There was more than a little head-scratching when the Most Improved Player voting was released Friday. In addition to Ryan Anderson undeservedly winning the award, a scan of the balloting showed a single first-place vote going to Andrew Bogut. Bogut played just 12 games this season, driven to the sidelines by a pair of injuries. He also was dealt from Milwaukee to Golden State at the trading deadline. In addition, all of his numbers – except his formerly horrific free-throw shooting –
Take out the brooms. Who would have thought we’d be saying that about the reigning World Champions? The Dallas Mavericks were swept by the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night after only eight days of playoff basketball, becoming the first team to be eliminated in the 2011-2012 Playoffs. As the TNT crew stated, they’re going fishing. It marked only the second time the team was swept out of the playoffs. The first time was against the Portland Trail Blazers in 1990, in a best-of-5 format. It
Ryan Anderson is not the NBA’s Most Improved Player this season. Yes, the voting by a media panel says he is, and the Orlando Magic made a big to-do about their guy winning the award, even though he really didn’t improve and has stunk up the postseason joint something fierce over the last week. But Anderson should not have been voted Most Improved Player. Andrew Bynum should have. Or James Harden. Or Gerald Green, who wasn’t even in the NBA the last
The Memphis Grizzlies are one of the less glamorous teams in the postseason party. They shoot 3-pointers about as poorly as any team in the NBA. They don’t have many high flyers offering up highlight-reel dunks a la Blake Griffin. They have not one but two ground-bound post players in Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. The Grizzlies simply defend like mad, play through their big men and try to make hay in transition and at the free-throw line. And for the last
The Coach of the Year was announced Tuesday, with Gregg Popovich coming out on top by a wide margin. It was certainly well-deserved, but there were plenty of other coaches that warranted attention as well. Thirteen coaches received votes, including Frank Vogel, Lionel Hollins, Tyrone Corbin, Stan Van Gundy and Vinny Del Negro – mid-season crisis and all. The work of these fine coaches will be on display tonight as we look into the preview of three playoff games on Wednesday night. Utah (0-1) at
Notice a trend in the first round of the playoffs? Teams are missing and losing their star players. It is somewhat of an issue in the Western Conference, where the Los Angeles Lakers will be without suspended forward Metta World Peace for another four games and the Los Angeles Clippers will be without injured forward Caron Butler until perhaps the NBA Finals – if they get that far. Over in the East, there is a veritable All-Star team of sidelined players. Dwight Howard.
Some folks gave the New York Knicks a puncher’s chance in their first-round series against the Miami Heat. Not anymore. In a remarkably stupid act, Amar’e Stoudemire expressed his frustration after Monday’s 104-94 loss in Miami by punching the glass of a fire extinguisher encasement. He cut his left hand so badly that he required stitches and left American Airlines Arena with his arm in a sling. TNT’s David Aldridge reported that teammate Tyson Chandler said Stoudemire would be “out,” although he was
Game One of the NBA Playoffs is in the books for all 16 teams. And we saw just about everything from flopping to bad officiating to devastating injuries to, blowouts, comebacks and game-winners. As anyone can tell you, though, and some may need reminding, it was only one game. A script can easily flip in the postseason. So we move on in the playoffs, with six Game 2s Monday night. New York (0-1) at Miami (1-0): Things could not have gone any worse for the