Is it against the fan code to enjoy the work of your opponent's superstar in the playoffs? Peachtree Hoops asked the question. Hoopinion followed up. Both are Hawks fans with mixed feelings about Dwyane Wade. I am wrestling with the same thing. I'm a Blazer fan, but am extremely high on the Rockets. Part of me feels like of course, there is nothing wrong with enjoying anything that happens on the basketball court. But can't you just feel that in some ways, how a person relates to their team is sure to be compared to how they relate to their spouse? I don't think it is, but I know that's coming. Oh really, Mr. Hawks fan, you "enjoy" Dwyane Wade? Hope you're more loyal in your personal life.
People are pissed! Let me paraphrase several e-mails I have received about Jeremy Tyler skipping his senior year of high-school, and freshman year of college, to go to Europe: "WHERE WILL IT END! IT'S A TRAGEDY!" I could write 50,000 words about the complexities of all that. But my basic thought is: If you love basketball, then you will love having the free market work its magic on basketball development. We have an NCAA model with limited practice time, questionable education, faked test results, all income pushed under the table, and a certain few individuals making all the big money from TV and sponsorship deals. That's going to be there. But now a few players are expanding horizons, and trying different models. Trying different models is good for basketball.
Darren Rovell of CNBC: "Six years removed from LeBron James signing a deal that averaged $13 million a year, sources are telling CNBC that it's not likely that any NBA draft pick this year will make more than $1 million a year off a shoe deal. Since shoe companies can only really hit paydirt off a signature shoe, Nike, Adidas and Under Armour are now in the driver's seat. Dwyane Wade's initial bargain deal with Converse in 2003 ($400,000 a year) is going to seem expensive when looking at this year's picks. One agent told us that shoe companies that would have offered kids $250,000 a year two years ago, could now offer $25,000."
Steve Nash, I just learned, has a very busy Facebook page, and has been using it to talk about the health benefits of green tea, Carlos Santana, and some pretty in-depth playoff talk. For instance, after Game 2 of Spurs vs. Mavericks, he wrote of Tony Parker: "I don't think TP likes the Mavs much. His facial expression and demeanor suggest there's little love lost and he continually seems to express such with his array of twisting finishes, floaters and mid range jumpers off pick and rolls. He's a force and although he may not stuff the stat sheet with assists his constant punishment of the Mavs defense has Dallas cheating their assignments just enough to open things up for others to get going."
David Thorpe recently predicted Brandon Roy's 40-point game. Tonight he is feeling 76er Thaddeus Young could be ready to score big: "The Sixers' Thaddeus Young was very effective scoring inside on flashes and post-ups. He has advantages in athleticism and length over Lewis or Turkoglu and is capable of having a really big game. If he's headed for one, Orlando needs to be ready to counter it by doubling him and being more aware to deny him paint touches right away."
There has been quite a bit of talk lately about how, amazingly, NBA players have not improved at shooting free throws in recent years. It turns out that the best free throw shooters have gotten better with time.
Zach Lowe of CelticsHub: "There was a lot of talk over the last couple of days (including from me) about Paul Pierce being tired, Pierce being hurt and Pierce being overrated. Pierce is probably tired, and he might be hurt, but he is assuredly not overrated. He hit his first six shots tonight and scored 18 first half points on 7-of-9 shooting. I've never played in the NBA, so I don't know if Doug Collins was right when he said that a star putting on a first quarter performance like Pierce did tonight lifts the collective confidence of a shaken team. I've been trained to be skeptical when I hear how a player 'refuses' to lose or 'wills' his team to win. Sometimes the shots just fall, I say to myself, and sometimes they don't. But Paul Pierce took smart shots early. He worked the middle of the floor instead of forcing the ball into spots where help defenders were waiting, and he had the lift back on his jump shot. He spurred the team to a 10-point lead after six minutes and took the crowd out of the game immediately. Paul Pierce has been doing this for 11 years. It shouldn't have been a surprise."
Ross Siler of the Salt Lake Tribune: "That wasn't just Carlos Boozer's best game since returning from knee surgery. That wasn't just his best game going back to Game 3 of last year's conference semifinals against the Lakers -- 27 points and 20 rebounds for those who might forget. That was Boozer's best game since he went for 35 points and 14 rebounds in the Jazz's 103-99 Game 7 victory over Houston in the 2007 first round. Boozer kept the Jazz's season alive that night and did so again Thursday. Not only did Boozer have 23 points and 22 rebounds -- tying the Jazz's franchise playoff record set by Karl Malone -- he came through when the Jazz went to him three times in the final 90 seconds. 'He's back,' Deron Williams said. 'You know, he set a tempo in that first quarter, coming out, getting a lot of rebounds, scoring the basketball. He's a beast, man.'"
A call to arms for Seattle's NBA fans. Crisis moment.