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HOOPSWORLD Week In Review
Posted By Richard Hardy On December 16, 2012 @ 5:00 am In All,Main Page,NBA | No Comments
Jeremy Lin, West All-Star?
By Alex Kennedy
Last year, journalists from around the world made their way to Orlando during All-Star Weekend to experience Linsanity firsthand. Jeremy Lin had become a global icon overnight and after the NBA added him to the Rising Stars Challenge, there were so many media requests for Lin that he was given his own press conference.
Fast forward 10 months and Lin is now the starting point guard for the Houston Rockets. Even though he hasn’t duplicated the success from Linsanity, he’s having a solid season, averaging 11.3 points, 6.1 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals. Few players have the same global appeal as Lin, which is why it’s possible that he gets voted into the 2013 All-Star Game held in Houston.
The first All-Star returns came in today and Lin has 298,319 votes, which is the third-most votes among Western Conference guards. He has more votes than James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Tony Parker among others.
The Key To Carmelo Anthony’s Success
By Yannis Koutroupis
New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony is the leading candidate for the Most Valuable Player award in a lot of people’s eyes at this early junction of the regular season. Anthony is averaging 27.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and two assists a contest for the 17-5 Knicks, who currently sit atop the Eastern Conference.
Last night was another convincing performance by the Knicks as they handled the struggling Los Angeles Lakers 116-107. Anthony dropped 30 points in 23 minutes in the win against his former head coach in Mike D’Antoni and one of his best friends in the league, Kobe Bryant.
The only concern over Anthony right now is his health. He sprained his left ankle in the third quarter Thursday night against the Lakers on a collision with Dwight Howard and is now uncertain for Saturday’s contest against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Science and Psychology of Being In The Zone
By Travis Heath
“I was in a groove. I was in a rhythm that I can’t really explain. I started hitting three’s like they were free throws. The rim seemed like a big ol’ huge bucket, and I can’t miss it. After awhile I just looked at Marv (Albert), Magic (Johnson) and those guys and just said, ‘What can I say? It’s not me, it’s just the moment.’”
Above are the words of who many regard as the best basketball player to have ever played the game, Michael Jordan, discussing his 39-point performance in Game 1 of the 1992 NBA Finals against the Portland Trail Blazers. Jordan hit six three-point shots in the first half and then famously turned to the broadcasting crew and simply shrugged his shoulders and shook his head in disbelief at his own performance.
Perhaps the play-by-play man, legendary Marv Albert, said it best, “Did you see that look? Michael indicated he can’t believe it!”
There is arguably nothing more fun to watch in all of sport than when a player enters the kind of zone Jordan entered that night. Observers and participants alike often describe this as an almost supernatural state of being in which seemingly nothing can go wrong.
NBA Rookie Watch: December 11th
By Stephen Brotherston
There is hope that the New Orleans Hornets’ Anthony Davis will get back into action within the week and the early favorite for Rookie of the Year can start to make up some ground on the field before Christmas. That was a long layoff, however, and it’s uncertain what the 19-year-old can produce right away.
Damian Lillard continues to led the pack by a wide margin and after some recent slippage, he has reasserted himself as the best of the rookies who we have been able to watch play. However, some of the other rookie hopefuls have looked a little shaky lately and could be bumped out of our top five if things don’t improve.
1. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers: 18.9 points, 6.5 assists, 3.2 rebounds, 1.2 steals
Damian Lillard continues to outplay his draft position by a wide margin and even he seems surprised by how well things have gone. Setbacks have been short-lived and even his playmaking has taken a step forward over the past couple of weeks.
Before Monday night, Lillard had scored 83 points over his past four games and had handed out a surprising 35 assists. It isn’t supposed to be this easy for a rookie and in Monday’s win over Toronto, Lillard had the worst shooting night of his brief NBA career. Failing to hit a three-point shot for the first time after 20 games in a row, he finished the night going 2-14 from the field and 0-5 from deep. Based on how Lillard has bounced back before, Monday’s shooting performance shouldn’t have much of an impact going forward.
Same Story With Andrew Bynum
By Steve Kyler
While clearly healthy enough to get up some Pop-A-Shot at Dave and Busters, Sixers big man Andrew Bynum continues to sing the same song about his status for the 76ers.
There has been growing doubt that Bynum may never suit up for the 76ers this season, something he admitted was possible, just not what he’s expecting.
“It is obviously a possibility, but it really depends on what my doctor tells me,” Bynum said. “If my left knee gets better and starts to feel like my right knee, I’ll be playing.
“Worst-case scenario, it’s another month. Best-case scenario, I can ramp it up.”
The Issue Steve Nash Can’t Solve
By Bill Ingram
When Mike D’Antoni took the helm of the Los Angeles Lakers last month, there was a very real concern about one aspect of the team’s game. There was no question that D’Antoni’s offensive prowess would help crank up the Lakers’ fire power, but D’Antoni’s defensive problems are equally well-known, and an immediate concern arose that perhaps the Lakers wouldn’t defend well enough to live up to their hype.
The injury to Steve Nash set the Lakers back in a number of ways, but it likely had little or no impact on the defensive end of the floor. Nash or no Nash, the Lakers have been little more than average defensively.
The Lakers are off to a 9-12 start on the season and have lost seven of their last ten games. They are currently sitting at 13th in the league in team defense, yielding 98.71 points per game, and 17th in opponent’s field goal percentage, allowing teams to shoot 44.3 percent against them. Their combined defensive stats rank them 15th in the league overall, including 16th in transition defense, 23rd in defending a short shot clock, 24th in pick-and-roll man and 25th in defending cutters. They do rank 11th in post defense and third in preventing offensive put-backs, both due in large part to the presence of Howard. They are also second in the NBA in defending against spot-up buckets, due largely to the efforts of Bryant and Peace.
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