Tag Archives: NBA

Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Days Dwindle with Controversy

No I’m not going to talk about the plane snafus of Hurley’s Huskies.

Flying sucks.

But shall comment briefly on the UConn women’s situation, exclamation-pointed by Geno Auriemma’s every pissy, passive aggressive postgame take.

As someone whose team’s fortunes went south this season after a ref’s untoward call cost them an important game against a league rival, I understand the frustration and resulting ire of UConn fans.

A blocking call against Aaliyah Edwards cost her team, down one with seconds to go, a shot at winning the national semi.

To my eyes, it was a legit foul. She moved to her left, spread her feet outside her shoulders, raised her forearms to her chest, and leaned into the defender.

It happens.

I’m of the belief that refs should not let the game play out amidst physical chaos if fouls are committed. An infraction of the rules in the 1st is also one with three tics on the clock.

That said, let’s hope this increases the focus on the egregiously less than acceptable officiating generally in the women’s game. It’s been a problem for years. Now that the sport has emerged into the nation’s consciousness, it’s time to fix it. Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Days Dwindle with Controversy

Hoopaholic’s Gazette: The Next Level

College Hoops first and foremost.

Forever and always.

But, ya know, a hoopaholic’s gotta feed his addiction.

So, NBA Playoffs it is.

Not that it’s an onerous task.

What I rediscover every year when The Next Level gets my attention: Those guys are really good. Really really good.

It’s a different game . . . obviously. But fascinating nonetheless. How matchups and strategies change in the course of a tilt.

Some teams run their sets so precisely, especially in the playoffs which feature the best, it’s almost eery. Blind passes are thrown, and teammates are where they are supposed to be to catch them. Defensive flaws are exploited. Then remedied. Offenses adjust.

Exhilarating matchups. Like Kawhi vs Durant in Game 1 of Suns vs. Clippers. Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Gazette: The Next Level

Monday Morning PG: AD Search, Card 9 & Those Wacky Playoffs

Obviously not in a rush, the muckety mucks at the University of Louisville finally hired a search firm to help choose a new Athletic Director.

I understand there are other administrative priorities.

Like, ya know, a university president.

But still, it’s been like five months since that Tyra guy decided to take his talents to Florida State, or somewhere which was somewhere else besides his office at U of L.

That the school wants to be thorough makes sense. But still.

Given familiarity, Josh Heird’s name is the most resonant.

He’s intelligent. He’s competent. He obviously wants the job.

But, as I’ve previously opined, the quiet nature of his personality is different from most fellows who fill such positions. Which are filled with men and a few women, who are Intelligent and competent, as well as being able to work the room.

Is hiring a Johnny or Janie Handshake an imperative? Continue reading Monday Morning PG: AD Search, Card 9 & Those Wacky Playoffs

Opening Playoff Games a Mixed Bag for Former Cards

We got your Terry Rozier wearing Celtic green. Silent L Harrell coming up big in the paint for LA’s other team. And Donovan “Did We Call Him Spider When He Was A Cardinal?” Mitchell.

If the object of the game is to win, score more points than the other team, then Rozier had the best first tilt.

Because, bottom line, Boston prevailed over the Pacers, 84-74. The Clippers and Jazz fell.

Rozier played a solid, but statistically inconsequential 18 minutes. (Seems like Kyrie Irving is playing both guard positions at the same time anyway.) The former Card was a mathematically neutral +/- 0. A veritable place holder.

He scored 5 points, but was only 1/6 from the field, grabbed five rebounds — He was one of the best rebounding guards ever to wear the Red & Black — and dished out a couple dimes.

If the point of this exercise is which of the trio had the best individual game, Montrezl is the easy winner.

He was a beast underneath — Imagine our surprise — especially in the first half, though his Clippers fell by 17 to Golden State.

26 points on 11/15 shooting. Five boards. Two assists, two steals, two blocks. Alas, he was -13.

It was an under par evening all around for Mitchell. He scored 19 but didn’t have an assist. Five rebounds.

The Jazz — Isn’t it time Utah changed its nickname which worked in New Orleans, but doesn’t fit at all in Salt Lake City? — were overwhelmed by Houston, 122-90.

DM shoulda stayed in bed.

— Seedy K

Riffing on the Warriors’ Title

In this little riff on the NBA championship series, consider yourself forewarned. I am going to reminisce about a moment from the Louisville Cardinals’ first national crown.

As if you’re surprised in the least.

First, the lead in.

As overwhelming as Kevin Durant’s offensive numbers were in the title run, as stifling as his previously underappreciated defense was — ask Kevin Love about that play late in Game 5 when he had it in the post and KD wouldn’t even allow him a breath — and as magnificent as he was holding off the last gasp of the LeBrons Monday night with key buckets, the transfer from OKC sealed the deal in Game 3.

Recall that Golden State tallied the last 11 points in that win in the City By The Burning Lake to take a 3 zed — Read: Insurmountable — advantage.

The capper in that tilt was a walk up trey from the left elbow extended with but a handful of seconds to play. Durant just about skipped into the shot. His adversary Mr. James, already showing signs of over exertion, peeled back to the hoop a bit quickly and couldn’t get out to cover.

Almost nonchalantly, KD fired. All twine.

He was ready for his Cecil B. DeMille moment.

Thus, as I’m wont to do, I was reminded of the evening of March 24, 1980. Market Square Arena, may it rest in peace. Continue reading Riffing on the Warriors’ Title

Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Live by the 3, Die by the 3

b-ballWith 4:39 to play last night, Klay Thompson answered a LeBron James trey with a driving layup.

It knotted the game at 89.

It knotted the points for the Series at 699-699.

As the Louisville Cardinal radio announcer of my youth Ed Kallay would say, “That’s about as close as you can get it.”

At which juncture, the compelling Best of 7 that had gained in intensity, by the day, on the court and off, redlined the Stress Meter past 11.

James missed a 22 footer.

Steph Curry missed a trey.

LeBron misfired on a deuce.

Thompson couldn’t net a two from 15 feet.

Andre Igoudala blocked a James shot at the rim. Then couldn’t find the hole from beyond the arc.

With each possession, the tension became more smothering, sucking the breath out of those who paid $50 large for their courtside seats, those in the bleachers, those in the Square in Cleveland, and folks gathered to watch together on big screens everywhere.

The shut down D continued. So too, the resulting offensive woes. Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Live by the 3, Die by the 3

Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Dubs/Cavs’ Game 7 is The Deal

b-ballIn case you were wondering, the answer is Yes.

Yes, Golden State vs. Cleveland in the Best of One capper to this ’15-’16 NBA season is The Real Deal. The Big Deal.

Arguably the Biggest Basketball Deal of the 21st C.

Game 7s are always special. Compelling. Especially when they’re the last game of a long, long season.

But, tonight’s is mo’ betta’. Actually better than that lame overused pop cultural reference.

What we have here is nothing short of a clashing of legends. A one game Texas Chainsaw Loser Leaves Town After Getting Tongues Cut Out Death Match to decide the premier professional hoops legacy of the millennium.

You know, uh, other than that, it’s just another ballgame, the last fix for hoopaholics until autumn. Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Dubs/Cavs’ Game 7 is The Deal

Hoopaholic’s Gazette: LeBron’s Last Stand???

b-ballOne with a propensity to hyperbolize, might inquire of tonight’s Game Three of the NBA Finals, whether it is the most important of LeBron James’ career, one that could define his legacy?

He might suggest that James, on into his thirties and facing the cusp of declining abilities, might not have many if any more opportunities to hoist his teammate on his broad Midwestern shoulders, and fireman’s carry them to certify a reclamation for his beloved home, the City by the Lake that Caught Fire.

He would wonder if James, Chosen as he was in early age like some hoopster Siddartha, can transcend the middling talents of his current teammates against a foe with more spare parts than Team Penske on Memorial Day at Indy?

He would consider if James’ legendary run of Finals’ appearances will be enough to feed the grandiosity of the star’s desires, as well as the vision of those who anointed him when he was a relative babe?

He would again assess the wonder of James’ physicality, basketball acumen and hardwood intuitivity, but concede that, in a conversation James’ longs to be a part of — Who is the best baller ever? — his name might early on fall out of the discussion.

He might wonder, that hyperbolizer, about his own conjecture here presented, whether he could be over-analyzing the long term ramifications of tonight’s contest, whether his internal queries are but mental hula hoopery?

Then again . . . Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Gazette: LeBron’s Last Stand???

Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Dubs’ Subs Conk Cavs

b-ballOf the abundant collection of accomplishments that the Golden State Warriors have gathered in the last year, what transpired last evening in Game One of the ’16 Finals may be the most bestest.

Last year’s title. This regular season’s record setting 73 Ws. Besting OKC for the West title, after being down 1-3. Consecutive MVPs. All significant. All boffo.

But, besting rough and ready Cleveland, led by a seriously voracious LeBron James, when the Splash Brothers couldn’t even find the pool let alone cannonball off the high dive . . . by 15 points no less . . . now that’s a statement.

The Cavs were ready to thwart Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, with an effective game plan, and equally impressive execution. Thompson was 4/12, picked up three fouls early on, and was hardly a factor. Curry was 4/15, threw it away 5 times and was a -1 for the tilt.

No real contributions from the stars.

No problem. Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Dubs’ Subs Conk Cavs

Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Dubs Laugh Last in the West

b-ballNow that the Warriors have done what champions do, i.e. rising from the ashes as if domiciled in Phoenix not Golden State and overcoming a 1-3 deficit to win the Western Conference title, now that order has been restored in that half of the NBA, what are we to make of the vanquished?

Specifically, of Russell Westbrook?

When the Great Scorer comes to call shall he remember the OKC sparkplug for his on court actions as a hell bent for leather, point guard of fury?

Or, shall it be for that thinly veiled press conference snicker? The one Westbrook took no pains to hide, when his running partner Kevin Durant was giving a diplomatic if dismissive response to a question about arch foe Steph Curry’s D.

At that juncture the Thunder were riding high, on the brink of the seemingly insurmountable, beating San Antonio and Golden State in consecutive series to make their first championship round as Sooners. The Spurs had been defeated. Three chances remained to close out the Warriors.

So, Westbrook, overconfident, full of himself after leading his charges to consecutive beatdowns at home, couldn’t contain his premature glee.

Forgetting it ain’t over til the Valkyrie Brünnhilde lets loose with her Götterdämmurungian aria, Westbrook giggled at the prospect of charging past the vulnerable checking of his two time MVP counterpart.

Tsk, tsk, my man. He who laughs last laughs best. Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Dubs Laugh Last in the West