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Wednesday , Dec , 29 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Lakers need healthy Bynum, not ‘pissed off’ Bryant

Now as for the loss to the Spurs, Kobe said, "I'm just pissed." "That doesn't mean you're going to play mad [against New Orleans] does it?" I said with just the right amount of concern. "I don't know," Kobe said. "I've been playing mad as long as you have been writing mad."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Los Angeles Lakers don’t need Kobe Bryant pissed off. They do need Andrew Bynum healthy and playing well.

The giant post missed the first two months of the season recovering from knee surgery, and he has struggled to find his form since returning.

Simply put, Bynum, when on his game, makes the Lakers unstoppable. His height (7-1) and wingspan were the difference between winning and losing game-seven of last year’s NBA Finals against the Celtics.

Well, imitation is the greatest form of flattery, as several teams added size to battle Bynum in the playoffs. The Boston Celtics signed Jermaine and Shaquille O’Neal; the Dallas Mavericks traded for Tyson Chandler and re-upped with Brendan Haywood; the San Antonio Spurs brought Tiago Splitter from Europe and developed the powerful DeJuan Blair.

Of course, Bryant will be better than yesterday’s game against the Spurs, where he missed 13 straight shots.

However, the purple-and-gold needs a healthy Bynum, not a pissed off Bryant, to win their third consecutive championship.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Dec , 22 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Michael Finley to Glen Davis: ‘Establish yourself’


"I'll never forget," he said, "Michael Finley told me right after dinner after Game Seven, 'Make sure in training camp, you need to establish yourself.' I took that with me through the whole summer -- 'Establish yourself. You need to be a force to be reckoned with.' "

Finley stressed to Davis that the Celtics could run the ball through him in the second unit this season. "You're capable enough to be doing that," the veteran said. Davis let the advice sink in. Then, it clicked.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call:
Glen Davis should drop the ‘Baby’ from his ‘Big Baby’ moniker. Instead, he should just be ‘Big’.

This year, Davis has been ‘Big’ off the bench. His jumper has been ‘Big’. His post play has been ‘Big’. And his focus has been ‘Big’.

Instead of getting distracted by the hoopla surrounding his Boston Celtics, Davis has shown a razor focus, averaging a steady 12 points and six rebounds off the bench.

This is hardly a surprise. Davis has always had the skill-set to be a very good player. He’s surprisingly quick for his size. And he possesses world class hands.

Davis’ improved play gives Doc Rivers’ squad a deadly second unit. And he could be difference between the Celtics winning and losing another championship.

--Oly Sandor.


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Monday , Dec , 20 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Nate Robinson eats Madison Square Garden floor

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Think Nate Robinson was excited when Paul Pierce hit the game-winning shot against his former team, the New York Knicks?

First, the Boston combo guard tried recreating his days as a prep football star in Washington by tackling Pierce. 

Then he tried recreating his ‘Shrek and Donkey’ moment from last year’s NBA Finals with Glen Davis by leaping onto Pierce.

Both attempts failed. Badly. The second ended with Robinson falling on his face and eating the floor at Madison Square Garden.

Click the video below and get at us with thoughts on Robinson’s antics.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Dec , 18 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Lakers have bigger worries than Kobe’s pinkie finger

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was down to three healthy fingers on his shooting hand Friday in his Philadelphia homecoming but a fourth-quarter surge won it for the Lakers, 93-81.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kobe Bryant will be fine. His finger is nothing to worry about folks. So move along.

Word is the Black Mamba sprained his right pinkie finger after catching a ‘bad pass’ from Los Angeles Lakers teammate Pau Gasol in a game against the Philadelphia 76ers.

For Bryant, injuries don’t matter. He has played through knee troubles, broken fingers, and other aliments before.

The purple-and-gold has a bigger issue: boredom. After winning two consecutive NBA championships, the Lakers are cruising through the regular season.

Problem is, the San Antonio Spurs, behind their revitalized big four, are flying with a league-best 22-3 record. And the deep Dallas Mavericks are 21-5. If the Lakers get through the Western Conference, the Boston Celtics or Miami Heat will be waiting.

So Bryant’s finger is the least of the Lakers’ worries.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Dec , 18 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Dwight Howard behind Magic`s pursuit of Gil Arenas?

After the Wizards lost to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, Arenas privately told people that a deal could possibly be in the works with either Orlando or Charlotte. Word started to spread throughout Verizon Center that evening, but the talk initially was shut down by multiple league sources. The Magic realizes they have to make a move. They have to do something,`` said the source.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The NBA is a superstar’s league and the rest of us are living in it.

For instance, Dwight Howard, the Orlando Magic’s MVP candidate, wants changes to the roster. The big post knows his team isn’t in the same class as the Boston Celtics or Miami Heat, so he’s pressing executive Otis Smith to make a trade.

Being a superstar’s league, Smith must appease. Currently, he’s scouring the trade market for something, anything to keep Howard happy.

And Gilbert Arenas’ name keeps popping up.

Yes, the guy with a rep’ for being more high maintenance than one of those housewives of Orange County. Yes, the brittle combo guard with one of the worst contracts in pro sports. Yes, the Washington Wizards want to part with their former superstar who has a history of injuries, hooliganism, and shenanigans.

Sure, Arenas can score. And sure, he has a relationship with Smith. But The Superstar Formerly Known As The Hibachi has never toned down his shot-first mentality for others.

In fact, Arenas has to be The Guy. He knows nothing else. It’s option one status or broke. Such a mentality and approach isn’t what Howard and the Magic need.

Smith needs to look for the best deal possible. With Arenas, he’d be making a deal for the sake of making a deal.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Dec , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Mark Cuban: ‘Miami is the best team in the league’

 Mark Cuban did enjoy the Heat's early struggles, but he may be changing his tune. During a visit to San Antonio this past weekend, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said the Mavericks were probably the best team in the league right now. ... Surely, [Cuban] has to be pleased with the progress of the hottest team in the NBA, one that battling San Antonio for the league's best record. But are the Mavs, in Cuban's biased opinion, the best around? "Miami is the best team in the league right now," Cuban said simply.

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 HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They’re better but not the best.

After some early struggles, the Miami Heat have found their form and won six straight games to push their record to 15-8.

There are still issues. For instance, the Heat can’t go all season with Carlos Arroyo and Mario Chalmers at point guard. It remains to be seen if Erik Dampier can provide a physical presence down low.

Most importantly, Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade need time to get comfortable with each other on both ends of the floor.

When this happens, the Heat will legitimately challenge the Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs as the league’s best team.

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Dec , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Orlando Magic talking to Washington Wizards about Arenas?

According to sources, talks have resurfaced between the Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards regarding a potential trade for guard Gilbert Arenas.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Like Anthony Robbins, the NBA is all about personal power -or the power of personal relationships. 

The Orlando Magic is the only team interested in controversial Washington Wizards’ guard Gilbert Arenas. The reason: Magic GM Otis Smith is a friend, mentor, and confidante to Arenas. 

In short, he still believes. Smith thinks Arenas, in the right circumstance, can recapture his past form and excel as a co-star next to super-post Dwight Howard.

 Perhaps he’s right. New scenery can do wonders.

However, Arenas has taken a great physical and emotional pounding. The knee surgeries have changed him. So has the fallout and suspension from bringing guns into the Wizards locker room. 

A new team, even one with a chance at a championship, may not be enough. 

But the Magic may have no other choice. Howard needs help if they are to compete with the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, and San Antonio Spurs for a championship.

 Friendship may result in Smith gambling on Arenas.

 --Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Nov , 29 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Orlando Magic still interested in Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul?

The Magic are still open to making trades, reports Brian Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel.

Schmitz writes that the Magic still like both Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony -- they are partial to Paul -- and they'll trade anyone but Dwight Howard for either All-Star.

 Link

HoopsVibe News: One step back. Two steps forward.

Translation: the Orlando Magic is prepared for short-term struggles if it leads to long-term success, especially if that long-term success includes Carmelo Anthony or Chris Paul.

Magic GM Otis Smith realizes his current squad lacks the horses to beat the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, or even the revamped San Antonio Spurs in a seven-game series.

He needs another superstar. Dwight Howard aside, Smith will move anybody on his roster for Anthony or Paul. 

Trades mean transition. Players need to adjust. Coaches must alter game plans. Roles must be redefined. And chemistry must develop.

Smith would accept these temporary stumbles because Howard with Anthony or Paul would supposedly give the Magic a better chance at a championship than the status quo.

Of course, there are complications. Anthony seems destined to suit up for the New York Knicks, while Paul appears to have reconciled with the New Orleans Hornets.

However, give the Magic credit. It’s championship or broke for Smith and Howard.

Oly Sandor.


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Monday , Nov , 29 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Older, wiser Shaq the NBA’s best bargain?

Shaquille O'Neal is averaging 22.7 minutes per game and has provided the Celtics everything they could have hoped through 16 games. A key to his resurgence is that he arrived without his Shaq-Fu attitude. While every superstar's impact eventually fades, it is up to the star to determine how he wants his career to conclude. Some never recognize that their skills have eroded, while others decide to reinvent themselves as someone who can help their team despite diminishing talents. O'Neal said he decided to move to Sudbury to avoid the allure of the Boston nightlife and concentrate fully on basketball. During his postgame interview, two of his sons were milling around the locker room, soaking in the new environment. In his younger days, O'Neal said he would have capitalized on the Friday nightlife after a victory, especially with the weekend off. Not now.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Older and wiser.

In the twilight of his career, Shaquille O’Neal appears to be avoiding the pitfalls of his youth. No nightclubs. No attitude; just a team-first approach to helping the Boston Celtics.

It’s working, too. O’Neal is averaging 13 points and 7 rebounds in 22 minutes. He’s also hitting a scorching 69% of his attempts from the floor.

Best of all, O’Neal has bought into Coach Doc Rivers’ get-stops philosophy. The Big Shamrock isn’t doing his typical defense-is-a-contagious-disease routine.

Instead, O’Neal is clogging the lane; showing effectively on pick-and-rolls; and taking the pressure off veteran defensive anchor Kevin Garnett.

At $1.5 million per season, he’s the best bargain in the NBA.  Who would have thought that after O’Neal’s mediocre 2010 with the Cleveland Cavaliers?

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Nov , 14 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Shaq’s Boston state of mind: ‘No (expletive) layups’

O'Neal discussed his philosophy on unstoppable forces meeting immovable objects before Saturday's game, reaffirming the notion that his primary job description is "enforcer."

"That's what I do: No [expletive] layups," said O'Neal, throwing out a 12-letter curse word for effect. "Print it just like that and, if you get fined, come see me, and I'll reimburse you."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Is Shaquille O’Neal feeling alright? Is he sick? Has he come down with the dreaded Bieber fever (they sang a duet, you know)?

I raise these questions because O’Neal has gladly accepted his role with the Boston Celtics as a defensive cog down the middle.

Touches are irregular. Shots are few and far between. Minutes have varied. And the future Hall of Fame center hasn’t uttered a word.

Instead, he’s bought into the green-and-white’s get-stops system. He’s active on the pick-and-roll. Opponents are paying the price for driving the lane.

It’s only been a few weeks, but O’Neal’s transition from glamorous superstar to blue-collar big is amazing.

He was once the face of the NBA. He was once the straw that stirred the drink for the three-time world champion Los Angeles Lakers. And he once treated defence like a contagious disease.

That was then, this is now. Unsuccessful stops in Phoenix and Cleveland have changed things.

O’Neal is simply trying to win a fifth NBA championship before ‘Father Time’ forces the inevitable: retirement.

So it’s not the flu. Or, an affliction caused by a midget pop star. Shaq’ has changed his stripes because the end is near.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Nov , 13 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Udonis Haslem: Paul Pierce is a ‘studio gangster’

"Paul who?" Haslem told reporters at Friday's afternoon practice, according to Michael Wallace of ESPN's The Heat Index.  "Man, ain't nobody paying them dudes no attention, man. You know what studio gangster is? Look up that, look up the definition of studio gangster. I'm here to play basketball. First of all, I don't tweet. So I wouldn't know what he tweeted if you guys didn't tell me."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Leave it to the heart and soul of the Miami Heat to respond to Paul Pierce’s tweet.

By calling Pierce a ‘studio gangster’, Udonis Haslem, a veteran energy player, was implying that Pierce was a fake for insulting Heat superstar LeBron James via twitter.

Clearly, Pierce’s Celtics and Haslem’s Heat don’t like each other. Not one bit.

Pierce and the green-and-white feel as reigning Eastern Conference champions they deserve greater respect, while Haslem and The Holy Trinity of South Beach are expected to cruise to the NBA Title.

See the potential for conflict?

Haslem’s comments are the latest development between these rivals. Expect their war of words to continue, especially once the Heat round into form.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Nov , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Paul Pierce mocks LeBron James

"It's been a pleasure to bring my talents to south beach now on to Memphis''.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Can you say rivalry?

The Boston Celtics do not like the Miami Heat. Not one bit.

The Celtics, who were a quarter away from winning the NBA Title, are miffed the Heat was picked to win the Eastern Conference, even though The Holy Trinity had yet to play a game together.

After manhandling the Heat for the second time in two weeks, Pierce, the Celtics’ closer and leading scorer, felt obligated to talk a little viral trash. His tweet is spoofing James’ (in)famous line during The Decision. 

Fair enough. Pierce has good reason to be confident.

Kevin Garnett has turned back the clock; Rajon Rondo is the NBA’s top all-around table-setter; Ray Allen’s stroke is still silky; the bench will be productive, especially when Kendrick Perkins and Delonte West get healthy.

Garnett and Rondo, in particular, should please Pierce and worry the Heat

The Big Ticket is one of many physical Boston posts who will give Miami’s smaller frontline trouble. Also, Rondo will have his way with the underwhelming Carlos Arroyo.

A rivalry is brewing between the Celtics and Heat. Right now, it’s one way, though.

--Oly Sandor.


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Thursday , Nov , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Joakim Noah on Kevin Garnett: ‘I don’t like him’

Bulls center Joakim Noah has made it clear that he dislikes Celtics forward Kevin Garnett.

"Kevin Garnett will not -- will not -- get a Christmas gift from me," Noah said Wednesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "I don't like him."

The feud started during last season's playoffs.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There’s little love lost between Joakim Noah and Kevin Garnett. In fact, there’s none whatsoever.

By publicly calling out Garnett, Noah is supporting fellow New Yorker and friend Charlie Villanueva, who was embroiled in a nasty tweet off with The Big Ticket last week.

Of course, there’s more to it. These two are rivals.

Noah’s Bulls are an up-and-coming squad expected to challenge established contenders. Garnett’s Celtics are the reigning Eastern Conference champions.

Noah and Garnett have much in common: they both are defensive anchors; they both are known league-wide as tough guys; and they both have never shied away from talking a little smack.

However, Noah is developing into a blue-collar star, while Garnett – a former MVP and perennial All-Star – is the downside of his career.

Noah’s comments are a case of him, the student, challenging Garnett, the master.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Nov , 07 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Garnett on Charlie Villanueva: he’s a ‘Nobody’

As far as Kevin Garnett is concerned, his feud with Charlie Villanueva is over. "It's a nobody," Garnett said. "I'm not paying attention to nobodies any more."

The controversy struck on Wednesday morning, the day after Boston faced Detroit and Garnett and Villanueva had words. Villanueva accused Garnett of calling him "a cancer patient," which the Celtics forward denied.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call:
Kevin Garnett is finally finished with Charlie Villanueva.

In case you missed it: last week, Villanueva, who suffers from a rare skin disease, accused Garnett of calling him a cancer patient, while Garnett maintains he only called Villanueva a cancer to his team and the league.

Their he-said, he-said battle caused a stir. Thankfully, it’s over. However, Garnett couldn’t resist a final jab by telling reporters he would no longer comment on a ‘nobody’ like Villanueva.

Typical KG.
The future Hall of Fame post always gets the last word. After all, he could have said no comment, but had to slam Villanueva.

Still, he’s right. Villanueva has talent; however, he refuses to channel that talent and become a consistent scorer.

After last week’s drama, this wasn’t the time for Garnett to fuel the fire by calling Villanueva a 'nobody'.

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Nov , 04 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Did Kevin Garnett drop ‘The Cancer Bomb’ on Charlie Villanueva?

Garnett, known as a trash talker, stuck to his usual routine and did not speak to the media before Wednesday's game against the Milwaukee Bucks.

He did issue a statement before the game.

"I am aware there was a major miscommunication regarding something I said on the court last night. My comment to Charlie Villanueva was in fact: You are cancerous to your team and our league,"' Garnett said. "I would never be insensitive to the brave struggle that cancer patients endure. I have lost loved ones to this deadly disease and have a family member currently undergoing treatment. I would never say anything that distasteful. The game of life is far bigger than the game of basketball."

One of Villanueva's tweets read: "KG called me a cancer patient, I'm [mad] because, u know how many people died from cancer, and he's tossing it like it's a joke."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: No doubt about it, Kevin Garnett has crossed the line before.

More than once, ‘The Big Ticket’ has exercised questionable judgment, elbowing, pushing, shoving, and brawling with opponents.

Two years ago, he made even Glen Davis cry. Davis is a teammate.  

Despite his questionable reputation, Garnett wouldn’t unleash The Cancer Bomb on Detroit Piston Charlie Villanueva.

Garnett would, however, call the forward cancerous to his team and league. And his version of events was recently confirmed by Boston Celtics coach Glen 'Doc' Rivers.

With respect to Villanueva, Garnett is right.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Nov , 01 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

West and Wafer make peace, laugh off Friday’s brawl

Delonte West and Von Wafer have moved on from their locker room fight on Friday and were laughing about it on Sunday.

"I'm competitive, he's competitive, as long as it's for the betterment of the team, there's nothing wrong with healthy competition and pushing each other to get better," West said. "Things went a little far, but at the same time, we were able to move past that. We're professionals."

Asked if he felt the two had patched things up, West added: "Oh yeah, no question. We laughed about it [Sunday]."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Boys will be boys, I guess.

Yesterday, Delonte West and Von Wafer laughed off Friday’s scuffle, saying their rumble in the jungle was due to both players’ competitive streak getting the better of them –and nothing more. 

This would fly if it was West and Wafer’s first confrontation; however, Friday’s tilt was The Rematch. These two reportedly went head-to-head earlier in the month.

On the one hand, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers must like his role players showing such intensity in training. After all, practices are the games for West and Wafer.

On the other hand, Rivers won’t like spare parts – West and Wafer – making national headlines and creating a distraction.

If there’s another incident, the Celtics, a patient organization, will take action against these two.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Oct , 30 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Celtic teammates Delonte West and Von Wafer brawl at practice?

Celtics guards Delonte West and Von Waver were involved in a physical altercation, team president Danny Ainge confirmed to the Boston Herald. The two players were guarding each other in a game of three-on-three when West repeatedly fouled Wafer, leading to the incident.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: These things happen. During practice, teammates lose their cool.

No big deal, right?

Well, wrong. This incident is a big deal for Delonte West and Von Wafer –two troubled players who need to steer clear of drama if they want to keep their jobs.

West has had mental health issues, been in trouble with the law, and involved in a bizarre rumor he had ‘relations’ with a former superstar teammate’s mom.

Wafer is trying to resurrect his career after failing in Europe. In the NBA, he often rubbed coaches and teammates the wrong way.

So this donnybrook won’t help either player. Not one bit.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Oct , 27 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Work In Progress: Bosh, James, Wade, and Heat struggle in game one loss to Celtics

Ray Allen and Paul Pierce scored 20 and 19 points, respectively, as the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics held off the new-look Miami Heat, 88-80, in arguably the most anticipated regular season opener in NBA history.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It was supposed to be perfection. It was supposed to be poetry in motion. It was supposed to be unstoppable.

It is a work in progress.

This is the only way to describe the Miami Heat’s opening night loss against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday evening at TD Banknorth Garden.

The Heat, by their own admission, had an atrocious opening half, scoring 30 points. The second half was better; however, the Three Kings couldn’t complete the 19-point comeback because they ran out of energy against the well polished Celtics.

A few observations from game one:

•    The Heat ran too many high pick-and-rolls, a set that depends on chemistry and timing. Of course, the Heat haven’t played together long enough to develop chemistry and timing.

Conversely, the Celtics are an elite defensive squad. They’ve played together for years. And they have defensive chemistry and timing –especially when guarding the pick-and-roll.

•    The Heat need to improve spacing. Too often, they crowded each other. And too often, players were colliding.

•    Dwyane Wade looked off. To be fair, he’s injured. But his on-going custody battle has, understandably, taken a toll.

•    Eddie House, James Jones, and Mike Miller (when healthy) are living The Shooter’s Dream. With James and Wade, they only need to get open, catch the ball, and sink shots.

•    James was rolling in the second half, so why did Coach Erik Spoelstra pull him in the fourth quarter? This, along with a late Ray Allen three-pointer, allowed the Celtics to seal the game.

Game one for The Three Kings is in the books. It’s too early to draw conclusions, but every game, quarter, and possession will be under the microscope.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Oct , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Is Shaquille O’Neal becoming an ‘adult’ for Boston Celtics?

Celtics center Shaquille O'Neal isn't interested in potentially winning the Sixth Man of the Year award this season. "No," he said. "About four years ago, I gave up on the concept of winning individual awards. I'm focusing on the big one at the end of the year."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: If I hadn`t seen his duet with preteen monstrosity Justin Beiber, I’d say Shaquille O’Neal is sounding like an adult.

The powers that be with the Boston Celtics must like the signs. The future Hall of Fame center is gelling with teammates, doesn’t care for individual awards, and will apparently sacrifice to win.

This represents progress for The Big Shamrock, right? Hold on folks. Proceed with caution. For every team, October is filled with promise and promises.

The proof will come in January when O’Neal plays limited minutes during a nationally televised game against the Miami Heat.

Or during the playoffs when Coach Doc Rivers plays the defensive Kendrick Perkins (if healthy) because he can guard the pick and roll.

O’Neal will be upset. The media will circle. The media will question. And the media won’t stop until they get their controversial quote.

O’Neal must respond carefully. One wrong move, one wrong statement, or one off-putting joke could compromise his time with the green-and-white.

The year will be an exercise in maturity. So O’Neal better do more than sound like an adult. He better be one.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Oct , 17 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Shaq’s advice to Glen Davis: ‘Jambalaya, Barbecue Chicken, and Chimichangas’

After chipping in six points, three rebounds, and two assists over 13:38 in his first action since sitting out the past three preseason games, O'Neal retreated to the bench and cheered on fellow LSU big man Glen Davis. Those words of encouragement?

"Jambalaya, barbecue chicken, and chimichangas," O'Neal said with a straight face after the game. "It's an LSU thing. I can't tell you, it's all secret society code."


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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call:
Move on people. Avoid the obvious zingers about two ‘larger than life’ posts using a buffet spread as their secret code.

The one-liners are too easy –like picking on a fat kid at a candy store (see what I mean). Here’s the important thing: Shaquille O’Neal and Glen Davis are clicking.

After all, chemistry is a fickle thing. Last year, the Boston Celtics had it, and rode their team-first, get-stops style to the seventh game of the NBA Finals.

With their championship window closing, the green-and-white signed O’Neal, an aging superstar who struggles when playing a role. Of  course, Davis – a talented, but temperamental youngster - recently complained about not knowing his role.

There was the potential for problems between these two –big, big problems.

 O’Neal and Davis have bonded. How they bonded is irrelevant. What matters is they have bonded.

The Celtics can breathe a little easier. Instead of clashing like heavyweight sumo wrestlers, O’Neal and Davis have formed their 'secret society'.

Who are we to judge, or mock, them?

--Oly Sandor.

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