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Friday , Mar , 18 , 2011 Oly Sandor

Video: Dwyane Wade ‘welcomes’ Kendrick Perkins to OKC Thunder

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Leave it Dwyane Wade to welcome Kendrick Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Yesterday, the Heat’s superstar spun baseline and posterized Perkins, who happened to be playing in his second game as a member of the Thunder. Then Wade dropped some celebratory dance moves from the Kid N Play era.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Mar , 16 , 2011 Oly Sandor

LeBron James: the Heat are playing at a ‘high level’

LeBron James: ‘We envisioned us playing at a high level and that’s what we’re doing right now.’   

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Five consecutive losses do not make a season. Neither do two wins -even if they come against the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs.

So the Miami Heat should take a deep breath. They should avoid crying after tough losses on national television, and they should avoid over-enjoying their victories.

Bottom line: the Heat shouldn’t get too up or too down. Instead, they should focus on achieving a few things:

First, superstars Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade must continue setting the pace on defense. Getting stops will give them a chance to win every game, and it takes pressure off their mediocre half-court offense.

Second, they must keep Bosh involved on offense. One frustrated superstar can contaminate an entire team.

Finally, no team wins a championship with three superstars, so the Heat’s role players must start contributing on a consistent basis.

Mike Bibby, Eddie House, and Mike Miller must start making shots. This will help Coach Erik Spoelstra settle on a more permanent rotation.

The Heat has been through a lot this year and the real action, the playoffs, haven't even started.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Feb , 26 , 2011 Oly Sandor

Steve Nash on the Suns trading him: ‘I’m open to that’

And though it seemed logical that a team ripe for a rebuild might trade the most valuable player on the roster, the Suns didn’t budge through this week’s trade deadline, and Nash didn’t ask. But yesterday, Nash opened the door, just a crack, to leaving. “I’m open to whatever they want to do,” he said. “I mean, if they want to move me, I’m open to that. If they want to keep me, I’m open to that too.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s the elephant in the room neither side wants to discuss.

Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns have to consider parting ways. After all, Nash, who is still playing remarkably well, could help a contender, while the Suns, who lack the resources to field a winner, need to rebuild.

Trading Nash would give the tiny table setter his chance at a championship, and also give the Suns some combination of draft picks, expiring contracts, and blue chip prospects for the future.

If only it were so easy. Both player and team are reluctant to push for a trade.

Nash is loyal to Phoenix, its fans, and the Suns organization. Suns owner Robert Sarver, who is already on shaky ground for past moves, knows he’d become persona non grata if he wrapped Nash in a bow and gave him away.

So each side is putting out the feelers; dropping little hints to prepare the public.

Something could happen this summer. And the elephant in the room could become a reality.

--Oly Sandor.


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Saturday , Feb , 26 , 2011 Oly Sandor

Rumor: Celtics keeping an eye on Troy Murphy?

Meanwhile, Boston will continue to monitor the buyouts going on around the league with eyes toward adding as many as two more players with its available roster spots. All eyes seem to be on Troy Murphy, the sharpshooting big man who was traded to Golden State this week and could wind up available.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: As hard as it may be, the Boston Celtics have to get over Kendrick Perkins’ departure.

Sure, Perkins was their heart-and-soul, but trading the large five-man to the Oklahoma City Thunder was prudent -especially since the club weren’t prepared to extend him to the tune of $10 million per season.

Moving on means attempting to sign free agent Troy Murphy. The veteran was recently traded to the Golden State Warriors, who will buy him out.

All it will cost is money, specifically a pro-rated portion of the veteran’s minimum. And Murphy will contribute on the glass while stretching defenses with his outside range.

In fact, he’d have a similar role to former reserve Rasheed Wallace, who was with the Celtics in 2008 and 2009.

And Murphy will be motivated. He’d didn’t fit in New Jersey and ended up getting banished from the team by Nets coach Avery Johnson.

Such a situation has to appeal to a player’s sense of pride. So signing Murphy in a few weeks may help the Celtics' players, coaches, and fans forget Perkins.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Feb , 19 , 2011 Oly Sandor

Rumor: Howard to join Bryant and Lakers in 2012?

During media availability on Friday of All-Star Weekend, Dwight Howard was asked about the possibility of becoming a member of the Lakers when he becomes a free agent in the summer of 2012. "As of right now, I’m in Orlando and that’s the only thing on my mind, is getting our team back to the Finals,” responded Howard.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: At some point during All-Star weekend in Los Angeles, Dwight Howard will surely say to close confidants: “man, I could get used to this.”

The ‘this’, of course, is the massive market of Los Angeles. And perhaps, these few days convinces Howard to opt-out of his contract in 2012, and sign with the Lakers as a free agent.

And ‘this’, of course, is a problem for Howard’s current team, the Orlando Magic. The massive five-man is their franchise face, resident superstar, and premier player.

If he leaves, the Magic’s championship aspirations go with him. Otis Smith and Stan Van Gundy will have a lottery team playing in an empty new arena.

So, how do the executive and coach of the Magic convince Howard to sign a long-term extension?

First, they find him a real co-star. Not Jason Richardson. Not Gilbert Arenas. Not Hedo Turkoglu. This trio combined can’t hold Kobe Bryant, even if The Black Mamba would be in his mid 30s by 2012.

Smith and Van Gundy must remind Howard big markets are no longer the be-all, end-all with respect to marketing. The internet means players can be global superstars in Orlando, as well as Los Angeles.

Finally, they should appeal to his loyalty. The Magic are, and will continue to be Howard’s team, while the Lakers belong to Bryant, a five-time champion.

Smith and Van Gundy would be wise to continue communicating with Howard. Or come 2012, he’ll land in Los Angeles. Except this time it won’t be for a weekend.

--Oly Sandor.
 
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Monday , Jul , 19 , 2010 Oly Sandor

Video: DeRozan, Green, and Wall in best dunks of Summer League

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Right now, it’s all we got.

The NBA season is months away. And the FIBA World Championships doesn’t get going until late August, so there’s no basketball. 

None.

Fortunately, NBA.com has clips of the best dunks during summer league, featuring DeMar DeRozan, Gerald Green, Sonny Weems, and John Wall.

Watch the video below and get at us with thoughts on your favourite aerial antic of the summer run.



-- Oly Sandor.

(Clip initially found on Dimemag.com.)
 

Can Oklahoma City Thunder really upset Kobe Bryant and L.A. Lakers?
Saturday , Apr , 24 , 2010 Oly Sandor

Can Oklahoma City Thunder really upset Kobe Bryant and L.A. Lakers?

The Quick Hit: It was supposed to be case of master versus student. It has become a case of student challenging master.

Quite simply, the Los Angeles Lakers, with all their star power and glitz, were expected to handle the talented but inexperienced Oklahoma City Thunder. After all, the Lakers had that Larry O’Brien swagger; the Thunder were unproven upstarts.

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Best playoff poster job: LeBron James on James Johnson or Baron Davis on Andrei Kirilenko?
Wednesday , Apr , 21 , 2010 Oly Sandor

Best playoff poster job: LeBron James on James Johnson or Baron Davis on Andrei Kirilenko?

He can’t run. He can’t hide. He can only accept the inevitable: he’s been poster-jobbed and millions will relive and replay his moment of shame on youtube.

James Johnson: we’re talking about you. The Chicago Bulls’ swing is in Shawn Bradley and Alton Lister territory after the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James delivered a facial our News Department deemed a 'hate crime' and considered slapping with a restricted rating.

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All or nothing: Cavaliers, Lakers, and Magic must win NBA Title or face major changes
Saturday , Apr , 17 , 2010 Oly Sandor

All or nothing: Cavaliers, Lakers, and Magic must win NBA Title or face major changes

The Quick Hit: For the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers, and Orlando Magic, it’s all or nothing.

The all is having Commissioner David Stern hand over the Larry O’Brien trophy in two months and pronounce them world champions in a champagne soaked ceremony.

Only the all will do. Only the all will satisfy their demanding fan base. Only the all will satisfy their demanding owners, who have taken on multi-million dollar luxury tax payments for this precise moment.

While nothing, or falling short of an NBA Title, will force Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Orlando to make wholesale changes this off-season. Right or wrong, fair or not, these are the stakes when playing for a contender.

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Fired for fighting: John Paxson must leave Chicago Bulls for provoking confrontation with Vinny Del Negro
Wednesday , Apr , 14 , 2010 Oly Sandor

Fired for fighting: John Paxson must leave Chicago Bulls for provoking confrontation with Vinny Del Negro

The Quick Hit: John Paxson, the player, was known for knocking down jump shots. John Paxson, the front office suit, may be known for knocking down coaches.

Today, reports surfaced that the former guard and current Executive Vice President of the Chicago Bulls provoked a ‘physical altercation’ with sideline boss Vinny Del Negro over Joakim Noah’s playing time following a March 30th loss to the Phoenix Suns.

Let us be clear: ‘physical altercation’ is code for fight. And while Paxson vs. Del Negro isn’t exactly Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier or even Georges St. Pierre vs. Dan Hardy, their wee donnybrook is sufficient grounds for Michael Jordan’s backcourt mate to finally be fired.


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Tracy McGrady should learn from Allen Iverson’s mistakes, not repeat them
Tuesday , Apr , 13 , 2010 Oly Sandor

Tracy McGrady should learn from Allen Iverson’s mistakes, not repeat them

The Quick Hit: Recently, former superstar Tracy McGrady told reporters, despite his lacklustre play and mediocre health, he wouldn’t sign with a team this summer that asked him to serve as sixth-man.

McGrady, of course, believes he’s a still starter. And McGrady also believes he hasn’t ‘fallen off’ to where he's a reserve.  

Forgive me, but didn’t we just see this song and dance? Didn’t we just see first ballot Hall of Fame guard Allen Iverson commit career suicide by refusing a lesser role for the Detroit Pistons and Memphis Grizzlies?

 

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Why Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors should miss the playoffs
Sunday , Apr , 11 , 2010 Oly Sandor

Why Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors should miss the playoffs

The Quick Hit: It’s not exactly a ‘Clash of the Titans’.

On Sunday afternoon, the Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors will square off at Air Canada Centre. Both teams are tied for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. And both teams are over-hyping the significance of this weekend’s tilt.


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