All Balls Don’t Bounce

Completely Random Sports Non Sequiturs From A Completely Random Hip Hop Head

Posts Tagged ‘dirk nowitzki’

Random Notes

Posted by hiphopmama on March 16, 2009



I’m too lazy to write anything coherent, and there’s nothing particularly new to report anyway, so here are some stream-of-consciousness ramblings. I can’t promise they’re all relevant to this blog’s usual subject matter.

  • Kobe Bryant was named Western Conference Player of the Week, with Lebron James picking up the Eastern Conference nod. MVP race, anyone?
  • Good piece over at the LA Times Lakers Blog about why the Lakers should be hoping for a first round match-up with Dallas. The main argument is that we match up well with them, with Gasol guarding Nowitzki and no one to pick up Pau. It doesn’t hold up quite as well if Josh Howard is healthy, because the small backcourt advantage can be neutralized, but they still make some good points. I think the biggest reason we would want to see the Mavs in the playoffs is because we own them psychologically. And because I love to see that sad clown look on their Neanderthal coach’s face when we beat them. Poor little millionaire.
  • Buying a house is way too involved a process. I can’t really complain because we have a bomb real estate agent helping us along, but the whole system feels like it’s set up to trap you in some legal hole that you didn’t see coming. And we wonder how we got into this real estate mess…
  • Barcelona should sign Diego Lopez. I know they’re making overtures to Chelsea for Petr Cech and they certainly do need to upgrade their current model, but they don’t need to go too far to find a suitable replacement keeper. I saw some amazing stuff from two Diegos in goal this weekend – Atletico’s Lopez and Almeria’s Alves – both of whom looked sprightly and assured between the pipes. Their confidence in securing dangerous balls and their athleticism in making amazing stops were in stark contrast to the uneasiness you feel when the ball approaches Valdes in the box. He’s decent enough, but for that team he just doesn’t cut it, especially when you make the inevitable comparison to his Real Madrid counterpart. Then again, no one holds very well in that test.
  • The-Dream’s new album “Love vs. Money” is really fucking good. For the first time in 2009 there are finally multiple albums coming out (and/or leaking, I won’t specify which) that I want to hear, but I can’t get to them because I am so stuck on this new Dream shit. This man has some kind of Midas touch. His songwriting is so good I even like the track with Mariah on it. And don’t even get me started on all the hilarious one-liners on here. My favorite changes daily, but right now I’m stuck on, “I’m all up on you like a white tee on a thug.” Or maybe, “Your body’s the cup, my body’s the coffee, and I’m brewin’ it, while we’re doin’ it, to Kelly’s 12 Play.” He works his formula for all it’s worth (“ella, ella, eh, eh”), but it never gets old. He can brew my coffee any day.
  • Is there a better name in all of sports than Simao Sabrosa? I just can’t get over that one. And with his scintillating free kicks, the names feels so appropriate, which makes it even better. The thing that gets me is that he goes by “Simao,” which appears on his jersey. If any of my names was Sabrosa, I would refuse to be called anything else. I would’ve been that obnoxious kid during roll call. Substitute: “Simao?” Me: “Sabrosa, please. Thanks.” 

And I’m spent. Off to enjoy some Easter candy that probably won’t make it to Easter. Till the 76ers tomorrow.

Posted in music, nba, soccer | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Mavs Still Can’t Beat Us

Posted by hiphopmama on March 15, 2009

Mavericks Lakers

Dallas 100, LA Lakers 107


Never a dull game in Laker-land. I know we have a sparkling history of giving up big leads, but this was one of our more impressive efforts in that respect. We looked to be cruising for much of the game, after Gasol’s 8-for-8 first quarter shooting led the Lakers to a 9-point first quarter lead. We didn’t even need Kobe to score until the second, when he made four in a row after missing his first four and helped us extend the lead to 12 by halftime. 

Things were going along swimmingly in the third quarter, with the bench players getting some minutes and the lead swelling to 15, until our complete inability to defend the three-point line caught up with us. We had been hanging off their perimeter shooters the whole night, but they hadn’t really punished us for it. And then Jason Terry lost his friggin’ mind. With about 6 minutes left in the quarter, Terry drilled back-to-back threes to cut the lead to single-digits, and then proceeded to hit two more before the end of the quarter. The real back-breaker was the one he made at the buzzer, after a Laker turnover gave him the chance to throw one up from a few feet inside half-court.

That shot meant that it was just a 7-point lead to start the fourth, and the Mavs continued their run as Terry added another three, Kidd got a breakaway lay-up, and Antoine Wright added a pair of free throws. Gasol made a mid-range jumper to extend the lead to a whopping 3 points, but we didn’t score again until Dallas had reeled off 9 straight points, including yet another Terry three. 

During that fourth quarter run, we looked completely confused by Dallas’ zone, and our entire offense consisted of Sasha Vujacic threes, none of which he made. A number of them were pretty good looks, but that’s still not our game. Finally, after we let them run up a 6-point lead on us, Kobe decided enough was enough and drained a long three from the right wing to cut the deficit in half. Ariza then made a pair of shots to reclaim a 1-point lead, and Kobe capped it with a ridiculous 27-footer with the shot clock winding down. It was only after that that Dallas got back on the scoreboard with a James Singleton tip-in. We to make things as nervy as possible, turning the ball over with a 5-point lead and giving Nowitzki a chance to cut it to 2, but thankfully he missed the three and we we let the Mavs self-destruct the rest of the way to a defeat. 

Even though we looked ridiculous giving up that lead, nothing really unexpected happened in this one. The Mavs simply punished us in a very predictable way for a defensive tendency that we have displayed all season, namely our refusal to pay any attention to three-point shooters. This strong-side zone we employ works very well to smother the side of the floor the ball is on and limit opportunities in the paint, but it is piss-poor when it comes to defending the swing pass to the other side. To be honest, we have a tough time defending the perimeter no matter what defense we’re playing, but the strong-side zone makes our deficiencies in that area even more glaring by leaving us so exposed on the weak side and over-committed to the interior. The percentages – and our results – indicate that we’re better off packing it in in the paint at the expense of some open outside shots, but every now and then a good shooting team is going to make us pay, as Dallas did tonight. The only worry I have is how this game is interpreted by other teams, who may find a way to more consistently exploit our obvious defensive weakness.

All quibbling aside, this was an incredible game to watch. I scared my cats half to death and hurt my throat yelling at the screen, especially as I was trying not to wake up my husband and daughter in the next room and so was restricted to that hoarse scream of excitement as Kobe led our comeback and sealed the victory with one amazing shot after another. If the Mavs weren’t affiliated with Mark Cuban, I might even feel sorry for them for always screwing up their chances to beat us, particularly at Staples Center. How many incredible comebacks do we have against these guys at this point? Was it 27 points that we came back from in the fourth quarter a few years back? They just can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to the Lakers, and I can’t say it makes me too sad. I hope they just keep on choking, especially if we’ll be facing them in the first round. If they can make the playoffs at all, that is. 

And finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Trevor Ariza, who had the game of his life tonight, scoring a career-high 26 points, including a couple of big baskets in the fourth quarter that helped us regain and cement our lead. In addition to the scoring, he also played lockdown defense on whoever we threw him at. We put him on Jason Terry for a while to quiet that threat, and he was later moved over to Kidd, who he harassed for the final minutes. He ended up shooting 9-of-13 from the floor and 3-of-5 from three-point range, and he played a big role building up our lead in the first place. This whole starting gig has certainly sat well with him. If he can produce even half that much on a regular basis, he will be a huge asset come playoff time because we won’t be sacrificing much on the offensive end when we have him in for defensive purposes. 

Game recap:


I’m not happy that we gave up that lead, but it’s nice to know we still close better than any team in the game. Having a Kobe Bryant on your team goes a long way toward that end.

Posted in nba | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Lakers Over Mavs…Again

Posted by hiphopmama on November 11, 2008

LA Lakers 106, Dallas 99


How many times have we seen this scenario? The Mavs have the Lakers on the ropes, often at home in Dallas, and they can’t close the deal. Of course, a valiant comeback is involved and the Lakers do the damn thing, but it’s always right their in Dallas’ hands and they let it slip away. The line-ups have changed over the years, but the outcome never really has. Tonight was more of the same.

The Mavericks jumped out in front of the Lakers in the first quarter, but LA did its familiar thing and slowly chipped that away, weathering the storm and winning each of the next three quarters by mounting some remarkable scoring runs. Nowitzki – he of the call-out-your-teammates-then-suck-it-up fame – barely showed up, and Dallas was also without Josh Howard due to a wrist injury.

Trevor Ariza continues to make me look like an idiot for ever questioning his role with the team (although, for the record, I was only opposed to seeing him get so many minutes in crucial playoff situations). He slammed home a rebound to cap a run and put the Lakers ahead in the fourth quarter, and he also swatted a 3-point attempt by Stackhouse at the very end which ultimately resulted in a shot clock violation. He also contributed 13 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals in the victory, which moves the Lakers to 6-0 for the first time since their last championship run in 2001-02, when they started 7-0.

Kobe was good for his usual team-leading scoring numbers, with 27 points in 36 minutes. Gasol added 22, and Bynum had 11 along with 10 rebounds and 3 blocks. Kidd got his 101st career triple double (16 points, 11 rebs, 10 assists), but it wasn’t enough to get it done against the Lakers. Again.

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