I thought featuring a highlight video of some of CP3′s greatest hits would help hammer the message home about keeping your stars happy. Just watching him perform feat after feat of on-court wizardry shows how valuable to a potentially floundering franchise he really is. With that in mind, when the New Orleans’ front office decides to do a little bit of basketball housecleaning, perhaps asking the thoughts of their franchise player is a prudent move, especially when you are trying to convince potential fans to come watch your games.
Paul is unhappy with the way the Byron Scott firing went down, and as a franchise player, he thinks he should be at least consulted before the powers that be make drastic decisions that directly affect the on-court product, and he let his feelings be known:
“I felt like, maybe somebody would have at least consulted with me and asked how I felt before it happened,” Paul told the New Orleans Times-Picayune after Scott’s firing was formally announced. “It’s not to get my approval, but we feel we should know about the decision before it takes place.”
Does this mean Paul wanted the Hornets to keep Scott around? Not necessarily. What Paul is saying — rightfully so, I might add — is that when you are going to shuffle the team’s deck in such a drastic manner, perhaps their best, most marketable player should be consulted, or at least informed before the team makes the news public.
Considering job one for general manager, and now interim head coach, Jeff Bower is convincing Paul to stay in New Orleans when his contract is up, he might want to think about keeping his star happy, or at least make him feel like he’s a part of the franchise outside of his stellar ability and on-the-court play.
No, this is not McDonald’s redux’ing their Larry Bird/Michael Jordan HORSE commercial. It’s simply Chris Paul being awesome by displaying one of the nastier “make this if you can” trick shots you’ll see. At least for this week. What we need now is a full-on HORSE competition featuring Paul, LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant and the guys from Dude Perfect.
In other news, the NBA is a lot closer than you might expect. Try October 27th.
And in other news, the NBA’s official site now has embeddable videos; however, we’re still waiting for the MLB and NFL to catch up with this whole online video thing. Speaking of, the lead video is of Kenyon Martin and his dunk that essentially opened the game, not to mention the absolute can of, well, whoop-ass the Nuggets poured all over the Hornets. 58 point whippings? Was this game played on a Playstation — you know, where the young kids beat the hell out of adults who have no business playing video games against “we play all the time” competition?
The last time anyone saw such an NBA Playoff beatdown was in 1956; and until last night’s 121-63 bust, that was the only time such a lopsided win was recorded.
Granted, they haven’t played a game in New Orleans yet, but after their first two series wins against Chris Paul and the gang, the Denver Nuggets legitimately look like the second best team in the Western Conference. Furthermore, if they keep playing like this — especially on offense — they could very well challenge the mighty Lake Show in Los Angeles; perhaps even taking them to a Game 7.
But that’s a story for another time.
Last night, it was all Denver, led again by Chauncey “I Enjoy Schooling Chris Paul” Billups and his 31 points and zero turnovers, which equals the amount of turnovers Billups has committed in the series so far. Billups was not alone; however. Carmelo chipped in with 22 points and 9 assists, and from where I was watching, the Hornets do not have an answer for either Billups or Anthony.
David West was too busy trying to handle Kenyon Martin’s defense, James Posey didn’t have much success, and Peja Stojakovic has no business trying to defend a player of Carmelo Anthony’s ability. As for Chris Paul, well, he simply can’t guard Billups — hence the Rasual Butler assignment. Of course, that didn’t work too well either as Billups continues to play with his “Finals MVP” swagger. Maybe some of this will change when the Hornets play in their home arena, but I’m not sure how a group of rowdy fans is going to make you defend better.
Perhaps the home crowd will make the Hornets play with more effort on defense, but they just don’t match up that well with the Nuggets. No amount of crowd noise is going to change that.
36 points, 8 assists, 8-9 from behind the 3-point line: All in a day’s work for the Denver Nuggets point guard, who, during last night’s beatdown of Denver, took everybody’s favorite point guard — Chris Paul — to NBA Playoff school. Billups dominated in a way most basketball experts expect Paul to. Not that Paul didn’t give great effort. He did. However, the Nuggets were just too much for a team featuring Chris Paul, David West, and, well, not much else.
And when Billups is hitting like he was, it’ll be lights out for most teams unfortunate to play the Nuggets. As for the Hornets, Game 2 is Wednesday night. Even though it was only one game, the series already looks like a Denver win if Paul can’t single-handedly will the Hornets over the Nuggets.
Considering the lack of comparable talent, Denver might just sweep.
And now the NBA goes from “fantastic” to “amazing” thanks to the start of the NBA Playoffs (tomorrow afternoon). This year, however, could be one of the more anti-climatic road to the Finals as there are two teams head and shoulders above the rest of the playoff group. Obviously, I’m talking about Cleveland and Los Angeles — or Kobe and LeBron if you wish. In the Eastern Conference, it’s, thanks to the troubled knee of Kevin Garnett, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the rest of the gang. Thanks to injuries, the two teams — Orlando and Boston — that would be in the best position to challenge LeBron and the crew, well, aren’t.
Out west, the Lakers reign supreme, and even though the Western Conference playoff “bracket” is chock full of good teams, are any of them capable of beating Kobe and the gang in a seven-game series? Doubtful. Not with a healthy Andrew Bynum to go with Bryant and Gasol. With all of that in mind, here’s our little preview of the first-round match ups. Starting with the West:
In order for New Orleans to get their sixth win in a row last night, the Hornets had to go through the Dallas Mavericks. Apparently, Chris Paul took that advice to heart, so he demonstrated what he learned as he went around Jason Terry in the open court, courtesy of a filthy between-the-legs dribble. Not his own, however. He dribbled through Jason Terry’s.
Just another day on the job for Paul, who finished with 27 points, 15 assists (accounting for at least 57 of New Orleans’ 104 points). As for the Hornets, after last night’s win, they are now two games back of the overall second seed for the Western Conference playoffs, trailing only Denver and San Antonio. Of course, the Lakers have the overall lead by almost nine games. Don’t see any of those three teams catching Kobe and the Gang.
However, the idea of a New Orleans/Los Angeles conference final does sound incredibly appetizing (no offense to the Nuggets or the Spurs).
Unfortunately for the Pacers, they left just enough time on the clock for some Chris Paul heroics, and boy, that’s just what they got. Paul is not known as a 3-point specialist, although he is shooting a respectable 35 percent from behind the arc. Nevertheless, leaving the most dangerous player on the floor open like that was puzzling. Maybe next time, the Pacers defenders can jump out after they are picked at the top of the key.