Thursday, December 29, 2011

Space n' Pace

Nextians have been asking just what the hell I was referring to when mentioning the Erik Spoelstra Oregon Ducks Spread Offense that he is implementing in Miami.  Linkage below.

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Gavin Maloof Loves Beating The Lakers

Gavin decided to catch the game fresh off his business meeting at a steakhouse (click to open .gif)
Yes, beating the Lakers is an awesome thing.  Now if the Kings could only put someone on their team who could pass.  Trading Udrih for Salmons was awesome, btw.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

DumbMarcus Cousins Hollinger Player Card

I was reading through the team player profiles that ESPN's Vegas Beater John Hollinger put together for this NBA season and got a huge kick while reading the Anaheim Sacramento Kings. Although it is strange for me, a 6'3" white dude, to call the 6'10" 280 lb starting PF of the Kings "dumb" I do it out of love. The Kings are one of my favorite teams and I want them back to the ole' Kings of yesteryear.  Part of getting there is for DumbMarcus to lose his Nextian Nickname and reach his potential.  Until then, he will be highlighted on this here blog.

You can't help but laugh at what Hollinger puts together regarding Mr. Cousins:

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Kobe Bashes Kwame Brown

Kobe Bryant didn't like playing with Kwame Brown. Thankfully Kwame helped the Warriors upset the Chicago Bulls with 4 steals of his own last night.

Friday, December 23, 2011

NBA Town Hall; Curry+Durant+Amar'e


This is something to play over your laptop through your bluetooth speakers at home in preparation for the Christmas games


Listening to Aldridge change his vernacular is hilarious. He doesn't sound like that on the sidelines or on NBA TV.  I guess that's how he gets these guys to open up?

  • Steph's New Year's resolution is to only eat 1 pack of candy/day
  • Amar'e has vowed to positively influence the local youth
  • Amar'e eats through half the town hall

Thursday, December 22, 2011

THE Nextians '11/'12 Draft Board

I'd advise a Nextian to enlarge this picture

Last night THE Nextians had a fantasy basketball draft and it was awesome.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dumbmarcus Returns

Dumbmarcus Pre-Game Ritual
Dumbmarcus Cousins missed his first pre-season game vs. the Warriors.  But he made his '11/'12 debut last night to rave reviews.  29 minutes, 2/9 from the field, 2/7 from the line, 10 rebounds, 9 turnovers.  It looks like he's really put the rookie season immaturity behind him in order to dominate this season.

Goodbye Warriors Season

Curry couldn't believe that Monta "allegedly" sexted a Dubs Employee
First, Monta is getting sued for sexting while married. And then Steph injures his surgically repaired right ankle.

What's the spread for the Christmas Night game hosting Lob City? I'll take the Clippers.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Draft Order Picking

First of all, Bilbo and the Cammish can't count.  Which leads to some great comedy as you will see.

I was busy trying to record and be lame at the same time.  So my losing count is excusable.  But Bilbo must have just been anxious to be on camera.  At least this is how I explained it to my wife.

And if you're still with us, here's the video of the Stuff Draft. Pulling names out of the weiner sock was fun, but I couldn't figure out enough stuff to draft for. Plus, I'm really busy at work.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

LeBron in 2012

In a shortened season, many pick the Miami Heat to win it all.  They've improved their team, have a year of experience under their waistbands, and LeBron is tired of playing the villain.  Wait, what?

Aside from continuing to pimp an addictive cold sore and chapped lips remedy LBJ is taking a  new post-Decision mindset into this season.  He's no longer going to be The Villain as Windhorst explains in this piece right here.

Wait LeBron, you can't just decide to not be a dick in the eyes of the fans.  You can control a lot of things with your incredible skill, power, money and fame.  But you cannot control what people think of you.  Especially when there's stories out there like THIS.

Here's to the Heat being odds on favorites to win it all this shortened season with LBJ still being hated by the people.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Power Balance Arena

Bilbo rocks a pink one when he plays softball
We've all heard the claims: little magnets in a bracelet will give you better balance, improved digestion, help you sleep better, provide smoother bowel movements, and replace your need for Cialis.  Well, most of those health benefits were claimed by Power Balance.

I'm pooping much better now
But these claims are total bullshiz according to something know as THE law.

So many NBA geniuses wore Power Balance that the cash strapped Maloofs Anaheim Sacramento Kings decided to sign a mult-year stadium naming rights deal with a company that couldn't and can't stop the rampant Chinese counterfeiting of it's one and only stupid product all over eBay.

Maloof Sister: Real Housewife of Spending Daddy's Money
 Dale Kasler of The Sacramento Bee: When sports-wristband maker Power Balance LLC filed for bankruptcy protection last month, the company insisted it would keep its name on the Sacramento Kings' arena. Now it looks like the name could be coming down less than a year after it went up. Cash-starved Power Balance expects to be sold soon, and court papers say the likely buyer doesn't plan to maintain the marketing deal that turned the former Arco Arena into Power Balance Pavilion. That could change between now and Dec. 20, when Power Balance's business is scheduled to be auctioned off. Hanyang LLC, the Southern California company in line to buy Power Balance, could choose to retain the contract with the Kings after all. Someone could outbid Hanyang and decide to keep the Kings' deal. "Don't jump to any conclusions," said Denny Barge, a principal in Hanyang. He indicated Hanyang didn't have all the data it needed on the Kings deal when it made its bid for Power Balance. (thanks to TrueHoop)

Tiger Woods Wins!

Did you hear that Tiger won his first tournament in 749 days this past weekend? Here's the full story in Taiwanese animation:

Monday, December 5, 2011

John Wall in High School

Before he danced the Dougie and became the 2010 #1 overall pick, John Wall was dominating in High School. Keep in mind that he's a point guard.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Everyone's To Blame

Especially Turd Ferguson.

Check out Simmons entertaining analysis of what brought on the Nuclear Winter.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Jason Otter is Back!

Jason's crossover video starts off a little slow but then it really starts to pick up in intensity.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Occupy The NBA

"Man, the Mavs are gonna be 2011 AND 2012 Champs!"
 Well, this is it.  Nuclear Winter as Czar Stern puts it.  It sounds like these guys have screwed up our season as THE Nextians.  What a bunch of dicks.  Everyone is to blame.  They were THISCLOSE to having a deal last week.  It was a few million mid-level exception dollars that one side could have caved on to save a 72 game season and look like guys who know how to get things done. Instead, the long con owners wouldn't rise up to pay, and the players holding their "system issues" rally cry wouldn't budge. Player reps were allowed to vote instead of the entire Players Association (fail) and Paul Pierce is getting Player Agents to file copious amounts of disrupting lawsuits.  Congrats to all.  A well played hand.

JA Adande breaks it down for a Nextian HERE
Wojo questions the guardians of the game HERE
And to dull there pains of no NBA Action Nextians must click HERE

Monday, October 3, 2011

Baron Didn't Scare The Owners

Unfortunately, Baron Davis' "Hobo-Style" and menacing gaze didn't work with the Owners as they put their feet up and didn't budge on the BRI percentage.  It looks like we'll be missing many games, Nextians.  And that is sad.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Jerry West is Awesome/Crazy

The Logo is an interesting man
 Check out some excerpts from Jerry West's forthcoming autobiography. Sounds pretty juicy to me!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Veronica Falls -- Come on Over

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Shaq on Conan

Shaq did an awful lot of crazy ish on Conan on 8/3/11:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Matt Barnes Punching Away at SF Pro Am

The SF Pro-Am League at Kezar Pavilion in San Francisco is a great time out (GTO). A lot of good college and pro players come out and play a 7 game season followed by playoffs for the basketball fans of The City.  Most of the games are very entertaining and watching a game a Kezar is an experience because it is so different from normal basketball gyms.  It's quirky old school SF at it's finest and players love the floor which seems to be spring loaded.

I'm not sure why Matt Barnes continues to play in this Summer League.  Maybe he can't get an invite to Rucker Park or the Dyckman League in Washington. Maybe he's somehow loyal to the Bay Area. He was born and raised in Sacramento and made some serious NBA coin by his efforts on the 2007 We Believe Warriors.  But last summer Matt Barnes slapped an opposing coach in the face.  Now he goes off and punches a College of Marin (COM!) player in the ear after he got boxed out too hard.  Scroll to 2:00 to see the aftermath of the punching:

The Marin IJ had the inside scoop and was actually linked to from True Hoop if you can believe it.  Dillon Sabia was the MCAL Player of the Year in 2009 while attending Drake High School.  Which I can walk to from my house in less than 5 minutes.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Dyckman League: Durant vs. Beasley

This highlight package of Durant's team vs. Beasley's team in the Dyckman League (a 501 c 3 Non Profit in Washington Heights) is entertaining I must admit. Durant and Beasley are schooling one another in this highlight tape.

But then Beasley goes and ruins the good times by yelling at the fans "I get paid to do this ni**a!" and eventually pushing one in the face. He goes on to say that "I'm done, I'm done" with playing this particular game. The fans seem a little confused and uncomfortable as seen in the looks on the faces of the groupies who walk across the court during a stoppage of plan. Can this now be considered the Summer of Beasley Officially Going Crazy?

I also enjoyed the mix tape essential sound effects "beep beep beep" horn. Classic. Why hasn't an NBA PA Team picked up on this? Not that it wouldn't get annoying if overused. But just the right amount of "beep beep beep" gets anyone fired up.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Manute Bol: True Association Stories

Manute and Mugsy
 I once slapped Manute Bol a five.  It was a high 5 for me, I remember having to jump up to reach his outstretched hand.  It was a low 5 for Manute.  He just hung his gangly limb down for me to slap.

I was 12 years old coming from the bowels of Oakland Coliseum (now know as rOracle Arena) with my fellow Loma Verde Jammers teammates.  We were going to match up against the Our Lady of Loretto Wildcats for an intense game of halftime entertainment for the rabid Golden State Warriors fans. The Warriors were coming off the floor headed to the locker room to strategize with coach Don Nelson.  They were battling the Portland Trail Blazers that night and Manute ended up with 10 blocks.  Obviously he made a difference in this contest!

The Warriors that season  featured Chris Mullin, Terry Teagle, Mitch Richmond, Rod Higgins and Winston Garland.  The Dubs that year went 43-39, beat the Jazz in Round 1 of the playoffs, and lost in the Conference Semi's to the Suns.  It was a great season by Warriors standards.  Heck, the Warriors even had the young Steve Alford and John Starks on the bench.

After slapping 5's we made our way to the court.  The floor looked huge even though it was the same size as Hill Gym in Novato.  It probably had something to do with the 15,025 seats that surrounded the court.  Most were obviously empty as fans were getting more beer, hitting the head, or waiting in line for processed meat snacks.  But I still remember the crowd noise when we made a shot, stole the ball, or bounced a dribble off of our foot out of bounds.  The biggest roar came when there was an 8 kid pile up at mid court as we hustled for the loose ball.

I remember bricking a wide-open jumper that would have given us the first points of the "game".  We lost 4-2 with the low scoring being attributed to the absolute shock of 6th graders playing on the Coliseum floor during halftime of an actual NBA game.  Thankfully, the Jammers never once lost a game to the Wildcats in games that counted winning the Novato Championship 3 years in a row.  This is still a hilarious antidote to share with former Jammers and Wildcats when we run into each other.  After the exhibition, one of my teammates saw Jerry Rice a few rows back and shook his hand.  The experience was incredible.  It is burned in my memory.

Bol and Spud Webb were on the same semi-pro team after college
The Bay Area at the time was fascinated by Manute.  Here was a 7'7" Sudanese man, skinny as heck, with a funny accent who would shoot occasional 3's and block tons of shots (4.3 blocks in 22 minutes/night that season).  After getting dunked on by Michael Jordan, he supposedly invented the phrase "My bad."  I remember Don Nelson talking about how he couldn't play more than 25 minutes a night because of his size.  He would just get too tired and his frame couldn't take more than that.

Manute played two seasons in Golden State before being traded to Philly for 1st a Round Draft Pick that the Warriors used to get Chris Gatling.  Bol returned to the Warriors at the end of his NBA career in 1995 to play just 5 games before retiring.

Don Nelson loved Manute.  We loved Manute.  Heck, even Charles Barkley loved Manute:

In Philadelphia, Bol fast became friends with Charles Barkley. "You know, a lot of people feel sorry for him, because he's so tall and awkward," Barkley said of Bol in a 1990 SI feature. "But I'll tell you this -- if everyone in the world was a Manute Bol, it's a world I'd want to live in. He's smart. He reads The New York Times. He knows what's going on in a lot of subjects. He's not one of these just-basketball guys. Basketball's just one percent of it. You know what he was talking about the other day? Milk. He was saying that he grew up on milk straight from the cow. Squeezed it himself. Milk. He says, 'Charlie, what's this lo-fat milk, this two percent milk, all of this other milk? Cows don't give lo-fat milk, two percent milk. We shouldn't drink it.' I don't know. Maybe he's got something."

Bol was active after his retirement.  He continued to play pro basketball in lesser leagues.  He was on Fox's Celebrity Boxing in 2002 defeated William "The Refrigerator" Perry by unanimous decision.  That same year he also signed a one day contract with Indianapolis Ice in the Central Hockey League.  Because he couldn't skate, Bol never made an appearance in the game.  Bol became the tallest jockey ever in by racing in the Indiana Horse Racing Commission.

As this TrueHoop piece points out, Manute loved to drink Heineken and stay out late.  Manute was seen as a side show to a lot of people.  But Bol was dedicated to the Sudanese liberation and his humanitarian efforts engulfed the last years of his life.  I would advise reading the TrueHoop piece, checking out an excerpt of the e-book over at Sports Illustrated, and possibly even purchasing the e-book at The Atavist.

These memories from my teen years are brought up learning about Bol.  And all Nextians should know the full story of Manute.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Boy Scouts -- OKC Thunder

The NBA World is not going well right now.  The lockout looms on with lawspeak and verbal ninja warfare that I don't care to interpret.  I understand the NBA writers need to write about something aside from the Lockout but breaking down Slovenia's offense for EuroBasket is just taking it too damn far.  I can't justify spending 40 minutes learning the minutia of their incredible motion offense.  20 minutes is my limit.

And then I realize that Free Darko doesn't post any more and I get even more sad/mad.  I mean, we will never again see great interpretations like this:

Always Be Prepared

This is such great art and I can't even buy it for my mancave anymore! Damnit! What the heck is happening to basketball land!  What did I do wrong as a fan to deserve this!?

Thankfully, I can get my anger out during my mini hoop game later this evening.  Those bastard Suns are going down!  From Vermont, it's the OG Cammish Nextian signing off.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Kevin Durant Dominates Ruker Park

KD dropped 66 at Rucker Park last night.  Thank god for awesome quality handheld cameras because this is some HD goodness.  The first is a clip of KD thwapping 4 3's in a row.  On the 4th make, he gets absolutely mobbed by the crowd forcing the whistles to be blown and time to be called.  You gotta love how stoked those fans were.

Man, that reminds me of a league game in the '08 Vermont Mini Hoop quarter finals.  I was on fire from three and with this 5'8" kid crowding me from deep I just broke him off the dribble and slammed one down all fierce Shawn Kemp-style.  The mini ball rolled over the barrier and into the bushes so they had to stop the game and go get it.  The dudes who were playing after us started giving me hi-fives n' stuff and I was all stoked on my steez.

Anyway, here is a longer clip of KD's game if the first vid got you all hyped.  It's tough for me to notice the difference in the jerseys until a few minutes in.  Sort of weird.  But I love the way Durant is schooling some pretty good ballers, aka Junior College All Stars.  It just goes to show you how much better NBA'ers are than even the best local baller.  You gotta love KD spreading the basketball gospel.  Also, Sam Presti must be stoked watching this footy.

Mini Hoops League

Apparently a bunch of average white kids from Vermont started a 3 on 3 mini hoops league with 8 foot rims, a 50 foot court (regulation = 96 feet) and a small ball. Thanks to Barstool Boston for the video. While it's easy to palm and slam a mini ball, it's tough to shoot from range. So props to the "Blazers" for nailing so many "long range" "jumpers". These dooods obviously take their mini hoops league seriously with full NBA uniforms n' shit (aside from that one guy who is wearing a t-shirt on the "Wizards"....must have been a fill in because his game sucked).

Hopefully Bilbo can quickly build a 50' by 20' asphalt box in his back yard so we can start our own league. We can film the games from his raised deck (so viewers can't tell how short the players and the hoops are) and put the highlights with a terrible hip hop soundtrack on youtube each week. The vids will get so many hits that we'll share in youtube ad revenue and not have to work anymore.  Things will be great, which means that they will eventually go bad (shit, even Slamball isn't here anymore).  The Novato Park and Rec will ask us to stop the league because we'll be taking away too many squads from the Sunday night leagues which is pretty much their bread and butter as a city. We'll get so big that we'll eventually have to buy insurance instead of kegs for the mandatory half time beer pound because Mencer will have gotten hurt diving into the wall and will sue us.

So maybe I'll just stick to playing real basketball, staying in shape, and just playing HORSE in Bilbo's backyard on his regulation 10' hoop instead. But a Nextian can dream, can't he?  CAN'T HE!??

Friday, July 29, 2011

NBA Hair Awesomeness; Dwayne Schintzius

OK: I found a topic that I'm really fired up to write about during the lockout. And that is the best of NBA Hair. I know that this is already covered around the internets and Free Darko's Undisputed Guide to Professional Basketball History had an awesome hair chapter. But it is fun nonetheless.

Today's NBA Hair Awesomeness is, Dwayne Schintzius:




The 7-foot-1 Schintzius played for the Gators from 1987-90, starting all 110 games he played in, averaging 14.8 points. In 1989, he was an Associated Press and Sporting News All-American and earned first-team All-SEC honors when he led the Gators in scoring (18) and rebounding (9.7). He is the only player in SEC history with more than 1,000 points, 800 rebounds, 250 assists and 250 blocks. He holds the UF record for blocks.

He was a member of Florida’s first SEC championship team (1988-89), and was a first-round draft choice of the San Antonio Spurs with the 24th overall pick. He played for six teams in his eight-year NBA career.

Bilbo used to work with this Scott Pollard groupie

Bilbo used to be the boss of the chick on the right. She apparently is now a Scott Pollard groupie. Sort of sad.

Monday, July 25, 2011

ESPY's NBA Video


Just kidding.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Brandon Jennings

Here is a little reminder that NBA Ballers are way better than anyone who was a JC All Star or someone who is "really good" in your men's league:

My stock tip of the day is HDY.
It's had a long trend these past few days with volume that's not out of the ordinary. And everyone needs 3D technology when searching for oil off the coast of West Africa.  You can probably make a buck or so on it and if they find oil it'll go up even more.

Please do nothing I say, though.  I cannot be held accountable for anything in life.

Kevin Durant has Tats

Yep, even Mr. Wholesome Kevin The Kid Durantula has tattoos.  But he only has tattoos where a jersey can cover them.  That's what being business is all about.  Thanks TBJ

"It's Business. It's Business Time!"

The Wire

Thanks to The Basketball Jones for posting this video of East vs. West in Season 1 of The Wire:

That was the only time that Avon got played. Oh, I guess he also got played when he died. Silly Prop Joe.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The NBA is Boring Right Now

With the players locked out things are very boring. Apart from Yao Ming and Shaq retiring, Shaq signing on at TNT to sit aside Chuck Barkley, and Sasha Vajychick playing in Turkey, there isn't anything interesting going on in our NBA world. Hence, there hasn't been consistent Nextians posts since the finals.

Therefore henceworth I'd like to transform the Nextians dot blogspot dot com blog to another focus and here are my ideas:

Let me know what you'd like to see. Thanks.

Friday, July 8, 2011

DJ Steve Porter: The Year of LeBron

Rocking this one in my ipod and zune....for like a minute.

Tony Parker Vacations

I'm outta here, Eva
With no Collective Bargaining Agreement, NBA players can do whatever they want.  Tony Parker can go jetpacking in St. Tropez for $5000 and Coach Popovich can't say or do shit.

NBA Owner College Pictures

Now that the lockout is on, Deron Williams is on a plane to play in Turkey, Kobe did a 360 dunk, and Steph Curry is about to get married let's have some Lockout Fun.  Today's game is "Guess The NBA Owner By Looking at His College Pictures".

If you can't figure it out, head over to Barstool U for more photos.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dallas Mavs '10/'11 Season on DVD

Tons of classic music + player commentary + slow motion = EPIC

Friday, June 24, 2011

Warriors Draft

Nextians have already heard about Klay Thompson sweet J, Jeremy Tyler's exploits overseas and Charles Jenkins rise at Hofstra.  But have you seen these guys yet?

Charles Jenkins documentary:

Henry Abbott of TrueHoop hangs with Jenkins on Draft Day. Did you hear he doesn't have tattoos?

At the Portland pre-draft workout, Jeremy Tyler doesn't know who Nate McMillan is:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

New Workout

The P90X workout is so 2009.  This year's hot new get in shape quick workout is sweeping the basketball nation.  As future Lottery Pick (as in: later today) Bismack Biyombo shows us in his workout for the Bobcats, the "Dunk as Many Times as You Can" workout is sure to get any baller in shape.

Thanks to TBJ at The Score.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Like Dirk

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Undisputed Study of Dirk Nowitzki

You must read THIS now.

Take some time, read all of the links, and know the truth. What a great article. I just had to post it as a post instead of twittering the link into the abyss.

The Business; Dirk vs. LeBron

The hot chicks at Bloomberg have some interesting videos on the business side of Dirk Nowitzki and LeBron James.  Just like their difference in play in the NBA Finals, the difference in they way they run their "brand" is striking.

First we have LeBrand and his new 25% equity ownership of Sheets Energy Strips, a breath strip that gives you energy. Maybe he could have popped 10 of these strips before the 4th Quarter:

Contrast that to Dirk, the agent-less, non-endorsement-seeking "I just want to play basketball" Finals MVP:

Monday, June 13, 2011

TrueHoop TV

NBA Nerds have immediate post-game discussion. Abbott, Arnovitz, and Hollinger. 3x bald. 3x awesome.

Guess Who Said This?

“All the people that was rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today. They have the same personal problems they had today. I’m going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want to do with me and my family and be happy with that.

“They can get a few days or a few months or whatever the case may be on being happy about not only myself, but the (Team Name) not accomplishing their goal. But they have to get back to the real world at some point.”

First correct answer gets a Dirk Nowitzki "How To Shoot Free Throws" DVD, NBA Final MVP Special Edition.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Dallas Mavericks Motivational Video

Mavs Head Coach Rick Carlisle is planning on showing this video to his team a few hours before Game 6 on Sunday:

And from the YouTube comments section: "If you give LeBron a dollar and asked for change, he'd only give you 75 cents back. That's because he doesn't have a 4th Quarter".

2011 NBA Finals Game 5 Roundup

I've mentioned The Basketball Karma Gods before in this here web log and have found it to be a pretty good indicator of future results. Most recently I said that Russell Westbrook's bitchyness would lead to a Thunder loss in the WCF and Carlos Boozer's rap would to lead to a Bulls loss in the ECF. Both Karma reads were correct.

I can't say that I knew about the now popular "LeBron and Wade Feigning Dirk Illness After Thursday Morning's pre-Game Shoot Around" before Game 5 tipped but when I saw it during the telecast I knew that it wasn't good for The Heat. The above video shows two Superstars making a dumb joke in the middle of the NBA Finals with the Series tied 2-2. BronWade are either:

1) using comedy to calm their nerves about a very important Game 5 later in the day
2) just being jerks and not focusing on Game 5 later in the day

Something tells me that Dirk hasn't thought or smiled at a joke since the playoffs began. I know that South Park has ruled that Germans are the most unfunny people in the world but I know I've seen Dirk joke around before and I know he will smile on the court.  Just not in these playoffs.  Steely-eyed unwavering determination (or maybe he's just still sick).

After re-watching the above video 9 times, I'm pretty certain that the answer on BronWade's joke is answer 2. The Larry O'Brien trophy isn't the main focus of their lives right now as basketball players in their absolute primes. They focus more or global icon status, sweet parties in South Beach, million dollar sponsorships and, of course, chicks. And this is why the Basketball Karma gods struck them down in Game 5.

Fellow Theta Chi Alum from The University of Purdue Brian Cardinal did his job filling in for Peja by throwing his body everywhere (therapusa chier, brother). T'was fun to watch!  An attempted charge on Wade led to something called a "contusion" which I'm sure is just a smart word for "a bad bruise". This forced Wade to sit out many minutes of Game 5....which may have actually been a good thing, according to StatGeeks, since BronWadeBosh were a -14 last night when on the floor together. But it's tough to argue that Wade's absence didn't hurt the psyche of the Heat.

In LeBron's case I was thinking that he would come out in Game 5 with fury in an all out assault mode to prove "The Haters" wrong. He did notch a trip-dub becoming the 5th player in the last 25 years to attain this in a Finals loss.  But Karma bit LeBron as well when it came to the 4th Quarter even though he tweeted "It's Now or Never" on the twatter:

Let's provide the trusty 4th Quarter comparison of Lebron v. Dirk in the Finals through Game 5:
              James            Nowitzki
Points:    11                    52
FG:        4/16                13/27
FT:         3/3                  27/27
REB:      10                    15

Heck, even Jason Terry (with LBJ guarding him) has outscored LeBron 16-2 in the 4th Quarter of Games 4 and 5.

Karma most definitely caught up with the Heat.  This is the logical conclusion, right?  Speaking of logic, wasn't the world supposed to come to an end a few weeks back?  I digress.

Game 5 was entertaining as all heck.  Even Jeff Van Gundy called it "the best Finals game I've ever seen!!" which might be a bit of a stretch.  The teams finally broke out of their offensive funks/getting dominated by awesome defense.  Dirk scored 29 but it was really the small kids who made it happen for the Mavs.  As TrueHoop points out:

"Jason Terry (21 points), JJ Barea (17) and Jason Kidd (13) each set series highs in points. According to Elias the trio of guards became the first set of teammates to each have 10 points, five assists and three 3-pointers in an NBA Finals game." 

With 4:37 left in the game, the Mavs were down 4.  They ended on a 17-4 run.  The Mavs celebrated after their 3 point makes, much like the Heat prematurely celebrated in a Game 2 loss, and the craziest game of this Finals was in the books.

We are watching a superior team (Heat) lose to a pretty dang good team (Mavs).  If the Heat can turn it on in Miami, they can still win the 'ship despite imperfect execution all throughout the season and the playoffs.  Part of me wants them to figure it out and win in spite of themselves.  But 98% of me loves the Mavs, their run, and the Dirk redemption tour of 2011.  I can't wait for the articles that say "if the Mavs lose Game 6 it's over".  Can't wait for Sunday.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Weekly Chat; Game 4 NBA Finals

Bilbo is a party animal
Cam looks A LOT like Mark Cuban

Maaatt decides to start off the Weekly chat with a question posed to fellow Nextians Bilbo and Cam: I don't get what Lebron is doing. His lack of hustle last game was so obvious in clips. That last drive he was one foot away from Dirk's drive and didn't even move a muscle to help out, WTF? Is it his ego? Is Wade tearing it up, so he get his feelings hurt that he's not the best player on the team? Or is is just super tired from the reg season and playing all playoffs? Is it a possibility he has totally gassed? Is Eddie House secretly screwing his mom AND Bibby's sister???

Cam: When LeBron scores 15 points or less in a playoff game, his teams are 0-7. Fascinating.

What’s even more fascinating is that LeBron has scored less than 15 points in a playoff game 7 times. 7 TIMES. He is the best player in this league, hands down, but he’s got some sort of mental problem.

Jordan never did this, was a complete killer, and has never been passive his entire life. During Jordan’s rookie season he bought a PacMan machine for his house because he was determined to be the best PacMan player on the Bulls. LeBron’s more about being a global icon and illegally recruiting college players to sign to his stupid agency. Hey LeBron, why don’t you develop a post game this summer instead, mmmkay? Either that or at least try to become a killer like you were in the Bulls series. Which brings up the point:

Wade and LeBron currently can’t both be awesome at the same time. It’s one guys’ stage or the others’. Chicago Series = LeBron dominate and Wade plays like crap. Finals = Wade plays incredible and LeBron is passive. Do you think they talk about this before a series starts or do they just figure it out after game 1 and go from there?

They’ll probably still win the ‘ship this way but it is quite strange.

Bilbo: What if LeBron is playing bad on purpose so he can explode in the last couple of games? Yeah right! The Jordan comparisons need to stop. They are different players completely. A better comparison is Magic, except that even fun time Magic had a switch that turned him into a beast. Maybe LeBron didn’t come with that switch, ya dig? Maybe he isn’t the player we want him to be and never will be. He wants to focus on his brand, fine. Global icon? Sure, why not. But he needs to know that craving the spotlight comes with a cost, namely, that anything less than incredible on the way to a title is a failure. Anything less than superhuman plays night in and night out on this stage is unacceptable. Maybe the best comparison should be Wilt Chamberlain. He too had all the physical tools but could never take that next step to greatness. I think he ended up with one title when he prolly should have had 4-5.

That being said, it would not surprise me to see he take over game 5. That is, if D-Wade will let him.

I’m still sticking to Dallas in 6.

Cam: It's hard to stop the Jordan comparisons. Especially when Scotty Pippen just said that LBJ was better than Jordan.  Aside from Scotty being a dick, check out LBJ's downward trending usage rate:

Dwyane Wade vs LeBron James
Usage Rate, 2010-11 Season

Wade  James
Reg. Season   28.8  29.6
First 3 Rds   26.8  25.6
NBA Finals   26.5  19.4

Pre-NBA Finals Get Your Mind Right Music: Bon Iver

Crunch Time: Dirk vs. LeBron in the 4th Quarter

Tale of the Dominating Performance vs. the Disappearing Act. Stats through Game 4 of the NBA Finals:

Dirk Nowitzki vs LeBron James
4th Quarter This Series

Nowitzki    James
FG   12-24    3-12
FT   18-18    3-3
Reb   14    7
Pts   44    9

Thanks to TrueHoop

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mark Jackson; Warriors Head Coach

New Warriors Advanced Statistics Guy
The boo birds are all over the internets today regarding the hiring of Mark "I've Never Coached Before" Jackson. But before we get into it too much, let's throw out some randumb Mark Jackson facts via Wikipedia:
  • Did you know that Mark Jackson's brother was the 500 lb baller Escalade of the And 1 Tour?  RIP Escalade.
  • Did you know that there's a rule named after Mark Jackson?  Just Google "Mark Jackson Rule" and be amazed.
  • Did you know that Mark Jackson is half Dominican? That's pretty cool.
  • Did you know that Mark Jackson played at St. Johns with Chris Mullin?  There's some Dubs ties right there.
  • Did you know that Mark Jackson played for 5 Hall of Fame coaches during his playing career (Lou Carnesecca, Lenny Wilkens, Jerry Sloan, Pat Riley and Larry Brown). Me neither.
  • Doesn't Mark Jackson look a lot like Doc Rivers?
  • I can't wait for Warrior Fans to start tracking the Jackson-isms that he spits out at press conferences throughout his tenure. 
I know Jackson is annoying in the announcer’s chair.  But when you listen to other coaches during the broadcasts in the huddles and locker room, these guys aren’t geniuses.  This tells me that it doesn’t take a whole lot of brain power to communicate to these guys.  Heck, Phil Jackson dumbed it down to the Nth degree when trying to get Lamar Odumb to catch a sugar high and play well.  Only Doc seems to successfully speak on a high level to his squad as evident in the awesome “The Association” series.

Going from a coach who made one shot while at Indiana to one who made 14 playoffs during his playing days is a huge upgrade.  Players respect coaches who have experience in The Association and Jackson has plenty of it. Heck, all the players probably think he’s great as an announcer, too.

Lacob "only" gave him $2mil/year for 3 years which had to factor into it (Nellie was making $6mil/year).  Since this is his first gig Lacob was able to pay him accordingly.

Read the Tim Kawakami blog which has a transcript of Jerry West.  West seems to like Jackson…a lot.  That same blog talks a lot about Mike Malone who is going to join Jackson GSW as an assistant.  Malone was on Monty William’s staff in NOLA and is some sort of defensive guru a-la Tom  Thibodeau and helped the Chris Paul’s become one of the best defensive teams in the league.  West was fired up about getting this guy. Plus, Malone provides a good option if Mark Jackson ever requires canning.

Warriors GM Larry Riley did say that "he's going to have some real strengths in communicating with players" and this seems to be a very strong theme of Lacob's hires: Bob Meyers was a successful agent before becoming Assistant GM, Jerry West is the frigging logo, and now Mark Jackson who is probably friendly with 90% of the players that actually matter in The Association.

Now let's look at the other options The Warriors had. I don’t like JVG.  He only cares about defense and slowing the game down limiting possessions.  The Knicks and Rockets of the past were turrible to watch even though they won.  He wouldn’t have fit the ID of the Dubs and even if he was hired and changed them around to be defensive focused, it would have sucked kinda.

And I’m still laughing that the Lakers got Mike Brown.  This dude is such a scapegoat and I'm not sure it is possible to wipe the Cleveland stink off of him.  I can't wait to see how him and Kobe get along.

Some people out there would have preferred San Antonio Assistant Tom Budenholzer or Mavs Assistant Dwane Casey.  Or perhaps Lawrence Frank.  The line of tried-and-failed coaches on Association Team benches is large.

The Warriors now have a direction, a focus.  It's on personality, being direct with the fans and media, and it's on defense. This defensive focus points to the Monta being shipped out for a true SG defensive stopper in Iggy being a possibility.  I’m not sure if I like that trade (because Iguodola speaks with a lisp) but I wouldn’t be pissed if it went down.  But the Sixers are being sold currently so this may hold up the potential swap.

Anyway, Warriors dot com has some solid audio and video HERE

Momma, There Goes That Man!

Notes on Grand Master Lacob's signing of "Hand Down Man Down" Mark Jackson as the new Warriors Head Coach:
  • Cam Inman of The Oakland Tribune: "This is a familiar storyline to the Bay Area, and a recent one, too: A franchise stuck in a playoff drought just hired a first-time coach who happens to be a former player and licensed minister. Let's hope Mark Jackson doesn't bomb like Mike Singletary did in a 49ers tenure that goot extinguished before he could finish out the 2010 season. By reaching the playoffs in 14 of his 17 seasons as a player, Jackson obviously has ambitious goals for a franchise routinely absent from the postseason. ... Phil Jackson might have been a more convincing -- albeit unattainable -- choice considering his ring collection. But Mark Jackson's selection should bring energy and renewed interest to one of the league's most loyal fan bases."
  • Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee: "The Warriors' hiring of Mark Jackson a few hours ago caught most Bay Area types by surprise. The sense was that the process would drag on for another week or so, with owner Joe Lacob waiting to speak with Dallas Mavericks assistant Dwane Casey after the NBA Finals. But Lacob just seems to love the drama. He loves the surprises. (See his hiring of Jerry West as a consultant). Whether he has a clue about successfully running an NBA franchise is another matter. This is a risky hiring, to say the least. ... Jackson's hiring surely seems to further the notion that the Warriors plan to bust up the undersized backcourt of Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis. It doesn't work and was never going to work. Ellis, who was skeptical from the start, was only telling it like it was. And is. Serious trade talks to continue."
  • Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News: "As a coach, strategist and day-to-day manager of an often rocky locker room, broadcaster Mark Jackson is a total blank slate, an unknown, a great leap of faith. He has zero high-level coaching experience, so Jackson is a giant sideline question mark, in capital letters and triplicate. But the Warriors, it is clear, were not exactly aiming for any of those specific things when they surprisingly hired Jackson as their coach Monday. Co-owner Joe Lacob was going for something else, something less tangible and something a lot riskier: Headline-making, room-dominating personality. 'You want to have a guy who's strong enough to be in charge,' general manager Larry Riley said Monday night. 'Mark has a strong personality -- not abrasive, but he has a strong personality and should have the right mix to be able to lead our team.' Yes, even the Warriors have to couch this hiring with words such as 'should have' and 'we think,' because Jackson has a long career as a player and now offbeat announcer, but no track record as the boss. Nobody knows what kind of offense he will run, what kind of players he will lean on (other than the point guard) and how he will deal with the daily grind of the media and the like. ... The Warriors aren't an easy team to coach, and Lacob thinks a strong dose of attitude and confidence can overcome a complete lack of most other qualifying traits. It's a risk. Not a small one. When Lacob says he is willing to take them, he isn't kidding. It's just his personality."
Gracias to True Hoop for compiling the quotes in Tuesday's First Cup.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Weekly Chat: NBA Finals Game 2

Cam:  wow, what a game 2 in the NBA Finals. In the 4th Quarter, the Heat go on a 13-0 run to get up by 15 with about 6:20 left in the game after Bosh jams in the putback against the Mav’s small lineup.  Carlisle immediately calls time out and puts Chandler back in.  The music is bumping in Heat’s American Airlines Arena, the fan noise is being blared through the speakers, about 25% of the fans are standing up and politely clapping….it was a mildly amused fanbase dressed in all-white

On a very lengthy side note: have you noticed that there are hundreds of all-white t-shirts in American Airlines Arena after the game?  Do the fans not care to take the Finals souvenir home?  Or are they so small brained that they think that they have to take off their free shirt and leave it at the arena?  Why isn’t there some kid who runs through the seats and collects them all selling them on e-Bay?  Is there not a market for the all-white Heat finals t-shirt?  On the other hand, did you notice how full the Dallas version of American Airlines Arena was?  Yes, both Miami and Dallas’ arena’s are called “American Airlines Arena”.  How stoked is American Airlines? Those Dallas fans watching on the big screen were pumped.  If Dallas hands out free t-shirts at Sunday’s game, I bet we will not spot one lone Finals t-shirt while watching the post game report in their arena.

But then, boom!  The Mavs go nuts.  Dirk scores the last 9 and the Mavs close on a 22-5 run to win it.  They were so clutch, especially on defense.  I can go on but I think you probably want to blogger something by this point.

ThrillsToTha…: I noticed a lot of the people in the front rows were wearing white, but not the free T’s. It was like one of those racist “Wear White Parties” you see in the big city. Kind of like this:

They're on a boat. Take a good hard look, cuz they're sailing on a boat.

I think these guys were at Oracle back in 2007 when they opened up the arena for the first round road games against Dallas.

Anyway, I thought the Mavs played mediocre through the first 3.5 quarters. Bad passing by Kidd, poor shooting from Dirk and zero help defense from Chandler. The Heat had so many wide open dunks they can’t even make posters out of them. No defenders were even in frame! But surprisingly they hung in there until the fourth when the Heat “went off”. After D-Wade sunk his corner 3 and celebrated with LeBron, I almost turned off the game in disgust. I couldn’t believe the Mavs were f’in up so bad. But I’m glad I didn’t change the channel. It was a remarkable comeback that very well swung the entire series in the Mavs favor.

Cam:  Fastbreak dunks and putback slams, even when they’re done while the ball is still inside the cylinder, only count as two points.  Blocks at the rim my Mr. Canada Joel Anthony still only count as a missed shot.  At least that’s the way the Mavs react to these things.  No matter how loud the Miami sound editor turned up the canned crowd noise, they went about their business.  The Mavs were getting to the line (boring) shooting pretty well (boring) and out rebounding (boring) the Heat through the first 3 quarters.  I don’t think that they were playing badly, just boring.  The Heat were playing more exciting, yes, but they weren’t playing any better.

And then the 4th quarter hit.  The Heat went nuts putting on their big run.  The Heat make these runs all the time, yes. But lately it has been at the end of games to win.  This time, though, they made their run a little too early.  With 7 minutes and change left, Wade hit the three pointer infront of the Mavs bench.  He held his follow through for a little too long, posing as Carlisle called that time out.  LeBron wanted to get in on the love and started punching him in the chest.  The celebration was on.  And this fired up the Mavs beyond belief.  The Mavs have gone on a few huge runs themselves these playoffs.  16 down vs. the Lakers.  12 down vs. the Thunderkittens.  And 15 down last night.

I’m not sure how this will play out.  If Terry keeps losing his man and missing J’s, it’s going to be tough to win.  If Peja or JJ can’t catch fire for a game and propel them to a win, I’m not sure the Mavs can do this.  The Heat will just continuing being the Heat.  They will go on runs, they will dunk and posterize the Mavs players, they will block shots, and they’ll miss free throws.  They’ll have stupid possessions where LeBron or Wade dribble around until there’s 3 seconds left on the shot clock and then chuck a three.  The only thing I know is that this series is all on Dallas’ shoulders.  If they play great, they can win this thing.  If they play just good or worse, Miami will be Miami and the bad guys will win their ring.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Warriors Ownership is getting REAL

Lonely Island

Here on THE Nextians, we love The Lonely Island. It is our official music of The NBA Playoffs.
(GirlTalk is the official music of THE Nextians regular season)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Why The Bulls Won't Win

Playing your Karma Kards right is important to winning.  Former Warrior Owner Chris Cohan constantly messed with the Karma of the franchise and look at the hole the new ownership has got to climb their selves out of.

The basketball Karma gods tend to focus on the small things.  Russell Westbrook's constant scowl and frazzled attitude will most likely dismantle the Thunder's hopes to beat the Mavericks in the WCF, for example.

The Karma gods haven't struck down the Heat and probably won't.  They most likely understand why LBJ left Cleveland and appreciate the effort him and his Heat teammates are giving in the ECF.

So this song with Twista by Carlos Boozer is frightening.  First of all, he calls it the Bulls "Anthem". I wonder how Jerry Krause feels about that?  Boozer also secured the services of a PA announcer introducing which dude is singing. Wow.  CHECK IT OUT

Something tells me that the Karma gods won't take this over confident pile of garbage lightly.  Especially since Boozer is so bad at rapping/hip hopping.  I wish this wasn't the case, but I'm pretty sure the Heat will take out the Bulls in the ECF.  And that is painful to say.

Friday, May 20, 2011

What do the Thunder, Heatles and Bulls have in common?

D-Rose by Free Darko
 There is a common thread between the Thunder, the Heat and the Bulls this playoffs.  They are successful teams with ball dominators where assisting teammates is secondary to getting one's own shot.  The anti hand check rules of 2004 have made it easier for perimeter players penetrate the defense and score off the dribble or get fouled and score from the line. ESPN's Dean Oliver breaks down the revealing "points per assist" measure in world famous TrueHoop blog:

Both Henry Abbott and John Hollinger have written about Westbrook’s shoot-first mentality, but there's an interesting statistical story brewing that they didn’t capture. Oklahoma City led the NBA in total points scored per assist, with 5.23 points per assist. (It was 8.31 in Game 4.) This measure isn’t talked about much, but it is a reflection of teams that get their points off the dribble and at the foul line, not off a lot of kick-outs to shooters or dishes to big men around the basket.

The Thunder’s high value reflects a more individual and athletic game, something that is fair to say about how the Thunder play over good amounts of time. Not surprisingly, the star-driven system of the
Miami Heat came in second in this metric during the regular season. Both teams use their athleticism off the dribble to drive to the middle and get foul calls.

Can you guess who is at the bottom of the list? The Celtics and
Dallas Mavericks, two of the oldest teams in the league. 

Many will argue that the "Me First" 90's Association was difficult to watch at times.  There was a lot of "give Iverson a playmaker the ball, clear out, and watch him go to work".  The recent NBA Renaissance we are enjoying now came about when highly skilled and likable players committed to their teammates and played the game the way "it was supposed to be played" while not getting into too many shenanigans off court.

This brings me back to the 2004 anti hand check rule again.  Retrospectively, this is seen as a good thing because it promotes fan-friendly offense. Gone are the days of the defensive player legally landing forearm shivers on the ball handler preventing him from getting into the lane (it's amazing that Jordan did what he did in the world of legal hand checking).  Because of this, the new generation of insanely athletic and incredibly strong ball handlers has thrived. LeBron, Wade, Derrick Rose and Westbrook all utilize their skill/strength combo to get the job done off the dribble.  And something tells me that at least one of these teams will be in the NBA Finals this year.  This obviously isn't too difficult of a prediction to make.

Ask yourself what style of basketball have you truly enjoyed watching this post season?

The Heat are awesome in the open court but it's annoying to watch either LeBron or Wade not play off of each other more.  They do a lot of "OK, it's you're turn" and don't seem to play like a team for a good portion of the game.  The argument for LeBron and Wade playing this way is that they don't really have anyone else on their team.

Although I appreciate the amazing plays that Association MVP Derrick Rose can make while driving to the basket, I fault him for not fulfilling his PG duties and getting Boozer in a position to score 15 to 20 points a game (he's currently score 10.7 in 30 minutes this post season) let alone shoot just 41% from the field.  Without getting a confident and effective second offensive option involved I doubt that the Bulls will be able to take the title this year.

Russell Westbrook is having many articles written about his 40.6% from the field this playoffs while taking 22.11 attempts per game, a total of 12 more attempts through 9 games than super duper star Kevin Durant who's shooting 46.5%.  It's almost like he is in a battle to declare his #1 option supremacy instead of just trying to win the game.  The Dwight Howard-esq frustration on his face seems to be bubbling up inside and there doesn't seem to be any change in his style this post season.

With all of these guys, you know when the ISO set is coming and the "10 dribble-drive-pull up-shoot" sequence is coming.  You can just see it in their body language.  And it is my assertion that this type of basketball is not that fun to watch unless the only reason you watch is to catch the truly amazing play a few times per night.

Because of this I find myself gravitating towards rooting for the Grizzlies and their big man/any man approach.  For the Celtics and their Sebastian Pruiti approved offensive plays.  I even root for the Hawks while wondering if Josh Smiff is finally going to understand how awesome he could be if he just shot 5 feet from the hoop and stopped playing ISO (as he did in Game 4 vs. the Bulls).  I loved pulling for the Mavericks and their great ball movement leading to some sort of post season 3 point record sparked by Jason Terry and Peja Stojakovic just waiting on the weak side for their teammates to rotate the ball to them.  It honestly had nothing to do with beating the Lakers. Well, maybe that's not entirely true.

Although Westbrook and Rose are obviously The Now and The Next of our beloved Association, I hope that they either figure out how to balance their games more or I will just naturally gravitate towards not being much of a fan of their boring ball stopping yet sometimes flashy ESPN Highlight worthy play.