Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Patrick Mills off to the D League

Thanks to the guys at NBA Mate for bringing this one to my attention. It seems it will be a little while before we see Patty Mills in the NBA (I'm not giving up yet). He's off to the D League as per the story below. I did laugh at the last paragraph ... I don't think it will be Trail Blazers fans following his progress, it will basically just be his Aussie fans.

NBA Development League: Patrick Mills Assigned To Idaho Stampede

NEW YORK, Dec. 29, 2009 – PPortland Trail Blazers guard Patrick Mills was assigned to the Idaho Stampede, Portland’s NBA D-League affiliate, it was announced today. Mills is the 10th NBA player and the 12th assignment to an NBA D-League affiliate this season.

Originally selected by the Trail Blazers with the 55th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Mills has yet to see action this season having suffered a fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot during an NBA Summer League practice session July 9. He underwent surgery on July 13 and recently completed a successful rehabilitation.

A two-year contributor at St. Mary’s (CA), Mills twice earned First Team All-West Coast Conference. Named West Coast Conference Newcomer of the Year as a freshman, Mills was also selected to the Naismith Trophy Award Mid-Season Top-30 list during his sophomore season.

Mills averaged a team-high 14.2 points to go with 2.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.7 steals in 23 minutes for his native Australia at the Beijing Olympics becoming the youngest player in Australian history to compete in the Olympic Games in basketball.

Trail Blazers fans can stay in step with Mills, who will join the Stampede Wednesday and be available when the team travels to face the Reno Bighorns on Jan. 1, by logging onto to watch all of the Stampede's games live, online, for free.

Houston vs New Orleans

I was looking forward to the NBA game on OneHD today between the Rockets and the Hornets and it certainly didn't disappoint.

From my point of view it had just about everything you could hope to see:
  • A back and forth, close game
  • Chris Paul triple double
  • Great shooting from both teams
  • An offensive explosion from David West
  • Great shooting from both Aaron Brooks (pictured below) and Shane Battier for the Rockets (both had 5 triples)
  • A nice 12 minute cameo from David Andersen off the bench (6 points, 4 boards)
The only thing missing today was Rockets rookie Chase Budinger who I think could be a handy player for the team in the near future. With Scola, Brooks, Landry and co there is a lot to like for the Houston Rockets, even without their superstars in Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady.

Despite 44 points from David West, the Houston Rockets won the game 108 - 100 behind 27 from Aaron Brooks, 20 from Battier and 18 from Landry off the bench.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Basketball shooting display - J.R. Smith

I'm about to head up the coast to spend Christmas at my brother's place but it would be remiss of me not to make mention of the basketball shooting display put on by J.R. Smith from the Denver Nuggets.

J.R. Smith's season got off to a slow start as he was suspended for the first 7 games of the year. He's had some good performances, scoring more than 20 points on 3 occasions but nothing compared to today:

Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
J.R. Smith
30:15 15-25 10-17 1-6 +6 0 2 3 0 0 0 0 1 41

That's right, 41 points off the bench in just 30 minutes, including TEN triples!!

And yes, despite shooting 60% from the field and from down-town, he could make just 1 of 6 from the free-throw line. Clearly J.R. feels at home beyond the arc and the free-throw line is way too close for his liking.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gold Coast Blaze vs Wollongong Hawks

It had been a few weeks since I'd seen a Gold Coast Blaze game live and with the Wollongong Hawks in town, the top of the table clash seemed like the perfect opportunity.

With their Brisbane Bullets and Northside Wizards connections, a number of my friends were also at the game and thankfully we weren't the only ones and there was a decent crowd in attendance. They still have a long way to go before the stadium is full but it was probably the best crowd I've seen so far this season.

Here are my thoughts from the game:
  • I'm not sure why Ayinde Ubaka (pictured right) came off the bench and didn't enter the game until a minute left in the first quarter. Check news articles in the next day or so as I'm sure the real story will come out.
  • There were again times early in the game when the Blaze defence looked awful
  • Erron Maxey has noticably cooled off from his hot start in the NBL
  • Tywain McKee is very similar to Corey Williams in that when they want they really want to score, its extremely tough to stop them
  • Cameron Tragardh is an offensive machine
  • The game came down to a battle between Ubaka (28 points including 6 triples, 5 assists) and McKee (24 points, 5 assists)
The 88 - 84 win now moves the Blaze to top of the NBL ladder which is great considering they still have so much upside/room for improvement.

Friday, December 18, 2009

MVPuppets - Mystery of the missing VII

The MVPuppets are back in a new series of Nike commercials. Thanks to the crew at Dime for bringing them to the attention of those not in the US.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

David Andersen delivers

Its been a fairly unexciting last few weeks in the NBA if you're following the hopes and dreams of David Andersen and Nathan Jawai. If you've checked out a Portland Trailblazers game lately you've no doubt seen Patty Mills in plain clothes sitting behind the bench watching the action.

Thankfully tho there is some good news ... Andrew Bogut has returned from his most recent injury and is putting up good numbers for the Milwaukee Bucks. The team itself is doing well considering they've been without star Michael Redd and they've surprised all but DJ Rod (who said they would have a good season) and are sitting just under 500, good enough for 6th spot in the Eastern Conference.

A week or two back when Kevin Love returned from injury for the Minnesota Timberwolves it looked like it might be the end for Nathan Jawai's minutes. He's had a number of DNP-CD's since then but the good news for Nathan is that his team is the worst in the league which means they get beaten regularly and by quite a margin. This means there is plenty of garbage minutes and today Nathan got to enjoy a few of them. In just 18 minutes of court-time, Jawai notched up 9 points, 7 boards, 1 block and a steal. Don't expect these numbers out of him regularly, but every now and again he'll get time when the result of the games have been decided. At this stage of his development, the more time the youngster can spend on the court during the game can only be beneficial.

Its been a similar story for David Andersen in Houston who had only seen 15 minutes of game time once this month before tonight. David finds himself backing up an under-rated Rockets front-court including Luis Scola and Carl Landry who are both having career years. Andersen saw just over 20 minutes today and scored 17 points, 9 boards on a very tidy 6 of 8 from the field. The 17 points was just 2 short of his NBA career high that he had mid-November against the Lakers.

David Andersen isn't usually the focus of the photographers, unfortunately for him they didn't miss this awkward incident.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gold Coast Blaze sign Craig Bradshaw

Clearly I have been out of the loop for too long as I was stunned to receive this press release today.

The Gold Coast Blaze are sitting in 2nd spot on the NBL ladder, on the back of a 5 game winning streak, and now sign ex-Brisbane Bullet Craig Bradshaw to replace Pero Cameron. If this was fantasy basketball that deal would certainly be vetoed by the commish as being unfair.

If you didn't already have the Blaze as title contenders, adding Kiwi big-man Bradshaw to their squad definitely makes them legit. He may take a little time to get back to NBL speed but this is a huge addition for the Gold Coast and he will add further depth to their frontcourt of Maxey, Vukona and Petrie.

PS. Yes, you can now rename the Blaze the Gold Coast Tall Blacks ...


16 December 2009


New Gold Coast signing Craig Bradshaw has received the all-clear to join the Blaze for their road game against the Adelaide 36ers this evening after his international clearance papers came through overnight.

Bradshaw and the Blaze had been sweating on the arrival of his transfer documents from the Korean Basketball Association and faced the prospect of missing his team’s big clash with Adelaide if they didn’t arrive in time. The papers were faxed through late on Tuesday night however freeing Bradshaw to join his new teammates on the floor in Adelaide.

The 210cm New Zealand Olympian should provide a significant boost to the Blaze, who will be looking to score their second win over the Sixers in seven days after notching an 80-72 victory over Adelaide at the Gold Coast Convention Centre last Wednesday.

The former Winthrop University (NCAA) standout was signed by the Blaze as a mid-season replacement for the injured Pero Cameron, who was ironically a teammate of Bradshaw’s on the New Zealand Tall Blacks national team at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

Bradshaw is no stranger to the NBL, having played the 2006/07 season with the Brisbane Bullets, appearing in 30 games and averaging 13.5 points and 5.7 rebounds.

In another ironic twist, Bradshaw made his NBL career debut for the Bullets on 19 September 2007 against the Blaze, scoring 13 points and grabbing four rebounds.

The athletic forward/centre holds an NBL career-high of 30 points, scored for the Bullets against the Sydney Kings on 17 October 2007. He also had 10-rebound games on four occasions whilst playing for Brisbane and came third in voting for the 2007 NBL Rookie of the Year behind current NBA player Nathan Jawai of Cairns and Australian international Alex Loughton of Perth.

Bradshaw has been honing his game overseas since leaving the Bullets after the 2006/07 season, and played for Efes Pilsen S.K. in Turkey before shifting to the Korean Basketball League where he joined the LG Sakers.

The Blaze’s game against Adelaide tips-off at 7:30pm local time at the Brett Maher Court at The Dome, and will be shown live on FOX SPORTS 3 from 8:00PM AEDT. Live stats for the game can be followed by clicking on the link below.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Fantasy basketball update

I'm going to ease back in to blogging this week as things have slowed down at work and I'm getting things tidied up. Sure, its the silly season so there is plenty going on but I'll have a bit more time on my hands and will get back in to the swing of things.

Fantasy basketball has been going pretty well, for most of the last few weeks my team has either led or been top two in our league. I'd pulled off a couple of trades, firstly bringing in Kevin Garnett to improve my field goal percentage and decrease my turnovers but losing Jason Kidd in the deal. With the loss of Kidd's assists and steals I needed another point guard so over-paid a little for Mario Chalmers. Most people in the league were hanging on to their point guards so to get him I gave up Luis Scola and Lamar Odom. Scola was a great source of points and boards but with KG onboard he wasn't as valuable to me as he would be another team. I also wasn't playing Odom since Pau Gasol had returned and he had returned to the Lakers' bench.

All was going smoothly until ... I lost my superstar Danny Granger to injury. Danny had been great fantasy-wise, despite not shooting as strong a clip as he did last season. He was raining triples, scoring plenty and was a top ten ranked player with upside. He had been playing hurt since pre-season so hopefully the 4 weeks on the sideline will get him rested and back to 100%. In the meantime, I just have to hang on and hopefully stay at the top of the leaderboard.

Since my last updated, Tim Duncan and Nene have been my stars. OJ Mayo and LaMarcus Aldridge have lifted their game while Brendan Haywood and Anthony Morrow continue to over-produce. I'm still waiting for Russell Westbrook to find some consistency because he can be good but can be truly awful at times. I'm hoping someone from my bench can elevate their game a little and make the starting rotation ... players such as Ronnie Brewer, Larry Hughes, Mickael Pietrus.

Tim Duncan, my new fantasy team leader

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Gold Coast Blaze update

I'll get back to my normal blogging frequency within the next few days when corporate travel season slows down. This is the last week of madness before things die down for the Christmas holidays and then I can get back in to the world of basketball.

For now tho, here's a quick summary of the Gold Coast Blaze over the last weeks. The team is really starting to come together and heading in to round 12 they find themselves now in 3rd place on the NBL ladder thanks to a 4 game win-streak. Not just that, they're just one win behind the Hawks and Wildcats who are tied at the top of the table.

I mentioned in my last post about the team that they had one of their biggest challenges ahead of them when they had to go to Perth to take on the Wildcats. In what was likely the biggest win for them at this early stage of the season, they got the job done 82 - 78. Former Wildcats James Harvey and Chris Goulding took the chance to salute the crowd after the win which not surprisingly wasn't received well by the hometown fans.

The Blaze returned home and scraped over the line 69 - 68 against the Cairns Taipans. The low scoreline wasn't a huge surprise when you see that team captain James Harvey had an off night shooting 0 of 8 from the field. The fact that they were still able to win despite their star having an off night is the positive to take away from this game. I'm sure the game plan for the Taipans was to make it a slow, knock-down drag out affair. Not great for the fans tho as one of my friends who was there described it on Facebook as: has witnessed a lot of ugly games of hoops in his time, but Gold Coast vs Cairns last night is the winner. 69-68 win to Gold Coast. Wow

The bad news for the team is that they have lost big man Pero Cameron who will be out for at least the next month with a recurring knee injury. Its not a huge (pardon the pun) on-court loss for the team but with Greg Vanderjagt still out their depth will be tested.

Next up for the Blaze is a home game tomorrow night against the Sixers and then they have a week and a half before the Hawks come to the coast. I haven't been to a game for a while so I'm thinking the top of the table clash with the Hawks will be a good one to get along to. If they can get wins in both of these games it should see them take the top spot on the ladder.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Ray Allen - season high

Our boy Ray Allen hasn't set the world on fire this season so far, scoring more than 20 points on just one occasion through the first five weeks. Now, don't get me wrong ... Ray is certainly no Jacques Vaughn (notorious for slow shooting starts to the season), he's been solid but it wasn't until yesterday that he really put on a show.

Against the Charlotte Bobcats Allen led the way for the Boston Celtics with a season-high 27 points. Since we're all about basketball shooting, it wasn't the points that really stood out for us, it was the rest of his line from the boxscore. Ray got his 27 on an outstanding 6 of 9 from the field, including 5 of 6 from downtown and a perfect 10 of 10 from the free-throw line. The 5 triples and 10 attempts from the line were also both season highs so far.

He wasn't just putting on a shooting display, although he definitely did that ... but he also pulled down 5 boards, dished out 5 assists, had a steal, a block and just one turnover.

Sometimes the numbers don't always tell the full story but Ray's line from last night was sensational as was his game.