On the NBA: On the ‘Crossover’

Michael Pina is the author of Shaky Ankles, a blog dedicated to the wonders of the ‘crossover’ dribble, basketball’s finest move.  Michael has also contributed to Hardwood Paroxysm and Both Teams Played Hard and edits the Knicks blog, Buckets Over Broadway.  What ensues is our conversation…

Rahat: The crossover dribble move has long been my favorite “thing” in sports.  From dunks, to touchdowns, to offspeed sliders, there is a lot to be fascinated by in the world of athletic entertainment.  But to me, nothing quite holds the intrigue of the crossover dribble.  There is the obvious aesthetic appeal, yes, but the move represents so much more than that at a social level; it might be the greatest innovation in the game’s history.

When I found your blog I was excited.  So I must ask, what inspired its creation?

Read More »

Posted in columns | Tagged | Sharethis | Permalink

What is ‘toughness’?

The above clip perfectly represents an ongoing debate I’ve been having with readers about ‘toughness.’  The game is over, the Rockets have won, and Charles Barkley flagrantly fouls our team’s superstar player.  Vernon Maxwell angrily retaliates earning his second straight ejection.

Read More »

Posted in essays | Sharethis | Permalink

I’m excited about Jonny Flynn

I felt slightly embarrassed while typing that title.  But I have to admit.  I’m excited about Jonny Flynn.  In suppressing our intrigue and tempering expectations, we overlook the intrinsic uniqueness of the point guard position and the men who list it as their occupation.

Read More »

Posted in essays | Tagged | Sharethis | Permalink

From the Ninetyfourums: Scola and “tanking”

From the Ninetyfourums, a reader, Sir Thursday, writes:

Past history has shown us that (at least under the current CBA) trades get you championships, not rebuilding projects. So my preferred strategy would be to continue to maximize our wins in the short term while waiting for the right trade to come along. Morey is a good enough GM to be be able to keep us in that state (many lesser GMs would fail, I suspect), and then when the big trade comes, it will be all the sweeter knowing that the organization has never stopped trying to put a winning team together.

The above comments were in response to my suggestion that the team ‘needed’ to trade Scola.  I do think I agree in theory with the reader’s thesis.  History is replete with examples of child ‘super-teams’ that never put it together: come to think of it, I can’t think of a single time it’s ever worked.  The Thunder are trying to break that curse.

Where I disagree though is that while stocking up on young talent by trading off veterans usually doesn’t work, you almost always have to get your ‘superstar’ through the draft.  And to get your superstar through the draft, you have to get really bad first.  So essentially, I’m starting to think that the ideal model for team-building is to trade off all of your veterans, get really bad, hit big in the lottery, and then stock up again on vets.

Read More »

Posted in from the editor | Sharethis | Permalink

Shook Ankles: One Team’s Trash Is Another’s Team’s Treasure

via Shook Ankles: One Team’s Trash Is Another’s Team’s Treasure « Shaky Ankles:

What people seem to forget when talking about/evaluating/processing basketball players, is their ability to improve in a relatively short time frame. Flynn averaged 13.5 points per game on 42 percent shooting as a 20-year-old starting point guard on the league’s most unfocused franchise. All things considered, that’s pretty good. He was then severely injured. So the result of all this? A trade? We’ve given up on the poor kid before he’s given a chance? I know this is sports, but nobody reaches their apex of ability at the age of 22.

Follow the link for the full story and a vicious highlight from the Rockets’ newest point man.

Posted in musings | Tagged | Sharethis | Permalink