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Author Topic: ¶ NBA Basketball: Tournaments, Events & Free Comments • Baloncesto NBA: Competencias, Eventos & Comentarios Libres  (Read 729768 times)
ESB Mario Sebastiani
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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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BGA Sandra Mirsov
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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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WBC Deborah Volger
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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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ESB Daniel Ferrero
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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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BGA Sandra Mirsov
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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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