I had the privilege of attending this game (free Blake Griffin jersey yay!). Chris Paul went ridiculous down the stretch, Zach Randolph tried to bully everyone on the court, Lamar Odom received the loudest cheers of his career (for no real reason), and in between all of the commotion, Jamal Crawford scored in a wide variety of ways as his usual aggressive self. When it was all said and done, and the Clippers fought their way to 1-0 on the season, Crawford looked good enough to runaway with the Sixth Man of the Year award this season.
Ty Lawson broke his own big news. Yesterday, the Denver Nuggets and their starting point guard agreed upon a four-year, $48 million deal. With the team going forward with what looks like a roster headed by Lawson, what will happen from now on? And has Lawson even reached his ceiling yet? All very interesting questions. Read more…
Ah, the Sixth Man of the Year award. Obviously not as special as Most Valuable Player or Defensive Player of the Year, but still, fans seem to have a special affinity with it—the endearing concept of this “spark plug” who comes off the bench and tries to be as electric as possible while the starters sit.
Last year, new Rockets guard James Harden won the award, coming off the bench for 60 out of 62 games, and averaging around 17 points per game. With Harden out of Oklahoma City, it’s fair to say he’ll probably be starting, and many NBA analysts will have to change their pick for a potential winner. The crop of possibilities contain a few previous winners. No winner has repeated since Detlef Schrempf in the 1991-92 season, but it’s hard to pick otherwise, due to the production of some of these previous winners and their roles on their teams. Read more…
Kevin Garnett is a dick, right? I write that knowing full well he’s played the bad guy for the last five years in Boston, and was similarly antagonistic in Minnesota, except no one watched Minnesota for the last four seasons he was in town. Opposing fans refer to him like Romney supporters refer to Obama: he’s crazy, and not in a good way. Garnett doesn’t do much to dissuade them of this view either, seeming to revel in their antipathy.
He barks a lot on the court, with veins overtly announcing themselves on his sweat-drenched face; he bangs his head against the foam base of his basket’s risers before every game; he’s not against throwing an elbow or two or taking—borderline—cheap shots when he thinks the refs aren’t looking; he says inappropriate and demeaning things on the court to opposing players and teammates; he is so intense during games, even regular season games (the temerity!), it’s not a stretch to say that if an entrenched cubicle worker were to mimic his intensity, employment would be untenable and the worker might even risk institutionalization.
But Kevin Garnett cares about winning, and doesn’t mind sacrificing geniality in order to achieve that goal. He also might be one of the world’s best teammates and a genuinely nice guy, so long as it’s not in the time between an hour before tip-off, and when he leaves the arena.
Predicting the results for an upcoming NBA season, and then blogging about them, can be both pointless and embarrassing. Despite it also being super fun, I’m switching up the normal “Shaky Ankles NBA Preview” style by leaning less on fortune telling and more towards things I’m expecting to excite/intrigue/depress me throughout the next eight months of watching basketball.
Over the past couple weeks I’ve subliminally let my thoughts on MVP and Rookie of the Year known, and since the other major awards that matter are boring and predictable (Defensive Player of the Year: Dwight Howard/Sixth Man of the Year: James Harden/Most Improved Player: Darko Milicic) I’ve decided to go a different route. Read more…
This is just gorgeous. Throughout his career LeBron James has routinely played the part of “man” while his opponents were cast as “boys” and this move is a fantastic example why. I mean, isn’t Trevor Ariza supposed to be an above average defender? LeBron is literally toying with him here. For the few dozen people who still don’t believe he’s the greatest player in the world, please have a look.
This travesty of a crossover dribble really doesn’t need any further description. Somewhere, an angel is crying. NSFW.
Editor’s Note: This article is Spencer Lund’s first for Shaky Ankles.
There’s a famous sociological investigation called the marshmallow test. It’s a pretty straightforward experiment: A marshmallow is placed in front of the subject with the warning that they’re not to eat the marshmallow for 15 minutes if they want to receive a second marshmallow. The subjects during psychologist Walter Mischel’s original test at Stanford University’s Bing Nursery in 1972 were children aged four to six.
They were given a choice between a marshmallow, an oreo cookie or a pretzel stick—depending on their own preferences (not all kids love marshmallows). It’s a basic test of deferred gratification. If the hyper-kinetic, Twitter-infused, contemporary NBA fan were to take the test, they would probably gobble the marshmallow within a couple minutes. If Bulls and Timberwolves fans want a second marshmallow, they’re going to have to wait and remain patient with their franchise point guards, both of whom are recovering from knee injuries as the NBA’s preseason ends, and the regular season is set to begin.
Editor’s Note: This article is Jun Pang’s first for Shaky Ankles.
This summer held the most exciting NBA offseason since 2010, and one of the biggest changes took place in Brooklyn, where the Nets arrived with a completely revamped roster. Gone is 73% of the 22-44 2011-12 New Jersey Nets, with only Deron Williams, Keith Bogans, Brook Lopez, Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks, and Kris Humphries remaining. New additions include Joe Johnson, Reggie Evans, and Andray Blatche.
The Nets have a lot of new strengths and weaknesses, and coach Avery Johnson seems like he’ll finally have some talent that can work the system he wants to install. The Nets are as enigmatic as any team in the league, with a ceiling that could reach the Eastern Conference Finals and a basement that ends with a first-round exit. They should definitely be on your “teams to watch” list next year. Read more…
Last night’s preseason game between the Clippers and Jazz was not only played at a regular season level of intensity, but it also featured more than a few moves that deserve to take place in games that actually matter. Even on a night when Jeremy Evans Felix Baumgartner’d Ronnie Turiaf, this ridiculous hesitation spin by Chris Paul was my personal favorite. If you can, I suggest re-watching the game purely to take note of the seeds of beef that were planted between Paul Millsap and Blake Griffin. Pretty sure those two aren’t friends on Facebook.