Tag Archives: nba basketball

Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks — Easy Does it NYC

Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks

Ok, Ok, Carmelo Anthony is finally going to the New York Knicks. Your prayers have been answered Knicks fans. Your savior is here.

I’d like to start by saying, “good for you.” If I was a Knicks fan, I’d be psyched. Carmelo is a top 5 player in the NBA, and having him join up with Amare Stoudemaire is undeniably a potent combination offensively. This trade was widely cited by critics as the Knicks giving up too much — most of the players responsible for the Knicks’ “resurgence”,  $3 million in cash, and all of your upcoming major draft picks. I agree that the Knicks gave up too much to get Melo, but my thinking is “so what?” This is what the Knicks had to do to get him, and sometimes you’ve got to take a step backwards in order to go forwards. I have no doubt that the Knicks will be able to recruit other scrubs who are pretty good and simply want to play in NYC with Melo and Amare, just as the Heat did with players like Eddie House and Mike Miller. In other words, this was the right move.

Now, I’m going to play devil’s advocate — hear me out on a few major issues in regard to this trade.

1) Chauncey Billups was included in this trade, which is huge — he’s a great veteran player and already has some chemistry with Carmelo. That said, he’s old and he doesn’t want to play in New York. Denver is his home, and he was thrilled to head back there following his time with the Pistons. While Billups isn’t pleased, he’s a player in the twilight of his career. I’d expect him to suck it up, and make the best of this final opportunity for him to win a Finals and play on the big stage. This isn’t a huge concern for me.

2) While this trade is not about this year, I wouldn’t expect much from the Knicks this year. They haven’t had time to play together and have a completely new roster. They’ll have growing pains, a la the Heat. But in the future, two stars is not equal to three. The Celtics have four, the Heat have three. While Melo and Amare are more than enough firepower, this brings injuries into the game in a major way. If Melo or Amare is injured in the upcoming seasons, or simply in the playoffs, this team will not have enough depth to win. Period. That’s something to be seriously concerned about as you fix your eyes on NBA titles.

3) Melo just made himself Lebron #2, at least to some extent, no? I’m sure you New York fans won’t agree. Whether you like it or not, that’s partially because you are bitter that Lebron snubbed you. But let’s face the facts — while Melo did not hold a ridiculous press conference and refer to himself in the third person a la Lebron, his departure was a bit ugly. Like Lebron, he left a larger contract on the table to go elsewhere after several seasons in Denver. Like Lebron, he made some bad comments like saying “I’ll be playing in Denver for the game on Tuesday at least,” during the course of all-star weekend. This move, like Lebron’s, also seems to suggest that he couldn’t get it done on his own. Sure, James joined D-Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. Carmelo is joining the second leading scorer in the NBA in New York, which is something even Lebron can’t say. So this whole thing is a little hypocritical, no? If you’re saying Lebron can never be looked at in the same light because he joined forces with Dwayne Wade, then Carmelo can’t be seen in the same light either because he’s joining forces with Amare. Sorry, NYC, but I’m not sure how you can argue that.

I think those are some very valid points, and some legitimate concerns. That said, it is a big day for Knicks’ fans, I understand that and applaud this move. I’d still take the Celtics or the Heat in a series though, sorry guys.

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Kendrick Perkins — What’s His Value to the Celtics?

Kendrick Perkins Celtics

By Matt Moore, howiGit Contributing Writer, Boston, MA

Tuesday marked the first time Kendrick Perkins played a basketball game since his knee gaveout during Game 6 of the 2010 Finals. After extensive rehab, Perkins returned to action sooner than anyone expected, coming off the bench during the Celtics 112-95 win over Cleveland on Tuesday. In 17 minutes, the center had 7 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. He followed that up by playing 21 minutes against Portland on Thursday, and posting 10 points and 9 rebounds.

All things considered, Perkins looks pretty good, considering he’s only three games back from an injury that can be absolutely devastating for an athlete, especially a basketball player, and even more so for a big man like Perkins. Obviously he’s rusty. Obviously it’s going to take some time for him to get his rhythm back and get on the same page as the other starters. There will be some rough patches on the road to getting 100%. For his part, Perkins seems optimistic and the team is excited to start moving towards a completely healthy roster. Eventually when he is back to form, Perkins will slide into his spot as the starting center. Shaq will move to the bench and give that unit some strength and size.

The team is excited and so are the fans– the Garden gave Perkins a standing ovation when he came in the game on Tuesday. A lot of people maintain that had Perkins not gone down in Game 6, then the Celtics would have banner 18 hanging in the rafters right now. I don’t doubt the value of Perkins to the Celtics, especially on the defensive end. However, part of me questions whether this notion is something fans tell themselves to take some of the sting out of blowing a fourth quarter lead in Game 7 against the Lakers. All home fans overrate their players to some extent or another, and Perkins is probably just such a case. I’m almost positive most fans outside of Boston don’t care much for Perkins and feel he is overrated, annoying, or both. I know that at times I’ve been frustrated by watching him play over the last seven years. He tends to struggle with offensive post moves, constantly bringing the ball down on rebounds or catches rather than going up strong. The fact that he continually complains about calls also bothers me. But there are some positives. His post defense is solid, especially against Dwight Howard for some reason. In terms of team defense he is an important piece working along side Garnett. His pick and roll defense is worth noting. Plus his strength and ability to impose on other centers is an advantage.

Numbers wise, Perkins has ever done anything that really sticks out. His career averages: 6.4 PPG, 6 RPG, 1.4 BPG, .564% FG. Last season was arguably his best as a Celtic: 8.5 PPG, 7.5 RPG, .602% shooting. These aren’t exactly All-Star level stats, but Perkins play fits in with Garnett, Pierce, Allen, and Rondo. As many fans will tell you, Perkins value isn’t always something that can be counted or averaged out. Still, some people continue to say that Perkins and Rondo are just along for the ride by playing with the Big Three and benefit accordingly. Rondo is proving that it’s tough to keep that argument alive. However, for Perkins, it’s not as easy. His numbers have jumped since Garnett and Allen arrived, and so has his apparent value in the minds of fans. But this could just as much be attributed to Perkins coming along in his own development at the right time.

For all his inconsistencies and limited offense, what Perkins does give the Celtics is another experienced big man who knows the system and has succeeded playing within it. He takes the burden off Shaq and bolsters the team defense. In a playoff series against Orlando, he can keep Howard contained. Matching up with the Lakers’ bigs is another reason Boston brought in O’Neal to go along with Perkins and Davis.

So as the Celtics continue to work back towards full health, it will be interesting to see how the team dynamic reacts in the second half of the season. In the mean time, let’s let Perkins be Perkins and remember the type of player he is.

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Paul Pierce Has His Own Back, Dismisses “Rival” Knicks

Paul Pierce

After Paul Pierce dismissed the New York Knicks as “rivals” (really a media fabrication more than any smack talk), he then went out and backed up his words, dropping a season high 32 points including a game winner with .04 seconds left on the clock. Despite a huge performance from Amare Stoudemaire (39 points) including an unlikely 3-pointer in the game’s final moments that came just a little too late, the Celtics pulled out a 118-116 win extending their winning streak to 11 games.

I’ve long been an Amare fan, and his recent tear comes as no surprise to me — he has an offense now running 100% through him. And yes, he is that dynamic of a player (if his dunks aren’t proof enough). I’d expect his success to continue, and if he gets paired up with Carmelo Anthony, watch out.

That said, this game is not proof by any means to me that the Knicks have “arrived.” First of all, the Celtics are notorious for playing down to opponents. They often lose to or have trouble with teams that aren’t of their own caliber. Second of all, the Knicks have not shown any defensive prowess whatsoever and don’t have much depth. How can you possibly expect a team like that to compete with the Celtics or Lakers of the world in a playoff environment?

You can’t.

I still, after all of these past seasons, can’t decide who my favorite Celtic is. It’s either Pierce or Ray Allen. For today at least, Pierce is the man.

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Michael Jordan Responds to Lebron James — What Should I Do?

After watching this video — Michael Jordan’s direct response to Lebron James’ “What Should I do?” ad campaign for Nike following his signing with Miami — my initial thought was that Nike CEO Phil Knight must have had something to do with this. Only Nike could pit arguably its two biggest superstar athletes  against one another successfully. Jordan must have called Lebron, explained that this was a good move from a business perspective, and the two agreed to the commercial. But the more I watch this video, the more I think Jordan simply chose to call Lebron out — both because he wanted to, and because it only makes his legend and his brand name that much stronger.

I think this commercial was done perfectly. The message that Jordan worked hard everyday, rather than simply taking his basketball skill as a God-given talent (as he implies Lebron has), couldn’t possibly cut deeper into Lebron’s competitive nature. I guess we can say so long to any sort of mentor/protege relationship between these two. The “Become Legendary” Jordan slogan at the end of video could not work more perfectly. Check it out.

********Apparently this is not going to run as a real commercial, and is simply a mash up of commercials created to make Lebron look bad……that said, my bad — and thank you to Kevin Youkilis for clearing this up…..it’s still awesome regardless*********

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Appreciating Tim Duncan

Tim Duncan San Antonio Spurs

I caught the late night edition Sportscenter last night before I crashed, and fought to keep my eyes open as I watched highlights of the San Antonio Spurs game. Between my closing eyelids I was able to make out Tim Duncan’s line for the game — 15 points, 18 boards, and 11 assists. “Tim Duncan gets no credit,” I said to my roommate. “Years from now when asked to name the best centers in NBA history, Duncan will be left off that list all to often.” A brief conversation ensued, and my roommate (a wise man) largely agreed. So here it is — I figured it’s time Tim Duncan got his due.

My initial reaction to Duncan’s numbers last night was this — If Rajon Rondo (who I love) had a 15 point, 18 rebound, 11 assist game the Sportcenter anchors would be on their knees worshiping him (as they often are). Sure, Rondo does this in a flashy, electric manner (which is worth something). But Duncan should not be penalized for putting up these numbers and yawning six times while doing it. That’s exactly how many times the commentators yawned as they watched him do it. Nonetheless, his contribution is the same.

Sure, he’s a somewhat boring, very fundamental player to watch. Sure, his personality is as exciting as your average plain graham cracker (not even the cinnamon or chocolate ones). All of this hurts his image, his legacy, and leads to his underrated status. But sit back and take a minute to tell me how you can under-appreciate this:

Duncan is 30th on the all-time scoring list, with only 7 centers ahead of him. All of those players have played many more games than he has at this point (he’s 34 years old). He is 24th all-time in rebounds and 11th all-time in blocks, again, playing far fewer games than the players ahead of him. His average game for his career is 21 points, 11.6 boards, and 2.3 blocks. In the playoffs he averages 23 points and 12.4 boards per game.

Those are nice numbers and all, but what really wowed me is this:

Duncan has played in every all-star game since the ’97-’98 season with the exception of the ’98-’99 season. In that same period he has won the Rookie of the Year award, 2 NBA MVP awards, 3 NBA Finals MVP awards (Kobe only has 2), and has made 12 NBA All-Defensive teams. He’s finished in the top 5 in MVP voting 9 times.

Oh yea, and he’s won 4 NBA championships. Considering he won the Finals MVP in 3 of those years, it’s fair to say he’s pretty responsible for those banners hanging in the rafters in San Antonio. Few players, if any, have had more to do with their team winning championships.

I appreciate Tim Duncan. The question is, do you?

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Shawn Kemp’s Top 10 Dunks

The top 10 dunks of Shawn Kemp’s career — there’s not much more to say about this as the video speaks for itself.  I think you’d be hard-pressed to find any other player with a better top ten list of dunks. This boy could leap. Oh, and he was 6’10 and came out of community college.

I’d suggest watching the video with sound. Pay special attention to Kemp’s pointing after the #1 dunk. Thank you to Mr. Patrick Klimm for passing this along.

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