Author Topic: ¶ NBA Basketball: Tournaments, Events & Free Comments • Baloncesto NBA: Competencias, Eventos & Comentarios Libres  (Read 753652 times)


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NBA Basketball  & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA & Comentarios Libres

Elbows and heads:
This spring's NBA playoffs are turning into a bizarre bazaar!

This spring's NBA playoffs are turning into a bizarre bazaar! Several major questions with complicated answers are trotting around in the heads of many NBA fans, especially those in Cleveland!

What happened to LeBron James and the Cavs? What the heck are Phoenix and Boston doing in the conference finals? How do you explain San Antonio eliminating Dallas fairly easily and then getting swept by the Suns? Who could have imagined that the turning point in the series would be the last 14 minutes of Game 3, with Steve Nash and Amar'e Stoudemire on the bench and Slovenian back-up playmaker Goran Dragic turning into Dracula and sucking the life-blood out of the Spurs in their arena with 26 incredible points? Why did Atlanta play so listlessly against Orlando, seeming to tune out their fatherly coach completely? Will Utah EVER eliminate the Lakers again?

Of all these interrogations, the Cleveland question is the most complex. Okay, if LeBron's elbow was the main reason for his poor play, how do you explain his performance in Boston in Game 3 where he hit eight out of 10 jump shots on his way to 21 first-quarter points and a commanding lead? The Celtics looked cooked at that time. We all thought that the Cavs had woken up from their over-confident lethargy of the first two games at home and were ready to get SERIOUS.

Then something goes completely awry with the team's mindset, James plays like a one-armed man whose head is elsewhere and his team-mates lose confidence in themselves, their star as well as their coach in record time on the way to three straight and unbelievable losses! The "Lebacle" Game 5 was an all-time record loss (minus 32) at home in a seven-game series and once again we are amazed at how fast overconfidence can turn into doubt in basketball.

The fans watched the series, the season, and possibly LeBron James himself fade away into oblivion on that fateful, dreadful night for the sadsack sports town of Cleveland! The multiple changes undertaken and heavy investments made by the Cavs' in order to keep James were all for naught as were his two MVP trophies and two pole positions in the past two regular seasons.

The over-dependence on LeBron to do everything as a one-man wrecking crew was far from enough to beat a revived Celtics squad led by young gun Rajon "Ragin" Rondo, their best player now and the "Old" Three who backed him up a lot better than LeBron's supporting cast did for him!

For me, the difference between LeBron and Michael Jordan is the triangle offense which obliged Jordan's team-mates to participate and take on responsibilities instead of just standing around and waiting for the superstar to create something. This is the one giant and justifiable criticism that we can levy against Cavs head coach Mike Brown who also had a tendency to panic and over-shuffle his rotations when things didn't go his way against Boston.

In the end, Cleveland had the same problem as Dallas - lots of talented players who hadn't been together long enough to beat an opponent with more shared experience in tough playoff games. Shaquille O'Neal and Antawn Jamison didn't help Cleveland any more than Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood helped Dallas to reach a higher level because these things take time - just ask Jordan!

So now you can ask me, if shared experience is so important, why did the Spurs get swept by a Pheonix team that didn't even make the playoffs last season? My answer: speed, great shooting, depth, youth and, surprisingly enough, defense!

In all these aspects, the Suns were superior and when the Spurs give up around 110 points in each game, they are not the real Spurs and they won't win much. Against Dallas, they looked experienced and against Phoenix they looked old, whereas youthful subs like Dragic, Jared Dudley or Channing Frye gave old geezers Steve Nash and Grant Hill some extra bounce in their step!

I'd like to finish by pointing out that some sweeps are more painful and destructive than others. Just compare what happened to Atlanta and Utah. The Hawks were swept by an NBA record average margin of 25 points a game, seemingly giving up even before they had played a game at home. They watched the stock of their star, Joe Johnson, plummet for this summer's free agent market while the coach who helped them steadily improve, Mike Woodson, was shown the door. Ouch!

On the other hand, Jerry Sloan and Deron Williams are not going anywhere after the depleted Jazz put up a hefty fight in each game against the Lakers but just fell slightly short each time.

I guess the last questions we need to ask are: will the bizarre turn of events continue now that Boston has taken home court advantage away from Orlando? Is there one person on the planet earth that predicted a Suns-Celtics remake of that mythical 1976 NBA Finals before the season?

George Eddy from FIBA

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Twenty years of cooperation between FIBA and NBA
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2010, 09:24:19 AM »
NBA Basketball  & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA & Comentarios Libres

Twenty years of cooperation between FIBA and NBA

This past weekend marked the 20th anniversary of the first cooperation agreement between FIBA and the NBA that opened the path for many players under contract with NBA clubs to participate in FIBA World Championships, Olympics and FIBA continental championships.

“When the agreement was signed on 9th May 1990 by Borislav Stankovic and David Stern, FIBA and the NBA put in place the most important protocol in the history of basketball after the rules written by James Naismith,” said FIBA Secretary General and IOC member Patrick Baumann.

“The agreement gave all basketball players the right to play for their national teams and still to this day regulates player transfers between both organisations. That was the start of a fruitful cooperation that helped tremendously the promotion of our sport on a global level.”

The appearance of the unforgettable Dream Team and other basketball stars such as the late Drazen Petrovic and Detlef Schrempf at the 1992 Olympic Games was only made possible through this agreement and provided a tremendous boost to the global outreach of basketball and their stars.

Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson became idols for billions of kids around the world, who wanted to follow in their footsteps. FIBA's member federations witnessed a tremendous increase in player's registrations in the following years.

“When we approached the NBA in 1987 with the request to give the opportunity to NBA players to play for their national team in the Olympics and the World’s we thought it was a great vision,” said FIBA Secretary General Emeritus Borislav Stankovic.

“Why should the 350 NBA players, who belong among the best in the world, not play with the best in the world?”

'Only if you play with the best, will you improve your game' – this was the common understanding that led to a constant development of the sport and its protagonists.

Since the agreement was signed, more than 300 players from around the world with valid contracts with NBA clubs have been able to represent their countries in FIBA World Championships, Olympics and continental championships.

The first NBA players appeared at the 1990 FIBA World Championship in Argentina – Vlade Divac and Petrovic for Yugoslavia and Alexander Volkov for the Soviet Union.

At the same time, many international players have gone to play in the NBA to perfect their skills and earn top contracts, allowing FIBA and the NBA to turn basketball into a truly global sport.

Currently 83 international players from 36 countries are under contract with NBA clubs and up to 50 could represent their countries at the upcoming FIBA World Championship in Turkey that will tip off on 28th August 2010.


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NBA Basketball  & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA & Comentarios Libres

When stars collide - NBA players getting injured
before the World Champs

Merhaba! I just watched Nene getting injured in the last game between Denver and Utah and I immediately thought:
Who is going to be left when the World Championships are going down in Turkey in late August?

Guys, please play carefully so I can see you on the court in Istanbul, Izmir, Kayseri or Ankara!

Andrew Bogut might be back in time after his horrible crash to the floor in a recent Bucks-game.
I won't post the video here as it's really not fun to watch how he twisted his whole arm under his body while falling to the floor after a successful dunk. Now, he might be joining Australia after recovering from a broken hand but Mehmet Okur most certainly won't.
Okur tore his achilles tendon which means he is not going to represent the host-country which is a big blow for the ambitious Turks.

It also looks like Nicolas Batum could be pulling out as well, as his injured shoulder might need some rest.
Fellow French Tony Parker is also thinking about passing up on Turkey while Spanish basketball star Pau Gasol wants a break off hoops this year and is officially out.

Chinese Yao Ming did not play all season long for the Rockets and told the press already that he won't travel to Turkey.  That leaves China with Yi Jianlian as the sole NBA-player within the team and may blow China's chances significantly to advance out of the group stages.

A big question mark is the U.S. team as a whole, as some players decided that they rather want to play in movies (Lebron James, Dwight Howard) while others might be resting due to injuries (Kobe Bryant) or because of a marriage /divorce (Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade).
Wade might still play and I wouldn't rule out Anthony as well, as their situations are less critical. Same goes for Chris Bosh, who is going to be a free agent this summer

If Kobe makes it to Turkey, then it would definitely make up for the loss of Lebron in my eyes, as he is by far the best player around (Now I'm awaiting a lot of critics here). With guys like Danny Granger and Kevin Durant eager to represent his country's colors, the U.S. might send a really motivated team under the tutelage of Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, who is coming fresh of a NCAA Championship under his belt.

Thanks to all these deflections mentioned above, there will be plenty of room for upcoming players like Ricky Rubio, Goran Dragic or Ersan Ilyasova among others to use this opportunity to present themselves to an even wider audience than before.

Plus there will be no shortage on touted international stars like Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Kaman, Hedo Turkoglu, Andrei Kirilenko, Luis Scola and probably Leandrinho Barbosa who all will be turning heads of basketball-fans while showing why they truly belong to the best what basketball has to offer these days.

So I still look enthusiastically towards Turkey as even with a few guys not making it over the ocean, the World Championships will be offering premium-quality basketball action and I bet we will be witnessing again a lot of hard-fought games paired with several highlights such as dunks, blocks and assists from the best players around!

I'm out like movie projects as an excuse.


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NBA Playoff pre- monitions • Predicciones para los Playoffs NBA
« Reply #2 on: Apr 21, 2010, 02:33:29 AM »
NBA Basketball  & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA & Comentarios Libres

NBA Playoff pre- monitions

With the European season winding down and the NBA playoffs heating up big time, I'd like to throw out a few ideas that have been haunting me the last few months.

On the European scene, why is Ricky Rubio getting so much hype while Milos Teodosic from Olympiakos is getting so little? Because Rubio is younger and quicker, no doubt, but Teodosic is having a much better season, is a better shooter, and like any Serbian, knows how to play tough defence!

A Barcelona-Olympiakos match-up in the Euroleague final in Paris would be an ideal setting to settle this dispute and maybe awaken a few NBA General Managers to Teodosic's NBA potential. He's got some Steve Nash and Kirk Hinrich in his game and is the natural leader of his generation. This doesn't mean that I don't think Rubio is a future NBA star too!

On to the Eurocup Final Four in Vitoria where the French player Nando DeColo is making noise for Valencia the way his former team-mate in Cholet, Roddy Beaubois, made noise in last season's Eurochallenge Cup.

Again Nando is older and less athletic than Beaubois but he possesses some of the same qualities as Teodosic, although with a less glowing resumé. When you see the incredible success of Omri Casspi with Sacramento, you get the feeling that some of these Europeans stay too long under the NBA radar.

Another irony, the naming of my friend Elias Zouros, the coach of Panellonios as the Eurocup Coach Of The Year which puts into perspective how unfair his firing was by the Paris team a little over two years ago.

Now for some NBA playoff predictions and comments because the first round match-ups have me salivating like I do in front of a foie gras appetiser!

What a pleasure to see LeBron James and Joakim Noah trash-talking their way through a playoff series because when Noah stood up to James earlier in the season due to his cheesy celebrations which ridicule some opponents, a lot of NBA people were secretly applauding!

The Cavs must learn to tone it down in order to avoid another shocking disappointment similar to what happened to them against Orlando in last season's conference finals when LeBron walked off in a huff without congratulating the winners! This being said, Chicago will be lucky to win a game in this lopsided duel.

Another hot rivalry is brewing between those nasty Bostonians and Miami. This one should go to six or seven games with no one scoring over a hundred and Boston barely squeaking through, but an upset wouldn't surprise me either.

In the other East pairings, I feel that Charlotte can win two from Orlando (nice French duel between Boris Diaw and Mickael Pietrus) by defending and slowing the pace. Meanwhile, a diminished but international and courageous Milwaukee team would be lucky to win one game against Atlanta.

By the way, is Larry Brown doing the same thing to Charlotte that he did at the end of his reign in Detroit when he tried to seduce future employers Cleveland and New York during the playoffs? Definitely not cool!

In the West, I'd love to see Oklahoma City win a couple of games against the Lakers to confirm their excellent season despite being the youngest team in the league. Denver seems to have Utah's number whereas Portland-Phoenix could drag out but the loss of Brandon Roy condemns the Blazers in the end in my book. Maybe Portland needs to copy some of Phoenix's revolutionary preparation and prevention techniques to avoid so many injuries in the future?

Last but not least, the last stand! Will it be San Antonio or Dallas who rides off into the Texas sunset in this crucial playoff campaign where both teams KNOW, it's now or never? It's not an easy pick but I'll go with Dallas in 7 thanks to home court in a last-ditch battle for the ages.

Only a stratospheric Ginobili could turn the tide in this series which interests the French public because of the Tony Parker-Beaubois face-off.

And speaking of international duels, are we not headed for a Western Conference final where the key actors will be Dirk and Pau? Time will tell.

George Eddy from FIBA

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BGA John Volger

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NBA Basketball: Tournaments, Events & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA: Competencias, Eventos & Comentarios Libres

•  NBA Reaffirms Support for International Basketball

Stern ‘encourages’ players to play for their countries

NBA supremo David Stern has reaffirmed his support for international basketball.

The NBA commissioner, speaking after the NBA Europe Live announcement about the league’s pre-season games to be played next summer on the old continent, said: "We encourage our players to represent their countries.

“The World Championship continues to grow and there will be a good competition in Turkey that will lead in to a good Olympics in London which will lead in to a good Championship in Spain in 2014.

“We are cooperating with FIBA on that as we have for many years and we hope to see the competition of national teams continue to grow.”

Many of the league’s biggest stars will be at the FIBA World Championship this summer, including Team USA, which will have an entire roster of NBA players.

Most of the national teams will have current or former NBA players on their rosters in Turkey.

As for NBA Europe Live, the following games will be played:

    • New York Knicks v Armani Jeans Milano, Oct. 3, Milan ‘Mediolanum Forum’
    • Los Angeles Lakers v Minnesota Timberwolves, Oct. 4, London ‘The O2’
    • New York Knicks v Minnesota Timberwolves, Oct. 6 Paris ‘Palais Omnisports Paris Bercy’
    • Los Angeles Lakers v Minnesota Timberwolves, Oct. 7, Barcelona ‘Palau Sant Jordi’


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