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Date archive for: October 2013

NBA Roundup – October 30, 2013

The second day of NBA action was straight-up AMPM too much good stuff.

With a league that understands the value of social media, fan engagement, the importance of on-the-screen product, and a rabid fan base devouring every morsel of content, this is bound to be one of the best seasons ever.

Here’s the NBA roundup of notable story lines, final scores, highlight videos and some personal commentary on yesterday’s events.

TNT – What if?

As if we needed any more reason to get amped up for the season, TNT delivered again with a promo that captures how most of us NBA nerds feel about the sport we love. THIS is how a lot of us see the sport: a realm of possibilities, subplots, and story lines that will play out over the course of 82 games, but that ultimately carry a history beyond this season.

Allen Iverson Retires

One of my childhood heroes, affectionally know as The Answer to me and to many others, retired as 76er yesterday. To say that he inspired me would be an understatement. As a kid playing ball on the mean streets of a middle-class neighborhood, Allen Iverson provided me with invaluable tools and insights as to how to break someone’s ankles.

I practiced his ridiculous spin-behind-the-back dribble cross-overs thousands of times and never successfully pulled it off once in a game. It didn’t matter. It made me feel special just trying to do it.

LeBron James recently called him the best pound-for-pound basketball player – and given his small stature and the size of his impact, it’s hard to find many rivals in from that perspective.

I’ll always have mad love for Allen Iverson and what he contributed to the NBA. He may never be a diligence role model, and he did crossover my forever idol (Michael Jordan), but in the end, he’s become part of the NBA lineage which helped evolve the game.

Big ups, AI.

Pierre the Pelican

When New Orleans revealed to the world at large that they would be renaming their franchise to the “Pelicans,” we all took our shots at them. Little did we know that they had something even worse up their sleeve—this guy:

Pierre the Pelican, the New Orleans mascot, is a creepy hybrid of deranged clown and mutant chicken. I’m convinced New Orleans got their inspiration from Breaking Bad’s Pollos Hermanos logo and/or the angry chicken from Family Guy.

NBA Twitter being NBA Twitter took it upon themselves to make a meme out of this poor mascot.

If you want to get an additional look at notable submissions, be sure to check out Matt Moore’s Twitter feed.

In all fairness, when you look beyond a vacuum, there are some other ridiculous mascots out there that deserve to be replaced, so we probably shouldn’t judge too harshly lest you have kids (if you do, by all means, do anything to ensure their safety by keeping them away from this nightmare-inducing chicken).

NBA Social Media Graphic of the Day

As the NBA continues its love affair with social media, every team is finally taking notice that a well executed social media strategy can have a tremendous impact amongst your fan base and beyond.

Last year, the Lakers were the class of social media when it came to visual assets. This year, the Houston Rockets are stepping up their game. They released this visually rich graphic after Houston’s victory over the Bobcats.

Houston Rockets - Social Media Graphic

Not only does the image give you a summary of the game alongside a great Dwight Howard photo, it also includes a tweet of the night and the next Rockets opponent, thereby creating an easily sharable piece of content.

Can’t wait to see teams go head-to-head in this department as the season rolls along.

Count it! Performance Of The Day

Yup – the team we all were counting on to lead the Tanking-For-Wiggins vanguard did this last night to LeBron’s team:

Sixers defeat Heat

Michael Carter Williams led the charge with an incredible debut:  22 points, 12 assists, nine steals, seven rebounds.

Top 10 Plays – October 30th

Andrew Bynum makes his return, Kevin Love tied a game with seconds left in regulation, and Jason Thompson put the icing on the cake with a ridiculous putback dunk in October 30th’s Top 10. Visit http://nba.com/video for more highlights.

Final Scores (via ESPN.com)

You can find additional game information, video highlights for each team and notes over at nba.com.

Wednesday, October 30
RESULT WINNER HIGH LOSER HIGH ATT.
Cleveland 98, Brooklyn 94 Thompson 18 Pts Lopez 21 Pts 20,562
Philadelphia 114, Miami 110 Turner 26 Pts James 25 Pts 19,523
Toronto 93, Boston 87 Gay 19 Pts Green 25 Pts 20,155
Detroit 113, Washington 102 Monroe 24 Pts Ariza 28 Pts 18,891
New York 90, Milwaukee 83 Anthony 19 Pts Neal 16 Pts 19,812
Houston 96, Charlotte 83 Harden 21 Pts McRoberts 15 Pts 18,083
Minnesota 120, Orlando 115 (OT) Love 31 Pts Afflalo 28 Pts 17,988
Indiana 95, New Orleans 90 George 32 Pts Gordon 25 Pts 17,803
Dallas 118, Atlanta 109 Ellis 32 Pts Teague 24 Pts 19,834
San Antonio 101, Memphis 94 Leonard 14 Pts
Diaw 14 Pts
Allen 15 Pts 18,581
Oklahoma City 101, Utah 98 Durant 42 Pts Burks 24 Pts 19,911
Phoenix 104, Portland 91 Dragic 26 Pts Lillard 32 Pts 17,208
Sacramento 90, Denver 88 Cousins 30 Pts Lawson 20 Pts 17,317
Golden State 125, LA Lakers 94 Thompson 38 Pts Henry 14 Pts
Meeks 14 Pts
19,596

Predictions for tonight (10/31)

Bulls over the Knicks – Derrick Rose’s long awaited homecoming and the opportunity to bounce back from an underwhelming performance as a team on opening day will lead the Bulls past the Knicks.

Clippers over Warriors – Like the Bulls, the Clippers disappointed on opening day. Unlike the Bulls, the Clippers did not play the defending champion—instead they fell to a highly depleted Lakers team with some of the worst defense on display by a Doc Rivers coached team. While the Warriors are deadly from the 3 – a large reason as to why the Lakers beat the Clippers – I expect Chris Paul and Doc Rivers to hold everyone accountable in a way that will give us the Clippers we’ve all been expecting.

Uncle Drew – Chapter 3

Perfectly timed for the start of the NBA season, Pepsi released the latest installment of the Uncle Drew initiative: Chapter 3.

By now, all the young bloods out there should be aware of who #UncleDrew is and the vicious cross-overs he brings to the playground while posing as an old man.

With each progressive chapter, Uncle Drew, played by Kyrie Irving, introduces us to his former teammates—the throwback ballers with ridiculously modern skills.

In chapter 3, Uncle Drew convinces his old point-guard, “Lights” (played by high-flying Nate Robinson, to come out and ball.  Not only does Lights make it worth our while, but his on-screen partner, “Betty Lou” (Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx), also puts young bloods to shame.

“It was a very humbling experience, I’m just glad I got the chance to team up with one of the best point guards in the game right now in Kyrie Irving as Uncle Drew, Mr. AKA Get Buckets.”

Nate Robinson

For some additional coverage on the making-of, check out ProBasketballTalk‘s recent post about Uncle Drew.

Derrick Rose – Sports Illustrated Cover

Derrick Rose was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s regional season preview issue.

While I don’t have a copy of the story that accompanied this version of SI, I did want to make sure I posted the image (courtesy of Sports Illustrated).

Derrick Rose will take the floor for the Bulls tomorrow as the season kicks off with a clash of behemoths: Bulls vs. Heat. This will be the Rose’s first game since going down with an ACL tear that caused him to miss the entire 2012-2013 season.

The Bulls went undefeated during the preseason, and Derrick Rose showed spurts of his old self. If his recovery doesn’t experience any setbacks, and the rest of the Bulls can manage to stay healthy—a squad flanked by Jimmy Butler & anchored by Joakim Noah—the Bulls will pose a legitimate threat to LeBron’s Heat in the East.

Just one more day until we get a taste of what’s to come for the 2013-2014 season! #WeWantMore #WeWantMore

[Bulls vs. Bucks, preseason highlights]

Clippers: Preseason Highlights 2013

If you’re wondering what makes the Clippers so much fun to watch—especially if you refuse to watch them just on principle—make sure you give this compilation of preseason highlights a shot.

This edition of Clips Session is an appetizer-sized serving of wonderful lobs to Blake Griffin, Chris Paul hesitation steps, and newly found defensive athleticism by DeAndre Jordan (“Blocked by DeAndre” could very well become my new favorite phrase for this upcoming season).

Video production credit: @MaxaMillion711. We look forward to many more of these throughout the Clippers 2013-2014 season. Big ups!

Count it, #andthefoul!

Banner Cover-Up 2013 – Let the Clippers be the Clippers

I read somewhere that the nature of civilizations supplanting each other often involves the necessary and calculated destruction of a place’s previous identity.

Without a blank slate, a new civilization puts itself at risk of those with memories rising up in the name of the old guard. Books especially are enemies of the new state. Anything that evokes sentiments, whether visual, literary, or oral, must be controlled and done away with.

I imagine that’s what it must be like when you’re a championship pedigree coach taking over a franchise that has long lived under the shadow of a more successful, older brother that occupies the same household. The memories of the past must completely be erased so that your new squad can fully harness their talents around an identity that diametrically opposes history.

A transformation that began with the arrival of Blake Griffin, sprouted with the addition of Chris Paul and now looks towards blossoming under tutelage from a bona fide coach, Doc Rivers. The Clippers have finally built themselves into a legitimate contender in the West, and with this new identity comes a new set of responsibilities that extend to the arena these Clippers play in.

With a new sense of purpose and direction, the Clippers recently decided that it was in their best interest to make their shared arena home games feel more like home games by installing Clippers posters over the hallowed Lakers championships banners hanging from Staples Center (an egregious act of arrogance worthy of utmost condemnation, at least according to Lakers Nation).

Chris Paul & Doc Rivers - ClippersThe culture is changing, and we want to be a winner. To do that, we have to make changes, and the one at Staples Center is one that I thought we needed to make. We don’t leave the Lakers floor down, do we? And they don’t play on the Clippers floor; they take it up. That’s all.

 

It’s no disrespect. I have an amazing amount of respect for the Lakers. Having said that, I work for the Clippers, and when we play, it should be the Clippers’ arena. I would say they probably feel the same way when they play. That’s all it is.
Doc Rivers

That anybody would dare cover up their precious banners could not be overlooked, especially when the culprit is ascending while the proud franchise struggles to keep players healthy. Mouths were agape and just as rapidly shut and turned into a vehicle of invective as Lakers fans failed to comprehend the logic behind this “disrespectful” move.

The current of disdain ran fierce through the fan base and was fortified by the reactions of players like Nick Young—the vanguard of the banner cause (never mind that he has yet to play an official regular season game in a Lakers uniform).

“He can do that? For real? That’s disrespectful. We got to talk to Doc. He can’t have that. We got to do something about that.
Nick Young

Even some members of the LA media expressed their dismay with ripples of discontentment:

With all due respect to Ms. Shelburne, someone who I very much admire as a writer and as a reporter, the legacies of those men are in no way tarnished, nor do they disappear, just because the Clippers cover them up on any given night.  Nor will this take away any of the numerous championships the Lakers currently possess—Lakers Nation’s most admirable feature, after all, is their clockwork mentions of just how many championships they’ve won (how many was it again?).

There were, however, a few sensible people, including another Lakers player by the name of Steve Nash, that showed common sense bordering on lunacy after having heard the news:

I guess if you were in the Clippers’ organization you probably want to do that, too. It’s their arena on their night, so I would try to make it feel like home.
Steve Nash

The Clippers are entitled to do as they see fit when it’s their night in the arena. That covering up the banners feels as deeply insulting as it does for some who act out with rage only puts emphasis on how much some fans use these banners as a symbol of justification for their sense of entitlement and their bad attitude towards others; yes, I think that’s the part I hate the most about the banners dialogue.

Aside from that, I will admit that this seemingly harmless event has left me amused because of the extent to which this action upsets some Lakers fans, including some of my very own personal friends.

These banners have been shoved in our face for so long, and now without warning, they’ve been temporarily undressed for what they truly are: objects that can easily disappear.

Take a deep breath, Lakers fans, count to 10 and then take umbrage in the fact that even if you can’t see them, they’re still there and everybody knows it. TWC’s Francisco Pinto broke it down best (in Spanish and English no less):

The fact of the matter is, we can’t control what these teams do and don’t do. They’re both rightful tenants of alternating nights at the downtown hoops dojo. While the prestige of championships past carry clout in NBA circles, they don’t exactly pay Staples Centers bills for that other team.

Regardless of how much they’re hidden from the public eye, those banners will always shine through. We all know they’re there. So – as my dear friend Nacho Libre would say – mucho take it easy, Lakers… relax and let the Clippers be the Clippers.

Count it! #andthefoul

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