Not only were there 13 games on Valentines Eve, but I already wrote a bunch about them, only to have it erased by a computer ghost. SAVE. From now on I’m saving my work after every sentence. SAVE.
It was an eventful night in the NBA. I want to talk more about the new slamonline and our new roles, with me being boss of the web and Lang as my advisor/guru/mentor and star columnist. I’ll get back to that in a minute. First, last night’s action…
In less meaningful games, Indy beat Memphis with Rudy Gay scoring 31 in the loss, Washington beat Philly, Orlando beat Portland, New Orleans over Sacramento, road monsters Atlanta got past the Clippers, and Golden State blew out the Knicks though New York made it seem closer with a 40 point third quarter again in a game where the leading scorers for the two teams were Stephen Jackson and Nate Robinson. Toronto beat the Nets minus Kidd.
The main event(s)… BOSTON WINS!!! The 18 game losing streak is no more, and all it took was getting Paul Pierce and Wally Sczhreurhujebbrk on the floor together against Milwaukee. Because of injuries, the Bucks are the slept on horrible team in the NBA this year. Despite the 18 game losing streak, the Bucks have only 6 more wins than the Celtics. Nice work Boston!
Seattle upsets Phoenix, but once again they were without Nash and Diaw. All-Star replacement Ray Allen went off for 31, while the Suns leading scorer was Marcus Banks. Nick Collison outplayed Amare. Think about this, Ray is a late replacement for what feels like the eighth injured all-star out West. If he were in the East, the only shooting guard ahead of him would be Wade and arguably a healthy Redd or Pierce (if you consider him a guard) or Arenas if you make him a 2.
Denver went back to their disappointing ways, losing to Minnestoa by allowing Mark Blount to score 24 on them. KG had a quanit little 19 and 17 to help Blount. There was no Iverson for Denver, but STEVE BLAKE had 18 assists.
Charlotte upset Chicago, as the Bulls seem to only get up for big games these days. 32 for Gerald Wallace, 21 boards and 6 blocks for Okafor. The Bulls have lost 5 of 6, with the only win coming against Phoenix, of course.
Detroit said hello to the Spurs and goodbye to their winning streak. 12 and 18 for Elson.
Finally, Utah survived against Cleveland, who got a big 33 point night from Larry Hughes. Deron Williams had 33 and 12, All-Star replacement Memo Okur had another gigantic fourth quarter scoring 11 of his 22 points while LeBron didn’t do much down the stretch. The Cavs whined about not getting a call on a 37 foot heave by Sasha Pavlovic who may have been bumped before the shot. In my professional opinion, Cleveland and Miami are never allowed to argue about calls going against them. The Jazz have won 6 in a row without Boozer, while D’Antoni hasn’t been able to work his magic with all of the injuries this time. Jerry Sloan is coach of the year.
And now… the future of slamonline. For years Lang wrote a blog before the word blog existed. It’s weird to think of him as a pioneer or trailblazer because he’s someone I work with, talk to, and eat lunch with, but he is. The old SLAMonline was The Links. While he had other responsibilities for the magazine, such as feature writing and travelling, he was consistent in writing a lot about the NBA in one big shot every day, though he had plenty of room to talk about whatever he wanted (Man vs Beast?). Having commenters on the site is one sign of embracing modern trends, but I remember back in the day when I read The Links as a way of connecting with other basketball fans who were looking for a voice that knew what he was talking about and could be entertaining at the same time. That being Lang. In the old days, it felt like a huge accomplishment to send him an email and then see your name on the internet if he deemed your email worthy. When the Knicks traded for Steph I proclaimed it “The greatest one-sided deal since the white man took Manhattan from Native Americans. It made The Links, and I was so proud. (In hindsight, I may have overstated things). Nowadays, I’ve seen my name on the internet so many times that I’m just used to it. Anyone of you can post a comment with whatever name you choose, and the whole world can see it. The Links and all of the columns on the website now are all open discussions.
I used to think of The Links as something like a TV show. Once a day you tune in and watch the episode, learn, laugh, enjoy. Maybe a new character in introduced. But today websites are different. Access to information is easier than ever. You can just read the headlines off various RSS feeds and have a good broad understanding of everything meaningful that took place around the league and find quick links to the writers you care to read. Sometimes I feel like people just want to point out the very latest up to the second event and attach their opinion to it. I have embraced this, and my goal running the website is to make it more specialized. For example, back when The Links were the entire site, one day The Links might be a few paragraphs of thoughts, then game notes from someone like Cub Buenning or Clement Chu, and then quotes of the day, links to some newspaper stories with thoughts on those stories. Now, game notes are their own post and blog. If a specifically poignant issue pops up, it becomes its own post entirely. Instead of The Links, excerpts from the mag, and some random stuff that I do to fill in the blanks, everything is broken down into more organized piles.
Ben Collins is our college expert blogger. Aggrey Sam is our high school expert blogger. Ben Osborne is the editor-in-chief writing once a week. Mutoni is an established blogger writing a blog. Other people that work for and with us, like Khalid, Russ, Jake, and Ryan, all have their own blogs to write. There will be more video and audio, there’s a Kick of the Day, and so on.
My vision of the job I do is to oversee everything and make sure new content keeps coming. I write my daily D.A.Y. and Player of the D.A.Y. because it’s more defined, and not just free flowing “This is on my mind. Here are my thoughts” writing. That way I cover the most important part of the NBA – the games themselves. I enjoy writing my blog, and if something big happens during the day, I’m the guy that bangs out posts. But truthfully, my role is the daily double of providing content for your entertainment, and promoting the site so that more and more people read it. How do I plan on doing this? I’m working on it.
So yeah, there you go. It is cold outside. We’ll be on the plane to Vegas in less than 24 hours. If there are weather delays I might start an incident.