Posted on: February 7, 2012 5:43 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2012 5:46 pm
By Matt Moore
"Get back on defense!"
How many times in basketball courts across America is that phrase used, daily? It's the number one crime a player can make. Hot-dogging it. Showboating. Giving the effort on the offensive end and then lazily letting your man get up the floor to score. It's a tenet, it's a principle, it's a commandment of basketball. Get back on defense.
Well, JaVale McGee made that effort last night. And for the first time in recorded history, a player tried too hard to get back on defense.
Oh, but wait, it looks even better in GIF form from TruthAboutIt.Net via Bullets Forever.
The video call I also enjoy. "Where... was he?"
So, hey, JaVale is giving supreme effort here. Do you see how fast he gets back up the court?
This season is hilarious in so many ways.
Posted on: January 31, 2012 8:13 pm
Posted by Royce Young and Ben Golliver
The 2011-2012 NBA season continues. Here's the seventh weekly installment of CBSSports.com's NBA Power Rankings by Eye On Basketball's Matt Moore.
What did he get right? What did he get wrong? We're here to break it down and take it down.
1. Too High: Atlanta Hawks at No. 9. Somehow, despite losing probably their best player, the Hawks aren't just keeping their head above water but soaring. They've won four of five games since the Al Horford injury. However, not exactly against marquee opponents -- New Orleans, Cleveland, Detroit and Milwaukee. It's a little hard to tell if the Hawks are actually going to overcome Horford's injury or if they're just getting by as a result of a soft spot in the schedule. I tend to think it's the latter and as the season drags on, we'll see the Hawks are mediocre at best and not a top 10 NBA team. -- RY
2. Too Low: Orlando Magic at No. 20. Last week, I had a little fun at Matt's expense when he dropped the Magic after their ugly loss to the Celtics. In hindsight, he was correct. But, unfortunately, he made the same mistake again! The Magic have had by far their worst stretch of the season -- pointing fingers at each other during a 4-game losing streak -- but they're still 12-9 and they're still safely in the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference. By comparison, the Trail Blazers, who Orlando beat in Portland, are also 12-9, barely in the West playoffs, and ranked No. 11 in this week's Power Rankings. Where's the consistency? These guys shouldn't be below 15, despite how ugly things have gotten of late. -- BG
3. Most Overrated: Washington Wizards at No. 26. This one isn't a disaster but it's hard to really make a case that there are four worse teams than the 4-17 Wizards. Sacramento, for example, is 6-14 despite being in a 4-game losing streak. The Kings have three quality wins over the Lakers, Spurs, Pacers and a sort-of quality win over the Bucks. That's pretty bad for a team in the basement. Washington, meanwhile, had that one shocking, pretty fluky win over the Oklahoma City Thunder plus three wins against patsies (two against the Charlotte Bobcats, one against the Toronto Raptors). Their body of work just screams lower than No. 26. -- BG
4. Most Overlooked: Utah Jazz at No. 10. It's natural to just assume the Jazz are overachieving and will eventually come back to Earth. That's not a team built with any stars or big names, and yet in the toughest division in basketball, they're 12-7 and in the thick of the West. Their point differential and efficiency numbers aren't great. But they are winning consistently. Not that the Jazz should be higher than 10, but I think we're all quick to discount them for whatever reason. Much in the same way we all wanted to ignore last season's Nuggets, the Jazz could be for real. -- RY
5. Sure Thing: Miami Heat at No. 1. Sunday's showdown against the Chicago Bulls made it clear that these two teams, if healthy, are the clear, clear, clear favorites to repeat as Eastern Conference Finalists. That series will be a blood bath, too. Miami played very well at times but it was far from a flawless victory. With a few days to let it sink in, they're probably feeling pretty fortunate given Dwyane Wade's shooting struggles and LeBron James' predictable late-game free throw gaffes. The TV ratings for the potential Chicago vs. Miami East Finals are going to be absurd. -- BG
6. Wild Card: Indiana Pacers at No. 8. It's not fair to say the Pacers aren't exceeding expectations and having a great season. They are. They just beat the Lakers, Magic and Bulls last week. But one thing that's unshakeable for me is their bad losses. For example, a loss Jan. 18 to the Kings and then a whipping by Orlando Jan. 24. The Pacers are a bit erratic with their play and while absolutely a good team, I'm not so sure they are in true contender territory, which is normally reserved for the top eight. They're good, but just how good? -- RY
Posted on: January 30, 2012 8:22 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 9:27 pm
It's not every day that a team's second-highest paid player goes down with an injury for 3-5 weeks and everyone wished that the doctor had said "months" instead of "weeks." But Washington Wizards forward Andray Blatche is not your garden variety second-highest paid player.
Wizards coach Randy Wittman announced that Blatche, who had dealt with a shoulder injury this season, now has a calf strain that will sideline him for an extended period of time, according to the Associated Press.
Wizards forward Andray Blatche will be out three to five weeks because of a strained left calf. Washington coach Randy Wittman made the announcement before Monday night's game against Chicago. Blatche was injured in Saturday's win in Charlotte. After an MRI exam, he was advised to stay off his feet.The Washington Post reports additional details.
Tightness in Blatche’s calf kept him out of most of Saturday’s 102-99 victory over Charlotte, and subsequent evaluation and MRI revealed the injury. Blatche played eight minutes against the Bobcats, scoring four points before the muscle tightened and forced him to the bench with his calf wrapped.This seems like bad news for a team that lacks both talent and depth, entering Monday night's play with a record of 4-16. On the contrary, this news really couldn't be better for the Wizards. Their message now should be: just stay home.
Eliminating Blatche's toxicity from the equation is a must if Wall is ever to fully blossom. Blatche has put his name on a "Lapdance Tuesdays" strip club promotion, he's called out Wizards fans, he's punched teammate JaVale McGee on Christmas Eve, he's admitted to being out of shape, he's publicly beefed with former coach Flip Saunders, he gets booed by the home crowd on a regular basis and his player efficiency rating is a pathetic 11.57, placing him 60th (!) among power forwards, thanks in part to his disastrous 38.0 percent field goal shooting. That is the definition of "all bad."
If the Wizards are prepared to salvage the John Wall Era, and they should be after firing Saunders, the gameplan should be to buy out Rashard Lewis from the last year of his contract as soon as legally possible and waive Blatche using the amnesty clause. Their payroll would bottom out and allow them to re-sign any of this year's players who are heading for free agency (Ronny Turiaf, Nick Young, McGee, etc.) that they deem worthy while also allowing for multiple external free agent signings.
No one is going to trade for Blatche, given that he's on the books with guaranteed money through 2014-2015 and his reputation is well-known. Waiving him via amnesty will be an expensive pill to swallow but it's well past time for the rest of the Wizards to move on with their lives.
Sticking with Blatche in hopes that he finally gets a clue and realizes his potential is so much less important than ensuring Wall has the right environment to reach his.
Posted on: January 24, 2012 11:41 am
Edited on: January 24, 2012 12:18 pm
By Matt Moore
Yahoo Sports reports that the Washington Wizards have fired Flip Saunders after a 2-15 start to the season. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com confirms the report and saysRandy Wittman will take over as interim coach. Berger reports Saunders was fired after Wizards' loss to the 76ers Monday night in which Washington was down 30 at the half, had compiled nine assists in a half, matching Andre Iguodala's singular output, and eventually losing by 20.
Saunders was recently reportedly not on the hot seat from management, but disappointing losses to the struggling Boston Celtics in a winnable game at home, followed by a thrashing by the Philadelphia 76ers Monday night may have changed ownership's mind. The Wizards had shown some signs of life recently, beating Oklahoma City last week and losing to the Nuggets and Celtics in close games. But at 2-14, well, horseshoes and hand grenades.
The Wizards have struggled in nearly every phase of the game this season, incoherent offense, a lost defense, poor chemistry and regression from the franchise cornerstone in John Wall. If the report is accurate, it was probably time to see if someone else can try and right a ship that has gone so terribly off-course.
Posted on: January 23, 2012 10:58 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 12:29 pm
Your nightly report grade gives you the overview of what went on in the NBA. Share your grades with us on Faceboook or Twitter.
I'm not trying to dog the Celtics by saying that the execution wasn't there. But they didn't magically get younger. They were still slower than the Magic, still weaker than the Magic. But they showed the effort and intensity that made this team a title contender for four years. And that's going to carry them a long way, especially on nights when the opponent rolls over and dies like the Magic did. Celtics are on a win streak. Are they finally back?
Gameplan. Effort. Focus. Effort. Intensity. Effort. Cohesion. Effort. Everything went wrong for the Magic Monday night, but their effort was atrocious. Jameer Nelson let second-year man Avery Bradley get into his skull and turn him over constantly. Dwight Howard was failing to keep position or even jump against Kevin Garnett's half-centimeter hook shot. Brandon Bass stole Glen Davis' lunch money and pretty much ended any conversation about who got the better end of that sign-and-trade. This was one of the most pathetic performances I've seen by an NBA team this season and I've seen the Wizards and Nets play six times each.
Emeka Okafor's game-saving block
Down two against the Hornets, San Antonio ran a picture-perfect play which resulted in Tony Parker dishing to a wide open Tiago Splitter racing down the lane for what would have been a clinching dunk. Emeka Okafor recovered weak side and blocked him. No, I'm sorry, block is too weak a word. He obliterated him. He erased him. He undid Tiago Splitter and all seven feet of him to spark the possession that would tie the game. The Hornets lost the game, but it was honestly one of the best plays of the season.
Tim Duncan's game-winning hook:
Running, across the lane, from fifteen feet, for the win, simply net. Old man can still do work. Game, folks. Drive safe.
The Washington Wizards
If this were actual school we would have told the parents the Wizards need to pursue repeating the D-League grade. They had as many assists as a team as Andre Iguodala in the first half. They lost by double-digits. They were down 30 after the first 24 minutes of play. They are bad. Still.
Philadelphia, Chicago and Oklahoma City versus garbage teams
They should have won by twenty. They won by twenty. The end.
You just... cannot kill this team. The Grizzlies stormed back from down 16 in the fourth quarter to edge the Warriors, crushing the Dubs with yet another fourth quarter loss. They needed to create steals, they created steals. They needed to hit big shots, the hit big shots (including a Rudy Gay ice-cold turnaround). They needed to make free throws to ice it, they iced it. They needed to stop Monta Ellis, Marc Gasol hedged him all the way to the corner and avoided the foul. The Grizzlies' wild ride of the past two seasons continues.
Golden State Warrirors
The 2012 Golden State Warriors. Motto? No lead is too big to lose! The irony of their biggest win being against the Heat because the Heat collasped down the stretch is just stunning.
Posted on: January 23, 2012 8:31 pm
Edited on: January 23, 2012 8:36 pm
By Matt Moore
Andre Iguodala had nine assists in the first half vs. the Wizards.
The Wizards had nine assists in the first half vs. the Sixers.
Iguodala out-assisted the entire Wizards team in the first half Monday night. He also had 2 points, 2 rebounds, a block and a steal as the Sixers lead by 30. Iguodala is cementing himself as one of the top wings in the league, which lead to my saying he was a dark horse non-star MVP candidate.
The question is whether that is more impressive for Iguodala or sad for the Wizards. Six of one-half, half-a-dime of the other?
Posted on: January 22, 2012 10:33 pm
Edited on: January 23, 2012 12:10 am
Posted by Royce Young
Your nightly report card gives you a big picture look at what happened each night in the NBA. Grades are granted based on team or individual performances, and are graded on a curve for each element. Leave your own grades in the comments.
Chris Paul's injury, it's Mo Williams. And here's the irony: Paul's injury may end up benefitting the Clippers. As a result, Williams has been able to showcase he still has a little All-Star ability in him after putting up another big line with 26 points against Toronto. With Williams playing so well, his trade value is climbing and the Clippers, who don't have a ton of need for him once CP3 returns, could dangle him at the deadline for a 2-guard or interior post defender.
Celtics are looking old and hobbled, but Pierce still has a good amount left in the tank. Granted, it was against the Wizards, but Pierce was in triple-double territory with 34 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds. Pierce got his points on just 15 shots and did it as he likes to -- getting to the line, attacking the middle of the floor and hitting open shots when he got them.
Indiana PacersThe Pacers failed to make a statement earlier in the month in Miami, but did exactly that Sunday night notching a signature win over the Lakers in Los Angeles. All five starters scored in double-figures and the Pacers just played a wise, defensive game limiting Kobe's counterparts. It helped hitting 10-18 from 3 and the fact the Lakers missed 11 free throws. Regardless, the Pacers needed this type of win to really grab attention and they executed and got it done.
Washington WizardsThe Wizards lost again dropping to 2-14, but they kind of hand a decent week. They beat the Thunder, were competitive against the Nuggets and nearly beat the Celtics. I wouldn't say they're coming around to get excited, but it definitely is encouraging to see they haven't completely quit. Continuing to play hard and competing is often the first step in turning things around.
Ersan Ilyasova and Andre Bogut which was enough to beat Miami, but Jennings' night was a little bit of a mess.
Toronto RaptorsThe Raptors kind of had a little promise to them early in the season. Dwane Casey had them defending, Andrea Bargnani was off to an All-Star caliber start and there was some legit optimism about the direction. But they've now dropped eight straight games, the most recent being at the hands of the Clippers in a game they were handled with relative ease (just 11 first quarter points for the Raptors). Things may be improving in Toronto, but not quite at the pace some might've thought.
Heat players not named LeBron or ChrisLeBron James and Chris Bosh combined for 61 of Miami's total of 82 against the Bucks. Only one other player scored in double-figures (Mario Chalmers) and no other player scored more than six. It was an extremely weak effort from the Heat's role players and without LeBron playing an incredible game, Miami wasn't going to win like that.
Posted on: January 18, 2012 8:02 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2012 8:08 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver
Oklahoma City Thunder center Nazr Mohammed has never made a 3-pointer during 785 regular season games. That streak continues. But not for a lack of hilarious trying!
Mohammed tried to be a hero as the first quarter came to a close during a Wednedsay night game against the lowly Washington Wizards. As another Washington possession failed through the carelessness of forward Andray Blatche, Mohammed found himself with the ball in his hands with 5.7 remaining on the clock. Unfortunately, there was also 1.5 seconds remaining on the Wizards' 24-second shot clock, which had not yet reset, and Mohammed got confused, thinking the final seconds of the quarter were ticking off.
He responded the only possible way: instead of getting out into a 2-on-1 fastbreak with guard James Harden, he heaved a half court attempt in an effort to duplicate the recent buzzer-beating success of guys like Los Angeles Lakers guard Darius Morris (here) and San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green (here), who each hit 50-footers this week.
Instead, Mohammed's attempt hit nothing but air, and the ball turned back over to Washington with 2.7 seconds left. Whoops! This exact shot attempt has been made by every person attempting to play NBA 2K12 for the first time in their lives.
Here's the video of Oklahoma City Thunder center Nazr Mohammed's half court airball with time remaining.