Posts Tagged ‘LaMarcus Aldridge’

POSTERIZED: Wiggins, Porzingis make their cases

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — As part of our ongoing attempts to chronicle every time someone in the NBA gets POSTERIZED, in order to have a most perfect Posterized Poll when that time comes, I’m doing my best to keep up with every posterization happening throughout the season.

Last night there were a couple of nice entrants in our contest. But before we get to that, one bit of business to attend to: In my post yesterday, I posited that dunks over someone’s back shouldn’t count as being posterized — to me, being posterized means being chest-to-chest with the dunker and still getting dunked on.

HOWEVA, after discussing this last night at the Bucks/Nets game with my main man Ohm Youngmisuk from ESPN, I believe I have changed my mind. Sure, someone getting dunked on chest-to-chest is generally more spectacular, but you can still make a poster out of someone getting dunked on over their back. So, going forward, anyone getting dunked on is fair game for POSTERIZED.

To the dunks! First, one day after Avery Bradley sort of dunked on LaMarcus Aldridge, Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis definitely dunked over LA…

VIDEO: Kristaps poster

Also, up in Minnesota, Andrew Wiggins went baseline and dunked in between Mason Plumlee and Meyers Leonard. (And nice dish from Ricky Rubio, too.)

VIDEO: Wiggins poster

The new San Antonio Spurs HEB commercials are here

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s a tradition unlike any other: With the start of a new NBA season comes the release of several new commercials for HEB, the San Antonio-based grocery chain, starring various members of the San Antonio Spurs. This newest batch of commercials doesn’t disappoint, as new Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge joins Spurs stalwarts Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Patty Mills and mascot The Coyote.

VIDEO: HEB Spurs LaMarcus

VIDEO: HEB Spurs Chicken

POSTERIZED: Weekend Update

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — As part of our ongoing attempts to chronicle every time someone in the NBA gets POSTERIZED, in order to have a most perfect Posterized Poll when that time comes, I’m doing my best to keep up with every posterization happening. And this weekend there were a few developments.

To begin with, Harrison Barnes POSTERIZED Dwight Howard. There’s no arguing this one. Also, notice the celebration by the Warriors bench in the background…

VIDEO: Barnes on Howard

There were two other dunks worth noting, although I don’t believe either should qualify for the POSTERIZED Poll. I believe the rules are open to interpretation, however, so I am willing to hear arguments for or against in the comments section.

First, Boston’s Avery Bradley had an awesome dunk yesterday down the stretch against the Spurs. And while it was a thunderous dunk, the closest Spur to the finish is probably LaMarcus Aldridge, and I don’t think we can definitively say that Aldridge got POSTERIZED.

VIDEO: Bradley dunk

The other play worth considering came in the Thunder/Nuggets game. Russell Westbrook threw down an incredible put-back dunk, over a couple of Nuggets players, most notably Danilo Gallinari. But I am hesitant to consider this an official POSTERIZED play because Gallinari had his back turned. I guess he still got dunked on, but my definition of being posterized is when you are face-to-face with the dunker.

VIDEO: Westbrook dunk

Am I wrong? Right? Let us know in the comments below…

Spurs fan gets LaMarcus Aldridge portrait shaved into his hair

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We’ve previously noted the work of Rob the Original, a barber in the San Antonio area who gives Spurs fans various Spurs-related haircuts. So with the Spurs adding LaMarcus Aldridge through free agency, at least one Spurs fan celebrated the addition by getting a portrait of Aldridge shaved into his hair, alongside a Spurs logo…

NBA ode to Christmas Day

VIDEO: NBA TV narrates the season through Christmas lens

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the Garden
Ticket holders asked: “Why can’t we just take James Harden?”
The jerseys were hung in the lockers with care,
In hopes that one day a real team would be there;

Across town the Nets were nestled all snug in their beds,
Visions of D-Will’s 40 percent shooting torturing their heads;
And Sam Presti in his kerchief and Chris Wallace in his wrap,
Had just settled down to brush up on the salary cap.

When out on Seventh Avenue there arose such a clatter,
They sprang from their beds to see what was the matter.
Away to the window they flew in a flash,
Tore open the shutters, ready to do something rash.

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow
Seemed as far away as the Larry O’Brien Trophy to Spike
and his pals on the high-priced front row,
When what to their wondering eyes should appear,
But a stretch limousine pulled by eight tiny reindeer,
With a tall, slow driver who’d long lost his quicks,
They knew in a moment he must be from the Knicks.

More rapid than a 20-second timeout his coursers they came,
And he whistled and shouted and called them by name:
“Now Gasol! Now Monroe! Now DeAndre! up above,
“On, K.D.! On LaMarcus and Butler! On Kawhi and Love!
To the top of the scoreboard!  To the top of the wall!
Come with me now to save New York basketball.”

As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle mount to the sky,
Over in Brooklyn, Queen B’s land with Jay-Z,
Lionel’s team was still driving him crazy.

So up to the house top the coursers they flew,
The limo filled with millions, and James Dolan, too.
And then in a twinkling, on Presti and Wallace’s roofs
Was the prancing and pawing of designer hoofs.

As they drew in their heads and were turning around,
Down the chimney came Zen Master came with a bound.
He wore a green suit of Benjamins, sewn out of cash,
Ready to recruit his own Brothers of Splash.

A bundle of promises he was ready to dangle,
At anyone not named J.R., who could grasp a triangle.
His eyes — how they twinkled!  Not the face of a meanie;
Of course, the fall-back plan was still the beach with Jeanie.

His droll little scheme, turn around a team soft as a cushion,
And do it all faster than Brooklyn’s rich Russian.
He piled stacks of cash from their feet to their teeth,
And blew smoke till it encircled their heads like a wreath.

He had a wise, knowing face, hardly hint of a belly,
Not at all like Charles Barkley’s each night on the telly;
He was as haughty and sure as a blackmailer with pictures,
Even though his team’s record was down with the Sixers.

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Was supposed to give the entire NBA something to dread.
He had played in the glory years with Reed, Frazier and Bradley,
Now these days in his sack just a hollow team playing badly.

He’d spoken all the right words, said he’d soon make them perk,
But without Jordan and Shaq, this might be too much like work.
And laying a finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

He sprung to his limo, to his team gave some whistles,
Nothing he couldn’t clean up with one or two missiles.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he soared over walls of adobe:
“By this time next Christmas, I’ll even settle for old Kobe.”

Robinson Sends Rip City Into Frenzy

VIDEO: Thomas Robinson shines in his opportunity off the bench

Thomas Robinson was the No. 5 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and is on his third NBA team. It’s safe to say his career hasn’t gotten off to the start his draft position demands. Robinson’s 11.1 minutes per game this season is filled by 4.3 points and 3.8 rebounds.

But with LaMarcus Aldridge on the mend with nagging groin pains and Kevin Love coming to town Sunday, the Blazers needed every able body on the oak to chip in.

Enter the former Jayhawk T-Rob, who played over 33 minutes against the Wolves, a season-high, and recorded 14 points and a game-high and career-high 18 rebounds. He did it in electrifying fashion, treating the Moda Center to a brand of power not often seen from their frontcourt.

In the fourth quarter with the game very much in the balance, Robinson began hawking down notorious speed demon Corey Brewer, who got loose on the break. Few foresaw the pandemonium that would follow. If we didn’t know before, we know now that the Portland faithful has no problem going insane with the right nudge:

VIDEO: Thomas Robinson obliterates Corey Brewer’s layup, leading to an oop on the other end

Batum Steals From His All-Star Teammate

Last night, the Washington Wizards got over the .500 hump for the first time in four years by beating up on the Portland Trail Blazers. Early in the contest, Nicolas Batum took the liberty to pull something that I’ve never seen done before in an NBA game.

He decided to play defense on his own teammate:

VIDEO: Nicolas Batum rips LaMarcus Aldridge during Blazers-Wizards game

Batum didn’t pilfer the pill from any co-worker. He picked arguably the game’s best power forward and three-time All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge. To his defense (odd word to use here), Batum could have been protecting the rock from a lurking Trevor Ariza, who is a known ballhawk. Or he could have just wanted the ball and was enterprising enough to take it, teammate or not.

To make matters worse, he bricked the subsequent trey ball and left a host of questions in the aftermath.

Was this his way of showcasing his displeasure of being an All-Star snub? Will this be brought up in the Blazers’ film study session? Does it technically count as a pass? Was Batum inspired by Carlton Banks? Only Batum knows.

Sometimes, defending the other team is just not enough.

Thomas Robinson Yells ‘Lunch Meat’

VIDEO: Blazers knock down 21 3-pointers in win over Bobcats

By Jonathan Hartzell,

It’s hard to imagine any team in the NBA is having more fun this season than the Portland Trail Blazers.

They have the best record in the league at 26-7, beat their division rival in Oklahoma City to close out 2013, set an NBA-record with 21 3-pointers last night, and now they’re yelling “lunch meat.”

But why would Thomas Robinson yell “lunch meat” when LaMarcus Aldridge is in the post? Simple, according to Robinson and SB Nation blog BlazersEdge:

“Lunch meat,” Robinson explained to Blazersedge, smiling. “Whatchu do when you got some lunch meat? You eat it. Exactly! Whenever someone [is guarding Aldridge], he’s always eating. He’s L.A. Whenever somebody on him, he eat him. Lunch meat. That’s how it is.”

Fellow Blazer Myers Leonard goes on to explain:

“There’s no one that can really stop him one-on-one on the block, let alone anywhere on the court,” Leonard told Blazersedge. “L.A. is so skilled. It basically just means that L.A. is about to get a bucket. He’s eating.”

And, yes, Aldridge seems to enjoy it. But he won’t let lunch meat get to his head:

“It means the guy can’t guard me,” Aldridge sheepishly told Blazersedge. “That I’m going to score at will. It’s not that simple when I’m doing it. They say it looks that easy sometimes. It’s fine, but I’m not going to get into it, I’m not going to say it myself.”

One thing worth noting, though: Aldridge is shooting 40.2 percent from the post this season, according to Synergy Sports.

Still, Aldridge has the perfect attitude to have towards lunch meat. Enjoy it, but don’t let it consume you.

(h/t BlazersEdge)

Local Ads: LaMarcus Aldridge and Robin Lopez Want To Sell You A Car

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We love local ads here at the All Ball blog, and this latest spot from Portland starring LaMarcus Aldridge and Robin Lopez is indicative of all the reasons why. First of all, the acting chops are nothing short of…well, hey, at least they’re trying. The music, strangely, is the same music as in the epic Norman/OKC Thunder commercial from two years ago. And the final shot where Aldridge and Lopez stand back-to-back and gingerly swivel toward the camera is just sublime…

VIDEO: Lopez and Aldridge local ad

And as a bonus: Bloopers. Because everyone loves bloopers…

VIDEO: Lopez and Aldridge bloopers

(via TNLP)

Horry Scale: Monta Is Money

VIDEO: Monta Ellis GWBB

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — I can not tell a lie: It has been a season of highs and lows here at Horry Scale Central. We began the season with three Game-Winning Buzzer-Beaters within seven days, a flurry of activity to make even the most jaded NBA watcher’s head twirl. This required me to write three Horry Scale posts in succession, which turned out to be a controversial endeavor. Folks weren’t happy with my rating of the Jeff Green GWBB, which kept me up very late at night, triggering some difficult and genuine soul searching, at least as far as you know. Since then I have perhaps tried to overcorrect with some of my other ratings, a maneuver that has in no small part generated its own share of controversy, and which has caused something of an existential Horry Scale crisis.

But I digress. Before we get too far into this, we should stop and explain: What is the Horry Scale? For those who 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.

With the rules in place, Today we turn our tired eyes to the lovely Pacific Northwest. Let’s check out last night’s game-winner from Monta Ellis

Monta Ellis has made tougher shots in his career, probably even in this game. This was basically a catch-and-shoot on a curl coming around a screen, a shot Ellis has taken thousands of times in his life. And Ellis made a clean catch, swung around the screen, and had a wide open look at the basket. And yes, he drained the shot, so kudos to him. To me the most interesting thing on this play was that the Blazers did not switch defenders on the screen. In the NBA, for the most part defenders always switch on picks in the last few seconds of a game, and particularly on an inbounds play. This is not only easy for the players on the floor to remember, in a more general sense it means defenders are always running at the ball when there are only seconds to play. But as Ellis came around the series of screens, Portland’s Wesley Matthews tried to stay with him, with no real help waiting for him. (As my main man Ben Golliver reports on Blazers Edge, Portland had decided before the play to only switch guard-on-guard screens. Dallas’ other guard on the floor was Jose Calderon, who was inbounding the ball, so the Blazers all knew there would effectively be no switching.) By the time Ellis caught the pass, curled around the pick from DaJuan Blair and popped free at the top of the key, Portland’s best defensive option may have been LaMarcus Aldridge, who was flat-footed about six feet away from Ellis. Matthews made a last-second swipe at the ball from behind while trying to recover, but he couldn’t make a difference.

What you don’t see in the clip above is the clutch three-pointer Lillard made to tie the game with 1.9 seconds remaining. That play was set up by a Dallas turnover from, you guessed it, Monta Ellis. So in many ways this GWBB was about redemption for Monta. Still, once Dallas got the ball with the game tied, it seemed like it would probably be Dirk Nowitzki time, right? Even in the video above, as the Mavs line up for the play, you can hear Portland analyst Mike Rice note, “Watch [DaJuan] Blair set a pick for either Vince Carter or Dirk.” So Dallas coach Rick Carlisle using the situation to run a play for Ellis was not only in retrospect a wise choice, it was crafty, as well.

This was big on both sides. The Blazers had been riding a four-game winning streak, and had amassed eight straight wins at home. The crowd in Portland, which is always among the best in sports, was rowdy and sold out, twenty-thousand strong. The Mavs, meanwhile, after an offseason that was quieter than most expected, have been something of a mild surprise this season, bobbing along a couple of games above .500. Any road win in the NBA is a good thing, but a road win over the best team in the Conference is always a great thing.

The Mavs seemed really fired up by Ellis’ shot, surrounding him and grabbing him. Also, I’m pretty sure someone ran off the Dallas bench and hit Ellis with a large cushion at about the 19-second mark of the video. I particularly enjoyed this facet of the celebration: The cushion bash needs to become a regular part of post-shot celebrations.

If nothing else, Mavs owner Mark Cuban was jacked up about it…

I think we can all agree that the degree of difficulty wasn’t through the roof, at least just as a jump shot, in a bubble. But all the other parts of this play — Ellis’ earlier turnover, Lillard’s game-tying three moments earlier, Portland’s home win streak, Dallas’ execution on the final play — give added weight to the play. This is one of those situations where I wish we had half-Horrys to award, because I really feel like this is a 3.5 Horry Play. Should I round up or down? That’s another discussion for another day. In this case, I’m going with four Horrys, because for me the post-shot cushion bash lifts it from three to four…

horry-star horry-star horry-star horry-star

That’s my take. How many Horry’s would you give the Monta Ellis game-winner?