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! =)