Hey kids! Eyenga has been a busy little beaver lately, so it would be almost criminal not to keep everyone up to date. He’s been living the high life. He bought three iPads and 2 MacBooks (for only $2,500!). He bought expensive shoes for his sister. He bought a Lamborghini. He bought Call of Duty for the Playstation Vita, which is supposed to be awful. Oh yeah, and he bought these t-shirts:
Just because Eyenga is a man of exquisite taste and style doesn’t mean he is above buying a bunch of extremely hideous t-shirts. He’s a man of the people, and the people like loud shirts with fake gold printed on them. Not to mention, these shirts are a post-modern ironic expression of grandeur. Sure, Eyenga has the money to buy actual gold chains to drape over his shirts, but he’s buying shirts with fake gold on them instead. His sense of baller is at genius levels.
Did we mention, he also bought this:
First class tickets on Emirates Airlines. That’s the ultimate in baller, but we don’t need to tell any of you that. You can see how decked out his first class experience is through the set-up in the above picture.
Before any of you get on him for spending a bunch of money he doesn’t have now that he isn’t in the NBA, ponder for a second where he might be going on that first class flight. Then ponder these tweets:
Long flight? Chinese? Could it be?
Former NBA “player” Marcus Williams was suspended from the Shanxi Zhongyu Brave Dragons for six months after failing a drug test. Eyenga is taking his place… with a vengeance! That’s right! Eyenga is back and balling in a professional (Chinese) basketball league! He worked hard this off-season on revolutionizing his game, and now it’s all paid off. The dollars are rolling in, and Eyenga is going to make it rain money AND buckets SIMULTANEOUSLY! We couldn’t be happier for him if scientists attached electrodes to the part of our brains that control happiness and continuously shocked that area into a constant state of blissful elation!
WE ARE GOING TO SNORT COCAINE TONIGHT!
But on a somber note, this isn’t only a moment of extreme joy for all us Eyenga fans. It’s all a moment of relief that the following tweets will never happen again now that he’s doing what he loves for a real professional (Chinese) league:
If we can get real for a moment, these were a dark few months for Eyenga. He got cut from Orlando on the verge of NBA stardom. He was forced to do unspeakable acts of unspeakableness on some Texas D-League team. He wasted his money on that Vita Call of Duty game that’s supposed to be really bad. But now all of that is behind us.
Eyenga is going to man-whore his way through China. Eyenga is going to get laid more than he ever could in America — even with all the slutty hanger-on women we have here. And he’ll probably play some basketball, too. He’s living the American dream by being a Congolese citizen getting paid and laid in China.
God bless America and God bless Christian Eyenga. Yes we can! Yes we did! Yes he will every night for the rest of the Chinese league season! Maybe in the mornings, too:
Jetleg or fun-loving, Eyenga is having a good time.
Welcome to the first 2013 edition if I GO CHART NOW. It’ll be just as terrible as all the others (just kidding, it’s gonna be great! And the others weren’t so bad either). I’ve been pretty swamped with the holidays and other non-bloggy things, so this will be kinda short on the random stuff, but as always, I’ve managed to make time to check up on the 2012 draft class. On with the show….
A Few Random Stat Things
Nikola Vucevic is better than Dwight and Shaq
….Haha, just kidding. Nikola Vucevic had 29 rebounds in an OT almost-win against the Heat, breaking the single game rebounding record for the Orlando Magic. You know, the team that had Shaq and Dwight Howard for quite a few years. Well played, Nikola, well played.
Steve Nash has hit 10,000 assists in his career. Antawn Jamison was the one to convert the shot and push Nash into five-digit assist realm. Of all Lakers. Anyways, this makes Nash just the fifth player to reach 10K assist in their career. The others? Stockton (15,806), Kidd (11,969 and counting), Mark Jackson (10,334), and Magic (10,141). Currently, Nash stands at 10,005 assists. Grats, you crazy-haired Canadian.
Rudy Gay, Trade Candidate
Apparently Memphis is fed up with Rudy Gay. As a result, there have been a few trade rumors swirling and lame pubescent douchebag “gay” puns being thrown around. Since I don’t watch many Grizzlies games and don’t really understand the frustration (I mean, he’s pretty good, right?) I got to wondering why. Obviously, his contract is big. But, statistically, how different is he compared to previous seasons? A couple things that jump out is that his FGA are a career high (16.4) and he’s shooting much lower than his career average this season. In an attempt to look at some more stats from season to season on a reasonably leveled field, let’s look at some of Rudy’s per 36 numbers….
His field goal percentage is crap, hanging at .408. 3P% wise, he’s not doing so hot at .323 (was worse last year at .312)….He is, however, attempting 3.2 three pointers per game so far this season, his highest since 4.6 his sophomore season — and between then and this season, he averaged 3.0 3PA per game (per 36 of course) or less each season.Gay’s eFG (the stat that compensates a 3 pointer being worth more than a 2 pointer in calculating FG%) stands at a career low at .439%. That’s pretty bad.
As for some positive statistical things, Gay’s free throw shooting actually ties a career best currently, .805. He’s also hitting the freethrow line at about the same pace, 3.9 attempts per game per 36 minutes (career average of 4.0, 3.9 and 4.0 in the two seasons prior).
Stats like assists and rebounds really haven’t changed much from previous years. Here’s some numbers to chomp on.
So, basically, the only thing Rudy is doing drastically (if you want to even use that word) worse than in previous seasons is his field goal percentage. A guy earning max money should never shoot almost .400 from the floor unless they’re the world’s greatest defender…and even then, blah.
Draft Class 2012 Checkup
Well, well, well, it looks like Beal’s starting to put it all together, Lillard is continuing to be awesome, and Rivers is continuing to suck. Here’s a tally of the top ten picks in 2012 draft class’ numbers so far this season:
Draft Class of 2012 Stats after 1/7/2013 Games
Anthony Davis has kind of hit a little bit of a lull in the last week or so, going — points and rebounds — 9 and 13, 8 and 7, 4 and 1, and 17 and 9 in the past four games. Now those numbers aren’t terrible (except for the 4 and 1 which he got in 12 minutes), and he’s playing only 25.2 minutes on average. Not very good numbers from the number one overall pick, but no reason to pull an Al Roker.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist continues to be very solid for a very confusing Bobcats team. For a kid who just turned 19 not too long ago, he has a pretty good understanding of his strengths and weaknesses on offense, as demonstrated by his high FG% as a SF. He’s even shooting a higher percentage right now than Davis.
Bradley Beal has really played well for the Wizards lately. In the last five games, he has averaged 18.2 points, 4 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game on 0.420 shooting. The shooting percentage, while not stellar, is a nice improvement over his average so far this season. And to top all this off, he had the game winner against the Thunder. Finally, Bradley is forcing us to Beal With It.
Dion Waiters, as you may already know, got “demoted” to the bench starting January 2nd against Sacramento. Since then, he’s averaged 15 points on .429 shooting (0.889 FT%) to go along with 3.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists. While his assist numbers are lower than his good-for-second-in-the-top-ten season average 3.2 APG, his average shooting numbers are looking up. As previously with Waiters, shot selection seems to be a concern, but he has looked better driving to the rim and has only attempted 2.5 three pointers per game in the last four games.
Thomas Robinson still hasn’t really had a fair chance to show us anything, but he did have a nice 12 rebound in 21 minute effort against Memphis in a blowout loss Monday.
Damian Lillard continues to be nothing short of awesome as a rookie for the Blazers. He has only had single digit scoring in one game this season, when he had nine points against Toronto on December 10 on 2-14 shooting. Even then, nine points. One short of ten. Might as well just give it to him. I am going to be really, really surprised if this guy doesn’t win rookie of the year. Barring major regression or major injury, he will.
Harrison Barnes is showing he can be a nice contributor for what has turned out to be a very good Golden State Warriors team. While you’d like to see his FG% be a little bit higher, he has helped improve the Warriors to a playoff-worthy team in the West, and that’s a decent feat on its own.
Terrence Ross had that really awesome windmill dunk before Christmas and has since had a game where he scored 16 points on 10 shots and another with 26 points on 14 shots (6 of 9 on threes!). Unfortunately, he’s also had a game of 1 for 8 shooting and 4 points and another of 1 of 7 shooting for 3 points, so there’s that.
Andre Drummond is going to be one hell of a pickup for the Pistons. In two years, every team that picked four through eight is probably going to have their fans asking “why the [favorite expletive here] didn’t you draft Drummond?” Of course, hindsight is 20/20 and all that. Drummond shot over .600 for the entire month of December (.609 in 16 games at 22.1 MPG). One issue? His free throw shooting has Ben Wallace looking like a free throw pro. Plus, how is he going to look in more than ~20 minutes per game? Fouls aren’t an issue, in that time span he only averages around 2 (I’ll do the math for you, that’s 4 per 40 minutes pace).
Austin Rivers, having Doc as your father doesn’t mean shit anymore. No one cares. Man up and play like a lottery pick.
That’s all for now….If you have anything you want to see on IGCN in the future, feel free to drop me a line on Twitter (username ChartyMcGraph…figure out the URL, gotta keep the bots at bay).
Now that everyone’s returned back to the soul-crushing drudgery of their day jobs or school, what better time to talk about celebrations? It’s that awesome time of the year when the weather outside makes you not want to venture from your bedroom, yet alone your apartment, you’ll find your plans regularly get interupted because of blizzards and, oh yeah, you probably won’t have another sizable time away from work/school for at least six months. And there’s a good chance you’ll spend at least a few weeks of those months bed ridden with some sort of awesome flu because some asshole at your office couldn’t wash his hands after handling his diseased child in the morning and now you’re sick because you ate a bagel.
We’re a group of optimists here at I GO HARD NOW, if you can’t tell.
But alas, we came here to talk about celebrations, so we’re gonna talk about celebrations. Specifically, some of our writers wanted to share with you, our faithful readers, our most beloved celebrations in the NBA today. Don’t ever say we’ve never given you anything you ungrateful pricks.
I have to go with a recent celebration, it’s Javale McGee’s “finger-lickin’ good” dance:
Now, let’s break down the reasons why this is so awesome:
Javale fuckin’ McGee hit a three-pointer: Yes, Epic Vale himself, the man best known for a laundry list of some of the dumbest, most bone-headed plays in basketball, hit a three pointer. At the buzzer. The play that he’s celebrating alone elevates this into the upper echelon of NBA celebrations
This is the first and only three-pointer in Javale McGee’s career. Even without the dance, it’s a historic moment.
Restraint. Now, onto the actual celebration itself. You may remember when Javale McGee notched the first triple double of his career. He got to where he needed only a few points and essentially hijacked the Wizards offense for the better part of a quarter trying to get his last two points. Of course, he continually missed every shot until he finally got point #10 on a dunk. What’d he do immediately afterwards to celebrate? Get T-ed up for pulling up on the rim. Javale’s learned a lot since that moment, and celebrates this historic moment with a surprising amount of poise for a notorious knucklehead.
Creativity. If you’ve watched any games on League Pass, you’ll know that KFC sponsors every team in the league. Bucket Charts. Bucket Sharks. All kinds of shitty puns involving buckets of chicken. Despite KFC being so ubiquitous in the NBA experience, no one has ever thought of a “finger-lickin’ good” dance. Until Javale. Because he’s a beautiful genius.
Let’s reflect for a moment on DeShawn Stevenson’s “I Can’t Feel My Face” celebration (yup, I’m giving it the title treatment):
Many people have debated over the years whether this is a cocaine reference or a serious medical condition where DeShawn Stevenson literally cannot feel his face after every minor life achievment. Does DeShawn’s face go numb after remembering to wash his hands before dinner? Has he been able to feel his face since winning a title with the Dallas Mavericks? That was a major accomplishment, and I imagine it lead to weeks — if not months — of paralysis in his facial region.
Of course, these interpretations may be too kind to DeShawn. If you look at this gesture in the above video, you will notice that DeShawn never actually touches his face. Yes, there could be some sort of force field, ghost, or invisible being physically keeping him from touching his own face, but I am skeptical of those answers. I think DeShawn may just be incredibly stupid. He can’t FEEL his face because he doesn’t realize he must TOUCH his face in the first place. Of course, he can’t feel his face. It’s because of the lack of touching of said face. All he has to do is place his hand about one inch closer to his face, and he will be feeling it just fine.
Knowing DeShawn Stevenson, isn’t that the most likely answer?
(P.S. As a bonus mention – I want to remind everyone that Marreese Speights did jumping jacks after hitting a shot last week. That’s friggin’ cool.)
Imagine this scenario: You win a chess match against a friend and decide it’s time to celebrate. Off the chair you go! Now start jumping around while pretending to cradle your imaginary testicles, which happen to be the size of ripened cantaloupes. You are basically saying in a non-verbal fashion: ”my balls are so fucking big that I need to cup them from underneath and yo-yo them like a spindle.”
Yo-yo these balls, bitch!
My friends, you are now doing the Sam Cassell Big Balls Dance.
Of course, Sam got this dance from Pedro Cerrano’s “You have no marbles” scene in Major League. It’s great on many levels, but the sheer disrespectfulness of the Big Balls Dance is off the charts.
So, what’s the next level of the Big Balls Dance? Well, I think someone should do the “air jack off, spunk throw” move that Mr. Chow pulls off in The Hangover. There’s no way this isn’t Andray Blatche’s next gift to us all.
Things got really real here. Fendo (from Dancing with Noah) and I get really serious for most of the pod about the (lack of) enjoyment of sports, the state of internet sports writing and just hating everything in general. And there’s a hot minute at the end when we actually talk about basketball stuff.
I GO HARD NOW understands that you come to our blog for guidance through life. We mainly provide you basketball opinions to recite to your friends (because we know our readers are totally devoid of their own thoughts), but IGHN writers also give the gracious gift of insight on a lot of worldly topics (love, culture, food, drugs, etc.).
I have gathered some of IGHN’s finest taste makers to drop some 2012-in-review knowledge on you and let you know what you probably missed this past year. It’s not a traditional “here are the best music, movies, tv, blah blah blah” lists that you are used to. It’s pretty much what we thought was awesome. So yeah, it’s basically your chance to live like us going forward. YOU’RE WELCOME!
If you aren’t familiar with this “genre” of music, Rockabye Baby cds are essentially cover versions of pop and rock songs that sound like lullabies. My top three are “Head Like a Hole”, “Runnin with the Devil” and “Enjoy the Silence”, but I basically spent the final weeks finishing my masters listening to an 8 hour playlist of these things.
The Barclays Center -
I moved to New York in 2010, and aside from paying a small fortune to see the Cavs play the Knicks at the Garden, I would take the PATH train to Newark (kind of a slog) to see the Nets play whoever I cared about for considerably less at the Prudential Center. the relocation of the Nets to Brooklyn meant I live a ten minute trip from the arena, and now get to see pro basketball on the regular, just as i did when i lived in Cleveland. Broooooooooklyn!
Neil Young’s Memoir, Waging Heavy Peace -
If you don’t acknowledge the importance of Neil Young in the world, we probably can’t even have a conversation. This book is basically Neil Young’s livejournal, and I loved all 512 pages of it. I didn’t want it to end. Topics discussed include: Orange Julius, freedom, horrible medical procedures, his music service (multiple times), stuff that sucks, stuff that is awesome, Sonicare toothbrush replacements, a boat. It was so good i used to do readings of it to one of my roommates.
The Internet -
This is a perennial favorite of mine. The Internet has allowed me to sustain friendships with people across the country, there’s always hilarious stuff to read and/or look at (this, in particular: http://twitpic.com/8z12ea), and I can’t imagine it not being in my life. This year it led me to some pretty hilarious experiences and even better people in my non-internet life, and I’m super stoked about that. Thx internet, i l u 4evz.
My Trip to Los Angeles in October -
This final thing I loved in 2012 started off as the pair of vintage Bulls sweatpants I bought at and still on la Brea and then I thought about the 2 Chainz (Editor’s Note: 2 CHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ) record from the Best Buy in Atwater Village that I listened to in my rental car, and then I thought about Metropolis II @ LACMA. It’s all under the umbrella of this trip. It is no secret that I am in love with LA and it is my dream to move there, so leaving it off of a list of my best things of 2012 seems criminal, even though I’ve loved it outside of this year and will continue to forever. This trip included some of the greatest people I know on this planet, the beach, an exorbitant amount of thai street food, me riding a bike (first time since 2008!) and five days of feeling like my best self. If i can’t go to heaven, let me go to LA.
I’m quick hitting this because I’m sick and just took my nightly handful of sleeping pills so I can get my beauty rest.
James Harden’s Beard -
I feel like Harden’s beard really set the standard for 2012 facial hair.
Kyrie Irving -
2011 was a little shaky for Kyrie, but 2012 saw him move from “I hope he’s really good” status to “He’s a star” status to “for sure superstar” status. As a Cavs fan, I love it.
Grizzly Bear -
“Shields” is my favorite album of the last five years. Or more. I haven’t actually counted. Also, actual grizzly bears are pretty cool, too.
Mars Rover Curiosity -
Call me bias, but I love any money put into our space program — especially when it has to do with Mars.
Marc Gasol’s Continuous Validation of the Pau Gasol Trade -
Let’s face it, 2012 was a pretty terrible year for Cleveland sports fans. Sure, Kyrie Irving’s rookie campaign was incredible and great to watch, but the rest of the Cavaliers during that rookie campaign? Woof. While Dion Waiters has his moments, the Cavs are currently sitting at 6-23, good for the third worst record in the NBA. Oh, and most of the team is wearing face masks. And Twitter has devolved into one long argument about Tristan Thompson that never ends. And the Indians imploded in spectacular fashion. And I don’t care about the Browns (sorry, I don’t). And the Heat won. And now people won’t shut up about how great LeBron James is now. And LeBron James stories still show up in my Cavaliers newsfeed on Yahoo. And now people are saying he’s going to come back and save the Cavs, but he won’t, because that’s ridiculous and please shut up.
In other words, my favorite things about 2012 don’t involve sports. Actually, sports aside, 2012 was a pretty awesome year filled with cool shit. Here’s some of my favorites: “The Walking Dead” (the video game) -
While the game play itself isn’t anything spectacular (it’s basically an old school point and click adventure game), the story is phenomenally engaging and moves the whole medium forward. I’ll admit it, I kinda teared up at the end of this one. It packs a punch.
“Game of Thrones” -
I hate fantasy stuff. I walked out of the first two Lord of the Rings movies. I have no desire to sit through nine hours of The Hobbit. And yet, I absolutely love this show and have started reading through the books. Maybe it’s the boobs.
This Pollos Hermanos tub filled with rock candy that looks like Heisenburg meth -
This is totally awesome, but I have no idea who has $1,656 to drop on some rock candy and a plastic bucket. Come on son. @Horse_ebooks -
I know most people don’t get it, but I don’t care. This shit is hysterical. “They Live”
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper fighting aliens in a John Carpenter movie that inspired both Shepard Fairey and the Cripple Fight episode of South Park. Yeah, it’s pretty awesome.
On a personal level, 2012 was not one of my best years. Despite the suckiness, there were some great things that came out it:
I have to give some love to Mike (@mikeyfivebucks) and Justin (@paluchador) for tipping me off to him. I remember Mike telling me that The Weeknd was “in your lane” and music you want to “fuck and do drugs to.” Boy, was he right. From the first beat drop in “High for This” to his cover of Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana,” The Weeknd changed my life for the better. It’s been the only thing I’ve listened to the past six weeks and I don’t see it leaving the rotation anytime soon. The best part about his music is the mood it sets. It’s not traditional slow-jam R&B. It makes you feel like you are rocking back and forth in a hazy trance with some cute girl rolling on E in the coolest underground spot in New York City. Give it a shot. Some songs to consider: “High for This”, “Wicked Games”, “Montreal”, “XO/The Host”, “The Zone”, “House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls” and my absolute favorite, “Lonely Star.” How addicting is this album? I drove around Cleveland for two hours on a late Saturday night because I didn’t want to stop listening.
Warby Parkers and Pencil Skirts
Girls, this outfit is fire. I don’t know what it is, but there was nothing sexier this year than girls rocking a pencil skirt with some Warby Parker frames. Well done, ladies.
Sports Play of the Year
Yep, this happened.
“The Master” -
To be straight up, I didn’t fully get it and I don’t know many people who did. What I DO know is that it was beautiful to look at and am insanely compelling story about the relationships between people. I’m sure there was a way deeper meaning, but I took away interesting insights into the dominance/submission that happens in any friendship. You should probably see it and make up your own mind what it’s about.
Scott Snyder’s Comic Book Writing -
So yeah, I was late to the party, but he’s a beast when it comes to writing comic books. In 2012 I caught up on his American Vampire series and his run on Batman/Detective Comics. It’s incredible stuff and if you are even remotely interested in comics you should peep that shit.
“Blue Chips” by Action Bronson/Party Supplies -
Action Bronson released two mix tapes this year and this was the better of the two. Action Bronson pretty much does him on this shit, but Party Supplies’ production is crazy. Like really good and fix’s Bam Bam’s style perfectly. Just download the mixtape (IT’S FREE!), listen to Pouches of Tuna and tell me it isn’t hot. I dare you.
“R.A.P. Music” by Killer Mike -
If “Blue Chips” was mixtape of the year, “R.A.P. Music” might be the hip hop album of the year… and I would have a really hard time not considering it for my overall album of the year for 2012. Socially conscious rap without being boring. Listen to the second verse of Reagan and figure out what’s good.
Went there on my honeymoon in October and had a blast. Shouts out to all the Basketball Twitter I met out there. Shit was fun.
“How Music Works” by David Byrne -
Do you care about music and/or the Talking Heads? Read this book. Equally a autobiography and music criticism, David Byrne has this whole music thing figured out. And he’s just such a fucking weird guy. It’s memorizing.
I hope you all are enjoying your holidays. I know I am.. or at least I’m doing a good job of getting fat. And lazy, too, as I ran out of time to give you a normal, bi-weekly dose of IGCN. But fear not. I have at least bothered to grab the stats of the top 10 picks in the 2012 draft and quickly review some things. And in another week, I’ll have some more statistical goodness to share with you all to make up for it. Cool? Cool.
When the majority of you were lamenting your newly acquired socks and pajama bottoms on Christmas morning, here’s where the top ten 2012 draft class member’s stats stood:
2012 draft class statistics as of 12/25/2012
Now for a quick rundown….
There’s only been one game this season where Davis hasn’t had at least one block (11/17 vs MIL, where he had a double-double with 28 points and 11 rebounds, getting those points on 13 shots (!!!!)). But what really stands out to me about Davis, however, is his free throw shooting. Here’s a guy who’s 6’10″, in his first year in the league, and he’s shooting almost 85% from the line. Maybe it has to do with all that time he spent at PG before having that growth spurt.. you know, a position that is generally expected to make it’s free throws. It seems like big men homegrown in the US don’t care much about free throw shooting, so it’s nice to see such a young PF/C shoot such a high percentage.
MKG had a very nice game against PHX, going for 25 points on just 14 shots with no three pointers attempted. He also had a double double that game with 12 rebounds. Overall, there not much new to report with Kidd-Gilchrist — he continues to be very solid at his position and a bright point in a Bobcats roster that has currently lost fifteen in a row.
I feel like this kid would be doing a heck of a lot better if he wasn’t in the cancerous situation in Washington that was supposed to go away when they got rid of Gil. Then when they got rid of Blatche and McGee. But apparently it’s still there.
Things are looking up for Beal, though. Beal has scored 10+ points in all but one game in December, and his FG% is up to 0.389 from 0.341 in November (.220 3P% in December, however). This kid’s got talent, and it looks like he’s putting it together. I’m not sure his team’s situation is helping that along in the best way possible, but it looks like Beal is starting to get more comfortable in the league.
Dion continues to shoot a low percentage more often than not. But, he did dish out seven assists against Indy on 12/21. Dion also had a nice showing the next night, going 18/5/2 (pts/reb/ast). The issue with Dion tends to be (and continues to be) his shot selection. That should be something he corrects in time and with experience. We’ll see. [Related: Dion hasn't hit a three pointer since returning from injury on December 18, going 0-12 in four games.]
Kinda waiting for Thomas to really have a game that jumps out. Considering his lack of consistent minutes, this isn’t really surprising. Still, gotta think SAC expected more out of him, even this early in the season.
His FG% isn’t that hot, but that’s about it. Only once in December has Lillard not scored over ten points, and has had 6+ assists in all but one game when he had four against New Orleans on the 16th. Random stat: he’s only not had a rebound in one game so far this season (@PHX on 11/21/2012).
I was hoping we’d see more out of him when Rush went down, but alas…Barnes has only scored more than ten points twice so far in December (10 and 19 points) and scored six or less points eight times in that same time span. Still, the Warriors have a better record than anyone probably expected at this point (18-10), so who’s complaining?
Still nothing too fancy in the numbers. That said, he had a nice game against the Magic, going for 13 points on 8 shots and, perhaps most importantly, this dunk:
Drummond continues to be a diamond in the rough — a very, very shiny diamond. His per 36 minutes numbers are quite nice at 12.6 pts/13.1 reb / 2.9 blk with only 1.5 TO and 3.6 fouls. You know what else is awesome? He has a PER of 21, good for 27th in the league. That’s higher than Dwight Howard and Serge Ibaka.Not bad for a “project pick”.
Remember that time Austin scored 27 points against Minnesota, going 5-6 from three? Yeah, that was pretty cool.
Welcome to the final segment of our NBA Christmas list. As in the previous segments (which you should obviously check out), this is one piece of our sneak peak at the NBA’s master Christmas list. Something I just noticed while writing this: the NBA gets less fun in alphabetical order.
Portland Trailblazers: A competent medical/training staff (I wish I could have started this column out with a joke).
Sacramento Kings: New owners.
And arena name.
San Antonio Spurs: When the Gregg Popovich runs downstairs and opens his presents, he’ll see four snuggies. He won’t have to worry about his star players getting chilly during the cold winter TNT games that they’ll be spending on the bench.
Toronto Raptors: League permission to switch back to their cartoon throwbacks for the rest of the year. They should also see about making the court holograms more extreme. Anything to make this season more interesting.
Utah Jazz: A new name. Something fitting for the culture and wild life of Utah. The Utah Pelicans has a nice ring to it.
Washington Wizards The Kobe treatment in Germany for John Wall’s entire body.
Episode 31 – Sheed, Antawn Jamison and Chris Duhon
Yea, you read the title right. We talked about all of these things… at length. I won’t lie, we talked about other stuff too, so check out this week’s pod with Seth Rosenthal from Posting and Toasting and Emile from Hardwood Hype, in addition to myself and BOOSH!
Chances at making sports history are fleeting. They consist of a hodgepodge of greatness, luck, and circumstance. It is so rare that a team can make an impact on the record books, and this is why I think it is necessary to applaud the Nuggets on their history making night in Portland today. They shot 0-22 on three pointers tonight, and that is one hell of a record.
It takes a special kind of team to get a record like that — especially when the team doesn’t consist entirely of 15 Dwight Howard clones who suddenly decide to take a plethora of three point attempts. Denver is not totally inept from behind the arc this season. While they rank 25th in three point field goal percentage, it could be worse. They could be last. In fact, the difference between Denver and the last place team in three point percentage is the same as the difference between Denver and the fourth place team.
Or at least it was until tonight’s game happen. Those stats are bound to look different once NBA.com gets around to updating them. The stats I quoted in the previous paragraph do not reflect the level of victory Denver achieved on this most historic of nights. A victory that cannot be calculated purely in wins or loses.
Although, Denver did lose.
Losing made their entry into history all the more admirable. With three minutes to go, this game was still very winnable, but Denver made a game-long decision to shoot themselves out of victory and into history. They shot themselves into greater history than a mere extra win in the standings. And while, with three minutes to go, Denver could have deviated from that plan, they decided to keep their course.
Full steam ahead to history!
Down by six with three minutes to go, Denver took a three point shot, missed (of course), got an offensive rebound, and then missed another three point shot. In those last three minutes alone, the team took (and missed) five three pointers, yet they still scored ten points through free throws and two point makes. Portland also received the benefit of four gimme points through intention fouls/free throws at the end of the game, giving them an eight point lead that, minus intentional fouls, could have easily been merely a four point lead given that Portland only shot 35.9% for the game. If Denver had taken a different approach in those final minutes, maybe they would have won the game (well, we will get to that later), but at what cost?
Denver also shot horrifically during this game with an overall FG% of 38.8%. Clearly, though, this number is swayed greatly by the three point misses. Taking those away, but still leaving in all the missed midrange shots (Denver made only one shot from midrange or longer the entire game), the FG% looks a lot different. Had Denver not shot a single three pointer the entire game, their FG% would have been 50%.
If we lived in a world where those 22 three point attempts were two point attempts, Denver would have needed to shoot 22.73% to win the game. That would have given Denver 103 points for the game — two more than Portland’s 101. Even an awful team on an awful shooting night can make 5 out of 22 shots.
Of course, it’s not that simple, is it? Surely, Denver did not plan to break the three point record when they went into the game tonight. They went about their normal game plan, saw they were missing threes, and then they went for it. They took advantage of circumstances that were already going in their favor.
The question, then, is what was their decision point? At what point could they have realistically missed a bunch of threes and decided to not take anymore while still most likely winning the game? The easy answer, but incorrect answer, would probably be after their 12th missed three pointer. That leaves ten more shots to change from three pointers to two pointers, and if they kept up their 50% scoring clip on two pointers, they would have won the game.
The problem with that is most of their two pointers were pretty decent shots. There is no way of knowing the quality of the shots if Denver had taken two pointers instead of those last ten three point shots. In some semblance of fairness, I am going to assume Denver would have shot about 40% on those two pointers. That means they would have had to quit taking three pointers somewhere around the ninth or tenth missed shot if they were going to definitely get the win instead of the record.
That seems far too early in the game to give up, and we, the NBA fans, are lucky they didn’t.
It is hard to predict how things would have gone in those close last three minutes if Denver had abandoned their bid for history (because of the before mentioned four points Portland got off of intentional fouls), but it’s worthwhile to guess because that was the last turning point. Denver would have needed to either tie or take the lead in the game before the final ten seconds when they started fouling.
Remember, they shot five three pointers in the last three minutes, but two of those came after the intentional fouling started. That means, if they took two pointers instead of three pointers in those last minutes, they would have had to make two out of three to tie. Considering that two three pointers were taken on one possession, that also means they would have had to score on every possession to even tie the game.
Factor in the extra two possessions Denver got in the final ten seconds from intentional fouling, and to even tie the game, they still would have needed to score on every possession. Since that would have been a near impossibility, it is clearly a good thing that Denver decided to go for the record instead of the win.
Before that, the next available, realistic turning point where Denver could have quit taking three pointers and gone for the win was with 7:07 left in the game. However, from this point forth, Denver only took six three point attempts. They get one extra possession to work with, but they still have to score (on only two pointers) on five out of six possessions to even send the game into overtime and all six possessions to win it.
The very last point where Denver could have quit going for the record like a bunch of cowards and instead probably won was with 2:27 left in the third quarter. They were down by nine points then, but they would have gotten twelve extra two point attempts. By then, we are all thankful that this team had their priorities straight. They would become heroes on this December night — not a bunch of jerks who won a meaningless regular season game.
While this was a team effort on Denver’s part, not everyone contributed to the record. In fact, the record could have been much better if the following players had even attempted a three pointer: JaVale McGee, Kosta Koufos, Kenneth Faried, Timofey Mozgov, and Anthony Randolph. I know these guys are all power forwards or centers, but that is no excuse for lacking team spirit. If Andrew Bynum has the guts to attempt a three pointer, surely the previous list of NON-All-Star players could, too.
But I hate to end on a negative note. This was a night about triumph and the inevitably of greatness — not about gutless non-contributors! (Sorry!) What Denver did tonight was nothing short of amazing, and it is worth pointing out that they actually had the record for most missed three pointers at 21.
Then the clock was ticking down to the final buzzer.
And Ty Lawson stepped up to the three-point line.
Nothing but history — with a new record that is just a little harder to beat.