Saturday, January 23, 2016

Block or a Foul?

I think few things are more exciting than seeing a good blocked shot. I rank swatting someone's shot right up there with dunks. Blocks are an exhilarating part of the game and are also known as swats, rejections, caps, or stuffs. Whatever you call them they all send the same message...ACCESS DENIED!

Some of my favorite NBA shot blockers over the years have been Dwight Howard, Lebron James, Josh Smith, Shaquille O'Neal, Charles Barkley, Dikembe Mutombo, Mark Eaton, Manute Bol, and Hakeem Olajuwon. Here are some highlights of some of the best blocks from the 2014-2015 NBA season.


When I was younger and could jump, I tried blocking as many shots as I could in each game. I know what it is like to cleanly block a shot but then have the ref calls a foul against me if I had too much follow through or if the ref was out of position. As frustrating as it is to have a foul called on a clean block, I think it is even worse when a player gets away with a foul on a shooter but they credit him a block.

I also don't understand why the NBA is so generous when it comes to not calling a foul for the contact after the block. I've literally seen guys block a shot and then fall on top of the shooter or push them out of bounds and for some reason the refs seldom call a foul. I know if it's incidental contact after the block, it shouldn't make a difference, but some players get messed up with no call. Whats up with that? If a guard stole the ball from a his opponent and then hit his arm or pushed him out of bounds after, I have a feeling  they would call a foul, so why look the other way on a blocked shot?

This clip below shows a perfect example of this. Check out play # 5 at 1:07. They featured a blocked shot for one of the top 10 plays of the day. At actual speed it looks good but on the replay the shooter is clearly hit in the face during the block. I see these kind of plays all the time on defensive highlights and just don't get why the additional body contact is not considered a foul.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Golden State on Fire

I have been impressed with Golden State over the last year and especially the first part of this season. They continue to lead the league win an amazing 18-0 start. The NBA records for the most consecutive wins is 33 wins set by the Lakers back in 1972. I kind of doubt they will be keep their streak going that long, but I think it would be cool if they beat it.


Tonight the Warriors play my Utah Jazz and I am not expecting an upset. One thing that has really impresses me about the Warriors is that they are playing so well as a team. They have an obvious All Star in Steph Curry but they don't have any other major super stars. I think Thompson, Barnes, Bogut, Iguodala, Green, Ezeli, and others are good players but it's not like a dream team stacked with big stars so that makes their success that much more impressive.

Another thing that astounds me is how Curry can have such an impact on the game as a smaller finesse player. I never would have imagined someone with his physique could be so dominant in the NBA. I love watching his style of play and it must be motivating for many young guys out there to see that you don't have to be 6'10" with dominating physical presences to excel at the game.

Back in the mid 80's I would have never imagined I would be excited to watch Golden State play but things change with time. I wish the Warriors the best of luck with their continued winning streak.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Nasty Dunks

There are dunks and then there are beast mode dunks. I think one of the best indicators of a great power dunk is how clean it goes through the rim. If you see the ball hit the ground before the player lands you know he threw it down with some serious force. Here are some great dunks that demonstrate what I'm talking about.











Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Welcome the 2015-2016 Season

The NBA preseason has wrapped up and we are now ready to start another year of NBA action. I don't put too much stock into the preseason standings but I was surprised by a couple things. I would never have expected to see the Charlotte Hornets finish with the best record of  7-1 and conversely I was shocked to see the Cleveland Cavaliers with a 1-6 record. We will see how things change when the games actually mean something during the regular season.



I'm also excited to be able to watch the daily Top 10 highlights every night again.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Farewell to Chocolate Thunder

I was sad to hear of the recent passing of Darryl Dawkins at the early age of 58. As a teenager I had posters of Chocolate Thunder in my bedroom and dreamed of being able to break backboards some day like he did. He was a dominant presence in the paint and yet had a great sense of humor and was a fun player to watch. Check out some of his highlights on this short clip.

 

RIP at planet Lovetron.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

My Favorite Jazz Players

Since the Jazz had such a bad year last year and are still struggling this season, I thought I'd reminisce a little about better times. The following are my favorite Jazz players that I grew up watching. I am only including my top 10 favorite players who I have personally watched so that is why Pete Maravich as well as any other player prior to 1980 is not on my list.

1) Karl Malone- Karl earned my respect for being one of the hardest working players in the NBA. He was a machine and only missed a handful of games over his long career and outworked everyone in the off season. I wish he would have milked his career for all it was worth because he could have beaten Kareem's scoring record if he stuck around a little longer. He was definitely in good enough shape to play several more years.

2) John Stockton- Stockton was tough competitor. His steals and assists records are ridiculous and make me wonder if any one will ever come close to putting up the career numbers he did in those categories. I also appreciate the fact that had any scandal or PR problems off the court during his career which many players can't say. He was a humble and reserved guy, especially when you consider all that he accomplished on the court.

3) Darrell Griffith- I didn't get to watch Griffith for many years, but I loved watching Dr. Dunkenstein's exciting play. He could elevate and dunk with the best of them during his time. He also had the highest arcing rainbow three pointers I've ever seen. I would have loved to see more of Griffith.

4) Adrian Dantley- Dantley was only 6'4" or 6'5" at best but he played like a 6'10" player. I was amazed at how effective his post moves were against bigger defenders. He used his body well and was the NBA scoring champion in 1981 and 1984.

5) Mark Eaton- Big Mark sometimes took some flack for his offensive play, but he was one of the greatest shot blockers in NBA history. Only 3 players: Hakeem, Kareem, and Dikembe, have blocked more shots. In the 84-85 season he blocked 456 shots. That's an NBA record.

6) Deron Williams- Williams was a bright spot of entertainment for a while after the Malone and Stockton departure. It was fun to watch his crossovers while we had him. Since he went to Brooklyn he hasn't played on the same level that he did with the Jazz but he was fun to watch.

7) Ricky Green-"the fastest of them all" was one of the most under appreciated point guards in the league. He was chosen to play in the 1984 All Star Game.

8) Andrei Kirilinko- I've had a love hate relationship with AK for a while. I loved his effort and hustle on the court but got tired of the post season trade drama each year.

9) Jeff Hornacek- Jeff was a somewhat quiet player but he was a sharp shooter that brought out the best in his teammates.

10) Thurl Bailey- Big T was always solid and is also a great guy so how can you not like him?

Honorable Mentions:
Memhet Okur, Matt Harpring, Blue Edwards, Paul Milsap, Kyle Korver.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What Difference A Couple Years Make

What happened?
I grew up following the NBA during the 80's and 90's when the Lakers, Celtics, Bulls, and Pistons were successful franchises. As a teenager I never thought the day would come when young kids in my area would be excited to wear NBA gear from teams like the Wizards (then Bullets), Warriors, Clippers, Bucks, or Mavericks.

It is interesting to see how some teams who were really struggling a couple years ago are now leading their conference. As of today, Atlanta, Washington, and Toronto have the best records in the East and Golden State, Portland, and Memphis are the top 3 teams in the West.

It is equally surprising to see teams like the Lakers, Nicks, and Celtics struggling so bad. It just goes to show how much difference a couple trades, draft picks, and time can make.

I used to have no desire to watch Golden State but now I love watching the Splash Brothers put up their numbers. The Clippers used to be a boring team but I have now been conditioned to expect amazing highlights whenever I see them play.

It is amazing what time can do in the NBA. Maybe 20 years down the road I might warm up to watching the WNBA too.