Ok. Let’s address this Shaq vs. Dwight Howard comparison. For the longest I’ve heard Howard say he does not want to want to be compared to Shaq. Yet, he took the exact same path from Orlando to L.A. like O’Neal did. But again he insists he doesn’t want to be compared to the Diesel and I personally don’t blame him.
Let’s be honest as full of life as Howard is he’s no Shaq. Yes, Dwight is the best center in the league. With hops that have made him the league’s reigning defensive player of the year. But whose his competition? Andrew Bynum who can’t stay healthy? Or maybe Kendrick Perkins whose far from a offensive threat. The truth is this version of the NBA lacks true centers so Dwight’s real competition is slim.
Whereas Shaq was the most dominate player I ever had the pleasure of watching play. He was so dominate that teams starting fouling him just to keep him from scoring. Does “Hack-a-Shaq” sound familiar?
Shaq’s offensive game was better than Howard’s is at this stage of their careers. His dominance was something my generation had never seen. To be that big, that strong, and that light on his feet? It was unbelievable. Remember when he broke not one but two backboards? Or how about when he dropped 61 and 23 against the Clippers in 2000. Or being one of only three players to be named NBA MVP, All Star MVP, and Finals MVP. The list goes on and on…
And let’s not forget Shaq’s competitive nature. He might have a larger than life personality but when he stepped on the court he was all business. Meanwhile, Howard has yet to separate the two. Its clear Dwight doesn’t want to be compared to Shaq and that’s fine with me because right now if you ask me there’s no comparison.
Even without former league mvp Derrick Rose the Chicago Bulls are still managing to win games. Chicago will walk into tonight’s meeting with the Boston Celtics atop the Central division with a 4-2 record. But how are they doing it?
Defense has been there calling card since Thibideau signed on as head coach during the 2010 season, however, that’s not all. Along with there defensive effort it’s been their offensive balance. Loul Deng (17.7 ppg) is one of five Bulls players scoring in double figures. Four of those five players are shooting at least 45.7%.
As Chicago eagerly awaits the return of their floor general they will continue to rely on their defense and balance scoring. It’s that combination alone that currently has them 2 games above .500 on the young season .
I’ll be the first to admit I thought the Lakers would be welcoming Phil Jackson back to the sideline come Monday morning, but instead the Lakers have reached a 4-year deal; with former New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns head coach, Mike D’Antoni.
D’Antoni still rehabbing from post knee surgery is scheduled to arrive in L.A. either Wednesday or Thursday. When asked about the hiring of Mike D’Antoni Kobe replied, “I love him!”
It has yet to be seen how D’Antoni’s fast pace offense will fit with the aging legs of the Lakers, but one thing is for certain it’s going to be entertaining to watch.
I think we all knew this was coming. Maybe not 5 games into the season but nonetheless Lakers coach Mike Brown has been handed his pink slip. His days in Hollywood are over. After the Lakers finished the preseason 0-8 and started this young season 1-4 the front office had seen enough and Brown was sent packing Friday afternoon.
Who will take his place? Jerry Sloan, Mike D’Antoni, what about Brian Shaw? Only time will tell.
When asked how long he wants to continue in sports broadcasting, Charles Barkley told SI.com something shocking: He’s almost done.
“I love my job,” Barkley said. “I love the people I work with. And I’m going to try to do things to keep me engaged. But I have four years left on my current deal and to be honest with you, it’s going to be a struggle for me to make it for the whole four years. I really don’t know how much longer I’m going to do this. I need something more, or something else to do to be honest with you.”
Somewhere between all the mispronounced words, and jumbled thoughts all fighting to come out of his mouth at once; we’ve grown to love Charles as a analyst for TNT. He’s funny, he’s honest, but most of all he’s knowledgeable. If he does decide to leave his analyst seat on Inside he will definitely be missed. But I’m sure he’ll succeed in anything else he decides to do!
But Chuck, do me a favor….
“I’m shaking in my Nikes”- a sarcastic Kobe Bryant on whether the Lakers are worried about their early season struggles. But Kobe’s post game comments didn’t match up with his in game actions.
Bryant didn’t waste any time leaving the court after the Lakers lost 95-86 to the Jazz on Wednesday. Bryant made a beeline to the locker room with a scowl on his face as the Lakers fell to 1-4 to start a season for the first time in his 17-year career.
Howard, meanwhile, was the last Lakers player to make his way through the tunnel, lingering on the court to hug a fan and toss each of his arm sleeves, as well as his uniform, into the crowd.
Bryant’s frustration was apparent long before his final exit: He got into it with referee Ed Malloy after being called for a charge in the second quarter; he punched the ball inbounds rather than passed it when there was less than a second left in the third quarter; and he was caught on camera staring down coach Mike Brown when he was sitting on the bench during a timeout in the waning moments of the fourth.
Howard said after the game the Lakers would be better off bottling up those negative emotions.
“I think sometimes as a team we got to be able to not really show our frustrations that much,” Howard said after L.A. fell to 1-12 with their preseason record included.
It’s that “frustration”, grit, and hunger that makes Kobe loved, and hated all at the same time. His will to win is what makes him special. Dwight lacks that particular competitive gear so the emotions he shows are different.
Either way it’s apparent that Bryant and Howard have two different mindsets. While Kobe takes losing personal Dwight with his big as life personality smiles and brushes it off. It’s going to be interesting to see whose approach to the game wins out.
My money is on number 24.
The Celtics came to town with one mission in mind….spoil ring night for the Miami Heat. However, they came up short. Miami won the first of four meetings with the Celtics 107-120. But the score is the last thing people will remember about this game.
The most anticipated moment of the night came midway through the first quarter when Ray Allen headed to the scorers table. Being the “classy” guy Ray is he headed over to the Celtics bench to greet his ex teammates. He and Doc shared a brief hug and handshake. He then attempted to shake hands with KG but received the coldest of shoulders. Garnett completely ignored him. Not once acknowledging his presence.
After, the game when asked about the cold shoulder he was given Ray said, “That’s KG. He probably didn’t even see me.”
Oh, no he saw you Ray he just doesn’t want anything to do with you. Allen has to realize he, himself made the decision to walk. He left Boston on his own terms and free will. So accept your decision Ray. Stop trying to be “buddy buddy” with teammates you willing left behind. Ray wants to be liked by everyone and that’s not going to happen. Even when the game was over he walked over to the Celtic bench again. Only to have one Celtic acknowledge him (Avery Bradley).
It’s over Ray. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. You can’t drain 3s in there (Celtics) faces and then expect them to give you a pat on the butt. You’re sleeping with the enemy now. Accept it. This is what you wanted right? A chance at another ring knowing it would likely be at the expense of knocking off Boston.
So deal with it.
Another memorable moment came with less than 2 minutes to go in the game. Wade drove to the basket and was fouled around the neck by Rondo. It was called a flagrant foul. After the game Wade called it a “punk play”.
I found this statement by Wade laughable because I vividly remember him (Dwayne Wade) running full speed only to intentionally level Darren Collison of the Pacers last year in the playoffs. So he knows a thing or two about “punk plays” huh?..
Having said that we did learn a lot about both teams moving forward. If the Heat can force turnovers and get in the open court with shooters such as Miller, Allen, and Lewis spotted up behind the 3 point line….they’re going to be deadly. Those shooters spread the floor for allowing LeBron and Wade to get in the paint.
Boston on the other hand has a good squad. They have size, depth, and Paul Pierce finally looks healthy and in shape. They have some defensive rotations to work on though. Can’t give up 120 points. Both teams proved last night they’re going to be the top teams in the East.
You can bet on it!