Friday, April 30, 2010

Gold Coast Blaze load up

The other big mover and shaker so far this NBL off-season has been the Gold Coast Blaze. They took huge strides forward last season but weren't content with their semi-final finish and have definitely shaken things up again.

(Click on the links below to read the full story on each signing)
  1. First they signed veteran forward Stephen Hoare.
  2. They then brought in some youth and rebounding with Tom Garlepp.
  3. Their biggest move was bringing in former Breakers centre Rick Rickert as a naturalised Kiwi so he will no longer be classed as an import.
  4. They then signed Bennett Davison, former Tigers import who was a stand-out at the High Stakes Hoops tournament.
  5. And finally (for now), they signed future star Jason Cadee.
The 2010/2011 NBL season is still a number of months away but the Gold Coast Blaze are showing they're serious about making a run at the title. It'll be interesting to see what other moves they make and what type of player they bring in as their second import.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Crocs go LARGE!

For the last couple of seasons, the knock on the Townsville Crocodiles is that they have been under-sized. They've essentially had Russell Hinder and (insert import name here) as their only bigs, surrounded by a gaggle of guards and swingmen.

After announcing they wouldn't be resigning current MVP Corey Williams, they have dramatically changed the balance and the look of their team. Firstly they announced the signing of talented youngster, Ben Allen and today the rumour from last week was confirmed when they revealed they had also signed the biggest of the big men, Luke Schenscher.

Along with Hinder, these additions give the Crocs three bigs all 208cm or taller. Expect them to cause a lot of match-up and rebounding headaches for opposing teams. Add to that front-court, gunners like Peter Crawford, Michael Cedar and maybe Brad Williamson again and the Crocs have a potent inside-out offense.

We'll see what imports they add to the mix but based on their Australian talent alone, the Crocs are definite contenders for the 2010/2011 NBL title.

New NBL rules


27 April 2010


The National Basketball League will introduce a number of adjustments to their rules for the 2010/11 NBL season, Basketball Australia has announced.

Four major changes are being introduced for the new NBL season, which will start in mid-October this year:

- The shape of the keyway will adopt the new standard FIBA rectangular shape;

- The distance from the three-point line to the basket will be increased from 6.25 metres to 6.75 metres;

- A “no-charge” zone marked by a semi-circle will be instituted directly under the basket , in which defensive players cannot take a charge;

- An adjustment to what used to be known as the Young Australian Player rule will see all teams required to have one Australian or New Zealand player under the age of 24 as one of their 10 contracted players (for the 2010/11 season they must have been born after 1 April 1987).

NBL General Manager Chuck Harmison said the adjustments to the keyway, the three-point line and the introduction of the no-charge zone will ensure the NBL stayed aligned with the rules of the international governing body of basketball, FIBA, which was making those changes following the 2010 FIBA World Championships.

“Basketball Australia previously made the decision following the unification of the sport in this country to bring the NBL under the standard FIBA international playing rules and this is the continuation of that initiative,” said Harmison. “There are obvious benefits to that, especially for the development of our international players, and we have been happy with the initial changes instituted last season.

“It’s going to be interesting to see how teams adjust to the new rules, particularly to the longer three-point line. That, and the no charge area under the basket, were pioneered by the NBA in the US and have assisted in opening up play somewhat so we think the fans will see the benefit.”

Harmison said the increase in the age limit of the NBL’s rule which requires teams to have a young Australian or New Zealand player on their roster from 23 to 24 had been greeted enthusiastically by clubs.

“The original idea behind teams being required to have a young player amongst their 10 contracted players was to ensure that we addressed the need for offering legitimate playing opportunities for our emerging young talent,” said Harmison. “After a review of how the rule was operating we determined that an increase in the age limit would provide an opportunity to more young players who may have gone to the US for a college experience and are looking to start their NBL careers.”

The new rules will be in place when the NBL holds its official pre-season tournament.

Click here to see the new FIBA court markings.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Top 10 NBA plays of the year

Thanks to the crew at Dime for pointing this out, the NBA have announced their top ten plays of the year:

NBA Playoffs

Slightly belated highlights from game 2 of the Boston Celtics series against the Miami Heat. No KG, no worries as Ray Allen takes over and gives the Heat far more than they can handle. Here's his line:

Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
R. Rondo G 34:57 2-6 1-1 3-4 +29 0 7 12 3 2 1 1 2 8
R. Allen G 33:25 9-13 7-9 0-0 +31 1 5 3 2 0 0 0 3 25

And here are the highlights from the game:

Not to be missed from the early rounds was Patty Mills' first playoff game:

Playoffs FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
DateOpponentScoreGSMin M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF Pts
Apr 20 @ PHO L 90-119 0 07:25 2 4 50.0 1 1 100.0 1 1 100.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 6
Apr 18 @ PHO W 105-100 0 0 0 0 N/A 0 0 N/A 0 0 N/A 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 07:24 2 4 50.0 1 1 100.0 1 1 100.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 6
Regular Season FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
DateOpponentScoreGSMin M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF Pts
Apr 14 GSW L 116-122 0 13:05 4 8 50.0 2 3 66.7 1 3 33.3 0 1 1 2 2 0 0 4 11

And as you can see, he had a very productive last game of the regular season. As the Suns dominate the Blazers, hopefully Mills will be given some more minutes.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Just a ridiculous shooting display for Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks last night. Check out his line from their round 1 match-up against the Spurs:

Min FG 3Pt FT +/- Off Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts
J. Kidd G 41:18 5-12 3-6 0-0 +6 1 8 11 4 4 0 0 3 13
C. Butler G 39:52 8-19 1-3 5-6 +10 0 6 1 5 3 0 0 2 22
E. Dampier C 29:52 0-3 0-0 5-12 0 5 12 0 1 1 1 0 3 5
D. Nowitzki F 40:26 12-14 0-0 12-12 +3 2 7 1 1 0 1 0 0 36

12 of 14 from the field and a perfect 12 of 12 from the line.

Here are some highlights from the game. Note to Spurs, Matt Bonner cannot guard Dirk ...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Foot Locker Elite Classic - Day 1

(I had planned to blog daily but my schedule over the last week just didn't permit)

I woke up early on Tuesday morning and since I hadn't drawn the curtains in my room I could see there was a major storm happening outside. It was black and there were flashes of lightening ... I thought to myself its a good thing basketball is played indoors!

I went downstairs to hoe in to the buffet but a few minutes in to it I got a call from JVG advising that everything was going to shit and we needed to meet in one of the guys rooms to get things sorted. It turns out that the storm had been going most of the night and the Adelaide Dome was without power. This wasn't ideal as we had guys out at the stadium from 6am and they had a lot to get organised before tip-off.

There was a large possibility that we were going to need to push back the live starting time as things weren't going to be ready but thanks to all hands on deck and some frantic last minute work by everyone, somehow we got it all done and started on time. This was amazing to everyone concerned as 2 or 3 times JVG had called One to advise we would likely not be ready.

Day 1 started with a VERY small crowd which was disappointing but not overly surprising considering the politics we had faced in the lead-up to the event not to mention the timing of the games and it being shown live on One.

None of the games on day 1 were overly exciting/close and the only upset came when the Reef knocked off the Pythons in the final game of the day. We didn't give the Reef much chance of doing well in this tournament but they played hard and knocked off the more fancied Pythons.

It was a stressful day with a lot of running around behind the scenes as people learned their roles and figured out what needed to be done.

Thanks to Kevin Brooks for organising a restaurant discount for all involved in the tournament at a restaurant called Scoozi's. It would quickly become the dinner option of choice for everyone, we were well looked after and the food was great value.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Foot Locker Elite Classic - Day 0

I say Day 0 because the tournament doesn't actually get underway until tomorrow so today was the day before day 1.

I was up at 4:40 in order to finish my packing and get to the airport in time for my 6:30 flight to Adelaide. When I checked in to Virgin Blue I noticed my seat number looked like it was down the back but for some reason I didn't think to change it. Having dated a Virgin Blue flight attendant and knowing a few others, I was aware that they put kids, babies, families down the back of the plane. I found myself sitting next to a mum with 2 young kids which wasn't too bad until 20 minutes or so before we landed and all hell broke loose. Note to self: make sure to sit down the front on the way home.

When we landed in Adelaide, I got a lift in to the city with Mark Bradtke, Deba George and a couple of the guys that were helping run the tournament. I caught up with JVG at the Stamford and met a few of the players who had already arrived and were waiting to check-in. More players and coaches arrived gradually throughout the day and the hotel was soon buzzing.

I helped collect bios on the players for One and had to call a few of the guys that hadn't arrived to fill theirs in over the phone. The first was my boy John Rillie and the next was Stephen Hoare who both fly in tomorrow and then one of the local Adelaide guys (who I caught up with at the Dome.)

In the afternoon we headed out to the Adelaide Dome to meet with the guys who are running the broadcast, while a number of the teams had shoot-arounds at another stadium. We had a meeting in the Sixers lounge surrounded by team pictures of all the Adelaide players throughout the years. Before we left we saw some of the sequences and imagining One are running during the event ... they look pretty good. Cal Bruton gave us a lift back in to town where we grabbed some dinner before the evenings events.

I had some running around to do before a meeting with all the players and coaches. It was essentially a welcome to everyone, a run through of what would be happening over the next week and what ECB's expectations were of those involved.

The day begins early tomorrow and after my 4:40 start this morning its a quiet night in for me and hopefully a good night sleep. Can't wait for the tournament to get started tomorrow!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Countdown to High Stakes Hoops

Its Saturday night and not long to go before the Footlocker Elite Classic - High Stakes Hoops which begins on Tuesday.

I booked my flights last week and I arrive in Adelaide early on Monday morning and fly back the following Monday night. My role for the week is basically Jeff Van Groningen's right hand man ... what exactly that involves is really anyone's guess right now! Basically, I'll be helping Jeff take care of business and no doubt doing a lot of the running around and organising that he won't have time for.

I'll take the video camera down with me and try to do a few player interviews and give a behind the scenes look at the tournament and everything that's going on. I'll do my best to regularly blog about what's happening and you can follow me on Twitter here.

I cannot wait!!