The End of the Bench

Basketball blog with takes on basketball and anything related to basketball . . . as well as a haven for jingoists everywhere - in America.

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Friday, May 30, 2003
Paging Dr. Heimlich - Mavs choke game away

When you score 9 points in the fourth quarter, it isn't all the others teams defense/rebounding. A lot of that is you not getting it done. The Mavs were up 13, but managed to lose by 12 because the Spurs outscored them 34-9 in the 4th. People are all talking about Steve Kerr's four 4th quarter threes, but is it really that susprising? I know the guy had barely gotten off the bench all series, but the man is a professional shooter pretty much. Can we really be that surprised when he gets some minutes taht he rains down threes on someone?

"Over 8:02, the Mavericks missed seven shots and committed six turnovers." They only took 7 shots in 8 minutes, mainly due to the 6 TOs and a lack of rebounding.

So now we get the matchup everyone figured we would get after the Kings and Lakers got bounced. So now we go until Wednesday without a game. Expect most posts til then to be about coaching stuff and the draft.

Monday, May 26, 2003
After six seasons, Brown ready to move on

Can't say I'm that surprised that Larry Brown is moving on. The guy is the nomad of basketball coaches. Not sure whether this is a good or bad thing yet. It really will probably depend on who the replacement is.

Sunday, May 25, 2003
Anthony, not James ready for NBA

This article is not based in reality. Take the first three paragraphs for example:

"At the risk of blasphemy, I don't take LeBron James.

If I have the No. 1 pick and can somehow trade it while still getting Carmelo Anthony, that's what I do. I trade the rights to James to a team desperate enough to give me value for all the overinflated hype James brings with him, and the seats it will fill, and drop to No. 2 or 3. And then I make my team better more immediately with Anthony than I do with James.

You can have your season-ticket sales and your magazine covers. I'll take the guy who makes my team better on the court and in the standings right away. I'll take the guy I've already seen dominate men, as opposed to James, who has been dunking on boys."

If Dan Le Batard believes that, he should get his head checked. The reality of the matter is that basketball is a business. The ultimate goal for most franchises is to make money. Yes they want to win, but a big part of that is because you make more money when you win.

Second, is college basketball better than high school basketball. Yes, but probably not as much as Le Batard thinks. I don't know if he's been watching the same college basketball I've been, but it isn't all that great in terms of the actual play on the court. If you are the Cavaliers, you have to take Lebronn James. Not only can the kid play, but he will increase ticket sales by a huge amount for a team that was last in attendance the past year.

So the take home message is this: If you agree with Le Batard, you are a fool and should never run a professional sports franchise cause you will end up bankrupt.

After blasting East, Nets hungry for more

I almost forgot. The Nets swept the Pistons. Zzzzzzz . . .

Tomjanovich ends 12-year coaching run with Rockets

Rudy Tomjanovich will stay with the organization, he just won't be coaching. Les Alexander, the ownr of the Rockets, apparently was unhappy with the way some of the young guys had developed and talks about a buyout had actuallybegun before last season. I can't say I blame Alexander. I thought they had the talent to be a playoff team. The got close this year, but they couldn't put things together down the stretch. Charley Rosen even said Rudy was slipping. Despite the fact that it means I agree with Rosen, I agree withthis move. I think some change could do that team good. Rudy T seems like a great guy (I've never met him,but everything I've ever heard says it is so) and I wish him all the best with his health and front office endeavors.

Thursday, May 22, 2003
Cavs win No. 1 pick; LeBron there for the taking

And let the conspiracy theories begin.

Crying foul

In the comments for the previous post, regular reader and commenter Cal presented the following question:
In your opinion, which game had more questionable calls 1 or 2? I think game one was worse, because Dallas NEVER EVER should go to the free throw line 50 times. But Don Nelson has been ejected before.

I would say game two. The 50 free throws for Dallas seems staggering, but consider also that San Antonio shot 48 in that same game. That number just wasn't thrown out there as much because they only made 31. If you read the recap of game two though and what led to Nelson's ejection, it seems like Joey Crawford simply had an itchy trigger finger. Game one just seems to me like there was just a lot of fouls. Dallas was taking the ball to the basket a lot and that usually leads to a lot of contact and fouls. Game two seems like the technicals were just be handed out at the scorer's table when the guys checked in. For that reason, I would say that game two actually had more questionable calls.

Duncan scores 32 points as Spurs even series

Is anyone else concerned that the Spurs just don't seem content to win by 15 or 20 against anyone lately? The Spurs were up as much as 26 and let Dallas come back to within 8. Why won't they just get up 20 and stay up 20 til the end?

Lots of Ts in this one. Don Nelson got tossed. Del Harris got tossed after asking to be tossed . . . no seriously. Joey Crawford called 4 techs in the first 10 minutes.

After the game Malik Rose said he kinda felt like he let the team down after last game. Hey Mailk, I think they understood why you had to sit out. After all, you did get kneed in the head and looked like you didn't know what time zone you were in.

Monday, May 19, 2003
Dan Shanoff reads EotB?

Shanoff writes The Daily Quickie on Page 2. In today's edition he had this line: "Somebody feed scrawny Pistons rookie Tayshaun Prince a couple of steak dinners before he's fed to Kenyon Martin again."

Sounds similar to a line I used in multiple posts, like here and here. I'm just sayin . . .

Kidd makes difficult shot to stun Pistons

And still no one outside NJ or Detroit cares. However, there was o nbullshit play I saw at the end of the first half. The shotclock is running down and the Pistons shoot and miss. NJ rebounds and outlets to Jason Kidd who at about half court jumps to toss a pass ahead to Kerry Kittles (I think it was him). While Kidd is in midair the shot clock buzzer goes off. Everyone in the entire building thinks play has stopped and Kidd comes down with the ball. The ref initially signals travelling. The refs then all meet and decide to stick with the travelling call!!!! Not only did the shotclock screw the Nets out of the fast break they had, but the refs then screwed them out of the possession entirely. Just poor, poor officiating.

Mavs make West finals for first time since 1988

Mike Bibby finally showed up Saturday and it didn't make a damnbit of difference, because him and Jim Jackson were the only ones who had big games. I still think this is a different series without Chris Webber, but did anyone think that the Mavs could actually win when he went down? I didn't think so.

The other thing to consider is, do we now have to question the Ewing Theory? It would have predicted a Kings championship with Webber out, but they lost the same series he got hurt. Makes ya wonder . . .

Detroit downs Sixers in OT

Sorry for the lack of posts over the weekend, I have 3 finals on Tuesday and mainly I've been mourning the Sixers loss. That series was so winnable. Game 5 was winnable andso was game 6. Would've should've could've didn't. How do you defend Chauncey Billups on one leg shooting from 28 feet? You can't. However, I think Allen Iverson should've hit that layup. It was a good look and he makes that 90% of the time, just not that time. Either way, things won't change. The Sixers are still playing golf right now and the Pistons have moved on. This means only one thing - time for the annual Larry Brown retirement articles to pop up.

Van Exel shoots down old demons with Dallas

Story on the new Nick Van Exel as opposed to the old referee-shoving disuptive one. I must admit that I thought he would cause problems in Dallas if he didn't get to start, but he hasn't complained once. I thnk that he really has changedand it just makes him more likable. As long as hekeeps shooting pull up 28 footers on the break and having them go in, I'm a fan.

Thursday, May 15, 2003
The Sports Guy Stock Report

He's back with authority. I must admit that I was wondering whether Bill Simmons had lost a little off his fastball, but this column is great. Two things make it great: 1) This is the beginning of him getting back to doing regular Page 2 columns and 2) He bags on Charley Rosen. As Lang Whitaker put it over at The Links, "Page Two is eating their own." Thanks god it was only Rosen that was getting eaten? Would anyone really miss him?

Anyway, topics hit upon in the article include Doug Christie and his wife, how overrated Wally Szxcjvbzxb is, the possible downfall of the Ewing Theory, and Mateen Cleaves. No wonder I loved it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003
Atkins scores winner as Coleman called for goaltending

First thing first. Everyone needs to get off my man Derrick Coleman. That shot was in so him doing that made no difference. If anything it was smart. If he gets away with it, the game goes to overtime. If not, who cares it was already going down anyway.

After the game, Magic said that Allen Iverson played that last inbound wrong (AI was guarding out towards the half line as Atkins ran for it) and that he should have had the baseline side and been there to help out when Atkins did get the ball and drive. I hate to give Magic Johnson props for anything he does on TV because he is awful on TV, but he was right.

Another thing is on that last Tayshaun Prince bucket, how does no one come to double and help Aaron McKie out? McKie is overmatched there and Prince damn near got a 5 second violation he was backing McKie down so long, so where was the help?

Goddamn that was an ugly game. The Pistons shot .392 and won because the Sixers shot .367. Only appropriate that the winning bucket didn't actually go in.

Also of note, Steve Javie was calling this game and there were no techs. A miracle? Nope, but the David Stern Robot was in the house so that may have had a little something to do with it.

Coleman plays new position with newfound energy

I have two words as to why he has this newfound energy: Contract Year

Tuesday, May 13, 2003
Sixers' Hill will miss remainder of Pistons series

The loss of all-ugly team charter member Tyrone Hill is really gonna hurt the Sixers . . . cause they don't have a lot of guys who can average more personal fouls (2.9 in the playoffs) than points (2.8) on that roster. Who will fill that void?

Kidd has 29 points in Nets' Game 4 victory

Nets sweep Celtics. Only one more series win and the Nets can win the right to get pounded again in the Finals.

Sixers' Brown to MJ: Please come to Philly

Sixers' fans to MJ: Please don't.

Right or wrong, early decisions have been made

Let me recap Andy Katz whole article for you in two sentences: If (fill in name of guy here) is gonna be a first rounder, then this will have been a good decision. If not he should go back to school or it will be a big mistake.

Now repeat that 30 times and it will be just like you read the article.

Monday, May 12, 2003
Weekend Roundup

Sorry ofr not posting over the weekend. It was pretty busy. Hit the Jurassic 5 concert and then it was straight to my parents house for mother's day. Goddamn that J5 show was awesome. I highly recommend seeing them if you get the chance. Anyways, on to the basketball . . .

Sixers win . . . again.
The story of game 3 was rebounding (Sixers 48, Pistons 30). The story of game 4 was turnovers (Sixers 8, Pistons 18) and the fact that the only Piston that could score was Rip Hamilton. Allen Iverson was a monster over the weekend too, going for a total of 61 points and 22 assists.

Goddamn Lakers . . . they won - twice
Why won't they just go away? Mainly because of Shaq and Kobe.

Penny earns college degree in professional studies
Congrats on the diploma, but what the hell is professional studies?

Dumars' executive work in Detroit to be honored
Nothing like fleecing MJ and turning Mateen Cleaves into Jon Barry to help get that exec of the year award.

Kings rebound from tough loss to even series
The Mavs won in an epic double OT game where they made 19 3s and still had to eek out the win. They then came back and looked awful. They just couldn't buy a bucket. Not only that, Dirk Nowitzki and Raja Bell got tossed (along with Bobby Jackson). The Mavs just got owned. Also, did anyone notice how the beginning of that recap resembles the NY Times article on Doug and Jackie Christie? In all seriousness, how psycho is his wife? Just reading the original article again reminded me how nutty she really is. Look what she did to the poor bastard.

Friday, May 09, 2003
Webber needs surgery, Jackson cleared to play

I was waiting to comment on this game til I saw the news on these two. Chris Webber's done for the playoffs. Bobby Jackson will probably play in game three without a mask. The Kings may still beat Dallas, but I think a championship is now probably out of reach. You San Antonio isprobably drooling right now after hearing this. They gotta be the favorites at this point.

Now onto last night's game. That was an incredible offensive show. The Kings scored 40 in the first quarter . . . and were still down 4. The Mavs had 83 (83!!!) at the half. Shooting .515 from the field and .531 from 3 will do that for ya. And Nick VanExel . . . good god. He could have shot it from ten rows back in the upper deck and it would have gone in last night. He was doing his thing, throwing up ill-advised threes and breaking people down off the dribble and they were all going in.

I would love to be on the Dallas bench when VanExel is in. Bradley rebounds, outlet to VanExel who has all five Kings in front of him, He sprints full speed and pulls up 8 feet behind the line and the whole bench is probably screaming "NOOOOOOOOO!!!!" as the shot heads towards the rafe\ters as all Nick's rainbows do and then swish, which is followed by the bench going "Yeah!!!!!!" You know Nellie probably is within seconds of having an aneurysm every time he does that. Just funny to think about.

Thursday, May 08, 2003
Detroit 104, Philadelphia 97 (OT)

It is plainly obvious that the mystique of the wallpaper has worn off. I mean, Tayshaun Prince? He scored 13 . . . in the month of March!!!! Somehow he drops 20 in tonight's game. Ben Wallace went 3-4 from the foul line including 2-2 in OT. Chucky Atkins scored 23. When the Pistons get 43 from Tayshaun-Atkins, what else can you do?

Wednesday, May 07, 2003
Wizards Decide Not to Retain Jordan

Why should they? Other than getting rid of some bad contracts, what did Michael Jordan the executive really do? He signed Charles Oakley and Bryon Russell and got Jerry Stackhousein exchange for trading away a Stackhouse clone who was 4 years younger and still improving (Rip Hamilton). He alienated many of the players while he played too. So why should they keep him around? Obviously Abe Pollin thought they shouldn'tand I think it was a good decision on his part.

Bowen makes seven 3-pointers in rout of Lakers

I wonder if when Bruce Bowen was on the bench tonight, if the other people wouldn't sit near him or talk to him like what happens when a pitcher has a no hitter in baseball. The guy was unconscious - 10-12 FG and 7-8 3Pt for a total of 27 points. Hell, he usually can't score 27 in a week.

In other news, that stampede sound you hear is all the Laker fans running for the nearest ledge.

In all seriousness though, it's obvious that before the season Bruce Bowen sold his sould to the devil and couldn't get a good price. How else could you explain the following numbers:

Bruce Bowen Shooting Percentages:

FG% 3PT% FT%
2002-2003 .466 .441 .404
Career .396 .380 .546

The guy jumps .07 in FG%, .06 in 3%, but drops.14 in FT. What the hell is that? He shoots threes better than free throws!!!!! I guess the bad economy has hit the soul selling sector too.

Whitsitt steps down after turbulent season

Many of the fans who blamed Bob Whitsitt for the teams troubles, both on and off the court, are probably very happy. This was good for the franchise. One, the teams he put together have been bounced out of the first round 6 of the 8 years he was there. Granted the two other years they got to the Conference Finals, but still. Two, the guy didn't seem to worry about his team's off the court behavior and this didn't sit well with the fans. I think this is just the tip of the iceberg of what is to come in Portland, but only time will tell. What happens now with the roster will probably depend on who the next GM is.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003
The AI Wallpaper Works In Mysterious Ways

Billups forced to leave game with ankle injury

Stojakovic, Webber power Kings to easy win

Is anyone really surprised by this after last year's series with the Kings and the debacle that was the Blazers series this year?

Shooting the Lights Out . . .Literally

A few minutes into the Pistons-Sixers game at The Palace, the lights went out. Damn Pistons are trying every dirty trick in the book. Presumably it is just a power failure, but it had me confused when my TV went black and still had sound.

Saturday, May 03, 2003
Billups, Wallace lift Pistons over Magic

Ways not to win basketball games, by the Orlando Magic: First you have to have only 3 guys hit double figures in scoring with only one of the 3 getting more than 12 points. Second, you shoot below 40% from the field as a team. Third, you let Chauncey Billups drop 40 on you. And finally, the most key way to lose, you let Ben Wallace - the man with absolutely no offensive game other than dunking - score 20 on you.

How do you let Ben Wallace score 20 on you?!?!?! If he could make a free throw it would have been 35 seeing how he only managed to go 8-22 from the not so free throw line. I believe the stat is in the history of the league only 4% of teams up 3-1 have ever blown their lead. Looks like the Magic are on their way to becoming a statistic if they don't show up in game 7.

Blazers can make history with one more win

Who the hell are these Blazers and what did they do with the old ones? These Blazers move the ball well, make back door cuts, rebound well, play defense and even have Damon Stoudamire showing up for the games. It's not even like they are squeeking by in these games. Game 5 was only a 4 pont win, but game 4 was by 19. They won by 22 last night and that was despite Dale Davis leaving injured after only playing 9 minutes. The Mavs were down 26 at the half and never were really in it after that. They held Dirk Nowitzki to 4 points. The Blazers were just utterly dominant. And that Zach Randolph kid, he can play a little.

If the Mavs blow 3-0, I would have to agree with my friend Ben Matsar's assessment of the Mavs: "They're the worst 60 win team ever." Did I mention no team ever has blown a 3-0 lead. Just something to think about if the Mavs lose game 7.

Iverson clutch down stretch to finish Hornets

Reason 1 that the Sixers won this game: Free throws in the fourth quarter - Sixers go 10-12, Hornets go 3-7. Also note that the Hornets were in the bonus with about 8 minutes left and still only shot 7 free throws in the quarter.

Reason 2 that the Sixers won this game: I had the AI wallpaper up on the desktop. Bow down to the power of the AI wallpaper.

Who's Mr. Clutch?

Charley Rosen is at it again. This won't be a long extended rant (if you want that check Friday's edition of The Links). The one thing I had to chip in my two cents on was the end of the article where Charley calls Karl Malone "One of the most overrated players in NBA history, right up there with Walt Bellamy and Vince Carter." If any of you had any respect for Rosen's misinformed opinions before, you shouldn't after that. The guy just said that one of the best power forwards ever - if not the best - was one of the most overrated. That's abolute lunacy. Why does ESPN pay him to write this stuff? Maybe to get me all fired up so I post more? I dunno.

Note to Sean: There is no evidence cited because I think my readers are a) knowledgeable enough to realize Malone is not overrated, b) smart enough to look at the stats and see for themselves if they don't know why Rosen is wrong or c) smart enough to ask why in the comments. Most fall under a)

Peculiar Choice to Handle Play-by-Play for N.B.A.

The New York Times throws the smack down on ESPN for their choices when it came to the people they put in the "booth". I would have to say I agree. The TNT telecasts are much better.

Duncan wins MVP

I've learned not to argue about these things with statistical logic and reason because the actual voters won't use those criteria anyway, hence I haven't talked about the MVP award pretty much all year. That being said, I'm fine with Duncan as MVP.

Stockton: 'I think it's time to move on'

And it's official. The Pasty Gangsta is pick-n-rollin off into the sunset

Thursday, May 01, 2003
Malone, Stockton might have played final game for Utah

I have a feeling that John Stockton is done. So this will be my "Ode to the Pasty Gangsta". The guy was one of the best point guards ever and, with no disrespect to Tim Duncan, the most fundamentally sound player I've ever seen. Part of my liking of John Stockton probably has something to do with the fact that we kinda look similar (Ieven had that hair cut in elementary school). Much of though has to do with the fact that despite not being as athletically gifted as many of the other players on the court, the guy was just smarter than all of them and got his success that way. The way he handles himself also has to be applauded. Never did he get in trouble. He never was in the spotlight and the reality is he didn't want it. I think because of that he didn't really get the attention or respect that he deserved. The guy was amazing. He was so textbook that it was almost boring to watch, but that is also what made him such a great player. He didn't score a lot, but part of that was that he wasn't looking to shoot most of the time. It certainly wasn't for lack of skill, seeing as he had a .515 FG% - for his career which covered 1500+ games. The most amazing part of his career was that for the last ten years, everyone knew what the Jazz were gonna do but no one could really do a damn thing about it. They were gonna run the pick and roll and it was gonna work. That says something about how good Stockton and Malon executed it. If he does in fact retire, it will be a sad day. I've never had the pleasure of watching a point guard better than John Stockton.

Hornets beat Sixers

I didn't get to catch the second half, but it sounded like a good game. Somehow George Lynch scored 12 in the 4th. George Lynch!!!! Mashburn also played and started out hot (5/6), but finished cold (ended up 8/20). However, none of these explain the loss. The real reason for the loss can be summed up in one word - wallpaper. Games 1 and 2 I had Allen Iverson desktop wallpaper up and the Sixers won. I decided to rock the Aaron McKie wallpaper for game 3 and the Sixers lose. AI goes back up for game 4 and the Sixers win. To test the true strength of the wallpaper hex, I put up Eric Snow wallpaper for game 5 and they lost. Needless to say, the AI wallpaper isn't coming down anytime soon.

Where's Wally

I know I'm a day late with this, but what happened to Wally Szczerbiak in game 5 of the Lakers-TWolves series? This is the question that has been going around after Minnesota got run over at home. Why Wall disappearing is a big surprise is beyond me. The guy is hugely over-rated. The announcers like to point out that he was an All-Star, but the truth is he had no businees being on that All-Star team. The guy shoots pretty well, but doesn't really contribute in any other way (his rebounding abilities depend on whether you judge him as a 2 or 3). And to top it all off, Wally is a sieve on defense. This guy is a third option at best. He's Glen Rice with better knees. Bet the Wolves are glad they gave him that big extension. Just another in the chain of bad moves by Kevin McHale.