July 27, 2012 10:15 am
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.
July 7, 2012 11:49 am
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.
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?
June 29, 2012 11:16 am
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.
June 22, 2012 12:39 am
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.
June 20, 2012 5:08 pm
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…
June 19, 2012 5:20 pm
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.
June 18, 2012 10:37 am
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?
June 13, 2012 11:00 am
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.
May 29, 2012 2:49 pm
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.