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Web viewing of NBA games may soon exist

by troechka August 22, 2008 @ 12:00 am (Category : Blogs )

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The Oklahoman (Mel Bracht) reports: Say you’re working late and can’t make it to the Ford Center to watch Oklahoma City’s new NBA team play its game that night. Instead, you log on to your computer and watch streaming video of the team’s game broadcast. Sound far-fetched? Not if the NBA has its way. The league is aggresively promoting three new Internet elements — video streaming in home markets, interactive TV and video-on-demand — for the upcoming season. Ed Desser, a media consultant for Oklahoma City’s team, said many details have yet to be worked out, and didn’t expect the team to offer the Internet elements anytime soon.

Dwight Howard wins Slam Dunk contest

by February 16, 2008 @ 12:00 am (Category : Blogs )

By InsideHoops.com
It’s 2008 NBA All-Star Weekend, and the hottest Saturday night event is up: the Slam Dunk contest.
Jamario Moon went first, started from the right side, lobbed it high, lept, 360-jumped, caught it just as he was completing the 360, and slammed. Beautiful. He has huge extension and great hang-time. Judges gave him a 46 out of 50.
Rudy Gay is next. He started from the right side, ran at the rim without dribbling, rocked it back and forth, and missed. And then did it again, slamming with the left hand. It was sweet but not mind-boggling, and he got a 37.
Big Dwight Howard is third. And he’s starting from out of bounds, behind back of the right side of the basket. He bounced it off the back of the backboard, caught it, soared from behind the basket to the front side of it, and missed — but the attempt itself was awesome. And then did it again, this time putting it down, almost hitting his head on the rim. He caught it off the back of the backboard with two hands, swung it around, and put it down with the left hand. Absolutely beautiful. Judges gave him a perfect 50.
InsideHoops.com is the best pro basketball website in the world, by the way. That’s right, I’m sticking that in here, just as a handy reminder.
Defending champion Gerald Green is last but not least. Assistant Rashad McCants is holding a cupcake with a candle in it, and using a ladder climbs up, puts the cupcake on the back of the rim, on the support that connects it to the backboard. McCants then lit the candle. Green is apparently going to dunk, while blowing the candle out! This seems both dangerous and impossible. Yet - bam! - he got it! Insane! He caught the lob, put it down with two hands dunking on the left side of the rim and successfully blew the candle out! Judges gave him a mere 46. I thought he got robbed.
And now, the second set of dunks.
First up is Rudy Gay, assisted by Kyle Lowry. They both started from the deep left corner, with Lowry dribbling, Gay following. Lowry then bounced the ball off the back of the basket support, and Gay caught it on his left side and wrapped it around to his right side, dunking it nicely. It was impressive and creative but not quite as awesome as what Dwight Howard did. Judges gave it a 48, which may have been a point or two high.
Next is Jamario Moon, assisted by Jason Kapono. They’re putting white tape on the ground, almost a foot behind the free throw line. It would be mind-boggling if he really takes off from there. And now it appears Kapono is going to be near the basket and bounce the ball high up in the paint. And misses the first attempt. Moon did hit the second, but the tape on the ground was pointless — Moon took off about a foot inside the free throw line, which is still absolutely incredible. Judges gave him a 48.
Gerald Green is third. A ladder is in the paint again, with MCants climbing it and sitting on the top. The ladder is positioned slightly to the right of the rim. McCants is holding the ball in one arm, which is extended so he’s holding the ball in front o the rim. Just as Green launched himself up, Mccants flipped it up so Green could grab it with two hands, windmill it and slam it down. Awesome. He got a 48.
And now, Dwight Howard, assisted by Jameer Nelson. More white tape. And then Nelson reveals a red Superman cape. Then Howard, smiling, pulls off his away magic jersey to reveal a sleeveless Superman top. Howard then puts the cape on (everyone who reads the InsideHoops.com nba rumors page knew he was going to do this). The crowd loves it. Howard then stands at the baseline, center-court, right side, runs in, catches a pass, leaps from the dotted circle, soars high in the air and is up so high that rather than dunk it, he literally throws it down. A throw-dunk. Like how you might throw a crumpled up piece of paper down into a garbage can. That is possibly the most awesome dunk I’ve ever seen, aside maybe from some stuff Vince Carter did years ago. He got another perfect 50.
Total points at the end of the first round: Howard 100, Green 91, Moon 90, Gay 85.
We’re in the second and final round, with Howard against defending champion Green.
Green is up first, starting from the left elbow in three-point range, McCants, standing behind the basket on the right, is lobbing it over the top of the backboard. After some imperfect passes, and then one miss, Green came in, caught with two hands, windmilled it through his legs and slammed it down with one hand. Awesome.
No scores are being reported. It’s just picking one of the finalists or the other, after the dunks are over. Each judge has one vote, and the collective fan world, voting on the league’s official site or through text message, combine to have one vote.
Howard is up. He started from the right side, halfcourt, lobbed it, so it bounced in the paint, ran, jumped, and in mid air tapped it with his left hand against the backboard, then caught it off the glass with his right hand and dunked it. That is one of the most amazing dunks ever, second only to stuff InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner does in secret gyms against NBA players during the off-season.
Green, trying to be creative, took his shoes off, autographed them, put them on the judges table, and did a through-the-legs windmill. It was a slightly lesser version of his earlier dunk, minus the shoes.
Read InsideHoops.com every day.
For the final dunk, Howard’s assistant, Jameer Nelson, has put a little Nerf-looking mini-hoop on the lower right corner of the front of the backboard, and then rested a full-sized basketball on it. Howard is starting from the right side of the court, outside the three-point elbow. He runs in, jumps, takes the ball off the little rim and tires to slam, but misses. And then runs in, takes it off the little rim, windmills it and slams it in. It was the least impressive of his dunks tonight, and the only one he did that didn’t truly wow the crowd, but it was still very good.
And now, the voting.
The judges picked Dwight Howard. So, he’s going to win, regardless of what the fan voting says. That’s assuming I understand how the voting works this year. And the fan vote is in: 70% voted for Dwight Howard.

Timberwolves half-season highlights

by February 14, 2008 @ 12:00 am (Category : Blogs )

Even though the Minnesota Timberwolves have struggled in the win/loss column in the first half, fans have witnessed a number of electric individual and team performances this season. Let’s take a look at a few of the better individual performances of the first half of the 2007-08 season:
Nov. 14 vs. Sacramento: Wolves 108, Kings 103- Rashad McCants established a new career-high in points, pumping in 33 (13-22 FG, 4-7 three-pointers, 3-5 FT) to lead the Wolves to their first victory of the season.
Dec. 6 at Atlanta-: Wolves 89, Hawks 90- Minnesota lost a heart breaker to the Hawks on a Joe Johnson buzzer-beater but it was Wolves rookie Corey Brewer who shined in defeat. Minnesota’s 2007 first-round pick (7th overall) totaled a career and NBA rookie season-high 18 rebounds to go along with six points, five rebounds and a career high-four steals.
Dec. 8 vs. Phoenix- Wolves 100, Suns 93: The Wolves would win their third game of the season thanks in large part to the monstrous game from Big Al Jefferson. Big Al abused Amare Stoudamire, going off for a then career high tying 32 points and 20 rebounds, becoming only the second player in Wolves history with a 30/20 effort.
Dec. 11 at Washington- Wolves 88, Wizards 102: It was Craig Smith’s turn to shine, this time in a losing effort in Washington. Craig tallied a career-high 36 points (14-22 FG, 8-9 FT) and eight rebounds.
Dec. 15 at Milwaukee- Wolves 92, Bucks 95: For the second time in a week, Wolves forward Craig Smith reached the 30-point mark, scoring 30 points and hauling in 10 rebounds effort in a loss in Milwaukee.
Dec. 17 at Miami- Wolves 87, Heat 91: Big Al recorded his second 20-point 20-rebound game of the season in Miami, recoprding 22 points, 20 rebounds, two steals and a block.
Dec. 21 vs. Indiana- Wolves 131, Pacers 118: Wolves guard Sebastian Telfair played all 48 minutes on way to a career night at the Target Center. The fourth-year guard tied a career-high with 27 points (11-18 FG) and dished out 11 assists in the Wolves 20-point come-from-behind victory.
Jan. 4, vs. Denver- Wolves 107, Nuggets 118: Wolves guard Rashad McCants bests his previous career high of 33, putting home 34 points (12-18 FG, 3-5 three-pointers, 7-7 FT) in 32 minutes off the bench for the Wolves.
Jan. 15 vs. Golden State- Wolves 98, Warriors 105: Antoine Walker comes off the bench to score a season-high 26 points including four three-pointers and 10 rebounds.
Jan. 21 at Golden State- Wolves 109, Warriors 108: Minnesota claimed it’s second road victory of the season in Golden State on MLK Day thanks in large part to a career day from forward Ryan Gomes. Gomes put home a career-high 35 points and a season-high 11 rebounds. Guard Marko Jaric also had a huge game for the Wolves, falling two rebounds shy of his first triple-double of the season. Jaric finished with 16 points (3-7 from three), 10 assists, eight rebounds and three steals, all in a season-high 46 minutes of action.
Jan. 23 vs. Phoenix- Wolves 117, Suns 107: Big Al tormented Amare Stoudamire for the second time at home, leading the Wolves to their second home-victory of the season against Phoenix. Big Al scored a career-high 39 points to go along with 15 rebounds in the Wolves seventh win of the season.
Jan. 27 vs. New Jersey- Wolves 98, Nets 95: Big Al set a new career high in points for the third time this season, tallying 40 points and 19 rebounds, including four late free-throws to seal the 15-point fourth quarter comeback win. With the 40-point effort, Big Al became just the eighth player in Wolves history to score 40+ points.
Jan. 30 vs. Chicago, Wolves 83, Bulls 67: Jefferson tallied his third 20/20 game of the season, this time abusing Ben Wallace to the tune of 26 points and 20 rebounds.
Feb. 4 vs. Houston, Wolves 86, Rockets 92: Wolves guard Sebastian Telfair dished out 12 assists, the most by a Wolf since Anthony Carter dealt 13 vs. Milwaukee on Mar. 4, 2005.

Wolves lose close game to Nets

by February 13, 2008 @ 12:00 am (Category : Blogs )

Despite an off shooting night, the Wolves hung around until the closing minutes last night in New Jersey, ultimate falling to the Nets 92-88 to split the season series. Minnesota connected on just 5-of-19 attempts (.263) in the opening quarter, but played strong defense to stay even with the Nets at 16-16 after one.
Minnesota took it’s first lead of the game (24-23) on an Antoine Walker jumper early in the second quarter, but the Nets pushed back in front and took a 38-35 lead into the intermission. After the lead changed hands six times early in the third quarter, the Wolves shooters again went cold, missing eight of their final 11 shots in the third as the Nets used a 13-5 run to close the quarter and take an 66-56 lead into the final frame.
The Wolves finally found their range in the fourth quarter, connecting on 52 percent (13-for-25) in the period, but they could only cut the lead to four.
Sebastian Telfair led the way for the Wolves, finishing with 24 points, seven assists and only one turnover. Al Jefferson added a double-double with with 18 points and 11 rebounds, but connected on just 5-of-18 shots.
The Nets were led by Vince Carter’s 17 points and 10 assists, while Richard Jefferson added 13 points and 12 rebounds. Jason Kidd just missed his 100th career triple-double, finishing with nine points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.


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