Well, it's almost All-Star selection time, so I reckon if I'm gonna opine on that topic it's time to use it or lose it.
I only watch the Western Conference, more or less, since I follow two teams actively and that's where they both play, so I'll reduce your boredness 50% right off the bat by giving the Eastern Conference a miss. They're gonna lose to the West anyways...
I'm going to do this the way the league should: by eliminating the 1950s conceptualization of the game to which David Stern & Co. remains married (1 Center, 2 Forwards, 2 Guards + reserves) in favor of the de facto Way Things Really Are (2 Bigs, 2 Wings, 1 PG + reserves). Someday the league will get around to matching that move, presumably, hopefully, eventually — I'm just a little bit ahead of the curve. In the interim, if you wanna spend your time figuring out if Tim Duncan, Pau Gasol, and Amar'e Stoudamire are Forwards or Centers, knock yourself out...
And so, without further ado...
Pau Gasol (Los Angeles Lakers).
The Lakers without Pau Gasol are very mediocre. With him they are well nigh unbeatable. Jerry West's gift that keeps on giving has a remarkably soft touch around the rim and is one of the most fluid offensive players in the league today. Pau missed a big chunk of time early in the season with a serious hamstring strain and a couple games recently with a minor strain of the other hamstring. Beyond that, it has been continued domination by the real heart and soul of the World Champion Lakers.
Pau has averaged 17 points and over 11 rebounds per contest in 24 games so far this season, playing alongside another paint-clogger, Andrew Bynum. But when you see those two guys operate at the same time in the same place, there is no doubt whatsoever about who is the Alpha Dog of the Lakeshow bigs. Gasol is also a smooth passer in the triangle offense, racking up 3 or more assists on the typical night and additionally averages a healthy 1.7 blocks per contest. (Compare and contrast to the 0.5 blocks that LMA has been averaging in the current campaign).
I'll share this observation for those of you still infatuated with the view that the players on a basketball court are best described as C/PF/SF/SG/PG — Pau is a very good Power Forward, but he's an exceptionally good Center. Those nights when Andrew Bynum is out of action or on the bench for this reason or that are the very same nights when Pau goes off, rebounding like a beast and scoring the ball low. He can hit the 15 foot jumper with the best of them, mind you, but those times when circumstances make him into a low post player are the very same times where he is at his best.
He'd be an absolutely swell matchup with Dirk Nowitzki, for example...
Speaking of whom...
Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks).
The Large German Man (LGM, in Timbospeak) is a freak of nature, a 7-footer that is as coordinated as a 6'2" Shooting Guard, quick enough to run the floor, tough enough to match up like a Center in the paint. His extreme proficiency at hitting insane fadeaways from any distance has inspired its own descriptive adjective — "ridirkculous." Yet he is not exclusively a perimeter player like Kevin Durant, instead more than willing to drive the lane and mix it up inside with other Larger Than Average Humans.
If today's NBA is all about Bigs drawing opposing Bigs out of the paint with their perimeter skills (thereby opening driving lanes for their teammates), then look no further than Dirk for distance-shooting acumen. The LGM has hit 27 bombs from downtown in 69 tries this year (effectively a 58.7% shooting percentage when you factor in the extra point for makes). Those are Mehmet Okur numbers from distance...
Yet Dirk can do so many more things other than chuck: get to the rim, hit turnarounds in isolation situations, rebound the ball... He's able to provide instant mismatch for opposing coaches, assuming the defensive posture of a Center on one end, playing effectively as a Shooting Guard on the other. It's no secret why the Dallas Mavericks are one of the top teams in the Western Conference this season — it starts and ends with the Large German Man. About the only hole in his game is his ability to pick girlfriends...
I wonder when Mark Cuban will decide Dirk is "washed up" and send him packing... Pretty soon, I hope.
I'll take him.
Tim Duncan (San Antonio Spurs).
I hate the Spurs and am no fan of Timmy Duncan's whitebread bankshot game, but facts are facts. Timmy is playing at an All Star level once again this year and his team's record is stellar (thanks in large measure to their Baby Butt-Soft schedule through January). So I will suck it in and give him the nod over the equally deserving Chris Kaman.
Zach Randolph (Memphis Grizzlies).
You know him and you hate him, but y'know what? Dude can play ball... He gets low and he sits low, scarfing up offensive rebounds and scoring easy put-back buckets. You think that's easy? How come nobody else is over 20 points and over 11 rebounds per game doing that kind of stuff? What the Blazers wouldn't give for an extra 4 points and 3 boards out of LMA every night... That would equal a couple more wins already this year, plain and simple. See, I said it: the Blazers would be a better team this year with Z-bo than they are currently with LMA. (This opinion being subject to change next year when they get Oden back, obviously.)
The Memphis Grizzlies ditched A.I. the Cancer and have really pulled together under former Blazer Lionel Hollins. Zach Randolph, together with his big-scoring mates Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo, has been instrumental in that team's new-found success. And don't look now, but the last Grizz game I saw there were people in the stands... If those guys start generating a big home court advantage, watch out.
Amar'e Stoudamire (Phoenix Suns).
Phoenix started the season winning games at an otherworldly rate but have subsequently returned to normalcy. In addition to a bunch of perimeter bombers, who can light you up one minute and lose the game for themselves the next, they have ONE inside force — the goggled one, Amar'e Stoudamire, returned from serious eye surgery.
Everybody thinks its a travesty that Amar'e is listed on this year's All Star ballot as a Center instead of as a Power Forward, but I absolutely defy you to show me in what manner squeezably soft Charmin Frye — he of the 24 foot jumpshot, the 23 foot jumpshot, and the 22 foot jumpshot — is an actual Center in any Phoenix offensive set, ever. And we know Frye's willingness and ability to mix it up with the toughies of the NBA, do we not. SOMEBODY has to be doing the low post work for Phoenix. Guess who.
Amar'e is averaging 20.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game for Phoenix this season, very nearly his career marks. Note well that he is getting ENORMOUS attention from Phoenix's opponents to achieve these numbers — they're a 1 low and 4 high team so you know the double teams, they are a-comin'. He's a beastly fellow, overpaid though he may be, and one of the main reasons for the Suns' early season success.
Carmelo Anthony (Denver Nuggets).
Carmelo Anthony took his game to the next level in the 2009 post-season, during which he virtually single-handedly carried the Denver Nuggets to a Western Conference Finals matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers. This year, he has picked up right where he left off, putting his teammates on his broad shoulders and taking them to the top of the Northwest Division from the opening night of the season.
Melo has been averaging 30 — yes, you read that right, THIRTY — points per game this season, adding over 6 rebounds and 3 assists per game to the mix. He's the closest thing to Lebron going — a physical specimen who is close to unstoppable if he drives the lane and devastating nailing open looks from the perimeter if a defender plays off him to keep him from penetrating. The 6-year veteran is playing far and away the best ball of his NBA career and is arguably the #3 talent in the league after LBJ and Kobe.
Anthony has also done a steady job as a defender. He is quick, intelligent, and capable — idiotic tattoos and bad hair notwithstanding.
Melo has only appeared twice previously on All Star weekend, but he's a guaranteed starter for the rest of his NBA days, it would seem, trailing only Kobe in the Western Conference fan balloting this year. I should offer the proviso that BARRING EVEN MORE CHINESE INTERNET PARTICIPATION he's an All Star lock, I suppose — when I last checked the crippled up lardbutt Tracy McGrady was still still running ahead of Chris Paul and Steve Nash in the fan balloting. So I reckon that until Stern pulls the plug on China an All-Rockets starting lineup remains a possibility...
I really hated this guy last year. Now I don't feel that way at all. Weird...
Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers).
He's Kobe Bryant and your favorite player is not...
Kobe has been fighting a fractured index finger on his shooting hand for the last few weeks. That particular game-altering injury would put most mortals on the shelf for an extended period, no question about it. Number 24 is a warrior though and he's gonna play through everything. Kobe's game has really suffered for the decision, don't kid yourself about his real ability when you look at his lame statistical lines of late. Still, when the prospect of the team having to play Sasha Vujacic for extended minutes is the alternative, Laker fans around the world are enormously grateful to be able to put up with additional clankers from a damaged Kobe. There's no debating THAT.
Earlier this season, when he made his mark on the league's statistical charts, Kobe was getting to the rack like a youngster, scoring the ball low as though he had lost 5 years in the off season. His ongoing finger issue seems to have reduced him to a perimeter shooter, but that's still more than enough firepower on most nights. Nobody in basketball has a bigger arsenal of crazy shots and nobody in basketball is bigger with the game on the line — Kobe has already hit not 1, not 2, but 3 game winners at the horn this season.
Previously reckoned by all but the biggest Laker lovers to be a douche, Kobe has gained respect both among his peers as well as fans around the league for his intensity and work-ethic. He averages over 28 points a game, so you know where the Lakers' offense is coming from — yet, despite his recent struggles, Bryant is still shooting a respectable 46.3% from the field, better than his career average. He is also an excellent passer (4.5 assists per game) and steady rebounder (5.2 rebounds per game).
The key to the Lakers' success is that they have not 1, but 2 superstars, which presents opponents an extremely difficult dilemma on the defensive end. Bryant is a fundamental key to the equation, of course.
Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder).
He's super long, super athletic, and a super gunner. He's hype-nificent and stat-tastic and I don't give a crap.
He's also an All Star.
Brandon Roy (Portland Trail Blazers).
Do I really need to spend any words explaining this choice? Probably not. The Blazers have had injury nightmares from the get-go yet have thus far still managed to persevere, and we all know why. Hint: the reason is not LMA. Coaches love Brandon's game and given his resurgence on the offensive end after a shaky start combined with strong performances in the two previous All Star games, it's virtually a mortal lock that Brandon will be named to the squad for a third straight year.
Chris Paul (New Orleans Hornets).
Everybody knows about CP3, one of the NBA's iconic players. Truth be told, I like him less than most — my PG of choice is Deron Williams. 'Cept I know how to read, and it's really not close between the numbers Chris Paul is putting up and those D-Will is managing. [UPDATE: I was going from memory when I checked early in the year... Paul's numbers have tailed a bit and D-Will has come on of late, so they're actually in the same neighborhood now.] Whereas earlier in the year, with the Hornets doing the big fizzle, it would have been pretty simple to stick to personal preferences, come hell or high water, with the surprising reemergence of the Hornets to Not Too Crappy status — EXCLUSIVELY attributable to CP3's performance — relegating Paul to reserve status is really nothing that a serious basketball fan can do with a straight face.
I think that Paul is something of a donkey, but so is Dwayne Wade and Lebron James, and that doesn't stop them from top shelf at their respective positions. Paul is averaging 19.5 points per game (better than Steve Nash) and 11 assists (same as Steve Nash). His steals and rebounds numbers are near his career averages of 2.3 and 4.8, respectively. He's already a 3 time All Star and all signs point to a 4th straight appearance this year in Dallas.
I'm not quite sure what it is about Chris Paul's game that doesn't appeal to me. But there's something about it that really bugs me. I'll watch him some more and will let you know.
Steve Nash (Phoenix Suns).
One more All Star go-round for the two-time MVP, I reckon. I've NEVER thought the assist was a particularly vital statistic, but plenty others do. Nash's presence on the 2010 Western All Star squad is absolutely guaranteed. Lest one think that he is a one-dimensional player, Nash remains fully capable of putting the ball in the hole, averaging nearly 19 points per contest to go with his 11 assists.
How about some Steve Nash trivia? Everybody knows he's Canadian, but did you know that Steve Nash played his college ball at U.C. Santa Clara? And everybody knows that Nash played previously with the Dallas Mavericks, but did you know that it was actually the Phoenix Suns for whom he played his first couple seasons in the league?
Deron Williams (Utah Jazz).
This is my dude, the closest thing to Brandon Roy in the NBA. He's been rooked out of getting to the All Star game the last couple years and it's really past time for him to get his day in the sun — he's certainly earned the honor. I'd sort of like to see how he looks on the floor at the same time with Brandon. I doubt it'd be chemistry magic the way that Chris Paul and Brandon has been previously, but it's absolutely something that I'd pay good money to see...
D-Will started slow this season (as did Brandon Roy) but has since turned it on, and is currently averaging 19.4 points per game and very nearly 10 assists. He's also shooting nearly 40% from 3 point land, which will get you a little gold star from the coach every time.
Lest you worry about 3 PGs, rest assured that Deron is perfectly capable of playing off the ball as a Shooting Guard, just like Brandon Roy is perfectly capable of carrying the ball like a PG. So consider D-Will an extra Wing for the West if that makes you feel better.
Same basic player...
Are You Ready for Some Football?????
Wednesday, Jan. 20.
Portland Trail Blazers (25-17) at Philadelphia 76ers (13-27).
Portland has had a terrific problem blowing away the bottom-feeders of the NBA this season — the one single fact which may ultimately doom the team's playoff hopes. The Philadelphia 76ers definitely qualify as algae-eating scum-suckers in David Stern's skanky tank. Would this visit be any different than previous demonstrations of FAIL in Milwaukee, Golden State, New York, and Washington?
Philadelphia started the game flatfooted and lethargic, getting outhustled on the boards, turning over the ball through gross incompetence, and flicking a steady stream of airballs and bricks. The frightening thing is this: the Sixers were the better team, with Portland opening 2-for-10 from the floor and obliviously running out the 24 second clock. It was a horrific display by both squads, as all 651 paying patrons would no doubt agree. "Portland sloppy and cold early from the field," the understated Mike Barrett offered.
Nate pulled the icy-cold Marty Webster at about the 5 minute mark and both Andre and LMA managed to get low for AND ONE buckets, pulling Portland out of the little hole into which they had blundered. The 1st Quarter came to a close more or less knotted, with Portland holding a 22-21 lead, powered by their underwhelming 9-for-21 shooting.
Ho hum. So boring...
- "You'll hear a nice roar here for Dante Cunningham," MB began. "Errrr, you'll hear a smattering of applause for Dante Cunningham, but a good percentage of those in attendace," he more accurately continued.
- Over at Silver Screen and Roll Dex and Chris always make Laker broadcasts into a drinking game. "Drink when you hear... A, B, C, D, or E." Tonight the triggers that would have gotten ya sodden were A. MB and Rice bitching about their lousy seats in the rafters; B. references to Andre Miler having been a Sixer; C. remarks about MB's bobblehead; D. MB proffering smarmy compliments to his buddy Steve Blake; and E. every mention by the Mikes of the lack of fans in the building. Drink twice when MB bitches about the visiting TV team's usual courtside seats being empty while he is relegated to the $10 section...
- Drinking on "He can do that" from Rice is too dangerous. Alcohol poisoning can be fatal...
- Rudy goes to the same beauty parlor as Sasha Vujacic. He needs to shave that horrible highlighted 'do he's pushing now. Blech.
- The rims in Philly go "POINK!!!" whenever somebody flings a brick. There were lots of POINKS! to be heard in this one...
Roy tweaked his hammy again with about 1 minute left in the half and it was off to the locker room for him. Blazers managed to hold on to their lead over the Common Plecostomi, leading 47-42 at the break.
The 3rd Quarter began and the Blazer lameness resumed. Blazers couldn't make a thing, Philly got to the rim, and 2 minutes later the Sixers had the lead and Portland was calling time out. Marty stood 1-for-8 (sitting at -15 in the +/-) and Brandon was done for the night. Portland's lack of ANY low post offensive threat to put up against Dalembert and Brand and Young and Speights was apparent. Bad. Sad. Mad.
Coming out of the time out, Andre got to the rack, shifting momentum. A rim-check of a 3-on-2 breakaway dunk by Thaddeus Young further shifted big mo to the team in red. Andre and Juwan were responsible for 15 consecutive Blazer points in the quarter. Blake and LMA and Marty — Missing In Action, all. Still, Portland batted and their 5 point halftime advantage was restored with a little more than 4 minutes remaining in the period.
Blazers played nice and slow, forcing the Sixers to take jumpers when they'd rather run. Problem was, Portland wasn't terribly effective with their molassesball offense and they were unable to maintain their lead. Poofy Rudy was inserted to try and spark some offense, but it was Bayless with the shock paddles, hitting a J and moving his feet on defense.
Yadda yadda, blahblahblah...
- "This is a good place to find out how your eyes are here in Philadelphia — we're WAAAAY up here where the oxygen is thin and you have trouble breathing," whined Mike Rice. DRINK!!!
- Jrue Holiday got past Rex and there was NOBODY AT ALL for the Blazers in the paint playing goalie. This will NOT work in the playoffs, assuming PDX figures out how to get past the Philadelphia 76erszes of the NBA to even MAKE the playoffs... Nightmare on Elm Street. Need a deal or they're done, KP...
- Andre Miller went crashing into the baseline photographers and Mike Rice hooted. Turns out it was a Blazer photographer getting cut in the face. "BRAD, TAKE IT LIKE A MAN!" declared Rice.
End of the 3rd and it was Blazers 71, Sixers 68, Andre Miller with 14 in the quarter and 22 in the game. Somewhere on Oahu, a middle-aged man was sobbing...
The 4th Quarter opened with Portland committing their Obligatory Defensive 3 Second Technical. Game was tied after 30 seconds. It was Rex hitting one jumper and getting to the rim three times that kept the Blazers rolling. Not much else going on for Portland, never a good sign.
Time to bring back the bullets...
- Rice: "Where would the Blazers be without Juwan Howard." Barrett: "I don't want to think about it." Rice: "He's a reborn Przybilla..." Well, not exactly — but I agree with the sentiments.
- Award for the worst Flaming Bag Pass of the year goes to Jerryd Bayless, who hit Andre Miller (!!!) for a 28 footer (!!!) with the clock expiring. Dre actually drew iron, which paid out 2-to-1 in Vegas.
- LMA's first basket of the second half came with 5:24 remaining in the 4th Quarter. Thank god it was not his only bucket of the half, as he quickly added a second and a third AND ONE after breaking ice.
- Eddie Jordan tried going twin towers with Brand and Dalembert and going with a zone defense. This established a wall to stop Rex and Dre, putting the onus on Portland to hit their jumpshots for the win.
Last 2 minutes, Blazers were up 5, but Andre pushed off on a LMA miss, sending Iggy to the line for the Sixers. He split a pair. Andre then threw an idiot pass, which Iggy picked off and then took coast to coast, cutting the lead to 2. Dre took a pass and went to the rack, missing the shot but fouling out Dalembert in the process. Andre hit both FTs, extending the lead to 4. Sixers were wildly out of control, but Brand came up with a loose ball and put it in the hole, cutting the margin to 2 and causing Coach Nate to call time with a shade over 51 seconds remaining.
Returning from the break, Portland got the ball into Rex. He drove the lane and got the whistle on Jrue Holiday. Critical free throws for a guy who has had difficulty in that department of late. Mike Rice chattered aimlessly as Rex strode to the line. "I'll talk right through it," he remarked, trying not to piddle down his pantsleg. Rex hit both, stretching the Portland lead to 4. "Big time free throws by Bayless," noted MB. Sixers wanted time.
Forty-one seconds to go and Nate inserted Marty for defensive purposes. Iggy missed a big jumper and LMA skied for the board, Philly getting a quick and dubious foul call from the refs to stop action. LMA hit a pair and the lead was 6 with just over 34 seconds to play. And again, the Sixers wanted time.
Sixers needed a quick triple. Jrue Holiday got the ball on the weak side for an open 3 — and went Jarrett Jack with it. Rex was fouled with 28.2 remaining and he drained another pair. Holiday drove the lane, missed, Howard rebounded, and the Sixers ran up the white flag. Nice work by a shorthanded team, but considering how close to disaster this was with one of the worst teams in the NBA, no celebratory dancing is allowed. Blazers played Championship-Style ball down the stretch, getting to the hole and hitting their free throws, and that was the margin. Blazers 98, Sixers 90.
Kudos to Rex, with 14 [not 16] points in the 4th Quarter. Another notch in his belt...
On to Boston.
Rex is coming to eat you, KG, you donkey's ass.................
Okay, whip out that good ol' Popcorn Machine GAME FLOW SUMMARY if you would... Just give the link a click...
Observation 1: The first quarter was Philly's and the rest of the game pretty much belonged to the Blazers, despite their periodic choking episodes...
Observation 2: Rex with 14 and LMA with 9 in the 4th Quarter were the super heroes.
Observation 3: Big dogs for the Sixers down the stretch were Iguodala with 10 and Brand with 8.
Observation 4: My main man Allen Iverson had 9 big points in the losing effort. Music to my ears...
Now put on some warm slippies, pour yourself a glass of hot cocoa, and join me in watching the latest installment of THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD:
Here's the Wednesday episode, in case you missed it...
(Skeets briefly advocates adoption of the "2 Bigs, 2 Wings, 1 PG" conceptualization of the current game... Good on ya, mate!)
The derelicts were nursing hangovers, so there was no show on Tuesday.
And now it's time to get down to business, the snarky comments, studious observations, and news reports of the bloggers and journalists of Seventysixerland...
(1) This one is a good read...
by Matt P., The 700 Level
* * *
Boarding was amateur hour, with flustered passengers fumbling to get their enormous bags into the overhead compartments, so Sammy was in a holding pattern right next to my seat for a moment. After a brief rush of disbelief that he was on this plane — that anyone his size was on any plane and headed toward a tiny coach seat — I exchanged a few words with him, asking him how everything went and wishing him well. He was perfectly polite, and gave me a fistbump as he left when he was clear to walk back to his seat.
The flight was incredibly fast, starting its descent and landing well before we'd assumed it would. I doubt it was because I asked the flight attendant to tell the pilot to "hurry it up" so Sammy wouldn't miss his start (the flight crew seemingly had no idea who this huge guy was). We landed at about 6:25, then sat on the runway for 5-10 minutes that seemed like forever. The boxer whimpered a little, weary from his second plane ride of the day, but the human passengers complained louder. I wondered how the ducking giant in the back of the plane must have felt, especially after our flight had circled right over the sports complex with the Wach in plain view.
Once we were all off the plane, Dalembert started to walk briskly. As he passed me, I said "Go get 'em tonight, Sammy." He put his hand up, nodded and quietly said "Alright" and took off running down the terminal hall. On the way home, I tuned in to the radio broadcast and heard them announce that Sammy was taking the opening tip. Pretty unbelievable after witnessing just a bit of the travel it took him to get there and play in his 313th straight game, third longest streak in the league according to tonight's broadcast. * * *
posted to the Liberty Ballers gameday open thread
I think it was a mistake to take out Speights, Brand and Dalembert have no chance of stopping LMA.
by RickoT on Jan 20, 2010 6:05 PM PST
So we just admit that LMA is going to kill us, and then just try to outscore him?
by Saul on Jan 20, 2010 6:06 PM PST
posted by "Dedicated 76ers Fan" to Real GM Sixers message board
Well, we managed to get to 90 pts. I thought that wasn't possible.
And as has been well-mentioned, as usual Iguodala's last 5 minutes were a disaster. He had a solid run late 3rd-early 4th. But sadly, that's mediocre.
Sure enough, many will blame our coach. When in fact our team is just as bad as he is...
That's a fact. We're 13-28 now or 15 games under .500.
We've lost more then twice our games. I think it's safe to say we suck, from the higher-ups, to the coaching, to the pathetic team.
posted by "Don D." to Real GM Sixers message board
If the players are bad, how can you be sure the coaching is bad?
If the coach is bad, how can you be sure the players are bad?
Or, maybe they both are bad!
Everyone has an opinion. No one actually knows anything.
But one thing for sure, the NBA draft will be fun.
posted by "Dedicated 76ers Fan" to Real GM Sixers message board
I said they're all bad. Snider's bad for being a wuss and not wanting to pay the luxury tax to build a contender.
Stefanski's a wuss in that he doesn't want to admit that we lack a two guard, and a back-up 5 wouldn't hurt.
Jordan's a dumbass.
And Iggy......... Some might say it's "spamming" but it's really a rant. How can you guys stand watching him? What must I do to enjoy him — become a lover of fantasy stats?
posted to the ESPN.com Sixers message board
This is sad.
posted by "Word 5820," 6:04 pm
Eddie Jordan's fault.
posted by "Walker 9313," 6:06 pm
Gotta blame Thad and Iverson tonight, they just couldn't score.
Thad 3/12, AI 3/9
That's uncalled for from two of your best scorers.
posted by "Potato 623," 6:27 pm
No, more like Andre Miller's fault. It was nice to see him "stick it" to the Sixers, especially the not-so-happy-nowadays [GM] Ed Stefanski.
posted by "Chuck's Curse," 6:35 pm
by Kate Fagan, Philadelphia Inquirer
In the third quarter of tonight's 98-90 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, 76ers forward Thaddeus Young, one of his team's highest risers, rose for a tomahawk slam.
The dish, in transition, came from Lou Williams; the uncontested dunk would have given his team a 52-51 lead.
Young missed and the ball bounced from the rim. A few seconds later, the Blazers scored. * * *
It also seemed fitting that Portland's Andre Miller, the Sixers' point guard last season, scored 24 points and made sure his team did not lose, despite Roy's absence.
This summer, the Sixers made it clear they did not need Miller, 33. He scored 14 points in tonight's third quarter and finished the game shooting 8 for 17 from the floor. * * *
by Phil Jasner, Philadelphia Inquirer
Andre Miller, asked what he sees in the current 76ers, invoked an all-too-familiar memory.
"Basically, they're in the same position they were before I got there [in 2006]," the Trail Blazers point guard was saying after practice yesterday afternoon at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. "That's why I got traded [from Denver] to Philly."
For what it's worth, the 25-17 Blazers, despite all their injuries, are 18-8 with Miller in the starting lineup.
"You take certain things for granted," Miller said. "[The NBA] is getting younger and younger. You need solid veterans, whether it's a point guard or a big man, who can help the young guys out. That's not a slap in the face at the young guys; older guys can also offer a little bit of knowledge here and there." * * *
by Tom Moore, Philadelphia Intelligencer Sixers blog
* * *
"They're a talented group," said Miller of the Sixers on Tuesday. "I enjoyed playing with those guys; (we were) starting to develop some chemistry. Nowadays, you have a short time to do that. Changes happen."
Miller signed a three-year contract with the Blazers after the Sixers, who have slipped to 13-27 this season, only offered a one-year contract worth the mid-level exception ($5.85 million).
"I (expected to stay with the Sixers)," Miller said. "That was the goal. But (even) with the economy and the business part, I didn't think it was fair for me, with the work I put in over my 2 1/2 years there, to settle (for one year)."
by Tom Moore, Philadelphia Intelligencer Sixers blog
The Sixers lost another close one, dropping a 98-90 decision to the Trail Blazers on Wednesday night at the Wachovia Center.
They held a one-point lead late in the third quarter, only to be outscored 31-22 the rest of the way. The Sixers were serenaded by scattered boos at game's end. * * *
by Tom Moore, Philadelphia Intelligencer Sixers blog
Samuel Dalembert couldn't help it. After nine days of worrying about his family and homeland, followed by a one-day visit to earthquake-devastated Haiti with Project MediShare, he finally broke down Wednesday night.
After a 98-90 home loss to the Trail Blazers, Dalembert, who left Haiti before Wednesday's aftershock, became emotional when talking about the conditions facing so many children, especially the difficulty in finalizing adoptions with so many kids in desperate need. He pledged another $250,000 after already contributing $130,000.
"I had surgeries performed in front of me on folding kitchen tables," Dalembert said. "The situation is so terrible. Kids are running around with no sandals. Doctors take shifts and work like 20 hours straight. You can see they're so tired in their eyes, then they hop a plane, sleep and come back two days later (to do it again)." * * *
by JSams, Liberty Ballers (SBN)
Update: I forgot to mention how much of a stud Samuel Dalembert is. On Monday he flew straight from Minnesota to his home country — Haiti — to help with the earthquake aftermath. After being in Haiti for 48 hours he jumped on a plane, flew to Philly, rushed through the airport, literally ran through the arena and straight into pre-game warm-ups. All he did in the game was post a double-double with 10 points and 15 boards. Rumor is that he hasn't slept 2 hours since the weekend. To be able to play an NBA game and play effectively with all the stuff going on with him, his family and his country is unbelievable. I'm proud to say that he plays for my favorite team.
Can't blame this loss on the coach. A healthy Sixers team just lost, at home, to a Blazers team without their best player and both of their centers. There were no major coaching gaffes down the stretch and the Sixers "best" lineup was on the floor during crunch time. Maybe the loss of Andre Miller hurt the Sixers more than we thought — he dominated tonight. End Update. * * *
posted by "Salvistine 24" to PhilaPhans message board
I do think that the sixers call a lot of plays for Iguodala (and considering hes their top player, understandable) at the end of games, but sometimes I just think he chucks without an awareness in clutch time. I really do think there are times he takes it upon himself when the coaches don't even draw up the play that way.
That being said, Iggy is the least of this team's issues. They can't rebound, defend, or execute a halfcourt offense efficiently so I look at the coaching staff first and foremost
And just a joke of a night from most of this team offensively... way to go!
* * * A D D E N D A * * *
by Philadunkia (TrueHoop)
The 76ers are now 13-28 at the halfway pole of the 2009-10 season and after last night's uninspired performance against the Portland Trailblazers, we here at Philadunkia have officially raised the white flag on this season for the Sixers.
There will be no turn around, no winning streak that has the Sixers climbing the standings and no push for the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference Playoff race. Nope, not this year and certainly not with this group. They don't have the heart or the X&O's required for such a drastic revival. * * *
Whatever you want to call it, the Sixers didn't have it last night and even after Blazers phenom Brandon Roy left the game with an injury, Philadunkia's home team still couldn't find it. The result was a 98-90 "so many missed opportunities" loss.
The best part of it all (sarcastic overtones here), was that Andre Miller absolutely worked the Sixers last night and in the process kicked some dirt in Ed Stefanki's face. * * *
by Tom Moore, Philadelphia Intelligencer
[This is the link to Moore's recap story but it wasn't opening up properly this morning... There was a hang and timeout. Some sort of server issue, I think...]
The Bottom Line:
1. Our team is terrible... Frustrating and terrible... Annoying, frustrating, and terrible...
2. We coulda won this one and didn't. There are more than enough incompetents around to blame, god knows.
3. Nice to see Andre do well. You go, Dre!
New York City's RAMONES were one of the authentic originators of punk rock, along with IGGY POP, cranking out the new superfast and raw form of angry pop as early as 1974 — fully two years before the British punk explosion of 1976-79 and its American reflection of 1977-80.
THE RAMONES were really on top of their game from 1976 to 1979. I believe it is accurate to say that they were appreciated but not truly beloved by most punk rockers of that period. They drecked along throughout the 1980s, churning out a series of forgettable albums, finally gaining all the respect to which they were entitled (and then some) when punk rock suddenly erupted again in the 1990s. Guitarist Johnny "Nothing But Downstrokes" Ramone (née John Cummings), was absolutely worshipped as a punk rock icon by the bands of the Second Wave of American Punk (1993-1998, more or less) as well as by the Italian punk bands of the same period. Entire RAMONES albums were covered by SCREECHING WEASEL, THE VINDICTIVES, THE QUEERS, MR. T EXPERIENCE, BORIS THE SPRINKLER, PARASITES, BEATNIK TERMITES, etc....
The three primaries of the band died in fairly rapid succession, marking the end of the century, so to speak. Lead singer Joey Ramone (Jeffry Hyman) died of lymphoma in 2001. Bassist Dee Dee Ramone (Douglas Colvin) died of a heroin overdose in 2002. Johnny died of prostate cancer in 2004.
We'll begin at the beginning, RAMONES at CBGBs in the Bowery, September 1974. Yes, they were doing "Judy is a Punk" in 1974 — now you know the answer to the trivia question about which band was first... Some NSW language in the break.
"Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue" + "I Don't Wanna Go Down to the Basement" + "Judy is a Punk" (live versions, 1974)
I tried to put this one up before but the video to which I was linked got pulled by YouTube... This version seems clean, with over 3 million views since 2007. Live in a small venue in Hamburg...
"Blitzkrieg Bop" (live version, 1976)
Same performance, another song. D - U - M - B lyrics were part of the band's minimalistic charm...
"Pinhead" (live version, 1976)
The band released a double live album called It's Alive that includes all the hits and more... Here's part of that London show...
"Blitzkrieg Bop" + "I Wanna Be Well" + "Glad to See You Go" + "He's Gonna Kill That Girl" + "Commando" (studio-sweetened live versions, 1977)
THE RAMONES were featured in Roger Corman's 1979 cult classic film Rock'n'Roll High School.
Yum, yum, P.J. Soles...
"Rock'n'Roll High School" (studio version, 1979)