Breaking Down the NBA
According to ABC 7 in Detroit, the Pistons have contacted Brian Shaw about an interview for their vacant head coaching position.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: Why in the world hasn't Shaw gotten a head coaching job yet?
As a player, Shaw advanced to four NBA Finals- one with the Orlando Magic in 1996 and three with the Lakers (2001-2003), winning all three as a Laker. He won two more titles as an assistant coach with the Lakers.
So, it isn't like he doesn't know how to win.
In addition to the Finals appearances, Shaw played with some great players throughout his career. As a first round draft pick of the Boston Celtics, he was teammates with Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish and Dennis Johnson, learning the game from some of the all-time greats.
From there he moved onto the Miami Heat and played alongside Glen Rice and Steve Smith. He then joined Orlando, joining Shaquille O'Neal and Anfernee Hardaway, becoming a mentor to the latter. From there he went to the Lakers and was a key reserve on their championship squads before becoming an assistant coach and learning from possibly the greatest coach ever, Phil Jackson.
So, it's not like he doesn't know how to work with big egos and be successful.
And even now that he's been an assistant coach with the Pacers for two seasons, there still is no clear answer as to why he has been passed over so many times. At least not one that makes sense.
After the Lakers hired Mike Brown instead of him, Shaw was as perplexed as anyone.
"All the speculation and what I've heard, the powers making those decisions felt like the team needed a change of culture and a new voice, and head in a new direction," Shaw said. "I thought that was kind of peculiar because in the 12 years I'd been there, all we had done was gone to the championship seven times and won five championships.
I felt like there were 29 other teams in the league that would love to have that kind of culture and that kind of direction."
Brian Shaw should be a head coach in the NBA. A year from now, Joe Dumars could look really smart.
The NBA Finals are where new stars are born and new styles are formed.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: An entire year of league history is compressed into and remembered by the outcome of the NBA Finals.
2009-2010 LA Lakers vs. Boston Celtics - 7 Games
The NBA needed this Finals from a business standpoint as much as anything else. Interest in the game was waining and the league was struggling financially. So what was the best recipe to get the league to be relevant and exciting again? A classic match-up between the Lakers and Celtics, which the Lakers won.
1993-1994 Houston Rockets vs. New York Knicks- 7 Games
This was as grueling an NBA Finals in history. Both teams were rugged, relied on tough defense and games were low scoring. Every possession was hotly contested and featured even personnel match-ups across the board, most notably reigning MVP Hakeem Olajuwon versus Patrick Ewing. The Rockets prevailed and won back to back titles, starting with this one.
1987-1988 LA Lakers vs. Detroit Pistons - 7 Games
The Lakers won this series in the ultimate stylistic clash between the finesse "Showtime" Lakers and the physical, brutish Pistons. Between 1980-1989 the Lakers won five titles, including this series versus the Pistons.This series represented a shift in NBA style of play. Even though the Lakers won and continued their dominance in this series, the Pistons swept the Finals the following season against the Lakers and eventually won two and a row, giving birth to the "Bad Boys" and their imposing style, a style that would be picked up and empolyed by NBA teams moving forward.
1979-1980 LA Lakers vs. Philadelphia 76ers - 6 Games
This series was all about the emergence of Magic Johnson. Magic changed the NBA game forever as the Lakers "Showtime" style was born. Instead of plodding half court sets that had been the norm, the Lakers relied on the transition game and became the most dominant team of the era, changing the entire direction of the league.
1973-1974 Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks - 7 Games
This series was littered with several future NBA Hall of Fame players who not only evolved their respective positions, but brought the game to a new level. The Bucks featured Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, while the Celtics had Dave Cowens and John Havlicek. Abdul-Jabbar was so dominant the Celtics frequently triple teamed him when he got the ball. The strategy paid off as the C's prevailed in seven games.
Top 5 reasons Marc Gasol won the Defensive Player Of The Year.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The NBA chose wisely this year, didn't listen to the hype, and gave it to a truly deserving player.
Marc Gasol becamse the first Grizzlie player ever to win the Defensive Player of the Year honors receiving 212 points and 30 first-place votes.
"I'm the first European ever to accomplish this," Gasol said Wednesday. "It's really an honor. Now I think my kids will believe me when I tell them I played in the NBA."
#5 Defensive Efficiency: The Grizzlies were 2nd in the NBA in terms of defensive efficiency and their numbers were always improved when Gasol was on the court. This shows that his team is strong defensively; but that they are improved by his presence and even surrounded by great defenders he makes the difference.
#4 Defensive Rebounding: Gasol averaged 5.5 defensive rebounds a game and held opponents to 6.8 points per 100 possessions.
#3 Steals Solid: Gasol averaged 1.0 steal per game, which is impressive for a big man.
#2 Blocks Impressive. Gasol averaged 1.7 blocks per game, which was 13th in the league.
#1 Getting The Job Done: The Grizzlies take a team approach to defense. They are able to pressure on the wings more because they know they're interior defense is so strong. Gasol in the middle anchors this interior defense. The Grizzlies allowed a league-low 88.7 point per game as a result.
Photo Credit: AP News
Top 5 Most Overrated NBA Players of the 2012-2013 season.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: These guys are earning way too much money and it's just that simple.
This is the list of the overpayed and the underachievers. Some of these players are very good players, but that doesn't mean for a second they aren't getting way over paid for their production levels. This is the 2012-2013 top 5 most overrated players based on their performance and earnings this season.
#5 Danilo Gallinari: Gallinari almost didn't make the list playing for the over achieving Denver Nuggets who currently sit at 54-24 in the Western Conference. They've played above expectations all season. Yet, Gallinari is still taking home $9.4 million for producing 16.2 PPG and 5.2 RPG. Again, these numbers don't seem completely outrageous, but keep in mind Gallinari is a cherry picker. He's not creating a most of his offense. He's having it handed to him from drive penetration and kick-outs. He is essentially a very well paid jump shooter.
#4 Metta World Peace: MWP isn't a bad player, but his production this season is marginal with only 12.5 PPG and 5.0 RPG for the 42-37 Lakers. Plus, he's taking home $7.3 million for those numbers. I know he's supposed to be a defensive threat, but clearly that's no longer the case as the Lakers have one of the worst defenses in the league. MWP needs to save up his money because after this contract his take home dollars are going to drop to the floor.
#Jeremy Lin: Lin wisely cashed in on "Linsanity" last season to the tune of $8.3 million. Houston was hoping he would regain his insane form with the Knicks. He's had decent numbers with 13.2 PPG and 6.1 APG, but these certainly aren't 8 million dollar numbers. Harden's doing all the real heavy lifting in Houston.
#2 Pau Gasol: Gasol is in the black hole that is the Lakers. His numbers are a paltry 13.5 PPG and 8.1 RPG which is impossible to justify at $19 million for the season. Gasol is so grossly over-compensated for his pay that it makes him impossible to trade. No one wants to absorb his price tag. This is the very definition of overrated.
#1 Dwight Howard: This should come as a surprise to absolutely no one, including Dwight Howard. He came into LA as the savior. He was on the cover of every major basketball and sporting magazine talking about how many rings he was going to win and now he's looking like the worst NBA cancer since, well, he was in Orlando. Howard will make $19.5 million this season for producing 16.8 PPG, 12.4 RPG, and 2.4 BPG. Oh, did I forget to mention, the Lakers are only 42-37 and might not even make the playoffs. That's a lot of money to pay someone to self-destruct an organization that used to be known for greatness.
Top 5 reasons Derrick Rose shouldn't return this season.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Everyone want to see DRose back on the court, but at this point in the season he should probably just sit it out.
#5 Disrupt Chicago's Flow: Chicago is currently 5th in the Eastern Conference with a clinched playoff birth. I'm sure they'd be in the top 2 or 3 if Rose was playing, but Chicago is still a dangerous team and has proven they can beat top teams (ending Miami's 27 game win streak) even without Rose. His return at this point wouldn't help them finish the year strong, it would only disrupt whatever continuity and offensive flow they've taken the year to establish.
#4 Not Game Ready: Rose has been out almost a year. I know he's been practicing and feels great, but the reality is you are only truly in shape to play ball, by playing ball. Rose isn't in the shape he needs to be in to compete at playoff level NBA ball. It would take most player at least a couple weeks of games to get their legs back and with the playoff almost upon us, not isn't the time.
#3 Unrealistic Expectations: People are expecting DRose to swoop in and be the same player he was before his injury. He may never be that player again. If he does regain his former form, it may take time. Throwing him into the NBA playoffs and expecting him to save Chicago's season is unfair. He needs more time to come back gradually. Just let this season go and let him come back full strength next year.
#2 Not Mentally Ready: Rose has told the press he still doesn't "feel" ready. If a player doesn't feel confident with his body he should be on the court. Give, Rose may only ever get ready by getting back in the game, but his mental preparedness is key to his return. If his mind doesn't believe he's ready to be back, his effectiveness and susceptibility to injury should be concerns.
#1 Risk Injury: Chicago and Rose need to think of the big picture. His return for the last few games of the regular season and a playoff run that will likely be stopped in either the first or second round isn't worth the risk. Let Rose continue to rehab over the spring and summer, coming back completely confident in his ACL next season. Why risk it?
Basketball is a team sport, but when two studs lock horns, the other players on the court recede from view.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: So many great rivalries, so little time!
Today, Gatorade released an ad for it's new product "Fixation",which features Kevin Durant and Dwyane Wade squaring off, each player dreaming of a different outcome when they meet one and each other on the floor.
So it got me thinking: Who are the best one on one match-ups in NBA history?
Here are the first batlles that came to mind.
Shaquille O'Neal vs. Hakeem Olajuwon
Their match-up in the 1995 NBA Finals has been washed asunder by the tides of history, but at the time, this may have been the best duel I have ever witness. Hakeem was paying the best basketball of his career this season (in the playoffs particularly)and maybe the best stretch for any center in NBA history. Shaq led the NBA in scoring this season (29.3 ppg) and was in the midst of establishing himself as the most physically dominant center ever. In the Finals, Hakeem averaged 32.8 ppg and Shaq scored 28.0 ppg.
Wilt Chamberlain vs Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
In the conversation about the best center of all-time, these two names are really the only two at the top of the list- it's really just a question of who is 1a and who is 1b.This excellent article breaks it down, blow by blow, and concludes that Wilt is the victor.
They played against each other 27 times, including 11 games in the playoffs of 1971 and 1972. In their first 11 meetings, Chamberlain was still able to (i.e. inclined to) score with Jabbar. In those first 11 games, Wilt averaged 22.8 ppg and 17.6 rebounds, while Kareem averaged 26.0 ppg and 15.6 rebounds.
50 ppg, 30.1 ppg over his career, 23 rebounds/game over his career, the only non-guard ever to lead the league in assists, 100 points in one game, the list goes on...Wilt was simply more dominating.
Kevin Durant vs. LeBron James
This is absolutely the most exciting match-up in the current NBA, with both players battling every night for supremacy. In five playoff games (last year's NBA Finals), KD outscored LBJ 30.6 ppg to 28.6 ppg. But James dominated in every other statistical category and also won the title, by a margin of 4-1. In 11 regular season match-ups it's the same story; Durant averages 29.0 to LBJ's 28.1, "Bron Bron" has the edge in rebounds, assists, steals and blocks and has won nine of the 11 games. "Durantula" has some work to do, potentially in this years NBA Finals.
Dominique Wilkins vs. Michael Jordan
Of their era, these were the two most athletically gifted, electrifying players. WIlkins at times, looked like he almost had too much energy for his body, while MJ was always smooooooth. In 45 career games against each other, Jordan won 27 while "Nique" won 18. MJ averaged 31.6, while Wilkins poured in 29.8 as both players had almost identical stat lines. In one playoff series that the Bulls swept, Jordan averaged 34.3, 6.7 rpg, 4.3 apg to Nique's 30.0, 5.3 rpg and 3.0 apg.
Kobe Bryant vs. Michael Jordan
The significance of this rivalry isn't as much about the head to head play, though that was extremely entertaining, but about what it meant to the league- was it not old MJ versus a young version of himself? Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan played each other 8 times, four when Jordan was with the Chicago Bulls and 4 when he was with the Washington Wizards. The Lakers won 5 of those games. Across these games, Bryant scored an average of 22.8 points, while Jordan scored 24.5 points.
Oh,old man Jordan still has it.
What's your top five?
17 years ago today, MJ became just the tenth player in NBA history to eclipse the 24,000 point plateau.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: Another day at the office, another milestone for Michael Jordan at that point in his career.
Who'd have thought at the time, that 17 years later to the day, he'd have a bogus paternity suit against him dropped?
Against the Philadelphia 76ers at the United Center, Jordan poured in 38 points on 15 of 32 shooting as the Bulls won 98-94. The victory pushed the Chicago's record to 58-7. The Jordan led Bulls would ultimately set an NBA precedent for greatness that year, setting the all-time single season mark for victories in a season with 72.
Prior to Jordan, only nine players in the history of the league had scored at least 24,000 points- Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, John Havlicek, Moses Malone, Jerry West, Elvin Hayes, Oscar Robertson, George Gervin and Alex English.
Before it was all said and done, Jordan scored 32,292 points and retired having scored the third most points in NBA history. In 15 professional seasons, he led the NBA in scoring 10 times, including seven years in a row and 10 times in 11 seasons (!).
Kobe Bean Bryant is just 995 points away from tying MJ and wresting third place from his trophy case- as if Jordan even cares.
Since MJ got his 24,000th point in 1996, the accomplishment has become more commonplace. Currently, a total of 19 players (nine post-Jordan) have scored 24,000+ points, including Allen Iverson, Kobe, Karl Malone, Dirk Nowitzki, Reggie Miller, Patrick Ewing and Kevin Garnett.
Boston's Paul Pierce is just 223 points short, and former Celtic/current Heat guard Ray Allen is right behind him, just 145 points less than Pierce.
While all the other players on this list are great scorers, no one was more electrifying than Michael Jordan.
Not everyone can win all their games like the Miami Heat.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: "One man's ceiling is another man's floor."
3 Point Play looks at Metta World Peace punching players, 2 NBA ballers kissing and fighting, and Caron Butler's punk move.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Who knew basketball viral videos would have so much kissing and violence in them at the same time.
3 Point Plays examines the world of viral basketball videos. Did Metta World Peace mean to throw a jab - cross combo? Where two NBA ballers caught kissing and fighting? Can Caron Butler claim the biggest punk move of the year? We've got the answers, so check out this weeks episode of 3 Point Play.
Chris Paul chats with HoopsVibe after practice about trade rumors, championships, and Gregg Popovich.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: When CP3 answers a question you should pay attention.
Chris Paul talks candidly about what is next for the Los Angeles Clippers and CP3. Humble as always, Paul deflects any individual accolades and instead focuses on the task ahead. Now that the Clippers are finally healthy with Chauncey Billups back, could they be a championship team? They've beaten the Spurs 2 out of 3 games this season and are looking to make the leap to the next level.
Fresh off his MVP performance at All Star Weekend, Paul remains calm, confident, and focused when looking ahead. He knows there is a lot of basketball left in the season and that the Clippers have a long way to go. He also doesn't pay much attention to any of the trade rumors surrounding the Clippers. These include rumors that Boston Celtic big-man Kevin Garnett could be coming to LA or that fellow point guard Eric Bledsoe may be headed out of town.
CP3 remains positive about the chemistry on his team and their outlook for the second half of the season.