Archive for Category: "NBA"

Mark Cuban’s Been Talking to Aaron Sorkin: A Beautifully Worded Demolition of Skip Bayless July 27, 2012 10:15 am

Mark Cuban’s Been Talking to Aaron Sorkin: A Beautifully Worded Demolition of Skip Bayless

By Matt Jones

Skip Bayless is a douchebag. Few statements are so universally accepted.

You can substitute douchebag for a lot of words — jackass, moron, hack — without radically altering its meaning. Bayless is a fairly easy target for criticism, becoming the poster child for ignorance in sports commentary. He’s so offensive that multiple people in his own profession have taken public swings at him.

Few were surprised — many were delighted, in fact — when Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban eviscerated Bayless on his own show the day after the Miami Heat won the NBA Finals.

While I also took great pleasure in watching Skip Bayless get flayed on TV, I’d like to explore the point of Cuban’s diatribe. Between right hooks at Bayless’ face, Cuban is trying to say something intelligent about sports commentary.

Hung Over From July Fourth: Completely Arbitrary Power Rankings July 7, 2012 11:49 am

Hung Over From July Fourth: Completely Arbitrary Power Rankings

By Matt Ford

Five days off, unprecedented heat, way too many American-flag Budweisers and several NBA blockbuster trades are the fodder of Matt’s latest Completely Arbitrary Power Rankings.

2) My company for giving us the entire week off after July Fourth.

3) Roger Federer. Now, he’s on his way to a record eighth Wimbledon final. But a few weeks ago, many thought Roger Federer would be forever doomed to pointlessly chase the dominant Novak Djokovic and ubiquitous Rafael Nadal, like he was Quagmire chasing Lois.

8) Whoever Katie Holmes rebounds with. I like Channing Tatum for this role (the first role for which anyone has ever liked Tatum).

15) The Newsroom. Did anyone watch the second week? Literally, have you heard anyone talking about it since Week One?

HMGL Staff Emails the NBA Draft; “Wingspan,” Mom-Arm-Tattoo Power Rankings, Loving David Stern, Watching Perry Jones Fall to the Perfect Team June 29, 2012 11:16 am

HMGL Staff Emails the NBA Draft; “Wingspan,” Mom-Arm-Tattoo Power Rankings, Loving David Stern, Watching Perry Jones Fall to the Perfect Team

By HMGL Staff

Jones: Stern may get a better reception in the Lakers’ front office than he is getting in Newark right now.

Ford: What NBA agent allowed their multi-million dollar draft picks to STAND UNDER LADDERS during promotions??

“Perry, our idea is for you to hold a black cat and stand under a ladder! You like it? Great! Are you free to shoot this Friday (the 13th?)”

Dash: Brace yourselves for this…”How could you be Moooooe Harkless??” There. Now every time you hear Moe Harkless’ name, you won’t be able to get that stupid Kanye song out of your head. Sorry guys.

Chris Badders Drive-By on Twitter: The best suit of the night still belongs to Anthony Davis’s eyebrow.

Ethan Rothstein: Terrence Ross to the Raptors? Maryland fans hope they’re happy with a CLOWNFRAUD TRAITOR. Seriously, though, storyline so far is no trades through Top 8. Daryl Morey: most harmless evil genius since Gru from Despicable Me.

Pete: Good emailing guys, we should all reconvene for Terrell Stoglin’s first D-league start.

The End of “The Narrative”: A Legacy-Changing Victory for LeBron James and an Overdue End to Criticism June 22, 2012 12:39 am

The End of “The Narrative”: A Legacy-Changing Victory for LeBron James and an Overdue End to Criticism

By Ethan Rothstein

As an NBA purist, “The Narrative” of LeBron James has been overwhelming and difficult to overcome in bar-room arguments, Twitter feuds, and casual conversations. It was inescapable trying to explain away last June, imploring the world to look past two weeks when everything was simply too much for James.

“He’s still the best player in the world,” I’d say for the past year. “It’s so obvious it’s painful,” I’d try to impart. Kevin Durant can score and handle the moment, but he can’t reign in Russell Westbrook, he can’t turn Kendrick Perkins into a useful offensive player, he can’t give Shane Battier, Mario Chalmers and Miller wide-open corner three after corner three.

Now, we can ask no more. He has had more unwarranted criticism of his play than probably any other athlete ever. But he’s earned our respect, and he’s earned the dropping of The Narrative.

Is Winning a Series-Clinching Game Harder Than Any Other Game? Getting Dorky With It June 20, 2012 5:08 pm

Is Winning a Series-Clinching Game Harder Than Any Other Game? Getting Dorky With It

By Justin Elliott

It’s often said the clinching game of a series is the hardest one to win. Pressure mounts when the prize is in sight, while the losing team plays like a dog backed into a corner, as they face elimination and are willing to lay it all on the line.

Coaching great George Karl, seventh on the NBA’s all-time wins list, holds this truth to be self-evident. Case in point: Karl’s Denver Nuggets were facing elimination against the LA Lakers in the first round, down three games to one, when he said, “It’s the hardest thing in the world to win that fourth game. I don’t care who you are playing,” regardless of seeding.

So, in the wake of Miami’s win in Game Four (putting the Miami Heat up over the Oklahoma City Thunder, 3-1), I decided to examine the George Karl Hypothesis.

I looked at the results of the last 10 years of NBA playoff data — all 149 playoff series (the current Finals will make an even 150). What I wanted to find out was how likely was a team to get their fourth win after they got their third win.

So, is it harder to win an elimination than any other playoff game? Well…

Already A Classic: After Three Games, The NBA Finals Has Exceeded Expectations June 19, 2012 5:20 pm

Already A Classic: After Three Games, The NBA Finals Has Exceeded Expectations

By Ethan Rothstein

Indeed, the NBA runs on stars, and the stars in this series are the brightest there are. Through three games, we have had three thrillers, filled with dazzling comebacks, spectacular plays and memorable moments, and they’ve all come from the primary players.

While Durant has been impressive offensively, proving he can hit any shot, from any angle, over any defender, LeBron has showed he not only can dominate with his scoring but his defense and defensive rebounding.

Incredibly, Durant has grabbed the spotlight, proving he’s ready for the moment. Yet LeBron has also reaffirmed his status as the best player on the planet.

So, even though the Heat are up 2-1 and have a chance to close out the series in five, I’m no longer worried about a letdown. The basketball gods are too good to us this year. This series will go six or seven, we will watch every possible second, and we will remember it for a long, long time.

Four Things We Learned From Game Three; Plus Arbitrary Awards and An Ode to the Heat’s Bench June 18, 2012 10:37 am

Four Things We Learned From Game Three; Plus Arbitrary Awards and An Ode to the Heat’s Bench

By Matt Ford

Has there ever been a team that benefits from officiating like the Miami Heat? Of course, everyone says “Hey, you can’t call that!” against Durant in the last minute of Game Two — but missed calls in favor of Wade (and, certainly, LeBron James) throughout the course of the game are “Just part of the game!”

Awards: Winner of the “Bodie Broadus Lookalike Award:” Russell Westbrook

Winner of the “Space Jam Award For Absolute Worst Depth On A Great Team”: Miami Heat. Look, it’s been talked about ad nauseum, but as I told my friends tonight, James Jones and Mike Miller might make the final rosters of 10 teams in the NBA — the first nine teams in the lottery, and the Heat. How are the Heat winning in the Finals?

Game One: What We Learned from the Thunder’s Victory June 13, 2012 11:00 am

Game One: What We Learned from the Thunder’s Victory

By Matt Ford

Shortly before tip-off last night, I finally finished wrestling with a prediction (follow us on Twitter, buttheads!) for the Finals: Thunder in 6.

After one game, it looked like it might not even take that long. Here’s what happened and what it means for the rest of the series.

Why the Thunder won –

Great coaching: Scott Brooks had the upper hand throughout this game.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in the clutch: Check this out: in the second half, Westbrook and Durant outscored the entire Miami Heat team, 41-40.

Transition points with young legs: The Thunder had 24 points in transition. The Heat? Four.

The Thunder are too deep: The dangerous thing about the Thunder is that they barely even played three of their best five players last night.

In Memoriam of Memorial Day Weekend: Game of Thrones’ Epic Battle, Doc Rivers’ Technical, Unbeatable Spurs May 29, 2012 2:49 pm

In Memoriam of Memorial Day Weekend: Game of Thrones’ Epic Battle, Doc Rivers’ Technical, Unbeatable Spurs

By Matt Ford

Spurs: The Spurs were unlikable already, but it even got worse when they ran into America’s favorite NBA team, the Oklahoma City Thunder. Who will root for Tim Duncan to win his fifth NBA title at the expense of Durant possibly winning his first?

Game of Thrones: It’s really easy to tell which of your friends has read the Game of Thrones books… because they are always so eager to tell you that they know what happens in the next episode! You know, if I had time to read 8,000 pages of fantasy books, I probably wouldn’t be telling all my friends about it. Yeah dorks, reading sounds way more fun than seeing Khaleesi’s tits twice (and counting!).

Celtics: Ray Allen is playing like Ray Finkle, Rajon Rondo can’t seem to hit a layup when it counts, and Brandon Bass is presently the third-best offensive option on the floor at any given moment. Oh, and they’re playing the pissed-off MVP in his prime and a rejuvenated former Finals MVP playing like he has something to prove. Yeah, I’d be worried if I were a Boston fan.

Other News

  • Unnecessary Sports Podcast

    Unnecessary Sports Podcast Returns!

    Matt and Neal talk NBA free agency in the return of the pod! Listen to their recap of the Eastern conference here. Then check out their recap of the Western conference, plus a few random predictions here.

    Read more →
  • Featured Stories NFL Podcasts Sports HMGL Super Bowl Recap: Podcast/Hangout

    HMGL Super Bowl Recap: Podcast/Hangout

    Justin, Neal and Matt put the Super Bowl in context: How good are the Ravens compared to other SB winners? Is Joe Flacco a top-5 quarterback? What is the next step with PED testing in the NFL?

    Once again, sports fans were treated to a memorable Super Bowl. The Ravens were thinking blowout until the blackout — did that affect their momentum? — and then the 49ers came all the way back to ultimately fall just short.

    Meanwhile, reverberations of Ray Lewis’ alleged use of PED’s forced sports fans to consider their values — does PED use really matter to us?

    And Joe Flacco emerged from a historic playoff run as an unquestioned franchise quarterback (what?).

    Hear our thoughts below, and enjoy Matt’s three solid minutes of embarrassing technical confusion at the beginning.

    Read more →
  • Featured Stories NFL Sports NFL Playoff Team fantasy draft: Justin, Matt and Neal’s standings

    NFL Playoff Team fantasy draft: Justin, Matt and Neal’s standings

    Note: This piece refers to the playoff draft on the last HMGL podcast. If you didn’t listen to it, check it out here.

    Wild Card Weekend Standings:

    (+1 point for advancing to the divisional round)

    Justin (3) — DEN +1, GB +1, BAL+1, IND 0
    Possible this week: 4 points (DEN/BAL, GB)
    Worst-case: 2 points (DEN/BAL) win, GB loses

    Matt (3) — NE +1, ATL+1, Hou+1, Cincy 0
    Possible this week: 4 points (NE/HOU, ATL)
    Worst-case: 2 points (NE/HOU) win, ATL loses

    Neal (2) — SF +1, SEA +1, WAS 0, MIN 0
    Possible this week: 4 points (SF, SEA both win)
    Worst-case: 0 points (SF, SEA both lose)

    Read more →
  • Featured Stories NFL Power Rankings Sports Ranking The NFL’s Hottest And Most Dangerous Teams: Playoffs 2012

    Ranking The NFL’s Hottest And Most Dangerous Teams: Playoffs 2012

    By Matt Ford

    Better to be lucky than good.

    Or, more like it, better dangerous than solid.

    So who is the most dangerous team entering the 2012 NFL Playoffs?

    Category One: The Psy “Gangnam Style” Award for “Congrats for Making It To The Big Time! But Now That You’re Here, You’re Going Away Quickly.”

    Category Two: The Kwame Brown Award for “Just Look At Them! They Have To Be Better Than They’re Playing”

    Category Three: The Looking At The Google Analytics Of HireMeGrantland.com Award for “Why Is No One Impressed By Us?”

    Category Four: The Mumford and Sons Award for “Everyone Thinks We’re Underrated, But We’re Actually Overrated”

    Category Five: The 2007 LeBron James Award for “We’re playing … him? Uh Oh.”

    Read more →
  • Featured Stories NFL Sports Hire Me Grantland Podcasts Are Up

    Hire Me Grantland Podcasts Are Up

    Without further ado: Matt and Justin’s discussion of the NFL playoff picture leading into the end of the regular season, with special guest Neal Suidan.

    All you have to do is click here and click “Listen” or “Download” once you get to our hosting site.

    Our first post is about the NFC Playoff picture leading into last week’s games. Listen to how wrong we were about San Francisco after last night’s result, Neal’s analysis of his hometown Bears (and Bulls), Matt’s pipe-dream of a Redskins playoff run and more.

    Our next pod is about the AFC, but includes a bonus round of which coaches should get fired (and Matt’s prediction of Chip Kelly to Carolina that he has been patting himself on the back for ever since), and Neal trying to Beautiful Mind his way through the muddy AFC North playoff picture. Justin’s breakdown of the Raiders, fortunately for you all, was omitted due to “microphone problems.”

    Shortly, these episodes will be available on the iTunes store (Apple has to screen them first before they unleash our idiocy on the unwashed masses).

    Read more →
  • Featured Stories NFL Sports Sports Betting Justin Elliott Would Not Win The Las Vegas Supercontest: Week 15 (Video)

    Justin Elliott Would Not Win The Las Vegas Supercontest: Week 15 (Video)

    (Nothing like a winless week to really make you want to show your face on camera.)

    Read more →
  • Featured Stories NFL Sports Sports Betting Justin Elliott Would Not Win The Las Vegas Supercontest: Week 14 (Video)

    Justin Elliott Would Not Win The Las Vegas Supercontest: Week 14 (Video)

    Justin Elliott’s Week 14 picks… on our NEW YouTube channel!!!

    Read more →
  • Featured Stories NFL Sports Is RGIII the Most Valuable Player… In Sports?

    Is RGIII the Most Valuable Player… In Sports?

    By Matt Ford

    Watching RGIII as a rookie is like the first time you heard OK Computer, or saw Louis CK’s standup a few years ago, or watched Barack Obama in the 2004 Democratic Convention. “Holy shit!” you think. “Do people know about this yet?”

    You form a special kind of relationship with an entertainer, athlete or politician after an experience like that — you realize: “Hey, this guy could be the real deal, and I think I just saw history.” Often, I find I become invested in people like that, rooting for history just to say in a few years, “I was there…”

    RGIII to the rescue. He is, by many accounts, the most exciting player in the league. He draws friendly fans to FedEx Field. His value to a shrinking fan base is unspeakable. It’s hard to root against him, even if your team is playing against him.

    Robert Griffin III has revitalized one of the most valuable franchises in the world. The value of hope is what Griffin brings to the table, in addition to all those other tangible assets.

    Read more →