Tuesday, April 30, 2013

On Charles Barkley and Jason Collins

In the wake of NBA player Jason Collins coming out as a gay man, Charles Barkely had some insightful comments, "Kenny [Smith] talks about it all the time, us being black... we've got to always be for tolerance acceptance."

As a Jew, I agree completely. My people have experienced degradation, discrimination, and persecution. We too must always be on the side of inclusion, tolerance, and acceptance.

Barkley continued, "Some people [are] not going to like this. I think they should have the right to express that. We should not crucify them. I disagree with them and it's alright to disagree. But we live in this thing where anybody who comes out against this will be crucified and I think that's unfair."

I agree that people have the right to speak out against gay people. But this is not a question of political differences. This is a difference between tolerance and intolerance, acceptance and repudiation. Those who cast bigotry towards Jason Collins because he is gay should be challenged. Intolerance should not be accepted.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Anthony Scores 36 to Lead the Knicks to Defeat

It's rare that a player will score 36 points and have a terrible game. Carmelo Anthony not only fit that bill, he lost the game for the Knicks in the more selfish and stubborn manner conceivable.

Going 3 for 15 in the first half, the Knicks down by 19, Anthony didn't change his tune after halftime. Instead, he chucked more and missed more in the second half. In the end, Anthony shot an embarrassing 10 for 35 from the field. When the Knicks needed him most- late int he fourth quarter and in overtime- Carmelo refused to pass the ball and missed every shot. It was a discouraging display that took Anthony-watcher back to 2004; a far cry from his usual improved game in 2013.

Anthony helped the team with had two drives the basket for dunks. In both cases, the defender- Kevin Garnett first and then Brandon Bass- overplayed one side and Anthony zoomed by for an easy dunk. Anthony also got to the line, shooting 16-20. But he missed two crucial free throws late int he fourth.

Anthony's ball-hogging debacle left Knick-partisans praying he'd pay the ball to Raymond Felton, or all people. Down 20 with fewer than 20 minutes left in regulation, head coach Mike Woodson eventually inserted three point guards, Iman Shumpert, and Kenyon Martin into the game.

The tactic worked. The Knicks stormed back to cut the lead to 3 by the end of the third. Each man played a crucial role. Pablo Prigioni and Jason Kidd repeatedly came away with steals. Felton was the scorer. Shumpert, a guard, rebounded like the reincarnation of Moses Malone. And Kenyon Martin guarded the post. The Celtics had played their one good half in the first and were crumbling.

When Carmelo came back into the game in the fourth, and the Knicks offense succeeded only when Anthony was excluded from touching the ball. The tragedy of this game was that Carmelo had rarely reverted to his old self this season. For it to happen in a close out game in the playoffs with J.R. Smith suspended, was a shame.

Jason Terry carried Boston in the overtime and Anthony kept shooting and missing, shooting and missing.

The Celtics won 97-90 and the trail the series 3-1 heading back to New York for Wednesday's game.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Knicks Destroy Celtics

An emotional return to Boston ended in disaster for the Boston Celtics. The Knicks took an early lead and never looked back. Pablo Prigioni hit three threes early and added five steals. Carmelo Anthony had 26 points. Ray Felton also had a strong game with 15 points and 10 assists. J.R. Smith added 15 points before being ejected for elbowing Jason terry.

The Celtics paltry point total was a combination of inept Celtic offense and swarming switching Knick defense. For the third straight game, the Celtics scored in the 70s. In this game, Boston struggled in the first half, a departure from the first two games. Only Jeff Green crossed the 20 point mark.

The Knicks won 90-76, but the Celtics were never really in it. New York now has a 3-0 lead.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Reggie Miller is a Horrible Announcer

In previous posts, I've looked at Reggie Miller's sucky announcing by analyzing direct quotes he made in a couple of random games. You can check them out here "Reggie Miller is a Terrible Announcer" and "Reggie Miller is an Awful Announcer." In this edition, I'll focus on certain themes of Miller's shittiness.

Reggie Miller makes an NBA game nearly unwatchable, which is a shame because it's playoff time. But let's look at why he's so shitty.

Miller doesn't speak in sentences. Instead, he rambles, slowly shoving together a clusterfuck of prepositional phrases that have lost all meaning by the time he's midway through his turn speaking. His comments are almost always run on sentences.

He often chooses the wrong proposition. His favorite is "of," a word he doesn't know when or how to use properly.

He often messes up phrases by adding unnecessary words. He also screws up common expressions by cramming two different ones together.

He has trouble with both subject-verb agreement and verb tense.

He undermines his partners. After a partner presents a statistic, he has the habit of retorting, "More importantly..." and then providing a statistic that is often not more important than the one given by his partner.

When emphasizing a point, he simply repeats it louder as opposed to adding additional information.

He speaks in second person, constantly referring to "you." It comes in two forms: "You have to like how the Spurs are playing." and "If you're Dwight Howard, you have to..."

Instead of saying "the" he often says "these" when referring to NBA teams. It only makes sense when he's comparing the same franchise over time, such as "These Celtics are older and slower than the '08 Celtics." He never uses "these" in that particular context.

He's unnecessarily combative with just about everyone.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Knicks Smack Celtics in Mouth Again

The Celtics shot a high percentage from the field in the first half and went into halftime with a slight lead. Carmelo Anthony struggled shooting and it appeared that Boston might actually give the Knicks a game.

It was not to be for the Celtics. Anthony and J.R. Smith caught fire in the second half.. Carmelo scored 34 points while Smith, who was awarded the Sixth Man of the Year award before the game, poured in 19. Smith hit a three from 35 feet away before the buzzer to end the second quarter sounded. Kenyon Martin continued his stellar defensive play. In addition to 11 rebounds, he blocked 4 shots.

Kevin Garnett was in foul trouble early. Head Coach Doc Rivers whined after the game, deeming the foul calls atrocious. He deserves a hefty fine for criticizing the refereeing, but his more egregious crime is simply being wrong. Both of Garnett's early foul calls were completely appropriate. Sometimes a coach will criticize the refs to get future calls in their favor. But Rivers's complaining was misguided here and it will likely serve to hurt his credibility with the refs.

The Knicks jumped out to a double digit lead int he third and the Celtics simply don't have the offensive firepower to have made a comeback. New York won 87-71 and now have a 2-0 lead heading to Boston for Friday night's game.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Knicks Take Playoff Opener

Despite injuries to their big men and big games from the Celtics' Jeff Green and Paul Pierce, the Knicks stormed passed Boston in the fourth quarter. Carmelo Anthony hit his first four shots and led the Knicks to a hot start early, but then went cold and continued to shoot.

Boston quickly made it close and it remained so throughout the first half. Green scored the majority of his 26 points in that first half. Pierce was more of a distributor early and a scorer int he second half. Tyson Chandler struggled in the first half and barely played int he second. Kenyon Martin took his place and made a thrilling block. J.R. Smith was effective from the field. He flushed a rim shaker over Green after exploding into the lane.

The Celtics took a 7 points lead in the fourth. But Anthony caught fire. He ended with 36 points. Martin added 10 and Smith 15. Anthony's adjustment offensively and hot three-point shooting helped the fourth quarter surge.

The Knicks won 85-78 to take a one game lead.

Friday, April 19, 2013

2013 NBA Playoff Predictions

1 Heat over 8 Bucks 4-0
2 Knicks over 7 Celtics 4-1
3 Pacers over 6 Hawks 4-2
5 Bulls over 4 Nets 4-2

Heat over Bulls 4-1
Knicks over Pacers 4-3

Heat over Knicks 4-3

1 Thunder over 8 Rockets 4-1
2 Spurs over 7 Lakers 4-2
3 Nuggets over 6 Warriors 4-1
4 Clippers over Grizzlies 4-3

Thunder over Clippers 4-1
Spurs over Nuggets 4-3

Spurs over Thunder 4-2

NBA Finals: Spurs over Heat 4-2