May 2, 2008
“The Joke’s on You, Jason Kidd” Photo Credit: Icon SMI
A recent commenter suggested we compile our favorite articles from this past NBA season and I thought:
what a great way to make an easy filler post what a great way to expose our newer readers to some of our best content from the NBA regular season. It’s been a quiet couple of days in the league with series ending in predictable fashion and fans gearing up for the kickoff of the second round this Saturday. Things should really heat up this weekend, and we’ll be rolling out our series previews shortly, but in the meantime enjoy some of our most popular and controversial content from the last six months:
ETB’s NBA Prediction-O-Rama: Before the season started, and long before the Miami implosion, the Pau Gasol Trade and the meteoric rise of Chris Paul we put ourselves on the line with our bold and daring picks for Individual Awards, Team Awards, Gut Feelings and the all-important Over/Unders.
Some of these picks look pretty good (KG for Defensive POY, Al Jefferson for breakout PF, Dwyane Wade to have a bust season, Ronnie Brewer to bust out, Miami to miss the postseason)…and some don’t (Yao Ming will finally stay healthy, Chicago to win the Central, Dallas to win it all, expecting 68+ games from Gilbert). Hey, hindsight is always 20/20.
That’s a Wrap, Folks: Summing Up the 2007-08 NBA Regular Season In 36 Lists: And after all the dust had settled in the regular season, ETB dished and swished a summary of the 2007-08 NBA season with 36 styling and profiling lists that are sure to have you movin’ and groovin’. It’s all you need to know about who was hustling and muscling, bounding and astounding, stumbling and bumbling, and spinning and winning in the regular season.
Does Anybody in NBA History Better Personify “Petulance” than Shaquille O’Neal?: Almost anybody who’s even somewhat plugged into Western culture knows who Shaquille O’Neal is. He remains bigger than life and sometimes bigger than the game that made him famous. Nobody can take away or diminish his significant accomplishments. But why does he still rarely give credit to an opponent that bests him? Why is he still considered just a big, lovable goof? And why does he still get a free pass from the media and basketball fans alike despite his childish, boorish, and often inappropriate behavior?
Is Two-Time MVP Steve Nash Overrated?: He’s unquestionably the catalyst which has transformed Phoenix’s offense into the best and most exciting in the NBA over the last four seasons. In terms of just smooth passing skills, court vision, ball-handling and pure shooting Nash is the best player in the league. I’m not taking any of that away from him. The fact remains, however: on the defensive end of the end of the floor Steve Nash is one of the worst liabilities in the league.
We’re Not Leaving the House Until You Change: 20 Fugly Items From the NBA Store: Perhaps the NBA Powers That Be should consider exercising a little quality control when it comes to the items for sale in the NBA.com Store. I know, the piles of wasted stitching and fabric would be enough to make even the most callous sweatshop driver weep. But there comes a time when you just have to admit that you’re never going to sell any of those goddamn plush dinosaur hats…
Plenty more NBA goodness from the ETB vault after the jump…
Tweaking the NBA Rules: Six Ideas to Make The League Even Better: Counting charges drawn as steals, de-emphasizing free-throw shooting at the end of close games, stopping flopping, The Kevin McHale Rule, and more.
Production Budget Low: A Video Homage to Local Market NBA Commercials: Trainwreck. That’s what happens nine times out of ten when you mix a professional athlete, a local product/service, and a low-production budget for a commercial. We understand that associating one’s celebrity status with a given brand has proven successful over the years, but sometimes the local ad guys should consider leaving such endeavors to the Nikes and Pepsis of the world.
Late-Season Revelations: Seven Guys Who Didn’t Emerge Until After the All-Star Break: Singing the praises of Rodney Stuckey, Ramon Sessions, J.R. Smith, Louis Scola, Al Thornton and others for busting out in the season’s second half.
The NBA’s Seven Most Improved Players: Hedo Turkoglu took home the MIP award this season, and he was certainly among the most improved. Only one player each season is ultimately recognized for taking his game to new levels, but for this piece we were not as much interested in picking the most improved player, but simply breaking down seven guys who’ve made significant strides compared to previous campaigns.
Quiet Heroics: The NBA’s Best Glue Players: It’s about the guys who don’t take all the shots, don’t get hyped as one of their team’s best players and often aren’t even considered for the All Star team — and yet they manage to be pivotal in a good team’s performance each night with hustle, defense, leadership, selfless play, grit and all-around games that complement the big scorers and big names on their squad.
This Time It’s Personal: The NBA’s Top Twelve Comeback Players of the Year: The NBA doesn’t technically have a Comeback Player of the Year award anymore, but we weren’t going to let that stop us from recognizing these dozen gamers who returned from the void to produce solid seasons for their respective teams. In order to be considered for this list each player had to fulfill two criteria: 1) they had to have been a good, or at least useful, player at some point in the past and 2) they had to be coming off one or more bad seasons as the result of either a serious injury or a sub-par performance.
The Case for Kobe: Why Kobe Bean Bryant Deserves the NBA MVP Award: We’ve come a long way since the contentious summer in Los Angeles when most NBA observers thought there was a slim chance that Kobe Bryant would finish this season in a Lakers jersey. Los Angeles has gone from the graveyard of Bryant’s talent, a place where his considerable skills would waste away, to potential favorites to win the NBA title.
Fading Fast: Five NBA Players Whose Game Fell Off a Cliff During the 2007-08 Season: What the hell happened to Kirk Hinrich, Ben Wallace, Stephon Marbury, Mike James and Eddy Curry?
Untapped Potential: Ten NBA Players We Want to See on the Court More Often: Back in January we listed some of our favorite players who simply weren’t getting enough playing time. Some of them, like J.R. Smith and Louis Williams, got a boost in minutes down the stretch. We’re still left wondering what others like Sean Williams, Gerald Green, Craig Smith and Rodney Carney could do with a little more tick.
ETB’s 100% Spectacular Vernacular Midseason NBA Award Program Special for Big News Basketball Stars Today: Yes, we’re fond of lists here at ETB. For All Star week we kicked off the festivities with a very special awards… special. We celebrated the holiday by picking some of the best, worst and most surprising stories in the season’s first half, letting you know which players to avoid at the nightclub and defining that enigma wrapped in a fortune cookie known as Stephon Marbury. A joint venture of Matsumura Fishworks and Tamaribuchi Heavy Manufacturing Concern.
Room for Improvement: Ten NBA Players Poised for Better Things Down the Stretch: In the middle of February we pulled out our crystal ball(s) and tried to predict who would blow up in the later stages of the regular season. We’re pleased with the predictions on Al Thornton, Hakim Warrick, Brandon Bass, Randy Foye and the young Sixers. We’ll take a mulligan on the Kirk Hinrich and Dorell Wright selections.
Protecting the Basket: The NBA’s Eight Absolute Best Guardians of the Rim: ETB took a day to honor the best shot-blockers and interior defenders in the league. Marcus Camby, Kevin Garnett, Dwight Howard, Josh Smith and Andrei Kirilenko were slam dunks. Some of the other selections proved a little more controversial.
Jason Kidd, the Newest Dallas Maverick?: We hate to say “I told you so” … wait a minute, nevermind, we love to say “I told you do.” So after the Maverick’s second consecutive embarrassing loss in the first round, we told you so Dallas. It’s obvious the rangy, young Devin Harris would have had a lot more success staying in front of Chris Paul.