Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Stop While Your Ahead

If you haven't seen the new NBA Live 07 commercials, many of them feature Adam Morrison, former Gonzaga standout and NBA draft prospect. Many expect him to go within the top 5 of the NBA draft.

The one commercial that stands out in my mind the most is the one that has Adam talking about the game in which he cried on the court. In the commercial Adam is saying, "So what, I cried, so what." He goes on to say that it just shows his love for the game. Honestly, I couldn't agree with him more. Crying is no big deal. It does show your dedication to the game. Emotions always show how you feel about something, especially in sports. However, with that said, the same commercial has Adam going on to say that when he reaches the NBA that he'll make people cry. Now hold it right there. He's going to make people cry? That's a pretty big claim before not even being drafted yet. Sure you will probably go within the first 5, but you'll probably go to one of the worst teams and your impact will be minimal to say the least. That's how the draft works. The worst teams always get the top picks because, well, they just plain suck. Now it's not that way all of the time but the majority of the time it is. Back to what I was saying, it's my opinion that Adam shouldn't be making those type of claims this early in his career. Because you never know, he may have been good at Gonzaga, but Gonzaga isn't the NBA and until he makes that transition and he really does make people cry then I think that he should stop making claims that he's going to be great while he's ahead.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Having Doubts?

In a recent interview with Knicks owner, James Dolan, and new head coach, Isiah Thomas, James Dolan said that if Isiah didn't make significant changes in the next year that he would be gone along with Larry Brown. It amazes me that James Dolan expects almost a complete turn around of his team within the next year. It didn't happen this past year and I don't expect it to happen this year. They may get a few more wins but I don't expect them to be over .500 this season and I'll keep then in the worst 7 teams.

Another funny thing about this whole thing is that in that same interview, Isiah Thomas said that he was a little bit "ticked" at James Dolan for putting him under tremendous pressure to change his team within one year. That tells me that Isiah Thomas has doubts that it can be done within one year. That also makes me wonder if Thomas stood up for Larry Brown when he didn't make the Knicks better in one year. Maybe we'll never know. What I do know is that if I was Isiah Thomas, I would start looking for another job, especially when you have doubts in your own mind.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Round 2

Here's another great article from Bill Simmons. Click here.

What were they thinking???

On Thursday, the New York Knicks announced that Head Coach Larry Brown had been fired from the organization. My question is, "Why?" What were they thinking? The New York Knicks hired Larry Brown to improve their organization, yet only after 1 year he has been let go. What sense does that make?

In the NBA, Larry Brown has been dubbed, "Mr. Fix-it" because he's so good at taking horrid teams and making them all stars. He's the only coach ever to have both a NBA Championship and an NCAA Championship. He's in the Hall of Fame. That right there should say something. I guess that wasn't enough though. Apparently, James Dolan, the owner of the Knicks, expected a complete turnaround of his team within one season and when he didn't get it he just got ticked and fired the hall of fame coach.

The thing that I find so ironic is that Larry Brown had a 5 year contract. Why not let Larry fofill his contract. The Draft is a week away and traded are going to be made throughout the postseason. Why not let Larry Brown make some trades and try to improve the Knicks. After all, it's not his fault that the Knicks just plain suck and their best player, Stephon Marbury, averages less points per game (16.3) than some 6th men. I think not. Brown tried more than 40 different starting lineups this season and almost nothing seemed to work the way he wanted it to but it shows that he was going to work on the team to try to improve it.

In a statement to the New York Post, Larry Brown states that he didn't do his job and let the team down. That couldn't be further from the truth. Brown did and an excellent job with the Knicks. His players are the ones that let him down by not playing their best. The organization let HIM down by not letting him do his job to the full extent and in the amount of time that they gave him to do it in. That would be 5 years.

Isiah Thomas has become the new Head Coach of the Knicks. With that said, should he be worried about his job? I would be. If Isiah doesn't make some major changes within the league the the Knicks are going to be in the same predicament as last year. Even James Dolan should realize that. He's got to be a fool not to. If I were Isiah Thomas, I think that I'd be looking for another job.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Flip Flops

The more and more I think about this, the more and more I laugh. With the NBA Finals now over, the sale of Miami Heat memorabilia is sure to rocket sky high. Same for the Stanley Cup winners the Carolina Hurricanes. This goes for any sport. It's just funny to me how many people are wearing champions Jersey or now have the champions logo on their car. You can see it all around and within the next week or two it is sure to spread like wildfire. I just et a kick out of things like that. It makes me wonder if they are true fans or just trying to fit in.

Now if you live in a Hugh city like Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, or any number of other cities, I don't mean you. I live in a small town not even 100,000 people strong. We have no professional sports so when someone like the Spurs win the NBA Finals, everyone has something that has to do with that team. Same thing for the Heat this year. It's going to happen. Always does.

I remember when The Texas longhorns beat LSU this past year. Sales of Longhorn stuff was everywhere. Everyone wore orange for weeks. It almost drove me crazy. I mean, I know that we live in Texas but come on. If you expect me to believe that there are that many Texas longhorns fans here in my little town then your poorly mistaken. Nobody ever talked about the Longhorns. It was always A&M and Texas Tech, Baylor, Duke, Florida Gators, and many others. Maybe a few but not as many as there were after the longhorns won. I just get a kick out of how many people follow the trend of others and claim that they are fans of the teams that have just won.

I don't watch many sports, however I do watch Basketball and I watch a lot of it. As for me, I'll always be a Mavericks fan. Go Mavs.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Check This Out!

I was roaming around on the internet looking for sports stories to research and stuff when I came across the Palace Brawl video. I clicked on it which led me to another site with about a billion crappy videos. There was one that stood up above the rest. Cute and funny to say the least. Click here to view the video.

Well, Well...

I can't believe it. The Miami Heat. World Champions. I guess I should say it. I was wrong in my game 6 prediction...Or was I? Sure the Mavericks lost like I said they wouldn't, however that's not what I'm talking about. As most of you could have figured out by the title of this Blog, I'm a die hard Dallas Mavericks fan. With that said let me say that I'm not a prick either. I like the game of basketball with a passion. When I say I'm not a prick I mean that I care about the way that the game is played. I'm upset, not that the Mavericks lost. Honestly. What bothers me the most about this years NBA finals...That would be...hmmm, well I guess several things.

First of all I guess that the overdoing of foul calls. This is, or was, the Finals. The Officials should expect some intense playing from both sides. Was it me or was there a whistle on every other play? Calm down DeRosa. Don't be so whistle happy Crawford. I mean, come on. Enough is enough. Let people earn the title not shoot for it.

The Suspensions that the Mavericks took this post season were just plain outrageous. Jason Terry's suspension was weird. Not because he didn't punch Michael Finley, but the fact that he wasn't ejected from the game right then and there. Under the Official NBA Rulebook, Section 9:b says and I quote, "Any player who throws a punch, whether it connects or not, has committed an unsportsmanlike act. He will be ejected immediately and be suspended for a minimum of one game." Now Jason Terry was suspended for the one game but never ejected from the game that this happened. Michael Finley was almost screaming at the officials that Terry had punched him but apparently that didn't think that the throw was a punch. Later it was ruled that it was a punch and he was suspended. How does that work? I don't like it when things are ruled one way and then changed the next. The final decision made at the game should be the one that stands. You can compare this situation with Indian giving.

DJ Mbenga went into the stands during Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals against the Phoenix Suns and was suspended 6 games. If you saw the video, DJ was just standing there not saying a word. Mark Cuban was doing all the talking. I know that The Rulebook says in Section 5:l that a player must be ejected for entering the stands. But not suspended. But so what. So he was suspended. But 6 games. Come on. Not even New Your Knicks Center Antonio Davis got that much and when he went into the stands to confront someone that he claims was swinging at his wife and grabbing her. When you look at the Antonio Davis Video vs. The DJ Mbenga video, you tell me which one is worse and who should have been suspended more games. All I want is a level of consistency among all of these "punishments".

The most recent for the Mavericks was Jerry Stackhouse. Suspended for a hard foul on Shaq, Stackhouse got suspended one game. Stackhouse was called for a flagrant foul(1) when his elbow collided with Shaq's face during a shot block attempt. This is going to sound like the Terry suspension but it's just my own opinion. Like I said, this was only a flagrant foul(1), not a flagrant foul(2) which earns you the right to be ejected from the game. My view is if it's not bad enough to be ejected right then and there, then it doesn't warrant a suspension. I'm tired of this, "It's ok now, but tomorrow it will become unacceptable and we'll suspend you for it" type of attitude. That's a bunch of (fill in the blank). If you turn back time and go to game one you'll notice that the Stack/Shaq foul happened in that game also only Stackhouse took the elbow in the face. Right in the nose rather. Shaq fouled Stackhouse so hard that it literally looked as if Stackhouse had hit a brick wall running as fast as he could. Shaq elbowed Stackhouse so hard that he busted open his nose. Not just a bloody nose, but an open nose that required stiches to repair. What did Shaq get for that. A personal foul. No flagrant. Just a personal. Figure that one out.

In the end I guess that I should just stop complaining about what could have been or what should have been. The Finals are over and Miami is the new Champions. However with that said there is one thing that I NEVER EVER want to hear Shaq say but I'm sure that he will...

Two years ago when Shaq came to Miami he promised that he would bring them a ring. I don't want him to go back to Miami and say, "See Miami, I told you that I would bring you a ring." That's a bunch of bull ca-ca. Shaq's performance in this series was terrible. He never made an impact in any game. Congrats Shaq. You have 4 rings. Without Kobe and Dwyane, you'd have none. Why people think that your one of the best I'll never know. Sorry Tim, same thing goes for you.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Something Interesting

I was on Blog Maverick reading what Mark Cuban had to say today and in there he had this awesome article. It's from ESPN's Bill Simmons. Click here to read.

That Amazes Me

I've just found out that Mark Cuban has been fines $250,000 for "several acts of misconduct" following the game 5 loss at Miami. What amazes me is that the amount of dollars that Mark Cuban is always fined. I've seen a lot of players state their mind about the game and officials. I've seen tons of players get fined for that type of trash talk buy never to the extent that Mark Cuban has been fined. I wonder what makes up a fine anyways. I mean, certain rule breaks determine a dollar amount imposed in a fine. That's in the official NBA Rulebook. It just seems like to me that when Mark Cuban gets fined, he's fined to the extent of unbelief compared to a player. In fact, Cuban has never been fined under $100,000. I wonder...Is it because he's the owner of the Dallas Mavericks or is it because he's just plain rich with a "B"? Hmmm...Inquiring minds want to know!

Game 6 Prediction

Tonight the Mavericks face elimination in Game 6 of the NBA finals. Of all places to battle...DALLAS. A home court that the Mavericks will refuse to lose on. After comings off of three losses in a row to the Miami Heat, the Dallas Mavericks are fired up. I expect Dirk to have about a 35 point game or more. Those of you that saw him after a game 5 loss in Miami know that he's not going to go down easy in game 6. You can expect Dirk to have a tremendous game. I expect the same thing from Jason Terry. Jerry Stackhouse will make his return after the game 5 suspension and I'm sure that he'll have a superb game as well. These three players are the heart and soul of the Mavericks in scoring and none of them want to go down on their home court.

I don't expect a great game from Miami tonight. This game is not a "must win" for the Heat so I don't expect them to be playing at their very best although I do expect Dwyane Wade to be playing very well as always. Wade has been carrying his team this entire series and I don't think that he'll let up, but with the Mavericks facing elimination tonight you can expect that they'll be playing at a pace that the Heat can not keep up with. Teams just seem to play better when they are facing elimination. I believe that Miami will have a "We don't have to win this one" type of attitude and this game will be a flop for them. If I had a guess tonight's game will not even be close and the Mavericks will win by at least 15 points or more. I expect that the Mavs will have an answer for not only Shaq but Wade as well. I predict that Wade will have a good game, however it won't be a 40 point game as in the last 3 game. When will the true game happen? In a game 7 when both teams are facing elimination and both want a trophy that neither team has ever gotten. The Mavericks will refuse to lose on their home court while the Heat will refuse to go home empty handed. Both teams will play with at their very best but only one can come away victorious.

We'll have to wait and see if this series goes to a game 7. If it does then I'll make my game 7 prediction at that time.

Monday, June 19, 2006

More Controversy

If there was one thing that I wish would happen during these NBA finals, it's that the officials would just let the players play. Every little call is being made and it makes for some of the worst Finals that the NBA has had. At least in quite a while. What's even worst than that is all of the call that they are making that are so controversial. It makes for a bad game. These officials that are in the finals have been doing officiating for almost 30 years a piece. They know what's going on. So why are they making such bad and controversial calls. Lets look back at game 5 with 1.9 seconds to go in OT.

The call that the Official Joe DeRosa made was that Josh Howard called for a time out while Dwyane Wade was making two free throws. The call came after the 1st free throw that Wade made. Joe DeRosa said that Josh Howard called for a time out. The official statement was that Howard not only went up to Joe DeRosa once, but twice asking for a time out. It's ironic that if you go back and look at he video of the actual play, you can see Howard make the universal time out sign, and Howard never denies that he did that. However, Howard goes on to say that he was talking to Coach Avery Johnson to confirm when the timeout was to be taken. He never even looks at Joe DeRosa and motions to him that he wants a timeout. For Joe DeRosa even to say that Howard came up to him twice is almost like a slap in the face to Dallas. If that was true, I wonder why he would even have to come up to you twice in the first place. Wouldn't you have called it after the first time. The fact is that the videos(all 3 or 4 different angles) never show Howard even looking in the direction of Joe DeRosa. Not once. So how Joe DeRosa ever even came up with the conclusion that Howard actually came up to him twice is way beyond me. It just really bothers me when officials make claims that you can clearly see never happened. It's obvious when a player signals an official for a time out. You can see a player clearly going up to the nearest official and forming the timeout sign right in the officials face. Clear as day.

Here's another interesting thing that happened with that call. Joe Crawford actually disregarded the call made by Joe DeRosa telling every player to get back on the line so that Wade could shoot his second free throw. You know, Joe Crawford has been an NBA Official for 30 years now. I think that he knew that no team would take a time out at that point and that's why he was telling the players to go back to their postings and let Wade shoot. However, Joe DeRosa insisted that Howard told him that he wanted a time out so that's what they got. That in turn made Dallas inbound the ball in from the backcourt instead of the sideline at halfcourt. Everybody knows that you don't ask for a time out when you only have one time out left anyway. At least not when a player is shooting 2 free throws, you know that your going to be down one point and you have 1.9 seconds left to play. I think some trashy calling has been going on with some officials and there is no way that you can convince me that Howard really wanted a time out at that point. He knows the game and when to call timeouts. He's a pro and he knows when to call and when not to call. Simple as that.

I just wonder if for at least one game in this series that we could have a clean game. No stupid calls, no suspensions for stupid reasons, no nothing. I wish that I could see at least one game that wasn't so controversial. It's the Finals. Two teams are playing for a title that neither team has ever won. Of coarse it's going to be more intense than regular season games. IT"S THE FINALS! The "Finals" alone should say it all.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Who's Throwing Elbows Now?

I sat down today and was watching the press conference with Avery Johnson about Jerry Stackhouse and the suspension that was imposed on him. Avery brought up a point that Dirk was fouled just as hard at the beginning of game 4. He said that the NBA was not being consistent with their suspensions. After he said that Dirk was fouled just as hard I wanted to go back and review the exact play that he was talking about. That's right, I have TiVo...and Slow-Mo. Sure enough the 2nd play of game 4 Shaq fouled Dirk with a hard elbow to the face. As you might have guessed, Dirk was knocked to the floor. If you can go back and watch it I encourage you to do so because it's not that pretty.

So I was wondering...why Dallas? Is it me or does it seem that Dallas is being targeted more than most teams in the league? It's not just officials either. For those of you that remember, during the Phoenix series, Josh Howard was being called out by the Suns for tripping one of their players. Turns out...their player tripped over himself. That's right. Himself! How many people remember the Reggie Evans/Chris Kaman incident? You can see where I'm going with this. Reggie grabbed Chris in that area and nothing happened to him. That's right. Reggie never even got a foul for that one. When Jason Terry does that to Michael Finley...Suspension! What's the difference you ask? Open hand vs closed hand. Anyways, the point is that there have been several incidents where no one had been called yet the Mavs have been called out for every single call. What gives?

With all the foul calls, suspensions, and accusations against Dallas by officials, teams, and the NBA in general you have to ask yourself...who's throwing elbows now?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

A Must Win for Dallas

With Game 5 of the NBA finals coming up on Sunday and Jerry Stackhouse being suspended, the Dallas Mavericks have a very difficult task in front of them. How are they going to rally to a win so that they don't go home 2-3?

Dallas started the '05-'06 season without Stack and managed to come out with only a handful of losses. Dallas has proven their a better team than Miami over and over again even without Stack. Game 1, 3, and 9(Phoenix, San Antonio, and Detroit) of the regular season were all against top teams and all wins and all without Stack. Dallas managed to beat San Antonio by 19 and Detroit by a whopping 37 points. Let's not forget that Dallas beat Detroit twice in the preseason as well. Dallas can easily defeat Miami as long as they start playing like the championship team that they really are.

Dallas can win game 5 with ease as long as key players pick up where Stack left off. Everybody knows that Dirk must step up his game and start scoring more than he has been, but who else must step up their game? In my opinion, Devin Harris must step up to the plate(or basket). Devin has proven that can turn up his game when he needs to and right now the Mavericks are going to need him to do just that. During the San Antonio series Devin proved that he had what it takes to win ball games. Even Tony Parker admitted that Devin was hard to keep up with. I believe that Devin is the key to winning game 5. Marquis Daniels is another Maverick that I believe that must step up his game. Although I don't believe that he'll log in as many minutes as Harris, I do believe that he'll log in just enough to make a difference.

Dallas can win this game if the attack at an aggressive pace. Will they unite to get the job done? Only time will tell.

Cheap Shot from the NBA

Can you believe this? Jerry Stackhouse was suspended today by the NBA for what they are calling a cheap shot to Shaq in game 4 of the NBA Finals. Come on. Are you serious? The NBA has let so many things go that this is hitting below the belt. Why now? Why Stack? What about Game 1 when Shaq busted Stacks nose and caused him to get stitches? It sure didn't look like to me that Shaq was exactly going for the block. Funny how his elbow just happened to be at the right place at the right time. What about Shaq elbowing Dirk in the jaw in the very same game? How is Shaq able to get away with so much yet the Dallas Mavericks can't seem to get away with anything? What is it about the Dallas Mavericks that the officials have it out for them? This is truly a cheap shot to Dallas on a simple Hard Foul on Shaq.