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Friday , Jul , 16 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Penny Hardaway wants to join Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade in Miami

Penny Hardaway, the man who inspired original Nike puppet in the late 90s "Lil Penny," announced he is interested in competing for a role with the Miami Heat Thursday on an internet radio show called "The Bottom Line Sports Show."

"Mentally I was retired and physically I was retired. I was playing recreational ball," Hardaway said. "But when the decision happened with Chris Bosh and LeBron, I felt like I could really be good in that system."

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: At 39, what does he have left?

Reports indicate Anfernee Hardaway - a former All-Star with the Orlando Magic - is angling for a comeback with Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and the revamped Miami Heat.

Sure, 'Penny' could fill a role as a practice player, and assume a permanent seat on Erik Spoelstra/Pat Riley's bench 82 nights a year.

Landing a spot in the rotation will be a challenge, though. After all, Hardaway had his struggles during a short comeback with the Heat in 2007.

And despite working out regularly and running in competitive pick-up games, playing consistent minutes in the NBA after a three year layoff will be tough, especially since he's middle-aged.

Best wishes to Hardaway on his comeback. He'll need it.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Friday , Jul , 16 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Matt Barnes to replace Tony Allen in Boston?

Since losing Tony Allen to the Grizzlies, the Celtics have warmed to the idea of signing Matt Barnes, according to an NBA source.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Losing Tony Allen may be a positive for the Boston Celtics.

While Allen's defensive game improved during the playoffs and in the NBA Finals, he had limits on offense. Defenders would slough off the athletic swing and dare him to fire away from the perimeter.

Matt Barnes is Allen's equal as a lockdown defender, but also stretches defense with his three-point range and intimidates. For instance, Barnes averaged 9 points per game last year with Orlando, mostly on a steady diet of outside shots.

However, the Mohawk's greatest asset is his intensity. In 2007, he was an integral part of the Golden State Warriors improbable upset of the Dallas Mavericks. And last season he declared viral jihad via twitter against the Los Angeles Lakers' Lamar Odom.

Barnes is reportedly announcing where he'll sign today. The mighty green-and-white is hoping he'll pick Boston and provide an upgrade on Allen. 

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Friday , Jul , 16 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Report: Magic to match Bulls’ offer to Redick

The Orlando Magic will match Chicago's three-year, $19 million offer sheet for guard J.J. Redick.

The Magic will make their intention known Friday – the last possible day -- but NBA sources familiar with the front-office thinking of the Magic confirmed their decision Thursday afternoon.

Link

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
 
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Sunday , Jul , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Why Orlando will match Chicago`s offer to Redick

The Bulls have extended an offer sheet to restricted free agent J.J. Redick. A league source said "it would be painful for the Magic to match."

Yahoo! is reporting that Redick's offer sheet would be worth $19 million over three seasons.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Expect the Orlando Magic to match the Chicago Bulls’ offer to JJ Redick – no matter how cumbersome it is for their cap situation.

After all, Magic GM Otis Smith and Coach Stan Van Gundy both like Redick. They like his commitment. They like his outside range. They like his work ethic.

Ideally, Smith and Van Gundy would like to start Redick and trade the underachieving Vince Carter. And this is their opportunity.

The Magic will probably match the Bulls’ offer, while simultaneously exploring ways to move Carter. Let’s be clear: teams would only have interest in VC because he has two years left on his contract, the second year being a team option -which is the equivalent of an expiring deal.

Of course, there’s also this newfound rivalry brewing in Florida.

The Magic are probably feeling a touch threatened by the Miami Heat spending the GDP of Botswana on Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.

Smith and Van Gundy certainly went on the offensive taking public shots at Bosh and James. So the Magic must back-up their trash talk by keeping Redick and remaining active this off-season.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Friday , Jul , 09 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Dan Gilbert: LeBron ‘quit’ during playoffs

He has gotten a free pass," Gilbert said in a phone interview with The AP. "People have covered up for [James] for way too long. Tonight we saw who he really is."

"He quit," Gilbert said. "Not just in Game 5, but in Games 2, 4 and 6. Watch the tape. The Boston series was unlike anything in the history of sports for a superstar."

"It's not about him leaving," Gilbert said. "It's the disrespect. It's time for people to hold these athletes accountable for their actions. Is this the way you raise your children? I've been holding this all in for a long time."

Link

HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: I’m certain Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert will be receiving a phone call from Commissioner David Stern telling him to cool it.

Sure, LeBron James showed zero class by announcing he was leaving Cleveland for Miami on national television, embarrassing an owner, organization, city, and, state that has showered him with adulation and love for seven years.

And sure, James mailed it in against the Boston Celtics in the 2010 playoffs and was pretty mediocre against the Orlando Magic in the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals.

So Gilbert has a point, a very good one, in fact.

However, owners don’t do this. Owners don’t act like jilted lovers when things don’t go their way. Owners don’t write nasty letters to fans, essentially hexing the face of the league –even if it’s totally justified.

Owners are supposed to model professionalism for fans, players, front office staff and, heck, even the guy pouring pints at Quicken Loans Arena.

By doing this, by stooping to James and Maverick Carter’s level of nonsense, Gilbert has made it harder to attract a star(s) to replace The King.

After all, players talk. And James and his posse will put out the word to the fraternity of ballers that Gilbert is a micromanager, tyrant, and jerk.

This may or may not be true. The NBA is like life, though. Perception is reality. And the gossip will overshadow Gilbert’s desire to win championships and his willingness to write multi-million dollar luxury tax cheques to achieve this end.

Right now, Gilbert, an Alpha Male billionaire, must do something out of character. He must turn the other cheek. He must take the high road.

If he can’t stay somewhat silent, if he can’t stay mum, then the businessman must immediately tone down the rhetoric and describe his frustration in a more appropriate and reasonable manner.

Gilbert is right: the people of Cleveland and Ohio deserved far better from James. Those same people also deserve far better from Gilbert, too.

-- Oly Sandor.

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

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Tuesday , Jul , 06 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Will Chris Duhon signing with Orlando Magic force Jason Williams to retire?

Free agent point guard Chris Duhon agreed to a four year, $15 million dollar contract with the Orlando Magic, his agent, Kevin Bradbury, told ESPN.com.

The 27-year-old Duhon was the starting point guard for the New York Knicks the last two seasons. He averaged 7.4 ppg and 5.6 apg last season for the Knicks.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Yesterday, a superstar arrived in The Big Apple, and a role player left.

While Amar'e Stoudemire was celebrating his five-year, $100 million contract with the New York Knicks, Chris Duhon was finalizing plans to leave Madison Square Gardens and join the Orlando Magic.

The former Duke star isn't a headline-grabbing free agent, but is a solid addition to the 2009 Eastern Conference champions.

Expect Duhon to back-up the talented but injury prone Jameer Nelson. And he'll get minutes next to Nelson when Stan Van Gundy goes small.

This situation should work. In Chicago, there were whispers Duhon liked the nightlife. Same thing in New York. Now 27, he should find his focus in sleepy Orlando.

Unfortunately, the Duhon signing means the Magic probably won't be keeping Jason Williams.

'White Chocolate' - despite posting a solid 6 points and 4 assists per game in 2010 as a reserve table-setter - will likely call it a career because he specifically came out of retirement to play for Orlando because it was close to his Florida home.

The Magic will continue tweaking their roster with other smart, low profile signings. Clearly, they want to return the NBA Finals. Except in 2011, they seem determined to win the championship.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Monday , Jul , 05 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Source on LeBron James’ future: ‘My gut tells me Cleveland’

The Bulls appeared to be the leading contender for LeBron James a week ago, but the Cavaliers are risen to the top of the leaderboard in recent days.

"My gut tells me Cleveland," an executive in the James chase told Yahoo! Sports. "From what I hear now, it his decision alone. No outside influences."

Link
 
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Forget Michael Jordan's devastating double-pump jumper over Craig Ehlo in the NBA playoffs. Forget that those promising teams with Mark Price, Larry Nance, Ron Harper, and Brad Daugherty never fulfilled their potential. And forget the city's other sporting tragedies.
 
Cleveland would never recover from LeBron James leaving as a free agent to sign with the Chicago Bulls or New Jersey Nets. The Cavaliers would spend years in the lottery, and free agents would avoid Dan Gilbert's club like celebrities avoid TMZ. 
 
James re-signing with his hometown squad would be a boon for the state of Ohio. And hopefully, the three-man recognizes he has unfinished business because his last two playoff performances haven't been good enough.
 
He struggled against the Orlando Magic in the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals, and imploded against the Boston Celtics' airtight defense in the 2010 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.
 
There's work to do in Cleveland. Ohio, James' home state, deserves better. After all, The King was supposed to bring championship glory to the Cavaliers. And that hasn't happened.
 
So James needs to hold his press conference. He needs to announce he's staying with Cleveland and sign on the dotted line. He needs to shake Gilbert's hand and smile for the cameras. And then he needs to recruit stars.
 
Most importantly, he needs to cut the nonsense and focus on his goal: winning an NBA Title with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
 
--Oly Sandor.
 
Well, get at us in the comment box with thoughts.   
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Thursday , Jun , 24 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Gilbert Arenas for Vince Carter?

The Washington Wizards spoke with the Orlando Magic recently about a potential swap of Gilbert Arenas for Vince Carter, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It's not happening.

Orlando Magic GM Otis Smith is close friends with Gilbert Arenas, and he advised the 'sharpshooter' during his recent issues stemming from bringing guns into the Washington Wizards' locker room.  

However, Smith doesn't want to mix their personal and professional relationship. This is wise. After all, Carter's contract is only guaranteed for one season. Then his $17 million salary comes off the books, while Arenas is still owed over $80 million.

Reports have Smith dangling Carter's expiring contract in front of the cash-strapped New Orleans Hornets. And he wants to get back superstar point guard Chris Paul.  

Also, new Wizards owner Ted Leonsis is pushing the organization and fans to re-embrace Arenas. The businessman who brought much life to a morbid Capitals franchise is excited about pairing Arenas with first overall pick John Wall. 

An interesting idea, however, The Hibachi and VC aren't trading places.

Got thoughts on Arenas for Carter?

 

 

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Thursday , Jun , 17 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Game-Seven Prediction: Lakers 95, Celtics 88.

The Lakers have the best player, but Boston's depth of big-time playmakers will prevail in a game like this. I count eight Celtics -- the four current or former All-Stars in their starting lineup, plus Rasheed Wallace, Glen Davis, Nate Robinson’s and little-used Michael Finley, a three-point shooter with the potential to become this game's Steve Kerr -- who have it in them to make the big shot. The absence of Kendrick Perkins may create more offense for the Celtics, and they'll make up for his rebounding with a team effort led by Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo. Anticipate nothing less than a tightly wound classic played to a tempo that suits Boston.

Click here for Ian Thomsen's official game seven prediction and more analysis from the CNNSI crew.

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call:
The Boston Celtics are deserving of respect.

Consider their road to the NBA Finals. First, they took out Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat -despite some questionable tactics from Kevin Garnett. They made the Cleveland Cavaliers – the NBA’s best team in the regular season – implode, which, unfortunately, gave us an extra month of The LeBron Watch. They then coolly took out the Orlando Magic, the reigning Eastern Conference champions, in six games.

This was a most improbable run for a club that was supposedly dead, gone, and over at mid-season. Clearly, they saved their best for last, though.

The green-and-white have now pushed the defending champion and heavily favoured Lakers to the limit. The secret to Boston’s success: inspired team play on the defensive end.

Look at the NBA Finals: they’ve mostly contained Ron Artest and Lamar Odom; they’ve battled superstar Pau Gasol; and they’ve made the immortal Kobe Bryant look surprisingly mortal.

Doc Rivers’ crew is an all-time great defensive team. They can hang with any of Phil Jackson’s Chicago teams that had notable defenders like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Horace Grant/Dennis Rodman. And they hold their own against Detroit’s Bad Boys and any of Pat Riley’s squads in Los Angeles or New York.

Offensively, somebody different carries the load each night. For instance, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo have all had moments.

Of course, reserves Glen Davis and Nate Robinson – also known as Shrek and Donkey - won game four of the NBA Finals. And the defending Sprite Slam Dunk Champion went off in game six of the Eastern Conference Finals, too.

That said, the Lakers have the edge in the decisive game-seven. Here’s why:

1) Home-court matters: The purple-and-gold is a different team at home. They’re confident. They’re nasty. And they’re arrogant.     

2) No Perk’: The Celtics will miss Kendrick Perkins. They lack the size to win the paint, and contain Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.

3) Kobe Bryant: He’s the best player on either team. He’s the best player in the NBA. And he understands tonight is a legacy game.

Bryant – if he wants to be considered an all-time great – can’t afford a loss. After all, five championships are far better than four. And two losses to the arch rival Celtics in the NBA Finals would be devastating.

Expect Bryant to drop a Jordan-like effort. And HoopsVibe News expects the Lakers to win.

Prediction for game-seven of the 2010 NBA Finals: Lakers 95, Boston 88.

Got thoughts? What is your prediction for game-seven of the NBA Finals?  

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Tuesday , Jun , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Toronto sending Turkoglu to Sacramento?

The Kings need a small forward with an ability to put the ball on the floor and general manager Geoff Petrie drafted Turkoglu and shepherded his development into one of the NBA’s more versatile players. League executives believe Sacramento would need Toronto to minimally take forward Andres Nocioni and the two years, $13.5 million left on his contract.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Oh, how times have changed.

Last year, Hedo Turkoglu was the best player on the Eastern Conference champion Orlando Magic. Around the league, his stock was sky high. And with free agency pending, he had more suitors than Brett Michaels on Rock of Love.

Like Michaels, Turkoglu cashed in, signing a five-year, $53 million contract with the Toronto Raptors.   

However, 2010 was a disaster. To recap: Turkoglu came fat and happy to training camp, struggled all year, and, on several occasions, displayed poor professionalism.

Now he wants out, requesting a trade via the media. And the Toronto Raptors would be happy to accommodate him. Is Sacramento a fit, though?

Well, the Kings drafted and nurtured Turkoglu, so both sides know each other well. And the Kings - after spending years stockpiling good, young talent - have cap space to burn.

But would financially prudent Sacramento want the remaining four years and $40 million on Turkoglu's big ticket? And would they want a veteran with a questionable work ethic influencing their youngsters?

Yes, times have changed for Turkoglu. And moving him will be difficult.

Would the Kings want Turkoglu? Let us know in the comment box below.

Has Dwight Howard offensively peaked?
Wednesday , Jun , 02 , 2010 J.N.

Has Dwight Howard offensively peaked?

Also, shout outs to Dwight Howard’s shenanigans and gimmicks with the elbows and physical play. Shutting down him is simple – play mind games a la Dennis Rodman and Bill Laimbeer. Shout outs to 1980s and 1990s hardcore basketball. I’m convinced that he would not last during that era. Howard gets frustrated too quickly once another big man defends him very well. He expresses that by throwing in cheap shots. If anyone denies it, I don’t know what you are watching.

Read More
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Tuesday , Jun , 01 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Vince Carter needs a dose of honesty

 I twice asked Carter if he would evaluate his postseason performance.

“I don’t do that,” he said.

You don’t assess and evaluate your own performance? Really?

Carter shook his head.

“I don’t.”

Meanwhile, the Magic paid him $17 million this season, and are on the hook for the same figure next year, unless they can unload him on a team that would like to get his expiring contract.

Link

HoopsVibe's Quick Call: This is typical Vince Carter.

He always accepted the perks of superstardom, but never accepted the responsibility that goes with such status.

In Toronto, he took the money, fame, and courtside seats for his entourage/mom; however, he never put the work in to turn the Raptors into a contender. Too often, he was injured. Too often, his effort was questionable. And too often, he refused to grind on defense.

After forcing a trade to New Jersey, Carter publicly admitted he didn't always try his hardest for Toronto. With the Nets, he became a perimeter player and last year in Orlando was a bust.

Along the way, there has been a consistent theme: Carter won't hold himself accountable. This may change.  After all, 2011 is a contract year for the eight-time All-Star and the all mighty dollar has a strange way of motivating.

Should Carter be honest with himself? Get at us with thoughts in the comment box.

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Saturday , May , 29 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Defense, Defense, Defense: Why Boston Celtics won the east

The NBA's most-decorated team avoided the biggest playoff collapse in league history and earned a chance to hang an unprecedented 18th championship banner from the rafters.

Paul Pierce had 31 points and 13 rebounds, and little-used backup Nate Robinson gave the Celtics a boost with 13 second-quarter points as Boston beat the Orlando Magic 96-84 on Friday night, earning a chance to play for a second NBA title in three years.

Link

HoopsVibe's Quick Call: Defense wins championships. Or in the case of the Boston Celtics, defense wins the Eastern Conference crown.

Flashback to mid season and the green-and-white were presumed dead. The Big Three was deemed too old and critics thought Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins weren't capable of filling the void.

Well, they proved us wrong. All of us.

The Celtics defied the odds because they get stops, even on the road, which gives them a chance in every game and series. Offensively, they spread the wealth with many different players capable of carrying the load or providing a spark.

For instance, in the second quarter of tonight's contest, tiny Nate Robinson chipped in with 13 points to give Boston a commanding lead, despite barely seeing the court in the playoffs.

And if the Celtics continue defending they could well win their eighteenth championship.

Has Boston surprised you? Why? Why not? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts.      

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Friday , May , 28 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Is game six do-or-die for Boston Celtics?

Now the Celtics. They led, 3-0. They let it get away, losing Game 4 in overtime. In Game 5 Wednesday in Orlando, they were spanked. When the game was finished, they had two guys with concussions, one who was ejected, and a few others hurting.

We wonder if this might be the sports god taking revenge for what the Red Sox did to the Yankees in 2004 — the 3-0 comeback to end all 3-0 comebacks. Is this Garden gag of 2010 some kind of macabre payback for the Biblical revival of the Idiotic gang, who shucked 86 years of hard-luck hardball?

Don’t go to that dark place, people. Not yet. The Celtics are going to win tonight. They have a healthy Big Three. They have Rajon Rondo ready to answer Jameer Nelson. They have Kendrick Perkins, granted a stay by the NBA’s behavior police.

Link

HoopsVibe's Call: There's no reason to panic, but there's cause for concern in Boston.

After all, the Bruins, the city's beloved NHL team, held a 3-0 lead over the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. The Bruins are now golfing, while the Flyers advanced to the Stanley Cups Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Of course, the Celtics were up 3-0 and seemed on cruise control to the NBA Finals. Then the Magic appeared, winning the last two games.

Tonight, however, is do-or-die for Boston. Winning a game-seven clincher in Orlando, after dropping a 3-0 lead, might be too much, even for a veteran Celtic squad that plays air-tight defense.

Is game six a must-win for Boston? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts. 

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Friday , May , 28 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

A tale of two athletes: Steve Nash and Vince Carter

Former Canadian Olympic teammate Todd MacCulloch was saying the other day that he hoped Nash, a two-time NBA most valuable player, got a ring, “just so no one can say anything bad about his career.”

He needn't worry.

But Vince Carter? You'd like to say he should worry, but it's hard to make the case he does.

Evan as the Orlando Magic have rallied in their series with the Boston Celtics – winning twice in a row to trail 3-2 before Friday's game – Carter's reputation as one of the sport's great underachievers won't require revision. Impossibly, at least in the eyes of Toronto Raptors fans, he's made Magic followers lament the departure of Hedo Turkoglu, as Carter has turned into a $16-million (U.S.) spectator when the stakes are highest.

Link to Michael Grange's article on Globe and Mail

HoopsVibe's Call:  Nash and Carter's careers have been moving in different directions for years because of athleticism. Not just because of effort.

Nash never had Carter's raw physical gifts, so he developed his all-world skill-set and cared for his health. Carter, however, is still living exclusively off his athleticism, which, at 32, is starting to betray him.

For instance, Nash often dodges in-and-out of pick-and-rolls and drops amazing bounce passes, displaying the talent that won the 2010 Skills Contest, while Carter settles for fade-aways and rarely attacks the hoop like the player who won the Slam Dunk Contest.

Also, Nash is an amazing athlete. Sure, he isn't a leaper or speedster, but Hall of Fame NBA writer Jack McCallum wrote in Seven Seconds or Less that Nash's hand-to-eye coordination and reflexes was in the top percentile of players.

Such rare skills allow Nash to hold his own in pick-up soccer matches against American and European pros and helped him excel at baseball, ice hockey, lacrosse, and rugby as a teenager.

Nash's athletic gifts have not depreciated as quickly as Carter's, which explains both their performances in the 2010 playoff.

Why is Nash relevant and Carter irrelevant? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts. 

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Tuesday , May , 25 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Orlando needs Matt Barnes … and now

Magic forward Matt Barnes is upset over his reduced minutes in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Celtics.

However, Barnes still wants to remain with the team.

He can opt out of the two-year contract he signed last summer, but said Monday night: "I want to come back."

Barnes played just 16 minutes in Game 3 on Friday night, but tallied 30 in Monday night's overtime win in Game 4.

"I want to be out there to help my team. The money thing is whatever," he said. "More than anything, I just hate to watch from the bench, especially when we're not playing hard and that's what I bring to the court. "I've just been cheering. I hate it, hate it. It's tough to watch."

Link

 
And if the Orlando Magic, down 3-1 to the Boston Celtics, wants to make a series of the Eastern Conference Finals, they need to continue playing Matt Barnes.
 
After all, the energetic swing can defend, rebound, and nail three-pointers. Barnes had a workmanlike 10 points and 7 rebounds in game four.
 
Most importantly, when playing well, he gets under the skin of opponents. For instance, Barnes didn't back away from a confrontation with ultra intense Celtics post Kevin Garnett. And during the regular season he declared viral jihad via twitter against the Los Angeles Lakers' Lamar Odom.
 
Bottom line: Barnes' edge is good for the Orlando Magic, a team of mostly nice guys. Instead of worrying about next year's contract, they need him now.
 
How important is Barnes to the Magic's success? Get at us with thoughts in the comment box below.  
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Monday , May , 24 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Should the NBA protect Vince Carter and players’ families?

SG Vince Carter said he was prepared to go into the stands to protect his mother Michelle when it looked as if fans were becoming rude and unruly. "I was ready to go. I don't tolerate that," he said.

Link

HoopsVibe's Call: Apparently, Vince Carter told a reporter he'd go into the stands to protect his mother from the Boston Celtics' 'passionate' fans.

Fair enough. Most of us would do the same.

Frankly, the suits at league head office must be embarrassed by Carter's comments. After all, players' family members often take heat from fans, especially if they're related to the road team.

Remember, perennial good guy Antonio Davis once leapt into the stands to protect his wife. A few years back, D.J. Mbenga, while with the Dallas Mavericks, went into the lower bowl to protect coach Avery Johnson's wife, who was being heckled by opposing fans.

With this in mind, it's easy to understand Carter's comments.

Good organizations anticipate potential problems and take pre-emptive action, so the NBA, at a minimum, should provide the road team's family with a safe, secure place to take in the game.

Continuing to ignore this problem will eventually lead to the worst case scenario: another ugly, 'Malice N' Tha Palace' type confrontation between players and fans.

Is it the NBA's responsibility to provide a safe place for family members to sit during games? Why? Why not?

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Monday , May , 24 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Cleveland Cavaliers had tuned Mike Brown out

Mike Brown won everything in five years coaching the Cleveland Cavaliers. Everything, that is, except an NBA title.

Brown, the most successful coach in franchise history, was fired after failing to win a championship with superstar -- and soon-to-be free agent -- LeBron James.

The Cavaliers had a midnight deadline Sunday night to fire the head coach or pay him his full $4.5 million salary for next season.

Link

HoopsVibe's Call: Believe it or not, this wasn't about LeBron James' pending free agency.

The Cleveland Cavaliers - whether James re-signs or heads elsewhere this summer - had tuned Brown out. 

For consecutive seasons, the team fell short of expectations in the playoffs. Two years ago, against Orlando, their offensive sets were too basic; they also lacked the personnel to stop the Magic's stretch four-man Rashard Lewis.

This year they had supposedly made adjustments, but still folded against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.  

Perhaps, Brown ran too loose a ship, allowing the sideline to resemble something of a dance show during games. Perhaps, Brown delegated too much to James. Perhaps, Brown had too many weapons at his disposal. And perhaps, the end of season gossip, whether true or not, took its toll.

One thing, however, was clear: the players needed a new, different voice. So Brown had to go. And this had nothing to do with James' uncertain status.

Had the Cavaliers tuned Brown out? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts.  

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Thursday , May , 20 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Hey Joe DeRosa: nice chest pass!

"NBA referee Joe DeRosa has been suspended without pay for one game for throwing a ball to a fan at halftime of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals on May 18. The suspension was announced today by Ron Johnson, NBA Senior Vice President, Referee Operations.

DeRosa will miss the next game he would have been scheduled to work. The fan was not ejected from the arena as was reported previously."

Link

HoopsVibe's Call: His form on the two-handed chest pass was excellent. However, the optics of ref Joe DeRosa dropping a 'dime'/tossing the rock at a fan were far from excellent.

Referees, especially during game two of the Eastern Conference Finals, can't lose their cool with players, coaches, and, of course, fans. But an official suspension?

Wouldn't it have been far more prudent for Commissioner David Stern and whatever lackey is currently in charge of the zebras at league head office to replace DeRosa for the rest of the playoffs?

After all, the playoffs are also crunch time for refs. And the best refs supposedly get handpicked for the Conference Finals and Finals.

Removing DeRosa from the playoffs for poor judgement would've been a symbolic and effective punishment. A one game suspension can be appealed by the referees' union and has media publications, like us, focusing on this sort of tomfoolery and not basketball.

Watch the clip below and tell us if DeRosa's two-handed chest pass warranted an actual suspension? 

 

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Thursday , May , 20 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Dwight Howard’s foul on Paul Pierce: flagrant or suspension?

"The NBA will not suspend Orlando's Dwight Howard for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Magic and Boston Celtics for his flagrant foul in Game 2.

In the second quarter of Game 2, the All-Star center was called for a Flagrant 1 foul after swinging his arm so that his elbow swept through the head of the Celtics' Paul Pierce, who tumbled to the floor clutching his head in pain. Both players remained in the game."

Link

HoopsVibe's Call: Just a flagrant foul or a flagrant foul worthy of a one game suspension, especially after the suits at league head office hit Kevin Garnett with a forced vacation for his elbow to the dome of 'Q' Richardson?

Well, the NBA believes Dwight Howard shouldn't be suspended for introducing Paul Pierce's face to his forearm.

As usual, HoopsVibe News wants to know if Stern and his posse of executives made the right call. Watch the clip and get at us with your opinion: just a flagrant or a flagrant that warrants Howard missing game three in Boston?