Author Archives: Truth About It

Where The Energy Wasn’t: Still Chomping At The Bit In Cleveland

Okay, so everybody is talking about LeBron James … so much to the point where the mounting dead horses are going to be hell to deal with come game six. But LeBron probably wouldn’t have it any other way, him being talked about, good or bad, that is.

Over on TrueHoop, Kevin Arnovitz has a great video breakdown of James’ poor game five and instances of him watching the action, among other very un-King-like activities. Arnovitz also highlights a fast-break play (at the 43 second mark of the video) where Mo Williams might have failed to recognize LeBron’s presence in transition.

While, in my opinion, it’s questionable whether Williams should have found LeBron in that specific instance, there was another missed fast-break opportunity for LeBron and the Cavaliers which raises some questions.

What have LeBron’s teammates been told about his injury and how to treat him on the court? Have they been asked not to throw alley oops only attainable by LeBron so he can go attacking the rim with reckless abandon on the house, the defense and his elbow?

Let’s watch …

Note: At the first pause in the .GIF, LeBron seems to have all the step he needs on Tony Allen. However, also note that he doesn’t seem to be calling for the lob — maybe he’s nominating himself as a decoy, maybe he wants Mo to take Rasheed Wallace, and maybe something is off.

At the second pause … sure, Rasheed is hanging back. But c’mon, he’s not falling that far off Williams … and it’s LeBron f-ing James. Who’s really doing to stop a lob to him?

But alas, Williams pulls up for a shot just as LeBron is slowing down his train … like it was some preordained and coordinated act between the two. It just makes you wonder … not only is LeBron treating the game different, but his teammates seem to be treating him differently as well. LeBron is where the energy wasn’t.

It’s a head-scratcher, huh LeBron?

What say you Mike Brown?

Oh, still chomping.

Note: As a Wizards fan who blogs about the team at Truth About It.net, I’m fairly confident that the Cavaliers will win both games six and seven. Here’s to hoping they prove me wrong.

Rajon Rondo Puts On The Brakes, Mike Brown Chomps

Remember when Rajon Rondo arrived at a Celtics-Bulls playoff game last year in a Red Bull NASCAR stock car and people were all like, “How dare YOU sir!?!?” … and then Jack Ryan gave President Bennett a piece of his mind and then testified before Congress … end credits, Clear and Present Danger … slow clap … a single authentic tear … score another one for America over those Commie bastards.

Okay, so maybe it didn’t happen that way, but Rondo did take some heat for his extravagant arrival. People called it a distraction, or something like that … but then they laugh at Dwyane Wade’s suits. What’s fair in that?

In any case, maybe, just maybe that experience taught young Rajon the fine art of putting on the brakes. Either that or he guzzled a lot of Dream Shakes as a kid. Let’s watch him slam on the brakes and dupe Anthony Parker and Anderson Varejao of the Cleveland Cavaliers …

Yea, yea … I hear ya Cleveland fans. You’re probably saying that Rondo dragged his right foot and thus traveled. Sorry dudes. Maybe you should give the move a cute animal name like the Crab Dribble.

Mike Brown, tell us how you feel about losing home-court advantage to the Celtics.


Me? I do musings about the amusing Washington Wizards at Truth About It.net.

Brad Miller Wishes The Cavaliers Good Luck In The Next Round

Brad Miller turned 34 a couple weeks ago and now he’s a free-agent. His options are boundlessly limited … continuing his basketball career or touring the web impersonating Trey Kerby are just two handfuls of opportunity.

Brad’s time in Chicago is likely over. Also, despite their history, this is the first time Miller has been sent into the summer by Shaquille O’Neal. In kind, Miller paid Shaq, LeBron and the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers photo shoot his respects by wishing them the best of luck in the next round against the Boston Celtics.

See? He even calls someone “buddy” … I think. That’s Brad for ya. Your move Trey Kerby.


Hi, I also blog about the Wizards on Truth About It.net. What’s it to ya?

Faces of Dallas; Caron Butler is no Maverick

Why so sad Brendan Haywood? Or is that your game face? Then again, maybe you’re thinking about free-agency and how Dallas might not be the best fit. I mean, you’re the guy formerly known as Brend-A and can’t even get a start over a guy who’s still known as Eric-A. It’s like you versus Etan for the glory of starter’s minutes all over again. Sure, an NBA championship is now on the line, but you’re a free-agent FCOL! Damn Rick Carlisle.


This is the face of a man who ‘Don’t see no fat lady.

Which begs the question, what does Shawn Marion see?

Maybe he’s wondering how he and Caron Butler managed score a combined 31 points on a combined 31 shots in game four, sharing just two free-throw attempts between them (thanks to Tuff Juice).

To talk about Caron some more. His bread and butter, at least in terms of the frequency of his offensive attempts, is isolation plays and spot-up shots (according to Synergy Sports Technology) … which is particularly disheartening because Butler isn’t the best driver nor does he have the best jumper. He’s known as a “tough” scorer, but this season, in both Washington and Dallas, he’s been horribly inefficient. Guess that Eddie Jordan’s pro-style Princeton offense was his crutch.

In D.C., 28.6% of Butler’s offensive plays were isolations — he only scored 39.5% of the time, got to the free-throw line just 5% of the time, and produced a measly 0.81 points per possession (PPP).

In Dallas, his isolations have decreased to 22.1% and he has become more efficient, scoring 46.6% of the time, getting to the FT line 6.8% of the time and netting 0.99 PPP.

Spot-ups accounted for 18.7% of Butler’s offense with the Wizards. With these opportunities, he fared slightly better than isos, scoring 40.7% of the time, getting to the FT line 7.8% of the time, and netting 0.86 PPP. Still not great.

With the Mavericks, Butler’s spot-ups have increased to 20.8% of his offensive opportunities, but he only scores on 36% of them, getting to the line just 4.5% of the time and at a 0.78 PPP clip.

Overall, on Butler’s offensive plays that end in FGAs, TOs or FTs, he scored 0.86 PPP in Washington, which ranks 334th, and in Dallas, 0.87 PPP, ranked 318th. Not the Tuff Juice Mark Cuban thought he was bargaining for, but certainly the guy Wizards fans became familiar with this season.

Good to know from playing with point guards Gilbert Arenas to Randy Foye to Jason Kidd, some people never change. If Dallas was looking for Butler to be a maverick from his past inept wizardry, they should look somewhere else.

What say you Mr. Cuban?


By the way, I’m not around these parts too often. My name is Kyle Weidie and I’m the Washington Wizards blogger in ESPN’s TrueHoop Network at Truth About It.net. And since my team is crappy, might always be, perhaps I’ll pop up on H-Wood Paroxysm every now and then like I used to. That is all.

15 Footer – You Have One Thing To Do: Watch Brandon Jennings

Dallas Mavericks @ Milwaukee Bucks – 8:00 pm – NBA TV

Screw the kids, dogs, wives, girlfriends, mistresses, the Monday TV lineup (especially a crappy Ravens-Browns MNF game) … basically, anything you can think about doing, don’t do it.

Watch. Brandon. Jennings.

You’ve heard he’s a punk. You’ve heard he’s awesome. You’ve heard about him dropping 55 points in a game and almost sh*t your pants/dropped your drink (if you’re like me). Unfortunately, at the time I had no one with NBA knowledge to turn to for discussion … and I also realized that I haven’t concentrated on Brandon Jennings’ playing skills since he dazzled in the McDonald’s All-American game.

The icing on the cake/biggest endorsement of Jennings the player is that his Milwaukee Bucks are 5-2, 4-0 at home … THE BUCKS! The last time the Bucks won five out of their first seven, Tony Kukoc was in the league.

I know what I’ll be doing tonight at 8pm. With a limited NBA schedule otherwise, you best be doing the same.

Prediction: Dallas 101 – Milwaukee 96

Charlotte Bobcats @ Orlando Magic – 7:00 pm

Captain Jack’s agent, Mark Stevens, said Stephen is “happy about the trade, delighted about the trade.” In related news, Stevens sold a jar of fecal matter to a commode after taking a swig before talking. In some circles, Stevens is known as the Drew Rosenhaus of the NBA … and that’s pretty much all that needs to be said.

“Delighted” about going to Charlotte? Really? That’s like saying your delighted about an upcoming prostate exam.

Not to knock Charlotte … although a team led by Golf Course Jordan is a sh*t show in its own right. But this is more of an indictment of Cap’n Jack … as in him eventually requesting a trade out of Charlotte is 18X more likely than him popping a cap n somebody, which happening is well within reason.

Don’t bother yourself with this game. Not only are the Bobcats bad (albeit, they’ve got a better record than those goddamn Washington Wizards), but they play at the slowest pace in the NBA. And Orlando is not exactly fast with their pace ranked 21st.

Seriously, you’re better off watching the commercials during the game below … or even the Ravens-Browns.

Prediction: Orlando 121 – Charlotte 87

Portland Trailblazers @ Atlanta Hawks – 7:00 pm

This crunkest game of the night …. Block Party.

  • Steve Blake returns to Atlanta, where he won a National Championship with the Maryland Terps in 2002.
  • If fate would have been better aligned, Juan Dixon would be on the Hawks … but he was cut in the preseason. Dixon essentially played his way out of the NBA with his crappy play for the Wizards last season.
  • Dixon is now evidently teaming up in Greece with Aaron Miles, who played on the Kansas Jayhawks team that Maryland beat in the ’02 semis.
  • Blake will, however, be going against his fellow Terp Joe Smith.

Random Stats:

  • The Hawks are 3rd in the league in PPG (108) and FG% (48.6).
  • Portland is 5th in blocks (6.4), Atlanta is 4th (6.5).
  • Portland leads the league in FT% (83.1).
  • Josh Smith averages 7.3 shot attempts at the rim per game, 7th in the NBA.
  • Smith also leads the league in blocks per game (2.6), Greg Oden is 2nd (2.45).
  • Joel Pryzbilla leads the NBA in Total Rebound Rate (24.2).

Watching Brandon Jennings will be great, but this might be the better game. It’s all about which team will instill their pace upon the game. The Hawks rank 9th in that category, the Blazers rank 28th.

Joe Johnson vs. Brandon Roy … good stuff.

Prediction: Atlanta 96 – Portland 88

15 Footer: LeBron v. D-Wade; Nash v. Kobe

Cleveland Cavaliers @ Miami Heat – 8:00 PM – TNT

Too bad Dwyane Wade isn’t playing the Wizards tonight. When he’s gone against Washington this season, he averages 40.5 points on 50.9% from the field. When he’s not, a measly 25.6 ppg on 42.1 FG%.

Lucky for Wade, he’s still pretty damn good … and when it comes to matching up against his fellow draft classmate, the wins and losses are just about even with LeBron holding the 10-9 advantage. The last time the Heat and the Cavs met, March 7, 2009, Mo Williams led all scorers with 29 points in a 99-89 Cleveland win. Williams has only scored over 27 points once since, one time being the 28 he dropped in Cleveland’s win against Orlando last night. The Cavs are 8-0 when Williams scores 27 or more points.

About Williams’ performance last night, John Krolik of Cavs: The Blog writes:

Mo was absolutely a man possessed in the first half, hitting all 8 of his field goal attempts (including 4 threes) in the first 24 minutes. When the Magic went under the screen, he pulled up from the left side and drained threes over Jameer Nelson. (A note here; Nelson’s defense was a factor in this. With Nelson’s short size and alligator arms, taller points who can flat-out shoot off the dribble like Mo are going to be problems for him.)

Of course, Williams won’t be going against Alligator Arms Nelson tonight … he’ll be up against the long arms of Mario Chalmers and his 2.43 steals per game, third best in the NBA.

Other Storylines:

  • This will only be Shaq’s second trip back to Miami since winning a championship there. In the first meeting, Shaq’s Suns were bested by the Heat 135-129 — Dwyane Wade tied his career high of 16 assists, the only time he’s out-assisted Steve Nash, who had 10, in their seven meetings.
  • LeBron no longer wants to talk about free agency because it’s “getting old.” Other people do. But really, what does the self-proclaimed King of Ohio expect when he passes the opportunity to re-up in his home state and continues to drape his brand in New York Yankees propaganda?
  • Delonte West was inactive last night in Orlando, reportedly because he missed a team flight from Cleveland … but it could be because of his new math. No word on if he will be active against the Heat tonight.

In any case, both West and Miami’s Michael Beasley had events occur in their respective offseasons that they’d probably rather do-over. Thus, a Google search suggestion on each player might aptly suggest how good of a game they might have.

beasley-googleWell, all of these things except rehab seem like fun activities. I’m no tattoo person, but they seem to bring joy to plenty of people. West, on the other hand,  certainly has a diverse set of related terms … some “fun” things (kfc, hot sauce, donuts, rap, twitter), and several not so fun conditions to have.

delonte-googleSo while this clearly indicates that Beasley will have 17 and 12, and West will have seven points, four turnovers, and quite possible a V.D., the Cavs will continue to gel and dominate the paint, only allowing Wade to get his on the perimeter.

Cleveland 94 – Miami 81

Phoenix Suns @ LA Lakers – 10:30 PM – TNT

You’re not going to find many people who aren’t surprised at Phoenix’s hot 6-1 start … especially with Amar’e Stoudemire still knocking off rust and eye snot (his PER and PPG are career lows, aside from his rookie year and the season in which he only played three games).

Which makes one wonder … at what point will Steve Nash be mentioned in the MVP conversation? And at what point can we start talking MVP in the first place? (It’s way too early IMO, but that hasn’t kept absurd fans from chanting it in arenas across the nation).

The Suns lead the NBA in FG% (.508), 3P% (47.4), and obviously points (112.3). With the NBA’s leading dime-dropper, the Suns are second to Boston in team assists per game (25.7) and third after the Celts and Clippers in assist-percentage (62.1). But curiously enough, despite leading the NBA with made 3-pointers (102), along with their league leading 3P%, the Suns are 24th in the NBA in Assist-% on three-pointers.

Nash is doing as good of a job as ever in getting his teammates involved and making them better … and especially Jason Richardson, who’s having a career-year in PER, FG% and 3P% by far (he also sat out the first two games due to a DUI arrest suspension).

Can the hot shooting continue? I doubt it against the Lakers … they matchup too well. Odom can checks Frye on the perimeter. And either Kobe or Artest gives Richardson trouble. Artest might actually fare better against Grant Hill, especially in keeping him off the boards. Hill hasn’t averaged over eight rebounds per game since Sweaty Pat Ewing was getting run with Orlando earlier this decade. Laker PGs still might have trouble keeping Nash contained, but still look for Phoenix’s shooting percentages to come back to reality tonight.

Lakers 118 – Phoenix 107

I’m Tired Dog.

{flickr/Keith Allison}

{flickr/Keith Allison}

Wizards-Cavaliers: A Rivalry Greater Than Individuals?

{flickr/Keith Allison}

{flickr/Keith Allison}

Tonight, the Washington Wizards and Cleveland Cavaliers face off for the first time this season. These teams have differing aspirations, the Cavs aiming for a title and the Wizards desiring a return to playoff relevancy. But when it comes to a single game, the animosity, competition, and surrounding circus has proved to be valuable entertainment in the past, and there’s no reason to think spirited matchups between these two franchises won’t continue for the foreseeable future.

I’d thought about it before Matt Moore ever posed the question: With the looming ‘Summer of 2010 Issue’, where would the Wizards-Cavs stand if LeBron left? Would hatred still be aimed from the D.C. to Cleveland and vice versa? Would the “rivalry” still exist?

First, let’s address this so-called rivalry. Many don’t even call it one. Maybe they’ve latched on to the morsels of food spewing from Charles Barkley’s mouth, maybe they’ve come to the conclusion on their own cognizance. The reasoning is, how can it be a rivalry when the Cavaliers have absolutely owned the Wizards? The regular season series stands at 12-10 in the favor of the Wizards since Bron-Bron entered the league, but the playoffs is where it counts. And no matter how many times Wizards fans use injuries as an excuse, the fact is that Cleveland has won all three series by a total of 12 games to four.

Sorry folks, you’re wrong … it’s a rivalry. The dictionary definition of rivalry doesn’t mention anything about wins and losses. Rather, it speaks of two forces that try to “equal or outdo another” or one side that is “in a position to dispute another’s preeminence or superiority.” The Wizards-Cavaliers certainly fall into the realm of this defined role.

Sure, it’s hard to argue that without sustained meetings of each team exchanging victories, that Wizards-Cavs is a classic NBA rivalry. The teams don’t have the benefit of long-term history nor a geographical connection. But a temporary rivalry among the league’s current generation? Undoubtedly. Whether Wiz-Cavs eventually invokes the romanticism of two teams going head-to-head until their children’s children despise the other team simply remains to be seen.

All they have now is the protagonists of LeBron James, Gilbert Arenas, DeShawn Stevenson, and a cast of characters who get just a little more “up” when it’s time to play against each other. The Cavs hate the Wizards and the Wizards hate the Cavs. Clevelanders hate Stevenson just as much as Washingtonians hate James … in fact, probably more. I can’t see a worker at Ronald Reagan National Airport tapping LeBron on the shoulder and saying, “I hate you.

You’ll hear old participants such as Lebron claim there is no rivalry, despite his peppered words to the contrary. Via Michael Lee, Wizards Insider, May 2009:

Before the Cavaliers played Detroit, James talked about how the motivation to beat the Pistons was simply to win and advance, unlike their previous first-round matchups against the Wizards.

“We really hated them,” James said. “It was easy to dial in against them.”

Oh, and not to forget LeBron playing the air guitar in last season’s final meeting in Cleveland. Do you think he acts in such a manner against any other team? (Maybe he’s always a bad winner, I haven’t been keeping track.)

{via Truth About It.net}

{via Truth About It.net}

And on the Wizards’ side, elder statesmen like Brendan Haywood and Caron Butler refuse to add fuel to the fire by downplaying the rivalry. DeShawn Stevenson, on the other hand, doesn’t mince words by calling LeBron ‘The Golden Child’ and asserting that it will be a rivalry as long as he, Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler are around.

But the most telling take of the perception from the Wizards’ end comes from newcomer Randy Foye, who has been “educated” about the rivalry by his teammates, YouTube, and the Cleveland fans.

If “rivalry” doesn’t describe how each of these factions want to beat each other just a little bit more than any other NBA team, then I’m just not sure what word could accurately depict ‘Washington Wizards vs. Cleveland Cavaliers’. And if LeBron leaves Cleveland next summer, where will the rivalry go?

It’s safe to say that most Wizards fans would root against whatever team LeBron played. Hell, many fans league wide would do same. LeBron’s attitude as a budding superstar concerned with self-serving preservation and protecting it in such a sophomoric manner has rallied anti-LeBron haters extending way beyond the realm of the Wizards Nation. It’s also safe to say that Wizards fans would relish the idea of Cleveland’s misery in losing James, basking in the irony of both sides despising the Golden Child.

Without LeBron at the root, the rivalry loses a ton of luster … but it’s not necessarily dead. It began with the so-called ‘Chosen 1′ versus ‘Agent Zero’, and was accentuated by the absurd antics of DeShawn Stevenson, but doesn’t have to end with individuals. If the Cavs and Wizards continue to meet on a significant stage, a greater competitive animosity will be built upon what was created by mere beings. But who are we kidding anyway, LeBron isn’t leaving Cleveland and Arenas is signed through 2014. This thing has plenty of life left. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

{flickr/Keith Allison}

{flickr/Keith Allison}

Ingredients Of An L.A. Presser With Lamar Odom

The NBA Finals: they aren’t just about following either The Euro, The Bro, or The Dad dress code for post game press conferences. The stage is also about individual swagger, and not many can exemplify personal swag like Lamar Odom.

For one, it’s good to blend in, Odom sporting what looks to be a standard-issue blue zip-up airport ground control suit. Also notice the carpet-matching-the-drapes bonus, with that crazy dressin’ old dude being the carpet. It’s like he reserved a front row seat and sat down right before Lamar started speaking specifically to blend in.

bro-at-lakers-presser

L.A. is a sex-pot town, and everything must be done in a fabulous manner. Notice here how Lamar saunters up to the water being given to him while seductively staring the cup down.

When Gloria Clemente said something about quenching thirst in White Men Can’t Jump, Odom took note. He didn’t want a glass of water, although more than happy to take it, he would have rather the water guy understand the concept of dry-mouthedness.

odom-seduces-water

And for the Magic … Curse of Nick Anderson? … no such thing.

Dwight Howard and Co. had their heads in La-La Land with Jack, Denzel, and the like.
Super Jesus opted for additional stage time to express his monologue to the refs….
worrying about the game would have been a better option.

orlando-magic-and-jack

The guy who wrote this also has a blog about the Washington Wizards, Truth About It.net.
Sad. He knows.

Faces of the 2009 NBA Draft Lottery

You can tell a lot from studying a face. We all have the inherent ability to decipher them in Malcolm Gladwell ‘equal partner in the emotional process’ type ways (no one has been talking about that Gladwell guy lately … good author, thought I’d give him a plug). But help is always welcome.

Matt gave me access to some of the Hardwood Paroxysm scientists (outsourced from India ’cause that’s all we can afford on internet salaries), who captured stills of the NBA draft lottery participants. The scientists then used advanced face recognition technology to extract the thought of each at that moment in time.

The faces of the  lottery stage reacting to each envelope being opened.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/truth_about_it/3549835131/in/set-72157618557520248/

THREE FINALISTS COMMERCIAL BREAK

AND …..