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Archive for April, 2009

This Is How Duke Does It

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This, my friends, is Duke basketball’s attempt to “hip their program up and sell it to the young folk,” if I may borrow from David Cross. It’s a not a bad video, although, it seems to be a subconscious acknowledgment from the program that they understand the public perception of Duke outside of ESPN and Durham. They also understand they are second in popularity when it comes to being the favorite program of the state they reside in. That designation obviously belongs to the National Champions from the campus down the street. The video also highlights Duke’s NBA-friendly approach, while using folks like Grant Hill and Shane Battier as examples.

Oh, there’s some floor-slapping going on as well — would you expect anything less?

Of course, this could all be a recruiting pitch to mega-recruit, John Wall, a player every coach in America seems to covet. Even Coach K.

H/t to Bomani Jones for the find.

Where Hornets Fans Feel Robbed Happens

I was drawn to this video via the Star Wars-style crawl and stuck around to see what was being said. Um, no, the Hornets were not robbed, unless you consider getting completely outplayed being robbed. The contention is the referees would call a foul on New Orleans every time they made a run, which, in turn, took the wind out of the Comeback Kids’ sails.

I’m sorry, but you are going to have to find another culprit when your opponent beats you by a total of 79 points in the final two games of the series. Perhaps something like, “Denver was completely the better team and the Hornets just got caught in their wake of awesomeness.” Anything would be more appropriate than blaming the officials.

At least in the this case.

Chicago Bulls fans? Sure, they can argue double-standards (Rondo’s non-suspension as opposed to Howard’s one-game banishment) until they turn blue in the face, and they’d have a point. It wouldn’t help much, but their point would remain and have validity to it. Hornets fans, on the other hand, need to take Denver’s cumulative ass-whippings like adults and just hope the front office finds some help for Chris Paul during the offseason.

Blaming the officials — especially in a series as lopsided as Denver/New Orleans — is awfully weak. I do, however, admire the subterfuge being attempted by the video’s creator. No one will know the face of the man behind the “Officials Robbed the Hornets” meme, nor should they, apparently.

Where Please Let this Series End Happens

No offense to Miami or Atlanta, but you guys need to hurry up and end your series. It would help if the teams would quit acting bi-polar as well. Each game has been decided by double-digits and just when you think a team has control over the series, the other wins. Currently, the ball is in Atlanta’s court after winning the last two games, giving them a 3-2 lead over the Heat. However, don’t be surprised if Miami wins Game 6 — a home game for the South Beach team — and we go to a Game 7.

Atlanta was paced by Joe Johnson, Josh Smith (and his magnificent flying machines) and Flip Murray, all of whom scored 20 points or more. While the first five games have been a little on the boring side, we may have some real drama on our hands for these final one or two games:

First off, one of the Atlanta radio commentators — Steve Holman of 790 The Zone — absolutely put Wade on blast after a series of hard fouls by both teams. Holman didn’t take kindly to what he considered Wade’s level of prima donna-hood and wasn’t shy about sharing his opinion about it. Larry Brown Sports has the audio for you.

And then, as the game was winding down, Josh Smith decided he’d try a between-the-legs dunk on a breakaway, which he subsequently missed. Nevertheless, the Heat took Smith’s dunk attempt as disrespect, indicating there’s absolutely no love lost between these two teams. Hopefully, some of that drama will come out in these final games, turning what has been a snooze-fest into some exciting theatre.

No Superman for Game 6

Dwight Howard

As expected, Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard has been suspended by the NBA for Game 6 of the Orlando/Philadelphia series. Howard earned his one-game exile by elbowing Sixers center Samuel Dalembert in the head. Game 6 is tomorrow night in Philadelphia, and without Howard and injured Courtney Lee — also courtesy of a Howard elbow — it’s hard to like the Magic’s chances.

Considering the damage Howard’s elbow caused in Game 5, maybe he should register them as lethal weapons, or, perhaps, weapons of mass destruction.

Jeresy Girls Don’t Like the Hurricanes

Jersey Girl Finger

And after that stirring comeback with about 80 seconds left in the game, can you blame them, really? Granted, she could’ve aimed her fingered response at Martin Brodeur for allowing what Barry Melrose referred to as two “soft goals” by, but seeing how she had to endure the Hurricanes celebrating right in front of her face, her response is understandable.

And it was found on ESPN’s flagship morning show, no less.

H/t to Observation Bubble for the find.

Bigger image.

Where Dwight Howard’s Elbow Happens

If Stan Van Jeremy thought life without Jameer Nelson was difficult, imagine how he’ll feel when Orlando and Philly go at it in Game 6 — most likely without Stan’s main man, Dwight Howard. As you can see in the video, Howard’s mountain-sized elbow made contact with Samuel Dalembert’s noggin… Because Superman threw it at him. Apparently, the roughhousing in the paint reached an irritating level for Howard, and so, he lost his composure for a moment, which will likely result in Howard being suspended for the next game.

More fun with Dwight Howard’s elbow after the jump >>

Rajon Rondo: Flagrant Foul or No?

Yes, Paul Pierce saved the Celtics’ bacon, Rajon Rondo was great again and Kendrick Perkins was an absolute beast inside, however, the story today is was Rondo’s face-slap foul against Brad Miller a flagrant foul? Opinions are completely divided here. One expert says yes (Jalen Rose), another says no (Tim Legler). One popular blog says yes, another no. You get the picture. So which is it?

The rules concerning flagrant fouls state:

After the jump >>

More Fireworks from Bulls and Celtics Tonight?

Ben Gordon’s hamstring is hurting, and there’s doubt concerning whether or not he’ll play against the Celtics tonight; and while the reports reads like a little bit of a sandbag — or, perhaps for dramatic impact — if Chicago doesn’t have Gordon, there’s a good chance Boston will repeat the beatdown they handed out in Game 3. Whatever happens with Gordon, hopefully, Rose and Rondo can provide another for-the-ages battle of the new Point Guard Order.

While the Bulls fortunes are riding a great deal on Gordon’s hammy, it would be wise if Boston could get a little more inside presence to go along with the new Big Three of Rondo, Pierce, and Allen — or at least, they’d like to keep whatever remains of it, after the Powe and Garnett injuries, out of foul trouble. This falls directly on Kendrick Perkins, who would benefit from avoiding any tripping fouls, especially if he’s in danger of being disqualified.

It would also help Boston’s cause if Big Baby doesn’t shoot 4-16 either.

If neither of these occur, Joakim Noah and Tyrus Thomas will maintain the upper hand they established in Game 4. Tip-off is in about two hours.