Tag Archives: Chicago Bulls

Blake Griffin and Joakim Noah the two top black horses for the MVP award

Clippers Blake Griffin Bulls Joakim Noah

BLAKE & JOAKIM

There is no denying that the MVP title is a two-man one this year. LeBron James and Kevin Durant will be apparently fighting chest to chest till the end of the season for the award and at the moment, things look really tight. However, it’s worth taking a look at some of the black horses of this race. Although several players have been involved into the discussion for the MVP award this season, at the moment, Blake Griffin and Joakim Noah are the two best underdogs.

Noah is the main reason the Chicago Bulls have managed not only to save the 2013-2014 season but to also emerge up to the third spot in the Eastern Conference. The Frenchman center is doing it all for his team at the moment, playing defense, scoring, dishing assists and rebounding. Although Noah has literally no chances to make it to the top of list of MVP candidates, as LeBron and KD are playing in a whole different level, he is one of the most over performing players this season.

LA Clippers Blake Griffin

BLAKE

If there is one player who deserves to be considered as a third strong candidate for the MVP award this season, that is Blake Griffin. The highflying forward has not only improved his game in almost any aspect but he has also emerged as the true leader of the Los Angeles Clippers, taking the team on his shoulders during the time Chris Paul was out with an injury.

Griffin is averaging 24 points per contest, almost three more than his career-average and he is also securing 9.6 rebounds and dishing out 3.6 assists, while shooting 53.2 percent from the floor. He just recently got hurt, during the Clips’ last game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but he is projected to return to action soon and be ready for the Clips’ playoff push. Despite Griffin’s improvement, he will still not be able to reach the duo of LeBron and Durant.

LeBron is recording a career-best 57.0 percent shooting from the field and he is also putting up 26.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game, which are too much for Griffin to get close. Durant is also recording similarly impressive numbers, maybe even more impressive. He is leading the NBA in scoring with 32.2 points per game and he is also putting up 7.5 rebounds and 5.7 assists. His shooting is also great but slightly lower than LeBron’s rates, 51.2 percent from the floor and 41.2 percent from deep.
The MVP race will be coming to its end soon and we will see either Durant or LeBron earning the crown. However, we also have to recognize the efforts of players like Griffin and Noah. Chris M

WIN FREE LA CLIPPERS TICKETS

Use #CLIPSNUGS for chance to win Clippers Vs Nuggets Tickets

Your chance to win a pair of Clippers Vs Nuggets Tickets April 15th at the Staples Center! Just use hashtag #CLIPSNUGS for your chance to win! No Purchase Necessary! You can use enter via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or Google+. Your account cannot be locked and you must be following in order to WIN!

If you are entering on you can also enter #CLIPSNUGS as a comment on our post if available!

Barry’s Ticket Service is an Official Partner of the Los Angeles Clippers and is located caddy-corner from the Staples Center! You can purchase Clippers Tickets including Clippers Playoff Tickets with no service fees on any ticket!

Barry’s Ticket Service
1020 S. Figueroa, Los Angeles, CA 90015
(Across from the Staples Center inside the Luxe City Center Hotel)
Open 7 days a week, 8am – 9pm, for pickups.
(213)749-0057

Lakers Face Durant and Howard This Week

Lakers Tickets Courtside

Lakers Bulls

With Steve Nash and Steve Blake in the fold things might be looking up, at least a little bit, for the Los Angeles Lakers. Nash and Blake returned to the Lakers lineup on Tuesday night in Minnesota, with Nash making his season debut. The depleted Lakers ended up losing Tuesday night at the hands of the Timberwolves, but then went on to win two in a row on the road before losing at home Sunday versus the Chicago Bulls.

Week Recap: Even with the return of Nash and Blake the Lakers continue to be the most snake bit team in the NBA when it comes to losing players. The return of their two point guards coincided with the loss of Nick Young and Jodie Meeks to injury. Wednesday’s night win in Cleveland saw Robert Sacre of the Lakers stay in the game after fouling out, a rarely seen NBA rule, due to the fact the Lakers had just five players left. After already losing Nick Young to injury and Jordan Farmar to leg cramps the Lakers were down to five players after Chris Kaman fouled out. Even with a depleted roster the Lakers hit a season-high 18 three-point shots to defeat the Cavaliers and former Head Coach Mike Brown. Los Angeles continued their winning ways Friday night with a fourteen point defeat of the Philadelphia 76ers behind 19 points from Steve Nash on his 40th birthday. Steve Blake contributed 14 points and 8 assists in the victory. Even without Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol the return of Nash and Blake is a welcome sight for Lakers fans. The Lakers returned home Sunday to face a competitive Chicago Bulls team, losing a tough one, 92-86. Chicago ran out to a nineteen point lead and the Lakers rallied back but couldn’t close the gap in the end, losing despite a season-high 27 points from Chris Kaman. Unfortunately for the Lakers they may have lost Steve Nash again for a short period of time. Nash knocked knees with Kirk Hinrich in the third quarter, causing his knee to flare up once again. He’ll be evaluated and may miss a couple of games.

Lakers Tickets Staples Center

Staples Center

The Week Ahead: The Lakers have a big home stretch coming up with five games at STAPLES Center over the next two weeks, including two with key Western Conference contenders. Los Angeles kicks off the week Tuesday night when they host the Utah Jazz. The Jazz are coming off of an impressive home victory over the Miami Heat. Thursday night Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder make a visit to STAPLES Center, giving Lakers fans a chance to see the NBA’s leading MVP candidate in action. Following the All Star Break the Lakers return home next week when they face off versus the Houston Rockets in a game that many Lakers fans have had circled on the calendar since last summer. Wednesday will mark the return of former Lakers center Dwight Howard to STAPLES Center. The gifted big man, who had an up and down season in LA last year, has teamed with James Harden to put the Rockets in the fourth playoff position in the west. Lakers Vs Rockets tickets start at just $48 per ticket. The Lakers wrap up the following week by hosting the Boston Celtics on Friday and the New Jersey Nets on Sunday. With five games including four playoff contenders it will be a big ten days of basketball for Lakers fans. Chris Michaels.

Barry’s Ticket Service is an Official Partner of the Los Angeles Clippers and offers Clippers Tickets for all home and away games.

Barry’s Tickets is located just caddy-corner from the LA Staples Center:
1020 S. Figueroa, Los Angeles, CA 90015
(across from the Staples Center inside the Luxe City Center)
Open 7 days a week, 10am – 9pm, for pickups.
(213)749-0057

November Discounts On Trail Blazers Tickets

Trail Blazers Tickets

Blazers Tickets


If your looking for discounts on Portland Trail Blazers Tickets then Barry’s Ticket Service has what you need. With a one and one record to start off the NBA season the Trail Blazers are looking toward November to get the momentum going. The Blazers will be looking at some great games at the Moda Center including Dwight Howard and the revamped Houston Rockets, Returning NBA superstar Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls and Carmelo Anthony and the New York Nets.

Use the below Promo Codes on Trail Blazers Tickets marked BV for their November Games at the Moda Center and save now.

Discount Trail Blazer Tickets

Discounts November Trail Blazers Tickets

Discounts on Portland Trail Blazers Tickets are good for all November games played at the Moda Center located at 1 Center Court Portland Oregon 97227. Promo Codes are good on both E-Downloadable Tickets and Tickets delivered by Federal Express. Discounts and Promo Codes are only good on the website.

By:Chris Michaels

Portland Trail Blazers Preseason Brings Hope

The NBA preseason is coming to a close and most fans are gearing up for the exciting tip of the 2013-14 regular season. I have predicted that the Portland Trail Blazers are going to have a breakout year. I was hoping to do some research on the preseason stats of this Trail Blazers team but it does not look as if that is going to happen. The only stat I can find is the overall preseason record for the Trail Blazers. At this point they are 4-2 with a final preseason game against the Golden State Warriors on October 24th. After six preseason games there is not a single website on the Internet that has team or player stats. Am I missing something?

The Internet Era

Prior to my research of NBA preseason stats I was a firm believer that almost anything could be found on the Internet. I am quite efficient with Google and search, in general. This makes me believe that either preseason stats are not recorded or no one cares about the NBA preseason schedule. It is hard to fathom the latter. With millions of diehard fans looking to consume as much content as possible how on Earth could no one care about these games?

Social media is chock full of people blasting out short bits of information about sporting events. Unfortunately, no one has full game stats. They might mention that Damian Lillard has 16 points at the end of the third quarter but that is doing me no good. Either I have lost my ability to find data online or there are no stats for this particular team. I will admit that the Trail Blazers aren’t the favorite to win the West heading into the regular season but they do have the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year. From the few articles I could find about the NBA Preseason it looks as if he is lighting it up.

Damian Lillard 2013 NBA Preseason

One of the few articles I could find related to the Trail Blazers this preseason explained that Lillard had a tremendous game against the Sacramento Kings. Lillard had 16 or his 28 points in the third quarter and he lead his team to a 109-105 victory. The Kings are not expected to be a contender this year but the Trail Blazers scoring 109 points in a preseason game puts a smile on the face of many fans in Portland. The game against the Kings brings up some interesting points.

Lillard is the point guard of the Portland Trail Blazers but he is going to be asked to do much more during the 2013-14 NBA season. Unlike Chris Paul and other distributing point guards, Lillard is going to be asked to put up 30 points a game in some games during the season. Whether or not he can do this consistently has yet to be seen. When teams focus on Lillard he is going to have to adjust his game to score while also being willing to distribute to JJ Hickson and LaMarcus Aldridge.

LaMarcus Aldridge and Injuries

Something I am greatly concerned about is LaMarcus Aldridge and his injuries. Big men have struggled to stay healthy in the NBA. This is especially true in Portland. In previous articles I have mentioned that a big man is no longer a necessity in the NBA. A point guard and scorer is much more important with the new NBA hand checking rules. If teams have a player that can beat a defender off the dribble it makes the offense much more efficient. I think it is safe to say that NBA centers and power forwards are not beating anyone off the dribble.

LaMarcus Aldridge sat out the game against the Sacramento Kings to rest his sore right knee. This could be an ongoing theme for him in 2013-14. Big men are known for having knee problems over the course of their career. Luckily, Aldridge is a very young player but that does not mean he will avoid situations that could cause further injuries. Bumping into knees of other players is very common in the NBA. When athletes are leaning up against other 6’10″, 275 pound men there is going to be some type of contact with the lower body. Some of the best big men in history had terrible knee problems throughout their entire careers.

Something the Trail Blazers might do is rest Aldridge every few games or so. We are no longer living in an era in which NBA players can compete in all 82 games of the season. Even the most durable players need a night off every so often. When I was growing up Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were on the court every single night. This just does not happen these days. I can remember Jordan playing when he had the flu. One of the most epic performances by Jordan was in the NBA Playoffs when he had the flu and could barely walk. He was known for playing out of this world when he was sick.

Today’s NBA players are not going to play through pain or sickness. In all reality, this is probably a good idea as health is a much bigger concern today than it was 15 years ago. Players are doing their best to keep their body healthy. The NBA season is very long and enduring. Playing through an injury might cause further problems down the road. If LaMarcus Aldridge feels as if his knees are not in the best of condition there is nothing wrong with sitting out a game or two. Losing two or three games is not going to end the season for the Portland Trail Blazers.

Home Court Advantage

If the Portland Trail Blazers truly want to make a run at the playoffs in the 2013-14 season they will need to defend their home court. If they make the Moda Center, formerly the Rose Garden, a tough place to play for opponents it will go a very long way towards producing a playoff product. Fans love to attend games in which the team is not only competing but winning. If attendance numbers start to increase it will make the atmosphere even more difficult for the opposition.

During the amazing runs by the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s they almost never lost at home. At the time the United Center was rocking every single home game. When Michael Jordan was announced as part of the starting lineup the crowd went crazy. When I was a child, the Bulls were one of the first teams to actually turn off the lights for the introductions. This was a huge event and everyone got to the game early so they could see the light show and the introductions. Songs ended up becoming very popular just because they were part of introductions.

The technology era has changed the way many fans consume professional sports. It is no longer the case that fans need to attend the game to watch their favorite players. In the 1990s my parents had to purchase a special satellite package in order to see most of the Bulls games. Even though we paid the extra money there were still times when the games were not on TV. Today, it is a given that every game will be available for fans willing to pay money. If they cannot watch it on their TV they can watch it online or listen to the game on SiriusXM satellite radio. This has made it difficult for some small market teams to get fans in the seats at a sporting event.

There is one cure for getting fans in the seats – winning. If the Portland Trail Blazers can put a winning product on the court there is no argument to be made they will sell more tickets. A team in playoff contention is much more fun to watch than a team that is floundering near the bottom of the division or conference. This is why the Portland Trail Blazers have gotten younger in the past few years. A young team that is playoff bound will bring tens of thousands of people to the arena. Unfortunately, if this young team shows too much immaturity and they give away games you can be rest assured fans are not going to fill the seats during the 2013-14 season.

Something that diehard NBA fans like to track is away attendance. I hate to keep going back to the mid 1990s Bulls but they were the template on how to run an organization. When the Bulls went to another arena they almost always sold the game out because people wanted to watch Michael Jordan and company. No matter how bad the opponent the Bulls would bring the fans into the stadium. This is something the Trail Blazers need to work on but having Damian Lillard at full tilt might be just what the doctor ordered. If he goes off for 40 points a few games this season it will put fans in the seats.

Can anyone stop the Miami Heat?

During the 2012 NBA finals, we saw the Miami Heat smash the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games. LeBron James finally redeemed himself and won his first ring, alongside Chris Bosh and D-Wade. It’s true that the Heat put their Championship chances in jeopardy, after Bosh’s injury during last year’s Playoffs. However, The King stepped up and zipped the mouths of all his critics about his late-game performances and his inability to deliver in crunch time.
So what has really changed since then?

Well, Miami’s chances have surely become better. LeBron, after a close-to-unreal season won his 4th MVP award in the last five years. The Heat recently knocked off the Bucks in just four games. They broke the franchise record for most wins in a season, with 66. They are putting on display a game that proves they possess what it takes to repeat. Plus they have a more powerful roster from last season. After managing to retain the core of the team, they added Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis in their arsenal. They were really tough for any team to stop throughout the season. Most of their opponents had to just pick their poison when they were facing them.
Is there a team that can really beat the Heat in seven games?

First of all, it was a season with many injuries of star players. Even when the Playoffs started, many key players for strong teams were not in their full health.

Let’s take it one by one. The most dangerous opponent for the Heat at the moment is the Oklahoma City Thunder. Despite the fact that Durant lost his fellow superstar Russell Westbrook, they are still arguably the best team in the West. Although Durant is having another great season putting up huge numbers, the team could actually be less powerful than last year, when they got hammered by Miami. Kevin Martin is surely a great player off the bench and a terrific shooter. However, the loss of James Harden is surely was costly for Oklahoma. Now, with Westbook sidelined, there were many voices that the repeat just got easier for the Heat.
Apart from the Thunder, the Spurs could post a threat for the Heat, at least theoretically. Gregg Popovic’s veteran ensemble is always a countable opponent. They showed their force in the first round when they swept the injury-depleted Lakers. Health is a concern for them, too. Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker experienced some injuries and were not at their 100% at the start of the Playoffs. They should be ready come NBA Finals time.
In the West, the Indiana Pacers and the New York Knicks are the two teams that could seriously assail the Heat. The Knicks rely much on the offense of Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith and that could be a problem for them. Keeping in mind that the Heat’s defensive system is very effective against the pick and rolls and also the fact that Miami has the defensive guru in the name of Shane Battier in their roster, it could get tricky for the Knicks to exploit them.

Indiana on the other hand proved that they came to fight. They broke New York’s home court advantage last night, taking Game 1 of their series. They also troubled the Heat extensively during their matchup last year. Miami finally advanced after Game 6. Nevertheless, LeBron and Wade hit the wall of Indiana’s big men, Hibbert and West. Should the Pacers roll past the Knicks in the East Semis, the Eastern Conference Finals will really be interesting. Of course they are still playing without their rstar Danny Granger, who is out due to a knee injury.

Miami will have to overpass the obstacle of the Chicago Bulls. This is yet another of the many teams that lacks of its best player. Derrick Rose, one of the best players in the NBA has yet to play this season. There is much speculation about his return during these series. However, nothing is certain and of course it’s questionable which version of him we’ll see after his extensive time off the courts. Chicago will also play without All-Star forward Luol Deng, at least in Game 1.
There is no doubt that the Heat are capable of winning any team currently in the NBA even with all players at full health. But now, their road to their second consecutive Championship might be a bit easier.

Chris Michaels Google+
Connect with Chris on Google Plus!

Recap Chicago Bulls-Boston Celtics

The Bulls and Celtics both blew leads in their Thursday game at the United Center, but the Bulls pulled out the 89-80 win. Kent McDill called it a “game of streaks” and that it was.

The Celtics scored 12 in the first four minutes of the game, but only 68 over the final 44, despite a 22-7 run over an eight-minutes stretch of their 26-point third quarter.

The same Chicago Bulls that gave up those two runs to have the Bulls playing catch-up early blew a 16-point lead in that third quarter was the defense that dominated to allow only 34 points in the other 36 minutes of the game. The help was quick all contest, but recovering to shooters was inconsistent. And, as the Bulls are crafted, the rebounding killed Cs’ possessions to reward the defense.

On the other end, the Bulls Bench Mob had problems converting possessions, but the offensive rebounds turned the contest into a game of keep away. The Bulls out-hustled a Celtics squad uncharacteristically crashing the boards very hard. The Bulls still won those battles to elongate their own possessions and prevent the Boston Celtics from getting into an offensive rhythm for the remainder of the half. Limiting Boston’s touches had them iced to setup a 20-3 run when Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, and Luol Deng returned to the game with Mike James running the offense at the point to relieve the struggling C.J. Watson and John Lucas III.

Doc Rivers still runs the Tom Thibodeau defense in Boston, but with a lot more zone. That made it difficult for the Bulls to get inside without erratic ball movement; and no one knows better than Thibs that this is the only way to get inside against a defense fixated on spacing and strong-side aggressiveness (27 of Bulls’ 30 FGs were assisted). In the second quarter, Mike James and his bigs used the Cs pick n’ roll defense against them by turning it into a three-man game, as the pick setter was simply a tool to handle the ball in the middle of the floor (Boozer: five assists) — instead of being a scorer — and using the defense’s imbalance find the most efficient shot.

As Doc is prone to do, he adjusted to put more balance into the zones, so he Bulls couldn’t simply put the ball in the weak side (James: four assists in 17 minutes) or open up the middle with widespread perimeter ball movement (Deng: ten assists).

The Cs zones also conflicted with their need to rebound the ball well to kill Bulls possessions, so when the ball couldn’t get inside, Bulls ball-handlers used their drives to the hole to open up shooters. The Bulls took advantage by shooting 10-for-21 on 3s — compared to only 17 long-2 attempts (hitting only two), which the Cs defense wants to force at all times because they’re inefficient and easier for helpers to recover for challenges.

The Cs attempted the same, but only went 3-for-15 on 3s (Paul Pierce and Mickael Pietrus combined to go 0-for-7). The only strong stretches for the Cs offense involved a couple of 3s by Ray Allen and defensive breakdowns where Pierce and Rajon Rondo were able to penetrate. Otherwise, Boston was largely pushed to the outside and strong challenges when anticipating 3s forced Cs to step up into the 2-point zone for long-2s — on which they shot 9-for-25 (36%).

In a game of forcing long-2s, the Bulls won — and with that, the game. Forcing the most inefficient shot can backfire when the rebounds aren’t grabbed, as the offensive boards on those shots create very efficient shots. But the Cs don’t have the athleticism to crash the boards on the offensive end and effectively get back on defense, so the Bulls almost made holding the Cs to six second chance points on six offensive boards look easy.

The Bulls’ ball movement added a high risk to the offense, which became 17 turnovers that Boston exploited for 18 points. And though the Bulls knew it’d be difficult to convert at the rim, the ball got there (17-for-32, 53.2%). The Bulls only scored 12 second chance points on 3-for-13 shooting in a game where Boston held them to 39.7% shooting, but the 16 offensive rebounds simply didn’t reward the Cs defense enough. The Bulls’ 34% offensive rebounding rate (ORR) and ten treys at 47.7% negated Boston’s 0.95 points-per-possession D enough to score a full point-per-possession. And enough to reward their own defense for stops and minimize the Celtics’ possessions just days after Boston beat them running the floor.

You can purchase Boston Celtics Tickets and Chicago Bulls Tickets for all their home and away games today. Barrys Ticket Service sells Basketball tickets for all NBA team.

2012 NBA All Star Game

The NBA All-Star Game is a game held annually between the top players in the Western and Eastern Conferences of the National Basketball Association. The game is part of All-Star

Weekend, held every February, which includes other exhibition activities such as the Rookie Challenge, Slam Dunk Contest, and Three-Point Shootout. The first NBA All-Star Game was held in 1951 in Boston, Massachusetts. The game gives fans the chance to see the best players in the NBA play together in a more relaxed atmosphere. The game is a celebration of basketball and sportsmanship and a real treat for any NBA fan.

Players for the NBA All-Star Game are selected in two different ways. NBA fans choose the starters, and the reserves are chosen by coaches, though the coaches cannot vote for their own players. The All-Star teams are coached by the coaches from each conference with the best record through the second week in February. Coaches, however, cannot coach two years in a row anymore. This is known as the “Riley Rule” – because of Pat Riley’s success with the Lakers in the 1980′s, he coached the Western Conference All-Star team nearly every year. The coach with the next best record is selected in this case to coach the team.

In May 4 2010, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced in a press conference that Orlando has been selected as the site of the NBA All-Star Weekend 2012, the 61st edition of this popular event.

The NBA All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, February 26 in the Amway Center, the new Orlando Magic Stadium to be opened in the fall of 2010. In the previous 2 days, the Amway Center also host the Rookie Challenge and the regular contests of the Saturday Night. The NBA All Star Jam Session will be held in the Orange County Convention Center.
This is the second time the All-Star visits Orlando, 20 years after the unforgettable 1992 edition, when Magic Johnson came back to the courts after starting his battle against the AIDS to win the MVP trophy and send a huge message to the whole world.

Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson or Clyde Drexler were some of the greatest stars in 1992. Craig Hodges won his third three-point contest and Cedric Ceballos made a name for himself with a “no-look” dunk. In 2011 Blake Griffin stunned the arena by jumping over a car in the slam dunk contest.

The NBA All Star Weekend is second only to the Super Bowl when it comes to the biggest party weekend on the planet. Celebrities, pro athletes, and many more come to party with the NBA elite. Last year in Los Angeles, Dwight Howard had his own private party with performances by Rick Ross and Rihanna. Now the All Star Weekend in 2012 has shifted to Orlando, Florida. Dwight Howard’s hometown. With his contract expiring at the end of the season, this could be Dwight Howard’s last year in an Orlando Magic uniform.

The Eastern and Western Conference all-star teams will be led by the coaches with the best records in their respective conferences as of February 12 – two weeks before the game. Last year’s coaches – Boston’s Doc Rivers and San Antonio Spurs Gregg Popovic – are ineligible; league rules prohibit a coach from running the all-star team in consecutive seasons.

EASTERN CONFERENCE is made by teams Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, and part of WESTERN CONFERENCE are excellent Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings etc.

NBA All Star Game Tickets are onsale now. You can also purchase NBA All Star Rookie Challenge  NBA All Star Slam Dunk Contest.

The Ups and Downs of Lockout Ball

The long-hyped sophomore Point Guard monster for the Washington Wizards, John Wall, is finally coming into his own this season. Through the first 11 games of the season, he averaged 13 points on an atrocious 34% shooting. In the last 5 games, Wall is shooting 41% (only marginally better), but stuffing the stat sheet with 24 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal and 1 block. Except for the bad shooting, those stats are among the elite of basketball. If he keeps it up, and eventually gets his shot to fall, John Wall could be looking at his ascension into the conversation for best Point Guard sooner rather than later. The effects of the lockout seem to be wearing off finally for Wall and others who have had a historically slow start to their seasons.

On January 20th, Portland Trail Blazers LaMarcus Aldridge went off for 33 points, 23 boards and 5 assists, making it a candidate for performance of the year so far. Orlando Magic Dwight Howard may have something to say about that, especially in light of recent rumors saying that Los Angeles Lakers Andrew Bynum was the best Center in today’s NBA. The same night that Aldridge went off for what may have been the best game of his career; “Superman” Dwight Howard annihilated Bynum in a showdown in L.A. Howard posted 21 points and 23 boards of his own and held the injury-prone Bynum to just 10 points and 12 boards in a victory over Bynum’s Lakers. If Howard continues to travel around the league and routinely slaying opposing Centers, Howard will not only solidify himself as the best Center without debate, but he may play himself out of being traded. Therefore, it would be a double-edged sword for Howard. On the season, he is averaging 20 points and 16 boards with 2.3 blocks. Over the past two weeks, though, he has upped those numbers to 23 point and nearly 19 boards, which is simply uncanny. The only other player who compares in the post-lockout NBA is Minnesota Timberwolves Kevin Love. On the season, Love is putting up 24 points, 14 boards, 2 threes, but all on 41% shooting, which is extremely low for a big man. Over the past two weeks, Love is shooting even worse: 36%, meaning the effects of the lockout are still lingering for Love, who was pimped by Yahoo Sports incessantly at the beginning of the season for losing weight and staying healthy during the lockout.

Other top big men with absurd shooting problems include Amar’e Stoudemire (41%), Chicago Bulls Joakim Noah (42%), Dirk Nowitzki (45%), David West (45%), DeMarcus Cousins (44%), and ex Los Angeles Clippers Chris Kaman (44%). Owners of any of these players in fantasy basketball are probably pulling their hair out right now, especially those who drafted Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki or Amar’e Stoudemire in the 1st round of their drafts. In real life, neither player has really contributed many wins for their respective teams to go along with their low shooting percentages. The New York Knicks are just 5-12, good for 10th place overall in the Eastern Conference, which is not an enviable position for a team consisting of Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. Similarly, the defending champs are also struggling. They at least have a winning record at 10-7, good for 7th place in the West. The story of the young season so far might be how under the radar the Philadelphia 76ers have flown. They are 11-5 and getting quiet contributions from their whole roster. John Wall’s Wizards team is easily the worst team in the league right now, sitting at 2-14. However, if Wall’s recent statistical uptick is any indication, the Wizards have no place to go but up.

Top Five Retro Basketball Games

Arguably one of the greatest NBA game of all time occurred during the 1976 showdown in the final match of the NBA championship between the Boston Celtics and the Phoenix Suns. The first overtime ended with Paul Silas (Celtics) attempting to signal an unauthorized timeout subsequently ignored by referee Richie Powers ending the period tied. At the end of the second overtime, the Suns scored to take a one-point lead with only four seconds to the buzzer. John Havlicek sprinted down the floor and sunk a fifteen-foot jumper to put the Celtics up by one, bringing hundreds of fans to the floor in celebration; the game, however, was not yet over. With one second restored to the clock, Paul Westphal (Phoenix) requested an ineligible timeout resulting in a technical foul. The Celtics scored, moving to a two-point lead, but the Suns with ball at half-court scored on a Gar Heard jumper to tie. The stunned Garden crowd went silent. Glenn McDonald, Celtic reserve, scored six points in the final period to bring home a 128-126 win for Boston.

One game previous to this Celtic win was a dynasty defeat in 1958 NBA championship final competition which ended a decade long run by the infamous Boston club. The St. Louis Hawks, whose 6’9” power forward Bob Petit, scored 50 points, 19 of which were in the final team 21 as they steam-rolled over Boston with a last minute tip-in leaving fifteen seconds on the clock in a 110-109 Cinderella win.

A game just four years later marked the astonishing feat by Bill Russell in the final contest of the 1962 NBA championship season whose 30 points and 40 rebounds led the Boston Celtics to a 110-107 defeat over the Los Angeles Lakers in overtime.

The 1980 6th game of the NBA finals comes on the heels of this competition with rookie Magic Johnson suiting for injured Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. At halftime, the Lakers and the 76ers were tied at 60-60. The Lakers came out explosive in the third quarter firing fourteen unanswered points and stunning the Spectrum crowd as Johnson commanded the boards with 42 points. He was, however, overshadowed by Jamaal Wilkes who scored 25 of his 37 in the second half.

An awesome spectacle by Michael Jordan occurred in the 1986 NBA first round playoff game between the Chicago Bulls and the Boston Celtics in which the Bulls fell to the Celtics 135-131. Jordan, in a his one-man show at Boston Gardens, made it into the annals of NBA history with an awesome display which included fade-away jumpers and signature flying dunks to drop 63 points for the Bulls effort that included 19 of 21 free throws and 22 of 41 field shots.