18 years ago today, Mario Elie and the Houston Rockets capped off a ridiculous comeback.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: Phoenix dominated the regular season for two years, only to be eliminated in the playoffs by the streaking Rockets both times.
Houston’s Mario Elie sank a three-pointer from the corner with 7.1 seconds left in the game, lifting the visiting Rockets to a 115-114 win over Phoenix in Game 7 of their Western Conference Semifinal Round series at America West Arena. With the win, the Rockets became the first NBA team in 13 years (since the ‘82 Sixers against Boston) to overcome a 3-1 deficit to win a best-of-7 playoff series. Houston’s victory also broke a string of 20 consecutive wins by the home team in the deciding Game 7 of a playoff series. Just 24 hours later, Indiana repeated that feat by the road team after downing host New York 97-95 in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal Round series.
Check out the video here:
For Elie, it was the beginning of what would be a pivotal role during the Rockets run to the 1995 NBA title. After being a bench player all season, Elie was inserted into the starting lineup for the Finals and played the best basketball of his career. Elie averaged 16.3 points per game, almost double his regular season average, while shooting a 64% from the field. He was also 8 for 14 (.571) from the three-point line, hitting 7 of 10 three-pointers in Games 3 and 4.
The Rockets were already a ridiculously deep squad, so when Elie stepped up and started producing, the Orlando Magic had no answer as the Rockets romped to a 4-0 series sweep.
The shot Elie hit to seal the series victory over the Suns was particularly deflating to Suns fans. Not only because it ended their '95 season, but the previous year in the playoffs the Rockets also defeated the Suns in a seven game series after the Suns opened up a 3-1 series lead.
On Friday, Forbes Magazine released it's report on the Top 10 Most Overpaid NBA Players.
Hoopsvibe's quick call: Aren't most NBA ballers overpaid? I mean they get paid millions of dollars to do something most people would do for free.
Anyway, thanks to Tom Van Riper, a business of sports writer at Forbes Magazine, we now have Forbes' list of the Top 10 Most Overpaid NBA players.
But before we get into the list, this passage from the Forbes article will help you understand how they measure players as overpaid.
"Advanced metrics show that in the NBA, scoring is overvalued. Stats compiled by David Berri, economist and author of Stumbling on Wine, rates players' contribution to wins not only by scoring but shooting percentage, assists, rebounds and turnovers, all measured against opportunities to accumulate those stats (a faster paced game with more shots equals more rebound opportunities, etc.)"
Essentially, the main thing overpaid ballers have in common, according to Forbes, is that all they do is score (because they shoot so much) but lack in the other areas that help their respective teams win games.
So without further adeu, here are the most overpaid NBA ballers...
1.) Carmelo Anthony, Knicks
Despite Melo's 28.1 points per game, his MVP-caliber season, and the Knicks second best Eastern Conference record of 48-26, Anthony is at the top of the list of Forbes' most overpaid. Forbes asserts that while Carmelo is a scoring machine, he takes more shots than anyone else and that means fewer shots for his teammates. He also rebounds less, assists less, and shoots more than Kevin Durant, for example. And he gets paid $19.4 million a year to do so; so the Knicks better win a championship this season.
2.) Ben Gordon, Bobcats
Gordon is a sick baller, no question, but the Bobcats are absolutely horrible. So horrible, in fact, that they have the worst record in the NBA, at 18-57. And Gordon is only averaging a modest 11.7 points per game. His 2 assists and 1.8 rebounds don't help his team much either, yet he's making $12.4 million this year.
3.) Joe Johnson, Nets
The Nets traded for Johnson as a guy to build a team around, and are actually having a pretty good year. Johnson's 16.3 ppg, however, is his lowest scoring average since 2004 and he's only adding a little over 3 rebounds and 3 assists per game. He makes $19.75 million this year.
4.) Hedo Turkoglu, Magic
It's been a tough few years for Turkoglu, who's only played 11 games this season due to injury. But in those 11 games, he only averaged 2.9 points, 2.1 assists and 2.4 rebounds per game. That's what Orlando is getting this season for the $11.8 million they're spending.
5.) Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks
Forbes notes that while Dirk is definitely a Hall-of-Famer and was injured earlier this season, his numbers are down. And he's 35 years old. His yearly salary is $20.9 million but Forbes figures he's worth about $13mill at 17.2 points per game. I guess when you're a billionaire owner like Mark Cuban, what's a few million extra right?
6.) Corey Maggette, Pistons
Maggette has always been a guy who can score, but he's also always been a guy who gets hurt. Forbes notes that Maggette hasn't played one full 82 game season in his 14 year career. (That's crazy and something I never knew.) He's set to make $10.9 million this year, although he's only played in 18 games and averaged just over five points, one assist, and one rebound. Oh, and the Pistons are 25-51 and not making the playoffs. On a positive note, the dude is jacked.
7.) Rudy Gay, Raptors
Gay was traded from Memphis to Toronto mid season this year, and is averaging 19.4 points per game for the Raptors which is up from the 17.2 he averaged with the Grizzlies. The only problem is all he really does is score. Granted he doesn't have much of a supporting cast around him, and I'll give him that, but the reality is Memphis is 23-9 since trading him away and the Raptors have no shot at making the playoffs. Gay will make $16.5 million this season.
8.) Stephen Jackson, Spurs
Jackson is an interesting one on the Forbes list because the Spurs are one of the best teams in the league and he plays a solid role on their squad. But I think Forbes is challenging whether or not the role he plays is worth the $10.1 million he makes a year when he's averaging just 6.1 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. I see their point.
9.) Chris Kaman, Mavericks
In the 2009-10 season, Kaman was a beast for the Clippers averaging 18.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Forbes cites that his play has since dropped off, and they're right. They 7-foot big man is only pulling down 5.5 rebounds per game for the Mavs this season, while averaging 10.8 points and making $8 million.
10.) Arron Afflalo, Magic
Afflalo is known as a scorer and is averaging 16.5 ppg for the Magic this season. Forbes is all good with that; but they're not cool with the fact that he's making $7.8 million this year and only contributing 3.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. It seems they think he should be doing more than scoring for that kind of money.
So there's the list, Hoopsvibers! And a special thanks to Forbes and Tom Van Riper for a very thorough and interesting report!
What do the Hoopsvibers think? Should anyone else be on this list?? Leave your comments below!Read More
Viral Video of the Day: LeBron James throws down viscous alley-oop over Beno Udih.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Lebron James reminds us what it must feel like to have superhuman powers. If your on D run for your life.
Cavs star Kyrie Irving will be sidelined for a month; while Pau Gasol's return could be right around the corner.
Hoopsvibe's quick call: The Lakers are in good position to make a playoff run; the Cavs probably wouldn't have made the postseason with Irving; they are definitely out now.
Apparently football players, baseball players, and Lance Armstrong aren't the only ones using performance enhancing drugs.
Hoopsvibe's quick call: Steroids are all over sports, and now the NBA is joining in the effort to prevent them.
Though it's hard to imagine in his current role as Bucks head coach, Scott Skiles was a legit baller at one time.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: This is a record that may never be broken.
22 years ago on a warm night in Orlando, Magic point guard Scott Skiles set the single game NBA assist record with 30 during a 155-116 victory over the Denver Nuggets.
Going into the game, there was no reason for anyone to expect any type of legendary performance as both teams were struggling. The Nuggets were 6-22, the Magic 6-23, two of the worst records in the league.
Skiles to that point in his career hadn't been given the opportunity to do much. Drafted by Indiana, he came off the bench for two years. The Pacers thought so little of him that they left him unprotected for the 1989-90 NBA expansion draft where he was selected by the Magic. 1990-91 was his first season as a full-time starter and he responded with a great season, ultimately winning the NBA's Most Improved Player Award.
But what caught everyone's eye was his 30 assist game, breaking the previous record of 29 held by Kevin Porter of the New Jersey Nets in 1978. And it wasn't like Skiles was just a facilitator in that game, sandbagging on offense just to set the record. He scored 22 points on seven of 13 shooting. He turned the ball over just four times, on his way to 7.5 to 1 assist to turnover ratio. Check out the final assist, not exactly a "gimme":
Skiles didn't just flounder after the 30 assist game- he had several outstanding assist performances that year including a 20 assist game against Denver roughly three months later. For the season he dished out 15+ in six games on his way to averaging 8.4 assists per game which was 10th in the league.
There is always something magical about seeing a record setting performance, particularly one that was completely unexpected.
Will Scott Skiles 30 assist record ever be broken?
The Lakers lost again last night, and their performance has been so sub-par lately that hearing them lose is no longer coming as a surprise.
Hoopsvibe's quick call: They are going to have to step up their game in a lot of areas if they want to be a competitive team in the Western Conference this season.
Rule change means Dwight Howard will wait for free agency.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Dwight Howard wouldn't think of signing a contract extension to help complete a trade.
Howard is under contract through the 2012-2012 season. If he is traded and signs an extension now, the maximum number of years that contract can be is for three years.
Howard's agent recently explained why the new change in the labor agreement directly impacts Howard's decision. The new rule change affects players signing extensions before free agency and in Howard's case it makes no sense to sign an extension to help a trade. The new rule made it better for players to hit free agency, instead of extensions. This allows them to get more lucrative long-term deals. Signing now would likely cost Howard about $40 million.
Andrew Bynum is expected to follow the same painful path as Howard. Bynum could sign a three-year deal for $60 million or wait a year and sign a deal worth $100 million. Easy to see why under the new rules it's enticing to wait that extra year, hit free agency, and cash in.
It looks more and more like Dwight Howard will refuse to sign an extension to facilitate a trade. Orlando can't be blamed for wanting to get the best deal they can for Howard and Howard can't be blamed for wanting to cash in next year for $100 million. The problem is these two understandable issue make a Howard trade extremely difficult.
Photo Credit: AP NEWS
A lot of people are less than fond of Shaq as a halftime host on TNT. And while breaking down X's and O's may not be his forte, Shaq's best work in front of the camera comes when he is allowed to be his silly self.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: It can't be worse than the Aaron Carter video for "That's How I Beat Shaq".
The Nets have reportedly entered into contract talks with their own Brook Lopez.
Hoopsvibe Very Quick Call: It's now or never for Dwight Howard to Brooklyn Nets deal.
Lopez, a restricted free agent, is reportedly talking to the Nets about a max deal; either 4 years for $58 million or 5 years for $78 million. The other thing to consider is that if another team puts in an offer to Lopez, he can't be part of a trade to another team. Also, if he doesn't agree to a sign and trade it would stop a deal for Howard until December 15th, because that is when players who signed with teams in the offseason can be traded.
Believe it or not, the Howard to Nets saga has been going on for about a year now. If it doesn't go down now, how awkward would it be for him to spend the season in Orlando? Speaking of awkward, if the Nets are forced to rely on their own "in-house" guy in Lopez, would that make things weird and screw up chemistry? Either way the Nets need a back-up plan in case they don't actually trade for Howard, and Lopez is it.
But how much worse would that be? Or, would it even be bad at all? We all know Lopez missed all but five games last season due to a foot injury, which is never what you want to have your big man suffer through (see Rik Smits, Yao Ming). But when healthy, Lopez has produced, with career averages of 17.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg and 1.6 bpg. But obviously, Lopez is nowhere close to the defensive player Howard is, or the rebounder. But he is a solid big man.
The other question is, if the Nets do actually get Howard, are their enough basketballs to go around to keep everyone happy? Joe Johnson has to shoot a lot to be productive. Deron Williams likes to score as much as any PG in the league. Gerald Wallace likes to score. Howard needs to be the center of attention at all times, so even though he's saying he wants to go to the Nets, could he even handle being an after thought on the offensive side? How long would it take for him to complain about that?
If Dwight Howard going to the Nets has any chance of happening, it's going to have to happen NOW.
“It hurts (emotionally),” Howard said. “That’s the first thing — it hurts. And then with people saying and thinking I’m quitting on my team. This is a real issue. I tried to play through it and it just made my back worse.” Howard has been complaining of back problems since early March, but it wasn’t until Los Angeles-based spine surgeon Dr. Robert Watkins examined him last week that the herniated disk was discovered. Howard received an epidural to alleviate the pain at that time, and the plan was that he’d rest and rehabilitate his back for 10-14 days before deciding if he could return to play or further treatment might be necessary. But his back has worsened and both Watkins and the Magic’s medical staff determined that surgery is necessary.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: I’m not sure if Dwight Howard is a fan of the Steve Miller band, but he should’ve ‘taken the money and run’ by signing Orlando's max’ money offer earlier this year.
Howard has a sore back. Today we learned that All-Star needs surgery and will be out indefinitely.
His injury throws a wrench in things for player and team. Howard can no longer act like a Mongolian despot and demand the Orlando Magic fire their entire staff, which may or may not have included the dude hawking hotdogs in the stands on game-days. Meanwhile, the Magic will likely stop negotiating an extension until they know their center can make a full recovery.
Everything is on pause. Well, almost everything.
Another club could seize the moment and try to acquire Howard. Perhaps the Magic take a little less than market value to get a wonky Howard and his growing attitude out of Central Florida.
Of course, that club would have to be convinced that Howard can recover. And the Magic would have to have an epiphany and realize their franchise face is more trouble than he’s worth.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard told team owner Rich DeVos that he won't play for coach Stan Van Gundy anymore, WKMG in Orlando reported on Thursday. Howard was angered that Van Gundy publicly divulged that the superstar center asked management to have him fired, WKMG said, citing sources.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Dwight Howard is an All-World talent, but the Orlando Magic must wonder if he’s worth the trouble?
Consider Howard's past year: he requested a trade several times; he then told the world he wanted to stay with Orlando; he somewhat reluctantly opted-in for 2013; and has asked ownership several times to fire Coach Stan Van Gundy and/or GM Otis Smith.
Howard is arguably the league’s top defensive player and center; however, his personal situation has hijacked the season. His every move, word, and comment has dominated the news.
It’s created a massive distraction. Think Carmelo Anthony with the Denver Nuggets in 2011 and LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010. Except there’s no end in sight to Howard’s ‘Indecision’ because he opted-in for 2013, which means the saga will continue.
Unless the Magic take action. For instance, the Lakers offered Andrew Bynum for Howard. Smith should see if that deal is still available because Bynum is amost Howard's equal and has room to improve.
Most importantly, such a move would bring closure. The current situation with Howard can’t continue.
--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.