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Author Topic: ¶ NBA Basketball: Tournaments, Events & Free Comments • Baloncesto NBA: Competencias, Eventos & Comentarios Libres  (Read 727535 times)
ESB Mario Sebastiani
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« Reply #74 on: May 30, 2015, 12:02:09 AM »

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


Weekend eBA Basketball Magazine:

Curry and James, true MVPs


George Eddy's International Show
The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers are on a collision course to battle it out for the 2015 NBA Championship.

Both are leading 3-0 in their Conference Finals matchups and both are led by exceptional leaders, Stephen Curry and LeBron James.
In Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, Curry, the reigning MVP, put on a show for the ages scoring 40 points on only 19 shots while making 7 of 9 three-pointers on his way to a 115-80 rout of the Houston Rockets on their home floor, squelching any hopes of a comeback in this series similar to what Houston surprisingly did to the Los Angeles Clippers in the previous round.

In the first two games of the series, Houston kept the score close by making runs in the fourth quarter after falling behind but the Warriors have NEVER lost this season after building a 15-point lead!

The turning point for Golden State in these playoffs was Game 4 in Memphis in the previous round when the Warriors were down 2-1. With a loss they would have gone down 3-1 putting themselves in a very precarious situation. The Memphis Grizzlies had won two games with their grind-it-out style, slowing the tempo, keeping the score down while harrassing the "Splash Brothers" into inhabitually poor shooting percentages.

This is when Steve Kerr and his staff regrouped and came back with a small ball plan of switching on defense and doubling down on Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph inside. With a renewed committment to agressive defense by the whole team and a hamstring injury to Grizzlies defensive ace Tony Allen which liberated Curry and Klay Thompson somewhat, the Warriors won three in a row and never looked back, profitting from Memphis's lack of outside shooting.


LeBron James' Legendary Performance Seals Game 3

The multiple strategic possibilities of a player like Draymond Green who can defend all positions and switch with anyone, make open threes AND find Curry for open shots, were decisive.

The Warriors had swept the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round by essentially outscoring them but against the Grizzlies they needed to get back to playing the defense that Kerr preaches and permitted a club record 67 wins in the regular season.

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Curry is proving more and more in each game in his duel with James Harden that he deserves his MVP trophy.


Is Stephen Curry better than LeBron James? This is an actual question actually being posed by ESPN. This also happens to be a “debate” that would require approximately zero statistical analysis. Here we have the last season stats to compare with this article! In this Photograph from The BIG LEAD presented by eBA Stats Basketball Statistics Analysis . Photograph: The BIG LEAD



He gets more consistent help from his teammates than Harden, who really let the MVP snub get under his skin. The Rockets play a 1980s retro run-and-gun style on offense with a lot of isolation play in the half-court and too often their game boils down to Harden (3 for 16 shooting in Game 3) dribbling around for 15 seconds trying to create something for himself or a teammate (who too often misses).

Harden stacks up the stats but the Warriors stack up the wins by moving themselves and the ball in a modernistic symphony to "pace and space".

Curry is the ultimate finisher, but Green, Andre Iguodala and Andrew Bogut are the ultimate defensive stoppers and helpers who are just as important to Golden State's success. They have it all and have stayed virtually injury-free in these playoffs!

In the East, James is the hobbling leader of a hobbling but gutsy team that leads 3-0 against the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks have had plenty of their own problems with Thabo Sefolosha out, Demarre Carroll, their leading scorer and defensive stopper, bothered by a sprained knee and now Kyle Korver out for the rest of the playoffs.

In Game 3, Al Horford was ejected and LeBron came back from an 0 for 10 start to put up historic numbers while managing multiple booboos, notably to his ankle and knee. He finished in an exhausted state with 37 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists!


Stephen Curry Stirs Up Rockets in Houston with 40 Points

Who would have imagined that Cleveland would be up 3-0 without Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving? Those mid-season trades to get JR Smith, Iman Shumpert and Timofey Mozgov are looking pretty brillant right now. The Hawks are bricking their threes against Cleveland's gritty defense while LeBron is distributing the caviar to Smith, Shumpert, James Jones and Matthew Dellavedova who are filling it up from long range.

The playoff turning point for the Cavs was Game 4 in Chicago in the Conference Semi-finals when, similar to Golden State in Memphis, Cleveland couldn't let themselves go down 3-1.

LeBron hit the shot heard around the world after overruling his own coach's last play choice. "Just get me ball and get out of the way," he said. Bingo!

In the NBA Finals, Golden State with the homecourt advantage and fewer injuries seem to be the clear favorites but you can't underestimate LeBron's competitive fire during his mission to bring a long-awaited title to his home state. He has more playoff experience and success than the whole Warrior roster put together!


The battle between the two true MVPs, Curry and James, two players who couldn't be more different or more likeable, will be fabulous to watch.

George Eddy from FIBA



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HBC Brian Denver
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« Reply #73 on: May 02, 2015, 12:02:09 AM »

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


Weekend eBA Basketball Magazine:

The Quality of Basketball Play During the Playoffs


George Eddy's International Show
Each NBA season we observe the same thing. The quality of play during the playoffs is light years away from a lot of what we see during the regular season. The stakes are higher, the players concentrate and play with more intensity and only the best teams remain in the running. The good news is that some eventual rule changes that the league is considering could also help increase the
quality of play during the regular season.

Adam Silver, the NBA Commissioner, announced that the competent committees are studying the possibility of reducing the number of pre-season games in order to free up some days to limit the number of times teams must play back-to-backs or even worse, four games in five days, during the regular season.I, along with other journalists, have been harping on this issue for many years because studies have proven that rested players play a higher quality of basketball and also get hurt less often.

Another necessary step towards presenting a better product on the court would be to ban the horrible "Hack-a-Shaq" tactic that San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is using against DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs. Pop says he hates the tactic of fouling intentionally a poor free-throw shooter away from the ball but his job is to help his team win games within the rules provided by the league.

Remember, one of Pop's mentors, the late Dean Smith pushed the NCAA to go to a shot clock for the first time with his "four corners offence" during a period in the 1970s when weaker teams would stall to keep the score down. Some games would finish with scores in the twenties and were painful to watch so the NCAA did the right thing with the rule change.

The NBA must do the same concerning the "Hack-a-Shaq" by awarding a free-throw and possession all game long and not just in the last two minutes for this type of intentional foul. Nobody wants to see play halted numerous times in order to watch players brick free-throws! Teams could still let a poor free-throw shooter receive the ball and then foul him which would send him to the line if his team is in the bonus.

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We often see teams that prefer to send players like Jordan or Dwight Howard to the line rather than let them dunk and this would not change.



Top 5 Plays of the Night | April 30, 2015 | NBA Playoffs



In Europe and international competition, the quality of play could be greatly increased by banning what some people call "Euro fouls", which is the practice of systematically fouling early to stop all possibility of a fast-break or transition basket. These tactical fouls are less easily discernable than "Hack-a-Shaq" fouls but they reduce considerably fast-break and uptempo play which generate exciting and spectacular plays. A player who fouls intentionally in these situations without touching or even trying to go for the ball could be sanctionned by one free-throw and possession for the opponent and this would do away with this ugly tactic that slows some games down to a snail's pace.

Since I'm warmed up on rules changes, one of my favorite subjects, let's take things a step further and unify the rules whenever possible.

The NBA would be smart to incorporate the much simpler FIBA rule concerning basket interference, while FIBA would be smart to use the NBA defensive three-second rule to open up the paint and limit the advantages given to giants who clog things up by staying in front of the rim to protect it. The modern day game of basketball is about movement and shooting where small players have a bigger and bigger role to play which is good for the popularity and universality of basketball in general.

Another dossier that needs to be looked at is reducing the amount of time it takes for NBA referees to come to a decision using video replay. Sometimes this drags on for long minutes, which is ridiculous. There are occasions where the last minute of a close game can take a half an hour because of too many time outs, intentional fouling and video replays! This certainly doesn't add to the quality of play.

Last but not least, in basketball everywhere, we must reduce the number of dangerous, hard fouls which almost killed the game in the 1990s. I hate it when pro sports sell violence and basketball doesn't need to.


Protecting the health and well-being of the players must be the number one priority!

George Eddy from FIBA



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« Reply #72 on: Apr 04, 2015, 12:19:01 AM »

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


Weekend eBA Basketball Magazine:

Of international interest


George Eddy's International Show
A lot of international players are having landmark seasons starting with Pau and Marc Gasol who faced off for the jump ball at the All-Star Game.

Pau's consistency has kept the Chicago Bulls in the hunt despite many injury problems and Marc has led the Memphis Grizzlies to third place in the Western Conference despite stiff competition. Memphis seem to
fly under the radar because the franchise doesn't get a lot of media attention but in the coming months we will certainly read alot about Marc's free agency because many teams would love to sign him.

When you scan down the list of Player Efficiency Rating (PER) for this season, you're not surprised to see the Gasol brothers and Tim Duncan in the Top 20 but did you expect to see Nikola Vucevic in 16th place and Rudy Gobert ranked 21st? How about Alexis Ajinca being 33rd just in front of Jonas Valanciunas (34th)?

France's Gobert is playing so well since the Utah Jazz traded a very unhappy Enes Kanter to the Oklahoma City Thunder that he has a fancy nickname that will stick - "The Stifle Tower" ( I love it!).

After the trade, Rudy became a starter and a rebounding, shot-blocking and dunking MACHINE. Thanks to his rim protection, Utah have become a better defensive team and one of the best teams in the West since the All-Star break. Gobert is third in the league in blocked shots behind Anthony Davis and the injured Serge Ibaka and he's averaging a double-double for the month of March! Gobert is a leading candidate for the Most Improved Player (MIP) of the Year award and is considered a viable solution at center for the French national team this summer if Joakim Noah decides not to participate at EuroBasket 2015.

The aforementionned trade also helped Turkey big man Kanter, who said he had lived three and a half years of frustration in Utah, but was enjoying NBA basketball for the first time being on the receiving end of Russell Westbrook's lob passes on his way to eight straight double-doubles! His streak was stopped one rebound short in Sunday's important win against the Phoenix Suns (11 points and 9 rebounds).

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It's interesting to note that out of the top 25 rebounders in the NBA, 11 are international players. The traditional search for quality tall players around the world continues!


A lot of international players are having landmark seasons starting with Pau and Marc Gasol who faced off for the jump ball at the All-Star Game. 
In this Photograph from Pixshark presented by eBA Stats Basketball Statistics Analysis . Photograph: Pixshark



Another MIP candidate is Greece's Giannis Antetokounmpo who has greatly improved his stats and playing time under the direction of new coach Jason Kidd with the Milwaukee Bucks. As is often the case, an injury to a teammate - in this case Jabari Parker - created an opportunity for the Greek national team player and he seized the occasion. The Bucks, who have a number of internationals on the roster playing key roles, will qualify for the playoffs without the star rookie Parker, which is an exceptional result. Bravo!

Last but not least, two international players are battling for Rookie of the Year honors - Spain's Nikola Mirotic and Canada's Andrew Wiggins.

The Canadian was the early favorite, scoring more, but now Mirotic has surpassed him, in my opinion, with a PER of 18 compared to 13.5 for Wiggins.

The Spaniard has carried the Bulls in the month of March as my fellow columnist Jeff Taylor described yesterday and he performs for a much stronger team than Wiggins. An injury to Taj Gibson opened the door to more playing time and responsibilities for Mirotic.

So there you have it - there is an abundance of young international players making a bigger mark on the NBA this season.

This doesn't mean I've overlooked great production, especially on the boards, from veterans like Noah, Al Horford, Omer Asik, Ersan Ilyasova, Andrew Bogut or Marcin Gortat or from younger players like Gorgui Dieng and Steven Adams.


The truth is that international players have become so numerous and influential in the NBA now, that one could write a whole book about them!

George Eddy from FIBA



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HBC Brian Denver
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« Reply #71 on: Feb 28, 2015, 01:21:01 AM »

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


Weekend eBA Basketball Magazine:

Atlanta Hawks - the San Antonio Spurs of the East


George Eddy's International Show
At the start of the 2014-15 NBA season, the two big surprises in the Eastern Conference were the Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards.

Now, without a doubt, the big story is the Atlanta Hawks, a team that resembles the San Antonio Spurs like two drops of water and sent four players to the All-Star Game in New York.
The Hawks, with basically the same roster, have gone from 38-44 (46% winning percentage) last season to 43-12 (78%) this season which is an incredible progression in such a short period of time.

The best team in the East is coached by Gregg Popovich's former lead assistant, Mike Budenholzer, who was elected coach of the month for December and January, and who coached his four players at the All-Star Game.

In record time, Budenholzer has transmitted the DNA for the Spurs' success to his players in Atlanta building a team concept around great passing and three-point shooting but also around an efficient help defense with tight rotations.

The players all buy into this sharing philosophy on both ends of the court and the result produces beautiful team basketball from a franchise that was better known in recent years for mediocre results on the court and various management problems off the court.

As with the Spurs, several international players play important roles for the soaring Hawks.

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Al Horford plays the role of Tim Duncan as a starter and Dennis Schroder, Pero Antic and Thabo Sefolosha are key players off the bench.


What a twist of fate it would be to see the Spurs back in the NBA Finals facing their look-alike brethren from the Eastern Conference, the Atlanta Hawks! In this photograph from NBAE presented by  eBA Stats Group Basketball Statistics Analysis .
Photograph: NBAE



Two of Budenholzer's assistants, Kenny Atkinson and Neven Spahija, have many years of international experience behind them. The US players aren't bad either as Jeff Teague has better stats than his role model, Tony Parker, this season, while Paul Milsap, Kyle Korver (51 percent from three-point range) and DeMarre Carroll are all playing the best basketball of their lives!

This amazing ensemble cast produced a franchise-record 19 straight wins that inspired the NBA to name the Hawks' starting five "Player of the Month" for January. We'd never seen that before!

For the first time in NBA history, a team went 17-0 in a calendar month and 14 times in January the Hawks made 10 or more three-pointers in a game. Wow!

As Korver points out, the Hawks' style is all about timing and rhythm. They don't have a Russell Westbrook to save the day with individual exploits. Instead, they have to do everything as a team.

As with the Golden State Warriors out West, the big question is, can the Hawks translate colossal regular season success into a deep playoff run? Neither conference leader has been able to do this in recent years, but it's this year or never for these two teams!

The eventual weaknesses that could hurt both teams in the post-season are turnovers generated from the passing game and physical defense pushing them off the three-point line and perturbing their rhythm.

Will their team defense and lack of playoff experience hold up against the scrutiny and adjustments of a seven-game playoff series?

We will soon find out because strong teams that have been playing things coy up to now are going to show their real potential as we approach the playoffs.

Teams like the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers in the East and the Memphis Grizzlies and... San Antonio in the West.


What a twist of fate it would be to see the Spurs back in the NBA Finals facing their look-alike brethren from the Eastern Conference, the Atlanta Hawks!

George Eddy from FIBA



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BGA J.J. Diaz
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« Reply #70 on: Dec 06, 2014, 02:13:26 AM »

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


Weekend eBA Basketball Magazine:

Messina tastes success in becoming
first European to coach in NBA


The invasion of European players to the NBA occurred many years ago, with legends like Drazen Petrovic of Croatia and Dirk Nowitzki of Germany taking center stage in North America.

Until Wednesday night, though, no European-born-and-raised coach had ever run a team in the regular season.

Ettore Messina of Italy became the first to lead a team when he filled in for Gregg Popovich and coached the San Antonio Spurs to a 106-100 triumph over the visiting Indiana Pacers.

A huge hit during his time as the coach of clubs like Virtus Bologna, Benetton Treviso, CSKA Moscow and Italy's national team, Messina didn't look out of place at all.

Getting 28 points from Manu Ginobili, the Argentinian star he coached over a decade ago with Bologna, Messina got the sweet taste of an NBA victory.

"He was unbelievable," Messina said of Ginobili, who turned 37 four months ago

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"He was all over the place, not only basketball wise, but his effort and his desire was contagious."


Ettore Messina (ITA) - Assistant coach of the San Antonio Spurs (NBA) with Argentinian Player Manu Ginobili. 
In this image from NBAE presented by eBA Stats Basketball Statistics Analysis .

Image: NBAE

Ettore Messina (ITA) - Assistant coach of the San Antonio Spurs (NBA)
with Argentinian Player Manu Ginobili.



Kiki Vandeweghe, who once shone in the NBA as a player, was born in Germany but grew up in America. He served as an interim coach of the then New Jersey Nets during the 2009-10 campaign. Until Messina's feat on Wednesday night, he was the closest thing there had ever been to a European coach leading a team to victory in the world's biggest basketball league.

In San Antonio, the night would not have been as special as it turned out to be for Messina had his former star pupil in Italy not come to the rescue.

With the home team down 66-62 with 4:24 left in the third quarter, Ginobili scored with a driving bank shot.

He twice buried jump shots later in the period - once from three-point range - to pull the Spurs level and also added a pair of free-throws and made another basket.

The Pacers still looked as if they might claim a precious road win and spoil the evening for Messina when they went in front by six early in the final frame.

But Ginobili continued to provide points for the Spurs and helped them as they went on a 16-2 run.

Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard got in on the act as well.

A three-pointer from France international Parker knotted the contest at 91-91 with 5:54 remaining before Leonard connected from beyond the arc to put the Spurs up by three and they stayed on top the rest of the way.

"It was great to see (Messina) out there and trying to take over the team and yell at us and get upset," Ginobili said.

"It really got me thinking about 13 years ago (in Italy).


"I am happy for him; I know it's not easy to go and replace Pop, even if it's for just one game."

 FIBA



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ESB Mario Sebastiani
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« Reply #69 on: Feb 16, 2014, 01:05:07 AM »

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

Weekend eBA Basketball Magazine:

Teletovic improving …


George Eddy's International Show
One international player who has shown a lot of improvement this season is the Brooklyn Nets Bosnian three-point gunner, Mirza Teletovic.

He has been pretty much flying under the radar screen since he arrived in Brooklyn but the season-ending injury to center Brook Lopez openned up some more playing time for Mirza who is scoring more than Kevin Garnett while playing less.
He also has a higher Player Efficiency Rating (PER) than Kevin which shows he is using the playing time intelligently after having to accept a lot of DNP-CDs (Did Not Play-Coach's Decision) in his first season and also in the first month of this season.

Along with Joe Johnson, he is the best and most prolific three-point shooter on the team at 41 percent; in fact, he was a career 40 percent three-point shooter during his six seasons in Vitoria, Spain. Everyone remembers his incredible three-pointer from 11 meters out at last summer's EuroBasket in Slovenia when he scored 31 points against the future finalists, Lithuania!

Teletovic's life and career have never been easy as he grew up during the horror of the Bosnian war before moving to Belgium as a fully-fledged professional at the tender age of 18.

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He grew and improved drastically during his six seasons in Vitoria and even averaged over 21 points a game in his last Euroleague campaign.


Teletovic is a big unknown at the NBA level. Technically a 26-year-old rookie, the 6’9” power forward made his mark as the leading scorer in Euroleague in 2011-12. He can — and will — shoot the three like nobody’s business, and hit 43.1% of his three-pointers for Caja Laboral last season. He’s been compared to a poor man’s Ryan Anderson, but seems a bit more shameless with his gunning. 
In this photograph from The Brooklyn Game presented by #eBAStatsGroup #BasketballStatistics Analysis .
Photograph: The Brooklyn Game



He bought out the hefty freedom clause in his contract for $2 million (as Luis Scola and Tiago Splitter did before him) because Vitoria has become well-known for its smart policy of signing young, rising star talent to long-term contracts with expensive NBA buy-out clauses. If these players are obliged to stay longer than expected in Europe, there is a positive aspect, because when they finally do go to the NBA they are more mature and ready to have an immediate impact.

I thought Mirza would show off his skills last season but his coaches used the Gregg Popovich method of bringing him along slowly, letting him learn the system and a good lesson in humility to boot! After not playing at all against the Chicago Bulls in the 2013 playoffs, Teletovic has more than doubled his playing time and stats this season becoming the first power forward off the bench while averaging over 10 points a game in December and January.

This good stretch culminated with his NBA career-high, reference game against the Dallas Mavericks and their porous zone defense, scoring 34 points and hitting seven of 11 three pointers! Brooklyn have won 13 of their last 18 games after a terrible start and despite numerous injuries, they are in good position to make the playoffs.

At 28, he is at the top of his physical and technical form as the resolutely modern-day, three-point shooting 6ft 9in power forward that the ambitious Nets will be able to count on in the future!


Teletovic has played an increasingly important role during this good run...

George Eddy from FIBA



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« Reply #68 on: Jan 19, 2014, 01:24:45 AM »

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

Weekend eBA Basketball Magazine:

It took a full week for Joakim Noah
to digest the Luol Deng trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

It took a full week for Joakim Noah to digest the Luol Deng trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The usually affable Noah refused to talk to the media while he came to grips with the fact that his good friend and ideal teammate wasn't going to be around anymore to try and gut out wins while Derrick Rose nurses a new knee injury.

Noah finally opened up to the media to say that the trade was difficult to swallow because the NBA was more than just a business to Noah and Deng and that the two close friends put their heart and soul on the line for each game which, of course, made them perfect fits for Tom Thibodeau's defensive, grind-it-out style of basketball.

For proof of this, just look at the team stats where the Chicago Bulls are second in points allowed and LAST in points scored!

This trade was the Chicago decision-makers' way of saying that they didn't want to break the bank to keep Deng, who is in the last year of his contract, despite his great all-around and All-Star level play along with being a model citizen and teammate.

With Rose out again, the chances of playing for a title were very thin anyway so the Bulls are going to try and rebuild on the run and hope, just like the other 29 franchises, to profit from the best draft class in years to reel in a top flight performer at discount, rookie - scale contract prices.

Of course, Tom Thibodeau didn't like the trade either but this isn't the first time he hasn't seen eye to eye with the Chicago brass...

He's taken an intelligent corporate stance by stating that in the NBA, the most important thing is to roll with the punches, dust yourself off and get ready for the next battle.

Noah was intelligent too, because he knew that if he spoke from the heart right off the bat, some feathers were going to get ruffled, so he walled himself in silence for a week to avoid the type of verbal controversy he had often created as a younger player in the league.

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Now Joakim is less naive and a more mature, political animal.


Joakim Noah is a guy I always think is going to make a great fantasy sleeper every year. That highlight video of his epic game versus the Nets in last season’s playoff game showcases some of the reasons I always think Noah will make an awesome fantasy player, he gets involved in nearly every element of the game. You see the way he moves without the ball, crashes the boards, blocking everything and hands out great passes like he thinks he’s Derrick Rose and I’m convin“ced he’s going to lift my fantasy team to success. Oh and nobody out-celebrates him. In this photograph photograph from TD Fantasy Sports presented by #eBAStatsGroup #BasketballStatistics Analysis .
Photograph:TD Fantasy Sports



Same thing when it comes to talking about his participation with the French national team.

Noah was very happy for his French teammates who were crowned for the first time at the Slovenia 2013 Eurobasket but he admits that he doesn't feel the same fervor and investment as Tony Parker or Boris Diaw because Joakim was not raised in France and the French basketball system.

Noah is a pure product of the US system from junior high right up to his two NCAA titles with Florida.

When Noah was a finalist at the 2011 Eurobasket he was, as usual, fully motivated and invested but it was essentially done to please his dad, Yannick, a former winner of Roland Garros.

Deng, as we all know, has done a lot for the country of Sudan and for the British national team program and now we will see what he can do for Cleveland teaming up with their superstar Kyrie Irving.

Will it be for the long haul? Deng is open to dicussion with the Cavs but only time will tell.

Personally, I feel it's a shame to have broken up the Noah-Deng tandem in Chicago.

They fit so well together because they both anchored a great defense while on offense, Luol's outside shooting was perfectly complementary to Noah's passing and screening skills.


They both hit the offensive boards like madmen, in fact, they did everything on the court that way and I, for one, am going to miss seeing them play together!

George Eddy from FIBA



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« Reply #67 on: Dec 29, 2013, 01:02:17 AM »

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

Weekend eBA Basketball Magazine:

We are living a fabulous era for point guards,
probably the best NBA point guard era EVER!

With the new NBA season under way, it dawned on me that we are living a fabulous era for point guards, probably the best EVER!

It's comparable to the Bob Cousy-Jerry West-Oscar Robertson era of the early 1960s or the Magic Johnson-Isiah Thomas-Dennis Johnson period of the 1980s.

The big advantage for today's point guards is that the NBA no longer allows hand-checking on defense which liberates all these quick playmakers to run havoc over today's defenses.  

A sparkling example of this is the Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul - the NBA's scoring AND assist leader after three games - who brings to mind a certain Nate 'Tiny' Archibald from the 1970s.

Paul's recent duel with up-and-coming Stephen Curry - the revelation of last season's playoffs - in which he had 42 points and 15 assists was a thing of beauty. Two high octane offenses, running and gunning, produced a great show for so early in the season!

Then there's the glorious return of Russell Westbrook Sunday night which comforted the Oklahoma City Thunder fans in the notion that their team is once again ready to CONTEND.

Same thing for the Minnesota Timberwolves who won their first three games behind the adroit passing of Ricky Rubio and his mended knee. After a decent EuroBasket, I see Rubio averaging 10 assists a game this season and if he figures out how to put some arc on his jump shot then the sky will be his limit. The Wolves are among a group of five or six teams in the West that could finish anywhere from fifth to 10th this season.

A lot like the Portland Trail Blazers and their point guard jewel, Damian Lillard, who is also scoring strong out of the gate. Along with Derrick Rose and Kyrie Irving, he makes up the new generation of elite playmakers who will one day carry the torch from stellar performers like Paul, Rajon Rondo (still injured) and especially Tony Parker.

TP, soon to be father of a baby boy, has been living a dream in the last 12 months as he is coming off his best season statistically, a fourth NBA Finals where he was 28 seconds away from being champion and possibly MVP, and an historic, first-ever EuroBasket title with France and MVP trophy to boot!

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This season I feel his individual stats will be down some because of accumulated fatigue after playing non-stop with little vacation time for several seasons and this will probably be a good thing in the long run.


Don’t put your hair on Russell Westbrook.... If anyone out there is thinking of putting their hair on or about Russell Westbrook, here is a quick word of advice — don’t. He hates that ! In this photograph by Sam Alipour from The Score presented by #eBAStatsGroup #BasketballStatistics Analysis .
Photograph from The Basketball Jones



Parker is the best all-time point guard finisher near the basket with his Kevin McHale footwork done at the speed of light but his coach Gregg Popovich is the all-time best coach at resting his players during the regular season in order to get them in top shape for the playoffs.

Tony, the Spurs' undisputed leader now, will get the same treatment as Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili these last few seasons, resting more and sitting out the second games of back to backs etc...

This has prolonged intelligently their careers and also the Spurs run at the top of the league when many experts, including myself, feared they were an aging team. Never again should we underestimate their capacity to renew themselves and rebound from a disappointing season!

The Spurs also have a record nine non-Americans on their roster and an European style, drive and kick passing game that produces the best teamwork in the NBA. Now Popovich just needs to learn how to foul in the money time to avoid opponents' comeback three-point shots like they do in Europe and everything will be hunky dory in San Anton! He has already evolved from a hyper-defensive, slow it down coach into a three-point, uptempo fanatic, so anything is possible.

And what about the possibilities of Deron Williams, mentored by Jason Kidd, while orchestrating the most expensive NBA roster for the highly ambitious Brooklyn Nets?

All of these story lines lead to one conclusion; the NBA has never had so many quality point guards throughout its history, and we are going to love watching them.

One last point about the playmakers; we must tip our hat to the progress of modern medicine concerning knee and ankle injuries and surgeries because most of the aforementioned players have had to come back from a major injury at some point in their careers.


In the good old days, many brillant players saw their careers shortened by the same type of injuries.

George Eddy from FIBA



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« Reply #66 on: Dec 22, 2013, 01:02:27 AM »

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

Weekend eBA Basketball Magazine:

The Brooklyn Nets Turnaround

All the critics and observers who threw the Brooklyn Nets under the bus in the first month of the season are going to have to eat their words. The Nets are going to turn things around under one condition: that Deron Williams and Brook Lopez stay healthy and on the court!

THEY are the two key players to Brooklyn's ambitious and expensive win-now project which was proven by all the difficulties the Nets encountered while they were in and out of the line-up.

Too much attention was directed to Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett during the string of losses in the first month and this was unfair because at their age they came to Brooklyn to fill holes and provide valuable experience during the playoffs, not carry the team during the marathon regular season full of back-to-backs!

Brooklyn without Williams and Lopez is like the Chicago Bulls without Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah; it's just not the same team. Deron gets everything and everyone moving while Lopez is the best offensive center in the East and a darn good rim protector too.

We saw during Brooklyn's recent three-game winning streak what their team will become. Joe Johnson, their most consistent performer from the start, is no longer obliged to carry the team and using Pierce off the bench while he gets back into game shape is logical.

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Pierce and Kobe Bryant, coming back from injuries at 35, make me think of Michael Jordan when he came back as a player with the Washington Wizards, very slow but still capable of a few flashes from the past!


Brooklyn Nets forward Andray Blatche, left, reacts after hitting a free throw shot as teammates Deron Williams (8), Brook Lopez (11) and Joe Johnson celebrate during the second half in Game 6 of their first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Chicago Bulls in Chicago, Thursday, May 2, 2013. The Nets won 95-92. In this AP photograph by Nam Y. Huh from Sports Hub presented by #eBAStatsGroup #BasketballStatistics Analysis .
Photograph: Sports Hub



If Andray Blatche stays focused and Andrei Kirilenko (another key player) cures his back spasms, the Nets will make a nice run up the standings in the pathetic Eastern Conference where there is more talk about tanking in order to profit from the best draft class since 2003 (LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade...etc) than there is talk of trying to make the playoffs!

Of course, during the bad streak, many people enjoyed the chance to pounce on Brooklyn's owner who was trying to BUY a title, something which has been proven to be impossible by the New York Knicks. Rookie head coach Jason Kidd was highly-criticised and often seemed lost on the bench but in the long run he should have the leadership qualities necessary to succeed as an NBA coach the way Larry Bird did with the Indiana Pacers and not the way Magic Johnson failed with the Los Angeles Lakers!

The poor handling of the Lawrence Frank situation added pressure and media scrutiny to an already pressure-packed, losing period. The truth is that Frank wants to be a HEAD coach not an assistant.

Of course, in the short run, the Nets would have probably been better off if they had outbid the Los Angeles Clippers for Doc Rivers or if they had chosen the experience of a Lionel Hollins or George Karl to profit from the short window of opportunity which is open to Brooklyn for two seasons.

Now that we have gotten a taste of Brooklyn's true potential, it will take patience to let Kidd and his players acquire and maintain good health, shared experience and progress during the regular season in order to make a decent showing in the playoffs.


I feel that this will be a season of transition towards a winning culture and in 2014-2015 the Nets could be ready to make a last-dance type run at the title.

George Eddy from FIBA



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« Reply #65 on: Dec 04, 2013, 01:32:55 AM »

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

The Most Impressive NBA Player

Which NBA international player has impressed me the most in the first month of the 2013-2014 NBA season? Well...Tony Parker is the undisputed leader of a San Antonio Spurs team tied for the best record in the dominant Western Conference after being MVP and Champion at EuroBasket 2013 with France.

With practically no vacation, he presses on regardless like his French teammate Nicolas Batum who is an all-around threat and starter for THE surprise team of the first month since the Portland Trail Blazers are tied for first place in the West with San Antonio.

Dirk Nowitzki is averaging over 20 points a game with the Dallas Mavericks and Luol Deng over 18 with the Chicago Bulls. I could choose Nikola Pekovic from Montenegro, who is proving he is worth his big, new contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves putting up his best career stats, or his countryman Nikola Vucevic who is averaging a double-double on 55% shooting as a rebuilding block for the future on a weak Orlando Magic team in an even weaker Eastern Conference (if you put aside the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat).

I have been most impressed by a player who has similar stats to Vucevic except that he is a starter for the third best team in the West, the Oklahoma City Thunder. You guessed it, he's Serge Ibaka! He did not play for Spain this summer so he came back rested and ready for the new NBA season and it's obvious he worked on his game during his time off.

Ibaka has steadily progressed each season since he came into the league. He was considered an athletic shot-blocker at the beginning but he has become an excellent shooter from 20 feet in, shooting 55 percent over his career! This summer he added a head-fake and drive to the basket move that he often finishes with powerful dunks or cool finger rolls and this makes him even more dangerous.

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His perimeter shooting has always been the perfect complement to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook drives to the hoop because he frees up the key by spotting up outside.


On Friday night, late in the fourth quarter of the Oklahoma City Thunder's nationally televised 114-108 win over the visiting Los Angeles Lakers, Thunder forward Ibaka and Lakers forward Metta World Peace got a little bit physical with one another while battling for rebounding position following a free throw. There was grabbing of jerseys, blowing of whistles and separating by teammates; beyond that, as ESPN color commentator Jeff Van Gundy said, 'That was nothing...'
In this photograph by Ronald Martinez / Getty Images from Yahoo Sports presented by #eBAStatsGroup #BasketballStatistics Analysis .
Photograph: Yahoo Sports



We now better understand why Oklahoma City considered re-signing Serge even more of a priority than James Harden. Quality and durable big men have ALWAYS been a priority in the NBA!

The French-speaking Ibaka, who grew and improved in the excellent Spanish youth basketball system, is an excellent example of an amazing athlete who worked his butt off so that his technique could catch up with his athleticism. One of the best examples of this phenomenon, was, of course, Michael Jordan.

This season, Serge ranks third in the NBA in blocks and eighth in rebounding while averaging a double-double of 15 points and 10 boards in 34 minutes a game, while shooting 53 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free-throw line. He's improved about 20 to 30 percent in each stat, except for shooting percentage, compared to last season!

He's also become a master of winning details that don't show up on the stat sheet like help defense, setting good picks or keeping balls alive on the offensive glass. In a recent high-level match-up against San Antonio, he blocked Tim Duncan's shot three times and pretty much shut him down one on one, on the way to a victory of reference.

Right now Ibaka is having a better season than his legendary Spanish teammate, Pau Gasol. The affable young African will probably be a major cog on a Spanish national team hungry to win the first-ever FIBA Basketball World Cup at home next summer.


His improvement, along with the return of Westbrook and the emergence of an excellent shooter, Jeremy Lamb, to replace Kevin Martin makes Oklahoma City, once again, a major title contender.

George Eddy from FIBA



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« Reply #64 on: Nov 24, 2013, 01:09:28 AM »

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

Curry adds spice

Why do I enjoy watching Stephen Curry play so much? Let me count the reasons.

Son of a magnificent shooter and NBA sixth man, Dell, Stephen had a brillant high school career and expected to go to a prestigious university but as he puts it "those schools didn't call". He went to less well-known Davidson, played brillantly, leading the nation in scoring and even took them to the Elite Eight.

Despite three wonderful seasons at Davidson, some scouts told him he was too frail and weak on defence to play in the NBA and once again he accepted the challenge and worked on his game harder than anyone. In this respect, he ressembles Pete Maravich or Drazen Petrovic who devellopped their technique until it became an art form.

His main physical attribute, like Chris Paul or Tony Parker, is his innate quickness, which added to his changes of speed and direction (the essence of basketball) make him literally unstoppable. He's a better longe range shooter than Tony and less of a passer than Chris although this season he's upped his assists considerably to almost nine a game.

Stephen has a fluid, seemingly effortless style, like Maravich, using smart fakes to get separation from the defence to the point that he always is a step ahead of his defender. He never seems to be forcing his moves or his shots because of the way he reads the defence and then acts accordingly.

Another strong point of his game is the absence of useless, show-off moves or parasites in his shooting mechanics. His game is a textbook for young players trying to improve their one on one skills the way John Wooden's early 60's book, Practical Modern Basketball, was a permanent reference for following generations of coaches and players.

Curry is old school, using his quickness and technique more than brute strength which is contrary to the trend in modern sports.

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This kind of athletic elegance is rare these days compared to greats from the past like Pélé, Ali, DiMaggio, Montana or Jordan.


Son of a magnificent shooter and NBA sixth man, Dell, Stephen had a brillant high school career and expected to go to a prestigious university but as he puts it 'those schools didn't call'. He went to less well-known Davidson, played brillantly, leading the nation in scoring and even took them to the Elite Eight. In this photograph by Zack Serroukh from What Talking presented by eBA Stats Basketball Statistics Analysis .
Photograph: What Talking



Along with his killer crossover dribbles (which are quite modern), Curry's spiciest moves are the simple "catch and shoot" and "the fake, dribble and shoot". He has the quickest release and highest arc in the NBA (this has been measured) because off the way he always plants his feet, then shoots from the "shot pocket" next to his right ear with very simple mechanics and follow-through.

In French they say, "Simplicity is Elegance". He doesn't over-jump and he relaxedly releases his shot just before he reaches the high point of his leap. He doesn't shoot OVER defenders, he shoots BEFORE they can intervene or AFTER a simple, quick fake has destabilized them.

Since he's so deadly with the "catch and shoot" three point shot, defenders jump out at him constantly which opens up the "fake and step back or step to the side" move to create space to shoot. He also possesses a wide variety of fakes and floaters when he drives to the hoop.

Like the great Oscar Robertson he rarely shows emotion during play but he does know how to celebrate a great play with his teammates during a timeout! He never goes charging into a defender looking for a foul; he's more like a lightning-quick Bambi gliding around the forest on fragile ankles to avoid the hunters (defenders). With his baby face- he's 25 going on 15- the Bambi metaphor seems even more appropriate.


After breaking the all-time NBA record for three pointers made in a season with 272, we can only wonder what kind of amazing surprises he has up his sleeve for us this season!

George Eddy from FIBA



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« Reply #63 on: Oct 27, 2013, 12:24:30 AM »

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

Nets and Clippers, two intriguing teams

The two NBA teams that have created the most buzz during the off-season are the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Clippers and I wouldn't be surprised to see both teams progress substantially this season.

However will it be enough to dethrone the Miami Heat in the East and the San Antonio Spurs in the West?

The Nets have an impressive starting five which is a mix of several generations that will have to learn quickly to play together. I can't wait to see, for example, how long it will take before Kevin Garnett loses patience and blows a fuse about Brook Lopez's defense and rebounding! Their bench is headed by a great all-around player, Andrei Kirlenko from Russia, and they look strong down to the ninth man in their rotation.

They took the risk of naming a rookie coach, Jason Kidd, a great leader as a player, to guide them during their short window of opportunity considering the ages of their big recruits, Garnett and Paul Pierce, who have already started their psychological warfare with LeBron James and Miami.

They have two seasons to win it all and their situation makes me think of the Los Angeles Lakers in 2004 and last season with big name signings of aging superstars. It should be enough to get them into the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals or top four but I don't feel they will be strong enough to eliminate the defending champions Miami, Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls, three teams that all seem re-inforced compared to last season.

Maybe the big deal for the Nets will be to win the battle of the Big Apple, finishing ahead of their rivals the New York Knicks, a team that seems to be stagnating in comparison to the other four elite teams of the East.

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After that top five, the rest of the Eastern Conference looks pretty weak with a lot of rebuilding projects in the making.


The key for the Clips will be the relationship between their new coach (another former Celtic!), Doc Rivers and superstar, Chris Paul. They should and must be on the same page in order to get their young bucks to finally buckle down and play defense in order to create a winning culture from an historically losing franchise.In this photograph from Slam Online Wallpapers presented by eBA Stats Basketball Statistics Analysis
Photograph: Chris Paul Slam Online Wallpaper



In the West, there is potential for surprising success down to the 10th team in the hierarchy but the top four should still be San Antonio, the Oklahoma City Thunder, Memphis Grizzlies and the aforementioned LA Clippers, with teams like the Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets hoping to break through into elite status.

The key for the Clips will be the relationship between their new coach (another former Celtic!), Doc Rivers and superstar, Chris Paul. They should and must be on the same page in order to get their young bucks to finally buckle down and play defense in order to create a winning culture from an historically losing franchise.

DeAndre Jordan is all in, what about star scorer Blake Griffin? Doc Rivers is probably the best active NBA coach after Gregg Popovich so if anyone can get it done, it's Doc! He has already started his own psychological warfare with the crosstown rivals, the Lakers, by covering their championship banners during Clippers games in the shared Staples Center. Can Rivers work his motivational magic with the new generation or is he essentially a coach for seasoned veterans which he had in Boston? We will know the answer around the month of May!

My feeling is that they are good enough to make the semis like Brooklyn but it will take them more time (and one more top notch forward) to move ahead of the other elite three in the Western Conference this season.


What do you think?

George Eddy from FIBA



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« Reply #62 on: Oct 12, 2013, 06:56:39 PM »

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

The evolution of Tony Parker and Marc Gasol

Many observers agree that the EuroBasket 2013 Semi-final opposing France and Spain was probably the game that designated the future champions.

Spain had beaten France eight times in a row and once again dominated them totally in the first half.

The turning point was a surprisingly hard unsportsmanlike foul that "Mr Nice Guy" captain Boris Diaw committed on Sergio Lull on a breakaway lay-up in the second quarter. This symbolised that France wasn't going to go down easy this time.

During the halftime break, Tony Parker emotionally told his teammates that they looked scared and that you could see on the Spanish players' faces that they didn't respect the French players.

In the second half, the French team looked electrified and simply played the best half of basketball in the history of the French national team, according to Tony, washing away years of frustration by winning in overtime.

The evolution of Parker from a rail thin but lightning quick teenager into a mature and relentless leader as he passed the age of 30 is simply amazing.

After years of learning important life lessons from Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich, Parker now transmits his savoir faire to his young teammates playing the role of the wise mentor who keeps everybody on the same page.

I have crossed paths with Tony a lot since 1999 when we used to play HORSE and pick-up games with him and his brothers in a Paris gym.

As he likes to put it, he was born under a lucky star, uniting the best aspects of his double French-American culture. He is a mix of world class speed and a total absence of self-doubt along with undying recognition for the quality upbringing by his parents and the French youth basketball system.

After 10 years of ups and downs pursuing an elusive title with other players of his generation like Diaw and Florent Pietrus, Tony said he wouldn't have had it any other way because the extreme difficulty of the task made the winning of the title all the more satisfying.

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This could be seen on Tony's face just after the win over Spain as he shared his immeasurable joy and...relief with his team.


Remember, Marc first shined on the international stage when he played an unexpectedly important role in the Final of the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan after Pau was injured in the Semi-Final. In Slovenia, Marc came within one shot of the Final and was named the best center of the competition standing next to...Parker on the podium. In this Picture from melty presented by eBA Stats Basketball Statistics Analysis
Photograph: melty



Tony was born into humble but happy circumstances and also knew some highs and lows in his highly-public personal life over the years. Now he is in a stable and secure place having proven his worth over and over on the NBA and international stage.

His EuroBasket title and MVP performance are his crowning achievements and the humble way he has handled and shared with his teammates all the adulation has endeared him to the French fans forever.

He has joined other French sports icons like Jean Claude Killy, Michel Platini and Zinedine Zidane in the Pantheon of all-time greats!

When Tony was a teenager, many specialists found him too wispy and fragile along with too poor an outside shooter to ever make it in the NBA. Of course, he knew different.

When Marc Gasol was a teenager, many experts found him pudgy and slow, believing he would never be as good a player as his celebrated brother Pau.

I first met Marc in 2002 in Philadelphia at the NBA All-Star weekend when some common friends (Spanish Journalists) invited me to play pick-up ball with them.

Marc was an overweight high school player in Memphis at the time but I could see playing against him that he had great hands and an excellent basketball IQ at the age of 17.

After some playful trash-talking, we became fast friends and over the years he has always gone out of his way to greet me with a warm smile.

His evolution over the last decade has been just as impressive as Parker's. His hard work towards physical self-improvement has made him into one of the best centers in the world. It's to the point now that many people wonder if the Los Angeles Lakers really got the best end of the supposedly one-sided deal when Marc's rights were thrown in as an afterthought in the famous trade that brought Pau to LA.

The truth is, of course, that both brothers are among the world's elite.

Pau's numerous titles in the NBA and especially in international competition were an inspiration to Parker and Tony told Pau just that when they had dinner together a few months ago.

Now it's Marc's time to go for an NBA title with the Memphis Grizzlies after being named Defensive Player of the Year last season.

Remember, Marc first shined on the international stage when he played an unexpectedly important role in the Final of the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan after Pau was injured in the Semi-Final.

In Slovenia, Marc came within one shot of the Final and was named the best center of the competition standing next to...Parker on the podium.


Watching both men grow and mature as players and leaders has been wonderful to see. It's glittering proof that nice guys (and hard workers!) DO finish first!

George Eddy from FIBA



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« Reply #61 on: Jul 07, 2013, 12:54:33 AM »

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

The NBA title and draft

I don't know if Gregg Popovich's recent statements about foreign players being more coachable were a deciding factor, but 12 international players were chosen in the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft.

It is more likely that the San Antonio Spurs' continued success in the last 15 years - using a lot of cost-friendly foreign talent - has pushed many, if not all, the teams to search in that direction.

How symbolic to see Hakeem Olajuwon be the one to send David Stern off to a comfortable retirement after participating in the last NBA Draft night of his successful reign at the top of the league.

Internationalisation was one of Stern's big priorities and in 10 years, I bet almost half the NBA will be made up of international players, some of whom will be playing in franchises outside the continental US.

It's true that San Antonio and the Miami Heat were absolute opposites in every way (except that they both have a lot of Spanish-speaking fans) starting with the way the two teams were built and developed.

The Heat broke out the checkbook and tourist pamplets of Miami to attract topflight free agents whereas the Spurs are all about finding hidden talent where others aren't looking, then developping that talent patiently to fit into a tried and true collective basketball system that Pop invented and improved over the years, adapting to new trends and his own players' talents.

Many NBA teams are trying to copy the Spurs' blueprint by hiring away their managers and coaches and so far the Oklahoma City Thunder has been the most successful.

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People who appreciate what this small-market town has accomplished in the NBA over the years without over-spending were downright distraught over the frustrating loss to Miami in Game 6.


Eric Spoelstra ended up out-adjusting the master going to a very small ball line-up and pulling out of his magician's hat six of eight three-pointers from a forgotten Shane Battier in Game 7.p
Photograph from NBA.com



The Spurs' bench started celebrating 28 seconds too early because as Tony Parker pointed out, 98.6 percent of the time when a team leads by five with 28 seconds left, that team wins.

Here's where the European influence on Pop's strategy has its limits because most European teams would have fouled in that situation in order to nullify the slight probability of Miami making TWO miracle three-pointers in the remaining time.

Parker called it the toughest loss of his career but his coach, ever the philosopher, said to his players that if this loss is the worst thing that happens to them in their lifetime, then they are going to have a pretty pleasant life!

Many admirers would have liked to see the great Tim Duncan go out as the champion that he is but as LeBron James said, this time, Miami was just a tad luckier.

We could add that Miami had...LeBron James, the best player in the world, winner of two NBA championships and one Olympic gold medal over the last 12 months.

James and Dwyane Wade overcame Pop's "force James and Wade to shoot jump shots" strategy by knocking them down in Game 7.

James is the all-time best scorer in Game 7's and Wade overcame a sore knee to score more than 20 in the key games when Miami needed him the most.

Eric Spoelstra ended up out-adjusting the master going to a very small ball line-up and pulling out of his magician's hat six of eight three-pointers from a forgotten Shane Battier in Game 7.

With Duncan's missed "bunny shot" at the end of Game 7, Parker's pulled hamstring and Manu Ginobili's inconsistency, this ended up being too much for San Antonio which had an unexpectedly good run this year.

Who knows, maybe they have a chance to be back next season because Duncan, heroically ageless, isn't slowing down and he reminds me of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at the end of his Laker reign.


Anyway, bravo and thanks to both teams for a wonderful seven-game series where team play, fair play and respect between the two adversaries was omnipresent and a pleasant thing to see; definitely good for the image of NBA basketball in general during David Stern's last dance.

George Eddy from FIBA



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« Reply #60 on: May 26, 2013, 10:00:35 PM »

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

Will Noel be in Cleveland,
or could Cavs deal pick?
David Hein's Eye on the Future
As soon as the bowtie-wearing Dan and Nick Gilbert won the 2013 NBA Draft lottery's first pick, it was automatically assumed that the Cleveland Cavaliers would be adding Nerlens Noel from Kentucky.
Not so fast.
Sure, he would be a nice fit for new/old coach Mike Brown, who could come up with loads of defensive schemes to take advantage of Noel's superb shot-blocking skills.
But Noel is coming off a torn left ACL and while he is making progress in his rehab from the February 12 injury, it's hard to just look past the issue.

Of course Cleveland have a good history with taking players with an injury in the number one slot - as All-Star Kyrie Irving had a toe issue coming out of Duke when the Cavs took him first in 2011.

Cleveland, however, have been quick to say it's not a done deal they will select Noel on June 27 with the number one pick - though Noel has already talked about how much fun he would have playing with Irving.

The Cavs are in a good situation going into the draft. They also own picks 19, 31 and 33 in the 2013 draft - the latter two being the first and third selections in the second round. They also own three future first round picks - besides their own selections. And then they have a cool 20 million dollars in especially valuable cap space.

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All that gives Cleveland plenty of options building up to the draft.

Nerlens Noel (born April 10, 1994) is a Haitian American former college basketball player. Noel, a son of Haitian immigrants to the U.S., played one season at the University of Kentucky. He plays center, and was one of the top high school basketball players in the class of 2012. He is known for his trademark hi-top fade hairstyle. Photograph: cdn.turner.com/si
Photograph PTP ~ Pass the Pill


One possibility would be to trade away the top pick - especially since Noel is not the overwhelming number one choice. Many think Ben McLemore, Otto Porter and Victor Oladipo could also go number one overall. In fact, some argue Georgetown swingman Porter would be a better fit for a team with Irving, Dion Waters, Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao.

The last time the number one selection was traded came 20 years ago when the Orlando Magic took Chris Webber first and traded him to the Golden State Warriors immediately for Penny Hardaway and three future first round picks.

Cleveland not only have the draft picks but also have the money and a good nucleus of young talented players to attract a big name in a trade. There are also a number of top class free agents who could take the Cavs' money.

If they wanted to get a big man, of course Dwight Howard is out there but less of a headache would be guys like David West, Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson and Nikola Pekovic. Swingmen Andre Iguodala and Tony Allen are available as well.

Cavs general manager Chris Grant has said he would be open to dealing the number one pick - which could bring in even more assets. There are loads of rumors out there that Cleveland would love to eventually get LeBron James back to his home state. And the Cavs' picks could be enough to land another star from a rebuilding team.

Safe money, however, has Cleveland picking Noel and letting him slowly come back and build up his knee.


The Cavaliers' history of number one overall selections has been solid to say the least - All-Stars Austin Carr (1971) and Brad Daugherty (1986) before LeBron James in 2003 and Kyrie Irving in 2011.

David Hein from FIBA



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