Posted on: March 8, 2012 9:12 am
Edited on: March 8, 2012 2:12 pm
By Matt Moore and Ben Golliver
Wednesday night was one of those nights in the NBA. Multiple game winners, so many that we decided we need to break them down, power rankings style.
1. Rose does MJ: Derrick Rose's game winner had to be the best of the night for pure elegance. It had everything we look for from a winner: at the buzzer, walk off, isolation, high degree of difficulty, total calm, nothing but net. So much was going on in this one. He read the defense patiently, unleashed some crippling dribble moves, created and took the exact shot he wanted and even had large swaths of a road crowd cheering for him. Watch that thing and try not to think Michael Jordan.
2. Kyrie Irving's end-to-end. Irving's dash to the rim for what would be the game winner wasn't 94 feet of basketball brilliance, but it was as close as you want it to be. The fact that Byron Scott had the confidence in Irving to navigate all that space and the tactical knowledge to know the Nuggets wouldn't expect Irving to just get a running start and barrel to the basket deserves some points, while Irving's approach to switch hands on approach shows off his handle. That kid is something special.
3. Isaiah Thomas read-and-react. Thomas, at his best, is the type of undersized guard that just makes you marvel. That he was the 2011 NBA Draft's "Mr. Irrelevant" just makes the story that much better. Thomas was at his best on Wednesday night, intercepting an idiotic entry pass at full stretch and with perfect timing. Thomas' game is all action/reaction/action and he made an incredibly heady play to move the ball forward to a streaking John Salmons, hitting him in stride. No second-guessing, no covering the ball to allow the defense to react. Just pure open court instinct in a very unusual game situation. The only downside is that it wasn't a walk off winner, or the Power Balance Pavilion might have stormed the court. Thomas' growing reputation for putting smiles on faces continues to grow.
4. DWill trusts Farmar. What? Why aren't people flipping out over Deron Williams passing up the crucial shot in the Nets' win over the Clippers like they did with LeBron James? Regardless, Williams made a great play and Farmar didn't get too excited or go hero-mode. He just lined up and knocked down the open jumper. You know, the right basketball play. On the opposite end of the spectrum,CP3 was never going to take that pass, and gambling on it meant he couldn't run Farmar off. Big mistake as Farmar's been en fuego from the outside this year.
5. Nick Young has daggers on daggers. If this was later in the game, it would be a top-three candidate. After all, Young did rise and fear to knock off the master of rise and fire. But alas, we had more free throws and missed Kobe Bryant threes to get through before it was said and done. But make no mistake, Nick Young's dagger to punch the Lakers' comeback attempt was the game winner in the Wizards' stunner over L.A..
Posted on: March 8, 2012 12:11 am
And that's how the Wizards downed the Lakers, sending them to their second loss in two nights to bottom-feeder lottery teams, after their big win Sunday against Miami. The Wizards were down 21 points in the third quarter, before rallying to close it within one possession by the start of the fourth.
Kobe Bryant was 9-31 for 30 points in the loss. Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol had 19 shots combined. The loss comes a day after Rodney Stuckey crossed over Bryant for a late-game bucket and now Young drains this one. The Lakers looked like one of the elite teams in the league on Sunday. Four days later, they're taking on water again. The trade deadline is one week away.
For the Wizards, it's their best win of the season, and something for Randy Wittman to hang his hat on. Trevor Booker was the player you need your bigs to be, John Wall managed the offense even on a bad night, and his team got the win. In a long, dark season, it's nice to have nights like this.
Posted on: March 1, 2012 12:09 pm
JaVale McGee on understanding message Wittman is sending with benching: "I can’t say I do, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out sooner or later."via Twitter / @MrMichaelLee: JaVale McGee on understand ....
Are we being too hard on JaVale McGee? I mean, I don't want to just crush the young guy for his attitude, behavior and general lack of anything resembling common sense without good reason or purpose. It's just that he's 24, in his fifth season. Don't you have to figure things out eventually? McGee is so phenomenally talented, could be so good in this league if he were to instill the right discipline. You wonder what would have happened to him if he'd landed on a team with a more serious outlook, a more dedicated approach, if he had a veteran busting him to stay in line.
McGee doesn't get in trouble off the court. He's acerbic with the press, but who cares, lots of guys are. It's that he continually does things on the court which, let's face it, to borrow a phrase, "just don't make no sense."
The circus act was fun in Washington for a few years. You know, six years ago. Eventually you have to instill a new culture, and you wonder how much of a house cleaning they're going to have to do in order to make that a reality. They bough into Andray Blatche when his contract was up and look how that turned out. Will they do the same with McGee? You have to think the culture in Washington is a bigger problem than the talent.
Posted on: February 24, 2012 11:25 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2012 11:32 pm
Posted by Royce Young and Ben Golliver
Washington Wizards guard John Wall was holding an impressive one-man impromptu Dunk Contest during the second half of Friday's Rising Stars Challenge but then Detroit Pistons big man Greg Monroe stepped in to kill all the fun.
After Wall completed an alley-oop, a left-handed cockback and a behind-his-own-back dunk that had the Amway Center on its feet, he lined up a self alley-oop pass from outside the 3-point line. His plan: attempt a between-his-legs dunk to finish the evening on a high note.
The only problem? Monroe stepped in to swipe the ball, killing Wall's chance while drawing some jeers.
"I was going to try the between-the-legs," Wall said. "I've never tried that before. He stole the ball. He messed my up my rhythm."
Monroe tailed off, and shrugged his shoulders.
Wall was able to laugh it off too, although he said he has plans to get revenge when the Wizards host the Pistons on Mar. 26.
"It's just fun. Don't get mad at him for it. He did it so I'm going to try to dunk on him when we play them... It was funny. I was going to try something else but he took it away from me. The crowd didn't like it. You get a little upset but it's an All-Star Game. We're having fun. You just let it go."
As the players filed into post-game media availability, Monroe ran ahead of the pack to snag a Gatorade bottle that had been placed on the table of New Jersey Nets guard MarShon Brooks.
"Are you going to steal that too?" Brooks asked, incredulous.
Wall and Brooks got the last laugh, as their Team Chuck, coached by Charles Barkley, defeated Monroe's Team Shaq, coached by Shaquille O'Neal, 146-133.
Posted on: February 22, 2012 10:04 pm
Former NBA player Javaris Crittenton has mostly stayed out of the news since last August, when he was charged with murder in the shooting death of a 22-year-old mother of four in Georgia.
That changed on Wednesday morning, when Crittenton was reportedly arrested again by authorities in Georgia.
TMZ.com reports that Crittenton was arrested for "speeding and obstruction of an officer" after getting pulled over for driving 60 miles per hour in a 45 miles per hour zone in a "black Porsche."
When the cop wrote up the ticket, Javaris refused to sign it, something you have to do to acknowledge receipt of the citation. As a result, we're told the officer asked Javaris to step out of the vehicle -- and Javaris refused again.Police charged Crittenton with murder last year, alleging that he shot into a crowd of people after being robbed of more than $50,000 worth of jewelry. The FBI had to track down and arrest Crittenton in California after he apparently fled across the country after the incident.
Prior to the murder rap, Crittenton was best known for his involvement in a 2009 dispute over gambling debts with then-Washington Wizards teammate Gilbert Arenas. The dispute ended with Arenas getting suspended for bringing guns into the Wizards locker room. Crittenton was released by the team shortly thereafter.
Crittenton, now 23, played just two seasons in the NBA, including stints with the Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies and Wizards. He was cut by the Charlotte Bobcats during training camp in 2010 and had been playing in the D-League. He averaged 5.3 points and 1.8 assists in 16.4 minutes per game during his NBA career.
Posted on: February 22, 2012 9:17 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2012 9:20 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver
Washington Wizards center JaVale McGee is the gift that keeps on giving.
In the last 18 months, McGee has gotten into a bar fight with a teammate on Christmas Eve, planked on an airport's moving walkway, sold out his side during a billion dollar labor negotiation, gotten benched for throwing an alley-oop to himself, had his mother refer to him as "the future of the NBA" while she slammed former Wizards coach Flip Saunders, and ran completely the wrong way to play defense while his team still had the ball.
Here's the latest entry in the "Crazy Stuff That Only JaVale McGee Would Do" collection. Box sets available on DVD or VHS.
During the second half of a close Wednesday night game against Sacramento, McGee decided to goaltend a shot by Kings guard Francisco Garcia deep into the stands well after the attempt had reached its pinnacle. The result was akin to a volleyball serve as the ball went flying way, way over and above the Wizards bench. A free souvenir for a lucky fan. Wizards coach Randy Wittman immediately pulled McGee from the game for the action.
Here's the video of Washington Wizards center JaVale McGee's volleyball goaltending and benching via YouTube user johnctownsend.
Hat tip: Washington Post
Posted on: February 16, 2012 1:46 am
Edited on: February 16, 2012 2:41 am
Posted by Ben Golliver
Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.
Posted on: February 11, 2012 6:11 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2012 2:10 pm
The unsubstantiated rumor that simply will not die has reportedly prompted a profanity-laced verbal exchange between Miami Heat All-Star forward LeBron James and a fan of the Washington Wizards.
James and the Heat defeated the Wizards, 106-89, at the Verizon Center on Friday night. As James put together 18 points, 9 assists and 2 rebounds in the victory, a fan allegedly began making loud comments about a rumored 2010 relationship between James' mother and then-Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Delonte West.
Deadspin.com notes an NBCWashington.com report with details of the exchange.
LeBron just got into a verbal altercation with a fan. Spoke to the fan. Wanted to give Heat PR time to comment on the LeBron fan altercation. I’ll update you if they end up doing so, but here’s the story.James' behavior runs the entire spectrum from "role model" to "insufferable," but the strong temptation here is to give him a pass. This isn't the first time James has reportedly been in this type of situation and it won't be the last. He surely feels like the reasonable, "If you disrespect my mother in public, any response is fair game" argument is in play here. Sure, he's a global brand and a "King," but he's a person, too. Defending the virtue of one's mother is an inalienable human right.
Should James be held to a higher standard of conduct than that, given his level of fame and the scrutiny that follows him wherever he goes? Sure, in an ideal world he would ignore it, brush it off, or let security handle it. The heckler wins this one because he got James to engage with him, but at least James leaves the situation knowing that he stood up for his mother.
Even so, if you're the Heat, you respectfully request that James inform you first of future fan comments so that an exchange like this doesn't wind up caught on video and posted to YouTube, where it could do some serious damage to his image if viewed out of context.