Archive for the ‘NBA’ Category


High Octane Offense on Display When Knicks Host Thunder

kevin-durant-carmello-anthonyThe New York Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder are two of the hottest tickets in the NBA, so when they square off under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden Thursday night at 8:00 p.m., all eyes will be on the Big Apple.

The battle for the league scoring title will certainly be talked about, as Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant are tied atop the NBA with 28.6 points per game. While those numbers could change between now and Thursday, they’re still sure to be battling it out for the scoring crown.

The Knicks have been shaky of late, dropping six of their last 10, but still remain among the best of the NBA with a 35-21 record. A win over the Thunder would send a message that they’re not to be taken lightly as the playoffs near. New York faces the added challenge of being on the road Monday and Wednesday against the Cavaliers and Pistons.

The Thunder have won six of their last 10 and remain just three games back of the Spurs for the best record in the Western Conference, sitting at 43-16. For all of the talk the Heat have gotten this season, the Thunder matches the Heat with 43 wins, but Miami’s two ahead in the loss column. The Thunder meet the Lakers Tuesday night, then head up to New York.

Expect lots of points to be scored, as the Knicks and Thunder are two of the top scoring teams in the league. Oklahoma City averages 106.7 points per game, second best in the NBA. New York checks in at 100.1 points per game, 10th in the league.

While there will be plenty of talk about Anthony and Durant, both teams have great supporting casts. Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook is undoubtedly the third most dangerous player who will take the floor, scoring 23.4 points per game and dishing out 7.9 assists per contest.

The Knicks might have more depth, though, with five players averaging double figures: Anthony, J.R. Smith, Raymond Felton, Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler.

Don’t miss out on what could be one of the most exciting, high scoring games of the year. Get your tickets now.

NBA Conference Finals Couldn’t be More Exciting!

nba-conference-finals-excitingIt’s something that any fan could ever ask for. The NBA Conference Finals are on, and neither series is being completely dominated by any one team. Those who predicted the Heat would make it to the Finals are growing concerned as their series with the Heat is tied at 2-2. And most had the Spurs emerging as the clear winner in the West; but with their series against the Oklahoma City Thunder also tied at 2-2, it’s truly anyone’s guess — and that’s just the kind of basketball fans love best!

On Thursday the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the San Antonio Spurs 102-82 to take one in the Western Conference Finals and put themselves on the board after allowing the Spurs to defeat them in the first two games. They were able to carry that momentum over to Saturday with them, when the Thunder again defeated the Spurs, although this time with a narrower margin of 109-103.

On Saturday it was one of the Thunder’s big guns, Kevin Durant that stepped up with a total of 18 points — but 16 of them came in the fourth quarter when Durant seemed to single-handedly win his team the game. If the Thunder do come back from being down 2-0 and move on to the Finals, they’ll only be the 15th team in NBA history to do it. They’ll have a chance to increase their odds for the record tonight when they face the Spurs in Game 5.

The underdog isn’t dominating in the East either, but the Boston Celtics have clearly played better than anyone thought they would, even if that only means getting this far. After watching the first half of the game between the Heat and the Celtics on Saturday night, fans felt as though they were once again cheering for the team that once was, when the Celtics always seemed to be a frontrunner for any championship. They haven’t been that team in some time, even after making a brief comeback in 2008. But their performance on Sunday was reason enough to give fans hope — at least during the first half.

The Celtics came out narrowly winning the game on Sunday with a final score of 93-91 that was determined in overtime. But while they may have dominated in the first half, they fell apart in the second and watched their lead slowly get whittled away by the Heat. The Celtics also got a lucky break when Dwayne Wade fouled out in the second half — something he hasn’t done ever in his time as one of the Miami Heat, and something the Celtics shouldn’t count on happening again.

The Heat however, also made their fair share of mistakes and the fact that Wade also seemed unconcerned after the game saying, “Got the shot off I wanted and that is all you can ask for,” may also leave fans disconcerted. Is it really the shot you want when it doesn’t make the basket?

It definitely leaves things up in the air, as they are all over the place at this point in the playoffs. No matter what direction you look in these playoffs, there’s a great series happening. And that’s just the stuff that makes championships great to watch.

L.A. Kings are Going to the Finals!

The dream team. That is the only way to describe the Los Angeles Kings this playoff season. And for a team that just barely scraped their way into the playoffs, they’ve also proven that anything is possible if you just keep believing; and working really, really hard. They have broken records, they have amazed everyone at what they have done. But what stands out most, and what they’re most proud of, is that they’ve finally given their fans something to cheer about — and a lot of it!

After they took the Phoenix Coyotes out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 4-3 win on Tuesday night in just five games, they came home to a crowd eagerly waiting for them. A crowd of 4,000 people gathered at LAX to wait for their players to emerge from the gates and give them the heroes’ welcome the club has waited so long for. And after losing out in the first round last year, both the team and the fans are just taking it all in, for the moment.

“It was like driving down a hallway lined with human flesh,” said Dustin Penner, who scored that most important game-winning goal in Game 5. “You couldn’t’ see anything except people. It’s not something that anyone will forget ever on this Kings team. It’s something you can only experience when you get to the Cup finals.”

So what will they do in the Finals? They’ll either be facing the New Jersey Devils or the New York Rangers, who are 3-2, respectively, in their series right now. But the Kings have only lost two games this entire playoff season. And they’re the only team ever in NHL history to go to the Finals being undefeated on the road.

There’s little doubt that whoever they face in the Finals, their competition has a tough road ahead of them. The Kings are one team that has everything going for them, and the only truly fitting word for them seems to be ‘unstoppable.’

Lakers Win Game of Weirdness

lakers-win-gameIn the game between the L.A. Lakers and the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night, there was a lot of weirdness to go around. The first weird factor may have been the fact that the Lakers were down by six points at halftime against a team that they should easily beat. While that situation rectified itself, what was definitely even weirder was the disoriented fan that walked out onto the court just before halftime.

First, game talk. The Lakers definitely proved why they’re the better team of the series when they took the game 92-88 and came back from a small deficit in the first half. Kobe Bryant put up 22 points and Andrew Bynum was just behind him with 19 of his own. But the Lakers needed more than just their big guns last night, and everyone stepped up to the plate. Or the net, rather.

Jordan Hill put up 12 points and his 11 rebounds proved to be huge in such a close game. Ramon Sessions and Steve Blake both had 3-pointers late in the game that prevented the Nuggets from coming out on top; and they did so in a huge way. With Kobe setting up each of these three in the third quarter, and all of them coming up short, they certainly redeemed themselves.

The fact that Kobe spoke like a coach afterwards saying, “I was ticked. I was and didn’t think I would trust them at the end of the game to knock down those shots, but they stepped up and knocked them down,” was also a little weird, but so were his teammates reverence for him.

“It’s always good when you get a hug from Kobe,” said Blake, referring to the hug Bryant had given him during a timeout. “It means you did something right.”

But no comments, or even plays on the court for that matter, could be as weird what happened late into the second quarter, when a fan walked onto the court.

The woman, a 20-year-old named Savannah McMillan-Christmas, walked right out onto the court during the middle of play, when the referee blew his whistle to stop the game and have the woman escorted off the court. Everyone was baffled about it, including the announcers who thought maybe the woman had dropped something. While being taken off the court, the woman repeatedly asked “Where’s Kenyon?” seeming to ask about Kenyon Martin, who used to play for Denver. The police later charged her for trespassing, as allegedly she’s been banned from the stadium due to the former stalking and following players.

Hopefully fan interference won’t be something either team has to deal with when the series goes back to Los Angeles for Game 5 tomorrow night.

How is the 2012 NBA All-Star Game Shaping Up?

Everyone knows that through fan voting, the NBA All-Star game is really more of a popularity contest than it is about seeing the best in the game; and this year the two just happen to coincide. We don’t know who will make up the final teams for either conference yet, but we do know who the front-runners are.

The current poll results were announced by the NBA on Thursday of last week and according to that, Dwight Howard has received 1.16 million votes to take the spot of the starting center for the Eastern conference; that’s more votes than any other player in the league has received for any position during voting so far. As for whom he’ll play with, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony will most likely take the spots of starting forwards, with 970,000 and 780,000 votes respectively.

It’s the guard position that’s got all the votes in the West, and Bryant’s name is at the top of the list. While Byrant did receive over 1 million votes, he was still short of Howard’s numbers by about 50,000 votes. Other top contenders for the spot were Chris Paul (835,000 votes) and Ricky Rubio (600,000 votes.) As for whom Howard will most likely face at tip-off time? That will probably be Andrew Bynum, who’s currently ahead of his stiffest competition, DeAndre Jordan, by about 500,000 votes. Kevin Durant will also likely represent the West as the starting forward, with just about 1 million votes so far; Dirk Nowitzki and Blake Griffin are both his biggest competition, with the latter being ahead in the voting by about 260,000.

Of course looking at the numbers right now only gives us a good guess at who the teams will be. But with the starting lineup being solely based on these votes, a look at the numbers may be all we need. As for the reserve teams? Those will be decided by the coaches of the teams, which will be the coach of the team in each conference that holds the best record of the season as of January 31.

The announcement of who the coaches will be should come shortly after January 31, as it only takes a peek at the stats to find out. Meanwhile, the starting lineups for both teams will be announced on February 2, with the complete lineups being released on February 9.

Voting hasn’t been closed just yet and those who want to do so have until January 31 to get their say in. Those who want to place their vote need to visit the NBA website here, sign up to become an NBA All-Access member and then place their vote. With the game coming up on February 26, it’s a great way to get in on the action!

NBA Players Voting on CBA Today

NBA fans rejoiced less than two weeks ago when a tentative deal was reached and it looked as though the league would be back to regular play on Christmas Day. That still seems to be the general consensus, as players and trainers have been allowed to visit facilities ever since news of the tentative deal was released. And now, players are currently voting to finalize that deal, and get the cogs of the NBA running smoothly again.

The head of the Players Union, Billy Hunter, wrote a letter to all players after the tentative deal was finalized on November 26. Within the letter, the terms of the deal were outlined and explained in great deal, along with Hunter’s suggestion that the players agree to the deal. Players began voting on ratification of the deal on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 and they have until this afternoon at 4:00 p.m. to cast their vote.

Once the players have voted, the NBA owners will then meet in New York City this evening to see if the deal has been agreed upon by a majority on both sides of the arguing table. If so, training camps and free agency deals can begin as early as tomorrow, December 9, 2011. It will then be just a matter of weeks until Christmas Day, when the NBA will begin a season that will include 66 games.

With all the talk that has been going on for the second half of the year, and the progress that has been made just in the last few weeks, it would be shocking to just about everyone is this deal were to fall through now.

The Status of the NBA in 2012

nba-lockoutWhat is going to happen with the NBA for the upcoming season?  Even in the midst of an exciting MLB finale between the Cardinals and the Rangers, and even nearing the halfway point of a great NFL season, we’re still blue about the very real possibility of an NBA strike.  What is the latest news to emerge from the offices and the empty locker rooms?

Things are looking downright scary, since the latest news is that there are some very hard feelings between players and owners, and racial tension, may even have something to do with it.  The latest meeting saw Derek Fisher claim that owners were lying to players, and from there name-calling began to increase.  The Reverend Jesse Jackson is actually very concerned that the situation could get ugly, perhaps evne degenerating “into names and language that’s hard to take back.”

Bryant Gumbel recently added some fodder to the fire, by suggesting NBA commissioner David Stern was a bully when it comes to negotiating with players.  Gumbel even made a racial comment in a recent interview stating that Stern was basically behaving like a “modern plantation overseer.”

Aside from racial implications, the biggest issue is most assuredly the pay cut that is destined to happy.  The league owners (which do include mostly senior-aged white men) are talking about a pay cut of almost $300 million dollars a year.  We also know that many NBA players have expressed an interest in playing basketball overseas.  Indeed, with in-demand players, and with wealthy league owners, the likely losers in this scenario will be the fans of professional basketball

There is a nice thought in the midst of all this heated argument, and that is that the players themselves are happy to play ball–and even to do it for free.  Recently, some teammates of Michael Beasley all showed up and played an exhibition game at an Osseo High School.  What was a simple game for charity actually became a major NBA exhibition game.  The likes of Wes Johnson, Anthony Randolph and Dorell Wright showed up. 

Of course, the day was not without a few conspicuous no-shows: Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall did not show up to the event despite advertised appearances. 

What is going to happen to the NBA in 2012? 

What will come of NBA Meeting Next Week?

nba-meetingThe NBA and the union have not been on good terms with each other this summer; and even though the lockout officially began on July 1, 2011, there hasn’t yet been any real sense of urgency to the entire matter. But with the season’s regular opening date looming closer and closer, and players starting to visualize the reality of not receiving a paycheck in the coming weeks, that sense of urgency is starting to set in.

David Stern, commissioner of the NBA, says that both sides must be in collective bargaining talks before Labor Day; and stresses that if they are not, there may be little hope of having a season at all. But even if talks do begin before the long weekend in September, what chance is there that anything will come of it?

This will after all, only be the second meeting the two sides have had since the lockout began. The first was held on August 1, and although it was originally thought that another two or three meetings would be held, that failed to happen. The union has mostly been busy speaking amongst themselves, and David Stern has been on vacation for much of that time. Added to that, both sides have also filed suits with the National Relations Labor Board, and that has also contributed to holding matters up.

Most predict that even with a Labour Day weekend meeting between the NBA (tickets) and the union, real talks and bargaining won’t start happening until games actually start being cancelled and everyone across the board starts losing real money because of it. That won’t happen until late in September, so it would be even later than that until any actual deals were made and finalized.

Carmelo Anthony Demanding Trade

Trade rumors abound – and today it’s all about Mello.  Carmelo Anthony, currently of the Denver Nuggets, is being reported as wanting out of Denver.  The frontrunner, as it stands, are the New Jersey Nets.  While the 26-year old has garnered attention from several other teams, including the New York Knicks and the Chicago Bulls, sources cite it is more likely that Anthony will – if traded – go on to the Nets.

Denver Nuggets

Is he Mellello like Jell-ell-o, or cool like lemonade? For us everyday Joes, a three-year $65 million contract would be a dream. Anthony, however, is expressing minimal interest in the Nuggets deal, and is seeking the greener grass.

At least he’s vocal about it with his team – and the media.  Some are comparing the Nuggets trade demand to that of LeBron James – former Cleveland Cavalier and current member of the Miami Heat.  However, Anthony is not demanding a prime-time special.  Then again, Anthony doesn’t have multi-million dollar offers coming in, hand over fist.

The big question here is this:  Do athletes automatically deserve the opportunity to carefully select his/her next employer – on national television?  Surely, if any Joe is unhappy in his job, he looks for another – and waits until the perfect (and done-deal) opportunity presents itself, prior to announcing his resignation.  Are athletes entitled to leave their employees waiting, only to be notified of their departure…on national television?

Miami Heat @ Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland Cavs fans, having not much else to hold on to, hit the streets in droves on LeBron’s day of “TheDecision”. Unfortunately, many thought that the native son would stay with the Cavs, in the hopes of actually bringing a championship to the city.  The reality was, in fact, that James slapped the struggling metropolis in the face, on national television.

Is this the new wave of the future?  Do athletes – or ANY employee, for that matter – have the right to do so?  Would Michael Jordan, Larry Bird or Magic Johnson have ever done the same, if they were faced with today’s immediate ability to communicate with “the public”?

Certainly, NBA fans have their opinions, and we’d like to hear them!

The 2009-2010 Basketball Season

The Philadelphia 76ers will adorn new uniforms this year, Flip Murray will sign on as guard for the Charlotte Bobcats per a one year contract, it Is possible that LeBron James will go to the New Jersey Nets, and Minnesota Timberwolves center Mark Blount has been given the walking rights to seek a trade despite being the second highest paid athlete on the roster. This is just a tiny glimpse into the goings on throughout the NBA today, and there is, as always, so much more to it all than meets the eye.

Both Nate Robinson and David Lee are in the final stages of contract negotiations which will place them on the roster for the New York Knicks during the 2009-10 season. You got it, the Knicks are on a championship hunt this year, and have thus far been willing to throw in enough playoff incentive money to prove it.

If you’re wondering who the most watched and respected team is coming into this exciting season of professional basketball, you need ponder no longer. The general consensus is that the Denver Nuggets could go all the way this year, and there are few who can give good reason as to argue against this predetermination. Of course, this is the NBA, a stage where anything can, and probably will, happen.

Fans are getting antsy and jumping on the first opportunity to buy tickets to their favorite games.  We all want to know how this one is going to play out, for current news and information on your favorite sports and events, as well as secure online ticket purchases, please visit StubPass.com.

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