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Old 2010-10-27, 02:22   Link #641
Last Sinner
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Okay, someone has to fire this thread up again.

So the season has begun with a couple of pretty significant games.

Celtics v Heat

Well...I had concerns about whether things would flow in the Heat's game - clearly it didn't. This team is going to need time to gel properly. Regardless, they can't afford things to turn into what happened at Cleveland where LeBron was always carrying. For Wade and Bosh to be categorically crushed by their opponents is a big blow. And for Rondo to have free reign, coupled with Miami's horrendous turnovers and 27% shooting in the 1st half - recipe for disaster. Credit for Miami making a game of it late and playing decent defense, but this was Boston's night. They still have the ingredients to be championship material - whether injuries will derail them is always going to be the issue with their ageing roster. Miami don't need to panic yet, but they do need to improve their passing and start enforcing the triple-pronged attack. Until they do, Boston are still in the lead in the East and their attrition style will frustrate their contenders.


Lakers v Rockets

Got to see this one in full. The Rockets were VERY impressive. Adelman has managed to assemble a team that has a lot of depth and can effectively be 2 lineups capable of playing solid. Martin and Brooks were in good touch and hard to keep a handle on. Fisher really had his colours lowered by Brooks. Good to see Yao back - hopefully when he gets match fit, the rhythm will come. Scola had a good 2nd half and delivered down the stretch. Their bench was very solid, particularly Budinger - Houston should make the playoffs if they keep this intensity up.
All that said, LA responded to the challenge. Gasol just kept going at it and didn't even back off from Yao, almost single-handedly keeping LA in it at times. Odom was a workhorse and was great on the boards despite sometimes being in a position he's not suited for. Bryant gradually got himself going - he was definitely showing the ill-effects of that knee surgery, but when you can still get over 20 points when you're not at your best, that's still a decent effort. But what was really impressive about the Lakers was how their bench decided to grab hold of the game when LA were looking doomed down by 11 with a minute left in the 3rd quarter. Then Steve Blake nails two clutch triples and the Lakers get 2 stops on D - cutting that margin to 5 was a huge boost. Enter Shannon Brown, who just wanted it and kept nailing shots in the 4th. Then Blake steps up once more in the final minute to land another bomb that keeps LA in front for good. Lakers are still the ones to beat in the West and have a more solid bench this time around - acquiring Blake is one clever trade. But if Bynum can't get healthy, they can get exploited in the paint.

Interesting to see this new technical foul rule for dissent to the refs. Hopefully it doesn't get out of hand. I can't help but feel Stern pushing this in is even more PG-era oriented measures. The Buss daughter promoting her book during the game and emphasising 'family' seemed to reinforce that idea. I don't want to see this have adverse effects on crowds - the crowd in LA was unusually quiet until late in the 3rd quarter.

Portland certainly had the better of Phoenix. Nash's chance at getting a ring might have ended.


As for tonight's games, Miami and Boston double up so Miami can get on the board vs the 76ers. Chicago v Oklahoma is the really tantalising one.
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Old 2010-10-27, 02:35   Link #642
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Last Sinner View Post
Okay, someone has to fire this thread up again.

So the season has begun with a couple of pretty significant games.
'Bout damn time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Last Sinner View Post
Celtics v Heat

Well...I had concerns about whether things would flow in the Heat's game - clearly it didn't. This team is going to need time to gel properly. Regardless, they can't afford things to turn into what happened at Cleveland where LeBron was always carrying. For Wade and Bosh to be categorically crushed by their opponents is a big blow. And for Rondo to have free reign, coupled with Miami's horrendous turnovers and 27% shooting in the 1st half - recipe for disaster. Credit for Miami making a game of it late and playing decent defense, but this was Boston's night. They still have the ingredients to be championship material - whether injuries will derail them is always going to be the issue with their ageing roster. Miami don't need to panic yet, but they do need to improve their passing and start enforcing the triple-pronged attack. Until they do, Boston are still in the lead in the East and their attrition style will frustrate their contenders.
There's one major issue that I see with the Miami team, and that's their game in the post. It doesn't exist. If they don't speed up the tempo of the game as they've proclaimed they would over the summer, they going to be beaten in the half court when their shots don't fall.

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Originally Posted by Last Sinner View Post
Lakers v Rockets

Got to see this one in full. The Rockets were VERY impressive. Adelman has managed to assemble a team that has a lot of depth and can effectively be 2 lineups capable of playing solid. Martin and Brooks were in good touch and hard to keep a handle on. Fisher really had his colours lowered by Brooks. Good to see Yao back - hopefully when he gets match fit, the rhythm will come. Scola had a good 2nd half and delivered down the stretch. Their bench was very solid, particularly Budinger - Houston should make the playoffs if they keep this intensity up.
All that said, LA responded to the challenge. Gasol just kept going at it and didn't even back off from Yao, almost single-handedly keeping LA in it at times. Odom was a workhorse and was great on the boards despite sometimes being in a position he's not suited for. Bryant gradually got himself going - he was definitely showing the ill-effects of that knee surgery, but when you can still get over 20 points when you're not at your best, that's still a decent effort. But what was really impressive about the Lakers was how their bench decided to grab hold of the game when LA were looking doomed down by 11 with a minute left in the 3rd quarter. Then Steve Blake nails two clutch triples and the Lakers get 2 stops on D - cutting that margin to 5 was a huge boost. Enter Shannon Brown, who just wanted it and kept nailing shots in the 4th. Then Blake steps up once more in the final minute to land another bomb that keeps LA in front for good. Lakers are still the ones to beat in the West and have a more solid bench this time around - acquiring Blake is one clever trade. But if Bynum can't get healthy, they can get exploited in the paint.
Gave us a good run there, but I never lost faith in my team.

I give the Rockets a lot of credit though. Rick Adelman is basically running two teams with/without Yao in the lineup. I'd love to see these guys in the playoffs again.

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Originally Posted by Last Sinner View Post
Interesting to see this new technical foul rule for dissent to the refs. Hopefully it doesn't get out of hand. I can't help but feel Stern pushing this in is even more PG-era oriented measures. The Buss daughter promoting her book during the game and emphasising 'family' seemed to reinforce that idea. I don't want to see this have adverse effects on crowds - the crowd in LA was unusually quiet until late in the 3rd quarter.
Pau biting his lip and the reaction of the Rockets bench was priceless.
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Old 2010-10-27, 05:12   Link #643
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ_RockmanX View Post
There's one major issue that I see with the Miami team, and that's their game in the post. It doesn't exist. If they don't speed up the tempo of the game as they've proclaimed they would over the summer, they going to be beaten in the half court when their shots don't fall.
So true. If anyone is going to slow down a game and make it a grind, it is the Celtics. When Miami won in 06, they had O'Neal AND Mourning. That team did dominate the paint and allow Wade to get into open spaces. Not sure that Ilgauskas and Miller will be able to do that. Time will tell. But when you look at those that were in contention last year - Lakers, Celtics, Magic and Suns - they all had notable big guys. Miami do need to play faster, but they have to stop turning it over as much as they did against Boston or that isn't going to happen.


Quote:
Pau biting his lip and the reaction of the Rockets bench was priceless.
Fisher's reaction after he sideswiped Yao and got a tech was a fair scream too. Also amusing that Yao fouled out when his 24 minute cap was about to be reached anyway.
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Old 2010-10-27, 08:23   Link #644
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I think today's game says more about the Celtics than it does about the Heat. The Celtics, old as they are, are obviously still a force to be reckoned with and they have the chemistry that the Heat apparently still lacks, which, I suppose, is understandable at this point in time. The Heat's offense and perimeter defense tonight was pretty damn terrible though, but I believe -- and hope -- that they'll get their stuff together soon and start playing proper basketball.

Ugly loss for the Suns -- vastly different from how they started the season last year. Nash is one of my favorite players and it pains me to see how he'll probably retire without a ring.
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Old 2010-10-27, 14:26   Link #645
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Love seeing Shaq in green
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Old 2010-10-27, 20:04   Link #646
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Love seeing Shaq in green
All the more fun our teams will have come June.
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Old 2010-10-28, 01:08   Link #647
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Cleveland beats Boston....WHAT?! What a difference 24 hours makes...guess age hurt the Celtics late for doing 2 matches in 24 hours. Hickson seemed to be the difference. Even without Williams, Cleveland got it done.

Miami got on the board as expected against Philadelphia. Much better performance for them. That fast movement they needed to get cranking did happen this game. Wade really redeemed himself with 30 points - that alley-oop he got from LeBron was damn fine. James 16, Bosh 15. Now that's more like it. But the surprise that came out of this one was James Jones getting 20 off the bench, 6/9 from 3-point land. If they can get some bench fire like that going regularly, things will be looking good. Something I didn't notice was that Stackhouse ended up at Miami? It would be so ironic if he ends up getting a ring with the club that denied him one in 2006 when he played for Dallas. Pat Riley has a thing for getting players that were at some point in the top echelon one more chance to get that ring - as he did for Gary Payton. But while it was a good win, Philadelphia are hardly anything to rave on about. And LeBron really needs to clean up his ball handling - 9 turnovers is way too high. But when the big 3 can all fire and get a bit of help to boot, things like that can be overcome.

Oklahoma ended up winning that big one versus Chicago by 11. The usual suspects in Durant and Westbrook dominated. Westbrook is really turning into one of the superior point guards in the league at present. There were good signs for Chicago but they seemed to have real problems with transition defense - Westbrook just blew them apart way too much. Oklahoma are definitely going to be a force this season if they can avoid injury problems.

The two games tomorrow (Washington v Orlando and Phoenix v Utah) are both on TV in my area tomorrow, hopefully I can get the time to watch both.
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Old 2010-10-28, 02:36   Link #648
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Last Sinner View Post
Cleveland beats Boston....WHAT?! What a difference 24 hours makes...guess age hurt the Celtics late for doing 2 matches in 24 hours. Hickson seemed to be the difference. Even without Williams, Cleveland got it done.
Rondo was the Celtics' leading scorer with limited production from the other starters. That's a pretty good way to beat them.

Good for the city of Cleveland though. This obviously won't last, but it's a nice start to the year to see the Heat go down, then beat the team that beat the team.

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Miami got on the board as expected against Philadelphia. Much better performance for them. That fast movement they needed to get cranking did happen this game. Wade really redeemed himself with 30 points - that alley-oop he got from LeBron was damn fine. James 16, Bosh 15. Now that's more like it. But the surprise that came out of this one was James Jones getting 20 off the bench, 6/9 from 3-point land. If they can get some bench fire like that going regularly, things will be looking good. Something I didn't notice was that Stackhouse ended up at Miami? It would be so ironic if he ends up getting a ring with the club that denied him one in 2006 when he played for Dallas. Pat Riley has a thing for getting players that were at some point in the top echelon one more chance to get that ring - as he did for Gary Payton. But while it was a good win, Philadelphia are hardly anything to rave on about. And LeBron really needs to clean up his ball handling - 9 turnovers is way too high. But when the big 3 can all fire and get a bit of help to boot, things like that can be overcome.
A 10 point win over a non playoff team like Philly isn't a great measuring stick for success. Let's see how it goes against Orlando. When they start putting the beatdown on real contenders, then maybe we can start giving them some credit.

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Oklahoma ended up winning that big one versus Chicago by 11. The usual suspects in Durant and Westbrook dominated. Westbrook is really turning into one of the superior point guards in the league at present. There were good signs for Chicago but they seemed to have real problems with transition defense - Westbrook just blew them apart way too much. Oklahoma are definitely going to be a force this season if they can avoid injury problems.
I was rather more impressed with the block party hosted by Ibaka and Sefolosha.

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The two games tomorrow (Washington v Orlando and Phoenix v Utah) are both on TV in my area tomorrow, hopefully I can get the time to watch both.
John Wall should be fun to see, but that game should go to the Magic no question.

Phoenix and Utah is a fair bit more balanced. I have faith in Jerry Sloan's system and stronger team continuity with the Jazz, but all bets are off if the Suns start knocking down shots.
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Old 2010-10-28, 11:35   Link #649
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Cleveland beats Boston....WHAT?! What a difference 24 hours makes...guess age hurt the Celtics late for doing 2 matches in 24 hours. Hickson seemed to be the difference. Even without Williams, Cleveland got it done.
Being a Cleveland fan this is oh so poetic.

Our players really stepped it up when they needed to and it also seems that J.J. Hickson could turn out as the new team leader.

Maybe the Cavs not being expected to make some noise in the league this year is a good thing. They can just stick to their game plan night in and night out, play their hearts out, and feed from the energy of their fans.

Whatever is going on this first game gives me some hope for this season to at least turn out okay.
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Old 2010-10-28, 13:44   Link #650
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Celtics beating Miami and then losing to Cleveland...that's irony for you Thought I kind of expected the Heat to lose against the celtics. After all, they've only been together for a few months and they are a brand new team that needs more time to mesh and get used to each other. Putting them up against a team that went to the finals last year and took the Lakers to game 7 and that is also very strong on defense would most likely lead to a loss.

Bulls v. Thunder was a fun game to watch too. Rose was a beast and kept getting his layups by using the basket for protection. Those back to back dunks by Durant and Green(I think) were legit The bulls offense broke down though, once Thunder started to step up their D. This is why they need Boozer, someone who they can automatically go to to hit those mid range jumpers and post up beneath the basket. I'm still amazed by how he broke his hand.
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Old 2010-10-29, 04:34   Link #651
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That wasn't a game between Orlando and Washington. It was a massacre...If Orlando wanted to really force the issue, they could have won by around 50 rather than rest everyone in the last quarter. Orlando looked good and this was merely a prelude to the state showdown with Miami. As for Washington, they are in a hole...wasted money on Arenas, very weak roster. Wall showed signs but he made a lot of bad choices in this one - he needs to improve his jump shot and utilise the space defenders were giving him. Like, try and get it to 12-15 yards instead of 18-20.

Phoenix don't seem to be missing Stoudamire that much if Warwick keeps up how he played in this one. Nash's passing is just a prviliege to watch. That pick and roll he gave to Warwick - save that for the highlight reel and plays of the week. Jazz, well...they seem to miss Boozer. Williams tried to marshall, Kirilenko and Jefferson were decent scoring but they lacked presence and penetration when it mattered. Plus their ball handling was poor - very uncharacteristic for a Sloan team.
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Old 2010-10-29, 19:11   Link #652
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Way too much hype going on with the Heat opener. ESPN's treating it like a playoff game, what with the national anthem, starting lineups, and everything.

Here's hoping that the Magic can make a statement tonight.

Edit: Well so much for that. I liked Dwight's showcase of expanding his skillset in the first half, but as usual the Magic continue to frustrate me with their continued insistence on jacking up 3's.
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Old 2010-10-29, 22:33   Link #653
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It looks like the Magic couldn't beat the Heat tonight. LeBron look great, hopefully he can keep it up for the rest of the season.
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Old 2010-11-03, 23:46   Link #654
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Rajon Rondo is officially now my favorite point guard. Also congrats to Paul Pierce for hitting 20k tonight.

Now I just need the Lake Show to take care of business. Done.
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Old 2010-11-04, 16:22   Link #655
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Congratulations to Paul Pierce for hitting 20k points yesterday That game was very entertaining to watch. The Bucks put up a great effort and gave the Celtics a run for their money. If only they didn't have two turnovers in the last half minute of OT, I think it would've been possible to go into Double OT. And Rondo, 87 assists in first five games of the season?!!! That's freaking amazing. He's one of the best, if not the best point guard in the NBA. He can always find the open man and is very unselfish as well.
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Old 2010-11-04, 18:27   Link #656
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Yeah you gotta love Rondo, he's really been developing these past few years and it shows so far this season.
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Old 2010-11-04, 19:01   Link #657
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Now if he could improve his free throw shooting. . .
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Old 2010-11-07, 20:37   Link #658
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Celtics are utterly destroying the Thunder tonight...up by 23 on the road at half time...after both sides were in overtime wins...

New Orleans are still undefeated? And they beat Miami. For a team that looked like they were going to lose CP sometime soon, things have suddenly changed...
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Old 2010-11-07, 20:52   Link #659
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you know what...

eff the Clippers!

"You've seen nothing yet"

well "I've seen enough" after yesterday's game against the Jazz.
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Old 2010-11-07, 20:56   Link #660
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New Orleans are still undefeated? And they beat Miami. For a team that looked like they were going to lose CP sometime soon, things have suddenly changed...
The season's still early, so you never know. And the Miami Heat have a very small front court and no "real" point guard, or one that is good/consistent anyways. Therefore, teams with smart point guards(Paul, Rondo) and good big men such as Perkins, Bynum, Howard have a pretty good shot a beating the Heat.
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