Tag Archives: NBA

Smile or Something, Perk

On July 4, 1776, our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, announcing that the colonies were no longer going to be part of the British Empire. Despite supporting the movement, Perk was not amused.

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2009-10 San Antonio Spurs: Consistently Inconsistent

For the Spurs to make a serious run at the NBA Finals, the defense must improve. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

It’s getting to be late November and the NBA season is picking up pace. The Spurs sit at 4-6 right now, while the defending-champion Los Angeles Lakers are 9-3 and their second-best player just returned to the lineup.

A sense of urgency is building around the Spurs, with many experts having picked them during the summer to be one of the top teams in the NBA. Some even went so far as to predict they’ll dethrone the Lakers.

What I see is a team inconsistent in every area. From game-to-game and quarter-to-quarter, the Spurs have yet to put it all together.

Maybe that’s good. They’re a competitive team in their current state, a few different breaks here and there and the Spurs are on the right side of .500.

On the other side of the coin, what if they’re unable to play a complete game?

Being just ten games into the season and having to fit in so many new parts, there’s going to be a period of adjustment. Some players are new to the team and must learn the system. Others are coming back from injury and trying to ease back into NBA shape.

The fear is not what the Spurs have been inconsistent at to this point, it’s what they haven’t shown the ability to do yet.

Interior defense and defensive rebounding are two things that come to mind. Gone are the days of the guards funneling their man into the twin towers with little chance of conceding a layup.

Tim Duncan is no longer the shot blocker he once was. He’s a smart defensive player who plays position defense and still provides a good number of blocks. But he’s not an athletic pivot who stops the ball at the rim anymore. (Was he every really athletic, in comparison to the rest of the NBA, that is?) Antonio McDyess, DeJuan Blair and Matt Bonner aren’t elite shot-blockers either.

And with the transition the league has taken to more perimeter-oriented offenses, many teams are playing “small ball” and using just one interior player. This scheme allows for more penetration against the Spurs defenses, leaving just one big to defend the rim.

From there, options are almost limitless. Teams can score points in the paint, draw fouls, and kick the ball out for uncontested 3-pointers. All three are crippling results for a team that banks on a stingy defense to win games.

The Spurs have to do something to remedy this. Duncan, McDyess and Bonner are proven commodities. We know the Spurs aren’t going to get any rim-stopping plays from them.

Theo Ratliff can still block some shots, (Just ask Carlos Boozer about that.) But at 36 years old, the game has passed him by. He’s not the physical beast the Kevin Willis was when Willis was in San Antonio. Ratliff’s body isn’t in shape to play more than 20 minutes in the NBA.

But towards the end of the bench and on the inactive list sit a pair of players with intrigue.

Ian Mahimni and Marcus Haislip have the athleticism to protect the rim and cover quicker big men. They have the young legs to play as many minutes as Pop feels like throwing at them. Unfortunately, to this point they haven’t shown the ability in other areas to get on the floor.

At some point soon, Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford are going to have to make a decision. Play Haislip and/or Mahimni in hopes that they’ll be in position to contribute during the stretch run. If nothing else, the Spurs can afford to lose games right now. They’re doing it anyway.

If not, trade one or both of them and bring in someone who can shore up our weaknesses. The season depends on it. Already.

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Memorial Day Miracle

Happy late Memorial Day.

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SXSW, Ron Artest and New Orleans

Things are slow at the SXSW headquarters right now. Painfully slow at times. I’d explain all the things I do during the day to make the time pass during the day, but I’m afraid somebody from work would read this blog and I’d get in trouble. We’re in a recession right now and I can’t afford to lose my job, despite how uneventful it is right now.

But on the up side, I’m not stressed and I’m sleeping and eating and doing things normal people do. So there’s that.

I’ve been watching a lot of the NBA playoffs when I’m not at work, in fact I’m watching them as I type this, and I’m frustratingly happy. I enjoy watching the NBA Playoffs, and the NBA in general. So that makes me happy.

 However, the officiating in the NBA right now is utter crap. It’s kind of like the NBA leaving a bag of flaming dog crap on our porch, ringing the doorbell, and watching from the bushes.

And Skip Bayless on First Take is the equivalent of us answering the door.

It’s not necessarily that they’re making bad calls (but they are), it’s that the calls aren’t consistent from game t0 game. A lot of times they’re not consistent from quarter to quarter. And whenever the game starts to get physical, a barrage of flagrant fouls are called. The vast majority of which aren’t anything close to being flagrant fouls.

And then Ron Artest gets thrown out.

Poor Ron-Ron, he just can’t catch a break. You run up into the stands and mistakenly beat the shit out of one douchebag in Detroit (when you meant to beat the shit out of a different douchebag), and all of a sudden everybody thinks you’re going to go ape shit whenever you commit a hard foul.

The refs just need to treat Ron-Ron like every other player on the court and call him the same. Unfortunately it looks like the NBA has created the “Artest Rules.” #FREERONARTEST

I’m going to New Orleans this weekend with the girlfriend.

I wanted to take some sort of vacation after SXSW was over, but I don’t have any money. So I decided just to take a long weekend and go somewhere not too far from Austin.

And being a young, relatively-healthy, recent college graduate, what better city to visit than New Orleans?

The answer: none.

So I scored a good deal on a hotel for the weekend and looked up some fun things to do there. I’d look up bars to go to, but I figure I’m going to end up a Bourbon Street anyway. And from there, I seriously doubt I’ll remember anything I pre-planned when it comes to bar hopping.

It’s going to be an interesting experience.

What Vegas needs to put odds on, is the amount of time I’m actually going to spend doing things after my first night at Bourbon.

Right now I’ve got stuffed planned for during the days. But I have a feeling after the first night, I’m going to wake up at 3 pm and order greasy food. Then I’ll probably take a nap until it’s time to go back to Bourbon.

As of right now, I’ve got about four things planned as daytime activities on Saturday.

Vegas has the over/under currently set at 1.5.

I’d take the under.

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Reggie Miller is inadvertently wrong

I was watching the Celtics – 76ers game last night on TNT and Marv Albert and Reggie Miller were calling the game.  When the issue of Ray Allen‘s suspension from last night’s game because of elbowing Anderson Varejao in his Brazilian twig n’ berries on Sunday, Reggie Miller adamantly claimed that the suspension was wrong because it was an “inadvertent elbow.”

Now I’ve had elbows for a long time, and I’ve gotten knocked down playing basketball many times before too. But I don’t think my elbow has ever “inadvertently” fired back that quickly into someone’s groin.

Who knows, maybe Ray Allen has a nervous twitch when he goes down on all fours.

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Putting the Shaq & Kobe stuff to rest, for good

Obviously a ton has been made over the last few years about the Shaq and Kobe… let’s call it a disagreement. The media hype about it died down over the last few months as Kobe Byrant elevated himself to the position of the best player in the NBA (recently overtaken by Mr. LeBron James) and Shaq was just trying to hold onto some of the limelight.

But with Shaq having a productive season and the Lakers positioned at the top of the Western conference, attention has been brought back to the “disagreement.” ABC even promoted the Suns / Lakers game Sunday afternoon as a “showdown” between Shaq and Kobe.

The worst part about the drama between the two is how it all was completely overblown by the media, and then systematically shoved down our throats. To be honest, I don’t even think they hated each other as much as we were lead to believe. Sometimes people who work together don’t get along. Some people’s personalities don’t align (although I doubt many people’s personalities align with Kobe’s). And sometimes some players don’t play well together.

It’s as simple as that. Kobe and Shaq didn’t have the personalities to be best friends. And both of them wanted to be the top dog. But because they played for the Lakers and had the huge L.A. media market and played for Phil Jackson, a coach famous for allowing huge egos to co-exisst, we were subjected to report after report about how they hated each other and didn’t get along.

But the NBA knew they had something when Shaq left L.A. and Kobe took over the Lakers. They could exploit this “feud” for marketing and advertising purposes. And exploit it they did.

Although I do think Shaq took advantage of it too when it became apparent that Kobe Bryant had become the better player of the too and it appeared that Shaq’s career was winding down. That’s how we get videos like this:

The NBA then exploited the Kobe-Shaq hugfest at All-Star weekend when they played on the same team for the first time in almost five years. Watch the video of Shaq and Kobe hold up the All-Star MVP trophy, there’s no way those smiles are real. With two guys that competitive, I can’t believe they honestly were that happy to share the award.

With the economy on the fritz and the NBA struggling, marketing and advertising dollars will be more important than ever. Hopefully we won’t have to deal with more media manufactured (yay alliteration!)  fueds from the NBA machine.

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