Massive Twitter Reaction For Kentucky Final Four Victory

Leave a comment

aaron

Media pundits argue all of the time about which athletes contain the “clutch gene.”

Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Ray Allen, Tom Brady, John Elway rank among the greats in the respective sports. Even players like Tim Tebow have garnered acclaim for playing big in the clutch moments.

Kentucky Wildcats guard Aaron Harrison has proven himself to be a major “clutch” player with ice in his veins.

For three games in-a-row heading into the NCAA National Championship game, he has hit the go-ahead three-point shot to win. Three straight game winners. THREE. How clutch is that?

After having hit last-second shots to advance from the Sweet 16 to the Elite 8 and again to the Final Four, Wildcats’ fans (and college basketball fans in general) were on the edge of their seats as the final seconds ticked off the clock as the game was the Wisconsin Badgers to lose—up 73-71. The ball made its way into Aaron Harrison’s hands, and the rest is history.

Pages: 1 2 3

NBA Acknowledges Another Swallowed Whistle

Leave a comment

noncallNEW YORK — The NBA acknowledged another mistake by its referees Sunday, saying a 3-shot foul should have been called at the end of last night’s Pelicans-Mavericks game.

“After reviewing postgame video, we have determined a foul should have been called on Dallas’ Monta Ellis for illegal contact on the arms of New Orleans’ Austin Rivers while Rivers was attempting a three-point field goal. Rivers should have been awarded three free throws with 0.6 left on the clock,” NBA vice president Rod Thorn said in a statement.

The guilty parties in this whistle-swallowing fiasco were Eric Dalen, Tony Brothers and John Goble,

To view the play, click on this link.

Rivers pleaded for a foul call as the referees were leaving the court, and coach Monty Williams said video showed Ellis had his arm across both of Rivers’ arms.

The play happened just a few feet away from Brothers, but it appeared he did not have a clear angle to see the obvious foul.

“That’s embarrassing,” said Williams. “That’s not right. A no-call in a game like that when Dirk (Nowitzki) gets the same call in the first half and they shot 45 free throws? Certainly, we’re not going to blame the game on the referees.”

 

Bernucca: Is LeBron Better than Jordan? Read This Before Answering

1 Comment

Remember that streak of games hot-shooting LeBron James put together last February?LeBron James

Well, he’s doing it again. Much earlier in the season. And for a longer stretch.

And if he keeps it up, it will become historic. Because since the ABA-NBA merger, no wing player or point guard has scored this much while shooting this well. Not Dr. J. Not even Michael Jordan.

Yes, really.

Through the first month of the season, James is third in the league in scoring at 26.2 points per game and second in field-goal percentage at .598.

“I’m in a very, very comfortable position right now with my game,” James said.

Pages: 1 2

Bernucca: No extensions will be best thing for Bledsoe, Vasquez

2 Comments

Ryan McDonough GM SunsWhen the deadline for contract extensions came and went Thursday night, point guards Eric Bledsoe and Greivis Vasquez didn’t get paid.

But don’t shed any tears for them. Because when the summer rolls around, they will get their money. And it might be GMs Ryan McDonough of Phoenix and Pete D’Alessandro of Sacramento who are crying.

As reluctant as McDonough and D’Alessandro may have been to pony up for point guards with plenty to prove, they should have done so. Both GMs are relatively young, so they may not remember this commercial from the early 1980s that came with good advice.

You can pay me now, or you can pay me later.

Both GMs chose to potentially pay their players later, and it may cost them millions, given the numbers Bledsoe and Vasquez have a chance to put up this season as they enter a fallow free agent market.

Yes, there’s plenty of big names headed to free agency next summer – Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Paul Pierce, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng, Danny Granger, Chris Bosh, Pau Gasol and Zach Randolph, just to name a few.

Notice anything about the guys on that list?

None are point guards.

Here are the best veteran free agent point guards on the market next summer: Mario Chalmers, Devin Harris, Ramon Sessions, Kirk Hinrich, Rodney Stuckey, Steve Blake, Beno Udrih, Luke Ridnour and Kyle Lowry. In addition, Jameer Nelson could be available if Orlando (or another team) buys out his $2 million guarantee for 2014-15. All capable players – with a combined two All-Star berths among them.

Bledsoe turns just 24 next summer and Vasquez will be 27. Even as restricted free agents with shorter resumes, they immediately go to the top of that list.

The Suns snared Bledsoe in the summer, when the Clippers realized they wouldn’t be able to pay him and decided Phoenix Suns vs Maccabi Haifato get something for him now rather than later. Apparently, Clippers GM Gary Sacks has seen the commercial. McDonough smartly saw him as an ideal piece to his rebuilding project in the Valley, a young player with a high ceiling.

But Bledsoe had never been a starter, and McDonough was understandably apprehensive about giving him starter’s money. The GM also had the more established Goran Dragic’s three remaining years as an insurance policy, so he decided not to pull the trigger on a deal that probably would have cost him anywhere from $32 million to $40 million over four years.

Less than 24 hours later, Bledsoe began his salary drive by scoring Phoenix’s final 14 points vs. Utah, including the game-winning 3-pointer in the final second.

The Kings also acquired Vasquez in the summer as part of the sign-and-trade deal that sent Tyreke Evans to New Orleans. Last season – his first as a starter – Vasquez averaged 13.9 points and 9.0 assists. The only point guard with better numbers in both categories was a guy named Chris Paul.

But D’Alessandro had to drop $62 million to extend DeMarcus Cousins, whom new owner Vivek Ranadive anointed as a cornerstone. He also had an insurance policy in point guard Isaiah Thomas and chose not to extend Vasquez, probably at around $10 million per year.

Both GMs can match any offer Bledsoe and Vasquez get from other teams next summer. And there are going to be offers, because plenty of teams need point guards.

Like Toronto, which can let Lowry walk and put some of its young assets in a sign-and-trade.

Or Milwaukee, where Brandon Knight is not the long-term guy. The Bucks can get down to about $48 million if they don’t make a qualifying offer to the immortal Ekpe Udoh.

Or Orlando, which can get to about $34 million by buying out Nelson, declining some options and deciding if they are serious about making Victor Oladipo a point guard.

Want better landing spots? How about Miami, where Norris Cole is the only player on the books right now. The Heat could let Chris Bosh walk and target Bledsoe.

Or New York, where Raymond Felton really isn’t the answer. The Knicks don’t have any room, but that has never Steve Nashstopped them before.

Or Los Angeles, where Steve Nash could be moved into a backup mentor role in the last year of his deal while giving the reins to Vasquez or Bledsoe.

If Bledsoe gets a big offer next summer, McDonough can easily match because he could have as much as $25 million in cap room. But D’Alessandro can only get his payroll down to about $57 million – and that doesn’t factor in Thomas, who will be unrestricted.

In the NBA’s new financial age, teams are more reluctant to commit to long-term deals of any value because of the punitive repeater tax – which is exactly why McDonough should have signed Bledsoe and D’Alessandro should have signed Vasquez.

It’s hard to imagine either player costing less next summer.

TRIVIA: Who is the only active NBA player with championship rings from different teams? Answer below.

Pages: 1 2

Five Things to Watch: New Orleans Pelicans

Leave a comment

Jrue HolidayA lot can change in just under five months. Just ask the basketball fans of New Orleans. They really needed change after what went on last season.

The 2012-2013 season was dark and gloomy for NOLA hoops. The team finished 14th in the Western Conference at 27-55, with an 11-30 road record that was also 14th in the conference. The team had trouble scoring (more on that later) and winning intraconference games. Its record against West teams was 15-37, good for – you guessed it – 14th in the West.

Promising Austin Rivers (more on him later) had a really bad rookie season, being outplayed by journeyman Roger Mason Jr. The depth wasn’t very strong. Although the team was in the top half of the league in scoring defense (14th overall) New Orleans allowed opponents to shoot 37.4 percent from three. That was 27th in the NBA and … 14th in the West.

Pages: 1 2