Entries from June 2012
June 27th, 2012 · Comments
With two just-completed trades and rumors of more, there is a lot of news to discuss leading up to the 2012 NBA Draft.
It's an NBA Draft Special on this episode of Basketball by Association!
NBA Featured Columnist Joel C. Cordes and NBA Assistant Editor dish on the latest Dwight Howard rumors, which other stars will be moved before the draft and which prospects are rising and falling on the board.
Also on tap, the guys bust out their "Quick Pick" NBA Mock Draft 2.0. There are quite a few areas of disagreement, especially in the top 10, where the Michael Kidd-Gilchrist versus Harrison Barnes debate heats up one last time.
Where should an enigmatic big man like Andre Drummond land? Just how much should injury status affect guys like Jeremy Lamb and Jared Sullinger, both of whom were recently considered top-10 picks?
The guys discuss the head-scratching move by the Minnesota Timberwolves, as they traded their No. 18 pick to the Houston Rockets for Chase Budinger.
Also, do the Orlando Magic really believe they'll land AND keep Dwight Howard, even though he apparently doesn't want to play for any team in the NBA?
Why are we giving Joe Dumars praise for getting out from under Ben Gordon's bad contract? Trading him AND a future first round draft pick for Corey Maggette's equally stupid, (but expiring), contract is just congratulating him for undoing his own mistake!
Join the conversation on Bleacher Report's Basketball by Association, your final destination for all things NBA.
June 24th, 2012 · Comments
In anticipation of the 2012 NBA Draft, it's time to predict which players will exceed, meet and fail the expectations and buzz that precedes them.
In this episode of Basketball by Association, NBA Featured Columnist Joel C. Cordes and NBA Assistant Editor Ethan Norof conclude the "Boom of Bust" game they began here.
Sure-fire lottery picks like Kentucky's Anthony Davis and UConn's Andre Drummond have a lot of buzz, but can they become true franchise cornerstones? Just turning out to be a solid rotation player is rarely enough to avoid the "bust" label when taken that high.
Mid-tier guys are especially hard to peg, but endlessly fun to debate. On tap are Duke's Austin Rivers, Washington's Tony Wroten Jr. and Terrence Ross, Syracuse's Fab Melo, North Carolina's John Henson and Tyler Zeller, Mississippi State's Arnett Moultrie, Iowa State's Royce White and many more.
Also in this episode, the guys discuss which NBA free agents are likely to re-sign with their home teams and which restricted guys aren't worth matching a huge contract for.
Finally, while the New Jersey Nets' Deron Williams and New Orleans Hornets' Eric Gordon are attracting all the free agent buzz, which under-the-radar players can be reliable starters at the right price?
Ryan Anderson of the Orlando Magic, the Phoenix Suns' Steve Nash, Philadelphia 76ers' Louis Williams, Cleveland Cavaliers Alonso Gee and Charlotte Bobcats' D.J. Augustin are just a few of the players in this discussion.
Basketball by Association is your final destination for all things NBA at Bleacher Report.
June 18th, 2012 · Comments
The Miami Heat have taken a punch, yet swung back harder. Will the Oklahoma City Thunder continue stumbling, or do they have another shot left?
In this episode of Bleacher Report's Basketball by Association, NBA Featured Columnist, Joel C. Cordes, and Assistant NBA Editor, Ethan Norof, discuss whether OKC can get their groove back in time for Game 4 of the 2012 NBA Finals.
The guys also run an exciting "quick pick" NBA Mock Draft for the entire First Round.
While Shane Battier and the Heat's bench are providing just enough scoring help, the Thunder need far bigger contributions from Serge Ibaka, Nick Collison and Thabo Sefolosha. Coach Scott Brooks also needs to expand his rotation and quicken the pace if the Thunder are to find a rhythm again.
Chris Bosh continues to provide much-needed grit as Dwyane Wade struggles to play with more efficiency. However, LeBron James should be silencing all his Playoff critics with his three extraordinary games during the 2012 NBA Finals.
Also on tap, debating how Phil Jackson will coach again and whether he unnecessarily insulted the New York Knicks by referring to them as "clumsy."
Will the Charlotte Bobcats get any better if their "best" coaching candidates are simply career assistants like Brian Shaw and Quin Snyder?
Finally, is Brandon Roy really returning to the NBA? Doesn't this seem too soon for Roy's ailing body? More importantly, doesn't this send the wrong message to the Portland Trail Blazers after he "retired" from the NBA just last year?
Basketball by Association is your final destination for all things NBA on Bleacher Report.
June 18th, 2012 · Comments
Happy (belated) Father's Day. Dan Levy and Nick Tarnowski talk about Webb Simpson winning the U.S. Open in one of the least exciting final days in recent memory. From the anti-climatic way Simpson won the tournament to his abhorrent use of a belly putter to Jim Furyk's late-round collapse, the 2012 U.S. Open had all the makings of a classic heading into the weekend and, really, fell flat.
We also talk about those covering the tournament, namely Chris Berman of ESPN–charged by more than a view early-round viewers with ruining their enjoyment of the tournament–to Johnny Miller of NBC who could not stop telling you how great a player he was in his career.
"You have no idea how good that feels, folks," Miller told viewers as the cameras showed Simpson's understated reaction to winning the U.S. Open. No, we don't…but do you? Please tell us more about you.
We shift to the NBA Finals to talk about David Stern's future as commissioner before breaking down the series between the Heat and the Thunder. In short: hit your free throws.
The Heat did win Game 3 so it is easy to say this after-the-fact, but we talk about how the first game at home was probably a must-win for Miami. They certainly control their own destiny now, up 2-1 with two home games remaining. Can the Heat win in five, or is there more to this Thunder team than they've showed down the stretch in the last two games. They got both close, but not enough to win.
Last, we talk about soccer, and why you shouldn't sleep on the Euro 2012 tournament. First, it's in the middle of the afternoon. Second, all the matches matter now and some feature the best clubs in the world. If you have been on the fence, now is the time to hop over and join the party.
As always, thanks for listening.
June 15th, 2012 · Comments
The Oklahoma City Thunder can't keep spotting early double digit leads to the Miami Heat. As the 2012 NBA Finals shift to a pivotal three-game stretch in south Florida, the young Thunder have yet another mountain to climb.
In this episode of Basketball by Association, NBA Featured Columnist Joel C. Cordes and NBA Assistant Editor Ethan Norof discuss the key adjustments the Thunder must make, and why the Heat are still in a somewhat precarious position.
LeBron James has been stellar through the first two games, largely making up for solid, if somewhat inconsistent efforts from Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Outside of a suddenly sweet-shooting Shane Battier, the Miami Heat are once again wondering whether Mario Chalmers can produce more than one good game in a row, and whether their bench has a pulse.
The Thunder have some major pace and rotational adjustments to make if they're going to maximize what got them this far in the first place.
The 2012 NBA Draft Combine numbers are in, and there are a bunch of players whose stock has risen or fallen rapidly. Whose expectations are now out of proportion with reality? Which suddenly underrated names will be high-value picks?
In NBA Free Agency news, Brandon Bass and Gerald Wallace are in perfect position to leverage the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets, respectively. Yet, there are some interesting outside fits for these multi-dimensional forwards.
Finally, did Isiah Thomas really deserve to be on the 1992 Dream Team? Should David Stern fine himself for the rhetorical, yet ridiculous comments he made on Jim Rome's radio show?
Basketball by Association is your final destination for all things NBA on Bleacher Report.
June 11th, 2012 · Comments
With an amazing weekend behind us, we look back at some of the bigger storylines of the last few days, some of which exceeded expectations while others totally disappointed.
First, the NBA playoffs, which certainly delivered with a wonderful Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals setting up one of the great Finals match-ups in the recent history of the NBA.
Can we finally lay off LeBron? The guy has proven his "clutchness" hasn't he?
The rest of the weekend had the potential to be great and, really, just wasn't. If you are a Devils fan, you are happy the NHL Stanley Cup finals aren't over, but the potential for seeing the Cup presentation is always exciting. Has New Jersey just delayed the inevitable or can they come back from 3-0 to win?
Was there any buzz left at the Belmont after I'll Have Another pulled out of the race? In a way, did that help the sport? So many people think having a Triple Crown winner is good for horse racing, but we content it might be bad for the sport. Once we get that Triple Crown winner, there is no reason to watch the sport again. The build-up every year is what brings people back, so the longer we go without one, the more it will matter when it happens.
We expected to recap the French Open final, but it's not over yet because of the weather. Well, it might be over by the time you listen. And we briefly touch on the big Manny Pacquiao fight where he lost to Timothy Bradley in very controversial fashion. Can anyone trust the integrity of that sport anymore? Ever?
We talk about soccer, namely Monday's match between England and France and why Americans should maybe think about rooting for France. We also preview next weekend's U.S. Open in golf. Hopefully that won't disappoint like much of this weekened did.
Thanks for listening.
June 10th, 2012 · Comments
The 2012 NBA Finals offer everything a basketball fan could want. Regardless of how one feels about the Miami Heat or the Oklahoma City Thunder, this matchup has all the youth, athleticism, star power and story lines needed for a classic series.
You can get excited for this regardless of which team you usually root for.
In this is episode of Basketball by Association, NBA Featured Columnist Joel C. Cordes and NBA Assistant Editor Ethan Norof break down each position advantage between these youthful powers.
Basketball by Association is your final destination on Bleacher Report for all things NBA.
By ending the Boston Celtics "Big 4" era, the Miami Heat proved they could step up to adversity as a group. Chris Bosh got healthy in time to contribute with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
More importantly, the Heat got enough team-wide contributions while digging out of the 3-2 deficit which threatened to undo every last shred of confidence in their franchise blue-print.
Especially entertaining will be the matchup between LeBron James and Kevin Durant. How often do the league's two best players get to decide who's top dog while on the game's biggest stage?
Oklahoma City's boisterous home crowd and ability to mass more firepower off their bench are huge potential advantages. However, the Heat may still have a higher gear than even the explosive Thunder can muster.
The guys also discuss whose stock is rising and falling for the 2012 NBA Draft, as well as those veterans who may be on the move via trades and free agency.
June 7th, 2012 · Comments
Can the Boston Celtics close out this Eastern Conference thriller against the Miami Heat?
The Oklahoma City Thunder already proved that true theater of the absurd is possible. An "underdog" team struggling for momentum can climb back from an 0-2 deficit, equalize the series at home, win a pivotal road game AND "classically" close out in front of the faithful.
In this episode of Basketball by Association, we discuss why the Celtics are now only one step away from repeating the exact same blue-print. More importantly, can the Miami Heat step up to yet another career-defining challenge?
Bleacher Report's Basketball by Association is your final destination for all things pro hoops, featuring Assistant NBA Editor Ethan Norof and NBA Lead Blogger Joel C. Cordes.
Also on tap are the latest, completely ridiculous Phil Jackson and Orlando Magic rumors. We also ask, "where does the San Antonio Spurs' collapse ranks in NBA history, and will Tim Duncan come back now that he fell short?"
Should the Los Angeles Lakers trade Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum or both? If they are looking to deal, which swaps make sense?
We also talk about the four teams with multiple first round picks in the 2012 NBA Draft. Who has the most work to do with a pair, and which franchise can use their duo for the biggest positive difference?
June 4th, 2012 · Comments
The Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs have a tough road if they're to hold off the surging Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder, respectively.
The Charlotte Bobcats and Washington Wizards have some difficult choices as they're about to live in a post-Anthony Davis draft world.
There are a lot of major decisions and big news to discuss on this episode of Basketball by Association.
Basketball by Association is a brand new podcast series and your court-side seat for all things NBA on Bleacher Report.
The Heat are not actually reeling, despite having lost the past two games. Sure, the Celtics held serve on their home-court, but they have yet to perform consistently in Miami.
The Heat will now get an emotional lift from their own crowd, and could be rejuvenated further if Chris Bosh provides a poor man's "Willis Reed' comeback moment. The Heat still have a higher ceiling, whereas the Celtics may be peaked.
The new run-and-gun Spurs must slow things back down to a 90 mile per hour pace, rather than letting the Thunder fly by at 110. What's more, they should utilize DeJuan Blair if they're to avoid getting pushed around inside by Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka.
Nonetheless, the Thunder continue to grow up in front of our eyes. They're systematically vanquishing every former hurdle in the same way a young Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls eventually exorcised all demons.
Bradley Beal versus Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is becoming a hot debate for the two and three spots, while Thomas Robinson has no business being in that conversation. Robinson does belong anywhere else in the lottery, though there are a number of players about to fall further than expected.
Ethan and Joel also discuss which teams need to move up or down in the draft order, where Phil Jackson might be coaching next, and why Randy Wittman fails to get them all hot and bothered.
June 4th, 2012 · Comments
Our show this week focuses on a myriad of topics from the weekend. First, we talk about Tigers Woods winning the Memorial and try to figure out what in the world that means for Woods, golf and, most importantly perhaps, the U.S. Open.
Is Tiger a favorite now? He was a favorite at the Masters after winning a few weeks before that major and look what happened? In truth, we have no clue what will happen with Tiger the rest of this year and the uncertainty is great for golf. Tiger's dominance was one era of the sport, but his "will he or won't he show up this week" brilliance is, in its own way, even better.
Nick Tarnowski and I discuss the flap between Lil Wayne and the Oklahoma City Thunder front office (and fans). In short, the rapper wanted front row seats to Game 4 and was told no, so he told the Associated Press he thought he got snubbed because he's not white and the fans are.
“That’s not the point, though,” he told the AP of the ticket offers from Harden and KD. “It’s the players stepping up but of course the players aren’t white. I don’t want to be sitting there on behalf of you and I’m sitting next to a (person) that’s like `I don’t want this (guy) sitting next to me.’ (Forget) you … I’m in Forbes,” he said, laughing.
Our point? There is no such thing as "reverse racism." It's just racism, and Lil Wayne projecting his beliefs of how fans would treat him because they are white and he is not is just as irresponsible and dangerous as if the fans, themselves, actually behave that way.
We shift to baseball to end the show, talking about rooting against Johan Santana's no-hitter. As Phillies fans, why would we want the best pitcher on our biggest rival to throw a no-hitter? Does history trump fan loyalty?
More importantly, baseball needs to do something about getting the calls right. Too often, big calls that have an impact on the history of the sport are being botched by umpires. MLB can either install a tennis-like Hawkeye system for the foul line or do what the NHL does and have a central hub in the league offices where the league can correct any calls that are wrong. Santana technically got a no hitter in the box score, but the blown call down the line certainly justifies some type of "however."
Last, a fan in Philadelphia caught a home run ball on Saturday by lunging over the fence to bring the ball into the stands. It was a great catch, but for the wrong team. The Phillies fan caught a Marlins home run, which violates so many unwritten fans rules, it's uncanny someone in those seats doesn't have the presence of mind to realize.
That leads to a fun chat about fan rules (which I will be writing on this week.)
Thanks as always for listening.