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Archive for April, 2012

Essay: Conley With A Wild…Toss

April 30, 2012 Leave a comment

The moment after he stepped back between his legs—causing Randy Foye to briefly resemble a delirious crazy person—and rattled in a three-pointer that tickled the edge of the rim before falling through (the one shot that most felt it was “meant to be” out of all that were taken this weekend), was the moment I decided to write something about Mike Conley. With the type of star power that’s normally reserved for a second or third round battle—featuring Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, Rudy Gay, and Zach Randolph all anxiously grunting in their starting gates—through three quarters last night, Conley was the game’s best player. Read more…

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Essay: The First Annual Shaky Ankles NBA Awards

April 27, 2012 Leave a comment

On Christmas Eve, I previewed the season. Most of it was grossly incorrect, but today we turn a proud page on the past. Here are my awards and playoff predictions for the 2012 lockout abbreviated NBA season. Enjoy. Read more…

Categories: Essays

Shook Ankes: Is This A Flop? Or A Sweet Move?

April 25, 2012 Leave a comment

 

A little over a week ago, DeShawn Stevenson put a behind the back dribble move on reigning First Team All-Defender Rajon Rondo. There was nothing special about it—no crazy shoulder juke or undecipherable speed—and yet Rondo, one of the most underrated false manufacturers of contact that the league has, fell to the floor, clutching of all things his head. As he was executing the move, Stevenson appears to steady himself by placing his hand on Rondo’s hip; what followed may or may not have been a gentle push. Nothing strong enough to send a grown man flying, but just a little something to afford him some breathing room. My consensus on the outcome here is that while Stevenson is not known for his ball-handling expertise, Rondo IS known for a) flopping (but mostly on the offensive end) and b) playing hellacious defense. For him to fall over just doesn’t make much sense, and the ultimate result is a non gift-wrapped whistle from the refs, coupled with an embarrassing moment that’s now on Youtube. Shame on you, Rondo.

Shook Ankles: The Resurrection of Keyon Dooling…

April 24, 2012 Leave a comment

 

…no, not really, but still. When I saw this move live last Friday night, I described it on CelticsHub by saying it made me adjust my television, which wasn’t a lie. There’s a great chance this is the last crossover Dooling puts on display for the rest of his career. Also a good chance this was the last time he scores in double figures. Enjoy this insightful, behind the scenes veteran while he’s still around; moves like this one are rarer than rare.

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Essay: Udonis Haslem’s Unfamiliar Contribution

April 23, 2012 Leave a comment

It was March’s first Friday night, and a somewhat unimportant contest between the Miami Heat and Utah Jazz had just ended. The game’s first 47:55 have since been thrown into a jumbled pile of endless shots, dribbles, screens, and gasping breaths that make up the NBA’s past, but that final five seconds has gone into a rarified vault; to a lot of people it’s a sequence that holds special meaning, capable of telling us more about the narrative in a larger sense than an entire game can.

Miami was on the road, but it didn’t matter. They were playing for their 10th straight win, crashing through all comers like a raw, young, unforgiving Mike Tyson. Still, they’re only human. With a trip further west towards Los Angeles to face the Lakers two days later, other goals were creeping into the back of their minds. And so, with 4.5 seconds remaining, the favored Heat trailed by a single point. Out of a time-out, the ball was inbounded to LeBron James, the world’s best player, and the game’s fate was placed in his wanting hands. His momentum already taking him towards the rim, James catches Shane Battier’s pass right outside the three-point line, and upon meeting Paul Millsap and Josh Howard’s soft zone pick and roll defense, chooses to dump the ball off to a popping, wide open Udonis Haslem—a man who is no stranger to bright lights and big moments. Haslem receives a perfect bounce pass with plenty of time to set his feet, square his shoulders, and launch what was once known as one of the surest shots in basketball. It’s off line. Miami loses. LeBron is the scapegoat.  Read more…

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Shook Ankles: Chris Paul Steps Back On Steve Nash

April 20, 2012 1 comment

 

At the risk of using hyperbole: this entire sequence is breathtaking. The way Paul controls a basketball as if there is no ball in his hands is remarkable. He dances around the court, going as fast or as slow as he thinks is best—making you believe he wants to get to the line one moment and then quickly stepping back between his legs and preferring a jumper the next. Sometimes we say people are too smart for their own good, that they have so many thoughts brewing in their head at once that the collision of separate ideas will cause them to outthink which one should be chosen. Something tells me we won’t be applying this saying to Chris Paul anytime soon.

 

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Shook Ankles: Tony Parker Obliterates Ramon Sessions

April 18, 2012 Leave a comment

 

Tony Parker had more than one crossover in last night’s win against the Lakers, but hat tip to TBJ for this particular clip, with a particularly embarrassing performance by Jordan Hill. Watching it without laughing is impossible, unless you are void of real human emotion.

Essay: Shawn Marion’s Failing Jumper

April 17, 2012 Leave a comment

The unique creature that is Shawn Marion’s jump shot has somehow managed to breathe for 12 solid years. The move could never stake claim as the prettiest thing associated with the NBA—overall the shot has had its peaks and valleys, just as everything else—but right now that ugly jumper’s effectiveness has dropped as low as ever, falling further below previous labels of aesthetic catastrophe to its current state: a detrimental offensive option. Read more…

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Shook Ankles: Lou Williams Needs Some Recognition

April 12, 2012 Leave a comment

 

I’ve been meaning to write something about Lou Williams for a while now. He’s played almost 500 less minutes than Andre Iguodala this season, yet he’s scored over 200 more points. I know Iggy isn’t the first scoring option, and has said time and time again he’s more comfortable facilitating an offense instead of taking it over, but still…he’s an All-Star and Lou Williams does not start. He may be one-dimensional—and the Sixers may be in the middle of a most unfortunate free fall that could ultimately leave them out of the playoffs—but Williams is going to lead his team in scoring from the bench. (If you know who the last guy was to do this, please leave it in the comments.) Philadelphia scores 6.1 more points per 100 possessions when he’s on the court. His influence on this team has been incredible, and even though James Harden will probably win the Sixth Man of the Year award, please don’t overlook the type of season Lou Williams is having.

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Shook Ankles: Durant Does Milwaukee Dirty (Twice!)

April 11, 2012 1 comment

 

We’ve covered Kevin Durant’s crossover several times this season, and in its effective ability to create efficient baskets, this one is no different. Durant only made five baskets in this game (which these days is rarer than standing outside in a downpour and not getting hit with any rain). He did, however, pull this move off—a sequence of beauty that should probably count for more than your typical two points. It’s so difficult not to love.

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