Friday, October 31, 2008
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
"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.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
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 NBA.com is great!! Luv it!
Friday, October 10, 2008
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
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
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
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! =)