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Archive for August, 2011

Recommended Reading: College Degrees and Paul Shirley!

August 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Recommended Reading is a daily (occasional) rundown of truly superb NBA related literature, pictures, and videos. Some is brand new, others are timeless. Enjoy!

The Point Forward: We’re on the cusp of the top 20 players in the league and I’ve finally found something to vehemently disagree with. (SPOILER ALERT!) Placing Tony Parker one spot above Rajon Rondo is silly. Yes I’m biased, but here’s proof! Also, if they trade places, do the Spurs beat Memphis?

Hoopspeak: If I wasn’t already aware of Kevin Durant and his leap towards greatness, this incredible lede pretty much sums up all I’d need to know.

There are a lot of really cool things about Kevin Durant. He’s smooth on camera, he has a final moments stare that puts anti-freeze in your gut, and his shot is so pure you’d swear Walter White cooked it up.

Marc J. Spears: Players are taking advantage of their extended break to grab an education right quick. I like it.

Valley of the Suns: Paul Shirley is interviewed about particulars relating to the Phoenix Suns. Part II is here.

The Basketball Jones: Respect for Stephen Curry is officially gone—until the season starts.

Categories: Recommended

Shook Ankles: Does Steve Nash Have Underrated Handle?

August 10, 2011 2 comments

Steve Nash is an amazing basketball player. Everyone knows this. He’s one of the most accurate shooters of all-time, he seems to acquire 10 assists simply by being on the court, and he makes every single player around him (opposing point guards included) appear better than they really are. Somehow, within the confines of two MVP awards and consummate respect from pretty much everyone involved in the sport, Nash’s handle has gone overlooked—an unspoken means to a reliable, stable end.  This couldn’t be more from the truth. Over the next few days, Shaky Ankles will be uncovering some of his all-time great moves. While some might label them with a slightly derogatory tag of “crafty”, I’ll go so far as to say they’re downright extraordinary. What he does to Devin Harris in this move is lightning.

 

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Shook Ankles: Michael Beasley Is A Giver and Taker Of Face Mushing

August 5, 2011 1 comment

Withholding his ankles from the discussion, Michael Beasley just can’t catch a break. Everyone’s new favorite street baller did him dirty last night, and he responded in typical Michael Beasley fashion, behaving like a seventh grader and face mushing a heckler in the crowd. Remember when Derrick Rose or Michael Beasley was a semi-legitimate question?

My favorite part of this move is Beasley’s tall teammate, No. 55., showing impeccable big man defense.

 

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Recommended Reading: The Best Of The Worst

August 4, 2011 Leave a comment

Recommended Reading is a daily (occasional) rundown of truly superb NBA related literature, pictures, and videos. Some is brand new, others are timeless. Enjoy!

Hardwood Hype: If our views on accomplishments in sports were a bit more republican, these players would get more credit for all that personal glory they attained—at their team’s cost.

Complex: Tell me this isn’t the face of a man worth $10 million.

Grantland: Jonathan Abrams tells the NBA it should learn from its mistakes. The NBA promptly ignores him, making everyone sadder than sad.

Washington Post: In the aftermath of Kevin Durant’s 66 at Rucker, Nick Young dropped 60 of his own in a recent Drew League game. Included nugget of info from Michael Lee’s story:

Young is getting some exposure this week, with him getting a fashion spread in Edge Magazine, where Young bragged about being the “best dressed man in the NBA” while wearing a questionable leopard print tank top with orange and blue stripes.

Hardwood Paroxysm: Kinda, sorta jealous I didn’t come up with this story concept first. Great work by Danny Chau.

The Point Forward: Zach Lowe has the unenviable task of compiling a “Top 100 Players in the NBA” list. So far he’s on 71-80. Let ridiculous debates rage on!

 

Categories: Recommended

Shook Ankles: The Art Of Separation

August 3, 2011 Leave a comment

It’s probable that in its beginning stages of existence, the crossover was designed as a blow by maneuver, designed to either open up the floor for a player’s teammates or result in a high percentage shot at the rim. But in today’s game of impenetrable, multi-layered defensive schemes, the most confident players use it to create space for a wide-open jumper of their choosing; most famously seen in Allen Iverson’s all-time juke of Michael Jordan (to which Iverson later admitted despite showing Jordan his best trick in a bag full of them, the shot was still nearly blocked).

This in and out, between the legs step back that Tyreke Evans puts on a determined Kevin Martin is a pure thing of beauty. Evans knows ahead of time that, bad foot and all, he wants no part in driving towards a Luis Scola/Chuck Hayes sandwich, so he “settles” for a wide open jumper. Some would say this isn’t a great shot—a long range two-pointer—but if Tyreke Evans is ever going to become the type of perennial All-Star he at one point looked on his way to becoming, he needs something like this in his arsenal. When healthy he can drive to the hoop as good, if not better, than everyone in the league. This clip can be seen as proof that his sophomore (injury induced) slump will, in the long run, make him a better, more complete offensive player—when he absolutely needs a basket, Evans knows how to get it.

At 6’6″ and 220 pounds, the 21-year-old has no reason to fear resistance on his fierce drives to the hoop, but should he need a breather, going to the well and discovering a move as dynamic as this one shouldn’t be a frowned upon option.

Recommended Reading: Blake Griffin Is A Sure Man

August 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Recommended Reading is a daily (occasional) rundown of truly superb NBA related literature, pictures, and videos. Some is brand new, others are timeless. Enjoy!

TrueHoop:

Henry Abbott: So I have to ask, would you go play in China or Europe if the opportunity arose?
Blake Griffin: Um, there has been some talks. Right now it’s so early that it’s hard to say either way. I’m not opposed to it, but right now nothing is set up.
H.A.: If you were to go, where would it be?
B.G.: I have no idea. I haven’t really given it much thought, but like I said, I’ve been giving some thought to it.

Just…I don’t know. Check this out if you’re a 1930′s cinephile.

HoopsHype: Yet another amazing list from the good people at HoopsHype. This one’s an updated compiling of which sneakers are on whose feet. (As of yesterday, Danilo Gallinari and I are rocking the same kicks.)

The New York Times: As far as optimism goes…this isn’t it.

@netw3rk: Rodney White’s fourth most embarrassing moment at MSG is on Youtube!

Speaking of Youtube, we’ll fade to black with the performance everyone’s talking about: Kevin Durant getting downright satanic at Rucker Park.

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Shook Ankles: Perfect Timing

August 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Sometimes it doesn’t look it, but people who play in the NBA are really, really good defenders. When only one possession remains in a quarter, half, or game, the defense is more often than not at its highest level; no mental distraction exists and no excuse relating to fatigue or boredom sits in the back of anyone’s head. When they need to buckle down for one sub-24 second window, these athletic specimens can—and will—do so. That’s what makes this particular move so pretty. Jamal Crawford’s defender, C.J. Miles, knows he’s in an isolated situation. He also knows he has, in Deron Williams, help to his left should Crawford drive to the side his preferred side. But in this instance—as in almost every other—the offensive player holds a slight advantage on his defender, much like a wide receiver always knowing his route, forcing the corner to read and react. This isn’t to suggest creating one’s shot is a natural act, like walking or breathing, because it isn’t. Dribbling by a defender, especially one who’s dialed up, focusing 100 percent of his energy on keeping you away from the hoop, still stands as the most critical and arduous development in basketball. So good is this crossover, which results in a wide open Jamal Crawford 20-footer, it comes close to disproving that theory.

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Essay: Hip-Hop Is Craving The Super Team

August 1, 2011 1 comment

“We hustling together better than
Going in blindly/Expectations not met
Fools get ejected/Dropped like a Pharcyde record”

 -Curren$y “This is the Life”

Hip-hop and basketball’s relationship is one of two childhood friends, holding hands and skipping down the block without a care in the world. Both are content with the lives they live but based on a mutual admiration, possess a need to change places. Hip-hop knows everything about basketball and basketball knows everything about hip-hop—their respective pasts, their superstars and prime money makers. The two spheres collide almost weekly: Lil Wayne igniting brief controversy with the Heat and then celebrating with those who showed them humility, LeBron James sharing a kindred relationship with Drizzy, Jay-Z serving as minority owner to the Nets (HELLO, BROOKLYN!), and every single rapper who released a mixtape and/or album in the past five years annually turning All-Star weekend into a Super Bowl matching extravaganza, are just a few of the many bridges which currently connect the two vibrant worlds. Read more…

Categories: Essays
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