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Posts Tagged ‘Dwyane Wade’

Essay: Can This Be The Best Finals Ever?

June 9, 2011 1 comment

Each year in the NBA, roughly 2,542* basketball games are played before the Finals arrive. For the most part these games are forgotten—not too many people are able to recount where they were in 2004 when Utah defeated Los Angeles 115-107, snapping their nine game losing streak. The fabric of each season consists of such inconsequential hardwood squabbles, but much like a 128 minute movie that’s more remembered for its special ending, the mental imprint that’s carved in our heads for each season is defined by whatever occurs in the final series. Read more…

Shook Ankles: Dark Days Are Coming

Wellp, this is what we all feared: Miami’s grand scheme looks to be aligning just as it was dreamt up between Beijing two-a-days.  The Heat are looking dynamic, cohesive, and machine-like in executing their transition game off of turnovers. LeBron’s quietly dominating the postseason and is joined by at least two other teammates in each game. The most notable comrade, of course, is Mr. Wade.  Holding an obvious bias towards the Boston Celtics, these two moves felt like vomit inducing knees to the sternum, a la Gary Busey. The first on Kevin Garnett was a perfectly executed Euro/Manu/Rondo/Durant step (but hardly worthy of an obliged touch foul), and the second on Ray was a solid cross, but not so sure it was the only culprit in his slippage—there was a wet spot, even Kenny Smith agrees! The winner of this matchup will take it all. You heard it here first, or maybe for the four dozenth time.

Twitter: @ShakyAnkles

Essay: Playoff Unit Analysis

April 26, 2011 Leave a comment

(Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

From studying the postseason’s top units by way of the incredibly insightful site Basketballvalue.com, here are a few thoughts I’ve put together. Some of these are more or less obvious, while others may make you check the site for yourself. Enjoy. Read more…

Shook Ankles: When A Buckeye Challenges A Golden Eagle, Everyone Wins!

April 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Here are two impressive crossover clips. One from much earlier in the year and the other taking place just last night. There’s really no question which is more impressive (Wade on Turner), came in a bigger spot (Wade on Turner), or had a larger audience to stand and applaud (Wade on Turner), but this is to be expected. Props to the rookie for standing in there and taking his proverbial hazing. Something tells me we haven’t seen the last of this battle.

Twitter: @ShakyAnkles

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Shook Ankles: Dwyane Wade Tells Anthony Parker To Please Step Away From The Vehicle

April 14, 2011 1 comment

From the pre-MoHeatos, Heatles days—when Dwyane Wade had his own team, organization, and county all to himself—here’s good old Flash making Shelden Williams’ brother-in-law take a spill. This move oozes confidence; it’s almost like Parker was riding the Universal Studios “Dwyane Wade” roller coaster but after a few seconds he couldn’t take the heat and tumbled from his seat (no pun intended).

Shook Ankles: Ben Gordon Takes Dwyane Wade Down

Here’s a ridiculously quick behind the back shimmy from Ben Gordon to Dwyane Wade. Everyone was a fan of this except Wade.

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Essay: The NBA All-Star Game Re-Cap of Re-Caps

February 21, 2011 Leave a comment

About 20 minutes before the opening tip to last night’s All-Star game, the beautiful Maria Menounos held an interview wth Diddy on TNT’s Magenta Carpet. After a few moments of captivating conversation involving which team Diddy roots for—he was born and raised in New York City, but owns “houses” in L.A., so his heart’s all torn up—the rapper/actor/producer/printer-of-money made a public gaffe by saying he wished Blake Griffin was playing in the night’s game. Griffin, of course, was selected weeks ago as a reserve and ended up scoring eight points in 15 crowd pleasing minutes. The fact that Diddy, who was either sitting courtside or damn near it on Saturday night, didn’t know Blake Griffin, the talk of the weekend, was playing in the actual All-Star game reaffirmed how little of an attraction it is compared to the entire “weekend” as an entity.  Last night’s exhibition wasn’t the best All-Star game of all time and it wasn’t the worst, but once again it sat in the background.

What ended up elevating the night was the duel-until-their-holsters-were-empty performances by Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, the two best players in the world. As the typical All-Star game goes in the first few quarter, both teams were crazy focused on putting on a show and entertaining what turned out to be a whole bunch of people. By the end, when LeBron got angry and discovered despite the fact it was an All-Star game he was still a man among boys, things got a little more competitive, but it wasn’t a memorable back and forth battle. Kevin Durant made sure of that.

Apart from Chris Bosh’s put back, Kobe’s baseline 180, LeBron’s vicious end to end tomahawk, Blake Griffin’s sidespin give and go alley-oop with Deron Williams, and Kobe, once again, sneaking a two handed stuff by LeBron, the game’s dunks weren’t anything special. Some players kept deferring while others couldn’t wait to shoot. But nobody in the latter category could dare hold a flame to Mr. Bryant, who while crowded by four (FOUR) Eastern All-Stars on one possession still managed to get a shot up*. (He drew a foul). It seemed like a majority of guys needed at least a quarter of play under their belts to find their rhythm and feel comfortable. Some guys settled down to open up their bag of tricks—Ray Allen air balled a three-pointer for the first time in 17 years, but followed it up with this ridiculous move later on—while others just couldn’t get it together. Namely Dwight Howard, who looked disinterested; Carmelo Anthony, who looked tired; Rajon Rondo, who played like someone was chasing him (not a compliment); Al Horford, who looked overmatched; and Dwyane Wade, who posted a plus/minus of -15, badly rolled his ankle, and was drunk.

MVP Observation:

If the game hadn’t been played in Los Angeles, no voters had access to a box score, and Kevin Durant twisted his ankle midway through the fourth quarter, a serious dark horse for MVP would have been Chris Paul. With his name’s sudden disappearance from “league’s best point guard” discussion, nobody came into the game with more of a chip on their shoulder than him, and it certainly showed. Paul dictated the All-Star game’s pace and tempo in a retro dominant way, much like Jason Kidd used to do. He broke down Rondo and Rose on several occasions—blowing by the two young guns like it was nothing—stole the ball five times, and hit shots when he was open. With his performance, Chris Paul reminded everyone who the league’s best point guard truly is, and when you factor in what he’s working with (rookie head coach, uncertain future, slew of below average teammates besides David West) all with two unhealthy ankles? It’s astonishing his name doesn’t come up in league-wide MVP debates more often.

Random But Interesting Facts:

Rondo had the second most assists in the game (eight), which is shocking when you consider how poorly he played.

Kevin Garnett was the only player to log less than 10 minutes of action. Probably a coincidence.

Amare Stoudemire grabbed three defensive rebounds in 28 minutes of play. In 11 minutes, Kevin Love had four.

The Western Conference sported three 7-footers: Dirk, Duncan, and Gasol. None of them technically centers.

In almost 11 less minutes of action, Deron Williams had the same amount of assists (seven) as Chris Paul.

The game’s only lead change came on a Carmelo Anthony lay-up just three minutes into the first quarter.

Under The Cover Observations:

LaMarcus Aldridge might be a better overall basketball player than Kevin Love right now, but he can’t change the game’s momentum with the flick of his wrists. Not knocking Aldridge, because only one player can do this, but Kevin Love’s ability to throw a Tom Brady outlet pass should make him a prerequisite lock for the next six All-Star games. Let’s briefly walk through his end of the first half bomb to Chris Paul, aka the game’s most overlooked stroke of genius.  With 1.4 seconds left on the clock and Love set to inbound from the baseline, he two hand overhead lobbed a beautifully placed ball into the hands of a running Chris Paul right at the opposite free throw line. The pass is an incredible one not because of its silly distance or pin point accuracy, but when it happened; its context. I know it’s an All-Star game and nobody plays defense in All-Star games, but to throw a pass over Rajon Rondo, one of the game’s best ball hawks, when he should be expecting the long outlet, is very, very impressive. Love had three or four passes like this in the game, but none more impressive than the buzzer beater to end the first half. 

Slightly less impessive was LeBron’s decision to have Chris Bosh turn the game’s most important three ball into a misguided scud missile, passing up a wide open shot for himself in the process.

The Halftime Show:

Nothing much to say about the Halftime Show, except it was 6785142 times better than the Super Bowl’s and made every man who chose to watch it with his wife/girlfriend feel incredibly uncomfortable. The NBA would be foolish not to include an annual Rihanna performance into the “Guaranteed Invitation For Kevin Love’s Outlet Pass” contract.

This also dropped over the weekend…

*This quote from Stoudemire, capturing the Black Mamba in a nutshell: “You could tell he started out from the start, he wanted to get the MVP…He was not passing the ball, at all. But that’s Kobe.”

Shook Ankles: Ronnie Price=Bizarro Superman

February 10, 2011 Leave a comment

The best part about this video is the context.  With his team up by two on the game’s final play, Ronnie Price (I believe that’s his grainy body flying towards the baseline) has one job, albeit a very difficult one: Stay in front of Dwyane Wade for about four seconds. Instead, with the clock winding down he soars in the opposite direction, sliding from the free throw line to under the basket faster than a speeding bullet. The cross is nice, don’t get me wrong, but the defender’s reaction is what makes this move worth watching over and over and over. It has Jason Kidd looking like a stone wall.

Shook Ankles: Never Again

January 25, 2011 Leave a comment

 

This might be the only instance in league history where a Boston Celtic gets crossed up.  It comes straight from a super secret NBA vault, overflowing with embarrassing Ricky Davis clips.

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