Posts Tagged ‘washington wizards’

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

Lionel Messi meets Gheorghe Muresan

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The best soccer player in the world right now is — arguably — Lionel Messi, the Argentinian dynamo who plays his club soccer for F.C. Barcelona. We’ve seen him share screen time with Kobe Bryant, so we know Messi has at least some familiarity with the NBA. So last night, with the Argentina National Team in Washington D.C. to play a friendly against El Salvador, Messi and his teammates took in the Washington Wizards versus Indiana Pacers game.

As Messi posted on Instagram, he had a pretty good seat…

Viendo basquet

A photo posted by Leo Messi (@leomessi) on

Also, here’s a long surveillance video of Messi (with Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez) sitting in the team’s luxury suite…


VIDEO: Messi NBA

And when you have an important person in the house, you better send Gheorghe Muresan to go and greet him…

The Sacramento Kings had a baby race

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Sacramento Kings had a big win last night over the Washington Wizards, with a couple of highlights plays and fantastic dunks. And I was going to do a post about some of those dunks … until I saw this video from the Kings game.

At some point during the Kings game last night, they had a baby race. Forget the dunks. This is the greatest video of the day. Maybe of all time.


VIDEO: Kings baby race

John Wall can fly

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last season when I made an attempt to photograph an NBA game, the thing I was most worried about was not taking the photos, but getting into somebody’s way. When I expressed my concern to my photo mentor, Nathaniel Butler, his advice was if I saw an NBA player coming at me, get as small as I can and be as still as I could. Because even if I couldn’t get completely out of the way, NBA players are good enough athletes that they would be able to avoid me.

That was what I thought about last night when I saw Washington’s John Wall go head-first into the stands trying to save a loose ball. I don’t know who coached him, but the kid in the red shirt handled it perfectly — he got small, he got still, and John Wall incredibly managed to completely avoid him. Nice soundtrack, BTW…

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.

Jeff Gordon dominates tricycle race at Wizards game

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night the Washington Wizards hosted the San Antonio Spurs, and in the house for the night was Jeff Gordon, one of NASCAR’s most decorated drivers. When you have a great driver in the house, what do you do? You let him drive!

Unfortunately, there wasn’t room for a stock car out on the court, so instead Gordon gamely hopped on a tricycle and raced a few laps against a fan. In case you were wondering, the need for speed apparently transfers from a car to a bike.


VIDEO: Gordon Race

http://www.nba.com/video/games/wizards/2015/01/13/0021400569-sas-was-play2.nba/index.html

The Atlanta Hawks go showtime

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — On Sunday afternoon, the Atlanta Hawks hosted the Washington Wizards, in a game between the best teams in the NBA’s Southeast Division. Going in to the season, the Wizards were tabbed by many to win the division, but while their start has been slowed by an injury to Bradley Beal, the Hawks have surprisingly turned into one of the best teams in the NBA. I know, it’s shocking, but it’s real and the Hawks just keep on rolling — heading into yesterday they had won 21 of their last 23 games and lead the Eastern Conference with a 28-8 record.

So yesterday’s match between the Hawks and Wizards had some ramifications. But the Hawks took control from the start, weathered a run from the Wiz, and won it going away, 120-89. And it wasn’t just that the Hawks won, it was how they did it — the Hawks had a bunch of pretty cool highlight reel plays.

Let’s start with Kyle Korver, who is having an historic season shooting the ball. He leads the league in three-point percentage, shooting over 52-percent from beyond the arc. So when Korver has the ball, defenses pay attention. Which gives him the opportunity to do stuff like this…


VIDEO: Korver Pass

And then there’s second-year point guard Dennis Schröder, who has had a breakout season. With the shot clock running down at the end of the game, Schröder took a three to beat the buzzer, and he pulled a Nick “Swaggy P” Young…although Schröder had better luck at it…


VIDEO: Schröder Shot

The NBA on Christmas Day: Talking with Kristin Chenoweth

KCHeadshot_2014

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The holidays are not only a time of being with friends and family, they also bring about one of the marquee moments on the NBA calendar: Christmas Day, when the NBA is giving us five big match-ups to keep you glued to your couch all day long.

To celebrate the upcoming day, we’re talking with a few famous NBA fans about what the NBA and the Christmas Day games mean to them. We’ve already spoken with John Leguizamo, Mario Batali and Anna Chlumsky, and today we wrap up by talking with Emmy and Tony award-winning singer and actress Kristin Chenoweth. An Oklahoma native, Chenoweth has starred on TV in shows such as “The West Wing” and “Glee!,” in movies like Rio 2 and on Broadway in shows including “Wicked” and “Promises, Promises.”

Chenoweth will next be seen on-screen in the Universal film The Boy Next Door, alongside Jennifer Lopez, and in the animated Lucasfilm fairy tale musical Strange Magic, both set to be released on January 23. She’s also completed production on an indie teen drama entitled Hard Sell and the Disney Channel’s live-action original movie “Descendants,” in which she will play the classic Sleeping Beauty villain Maleficent. Chenoweth will also return to Broadway in the Roundabout Theatre Company‘s 20-week limited engagement of “On the Twentieth Century” in early 2015.

Christmas2014ME: Hey Kristin! So I just wanted to talk basketball with you. You probably don’t get to do that that much, right?

KRISTIN: (laughing) Nobody thinks that I can talk basketball. This is a very good gift of a call for me to have.

ME: I know you’re originally from Oklahoma, but were you a basketball fan before the Thunder were there?

KRISTIN: I think I should tell sort of how it came for me, like, this love of basketball. I was always scared of basketball growing up. I was a cheerleader, but I knew I could never play basketball because I’m 4-11. But I always liked cheering at basketball games because they were exciting. I loved the game in and of itself, but I never played, and we never had a professional team, as you know. So, I started dating someone a few years back, six years ago, and he was a humongous L.A. Lakers fan. And I knew that I had to start watching the Lakers. So I did that so I got to know who he was talking about, and I started to fall in love with the players. I really liked Pau Gasol a lot. He’s no longer there, but anyway, we got the Thunder right after that. And my boyfriend was such a big basketball nut he would watch with me, and started to like the Thunder. I started to fall in love with Westbrook and Durant, and I’m still not over Harden. I feel a little bit badly about it, but my Dad tried to explain to me about it being a business decision, and I get that, but I don’t know, it was a little heartbreaking to see him leave. But since that I’ve become an even bigger fan and bigger fan, and I’ve really enjoyed watching basketball.

ME: Are you a Thunder loyalist?

KRISTIN: I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan of a lot of teams, because I’m very loyal to my Thunder, but I have a little bit of love for the Spurs — a little bit, even though they’re in direct competition with us. I’m not really loving the Heat, and I’m a little torn about how I feel about LeBron. He went to the Heat and now he’s back in Cleveland, God bless him, but I’m not really a fan of the Heat. I’m not really a fan of the Nuggets. I can’t tell you why, either, other than I just feel like, No. I like the Clippers and the fact that we have an Oklahoman on that team — Blake Griffin. I’m just proud of the Thunder. I’m proud that Oklahoma has such a good team. The beginning of this year did not look good, and we had a lot of injuries and we’re kind of overcoming that. I think Coach [Scott] Brooks is very smart and is grooming the younger players. I’m pretty impressed with Reggie Jackson — I love him and Ibaka, and I love Perkins. Of course I love Westbrook and Durant, but I gotta give love to the entire team, because I see them coming together, and in the beginning of this season, even though we were losing without our guys, I was so proud of how they were learning and how quickly they were learning. To me, that’s the definition of a team, and I think that’s where Scott is so good. Even though he’s a California boy, I’m glad he’s embraced Oklahoma.

ME: I was wondering, because I know you spend a lot of time in New York, do you follow the Knicks as well?

KRISTIN: The Knicks are another team I have love for, because I’m a New Yorker as well. I live in New York and L.A. both, but I’m always gonna follow the New York Jets, Giants — even though that doesn’t really work for a lot of people — Yankees, Mets and Knicks. I’m always gonna do that — New York is like my second home. But if I had to pick, there’s no competition.

ME: You mentioned being 4-11, which made me wonder: Is Nate Robinson your favorite Thunder player of all-time?

KRISTIN: How tall is he? Isn’t he like 5-10?

ME: No, he’s like 5-8, 5-9.

KRISTIN: Nate Robinson is that short? Didn’t he win the dunk contest? Yeah, I loved him. What happened to him? Where is he now?

ME: He’s on your not-favorite Denver Nuggets now.

KRISTIN: That’s! Right! That is right! I still have love for him. He’s short — well, for a basketball player. But it just goes to show, to me, that it doesn’t matter how tall you are. He has the heart of a basketball player and he’s so good. I’m sad to see him with the Nuggets, but again, you lose some and we’re training these awesome players. Like Jeremy Lamb, he’s a baby, but in five years what’s he going to be doing? I’m excited to see.

ME: So do you feel like this is the year for the Thunder to finally break through and win a title?

KRISTIN: Well, that’s a tough one. Because I’m always going to want to say yes. I think there’s still time to prove ourselves, yes, I do. I think that we have to overcome a lot. I think we have to overcome injury. If we can do that, and we don’t lose anybody, then yeah, I think we have a shot. The Spurs are making me nervous. Of course, any team that LeBron plays on makes me nervous. Two years ago was really painful. And I was on tour and they had said if we make it to the Finals will you sing the National Anthem? And I had said, ‘Hell yeah! I’m in the middle of tour but I’ll move a show.” I might have cried, I’m not going to say. But I have these really high heels, these Oklahoma City Thunder pumps, but I wore them on stage, just to show my love. I think like three of my shoes could fit in Kevin Durant’s shoe.

ME: So let’s get your Christmas Day picks. First game is Washington Wizards at New York Knicks.

KRISTIN: I’m gonna have to go with the Knicks.

ME: Second game is Oklahoma City Thunder at the San Antonio Spurs. No contest here, I’m guessing.

KRISTIN: The Thunder all the way. We’re gonna kick San Antonio’s [butt]. I predict it. Take that, San Antonio [laughs].

ME: Cleveland Cavaliers at the Miami Heat?

KRISTIN: Oh man, you know I’m watching that game. Um, I’m gonna have to go with the Cavs. A) I’m not a fan of the Heat, and B) LeBron’s on the Cavs.

ME: Two more. The Los Angeles Lakers at the Chicago Bulls?

KRISTIN: The Bulls, they’re gonna win. They’re having a good year, I forgot about them.

ME: And then the last one is the Warriors against the other team from Los Angeles, the Clippers.

KRISTIN: I like the Clippers, I like the Clippers. By the way, the first game you mentioned…

ME: Wizards at the Knicks?

KRISTIN: The Wizards are better than I thought they would be. Is that new this year?

ME: They were pretty good last season, made the second round of the Playoffs, but this season they’re better than they’ve been in a long time.

KRISTIN: I know, right? I caught a little bit of their game and I forget who they were playing, but I was like, What the hell is going on here? They’re not bad, not bad. Well, let’s see how close I get, I may have just called all five games.

ME: You did pick the Knicks.

KRISTIN: I know, I know, but I did that out of loyalty.

ME: Understood. Last thing: On Christmas Day will you actually sit at home and watch the games?

KRISTIN: I’ll watch the Thunder because I’m going home to Oklahoma, and everything stops in Oklahoma when the Thunder play, as well it should. So I’ll be watching with my Dad and my cousins and everybody. And I really want to see the Cavs/Heat game.

The NBA on Christmas Day: Talking with Anna Chlumsky

chlumsky

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The holidays are not only a time of being with friends and family, they also bring about one of the marquee moments on the NBA calendar: Christmas Day, when the NBA is giving us five big match-ups to keep you glued to your couch all day long.

To celebrate the upcoming day, we’re talking with a few famous NBA fans about what the NBA and the Christmas Day games mean to them. We’ve already talked to John Leguizamo and Mario Batali, and today we check in with one of our favorite actresses, Anna Chlumsky. You know her from all sort of projects, from the big screen (movies like My Girl to, more recently, In The Loop) to her current role on HBO’s hilarious “Veep.” In January she will make her Broadway debut in “You Can’t Take It With You.” What you may not know is the Chicago native-turned-Brooklyn resident loves the NBA, as well, so it was great to exchange emails with her about the upcoming NBA Christmas Day slate…

ME: You grew up in Chicago but live in Brooklyn. Which team gets the bulk of your allegiance right now?

Christmas2014ANNA: The Nets. Once the ’90s Bulls disbanded with Phil Jackson‘s leaving for L.A., I went through a long mourning period. Fast forward to Barclays being built blocks from my old apartment. The Nets fever just came over me.

ME: Your time in Chicago aligns with when the Bulls were in the midst of their dynasty. Other than Michael Jordan, who was your favorite Bulls player?

ANNA: I had a B.J. Armstrong poster on my wall. And you couldn’t be of Croatian descent in Chicago and not adore Toni Kukoč. He was our hero! Three-pointers for days, man!!

ME: You play a character running a presidential campaign on Veep. Which NBA player would be great at running for president?

ANNA: Hmmm…Bleacher Report likes Tim Duncan‘s poker face, and I’m inclined to agree. Good for debates.

ME: All-Star Weekend in New York City is a few months away. Any don’t-miss stops you have for people visiting town?

ANNA: A Broadway show, the Highline… and Rockefeller Center at this time of year can’t be beat. And be sure to get a pastrami from Katz’s.

ME: What Christmas gift would you give to the Nets?

ANNA: Cookies. I’m taking orders, fellas.

ME: What Christmas Day traditions do you and your family share?

ANNA: We usually spend Christmas in Chicago with my side of the family, so someone’s inevitably in full Bears garb. We’ll watch football and basketball, and we’ve been known to pull out our own board games. My mother has a tradition where she gives my Uncle Kenny the seasonal loud, obnoxious, animatronic toy from Walgreens (think singing snowman), but I think he’s ready to move on and just get gloves again. Ha!

ME: How does the NBA fit into those traditions (will you watch games on Christmas Day)?

ANNA: We sure will. Go Bulls.

ME: What’s your go-to snack/food to eat when watching game on Christmas Day?

ANNA: Tortilla chips are never far away during the games. And at my father’s, (he’s a retired chef), we’ve always got a paté or two he’s steamed up for the holidays.

ME: Last thing: Give us your predictions for the Christmas Day lineup. Washington Wizards at New York Knicks?

ANNA: Wizards

ME: San Antonio Spurs at OKC Thunder?

ANNA: Spurs

ME: Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat?

ANNA: Cleveland

ME: Los Angeles Lakers at Chicago Bulls?

ANNA: Bulls

ME: Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors?

ANNA: Warriors

Andre Miller’s dunk attempt comes up short

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERAndre Miller is one of the craftiest players in the NBA, a guy who gets by almost completely on guile instead of athleticism, on experience instead of ability. Which doesn’t mean he’s not a great athlete — he must be if he’s going to battle other elite basketball players each night. But maybe he’s just good at getting by without having to dunk to score buckets.

Which brings us to last night, where everything lined up perfectly: A shot missed and the rebound bounced forward, just as Miller cut down the lane. The ball flew right into Miller’s path, and he soared through the air for what looked to be a gorgeous put-back dunk.

Instead, we got us a Shaqtin’ moment…


VIDEO: Miller short