ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — “Never have I ever…” is a game people play at parties, where friends and strangers end up revealing fun and interesting facts to each other. But when the Sacramento Kings decided to play a few rounds of the game, they did it on the arena scoreboard, for all to see. And of course, it’s always fun to find out that DeMarcus Cousins once dressed up as a woman, or that Darren Collison has no problem taking multiple pieces of candy from an unattended bowl on a porch on Halloween…
Ladies and gentlemen, Darren Collison is here to shock and awe.
Last night, he completed one of the most improbable shots you’ll ever see right before the half of the Clippers’ matchup against the Nuggets. It came suddenly and out of nowhere. It was a voila moment not because of the shot itself, per se, but because of the shooter. Collison’s circus shot was performed in L.A., making its entry into the Top Plays Theatre all the more fitting.
A lot had to go right for this play to work, so we’ll boil it down to the two essentials. The Clippers had to get the ball (they were on D). Second, whoever got the pill had to throw up a contorted, non-set shot and hope it escaped his hands in time, much less made its way into the hoop.
Collison cared nothing about those odds. Why? Because he has shocked and awed before. The primary S&A moment came on an eerily similar buzzer-beater Dec. 27, 2012 against the Thunder, as a Dallas Maverick:
It’s something about the winter that gets the former UCLA Bruin going. Collison, son of two world-class Guyanan track athletes, connected both of his incredible shots on different legs. Last night, he needed Matt Barnes to deflect the ball to the right spot so he could corral the rock and launch a right-legged strike. Last year, he needed a Vince Carter deflection, a Shawn Marion dish and a left leg ready to set up a moment the Collison family can boast about for a long, long time.
I don’t expect anyone to challenge him at H-O-R-S-E for high stakes anytime soon.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — If you’re into the NBA’s most devastating dunks, we’ve got you covered over at the new-and-improved Dunk HQ. But because we’re the All Ball blog and we like to look at the NBA from non-traditional angles, we will focus on the flip side of the NBA’s best dunks: What we want to know is, who got got?
So welcome to Volume Two of The All Ball Posterized Poll. We will check in from time to time and examine the worst of the best, and use a highly scientific polling method to determine which NBA player got dunked on (a.k.a. posterized) the most egregiously. And at the end of the season all of our winners will battle it out to determine who it is that most belongs on a poster.
The winner of Volume One was New Orleans’ Jeff Withey, who was placed on a poster by Lakers’ wingman Xavier Henry, his college teammate. (You can see the offending dunk at this post.) Voting at Volume One is now officially closed.
But can anyone top Withey? We have four new nominees. We checked in with NBA.com’s own slam dunk specialist, LeMont Calloway, for his informed perspective on the matter. “What I’ll say most about these defenders is that at least they’re trying to show help-side D,” LeMont notes. “There’s a defender or two around the league who wouldn’t even dare, let alone probably couldn’t even make the proper rotation. (Calling you out Boozer!) But, it’s like Bill Walton used to say: What are big men doing trying to take charges anyway?”
1. Chris Bosh (as nominated by Josh Smith) LeMont’s Take: “It’s got to be fun for Brandon Jennings to play with several front-line bangers on his team. He’s dropped a few passes behind to his big men on fast breaks, and this time it’s J-Smoove’s turn to finish it off.”
2. Al Horford and Paul Millsap (as nominated by Victor Oladipo) LeMont’s take: “Any dunk that can get this kind of response out of announcer Dominique Wilkins, one of the godfathers of the dunk, has to be something special. On his visit to the Hawks, I guess Vic wanted to pay tribute to Atlanta rapper Future. Two at the same time indeed.”
4. Darren Collison (as nominated by Ben McLemore) LeMont’s Take: “This is my pick for the new bunch. You’ve got Big Ben flying with authority and a competent attempt to make a defensive play. Just not enough lift for Collison. The rook’s making me a fan, that’s for sure.”
For the complete Bragging Rights rules and to vote for other matchups, click here. We continue the Sweet 16 in the West region, where two towers of college basketball power square off for a chance to move on to the Elite Eight.
Missed the cut: Matt Barnes, Lakers; Darren Collison, Pacers; Jordan Farmar, Nets; Dan Gadzuric, Nets; Ryan Hollins, Cavaliers; Jason Kapono, Sixers; Trevor Ariza, Hornets; Earl Watson, Jazz; Arron Afflalo, Nuggets
Team synopsis: As the school with the most current players in the NBA, the UCLA Bruins will be a tough out. Several different players could make the starting lineup, but I went with Mbah a Moute’s all-around contributions over those of rising studs like Collison and Afflalo. When Davis is nearly left out of the starting five, you know you’ve got some firepower to work with. Love’s per-48 rebounding stats are absurd, and Westbrook’s scoring is only a few ppg behind his scoring-champion teammate, Kevin Durant. (more…)
Are the Pacers legit? Their record sits at only 8-7, but after last night’s shocking surprising 95-92 win over the Lakers in LA, I’m beginning to talk myself into it. Indy had a pretty good week, sandwiching a close loss in Oklahoma City between pummeling the Heat in Miami and last night’s win.
Almost every year there is a team that comes out of nowhere to make a run towards the top of their conference, and I’m starting to talk myself into the Pacers being said team. Top flight scorer? Check, Danny Granger. Top flight big man? Roy Hibbert had 24-12-6 last night against arguably the best pivotman in the league in Pau Gasol. Check. I already thought they stole Darren Collison from the Hornets to be their distributor. The rest of the roster is filled with guys who already know their roles and don’t try to do too much, which is more than many NBA franchises can say.
I’m not predicting an Eastern Finals appearance or anything, but if this team can stay healthy (a big problem in the past), I’m not sure homecourt advantage in a first-round playoff series is out of the question.
Am I crazy?
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Today is Monday, which means it’s time for another fabulous edition of Extend, Trade or Cut. It’s not just any Monday though, it’s the Monday before the start of the 2010-11 season. That being the case, I thought today we’d take a look at three players who start this new season in similar places — as the projected starting point guard for their team for the first time in their careers. The nominees: the Sixers’ Jrue Holiday, the Bobcats’ DJ Augustin, and the Pacers’ Darren Collison.
Just to refresh you on the rules, picture yourself as the GM of a mythical NBA franchise, and pretend that you have to choose between three players. One player you can extend with a new contract, one player you have to trade for some mythical asset(s), and one player you must cut from your roster for eternity (it’s a harsh world). You may choose each option only once.
Let’s take a look at your options:
– Jrue Holiday: Holiday had an up and down rookie season in Philadelphia a year ago, but came on strong toward the end and established himself as the team’s starting PG going into the new season. Known for his sticky defense (many think he can be in the Rajon Rondo class of lead-guard stoppers), his offense is still a bit of a work in progress. A teammate of Collison’s at UCLA, Holiday — who is 20 — is the youngest of this trio.
– DJ Augustin: Larry Brown and Michael Jordan saw fit to let Raymond Felton leave for New York, handing the reins to Augustin in Charlotte this season. Augustin ain’t the tallest cat in town (the Bobcats generously list him at 6-foot), but he makes up for it with the ability to use the angles to get shots in the paint over taller defenders. He’s also an excellent shooter from distance and from the charity stripe.
– Darren Collison: Many were surprised to see the Hornets trade their Chris Paul insurance in the offseason, but Collison was so impressive in relief of Paul last season that the Pacers dealt for the UCLA product and immediately installed him as their starter. Better known for his his defensive capabilities at UCLA, Collison surprised the league by averaging 18.8 ppg in 37 games as a starter during his rookie season.
Them’s the choices. How do you vote?
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