Monthly Recap: December 2011
Part One: New Zealand Panthers Monthly Recap
December Results - 9W 5L
December 1st @ Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta: Joe Johnson - 23 points, 6 assists; Josh Smith - 21 points, 6 rebounds; Marvin Williams - 21 points, 4 steals
New Zealand: Allen Iverson - 29 points, 9 assists; Yi Jianlian - 24 points, 9 rebounds; Omer Asik - 6 points, 17 rebounds, 7 blocks (career high reb, blk)
December 3rd vs Dallas Mavericks
Dallas: Dirk Nowitzki - 22 points; Caron Butler - 22 points
New Zealand: Allen Iverson - 32 points; Eric Maynor - 5 points, 10 assists
December 5th @ Oklahoma City Thunder
Oklahoma City: Richard Hamilton - 25 points, 4 assists; Kendrick Perkins - 16 points, 16 rebounds; Kevin Durant - 17 points, 6 rebounds
New Zealand: Allen Iverson - 27 points, 5 assists; Yi Jianlian - 19 points, 9 rebounds; Eric Maynor - 17 points
December 6th @ Portland Trailblazers
Portland: Gerald Wallace - 18 points, 12 rebounds; Brandon Roy - 16 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists; Wesley Matthews - 15 points
New Zealand: Yi Jianlian - 19 points, 6 rebounds; Omer Asik - 16 rebounds, 4 assists; Eric Maynor - 14 points, 7 assists
December 8th @ Phoenix Suns
Phoenix: Jared Dudley - 17 points, 7 rebounds; Aaron Brooks - 17 points, 4 assists; Steve Nash - 16 points, 8 assists
New Zealand: Yi Jianlian - 17 points, 18 rebounds; Allen Iverson - 32 points, 5 assists; Omer Asik - 13 rebounds, 4 blocks
December 11th @ Sacramento Kings
Sacramento: DeMarcus Cousins - 20 points, 17 rebounds (career high); Zach Randolph - 21 points, 6 rebounds
New Zealand: Allen Iverson - 34 points, 7 assists, 5 steals; Yi Jianlian - 18 points
December 13th vs Utah Jazz
Utah: Devin Harris - 22 points, 9 assists; Al Jefferson - 18 points, 5 rebounds; Paul Millsap - 12 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals
New Zealand: Allen Iverson - 27 points, 5 assists; Yi Jianlian - 23 points, 7 rebounds; Eric Maynor - 11 points, 10 assists
December 15th vs Charlotte Bobcats
Charlotte: DJ Augustin - 26 points, 7 assists; Marcus Thornton - 22 points; Tyrus Thomas - 8 points, 14 rebounds, 5 steals
New Zealand: Allen Iverson - 29 points, 8 assists; Omer Asik - 12 points, 15 rebounds (career high pts); Yi Jianlian - 19 points, 8 rebounds; Harrison Barnes - 19 points (career high)
December 17th @ Dallas Mavericks
Dallas: Dirk Nowitzki - 16 points, 11 rebounds, 3 steals; Rudy Fernandez - 23 points; Jason Terry 19 points
New Zealand: Allen Iverson - 32 points, 7 assists; Yi Jianlian - 19 points, 11 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 blocks
December 18th @ San Antonio Spurs
Loss 94-102 Game Recap
December 21st vs New York Knicks
New York: Carmelo Anthony - 29 points, 8 rebounds; Chauncey Billups - 23 points, 9 assists; Amare Stoudemire - 14 points, 9 rebounds
New Zealand: Allen Iverson - 26 points, 7 assists; Yi Jianlian - 14 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks; Harrison Barnes - 15 points
December 26th @ Indiana Pacers
Indiana: Darren Collison - 22 points, 10 assists, 3 steals; Paul George - 23 points; Danny Granger - 20 points
New Zealand: Allen Iverson - 30 points, 6 assists; Yi Jianlian - 22 points, 8 rebounds; Enes Kanter - 8 points, 9 rebounds (career high)
December 27th vs Toronto Raptors
Toronto: Leandro Barbosa - 21 points; Michael Conley - 14 points, 8 assists; Ed Davis - 6 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks
New Zealand: Allen Iverson - 30 points, 7 assists; Yi Jianlian - 26 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks; Omer Asik - 5 points, 12 rebounds, 7 blocks (career high)
December 29th @ Los Angeles Clippers
Win 100-94 Game Recap
Monthly Recap: December 2011
Part Four: Race to the MVP
The consistently good play from Derrick Rose has the Bulls with the best record in the league
Race to the MVP: Rose's intangibles land him in the top spot in MVP (and Title) Race
By Adrian Nelson, NBA.com
Posted Dec 31 2011 10:57AM
Although it's nice to have a clear cut winner (there will be less debate and less work to do), it does tend to get a little boring here at The Race. So it's only to our utter most happiness that this year's race is again, that of an competitive and exciting one.
Another month has gone by in this 2011-12 NBA season, and true to the slogan, this is truly where amazing happens.
The biggest story of the month, of course, is the Atlanta Hawk's sudden resurgence as of late, winning their last 13 straight games after a disappointing start to the season that made many to believe it's time for the Hawks to break it all up and rebuild. Contrary to the fact, following a players only meeting held by Joe Johnson, the Hawks are back to playing winning basketball. Soaring up (no pun intended) the standings from being a sub .500 team to a respectable record of 21-14, sixth in the East and still have streak alive. It'll be interesting to see just how long this can go for.
Other big news around the association would have to be the four team trade that saw Steve Nash finally being dealt out of Phoenix, only to land in...New Zealand? The Panthers perhaps too quickly gave up on the 6-11 project that they drafted with the 20th overall pick - Enes Kanter, in exchange for the 38 year old two time MVP. Nash will team up with another former MVP in Allen Iverson, who's somehow been able to turn back the clock and regained some of his MVP form.
However, it's not all good news in Kiwi-land as Yi Jianlian, who started the season spectacularly, has hit a wall of some sort and his production has fallen considerably as of late. The Panthers also recently lost starting point guard Eric Maynor, who was having a breakout year thus far, for the season. Which is a factor in them bringing in Steve Nash.
As they've only played one game together so far, it remains to be seen how things will work out. Nash is no longer the MVP caliber player, or perhaps even an All-Star caliber player, but his veteran skills and crafty-ness at the point guard position should still be able to help the Panthers.
The deal also saw the addition of Vince Carter, Channing Frye, Jared Dudley and Eddy Curry to the Dallas Mavericks, a move that could perhaps give Dallas that shot to contend this season. Dirk is completely healthy again and has responded to his critics with his MVP-caliber play again, his numbers are slowly climbing back up to his usual standards and more importantly, the Mavericks are starting to win again.
Not at all lost in all this excitement, however, would be the usual powerhouses. Wade, Lebron, and the Miami Heat didn't do anything outrageous or had another media worthy slump, but they did hand the Lakers a 2 point defeat on Christmas day and had a 5 game win streak near the end of the month. Kobe and the Lakers, on the other hand, struggled to get wins in the month, as they end the month having lost 4 of their last 5 games.
All of this has lead to our believe that Chicago's very own Derrick Rose, who has been producing day-in, day-out for the league-best Bulls; should surely be situated at the very top spot in this edition of The Race.
Aside from scoring at a ridiculous rate and efficiency level (28.2 ppg on 55% shooting), Rose has also gotten his teammates involved (9.2 assist per game) and the Bulls just seem nearly impossible to stop. They won 10 of their 13 games in the month of December and seemed like nothing could go wrong. With the level of focus that everyone in that Chicago locker-room is having, one might think it's game 7 of the NBA Finals, every single night; and without Rose to fuel that drive, they would certainly not be that engaged.
This is the kind of stuff a leader of a championship caliber team does. He works hard, he plays hard, and he leads by example. Jordan did it in the 90s, Derrick Rose is doing it now in the 2010s.
It's exactly the reason why the Bulls, alongside the Heat and the Lakers, are considered to be title favorites this season.
Martti. wrote:Kyrie for ROY, not Rubio. And Wade for MVP.
Martti. wrote:Team chemistry at 13%? At least you're winning.
Martti. wrote:Also, you can get rid of those green triangles in Excel quite easily, just drag from the  (Bulls wins) and select all. A little window should appear on the top left corner of the selection and click ignore error.
hova- wrote:Really great effort on these updates. The Hawks are sick ... 13 in a row, damn. Finally Yi is regressing, was hoping for that because I can't stand his soft game (okay, he's exactly like my man Dirk, but hey, Dirk is Dirk)
Apart from that, Iverson is really turning back the hands of time. Thinking of R. Kelly now. Great updates
Block Party in Portland as Panthers top Blazers
Game Story | Box Score | Team Stats | Player of the Game
Omer Asik Had Himself A Game Last Night
Portland, OR– Omer Asik and the Panthers decided to kick off the New Year by throwing a party during last night's game.
It was a block party, and the Blazers were invited.
Led by Asik's career high 9 blocks, the visiting New Zealand Panthers dominated the Blazers on the defensive end, holding them to 27 first half points, had a plus 10 rebounding edge, and blocked 18 of Portland's shots, holding the Blazers to just 32% shooting from the field.
The 7 foot center out of Turkey also grabbed 12 rebounds, and was just one block shy of completing a double double with the block-rebound combination, only seven players in NBA history has accomplished that feat.
Asik wasn't alone either, as the whole team stepped up and played well as a whole. Yi was named Player of the Game following a 19 point, 13 rebound performance. Allen Iverson added 25 on just 14 shots, while the bench mob added 26.
The Blazers were led by Brandon Roy, who finished the game with a respectable 20 point, 7 rebound, 8 assist performance. However, the rest of the team looked relatively out of sync thanks to the Panthers' D.
Five players were in double figure scoring for Portland, but none aside from Roy really stood out or made an impact on the game. In fact, most of Portland's points came during garbage time in the fourth quarter.
"They played well and gave us pressure," said Roy, "I think the guys just got a bit intimidated by the shot blockers and we kinda laid back as a whole"
Sure enough, the Blazers mostly resorted to long jumpers that more often than not missed the mark.
"We've got to be more aggresive." said LaMarcus Aldridge, who had 14 and 10.
With this win, the Panthers now improve their record to 21-12, on pace to finish much better than their inaugural campaign last season, when they went 30-52 and missed the playoffs.
Player of the Game Highlights
Block of the Night: Omer Asik
Nightly Notable: Omer Asik
Iverson signs extension, drops 50 on Cavaliers
Jan 17th, 2012 11:32 PM EST
Allen Iverson and the New Zealand Panthers have agreed upon a 2 year, $20 million contract extension with a third year player
option attached worth just over $11 million, the team announced earlier today.
This "marks" the completion of Allen's comeback to the NBA following a leaguewide fallout after disastrous seasons following the trade
that sent him from Denver to Detroit.
Perhaps to celebrate the occasion and to thank the organization for giving him the chance and recognition, Iverson dropped a franchise
record-tying 50 points on the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers following the announcement of the contract extension. The Panthers won the
game 135-91, setting a franchise record for points scored in a game.
"I'm just really glad that this organization gave me a chance when nobody would," Iverson said, "I'm gonna continue to play my heart
out every game and hopefully win a championship here before I'm done with my career"
Playing in his 16th NBA season, the 6 foot guard out of Georgetown is currently averaging a league 4th best 27.4 points, alongside 5.3
assists and 1.5 steals per game through 41 games. Led by Iverson, the Panthers are currently atop the Southwest division standings
and hold the second overall seed in the Western Conference.
George7 wrote:Good job getting AI to sign the extension! He's playing really big games! Nice to see this still up and running,had some time off the boards,but now that school's over and I'm back,I'm going to follow for sure! Congrats on the induction of your Bulls' Association as well!
Valor wrote:George7 wrote:Good job getting AI to sign the extension! He's playing really big games! Nice to see this still up and running,had some time off the boards,but now that school's over and I'm back,I'm going to follow for sure! Congrats on the induction of your Bulls' Association as well!
Cheers George7! It's been a while hey? Yeah I had some time off as well before finally wrapping things up with my Bulls Asso, thanks for the support!
George7 wrote:Valor wrote:George7 wrote:Good job getting AI to sign the extension! He's playing really big games! Nice to see this still up and running,had some time off the boards,but now that school's over and I'm back,I'm going to follow for sure! Congrats on the induction of your Bulls' Association as well!
Cheers George7! It's been a while hey? Yeah I had some time off as well before finally wrapping things up with my Bulls Asso, thanks for the support!
Yeah,it's been a while indeed. Can't wait for 2k13 or Live 13 and finally start my next story! The last one ,because of the school exams didn't end that well. (though if I find the savegame I may do a little resurection )
harriskh wrote:D-Rose for MVP! great association man.
Magic Acquires Glen Davis for Brandon Bass
Jan 19th, 2012 07:17 PM EST
The Orlando Magic have acquired forward Glen Davis from the Boston Celtics in exchange for
Brandon Bass. The team announced earlier today.
Also in the deal alongside Davis is Luke Harangody, while the Magic sends Kevin Seraphin alongside Bass
Despite being relatively solid at with a record of 23-17, the Dwight-saga still continues and this move
is yet another one that Otis Smith hopes will please Howard enough to sign an extension to stay in Orlando.
Davis is a long time friend of Howard.
For the Celtics, this is a great deal as they have just had about enough with Davis' erratic play, from the
childish antics off the court to the wild shot selections on the court. This trade now gains them a tough
interior presence in Brandon Bass, who will anchor the paint when Garnett takes a breather.
"I never could understand why they wouldn't play Brandon," said Dutt, agent of Brandon Bass, "I never could
figure it out. One of the reasons I had Brandon go there (to Orlando) and Brandon wanted to go there was,
at the time, that they would give Rashard Lewis a chance to play his natural position (of small forward)
and Brandon would play the 4."Rip Hamilton traded to Minnesota for Wesley Johnson
Jan 31st, 2012 10:21 PM EST
There's an old saying that, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
For the Oklahoma City Thunder, their Hamilton experiment has failed to produce a fruitful outcome, so
they're gonna fix it.
The Thunder have announced earlier today that they have sent offseason acquisiton Richard Hamilton to
the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for the sophomore swingman Wesley Johnson. Also included in
the deal were Nick Collison and Marcus Morris from the Thunder and Kosta Koufos for the Timberwolves.
Despite averaging just over 12 points off the bench for OKC, the 3 time allstar guard never fit quite in
with the Thunder offense, shooting a career low .367 from the field while the Thunder as a whole are
sitting at 9th place in the Western Conference with a record of 25-23, 1 1/2 games behind the 8th
The addition of Johnson enables them to add another athletic, young prospect back on the squad, Johnson's
long arms and quick feet makes him a potential potent defensive stopper.
On the oher hand, it is reported that Hamilton will look to negotiate a buyout with the Timberwolves in
the hopes of landing with a title contender, but he is still owed more than $24 million over two years so
things might get difficult. Minnesota currently boasts a record of 19-28 and are 12th in the Conference.
Monthly Recap: January 2012
Part One: New Zealand Panthers Monthly Recap
January Results – 10W 7L
January 1st @ Portland Trailblazers
Win 93-84 Game Recap
January 2nd @ Los Angeles Lakers
LA Lakers: Kobe Bryant – 34 points, 7 rebounds; JJ Barea – 11 points, 14 assists; Andrew Bynum – 11 points, 12 rebounds
New Zealand: Steve Nash – 20 points, 6 rebounds, 11 assists; Allen Iverson – 30 points, 7 rebounds; Yi Jianlian – 12 points, 12 rebounds
January 4th vs Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota: Michael Beasley – 20 points, 11 rebounds; Wesley Johnson – 20 points; Kevin Love – 15 points, 8 rebounds, 6 steals (career high stl)
New Zealand: Allen Iverson – 37 points, 6 assists, 4 steals; Yi Janlian – 18 points, 12 rebounds
January 7th vs Portland Trailblazers
Portland: Raymond Felton – 29 points, 9 assists; LaMarcus Aldridge – 27 points, 6 rebounds; Brandon Roy – 20 points
New Zealand: Steve Nash – 22 points, 6 rebounds, 14 assists; Allen Iverson – 34 points; Harrison Barnes – 21 points, 5 rebounds
January 8th @ Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota: Ricky Rubio – 18 points, 5 rebounds, 11 assists; Michael Beasley – 23 points, 12 rebounds; Kevin Love – 16 points, 10 rebounds
New Zealand: Allen Iverson – 36 points, 8 assists; Yi Jianlian – 23 points, 12 rebounds; Omer Asik – 12 rebounds, 4 blocks
January 10th @ Charlotte Bobcats
Charlotte: Marcus Thornton – 33 points, 6 steals; Tayshaun Prince – 23 points, 6 rebounds; Tyrus Thomas – 12 points, 13 rebounds
New Zealand: Allen Iverson – 30 points, 6 assists; Yi Jianlian - 25 points, 11 rebounds, 4 blocks; Steve Nash – 19 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists
January 12th @ Detroit Pistons
Detroit: Charlie Villanueva – 20 points, 8 rebounds; Kemba Walker – 19 points, 7 assists
New Zealand: Allen Iverson – 34points; Yi Jianlian – 23 points, 10 rebounds; Steve Nash – 11 points, 5 rebounds, 12 assists
January 15th vs New Orleans Hornets
New Orleans: Chris Paul – 31 points, 7 assists; Emeka Okafor – 15 points, 12 rebounds; Trevor Ariza – 11 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals
New Zealand: Allen Iverson – 31 points; Yi Jianlian – 20 points, 8 rebounds; Omer Asik – 9 points, 15 rebounds, 4 blocks, 3 steals
January 17th vs Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland: Kyrie Irving – 16 points, 10 assists; Baron Davis – 19 points, 7 asissts
New Zealand: Allen Iverson – 50 points, 7 assists; Steve Nash – 13 points, 13 assists; Kirk Penny – 14 points
January 19th @ Houston Rockets
Houston: Kevin Martin – 16 points; Kyle Lowry – 16 points; Yao Ming – 7 points, 11 rebounds, 4 blocks
New Zealand: Allen Iverson – 27 points; Steve Nash – 11 points, 8 rebounds, 10 assists; Yi Jianlian - 17 points, 12 rebounds
January 21st vs Dallas Mavericks
Dallas: Vince Carter – 35 points; Jason Kidd – 20 points, 11 assists; Dirk Nowitzki – 16 points, 8 rebounds
New Zealand: Allen Iverson – 37 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists; Yi Jianlian – 13 points, 15 rebounds
January 22nd @ Chicago Bulls
Chicago: Derrick Rose – 30 points, 7 assists (GW); Rodney Stuckey – 21 points; Carlos Boozer – 16 points, 14 rebounds; Luol Deng – 20 points
New Zealand: Allen Iverson – 32 points, 5 assists; Yi Jianlian – 22 points, 10 rebounds; Harrison Barnes – 16 points
January 24th @ Toronto Raptors
Toronto: Andrea Bargnani – 19 points, 11 rebounds; Demar DeRozan – 17 points, 7 rebounds; Mike Conley – 17 points, 7 assists
New Zealand: Allen Iverson – 30 points, 8 assists; Yi Jianlian – 20 points, 12 rebounds
January 26th @ New York Knicks
New York: Chauncey Billups – 30 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists; Landry Fields – 23 points; Carmelo Anthony – 19 points
New Zealand: Allen Iverson – 24 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists; Harrison Barnes – 21 points; Yi Jianlian – 11 points, 16 rebounds
January 28th @ Philadelphia 76ers
Philadelphia: Andre Iguodala – 28 points, 8 rebounds; Elton Brand – 15 points, 8 rebounds; Jrue Holiday – 14 points, 10 assists
New Zealand: Allen Iverson – 28 points, 5 assists; Harrison Barnes – 19 points; Steve Nash – 10 points, 7 assists
January 29th vs Orlando Magic
Orlando: Dwight Howard – 16 points, 14 rebounds; Jason Richardson – 23 points, 6 rebounds; Hedo Turkoglu – 18 points; Jameer Nelson – 15 points, 13 assists
New Zealand: Steve Nash – 13 points, 17 assists; Yi Jianlian – 25 points, 13 rebounds; Allen Iverson – 26 points, 7 assists; Harrison Barnes – 21 points
January 31st vs Washington Wizards
Washington: Nick Young – 27 points; Andray Blatche – 23 points, 12 rebounds, 4 steals; John Wall – 20 points, 8 assists
New Zealand: Allen Iverson – 32 points; Harrison Barnes – 23 points, 6 rebounds (career high pts); Steve Nash – 15 points, 5 rebounds, 11 assists
Lamrock wrote:Your backcourt is awesome.
SuperHueyNewton wrote:I like the originality of this story, A.I. too
SuperHueyNewton wrote:Nice win column but it looks like the East is actually a little stronger, pretty puzzling to me actually
Monthly Recap: January 2012
Part Four: Race to the MVP
At the midway point, it's looking like a two man race between Bryant and Rose
Race to the MVP: Midseason awards edition
By Adrian Nelson, NBA.com
Posted Jan 31 2012 11:17PM
Within the blink of an eye, here we are again at the midway point of the NBA Season, and this is just the perfect time to present to you the individul accolades for the first half of the season. Of course, they don't actually exist, but this will give you all an idea of who's dominating so far in this 2011-12 season.
Most Valuable Player: Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
As you'll read on later in our rankings below, D-Rose has been playing like a man possessed this season, seemingly having perfected his game in just his 4th NBA season. If he keeps up this pace and the Bulls keep winning, even the reigning MVP Kobe Bryant won't be able to take this award from him at the end of the season.
Rookie of the Year: Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves
While Kyrie Irving will give Rubio a run for his money and Harrison Barnes has been great as of late, don't be surprised if the Spanish phenom takes home the trophy at the end of the season. Rubio would be advised to find himself a shooting coach at the end of the season though, as of now him passing off the backboard to the basket might be a better way to score as opposed to his shot, which is horrendous to say the least.
Coach of the Year: Tyrone Corbin, Utah Jazz
With his best players being Al Jefferson and Devin Harris, what Tyrone Corbin has done with the Jazz is simply amazing. Utah is currently 4th in the West and definitely overachieving. Larry Brown deserves some love for what he's been able to do with the Panthers as well.
Sixth Man: JJ Hickson, Cleveland Cavaliers
He's been involved in trade rumors all year long, but there's no denying what JJ Hickson has brought to the table for the Cavaliers off the bench. Averaging a career high 14 and 8, Hickson brings a combination of energy and offensive output that few has in the second five. Lamar Odom of the Lakers and Gilbert Arenas of the Magic might have something to say about the award at years' end though.
Defensive Player of the Year: Josh Smith, Atlanta Hawks
Joe Johnson hit a wall in January and couldn't find the bucket, but Atlanta was still able to maintain their winning ways and keep their 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference Standings due to the defensive dominance of Josh Smith, who is doing everything right now for the Hawks. Omer Asik and Lebron James are both legitimate contenders for the honor as well.
Most Improved Player: JJ Barea, Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers took a gamble and added JJ Barea to replace the retired Derek Fisher as their starting point guard, and it's sure paid off big time as Barea has tripled his scoring output and added 5 more assists per game than last season, making him a solid contributor next to Kobe in the Lakers backcourt. Other contenders for the award would be the Panthers' Omer Asik, Nuggets point Ty Lawson, as well as Sixers center Spencer Hawes.
First Team All NBA
C - Dwight Howard, Magic
F - Carmelo Anthony, Knicks
F - LeBron James, Heat
G - Kobe Bryant, Lakers
G - Derrick Rose, Bulls
Lamrock wrote:Love the Rookie Reports. I'd say Irving has a really good shot at winning RotY. Does Barnes come off the bench? Is he a 6MotY candidate?
Wall, Irving, Rubio headlines 2012 Rookie Challenge
NEW YORK, Feb. 3, 2012 -- Reigning Rookie of the Year John Wall of the Washington Wizards, the Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft, and Minnesota Timberwolves rookie sensation Ricky Rubio, lead a list of 20 players selected for the 2012 T-Mobile Rookie Challenge to be held on All Star Friday during this year's NBA All-Star Weekend in Orlando.
Joining Wall from the Sophomore class are: Evan Turner (Philadelphia), Blake Griffin (LA Clippers), Ed Davis (Toronto), DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento), Armon Johnson (Portland), Wesley Johnson (Oklahoma City), Al-Farouq Aminu (LA Clippers), Larry Sanders (Milwaukee), and Omer Asik (New Zealand).
Irving and Rubio are joined by fellow first-year players Harrison Barnes (New Zealand), Perry Jones (Washington), Jonas Valanciunas (Cleveland), Brandon Knight (Sacramento), William Buford (Indiana), Kris Joseph (Utah), Enes Kanter (Phoenix), and Mike Benson (New Orleans).
The participants in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge were selected by the NBA's assistant coaches, with each team submitting one ballot.
Last year in Los Angeles, the Sophomore squad edged out the Rookie team in a tightly contested game, 119-108. Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors took home Most Valuable Player honors after talling 22 points and 9 assists.
Below are the rosters for the 2012 T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam.
All Star Rosters Set, Panthers' Yi, Iverson makes history
NEW YORK, Feb. 4, 2012 -- The second year franchise Panthers have been turning heads and changing opinions all season long, so it's only appropriate that they were honored with having not one, but two players named to the 2012 NBA All Star Game, the first time in franchise history.
Thus, the 12th time All-Star Allen Iverson will make Panthers history on All-Star Sunday in Orlando alongside first time All-Star Yi Jianlian as the first ever All Stars for the New Zealand Panthers franchise.
Joining Yi and Iverson on the West reserves are second time selections Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Golden State Warriors' Monta Ellis; followed by 3 other first timers in Emeka Okafor (New Orleans), Tyreke Evans (Sacramento), and Terrence Williams (Houston). Okafor was selected by commissioner David Stern as an injury replacement for voted-starter Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets, who will not participate due to a broken finger.
Kobe Bryant of the Lakers, Chris Paul of the Hornets, Kevin Durant of the Thunder, and the Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki will be joined by first time All-Star Andrew Bynum (LA Lakers) in the starting lineup of the Western Conference All-Stars.
Meanwhile for the East, first timer Brook Lopez of the New Jersey Nets will be joining a very similar East bench that features second time All-Stars John Wall of the Wizards, Stephen Jackson of the Bucs, Andre Iguodala of the Sixers, and Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks. Also on the East reserves are 7 time All Star Amare Stoudemire of the New York Knicks, and Lopez's teammate, 3 time All Star guard Deron Williams.
Dwight Howard of the hosting Orlando Magic leads a pack of Perennial All-Stars in the East starting lineup that features five time All Star Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks, 8 time All Star LeBron James of the Miami Heat, 7 time All Star Dwyane Wade of the Heat, and three time All Star Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls.
The 2012 NBA All-Star Game will air live on TNT and ESPN Radio in the U.S. and reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages.
Justine. wrote:Wow at Iverson's numbers, he's shooting % is pretty low though. Yi!
Martti. wrote:Seeing as what Orlando actually got for Dwight, robbing them a bit in this reality isn't too bad.
Grading the Deals: NBA Trade Deadline 2012
Feb 16th, 2012 09:56 PM EST
Historically speaking, the NBA trade deadline is usually a hectic one, with a million rumors flying around and a few handfuls of deals being done. This year was, of course, no exception, as blockbuster trades, not-so blockbuster trades, free agent signings, coaching changes, and contract extensions happened within the span of the last 48 hours, leading to this annual big recap of who went where and what on earth happened. It is interesting to note that, there is a very interesting situation as this year's deadline is before the All-Star weekend, which means perhaps for the first time ever, we will have some of the All-Stars being in the "wrong team" so to speak as they got traded across the conference prior to the game. Weird situations, wild surprises, what a perfect way to start the second half of the season.
Without further ado, here are our grades of the parties involved in all those deals (and non-deal) in the second most exciting time (behind the playoffs, naturally) of the NBA season.Bulls Trade Ronnie Brewer and Alexis Ajinca to the Pacers for James Posey and Dahntay Jones
We are kind to our readers so lets start with the easier ones rather than bomb you with the hardcore stuff from the get-go.
Ronnie Brewer had been complaining about a lack of playing time behind this season's new addition Rodney Stuckey, and he was becoming expendable anyways so Chicago went ahead and traded him, along with six fouls in Ajinca for two defensive minded veteran wing players that Thibs would be ecstatic to have on the roster.
At 17-36, the Pacers were not going anywhere this season, so they now add a relatvie young piece in Brewer, who's athletic, can shoot a bit, and is a good defender. This is a win-win situation for both teams, but nothing fancy.
Grade for Bulls: B+
Grade for Pacers: B+Panthers Trade Kwame Brown and Brian Scalabrine to the Bulls for Kyle Korver, the Panthers' 2012 second round pick, and the Bulls' 2012 first round pick
Again, another minor move by the league best Bulls (41-14) as they continue to tweak their roster to prepare for a title run this postseason. By trading away Korver alongside picks that they really don't need, the Bulls were able to acquire a solid 7 footer to hold down the fort when Noah needs a breather. Yes Kwame Brown's still a bust as a number 1 overall player, but he's been solid as a role player over his career, and will serve them well in his limited role.
For the Panthers, Kyle Korver is still a good shooter, but he had become expendible when Chicago acquired Jones and Posey. He has 10 million dollars over two years left on his contract and was hardly playing this season, averaging a career-low 1.5 points in 3.9 minutes per game over 55 contests. What's more valuable to them is the acquisiton of those two draft picks, one of them their own that they traded away on draft night in the four team deal that brought them Omer Asik. The Panthers had no draft picks until this point and in a relatively deep class, they could prove to be valuable assets, no matter how low they will be.
Grade for Bulls: B+
Grade for Panthers: BHornets Trade Chris Paul and Xavier Henry to the Clippers for Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu and Chris Kaman
We hope you were ready, but if not, here it is anyways. The highlight of the evening - CP3 finally saying goodbye to the city of New Orleans after a whole season of wanting out, and now finds himself in the bright lights of Los Angeles, only that it's the Clippers and not their more successful cotenant at the Staples Center.
After spending months listening to offers and exploring their options, the Hornets management finally decided to take the offer presented by the Clippers, who offered them the valuable rebuilding assets in youth (Eric Gordon and Aminu) and cap relief (Chris Kaman). While New Orleans isn't completely out of the playoff race at 28-26, Paul didn't want to be there from the start of training camp and it was time to have a fresh start. Expect them to kind of tank the rest of the season in order to get a high draft pick.
For the Clippers (29-23), this immediately puts them in contention for the top 4 seeds in the Western Conference. With Paul leading the way, the frontcourt dynamic duo of Rudy Gay and Blake Griffin are going to score at a much more efficient pace and at a higher clip. Paul is also an excellent defender, with quick hands and feet that'll certainly turn opponent possessions into a lob-fest on the other side of the floor.
Although Paul didn't end up going to a more storied franchise such as the Knicks or Lakers, he still got his wish and left New Orleans, and went to a team that will be ready for contention with just one or two more pieces. Plus he's still going to be in one of the largest markets in Los Angeles. He might have to endure Clippers' punchlines, but my guess is he's ok with that.
Grade for Hornets: B+
Grade for Clippers: A
Grade for Paul: A-Hornets Trade David West to the New Jersey Nets for Travis Outlaw and Tyler Honeycutt
After trading their franchise player away, the Hornets figured they might as well just purge the roster and start over completely from scratch, which isn't exactly a bad idea, but when you give up a two time All Star in David West for just Travis Outlaw and rookie benchwarmer Tyler Honeycutt, there is a problem.
The Nets obviously win this one by far, and it's not even close. David West, with his deadly 17 foot jumper, is a perfect complement to Brook Lopez, one of the few centers in the game who is most comfortable scoring in the low post with back to the basket moves. Adding on the fact that West can continue his infinite amount of pick-and-pop plays with yet another great point guard in Deron Williams makes this trade seem more lopsided than it really is.
Grade for Hornets: C-
Grade for Nets: AHornets Trade Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza to the Washington Wizards for Rashard Lewis and the Wizards' 2012 2nd round pick
And so the purging continues. Don't worry, this is the last one they make...before the offseason that is. Remember how I said there will be All-Stars playing for the opposite conference because they got traded? Well, Emeka Okafor is one of them. What a way to have your first All-Star appearance than to play for the wrong team?
New Orleans continues to stack up the assets for a complete rebuilding effort. At least they are being consistent about it. Lewis has the most overinflated contract in the entire league, with $46 million dollars and two years left on his deal, he'll probably be lift up some of that scoring load left behind by Paul and West the rest of this season, and will become a very valuable trade chip with a 20+ million dollar expiring contract next season. An extra pick never hurts, and a second round pick from the 20-37 Wizards is basically a late first-rounder.
The Wizards, on the otherhand, also reap the benefits of this deal, as they get rid of Lewis and really hand the keys to reigning rookie of the year John Wall. Okafor, again, is an All-Star this season alongside his new teammate in Wall, and Trevor Ariza is another young, athletic defender that will help install a defensive mindset into the nation's capital.
Grade for Hornets: B-
Grade for Wizards: A-Wizards Trade JaVale McGee, Nick Young, Chris Duhon, and Andray Blatche to the Nuggets for Nene, Andre Miller, and Al Harrington
Part of getting better is addition by subtraction, and the Wizards did exactly that by getting rid of perhaps the biggest bonehead in the history of the NBA in JaVale McGee. McGee is a athletic beast, but his head needs to be screwed on straight and that responsibility now lands on Denver's George Karl instead. God praise his soul.
Wizards send away a lot of talent here, but also get a lot back in the form of Nene. The big solid center will always give you somewhere around 12 points and 10 rebounds a game, he scores, rebounds, clogs the paint well, and will form a formitable low post duo with Emeka Okafor. Andre Miller should be a good veteran guid for Sophomore John Wall, and Harrington would provide some valued bench scoring.
For the Nuggets, if George Karl can snap the heads of McGee, Young, and Blatche on straight, then they wouldn't really have lost out in this deal, seeing as that's a whole load of talent. Again, I really feel for Coach Karl's right now. The man has a tough job, to say the least.
Grade for Wizards: B
Grade for Nuggets: B-Warriors Trade Monta Ellis, Andris Biedrins and Ekpe Udoh to the Bucks for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson
The Warriors and Bucks exchanged problematic situations in a five-player trade where Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson are heading to Golden State for Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh and Andris Biedrins.
Experts and fans of both sides are somewhat bewildered by how the trade truly benefits John Hammond and Joe Lacob. It is a classic NBA blockbuster trade made by two teams without a top-20 player that won’t put either of them into the top-eight of the NBA.
All of those wonders aside, both teams really didn't gain or lose much here in terms of value or overall impact. The Warriors traded offense for defense and the Bucks got offense for defense. If it sounds confusing, it's probably 'cause it is. The two teams completely change their identity in the process, but Milwaukee clearly loses out here. Scott Skiles preaches defense, good luck preaching that to Monta Ellis.
Grade for Warriors: C+
Grade for Bucks: C-Warriors Trade Stephen Jackson to the Spurs for Richard Jefferson and the Spurs' 2013 2nd round pick
Stephen Jackson never even got on a taxi to the airport before he was traded yet again by his new/old team. The Warriors was going on a solid direction towards building for the future, and Jackson's erratic behaviour doesn't really fit the bill.
San Antonio, however, would love to have a bit of that spark from Jackson as even the great Gregg Popovich has ran out of solutions for the unexplained slump by the San Antonio Spurs, who have been egregious thus far this season at 23-32. They are still just 6 games behind the 8th seeded Rockets, but it's going to take a complete turn around for them to have a chance of cracking the postseason.
Grade for Warriors: C+
Grade for Spurs: C+Spurs Trade Chris Andersen and Gary Neal to the Mavericks for Jared Dudley and Eddy Curry
Again, the Spurs are trying everything to save their season from crashing into the depths of hell. While this isn't exactly a homerun tyle deal, it is a solid one that'll boaster the Spurs chances of getting back into the playoff picture. Neal was't really getting minutes with the guard spots being so stacked and Jared Dudley is going to fit right into the vacant three spot left behind by Jefferson. He can defend, he can knock down threes. A great presence in the team.
The Mavericks didn't have much to lose here, they didn't really need Dudley with Marion and Brewer at the three, and Neal would be insurance in case one of the older guards go down (Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Vince Carter). No harm in getting a better defensive big in Chris Andersen for Eddy Curry either.
Grade for Spurs: B-
Grade for Mavericks: BThe Dwight Howard Trade that never happened
Even more so than CP3, Dwight Howard was the subject of trade rumors all season long, and it is really a surprise, more than any of the deals above, that Dwightmare hasn't ended in Orlando. Despite a number of reported talks with numerous teams such as the Nets, Lakers, Bulls, Rockets, Knicks, and Panthers, the Magic apparently decided to stay put and test their chances in the offseason and see if they could convince the three time NBA Defensive Player of the Year to stay with the Orlando Magic.
In my estimation, they got pretty much no shot at retaining him, and now probably will lose some value, if not all of the any possible assets they could've gotten back for Howard if he decides to walk at season's end.
Grade for Magic: D
Grade for Howard: BMiscellaneous Transactions
- Tim Duncan signs with Spurs for 1 yr/$12.76M extension with $13.92M player option
- Pacers sign G Delonte West for 1 yr/$5.76M
- Clippers sign C Nazr Mohammed to 1 yr/$480K deal
- Suns (12-41)Fire Head Coach Alvin Gentry, Hires Byron Scott
Its_asdf wrote:There is a lot of detail in this, especially with all of the write-ups. I can empathize with the amount of work that can take to come up with original things to write about. Much respect to that!
Woogie98 wrote:Was looking forward to see a Nash,Iverson,Howard type line-up
Lamrock wrote:Glad to see the real life deadline deals being made. Shame you weren't able to upgrade your roster, but we'll see what they can do.
Wall, Griffin Dominates as Sophomores Top Rooks
Game Story | Box Score | Team Stats | Player of the Game
While Blake had a lot of dunks, DeMarcus Cousins had the best one
Orlando, FL -- Anytime you have an All-Star on your roster and your opponents don't, chances are you are probably going to win.
That was exactly the case for the Sophomore squad Friday night in the annual T-Mobile Rookie Challenge.
Led by the second time All-Star John Wall and Clippers' high flying Blake Griffin, the Sophomores held off a valiant effort from the rookie squad en-route to a 116-107 victory, extending the Sophomore steak to two.
Wall took home MVP honors after dropping 28 points and dishing out 9 assists in the win, while Blake Griffin, who had 33 points and 17 rebounds in their loss in last year's game against Stephen Curry and Tyreke Evans, finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds, putting up highlight dunks at every turn.
However, it wasn't all smooth sailing for the Sophomores, as the Rookie squad, led by Rookie of the Year favorite Ricky Rubio and the New Zealand Panthers' scoring machine Harrison Barnes put up a solid fight.
Rubio finished with just 8 points but showed off his court vision by dishing out 13 assists, while Harrison Barnes went 12 for 21 from the field for a game-high 32 points. Number 1 overall pick Kyrie Irving, however, had a bad night shooting from the field as he went 4 for 16 and finished with 16 points.
"It's on me, I just wasn't good enough tonight" said Irving, "Lucky this doesn't count towards the season but still, you never want to lose any game"
The Sophomore team, on the other hand, had a different take.
"They definitely have potential to be very good players, all of them" Wall said, "They showed it tonight, gave us a hell of a fight"
"It's just an exhibition game though so I'd chill a bit if I was him" added Griffin when asked about Irving's comments
The Sophomore team, who also won last year's contest 119-108, now extends their all-time record on the Rookies to 10-3.
Rookie Challenge MVP Highlights
SuperHueyNewton wrote:Slam, slam, slam... Uh theres another slam. Need i say more?
Ourumow wrote:Pretty close game, did you play it? Must have been fun
Bryant, Durant shines as West tops East in Nail-Biter
Game Story | Box Score | Team Stats | Player of the Game
Durant flipped the switch in the fourth and led the West to victory
Orlando, FL -- Throughout the years, the NBA All Star game has resembled more like a Harlem Globetrotters game rather than a NBA game with their often non-existant defense and bunch of highlight reel plays.
It was a little different tonight.
Led by Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant, the Western Conference All Stars barely edged out the East squad 121-119, in a tightly contested, defensive minded battle that included plenty of hard fouls, smack talk, and a true basketball intensity felt by all of the 17,125 fans in attendance at the Amway Center.
Even the relatively low (for All Star Game standards) final score didn't tell the whole tale, as every point was earned by each player on both squads.
Bryant led the way with 21 points, breaking Michael Jordan's all time All Star Game scoring record of 262. He now leads the pack of All Stars with 265 points scored.
On his way to passing Jordan in the record books, Kobe also passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson — who had 251 points and 246 points, respectively.
Kobe’s career-high in the All-Star game came last year when he scored 37 points. He also had 31 points in 2002 and 31 points in 2007. He’s been an All-Star every season other than his rookie campaign.
Durant, on the otherhand, started the night roughly as he was bothered by the physical defense from LeBron James, but managed to find his stroke in the fourth quarter when the West needed him the most. He had 11 of his 15 points in that final period and played some great defense that included an All Star Game career high 4 blocks enroute to the West victory and MVP honors.
"It was fun," Durant said. "That's the type of All-Star game you want to see."
On the otherside of the spectrum, Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls led the East with 25 points and 7 assists in the losing effort. Dwyane Wade of the Heat added 20 and Knicks' forward Carmelo Anthony dropped 21; But it wouldn't be enough as Melo's potential game winning 3 pointer harmlessly bounced off the rim as time expired.
It was also a strange disappearance from the two time All Star Game MVP LeBron James, who went 6 for 17 from the field and finsihed with a measly 13 points and 4 rebounds in 30 minutes of play.
"It just wasn't my night" James said. "I played some good defense but the shots just didn't fall"
Even more surprising than James, however, would be the host Dwight Howard. The Magic center only attempted 3 field goals in the entire game, and finished with just 7 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks in a highly anticipated matchup against up and coming Laker center Andrew Bynum on his home floor.
Despite requesting a trade earlier in the season, Howard was not dealt by the Magic on the trade deadline and sources have said that he has contemplated changing his mind and not opting out at the end of this season after the huge standing ovation given by the crowd during player introductions.
On a happier note, Allen Iverson of the Panthers was all smiles as he checked into the game halfway through the first quarter. Coming back into the league after a year spent in Turkey, the 12th time All Star managed to recapture his former MVP self, averaging over 27 points per game to lead his Panthers to a 34-23 record at the midway point of the season. He finished with 13 points (9 in the fourth quarter) on 6 of 11 shooting in just 18 minutes played.
"This could be my last one," Iverson said, "So I'm just trying to have fun and soak everything in"
It also marked the first All Star appearance for several other players. Brook Lopez of the Nets on the East, and 5 on the West that includes Bynum, Yi Jianlian, Emeka Okafor, Tyreke Evans, and Terrence Williams.
All the first timers said that it was a great, but exhausting experience, but for Emeka Okafor, it was more than that, as he was traded to the Washington Wizards at the deadline prior to the weekend and became one of the two players that played for the opposite conference in the All Star game due to a trade. The other being Monta Ellis of the West.
No one got as much attention as Chris Paul though, as the 5 time All-Star finally got his trade request granted and was dealt to the Clippers at the deadline, starting an avalanche of trades for the Hornets that eventually led to Okafor's departure from the team.
"I talked to Emaka and he understands it" Paul said, "At the end of the day it's business and if the team decides to trade him away as well, it's not up to me to say otherwise since I'm already part of another organization"
Paul had 11 points and 5 assists in his "first game as a Clipper". The Western Conference All Stars has now won two in a row.
All Star Game MVP Highlights
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