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Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 at 8:35 am  |  113 responses

Post Up: Still Fly

Big nights for veterans Pierce and Nash, plus OKC overcomes 48 points from Monta Ellis.

by Abe Schwadron | @abe_squad

A six-pack of games to get to, including big moments for two of the L’s aging superstars, monster games for Monta Ellis and David Lee in a GSW loss, and more drama in Minnesota. Let’s hit it!

Pacers 104, Jazz 99

Danny Granger scored 12 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Pacers to the win and a 17-7 season record despite blowing a 21-point lead earlier in the game. Darren Collison added a game-high 25 points, plus 5 assists, Roy Hibbert had 17 and 10, and Indiana turned the ball over just 8 times. The Pacers were up 11 at halftime and jumped out to an even bigger lead after a big run to start the third quarter, but the Jazz stormed all the way back to take a fourth-quarter lead. Apparently that was enough to wake up the Pacers (or at least Granger), who still have yet to lose two straight games this season. Six Utah players scored in double figures, including 18 (plus 10 boards) from Paul Millsap and 16 and 8 from Al Jefferson, as the Jazz fell to 13-11 on the year—they’ve won just two road games all year, and host OKC on Friday.

Celtics 94, Bobcats 84

Normally, you wouldn’t even blink at a 15-point, 9-assist, 8-rebound game from Paul Pierce, helping the Celtics improve to 14-10. But on this night, Pierce stepped into Boston history, passing Larry Bird for second all-time among Celtics career scoring leaders. He now sits at 21,797—6 points ahead of Bird and just under 5,000 shy of the No. 1 man, John Havlicek. Pierce shot just 2-10 from three-point range, but finally got one to go in the third quarter to move past Bird, drawing an ovation from the home crowd. The fans in attendance probably also appreciated the Celtics’ fifth straight win (their longest win streak this season), in which the team shot 51 percent from the field and had 31 assists to Charlotte’s 19. Sure, the Bobcats are one of the L’s sorriest squads (now 3-22), but it was all about The Truth last night. And to celebrate, buddies Rajon Rondo (10 points, 14 assists) and Kevin Garnett (game-high 22 points) had big games, too. Some fleeting positive notes on the ‘Cats: Reggie Williams has now scored 21 points in each of his first two starts this year, and Derrick Brown was 10-10 from the field for 20 points in 28 bench minutes.

Heat 107, Cavaliers 91

Sources tell me these two teams will be forever linked. And that MIA likes to lay the beatdown when they match up. How’s this? Dwyane Wade: 26/4/6. LeBron James: 24/5/6. The Heat outscored the Cavs in every quarter aside from the third (24-24) en route to win No. 19 on the year. The Cavaliers opened the second half on an 18-9 run to take a 66-63 lead, then after Miami took the lead again, Clevaland pulled to within 1 point later in the third quarter, but made only 2 of their next 19 shots and took the L. Cleveland shot 39 percent from the field and turned the ball over 17 times, including 5 from Kyrie Irving, who scored 16 points but shot just 5-15. Antawn Jamison led the Cavs in scoring with 25 points, and Anderson Varejao had an 11×11 double-double. Miami now sits just a game behind Chicago in the Eastern Conference standings, having won 11 of their last 13. Hey, Happy 39th Birthday Juwan Howard!

Suns 107, Bucks 105

The final two points of Steve Nash’s 18-point, 11-assist performance came on a driving layup banked in off the glass with 5 seconds to play, putting the Suns in front for good on his 38th birthday. Phoenix held the Bucks without a shot attempt in the final seconds (kudos to Stephen Jackson for holding the rock ’til the buzzer) and picked up the W to move to 11-14 on the year. It was also a homecoming of sorts for Michael Redd, who scored 14 points off the bench in the city where he once played. Brandon Jennings had a, well, weird game. He scored just 3 points (1-4 shooting)—and they came on a game-tying triple with 3 minutes to play in the game. But Milwaukee couldn’t stop Nash down the stretch, and the Bucks lost their third straight game (10-14) despite a season-high 25 points from Drew Gooden and and 17 and 12 off the bench from Ersan Ilyasova. Every Phoenix starter scored in double figures, but Marcin Gortat couldn’t quite get that double-double we’re so accustomed to seeing from him (21 points, 9 boards). C’mon, Mar-chine!

Timberwolves 86, Kings 84

Derrick Williams hit a 3-pointer with just under a minute left to play, and Donte Greene missed a jumper at the horn as the Wolves won and got to a game over .500 (13-12) despite being without the services of Kevin Love, serving the first game of his stomping suspension. With KLove sidelined, Nikola Pekovic picked up the big man minutes for Minnesota. And he delivered with 23 points, 10 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocked shots. Don’t know who Nikola Pekovic is? Not to worry, here’s some photographic guidance. Pekovic was fiery, and was smart enough to follow Ricky Rubio around the court, leading to easy buckets like this on the break. Rubio, for his part, finished with 14 assists and 5 steals, plus 6 points in 37 minutes. Williams finished with 14 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks, and Mike Beasley chipped in 17 and 14 as a reserve. The Kings, meanwhile, shot just 39 percent from the field as a team, a percentage not helped by Tyreke Evans’ 5-13 shooting (11 points) and DeMarcus Cousins’ 3-13 night (10 points, 11 rebounds). And their final possession was a scrambling scrum at best, ending in Greene’s heave—SacTown is now 9-16.

Thunder 119, Warriors 116

When a guy on your team drops 48 points, and another guy on your team has a triple-double, you probably shouldn’t lose that game. The Warriors did not get this message, it seems. Player A was Monta Ellis (18-29 shooting), Player B was David Lee (25 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists), and Golden State shot 55 percent from the floor. And yet, Kevin Durant’s bank shot J with 14.2 seconds left in the game put the Thunder up by 1, clinching a monster win for OKC in the face of two of the year’s best performances. Ellis was unstoppable for most of the first half (he finished with 30 before the break), but KD and Russell Westbrook turned in big-time performances of their own and looked calm in the clutch moments, pushing the Thunder to 20-5 on the year. Durant finished with 33 points, 10 boards and 7 assists, while RW racked up 31 points and 7 dimes for OKC, which also shot the ball red-hot (52 percent). Monta and Brandon Rush each missed threes that would have tied or won the game in the waning moments, and the Thunder won their second straight close game after an OT win over Portland in their previous tilt.

Line of the Night: Monta Ellis scored 48 points and David Lee had a triple-double (25/11/10). Somehow, the Warriors found a way to lose despite those two performances. In that vain, perhaps Golden State’s most impressive line was Andris Biedrins, who started, played only 14 minutes, picked up 5 personal fouls and had 1 steal. And no other statistics whatsoever. Thanks for playing, Andris!

Moment of the Night: Steve Nash buries the game-winner on his 38th birthday. It’s worth saying again: the dude is 38 years old. And still doin’ it.

Dunk of the Night: Wesley Johnson’s lucky alley-oop. Does Rubio get credit on the assist?

Record of the Night: Seems like we get one every night these days. This time, Paul Pierce passes Larry Bird on the Celtics’ all-time scoring list. Pretty crazy if you think about it. Oh, and someone I know wrote a pretty nice feature on Paul in SLAM 155…

Tonight: The Linsanity comes to DC for a re-match with John Wall and the Wizards (on NBATV at 7), part of an 11-game schedule on Wednesday. The best of the rest includes Heat-Magic, Spurs-Sixers, Pacers-Hawks, Mavs-Nuggets and Rockets-Blazers. Whew, that’s a lot to look out for. Pray for me to get some sleep!

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  • Brahsef

    Biedrins is so bad its painful.

  • thyr

    excellent defense by the bucks on nash´s drive…

  • MUBWAR

    that heat cavs game was much closer then it looked. and that GSW game was just bananas. Monte for the reserve role all star role.

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstysyd Hursty

    Drew Gooden.. what were you DOING that final defensive play vs Nash’s drive?

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstysyd Hursty

    Monta Ellis’ body control is absolutely phenomenal.

  • dsleepy

    “pushing the Thunder to 10-5 on the year.” ….10-5? They’ve only played 15 games?

  • http://slamonline.com/ Abe Schwadron

    good catch sleepy….your name is probably the reason I messed that up. 20-5!

  • T-Money

    mubwar: the game was close until miami ran the james-wade-miller-haslem-bosh line up. it’s actually brilliant of spo to play james at the 1 in the last 6 minutes – it completely negates the option for him to be passive since he has to take a high screen and make a decision GOING TO THE BASKET. defensively, he’s just swallowing point guards. irving couldn’t even see the basket (btw, the boy is good!).

  • MUBWAR

    Last season spo was horrible T-Money but now it looks like he kinda figure it out. I love that Bron Wade Miller Haslem Bosh line. There length is outta this world. besides Wade the shortest man is 6’9. the rotation is so crazy Gee was being match up with Haslem and at times with Bosh

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    Steve Nash is a frickin machine…

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    Kind of excited to see the Wall vs Lin rematch.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Hmm I remember someone saying that’s exactly what Spo should be doing at the end of games, last season. Hmmm

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OhGZNLPSOY&feature=related Allenp

    Monta is a monster you bums.
    And who was that talking about Steph’s defense the other day? Yeah, okay.
    I really like Greg Anthony and CWebb as a duo. better than Charles and Shaq for sure.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    I was. I never said Steph was a better defender then Mota, I said he’s better against PG’s. Which he wasn’t guarding yesterday.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    He’s better against PG’s then Monta is against SG’s* – but Ellis was on Westbrook last night.

  • http://slamonline.com. datkid

    Monta ellis= really is kobe meets iverson smh. Homie would be a monster as the first option on a playoff team. speaking of which if steph curry is healthy is it unrealistic to say that the warriors might make the playoffs?

  • add

    happy b-day to nash and j howard

  • http://www.dimemag.com showtime

    Monta!!! that is all..lol

  • davidR

    nbk, still think joe johnson is a better sg than monta?

  • davidR

    datkid, it’s still unrealistic. they had tons of roster changes this year, new coach/system, and kwame is out for a while. not having kwame available really hurts, cuz they don’t have a viable rebounder/shot blocker late in the game

  • http://www.dimemag.com showtime

    But seriously the ref have been atrocious this year, i mean it get so bad the not so average fan is taking notice, i wonder whats the cause?? the lockout ??

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I think OKC forgot how to play defense last night because for some foolish reason they kept on crowding Ellis whenever he had the rock (and without it) and that’s a no no when guarding someone as quick/fast as ellis. They should have played off him and lived with him taking contested jumpshots. If he kills you and gets 48 strictly off jumpshots, you can live with that but to play right into his hands and allow him to live in the paint all night long was a bad gamble.

  • davidR

    jtaylor, monta’s midrange is money. you can’t sag off him. plus, he’s deadly on the pick & roll, cuz there’s no way a big man can stay with him. it’s how he got to the rim so often

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    david, I do not. Y’all were right.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Monta is a million dollar talent with a _ _ _ cent _ _ _ _. Steve Francis was like that.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I rather live with someone like Ellis taking contested jumpshots than living in the paint all game long getting my bigs in foul trouble.

  • burnt_chicken

    Pekovic is a beast. Looks hungry and ready for starter minutes/shine. Is he going to get the Magic-Gortat treatment, or does Darko make like Donnie?

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Ellis definitely solidified his spot as the 3rd best SG. Currently he’s 2nd, but that’s cause Wade is half dead. I don’t feel like Joe Johnson has the ability or the will power to put performances in like that anymore. No one played any defense in this game obviously though. Also Rubio is allot like Jason Kidd. Screw you if you don’t like comparisons. Dude is more like J-Kidd than anyone I have ever seen.

  • davidR

    lakeshow, i know the score doesn’t suggest, but the defense was pretty good. both offenses were on another level though. everyone was hitting contested shots. nellieball still lives in oakland

  • http://nba.com GP23

    ^ I agree, Rubio is 3rd in Assists, and he’s leading the league in Steals.

  • davidR

    and pekovic looks like a solid big. my first time seeing him, but it looks like he has soft hands, post moves with a scoring touch around the rim, and has a knack for where to be on the floor. the wolves have a pretty good team

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Manu Ginobili is still better then Monta Ellis.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Half-dead Wade is still better than Ellis.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    ^No. He may be better at certain things, but Ellis is the all around greater player now. Manu just has advantages like length, and playoff experience.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    That was at nbk. Taylor, maybe today Wade is but for the whole season Ellis has been obviously and significantly better.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Manu Ginobili is better then Monta Ellis at everything. 17PPG 3RPG 3APG – 23MPG. That is 27, 6, 5 if he played 36 minutes a night. Which would absolutely dwarf Monta Ellis’ numbers.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    I hate to bring up this topic, but in both Thunder games this week, where the score has been close down the stretch, OKC gets A LOT of favorable calls it seems. Maybe I’m imagining it, but every questionable call has seemed to go to the Thunder. Thoughts?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Ellis is not even having as good of a season as he did last year Lakeshow. idk wth your talking about. Dwyane Wade has clearly been better this season. In every way.

  • davidR

    ah nbk, not the stats thing again lol

  • davidR

    caboose, there have been questionable calls in way too many games this season. i think i remember reading that there are a lot of new refs this time? either way, i think the nba has the worst refs out in terms of judgement, consistency, and accuracy of calls of all the professional sports.
    which shouldn’t be the case, especially after the whole donaghy thing

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    But he doesn’t play those minutes. I was once told by a wise SLAM commenter that “we are not to use per 36 mins stats.” So throw that out. Manu can’t stay on the floor. Wade has been injured half the season. Wade is obviously better than Ellis. As is Manu, but they are not playing like it. So we don’t need to lie to ourselves.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Basketball also has the most referee involvement. I mean, there is just no way Basketball doesn’t have the worse refs. NO matter what. Basketball has way way more judgement calls then any other sport.

  • ClydeSays

    I love that PP almost dropped a triple double on a night when he was celebrated just for his scoring. Do your thing P2!

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Wade is playing like it. I understand that Manu is hurt and you can downgrade him for that, no argument for me. But Wade has played 16 games to Ellis’ 21, and he’s been better then Ellis all year.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    Soccer has the worst referees in any sport in the world. Anyone think Ray Allen or Joe Johnson are better than Ellis?

  • davidR

    what do you mean by referee involvement? just wondering

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Apart from scoring, assists and FT%, Wade has better numbers across the board than Ellis. Ellis also plays 4 more mintues and takes 2 more shots per game yet avgs only 1 more PPG than Wade. So how is Ellis better than Wade again?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    They blow their whistles more on judgement plays then any sport. Like Football has a ton of whistles, but there is no judgment involved, its just the players knees touch the ground so they blow the whistle to stop the clock. In basketball the refs have to make a decision if a play even deserves a whistle at all. Who the whistle will be on. And exactly what the call will be. Basketball referees have the hardest job of any of the refs or umpires in any sport.

  • davidR

    i’m not gonna say ellis is better than wade. BUT! ellis doesn’t have the luxury of playing with lebron and bosh.
    remember what monta’s numbers were when he played with baron and captain jack?

  • davidR

    but then again, wade was an absolute beast when he had the heat to himself

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I was gonna say David. We take LeBron and Bosh away from Wade and this conversation would be preposterous. Just like all of the “is Bosh an elite PF” conversations would be if he were still in Toronto.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Didn’t realize Wade was played in 16 games. Fair argument. Wade is better unless he’s injured, and sounds like your all saying he hasn’t been that injured so I concede. Ellis is number 3 though. Manu when he’s right is as good as Wade even. Manu is a freak.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Lol I wouldn’t go THAT far about Manu, but I am not arguing that POV

  • http://nba.com GP23

    Manu is a Hall of Famer

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    He was injured during the first few weeks but I think he’s been close to 100% the past 7-8gms which is why his numbers have picked up.

  • burnt_chicken

    no, nbk, wrong. Hockey refs have it harder- it’s a faster game by a country mile. Also, isn’t every ball/strike call a judgement call? because then there would be a TON more judgement calls in baseball, and that’s only factoring in calling the pitches.

  • http://espn.go.com/nba/recap/_/id/310203019/miami-heat-vs-orlando-magic Jukai

    Saying Many is better than Ellis is shaky right now. He was playing limited minutes because if you blow on him, he breaks. Severely underrated player of all time, but he’s old now… I’d take Ellis.
    He ain’t better than Wade though, whoa there.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    In terms of balls and strikes? yes those are all “judgement” calls. (Except Baseball Umps actually get fined for missing calls). Plus they aren’t interpreting contact of two people, they are calling a ball or strike based on where the ball passes over the plate. It’s a right or wrong, nothing really to speculate. It doesn’t have nearly as much to do with interpretation as basketball foul calls do, for example.

  • burnt_chicken

    or: try being the ONE guy calling a rugby match….

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Hockey Refs? How often do they blow their whistle? And what interpretation calls are they making? (I do not know a lot about Hockey)

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Jukai, I was just saying arguments can be made. Bored man. The order, when healthy, is obviously 1.Kobe, 2.Wade, 3. Ellis, 4. Manu, 5. Joe Cool.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I should have just said American professional sports. I didn’t know Rugby refs had anything to interpet. Don’t they only blow the whistle if someone is dead? (that is a joke people)

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Wade, Kobe, Manu, Ellis, Joe. (doesn’t look obvious to me)

  • http://espn.go.com/nba/recap/_/id/310203019/miami-heat-vs-orlando-magic Jukai

    I was watching some Rugby games at the gym… I was kinda disappointed… Europeans make it seem like it’s football without any armor, but it’s not. It looks more like wrestling. It’s tough and all, but no one is being tackled at a million miles an hour, they’re being wrestled to the ground.
    I also didn’t understand any of it, but hey, looked fun.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I said Rubio was Jason Kidd with slightly less athleticism back in 2008. Jukai and NBK remember.

  • http://espn.go.com/nba/recap/_/id/310203019/miami-heat-vs-orlando-magic Jukai

    I don’t see how Manu can be above Ellis now. I know how great he is in limited minutes, but he plays those limited minutes because of how hurt he always is. Saying “a healthy Manu” is like saying “a healthy Yao Ming” when comparing best centers. Yeah, if Manu is healthy and playing 35 minutes a game, he’s better than Ellis… but he will never be playing 35 minutes a game again. Ever. Even in his late 20s, when he was throwing down those flying dunks, you’d look at those knees and cringe… Last year he played about 30 minutes a game and was limping around the entire time. Now, I doubt he’ll play more than 25. He really is an all-time great, but his body just isn’t up for it anymore.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Manu has been severely overrated throught his career, just saying.

  • burnt_chicken

    to oversimplify, hockey refs have to observe a game involving constant contact, and then determine when that contact is not allowed, and how, and why not. I’m kind of at a loss to start explaining how hard it is to be a hockey ref, and how often they have to interpret player’s actions as being legal or otherwise. Constantly? would be my best guess. And that’s before even considering puck infractions, goalmouth infractions, etc. Also, I think the speed of the game only makes their job even harder. And they’re on skates. And sometimes being beaned with pucks. And having to deal with the wrath of pinko-hater extraordinaire Don Cherry.

  • http://espn.go.com/nba/recap/_/id/310203019/miami-heat-vs-orlando-magic Jukai

    Well, that’s false, but I’m not gonna bother arguing that. Gotta work, later everyone.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Jukai, I don’t have to explain to you why he doesn’t play heavy minutes do I? You realize San Antonio is coached by Gregg Poppovich, and all they do is win right? Manu does have a propensity to get injured at inopportune times, BUT he played 80 games last season, 75 the year before that, 44, 74, 75, 65, 74, 77, 79, 69. Pretty durable for a guy who is like “Yao Ming”

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Ellis is was more effective throughout a game. He can be counted on to be playing in every game for 40 mins if needed also. Those points make it hard to argue Manu is better. If your not there you can’t be better than someone who is there.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Sorry, that was me who posted as NBK at 2:31.
    Monta’s body control is crazy. And, he is great at using the P&R and coming off down screens already in attack position. Lots of players today waste the benefit of a down screen by not being able to attack or shoot as soon as they catch the ball. Monta doesn’t do that, then you add to that his off the bounce game is very nice. His main problem is that his jumper, while nice, isn’t automatic, and he tends to settle for his jumper too often. The Warriors could be so much better if Biedrins had lost his will to play.

  • davidR

    i think football has way more judgement calls than basketball. 22 players on the field at all times. refs have to judge what’s considered holding, illegal contact, pass interference (huge), roughing the qb, etc.
    plus, there’s the whole challenge a play thing.
    and more often than not, they get it right.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    burnt I don’t think you quite understand what I mean. I understand that Hockey can be harder to interpret, but how often do they really stop play and blow their whistle? Cuz it’s constant in basketball. A Basketball referee has more of an effect on the outcome of a game, due to their interpretations then in any other sport. Hockey is more physically demanding then anything to officiate, the hardest sport from an individual standpoint to referee because of the torrent pace and tiny puck (and the threat of being murdered by an errant shot) but they aren’t actually interfering with the game like a basketball referee does.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Remember a couple of seasons ago people were talking about Manu being just as good as Kobe? Well…that’s how you become overrated in my eyes.

  • http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1991-05-05/sports/1991125101_1_basketball-referees-professional-hockey-puck nbk

    click my name for an article about the difficulties and differences in refereeing the various major american professional sports.

  • burnt_chicken

    Jukai: watch this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsXTa7UCGlk
    The reason rugby players don’t smash into each other at a million miles an hour is because they are wearing short shorts, a shirt, a mouth guard, shoes and maybe ear muffs (to protect the ears from being TORN OFF in scrums). That’s it. Add the armour of football pads, and the form of contact changes immensely.

  • burnt_chicken

    in hockey, the whistle usually results in a player being sent to the penalty box for 2 minutes. Thus, your team plays shorthanded until the penalty has been served, or until the shorthanded team has been scored on. Given how hard it is to score in hockey even handed versus how much easier it is to score when your team has an extra player, ONE BAD call can drastically rewrite the course of action. If hockey refs blew their whistles all the time, not only would there be no flow, but the game would be unplayable. Thus, refs are always assessing whether or not to blow the play dead based on a serious-enough infraction to warrant it–and when they don’t it’s often because the ref has made the judgement that the infraction was not illegal enough to stop play. thanks for the link- the article is appreciated.

  • http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1991-05-05/sports/1991125101_1_basketball-referees-professional-hockey-puck nbk

    OH wow, good point. I wasn’t thinking about penalty minutes or any of that stuff. I made a bad assumption earlier. My Fault.

  • AdamD

    I think Manu is one of the smartest players, that’s the reason that he is so good. I would still take a healthy Ginobili over Ellis any day. It’s not just the scoring, it’s the way that he influences the whole game. Stats don’t always give the whole story. I think he is more likely to make a good choice with the game on the line. He is a very good closer. Also, as far as the rugby point, there are a ton of rules in rugby regarding how a tackle is made, who by, what point the player is released etc. It really is a tough game to officiate, there was massive controversy just this past weekend in the Ireland vs. Wales match, the referee made two questionable calls. In the aftermath however all of the players and coaches just moved on, there is a tremendous amount of respect for the refs in the sport. I think one of the things that helps is that the refs are mic’d up, so basically, everyone viewers, fans, players know exactly what their thinking is. I think that is a good thing.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Football refs get stuff wrong on every play. But they get a pass because there are so many players. Look at holding. I can tell you that holding happens on every play. I see it every play where Offensive linemen exceed the rules. And illegal contact happens all the time in the secondary on both sides of the ball.
    the difference is that most fouls do not happen where fans are watching the action. total opposite in the NBa.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I would take a healthy Manu over Monta too.
    But, I want to point out that in 2006 people thought Manu was as good or better than wade, which was just ludicrous. That’s how he’s overrated. Poeple always say “He could easily average 25!” Yeah, he could. But would the team win. If he was the centerpiece of a team like Wade or Bron or other superstars, what would that team look like record wise and could he produce for 70+ games? I don’t think so to be honest.

  • http://Www.slamonline.com TADOne

    I was racking my brain trying to think that there HAS to be a 2 guard better than ranking Monta at # 3, but there really isn’t. After Wade and Kobe it really gets watered down.

  • T-Money

    that’s a very good point, allen. i always believed that players had a “range” that was sometimes more important in assessing their level than the actual output. for example, al thornton played 37 mins and scored 17 pts in his second year in the league. but those numbers are outside of his range, meaning that a team can’t be successful with al dropping 17 and playing 37 minutes. his range is more like 8-10 points in 15-20 mins max. it’s the same thing with manu, if he is your featured guy taking 20 shots and trying to score 25 every night, you will be a 6th seed max.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    David Thorpe had a good breakdown of Lin’s game that was posted over at True Hoop. Folks should check it out. I always like Thorpe, even when I disagree with him because he typically explains his reasoning.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    T-Money
    Yeah, me and my homeboy assign players rankings 1-5 and basically talk about how your team’s success depends on what time of mixture of players you have. And, how if a player is miscast a role they don’t have the game for it will affect your team in the long run.
    It’s why a player like Bosh was miscast as a 1, but is amazing as 2, and inconsistent as a 3. Each role takes a certain mindset.

  • http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1991-05-05/sports/1991125101_1_basketball-referees-professional-hockey-puck nbk

    Hey me and my boy do something similar with players Allen. Weird.

  • davidR

    in that case allen, monta is a 1 for the warriors, would be better off as a 2, and would be the deadliest player in the league as a 3

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    David
    Nah, he would struggle as a 3. Not enough shots to get his rhythm and make sure his jumper is falling.

  • davidR

    well, he was a 3 behind baron and stephen jackson. his numbers were insane that year (shooting 53% as a shooting guard).

  • http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1991-05-05/sports/1991125101_1_basketball-referees-professional-hockey-puck nbk

    We had that conversation about Monta last year didn’t we? I can’t see him being successful as anything other then the 1st option. He just needs a lot of really good players around him. He’s like A.I. lite.

  • http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1991-05-05/sports/1991125101_1_basketball-referees-professional-hockey-puck nbk

    I don’t think he viewed himself as an “alpha male” type player in 09. His mindset has changed, I doubt he could revert back to a role, pick your spots type scorer.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Good point David R. Maybe you’re right. But he was a youngin’ then. I don’t see the Monta of today, who takes Monta shots, being ok with getting dropped back to third fiddle. But maybe I’m wrong.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Damn, missed NBK’s comment. He said what I was going to say.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    If he could though… He would be a greaaat third man or even a 6th man as a third option.

  • http://slamonline.com. datkid

    wasn’t he an off-the bench spark plug for the we-believe warriors? he was pretty efficient then. isn’t that kind of the same thing as being a 3?

  • davidR

    nbk & allen,
    i was gonna mention the mindset too. i’m really not too sure if he can revert to being the 2nd or 3rd option like you guys mentioned.
    something tells me he’d be willing to defer though. lately, he’s been creating offense for others more than for himself. that’s why his scoring numbers have gone down, but his assists have gone up. he decided to take the thunder game over though.
    on a sidenote, monta and kwame brown had a decent 2 man game going before the injury.

  • http://www.t-mac.com/tmac/index unf*ckwitable

    @Jukai, watch some Rugby LEAGUE, its a lot more like nfl without pads then Rugby union.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Manu is not an all timer…
    My goodness.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Y’all see that BYU video of the comedian in black face. Yeah, ok.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Yep, I was like that clown doesn’t look black. Dude must have fell in some mud. Also it was in Utah, so…..

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Yeah Allen, what a bunch of filthy, disgusting, racists those kids were. Man oh man.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    @Allenp yeah it was simply terrible.

  • Allenp

    The kids were just ignorant. Horribly and terribly ignorant of basic American history. That should concern thinking adults.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    @ jukai: Let me help you out. Rugby is football minus downs, pads, and forward passing, so basically it’s just keep-away with two teams lateraling the whole time. Also there are scrums, which are rugby face-offs. That’s about all I know about the sport, but yeah. Not that I’m hating–it really is a simpler game.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Oh and they dropkick the ball by first letting it bounce on the grass. I think.

  • http://www.t-mac.com/tmac/index unf*ckwitable

    Lin is balling again, ORANGE is gonna be unbearable.

  • jimmer

    players kick the ball forwards in rugby, that, and lateral passing, is how you move the ball up field. It’s not simpler, it’s just different. the individual sets coming out of scrums are simpler than in the NFL, but the game doesn’t stop every 17 seconds for people to be told what to do, meaning it is an absolute grind, requiring a lot of focus to remain fluid and effective in attack and retreat. Also the, bodly slam tackles aren’t as frequent, of course, but its constantly being involved in the maul (rolling scrum not from a set piece) that gets your hands, face, arms and legs studded and cut to sh*t for 80 minutes, causing all the blood. (plus biting and gouging, but that’s less frequent than is suggested, its normally only 1 person per team up to those tricks)

  • Justin G.

    co-sign JTaylor@2:33. Manu has been so overrated for so long now it’s laughable. As for referees, just because hockey officials don’t blow their whistles as much as a basketball referee doesn’t mean they don’t have as much impact. A referee makes a bad call on a penalty and now one team is down a man for the next two minutes minimum. I think post play alone is the hardest for any referee to call accurately. And as I’ve said before, the lockout did have an effect on the refs because they’re reffing 4-5 games a week as well and it’s not always the same crew. These guys are going to be just as tired from the travel, the 48 minutes up and down the court each night. Sometimes they’re not going to get into the right position to make the right call. For example, a guy is on his fourth night of travel and reffing games and midway through the fourth quarter Derrick Rose steals the ball. Is he going to keep up with Rose every time and get into position to call a foul on the break? Probably not. As much as we give the players flack for not playing well and attributing it to fatigue and the lockout, the refs deserve the same considerations

  • bobbyD

    A shoulder charge tackle without wrapping your arms around the player is illegal in Rugby Union. It is however legal in Rugby League. Both codes are truly “hard” sports, but the hits and impact are harder in Rugby League and it’s a faster game too. Search rugby league big mean hits on youtube.

  • el_larsen

    congrats to paul pierce !

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    They say that collisions in football are the equivalent of small car crashes. So you’re in a constant car crash for three hours. Particularly offensive linemen, running backs and linebackers. Crazy.

  • hoopstopia
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