Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to everyone, and a huge thank you for reading my blog. I have made some major changes to this blog over the past few weeks (thanks Winter Break!) and will continue to do everything I can to push this blog to be one of the best out there.

So where will the Unpossiblog be headed in 2008? Even I can't say for sure, but it's going to be a fun ride regardless.

Have a safe and happy New Year.


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Lakers wear short shorts against the Celtics

Here is a great clip of the short shorts. The question is why in the world would the Lakers decide to wear these shorts when it is so obvious that they would be a distraction?

Lakers Shorts Aren't Enough To Stop Celtics

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Last night the Boston Celtics, the team often criticized for not beating anyone of note, defeated the Los Angeles Lakers rather easily. It was one of the most anticipated games of the young season, with the powerhouse Celtics getting one of their first major road tests against their old rivals from LA.

The night had so many storylines running through it: the young Lakers team trying to live up to the ghosts of the past, Phil Jackson being on the brink of passing Red Auerbach in the regular season win column, the Celtics Big 3 going out on their first major road trip, even Paul Pierce heading home to Inglewood. All signs pointed to this being a game that should not be missed. Personally, I rushed from a family holiday dinner in order to catch the game, with high hopes that I would be witnessing the renewal of the greatest rivalry in NBA history.

Unfortunately, the game itself did not live up to the hype. The Lakers came out looking to invoke the 1980's by wearing throwback uniforms-short shorts included-but they were clearly a distraction for LA. While the Celtic defense was solid as usual, the Lakers compounded their problems by having an off shooting night. Shot after shot rattled in and out of the basket, leaving many fans at Staples Center stunned. The game itself really wasn't much of a competition, as the Celtics were clearly in control for the majority of the game and the Lakers never found their rhythm.

The referees also made themselves a negative factor in the game. An unusual number of calls on both sides were clearly incorrect, leaving many fans frustrated. Where I was watching the game I even heard a few references to the now-infamous Tim Donaghy, who was caught betting on games that he officiated. The NBA has done a good job of downplaying the Donaghy scandal, but games as poorly officiated as this one won't help their cause.

While this chapter of the Lakers vs. Celtics rivalry didn't live up to the hype, we did learn something very important: The Boston Celtics are a mentally tough team on the road as well as at home.

There were plenty of factors that could have derailed Boston, such as playing in a back to back coming off a tough win over Utah, Red's record being on the line, all the hype from playing the Lakers, and of course the short shorts. However, the Celtics weren't fazed by any of it. In fact, Kevin Garnett had one of his best games as a Celtic, and the team calmly and efficiently took care of business. That's a trait that championship teams have to have, and is a very good sign for Celtics fans.

We didn't get the game that we were hoping for, but the endless story that is the NBA rolls on regardless. And really, that's the great thing about the NBA right now. Even when one game lets you down, there is always another compelling match up around the corner that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

Quote of the night:

"...and of course Kevin McHale, what a great job he's doing for the Minnesota Timberwolves....the last place team in the league." - Joel Myers, Lakers play-by-play announcer

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Kurt Rambis Fouled By McHale

The foul heard 'round the world...

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Lakers vs. Celtics: Rivalry Renewed

Here at the Unpossiblog we value the storylines that make the NBA turn, and there is no greater tale than the continuing rivalry between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics.

During the 1960's the Celtics dominated with Hall of Famers like Bill Russell and Bob Cousy leading the way, beating the Lakers in the NBA Finals 6 times. The intense rivalry between the two teams would be capped by an unlikely NBA Championship for the aging Celtics in 1969, when they pulled off a game 7 victory over a Lakers squad loaded with stars like Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, and Elgin Baylor.

The rivalry would continue in the 1980's with the emergence of Ervin "Magic" Johnson and Larry Bird as the stars of the NBA. The two men would use their fierce competitive drive to bring the NBA to new heights.

The Lakers had "Showtime", and were the most exciting team in the league with players like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, Byron Scott, and Michael Cooper running alongside Magic. In contrast, the Celtics were seen as a hard working, gritty team with players like Robert Parish, Kevin McHale, and Dennis Johnson.

The contrast in styles only helped to fuel the rivalry, re-igniting the passions of fans on both sides. Boston fans chanted "Beat LA" at every opportune moment, while LA fans responded with their chants of "Boston Sucks". The two sides created a plethora of legendary moments, including Magic Johnson's game winning baby hook, McHale's foul on Kurt Rambis, and the infamous "Heat Game" in the Boston Garden.

In total, the Celtics and Lakers met in the NBA Finals 3 times during the 1980's, with the Lakers walking away with 2 victories to the Celtic's 1. Following the retirement of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird in the early 90's the rivalry went into hibernation, waiting for a time when the Lakers and Celtics would both be strong enough to re-ignite the competition between the two clubs.

That time is now. Thanks to the arrival of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to play alongside Paul Pierce, the Celtics are looking like the best team in the Eastern Conference. On the left coast, the continued emergence of Andrew Bynum has finally given Kobe Bryant enough help to make some real noise for the first time in the post-Shaquille O'Neal era. While the Lakers aren't currently seen as title contenders they are performing well enough to make the other powers in the league stop and take notice.

On Sunday, December 30th the Celtics will meet the Lakers in LA on part of their first major road trip out west. There is a lot riding on the game for both teams. Throughout the young season the Celtics have been plagued by claims that their 24-3 record has been padded by weak opponents, with many claiming that they couldn't be seen as a legitimate title contender until they show that they can win against the teams in the stronger Western Conference. Their second meeting with the now red-hot Lakers gives them an opportunity to prove to the rest of the league that they are for real.

The Lakers, on the other hand, are riding a 4 game winning streak, including Friday night's big win over one of last season's Western Conference Finalists, the Utah Jazz. The Lakers also have a little bit of revenge on their mind after losing 107-94 when the two clubs met in Boston on November 23rd.

Of course, we can't forget about the eerie fact that Lakers coach Phil Jackson is on the verge of breaking the regular season win record of legendary Celtics coach Red Auerbach. A win over Boston Sunday night would give Jackson the lead. Would fate allow it to happen any other way?
While the regular season win record isn't an NBA championship there is no doubt that it will give both sides a little something extra to play for. If that translates to anything close to the level of competition these two sides have displayed in the past fans league-wide will be in for a real treat.

For the fans of both the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers the game will provide a nostalgic return to the glory days of the NBA. Two teams destined to be linked together throughout history will add another chapter to their story Sunday night. There is no doubt that the ghosts of the past will be in attendance to watch a rivalry renewed.

Update: The Celtics just defeated the Jazz in Utah 104-98. They now have to fly to LA for the second game of the back to back against the Lakers. This game will really be a great test of the Celtics mental and physical endurance.

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Friday, December 28, 2007

The Best Dunkers In The NBA

So here I am sitting in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland waiting for the fireworks display to start. It's colder than what any Californian like myself should be expected to endure, and I need something to do to pass the time and warm up my hands.

So why not make a list of the 6 guys I want to see in this year's dunk contest? After all, the dunk has become an art form. From Dr. J to the modern day, the dunk has evolved and changed over the years. The current crop of NBA high flyers has the benefit of the wisdom of the ages behind them, and I can only imagine where they are going to take the dunk next.

So politics and posturing aside, which 6 guys could make history if they were in this year's contest?

1. Dwight Howard: Dwight was robbed last year when the judges didn't see the sticker he put on the backboard. Rumor has it he wants permission to raise the rim to 12 feet if he gets in the contest this year.

2. Vince Carter: VC gave us one of the best dunk contest performances ever a few years ago. He is getting a little older, but would you want to count out the guy who jumped OVER 7'2" Frederic Weis? Me either.

3. LeBron James: Remember, I said all politics aside for this post. LeBron won't really enter, but with his mix of athleticism and power he could put on a real show.

4. Josh Smith: Smith busted out a perfect Dominique Wilkins tribute dunk in Denver a few seasons ago, taking the creativity of the contest to a whole new level in the process. He would be in without question.

5. Gerald Green: last year's champ is an automatic entry. Did you know that he is missing half of his middle finger on his right (shooting) hand?

6. Andre Iguodala: Iggy had perhaps the most innovative dunk of the past few years when he got the alley oop pass from Allen Iverson off the backside of the backboard. He was robbed by little Nate Robinson that year and deserves a chance to redeem himself.

So there it is. Dwight, VC, LeBron, J-Smoove, Green, and Iggy. Would the dunk contest ever be the same again? Pick a winner...I dare you.
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Lakers vs. Jazz: Derek Fisher, Lamar Odom

Greetings from the happiest (and most crowded) place on earth. Every
night there are fascinating storylines in the NBA, and tonight is no

Derek Fisher was released from his contract with the Jazz over the
summer so that he could move to a city with better medical care for
his cancer-stricken daughter. Many Jazz fans were not pleased that
Fisher chose to sign with the rival LA Lakers, and let him hear it the
last time the Lakers played in Utah.

Fans league-wide took offense at the treatment Fisher received in Utah
because of the circumstances that caused him to leave the team. Will
Lakers fans respond in kind tonight?

Lamar Odom is another player who has been dealing with his share of
personal tragedy. Odom lost his infant son two summers ago, and
spent this past off season recovering from shoulder surgery. The
versatile star has yet to look like himself this season, and could
find himself out of LA before the trade deadline if he can't turn
things around soon.

There is a lot riding on this match up tonight, and it should be
interesting to watch these stories unfold.

Back with more soon...

Quick Update

I am taking the wife to Disneyland today, but that doesn't mean that I won't make a quick post before I go. Heck, I may even send in a few quick ones from the happiest place on never know how long you are going to be waiting in line there.

By the way, if you are a big Disney person like me, you have to check out this site.

ESPN has a great story up about Jameer Nelson and how he is dealing with his father's death. Really tragic stuff.

At this point KG is the leading vote-getter for the upcoming All Star game, which is great to see. The guy deserves all the accolades he can get.

I will be back with more later. Oh, and Kurt from Forum Blue and Gold has control of the True Hoop Blog at ESPN today. Make sure you check that out.

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Kevin Garnett Boston Red Sox First Pitch

Compare the KG that you saw in the video link I posted below to the one you see here in Boston...

Kevin Garnett: Tears of Celtic Pride

It wasn't all that long ago that Kevin Garnett made headlines for his 2005 interview with John Thompson. Garnett's Timberwolves had been losing games badly, and Thompson wanted to get KG's feelings about playing on a team with no shot at winning a title.

No, Garnett didn't go on a profanity-laden rant, or demand to be traded, or cut down his teammates like many superstar athletes are prone to doing when things aren't going their way. Instead, Kevin Garnett cried.

Keep in mind that the previous season Garnett had been named the NBA's Most Valuable Player, and had come within a Sam Cassell injury of going all the way to the NBA Finals. He is one of greatest players of all time, and has the respect and admiration of millions. Despite all of this success, on a nationally televised interview, Kevin Garnett cried.

The Timberwolves had started falling apart, and slipping back into mediocrity after coming so close to the title just one season earlier was too much for Kevin to take. His interview with John Thompson gave him an opportunity to let everyone know what he was really feeling. As the conversation went on Thompson became less and less of a reporter and more of a father figure, talking the passionate star through what would become the interview that defined him not only as a player but as a person as well.

Garnett, in an attempt to explain his emotions, told John Thompson that "...these are tears of pain". "Tears of pride, too.", Thompson added with his baritone, grandfatherly voice.

Flash forward to present day. Garnett's stats are down across the board. He averages 4 less minutes per game. He is not the first and only option on offense. And with his new club, the Celtics, sitting at 23 wins and just 3 losses, Kevin Garnett can't stop smiling.

Boston is poised to make a serious run at an NBA Championship this season, with their Big 3 of Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen leading the way. Yes, that's more talent playing alongside KG than he ever had in Minnesota, but that's not the secret to the Celtics success. In fact, talent has very little to do with it. Instead, it's pride that is fueling Boston these days. Pride that comes from having a leader so committed to winning that losing brings him to tears.

Every team in the NBA has talent. Sure, some have more than others, but the league is filled with professional athletes who have the ability to play the game of basketball at incredibly high levels. But to find success in the NBA, to win a championship, it takes something more than just talent.

What makes them truly special is that desire, drive, passion, whatever you want to call it. Sometimes one player's passion is too strong, too much for a team to take, and everything falls apart. But every once in awhile, the right mix comes along, and that passion spreads like wildfire. Mediocre players rise up to be part of something bigger, confidence grows, and individual talents blend seamlessly into the greater whole.

Jordan had that passion, and through him so did the Bulls. Magic Johnson had it, and through him so did the Lakers. Kevin Garnett has it, and through him so do the Celtics.

The season is far from over, but the Celtics look poised to make a serious run at an NBA championship. Kevin Garnett, despite his slipping numbers, is considered one of the front runners to win the league MVP award. Not that it matters to him.

During that classic interview John Thompson reminded Kevin of all his personal achievements and accolades, as though they would cheer up the somber star. In a shaking, raspy voice Garnett responded, "...It ain't about me, it's about us." Finally, he has a team that believes it, a team to be proud of.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

NBA Trade Deadline Approaching

Only Pat Riley knows where Jason Williams will be going. (credit

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. We saw some great games, with the Cavs prevailing over the Heat, the Lakers over the Suns, and the Blazers winning their 11th(!) in a row by beating Seattle. The next time each of these teams play each other they could look very different, as the Cavs, Lakers, and Heat are involved in just about all the trade stories out there.

There is no question that the trade rumors in the NBA are really starting to heat up. Within the last few days names like Jason Williams, Ben Wallace, Pau Gasol, Jason Kidd, Kobe Bryant, Andre Miller, Mike Miller, and Larry Hughes have surfaced (or re-surfaced) as players that could potentially be on the move. That's a lot of big names, and the list is going to continue to grow as we get closer and closer to the February trade deadline.

Unfortunately, a lot of the rumors are just that...rumors. Most start off as someone coming up with an idea and posting it somewhere online, or on a sports radio show, or some other public forum. From there the information gets passed along from one source to another, and before you know it you have a major trade rumor that major media sources are talking about ad nauseum.

And what's wrong with that? After all, trades are fun. Sports radio stations will spend hours upon hours dissecting trades, newspapers will write about them, fans will be abuzz waiting for the official word that their team just landed some extra help.

The problem is that the forgotten piece to the puzzle is the players themselves. What effect do trade rumors have on the players? The standard response from NBA players when their name comes up in a trade rumor goes something like this: "I love it in (insert city here). I don't ever want to leave. At the same time though, this is a business, and if something happens, it happens."

It's a very safe and smart response, after all. The player can't risk alienating teammates and fans by saying that he wants to leave, nor can he lower his trade value to his own team by saying that he would refuse to go. But is this what they really think?

Miami Heat guard Jason Williams, never one hold back, colorfully shed some light on the thoughts of the player when their name comes up in a trade.

"The thing about it is how it affects your family... We're like some high-paid prostitutes anyway in this league," he said. "They just use and get rid of us whenever they want."

That certainly doesn't sound like a guy who just sees the game as a business with no emotional attachment. And he brings up a great point: most of these guys have families. Every time they are traded their family is uprooted and moved to a new city. Every time a trade rumor comes up their kids have to go to school knowing that every day they could be seeing their classmates for the last time. The only alternative is for the player to move to his new destination and leave his family behind, which means they have to spend 6 months out of the year away from their wives and children. Neither option is very appealing.

Yes, there are millions of people in the country who have it much rougher than NBA players do. For example, men and women in the armed forces go a lot longer without seeing their families, yet somehow they manage to get by.

Still, it's a bit unsettling that so many people today look at the approaching trade deadline as a positive thing, when so many players see it in such a negative light. In some situations, like Jason Williams, the player doesn't even feel like a part of their team. They are just a contract to be moved when the right deal comes along. Is that how a team wants its starting point guard to feel?

So while fans scream and cry for their least favorite player to be shipped out, don't forget that these players are human beings. Alonzo Mourning showed us that even though these guys can do super-human things on the court, they are still just as vulnerable as everyone else.

And for those fans aching for their team to improve, sometimes having the assurance that their jobs are secure and they won't be traded can produce better players and a better team than a trade can. Just look at the Chicago Bulls and what the Kobe rumors did to them. With just about every Bulls player involved in the deal at some point, the Bulls couldn't focus and have started the season looking like one of the leagues biggest disappointments. A big part of this game is chemistry. Everyone sees what Boston did and thinks "Why not us?", but not every team is going to land a KG-type player at the deadline. Even fewer teams will actually have the chemistry that Boston has shown after making a major trade.

So, while to the fans the grass is always greener on the other side, try not to be too disappointed if your favorite team stands pat this season. Sometimes the best move for all parties involved (fans included) is no move at all.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Kobe Beats the Suns at the Buzzer

Kobe and Lakers were able to overcome the Phoenix Suns tonight at Staples Center, bringing back memories of this classic finish from the 2006 playoffs.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Lineup: Heat vs. Cavs, Lakers vs. Suns, Sonics vs. Blazers

Merry Christmas to everyone out there. I hope you all are enjoying the holidays and watching the classic "Christmas Vacation" at least once.

Right now the NBA's Christmas Day offering is looking a little weak. When the schedule makers were creating the match ups during the offseason I am sure that they were drooling with the thought of seeing LeBron vs. Wade, Kobe vs. Nash, and Durant vs. Oden.

Thanks to the Heat and Cavs struggling and Greg Oden being out for the season the Lakers vs. Suns game is the only one that is really generating any excitement. And really, the Mike D'Antoni vs. Phil Jackson angle is fueling most of the Lakers vs. Suns anticipation.

I am sure that all teams involved will bring their best effort, knowing that the national spotlight will be on them. Still, why couldn't we see another truly exciting rivalry like Mavs vs. Warriors? Or why not go old school and give us LA vs. Boston?

Maybe next year. Merry Christmas, check back tomorrow for more updates. And make sure to subscribe to the Unpossiblog using the link below!

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Scott Skiles Assist Machine

Here's a nice little tribute to the former Bulls coach. 30 assists in one game...still unbelievable.

Scott Skiles Fired Right Before Christmas

The Grich
Merry Christmas, Scott Skiles. The Chicago Bulls gave Coach Skiles the proverbial lump of coal in his stocking this year by relieving him of his coaching duties. While it's true that the Bulls were playing horrible basketball, I would think that the team could have waited a few more days before letting him go, if only to make Christmas a little brighter for the Skiles household. With their current record though it's no surprise that the Bulls management would be in a grinchy mood this holiday season.

It seemed that the Bulls were starting to tune out their coach, so this was a move that had to be made. Although he did soften his image a little bit this season by allowing Ben Wallace to wear his headband, Coach Skiles was still seen as a no-nonsense disciplinarian. With many coaches around the league now employing a softer, more player-friendly coaching style it's easy to see why the Bulls would start to tune him out. That being said, Skiles was a good coach and will likely end up at the helm of another franchise next season.

Maybe this will be the wake up call that the Bulls need to turn things around. The next step is to start shaking up the roster, and with the trade deadline just around the corner the Bulls have a lot to prove in a short amount of time.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Kidd To LA, Mike Miller To Miami, Andre Miller to Cleveland?

Happy Holidays everyone. With so few games going on over the next few days it appears that most GMs are taking this opportunity to work the phones. They are hoping to get an early Christmas present for their respective teams in the form of some more talent.

First off, the Lakers are reportedly still in the hunt for Jason Kidd. Will an offer of Kwame Brown, Jordan Farmar, Vlad Radmonovic, and a first round pick be enough? A similar package nearly got the deal done last year at the trade deadline, until Nets GM Rod Thorn demanded Andrew Bynum at the last minute.

According to Peter Vescey, both the Mavs and Cavs would also be interested in Kidd, although no one may be able to match the Nuggets offer should they decide to get in on the fun. And what happens to Mr. Triple Double's numbers if he is traded?

The Cavs aren't solely setting their sights on Kidd though. They need to get some help for LeBron James in the worst way, and are considering making a run at former Cavs star Andre Miller. The general consensus is that the Cavs don't have much to offer on the trade market, but then again would it really take much to pry Miller away from Philadelphia?

Of course you can't have a piece about trade news without Miami getting involved. The Heat are apparently looking to put a shooter alongside Dwyane Wade, and have an eye for the Grizzlies' Mike Miller. They may look to get Stromile Swift involved in a deal as well in order to shore up their much weakened front line following Zo Mourning's unfortunate injury.

With a decent amount of free agents on the market this off season, the February trade deadline should see a flurry of activity as some teams look to clear cap space while others try to land a piece that will help them this season. The current trade chatter is just the beginning...

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Raja Bell Flop On Ginobili

Here is a great example of a flop. Two of the best (worst?) floppers in the league going at each other. Raja "wins" this round...

Flopping In The NBA

Raja Bell Flopping The flop has become a far too common occurence

The flop. It's perhaps the most controversial aspect of today's NBA game. Basically, flopping is when a player exaggerates impact and falls to the ground, hoping to draw a foul. There are players who specialize in offensive flopping, such as Dwyane Wade, and players who are primarily defensive floppers, like Anderson Varejao. It's a touchy subject matter, since on one hand the flopper is trying to fool the official, which one could interpret as cheating or unsportsmanlike. On the other hand though, in the NBA it is incredibly effective, which only encourages players to continue doing it.

Flopping is a subject that I have wanted to cover for a long time, as it is my major gripe with the NBA today. I understand that the NBA features the greatest athletes on the planet; who exhibit speed, strength, and athleticism at levels that were previously thought to be unattainable. Due to this the game is incredibly tough to officiate. The availability of instant replay and multiple camera angles gives the viewer at home an advantage over the officials on the court, leaving many fans quick to criticize the calls. Hey, it's not easy being a ref.

That said, the ultimate success of flopping still has to be seen as a dark spot on the game of professional basketball and the officiating. The fact that these incredible athletes are reduced to trying to fool the officials rather than use their talents is reprehensible. Watch any game today and you will see just as many defenders try to draw a charge as you will see them actually challenge a shot.

What happened to the days of tough nosed defense? The powers that be wanted to open up the game and make it more action packed, which is understandable. Highlight reel dunks and high scoring games equals ratings. But did we really have to, for lack of a better term, wussify the game at the same time?

Think about this: go out to a pick up game and try flopping the next time a guy backs you down. Or drive to the basket and throw yourself into the nearest defender. More often than not you will be laughed off the court.

It's not hard to see that the flopping in the NBA has gotten out of hand. So why allow it to continue? If the referees see a player clearly flop, why not make it a technical foul? Giving the opposing team a point would certainly be a strong deterrent to the many floppers currently in the league.

Don't get me wrong, I love the NBA and professional basketball in general. I wouldn't spend as much time blogging about it if I didn't. But flopping needs to go. Let's let the athletes decide the game with their skills, not their acting abilities.

Till next time...

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Top 10 All Star dunk contest dunks

I'm spending the day driving out to California to visit with family for the holidays. I will have some new stuff tomorrow, for now here are some classic dunks courtesy of NBA TV to hold you over.

Oh, and did anyone catch the Nuggets and the Rockets last night? It was worth staying up late to watch that double overtime classic.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Alonzo Mourning NBA Finals Speech

It looks like we may indeed have seen Alonzo Mourning's final NBA performance last night. The surgery required to repair his patellar tendon will take 6-8 months to heal. I think that this interview really sums up what Zo was all about late in his career. Cheers to one of the greats.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

No Mo' Zo?, Pistons Prevail Over Celtics

*Alonzo Mourning's career may be over. The 37 year-old center tore his patellar tendon in tonight's game against the Hawks, and it's possible that he won't be able to return this season. Mourning has already said that this season would be his last.

It was a sad scene in Miami, as Mourning limped from the court, refusing to ride off on a stretcher for what could be his final exit from an NBA game. There is still a possibility that he may be able to get back before the end of season, but we won't know for sure until tomorrow.

*20-3. The Celtics lost a nail-bitter to the Pistons tonight, dropping their record and adding a tiny crack in their seemingly impenetrable green armor. It was an intense, exciting game, and it looks like the Eastern conference playoffs may be worth watching this year. At the very least it's nice to know that somebody out there can contend with the Celtics.

* Dwyane Wade went to the line 22 times against the Hawks tonight, but it was still Atlanta walking out with the victory. Wow, it looks like D-Wade is finally back. But with Shaq sinking, no real option at point guard, and now no Zo, is Wade enough to get the Heat to the playoffs? Look for them to be very active at the trade deadline, hoping that someone will take Jason William's expiring contract and Dorrell Wright in exchange for an impact player.

Miami sold its soul (or at least its future) when they signed Shaq to his enormous contract. They would get a few years out of him, but after that a broken down Diesel would be destroying their flexibility for years to come. That championship banner was worth it, but they are paying the price now. The question is will they be able to get enough pieces to convince Wade to stick around when he is a free agent in a few years?

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Kobe Fuels Bulls Fire, Nets Lose....Again

Bill Simmons' yearly trade value piece hit the net today, and as usual it's a great read. Simmons is one of the writers that I try to make a point to read whenever possibly, and this is usually one of his best columns every year, right up there with his annual NBA Draft piece.

Michael Jordan stepped onto the court and practiced with the Bobcats earlier today. He swears his isn't planning another comeback, but fans can still dream. I can't imagine what the Bobcat's youngsters must have felt like playing with the guy generally accepted as the GOAT. On one hand, it's Michael Jordan schooling you. On the other hand, it's a 44 year-old schooling you...

Tonight's Sacramento-New Jersey game had a few interesting story lines in it. First off, the Nets are really in a funk. They are struggling so much that coach Lawrence Frank inserted Sean Williams and Josh Boone into the starting lineup. Williams responded with 8 (!) blocks and will likely be scooped off of waiver wires by tomorrow morning at the latest...I certainly grabbed him in as many leagues as I could.

New Jersey eventually fell to the lowly Kings 106-101. With every loss you have to imagine that the Nets are getting closer and closer to giving in and dealing Kidd and getting what they can for him now. The problem is that they just gave Vince Carter a ton of money, and in order to truly rebuild they would need to deal both VC and Kidd for young talent, expirings, and picks. Not an easy task, especially when GM Rod Thorn is notorious for being cautious when it comes to trade talks.

Much of the first quarter of the Nets TV feed was filled with a rowdy New Jersey fan screaming at Kings forward Ron Artest. On one hand, hearing "Artest! You suck!" for fifteen minutes was annoying, but on the other hand it's not like the Nets themselves have been doing much to keep their fans occupied. Something was bound to happen sooner or later.

Bulls fans, on the other hand, mustered up a few very weak "Beat LA" chants as they watched their Forgetta-Bulls lose to the Lakers. During training camp most were questioning which team Kobe would be playing for when these two sides met up, but now it's looking less and less likely that Kobe will be traded following his public affirmation that he is happy as a Laker. It seems the Lakers feed off the drama though, so Phil Jackson and Bryant himself made sure to keep the story alive with some interesting comments just prior to tipoff.

Oh, and before I go, a quick memo to the Bull's arena staff: the Ben Wallace "Big Ben" gong sound effect needs to go. Playing it when Ben grabs a rebound is one thing, but last night Wallace didn't grab a single rebound until the 3rd quarter. At that point it's more of a desperate plea for the real Ben Wallace to return than anything else.


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Monday, December 17, 2007

All-Access: Celtics Big Three Debut in Season Opener

The Celtics have looked downright monstrous this season. Here is where it all started...

Can Anyone Stop The Boston Celtics?

The sky is the limit for Paul Pierce and the Celtics

The Celtics are on a real tear right now and are currently the first team to reach 20 wins. Right now they are beating opponents by a ridiculous average of just over 14 points per game. They have looked flat-out dominant from day one, playing like a team that has been together for years instead of months. Expectations have been high for the Celtics and their big three of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce from the day KG was traded to Boston. Few would have predicted this much success so soon though.

Most experts agreed that if one of the big 3 went down Boston would be in real trouble. Beyond Garnett, Allen, and Pierce their just wasn’t a whole lot else on the Celtics roster. As such, it was going to take a gargantuan effort from the aging trio in order to make any real noise. In the end, all those minutes would inevitably add up, the wheels would fall off, and the Celtics would fall short of their potential. At least, that’s what we thought.

The C’s have played their past two games without shooter extraordinaire Ray Allen who is out with an ankle injury. Somehow, they haven’t looked any less dominant. So how are they doing it?

The schedule can’t be overlooked, as they have had a home-heavy schedule loaded with weak opponents for them to feast on. Beyond that though, the Celtics role players are really stepping up and gelling. With Pierce, KG, and Allen attracting much of the attention of the opposition’s defense, guys are getting (and knocking down) the open looks. Case in point: Rajon Rondo, whose biggest question mark in his game was his jump shot, is shooting 53% for the season so far.

But the biggest impact that the role players are making is on the defensive side of the ball. The Celtics are giving up just 86.5 points per game, nearly 5 points less than the next-most stingy team in the league, the Detroit Pistons. Defense requires a mental commitment from every member of the team, and it’s clear that the role players have bought in to a defense-first philosophy. Check out what KG had to say about defense: "We do so many defensive drills in practice, I come home and I'm putting the press on my woman, denying her the ball. Y'all are laughing, but it's sad. I go home and deny the wing." Possibly the best KG quote ever.

So does all this mean smooth sailing all the way to the title for Bean Town? Far from it. The Celtics still have to prove that they can hang with the top teams in the league. Until they blow out Phoenix, Dallas, San Antonio, and the rest they will have question marks hanging over their heads. We should get a great idea of how good they can be when they take on the Pistons Wednesday night.

We also have to keep in mind that we are only a quarter of the way through a brutal 82 game season. Battling injuries and peaking at the right time is an art that only San Antonio seems to have mastered, and it clearly can make a big difference in the playoffs. Just look at last season’s fast starting Dallas Mavericks, who were infamously bounced in the first round by the Warriors.

There is no question that the Celtics have been the best team in the league thus far, but only time will tell if they can live up to the expectations that are growing every day.


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Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Unpossiblog Is Back!

Spread the word: the Unpossiblog is back!

To anyone still reading this blog, the Unpossiblog is back. Yes, I am still writing my fantasy blog for Currently NBA Fantasy Games is using my blogs to fill their weekend content, and that should continue during the entire season. Obviously I want my NBA blog to be as successful as possible, so if you would like to read my fantasy basketball thoughts that is the place to go.

However, I recently stumbled upon a realization. I have much more to say about the NBA then just what's going on in the fantasy world. I sat down to write a blog a few weeks ago about the fantasy version of the Kobe vs. LeBron debate that was raging at the time. Inspiration found me and instead I wrote a blog about the futility of the entire argument, completely neglecting the fantasy implications.

It turned out to be a great blog that a lot of people enjoyed. I did get a very kind reminder from the head honcho at NBA Fantasy Games though that my topic was fantasy basketball, and I needed to stick to it. Of course he was absolutely right.

So here we are today, with a fantasy basketball blog that is gaining momentum on, but no where to express all my other thoughts about professional basketball. That's where the Unpossiblog comes in. I am shifting the focus of this blog away from fantasy basketball and to professional basketball in general.

And not only is the Unpossiblog back, but it's back with a vengeance. I am going to be adding content to the blog EVERY DAY. Yeah, it's not going to be an easy task. I do still have a day job, after all. But if I want to make this blog successful, and I do, it's something that needs to happen.

So, to sum it all up: The Unpossiblog is back, with a little bit of a different format. Fantasy freaks can check out my fantasy blog at Fantasy Games.

Comments are always welcome. Spread the word.


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Saturday, December 15, 2007

NBA TV Top 10: December 14th

Some pretty sick plays from last night...gotta love that Andrew Bynum monster dunk!