ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — In years past, a frequent criticism of the New York Knicks was that they weren’t transparent enough with fans and the media. New Knicks president Phil Jackson, however, doesn’t seem to be having any problems with that, thanks to his Twitter account. Early in the day on Thursday, after Sheridan Hoops founder and veteran NBA writer Chris Sheridan tweeted a link to a piece criticizing the Knicks’ off-season trade of Tyson Chandler, the Zen Master himself responded with a series of tweets…
@sheridanhoops negative, I'm okay with the Dallas deal. Tyson fits there and our 3 players, Jose, Sam, and Shane are on the court.
Then, during last night’s Knicks/Bulls game on TNT, analyst Charles Barkley was repeatedly critical of the Knicks, saying at one point the best thing they had going for them “is Philadelphia.” So Phil went to Twitter once again…and this time he even broke out the emojis!
do I have to mute this game? Chuck just remember your fundamental…key to 🔺
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Back in 2012, Tyson Chandler was named the NBA’s defensive player of the year. Two years later, looks like he’s still got a knack for stopping his man at all costs.
Against the Warriors on Saturday night, Chandler was defending Marreese Speights, who lost a shoe during the run of play. It was pretty impressive when Steph Curry picked up the shoe and tossed it out of the way during a halfcourt set. But on the next Golden State possession, when Curry tried to toss the shoe back to Speights, Tyson Chandler was having none of it…
You know, if the Mavericks decide in the future to give the ball to Monta Ellis instead of Dirk Nowitzki, that wouldn’t be such a terrible move, you think?
Look, this is still Dirk’s team, but Ellis proved once again Wednesday night that, in the clutch, he’s every bit as reliable as his future Hall of Fame teammate. With Dirk on the bench resting a creaky back, Ellis chopped down the Bucks and this is starting to become habit-forming. He’s proving to be quite the go-to guy this season and it could end up putting him in the All-Star Game for the first time in his career.
It was his sixth career game-winning basket in the final 5 seconds and the first since last December against the Blazers. But look at this recent closing streak by Ellis: 15 points in the fourth quarter against the Raptors … 14 in the fourth and OT against the Bulls … and against the Bucks, he scored the Mavs’ final eight points and 10 of their last 13. That’s dominance.
Keep in mind that the Horry Scale measures more than just the game-winning basket. Other factors are weighed that make the buzzer-beater truly epic, or merely run-of-the-mill. Although I think we can all agree that no buzzer-beater is routine. That said, let’s study the scale of Ellis’ latest clutch bucket.
Ellis went one-on-one against O.J.Mayo and it really wasn’t a contest. Ellis backed Mayo down, made a quick move and then from 17 feet launched his game-winning bucket on a fadeaway off one foot. From a cosmetic standpoint, it wasn’t the prettiest, but it was effective. Strangely enough, the Bucks didn’t send any help for Mayo, perhaps fearing a wide-open shot by Chandler Parsons. But given Ellis’ play of late, maybe you take that chance.
“They’ll be watching that shot for the next day and a half on SportsCenter,” said Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle.
Ellis wasn’t having the most accurate shooting night (11-for-26) but the Mavericks needed him. Dirk played 42 minutes of a double OT game the night before in Chicago. In the other uniform, Brandon Knight was willing to get into a fourth-quarter scoring exchange with Ellis and for a while was winning that contest. Knight hit a jumper over Tyson Chandler with 8.9 seconds left to tie the score after two Richard Jefferson free throws. The game was suddenly up for grabs, which means it was a situation suited for Ellis.
Well, any game the Mavericks win especially without Dirk, is important if only because they’re playing in the West. In a conference that once again is amazingly deep with quality, every loss counts. Oh, and Kevin Durant is back for OKC and you can expect the Thunder to rise in the standings. So there’s that as well. The Mavericks improved to 8-3 on the road, the mark of a team to be taken seriously.
Monta did a little strut as he sashayed off the floor, followed by his teammates, who dashed through the tunnel. It had to be especially sweet for Ellis because he played for the Bucks two seasons ago. Maybe he felt he wasn’t as appreciated in Milwaukee, but based on his performance, he is missed.
Ellis is clearly on a tear and there are nights when this is his team, even with Dirk on the floor. This was one of those nights. He rescued the Mavericks when they appeared to be reeling against a very improved and frisky Bucks’ team. Milwaukee wanted to use this game to make a statement about where the franchise is and where it’s headed. The Bucks are better than anyone thought, based on the first month of the season. But the statement instead was made by a player who’s one of the more underrated guards in the game, and perhaps the most talented player never to make the All-Star team. Give it four Horrys.
Coaches are fond of telling their team that whoever plays with the most physicality will win nine out of 10 times. The Pistons of the late 1980s took that to heart and it led to a dynasty and adulation many years later.
It didn’t work as well for the early to mid-90s New York Knicks, who boasted a trio of imposing bruisers — Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley, Anthony Mason — but couldn’t get out the East. Throughout the years, plenty of teams followed the rough and tumble blueprint. While it doesn’t always result in a championship, a physical brand of basketball does make things competitive…which is ultimately what we want to see.
Sunday night at ORACLE Arena, the (current) Knicks discovered what a bit of nasty could do. First Tyson Chandler got demonstrative on Jermaine O’Neal, capped off by a searing stare-down:
Gotta love how Stephen Curry just helped himself to his feet, wiped his mouth off with his jersey and trotted up the court. As fierce as any competitor in the NBA, he dropped a cool 32 points and single-handedly almost led Golden State to a dub. But for another night at least, the bullies captured the flag.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s been a rather eventful season for Knicks guard J.R. Smith, a designation that has pretty much nothing to do with his play on the court. If anything, we’ve learned that if you’re not on your toes, J.R. might untie your shoes, or pull your headband down over your eyes. And if you fall asleep around J.R., like a bunch of the Knicks players did yesterday on the team plane, leaving J.R. with nothing else to do, he might post photos of your sleeping on Instagram.
To wit, Iman Shumpert (wearing leather pants) and Tim Hardaway Jr.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Halloween may be in our collective rear view mirror, but looming ahead is Thanksgiving. And to celebrate it in their own special way, several NBA players will be popping up on Disney XD beginning today and again over the new few weeks as part of something called Pranksgiving. According to a release from Disney…
A specially drafted NBA pranking crew — Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks), Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets) and DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers) — get in the pranking game with the comedic and unpredictable puppet Crash (of the sitcom “Crash & Bernstein”) and together, they pull fun and over-the-top tricks on Disney XD’s biggest stars. Each Monday, a new fan-voted prank will be revealed on Disney XD along with new prank-themed episodes including Dwight Howard (Houston Rockets) guest starring in the new comedy series “Mighty Med.”
Curry said of his involvement, “Getting to be a part of Disney XD’s ‘Pranksgiving’ allowed me, and the other players, to connect with kids and families in a different way and show them a side of us they don’t usually see. I love to do fun things like this with fans and giving back to the community is something I’m committed to. I also loved that my family got to be there with me when we shot it, and when my daughter gets older and is watching Disney XD, I can tell her all about it.”
Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the NBA’s involvement… –
With the Conference Finals underway and the NBA Finals around the corner, let’s take a look back at the fashion of Round Two. Carmelo Anthony made the hat his wardrobe staple, Mike Conley continued to experiment with a spectrum of different styles, and Stephen Curry kept his look simple, letting his spectacular performances on the court do the talking. As always, keep up with the conversation on Twitter using #NBAStyle.
Carmelo Anthony pairs his signature hats with different outfits ranging from a colorful printed shirt to a maroon blazer. After Game 6, he loses the hat and dons a printed blue tee. [PHOTOS 1-4]
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson‘s goatee doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Perfectly trimmed, densely populated, nearly symmetric, Mike Woodson’s goatee might be the NBA’s most wholly realized facial hair. And in order to fully explore Coach Woodson’s facial hair, the Knicks recently sent their “Kid Reporters” Ryan and Jaylah out to interview several Knicks players, to try and get to the bottom of the existential riddle that is Coach Woodson’s goatee.
Is Woodson’s goatee, as Carmelo Anthony suggests, completely detachable?
Does Coach Woodson dye it, Steve Novak wonders?
Is Mike Woodson actually 70 years old, as JR Smith asks?
While a basketball game can be won and lost based on the details, many players bring those same intricacies to their wardrobes. And when the tunnel becomes a runway, and the press conference podium becomes a stage, suddenly NBA players are the ones starting trends.
Here are some well-coordinated recent looks from around the League. As we continue to keep tabs on Playoff fashion and the new trends that arise during the NBA’s second season, use #NBAStyle on Twitter to communicate your thoughts.
• Russell Westbrook always chooses bold accessories, sporting clear frames and a gold medallion necklace on Sunday after OKC’s Game 1 win against the Rockets…