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

Friday, May 31, 2013

SDH Presents NBA Playoffs Nightly Highlights (5/30/2013)

The Miami Heat returned to their home court to grab the crucial game four in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers.  Indy's Paul George and Roy Hibbert scored a combined 49 points for the visiting team, but it was not enough as Miami outpaced   the Pacers by an eleven point margin.  Now the series will head back to Indianapolis as Miami looks to end this series once and for all.



Miami certainly would not have won so easily if it were not for Lebron James who scored a game high 30 points which included a 16 point third quarter which outscored the entire Pacers team which only managed just 13 in the third.


Finally, let's cap this all off with the five best plays 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 get ready in the coming days for the final SDH's Worst to First Countdown of the 2012/2013 NBA Season as SDH recaps, reviews, reminisces, and ranks all 30 teams. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

SDH Presents NBA Playoffs Nightly Highlights (5/28/2013)

After losing their first home game in the post season and falling two games to one against the Miami Heat, the Indiana Pacers bounced back to take game four and even their Eastern Conference Final series at two games a piece.  Take another look at the Game 4 action from Indianapolis between the Pacers and Heat right here on Slap Dog Hoops.



Indy earned the hard fought win thanks to a big lift from an unexpected source. Lance Stephenson, who has not been a huge factor on the offensive end throughout the season, shined brightly scoring 20 points, including a few clutch buckets, to lift the Pacers over the Heat.



Finally, Lets cap this piece off by the top five plays from last night which includes Stephenson's BIG three pointer to finsh the 3rd quarter.


As always, you can view full game by game recaps, highlights and post game interviews on www.nba.com/video and get ready in the coming days for the final SDH's Worst to First Countdown of the 2012/2013 NBA Season as SDH recaps, reviews, reminisces, and ranks all 30 teams.  

Monday, May 27, 2013

SDH Presents NBA Playoffs Nightly Highlights (5/26/2013)

Last night in Indianapolis, the Indiana Pacers lost their first home game in the playoffs and the Miami Heat have taken control of the Eastern Conference Final series two games to one.  Check out the FULL highlights from the big game 3 showdown in Indiana between the Heat and Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals right here on Slap Dog Hoops!


  

Miami came out of the gates blazing as they had a historic fist half performance scoring 70 points--the most ever in a post season game.


And all always, Lebron James took the helm as he led the Heat yet again for a pivotal game three win with a balanced attack.


And finally, here are the five top plays of last night's playoff action courtesy of the good folk of NBA.com.


As always, you can view full game by game recaps, highlights and post game interviews on www.nba.com/video and get ready in the coming days for the final SDH's Worst to First Countdown of the 2012/2013 NBA Season as SDH recaps, reviews, reminisces, and ranks all 30 teams.  

Saturday, May 25, 2013

SDH Presents the Best of the 2013 NBA Playoffs: Second Round

The field has been whittled down to four as two of the top seeded teams in the playoffs were upset by unexpected underdogs.  Now relive all the action by checking out the best plays from an exciting and surprising second round of NBA playoff action starting with the ten best assists courtesy of the league's best passers.



Next let's take a defensive stand as we take a look at first the top ten steals of the second round . . .


followed by a huge serving of rejection with the 10 best blocks.


Finally, to cap this piece all off, let's end this with an exclamation point (1) as we look at the 10 best slams and jams of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs.


As always, you can view full game by game recaps, highlights and post game interviews on www.nba.com/video and get ready in the coming days for the final SDH's Worst to First Countdown of the 2012/2013 NBA Season as SDH recaps, reviews, reminisces, and ranks all 30 teams.   

SDH Presents NBA Playoffs Nightly Highlights (5/24/2013)

Uh Oh!! It is time for Miami Heat fans to start worrying as their team has lost home court advantage and are headed into enemy territory where their opponent has been undefeated.  The same thing happened to the New York Knicks in the second round, and remember what happened then?  Hopefully for the Heat, history will not repeat itself, but even so, it must still give Miami a bit of a nervous sweat.  Check out the highlights of a possibly season changing game two of the Eastern Conference Finals right here on Slap Dog Hoops.



Also, check out the epic Eastern Conference Finals Game 2 duel between the Heat's Lebron James and the Pacers' Paul George in Phantom super-slow motion high-definition courtesy of NBA.com.


And finally take a look at the five best plays from last nights game two courtesy of the same folks at NBA.com.  Paul George's big slam highlights an action packed Top 5 from Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.


As always, you can view full game by game recaps, highlights and post game interviews on www.nba.com/video and get ready in the coming days for the final SDH's Worst to First Countdown of the 2012/2013 NBA Season as SDH recaps, reviews, reminisces, and ranks all 30 teams.  

Thursday, May 23, 2013

SDH Presents the NBA's Worst to First for January and and February: 1. San Antonio Spurs

Overall Win/Loss Record (as of February 28th): 45-14 (first place, Southwest Division)  



3
This Month:

1
Team Statistics and League Rank (as of February 28th)

  • Points Scored: 104.2 (4th)
  • Points Allowed: 96.0 (8th)
  • Team FG%: .485 (2nd)
  • Opponent’s FG%: .439 (6th)
  • Team FT%: .788 (4th)
  • Team Three Point FG%: .379 (5th)
  • Rebounds per game: 41.0 (24th)
  • Opponents rebounds per game: 42.7 (20th)
  • Turnovers per game: 14.6 (13th)
  • Opponents turnovers per game: 15.2 (10th)

Individual Statistical Leaders (as of February 28th)

  • Scoring (ppg): Tony Parker (21.0)
  • Rebounds per game:  Tim Duncan (9.7)
  • Minutes per game: Tony Parker (33.0)
  • Assists per game:  Tony Parker (7.6)
  • Field Goal Percentage: Tiago Splitter (.595)
  • Free Throw Percentage:   Tony Parker (.830)
  • Three Point FG Percentage: Danny Green (.434)
  • Steals per game: Kawhi Leonard (1.8)
  • Blocked Shots per game:  Tim Duncan (2.7)
Worst Player of the Month: Manu Ginobli



It is sad to say, but it seems as if Manu Ginobli has outlived his usefullness.  At 35 years of age, he has lost much of the explosiveness that he had been reputed of having and his numerous injuries have kept him out of action for much of the regular season.  Once a vital piece of the Spurs, Manu has seen his importance slide as he has been slowly phased out in favor of younger and more athletic players such as Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green.  With his contract expiring at season's end, it is doubtful that the Spurs will re-up him as his age and diminishing abilities have all but sealed his fate.  He is no longer the same Manu who helped the Spurs win four Championship titles and it may be time to bid him a fond yet heartfelt farewell.  
First Player of the Month:  Tiago Splitter



One can certainly consider Tiago Splitter as one of the best NBA players that no one has ever heard.  Although Forever he still remains under the huge shadow of Tim Duncan, Splitter has put forth a rather solid season averaging close to 10 points and 7 boards in under 25 minutes per game.  At the same time, he has been near perfect from the field hitting close to .600 of his attempts.  Throughout the months of January and February, Tiago has been a crucial contributor offensively scoring in double digits in all but four games while shooting over .500 in all but two.  With such tremendous play, one has to wonder what if the Spurs chose not to resign Duncan in favor of Splitter--would they be just as good without him as with him?
Analysis:

Once again the San Antonio Spurs have regained the top spot in the NBA with the most wins in the regular season making most observers ask the following question--who cares?  It is nothing new as San Antonio has finished every regular season winning 55 to 60 games--it is almost expected.  The problem occurs after the regular season and into the post season where the Spurs have been less than stellar to say the least.  In the last three years, despite posting the best regular season records in the league San Antonio has choked in the playoffs being eliminated twice in the first round.  Last season it looked as if San Antonio had broken that jinx going undefeated in its conference to reach the Conference Finals; however, they were embarrassingly thwarted yet again by the Oklahoma City Thunder despite opening the series two wins to none.  Like that adorable animated Mexican stereotype, Speedy Gonzales, Oklahoma City simply zipped past the Spurs leaving them in the dust and forcing them and their fans to swallow another disappointing post season performance.

Upon observing the history of the past four years, it has become painfully clear that the window has closed on San Antonio's ability to win another NBA title despite finishing among the top teams in the regular season.  They still remain among the league's elite, however, only because of their past accomplishments winning four NBA Championships in the last fifteen years with only the Los Angeles Lakers possessing more NBA titles in that span of time.  In fact, on can go as far as to say that San Antonio's stature is bolstered by the past so much that it has skewered the perceptions of many including their fans.  The plain and simple fact is that matter how many wins a team gets in the regular season, the only thing that matters in the end is whether or not it wins a championship in the end, and in the Spurs'case, it seems that their ability to do so have finally come to an end.  It has almost come to the point of monotony watching the Spurs build up so high to get to the playoff only to get knocked over with ease.

One can liken the Spurs to a rerun of an old television sitcom that has long since been cancelled: you can watch it everyday and still have a chuckle no matter how many times you look at it; however as time wears on, the show begins to lose its appeal and you begin to lose interest.  That is the problem with the Spurs--they seem to be stuck in this ongoing time loop in time never advancing, just simply spinning the wheels, but simply going nowhere.  Despite the advancing ages of their three stars and their declining production, the Spurs still consistently fut forth the same forth and get the same results every time.  Unfortunately, when the team simply does not deliver once the regular season is over as their big three no longer have the gas to continue forward with the momentum into the playoffs resulting in the team falling off time and time again.   It has literally been an ongoing punchline of a joke that starts of being funny, but as time wears on it starts to stop being funny and after a while people start to lose interest.

That is why despite their consistently finishing among the top five teams in the NBA during regular season, the Spurs are rarely, if ever mentioned as a potential championship contender as many have started to lose faith in this one time dynasty. Kudos to the Spurs, however, for maintaining the same consistency over the past fifteen years not showing few if any signs of decline.  Many NBA teams with aging rosters often find themselves in decline after four or five years, crash and are then forced to start rebuilding from scratch--but not the Spurs.  In their case, it seems as if Father Time has kept them insulated in a bubble for the entire regular season and finally lets them out once the playoffs arrive thus revealing their true age and resulting in their early post season eliminations.  And that what remains frustrating for fans of the Spurs because they continue seeing this vicious cycle over and over again to the point that they have become nauseous from the continuous spinning in circles--to quote an old Smashing Pumpkins song: "despite all (their) rage, they still just rats in a cage."

With the season's end coming sooner with each passing game, it is almost a forgone conclusion that San Antonio will finish with either the best record in the league, or worst, among the top three teams; however, expect the endgame to remain the same.  The Spurs will end up going so far only to slip, fall and crash to back to Earth being forced to watch on the sidelines as another team goes on to win the NBA championship.  What was once a team known for its consistent hard work and solid play are now earning the reputation of being a consistent source of disappointment and frustration for its fans.  Sooner or later, Spurs fans will grow tired of the same old circus act and start to lose interest and do not think that will happen because it already has with the rest of the basketball viewing community.  Although the team deserves credit for maintaining the same consistency over time with little or no signs of deteriorating, the San Antonio Spurs still remain stuck once their hit that major speed bump otherwise known as the NBA Playoffs.                    

SDH Presents NBA Playoffs Nightly Highlights (5/22/2013)

It was game one of the Eastern Conference Finals as the Miami Heat faced off against the Indiana Pacers and it certainly did not disappoint.  It was an overtime thriller in Miami to kick off the Eastern Conference Finals between the Pacers and Heat as it took a last second shot by Lebron James to take the game.  Check out all the highlights from this amazing game right here on Slap Dog Hoops.  



Indy's Paul George put up quite the heroic performance as he scored 27 points as he help extend the game to overtime; however, it was not enough.



George's stellar performance would be trumped by that of Lebron James who posted a triple double of 30 points, 10 boards and 10 assists to give Miami enough to draw first blood in this Conference Final series.



To cap this all off, here are all the five best plays from an exciting game one as selected by the good folks of 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 (5/21/2013)

After breezing through the first game at home, the San Antonio Spurs had to really dig deep to accomplish their two game home court sweep.  The Spurs had to brave a late fourth quarter run by the Memphis Grizzlies which led to overtime to grab the big game two win.  Watch all the highlights from Tuesday nights action right here on Slap Dog Hoops.



San Antonio's Tony Parker had another impressive showing as he posted a career high 18 assists which gave the Spurs an 18 point lead by the end of the third quarter.


Nonetheless, the Grizzlies still managed to put up a run in the fourth quarter that would tie the game and send it into overtime.


Unfortunately the Grizz could not hold on for the win and now the series will head back to Memphis where the Grizzlies have been undefeated in the playoffs thus far.  To cap it all off, here are the five best plays from  Tuesday 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

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

SDH Defends Sergio Garcia!!!!


Usually I write just about basketball, but this issue riled me up so much that I just had to write about it.  You may have heard about the comments made by golfer Sergio Garcia concerning his bitter rival Tiger Woods.  When asked whether he would invite Tiger to dinner, he casually said something to the point of "yes, we can share fried chicken together," or something to that effect.  Now everybody is on Garcia's back accusing of being a racist and picturing poor Tiger Woods as this poor victim of a vicious hate crime.  Now Garcia, who is not even white but Latino by the way, has been unfairly mired in a media shit storm being globally ostericized for comment that were not really that offensive to begin with.  He now has to bear the mark that will forever stain his career and possibly for life for some quip that he made in jest.

For starters, what many in the media do not realize is Tiger Woods is not black because he neither identifies himself as being black nor do most African Americans associate him with being one of them.  In fact, I can go as far a saying that he is anything but black and save for his complexion, he is WHITE as WHITE can be. He is probably even whiter than Sergio himself.  So when people jump on the bandwagon saying that Tiger is this poor victim of racial hatred, it's practically laughable because that man probably has never even associated himself with other black people in his life, let alone suffer the slings and arrows that most blacks have struggled with throughout history.  He lived white, grew up as a white kid, and fashioned himself as almost facsimile to the majority white audiences who worship him as a god.

Speaking as a person who has been called a nigger behind his back and to his face, I have felt the cruel venom of racism, so I speak from personal experience when I say that what Sergio Garcia said was not that offensive to begin with.  In fact I will go as far to say that Sergio said what he said as if he were talking to and about another white guy just like him.  In terms of upbringing, both came from similar upper middle class backgrounds and socialized in the same circles.  So that comment had nothing to do with insulting and demeaning Tiger Woods racial roots which he has long since abandoned, but had to do with one guy talking trash to another who belong to the same social circles.  Tiger Woods is white in every way except his complexion and what Sergio said probably took him down a peg to show him that he is not as white as he makes himself out to be.

And now everybody is jumping on the Tiger Woods is a victim band wagon when he in NO way deserves such empathy because he has no way, shape or form experienced what it has meant be black or even a racial minority.  He started off his career as a cute anomaly from the established norm, but in reality was no different than the white people he played shoulder to shoulder with at the country club or wherever the top five percent congregate.  As a person of color, it is almost insulting that the media even lumps him with us, as nine time out of ten, neither he nor his family would find themselves associating with people like me who actually had to face the challenges of being a person of color.  To hammer down on Sergio Rodriguez is not only unfair and wrong, but is also insulting to people who have had to endure true racial discrimination and hatred.

Looking at Sergio in that press conference bowing his head in pure contrition to save his own ass made me sick because he did not deserve such condemnation for an off hand statement to jab at a hated rival rather than being anything to do about race.  What Sergio said was a comment to a rival whom he has always come up short against every time they faced one another.  It was meant as a slight jab to whom he considered not only an equal, but also an opponent that has continued to get the better of him each and every time they faced one another.  To have his career and his life ruined for such a trivial comment is a sad and pathetic commentary of the issue of race not only in America, but the world.  And I for one will be first to stand up and say that what's happening to him is wrong and portraying who many in the not only African American community, but black people in general consider an "Uncle Tom" as a victim is even more disgusting.

I think it best to finish this piece by giving an accurate portrait of the identity of Tiger Woods courtesy of the good folk of the hilarious comedy sketch show, Robot Chicken.  Watching this, all you can see why I personally think that he is no way deserving of the attention nor compassion he has received.  Both Seth Green and Matthew Senreich hit it on the button when they made this sketch.



As for those who may be offended by my piece defending who I believe is an innocent man, I have two letters for you--an "F" and a "U"--and to those "African Americans" who have a problem to what I have said, I respond with a "Nigga Please!!!!"  All you sheep can go around "bah-ing" whatever you want to the same tune whilst I choose to keep it real.  So I give nothing but and respect and love to you, Sergio Rodriguez because I've got your back and unlike Tiger, I want to let you know that you can come over to have fried chicken with me and my family ANY DAY.                      

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

SDH Previews the 2013 NBA Playoffs: Conference Finals



It must have been one of the most riveting second rounds in NBA history as a lowly five seed who entered the playoffs with no home court advantage and no expectations whatsoever beat two of the league's best team and reach the NBA Western Conference Finals for the first time in team history.  No one can really say much about the Memphis Grizzlies because they have little or nothing to spotlight--they do not have a real marquee name name player and their slow paced grind it out style of play does not inspire many to watch their games.  Yet this same unassuming team managed to make short work of two of the league's top teams shocking both the heavily favored Los Angeles Clippers in the first round and the West's best Oklahoma City Thunder, in the second.  Now they are just one step away from reaching the NBA Finals--a place where not even the most savvy of analysts had them finishing.

The second round also saw the fall of another mighty titan in the New York Knicks as they entered the playoffs with the second best regular season record and were the odds on favorite to meet the Miami Heat in the Conference Finals.  Unfortunately, those dreams that were closely held by fans in the Big Apple were dashed as they were out played and simply outclassed by another unassuming team in the Indiana Pacers.  Like the Grizzlies, the Indiana Pacers neither had a real marquee name player, did not garner much attention in the regular season, and whose style of play was not the most enticing to watch.  Now they join the Grizzlies as two underdogs facing two basketball titans in the Miami Heat, last year's NBA title holders who finished with the league's best regular season record, and the San Antonio Spurs, a team with a championship pedigree who has routinely found themselves among the top teams in the West.

Now with all the match ups set, it looks as if it is going to be a David vs. Goliath affairs as two small unassuming team head on against two mighty and powerful behemoths.  Both Grizzlies and Pacers will face two three headed juggernauts that look to steamrolled their way in the NBA Finals; however, don't count these teams out.  In fact, we might be witnessing another pair of history making showdowns and possibly another Earth shattering upset as well.  So without any further adieu, here is how SDH sees these Conference Finals match ups going down.



#1








#3

While many were hoping for an epic Miami/New York match up, this series will still be a head turner nonetheless as it will be a match up between the irresistible force in the Miami Heat against the immovable object in the Pacers.  In most cases, the irresistible force usually wins as Miami with its high octane offense along with its immense fire power outclasses the Pacers by leaps and bounds; however, so did the Knicks and look what happened to them.  The Pacers will certainly not be intimidated by South Beach's own RUN DLC (Dwayne, Lebron and Chris) as they have the bragging rights for being one of the league's top defensive teams.  Add the fact that so far in the playoffs, Indy has been undefeated on their home court so Miami had better win their first two games at home because if they don't, they may find themselves in the same predicament as the Knicks looking down the barrel of a 3-1 deficit.  If the Heat manages to win all their home games, they may certainly win this series in six games, but if the Pacers steal one on the road, it'll be over for Miami.     



#1








#5

Don't let that game one blow fool you, San Antonio will not have an easy time in the next few games.  Memphis has already proven that a blow out loss will not be enough to phase them in the first round when they lost the first game of their first round series against the Clippers.  What San Antonio has to worry about is whether or not they can win game two as well because if they lose that game, Memphis will be almost impossible to beat. Thus far Memphis has been undefeated at home and it has been that home court advantage that has been critical for them winning both of their series.  Add San Antonio's history of choking in the post season, watch the Memphis Grizzlies to be the darling debutantes at the ball as they will shock the world yet again and take down the Spurs.
       

Monday, May 20, 2013

SDH Presents NBA Playoffs Nightly Highlights (5/19/2013)

It was game one of the Western Conference Finals on Sunday night between the already established San Antonio Spurs against the unexpected upstart Memphis Grizzlies.  To no one's surprise, the Spurs drew first blood taking game one rather easily from the inexperienced Grizzlies; however with six more games to go, a lot can still happen.  Check out all the highlights of the Memphis' harsh initiation right here on Slap Dog Hoops.


The Spurs' Matt Bonner, Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green come out hot in the first half from long range simply dropping bombs on the Grizzlies.


At the same time, Tony Parker carved Memphis up like a Thanksgiving Turkey, as he slashed though the lane scoring 20 points while dishing out nine assists.


Finally, take a look at the five top plays of the Spurs' domination 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 (5/18/2013)

Saturday night saw the Indiana Pacers advanced to the Eastern Conference as they eliminated the heavily favored New York Knicks in the deciding game six matchup.  Ironically, the Pacers were led to victory by a New York City native and high school hoop legend Lance Stephenson as he led the team with 25 points while pulling down 10 rebounds as well.  Check out all the highlights from a pivotal game six right here on Slap Dog Hoops. 



Also, check out all the BIG plays from game 6 between the Indiana Pacers and the New York Knicks in Phantom super-slow motion high-definition.


Finally, take a look at the best moments of this game in the top five plays of a pivotal Saturday night as chosen by the 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

Saturday, May 18, 2013

SDH Presents the NBA's Worst to First for January and and February: 2. Miami Heat

Overall Win/Loss Record (as of February 28th):  41-14 (first place, Southeast Division)  



4
This Month:

2
Team Statistics and League Rank (as of February 28th)
  • Points Scored: 103.9 (5th)
  • Points Allowed: 96.7 (12th)
  • Team FG%: .497 (1st)
  • Opponent’s FG%: .444 (11th)
  • Team FT%: .762 (15th)
  • Team Three Point FG%: .391 (3rd)
  • Rebounds per game: 38.6 (30th)
  • Opponents rebounds per game: 40.1 (4th)
  • Turnovers per game: 13.3 (4th)
  • Opponents turnovers per game: 15.5 (7th)

Individual Statistical Leaders (as of February 28th)
  • Scoring (ppg): Lebron James (27.1)
  • Rebounds per game:   Lebron James (8.1)
  • Minutes per game:  Lebron James (38.5)
  • Assists per game:  Lebron James (7.3)
  • Field Goal Percentage:  Lebron James (.564)
  • Free Throw Percentage: Chris Bosh (.810)
  • Three Point FG Percentage: Shane Battier (.429)
  • Steals per game:  Lebron James (1.7)
  • Blocked Shots per game:  Chris Bosh (1.3)

Worst Player of the Month: Joel Anthony


At one time Joel Anthony started for this Miami Heat team and was considered as a valuable role player on a team headed for numerous championship titles; however, now he has simply disappeared without a trace without as much as a whimper.  According to his game log on ESPN.com, he played in all but nine games in the regular season; however, no one can really remember them as he barely made little or any impact while on the floor.  At a price tag at nearly 4$ million this season, you would think that Joel Anthony would have a more prominent role and expect a greater impact on this team.  Unfortunately that has not been the case as Joel Anthony has been virtually invisible for the bulk of the regular season and has contributed little if anything to this season's Miami team.  With another two years left on his deal, expect Anthony to end up yet another bloated dead weight contract joining the likes of his teammates Mike Miller and Rashard Lewis.  
First Player of the Month: Lebron James


Usually this portion is reserved for the unsung heroes that get overshadowed by their team's superstars; however , Lebron James' performance was so amazing that he actually outdid himself.  In the month of January, James was simply unstoppable offensively as he simply torched his opposition averaging 27.0 points per game while shooting .555 from the field.  In that month, he shot .500 or better in all but two games, and as if you think he could surpass that, he went on to abusive his opponents in February scoring near 30 per game while shooting .647 from the field and a scintillating .432 from beyond the arc.  To add insult to injury James not only steamrolled his defenders but also showed true overall perfection as a player posting nine double-doubles and two triple doubles to boot.  Such a performance is only a testament of how truly great Lebron James is and what he can do when he utilizes his full potential.   
Analysis:

Heading into the final stretch of the regular season, the Miami Heat has continued their "scorched Earth" policy essentially laying waste to their competition leaving nothing else but a smoking crater remaining.  Although the Heat started the new year on a sour losing four of their first seven games, they bounced back by winning all but three games by the end of February.  After a loss on the road against the Utah Jazz (1/14/2013), they went on a four game run torching both the Golden State Warriors (1/16/2013) and Los Angeles Lakers on the road (1/17/2013) while making short work of the Toronto Raptors (1/23/2013) and Detroit Pistons at home (1/25/2013).  They hit a small speed bump on the road in the form of the Boston Celtics losing to the aging team by a basket in overtime (1/27/2013); however, the Heat bounced back by simply humiliating the Brooklyn Nets on their home court as the blew them out in front of their fans by a 20 point margin (1/30/2013).  Despite starting 2013 with a less than stellar 8-5 record, the following month, Miami would go on a merciless rampage leaving nothing but ashes and rubble in its path.

February would start on a sour note losing on the road against the Indiana Pacers (2/1/2013); however, that would be the Heat's only loss as they simply breezed through the month scorching anyone who dared to get in their way.  And they won in impressive fashion to say the least scoring 100 or more points in all but two games--a surprising close contest between the lowly Charlotte Bobcats (2/4/2013) and a routing of the Chicago Bulls (2/21/2013) where the Heat scored just 86 points, but held the Bulls to just 67.  In their twelve game thrashing, they beat their opponents by an average margin of nearly 13 points per contest beating as but three teams by ten or more points--and these teams were not really pushovers either as six of them had .500 or better records.  Miami laid waste to such powerhouses such as the Pacific Division leading Los Angeles Clippers (2/8/2013) showing no hospitality whatsoever to their guest as they blew them out the arena.  The Heat then went on road to show what terrible house guests they were by slapping the Oklahoma City Thunder, who own the second best record in the Western Conference, along with their home fans across the face as they beat them rather simply by 10 points (2/14/2012).            
   
And it did not stop from there as the Heat would go on to ransack the homes of the Atlanta Hawks (2/20/2013) followed by the Chicago Bulls and Philadelphia 76ers (2/23/2013) beating them by an average margin of 19 points. Unfortunately, the Heat started to show signs of fatigue after wasting away the competition as they barely managed to win against one of the East's whipping boys in the Cleveland Cavaliers (2/24/2013) and had to go through overtime to put down of all teams, the Sacramento Kings (2/26/2013).  In the Sacramento game, the Heat not only had to take overtime to beat the Kings, but allowed one of the worst shooting teams in the league to score 129 points and shoot an very uncharacteristic .515 from the field, considering that Miami is one of the league's best when it comes to holding their opponents down defensively.  Miami had to drop a season high 141 points to beat a team who they would have otherwise snuffed out easily at any other time.  Nonetheless, it was all about getting the win and they did finishing their clear domination of February as they won twelve straight reaching their win total to forty one games all but clinching themselves a playoff spot with still a little more that a month left in the regular season.

To get a better idea of how good a spot the Heat currently are in, just ponder on this--if Miami were to lose every single game for the season, which the chances of that being slim to none, Miami would still finish with a .500 record and still be eligible to qualify for the playoffs.  If they managed to finish the season winning just nine of the last 27 games, they would still end up with a respectable 50 win season, a feat that most teams in the league often strive for.  To put it bluntly, the Heat not only have already punched their ticket to the post season while the rest of the league battles it out, but have also  secured themselves home court advantage throughout the playoffs and into the Finals.  Miami is so far ahead in the East, that no one in their own conference comes near to them in the standings and if they continue at their winning pace, which would be mind boggling to say the least, the Heat will have the East in the palm of their hands.  Simply put, there is literally no team that can get stand in the way of the Heat for their third straight NBA Finals appearance and possibly their second straight NBA championship crown.

Now for most fans and observers, it is basically a waiting game as the outcome has essentially been already determined--2013 will be the Heat's year yet again.  Knicks fans in New York can stop gassing themselves up saying that this is the year they win a title, because it is simply not going to happen, not this year of the following three years after that.  The Heat essentially have positioned themselves as the undisputed king of the Eastern Conference and barring a cataclysmic disaster, they will remain there until the trio of Dwayne, Lebron and Chris (or RUN DLC, as I like to call them) remain in South Florida.  Currently they may rest second in the league in win totals just resting behind the San Antonio Spurs, but that means absolutely nothing because come playoff time, it's going to be the Miami Heat Invitational.  Forget about winning a title because all the other 15 teams that qualify for the postseason will be simply vying for a spot for who will face and inevitably lose to the Miami Heat thus making this the most predictable and mundane season in  NBA History.          

Friday, May 17, 2013

SDH Presents NBA Playoffs Nightly Highlights (5/16/2013)

After a hard fought series, the San Antonio Spurs have advanced to the next round as they defeated the Golden State Warriors in a decisive game six while the New York Knicks live to fight another day as they win the crucial game five against the Indiana Pacers.  Watch all the highlights from those two pivotal games last night right here on Slap Dog Hoops.


After elimination from the Playoffs, Stephen Curry and the Warriors show their appreciation for the fans at Oracle Arena.  Check out the heart felt speech he gave to the fans.


To prevent his team from becoming another playoff casualty, the Knicks' Carmelo Anthony really had to dig deep to ensure his team would stay alive in their series.  Anthony scored 28 points to assure that his team's season is extended at least one more game.


Finally, let's take a look at the five most memorable plays of a climactic Thursday night as chosen 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 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

SDH Presents NBA Playoffs Nightly Highlights (5/15/2013)

One number one seed advances to the Conference Finals while the other gets shockingly eliminated and starts its summer vacation earlier than expected.  See which one advanced and which one floundered right here on Slap Dog Hoops.



Last night, Zach Randolph scored 28 points and pulled down 14 rebounds to lift the Memphis Grizzlies over the Oklahoma City Thunder in a decisive game five giving the team its first ever appearance in the Western Conference Finals in its history.


In shocking twist, instead of just giving us five plays, the gold folk on the editorial staff of NBA.com treat us with ten top plays.  Watch which play made number one right here.


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, May 15, 2013

SDH Presents NBA Playoffs Nightly Highlights (5/14/2013)

The New York Knicks find themselves in the most unenviable of spots down three games to one as they will head back to Madison Square Garden to try and stay alive in their series against the Indiana Pacers.  At the same time, the San Antonio Spurs win the crucial game five at home against the Golden State Warriors to get them one game away from advancing to the Conference Finals.  Watch all the highlights from last night's playoff action right here on Slap Dog Hoops.



George Hill was key in Indiana's win over the Knicks as he scored 26 points to lead the Pacers over the Knicks to take a 3-1 series lead.  Check out some of his best moments right here.


Finally, here are the five best play's from last night as selected by the editorial staff from NBA.com which features an amazing stuff courtesy of the Spurs' Kawhi Leonard.


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