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Author Topic: ¶ NBA Basketball: Tournaments, Events & Free Comments • Baloncesto NBA: Competencias, Eventos & Comentarios Libres  (Read 725223 times)
ESB Mario Sebastiani
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« Reply #59 on: May 11, 2013, 06:08:09 PM »

NBA Basketball: Tournaments, Events & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA: Competencias, Eventos & Comentarios Libres

Wow, what a first round!

George Eddy's International Show
In the end, the first round of the NBA playoffs produced two big surprises - the Chicago Bulls in the East and the Golden State Warriors in the West.

The other six match-ups went according to predictions even though the scenario between the Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies was somewhat unexpected with LA winning the first two games at home before losing four straight.
Memphis dominated the paint on offense and defense from Game 3 on thanks to some home cooking, the strength of their big boys - Spaniard Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol and American bull Zach Randolph - the weak ankle of Blake Griffin and the weak offense of DeAndre Jordan.

Vinnie Del Negro tried everything from a coaching standpoint, notably all kinds of small ball line-ups, but the way he lost confidence in Jamal Crawford, whose offense was sorely needed and missed, cost the Clips dearly.

In the second round, I see Memphis beating the Oklahoma City Thunder because, with Russell Westbrook injured, the Grizzlies' top-notch team defense is going to surround Kevin Durant and OBLIGE the other players to beat them. I think they can also outlast the San Antonio Spurs in the Conference Finals.

San Antonio steamrolled a pathetically weak Los Angeles Lakers team that needed to call up D-league players to fill out their roster! Now the permanent soap opera can move into the offices of the decision makers who will have a busy and stressful summer.

The Spurs have what it takes to chase Stephen Curry around and also block out Andrew Bogut from the boards. Those two players were Co-MVPs of the first round creating an enormous surprise by eliminating the third seed Denver Nuggets by beating them at their own "run and gun" game.

Coach Mark Jackson got into the Denver players' heads, while the Australian center Bogut turned back the clock and Curry was unstoppably elegant gliding around like a speedboat on one ankle making shots from anywhere !

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This series became too violent along the same lines of certain moments between the Clips and the Grizz.

LaMarcus Aldridge, Carmelo Anthony and Stephen Curry: Gridlock or glory?
Photograph ESPN


This reminds me of my column a few weeks back called Injury Time and I believe that the referees HAVE to be more severe and vigilant when players tackle ball-handlers who are in the air.

In fact, expert Henry Abbott of ESPN's True Hoops site wrote an article called "Tackle basketball" which develops some of the same ideas about how to better protect the players. The problem is that there is, for the time being, too great a tactical advantage to dishing out hard fouls and it's the league's job through their refs to eliminate this advantage.

Let's NOT take a macho page from wrestling, American Football or ice hockey where violence is omnipresent because basketball has other values to sell like grace under pressure, skills, teamwork, high-flying acrobatics, superior shooting, ball and player movement etc.

When I saw some Nuggets target Curry's ankle, that was going too far even though Golden State was guilty of some dangerous and ugly fouls too. Tune back the testosterone and play ball, fellas!

The Spurs-Warriors series will be a magnificent opposition of styles and San Antonio builds its defensive success on committing a minimum of fouls so I feel that this will be a clean, hard-fought and beautiful match-up to watch.

Over to the East where the Bulls overcame all kinds of problems to push on regardless and win Game 7 in Brooklyn behind career-defining performances from France's Joakim Noah and Italian international Marco Belinelli who each scored 24 points.

Without Derrick Rose, Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich, all sick or injured, this was a monumentally gritty and heroic exploit. Nate Robinson and rookie Jimmy Butler played much better than expected and the Tom Thibodeau system did the rest.

However, I don't see how Chicago can avoid running out of gas against the defending champions Miami Heat in the second round, similar to what happened to a proud Boston Celtics team against the New York Knicks. The Celtics squeezed every last drop of energy out of their aging bodies but it wasn't enough.

On the other hand, New York showed some weaknesses in the last three games against Boston and that can only give hope to the Indian Pacers in round two.

Too much isolation play and bad shot selection from Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith when the going got tough and too much useless off the court controversy could have been the Knicks downfall so I will go with the Pacers for an upset in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.


Rendez-vous in two weeks to talk about the surprise match-up of Miami and Memphis in the NBA Finals !

George Eddy from FIBA



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« Reply #58 on: Apr 25, 2013, 12:08:13 AM »

NBA Basketball: Tournaments, Events & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA: Competencias, Eventos & Comentarios Libres

International NBA playoffs preview

In the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs, there will be a lot more excitement in the Western Conference because of match-ups and up-tempo styles of play whereas, in my opinion, we will have to wait for the second round to get some passion generated about the East.

Miami should plow through Milwaukee despite Brandon Jennings' bravado in the media, and Indiana and New York will probably face just a little more difficulty v Atlanta and Boston.

The Hawks have some talented players and the Celtics have pride and tradition, but Indiana and New York have confidence, tough defense, youth and a deeper bench, so these series' should finish in the 4-1 to 4-2 range.

The duel between the Knicks and the Pacers in the second round will get our blood pumping, however!

These playoffs should also confirm the new status of Indiana's Paul George as an elite NBA star. Brooklyn against Chicago is tougher to pick and here's a series where international players will have a key role, especially for the Bulls.

The big question is, will Joakim Noah's sore arch permit him to D-up on big inside scoring threat Brook Lopez?

Another question, will Luol Deng be able to keep up his top notch workhorse role playing big minutes and working really hard on both ends of the floor?

Brooklyn's home-court advantage, Nate Robinson's shot selection along with Deron Willams' and Joe Johnson's playoff experience should be enough to give the Nets the right to get beaten up by Miami in the conference semi-finals.

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Miami should have more trouble beating either Indiana or New York in the Eastern Conference Finals, however.

Fasten your seat belts, it's gonna be wild like a roller coaster ride! We'll talk about the Miami-OKC Finals repeat match-up in a few weeks.
Photograph Bettor


In the West, each first round match-up has something of interest to offer us. Two of the series will propose run and gun offensive fireworks with high scoring like back in the 80's, and who isn't curious to see top gunner James Harden try and exact some revenge against his former team?

Oklahoma City-Houston may not be too suspenseful but it will be speed-freaky up-tempo from start to finish with almost no back to the basket play and a plethora of quick three- point shots!

Spain's improving Serge Ibaka and Turkey's improving Omer Asik will play a key role on defense with all those high velocity penetrators on the court. Let's bet on OKC winning 4-1 and Harden breaking 40 at least twice!

Another Formula One race will oppose Denver and Golden State with Stephen Curry in the role of Harden but the injury to David Lee eliminates the small amount of chance that the Warriors had to begin with to beat Denver.

This is a team that finished the season very strong and possesses a deep and balanced squad with a legendary coach(of the year?), George Karl, who really knows how to get the most out of his roster! Even the dramatic injury to the excellent Italian shooter, Danilo Gallinari, shouldn't bother the Nuggets too much thanks to their bench.

Clippers-Grizzlies and Spurs-Lakers should be more "knock down and drag out" affairs with inside play deciding the outcomes.

Unfairly criticised over the years, Spanish superstar Pau Gasol holds the keys to the Lakers' slim chances of eliminating San Antonio despite the Spurs poor finish to the regular season.

Pau will be the control tower who feeds Dwight Howard and approaches triple-doubles every night but San Antonio will pack the paint and the Lakers will be obliged to depend on their iffy 3-point shooting which should be their downfall compared to San Antonio's exemplary balance, ball movement and intelligent shot-taking.

Of course, none of the Lakers' outside defenders can keep up with Tony Parker or a resurgent Manu Ginobili either, so if LA wins two that's already better than expected after their soap opera season!

The toughest series to pick is Clips-Grizz. Last season's mammoth seven-game series could be repeated for our continuing pleasure and the opposition of styles is riveting.

Who will win the battle of the Big Boys inside? Can Mike Conley negate Chris Paul? The Clips have better outside shooting and the home-court advantage but I think the Memphis defense built around Spain's Marc Gasol will lock in and win Game 7 in the Staples Center.

I see the winner of this series having the right to get run over by OKC in the Western Conference Semi-Finals.


Fasten your seat belts, it's gonna be wild like a roller coaster ride! We'll talk about the Miami-OKC Finals repeat match-up in a few weeks.

George Eddy from FIBA



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« Reply #57 on: Apr 14, 2013, 09:47:30 PM »

NBA Basketball: Tournaments, Events & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA: Competencias, Eventos & Comentarios Libres

Cuban the cute ringmaster
of the Griner circus
Paul Nilsen's Women's Basketball Worldwide
The clue was in the last line.
Actually, it wasn't a clue at all, it was about as subtle as a 50 metre-high neon sign. I'm referring to the playful slap in the face which was dished out by Mark Cuban last week in the direction of Brittney Griner, the WNBA and women's basketball in general.

Suggesting the door could be opened for Griner to be drafted by the Dallas Mavericks, Cuban was quoted by ESPN as saying "that'd sell out a few games".

Yes, words spoken like a true billionaire.
At best, his comments were a weak backhanded compliment for Griner and at worse, a publicity stunt which yes, I can't help but perpetuate a little further - so maybe Cuban has already gotten the better of me. But then that's why he is who he is. You have got to love him. There are few who are more savvy when it comes to business, the media and basketball.

Yet, I seriously don't think there's one percent of Cuban which truly believes Griner could ever compete in the NBA.

And yet with scant regard for the welfare of Griner, the WNBA or women's basketball, Cuban set up the circus tent regardless, leaving everyone to come flocking, with women's basketball reduced to a mere sideshow.

My initial reaction was that Cuban had just screwed up and it was a belated April Fool's prank. Indeed maybe he was just having a bit of fun.

Let's face it though: Brittney Griner needs no more attention. She is already a phenomenon and she's the number one superstar of the women's game worldwide in waiting. Is that really such a bad thing? Being paid handsomely by powerhouse teams in Europe, starring in the WNBA, winning Olympic medals and being number one in her profession?

I might have had more of an open mind to the purely technical side of the debate had Griner been an amazing spot-up shooter for example.

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Perhaps someone who could manipulate screens, hold her own defensively and be protected by potential NBA team-mates.

There is every reason to feel assured on a team anchored by the 6-foot-8 center Brittney Griner, a senior who ranks second on the women’s career scoring list with 3,203 points and has blocked 736 shots, an N.C.A.A. record for men and women.
Photograph: New York Times


Playing in the paint though - or even on the wing as a three? Forget it. I mean it's the non-starter of all non-starters. The amazing dunks which act as a magnet for non-followers of women's basketball at various social media sites for circa 30 seconds, would pale into the drawer marked 'mediocre' on any NBA highlights reel.

That is not disrespecting Griner, who I am guessing and hoping, had her tongue firmly in her cheek when she tweeted about doing it (the try-out). She is an amazing athlete and I can't wait for the day when she is in a USA senior vest and competing at club level on both sides of the pond, in the WNBA and in EuroLeague Women.

But it isn't a case of whether any female player could score in the NBA and contribute. It's all about the defense. Griner might make some shots, pull off a few post moves. Diana Taurasi would drain some threes and make some mid-range jumpers and Maya Moore might also do some damage offensively. However, that's no good if their respective opponents are able to potentially take liberties down the other end of the floor.

I have said so many times before that far too many people are obsessed with comparing the women's game and the men's game. It's just ridiculous.

For sure, the initial reaction to some mixed gender basketball in the 3x3 format seems to have worked well and is fascinating. But this concept of a wider crossover in the full version of the game needs to be put in a box and buried for eternity.

Women's basketball and men's basketball should support and compliment each other for the love of the game and should have their own identifiable stars, each promoting the sport. This is why I get so irritated when such gimmicks of this nature arise. Comparison is an apples and pears scenario.

As for those who point to the likes of Ann Meyers being given a shot at making the NBA back in the day with the Indiana Pacers, she didn't have the option of the same kind of bona-fide pro women's league which we have in place right now.

Seriously, it's all just utter nonsense and I am disappointed a few highly-respected people associated with the women's game have chosen to perpetuate the carnival by even encouraging her to do it.

No downside? What? Apart from having everyone gawping at Griner and then ridiculing her instead if she is trashed under the hoop and doesn't show she can play at the same level as the NBA boys? Women's basketball would take an unnecessary panning too.

I do take on board the point made by those who say it has been good publicity for the WNBA because people are talking about women's basketball. However, from what I have seen, it seems to be all about how Griner can avoid playing in the league, rather than how much she is looking forward to doing so.

I just hope those 'looking after' Griner give her good advice. Perhaps there will inevitably be some kind of exhibition game, but that just makes me squirm even more. It would be back to the circus again and attract curious rubberneckers with little true interest in the women's game.

Plus, all this isn't about Griner at all is it? Even if she is hopefully having a bit of fun engaging in the debate on Twitter, it's really all about Cuban and the Mavs.

Then again, maybe I am just plain wrong. Griner could go on to be a trailblazer for women in the NBA after all. Only that implies being followed by a succession of others - something which seems wholly unlikely.

Besides, the women's game most definitely needs its stars to stay and thrive.

So, at this precise moment in time, it would be preferable if a little more respect, support, resources and innovation were directed towards the women's game by those with power and influence.

Women's basketball could actually do with a lot more of Mark Cuban.


Only preferably using his incredible acumen and precious time to help it grow and thrive; for the sake of this wonderful sport we all love and primarily, to inspire young girls worldwide who want to be inspired to pick up a ball and play it.

Paul Nilsen from FIBA



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« Reply #56 on: Apr 09, 2013, 04:03:11 AM »

NBA Basketball: Tournaments, Events & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA: Competencias, Eventos & Comentarios Libres

Injury time
George Eddy's International Show
Those of you who have read my articles over the years know that I am a proponent of reducing the number of NBA regular season games and eliminating back-to-back games in order to prolong players' careers and reduce injuries.

Everyone would have to make a little less money but this would be a positive for the players and the league in the long run because everyone doesn't have the incredible durability of a Kobe Bryant!
However, similar to our world financial system run amuck, the business math of the NBA is more based on immediate profit to pay exaggerated salaries than on intelligent scheduling to protect players' health!

Of course injuries are part of the ruggedly physical NBA landscape and efforts HAVE been made the last few years through rule changes to limit hand-checking and dangerous fouls which help reduce injuries.

I think they should go a step further and be more severe concerning hard fouls during the playoffs when intensity rises because there are still too many dangerous plays where the defender simply doesn't go for the ball but targets the offensive player's body and arms. They must be even more diligent when the offensive player is in the air!

To me this is more important than giving out technical fouls because a player looked at a referee the wrong way after a whistle or giving out fines because a player didn't wear a suit to the game.

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Last season we deplored the knee injuries of Ricky Rubio, Derrick Rose and Iman Shumpert while this season bad luck has taken down Italy's Danilo Galinari who is a rising star on a surprising Denver Nuggets squad.

The Nuggets announced Friday that forward Danilo Gallinari tore the ACL in his left knee and will undergo season-ending knee surgery. Here’s a roundup of the media reaction to the injury, with an eye towards how the Nuggets, currently the Western Conference’s No. 3 seed, will fare without their second-leading scorer.
Photograph: The Point Forward


Not as serious but still unsettling for France's chances at this summer's EuroBasket in Slovenia are injuries to the French star trio of Tony Parker (ankle and shin), Joakim Noah (arch in the foot) and Nicolas Batum (shoulder). Only time will tell if the three can perform in Slovenia.

Noah recently talked about the permanent state of fatigue that he feels at the age of 28 due to the tight schedule of games and travelling which he describes as a marathon.

One wonders if Pau and Marc Gasol will be able to regain their top form after a trying season both physically and mentally especially since Spain is already qualified for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup as the host country.

Zaza Pachulia won't be able to play for Georgia and Great Britain's Luol Deng will finish the NBA season dead tired after carrying his injury-riddled team all season long.

On the positive side, Rubio is back, France's Nando de Colo is starting for Parker while accumulating valuable experience, Serge Ibaka is having his best season ever with Oklahoma City and Goran Dragic his best with a lowly Phoenix team where the top three scorers are international players (Dragic, Luis Scola and Marcin Gortat, who is out with a foot injury).

These four players should impress us this summer at the Eurobasket.


In the long run, let's re-evaluate our priorities and put the players' health at the top of the list while adapting rules and calendars in order to permit the best players to participate in NBA AND international competition under favorable conditions because as I have often said, the players ARE the product!

George Eddy from FIBA



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« Reply #55 on: Apr 02, 2013, 10:42:49 PM »

NBA Basketball: Tournaments, Events & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA: Competencias, Eventos & Comentarios Libres

The Streak

Former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy was right. Beating the '72 Lakers' 33- game winning streak is a greater feat than winning a championship.

Of course everyone, including Jeff, quickly got politically correct on us by saying they would RATHER win a title but those happen every year, whereas the mythical record has lasted for 41 years with no one even coming close to beating it.

I'll take the record any day because it transcends several generations and the Lakers were my favorite team at the time.

I remember (like it was yesterday) watching live the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Lakers to stop the streak and the fabulous battle between Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain in the paint.

That was the year the Lakers finally got comeuppance on the rest of the league with a title after losing all those disappointing Finals' in the 60's.

That was also the year the Lakers won 69 games, a record that would take 24 years to be broken by the '96 Bulls of Michael Jordan.

 

Those Lakers, starting with Jerry West, are comfortable with Miami beating their streak but in my opinion, this won't be easy !

Jerry Alan West (born May 28, 1938) is a retired American basketball player who played his entire professional career for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). His nicknames include
Photograph: Inside Sports Illustrated


By the way, do you remember the "Restgate" controversy and big fine concerning the Miami-San Antonio game back in November? Do you think the Spurs will be motivated Sunday? Of course, if Miami can come back from being down by 27 to win in Cleveland then anything is possible.

Miami is no doubt the NBA's best team this season and LeBron James will, even less doubt, be elected MVP, even though France's Tony Parker is also a deserving candidate thanks to his best season ever and Charles Barkley's lobbying in his favor! The only forseeable problem for Pat Riley's (ironically a member of the '72 Lakers!) winning machine is if the Heat burn up too much energy reserves beating the streak which might open the door of opportunity for an upset during the playoffs.

Young, physical teams like Oklahoma City, Memphis, the Clippers or Indiana could create some problems if Miami headed into the playoffs in a state of physical and emotional fatigue because of the highly mediatised quest for the historical streak.

Despite Miami's brilliance and dominance, I must point out that Miami has been at an advantage playing against a lot of weak sister teams in the Eastern Conference where the top eight is already fixed in stone and the rest of the teams are easy prey.

San Antonio's record and Denver's 15- game win streak came under more difficult conditions because those two teams play tougher opponents in the Western Conference. Eighteen of the Heat's 26 wins in a row came against Eastern Conference opponents whereas Denver won only five of their fifteen vs. Eastern Conference foes! Six of Miami's next eight are against teams from their conference.


One thing is for sure; rarely have the last 20 games of an NBA regular season been so exciting!

George Eddy from FIBA



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« Reply #54 on: Feb 26, 2013, 06:18:46 PM »

NBA Basketball: Tournaments, Events & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA: Competencias, Eventos & Comentarios Libres

( For the English Translation= See the Previous Message )

La NBA publica toda su información histórica y estadística
gracias a tecnología SAP

EEUU.- La Asociación Nacional de Baloncesto de Estados Unidos (National Basketball Association, NBA) y SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) anunciaron el lanzamiento de NBA.com/Stats, un nuevo espacio en el portal NBA.com que brindará a los fanáticos de este deporte acceso ilimitado a vastos volúmenes de datos estadísticos y analíticos de la asociación. Potenciado por la plataforma de operación en tiempo real SAP HANA®, se ofrecerá de manera gratuita y brindará todas las estadísticas oficiales, aún a datos históricos que estaban a disposición exclusivamente de la liga y del personal autorizado de los equipos de la liga. Se incluyen:

• Todos los resultados oficiales desde la temporada inaugural 1946-47, incluyendo juegos memorables como el de 1962 en que Wilt Chamberlain anotó 100 puntos o el de 2006 en que Kobe Bryant anotó 81 puntos. • Análisis avanzados de efectividad en lanzamientos al aro, con cuadros analíticos completos que contemplan el desempeño ofensivo y defensivo de los jugadores y aportan imágenes que desmenuzan la información sobre lanzamientos y puntos débiles y fuertes de los lanzadores, entre otros.

• Alineaciones ideales (desde dos hasta cinco jugadores) de las últimas seis temporadas. Las combinaciones se determinan a partir de una amplia diversidad de criterios estadísticos.

• Profundos análisis estadísticos. Desglose del desempeño de los jugadores de la liga según número de posesiones, agarres, eficiencia y desempeño, comparado con el del resto del equipo. Contemplan distintas alternativas de criterio para detallar el rendimiento de los jugadores en diferentes aspectos del juego. • Página personal para cada uno de los deportistas que participa o ha participado en la liga, a todo lo largo de la historia de la NBA.

El software permitirá a los usuarios interactuar dinámicamente y acceder a un gigantesco cúmulo de datos en tiempo real, a través de una interfaz intuitiva y altamente visual. Adicionalmente, el contenido podrá ser fácilmente compartido a través de populares redes sociales como Twitter, Facebook y Google+.

“NBA.com/Stats proporciona a aficionados y medios la herramienta definitiva para acceder, minuto a minuto, a nuestro completo historial oficial de la liga”, destacó Adam Silver, Subcomisionado de la NBA. “Trabajamos de la mano de SAP en su desarrollo, lo que nos permitió aprovechar los vastos conocimientos y la experiencia de esta compañía en materia de innovación”.

“Los aficionados al deporte sienten pasión por estar al tanto de las estadísticas, pues los acercan íntimamente al juego, a los equipos y sus jugadores favoritos”, señaló Steve Peck, Vicepresidente Senior de la división Iniciativas Estratégicas Globales de SAP. “Este software trasciende la manipulación escueta de cifras y datos y aporta una experiencia dinámica, integral y estadística nunca antes vista”.

SAP presentará oficialmente el nuevo destino virtual NBA.com/Stats, como un nuevo hito de la asociación comercial de mercadeo a largo plazo que anunció junto con la NBA en julio pasado y que convirtió a SAP en el “Socio Oficial de la NBA para Software Analítico de Negocios”. La sociedad también abarca la administración de la información correspondiente a las ligas de la asociación femenina (Women’s National Basketball Association, WNBA) y de promoción de la NBA (Development League, NBA D-League).

Además de SAP HANA, la NBA también usará las soluciones de inteligencia de negocios SAP® BusinessObjects™ Business Intelligence (BI) para llevar a cabo avanzados análisis de los datos disponibles y las herramientas de software de exploración y modelado de panoramas SAP BusinessObjects Explorer® y SAP® Landscape Transformation para potenciar las operaciones estadísticas asociadas al manejo de sus datos oficiales.

El destino virtual también aportará características editoriales especiales que resaltarán los resultados innovadores de NBA.com/Stats, realizarán profundos análisis de los marcadores históricos de la liga, analizarán los hechos que originaron las cifras registradas y darán acceso a los reportes informativos que regularmente aportará John Schuhmann, experto en estadísticas del portal. Una sección especial, denominada “Glosario”, ofrecerá una exhaustiva explicación de estos innovadores sistemas de análisis estadístico.

Portal NBA.com

Lanzado en 1995, el portal NBA.com es el destino oficial de la Asociación Nacional de Baloncesto de Estados Unidos, promediando un total de 42 millones de visitas diarias, la mitad de las cuales corresponden a usuarios que acceden al sitio desde países fuera de Norteamérica. Habiendo sido catalogado consistentemente como uno de los principales sitios virtuales de deporte en Internet, NBA.com hace parte activa de NBA Digital, la vasta red multi-plataformas de activos digitales de la NBA, administrada conjuntamente por ésta y por el conglomerado de medios Turner Sports. Además del portal NBA.com, la robusta gama de productos ofrecidos en torno a la liga comprende los canales de divulgación NBA TV, NBA LEAGUE PASS, NBA LEAGUE PASS Broadband, NBA Mobile, NBADLEAGUE.com y WNBA.com.

SAP

En su condición de líder del mercado mundial de aplicaciones de software empresarial, SAP (NYSE: SAP) ayuda a compañías de todo tamaño e industria a operar más eficazmente. Abarca desde las dependencias de primer piso hasta las salas de juntas; desde los almacenes de depósito hasta los locales de ventas, y desde los terminales de escritorio hasta los dispositivos móviles. SAP potencia a las personas y las organizaciones para que trabajen mancomunadamente con mayor eficiencia y utilicen las percepciones de negocios con mayor efectividad, para así mantenerse a la vanguardia de sus competidores.


Las aplicaciones y servicios SAP permiten a más de 232.000 clientes alrededor del mundo (incluye clientes por la adquisición de SucessFactors) operar de manera rentable, adaptarse continuamente y crecer de forma sostenible. Para más información visite el sitio www.sap.com, nuestra sala de prensa http://latam.news-sap.com/ o síganos en Twitter @SAPNoticiasLAC.


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« Reply #53 on: Feb 26, 2013, 05:59:47 PM »

NBA Basketball: Tournaments, Events & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA: Competencias, Eventos & Comentarios Libres

( Para la Traducción al Español: Ver el Próximo Mensaje )

NBA Launches SAP Hana-Powered Basketball Statistics Site

SAP's in-memory database will enable NBA.com visitors
to query more than 50 years of stats, including details on the latest games.


The National Basketball Association (NBA) and SAP on Friday announced NBA.com/stats, a destination on NBA.com that will enable fans to analyze statistics from the latest games and back to the league's founding in 1946. The analysis engine behind the scenes is SAP's Hana database, which was chosen for its ability to quickly slice and dice the data entirely in memory.
"We knew traditional data warehouse methods where you set up cubes and try to anticipate what kind of queries fans would run wasn't going to work, and that's where Hana came in," NBA senior VP and CIO Michael Gliedman told InformationWeek in a telephone interview.

Only basic stats were previously available on the NBA site. The deepest historical data had been managed on conventional databases that saw limited internal use. Over the last year, stat-enthusiast NBA executives -- namely commissioner David Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver -- called for the resource to be opened up to the fans, Gliedman said. Late last summer the NBA began the work of transforming and consolidating legacy data and building the new stats engine.

The main reason SAP Hana was selected was that the NBA wanted to support fast, flexible querying. With the entire stat dataset held in memory on Hana, fans will be able to split, filter and query data as they see fit, Gliedman said. It's not a huge trove of data, at less than a terabyte, but conventional OLAP cubes would have confined analysis to a limited set of predefined queries.

"You can select any date range, any point within a game, and you can do things like come up with your own definition of 'clutch shooters,'" he said. "Is that two minutes before the end of the game or five minutes? You decide."

Another challenge in bringing a query tool to a high-traffic website like NBA.com is concurrency, meaning potentially high numbers of simultaneous users. NBA.com averages about six million unique visitors per month, according to Compete.com's online site analytics engine. Far fewer fans are likely to be on the stats page firing off queries at any one moment, but NBA expects as many as 20,000 concurrent users, and it has load tested the Hana-based stats engine accordingly, Gleidman said.

As for the latency challenge -- delays in gaining access to the very latest data -- NBA.com/stats is not quite "real-time," as touted in a press release, but Gliedman said stats will be available within 15 minutes of the end of each game. The delay has more to do with officials finalizing the stats than any technical delay. Even so, 15-minute latency is much faster than most businesses experience with the overnight batch-ETL (extract, transform, load) processes that are typical in data warehousing. NBA is using SAP Landscape Transformation software for continuous, rather than batch, data integration.

NBA.com/stats is launching with a modest collection of data-visualization capabilities, including shot charts and trend graphs, but Gliedman said the NBA plans to add drag-and-drop data-visualization options using SAP BusinessObjects Explorer and Visual Intelligence software. By next season NBA also hopes to integrate video capabilities that would tie statistics to related clips.

"If a query shows that a player had three steals in a game, you'll have the option to launch the videos of those three plays," Gliedman explained.

The NBA and SAP are both pushing for wider use of analytics in sports. NBA deputy commissioner Silver was a keynoter at last year's MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, where he talked about the role of predictive analyses in the 2011 player lockout and league-player contract negotiations. The salary caps and revenue-sharing arrangements now common across most pro sports are based on predictive revenue projections, he said.

SAP has become much more visible in sports in recent years, and it now supplies its business intelligence and analytics technology to Major League Baseball, the NFL.com Fantasy Football site, the San Francisco 49ers and other leagues and teams.

About the NBA
The NBA is a global sports and media business that features three professional sports leagues: the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association, and the NBA Development League. The league has established a major international presence, with offices in 15 markets worldwide, games and programming in 215 countries and territories in 47 languages, and NBA merchandise for sale in more than 125,000 stores in 100 countries on six continents. Current NBA rosters feature 78 international players from 39 countries and territories. The NBA’s digital assets include NBA TV, which is available in nearly 60 million U.S. homes, and NBA.com, which averages more than 35 million page views per day, more than half of which originate from outside of North America. The NBA is the No. 1 professional sports league on social media, with more than 240 million fans and followers globally across all league, team, and player platforms. Through NBA Cares, the league and its teams and players have donated more than $190 million to charity, completed more than 1.9 million hours of hands-on community service, and created more than 700 places where kids and families can live, learn, or play.

About SAP
As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition.


SAP applications and services enable more than 195,000 customers (includes customers from the acquisition of SuccessFactors) to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com.


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« Reply #52 on: Feb 16, 2013, 07:12:12 PM »

NBA Basketball: Tournaments, Events & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA: Competencias, Eventos & Comentarios Libres

Wheelchair Basketball All-Stars
Hit the Court in Houston
Steve Goldberg’s Wheel World
The first official game of the 2013 NBA All-Star Weekend was played Thursday night with the West winning 66-56. There was no CP3 from the Clippers but there was the Rollin' Knicks' Faizool Ali; Chicago’s Curtis Lease, not Golden State’s David Lee; and, instead of Dwight Howard, Rodney Hawkins.

At 2.01m (6'7"), the muscular and long-limbed Hawkins does resemble Howard but the big man from Colombia plays for the Dallas Wheelchair Mavericks of the National Wheelchair Basketball Assocation (NWBA) rather than the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA.
In all, 22 of the best wheelchair basketball players from NBA-affiliated teams in the USA and Canada gathered to run the court during the NBA/NWBA All-Star Wheelchair Classic which tipped off shortly after NBA Commissioner David Stern opened Jam Session to the public.

Scoring 19 points and grabbing 14 rebounds made Dawkins - who led Colombia out of South America to the Paralympics for the first time last September - an easy MVP choice for the West. The RHI (Indiana) Pacers' Brian Bell, he of 19 points and five boards, was named MVP for the East.

NBA Legends Bob Lanier, Bruce Bowen and Calvin Murphy, Los Angeles Sparks guard Lindsey Harding and New York Liberty forward DeMya Walker and WNBA legend Sheryl Swoopes joined as honorary coaches.

"This year marks the 15th annual NBA/NWBA All-Star Wheelchair Classic, a milestone that highlights this event's ongoing popularity," said NBA Senior Vice President of Community Relations Todd Jacobson.

The game has been a staple of Jam Session, the fan-focused basketball extravaganza that became part of the All-Star Weekend 15 years ago, since 1998 in New York City.

I wrote about that first game in a story called “Bright Lights, Big City, Big Game” for USA Basketball’s magazine back then. Some of that follows.

It was a heady performance, worthy of several curtain calls. The game started with the fire and pace of a playground challenge for nothing more than bragging rights. Free of excessive tactics, the boys came to play.

At the practice before the game, (then) NWBA Commissioner David Kiley was excited and apprehensive.

"It's pins and needles right now," Kiley said, "It's hard to say what will happen because we've never been here before like this. I can only think that this is a winning combination between the NBA and the NWBA."

He had a right to be nervous. For all of their support, none of the primary NBA execs pushing the event had ever seen a wheelchair basketball game in person. A well-played game was an imperative.


"I think we can represent basketball well," Kiley offered. "Tonight, I'm planning for my expectations to be exceeded."


West All-Star Rodney Hawkins, left, casts an imposing presence as he defends the East’s Steve Serio on Thursday night. Hawkins was named the West MVP. Photograph: James Nielsen for The Chronicle.
Photograph: Ultimate Rockets


They were. Former USA star Trooper Johnson, representing the Golden State Road Warriors this year in Houston, was on the court that night in New York in 1998. He opened the game with an NBA distance three-pointer and…

From there, it was off to the races with both teams combining to hit 15 of the first 18 shots and 17 of the 20 players hitting the nets.

(Troy) Sachs, the 1996 Paralympic MVP from Australia, dazzled on fastbreaks in his tiger-striped chair, whether it was bringing the ball around his back before laying it in off the glass or finding the open man.

Johnson mixed his bombs from the perimeter with slick cuts under the basket and Darryl "Tree" Waller opened with his own three-pointer before taking command of his usual domain under the rim.


"It was an incredible honor," Johnson told me before last night’s game, "to be selected for that first game. We were very focused on bringing an up-tempo game with a lot of offense."

And that they did. The West, behind 25 points from Johnson, outran the East 77-72 in front of a packed grandstand at the Javits Center. That was then, this is now.

As noted, this was the 15th edition of the NBA/NWBA All-Star Wheelchair Classic but, in fact, it was the 18th wheelchair game during the February hoops ritual.

The foundation had been laid in Arizona more than three years earlier than the 1998 debut.

The Phoenix Suns have always had one of the stronger NBA-NWBA team relationships. About a year before the Suns were set to host their second All-Star Game in 1995, the club’s then Community Relations Director Rob Harris sat in his office with Gary Venjohn, the player/coach of the Banner Wheelchair Suns.

They bantered on the possibility of getting the Wheelchair Suns into the festivities with an exhibition game. Actually, Venjohn tells me, they wanted to go with the East-West All-Star format that exists today. With the blessing of Jerry Colangelo, they presented their idea to the NBA.

To keep it simple that first time, the league chose to sanction an exhibition between Phoenix and the Tucson Wild Wheels, a predecessor to the University of Arizona’s intercollegiate team.

"The first year we got it started, I was more interested in playing," Venjohn admits with a laugh. He retired from playing soon after but the game was so successful, the NBA invited the Banner Suns to replicate it the next two All-Star Weekends in San Antonio and Cleveland.

When Kiley became the NWBA commissioner, he asked Harris and Venjohn about broadening the scope and they were more than happy to go in the direction they originally envisioned. This time, the NBA agreed and the game was opened to players from all NWBA teams affiliated with NBA franchises.

The NBA’s Jacobson says the Wheelchair Classic has become an important and traditional part of the mid-season highlight show, but he elicits another reason this game is important. Along with the game, the participating wheelchair players do a clinic for local kids with a disability. Jacobson keeps a photo of a young girl – she was about seven years old he believes – who attended the clinic when the game was held in Los Angeles a few years ago.

She came with her mother who told Jacobson that the little girl had been washing the family car with her father when a drunk driver swerved off the road and hit her. Quiet and shy, the girl watched as the clinic progressed. It was most likely the first time she had seen others in wheelchairs playing and having fun. By the end though, she was right there with them, smiling while her mom tried hard not to cry.

"Seeing that connection is what sport is all about," he said.

I could tell by the sound of his voice as he told me this story that this was one of those moments that makes the NBA Cares mantra so very real to him personally.

"It represents what we do," he followed.

It certainly does.


NWBA East All-Star Team

East Head Coach: Parnes Cartwright
Jose Garcia (Bulova Nets)
Steve Smutak (Cleveland Wheelchair Cavaliers)
Ben Chevillon (Chicago Wheelchair Bulls)
Curtis Lease (Chicago Wheelchair Bulls)
Jacob Goforth (Magee Sixers Spokesman)
Manuel Rodriguez (Miami Heat Wheels)
Joseph Henry (New Orleans Rollin’ Hornets)
Faizool Ali (New York Rollin’ Knicks)
Steve Serio (RHI Pacers)
Brian Bell (RHI Pacers)
Patrick Anderson (Toronto Raptors)   


NWBA West All-Star Team

West Head Coach: Mike Schlappi
Jason Nelms (Dallas Wheelchair Mavericks)
Rodney Hawkins (Dallas Wheelchair Mavericks)
Bobbie Nickleberry (Dallas Wheelchair Mavericks)
Justin Obermeyer (Denver Rolling Nuggets)
Joe Chambers (Golden State Road Warriors)
Trooper Johnson (Golden State Road Warriors)
Hassan Elkhadi (Houston Punishers)
Michael Garafola (L.A. Clippers Chairmen)
Alex Grunstein (L.A. Clippers Chairmen)
Kelly Case (Phoenix Banner Wheelchair Suns)
Jeffrey Griffin (Utah Wheelin’ Jazz)

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« Reply #51 on: Feb 13, 2013, 01:02:48 AM »

NBA Basketball: Tournaments, Events & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA: Competencias, Eventos & Comentarios Libres

Post-lockout Brave New World

George Eddy's International Show
The NBA family prepares to invade Houston for the All-Star Weekend where sleepless nights and parties will tire most players and in the end, as usual, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Kevin Durant will gut it out to become MVP on Sunday!

A week later will come the traditional trade deadline and recent events lead me to believe that some further "salary dumping" will be on several teams' agenda.
The latest trades by Memphis to get under the luxury tax threshold- especially sending star Rudy Gay to Toronto- surprised a lot of observers because Memphis is an elite team with a shot at the title and they risk perturbing their chances.

With the post-lockout progressive luxury tax penalties, EVERYONE, including the big market teams with local TV mega-deals, will want to get under the 70 million dollar luxury tax threshold, because the progressive penalties will simply be too costly in coming years. Therefore the Memphis trades signal a major trend that is already under way, but it will accentuate and accelerate in the next few seasons.

For the superstar players like LeBron this is a bad thing because he will never see the 20 million plus salaries of the Kobe and Kevin Garnett-Tim Duncan generation or the 30 million plus of Michael Jordan's second career. James said recently that he is underpaid in relation to those generations but of course the money he makes on his sponsorship deals makes up for it grandly. Everything is relative when you are talking about the indecent amounts of money circulating in major pro sports!

For the owners these trends are positive from a financial standpoint because some experts predict that ALL of the NBA franchises will be out of the red in three years thanks to the new criteria concerning the salary cap.

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The playing field will certainly be more level between the big and small market teams.


Toronto Raptors forward Rudy Gay, left, slam dunks the ball over Los Angeles Clippers forwards Grant Hill, centre, and Lamar Odom, right, during the first half on Friday. Photograph: Nathan Denette from Canadian Press
Photograph: CBS Sports



Teams like the Lakers and Knicks have a franchise value of over a billion dollars for the first time. The new model for creating a healthy, winning franchise will be small market teams like San Antonio and Oklahoma City who smartly build around two or three well-chosen superstars with one or two mid-range salaries and then a lot of near minimum or rookie deals to complete the roster.

This is the Brave New World of the league where a premium will be placed on young, less expensive, precocious talent playing with a rookie-scale contract and hopefully out-performing expectations. These players could make the difference between having a good team and a great one.

Another premium will be placed on expiring contracts which helps explain why James Harden was exchanged for Kevin Martin. Before the trade deadline a lot of maneuvering will center around the very high price tags on the contracts of players like Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum who are all suffering with injury problems. Will Chris Paul decide to stay with the Clippers and will the team make a trade to strengthen the roster in order to please him? For me a lot of teams are just one piece away from contending, so some surprises might happen.


In the end, there is plenty of money to go around and as usual, the cutting edge will not be how much you have but rather how well you invest what you have !

George Eddy from FIBA



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« Reply #50 on: Jan 31, 2013, 12:17:01 AM »

NBA Basketball: Tournaments, Events & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA: Competencias, Eventos & Comentarios Libres

All Star Analysis

Everyone seems to agree that the two biggest and most surprising snubs for the 2013 NBA All Star Game concern Stephen Curry in the West and Brook Lopez in the East. Lopez is simply the highest scoring center in the league on a Brooklyn team that is much stronger than expected.

I suspect the Eastern conference coaches wanted to punish Brooklyn for firing popular coach Avery Johnson, but since the new coach P.J. Carlesimo is winning a lot more games it's tough to criticize the decision!

So Lopez would be the logical choice to replace an injured Rajon Rondo who is out for the season unless David Stern wants a guard to replace a guard.

In that case, either Brandon Jennings or Deron Williams will get the call despite their low shooting percentages.

Those two players (similar to Allen Iverson in the recent past) have the game to shine in an All Star setting where quick guards dominate the ball.

It appears that Curry would be the choice to replace an injured player in the West due to his fabulous season and Golden State's amazing progress. He will be there for the 3 point shootout anyway and it's true that the guards chosen before him are all highly deserving of a spot.

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As far as the international players go, it's interesting to note that for the first time two French players are present at the big game which is logical when you consider that 13 French players are under contract, the largest contingent of foreign players in the NBA.

Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez, left, reacts as he collide with New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler, in the second half of their NBA basketball game at Barclays Center, Monday, Nov. 26, 2012 in New York. The Nets won 96-89 in overtime. Photograph: AP by Kathy Willens.
Photograph: Madison.com


A third French player, Nicolas Batum is getting closer to All Star status. He deserved the call more than a Jamal Crawford who got more lip service around the league but is much less of an all-around threat than Nicolas who took out his frustration on his opponents with two triple-doubles in a week and a vow to"work even harder to get there next time".

Highly deserving Tim Duncan (14th selection for the anti-flashy genius) and Luol Deng round out the international presence at the game which could have been much greater when you consider the non-selections of Marc and Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki, Serge Ibaka and mega-rebounder Anderson Varejao who all had the potential or status to be selected.

LeBron James is right, they should choose 15 players instead of 12 because the talent pool in today's NBA is so deep. The only drawback would be finding playing time for thirty players, but the essential thing in an All Star game is to be selected more than actually playing!

An interesting new trend concerning the coaches' choices is the number of top notch defenders selected. Joakim Noah, Tyson Chandler, Deng, Duncan and Zach Randolph are all more well known now for their defense and rebounding than their scoring and players like Marc Gasol and Ibaka play the same style and were probably not far off from being chosen by the coaches.


In the end, I feel that the fans did a good job choosing the starters and the coaches chose mostly deserving subs and the NBA was able to avoid embarrassing situations that have arisen in the past due to heavy voting from China...

George Eddy from FIBA



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« Reply #49 on: Jan 24, 2013, 04:48:03 AM »

NBA Basketball: Tournaments, Events & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA: Competencias, Eventos & Comentarios Libres

NBA sees Africa's potential
Julio Chitunda's African Message
The NBA has never been as close to Africa as it currently is.

Not only because of the record number of African players competing in a single NBA season, but also because of its grassroots presence in the continent.

Last Thursday, the NBA played its third regular season game in London in the last three years, and, of course, it attracted a considerable number of international media, seeking to find out more about the league's connections to their countries.

Africa was no exception.

In a packed press conference, NBA Commissioner David Stern and Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver outlined the league's plans of internalisation.

When it came to commenting on plans for Africa, Stern paused a few seconds before his explanation.

"Well," he said, "Amadou Gallo Fall (head of the NBA's office in Africa) keeps heading more employees to the (NBA) Johannesburg's office.

"He started up with one, and he stole one of our employees from the New York office, employed him there, and we have basketball operations.

"He seems absolutely determined to have an extended grassroots presence and increase our television coverage, both of which he has achieved in a remarkable fashion.

"He keeps up with visits from Basketball without Borders (BWB), we went to South Africa for a ninth year in a row," Stern added.

"Sponsorship businesses, companies that want to fund us and increase our grassroots and other presence are there.

"We think that Africa - as a continent of a billion people whose development of smart phones and the likes - is proceeding apace, it is an extraordinary potential market for the NBA.

"He (Amadou Gallo Fall) doesn't stop talking about it, and he has been very forceful in helping us to generate serious business there," Stern pointed out.

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In other words, Africa has as much potential to offer as any other continent. All it needs is professionalism and passion to develop the basketball business.

The continent’s NBA connection started three decades ago when Dikembe Mutombo and Hakeem Olajuwon became the African pioneers in the league.
Photograph: Paperblog.com


During the 30-minute meeting, the international media focused mainly on seeing the NBA coming back to Europe either for friendly games or, more interestingly, for more regular season games.

Over the past 20 years, the NBA presence outside US has allowed for a significant number of international players to cross the Atlantic and become household names in the league without previous experience in the US.

London's O2 arena registered a sell-out house for last Thursday's game between the Detroit Pistons and the New York Knicks, something that would repeat itself in places with a strong basketball following, including Africa.

However, an NBA game is much more than two teams facing each other. It involves high technology, advanced marketing, entertainment and engagement to the community - a lot of serious business.

Stern may not have said that Africa does not have appropriate facilities to accommodate NBA games, but basketball commitments in the continent would not doubt it.

Three years ago, South Africa successfully hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup, a sign that, despite its deficiencies, hosting an NBA game is not a mirage for Africa, but a real possibility.

When asked about playing more pre-season games in China, Stern replied that "everything is on the table as we access our international growth."

No doubts, that it would be great to see NBA games being played in Africa, but, inexplicably, very few countries, despite their passion for the game, would step forward to fulfil the requirements, even though Stern branded the continent as a "potential market" for the NBA.

There are currently eight African-born players in the league, bearing the African flag in the NBA.

Steve Nash (South Africa/Canada), Luc Mbah a Moute (Cameroon), De Sagana Diop (Senegal), Bismack Biyombo (DR Congo), Festus Ezeli (Nigeria), Luol Deng (South Sudan/Great Britain), Hasheem Thabeet (Tanzania), Serge Ibaka (Republic of Congo/Spain) and Al Farouq Aminu (USA/Nigeria) are NBA players with their roots in Africa.

The continent’s NBA connection started three decades ago when Dikembe Mutombo and Hakeem Olajuwon became the African pioneers in the league.

The tendency suggests an even bigger African presence in the NBA, given the number of young African players in the US colleges’ programmes.

If the NBA - with its ability to promote the game - becomes fully established in Africa, perhaps African players would not need to gain recognition in Europe or at the American collegiate level before they join NBA teams.


Realistically, basketball professionalism is highly needed in Africa in order to host NBA games and capitalize from the experience.

Julio Chitunda from FIBA


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« Reply #48 on: Jan 15, 2013, 10:37:25 PM »

NBA Basketball: Tournaments, Events & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA: Competencias, Eventos & Comentarios Libres

Happy surprises

As we approach the halfway point of the NBA season, here are a few happy surprises I would like to draw your attention to.

Golden State is a much better team with essentially the same players and coach but Stephen Curry and David Lee are playing so well the Warriors might finish in the top four of the Western Conference.

Lee is all about rough edges while Curry is the opposite with his relaxed and elegant style and demeanor. Lee's angular awkwardness doesn't impede him from being fifth in NBA Efficiency at 20 points and 11 rebounds a game. Curry's smooth three-point stroke is a wonder and he's hitting 45% from longe range. I think he is the league's most graceful player!

Another happy surprise is the breakthrough season of another graceful player, Frenchman Nicolas Batum. He's proving that he deserved the big contract from Portland with some monstrous all-around performances which remind us of his chilhood idol, Scottie Pippen.

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Batum has also produced a few clunkers so the next step for him is more consistency. His play and the rapid emergence of rookie Damian Lillard are giving Blazers' fans good reasons to hope.

The happy surprise the Cleveland Cavaliers was seeing Brazilian #17 Anderson Varejao DOMINATE the rebounding charts with 14.4 per game average, here gets elbowed in his man-parts by Ray Allen #20 of the Boston Celtics. Photograph by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images
Photograph: HurricaneSports.com


The happy surprise for Cleveland was seeing Brazilian Anderson Varejao DOMINATE the rebounding charts with 14.4 per game average before he tore a leg muscle which will need an operation. What a shame because he was forming a complementary duo with rising star Kyrie Irving from which the Cavs could build a rosier future.

Nobody's happier or more SURPRISED than Clippers fans as the Lakers sink and the Clips rise to the top of the league! A record 17-game winning streak, an MVP candidate in Chris Paul - who has the highest efficiency for a point guard in the NBA - a strong, experienced bench and a spectacular style of play are all valid reasons to believe that the Clippers are on top and will stay there for a while. They have SWAG!

The same is true of Carmelo Anthony and the revived Knicks despite their recent spat and defeat against the Celtics, a team that knows how to get under their skin! Melo is the NBA's second leading scorer at 29 points a game while shooting 43% on threes and most importantly, he's more of a leader and takes fewer bad shots while playing the power forward position as he did with Team USA last summer.

Brooklyn is also looking surprisingly good since their coaching change (a rare occurence in general). James Harden scoring 26.5 points to rank as the fourth best scorer in the league is a positive surprise, as is Tim Duncan's stellar season at the age of 36!


The last and probably biggest surprise is that Kevin Durant has rapidly become more of an all-around player to the point that he is practically in a dead heat with LeBron James for the number one spot on the efficiency chart.

Please feel free to add any happy surprises that I have overlooked!

George Eddy from FIBA



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« Reply #47 on: Dec 04, 2012, 04:17:44 AM »

NBA Basketball: Tournaments, Events & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA: Competencias, Eventos & Comentarios Libres

Restgate

The "Restgate" controversy surrounding San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and NBA Commissioner David Stern brings up a lot of interesting questions, notably this one: can Pop decide to rest healthy players whenever he feels it's in the best interest of his team?

Stern's answer was a resounding "NO" as he inflicted a $250,000 fine on the Spurs for sending their trio of international superstars - Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili - plus Danny Green home as they missed the last of a six-game road trip which had the Spurs playing their fourth game in FIVE nights. That sounds like last season's post-lockout scheduling!

The problem for Stern was that the game was a nationally televised contest against the champs Miami Heat and the Spurs didn't notify the league - or the Miami team - soon enough, which was against the rules and best interests of the NBA.

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Many coaches took Pop's defense saying it was his right and duty to protect his players' health so early in the season, especially when an obvious scheduling error pitted the travel-weary Spurs against the Heat - who themselves were coming off four days rest at home - in their only visit of the regular season to South Beach.


Photograph: LF Press


This is not the best way to have a high quality, fair and square marquee matchup on national TV!

Oddly enough, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban came to Stern's defense - a rare occurence - saying that the national TV partners were the "money train" and needed to be protected and coddled as a top priority.

Pop would describe this as the business perspective, whereas he was acting from a coaching perspective as he had already done in the past without being fined. He even admitted that if he was taking his kids to the game he would want to see the four players in uniform.

The controversy has been described as a classic power struggle which might even have repercussions (I doubt it) as far-reaching as Pop's candidacy to succeed Mike Krzyzewski as Team USA coach one day.

Popovich is a one-of-a-kind personality with a military background who is not afraid of conflict and backs down from noone. "Easy" David Stern is no slouch either when it comes to defending his territory.

What this whole situation lacks is a dose of subtlety. The obvious solution in the future will be for Pop or any other coach to dress the players but reduce drastically their playing time or rest one or two players at a time in less important games earlier in the road trip.

I suspect Pop wanted to publicly point out the scheduling mistake by sending the four players home and this didn't sit well with Stern. The Spurs organisation will probably concede that this was a COSTLY statement to make which will deter them and the other teams from doing it again.

For me, it's similar to the flopping controversy because it could have opened up a Pandora's box of heavy-handed league intervention but,in the end, it is probably effectively nipping in the bud a growing problem which is a positive for the game.

Flopping has been practically eradicated in a short period of time and I doubt that we will see another costly "Restgate" for a long while!

 

In an ironic twist of fate, Pop, as usual, got in the last word as his team beat arch-rival Memphis in overtime thanks to his rested foursome in an important match-up affecting the western conference standings.

George Eddy from FIBA


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« Reply #46 on: Nov 22, 2012, 10:58:30 PM »

NBA Basketball: Tournaments, Events & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA: Competencias, Eventos & Comentarios Libres

After 10 games

When I wrote two weeks ago about the Los Angeles Lakers' early difficulties, I never imagined that things would go sour so fast for coach Mike Brown. Of course, he was never fully accepted by some key people in the organisation, but his early and contract-costly eviction seemed precipitated and panicky at the least.

Criticism is raining down on management from everywhere (notably from Magic Johnson who has sold his Laker stocks) about the embarrassing handling of Phil Jackson's eventual candidacy and many observers have doubts about their choice of Mike D'Antoni as the new coach. Even Mike was surprised he got the call!

D'Antoni won't have it easy as he's on crutches recuperating from knee replacement surgery and the expectations concerning the NBA's most expensive team are unrealistic and off the charts.

He will mesh well with Steve Nash and the team should score more and play an exciting style, but I'm not sure that the seven seconds or less, hyper uptempo brand is cut out for a team that needs to pound the ball down low to its biggest strength, the tandem of Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol.

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Los Angeles Lakers Head Coach Mike Bronw and Kobe Bryant. Photograph: Reuters from Iinternational Bussiness Times.com
Photograph: Iinternational Bussiness Times.com

It's true that "D'Antoni ball" will be simpler and easier to put in place on the fly compared to the triangle or Princeton offence, but the inherent weaknesses of the roster that I underlined two weeks ago still exist and the only person in LA that will be feeling the pressure more than Mike is Jim Buss, the top decision-maker and son of the owner, who was never a big Phil Jackson fan!

For now, in any case, the best team in LA is the Clippers who are second in the league in scoring and waiting for Chauncey Billups and Grant Hill to come back to complete their copius roster.

The key then will be the willingness of veteran players to sacrifice for the good of the team similar to what's happening in New York where the new veteran role players are bringing security and a winning attitude to the Big Apple and to their often maligned superstar and go-to player, Carmelo Anthony.

Melo will be in the MVP hunt along with the usual supects LeBron James and Kevin Durant but also add Rajon Rondo who many feel is the best NBA point guard with his streak of 33 games with at least 10 assists (the record is 46, held by Magic). Carrying around a permanent chip on his shoulder works as well for Rajon as it does for his teammate Kevin Garnett!

Despite their brilliance, Boston will have a tough time topping Miami, which is the top scoring team in the league after 10 games with their small-ball, no defined positions style of play.

I remember back in the 1980s when Pat Riley dreamed of fielding a team with five 6f 8in (2.04m) tall players together on the floor where everyone could play all five positions and switching on defence caused minimal match-up problems. This style has brought a title to Miami and a gold medal to Team USA in London and two key elements were LeBron and Carmelo with their ability to play all five positions.

The same thing could be said of Durant who has completely transformed his game this season by scoring less but increasing his production in all the other stats, especially rebounding and assists, compared to last season! He is taking a page from his buddy LeBron's book on how to make his team and teammates better in order to take that last giant step necessary towards winning a title.


That KD would reinvent his own game after winning the scoring title three years in a row is a tribute to his will to win and basketball IQ, which is simply stratospheric!

George Eddy from FIBA



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Chary Kay
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« Reply #45 on: Nov 08, 2012, 08:33:18 PM »

NBA Basketball: Tournaments, Events & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA: Competencias, Eventos & Comentarios Libres

Lakers and Father Time

Okay folks, don't jump on that Laker bandwagon just yet!

After losing all their pre-season games and the first three regular season contests, the team with the highest payroll (and luxury tax!) isn't looking too dominant for the moment even if they did get their first win of the 2012-13 campaign on Sunday, dismantling the Detroit Pistons 108-79.

Yes, the Lakers are terrifying inside with the NBA's best tandem of starting big men, but they also look old outside with all of the guards and wings past their prime. Then there is the bench which is definitely one big question mark.

Now Steve Nash is injured before he even got started and Kobe Bryant is shouldering once again too much of the scoring load for a 34 year-old despite being in amazing shape for someone who has so many miles on his odometer.

The good news for Laker fans is that the regular season is so long there IS time to come together and learn how to play with each other. I don't think the problem will be managing egos as much as managing some match-ups.

Of course their major strength will be Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol playing for each other down low, but when the rotation players arrive from the bench there will be a net drop-off.

The big match-up problem will be the two point guards getting beat off the dribble and on pick and rolls by ALL of their opponents which will get Howard in early foul trouble trying to help out and fill the holes. This means the Lakers will basically be obliged to outscore opposing teams to win which doesn't really fit the defensive mind-set of coach Mike Brown.

The wings were all better defensive players five years ago and in today's NBA there is a net advantage for youthful teams like OKC and Miami over experienced teams like San Antonio and LA, especially in the playoffs.

Another big problem for the Lakers will be Metta World Peace who looks older than his real age on defense and he is the one who will get a lot of open three-point shots when his man goes to double team either Howard or Gasol.

I'm not sure that Brown wants the Lakers' chances hinging on MWP's iffy outside shooting! This Laker team ressembles the 2004 team which fell apart versus Detroit in the NBA Finals when Karl Malone got hurt and the bickering and ball hogging by Kobe and Shaq became too much to bear for Gary Payton and Phil Jackson who lost control of the team.

I am not even sure that this year's team will make it to the NBA Finals because Oklahoma City is primed to return there after losing to Miami in June.

Maybe James Harden's departure will hurt them more than they think and his first two games with Houston were really impressive, but don't forget that he had a very poor Finals performance and Kevin Martin should make for a pretty good scoring sixth man off the bench too.

What an irony it will be to see Harden battle with Kevin Durant for best scorer this season but that is just a sidelight.


The important thing is who goes the farthest in the playoffs and the Thunder look pretty good to me !

George Eddy from FIBA



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