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NBA Obsessed - NBA Basketball News

May 12th, 2008

Orlando Magic - Hedo Turkoglu almost takes over

NBA Obsessed takes you into the hit and run game of NBA Basketball.

Hedo Turkoglu misses over Jason Maxiell with game 4 of the Orlando Magic vs. Detroit Pistons NBA playoffs on the line

Image details: Detroit Pistons v Orlando Magic, Game Four served by picapp.com

The Orlando Magic had great chances to win game two and game four of the second round series with Detroit.

In game two, Rashard Lewis had the ball with seconds on the clock and Orlando down by 1. He chose to drive to the hole and put up a funky shot while guarded by McDyess. Rashard sort of tried an up and under layup trying to go under the outstretched arm of McDyess. The ball rolled off of the front of the rim and Dwight Howard missed the put back.

Why did Orlando choose that particular play?

In game four, Hedo Turkoglu had scored several points in a row and he was red hot. Orlando again had the ball in the waning seconds down by one.

Down by one with 8.9 seconds left, Hedo Turkoglu bled the clock at the top of the key, then drove into traffic and missed a lay-up at the buzzer.

It seemed a curious decision.

“I was reading the situation,” Turkoglu told the Sentinel. “I didn’t want to rush and force a bad shot. Maybe I was holding it too long instead of going right away. I’m just upset that I couldn’t help the team. I think we can all say this one is our fault.”

Coach Stan Van Gundy shouldered some of the blame.


Some of the blame? Stan Van Gundy should be taking more than some of the blame.

The play was strange in several ways. First off, Hedo had driven to his left about 50 thousand times in a row. Tayshaun Prince was guarding him, an excellent one on one defender. Hedo faked to his right with the same right footed jab step. Tay took the fake and Hedo was off to the races. Maybe the Pistons wanted him to go left, who knows.

Then, Jason Maxiell was waiting for him, just like the Pistons knew the play. Go left and run into Maxiell. Hedo put up a funky shot and from there the game is history.

Second off, the Magic have a play with a high post of Dwight Howard. You remember him? Yeah, he is the center on the Orlando Magic known as Superman. He used to be a main cog in their offense until game 4.

Hedo would come off of a high screen by Dwight Howard and have several options. It is their bread and butter game breaking play. Two times now they could have used it to win games and instead called for one on one drives by three point shooting forwards.

Stan? What are you thinking?

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May 11th, 2008

D’Antoni to Knicks, Carlisle to Mavs, what the…

NBA Obsessed takes you into the hit and run game of NBA Basketball.

Can nice guy Mike D’Antoni give the New York Knicks the discipline they need?

Image details: New Orleans Hornets v Phoenix Suns served by picapp.com

A tale of two coaching changes and a true mystery as to what is going on.

Donnie Walsh of the Knicks hired Mike D’Antoni to be coach of the Knicks.

Donnie Nelson of the Dallas Mavericks hired Rick Carlisle.

So please explain what is going in here.

Let’s start with D’Antoni, who was fired by the Phoenix Suns.

For New York, this is a mistake.

Wrong coach, wrong time.

The Knicks need toughness.



On his best day on the job, D’Antoni brings none of these elements to Madison Square Garden. Basketball doesn’t need to be fun in New York. It doesn’t need to be entertaining. Most of all, New York wants tough, relentless teams. In the Western Conference, you need to win with style. It sells tickets. It gets people out of warm weather into an arena. This isn’t necessary in New York. It takes the perfect personnel to run, and that isn’t there today, tomorrow – maybe never.


Jimmy Dolan and Isiah Thomas left the Knicks with a boatload of big contracts that will keep bad players trapped in New York. Worse yet, they are not in the style of D’Antoni. He likes his teams to run, pass, and shoot quickly. The Knicks just like to ball hog.

Can D’Antoni survive in New York if he starts losing and can’t switch any players?

Rick Carlisle

Coach Carlisle is the type of coach that like to script out the plays. Chauncey Billups once remarked that they knew exactly what they would run in the last two minutes of any game. Carlisle will sometimes call all the plays from the bench. Will the wide open playing Dallas Mavericks be able to even wait for the signals.

Carlisle is also a master of defense. He preaches one on one principles and does not like to double team. Does this mean Dirk Nowitzki will have to play defense?

Donnie Nelson, the Mavericks’ president of basketball operations, said in a statement that Carlisle was “our top choice from the onset.”

“His integrity, exceptional basketball IQ and balanced approach are exactly what we were looking for,” Nelson said. “Rick’s playoff experience and success make him a great fit for our team and its future.”


Rick was great with the Pistons at winning with very little in terms of star power, but he eventually wore out his welcome and the Pistons got rid of him and hired Larry Brown.

These are strange hires, even by the good old boys standard.

Can D’Antoni win with selfish players?

Can Carlisle win with offense first players?

Tune into the NBA next year to find out.

As always, any NBA Basketball related comments are welcome.

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By james -- 2 comments

May 10th, 2008

Will Chauncey Billups play and should he?

NBA Obsessed takes you into the hit and run game of NBA Basketball.

Without Chauncey Billups there will be more pressure on Rip Hamilton

Image details: Detroit Pistons v Philadelphia 76ers, Game 6 served by picapp.com

Chauncey Billups plays or does not play. He plays well or does not play well. Why, some even think he should not play.


Not play? What are you talking about?

The Pistons can beat the Magic in a best-of-seven series without a fully effective Billups, but they’ll have no chance against Boston or Cleveland in the next round unless he performs at close to 100%.

And if Billups comes back too soon, allowing a nagging injury to derail the Pistons before they reach their championship destination, it will worsen the sting of the last two seasons, when playoff runs were halted in the conference finals.

Opportunities wasted are opportunities lost.


Now your intrepid author does not pretend to know everything, but it seems to me that too many fans are taking the Orlando Magic and Dwight Howard a little too lightly. Victory over the Magic without Chauncey Billups is anything but insured, in fact, it may mean certain doom. Sorry Rodney Stuckey, but Chauncey is special to this team.

Will Chauncey even play at 5pm today?

All the work has paid off, to a degree. Billups said his strained muscle felt “a little better” Friday, and he planned to test it a bit on the court with some light shooting. The team won’t make a decision about his playing status until close to game time today.

The trainer Arnie Kander had this to say.

But Kander said the fact Billups felt better — especially at the 10:30 a.m. practice — was a big step toward getting back on the court.

“Any time you feel better in the first 24 or 36 hours, that’s your worst time,” Kander said. “That’s where all the chemical reactions occur for muscle strains. And early morning. As you know, all of our bodies don’t feel great first thing in the morning.”

But Kander wasn’t shocked that Billups didn’t share his optimism. “If he was chirpy or happy, I’d wonder how he is that way,” Kander said. “He’s frustrated, he’s irritated. But at the same time, he’ll be OK.”

If Chauncey Billups does not play, then the Magic will be working more against Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince offensive sets. They will be ready for that.

If Billups is missing today an awful lot will be told about this series and the Pistons.

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By james -- 2 comments

May 9th, 2008

Spurs Ginobili and Parker bring victory in game 3

NBA Obsessed takes you into the hit and run game of NBA Basketball.

Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan take turns rubbing Tony Parkers head. It is said to contain large quantities of good luck!

Image details: Phoenix Suns v San Antonio Spurs, Game 5 served by picapp.com

Hey, Chris Paul was amazing with 35 points and 9 assists, but it was not enough as San Antonio managed to win game 3 of the Western Conference second round series.

San Antonio Spurs 110, New Orleans Hornets 99

For San Antonio it involved getting a little more physical and hitting some big shots in the fourth quarter, especially by Manu Ginobili.

Ginobili, the league’s top sixth man, started for the first time this postseason and led a Spurs charge early in the final quarter. Left alone, he hit a wide-open 3 and was fouled by Bonzi Wells, who scrambled at him to guard the shot. Ginobili’s free throw put San Antonio up 87-82, and another 3 by Ginobili 38 seconds later made it 90-84. source

Home teams are 10 - 0 in the second round of the playoffs. Hey, why doesn’t this seem boring?

Admit it, you thought the New Orleans Hornets were a lot of fun with Chris Paul and David West, but when they faced San Antonio they would be goners. Tim Duncan would show them how real playoff basketball was played. It has not turned out that way. (Squibster note: count me just as guilty.)

Now we have a series and game 4 may decide everything. If the Spurs win, their confidence will be back in full swing and you never want to do that to a traditional powerhouse like San Antonio. If the Spurs lose, the Hornets have 2 out of the next 3 games at home. Ouch!

Chris Paul for President! Wait a minute; he did not even win the MVP award. How is that possible? Oh, there was that Kobe Bryant guy. He is pretty good too. But Chris is playing better than Barack Obama and we do want change, don’t we? Forget MVP, Chris Paul for President! He is a better choice than Ron Paul. Chris Paul has a way better crossover move than Ron Paul.

No troubles in San Antonio

It was a strange sight to see.
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By james -- 1 comment

May 8th, 2008

Orlando beats Detroit, Chauncey Billups hurt

NBA Obsessed takes you into the hit and run game of NBA Basketball.

Chauncey Billups is the leader

Image details: Orlando Magic v Detroit Pistons, Game 2 served by picapp.com

Now Orlando winning game three of the Detroit Pistons / Orlando Magic series was no surprise. They almost and probably should have won game number two in Detroit.

Orlando Magic 111, Detroit Pistons 86

The Pivotal game will be game 4 in Orlando. Should Orlando win that game convincingly and Chauncey be playing below par, then this series will change momentum and Orlando will be the favorite, even though the series will be tied 2 - 2.

Chauncey hurt his hamstring in the game.

Point guard Chauncey Billups played only four minutes Wednesday before straining his right hamstring in the opening quarter. After slipping under his own basket, Billups stayed down for a few moments before he stood and went to the bench, where strength-and-conditioning coach Arnie Kander assessed the damage.


Chauncey is the player that brings the confidence for Detroit.

“Losing Chauncey was huge for us,” said Richard Hamilton, who scored 24 points. “He means so much to our team. To not have him out there made a difference. We fought back, but we just couldn’t get the win.”


Chauncey does have a backup and his name is Rodney Stuckey. He is actually a pretty good player.

Forced to take over the primary point guard duties, Pistons rookie Rodney Stuckey played 34 minutes, scoring a playoff career-high 19 points. At one point in the third quarter, Stuckey orchestrated a 12-2 spurt that cut Detroit’s deficit to three. He scored six of those points, drew Magic point guard Jameer Nelson’s third and fourth fouls and made four free throws.

Orlando gained confidence in this game. Even though it was a game 3, a game the Pistons typically lose in any 7 game series.

So you could make the argument that Wednesday night was just the Pistons fighting off a collective yawn. Or you could argue that the Pistons’ oil light is starting to flash and the air bags are about to deploy.

I don’t see a complete crash in their immediate future, but this suddenly looks like a six or seven-game series. A lot will depend on Billups, who limped to the locker room with a towel over his head in the first quarter.

Jameer Nelson and Rashard Lewis came up big.

Nelson seems to be maturing into a consistent point guard before our very eyes. He’s done that before, only to revert back into Jameer. But he’s never played this well for this long.

Then there’s Lewis. Welcome to the playoffs, Money Man.

The Magic are paying him $118 million to take them to the next playoff level. He’d made 12 of 52 3-pointers before Game 3, when he hit five-of-six. The biggest came when Detroit had cut the lead to 67-64.

The series just may hinge on Chauncey Billups and his hamstring.

As always, any NBA Basketball related comments are welcome.

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By james -- 1 comment

May 8th, 2008

LeBron again is gone again

NBA Obsessed takes you into the hit and run game of NBA Basketball.

LeBron James doing it alone as usual

Image details: Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics, Game 1 served by picapp.com

Don’t the Cavaliers know they are only renting LeBron James, that his destiny is bigger than Cleveland?

The Cav’s are in round two of the playoffs dueling with the Boston Celtics and Kevin Garnett. No, make that Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce. See, that is the problem with Cleveland. It is still just LeBron James, the King.

There are those that say James should stay in Cleveland. He went to high school in Ohio. He is an Ohio boy. Never mind the market is so small.

The Cavaliers deserve to keep James home for the core of his prime. They’ve already landed him in one NBA Finals. They’ve already honored their commitment to competing for a title by making the in-season deal for Ben Wallace, Joe Smith, Wally Szczerbiak, and Delonte West, taking payroll and luxury tax hits along the way.


Cleveland has only one chance to survive and that is to find star number 2. Kevin Garnett has two star number twos. Tim Duncan has Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. Kobe Bryant has Pau Gasol. Dallas tried with Jason Kidd to Dirk Nowitzki. Phoenix tried with an aging Shaq to Steve Nash.

Wally, Joe, and Big Ben Wallace do not qualify as the number 2 that LeBron needs. There are no Scotty Pippens to LeBron’s Michael Jordan in that group.

Cleveland needs to find this number two star before 2010, the LeBron free agent date, the sooner the better or LeBron is out of here.

Where will he go? To a bigger market, most likely New York, most likely the Knicks.

In fact, Donnie Walsh wouldn’t have accepted the presidency of the Knicks if he didn’t think it was feasible that the team could get far enough under the salary cap to wine and sign James.

The Nets are also expected to join the bidding, as minority owner Jay-Z is a close friend of LeBron’s who has made no secret of his desire to see James someday pack the new arena the Nets are supposed to be putting up in Brooklyn.

New Jersey may struggle to get LeBron, because it is not the storied franchise that the Knicks have been.

And we know that LeBron loves Madison Square Garden.

James wants to go in as a Yankee, which is precisely why he wore the team’s cap — much to Cleveland’s dismay — during last year’s Division Series. He has big-city dreams, LeBron does. The lifelong Yankees fan is also a lifelong Madison Square Garden fan. Back in March, after managing 50 points, 10 assists, and 8 rebounds on the Knicks’ home floor, James beamed as he said the following:

“This ranks really high, just because of the point of where it happened, the mecca of basketball. I’ve dreamed about playing well in this building. To get a standing ovation in the greatest basketball arena in the world is a dream come true for me. It’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to me.”

Better get busy Cleveland. LeBron appears to just be a loaner right now.

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By james -- 1 comment

May 6th, 2008

Hornets Chris Paul stings the Spurs

NBA Obsessed takes you into the hit and run game of NBA Basketball.

Chris Paul with 2 of his 30 in game 2

Image details: San Antonio Spurs v New Orleans Hornets, Game 2 served by picapp.com

David West had tortured the Spurs in game one of the series, so San Antonio made all the adjustments to stop David West. That did not stop the New Orleans Hornets.

New Orleans 102, San Antonio 98

This game ought to add fuel to the Kobe Bryant MVP award discussions. Chris Paul was absolutely unstoppable. Chris was helped out by a great shooting effort by Peja Stojakovic.

With razzle-dazzle dribbles and a driving floater that couldn’t miss, Paul had 30 points and 12 assists, leading the New Orleans Hornets to a 102-84 victory Monday night and a 2-0 lead over the Spurs in their second-round series.

Peja Stojakovic hit five 3-pointers and scored 25 points for the Hornets, who’ve won both games by wide margins in becoming the first team to put San Antonio in an 0-2 playoff hole since 2001, when the Spurs were swept by the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference finals.


David West, the unknown All Star, was held to 10 points on 2 for 11 shooting. West did manage 10 rebounds.

Tim Duncan

For the Spurs to win Tim Duncan has to play really well. So far he is struggling to get on track.

Tim Duncan led San Antonio with 18 points and eight rebounds, far better than his miserable Game 1, when he tied a career playoff low with five points and three rebounds. But by the final minutes, Duncan was on the bench, resting his cheek on his hand with a dejected 100-yard stare.

Manu Ginobili had 13 points for the Spurs and Tony Parker 11. Brent Barry added 14, some of it when the game was out of reach in the fourth quarter.

The only hope for San Antonio is the fact that the series now goes back to San Antonio. A little home cooking is just what they need right now.

Meanwhile, New Orleans is hot and Chris Paul is hotter.

NBA Basketball special comment Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant are trading great games. Should the playoffs be allowed to influence the MVP award?

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May 5th, 2008

Lakers - MVP Kobe Bryant takes game 1 from Utah

NBA Obsessed takes you into the hit and run game of NBA Basketball.

Kobe about to be fouled

Image details: Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers, Game 1 served by picapp.com

Kobe is expected to be presented with the NBA MVP award, but he got in a hurry and put on an MVP performance for the LA crowd in defeating the Utah Jazz.

Los Angeles 109 Utah 98

Kobe set a foul shooting franchise record.

Bryant, celebrating what’s expected to be his first NBA MVP award, converted six of his franchise playoff-record 21 foul shots in the fourth quarter, and the Los Angeles Lakers held off the Utah Jazz 109-98 Sunday to begin the second round of the playoffs.


So just how good are the Lakers?

The Lakers were outrebounded by the Utah Jazz 58-41 on Sunday afternoon. The disparity in offensive rebounds was even more pronounced, 25-8. No surprise then that the Jazz also posted a significant edge in second-chance points, 26-12.

I don’t offer these numbers as mere arithmetic, but as statistical anomalies in evidence of just how good the Lakers really are. The team that controls the boards — especially the offensive boards, especially come playoff time — is almost always the winning team. But these Lakers do so many things so well — a more diversely talented team than any in the game — they can actually overcome an ass-kicking on the glass.


Mehmet Okur had 21 points and 19 rebounds in the losing cause.

Kobe had 38 points 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Not a bad night for the MVP.

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May 3rd, 2008

Kobe Bryant wins MVP

NBA Obsessed takes you into the hit and run game of NBA Basketball.

Kobe Bryant gives the ‘Who me for MVP?’ look

Image details: Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets, Game 4 served by picapp.com

The NBA has not made an official announcement, but sources are saying that Kobe has won the MVP award.

Your intrepid author has mentioned this possibility before.

Kobe Bryant for MVP

Kobe has had a fabulous season in leading the Los Angeles Lakers to the second round of the playoffs.

Bryant averaged 28.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.84 steals while playing in all 82 games despite tearing a ligament in his right pinkie finger in February. A hand specialist recommended surgery, but Bryant decided to put it off until after the Olympics this summer.

He led the Lakers to the best record in the Western Conference and a sweep of Denver in the first round of the playoffs. The Lakers open the second round Sunday against Utah at Staples Center.


Kobe will win the award over Chris Paul, Kevin Garnett (NBA Defensive player of the year), Dwight Howard (All Star Slam Dunk Champion), and LeBron James.

NBA Basketball special comment Kobe was overdue for the MVP award.

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May 2nd, 2008

Charles Barkley beats on 76ers, then Pistons beat on 76ers

NBA Obsessed takes you into the hit and run game of NBA Basketball.

Mo Cheeks is on 6′ 1″ tall, in spite of what Sir Charles thinks of his ears

Image details: Philadelphia 76ers v Seattle SuperSonics served by picapp.com

Charles is a classic. Somehow he can say anything and get away with it.

First he gets all over the poor shooting of the Philadelphia 76ers against the Detroit Pistons.

Wade on the poor shooting of the Sixers: “I agree with what Charles said, (the Sixers) can’t make any shots tonight and if you can’t make any shots you’re in for a long night.”

Barkley: “I didn’t say they weren’t making shots, I say they can’t shoot.”

Wade: “I didn’t want to say that.”

Later, he discussed how Andre Iguodala needs to shoot 500 to 1,000 jumpers this summer each day to improve his jump shot, then in a truly Barkley classic he comments on Mo Cheeks, the 76ers coach.

Barkley: “How tall is Maurice Cheeks?”

Smith: “6-foot-1, I think.”

Barkley: “He has the ears of a seven footer.”

The Pistons, led by a red hot shooting Rip Hamilton and Chauncey Billups, destroyed Philadelphia in game 6 to take the series.

NBA Basketball special comment The Orlando Magic will be the next opponent for the Detroit Pistons and will prove to be a much tougher team to beat with Dwight Howard.

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