Tag: Houston

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Tortoise and the Hare

The Friday Feature has returned! It’s been long overdue but it’s back for good.

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Ahh crap my phone was still set to New York time, ok so it’s actually Saturday and not Friday. Who cares here comes an article.

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On The Brink?

It’s a day late, but better late then never right?

 

After hearing my man Nick Caro question if he had lost his mind the other day after writing a brilliant article about my beloved Celtics, it got me to thinking.

Is being on the brink of insanity all part and parcel with being a sports fan?

Seriously how many other things in life are you willing to consistently lose stupid amounts of sleep too?

Parties? Maybe one every now and then.

Work? At times maybe, but when was the last time you were watching any sporting event and thinking to yourself ‘geez I wish this was over already’ like you would on any given working day.

It doesn’t matter which sport it relates to either, maybe you’re a Formula 1 fan – perhaps you love Premier League soccer. What ever your preference I can guarantee that you would not worry at all about being a zombie the following day as long as it meant you got your fix.

Does this sound like I’m complaining? Geez I hope not, there is nothing I love more than watching any sporting event I can get my eyes on. And if I have penciled in to watch one but for some unbeknown reason miss out on watching it live, I’ll be like a kid who has been told he can’t have a chocolate bar in the supermarket.

Now it relates to more than just watching these games, it consumes your life. Every single conversation you have, you are doing your best to direct it to sports somehow.

When you encounter a complete stranger and they start the conversation about NBA your eyes light up like a deer in headlights. You feel like a little kid on Christmas morning, you could stay there all day and just talk for endless hours.

How long do you believe you could maintain a conversation about sports for? I’d set the bar at 100 hours and that’s probably unders.

The reason I’m writing about this is because I found myself the other day sitting on the couch when a random though popped into my head ‘Do the Rockets hold a matchup advantage over the Cavs?’

Insane right?

I’m not going to lie; I still think it’s a little absurd. But the scary part, I think I may have talked myself into believing that this is true.

Have a look at the head to head battles and the advantage clearly goes to the Rockets.

 

Ask every single point guard in the league who they cannot stand to be guarded by and one glaring name stands out – Patrick Beverley.

Kyrie Irving faced off against Beverley once last season and yes he did have 21 points, this did however come from 19 shots and he did rack up 6 turnovers. In this game Beverley totaled 10 boards to go along with 8 dimes and 5 steals.

Advantage Rockets.

 

Dion Waiters has all of the necessary tools to be mentioned amongst the top shooting guards in this league, but for right now he falls behind in the pecking order to James Harden.

Two games from last season and the stats also show who is the boss:

J.H = 65pts (19-32 FG, 8-16 3PT) + 6rbs + 14asts

D.W = 45pts (19-35 FG, 3-9 3PT) + 7rbs + 11asts

Advantage Rockets.

 

The next battle is evident who wins however, in two games versus the Rockets LeBron James did have fairly standard games (for him anyway). Add Trevor Ariza and his insanely pesky defense to the matter and things could get interesting. For right now this one is pretty clear-cut.

Advantage Cavaliers.

 

Now we slip into some uncharted waters, the Cavs second big acquisition of Kevin Love really adds an interesting dimension. Will he maintain his Wolves style of game plan or move back into a low post scorer?

In three battles with Terrence Jones last season he easily won the battle, but Jones did not go down without a fight or give Love anything easy. In those three games he actually shot 30 of 64 but was a mere 8 of 20 from deep.

Advantage Cavaliers.

 

This is where the biggest advantage lies, Anderson Varejao is an admirable warrior but against Dwight Howard he just doesn’t have what it takes. Although they never matched up against each other last season, the chocolates fall in Howards favor.

Dwight needs to take full advantage of this matchup and cause the Cavs to collapse to open things right up for the shooters.

Advantage Rockets.

 

There you have it, judges’ cards have been handed in and it’s a 3-2 decision. Not decisive but hey, a win’s a win.

If basketball was a 5 on 5 game then the Rockets could undoubtedly knock the Cavaliers off but as we know an extensive bench is necessary in this league and the truth behind it all is that Cavs have a much deeper and better bench than the Rockets possess.

Of course this means next to nothing as two of the above statistics were taken when the Cavaliers newest superstars weren’t on the same roster. But hey, it was interesting to look at.

So all in all, you do have to be a bit insane to be a true sports fan.

Funny part about this entire article is that I can almost guarantee that every person who reads this has at one stage over the past year had a discussion with himself or herself.

 

My personal insanity level equals Hannibal Lector.

@jLmcKern



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Carmelo Anthony Wraps Up Free Agency Tour

[Update 3.20pm 07/07/2014] Having met with all teams interested in signing him, Melo has spent the weekend largely in hiding mulling over the decision about where he’ll play next season. Yesterday the Lakers emerged as the Knicks’ top threat to sign Anthony, with reports emerging that the team had managed to have a significant impact, and leave him strongly considering their 4 year, $97 million offer. There have been multiple rumors surrounding Anthony, and how he’s spent his weekend in Los Angeles with the likes of Kobe Bryant, but none have been confirmed and most have simply been proven untrue.

Additionally, no team has been informed whether they are out of the Melo race or not at this stage, however Marc Spears at Yahoo! Sports believes there will be a decision within the next few days.

Initial Report:

Carmelo Anthony has today wrapped up his free agency tour in Los Angeles, following lengthy meetings with the Bulls, Rockets, Mavs, Lakers and Knicks throughout the past few days.

One of the NBA’s highest profile stars, Anthony has been entertaining potential suitors throughout the Eastern and Western Conferences, hoping to find the right landing spot for he and wife LaLa Vasquez to call home for the foreseeable future.

Kicking things off in Chicago first thing Tuesday morning, Melo met with Bulls management who took him on a fully guided tour of the team’s training facility and home arena, the United Center. The Bulls’ pitch also included a full workout of point guard Derrick Rose, in the hope it would encourage Anthony to feel comfortable with his fitness level. The Bulls pulled out all the stops, draping the walls of the United Center with images of Anthony wearing his number 7 jersey, and took him out to an exclusive dinner.

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Anthony’s meeting with the Houston Rockets was reportedly similar, with team Moray going the distance to give themselves the best possible chance at landing him. Jeremy Lin’s #7 jersey was Photoshopped onto an image of Melo this time round, which angered the team’s current guard, evidently coming to the realization the possibly incoming Anthony likely means the end of his tenure in Houston.

Meetings with the Mavericks and Lakers have not been as lengthy, or as glamorous, with both teams reportedly going for a much more minimalistic approach. Not much is known about Melo’s meeting with the Mavs, but it’s safe to assume Mark Cuban did everything in his power to persuade Anthony the Big D is the place where he’ll be most likely to win.

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The Lakers were next up this morning, with GM Mitch Kupchak, team President Jeanie Buss and VP of Basketball Ops Jim Buss running the show alongside Laker legend James Worthy, and executives from Time Warner Cable Sportsnet also in attendance. Kobe Bryant, who was expected to be in the meeting, was not present, although he is said to be meeting with Anthony later this afternoon. The meeting lasted two and a half hours, with the Lakers said to be “pleased” with the outcome. Anthony left the Lakers’ El Segundo practice facility smiling, stopping for photos and autographs with fans before giving a thumbs up, and heading off to his meeting with Phil Jackson and the Knicks.

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN LA has reported that the Lakers’ offer to Anthony stands at 4 years, $97 Million. The maximum available to them.

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Chris Broussard, also of ESPN, has said that the Knicks have reiterated to Melo that they will give him the maximum 5 years, $129 Million should he choose to remain in New York next season. Their meeting with Anthony this afternoon reportedly ended with the team confirming that they would not ask their superstar to take less than the amount initially projected to be available to him.

All teams have been informed not to expect a decision from Carmelo Anthony until after the weekend, giving him time to consider his choices, and listen to any additional offers that may arise.

Of course, there is another free agent out there, who’s movements will likely impact Melo’s decision greatly, and the rest of the league for years to come.

The story continues.



An Open Letter to Dwight Howard

Dearest Dwight,

My name is Nathan Darby. I write as a part of an NBA blog in Australia. It’s pretty good. You should really read it sometime but I digress. Today I happened to be doing some research around the web and stumbled across a story by Sekou Smith on his Hangtime Blog on NBA.com (check it here http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2013/10/16/howard-no-regrets-but-steamed-harris-is-wearing-no-12-in-orlando/?ls=iref:nbahpts ) . I have to admit I enjoyed it but the funny thing is that it was all about you. The story said that you were currently comparing your Houston team to your former Orlando team from 2008/09 that went fairly deep into the finals. But Dwight, do you really think that James Harden would appreciate being compared to Courtney Lee? Lee hasn’t really hit the greatest of heights throughout his career. In fact the only thing I remember him for is missing a lay up that would’ve won the game for your then Magic. I admit Dwight, that on paper your current Houston team looks the goods. There are some great players there and the addition of you should only strengthen an already competitive team. The thing is Dwight that you know all about looking good on paper. On paper last seasons Lakers should’ve won the title in a canter but that didn’t happen. What happened there? Was it ego? The coach? Kobe? The spotlight? I guess we’ll never know until you release your autobiography at the end of your career.

Let’s get back to the story I was reading. I continued on after your comparisons of previous team mates and I was hit with another feeling of disbelief. Now you might see the next few bits as harsh Dwight but you have the worlds biggest shoulders so I think you’ll handle it. You came out and said you were mad that Orlando let somebody else have “your” #12. Your #12 Dwight? Really? Who do you play for these days? Did you really expect Orlando to stop others from wearing the #12? Sekou even wrote that you said “I just think that despite what happened, there was a lot of things that I did and that we did as a team, and that my number was special down there”. C’mon Dwight. Are you really saying that? A team that you left in the lurch. A team that you held to ransom and got their coach fired for no reason other than to see you walk out to the Lakers? A team that you knew relied on you and that without you would be resigned to be at the bottom of the NBA ladder? Numbers of great players are retired because they have done something for the game. They have championships. Played consistently game in and game out. Put their team before themselves. Played injured. Made the people around them better and connected with the community. Have you done these things Dwight? In this polo shirt wearing writers opinion you haven’t. Not even close. You played a couple of big seasons in Orlando and we haven’t seem that dominance since. You dominated in Orlando because you were proving yourself. Trying to show everyone you had game. Trying to rid yourself of Shaq’s enormous shadow and Dwight you proved you could play. Monster on the boards, blocking shots like a brick wall and throwing down dunks that were felt worldwide. Thing is Dwight you’ve been living off those years in Orlando ever since. You seem to have some kind of mentality where you believe you should be just handed a championship ring. That you’re entitled to it. Sorry Dwight but it doesn’t work that way. Have you heard of Ewing? Barkley? Malone? Legends of the game right? No rings Dwight. These dudes deserved rings but they never got one. They worked and worked and worked but never got one.

The Rockets have a chance at a ring in the upcoming seasons Dwight but they will be relying on you at both ends of the court and even off it. You need to get mature. We all loved the Superman thing but we’re over it now. Being Superman isn’t getting you a ring. Elevating your game gives you the best possible chance. Ask Santa for a post game for Christmas. For your birthday get a consistent free throw shot. Rick Barry shot underarm and that worked for him. Give it a try.

I’ll be honest Dwight sometimes you annoy me but I like you. I’ve watched highlight after highlight of you but highlights don’t get it done (Dominique anyone?). Your potential is through the roof. I think you’re even a better player than the Dwight we saw in Orlando but you have to show it. There’s no handouts in the NBA world. Earn it Dwight.

Much love,

Nathan Darby



This City Needs A Hero!

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We’re a week out from free agency 2013, and the Los Angeles Lakers are all in for Dwight Howard. It was only this time last season that Howard’s situation was being speculated about throughout the summer, until he finally landed in southern California with a huge smile on his face and the aspirations of a championship in tow. Now, only months later, there are billboards around LA pleading with him to stay.

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5 Things We Learned…

A new season, a new feature over at NBA Nation Australia!

Each week, we will share the 5 things we learned about the NBA from that week’s pool of games. A light hearted yet serious look at the good, the bad and the random that the NBA throws up at us each week.

Five random things that have us talking here at NBA Nation Australia HQ and Five things we think you guys will enjoy reading about…every week.

So here we go. The first list goes like this.

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Analyzing The James Harden Trade

It came as somewhat of a shock to many on Sunday. Oklahoma City, last year’s runner up and this year’s high hope trading their reigning Sixth Man of The Year and ultimate play maker off the bench. There were predictions of a trade involving said Sixth Man, but few saw it unfolding as dramatically as it did. In the dwindling hours of Sunday afternoon, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! sports broke the news of a trade that could ultimately change the course of the Western Conference and indeed the NBA as a whole. Fans, teams, officials and players have been left to ponder a decision which may impact the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Championship hopes for at least this year. Here, we take a look at the trade which has seen ‘The Beard’ himself, James Harden accept an offer to join Jeremy Lin at the Houston Rockets, and leave a title hopeful Thunder in his wake.

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BOSTON LAND HOUSTON’S LEE

 

The Boston Celtics have finally picked up Houston guard Courtney Lee.

The deal will include a sign & trade and currently Celtics forward JuJuan Johnson will be going the other way. It’s likely the deal will also include Sean Williams, and possibly E’Twaun Moore. Financial details are as yet unknown but with it being a sign & trade the deal will be at least three year deal (although the second and/or third seasons can be non-guaranteed.)

 

 



Crystal Ballin – Denver Nuggets

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The Nuggets are bobbing in and out of playoff contention. With their huge win today their chances firm . They sit at 7th in the West one game clear of 8th placed Houston and one game clear of facing the ferocious Thunder in Round 1.  Denver has 6 games in 11 days before the playoffs begin, only 1 game against the East, so each game will be critical.

April 16 @ Houston
The Nuggets spanked the Rockets in Denver today by 15 points after leading by as many as 20 points. Faried dropped a double-double and is emerging as another great draft pick from the post-Anthony era. The Rockets don’t have anyone who matches up against his big body as well as an OKC or San Antonio. It’ll be a tight hard fought game but the Nuggets should eek out a win.

April 18 vs Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers lead the season series 2-1 and this is a crucial game for both teams. The Clippers will want to come to Denver and pick up a win away from home heading into the playoffs just to keep pace with the Lakers. Denver needs to protect home court. Paul could run wild and slice this Denver defence to shreds, even though he is only 26 he commands the Clipper offense like a veteran. Denver cant afford to drop a game against a Western conference opponent here. (more…)