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Today In NBA History 1993: Houston Rockets Equal Fastest Start In NBA History
Monday , Dec , 03 , 2012 Paul Eide

Today In NBA History 1993: Houston Rockets Equal Fastest Start In NBA History

19 years ago today, The Houston Rockets lost their first game of the year.

HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: The 15-0 start to the season tied the all-time record set by the Washington Capitols in 1948-49.

Just as it did for the 1995 Chicago Bulls, a hot start to the season ultimately culminated in a championship for the Houston Rockets. With a chance to set the NBA record for longest unbeaten streak to start a season, the Rockets couldn't overcome a game Atlanta Hawks team during an entertaining 133-111 Hawks victory in Atlanta. After the loss, the Rockets would win the next seven games in a row, running their record to an impressive 22-1.

On pace for a video game like four loss season, the Rockets came back to earth from then on and finished a subdued 36-23 over the final 59 games. The up and down nature of the season continued in the playoffs as well. After easily dispatching the Portland Trailblazers 3-1 in round one, The Rockets nearly had an early postseason exit when they lost the first two games of the conference semifinals to Phoenix at The Summit in Houston. The Rockets won three in a row, lost game six in Phoenix and then returned to Houston for the decisive game seven victory.

In the Western Conference Finals, the Rockets over powered the Utah Jazz 4-1, setting up a Finals matchup with the Eastern Conference champion New York Knicks.

The Rockets versus Knicks Finals was one of the most physical in NBA history, even to this day, thanks to each team's emphasis on tough defense and a grind it out approach on offense, working the ball through Hakeem Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing, respectively. For the first time since the introduction of the shot clock in 1954-55, neither team reached 100 points in any game of a seven-game playoff series. Not since 1975 had there been a Finals series in which the margin of victory in every game was less than 10 points, until this one.

The Rockets won the series 4-3, securing their first title in NBA history. Hakeem Olajuwon's "Dream" season was one for the ages. Olajuwon was named league MVP, NBA Finals MVP, Defensive Player of the Year and All-NBA First Team.

Though a win in Atlanta on 12/3/1993 would have set a new record, it's safe to say the Rockets were satisfied with how the season ended.

 

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There’s Only One “Dream Team”, Sorry Kobe- Just Ask My Starting Lineup Figurines
Saturday , Jul , 14 , 2012 Paul Eide

There’s Only One “Dream Team”, Sorry Kobe- Just Ask My Starting Lineup Figurines

Can you believe it’s been 20 years since the original Dream Team dominated the 1992 Summer Olympics? It must've been that long if Kobe thinks this year's incarnation would have ANY SHOT against them.

HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: There will never be another Dream Team, in any sport.

Perhaps even more amazingly, can you believe that in all that time that I have maintained my collection of Starting Lineup Dream Team figurines in its original box, unopened and untouched by human hands? On a trip to a local Target with my step mother, I conned her into buying it for me; $100 when you're twelve feels like $1,000,000. It was the kind of gift you could only secure via guilt. It was the sort of reverse psychology that women have been employing on me ever since.
 
I remember one time in 8th grade during my 13th birthday party it was discovered by a party goer named Eric Hoffman who spent at least two hours prying me to open it. It was the ultimate peer pressure situation, but I held firm. It turns out I should’ve probably opened it because since then it’s appreciated roughly $20 in nearly 20 years. But every time I see it, I remember how special that team was, even though Clyde Drexler and Christian Laettner, as late additions, were not included in the set.
 
Did you know that Laettner was actually selected over Shaquille O’Neal for the final spot? We all saw what Charles Barkley did to that Angolan; imagine what Shaq could’ve done. The Dream Team beat their opponents in the Olympics that year by an average score of 44 points a game and looked so cool doing it.
 
The closest margin of victory was a 32 point win over Croatia which included NBA players Toni Kukoc, Dino Radja, Drazen Petrovic, Stojko Vrankovic and Zan Tabak. Croatia won the Silver Medal and led by all that talent, ushered in a new era for the NBA where overseas players began to be viewed as valuable as their American counterparts. Today you can look at almost every NBA roster and find a player from another country, but in 1992 it was extremely rare.
 
Michael Jordan was the only player to start all eight games which really speaks to how great he was. Even surrounded by all those Alpha Males, there was no question who the top dog was. Jordan took 30 more shots than anyone else, but Barkley was the leading scorer putting up 18 ppg. Just in case anyone forgot, check out this roster; it would be akin to playing a game against the Hall of Fame as 11 of the players (minus Laettner) are actually in the Hall of Fame:
 
Michael Jordan- 14.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 4.8 apg
David Robinson- 9.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 0.9 apg
Patrick Ewing- 9.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg. 0.4 apg
Larry Bird- 8.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.8 apg
Scottie Pippen- 9.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 5.9 apg
Clyde Drexler- 10.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.6 apg
Karl Malone- 13.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.1 apg
John Stockton- 2.8 ppg, 0.3 rpg, 2.0 apg
Chris Mullin- 12.9 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 3.6 apg
Charles Barkley- 18 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.4 apg
Magic Johnson- 8.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 5.5 apg
Christian Laettner- 4.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 0.4 apg
 
 
Since the original Dream Team won Gold, the rest of the world gradually caught up and no other US Olympic team was even close to being as dominant. In what can only be described as an affront to the supreme quality of the original (and only, in my mind) Dream Team is that each of the next two USA Olympic teams were also referred as the “Dream Team” though really, who are they fooling? A team with Steve Smith on it should never be referred to as a “Dream Team”. A more suitable moniker would be “Team of Guys Who Are Above Average NBA Players”.
 
The Dream Team wasn't just the greatest team ever assembled for the way it dominated on the court, but it actually furthered the development of the sport for the entire world.
 
Sorry, Kobe.
 
 

 

Best First Round In NBA Draft History- 03, 96, 85 or 91 ?
Thursday , Jun , 28 , 2012 Paul Eide

Best First Round In NBA Draft History- 03, 96, 85 or 91 ?

Some experts have called the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft the most deep in recent memory; but does that mean it will ever rank as one of the best in history? When the dust settles will the 2012 version be able to hang with the first rounds of 2003, 1996, 1985 or 1991?

HoopsVibe Very Quick Call- It generally takes a couple years for any draft to pan out. But who knows?

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Disrespectful Moments in NBA History
Monday , Aug , 01 , 2011 J.N.

Disrespectful Moments in NBA History

When players claim that they’re pondering about retirement, usually that means that they are quitting the game. Once the word “retirement” enters their mind, they will choose that option. It’s the end. The only way to get out of that thought is youth. The youth will usually say that when they cannot handle defeat well. That’s it. However, after these disrespecting moments, these guys should have quit shortly thereafter. This stuff is embarrassing and makes grown men cry.

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1985 NBA Draft; Best First Round Ever?
Tuesday , Jun , 28 , 2011 Paul Eide

1985 NBA Draft; Best First Round Ever?

Was the envelope frozen? Or was the crease in the upper right hand/folded corner enough for the commish to know it was the correct envelope to pick? Watching the NBA Draft this past week, and the tepid response from most fans concerning who would go number one overall, is a long way from when it was held in 1985. Back in 1985 the Draft actually mattered because Patrick Ewing was at stake.

 
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For the last time, the NBA Draft Lottery is not rigged.
Wednesday , Jun , 01 , 2011 J.N.

For the last time, the NBA Draft Lottery is not rigged.

This comes up before every lottery. What’s the big deal? Of course the blasted thing is rigged! Those men in nice suits sitting there behind podiums are spending millions of dollars each year to field the best team they can put on. They have to appear at the lottery knowing that whole thing is rigged, right? You’re going to cite the Patrick Ewing lottery, eh? Please do not. That has been done over and over. Realize that if your team is in the lottery, they suck and need help.

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Thursday , Mar , 24 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Patrick Ewing thinks Dwight Howard is ‘MVP of the league’

Howard posts up, shoots 60 percent from the field, blocks 2.43 shots per game, pulls down 14.3 rebounds. Practically perfect, except for occasional problems -- aside from Wednesday night -- at the foul line. "The MVP of the league," said Ewing, the last dominant center around here and an Orlando assistant. "Everybody's talking about Derrick Rose, but they need to start putting Dwight there, too. Without him, who knows where we'd be?"

Link
 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Big men often have each other’s back. They have to, as they're part of the same fraternity nobody else gets or understands.

Perhaps Patrick Ewing, an Orlando Magic assistant coach and Hall of Fame center with the New York Knicks, is right. Perhaps Dwight Howard, a fellow center and the Magic's superstar, deserves greater consideration for Most Valuable Player.

Howard is averaging an impressive 24 points, 14 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per night. His Magic are fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 46-26 record, despite making a pair of blockbuster trades throughout the season.

There are a few things holding Howard back from winning MVP:

1) For several reasons, Howard gets overlooked. Orlando is one of the NBA’s smaller markets; big, superhero type centers often get taken for granted by MVP voters; dunks aside, Howard’s offensive game isn’t especially pretty or polished.

2) Sorry Ewing, but Derrick Rose is also having a terrific year. His numbers are on par with Howard, and his Chicago Bulls have won more games than the Magic.

Rose’s Bulls are playing together, having fun, and are the feel-good story of the league. Don’t overlook how this influences MVP voters.

3) Howard's biggest problem may be on his sideline. Coach Stan Van Gundy is a media hog. Instead of focusing on Howard’s accomplishments, reporters are anticipating Van Gundy’s next off-the-cuff comment.

Ewing had to stick up for Howard. He works with Howard and is a former member of the big man fraternity. That doesn’t means he’s right, though.

--Oly Sandor.


Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
The Greatest Team Ever Assembled
Friday , Mar , 11 , 2011 Paul Eide

The Greatest Team Ever Assembled

 

Can you believe it’s been 19 years since the original Dream Team dominated the 1992 Summer Olympics? Perhaps more amazingly, can you believe that in all that time that I have maintained my collection of Starting Lineup Dream Team figurines in its original box, unopened and untouched by human hands?
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Friday , Dec , 31 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Jordan talked to Ewing about Bobcats coaching job?

Patrick Ewing has confirmed that he had conversations with Michael Jordan about replacing Larry Brown as Charlotte's head coach. He did not say if he was offered the job.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It sounds good. A pair of former rivals joining forces to turnaround a morbid franchise.

Would it have worked? We’ll never know.

Patrick Ewing, an assistant coach for the Orlando Magic and retired Hall of Fame pivot for the New York Knick, has told reporters he talked with Michael Jordan about the head coaching job with the Charlotte Bobcats.

Jordan, a Hall of Fame two-guard with the Chicago Bulls who often beat Ewing’s Knicks in the playoffs, now owns the Bobcats and fired Coach Larry Brown last week. He then hired Paul Silas to replace Brown on the sideline.

There are two points on Ewing’s comments. First, he deserves a head coaching job. This, however, wasn’t a fit.

Ewing needs a young team he can teach, groom, and mentor -like Scott Brooks and the Oklahoma City Thunder. He needs a team where his players will learn from him and vice-versa.

Gerald Wallace aside, the Bobcats are a mess. They’re compromised of mediocre, overpaid veterans and D.J. Augustine, who may develop into a decent table-setter.

If Brown, the teacher of all teachers, couldn’t reach them then Ewing would’ve struggled on the sideline, too.

Second, there are just 30 head coaching jobs in the NBA. Getting one isn’t easy, and potential candidates –like Ewing- have to keep their names in the press.

This may be a case of Ewing seeking publicity. Remember, Stan Van Gundy, the head coach for the Magic, has publicly criticized other organizations for not interviewing or even considering Ewing.

So Jordan and Ewing won’t be joining forces in Charlotte. It wasn’t meant to be. And it’s probably best for all involved.

After all, a Knick and Bull couldn’t possibly become allies, right?

--Oly Sandor.

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