While many NBA players have different interpretations of high fashion and the latest trends, some are sticking with basic suits, while still mixing it up a bit. Perhaps the most important facet of today’s suit is an ability to break up the pieces and wear them with other items in your wardrobe. Let’s take a look at several different styles, including trends that can become part of any closet. Keep up with the conversation using #NBAStyle.
THE EXPERTLY TAILORED SUIT
Derrick Rose, Amar’e Stoudemire and Zach Randolph are in favor of finely tailored, slim cuts.
Last offseason, Jeff Green failed his physical, had his contract voided and underwent heart surgery. He missed the whole lockout-shortened season.
This year he is back, giving us enough doses of throwdowns and highlights to provide some glamour in an injury-riddled season for the Celtics. Since lighting up Miami for 43 points a couple of weeks ago, he has scored 13, 10, 12, 19 and 21 in five games following. In the latter performance, he granted us another highlight: a game-winner at the rim as time expired to lift the C’s 93-92 over the Cavs.
With a head start because of sagging defense, Green knifed his way into the paint with a nifty up-and-under, giving the struggling Celtics a breath of fresh air for the moment. Boston was on its way to six straight losses before Green’s shot. With Kevin Garnett hobbled, Green’s offensive punch is needed now more than ever. And he delivered, sending the Cavs to its 48th loss of the year and closer to another top lottery pick (and more Cleveland luck).
For those that are new around these parts, the Horry scale examines a game-winning buzzer-beater (GWBB) in the categories of difficulty, game situation (was the team tied or behind at the time?), importance (playoff game or garden-variety Kings-Pistons game?) and celebration (is it over the top or too chill? Just the right panache or needs more sauce?). Then we give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys, the patron saint of last-second daggers.
How does Green’s finish Wednesday night stack up? Without further ado…
Well, this wasn’t the most complicated of shots. The Cavaliers are no strangers to the scouting report and defended accordingly, blanketing Paul Pierce like he was a nugget during the Gold Rush. With 10 eyes on Pierce, Avery Bradley found an unmolested Green at the top of the key. Armed with a head of steam, he used his long strides and took advantage of lax (read: very lax) resistance. His finish was reminiscent of a first-quarter blown defensive assignment than a typical last-second contested shot. Excellent concentration by Green at the cup with time against him.
The Celtics were down one with 2.1 seconds left. Prior to the last play, Alonzo Gee knocked the ball out of Pierce’s hands out of bounds. This was a blessing in disguise for Doc Rivers, who used the official’s replay to concoct a last-gasp scoring set. A miss would’ve given the Celtics eight losses out of their last 10 games.
This was another high in a season full of highs and lows for Green. He can tantalize with his end-to-end athleticism, but can befuddle with his tendency to disappear at times. In March, he is posting over 15 ppg on 47 percent shooting (37 percent from land of trey) and becoming a go-to scorer down the stretch. Recovering from aortic surgery, he continues to show that once fully activated, he is a force.
“Jeff wanted the ball at the end. He asked for it by the way he was looking at me in the huddle,” said Celtics coach Rivers. “He clearly wanted the basketball. I sensed that and everybody sensed that, so I called the play for him.”
For the Celtics, the playoffs are approaching. They are currently seeded 7th, 2 1/2 games above the Milwaukee Bucks (who are also struggling). Neither team desires a first-round series against the Heat — though I’m sure Boston would give them every thing it has. Wins like this on the road aren’t the easiest to come by, even if the decimated Cavaliers are the opponent. Cleveland receives another heartbreak in a history season full of them.
The backdrop of Green’s chest thump clashed against the dejected home crowd perfectly. With colorful personalities like Jason Terry, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett as teammates, Green is blending in well in the celebration department, giving yells and staredowns with the best of them this season. Against the Cavs, he didn’t spare the (minor) histrionics. Very definitive in the face of 17,000 silent fans, yet not over the top.
3 1/2 Horrys. As for as difficulties go, this was the easiest GWBB this season. Though Boston was down prior to the play, Cleveland’s matador D made this play more smooth for Green than it should’ve been. Credit the Celtics (Rivers, especially) for finding the seam in the defense and having the guts to use their Hall-of-Famer as a decoy. This trust in his team could go a long way come May.
Back in 1996, the Boston Celtics had the No. 6 overall pick in the Draft and would eventually end up picking a promising forward out of Kentucky, Antonie Walker. But long before Walker’s name was called at the podium by Commissioner David Stern, the Celtics did their due diligence and worked out an 18-year-old phenom from Philadelphia’s Lower Merion High School named Kobe Bryant.
In a photo that might sicken and/or sadden devoted Boston fans, Kobe Bryant tweeted out a photo of himself going through a pre-Draft workout with Celtics legend Dennis Johnson. Take a look for yourself:
So, yes, Boston fans, the fifth-leading scorer in NBA history who is also a 15-time All-Star (and four-time All-Star Game MVP), the 2007-08 MVP and a regular All-NBA First Teamer and All-NBA Defensive First Teamer (and, oh yeah, is a five-time champion) might have worn Celtic green instead of the Forum blue and gold of the Lakers.
As if this season hasn’t been hard enough on Celtics fans already …
In Thursday’s Celtics-Nets matchup in Brooklyn, Leandro Barbosa charges toward his hoop on a fast break. Keith Bogans is having none of that, so he does what any guard does in this situation. Put Barbosa in a sleeper hold. And he does this without accruing a flagrant foul.
This is some excellent technique from Bogans. MMA aspirants, take note.
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Opening night is three nights away, with the first game to feature the defending champions Miami Heat against the Boston Celtics. Many players do different things to get their minds right to go out in front of thousands of screaming fans, loud speakers and perform superhuman athletic feats.
Dwyane Wade gives us a glimpse of the music in the Heat’s locker room — and his headphones — as he preps for a game:
2 Chainz. Jay-Z. Kanye. Coldplay. Common. John Mayer. Solid playlist, nothing to add there.
But umm, a haircut on the basketball court? I’m pretty sure a basketball purist just kicked over a table.
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Not to step on the toes of our venerable rookie guru and Rookie Ladder proprietor, Drew Packham, but we think last season’s rookie class might have gotten off easy in one regard. A season ago, when the lockout trimmed training camp to a week, teams had to hustle just to get ready for the marathon, 66-game season.
This time around, though, teams have the usual month or so of training camps to work on offense, defense, strategy … and afterward, rib their rookies in good nature.
The Suns might be the first ones out of the gate with documented proof of the traditional rookie backpack. For the uninitiated, the rookie backpack is not to be confused with Kevin Durant’s famous backpack from Oklahoma City’s 2011 playoff run. No, the rookie backpack is there for one reason: constant humiliation.
Rookie Kendall Marshall doesn’t seem phased by having to tote around a Justin Bieber backpack for the rest of the season. Just take a gander at what he told Suns.com:
Training camp is as much about building relationships and camaraderie as it is about hard work, fundamentals and conditioning. That’s why it was about as shocking as someone having a drink on Mad Men– not at all — that after Tuesday evening’s practice the veterans decided to have a little fun.
Under the direction of the elder statesman Jermaine O’Neal, center Marcin Gortat surprised rookie Kendall Marshall with a little something he can wear around the rest of the week.
“They told me after the first practice that they had a surprise for me,” Marshall explained. “My response was ‘good or bad?’ They wouldn’t tell me. They said ‘we have a gift for you.’ They pulled it out and it’s a Justin Bieber bookbag. I feel like I can pull off the J-Biebs.”
On Monday night, the Magic traveled to Boston after a day off to face the Celtics. The Celts, who played Sunday in D.C., were without their star two-guard Ray Allen. The Magic boasted an 11-4 record and were rolling. The writing was on the wall.
Some writing. The Magic shot 25 percent from the field (16 of 65) and the highly anticipated return of Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis to Boston was overshadowed by Brandon Bass‘ 19 points and eight boards in a molly-whopping in Boston’s favor.
But that wasn’t even the most absurd occurrence of the night:
Attaboy J-Rich! Nothing like a little subterfuge to throw the winning team off track.
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Each day until the end of the NBA Finals, we’ll be taking a look at the conventional wisdom of the moment — which team is currently the favorite to win it all, and which team should be ashamed to still be putting on their jerseys.
Here’s how it looks on the morning of Tuesday, May 10.
Start planning the parade:
Oklahoma City Thunder
It’s been obvious since Game 1 that the Grizzlies were a bad matchup for the Thunder. The inside power of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol has given the Thunder fits while OKC’s franchise player, Kevin Durant, has been good — but not great.
That all changed Monday night in the epic Game 4 that saw OKC’s two best players (Durant and Russell Westbrook) combine for 70 points (!) to tie the series and grab the momentum as the action shifts back to Oklahoma City for Game 5.
Charles Barkley made a good observation on Inside the NBA about the psychological implications of losing a triple-overtime game with the next game on the road. That’s what the Grizzlies face and if OKC can take the swing game on Wednesday at home, they could be one win away from the West Finals.
Give it up already:
Oof. That one hurt. With the ball in Paul Pierce’s hands and a shot to win the game and tie the series, the Celtics got a terrible look at the basket at the end of regulation and then got run off the floor in overtime for a crushing Game 4 loss. Now trailing 3-1 with the series back in South Beach, the end is nigh for the Celtics, no?
What has to sting even more as the Celtics try (somehow) to get back in the series is that Miami has been the better defensive team all series long. As our own John Schuhmann points out today:
The Heat have the best one-two punch in the league, with a third wheel who redeemed himself quite a bit on Monday. But they can close out this series on Wednesday because they did to the Celtics in Game 4 what the Celtics have done to every other team over the last four years. They shut them down.
One of the more interesting factors in any NBA game is the sub-plot. A coach badmouthing another coach or player on the eve of the game. A matchup between two teams that just don’t like each other. Impending reprisal for an embarrassing loss.
Or players coming back to play an old team, which is precisely what happened Wednesday night when the Memphis Grizzlies came to Boston to face the Celtics. Leon Powe and Tony Allen, two significant cogs in the Celtics’ recent machine (remember Powe’s 21-point game in Game 2 of 2008 NBA Finals?), came back donning the baby blue and yellow.
There was an element of bitterness from the Grizzlies’ end as well, who undoubtedly remembered a 116-110 overtime home loss to the Celtics on Nov. 13, 2010.
So we should have expected nothing short of a bromance fest, no?
Feeling blue? Life got you down? If so, there’s no better link than www.sadtrombone.com. In fact, that site is so good we here at All Ball have decided to hand out the Sad Trombone of the Week Award in its honor.
The STOTWA will go to the person or team in the NBA who through on-court ineptitude or off-court shenanigans most deserves to hear the dulcet tones of the sad trombone.
For our inaugural award, the winner is pretty apparent. Sure, the Heat rebounded nicely Wednesday night in Philly, but it’s still hard to shake the image of Miami’s opening quarter of play this season when the BIG THREE (you must use all-caps) managed a whopping nine points against Boston. Nine points in twelve minutes? Reggie almost got that in nine seconds! That’s not exactly what we were promised when this happened.