What's on the Menu? "mmmmmm . . . Basketball!!!!"

Thursday, October 30, 2014

SDH Presents Euroleague Basketball Regular Season Round 3: Thursday Recap


Opening night of Round 3 of the Regular Season was an evening to remember as a Euroleague legend reached a major milestone while a number of players delivered spectacular offensive performances to power their teams to high-scoring victories.  Make sure you visit www.euroleague.livebasketball.tv to access live games with much more videos and do not forget to check on +Slap Dog Hoops  for all the scores, recaps and highlights in +EUROLEAGUE BASKETBALL.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!   

SDH Presents Euroleague Basketball Highlights: Alba Berlin v Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv



Five players scored in double figures as reigning Turkish Airlines Euroleague champion +Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv led from start to finish in grabbing a 69-84 victory at +ALBA Berlin in Group B. Brian Randle scored 25 points against his old team to lead Maccabi while Devin Smith scored 16 points and Jeremy Pargo had 15 points and 10 assists.  Make sure you visit www.euroleague.livebasketball.tv to access live games with much more videos and do not forget to check on +Slap Dog Hoops  for all the scores, recaps and highlights in +EUROLEAGUE BASKETBALL.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!   

SDH Presents Euroleague Basketball Highlights: Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade v Valencia Basket


+Crvena Zvezda  Telekom Belgrade rode the undying support of its fans and three quarters of excellent defense to beat +Valencia Basket 76-63 in Kombank Arena on Thursday. Behind 16 points plus 8 rebounds from Boban Marjanovic, and 14 points and 8 assists from Marcus Willams, Zvezda improved to 2-1 in Group D. Make sure you visit www.euroleague.livebasketball.tv to access live games with much more videos and do not forget to check on +Slap Dog Hoops  for all the scores, recaps and highlights in +EUROLEAGUE BASKETBALL.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!    

SDH Presents Euroleague Basketball Highlights: Real Madrid v Nizhny Novgorod


+Real Madrid set a Euroleague record with 33 assists and Jaycee Carroll netted a career-high 32 points in a comfortable 112-83 home win over +Nizhny Novgorod on Thursday night. The victory bumped Madrid’s record to 3-0 and gave it sole possession of first place in Group A.  Make sure you visit www.euroleague.livebasketball.tv to access live games with much more videos and do not forget to check on +Slap Dog Hoops  for all the scores, recaps and highlights in +EUROLEAGUE BASKETBALL.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!   

SDH Presents Euroleague Basketball Highlights: Panathinaikos Athens v Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul


In a historic night in competition history, +Panathinaikos+ Athens tied a club record with 18 three-pointers made to defeat +Fenerbahçe Ülker Istanbul 91-73 in Group C. Both teams are now tied in Group C, each with a 2-1 record. Dimitris Diamantidis became the first player to reach 1,000 career assists in the Euroleague. He finished the game with 10 assists, which is 1 short of his career best. A.J. Slaughter added 23 points on 7-of-10 three-point shooting.

Make sure you visit www.euroleague.livebasketball.tv to access live games with much more videos and do not forget to check on +Slap Dog Hoops  for all the scores, recaps and highlights in +EUROLEAGUE BASKETBALL.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!   

SDH Presents Euroleague Basketball Highlights: Anadolu Efes Istanbul v Zalgiris Kaunas


In a great battle that went down to the final seconds, +BC Žalgiris registered its second win in Group A by edging +Anadolu Efes Istanbul 60-65 on the road on Thursday. Both teams are now tied in with 2-1 records. Edgaras Ulanovas paced the winners with 19 points and 7 rebounds.  Make sure you visit www.euroleague.livebasketball.tv to access live games with much more videos and do not forget to check on +Slap Dog Hoops  for all the scores, recaps and highlights in +EUROLEAGUE BASKETBALL.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!   

SDH Presents Euroleague Basketball Highlights: Unics Kazan v. Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari


Unics Kazan claimed its first victory of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague season by blowing past +Dinamo Sassari 85-62 at home on Thursday. D’Or Fischer led a balanced Unics attack that featured six scorers in double figures with 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting and 9 rebounds. Nikos Zisis added 13 points, Kostas Kaimakoglou amassed 11 points and 8 assists. Rakim Sanders led Sassari with 18 points and Edgar Sosa tallied 13 points and 5 assists.  Make sure you visit www.euroleague.livebasketball.tv to access live games with much more videos and do not forget to check on +Slap Dog Hoops  for all the scores, recaps and highlights in +EUROLEAGUE BASKETBALL.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!   

SDH Presents Euroleague Basketball Regular Season Round 3: Thursday Preview


Round 3 of the regular season goes into action on Thursday in six games from six different countries! Make sure you visit www.euroleague.livebasketball.tv to access live games with much more videos and do not forget to check on +Slap Dog Hoops  for all the scores, recaps and highlights in +EUROLEAGUE BASKETBALL.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!   

SDH Presents Toronto Raptors Post Game: Dwane Casey - October 29, 2014


Head coach Dwane Casey addresses media following the +Toronto Raptors 109-102 season opening win over the +Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.  For more, go to raptors.com and always keep up with all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.   Also, please kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!  

SDH Presents Toronto Raptors Post Game: DeMar DeRozan - October 29, 2014


+Demar Derozan addresses media following the +Toronto Raptors 109-102 season opening win over the +Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.  For more, go to raptors.com and always keep up with all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.   Also, please kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!  

SDH Presents Toronto Raptors Post Game: Greivis Vasquez - October 29, 2014


+Greivis Vasquez addresses media following the +Toronto Raptors 109-102 season opening win over the +Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.  For more, go to raptors.com and always keep up with all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.   Also, please kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!  

SDH Presents Toronto Raptors Post Game: Kyle Lowry - October 29, 2014


Kyle Lowry addresses media following the +Toronto Raptors 109-102 season opening win over the +Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.  For more, go to raptors.com and always keep up with all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.   Also, please kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!

SDH Presents Marc Gasol Beginning 2014-2015 NBA Season with a Career-High


+Marc Gasol had a monster night as he scored a career high 32 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in the +Memphis Grizzlies win over the +Minnesota Timberwolves.  Visit nba.com/video for more highlights and always keep up with all 30+NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, please kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!

SDH Presents Phoenix Suns Opening Night - Alex Len Post Game


Alex Len speaks to the media after last night's win vs. the +Los Angeles Lakers on (10/29/2014).  Enjoy this and look out for more great +Phoenix Suns coverage--including all the latest news, scores, and highlights along with interviews, commentary and analysis--right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!    

SDH Presents Phoenix Suns Opening Night - Goran Dragic Post Game


+Goran Dragic speaks to the media after last night's win vs. the +Los Angeles Lakers on (10/29/2014).  Enjoy this and look out for more great +Phoenix Suns coverage--including all the latest news, scores, and highlights along with interviews, commentary and analysis--right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!    

SDH Presents Phoenix Suns Opening Night - Marcus Morris Post Game


+Markieff Morris  speaks to the media after last night's win vs. the +Los Angeles Lakers on (10/29/2014).  Enjoy this and look out for more great +Phoenix Suns coverage--including all the latest news, scores, and highlights along with interviews, commentary and analysis--right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!    

SDH Presents the Top 10 NBA Plays: October 29th


Check Out the top 10 Plays of October 29, 2014!  Visit nba.com/video for more highlights and always keep up with all 30+NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, please kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!

SDH Presents The Starters – October 29th


+The Starters  overreact to the first night of the +NBA  season: including Anthony Davis' MVP like performance, +Chandler Parsons' terrible +Dallas Mavericks debut, and the +Kobe Bryant /+Dwight Howard  fracas. Watch +The Starters  weekdays at 6:30 on +NBA TV, get more of them on their website: http://nba.com/thestarters; and  keep tuned in to +Slap Dog Hoops for all the latest news, notes and more from the +NBA and beyond.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!   

SDH Presents The Return of the Charlotte Hornets!


The buzz is back in Charlotte! And the home opener couldn't have been more exciting as the +Charlotte Hornets completed the best comeback in Charlotte NBA history to get the win over the +Milwaukee BucksVisit nba.com/video for more highlights and always keep up with all 30+NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog HoopsAlso, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks! 

SDH Presents Full Highlights of Celtics' Avery Bradley & Marcus Thornton's 25 points combined vs Brooklyn Nets 10/29/2014



Check out the highlights of +Boston Celtics' back court duo of +Avery Bradley and Marcus Thornton as they combined for a rather impressive statline against the +Brooklyn Nets. Bradley posted 15 points off of 7/13 shooting while Thornton contributed 10 points and 1 block, shooting 4/6 FG in just 14 minutes.  Click here to take a look a the game's full boxscore and catch more great Celtics highlights along with scores, recaps, post game interviews, analysis and commentary right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, be sure to check out my preseason Worst to First prediction right here: http://slapdoghoops.blogspot.com/2014/10/sdhs-20142015-nba-worst-to-first_49.html.  Finally, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!       

SDH Presents Full Highlights of Celtics' Marcus Smart's NBA Debut of 10 points,4 steals vs Brooklyn Nets 10/29/2014


Check out the highlights of +Boston Celtics' rookie and Point guard of the future, Marcus Smart, as he posted a rather impressive regular season debut against the +Brooklyn Nets with a statline of 10 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 steals in just 28 minutes .  Click here to take a look a the game's full boxscore and Catch more great Celtics highlights along with scores, recaps, post game interviews, analysis and commentary right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, be sure to check out my preseason Worst to First prediction right here: http://slapdoghoops.blogspot.com/2014/10/sdhs-20142015-nba-worst-to-first_49.html.  Finally, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!       

SDH Presents Full Highlights of Celtics' Rajon Rondo's 13 points,7 rebounds,12 assists vs Brooklyn Nets 10/29/2014



Check out the highlights of +Boston Celtics' veteran point man +Rajon Rondo as he posted a rather impressive statline against the +Brooklyn Nets of 13 points, 7 rebounds, 12 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block, along with shooting 6/9 from the field in 30 minutes.  Click here to take a look a the game's full boxscore and catch more great Celtics highlights along with scores, recaps, post game interviews, analysis and commentary right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, be sure to check out my preseason Worst to First prediction right here: http://slapdoghoops.blogspot.com/2014/10/sdhs-20142015-nba-worst-to-first_49.html.  Finally, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!       

SDH Presents Full Highlights of Celtics' Kelly Olynyk's 19 points,6 rebounds vs Brooklyn Nets 10/29/2014


Check out the highlights of +Boston Celtics' second year big man +Kelly Olynyk as he posted a rather impressive statline against the +Brooklyn Nets of 19 points, 6 rebounds (4 of them offensive), 2 assists, and 1 steal, while shooting 8/14 from the field in just 29 minutes.  Click here to take a look a the game's full boxscore and catch more great Celtics highlights along with scores, recaps, post game interviews, analysis and commentary right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, be sure to check out my preseason Worst to First prediction right here: http://slapdoghoops.blogspot.com/2014/10/sdhs-20142015-nba-worst-to-first_49.html.  Finally, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!       

SDH Presents from DraftExpress.com: RJ Hunter 2014-15 NCAA Basketball Preseason Scouting Video


Check out this great +NCAA preseason scouting video, courtesy of +DraftExpress, breaking down the strengths and weaknesses of +Georgia State University's sharpshooter RJ Hunter.  Catch more great highlight videos from +DraftExpress along with interviews as well scouting reports of both current and future +NBA stars right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.   Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks! 

SDH Presents from DraftExpress.com: Rashad Vaughn 2014-15 NCAA Basketball Preseason Scouting Video


Check out this great +NCAA preseason scouting video, courtesy of +DraftExpress, breaking down the strengths and weaknesses of +UNLV freshman shooting guard Rashad Vaughn.  Catch more great highlight videos from +DraftExpress along with interviews as well scouting reports of both current and future +NBA stars right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.   Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks! 

SDH Presents from DraftExpress.com: Domantas Sabonis 2014-15 NCAA Basketball Preseason Scouting Video


Check out this great +NCAA preseason scouting video, courtesy of +DraftExpress, breaking down the strengths and weaknesses of +Gonzaga Bulldogs freshman power forward Domantas Sabonis.  Catch more great highlight videos from +DraftExpress along with interviews as well scouting reports of both current and future +NBA stars right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.   Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks! 

SDH's 2014/2015 NBA Worst to First Previews and Predictions: 22. Indiana Pacers


Overall Win/Loss Record:  56-26, first place Central Division

2014/2015 Projection: 38-44, fifth place Central Division, eleventh place Eastern Conference 

Preseason Rank
22



Last season’s Team Statistics and League Rank

  • Points Scored: 96.7 (24th)
  • Points Allowed: 92.3 (2nd)
  • Team FG%: .449 (17th)
  • Opponent’s FG%: .420 (1st)
  • Team FT%: .779 (8th)
  • Team Three Point FG%: .357 (17th)
  • Rebounds per game: 44.7 (8th)
  • Opponents rebounds per game: 41.2(5th)
  • Turnovers per game: 14.5 (21st)
  • Opponents turnovers per game: 13.2 (26th)



Returning Individual Statistical Leaders

  • Scoring (ppg): David West (14.0)
  • Rebounds per game:  Roy Hibbert (6.6)
  • Minutes per game: George Hill (32.0)
  • Assists per game:  George Hill (3.5)
  • Field Goal Percentage: David West (.488)
  • Free Throw Percentage: Solomon Hill (.857) 
  • Three Point FG Percentage: Chris Copeland (.418)
  • Steals per game: George Hill (1.0)                 
  • Blocked Shots per game:  Roy Hibbert (2.2)

Projected Opening Day Starters Based on Past Performance and Potential Impact:


  • George Hill (PG)
  • CJ Miles (SG)
  • Chris Copeland (SF)
  • David West (PF)
  • Roy Hibbert (C)

Key Reserves Rank Based on Past Performance and Potential Impact::


  1. Luis Scola (F)
  2. Rodney Stuckey (G)
  3. Ian Mahinmi (C)
  4. CJ Watson (G)
  5. Solomon Hill (F)
Last season the Indiana Pacers earned the best regular season record in the Eastern Conference, but were thwarted once again in their desires for championship glory when they lost to the +Miami HEAT in the Conference Finals.  Now the Pacers find themselves on the outside looking in as their off season was marred by a horrific injury, poor personnel decisions and emergence of a team that was once the league's personal doormat.  While the majority of the teams in the East spent their off season upgrading and strengthening their rosters, Indiana simply stood pat and remains with the same old team, but without two major ingredients that were the source of their past successes.  It could be considered as the "snap that was heard around the world," when Paul George, the team's leading scorer and franchise player, slammed against the base of a basket in an effort to retrieve the ball and saw his leg shatter as if it were glass.  That injured essentially shattered Indy's season as a playoff contender; however, it is what happened during the off season that will determine not only the team's prospects this year, but in subsequent years following.

Thanks to the infinite wisdom of the team's President, Larry Bird, Indiana's future as championship contender or even a relevant competitor in its own division is in complete jeopardy.  To start off, instead of trying to develop it he mortgaged whatever young promising talent he had in +Tyler Hansbrough, Gerald Green and +Miles Plumlee, exchanging them away for older players whose basketball shelf life has all expired.  David West was already at his athletic peak as a player when he first joined the Pacers at the age of 30 four years ago, but Bird found it wise to keep him for three more years after his two year deal expired, instead of using that money to invest in a much younger player in Hansbrough, who showed that he had the potential to mimic, if not improve on what West was already doing.  Not only did he allow Hansbrough to leave, Bird also jettisoned Green and Plumlee to the +Phoenix Suns in exchange for Luis Scola, who at 34, is a player, who like West, has also seen his best basketball years past and at best can maintain his current production; however, in the case Green and Plumlee, it was the complete opposite as they both flourished in Phoenix and will most likely continue to have very long and prosperous careers.  Now thanks to Bird's shortsightedness, the Pacers are not only severely handicapped with the loss of George for the season, but they are stuck with aging players that can no longer perform or produce the same way they had done in previous years; however, that was not the worst move that Bird has done in his tenure.

That happened during the off season where instead of offering him the money that he clearly deserved, Larry decided to cheap out on restricted free agent +Lance Stephenson, who then took that as an insult and left for the +Charlotte Hornets.  Although Paul George was the team's loeading scorer and franchise player, Stephenson could be considered as a rising star and arguably the team's best overall player last season as he led the team in assists, had the team's best field goal percentage at .491, and led the league in triple doubles.  He was second to George in both rebounds and steals per game and at 24 years of age, the guy had more than enough upside to warrant and justify at least a near max contract extension; however, Bird chose to short change him offering Stephenson a four year 36$ million deal that would have decreased after each year.  That infuriated Stephenson so much that he decided to go to Charlotte for approximately for the same money that Bird offered, but instead four years guaranteed, he chose for two guaranteed and a player option for the third.  By doing so, not only did he essentially flip Larry "the Bird" in going to another team for about the same money, but also plans to rub Bird's shortsighted and moronic choice in his face for the next two years before he becomes an unrestricted free agent and really get paid.

Many fans applauded Bird's decision for letting Stephenson go as they cited one silly instance where during a play in the Eastern Conference Finals where he playfully blew in the face of +LeBron James to distract him. Like the pompous self righteous fools that they are, the fans and local media flew in perfect V formation  in support of their revered hero, choosing to diminish Lance's role and impact on the team by condescending put downs and childish insults.  Forget the fact that he was the team's best defender that never shied away from the challenge of guarding the one time "King of Miami" in the most important series of the Eastern Conference playoffs or the fact that he was not only the facilitator, but also at times the catalyst of Indiana's offense, which struggled at time to put points on the board.  To folks in Indiana, he has been disregarded an insignificant and replaceable piece whose performance was the product of the team, and not by his own effort and talent where in fact it was the complete opposite.  If it had not been for him pushing the ball, help it move among his teammates instead of simply having it planted it in George's hands, and attacking the rim to get to the free throw line, Indiana's offense last season would have been even more stagnant that it was last season--a horrifying vision to say the least.

Sadly it is the fault of Larry Bird that Indy's future now rest in the hands of a player that is not only out for the season, but will have even more pressure put on him to compensate for the lost offense and contributions on both ends of the court in which Stephenson provided upon his return.  Such immense pressure can result in another potential long term injury that can shelf him for another season the same way it did for the +Lakers+Kobe Bryant or the +Chicago Bulls' +Derrick Rose before him.  Some have pointed out that Bird's actions with Stephenson were more financial than anything else because giving him for than the 36$ million offered would have put the Pacers over the luxury tax threshold; however, that was an even stupider reason considering the fact that the league's salary cap is expected to balloon up to 80$ million making such a concern as the luxury tax literally null and void.  Even had George not been injured, Indiana's prospects for this season would have still been minimized due to the return of the Lebron James and the arrival of +Kevin Love to the +Cleveland Cavaliers have all but eliminated Indy's chance to maintain its hold on the top of its division, let alone conference.  Add the entrance of a greatly upgraded  Bulls team many look to be in a neck to neck with race Cleveland for not just the Central Division title, but the Eastern Conference's best record, the best that Indy can hope for is a third place finish in its own division.

Let's not forget that both fellow divisional rivals the +Milwaukee Bucks and +Detroit Pistons will be looking to also further pull the Pacers down off the once high pedestal they had made which allowed themselves to become lazy and complacent.  To add to Indiana's troubles are up and teams such as the +Toronto Raptors+Washington Wizards, Charlotte Hornets and +New York Knicks along with already established powerhouses in the Heat and +Brooklyn Nets all looking to stamp out whatever relevancy the Pacers still had.  Blame Bird once again for simply settling with the status-quot expecting the East not to change instead of taking the initiative to ensure that Indiana remains among the NBA's elite franchises for years to come; instead he chose to simply stand pat and allow the rest of the East catch up thus ending Indy's short four year rise as a elite team to a grinding halt.  The sad thing about this situation that he will not be held accountable for his bungling by either the ownership, the fans or the local media because of the heavenly aura surrounding him. Similar to the way Joe Dumars was treated in his tenure as the head man of the Pistons, Larry will be deemed as above reproach as he continues to make one mistake after another and cover his behind by pointing fingers and firing others to pay for his missteps.

After years of such a practice with the team continually floundering, eventually there will be no else to deflect blame unto and like Dumars before him, Larry will find himself having to resign in  shame and disgrace.  Pacer fans should right now consider this season awash because their team simply does not have the offensive firepower or the on court leadership to really be a major factor in the Eastern Conference, and they should also look to prepare for the worst as well.  Indy's status as an elite team has all but been ground to dust and all that both the team and its fans have is four playoff seasons, but little if anything else to show for it.  The team is saddled with a roster consisting of a sad mix of the overrated, over-paid, and over the hill combined with a pathetic group of spare parts that were found by scraping the bottom of the barrel.  The prospects are certainly bleak to say the least, but ask anyone in the Hoosier State and they will say that "everything is fine," and remain in that delusional state until the walls literally fall around them to acknowledge that something is wrong.                       

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

SDH Presents Denver Nuggets Preview: vs. Pistons


+Denver Nuggets host Alexis Perry talks to both teams as they prepare to face each other in the Denver Nuggets season home opener.  Catch more in depth coverage of the Nuggets--including scores, highlights, interviews, insightful analysis and commentary--as well as the rest of the +NBA right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!

SDH Presents Lakers Post Game: Kobe's Reaction To Elbow/ Trash Talking With Dwight Howard, Plus "He's A Teddy Bear"



Watch +Los Angeles Lakers +Kobe Bryant reaction to his scuffle with +Dwight HowardCatch more +Los Angeles Lakers coverage courtesy of +Lakers Nation plus keep up with all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!  

SDH Presents Lakers Post Game: Julius Randle Fractures Right Tibia, Kobe Bryant's Reaction



+Los Angeles Lakers rookie +Julius Randle initial diagnosis from team doctors is that he fractured his tibia in his right leg in the Season Opener. +Kobe Bryant reacts.  Catch more +Los Angeles Lakers coverage courtesy of +Lakers Nation plus keep up with all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks! 

SDH Presents Lakers Post Game: Byron Scott Talks Julius Randle's Injury, Dwight And Kobe Scuffle


+Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott reacts to +Julius Randle's fractured tibia and small scuffle between +Kobe Bryant and +Dwight Howard.  Catch more +Los Angeles Lakers coverage courtesy of +Lakers Nation plus keep up with all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks! 

SDH Presents The Starters – October 28th


+The Starters  look forward to their favorite story lines, countdown the +San Antonio Spurs ' "Top 5 Forgotten Championship Moments", talk +Steve Nash's announcement, and tell you who you should pickup in fantasy. Watch +The Starters  weekdays at 6:30 on +NBA TV, get more of them on their website: http://nba.com/thestarters; and  keep tuned in to +Slap Dog Hoops for all the latest news, notes and more from the +NBA and beyond.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!   

SDH Presents Kobe Bryant 2014-2015 Season Debut


+Kobe Bryant  began the 2014-2015 season with a 19 point performance in a loss to the +Houston Rockets  on opening night.  Visit nba.com/video for more highlights and always keep up with all 30+NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, please kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!

SDH Presents Washington Wizards Courtside Report: John Wall 10/29/14



Watch this Courtside Report presented by adidas with John Wall, who talked with Dan Nolan in Miami before tonight's #WizHeat game.  Catch more coverage of the +Washington Wizards, as well as the rest of the +NBA ,right here on +Slap Dog Hoops and get all the latest news, scores, recaps, highlights, along with interviews, analysis and opinion. Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks! 

SDH Presents Washington Wizards Courtside Report: Kris Humphries 10/28/14


Watch this Courtside Report presented by adidas with +Kris Humphries, who talked with Dan Nolan about the start of the 2014-15 season.  Catch more coverage of the +Washington Wizards, as well as the rest of the +NBA ,right here on +Slap Dog Hoops and get all the latest news, scores, recaps, highlights, along with interviews, analysis and opinion. Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks! 

SDH Presents Toronto Raptors Shootaround : DeMar DeRozan & Kyle Lowry - October 29, 2014


+Demar Derozan  and Kyle Lowry speak with members of the media following Wednesday's shootaround.  For more, go to raptors.com and always keep up with all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.   Also, please kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!  

SDH Presents Toronto Raptors Shootaround: Dwane Casey - October 29, 2014


Dwane Casey speaks with members of the media following Wednesday's shootaround.  For more, go to raptors.com and always keep up with all 30 +NBA teams right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.   Also, please kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!  

SDH Presents Oklahoma City Thunder Shoot-around: Westbrook at Portland 10.29.14


+Russell Westbrook  talks about the +Oklahoma City Thunder opening night game against the +Portland Trail Blazers  at shootaround in Portland on Oct. 29, 2014.  Catch more in-depth coverage of the +Oklahoma City Thunder as well the other 29 teams in the +NBA right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!   

SDH Presents Oklahoma City Thunder Shoot-around: Brooks at Portland 10.29.14


Head Coach Scott Brooks addresses the media at shootaround prior to the +Oklahoma City Thunder's first game of the regular season, a road game in Portland against the +Portland Trail Blazers on Oct. 29, 2014.  Catch more in-depth coverage of the +Oklahoma City Thunder as well the other 29 teams in the +NBA right here on +Slap Dog Hoops.  Also, please be kind enough to share this post by simply clicking the Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest buttons below.  It would be greatly appreciated; Thanks!   

SDH's 2014/2015 NBA Worst to First Previews and Predictions: 23. Atlanta Hawks


Overall Win/Loss Record:  38-44,  fourth place Southeast Division

2014/2015 Projection: 36-46, fourth place Southeast Division, twelfth place Eastern Conference 

Preseason Rank
23


Last season’s Team Statistics and League Rank

  • Points Scored: 101.0 (15th)
  • Points Allowed: 101.5 (15th)
  • Team FG%: .458 (13th)
  • Opponent’s FG%: .462 (21st)
  • Team FT%: .781 (6th)
  • Team Three Point FG%: .363 (13th)
  • Rebounds per game: 40.0 (28th)
  • Opponents rebounds per game: 43.5 (24th)
  • Turnovers per game: 14.5 (22nd)
  • Opponents turnovers per game: 14.5 (9th)




Returning Individual Statistical Leaders

  • Scoring (ppg): Al Horford (18.6)
  • Rebounds per game:  Paul Milsap (8.5)
  • Minutes per game: Kyle Korver (33.9)
  • Assists per game:  Jeff Teague (6.7)
  • Field Goal Percentage: Al Horford (.567)
  • Free Throw Percentage:   John Jenkins (1.00)
  • Three Point FG Percentage: Kyle Korver (.472)
  • Steals per game: Paul Milsap (1.7)
  • Blocked Shots per game: Al Horford (1.5)

Projected Opening Day Starters Based on Past Performances and Potential Impact:

  • Jeff Teague (PG)
  • Kyle Korver (SG)
  • DeMarre Carroll (SF)
  • Paul Milsap (PF)
  • Al Horford (C)

Key Reserves Rank Based on Past Performances and Potential Impact:

  1. Kent Bazemore (G)
  2. Thabo Sefalosha (G/F)
  3. Mike Scott (F)
  4. Adreian Payne (F/C)
  5. John Jenkins (G)
Last season was supposed to be a swan song for the Hawks as both the team's long time franchise cornerstones Josh Smith and Joe Johnson parted ways with the organizations; yet despite bidding farewell to both their stars along with an early season ending injury to the team's leader, Al Horford, Atlanta managed to scratch and claw its way grad the final spot for the playoffs.  Not only did they manage to defy the odds and keep their seven year long playoff streak, which is currently the longest in the Eastern Conference, but they also managed to shock the the NBA fan world by coming within one game of beating the top seeded +Indiana Pacers.  Last May's seven game basketball battle seemed as the perfect ending to an otherwise taxing season for the Hawks which had seen themselves steadily decline in performance and production over the past three or four seasons.  Now with a new season underway and Eastern Conference that looks to be pretty wide open save for the first two spots which have been conceded to the +Cleveland Cavaliers, who have welcomed back their hometown hero, +LeBron James, and the +Chicago Bulls, who also welcome back a finally healthy +Derrick Rose after two straight years of sitting on the sidelines nursing injuries.  Unfortunately this is not the same Eastern Conference as last season as the Hawks will find themselves once again trying to claw its way to the post season, but this time they will not be so lucky and their once proud playoff streak will finally come at an end.

For starters, the Eastern Conference has greatly upgraded in terms of the quality of competition thanks to the not only of James' return to Cleveland, but the arrival of Western Conference alumnus +Kevin Love, who will be joining both Lebron and incumbent all star +Kyrie Irving  to form one of the most terrifying three man tandems in the league.  And despite losing their one time savior, the +Miami HEAT, also will remain a strong force in the East as the team retained to of its once mighty "Big Three" re-signing both +Dwyane Wade and +Chris Bosh, as well as bringing in quality free agents during the off season to offset the loss of Lebron in +Loul Deng and +Danny Granger.  In addition to Heat, the Hawk's two other divisional rivals, the +Washington Wizards and the newly minted +Charlotte Hornets, look to stand in their way once again as the both look to build on their successes last season.  Washington not only returns with the same team that shocked the Bull beating them in the first round of the playoffs, has also bolstered its roster by adding more size to an already imposing front court with the signing of the former Mr. +Kim Kardashian+Kris Humphries, but also the addition a veteran will a championship pedigree in +Paul Pierce.  Charlotte can also pride itself with a rather successful not only in the this summer's NBA Draft with the selections of +Noah Vonleh and +Pj Hairston, but also in free agency, by acquiring one of its sought after prospects, +Lance Stephenson to an already young and talented group.

Sadly for the Hawks, they did not fare as well in what was considered one of the richest and deepest free agent talent pools in recent memory as even their vast amounts of salary cap space did not even make even middle of the range free agents bat an eye.  They were forced to settle with bottom of the barrel players such as Thabo Sefalosha, who is known for his six year tenure with the +Oklahoma City Thunder, as well as his reputation as a defensive stopper.  Although he had the talent and ability to do so Sefalosha, as the majority of his former teammates, was never much of a factor in the Thunder's offense as the ball was dominated by the team's superstar duo of +Kevin Durant and +Russell Westbrook--and that is very unlikely to change with his new team.  At 30 years old, he has virtually no more upside or room to grow as a player after spending he spent career in the shadows and wasting whatever potential he had on a team where he was considered an more of an afterthought than anything else.  Sefalosha will certainly have the opportunity to showcase the skills and versatility that made him such a enticing prospect to be selected thirteenth overall in the 2006 NBA Draft; however, don't expect him to become this hidden treasure that will blossom as Paul Milsap surprising did last season because that time has already passed.

Atlanta did however may have a found a potential diamond in the rough, signing athletic guard Kent Bazemore who showed plenty of promise late last season with the +Los Angeles Lakers as he took advance of the opportunity of playing on a severely depleted injury plagued roster.  In the 23 games that he played with the Lakers, Bazemore posted rather solid averages of 13 points, 3 rebounds, three assists, and a steal per game while shooting .451 from the field with .371 accuracy from the three point line.  The Hawks will certainly appreciate if Bazemore continues where he left off with Los Angeles and he will have plenty of opportunities to do so as he will no longer be buried behind the bench for the last year and a half with the +Golden State Warriors, and at the age of 25, still has plenty of upside to develop into a special player.  And even if he does not become that hidden gem that he is certainly projected of being, Bazemore can still be seen as a low cost, low risk but high reward commodity for the Hawks, who they can either trade away or waive if things do not work out.  Neverless, even at their potential best, neither Bazemore, Sefalosha, their first round pick Adrien Payne, or anyone else for that matter will get the Hawks for an eighth straight playoff appearance because the odds are so stacked against them.

As if it were not rough enough to enter the season already at fourth place in its division with the return of perennial playoff contenders in the Heat, Hornets and Wizards, plus the resurgent team in the Bulls and Cavs entering the scene the Hawks also have to tangle with six more teams who are equally matched if not better than they are.  The +Toronto Raptors will definitely look to maintain their position as the top of its Atlantic Division, and the +New York Knicks, a team that has greatly improved in the off season with a new look and new attitude, will look to silence any doubters who think that they will not be able to reach the .500 mark, let alone the post season.  The +Indiana Pacers, despite losing their star Paul George for the season, still remains a formidable opponent in the East as they still return with one of the league's most stingiest defenses and after seven years of hibernation, the +Detroit Pistons will look to also rise up again to playoff contention thanks to the leadership and guidance of its new coach/GM, Stan Van Gundy.  Let's not forget about the +Brooklyn Nets, whom despite their rather bloated payroll and even more broken down roster, will definitely look to keep themselves afloat the same way as they did last season, and an up and coming team in the +Milwaukee Bucks who sport two superstars in the making in +Jabari Parker and +Giannis Antetokounmpo.  Altogether, there will be ten teams, including the Hawks, that will vie for the six remaining playoff berths in the Eastern Conference, with four of them--namely the Knicks, Pacers, Pistons and Bucks--battling to capture the last available playoff spot that Atlanta looks to procure by the end of the regular season.   

Sad to say, but it looks as if all that will be too much too handle for the Hawks, whom for years had the relatively poor state of the Eastern Conference to credit for its long status as a member of the East's Playoff club for the past seven years.  It will go without saying that Atlanta will simply not just fold at these insurmountable odds, but the pressure of being squeezed at all size will certainly crush this fading team that has seen its post season grip wear down with each passing season.  As it stands now, there is no way that this team can get any better or even improve  from its 38 win season, even with the return of Al Horford, the team's star player who had been lost for the season after playing just 29 games.  To have him, or any of his fellow starters, shoulder the burden of carrying this team into the playoffs would be severely unfair and to even think they can is even more delusional. This season may the the proverbial straw that will break the camel's back thus forcing the Hawks to tear everything down and start rebuilding from scratch.