We’ve reached the apocalypse in the NBA. The Lakers are winning without Kobe Bryant. The Heat are winning without Dwyane Wade. The Bulls are winning without Derrick Rose. Paul Pierce and Carmelo Anthony – neither of whom exactly conjures up images of John Stockton – are putting up double-digit assist games. Chaos has officially ensued. Forget everything you thought you knew about the NBA.
Okay, that’s perhaps a tad strong. Delonte West is still behaving bizarrely, to put it mildly. Kevin Garnett is still setting blatantly illegal screens all over the court. LeBron James is still filling out a stat sheet like few can. And the Bobcats are still embarrassing themselves. There’s so much to cover, and so little time, what with the playoffs right around the corner. But let’s get started, shall we? Pull up a chair and let’s see what it looks like from the best seat in the house. (more…)
Because of the All-Star break , there’s only been a handful of games since last week’s rankings, and there seemed to be little purpose in reading too much into them. Instead, with half of the season now in the rearview mirror, here’s a look at the five biggest surprises so far in the season. Think we’ve missed one? Let us hear about it in the comments section.
1). Boston Celtics (15-17)
Everyone knew Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen were getting older, and a condensed season might pose some problem, but few probably envisioned the Celtics struggling this much. Losing Jeff Green for the season didn’t help, and Rajon Rondo missed eight games with a wrist injury (plus two more for a suspension), but even that doesn’t explain how mediocre the Celtics have looked at times. There was the five game losing streak in mid-January (with four of those at home), plus unexplainable losses to the Hornets, Cavs, Suns, Pistons and Raptors. Twelve Celtic players have started a game this year, including somebody named Greg Stiemsma, and the team just hasn’t been able to find a rhythm. It would still be a major shock if they don’t pull together and make a run at the playoffs, but as of right now, they no longer strike fear into their opponents. (more…)
The Game of the Week is chosen because it’s likely to be the worst or ugliest game of that given week. Ladies and gentlemen, we just hit the nail on the head.
Here we go – five-layer link NBA burrito.
* David West – from Xavier University – was offered $24 million over three years from the Celtics last month. The Pacers countered with $20 million over two. West signed with the Pacers. Some critics, including West’s could’ve-been-teammate Ray Allen, called the former Hornet all-star out for a blatant cash grab. Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated explains that it’s not quite that simple.
* What do you think of the new Utah Jazz billboard campaign? Personally, they seem a little bit funereal for my tastes.
* Another huge injury situation has a playoff contender scrambling for answers. The Hawks without Horford is like an Arby Q without a bun. Shiz gon get messy.
* I’m sorry if I keep hitting you with Wizards talk. “Why talk about the Wizards?” you ask. “They were irrelevant last year, and they’re even more irrelevant this year.” Fair, fair. I just can’t help it. I’m utterly fascinated by this team’s disastrously awful performance this season. How are they this bad? They have John Wall running point, for goodness sake.
Oh, but they’re bad. Real bad. Sixty-four points last night, guys?
Sekou Smith is the latest to take a shot at sorting it all out.
* Speaking of the Wizards, time to start scouting Andre Drummond, Washington fans!
Ben Walpole is a producer and blogger for The Crab Dribble. He strongly advocates giving Jan Vesely more playing time, in case anyone was interested in how he’d fix the Wizards.
Welcome back to the best seat in the house – the End of the Bench! It’s at this very place where we predicted the Lakers winning the West after beating the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals. It’s here where we predicted the Knicks giving the Celtics a battle for the ages in the first round. It’s here where we predicted the Thunder were too young, and the Mavericks were too old, to be real contenders. So yes, it’s clear we were a bit off in our forecasting.
But on the bright side, there’s still plenty of time to make up for it. Be sure to check out this week’s podcast,become our friend on Facebook, and then settle in to enjoy the view. (more…)
Remember when we predicted the Lakers and Bulls would easily sweep their respective series? Remember when we figured the Knicks would battle the Celtics through at least six games? What about predicting the Hawks’ postseason stay would be a short one? The lesson, if you haven’t figured it out, is don’t bet your hard-earned money based on our predictions. Even experts like the ones TCD employs are occasionally wrong. Of course, if you listened to the podcasts all year, you’d already know that.
But laughable predictions aside, the first round of the NBA Playoffs have been nothing if not exciting. From ridiculous performances by Derrick Rose and Chris Paul to a fourth quarter for the ages by Brandon Roy to an I-can’t-believe- the Spurs-look-this-bad meltdown from San Antonio, the early games have kept us on the edge of our seats, and we can only hope it’s a glimpse of things to come. Speaking of seats…pull one up. Enjoy the view.
– Is anyone really surprised the Hawks were unable to rise to the occasion in a close-out game? Atlanta certainly has talent, but they leave a lot to be desired in the consistency department. Plus, it appears at times that Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and Jamal Crawford are having their own private contest to see who can put up the most ill-advised shot. One thing is for certain – the Hawks are rarely boring. (more…)
Hello, fellow Crab Dribblers! Welcome to the first edition of the End of the Bench, the new weekly (hopefully) column from The Crab Dribble. Whether it’s interesting facts that simply won’t wait until the Sunday podcast, breaking news that needs to be passed on, or just random groupings of words with some distant relation to basketball, this column promises to have it all…or most of it anyway.
So without further ado, grab a seat, pick up a water bottle and enjoy the view from the best seat in the house.
- It’s the best time of year for basketball lovers right now. We’re right in the middle of March Madness, but there’s some prominent players whose seasons have already ended, and they’re now looking at their NBA options. Washington’s Isaiah Thomas, Texas’ Tristan Thompson and Jordan Hamilton, Georgia’s Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie, UCLA’s Malcolm Lee and Tyler Honeycutt, and Syracuse’s Kris Joseph are among those with stay-or-go options on their plate, and as the tournament continues, they’ll be joined by dozens of other NBA hopefuls who have to weigh their draft stock. For amateur draftniks, there’s nothing more fun than projecting the NBA future of today’s college stars, and adding even more drama to this year’s proceedings is the potential of a lockout, which could prompt underclassmen to stay in school. But don’t worry Cavs’ fans - surely you’ll get somebody who can help you out. (more…)
Jerry Sloan leaves Utah with his legacy intact, the Cleveland Cavaliers finally win a game, and we wonder aloud about a Kobe Bryant-Ray Allen buddy-comedy not coming to theaters near you.
It’s The Crab Dribble, so start listening.
Episode 19 brings the nasty with discussions on Laker trade talks (there are none), Cavalier potential (there is none), the 2011 NBA draft and we take an adventure into the land of make-believe (Clipper success). Listen, download, repeat.
Time for Day Two of our positional rankings, and as you can tell, today we’re looking at shooting guards. While not the first great shooting guard, Michael Jordan has certainly set the standard for today’s generation of stars. And while we’ve yet to find his equal, that doesn’t mean there’s not some serious talent in the league right now. Today’s rules allow greater freedom than ever before for the offense, and teams are placing a high emphasis on getting guards who can create their own shots, especially in the clutch moments of a game. With that in mind, here’s a look at the best today’s game has to offer. (more…)