Sunday, December 28, 2008

Unsung Hero

The rivalry between the Phoenix Suns and the San Antonio Spurs is undeniable. The neck-and-neck game between the two was proven too much for Roger Mason, who brought the Spurs victory against the Suns. Apart from the Suns, there's also the Memphis Grizzlies that the Spurs ought to worry about particularly the guy named Rudy Gay. So, what's the Gay-solution that Spurs' coach Gregg Popovich applied? Have Bruce Bowen tail Gay and it worked in the favor of the Spurs, beating off the Grizzlies, 106-103, in a double-overtime game.

Tony Parker led the Spurs with 32 pts, five assists. And despite missing the remaining 1:13 minutes of the game with 6 fouls, Tim Duncan dished out 29 pts and five rebounds. Manu Ginobili meanwhile had his low profile night with 20 pts. The Spurs' BIG 3 is pulling off games the way they should. But there's another player wearing grey and white jersey that deserves almost the same credit as the Spurs' BIG 3 gets and that's Bowen.

The perimeter defender of the Spurs took charge of Gay and limited him with 5-to-18 shooting. “A lot of times, I start out off them, then I end up on them, and they don't know what's going on. I more or less give them a different diet of things and slide my feet. They try to feel my body, and I'm nowhere to be felt,” said Bowen. Knowing the damage that the Grizzlies' ace player can do, Pop knows that Bowen can do the lock-down defense he's good at while the rest finish the game off. Gay finished with 13 pts and 11 boards. O.J. Mayo, the Grizzly rookie, took 29 pts along with Marc Gasol's 15 pts, 10 rebounds, and four blocks.

With Parker and Bowen providing more pressure on the ball, the Spurs forced several missed shots and turnovers and start chipping away at the Memphis lead.

Missing A Lot

Whoa, it's been what? A month since I posted my last blog post. Can't believe I've been missing a lot of games lately. And that's mostly because I've been sleeping a lot due to my work. [sigh] Oh well, I'm literally back that's what's most important.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Why Not Get Rid of Him?

I'm actually planning on writing a new post here in my blog, this coming December 1st. But when this news caught my attention, I was itching to write about it. Here it is: Marbury Suspended.

Honestly, Marbury should've been suspended ages ago. Why? Because he's got this H-U-G-E attitude problem and I can't stand the fact that the New York Knicks is still sticking with him. Argh! Not that the Knicks are in my list of favorite NBA teams, but I just wanted him out of the NBA [period!]. He's really not a big loss to the team.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

What's Wrong?

The San Antonio Spurs have now lost three games in a row. The freshest loss came against their Texas rival, Dallas Mavericks. The Spurs were definitely not playing the way they should be as the Mavs won 98-81.

The first half of the game was plainly dreadful. The Spurs just couldn't find their rhythm on the offense while the Mavs kept on hitting the right shots. Jason Terry, who's had his first game of the season, totted up with 29 points and six assists. Dirk Nowitzki played his best too, I think, with 30 points and seven rebounds. On the gray and silver jerseys, it was Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Roger Mason, who finished with double-digits 22, 19, 11, respectively.

So, what went wrong with the Spurs? Why 0-3? Missing Manu Ginobili's spunk? Or getting younger isn't really the best solution?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Can They Stick With It?

Too bad the Author missed the first set of season opener games. Anyways, back to back to business. The NBA season was officially opened at the Rose Garden with Boston Celtics winning 90-85 against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The highlight of the game was Banner #17, which marked the 17th championship of the Celts. Apart from the Celts-Cavs game, the season openers also included a tough battle in the West between Greg Oden's Portland Trailblazers and Kobe Bryant's LA Lakers. The Lakers routed Blazers 96-76 with Bryant leading the scoreboards with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Back to East, the games continued between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls won 108-95 over the Bucks. Luol Deng had 21 points. The excitement continues from there on.

The following day set a more exciting feeling in the air with the Phoenix Suns facing the San Antonio Spurs at the Alamo City. The Suns was offense-driven last season under Mike D'Antoni's mustache. But with defense-oriented, Terry Porter, coaching Steve Nash & Co., the Suns are in good shape right on the defensive end. And the first time they're going to display their new-found strategy is at the Alamo City, home of the Spurs. The Suns succeeded though in outplaying the Spurs and winning, 103-98.

The question is... Will the Suns outlast the best teams in the West? There are considerations to make. First, it's too early to think that the Suns will be as competitive as they are during the past seasons. A lot of things can happen as the season goes. Second is that they are very new to this playing style. Can they handle the sudden change? And lastly, the West is as crowded as ever with teams that play good defense. So, can they stick to their style up to the very end?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Biggie Just Won't Shut

The Author's hands been itching to write after reading this Ball Don't Lie article about Shaquille O'Neal calling the San Antonio Spurs cowards.
"When you're down, I can see using that as a strategy. But when you're up 10, 15 points, there's really no need for that. That's a coward move. And he knows that. I'll make 'em pay for that."

As you know, my dearest reader, Shaquille O'Neal's ranting about the first round loss of the Phoenix Suns to the Spurs on last season's playoffs. No one can really blame him for being bitter, right? But calling another team's strategy cowardly is lame, just very lame. Hack-a-Shaq, the Spurs' strategy courtesy of Gregg Popovich, is like a slap on Shaq's face that his free throw shooting stinks. Yea, Shaq stinks on the free throw line and he's still having a hard time accepting that valuable fact.

So, instead of training himself to shoot free throws better this season, he just won't shut about the blunder his actually made during the Suns' last moments in the playoffs. He's simply having cold feet in admitting that he's slowly and surely losing his touch.

Peace out.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

NBA Outdoors! Oh yeah?

The basketball season has begun and new things have happened in the NBA. Apart from the trades, which are normal, there's this outdoor games. Okay, James Naismith created the game basketball as an indoor game for his students, right? So, the idea was really quite out-of-the-ordinary.

But David Stern surely has his ways. And unbelievably, he had the preseason tickets between the Phoenix Suns and the Denver Nuggets sold out. The Suns and the Nuggets definitely had a wonderful view of the night sky in the Indian Wells Tennis Center. The game went well but it was pretty chilly that the players had to put their towels over their heads for some warmth. Allen Iverson, who's missed the game because of a sore knee, didn't have to endure the cold while watching his teammates win 77-72 against the now-defense-oriented Suns. Carmelo Anthony sat out for the second time with a sore finger while JR Smith did his own thing despite the icy-cold weather and finished with 12 points. Nene also had his share of the Nuggets' victory with 10 points.

The Suns played differently, giving more emphasis on their defense which is expected to improve. Among the problems of the cold Suns during the game was their turnovers and their poor 3-pt shooting. It was probably one of their lowest ever. Even so, Steve Nash played pretty well with 16 points while Boris Diaw took care of the ball with 10 rebounds. There's no one to blamed for the poor shooting of the Suns and Nuggets, who have showed offensive power during the past seasons, it's probably because of the wind slicing every now and then through the Indian Wells.

P.S. The new look of is great!! Luv it!

Friday, October 10, 2008

PreSeason Opener Loss

Tim Duncan, Bruce Bowen, and Michael Finley were there for the San Antonio Spurs but just as audiences. The three Spurs stars sat on the sideline to watch the game against fellow-Texan team, Houston Rockets, but wearing street clothes. Maybe Gregg Popovich, Spurs head coach, just didn't want to his three stars to get too tired before the regular season. But apart from keeping his stars healthy, Pop also wanted to watch how his young guns would execute their play, win or lose. "If we win, nobody cares, and if we lose nobody cares," said Spurs head coach.

The Rockets blasted the Spurs out of their way by winning 85-78. Ron Artest gave the boost for his team with 18 points and three blocks. Ex-Blazers, Von Wafer, added 14 pts while Luis Scola continued to do his thang! and finishing with 13 pts. Tracy McGrady was out with an injury. But he's really not what made the Rockets more special this season, it's the ex-Spurs, Brent Barry, who hasn't stretched out his muscles yet with three pts and eight assists.

On the Spurs' side, t'was Malik Hairston who's showed flair on the offensive end with 10 points and followed by Tony Parker adding eight pts with only 13 mins playing time. Ime Udoka also had his share of seven rebounds and Fabricio Oberto with seven pts. Kurt Thomas, Ian Mahinmi, and Salim Stoudamire, were out because of injuries.

The Spurs' preseason opener proves that there still a lot to improve, particularly on the defensive end. The Rockets, with a huge number of turnovers, has outrebounded the Spurs. Apart from that, the Brent-less Spurs were outscored beyond the arc by their rival. But Pop appears to be relax and confident with his team and I think that should be enough to keep the Spurs fan happy even with Manu Ginobili out.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Great Oden?

The NBA season has begun with 10 teams playing against each other. The games included the Portland Trailblazers against the Sacramento Kings. Trailblazers' Greg Oden, who was missing in action last season, is back with something to prove. Oden and the rest of the Trailblazers displayed an offensive edge during the preseason opener, with 50.6 field goal percentage, and winning 110-81 against the Kings. Martell Webster got 15 points and six rebounds, while Joel Pryzbilla ruled the boards with 12 rebounds. Oden and Lamarcus Aldridge had 13 points apiece. The drive that Oden displayed could give the Blazers the ticket to the road where the New Orleans Hornets used to be. The newbie, Donte Greene, tried to pull off a great show for the Kings at the Rose Garden, with 18 points. But the effort wasn't enough to lessen the Kings' terrible offense.

It's probably just the start of the season and some teams are probably not putting all efforts on winning preseason games. But it's definitely the perfect time to stretch out and apply the new strategies and see what happens. For the Kings, it's definitely not a good start, specially pulling off a 28.9 fg%. Cheers to Oden, of course, he's definitely made a huge difference in the Blazers' rotation. And since he's never had the chance to show what he's made of last season, he's definitely going to make up for his team now and surely that's what the Kings and the other teams have to watch for. [anyways, there's something very classic about the name "Oden", don't you agree? or is it because Greg sounds a bit like great?]

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Hornets, Back Again

Of all the teams that, I think, is going to be play better this season is the New Orleans Hornets. You see, they're not the newbies anymore. They know what and how it feels like to play during the postseason. And Byron Scott, Hornets' head coach, have surely made some improvements on his team particularly on David West.

The road in the West for the Hornets, however, was blocked by the San Antonio Spurs. The series of the Hornets against the veteran Spurs were among the must-see games in the West. Chris Paul & Co. were in the lead during the first two rounds of the series and the 4-time champions almost on the verge of elimination. Then, the veterans showed the stingy Hornets who they were playing against and tied the series to 2-2. But the Hornets hopes were high because the tie would mean that they would go back to the Big Easy, which houses the most unified crowd. The result was a 3-2 lead of the bees and a game 4 at the Alamo City. The Spurs turned it over for the Hornets and tied the series again. And then it was the deciding game, Game 7, the Spurs outplayed the Hornets and left the newbies in awe for what could have been a great season against the LA Lakers. It was the Lakers, though, who got rid of the Spurs during the Western Conference finals.

The Hornets team that has surprised everyone last season is all set for this season, bringing all the lessons [even memories] of the last season. Paul, West, & the rest of the Hornets' weapon? Well, it would definitely be their 3-pt efficiency and there's no doubt that their defense is pretty [I think, even better than the Lakers]. But there's still definitely more room for improvement specially in the West side of America.

It's going to be hard to thwart these bees from advancing to the top of the ever-thrilling Western Conference. It's going to be a blast in the West, I'm sure!..

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Up and Coming Season

Can you smell it? [inhale] Christmas is in the air but I'm not talking about it! I'm talking about the approaching NBA season. Can't wait to see the changes in the lineup of the San Antonio Spurs and the other teams. Actually, I'm looking forward to the Phoenix Suns without their former coach Mike D'Antoni, who's now the Knicks head coach. What's clearly new this season is the Oklahoma City Thunder that's wearing few new faces since it almost consist of the previous lineup of the outmoded Seattle SuperSonics. But before I go any further, here are some of the previews I got from the NBA. Starting from the defending NBA champions, Boston Celtics and the Western Conference champions, LA Lakers.

Boston Celtics: When you win 66 games and an NBA title, there's not much room for improvement. You might say that the only direction to go is down. And in the NBA, no team has repeated as champions since the 2002 Lakers. It's undeniable, the Celtics' defense was the best last season. The 66 games they've won meant the team was serious about getting to the top. But there's something a bit wrong with the Celts threesome and that could prevent them from defending their title this season. I still can't figure out what that wrong is, though.

LA Lakers: One thing is for sure, if the Lakers are going to defend their place as the Western Conference representative in The Finals, it’s going to come down to defense. Yeah, it's probably time to tweak a bit of the Lakers' ball game particularly on the defensive end. No problem with the offense because they still have Kobe Bryant, the nonstop shooting machine. There's Pau Gasol ready for the rebounds and Lamar Odom, who I expect to play better.

..It's going to be a lot different season. The Celtics are in good shape and the Lakers, I mean KB24, is determined to stay on top of the Western conference. The San Antonio Spurs, on the other hand, will have to play Manu-less until mid-December and Gregg Popovich made some huge changes in the lineup. But will it help the Spurs? Let's see.

Everyone's been talking about the Celts and the Lakers and how good they were during the regular season. And it seems like everyone's forgotten about the Phoenix Suns, who are still keeping quiet, counting out the time when D'Antoni decided to go with the Knicks. There's definitely "a lot" of talent in the Suns lineup, they were simply mishandled by D'Antoni. It's definitely a good thing that he's left the Suns and no one's going to baby Amare Stoudemire anymore. =p

It's exciting to write some more but I'm desperate for some sleep, so, that's all for now. Ciao! =)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

My Other Blog

It's time to introduce my other blog. There's nothing much going on with it but I promise you, I'm writing nothing about basketball there. Promise! =) Hope you can drop by.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Waive For the Best

Reports regarding the New York Knicks waiving Stephon Marbury was one of best news I've got. Face it, the Knicks haven't given any serious threat to their opponents last season. Internal conflicts provided a huge disadvantage for the team and the best solution reasonable was to cut the cause for all of it, which for the most of the time involved Marbury.

It's probably time for the Knicks to get a fresh start, which can only be done without their infamous point guard. [honestly, the guy has an attitude] The author is already looking forward in seeing the Knicks' Marbury-free roster next season.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Achilles' Heel?

The way he limped off the court, the author and everyone else who was watching the game between Argentina and Greece knew that Manu Ginobili was in BIG trouble. The author even thought that Popovich must've choked while watching the NBA star in pain. The cause for his limping was the same ankle that got him into trouble during the postseason.

What's troubling the entire San Antonio Spurs is that the MRI showed that the 6th-man-extraordinaire needs a foot surgery. With the looming preseason of the NBA, Ginobili's injury could mean that the Spurs need a more reliable backup [the 7th man, I must say]. As far as the author could see on the current roster of the Spurs, the only possible player to fill in the job of Ginobili is Ime Udoka. There is one problem, however, Udoka is not offensively consistent. So, literally there is no one in Pop's lineup, who could play as aggressive and as good as Ginobili.

The foot surgery is scheduled next week and after that the team will determine when can Ginobili return.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Not Knowing What to do

Hmmm.. After the series of training that I've been attending, I kept asking myself. Where would I go next? Honestly, I don't know. But I'm really hoping I pass the next training.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Euroleague in NBA?

Now that the Beijing Olympic is over, the entries on this blog will be sluggish. But Halley will do her best to give you the juiciest news about the National Basketball Association and other interesting basketball leagues.

And yes, the author has found the juiciest news in the league which is the collaboration of the NBA with Euroleague. You heard the lady right. The Euroleague will set foot in America to play in the preseason games. The Lietuvos Rytas [Lithuania], FC Barcelona [Spain] and CSKA Moscow [Russia] could play against the Golden State Warriors, Toronto Raptors, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers.

"We value the chance to partner with NBA teams in their own arenas. There are basketball fans of all types in North America whom we plan to entertain with our own distinct playing style. We are sure they will appreciate again that the international game has a lot to offer our sport," said Jordi Bertomeu, the Euroleague Basketball CEO.

It'll definitely be a blast! Can't wait for the next season. =)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Long-Awaited Gold

It has been three years and at last the Redeem Team of the United States has successfully redeemed their country in achieving the Olympic victory in the 2008 Beijing Olympics Men's Basketball.

The undefeated team consists of Carlos Boozer, Jason Kidd, LeBron James, Deron Williams, Michael Redd, Dwayne Wade, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, Chris Paul, Tayshaun Prince, & Carmelo Anthony. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski along with assistant coaches Jim Boeheim, Nate McMillan, & Mike D'Antoni has managed to secure the winning combination of the team despite the threats posed by Spain, Argentina, Greece, & many others. "It's an unbelievable feeling to win a gold medal for your country," Bryant said.

Spain, on the other hand, gets the silver after losing 107-118 to the USA. Wade and Bryant were the two leading scorers with 27 & 20 points respectively. And Argentina, who's just been routed during the semifinals played against Lithuania for the bronze and won. “The guys went out and did what they had to do,” said Manu Ginobili, Argentina.

The game against the Spaniards was a bit shaky at first but as soon as the Americans found their rhythm, they were back with the lead and finally finishing the game off as the victors. With this win, the United States gets a total medal count of 110, 36 gold, 38 silver, & 36 bronze.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Unimaginable Twist

I am happy for Spain and the USA for advancing to the finals, but right now I'm very anxious about Manu Ginobili's twisted ankle. The sight of him in pain was unimaginable. “He was pretty bad. He was in pain,” said fellow-Argentine Carlos Delfino.

The injury took place during the early period of the first quarter. Suddenly, Ginobili was limping off the court and sat. The pain was all over his face. I actually wished, it was just a joke to trick the Americans. But it was no joke at all, he's badly hurt. Several tests must be taken just to make sure that his ankle is fine. Otherwise, the worst that could happen is to have him in a surgery.

I really hope he's fine.

USA and Spain Advances to the Finals

The Redeem Team of the USA redeemed themselves by routing Argentina in the semifinals. The Americans won 101-81 and now headed in a battle against the World Champions - Spain.

During the first quarter, the North Americans had their biggest lead and the South Americans was left befuddled by their poor offense and turnovers. But the situation almost flipped as soon as the second quarter began. The Argentines were getting the right shots while the Americans showing panic. Despite all the efforts from Luis Scola, Carlos Delfino, and the others, Argentina fell short and the Redeem Team just a game away from the Olympic gold.

Carmelo Anthony lead the US team with 21 points while Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, and Dwayne Wade each had 12 points. And Scola, for the S Americans, finished with 28 points and 11 boards. Also, Delfino was there fill out a vital place for his team by providing 17 points.

Prior to the game between the north and south of America, Spain thrashed Lithuania 91-86 for a chance to win the 2008 Beijing Olympics Men's Basketball.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Semifinals: A Battlefield

I heard one of the commentators say, "It's everybody's game." I said, "No. It's Argentina's game." And yes! They won! Argentina enters the semifinals after an exhilarating 80-78 win against Greece.

Argentina finally enters the semifinals after defeating Greece - one of Europe's best basketball leagues, in the quarterfinals. The 80-78 win didn't come easy for the Argentines because they were trailing, sometimes by two points and sometimes by one. With the lead changes and scores so close as every minute goes, it was just so hard to determine who is better. And then, the Greeks showed their weak spot – the 3-point area. It was on that arc that the Argentines took advantage of the game and grabbed the lead off the hands of the Greeks. Among the best 3-pointers of the night were Manu Ginobili, with 24 pts, and Carlos Delfino, 23 pts. There’s just one thing that troubles me though with regards to Argentina. I know their good and I love them but they ought to tone down their turnovers, which were mostly caused by their reckless passes. I don’t know if it’s one of their strategies but for me it could cost them a game.

Overall, Argentina is balanced team. They have superb defense. They have great shooters in Luis Scola (TC), Ginobili, Delfino, Andres Nocioni, Pablo Prigioni, and a lot more. But they can’t have a lot of turnovers especially now that they’re in the semifinals and they’re about to face the still-undefeated team USA. And it’s kinda scary that I can’t feel the presence of Kobe Bryant anywhere. I bet KB24’s going to try and bring Argentina down once the game begins.

The Redeem Team [if ever I’ve mentioned Dream Team for the current basketball team of USA on any of my posts, my sincere apologies] of the USA looks so perfect but that’s all because no team has been able to reveal its weakness. Not even the tough Aussies. I just hope the Argentines make the semifinals for the US team harder. From what I can see, Argentina is the team that matches well with team USA. Just please...reduce the turnovers....

Tomorrow, the Beijing Olympic Gymnasium will be a battlefield.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Quarterfinal Matchups

This is it! I'm talking about the quarterfinals of the 2008 Beijing Olympics Men's Basketball. The final list of countries for the quarterfinals are set. First, let me present to you the four teams of each group.

Group A: Lithuania [4-1/A1], Argentina [4-1/A2], Croatia [3-2/A3], & Australia [3-2/A4]

Group B: USA [5-0/B1], Spain [4-1/B1], Greece [3-2/B1], China [2-3/B1]

Honestly, I'm impressed with team USA. Team USA is definitely the ultimate Dream Team of the country. Whoever it was that was behind the roster of team USA, I salute him! I really do. But I don't think the upcoming games is going to be easy for them. Well, I really hope Australia will give them trouble. Speaking of trouble, I'm a bit troubled with regards to Kobe Bryant. He is a member of team USA, right? Why can't I see his name on the stats, I just can't find his name. Where is he? I can't feel his presence.

Okay, now let's talk about Lithuania, Argentina, & Spain. I'm still can't believe how good the Lithuanians are, particularly Linas Kleiza. He's been on fire, lately. And the Argentines, as I admit to you my dear reader as my favorite, is more balanced than ever. Spain, who only lost to team USA, is very persistent which makes them very dangerous and even if I'm miles away from Beijing, I can see their hungry in winning the gold. I mean, every team is but Spain's aura is just too strong that I think they'll do everything just to win.

For Croatia, I think they haven't been very consistent both on their offense and defense. But there's not enough time to improve, though. Greece, on the other hand, was just lucky to have survived after being beaten by USA and Spain. But all in all, the Greeks have shown that they're good. The Australians have also proven that they have world-class players that just don't give up and that can be scary and tiring for their opponents.

And last but certainly not the least is China. To be honest, I never really thought China would survive the tough competition in Group B. But they did it, so, I'm giving them my full respect. I'm really expecting to hear loud cheers from the crowd once team China gets into the court. For the Lithuanians, who are planning on watching the game live at the courtside, I wish you all the luck to be heard.

These are the matchups for the quarterfinals:
  • Argentina [A2] v Greece [B3]
  • USA [B1] v Australia [A4]
  • Spain [B2] v Croatia [A3]
  • Lithuania [A1] v China [B4]

Russians Late Surge Came Too Late

I've been really worried about the game result between Argentina and Russians. Because I know Russians don't give up easily. I'm just so glad that the Argentines won 91-79, with Luis Scola setting the pace for his team and scored 37 points with eight boards. Andres Nocioni also added frustration to the Russians with his 100% shooting, which includes three 3-pointers and nine boards. Manu Ginobili also poured in 12 points and four assists. The Russians fought hard but it was too late even for Andrei Kirilenko -the NBA star, who finished with 23 points. Well, it's unfortunate for the Russians to not make it to the quarterfinals. I think it's just tough to win get a spot in a group full of great players and I'm not just talking about Argentina, okay. I'm also talking about Lithuania, Croatia, and Australia. All these teams are good! And you know what? Team USA will find their match soooon.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I Really Can't Miss This

Vamos Argentina!

Apart from the fact that they are the defending Olympic Gold Medalists, the Argentines prove to be one of the teams to beat in the 2008 Beijing Olympics Men's Basketball. After throttling the Croatians with their defense, the Argentines finished off Iran to 97-82. The top scorers of the night were Manu Ginobili, with 32 points, and Luis Scola, with 20 points and seven rebounds. Despite the efforts of Iran particularly Hamed Ehadadi, with 21 points and 16 rebounds, it wasn't enough to pull out a win against the Argentines. The Argentines are IN in the quarterfinals but still they have to continue winning. What Juan Pedro Gutierrez have to say is, "Every game is important. We play Russia on Monday and it is important to win that game and avoid finishing fourth. They are European champions and it will be a tough game."

So, what's the fuss about being fourth in Group A in the quarterfinals? Well, it has something to with team USA who is currently on top in Group B. If in case they win against Spain who remains undefeated in Group B, they'll be the ones to face the fourth placer of Group A. I think teams from Group B should also worry about Greece, who lost against USA and Spain. And if the current standings don't change in both groups, Argentina will be the likely foe of the Greeks and that's the match that I really can't miss. Vamos Argentina!

Lithuania is Feeling Good

Whoa! That was one terrific game for Lithuania. And as for the Croatians, they simply didn't have enough power in defeating an undeniably good team. The Lithuanians thrashed the Croatians, 86-73, with Mindauqas Lukauskis pouring 20 points and Linas Kleiza of the Denver Nuggets finishing with 18 points and setting the 3-pt arc a hotspot for the Lithuanians.

The game was pretty tight during the first half and continued to the third quarter. But as soon as last quarter began, Kleiza began shooting three's and the Croatians were in their heels trying to make up for the large deficit that the Nuggets' star has done. And it was soon too late for the Croatians to defeat the Lithuanians, which remains undefeated with 4-0 in the record and clinching a sure spot in the quarterfinals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics Men's Basketball. But let's not get too excited, the Lithuanians still has another tough team to beat and that's the Aussies. =p

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Clash of the Titans

As I watched the game between Croatia and Argentina last night, I reminded myself that the Croatians are as good as the other teams, so it could be a close fight. But as the game continued, the Croatians were suffering both on the offensive and defensive ends of the game. The Argentines were in control of the game and seized the chance of taking the lead right on the first quarter. What's probably worse for the Croatians was the 9-point score during the second quarter, which was the result of their poor shooting. And when it comes to defense, the Argentines displayed the best they had, stopping the Croatians from scoring in double-digits.

Andres Nocioni was the Man of the Night for Argentina, posting 18 points and eight rebounds. Following him was the Toronto Raptors star, Carlos Delfino adding 15 points, mostly three's, and six boards, sealing the game for Argentina and ruining the perfect record of Croatia, who is now tied with the Argentines in Group A.

As for Group B of the 2008 Beijing Olympics Men's Basketball, things are going smooth for the undefeated team USA. Team USA had no trouble defeating Greece 92-69 on Thursday, proving that they're better. I remember, the last time these two teams faced each other, it was the Greeks who ended up victorious. But since the Americans have proven that they're better and more mature, they deserve to be eventual winners of Group B if they win against Spainiards tomorrow, August 16. The court will definitely look like a battle field as soon as these two Group B titans meet.

The Toughest and most Exciting Preliminary

After the loss to Lithuania, Argentina got back into the game and defeated the Aussies 85-68. Manu Ginobili finished the game on top with 21 points. Luis Scola also finished strong with 17 points and seven rebounds. Fellow NBA stars that stood out are Carlos Delfino and Fabricio Oberto with 14 points and 12 points, respectively. The offensive display of the Argentinians left the Aussies with nothing but a huge deficit before halftime and lasted 'til the end of the game. Now, the Argentinians are 1-1 and must prove that they deserve a rightful place for the next round. Well, that would be tough because the team they're about to face is Croatia, which surprisingly doesn't have a loss yet. But hey, my faith on Argentina will not falter. They'll win this because everybody on the team is up on their game and with the balance they have, they'll continue to be stronger.

Spain, is proving the world that they are the World Champions because until now they stay undefeated with 3-0 just like team USA. The latest victim of the Spaniards was the Dirk-powered team of Germany. The game seemed so easy for the Spanish team particularly the part of containing the Germans to just 59 points. Looks like team the Spaniards are hungry for a more challenging competition, whom they'll be facing this Saturday, August 16.

As the preliminary round draws to a close, games get a little bit tougher for the teams and that's the time when the 2008 Beijing Olympics Men's Basketball gets more exciting!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It's All About Winning

The preliminary match of the 2008 Beijing Olympica Men's Basketball between Argentina and Lithuania left an air of excitement among Olympic viewers. The Lithuanians won, 79-75, against the defending Olympic champions. What's made everyone more excited was the following win of the Lithuanian team against Iran, 99-67. The team that has sitted at number four during the start of the Olympic is now at the top of Group A and certainly been showing signs that they're good.

Argentina, currently at number four of Group A, isn't the only team that's suffered a loss. China has just suffered a loss as well against Spain. The Spaniards eventually won, 85-75, against the Chinese despite their troublesome turnovers during the third quarter. Well, I think the host team needs to work harder or they'll find themselves out before the semis. The Argentinians, on the other hand, has to win the next game against Australia to stay on the right track. It's all about winning now.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

One World, One Dream

I haven't written any post here for quite sometime and that's because, hmmm... it's a long story. I might as well just forget about it. And yes, I've pretty much changed the layout of my blog, for a change. [wink]

What I'm writing about this time is the approaching 2008 Beijing Olympics, which my friends is about to happen this August 8, 2008 [8-8-8]. Yes, I'm excited. Who isn't anyway?! Of course, among the highlighted events that'll take place ing the Olympics and what I am and most of my fellow-NBA fans have been anticipating is basketball. Twelve teams will be battling it out for the Olympic Gold. So, who's in? On Group A: Argentina, Australia, Croatia, Iran, Lithuania, & Russia. On Group B: Angola, China*, Germany, Greece, Spain, & the U.S.A. Achieving the Olympic Gold is going to be hard this time especially for the defending Olympic Champions - the Argentinian team. And that's because of the more solid lineup of team U.S.A. and of course, you can't count out teams Spain, Russia, and Greece. There's also a women division for basketball, which includes Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Korea, Latvia and Russia on Group A. Group B includes China*, Czech Republic, Mali, New Zealand, Spain, and the U.S.A.

So, how does a team achieve the Olympic Gold? First, the 12 teams will have to trim down their number to eight, meaning the top four teams for each group will be the ones who are moving on to the knockout stage. During the knockout stage, the top four teams from both groups will face each other and the four winning teams will carry on to the semis. Then, the two teams who will survive the semis are going to battle it out on the Gold medal game. The team who wins will achieve the elusive Olympic Gold. So, which team's are you rooting for? Are you going for the Kobe-powered team U.S.A.?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Celtics Win the Finals

Congratulations to the Boston Celtics for winning the series against the LA Lakers in six games. Celts won 131-92 against the Lakers, who were outscored during the second quarter. "I took a deep breath, looked up and said 'Hey, it finally happened, man. So many things were running though our heads on the sidelines. We were just in awe over there, can't believe what was going on. I still can't believe right now that I've got a championship under my belt," said Paul Pierce of the Celtics. This is the Celtics 17th championship but for Kevin Garnett it's a first that he surely won't forget. [clap clap clap] Cheers to KG! At last, he got what he's always longed for and he's not a T-Wolf anymore, he's a Celtic! =) Pierce is MVP?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Road to the Finals

The road to the Finals for the San Antonio Spurs and the Detroit Pistons is over. Yesterday, the LA Lakers [4-1] won 100-92 over the defending champs that only took five games and today the Boston Celtics [4-2] took over The Palace of Auburn Hills with an 89-81 victory, the Eastern series only went up to six games. And so, it was over for the previous defending champs to return to the road where they once battled each other out that was year 2005. They were the better team during that time but this season was different. The Lakers and the Celtics were simply the better teams.

What went wrong with the Spurs? The defending champs simply didn't have the consistency on the offensive end. During the first round against the Phoenix Suns, the Spurs didn't have that much troubl with regards to their shooting. But every game against the Suns was a hard-fought battle for the Spurs. Their offensive problems showed during their series against the New Orleans Hornets, which went up to seven games. And when the series against the Lakers began, the Spurs just hung in the balance because of their poor shooting and the supporting casts' lack of contribution on the offense. I know the Spurs played against the Lakers the best they could but they just weren't strong enough to go along with KB24 and the rest of the Lakers.

As for the Pistons, the Celtics outplayed them in four games and that was all. For the postseason record of the Bad Boys, they played neck-and-neck against an underdog named Anrei Iguodala and the Philadelphia 76ers. The way the Sixers played against the Pistons really shocked me but in the end it was the Sheed's company who won and advanced to the semis to face the Orlando Magic. I thought it was going to be another neck-and-neck battle but I was wrong. The Pistons prevailed after finishing Superman and his allies in five games. And off they went to the conference finals where the legendary Celtics await them. The series was then tied to 2-2, Ray Allen even said that the series felt like it was back to zero. Then after Game 5, the Celtics had the 3-2 lead. But the Bad Boys of Motown weren't the type who's going to lose their cool just because their behind. What's good news for the Pistons was that they were playing at The Palace - their home. But I guess being at home doesn't really assure you a win. The Pistons eventually lost to the Celtics and KG advances to meet KB24 in the Finals.

I don't really know where to go from here. Two of my favorite teams have been eliminated by the teams that are going to the Finals. Honestly, I want the Lakers to win because I want the loss of the Spurs to be worth it. So, I'll be rooting for the Lakers in the Finals. Why I don't like the Celtics? The answer is wearing the #20 green jersey. =p

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Spurs in BIG Trouble

Try to imagine someone writing from a computer with keys almost popping out from the keyboard. That's definitely how I'm typing as I write this entry. I'm disappointed, sad, frustrated, and everything negative that a fan could feel whenever his/her favorite team loses. Good news to all Lakers fans though, Kobe and his squad just crushed the Spurs to a 93-91 win at the Alamodome, getting the lead to 3-1. Kobe Bryant finished the game with 28 points and 10 boards. Lamar Odom sits next to KB24 as the second best scorer of the game adding 16 points and nine rebounds. Pau Gasol, who came to the Lakers to seek for a championship, contributed 10 points and 10 rebounds. Good job for the Lakers.

The series was almost done for the Spurs as the last seconds winded down during the fourth quarter of Game 4. The Spurs have done their best and I know that they're feeling more frustrated and pressured more than ever. Imagine trying to win three straight games and two of those has to come from the Staples Center. Tim Duncan with 29 points also had 17 rebounds, while Tony Parker and Brent Barry added 23 points each. Barry's 3-point shot could've made the difference but the shot didn't came and the buzzer sounded and Game 4 was over for the Spurs. Manu Ginobili clearly wasn't himself with seven points and six assists. The Spurs are now down to 1-3 against the Lakers. The Spurs are on the verge of extinction, which slowly takes all the hope in me. I wonder how the Staples Center would look like in Game 5. What I do know right now is that the Spurs are in BIG trouble when they visit Hollywood.

Monday, May 26, 2008

"It's almost like zero-zero now." - Ray Allen, Celtics

The Boston Celtics arrived at the Palace with the notion that the Detroit Pistons will sweep them two game in a row. But that didn't happen when the Celts won Game 3 over the Bad Boys. The Celts eventually got the 2-1 against and feeling confident about making another one in Auburn Hills. Well, not for too long because the Pistons would never allow such feat and so the Pistons fueled themselves to win, which they successfully did. The Palace rejoiced as their Pistons lashed the Celts with a 94-75 win, getting the series to 2-2. Good news for all Pistons fans.

What's amazing about Game 4 was that none of the usual top scorers of the Pistons took the top spot. The spot was taken by none other than Antonio McDyess, who finished with 21 points and 16 rebounds. He was followed by Rip Hamilton who scored 20 points while Rasheed Wallace and Jason Maxiel each had 14 points. McDyess was the star player on Game 4. I've always admired him, he just didn't have that much minutes to really prove his worth and now he's done it. Well done McDyess, you've carried your team to a crucial win this series.

While the Palace celebrated, the Kevin Garnett and the Celtics just felt the gravity of the situation of losing a road-game against an opponent like the Pistons. KG and Paul Pierce only 16 points apiece. Ray Allen wasn't feeling his rhythm that much with only 11 points. During the course of the playoffs, I noticed that Allen isn't helping his team that much. Is he injured? Is feeling unwell? Does he have early vacation plans? If he continues to be that way, KG and Pierce will need to find another backup. Don't ever think of Sam Cassell being moved to the starter because I don't think he'll be of any help at all. "They didn't play great. Kevin had shots that he normally makes, and he didn't make them. I just thought he didn't have shots when we wanted him to get the ball. He had elbow jumpers, not in the post," said Doc Rivers, Celts coach. But for the Pistons' coach Flip Saunders, “I thought this game was called very differently than any other game in the playoffs. There were a lot of ticky-tack fouls called.”

How Good is He?

How good is KB24 in playing basketball? If only I have a measuring device to determine how good he is, I wouldn't have a hard time figuring it out. But What I do know is Kobe is so good that basketball becomes so easy when he's playing. I am definitely not a fan of Kobe Bryant, I just can't help but be amazed with the way he's played basketball and I think he's changed a lot. He's not the Kobe that has a glue on hand, where the ball just sticks with him throughout the game and him scoring more than half of his team's score. It simply seemed to me that the Kobe who won MVP this regular season was the one I've always wanted to watch. I hate saying this, but I'm starting to like the way he's carried his team and the way his teammates have improved despite his persistence of having a trade earlier this season.

KB24 has definitely matured and that has driven him and the rest of the LA Lakers to be better. Look where they are now. They are in the Conference Finals and battling it out against the defending champions, the San Antonio Spurs. The series is going to be more exciting with Manu Ginobili back on top form and Kobe just thrilled watching someone who showed as much determination as he does when playing basketball. As for the question about how good Kobe is? No one can really tell exactly how good he is. Kobe is simply good.

“He hit a lot of big shots, he hit one shot that just made me laugh. It was right in Sasha’s face. It was just great defense,” said Kobe on Manu's face off against Lakers' Sasha Vujacic.

Spurs, Manu Helps Win Over the Lakers

The San Antonio Spurs were down 0-2 against the LA Lakers. But with their playoff routine, the Spurs bounced back with a 103-84 against the Lakers on Game 3. But hey that was just Game 3 and the Lakers still lead the series to 2-1. So, I guess I really shouldn't be overconfident about the Spurs. But who wouldn't be very confident if the Manu Ginobili that we've always known has just returned to the AT&T Center and buried 30 points for the Spurs? After two games of poor shooting, Ginobili was back and hitting every crucial shot for his team. Tim Duncan finished with another double-double with 22 points and 21 rebounds. Tony Parker also had an outstanding Game 3 performance and added 20 points. The rest of the Spurs played well but they have to step up their games more and with much pressure at hand because I'm pretty sure Kobe Bryant and the entire squad of Phil Jackson will recover from that loss and will be determined to try win at the AT&T Center.

Speaking of the Lakers, Kobe topped their scoreboards with 30 points and was followed by his mate Pau Gasol with 15 points. Lamar Odom wasn't quite himself with only seven points and 11 boards. I've got to put that behind me and get ready for the next one," Odom said.
What's the one thing the Spurs are trying to avoid when playing against KB24? The answer is to prevent him from getting to the freethrow line, which he loved doing during the Lakers' second round series against the Utah Jazz. "It's something we try to do. Sometimes, you just can't, but if you give Kobe -- besides all those shots that he takes -- 20 free-throw opportunities, then it becomes really difficult," said Spurs G Ginobili. And indeed, Kobe only only had one freethrow and missed it. The Lakers' defense were also stretched with the presence of Robert Horry But PJ will certainly make some adjustments with Gregg Popovich's strategy during the previous game and we'll definitely see those changes on Game 4.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Lakers Victorious Over the Spurs

The LA Lakers dominated in the Staples Center with a 101-71 victory against the San Antonio Spurs. "The building was electric and we just kept it going,” said Jordan Farmar. Kobe Bryant was definitely himself with 22 points. Lamar Odom, who said he didn't played well in Game 1, had a superb game finished with 20 points and 12 boards. "I just try to fit a role and find my niche and find my lane," said Odom. The Lakers' bench were productive, too, with Farmar contributing 14 points along with Sasha Vujacic and Luke Walton with seven points apiece. "The past, maybe, week and a half, I've been feeling really good about my game," said Farmar.

On the Spurs' side, well, no one was actually feeling Game 2. Tony Parker had 13 points, Tim Duncan with 12 points, and Manu Ginobili [back to being the 6th Man] only scored seven points. Honestly, I really have no idea what happened to my Spurs. They were literally outscored by the Lakers in three quarters and again they were in the exact spot they were in during the series against the Hornets, which is to be down by 0-2. “We are going to go home and one of two things are going to happen. We are either going to make this a series, or not,” said Duncan.

“I think they might have had some tired legs,” said Lakers' coach Phil Jackson. They probably had tired legs but they can't make any excuses now, it's the conference finals. “We knew (fatigue) would catch up this game, not last game. We thought our last game was our best shot to get something here, to just dig down and go after it. Obviously, we didn't get that done,” said Popovich.

After losing two straight games to the Lakers, the Spurs are heading back to AlamoCity to try and win Games 3 & 4, which I really hope they get. Again, Games 3 & 4 are make-or-break games.