I’m guessing you might have a better sense if such a phrase exists, or if I did indeed come up with a clever pun.
email from a friend
So is BasketBlueBalls new and my friend is a verbal genius or have any of ya’ll heard it before?
“Dwight Howard led the Orlando Magic to a win over the Atlanta Hawks as he put up 27 points and 11 rebounds. He has scored 79 points over his last three games and has scored at least 18 points in each game this season. Howard has displayed a little more range in his offensive arsenal this season. According to Hoopdata, Howard has hit eight field goals from 10 feet and beyond this season after hitting just 19 such shots all of last season. Perhaps his summer work with Hakeem Olajuwon is paying some dividends.”—
The Dream workout has paid off… which again kills me because Pat Ewing is his positional coach, and should have had him hitting these shots before this year. Sad that Ewing is not doing a good job coaching (and getting out coached by his old college and pro nemesis Olajuwon), but very impressive that the best center in the NBA is still improving. Scary for other teams if the Defensive Player of the Year is drastically improving his offense…
We’ll see. I’d like him to punch somebody and send a message. Yes, Fuck Yea NBA is in favor of violence to send a message.
If you don’t know which Clyde he’s talking about I feel very sorry for you since you’ve probably never enjoyed his skills on the court or his ebullience with diction during his MSG announcing career (I think he got me that high score on my verbal SAT).
King Fish, real name Jonathan Fishner (see how he did that there?), traces the curse of Clyde on the beloved Knicks franchise of New York City. Read it. It’s good. I know these things.
I want to like you, Wilbon, I do. But every couple of months you say something completely indefensible and outlandish. This fills your November/December quota, apparently. Kevin Garnett never says anything bad in interviews with you or reporters, maybe. But on the court? He’s a grade-1 a-hole (and this is NOT breaking news). There is absolutely no doubt Garnett said the cancer patient stuff. Charlie V is, by all accounts, one of the premier “good guys” in the NBA. He has no reason at all to make that up.
Shockingly, Kornheiser was the voice of reason and common sense here, rebutting by saying he has no reason to not believe Villanueva.
There is a possibility that upcoming events, including Friday’s Knicks-Wizards game, could be postponed or forced to be played at another venue.
In a statement, the Garden said it is “working with the city and independent experts, ATC Associates and GCI Environmental Advisory, to evaluate and determine the most appropriate course of action. As the safety of our customers and employees are our top priority, we will not reopen the Garden until we are absolutely assured the Arena is safe.”
No make-up date for the game against Orlando has been announced.
The Garden is currently being renovated at a cost of $775 million to $850 million and will take three years to be completed. The plan is to shut down the 42-year-old building for the next three summers in order to speed up construction.
A Garden spokesman said that following Monday’s Rangers win over Chicago workers were cleaning asbestos-related materials from the attic above the ceiling and that some debris fell into the Arena.
As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, the basketball court had yet to be installed above the hockey ice and the arena was roped off.
A worst-case scenario for the Garden would be halting construction while the Knicks and Rangers seasons are in progress or moving their teams to another venue, possibly the Izod Center at the Meadowlands, which is currently vacant.
James Dolan is probably doing this out of spite for Knicks fans. We finally have what might be a .500 team for the first time in a decade, and now asbestos.
They talked about scars and echocardiograms, fishing and boogie boarding and Jack’s smooth 10-foot bank shot.
“Nice form,” Turiaf remarked in his thick French accent. “Quick learner.”
In recent years, there have been dozens of visits like this for Turiaf, a 6-foot-10 center who brings equal amounts of frenetic energy to defense and heart-health awareness. Turiaf becomes agitated about public ignorance and livid over the lack of defibrillators in high schools — a situation he is trying to remedy by supplying them himself.
“When I see a 10-year-old kid that’s telling me that he had a heart transplant, it makes me furious, angry in a sense,” Turiaf said. “It’s a shame that people do not realize that heart issues, heart ailments, is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States.”
How can you not love Ronny Turiaf?
-Paid for by the committee to elect Turiaf governor of New York.