What's on the Menu? "mmmmmm . . . Basketball!!!!"

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

SDH Presents Denver Nuggets Preview: vs. Pistons


+Denver Nuggets host Alexis Perry talks to both teams as they prepare to face each other in the Denver Nuggets season home opener.  Catch more in depth coverage of the Nuggets--including scores, highlights, interviews, insightful analysis and commentary--as well as the rest of the +NBA right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!

SDH Presents Lakers Post Game: Kobe's Reaction To Elbow/ Trash Talking With Dwight Howard, Plus "He's A Teddy Bear"



Watch +Los Angeles Lakers +Kobe Bryant reaction to his scuffle with +Dwight HowardCatch more +Los Angeles Lakers coverage courtesy of +Lakers Nation plus keep up with all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!  

SDH Presents Lakers Post Game: Julius Randle Fractures Right Tibia, Kobe Bryant's Reaction



+Los Angeles Lakers rookie +Julius Randle initial diagnosis from team doctors is that he fractured his tibia in his right leg in the Season Opener. +Kobe Bryant reacts.  Catch more +Los Angeles Lakers coverage courtesy of +Lakers Nation plus keep up with all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks! 

SDH Presents Lakers Post Game: Byron Scott Talks Julius Randle's Injury, Dwight And Kobe Scuffle


+Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott reacts to +Julius Randle's fractured tibia and small scuffle between +Kobe Bryant and +Dwight Howard.  Catch more +Los Angeles Lakers coverage courtesy of +Lakers Nation plus keep up with all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks! 

SDH Presents The Starters – October 28th


+The Starters  look forward to their favorite story lines, countdown the +San Antonio Spurs ' "Top 5 Forgotten Championship Moments", talk +Steve Nash's announcement, and tell you who you should pickup in fantasy. Watch +The Starters  weekdays at 6:30 on +NBA TV, get more of them on their website: http://nba.com/thestarters; and  keep tuned in to +Slap Dog Hoops for all the latest news, notes and more from the +NBA and beyond.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!   

SDH Presents Kobe Bryant 2014-2015 Season Debut


+Kobe Bryant  began the 2014-2015 season with a 19 point performance in a loss to the +Houston Rockets  on opening night.  Visit nba.com/video for more highlights and always keep up with all 30+NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, please kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!

SDH Presents Washington Wizards Courtside Report: John Wall 10/29/14



Watch this Courtside Report presented by adidas with John Wall, who talked with Dan Nolan in Miami before tonight's #WizHeat game.  Catch more coverage of the +Washington Wizards, as well as the rest of the +NBA ,right here on +Slap Dog Hoops and get all the latest news, scores, recaps, highlights, along with interviews, analysis and opinion. Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks! 

SDH Presents Washington Wizards Courtside Report: Kris Humphries 10/28/14


Watch this Courtside Report presented by adidas with +Kris Humphries, who talked with Dan Nolan about the start of the 2014-15 season.  Catch more coverage of the +Washington Wizards, as well as the rest of the +NBA ,right here on +Slap Dog Hoops and get all the latest news, scores, recaps, highlights, along with interviews, analysis and opinion. Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks! 

SDH Presents Toronto Raptors Shootaround : DeMar DeRozan & Kyle Lowry - October 29, 2014


+Demar Derozan  and Kyle Lowry speak with members of the media following Wednesday's shootaround.  For more, go to raptors.com and always keep up with all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.   Also, please kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!  

SDH Presents Toronto Raptors Shootaround: Dwane Casey - October 29, 2014


Dwane Casey speaks with members of the media following Wednesday's shootaround.  For more, go to raptors.com and always keep up with all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.   Also, please kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!  

SDH Presents Oklahoma City Thunder Shoot-around: Westbrook at Portland 10.29.14


+Russell Westbrook  talks about the +Oklahoma City Thunder opening night game against the +Portland Trail Blazers  at shootaround in Portland on Oct. 29, 2014.  Catch more in-depth coverage of the +Oklahoma City Thunder as well the other 29 teams in the +NBA right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!   

SDH Presents Oklahoma City Thunder Shoot-around: Brooks at Portland 10.29.14


Head Coach Scott Brooks addresses the media at shootaround prior to the +Oklahoma City Thunder's first game of the regular season, a road game in Portland against the +Portland Trail Blazers on Oct. 29, 2014.  Catch more in-depth coverage of the +Oklahoma City Thunder as well the other 29 teams in the +NBA right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!   

SDH's 2014/2015 NBA Worst to First Previews and Predictions: 23. Atlanta Hawks


Overall Win/Loss Record:  38-44,  fourth place Southeast Division

2014/2015 Projection: 36-46, fourth place Southeast Division, twelfth place Eastern Conference 

Preseason Rank
23


Last season’s Team Statistics and League Rank

  • Points Scored: 101.0 (15th)
  • Points Allowed: 101.5 (15th)
  • Team FG%: .458 (13th)
  • Opponent’s FG%: .462 (21st)
  • Team FT%: .781 (6th)
  • Team Three Point FG%: .363 (13th)
  • Rebounds per game: 40.0 (28th)
  • Opponents rebounds per game: 43.5 (24th)
  • Turnovers per game: 14.5 (22nd)
  • Opponents turnovers per game: 14.5 (9th)




Returning Individual Statistical Leaders

  • Scoring (ppg): Al Horford (18.6)
  • Rebounds per game:  Paul Milsap (8.5)
  • Minutes per game: Kyle Korver (33.9)
  • Assists per game:  Jeff Teague (6.7)
  • Field Goal Percentage: Al Horford (.567)
  • Free Throw Percentage:   John Jenkins (1.00)
  • Three Point FG Percentage: Kyle Korver (.472)
  • Steals per game: Paul Milsap (1.7)
  • Blocked Shots per game: Al Horford (1.5)

Projected Opening Day Starters Based on Past Performances and Potential Impact:

  • Jeff Teague (PG)
  • Kyle Korver (SG)
  • DeMarre Carroll (SF)
  • Paul Milsap (PF)
  • Al Horford (C)

Key Reserves Rank Based on Past Performances and Potential Impact:

  1. Kent Bazemore (G)
  2. Thabo Sefalosha (G/F)
  3. Mike Scott (F)
  4. Adreian Payne (F/C)
  5. John Jenkins (G)
Last season was supposed to be a swan song for the Hawks as both the team's long time franchise cornerstones Josh Smith and Joe Johnson parted ways with the organizations; yet despite bidding farewell to both their stars along with an early season ending injury to the team's leader, Al Horford, Atlanta managed to scratch and claw its way grad the final spot for the playoffs.  Not only did they manage to defy the odds and keep their seven year long playoff streak, which is currently the longest in the Eastern Conference, but they also managed to shock the the NBA fan world by coming within one game of beating the top seeded +Indiana Pacers.  Last May's seven game basketball battle seemed as the perfect ending to an otherwise taxing season for the Hawks which had seen themselves steadily decline in performance and production over the past three or four seasons.  Now with a new season underway and Eastern Conference that looks to be pretty wide open save for the first two spots which have been conceded to the +Cleveland Cavaliers, who have welcomed back their hometown hero, +LeBron James, and the +Chicago Bulls, who also welcome back a finally healthy +Derrick Rose after two straight years of sitting on the sidelines nursing injuries.  Unfortunately this is not the same Eastern Conference as last season as the Hawks will find themselves once again trying to claw its way to the post season, but this time they will not be so lucky and their once proud playoff streak will finally come at an end.

For starters, the Eastern Conference has greatly upgraded in terms of the quality of competition thanks to the not only of James' return to Cleveland, but the arrival of Western Conference alumnus +Kevin Love, who will be joining both Lebron and incumbent all star +Kyrie Irving  to form one of the most terrifying three man tandems in the league.  And despite losing their one time savior, the +Miami HEAT, also will remain a strong force in the East as the team retained to of its once mighty "Big Three" re-signing both +Dwyane Wade and +Chris Bosh, as well as bringing in quality free agents during the off season to offset the loss of Lebron in +Loul Deng and +Danny Granger.  In addition to Heat, the Hawk's two other divisional rivals, the +Washington Wizards and the newly minted +Charlotte Hornets, look to stand in their way once again as the both look to build on their successes last season.  Washington not only returns with the same team that shocked the Bull beating them in the first round of the playoffs, has also bolstered its roster by adding more size to an already imposing front court with the signing of the former Mr. +Kim Kardashian+Kris Humphries, but also the addition a veteran will a championship pedigree in +Paul Pierce.  Charlotte can also pride itself with a rather successful not only in the this summer's NBA Draft with the selections of +Noah Vonleh and +Pj Hairston, but also in free agency, by acquiring one of its sought after prospects, +Lance Stephenson to an already young and talented group.

Sadly for the Hawks, they did not fare as well in what was considered one of the richest and deepest free agent talent pools in recent memory as even their vast amounts of salary cap space did not even make even middle of the range free agents bat an eye.  They were forced to settle with bottom of the barrel players such as Thabo Sefalosha, who is known for his six year tenure with the +Oklahoma City Thunder, as well as his reputation as a defensive stopper.  Although he had the talent and ability to do so Sefalosha, as the majority of his former teammates, was never much of a factor in the Thunder's offense as the ball was dominated by the team's superstar duo of +Kevin Durant and +Russell Westbrook--and that is very unlikely to change with his new team.  At 30 years old, he has virtually no more upside or room to grow as a player after spending he spent career in the shadows and wasting whatever potential he had on a team where he was considered an more of an afterthought than anything else.  Sefalosha will certainly have the opportunity to showcase the skills and versatility that made him such a enticing prospect to be selected thirteenth overall in the 2006 NBA Draft; however, don't expect him to become this hidden treasure that will blossom as Paul Milsap surprising did last season because that time has already passed.

Atlanta did however may have a found a potential diamond in the rough, signing athletic guard Kent Bazemore who showed plenty of promise late last season with the +Los Angeles Lakers as he took advance of the opportunity of playing on a severely depleted injury plagued roster.  In the 23 games that he played with the Lakers, Bazemore posted rather solid averages of 13 points, 3 rebounds, three assists, and a steal per game while shooting .451 from the field with .371 accuracy from the three point line.  The Hawks will certainly appreciate if Bazemore continues where he left off with Los Angeles and he will have plenty of opportunities to do so as he will no longer be buried behind the bench for the last year and a half with the +Golden State Warriors, and at the age of 25, still has plenty of upside to develop into a special player.  And even if he does not become that hidden gem that he is certainly projected of being, Bazemore can still be seen as a low cost, low risk but high reward commodity for the Hawks, who they can either trade away or waive if things do not work out.  Neverless, even at their potential best, neither Bazemore, Sefalosha, their first round pick Adrien Payne, or anyone else for that matter will get the Hawks for an eighth straight playoff appearance because the odds are so stacked against them.

As if it were not rough enough to enter the season already at fourth place in its division with the return of perennial playoff contenders in the Heat, Hornets and Wizards, plus the resurgent team in the Bulls and Cavs entering the scene the Hawks also have to tangle with six more teams who are equally matched if not better than they are.  The +Toronto Raptors will definitely look to maintain their position as the top of its Atlantic Division, and the +New York Knicks, a team that has greatly improved in the off season with a new look and new attitude, will look to silence any doubters who think that they will not be able to reach the .500 mark, let alone the post season.  The +Indiana Pacers, despite losing their star Paul George for the season, still remains a formidable opponent in the East as they still return with one of the league's most stingiest defenses and after seven years of hibernation, the +Detroit Pistons will look to also rise up again to playoff contention thanks to the leadership and guidance of its new coach/GM, Stan Van Gundy.  Let's not forget about the +Brooklyn Nets, whom despite their rather bloated payroll and even more broken down roster, will definitely look to keep themselves afloat the same way as they did last season, and an up and coming team in the +Milwaukee Bucks who sport two superstars in the making in +Jabari Parker and +Giannis Antetokounmpo.  Altogether, there will be ten teams, including the Hawks, that will vie for the six remaining playoff berths in the Eastern Conference, with four of them--namely the Knicks, Pacers, Pistons and Bucks--battling to capture the last available playoff spot that Atlanta looks to procure by the end of the regular season.   

Sad to say, but it looks as if all that will be too much too handle for the Hawks, whom for years had the relatively poor state of the Eastern Conference to credit for its long status as a member of the East's Playoff club for the past seven years.  It will go without saying that Atlanta will simply not just fold at these insurmountable odds, but the pressure of being squeezed at all size will certainly crush this fading team that has seen its post season grip wear down with each passing season.  As it stands now, there is no way that this team can get any better or even improve  from its 38 win season, even with the return of Al Horford, the team's star player who had been lost for the season after playing just 29 games.  To have him, or any of his fellow starters, shoulder the burden of carrying this team into the playoffs would be severely unfair and to even think they can is even more delusional. This season may the the proverbial straw that will break the camel's back thus forcing the Hawks to tear everything down and start rebuilding from scratch.       

  

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

SDH Presents Sacramento Kings Practice: Jason Thompson 10/27/14


Jason Thompson talks about team defense, Ryan Hollins' bench talk and more following Monday's practice.  Catch all the latest news, notes and interviews along with scores and highlights from the +Sacramento Kings and the +NBA right here on +Slap Dog HoopsAlso, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!

SDH Presents Toronto Raptors Practice: Dwane Casey - October 27, 2014


Dwane Casey speaks with the media following practice on Monday. For more, go to raptors.com and always keep up with all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.   Also, please kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!   

SDH Presents Toronto Raptors Practice: Amir Johnson - October 27, 2014


Amir Johnson speaks with the media following practice on Monday. For more, go to raptors.com and always keep up with all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.   Also, please kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!   

SDH Presents Toronto Raptors Practice: Louis Williams - October 27, 2014


Louis Williams speaks with the media following practice on Monday. For more, go to raptors.com and always keep up with all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.   Also, please kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!   

SDH Presents Toronto Raptors Practice: DeMar DeRozan - October 27, 2014


+Demar Derozan speaks with the media following practice on Monday. For more, go to raptors.com and always keep up with all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.   Also, please kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!   

SDH Presents Sacramento Kings Practice: Coach Malone 10/27/14


Coach Malone provides insight into the +Sacramento Kings' upcoming matchup with the +Golden State Warriors  and more following Monday's practice.  Catch all the latest news, notes and interviews along with scores and highlights from the +Sacramento Kings and the +NBA right here on +Slap Dog HoopsAlso, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!

SDH Presents Sacramento Kings Practice: Ramon Sessions 10/27/14


+Ramon Sessions discusses the +Sacramento Kings' preseason play, the upcoming matchup with the +Golden State Warriors and more following Monday's practice.  Catch all the latest news, notes and interviews along with scores and highlights from the +Sacramento Kings and the +NBA right here on +Slap Dog HoopsAlso, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!

SDH Presents Trail Blazers Courtside: Stotts On Team Identity And Goals


October 27, 2014 - Head Coach Terry Stotts was in studio to talk about facing the +Oklahoma City Thunder on Opening Night, preseason reflections and the team's goals and identity.  You can watch more installments of Trail Blazers Courtside and always keep up with all 30+NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog HoopsAlso, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!

SDH Presents Trail Blazers Courtside: Season Predictions With Jabari Young


October 27, 2014 - Mike Barrett, Mike Rice and Jabari Young discuss their 2014-15 season predictions.  You can watch more installments of Trail Blazers Courtside and always keep up with all 30+NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog HoopsAlso, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!

SDH Presents NBA Season Preview: Sacramento Kings


Check out this season preview of the 2014-15 +Sacramento KingsVisit nba.com/video for more highlights and always keep up with all 30+NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog HoopsAlso, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!

SDH Presents from TYT Sports: Can the Spurs Repeat? [NBA WEST PREVIEW 2014]


The +Oklahoma City Thunder  will be without MVP +Kevin Durant  for roughly the first month of the NBA season. Playing without one of the best players in the NBA can hinder an offense, but the Thunder still have the very talented +Russell Westbrook  to try and carry the weight. Amongst the Thunder, the reigning champion +San Antonio Spurs return with an almost identical roster that includes the growing Danny Green and +Kawhi Leonard sharing a court with future hall-of-famer Tim Duncan. The +Los Angeles Clippers  are poised to make it out of the first round of the playoffs with an ever improving +Blake Griffin  and +Chris Paul.

How will the West be won? Is Blake Griffin a potential MVP candidate? Will the Spurs repeat?  See what the folks from +TYT Sports have to say and always keep up with all 30+NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog HoopsAlso, please kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!

SDH Presents from TYT Sports: Best SHOOTER in the NBA?


The 20 best shooters in the NBA, according to an article from +Grantland (http://es.pn/1wEgsrK), is surprising once you dive outside the Top 3. According to the article, where Grantland took shooting percentage across the floor, +Dirk Nowitzki  came out as the best shooter, followed by +Stephen Curry  and +Kevin Durant. Granted, these 3 shooters are also 3 of the best players in the NBA, we were surprised to see Dirk at number one. It is hard to argue with those shot charts though.

Who do you think is the best shooter in the NBA? See what the folks from +TYT Sports have to say and always keep up with all 30+NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog HoopsAlso, please kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!

SDH Presents Lakers Practice: Carlos Boozer Looking Forward To Opening Night Challenge


+Carlos Boozer expects that the biggest problem for Lakers to be the transition defense.  Catch more +Los Angeles Lakers coverage courtesy of +Lakers Nation plus keep up with all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!   

SDH Presents Lakers Practice: Byron Scott Expects Dwight Howard To Want To Beat The Crap Out Of The Lakers


+Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott says he's "got those butterflies," preparing for his first game as head coach. Plus, Scott expects +Dwight Howard will probably want to beat he crap out of the Lakers.  Catch more +Los Angeles Lakers coverage courtesy of +Lakers Nation plus keep up with all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!   

SDH Presents Lakers Practice: Kobe Bryant Before Opening Night Vs. Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets


Before +Los Angeles Lakers Opening Night Vs. +Dwight Howard and the +Houston Rockets, +Kobe Bryant  is asked whether he thinks the Lakers are a playoff team.  Catch more +Los Angeles Lakers coverage courtesy of +Lakers Nation plus keep up with all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!   

SDH Presents Lakers Practice: Jeremy Lin Talks Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets, Opening Night


Before Opening Night against the +Houston Rockets, +Jeremy Lin talks +Dwight Howard, the Rockets, and all of the injuries the Lakers have been dealing with.  Catch more +Los Angeles Lakers coverage courtesy of +Lakers Nation plus keep up with all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!   

SDH Presents the Top 10 Dunks of the 2014-15 NBA Preseason!


Check Out the top 10 Dunks of the Preseason!  Visit nba.com/video for more highlights and always keep up with all 30+NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, please kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!

SDH Presents the Top 10 Plays of the 2014-15 NBA Preseason!


Check Out the Top 10 Plays of the NBA Preseason!  Visit nba.com/video for more highlights and always keep up with all 30+NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, please kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!

SDH Presents the Top 10 Crossovers of the 2014 NBA Preseason


Check Out the Top 10 Criosovers of the NBA Preseason!  Visit nba.com/video for more highlights and always keep up with all 30+NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, please kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!

SDH Presents The Starters' 2014-15 NBA Season Preview Part 9



The Starters' "72 burning questions" comes to an end with the biggest question of them all: "Which team is going to win the NBA championship?" Watch +The Starters  weekdays at 6:30 on +NBA TV, get more of them on their website: http://nba.com/thestarters; and  keep tuned in to +Slap Dog Hoops for all the latest news, notes and more from the +NBA and beyond.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!   

SDH Presents Phil Jackson: A Championship Presence


The  +New York Knicks describe Phil Jackson's presence inside the locker room and what he means to the franchise as they learn from the 11-time champion.  Catch more in depth coverage on the +New York Knicks--including highlights, scores, interviews, commentary and insightful analysis--as well as the rest of the +NBA right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!  

SDH Presents NY Knicks 1-on-1 with Shane Larkin: How To Use Change Of Speed & Defending Rose


Knicks.com's Jonah Ballow chats with Shane Larkin about learning how to use his speed and facing +Derrick Rose  for the first time.  Catch more in depth coverage on the +New York Knicks--including highlights, scores, interviews, commentary and insightful analysis--as well as the rest of the +NBA right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!  

SDH Presents NY Knicks 1-on-1 with Travis Wear: Experience at UCLA, Favorite Bruin, What He Brings To Knicks


Knicks.com's Jonah Ballow sat down with Travis Wear to discuss his time with the +UCLA Bruins, his favorite Bruin of all-time and what he brings to this +New York Knicks squad.   Catch more in depth coverage on the +New York Knicks--including highlights, scores, interviews, commentary and insightful analysis--as well as the rest of the +NBA right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks! 

Monday, October 27, 2014

SDH's 2014/2015 NBA Worst to First Previews and Predictions: 24. Sacramento Kings


Overall Win/Loss Record : 28-54,  fourth place Pacific Division

2014/2015 Projection: 36-46, fourth place Pacific Division, twelfth place Western Conference

Preseason Rank
24



Last season’s Team Statistics and League Rank

  • Points Scored: 100.5 (17th)
  • Points Allowed: 103.4 (24th)
  • Team FG%: .464 (7th)
  • Opponent’s FG%: .461 (20th)
  • Team FT%: .759 (15th)
  • Team Three Point FG%: .333 (27th)
  • Rebounds per game: 44.5 (9th)
  • Opponents rebounds per game: 41.2 (6th)
  • Turnovers per game: 14.7 (23rd)
  • Opponents turnovers per game: 13.2 (27th)




Returning Individual Statistical Leaders

  • Scoring (ppg): Demarcus Cousins (22.7)
  • Rebounds per game: Demarcus Cousins (11.7)
  • Minutes per game:  Rudy Gay (34.4)
  • Assists per game: Rudy Gay (3.1)
  • Field Goal Percentage:  Reggie Evans (.473)  
  • Free Throw Percentage:  Rudy Gay (.840)
  • Three Point FG Percentage: Ray McCallum (.373)
  • Steals per game:  Demarcus Cousins (1.5)
  • Blocked Shots per game: Demarcus Cousins (1.3)  

Projected Opening Day Starters Based on Past Performances and Potential Impact:


Key Reserves Rank Based on Past Performances and Potential Impact:

  1. Ramon Sessions (G)
  2. Ben McLemore (G)
  3. Reggie Evans (F)
  4. Derrick Williams (F)
  5. Ray McCallum (G)

If you are a resident of the state capital of California, you have to be not only overjoyed, but also overwhelmingly proud of the state of your Sacramento Kings.  First was the fact that ownership has changed hands from a couple of brothers who looked to relocate the team to a man who is dedicated in not only keeping the team in Sacramento, but also is making great strides in making the team a true competitor despite it being in a small market.  There are plans of building a new arena and the team has been refashioned with a new attitude along with a new culture based on excellence and accountability.  Two of the team's best players put up excellent performances in the Summer playing for their country to lead it to a gold medal in the +2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup and look to continue their success on the NBA court while a strong NBA draft and solid off season acquisitions have made the Kings even deeper and stronger than it has ever been. Altogether it looks as if this long time perennial loser is ready to take strides at returning to the post season and become the powerhouse it once was during the late 1990s to early 21st century, but hold on there!!!

Despite the recent reversal of fortunes and its upward trend of progression, there still remain numerous gaps in which the team has to fill before it can be considered anywhere near to becoming a playoff contender.  The most glaring fault is the team's rather inconsistent defensive effort last season which allowed their opponents to score more than 103 points per game and shoot .461 from the field.  Nonetheless, despite the team's porous defense, the Kings still managed to hang in almost every game match their their opponents shot for shot while at the same time out-rebounded them by a +3 margin; however, it was sadly not enough as they were unable to come through in the end losing out on all the key 50/50 plays that are necessary to grab the wins.  Yet, even though there were severe lapses on defense and much work needed to be done, there is still plenty of hope and optimism in a city that has been marred by apathy, poor management, and a less than honest or reliable ownership.  All there needs to be on the fans' part is just a little more patience for this budding team as it will take a few more years for all the work that both the team's coaching staff and front office put into to truly bear fruit.

All of the hopes of both the team and its fans rest on the massive shoulders of DeMarcus Cousins, whom despite coming off a less than impressive 28 win season, finished it with the best numbers of his of his career, leading the Kings in four statistical categories, and has emerged as one of the true elite big men of the league.  He is steadfastly propped up by Rudy Gay, who has yet to be given the deserved credit as one of the top small forwards in the NBA not being recognized for his efforts and often criticized unfairly by both fans and the media. Both are surrounded by a supporting cast of players that represent the perfect balance between youthful exuberance and veteran experience.  With a roster that is essentially two players deep in all five positions, the Kings boasts a wealth of size, skill, talent, and athleticism that most teams dream of; in addition to that strength is the willingness and dedication to get better with every game.  All there needs to be for the Kings to be a true force is just a bit more patience on the part of the farm which for years had been stretched to its limits, misused and abused by the previous ownership along with a poor front office decisions, and a corrosive organizational culture.

Unlike past seasons, which saw the Kings playing rather uninspired ball and a front office that could not care less for the poor product they were putting forth on the floor, there is actually an atmosphere of personal growth as both a team and an organization.  Players who were simply looking for their next pay check have been replaced with players who actually enjoy being on the team and ready, able and willing to do whatever it takes to make this team better.  It is this top down approach in organizational culture that has been sorely lacking under the previous leadership, or lack thereof, that dragged down this one time proud franchise no matter how many top draft picks it received each year.  It is a culture that the players have proudly bought into because unlike the previous regime, there is a sincere effort to and intention to build something special in a city that has historically seen little success, but whose fans continue show nothing but unconditional love and devotion for the past three decades.  No one cares about the fact that they reside in one of the smallest television markets in the league and is among the teams that get the least exposure in the league--all that matters is the here and now and right now the Kings are focused on moving forward and getting better with each game.

If the Kings organization can be criticized for anything and will most likely regret, it would have to be its treatment of Isaiah Thomas, who had breakout season, looked destined for greatness, and essentially got the shaft mainly due to his diminutive size.  Last season, Thomas was the team's second go to scorer averaging more than 20 points per game while leading the team in assists as well; however, the team's brain trust thought it wiser to pass on giving him the grand pay day he deserved and chose to cheap out and sign Darren Collison, instead.  Collison at best, has been a serviceable point guard who was not capable in holding his starting job while in his previous teams while Thomas literally showed that he has All Star caliber talent despite being picked 60th overall in the NBA Draft two years prior.  Instead, Sacramento chose to tab Collison as its starting point guard while letting Thomas go to the +Phoenix Suns for just 1$ million more than the Kings originally offered him which in hindsight, may not have been the wisest decision because they could've kept them both.  Nonetheless, such a gaffe will not harm the Kings too much in this upcoming season as they look to prove that just one player does not make a team and they have the tools to bring the city of Sacramento back in the NBA limelight.