There’s No Trouble In Paradise It’s Simply A Hiccup That’s All
Well no necessarily the unthinkable happened but within collegiate basketball the Duke (Blue Devils) had their 25 game winning streak snapped by ACC divisional rivals the Florida State (Seminoles). Surprising as this may seem I think it's good thing for Mike Krzyzewski's program and players . If anything it shows them that they're not impervious and at the same time it sends a clear message across the college landscape that any team can be beset by the unexpected. I've read a number of blogs within the community by contributors making the most asinine of claims that this program is clearly better than program and by their estimation that this team will go unbeaten throughout the season. Well that's all well and good but simply making that claim without given any evidence behind that though smacks of stupidity and literally shows how naive and uninformed those individuals are !
Slide show for your perusal.
Duke for its part let this game get away from as they allowed Leonard Hamilton's well coached team ease their way back into the game with some aggressive and well executed plays. Nolan Smith , Kyle Singler and the rest of the Duke players on the team simply had no answer for the Seminoles' spirited play no matter how hard they tried to erase Florida State's lead. The ensuing result ( 66-61 ) is that the Noles have their second division win (2-1–ACC) of the season and in all likelihood with this loss Duke will fall from the number one ranking in Men's Basketball in collegiate athletics. There'll be those out there saying ‘…..I told you so ! Duke ain’t that good it’s merely because of their name ‘. But in reality they are that good and are liable to rebound from this and be a force in NCCA Tournament when it comes around. It’s better to be defeated now at this time of the season rather than being summarily dispatched in the opening or latter rounds of the NCAA Tournament. There it’s lose and done but in the regular season leading up to the national tournament teams can play themselves into being tournament ready , by playing with consistency and tweaking whatever problems that they might have in terms of their play. You simply can’t do that on the fly in the tournament as you’ll be found out and your shortcomings will most definitely be exposed .
This certainly was a collective effort on the part of the Seminoles’ players with there being some very solid contributions from Derwin Kitchen and Chris Singleton who accounted for 40 of the Noles’ 66 points in the game on the way to the team’s upset of the number one ranked Blue Devils . As to what this now does for the Seminoles remains to be seen over the course of their season . There’s no reason to believe that they cannot make a great deal of noise within the ACC as a number of teams there seem to be regressing at this juncture. But if anything this might be simply be a momentary lapse on their part . Leonard Hamilton’s aspirations may well be to have his team play themselves into contention not only within the conference but also to national prominence and thereby avail themselves of a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
There’s no accounting for a team who can simply slip and at times embarrass themselves in the NBA but when it happens it can be a something of a big surprise amongst the analysts and purists out there who routinely follow the game. Well last night prove to be that and a great deal more as both the Dallas Mavericks , Miami Heat , Orlando Magic and Chicago Bulls were all summarily dispatched by teams that on most nights you wouldn’t have given a second glance to. Now there’s no denying the fact that teams do tend to hit their stride in the NBA season once the Christmas festivities are over . But herein lies the caveat the teams mentioned are viewed as being amongst the elite within the NBA and with them having what one could define as a momentary hiccup one still has to ask the question what went wrong ?
I’ve always maintained that the Mavericks are simply are good regular season —– team ! I’m not about to change my mind unless team owner Mark Cuban is prepared to offer me at least half of his estimated $2.3 billion fortune . Their lone appearance in the NBA Finals (2006) saw them put up a somewhat tepid performance against the Dwyane Wade inspired Miami Heat . Throughout the series the Mavericks had no answer for Wade as he was literally a one man tour-de-force torching the Mavericks with a display that will be remembered as one for the ages. A 4-2 series win was enough of a stamp of authority for Wade to win the Finals MVP Award and leave Cuban and his team smarting after that series defeat.
Now I’m suppose to believe that the Mavericks based on this latest display and what we’ve seen in the past are capable of winning an NBA title ? Their 102-89 loss to the Indiana Pacers is enough to suggest that although on paper this team looks good when they’re placed under undue pressure they simply cannot handle it. And granted they’re without their All Star — Dirk Nowitzki due to an injury but does anyone actually believe that this team is capable of winning a title even with him on their roster ?
The Miami Heat for their part having been on an impressive run having won 18 of their last 20 games and had posted a twelve game win streak. They too like the Mavericks hit that proverbial bump in the road as they somehow inexplicably lost (111-105)to the Los Angeles Clippers . Now don’t get me wrong the Clippers are a good team who I believe if they can keep that core group of players together can contend within the Western Conference and at some time in the future for an NBA title. With the offensive fire power at the Heat’s disposal with LeBron James , Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade leading the charge this team simply couldn’t match the intensity shown by the Los Angeles Clippers. And if you’re now wondering why it is that Blake Griffin has now become the toast of LA then simply watch the guy play ? That mutha’ can ball !
Griffin was ably supported by Eric Gordon , Ryan Gomes and Baron Davis as they systematically took the Heat behind the woodshed and beat them like they’d stole something . Bitch where’s my money ? Go take your ass out there and earn something .
Stan Van Gundy is a very good coach but to my mind he’s wound up so tight that I think he walks around with a stick up his a_s and he simply isn’t one to take constructive criticism. He’s been the main reason why the Orlando Magic are continually viewed as a force to be reckoned within the Eastern Conference . With the team that he now has in place there’s no real reason to believe why they can’t hold against the might of the NBA. But given the continued inconsistency of the team it’s easy to understand why at times they’ll come up smelling of cow dung rather than roses. With Dwight Howard and his attributes you’d consider required of the prototypical NBA center there seems to be something missing from his game. And if he’s being entrusted to lead this team become its vocal leader then at times his immaturity shines through like a lighthouse beacon.
Van Gundy either has to rein in Howard’s antics or sit him in order for him to learn a lesson and at the same time we can now also see that withe there being no real backup to Howard at the center position the team will struggle at times. With players such as Jason Richardson , Hedo Turkoglu and Gilbert Arenas the team has lost a great deal of physicality in order to become what Van Gundy believes is a more offense minded unit.
What was self evident in their 89-92 loss to the New Orleans Hornets the Orlando Magic lacks athleticism and physicality. And while I’ve no doubt that the Magic will make it into the NBA playoffs if they can’t right their deficiencies then their stay in the postseason will indeed be a short one. Finesse and firepower can’t make up for the lack of physical brute force when needed and this is now certainly what this team lacks .
I really thought that the Bulls would have made a play for Carmelo Anthony but instead they hung their mast on attaining LeBron James which was doomed for failure ! We all know that James preferred South Beach to the Windy City and the nightlife that was to be had there . Instead they obtained the workman like Carlos Boozer to complement Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah . Coach Tom Thibodeau’s —– team has all the makings of being a very good team but for now I do believe that they will come up short this season !
Picture gallery for your perusal .
The Bulls in their effort to keep abreast of the Boston Celtics , Miami Heat and Orlando Magic at best are perhaps the fourth or fifth best team within the Eastern Conference. And given the capacity for the Atlanta Hawks not to know which identity they as a team wish to take undertake I think you can understand the case that I’m trying to make concerning the Chicago Bulls !
In losing 96-91 to the lowly Charlotte Bobcats cast doubts on the resiliency of this Bulls’ team. I know that Paul Silas has come in and turned things around somewhat under the auspices of Bobcats’ owner Michael Jordan but as we all know this Bobcats’ team is a long way off from where both Silas and the owner desire them to be. If the Bulls are to show their true worth then the bench players will have to follow the lead of Derrick Rose and Carlos Boozer if they’re indeed to prove themselves as worthy opponents and contenders within their conference .
What thoughts if any do you have on this topic and the NBA season as a whole so far ? Simply chime in with your observations and thoughts .
Picture and slide show details .
(1) Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski questions a call during the second half of Florida State’s 66-61 win in an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011, in Tallahassee, Fla. AP Photo/Steve Cannon ……
(2) Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton reacts to a call during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against No. Duke on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011 in Tallahassee, Fla. Florida State won 66-61 . AP Photo/Steve Cannon ……..
(3) Florida State’s Luke Loucks steals the ball from Duke’s Seth Curry during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011 in Tallahassee, Fla. Florida State won 66-61. AP Photo/Steve Cannon …..
(4)Florida State’s Derwin Kitchen (22) shoots over Duke’s Ryan Kelly in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011 in Tallahassee, Fla. Kitchen scored 22 points as the Seminoles snapped No. 1 Duke’s 25-game winning streak with a 66-61 victory. AP Photo/Steve Cannon ……….
(5) Indiana Pacers guard Brandon Rush (25) has the basketball stripped by Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Kidd (2) during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011. Indiana won 102-89. AP Photo/Darron Cummings …..
(6) LeBron James (6) of the Miami Heat warms up before taking on the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on January 12, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Players are wearing special warmups recognizing the one year anniversary of ongoing efforts of recovery from the earthquake in Haiti on January 12-13th , 2010. Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images …..
(7) Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin hugs Miami Heat forward LeBron James after their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011. The Clippers won 111-105 . AP Photo/Jae C. Hong ……….
Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy, right, reacts while speaking with referee Steve Javie about a call in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Hornets in New Orleans, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011. New Orleans defeated Orlando 92-89 in overtime. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky ….
(9) D.J. Augustin (14) of the Charlotte Bobcats calls a play against the Chicago Bulls during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on January 12, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images …..
NBA Weekend Schedule ……….. Fri 01/14/11 ….. 11 games
Sat 01/15/11 ……. 9 games
Sun 01/16/11 ……. 2 games
Alan aka tophatal ………………….. 😛
Eye candy …….. Deelishis
A picture is most definitely worth a 1,000 words ! Paola Garcia
Tony, Toni , Tone ____________________ “All I Ask of You”
Lay Your Head On My Pillow