Posts Tagged ‘marcin gortat’

Remember when Hakeem Olajuwon posted a quadruple-double?

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the most exciting players in the NBA this season has been New Orleans big man Anthony Davis, who has one of the most versatile games the NBA has seen in years. Davis may be able to do many different things, but one thing he hasn’t done — yet, at least — is post a quadruple-double: racking up double figures in points, rebounds, assists and blocks or steals in the same game.

This is has only happened four times in the NBA since the league began tracking blocks and steals in 1973. Twenty-five years ago tomorrow, one of those instances happened, when Houston’s Hakeem Olajuwon went for 18 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists and 11 blocks against the Milwaukee Bucks. How dominant was Hakeem back then? Earlier that month, he had a game with 29 points, 18 boards, 11 blocks and 9 assists.

So while Hakeem’s old Houston Rockets franchise plays a national TV game tomorrow against the Washington Wizards (12:30 p.m. EST on ABC), and we can watch Dwight Howard and Marcin Gortat man the middle for these teams, but check out these highlights of Hakeem dominating twenty-five years ago…

VIDEO: Hakeem quadruple-double

Otto Porter may be slow to react defensively

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night’s Wizards/Bulls game was close down the stretch, close enough that every possession was important. So with the Bulls clinging to a three-point lead, 95-92, with about 9 seconds remaining, and the shot clock near the buzzer, the Bulls ran a play for Tony Snell. Washington had Otto Porter defending Snell, although if you watch the clip below, Porter doesn’t react very quickly — or at all — as Snell sprints across the lane to come off a pick on the other side. I like how Porter stands rock-still until someone yells, “OTTO!”

And I know Snell misses the jumper, but watch closely: With Snell breaking wide open, Marcin Gortat leaves his man, Pau Gasol, to cover Snell. Snell misses the shot, but who gets the rebound, gets fouled and makes both free throws to seal the game for the Bulls? Pau Gasol.

Top Plays Spotlight: John the Benevolent

VIDEO: John Wall has exhibited a passion for finding the open man this season

John Wall just keeps getting better.

The 24-year-old guard from Raleigh, N.C. continues to elevate his game, entering the second week of the New Year leading the NBA in assists. He has not only usurped reigning dimes champion Chris Paul, but he has eclipsed his previous high average set last year at 8.8 per game.

Wall is posting 10.3 helpers a night, finding teammates through getting deep in the paint, waiting until the last second to unload to Marcin Gortat or Nene or Kris Humphries on a cut. If that’s not there, then he can dart his eyes toward the wings, where Paul Pierce, Bradley Beal and Rasual Butler are usually waiting with a clear look at the rim.

And if nobody is open, he can always just finish.

Elite athleticism and speed gives him the ability to maneuver in traffic and adjust to contact. Steadily improving court vision allows him to find the open man. His 6-foot-4 frame can absorb more punishment than most. Add his studious approach to the game and we have a guy poised to rank among the best of a Golden Age of NBA point guards for a good minute.

Wizards to give out Marcin Gortat action figure

Washington Wizards Media Day

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERMarcin Gortat has only been a member of the Washington Wizards for a little over a year, but already he’s made a mark and become something of a fan favorite in D.C. for some of his off court work, such as teaching his teammates how to speak Polish.

(Also, check out this interview where he says the first thing he bought after signing a $60 million contract extension was a $150 fish.)

So, it makes sense that the Wizards would organize a giveaway for their fans involving Gortat. But it may be a bit of a surprise that the item they will be giving away, according to the Washington Post, will be a Gortat action figure!

Besides noting that we need a few of these action figures around the All Ball Nerve Center, let’s add this to the list of innovative giveaways this season, including replica rings and flip-flops, so we can have a swag-off at the end of the season.

Marcin Gortat teaches the Wizards how to speak Polish

By Lang Whitaker,

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat was born and raised in Łódź, Poland, which is why he’s known as The Polish Hammer. To celebrate his background, this weekend the Wizards held a Polish Heritage night hosted by Gortat. Over 500 Polish fans turned out, as well as a Polish cheerleading troupe and Poland’s ambassador to the United States.

To get his teammates involved, Gortat filmed this video where he teaches the Wizards some relevant Polish words and phrases…

VIDEO: Gortat teaches Polish words

Down Goes Gortat

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — If you’ve been on the basketball court, you’ve been there: There’s a switch on defense, and you end up defending someone you probably shouldn’t be defending. In this case you have two options: 1) You back down and basically concede defeat, letting your guy score. 2) You buckle down and go all-in on defense, even with getting embarrassed as a likely result.

So it speaks well to Washington center Marcin Gortat‘s guts that he was willing to try and stick with Oklahoma City guard Thabo Sefolosha when the two ended up paired on the wing during their game on Sunday night. And to be fair, it looks like Gortat’s teammate Martell Webster trying to play help defense may have had a part in this, when his feet tangle with Gortat’s.

Either way, down goes Gortat…


(via SBNation)

Durant Gives Scola A Holiday Photo

by Zettler Clay IV

The Kevin Durant tour is steadily rolling. His latest stop was last night’s matchup in Phoenix against the Suns, where he put on a…well, show doesn’t quite do the description justice. Perhaps the picture helps:


Sending another player (Luis Scola) into complete capitulation is a surefire sign of dominance. What about scoring your last points of the game on a facial?

Durant’s final line: 41 points, 15-30 field goals en route to bolstering a league-best record and giving a couple of Suns a case of Monday night doldrums.

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Marcin Gortat Gets ‘A’ For Effort

by Zettler Clay IV

In tonight’s Heat-Suns contest in Miami, offense was not scarce. For the Heat, it was downright abundant. And when the Heat’s offense is abundant, it’s a decent chance LeBron has something to do with it.

On a particular play early, LeBron got out on the open court. This is usually when the opposing team stops pursuit because, well, one would have a better chance of holding greased lightning than chasing down ‘Bron on the break.

But chase down ‘Bron on the break Marcin Gortat did. The result? Shin, meet court. Court, shin.

Can certainly not fault a man for trying.

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A Little Rookie Initiation …

By Jeff Case

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

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.”


Three For All: Phoenix Suns II

by Micah Hart

As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. Up next, the Phoenix Suns, who played three straight from Mar. 14-16.

The Phoenix Suns’ season can pretty easily be summed up by their two entries in the three for all challenge. In their first foray back in February, Phoenix went winless, part of a four-game skid that saw the team fall a season-worst seven games under .500 after a loss to the Lakers on Feb. 17.

That game must have shook something loose in the desert, because ever since the Suns have been scorching, winning 10 of 13 games and moving all the way back to .500 on the season at the culmination of their second threeplay:

Game 1: Suns 120, Jazz 111 – Part of the reason for the Suns’ success has been the production the team has been getting from up and down the roster. To wit: Channing Frye dropped a season-high 26 points (with nine rebounds), Marcin Gortat had 25, and Jared Dudley had 21 in the win over the Jazz. 1 point

Game 2: Suns 91, Clippers 87 – Home win over the Jazz? Not bad, but nothing special. Road win over the Clippers? Now that’s a nice win, despite how weird it makes me feel to write that sentence. Oh, and did I mention they did it without Grant Hill and Steve Nash, who picked up DNP-OMs (Did Not Play – Old Men)? Seriously. Sebastian Telfair started this game. Crazy season indeed. 4 points (3 for win, 1 for road)

Game 3: Suns 109, Pistons 101 – I give Bassy credit for holding down the fort while Nash took the night off against LAC, and the rest paid off for Steve as he dished out 17 dimes, tied for a season high, against Detroit. Back to what I was saying earlier about contributions from everywhere? Robin Lopez had 14 points off the bench in this one, and Michael Redd had 11. If I so much as get a hangnail from now on, I’m going to Phoenix to have the Suns’ medical staff take a look at it. 5 points

It’s not so long ago that everyone was proclaiming this a lost season in Phoenix, and up until Thursday’s trade deadline many were holding out hope that the #FreeSteveNash movement would mercifully spring Canada’s finest from his Arizona prison.

Instead, the Suns join the Heat, Bulls, and Thunder (owners of the league’s three best records) as the only teams to go undefeated in the three play, and in doing so moved into 9th place in the Western Conference playoff chase, just two games behind the Nuggets, who just traded for JaVale McGee, so good luck with that. 10 points for the Suns, and total redemption for their first effort a month ago. This could be a playoff team after all.

Up next: The Clippers take their second crack at the triumvirate, playing three straight Mar. 20-22.

Three for all Top Ten:
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Phoenix Suns II (10 points)
New Jersey Nets II (8 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)
L.A. Clippers (6 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)

Full Three for all standings

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