The Dwightmare is Over

The rumours have ended, the questions have been answered and the critics have been silenced. Dwight Howard is playing for the Houston Rockets in the 2013/14 NBA season

Image

After a quiet season with the Los Angeles Lakers Howard once again stirred rumours of being on the market and looking for a new place to call home. Of course this left a lot of fans and critics scratching their heads and wondering why he would once again be moving and above all leave the Lakers. “At media day in Houston, Howard made the cold but realistic statement that he left the Lakers because he wanted to win” (Pollakoff, 2013).

During the 2011/12 NBA season, there was controversy over whether Howard would stay in Orlando or be traded to another team. The attention surrounding this decision placed Howard in the media spotlight and brought to light rumours that he wanted Orlando head coach Stan Van Gundy fired. The lengthened decision making process and soured relation with Van Gundy led to the media reffering to the situation as the Dwightmare”.

It is understandable that as a seven time NBA All-star and three time defensive player of the year, Howard would move to a young team where he can contribute towards their success. The factor that may cause concern is that it has been quite some time since we have seen him in peak physical condition and playing his best basketball.

Dwight Howard Highlights

Although his stats from last season were not disappointing, we are still yet to see Howard return to his dominant form that saw him come close to winning MVP honours. Playing for the Lakers last season he scored a total of 1296 points in the regular season which is only four points more than what he scored in his second season in the NBA. One of the biggest aspects of Howard’s game is his presence in the post and gathering rebounds. He managed to record 251 offensive rebounds, the second lowest total in his career and 694 defensive rebounds, which is his third lowest (source: NBA) .

The media have been covering the movements of Dwight Howard very closely. It is very exciting for the NBA community when such a high profile player decides to join a new team, however at the end of the day they want to see that player performing.

The question of where Dwight Howard will play is over; the question of what he will bring to Houston has just begun.

For now it appears the Dwightmare is over.

http://www.nba.com

Pollakoff, B. (2013, September 29). Dwight Howard explains in detail his reasons for leaving Lakers to join Rockets | ProBasketballTalk. Retrieved September 30, 2013, from http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/09/29/dwight-howard-explains-in-detail-his-reasons-for-leaving-lakers-to-join-rockets/

Advertisements

Where Amazing Happens

The fundamentals of the game basketball are not hard to grasp. You have a ball in your hand and a ring above your head. All you have to do is throw the ball in – doesn’t seem so hard right? So how did an activity so simple develop into a sport played all over the globe? It has established a major sporting league known as the National Basketball Association and that league has produced some of the greatest athletes in history. What makes it so interesting? There are a number of reasons why but let me tell you a few.

Image

(Manny Millan/Sports Illustrated, n.d.)

Has anyone ever heard of Michael Jordan?. He is one of the greatest basketball players to ever grace the hardwood with God-given talent. Playing above the rim, changing direction in mid-air and scoring 43 points whilst ill with the flu are just a few highlights in a career rich with success.

 

Michael Jordan is one of the reasons why the NBA is what it is today because, lets face it, he changed the game. His style of play was unparalleled by any other and he put on a display that would leave fans wanting more. The spectacle that he put on the game has evolved the sport and set a benchmark for any player striving for greatness.

It is this evolution of the sport that makes it so interesting. Each season NBA players are launching themselves into the game with faster play, longer shots and bigger dunks. I mean who wouldn’t want to see 6 foot 10 Blake Griffin jump over a Kia Optima to win the 2010 All Star Weekend Dunk Competition. I’m sure fans in the crowd didn’t expect that when they purchased tickets. It’s moments like these that continue to re-invent the sport and prove that the NBA is truly the place “where amazing happens”(NBA.com).

ImageImage

 

Ok, for a second lets put aside the impressive achievements of legends and high flying displays. Another thing that must be recognised is that although these feats are displayed on the grandest stage, the game itself is still based on those fundamentals that I mentioned earlier – and the best apart about that – anyone can be involved. That is one of the best qualities about the sport. We see these athletes perform and it inspires us to dream big but that doesn’t stop anyone from grabbing a ball and shooting a few hoops in the backyard.

Michael Jordan once said “Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game.”
 

That’s what its all about.

In this blog I will include updates, features and highlights on hot topics in the NBA. Drawing on professional blogs, news sources and statistics, I aim to share my passion for the game and encourage others to express what it means to them.

http://quotes-motivational.com/Motivational/Basketball-Quotes.html

www.chinadaily.com.cn/photo/2011-02/21/content_12048633.htm

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nba/photos/1302/sports-illustrated-100-best-pictures-of-michael-jordan/93/

http://www.nba.com

http://blog.mcgrathkia.com/kia-optima-blake-griffin-facebook-game/

 

For Love of the Game

February 7 2012, it’s a balmy Florida night but even as I stand amongst a throng of rowdy NBA fans, sweat beading and t-shirts sticking, I still manage to stay cool. I am not bothered by the humidity because I know that in less than one hour the Miami Heat will take to the hardwood of The America Airlines Arena to face the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers.  This is the moment that true fans look forward to. The excitement in the air is electrifying as crowds gather around merchandise stores, bars and jostle to their seats. What will we witness tonight when Miami’s superstar Lebron James goes up against the team that introduced him to the NBA, the team that used to call him the chosen one, the team that would eventually come to despise him for leaving.

Half an hour to go and I have made it to my seat, Miami Heat shirt and drink bottle in hand. As I sit there sipping on my one litre Dr Pepper I’m running a highlight reel in my head. High Flying dunks, Alley – oops, long range three pointers. I had only seen these things on ESPN or NBA.com’s highlights. I stare in awe as both teams hit the court to warm up. Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Kyrie Irving and three time NBA MVP Lebron James.  Lightening quick passing, huge dunks, shots I had never seen before and the game hadn’t even started. As a basketball player myself I come to realise how talented these people are as athletes.

The teams gather in the centre of the court as the national anthem of the United States of America comes over the speakers. I’m not even American but I’m so excited that I join in anyway. The anthem finishes and the players gather for their introductions.

Image

Cheering, whistling, screaming fill the arena as both teams huddle for one last time. I’m so occupied by what the players are doing that I don’t realise security have told me to sit down. The crowd is going ballistic as they head to centre court to shake hands with their opponents.  We all rise to our feet as the referee approaches with the game ball in hand. There is silence for a split second before the ref hurls the ball into the air and the crowd erupts!.

Game on

I love this game

Heat Rising in Miami

One of the best  shooting guards in the game, a versatile all-star power forward and a four time NBA MVP .. throw in the greatest  three point shooter in history and it appears that the Miami Heat have ticked all the boxes right? .. Wrong!

In their journey to capture their second NBA championship in a row, the Heat exposed a weakness that many rivals will look to take advantage of next season and that is height !.  In the 2012-13 season we saw Miami’s big men struggle in the post against teams that were defensively strong and had the presence of a 7 foot centre. Look at the playoff series against the Indiana Pacers where All-star centre Roy Hibbert man handled the Heat and nearly sent them home early.

Enter Greg Oden.  The overall number one pick in the 2007 NBA draft and he is 7 feet tall. Although this may seem like the last box has been ticked and there is no stopping the Heat from here on out, there is the issue of whether or not Oden will be healthy and stay that way for the upcoming season.

greg-oden-heat-jersey

                                                           (Miami Heat,2013)

Since being drafted in 2007 Greg Oden has been plagued by injuries that have seen him sit out most of his NBA career. He was forced to miss his rookie season due to micro fracture surgery on his right knee and wouldn’t return to the hard tops of an NBA court until the 2008 season.  Having only played 82 games since he was drafted, Oden has technically played the equivalent of one NBA season out of the total five seasons he has been signed for.

The question that must be asked is have the Heat found the tall presence they were looking for?, or have they gambled on a player who is untested and still in the rookie period of his career.

The only thing that is certain is that the heat is rising in Miami in more ways than one.

http://watch.nba.com/nba/video/channels/nba_tv/2013/08/03/20130802-oden-signs-with-miami.nba

Miami Heat (2013, August 8). [Image]. Retrieved from http://nba.si.com/2013/08/07/greg-oden-miami-heat-welcome-joe-dumars-kobe-bryant/