Posts Tagged ‘Chauncey Billups’


Wow.

What a way to kick off the Playoffs. I have never seen, rather, the NBA has never witnessed this type of surprises.

For the first time in NBA Playoff history, the top 2 seeds of a conference lose their Game One’s. The Memphis Grizzlies lived up to their words, and beat the Spurs without Rudy Gay for a 101 – 98 thriller. What was not thrilling though was the loss of my beloved LA Lakers, which I still don’t understand how, but they somehow found a way to lose to the New Orleans Hornets, 109-100.

The other games were close, and only the Orlando Magic was the upper seed (#4) to lose to the Atlanta Hawks.

Anyway, let’s take a look at how, for a change, there was no game that was one sided:

Eastern Conference

Indiana Pacers [8] vs Chicago Bulls [1] (99-104)

Derrick Rose said that it wouldn’t be easy.

He was damn right.

With the critics and analysts saying that the Pacers’ record isn’t good enough to be in the playoffs, they proved otherwise. Putting up a challenge in the entire night, they just weren’t able to finish the game right as they started it. Derrick Rose showed why he should be the league’s MVP (39 points, 6 assists), leading the Bulls to end the game on a 16-1 run after trailing 98-88 with over 2 minutes left.

What to expect in Game 2: Expect Carlos Boozer to have a better game, and the rest of the Chicago Bulls to take the Pacers more seriously. Game Two should be Chicago’s.

Philadelphia 76ers [7] vs Miami Heat [2] (89 – 97)

As expected, the Heat beat the Sixers. Also, the Sixers didn’t give in easily. With a mediocre shooting game from LeBron James, and finally taking into the decoy role that he should have been doing all season in the last two minutes of the game, Dwayne Wade managed to score five of his 17 points in the last 2 minutes, securing the win for the Heat. The game kicked off with Philly leading 25-11, yet the Heat bounced back and managed to pull a 12 point lead in the fourth quarter, only for the Sixers to rally back one last time and cut the deficit to 1 point, yet Wade showed them who’s boss, ending the game in favor of the upper seed. Let’s not forget Chris Bosh putting on his A-game with those 25 points and 12 rebounds. The Sixers in general had a good game, but they simply can’t match up with the Heat.

What to expect in Game 2: Another Miami Heat victory unless the Sixers find a way to stop both LeBron and Dwayne at the same time.

New York Knicks [6] vs Boston Celtics [3] (85-87)

I had a feeling this series would be good. I just never thought the games would be this good.

As great as the rivalry was Game 1. Carmelo Anthony didn’t impress as much, Amar’e Stoudemire was awesome, and I’m worried about that Chauncey Billups injury. The New York trio weren’t good enough to beat the Celtics, where Ray Allen shone again with 24 points on 15 shots, including that late 3 that won them the game. It was an exciting game, yet the series took an unfortunate turn for the Knicks with Billups’ injury at the end of the game and is questionable for Game 2.

What to expect in Game 2: If the Knicks don’t feed the ball more to Stoudemire, and Billups not coming back (no offense to Toney Douglas), expect a Celtics victory again.

Atlanta Hawks [5] vs Orlando Magic [4] (103-93)

I haven’t seen a one man performance like Dwight Howard’s in a while. 31 points in the first half? One would think the Magic were dominating the game! *Annoying buzz* Wrong answer. Despite those 31 points, the Atlanta Hawks were outplaying the Orlando Magic.

Other than Dwight Howard’s 46 points and 19 rebounds, there was nothing really to see in the Magic. And they said that Jason Collins was going to bother Howard. Jameer Nelson had a slow start in the first half, but finished strong with 27 points. But that’s about it.

Joe Johnson, Jamal Crawford and co. put on a strong game, and seem to be confident about themselves given they won the season series 3-1. Why not? They played big after a not-so-good first quarter.

What to expect: The Defensive Player of the Year for the third year in a row can’t go any bigger than those 46 points, but his teammates assumingly would step up their game. Orlando tie the series.

Western Conference

Memphis Grizzlies [8] vs San Antonio Spurs [1] (101-98)

Memphis rested their starters for the last 4 games to make sure they are ready AND end up with the Spurs in a playoff matchup. They could’ve went up to sixth and played the Dallas Mavericks, who they owned in the regular season. Yet they chose to stay 8th.

They lived up to it. Big time.

Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol put on a show, and despite the game taking lead changes at the end, the Grizzlies were able to get their first playoff win for the franchise. As an eighth seeded team against the best team in the West. Now that’s good.

Yet no need to worry, I still think that, despite my hatred for the Spurs, they’ll still win this series in six games.

What to expect: San Antonio bouncing back like they always do. Spurs win. Very hard for the Grizzlies to pull off another stunner at the AT&T Center.

New Orleans Hornets [7] vs Los Angeles Lakers [2] (109-100)

WHY?

I watched the game the other night, and I still couldn’t understand. Why would Pau Gasol play so horribly like that? Kobe Bryant was the man for LA with those 34 points and those amazing shots, and Ron Artest put up a decent game with that double-double, but seriously Pau Gasol, WTF?! 2 from 9, 6 rebounds?! And you wonder why championship-less center Stoudemire calls you soft? Get your act together! Andrew Bynum had 13 points and 9 rebounds, but wasn’t as good as he was in the streak. Kobe couldn’t pull it off by himself this time. And LA’s defense sucked big time.

Chris Paul, the player who came second to Kobe in MVP voting back in 08, scored 33 points, had 14 assists, 7 rebounds and 4 steals and played around the Lakers defense at free will. The way the Hornets were knocking down those one handed layups was as if they were playing alone. THE LAKERS SHOULD HAVE DOMINATED THE DAMN GAME! The Hornets don’t have David West. Emeka Okafor had a bad game with more fouls than points. Aaron Gray and Carl Landry outplay Pau Gasol???!!! IN WHAT WORLD?!

It’s a good thing Kobe called out Gasol today. He seriously has to start playing like a 2 time champ.

What to expect: I still think the Lakers are going to win this series in 5. So expect a Lakers win.

Portland Trail Blazers [6] vs Dallas Mavericks [3] (81-89)

It felt so good to see the Mavs win. They got such a good team that I’ll never understand why they just can’t win in the playoffs and play the way they play the regular season. Everyone undermines Dirk Nowitzki and thinks he chokes in the playoffs. Really? He’s one of 4 guys in NBA history to average 25 points and 10 rebounds in the playoffs. Don’t forget those performances against the Suns and Spurs back in the day. And whoever tells me that he choked in the 06 Finals, we all know what happened then. So enough about that.

I enjoyed more than anything my favorite non-Laker player being the X-Factor of the game. That’s right, 38-year old Jason Kidd had 24  points, including 6 3-pointers, and with Nowitzki’s 27 points, the Mavs were finally able to quiet those who are foreseeing an upset in this series and pull off a well deserved win.

What to expect:  This series is puzzling, and I’m not expecting Kidd to have another 24 point game. But I still think the Mavs are going to win both at home. So another Mavs win.

Denver Nuggets [5] vs Oklahoma City Thunder [4] (103-107)

This could easily be the most exciting series in the playoffs. Why not? The youngest and most athletic players in the NBA going at each other? The leading scorer? The team that the Ewing Theory seems to work perfectly on? Yeah, I want this series.

Kevin Durant (41 points) and Russell Westbrook (31 points) combined for one of the best guard performances so far and were able to overcome the winningest team since the All Star break.

Kendrick Perkins had 4 points, but 2 of them gave the Thunder the lead for good.

Denver had a good game, and despite dominating the NBA since the Carmelo Anthony trade, they just can’t seem to beat the Thunder. What I like about Denver is that they had eight players with at least 8 points, led by Nene Hilario’s 22, which makes them a threat given you can’t tell who is going to dominate the game at any given night.

What to expect:  I honestly don’t know. This is one of the series where any team can win on any given night because they are so young. I’ll go with the Thunder on this one, although the Nuggets are going to give them hell again.


Day 3 of the second round of the FIBA World Cup in Turkey was somewhat similar to the day before it, with the winners somewhat to be known before even the games began, and the question to be asked was: “By how much?”

Team USA started off Day 10 in style, by disrupting the Angolan offense and scoring 3-pointers in return, creating a 20 point lead by the end of the first quarter thanks to Chauncey Billups and Kevin Durant. All 12 players on Team USA scored, and the deficit just kept on getting bigger and bigger for the Americans, who won the game by a large 55 points, 121-66, bringing back memories of not the 2008 Olympics team that beat Angola by 21, but the 1992 Dream Team that defeated the Angolans by 68 points.  Team USA knocked down an amazing EIGHTEEN 3-pointers, including Billups going 5 for 7, Eric Gordon 5 for 6, and Derrick Rose 3 for 4 and won the last quarter 30-10. Chauncey Billups had 19 points, while Durant, Rudy Gay and Gordon had 17 points apiece. Joaquim Gomez had a game high 21 points for Angola.

Not as one sided as the game preceding it, Russia took on New Zealand to determine who will face Team USA on Thursday. After a slow start by the Russians ( 9-2 New Zealand’s way), they managed to end the first quarter close and went on a 13-0 run, breaking the game wide open with Kirk Penney picking up 3 fouls in the first half and his fourth mid third quarter, for the Russians to set up a rematch of the infamous 1972 Olympics with a 78-56 win. Russia was led by Andrey Vorontsevich’s 18 points and 11 rebounds and got help from NBA rookie  Timofey Mozgov (16 points, 7 rebounds). Despite the horrible foul trouble he got held in, Penney managed to score 21 points for New Zealand.


In the first bye day for Groups C and D, teams from the first 2 groups played their third consecutive game in as many days, with USA and Argentina remaining perfect despite the former being pushed to the brink by oversized Brazil, while Angola was easy for the Argentinians. Serbia bounced back from that double overtime loss while Germany couldn’t continue its winning ways by falling to Australia. Iran found its first win, keeping Tunisia winless and Slovenia held off Croatia at the end for its second win.

The Americans started the game expecting a tough challenge from the Brazilian side, and as they expected, the Brazilians were firing on all cylinders and managed to stay on top for the first quarter making 12 of their first 16 shots with the help of NBA star Leandro Barbosa. The Americans never really got into the game until the third quarter, where they finished up by 2 points. The 4th quarter was easily the worst scoring quarter in this World Cup, with both teams being unable to exceed the 9 point limit and each commited several turnovers and made crucial defensive stops. In the end, the score was 70-68 USA’s way, and Brazil’s Marcelo Huertas got fouled with 3 seconds left. He didn’t make the first and missed the second on purpose, catching his own rebound and passed it to Barbosa, who missed the last shot, keeping the Americans perfect while ensuring that if their big man Anderson Varejao is back, Brazil will be tougher than ever on the American team. Kevin Durant had 27 points in 39 1/2 minutes for the U.S. with Chauncey Billups’ 15 points while Leandro Barbosa had 14 points for Brazil.

Serbia took note of what went wrong in their double overtime loss to Germany and came out strong on the Jordanians, handing them their third straight loss 112 – 69 with Dusko Savanovic and Marko Keselj having 21 points eachand Kosta Perovic’s 20 points while Jordanian Omar Daghles had 19 points as his team yet has to win a game.

Germany couldn’t form a winning streak as Australia manhandled them with a lack of focus displayed by the Germans, losing their game 78-43, with the Aussies dominating the game from start to end, never trailing after a German 2-0. Patrick Mills led the Australians with 16 points and 7 asssists, while  Robin Benzing had 11 points for Germany.

Other Results:

Angola 70 – 91 Argentina

Slovenia 91 – Croatia 84

Tunisia 58 – Iran 71


Fadi EL KHATIB(LABANON).JPGThe FIBA World Championships in Turkey began  with all 24 teams playing their first game, some were very close games, other were blowouts, and some even included impressive comebacks.

At 6:30 PM, Lebanon played its first game against Canada, with the Lebanese jumping to an early lead and finishing the first quarter strong, yet the middle was dominated by Canada, which led to a 20-20 tie at the end of the 1st. Canada managed to dominate the second quarter with Lebanon trying to come back numerous times, yet unlike the first quarter, the first half ended with Canada leading 37-34. The Canadians managed to increase their lead throughout the 3rd quarter to as much as 9 points, yet Lebanon’s “Tiger” Fadi El Khatib had other plans in mind, erupting for 16 points in the third quarter on perfect 5 for 5 shooting from the field to bring the lead down to 1 point. The 4th quarter was played out like the end of the third, Lebanese dominance from all sides and El Khatib and Rony Fahed taking over to win the 4th quarter 24-13, eventually winning the game 81-71, giving Lebanon its first World Cup win since the upset of France in ’06. El Khatib had a marvelous game with a game-high 31 points and 8 rebounds, helped by Rony Fahed’s 17 points and Matt Freije’s 12 points, all three pointers while Canda was led by Joel Anthony’s 17 points, Denham Brown’s 13 points and Andy Rautins 10 points, mostly in the first quarter.

The major upset of the night however also came in Group D, with defending champs Spain and France clashing off after Lebanon’s game. Spain started the game strong, limiting the French only to 9 points in the first quarter and it seemed that the Spainards had the game in hand, only for French Mickael Gelabale to spark a 14-5 run assisted by Andrew Albicy and Nicolas Batum, who took on the second half scoring 12 of his 14 points to give France a lead it would never relinquish, shocking the champs with a 72-66 win. Gelabale had 16 points and 6 rebounds for France, helped by Albicy’s 13 points. Spain was led by Juan Carlos Navarro’s 17 points and Rudy Fernandez’s 13 points, whose technical foul and defensive errors were major in costing Spain the game.

Unlike the two previously mentioned games, USA had it easy going, defeating the young Croatians 106-78 behind a strong second quarter that held Croatia to only 6 points and outscored them by 20 points. Eric Gordon, one of the players who weren’t expected to make the final roster, led the Americans off the bench with 16 points, and had Kevin Durant help him with 14 points, as well as Chauncey Billups’ 13 points and having Russell Westbrook and Rudy Gay contribute with 10 apiece. Croatia’s good first quarter was not enough to keep it hanging in there with Team USA, as Bojan Bogdanovich’s 17 points were not enough to pose a challenge for the Americans.

Other results include:

Australia 76 – 75 Jordan

Angola 44 – 94 Serbia

Germany 74 – 78 Argentina

Tunisia 56 – 80 Slovenia

Iran 65 – 81 Brazil

Greece 89 – 81 China

Russia 75 - 66 Puerto Rico

Ivory Coast 47 – 86 Turkey

New Zealand 79 – 92 Lithuania


After USA’s second exhibition game in Spain vs. the hosts on Sunday, where the Americans hung on for an 86-85 win, things started to look clearer – well at least for point guard Rajon Rondo. After having a miserable game the day before against Lithuania ( 2 points, 1 assist and 4 turnovers), Rondo was DNP – CD (did not play – coach’s decision) against the Spaniards,  leading him to feel that he was not going to make the final cut and was on the “bubble”. Eventually, that led to Rondo withdrawing from the team, and according to USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo, due to “some family matters to attend to”.

This leaves Team USA with a complete roster of 12 players, mostly inexperienced players with only 2 NBA champions (Lamar Odom and Chauncey Billups) and one with major international competition experience (Odom in the ’04 Olympics) and 5 players who are of 21 years old (Kevin Durant, Eric Gordon, Kevin Love, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook). Despite the lack of experience on this team, Team USA has shown that it can take down any team in its friendlies by blowing teams away (Lithuania)  and win games in the closing seconds (Spain).

As seen in the latest exhibitions, the Americans are able to play an uptempo style of game and have legitimate threats offensively in almost every way possible, with their go-to guy being reigning NBA scoring champion Durant. Kevin Durant knocked down 27 points in the latest game vs Spain, driving to the hoop numerously and scoring 3s. Also, Rudy Gay and Danny Granger proved to be offensive weapons off the bench that can break a game wide open when necessary in addition to Stephen Curry, the only pure shooter on this team. Derrick Rose and Chauncey Billups will be expecting to start in the backcourt, and showed great play as they put their team up early by double digits against Spain. They are expected to be backed by Russell Westbrook and Stephen Curry, with Eric Gordon also snatching some minutes as well. Lamar Odom, Tyson Chandler, Kevin Love, and Andre Igoudala will be playing in the frontcourt, with Odom expecting to start as center along Igoudala as power forward.

There are high expectations for Team USA. Can they win it all for the first time since 1994?

TEAM USA ROSTER:

Chauncey Billups*

Tyson Chandler

Stephen Curry

Kevin Durant*

Rudy Gay

Eric Gordon

Danny Granger

Andre Igoudala*

Kevin Love

Lamar Odom*

Derrick Rose*

Russell Westbrook

* =  Expected Starting Lineup

Tala: 3am 2ellak i cant see it
jrsaba89: i told u
its living on a prayer
so, do you think her review is harsh?
Tala: okay
youre listenting to
living on a prayer
jrsaba89: so, do you think her review is harsh?
Tala: joseph?

Despite a horrible 7 point first quarter, team USA rebounded its way back into the game and delivered an excellent second half, including a 17-0 run, to serve Lithuania a 77-61 loss as a warmup for the FIBA World Cup that will begin on the 28th of this month.

Kevin Durant led the way with 15 points for Team USA, who shot 27 for 58, while Lithuania’s 25-for-62 shooting was led by Linas Kleiza’s 12 points.

Team USA trailed the first quarter 15-7 behind a woeful 3 for 21 shooting that included them missing all their three pointers and a missed dunk by Rudy Gay. Slowly, they started to get back into the game, including tying the game at 25 before finishing the first half trailing 29-28.

The “B team” USA only managed to improve its play in the second half behind its bench players, mainly Rudy Gay (14 points), Russell Westbrook (12 points on 4 for 5 shooting) and Eric Gordon (9 points), who had 48 of Team USA’s 77 points.

As expected, Kevin Durant (0 for 4 on threes), Chauncey Billups (7 points, 4 TOs, zero assists), Andre Igoudala (5 points), Tyson Chandler (0 points, 5 rebounds), and Rajon Rondo (4 TOs, 2 points, 1 assist) started the game for the Americans, whose horrible first quarter display clearly showed how nervous the inexperienced team was. Team USA has 13 players that include 5 21-year olds and only 2 vets that age 30+. The team is expected to be trimmed to 12 players by August 26th. It is also to note that none of the  Redeem Team players that played in the 2008 Olympics are playing  for this team.

Team USA will play Spain tomorrow at 7 PM GMT and will begin their quest for the World Championship on Day 1 vs. Croatia.