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Glenn Brown
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Posted: 03 May 2013 at 4:45am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Prediction: Rockets are going to shock the NBA tonight.  Celtics (galls me to say this) are on the verge of doing the same to the NY Knicks.
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 03 May 2013 at 2:19pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I think it will be easier for the Knicks to close out the Celtics than it will be for OKC to finish the Rockets.

OKC do not have enough offense to beat Houston with Westbrook out and Durant being double and triple teamed.  The rest of the Thunder will have to step up big time for that to happen.

Re the Knicks, it is hard to imagine both Melo and Smith having an off night again given how important this game is.

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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 03 May 2013 at 2:25pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

So far, who should get the Coach of the Year award?

Maybe PJ Carlesimo for getting the Nets back on track after Avery Johnson left or Kevin McHale of the Rockets for getting the youngest team in the NBA to the Playoffs?

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Glenn Brown
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Posted: 03 May 2013 at 4:54pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Might be Mark Jackson for making Golden State relevant...but then again, I've heard George Karl's name too.

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Rick Senger
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Posted: 05 May 2013 at 10:39pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

No idea on coach of the year... seems like a hard award to hand out as what coaches do is such an intangible, varied thing from team to team.  I wish they'd vote coach of the year including the playoffs because whereas I understand the distinction between regular season MVP and playoffs MVP, a team's performance in the playoffs certainly seems relevant to how well they were coached.  For instance, the Lakers went 28-12 in their last 40 reg. season games, which was big improvement, but got swept in the first round, arguably because D'Antoni overplayed the starters, which may have helped cause Kobe's injury and exhaust the remaining players.  The coach should be rewarded for strategic decisions that ultimately helped the team go as far as they possibly could.  I'm not saying the award should automatically go to the coach of the world champs, but I do think an underdog that way exceeds expectations in the most contested time of year probably deserves some extra consideration versus some team that wins 60 games but loses in the first round.

Gutty comeback win for OKC today.  Durant's 35 pts, 15 reb and 6 assists says it all... the guy wants it and hit a big shot at the end.  Almost blew it with the stupid three point shot foul, though, but lucked out.  Memphis is going to give OKC all they can handle in this series.

New York's loss to Indiana seemed as much a result of their banged up state and quick turnaround after the tough friday night game in Boston as anything.  Carmelo tried hard and 27 and 11 isn't bad, but 10 for 28 suggests the shoulder he reaggravated in game 6 is a problem.  Smith's 4 for 15 also doesn't bode well... those two had been leading the charge but didn't play their best late vs. Boston.  The Knicks are in trouble if they can't produce.

I loved the heart of Boston, coming back from 26 down with 9 minutes to play all the way back to only down 4 near the end, but they just don't have what it takes anymore to consistently compete with the elite.  Time to bulldoze the team and I have a feeling they will.
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Glenn Brown
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Posted: 06 May 2013 at 2:16am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

The fact that you even hear discussion about buying out Paul Pierce is indicative that it's a new day in the NBA...a changing of the guard, no pun intended.  It happens.  Kobe, Pierce, Garnett, Ray Allen, Steve Nash...that generation is over, it's Lebron, Carmelo and KD's time now.
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Kevin Brown
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Posted: 06 May 2013 at 8:48pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Holy crap!

Bulls, who are down 2 starters in Hinrich and Deng, take the Heat in game 1.  Shocked is an understatement, but I am damn happy regardless!

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Glenn Brown
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Posted: 06 May 2013 at 11:31pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

It'll be a long series...I'm guessing Heat in six.  But Chicago will be in the games pressing them the whole way.
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 07 May 2013 at 5:43am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

The Heat definitely showed some rust.

If Derrick Rose plays in the series, will it hurt or help the Bulls?
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Kevin Brown
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Posted: 07 May 2013 at 10:20am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

LeBron showed no rust.  So using that as an excuse is not going to fly.

Rose is NOT going to play this year.  He has said it many times already and the press keeps, well, pressing him on it.

If Deng and Hinrich can get back by game 3, the Heat will need to battle to win.  They're not used to it.  Based on talent, they should win; based on heart, the Bulls can win.

We shall see.

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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 08 May 2013 at 5:39pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I was surprised Erik Spoelstra had more votes than Gregg Popovich.  The The Spurs had its top three players out due to injuries and still found a way to win.  I don't think the Heat could have done that.

=============

2012-13 Coach of the Year results


Team1st2nd3rdTotal
George KarlDenver622616404
Erik SpoelstraMiami241719190
Mike WoodsonNew York62813127
Gregg PopovichSan Antonio111617120
Frank VogelIndiana3111260
Lionel HollinsMemphis641355
Mark JacksonGolden State361447
Tom ThobodeauChicago27940
Kevin McHaleHouston13317
P.J. CarlesimoBrooklyn1108
Vinny Del NegroLA Clippers1108
Larry DrewAtlanta1016
Doc RiversBoston0114
Scott BrooksOklahoma City0033
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Kevin Brown
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Posted: 09 May 2013 at 11:00am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I will say this:  The Bulls had no chance Wednesday night to win the game, regardless.  The Heat was out for blood and they took it.

Now then, with that said, the refereeing was freakin' horrendous.  They had no control, they allowed the Heat to get away with numerous fouls (by my count, Lebron should have fouled out by mid-3rd quarter) and pretty much allowed things to get to the point it did.  Thankfully, no one was injured during this game.  If this is the type of refereeing the NBA is going to allow, then we're back to the "Pistons Bad Boys" era.

NBA officiating has always been the worst, but now it's getting dangerously bad.  Unfortunately, it's probably going to take a career-ending injury to make Stern and the league change and correct it.

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Rick Senger
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Posted: 09 May 2013 at 2:04pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Wow, all four series all knotted up.  I didn't see any games since Sunday (just back from the Grand Canyon!) but watching the highlights, Game 2 LeBron looked wide awake and hungry and chippy in a way that suggests the Bulls are in trouble.  I'm sure Chicago is happy with the split and didn't play with the same intensity after falling behind in game 2, but despite LeBron's zero second half points and twelve shots and five rebounds total, it was clear to me that he was in total control and imposing his will on the Bulls at will.  Robinson came back to earth and the Heat's bench got a scorching 55 points so the rout was foregone.  Even though the Bulls technically have an advantage, I think if they don't win game 3, it's over fast because their game 1 upset woke up the Heat and that's not a good thing.

San Antonio may be in the same 1-1 boat but they appear to be in much greater danger.  They should have lost game 1 and now have to go to GS for 2.  I have the Spurs going down if they don't win game 3 vs. the surprisingly athletic and energetic Warriors.  Popovich  better pull something out of his ass (he often does... we'll see.)

The Knicks / Pacers and Grizzlies / OKC series both look highly competitive... not sure how either will go, though I think Memphis is looking serious.  Durant is amazing but can one superstar overcome the NBA's best defense, especially sans Westbrook?  He probably can, but history suggests his team may not.  Jordan once got 63 vs. Boston in the playoffs but the Bulls lost both the game and the series.
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 10 May 2013 at 12:51pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Looking forward to the Knicks game on Saturday with Amare Stoudemire back in the line up even though he will only be playing limited minutes.  In the few games he played during the season, his performance was very good.

The Warriors have really surprised me also.  I did not think they had much of a chance going deep in the playoffs after David Lee's hip injury.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 11 May 2013 at 9:34am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Stoudemire back in the line up even though he will only be playing limited minutes.
*****
Wilson, how much is he expected to play?  He is an offensive force when healthy and certainly the Knicks could use another big, but Amare's return feels dangerous to the Knicks' chemistry.  When he went down, NY was able to move Anthony to power forward and both he and the Knicks  thrived.  Anthony and Stoudamire are kind of offensively redundant and it was only Stoudamire's injuries that resolved that conflict.  Also, while he is a powerful rebounder when motivated, his defense has always been suspect to me.  Here's hoping he either plays great or crappy so that the decision is an easy one for Woodson.

Spurs sucked it up nicely in game three.  I've always disliked Parker for some reason but I have to admit, he can still fill it up.
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 11 May 2013 at 4:17pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Amare is only expected to play 10 minutes or so, but with JR Smith struggling and may even not play tonight due to illness, the Knicks will need more options for offense.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 14 May 2013 at 9:51am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Miami and Memphis both look pretty sure to advance, but I really like the competition of the other two series, both of which continue tonight.

Both are studies of young vs. old.  Knicks need to win in Indiana or they go down 3-1 and it's surely over.  Indiana is undefeated at home in the playoffs (avg winning margin of 16.5 pts), so it's a big task, especially since the Knicks are the oldest team in the league and Indiana's average age is 25.8 years.  Sometimes sage experience can trump youthful energy, but the Knicks don't have a lot of proven winners so this could either be useful seasoning for them or a crushing setback.  I honestly don't know what to expect, but it should be fun because I think the Knicks know how critical this game is for them and will come out hard.

The old Spurs are at home against the feisty Warriors, who are even younger than the Pacers in what should also be a barn burner.  SA has really only had one good game in the series (game 3), but followed that up looking exhausted down the stretch of game 4 (3 for 19 and defensively creaky.)   I think Pop realizes the Spurs must win this game to have a chance to hang on in the series, so I'm guessing the Spurs will similarly let it all hang out here. 


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Jason Czeskleba
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Joined: 30 April 2004
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Posted: 15 May 2013 at 10:20pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

In what was probably his final bitchy f*ck-you to Seattle, David Stern began his press conference today by saying "This is going to be short for me. I have a game to get to in Oklahoma City."

I guess the NBA is successful enough that it can afford to completely write off an entire city and its fans without much consequence.  It really puzzles me that Stern has it in for Seattle to such a high degree, though.  I wonder why?
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 17 May 2013 at 10:37am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Stern is rarely thoughtless, so though it's possible this was an offhand remark, I have my doubts.

Regarding last night's games, good comeback for the Knicks, who played more like a team and found some defense to force a game 6.  Copeland hit a couple big shots, JR Smith and Kenyon Martin had some nice blocks and Chandler was generally intimidating too.  Anthony had a good fourth quarter.  Jason Kidd has completely vanished... hasn't scored a single point in like a month!  I knew he'd gotten old, but it's sad to see him go out like this. 

Spurs and Memphis is going to be good... the #1 Memphis defense vs. the Spurs' #4 offense and a decent defense.  Both pretty tough teams.  If Memphis can find a way to shut down Parker, they could be in the finals.  So far, nobody really has, though, so we'll see.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 23 May 2013 at 12:59pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Great game.   There were at least three points I thought a team had won and the other team came up with a clutch play (the circus shot three pointer to force OT, three clutch foul shots after an apparent good defensive stand and Wade's late foul, then LeBron's stunning last second winner.)  I have a feeling Hibbert will get more playing time at the end of future games... LeBron's two crucial late layups wouldn't have been so easy if Hibbert had been there to clog the middle.
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 26 May 2013 at 7:50am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Spurs are proving to be too much for the Grizzlies. They showed so much heart coming back from a 17 deficit in the first quarter last night.

If the Pacers can beat the Heat, do the Spurs become the favorite to win it all since they won both games over the Pacers in the regular season?
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 26 May 2013 at 10:08am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

The Spurs actually have an 11 game winning streak vs. Indiana... the last time the Pacers beat them was April Fool's Day 2007!  Overall since 1996, the Spurs lead the series 26-6.

However, they haven't played each other in over 6 months, so there isn't a lot of fresh data.  The Pacers play an energetic defense (#2) but so far the Spurs have certainly handled Memphis' #1 defense.  Still, Memphis has also been unlucky.  While they're down 3-0, two of the three games have gone to overtime and the San Antonio vets just executed a little better down the stretch. 

I get the sense that Miami is not going quietly into the night, either.  They could easily have lost both home games and be down 2-0, but I suspect tonight's game will be heavily contested.  LeBron had two costly late turnovers and Paul George is emerging as a new star, but I  get the feeling those two are just getting started.

If it happens, though, this will be one of the lowest rated finals (two small market teams) in the David Stern era... not a good way for the Commissar to go out!


Edited by Rick Senger on 26 May 2013 at 10:20am
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 01 June 2013 at 11:08pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Series tied at 3 games a piece! I wonder if the Heat will be able to bounce back in Game 7. Dwayne Wade appears to be hurting, but what is Chris Bosh's excuse for playing so poorly?

Given the decline in Wade's production, will LBJ be able to win another championship with this team?
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 02 June 2013 at 7:22am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Ironically, LeBron might find himself returning to Cleveland someday soon so he can get some help!

The Heat are shooting 47.8% as a team in the playoffs.  LeBron is the only member of the team shooting a higher percentage than that who averages more than 7.1 points per game!  He leads them in scoring, rebounding, assists and minutes.  He's totally carrying them. 


Edited by Joe Hollon on 02 June 2013 at 7:36am
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 02 June 2013 at 10:02am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

If Houston doesn't get Dwight Howard for next season, maybe they will make a run at LeBron James in 2014.
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