Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Garnett’

Where the Tonight Show meets multiple sets of Big Threes

December 18, 2008

Let’s play a quick game of Classic Concentration.

What do you end up with when add together …

The Tohight Show

Karnac the Magnificent

                                                           +
Steve, Chevy & Martin

Steve, Chevy & Martin

                                                           +
Where Amazing Happens

Where Amazing Happens

                                                          =
                                                         ???
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Hilarity & Hoops all wrapped up into one. 🙂

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Courtesy of BDL

One-on-One: Ernie johnson talks TV, being press secretary

Ernie Johnson is hilarious. It may not come across that way all the time on “Inside the NBA,” but when you sit down and talk to him, it’s easy to see why he has become one of the most popular broadcasters on television. Johnson has a wicked sense of humor and doesn’t take himself too seriously, which are both reasons why the show continues to have success.

This is the final Q and A in a series of interviews I conducted with the show’s personalities (Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith) during my behind the scenes look at the “Inside” set in Atlanta.

Ball Don’t Lie: TNT says that basketball’s biggest night is on Thursday. How can basketball’s biggest night only have two games?

Ernie Johnson: Well, sometimes it’s three. (Laughs) Because it’s exclusive, that’s why it’s the biggest. It may appear to be a misnomer … but no, it’s basketball’s biggest night because it’s the only night that has Charles and Kenny.

BDL: Do you think there is any part of “Inside the NBA” that could be better?

EJ: (Pauses) So, you’re asking what would I change about the show?

BDL: Yeah.

EJ: Nothing. I really wouldn’t. I’m older than these other guys, so I grew up watching Carson, they’re totally different shows, but one of the great things I liked about Johnny Carson when I was growing up was the fact that while he was funny, he was really great when some of his stuff wasn’t funny, or the jokes didn’t go over, and he played it off so well, he wasn’t afraid to [say], “We’ll take a shot at this and see what happens.”

And I think that’s kind of [the same attitude] with Tim Kiely the [Inside] producer and all of us. It’s like, “Yeah, we’ll try something.” And if it’s not funny, fine, but we’re not just gonna sit there and do a cookie-cutter show, that you know what’s coming if you watch it once, you say, “I know what’s gonna happen next Thursday, this is the way they do things.” You never know …

BDL: You never know what’s going to happen around here.

EJ: No, and that’s the beauty of the show. A lot of times even when something doesn’t work it’s like, “That was bad, that didn’t work at all,” but it was funny because we didn’t play it off seriously like, “Oh, well that wasn’t funny, we’re sorry. Is it funny that we weren’t funny … yeah. Not everything has to be hit out of the park; it’s just great sometimes the guys react.

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Bar none … this corner’s favourite show on television today:

Ernie, Kenny & Charles

Ernie, Kenny & Charles

by a country mile.

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“What he really meant … “ 🙂

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For Everything Else there’s Mastercard!

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Respect for tellers of truths

December 8, 2008

This corner of the net has a great deal of R.E.S.P.E.C.T. for Jeff Van Gundy, as a person, a basketball coach and a NBA analyst.

“Hey, listen … that’s truth telling, right there … whether you like to hear the message or not. If Doc Rivers is always the one having to tell the truth, you will not be a championship team. Kevin Garnett risked being a truth-teller … maybe, at the expense of a friendship, right away,  I respect that about Kevin Garnett. I respect it about Paul Pierce.”
Jeff Van Gundy

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Amen, bro. 🙂

Player Leadership defined, in the NBA

November 21, 2008

Filed precisely under the category of … Not [really, truly] knowing what you’ve got [exactly] until it’s gone

A tremendous piece by Steve Aschburner, On the Man, the Mission, and the Meaning, of KG.

Garnett gone from the Wolves without a trace

[Randy] Foye, in overlapping with [Kevin] Garnett for one season here, says he learned plenty from the veteran. It goes beyond the seating protocol on the team’s charters that he mentions at first, or a pecking order of who eats first or last on those flights. It’s the sort of stuff that, if Foye preserves it and pays it forward, truly can be a Garnett legacy within the Wolves. Right now, though, the guard from Villanova mostly pines for it.my rookie year,” said Foye, who has sputtered in the season-plus since. “No matter what happened, if I made a mistake, I’d look at him and he’d go [Foye balls up a fist and pumps it], like ‘It’s all right. Keep your head up.’

“One thing I miss about him is, he just let me go. That’s why I was so successful

“It makes you feel better. It’d be like that for anyone in their work, if there was a legend who pumped you up. For a young player, that just boosted my confidence. Sometimes, in my rookie year, I felt like an All-Star out there because he let me do what I wanted and when I got it going, he let me go.”

In games, Foye said, it was like having your big brother there to hold your coat in a schoolyard fight. “There was a swagger,” he said. “KG would come out and hit a shot, and it was like, ‘Everybody, we’re in this together. I’m patrolling it, but everybody who’s got a white jersey on, we’re in it together.’ ”

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From Farragut Academy, in Chicago …

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It is going to be a bitter-sweet moment this evening, for one and all, at the Target Center.

THE MAN has come back to his birthplace, in the NBA … this time, Fully Certified.

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Tough ‘talk’ … from a NBA coach’s perspective

November 14, 2008

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”Anonymous

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With the ‘taunting‘ that took place in the Raptors vs Celtics game, earlier this week, and the ‘skirmish‘ which then developed in the Rockets vs Suns ‘tussle’ … What qualifies as authentic Toughness, in the NBA today? … is a pertinent subject.

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Mitchell’s tough talk
“We want to be tougher from the standpoint of playing tougher defence, but I don’t get into that toughness thing,” Mitchell said. “The NBA has rules and no one is going to let you physically beat anyone up, and you can’t get into a guys face and trash talk or wave your finger in a guy’s face,” he added, clearly taking a shot at the crew that officiated the game in Boston on Monday and let Kevin Garnett do just that without being penalized.

“For me that stuff doesn’t mean anything,” Mitchell said. “For me toughness is executing. Going to set picks when you are supposed to set picks. Make hard cuts. Run the floor. Those types of things. Being mentally tough for me is when the game comes to a grind, being able to execute. That other stuff is more for the cameras. You really want to find out who is tough? Meet me behind the arena or in a back alley where it’s just you and I. Then you find out who is tough and who is fake tough because the camera is on.”

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Know that this space agrees 100% with the perspective of the Raptors’ head coach.

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Of particular interest, though, is the extent to which, the sentiments expressed by yours truly, sometimes, elsewhere in the blogosphere [in this case, yesterday] …

Sixers exact revenge as Wings waste Big 3 effort, Comment #119

… have a n almost magical way of preceding [by a day or two] echoing that which a real life NBA coach has to say on a specific matter.

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The good people at RaptorsRepublic.com are off to a fine start with their new venture.

This corner of the net would simply encourage all Raptors fans, everywhere around the globe and beyond, to drop by and participate freely in the lively exchange of thoughts and ideas which happens there daily, concerning the fortunes of this franchise.

Raptors’ CRUNCH TIME offense vs the Celtics [Nov 11]

November 12, 2008

Perusing the net today, it was interesting to see what others had to say about the Raptors’ choice of offensive options during the final 3 minutes of their terrific game versus the Celtics last night.

Feel free to drop a note into the ‘comments’ section of this entry, if you saw or read anything which covered this sort of material, elsewhere in the blogosphere during your travels today. 😉

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Coming the down the stretch [i.e. in the final 3:14 of the 4th Q] …

POSSESSION #1

O’Neal [TO] – Raps ran JK Down Screened for CB [R-Block]; CB Angle Pick for JC [R-Top Of The Key (TOTK)]; Garnett did not ’show’ & stayed with CB; Rondo went ‘over’ the Pick; JC turned the corner, drove for a layup; Pierce sagged off JK [R-Corner] to stop dribble penetration; JC kick to JK; Rondo rotated over from trailing JC to contest the open J3 by JK; JK shot fake, 1 dribble middle; Pierce recovered out; JK pass to JC [R-Short Corner]; Rondo & Perkins rotated to JC; JC middle pass to JO [in the lane]; Allen-R rotated in to check JO; Perkins recovered back to challenge JO’s shot attempt; JO should have shot the ball; JO passes back to JC, ball goes out of bounds; TO/O’Neal.

POSSESSION #2

O’Neal [Missed J2/BS] – Raps ran JK Down Screened for CB [R-Block]; CB Angle Pick for JC [R-TOTK]; Garnett ’showed’ vs JC; Rondo went ‘under’ the Pick; Rondo recovered out to JC; Garnett recovered back to CB; CB [TOTK] tried to back-cut vs Garnett, denied; JC passed to JK [R-Corner]; JO posted up [R-Block]; Perkins muscled JO off the block; JO forced out to 15 ft; JK post entry pass to JO; JK cleared through on the baseline; JO 1-V-1 on Perkins; Rondo sagged to the ballside elbow, into the lane, to deter JO from turning middle; JO should have passed out to JC [TOTK] for the open J3, the same one he hit late vs Milwaukee for the win; instead, JO turned to outside for his own turn-around jumpshot, which was blocked by Perkins; Loose ball recovered by Pierce.

POSSESSION #3

O’Neal [TO] – Sideline Out of Bounds. Raps inbound to JC [R-TOTK]; AP Down screened for CB [R-Block]; CB Angle Pick for JC; CB ’slips’ early to the TOTK; Garnett ’showed & recovered back to CB; Rondo went ‘over’; Pierce sagged off JK [L-FTL Extended (FTLX)] to deter the throwback pass to CB, while Garnett was still recovering; JC picked up his dribble, at the FTLX, in order to pass back to CB, who the play was originally called for; Garnett hard denied [full front] CB; JO posted up [off R-Elbow]; JC passed to JO; AP cleared out along the baseline; JO should have faced up and attacked Perkins off the bounce, 17 ft from the basket; JO passed out to JC; JO set Angle Pick for JC [R-TOTK]; Rondo got picked off by JO; JC turned the corner; Perkins ’switched’ to defend JC, and did so perfectly, without fouling, forcing JC to drive baseline under the basket; Allen-R sagged into the lane, then recovered out to defend AP; Pierce sunk into the lane, then recovered out to defend JK; Garnett had the discipline to never leave CB; Rondo had the discipline to never leave JO; JC read the play correctly and found JO with a high pass out, since he was covered by the smaller Rondo; JO caught the pass, then dribbled in the lane [which he should not have done; he should have gone straight-up for the shot attempt]; Rondo & Garnett attacked the dribble and stripped JO; TO/O’Neal.

POSSESSION #4

Calderon [Missed J2] – CB set Down Screen for JK [L-Elbow]; JK cleared out along the baseline; CB set Angle Pick for JC [L-Elbow]; Rondo was picked off; JC turned the corner; Perkins sagged off JO [R-Elbow] and rotated hard & fast to challenge JC; Garnett had the discipline to stay with CB and NOT help onto JC; JC made the correct read and took a pull-up Jumpshot, which was open; Perkins challenged the pull-up J; Missed J2/Calderon.

POSSESSION #5

Parker [Missed J3] – Sideline Out of Bounds. Inbound pass to AP [R-TOTK]. CB went to set a High Middle Pick for AP; AP rejected the Pick and, instead, attacked Pierce 1-V-1 off the bounce; AP took a J3; Pierce kept AP in front of him & contested the shot; Missed J3/Parker.

POSSESSION #6

Kapono [Missed J3] – JC [in transition] Dribble handoff Pick for JK [L-Corner]; Allen-R went ‘under’; JK [L-FTLX] took a J3, uncontested. Missed J3/Kapono.

POSSESSION #7

Parker [Made J3] – Baseline Out of Bounds. CB & JO set Elbow Screens for AP [L-Elbow]; AP curled around the 2 screens into the Right Corner; Perkins rotated to defend AP; JK cut to the Right FTLX; JO set a Down Screen for JC [inbounds passer]; AP passed out to KP; Allen-R jumped at JK to deter the open ‘catch & shoot’ J; JK shot faked and took 1 sribble to avoid Allen; Perkins & Pierce rotated to JK to prevent the open J; CB spaced out at the TOTK; JK passed to AP [R-Corner]; Perkins rotated out to contest the open J. AP took a J3. Made J3/Parker.

… in every instance Jose Calderon and Chris Bosh read the Celtics’ Defense correctly, and made the correct play, accordingly.

While it’s 100% accurate to say that Calderon missed 1 contested pull-up jumpshot … the other execution errors were made by Jermaine O’Neal [3], Anthony Parker [1] and Jason Kapono [1] …

and it is wholly inaccurate to suggest that what the Raptors did in this game was ‘freeze out’ their star player, i.e. Chris Bosh, coming the down stretch vs Kevin Garnett & Co.

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If you didn’t … know that:

1. Perhaps you got ripped off; and,
2. THE difference is in the details … when it comes to understanding fully,

How things work, possession by possession, in the NBA.’ 🙂

Where they’ll go from here

October 27, 2008

The NBA’s pre-season is now complete.

These are the final standings:

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2008-2009 Conference Preseason Standings
Eastern Conference
Eastern W L PCT GB CONF DIV HOME ROAD L 10 STREAK
Orlando 6 1 0.857 0.0 4-1 4-1 3-1 3-0 6-1 W 6
Boston 6 2 0.750 0.5 5-2 3-2 3-1 3-1 6-2 W 2
Detroit 6 2 0.750 0.5 5-1 3-0 3-2 3-0 6-2 L 1
Atlanta 5 3 0.625 1.5 4-1 3-1 1-2 4-1 5-3 W 1
Philadelphia 4 3 0.571 2.0 4-3 4-1 1-2 3-1 4-3 W 1
Chicago 4 4 0.500 2.5 1-1 1-1 2-3 2-1 4-4 W 3
Indiana 4 4 0.500 2.5 1-0 1-0 3-1 1-3 4-4 W 1
Toronto 4 4 0.500 2.5 1-1 1-1 2-3 2-1 4-4 L 2
New Jersey 3 4 0.429 3.0 2-4 1-4 1-3 2-1 3-4 W 1
New York 3 4 0.429 3.0 3-4 3-4 0-3 3-1 3-4 L 2
Cleveland 3 5 0.375 3.5 3-3 0-1 2-3 1-2 3-5 W 1
Miami 2 5 0.286 4.0 0-3 0-1 1-3 1-2 2-5 W 1
Washington 2 5 0.286 4.0 0-2 0-0 0-2 2-3 2-5 L 1
Milwaukee 1 7 0.125 5.5 0-3 0-3 1-3 0-4 1-7 L 3
Charlotte 0 8 0.000 6.5 0-4 0-4 0-2 0-6 0-8 L 8
Western Conference
Western W L PCT GB CONF DIV HOME ROAD L 10 STREAK
New Orleans 7 0 1.000 0.0 2-0 1-0 4-0 3-0 7-0 W 7
Denver 5 1 0.833 1.5 3-1 2-1 3-0 2-1 5-1 W 2
L.A. Lakers 6 2 0.750 1.5 2-2 1-1 6-2 0-0 6-2 W 6
Minnesota 6 2 0.750 1.5 2-1 2-1 3-1 3-1 6-2 W 1
Houston 5 2 0.714 2.0 5-0 3-0 3-1 2-1 5-2 W 3
Phoenix 5 2 0.714 2.0 3-0 1-0 2-1 3-1 5-2 W 3
Golden State 4 2 0.667 2.5 2-1 0-0 3-0 1-2 4-2 W 2
Portland 4 3 0.571 3.0 3-3 0-2 2-2 2-1 4-3 L 1
Utah 4 3 0.571 3.0 3-2 2-1 1-1 3-2 4-3 W 2
Dallas 4 4 0.500 3.5 1-0 0-0 2-2 2-2 4-4 L 2
L.A. Clippers 4 4 0.500 3.5 2-3 2-1 0-4 4-0 4-4 L 3
San Antonio 3 4 0.429 4.0 0-2 0-2 1-3 2-1 3-4 L 2
Memphis 2 6 0.250 5.5 0-2 0-2 2-2 0-4 2-6 L 4
Oklahoma City 1 6 0.143 6.0 0-5 0-1 0-1 1-5 1-6 L 3
Sacramento 1 7 0.125 6.5 1-7 0-2 1-3 0-4 1-7 L 6
 x-Clinched Playoff Berth | e-Clinched Eastern Conference | a-Clinched Atlantic Division | c-Clinched Central Division |
 se-Clinched Southeast Division | w-Clinched Western Conference | sw-Clinched Southwest Division |
 nw-Clinched Northwest Division | p-Clinched Pacific Division | o-Eliminated from Playoffs contention

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Fans should take a close look at where their favourite team is at today … and, then, compare this reality to the final regular season standings which they’ll see in April, 2009, as the little bolded letters get placed beside the playoff-bound teams’ names in the far-left column.

Time to Let the games begin, in earnest …

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Mano a Mano

Mano a Mano

Certified

Certified

Bad Boyz II

Bad Boyz II

Sunrise, Sunset

Sunrise, Sunset

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2nd Coming

because this is going to be a terrific year, in the NBA!

Taking on all comers

September 25, 2008

Reading this specific blog entry … precipitated the following thought:

If you could construct your ideal 12-man team of current NBA players, who would you select?

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Hmmmmmmm …

From that many possibilities, there would be some exceptionally difficult choices to make … and a lot of supremely talented and valuable players left out in the cold.

Regardless … according to these eyes,

these are the Dirtiest Dozen, in the NBA today:

[listed by position & role]

Starters
PG – Lebron James … far and away his best and most natural position
G/F – Dwyane Wade … the best, taking it to the rack, in the half-court
G/F – Kobe Bryant … Samarai Warrior
PF – Kevin Garnett … Rebounding & Energy are thy true names
C – Greg Oden [my, oh, my] … that’s right, before he’s played a game 

Key Bench Subs
PG – Deron Williams … well-balanced in every respect
G/F – Manu Ginobili … the best 6th Man in existence
PF/C – Tim Duncan … the best combo Big in existence

Reserves
PG – Steve Nash … still the best facilitaor in the business, bar none
G/F – Tracy McGrady … multi-purpose player
PF/C – Amare Stoudemire … multi-purpose player
PF/C – Rasheed Wallace … multi-purpose player

Coach – Philip Patrick Jackson Riley … ‘The Sacred Winner Hoops Within’

“Train them … Excite them … and, Turn them Loose … “

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There you go!

Now … Which 12 players would you choose for your team?

[PLEASE NOTE: Who you choose, in what positions & roles, and who you leave out, says a lot about your unique vision of the game.]

Boston Celtics, NBA Champions (2007-2008)

June 18, 2008

Basketball is a game played in three distinct phases:

* Offense
* Defense
* Rebounding

What it takes to win the NBA Championship [Dec 12, 2007]

Teams which combine these three phases of the game, in the most well-balanced way, succeed … on and off the court.

Quality Rating (QR) is a simple measure which combines the:

* Points Scored Differential Ranking (PSDR)
* Points Allowed Ranking (PAR)
* Rebounding Differential Ranking (RDR)

to produce a Quality Index Ranking for each of the 16 teams which eventually make the playoffs in the NBA.

Legitimate Contenders in the NBA, Part I [Dec 18, 2007]

Since the early part of the 2007-2008 regular season schedule, the Celtics established themselves as THE dominant team in the League; at one juncture, ranking #1 in all three measures (i.e. PSDR, PAR & RDR) and with a QR of 3 …

Legitimate Contenders in the NBA: Part V [Apr 18, 2008]

which, fundamentally, did not change throughout the balance of the season.

Most NBA observers fail to understand the value of Rebounding & Defense at the highest level of competition.

Most NBA observers fail to understand the value of Individual Match-ups & Mis-matches in determining Winners & Losers within a specific game.

Most NBA observers fail to understand the value of a Core Covenant built upon Rebounding, Defense, Individual Match-ups and the concepts of Shared (Unselfish) Offense, Teamwork and Ubuntu!

Red Auerbach understood these things.
Bill Russell understands these things.

So, now, does Danny Ainge …
and Doc Rivers,
and Thom Thibodeau, Armond Hill, Kevin Eastman & Clifford Ray,
and Bryan Doo, Walter Norton & Ed Lacerte,
and Paul Pierce, Ray Allen & Kevin Garnett,
and Kendrick Perkins & Rajon Rondo,
and James Posey, Eddie House & Scott Pollard,
and Tony Allen, Leon Powe & Brian Scalabrine,
and Glen Davis & Gabe Pruitt,
and PJ Brown & Sam Cassell.

As did Grady Rivers.

Kudos to the Men in Green … on a job supremely well done, from worst to first!

When things get bad … lean in

June 17, 2008

Doc Rivers’ Post-Game Presser following the Celtics stunning Game 4 comeback, on the road, encompasses everything these Boston Celtics stand for … and represents what they hope to achieve with a Game 6 victory this evening … i.e. the 17th World Championship in the history of their franchise.

What the 2007-2008 Boston Celtics Are All About

(watch the vid clip through to the end)

Enjoy this evening’s Game 6!

P.S. Sincere apologies to the regular readers for not being to keep up to-date with the goings-on in the world of sports since last week. Unfortunately, everybody has to go on the DL from time-to-time and these last few days have been my time there. Not to worry though, all should be back to normal soon.

NBA Finals – Game 4 Recap: Do you believe?

June 13, 2008

Game 4 Info – LAL 91, Bos 97

At the start of last night’s 4th quarter, ABC’s broadcast showed what Doc Rivers had said to his team at earlier points during the game:

Doc #1 (standing, to team in huddle): We got to compete if we want to win … we can’t pout and mope … we got to compete … alright, let’s go!

Doc #2 (sitting, to team while looking at Eddie House): Do you believe? Alright, let’s go.

Doc #3 (standing, to Kevin Garnett, as he subbed out): Never stop believing, baby.

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As the 2nd half developed and the Celtics gradually clawed their way back into the game, after being down by 21 points at the end of the 1st quarter (an historic deficit for a NBA Finals game) and 24 points during the 2nd frame … you just knew that you were witnessing an all-time classic which was destined to be talked about forever and a day by those who follow the NBA.

From the perspective of this corner … and, given what’s been written here since the Celtics/Lakers match-up was determined … there is only one word that NEEDS to be said, with Boston now leading 3-1.

Ubuntu!