tim-duncan
Examining Rose’s Bulls climb to 62 wins
Wednesday , Apr , 20 , 2011 J.N.

Examining Rose’s Bulls climb to 62 wins

The Chicago Bulls becoming the number one team, record wise, reveals a quantum leap this season and ramifications for the future. Not many people are examining the Bulls massive improvements – they practically flew over the Atlantic Ocean without breaking a sweat. Imagine predicting that the Bulls would be the number one team with the best defense before the season started. Imagine that. People laugh, mock, wants some weed that you smoked, and then label you a Bulls homer. That is why some of us should say, “We’ll see.”

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Best Team in NBA; Bulls Or Spurs?
Monday , Apr , 11 , 2011 Paul Eide

Best Team in NBA; Bulls Or Spurs?

 

After winning 19 of 21 games the Bulls are nipping at the heels of the San Antonio Spurs for the league’s best record and home court advantage throughout the playoffs. The Spurs have been so dominant all year it’s hard to believe anyone could even be challenging them for the league’s best record. Considering how untouchable they’ve seemed it makes you re-evaluate the Spurs roster to see how they’ve been doing it in the first place. Put simply its “efficiency”.
 
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Friday , Apr , 01 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Celtics need Shaq, Jermaine O’Neal, and Krstic healthy to win NBA Title?

Krstic left with 2:18 left in the first half of Thursday's game after landing awkwardly on his right leg. His knee became bent out of shape and he immediately felt the pain. With the help of Celtics trainer Ed Lacerte, Krstic limped off the floor. Krstic will return home to Boston where he will undergo an MRI on Friday.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call:  Suddenly, the Boston Celtics are thin at center.
 
Remember, the green-and-white signed the two O’Neals, Jermaine and Shaquille this summer. Depth was one reason executive Danny Ainge felt comfortable sending interior defender Kendrick Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder for forward Jeff Green at the trade deadline.

Injuries, pending free agency, and a plethora of posts, made Perk’ expendable. Or, so the Celtics thought.

Jermaine O’Neal isn’t healthy. He hasn’t been all year. Shaquille O’Neal’s Achilles has kept him out of the line-up for some time. Whenever he returns, fitness will be an issue.

Knowing this, Ainge prudently acquired Nenad Krstic from Oklahoma City as part of the Green deal. Now Krstic is out for the foreseeable future with his own knee troubles.

Well, what does this mean?

Suppose the Celtics advance to the NBA Finals. They’ll need size at center to counter, say, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Andrew Bynum, the Dallas Mavericks’ Tyson Chandler, or the San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan.
 
Some combination of the O'Neals and Krstic must be available to log heavy minutes. And Garnett must be free to roam and help on defence. He does this best when playing power forward.

Sliding The Big Ticket to center makes the defending Eastern Conference champs smaller and limits Garnett's effectiveness.

Hopefully, the Celtics get healthy down low. Returning to the Finals and having any chance at beating the Lakers, or any other western foe, depends on it.  

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Saturday , Mar , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

LeBron empathizing with Melo, Knicks is a problem

For LeBron James, the signs are all familiar. The initial discomfort in a new system. The frustrating losses. The growing pains. The private bickering, questioning and second-guessing. The attitude issues. Even the turbulence during particularly heated timeouts. James knows that script all too well. He's lived it during the honeymoon period with the Miami Heat, the one that sent the team into a brief stretch of disarray following a difficult 9-8 start.

"I know exactly what he's going through right now," James said of his friend Carmelo Anthony's more-difficult-than-expected indoctrination with the Knicks. "And it's going to take time. Everybody knows we were 9-8. We had to figure things out. And we're still figuring things out.

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: LeBron James can relate to Carmelo Anthony’s recent struggles with the New York Knicks.

Like Anthony, James left his old team in less than perfect fashion. Like Anthony, James predicted greatness for his new team before playing a single game. And like Anthony, James experienced a backlash when things didn’t instantly go to plan.

King James feels ‘Melo’s pain. He relates to the hardship, the expectations, and the criticism. He knows the trials and tribulations of an NBA superstar.

What nonsense James speaks.

It’s hard to knock James and/or Anthony for using the system to play for the team they like. They both gave seven years to the team that drafted them. If they want to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and Denver Nuggets, fair enough.

It’s, however, easy to knock James and/or Anthony for how they left the Cavaliers and/or Nuggets.  We won’t, though. This is old news. What’s done is done.

Here’s the point: James and Anthony got exactly what the wanted. James joined pals Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in South Beach, while Anthony returned home to The Big Apple.

And both received big money from their new team; James inked a $100 million max deal, Anthony signed a three-year, $65 million extension.

They’re playing for the team of their choice. They’re also playing in the cities of their choice. Key word: choice.

It’s hard to feel sympathy for superstars who get everything they ask for, and feel frustrated when things aren’t instantly a bed of roses.

Perhaps this is what separates the greats like Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan from the very good like James and Anthony. The greats don’t expect, want, or need sympathy.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Tuesday , Mar , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Al Jefferson praises Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Who says the youth of today don't respect their elders?

The Utah Jazz’s Al Jefferson is a soft-spoken gentleman, and has no problem paying homage to established superstars like Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett.

Watch the video and get at us with thoughts on the interview with Jefferson.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Jul , 10 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Spanish league MVP Splitter signs with Spurs

The Spurs have reached a contract agreement with Tiago Splitter, according to Ticket 760 (KTKR-AM). He is expected to sign the undisclosed deal on Monday. San Antonio drafted Splitter with the 28th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Forget the headlines, chat rooms, and one hour ESPN specials. Quietly, the San Antonio Spurs are improving.

Reports indicate the Spurs have inked Euro league superstar Tiago Splitter to a multi-year deal. The Brazilian born post - who also holds Spanish citizenship - may be the best player who didn`t play in the NBA last year.
 
After all, he was the Spanish league MVP in 2010, averaging 16 points and 10 rebounds per game. He also led his club side Tau Ceramica to victory in the Spanish Cup.

Splitter can defend, rebound, and block shots. His offensive skills are evolving, though. He’ll either start next to Tim Ducan or get significant minutes off the bench.

-- Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Thursday , Jul , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Foes to friends? Shaq to sign with San Antonio Spurs?

The Spurs are the first choice of free-agent center Shaquille O'Neal, a source told FanHouse. O'Neal is looking to play two more seasons in the NBA. The source said that San Antonio and Atlanta are at the top of O'Neal's list and there is interest from both sides.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They are complete opposites –like night versus day, sport utility truck versus European race car, and country rock versus glam’ hip hop.

But these former foes are on the verge of becoming friends. And a partnership - however unlikely the possibility seemed, say, five years ago - would work for both sides.

After years of doing battle during the regular season and playoffs, after years of trading insults on-and-off court, Shaquille O’Neal – once the glitzy star of the Los Angeles Lakers - is contemplating signing with the low key San Antonio Spurs.

Three words for Shaq and the Spurs: get it done.

O’Neal needs to join a veteran-laden contender like San Antonio, where he’ll be held accountable by players and the coach.

What attitude could he cope Tim Duncan, a first-ballot Hall of Famer and possibly the greatest power forward of all-time?

How could he talk back to Gregg Popovich, the league’s resident tough guy on the bench and a former military man?

He couldn’t.

And O’Neal would even have to watch how he treats co-stars like Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, who have both won three NBA championships.

However, this isn’t a one-sided arrangement. O’Neal – if healthy and that’s a big if these days – can still draw double-teams down-low and kick for the Spurs.

Best of all, he would provide a moxie; a confidence that it’s his inherent right to play in May and June for the championship.

In other words, exactly what was missing from the Spurs’ line-up when they meekly bowed out to the Phoenix Suns, an opponent they used to own, in the first round of the 2010 post-season.

These two former rivals must join forces. They need each other.

--Oly Sandor.


Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Monday , Jul , 05 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

New York fiasco: Stoudemire throws Anthony and Parker under the bus

Amar'e Stoudemire flew into New York yesterday, and he already is recruiting other stars around the league to join him on the Knicks. "I've talked to Carmelo Anthony to come out here, I've talked to Tony Parker," Stoudemire said last night after seeing a Broadway show. "Both those guys are ready to join me if I decide to come here, so I'm gonna see if we can work it out."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Ah Amare, there are problems with your plan.

First, you haven't officially signed a contract with the New York Knicks. Nothing is on paper; there's no deal. And if LeBron James suddenly decided he wanted to ink a multi-year pact with the NYC, he would get to pick the big he wanted to partner with.

So Chris Bosh or even Carlos Boozer could be in. And you could be out.

Second, say you end up with the Knicks. Well, guess what? You've broken the NBA's tampering laws because Anthony and Parker have contracts with the Denver Nuggets and San Antonio Spurs. They become free agents in July of 2011, and not July of 2010.

Perhaps, you were confused.

Fortunately, James Dolan has a relationship with Corporal Stern and the suits at league head office. He can probably smooth things over for you.

Third, you've thrown Anthony and Parker under the bus. These two may have privately expressed a desire to play in New York, but they expected these conversations to remain private and not end up in the news.

Anthony must now smooth things over with coach George Karl, Chauncey Billups, and Nugget fans, while Parker has to convince Tim Duncan, crazy coach Gregg Popovich, and the San Antonio Spurs that he's committed to winning an NBA Title in 2011.

After this, Anthony and Parker will feel they can't trust you. And if they can't trust you to keep hypothetical texts and private chats at the nightclub quiet, how can they trust you on-court as teammates? 

To be fair, you were probably excited about the possibility of signing in New York. This is understandable. The Knicks are a classic franchise. Madison Square Gardens is The Mecca of basketball. And forty-one evenings a year you'd get to rub shoulders with Spike Lee.

Now is not the time to revert to the immature antics of your past. Keep your cool. Remain a professional.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Friday , Jun , 04 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Will Dan Gilbert let LeBron replace Ferry as Cleveland’s de facto GM?

Danny Ferry is out as general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers, choosing not to re-sign his contract that was set to expire in June. The decision comes as a surprise but was made days ago, and complicates the most important offseason in team history.

Ferry's departure Friday after five seasons occurred two weeks after the club fired coach Mike Brown following the team's second-round loss to the Boston Celtics in the NBA playoffs. It also comes as the team is making plans to try to re-sign two-time MVP LeBron James, who will be a free agent next month.

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HoopsVibe's Quick Call: It's official. The inmate, LeBron James, is running the asylum -even if he has a foot out the free agent door.

Ferry's firing comes as a surprise because days ago reports indicated the retired forward and owner Dan Gilbert had essentially agreed on an extension.

Apparently, the stumbling block was authority. Ferry rightfully thought a GM needed control over basketball operations. He wasn't prepared to deal with Gilbert or James meddling in personnel decisions.

So he left.

Assistant GM Chris Grant will slide into the big chair in the executive suite. However, it remains to be seen how much authority Grant will have as the new GM.

Expect Gilbert to be very involved this summer. If James resigns, Gilbert and Grant will likely let the superstar pick the new coach and have a large say in all basketball related decisions.

This isn't the way to run a winning organization. For instance, Tim Duncan always defers to coach Gregg Popovich and executive R.C. Buford. The Los Angeles Lakers started winning when Kobe Bryant quit commenting to random fans outside of strip malls about swapping Andrew Bynum for Jason Kidd and focused on basketball. And even the great Michael Jordan had little say in the happenings of the Chicago Bulls.

So Gilbert, who doesn't have James' name on a new deal, is taking a risk in re-structuring his entire organization to suit his free agent superstar.

Got thoughts on Ferry leaving the Cavaliers? Let us know in the comment box below.

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Thursday , May , 27 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Worst ejection of all time: Rush on Perkins or Crawford on Duncan?

The NBA on Thursday rescinded one of the two technical fouls assessed to Celtics center Kendrick Perkins in Boston's loss to Orlando in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday night, meaning Perkins will be available to play in Friday's Game 6.

The NBA took back the second of the two technicals, which occurred with 36.1 seconds remaining in the first half and resulted in Perkins' automatic ejection. Referee Eddie F. Rush tagged Perkins with the technical for arguing a foul call.

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HoopsVibe's Call:  Eddie F. Rush was too quick to slap Perkins with both technicals, even though the Boston Celtics' post is notorious for protesting calls.

Both of Perkins' technicals were overblown, and all three refs needed to show a little more patience, especially since game five of the Eastern Conference Finals is bound to be emotional. 

Coincidentally, Rush was working the game with fellow ref Joe Crawford, who also hit Rajon Rondo with a somewhat questionable technical.

Crawford, like Rush, has an itchy trigger finger on the technicals. A few years back, he slapped superstar Tim Duncan with two technicals over what was believed to be a personal conflict.

So, worst ejection of all time: Rush on Perkins or Crawford on Duncan? Watch both video clips and get at us in the comment box below with your call? 

(Rush ejecting Perkins.) 

(Crawford tossing Duncan.)      

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Sunday , May , 23 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Why Bosh, James, or Wade shouldn’t get to pick Clippers’ next coach?

Usually in professional sports, the coach is selling the free agent player on his team as a potential destination. The Los Angeles Clippers are prepared to take a different approach. As the only team without a coach that doesn't appear to be looking, reports say that the Clippers are prepared to offer big-name free agents something in addition to the maximum contract: pick your own coach. That's right, the plan in Los Angeles might be to use the coaching vacancy as an additional draw to free agents like Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and even Lebron James. They all know they will get the maximum salary, but where else can they pick their coach?

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HoopsVibe Call: It's why the Clippers are the Clippers. And it's why they'll remain a league laughingstock.

Despite having talented players, coaches, and executives, Los Angeles' other team can't get their act together. Allowing star free agents like Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and even Dwyane Wade to pick their next coach is another example of their lunacy.

Good organizations don't let the inmates - regardless of how talented Bosh, James, and Wade are - run the asylum. For instance, in San Antonio, Tim Duncan has always deferred to coach Gregg Popovich, which forces his teammates to listen to the veteran sideline boss.

Across town, Kobe Bryant, like it or not, follows Laker coach Phil Jackson -even though he oftens seems more like the duplicitous Machiavelli than the peaceful Zen-Master. And Michael Jordan also followed Jackson when they won six NBA Titles with the Chicago Bulls.

Having a player - regardless of how great he is - select their next coach makes that coach a subordinate. And this is a recipe for disaster. Of course, leave it to the Clippers, one of the worst organizations in pro sport, to make this blunder.

Should Bosh, James, or Wade get to pick the Clippers' next coach? Should any player get to pick his coach? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts.     

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Thursday , May , 20 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Should LeBron James have a say in trades?

LeBron James has had a lot of power in Cleveland, according to ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher.

Sources told Bucher that James vetoed trades he didn't like for the Cavaliers, while pushing other deals through that he thought would help the team.

Any team that signs LeBron will likely have to set a basis for how much power he'll have in the front office.

Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf never gave that type of power to Michael Jordan, so it's doubtful he'd give it to James.

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After all, this creates an uncomfortable dynamic in the locker room. There's a fine line between the two-time MVP having a say in personnel matters and ushering out teammates he doesn't jive with -like former Cleveland Cavaliers forward Drew Gooden.
 
It's also a distraction. James, who again collapsed in the playoffs, should focus on basketball. Nothing else. The sooner this happens, the better off the two-time MVP and his team will be.
 
Finally, there's a reason Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and even Michael Jordan have/had little say in front office matters. Why should James, who hasn't yet won an NBA Title, be different?
 
Should James have a say in trades? Why? Why not?
The NBA’s 50 Worst Tattoos
Sunday , Apr , 11 , 2010 C.Y. Ellis

The NBA’s 50 Worst Tattoos

You wouldn't believe the number of inky abominations etched into the pelts of pro ballers.  I'd originally planned a simple list of the league's ten worst tats, but when my dishonourable mention section hit double digits I realised I'd need to expand the scope of the project a little.  Even when I elongated the list to twenty-five terrible tattoos, I still found that I had to exclude some real atrocities.  In the end it took a full fifty spots to showcase the shittiest skin art in the L.

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