dirk-nowitzki
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Wednesday , Aug , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Blake Griffin on lockout: ‘My first three seasons, I could play 82 games’

"I haven't stopped working out really since May," Griffin said. "It's been every day, sneaking it in whenever I can." Griffin says it's frustrating for him to think that the NBA games may be interrupted after his first season playing in the league. Griffin missed all of the 2009-10 season with a broken kneecap after he had been the No. 1 draft pick out of Oklahoma. "Now my first three seasons, I could play 82 games," Griffin said. "So, we'll see what happens."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Last year was overwhelmingly positive for the NBA.
 
The sporting world was galvanized by Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James joining forces and becoming the ‘Heatles’ in Miami.

Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd’s hard work was rewarded with an NBA championship, guaranteeing both immediate entry into the Hall of Fame when they retire.

Derrick Rose won the MVP award, leading the Chicago Bulls to the league’s best regular season record and a place in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder took another step winning two playoff series before falling to Nowitzki and Kidd’s Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals.

The Memphis Grizzlies made the playoffs and upset the San Antonio Spurs. After years of futility, the Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers were relevant and entertaining.

There are other storylines I’m missing.

For instance, high on this list is the emergence of Blake Griffin, whose aerial antics reminded the world there’s a professional basketball squad in Los Angeles not called the Lakers.

(And this squad, the Clippers, can compete and delight despite being owned by the twisted and incompetent Donald Sterling.)

Suppose there’s a lockout. One that wipes out the entire season. Griffin, who missed 2009 with injury, will have played just eighty-two games in his first three seasons.

Fans would have to wait a year to see Griffin assault the rim. Fans would have to wonder what Griffin would do to defend his crown at the 2012 Slam Dunk Contest. And fans, the purists, would have to wait a year to see Griffin’s above average passing and skill-set develop.

This is tragic. And just another thing Commissioner David Stern, the owners, Union Head Billy Hunter, and the players are risking with their posturing and rhetoric.

I hope they know what they’re doing. Griffin missing another year should be a last resort.

--Oly Sandor.


Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Wednesday , Jul , 27 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Love on NBA.com and lockout: ‘it’s silly’

"They took everything off," Love told The Post. "I laughed, but it's not funny. You take everyone off? You go on our website and it's the dancers and Crutch our mascot. I think it's cool for the charity events, but not using any of the players, it's silly. Let's get this thing resolved and play basketball. It's disheartening to fans and to us. Let's get it figured out.''

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Last year Kevin Love looked like the second-coming of Charles Barkley with his work on the backboard.

This summer Love sounds like the second-coming of ‘Chuck’ with his candour and tell-it-like-it-is nature.

The Minnesota Timberwolves power forward recently told the New York Post the NBA looks ridiculous for pulling players off league and team websites, and urged the parties to solve the lockout.

Love is right: NBA.com is comical. Commissioner David Stern and the owners look petty for only having cheerleaders/mascots on-line, and their negotiating ploys have often been unreasonable.

Here’s my question for the players: what took so long? Why is a promising 22-year old playing in tiny Minnesota left to tell Stern and union boss Billy Hunter to find solutions?

Where are the crème de la crème of the league like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade and others?  Well, they're flirting with teams in Europe. Or pulling in six-figure appearance fees for a night in Asia.

Right now, there’s little chance the NBA opens in November -especially if Love, a promising player in a backwater market, is left to pressure the disputing factions.

Hopefully, others follow Love’s lead.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Saturday , Jul , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Russell Westbrook: There’s no beef with Kevin Durant

Westbrook also argued with his coach, Scott Brooks, and his star teammate, Kevin Durant, on the court, leading to speculation that he was feuding with both. And when the Thunder were eliminated by the Dallas Mavericks, Westbrook shouldered most of the blame. In the two months since, Westbrook hasn’t lost much sleep worrying about the criticism.

“I refuse to let myself do that,” Westbrook told Yahoo! Sports. “I’ve been working too hard to get to the position we were in last season to worry about anything somebody else was saying.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Superstars need each other.

In today’s NBA, one superstar isn’t enough to win a title. The crème de la crème of talent know they must partner up to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy in late June.

For instance, the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, and San Antonio Spurs have a few premier players working towards a collective goal.

(The 2011 world champion Dallas Mavericks were, perhaps, the exception, surrounding their sole superstar, Dirk Nowitzki, with five or six very good players.)  

The Oklahoma City Thunder, if they are to join the ranks of legit contender, need Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook working together. Durant knows this. Westbrook knows this, too.

These two will never tell media or fans if there was tension over Westbrook’s questionable shot selection in the playoffs. They’ll keep it in-house, which shows they’re mature beyond their years.

However, coach Scott Brooks may want to clarify roles by reminding Westbrook that he is Robin and Durant is Batman. Not the other way around.

Brooks might also want to remind Westbrook he needs to focus on setting-the-table for teammates -as well as getting his own points.

Of course, this could be tricky. Once the lockout is settled, Westbrook and the Thunder will be ironing-out the details on a new, long-term extension.

Such declarations, if handled poorly, would do permanent damage to the Thunder‘s relationship with Westbrook.

All parties must proceed with caution. They need each other.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

Examining Dirk Nowitzki’s Dallas Mavericks back to back title potential. Vol. REPEAT
Thursday , Jul , 21 , 2011 J.N.

Examining Dirk Nowitzki’s Dallas Mavericks back to back title potential. Vol. REPEAT

This can be discussed even during a lockout. Dirk and the Mavs are still riding high from their hard earned 2011 NBA title. They swept Kobe’s Lakers, beat Durant/Westbrook Thunder, and then took out the Miami Heat. The team is battle tested especially with the grand fail against the Golden State Warriors in the 2007 playoffs. The Mavs lost a lot with a solid roster in the past. They overcame all of that in 2011.What’s next? Repeat. Duh. 

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Can Derrick Rose repeat MVP?
Sunday , Jul , 17 , 2011 J.N.

Can Derrick Rose repeat MVP?

The big network has already raised the question and shot it down without much debate. Can Derrick Rose repeat as the league MVP in the new season after the lockout? Can the kid become the third point guard to do it? How? News flash – He earned the 2010-2011 MVP when everyone wrote him off. You guys are writing him off again? I get it. The 2011 playoffs were bad for him during the fourth quarter. He didn’t choke. Rose just did not shoot well.

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What happened to my power forwards and centers?
Tuesday , Jul , 05 , 2011 J.N.

What happened to my power forwards and centers?

The stretch 4 business is serious business. Basketball purists have been complaining about the lack of quality at the center position for years now. They’re right. Look further down – the power forward position has also evolved in to this stretch 4 trend. What is a stretch 4, you ask? He’s a tall guy, usually 6-9 or taller, and plays from the perimeter. He barely posts up preferring to shoot instead of being a bruiser. 

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What if the 2011-2012 season is cancelled?
Monday , Jul , 04 , 2011 J.N.

What if the 2011-2012 season is cancelled?

There is a possibility that this might happen. Right now, things look grim. People are trying to remain hopeful. This is not a doom piece, but I usually go about expecting the worst out of everything. That’s life because when things go right, there is nothing to complain about. With that in mind, let’s pretend that the season is done. It’s over. Now what? The last lockout back in 1998 had the NBA miss 32 games. The league lost a lot of fans. 

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There is no best player in the NBA today
Saturday , Jun , 18 , 2011 J.N.

There is no best player in the NBA today

We are back to what the NBA was when Michael Jordan retired for the first time in 1993. There is no true ultimate dominator in this league who is head and shoulders above everyone. Remember that time? Malone, Stockton, Olajuwon, Shaq, Kidd, Miller, Barkley, Richmond, Pippen, Payton, and more became prominent when Jordan left. As of 2011, there is no one head and shoulders above anyone. We can make arguments for a few select, but they each have flaws whether it’s getting old, shrinking up, or whatever. 

 
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Friday , Jun , 17 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Warriors leave door open on trading Ellis?

In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Warriors General Manager Larry Riley said the team is not planning to trade Monta Ellis.“We are not shopping Monta Ellis,” Riley said.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: General Managers have a lingo.

Take Larry Riley, the head suit for the Golden State Warriors. Riley recently told Sports Illustrated that the club isn’t shopping Monta Ellis, their lightning-quick scorer.

That, however, doesn’t mean the Warriors won’t trade Ellis. It means they won’t initiate trade discussions, but they’ll listen to trade offers. And who knows what happens if the right trade offer materializes?

So Riley can offer public assurances. He can compare the Warriors’ tiny backcourt of Ellis and Stephen Curry to the world champion Mavericks, who used smaller guards. 

Riley is conveniently omitting that the Mavericks have superstar Dirk Nowitzki. The Warriors do not.

New coach Mark Jackson can say Ellis is the NBA’s third best shooting guard, capable of matching-up against anyone except Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade.

The door is open to a trade. How wide open remains to be seen, though.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Monday , Jun , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Dirk Nowitzki sheds ‘SOFT’ label with championship and Finals MVP

Jeff Van Gundy: 'Can Dirk Nowitzki finally shed the soft label? When has Nowitzki ever been soft'?7

(ABC Broadcast)

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call:  From unknown ‘Euro’ to world champion and Finals MVP.

Leading his Dallas Mavericks to an NBA championship validates Dirk Nowitzki as one of the NBA’s greatest players of all time.

His numbers were always superb. Yet Nowitzki never received the respect he deserved from his fellow superstars. It was subtle, but there.

There were Euro jokes. There was little respect from Shaquille O’Neal and Dwyane Wade in the 2006 NBA Finals. And Wade snubbed him months later at the 2007 All-Star game.

Then there was the jokes after his Mavericks self-destructed against the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the 2007 playoffs. The Mavericks were the first seed. The Warriors were the eighth seed.

Just a few days ago, Wade and LeBron James took a run at Nowitzki, coughing and joking into the camera before a shoot-around.

Clearly, the Heat’s two superstar didn’t believe Nowitzki had the flu in game five, or the German was playing up his fever to gain sympathy.

Bottom line: none of that matters anymore. Not one bit. Nowitzki now has a championship. Nobody can ever take that from him.

Revenge is indeed sweet.

--Oly Sandor.

Agree or disagree? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Jun , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

‘Cough-Gate’ makes Finals Personal for LeBron, D-Wade, and Dirk

"I just thought it was a little childish, a little ignorant," Nowitzki said before Saturday's practice at AmericanAirlines Arena. "I've been in this league for 13 years. I've never faked an injury or illness." Wade, who referred to Nowitzki's sinus infection Thursday as "the fun-loving story of him being sick," claimed Saturday that he didn't pretend to cough.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The NBA Finals just got personal. At least, for the series’ three greatest superstars.

Yesterday, reports indicated that LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were mocking Dirk Nowitzki’s cough, implying that the Dallas Mavericks’ forward was pretending to be sick in game five to appear heroic.

These reports stem from a video of James and Wade walking down a hallway with security. Of course, Nowitzki fired backed, calling James and Wade ‘childish’ and ‘immature’.

James and Wade then blamed the media, suggesting the press was again vilifying The Three Kings and Miami Heat. Apparently, there was no intended slight at Nowitzki.

Let’s be straight: the Heat have to be feeling the pressure. They were picked to walk through the regular season and waltz to the championship.

It was supposedly a foregone conclusion that South Beach would be hosting a victory parade in late June. It hasn’t worked that way.

The regular season was full of ups and downs. Now they’re a game away from being eliminated by the less talented and less heralded Mavericks.

The pressure is on. And things will get awfully personal for the Heat’s two biggest stars if they don’t win game six and seven.

--Oly Sandor.


Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Friday , Jun , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

A Mavericks Miracle: Dallas comeback stuns Miami, ties series

HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: Ladies and gentlemen, we have an NBA Finals.

The Dallas Mavericks used a 22-5 run in the fourth quarter to pull even with the Miami Heat.

Stingy defense and clutch baskets from Dirk Nowitzki fuelled the comeback. The Heat will regret allowing the Mavs to get off the mat.

Click the link, watch the highlights, and get at HoopsVibe News with thoughts in the comment box below.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

Is Kobe Bryant still a top 5 player today?
Friday , Jun , 03 , 2011 J.N.

Is Kobe Bryant still a top 5 player today?

It’s been a tough ride for Kobe Bryant and Laker Nation in 2011. They were dominated in the 2nd round of the playoffs against the Mavericks, Phil Jackson retired, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar disrespected, and Kobe looked old. Just going by numbers, the Black Mamba is not a top 5 fantasy player. Take notice that he is not being picked number one overall in many drafts. The trend picked up beginning in 2008 when Chris Paul and LeBron James started to take over.

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Wednesday , Jun , 01 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

LeBron leads Heat to 1-0 lead in NBA Finals

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Game one of the NBA Finals between the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat was exactly what we thought it would be.

It was a close defensive struggle. Dirk Nowitzki ‘got his’. So did The Big Three, who tallied 65 of Miami’s 92 points.

However, the difference was LeBron James. The much scrutinized King dominated both ends of the floor for his Heat.

Anyway, click the link, watch the highlights, and get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.  

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , May , 31 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Dirk Nowitzki’s 2011 playoffs is no Hasselhoff joke

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He’s a long way from the David Hasselhoff jokes.

Dirk Nowitzki has been arguably the best player in the 2011 playoffs, and tomorrow he’ll compete for a championship against the Miami Heat. Watch the video and get at us with thoughts  in the comment box below.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Tuesday , May , 31 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

A Versatile King: LeBron will guard Dirk and J.J. Barea

How much does J.J. Barea concern the Heat? They're actually putting him in the same sentences as the league’s Most Valuable Player. With a straight face. “If you don’t treat him with the same type of respect as we did with Derrick Rose he can really come in and have an impact on the game,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I’m sure there will be some possessions where LeBron will be on him."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: ‘We are all witnesses’ of LeBron James’ evolution.

Since signing with the Miami Heat, James has used his athleticism to become the world’s best defensive player.
 
For instance, he’ll spend time defending both Dirk Nowitzki and J.J. Barea when his Heat faces the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals.
 
These two couldn’t be more different. Nowitzki is a seven-footer with range; Barea is a jitterbug point guard.  And James will use his athleticism, size, and strength on both.
 
Yes, James is versatile. And yes, James is good –very, very good.
 
Love him or hate him, no player has ever possessed such versatility on defense, while dominating the other end of the floor.
 
All that remains is winning a championship. When that happens, James will start his climb up the ladder of all time greats.
 
--Oly Sandor.
 
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
 
Be real – 2011 Kobe’s Lakers are in trouble even with Mike Brown.
Sunday , May , 29 , 2011 J.N.

Be real – 2011 Kobe’s Lakers are in trouble even with Mike Brown.

Laker haters unite! This is your time. Hate hate hate hate! Did anyone peep Sugar Shane Mosley’s wife during the Pacquiao fight? Johnny Gill’s song was all I heard in my mind “My My My You sure look good tonight.” She sure was. Her name is Bella Gonzalez. She was screaming passionately at Sugar Shane to fight. I know Laker fans were screaming at the Lakers to fight just like her. Oy dios mios! I still haven’t gotten over the sight of her. Wow!

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Thursday , May , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Dirk leads Dallas back to NBA Finals

HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: Five years after losing a heartbreaking series to the Miami Heat, the Dallas Mavericks are heading back to the NBA Finals.

Fourth quarter defence, Shawn Marion, and Dirk Nowitzki were the keys to the Mavericks` 100-96 game-five, series-clinching win over the Thunder.

Click the link for video highlights and get at us with thoughts in the comment box below on the Mavericks winning the Western Conference. 

--Oly Sandor.

Dallas vs. OKC: Age Before Beauty
Tuesday , May , 24 , 2011 Paul Eide

Dallas vs. OKC: Age Before Beauty

 

 
It’s almost impossible to quantify in a tangible way, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. The value of having experienced, battle tested veterans on an NBA roster during the playoffs is priceless and accounts for unexpected game and series victories every year.