Sports talk (formerly NBA talk)

Anything goes, but keep it seemly...

Postby udosuk » Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:33 am

All 4 1st round playoffs series could be intriguing: Mavs-Warriors, Suns-Lakers, Spurs-Nuggets, Jazz-Rockets...

Interestingly, both latest victims of Kobe's elbow (Marko Jaric and Kyle Korver) claimed they didn't think Kobe was intentional in hitting them... And the ref didn't call it a foul either... I don't think it's any more serious than Shaq's shoving around or Raja Bell's clothliner in last year's playoffs... Karl Malone did it all through his career and got away with it...

You're so good predicting the Jazz-Heat game to be interesting... The Jazz had a big lead in the 4th and blew it... I think the Heat might win it all without Wade... And they should send a pack of cigar to Shane Battier...
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Postby udosuk » Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:42 am

Amazing fight back from the Suns... The Mavs led by 7 in the last minute but both Josh and Dirk missed crucial FTs and Nash just burnt them with 10 pts, including a fouled 3 (3 FTs made) in the last few seconds and a 3 with 2.7s left to force OT... Unbelievable...:!:

Added after 2OT: What an absorbing game... Great job the Suns for holding on at last... At the end it's just Dirk missing too many shots (including FTs) and Amare making too many... Nash is obviously the MVP here as his assists creates easy baskets for all Suns players... Thus the much higher FG%...
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Postby Hud » Thu Mar 15, 2007 5:34 am

We got the promised playoff game intensity tonight. As usual, I couldn't bear to watch it, but I'm sure the rest of the country got an eyeful. Ten point leads don't mean much between those two teams (neither does home court). Nash played an unbelieveable game along with Amare, Dirk and Stackhouse. It was too bad anyone had to lose it but the Suns really needed it to get one monkey off their back. The Jazz lost 2 straight against the east. You're right that the east is more competitive. I hope the Suns have no letdown against the Pistons (I think they'll be ready). The Rockets took care of business as well.
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Postby udosuk » Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:00 pm

Some more thoughts after the game:

1. To the Mavs, Dirk is the main culprit for the loss. Sure he scored and rebounded his daily quota, but he missed 3 crucial FTs in the last quarter and managed only 4 pts in the 2 OTs, missing game winning/tying shots in regulation & 2nd OT. Marion did a huge job defending him... I think Shawn deserves to be a defensive player of the year candidate...

2. Besides Stackhouse, Jason Terry once again shines offensively, making the tying 3 at the end of 1st OT... He scored at least 30 every time he faces the Suns... That tells a lot about Nash's man-to-man defensive ability... But Steve did make a great steal near the end of 2nd OT to win the game, so he's obviously a good team defender...

3. The Mavs big men had the Suns, winning the rebounds 55-38 and offensive boards 27-11, with Dampier grabbing 11 (ALL offensive)... But both Josh Howard and Dampier fouled out at the end, to dubious foul-ins of Amare's dunks... It seems the Suns got some help from the refs this time, and Dirk was hit a tech foul for arguing near the end of 2nd OT...

4. The Mavs also had 2 crucial bench players, Devin Harris and Devean George injured for the game... So once again the Suns didn't need to face a 100% opponent...

5. Amare's lights out FG accuracy of 16/19 was only topped in history by Alonzo Mourning and Shaq...

6. The Suns are only 2.5 games back from the #1 seed now... Personally I hope they don't get it for my Rockets sake... There is a remote chance that the Warriors will upset the Mavs to face the Rockets in the 2nd round...:)
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Postby Hud » Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:43 pm

One of our sportswriters mentioned the rebounding disparity. He suggested that we use Thomas more the next time we play a good rebounding team. Diaw doesn't seem to be back to form yet, and maybe he played too much last night?

Shawn Marion has been getting some support as defensive player of the year, but he does have a Rodney Dangerfield problem. He's still often mentioned as the player to go in the off season to get down to the salary cap. I wonder if it's not economically justifiable to go over the cap but make it up with the team becoming more valuable? The playoffs also have to add some $ to the bottom line. I really look for Barbosa to have an impact in the playoffs this year. Now, someone has to slow down the Spurs. I think the road to the finals will go through the Mavs, so however the seedings go don't matter very much. The Mavs surely had a tough run up to the finals last season so maybe it took something out of them, but I don't think that did em in.
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Postby udosuk » Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:08 am

The Lakers are sinking fast... 7 losses in a row (and the last two by 36 & 27), first time in Phil Jackson's career... I think the Suns will welcome a rematch with them in the 1st round...

And the Bucks beat the Spurs:!: with their new coach... I didn't comment on Bogut's "middle finger to the crowd" incident, but frankly that wouldn't be a big deal at all in Australia... I wonder why I still can't care much about them...

NCAA basketball is starting this weekend... It seems the study of the "bracket" is a big thing in US sports... I'll never get it...
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Postby Hud » Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:52 pm

The way the Lakers are fading, I wonder if they'll make the playoffs? I think the T-Wolves will get in eventually.

I did get my wish that someone would slow down the Spurs. They seemed to suffer the Suns woe of poor rebounding last night. I suspect they took too many long jumpers like the Suns sometimes do. I think rebounds are hard to get with that.

I don't get excited about the middle digit either. In Arizona, we have to use it sparingly to avoid being shot.

I don't follow the "March Madness" much either, and have never filled out a bracket. I sometimes check out Arizona and Maryland, but not much else. I think AZ State will make it soon since Herb Sendek seems to be a good coach.

Tonight, I don't think the Pistons can run with the Suns, but if the game slows down we're in trouble. (jumpers and rebounds)
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Postby udosuk » Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:33 am

It took Kobe 65 pts to finally win a game... Perhaps what he should do from now on is just keep shooting and let Odom and others do everything else... And if he can keep his elbows safely with him it should be alright...

I don't think the Wolves will make it, as Lakers should hold onto #7 and the Warriors should get #8... Since the Warriors got Baron Davis back he has won every game he played... The Clippers and Hornets are in for a bit of a chance too but I don't think Oklahoma City will get to host a playoff game... Too bad for them...

With Billups hurt again, the Pistons used Flip Murray and blow the Suns apart by 22... Amazingly, the Suns had 22 turnovers (to the Pistons' 9) and shot 2/15 on 3s, and Nash only got 6 assists... Perhaps the after-effect of the 2OT clash? Note the Mavs also struggled against the Celtics and almost lost it...

And the Jazz lost to the 76ers with a violent last second screen which allow Kyle Korver the winning shot... Suddenly the Rockets are making slow ground to the 4th best record in the West, which will mean home advantage in the 1st round...


In the Cricket World Cup, South Africa broke all sorts of records with 353 runs scored in 40 overs... I think they'd have made 500 if it's played to the full 50 overs... And Herschelle Gibbs smacked 6 sixes in an over... I wonder how Australia would play against these 2 teams...
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Postby Hud » Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:17 pm

Man, I'm suffering through this Suns slump. I'm actually a little depressed. The only good thing is the Spurs are also showing signs of wear and tear. There's still plenty time to get untracked, but let's not wait too long. The Celts have been playing a lot better of late. Maybe yesterday's game was in honor of St Patrick's Day?

My son said the Suns didn't deserve to win the game against the Mavs the way they played, but I suppose we have to take em as we get em.

Maryland and Arizona both bowed out of the NCAAs. All I have left is the ASU Women's team now.
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Postby udosuk » Mon Mar 19, 2007 2:33 am

I think your Suns ran into two very hot Pistons & Nuggets teams right after a brutal 2OT clash... If the Nuggets can play like that in every game from now on, I'll tip them as the champ... That's unless they run into the Rockets in today's game (50 pt win against the 76ers)...:)

It's ironical but sometimes a loss in a close game is more beneficial than a win... See the Mavs, who regrouped nicely and beat the Pistons today...

More ironical is that D'Antoni didn't play the only Irish bloke in the NBA (Pat Burke) yesterday (he played all 11 others players)... (Perhaps Burke's injured?) So perhaps that's the curse which caused the lopsided loss... At least they fought back to be 24 pts down (they were at once 40 pts behind)...

Yesterday not only did the Celtics beat the Spurs, even the Irish Cricket team (which isn't among the 10 elites team in the world) managed to beat Pakistan (one of the elites)... And the Irish rugby union team beat Italy easily... So there is surely some might from St. Patrick...:!:

Added:

Kobe took my advices and focused on scoring, resulting in another 50-pt game and victory against the T-wolves... And the Magic somehow snapped the Heat's 9-game winning streak... Perhaps Dwight Howard suffers the same symptoms as Yao Ming of only firing up against Shaq and not as much against others... The Heat holds a 0-5 record against the Magic and Rockets... But luckily for them Miami aren't likely to face neither opponents in the playoffs (unless my dream Final of Rockets vs Heat happens)...

And a bit on the Chinese young player Yi Jianlian... He's currently playing the CBA (Chinese not Continental) Finals series... They said no fewer than 7 NBA teams sent their GM/executives to scout him, including 76ers, Bulls, and Suns... Looks like there's a fair chance Phoenix will have a Chinese player next season... If not for anything else, at least there will be a high increase of jersey sales worldwide...
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Postby Hud » Mon Mar 19, 2007 2:47 pm

I kind of remember way back in the recesses of my head that the Suns had a Japanese Player one year. He was very popular, but didn't get many chances to play if I recall correctly. It would have had to be over 10 years ago. I'll see if I can find any info on it.

The sportswriters are blaming the loss to the Nuggets more on "attitude" than "altitude". The turnovers are the most telling stat to me. I'm glad the Mavs at least stood up to the Pistons. Dirk said the loss to the Suns cost him a night's sleep and was his toughest regular season loss ever.
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Postby udosuk » Mon Mar 19, 2007 8:40 pm

Hud, your memory is suffering I can tell...:) The Japanese player, Yuta Tabuse, played for the Suns during the 2004-05 season... It was just 2 years ago! As a matter of fact I mentioned him in a couple of previous posts in this thread, probably several months ago...

I thought Dirk and the rest of the Mavs had enough heartbreak after last season's final to lose any sleep for any other games... But I hope Mark Cuban didn't get a good sleep for this loss to the Suns either...
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Postby Hud » Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:42 pm

Wow, only two years ago and it seemed like 10. It's usually the opposite for me. Things that seem like yesterday happened years ago. Today (the 19th) is the old man down the street's birthday. He played golf last week and said he really smoked it. I told him he forgot all his bad habits. I didn't play since he played at a friend in Sun City's course. He said he won $ on the Rockets and Mavs games, and lost the Pistons one. He sat out the Nugget game. Someday, I'll try to get a story together about how his ancestors farmed in Germany; moved to Russia to farm, and eventually homesteaded in Nebraska when we needed farmers badly. I believe they were known as "The Germans from Russia".
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Postby udosuk » Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:02 am

The Suns stopped their slump and should win another 3 games at least... The Rockets beat the Pacers by 10 despite 39.2% FG & 5/21 3Ps... If Yao was still injured they probably would have lost it... That's why I like their chances now... Even if the shooters are off they still have something to gut it out, and if the shooters are on they're able to blow a team by 50... Well except if they're playing the Suns...
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Postby Hud » Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:14 pm

At first glamce, I like the Suns winning by 18 but I didn't like the fine print. They shot around 35 or 38 3s, took only 4 FTs, and Amare had only 4 points. That sounds like a recipe for an early exit come the playoffs. I hate to look a gift horse in the mouth, but I didn't like it.

The Rockets are playing pretty well nowadays. I also believe their defense will keep them in most games.

I just saw that Japan has a holiday in honor of the Vernal Equinox. I had never heard of that, and wonder if it's common in Asia?

Edit: the old man said he bet on the Suns last night and gave 13 points. He said his nephew wanted to bet that game but he didn't. I know I wouldn't have given 13 points.
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