Jordan named MVP, as East wins in New York - East 91, West 83
All-Star game in New York: spectacular as always?! Wait.. not really. The fans saw some poor offense and good defense, mixing for one of the lowest total points amount in NBA All-Star game history. A new trend? We will see next year.. there's still some notes worth to mention:
Grizzlies-star Shareef Abdur-Rahim had his All-Star debut and played as a starter instead of Tim Duncan, who is day-to-day since his 29 points and MVP-performance in the Rookie-Sophomore's match two days ago! Abdur-Rahim ended up as Team West's second-best scorer, notching 11 points.. MVP-contender Mitch Richmond led the West with 16 points, as this two were the only West players in double figures..
"Give it to Michael and get out of the way," explained Larry Bird, the Eastern Conference coach, of his team's strategy. "That is the way it usually happens." And so it happened tonight: Michael Jordan had 22 points, 8 rebounds and was named the game's MVP, his 3rd All-Star game MVP-award.. East teammate Chris Webber had 20 points, 11 rebounds, while Antoine Walker had 11 points in his All-Star debut.
February 1998 - Results Grizzlies record: 13-45
5 wins for the Grizzlies in February, the team's best month this season. A surprising win against the league-leading Pacers was the the team's highlight, while Shareef Abdur-Rahim made his first appearance in the All Star-Game.. the goal of reaching 18 wins is within reach for Vancouver, especially as some other franchises may prepare for both playoffs or lottery picks.
February Part #3: Some impressions
Abdur-Rahim helped the Grizzlies beat the Rockets two times within 17 days: 32 points in first, 42 points in second match-up for Vancouver's first All-Star ever! He once again proved his strength and scoring abilities.. Bryant Reeves had two double-doubles (15/10 and 19/11) and Sam Mack scored 20+ in both nights (25 and 21)..
Jeff Hornacek led the Jazz past the Grizzlies (once again): the shooting guard had 26 points, while Howard Eisley (19) and Karl Malone (17) were in double figures, too.. Vancouver's best were Abdur-Rahim (19 pts while shooting 5-15 FG) and Reeves (17 pts, 4 blocks).
Even though Stephon Marbury had 28 pts and 11 assists, the Grizzlies managed to win against Minnesota, 104-94.. it seems like Vancouver is improving their defense with every game played..
Daugherty's out for 8 weeks - Vancouver signs center Marc Jackson
Brad Daugherty, the five-time All-Star center (aged 32), will be out for 8 weeks with a broken jaw. It's his second serious injury this season and the question is, if he still feels comfortable with his comeback (from retirement because of back-injuries). Daugherty did a good job as Bryant Reeves' back-up, scoring 9ppg and leading the young Grizzlies-bench. Anyway, it's unlikely that he will return to play for Vancouver, as this season is nearing it's end and his contract expiring. "It's a tragedy", said teammate Bryant Reeves: "He came back from retirement. He wanted to help us young guys and gave us so much. I hope he will stay with us, but this injury is a huge setback".
The Grizzlies were left without a back-up center, so they signed 23 years old Marc Jackson (the 3rd Jackson on Grizzlies-roster with Bobby and Stephen). After attending college at Temple University, Marc Jackson was drafted in the second round (37th overall) of the 1997 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors, but didn't play with them and became a free agent a few weeks ago.
He signed a contract for the remainder of the season, but Vancouver holds a team-option on his 473,000$ contract.
March 1998 - Results Grizzlies record: 18-54
Remember this year's goal for the Grizzlies? 17+ wins. Otherwise Vancouver would have set a new record for the worst 4 consecutive seasons (set by Dallas in early 90's). And with the last game in March, the Grizzlies got their 18th win in 1997-98, with another win against the Houston Rockets (28-44).. 5 wins for Vancouver in March, it seems like the team found a way to compete with the league. Still, the Grizzlies retain the NBA's 30th place this season and it's all about hoping for the NBA draft, right?!
March Part #1: Some impressions
Mitch Richmond scored 36 points (11-21 FG's) in the Kings' close 104-103 win over Vancouver.. Shareef Abdur-Rahim (26 points) and Bryant Reeves (17) were the only Grizzlies in double figures.
Shawn Kemp dominated the boards (37 points, 9 reb) in Cleveland's 110-106 win against Vancouver, who missed their chance for the 18th win this year.. Vancouver's best were Abdur-Rahim (24 pts while shooting poor 7-23 FG), Reeves (21 pts) and new back-up center Marc Jackson, who had 9 pts in 14 minutes.
And finally the Grizzlies got their win #18! Abdur-Rahim led Vancouver past the Rockets, scoring 33 pts (11-19 FG's). Reeves (12 pts, 8 reb), Mack (16 pts) and John Rillie (10 pts in 13 minutes) were in double figures as well, while Bobby Jackson (picture) had 7 dishes...
NBA Standings - 1997/98 Vancouver Grizzlies - Player's stats MVP: Michael Jordan - 31.1pts, 5.7reb, 2.3ass, 1.7stl, 0.5blk, .489 FG, .778 FT, .212 3P
Rookie: Tim Duncan - 21.3pts, 8.6reb, 2.2ass, 0.4stl, 1.3blk, .510 FG, .681 FT, .000 3P
Sixth: Allan Houston - 17.6pts, 2.4reb, 1.7ass, 0.5stl, 0.3blk, .455 FG, .857 FT, .403 3P
Defensive: Marcus Camby - 12.8pts, 8.1reb, 0.8ass, 1.2stl, 1.7blk, .383 FG, .582 FT, .000 3P
SuperHueyNewton wrote:Not sure why, but some of your photos aren't working. I'd like to get a look at those trading cards
NBA Playoffs 1997-98
No "3-peat" for the Bulls.. what's next? - The Bulls came off a solid 55-27 regular season, as 2nd best team behind the Pacers. Michael Jordan grabbed another MVP-title with 31ppg and no one expected this Bulls to NOT reach the finals again.. BUT.. It took six games against the Bucks to see all the dreams of a second "3-peat" fading. The question is, what's next for this Bulls? Nearly the entire team is without contract for 1998/99: Jordan (will he retire?), Pippen, Kukoc, Rodman, as well as bench-players like Luce Longley or Ron Harper. Will this aging team go for another deep run in 1999? Is Jordan going to stay for another re-build, if Pippen and Kukoc will leave? Phil Jackson may be the key factor in this considerations..
Duncan vs Shaq 1.0 - Lakers vs Spurs.. It's time for "Rookie of the year" Tim Duncan to question the supremacy of Shaq O'Neal.. The Lakers continued to struggle in the playoffs, they never found a way to make their early-season addition Hakeem Olajuwon fit into the rotation, which would have been so important against the Spurs' twin-towers Duncan/David Robinson. It's unlikely that LA will add too much depth to their roster in off-season. They simply have to find a way to make Kobe, Shaq and an aging Hakeem work together.. As for Duncan and the Spurs: a promising season, a promising future. Duncan will be dominant within the next 2 years at least.
Is this it, Pacers? - The best team in regular season (59 wins) never found to it's game in playoffs. 4-3 over the 8th seeded Hornets and then 3-4 against a Knicks-team, that sometimes struggled in regular season (47-35). Yes, no one really expected this Pacers to win the finals, especially with the East being that competitive (7 teams with 47 or more wins). But of course it's the right time to question, wether this 30+ aged-Pacers (Reggie Miller, Charles Barkley, Rik Smits) can repeat their success or not?! All of their All-Stars will stay in 1998 (as long as they won't be traded), so if Barkley will return in shape for next season, there's still a chance for a another try.
The Finals 1998 - Preview Seattle SuperSonics vs New York Knicks Game 1: Sonics - Knicks 118-88
Game 2: Sonics - Knicks 99-66
Game 3: Knicks - Sonics 79-89
Game 4: Knicks - Sonics 98-63
Game 5: Sonics - Knicks 93 - 101
Game 6: Knicks - Sonics 85-94
(Seattle wins series by 4-2)
Sonics take the NBA championships 1998, beating the Knicks in six
The Seattle SuperSonics win their second NBA championship (the first in 1979)! Gary Payton was named the Final's MVP, he averaged 21.4points, 5.5rebounds and 6.3assists in the playoffs, while shooting 46% from 3-point-range and adding 1.8steals as well. It's the first NBA title for 30 years old Payton, who plays for Seattle since 1990. Vin Baker, who joined the Sonics prior to the season (in a trade, that sent Shawn Kemp to Cleveland), was Seattle's best scorer in the playoffs, while veterans like Schrempf and Haywkins added both 10+ in ppg.. The Knicks, who surprisingly made the finals, had simply too less offensive efficiency. In Game 2 of the finals, the team managed to score only 15 points in second half. They took revenge for that blow-out loss though, with Seattle only scoring 63 in Game 4. But in the end, the Knicks (with Patrick Ewing as the best scorer with 19ppg) missed an outstanding performer like Payton, who takes the MVP-honour well deserved.
Draft lottery 1998: Canadian teams with best chances for 1st pick
It's time for the 1998 NBA draft, held in Vancouver. And what could be better for Canada than bringing the two first picks to this beautiful country? Well.. better performances in regular season maybe, but now both Toronto and Vancouver have the chance to build competitives teams for the future. Here's the lottery's percentages, the draft order will be announced tomorrow!
Draft Lottery 1998 - and the winner is.. the Warriors?!
The Lottery went very well for Golden State: entering the lottery with a predicted 7th and 9th pick, the Warriors were lucky enough to grab the 1st overall pick (as well as the 7th)! The two canadian teams fell onto 3rd (Grizzlies) and 4th (Raptors), while the Houston Rockets got the 2nd. A huge day for both Golden State and Houston; the latter traded away their All-Stars (Olajuwon, Barkley, Drexler) during the season and now have the chance to start their re-build with a 2nd and 11th pick! With the Warriors, Pistons and the Rockets holding two picks within Top-11, it could be a day of trades, too.
TRADE: Houston trades the 2nd pick and Bobby Hurley to New Jersey for Kerry Kittles and Keith Van Horn
ANALYSIS: The Grizzlies choose Carter with their first pick, 3rd overall. Carter brings high-flying excitement, he is arguably the most athletic player to come out of North Carolina since Jordan, and he might have more potential. If Carter could add some range to his shooting, his game could resemble Scottie Pippen's and the Grizzlies would like that very much.
TRADE: The LA Clippers trade the 7th pick to Vancouver for Antonio Daniels and Vancouver's 2nd-round pick (33rd overall)
ANALYSIS: The Clippers were hoping for a point guard (either Bibby or Williams) and found one in last year's 4th pick Daniels (4.7ppg, 4.5apg as a rookie). The Grizzlies were expected to ship Daniels, who was replaced by Bobby Jackson as a starter.. Jamison is the ultimate tweener, but his athletic ability should carry him to some success. A good pick for Vancouver, where Abdur-Rahim's contract will expire after 1998/99 season.
TRADE: Cleveland trades their 14th pick to the LA Clippers for Eric Piatkowski and Pooh Richardson
TRADE: The LA Clippers trade Cleveland's 14th pick and their 36th pick to Toronto for Chris Crawford and Marko Milic
TRADE: Portland trades their 22nd pick and Stacey Augmon to Denver for Clyde Drexler
ANALYSIS: With Antonio Daniels being traded, Vancouver lacks a backing point guard. The Grizzlies are still expected to sign a veteran guard through free agency though, but 23 years old Carter may become helpful when Grizzlies guard-targets (like Damon Stoudamire) won't consider a contract with this team.
TRADE: The Charlotte Hornets trade their 47th pick to Detroit for Joe Dumars
Warriors take Pierce with first pick - Grizzlies pick Vince Carter and trade for Jamison
The rumors about Paul Pierce's health issues and out-of-shape issues didn't prevent him from being picked as first in 1998's NBA draft! The talented shooting guard from Kansas will meet Latrell Sprewell in Golden State, as well as the 8th pick Dickerson, who's a shooting guard as well. Sprewell had a career-year with 30.4ppg, but is involved in trade talks every year. With Pierce arriving in town, those talks won't stop.. "German Wunderkind" Dirk Nowitzki was traded to New Jersey on draft night. Nowitzki is said to be a top prospect, but he has been called for a quick stint of military duty, leaving questions on whether he might stay in Europe for a few more years. If he plays in NBA next year, he will be a starter from the beginning. The re-building Rockets surprisingly gave away this 2nd pick, but got two promising players in return; Keith Van Horn and Kerry Kittles, as well as Houston's second pick, Michael Olowokandi (11th overall), will help this team immediately and still got some potential. Olowanki was expected to get picked higher and could become a real steal for the Rockets.. Vancouver got two lottery picks with high-flying Vince Carter and power forward Antawn Jamison, who was acquired via trade with the Clippers. If both Carter and Jamison will become as good as promised, this Grizzlies will be good even with Abdur-Rahim leaving next year (which is very possible, as Vancouver's top-scorer is expected to not extend his contract within first half of the new season).. Toronto added another promising point guard in Mike Bibby, questioning the future of sophomore-to-be Chauncey Billups.. Boston hopes to have found a perfect co-star for Antoine Walker, when they added point guard Jason Williams.
Dmastawwe wrote:I dont think paul pierce should have the headband just yet.
End of a journey - Pippen, Rodman and Kukoc leave Chicago/Jordan behind
It was the most discussed question prior to this off-season.. and it has been answered quickly: the Bulls as we knew them for years won't be no more! On first day of free agency, Scottie Pippen (5-time champion with the Bulls) announced a 2-year-contract (worth 21.45mm) with Cleveland, where he'll join Shawn Kemp.. Pippen played 11 seasons for Chicago, collecting 5 titles together with Jordan and was in All-NBA 1st-team for three times. He averaged 17.1ppg in 68 games last season, grabbing a career-low 4.6rpg. His decision maybe led to this Bulls, who failed to defend their NBA title this year, breaking in parts: Toni Kukoc (playing for the Bulls since 1993, averaging 11.1ppg and shooting .401 from 3-point-range last season) will join Timberwolves' young-guns Garnett/Marbury, while rebound-ace Dennis Rodman (9.3rpg, 2nd in NBA, last year) signed a one-year deal with Washington!
MVP Michael Jordan just re-signed a new contract extension with Chicago, but will now face an uncertain future with his team. Coach Phil Jackson will have to find a whole new strategy, as it's unlikely that the Bulls will find even-strong players as a replacement for this key-rotation. So what, MJ? "His airness" didn't comment on this news yesterday. Is there any good news in this? Well.. Cap-space for next year, maybe? And wait.. Steve Kerr re-signed with Chicago, too..
Divac joins Rockets - Bulls add Weatherspoon/depths
The Houston Rockets keep rebuilding and they do very well: veteran center Vlade Divac (aged 31) signed a 4-year-contract (worth 58mm $) with the franchise. The rebuilt of the Rockets is one of the most interesting stories in 1997/98 campaign and with the off-season becoming a success for Houston, it seems like the plan of GM Carroll Dawson and coach Rudy Tomjanovich works fine: Keith Van Horn (17ppg as a rookie), Kerry Kittles (17ppg as a sophomore, both acquired via trade for 1998's 2nd pick Nowitzki), Divac (8rpg with the Hornets last year) and a possible draft steal (Michael Olowokandi) look like very strong additions - the Rockets are back!
And the Bulls? Probably not.. Losing Pippen, Kukoc and Rodman will be one tough challenge for Michael Jordan and "his" Bulls. The biggest fishes in Free Agency (Antonio McDyess, promising guard Steve Nash or center Elden Campbell) haven't announced a decision yet and even if they go for Chicago - there's no "fishes" like Pippen or Rodman on the market left.. At least, the Bulls were able to sign forward Clarence Weatherspoon (29 years old), who averaged 6.8rpg - but only 2.9points - for the Warriors last season. He'll join Chicago on a 4-years-deal (24mm) and is the most promising addition to the team, which also signed veteran guard Vinny Del Negro, Gary Trent, LaPhonso Ellis and Dennis Scott. No All-star-material though..
Top-Free Agents sign new deals - The Suns lose both McDyess (Sixers) and Nash (Trailblazers)
Two of the most-wanted free agents found new teams for 1998/99 campaign: Antonio McDyess (aged 25) and Steve Nash (25) will both leave the Phoenix Suns and join two promising franchises.
McDyess, now entering his 4th season in NBA, leaves Phoenix after just one season, his worst so far (in case of scoring): 11.6ppg and 7.5rpg in 27 minutes. The power forward, 2nd pick in 1995 draft (Clippers), averaged 18.3ppg in his sophomore season 1996/97 (with Denver). McDyess now signed a 62-million-deal (over 5 years) with Philadelphia, where he will join Allan Iverson and a franchise that looks promising for the upcoming years.
Steve Nash, who averaged 6.2ppg and 1.9apg as a sophomore last season, will join the Portland Trailblazers for 4 years (and 50 million). The Canadian point guard, 15th pick in 1996 draft, had no chance to play more than 14 minutes per game in Phoenix, where Jason Kidd ranked 2nd in NBA with 7.9 assists. Portland also managed to expend the expiring contract of Rasheed Wallace and they acquired All-Star and future Hall-of-Famer Clyde Drexler on draft night.
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