Tag Archives: NBA

Paul Pierce Joins the 20,000 Point Club

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce scored his 20,000th career point last night, a free throw that sealed an overtime win for the Celtics over Milwaukee. Pierce ended the game with 28 points, joining Larry Bird and John Havlicek as the only career Celtics in the 20,000 point club. Congratulations Paul, it’s been an absolute pleasure watching you over the years. Take a look at the list below — all of the members of the 20,000 point club. It’s pretty damn good company.

Rank Player PTS
1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar* 38387
2. Karl Malone* 36928
3. Michael Jordan* 32292
4. Wilt Chamberlain* 31419
5. Shaquille O’Neal 28281
6. Moses Malone* 27409
7. Elvin Hayes* 27313
8. Hakeem Olajuwon* 26946
9. Oscar Robertson* 26710
10. Dominique Wilkins* 26668
11. John Havlicek* 26395
12. Kobe Bryant 25915
13. Alex English* 25613
14. Reggie Miller 25279
15. Jerry West* 25192
16. Patrick Ewing* 24815
17. Allen Iverson 24368
18. Charles Barkley* 23757
19. Robert Parish* 23334
20. Adrian Dantley* 23177
21. Elgin Baylor* 23149
22. Kevin Garnett 22345
23. Clyde Drexler* 22195
24. Gary Payton 21813
25. Larry Bird* 21791
26. Hal Greer* 21586
27. Dirk Nowitzki 21217
28. Ray Allen 21048
29. Walt Bellamy* 20941
30. Bob Pettit* 20880
31. David Robinson* 20790
32. Tim Duncan 20710
33. George Gervin* 20708
34. Mitch Richmond 20497
35. Tom Chambers 20049
36. Paul Pierce 20005

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Shaq Plays Statue in Harvard Square

Shaq Harvard Square Statue

Staying true to his Tweets, Celtic’s center Shaquille O’Neal arrived in Harvard Square yesterday — and proceeded to sit on a park bench, acting like a statue for an hour or so. Why? Because he’s Shaq, because he’s silly, and because he said he would. Although howiGit was planning on covering the event, alas, some of us must work at times. Fans mobbed Shaq, televisions crews arrived on site, and Shaq sat there being huge. It’s too bad he’s currently in a spat with Celtic’s forward Glen Davis — I would have loved to see Big Baby accompany Shaq and dance the “Dougie” around him. You gotta give “Shaq-a-chusetts” some credit though — he’s a man of his word. I like your moves, Shaq.

Shaq Harvard Square Statue

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Delonte West Headed Back to the Celtics

Delonte West

Delonte West is headed back to the Celtics, a pick up that I love. The Celtics were looking for a shooter, and will only end up paying West around $854,000 next year. A little known Delonte fact? In his junior season at Saint Joseph’s University he had a perfect game in which he shot 12-for-12 from the field, 3-for-3 from 3-point range and 6-for-6 from the free throw line.

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Heat? Celtics? Lakers? 2011 NBA Predictions

Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers

By Jon Levin, howiGit Contributing Writer, Los Angeles, CA

The NFL’s preseason is officially underway and baseball is in its final regular season stretch, yet I find myself primarily intrigued by the NBA – basketball hasn’t managed to disappear this offseason.  This summer will go down as one of the more wild and significant off-seasons in the league’s history.  Numerous perennial all stars and franchise players changed teams to drastically shift the NBA’s balance of power.  Specifically, the Eastern Conference got much stronger. 

Chicago has gone from a low playoff seed to a championship contender with the acquisitions of Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer (basically half of the 2009 Utah Jazz), and CJ Watson.  They already had a great core with Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and Taj Gibson — now they have another beast inside, shooters/perimeter defenders to compliment them, and a new coach in Tom Thibodeau — who in my opinion has the best defensive mind in the game.

Milwaukee had a tremendous year last year considering everyone’s expectations for them.  They ended up a six seed and played extremely well against Atlanta.  Brandon Jennings has the potential to be a top 5 point guard in the next few years; the Bucks resigned John Salmons, traded for Corey Maggette, and drafted a huge sleeper in my eyes in Larry Sanders.  If Andrew Bogut comes back healthy and playing at the level he was last year (a top 5 center), the Bucks will continue on their path of improvement and could easily sneak out of the 1st round of playoffs. 

The Knicks are also a team that greatly improved.  Their starting lineup last year looked something like this: Toney Douglas, Wilson Chandler, Tracy McGrady, Danillo Gallinari, and David Lee.  Now, it’s probably going to look more like this: Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler/Roger Mason, Danilo Gallinari, Anthony Randolph, and Amare Stoudemire.  With Amare, Randolph, and Felton coming in, the Knicks have a new look of veteran players that aren’t past their prime and still have a lot left in the tank.  They also have depth with guys like Toney Douglas, Ronny Turiaf, and Bill Walker coming off the bench.  While they’re not seriously going to contend for a title, they made good moves this summer and have put themselves in a position to get into the playoffs and make another splash in the free agency market next summer (Carmelo?). 

When it really comes down to it, the NBA only has three teams in each conference with any legitimate chance of making the finals.  In the East, its Miami, Boston, and Orlando.  In the West, it’s the Lakers, Thunder, and Mavericks.  Orlando still has the best interior defender in the league and has surrounded Mr. Howard with tons of perimeter shooters to help run their inside-out offensive game plan.  It has worked quite well for them the last few years, however they just don’t seem to have enough consistency with their outside shot (what 3-point shooting team really does?) as they have fallen to the Lakers and Celtics respectively.  Vince Carter also completely disappeared in the playoffs last year, and for a guy who makes over $16 million a year, you just can’t expect to win it all when your secondary option on offense falls apart when you need him the most.

 Boston has a very similar look to last year with the return of all five of their starters, yet their bench will have a very different look.  You can tell their focus was on bolstering up their frontcourt with the signings of Jermaine O’Neal and Shaq due to the serious knee injury Kendrick Perkins suffered in game 6 of the Finals.  However, I think the loss of Tony Allen is much bigger than it may seem right now.  I watched this guy give LeBron the hardest time he may have ever experienced on a basketball court in the 2nd round this year.  It was actually really fun to watch how well Tony Allen was able to stay in front of LeBron and deny his ability to get to the line, which he tried to do even more than usual due to his “injured” elbow.  Allen also did a solid job making life much more difficult on Kobe than most wing defenders are capable of.  The Celtics are hoping young rookie Avery Bradley will be their backup two-guard who can come in and replace Tony Allen’s defensive-minded approach off the bench.  In that respect, he has some large shoes to fill. 

 The Heat have gotten a ton of attention this summer, and rightfully so.  They went from irrelevant to having 2 top 5 players in the league and arguably 3 of the top 10.  I find it hard to imagine them struggling in the regular season, but when the playoffs come around, injuries affect everyone and players’ true colors always shine brightest.  The Heat represent a “wait and see” championship contender for me.  If one of the big three goes down or is half the player he can be because of an injury (especially Chris Bosh), their chances decrease much more drastically than other teams like Boston and LA, who have serious depth off the bench.

The Thunder have the best young core of players in the NBA.  I truly believe they will be a top 4 seed in the West this year and they’re only going to continue to get better.  Kevin Durant is a superstar, Russell Westbrook is a consistent jump shot away from being a star, Jeff Green is a great third option, and James Harden’s role and impact are going to increase.  The Thunder also showed a level of effort last year that I haven’t seen from a team in a long time.  I really don’t see any team but the Lakers giving them serious problems for the next few years. 

 The Mavericks on paper look pretty crazy.  Kidd, Marion, Nowitzki, Butler, Haywood, Chandler, and Beaubois.  I see the Mavericks having another successful regular season, yet even with all that talent, I cant see them beating the Lakers (or even the Thunder) in a 7 game series that they probably wont have home court advantage in.  Their level of talent and established veteran roster still keep them relevant in the discussion.

Last, but certainly not least, we have the Lakers.  I know its going to come off as being a homer, but I still think the Lakers are the best team in the NBA.  They still have the best player in the game, the best starting frontcourt in the game in Gasol & Bynum, a top 3 perimeter defender in Ron Artest, a clutch performer in Derek Fisher, and the greatest coach of all-time in Phil Jackson.  Oh, and they got better this summer too.  They added Steve Blake, Matt Barnes (who was a starting SF on a 59 win team last year – he’ll be the 8th man on this team?), and don’t forget Lamar Odom (a member of Team USA this year).  Both on paper, and considering they are back-to-back defending champions, you can’t really dethrone the champs just yet. 

 PREDICTION: Heat vs. Lakers Finals, Lakers win in 6 games.  The NBA has wanted LeBron in the finals these past three seasons and now that he joined Wade’s team in Miami, they finally just might get their wish (and no way he gets swept out of the finals again, not that I would mind that). 

A final thought – I couldn’t help but notice the past few weeks that Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson, and Tracy McGrady were all having an extremely difficult time finding a job and all weren’t considered the top free agent available.  For the first time in my life, I feel old.

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Luke Harangody Versus Shelden Williams

I’m sick of the Celtics getting ugly players from terrible colleges. Here are two prime examples: Shelden Williams out of Duke and Luke Harangody out of the joke that is Notre Dame. Who’s more pretty?

It’s a tough call. Is your type five-headed or do you prefer the cross-eyed Shrek look?

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Lebron Going to Miami Means Much More than You Think

A Guest Post By: Jon Levin, Los Angeles, California

As much as everyone’s “sources” were saying LeBron was going to Miami, I thought the chances of it actually happening were slim-to-none. Maybe it’s because I’m a Lakers fan or because I’m not a LeBron James fan, but this entire free agency process made me like him even less.  I used to believe Lebron had something of a mental foundation in place, at least a  teaspoon of that “killer” in him that we see from  guys like Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett. The type of mentality that wills those around you to put forth  effort they might not have thought they had in them. Before the Boston series this year and last night’s announcement, I thought LeBron had enough of that in him to be able to be the primary leader of a team. I was  proven wrong when a mentally tougher Boston team took it to Lebron, who seemed disinterested in key stretches of the games. Now we see Lebron leaving his leadership role and his hometown to hit up Miami with D-Wade – a team with two proven stars and one in Dwyane Wade who, in my opinion, is most comparable to  Kobe Bryant in terms of displaying that “killer” mentality.

Lebron’s decision spoke volumes to me. I really think LeBron is not who many of us thought he was. LeBron seemed to desire the image of being a primary leader, a floor general as they call it. A Magic Johnson. A Larry Bird. A Michael Jordan. A Kobe Bryant.  None of these players left their team to join forces with others.  They recruited stars to their team to build a complete unit around them. They were the clear-cut leaders, both with their mentalities and with their play.  Tonight showed us who LeBron is. He joined forces with Wade and Bosh. Don’t take it from me, look what Pat Riley had to say about it,“We are thrilled that LeBron James and Chris Bosh have decided to come to Miami to join forces with our truly great player, Dwyane Wade.”

It may seem like I’m knocking LeBron’s game. That couldn’t be farther from how I feel.  He is the most incredible combination of size, speed, strength, and basketball skill that the league has ever seen. He’s the fastest and strongest guy in the NBA. It’s pretty insane to think about. I mean, he does seem to just bulrush the lane hoping to get an And-1 a lot, but it’s a smart call to make considering his size and speed even if its pretty terrible basketball to watch.

Many like to say, “Well Magic had Kareem and Worthy, Bird had McHale and Parish, Jordan had Pippen, Horace Grant and Rodman, and Kobe had Shaq” – but we can’t look at Lebron in the same light as Magic, Bird, Jordan, and Kobe anymore.  Those guys never gave up their primary role to co-lead with others on a different team.  Those four were born leaders; they weren’t forced into the role due to their overwhelming talent. I don’t blame LeBron. That type of role is an incredibly difficult role to play. It’s one you can’t force upon someone – it has to come naturally. Mr. James just isn’t that player — and therefore can’t be included in the type of discussions the legendary figures above are in.

So now to the state of the league.  Call me a homer all you want, the Lakers are still the team to beat. Period. Even without knowing the rest of the Heat’s new roster. I also still like the Celtics and semi-like the Magic over the Heat coming out of the east, but that could change with news that Mike Miller is going to be signing with the Heat and I’m sure a few other above average role players are soon to follow. I feel like the Celtics will follow a similar path leading to a deep run into the playoffs as they did last year. They will have multiple bumps in the road during the regular season and will go through stretches where they seem to be a bit disinterested in regular season action — but they are a veteran team and know how to turn it on come playoff time. Also, from personal experience, teams come out crazy-determined the year following  a Finals loss and the Celtics have retained their core players. Next year is going to be a blast to watch. I’m only three weeks off of a finals victory and I can’t wait for next year already. October can’t come soon enough.

(A side note: I don’t think the whole “King” nickname is appropriate anymore, or maybe ever was. Kings don’t leave their country (or team) to join forces as co-kings in other countries (or teams). Plus, you need to have accomplished something before being anointed a king metaphorically; something like winning a ring.)

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Will the Real Lebron James Please Stand Up?

Despite Lebron James accumulating over 250,000 followers on Twitter in his first two days of having an account, one huge lesson we have learned out of this year’s NBA free agent circus is this — few people truly know the real Lebron James and the things that motivate him. This might be a worthwhile realization, as clearly the world felt as though they knew Tiger Woods while they believed his golden boy persona. But the regardless of how many articles, tweets, or ESPN interviews revolve around a celebrity athlete, it’s still best to except that the general public (and often the insiders) really know jack about these superstars as people. That being said, the free agent plot thickened substantially today with both Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh committing to the Miami Heat. With this move, the general public finally will get a glimpse of the real James — should the following situations occur.

1) Lebron signs with Cleveland — If Lebron signs with Cleveland, we’ll learn that he is a hometown boy and loyal as shit. Pardon my french. How likely is this to happen? I’d say 10%.

2) Lebron signs with the Knicks — This will tell us that Lebron is all about the money. Sure, he’d have a great new teammate in Amare Stoudemaire, but this flat-out is not his best chance to win. This says, loud and clear, “I want to be the King of New York and make zillions in endorsements.” Likelihood: 20%.

3) Lebron signs with New Jersey — This move says, “I’m receiving millions under the table from the Russian mob.” Likelihood: 5%.

4) Lebron signs with the Clippers — This move says, “I’m a dumbass.” Likelihood: 1%.

5) Lebron signs with Chicago — This is still an option that has been downplayed to some extent. This move would allow Lebron to play with the best, most dynamic point guard in the game — one that will not be taking possessions or shots away from him but will compliment him wonderfully. This move makes pretty decent sense, but I don’t think Lebron wants to live in Michael Jordan’s shadow forever. Likelihood: 24%.

6) Lebron signs with Miami — This move says loud and clear, “I want to win more than anything.” Sure, Wade and Lebron aren’t completely complimentary players, but with that much talent on the floor I think they would win a NBA championship in their first year. This move would show us that Lebron, as Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh have already shown, doesn’t care about money — in terms of his salary. This means that he is A) not greedy or B) intelligent enough to realize that by joining Wade and Bosh in Miami he’ll make zillions of dollars in endorsements anyways. He might even make more money in this scenario than if he was going to New York. Likelihood: 40%.

I know if it was me, I’d be in Miami in a heartbeat. Regardless, the world will be watching tomorrow at 9:00pm. And the world will be learning a lot more about who Lebron James really is.

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Also, check out: http://bit.ly/cdPArc — I must admit it’s stupid as hell, but the headline definitely made me chuckle.

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