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? http://www.nba.com/2011/news/05/29/arena-names.ap/index.html 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.