Archive for April 2nd, 2009

24 season 7 review

Note: There are no spoilers here at all. This is an extremely generalized 24 show review.

I’m catching up on the TV show 24 on Fox, Season 7, and with a few episodes to go until I’m up to the current one, it’s just as much fun as previous seasons.

What makes 24 so entertaining is the quickness of the plot developments. Because each season takes place in a day (each episide is an hour of ‘real time’), the action moves so quickly there’s a major twist literally every few minutes.

My only problem with the current season is similar to an issue I’ve had in the past: There are always at least one or two somewhat major characters whose stupidity transcends what is believable. And that’s definitely the case this season. Without spoiling anything, one or two of the dozen or so main characters have a somewhat absurd hangup with star Jack Bauer, in a way that makes you want to yell “Are you retarded?!?” at the TV screen.

Now, in a show like this, it’s common to expect that in order to full enjoy it you need to suspend reality and just let yourself sink into the episodes. That’s par for the course. But even with these few characters, it’s done in a great manner; you still want to tune in, just to see if those people smarten up. I’m sure the writers do it on purpose.

But, just when something annoys you, a minute later something wild and unexpected happens that draws you right back to the edge of your seat.

I consider 24 to be one of the select few must-see action shows on television.

–Jeff

Spurs assign Ian Mahinmi to D-League

The San Antonio Spurs announced today that they have assigned center Ian Mahinmi to the Austin Toros, the NBA Development League team owned and operated by the Spurs.

Mahinmi is currently recovering from right ankle surgery performed on 1/31.  He has yet to see action for the Spurs this season.   Mahinmi appeared in one game for the Toros this season where he scored 4 points and grabbed 1 rebound in 20:46 minutes.

The New York Knickerbockers President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh announced today that center Courtney Sims has been signed to a second consecutive 10-day contract. Sims was signed to his first 10-day contract on Mar. 23 and has yet to appear in a game for New York.

In his NBA career, Sims has played in a total of four games (three for the Pacers, one for the Suns). He has not yet scored in the league.

NBA reality TV show in China

The National Basketball Association (NBA), Mengniu and Shandong TV today announced the launch of the NBA’s first-ever reality show, Mengniu NBA Basketball Disciple. A preview of the show was screened today at a press conference attended by Vice President of NBA China, Mr. David Yang, Managing Director Television & Digital Media NBA China, Ms. Kathy Sun, Vice President of Mengniu Group, Mr. Bai Ying, Chief Editor of Shandong TV, Ms. Zhu Lihua and NBA Legend Darryl Dawkins.

The reality show will follow a three-month basketball competition that begins filming tomorrow with public tryouts in 64 cities throughout mainland China.  The players will compete in a variety of skills competitions and be awarded points based on performance over the course of four rounds. Following a final All-Star Game in the last round, the player with the most cumulative points will be crowned the Most Valuable Player of the competition and win an all-expenses-paid trip to the United States for a tryout with a team from the NBA Development League, the NBA’s official minor league.

NBA Legends and scouts, along with an NBA coach, will appear throughout the series to run competitions, evaluate players, award points and determine which competitors advance to the next round. An NBA mascot and dance team will be onsite to provide entertainment for NBA fans.

Shandong TV Satellite Channel will air a 50-minute episode every Friday from May 22 to August 21 at 9:30 PM local time. A final 90-minute awards ceremony show will air live on August 28 and feature Chinese celebrities as presenters and performers.

The basketball competition will consist of four rounds:

* Round 1: Public “Open” Tryouts: Aspiring basketball players 18 years and older who are not currently under professional contract in each of the 64 cities are invited to come participate in a basketball skills challenge.  The participants will be awarded points for their performance during dribbling, shooting, layups and defensive drills. The top 50 to 60 participants, based on points, in each city will advance to the second round.

* Round 2: Preliminary Round: A series of one-day elimination events will take place in ten cities attended by an NBA scout in each market.  The scouts will help select two to three players in each city and 24 total participants will advance to the third round.

* Round 3: Training Camp: An NBA assistant coach and NBA legend will host a vigorous three-day NBA-style training camp for the remaining 24 participants. The coach and legend will assign points for different drills including passing and rebounding, offensive concepts and transition, strength and conditioning, shooting, ball handling and defensive concepts. The top 16 participants will advance to the final round – an All-Star Game.

* Round 4: All-Star Game: The eight finalists from southern China compete against the eight finalists from northern China in an All-Star Game.  The player who has accumulated the most points throughout the entire competition, following the All-Star Game, will be named the competition’s Most Valuable Player and win a D-League tryout.

“We hope our fans in China are as excited as we are because the NBA’s first-ever reality show in China will give talented Chinese amateur players the opportunity to play for a D-League tryout,” said Mr. Tim Chen, CEO of NBA China. “Fans can follow the competition up close through coverage on Shandong TV and with the help of our partner, Mengniu, we’ve created a grassroots event and reality series that we hope will appeal to basketball fans and Chinese pop culture on a variety of levels.”

Mengniu, an NBA marketing partner since 2007, will be prominently featured throughout the series via onsite branding, product integration, media and promotion.

“Since our partnership began in 2007, Mengniu has been a strong advocate that sports and nutrition are essential to healthy living,” said Vice President of Mengniu Group Mr. Bai Ying. “Collaborating with the NBA in the creation of this new reality show is a continuation of this mission and we pledge to present a wonderful basketball show to fans in China.”

Shandong TV will promote the reality series with nearly 2,500 promos and Public Service Announcements from April 2 to Aug. 28.

“We are very happy to be the official TV broadcaster of Mengniu NBA Basketball Disciple and we believe the show will create a basketball frenzy all over the nation,” said Chief Editor of Shandong TV, Ms. Zhu Lihua “The reality show will give real fans a chance to spread the positive message that healthy living, fitness, hard work and dedication can make your dreams come true.”

The AP reports: Two starters are out and an All-Star is hurting, but the New Orleans Hornets still have Chris Paul to carry them. Paul had 30 points and 14 assists, David West added 19 points, and the Hornets moved closer to the top of the Southwest Division by beating the Los Angeles Clippers 104-98 on Wednesday night… Eric Gordon led Los Angeles with 25 and Zach Randolph added 24 for the Clippers, who lost their ninth straight to New Orleans… David West was limited to three rebounds, but provided enough scoring for a New Orleans team missing injured starters Peja Stojakovic and Tyson Chandler.

The AP reports: Monta Ellis scored a career-high 42 points for the Warriors to overcome Kevin Martin’s career-best 50 for the Kings, and the Warriors snapped a five-game losing streak with a 143-141 overtime victory over Sacramento on Wednesday night… “Like Game 7 of the playoffs,” said Jamal Crawford, who had 15 points and seven assists for the Warriors… Kelenna Azubuike had 27 points and 13 rebounds, hitting another free throw with 4.8 seconds left in OT, and Anthony Randolph added 17 points and 10 rebounds as the Warriors rallied to beat their local rivals despite having just eight healthy players.

Nash leads Suns past Rockets 114-109

The AP reports: A spirited victory over the Houston Rockets may be too little, too late for the Phoenix Suns. Steve Nash had 25 points and 17 assists—with just one turnover—and the Suns held on for a 114-109 victory on Wednesday night… Grant Hill had 23 points, Shaquille O’Neal 22 and Jason Richardson 18 as the Suns won their season-best sixth straight at home… Ron Artest scored 28 for the Rockets, who dropped to fourth in the crowded scramble for playoff positioning in the West, a game behind No. 2 Denver and a half-game behind San Antonio. Yao Ming, in a rugged matchup with O’Neal, had 20 points and 14 rebounds… Shane Battier added 18 points for Houston.

Dirk scores 30, Mavs beat Heat 98-96

The AP reports: With a few seconds left and the Miami Heat down only one point, Dwyane Wade saw teammate Mario Chalmers snatch a rebound and asked for the ball. He would’ve settled for a timeout. Instead, the rookie raced down the court and charged into Dallas forward Josh Howard with 2.3 seconds left. The Mavericks padded the lead with a free throw in the final ticks to pull out a 98-96 victory Wednesday night in a game that often was as intense as the 2006 NBA finals matchup between these clubs… Dirk Nowitzki scored 30 points and Howard had 20 points, eight rebounds, three steals, two blocks and two assists in his second game since missing 11 straight with an ankle problem… “There was a lot of miscommunication going on,” said Wade, who had 23 points and six assists, but wasn’t able to pull off any late-game heroics, in part because of stiff defense by Jason Kidd.

The AP reports: Kobe Bryant rebounded from a rough shooting night in Tuesday’s loss at Charlotte to go 7-for-7 in the first half and score 30 points. Bryant cooled off after halftime, but Pau Gasol took control by scoring eight of his 15 in the fourth quarter… Lamar Odom added 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers. Ramon Sessions had his first career triple-double for the Bucks, who fell four games out of the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot. Despite briefly leaving the game with a shoulder stinger early in the fourth quarter, Sessions finished with 16 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds.

The AP reports: Trailing 110-107 with just under 4 seconds left, the Wizards had the ball out of bounds with a chance to tie. But a steal of the inbounds pass by guard Mike Conley and his two ensuing free throws provided Memphis with a 112-107 victory over the Wizards on Wednesday night, giving the Grizzlies their first home win since the All-Star break… Rudy Gay scored 25 points and Conley added 22 to lead the Grizzlies. Marc Gasol and O.J. Mayo scored 18 points apiece. Gasol grabbed nine rebounds, and Mayo had seven assists. Hakim Warrick had 12 points. Butler had 31 points for Washington, which lost its third straight, while Antawn Jamison had 28 points and 10 rebounds. Reserve Nick Young had 16 points and Crittenton finished with 13 points and a career-high 11 rebounds.

Nets finally win, beat Pistons 111-98

The AP reports: Devin Harris had 19 points and 11 assists, and the Nets snapped a five-game skid with a 111-98 victory over the sluggish Pistons on Wednesday night. “I think this says when we play the right way we’re competitive and also that we haven’t mailed it in,” said Nets guard Keyon Dooling, who was inserted into the starting lineup and responded by matching his season high with 23 points… “It’s very surprising. Tonight was a game that we had to get,” said Richard Hamilton, who led the Pistons with 29 points… Brook Lopez added 19 points on his 21st birthday, fellow rookie Ryan Anderson had 14 and Vince Carter 12 for New Jersey… Rodney Stuckey, Tayshaun Prince and Walter Herrmann scored 16 points for Detroit… Allen Iverson scored four points on 1-of-8 shooting and handed out four assists, but at times he looked out of control, particularly in the second quarter.

The AP reports: Ray Allen’s last long-range shot, on a pass from Paul Pierce, lifted the Boston Celtics to a 111-109 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night and into second place in the Eastern Conference… Paul Pierce led Boston with 32 points, Allen added 22 and Rajon Rondo had 21 points and nine assists… Gerald Wallace had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Bobcats, and Boris Diaw scored 17… Boston, with Kevin Garnett sidelined for the third straight game with a sore right knee, won for the seventh time in eight games. Charlotte’s winning streak ended at three.

The AP reports: Chris Bosh had 24 points, including a 22-footer over Dwight Howard with 29 seconds left that put the game out of reach, and the Toronto Raptors beat Orlando 99-95 on Wednesday night to bounce the Magic from the Eastern Conference’s second seed… Jose Calderon had 21 points, and Shawn Marion added 17 points and 15 rebounds for the Raptors, who nearly blew an 11-point lead before holding on to extend their season-high winning streak to five games. Rashard Lewis missed a potential tying 3-pointer with 20 seconds left to seal Toronto’s win… Howard had 30 points and nine rebounds for Orlando (55-19), which fell percentage points behind Boston (57-19) for the East’s second seed. The Magic host first-place Cleveland on Friday night in a game that has now lost some of its luster.

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