Archive for April, 2012

See Why Despite Losing Derrick Rose, The Bulls Still Feel That They’re Okay

Are the Bulls okay without Rose?

When Chicago Bulls guard, Derrick Rose suffered a late game knee injury in Saturday’s playoff opener against the Philadelphia 76ers that would later be confirmed as a knee injury, the Bulls, who won 103 to 91 didn’t really matter anymore. Headlines were revolving Rose and his torn ACL, not “Bulls win game one” which really seemed to bother Bulls head coach, Tom Thibodeau.

“I think we all feel awful for him,” Thibodeau said after Sunday’s practice. “Derrick’s not only a great player, he’s a great teammate, he’s a great person, but it’s not a death sentence. It’s not a death sentence for him, it’s not a death sentence for our team. He’s going to come back. He’ll come back better than ever. It’s just the way it is and we’ve got to deal with.”

Rose injured his left knee on Saturday with 1:22 left in the fourth quarter as the Bulls were nursing a 99-87 fourth quarter lead. Rose, despite leaving the game early due to his injury finished with a team high 23 points, 9 rebounds, and 9 assists.

As Thibodeau said it and as doctors said it, Rose will miss the remainder of the playoffs as well as more practice time this off-season. However, is Thibodeau right? Are the Bulls okay, without Rose?

The Bulls who finished first in the Eastern Conference at 50-16 and first in the NBA, have already become accustomed to playing without Rose this season as they did so in 27 of their regular season games, winning 18 of them. And one of those wins came against Philadelphia on Saturday, March 17th. The Bulls won that game, 89-80 with back-up point guard, C.J. Watson (Rose’s replacement) leading all of Bulls scorers with 20 points.

So, can C.J. Watson who averaged 9.7 points per game, 4.1 assists per game, and 2.1 rebounds per game and 11.3 points per game, 4.6 assists per game, and 2.6 rebounds per game as a starter replace Rose? No he cannot as replacing Rose (last years league M.V.P.) is a very tough job to do, however, he can still do what the Bulls wanted to do this post-season and that’s win.

The Bulls will take the floor again against the 76ers for game 2 on Tuesday night at the United Center at 8:00 P.M. Eastern time.

“We’re not going to let anybody paint the picture for us,” Bulls center Joakim Noah told reporters. “Obviously, it’s tough losing Derrick. I feel for him, but we can’t feel sorry for ourselves.

“The whole team has to step up,” Noah would continue. “Our margin for error is a lot smaller with Derrick out. Can you replace a guy like Derrick? No. But it’s on us to step up as much as possible.”

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New York Jets, Mark Sanchez And Santonio Holmes Booed At Knicks Game

What do you think of the boos by the Knicks' fans?

Regardless of any NBA team, on any given night, no matter whom the opponent is, there’s always fans there supporting their home or away team. And even sometimes, one, two, three, or more of those fans are celebrities. Also, usually those celebrities that are cheering (usually the home team) are as a result cheered on by the home crowd fans.

However, at the New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night, where the Knicks took on the Los Angeles Clippers, New York Jets football players, quarterback, Mark Sanchez and wide receiver, Santonio Holmes weren’t cheered on…they were booed.

Matter of fact, booed loudly.

The New York Jets, whose season ended months ago after they went 8-8 last season and didn’t make the playoffs certainly wasn’t forgotten by the displeased Knicks’ fans.

Now while it wasn’t clear why the Knicks’ fans were booing, the answer to the question that has been out there since the addition of newly acquired quarterback Tim Tebow was certainly answered and that question; when will Sanchez first be booed?

Is it too soon?

As for Sanchez and Holmes they would decline to comment to ESPN about the fans boos at halftime. Though, Holmes would comment to twitter as he posted on his account:

Jets cornerback, Antonio Cromartie was also at Madison Garden Tuesday night. However, he wouldn’t bee booed, though he would be introduced as the wrong player.

The Knicks would go onto defeat the Clippers, 99-93, improving to 35-30 and move closer to locking up the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference.

Sanchez, threw for 3,474 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 18 interceptions last season and Holmes, who caught 51 passes for 651 yards and 8 touchdowns last season. As for Cromartie, known to Knicks’ announcer as “Shonne Greene” had 45 tackles, one forced fumble, and 4 interceptions last season.

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Was Metta World Peace’s Elbow Intentional?

What's your take on Metta World Peace's elbow?

Now it’s most likely clear that you have already heard of and have seen the “elbow play” by Los Angeles Lakers forward, Metta World Peace (Ron Artest). However in case you haven’t, here’s what happened.

It was on a fast break when World Peace drove to the basket and landed a powerful dunk with Oklahoma City Thunder forward, Serge Ibaka trailing on his back. The dunk brought a huge cheer from the home Laker crowd as their team was trailing by only one, 48-47 as they were looking to gain the lead before halftime.

Though as the Lakers’ fans were celebrating and cheering on World Peace, he too also responded to the loud cheers of the fans as he began a celebration himself as he pounded his chest and then caulked back his elbow which then hit Thunder guard, James Harden resulting in Harden falling to the floor.

World Peace continued to run down the floor as he didn’t know that he hit Harden and as a result the whistles blew and the Thunder players, especially Ibaka responded because Harden remained lying on the court.

As for World Peace he stepped up to the confronting Ibaka as he looked shocked as to why Ibaka was trying to fight him. Luckily for both teams and the NBA the confrontation between the two would be broken up.

As for Harden, he would be helped to locker room and wouldn’t return. As for World Peace he would be ejected from the game. As far as if there will be further punishment for World Peace, the NBA as yet to say.

Here is the video of the entire play:

Now as you can see from the live camera view, it looks like just a routine celebration that Harden unfortunately just got in the way of. However, after watching the replay it looks completely different as you can see that before World Peace threw the elbow, the two collided so World Peace did know that he was there.

Though, to World Peace’s defense he only had about two seconds to react to Harden’s presence and that’s not really enough time as World Peace was already beginning is usual routine celebration.

After the game, World Peace would address the media saying that it was unintentional.

“During that play I just dunked on (Kevin) Durant and (Serge) Ibaka and I got really emotional and excited and it was unfortunate that James had to get hit with an unintentional elbow,” World Peace told reporters. “I hope he’s OK. The Thunder, they’re playing for a championship this year, so I hope that he’s OK and I apologize to the Thunder and to James Harden.”

World Peace would go onto add saying, “You know, it was such a great game and it was unfortunate so much emotion was going on at that time. … That’s it for today.”

As for Ibaka (The one who World Peace dunked on) he told the media that he didn’t know why World Peace did it? “I saw it happened and it was a very hard hit,” Ibaka said. “That’s the first I’ve seen anything like that happen live. I was surprised. I went up to him to ask him why he did that and he wanted to fight me too. I don’t know what he was thinking. I have no idea.”

Then after the media left and assuming when World Peace returned home, he went to twitter where he said this:

The Lakers would go onto beat the Thunder, 114-106. As for the NBA, they have yet to respond to this matter.

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Nerlens Noel And Shabazz Muhammad Select Their Schools, See Why They Selected The School That They Picked

Shabazz Muhammad (Left) and Nerlens Noel (Right) have selected their schools; see who they picked.

On a night where two of the top high school prospects from the class of 2012 made their decisions of where they wanted to play basketball next season, some schools who were hoping to land one of the top two prospects of 2012, walked away empty handed.

First it was number two of the class of 2012, Shabazz Muhammad to make his decision. Muhammad who was considering Duke, Kentucky, and UCLA selected the baby blue and gold Bruins making the University of California, Los Angeles a for sure title contender.

“It was down to Kentucky, Duke and UCLA and I chose to be a Bruin,” Muhammad said during a nationally televised appearance on ESPNU. “I’ll be at UCLA next year.”

Muhammad explained that his reasoning for picking the Bruins was that he felt most comfortable with their coaching staff as well as he was looking forward to the challenge of getting the Bruins back to where they’re usually at; the National Championship level.

“I just think it’s a challenge,” Muhammad said. “Knowing how bad they were these last two years, it’s a challenge to really get them back up to the top knowing they are the leaders in all-time championships with 11.”

After Muhammad shocked the viewers as it seemed like he was the for-sure pick for the University of Kentucky, number one prospect of the class of 2012, Center, Nerlens Noel was on the clock.

After being asked a few questions before the big one; where was he going next fall? Noel when finally asked the question, selected, Kentucky.

Here's what the Kentucky logo looked like on the back of Noel's head.

After thanking ESPN, his recruiters, and all of the coaches that he met, Noel dropped the famous line, “I’ll be taking my talents to” and then said, the University of…paused and turned around where the University of Kentucky logo was sketched out on the back of his head.

“It was the toughest decision of my entire life,” Noel said during a nationally televised appearance on ESPNU. “Georgetown and Syracuse are great programs.”

“Coach Cal recruited me real hard. He is a good person who cares about his players, he helps them reach their goals and the team’s goals,” Noel continued. “They play as a unit and are very unselfish. Also the fans were incredible on my visit. They are behind the program 100 percent.”

With still several top players from the class of 2012 still un-decided as of now, it was great to see the top two players of the class of 2012; Nerlens Noel and Shabazz Muhammad decide where they wanted to go and play basketball next fall.

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Dallas Mavericks and Forward Lamar Odom Call It Quits

Lamar Odom drives to the basket.

Months after being traded to the Dallas Mavericks from the Los Angeles Lakers due to a previous trade by the Lakers that would’ve sent Odom to New Orleans. Forward, Lamar Odom said that he felt “disrespected” by the organization so he demanded a trade. So the Lakers would respect his decision and as a result they would trade him to the Mavericks for a first round pick and an $8.9 million trade exception.

However, despite having his wish granted by the Lakers Odom, wouldn’t fit in Dallas as his production would drop significantly. Going from averaging 14.4 ppg, 8.6 rpg, and 3.0 apg to 6.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, and 1.7 apg, Odom would see his production drop in every major stat line from the previous season.

So as a result to his poor play and a result to a not so good season by the Mavericks (31-26) they decided to part ways with Odom as he’ll be placed on the inactive list.

“The Mavericks and I have mutually agreed that it’s in the best interest of both parties for me to step away from the team,” Odom said in a statement to “I’m sorry that things didn’t work out better for both of us, but I wish the Mavs’ organization, my teammates and Dallas fans nothing but continued success in the defense of their championship.”

As for why the Mavericks wouldn’t just release Odom from their team versus placing him on the inactive list, is because, come the end of the season they will have the opportunity to be able to trade him during the NBA Draft or leading up to it, where as if they released him now they wouldn’t have been able to do so.

So what this means for Odom is that due to being placed on the inactive list, his 2011-12 NBA season is now officially come to an end.

Now even if the Mavericks did release Odom, it still wouldn’t have helped as he would be ineligible for the playoffs anyways as the deadline for a player to be eligible after being waived was March 23.

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Breaking Down Blake Griffin’s Dunks: See Why Referee’s Choose Excitement Over Right And Wrong

You can even see in the picture that Griffin is clearly over the back of Gasol.

I’m sure by now that you’ll all have watched the dunk or dunks by Clippers Forward, Blake Griffin over Lakers Forward, Pau Gasol tonight as the Lakers took on the Clippers in another “Battle of LA” match-up.

However, I believe that the call was wrong and that those “dunks” shouldn’t have been a dunk.

Just like the non-foul call a couple plays before where Lakers Guard, Ramon Sessions drove to the hoop and then lost the ball but, had some contact given to him. As a result to not having a foul called, Sessions would receive a technical foul from the officials. Now if you were watching the game or highlights, you saw that Sessions didn’t respond that bad to the no call and then you also saw that when he did respond, he was no where near an official.

Anyways after viewing the replay of Griffin’s dunk you can see that Griffin locks Gasol’s arm in which, doesn’t allow Gasol to put his arm up to attempt to block Griffin’s dunk. Which as a result Griffin locks Gasol’s arm in and uses it as an extra push to rise over him.

Not to mention depending on what angle you watch the dunk from, you can see Griffin’s left elbow hit Gasol in his head knocking him back and to the ground.

Now don’t get me wrong Griffin has had a lot of great dunks throughout his career thus far but, this one I can’t give to him.

As for the other dunk that didn’t receive as much of attention, was a put back dunk earlier in the first quarter. Griffin, who was trailing behind Gasol, jumped up and grabbed the ball behind Gasol and then as a result dunked it back.

It was an over the back. Now don’t get me wrong it’s exciting to see these dunks but, at the end of the day the right call should be made instead of choosing what’s more exciting. And that’s the problem today in the NBA; they choose excitement over the right calls.

For example the famous travel in the NBA. It’s a complaint made by several viewers as it’s not called as much as it should be. However, congrats to Griffin as the call was what it was and as it stands in the score books, those were both two dunks and a total of four points.

As for the rest of the game, the Lakers would go onto beat the Clippers winning, 113-108 taking a 2-1 season lead over the Clippers.

Here’s the dunk that received the most attention:

Here’s the dunk that I called “over the back”:

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