Posts Tagged ‘Chris Paul’

After the Gold: First-class comments from Team USA

August 24, 2008

Straight from the horses’ mouths …

Post-game comments from members of Team USA

Click the link ^ … and read each one.

What it means to be a TEAM.


Hoops 101

August 24, 2008

This corner hates to say, “You were told what was going to happen”, in advance, but …

* USA vs Spain for Olympic Gold
* Upside and Motor: Team USA Blogger Roundtable

The USA will NEED to send its VERY best players in order to win Gold Medals in Olympic Games’ men’s basketball.

If not … the rest of the the world is quickly becoming good ‘enough’ to capture Gold or Silver should the USA slip up.

Top flight basketball … like soccer/football … is now truly an international game … with good players and coaches scattered everywhere around the globe. -)

Kudos to …

* Ricky Rubio, Rudy Fernandez, Mark Gasol, Pau Gasol, Juan Carlos Navarro, Carlos Jimenez, Felipe Reyes, Jorge Garbajosa, Berni Rodrigues, Raul Lopez, Alex Mumbru, Jose Calderon (injured), their coaches & support staff

* Kobe Bryant, Leron James, Dwyane Wade, Deron Williams, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Jason Kidd, Tayshaun Prince, Carlos Boozer, Michael Redd, their coaches and support staff …

Box Score & Game Summary

for giving such a good account of yourselves.

That, right there … ^^^ … my friends … was first-class basketball.

Chris Bosh should be starting for Team USA

August 15, 2008

This is the answer which was given in this space [August 4, 2008]  to the following question:


5. Carlos Boozer and Chris Bosh will be fighting for the back-up Center minutes; who should win the job?

This is a silly question.

If Team USA wanted to dominate the international competition this year … the most potent line-up it could put on the floor would see Carlos Boozer at the 4/Power Forward AND Chris Bosh at the 5/Center positions, not ‘fighting for the back-up Center minutes.

For further explanation, see the link provided in the answer to Question #3. -)


that was asked by the good folks at Upside and Motor, in their Team USA Blogger Roundtable [to which this corner had not received an invite 🙂 ].

10 days later …

Raptors’ Chris Bosh emerging as a leader for the U.S. team: Draws rave reviews from coach, teammates with strong showing on defense

and it is somewhat gratifying to see that one or two others in the basketball community [at-large] have at last begun to ‘see’ what this corner has known about this young man [Chris Bosh], as a Center in the NBA, for a VERY LONG TIME …

De-constructing the mystery that is Chris Bosh [April 21, 2008]

It never ceases to amaze what some so-called ‘NBA experts’ think they understand about the game.

Hornets say good riddance to Pargo

August 15, 2008

The exodus of borderline, 2nd tier NBA players continues … Pargo to play in Russia.

Unlike some in the blogosphere, who may have seen Jannero as a valuable 6th Man for last year’s upstart Hornets … e.g. Terrible News: Pargo Goes To Russia … this corner has a very different perspective on the two moves that Jeff Bower (GM) has made, thus far, this off-season: (i) Signing James Posey; and, (ii) Not re-signing Mr. Pargo.

With all due respect.

Jannero Pargo stinks, as a legit PG in NBA.

The Hornets are soooo much better off without him as their 6th man, it’s not funny.

James Posey [G-F] is a much more versatile/valuable basketball player … and the Hornets will be able to, either: (a) Go out and sign a far superior back-up to Chris Paul, at a more cost-friendly amount than what Pargo got to go to Europe … e.g. (ironically, former Hornet) Devin Brown comes to mind right away; or, (b) Use Mike James as their back-up PG.

Either case is a significant upgrade for the New Orleans Hornets.

Hopefully Mr. Pargo has a great time and enhances his basketball career in Russia … but, he will not be missed by his former team.

El Matador es el numero ocho

August 15, 2008

[as a follow-up to last week’s entry … Ranking Jose Calderon as a PG]

Given the list of players who customarily play the Point Guard position for their respective teams in the NBA, this is how they now rank, in the eyes of this corner:

[previous ranking]

1. Deron Williams [5] … the best combination of PG skills today
2. Chauncey Billups [1] … when healthy, still formidable
3. Chris Paul [7] … only drawback is his lack of size
4. Tony Parker [4] … still plagued by periods of erratic decision-making
5. Steve Nash [3] … inconsistent D & now age beginning to take their toll
6. Jason Kidd [2] … major slippage noticed this past season; REBOUNDING king
7. Baron Davis [6] … multi-dimensional but where will playoff success come from?
8. Jose Calderon [8] … physically sound, steadily improving & just entering the prime of his career

That said … if there was one game to be played next season with the outcome to determine the fate of the hypothetical team GM’d by khandor’s sports blog, in the NBA … Brandon Roy would have the ball in his hands with the shot clock ticking down, on behalf of that team.

NOTE: Thanks to those who submitted comments and voted during the past week; unfortunately, not enough in total to serve as a valid ‘informal’ poll.

Ranking Jose Calderon as a Point Guard

August 7, 2008

Saw this quote two days ago in a solid Olympic Scouting Report [courtesy of Xavier, a European coach, at Forum Blue and Gold]:

Jose Calderon would be a starter in 25 of the 30 NBA teams … “

and, as you might expect by now, it started the wheels a-turning.


Where exactly does El Matador [Jose Calderon] stack up in today’s NBA, versus the likes of:

[in alphabetical order]

Alston, Rafer; Arenas, Gilbert; Barbosa, Leandro; Bibby, Mike; Billups, Chauncey; Blake, Steve; Calderon, Jose; Conley, Mike Jr.; Davis, Baron; Duhon, Chris; Ellis, Monta; Felton, Raymond; Fisher, Derek; Ford, TJ; Foye, Randy; Gibson, Daniel; Gordon, Ben; Harris, Devan; Hinrich, Kirk; Iverson, Allen; Jack, Jarrett; Kidd, Jason; Livingston, Shaun; Lowry, Nick; Marbury, Stephon; Miller, Andre; Nash, Steve; Nelson, Jameer; Parker, Tony; Paul, Chris; Ridnour, Luke; Rondo, Rajon; Roy, Brandon; Telfair, Sebastien; Terry, Jason; Tinsley, Jamaal; Udrih, Beno; Watson, Earl; West, Delonte; Williams, Marcus; Williams, Deron; Williams, Jason; Williams, Mo

Do you think Calderon would be considered as The Starter for as many as 25 of the NBA’s 30 teams?

Where do you rank him, as a Point Guard, heading into the 2008-2009 season? [i.e. as No. ?]

In your personal rankings, is Calderon in your:

i) #1-5
ii) #6-10
iii) #11-15
iv) #16 plus


Once again, all are welcome to participate.

Note 1:
Final Results will be published Thu, August 14, 2008.
Note 2 : As a precursor … this ranking was published here Dec 19, 2007; followed by this one [Jan 30, 2008].

Upside and Motor: Team USA Blogger Roundtable

August 4, 2008

Courtesy of Hardwood Paroxysm’s, Olympic Basketball Gets Feisty:

Team USA Blogger Roundtable!


Here’s the take from this corner …

The REAL answers to the 8 questions asked. 🙂

1. Which single player is the most pivotal to the team’s success?

Kobe Bean Bryant. If you take the 2002, 2004 and 2006 Team USA’s that came up empty and add Jason Kidd to each of those squads, Does that team win the Gold Medal? Maybe; maybe not. BUT, go ahead and add Kobe Bryant to each of those teams, instead, and what’s the correct answer? A RESOUNDING “Yes, they do!”

Kobe Bryant’s all-around game … beginning with his COMMITMENT TO WINNING, then his individual ability to DEFEND his assigned check (positions #1-3) AND his ability to REBOUND his position AND his ability/willingness to SHARE THE BALL with his teammates on Offense AND his ability to SHOOT THE BALL FROM THE PERIMETER … would have made each of those 3 previous teams champions in their own right.

I am NOT an unadulterated (pardon the pun) Kobe admirer but … the facts ARE the facts … tha Man is (very simply) the best (individual) basketball player in the world today. PERIOD.

With Kobe Bryant defending the best Guard or Forward scorer on the other team … Team USA’s opponent (whoever it is) will simply NOT be able to score enough points to beat this American team this go around.

2. Is starting Jason Kidd over Chris Paul (or Deron Williams a mistake? Why or why not?

Starting Jason Kidd is the CORRECT decision for this version of Team USA.

Jason Kidd, at the PG-spot, has NEVER lost a game in international competition … and, NEVER is a long time.

J-Kidd is unselfish, to a fault … gets his teammates involved and is big enough to Check (and Rebound against) any Point Guard, Off Guard or Small Forward he might need to, in order to allow Kobe Bryant to defend whatever player he NEEDS to Defend (and Rebound against) so that Team USA established the CORRECT TONE, from a Defensive & Rebounding standpoint, at the outset of the game.

On the court, Jason Kidd is THE Leader of this Team. Period.

3. The lack of Centers on Team USA’s roster is well chronicled. But aside from that, what is this team’s biggest weakness?

Mike Krzyzewski.

For further explanation, see the following link:

Nuff said.

4. If you had to pick one team to upset the United States and win the Gold Medal, what team would it be? Why?

There is NO TEAM, this year, which will defeat Team USA … as outlined in the answer to Question #1.

Several teams could come close … e.g. Spain, Greece and Argentina … but there’s a HUGE difference between ‘coming close’ and ‘winning’.

Isn’t there?

5. Carlos Boozer and Chris Bosh will be fighting for the back-up Center minutes; who should win the job?

This is a silly question.

If Team USA wanted to dominate the international competition this year … the most potent line-up it could put on the floor would see Carlos Boozer at the 4/Power Forward AND Chris Bosh at the 5/Center positions, not ‘fighting for the back-up Center minutes.

For further explanation, see the link provided in the answer to Question #3. 🙂

6. Which is more likely to be the achilles’ heel of the American defense: perimeter shooting, high post play, or the pick & roll?

Between these three options (exclusively), it’s (deadly) Perimeter Shooting … originating from the Pick & Roll play, principally involving offensive players (in a 2-Man Game) that are not being checked by Kobe Bryant, while the player who Kobe Bryant is checking is being isolated in an offensive Corner position, either strong or weak side, depending on the specific set play which is being run … at least, that is, IF the international coaches have any clue at all about how to stay close AND maybe steal a win from this version of Team USA.

All teams, everywhere, are vulnerable to deadly Perimeter Shooting … at least, for specific stretches of a game.

7. Which of Team USA’s “big three” of Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, or Lebron James will cause the most trouble for opposing defenses?

Kobe Bryant “will cause the most trouble for opposing defenses” … because when HE INITIATES a defensive sequence which results in a Team USA STOP the defense of their opponent has almost NO CHANCE to recover in transition to prevent Team USA from scoring easily in Offensive Transition Mode.

This is Team USA’s single most effective (efficient?) Offensive Scoring play. PERIOD.

8. W’ell do this last question Tiger Woods style: Who are you taking for the Olympics? Team USA or the Field?

Team USA will NOT lose a game this go round.

For further explanation see the answer to Question #1. 🙂


Enjoy, one and all!!!

What Game 7’s are made of

May 19, 2008

10 reasons
San Antonio is going to win tonight’s Game 7


10. The Tony Parker vs Chris Paul match-up will be played to a draw.

9. The Bruce Bowen vs Peja Stojakovic match-up will be won by the ‘Karate Kid’.

8. Joey Crawford is not on tonight’s officiating crew.

7. Michael Finley and Brent Barry are accustomed to making big shots in big games.

6. Tim Duncan has yet to play a good “away game”. Tonight, he’s due.

5. Three PFs (Thomas-K, Oberto-F & Horry-R) are better than one (West-D).

4. Ime Udoka is not going to waste valuable possessions by taking ill-advised shots.

3. When the Hornets “go small” the Spurs will counter, “going BIG” at the guard spots.

2. The Spurs are mentally tougher than this inexperienced Hornets team.



10 reasons New Orleans is going to win tonight’s Game 7


10. Chris Paul is a better PG than Tony Parker. This is his time to shine.

9. The 5/1 Wing Pick & Roll, with 2 (Peja) back-screening for Chandler, is a tough check for Bowen.

8. Joey Crawford is on tonight’s officiating crew.

7. One of Jannero Pargo, Bonzi Wells or MoPete is due for a BIG scoring night.

6. Tyson Chandler is the best 1-on-1 defensive match-up vs Tim Duncan, in the NBA.

5. 1 star PF (West-D) is better than 3 also-rans (Thomas-K, Oberto-F & Horry-R).

4. There’s no way Ime Udoka can duplicate his Game 6 performance for the Spurs.

3. The Hornets superior athleticism will generate key Stls, Blks, TO’s & Off-Rebs.

2. The Hornets are on post-Katrina mission, as the NBA’s feel-good story this year.

1. The Spurs are a dirty team whose ‘bad Karma’ will finally catch up with them!


Go ahead and take your pick.


Either way, it SHOULD be a terrific ballgame!

LA vs Utah, 2-2

May 12, 2008

Those who anticipated the Lakers sleep-walking through a relatively easy Western Conference Semi-finals series with the Jazz … do not have enough respect for Utah’s outstanding young Point Guard, Deron Williams (6-3, 205) … amid the clamour which has built recently for the Hornets’ Chris Paul (PG, 6-0, 175), as a legitimate MVP candidate this season.

When you look closely at the manner in which this young man plays the Point Guard position, the effect of his performance on his team, in all three phases of the game (i.e. Offense, Defense & Rebounding) … an astute NBA observer SHOULD rightfully place Deron Williams’ name at the head of any list which purports to discuss the very best Point Guards operating in the League today, not to mention down-the-road, as one of the top 3rd-year players in the game.

As was mentioned in the Series Preview, last week, if the Lakers eventually prevail, in all likelihood, it will be in 7 hard fought games … as the Jazz, led by their multi-dimensional PG are, in fact, plenty good enough to win this conference semi-finals match-up outright.

Time for the Lakers to hold serve, returning to LA for Game 5.

San Antonio vs New Orleans, 2-2

May 12, 2008

This is what was written, last Tuesday, in this space, re: the Spurs vs Hornets, Western Conference Semi-finals match-up, after New Orleans went up 2-0 in their series.

The answer for the Spurs
Unless Gregg Popovich & Co. finally figures out that the Bruce Bowen vs Chris Paul match-up is NOT the way San Antonio SHOULD be playing this series … and creates the Tony Parker vs Chris Paul match-up, instead … the Spurs are going to be in serious of jeopardy of not getting past the Hornets in the 2nd round of the playoffs.

6 days later, the series is now tied at 2 games apiece, after Gregg Popovich came to his senses and elected to go head-to-head with the Tony Parker vs Chris Paul match-up, from a defensive perspective.

(I) As was mentioned last week, straight-up, Parker is not going to be able to prevent CP3 from putting up big numbers, individually, on the offensive end of the floor, but … whether or not this happens … this alone is not what will decide the eventual winner of this series.

Tim Duncan has recovered nicely from his bout with a fever … which (made him look old & tired and) dramatically effected his performance during Games 1 & 2, head-to-head vs Tyson Chandler … and the other 3 individual player match-ups … i.e. at the 2, 3 & 4 positions, regardless who is in the starting line-up for the Spurs … are now tilted toward the reigning champions.

(II) As was also mentioned last week, contrary to popular belief, as this series lengthens, it will increasingly favour the more veteran team, in this specific playoff match-up, as the Hornets will be swimming in uncharted waters for the first time, as a group, in the latter stages of an advanced playoff series against a very tough team.

It takes 4 W’s to win a Conference Semi-finals series and this specific collection of Spurs is particularly well-suited to wearing down (i.e. physically & emotionally) an inexperienced crew, like these Hornets … who are so heavily dependent on a young (and under-sized) Point Guard (CP3, who does not include among his many outstanding attributes the ability to single-handedly change the ‘Rebounding Differential Numbers’ for each team in this series, which is now beginning to exact a heavy toll on New Orleans … i.e. Game 3 – San Antonio/Rebs, +9) and his under-sized running mate (David West).

The Spurs were able to separate for good from the Hornets, in Game 3, when Byron Scott made the decision to go with a ‘small line-up’ at the 9:39 mark of the 2nd Quarter, San Antonio 30, New Orleans 24.

Replacing Tyson Chandler (C) with Peja Stojakovic (F) and leaving David West (PF) as the biggest Hornet on the floor – alongside Julian Wright (F), Bonzi Wells (G/F) and Jannero Pargo (PG) – resulted in New Orleans only scoring on 1 of their next 5 possessions; while San Antonio – with a line-up of Parker, Ginobili, Udoka, Finley & Oberto – converted on 4 of their next 5 possessions, to bump up their lead to 13 points … after which they were never headed again by the Hornets.

As the series shifts back to New Orleans, for Game 5, the Hornets will need to find answers to (i) the Parker vs Paul match-up and (ii) the ineffectiveness of their ‘small line-up’ … or this series will indeed be ending in 6 games, in favour of the Spurs.

The next move … if it’s coming at all … will be up to Byron Scott.