What I Learned from the NBA Last Week

12.14.09 9 years ago 6 Comments

Working at Dime Magazine, a ton of headlines, news and opinions pass through our website each week. Everyday a new story breaks and we change our focus to the next game on the schedule. Friday was hectic for us at Dime, as we worked to get our site back up and running. Now that we are back online, I took the time to reflect on what the NBA taught me last week.

Don’t make me angry you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry

Robin Lopez has a fiery temper down in the valley of the Sun. After losing a 3 on 3 game during a practice, an angry Lopez stormed out of the practice gym and opened a glass door so hard it shattered against a concrete wall. You have to love a player who hates losing so much (even in practice) but the other Lopez needs to refine his offensive game and focus that aggression on his opponents. Maybe he can turn into an old school 80s bruiser like a poor man’s Kevin McHale or a Bill Laimbeer, maybe. Speaking of anger management issues, allegedly last Tuesday a fan approached Dallas Maverick Tim Thomas at a Denny’s. (To answer the two questions going through your head, yes Tim Thomas is still in the league and Denny’s Grand Slam Breakfast is delicious so it makes sense for a NBA player to eat there.) Tim Thomas was less than receptive to fan. According to the Dallas Morning News report not only did a member of Tim Thomas entourage punch the fan but Tim Thomas threw a chair at the fan’s group. For the record throwing a chair into a crowd of people always starts a fight.

You know why, David? Because of the kids. They called me Mr. Glass.

I feel bad for Greg Oden, it seems like he has made Sportscenter more getting carted off the court than throwing down a dunk. He can’t stay healthy long enough to make a significant impact on the NBA (81 games in 3 years) and he finally was looking like he wanted to play basketball. He is such a nice guy you want him to succeed but it doesn’t look like his body will cooperate. Before this season I wasn’t aware fracture knee caps were common, but this year two young potential franchise players have gone down with the injury. Rudy “the Machete” Fernandez will be out up to 6 weeks after getting back surgery. Jose Calderon is out an undisclosed about of time with a hip injury and Danny Granger’s foot will keep him out up to 6 weeks. I know injuries are part of the game but this year it seems like more superstars have gone down than normally. From half the Detroit Pistons to Josh Howard some of the league’s best have been watching from the sidelines, allowing the leagues replacements to step up and contribute.

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Every year I look at the All Star roster and scratch my head. There always seems to be one glaring omission and one ridiculous inclusion. This more often than not is because the fans mistakenly vote in a player who hasn’t earned the All Star label for that year. His popularity transcends his season output and he is voted in for nostalgic purposes. After the first All Star returns, this trend seems to be continuing. As it currently stands Tracy McGrady is slated to start in the All Star game. Who is voting for this guy? Not only has he not played since last year’s trade deadline but, he threw his franchise under the bus by announcing he was getting surgery before telling his team, so it can’t be the Houston fans. The Western guard position is absolutely stacked and if T-Mac sneaks in due to irresponsible voting then a truly deserving guard (you know like Deron Williams) is watching the festivities from home.

I’m whatever Gotham needs me to be.

Remember when Larry Hughes didn’t come off the bench in the Knicks home opener? The last three games Larry Hughes has done whatever the Knicks have needed him to do to secure the win. He put up 25 against the hapless Nets, 21 against the Trailblazers and dished out 7 dimes in a win against the Hornets. Al Harrington is getting his buckets, David Lee is getting his boards and Chris Duhon (finally) showed up against New Orleans putting up 22 points and 9 assists. Every member of the Knicks are settling into a role that helps their team win, even Nate Robinson seems content playing cheerleader. Does this mean the team will make the playoffs? Probably not but at least the Gotham brand of basketball is watchable again.

Overachiever of the Week

When choosing the overachiever of the week, I rely on one simple question. Which player’s stat line most looked like a typo? Looking at the box score last Monday, it read 28-8 for a power forward. You naturally think Tim Duncan or Carlos Boozer but when you read Matt Bonner next to the stat line it blows your mind. Not only did the Red Rocket drop 28 and pull down 8 boards but the last play of the game was drawn up from him. For that reason alone Matt Bonner is our overachiever of the week.

I would also like to give the Detroit Pistons a nod for overachieving team of the week. The Pistons won 5 straight games this week with Tayshaun Prince, Ben Gordon, Rip Hamilton, Chris Wilcox and Will Bynum all missing significant time during those games. When your team is so depleted that Chucky Atkins gets the start and you still are pulling out victories then you are definitely overachieving.

Player of the Week

The 2006-2007 MVP has been playing out of his mind all season putting up MVP like numbers. This week Dirk Nowitzki continued to step up helping his Mavericks pull out three victories. Dirk dropped 36 points, 25 points and 33 points during the week. Dirk shined as the best shooter in the game , especially when he went up against the Phoenix Suns. Dirk made sure to lock up his player of week status when, in Dirk fashion he sank the Bobcats in overtime by hitting the game winning fade away.

Dunk of the Week

There were definitely some strong candidates for dunk of the week. DeMar DeRozen could have qualified if he didn’t get rejected by Carlos Delfino earlier in the week. (From now on you are automatically eliminated from dunk of the week contention if any of your dunks get rejected) Even if DeMar didn’t get shown the door by Delfino he couldn’t really compete with the soul stealing dunk of Corey Brewer. If you haven’t seen the dunk check the site later today for the video.

What did the NBA teach you last week?

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