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

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

SDH Presents Top 10 Stephen Curry Plays of 2013


+Stephen Curry had a breakout year in 2013! Check out all the best from the +Golden State Warriors' "Human Torch" right here and always keep up with all 30+NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Be sure to stay tuned to SDH in the coming weeks as I will be recapping, reviewing and ranking the performances of all thirty teams in the Association in my Worst to First Countdown for November.  

SDH Presents the NBA's Worst to First for November: 23. Orlando Magic

Overall Win/Loss Record (as of November 30th): 6-10, fifth place Southeast Division



26
This Month:

23
Team Statistics and League Rank

  • Points Scored: 99.6 (16th)
  • Points Allowed: 101.0 (21st)
  • Team FG%: .462 (8th)
  • Opponent’s FG%: .446 (11th)
  • Team FT%: .747 (16th)
  • Team Three Point FG%: .387 (8th)
  • Rebounds per game: 43.3 (13th)
  • Opponents rebounds per game: 41.1 (6th)
  • Turnovers per game: 17.4 (26th)
  • Opponents turnovers per game: 14.1 (7th)




Individual Statistical Leaders


SDH’s Worst of the Month: Jameer Nelson



It is not so much for his game that Jameer Nelson has been placed as November's worst, but for the mere fact that he simply does not belong on this young up and coming team in Orlando. Nelson is essentially a dinosaur from a bygone era and should have never been re-signed by the Magic after the team sent +Dwight Howard away to the +Los Angeles Lakers.   For much of his time in Orlando, Jameer was much less of a facilitator and more of a spot up shooter who got the ball off screens and from kick out from the paint.  Now he is expected to perform in a role that he has not done in his entire career which has resulted in him in not being as efficient on the offensive end as he once was.  Plus, his presence takes away minutes from the Magic's up and comers such as third year point man E'Twaun Moore and Victor Oladipo thus making him more a hindrance than a help in Orlando's youth movement.
SDH’s First of the Month: Nikola Vucevic



Last season Vucevic was one of the pleasant surprises of the 2013 NBA season as he burst out the gates with a splendid sophomore effort averaging a double-double in points and rebounds. This season, he has raised the bar going from being a decent NBA caliber center to a potential All Star posting phenomenal numbers yet again averaging a new career high in points in 15.0 per game while hitting his shot with a splendid .557 accuracy. By the end of November, he scored in double figures in all but two games with eight of them being 15 points or more while at the same time posting eight double-double games as well.  Certainly, Vucevic has proven to be more of a blessing for an Orlando team that had lost a superstar big man a season prior and may possibly be in line to be the next great center to play in South Florida following the path of such greats who have passed through there such as Shaquille O'Neal and Dwight Howard; however, unlike them, he was not selected first overall in the NBA Draft nor was he expected to have a major impact as his predecessors.  If he maintains his stellar production, Vucevic will certainly be in the running for the Most Improved Player Award or even an All Star team selection; nonetheless, his stock has definitely increased and will certainly be one of Orlando's top priorities to secure once he becomes eligible for a contract extension after this season.   

Last season when many had expected the Orlando Magic to simply slip away into oblivion after trading away their star of the past seven years Dwight Howard, Orlando did the opposite as it showed to still have plenty of fight left in them.  And despite finishing with the league's worst record, the Magic proved to be one of the teams to watch out for as the finished the regular season with by compiling a treasure trove of young talent that would rival any in the league.  In what many would consider rather dark period, the Magic made the best of a bad situation by discovering quite a few diamonds in the rough with limitless upside in young athletic talents such as Arron Afflalo, Nikola Vucevic, Andrew Nicholson, Maurice Harkless, and Tobias Harris, to name a few.  Armed with the second pick of last summer's NBA draft who happened to be Victor Oladipo, this young and surprising talented Orlando Magic team planned to certainly turn some head this upcoming season and they have certainly surpassed even the most optimistic of expectations.  So far, despite their 6-10 start, the Orlando Magic have played with such a poise, coherence and consistency that is rarely seen in most young rebuilding teams and while many still expect this team to return to the lottery once again at season's end, those doubters will certainly be in for quite a shock as this Magic team looks to defy all expectations.

It is sad to say that many have so far overlooked the Magic due to its 6-10 start, but upon closer analysis, one will see that this team is far more better than their record would appear as they have thus far statistically outperformed their opponents in the first 16 games of the season in spite of their losing record.  The Magic rank among the top ten teams in field goal percentage, and have thus far kept their opponents to shooting under .450 percent from the field while at the same time forcing them to turn over the ball at a rather high rate.  Upon looking at the numbers, one can see that this is a truly focused and disciplined team despite the majority of its roster being under the age of 25 and unlike most team who are in the same situation, the Magic have not allowed themselves to allow their inexperience be an impediment to them.  In fact, one can go as far to say that the Magic are in fact a far more polished team that most of their opponents in their own conference, especially from such veteran teams who should be performing way better than they have been in the +New York Knicks and +Brooklyn Nets.  And despite their losing record, in an Eastern Conference that has been relatively sad thus far, the Magic, with their rather impressive team numbers can might just become a dark horse in the conference and might just surprise many a spectator with a unexpected playoff appearance which will certainly dumbfound many a commentator who had Orlando at the bottom of their regular season projections.

The only true weakness that has been holding back the Magic is their high propensity of turning over the ball on offense as can be seen by them being near the bottom of the league in protecting the ball which can be blamed on their lack of a true point guard.  At it stands now, the team's most senior member at the point guard position has spent most of his career as a catch and shoot player while the other two are either too green to be trusted full time at the point or simply past his prime and can no longer make a major impact.  Other than acquiring an elite caliber point guard, there are really no other major gaps in terms of roster depth for the magic as they already have two All Star caliber players to build on in swing man Arron Afflalo, who currently leads the team in scoring, and Nikola Vucevic, who has truly blossomed in his third season as a go to player in the paint.  Both of them are surrounded by a bevy of athletically gifted and talented players who are both quite versatile having the size, shooting range, and skill to play numerous positions which can prove to be an even greater asset than acquiring the number one draft pick in next season's draft.  With the treasure trove of talent the team possesses, they can easily pull of a trade to acquire one or even two marquee name players the same way that Danny Ainge did with the +Boston Celtics gathering enough desirable assets to pull off a trade to get +Kevin Garnett and +Ray Allen to play alongside +Paul Pierce.  And we all know what happened as a resulted--namely four Atlantic Division titles, two NBA Finals appearances, and the Celtics' first NBA tile since 1986--which will certainly gives fans in Orlando plenty of hope for the future whether or not their team's front office decides to make a move or not.

It was originally believed that Orlando would face a long hard road to rebuilding right after the massive Dwight Howard trade, but in fact it was the complete opposite as the Magic actually came out far better off than the other teams involved in that trade.  The +Los Angeles Lakers, the team who acquired Howard struggled to make the playoffs last season with him in the lineup and not only did they lose Dwight in the off season, but they also seem to be heading downhill very fast and may probably be heading to lottery upon season's end. The +Philadelphia 76ers got equally gipped in the deal as their major acquisition, +Andrew Bynum, who now plays for the +Cleveland Cavaliers, was lost to them for all of last season and probably will never return to his All Star form due to his chronically arthritic knees.  Finally, the +Denver Nuggets would come out of the whole deal on top of the other three as the presence of +Andre Iguodala helped the team win a franchise record 57 games last season; however, that satisfaction would be short lived as Iggy would bolt in the off season signing with the +Golden State Warriors leaving the Nuggets empty handed and headed for a downfall of their own.  Now, the Magic have come up smelling like roses as they not only acquired a bevy of young talent in the deal, but also possess three first round picks from the Lakers, Sixers and Nuggets which all may end up as high lottery picks with the way all three teams have been playing. 

As it stands now, Orlando is not only on the fast track to return to playoff contention, but if the Magic uses their assets wisely to pull off a big trade and get a marquee player either by the trade deadline or in the off season, can potentially become a force in not only the Eastern Conference, but the entire league.  Already the Magic are still in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race despite currently resting at the bottom of their division barely behind the +Atlanta Hawks+Charlotte Bobcats, and +Washington Wizards by just a few games to a point where a well placed run can jockey Orlando to second place.  Unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen until the Magic manage to figure out a way of holding onto the ball and not allowing their opponents to score an estimated 31.2 points per game off their turnovers.  Nonetheless, the Magic are still on the right track on the road to return to respectability as they have shown through their solid execution and consistent play on both ends of the floor.  It will be interesting to see what will happen in the coming months as Orlando has an overflowing war chest of young talent which most NBA team can only dream of having and just one mid season move can change the the team's destination from returning to the lottery to making a potential post season run.  As the months go by and as teams become more desperate to shake up their rosters in an effort to make the playoffs, watch the Magic to be mentioned in numerous trade rumors and scenario as they will certainly be a team to watch out for as the regular season rolls on.     

SDH Presents MavsMinute 12-30-13


Fox Sports Southwest Girls get you up to date on your +Dallas Mavericks  with this weekly special.  See what the Southwest Girls have to say and always keep up with all 30+NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Be sure to stay tuned to SDH in the coming weeks as I will be recapping, reviewing and ranking the performances of all thirty teams in the Association in my Worst to First Countdown for November.  

SDH Presents NBA Nightly Highlights: December 30th


It was an action packed Monday with a game-winner, a facial and some great defense. Visit nba.com/video for more highlights and always keep up +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Be sure to stay tuned to SDH in the coming weeks as I will be recapping, reviewing and ranking the performances of all thirty teams in the Association in my Worst to First Countdown for November.  

SDH Presents Jrue Holiday and Anthony Davis Burning the Blazers (12/30/2013)


+Jrue Holiday  scored 31 points and dished out 13 assists while Anthony Davis chipped in 27 points and 12 rebounds to lead the +New Orleans Pelicans  over the +Portland Trail Blazers. Visit nba.com/video for more highlights and always keep up +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Be sure to stay tuned to SDH in the coming weeks as I will be recapping, reviewing and ranking the performances of all thirty teams in the Association in my Worst to First Countdown for November.  

SDH Presents Top 10 NBA Plays: December 30th


+Tyreke Evans'  game-winner headlines Monday's Top 10. Visit nba.com/video for more highlights and always keep up +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Be sure to stay tuned to SDH in the coming weeks as I will be recapping, reviewing and ranking the performances of all thirty teams in the Association in my Worst to First Countdown for November.  

SDH Presents Detroit Pistons | Pistons Playback: 12/30/2013 vs. Wizards


The +Detroit Pistons  could not overcome a 4th quarter surge by the +Washington Wizards as they fall 106-99 at home. Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 29 points while Greg Monroe had 22 points for the Pistons.  Check out the highlights, post game reactions and always keep up with all 30+NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Be sure to stay tuned to SDH in the coming weeks as I will be recapping, reviewing and ranking the performances of all thirty teams in the Association in my Worst to First Countdown for November.  

SDH Presents Euroleague Basketball Focus on Jaycee Carroll, Real Madrid


Make sure you visit www.euroleague.livebasketball.­­tv to access much more Euroleague videos along with LIVE streaming game and do not forget to check on +Slap Dog Hoops  for all the scores, recaps and highlights in +EUROLEAGUE BASKETBALL

Monday, December 30, 2013

SDH Presents Oklahoma City Thunder Video: Calls of Week 8


+Oklahoma City Thunder  Broadcasters Matt Pinto and Brian Davis provide the calls for the best Thunder plays of the week. Vote for your favorite at THUNDER.NBA.COM and always keep up with all 30+NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Be sure to stay tuned to SDH in the coming weeks as I will be recapping, reviewing and ranking the performances of all thirty teams in the Association in my Worst to First Countdown for November.   

SDH Presents Lakers Practice: Coach D'Antoni On Chris Kaman's Limited Role, Pau Gasol's Illness (12/20/2013)


After +Los Angeles Lakers  practice on Monday, Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni addresses +Pau Gasol's illness and says Gasol will play New Year's Eve against the +Milwaukee Bucks. D'Antoni also discusses Chris Kaman's limited role.  See what he had to say and always keep up on all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Be sure to stay tuned to SDH in the coming weeks as I will be recapping, reviewing and ranking the performances of all thirty teams in the Association in my Worst to First Countdown for November.  

SDH Presents Lakers Practice: Pau Gasol Responds To Criticisms, Will Play With Respiratory Infection


+Los Angeles Lakers  center +Pau Gasol  will play through his respiratory infection. He responds to criticisms about not playing through his illness.  See what he had to say and always keep up on all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Be sure to stay tuned to SDH in the coming weeks as I will be recapping, reviewing and ranking the performances of all thirty teams in the Association in my Worst to First Countdown for November.  

SDH Presents Lakers Practice: Nick Young's New Years Resolution Is To be More Swaggy (12/20/2013)


After practice, Nick Young talks about how he has to keep the team positive, despite the +Los Angeles Lakers  deep hole. Plus, Young says his new year's resolution is to be more swaggy.  See what he had to say and always keep up on all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Be sure to stay tuned to SDH in the coming weeks as I will be recapping, reviewing and ranking the performances of all thirty teams in the Association in my Worst to First Countdown for November.  

SDH Presents Chris Paul's Top 10 Plays of 2013!


Check out +Chris Paul's  top plays of the 2013 calendar year  and always keep up with all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog HoopsBe sure to stay tuned to SDH in the coming weeks as I will be recapping, reviewing and ranking the performances of all thirty teams in the Association in my Worst to First Countdown for November. 

SDH Presents John Wall's Top 10 Plays of 2013!


Check out the +Washington Wizards John Wall's top plays of the 2013 calendar year and always keep up with all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog HoopsBe sure to stay tuned to SDH in the coming weeks as I will be recapping, reviewing and ranking the performances of all thirty teams in the Association in my Worst to First Countdown for November. 

SDH Presents NBA Top 10 Dunks Of The Week: 12/22-12/29


Check out the top ten facials, posters and rim-rockers from this week in the NBA. Visit nba.com/video for more highlights and always keep up with all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog HoopsBe sure to stay tuned to SDH in the coming weeks as I will be recapping, reviewing and ranking the performances of all thirty teams in the Association in my Worst to First Countdown for November. 

SDH Presents NBA DLeague Highlights: Skyforce edges Mad Ants 103-101 (12/30/2013)


You can keep up with the D-League as well as all 30+NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Be sure to stay tuned to SDH in the coming weeks as I will be recapping, reviewing and ranking the performances of all thirty teams in the Association in my Worst to First Countdown for November. 

SDH Presents from Bball Breakdown: The Rudy Gay Effect--How The Kings Almost Beat Manu and the Spurs


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The +Sacramento Kings  have made some bold moves to upgrade their talent this season, none bigger than trading for +Rudy Gay . This affect has been widespread and enabled them to be much more competitive against the upper echelon teams.  See more of +BBALLBREAKDOWN and always keep up with all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog HoopsBe sure to stay tuned to SDH in the coming weeks as I will be recapping, reviewing and ranking the performances of all thirty teams in the Association in my Worst to First Countdown for November. 

SDH Presents Rip City Today - Monday, December 30, 2013


Highlights from the heat-pumping battle with the +Miami HEAT  on Saturday night and the +Portland Trail Blazers  look to bounce back when they tip off a back-to-back set tonight in New Orleans.  You can watch more installments of Rip City Today and always keep up with all 30+NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Be sure to stay tuned to SDH in the coming weeks as I will be recapping, reviewing and ranking the performances of all thirty teams in the Association in my Worst to First Countdown for November.

SDH Presents Lakers Post Game: Kendall Marshall On Aggressiveness, Knocking Down Shots As A Laker (12/29/2013)


In the +Los Angeles Lakers  lost to the +Philadelphia 76ers, Kendall Marshall received a fair share of playing time after Xavier Henry went down with an injury. See what he had to say after the game and always keep up on all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Be sure to stay tuned to SDH in the coming weeks as I will be recapping, reviewing and ranking the performances of all thirty teams in the Association in my Worst to First Countdown for November.

SDH Presents Lakers Post Game: Coach D'Antoni On Kendall Marshall, Ryan Kelly, Xavier Henry's Knee Injury (11/29/2013)


After the +Los Angeles Lakers  lost to the +Philadelphia 76ers, Mike D'Antoni finally admits that it has become discouraging. D'Antoni also discusses Kendall Marshall and Ryan Kelly's play and talks Xavier Henry's knee injury.  See what else he had to say and always keep up on all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Be sure to stay tuned to SDH in the coming weeks as I will be recapping, reviewing and ranking the performances of all thirty teams in the Association in my Worst to First Countdown for November.

SDH Presents Lakers Post Game: Xavier Henry Strains His Right Knee, Discusses Injury (11/29/2013)


After the +Los Angeles Lakers  lost to the +Philadelphia 76ers, Xavier Henry talked about leaving the game with a knee injury. Watch Henry relive the moment and always keep up on all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Be sure to stay tuned to SDH in the coming weeks as I will be recapping, reviewing and ranking the performances of all thirty teams in the Association in my Worst to First Countdown for November.

SDH Presents Lakers Post Game: Jordan Hill On The Loss, Turnovers, Feeling In The Locker Room (12/29/2013)


The +Los Angeles Lakers  lost to the +Philadelphia 76ers , and in the process Xavier Henry went down with a knee injury. After the game, Jordan Hill talked about the feeling in the locker room and the Lakers turnovers.  ee what else he had to say and always keep up on all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Be sure to stay tuned to SDH in the coming weeks as I will be recapping, reviewing and ranking the performances of all thirty teams in the Association in my Worst to First Countdown for November.

SDH Presents Duel: Stephen Curry vs. Kyrie Irving (12/29/2013)


+Stephen Curry  had 29 points, 11 assists, and 9 rebounds while +Kyrie Irving  had 27 points and 9 assists in the +Golden State Warriors'  108-104 win over the +Cleveland Cavaliers. Visit nba.com/video for more highlights and always keep up with all 30+NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Be sure to stay tuned to SDH in the coming weeks as I will be recapping, reviewing and ranking the performances of all thirty teams in the Association in my Worst to First Countdown for November   

SDH Presents Top 10 NBA Plays: December 29th


Check out the Top 10 plays from December 29th, highlighted by a ridiculous dunk by +Kevin Durant and and always keep up with all 30+NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Be sure to stay tuned to SDH in the coming weeks as I will be recapping, reviewing and ranking the performances of all thirty teams in the Association in my Worst to First Countdown for November   

SDH Presents NBA Nightly Highlights: December 29th


Check out the Daily Zap from December 29th, recapping a five game night and always keep up with all 30+NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Be sure to stay tuned to SDH in the coming weeks as I will be recapping, reviewing and ranking the performances of all thirty teams in the Association in my Worst to First Countdown for November   

SDH Presents Kevin Durant Scoring 33 in Blowout Win Against the Rockets (12/29/2013)


+Kevin Durant  had 33 points, 13 boards, and 5 assists in the +Oklahoma City Thunder's 117-86 win over the +Houston Rockets . Visit nba.com/video for more highlights and always keep up with all 30+NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Be sure to stay tuned to SDH in the coming weeks as I will be recapping, reviewing and ranking the performances of all thirty teams in the Association in my Worst to First Countdown for November   

Sunday, December 29, 2013

SDH Presents Oklahoma City Thunder Video: Thunder vs Rockets Highlights (12/29/2013)


Check out some great +Oklahoma City Thunder  highlights from the 117-86 win over the +Houston Rockets. Go to thunder.nba.com for full game coverage and always keep up with all 30+NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Be sure to stay tuned to SDH in the coming weeks as I will be recapping, reviewing and ranking the performances of all thirty teams in the Association in my Worst to First Countdown for November   

SDH Presents Sacramento Kings Post Game Reactions (12/29/2013)


+Sacramento Kings Head Coach Michael Malone and +Rudy Gay  spoke with media following game against the +San Antonio Spurs on 12/29/13.  See what they had to say about their team's performance and always keep up with all 30+NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog HoopsBe sure to stay tuned to SDH in the coming weeks as I will be recapping, reviewing and ranking the performances of all thirty teams in the Association in my Worst to First Countdown for November. 

SDH Presents the NBA's Worst to First for November: 24. Detroit Pistons

Overall Win/Loss Record (as of November 30th):  6-9, third place Central Division



16
This Month:


24
Team Statistics and League Rank

Points Scored: 99.4 (18th)
Points Allowed: 100.0 (19th)
Team FG%: .455 (12th)
Opponent’s FG%:  .477 (30th)
Team FT%: .690 (30th)
Team Three Point FG%: .298 (30th)
Rebounds per game: 41.7 (19th)
Opponents rebounds per game: 40.8 (3rd)
Turnovers per game: 14.5 (6th)
Opponents turnovers per game: 17.9 (4th)




Individual Statistical Leaders


SDH’s Worst of the Month: Josh Smith



He was supposed to be the crown jewel of the Detroit's busy off season, but has so far failed to live up to expectations as Josh Smith has come out of the gates struggling and his team's performance as a whole has been far from spectacular.  From leading the +Atlanta Hawks in almost every statistical category last season and being regarded as one of the league's most dynamic and electrifying players, Josh Smith has yet to live up to the close to 60$ million contract that the Pistons signed him to.  Both his scoring and rebounding numbers have significantly dropped from the previous season as he has produced as scant 13.4 points per game--far from his nearly 19 per game last season--while he has shot equally as terribly from the field at .381.  Much of his decline in productivity has likely to do with the fact that he has played out of position at the small forward spot--a place where it has proven that he has been far less effective than his more comfortable power forward spot. Instead of getting the ball on the low block or in transition, he is forced to lurk around the perimeter since the paint is virtually clogged up by the presences of  Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe thus not able to utilize his strengths which can certainly to pointed to the coaching staff not him.   
SDH’s First of the Month: Rodney Stuckey




At a point where both the team and its fans have given up on him, Rodney Stuckey has come into the new season on fire posting probably the best numbers in his career at the Motor City.  At November's end, Rodney finished the month of November leading the Pistons in scoring with all 17 points from the game while shooting a career high field goal percentage of .495.  Not only is he lighting it up on the offensive end, but the 6'5"combo guard has also become quite a threat from the defensive end as well grabbing at least one steal per game--second behind team leader Josh Smith in that category.  What is most notable facet about these numbers is that Stuckey has been doing this coming off the bench playing just 28 minutes per game thus making him possibly the most effective and efficient player Detroit has at this moment.  If he continues at this pace, Rodney will certainly deserve consideration for both the NBA's most Improved Player,Sixth Man of the Year, or even both award upon season's end.   

After four straight years of floundering in futility, it seemed as the wait was finally over for the long suffering fans of the Detroit Pistons as they have watched both their team and their city crumbling around them at all sides.  With the news broadcasted worldwide that their city had filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy making it the largest US city to do so, Motor City denizens would at least have some hope to cling to after watching their NBA team have quite possibly its best off season in quite some time.  First they went out and signed one of the most athletic and electrifying players in the game in Josh Smith, who has been undeservedly snubbed for a mention on the All Star team despite performing just as well or even better than those named ahead of him.  They then went out and acquired via sign and trade another game changing player in Brandon Jennings, who filled in the team's desperate need for a quality point guard and further bolstered the position by welcoming back a former piece in the team's past championship glory, +Chauncey Billups, to add even further depth in the backcourt.  With these three quality veteran additions added to their already emerging young core of talented and developing players, it looked as if the long wait would finally be over and NBA fans in Detroit will finally have something to cheer for, but as with everything else that is associated with this crippling city, the Pistons have once again failed to deliver for this long struggling fan base.

To say that the Piston's start of the regular season was poor would be an understatement as they finished the month of November on a less than stellar note with a 6-9 record, but statistically they looked nothing like the roaring comeback team many projected them of being.  For starters, they have started the regular season with one of the worse defenses in the league as the Pistons allowed their opponents to score more than 100 points per game on them, but also do so at a rather impressive clip at nearly .480 from the field to say the least.  What is most disturbing about this trend is the Pistons' opponents are doing this against a supposed physically and athletically gifted front court consisting of smith, who is widely regarded as one of the best all around defenders in the league, and a couple of strong and powerful bruisers in Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond.  Smith's all around game has struggled thus far in the early stage of the season posting some of the worst numbers in his career scoring just 13.4 points per game off of .381 shooting and although his defensive numbers remain somewhat solid at 1.5 blocks and 2.0 steals per game, he certainly has not lived up to all his hype upon arriving in Detroit.  At the same time, both Drummond and Monroe, despite performing rather well on the offensive end of the court, seem to be out of sync defensively as they allow themselves to get waxed on the court by their opponents on a regular basis and not looking like the dynamic front court force that they billed as coming into the season.  Although it is early in the season, it still remains very shameful that such a stacked team blessed with so much size, skill and athleticism would allow themselves to be steamrolled defensively on a nightly like this and it could spell disaster if this trend were to continue.

To make matters worse, Detroit's other major off season acquisition, Brandon Jennings, has not really disproved any of his doubters saying that he is not even worth mentioning when talking about the top point men in the league.  For many years people in Milwaukee tirelessly hoped that Brandon Jennings would live up to the superstar potential he showed his rookie year when he surpised the basketball world logging two 55 plus games in his NBA debut. Unfortunately, that never really came to pass as try as he might, Jennings was never able to capture the same magic as his he did in his phenomenal rookie season and often got criticized for his less than spectacular assist numbers while at the same time posting less than efficient scoring numbers with his poor field goal percentage. Many thought that a change in scenery along with surrounding him with far more talented players may actually help Jennings reach his full potential and become the star that so many hoped and projected him to be.  Sad to say, that has not happened, however, as Jennings has shown pretty much the same as he did in Milwaukee and have many doubting that he will ever emerge to be a true elite point guard in the NBA thus making him another major disappointment for Motor City fans who expected to get far more than what they have been getting thus far. 

In spite of the rather slow disappointing start to the regular season and the even more disappointing performance of their two highest profile players, the Detroit Pistons can at least have a couple positives in which to hang their hats on.  For starters as a team, they execute one of the league's most efficient offenses as they rank among the top teams in the league in field goal percentage and limiting turnovers.  And despite the team's inexcusable transgressions on the defensive end allowing their opponents to shoot nearly .500 from the field on them, they do force them to turnover the ball at a higher rate than most teams in the league which essentially balances out their flaws and does not expose them for being worse than they really are.  Finally, the Pistons are very fortunate to be in an Eastern Conference that currently sucks beyond any measure with just three out of the fifteen teams having winning records while the rest currently wallow under the .500 mark.  In such a bad conference, it is not a stretch to envision the Pistons still being able to earn themselves a playoff appearance despite their less than stellar performance to date, but that will still be considered a failure to basketball purists who expected so much more that the team has been giving thus far.

With the team it currently has, Detroit should be performing at a far higher level than they have been doing thus far with the players that they brought in and the money that they had invested in them as well.  They certainly should not be lingering in mediocrity with a less than stellar 6-9 record either; instead, with the talent and the depth the team possesses, Detroit should at least have the the inverse of that record at 9-6, or at worse finish 8-7.  One can only hope that this month will be the exception and not part of the disappointing trend that has thus far afflicted the Eastern Conference with all the teams that were supposed to be title or playoff contenders falling well short of expectations.  It has certainly been painful for fans and proponents for the East Conference to see it falling apart as it has been thus far and the poor start of the Pistons can be considered as one of the disappointing story lines of this young season.  It is the hope that not only the Pistons, but the entire Eastern Conference will wake up and finally start playing to the expectations of their fan bases or else it certainly be a long season especially for those in Detroit, who have already had to endure so much without their team stinking up the court.                 


   





          
            

  

SDH Presents Sacramento Kings Practice: Quincy Acy 12/28/13


+Sacramento Kings forward Qunicy Acy spoke with the media following practice on 12/28/13.  See what he had to say and always keep up with all 30+NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Don't forget to check out SDH's Preseason Worst to First Countdown as I preview and predict the fates of all thirty teams in the Association.

SDH Presents Sacramento Kings Practice: Jason Thompson 12/28/13


+Sacramento Kings forward Jason Thompson spoke with the media following practice on 12/28/13.  See what he had to say and always keep up with all 30+NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Don't forget to check out SDH's Preseason Worst to First Countdown as I preview and predict the fates of all thirty teams in the Association.

SDH Presents Top 10 NBA Plays: December 28th


Check out the Top 10 from December 28th, highlighted by a game-winner by +Chris Bosh.  Visit nba.com/video for more highlights and always keep up with all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops Be sure to stay tuned to SDH in the coming weeks as I will be recapping, reviewing and ranking the performances of all thirty teams in the Association in my Worst to First Countdown for November.  

SDH Presents NBA Nightly Highlights: December 28th


Check out the Daily Zap from December 28th, recapping a 12 game slate.   Visit nba.com/video for more highlights and always keep up with all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops Be sure to stay tuned to SDH in the coming weeks as I will be recapping, reviewing and ranking the performances of all thirty teams in the Association in my Worst to First Countdown for November.  

SDH Presents Chris Bosh Leading the Heat Over the Trail Blazers (12/28/2013)


+Chris Bosh  stepped up with 37 points, including the game-winner, and 10 boards to help +Miami HEAT beat +Portland Trail Blazers on the road 108-107. Visit nba.com/video for more highlights and always keep up with all 30+NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Be sure to stay tuned to SDH in the coming weeks as I will be recapping, reviewing and ranking the performances of all thirty teams in the Association in my Worst to First Countdown for November.