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NBA Headlines for Week of November 24-30

30 November 2012 41 views

The NBA season is about a month old, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been enough drama to go around. The biggest story to-date this year is probably player injuries, but there’s plenty more to catch-up on.

Pop-ping Mad Commissioner

San Antonio SpursFollowing yesterday’s controversy surrounding Spurs’ head coach Gregg Popovich sending Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili & a 4th player back to San Antonio, NBA commissioner David Stern has publicly denounced the move & suggested “significant sanctions” will be coming. Stern’s anger lies in the fact that the Spurs vs. Heat game was a marquee match-up and on national television. Popovich felt his (old) team had played too many games recently, although he’s stated the game off was pre-planned (back in July).

The practice of resting players is nothing new – not only for Popovich & the Spurs, but just look at Major League Baseball – they sit players out all the time and no one complains.

Frankly, I have no problem with what Popovich did. I question the timing and the process of actually flying the players’ back without the team, but overall I think it’s a good long-term decision on the Spurs’ part, especially given their aging roster.

Phoenix Suns “Happiness” Guarantee

Phoenix SunsAfter getting their ass handed to them by the pathetic Detroit Pistons (5-11) earlier in the week, the Phoenix Suns announced a strange promotion for their upcoming home game against the Dallas Mavericks. Basically, if you’re not happy (“entertained”), you can get a full refund on your game tickets. I’m not sure it’s the best strategy for major sports teams to start utilizing, since fan outrage in other cities & for other sporting events, could quickly change the landscape of professional sports as we know it. Can you imagine Jerry Jones offering Cowboys’ fans a refund each week they take the field & disappoint? What qualifies as “entertaining” and how will that be evaluated during your refund request? E.g. If you bothered to sit thru the entire game, does that mean you liked it?

Does this increase your likelihood to attend a game? Would you stand in line after the game for a refund?

Dwight Howard’s Free Throw Shooting

Los Angeles LakersBased on Dwight’s recent free throw shooting incidents (more in a minute), I think it’s fair to say that he’s eclipsed Shaquille O’Neal’s FT (poor) effectiveness.

Not only did Dwight Howard lose a free throw shooting contest to a fully-dressed NHL mascot in LA recently, he lost TWICE… And to top it off, you could argue that his poor FT shooting in a game the same night cost the Lakers a win. Dwight even attempted to downplay his efforts in the FT contest, implying he wanted the mascot to win. That’s a tough sell considering how he performed in the game later that night.

If you’re a team facing the Los Angeles Lakers, fouling Howard on a regular basis should be a part of the game plan. He’s shooting less than 50% on the season so it’s more efficient to send him to the line than allowing the Lakers as a whole to attempt a 2 or 3 pt field goal.

Howard’s difficulties are somewhat comical, somewhat sad & completely outrageous. This is an (paid) NBA player that can’t hit half of his free throws.

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