Mikan Drill – 29 April 2011

  1. Chauncey re-signs with the Knicks.  You can breathe a sigh of relief, NY fans.
  2. Iron Man Andre, spending his holidays in Compton eating burgers.
  3. Kevin Durant.  You freak.
  4. Missed the Patty Mills feature on ESPN? Check it out here.
  5. Ron Ron keeps changing shoe companies.
  6. In case you missed it; MJ, a year later.  Maybe not such a bad GM… although we’ll reserve judgement on that one.
  7. Trying to use basketball to fight violent crime in the UK.
  8. Fresh off a killer 4th quarter vs Memphis, Tony Parker talks about France’s national team.
  9. Oh Zo, if only you were still ballin.
  10. David Falk.  If you’ve been an NBA fan for a while, you know the name.  Read the story.
  11. The greatest story ever told.  Bird/Magic.
  12. We feel so bad about Nash. He deserves a ring, deserves to have someone seriously hurt Richardson, deserves to not have his soon to be ex wife spilling all of their history and story out on to TV through the Real Housewives… Spurs, get Nash.  Now.
  13. Hoopseak takes on The Last Season.
  14. Douby in China.  Yes, you need to know more.
  15. Not to keep coming back to the SA-MEM game, but notice how many minutes Tiago finally received?
  16. Dwight for MVP? Ethan!
  17. BADASS.  He really became a bit Jordan-esque in his attitude as he grew older, right?
  18. Where for art thou, Iggy?
  19. What you know about Purple Nurples?

Mikan Drill – 29 June 2010

  1. Excellent article in the Washington Post about John Wall and the relationship with his incarcerated father.
    “he still was there for me. . . . Probably if I were older, you would have been, ‘Forget him, he ain’t my daddy, he ain’t here for me, taking care of me.’ At a young age, you don’t know, you don’t care. You’re just happy to have somebody there that you can call your dad. And that’s the biggest thing.”
  2. The 2010 Champions, Los Angeles.  Nice season roundup by Forum Blue and Gold.
  3. We rated the Draft Picks, now Henry Abbott from TrueHoop rates the owners.
  4. Greatest Tumblr blog ever?  Craig Sager’s fashion sense.  If you only click one link today, this is it.
  5. For over a decade now hoop aficianados have debated whether the US college system is appropriate for those players who have no interest in decent education, particularly as so many resources are pooled into the system by alumni, colleges, interest groups and foundations, amongst others.  This entry then glimpsing the D-League as being a suitable substitute?  Love it.
  6. Reason#425 why we love Steve Nash.
  7. Kobe Bryant will sign with an Italian team.  Wait, what?
  8. Bob Hill becomes first ex-NBA coach to make the move to a Japanese team.
  9. Can Wall and Arenas play together?  While we’re reflecting, read this great profile of Agent Zero, um, Hibachi, um, whatever his name is now…
    “He stole his teammate’s rims, he took a game of paintball way too far, he took a shit in his teammate’s shoes”

Mikan Drill – 16 June 2010

  1. Steve Kerr has stepped down as the Suns GM.
  2. When you’re not playing in June, you have a lot of spare time… the Magic and Jazz unveil their new logos.
  3. Basketball is being played somewhere other than LA and Boston??  Great overview of Barcelona in the ACB Championship Series.
  4. While we’re there, check out the list of current European Champions, thanks to Ballin In Europe.
  5. Speaking of Europe, check out this INSANE video of the Greek finals.  Takes me back…
  6. The Kobe Conundrum.
  7. Hilarious.  The 11 players you always meet in pickup basketball.
  8. Pierce and Rondo hug it out.
  9. Who complains the most about calls in this Finals?  Kevin Garnett?  Ron Artest?  WRONG.
  10. Take it to the rim, Lakers.

Mikan Drill – 07 June 2010

  1. Not sure who to root for in the NBA Finals?  DJ Gallo has some ideas of how to choose.
  2. Legacies on the line; Ian Thomsen looks at the ripples these finals will have on the stream of basketball history… (how’s that for imagery?)
    “For most of his career Bryant has been identified as a potential successor to Michael Jordan, but before he can incite that debate he must first equal the achievements of Magic. How can Bryant be compared favorably with the greatest player when he hasn’t outdone the greatest Laker?”
  3. Little Knicks fans in Ghana...
  4. Newspapers.  Radio.  TV.  Websites.  Blogs.  Now Twitter.  All ways you can be updated about basketball games…
  5. Australia’s chances pre-world championships… their best weapons may not be who you think.
    “While Jawai has had limited opportunities to play since his NBL Rookie of the Year season in 2008, in his 10 minutes per game with Minnesota last season he grabbed an offensive rebound every eight minutes – a rate better than the NBA’s best offensive rebounder Joakim Noah.”
  6. We miss you, Coach Wooden.

Fast Break – NBA Finals Game 1

Today we saw an energetic, in-rhythm LA Lakers team beat a Boston Celtics team that never looked like winning this game.  You have Boston from the East, who since April 17th, have played Eastern-Conference teams and played a physical, lock-down defensive orientated style of basketball beating King James & the Cavs and steam-rolling last years Eastern Conference Champs, the Orlando Magic.  On the other hand, the Lakers have fought through an extremely talented OKC Thunder team, swept the Jazz and overcame one of the best offences in the league, the Phoenix Suns, to make the NBA Finals.  Two different teams, two different conferences, two different styles of basketball, and yes….it’s all TOO different.

So when you have two teams that are so different match up in the NBA Finals, inevitably one of them is going to surprise the other.  Today, it was the Lakers turn to surprise the Celtics.  Both teams went deep into their benches early, with Nate Robinson, Sacha Vujacic and Luke Walton sightings in the first and second quarters.  Both coaches seemingly were trying to spread the minutes so their stars had enough in the tank down the stretch.  The Lakers probably benefited from chasing around those young punks at Oklahoma City in the first round, then Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Finals because they out-hustled and out-ran the Celtics at every opportunity.  The Lakers looked to have more energy from start to finish in this game and after being up 20 at the end of the third, coasted to a 102-89 victory.

Kobe Bryant did everything you could ask from him.  He hit fadeaway jumpers, went to the basket for dunks, distributed the ball, rebounded & even had a spectacular block on the Celtics Tony Allen on his way to a very Kobe 30 points, 7 rebounds & 6 assists on 10-22 shooting.  Pau Gasol (as 3MW predicted) outplayed the entire Celtics frontline with a dominant display of post moves, finishing with 23 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists & 3 blocks.  Gasol shot 8-14 from the field and 7-10 from the stripe.  Ron Artest again proved what a difference maker he can be, nailing threes in the fourth quarter and coming up with defensive play after defensive play.  There were numerous times in the second half where a Laker was scoring on a fast break with no Celtics in sight.   The Celtics had 24 points and 9 boards from Paul Pierce and a solid 13 point, 8 assist, 6 rebound night from a clearly injured Rajon Rondo.  But the Lakers would pound them on the glass for a 42-31 rebounding advantage and Celtics shot just 1-10 from behind the arc.

What does this mean?  Not much at this stage.  We aren’t ready to hand the Championship trophy to the Lakers just yet, and we’re sure the Celtic’s aren’t either.  Whilst it was a convincing win, it’s only one game and the Lakers did what is expected from them…they came into their own building and defended their home court.  And for the Celtics, it’s likely that they came to LA hoping sneak one game and go back to Boston 1-1.  They’ll have their chance to do that in game 2 on Sunday (Monday for us Aussies) and you can bet that is going to be one physical game!