Archive for Dwight Howard

JJ…Fuh Three…

Posted in NBA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2009 by sportsguru09

3 Rebounds, 4 Assists, and 15 Points in 31 Minutes going 5 of 7 from behind the arc. Welcome to the spotlight J.J. Redick, it’s about time big guy. jj_redickYou’re one of my favorite basketball players of all time and I know we were all pumped to see you get some quality PT in the Magic’s Game 6 and series victory over the 76ers in Philly last night. Without Jameer Nelson and Orlando’s Superman Dwight Howard, suspended one game for a vicious elbow in Game 5, Redick stepped up to the plate and buried some clutch 3’s down the stretch in the 2nd half to help Orlando balloon its lead out of Philly’s reach. As a result, Orlando clinched a birth into the 2nd round of the 2009 NBA Playoffs.

After being drafted a few years ago out of Duke University where he became what was then the ACC’s all-time scoring and 3 point leader, J.J. Redick has pretty much been a ghost in the NBA (to my dismay of course). I loved Redick at Duke watching Blue Devils roll to victories behind his sharp-shooting. Since then, the rest of the NBA community and I haven’t heard much from him off the Orlando bench. However, last night and quite a bit this season, Redick’s made a name for himself as a starting guard with Jameer Nelson hurt or a quality 6th man off the bench for Van Gundy’s Magic. Last night was another prime example under the spotlight with Redick leading the offensive charge off the bench with no presence of Dwight Howard on the court. Good for you JJ, we’ve missed you…

Alpha Inventions

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Stan Van, You’re Not The Man…

Posted in NBA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2009 by sportsguru09

Choke, choke, choke. Yes, this was the story of the Orlando Magic’s utter collapse and ultimate loss in Game 1 of the NBA playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers yesterday. orlando_magic_by_pixel_reborn_1280x1024With a double digit lead late in the 4th quarter (12 I believe), the Magic simply fell apart and watched the 76ers pull a fast one on them with the likes of A.I. (and not Allen Iverson) and Donyell Marshall who hit a game-tying 3 with under a minute left to go in the 4th quarter. Iguodala nailed a 15-footer with 2.2 seconds remaining to stun the overly-tanned Orlando crowd. And why exactly did this happen? Well, let me tell you why…

Stan Van Gundy, the degenerate brother of Jeff Van Gundy (who is absolutely horrible to listen commentate NBA games on TNT), is a terrible coach. Yes, the Magic are good, but it’s all because of Dwight Howard and NOT because they are well coached. Van Gundy’s reputation lives on…reference yesterday’s choke job. 423px-stanvangundy_20050723With under 5 minutes to go and up by more than 10, the Magic brought the ball down the floor and dumped the ball into Superman (Dwight Howard), who was quickly fouled and subsequently poked in the eye on his way up to throw down a dunk. After hitting both free throws, Van Gundy pulled Howard, apparently because he could not see, but forgot to coach the rest of his team who was left on the court to seemingly clean up the victory…..OOPS, I KNEW HE FORGOT SOMETHIN’. With Superman on the bench, the Magic turned the ball over, forgot how to play D, and watched Philly steal the Game 1 win with seconds left on the clock. During this whole 12 or 14 point run by the 76ers, Van Gundy didn’t call a timeout, didn’t say anything from the sideline, and forgot that in the NBA, anything can happen…even with a double digit lead late in the 4th. A poor coaching effort just cemented Van Gundy’s “lack of respect and reputation” among his current and old players, including “Big Daddy” himself, Shaquille O’Neal. A few months ago in an interview, Shaq reminisced about his time with the heat under Van Gundy. And boy was he blunt, claiming Stan Van got nervous in close games, buckled under pressure, and was usually less-than-inspiring from the bench. Shaq basically said that the team was on its own to figure out how to close games…

Based on yesterday’s 4th quarter fiasco, Shaq seems pretty smart now doesn’t he? Way to go Stan, way to help your cause…I hope you get out of the 1st round big guy, otherwise your future down in steamy FL doesn’t look so sunny…

Alpha Inventions

You’re The Boss: Dwayne Wade, Lebron James, or Dwight Howard?

Posted in NBA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2009 by sportsguru09

Ok, here’s the scenario: You’re a brand new NBA franchise. With the new organization, you have your pick of one of the Big 3 to take as your franchise player who will lead your team in the future. Who do you take? Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, or Dwight Howard? All 3 are mega superstars and NBA All-Stars. Unfortunately, you can’t afford all 3. Obviously, if you could you would without a doubt or hesitation. For this hypothetical dream, I’ll break down each of the 3 and give my opinion….feel free to disagree….

Dwayne Wadedwayne_wade_wallpaper
Leading the NBA in scoring this season, Dwayne Wade has come back onto the map as one the league’s most prolific scorers. He is a dynamic dribbler and with little help around him, finds ways to score in the lane each and every time out. Though he’s small in size, Wade possesses the heart and will that enables his team to win, even when they shouldn’t…on paper. Wade has a wide range of skills driving to the hoop, getting fouled, and racking up 3-point plays. However, he’s not too much of a jump shooter when compared to Lebron James or Kobe Bryant. Dwayne Wade is also a great defender who hawks the ball and makes it tough for the opposing guard to score. But, the question still remains, can he win another championship without a true big man? Does he have the Kobe Bryant syndrome?

Dwight Howarddwight_howard
Superman. Enough said. Mr. Howard has size, smarts, and pure strength that allows him to literally do whatever he wants underneath the basket. Howard averages a double-double and is certainly an inside forced to be reckoned with. All he needs is a prolific guard to win a championship. And no, Hedo Turkoglu and Jameer Nelson are not those types of players. Sorry to burst your bubble Orlando…Each night, your team has a legitimate shot at completely dominating both ends of the boards. However, can Howard do it all himself and take his team to the promise land? I don’t think so…ask Kobe or Lebron…

Lebron Jameslebron-james-king-red
The second coming of Jordan. Lebron James has won over the city of Cleveland and has completely taken over as the most well-rounded NBA All-Star. James is known for blocking shots and turning them into slam jams on the other end to the amusement of the crowd. Can’t beat the entertainment…Buy your tickets folks. James is skilled in almost every athletic category, but has yet to get over the hump in the NBA playoffs. Big Z and company certainly are not the inside game that James needs to compliment his play. Cleveland, trust me, do WHATEVER you can to get him a big man…for his sake and the NBA’s…

So, it’s time…you must choose…

And the decision is……..Dwight Howard. Are you shocked? Don’t be. Your team’s success on the hardwood has to start around a big man who can dominate, create a presence underneath, and get easy buckets and generate dunks on a regular basis. Without it, opposing teams are able to double team the likes of Wade and James and they force someone in the paint to beat them, which usually doesn’t happen. Straying away from the Wade-Shaq or Kobe-Shaq comparison, look at the Celtics. KG underneath with Ray Allen and Paul Pierce on the wings. Can anyone add this up please? That’s 1,2,…3 BIG TIME PLAYERS! Why else do you think they won so many games and the NBA Title last year? Defenses have to somehow guard all 3!

Obviously, both guard play and a dominant inside presence are essential to winning a championship. But to me, you have a better shot if you fill in role players around your “Big Man” underneath…agreed?!? Mr. Howard, I choose you to be my Superman…

Blake Griffin or Tyler Hansbrough?…

Posted in College Basketball, NBA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2009 by sportsguru09

Who will be a better NBA player, Blake Griffin the OU Sooner or Tyler Hansbrough the Baby Blue Tar Heel? My answer is Griffin. And let me preface this post: my position is not a result of my hatred for Hansbrough and the Tar Heels. The Duke-Carolina rivalry aside, Griffin is much more athletic and an overall bigger powerhouse. Hansbrough is a real “creative” post player and finds ways, ugly or not, to get the ball in the hoop. As much as I hate to say it, Psycho T does it quite frequently, thus taking over the ACC All-Time Scoring Record previously held by my boy J.J. Redick. But honestly, can you see Hansbrough throwing up that trash in the NBA? The likes of Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett, Shaquille O’ Neal, and others will stuff it and probably throw it 12 rows deep and turn it into a souvenir.

Courtesy of yardbarker.com

Courtesy of yardbarker.com

Griffin, however, can actually go coast-to-coast, with speed, and smash the ball through the hole overtop of multiple defenders. Both are great college players, but how does that translate into the NBA? Let’s compare the two by NBA potential in the skilled categories:

Strength – Advantage Griffin…Griffin is an absolute monster underneath the basket and has a great presence that keeps opponents out of the lane when they drive and is able to do whatever he wants on the Offensive end. If you watch him play, the whole game revolves around him. Why? Because no one else can physically stop him. Hansbrough is also a tough guy but does not seem as dominant in the post. He’s a scorer but doesn’t tend to throw people around in the paint.

Speed – Advantage Griffin…Hansbrough, though great in the post, struggles to outrun anyone down the court. He has great court presence and vision, but fails to physically beat defenders out on the break. Griffin, as we’ve seen at multiple times throughout the year, has stolen the ball underneath his own basket and left everyone in the dust on the way back down the court only to throw down a ridiculous dunk while defenders sit back and watch.

Dunking – Advantage Griffin…See above…Griffin is a man-child all by himself. In overall dunking ability, able to jump higher, Griffin is a great lob-catcher and more talented in the alley-oop department than Psycho T. Hansbrough is not nearly as explosive or fun to watch. Put the two in a dunk contest and Griffin wins hands down.

Post Play – Advantage Hansbrough…I definitely give the nod to Tyler here. Somehow, someway, Hansbrough finds ways to score against multiple defenders in the paint. Trust me, I know. I’m a Duke fan…he’s done it four years in a row, in Durham gosh dang it. It’s ugly, but it works. Griffin tends to be a better one-on-one player and because he’s a more skilled ball handler, tends not to go down and sit in the paint. However, because Hansbrough finds home underneath the basket, I’d take him over Griffin if you need a great post scorer. Yes, Tar Heel fans, I am applauding Hansbrough’s ability…though it sure isn’t pretty.

Ball Handling/DribblingAdvantage Griffin…This definitely goes to Griffin. Without a doubt, Griffin would dribble around Hansbrough. Not to take anything away from Psycho T, but Griffin goes between the legs and around the back much better and on a more frequent basis to school defenders soon before posterizing them.

Defense – Advantage HansbroughIn the defensive block, Hansbrough has better court sense and the ability to take a charge. As dominant as Griffin is on the boards, he is all risk or all reward in trying to block shots. When’s the last time you saw him take a charge? When an opponent drives the lane, Hansbrough steps up and usually takes one for the team, risking his body to get a turnover and the ball back.

Rebounding – Advantage Griffin…Has anyone seen Griffin’s stats this year? I can’t even count the number of double-doubles that Griffin has had this year. Simply put, when you average over 20 points and close to 15 rebounds over the course of a season, you deserve Player of the Year honors. When the ball is up for grabs, count on Griffin to use his brute force to get the ball wrapped up securely in his arms for whatever NBA team is lucky enough to draft him.

One on One Ability – This is a wash, but are great in finding ways to score, no matter who’s guarding them.

Overall, Griffin has more talent and will likely find it easier to get playing time and make an immediate impact in the NBA. Hansbrough will likely be a 7th or 8th man and be a role player until he finds his way onto a team that needs a talented Small Forward. Both will be taken high in the NBA Draft, but look for Griffin, assuming he stays healthy, to be a better talent in the professional arena.

Want a look at Blake Griffin’s athleticism? Check out the video….see for yourself…

Courtesy of YouTube

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