Posts Tagged ‘Warriors’

Watergate 2: Blake Griffin vs. Fan

By Nick Margiasso IV

Maybe NBA franchises just need to buy less-slippery cups.

After fouling out of Saturday’s Clippers-Warriors game late, Los Angeles’ Blake Griffin made it two controversial drink spills in the NBA this season. This time, there was a victim. This time, it was water. Call it “Watergate,” but that’s already been taken. Purposely or not, Griffin doused a Golden State fan positioned directly behind him at the scorer’s table as the L.A. star reacted by throwing his arms back in disbelief upon seeing the replay of his last foul on the arena jumbotron.

And, oh yeah, he had a cup full of water in his hand. So, this happened…

VIDEO: Blake Griffin of the Clippers douses fan with water

Remind you of anything?

VIDEO: Jason Kidd, coach of the Nets, spills drink on court mid-game

 

Warriors’ Curry goes to the circus

By Nick Margiasso IV

It was a little too close for comfort in Oakland, Calif., Thursday night as the Warriors edged the lowly Bucks 115-110. As per usual, though, Stephen Curry did near-superhuman things to lift Golden State to a win. He scored 31 points. He dished 11 dimes. He grabbed three boards and a steal.

And he did this …

VIDEO: Warriors’ Curry flips in circus shot

… try that in your pickup game this weekend, bruh.

All Ball Fave Five: Most Disappointing Playoff Teams Of The New Millenium

by Micah Hart

You may have noticed it’s the offseason, which means we have plenty of time to sit around and think about many of the things that make it fun to be an NBA fan. Here at All Ball, we’ll be passing the time until the start of the season with a new series, the Fave Five. Each week we’ll count down a list of the five best, or worst … somethings. We’ll try to get creative with it. Plus we’re taking requests! If you have a suggestion for a Fave Five post, give us a shout and you may see it appear in this space over the next several weeks.

Who is going to win the Super Bowl this year? The World Series? Your guess is as good as mine. In the NFL and MLB, who wins from year to year is totally unpredictable. In football it’s about who is lucky and who is healthy; in baseball it’s who is lucky and who gets great pitching.

The NBA is different. There are very, very few Cinderella stories in professional basketball. For my money, the 2011 Mavericks and the 2004 Pistons are the only surprise champions I’ve seen in the NBA in my lifetime.

The best teams almost always prevail. Which is why when we think of the teams who have come up short since the start of the 2000s, the answers are pretty obvious.

Let’s take a look:

5. 2011 San Antonio Spurs

What happened: The Spurs got off to a ridiculous start to the season (they were 29-4 at one point), and for a while there was talk that they might flirt with 70 wins. They cooled a bit down the stretch, but still finished the regular season as the top seed in the Western Conference with a record of 61-21.

The draw in the West looked pretty good, as they faced the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round. Talk about a mismatch – the Spurs, four-time NBA champions, versus the Grizz, who to that point had not won a single playoff game in franchise history in three previous appearances. So naturally they advanced to face HEY WAIT A MINUTE!

Memphis shocked San Antonio in six games, and the Spurs went home as only the fourth No. 1 seed to ever lose to a No. 8 seed*.

* The Bulls became the fifth this past season, but methinks that might have turned out differently had Derrick Rose been healthy.

Why they disappointed: I’ll be honest. I don’t really think of this Spurs team as being all that much of a disappointment. Some of that is due to the fact that the Grizzlies turned out to be a pretty good team, and some (maybe a lot) is due to the fact that Manu Ginobili hurt his elbow the final game of the season and was severely limited in the series. Still, 1 seeds don’t lose to 8 seeds, so here they are.

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Uni Watch Ranks Celtics Top NBA Jersey, Kings Finish Dead Last

by Micah Hart

Over at ESPN, the Uni Watch Blog has spent the past week unveiling their rankings of all 122 professional team jersey designs across the four major sports in North America. The top ranking NBA kit? The classic, timeless Boston Celtics, which checked in at 10th overall. Said Uni Watch on the Celts:

The Rolling Stones, “Goodfellas,” a Hershey’s with almonds — the classics are classic for a reason. That definitely applies to the Celtics’ set. No goofy side panels, no extraneous bells or whistles — just a perfect vertically arched wordmark and a simple green-and-white color scheme. They’d jump a few more spots in these rankings if they dropped that black-trimmed alternate.

Have to say I couldn’t agree more about the black trim on the alternates. After the Celtics, the Spurs, Lakers, Warriors, and Jazz rounded out the top five. I’m a little surprised to see the Jazz so high, but to be fair I haven’t looked at their jerseys since they burned my retinas back in the late ’90s.

As for the worst NBA uniforms? Take a bow, Sacramento. Not only do you have the ugliest threads in professional basketball, but Uni Watch lists the Kings dead last amongst all teams:

Every class has a slow kid pulling up the rear, and in this case it’s the Kings. Where shall we start — the brutal color scheme? The illegible chest lettering on the home jersey? The oddly off-center front uni numbers? The clownish number font? The completely incongruous old-school script on the black alternate? A disaster from start to finish. On the bright side, there’s nowhere to go but up!

Ouch babe. Take a look at the full NBA rankings and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments.

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Three For All Finale: Pistons and Warriors

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.

We come to the final stretch of three for alls on the season, as the Pistons and Warriors finished out the 41st and 42nd instances over the last few days. What a long, strange trip it’s been. Let’s see how our final contestants fared:

Detroit Pistons (April 17-19): I daresay no one had a more convincing Game 1 victory in their three-play than the Pistons, who beat the Cavaliers 116-77 (!) in a game in which the lead ballooned to as much as 50. 5-0. The Pistons should have just pulled a Costanza right there and called it a season, really. Especially because the next two games saw them trail by more than 20 in losses at the Hawks and at home against the Timberwolves. Gotta know when to quit, Detroit. 1 point (2-1-0) for their second three for all, with the Cavs win keeping them from racking up two oh-fers.

Golden State Warriors (April 20-22): Flip the script for Golden State. The short-handed Warriors fell on the road in Dallas and Houston (giving the Rockets their only win in the last eight games) before rebounding to beat the even-more-shorthanded Timberwolves in Game 3 Sunday night in Minnesota. 3 points (-2+(-1)+6) for Oakland’s finest, who somehow managed to save their lone three-play for the final week of the season.

Up next: That’s all folks! 42 up, 42 down. We’ll have a look back at the best and worst three for all performances later on this week as the regular season draws to a close, and draw some conclusions then.

Three for all Top Ten:
San Antonio Spurs II (15 points)
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
San Antonio Spurs I (12 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks II (11 points)
Boston Celtics (10 points)
Phoenix Suns II (10 points)
Indiana Pacers II (8 points)
New Jersey Nets II (8 points)

Full Three for all standings

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Three For All: Dallas Mavericks

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 Dallas Mavericks, who played three straight from Mar. 8-10.

The defending champs have had their share of struggles this season, which is to be expected of any team coming off the kind of high that was the Mavericks’ title run. Order seemed to be restored at one point, but then Dallas faced a nine-games-in-twelve-nights stretch to begin the second half of the season, culminating in the three for all, with all three games on the road to boot. A recipe for disaster? Let’s see:

Game 1: Suns 96, Mavericks 94 – Dallas had beaten Phoenix eight straight coming into the game, and led by 11 at the half. All seemed well. Then the Suns got it going, and Rodrigue Beaubois missed two shots in the game’s final seconds that might have sent it to overtime. Tough start. -2 points

Game 2: Kings 110, Mavericks 97 - This is exactly the kind of loss we should expect to see in this compressed season — a young, athletic team racing past an old, tired squad of veterans. The Kings were up 10 at the break and never looked back. -1 point

Game 3: Warriors 111, Mavericks 87 - See previous paragraph, and double it. 0 points

We’ve seen oh-fers twice before this season, by the Pistons and Suns, two teams on the outside of the playoff hunt looking in (Ironically, both teams have been playing their best ball of the season lately — perhaps the humiliation of the winless threeplays were the inspiration?). We weren’t supposed to see this kind of thing from the Mavericks.

However … we’ve seen a few veteran playoff teams take some games off this season. Mark Cuban said himself on the B.S. Report last week that seeding doesn’t matter this year, that every team is just trying to survive the compressed schedule, and that regular season performance will not necessarily translate to the playoffs. So, -3 points for the Mavericks. Were they giving it their all? Or were they taking a couple losses in battle right now in hopes of winning the war later on? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Up next: The Suns are back at it with a chance to redeem themselves, playing three straight Mar. 14-16.

Three for all Top Ten:
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 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)
Denver Nuggets I (6 points)

Full Three for all standings

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Before Linsanity, Jeremy Lin Couldn’t Even Win at Horse

by Micah Hart

I love this video from Jeremy Lin‘s time with the Warriors — which seems like years ago at this point but was actually just last season — when he was just a rookie and therefore had to agree to participate in silly contests against random people. Like playing a game of P-I-G against these two guys:

Yeah, Lin loses, but it seems clear he’s just horsing around (see what I did there?) with his competitors. I’d like to see them win if they had to do this.

By the way, if you have still yet to have your fill of Lin-ness, you can vote to have the cameras focus entirely on him on TNT Overtime during tonight’s Heat-Knicks game. I just checked, and he currently has 71% of the votes for the first quarter, so I like his chances of being featured. You’re already going to be watching the game anyway, might as well add this into the mix!

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Three For All: Portland Trail Blazers 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 Portland Trail Blazers, who played three straight from Feb. 14-16.

The Blazers get perhaps the toughest task of the NBA season, playing their second three-play in just over three weeks. Portland put up six points over three games from Jan. 23-25 (good for sixth place in the Three for all standings as of this writing). Could they match that the second time around? Let’s find out together.

Game 1: Wizards 124, Blazers 109 - LaMarcus Aldridge goes out with an ankle injury two minutes into the contest, and the Blazers fold like a tent. Home losses to the Wizards are pretty inexcusable, no matter who gets hurt (this was their sixth road win since the start of last season). Tough way to start for Portland, and three straight home losses for the first time since 2008. -2 points

Game 2: Blazers 93, Warriors 91 - A nice rebound win at Golden State, with contributions up and down the lineup to make up for the injured Aldridge. Jamal Crawford closed the door, scoring the game’s final five points to help Portland hang on. 4 points (3 for win, 1 for road)

Game 3: Clippers 74, Blazers 71 - I feel bad for anyone who watched this one. The Blazers amazingly scored 27 points in the first quarter, only to drop 16, 17, and 11 over the last three periods. This is more of what we expected to see from teams at the tail end of a back-to-back-to-back, as the Clippers outscored the Blazers 22-11 in the fourth to get the win. 0 points

You get the feeling Portland left a few points on the table in this stretch, but LA’s injury certainly didn’t help. 2 points for the Blazers in the end.

Up next: The New Jersey Nets play three straight Feb. 18-20.

Three for all Top Ten:
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)
L.A. Clippers (6 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)
Denver Nuggets I (6 points)
Orlando Magic (5 points)

Full Three for all standings

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Three For All: Phoenix Suns

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 Feb. 13-15.

While I have your attention, I’ll step aside from the task at hand for a moment and agree with the presiding opinion going around the Internet and say: Free Steve Nash.

The Suns have stated they have no interest in blowing up their team, and that is their right, but if their reasoning is that it alienates fans, I have to respectfully disagree. Fans want to win, clearly.  But what they really want is to compete for titles, and most intelligent fans are willing to tolerate a year or two of losing as long as there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Look no further than the Indianapolis Colts, who are most likely about to part ways with Peyton Manning — more an institution in his city than Nash is in Phoenix — and their fan base couldn’t be happier because they have Andrew Luck waiting to take his place. Suns fans know that Nash’s time is coming to an end regardless of where he plays, and as much as they’d hate to see him go, if they get some young prospects in return that help set them up to return to contention, they’ll take that deal all day long.

Why do I bring this up? Because the Suns joined the Detroit Pistons as the only two teams to lose every game in their three for all:

Game 1: Warriors 102, Suns 96 - One player the Suns shouldn’t trade is Marcin Gortat, who has evolved into one of the best centers in the NBA (though that does speak in part to the paucity of legit big men). The Polish Hammer had 25 points and 12 rebounds in the loss in Golden State. The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for Phoenix against Golden State. -2 points

Game 2: Nuggets 109, Suns 92 - Phoenix sat Nash and Grant Hill for this one, trying to conserve their energy in the midst of the brutal stretch. So yeah, they really didn’t have much of a chance in this one. Markieff Morris had 21 points, which reminds me that in college, I always thought his brother Marcus was the hot shot recruit, and that he (Markieff) was sort of the Robin Lopez to his brother’s Brook. I mean, Marcus was Big 12 Player of the Year, and a second-team All-American. Then Markieff got drafted first (Marcus went to the Rockets with the very next pick), and now I question everything that happened to me in the last two years. Was it all just a dream? -1 point

Game 3: Hawks 101, Suns 99 - No one should get much grief for losing a third in three, but the Suns did lead by 15 points in the second half. Josh Smith had an absurd line for the Hawks (30 points, 17 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and three blocks), and when all is said and done I still expect someone’s injury to put him into his first All-Star Game next weekend in Orlando. 0 points

Time to face facts, Phoenix. The Nash-Era Suns are long gone, and the sooner you turn the page the better off you’ll be. -3 points for the Suns.

Up next: The Indiana Pacers and Portland Trail Blazers play three straight Feb. 14-16.

Three for all Top Ten:
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)
L.A. Clippers (6 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)
Denver Nuggets I (6 points)
Orlando Magic (5 points)

Full Three for all standings

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Three For All: Portland Trail Blazers

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 Portland Trail Blazers, who played three straight from Jan. 23-25.

Every time I see a fan base start to complain about bad luck, or how nothing ever works out for them, I think of Portland. That is not to say that I think Blazers fans whine all the time; on the contrary, I think of the incredible adversity and horrible luck with injuries that franchise has faced in the past few years and how despite that, they’ve still managed to make the playoffs and contend where I believe others would have folded up the tent and gone home.

When this season started with the announcement of another Greg Oden injury setback and then the retirement of Brandon Roy, I assumed Portland was done for. And though it hasn’t been easy, here they are again, keeping their heads above water and competing for the playoffs. If they have the fortitude for that, I’m sure the three-play will be a piece of cake. Let’s go to the scoreboard and find out:

Game 1: Blazers 101, Kings 89 - When you have three games in three nights, it’s great to have a guy like Jamal Crawford available, who on the right night can get hot and carry the team by himself. This was one of those nights, as Crawford sprung for a game-high 26 off the bench to lead the Blazers to an easy win. 2 points (1 for win, 1 for +10 margin)

Game 2: Blazers 97, Grizzlies 84 - So far so good, as Portland picks up another seemingly easy win, this time against the Grizzlies. Marcus Camby did his best Ben Wallace impression in this one, pulling down 22 caroms while scoring only three points. 4 points (3 for win, 1 for +10 margin)

Game 3: Warriors 101, Blazers 93 - Finally away from the friendly confines of the Rose Garden, the Blazers fell short to the Warriors in the final game to fall short of becoming the third team to sweep their three for all. Normally you’d like your chances against the Warriors when Monta Ellis scores only four points, but on this night he dished out 12 assists and Steph Curry picked up the slack with 32 to deny Portland perfection. 0 points

The Blazers finish with 6 total points, which in some ways doesn’t do them justice for their performance (with two +10 wins), but that’s why the third game is so important — it’s the hardest to win, home or away.

Up next: The Detroit Pistons play three straight Jan. 30 – Feb. 1 as they take on the three-play challenge entirely on the road: at Milwaukee, at New York, and at New Jersey.

Three for all Scoreboard:
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)
L.A. Clippers (6 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)
Denver Nuggets (6 points)
Orlando Magic (5 points)
L.A. Lakers (3 points)
Charlotte Bobcats (3 points)
New Jersey Nets (2 points)
Sacramento Kings (2 points)
Minnesota Timberwolves (2 points)
Toronto Raptors (1 point)

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