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Reading is Great! Monday’s NBA News, Rumors, and Weekend Updates

December 15, 2008

Reading in the Bookmobile is GREAT!

- MLive – Richard Hamilton: “I don’t get posted up.”
- NY Daily News – Could Steve Nash be reunited with Mike D’Antoni next year in NYC?
- The Bob Boozer Jinx – The Milwaukee Bucks pity party officially ends… now.
- Memphis Commercial Appeal – Another attempt to stick it to Portland’s salary cap.
- Sports and the City – He rebounded on Saturday, but boy was VC awful on Friday.
- Blazers Blog – When Charles Barkley speaks, Greg Oden should listen.
- Both Teams Played Hard – For Eddy Curry, this is just a late-night snack.
- Truth About It – Eddie Jordan may not be unemployed much longer.
- Ballerblogger – Ron Artest as model of inefficiency for the Houston Rockets.
- Yahoo! Sports – After 20 years, Jerry Sloan is still doing his thing well in Utah.
- Waiting for Next Year – Big Z isn’t exactly a big hit with All-Star voters this year.
- FanHouse – Andre Miller might be following Mo Cheeks out the door.
- HoopsHype – No matter what happens with AI, the future is bright in Detroit.
- Bright Side of the Sun – The Steve Kerr Moron Meter is now up and running.

No CommentsPosted by Brian Spencer on Dec. 15, 2008 at 5:23pm in NBA

NBA Photo Friday – Keep an Eye on This Kid

December 12, 2008

Larry Bird: College Basketball’s Secret Weapon

No CommentsPosted by Andrew Thell on Dec. 12, 2008 at 10:32am in NBA

Chris Paul, the NBA’s Premier Thief

December 11, 2008

Chris Paul the CatburglarChris Paul’s exploits on the offensive end of the floor hanve been well documented, and rightfully so. He’s the best floor general in basketball, and it’s not really close. We haven’t seen a point with his combination of offensive prowess, game-management ability and distribution skills in the last decade – and that inlcudes two-time MVP Steve Nash, who has never matched Paul’s current 11.9 assist clip or his 53.6% field-goal shooting or his 20.3-point output in any season of his career.

Paul came out of the gate like gangbusters, breaking an NBA record for consecutive games at the start of a season with at least 20 points and 10 assists – a record that had been set by Oscar Robertson in 1968. In fact, after finishing second to Kobe Bean Bryant of the Lakers in MVP voting last season Paul has upped the ante by improving in nearly every statistical category – most notably that 53.6% shooting, up from an already solid 48.8% a season ago.

But most of us know what Paul does on the offensive end, no ink has been spared in singing his praises there. What we may not hear enough about are his exploits on the defensive end of the floor. We may be hearing more about it soon. He’s about to (knock on wood) set the NBA mark for consecutive games with a steal.

Why setting the record would be extra sweet for Paul after the jump…

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No CommentsPosted by Andrew Thell on Dec. 11, 2008 at 8:40pm in NBA

Meet Allen Iverson, NBA Punching Bag

December 11, 2008

Two guys with problemsAllen Iverson has taken his fair share of blows over the years both on the court and from the media, but perhaps nothing like the criticism that’s been leveled his way since joining the Detroit Pistons over a month ago.

To hear NBA writers, bloggers, fans, and broadcasters tell it, A.I. is a washed-up, me-first has-been who upon arriving in Detroit promptly went about infecting the franchise with his deadly black cancer, an infliction so pervasive that the only cure remains completely eradicating its source.

Iverson’s past successes and will to win have even been called into question, and with the Denver Nuggets doing so well since his departure–they’re 14-4 with Chauncey Billups in tow–and the Pistons stinking up the joint (7-9 with Iverson in the lineup), it’s hard to argue with the scores of critics picking at every little crack in Iverson’s armor like ravenous vultures.

Beyond the mounting losses and roster disarray we’re seeing in Detroit at the moment, Iverson’s raw stats with the Pistons are further provoking the feeding-frenzy: through 16 games A.I. has posted career-lows in per-game minutes (37:12), points (17.3), field-goal attempts (14.4), and free-throw attempts (6.1). His sub-40% field-goal percentage is the second lowest of his career, and he’s been repeatedly torched by opposing point guards such as Devin Harris and Randy Foye.

Everybody seems to indeed have an opinion about Allen Iverson right now, and none of them are complimentary. He’s like Mike Tyson stepping into the ring against Buster Douglas and getting tenderized into a soft pulp of disappointment, failure, and unfulfilled expectation. Stick a fork in him, A.I. is done and so are the Pistons.

Well, not so fast.

More on Allen Iverson, the NBA’s new punching bag, after the break….

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11 CommentsPosted by Brian Spencer on Dec. 11, 2008 at 4:55am in ETB Articles, NBA

Reading is Great! All the News, Notes, Natterings and Giveaways You Can Handle

December 10, 2008

Stormtroopers Make Reading Fun!

ESPN – The Wizards made off like bandits with Javaris Crittenton.
The Hoop Doctors – Create a caption, win a Steve Nash jersey. Done and done.
20 Second Timeout – Breaking down the Lake Show’s D with their assistant coaches.
Ball Don’t Lie – KD asks us to remember the good times with McHale.
Yahoo! – “McHale approached him from behind in the locker room and rubbed his neck.”
Rocky Mountain News – Kevin McHale’s clipboard was, “like a little Etch and Sketch.”
Daily Motion – I have a new hero. His name is Remi, and he drives a kart.
AOL Fanhouse – Chauncey Billups and Nene have metaphorphisized the Denver Nuggets.
SLAM Online – Elite prep ballers are taking over the Chi Town next weekend. Be there.
Talking Points – Get used to Maggette, Warriors fans. He ain’t going nowhere for a long time.
NBA.com – Boston isn’t the only place they’re talking about 70 wins…
MLive – Will Bynum, Jamal Crawford and starting Amir again are the answers
Sactown Royalty – The Kings’ biggest win since Game 3 of the first round in 2006.

And finally, I leave you with Bron Bron busting out his finest Mailman impersonation:

No CommentsPosted by Andrew Thell on Dec. 10, 2008 at 6:03pm in NBA

Who’s Old and Who’s Not in the NBA

December 10, 2008

The oldest team in the NBA

Grumpy Old Men Photo Credit: Icon SMI

I read a lot of offhand comments from the NBA blogosphere and major media outlets alike that casually reference a collective team’s age; more often than not these comments amount to uninformed assumptions presented as fact. “The Timberwolves are really young,” “the Pistons are really old,” etc.

We all know the San Antonio Spurs are the only team in NBA history in which half of its active roster is already eligible to collect their retirement pension. And those upstart Portland Trail Blazers who are looking more and more dangerous as the season wears on are, clearly, a team whose nucleus is all in their early-20s. But beyond the obvious calls, how many people really know which franchises can truly be considered “young” and which ones qualify as “old?”

The truth may surprise you.

Now, I understand that simply looking at a given franchise’s average roster age doesn’t paint the entire canvas. Many teams are weighed down at the very ends of their respective benches by creaky, aging vets doing nothing more than cashing paychecks, or by “athletic” youngsters with no hope of ever making more meaningful contributions at this level than garbage-time dunks. Still, it seems there’s some perspective in order in the name of loose accuracy… or maybe just as a party trick on your next hot date. (“Ask me the average age of any NBA roster. Any roster. If you don’t believe me, look it up when you get home.”)

So without further ado, all 30 NBA teams ranked in order of youngest to oldest, with the average age next to each team name in parentheses. Huh… those “old” Pistons are actually younger than over half the league. The Hornets are the second-oldest team in the league. And just when you thought the Milwaukee Bucks couldn’t get any more depressing, they do–only five teams are older.

1. Golden State Warriors (23.8)
2. Portland Trail Blazers (24)
3. Memphis Grizzlies (24.4)
4. Oklahoma City Thunder (24.7)
5. Charlotte Bobcats (24.7)
6. Atlanta Hawks (25)
7. New Jersey Nets (25.4)
8. Utah Jazz (25.6)
9. Miami Heat (25.8)
10. Chicago Bulls (26)
11. Los Angeles Clippers (26.1)
12. Toronto Raptors (26.2)
13. Detroit Pistons (26.3)
14. Los Angeles Lakers (26.4)
15. Sacramento Kings (26.5)

See where the rest of the league’s rosters fall in the age bracket after the break…

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4 CommentsPosted by Brian Spencer on Dec. 10, 2008 at 9:38am in NBA

Fantasy Football – Week 15 Position Ranks

December 10, 2008

Congrats if you own Peyton Manning or Dominic Rhodes this week

Peyton Manning & Dominic Rhodes Photo Credit: Icon SMI

The 0-16-bound Detroit Lions are a fantasy owner’s best friend… that is, of course, if you own the skill players that are facing them and their “defense” on any given week. It’s no different this week with the forecast in Indianapolis calling for a bloodbath of epic offensive proportions when the Leos limp into the RCA Dome to face Peyton Manning and the high-powered Colts offense.

So to those of you who own Manning, Dominic Rhodes, Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison, Anthony Gonzalez, and Dallas Clark, you should theoretically have a leg up in your fantasy playoff matchup this week, at least on paper. Joseph Addai is a bit banged up and has been less effective than Rhodes recently, so we’re banking on this one being an early blowout and Addai sitting for the bulk of the game even if he does start.

As always this time of the year, keeping an eye on weather conditions becomes just as crucial as watching matchups, so don’t forget to check the weather reports between 10am – 12:30pm for the Sunday afternoon contests. The New Orleans Saints travel to Chicago to face the Bears and their 16th-ranked defense Thursday night; right now it looks a little shitty with highs in the upper-20s and 13+mph winds.

Good luck; next week is ETB’s final weekly position ranks of the season. Thanks for sticking with us.

Fantasy Week 15 – Top 20 Quarterbacks

Brees heads to Chicago

1. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts vs. DET
2. Kurt Warner, Arizona Cardinals vs. MIN
3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints @ CHI
4. Jay Cutler, Denver Broncos @ CAR
5. Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia Eagles vs. CLE
6. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers @ KC
7. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers @ JAX
8. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys vs. NYG
9. Matt Cassel, New England Patriots @ OAK
10. Brett Favre, New York Jets vs. BUF
11. Eli Manning, New York Giants @ DAL
12. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons vs. TB
13. Tyler Thigpen, Kansas City Chiefs vs. SD
14. Chad Pennington, Miami Dolphins vs. SF
15. Jake Delhomme, Carolina Panthers vs. DEN
16. Jason Campbell, Washington Redskins @ CIN
17. Kyle Orton, Chicago Bears vs. NO
18. David Garrard, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. GB
19. Kerry Collins, Tennessee Titans @ HOU
20. Jeff Garcia, Tampa Bay Bucs @ ATL

Rest of the Week 15 fantasy football ranks after the break…

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5 CommentsPosted by Brian Spencer on Dec. 10, 2008 at 5:43am in Fantasy Rankings, NFL, NFL Fantasy News

This Dwyane Wade Kid is Pretty Good

December 9, 2008

Battling shoulder and knee injuries, it’s been nearly two full years since we’ve seen Dwyane Wade’s MVP form. He’s back and better than ever. After torching the Charlotte Bobcats for 41 last night he’s averaging career highs points (29.5), assists (7.5), steals (2.3!), blocks (1.7!), threes (0.9), and field-goal percentage (49.9%). Those of you who gambled and used a first-round pick on the oft-injured guard have been handsomely rewarded with the best player in fantasy hoops.

Back in October we said of the Southwest, “Barring a superhuman effort from D-Wade (and after watching the Olympics, let’s not be too hasty to rule it out) the division figures to be headed up once again by the Magic of Orlando and the Bullets of Washington.” Flash is bringing the superheroics. The Wizards? Not so much. Miami is currently an impressive 12-9 and sits in the Eastern Conference’s 7th seed. They’re also a hell of a lot of fun to watch with Wade, Shawn Marion and super-rookies Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers running the floor like a herd of antelopes.

If you need any further proof that Wade’s explosiveness and hops are back in full, just ask Emeka Okafor for his expert opinion on Flash’s posterizing skills…

Hat tip to The Hoop Doctors for the find

No CommentsPosted by Andrew Thell on Dec. 9, 2008 at 11:55am in NBA

McHale Fires Wittman, Appoints Only Successor He Can Trust to Maintain Minnesota’s High Standards of Ineptitude

December 8, 2008

Kevin McHale: Inexplicable

“Hey, why not?”

Kevin McHale Photo Credit: Icon SMI

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune this afternoon, “The Timberwolves fired head coach Randy Wittman this morning and replaced him with Vice President of Basketball Operations Kevin McHale, but the big news out of Target Center is that McHale will relinquish his front-office duties to concentrate on coaching.”

It should come as no surprise to anyone that Randy Wittman was relieved of duty as head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves today. The Wolves were 4-15 under Wittman this season and 38-105 overall since he was hired. They were also coming off an embarrassing 23-point loss at home to the Clippers, perhaps the worst team in basketball. In fact, it was criminal that Wittman was asked to helm the ship for another go-nowhere campaign – but then again, with Kevin McHale calling the shots decisions of criminal incompetence have become par for the course.

What is surprising, but perhaps should not be, is who McHale named as Wittman’s successor. Borrowing a play out of Isiah Thomas’s book, Big Kev named himself as the next head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Again. You’ll recall that he went 19-12 in the final 31 games of 2004-05 after firing Flip Saunders. In typical McHale fashion there was a complete lack of foresight and planning and no successor had been groomed or considered in the last few seasons. And with typical Glen Taylor frugality on the sidelines, we have to wonder if simply not wanting to pay anyone factored into the decision.

Why Wittman had to go, after the jump…

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1 CommentPosted by Andrew Thell on Dec. 8, 2008 at 11:49pm in NBA

NBA Photo Friday – KG and Starbury Got Next

December 5, 2008

Stephon Marbury and Kevin Garnett Got Next

No CommentsPosted by Andrew Thell on Dec. 5, 2008 at 2:40pm in NBA

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