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Archive for October, 2008

No More Early Madness

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Big Blue Madness

Apparently, people are going to have to find another reason to complain about UK basketball now that the NCAA implemented an “emergency rule” stipulating schools are no longer to hold “opening night festivities” before the NCAA’s alloted date. While other schools took advantage of the now-closed loophole, Kentucky took the brunt of the criticism.

The two-hour rule is still in effect, but these practices will no longer be public.

For those still wanting to gripe about Billy Gillispie, there’s always the Daniel Orton situation. Expect a ruling from the NCAA concerning that little loophole as well.

Um, Yao?

Last Rockets post of the day. Promise. It’s not often you get to see a 7’6″ basketball player get stuffed by the rim on a dunk attempt — until now, courtesy of Yao Ming (via Tirico Suave). It’s almost like seeing a futbol player miss a wide-open goal: It’s more shocking than it is funny. At first, anyway.

Brilliant choice of song, guys. Anyway, how in the hell did that happen? Can’t he dunk off of his tip-toes? Oh well, at least he has the excuse of getting fouled. Still. Yao, you can’t miss dunks. Not at your size.

Ron Artest to the Rescue?

Ron Artest

Is this a kinder, gentler Ron Artest we are witnessing? Doubtful … but there is something to be said about last night’s technical foul business against the Mavericks. What we have is Yao getting tangled up with Josh Howard and Ron-Ron running in to actually pull Yao away — after making contact with Howard.

Let’s go to the video:

Where do you stand? Did Artest deserve the technical or was this a case of guilty until proven innocent? I’m thinking no, but does the fact his reputation does proceed him — directly or otherwise. Maybe the refs were simply reacting to the way he ran up to Howard and Kidd, or maybe Reggie’s right: perhaps some latent memories about Ron remain.

Nevertheless, the Rockets beat the Mavs last night and Artest’s 29 point, 7 rebound effort contributed nicely. Is this the start of something beautiful for Ron, or, like a friend texted me last night, is Ron one elbow away from black-out style violence?

NBA Tonight – Is Houston Ready For Liftoff?

Yao

A few of us out there eschewed conventional wisdom and picked the Houston Rockets to represent the Western Conference in the NBA Championship, myself included. Hell, I even picked them to win it all, but I think that had as much to do with me not wanting to pick Lakers over whoever like everyone else. Whatever. Kenny Smith agrees with me, by the way.

Yao!!! More Rockets after the jump >>

Your Preseason Top 25

Hansbrough

The first preseason top 25 poll for college basketball is out and surprise, surprise, North Carolina is the top-ranked team. Shocking, really — especially when you consider the paltry roster. Nevertheless, there they are, atop the preseason college basketball world. Even better, no other team received a single first-place vote.

The complete poll after the jump >>

D’Antoni Ball A Hit in New York

D'Antoni

Surprise, surprise. Mike D’Antoni ball is an immediate hit in New York. Of course, these things happen when you score 120 point right out of the gate of the franchise’s latest bid for recovery. Everything D’Antoni did last night — from “humiliating” Starbury and benching Eddie Curry to handling the cardiac ending where his Knicks almost allowed the Heat to come storming back — D’Antoni looks like exactly what the doctor ordered … for one game, anyway.

While Marbury being benched is the focus of the game’s aftermath, there is a new energy around the Knicks and has long as they stay entertaining this season, expect the good vibes to continue. It’s doubtful folks will expect the Knicks to immediately turn the page and become a winning franchise again, but bringing excitement to the fans that have been begging for something positive to happen the Knicks is the next best thing. Hell, even Gus Johnson got excited — surprise — by what he saw.

Wilson Chandler had a hand in getting the Johnson and the home crowd hyped with this nasty put-back:

If you can’t be champions, at least try to be exciting.

There are still a lot of questions D’Antoni still has to deal with, like the Marbury matter, but today, it’s highly doubtful Knicks fans are feeling one drop of last season’s pain.

Greg Oden Has A Sprained Foot

Oden Ankle

OK, Portland fans. You can come in off the ledge now because Greg Oden’s injury isn’t as bad as many feared. The MRI results revealed a mid-lateral right foot sprain, which is expected to sideline the rookie center for two to four weeks. While this news will doubtfully silence the “Oden = Walton” talk — he’ll have to play without injury for that to happen — it certainly has to be considered good.

At least it wasn’t a stress fracture, the same thing that helped shorten Sam Bowie’s — remember him? — career.

Brett Myers: All is Forgiven?

Brett Myers and Wife
Mister and Mrs. Myers

I read this little passage and I think it’s fitting: “Winning forgives just about everything, from a disagreeable personality to breaking the rules.” If you need a refresher as to why this post is going up, read more here.