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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.

Clippers vs. Warriors: Video Highlights

The Clippers rolled to another preseason win on Monday night against the Golden State Warriors by dunking their way to an 88-71 victory.

Since I was unable to watch the game, I can’t provide much commentary, save that there were a lot of throw-downs in and the Clippers are once again on their way to producing another exciting season of basketball.

Based off what we see in this video, the Clips are gel’ing and getting everyone involved in the offensive production—credit Chris Paul’s genius and his unselfishness which has proved to be a model of positive development for everyone around him.

Deandre Jordan having another double-double is a great sign that his off-season training continues to pay off.  It even looks like he’s dunking with more confidence—still the same level of authority on throw-downs, but with a much better grip on the ball.  DJ was inconsistent in offensive production last year, but if he can continue to play at this level of output, the rest of the Clippers roster should reap the benefits as the floor opens up even more.

It also looks like Blake Griffin pulled out one of MJ‘s old tricks by ball-pumping.  He did it so effectively that he surprised even himself.  It was like watching a toddler or puppy becoming self-aware.  After realizing the power of trickery, Griffin proceeded to do what he does best:  throw one down.  Even in replay mode this felt electrifying.

Last but not least, it was soothing to hear an “Oh me, oh my” from the outstanding Ralph Lawler. I’ve missed his commentary that glows with the appreciation that can only come from decades of watching his team struggle.

The Clippers will face the cross-town rival Lakers next:  definite must-watch action, even if it is preseason as the Lakers will be sporting their new, shiny lineup featuring Dwight Howard.

LA Clippers 88, GSW 71

Team USA Dominates Nigeria, Sets World Records

Team USA’s dominant basketball talents were out in full force today, as the Americans rolled over Nigeria by a whopping score of 156-73.

In doing so, the US basketball squad broke several records and established a new benchmark that will be very tough to match for opposing teams.  The following records were set by today’s triumph over Nigeria:

  • Most points scored:  156
  • Margin of victory:  83
  • 3-Pointers:  29 (previous record was 13)
  • FG percentage:  71.1
  • 3-pt FGA:  46
Carmelo Anthony was on fire for Team USA
Carmelo Anthony was on fire for Team USA

As if the margin of victory weren’t enough, ball-hog extraordinaire, Carmelo Anthony, managed to drop  37 points, setting a new record for an individual olympics performance.  Carmelo, who was 10 of 12 from downtown, put on display the shooting capacity of an American team known for its love of the jump-shot.  What has often been criticized as their potential downfall became their biggest strength today, and when you have that many superstars on fire on the same night, an 83 point victory seems like a merciful result.

From The Horse’s Mouth: A Summary of Reactions from the Basketball Twitterverse

http://storify.com/andthefoul/usa-obliterates-nigeria-156-73/

Chris Paul Leads Clippers to Victory Over Jazz

Chris Paul & Blake Griffin led the L.A. Clippers to their first victory in Utah since 2003.

Paul finished with 34 points, 11 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 steals as well as several highlight plays.

Griffin, meanwhile, added 31 points, 14 rebounds and 3 blocks as well as several dunks.

Chris Paul – No Look, Reverse Layup

Hesitation Dribble Step to Set Up the Lob for Deandre Jordan

Lob City:  Chris Paul to Blake Griffin Edition

Knicks Opt for the 3-Point Offense in Carmelo’s Absence, Fall to Heat

Having won only one of their last eight games, the Melo-less Knicks resorted to a new style of offense against the Miami Heat:  death by three pointers.

With the return of Dwyane Wade, the Heat were able to withstand a season-high 43 three-point attempts by the Knicks, who successfully converted 18 of them; seven of which belonged to back-up shooting guard Bill Walker.

“We shot a lot of 3’s, but we did hit a bunch of them, which kept us in there,” Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said. “We just couldn’t sustain it all the way through. Give them credit, they’re good.” – Mike D’Antoni

The puzzling aspect of such an offensive style of play is that the Knicks invested large amount of free-agent money into Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler, and yet the two big men aren’t being used to the best of their abilities.

With Carmelo Anthony sidelined, it would make sense to run your offense through your big men.  D’Antoni, however, must enjoy feeding fuel to the “Phil Jackson” fire by experimenting with an offensive style that’s a recipe for failure, especially given your big men assets.

 

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