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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

SDH Presents NBA Playoffs Nightly Highlights (4/29/2013)

The Brooklyn Nets stretched their first round series with the Chicago Bulls to a sixth game, while the Atlanta Hawks evened their series with Indiana Pacers at two games a piece and in a stunning finish the Houston Rockets hold off elimination for a at least one more game by winning game four against the Oklahoma City Thunder.  Take a whip around the league and check out the highlights from all three postseason games last night right here on Slap Dog Hoops.

Yesterday was also monumental as it was the first time that a professional athlete on a professional sport franchise comes out of the closet.  In a article that he wrote himself in Sports Illustrated, the Washington Wizards' Jason Collins finally opened up to the world the he is gay making history as the first active professional team athlete to ever do so.  Check out this interview with League Commissioner David Stern as he discusses the recent news of Jason Collins' announcement of being gay and the impact it could have on the league moving forward.

Finally, let's take a look at the five best plays from an exciting playoff Monday night as selected by the editorial staff of NBA.com.

As always, you can view full game by game recaps, highlights and post game interviews on www.nba.com/video and be sure to stay tuned in the coming days as SDH recaps, reviews, reminisces, and ranks all 30 teams for both January and February in SDH's Worst to First Countdown 

Monday, April 29, 2013

SDH Presents the NBA's Worst to First for January and and February: 9. Atlanta Hawks

Overall Win/Loss Record (as of February 28th) :  33-23 (second place, Southeast Division)  

This Month:

Team Statistics and League Rank (as of February 28th)
  • Points Scored: 97.8 (14th)
  • Points Allowed: 96.6 (11th)
  • Team FG%: .463 (7th)
  • Opponent’s FG%: .446 (14th)
  • Team FT%: .706 (26th)
  • Team Three Point FG%: .383 (4th)
  • Rebounds per game: 40.8 (26th)
  • Opponents rebounds per game: 43.2 (22nd)
  • Turnovers per game: 14.9 (17th)
  • Opponents turnovers per game: 15.2 (9th)

Individual Statistical Leaders (as of February 28th)
  • Scoring (ppg): Josh Smith (17.2)
  • Rebounds per game:  Al Horford (10.0)
  • Minutes per game: Al Horford (37.2)
  • Assists per game: Jeff Teague (7.1)
  • Field Goal Percentage:  Al Horford (.555)
  • Free Throw Percentage: Lou Williams (.870)
  • Three Point FG Percentage: Kyle Korver (.465)
  • Steals per game:  Jeff Teague (1.5)
  • Blocked Shots per game:  Josh Smith (2.0)
Worst Player of the Month:  Devin Harris

Many must be wondering what happened to the Devin Harris of five years ago who looked as he would be a potential All Star?  Since being shipped off from the Dallas Mavericks in 2008, it has been a rough time for Devin Harris as he had to endure injury riddled season along with playing for a team going absolutely nowhere in the then New Jersey Nets.  Now on his third team in as many years, Devin Harris seems to have reached his peak and looks as if he is headed for decline.  Atlanta was supposed to be another opportunity to revitalize what has otherwise been a rather flat and lack luster career; however, Harris has yet again not been able to capitalize on this opportunity and continues his descent into obscurity.  Although he can no longer be the difference maker that many had anticipated or hoped he would be, at least Harris has managed to put up a solid enough contribution to keep him somewhat relevant still.
First Player of the Month:  Jeff Teague

Out of the entire Hawks roster, no one has shown as much improvement and star potential than Jeff Teague has had so far this regular season.  Teague has gone from being a serviceable point guard on a average team to becoming one of the team's key players as he stepped up his game offensively giving his team an additional offensive boost. February by far had to be Teauge's most productive month of the season as he posted career highs in scoring averaging close to 19 points per game leading the team.  At the same time he shot close to .500 from the field while dishing out a little over nine assists per game.  Hopefully Teague's spike in production is a sign of things to come and not a one time affair  

The 2013 season thus far has been a season of liberation and vindication for the Atlanta Hawks as it managed to remove the dead weight that held them back financially while surprising any doubters that they are still a viable playoff contender.  It started in the off-season when the Hawks managed to rid themselves of two erroneous contracts first by sending their perennial disappointment Marvin Williams and his bloated contract that had years and 16$ million left on it to the Utah Jazz for the expiring contract of Devin Harris.  Then the Hawks pulled off one of the biggest coups in sports finding a sucker to unload Joe Johnson massive contract where he would be owed close to 60$ million over the next three years to the Brooklyn Nets for a huge chunk of expiring contracts.  While the Hawks executed their massive financial purge, many believed that this would be the beginning of a long and arduous rebuilding process; however, that could not be any further from the truth.  Instead  , Atlanta has been one of the pleasant surprises in the 2013 regular season as they rest comfortably in second place in the Southeast Division right behind the Miami Heat with an impressive ten game over .500 record.

At first it did not very good for the Hawks as the stumbled out of the gates after finishing 2012 on a rather high note with a 19-10 record.  The Hawks saw themselves stumbling a bit entering the new year as they lost four of their first five games until they managed to stop the bleeding by beating the Utah Jazz at home (1/11/2013); however that win was not enough to pull the Hawks back up from their slump.  They would lose four of their next five games and went from being nine games over .500 to just being four games above .500 which made the situation look very bleak for this Atlanta team.  Fortunately Atlanta managed to turn things around by winning four of their last five games to finish the month of January with a solid and respectable 26-19 record.  Sad to say the Hawks would stumble yet again in February losing three of their first four games; however, Atlanta bounced back in a major way as they went on a torrid streak winning six of their last seven games to finish the month of February.

Much of the credit of their success has to due with their balanced and efficient effort and performance on both ends of the floor as they may not have wowed many fans with their play, yet they were still rather effective nonetheless.  Although the Atlanta has ranked in the middle of the pack in scoring, they still provide a solid performance on the offensive end shooting at a near impressive clip of .470 from the field.  They also rank among the best in the league in tree point field goal percentage as well leading many to believe that it is not about the quantity of shoots Atlanta takes on offense but the quality of the shot as the Hawks always manage to get good looks with the few shot they take.  They may not look as impressive in terms of rebounding as they rank near the bottom of the league and get out rebounded by their opponent by a more than +3 margin; however, that can all be attributed to them making their shots thus not having to rebound as much.  Obviously, if a team shoot's at nearly .500, they would have less chances to grab any rebounds.

Atlanta's efficient offense has been well balanced by their equally proficient defensive effort as they have forced they opponents to shot under .450 ranking among the top half of the league in that category.  They have been also been quite capable of forcing their opponents to turn over the ball at a rather proficient rate as they rank amongst the top ten in the league in forcing turnovers.  Unfortunately for the Hawks, their ability to force give away has been counterbalanced by the teams inability to hold onto the ball themselves.  Currently there is only a +0.3 advantage between the turnovers that they commit compared to the turnovers that they force.  Nonetheless, it is with such a balanced attack and defense on both ends on the floor that has kept Atlanta, although not very noticeable, still among the top five teams in the Eastern Conference despite being all but ignored for much of the season.

If they manage to remain at the pace they are, Atlanta will certainly be heading to playoff yet again for the seventh straight season; however do not expect the Hawks to fly any farther than they have usually lasted in the post season.  They will still remain in that holding pattern in which they hover long enough to go as far as the conference semifinals to finally come crashing down yet again.  It the same usual performance that their fans have come to expect thus leading the huge sense of sheer apathy which has led this team to have one the league's lowest home arena attendances.  One can go as far to say that with such poor team spirit, the Hawks would be best to move the team to a more appreciative city as the city of Atlanta has shown that they do not deserve having their own NBA franchise.  Nonetheless, despite the massive upheaval in the roster, the Hawks have still manage to remain a solid and consistent winner.        

SDH Presents NBA Playoffs Nightly Highlights (4/28/2013)

Two teams have now advanced to the second round making short work of their opponents sweeping them in four games.  At the same time, a sixth seed looks to upset a number three as it takes a 3-1 lead.  And finally, a team down 3-0 makes a desperate attempt to stay in their series.  Check out the highlights from four game 4's from a Sunday night of NBA playoff action.

Yesterday, Stephen Curry scored 22 points for the Warriors in the third quarter giving Golden State the win and the 3-1 lead over the Denver Nuggets.

Also, watch these highlights as the  Celtics' Jason Terry scored the last 9 points for Boston as they avoid the sweep against the Knicks.

Finally, to cap it all off, check out the top 10 plays from Sunday as selected by the editorial staff of NBA.com.

As always, you can view full game by game recaps, highlights and post game interviews on www.nba.com/video and be sure to stay tuned in the coming days as SDH recaps, reviews, reminisces, and ranks all 30 teams for both January and February in SDH's Worst to First Countdown 

SDH Presents NBA Playoffs Nightly Highlights (4/27/2013)

It was an exciting and quite surprising four game Saturday night as one team that was expected to be swept in the first round will look to to bring out the broom for their opponents.  Check out the full highlights from all the incredible playoff action tonight including the triple overtime thriller in Chicago and Kevin Durant's career-performance in Houston.

Check out the highlights from Nate Robinson's INCREDIBLE 4th quarter during the epic 3-Overtime Game 4 of the 1st round series between the Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls!

Also check out these two SPECTACULAR shots in the final seconds of overtime in Game 4 between the Nets and Bulls as first Nate Robinson hits an incredible running one-handed shot off the backboard with 2 seconds left and Joe Johnson answers with the buzzer-beating floater to tie the game and force the 2nd of three overtimes in this thrilling showdown!

Last, but certainly not the least, here are the five very best plays from an NBA playoffs Saturday loaded with incredible performances  as chosen by the good folk at NBA.com.

As always, you can view full game by game recaps, highlights and post game interviews on www.nba.com/video and be sure to stay tuned in the coming days as SDH recaps, reviews, reminisces, and ranks all 30 teams for both January and February in SDH's Worst to First Countdown 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

SDH Presents NBA Playoffs Nightly Highlights (4/26/2013)

Apologies for the late post as  I was stuck at a hospital hooked up to an I.V.  Nonetheless, here are the full highlights of Friday's three game playoff highlights right here on Slap Dog Hoops.

Check out these four made baskets in a row by Carmelo Anthony during the 2nd quarter of the Knicks Game 3 win in Boston as he displays his incredible jump shooting skills with these silky smooth offensive plays!

And finally, take a look at the five best plays from an action packed playoff Friday night as chosen by the good folks on the editorial staff of NBA.com.

As always, you can view full game by game recaps, highlights and post game interviews on www.nba.com/video and be sure to stay tuned in the coming days as SDH recaps, reviews, reminisces, and ranks all 30 teams for both January and February in SDH's Worst to First Countdown 

Friday, April 26, 2013

SDH Presents the NBA's Worst to First for January and and February: 10. Brooklyn Nets

Overall Win/Loss Record (as of February 28th) :  34-24 (second place, Atlantic Division)  

This Month:

Team Statistics and League Rank (as of February 28th)

  • Points Scored: 95.2 (19th)
  • Points Allowed: 94.8 (5th)
  • Team FG%: .441 (21st)
  • Opponent’s FG%: .463 (24th)
  • Team FT%: .737 (22nd)
  • Team Three Point FG%: .359 (13th)
  • Rebounds per game: 42.3 (15th)
  • Opponents rebounds per game: 39.7 (2nd)
  • Turnovers per game: 14.6 (11th)
  • Opponents turnovers per game: 13.3 (27th)

Individual Statistical Leaders (as of February 28th)

  • Scoring (ppg): Brook Lopez (18.8)
  • Rebounds per gameReggie Evans (9.3)
  • Minutes per game: Joe Johnson (37.9)
  • Assists per game: Deron Williams (7.6)
  • Field Goal Percentage:  Brook Lopez (.513)
  • Free Throw Percentage:  Deron Williams (.860)
  • Three Point FG Percentage:  Joe Johnson (,379)
  • Steals per game: Gerald Wallace (1.3)
  • Blocked Shots per game:  Brook Lopez (2.1)
Worst Player of the Month:  Kris Humphries

Okay Kanye West, you need to take heed to this warning--this is what happens to men who get themselves involved with Kim Kardashian.  They start off getting plenty of exposure only to find themselves kicked to the curb with their careers in virtual ruins.  Just take a look at poor Reggie Bush who was at time an NFL star on the rise who had a Superbowl ring to his credit only to have it all blow up in smoke once he dipped into Double K's coochie.  Now the latest victim of her accursed vagina has become the sad pathetic case of Kris Humphries who went from up and coming player who had signed a two year extension worth 24$ million to a complete bust and overpaid salary cap dead weight that the Nets will possibly be never be able to get rid off.  The man went from having the best season of his career last season to having possibly the worst in his career--take this as a sign and leave while the getting is good Kanye, because the last thing we want to see is another bright superstar get destroyed by the Kardashian curse.   
First Player of the Month: Reggie Evans

In a matter of months, Reggie Evans went from veteran role player coming off the bench to full time starter removing overpaid waste of space Kris Humphries to the bench.  At 32 years old awhile being paid the NBA's veterans minimum of 1.6$ million, Reggie Evans has become the team's most valuable asset on the boards as he has led his team in rebounds while playing under 30 minutes per game.  His last two months have been simply spectacular as he averaged more than ten boards per game in just a little over 25 minutes of playing time.  Evans rebounding rate is also quite impressive as it is equal or more than some of the best in the league.  Even at the geriatric age of 32, Evans continues to show that there is plenty left in the tank as he has truly become an unsung hero for this underwhelming Brooklyn Nets squad.  

Despite bouncing back from a very less than stellar start of the season, the Brooklyn Nets still remain the most underwhelming and disappointing performing team currently in the NBA.  Here is team that not only boasts three NBA All stars, but is blessed with some of the most athletics and talented players that the NBA has to offer, and possibly the league's highest payroll; however, if you watch them play, the Nets certainly does not look like it.  One would expect such a team with its wealth of size and talent to statistically rank amongst the top teams in the league, but that cannot be any farther from the truth.  The team ranks near the bottom in scoring whose margin of victory against their thier opponents is less than one point.  Defensively the Nets are a complete joke allowing their opponents to shoot close to .470 from the field and while they ranked among the league's best in rebounds allowed, the only reason that is the case is because the Nets' opponents don't miss many shots to begin with.

How this team has been able to post a record that is ten games over .500 is boggling to say the least as they not allow their opponents to shoot any which way against them on the floor, but also allow them to keep possession of the ball as well. The Nets rank near the bottom in the league in turnovers forced per game while at the same time turn the ball over more than their opponents.  Fortunately for the Nets, the team's majority stake owner, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prohkorov, does not directly oversee the team, because if he were, he certainly would not be pleased watching the near 100$ million he spent to build the roster play so poorly.  If he lives up to numerous Russian sterotype portrayals, there will certainly be heads rolling down the stairs of the Barclays Center starting with that of team GM Billy King along with interim head coach PJ Carlisimo.  There is just simply no excuse for a team whose roster is as stacked on paper as the Brooklyn Nets to be performing so mediocre-ly poor.

Here is a team that consists of one of the NBA's top points guards in Deron Williams, along one of the best shooting guards in Joe Johnson, an All Star caliber center in Brook Lopez and Gerald Wallace, a swing man who has the reputation as one of the best rebounding small forwards in the league.  These four players are also backed up by some of the finest talents in the league such as CJ Watson, who last season carried out most of the point guard duties last season with the Chicago Bulls that missed Derrick Rose for much of that season.  Include Marshon Brooks, who last season played so well that he could have been in the running for rookie of the year along with veterans such as a resurrected Andray Batche, a blue collar bruiser in the paint in Reggie Evans, and swingmen such as Keith Bogans and Jerry Stackhouse to that list as well.  This is a team that should have been competing for first place in the Eastern Conference against heavyweights such as the Miami Heat and New York Knicks.  Instead they simply rest as a simple middle of the pack team whose current performance ranks between average and mediocre which makes watching this team even more frustrating because they should be capable of more.

In most cases, a team that arrives to a new city and has such a solid winning record would be welcomed with open arm to its new fanbase; however that is certainly not the case with those in Brooklyn.  With all of the hype and off season acquisitions, Brooklynites came in already with highly elevated expectations, and who could blame them?  With all the money spent and offseason roster moves, fan were certainly expecting more that what they have been providing and have been received with this a shoddy and poor example of a team.  Sure the Nets are winning, but in a city where they share the spotlight with their cross town New York Knicks, just winning is not enough to this Brooklyn crowd, especially with all the close to 100$ million invested and the hype surrounding their new team.  Nets fans expected greatness, but all they have gotten has fallen rather short of that leaving many of them feeling cheated and disenchanted.

Despite their rather less than spectacular play, the Nets need not worry about securing a high playoff berth, even home court in the first round, simply because there is no one really better than they are.  The Chicago Bulls are a joke, the Indiana Pacers play has been equally as underwhelming, the Atlanta Hawks continue to plod around as a team headed nowhere fast and the geriatric Boston Celtics are on the verge of complete collapse.  With such a sad lineup, the Nets can easily be seen as grabbing the fourth or possibly even the third seed come playoff time.  Nonetheless this still remain to both Brooklynites and casual NBA fans following this team as one of the biggest letdowns in the 2013 NBA season.  Most certainly once their season comes to a merciful close, they will be plenty of shakeups in both the roster, coaching staff and front office, in order to not have a repeat of this season and hopefully finally live up to all the hype and become the championship contender it was envisioned to be.            

SDH Presents NBA Playoffs Nightly Highlights (4/25/2013)

It was an exciting three game night of playoff action as one team came back after losing the first game to take over the series lead, one won a crucial game 3 in order in stay in the series, while the last one failed yet again to grab a game and find themselves in a three games to none hole.  See who did what right here on Slap Dog Hoops.

Last night saw the Memphis Grizzlies' Zach Randolph have a monster game to keep him team alive in their first round series against the LA Clippers.  Check out some of the highlights from Randolph's BIG double-double against the Clippers as he recorded 27 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Grizzlies to the much-needed Game 3 victory!

While mopping the floor with the Milwaukee Bucks yet again, one of the Miami Heat's players also earned his place in the history books as he hit a league milestone.  Check out these back-to-back three pointers from Heat sharp shooter Ray Allen as he ties Reggie Miller for the all-time NBA record of most 3-pointers made in the postseason with 320!

And watch the shot that made Allen surpass Miller's record as he made his 321st.

Finally, take a look at the five best plays from last night as selected by the golk folks on the editorial staff of NBA.com. They must be getting lazy because usually the top plays usually goes up to ten when there have been more than two playoff games.  Nonetheless here they are. 

As always, you can view full game by game recaps, highlights and post game interviews on www.nba.com/video and be sure to stay tuned in the coming days as SDH recaps, reviews, reminisces, and ranks all 30 teams for both January and February in SDH's Worst to First Countdown 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

SDH Presents the NBA's Worst to First for January and and February: 11. Chicago Bulls

Overall Win/Loss Record (as of February 28th):  33-25 (second place, Central Division)  

This Month:

Team Statistics and League Rank (as of February 28th)

  • Points Scored: 92.6 (28th)
  • Points Allowed: 91.3 (2nd)
  • Team FG%: .436 (24th)
  • Opponent’s FG%: .433 (3rd)
  • Team FT%: .779 (9th)
  • Team Three Point FG%: .340 (25th)
  • Rebounds per game: 43.7 (6th)
  • Opponents rebounds per game: 41.0 (7th)
  • Turnovers per game: 14.8 (16th)
  • Opponents turnovers per game: 14.0 (21st)

Individual Statistical Leaders (as of February 28th)

  • Scoring (ppg): Loul Deng (16.5)
  • Rebounds per game:  Joakim Noah (11.4)
  • Minutes per game:  Loul Deng (39.0)
  • Assists per game: Kirk Hinrich (5.4)
  • Field Goal Percentage: Taj Gibson (.489)
  • Free Throw Percentage:  Loul Deng (.820)
  • Three Point FG Percentage: Nate Robinson (.391)
  • Steals per game:  Joakim Noah (1.3)
  • Blocked Shots per game:  Joakim Noah (2.2)
Worst Player of the Month: Loul Deng

This was supposed to be the years where Loul Deng would finally step up from the shadows and be the dominant All Star force that many projected or hoped he would become.  Instead he still remains the same overrated player who plays big minutes and produces next to nothing.  Despite leading the league in minutes played, Deng still reamins largely inefficient with his time on the floor producing a rather paltry inefficiency rating of 15.12--quite low for a player that plays as much minutes as he does.  He continues to remain an enigma for Bulls fans as physically and athletically, he has the skills and abilities to become a superstar in this league, but chooses to not fully utilize them and remain nothing more than an overpaid and overhyped role player.  Deng has certainly been a disappointment to his team especially as they  needed to finally take his game up a notch, but has failed to deliver leaving Chicago to possibly reevaluate their relationship with this obvious disappointment
First Player of the Month: Jimmy Butler

Not many folks may know who this guys is, but Jimmy Butler has been a much more solid contributor at the small forward position than the player he backs up.  Unlike Loul Deng, Butler, who does not nearly match him in skills and bility, has performed much better than Deng when he is on the floor.  Unlike Deng who simply eats up minutes while he is on the floor, Butler  maximizes his time with the fewer minutes he receives showing how truly ineffective and possibly expendable that Loul Deng has become.  It was in January where Butler started to show his true potential jumping up from being a mere role player to a significant contributor as he bumped his scoring from just five points and two boards per game to 8.0 points and close to five boards per game by the end of February.  He has certainly played well enough to at least have Bulls GM John Paxson to at least contemplate letting go in one of his greatest disappointments in Loul Deng.


They have not been playing very spectacular thus far this season--in fact from a basketball standpoint, one can go as far to say that the Chicago Bulls have been downright agonizing to watch.  Although they continued to show they same toughness and effort as they play through the season without their star player Derrick Rose, the Bulls have been far from impressive as they have had to claw and scratch for every game they have won thus far.  They have remained still one of the most stingiest defensive teams in the league ranking amongst the best in the league in holding teams back offensively; however, when it comes to actually putting points up on the score board, it is another story.  Chicago currently ranks near the bottom in the league in points scored and field goal percentage and only narrow beat their opponents by just a scant +1.3 point margin.  Such a weak offensive output only goes to show that the Bulls are nowhere near to being any factor come the postseason.

Many sports media pundits have continually regurgitated the same old tired expression that "defense wins championships," which is correct to a certain extent. Defense only helps to win games when it is used as a catalyst forcing turnovers which will later lead to easy baskets such as the case with teams such as the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers, and Oklahoma Thunder; however, that is far from the case when it comes to the Chicago Bulls.  Unlike those previous teams mentioned, defense for the Bulls is far from a catalyst, but more of a crutch holding a shaky team together.  Despite being able to hold teams on the defensive end, the Bulls have been completely inept when it comes to taking those defensive plays and converting them into scoring opportunities.  Defense is only as good to a team as the offense it later produces as a result and in the case of Chicago, regardless of all the effort given on the defensive end, if they cannot convert on the other end, all that effort is basically useless.

It is harsh to say, but it is true: if a team cannot score on their side of the floor, then what use is it to hold the other team back if they cannot capitalize on it.  Right now, Chicago has been lucky to have such an impressive record despite performing less than spectacular on the offensive end.  If one takes a closer look at their numbers and compare them to that of their opponents, they will see that both of their numbers are all but identical.  That means that with all the reputed defensive pressure that the Bulls push onto their opponents, they are essentially no better than they are as offensive they are just as awful as those who they defend.  In terms of shooting percentages, the Bulls only shoot just .003 better than that of their opponents and only show a +2.7 rebounding advantage despite raking among the top five teams in the league in rebounding thus making them look not nearly half as good as their record would suggest.

If there were a bad call here or there, a loose ball or basket that did not go their way, the Bulls may have well as be on the opposite side of spectrum as possibly been eight games under .500 rather than being eight games over .500.  It is only just a matter of time until that defensive crutch that has allowed that to scantly scrape by games will eventually buckle, break and have Chicago falling on the backsides.  It is also bad enough to see that despite all the defensive effort that the Bulls supposedly give that they only ranked near the bottom of the league in turnovers forced.  What is even worse then their sheer inability to force their opponents to turnover the ball is their sheer inability to hold onto the ball themselves as Chicago turnover the ball more than their opponents do.  All those factors together combined result in a recipe for disaster and all that is needed is just the slightest breeze to send this shaky house of cards crashing down. 

Despite the teams rather shaky foundation, there is still no doubt that Chicago Bulls will secure a high seed in the playoffs simply because not so much that they are better than other team behind them in the East, but simply that those teams are far worse than they are.  Once the playoffs start, all the Bulls' weakness will be completely exposed leading to their loyal fans being forced to watch their team have a quick and early exit out of the playoffs.  It does not matter who they play once the bracket have been decided, they Bulls are no way going anywhere past the first round as any team team that they face will not only beat the Bulls, but embarrass them at the same time.  The Bulls are only where they are now because Lady Luck has decided to bestow her good graces upon them and if it were not for that, the Bulls would not have the record or the placing as they currently have.  Sooner or later that team's luck is going to run out and when it does, it will turn out to become an EPIC disaster waiting to happen.             

SDH Presents the NBA's Worst to First for January and and February: 12. Golden State Warriors

Overall Win/Loss Record (as of February 28th) :  33-25 (second place, Pacific Division)  

This Month:

Team Statistics and League Rank (as of February 28th)

Points Scored: 101.2 (7th)
Points Allowed: 101.6 (25th)
Team FG%: .456 (10th)
Opponent’s FG%: .441 (8th)
Team FT%: .799 (2nd)
Team Three Point FG%: .398 (1st)
Rebounds per game: 44.8 (3rd)
Opponents rebounds per game: 42.9 (23rd)
Turnovers per game: 15.3 (26th)
Opponents turnovers per game: 13.2 (29th)

Individual Statistical Leaders (as of February 28th)

Scoring (ppg): Stephen Curry (22.0)
Rebounds per game:  David Lee (11.2)
Minutes per game: Stephen Curry (38.0)
Assists per game: Stephen Curry (6.5)
Field Goal Percentage: Carl Landry (.531)
Free Throw Percentage: Stephen Curry (.910)
Three Point FG Percentage: Stephen Curry (.455)
Steals per game: Stephen Curry (1.7)
Blocked Shots per game: Andrew Bogut (1.6)
Worst Player of the Month: Andrew Bogut

To think this guy was the number one overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft still boggles the mind.  Andrew Bogut must be considered as one of the biggest draft busts in NBA history after wasting his entire career in Milwaukee before being traded to the Warriors last season.  In the past two months, the man has played a grand total of seven games missing most, if not all of the regular season due to injury.  What's worse is that the Warriors are basically stuck with this loser for another year at nearly 14$ million making him all but untradable.  At least his absense has not his team as the Warriors are currently holding onto second place in the Pacific Division trailing the LA Clippers which makes his presence, or lack thereof, on the team more bearable.   
First Player of the Month: David Lee

Forget about that overhyped and overrated piece of garbage who currently sits on the end of the Minnesota Timberwolves bench.  David Lee should be truly be more deserving of all the praise that so called superstar Kevin Love has received as unlike his so called peer, actually plays like a true power forward.  Unlike Kevin Love who spends his time mostly around the three point arc doing a very poor Larry Bird impression, David Lee actually plays the way a power forward should, with his back to the basket and getting his points down low in the paint.  He is rarely flashy and is often overshadowed by his higher profile teammate, Stephen Curry, but David Lee is the true backbone of this resurgent Warriors team.  Gladly NBA coaches recognized that as well as they selected Lee over Curry to represent the Warriors in the 2013 NBA All Star Game.

The Golden State Warriors have certainly been one the pleasant surprises in the 2013 NBA Season going from perennial Western Conference cellar dweller to becoming a playoff contender.  Many were shocked when the Warriors started the season with a startling 9-6; however, from the Warrior's previous and rather pitiful history, most believed that it certainly would not last.  So imagine the shock and amazement of fans from the Bay Area and beyond when the Warriors would not only continue to win, but also arose to become one of the best teams in the league finishing 2012 with 21-10 record. Some may say that it was a given that Warriors would play so well--after all they did come into season sporting one of the deepest and most talented young rosters in the NBA; however, this is the Golden State Warriors we are talking about.  They could have 12 All stars on their roster and still bomb a season simply because they have been virtually cursed for most if not all their entire history.

Remember all the failed draft picks, all the unwise free agent signings to go along with all the rotten luck that can ever befall a franchise.  The Warriors were in the same boat as their fellow perennial loser neighbor, the LA Clippers as both teams simply seemed forever destined to remain wallowing at the bottom of the season standing.  Now all of that has changed as the entire Pacific Division has been turned on its head as two of the divisions are now sitting up atop the conference while the the two team that have dominated the division for so many years, namely the Los Angeles Lakers and the Phoenix Suns find them selves scrounging on the bottom.  To quote an old biblical phrase, It seems as if that at least in the NBA, the meek have finally inherited the Earth, as two of the teams that were once considered laughing stocks have now risen to center stage to the relief and amusement of their fans.  So much so, that one can go as far to say the Warriors rise from the dank depths is probably one of the most monumental events not in the NBA, but all of professional sports as well.

It has been so long since Golden State Warriors fans had something to cheer about after having to endure one losing season after another.  Now they find themselves in a strange and unfamiliar place with the team finally on the opposite end of the loss column and it is almost seems that sooner or later they would soon wake up and this would all be a cruel dream.  Unfortunately for Warriors fans, it looked as if the good times were coming to an end as their home stead would start the new year stumbling out of the games after a rather impressive performance to finish 2012.  Golden State started January losing five of its first seven games, but managed to right the ship finishing the month winning six of their last eight. Sadly the momentum of that 6-2 run did not last as they would have a treacherous February losing six of their first seven games and finishing the month 4-8.

What was worse about February was not how many games the Warriors lost, but its was the manner in which they lost as the Warriors simply did not lose to their opponents, they simply got clobbered.  They lost by an average margin of 15.1 point per games getting thoroughly blown out losing half by 15 or more points.  Golden State lost their first game in February against the Rockets at Houston by an unfathomable 31 allowing the Rockets to outscore them 140 to 109 (2/5/2013). They then followed that lackluster performance by an equally horrendous effort at Oklahoma City where they would get simply abused by the Thunder by 21 (2/6/2013).  After those two humiliating loses, the Warriors would put up a solid effort yet lose a close one to the Memphis Grizzlies by just six points (2/8/2013); however, Golden State would then lose horrendously to the tune of 25 points at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks (2/9/2013).  Such devastating loses certainly gave fans an about face watching their team that looked so good throughout the season get beaten so badly; however, they still should not lose hope.

Although the Warriors have gone through a rather rough patch for the past couple of months, they still have not lost much ground in the Western Conference standings.  They still rest upon second place in the Pacific Division with a healthy lead over the third place Los Angeles Lakers and still remain rather respectable with a record of eight games over .500.  Unfortunately, with a little over a month in the regular season left, the Warriors will have really dig deep to get themselves out of the hole they have dug themselves before it is too late.  With the Lakers starting to find their stride late in the season, Golden State may soon no longer have that comfortable lead that they have enjoyed throughout the season and if they continue losing at this pace, they may find themselves up the creek without a paddle falling out of playoff contention thus shattering the hope and dreams of all of their home fans.  For the sake of their fans, hopefully the Warriors can pull themselves of this nosedive and salvage what's left of their season, because their fans deserve so much more than what they have been getting for so many years.

SDH Presents NBA Playoffs Nightly Highlights (4/24/2013)

Three games were on the docket on Wednesday night as three team looked to even their playoff series at one game a piece.  See who made it and who did not right here on Slap Dog Hoops.

Wednesday saw the Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant score 29 points and dish out 9 assists to push the Thunder past the Houston Rockets in game 2.  Check out the slow motion highlights of his monster game in front of his home court fans.

And let us not forget the top 10 plays of last night's action which feature a nasty slam by the Indiana Pacers' Gerald Green and a sweet lob pass from the the Spurs' Tony Parker to his teammate Kawhi Leonard for the perfect finish.

As always, you can view full game by game recaps, highlights and post game interviews on www.nba.com/video and be sure to stay tuned in the coming days as SDH recaps, reviews, reminisces, and ranks all 30 teams for both January and February in SDH's Worst to First Countdown 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

SDH Presents NBA Playoffs Nightly Highlights (4/24/2013)

Three games were played on Wednesday night as three teams looked  to even up their first rounds series.  Two failed miserably while one shot the lights out on the road to earn the win and take away their opponent's home court advantage.  Check who did what and how right here on Slap Dog Hoops.

Last night saw the Knicks' Carmelo Anthony torch the Boston Celtics yet again in game two at Madison Square Garden.  Anthony dropped 34 points to give the Knicks the 2-0 going into Boston.  See how he simply dismantled the Celtics by checking out some of his best plays from last night.

Golden State's Stephen Curry scored 30 points and dished out 13 assists as he led the Warriors out of Denver with a game 2 win.  Check out some of the highlights of his heroic effort.

Finally, check out the ten best plays from a Tuesday night of Playoff action as selected by the gold folks on the editorial staff of NBA.com.

As always, you can view full game by game recaps, highlights and post game interviews on www.nba.com/video and be sure to stay tuned in the coming days as SDH recaps, reviews, reminisces, and ranks all 30 teams for both January and February in SDH's Worst to First Countdown