Kobe’s Last Game In Boston Was Everything That Is Right With Sports

Kobe’s Last Game In Boston Was Everything That Is Right With Sports

As we approach the New Year I wanted to look back at the sport we all love.  It’s important to appreciate the things we have.  If you’ve spend one day on Twitter or Reddit or whatever forum you use to discuss sports, you will know that there is a lot of vile thrown around when opinions differ.  However, I know there is a lot of good in all of us who follow the sport of basketball and the NBA. Every once in a while we are shown the good side of sportsmanship and humanity.  The NBA is a brotherhood.  Although the players fight, claw and scratch their way for a victory on any given night, at the end of the day they collectively strive for greatness in both their team and the league.   The same can be said about the fans of the league. Last night was a perfect example of this.  It wasn’t the first time and it will not be the last time.   Most people know of the famous “Beat LA” chant that originated in the 80’s at the historical Boston Garden.  What some people may not know is how or why the chant came about.  The current generation of fans remembers it from the 2008 Celtics team that featured Kevin Garnett and the rejuvenation of the franchise.  The most beautiful aspect about the chant is not the phrase itself but why and when the fans back in the 80’s used it.   Here is an excerpt from Boston.com explaining the origin of the chant: For most fans, the chant is reminiscent of the playoff games in the...
Home-Court: An Investigative Report On The Dwindling Nature Of One Of The NBA’s Most Standard Advantages

Home-Court: An Investigative Report On The Dwindling Nature Of One Of The NBA’s Most Standard Advantages

It is often speculated by NBA fans and talking heads alike that the impact of home-court advantage has become less significant in the modern era than it was in the days of old. Various arguments have and continue to be made in this regard. For one, many cite the increasing marketability of the league, via ESPN, national TV broadcasts, and modern technology in general, as one reason fan attendance has become less regional and more “bandwagon”-oriented. Fans, nowadays, are less inclined to merely cheer for teams in their own cities; unlike, say, thirty years ago, when games broadcast in a certain city would include the home team almost exclusively, ESPN, TNT, ABC, and NBA League Pass have allowed for fans all across the world to watch whichever team interests them just about whenever they like. This, in theory, would create a phenomenon in which larger and larger proportions of fans in cities are likelier to attend games to root for (and, in turn, prop up) the opposing team, and diminish the inherent home-court advantage that the home team holds. Furthermore, many cite the rise of hubs such as “SeatGeek” and “Stubhub”, sites that have made ticket distribution far more frequent and easy, as a reason fan attendance has become a lot less homogenous. It is a whole lot easier to use one of these databases not only to find a favorable deal, but to book an adjacent flight, plan ahead of time, and even distribute tickets to fans in other cities. This kind of secondary distribution of tickets can take the authority out of the hands of team officials...
Triple Double Tuesday – Weekly Column 12.22.15

Triple Double Tuesday – Weekly Column 12.22.15

That time of the year where you dedicate yourself to your fantasy football playoff push and the holidays. It’s often a time the average fan sweeps the NBA under the rug until the following year. Not us, and because I failed to bring this last week but here we are right before every NBA’s fans favorite day, CHRISTMAS! Especially for the Christmas Day games. Three Positive Things The San Antonio Spurs Unnoticed Kawhi Leonard will not win the MVP award and most will not recognize how great he is playing this season because of the supporting cast around him. However, we can not overlook his defense. Last night he limited (with the help of others too of course) Paul George to shoot 1-14 from the field. This has been a common theme for Kawhi all season long and the Spurs who are 24-5, only four games back from having the best record. This is remarkable considering the Warriors went on to win an NBA record 24 straight games to start a season. No one is paying attention to the Spurs who do not have a 30+ scorer, do not have anyone who jumps out to the average fan. They just show up with their talent and depth every night and play the game the correct way, without making headlines with the media. This is exactly how Gregg Popovich wants it to be and it’s exactly what he is getting. Scott Skiles and the Magic I always loved how a small roster shake up can turn around a season. The Magic are the perfect example having moved Victor Oladipo to...
Hoopscritic DFS: Sorting Through a 12-Game Slate

Hoopscritic DFS: Sorting Through a 12-Game Slate

I decided that I’m going to reduce the amount of tournaments I’m playing for a couple of weeks. My ROI has just been awful in tournaments, while my cash game ROI has been great. Simply, it’s just a money decision at this point and one that’s important for all DFS players to be able to distinguish once they have a good sample of cash and tournament entries to look at. Put your money in the best spots possible to profit. Don’t feel like you have to play both just because. With a full slate of games, let’s get right into today’ top plays. Elite Plays of the Day: Jrue Holliday ($4,700 on DK) With news that Jrue will no longer be sitting out back to backs, we have to take advantage of his vastly discounted price. When he’s right, he’ll contribute across the board in all categories, as he’s shown in the last 2 games. What we’re worried about most with Jrue though is the minutes he receives. As he’s played 28 and 29 minutes the last 2 games respectively, it shows the Pelicans are really close to playing him without any restrictions. The game against the Jazz isn’t the greatest match-up, but the total is still at 204 with a -4 spread towards Utah. There’s just too much value here as Jrue is closer to a $6,500 talent when given his full slate of minutes. He’s my top play to hit 7x-8x value on this slate. Stephen Curry ($10,700 on DK) Is there ever really a bad time to play Steph Curry? Despite some concern over a blow-out,...
Scott Skiles: The Right Man In Orlando

Scott Skiles: The Right Man In Orlando

Since trading Dwight Howard, the Orlando Magic, prior to this season, had largely gone nowhere.  Their record in the three seasons after dealing Dwight: 20-62; 23-59; and 25-57.  Such marginal improvement, for a team so low in the standings, was indicative of a team going in circles, rather than forward.  And the reality with a young team is that you cannot keep it together forever unless you believe it can win, because extension years come eventually, and you cannot pay everyone if you’re not going to win with them. The Magic then made an excellent move to trigger development in their young talent absent prior to this season: they hired Scott Skiles.  And with Skiles and his Magic sitting at 12-10, it is clear that he has caused the roster to turn the corner.  Yet, Skiles has a reputation as a coach who is bad for young players because of his tough personality, and an apparent unwillingness to be patient with young players.  It led to his hire in Orlando being questioned in several circles.  As the school of thought goes, you cannot be too hard on young players, or they will go into their shells rather than developing.  And you should provide young players with 30-35 minutes per game when rebuilding, so that they can develop. The worry was Skiles would fail at both tasks in Orlando. To the contrary, if the goal when heading a young team is to turn young talents into young winners, Skiles has done a splendid job, and he has done so by doing things his way. He has shown that expecting young...
NBA Rookie Ladder: Second Edition

NBA Rookie Ladder: Second Edition

A recurring note: This Rookie Ladder is essentially a running “rookie of the year” tab. Certain weeks were not, are not, and will not be weighed more heavily than others because they are more memorable or recent. Rather, each edition will provide an update on how the list of top-10 rookies stands on the season to date, one week at a time. Furthermore, neither age nor draft position will affect a player’s prospective standing here. As long as said player qualifies as a rookie, he can be as high or as low on this list as his play dictates. With that said, enjoy the first edition of HoopsCritic’s “NBA Rookie Ladder”, brought to you by The Committee (of one). NBA Rookie Ladder   1. Karl-Anthony Towns PTS TRB AST STL BLK TOV TS% FG% 3P% FT% MPG NET RTG 15.3 9.3 1.0 0.7 2.2 2.1 57.9 53.2 43.8 80.7 28.1 -0.5   Almost two months into his rookie year, Karl-Anthony Towns has headed the Rookie Ladder for each of the first seven weeks of the season. And despite a recent four-in-five-game stretch in which the Kentucky product saw his minutes dwindle, Towns’s numbers have hardly hit a lull. The big man remains the most efficient double-digit scorer in his class and paces all of his peers in both rebounding and blocked shots, while ranking tops amongst rookies according to just about every single all-in-one metric known to the world of advanced statistics. Yet, despite filling up the stat sheet so amply, the most impressive aspect of his impact on the game remains absent from the box score: with Towns...