Archive for the ‘MVP’ Category


Posted by HG on May 15, 2007


Game 4 between the Phoenix Suns and the San Antonio Spurs was a classic. Great plays, comebacks, and a tussle… All of the things that make sports fun to watch. It’s really great to take in the action without being attached to either team. I don’t care who wins the series I just want great action and I haven’t been disappointed yet.. Well, that’s not exactly true.

I know this is a tired take, but the NBA officiating is not fantastic. Basketball is one of the hardest sports to ref, especially since the rules are pretty easy to comprehend by anyone watching, leading to people arguing over what is a foul and what isn’t. With that said, I found myself saying the league must have made “the call” to the refs at the start of the 4th quarter. San Antonio, the home team, couldn’t get a call. I’m not big into conspiracy theories but if the Spurs had went up 3-1, the Suns could have gone ahead and cancelled Christmas. With the league’s best story (the Warriors) already on the ropes, the NBA needs it’s favorite team the Phoenix Suns around for as long as possible. I thought I was alone in seeing the referee bias but True Hoop and the story Henry linked to felt the same way.

Another thing I’m disappointed with is all the whining that the Phoenix Suns’ fans are doing. I hate to say this but SHUT THE HELL UP. Jeezus. First, you want the NBA to change the rules so Steve Nash can have 4 hours to fix his bleeding nose. Thank God he didn’t break his leg because Suns fan would be asking the NBA to suspend the playoffs until Steve healed. Second, Amare and the Suns’ fans calling the Spurs dirty while Raja Bell still suits up for Phoenix is beyond funny. Yes, you can slow down some tape and show Bruce Bowen intentionally/unintentionally stepping on Amare’s heel. Yes, you can argue that Bowen kneed Nash in the nads on purpose, but you don’t need to slow down anything to see Bell’s clothesline of Kobe Bryant last year, a play dirtier than ANY violation in this year’s playoffs. Including Baron Davis’ Horry-like take-down of Derek Fisher.

Speaking of the Horry take-down.. I was pretty sure that the league would suspend Big Shot Rob for two games to balance out the fact that two Suns were getting suspended for game 5. I’m not glad that I was right, but I am somewhat familiar with how the league thinks. I would have been cool if Horry got a game and Amare got a game but Diaw was allowed to play. Boris did leave the bench but not with the same intensity as S.T.A.T. If Stoudemire had made his way to the melee, something bad might have happened. Boris probably would have done the baseball square dance. The NBA “leaving the bench” rule needs to be, and probably will be, examined at the end of the playoffs. As the rule stands, the NBA made the right decision. And before you say what about The Big Fundamental, I’ve seen the footage of Duncan stepping away from the bench but that’s not nearly the same thing. As a matter of fact, that happens all of the time. When you see a big play down the stretch in a tight game, watch the bench. Guys are jumping up and down and celebrating..Some of them spill onto the floor. Check out the bench when a team knows it’s about to call a timeout.. You’ll see a player or two wander out onto the floor. It’s not malicious. It doesn’t carry the same intent.

And finally I’m disappointed in everybody sweating Dirk Nowitzki for winning the NBA MVP award. Like I’ve said before, it’s a regular season award. Dirk was the man in the regular season. It’s strange that when Shaq (or Shaque Cousteau) said the NBA MVP award has been tainted lately, everybody jumped down his throat.. Claiming he said Steve Nash’s MVP’s are tainted when he clearly said the last 4 or 5 years. Some people even went as far as to call Shaq a racist. Now that Nash didn’t win, people are saying the award is meaningless, the voting is a joke, the voting should take place after the playoffs, blah blah blah… Enough already. Do people realize that if the MVP voting came after the playoffs, Steve Nash would have ZERO MVPs? Dwayne Wade would have won the MVP last year and Tim Duncan would have won the year before. Dirk was the best player on the best team in the regular season. The exact reason that Nash won the MVP his first year. I don’t care if Nash had a better statistical season this year than last year. The players aren’t competing against themselves for the award. Follow this example.. A man wins salesman of the year two consecutive years at his company. In the third year, he sells more than he did the first two years, but another employee sells more than him. Who’s gonna win salesman of the year? The other employee. It’s the exact same thing. Steve Nash not winning the MVP doesn’t take away from his status. There were years when Michael Jordan could/should have won the MVP and didn’t. It happens. Nash is a great player.. better than Nowitzki.. And I guarantee you, if Phoenix wins the championship Steve Nash won’t give a damn about his two MVPs or “the one that got away”.

NBA suspends Stoudemire, Diaw for leaving bench. Thank you ESPN

Phoenix Got the Calls. Thank you True Hoop (ESPN)

Oh, Why Not. Thank you Section F Sports

Shaq says recent MVP awards ‘tainted’. Thank you MSNBC




Posted by HG on May 2, 2007

 **EDITOR’S NOTE** I started working on this post well before Midnight. I got a call from an out of town friend and missed my “daily” Rockets post. I hope this doesn’t have serious repercussions for the Houston Rockets. **END EDITOR’S NOTE**

Let me make one thing clear: I AM A PHILADELPHIA 76ERS FAN. I am only supporting the Houston Rockets in the playoffs because of this post. When the Rockets win the championship or are eliminated from the playoffs, I will revert back to my normal self. There’s no need to email me and call me a traitor or a phony. I ride with my teams do or die and nothing can change that. On to the playoffs….

The Houston Rockets lead the Utah Jazz 3-2: The Rockets don’t take the court again until Thursday night and I can’t wait. I’m feeling Houston closing this series on the road in Utah. I don’t know what would make me feel that way since the H-Town O has been MIA in SLC. I believe that Tracy McGrady is gonna do everything in his power to advance to the second round… as soon as possible. My perfect Thursday scenario: Gabrielle Union comes over to watch the game with me and brings a bottle of JWB (Johnny Walker Black). The Rockets beat Utah and Dallas beats the Warriors giving Houston a little rest before the next series. I know this scenario is highly unlikely… Dallas probably won’t win in Oakland. Positivity time: THE HOUSTON ROCKETS WIN THE SERIES IN 6 GAMES.

The Detroit Pistons over the Orlando Magic 4-0: I was wrong with my prediction for this series. Get used to hearing that. I picked Detroit in 5 for some unknown reason. Orlando was in a tailspin for the last half of the season and they finally crashed in the playoffs. Nothing much to say about this series. It was like watching a varsity-junior varsity scrimmage. The Pistons get the feisty Bulls in the next round. It’s like the 80s all over again. How long til Rasheed says “if Hinrich were black, he’d be just another player” or something to that affect?

The Chicago Bulls over the Miami Heat 4-0: I was wrong with my prediction for this series (I’m not done yet). Don’t laugh too much, I was only off by 3 games with my Miami in 7 pick. The adolescent Bulls dominated this series in the regular and post-season. I know Wade wasn’t 100% but it wasn’t gonna matter. Luol Deng and Ben Gordon provided the offensive punch, Ben Wallace supplied the “D”, and the team as a whole out fought the old and tired Miami Heat. The Bulls’ sweep of the Heat marks the 6th time a Shaquille O’Neal playoff team has been swept to elimination.

The Cleveland Cavaliers over the Washington Wizards 4-0: Guess what? That’s right, my prediction for this series was wrong too. I had Cleveland in 5 even with Arenas and Butler sidelined for the Wiz. I didn’t think the Cavaliers were mentally tough enough to close out any team in 4 games. I was wrong. Even though I watched this series I didn’t learn a whole helluva lot. The Cavs coasted through the series and should make it to the Eastern Conference finals having lost no more than 2 games. Cleveland’s sweep of Washington completed the Central division’s dominance over the Southeast division… A perfect 12-0 record.

The Phoenix Suns lead The Los Angeles Lakers 3-1: I’m right on pace in this series. I picked the Suns in 5 and I’m sticking to it. I knew Kobe would be good for one win and one win only. I’m sure the Lakers’ Mitch Kupchak is trying to figure out a way to trade Andrew Bynum for Jason Kidd before Wednesday’s game. I doubt that would help since the Suns have the most talented top six in the league. Nash, Bell, Marion, Diaw, Stoudamire, and Barbosa are the murderers row of hoops. You could combine a couple of teams and still not have that much talent on your roster. The Pistons have the second best six with Billups, Hamilton, Prince, Wallace, Webber, and McDyess. In comparing the two, which match-up would you say favors Detroit? Sheed over Boris is the only one I see. Another positive for Phoenix: No team that has gotten rid of Shaq has won a playoff series since his departure. Orlando 0-6 and the Lakers soon to be 0-2.

The San Antonio Spurs lead the Denver Nuggets 3-1: I picked San Antonio in 6 so I’m still alive which is more than I can say for Denver. The Nuggets game one victory got everybody pumped.. Unfortunately for the Nuggs everybody included the Spurs. SA doesn’t win pretty.. They don’t get the hype that some of the other teams get.. They’re like the sheep dog in the old school cartoons. They come to work, punch the clock, whoop your ass, and punch out. San Antonio has managed to win 3 games and stay on the good side of the referees.. Kinda.. Denver has been whistled for 71 fouls, San Antonio for 73, but I’ve seen Duncan fouled at least 10 times with no call. Timmy looked so distraught over the lack of calls in game 4 that I thought he might actually brush his hair.

The New Jersey Nets lead the Toronto Raptors 3-2: I’m looking good here. I got New Jerz in 6 even though they shoulda closed this series out in 5. Vince Carter is the male exotic dancer and his fiance to the Raptors fan’s Payton, Cassell, and Caffey. If you don’t follow, the Toronto fans have been abusing Vince. Jason Kidd has been doing his thing, and it’s good to see RJ back in action. I like the Raps team and the direction they’re headed in. GM Bryan Colangelo is as bright as they come. Look at the moves he made with the Phoenix Suns, Tim Thomas and Eddie House, as compared to the moves the Suns made this year, Marcus Banks and Jalen Rose. Bryan’s number one priority is to sign or replace coach Sam Mitchell. If and when the Nets advance I can’t see them getting past Cleveland. Of course, as you can see, I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.

The Golden State Warriors lead the Dallas Mavericks 3-2: I picked Dallas in 6 games and at this point the Mavs would be lucky to see game 7. The most exciting series in the playoffs has also been a coming out party for Baron Davis and the Warriors fans. BD has averaged 26 points, 5 boards, 5 assist, and 2 steals while the Warriors fans have produced Jessica Alba. The rest of the fans have been outstanding but who cares, Jessica Alba is there…

The Mavericks started the series on a bad note when head coach Avery Johnson decided to start his small lineup to match-up with Golden State. Why is the 1 seed adjusting to the 8? I’m seriously asking you because I can’t figure it out. Nellie and crew need to be given a ton of credit for the defensive scheme they’ve used against Dallas. Putting a smaller, quicker player on Dirk, and then rushing him with double and triple teams from a variety of spots has worked well to this point. So well that people are calling for Dirk to return the MVP trophy that he hasn’t won yet. This really bothers me.

Dirk Nowitzki or Steve Nash are/were the only MVP candidates this year. The MVP is a regular season award. What do Dirk’s playoff successes and failures have to do with the regular season? Nothing. Does anybody hold the fact that Nash is only the second (Kareem 75-76 & 76-77) back to back MVP to not appear in the NBA finals in either year that he won the award? Nope. Nowitzki led his team to 67 wins and now everybody wants to run him out of the league because of a sub-par series against his former coach. What if Steve Nash was going up against a team coached by Mike D’Antoni? I’d have to guess that Mike and his staff would have a good idea of how to create problems for Steve.

I don’t care who wins the MVP trophy, but it seems to me that people are grinding some sort of personal axe against Dirk. People knock him for his style of play and at the same time celebrate Mehmet Okur or the rookie Bargnani for basically playing the same way. I don’t know if it’s because Nowitzki sings Hasslehoff at the free throw line or our country’s past problems with Germany, but this guy takes a lot of flack. If Dirk and the Mavs can find a way to win the series against G. State how many people will give the MVP trophy back to Dirk? I’ll bet zero.

This is why I’m rolling with the Rockets. Courtesy of yours truly

You can take a look at my brackets here. Courtesy of Ball Hype