NBA Star/Goat of the Week – Week 9

NBA Star of the Week

Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics

Pierce led the Celtics in scoring in 3 of 4 games this week

Paul Pierce – Led by Pierce, the Celtics won 4 games in 5 nights on their first West coast trip of the season. In the four wins, the Truth averaged 27.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists. He also helped hold Kobe Bryant to 6-25 shooting as the Celts hammered the Lakers on Sunday night.

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NBA Goat of the Week

Isiah Thomas is not a good coach.

What does a guy have to do to get fired?

The New York Knicks – I predicted disaster this season for the Knicks (who didn’t?), but how could anyone have imagined that it would be this bad? How does Isiah still have a job? What is Dolan thinking? Here’s the latest rundown for the Knicks this week: 0 wins, 3 more losses, Eddy Curry benched and unhappy, Jamal Crawford inactive and unhappy, Marbury doing Marbury-type things, Roy Jones working out with the team… oh, and this.

NBA Power Rankings – Week 9

NBA Power Rankings – Week 9

celtics-logo.jpg

RankTeam(Record)+/- Pt DifferentialPrevious Ranking

1 – Boston Celtics (26-3) +13.8 last week rank: 1
Week results: 4-0

2 – Detroit Pistons (23-7) +9.4 last week rank: 2
Week results: 3-0

3 – Phoenix Suns (22-9) +5.6 last week rank: 3
Week results: 3-1

4 – San Antonio Spurs (21-8) +7.0 last week rank: 5
Week results: 2-1

5 – Portland Trailblazers (18-12) +0.3 last week rank: 7
Week results: 3-0

6 – New Orleans Hornets (20-10) +4.0 last week rank: 8
Week results: 3-0

7 – LA Lakers (19-11) +4.6 last week rank: 6
Week results: 2-1

8 – Dallas Mavericks (20-11) +3.4 last week rank: 4
Week results: 1-2

9 – Golden State Warriors (18-13) +2.0 last week rank: 9
Week results: 2-1

10 – Orlando Magic (21-11) +3.8 last week rank: 12
Week results: 3-0

11 – Denver Nuggets (18-12) +3.4 last week rank: 10
Week results: 2-1

12 – Atlanta Hawks (15-13) –0.4 last week rank: 13
Week results: 1-1

13 – Toronto Raptors (16-15) +1.7 last week rank: 14
Week results: 1-1

14 – Washington Wizards (15-14) +1.8 last week rank: 16
Week results: 2-1

15 – Houston Rockets (15-15) +1.4 last week rank: 19
Week results: 2-0

16 – New Jersey Nets (14-16) –5.0 last week rank: 28
Week results: 2-1

17 – Cleveland Cavaliers (14-17) –3.7 last week rank: 20
Week results: 2-1

18 – Utah Jazz (16-16) +4.1 last week rank: 15
Week results: 1-2

19 – Indiana Pacers (15-16) –0.6 last week rank: 11
Week results: 0-3

20 – Philadelphia 76ers (13-17) –1.1 last week rank: 23
Week results: 2-1

21– Chicago Bulls (11-17) –4.0 last week rank: 25
Week results: 2-1

22 – Sacramento Kings (11-18) –3.7 last week rank: 17
Week results: 0-3

23 – Milwaukee Bucks (11-18) –5.0 last week rank: 21
Week results: 0-3

24 – Charlotte Bobcats (10-18) –5.4 last week rank: 22
Week results: 0-3

25 – Seattle Supersonics (9-21) –6.1 last week rank: 26
Week results: 1-2

26 – Miami Heat (8-23) –5.4 last week rank: 24
Week results: 0-4

27 – LA Clippers (9-19) –5.5 last week rank: 27
Week results: 0-2

28 – Memphis Grizzlies (8-22) –5.0 last week rank: 28
Week results: 0-3

29 – New York Knicks (8-21) –8.2 last week rank: 29
Week results: 0-2

30 – Minnesota Timberwolves (4-25) –8.8 last week rank: 30
Week Results: 0-3

Sports Illustrated: The Basketball Book

So my girlfriend gave me this book for Christmas:

The Basketball Book

The first thing I noticed about The Basketball Book is how big it is. It is huge and heavy. The next thing that stands out is the quality of the photographs in the book. This has to be the best collection of basketball pictures ever assembled. Sports Illustrated covers everything from James Naismith through to the 2006-2007 NBA and NCAA seasons. I love Sports Illustrated because of both the photos and the excellent writers. This book is a compilation of their best basketball photos and writing over the years plus lots of seemingly new content, including a great forward by Alexander Wolff.

I guess what will be most interesting to me is to read about the older players, who I have only seen here and there on NBATV and ESPN Classic. While there is information on women, high schoolers, and college players; the bulk of the content seems to be on the NBA. This is obviously fine by me!

Right now, The Basketball Book only $19.77 at Amazon! They also have SI’s The Football Book and SI’s The Baseball Book too. I also got The Football Book for Christmas, but haven’t had a chance to look at that as much yet. It seems to be similar and definitely has some great photographs, too.

Sports Illustrated: The Basketball Book

NBA Player Nicknames – Part II (Central Division)

Here is part 2 of the 6-post series of NBA player nicknames. If you missed Part I, (Atlantic Division), click here. I will compile all nicknames and give my thoughts once all 6 posts are complete.

Click here for an updated list of all NBA Nicknames.

Tyrus Thomas
Free Money aka TNT aka T-Time

Chicago Bulls

Luol Deng – the Man from Sudan
Chris Duhon – Du
Ben Gordon – Gentle Ben, Madison Square Gordon, Air Gordon
Adrian Griffin – the Hawk
Kirk Hinrich – Captain Kirk
Joakim Noah – Dr. No, the Noble One
Andres Nocioni – Chapu, Noch
Tyrus Thomas – Free Money, TNT, T-Time
Ben Wallace – Big Ben, Beast from the East

Cleveland Cavs

Daniel Gibson – Boobie
Drew Gooden – the Truth (he claims this was his before Pierce!), the Big Drizzle
Larry Hughes – Smooth
Zydrunas Ilgauskus – Big Z, the Riddler, the Wall
Lebron James – King James, Bron Bron, LBJ, the Chosen One
Damon Jones – the Specialist, DJ
Donyell Marshall – D-Marsh, Yell
Eric Snow – E-Snow, the Snowman
Anderson Varejao – Wild Thing

Detroit Pistons

Aaron Afflalo – Afflalo Creed
Chauncey Billups – Mr. Big Shot
Richard Hamilton – Rip
Walter Herrmann – Fabio
Lindsey Hunter – the Hunter
Jason Maxiell – J-Max, Mad Max
Antonio McDyess – Dice
Ronald Murry – Flip
Tayshaun Prince – Prince of the Palace, Tay
Rodney Stuckey – RS3, Hot Rod
Rasheed Wallace – Sheed, Roscoe

Indiana Pacers

Marquis Daniels – Quis
Mike Dunleavy – the Natural
Danny Granger – Danny G
Jermaine O’Neal – JO
Kareem Rush – K-Rush
Jamaal Tinsley – Mel Mel the Abuser

Yi Jianlian aka the Chairman
The Chairman faces up against some tough defense… a chair.

Milwaukee Bucks

Andrew Bogut – Bogey, Bogues
Dan Gadzuric – the Flying Dutchman, Big Dan
Royal Ivey – Cheese
Yi Jianlian – the Chairman
Desmond Mason- the Cowboy, D-Mase
Michael Redd – Redd Hot, Silky
Bobby Simmons – Chinese Food
Charlie Villanueva – Skillanueva, CV, CV3, C-Elite, Big Smooth

**Part III Coming Soon…

Part I (Atlantic Division)
Part II (Central Division)
Part III (Southeast Division)
Part IV (Pacific Division)
Part V (Southwest Division)
Part VI (Northwest Division)

NBA: High Schoolers vs International Players

In a follow up to “Which College Basketball Conference has the Best Players?“, I figure I’d take a look at NBA players who bypassed college and went straight to the NBA as well as International players.  With the new NBA rules in place, these will be the last High School players to jump straight to the NBA.

What no one remembers about the mass exodus of HS players to the NBA is that it was all started by the fact that Kevin Garnett could not pass his boards and would have to sit out a year before he was eligible to play in college ball.  He was all set to go to Michigan, didn’t pass his ACT or SAT, entered the NBA draft and got picked 4th overall.  This opened the floodgates for everyone from stars like Kobe Bryant to busts like Korleone Young to guys who never even sniffed an NBA team.

Anyway, lets take a look at the lineups.  As good as the ACC team would be, either of these teams should be able to handle them.

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Lebron James in High SchoolHigh School – This team is loaded and pretty much unbeatable – well, at least an unbeatable on paper as a USA team.  How good defensively would a lineup of Howard, Garnett, Josh Smith, Kobe and McGrady be?!

C – Dwight Howard (Amare Stoudamire)
F – Kevin Garnett (Al Jefferson)
F – Tracy McGrady (Josh Smith)
G – Kobe Bryant (Rashard Lewis)
G – Lebron James (Stephen Jackson)

Other notable players – Jermaine O’Neal, Andrew Bynum, Tyson Chandler, Eddy Curry, Monta Ellis, Kendrick Perkins, Andray Blatche, Al Harrington, JR Smith, Travis Outlaw

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International Players – Definitely the deepest of all the teams we’ve looked at as you could literally make up 7-8 rosters of quality NBA players.  Note that I disqualified players who went to college in the US from this team because they already would have been eligible for the conference teams.  So there’s no Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, Luol Deng, Samuel Dalembert, etc.

Dirk Nowitzki playing for the German national teamC – Yao Ming (Mehmet Okur)
F – Dirk Nowitzki (Andrei Kirilenko)
F – Pau Gasol (Hedo Turkoglu)
G – Manu Ginobili (Peja Stojakovic)
G – Tony Parker (Leandro Barbosa)

Other notable players – Andres Nocioni, Anderson Varejao Nene, Boris Diaw, Juan Carlos Navarro, Luis Scola, Mickael Pietrus, Andrea Bargnani, Andris Biendrins, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Sarunas Jasikevicius, Carlos Arroyo, DeSagana Diop, Marko Jaric, Nenad Krstic, Darko Milicic, Vladimir Radmanovic, Bostjan Nachbar, Beno Udrih, Jorge Garbajosa, Jose Calderon

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While we’re on the topic of High School players, take a look at some of the players in the 1995 McDonald’s HS All-American game.  If there ever been a more talented group of HS basketball players together in one place, I would love to hear about it.

Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Vince Carter, Antawn Jamison, Chauncy Billups, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Stephon Marbury, Ron Mercer, Robert Traylor, Wayne Turner, Shammgod Wells and more!

NBA Player Nicknames – Part I (Atlantic Division)

This will be the first in a 6-post series on NBA player nicknames. Up today… the Atlantic Division.

Click here for an updated list of all NBA Nicknames.

Jason Kidd aka J-Kidd.jpgJerome James aka Big Snacks
“JKidd” may be a future Hall of Famer, but his nickname is no match for “Big Snacks”

Boston Celtics

Ray Allen – Jesus, RayRay, Sugar
Glen Davis – Big Baby
Kevin Garnett – the Big Ticket, the Kid, KG
Eddie House – E-House, E-Money
Kendrick Perkins – Perk, Swamp Thang
Paul Pierce – the Truth
James Posey – the X-Factor
Brian Scalabrine – Veal, Scal

New Jersey Nets

Vince Carter – Vinsanity, Half-man Half-amazing, VC, Air Canada
Richard Jefferson – RJ
Jason Kidd – J-Kidd, Mr. Triple Double
Nenad Krstic – Curly, Ballistic Krstic
Jamal Magloire – the Big Cat
Bostjan Nachbar – Boki

New York Knicks

Eddy Curry – E-City
Jerome James – Big Snacks
Fred Jones – Indiana Jones
David Lee – Da White Howard
Stephon Marbury – Starbury
Zach Randolph – Z-Bo
Quentin Richardson – Q-Rich
Malik Rose – Shaq of the NAC
Nate Robinson – Nate the Great

Philadelphia 76ers

Samuel Dalembert – the Haitian Sensation
Reggie Evans – the Collector
Andre Iguodala – AI 2.0, Iggy
Kyle Korver – K2, K-Squared
Andre Miller – the Penguin

Garbajosa and Calderon

Ocho Special y Garbo

Toronto Raptors

Andrea Bargnani – Il Mago
Maceo Baston – Wide Mouth
Chris Bosh – CB4
Jose Calderon – the Ocho, Ocho Special
Juan Dixon – Da Juan
TJ Ford – the Little Engine, Texas Tornado
Jorge Garbajosa – Garbo
Kris Humpries – K-Hump, Humpty-Hump, Hump
Jamario Moon – the Screwdriver, Super Jamario
Rasho Nesterovic – ShoSho
Anthony Parker – AP

**Part II Coming Soon…

Part I (Atlantic Division)
Part II (Central Division)
Part III (Southeast Division)
Part IV (Pacific Division)
Part V (Southwest Division)
Part VI (Northwest Division)

Merry Christmas… NBA Style!

Merry Christmas... NBA Style!

Its Christmas and that means the first big national TV games for the NBA this season. This year… its Heat vs Cavs followed by Lakers vs Suns. The Heat-Cavs matchup features two of the NBA’s best and most marketable players with D-Wade facing off against Lebron. Yet, that game must have looked a lot better on paper a few months ago than it does now with these two teams combining for 20 wins and 35 losses so far this season. If the playoffs started today, neither team would be in. The Cavs probably will be when its all said and done… but the Heat, probably not. Knowing what we know now, Celtics vs Pistons should have been the Eastern Conference showcase game for Xmas.

Lakers-Suns, on the other hand, should be excellent. Any game involving the Suns is potentially entertaining and the fact that the Lakers have been playing great recently sets this up as “must-see TV” for NBA fans. Also, you can’t forget about the fact that these teams have quite a history, which includes first round playoff series wins for the Suns each of the past two years. The amazing seven game series from 2006 was probably the most entertaining and competitive first round playoff series I have ever seen.

NBA ECards for Christmas

With the Portland Trailblazers absolutely on fire right now (10 wins in a row and counting), give that Blazers fan in your life the gift that keeps on giving… a Blazers e-Greeting Card. What embodies the Christmas spirit more than sending your loved ones a picture of everyone’s favorite wife-beating, nanny-raping registered sex offender Ruben Patterson in a Santa hat?!

Ruben Patterson Says Merry XMasSebastain Telfair Blazers ecard

Do I send out Patterson or Telfair? Thats a win-win situation!

If for some reason you are not a fan of the 2004-2005 Portland Jail-Gangstas, you could always send a Suns e-card. They offer coach Mike D’Antoni and a giddy Shawn Marion in addition to the two exceptional cards displayed below.

Suns Gorilla e-greeting Amare Stoudamire Chistmas Card

The Suns Gorilla has a cool signature, especially considering his hairy gorilla fingers.