It’s your world, LeBron
Breaking NBA News: Sources tell Yahoo Sports - @WojYahooNBA that the Maloof family is finalizing a deal to sell Sacramento Kings to Seattle group led by Hansen-Ballmer
Reports are that the Kings new owners would like to relocate for 2013-14 season, play 2 seasons in Key Arena, then move into new facility.
Power Rankings at the Movies
It’s the holidays and what better things to do than go to the movies? And we’re taking our Power Rankings with us!
It Could Happen to You
30. Washington Wizards (3-22)
29. New Orleans Hornets (5-22)
28. Charlotte Bobcats (7-20)
27. Cleveland Cavaliers (6-23)
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather watch a romance flick than watch these teams play. Yes they are in rebuilding mode. Yes they have a closet full of young talent that’s bound to ripen and take over the league. Yes they are all in the hunt for lottery picks to keep on stock piling more young talent. But for now boy is it boring watching their games. But hey, its all about the lottery, so everyone is keeping their fingers crossed.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie
26. Detroit Pistons (9-21)
25. Toronto Raptors (9-19)
24. Sacramento Kings (8-18)
These teams are prime examples of the Power Rangers. On their own they suck and can’t defeat any bad guys. But what if we were to combine their powers, could we make one contending team that would at least draw some sort of fan base, entertain tv viewers, and at least make the 8th seed of the playoffs in either the East or West? Hmmm might be a team made up of strictly centers and point guards. That could work right?
23. Phoenix Suns (11-16)
22. Dallas Mavericks (12-15)
21. Philadelphia 76ers (13-15)
20. Orlando Magic (12-14)
19. Utah Jazz (12-14)
And here we have the Lost Boys in search of Peter Pan or is it Peter Pan searching for his Lost Boys? Phoenix (in doing the right thing) let Nash (a two time MVP) go and all they got in return was hugs and kisses. Dirk Nowitzki will most likely retire a Mav, but where’s the supporting cast? Dallas and Cuban have money to spend and Dirk can’t be doing his crazy German fadeaway shots forever. And why would you build your team around a center with a hairdo like Bynum’s? Sure the guy hasn’t even played yet, so I could end up eating my words, but I highly doubt it. And the Jazz … I’m just speechless.
The one redeeming team in this group is Orlando. They cleared their salary and have draft picks for days. But until they find their Peter Pan, they’re stuck in this group for eternity.
Die Hard Franchise
18. Los Angeles Lakes (13-14)
17. Brooklyn Nets (14-12)
16. Boston Celtics (13-13)
The Die Hards of the NBA, these team are contenders, even though they only act like it half the time. They have Bruce Willis like firepower, with star studded rosters and playmakers at every turn, these teams are still scary on paper if not occasionally on the court. They have Bruce Willis’ will to live, never count them down and out even when you have them on the ropes. Golden State learned a valuable lesson the other night. And last but not least, they know how to get rowdy and go out with a bang.
Batman and Robin
15. Milwaukee Bucks (14-12)
14. Portland Trail Blazers (13-12)
13. Houston Rockets (14-12)
12. Denver Nuggets (15-13)
11. Atlanta Hawks (16-9)
10. Indiana Pacers (16-12)
The Robin’s of the NBA, the teams that everyone roots for. You know they’re not chalk full of talent. You know their not in major sporting cities. But boy do they play with heart and just once, just once you’d like to see them come out on top. But like all Hollywood endings, these guys are always the sidekick. Coming up just short of their glamorous co-star. One day maybe they’ll write a new Hollywood ending.
The 13th Warrior
9. Minnesota Timberwolves (13-11)
8. Chicago Bulls (15-11)
These two ragtag teams are just barely holding on. They just need the final piece to help carry their team to victory. Rose / Love / Rubio, these guys are all on the comeback. And once they get fully healthy, boy will it be fun to watch they wreck havoc on the opponents. Til then, we just have to sit tight and let the suspense build.
7. Miami Heat (18-6)
I don’t know what’s worse: enduring a Miami Heat game or watching any of the Saw movies. You’re only truly happy when Miami loses, sorta like when one survivor makes it out, but the rest of the time, Saw is just torturing and ripping apart people for his own pleasure and the Miami Heat are no different. God I hate them.
The Last Stand
6. San Antonio Spurs (20-8)
Yes I know this movie isn’t out yet. But the parallels are all there. This is the oldest starting 5 in the league (ala Arnold) and yet you still know they have the cunning and skill to take down a few bad guys or two. Can they take out the ultimate bad guy though, well that still has to be seen. As is the movie.
5. Golden State Warriors (18-10)
Watching them play is like everyone’s childhood. You run around, jack up 3’s like no one cares and run back with a grin on your face whether you make it or not. This team has the youth and carefree attitude of all those kids in The Sandlot. Even the Beast is present, taking away their valuables and imposing a menacing presence (ala The Lakers). Will they make it very far? Probably not, but hey at least they’re having fun.
4. Memphis Grizzlies (18-10)
Yes I can throw foreign films into the mix. Just watch this movie and tell me you’re not watching the Memphis Grizzlies. This is basketball grit at its finest and they’re making one damn good movie out of it.
3. New York Knicks (19-7)
2. Los Angeles Clippers (20-6)
1. Oklahoma City Thunder (21-5)
Action packed from start to finish. You can’t tell me you don’t secretly love watching any of their games. Like Bond on steriods these teams don’t lack anything (except for the coveted ring). Which one will prevail and beat the ever present evil that is the Heat? Spoiler alert!!! Its the …
From last night’s Spurs/Thunder game. You’re welcome.
Dub City Bitch
In my latest version of the Power Rankings, as the Warriors were finishing off a successful home-stand and on the verge of a long East Coast road trip, I wrote:
“I feel like the Warriors are always about 8-6 at this point in the season, just enough to continue holding out hope until they have their first long road trip and lose 7 straight by double digits. That road trip will be Dec 5th-15th this year with games at Detroit, Brooklyn, Washington, Charlotte, Miami, Orlando and Atlanta.”
Just two weeks later, and so far on this road trip:
Dec 5th @ Denver Nuggets W 104-97
Dec 7th @ Brooklyn Nets W 109-102
Dec 8th @ Washington Wizards W 101-97
Dec 10th @ Charlotte Bobcats W 104-96
Dec 12th @ Miami Heat W 97-95
The next two against Orlando and Atlanta are arguably their easiest match-ups in this stretch, and the Warriors don’t have another long East Coast trip until February (Minnesota, Indiana, New York, Boston, Philadelphia).
What is normally a stumbling block for the Warriors in the past has so far been a coming out party for the Dubs, and it makes me all kinds of warm inside. But I will not be fooled. I can’t take them for real just yet.
Matt Bonner, Again
You guys, I forgot about this blog for a while. I’m doing a terrible job. I never even posted my other preview (which weirdly, I did write.) I did get a Christmas tree and stockings for our apartment, though, so I think Mark and John will forgive me. Anyhow, because I love all things Matt Bonner: Happy Monday.
Roy Hibbert goes hard on the Gangnam Style….HARD! Where you at Glen Davis…Anthony Davis…Miles Davis…even Sammie Davis Jr…?
Why they so goooood?
Are the Knicks the best team in the East??
After beating the Heat in Miami last night for the second time already this season (and without Carmelo Anthony), the Knicks now have the most wins in the NBA and would claim the #1 seed in the East if the season ended today. However, it’s still very early in the season as the Knicks have not yet even played 1/4 of their games. Wins and losses this early in the season don’t tell the full story, so I’ve decided to perhaps dig a little deeper to see why the Knicks have been so surprisingly overachieving.
Are they dripping wet?
No- The Knicks shooting percentage is 45.5% compared to the league average of 44.5%, placing them 9th overall behind first place Oklahoma City at 49.2%, who are very wet indeed.
Are they using very much Windex?
Nope, the Knicks are 21st overall in total rebounds at 718, or about 39.9/game. That’s very far behind Indiana at 897 (47.2/game). The Knicks have an average rebound differential of about -3.89, meaning they’re getting out-rebounded by a large margin pretty much every game. Only 3 other teams are that bad.
Are they dropping dimes?
The Knicks are surprisingly not dropping a plethora of dimes. In fact, the Knicks are 26th in assists/game at a mere 20.28 despite having Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton running the point. A large part of this is surely attributed to JR Smith and Carmelo always throwing up a shot whenever they touch the ball, but this one shocked me. The Knicks are 4th overall in points/game but are not passing the ball very well. Soooo….
Do they D-the-fuck-up?
YES, the Knicks are playing great defense. They are 4th overall in steals at 9.06/game and are holding opponents to just 94.7 points/game. The Knicks average point differential at +8.50 is behind only Oklahoma City. Many people are saying Carmelo is committed to playing good defense this year, and so far it’s been doing wonders for the Knicks. They’re also not committing a ton of personal fouls (3rd in PF/G), despite Sheed’s best efforts. But that can’t be the whole story…
Do they cough it up?
The Knicks are very reluctant to cough it up. In fact, New York almost NEVER turns the ball over. They lead the NBA by a very large margin by having the fewest turnovers and averaging just 10.78 turnovers/game. For some historical perspective, I looked to see how this compares to past seasons. During the 2002-03 season, the Dallas Mavericks, led by Steve Nash and Avery Johnson, had just 11.6 turnovers/game. The Knicks are on pace to be the most efficient team of all time.
Can they bang?
They Knicks are afraid of banging. They have the second-lowest average points in the paint, at just 34.0 points/game.
Do they run? Or perhaps gun?
NO, the Knicks are terrible on the fastbreak. They have by far the fewest fastbreak points (8.8/game).
So they hang out downtown?
The Knicks have been spotted downtown very much this season. They lead the league in 3 pointers and 3 point attempts and are currently third in 3 point percentage at 40.8% behind the Thunder and the Heat. More impressively, at their current pace, they would absolutely demolish the single season record of 9.71 3PM/G set by Nash’s 2002-03 Phoenix Suns team, as they currently average 12.11 3PM/G on 29.67 3PA/G. That is mind-blowing. The Knicks average almost 30 three point attempts per game! That is hard for many teams to even fathom. Last night, they made 18 of them. 35.2% of their total points are from downtown. For some context, they are also last in percentage of 2 pointers/game at 49.8% and nearly last in points from free throws at 15.0%.
But what does it all meannnnn?
The Knicks are even more outlandish than I imagined. It seems like a team sending out Tyson Chandler, Rasheed Wallace, Kurt Thomas, Marcus Camby and James White on a regular basis would derive most of their offensive output from the low post, offensive rebounds and fastbreaks off blocks, turnovers and rebounds. Even their leading scorer is known for being able to play with his back to the basket and get to the free throw line on occasion. But they are last or close to last in every single one of those categories. Instead, JR Smith, Steve Novak, Carmelo Anthony, Jason Kidd, Raymond Felton and Ronnie Brewer are attempting a historical amount of 3 pointers, with wild success. Each of them are shooting over 40%.
So, they fahreal?
While their shooting, at least percentage-wise, isn’t all that ridiculous I just can’t see an entire team shooting over 40% for the whole season. At 40.8%, they’re well above the league average of 35.7%, but still far from the 42.8% posted by Glen Rice and Dell Curry’s 1996-97 Charlotte Hornets team. The most incredible aspect of the first 18 games has been the nature of the statistical extremes the Knicks are posting. What does a team that doesn’t pass the ball, doesn’t run, doesn’t block shots, doesn’t get to the line, doesn’t score in the paint, doesn’t rebound, doesn’t turn the ball over and doesn’t rely on one player really stack up to? In today’s NBA maybe that’s the new formula, but I would gather that eventually some teams are going to deny you the opportunity to shoot at will from outside and eventually make you pass, make you drive, make you run and make you stop them down low on the other end. This will be interesting to keep an eye on as they face teams like the Nets and Bulls for the second and third time in the next few weeks.
I think the major factor as the season progresses will be the return of Amare Stoudemire. Will Amare come back from knee surgery and slow down the hot-shooting Knicks by taking up space and disrupting their timing, or will he provide a more balanced offense and force the Knicks to rely less on their long range shooting and beat teams with a variety of looks? Will Amare coming back allow the Knicks to rotate their old big guys efficiently in order to run more, or will they still continue to settle on pulling up for three pointers as Sheed loves to do (16/58 3PA/3PM)? The Knicks can be comforted by the fact that it’s truly been a team-wide barrage, but without adjusting their game just a little there’s no chance teams are going to allow them to continue to jack up 30 threes a game. Their 14-4 record is a statistical anomaly. I see the Knicks definitely making the Playoffs because they’ll continue to score, and maybe they can replicate this kind of shooting over 18+ games in the postseason, but I doubt it.