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Posts Tagged ‘Western Conference’

I Hope Blake Griffin Stays Healthy

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Blake Griffin

Yes, I’m aware of the caveats of preseason glory, but if Blake Griffin performs anywhere near the numbers he’s posting thus far, while remaining injury, the John Wall/Rookie of the Year coronation may not happen as expected. Don’t get me wrong, I fully expect Wall to dazzle, but if any rookie consistently posts a 15 and 12 stat line, it would be hard to overtake them. Griffin is, of course, returning from a knee injury that robbed him of his rookie season, and with the specter of the Curse of the Clippers hanging over him, it’s hard to be confident he’ll succeed where so many other Clipper high draft picks have not.

Just ask Danny Manning, among others.

Because of that, I’m hesitant to even enjoy his return to action, but the his athletic ability and the way he finishes at the rim pretty much makes that impossible. Yes, he can still dunk the ball like a beast:

Video after the jump >>

Shane Battier Got Beat Up

Shane Battier

While the Houston Rockets got an impressive Game 1 win against the Los Angeles Lakers last night, some of their players had to pay for the win with blood. Particularly, Shane Battier. Not only did the Rockets go-to defender have to check Kobe Bryant for most of the evening — while doing a respectable job — he paid a physical toll as well. Not only did he have to take a thigh to the face and an elbow the back of the head from Bryant, unintentional or not, Battier also took an elbow to the eyebrow from Sasha Vujacic.

The result was four stitches and a face full of blood. Video after the jump >>

Jason Terry Reminds Us: Only Two More Days of NBA

Jason Terry’s game-winning shot against Minnesota last night — specifically, Sebastian Telfair, who got absolutely faked out of his sneakers — not only won the game, but it also moved the Dallas Mavericks out of the dreaded eighth playoff spot. The Utah Jazz now face the prospect of playing Kobe and the gang when the playoffs start on Saturday. Oddly enough, Utah plays their last game of the season tonight against said Lakers in Los Angeles. If they want to entertain chances of not seeing them in the first round, the Jazz have to win tonight and hope Dallas loses to Houston on Wednesday.

These factors make Terry’s shot that much bigger. The Mavericks match up well with all of the teams fighting for the second seed; currently occupied by Denver. If they maintain their seventh seeding, provided New Orleans doesn’t lose their last game while Dallas wins, the Mavericks would be in a good position for a run to the Conference Finals.

Of course, the same logic is true for any Western Conference team in the second-seed side of the bracket.

In light of the all this Western Conference leap-frogging going on, it’s hard not to look at the Eastern Conference and all laugh. If Dallas, New Orleans or Utah played in the East, they’d be high seeds going into the playoffs, while teams like Chicago, Detroit, and Philadelphia would miss the playoffs entirely — unless they were allowed to defect to the Western Conference as reciprocation for losing the Jazz, Mavericks and Hornets.

If that happened, Chicago and Philly would push Golden State and Minnesota aside and Shaq would be Twittering about “carrying” Phoenix to the NBA Playoffs. With that in mind, perhaps this type of nonsensical realignment is best for all parties involved.

Did Carl Landry Break a Mirror?

Carl Landry

Being a Houston Rocket has been a taxing ordeal on Carl Landry. Last season, he got his tooth knocked out by Carlos Boozer and this morning, around 4:20 Houston time, Landry got shot in the leg while he was driving his car. Evidently, a car with two assailants hit Landry’s vehicle and when he got out to inspect the damage, one of the occupants fired two shots at Landry, one of which struck his leg. However, don’t think a simple “flesh wound” (as others have called it) is going to keep Landry on sidelines for long. In fact, Landry didn’t even require surgery after going through such an ordeal:

Landry, 25, was released after treatment at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center. A team spokesman said he suffered a flesh wound and is expected to be out of the lineup for one to two weeks.

That Carl Landry is one tough SOB. You knock his tooth out and later that night, he’s smiling and giving jovial interviews for the camera. Shoot him in the leg and all you get is flesh wounds and Landry being out for about for only a week or so. If this was an attempt to repeat the Nancy Kerrigan fiasco–hurting Landry to keep him out of the Rockets line-up–then you failed. Yeah, you put him on the shelf for a week or so, but according to reports, he’ll be just fine and ready for the NBA Playoffs.

Conversely, if this was just a random act of violence connected to an attempted robbery, the person who shot at Landry simply sucks at life. I know, that’s some really hard hitting analysis there, but sometimes, flowery words and long-winded essays about society aren’t necessary. Sometimes, telling the person(s) involved that they are way beyond contempt will suffice. Of course, jail time works as well, but that would mean catching the perpetrators–a doubtful proposition, considering the circumstances.

As for Landry, Henry Abbot is right: Dwight Howard should relinquish his Superman cape and allow the Rockets power forward to wear it.

All Star Game Predictions

Dwight Howard

We established last year that we like the NBA All Star Game and all the regalia involved. If you don’t, too bad. Don’t watch. That will not, however, interfere with my desire to see freak athletes try new things when dunking a basketball or to watch the NBA’s new breed run up and down the court tonight in an exhibition of fast-break basketball. Sorry, if you’re in it for the defense, this isn’t the weekend for you.

Our All Star Weekend preview after the jump >>

Your NBA All Star Starters

LeBron James

The Howitzer from Orlando was the leading vote getter, pulling in over 3 million votes, as the NBA announced their All Star Game starters last night during TNT’s NBA double-header. There were some interesting voting issues that almost made the these selections farcical, but, with the exception of Allen Iverson, the consensus is, the voters picked correctly.

The starters after the jump >>

Roger Mason Ends a Great NBA Game

As San Antonio and Los Angeles threw down last night, they provided us basketball watchers with a great regular season NBA game, something that doesn’t exist, provided you ask the wrong people. It was a back and forth affair with both teams getting sterling performances from their stars–Kobe went for 29, 7 and 10 while Duncan and Parker had 20. Ginobili chipped in with 27 huge points and this nifty long bomb as the third quarter expired.

After the jump >>

Chris Paul Likes To Steal

Apparently, Jane’s Addiction was singing about Chris Paul; although, CP3 has never technically been caught. Not once. Not even when he was five. It is safe to say, however, Paul enjoys stealing, especially on the basketball court. It doesn’t hurt when it sets an NBA record either. When Paul deflected a pass from Tony Parker and then corralled said deflection, he collected not only the steal, but the record of 106-straight games with a defensive theft.

More on CP3′s night after the jump >>