Friday, November 28, 2008

NBA photos

Over the last couple of days of searching for different NBA photos, I stumbled across the following amusing/unfortunately timed photos ... feel free to leave comments below!

Free-throw shooting

Thanks to Dime pointing out that Jose Calderon is on a bit of a hot streak at the free-throw line at the moment shooting a perfect 40 of 40 this season, I came across this article below. Its a good read about Michael Williams the current holder of the longest free-throw streak in the NBA and has some interesting points about free-throw shooting in general. Click on the title below to read the full story.

Eluding Calvin's curse - Flashback: Micheal Williams' Streak | Basketball Digest | Find Articles at BNET

THE EMPHASIS IN THE TERM 'free throw' should be on the word 'free.' When you step up to the line, there are no hands in your face, no double-teams, no jumpers heaved while falling out of bounds. Nothing separates a player from one point but 15 feet of air."

So it's pretty ironic that the average NBA player couldn't make a foul shot if his sneaker contract depended on it. Players have tried everything in pursuit of making basketball's easiest shot: Shooting underhand or overhand, lining up on the left or right side of the foul line, bouncing the ball incessantly--even talking to the ball. Shaquille O'Neal, the stiff, disjointed Frankenstein monster of free-throw shooters, the man who puts "foul" in the term "foul shot," has gotten hundreds of letters suggesting he try yoga or acupuncture or transcendental meditation to solve his charity-stripe woes.

For 12 years, the NBA record for most consecutive free throws was held by Houston Rockets mighty mite Calvin Murphy, who became the guardian of the record, often gleefully cackling whenever a player got close but fell short

In April 1993, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Mark Price came one free throw short of tying Murphy's mark of 78 in a row. After the miss, someone asked Murphy if Price choked. "I don't want to use that word," Murphy said, "but the shot speaks for itself. I can't believe it missed that badly."

Murphy's sigh of relief was short-lived. Out of nowhere came Micheal Williams, a guard for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Everyone had been so focused on Price's streak that they didn't really notice that Williams was right behind Price.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Will the Sydney Spirit survive?

I received an e-mail yesterday announcing that the Spirit may not survive to the end of the season. When you're getting "crowds" of under 1000 to your home game, you're always going to struggle. What's disappointing is that on-court the team has done quite well (all things considered). They're in the top 6, they've just got Jason Smith back on court and Julian Khazzouh (pictured below) is having a break-out season. Click on the title below to read the full story and I'll keep you updated as I hear more.

NBL > News

Interim Chief Executive Officer of Basketball Scott Derwin has issued the following statement regarding the Sydney Spirit National Basketball League team:

“The League office was informed by Sydney Spirit owner Greg Evans on Saturday that the team was in a perilous financial position and has indicated that he was planning to put the team into administration,” said Derwin.

“We have since been seeking urgent talks with Evans to ascertain what, if anything, can be done either to help him maintain the team in the NBL for the remainder of the season, or to find a buyer for the Spirit’s license who could continue the club’s on-going operations.”

(I'm not sure what sort of defence Ballinger was employing here, it obviously didn't work)

LeBron mania

With LeBron James coming to New York today to play the Knicks things are going a little nuts. Nike are pushing for LBJ to sign with the Knicks in 2010 once his contract expires with the Cavs. According to the crew at Dime, there have been publicity stunts happening around the city and at MSG prior to tip-off.

One of my mates is actually in NY for the game and with a 1/2 strength Knicks line-up (due to a recent trade) playing against the Cavs, it's getting ugly early. The score is Cavs 67 Knicks 36 at the half and here is a text from Eto who is at the game:
"Knicks fans LIVID! Heard a few 'we want Steph' chants. Cavs are FAR too good"

Click on the title below to read about the Nike pre-game hype.

LeBron-Mania | Dime Magazine ( : Daily NBA News, NBA Trades, NBA Rumors, Basketball Videos, Sneakers

I don’t know that it would be this crazy if Barack Obama were coming to Madison Square Garden. Outside MSG, the free hot dog stands have lines running around the block, and there has been at least one homeless dude announcing to everyone that the hot dogs are “Courtesy of LeBron.” The same guy happens to be holding a sign that reads, “Need money to get drunk so that women can take me home and molest me.”

If that isn’t crazy enough, listen to this. Seriously, hundreds of people wearing red “Witness” shirts flooded the block right in front of the entrance to the Garden, and stopped dead in their tracks, freezing in place for exactly 1:23 (didn’t know that ’til after we talked to one of ‘em), and then threw a handful of red confetti in the air just as if they were LeBron clapping baby powder into the air.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

NBL wrap - round 10

Only 6 games on tap over the last week in the NBL, here are the numbers that matter:

Tigers 99 Taipans 98

For the Tigers:

Ebi Ere 22 points, 5 boards
Chris Anstey 17 points, 11 boards, 3 blocks
Sam Mackinnon 10 points, 7 boards, 7 assists

For the Taipans:

Dave Thomas 20 points, 8 boards, 4 assists
Martin Cattalini 18 points, 5 boards
Larry Abney 20 points

The Tigers only beat the Taipans by one point?! The Snakes must have played out of their skins (pun only partially intended). Dave Thomas with a beat of old-team rule production. Tigers dominated the boards 49 - 32 but the Taipans were a very efficient 18 of 21 from the free-throw line.

Breakers 112 Dragons 98

For the Breakers:

Kirk Penney 27 points (including 6 triples)
CJ Bruton 20 points (6 of 8 from the field, 5 of 5 from the line), 6 assists, 4 boards, 3 steals
Oscar Forman 12 points, 13 boards

For the Dragons:

Adam Gibson 16 points (including 4 triples), 3 assists
Matt Burston 14 points, 4 boards
Joe Ingles 16 points, 4 assists

The "blockbuster" didn't pan out as such as the Breakers just outplayed the Dragons. All of the Breaker's players put up good numbers while Worthington, Groves and Darden were well contained. In a very efficient game there were only 15 turnovers between the two teams.

Spirit 110 36ers 108

For the Spirit:

Derrick Low 24 points (including 5 triples) but 7 turnovers
Matthew Knight 19 points, 11 boards
Julian Khazzouh 12 points, 16 boards, 2 blocks, 2 steals

For the 36ers:

Julius Hodge 26 points, 13 boards, 4 assists
Adam Ballinger 29 points, 3 assists
Luke Schenscher 16 points, 17 boards, 4 assists, 4 blocks

The Sixers got off to a great start but the Spirit came from behind 59 - 45 in the second half to get the win. Looking at the numbers this would have been an entertaining game to watch. There was even a David Gruber sighting as he had 19 points, 7 boards (possibly his most productive game so far). Julius Hodge seems to LOVE playing for the Sixers and was outstanding in his first game back this season. With Hodge back, Jacob Holmes returns to the bench where he belongs.

Dragons 106 36ers 100

For the Dragons:

Joe Ingles 27 points (including 5 triples), 4 assists
Adam Gibson 15 points, 4 boards, 3 assists
Mark Worthington 14 points, 12 boards

For the 36ers:

Julius Hodge 27 points, 8 boards, 8 assists
Adam Ballinger 29 points, 7 boards

The Dragons bounced back well after losing to the Breakers. Hodge does what he does ... dominates. Herbert explodes off the bench for the Dragons with 21 points while Matt Burston and Luke Schenscher looked to have nullified each other.

Crocodiles 121 Hawks 113

For the Crocs:

Corey Williams 25 points, 5 assists
Rosell Ellis 14 points, 7 assists, 6 boards, 3 steals
Daniel Egan 21 points (9 of 11 from the field), 7 boards

For the Hawks:

Glen Saville 28 points, 6 boards, 4 assists
Cameron Tragardh 14 points, 7 boards
Kavossy Franklin 15 points, 4 boards

The game was a shootout from downtown with the teams combining for an impressive 25 of 54 from deep. The controversial benching of JR, Homicide and Hinder looks to have had the desired result with the Crocs flying out of the gates in the first quarter. Tovey seems to have loved the opportunity to start putting up 20 points on a good clip.

Wildcats 101 Taipans 85

For the Wildcats:

Shawn Redhage 22 points (8 of 10 from the field), 6 boards
Isiah Victor 18 points, 11 boards
Ben Knight 9 points, 13 boards

For the Taipans:

Larry Abney 20 points, 10 boards
Martin Cattalini 12 points, 10 boards

Redhage back to his efficient best. Perth controlled the game and one every quarter. Perth are quietly going about their business and putting together a solid season. They're definitely in the top 4 teams for mine.

At the end of round 10, despite losing to the Breakers, the Dragons are still on top of the NBL ladder albeit just on percentage now. The Breakers are just 3.5% points behind in second with the Tigers in 3rd. The Blaze are still last with 2 wins and the Sixers are now 2nd last with 5 wins 9 losses.

Not surprisingly, in news today Julius Hodge was named Player of the Week for his outstanding 2 games in his return to the league. The Sixers didn't get a win in either game but look for them to move up the ladder with Hodge back and look for Hodge to have a triple-double in the next few games.

Now to the Vlade Divac Flops of the week. The runner-up goes to one time Shooter of the Week, Gary Boodnikoff for essentially not showing up for the game against the Wildcats. In 21 minutes he went 0 of 3 from the field, had 1 board, 1 steal and 1 turnover ... not very productive! The award this week however goes to Matt Burston for his 1 of 7 from the field, 1 of 4 from the line and 5 foul "effort" against the 36ers.

Our Shooter of the Week goes to none other than our current man-crush, Kirk Penney. To be a truly good shooter you have to come through in the big games and with their reputation on the line in the blockbuster against the Dragons, Kirk delivered for the Breakers. He had a game-high 27 points including a very nice 6 of 10 from downtown, 3 of 3 from the line and zero turnovers. Fittingly, Kirk is the first NBL player to win our Shooter of the Week award twice in a season.

New fantasy basketball pick-up

After my recent fantasy basketball update mentioning I had work to do as the GM, it seems I've picked up a nice free-agent signing. Rookie DJ Augustin has seen some increased court-time due to an injury to star Jason Richardson. DJ wasn't great in his last game but today in his second start on my squad he was excellent! His line for today was: 25 points (8 of 11 from the field), 11 boards, 5 assists, 2 triples and an unfortunate 5 turnovers. Overall, very impressive from the youngster!

Now, I know Jason Richardson is back soon but apparently Larry Brown is high on the DJ so hopefully he continues to get good minutes, even off the bench. Click on the title below to read the full recap from the game.

Augustin, Felton lead Bobcats past 76ers 93-84 - NBA - Yahoo! Sports

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP)— D.J. Augustin scored 25 points and added a career-high 11 assists, backcourt mate Raymond Felton added 23 points, and the Charlotte Bobcats used their new speedy and tiny lineup to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 93-84 on Monday night.

The 6-foot Augustin and the 6-1 Felton had their best game together since coach Larry Brown inserted the rookie Augustin in the starting lineup three games ago. They helped the Bobcats snap a four-game losing streak despite another meek performance from Charlotte’s front line that somehow the 76ers couldn’t take advantage of.

Elton Brand had 18 points, but made only 6 of 13 shots and fouled out with under a minute left. Andre Iguodala added 17 points for the Sixers, who shot 40 percent and had their two-game winning streak snapped.

The Bobcats, who came in as the NBA’s lowest-scoring team at 86.7 points per game, shot 55 percent despite getting little from their frontcourt.

They got plenty from Augustin, the ninth overall pick in the draft.

Two games after he scored 26 points in a loss to Atlanta. Augustin hit 8 of 11 shots and 7 of 9 free throws. His jumper with 2:19 left gave Charlotte an 87-78 lead and Philadelphia couldn’t recover.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Homicide not happy

Never one to hold back, Corey "Homicide" Williams let's everyone know his thoughts about being benched on the weekend. Click on the title below to read the rest of the story.

NBL > News

Jilted Homicide fires for team after starting snub
By Antony Stewart - Townsville Bulletin

Make no bones about it, Corey Williams wants his starting spot back.

Furious after being demoted to the bench for the Crocodiles' clash with Wollongong on Saturday, the star point guard has declared his stint on the sideline will be a short one.

Williams, John Rillie and Russell Hinder were the casualties of Townsville's horrid run of form over the past month, making way for a new-look starting team.

The trio looked on as Kelvin Robertson, Cam Tovey, Brad Williamson, Rosell Ellis and Daniel Egan got the Crocs off to a dream start and laid the foundation for the win.

But Williams, Rillie and Hinder played their part, coming on with a spark in the first term, with Williams' seven straight points helping the Crocs to a 36-19 quarter-time lead.

It was just the third time Townsville have led at the first break in 12 games.

The 31-year-old American admitted being told by coach Trevor Gleeson pre-game he would not start had put plenty of fire in his belly.

'Of course, that p***** me off, I don't want to come off no bench,' Williams said.

'But ultimately that wasn't my decision ... so as long as I came out and got my minutes and do what I do, I ain't got no problem with that.

'But I was real p***** off with that, but there ain't nothing I could do about that.'

Brisbane Bullets update

I know they probably won't be called the Bullets, but here's a press release I received today about the quest to get a Brisbane team back in to the NBL. Word on the street leads me to believe that it may not happen for 2009 but let's hope it does. Best of luck to Narelle and the team!


Brisbane NBL Back ON Board; an initiative developed by Basketball Queensland has been further encouraged by positive outcomes in a recent meeting.

The meeting of the Basketball Queensland initiated working party which met on Wednesday evening has confirmed support for re-establishing an NBL team in Brisbane.

Chairman of Basketball Queensland, Neil Fitzpatrick said, Basketball Queensland was heartened by the support from key business leaders who indicated considerable confidence that a team could be put on the floor if NBL licensing agreement issues can be resolved quickly.

”‘whilst we have a business and marketing plans and several budget options ready to go, we still need to clarify some issues regarding the new national licence requirements,” Mr Fitzpatrick said

“The working group examined a number of equity and sponsor options placed on the table for consideration, but said that more support from the business community would be needed within the next month or so.”

“The meeting also identified the additional promotional value of Basketball Queensland’s support for the bid because of its large membership base and its community based activities (60 000 children last year).”.

Mr Fitzpatrick said that a trust fund was being established to receive contributions from the membership and the community with the objective of supporting a team on behalf of the ‘grassroots’ of the sport.

“We already have hundreds of supporters ready to contribute but there is a great opportunity for business and the basketball community to participate in a new style team directly connected to the basketball community and for that reason, Basketball Queensland is happy to confirm its ongoing commitment to the efforts to get a Brisbane based NBL team back on the boards.”

Fantasy basketball update

I was checking out my fantasy basketball team's progress this morning and noticed that really only two of my guys are performing up to expectations so far. My number two pick, Danny Granger is ranked 10 on averages so far and I drafted him 13th. The real stand-out so far tho is Devin Harris (pictured below) who I drafted 60th and is currently ranked 13th. Also doing well is Mickael Pietrus who I got with the 132nd pick and is ranked 80th.

My stars like Steve Nash, Carmelo Anthony and Hedo Turkoglu have been very disappointing so far. Nash's scoring and assists are down while Melo and Hedo have been woeful from the field.

I'm currently 9th in my 12 team league ... 2nd in ft% and triples, 4th in assists. I'm last in fg%, rebounds and steals. With some obvious deficiencies, I pulled the trigger on my first trade this week. I picked up Anthony Morrow off the free-agent list and after his two game explosion last week traded him for bigman Marc Gasol. Gasol should help me improve in fg% and boards whilst not costing me much.

With some solid cash on the line for the winner of the league, I have a lot of work to do as the GM.

Basketball humour

I was catching up on all the posts from Dime that I missed over the weekend. The crew have really stepped up their frequency and quality this season.

Some of the stuff on there is extremely funny, here are a few things I saw this morning:

When the Knicks came out to warm up and throw t-shirts into the crowd, a kid wearing a Gilbert Arenas jersey behind the Knicks bench dropped his tee. Malik Rose went down to pick it up, looked at the kid and his jersey, then threw it to someone else. Priceless

And for anyone who's seen the movie Team America, these posts in one of the comments section were gold!
  1. Kim Jong Il says:


  2. tealish says:

    ^I’m just glad you’re busy pursuing Internet glory rather than Nuclear Weaponry. I’ll happily concede ‘first’ to you!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

NBL blockbuster

Here's a preview of the big NBL game this week. The league leading Dragons vs the second placed Breakers. Who will win? I'll be going for Kirk Penney (and CJ of course) and the Breakers! Click on the title below to read the full story.

NBL > News

Clash of the giants looms for Breakers
By Marc Hinton - Fairfax Media

Beware the Goorjian factor. That's the strong message the on-fire New Zealand Breakers will be carrying with them into Thursday night's NBL showstopper against the South Dragons on the North Shore.

Not only do the Melbourne-based Dragons come to the Breakers' house with the competition's best record (10-2), and on an eight-game winning streak that has established them as early title favourites, but they arrive with their new coach Brian Goorjian having picked up right where he left off at his last stop

Goorjian was a master motivator at the Sydney Kings where his crafty coaching and inspirational urgings always had them in the title picture (grabbing a threepeat of titles from 2003-05). And it has taken him no time to guide his new club, the Dragons, up to the same level.

It's a factor the Breakers are wide awake to as they contemplate a seismic clash between the competition's two hottest teams. The New Zealanders, with a 10-3 record themselves, can leapfrog the Dragons into top spot with a victory at the NSEC. But to do so they know they're going to have to answer the challenge by the man rated a coaching legend across the Tasman.

Breakers and Boomers guard CJ Bruton has a better handle than most on the qualities Goorjian brings to any team he coaches. The sharpshooter ran the show for Goorjian at the Kings from 2004-06 and has also been his premier point man for the Boomers in recent years.

Leave a comment ... who do you think will win?

Big Joe - life after the Brisbane Bullets

Thanks to Ashley for pointing out on his blog that Big Joe (ex-team manager of the Brisbane Bullets) has been blogging about his adventures in Cyprus. I'm friends with the big man on Facebook so I knew he was over there, I just hadn't heard everything that's been going. Entertaining/eventful would be an understatement!

Check it out here and click on the link to Big Joe's Blog at the top of the left hand side. We all knew the European fans were crazy but have a read and you'll find out just how insane it gets!

NBL wrap - round 9

Its been a busy couple of days so I'm only now getting around to the weekly NBL wrap.

Here are the numbers that matter from Round 9 in the NBL:

Dragons 97 36ers 82

For the Dragons:

Matthew Burston 25 points, 14 boards, 3 steals
Mark Worthington 20 points, 11 boards, 3 steals

For the 36ers:

Adam Ballinger 14 points, 11 boards
Luke Schenscher 11 points, 11 boards

The Dragons controlled the game winning the first 3 quarters and cruising to an easy win. The Sixers had way too many turnovers 28 (to 16 from the Dragons). 3 points and 7 turnovers from Mark Tyndale spelled the end of his NBL season.

Spirit 115 Blaze 93

For the Spirit:

Derrick Low 22 points (including 5 triples), 7 boards, 4 assists
Julian Khazzouh 15 points, 14 boards, 4 blocks
Jason Smith 16 points, 5 boards

For the Blaze:

Daniel Joyce 24 points (8 of 9 from the field, including 5 triples)
Shane Heal 20 points, 5 boards
Luke Whitehead 14 points, 8 boards

Daniel Joyce scored 24 points?? Really?? No ... really?? Good team performance from the Spirit with 7 players in double figures. New Blaze import Justin Bowen stunk it up going 1 of 6 from the field with NINE turnovers. Blaze shot just 12 of 26 from the free-throw line.

Breakers 93 Taipans 81

For the Breakers:

Kirk Penney 22 points (including 4 triples)
Rick Rickert 16 points, 12 boards
Oscar Forman 19 points (including 5 triples), 6 boards

For the Taipans

Gary Boodnikoff 19 points (including 4 triples) off the bench
Larry Abney 12 points, 12 boards
Dave Thomas 10 points, 10 boards

Breakers came from behind (54 - 35 in the second half) to get the W in this game. Cairns shot just 34% from the field.

Blaze 111 Hawks 110

For the Blaze:

Ben Melmeth 21 points, 13 boards
Justin Bowen 20 points, 6 boards, 5 assists
Casey Frank 13 points, 8 boards

For the Hawks:

Dusty Rychart 21 points, 6 boards
Kavossy Franklin 20 points, 7 assists
Glenn Saville 19 points, 10 boards

Daniel Joyce hit a 3 to win the game ... really?? No ... really?? Hawks looked in control of the game but made a few questionable decisions down the stretch proved costly. They also shot just 25 of 37 from the line-up. Blow-ups after the game with the Joyce's click here to read more about it.

Wildcats 86 Taipans 78

For the Wildcats:

Alex Loughton 21 points, 6 boards
Shawn Redhage 15 points, 10 boards
Isiah Victor 13 points, 9 boards

For the Taipans:

Martin Cattalini 17 points, 6 boards
Larry Abney 12 points, 7 boards

Wildcats came from behind to win this game outscoring the Taipans 29 - 15 in the final quarter. Redhage is still playing well but his numbers haven't been massive over the last week or two. How much do the Taipans miss Stephen Black?? They have to be the lowest scoring team in the NBL right now.

Breakers 119 Crocodiles 108

For the Breakers:

Kirk Penney 34 points (including 5 triples)
Rick Rickert 26 points (10 of 13 from the field), 10 boards
CJ Bruton 19 points (6 of 8 shooting including 5 triples), 5 assists, 4 steals

For the Crocodiles:

Brad Williamson 26 points (8 of 11 shooting including 6 triples), 4 steals
Homicide Williams 18 points
Kelvin Robertson 17 points, 6 assists, 5 boards

This high-scoring, free-flowing game would've been entertaining to watch. The Crocs lost it in the 2nd quarter getting outscored 33 - 15 and made a late run in the final term 36 - 24 but it was too late. Brad Williamson explodes in the final quarter as only he can. John Rillie needs to get more than 6 shot attempts in a game. Kirk Penney, Kirk Penney, Kirk Penney ...

36ers 108 Blaze 96

For the 36ers:

Adam Ballinger 31 points (including 5 triples), 8 boards
Luke Schenscher 17 points, 12 boards
Aaron Bruce 16 points, 14 assists

For the Blaze:

Justin Bowen 19 points, 10 boards
Luke Whitehead 16 points, 12 boards
Shane Heal 13 points (just 2 of 14 shooting), 11 assists, 8 boards

Brett Maher returns to the starting line-up and plays well, this is probably the best game of the season from Adelaide with most of their starters putting up good numbers. Daniel Joyce returns to the "player" we know scoring 0 points on 0 of 4 shooting in 26 minutes. Tough week for the Blaze playing 3 games (2 on the road) in 5 days.

At the end of round 9 the Dragons are still on top with 10 wins 2 losses (8 in a row) and the Breakers remain in 2nd half a game behind with 10 wins 3 losses. The Dragons are still on the bottom with 2 wins while the Crocs are now 2nd last with 4 wins (5 losses in a row).

Announced yesterday was that NZ Breakers bigman Rick Rickert was Player of the Week. In their two games this week he averaged 21 points, 11 rebounds and the Breakers won both.

Now to the Vlade Divac Flops of the week. The nominations of the week are both from the Gold Coast Blaze. I was tempted to give it to Shane Heal for his 2 of 14 shooting effort against the 36ers but he did flirt with a triple-double despite struggling from the field. The award this week however goes to new import Justin Bowen for his awful performance against the Spirit ... 1 of 6 from the field and 9 turnovers ... ouch! In his defence, he did do much better in their other two games.

Shooter of the Week goes to Brad Williamson (below) for one of his trademark shooting explosions against the Breakers. 26 points in just 27 minutes, 4 steals, 8 of 11 from the field, 6 of 9 from downtown ... en fuego!!

(It shouldn't be this hard to find action shots of NBL players)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Life Of Rillie

While putting the finishing touches on the Members-Only Workshop of the website, I came across the following historic article on John Rillie and his run with Gonzaga in the NCAA tournament. Click on the title below to read the full story.

Sports | The Life Of Rillie | Seattle Times Newspaper

By Craig Smith

ALTHOUGH TOO SMALL to entertain hopes of making a name for himself in the NBA, Australian John Rillie and his shooting have brought postseason life - and recognition - to Gonzaga. -----------------------------------------------------------------

SPOKANE - The Gonzaga Bulldogs are in the NCAA tournament for the first time because they followed some simple instructions from their coach in the West Coast Conference tournament:

'Get the round thing to the bald thing.'

The round thing was the basketball. The bald thing was senior guard John Rillie, who made 20 of 28 three-pointers and 22 of 24 free throws on his way to averaging 32 points in the three games.

Rillie is a 23-year-old Australian hoopaholic with a shaved head and a textbook jumpshot - beautiful arc and enough backspin to risk skid marks.

Rillie's out-of-body performance in the WCC Tournament in Santa Clara is one of the best performances by a college basketball player in state history.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

NBA shooting displays

Last week I highlighted the NBA shooting efforts of Raja Bell in Phoenix, this week its the NY Knicks. Not renowned for their offence last season, with a new coach they're playing a different style of game and tonight they had not just one player go nuts but two.

The first line that caught my attention was from their spark-plug off the bench, Nate Robinson (pictured right, nice basketball shooting form). In 29 minutes he had 21 points on 8 of 8 shooting including 5 triples!!

Upon further inspection and not to be outdone was rookie-starter Wilson Chandler who had 27 points on 11 of 12 shooting with a perfect 4 of 4 from downtown. He also had 7 boards, 3 assists and 3 steals.

The question is, was anyone in Memphis playing defence ... I think we all know the answer there is no.

At the other end of the spectrum were Rambo Ron Artest shooting 1 of 12 against the Suns and Russell Westbrook from the OKC Thunder shooting just 3 of 19. I told you that game was going to be ugly!

Gunnin' for That #1 Spot

Its been a while since we've seen a decent basketball movie released in Australia, the last one I recall was He Got Game ... but I actually saw that when I was in Canada in '99. I actually borrowed it off a friend of mine a few weeks ago ... quality.

So, I was quite surprised to just hear Triple J doing a review of a new basketball movie. After hearing their review and the name of the film I remembered Dime had been pushing it a few weeks ago but figured it might not even be released over here. I now see that it was released at the movies in the US back in June (groan) so it might go straight to DVD. Triple J's review didn't mention when it was being released here but they did give it a very good rating so let's hope it soon as I'm definitely keen to check it out.

Gunnin' for That #1 Spot (2008) - Synopsis

On the corner of 155th Street and Frederick Douglas Boulevard in Harlem, New York, lies Rucker Park. By appearances, the green concrete pavement, anchored on either end by its run down slab bleachers, is no different than any other basketball court in the city. But this is the place where nicknames are earned and basketball legends are made.

On September 1, 2006, the top 24 high school basketball players in the nation stepped out on this same court that once saw the likes of Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Dr. J, to compete in the first annual 'Boost Mobile Elite 24 Hoops Classic.' GUNNIN FOR THAT #1 SPOT documents these athletes' skills on the most legendary court in the world, showing never- before-seen footage of that 'Elite 24' game.

Directed by Adam Yauch (founding member of the Hip Hop trio the Beastie Boys and director of 'Awesome: I Shot That'), the film follows eight of the country's premiere high school basketball players on the fast track to the NBA, as they are adored by fans, wooed by colleges and sneaker companies, and groomed to be in the spotlight of the multi-million dollar game. Blending this next generation of b-ball players with a mix of raw hip-hop, jazz and break beats, and Yauchs unique kinetic filmmaking, GUNNIN is an explosively entertaining look at soon-to-be NBA All Stars.

NBL Player & Coach of the Month

It seems the league office is taking note of my blog as in news just to hand from the NBL, Kirk Penney has been named Player of the Month for October. I've been talking Penney up for the last 5 or 6 weeks and gave him the nod as our Shooter of the Month for October. Check the article below (click on the title) for his stats and why he won. My question tho is since when is a basketball player described as a "spitfire", what the??

For turning the struggling Dragons franchise around (they finished last season 5 - 25), super-coach Brian Goorjian received the award for Coach of the Month. As mentioned in my NBL wrap of round 7 yesterday the Dragons currently lead the league with 8 wins and 2 losses. Click on the title below for the full story.

NBL > News

The National Basketball League has announced that New Zealand Breakers shooting star Kirk Penney, and South Dragons coach, Brian Goorjian, have won the Player and Coach of the Month awards respectively for September/October.

Penney was a spitfire for the Breakers between Rounds One and Seven, averaging 26.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.3 assist and 1.0 steal per game for the month. The former NBA player shot the ball at 49 percent from the field, a sizzling 37 percent from beyond the three-point line, and made an impressive 87 percent of his foul shots. His efforts also saw him pick up Player of the Week honours in Rounds One and Eight along the way, as his team started the season at club record clip with a 7-2 win-loss record.

It seems Kirk and I concentrate the same way ... tongue out

No stars

Not a great day for watching the NBA. There are plenty of games being played but a number of stars are out injured and I've noticed some of the worst starting fives I've seen in a long time.

Here's the Pacers:

TJ Ford
Marquis Daniels
Jeff Foster
B Rush

With no Danny Granger, Troy Murphy (both in my fantasy team) or Mike Dunleavy, other than TJ the rest are used to watching from the pine.

Here's the OKC Thunder:


With young star Kevin Durant out, this certainly is a weak starting 5. I have Collison in my fantasy squad but he's off to a slow start this season so I'm not even playing him. Green and Watson are the only others with any fantasy value. Not surprisingly, the Thunder are down 20 points after the first quarter against the Magic!

No stars in these teams makes it UGLY ...

Gilbert Arenas vs. DeShawn Stevenson Three-Point Contest

Thanks to the crew at Dime for pointing out this youtube video (below). Other than just being entertaining, from a basketball shooting point of view it shows you a few different things. Firstly, Gilbert's shot and form is so good that he can rattle off 73 out of 100 from deep with ONE hand. Secondly, with Gilbert doing everything he can to put him off, DeShawn stays focussed on the rim and his own rhythm which is crucial in game situations. Practice makes perfect kids.

Gilbert Arenas vs. DeShawn Stevenson Three-Point Contest | Dime: Daily NBA News, NBA Trades, NBA Rumors, Basketball Videos, Sneakers
By Andrew Katz

Honestly, I miss these Wizards. This video, in which Gilbert and DeShawn go head-to-head for 100 three’s in February of ‘07, reminds me of the competitive spirit that Gil brings to the Wiz. That, and as Arenas hits something like 73 of his attempts with one hand, it’s a pretty good reminder of just how good he is.

Notice that DeShawn lets Gil shoot in peace for the most part, but as it gets close, Arenas is basically writhing on the ground like a cockroach to try to get DeShawn to miss.

Brisbane Bullets back in the NBL?

Could we see the Brisbane Bullets back in the NBL as early as next season?? I think its a little premature to be using the word "assured" but the article below from The Australian would lead us to believe its possible. Click on the title below for the full story.

Back to the future with new Brisbane Bullets | The Australian

The time frame is tight, but Brisbane seems assured of winning back a place in a new-look league next season.

Basketball Australia interim chief executive Scott Derwin said yesterday talks with the state body and new backers were well advanced.

But talk of a rebirth of the Sydney Kings appears to have stalled as no one is willing to come forward with the required $1million seed money.

Derwin said the move to re-establish a beachhead in Brisbane was gathering momentum, less than six months after the Bullets, a foundation club of the old NBL, folded in the wake of owner Eddy Groves's financial collapse.

'Basketball Queensland has been pretty active in leading the discussion with a number of interested parties,' Derwin said.

'While the time frame is tight, a little under 12 months from the relaunch of the league, it doesn't allow a new team a lot of time, but the push is on.'

Ahhh ... these were the days ...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

NBL H.O.R.S.E challenge

Fresh off the back of his 0 of 9 from the field Flop of the Week performance over the weekend, Aaron Bruce has challenged shooter John Rillie to a game of H.O.R.S.E.

Aaron must be smoking crack if he thinks he can beat JR in a shooting contest!! Aaron, I haven't shot a basketball for a number of years now but give me 5 minutes and I'm sure I could knock down a half-way shot. Shoot it with your back to the basket or flick it behind your back from half-way ... give us something! The youngster obviously hasn't checked out the footage I shot of Rillie after Crocs training, he doesn't miss! JR ... take care of business, show the rookie who the man is.

NBL wrap - round 8

I just noticed its been 6 days since I posted last ... yes, I'm in shock too! I have a good excuse tho ... I was actually out of the office from Thursday for a wedding/long-weekend in Byron. So no laptop and I didn't get back until Sunday and work has been flat-out this week.

Anyway, enough of the excuses, let's wrap up the numbers that matter from Round 8 in the NBL:

Blaze 115 Crocs 106

For the Blaze:

Shane Heal 26 points (including 6 triples), 7 assists, 7 turnovers
Luke Whitehead 19 points, 10 boards

For the Crocs:

Rosell Ellis 23 points, 8 boards, 4 steals
Russell Hinder 18 points, 9 boards, 4 blocks
John Rillie is the devil!! 6 points, 6 boards, 6 assists ... SPOOKY

Congratulations to the Blaze on their first win, it had to happen eventually, its unfortunate the Crocs were the victim. The Crocs came out of the blocks SLOW and were down by 27 at the half. They charged home in the second half but it was too little too late. JR only had 6 shots in 34 minutes ... get him the ball people! B-Rad even jacked up 11 in his 16 minutes. Townsville shot a horrific 20 of 40 from the free-throw line and that was with Kelvin Robertson hitting 8 of 9.

36ers 96 Breakers 86

For the 36ers:

Adam Ballinger 22 points, 9 boards
Mark Tyndale 21 points, 9 boards, 4 assists
Luke Schenscher 20 points ... not much else

For the Breakers:

Kirk Penney 24 points (an unfortunate 7 off 22 from the field), 10 boards, 6 assists
Tony Ronaldson 23 points, 6 assists

With no CJ Bruton and no Phil Jones ... even the 36ers can beat the Breakers. Penney tried his best but had an off night from the field while the 36ers dominated the boards 51 to 38.

Tigers 98 Spirit 80

For the Tigers:

Chris Anstey 20 points, 17 boards, 4 assists, 4 steals
Rod Gizzard 14 points, 7 boards but 7 turnovers
David Barlow 16 points, 4 boards

For the Spirit:

Julian Khazzouh 16 points, 5 boards
Matthew Knight 12 points, 10 boards
Liam Rush 14 points, 5 boards

The game was close early but the Tigers dominated the second half 54 - 36. Is David Gruber really an import playing just 15 - 20 minutes a game??

Taipans 71 36ers 70

For the Taipans:

Ian Crosswhite 16 points, 8 boards
Aaron Grabau 17 points

For the 36ers:

Adam Ballinger 17 points, 12 boards
Jacob 15 points, 6 boards
Luke Schenscher 11 points, 9 boards

The Taipans won the game despite shooting just 33% from the field (36ers were 38%) ... UGLY! The 36ers lost the game at the line hitting just 13 of 23 and were just 3 of 17 from downtown.

Wildcats 115 Crocs 78

For the Wildcats:

Shawn Redhage 18 points, 9 boards
Isiah Victor 15 points, 6 boards

For the Crocs:

Rosell Ellis 17 points, 5 boards
Cameron Tovey 14 points, 6 boards

I can only assume the Crocs were shattered from their loss to the lowly Blaze. The score at half-time was 60 - 32 ... ouch! Perth exposed the vertically-challenged Crocs winning the boards 59 - 35. Not a good weekend for Townsville fans.

Breakers 86 Tigers 84

For the Breakers:

Kirk Penney 25 points (including 4 triples)
Tony Ronaldson 13 points, 5 boards, 4 assists
Oscar Forman 12 points, 9 boards

For the Tigers:

Chris Anstey 19 points, 11 boards
Sam Mackinnon 12 points, 11 boards, 4 assists

CJ back in the line-up for the Breakers and despite losing to the 36ers they turn it around to knock off the Tigers. Bruton obviously helps Penney get better looks (than Henare) with a much improved shooting performance in this game. Ebi was just 2 of 11 from the field and Barlow was 0 of 7.

Dragons 95 Blaze 83

For the Dragons:

Mark Worthington 18 points, 8 boards, 5 steals
Matt Burston 11 points, 10 boards

For the Blaze:

Justin Bowen 26 points, 8 boards
Shane Heal 13 points, 5 boards

The Blaze started the game well after their win against the Crocs but lost every quarter after that. A nice introduction to the NBL for new-import Justin Bowen.

After Round 7, the Dragons continue to lead the league with 9 games 2 losses. One game behind are the Breakers and one behind them are the Tigers. Despite their first win of the season, the Blaze are still on the bottom of the ladder 3 games behind the Spirit.

Announced yesterday was that one of our favourites, Kirk Penney was named Player of the Week. Its not as prestigous as our Shooter of the Month award but I'm sure Kirk was pleased all the same. Penney is the first player this season to win the award for a second time and had averages over the 2 games of 24.5 points, 7 boards and 3.5 assists.

Now to the Vlade Divac Flops of the week. The runners-up are the Townsville Crocodiles for being the first team to lose to the Blaze and then getting spanked by the Wildcats and Kelvin Robertson (from the Crocs) for shooting 1 of 9 in the Perth loss. But the winner this week is almost everybody's pick for Rookie of the Year, Aaron Bruce of Adelaide for his woeful game against the Taipans. Bruce was 0 of 9 from the field with 5 turnovers ... the only positive for him was the 8 assists.

Shooter of the Week goes to Shane Heal (below) of the Blaze for his 26 points including 6 triples that led his team to their first victory of the season. Love him or hate him (and most choose to hate him), he still demands attention from opposing defenders.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Kirk Penney - Shooter of the Month for October

(To read the full article click on the title below)

Kirk Penney - Shooter of the Month for October

For his terrific start to the NBL season, our inaugural Shooter of the Month award goes to NZ Breakers shooting guard, Kirk Penney. Kirk has been on fire over the first 7 rounds of the season leading the league in scoring with 26.7ppg over 4ppg more than Corey “Homicide” Williams in second place. He’s shooting a red hot 49.5% from the field (impressive for a shooting guard) and 88% from the line. He had a career high 41 points back on September 18 in a game against the Woollongong Hawks. Kirk shot a sizzling 16 of 22 from the field including 6 of 10 from downtown.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Three point shooting

When you're the fourth or fifth offensive option in your NBA team, you've got Amare and Shaq in the middle and you're getting the ball from one of the top point guards in the league (Steve Nash) ... you're likely to see some open looks.

That said, you've still got to knock them down tho so give Raja Bell credit for the shooting display he put on today. Against New Jersey he had 7 of 9 from the field, SIX of SIX from downtown for 22 points (in just 27 minutes). That's an impressive shooting performance!!

Clutch shooting

Here's an early season highlight from the NBA, thanks to Dime for pointing it out.

Joe Johnson of the Atlanta Hawks, a lesson in clutch shooting:

* Watch the clock
* Dribble away from defenders
* Make room for yourself (a subtle push off from the player guarding him)
* Get your balance
* Spot the rim and knock it down

Its that simple kids ... class dismissed.

Monday, November 3, 2008

NBL wrap - round 7

Here are the results and the numbers that matter from round 6 in the NBL:

Hawks 101 Taipans 93

For the Hawks:

Kavossy Franklin 23 points (10 of 14 shooting, including 3 triples)
Glenn Saville 19 points (including 5 triples), 8 boards, 5 assists
Anthony Petrie 16 points, 6 boards

For the Taipans:

Larry Abney 22 points, 10 boards, 3 blocks
Gary Boodnikoff 23 points (including 6 triples)

Hawks had a massive last quarter (35 - 18) in this come from behind win. Hawks won the boards 48 - 36 and shot better from downtown (48%) than they did from the field (47%)

Breakers 103 Wildcats 99

For the Breakers:

Kirk Penney 24 points (8 of 12 from the field, including 4 triples) ... an unfortunate 6 turnovers
CJ Bruton 17 points, 6 steals
Rick Rickert 12 points, 10 boards

For the Wildcats:

Peter Crawford 22 points, 6 assists, 3 steals
Darnell Hinson 18 points, 7 assists
Shawn Redhage 14 points, 9 boards

Breakers came from behind in the 4th quarter to get the win. They shot well from downtown, no surprise ... and made almost twice as many free-throws as the Wildcats. Redhage was contained (for him) and Luke Kendall had 9 points but 6 costly turnovers.

Breakers 106 Crocodiles 97

For the Breakers:

CJ Bruton 21 points, 8 assists, 5 boards
Kirk Penney 18 points, 7 boards, 5 assists
Tony Ronaldson 16 points, 7 boards, 5 assists

For the Crocs:

Homicide Williams 22 points, 4 boards
John Rillie 19 points, 4 boards
Rosell Ellis 18 points, 8 boards, 3 steals

Breakers get their first real win on the road (that one against the Blaze didn't really count). The Crocs knew they had to stop CJ Bruton but they couldn't get it done.

Hawks 89 Taipans 87

For the Hawks:

Cameron Tragardh 18 points, 6 boards
Dusty Rychart 13 points, 11 boards
Anthony Petrie 12 points, 10 boards

For the Taipans:

Dave Thomas 17 points, 8 boards, 3 steals
Larry Abney 16 points, 7 boards
Scott Cook 13 points, 5 assists

No, this isn't a typo, the two teams met each other last Wednesday in the Gong and then again in Cairns on Saturday night. Surprisingly, the Taipans took out both games. Possibly the worst free-throw shooting game you'll see, the teams combined for a horrible 31/57 (54%) from the stripe. The Taipans shot just 4 of 20 from downtown.

Tigers 123 Blaze 111

For the Tigers:

Sam Mackinnon 23 points (9 of 13 shooting), 10 assists, 7 boards
Chris Anstey 25 points, 8 boards
Ebi Ere 24 points, 7 boards, 4 assists

For the Blaze:

James Harvey 27 points (including 5 triples)
Shane Heal 22 points, 7 assists
Luke Whitehead 19 points, 9 boards, 5 assists

Sam Mac showed that he still has it and was probably fired up for the re-match with old foe Shane Heal. Casey Frank 4 points, 6 boards ... not nearly good enough for a starting import.

Dragons 96 Spirit 87

For the Dragons:

Mark Worthington 21 points, 10 boards
Nathan Herbert 19 points, 8 boards
Adam Gibson 9 points, 6 boards, 5 assists

For the Spirit:

Julian Khazzouh 19 points, 14 boards, 4 blocks, 4 steals
Liam Rush 16 points, 5 boards, 4 blocks

It was a BLOCK party at Hisense with 16 in total for the game. Youngster Julian Khazzouh had an outstanding line and is having a great year so far! Close for most of the game, Dragons stepped it up in the 4th (26 - 15) to get the win.

36ers 108 Spirit 76

For the 36ers:

Luke Schenscher 19 points, 18 boards, 3 blocks
Adam Ballinger 24 points, 8 boards
Brad Davidson 14 points, 8 boards, 5 assists

For the Spirit:

Liam Rush 16 points
Julian Khazzouh 13 points, 5 boards

Things started well for the Spirit but they were outscored 54 - 25 in the second half and shot just 24% from the field in that time. Playing the Dragons the night before they look to have hit a wall ... hard. Tough weekend for import Derrick Low shooting just 7 of 29 (24%) over the two games. John Rillie snubbed Schenscher when he got player of the week because his team didn't win but has to give him a start in his team of the week this time!

At the end of round 7 in the NBL the Dragons are out in front 8 wins from 10 including 6 in a row now. The Breakers are 2nd with 7 wins and 3 in a row. Blaze still at the bottom with 10 losses in a row ... hopefully that becomes 11 tomorrow night when the Crocs come to town.

In news just to hand, Sam Mackinnon was named player of the week for his almost triple-double against Shane Heal and the Blaze. Ex-Bullet Sam Mackinnon was in vintage form, dominating the game like it was 2007!!

Now to the Vlade Divac Flops of the week ... again there are two. From penthouse to doghouse, one time Shooter of the Week Derrick Low gets the nod this week for his dismal shooting display (24% over 2 games). The other is one of last week's recipients ... Cameron Tovey for shooting 1 of 4 from the line. Sure he's not alone in missing free-throws but when you have only hit 5 of your last 20 attempts from the line we will name and shame you!

Shooter of the Week goes to Gary Boodnikoff (pictured below) of the Cairns Taipans for his 23 points in just 25 minutes off the bench in their first game against the Hawks. He shot 7 off 11 from the field including 6 of 9 from downtown. He scored 11 points in the final quarter in a shooting duel with Glenn Saville.

New import for Blaze

As I was about to start doing my NBL weekly wrap, I just found this article (below) on the NBL website. I was supposed to be going down on Wednesday to see the game but that's no longer happening so I'll try and catch the game on Foxtel at the gym. Click on the title below to read the full story.

NBL > News

Gold Coast Blaze will look to unveil a new star recruit for Wednesday night's clash with Townsville at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, reports Nick Smart in the Gold Coast Bulletin.

The Blaze, who are now 0-10 following last Saturday
night's hard fought road loss to the Melbourne Tigers, desperately need a spark. And it is set to come in former NBA development player Justin Bowen, who has reached an agreement with the Blaze.

The paperwork has not been completed, but the American import from Chicago
is set to officially sign with the Blaze on Monday after the club management moved swiftly to find a replacement for small forward Juaquin Hawkins, who was released last Thursday. Bowen, a 201cm, 95kg small forward, played at the college of Illinois-Chicago before going to play for the Austin Toros in the NBA development league, in which he starred.

Steve Nash Is “The Spokesman”

He's not just my favourite player, two-time MVP and the leader of my fantasy squad this season, Steve Nash is also piss funny! Click on the title below to see the series of ads.

Dime: Daily NBA News, NBA Trades, NBA Rumors, Basketball Videos, Sneakers » Blog Archive » Steve Nash Is “The Spokesman”

In three digital shorts for Vitamin Water, two-time MVP Steve Nash takes you from the office to the photo shoot to his training regimen. Click HERE to see all three. Hilarious.