Archive for the ‘basketball’ Category

By Brent Pella

A look at a few trending topics in the NBA community as the lockout season continues through winter:

“Good Lo’dy wo’dy / I just took more shots than Kobe”

Big Sean didn’t need to search too far to find a metaphor with the word ‘shot’ involved.

Kobe Bryant’s shooting habits are one of the most talked about caveats of the Lakers squad this season. Bryant has taken 292 shots through 12 games so far this season, and averages a Jordanesque 24.3 attempts per game. People continue to bash his shooting, while others say it’s the only way L.A. can score.

Fortunately for this argument, numbers don’t lie.

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By Brent Pella

“KO-BE…KO-BE…KO-BE…”

 

750 kids age 7-17 surround the basketball court at UCSB’s Thunderdome Event Center.

 

“KO-BE…KO-BE…KO-BE…”

 

Nearly 300 parents, onlookers and observers sit in the upper deck bleachers, patiently waiting with cameras ready.

 

“KO-BE…KO-BE…KO-BE…”

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By Dylan Davis

 

I was surfing the worldwide interwebs the other day when I came across this article by Joe Posnanski. In it, Posnanski lays out 14 baseball stats that mean nothing in the larger scheme of things, but are interesting nuggets of information when laid out by themselves. For example, did you know that Aubrey Huff has more career doubles than Mickey Mantle does? That’s not to say that Aubrey Huff is a better player than Mick is, (he certainly is not) but his hitting style just happens to produce more doubles than Mantle. That was interesting, but the stat that caught my eye for a number of reasons had to do with Johnny Damon.

 

Damon has amassed 2,662 hits over his 17-year career, while Ted Williams only piled up 2,654. Now, Williams has batted over 1,500 fewer times than Damon over his career (he was sent off to war twice and didn’t have Damon’s incredible streak of 16 straight seasons with 140 games played) and by almost any other stat (batting average, on base percentage, slugging percentage, etc…) Williams is far superior baseball player. While we all know that Williams is one of the greatest pure hitters to ever grace a baseball diamond, my thoughts immediately shifted to Damon’s career. As I quickly perused Damon’s career stats (2,662 hits, 224 HR’s, 1,088 RBI, and almost 400 steals) I quickly came to the uneducated opinion that Johnny Damon is a Hall of Famer. Now, that sentence may look ridiculous because, let’s be honest, Damon is more well known for looking like Jesus on the 2004 Red Sox than he is for his incredible baseball career

 

As I thought about it some more, I came to realize that the reason why it seemed so preposterous for Damon to be a Hall of Famer is because I have never heard a single baseball pundit even mention the possibility of Damon in the Hall of Fame. Sure, Derek Jeter, Ichiro Suzuki, Albert Pujols, and Alex Rodriguez (minus the steroid allegations and centaur pictures) all have gaudier numbers than Damon, but that doesn’t exclude Damon from being a Hall of Famer himself. Like it or not, a majority of the day-to-day sports information that we get is twisted in some way by the media. Sure, you can look at box scores until you’re blue in the face if you want 100% unbiased information, but most people want to go deeper than that. Looking at purely stats led me to believe that Johnny Damon is a potential Hall of Famer, but a player’s legacy is more shaped by the media nowadays than ever before. In fact, let’s look at the ways media shapes the way we view sports today.

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By Will Robinson

Well, unfortunately, this piece was going to branch off into a Kings tirade as well as tying in some free agent transactions; however, since there is a lockout and all, I will stick to the Kings moves pre-July 1.

 

Look, I don’t need to place the disclaimer, but: I’ve been a lifelong Kings fan. I only want what’s best for their chances to win games. And to put it bluntly, the moves they have made in recent years were mostly poor for the team’s direction.

 

Ever since they traded off Chris Webber, Peja Stojakovic, Mike Bibby, and all of the other usual suspects from the glory days, the message was assumed the Kings would be rebuilding. The problem was they kept bringing in mid-level free agents that kept the Kings right in the 35-win range. They didn’t bottom out. They were just average. Rebuilding ACTUALLY started the year they finished 17-65.

 

In recent years, they have made some solid pickups such as drafting Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins, and acquiring Marcus Thornton for Carl Landry, as well as some other ones (Dalembert, Greene – depending how you feel about him). But the first two they made this offseason really bothered me. A lot.

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By Will Robinson

 

We have updated rankings, and a default winner because the current leader is the only person to pick the Heat to win the championship. No one had Dallas in the Finals, so those people who also picked Miami to represent the East picked a Western Conference to hoist the trophy. Check out the results after the jump…

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By Will Robinson

 

The 2011 NBA Finals are kicking off tonight with the Dallas Mavericks tipping off in Miami against the Heat. Even though barely any players from the 2006 Finals remain, this will be considered a rematch of the controversial series. Here is a position by position breakdown for the starters, as well as looking at the bench as a whole, along with my final prediction of how the series will turn out.

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By Brent Pella

 

It’s been years since basketball was as exciting as it has been the past two months; Derrick Rose received a much-deserved MVP award and the Kings are staying in Sacramento.

 

Then the Lakers were swept, and the Bulls seemed to be charging toward an NBA championship appearance as if it were a red cape. All that stood in their way was a series against the Heat.

 

But then Miami remembered who was on its team.

 

The Heat have been hated, booed, criticized, and underrated all season. Yet as I write this article, just hours after the Eastern Conference Championship has been played, our perspective on the Heat is subject to dramatic change.

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