True Hoop Drew

I breakdown basketball constantly in my mind and occassionaly translate it into blog form

Tag: phoenix suns

Bama beats LSU, Boris Diaw vs. the Knicks

I almost forgot college football existed. In fact, I almost forgot anything that isn’t the NBA existed. But my attention was distracted from my first love to the national championship last night, but not for long.

Alabama beat LSU in dominant fashion to capture their 14th national championship all-time and first since 2009. Nick Saban also coached to win his third title in the BCS-era, the most of any coach.

The game was of course a rematch with LSU winning 9-6 in overtime in the first meeting this season in Tuscaloosa. In eight quarters plus overtime between these two teams, one touchdown was finally scored by Alabama on a 34-yard touchdown run by Trent Richardson with 4:36 left in the game.

The clear-cut two best teams in the country played twice and only one touchdown was scored between them. Yet it was never boring, just impressive, with the athletes on each side of the ball and the plays being made every down.
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The future looks bright in Minnesota

No team has jumped up everyone’s “NBA League Pass Power Rankings” quite like the Minnesota Timberwolves this season. It was expected early in the season just because we’d finally get a chance to see rookie Ricky Rubio for the first time in his career but now the Timberwolves are turning into one of the most interesting teams in the league night in night out.

The Timberwolves dropped the Washington Wizards to 0-8 yesterday with 93-72 win led by rookies Rubio and Derrick Williams who each posted a +29, +/- number. Rubio led the way with his most assists yet, 14, five of which accounted for each of Williams’ field goals, four three-pointers and another sweet alley-oop dunk.

I’m leaving out Kevin Love from the equation who had another monster game with 20 points and 16 rebounds, now averaging 25.4 points and 15.0 rebounds on the year, find me someone else doing that.

The core of Rubio-Love-Williams has to be getting fans in Minnesota excited, I know I’m getting excited (writing about how they are the next great team after they beat Washington). With Rubio looking like the next Steve Nash and Williams starting to remind me of Shawn Marion, the Timberwolves may easily become the team I watch more than any other for the next 10 seasons.
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Coming to grips with the Heat being really good this year

The Miami Heat beat the Chicago Bulls Sunday night to take a 2-1 advantage in the Eastern Conference Finals and seem to be in prime position to win the title this year.

This is a hard thing for me to admit. Not really that they are probably going to win the title because I have thought all year that if I had to bet on one team to win it all, it would be them but I still would of bet on the field instead. It’s because they have plenty of weaknesses and holes in their team and such holes that you usually don’t find in championship teams. Combine that with the rooting against them all season because of the “LeBron Decision.”

Then my biggest problem with LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh coming together which was that they were doing it at the perfect time and so sudden that the league wouldn’t be ready for it and that’s what happened. Every other contender was either too old or too young and that means that the margin for error is far smaller. The Big Three for the Heat are all in their primes and can simply make up for less perfect basketball with overpowering talent and skill.

I care a ton about NBA history and the legacy of players. I felt like LeBron could be taking advantage of the time to get a ring without earning it as much because he joined Wade. Also not to mention that Wade could be getting a second after he was gift wrapped his first in 2006. Read the rest of this entry »

How important is it to be in your prime?

As the Miami Heat were busy eliminating the Boston Celtics, I got thinking about how it was clear that the Celtics did not have anything left in the tank and were too old and too injured to keep up with Miami.

As someone who was watching the series hoping that Boston would advance because I like watching them play more, before the series even started my biggest fear was essentially what ended up happening.

Things like Kevin Garnett wouldn’t be able to be effective enough on both sides of the court, Ray Allen would be relegated to a jump shooter and not hitting in every game and Paul Pierce would have to carry too large of an offensive load. Even while watching the regular season meetings between the two teams you could kind of see this fate looming. While Boston seemed to always get a ton of good looks, it also seemed like they had to play pretty perfectly to get those looks and it’d be harder in the playoffs.

A big reason why Miami won the series was youth and talent overpowering Boston. They have their best three guys in their prime. It sounds simple but it really allows for them to play more minutes and play them more effectively. When Doc Rivers was forced to bring back Garnett early in the fourth quarter for Game 4, Boston was doomed and Garnett ran out of gas as the game eventually went into overtime.
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I’ll take Reggie over Ray; Carolla’s better uncensored

It’s always a good day when I get a call from Stanke. We went to Applebees with Koby, too. It was nice. It was a treat.

We watched the Heat-Celtics game. Boston won 107-102 behind 22 and 14 from Rondo and 23 points from Ray Allen who shut the door on the Heat with free throws late.

Allen was impressive from the line. There was just no chance he was going to miss. But I don’t get why everyone talks about how pretty his jumper is. He’s a great jump shooter but it’s not particularly pretty. It’s just a quick jump and quick release and he delivers a line drive ball that goes in quite a bit. J.J. Redick and Mike Miller have pretty jumpers, Ray’s is just better. When I look at him and then look at a player like Reggie Miller, the obvious comparison of the two, not even close.

Give me Reggie every time. Maybe I didn’t see enough of Ray Allen using the dribble in his days with Seattle and Boston but I think Reggie is a way more complete player. I know everyone used to talk about how underrated a finisher and dunker Ray was, but whatever. Allen’s career scoring average is a little higher than Reggie’s but he has averaged more minutes than Reggie and shot a lower percentage from the field while their three point percentage is nearly identical.

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The top 10 NBA teams of the 2000’s that didn’t win a championship

The 2000’s of the NBA were primarily dominated by two dynasties: the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs.

This past decade also saw three players experience more success than any others: Shaquille O’neal, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan.

O’neal won one regular season MVP, three Finals MVP’s and was part of four championship teams in the decade appearing in five NBA Finals in all.

Bryant won an MVP and a Finals MVP and won four championships while playing in six Finals series.

Duncan won two MVP’s in the regular season and in the NBA Finals and took home championships in the three trips he made to the NBA Finals.

But there were a lot of other good teams that might not be remembered because they were unlucky enough to cross paths with O’neal, Bryant and Duncan in their primes.

Here is a list (in chronological order) of the 10 best teams that did not win it all in the 2000’s.

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Just how good are the Phoenix Suns?

The Phoenix Suns beat the world champion Los Angeles Lakers 118-103 Monday night improving to 20-12 on the year and in a tie for fourth in the Western Conference.

So how good are these Suns? Are they back to being a championship contender?

The Suns have already beaten the Lakers, Magic, Spurs and Celtics this season, all teams that will be contending for a title at the end of the year. That leaves just Cleveland and Denver to beat among true title contenders.

While the Suns have already beaten these established elite teams in the league, they’ve yet to peak as a team themselves.

Phoenix has played the second most road games in the league this season posting an 8-10 record in them. The Suns are 12-2 on their home floor and should learn to transfer that play to their road games better as the season continues. With more home games left, Phoenix will have a better chance of improving their record this season and climbing the West standings.

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Nash steals show in battle of unbeatens

Nash kickNo matter how old they get, the great ones will always have their moments and their magic never entirely runs out.

Tonight the Phoenix Suns topped the Miami Heat 104-96 in a battle of two unbeaten teams early in the NBA season.

It was future Hall of Famer Steve Nash who stole the show from the Miami home crowd.

Nash had a quiet first half as second-year point guard Mario Chalmers held him to just six points and two assists.

For a moment it looked like the 13-year veteran had finally seen his age catch up to his ability. There were plays where you could see Nash wanting to make something happen he used to do all the time in his youth but he was one step behind, something that fans of the point guard aren’t used to.

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