Sunday, May 29, 2011

The ABCs of 2-3-2s



So if you've been following the NBA playoffs the last few years, you already know that the actual finals is treated differently in regards to format. Rounds one through three are played with a 2-2-1-1-1 best of 7 series. This means that the higher seed gets home court the first two games and the (if necessary) fifth and seventh game.

However, because we all love change, the "Finals" mixes it up and enforces a 2-3-2 best of 7 series. This means that the higher seeded team (in this year's case - the Miami Heat - will get home court the first and last 2 games.

NBA fans typically vary on their opinion of the 2-3-2 format, but personally, I don't like it. It places the lower seeded team at a bigger disadvantage than a 2-2-1-1-1 series would. Realistically, the Mavs could aim for a split in the first two (will be extremely tough to do in Miami where there Heat are undefeated in the playoffs), but will then have to win three straight afterwards to bury the Heat in Dallas. Consider that the playoffs are all about adjustments, Dallas will basically have to play out of their mind to accomplish this, and I'm telling you now - this is what the Mavs have to do if they want to become champions.

Because if this gets to game 6, Miami will not give this series up.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Only Way To Stop Dirk = Mike Brown..?

Let's face it, there's no one left in the Western Conference that can stop Dirk Nowitzki. Aldrige was overwhelmed, while Wallace crashed. Then of course the graphic abuse of Pau Gasol was broadcasted nationally for a few games. And now we get to see multiple attempts from Collison, Perkins, Ibaka, Mohammed, and even Durant - only to fail one by one.

If the Thunder somehow found a way to remove one of Dirk's legs - yes a friggen body limb - it still wouldn't prevent him from trying that fall-away shot he likes.

If you missed his legendary performance in game 4, here's a nice clip:




But wait! The Lakers have the answer in their new head coach.

Ladies and gentlemen...Mike Brown...



Quite a few Laker fans all over the world have this blank expression on their face, the same face Mr. Brown had during his tenure in Cleveland. Many felt he had no control over that team, so one can only hope the entertainment will be 100 times better in Hollywood.

And btw kids, you're witnessing history with the first ever GIF on the GamePointBlog. And you know what? It's a good first.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Top 50 Dunks of 2011

So here's a video I came across recently on Youtube that was uploaded by azndaniel167. Here, you'll be treated to an opinion of which throwdowns were the best of the season. Unfortunately, this doesn't include some of the nice dunks we've seen in the playoffs, but you'll be entertained nonetheless.

No worries by the way, KIA is not sponsoring this video or this blog. Though they do know how to contact me!






Some Observations

- 43 had the sexiest pass. Definitely all about the pass.
- 41 one of my favourites from this season
- 33 is some 2K cheese
- 25 had perfect amount of elevation and extension.
- 7 and 6 may be too high for me
- I have no problem with #1 but Kevin Harlan definitely helps add to its awesomeness.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

1st Is The Worst, 2nd Is The Best, 5th Is The One That Goes To The Raptors



[Picture credit to Matthew Stasyna - Check out more of his work on his photobucket link: Click here!]

Okay. So that didn't go too well.

But we've got to just move on and make the best of the situation we've been given. Assuming we don't trade the pick, there are still players with a decent amount of upside at the 5th slot. They may not be the safer game changers like Kyrie Irving or Derrick Williams, but that doesn't mean we can't luck out and find someone who makes everyone down the road question how he fell to five.

In case you were wondering, for your convenience, the last 15 years worth of 5th overall picks.


2010 - DeMarcus Cousins
2009 - Ricky Rubio
2008 - Kevin Love
2007 - Jeff Green
2006 - Shelden Williams
2005 - Raymond Felton
2004 - Devin Harris
2003 - Dwyane Wade
2002 - Nikoloz Tskitishvili
2001 - Jason Richardson
2000 - Mike Miller
1999 - Jonathan Bender
1998 - Vince Carter
1997 - Tony Battie
1996 - Ray Allen
1995 - Kevin Garnett

There are some nice names on that list, some of the more notable ones including Wade, Ray Allen, KG, and even Vince Carter. However, there has also been plenty of misses over the years. And unfortunately, this year's draft looks more like the 2000 version in regards to talent pool.

So...Mike...Miller...anyone?

Keep a lookout for our special Hoops N Hip-Hop "Draft Roundtable" feature as we break down each of the players that could possibly be there at the 5th pick for the Raptors to draft.

Oh, and screw you Lucky Charms leprechaun, bigger marshmallows my a**!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Just Another Disappointment Or The First Step Torwards A Championship?

Tonight, is a significant moment in the history of the Toronto Raptors. As soon as the clock strikes 8:30 pm est, Raptors Nation will find out what the future holds for a franchise that has had more downs than ups.

It all comes down to the bounce of a ping pong ball.

There will be a total of 1000 ping pong balls - 156 of them belonging to the Raptors - and all we need is for one of them to fall our way.

This year's draft is said to only have two players likely to achieve all-star status in Duke's Kyrie Irving and Arizona's Derrick Williams (though even Williams has question marks in my opinion - we'll get into that when Hoops N Hip-Hop breaks down each draft entrant later).

With the amount of risks that fall after the first two picks, where we end up after tomorrow night has the potential to impact the success this franchise sees for the next 4-5 years. Get lucky and move up, and the Raptors likely add a future rookie-of-the-year to their roster. Stay put or fall down in the draft, and possibly set yourself up for a prolonged rebuilding period.

As of right now, the Raptors have the 3rd best chance to land the #1 pick with 15.6%. Here are the rest of the lottery teams' chances in comparison:

Minnesota - 25%
Cleveland - 19.9%
Toronto - 15.6%
Washington - 11.9%
Sacramento - 7.6%
New Jersey - 7.5%
Detroit - 4.3%
Los Angeles - 2.8%
Charlotte - 1.7%
Milwaukee - 1.1%
Golden State- 0.8%
Utah - 0.7%
Phoenix - 0.6%
Houston - 0.5%

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Mission Control : Houston, We Have No Adelman



NOTE: Today, we dip into the mind of Hoop N Hip-Hop's very own Southern Belle, Christie. She gives her opinion on the situation down in Houston, Texas as they continue their search for a new coach.


It’s been a rough few years for the Houston Rockets with injuries mounting every season and superstars doing little more than warming the bench. This wasn’t the way Rick Adelman had planned it, and not the way he wanted to end his career. Morey has decided to play young ball for the first time in a very long time, and Adelman wasn’t up for the challenge. So we are saying goodbye to the Adelman era and hello to……. Something.

I will not pretend to tell you what the higher-ups are thinking with their list of prospects, but one thing is for sure, they want a lapdog above all else. Reported to be in the final running are Lawrence Frank, Dwane Casey, and Kevin McHale. I’m not surprised however that Sam Cassell didn’t make the final cut even though he was considered. But to put Kevin McHale there? Seriously? As some of you may know I have a soft spot for the Cassell man, after all he is from Houston and played on the Houston Rockets during their 2-peat championships just to be traded for Charles Barkley in his decline.

There are other prospects who didn’t make the final cut that I think should have….

Mario Elle for starters. He use to play for the Houston Rockets and is currently the assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings. Not only that but his wife is here in Houston working as an anchor for one of the top television stations in the area. Not only would he be delighted to be with his wife a lot more often, but he has the Rockets' pride drilled into his brain and will put forth a tremendous amount of effort to not only win, but to also kiss Morey’s backside as often as needed. It’s a win-win for all involved and could have been a start to a very heartfelt Disney movie in the making!

Mike Budenholzer is also a prime candidate, especially after the season he just had as the assistant coach of the San Antonio Spurs. Actually I would be willing to say he may be my top candidate. Sure there may have to be a bit more PR to get him accepted here right away just because the Spurs and the Rockets have a fairly intense rivalry, but not any more than they have with the Mavericks; and I seem to see Dwane Casey listed as a finalist up there. So what’s the deal? Why Casey and not Budenholzer? Why wouldn’t you want the man who is seen as the best assistant coach in the NBA? Could it be that he will not bend over backwards for Morey? I think so…

Quin Snyder (76ers) wouldn’t be a bad fit if the Rockets are really dead set on building from the ground up. He has proven himself with young players and developing young talent. He is thought to be a great communicator with his players, but on the down side I could see him becoming like Toronto’s current coach Triano and babying his players too much. To the upside, the men upstairs should like his ‘yes man’ attitude.

At the end of the day they have to pick someone, anyone at this point, but to what end? I don’t think they have explored all their options. I agree with not promoting anyone from the current coaching line-up, because that is not a way to change a team. However, I don’t think they have explored all the avenues. They want to have someone chosen before the draft. At the end of the day does it really matter who the coach is by then? No it really doesn’t. The Rockets have again put themselves in one of the worst positions come draft time. Not only did they ensure they couldn’t make the play-offs but they succeeded in securing the worst possible lottery option as well. This year’s draft is so shallow that a typical 20th draft pick will now go around number 10. Odds are that the rockets will end up with a benchwarmer with less basketball IQ then the local towel boy. It’s going to be a sad few more years for the Rockets. When Obama shut down NASA, I’m pretty sure he didn’t mean ALL rockets had to be grounded.


Written by: Christie

Monday, May 9, 2011

With A Side of Red - Playoff Edition [Social and Physical Awkardness]

Something we liked to do here at Gamepointblog when we first started out was a feature called "With A Side of Red".

Basically, we'd gather a few videos and links that would hopefully entertain you while you do what you do. And with the playoffs in full swing, we thought it'd be a good idea to get back into it.

So without further ado:

Chris Bosh had a pretty good performance in game 4 last night, helping the Heat take a commanding 3-1 series lead. Maybe this bounce back to respectability was fueled by the press conference he had after game 3. It's been well documented that the attention of the bright spotlight was what Bosh was seeking when he left Toronto. Unfortunately, no one still seems to care about the 3rd member of Miami's "Two and a Half Men". While Wade and LeBron get to sit together during their Q&A, Bosh is forced to endure a lack of questions by himself.




So as the Lakers' season came to a excruciating prolonged end, Mr. Andrew Bynum became a third time offender when he decided to take himself out of the game via ejection. This is what happens when you forget this isn't a game of 2k and you can't rage quit.





And in case you haven't seen it yet, or want to relive it, Bynum's 2nd and 1st offense. Looks like the Lakers were able to get another 3peat...:



Sunday, May 8, 2011

Home Is Where The Wins Are




With the end of an era in Los Angeles, another battle rages on between two teams who are very similar at the core.

Many basketball fans around the world rioted upon hearing the announcement that LeBron James and Chris Bosh would be joining Wade in Miami to form a super team. But a lot of people forget they weren't the first team to do this. In fact, the very blueprint Miami followed was inspired by the Boston Celtics and their formation of their own Big 3.

And now even thrown into a fight where only one of them can survive, the Heat and the Celtics continue to mirror each other in regards to the intensity they play with at home.

Call it a more efficient offense or a less attentive defense, but one thing's for sure, the home team has so far been the better team.

And this isn't surprising when you remember that both the Heat and the Celtics are unbeaten at home in the playoffs so far. After 3 games, here are both team's percentages as the home and away team.

Miami

Home: 46%FG
Away: 43%FG

Home: 45%3pt
Away: 22%3pt

Celtics

Home: 50%FG
Away: 43%FG

Home: 50%3pt
Away: 53%3pt


Other than the fact that Boston has been lighting it up from 3 point land regardless of where they are playing, it's clear that both teams are hitting at a higher clip at home than on the road.

Even when you throw the stats out the window, anyone who actually watches the games can tell that both teams just play at a higher level in front of their home crowd.

Unfortunately for the Celtics, they only have three home games in this seven game series. Late in the season, both teams decided to duke it out for the 2nd seed in the East, knowing full well it could come in handy when they crossed paths in the post-season. With injuries mounting, the Celtics decided to ease up on the gas pedal (stating it wasn't worth it) and instead focused on getting to the playoffs healthy.

So now here the two teams stand, both brimming with talent and hunger for a championship. The only thing that sets them apart is that one team doesn't even have to win on the road to advance.

Don't be surprised if the Heat win in seven games.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Grizz Have An App For That



The Memphis Grizzlies are a legitimate championship contender.

Why?

Because they literally have an answer for anything and everything you throw at them.

If you happen to be a methodical, precise, and cerebral half-court team like oh, I dunno, the Spurs; then they have enough athleticism, youth, and speed to play at a hectic pace.

But unlike previous run-n-gun teams like the the SSOL Suns and Warriors, Memphis can also efficiently execute half-court sets. And on top of that, the Grizzlies can vary their attacks in the half-court. Bullying their way inside with Marc Gasol, or making it rain from the perimeter with the likes of Mayo, Conley, and Battier results in a pick-your-poison offense.

Let's face it, at the end of the day, to succeed in the playoffs means having that one superstar to take over in the clutch and bring home the win. The Grizzlies? They go to Mr. Zach Randolph, who in my humble opinion is currently playing like the best power forward in the league. Everyone knows Z-Bo is going to get the ball, but more often than not, there's nothing you can do to prevent him from scoring when the game is on the line.

On the flip side, you're not going to get very far in the playoffs without stopping the other team's best player. Where most teams have one defensive stopper, the Grizzlies have an army of them. Even if you combined a super team comprised of Spurs and Thunder players, - let's roll with Westbrook/Ginobli/Durant/Duncan/Perkins - the Grizz could still match-up defensively with Conley/Allen/Battier/Randolph/Gasol and get away with it.

With the Lakers now down 0-2 to Dallas, the Grizzlies may very well have a real chance of making it all the way to the finals. Getting by the Thunder will not be an easy task, but don't be surprised if they manage to find a way to slip by OKC and then the eventual winner of LA/Dallas.

And then considering I have the Heat coming out of the East, I don't see a team right now (other than the Thunder) currently better equipped to handle Miami's Big 3.

Do you?