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Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Durant’

Favorite Player Power Rankings: NBA

Posted by mvetack on January 31, 2011

Michael Jordan was and always will be my favorite basketball player of all time.  Even after his retirement and enshrinement into the Hall of Fame, he still graces video game covers, sells shoes like no other, and stays more relevant than most NBA stars of today.  To get pumped up and ready for my men’s league games I will pop in my Jordan DVDs for pregame.  I originally fell in sports love with Jordan simply because I was young, just started getting into sports, and we shared the same first name.  After he retired I was still relatively young and decided I needed a new favorite player.  Vince Carter stepped into that void in my basketball player obsession nicely.  Vince had the excitement factor with his ridiculous in game dunks and he played for a new team with a kick ass dinosaur as its mascot.  I have supported Vince throughout his career and to this day have owned him in every fantasy basketball league I have taken part in.  I have won 2 in a row and looking for three in a row this season after trading Brandon Roy for Vince Carter in week two.  So without rambling on too much more I am going to use the power rankings format to make a list of my favorite NBA players and why.  I love the NBA and many of its players.  Some reasons are stupid, well most are, and players will move up and down from week to week.  So here is the first Favorite Player Power Rankings…

  1.  Vince Carter – Phoenix Suns

Vince was amazing as a high flying new star of the NBA and fulfilled my every need in an entertaining athlete.  It helps that Vince is a former Tar Heel like Jordan. As Air Jordan left Air Canada arrived and has held this top spot for a while now.

      2.     Derrick Rose – Chicago Bulls

Because of my love for Jordan, I obviously turned into a Bulls fan.  I enjoyed their dynasty as a youngin and suffered through many MANY years of the “baby bulls” with players like Elton Brand, Ron Artest, and Jamal Crawford entering and exiting.  When the Bulls were fortunate enough to get Rose at number 1 I was so pumped.  Now Rose is an MVP candidate, is a simply fun player to watch play, and carries himself like a pro.  There is nothing not to like about Rose and when he has your favorite team looking like a top team in the league its hard not to love the guy.

      3.     Monta Ellis – Golden State Warriors

Small guys doing amazing things is always enjoyable.  Monta is a little dude with a big game.  Speed, quicks, a smooth stroke, and a lot of hops are some of the things that Monta brings to the table.  I began to like Monta when I saw some youtube videos of him hitting over the head shots from the seats during practice.  To make him seem even cooler, he followed these shots up with a slick handshakes with what looked to be an arena employee.  Creative handshakes is always a plus, creative handshakes with non teammates is even better.  Monta has skyrocketed up to number three in just the last year.

      4.     Dirk Nowtizki – Dallas Mavericks

Dirkus Circus is one of those freaks on the baseketball court.  I guess in the real world all NBA players are freaks with their size and athleticism, but Dirk stands out amongst them.  He is a 7 footer that knocks down threes and has an outside game of a small forward.  When he lets his golden locks flow and his jumper is wet, he tempts me to put him near the top of this list.  For now Dirk is a little banged up, has short hair, and is hit or miss on his jumper.

       5.    Kevin Durant – Oklahoma City Thunder

Durant is one of the few guys that I, and the rest of us, got to watch a lot in college and knew he was going to be a star in the NBA.   Durant’s laid back team first attitude intrigues all of us.  Rarely does such a young kid with so much talent carry himself the way he does.  Durant is a unique player and makes my starting 5 for favorite players at the moment.

       6.     Wesley Matthews – Portland Trailblazers

I admittedly knew next to nothing about this guy this time last season.  Since he signed a big contract with a team I love to watch, Trailblazers, and is now getting a lot of minutes with half the team in suits during the game.  Wes can fill it up on any given night and flashes the three goggles which I am a HUGE fan of.

        7.     Matt Bonner – San Antonio Spurs

As a kid who grew up ( and still growing up I guess ) in the great state of New Hampshire, it is exciting when anyone or anything happens in New Hampshire.  Unlike most states across the country, New Hampshire rarely gets national attention aside from winter storms (sweet) and the Primaries.  The only thing rarer than NH making national news, is an athlete making it big from NH.  Matt Bonner is one of those guys.  After winning the NBA Championship Matt Bonner didn’t announce his plans of going to Disney Land, he excitingly proclaimed how he was, “Going to Canobie Lake Park”,  a staple for any New Hampshire resident.  Bonner has a sweet nickname (Red Rocket), a knack for sandwich making, and a decent game.  But mostly, Bonner is from New Hampshire.

         8.     Brandon Roy – Portland Trailblazers

This guy is clutch, underrated, and everytime I see the highlight of his game winner against Houston with the crowd going nuts I get the chills.  Roy is sooooo talented but just can not stay healthy anymore.  A healthy Roy could be in the top three on this list.

         9.     Gilbert Arenas – Orlando Magic

A couple seasons ago Gilbert was one of the best players in the NBA.  He had a humorous and insightful blog on NBA.com, and about thirty anecdotes that made him the most loveable guy in the NBA.  Then injuries happened, the gun thing happened, and the silent Agent 0 happened.  If the original Gilbert comes back he could be my next Jordan.  Until that time, I will continue to display my autographed Gilzero’s and Agent 0 uni on my wall until he returns to glory.

         10.   Zach Randolph – Memphis Grizzlies

Randolph makes the top ten for me mostly because of fantasy sports.  Like Vince, Z-Bo has been a part of Jordan’s 3rd Comeback for every season of its existence.  Every year other owners pass on the automatic 18 and 12 and he falls right in my lap.  Z-Bo can barely jump over a dollar bill but remains one of the top rebounders in the NBA.

         11.    Steve Nash – Phoenix Suns

Nash is one of the most skilled ball handlers and creative players in the league.  Year after year people expect him to fall off yet he is quietly having one of his top seasons of his career.  Thanks to twitter his awesomeness has grown.  The many videos he has made have been comedic gold and definitely help him in these rankings.

          12.    Dwyane Wade – Miami Heat

You do not know how badly I wanted Wade to sign with the Bulls this past off season.  Wade carried a team on his back for a couple seasons and might be the best player in the NBA right now.  If he were on the Bulls he would probably have to be my favorite player right now.  His complete game is so much fun to watch and is THE reason I watch Heat games.

          13.     Brandon Jennings – Milwaukee Bucks

Fear the Deer!  Jennings at first was the guy that played in Europe for a year.  Now he is the skinny little lefty that lights it up in Milwaukee.  His double nickel a year ago caught my attention followed by his gumby hair cut during the All Star break. 

          14.     Kobe Bryant – Los Angeles Lakers

“Mamma there goes the man” Kobe plays, acts, and carries himself similar to Jordan and is close to catching him in titles.  He is just as competitive and fearless on the court.  The Black Mamba is the NBA and has been for some time.  I love this guy, and his lower jaw.

           15.     Luke Walton – Los Angelas Lakers

This one occurred mostly because of anti Walton talk from my friends.  I am always intrigued by NBA greats spawns in the NBA so I flocked to Walton once he hit the NBA.  Walton is an underrated passer and does the dirt dog stuff because he has to.  Hes not gonna win you a game, make the headlines, or even play minutes but I love when he comes in the game.  One of my friends hates Luke Walton so that only makes me “love” him more.  In 2K8 he was ridiculous from beyond the arch and won me some tight games in the dorms.

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Best and Worst of the weekend

Posted by mvetack on September 14, 2010

Stealing a page from Dan Patrick’s terrific radio show (6 foot 170) no not that.. ding!… I mean their “Best and Worst” of the weekend portion of the show.  I ll do three of each.

Worst of the weekend

The fact that Calvin Johnson’s potential game winning Touch down was not ruled a catch and allowed the Bears to hold on for the victory.  Everyone has seen the play by now and most agree that Calvin made a nice grab.  Yes I guess the odd and newly implemented rule was followed in this case but the rule doesnt really seem to work when you look at the play and you know its a catch.  Rules are supposed to be implemented to make sure the right thing is happening or call is made.  Does not make sense to have a rule that goes against common sense.

Tashard Choice getting the ball stripped from him on the final play of the first half on Sunday Night.  In a low scoring battle, DeAngelo Hall stripped Choice and then took one to the house as time expired.  The Cowboys had their video game hats on while deciding to go for a last second hail mary of sorts that resulted in a dump down to the Cowboys rb.  The Skins would never find the end zone again and didn’t need to as they held on for a 13 – 7 victory.

Virginia Tech losing to Division II James Madison.  James Madison is a pretty good football program, for division II.  Virginia Tech is dangerously close to making what is now a very disappointing season into a potential program hurting season.  Va Tech has to regain its swagger and go on a win streak in the coming weeks.  A BCS bowl is still very possible.  Va Tech needs to focus on the ACC and winning that conference.

Best of the Weekend

Denard Robinson torching my Notre Dame Fighting Irish.  Although he was slowed down for most of the second half, he commanded a last minute drive to send the Wolverines to 2-0.  Robinson totaled over 500 yards of offense and should Michigan continue to win, is a heavy favorite for the early season Heisman.

Arian Foster and the Texans absolutely dominated the Colts on the ground on their way to a statement in division win on Sunday.  Arian Foster rattled off 231 yards and 3 TDs as the Texans did everything perfect to open up huge running lanes for their new star in the making.  The Colts rush D is definately something that needs to be fixed or they are going to have a hard time beating anyone.  The Colts should be fine as long as they have Peyton but that D has got to make some changes quick.

Captain America Kevin Durant and his teammates performance in Turkey.  Team USA took down host Turkey in the FIBA Championships and earned the first qualifying spot for the 2012 Olympics.  Durant lead the way with 38 points and a new U.S. record for points against Lithuania to advance to the Finals.  In the Championship game Durant added 28 as team USA coasted to a 81 to 64 victory over Turkey.

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S@#T you have to have

Posted by mvetack on August 13, 2010

As the world championships of basketball approaches Nike is trying to get you prepared by putting the face of USA basketball and possibly the NBA on a shirt.  Anything with USA on it is ok by me, add one of my new favorite athletes and a cool graphic and you are golden.  Speaking of golden thats what the man man on the shirt Kevin Durant will be trying to obtain as you wear this shirt in support.

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One on One basketball

Posted by mvetack on August 4, 2010

1 on 1 basketball games are a rarity.  It usually takes 6 or at least 4 guys at a gym to get a game going.  In 1995 Hakeem Olajuwon and his Houston Rockets swept then Orlando Magic stud Shaq (now a Boston Celtic) and his teammates in the finals.  According to stats and people who remember it ( I was 8 and probably in bed dreaming about what new Ninja Turtle I should ask for ) The Dream dominated Shaq in the series.  Despite being at best out played for four games Shaq left this note for Hakeem in his locker…

Despite who you think is better all time or at that time, this would still be great to see.  Here is a list of intriguing match ups I would love to see played out in today’s NBA and who I would give the edge.

First off the rules are first to 21 win by 2 winners out.  Call your own fouls.  No foul shots just possession.

Russell Westbrook vs Derrick Rose – This could just turn into a dunk contest.  I go with Rose by a hair.  This could be the most exciting match up I can think of.

LeBron James vs Kobe Bryant – This is an obvious one everyone would love to see.  The Black Mamba wills his way to a victory in this one despite a definite size disadvantage.  And as for LeBron’s great defense? I think he is a better off the ball defender than he is a one on one defender.  Kobe will just knock down shots all day and do some little things to get it done.

Dwyane Wade vs Kevin Durant – Slashing speed vs height and smooth.  I got Wade in this one as one of Durant’s best advantages in his ability to get to the line will not get him free throws in the one on one game.  Wade will disrupt a lot of Durant’s jumpers and his athleticism will make up for Durant’s 5 inch height advantage.

Carmelo Anthony vs LeBron James – A Battle of top draft picks from the 2003 draft class duke it out in a chess match.  Carmelo’s size helps him in this one along with his smooth jump shot.  I’m going with LeBron on this one as he will find more ways to score against Melo.

Brandon Roy vs Kobe Bryant Kobe wins this one but the match up is made to showcase one of the lesser known great players in the NBA.  Brandon Roy gets beat about 21 – 12 but the world knows that Portland has more than just an injured Gred Oden.

Chris Paul vs Derron Williams – Ask someone who they think the best point guard in the NBA is and chances are it is one of these two western conference studs.  Unless you ask Tommy Heinsohn and he will most definitely say Rondo.  This would be quite the battle with Chris Paul putting on quite a show.  In the end Derron wins a close one with a simple game plan of posting up Paul and draining the occasional long ball.

Pau Gasol vs Dwight Howard – Dwight Howard is the funniest and possibly most entertaining NBA player behind Steve Nash but Gasol will sweep the floor with Dwight in this one.  Gasol has too many moves and a good midrange shot that Dwight does not have.  Gasol can get on a streak and keep possession a lot easier than Dwight will be able to.  I go 21 to 9 Pau.

Ron Artest vs Ron Artest – He is the only guy that could pull this off.  I got Ron Ron 37-37.  A fight will ensue and end the game early.

Ray Allen vs Paul Pierce – Two ultimate competitors with one (Paul) trying to prove once again he is one of the greatest shooters in NBA history by beating one of the actual best shooters in NBA history.  If Ray Allen is anywhere near his normal game than Ray could win this by double figures draining three after three.  Pierce will likely get “hurt” at some point and make a valiant return to make a late charge and lose 21 -15.

Tim Duncan vs Healthy Yao Ming – Duncan is getting up their in age but he still has the fundamentals he learned in grade school to beat the forgotten Rocket star.  This will be a loooong game with Yao playing some good D on timmy but ultimately Duncan is champ again.

Vince Carter vs Chris Bosh – This game will be played at the end of the season in Toronto.  Vince wins 5 – 2.

Amare Stoudemire  vs Dirkus Circus – Dirk doesnt play great D but his outside game will give Amare fits.  Amare will have a big advantage attacking in the paint.  Whoever starts with the ball wins this one.  Dirk dominates the outside game and Amare dominates the inside game.  Dirk makes the do or die shot to start so Dirk wins this defenseless game 21-0.

I have definitely missed some great one on ones and may add to this later.  Who would you want to see play one on one right now? Am I completely wrong with who wins these games?

thanks to Ball Don’t Lie and Sports Illustrated for info/reference

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Durant and the Thunder Represent West well in Win over Celtics

Posted by mvetack on April 1, 2010

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Thunder can’t win in the playoffs because they are young?

Posted by mvetack on March 3, 2010

The Oklahoma City Thunder have been far and away the surprise of the NBA season.  Lead by a top five player talent in Durant and a young Russel Westbrook running the point, the Thunder are currently 6th in the West with a 36-23 record, just three games back from second place Dallas.  So why is it that everyone is writing off one of the most exciting, talented, and young teams and announcing their playoff exit already?  Because they are young.  It seems like everyone who has an opinion and a camera in front of them “knows” that the Thunder are too young to beat anyone in the playoffs.  Is this true.  Is it impossible for a young team without playoff experience to win in the playoffs?

Yes I know that having vets that have been in the playoffs before is a nice little icing on the cake.  But no matter how you slice it, basketball is basketball.  The court is the same, the rules are the same, and the players are the same.  Unless the Thunder are full of guys who get panic attacks in big situations, I think they should be all set.  Yes they might not win their first round playoff series but it won’t be because of what their licenses say next to DOB, but because they meet a very talented Nuggets or Jazz team.

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62 Unorganized thoughts on All Star Weekend in Dallas

Posted by mvetack on February 15, 2010

  1. The city of Dallas is absolutely in love with Dirk Nowitzki.  The Mavericks all time leading scorer certainly deserves the praise and roar that he got  from the crowd all weekend.  Dallas embraces Dirk while outsiders criticize parts of his game.  Jealousy?
  2. Steve Nash and Dwight Howard are currently battling for FDP.  That is Funniest Damn Player in the NBA.  Dwight Howard has no problem clowning on vets like Tim Duncan (in a deep monotone voice repeating “Timmaaaayy while Duncan was at the charity stripe) and Shaq (Impersonating him many many times) during All Star Weekend.  David Stern should implement a new rule requiring Dwight to be mic’d up at all times.  Nash on the other hand has made all of us in the internet generation laugh ever since Youtube began.  This weekend the happy-go-lucky 34 year old Canadian had three great moments of hilarity.  A) Flexing with a Ben Stiller like “serious” modeling look on his face. B)  After Derron Williams conceded his final run in the skills challenge to Steve Nash, Nash ran from his seat on the bench in attempt to mock block Derron. C) Rising from below the stage during introductions on All Star Sunday with another classic goofy look on his face.
  3. H.O.R.S.E. is a pretty entertaining event for 7:00 on Saturday Night.  It would have been a lot more entertaining if they didnt have about 45 commercials in an hour long segment.  Hmmmm I wonder why they had to go to a shoot off because of timing issues.
  4. The sound either at the stadium or on the broadcast on TNT’s part was awful.
  5. Apollo Anton Ohno’s Gold Medal race was timed perfectly during a commercial of the Dunk Contest.  Truthfully though, would not have missed much if you flipped to the Olympics during the whole Dunk Contest.
  6. The Rookie Sophomore game reminded me of high school for some reason.  I guess it goes back to you hear people brag about an upcoming class of athletes in a school when you think your class is the dominate athletes.  You then want to prove that your class is the better class. The Rookie Sophomore game gets to prove it.  NOTE: My class had an extremely athletic and successful class one year ahead of us and another very good one below us.  We were not too bad, but we definitely were overlooked.
  7. Rajon Rondo cheats at gimmicky lassoing games, and still fails.
  8. Defying odds, the quietest 108 K plus people in the world all happened to buy tickets to the NBA All Star game.
  9. I was really hoping for Amare to be traded mid All Star game just so he would be representing the wrong league for even a quarter.  This would not have meant much at all but would have been a cool anecdote to know thirty years from now.  Come on Suns/Cavs/Sixer pull that trigger!  Speaking of that Amare trade, the question on all the PTI/Around the Horn/First Take type shows was along the lines of. “Would the Amare trade be the last piece of the puzzle to get a championship for Cleveland?”.  I know records don’t win championships but the Cavs have the best record in the NBA and people are talking about them as if they are third in the East.  This team smoked the Lakers twice and according to the “experts” the Lakers are getting their names engraved on their rings already.  The Cavs are really good.  They can win the Finals with this team.  What they should ask is will this trade hurt their chances of winning the Championship.
  10. Daryl Dawkins easily out flashed Craig Sager with his suit on Saturday Night.  His Jacket was stupid gross.  Although Craig Sager did blind many across the country with his tie.
  11. With H.O. and H.O.R., Rajon Rondo stayed with Durant shot for shot for a lot longer than most expected.  I have a feeling that Durant would have taken atleast 15 minutes before he missed got to H.O.R.S.E.  Omri Casspi proved that he is not the only Israeli that knows about basketball; he brought a louder cheering section for H.O.R.S.E. than America brought for an entire All Star Game (Seriously that was pathetic).  Also from the H.O.R.S.E. game, Kevin Durant is a very nice young man.  After Kenny, Cwebb, and Chuck were ragging on an OKC fan for making a “terrible” pass to Durant on his missed three point attempt, Durant made a point atleast three times to tell the fan that it was a great pass and it was his bad (The pass was fine by the way).  And finally, last from the H.O.R.S.E. contest, Rajon Rondo officially has no emotion.  Cwebb for some reason, maybe I missed it earlier on on TNT, yelled Rondo for a very long time for some sort of inside joke and Rondo just stood their with a blanker face than Greg Oden for the whole agonizing 15 seconds of it.
  12. Props to the Basketball Jones guys for getting Derrick Rose to look happy for a couple of seconds in his life.
  13. Kenny Smith has a man crush real hard on Kevin Durant, seriously I think there is going to be a restraining order on him by next season.
  14. The Dunk In was a pretty cool addition to this years festivities.  Twitterverse really hated on it and said it was boring.  Not sure what people were expecting.  Fireworks? A full introduction and bells and whistles of the Saturday Night Dunk contest?  People, if they didnt have it you would have seen more commercials and vague discussion on the first half of a Rookie Sophomore game.
  15. Missing dunks in a dunk off means a lot more than it does in the Main Event on Saturday night.  Eric Gordon had some really good dunks, maybe even the best of the weekend, but the problem was he missed too many leading up to them that the wow factor was gone.  Flashforward to Saturday night, Nate Robinson was his usual Slam Dunk self and missed numerous attempts at his dunks yet the people still give him more points or whatever you call it in the judging because of his height.  Making all of your dunks on the first try is the most under appreciated and undervalued aspect of a good dunk contest.
  16. DeJuan Blair nearly stole the Rook Soph MVP from a deserving Tyreke Evans in the final two minutes of the game.  Correct me if I’m wrong but on one possession Blair grabbed 4 rebounds and scored 4 points all while shrinking men into little boys in the paint.  The Spurs need to get this guy in the game more.  For nothing else he brings excitement to every rebound and battle down low.
  17. Bosh is officially 100% a star.
  18. George Karl toyed with us all night long saying he was going to go with a 4 point guard line up in the fourth quarter.  I know he wanted to win and started coming back so he didnt want to blow it with the Billups, Derron, Nash, and Kidd lineup but that would have been a site to see.
  19. Steph Curry can flat out shoot.  Watching him shoot a basketball somehow excites me.  I guess its not his fault that he lost the 3pt contest, he did lose to one of the greatest shooters in NBA history. Yeaaaaaaaaa, right Paul.
  20. So Paul Pierce had something to prove in the 3pt contest.  Pierce used the platform of the 3pt contest to prove to us all that he is indeed one of the best shooters the NBA has ever seen.  Yea just like Brent Barry proved to us that he is one of the greatest dunkers in NBA history when he won the dunk contest in ’96.
  21. Did I mention Steve Nash is hilarious.
  22. Brandon Jennings hair once again is amazing.  The “gumby” look is a classic and the only reason why I hope he doesnt keep it is to see what he busts out next trip to the barber shot.  On a basketball side of things related to Jennings, I thought he was the quickest guy with the basketball dribbling through that Jerry West forest during the Skills Challenge.
  23. Overall the Skills Challenge again was a great contest to watch.  They don’t break it up with too many commercials so there is a lot of action that keeps you into it.  This event by far has the biggest stars (Russell Westbrook is not too bad a last second replacement either).  This is odd because this event actually shows the majority of skills needed to be a good basektball player.  The Dunk Contest and 3pt Contest are a lot less embarrassing and a player is putting a lot less of themselves and their games out there during those two events compared to the skills challenge.  The Skills Challenge, on varying levels, tests the players on shooting, layups, speed, dribbling, cutting, quickness, passing, composure, athleticism.  If you fail miserably at the Dunk Contest people think, “Oh ok so X player can’t exactly do a windmill dunk” or in the 3pt. “Ok so maybe this guy should take a step towards the hoop before thinking about shooting for now on”, but failing at the skills challenge one might say, “Maybe this guy shouldnt run, shoot outside, take a lay up, pass, or pretty much step foot on a basketball court”.
  24. Shannon Brown is a disappointment.  On a related note, Kobe got dressed in his warm-ups for nothing.
  25. Was LeBron at the Saturday Night festivities?  Out of all the players in the league he would be the first guy I would think cameras would find for reaction shots or just sitting court side shots.  Yet I can not recall seeing him a single time and neither can my friend that was also watching the coverage.
  26. The Dunk Contest is not dead, creativity on the other hand might be.  Every single year that the Dunk Contest is less than stellar, all the talk is “The Dunk Contest is dead, they should just not even have it.”  First of all for all of you digging the grave for the Dunk Contest it was only two years ago that Dwight Howard’s Superman contest happened and only one year ago that he raised the hoop to twelve feet and Kryptonite jumped over Superman.  Yes this Dunk Contest was pretty fricken lame but its one year.  Even two or three years like this does not mean the contest is dead.  The Super bowl is the biggest football or even sporting event in America every year.  And you know what, that has been full of laughers.  A ton of Super bowls have been really bad games and yet we still love it and sooner or later there is an amazing one.  The first and biggest problem I believe that exists in the Dunk Contest, even when it is a really good one, is there is only 4 dunkers and two rounds.  So if the NBA screws up and picks 50% contestants as not too impressive, good for about one pretty good dunk and 25% contestants as average but not amazing, and 25% contestants as really good and Dunk Contest worthy (50% of this one would be Gerald Wallace and Shannon Brown, first 25% is DeRozan, and final 25% is Nate Robinson).  That is why there should be 8 contestants every year.  Even if you don’t get huge names 8 guys will make it so much more exciting.  So even if the ratios are the same as they were this year (that whole percentage thing I just did up there) we would have an exciting contest.  50% not too impressive good for one pretty good dunk would be 4 guys, 25% being average but not amazing (2 more guys) and 25% as really good and  Dunk Contest worthy (2 more guys).  So we would have a 4 dunker final with 2 pretty good guys that have some good dunks and 2 great dunkers.  Expanding the contest to 8 contestants allows for mistaken selections and will give us four dunkers in the finals that  will more than likely put on a good show.  Later in the week I will suggest another way the Dunk Contest could get a shot of excitement.  So stay tuned.
  27. The shooting stars is a quick but fun to watch event.  A terrible run on the actual game shots can be saved by a quick make from half and a perfect first portion of the shots can be ruined with an inability to make the half court heave.  This was the one event that I was completely right in predicting.  I went with the Texas team and Dirk hitting the half court shot to win.  How does Dirk not hit the half court shot, hes Dirkus Circus!
  28. If anyone did not catch it on youtube, Stephen Curry hit back to back 3 quarter court shots during some type of warm up ( I believe rookie sophomore game warm up ).  I don’t have the clip but youtube Steph Curry long shot or something like that and you can probably find it.
  29. LA hosting the All Star game and weekend next season will be amazing if they dim the lights in the crowd like they do for Laker games.  Watching the game yesterday I was imagining the spotlight on the court and the rest of the stadium a couple shades darker.  How cool would that look?!?
  30. Those Nike Highlighter looking shoes were nasty.  Not in a good way.  I am all for the whole gaudy looking is cool thing with shoes but those were just wrong.
  31. I am finally giving up hope that I will ever take part in a Slam Dunk Contest so I am giving away the one dunk that I know I would do if I was in one (Doing it on an 8 foot or 7 foot hoop probably will not get me to the All Star Game weekend).  Feel free future NBA Dunk Contest contestants, this is a gift to you from me.  Use it correctly and you may win the whole thing and “save” the dunk contest in a city near you.  This is not super complicated but looks really cool and challenging.  Shoot a free throw, or if you are really daring a three, and bank it in from straight on.  As you shoot it, approach for your dunk and grab the ball with two hands under handed after it goes through the net and wind mill it back in for the dunk. So basically you are alley-ooping yourself as you make the shot.
  32. Some woman apparently got kicked out of the stadium and her 8,000 dollar seats for talking to Kobe during the game.  If this story is true, I feel it was a little more than just talking to him that got her kicked out.
  33. I really wish the weekend/game was on ABC, NBC, or FOX only for the fact that my TV picks those channels up in HD.
  34. Using Twitter really added to the All Star weekend and was a really cool and a new experience.
  35. Steve Nash ( I know this guy again ) had a athletes dream weekend.  Friday night his home country, Canada, was hosting the opening ceremonies and Nash was being seen by millions upon millions across the world holding one of the four torches to light the Olympic flame with the likes of The Great One, Wayne Gretzky.  The next night Nash was goofing around on the hardwood winning the skills challenge, and then less than 24 hours after that he was being raised on a platform as an All Star Starter and soon was playing with the greatest players in the world.  Not a bad weekend.
  36. The Eastern Conference starters is the team I would want to party with, the Western Conference starters is the team I would want to have a nice calm conversation with.  The Eastern Starters rose from the underground (pretty cool way to do introductions) and showed off their dance moves while the West starters came up calm cool and collected.
  37. Ranking the performances at the All Star game from 3 down to 1… Usher, Alicia Keys, Shakira Shakira Shakira.
  38. Mark Cuban looked extremely creepy and awkward as they panned to him real quickly after Jerry Jones mentioned him in his sideline interview.
  39. Did anyone else pray before the game that the gigantic HD screen did not fall and crush the best basketball players in the league, Patrick Ewing, Stan Van Gundy, George Karl, Gabriel Union, Shaq, and a host full of celebrities and NBA legends?
  40. OK Shaq, if we HAVE to choose who Superman is…  Well one was starting for the East and running up and down the floor making plays and entertaining many, the other was sitting in the stands watching.  You tell me who Superman is right now.
  41. The Dunk Contest was pretty much an in game dunk contest.  Almost all of those dunks we see in games every week.  The scary thing is, is those dunks were not that far off from what was wowing people twenty five years ago.  We have pretty much seen every type of dunk there is thanks to amazing athletes, world wide sports coverage, and youtube.  Yes they were not that impressive or creative but I can see the pressure these guys have on them to try and come up with something that will impress us.
  42. The West starters were tall.  Whenever you have a 7 footer as your starting SG you know you have the height advantage.
  43. I should have put money on Tim Duncan winning the opening tip.  Has he ever lost one?
  44. Derron Williams can rise up.  For a short two minute span Derron Williams was amazing.  Assisting teammates, mostly Durant, with pinpoint passes and even getting up near the rim himself for some tomahawks, Derron really impressed in his first ever All Star Game.
  45. Zach Randolph is very very very quick moving from back to the basket to facing the basket and swinging to his left.  He also goes to work on the boards even in an All Star game.
  46. Pau ran the floor for three straight possessions at his full speed non stop.  The West had a three on one break and Pau sprinted down court as the trailer and got rewarded with the pass and he finished with the flush.  Then he sprinted back on defense, while some teammates slowly jogged, and re routed his sprint to get a hand in the face, of Pierce I think, on a three pointer that was missed and then began sprinting down court again for the potential fast break before a foul was called.  Much respect Pau, much respect.
  47. LeBron is a good power dunker  but is an over rated overall dunker.
  48. If Doug Collins was in fact LeBron for the day I would like to see this only if he kept his body but had all the physical and basketball skills of LeBron.
  49. I really hope Derrick Rose gave Wade some pamphlets and brochures of Chicago and the Bulls.
  50. The quickness of the Eastern All Stars won them this game.
  51. The 2003 draft class is really really good.  On the floor Sunday night representing the 2003 class was LeBron (1 overall), Carmelo (3 overall), Bosh (4 overall), Wade (5 overall), and the often 2003 forgotten player drafted Kaman (6 overall).  Amazing talent in those top 6 picks and a lot of All Star games in the future for them.
  52. James Harden’s outfit and beard win him best All Star look.  Baron Davis and Andre 3000 would be proud.
  53. Dwyane Wade really needs to get on a team or add some more play makers besides Beasley.  He looked so much more at ease on the court Sunday night.
  54. Chris Kaman and David Lee’s All Star debuts were nothing spectacular but they held their own.
  55. It is always fun seeing Nash and Dirk playing together.  How did Mark Cuban let Nash get away (aka force him out)?  How cool of a duo is Nash and Dirk.  Could have gone down as one of the best pairs of teammates of all time.
  56. I was kind of rooting for the West, and I have no clue why
  57. Kevin Durant knocking down that off balance deep three at the buzzer was one of the top moments of the All Star Game.  Durant didn’t force anything through out the game and just played his style ball.  The first time he got the rock he did three or four shot fakes and ended up passing the ball to Dirk.  Durant is not there to try and grab the spotlight.  Soon enough he will have no choice but to.
  58. The story gets sadder and sadder for Greg Oden.  Durant was on the floor at the All Star game, Oden was at home watching and or rehabbing.
  59. Flash is the perfect nickname for how Dwyane Wade plays basketball
  60. Everyone is hoping for a Kobe vs LeBron Finals, after watching the All Star game, besides seeing my favorite team go to the finals, I want to see LeBron vs Carmelo.
  61. Dwight Howard was killing the East with fouls late in the game.  Besides biting for Dirk’s head fake, he also fouled Pau twice on the offensive end of the floor and sent him to the line during crunch time.
  62. And finally, my final thought on the weekend that was NBA All Star Weekend…  Dirk should have taken the game winning shot, not Carmelo.

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All Star Weekend Facts (ok maybe just predictions)

Posted by mvetack on February 11, 2010

Predictions are not the most original topic but they are fun to do and a good way to see how bad my diagnostic skills are.  Here is my prediction for every event, game, and mvp for this weekend in Dallas. (minus the celebrity game)

Rookie Sophomore Game
This contest consists of next to no defense, think Golden State, and plenty of shooting, think… well I guess Golden State, and is usually won by the sophomores.  It is not the most thrilling version of basketball but it is a decent way to start the three days of All Star festivities.  The most intriguing aspect of this game is it gives us a chance to see what a game would look like if the Warriors were able to play themselves.

Winner – Sophomores – Stacked team and experience, even in this type of game, seems to matter.
MVP – Michael Beasley – Rack up a lot of easy boards, get a bunch of flashy dunks and put backs, and he will probably knock down a couple treys.

Halftime Dunk Off
Contestants – Eric Gordon and DeMar DeRozan
Everyone in the basketball world has DeMar already advancing to the main event.  I really want to go with the supposed upset in Eric Gordon.  The hype around DeMar can easily turn on him and lead to disappointment among voters thinking he is going to give us quite the show.  Remember when Josh Smith put down the tape on the court from about three feet beyond the free throw line? Everyone got ready for him to do something spectacular.  He ignored the line and the fans ignored his dunk.  But, with that said, Gordon is playing in the Rook Soph game and may not have as much in the tank for some sensational dunks.  DeMar also seems to want this more and winning is a little more important.  Is this accurate? Possibly not but its just the vibe I am getting.  DeMar has probably practiced for this more than his actual Raptors games.

Winner – DeMar DeRozan

H.O.R.S.E.
This is an event that has a lot of potential but, like last year, will disappoint many.  Just because these guys are NBA stars and you see youtube videos of them hitting crazy “horse” shots doesnt mean they can do them on demand.  Chances are they will try a couple trick shots and most if not all won’t fall.  After a couple tries one guy will start knocking down some long range shots and win the whole thing.  I’m hoping to see creativity throughout, even if it isn’t Jordan vs Bird McDonald’s style, to make it interesting.  Maybe some eyes closed, bounce shots, calling bank, half court heaves, pretty much I want to say wow at least two or three times.

Contestants – Kevin Durant (defending champ), Omar Casspi, Rajon Rondo
Winner – Kevin Durant – Rajon makes one or two trick shots but Durant’s range and length allows him to make shots that neither Rondo or Casspi can make.

Shooting Stars
No this is not the Three Point shoot out this is that one with the Ex NBA guy, current WNBA member, and Current NBA baller from the same city.  To me this contest comes down to making the half court shot.  Perfection through the normal shots means nothing if no one can knock down the half court heave.

Contestants
Texas (home team) – NBA – Dirk Nowitzki, WNBA – Becky Hammon – Old Timer – Kenny Smith
Atlanta – NBA – Joe Johnson, WNBA – Angel McCoughtry, Old Timer – Steve Smith
Los Angeles – NBA – Pau Gasol, WNBA – Marie Ferdinand-Harris, Old Timer – Brent Barry
Sacramento – NBA – Tyreke Evans, WNBA – Nicole Powell, Old Timer – Chris Webber

Winner – Texas – Dirkus Circus lives for the half court shot.

Skills Challenge
The skills challenge is the one challenge I would like to try the most.  No incredible height or jumping skills are needed for this one and when you see a guy actually going at full speed in this thing it can be a beautiful sight to see.  Three of the four guys have won it before and one guy is a rook.  A very competitive field makes this one very tough to pick.

Contestants – Brandon Jennings, Derrick Rose (defending champ), Derron Williams, Steve Nash
Winner – Brandon Jennings – This will be the last part of All Star weekend that Jennings will be involved in and will try to make it count by giving the old college try.

3 Point Contest
The always exciting three point contest is second fiddle to the Dunk Contest, but many times has a more exciting finish.  The money ball is key but so is feeding off the crown and getting on a hot streak.  Pierce and Chauncey are clutch ( they will hit their money balls ) and Stephen Curry can certainly get on a hot streak and the crowd will probably get behind the rookie.  Curry’s young legs will go against one of the two grizzled vets in the finals.

Contestants – Chauncey Billups, Paul Pierce, Channing Frye, Stephen Curry, Danillo Galinari, Daquan Cook (defending champ)
Winner – Stephen Curry – Young legs prove victorious in this contest.

Dunk Contest
The true highlight of All Star weekend is the dunk contest.  The Dunk Contest has the ability to make bench warmers super stars for at least one night ( see 2007’s Gerald Green ).  With adjusted rules over the past couple years they seem to have it at a point where we wont get let down anymore.  Birdman’s 3,456,201 attempts was just stupid early on in the decade and so was Nate Robinson’s alley-oop madness a couple years later.  And I think the NBA destroyed all footage of the Dunk Wheel back when Stevie Francis was still relevant.

Contestants – Nate Robinson (Defending Champ), Gerald Wallace, Shannon Brown, DeRozan/Gordon winner
Winner – Shannon Brown – He can jump through the roof and is a smaller guy which always makes dunks look better in the open court.  Foot note – JE Skeets predicts Nate Robinson dropping out due to his nagging injury and LeBron stepping in.  If this happens there will be so much hype in the building that the roof may come down.  The hype will make any average dunk get near 10’s for LeBron and he will win.  Otherwise it is Shannon.

All Star Game
The last four games have swapped winners each year with the West winning last years game with Kobe and Shaq sharing MVP honors.  This year the West’s lineup looks better overall even though the East can put LeBron, Wade, Dwight, and Joe Johnson on the court at once.  The guard play of the West (Derron, Nash, and Chauncey) will have plenty of minutes and get in the flow of the game more than the young Rondo and Rose ( Unless one of the two is having an MVP like game, Rondo probably over Rose, don’t be surprised if LeBron runs the point in crunch time).

Winner – Western Conference – Limited Guards due to injury will help get guys big minutes (Derron Williams) and get into the flow of the game.  Duncan plays well down the stretch when some defense is played and Melo hits some big shots.
MVP – Derron Williams – Big minutes, knocking down threes, and tons of easy early assists give Derron MVP numbers.  LeBron could have biggest night but a losing effort will take his name out of the hat.

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Top 5 Ballers in the NBA right NOW – round 2

Posted by mvetack on February 1, 2010

Earlier in the season (Nov 16th to be exact) I took a look at the five best players in the NBA at that time in the season.  They were…  Steve Nash, Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, and Kevin Durant.
– heres the link to the original article –
Now for February  2nd edition

Kevin Durant aka Stretch

Kevin Durant right now is the best player in the NBA.  His scoring efficiency has been straight up ridiculous and his team is winning games.  Durant has his ppg up to just a hair under 30 a game and for the month of January shot nearly 60 percent from the field including 58 percent from beyond the arc.  Durant is making the best out of everyone of his shots and has his Thunder in the thick of the playoff race.  Stretch can not be stopped at this point in the season and is making a run at an MVP if he can keep it up.

Lebron James aka Prince James

Lebron has been putting up such insane stats at such a consistent level that people are beginning to expect it and not be as amazed anymore.  Over his last five games James has put up 12, 4, 11, 13, and 11 assists to go with 37, 32, 12, 22, and 32 points.  Last game against the Clippers he exploded for 24 in the first quarter and breezed the rest of the way to an easy victory.   The Cavs are first in the East by 5.5 games and own the best record in the NBA.  Lebron is playing at the top of his game and it is resulting in a lot of Ws.

Gerald Wallace

This guy is one of the most underated guys in the NBA and is finally starting to get some cred.  He was chosen to compete in the Dunk contest and soon after was selected to his first All-Star Game.  Gerald is leading the Bobcats to a surprisingly good season.  As it sits right now, the Bobcats are the 6th seed in the East and would give anyone a run for their money in the first round.  Wallace is a huge reason why.  The guy is averaging nearly 20 points and 11 boards on the year and is only getting better.  Wallace has recorded 3 straight double doubles including a 30 and a 38 point game.  Crashing the boards and great defense from Wallace has been the key to the turn around in Charlotte this season. ( Larry Brown doesn’t hurt either).

Dwight Howard aka Superman

Dwight Howard’s Magic have not been the dominate team we all expected to see at the onset of the season.  Health issues and a lack of chemistry seem to be the main problems for most of the season.  Dwight is making sure that any loss Orlando suffers does not fall on his shoulders.  He is playing above his averages and doing it night in and night out as of late.  Over his last 8 games Dwight is averaging 22.3 points ( 5 over his avg ), 14.6 rebounds ( just over 1 more than his average ) and 3.8 blocks per game ( 1.2 more than his average ).  Over this 8 game stretch the Magic have gone 6-2 including wins over the Celtics, Hawks, and Bobcats and their two losses were in LA ( Lakers ) and in Memphis.  The Magic are getting in a groove and so is Superman.

Kobe Bryant aka the Black Mamba

Kobe Bryant is playing great basketball this season and especially right now.  Two nights ago in Boston Kobe hit a game winner with Ray Allen in his eye, grill, salad, sauce,  ( basically what I’m saying is he was covered ) after struggling to find his shot for most of the game.  Then the next night he goes out and drops 44 on the the Grizz to knock off the Logo ( Jerry West ) as the all time Lakers scorer.  If thats not enough proof that Kobe is a top 5 guy in the league right now Kobe is upping his all around game with over 5 assists in 6 of his last 9 games and a dominate game against the Raptors where he dropped 27 points, pulled in 16 boards, and dished 9 dimes.  Kobe’s game is somehow still evolving right before the worlds eyes.

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