angry truth

The San Antonio Spurs: I already covered the death of the Spurs here and here. That 61-win season was a fantastic last gasp for the Duncan era. But Zach Randolph slammed the window shut.


Tim Duncan, non-quote machine: Basketbawful reader Zach B. sent in this non-quote which, as he put it, works on so many levels: "Duncan left the court five days after turning 35 for what might have been the last time, not that he said anything to his teammates."

The Oklahoma City Thunder: Before Oklahoma City opened the second round with a Game 1 loss at home to the Grizzlies, Thundermania had been building to a fever pitch. It's actually been building ever since they acquired Kendrick Perkins from the Celtics. After all, Perk was supposed to be the elusive "final piece" that would push the Thunder past the Lakers and into the NBA Finals.


Only, last time I checked, Oklahoma City is going to have to make it to the Western Conference Finals before they get a shot at L.A. And that might not happen.

Zach Randolph may see to that.

I never thought I'd type those words outside of some sort of hostage situation. Nor did I ever think I'd be cutting and pasting anything like the following quote into a Basketbawful post. It's from Kevin Durant. About Randolph.

"You can't stop him. You've got to make them shoot tough shots like he's been doing, but if he's making them, he's tough to stop. He's an animal."

Durant also believes Z-Bo is "the best power forward in the league."

Replied Z-Bo: "I've got to agree with that. Thanks, KD. I appreciate that."

I am still on planet Earth, right? Third rock from the sun?

Randolph continued: "I've felt like I don't get a lot of respect I deserve. It's nothing personal or nothing. I just try to come out and be the same player, consistent during the regular season and during playoffs. I just try to be this way all the time, play my way all the time, and not be up and down. The good players be consistent and stay consistent, not just playoffs but during the regular season, also."

Added Thunder coach Scott Brooks: "The one thing that I admire in his game is he's relentless. He's always playing the game. You just know that the loves the game. We have to do a better job of controlling him and making him miss some shots.
It's not going to be easy, and we know that going into it, and we knew that going into this game. He scores, and he scores in bunches, and we have to do a better job with that."

I'm not on Earth anymore. I can't be.

I may be way off here, but it may be time for NBA teams to wake up and smell the reality. The Lakers won the last two league championships not because of how awesome Kobe Bryant is. They won because they have two quality big men to throw at people. And, frankly, that's why they're going to beat the Mavericks in that second round series. Thanks to David Stern's "touch me not" legislation, perimeter players have dominated the league the last half dozen years or so. To the point that GMs haven't been assembling dominant frontcourts like the old days.

Except for the Lakers, that is. They have back-to-back titles to show for it. Now the Grizzlies have one, too. And they have become a nightmare for their opponents.

Make no mistake. It's not just Zach, though. Randolph was awesome -- 34 points, 12-for-22, 1-for-1 from downtown [!!], 9-for-9 from the line, 10 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists -- but the presence of Marc Gasol (20 points, 9-for-11, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks, 1 steal) means that Oklahoma City's defense can't key in on Z-Bo. Not with another kickass big roaming the paint.

Memphis won the rebounding battle, hauled in 17 offensive boards and scored 52 points in the paint.

That said...let's not count the Thunder out just yet. This could be an aberration game. After all, according to ESPN Stats and Information, Gasol and Randolph went 11-for-15 on shots from 10 feet and beyond. That's a conversion rate of 73+ percent. Against the Spurs, they went 20-for-50 (40 percent) from 10+ feet.

What's more, Memphis surrendered a mere 8 points on only 8 turnovers, while scoring 23 points off the 18 turnovers committed by Oklahoma City.

The hot outside shooting by the Grizzlies' big men and disproportionate turnover margin won't happen every night. Of course, the one night it did happen may turn out to be enough. We'll see.

Kendrick Perkins: The Thunder traded him to dominate the paint and shut down opposing big men, right? Amiright?

Russell Westbrook: Westbrook's line looks great -- 29 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists -- as long as you don't include the 9-for-23 shooting, 7 turnovers and 5 personal fouls. When one player barely wins the turnover battle against the entire other team, you know somebody's got the butterfingers.

The Boston Celtics: Dwyane Wade was super hot -- 38 points on 14-for-21 shooting plus 8-for-9 from the line -- and his production was most definitely not the norm. According to ESPN Stats and Information:

Wade shot 6-for-11 from 15 feet or farther in Game 1; his six field goals from that range were two more than he made in his previous four games against Boston.

During the regular season, Wade had the lowest field goal percentage of the 69 players who attempted at least 15 field goals from at least 15 feet against the Celtics.
You know what? That's fine. Superstars catch fire. It happens. I can forgive that. Especially when LeBron James and Chris Bosh are held to 11-for-29 from the field.

What I cannot forgive is Boston's defense on James Jones. JJ exploded off Miami's bench to score 25 points on 5-for-7 from downtown and 10-for-10 from the line. Yes, that's right. In a game featuring Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Garnett, LeBron James, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen...James freakin' Jones had a game-high in FTA.

I'm so not on planet Earth. Where the fuck am I?

According to ESPN Stats and Information, Jones set the cHeat franchise record for points off the bench in a playoff game. What's more, he went 4-for-5 on threes in the second quarter, tying Miami's postseason record for three-pointers in a single quarter. Oh, and get this: He launched all seven of his FGA without taking a dribble. And he was unguarded on six of his seven attempts. And all five of his makes. Nice rotations, Celtics.

Said Ray Allen: "There's so many things we need to do to get better. I think everybody in that locker room knows that, just from a small conversation we just had."

Jeez, no shit, Ray.

Bottom line is this: Boston can't afford to get beaten by Miami's roleplayers. That's what happened. In the first half, cHeat coach Erik Spoelstra benched LeBron and Wade at the same time, which is ultra-rare. Jones ended up leading a 9-0 run. And Jones ended up outscoring the Celtics bench 25-23. Man oh man, I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Still, cHeat fans shouldn't feel too confident. The Celtics played like ass -- Boston's bigs were 13-for-32 in the paint and got seven shots blocked, Rajon Rondo played only eight minutes in the first half due to foul trouble, and Paul Pierce got ejected (see below) -- and still cut a 19-point lead down to 90-82 with 4:22 left. And it was Rondo's careless passing (four TOs in six possessions down the stretch) that killed any hope of a comeback.

But the comeback was a distinct possibility.

I say that the Celtics will play much better in Game 2. Of course, it may not matter, because they may be without the services of...

Paul Pierce: Yes, Pierce's ejection has caused some angst around these parts, no doubt about it. Here's my take.

With 7:58 remaining, James Jones committed a flagrant foul on Pierce. Wasn't called a flagrant, which happens sometimes, so you just have to live with it. Only Pierce couldn't or wouldn't live with it, going face to face with Jones and then head-something-ing him. Was it a headbutt? A headbump? A facerub? I'm not sure what to call it. I do know that Zaza Pachulia was recently suspended one playoff game for what the league felt was a headbutt on Jason Richardson.

You can't do that, Paul. You're the team captain. You can't get a technical when you're team is trying to make a comeback -- your free throws cut the lead to 10 and there was plenty of time remaining -- and you can't do something that could risk suspension in a playoff series versus a real championship contender. I understand your frustration. I would've been pissed, too. But you've won a championship, Paul. Been the Finals MVP, even. You know better than that. You do.

Less than a minute later, Pierce was setting a pick on Wade, who lowered his shoulder and tried to blast right through Pierce's pick. Yeah, Pookie could have (and probably should have) been called for a foul on the play, but the nearest official didn't have a clear view and, frankly, probably wouldn't have made the flagran call Doc Rivers wanted anyway. Not in Miami. That's the reality of playing on the road in the playoffs, Paul. You're not new to these games. You know better. Or you should. Instead you said something inflammatory with referee Ed Malloy standing, what, five feet away?

Crew chief Danny Crawford said: "And in the rulebook, that is a verbal taunt. And it just so happened to be Pierce's second technical foul."

For the record, Crawford also said: "He approached Jones and got right in his face. There wasn't a head-butt, but he got right into his face after a hard foul."

Crawford's statement might save Pierce from a suspension, if only because Stern hates to contradict his officials. But, as much as I understand why Pierce was upset, I have to agree with ESPNBoston's Jackie MacMullan: "It was an appalling development for the team captain and supposed leader, who, instead of helping Boston scratch back from a deficit that was as high as 19 points, lost his composure and was forced to watch the remainder of the game from the locker room in disgrace."

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Blogger stephanie g said...
I liked when the C's were in the are-we-gonna-maybe-come-back stage with like 4 mins left in the 4th and Bosh got the ball right under the basket with no one near him, pumpfaked the air, then KG came out of nowhere and brutally blocked him to the ground.

I think Wade set an NBA row record for diving into the crowd.

Anonymous Hellshocked said...
It wasn't just that Westbrook's numbers were less than meets the eye. He pretty much singlehandedly cost them any chance they may have had of winning the game in the last couple of minutes by taking a series of stupid shots he had no chance of making, bricking open midrange jumpers, turning the ball over repeatedly and being called for offensive fouls. For a while there Oklahoma City's offense consisted of watching Westbrook dribble the ball for 12 seconds, launch a brick and pray for an offensive rebound.

When he's drawing fouls Westbrook can be a very valuable third option, but he's a poor shooter, a below average finisher (especially considering his athleticism) and has a selfish streak to boot so when he starts gunning OKC tends to lose.

Anonymous kazam92 said...
Can't disagree with the post or the first comment. At least Bosh contributed in other ways, but the dude is clearly scared of a crotchety old KG.

And I really pray Zydrunus Ilgauskus gets another foot infection. We're basically spotting teams points when we start him in the 1st and 3rd quarters

and Joel Anthony is awesome.

Blogger Paul said...
I'm so not on planet Earth. Where the fuck am I?

IF we are in fact in planet earth --and that has to be a big IF-- then maybe "they" are putting something in the water because for a moment yesterday I caught myself routing for the hated Boston Celtics. But it wasn't all because of my hate for Lebron or the decision or whatever, it was the fucking pro-Miami whistle fest that pushed me over the edge. Damn you NBA referees!!! all the soap in the world will not ever make feel any less dirty.

Blogger Paul said...
Where is Chris? it's a celebration day for him and for the City of Sacramento.

Anonymous Tree said...
If a verbal taunt is grounds for a technical, then the officials are doing an even worse job then I thought ... NBA games are almost nothing but trash talk, for the refs to call a second tech for a verbal taunt is a shamockery. I dislike Pierce and all, but come on - that is a pathetic reason to call a second T on someone in a second round playoff games.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
James and Wade alone took as many FTs as the entire Boston team, and Wade's really upped his game in the flopping/diving department. Of course, he's Wade, so the refs will always fall for it.

Anonymous The Other Chris said...
Wade's really upped his game in the flopping/diving department.

You mean like Big Baby's pathetic flop on Wade right under the basket? How about LeBron's phantom foul for "pushing" Rondo?

I wish people would stop whining about the refs. Miami won because they played better. Period. Boston stop turning the ball over and leaving people open.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
I just want to stop (again) and give Ray Allen a ton of credit for his turnaround from last year to this year.

Looking at last years playoff game log, Ray Allen was streaky and inconsistent in the playoffs. Specifically, he had 6 games where he scored in single-digits, including the 2 point, 0-13fg embarrassment in game 3 of the Finals. He shot a decent 3pt fg% for the playoffs as a whole (.386), but he disappeared for games at a time, and failed to hit a single 3-pointer in 8 playoff games. In the decisive game 7 of the Finals, Ray went 3-14 (2-73pt) and scored only 13 points when it mattered most.

This Summer he went to work. He came back in better shape and in better form than ever before. To wit:

-He shot a CAREER best .491 from the field this season
-He shot a CAREER best .444 from 3
-The only games he missed were ones where he was rested intentionally

So not only is Ray Allen better than he was last season, he is having his most efficient statistical season EVER.

I won't go into his thus-far ridiculous shooting percentages in the playoffs, since we're only 5 games in and there is a long way to go, but Jesus (no pun intended)- he is playing like a 35-year-old man possessed.


Anonymous Anonymous said...
sooooo.... Is anyone gonna admit that the Pau Gasol trade that I dunno, EVERYONE was bitching about, was not as one-sided as everyone with an irrational distaste for the Lakers thought it was? I believe 99 percent of NBA bloggers and fans owe Chris Wallace an apology for all the terrible things said about him all these years, because believe me, some nasty things were said about him and his momma at the time he made the trade. He knew what he was getting: he was trading in his franchise player for the franchise player's younger and stronger little brother. The bloggers and fans, however, knew little more than shit.

Now he has arguably the most durable and beefiest frontline in the league as his core nucleus with OJ mayo coming off the bench! This team is freaking dangerous.

Anonymous Marylander said...
Miami played a better ball game, period. And Paul Pierce deserved both technicals, no question.

Re Memphis, they are gonna wear out. Just like when Hornets beat LA, they are playing perfect game every night. Sooner or later their performance will revert to mean.

Anonymous Tree said...
@The Other Chris: I agree that Miami played better, and they would have won that game no matter what the refs did ... but, come on - that was a(nother) terrible display of officiating. I won't bother noting the how's - they've been documented in numerous places. But the story of that game could have been "Miami outplays Boston" or "More terrible officiating" ... which do you think most fans will focus in on? The NBA has a well-established/deserved credibility problem when it comes to officiating - and nationally televised games that feature that level of officiating do not help. Miami won and deserved to win, but given the NBA's history, that's not the story most fans will focus on.

Anonymous laddder said...
Paul Pierce -- Studio Gangster

I'm not surprised Z-bo going animal in the playoffs. Watching him in Clippers a few years back, I always thought if he wasn't a knucklehead he would be awesome.

Guess he grew up?

Anonymous kazam92 said...
Applause to The Other Chris

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"sooooo.... Is anyone gonna admit that the Pau Gasol trade that I dunno, EVERYONE was bitching about, was not as one-sided as everyone with an irrational distaste for the Lakers thought it was?"

Ummmm... no. It WAS one sided. Gasol for Kwame Brown, guard Javaris Crittenton, guard Aaron McKie and the draft right to little Gasol. There is NO WAY that Wallace saw Gasol turn out like this.

Blogger Murcy said...
@Tree: I still feel much less people would have been outraged had the calls went boston's way. many people are upset because of miami's win, not because bad, or questionable decisions were made against the celtics.

and by the way, wade is awesome. and, surprisingly enough, only the lkaers remain in the playoffs from the teams i really don't like. nice going this year so far

Blogger Paul said...

I believe all bawful readers are very objective as to the fact that Miami won the game because they were the better team, heck even Mr. Bawful himself and E.T. subscribe to the same line of thinking. Nobody here is saying otherwise.

That however does not excuse the poor officiating job, I had no dog in that fight (Laker fan). If anything I wanted all 10 guys on the floor to get techs and flagrants and what not.
But even I, was disgusted at the way calls were being made.

You wish people stopped whinning, there is other people that wishes that people would stop whinning about other people whinning. Just sayin....

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Has the though occured to some of you that one can be disgusted with the officiating no matter what the outcome of the game is or which team you're rooting for?

I feel like a lot of times those that immediately call anybody a homer who points out bad officiating are the biggest homers themselves. They are just so afraid of anybody diminishing their team's achievement that they immediately play the sore loser card.

Guess what, the officiating was bad and most of the time the Celtics were the victim. Stating as much doesn't make me a whiner. Deal with it.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"Ummmm... no. It WAS one sided. Gasol for Kwame Brown, guard Javaris Crittenton, guard Aaron McKie and the draft right to little Gasol. There is NO WAY that Wallace saw Gasol turn out like this"

REally??? There was NO WAY for Wallace to know baby gasol was this good? Clearly you've never seen international ball. The Redeem Team nearly lost to a Spanish team led by the Gasol brothers? Does that not ring a bell?

As a matter of fact, many Spanish NBA writers predicted that Marc Gasol will finish with a better career than his older bro. Not to mention he is built MUCH thicker than his brother, albeit slower, but with the type of versatile game that we just don't see in American-born-and-raised Centers. Just because we Americans thought Marc Gasol would be a scrub doesnt mean Chris Wallace had no idea what he had stumbled upon.

You can make an argument that Wallace got lucky with Z Bo, I can buy that. But to say he believed that Marc Gasol was merely a throw-in and that Kwame Brown was the centerpiece to his deal in trading away Pau Gasol is at the very least not very objective, at least to me.

Anonymous kazam92 said...
I didn't know much about him (a little before my time) and maybe it's premature, but does Marc Gasol sort of play more like a Sabonis than his own brother?

Anonymous The Other Chris said...
Lol. I want Boston to win the series too, but don't really have a horse in this fight.. But guess what, I didn't think the officiating was all that terrible. Most of the fouls that were called were, on replay, quite clearly fouls.

Anyways, I know, it's all a pile of shit, the league wants Miami to win, yadda yadda..

Anonymous Spab said...
Dont forget that the salary relief the Grizzlies got from Kwame Browns contract expiring shortly after they traded for him was what allowed Memphis to be able to afford to trade for Zach Randolphs big contract.

Its not that the Pau Gasol trade wasnt one sided - it was - but it was the smart thing for both the Lakers *and* Memphis to do. Where would Memphis be today if instead of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph they were still there with just Pau and Rudy Gay like they were back in 2008? With those guys Memphis finished the 07 season 22-60 and the next year they were only 13-33 when they traded Pau for his brother.

Memphis needed to get out from under Paus huge contract and start rebuilding so they traded for cap room and young prospects. Three years later it looks like they made the right choice.

So you can criticize Chris Wallace for gift wrapping the Lakers two championships if you want but you have to give the guy credit - he's certainly turned that franchise around with the moves hes made. That Gasol trade was one of the most key moves he made maybe *the* key move.

Anonymous DKH said...
Regarding the Grizzlies/Lakers trade, I think it will be nearly impossible to untangle whether that was worth it or not. Was it worth giving up some years from a very good Gasol for some future years from another Gasol that might turn out good? Baseball teams do this all the time. Even if Marc doesn't turn out as well as Pau (I haven't looked at the numbers enough to have an opinion), how much did the Grizzlies gain from the salary freedom? The NBA salary rules are confusing and will confound any speculations of trade value.


Regarding the Celtics-Heat game, it's not clear to me what the actual terrible calls are for the game. I mean, I think KG got called for a foul when he legally blocked Bosh once. But LeBron also picked up a foul for having the audacity to have his finger graze Rondo's back on a play. The horror. I thought most of the no-calls when the Heat got blocks were actually good calls.

I didn't think James Jones's foul on Pierce warranted a flagrant. He gets the ball with one hand and knocks it loose. Should Garnett and Rondo have gotten flagrants for their around-the-body/over-the-shoulder/around-the-neck wrap-ups of LeBron on earlier breakaway plays? I think no, there was nothing particularly unsafe or against the spirit of basketball in any of those plays. If anything, Pierce was lucky to get a double-technical out of the play.

Pierce's second technical is hard to discuss because I don't feel like investigating what was said. But he needs to let his teammates and coach handle things instead of immediately trying to going at it a minute after his first tech.

O'Neal's elbow? We've talked about elbows before on this site, and there's no reason to be throwing them like that. The Celtics should stop trying to send messages with cheap, off-the-ball shots. So sorry they actually got caught this time; maybe the refs can focus on their antics now that the Spurs are out.

Blogger Dooj said...
The Gasol trade gave the lakers 2 championships and 1 other trip to the finals. It effectively changed the scope of the NBA for the next 5 years by teaming Gasol and Kobe up.

Just because Memphis got a solid starting center 4 years later because of the trade, doesn't mean that it was any less one-sided.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
That being said, I'm just really really really impressed with Memphis's passing game more so than anything. I knew Marc Gasol could really pass the ball for a center, but when even Zach Randolph is playing unselfish ball, ball movement becomes contagious. They got easy shot after easy shot while San Antonio uncharacteristically went into iso-mode as Manu and Tony Parker went shot-hunting. I expect the same results against the Thunder, they just cannot contain the big guys nor can they create easier looks than Memphis with Westbrook at the helm of the offense. I would suggest more playing time for Eric Maynor, but Russell does have a mismatch that he can definitely exploit... but not really sure if he has the proper discipline and attitude to destroy his mismatch while simultaneously creating looks for his teammates.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
If Marc Gasol were on the Lakers, they would be down 2 championships right now.

I'm saddened at the lack of a fresh WotW joke for Osama. How many more iPhone/PSN/World Hide and Seek Champion jokes am I going to have to read today?

Blogger Basketbawful said...
I'm saddened at the lack of a fresh WotW joke for Osama. How many more iPhone/PSN/World Hide and Seek Champion jokes am I going to have to read today?

Sorry, Ana...I just couldn't dredge up a joke.

Blogger draftaraujo said...
If I was Miami I would be worried, Bosh is going to be pretty quiet this series unless KG goes missing, Jones most likely will not go off for 25pts again, and Wade scoring that high vs the Celtics is not a regular thing and they only won by nine at home, and lets face it the Celtics played horrible, but Boston I think has to take game 2 to get a bit of momentum for their home games.

And from watching the Grizzle yesterday, how good would they be if they had Rudy on the court....

Anonymous Tree said...
I am not actively cheering for any of the teams left this year, but I am cheering for games that don't leave me scratching my head trying to figure out why one call was made, but not another or games that leave me wondering how good it would have been had the refs not botched so many calls. For example: if Jermaine O'Neal is called for a flagrant, why were none called on either Jones or Wade? The complaint is about the inconsistency of how they call the game, not who they call it for.

It's not about Boston getting hosed - outside of Allen, I can't stand anyone on that team and won't shed a tear to see them gone. It's about games being consistently taken over by poor officiating and becoming hard to watch.

No one here was claiming that the "league wants Miami to win" or any other nonsense ... I think most readers of this site know better than that. However, this is a site dedicated 'to the very best of the very worst' of the NBA - thus, discussing the putrid officiating is fair.

Blogger Paul said...

Sabonis, wow!!! You know, that is one guy I really really wish had joined the NBA a little earlier in his carrier, alas we(Americans) only caught a glimpse of what could've been --and maybe I'm getting a little over excited here-- one of the greatest centers in history.

Injuries, Soviet Union and a couple of other things kept him from joining the NBA until he was 30 or 31 (something like that if I remember correctly). Anyways, dude HAD IT ALL. Think Nowitzki but cross it with Shaq and Divac.
On the offensive end, outside shot-checked, post up moves-checked, big strong body-checked, mid range-checked, solid passing-checked, plus early in his career while in Europe he used to have a very very fast first step as well.
On the defensive end, he was great at flopping, solid shot blocker, great one on one albeit slow to recover against more athletic smaller centers.

All of those qualities plus great leadership and being a great team mate make it a real shame that we never got to see him play in his prime against world class competition day in and day out.

All that said, I've been watching Barcelona games since 2001-2002. And been following Marc Gasol closely since the 2004. No he will never be close to what Sabonis was in his prime and I doubt that he has a better career than his older brother. But as a Laker fan I was freaking excited that the Lakers had acquired the rights to draft him back in 2007.

Marc Gasol is strong inside and BY NO MEANS is he an outside shooter. He chooses his spots very carefully. People is getting carried away with him shooting over 80% from beyond 10 feet against OKC. But the matter of the fact is that most of those shots came from his comfort zone, either from the free throw line or the elbow. Watch him play and you will probably never see him take a shot that he is not comfortable with. He as his brother is willing and skilled passer from the post. And that's the area where he excels, look at the Memphis offense. Whenever the ball doesn't go to zBo, they always hit Gasol and the great thing for Memphis is that this guy is a "pass first" kinda guy, I bet he gets as many "hockey assists" as the best big passing man in the league.
By no means, I'm saying that I would veto the Trade that Brought Pau to L.A. because otherwise we would be at least one championship down.
But what I mean to say is that if an average Joe that only saw Marc in limited occasions on T.V.(me in this case) was excited about the possibility of Baby Gasol Joining my team, then maybe people that actually scouted him knew he'd be special someday.

At any rate, just wanted to add my $0.02 to the ongoing conversation about the Gasol's trades and give you my insight on Sabonis.

Blogger Paul said...
Just because Memphis got a solid starting center 4 years later because of the trade, doesn't mean that it was any less one-sided.

Just for shits and giggles, how many solid starting true centers you think there are in the league? oh and Tyson Chandler aint solid

Anonymous The Other Chris said...

Fair enough. The flagrant on Jermaine didn't make any sense. It was a foul... just not a flagrant.

Blogger Dooj said...

Andrew Bogut, Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum, Nene Hilario, Joakim Noah, Kendrick Perkins, Marcin Gortat

And if Tyson Chandler isn't considered a solid center, then Marc Gasol shouldn't be either. Chandler is better on defense than Gasol. And Gasol benefits from the attention that Z-Bo gets (never thought I would say that)

Blogger XKrNxBallarX said...
HAHAHA, Zebo best PF in the league.. thats a bold statement.. but hoenstly.. he IS playing like a top 5 player in this postseason. Zach Randolph has grown so much the past 2-3 years.. I'm really happy for him. I wonder how good he would be if he lost 20 lbs tho. HAHA

Blogger The Dude Abides said...
The Gasol traded netted the Griz Marc Gasol, Darrell Arthur, Greivis Vasquez, and Javaris Crittenton (who was turned into a future draft pick). The cap space from Kwame Brown's expiring contract was eventually turned into Zach Randolph, and the continuing suckage of the 2008 season after the Gasol trade guaranteed that the Griz would get a high pick. Wallace was able to rebuild his team with young players and cap space, and his team finished close to .500 two seasons later in the tough West, then made the playoffs the year after and knocked out the team whose coach complained the most about the trade.

Blogger lordhenry said...
Still feel the calls that went against Pierce were bad, and I'm a Lakers fan.

Does anyone feel there maybe a power struggle going on in OKC with Durant and Westbrook?
I've felt this way since watching Westbrook try to pull a Jordan and finish off the Nuggs, only to pull a Kobe and shoot his team to death.
30 shots for the PG in a close-out game while only 18 for Durant?

Then Durant takes the game over in game 5 and coolly finishes Nuggs off.

And now they lose again and Westbrook is 9-23?
Russell, you are NOT the man.
Chris Webber: "Those are I'm gonna get mine shots......"

Anonymous Anonymous said...
@ Dooj

I was going to point out that there aren't many quality centers in today's league, but it looks like someone beat me to the point.

The list of centers you wrote in response to Paul is pretty legit. I think in todayy's nba, a solid center is either a great defensive minded guy like Chandler, or a big boy that can play both sides of the ball... like Marc Gasol.

I feel both guys fall under the category of "solid starting center for a playoff team." But the difference is Marc still has potential to grow as a player whereas Tyson has maxed out in terms of individual skills.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
@ The Dude Abides
Oh hells yea, there is some irony in the arrival of Memphis at the cost of the Spurs. Pop was PISSED when that trade happened, but look at what he had to work with, only the greatest PF of all time, am I right?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I didn't know much about him (a little before my time) and maybe it's premature, but does Marc Gasol sort of play more like a Sabonis than his own brother?

less the freakishly-large head.

Anonymous spinetingler said...
and that large head comment was me.

Choked on the log-in.