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Nets stay perfect in 2013. The Lakers drama continues. Scott Skiles resigns as Bucks coach.

One team stays perfect in 2013, the drama continues in Tinseltown, and another coach is gone in the middle of the season. Here are the highlights of Week 11 of the 2012-13 NBA season.

Nets stay perfect in 2013.
Photo ©NBA/BrooklynNets.com
 
The start of 2013 has gone well for the Brooklyn Nets, as they have gone 5-0 early into the new year as they have propeled themselves back into contention for a top seed in the Eastern Conference as they currently sit in 4th placetied with the Atlanta Hawksat 21-15 and are. Their current win streak includes a blowout victory against the defending Western Conference Champions Oklahoma City Thunder on the road to open 2013. Interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo has gone 7-1 since taking over the coaching duties for the Nets from Avery Johnson with their lone blemish coming at the hands of San Antonio Spurs on the road. With the ballhandling of all-star guard Deron Williams, together with the scoring of another all-star Joe Johnson, as well as the inside presence of Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries and Reggie Evans who has been a revelation for the Nets this season. The Nets have found success and now are poised to challenge for a top spot in the Eastern Conference.
 
The Purple and Gold drama continues.
Photo ©NBA/Lakers.com
 
Out West though, one team has yet to pick up a win in the new year, and the surprising fact about it, is that the team who are on the hook are the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers have suffered defeats in the six games they have played so far in 2013losing to tough teams out West like the conference‘s top three of the Thunder, their cotenants in Staples Center theClippers and the Spurs as well as competitive West teams like the Rockets and Nuggets, and a lone East defeat against the 76ers at home. Also, the injury bug has hit the Lakers at the worst possible time as their big men of Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill are currently nursing injuries. Howard and Gasol will be back on the floor soon enough, however Hill will miss the remainder of the season to a hip injury. Despite a valiant effort by Kobe Bryant to keep them afloat the Lakers are sitting in 11th place in the Western Conferenceat 15-21, 5 games off the 8th seed out West which is currently held by the Houston Rockets. Head coach Mike D’Antoni has been disappointing in his performance with the Lakers angering an already restless fanbase as shown in their last game against the Thunder with regular Laker fan actor Jack Nicholson alongside fellow actor Adam Sandlerleaving Staples Center in the fourth quarter. If things don’t change, the Lakers could be well on their way to missing the playoffs for only the sixth time in their illustrious franchise history spanning 16 championships (11 of them won in Los Angeles.) We could be seeing the playoffs with the Clippers advancing and the Lakersheading for an early off-season. How rare are we going to see that moment if it does play out.
 
Scott Skiles resigns as coach of the Bucks.
Photo ©NBA/Bucks.com
 
Another coach during the season was shown the door out this week as Scott Skiles filed his resignation as the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks after a 16-16 record which saw them fall down in the standings in the Eastern Conference. Skiles is the third coach this season to be relieved during the season. Jim Boylan was named the interim head coach of the Bucks after Skiles’ resignation. The Skiles to Boylan transition is not something new as in 2007, Boylan took over from Skiles (after Pete Myers) with the Chicago Bulls after the team went on a 9-16 startunder Skiles, but Boylan‘s tenure was uneventful as the Bulls missed the playoffs that season. With his resignation, Skiles finishes his tenure in Milwaukee with a 162-182 record spanning his more than four year tenure with the Bucks. Will Boylan be able to turn the Bucks’fortunes around? That we will find out in the coming days.

Meanwhile in Week 10, two players won their second Player of the Week honors this seasonwith James Harden of the Houston Rockets taking the honors in the Western Conference, while Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks wins in the Eastern Conference.


Here are the standings across the association:

Western Conference:
1. Thunder (28-8), 2. Clippers (28-9), 3. Spurs (28-11), 4. Grizzlies (24-11), 5. Warriors (23-12), 6. Nuggets (22-16), 7. Trail Blazers (20-16), 8. Rockets (21-17), 9. Jazz (20-19), 10. Timberwolves (16-17), 11. Lakers (15-21), 12. Mavericks (15-23), 13. Kings (13-24), 14. Suns (13-26), 15. Hornets (11-25)

Eastern Conference:
1. Heat (24-11), 2. Knicks (23-13), 3. Pacers (23-14), 4. Nets (21-15), 5. Hawks (21-15), 6. Bulls (20-14), 7. Celtics (19-17), 8. Bucks (18-17), 9. 76ers (16-22), 10. Raptors (14-22), 11. Pistons (14-24), 12. Magic (13-23), 13. Bobcats (9-27), 14. Cavaliers (929), 15. Wizards (6-29)

Stay tuned as a brand new edition of the NBA weekly blog comes your way next week.

K-Smoove
P.S.
I have not been blogging about my life stories for a while, since I’m getting busy with other important things I need to accomplish. I’ll write one soon as I get a free day.

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NBA Christmas 2012: Heat defeat Thunder in Finals rematch. Clippers win 14th straight game. Lakers clicking at home. Rockets and Celtics rout opponents on the road.

On this special edition of my NBA blog, we look back at the games held on Christmas Day in the NBA. There were five games on tap for that day, teams went it in with their special  Christmas jerseys and they put on a show for fans on hand. Let’s get to it.

Heat knock off Thunder in Finals rematch.
Photo ©NBA/Heat.com
 
187 days ago, the Miami Heatcap off their quest for a second championship as they defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5 of the 2012 NBA Finals in front of their home crowd at the American Airlines Arena. It was also the time when LeBron James fulfilled a dream to become a NBA Champion, as well as a Finals MVP trophy to complement, at the same time proving his haters and criticswrong. On Christmas Day, these two teams meet for the first time this season, and the game proved to be a scoring parade. The Heat would prevail over the Thunder 103-97.
 
The Heatnowlead the Eastern Conference at 19-6, while the Thudnerdrops to second in the West at 21-6.
 
James led the Heat with a near triple-double 29 points, 9 assists and 8 rebounds with 2 steals on 12-20 shooting from the field. Dwayne Wade added 21 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Mario Chalmersscored 20 points. Chris Bosh added 16 points and 6 rebounds. Also, Mike Miller made a career milestone by reaching the 10,000 point mark all-time in his career.
 
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 33 points and 7 rebounds on 11-21 shooting from the field and 2-4 shooting from 3 point range. Russell Westbrook finished with a double-double 21 pointsand 11 rebounds. Kevin Martin off the benchand Serge Ibaka each scored 15 points.
 
Clippers win 14th straight game.
Photo ©NBA/Clippers.com
7 and half hours after the Lakers played a game inside Staples Center, their co-tenants and the hottest team in the NBA came out to begin their own Christmas Day game. The Los Angeles Clippers battled the Denver Nuggets, on the line was a 13 game winning streak, things went well for the Clippers as they defeat the Nuggets 112-100 for their 14th straight victory.
 
The Clippers now lead the Western Conference at 22-6, while the Nuggets drop to 8th place tie with the Utah Jazzat 15-14.
 
Jamal Crawford off the bench led the Clippers with 22 points on 9-21 shooting from the field and 3-6 shooting from 3 point range. Matt Barnes added 20 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Chris Paul added 14 points, 8 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals. Blake Griffinadded 13 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Lamar Odom grabbed 10 rebounds.
 
Kosta Koufos led the Nuggets with a double-double 16 points and 10 rebounds on 8-8 shooting from the field. Jordan Hamilton off the bench also scored 16 points with 4 rebounds. Ty Lawson added 15 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds. Andre Miller added 12 points and 6 rebounds.
 
Lakers defeat the Knicks at Staples.
Photo ©NBA/Lakers.com
 
The drama around Laker Nationis starting to fade as the Los Angeles Lakers have now found their groove and are now starting to make some ground in the Western Conference as they picked up their 5th straight win and go at .500at the expense of the New York Knicks at the Staples Center 100-94.
 
The Lakers are now at 14-14, tied for 10th place with the Portland Trail Blazers. While the Knicks drop to second place in the Eastern Conference at 20-8.
 
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 34 points and 5 rebounds on 14-24 shootingfrom the field. Metta World Peace off the bench added 20 points and 7 rebounds before fouling out in the 4th quarter. Steve Nashfinished with a double-double 16 points and 11 assists with 6 rebounds on 7-12 shooting from the field. Dwight Howard also finished with a double-double 14 points and 12 rebounds with 2 steals and 2 blocks. Pau Gasol added 13 points and 6 rebounds.
 
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 34 points and 7 rebounds on 13-23 shooting from the field. J.R. Smith off the bench added 25 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals on 10-23 shooting from the field. Raymond Felton added 10 points and 6 rebounds.
 
Rockets blow out Bulls in Chicago.
Photo ©NBA/Rockets.com
 
The team with the fastest pace in the NBA today have picked up another win by another scoring rampage on another defensive-oriented team, the Houston Rockets led by as many as 35 points, were able to keep their composure despite a late challenge in the fourth quarter as theyblew out the Chicago Bulls on their home floor at the United Center 120-97.
 
The Rockets are in 6th place in the Western Conference at 15-12, while the Bulls lose their lead in the Central Division to the Indiana Pacers at 15-12, in 5th place in the Eastern Conference.
 
Four Rockets players finished with more than 20 points with James Harden leading the way with 26 points, 6 assists, 5 reboundsand 2 steals on 7-13shooting from the field and 11-13 shooting from the free throw line. Chandler Parsons added 23 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals on 9-15 shooting from the field and 4-5 shooting from 3 point range. Omer Asik who made his return to Chicago finished with a double-double 20 points and 18 rebounds with 3 blocks on 9-13 shooting from the field. Jeremy Lin also finished with a double-double 20 points and 11 assists on 8-12 shooting from the field.
 
Nate Robinson off the bench led the Bulls with 27 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals on 9-16 shooting from the field. Marco Belinelli added 15 points and 3 assists on 5-10 shooting from the field. Luol Deng added 14 points and 5 rebounds.
 
Celtics take Atlantic showdown in Brooklyn.
Photo ©NBA/Celtics.com
 
Defense was the key to this game as the Boston Celticswith their stifling defensetake the Atlantic Division showdown against the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center 9376. The Celtics forced the Nets to 20 turnovers and 40% shooting from the field.
 
With the win, the Celtics tie the Nets for 7th place in the Eastern Conference at 14-13.
 
Rajon Rondo led the Celtics with 19 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals on 8-16 shooting from the field and 2-2 shooting from 3 point range. Rookie Jared Sullinger off the bench added 16 points and 7 rebounds on 6-7 shooting from the field. Jeff Green scored 15 points. Jason Terry added 11 points and 4 assists. Paul Pierce dished out 10 assists with 8 points while Kevin Garnett grabbed 10 rebounds with 8 points.
Brook Lopez and Gerald Wallace led the Nets with 15 points each. Lopez added 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. Wallace added 6 rebounds and 3 steals. Joe Johnson added 12 rebounds and 4 assists. Deron Williams added 10 points and 6 assists.
 
Watch out for my NBA weekly blog, the last one for 2012coming out this Sunday.
 
K-Smoove

Kobe Bryant reaches 30,000. Knicks retake control atop the East. Rolling Thunder.

History was made to mark the week in the association. Here are some of the happenings from Week 6 of the 2012-13 NBA season.

Kobe hits 30,000 points!
Photo ©Getty Images
In their December 6 (December 5, New Orleans time) game against the New Orleans Hornets at the New Orleans Arena, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant shot himself to the history as he reached the 30,000 point mark in his illustrious NBA career, making him the youngest player (34 years, 104 days) in NBA history to reach 30,000 career points, all of which donning the purple and gold. He also becomes the 5th player in NBA history to reach the mark joining the likes of Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain. The Lakers capped of the game with a win over the Hornets 103-87. However, the Lakers went into a slide after losing to the reigning Western Conference Champions Oklahoma City Thunder and the Utah Jazz, as the Lakers are outside of the playoff picture out West in 11th place at 9-12.But for a player like Kobe Bryant who is always on a mission to win it all, a lot of work needs to be done in Tinseltown these days.
 
Knicks once again on top of the East.
Photo ©NBA/Knicks.com
 
In a very intense competition atop the Eastern Conference, the New York Knicks have once again retook control atop the Eastern Conference as they stand at 15-5, a full game ahead of the reigning NBA champions Miami Heat who are at 13-5. While the Atlanta Hawks have made their way up the ladder and are now sitting in third place in the East at 12-5. While the Chicago Bulls lead the Central Division at 11-8. The Knicks have remained unbeaten athome in Madison Square Garden where they are 8-0. Carmelo Anthony has shouldered the load for the Knicks as he won the Eastern Conference Player of the Week award for Week 5 of the season. Things are looking bright in Manhattan, they arewell in contention for a shot at the NBA championship, if their friends from South Beach or down the East River in Brooklyn have anything to say about their chances of winning the title this season.
 
 Eight in a row for the Thunder.
Photo ©NBA/Thunder.com
 
The reigning Western Conference Champions Oklahoma City Thunder have made it eight straight wins in a row picking up wins this week against the Brooklyn Nets in Brooklyn and against the Los Angeles Lakers and Indiana Pacers at home. The Thunder are currently tied with the San Antonio Spurs for the best record in the NBA at 17-4. Once again, Kevin Durant has been leading the way for the Thunder bagging his second Western Conference Player of the Week award in Week 5 of the season, and he has been backed up well by the entire Thunder roster with players like Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, Kevin Martin, Nick Collison and Kendrick Perkins to name a few helpingout Durant this season. Indeed, these guys are ready to contend for another shot at the NBA title.
 
Meanwhile, LeBron James of the Miami Heat was named Eastern Conference Player of the Month for October-November. James for the month finished with averages of 25.0 points per game, 8.9 rebounds per game and 6.5 assists per game on 53% field goal shooting
 
While Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder was crowned the Western Conference Player of the Month. Durant for October-November finished with averages of 26.5 points per game, 8.8 rebounds per game, 4.4 assists per game and 1.6 blocks per game on 51% shooting from the field, 43% shooting from 3 point range and 89% shooting from the free throw line.
 
Also, the first Rookie of the Month selections of the season were named. For the month of October-November, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers took the honors in the Western Conference. Lillard stands out among the rookies alongside top pick Anthony Davis as he led all rookies in scoring (18.4 PPG), assists (5.9 APG) and steals (1.4 SPG) for the month.
 
While Michael Kidd-Gilchrist of the Charlotte Bobcats took top honors in the Eastern Conference. Kidd-Gilchrist finished the month with averages of 10.9 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.2 SPG, and 1.3 BPG.
 
The first Coach of the Month awardswere also given. Out West, the awardwent to Lionel Hollins who led the Memphis Grizzlies to their best start in franchise history at 12-2 for the month. While Avery Johnson took the honors in the Eastern Conference as he led the Brooklyn Nets to also their best start in franchise history at 11-4 for the month.
 
Here’s how the teams are faring across the association:
 
Western Conference:
1. Spurs (17-4), 2. Thunder (17-4), 3. Grizzlies (14-4), 4. Clippers (14-6), 5. Warriors (13-7), 6. Jazz (12-10), 7. Timberwolves (9-9), 8. Mavericks (10-10), 9. Nuggets (10-11), 10. Rockets (9-10), 11. Lakers (9-12), 12. Trail Blazers (8-12), 13. Kings (7-12), 14. Suns (7-15), 15. Hornets (5-14)
 
Eastern Conference:
1. Knicks (15-5), 2. Heat (13-5), 3. Hawks (12-5), 4. Bulls (11-8), 5. Nets (11-8), 6. 76ers (11-9), 7. Celtics (11-9), 8. Bucks (10-9), 9. Pacers (10-11), 10. Magic (8-12), 11. Bobcats (7-12), 12. Pistons (7-15), 13. Cavaliers (4-17), 14. Raptors (4-17), 15. Wizards (2-15)
 
17 of the 30 teams have picked up 10 wins this season, on both sides of the standings, things are looking clear and tightly contested on top of both conferences, at the same time in the middle of the standings, it is a log jam of teams trying to gain a better footing in the standings.
 
Stay tuned as a new edition of my NBA weekly blog comes out soon.
 
K-Smoove

Grizzlies streaking atop the West. Fear the Deer in Milwaukee. Mike D’Antoni, new coach for the Lakers.

Surprise! Surprise! Teams that people least expect to lead their conferences are now doing so right now, and a coaching change completed in Tinseltown. Here are the happenings from Week 3 of the 2012-13 NBA season.

Grizzlies streaking out West.
Photo ©NBA/Grizzlies.com
After starting the season with a loss against the team that booted them out last season in the playoffs, the Los Angeles Clippers in L.A., the Memphis Grizzlies are right now the hottest team in the NBA as they have won the next seven games after their opening night defeat against the Clippers. Yesterday, they gave the then undefeated New York Knicks their first defeat of the season with a 105-95 victory at home. Now the Grizzlies, have taken the reigns from the San Antonio Spurs as the best team in the Western Conference. For the Grizzlies, they are led by a four-man machine led by Rudy Gay who leads the team in scoring at 19.8 points per game (together with 5.8 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.2 blocks per outing), Zach Randolph who leads the team in rebounding at 13.9 rebounds per game (alongside 17.2 points per outing), Spaniard Marc Gasol who leads the team in blocks at 1.3 per outing (together with 15.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists per outing), and Mike Conley who leads the team in assists at 6.4 per outing as well in steals at 2.0 per outing (alongside 14.8 points per outing). The Grizzlies also have other good players to back up these four men like Tony Allen who is the defensive dynamo for this squad, together with Quincy Pondexter, Jerryd Bayless, Marreese Speights and Wayne Ellington. Things are looking bright from this squad from Tennessee, who knows? We could see them atop the league at the end of the season. With a stacked lineup and team that quote themselves as “We Don’t Bluff City”. These Grizzlies are there to make some noise in the ever-always “Wild Wild West”.
 
Fear the Deer!
Photo ©NBA/Bucks.com
 
It has been a long time since this team was relevant in the NBA, but this season, there are more reasons to say Fear the Deer!” The Milwaukee Bucks, who are currently in 2nd in the Eastern Conference behind the New York Knicks have found their groove at the same time surprising everyone in the Eastern Conference, as right now they are ahead of more popular teams like the reigning champions Miami Heat as well as the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, and division rivals the Chicago Bulls and the Indiana Pacers. Led by one of the best backcourt duos in Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, the Bucks are in early position to make some noise in the Eastern Conference. Jennings, the face of these new look Bucks team is averaging 17.5 points per outing, he leads the team in assists at 8.0 per outing as well as steals averaging 3.3 per game. Ellis, who joined the Bucks from Golden State mid-season is leading the team in scoring at 20.3 points per game (together with 5.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game). Aside from the explosive backcourt duo, the Bucks have a lot of players who can step up like Mike Dunleavy Jr., Larry Sanders, Tobias Harris, Ersan Ilyasova, Beno Udrih and Samuel Dalembert to name a few. Every player on the Bucks roster can contribute. Especially in a division where favored teams like the Bulls and Pacers are going through injury issues. These guys from Wisconsin have the capability to steal the Central Division crown. Like they say there, FEAR THE DEER!
 
Mike D’Antoni, new coach of the Lakers.
Photo ©NBA/Lakers.com

Days after Mike Brown was relieved of his duties as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. Another “Mikewill take over the coaching reins for the purple and gold, by the name of Mike D‘Antoni. D’Antoni who was notable for his coaching stints with the Phoenix Suns and the New York Knickswas named the new head coach for the Lakers and was selected over the more popular choice among Laker fans in the name of “The Zen Master” Phil Jackson.
 
D’Antoni’s coaching record in the regular season stands at 388-339 (53.3%) in 10 seasons as head coach (Denver, Phoenix & New York) and is 26-29 (47.3%) in 5 playoff appearances (4 with the Suns, 1 with the Knicks.) D‘Antoni will also reunite with Steve Nash whom he coached to two MVP trophies in 2005 and 2006 with the Suns.
 
Right now there are a lot of questions for the franchise, will D’Antoni’s hiring as coach bring the Lakers out of the flux in the Western Conference and into contending for a championship where many pundits wrote about them especially with the arrivals of both Nash and Dwight Howard to join forces with Kobe Bryant and Paul Gasol. We’ll see if a proud franchise can make a large fan base happy about this season with D’Antoni calling the shots. He will make his coaching debut in Los Angeles as the Lakers will face the Houston Rockets tomorrow.
 
Meanwhile, LeBron James of the Miami Heat and Kenneth Faried of the Denver Nuggets were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week respectively.
 
Here’s how the teams are faring right now in the NBA:
 
Western Conference:
1. Grizzlies (8-1), 2. Spurs (8-2), 3. Clippers (7-2), 4. Thunder (7-3), 5. Warriors (5-4), 6. Timberwolves (5-4), 7. Mavericks (6-5), 8. Jazz (5-6), 9. Trail Blazers (4-5), 10. Lakers (4-5), 11. Rockets (4-5), 12. Nuggets (4-6), 13. Hornets (3-5), 14. Suns (4-7), 15. Kings (2-7)
 
Eastern Conference:
1. Knicks (6-1), 2. Bucks (6-2), 3. Heat (8-3), 4. Nets (5-2), 5. Celtics (6-4), 6. Bulls (5-4), 7. 76ers (5-4), 8. Bobcats (4-4), 9. Hawks (4-4), 10. Pacers (4-6), 11. Magic (3-5), 12. Cavaliers (2-7), 13. Raptors (2-7), 14. Pistons (1-9), 15. Wizards (0-7)
 
All teams have tasted defeat this season, only the Washington Wizards have yet to taste a victory this season. We have some surprise teams on in the early hunt like the Golden State Warriors and the Minnesota Timberwolves (they’re doing it without stars Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio, as well as some players who are also out with injuries and are playing hurt)out West, while the Brooklyn Nets are living up to the hype since their move from New Jersey, while the Charlotte Bobcats are at .500 as of the moment. 
 
Watch out for the next edition of my weekly NBA blog next week.
 
K-Smoove

NBA Weekly Blog: Brown fired as Lakers coach. Undefeated Knicks. Spurs atop the West once again.

From firings to the early leaders in the standings. Here are some of the stories for Week 2 of the 2012-13 NBA season.

Fired! Mike Brown out as Lakers coach.
Photo ©NBA/Lakers.com
 
After spending a lockout shortened season and five games into the new season. Mike Brown has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. Brown, took over as the coach of the Lakers from Phil Jackson last season where he led them to a 41-25 finish during a lockout shortened season which saw them advance to the second round of the playoffs before falling in five games against eventual Western Conference Champions Oklahoma City Thunder. The Lakers started the season flat at 1-4 before Brown got the boot. Assistant coach and former Charlotte Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff takes over as interim head coach for the Lakers as the franchise begins their search for a replacement. After Brown’s departure, the Lakers came out with a victory against the Golden State Warriors yesterday at Staples Center. A favorite for most Lakers fans would be to bring back “The Zen Master” Phil Jackson as head coach. The Lakers are also considering former Suns & Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni and another former Lakers coach in Mike Dunleavy, Sr.; With Brown out, who will call the shots for a Lakers team with a lot of hype coming into the season but has to find it’s calling in order to compete a top the Western Conference? A lot of uncertainties for franchise with a rich history and a devoted fan base which spans all over the world.
 
Knicks remain undefeated.
Photo ©NBA/Knicks.com
 
The New York Knicks, are the only team left in the NBA this season who has yet to taste a defeat are playing inspired basketball to start the season, especially for a city which has been recently battered with extreme weather for the past couple of weeks. The Knicks are at 4-0 in the standings and are on top of the Eastern Conference ahead of the defending champions Miami Heat at 5-1. It also happens that one of the Knicks four victories came at the expense of the reigning champions when these two teams met at Madison Square Garden on opening week. Carmelo Anthony has been leading the charge for the Knicks currently averaging 27.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per outing on 44% field goal shooting. He has also been getting help from every guy on the Knicks roster from players like J.R. Smith, Raymond Felton, Ronnie Brewer, Tyson Chandler, Jason Kidd, Steve Novak, and even Rasheed Wallace. So the Knicks are doing well so far to start the season, the question is, can they sustain it until the end of the season. That we will have to see as the season progresses.
 
Once again, the Spurs are atop the West.
Photo ©NBA/Spurs.com
 
A recurring theme for the last two seasons, the San Antonio Spurs this season have maintained their hold atop the Western Conference. These veterans under the long-time mentorship of Gregg Popovich have kept themselves competing year after year, and now are sitting in ahead of the Western Conference early into the new season at 6-1 ahead of the second running Minnesota Timberwolves at 4-1. They picked up huge victories against teams like the team that booted them out in the Western Conference Finals the Oklahoma City Thunder on a Tony Parker game winner on opening week as well as victgries against the New Orleans Hornets, Sacramento Kings, Utah Jazz, Indiana Pacers and the Portland Trail Blazers. Their lone defeat came at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers in a dismantling defeat in Los Angeles. A balanced Spurs attack has been crucial for the team led by “The Big Fundamental” Tim Duncan who leads the Spurs averaging 18.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and 1.4 steals on 53% shooting from the field. Duncan is well backed up by players like Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Gary Neal, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, and Stephen Jackson to name a few. Consistency has been the name of the game for these Spurs. They may have a veteran-laid lineup, but they find ways to win games. Will it translate to another championship. Too early to tell, but these guys will be on the hunt this season.
 
Meanwhile, James Harden of the Houston Rockets and Brandon Jennings of the Milwaukee Bucks won the first Player of the Week awards of the season for the Western Conference and Eastern Conference respectively.
 
Here are the standings across the league:
 
Western Conference:
1. Spurs (6-1), 2. Grizzlies (4-1), 3. Clippers (4-2), 4. Thunder (4-2), 5. Timberwolves (4-2), 6. Hornets (3-2), 7. Nuggets (4-3), 8. Mavericks (4-3), 9. Rockets (3-3), 10. Jazz (3-4), 11. Warriors (3-4), 12. Suns (3-4), 13. Trail Blazers (2-4), 14. Lakers (2-4), 15. Kings (2-4)
 
Eastern Conference:
1. Knicks (4-0), 2. Heat (5-1), 3. Bulls (4-2), 4. 76ers (4-2), 5. Bucks (3-2), 6. Nets (2-2), 7. Celtics (3-3), 8. Hawks (2-2), 9. Pacers (3-4), 10. Bobcats (2-3), 11. Magic (2-3), 12. Cavaliers (2-4), 13. Raptors (1-5), 14. Wizards (0-5), 15. Pistons (0-7).

So teams have played a minimum of 4 games and a maximum of 7 games. Still early within the season, we have seen a ton of surprises both on top and the bottom of the standings. Some teams who struggled early getting their grove back, while some teams who started well have suffered setbacks. Others see no change in their fortunes. Days in, we’re in for a great battle in the coming weeks. Watch out for a new edition my weekly NBA blog next week.

K-Smoove

A new season of basketball begins: Beardsanity hits Houston. Heat get their rings. Woes for the Lakers.

A new season of the world’s best basketball league has begun. As the 2012-13 NBA season tips off with a bang. Starting today, I’ll give you a rundown of a week of NBA basketball. Well since it’s a Sunday in the Philippines, while Sunday is just approaching the US. So here are some of the stories for the first four days of NBA basketball.

Beardsanity hits Houston!
Photo ©NBA/Rockets.com
Well, since I’m a huge Houston Rockets fan for 10 years now. We’ll start off with the team I support the most. The Houston Rockets made a major roster overhaul this season. Only Patrick Patterson, Chandler Parsons, Marcus Morris and Greg Smith are back from last year’s team.They brought in a lot of new players this year like Jeremy Lin, Omer Asik, Carlos Delfino, Toney Douglas, rookies Terrence Jones and Royce Whiteto name a few and recently they acquired the reining Sixth Man of the Year and Olympic gold medalist James Harden from the reigning Western Conference Champions Oklahoma City Thunder alongside Cole Aldrich and Daequan Cook for Kevin Martin, rookie Jeremy Lamb and a host of draft picks.
 
Harden delievered BIG for the Rockets, making the Rockets a early favorite for playoff contention, at the same time making the Thunder think on why they traded him to Houston. Harden scored 37 points, dished out 12 assists, grabbed 6 rebounds and 4 steals in his season debut against the Detroit Pistons en route to a 105-96 opening game victory at The Palace. He followed it up with a career-high 45 points with 7 rebounds in a 109-102 victory against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena. Though the Rockets came up short today in overtime in their home opener against the Portland Trail Blazers 95-85. There is a new buzz in the air in the city of Houston long after a man who once wore #11 was leading the charge for this Rockets team. With a young roster including a great backcourt duo in the making with Harden and Lin. Indeed, A NEW AGE has begun for the Houston Rockets which brings excitement to the Red Nation who has been star-crossed with injuries over the past couple years which derails the team moving forward and getting better every year.
 
 The champs get their rings.
Photos ©NBA/Heat.com
 
The 2012-13 NBA season began in South Beach as the Miami Heat celebrate their second championship in franchise history as members of the 2012 NBA Champions from the Big Three of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. To role players like Shane Battier, Udonis Haslem, Mario Chalmers, Mike Miller, Norris Cole to name a few get their championship rings and raise the second championship banner for the South Florida franchise
 
After the celebration, it was back to business for the champions as they were dead set to face their archrivals the Boston Celtics, the team they defeated in the Eastern Conference Finals en route to the NBA Finals. Another story of that game was Ray Allen, the all-time three point king who took his talents to South Beach from Beantown during the off-season will get to battle his former team in a Heat uniform. The champs make work of the Celtics as they came out with a 120-107 win. Dwayne Wade led the Heat with 29 points. LeBron James added 26 points and 10 rebounds, but had to leave in the 4th quarter due to cramps. Chris Bosh and Allen each scored 19 points. However, the Heat went into a early season roadblock in New York City as they lost by 20 points to a inspired New York Knicks team fresh off the tragedy of Hurricane Sandy, the game finished with a 104-84 blowout against the champs. They would bounce back at home on a big night for Chris Bosh who scored 40 points and Ray Allen who delivered the game-winning 4 point play as the Heat pull off a 119-116 victory against the Denver Nuggets. The reigning champions are still the team to beat in the NBA today. The question is can they go back-to-back this year?
 
Flat start for the Lakers.
Photo ©NBA/Lakers.com
 
No other team in the NBA made a lot of noise in the off-season this year than the Los Angeles Lakers as they aquired two big names for their campaign with two-time MVP Steve Nash from Phoenix and three-time Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard from Orlando joining forces with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol and made the Lakers a star-studded starting lineup and a championship contender on paper.
 
Unfortunately for the Lakers, the promise of this new team has not clicked as they start the season at 0-3. Suffering from a 99-91 opening night loss against the Dallas Mavericks who were playing without their star in Dirk Nowitzki, a 116-106 loss in Portland against the Trail Blazers and a 105-95 defeat against their co-tenants at the Staples Center the Los Angeles Clippers. This is the first time since 1978 the Lakers begin the year at 0-3. Too add more insult to injury, the Lakers lose Steve Nash for a week because of a leg fracture which brings more bad news to a team trying to compete for a championship. Things are uncertain right now for the men in the purple and gold.
 
Here are the standings across the league after the first four days of the new season:
 
Western Conference: 
1. Spurs (3-0), 2. Timberwolves (1-0), 3. Warriors (2-1), 4. Trail Blazers (2-1), 5. Clippers (2-1), 6. Hornets (2-1), 7. Mavericks (2-1), 8. Rockets (2-1), 9. Thunder (1-1), 10. Grizzlies (1-1), 11. Suns (1-1), 12. Jazz (1-2), 13. Lakers (0-3), 14. Kings (0-3), 15. Nuggets (0-3)
 
Eastern Conference:
1. Bucks (2-0), 2. Nets (1-0), 3. Magic (1-0), 4. Knicks (1-0), 5. 76ers (1-0), 6. Bulls (2-1), 7. Heat (2-1), 8. Pacers (2-1), 9. Bobcats (1-1), 10. Celtics (1-2), 11. Cavaliers (1-2), 12. Hawks (0-1), 13. Raptors (0-2), 14. Wizards (0-2), 15. Pistons (0-2).
 
Right now, the standings are still scrambled, within the next few weeks, the standings will balance out, and we’ll get a clear picture of who’s in a groove and who’s fumbling out. Watch out for my next NBA blog entry next week.
 
HERE WE GO
A GOOD START TO THE BASKETBALL NEW YEAR!
K-Smoove

NBA Daily Blog Playoff Edition: Thunder advance to the Western Conference Finals, defeats the Lakers in Game 5 106-90. Celtics go up 3-2 vs the 76ers 101-85.

The Oklahoma City Thunder celebrate their victory in Game 5 vs the Lakers
Photo ©NBA/Thunder.com
The Oklahoma City Thunder advance to the Western Conference Finals for the second straight season as they take the series win against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 5 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena 106-90. The Thunder will now face the #1 team in the West, the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals which will begin in San Antonio on May 28.

Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with 28 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals. Kevin Durant finished with a double-double 25 points and 10 rebounds with 4 assists and 2 steals. James Harden off the bench added 17 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists. Kendrick Perkins pulled down 11 rebounds with 6 points and 2 blocks. Serge Ibaka added 8 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks.

Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 40 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals. Pau Gasol finished with a double-double 14 points and 16 rebounds with 3 blocks. Metta World Peace added 11 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals. Andrew Bynum added 10 points and 4 rebounds.

In Boston, the Boston Celtics take a 3-2 series lead as they win Game 5 against the Philadelphia 76ers at the TD Garden 101-85. Game 6 will be back in Philadelphia on May 23. Brandon Bass led the Celtics with 27 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Kevin Garnett added 20 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals. Paul Pierce added 16 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Rajon Rondo finished with a double-double 13 points and 14 assists with 4 rebounds and 2 steals. Rookie Greg Stiemsma off the bench added 10 points and 3 blocks. Elton Brand led the 76ers with 19 points, 3 rebounds and 2 steals. Rookie Lavoy Allen off the bench scored 12 points. Evan Turner finished with a double-double 11 points and 10 rebounds with 3 assists. Spencer Hawes and Jrue Holiday each scored 10 points.

2012 NBA Playoffs Bracket (as of 16:52 PHT)

WESTERN CONFERENCE

#1 Spurs vs #5 Clippers
SAN ANTONIO SPURS WINS SERIES 4-0
#1 Spurs vs #2 Thunder
Game 1: May 28, 8:30 am PHT Channel TBD

#2 Thunder vs #3 Lakers
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER WINS SERIES 4-1

EASTERN CONFERENCE

#4 Celtics vs #8 76ers (Celtics lead series 3-2)
Game 6: May 24, 8:00 am PHT Channel TBD

#2 Heat vs #3 Pacers (Series tied 2-2)
Game 5: May 23, 8:00 am PHT on NBA Premium TV

K-Smoove