Archive for May 3rd, 2011

By Scott Spangler

While watching the Dallas Mavericks open against the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals Monday night, it was easy to pick out the headliners. Even someone just crawling out of a time capsule, never having heard the name “Dirk,” could observe this gangly sharpshooter with the golden locks and quickly identify the talent as otherworldly.

As for the Lakers, after Kobe Bryant, we look down the LA front line and see Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. This would be an embarrassment of frontcourt riches for, oh, 25 other NBA clubs. But for this organization, it’s simply two more in a long line of outstanding big men.

Commentary: Tyson Chandler a rare difference-maker in paint for Mavericks

Dallas counters with an interior presence of its own - a presence this club hasn’t known since the late 1980s with James Donaldson and Roy Tarpley. In his first year with the Mavs, Tyson Chandler has restored that sort of stability inside.

The Lakers past history boasts the likes of Mikan, Chamberlain, Abdul-Jabbar, and O’Neal… a basic who’s-who of franchise centers.

In contrast, Chandler might very well represent the best center Dallas has ever had.

I can barely recall Ralph Drollinger, an original Maverick who enjoyed a six-game NBA career. And in the mid-80s, there was Wallace Bryant; probably best remembered for blocking the shot of MVP Moses Malone late in a game to help secure Dallas’ first-ever win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Growing up as a Maverick fan, I always thought Pat Cummings was a fine NBA center. But I was a preteen who thought of girls as gross and bathing as unnecessary, so I recommend you consider the source. Cummings brought the lunch pail every night, but if I am being honest about it, he barely qualified as a journeyman forward.

Fast-forwarding to the Donaldson era, Maverick fans rejoiced because this was a brute that would toss bodies about and rebound the basketball. Until this past summer when Dallas traded for Tyson Chandler, James Donaldson was widely regarded as the best big man in franchise history.

So when Chandler placed third as the NBA’s Defensive Player of The Year a couple of weeks ago, I could not help but to crack a smile and think of the first playoff game in Maverick history. The Seattle SuperSonics came into Reunion Arena to kickoff a best-of-five series. My father and I made that one, sat nosebleed, and watched Jack Sikma run Kurt Nimphius through the torture chamber all night.

Silly me, I had this crazy notion Kurt could slow down a seven-time All-Star.

Twenty-five years later, the Mavericks have a legitimate middle man.  Not a power forward masquerading as one, but a real center. Tyson Chandler won’t ever be confused with Wilt Chamberlain, but he’s a far cry from Ralph Drollinger.

And he is something Dallas has lacked in the Dirk Nowitzki era. Shawn Bradley, Raef LaFrentz, Erick Dampier were all unable to deliver. Chandler gives this team real belief that it can unseat the two-time defending champs.

It is not just belief, confidence, or swag. Actually, it’s all of that AND the toughness to back it up.

Read fan reaction and discuss your own opinion in this forum topic.

michael redd

The two-time defending NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers have announced the preseason schedule for the 2011-12 season, along with ticket purchase information. The eight-game preseason slate includes games against the Atlanta Hawks, Sacramento Kings, Utah Jazz, Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers.

The back-to-back champions will kick off the 2011 preseason on October 9 when they take on the Warriors at the Save Mart Center in Fresno. The Lakers will then return to Southern California where they will play back-to-back sets of games against the Hawks and Jazz before heading to Las Vegas, Nevada to face the Kings on October 21 at the Thomas and Mack Center.

The Lakers will conclude the 2011 preseason with games against the Clippers on October 25 in San Diego and October 27 in Bakersfield, CA.

Below is the complete 2011 Los Angeles Lakers preseason schedule:

DATE - OPPONENT - LOCATION - TIME (PT)

Oct. 9 Golden State Warriors Fresno (Save Mart Center) 7:00 pm

Oct. 12 Atlanta Hawks Ontario (Citizens Bank Arena) 7:00 pm

Oct. 15 Atlanta Hawks STAPLES Center 7:00 pm

Oct. 16 Utah Jazz STAPLES Center 7:00 pm InsideHoops.com

Oct. 19 Utah Jazz Anaheim (Honda Center) 7:00 pm

Oct. 21 Sacramento Kings Las Vegas, NV (Thomas and Mack Center) 7:00 pm

Oct. 25 Los Angeles Clippers San Diego, CA (Valley View Casino Center) 7:00 pm

Oct. 27 Los Angeles Clippers Bakersfield, CA (Rabobank Arena) 7:00 pm

The VH1 reality show Basketball Wives mostly features ex-wives and ex-girlfriends, but it’s as close as TV gets to showcasing some of the women that have managed to link up with former or current NBA players.

There’s lots of broken relationships, though, and the next season of the show involves yet another one. The AP reports the following:

Chris Bosh sues ex-girlfriend over Basketball Wives reality show

Miami Heat star Chris Bosh is suing the mother of his child for appearing on a reality TV show called “Basketball Wives,” which he said intrudes on his private life.

Bosh claims in a lawsuit filed Monday in Los Angeles federal court that Allison Mathis and Shed Media are trying to unjustly enrich themselves by using Bosh’s name and intruding into his private affairs.

He acknowledges he and Mathis have a child together.

The suit says Mathis was hired to appear in the third season of the VH1 reality show and wants to use it to become a TV star. Bosh seeks damages and an injunction to block her and the media company from trademark infringement by using his name and disclosing private facts about his life.

The show is a guilty pleasure that some basketball fans definitely are watching.

Read fan reaction and discuss your own opinion in this forum topic.

Derrick Rose wins 2010-11 NBA MVP

Derrick Rose wins 2010-11 NBA MVP

Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls is the winner of the Maurice Podoloff Trophy as the 2010-11 NBA Most Valuable Player Award, the NBA announced today. Rose, who does not turn 23 until Oct. 4, becomes the league’s youngest MVP, a distinction previously held by Wes Unseld, who earned the honor in 1968-69 as a 23-year-old.

Rose totaled 1,182 points including 113 first-place votes, from a panel of 120 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada as well as an NBA MVP fan vote. For the second consecutive season, the NBA gave fans the opportunity to submit their votes by ranking their top five choices through a dedicated Web page on NBA.com. The fan vote counted as one vote and was compiled with the 120 media votes to determine the winner. Players were awarded 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for each second-place vote, five for third, three for fourth and one for each fifth-place vote received.

dwight howard

Rounding out the top five in voting are Orlando’s Dwight Howard (643 points, three first place), Miami’s LeBron James (522, four first-place votes), the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant (428, one first-place vote) and Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant (190).

Rose, who became the first player since Steve Nash in 2005 to win the MVP award after not receiving any votes in the previous year’s balloting, led the Bulls to an NBA-best 62-20 mark. The third-year player averaged team highs of 25.0 points and 7.7 assists to go along with 4.1 rebounds. He became the seventh player in NBA history to average at least 25.0 points, 7.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds, joining Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. The All-Star guard made or assisted on at least half of the Bulls’ field goals in 26 games, the highest such total for any NBA player this season.

Rose, who recorded 23 double-doubles and scored at least 30 points on 23 occasions after doing so eight times combined in his first two seasons, was the only player in the NBA to rank in the top 10 in scoring (seventh) and assists (10th). Only once in team history had a Bulls player finished in the top 10 in scoring and assists (Michael Jordan, 1988-89). Rose tallied 2,026 points, 623 assists and 330 rebounds, becoming only the fifth player in NBA history to post 2,000 points, 600 assists and 300 rebounds in a single season as he joined Robertson, John Havlicek, Jordan and James.

The NBA MVP trophy is named in honor of the late Maurice Podoloff, the first commissioner of the NBA who served from 1946 until his retirement in 1963.

Read fan reaction and discuss your own opinion in this forum topic.

The AP reports:

Dirk scores 28, Mavs rally to stun Lakers in Game 1

Dirk Nowitzki scored 28 points and hit two go-ahead free throws with 19.5 seconds left before Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant made a crucial turnover, and the Dallas Mavericks rallied for a 96-94 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series.

Nowitzki had 14 rebounds for the Mavericks, who dramatically came back from a 16-point deficit in the second half of the perennial playoff teams’ first postseason meeting in 23 years.

Bryant scored 21 of his 36 points in the second half for the Lakers, but he fell down while trying to get the ball from Gasol with 5 seconds to play. After one free throw by Jason Kidd, Bryant missed a 3-pointer just before the buzzer…

Gasol had 15 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for the second-seeded Lakers, who lost their second straight series opener. Their loss to New Orleans two weeks ago was much more surprising than this loss to the playoff-tested Mavs, but the Lakers’ lack of poise down the stretch should be scary to anybody anticipating a threepeat…

Lamar Odom scored 15 points for Los Angeles, which nursed a small lead throughout the second half until Nowitzki scored in the lane with 40 seconds left to trim the deficit to 94-93. After Jason Terry swiped the ball from Bryant, Gasol fouled Nowitzki on the Mavericks’ inbounds play, allowing the 7-footer to give Dallas its first lead since the second quarter.

InsideHoops.com notes:

The Mavs bench was HOT. Jason Terry shot 6-of-10 for 15 points. Peja Stojakovic was 4-of-8 for 10 points. Jose Juan Barea shot 3-of-6 for eight points. Corey Brewer shot 2-of-4 for five points. And Brendan Haywood hit his only shot attempt for two points. Overall, the Dallas bench hit 16-of-29.

Tyson Chandler, the anchor of the Mavericks defense, was solid with 11 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.

As for the Lakers, Bryant scored 36, but did it on 29 shots and only got to the free throw line five times, making four attempts. Pau Gasol only scored 15, but his 11 rebounds and seven rebounds were respectable. Odom off the bench had 15 points and 12 rebounds. But Ron Artest in 31 minutes tossed up bricks, shooting 1-of-8 for two points and more turnovers than assists.

The AP reports:

Joe Johnson scores 34, Hawks beat Bulls 103-95 in Game 1

Joe Johnson scored 34 points and Atlanta beat top-seeded Chicago 103-95 on Monday night in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

As if the loss itself wasn’t bad enough, the Bulls got a scare when Derrick Rose came up limping after he turned his left ankle at the end of the game. Their MVP—yes, MVP—stepped on Jamal Crawford’s foot as he dribbled out the final seconds and was helped off by teammates and a trainer…

The Hawks went on a 15-2 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters to turn a 69-65 deficit into an 80-71 lead with 10:27 remaining.

Johnson scored eight points during that stretch, and the Hawks hung on.

Johnson was brilliant, hitting 12 of 18 shots and all five 3-point attempts. Crawford scored 22 points, and Jeff Teague added 10 while starting at the point for the injured Kirk Hinrich and wound up getting the game ball from coach Larry Drew…

Rose twisted the same ankle in the opening round against Indiana, but even before he limped off the court, this certainly wasn’t his best night.

He scored 24 points, but he was just 11 of 27 from the field and did not attempt a free throw.

Luol Deng scored 21 points for Chicago while Carlos Boozer added 14 points and eight rebounds despite a turf toe injury on his right foot. But it was a rough night overall for the Bulls—particularly on defense.

Live fan discussion of this game took place in this forum topic.

Basketball blog