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NBA Playoffs, Welcome to the Highlight Factory!

Posted by sportsallday on April 17, 2010

Playing with the same poise and perseverance that carried them through the regular season the Atlanta Hawks notched a 102-92 win at home against the Milwaukee Bucks. Many people have questioned the Hawks’ legitimacy as playoff contenders, but any uncertainties were put to rest in the first half when Atlanta came out firing and went into halftime with a commanding 62-40 lead over the visiting Bucks.

Joe Johnson led the steady Hawks attack with 22 points as well as notching 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Josh Smith contributed a 12 point 10 rebound effort while pacing the Hawks on defense with four blocks and on offense with his usual intensity and rim-rattling dunks. The real story of the night was the rebirth of Mike Bibby as a staple of the Hawks’ offense. Missing only one shot all game long, Bibby shot eight for nine from the field including three for three from behind the arc to end up with 19 points. In his first career playoff game, Jamal Crawford once again established himself as THE Sixth Man of the Year, coming off the bench to score 17 as well as helping contain Milwaukee’s dynamic duo of Brandon Jennings and John Salmons.

The Bucks put up a fight in the second half, outscoring the Hawks 52-40 but it was simply not enough as Jennings’ 34 point effort was wasted in the series opener. Expect the same intensity and sense of urgency from the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday, as they look to extend their home winning streak to 14 games and secure a commanding 2-0 series lead over the Bogut-less Bucks.

Coming later, the first no-hitter of the season and first in franchise history for the Rockies in Atlanta. Also, a look into the first day of the NBA Playoffs and what to expect tomorrow.

Until then,



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Hawks Blaze Past Portland for Their 5th Straight Win!

Posted by sportsallday on March 20, 2009

This Sunday, Atlanta was faced with an arduous task, slowing down the Blazers and star shooting guard Brandon Roy. Roy put on a show scoring 29 points, dishing out five dimes and capping that off his spectacular performance four boards. But I guess Roy hasn’t heard the saying “Anything you can do I can do better,” because Joe Johnson went off on the Blazers. pic_03194For the fourth straight game, Joe scored more than 30 points, with a grand total of 35 before going to the bench to allow the bench players some playing time. He also added an impressive seven boards and six assists to his scoresheet, showing that he is a versatile, all-around team player that is a force to be reckoned with on the court. Three other Hawks scored in double figures, led by Josh Smith with 19 points and 8 boards. Al Horford contributed 13 points and 5 boards while Mike Bibby was making himself useful at the point-guard position with 5 assists, also scoring 15 and grabbing 4 rebounds. This was an all-around great win for the Hawks, making it five in a row, all on their home-court. They were able to send their reserves in with time still left in the game, ending the game with a final score of 98-70. Blowing out Portland is great, but the Hawks need to keep on their guard for Sacramento. Although Sacramento has the worst record in the NBA, they are a dynamic team that can unexpectedly bring their A-game on any given day. Let’s hope that the Hawks will bring their A-game on Tuesday in Atlanta against the Kings to extend the winning streak to six games.

Until then,


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What A Day In The NBA!

Posted by sportsallday on March 5, 2009

In a day of comebacks, homecomings and clinched playoff spots, perhaps the most thrilling game of the day took place in South Beach. The high-scoring affair pitted Phoenix and All-Star center Shaquille O’Neal against Dwayne Wade and the Miami Heat at home. It was a homecoming for Shaq, who called Miami home for a few seasons before being traded to the d-wade-sunsSuns. Dwayne Wade went off on Phoenix, putting up 35 points, 16 dimes and 6 boards en route to an impressive 135-129 win. The Miami Heat bench, fueled by rookie phenom Michael Beasley and hot-shot 3-point shooter Daequan Cook supplemented the incredible performance by Miami’s starting 5 by going off for a combined 55 points. This sealed the deal for Miami, who after facing struggles in recent games was able to finish this one out and get a good win against a talented Suns squad led by Shaq. Dwayne Wade, who has averaged 37.3 points per game over his last 6 games has come alive for the Heat, who are trying to fight for the 5th seed in the Eastern Conference.

One team that no longer has to worry about their chances of making the playoffs are the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs, fresh off a win in Miami took complete control at home and cruised to a 91-73 against a sub-par Milawaukee Bucks team led by Richard Jefferson. The Cavs are the first team in the NBA to clinch a playoff spot, but that won’t be enough for them. Look out for Lebron and the Cavs to keep fighting for that number one seed and ideal homecourt advantage. With games against Boston, Miami and Phoenix coming up within the next week, the Cavs will have their work cut out for them.

Coming off a two-game skid, the Celtics were in desperate need of a win, and they managed to scrape one out against Devin Harris and the New Jersey 80391811BB284_CELT_CAVSNets. Led by Paul Pierce’s 31 points and 5 assists, the Celtics were able to overcome a Nets 4th-quarter comeback to win 115-111. Vince Carter’s 34 points and 4 assists was just not enough to propel the Nets against the defending champs, so the Nets will look to rebound against Dwight Howard’s Orlando Magic. Meanwhile, the Celtics will have to buck up because they are facing a surging Cleveland Cavaliers squad at home Friday, the Orlando Magic on Sunday and Dwayne Wade’s Miami Heat on Wednesday. Without KG, Boston will have to find some answers in order to keep their dreams alive of repeating as NBA champions.

Other teams around the NBA had some hard-fought games tonight as well. The Hawks fought back in the 4th quarter against the Knicks at Madison Sqaure Garden but came up short as they lost the game 109-105. Despite the valiant efforts of Tony Parker and his 37 point performance, the Dallas Mavericks were able to withstand the furious onslaught by the San Antonio Spurs to win 107-102. The Oklahoma City Thunder pulled off an 88-83 win against the struggling Washington Wizards due to a balanced attack from their 5 starters, all who ended up scoring in double figures. The Chicago rudy-gay1Bulls completely demolished the Golden State Warriors, having six players score in double figures on their way to a 110-88 victory at home. The Portland Trailblazers were able to capitalize on an impressive 28 point performance by Brandon Roy to beat the Indiana Pacers 107-105. The Pacers continue to miss All-Star Danny Granger, who has been sidelined with a foot injury since February 19th. The Utah Jazz were able to pull of a 101-94 victory against the ailing Houston Rockets, who are without Tracy McGrady for the remainder of the season. This win marks their 9th in a row, which poses the question can anyone stop them? We will get the answer to that when they face off at home against the Denver Nuggets. The Memphis Grizzlies got a good win against the Los Angeles Clippers. Not that it matters for either team, as they are both clearly out of the playoff races with Memphis having 16 wins and 44 losses and the Clippers having 15 wins and 47 losses. Rudy Gay was the shining star of the night, putting up 35 points and 8 boards to go along with Marc Gasol’s near triple-double effort of 20 points 10 assists and 8 boards. Tomorrow, the New Orleans Hornets face off against the Dallas Mavericks, who are fresh off a huge emotional victory against the San Antonio Spurs. Later in the night the Nuggets take on Brandon Roy and the Trailblazers in an attempt to continue their quest for a Western Conference playoff spot.

Tomorrow I’ll be covering the NFL Free Agency, including Terrell Owens being released by the Dallas Cowboys. Also will be covering the GHSA basketball state playoffs and Manny Ramirez signing back with the Dodgers.

Until Then,


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King James Continues to Reign From Atop His Throne

Posted by sportsallday on March 3, 2009

On this day 47 years ago, Wilt Chamberlain put on the single-greatest showcase of scoring in the vast history of the NBA. All-Stars Dwayne Wade and Lebron James have put some scoring showcases of their own on this season, and last night was no exception. In a battle of two of the NBA’s elite, d-wade-king-jamesDwayne Wade made the tragic mistake of trying to slow down Lebron James. I guess he didn’t get the memo that this feat, as of late, can not be done. As of last night, these two stars were the NBA’s two leading scorers and they provided clear evidence of this in their games. Wade made a valiant effort, putting up numbers some players would die to see in their box score: 41 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds and a career-high 7 steals. However, it was just not enough to prevail against King James. Wade and James went back and forth all game, 3-pointer for 3-pointer, tomahawk dunk for tomahawk dunk. At the end of the game though, it was James’ Cavaliers that emerged victorious with a hard-fought 107-100 win on the road and Lebron’s performance was nothing short of extraordinary. In 43 minutes of play, he notched 42 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists. James has emerged as a leading candidate for the MVP award, averaging 31 points a game in February including two games with more than 50 points. This game marked his 7th 40-point performance of the season.  If that is not evidence that he is as deserving of this award as anyone else in the race, I’m not sure what is.

For now, he will look to continue his phenomenal play against upcoming opponents Milwaukee, Boston and Miami. Boston will be a tough stage for Lebron to perform on, as the Celtics are one of the top defensive squads in d-wade-lebronthe league. However, where there’s a will, there’s a way and if Lebron can find a way to break out in that game, both he and his team will find great success. A pivotal game will be the Miami rematch on Saturday at home. With Dwayne Wade and the Heat looking to avenge their loss, Lebron and his team will have to protect their homecourt to maintain the intensity and confidence that has guided them so well throughout the season. The next chapter in this great rivalry between King James and D-Wade is just waiting to be written next Saturday night, and the fans are waiting to experience it.

Tomorrow I will delve into the depths of the free-agent pool in the NFL and discuss the major changes being made and that should be made in the offseason.

Until Then,


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West Coast Warriors

Posted by sportsallday on March 2, 2009

The burning question in the NBA right now is: Is there anyone or any team that can slow down the Los Angeles Lakers and their superstar Kobe Bryant? 80391826NG022_SPURS_LAKERSFor the past few months many people have doubted if this was actually a possibility. However, the Lakers are currently on a two-game slide and are in search of some answers in terms of what happened to the sheer dominance they showcased throughout the first four months of the season. With devastating losses to both the Denver Nuggets and the Phoenix Suns over this weekend, the Lakers are looking to bounce back Tuesday night against the sub-par Memphis Grizzlies squad led by emerging rookie star O.J. Mayo. They also have a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, which will be the perfect chance to prove that their spot atop the Western Conference is not one to be questioned.

Trailing behind the Lakers in a quest for the second seed is the perennial powerhouse San Antonio Spurs and the uber-talented Denver Nuggets. The Spurs have been plagued by injuries all season long. However, they have always had someone stepping up in the absence of their fallen stars. Recently, guard Tony Parker has provided them with the spark needed to overcome the loss of All-Star forward Tim Duncan. Duncan was out of commission for three games and his presence was sorely missed, but thanks to Tony Parker’s lights-out performances, the Spurs were able to win two out of three. Their only loss was to Lebron’s Cavaliers on Friday, despite Parker and four other Spurs players scoring in double-figures. Although the Spurs are without key reserve guard Manu Ginobli for at least another two weeks, Tim Duncan is back in the lineup tonight against Brandon Roy and the Portland Trailblazers. Whether Duncan will bring to the court the fire and intensity that is associated with his play is a question, but the bigger question still remains. Can the San Antonio Spurs maintain their intensity and second seed in the close race for Western Conference playoff sports?

Meanwhile, the Denver Nuggets are desperately seeking to establish themselves as legitimate playoff contenders. Their 90-79 win against the Lakers on Friday not only helped them climb up in the rankings, but it also 82994140SL003_CHARLOTTE_BOBsent a message to the rest of the Western Conference that they will fight for that second or third seed, and that winning against them is no walk in the park. Unfortunately they were not able to keep that mindset against the Indiana Pacers today and lost 100-94. Whether this was because of overconfidence or just the lack of an adequate performance is up to individual interpretation. What it does mean though is that they will need to fight even harder if they want to move into that second seed that is currently occupied by San Antonio. This will mean consistent performance from Chauncey Billups, Carmelo Anthony and Kenyon Martin will be required on a nightly basis. Even though they do not have the bench depth that most playoff contenders have, the bench will also need to step up to shoulder some of the burden if they truly want to prove themselves as a possible top-seed adversary.

The fourth through ninth seeds are all playing phenomenally well and they are within four games of each other. What this means is that on any given night, the order can completely switch around depending on how each team does.  This group consists of Houston, New Orleans, Portland, Utah, Dallas and Phoenix. All of these teams have hopes of making the playoffs, but only five will fill out the remaining spots in the Western Conference race. All of these teams are entertaining and bring their a-game, but the three teams to watch come playoff time are the Houston Rockets, the New Orleans Hornets and the Phoenix Suns.

The Houston Rockets have had a tough year, dealing with several injuries, but none hitting harder than the loss of their leader Tracy McGrady. McGrady is out for the season after having micro-fracture surgery on his knee. This is a big loss for the Rockets and they will have to shift the rockets1responsibility to Yao Ming and defensive guru Ron Artest. With the help of Luis Scola, Aaron Brooks and Shane Battier, the Rockets have a realistic chance of making the playoffs and making it farther than the first round exit they experienced last year.

And on to the New Orleans Hornets. If I said that I wasn’t disappointed in the Hornets performance so far this year, I’d be lying. However, they still have managed to work their way into the fifth spot. CP-3 has not been able to single-handedly win games this year and it shows in their record. Go-to guys David West and Tyson Chandler have not been putting up the numbers they put up last year and it has affected the Hornet’s performance immensely. If West and Chandler can re-emerge as options in the offense for Paul to hit with his dazzling passes, the Hornets will be able to solidify their hopes of returning to the playoffs. If the Hornets can’t find the intensity and passion that made them such a threat in last year’s playoffs, then they will not be successful in advancing in this year’s playoffs.

The Phoenix Suns are perhaps the biggest mystery in the NBA. How can a team so full of talent currently be a game back on the 8th seed in the Western Conference? The answer is that they have lacked an effective coaching style for the first four months of the season. Furthermore, the loss of Amare Stoudemire for eight weeks with a detached retina left them with some big shoes to fill. However, a big man with some big shoes of his own has been able to pick up the slack and reinforce the Suns’ frontcourt game. You might’ve heard of him before, he’s made his presence felt in the NBA for many years. The man I speak of is none other than the Big Diesel, Shaquille O’Neal.shaq Only one word can describe his performance of late, and that word can be found in an ESPN commercial featuring the big man himself. That word is Shaqtastic. With his 37th birthday around the corner, his play is reminiscent of that witnessed in his glory days. With a monstrous 45 point and 11 rebound performance in a win against the Toronto Raptors, and a 33 point exhibition against his former team, the Los Angeles Lakers, Shaquille O’Neal became part of NBA history. Not only did he re-establish himself as a legitimate threat in the low-post, but he also became only the fourth player over the age of 35 to score 33 points or more in consecutive games. He joined the likes of legends Alex English, Karl Malone and “His Airness”, Michael Jordan. If Shaq can continue to dominate down-low and the Suns backcourt can pick up the slack in the absence of assist-man Steve Nash, the Suns will be able to climb in the ranks and make the playoffs. That is, if their newly-instated coach Alvin Gentry can keep up his sensational coaching on both ends of the court.

The last two spots in the Western Conference race both come down to the simple facts of who can close out the season effectively. The Portland Trailblazers are a young team with abundant talent, but their ability to finish off opponents is questionable. Dallas is on the other end of the spectrum with a squad full of playoff-tenured veterans who are eager to get back to the playoffs once more. The question with Dallas lies in the ability of the Dallas bench to deliver on a daily basis. If Dallas’ bench can step up in the clutch, then Dallas will be back in the playoffs once more. That leaves the Utah Jazz, winners of seven straight and hungry for a playoff berth once more. With the return of powerful post presence Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams giving the Jazz solid play in the backcourt, the Jazz have been the hottest team in the NBA. The question remains do the Jazz have the determination and will-power to finish off the season strong, or will they end the season on a sour note and fail to make the playoffs? The answer will only come in time.

Next up for you readers out there, March Madness is finally here, so come back tomorrow to see which teams should be in, which teams should be out, and who stands to receive a number one seed.

Until then,


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