Friday Bolts – 2.6.09

thunderbolt234Really fun post from Low Posts on classic NBA gaffes and goofs. I love seeing these super-human guys look incredibly human: “Have you ever seen something so unbelievably bad, that you need to watch the replay three or four times before you can believe it actually happened? For me, the defining moment can in the mid-’90’s, when I watched Shawn Bradley brick a sky hook of the side of the backboard just a few feet away from my seat. I’m sure that every fan has their own version of the Bradley shot, and you’re more than welcome to share them in the comments. Let’s take a look at some of worst plays and funniest moments in NBA history.”

Someone is ready to say the Blazers messed up: “Here’s the problem though, Blazer fans: “Your rapidly-ascending squad could have been better. Much, much better. As in, NBA powerhouse. Not just next year. Not just in a few years. Not just several years down the road. I’m talking about right now. It’s been nearly 25 years since the Blazers passed over Michael Jordan for Sam Bowie, and while Durant is no Jordan (and Oden, for his sake, is no Bowie — at least not yet), the Blazers may again find themselves selling the franchise short of what it could have been.”

Who’s ready for some G-E-I-C-O? Yep, our world got sadder. The NBA sold the naming rights to H-O-R-S-E: “Sports are often made for TV. And TV is made for advertisers. So it shouldn’t surprise — especially as all sports are scrambling to find new places to hang “for sale” signs given the current economy — that the NBA’s first H-O-R-S-E contest won’t use those letters. As that contest joins dunking and three-point shooting contests as part of TNT’s NBA All-Star Weekend coverage, the as-yet unnamed three contestants — who’ll be overseen by an NBA ref — will play G-E-I-C-O. As in the insurance company that will be the event’s unavoidable sponsor. (Suggestion: The winner then takes on the famous ad lizard to really drive home the brand awareness.)”

I stumbled across this little NBA Draft preview from last year on Deadspin. Pretty spot on: “I’ll admit it: Westbrook has seduced me with his athleticism. He can sprint and slash, and explodes off the ground like NASA built him. He’s not a great ball-handler and can’t hit consistently from distance, but he’s an above average passer who has shown a knack for improvement. He has strong work ethic and an aching hunger to play defense. He has…I can’t believe I’m saying it…incredible upside.” 

And in the same vein, Draft Express takes a retroactive look at Westbrook (really great stuff… read it): “Fast forward nine months, and it looks like another in a quickly growing line of excellent decisions made by the Thunder GM, as Westbrook has put all those doubts to rest in impressive fashion. Oklahoma City’s starting point guard has been arguably the best rookie in the class to date, even though he just turned 20 in November and is only three years removed from being seen as just a mid-major prospect. In the fifth installment of our new “Rookie Retrospective” series, we’ll be taking a look at another future star right in the thick of the Rookie of the Year race.”

John Rohde on Oden and Durant: “Tonight’s game inside the Ford Center is the real deal, not that Durant circled it on his calendar. “I’m sure he hasn’t, either,” Durant said of Oden. Oden acknowledged there was a lot of hype. “We’re going into our own careers now,” Oden said after Thursday’s practice. “Kevin’s doing his thing, and I’m still trying to figure mine out. It’s different.”

More All-Star ideas, this time from Wizznutzz: “DAGGER! Based on a game every boy loved to play growing up. Players compete in a full court 1-on-1 competition, with a 4 second shot clock. Contestants are required to do their own running play-by-play commentary.”

Blazers Edge airing some grievances: “I’m not sorry Oklahoma City has a team.  I just wish it were a legitimate expansion team.  There would be a sense of something new and fresh there.  “Wow…the Thunder!  Interesting!”  instead of, “Jesus.  The Thunder?  Really?” Maybe people have passed on after half of a season.  But I’m from Portland and I grew up with these teams.  I remember.  It just doesn’t seem right to let the occasion pass as if nothing had happened and as if everything is just as good.  It’s not. I’ll get over it.  I’ll move on.  You have to.  As soon as the ball tips on the first real game between us it’ll be business as usual and it will remain that way from then on.  But that doesn’t mean business is the same.  And that doesn’t mean it was right.  It only seemed appropriate to remember that.” 

A little more analysis of Wednesday night’s game: “Looks like every time Denver and OKC get together it’s gonna go to right to the end, culminating in some manner of spectacularity. Last night Carmelo came out on top again, hitting a ridiculous runner. We are still angry though, that Kevin Durant’s teammates do not fully realize the capo status he has attained. GIVE THE MAN THE BALL! In the final few minutes, Russell Westbrook actually waved him off, then ended up shooting a fadeaway jumper that had absolutely no chance! Come on, y’all. Let the man live.”

2009-02-06 09:41:22
I said during the preseason that Russell may be one of the most explosive guards in the league with the ball in his hands and people called me crazy. But look at him now. Wow indeed.
2009-02-06 09:11:43
wow... Geico has jacked up HORSE... Do they expect kids to play GEICO in their driveways?... I love it when people talk about RWO now... cause it usually starts with "Wow"...
2009-02-06 13:19:08
The poorly written opinion piece about Durant>Oden for Portland? You posted it twice, on thursday and now today. Bleacher report/NBA outsider. It's the same article.
2009-02-06 13:26:24
On the last bullet... Yea...we want Durant in position to give us good opportunities at the end of a game...but the fact is Durant did not have a good opportunity at the end of that one... Westbrook should have given up on the botched play and drove it...he had enough time for a drive or a floater... We have a future BIG three...and we've seen Durant and Green win a game at the last second...How about Westbrook's veins? Does he have ice.. Love the work by the way...This is a great site.. Also...Anymore trade rumors regarding Salmons-Smith? I'd LOVE to see that one happen...How about the Miami wanting Watson rumors? I heard stuff about Cook and another guy, but all that seems to have fizzled... thanks again BNix
Jax Raging Bile Duct
2009-02-06 13:41:30
From ESPN: <i>Orlando traded shooting guard Keith Bogans to Milwaukee for point guard Tyronn Lue on Thursday after the Southeast Division-leading Magic lost All-Star Jameer Nelson to a serious shoulder injury.</i> As for the play, I think it was poorly designed. If it was designed to give Kevin that shot, well that's just sad. If it was designed for Westbrook to read and react to Kevin, and to take his man off the dribble, then RW made a bad read or a bad decision. Practice, practice, practice. Things like that will go away with experience.
2009-02-06 14:10:37
<blockquote cite="#commentbody-1731"> <strong><a href="#comment-1731" rel="nofollow">RSR</a> :</strong> The poorly written opinion piece about Durant&gt;Oden for Portland? You posted it twice, on thursday and now today. Bleacher report/NBA outsider. It’s the same article. </blockquote> Oops. Didn't notice that. Thanks for the heads up.
2009-02-06 14:22:13
I'm not sure if Jax's comment was meant for me in regards to the trade...I was talking about OKC-Miami....not OKC-Orlando...
Jax Raging Bile Duct
2009-02-06 15:09:58
I'm behind in the rumors, sorry Nix. My mind was still on Orlando getting Watson from us to fill in for Nelson.
2009-02-06 15:57:24
Boy, Nix, I've googled around a bit, and I can't find any rumors of Watson going to Miami, except for a link that said something about Watson or Ridnour, so I knew that had to be old. Looking at Chris Quinn's stats, he seems to be a decent backup to Chalmers. And considering that he's making less than $1 million (with only a slight increase next year if he picks up his player option to stay), it wouldn't make sense for the Heat to go after Earl.
2009-02-06 17:00:42
Martz, Maybe I heard it on the Sports Animal and it was just a caller making things up...I thought I read it somewhere though...
2009-02-06 17:07:11
The only thing I saw - and I can't recall where it was now - was a mention of the Thunder wanting to trade Watson. It listed Miami as a possible destination, but didn't say anything else, like for who, why, etc.