‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

To help get you guys in the holiday spirit, I decided to take a look back at some of the more “interesting” parts of this young NBA season, Christmas style. ‘Twas the night before Christmas, ranked 15th in the league, It appeared quite obvious that the Hawks missed Jeff Teague Oh, losing Horford is not a big blow! Let’s settle for a crybaby who can’t hit a free throw Memphis signed Parsons to dig them out of a trench, Now he gets paid to watch games from the bench “Please be worth it,” Chris Wallace prayed But Chandler has worn more V-Necks than games he has played Cuban thought his team would come ready to play, But they might fare better in the NCAA Cuban thinks he is known for his craft, But he’ll forever be known as the Grinch who can’t draft Two successful draft picks in 22 years You wonder why Dallas fans are always in tears Being worse than the Pelicans is probably a sign That something is wrong on the Mav’s sideline Matt Barnes, still pissed D-Fish got the dub Took it out on a woman at an NYC club Boogie Cousins said to Matt, as he’s his biggest supporter “Next time just take it out on a reporter” “Now, on Lebron! On, Love! On, Kyrie! Lue continued to scream LeBron then poilitely asked, “Sir, who runs this team?” James then explained to the man called Coach Lue, Kevin and I are going to take the day off, and Kyrie will too As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, Phil’s choice of words...
Craig Graham Sager: Icon, Legend, Inspiration

Craig Graham Sager: Icon, Legend, Inspiration

Thursday afternoon, we lost more than a broadcaster who wowed us all with his perseverance, love for the game, and sideline attire. We lost a true legend, one that will never be replaced. There could be another star who plays like Michael Jordan. One day, there could be another guy who shoots the ball like Steph Curry. We could even have another person who flails his legs in the air when he gets touched in a certain spot like Draymond Green, but there will never, never, be another Craig Sager, someone who touched the lives of everyone he encountered. Craig Graham Sager always knew how to leave a mark wherever he went. From his time as the Northwestern Wildcat’s mascot, to interviewing Hank Aaron after homerun 715, to the guy court side flaunting one of the most illustrious outfits you could imagine, Craig always knew how to stand out. As he continued to build his legacy, he became much more than another sportscaster and sideline reporter to players and coaches in the NBA. He became a friend and more importantly, he became an icon. He was nothing less than loved by everyone who crossed his path. I’ve always wanted to be like Craig. Reporters can be known for how they interact with guys, their humor, their love for the game, or even what they wear. Craig was known for all of that. As much as it hurts to be writing this tribute to Craig a little over 65 years after the day he was born, what Sager did in that amount of time is what most of us would...
Attacking The Rim Is A Lost Art

Attacking The Rim Is A Lost Art

Do you remember the first time you fell in love with the NBA?  Was it Julius Erving’s reverse lay up?  Was it Michael Jordan dunking from the free throw line in the Slam Dunk Contest? Was it Baron Davis dunking over Andrei Kirilenko? Or maybe it was as recently as Lebron James having no regard for human life over Kevin Garnett?  The one thing we have in common is there was one particular play where a player took it strong to the rim and wowed everyone watching.  Everyone enjoys a good dunk. But does dunking resort to winning?  With the paradigm shift in the style of play the NBA has taken on over the past few years, more and more teams are turning to three point shooting because analytics explains that it’s more efficient to play that style of play.  To break it down for those non math geeks, if you shoot 40% from three point range, this is better than shooting 50% from within the arc.  Here is a simple break down with 10 attempts: 10 Three Point Attempts x 40% = 4 made three pointers for 12 points 10 Two Point Attempts x 50% = 5 made two pointers for 10 points This is the meat and potatoes behind the analytics to suggest you are better off shooting three’s than twos.  Of course this is all contingent if you make them.  Which brings us to the point of this article. Why do certain teams drive and why are they doing it less? Or are they doing it less? In the 2013-14 season, the Chicago Bulls took the...
Times Change, Phil Doesn’t

Times Change, Phil Doesn’t

Phil Jackson’s obsession with the triangle offense and his failure to accept the modern style of play in today’s NBA is similar to a guy who believes that he would revolutionize technology if he brought back the VCR. Would it work to some degree? Sure. Would they sell or win some sort of prize? No, because we’re not in the 90’s and no one cares for it. Yes, Phil has won more rings with that triangle offense than you and me combined…unless your name happens to be Bill Russell. Whether it was Jordan and Pippen or Kobe and Shaq, the most successful coach this game has ever seen found a way to get it done. But as of now, Phil Jackson is like the grandparent who doesn’t understand the concept of texting. Times are changing, pops. Unfortunately, for the guy who would look a lot less smart without his glasses, the style of play has changed and today’s successful teams rely heavily on off-the-ball screens, ball movement and the three point shot. Threes are no longer being shot at a premium. The amount of teams averaging over 25 three point shots per game is higher than the league has ever seen and they’re doing it with success. Just look at last years 73-9 Golden State Warriors. The dubs broke the NBA record of the most successful three point attempts in a single season. This year, the red hot Rockets not only set the record for most three point attempts in a single game, but also set the record for the most three pointers made through the first 22 games...
What Do the East’s Top Teams Have to Be Thankful For?

What Do the East’s Top Teams Have to Be Thankful For?

As we approach the first quarter pole of this NBA season, I began to take a look at some of the early successful teams in the Eastern Conference. Wondering exactly what it was that was allowing these teams to have success in this young 2016-2017 season, I decided to dive into it a bit deeper and see for myself. Just like in life, some are less fortunate than others and while teams like Golden State have pretty much everything to be thankful for, the 76ers can be grateful that they’re nearly halfway to their win total from last season. The Dallas Mavericks are kind of like those people who have absolutely nothing great that stands out in their lives, but they’re just happy to be a franchise. They’re like that person who looks like he has a really nice car from the outside, but then you get inside of it and there’s more food on the floor boards of the front seat than there is between Shaq and Barkley’s chairs on the NBA on TNT set. First, lets take a look at the Eastern Conference. As a whole, they can be thankful that they’re no longer the AFC South of the NBA. Having two teams below .500 make the playoffs two seasons ago prompted talks of changing the playoffs format to include the top 16 teams overall. We’ll start with the team looking down on the rest of the conference like Allen Iverson over Tyronn Lue. Drumroll…the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Resurgence of Kevin Love During his first couple years with the Cavs, he was sort of like the third...
The NBA’s Longest Tenured Problem

The NBA’s Longest Tenured Problem

Up until this season, the NBA had implemented a rule in the mid 1900’s with the goal of preventing off-the-ball fouls in the last two minutes of a game. The rule stated that if the defensive team commits an off-the-ball foul within the last two minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime, not only would the offensive team be allowed to keep possession of the ball, but they were sent to the charity stripe on top of that. Unfortunately, this did not have as big of an impact as the league was hoping for when it came to discouraging the use of what is now known as the “Hack-A-Shaq” strategy. Now, keep in mind that free throws were implemented into the game of basketball to deter players from committing fouls, not encourage them. However, we have learned over the years that it doesn’t take a Harvard graduate to come to the conclusion that it might be beneficial to send someone to the line who shoots foul shots at a lower rate than the 76ers win percentage. This so called “strategy” came about in the late 1990s when Dallas Maverick’s coach, Don Nelson, implemented the infamous tactic on Dennis Rodman and the Chicago Bulls. Initially, the idea appeared to be a bust when Rodman proceeded to shoot 9-12 from the line in that game and the Bulls went on to win. The use of this game plan has sadly developed to the point where two years ago in the NBA Western Conference Semi-Finals, Deandre Jordan shot an NBA record 28 free throws in ONE HALF during Game 4 against the...