After the rook’s stunt, Bobby’s revenge might include a missile launcher: “This mixture of dog food, soy sauce, ketchup, and mustard left an awful stench on the vet’s ride. There was chocolate on the car, too, with one ingredient being added by Jackson after the damage was done: hot water. It’s safe to say the downright foolish gutsy move has Greene in serious trouble with Jackson, which is no small thing since B-Jax is the type who always gets the last punch word in when it comes to these sorts of exchanges. Jackson had even put the warning out there the day before, saying on in a KHTK interview with Grant Napear and Mike Lamb that he would ‘have (Greene’s) car be missiled (as in hit with a missile)’ if the youngster messed with his car.”
Dude is basically ignoring everyone in the organization, and won’t be on hand for the Spectrum’s final game: “Maurice Cheeks is not scheduled to be at the Wachovia Spectrum tonight. He will not stand with Julius Erving, Bobby Jones and Moses Malone, his teammates on the 76ers’ 1982-83 NBA championship team, for the final game played at the arena where they raised a banner. He will not watch this mid-March version of the Sixers, the ones he coached until being fired in December, play the Chicago Bulls…Sixers coach Tony DiLeo said he left Cheeks a message ‘a long time ago’ and still hadn’t heard back. ‘Whenever he’s ready, I’m sure he’ll get back to me,’ DiLeo said.”
by Marcel Mutoni
And the NBA might just grant their young King his wish.
It was recently revealed that the League is hard at work on revising exactly what a travel is, and might want the NCAA and FIBA to adopt similar guidelines.
Hilariously, LeBron may even get his own special chapter in the new rulebook. From the Plain Dealer:
In response to increased scrutiny in recent years, the NBA is examining rewriting its traveling rules as soon as next season. It may include allowing for two steps, not one as currently written, and possibly even a provision for LeBron James’ famous, or infamous, depending on your perspective, crab-dribble move.
The most focus has been on James’ jump-stop move, which he’s been perfecting since high school. Sometimes he travels and gets away with it, sometimes he executes it properly and still gets called for traveling.
“That would be good, I could get my move back,” James said of the potential rule changes. “They stole my move. I’ve gotten used to knowing that you have to land on two feet.”
Traveling is a hot-button topic for NBA fans, especially when watching players like James and Miami’s Dwyane Wade. Because of his speed and the length of his stride, James can often cover large distances and change possession without dribbling.
“Sometimes it is called right and sometimes it isn’t, but they’ll figure it out,” James said.
This will do wonders for the widely-held perception that the NBA will do anything to protect and coddle its biggest stars.
Rest easy, Steve: “When TNT’s Craig Sager asked about General Manager Steve Kerr, Sarver said, ‘His job’s pretty safe.’”
by Marcel Mutoni
Those ideas included a massive, game-changing block. Or a foul (that obviously wasn’t called). It’s a matter of opinion, I suppose:
Speaking of opinions, here are Richardson’s thoughts on the play:
(On LeBron James blocking him) “Clearly a foul. I don’t care how you look at it – clearly a foul – and that’s bad. A guy is going up like that, especially to do something to get the fans going, and to get fouled and get hammered like that and with no call at all – that’s terrible.”
(On whether he thought he had enough clearance on the breakaway) “I definitely did. I didn’t know anybody was coming – if you know someone is coming like that, you’re not going to pull something off like that. It was just a bad call. I don’t care how you look at it, it was just a bad call.”
Video replays seem to support J-Rich’s claims. Nice job as always, refs.
The Hawks forward thinks there’s a chance he might play again this season: “Hawks forward Marvin Williams will not undergo surgery on his injured lower back and could play again this season. Williams said he will undergo weeks of intensive rehabilitation after being examined by specialists at Duke University Wednesday. He wants to return before the Hawks wrap up the regular season April 15.’It’s going to be anywhere from four to six weeks,’ Williams told the Journal-Constitution Thursday. ‘I’m going to dive into this treatment, make sure I get good rest and hopefully get back out there.’ Williams said specialists recommended he take the ‘conservative’ approach and opt for treatment and rehabilitation over surgery.”
by: Holly MacKenzie
Before I begin, I need to apologize. I don’t know what to do right now. I am so happy and tired and jacked up and overwhelmed and bewildered and drunk off of Syracuse love.
Final score, Syracuse 127, UCONN 117 6OT.
Yes, SIX overtimes.
I honestly cannot remember the last time I felt like this. I’m like KG when something good happens and he looks drunk out of his mind. That’s what I feel like.
I know this is an NBA recapping column. It is also a basketball column. SLAM is basketball.
Last night, the Lakers defeated the Spurs and the Cavs took down the Suns, but my heart, eyes, ears and mind were focused solely on one thing: Syracuse vs. UCONN.
If you did not see this game, I feel for you. It was the gutsiest performance I’ve seen from two teams in a really, really, really long time.
I knew I loved Flynn and these boys, but I didn’t expect tears to come as this game was winding down and the players started celebrating, struggling to even stand up. Yup. I know.
Okay. I’m going to break this down with stats and facts, because I’m not sure I can even string paragraphs together coherently right now. Then hopefully I will have calmed down enough to fill you in on the NBA. Oh yeah, I’ve got shootaround tomorrow a.m. @ 10. That should be fun.
Try to stick with me here.
Eight players fouled out in this game - four from each team.
Syracuse played the night before, defeating Seton Hall 89-74. In that game, Jonny Flynn and Eric Devendorf each played 35 minutes, Paul Harris clocked 25 minutes and Andy Rautins had 28. (Importance being, UCONN was rested, Cuse was not).
Three players logged 60-plus minutes of action, that’s ridiculous. Flynn played a game-high 67 minutes; Devendorf and UCONN’s AJ Price each had 61. That means Flynn had played over 100 minutes in less than 24 hours. And he will be playing some more as Syracuse plays against West Virginia tonight at 9 p.m. ET.
Cuse guard Justin Thomas played 7 minutes, which isn’t that remarkable, until you realize that Thomas averaged 2.3 minutes per game this season, all in garbage time. This was a win that came from digging deep.
Way back at the end of regulation, a broken play on Cuse’s final possession ended up with Devendorf shooting a three at the buzzer, draining it to give Cuse the 74-71 victory. Devo jumps on the scorer’s table, his teammates flock him, the crowd is going crazy. The #20 team has just taken down the #4 team.
Or have they? After the refs went through replay after replay, they waved the shot off and we went into overtime.
Imagine how emotionally draining that must have been; to think you’ve won the game, to be celebrating with your teammates, with all that weight off your shoulders, only to realize that shot was no good and you’ve got to go back to battle for another five minutes. Another five minutes that ultimately stretches into 30.
In the first five overtimes, Syracuse never held a lead. Not once. Yet overtime after overtime, they found a way to tie it up and prolong their chances to win.
After going down six in the third overtime, they came back. Fourth overtime, they came back, same as the fifth. In the sixth, it was Andy Rautins who knocked down a three to give the Orange their first lead since regulation - about two hours before.
That shot was a back-breaker for the Huskies. Cuse kept pushing and found a way to outscore UCONN 17-7 in the final five minutes of the 70-minute contest.
I know a lot of people are probably going to say the game was sloppy and downright bad in the final overtimes, but that doesn’t matter to me. What matters is the grit, the guts, the love and desire that these guys showed last night. From both teams.
When shots clanged off the rim, when guys couldn’t get their legs under them to go up for a rebound, I reveled in it, rather than rolled my eyes. Because I know they’ve given everything. Emotionally and physically, every ounce of them is on that floor.
I’m not a person who will compare the college game to the NBA, because I love them both separately and for different reasons. But during the tournament, there is something so special, so sacred about these guys playing their hearts out, for each other and for the love of the game.
And that’s what it was all about last night. Even when cramps set in, fatigue had come and gone six times over and guys were physically unable to stand up during any extended stoppage of play, still the light shines bright, and it is the most beautiful light a true basketball fan can ever hope to see.
Running on fumes, playing solely on heart - and it’s just the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament.
It was one for the ages and perhaps, the best game I’ve ever seen.
Tell me, what were the most amazing performances you’ve ever seen? Not necessarily a playoff game or championship clinching game, but just the gutsiest performance by an individual or team, NBA or NCAA.
This one ended up reminding me of MJ in game five, Bulls/Jazz ‘97. I know, these guys were not sick, they are not the greatest ever, and it wasn’t an NBA finals game, but the looks on their faces made me pause and think of MJ and then I felt thankful all over again.
I love this game!
Okay, now, onto the NBA action:
Bron with another triple-double. MVP?
Chris Webber thinks so and can I just say, it is so wonderful to have him join the guys on Inside. He’s fantastic as an analyst.
JRich attempting to do a 360 dunk in the fourth Q of a close game in Phx? To quote Russ, “If he played for San Antonio, he’d be dead right now.” Yeah, I don’t think Pop would take to well to that.
Okay. Thanks for sticking with me. I know I kind of hijacked my column here today. I’ll try to stay on topic from here on out. I was told I had too much of the Lakers yesterday. Well, here’s an overdose of Orange Crush. Just for today, anyway. They deserve it.
And, if UCONN is your team, sorry about the extended Cuse love, be proud of your team, those guys, every single one of them, were amazing.
One more note on Cuse; I thought Paul Harris was going to dislocate his shoulder or at the very least, damange his rotator cuff when he attempted a dunk in the sixth OT (I think it was the sixth), and was rejected by the rim, badly. He ended up getting his own rebound though, and finishing with an and-1.
What a wild night of basketball.
LA Lakers 102 San Antonio 95
The Lakers took down the Spurs in San Antonio 102-95, thanks to a blistering hot opening quarter that saw the Lakers go up 35-17 after the first 12 minutes of action. While the Lakers would cool down and the Spurs would finally settle into an offensive rhythm somewhere around the middle of the third quarter (thanks to Tony Parker, finally getting into a groove), it was ultimately too late for San Antonio who killed themselves with their free throws. San Antonio outscored LA 32-25 in the third and had what was an 18-point lead cut down to single digits for the start of the fourth. They would continue to get close, as close as two, but every time they had a chance to get closer, they’d miss a free throw. For the game, the Spurs shot just 8-16 from the line while LA was solid at 12-15. Down the stretch, the Lakers were just a little too efficient for the Ginobili-less Spurs, despite a season-high 25 points from Michael Finley. Parker also finished with 25 to go with 9 assists as Tim Duncan scored 16 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists. The Lakers were led by Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol who each scored 23 points while Gasol also added 11 boards and Lamar Odom added 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Cleveland 119 Phoenix 111
Almost ten years to the day since the last time they won in Phoenix, LeBron James led the Cavs to victory in Phoenix, delivering the Suns their sixth straight loss. While the Cavs led 63-62 at the half and the game was close throughout, the Suns faded fast in the fourth as Cleveland outscored them 30-18. A crucial point of the game was during a breakaway when Jason Richardson opted for the 360-dunk. LeBron has been challenged by the Cavs coaching staff to get the “chase down” block on guys who are in the open court and last night he did just that, stopping JRich’s dunk attempt and firing up the Cavs in the process. From there, the Cavs were able to stretch their lead and go on to the victory. Besides his block, Bron also finished with yet another triple-double. He’s wild. He finished with 34 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists, adding 3 steals and 3 blocks as well. Mo Williams added 30 points and Sasha Pavlovic added 16 off of the bench as the Cavs connected on 17 three pointers as compared to only four for the Suns. Matt Barnes led the Suns with 21, Steve Nash had 20 points and Grant Hill added 15 in the loss.
The details are sketchy at the moment, but definitely something to keep an eye on: “A woman has accused a Memphis Grizzlies player of sexually assaulting her earlier this year, a source told NBC 10. The alledged incident happened in the city of Philadelphia. The Grizzlies were in town to play the Sixers. The Grizzlies are aware there is investigation surrounding one of their players, said a team representative to NBC Philadelphia. Philly police would only confirm that they are investigating an allegation. The police wouldn’t elaborate on who the allegation was against or any other details.”
Ron Ron and Kobe go way back. The two actually got down for an interview about this time last season. While they’re among the most competitive rivals on the court, they’ve never taken it to a hostile level. They did, however, get some sufficient tea time last night in Houston as they went back-and-forth at the foul line. Ether might have been spit, but it was as harmless as H2O. (via BDL)
by Ryne Nelson
(Note: Many readers have tried to cure my myopia towards Michael Beasley for a while now, but I just never listened. Maybe I didn’t want to. Truth is, I like to untangle the facts for myself, taking much longer to come to the same conclusions as everyone else. Even so, I was in shock as I saw where I was going with this piece. Justin Walsh pointed out the Pat Riley quote that got me thinking about Beasely today, so props to him. As I worked on the day’s Online Editor duties — moving around stories, answering emails, posting videos and photos, etc. — I began to map out a route for this article. You can follow the path I took and discover where I ended up…)
Cries of “Overrated!” began during Michael Beasley’s second summer league game in Orlando, and — justifiably or not — they’ve only gotten louder ever since. Fans, including myself, tried to project the 20-year-old’s future after just a couple games months. To say that’s he’s under performing is one thing. To say that he’s overrated, or even a bust for that matter, is just ignorant.
But is Beasley truly doing all that bad? Dude has played over 30 minutes just five times since November 14, and he’s still fifth among rookies in scoring and sixth in rebounding. Sure, there are some obvious areas where B-Easy still needs to improve, but the Heat are happy with the trajectory on which their forward progressing. Just read what GM Pat Riley told ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan earlier this week:
“If Beasley averaged 30 minutes a night, he’d score 24 points a game. If he played 40 minutes, he’d lead the league in scoring.”
That’s saying a lot about a player who’s scored over 25 points in just two of 63 games. If Beasley is such an offensive talent, wouldn’t you play him 40 mpg and let the offensive efficiency make up for whatever shortcomings he may bring? If the Heat were coached by Don Nelson, would Beasley naysayers be so boisterous?
Amar’e Stoudemire, as a 20-year-old rookie, started all but nine games in ‘03-’04 and had a scoring average that’s nearly identical to Beasley’s, while playing 7 more minutes on average. A 20-year-old Dirk Nowitzki, who started just over half of his lock-out shortened rookie season, went mostly under-the-radar, averaging only 8.2 points and 3.4 rebounds, in 4 minutes less than Beasley. No formula could have predicted that Nowitzki would finish in the top-10 in total points in nine of the following 10 seasons.
It’s the people who are around Beasley everyday who know him best. Dwyane Wade continues to tell his rookie, “I need you” and says Beasley’s the franchise’s future. There’s no doubt the team has full confidence in the No. 2-overall selection.
With the Heat making a Playoff push, Coach Erik Spoelstra is giving his veterans more time. Beasley clearly has that scary thing called potential, but we won’t know just how much until he gets a legit chance to show it. That chance should be coming soon.
by Chris O’Leary
With March Madness looming, adidas has gone an interesting route on their college campaign this year. The stripes took four of their players who went to the NBA straight out of high school (Kevin Garnett, Dwight Howard, Tracy McGrady and Josh Smith) and had them each do something with a different NCAA program.
You can check out the videos below and wonder about what might have been, like KG playing at UCLA, T-Mac (who’s looking out of shape in the ad) with Louisville, Dwight Howard at Kansas or Josh Smith at Pitt.
Adidas is also breaking out a new shoe for March Madness, called the Mad Clima. Quickly, some specs on the shoe from adidas:
• ClimaCool upper and midsole for 360 degree cooling and ventilation
• Inserted mesh lining provides enhanced breathability
• Custom colors and logo styles for UCLA, Kansas, Louisville
• Additional non-logo Mad Clima footwear available in multiple colors
• Full patent uppers
In addition to the sneakers, team related product is hitting stores as well in replica jerseys and t-shirts. You can also pick all of this stuff up at adi’s online store.
Finally, the giveaway. We’ve got a UCLA package for you, with shoes and a jersey signed by Kevin Garnett. Since adidas is big on the brotherhood angle, I want to hear about your all-time favorite brotherhood moment from the NCAA tourney. Leave your answers in the comments below, and we’ll leave it open through the weekend, with the post closing at midnight, Eastern time Sunday night (or Monday morning, technically).
Enjoy the vids.
by Joey Whelan
Day three of the Big East Tournament brings the quarterfinals to the Garden and by far the most appetizing day of college hoops yet. With the top four seeds in action today not only will we get a look at three potential number one seeds (Louisville, Connecticut and Pittsburgh) but for you NBA draft nuts out there, no less than 9 players in action who could hear their name called by David Stern this June.
The World’s Most Famous Arena is sure to be packed all day and with over 30 minutes until tip between Providence and Louisville the stands are already starting to fill up. It’s another 12-hour hoop head marathon today, so sit tight as I get this first game preview put together. Hope you’re ready for some basketball!
Previous Big East Tournament Live Blogs: Day 1 | Day 2
Sickened by what he was seeing, the injured big man shattered his flatscreen by throwing a shoe at it: “The Minnesota Timberwolves star’s first experience with a traumatic injury has been difficult to handle at times and he has already taken his frustrations out on one TV in his suburban Minneapolis home after being reduced to a 6-foot-10, 265-pound couch potato. ‘I’m replacing a TV in my house right now, as we speak, because I threw things at the TV because I’d be so upset,’ Jefferson said sheepishly yesterday in his first public comments since he was injured in a game against New Orleans on Feb.8. ‘Sometimes it’s a bad call with the ref or anything. So I’ve got to control my emotion on that point.’ It turns out that a thrown size 18 shoe can do quite a bit of damage to a flatscreen TV. ‘I had to replace that TV anyway,’ Jefferson said with a shrug.”
LaMarcus Aldridge will trick you. He’ll sink 14-footer after 14-footer, making your big come out and get in his face. Most of the time Aldridge is long enough to shoot over the defender with ease, but he can also take it to the hole. In this clip, Dirk guards him tight along the perimeter when Aldridge makes a quick cut toward the hoop. He loses Nowitzki with the slightest of ease and bangs one of the helpless Dampier. The value of having a versatile big like Aldridge can never be underestimated. Maybe a handful of other power forwards–Amar’e Stoudemire, Carlos Boozer, Pau Gasol, Chris Bosh and David West–demand the same inside-out attention that Aldridge does. If Dirk didn’t know this after the game, rest assured Damp said something about it.
As you’d expect, this was a big deal: “But as the Nets came out of their shootaround yesterday, they filed onto the bus parked at the curb on Sutter Street. Suddenly, somebody said, “Naked lady!” and sure enough, there was a woman seated on a bench just across the street, totally starkers. So, of course, one by one the entire roster piles out to see the naked lady, who suddenly realizes she’s causing a commotion and starts walking briskly - everything’s brisk when you’re in your birthday suit and it’s about 50 degrees - and when she hits the corner of Mason and Sutter, there’s a cop slapping the handcuffs on her and draping a blanket over her. The whole thing lasted about 30 seconds. Some figured she was just a model for the art school nearby, who was on a….uh, coffee break? Doug Overton got the only picture with his cell camera, but he hasn’t decided whether it’s suitable for publication yet. The weird part? To a man, all the guys who jumped out of the bus as if it was on fire said she wasn’t even particularly attractive. ‘Neither is the Mona Lisa,’ Overton said, ‘but everybody goes to see that, don’t they?’”
Richardson is about winning games, and helping out the less fortunate: “For the second year in a row, the Pistons conducted a charity telethon during a home game. After raising more than $412,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation in 2008, this year’s event raised more than $440,000 for Feed The Children, which will use the money to help Michigan family in need. Fans in the arena were urged to give at every break in the game’s action — and from his spot on the visiting team’s bench, Quentin Richardson got the message. Despite the fact that his team was in the middle of a game, Richardson had a team employee fetch a donation form so he could cut a check for a cool grand at halftime…’I worked with Feed The Children before, and I’m from a situation where my family wasn’t rich or anything growing up,’ he said. “I know how much it means. And I know that I wasn’t put in this position of wealth and money and all of that just for my family and myself, so whenever I get the opportunity I always try to help other people whichever way I can.’”
It will keep him out for at least a couple of games: “Already without Allen Iverson, the Pistons were missing another big-name player Wednesday. That would be Rasheed Wallace, who also won’t play Friday in Toronto. Wallace came down awkwardly on his left leg during the first quarter of Monday’s 98-94 victory over Orlando. He immediately went to the bench and didn’t return. Though an MRI showed nothing serious, Wallace, who has a strained calf, was advised to sit out the two games. Coach Michael Curry said Wallace will be re-evaluated after those games and a determination will be made on whether he will be able to play this weekend.”
by Marcel Mutoni
Rookie wall, meet OJ:
“Can rookie O. J. Mayo get his groove back? Once a serious contender — and frontrunner — for the league’s Rookie of the Year award, Mayo seems to be conceding the honor to Chicago’s Derrick Rose. Mayo’s shooting percentage has declined every month, which includes 40-percent shooting in March.
Lately, Mayo is attempting as many or more 3-pointers than foul shots. He’s got 12 free throw attempts and 10 3-point shots in four games this month. Of major concern is Mayo’s shot selection and weaker-than-usual defense to start games.”
According to Mayo’s coach, though, the rook isn’t entirely to blame for his shooting slump. Poor coaching and Marc Gasol’s stellar play in the paint have something to do with it as well.
From the Commercial Appeal:
“There’s time when he doesn’t get the shot when we call something for him,” Lionel Hollins said. “We have to find ways to make sure he does get his shot. We have to keep working. He has to keep working, and when he does get his shots he has to make them.” Hollins conceded that center Marc Gasol’s emergence in the paint has affected Mayo’s game. The Griz have used the post more to facilitate their offense partly due to a lack of point guard production in reserve.
Whether Mayo gets back on track remains to be seen; what seems more assured is that a certain award is about to make its way to the Chi.
Ron-Ron and his coach think it should be revised: “Though the Rockets might have benefited from Lamar Odom’s suspension, Rockets coach Rick Adelman and forward Ron Artest, who would have matched up with Odom, argued Wednesday that the rule that led to Odom’s suspension should be changed…’I don’t agree with (the rule),’ Adelman said. ‘I think each instance should be evaluated based on what actually happened. To me, if it happens right in front of your bench, your bench is more likely to take one or two steps; the other bench is more like to stay right where they are. Sometimes, guys take a couple steps just to look. I think maybe it should be re-evaluated.’ Artest went even further with his defense of his childhood AAU teammate. ‘He did the right thing by showing concern,’ Artest said. ‘I don’t think he should have been suspended. That happened to me in Boston once. I came off the bench a little bit, but I still got suspended. I wish he wasn’t suspended. I guess anybody would be concerned if they saw any type of commotion happen. Their natural reaction is to show a little bit of concern with what is happening.’”
by Marcel Mutoni
Going into Houston last night, the Lakers were in the midst of a three-game road losing streak, and Kobe Bryant wasn’t exactly feeling chipper. And that was before Ron Artest began jawing at him.
With the Lakers trailing headed into the second half, the two stars started going at it, and that’s when the trouble began for Ron-Ron. Their chat went something like this:
Clearly, they were jawing back and forth. They also were shoving, which earned them matching technical fouls with a little less than 7 minutes left in the game. I wasn’t close enough to hear what was said, but my answer to Ramona was this:
Artest: “Eff you.”
Kobe: “No, eff you.”
Artest: “No, no, eff you.”
Kobe: “No, no, no, eff you.”
Bryant would later say only that their conversation was “edgy.” I ran my guess of their conversation by Derek Fisher and he laughed and said, “Yeah, something like that.”
The agitated Bryant scored 31 of his 37 in the second half, leading the Lakeshow to a much-needed road victory.
The number of F bombs dropped, however, has yet to be tallied.
The losing doesn’t seem to bother the players enough, and that’s driving at least one beat writer a little batty: “We say this with all the equanimity and detachment we can muster at a time like this, but it has to be asked: When the hell is somebody going to kick down a door? It’s not that we often advocate the destruction of property for the purpose of alleviating anger, but you expect the response to a loss such as this one to be immediate and volcanic, with the blood of 16 guys singing with the implacable fury of blowing a game they absolutely had to have. Instead you get…nothing. The coach was cool about it. The two stars were very cool about it.”