Posts Tagged ‘JJ Barea’

Conventional wisdom: May 19th

by Micah Hart

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 its jerseys.

Here’s how it looks on the morning of Thursday, May 19.

Start planning the parade:

Dallas Mavericks

Dirk Nowitzki‘s not bad, is he? Here are some fun stats from his 48-point explosion in Game 1 the other night:

– Dirk’s 15 shots were the least amount of FGs to get to 48+ points in NBA playoff history, and by a wide margin. The previous record was held by Bob Cousy, who needed just 22 shots to score 50 points on March 21, 1953, in a game that went four overtimes.

– Not only did Nowitzki set a new playoff record with 24 FTs without a miss, but it also bested the regular season record as well. Dominique Wilkins holds that mark, as he went 23-23 from the line in a game against the Bulls in 1992.

All the focus is on No-miss-ski, and rightfully so, but he’s not the only reason the Mavs are rolling right now. The Dallas’ bench is killing it in these playoffs, and seems to be getting better with each series. After putting up 48 ppg against the Lakers in the Western Conference semis, Mavs reserves chipped in 53 points in Game 1, mostly thanks to Jason Terry (24 points) and playoff-revelation J.J. Barea (21 points – in 16 minutes no less).

Add in the fact that Dallas is doing all this while down a man thanks to Caron Butler‘s injury and it looks even more impressive.

Give it up already:

Chicago Bulls

It doesn’t matter how good your defense is if you can’t put the ball through the cylinder.

Shaun Powell pointed something out today on NBA.com, and it’s worth mentioning here. Check out these numbers:

11 for 25.

4 for 18.

6 for 22.

10 for 27.

12 for 32.

11 for 24.

Those are some individual shooting stats for Derrick Rose in several of this year’s playoff games, of which the Bulls have only played 13. So basically, the guy the Bulls’ entire offense revolves around turns into Antoine Walker roughly every other night.

Both the Heat and the Bulls play outstanding defense, but when it comes down to brass tacks, Chicago only has one player it can rely on offensively, while the Heat have two. Ultimately, that will make the difference in who moves on to the NBA Finals.

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Conventional wisdom: May 16th

by Micah Hart

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 its jerseys.

Here’s how it looks on the morning of Monday, May 16.

Start planning the parade:

Chicago Bulls

Pretty impressive show by the Bulls last night in Game 1. Derrick Rose continues to show why he’s the league’s MVP, getting into the lane at his choosing, and hitting several shots from the perimeter to boot. Honestly, if Rose is hitting 3-pointers, you might as well just hand the trophy to Chicago now and save the other teams the embarrassment, because he is literally unguardable when his jump shot is falling.

Here’s a question for you: Who has been the breakout young talent of these playoffs? You could say Atlanta’s Jeff Teague, or OKC’s James Harden, or perhaps Dallas’s J.J. Barea, but you’d be wrong. The answer is Chicago’s Taj Gibson, who, much like Nuke LaLoosh, announced his presence with authority last night:

The Bulls shot the ball exceptionally well last night, and that in and of itself is perhaps a little fluky, but the defensive effort (holding Miami to 82 points in 83 possession) and the offensive rebounding numbers (19 boards, leading to 31 second-chance points) are not. Those are huge advantages Chicago holds in this series, and they will carry them to a surprisingly easy series win and onto the NBA Finals.

Give it up already:

Miami Heat

The problem the Heat have, and there is really no way to avoid it, is that they are playing three-on-five in the best of situations in this series. And that’s when their starters are on the court. What about when they need a rest?

The Heat are quality-not-quantity, and matched up against the Bulls, who had the NBA’s best bench during the regular season, they are going to be in trouble any time any of the Super Friends is off the court.

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh all pretty much need to play 48 minutes every night for the Heat to even have a prayer against the Bulls. And even that probably isn’t enough.

Seen something that belongs on All Ball? Let us know via email or Twitter.

Conventional wisdom report: May 9th

by Micah Hart

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 Monday, May 9.

Start planning the parade:

Dallas Mavericks

Several things stand out in the wake of the Mavs’ total destruction of the Lakers on Sunday. Their staggering proficiency from 3-point range was amazing, as Dallas tied several NBA playoff records including most 3’s in a half (11), most 3’s in a game (20) and most by a single player (Jason Terry, nine). But the biggest achievement to me (as our main man Sekou Smith also points out): the Mavs became the first team in playoff history to have three bench players top the 20-point mark in the same game, with Jason Terry (32 points), J.J. Barea (22), Peja Stojakovic (21) each reaching the plateau.

Dallas has everything rolling right now and is making its playoff failures of the past a distant memory with each win. If the Mavs’ bench can keep turning in performances even half as good as what we saw from them in Game 4 on Sunday, they just may net Dirk Nowitzki his first NBA title.

Give it up already:

Chicago Bulls

Game 4 against the Hawks showed everyone exactly why the Bulls aren’t ready to win a championship yet. When Derrick Rose doesn’t have his offensive A-game, Chicago doesn’t have enough reliable alternative scoring options. Much like Atlanta did against Orlando and Dwight Howard, the Hawks can focus their defensive energy on making Rose work for his points (34 points in Game 4, but on 32 shots) and count on the rest of the Bulls coming up short.

The Bulls may have had the best regular-season record in the NBA, but they had a much tougher first-round series against the Pacers than most expected. Now the Hawks are threatening to take them to the limit as well. Even if Atlanta can’t finish the job, the looming battle with the Celtics or Heat — both of whom play much better defense than the Hawks — will be enough to send them packing.

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Conventional wisdom report: May 6th

by Micah Hart

I was thinking about this in the wake of last week’s dust-up between the Atlanta Hawks and Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi. Hawks beat writer (and friend of the podcast) Mike Cunningham mentioned in a blog post that it was interesting that Bianchi was so down on the Hawks at the time, especially given that after Game 5 of the series he wrote:

“The Magic are now down in this series 3-1 and it’s all but over. Does anybody out there really, honestly believe the Magic can rally back from 3-1 against a talented and athletic Hawks team?”

I come here not to bury Bianchi though, nor to praise him, but merely to point out that in the NBA Playoffs, the tide can turn very quickly. A team is left for dead (Dallas after blowing a 23-point lead in Portland), then suddenly they are unbeatable (topping the two-time defending champs on their home court — twice — will do that for you). It’s more volatile than the stock market.

So 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.

Start planning the parade:

Miami Heat

John Schuhmann pointed this out yesterday in a column on NBA.com – Celtics fans can complain about missing Kendrick Perkins all they want as they watch LeBron James and Dwyane Wade sashay to the basket, but in 240 minutes over the last four years the duo has shot 67% from within five feet of the basket with Perkins on the floor.

I know the Mavericks are up 2-0 on the Lakers, but they’ve still got some emotional baggage to overcome. If there’s a favorite today, it’s gotta be the Heat.

Give it up already:

L.A. Lakers

In the history of the NBA, only three teams have ever rebounded from 0-2 where both losses came on their homecourt: Lakers over Warriors in 1969, Rockets over Suns in 1994, and Mavs over Rockets in 2005. So, it is doable, but if it’s to be done, it’s going to have to happen in part without Ron Artest, who was suspended for Game 3 for his hard foul on JJ Barea in the waning moments of Wednesday night’s Game 2.

Peace out, L.A.

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