ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — This may not be the most scientific data available, but it’s pretty interesting. Today Google released their lists of the most-searched for NBA players and teams in 2013, compiling data from 72 countries. Some of the results are not that surprising (hey LeBron!), but some of the others? Can’t say I saw them coming (fly high, New Orleans Pelicans!)… -
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Houston center Dwight Howard turned 28 years old yesterday, and as part of his birthday celebration, he was apparently ambushed by teammates armed with Silly String, as this video by Jeremy Lin shows… -
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — During Houston’s game against the Timberwolves on Saturday night, Jeremy Lin caught an accidental elbow to the side of the forehead from Kevin Love. And to say it swelled up would be an understatement.
The good news? According to reports, the swelling went down quickly. As Lin said, “I am much better. I had a headache last night, but today I am fine.”
A headache is completely understandable, especially when your head looks like this…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Yesterday Houston G Jeremy Lin posted a video to his YouTube channel featuring a behind-the-scenes look at a training session with his father, identified on the video as Papa Lin. How did Jeremy Lin become an NBA star? Through hard work, and perhaps by doing drills while carrying an egg on a spoon in his mouth, or while being pelted with water balloons. (Although we should probably take this with a grain of salt — in the video’s description, Lin says they shot this video over the summer to support his documentary Linsanity, which is out tomorrow.) -
‘Pistol’ Pete Maravich wore this jersey during a 1971 game as a member of the New Orleans Jazz.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — News broke last night that the NBA was considering allowing some players to wear nicknames on their jerseys. Now, before the Fun Police show up and try to ruin this for everyone, let’s make clear that according to the story, this is just a one-time thing — one game, two teams (Miami and Brooklyn), for only one night. But it’s clearly indicative of an idea that the NBA is at the very least open to considering, even if only on a limited basis.
Nicknames on jerseys has happened in other sports — soccer players around the world do it now, and closer to home, former Braves owner Ted Turner once tried to give pitcher Andy Messersmith the nickname “Channel” so that his jersey would read “Channel 17,” a free ad for Turner’s nascent broadcasting business.
This has also taken place in the NBA and ABA, back in the day, as seen in the photo of “Pistol” Pete Maravich up top on this post. But as the NBA has grown in popularity and become more corporate, the wiggle room for fun stuff like nicknames on jerseys has been squeezed out.
As a person who is an avowed opponent of the Fun Police, I am one-thousand-million percent in favor of this idea, if only because I’m sure fans of different players would love to rock jerseys with nicknames on the back. Above and beyond the jerseys we night see in a Miami/Brooklyn game — KING JAMES, for instance — off the top of my head, here are some nicknames that would be neat to see on the back of official NBA jerseys…
BIRDMAN BIRDMAN — Chris Andersen
BIG SHOT — Chauncey Billups
BONES — Brent Barry throwback edition
MAMBA — Kobe Bryant, or…
VINO — Kobe Bryant
BIG BABY — Glen Davis
FUNDAMENTAL — Tim Duncan
MANIMAL — Kenneth Faried
BOOBIE — Daniel Gibson
AK-47 — Andrei Kirilenko
LINSANITY — Jeremy Lin
KRYPTO-NATE — Nate Robinson
Now you tell us, which nickname jerseys would you like to see?
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It was less than two years ago when Jeremy Lin got his chance with the Knicks and went from being on the verge of getting cut to becoming the toast of Manhattan. Since then he’s moved to Texas and he’s entering his second season with the Rockets, where he’ll team up with new big man Dwight Howard and returning All-Star James Harden.
But just because Lin is now an established NBA player, we shouldn’t forget the remarkable road he traveled to make it in the League. By all accounts, the forthcoming documentary Linsanity tells Lin’s story beautifully.
The film hits theaters on October 4. The trailer, you can watch right now … -
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the great things about the summer is that we see NBA superstars pop up from time to time all over the world to get in some hoops anywhere they can. The latest example of this comes from Houston PG Jeremy Lin, who dropped 45 points over the weekend in San Francisco playing in a Pro-Am game.
Pretty impressive. Of course, the other thing that’s always fun to watch is when someone gets dunked on. And that happened to J-Lin as well… -
You know what they say: You’re nobody ’til somebody dunks on you.
Stemming from his days as the No. 1 scorer on the Golden State Warriors, Monta Ellis has a bit of a reputation as a chucker — particularly from 3-point range. That belief (in the Warriors-era Ellis, at least) is not unfounded, especially when you review his advanced stats from those seasons. For the record, Ellis spent his first 6 1/2 seasons in Oakland. In those seasons, here’s what percentage of his points came from 3-point attempts during his Warriors years: 2005-06 (25.8 percent), 2006-07 (14.2), 2007-08 (4.2), 2008-09 (6.0), 2009-10 (16.2), 2010-11 (23.5) and 2011-12 (19.3).
This season, his first full one in Milwaukee, Ellis’ percentage of points from 3-point attempts is at 20.1 and when Ellis gets on the road this season, that percentage bumps up to 23.4. So, overall, not much of a big change in his game, even with a change of scenery.
Good thing that Ellis is so 3-happy, though, because they needed his long-range touch last night to pull off a stunner at the Toyota Center over the Houston Rockets. The Rockets seemed in control of this one early, but by halftime everything was tied up and a second half of lead changes and ties ensued. James Harden knotted the score at 107 with 34.7 seconds left and the Bucks actually had a couple of non-dramatic chances to win this, but couldn’t come through until Ellis saved their bacon.
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 Ellis’ game-winning shot Wednesday night stack up? Let’s dive in …
Do Jennings and Ellis have a running competition to see who can sink a game winner with the least amount of time left on the clock? When Jennings made his shot against the Cavs on Nov. 4, he did so with :00.7 remaining in the game. Last night, when Ellis made his shot, there was about :00.8 on the clock when the ball left his hands. That’s just the sort of thing that Milwaukee’s explosive-if-unpredictable backcourt can do from game to game.
Back to Ellis’ shot, though: could it have been tougher? First, he’s camped out left of the 3-point line waiting for a pass from Jennings that seemingly isn’t going to come. As Jennings tries to drive on Jeremy Lin (and is subsequently cut off), Jennings pitches it to Ellis with about a second left with Ellis facing the sideline as he catches it. In one quick motion, Ellis turns to the basket, fades on the 6-foot-9 Chandler Parsons and chucks it toward the rim. Keep in mind that Ellis is listed at 6-foot-3, but that might be stretching things.
Much like the baseline floater that J.R. Smith nailed to do in the Suns earlier this season, a scorer like Ellis always knows where the rim is, knows how much space he needs and knows the shot clock/game clock situation. Unlike Smith, Ellis wasn’t faced with a designed play for him to get the ball.
In terms of difficulty, it’s hard to find a tougher shot (that the Bucks chose to take) in this situation.
Score tied at 107 with, Bucks have the ball at midcourt. Had Ellis missed, this one is headed to OT and a chance for the Bucks and Rockets — the current No. 8 seeds in their respective conferences — to bolster their playoff bids with a victory.
If we are going by eras in Milwaukee, the Bucks were 26-27 in the first full season of the Jennings-Ellis pairing and were 1-1 in the two games since they acquired J.J. Redick from the Orlando Magic in a trade deadline-day deal. What’s more important than eras in Milwaukee (or Houston, for that matter) is staying in the playoff race. The Bucks have less to worry on that front as the Sixers, Raptors and Pistons have a far-off-at-best shot at the postseason. In the West, the Rockets have a much tougher bid for No. 8 with the disappointing Lakers trying to get back to .500 and climb into Houston’s spot.
Overall, in terms of the playoff chase, this one likely meant more to Houston’s cause than Milwaukee’s (although a first-round date with the Heat isn’t exactly something the Bucks are savoring).
Gotta love the mad dash for the locker room that Ellis makes after his shot. And as a confident-if-streaky shooter, Ellis told The Associated Press what we’d expect to hear from him after sinking that shot: “I just threw it up. The buzzer went off when it was rolling around the rim. Wasn’t any need for me to come back out [to see the review].” Basically, there’s no celebration here for the Bucks because Ellis just wants to get to the Houston airport and back to Milwaukee as soon as possible.
4 1/2 Horrys. Smith’s buzzer-beater against the Suns came off a clearly set play in a different situation. But to us, something about this Ellis shot has a lot in common with Smith’s in Arizona a few months ago. Call Ellis a 3-point chucker if you like (and as his shot charts show, he likes the 3-ball), but also call him Horry-like for coming through with a pretty tough shot.
On the day where America remembers a shining icon, the Rockets visited Charlotte for a matinee affair against the hapless Bobcats. Though “hapless” is relative, because the Rockets aren’t exactly lighting the league on fire either, losing seven straight heading into Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Even still, you would think the ‘Cats would be a welcome sight, eh? Not if Bismack Biyombo has anything to do with it. a
For good measure, James Harden’s backcourt mate Jeremy Lin got some too. a
Wait! He wasn’t done with Harden just yet: a
Seven blocks in total, all coming against Harden (five) and Lin (two). Though it didn’t lead to a win for the Bobcats, Biyombo’s name just increased in font on opposing team’s scouting report.
This is my first time officially living on my own, which is cool. It’s good for me to have my space. And I like Houston so far; it’s an exciting place to be. I won the NCAA National Championship here in 2011 as a Connecticut Husky, so I have great memories from this city. I’ve had a chance to check out some different malls and little spots around town. I still have to use my GPS sometimes, but overall, I can find what I’m looking for now.
My Mom, Dad and sister made the move from Atlanta to Houston, too. They live up the street from me, just about five minutes away. My sister is 17, so she started going to a new high school in Houston. She was very excited about it, and didn’t mind the move at all. Having my family nearby is working out great. After practice, when I’m tired, I can just call my mom up and she’ll have a good meal ready for me. Sometimes they come over and cook at my house. I also cook for myself, though. I like making breakfast food – eggs, bacon, corned beef hash, waffles. I wake up before practice, usually around 7:30 a.m. or 8 a.m., and make myself breakfast. I’m out the door by 8:30 a.m. Other than breakfast food, I don’t cook much else. When I was in college, I made myself burgers, so I’ll get around to doing that, too.
America’s Character Coach
My Dad, Rolando Lamb, is a motivational speaker, and has always been very involved in my basketball career. He is known as “America’s Character Coach – you can follow him on Twitter @coachlamb3 or go to his Website, www.rolandolamb.com. Even though I’m in the NBA now, he still gives me all kinds of advice, especially telling me to be aggressive. He also says to never get settled and work hard. My Dad is very motivating, and always has a quote that encourages me. He played professional basketball too, so he can really relate. My Mom is very encouraging too, and tells me to work hard. I know she will be at every home game. My Dad might be on the road sometimes, but my Mom, I know she’ll be there.
Our team is great. We all get along, and I really like the coaching staff. We had some tough preseason games, but are working hard to get better. As far as how I’ve played, I feel okay. There are things I can do better, but it’s a learning experience. I am working a lot on my ball handling, making plays for my teammates, and practicing my rebounding.
A lot of fans say they are excited to see Jeremy Lin and I play together. Most of the time we are on different teams during practice, but when we are on the floor together, it’s a lot of fun. Jeremy is a very humble guy, and a great passer and playmaker. Coach McHale is a good coach. He’s always on me because he sees potential. And he really cares about his players. As my first NBA coach, I’m really excited to be coached by him.
I’m excited and ready to get started with the regular season. I’m going to keep working hard and play as much as I can. For me, it’s a new start, and I’m going to be the best I can be.
To hear more about how my rookie season is going, follow me on Twitter @jlamb.
To see a recap from my Draft Experience, check out Draft Dreams on AwesomenessTV.
Jeremy Lamb is a 6-foot-5 guard from the University of Connecticut. He was picked 12th overall by the Rockets in the 2012 NBA Draft.
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