Thursday, August 28, 2008


(Boulder-CO) Paul Pierce and 'Melo are in head-to-head combat for, um, super-imaginary superiority! Head over to NBA Guantlet to cast your vote and be sure to state your case in the comment section.

Friday, August 22, 2008

J.R. Smith Signed... Finally!

(Boulder-CO) The Prodigy will be in Denver for at least the next three years reports The Denver Post's Chris Dempsey. The Denver Nuggets re-signed J.R. Smith today to a three-year contract with undisclosed terms in what is most likely their last move of the off season. This Summer Smith was asked to join USA Basketball's Select Team that practices against the Senior National Team.
Smith, only 22-years old, is entering his fifth season in the NBA after being drafted 18th overall in by New Orleans before being traded to Chicago and then again in the same off season to the Nuggets for Howard Eisley and two second round picks back in 2006.
The Denver Nuggets have a major question to be answered this season when it comes to who will spend the most time in their back court with The Answer. Hopefully, J.R. Smith's game will continue to steadily improve, both offensively and defensively, as this move signifies that he will most likely be the Nuggets' starting shooting guard for if/when Allen Iverson is lost to free-agency after this year.

Go Nuggets!

Carmelo Anthony Watch

(Boulder-CO) Carmelo Anthony led the way for the Redeem Team today with a team-high 21 points, four rebounds, a steal, and a block as Team USA defeated Argentina, 101-81. Anthony was a perfect 13-13 from the free-throw line despite shooting a combined 3-14 from the field. Team USA now advances to the gold medal game against Spain on Saturday night.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

4 Key Aspects of Routing Spain

(Boulder-CO) The Redeem Team once again trampled their way through the last game of pool play with this morning's victory coming over Spain, 119-82. It was an old fashioned blowout, with an unconventional twist for this USA Basketball team. Here are the four cornerstones from this morning's game:
1. Team USA shot 48% from downtown with Carmelo Anthony leading the way with four treys. The Redeem Team has been tepid from long range so far in these games thus prompting opposing teams to drop back in zone defenses and force the USA to beat them shooting perimeter shots rather than dunks. If Team USA is going to take gold in these games they are going to have to sustain the warm stroke from downtown.
2. Team USA forced 28 turnovers against the Spaniards. Fluke? I think not! Not but one game after I praised Coach K and his commitment to defense this team collectively turns up their intensity another notch against a Spanish team with young guards and completely flustered them. Bravo!
3. Team USA had been struggling a bit from the free-throw line, but found a way to drastically improve from the stripe today against Spain. Chris Paul's unblemished 8-8 helped, but no one on the team missed more than one free-throw against Spain, and as a team the USA shot nearly 80% on 19-24.
4. The NBC annoucing crew keeps bringing up how popular Kobe Bryant is in China (and rightfully so), but LeBron James seems to be the player opposing teams are most in awe of. LeBron has been doing everything in these games, in addition to serving as the team's most vocal leader, and today was just another day for the King. James scored a team-high 18 points, dished eight assists, grabbed five rebounds, and nabbed four steals in a team-high 28 minutes of play. James, while not the biggest player on Team USA, is definitely proving to be the most physically dominating.
That's it!
From here on the games are for keeps.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Today's Date in NBA History

(Boulder-CO) Today's date is August 14th, and on this day:

'59- Earvin “Magic” Johnson is born in Lansing, Michigan.

'94- The USA basketball team, Dream Team II, defeats Russia 137-91 to win the gold medal in the World Championship of Basketball in Toronto, Canada. Shaquille O’Neal, who averaged 18 points per game, is named the tournament’s MVP.

Enjoy your day!

Greece on the Wheel

(Boulder-CO) Early this morning the Redeem Team squared off with Greece in their first real challenge of the 29th Olympiad. And if you’ve found a way to block out the disappointment that was the 2006 World Championships, let me remind you that Greece was the team that upset the Americans who ended up settling for Bronze in those games.

But that’s why our boys are dubbed, “The Redeem Team”.

In the first quarter, the USA looked to keep the Greeks honest from downtown and they did so by allowing Greece penetration while staying home on the three-point arch. Content to allow Greece two pointers, the result was Greece only being able to put four three-point attempts in the air in the first ten minute period - all of which missed.

However, with the game still close after the first ten minutes the United States turned up their defensive intensity on the perimeter in the second quarter and blew the contest wide open with a dizzying display of fast break dunks. The increased pressure rattled Greece out of their desired penetrate-and-dish game plan and catapulted USA into halftime with a 19-point lead. LeBron James once again sparked the team with emphatic rejections around the rim and Chris Bosh (who played his best game of these games so far) bothered Greece’s ball handlers with his length and quickness. As for the Greeks, their game plan was failing. After only being able to put 16 points on the scoreboard in each of the first ten minute quarters, Greece was 0-7 from three-point range in the first half and trailed the USA, 51-32, at intermission.

In the second half it was just more of the same and then some as the USA extended their lead to defeat Greece, 92-69.

The USA had found the recipe for disrupting the Greeks, and Greece, like most of the other international competitors in these games, is not equipped for coming from behind.

Chris Bosh and Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 18 points each. Bosh added four rebounds and two blocks on 7-8 from the field and 4-5 from the free-throw line in a very well-rounded effort. And speaking of well-rounded… Dwayne Wade and LeBron James were once again nothing short of spectacular! Wade continued his brilliant overall performance so far in these games with 17 points, six steals, five assists, three rebounds, and the capstone highlight thus far of these games. After coming up with a backcourt steal that left him off balance and heading out of bounds, Wade showed tremendous presence of mind as he turned, collected the ball, and tossed an incredible alley-oop to Kobe Bryant for a thunderous slam!

LeBron James, along with three more demoralizing rejections, added 13 points, a team-high eight rebounds, tied Chris Paul for a team-high six assists, and added his own collection of jaw-dropping aerial displays.

Up next for the Redeem Team is another tough test in pool play against Spain and Pau Gasol on Saturday. Another strong defensive effort is in order for the USA to stay perfect heading into the elimination rounds as Spain has numerous NBA players on its roster.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Angola is STILL Not a Threat

(Boulder-CO) It may have not been the, 116-48, thumping the 1992 Dream Team dished out, but the "Redeem Team" again made short work of Angola, 97-86, late last night. Led by the physical play of LeBron James and the continued offensive renaissance of Dwayne Wade, the Americans looked unbeatable when in the open floor while still struggling to dial in the international three-point line.
The USA played tremendously active defense in the first 30 minutes. By not allowing Angola to score even 20 points in each of the first three quarters, Team USA was able to crank up their transition offense after defensive rebounds and shot 55% from the field.
There are two things which I would like to highlight for Team USA against an obviously outmatched opponent like Angola. First off, Team USA did a very good job of protecting the basketball. The "Redeem Team" turned the ball over just twelve times and created 13 steals. In an exhibition-style game there is always the potential for the game to become very sloppy, especially in transition, but the USA avoided such a let down. The second area is a testament to Coach K's commitment to defense. The USA could have easily allowed the much smaller Angolans to hoist jumper after jumper while staying content to just clear the defensive glass, but instead Team USA kept the perimeter pressure on Angola's backcourt which disrupted any attempt by them to run offensive sets.
Dwayne Wade's once again led Team USA in scoring with 19 points as everyone but Jason Kidd scored for Team USA. Dwight Howard added 14 points and a game-high two blocks and Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James each scored twelve points with Anthony grabbing a team-high six rebounds and James flipping a game-high five assists.
Up next for the Americans are two far more competitive match-ups with Greece and Spain. Greece, the team that stunned them two years ago in the semifinals of the world championships, is one of the best three-point shooting teams in these games and two days later comes a real test against Spain.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Today's Date in NBA History

(Boulder-CO) Today's date is August 10th, and on this day:
'20- Red Holzman is born in Brooklyn, New York.
Enjoy your day!

"Redeem Team" Topples China

(Boulder-CO) With the games of the 29th Olympiad already in full speed after Friday night’s breath taking opening ceremonies. It would only make sense that the USA Basketball’s “Redeem Team” would begin it’s quest for gold in pool play against the host nation, China, and their biggest star, Yao Ming.

In the first quarter, things started quickly for China as Yao Ming broke the scoring open with a three from the top of the key. Ming also set the tone on the defensive end with a emphatic block on Kobe Bryant which prompted an easy fast break opportunity for the Chinese. And with the reassuring presence of Yao in the middle, Team China played the entire first quarter with a certain level of confidence as it concluded, 20-16, in favor of the Americans.

In the second ten minute period, Team China’s confidence continued as they hit their fifth of seven early three-point attempts. On the defensive end, LeBron James was making his impact felt with transitions blocks. After pinning a Chinese lay-up attempt from the right side in the first quarter, James simply jumped up and caught a left-handed attempt and proceeded to outlet the ball to a streaking Dwayne Wade for an easy slam. However, Team China was efficient in their half court sets by working the ball inside to Yao Ming with their guards relocating and spotting up for open perimeter looks. Conversely, the USA looked sloppy in the half court game, but was able to open a, 49-37, lead by halftime with a relentless barrage of transition points; many coming by way of highlight quality dunks.

In the second half it was all about defense for the “Redeem Team”. The third quarter saw the USA hold China to a mere eleven points as they cranked up their offensive barrage to lead by 26 points going into the fourth quarter. And when the USA can open up such a large margin they can simply demolish a team within a blink of an eye. With the majority of the USA’s starting five on the bench for the fourth quarter the lead would eventually balloon to over 30 points as Team China graciously conceded to a, 101-70, defeat.

The “Redeem Team” was led by four players in double-figure scoring. Dwayne Wade led all scorers with 19 points on a perfect 7-7 from the field and 5-5 from the free-throw line, LeBron James added 18 points, a game-high three blocks, and six rebounds, and both Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard finished with 13 points, respectively. Team China was led by Yao Ming’s 13 points, two blocks, and a game-high nine rebounds.

Nuggets and Carmelo Anthony fans alike didn’t miss much as ‘Melo scored just three points, all by way of free-throws, while committing three fouls and just as many turnovers.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Today's Date in NBA History

(Boulder-CO) Today's date is August 6th, and on this day:
'62- The Philadelphia franchise’s name was changed from the Nationals to the 76ers.
Enjoy your day!

The 2008-09 Nuggets Schedule

(Boulder-CO) It's closer than you may think... That's right, Nuggets Nation the season is rapidly approaching and today the Nuggets released their game schedule for next season. February is by far the most brutal month with only four home games on the docket (including an eight-game road trip), but you have to love getting the season kicked off against the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City!
Let's hope LK has another 41-point performance and the Nuggets can get the 2008-09 season off on the right foot.
Go Nuggets!

Support AC in the Floor Burn Tourney

(Boulder-CO) Longtime basketball-blogging chum of mine, Ryan McNeill of has put together a tremendous effort to recognize those on teams league-wide who do not get the kind of recognition they so desperately deserve. It's called The Floor Burn Tournament and I put together a little something for Anthony Carter as the Nuggets' selection. So, head over there and show "A-Ceeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" some love in the voting while also taking part in the rest of the great match-ups from around the league.

Go Nuggets!